In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
At the outset, we wish to note the following observations.
We have been inundated with queries regarding the issue in reference. Alhamdulillah, our revered Muftῑs of Deoband, Sahāranpūr, Dabhel, Nadwatul ‘Ulamā and others have adequately fulfilled their responsibilities through their Fatāwā.
We have also been inundated with queries from our local public on the consequences of the above referred Fatāwā and we are now obliged to respond.
I myself am a product of the effort of Tablῑgh and have been regularly supporting and commenting on the various aspects of Tablῑgh through my Fatāwā. Accordingly, any deviation in this noble work is a cause of great pain.
We have been informed of disagreements and inappropriate behaviour on this issue. Information related to public domain cannot remain a secret. It eventually leaks out with disastrous consequences if not appropriately attended to.
It is more disturbing to note that some ‘elders’ are making undertone remarks against the Fatāwā of our great senior Muftῑs in the issue of Moulānā Sa’d.
The great Ḥanafῑ jurist, Imām Qādhi Khān (d.592 AH), writes:
رَجُلَانِ بَيْنَهُمَا خُصُوْمَةٌ فَجَاءَ أَحَدُهُمَا بِخُطُوْطِ الْفُقَهَاءِ وَالْفَتْوَى فَقَالَ الْخَصْمُ لَيْسَ كَمَا أَفْتَوْا أَوْ قَالَ لَا تُعْمَلُ بِهَذَا وَهُمَا مِنْ عَرْضِ النَّاسِ كَانَ عَلَيْهِ التَّعْزِيْرُ
(فتاوى قاضي خان ص۵۱٦ ج٣ قديمي كتب خانة)
“If two people have a dispute, and one of them presents the letters and Fatāwā of the Fuqahā to which the other says “the Fatwā is not how they have issued” or “do not act upon their Fatwā”, and these two individuals are respected people, then such an individual shall be given Ta’zir (corporal punishment)”
(Fatāwā Qādhῑ Khān, page 516, volume 3, Qadῑmῑ Kutub Khāna Edition)
Similarly, it is mentioned in Al Fatāwa Al Hindiyyah:
رَجُلٌ عَرَضَ عَلَيْهِ خَصْمُهُ فَتْوَى الْأَئِمَّة ِفَرَدَّهَا وَقَالَ چہ بارنامہ فتوی آوردہ قِيْلَ يَكْفُرُ لِأَنَّهُ رَدَّ حُكْمَ الشَّرْعِ وَكَذَا لَوْ لَمْ يَقُلْ شَيْئًا لَكِنْ أَلْقَى الْفَتْوَى عَلَى الْأَرْضِ وَقَالَ این چہ شرع است كَفَرَ
(الفتاوى الهندية ص٣۷۲ ج۲ مكتبة رشيدية)
“A person is presented with the Fatāwā of the scholars by his opposition and says “what kind of a Fatwā is this?”, it is said that he has committed disbelief as he has refuted a command of Sharῑ’ah. In the same manner, if one does not say anything, but rather, throws the Fatwā on the ground and says “what kind of Sharῑ’ah is this?” He has committed disbelief”
(Al Fatāwa Al Hindiyyah, page 372, volume 2, Maktabah Rashῑdiyyah Edition)
Any work of Dῑn can only progress with harmony. Enmity and animosity amongst responsible people leads to a deprivation of blessings (barakah) in the work. That will lead to the masses being uncomfortable and finally distancing themselves from the work. This would be attributed to the irresponsible emotional attitude of some elders in addressing the issue at hand. Allah Ta’āla created our heads above our hearts. Rationality should prevail over emotions.
Indeed, the purpose of the effort of Tablῑgh is to jolt people out of their spiritual slumber and create a revolution of Dῑn in their hearts. The Fuqahā have mentioned that Dῑn cannot be taught to people without the correct knowledge and understanding of Dῑn.
It is written in Al Fatāwa Al Hindiyyah:
الْأَمْرُ بِالْمَعْرُوْفِ يَحْتَاجُ إِلَى خَمْسَةِ أَشْيَاءَ أَوَّلُهَا الْعِلْمُ لِأَنَّ الْجَاهِلَ لَا يَحْسُنُ الْأَمْرُ بِالْمَعْرُوْفِ
(الفتاوى الهندية ج5 ص353 مكتبة رشيدية)
“There are five pre-requisites for commanding good and prohibiting evil, the first of them is [correct] knowledge [of Dῑn] for an ignorant person cannot properly command good and prohibit evil”
)Al Fatāwa Al Hindiyyah, page 353, volume 5, Maktabah Rashῑdiyyah Edition)
The rulings of the Fuqahā clearly indicate that when a person is ignorant or has become ignorant of the knowledge of Dῑn, and he makes unIslāmic comments and irresponsible statements, then he is no longer able to fulfil the purpose of Tablῑgh.
The sentiments of the Fuqahā also indicate that those individuals who are entrusted the responsibility of guiding the people must prohibit the people from reading or listening to any material which may affect their guidance.
‘Allāmah Ẓahῑrūd Dῑn Al Bukhārῑ (d.619 AH) quotes the great Ḥanafῑ Faqῑh and Theologian, Abul Yusr Aḥmad ibn Muḥammad Al Bazdawῑ Al Ḥanafῑ (d.542 AH) by saying:
قَالَ الشَّيْخُ الْإِمَامُ صَدْرُ الْإِسْلَامِ أَبُو الْيُسْرِ: نَظَرْتُ فِي الْكُتُبِ الَّذِيْ صَنَعَهَا الْمُتَقَدِّمُوْنَ فِيْ عِلْمِ التَّوْحِيْدِ فَوَجَدْتُ بَعْضَهَا لِلْفَلَاسِفَةِ مِثْلَ إِسْحَاقَ الْكِنْدِيْ وَالْإِسْفِزِارِيْ وَأَمْثَالِهِمَا وَذَلِكَ كُلُّهُ خَارِجٌ عَنِ الدَّيْنِ الْمُسْتَقِيْمِ زَائِغٌ عَنِ الطَّرِيْقِ الْقَوِيْمِ لَا يَجُوْزُ النَّظْرُ فِيْ تِلْكَ الْكُتُبِ وَلَا يَجُوْزُ إِمْسَاكُهَا فَإِنَّهَا مَشْحُوْنَةٌ مِّنَ الشِّرْكِ وَالضَّلَالِ" قَالَ "وَوَجَدْتُ أَيْضًا تَصَانِيْفَ كَثِيْرَةً فِيْ هَذَا الْفَنِّ لِلْمُعْتَزِلَةِ مِثْلِ عَبْدِ الْجَبَّار الرَّازِيْ وَالْجُبَائِيْ وَالْكَعْبِيْ وَالنِّظَامِ وَغَيْرِهِمْ وَلَا يَجُوْزُ إِمْسَاكُ تِلْكَ الْكُتُبِ وَالنَّظْرُ كَيْلَا تَحْدُثُ الشُكُوْكُ وَلَا يَتَمَكَّنُ الْوَهْمُ مِنَ الْعَقَائِدِ"
(المسائل البدرية المنتخبة من الفتاوى الظهيرية للعيني ت٨۵۵ ص٤۷۲ ج۲ دار العاصمة)
“Shaykh Ṣadrul Islām Abul Yusr said: “I have looked into the books that the previous generation have written in the field of theology, and I found some of them to have been written by philosophers such as Ishaq Al Kindi and Al Isfizari, all of these books are away from the steadfast religion and deviant from the correct path. It is not permissible to look into these books or to keep them, for they are filled with polytheism and deviance.” He then said “I also found many other book in this field written by the Mu’tazilites such as Abdul Jabbar Al Razi, Al Juba’i’, Al Ka’bi, Nizam, and others. It is not permissible to keep or look into these books for fear of them creating doubts [within the general masses] and creating an error in their beliefs (Aqaid)”
(Al Masāil Al Badriyyah Al Muntakabah Minal Fatāwā Al Ẓahῑriyyah, page 472, volume 2, Darul ‘Asimah)
After narrating this Fatwā, the great Ḥanafῑ Faqῑh, ‘Allāmah ‘Umar ibn Muḥammad Al Sanāmῑ (d.800 AH) goes as far as to say:
قَالَ الْعَبْدُ وَلَمَّا اطَّلَعْتُ عَلَى هَذِهِ الرِّوَايَةِ بِأَنَّ كُتُبَ الْمُعْتَزِلَةِ الْمُشْتَمِلَةِ عَلَى اعْتِقَادِهِمْ وَبَيَانِ مَذْهَبِهِمِ الْخَبِيْثِ لَا يَجُوْزُ إِمْسَاكُهَا وَكَانَ عِنْدِيْ الْكَشَّافُ لِلزَّمَخْشَرِيِّ وَفِيْهِ مَذْهَبُ الْإِعْتِزَالِ فِيْ كُلِّ صَحْفَةٍ وَوَرِقَةٍ فَأَخْرَجْتُهُ مِنْ بَيْتِيْ وَمَا بِعْتُهُ بِثَمَنٍ مَخَافَةَ أَن يُّحْرَمَ ثَمَنُهُ كَحُرْمَةِ ثَمَنِ الْخَمَرِ وَالْمَيْتَةِ وَالْخِنْزِيْرِ
(نصاب الإحتساب للسنامي ت في القرن الثامن ص259-260 مكتبة الطالب الجامعي)
“This servant says when I came across this Fatwā [of Abul Yusr Aḥmad ibn Muḥammad Al Bazdawῑ Al Ḥanafῑ (d.542 AH)] that the books of the Mu’tazilites which contain their filthy beliefs are not permissible to keep, I [realised that I] had with me ‘Al Kashāf’ by Zamaqsharῑ, in it there were details of the Mu’tazilite belief on every page and every chapter, so I removed it from my house and I did not sell it for money for fear of the money becoming haram upon me, just as money received in the sale of alcohol, dead meat, and pork is also considered haram”
(Niṣāb Al Iḥtisāb, page 259-260, Maktabah Al Tālib Al Jami’ῑ’)
In fact, the Fuqaha have mentioned that the well-respected scholars should avoid visiting people who are causing corruption, even if this is done to command them to return to the straight path. This is in order to avoid a misconception amongst the general masses that the well-respected scholars are supporting the beliefs of such a person.
‘Allāmah Tāhir Al Bukhārῑ (d. post 600 AH) writes:
وَفِي النَّوَازِلِ سُئِلَ نَصِيْرُ عَنْ رَجُلٍ يَخْتَلِفُ إِلَى رَجُلٍ مِّنْ أَهْلِ الْبَاطِلِ وَالشَّرِّ لِيَذُبَّ عَنْ نَفْسِهِ إِنْ كَانَ هَذَا الرَّجُلُ مَشْهُوْرًا مِّمَّن يُّقْتَدَى بِهِ فَإِنَّهُ يُكْرَهُ أَن يَخْتَلِفَ إِلَيْهِ
(خلاصة الفتاوى لطاهر البخاري ت بعد ٦۰۰ه ص٣٣۵ ج٤ مكتبة رشيدية)
“It is mentioned in Al Nawāzil, Nasir [ibn Yaḥya; a great Hanafi Faqih from Balkh] was asked regarding a person that visits a person who is from amongst those who are evil and have corrupt beliefs so that he may restrain him from himself, if this person [who is visiting] is well-known and is from amongst those [scholars] who are followed, then it is disliked for him to visit such a person”
(Khulasatul Fatawa, page 335, volume 4, Maktabah Rashidiyyah)
During the caliphate of Marwan ibn Al Hakam, the Sahabah and Tabi’un would avoid sitting in his lectures when he began to voice unIslamic tones in his lectures.
We have taken note of the comments in the Fatwa of Darul Ulum Deoband against Moulana Sa’d. We have also heard many recordings of Moulana Sa’d through other media channels. It is our humble submission that the Fatwa of Darul Ulum Deoband has been generous in sparing Moulana Sa’d. There are many other serious statements made by him that casts doubt on his Aqaid. To state a few more – he states that Hidayah is not in the hands of Allah. This is clearly against the evidential texts and questions the very Iman of a person.
Allah Ta’ala says:
إِنَّكَ لَا تَهْدِيْ مَنْ أَحْبَبْتَ وَلَكِنَّ اللهَ يَهْدِيْ مَن يَّشَاءُ
(سورة القصص آية ۵٦)
“Surely you do not guide who you wish, rather, it is Allah Who guides whom He wishes”
(Surah Qasas, Ayah 56)
Moulānā Sa’d also states that Markaz Nizamudin is second in place after the Ḥaramain. This is indeed serious and clear extremism. The Ḥadῑth clearly states that Masjid Al Aqsa is third in place after the Ḥaramain.
It is not permissible for a person guilty of such comments to be in a position of a person who is followed by the people (Muqtada). It is also not permissible to promote such a person or lead the masses to such a person.
Imagine the consequences of subjecting our simple-minded sincere masses to such corrupt expositions.
It is also an indictment on the reverence of so many senior Muftis of India to regard the differences at Nizamudin as a Gujrati and UP issue. A Fatwa is issued based on clear facts, which are clearly present in this case.
Consider the following clear verdict of Imam Abu Hanifah in such a situation.
‘Allamah Ibn Nujaym has recorded the bequest of the great Imam Abu Hanifah to his illustrious student, Imam Abu Yusuf. In his bequest to his student Imam Abu Yusuf, the great Imam Abu Hanifah said:
وَإِذَا عَرَفْتَ إِنْسَانًا بِالشَّرِّ فَلَا تَذْكُرْهُ بِهِ بَلِ اطْلُبْ مِنْهُ خَيْرًا فَاذْكُرْهُ بِهِ إِلَّا فِيْ بَابِ الدِّيْنِ فَإِنَّكَ إِنْ عَرَفْتَ فِيْ دِيْنِهِ كَذَلِكَ فَاذْكُرْهُ لِلنَّاسِ كَيْلَا يَتَّبِعُوْهُ وَيَحْذُرُوْهُ
(الأشباه والنظائر لإبن نجيم ت970ه ص712 ج2 إدارة القرآن)
“When you recognise that a person is a wrongdoer, then do not mention it [to the people], rather, ask for good of him and mention his goodness, except in matters of Din. For if you recognise that a person is a wrongdoer in his Din (i.e. he has corrupt beliefs), then mention him to the people so that they do not follow him and are aware of him”
(Al Ashbāh Wal Nazāir, page 712, volume 2, Idaratul Qur’ān Edition)
In light of the above quotations, it is not permissible to direct people to Nizamudin. This will lead them to be misguided and defeating the very noble objective of Da’wah and Tabligh, being to jolt people out of their spiritual slumber to the obedience of Allah Ta’ala.
We should also safeguard ourselves from the ghastly consequences of Nizamudin and Raiwind differences in our local Masajid.
We should also bear in mind that many deviated groups thrive and capitalise on such differences, thereby advancing their course.
The close and watchful eye of the various media channels should also never be ignored and underestimated. We have observed the role of the media in Moulānā Sa’d’s issue. Fighting against the backlash of the media is a mammoth task akin to a losing battle.
Our revered Muftis of India have exercised caution and resistance before issuing the Fatwā against Moulānā Sa’d in the interest of safeguarding the masses from being misguided to his wrong beliefs.
It should not happen that our local Muftis as well as local Muftis around the world are also constrained one day to issue a Fatwā against their local people by their names who are misleading their masses to the present misguidance of Moulānā Sa’d and present situation at Nizamudin.
And Allah Knows Best
Mufti Ebrahim Desai
We have been reliably informed of similar fatawa by many Mufti's of South Africa.