Scientific Proof to the Existence of God – part of the Weekend Class series of eight lectures by Al-Marhum Bro. Muhammad Al’Mahdi at the Khalifah Institute in 2004.
June 8, 2013
Scientific Proof to the Existence of God – part of the Weekend Class series of eight lectures by Al-Marhum Bro. Muhammad Al’Mahdi at the Khalifah Institute in 2004.
January 22, 2012
Here is the recording of a lecture by Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad during the Crisis of Modern Consciousness workshop organised by HAKIM at Masjid Negara, Kuala Lumpur, 27 March 2010.
And the Q&A session:
December 31, 2011
Table of Contents
With the advent of Islam in Arabia, the polytheists, Jews and Christians had to retreat as they could not withstand the challenge thrown by Islam to accept the reality of monotheism. These forces particularly the Jews were most vociferous in their opposition to Islam. As they were not in a position to challenge Islam openly, they resorted to strike from within. It was Abdullah bin Saba, a Jew, who pretending to be a Muslim coined and propagated the Divine right of Ali Bin Abi Talib, May Allah be pleased with him, to the Caliphate as the successor to the prophet Muhammad (Sall Allahu alaihi wa sallim), by virtue of his position as the son in law of the prophet(SALL ALLAHU ALAIHI WASALLIM). By and by the idea was turned in to a doctrine and those professing it called themselves as Shi’ites. This doctrine was based upon the contempt and animosity towards the pious caliphs particularly Abu Bakr and Umar (May Allah be pleased with them). Since its very inception this break away group has been playing a negative role in the Muslim World and has brought untold miseries to the Ummah. The annals, of the Islamic history bear testimony to the above fact. The assassin movement of Hasan bin Sabbah and the role played by Ibn-e-Alqami in the devastation of Baghdad by Holagu are some of the instances of the past Islamic history. The upsurge of Khomenieism in Iran is also the part of the old game of the Shi’ite history. Khomenieism has assumed a new and most dangerous dimension which has surpassed all the previous dangers. The uncompromising attitude in the ruinous war with Iraq, the turmoil at Mecca during the last year Haj pilgrimage, the mischievous move to internationalize the control of the holy cities of Islam and the sinister propaganda against the government of Saudi Arabia has exposed the Khomeini regime.
This book Al-Khutoot Al-Areedah gives a vivid picture of the Shi’ite belief and faith. The reader will come across with some painful truths and horrible facts.
Abul Kalam Azad Islamic Awakening Centre, New Delhi is indebted to brother Mahmood Murad, translator of the book, who very kindly granted pe mission to publish it, when the undersigned had the privilege to meet him at the International Conference of the Sacred Cities of Islam, held on 1st & 2nd
April 1988 at California, Los Angeles, U.S.A.
Unfortunately both the illustrious author of this book Muhibbuddeen Khateeb and his son Oussay expired recently. May Allah, the most merciful forgive their sins and admit them to the paradise.
Abul Kalam Azad Islamic Awakening Centre has a promising program to bring out books on various Islamic subjects to facilitate the Muslims to understand the pristine teachings of Islam. May Allah help us in our efforts.
Abdul Hameed Rahmani President Abul Kalam Azad Islamic Awakening Centre
In the name of Allah. the Beneficent, the Merciful All praise is due to the Almighty God, Allah. We praise Him and seek His help and forgiveness. And we seek refuge in Allah from the evils of our own selves and from our wicked deeds. Whosoever has been guided by Allah, there is none to misguide him. And whosoever has been misguided by Allah, none can guide him. And I bear witness that there is no other god except Allah, alone, without partner or associate. And I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger. May Allah the Exalted bestow His peace and blessings on the Prophet Muhammad, upon his good and pure family as well as upon all of the noble Companions and upon those who followed them in righteousness until the Day of Judgment.
It is intended through this translation of Al-Khutoot Al-‘Areedah to present to readers of English, both Muslims and non-Muslims accurate information about the faith and tenets of the Shi’ite sect known asthe Twelve Imamers or Ja’faris.
It is essential for the Sunni Muslim to know the fact of the Shi’ite deviation from the straight path of Islam taught by the Prophet Muhammad (Sall Allahu alaihi wa sallim) and his noble Companions (r.a.a.). Al-Khutoot Al-‘Areedah clearly and briefly presents the actual teachings of the Shi’ites in general, and the Twelve Imamers in particular. The reader will derive from the text an unequivocal understanding of the Shi’ite sect and will distance himself from them and their beliefs. He will realize that there can be no reconciliation nor reunification of the Sunnis and the schismatic Shi’ites until and unless the latter renounce their perverse tenets. They must return to the pure unadulterated teachings of Islam held and maintained by Ahlus-Sunnah wal-lama’ah (the Sunnis).
Unfortunately, it is a common view in the West that the Irani Shi’ites and their so-called Islamic” revolution with all its attendant turmoil, injustice and barbarism, are representatives of Islam. It is hoped that the non-Muslim reader of this work will come to perceive the abyss which separates the Shi’ites from the Muslim majority, and that he will no longer condemn all Muslims for the activities of one de- iant sect.
The existence of numerous sects, the majority of which are de- viant, is a predetermined fact referred to in the Glorious Qur’an:
And if your Lord [Allah] had so willed, He could have made mankind a single unified community, but they will not cease to dispute and differ; except those upon whom your Lord has bestowed His mercy. And for this did He create them, and the word of your Lord will be fulfilled: l will fill Hell with jinns and men altogether. (11-118, 119)
Furthermore, Allah’s Prophet (Sall Allahu alaihi waSallim) had said: “Verily this nation [of Muslims] will divide into seventy-three sects”, and in another narration: “All of them [these sects] will be in the Fire except one.’ When asked which it was, the Prophet replied: “The one which adheres to my Sunnah (way of life) and the Sunnah of my Companions.’(1)
Thus, it was incumbent upon us to bring to light the stark differences among the sects so that it may be perfectly clear what each sect believes in and adheres to that Allah s proof against His slaves may be established:
But that Allah might accomplish a matter already ordained [in His knowledge]; so that those who were destroyed [by rejecting faith] might be destroyed after a clear sign [had been. given] and those who live [i.e. believers] might live after a clear sign [had been given]. And surely Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower. (8:42)
Shi’ism originated in the first century of Islam as an exaggerated affection for and partisanship of Ahlul-Bait (the family and descendants of the Prophet Muhammad [Sall Allahu alaihi waSallim]). Later on, it developed into a set of misbeliefs and erroneous concepts which ultimately constituted a new religion; a religion other than that which was taught by the Prophet Muhammad (Sall Allahu alaihi waSallim), and by his Companions after him.
The Shi’ites claim to have a Qur’an other than the one which is unanimously recognized by all Muslims throughout the history of Islam. Furthermore, they reject the authentic compilations of the sacred traditions, such as those of the two great imams Al-Bukhari and Muslim. They consider all but a few-of the Companions of the Prophet Muhammad to be apostates, while they elevate their Imams to a position comparable o that of the gods of ancient mythology
Unfortunately, some naive or simple-minded Muslims are inclined to believe that the Shi’ites of today have abandoned their de- viant tenets and have reverted to the right path. Grounds for such a belief are yet to be found.
A detailed exposition of the Shi’ite distortions and misconceptions will follow in this treatise, but at this point I will briefly touch on some of the views of the contemporary Shi’ite religious elite; the ayatullahs and mullahs whose commands are obeyed and slavishly adhered to by the ordinary Shi’ite.
In a treatise entitled Tuhfatul-Awaam Maqbool, published recent- ly, there appeared an invocation (2) endorsed by six of the most respected contemporary Shi’ite imams including Khomeini and Shariat-Madari. In that invocation, Abu Bakr and `Umar, may Allah be pleased with them, are accused of altering the Qur’an. Those two illustrious caliphs, along with their two daughters, who were the noble and pure wives of the Prophet (Sall Allahu alaihi waSallim) were cursed and reviled by the Shi’ites of today.
Khomeini, in his book Al-Hukoomatul-lslamiyyah (the Islamic government), claims that the Twelve Imams are infallible, and he raises them to a level above the heavenly angels and the commissioned prophets of Allah; he stresses: “Certainly, the Imam commands a noble station and lofty position; a creative vicegerency to who’s rule and power submit the very atoms of all creation[!] And an essential tenet of our Shi’ite sect is that the Imams have a position which is reached neither by the angels [in the highest heaven] nor by any commissioned messenger of God (3).” He further stated: “The teachings and directives of the Imams are just like those of the Qur’an, it is compulsory on one to follow them and carry them out.”(4)
In short, Khomeini and his fellow clergymen adhere to all of the perverse tenets of the Shi’ite faith as laid out in detail in Al-Kaafi. Khomeini clearly admits this in his book Al-Huloomatul-islamiah: “Do you think that it is enough for us, with respect to-our religion, to collect its rulings and directives in Al-Kaafi, then put it on a shelf and neglect it?”
Al-Khutoot Al-‘Areedah, provides some details from Al-Kaafi, a foundation stone of the Shi’ite religion, so that the naive good-hearted Muslims may have a second thought before cherishing the idea that the Shi’ites of today are different from those of the past.
Abu Bilal Mustafa Al-Kanadi, Mecca and Vancouver Ramadan-Dhul-Qa’dah 1403 A.H. /1983 C.E.
Bringing Muslims closer to each other in their thoughts, convictions and aims is one of the greatest objectives of Islam, and a most vital means of achieving Muslim unity, power, revival and reconstruction. When the call to such a purpose is free from ulterior motives and is likely to yield more benefit than harm, then it becomes incumbent on all Muslims to respond to it and to co-operate with each other to make it a success.
Discussion of this call had increased in recent years, and had such a pronounced effect that it attracted the attention of Al-Azhar University, one of the greatest religious institutions of those who adhere to the four schools of jurisprudence of Ahlus-Sunnahs (Sunni Muslims). Al- Azhar fully adopted the idea of bringing Muslim groups together and pursued it beyond the limits of its authority which had been established in the time of Salahuddin and maintained up until the present. Al- Azhar overstepped its bounds in its desire to explore and to accommodate various schools of thought, the foremost of which is the school of the Shi’ite Twelve lmamers.(5)
Al-Azhar is, at this point, in the early stages of this mission.(6) Therefore, this topic is timely and worthy of research, study and ex- position by every Muslim who has knowledge of the issue, in all its details and with all its ramifications. Since religious issues tend to be controversial in nature, they should be handled with wisdom, insight and straightforwardness. The researcher must also be enlightened by Allah’s guidance and be impartial in his judgment in order that his research may achieve its claimed objectives and yield satisfactory results, if it be so willed by Allah.
It may be remarked that with any contentious issue involving more than one party, chances for its successful resolution are cor- related-to the responsiveness of the parties involved. With respect to the question of bringing Ahlus-Sunnah and the Shi’ites closer to each other, it has been noticed that a centre was established for this purpose in Egypt, financed by the government of a Shi’ite country. This open-handed Shi’ite government has honored us with its generosity while it deprived itself and the adherents of its own school of thought of its governmental bounty It has also been noticed that it did not build such a lavish establishment for the call to “reconciliation” in Tehran, Qum, Najaf, Jabal `Aamil, or any other centre known for its propagation of the Shi’ite school of thought.’
These Shi’ite propaganda centres published during the past years books that make one’s skin crawl and one’s body tremble from the shock of what is written therein. Reading them utterly destroys any idea we may have entertained of developing mutual understanding and closeness with their Shi’ite authors and the like of them. Among these publications is a book entitled Az-Zahraa, by Shi’ite scholars of Najaf, in which they alleged that Amirul Mu’mineen `Umar ibnu Khattaab, the second caliph, was plagued with a disease curable only by the water of men (i.e., semen)! This filthy slander was noted by the scholar Al-Basheer Al-lbrahimi, the Sheikh of the Algerian `ulamaa, during his first visit to Iraq. A filthy soul which produces such wickedness is in a greater need of the call to understanding and reconciliation than we are.
The fundamental difference between them and us is rooted in their claim that they are more loyal to AhlulBait, and in the fact that they hide from us their malice towards and grudge against the Companions of the Prophet, on whose shoulders Islam was established. Their hatred reached such a point that they can utter the filthy words against `Umar ibnul-Khattaab that were noted above.
Is it not fair to say that they should have restrained their malice and hatred against the first Imams of Islam. and that they should have appreciated the noble stand of ahlus-Sunnah toward ahlulBait, that stand which never fell short in offering due homage and reverence to the family of the Prophet? Or do they consider us to be remiss in not taking the family of the Prophet as gods to be worshipped along with Allah, as they do?
Without a doubt, responsiveness to each other is essential if two parties are to achieve a mutual “coming together”, reconciliation and understanding. This mutual responsiveness can only come about if there are sincere efforts on both sides to achieve it.
As stated above, there is a “reconciliation” centre in Egypt, a Sunni country; there are also propaganda offices which wage hostile campaigns against those who do not favour such centres. One might well question the absence of such centres or their like in any Shi’ite country. One also may question why Al-Azhar University has included instruction in the Shi’ite school of thought, while the Sunni schools of thought are still locked out of the Shi’ite educational institutions. If the call to reconciliation is restricted to one of the concerned parties alone, then the efforts spent on such a call will be futile.
Finally, one may question the value of beginning the process of reconciliation by attending to differences of a minor or secondary nature, while fundamental differences have not yet been addressed.(7)
The jurisprudence of the Sunnis differs from that of the Shi’ites even in the fundamentals upon which the law is based. Yet unless and until the fundamentals are understood and endorsed by both parties, and until there is a favorable response to this from the religious institutions of both sides, it would be useless to waste time dealing with issues of a minor or secondary nature.
In fact, it is not merely in the fundamentals of jurisprudence that there are differences, but also, and more importantly, in the fun- damental articles of faith of each party, even in their deepest roots and origins. 6 THE QUESTION OF TAQIYYAH
One of the main obstacle to their receiving a positive response from us is their tenet of taqiyyah (deception), by the application of which, they reveal to us other than what they have in their hearts. The simple-minded Sunni is deceived by their pretentious display of `the desire to overcome our differences and reach a common under- standing between us and them. In fact, they neither want such a thing nor approve of it. They do not strive for it, but rather leave it to the other party to come the full distance to their position, without exerting an effort to make any move from their side. Even if those Shi’ites who practice taqiyyah were to convince us that they have moved a few steps in our direction, then the multitude of Shi’ites, be they ordinary people or the scholarly elite, would stand apart from those who adopted the ruse of objectivity towards us, and they would not recognize them as their representatives; this because their actual belief does not permit them to reconcile themselves with us.
The Qur’an should be the comprehensive reference for both Sunnis and Shi’ites, and a means of bringing about unity and mutual understanding, but it has been misinterpreted by the Shi’ites and given a meaning other than that which was understood by the noble Com- panions who received it directly from the Prophet, and other than that which was understood by the Imams of Islam who received it from the very generation amongst whom the Qur’an descended by way of Divine Revelation.
One of the most famous and respected Shi’ite scholars, from Najaf, Mirza Husain bin Muhammad Taqi An-Nawari At-Tabarsi, wrote in 1292 A.H. the book faslul-Khitaab fee Ithbatti Tahreefi Kitaab Rabbil-Arbaab (The Decisive Say on the Proof of Alteration of the Book of the Lord of Lords). In this book he compiled hundreds of texts written by Shi’ite scholars in different eras alleging that the Qur’an has been tampered with, that there have been both additions to it and omissions from it.
At-Tabarsi’s book was printed in Iran, in 1298 A.H., and its appearance attracted much attention, frustrating the intention of cer- tain Shi’ites that their doubts about the authenticity of the Qur’an should be restricted to the elite of religious scholars and personalities. They preferred that these allegations not be brought together in a single volume, and widely disseminated, as it could be used as a proof against them by their opponents. When the scholars made public their criticism, At-Tabarsi responded with another book entitled Raddu ba’dush-Shubahaati `an Faslil-Khitaabi fee Ithbatti Tahreefi Kitaabi Rabbil-Arbaab (Refutation of Some Specious Arguments Regarding the Decisive Say on the Proof of Alteration of the Book of the Lord of the Lords). He wrote this defense of his original book two years before his death. In order to show their appreciation of his contribution to the at- tempt to prove that the Qur’an had been altered, the Shi’ites buried him in one of their most prominent religious shrines, at Najaf.
Among the proofs offered by At-Tabarsi in his attempt to show that the Qur’an had been altered, was a quotation from what the Shi’ites consider to be a missing part of the Qur’an, called by them Suratul-Wilaayah (see below). It mentions the granting of wilaayah (sovereignty) to `Ali(8) as follows: “O believers, believe in the Prophet and the wali, the two whom We sent to guide you to the straight path…”[suratul-Wilayyah]
Photocopy of the so-called Suratul-wilaaya h which the Shi’ites accuse the Sunni Muslims of deleting it along with other suras from the original text of the Holy Qur’an. It reads:
O’ you who believe, believe in the prophet and the wali, the two whom we sent to guide you to the straight path. A prophet and wali who are of each other. and celebrate the praise of your Lord, and Ali is among the witnesses.
[fatwa against companions]
Photocopy of the original fatwa (religious verdict) encouraging the Shi’ite masses to curse the two Caliphs Abu Bakr and `Umar. signed by six of the con- temporary Shi’ite scholars and clergy among them Khomeini and Shariat Madari The trustworthy scholar Muhammad `Ali Sa’oodi, chief consultant to the Egyptian Ministry of Justice, and one of Sheikh Muhammad Abduh’s special students, managed to examine an Iranian manuscript copy of the Qur’an owned by the orientalist Brown. He was able to make a photocopy of Surat-ul-Wilaayah with its Persian translation. Its existence was affirmed by At-Tabarsi in his book faslul-Khitaab, and by Muhsin Faani Al-ashmeeri in his book Dabisan Madhaahib. This book, written in Persian, was printed several times in Iran. The chapter (Surat)-ul-Wilaayah) which is falsely attributed to Allah’s revelation, was also quoted by the famous orientalist Noeldeke in his book History of the Copies of the Qur’an(9). It also appeared in the Asian-French Newspaper in 1842 C.E.
At-Tabarsi also quoted a tradition from Al-Kaafi, which is to the Shi’ites what Sahih-ul-Bukhari is to the Sunni Muslims. It reads:
A number of our associates narrated by way of Sahl bin Ziyaad through Muhammad bin Sulaiman that some of his friends reported Abul-Hasan Ath-Thaani `Ali bin Mioosa Ar-Rida as saying `May I be your ransom! We hear verses of the Qur’an different from those we have with us and we are not capable of reading them according to your reading which has reached us. Do we commit a sin thereby He replied, “No, read the Qur’an as you have learned it; someone will come to you to teach you.
Without a doubt, this conversation is fabricated by the Shi’ites and is falsely attributed to the Imam `Ali bin Moosa Ar-Rida; however, the statement is taken by the Shi’ites as a legal ruling in this matter. Its implication is that while one of them commits no sin by reciting the Qur’an the way Muslims have learned according to `Uthman’s unanimously accepted text, the privileged class of Shi’ite clergy and scholars will teach each other a version other than the accepted one, a version which they claim came to their Imams from AhlulBait.
It was the urge to strike a comparison between the Shi’ite “Qur’an” (which they secretly confide to one another, while hiding it from the general public as an act of taqiyyah”) and the known and officially accepted `Uthmani Edition of the Qur’an, which motivated At-Tabarsi to write his book faslul-Khitaab.
Although the Shi’ites pretended to disown At-Tabarsi’s book, as an act of taqiyyah, the glar- ing fact that it-includes hundreds of quotations from the recognized works of their scholars clearly confirms their adherence to the tenet of alteration of the Qur’an. Of course, they do not want a clamor to be raised over this perverse article of faith of theirs
The intended result of their claim is to leave us with the impres- sion that there are two Qur’ans: one, the `Uthmani version accepted by the Sunni Muslims; the other, the allegedly hidden version of the Shi’ites, part of which is Surat-ul-Wilaayah. They are well aware that they fabricated the statement they attributed to the Imam `Ali bin Moosa Ar-Rida: “… read [the Qur’an] as you have learned it; someone will come to you to teach you.” The Shi’ites also claim that a verse was deleted from the Qur’an from Surat-ul-lnshiraah. The alleged deletion is “and we made `Ali your son-in-law.” Have they no shame in making such an allegation, when it is a well-known fact that this particular surah was revealed in Mecca at a time when `Ali was not yet the son-in-law of the Prophet, Allah’s blessing and peace be upon him. His only son-in-law a that time was Al-‘Ass Ibnur-Rabee’al-Ummawi. As for the fact that `Ali was a son-in-law of the Prophet, it should be pointed out that Allah also made `Uthman bin `Affaan the son-in-law of the Prophet through his marriage to two of the Prophet’s daughters. Upon the death of the second of `Uthman’s wives (the second of the two daughters), the Prophet said to him, “If we had a third one, we would have given her to you in marriage.”
Another of the Shi’ite scholars, Abu Mansoor Ahmad bin `Ali At- Tabarsi, in his book Al-lhtijaaj `ala Ahlil-Lajaaj (Argumentation with the Contentious Folk) claimed that `Ali said to one of the zanaadiqah,(10)whose name At-Tabarsi neglected to mention, “As for your belligerent disagreement with me(11), it shows your feigned ignorance of Allah’s statement, `And if you fear that you will not deal justly with the orphans, then marry of the women who seem good to you…”‘ At- Tabarsi then went on to say, by way of explanation as to why this verse was quoted by `Ali in his argumentation with his opponents:
Now doing justice to orphans does not resemble the marrying of women, and not all women are
orphans; thus, this verse is an exam- ple of what I have presented earlier in the book Al-Ihtijaaj; regarding the deletion of parts of the Qur’an by the hypocrites’,(12) that deletion being between the statement about justice to orphans, and that which follows it, about the marrying of women. This deletion consists of addresses and stories, and amounts to more than a third of the Qur’an,
The foregoing is an example of the Shi’ite lies which were at- tributed `Ali may Allah be pleased with him). That it is A slanderous fabrication is proven by the fact that `Ali never declared, during the whole period of his caliphate, that a third of the Qur’an was missing from the section mentioned above. He did not command the Muslims to record this “missing” portion, nor to seek guidance from it, nor to apply jurisprudential rulings derived from it.
Upon the publication of the book Faslul-Khitaab over eighty years ago, there was great rejoicing amongst the enemies of Islam, in par- ticular, the missionaries and orientalists. They liked the book so much that they decided to translate it into their own languages. It is no wonder, since it contained hundreds of lies such as those mentioned above, along with slanderous fabrications against Allah and the choicest of His creation, the Holy Prophet of Islam (upon whom be peace), and against the venerable Companions (may Allah be pleased with them all).(13)
There are two clear texts from Al-Kaafi of Al-Kulaini, which elucidate the Shi’ites’ perverse position regarding the Qur’an. The first reads:
I heard Abu Jafar (upon whom be peace) say: “None of the people has claimed that he collected the Quran completely as it was reveal- ed except a liar. No one collected and memorized the Qur’an as it was revealed except `Ali bin Abi Taalib and the Imams after him.(14)
Every Shi’ite is required to believe in this text from Al-Kaafi as an article of their faith. As for us, Ahlus-Sunnah, we say that in fact the Shi’ites have false- ly attributed the above text to Al-Baaqir Abu Ja’far. The proof of our position is that `Ali, during the period of his caliphate in Kufah, never resorted to or applied any version of the Qur’an other than that with which Allah had favored the Caliph `Uthman by the distinction of its collection, publication and popularization and by its legal application in all Islamic lands for all time up to the Day of Judgment. If it were true that `Ali had a different version of the Qur’an he surely would have ap- plied it in making legal rulings, and he would have commanded the Muslims to abide by its injunctions and guidance. Clearly, since he was the supreme ruler, none would have challenged his authority to do this.
Furthermore, if indeed `Ali had a different version of the Qur’an and concealed it from the Muslims, then he would have betrayed Allah, His Messenger and the religion of Islam by so doing. As for Jaabir Al-Ju’fi who claims that he heard that blasphemous conversation from the Imam Abi la’far Muhammad Al-Baaqir, it must be noted that although the Shi’ites consider him a trustworthy narrator of traditions, the fact is that he is well known in the Sunni schools of theology as a liar and forger of traditions. Abu Yahya Al-Hammani reported that he heard the Imam Abu Hanifa saying, “Ataa’ is the best i.e., the most truthful and precise in reporting from amongst those I have come across in the field of transmitting traditions, while Jaabir Al-Ju’fi is the greatest liar I have come across amongst them.”(15)
The second of the two texts from Al-Kaafi mentioned above, is attributed to the son of Ja’far
As-Saadiq. It reads:
It is related that Abu Baser said: “I entered upon Abu `Abdullah [Ja’far As-Sadiq]… [Who] said `Verily we have with us the Qur’an of Fatimah (upon whom be peace).’ I said: `What is the Qur’an of Fatimah?’ He replied: `It contains three times as much as this Qur’an of yours. By Allah, it does not contain one single letter of your Qur’an’ .(16)
These fabricated Shi’ite texts which are falsely attributed to the Imams of Ahlul-Bait are of fairly early date. They were recorded by Muhammed bin Ya’qoob Al-Kulaini Ar-Razi in the book Al-Kaafi over a thousand years ago, and they are from before his time, because they were narrated on the authority of his ancestors, the master engineers of the false foundations of Shi’ism. During the time when Spain was under the reign of Arab Muslims, the Imam Abu Muhammad bin Hazam used to debate with Spain’s priests regarding the texts of their sacred books. He used to bring forth proofs which established their having been tampered with, and altered so much that their authentic origins had been lost. Those priests used to argue with Ibn Hazam that the Shi’ites had asserted that the Qur’an also had been altered. Ibn Hazam refuted their argument by replying that the allegation of the Shi’ites is not a proof against the Qur’an, nor against the Muslims, because Shi’ites are not Muslims.(17) 10 SHI’ITE VIEWS ON THE MUSLIM RULERS
The attention of the governments of all Muslim nations must be drawn to the dangerous and distorted views of the (So-called) Shi’ite Twelve Imams, or Ja’fari sect. It is their view that all governments from the death of the Prophet-until now are illegitimate, except for that of `Ali bin Abi Taalib. It is therefore not permissible for any Shi’ite to be loyal to- those governments or sincere in dealing with them. Indeed, they must engage in flattery and hypocrisy, in accordance with their tenet of taqiyyah. They consider all past, present, and future governments in the Muslim world to be established by forcible seizure, and therefore illegal. According to them, the only legitimate rulers are the Twelve Imams, whether they ruled directly or indirectly, and all other rulers, from the time of Abu Bakr and `Umar until the present time, are con- sidered usurpers, and oppressors of the people. The Shi’ites tenaciously hold this perverse view of the Muslim rulers regardless of the great services they have rendered to the noble cause of Islam, and to humanity in general.
The Shi’ites curse Abu Bakr, `Umar and `Uthman (may Allah be pleased with them), along with all the rulers of the Islamic Nation, with the exception of `Ali. They fabricated a lie and attributed it to the Imam Abul Hasan `Ali bin Muhammad bin `Ali bin Moosa, claiming that he approved of his followers calling Abu Bakr and `Umar “Al-jibt wat- Taaghoot”.(18) This claim was made in one of their most extensive works on the science of the ascertation of the veracity and competence of the narrators of Prophetic Traditions, Tanqeehul-Maqaal fee Ahwaalir- Rijaal, by a sheikh of the Ja’fari sect Allama Ath-Thani Ayatullah Al- Mamqaani.’(19)
Al-Mamqaani referred to the scholar Ash-Sheikh Muhammad bin Idrees Al-Hilli’s book As-Saraa’ir, in which Al-Hilli cited the work Massaa’ilur-aijaal wa Mukaatabaatihim ila Mowlaana Abil-Hasan `Ali bin Muhammad bin `Ali bin Moosa, the subject of which is questions and letters directed to Abil Hasan `Ali bin Muhammad. Among them is a question from Muhammad bin `Ali, who is quoted as saying:
I wrote to him asking about ar-naasib [one who is hostile to Ahlil-Bait]. I asked him whether I needed proof of his hostility towards Ahlil-Bait other than his recognition of Al-jibt wat-Taaghoot i.e. Abu Bakr and `Umar] as the rightful holders of the office of imam [leader of the Muslim community].
His reply was that anyone whose condition was like that just described, was adequately shown to be a naasib.
Thus, any person would be counted as an enemy of the Prophet’s family merely by his giving precedence of rank to Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq and `Umar Al-Farooq, and by his acknowledging their positions as imams. The expression “Al-Jibt wat-Taaghoot” is used by the Shi’ites in the prayer of imprecation which they call “Du’aa Sanamay Quraish” (imprecation against the two idols of the Quraish). They mean by these expressions, the two caliphs Abu Bakr and `Umar (may Allah be pleased with them). This vicious Shi’ite prayer of imprecation is mentioned in their book Miftahul-Jinaan; it reads: “O Allah, bestow Your blessings upon the Holy Prophet Muhammad and upon his family, and curse the two idols of the Quraish, their Al-Jibt wat-Taaghoot, as well as their two daughters…” They are referring to the two Mothers of the Believers, Aa’ishah and Hafsah, the pure and noble wives of the Pro- phet (may Allah be pleased with them).
The hatred the Shi’ites have for the Caliph `Umar reached such a pitch that they gave his murderer Abu Lu’lu’ah Al-Majoosi the title `’Baba Shujaa’ud-Din” (the one who is brave in the cause of religion).
`Ali bin Mathahir, a Shi’ite narrator of traditions, reported that Ahmad bin Ishaq Al-Qummi Al-Ahwas, a sheikh of the Shi’ites, said: “Verily the day ` Umar was murdered- is the greatest day of celebration, the day of pride and honour, the day of the great purification and the day of blessing and consolation.”
In the history of Islam there have been many great personalities, men like the two Caliphs Abu Bakr and `Umar and the great warrior Salahuddin Al-Ayyoobi, who ruled for the sake of Islam, and who
conquered various lands and peoples and brought them into the fold of Islam. Yet these great men, and indeed all of the great rulers of Islam, past and present, are believed by the Shi’ites to be overpowering tyrants and illegal rulers and consequently, are considered to be in habitants of Hell-Fire. Among the Shi’ites’ most important tenets is the belief that when their Twelfth Imam, the awaited Mahdi, rises and comes forth after his long absence of over eleven hundred years, and brings his revolution, then Allah will resurrect for him and for his forefathers, the past and present Muslim rulers, including the two noble Caliphs Abu Bakr and `Umar. Those Muslim rulers will then be tried for having illegally seized the reins of government from the Mahdi and his ancestors, the first eleven Imams of the Shi’ite religion. This, as they believe, is because government is the God-given right of the Shi’ites alone, from the time of the Prophet Muhammad’ death until the Final Hour!
After the trial of those “tyrannous usurpers”, this awaited Mahdi will awaken himself by ordering their execution. Five hundred of them at a time will be killed until their number reaches three thousand. this; being the total of all who ruled during the various eras of the history of Islam!
All of this is supposed to occur just before the final revival of mankind on the Day of Resurrection! It is a prelude, as it were, to that final great gathering and resurrection, the result of which is either Paradise or Hell-Fire; Paradise for Ahlul-Bait and the Shi’ites, and the Fire for everyone who is not a Shi’ite!
The Shi’ites call this resurrection of the Muslim rulers, and the subsequent trial and execution, “Ar-Raj’ah” (the return). This belief is one of the fundamental tenets of their faith, which no common Shi’ite doubts at all. I have met a number of naive and simple-minded people who claim that the Shi’ites have departed from such tenets as these in recent times; however, this is a gross error on their part as is evident from the actual state of affairs. 13 DESIRE FOR REVENGE AND DESTRUCTION
In Al-lrshaad fee Taarikhi Hujajillahi `alal-‘lbaad (Instruction in the History of God’s Proofs Against His Slaves), Abu `Abdullah Muham- mad An-Nu’man, known to the Shi’ites by the title `’Ash-Sheikhul- Mufeed”, quoted several of their “traditions” about “Ar-Raj’ah”: Al Fadl bin Sha’thaan reported that Muhammad bin `Ali Al-Koofi related that Wahab bin Hafs narrated through Abi Baseer that Abu `Abdullah [Ja’far As-Saadiq] said: “The Mahdi will be called upon on the Twenty-third night by the name `The Risen One’ . He will arise, and that rising up will be on the day of `ashooraa.(20)It is as if I am there with him on that tenth day of the month of Muharram. He is standing between the comer of the Ka’bah containing the black stone, and the maqaam [place of prayer] of the Prophet Abraham. The Angle Gabriel is standing to his right calling out, `The pledge of allegiance to the Mahdi] is for the sake d Allah!’ Then the Shi’ites will march towards the Mahdi to give him the pledge, from all corners of the earth. that having been made easy for them to achieve. There has come lo us the report that the Mahdi will ravel from Macca until he arrives al Koota and settles in our [Shi’ite] holy city of Najaf. Then he will dispatch armies from there to the various lands.”
It was also reported, by Al-Hajjaal from Thlaha via Abu Bakr Al- Hadrami that Abu Ja’far [Muhammad Al-Baaqir] said: “It-is as if I am with the Risen One at the city of Najaf, in Al-Koofa
which he had marched to from Mecca, in the company of five thousand angels, with Gabriel on his right side, and Michael on his left, and the believers in front of him, while he dispatches armies to the various countries.”
So too, it is narrated that `Abdul-Kareem Al-Ju’fi reported: “I said to Abu `Abdullah [Ja’far As-Saadiq]: `How long will the Risen One’s reign last?’ ;Seven years,’ he replied. He elaborated: `The days will grow longer, till a year of his reign equals ten of your years. His reign will last for seventy years of your reckoning.’ Upon this, Abu Baseer said to him [i.e., to Ja’far As-Saadiq]: `May I be your ransom! How will Allah make the years longer?’ The reply was: `Allah will command the celestial spheres to decrease in their speed of movement, and the days and years will consequently become longer. When the time of his rising up arrives, rain will fall during the last month of Jumada and for ten days of Rajab, a rain which the world has never seen before. Allah shall cause the flesh of believers and their bodies to come to life in their graves. It is as if I am seeing the resurrected ones coming for- ward, shaking the soil out of their hair.”
`Abdullah bin Al-Mugheera narrated that Abu `Abdullah [Ja’far As- Saadiq] said: “If the awaited Mahdi from the family of Muhammad rises, he will cause to be raised up five hundred members of Quraish, and their necks would be struck by the sword. They would be follow- ed by another set of five hundred, and yet another, until that recurred six times.” “Would they reach that great number?” I asked. [His astonishment upon hearing that great number was due to the fact that the rightly-guided Caliphs, the Umayyad rulers and those of the Ab- basi era, along with all the Muslim rulers up until the time of Ja’far As- Saadiq do not amount to a hundredth of that number.] Ja’far As- Saadiq replied: “Yes; it includes the rulers and their supporters.”
And in another narration: “Verily, our state is the last of the states. There would be no dynasty but that which has had its turn before us, so that there may be none to witness our reign and say: If we were to rule we would follow their path.”
Jaabir Al-Ju’fi reported that Abu `Abdullah [Ja’far As-Saadiq] said: “When the risen Mahdi from the family of Muhammad comes forth he will pitch pavilions to teach therein the Qur’an just as it was revealed.(21)
It will be most difficult then for the one who has memoriz- ed [that which is memorized] today.” [i.e., it would be difficult for the one who memorized the official `Uthmani edition which was extant at the time of Ja’far As-Saadiq, because it would differ from the version which the Mahdi supposedly will bring.] Al-Mufaddal bin `Umar narrated that Abu `Abdullah said: Along ,with the Risen One shall come twenty-seven men from the people of the Prophet Moses, seven from the people of the cave, and Joshua, Solomon Abu Dujaanal Al-Ansaari, Al-Miqdaad and Maalik Al-Ashtar. These will be in the company of the Mahdi as helpers and judges in his service.”
These fabricated “traditions” from the book of “Ash-Sheikhul- Mufeed”, have been quoted meticulously, complete with their con- cocted chains of transmission. They have been falsely attributed to the family of the Prophet, whose greatest misfortune is to have such liars pretending to be their only partisans.
Of course, since the belief in Ar-Raj’ah and the trial of the Muslim rulers is an important part of Shi’ite doctrine, it is commonly mention- ed in the works of Shi’ite scholars and clergy. One example is AI-Masail An-Naasiriya, by As-Sawid Al-Murtadaa, in which is to be found the following: “Verily Abu Bakr and `Umar shall be crucified upon a tree in the time of Al-Mahdi… That tree would be green and tender before the crucifixion and would turn parched after the crucifixion.”
The Shi’ite scholars and clergy throughout the span of Islamic history have taken a disgraceful stand against the two Companions and appointed ministers of Allah’s Prophet, Abu Bakr and `Umar, and against other great Islamic personalities such as the Caliphs, governors, generals, and warriors in the sacred cause of Islam. Now we have heard their propagandist, who was responsible for Darut-Taqreeb (the centre for the promotion of “reconciliation” and a “coming together” of Sunnis and Shi’ites), claiming before those who were unable to critically study these issues themselves, that these beliefs were held in the old days, and that the situation now is different. This claim is plainly false and misleading, because the books which are taught in all of their educational institutions contain all of these tenets and hold them as essential and rudimentary elements of their faith. Furthermore, the books presently being published by the scholars of Iran, Najaf and Mount `Aamil are even more evil than the older Shi’ite publications, and more detrimental to the cause of reconciliation and mutual understanding.
To further clarify this we mention as an example one person amongst them who never ceases announcing day and night that he is a proponent of unity and reconciliation, Muhammad bin Muhammad Mahdi Al-Khaalisi. He is known to have many friends in Egypt and elsewhere who broadcast the same call for taqreeb, and who work for it among the Ahlus-Sunnah. This supposed advocate of “unity and understanding” goes so far as to deny that Abu Bakr and `Umar possessed the grace of Iman (faith). In his book Ihyaa’ush-Sharia fee Madhhabish-Shi’ah (Revival of the Law in the Shi’ite School of Thought), he says:
Even if they [Sunnis] argue that Abu Bakr and `Umar were among the people of Bai’atur- Ridwan(22) with whom Allah was pleased, as shown by the reference made to them in the Qur’an: “Verily Allah was pleased with the believers when they swore allegiance to you (Muhammad) beneath the tree”,(23) we say that if Allah had said: “Verily Allah was pleased with those who swore allegiance to you beneath the tree”, then the verse would indicate that Allah’s pleasure included everyone who made the pledge of allegiance. Since the verse says: “Verily Allah was pleased with the believers when they swore allegiance.. . “, there is therefore no proof in this verse that Allah is pleased with anyone except those who have acquired pure iman.
Al-Khaalisi is insinuating by this that Abu Bakr and `Umar were of those who had not acquired iman-and were excluded from the pleasure of Allah.(24)
Al-Murtadaa and Al-Khaalisi are modern Shi’ite scholars who boldly claim to belong to the echelon of those who are zealous in struggling for the sake of Islam and Muslims, and who have the keenest interest in upholding the rights of Muslims and maintaining their well- being. Having seen, however, what they have written about Abu Bakr and `Umar, who are among the best of Muslims next to the Prophet, ordinary people like ourselves must wonder what hope there can be of our reaching a common understanding and reconciliation with people such as them.
While on the one hand the Shi’ites shamelessly defame the Com-panions of the Messenger of Allah, and those who followed them in piety, and succeeded them as rulers, on the other hand we find them ascribing to their Imams attributes of such extravagant description, that the Imams themselves would wish to declare their innocence of them.
Al-Kulaini recorded in his book Al-Kaafi attributes and descrip- tions of the Twelve Imams such as would imply their elevation from the human level to that of the gods of the ancient Greek pagans. To quote all such fables from Al-Kaafi and other books would require a large volume. By way of illustration, it will suffice to list some of the chapter headings from Al-Kaafi:
* “The Imams possess all the knowledge granted to angels, prophets and messengers”(25) * “The Imams know when they will die, and they do not die except by their own choice”(26) * “The Imams have knowledge of whatever occurred in the past and whatever will happen in the future, and nothing is concealed from them”(27) * The Imams have knowledge of all the revealed books, regardless of the languages in which they were revealed”(28) * “No one compiled the Qur’an completely except the Imams, and they encompass all of its knowledge’(29) * “Signs of the prophets are possessed by the Imams”(30) * “When the Imams’ time comes, they will rule in accordance with the ruling of the Prophet David and his dynasty. These Imams will not need to ask for presentation of evidence before passing their judgments”(31) * “There is not a single truth possessed by a people save that which originated with the Imams, and everything which did not proceed from them is false” 35 * “All of the earth belongs to the Imams”(32) 16 THE SHI’ITES PLACE THEIR IMAMS ABOVE THE MESSENGER
While the Shi’ites claim for the Twelve Imams the superhuman power of knowledge that encompasses the realm of the unseen, they deny the Prophet’s knowledge of unseen things granted him by Allah, things such as the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the description of Paradise and Hell-Fire.
This blasphemy was stated in the magazine Risalatul-lslam (The Message of. Islam), published by Darut-Taqreeb. In an article entitled Min Ijtihaadati Shi’a Al-lmamia (Some Independent Shi’ite Opinions), the head of the Shi’ite supreme court in Lebanon quoted the Mujtahid scholar Muhammad Hasan Al-lshtiyani: If the Prophet made a stipulation regarding the divine legal rulings on what invalidates ablution, or the rulings pertaining to menstruation and post-natal bleeding, it is imperative to believe him, and the application of these rulings is binding upon us. But if the Prophet made a statement regarding the unseen, for example on the creation of the heavens and earth, or the virgins of Paradise and its palaces, then it is not incumbent or binding upon one, even when it is known of a surety that the statement has proceeded from the Prophet.
How strange, that they should falsely attribute to their Imams knowledge of the unseen, and that they should adhere to that falsehood although they have not a single proof to establish its verity.
Meanwhile they consider that they are not bound to accept the revela- tions of the unseen mentioned in verses of the Qur’an and authentic traditions, and thereby conclusively proven. Add to all this that everything which has been verified to issue from the Prophet is nothing other than “revelation revealed” to him; and truly the Prophet does not speak from his own desires.
He who makes a comparison between what the Shi’ites ascribe to their Imams and what is authentically attributed to the Prophet regar- ding matters of the unseen comes to the conclusion that what can be verified to issue from the Prophet regarding the unseen, as mentioned in the Qur’an and the authentic, authoritative traditions does not even constitute a fraction of the multitude of fabricated reports of knowledge of the unseen which are attributed to the Twelve Imams; and this in spite of the indisputable fact that divine revelation had totally ceased upon the death of the Prophet.
As for those who attributed this knowledge of the unseen to the Twelve Imams, it suffices to say that they are well known to the Sunni scholars of hadith (prophetic traditions) as liars, and forgers of hadeth literature. The Shi’ite partisans of those narrators are indifferent to this, however, and blindly accept the accounts of the unseen which are im- puted to their Imams. They also gladly accept the claim that acceptance of what had been authentically attributed to the Prophet with regard to the unseen is not binding upon them. In fact, it pleases them to limit the scope of the mission of the Messenger of Allah to matters of a secondary juristical nature, such as those mentioned by Al-lshtiyani (see above).
Since they elevate the status of their Imams, in regard to knowledge of the unseen, above that of the Messenger of Allah (even though it was he who received the revelation; their Imams did not claim it for themselves), we do not know how there could develop, after such blasphemy, any reconciliation between us and them.
The stance of most Shi’ites, scholars and laymen alike, towards the Islamic governments throughout history has been, if the govern- ment was powerful and well-established, to honour its leaders in con- sonance with their tenet of taqiyah, for the purpose of material gain. If, however, the government is weak, or is under attack by enemies, they side with its enemies against it. This is precisely what they did during the last days of the Umayyad dynasty when the Abbasids revolted, under the instigation of the Shi’ites of that era. ln a later time, they took the same criminal stand against the Abbasids who were threatened by the raids of Hulago and his pagan Mongol followers against the Caliphate of Islam and its glorious capital of science and civilization . An example of this is seen in the behavior of the Shi’ite philosopher and scholar An-Naseer At-Toosi. He composed poetry in praise of Al-Musta’sim, the Abbasid Caliph, then in 65 A.H. executed a complete turn about, instigating revolution against his patron, thereby hastening the catastrophe which befell Islam in Baghdad, where he headed the butcher Hulago’s blood-letting procession. In fact he personally supervised the slaughter of Muslims, sparing none, not even women, children, or the aged. This same At-Toosi also approved of wholesale dumping of valuable texts of Islamic literature in the Tigris River; its waters ran black for days from the ink of the innumerable manuscripts. Thus vanished a great treasure of the Islamic heritage consisting of works in history, literature, language and poetry, not to mention those in the Islamic religious sciences, which had been pass- ed down from the pious of the first generation of Muslims, and which could be found in abundance until that time when they were destroyed in a cultural holocaust the like of which had never been seen before.
This sheikh of the Shi’ites, An-Naseer At-Toosi, was assisted in this great treachery by two of his cohorts, Muhammad bin Ahmad Al-‘AI- qami, a Shi’ite minister of state, and `Abdul-Hameed bin Abil-Hadeed, a Mu’tazilite author and extremist Shi’ite.(33) He was Al-‘Alqami’s right- hand man and proved to be a bitter enemy of the Companions of he Messenger of Allah, as is evident from his malicious commentary on the book Nahjul-Balaaha, which he filled with lies in order to distort Islamic history.
Unfortunately, a number of our distinguished figures and authors continue to be deceived by such lies due to their ignorance of the essential facts of Islamic history. Al-‘Alqami responded to Caliph Al-Musta’sim’s kindness and generosity in making him his minister, with deception and treachery. Shi’ites to this day maliciously rejoice at Hulago’s vicious campaign of slaughter and destruction, out of sheer animosity towards Islam. Anyone who wishes can read about the life of An-Naseer At-Toosi in any Shi’ite book of biographies, the latest of which is Rowdaatul- lannaat by Al-Khuwansari. It is full of praise for the treacherous murderers, and reflects the Shi’ites’ malicious rejoicing al that disastrous massacre of Muslim men, women and children. It was a monstrous act which even the worst of enemies and the most hard- hearted beasts would be ashamed to show pleasure in.
The exposition has become somewhat lengthy although great care has been taken to restrict the subject matter wholly to quotations selected from the Shi’ites’ most authentic and dependable publications. We would like to conclude with a quotation pertaining to the subject of at-taqreeb (reconciliation of the followers of the various schools and sects), in order to clarify for every Muslim what the actual possibilities for success are regarding such an endeavor, especially in regard to the Shi’ites who have expressed their own frank acknowledgment of the impossibility of such an attempt at reconciliation.
In his book Rowdaat lannaat, the Shi’ite historian Al- Khuwansari wrote of the “elegant and truthful utterances” of An- Naseer At-Toosi, “this source of truth and verification”, and quoted his statement identifying the one and only sect of the seventy-three Muslim sects(34) that, according to prophecy, would achieve salvation:
I have considered all the sects and scrutinized them closely, only to find that all, save the Imamers, subscribe to the same general condi- tions of iman, while they differ only on some related issues. I discovered that the Imamer sect differs from and is opposed to all the others. If any sect other than the Imamers is considered “saved” then they all must be so considered. This indicates to me that the one sect which is to achieve salvation is none other than the Imamers.
Al-Khuwansari also related that As-Sayyid Ni’matullah Al- Moosawi said:
All of the sects unanimously agree that bearing witness to one’s faith by recitation of the two articles of faith is the only way to salvation, as proved by the statement of Allah’s Messenger: `Whoever bears witness that there is no God but Allah enters Paradise.” But as for the Imamer sect they unanimously agree that salvation is attained only by granting allegiance and entrusting the government to Ahlil-Bait, the last of whom is the Twelve Imam, and by disowning their enemies [ie., Abu Bakr, `Umar and all non-Shi’ites, whether they were rulers or subjects]. Thereby Shi’ites differ entirely from all the other sects with regards to the nature and prerequisites of iman, upon which the issue of salvation devolves.
At-Toosi, Al-Moosa and Al-Khuwansari have both told the truth, and lied. They have told the truth in saying that all the Muslim sects are close to each other in fundamentals while they differ on secondary issues. Thus mutual understanding and a “coming together” are possible among those sects which are fundamentally akin to each other. On the other hand it is impossible to achieve such a mutual understanding with the Shi’ite Imamers because they are in opposition to the fundamentals of all other Muslims. They will never be pleased with the Muslims unless they curse “Al-jibt wat-Taaghoot” (Abu Bakr and `Umar), and those who came after them up until the present time.
Another condition they would impose on Muslims is that they disown all non-Shi’ites, and even those members of the family of the Prophet who were given in marriage to them, such as the two daughters of the Prophet who married the Caliph `Uthman bin `Affaan. They further stipulate that Muslims must also disown the Imam Zaid, son of `Ali Zain-ul `Abideen (the son of Al-Husain, son of `Ali bin Abi Taalib) along with the rest of the family of the Prophet who did not enter the ranks under the banner of the Rafidites(35) , and who did not accept their deviated tenets. Amongst these perverse tenets is their claim that the Qur’an has been tampered with, a doctrine fanatically adhere-l to by all classes of the Shi’ite society throughout the ages, as their own astute scholar At-Tabirsi has so boldly recorded in his book hslul-Khitaabi fee Ithbatti Tahreefi Kitaab Rabbil-Arbaab.
The Shi’ites would like to force upon us as a precondition to reaching a mutual understanding with them, and to please them, for the purpose of “coming closer” to them, that we curse along with them the Companions of Allah’s Messenger, and that we disown everyone who does not adhere to the doctrines of the Shi’ite faith. They even expect us to disown the daughters of Allah’s Messenger, and his blessed descendants, the foremost of whom is Zaid bin Zain-ul `Abideen, along with anyone who followed in his footsteps in rejecting the abominations of the Rafidites.
The above is the truthful part of what the Shi’ite spokesmen said, and no Shi’ite would deny it, whether he openly practiced taqiyyah, or concealed it.
As for the false part of what they say, it is that non-Shi’ite Muslims agree that upon simple utterance of the two Shahaadas(36)‘ rests the issue of salvation in the Hereafter. If the Shi’ites had the slightest sense or knowledge they would have known that the two Shahaadas are to Sun ni Muslims the mere sign of entry into Islam. If one uttered these two Shahaadas, even if he were in the ranks of the enemy battling against Muslims, his life and wealth would become inviolable. As for salvation in the Hereafter, it is attained only by coupling the utterance of testification with iman, and iman, according to the great and pious caliph `Umar bin Abdul-‘Azeez, consists of obligatory duties, and religious rites, ordinances and practices. He who fulfills these com- pletes the prerequisites of iman, and whosoever does not fulfill them does not complete his iman. As for the Shi’ite belief in the existence of their Twelfth Imam, it is not in any way a prerequisite of iman. In fact, this Twelfth Imam is an imaginary character falsely identified as the son of Al-Hasan Al-‘Askari (who died without offspring). His brother la’far settled and distributed the inheritance left by Al-Hasan Al-‘Askari on the basis that he left no children to inherit.
The truth of the matter is that when the Shi’ites came to know that Al-Hasan Al-‘Askari died leaving no male successor, and saw that this meant the end of the chain of Imamer succession, they realized that their sectarian school would cease to exist with the death of Al-Hasan Al-‘Askari. They would no longer be Imamers because there was no Imam to succeed al-‘Askari to the Imamate.
Upon this, one of them, Muhammad bin Nusair, a protege of the tribe of Numair, invented the idea that Al-Hasan had a son who was hidden in the tunnels of his father’s residence. The impetus for such a fabrication came from his desire, and that of his accomplices, to deceive the Shi’ite public, especially the affluent among them, to collect zakaah(37) from them in the name of an existing Imam. They also wished to continue claiming that they were sincere Imamers. This Muhammad bin Nusair wanted himself to be the “door” to the imaginary tunnel between the invented Imam and his followers, in order to take charge of all zakaah funds. His accomplices disagreed with him in this plot and insisted on appointing as the “door” a grocer whose shop was adjacent to the entrance of Al-Hasan Al-‘Askari’s house. Hasan’s father and family used to purchase from this grocer their household needs.
After this, Muhammad Nusair broke away from his former com- rades and established the Nusairiyyah sect, which takes its name and impetus from him(38). In the meantime, his former accomplices were. devising a stratagem whereby they could bring forth their supposed Imam; they wanted him to marry and have sons who would succeed him to the office of the Imamate. This in turn would ensure that their Imamer sect would live on.
It became evident, however, that his appearance would be denied by the heads of the Alawi clans as well as their followers and their cousins, the Abbasid rulers and royalty. They therefore alleged that the Twelfth.lmam remained in the tunnel; that his minor absence was followed by a major one; and so carried on with such fables as were never heard before, even among the ancient Greeks. They expect all Muslims, whom Allah blessed with the grace of sound reason, to believe in such blatant lies in order that there may be a reconciliation between them and the Shi’ites. This preposterous idea could only be realized if the whole Islamic world were to turn into a Lunatic asylum. Praise be to Allah for the gift of reason, for indeed it is the faculty upon which the responsibility for one’s actions depends. It is the most precious and sublime of graces after that of sound iman .
Muslims entrust the position of leadership and the government to any mu’min (believer) with correct iman.–Thus they would pledge allegiance to all pious members of Ahlil-Bait, without any restriction as to their number or persons. Amongst the foremost of the believers to whom they would entrust the reins of leadership were the ten Compa- nions who were given the glad tidings of their abode in Paradise. If there were no other factor by reason of which the Shi’ites acquired the designation of kaafirs (disbelievers), then their contradiction and denial of the Prophet’s designation of those ten Companions as inhabitants of Paradise would have sufficed.(39)
The Muslims also would entrust the rest of the Companions with leadership, and would grant them full support and allegiance, for it was these noble personages upon whose shoulders was erected Islam and the Islamic world, and truth and goodness sprang forth from the soil of the Islamic nation which had been nourished by their precious blood. These are the Companions whom the Shi’ites claimed were enemies of `Ali and his sons, while actually they lived with `Ali as loving, cooperative brothers and died as such. What could be greater proof of this than the description Allah gives of them in Suratul Fath, from His book which falsehood cannot approach from before or behind He, the Almighty, said regarding the Companions, that they are “severe with the disbelievers, merciful amongst themselves.” Allah also says about them, in Suratul Hadeed, “Unto Allah belongs the inheritance of the heavens and the earth. Those of your companions] who spent [For the sake of Allah] and fought [in His cause] before the Victory are not on the same level [as the rest of you. Such are greater in rank than those who spent and fought afterwards. Unto each Allah has promised good.”
And does Allah ever break His promise? In Suratu Aali-lmraan Allah the Exalted referred to the Companions as `the best of peoples raised up for mankind”, i.e., as an example to be followed.
Due to the love and respect which the commander of the Faithful Ali bin Abi Taalib held for his three brethren caliphs, he named three of his sons after them. He also gave his eldest daughter Umm Kulthoom in marriage to `Umar IbnulKhattaab. In addition, we se that `Abdullah bin la’hr bin Abi Taalib ,’ Ali’s nephew) named one of his sons Abu Bakr, and the other one Mu’aawiyah. Mu’aawiyah bin `Abdullah named his son after Yazeed bin Mu’aawiyah bin Abu Sufyaan, who was considered to be of good repute, according to the testimony of Muhammad bin Al-Hanafiyyah bin `Ali bin Abu Taalib.
If the repudiation and denunciation which Shi’ites are now asking of us, as the price for reconciliation between us and them, includes those whom they have demanded it include (Abu Bakr, `Umar, etc.) then he whom they consider to be their first Imam, `Ali bin Abi Taalib, should be considered blameworthy by them, by virtue of his naming his sons after Abu Bakr, `Umar and `Uthman, and by his giving his daughters in marriage to `Umar and `Uthman. Furthermore, they must consider Muhammad bin Al-Hanafiyyah a liar when he testified to the good character of Yazeed, if they accept the claim of `Abdullah bin Mutee, a supporter of Ibnuz-Zubair, that Yazeed drank liquor and neglected prayer, and exceeded the bounds established by Allah’s Book. Muhammad bin Al-Hanafiyyah defended Yazeed, saying have not witnessed what you mention. I visited him and stayed with him. He was regular in observing prayers and in performing good deeds, seeking religious knowledge and adhering to the sunnah.” Ibn Mutee and those accompanying him replied that Yazeed’s behavior was out of pretense in his presence. Muhammad bin Al-Hanafiyyah re- joined: “What was it that he feared or hoped from me that he should appear before me in such a state of piety and humility?” He continued, “Did he confide in you that which you mention regarding his drinking of wine If he did so then you are his accomplices. And if he did not, then it is unlawful for you to bear witness to that of which you have no knowledge.” They replied that although they did not see him drinking, yet “we believe that to be the truth.” Muhammad’s reply to them was that Allah rejects this kind of testimony from Muslims, for He says in His Book: “… except those who bear witness to the truth and with full knowledge.”(40) Muhammad concluded, “Therefore, I have nothing to do with this affair…”(41)
Since the foregoing is what the son of `Ali bin Abi Taalib has testified to in favor of Yazeed bin Mu’aawiyah, then where does his fit in relation to the position the Shi’ites want us to adopt with them against Yazeed’s father, Mu’aawiyah, and against those who are better than him and better than the whole creation(42), that is, Abu Bakr, `Umar, `Uthman, Talha, Az-Zubair, Amr ubn ul-‘Aws, along with the rest of the great Companions who memorized and preserved for us Allah’s Book and the Sunnah of His Messenger, and who were the architects of the Islamic world.
The price demanded of us by the Shi’ites for a reconciliation with them is exorbitant. We lose everything by agreeing to it, while we gain nothing in return. It is only a fool who would deal with someone whom he knows would expect him to accept a losing bargain! The two concepts of walaayah (granting of allegiance) and baraa (repudiation and denunciation) upon which the Shi’ite religion is based, according to what has been affirmed by An-Naseer At-Toosi and confirmed by Ni’matullah Al-Moosawi and Al-Khuwansari, mean nothing except a complete alteration of the religion of Islam. This complete change would require of us enmity towards those upon whose shoulders was erected the very structure of Islam.
The Shi’ites have lied when they said that their sect is the only one to be granted salvation, the one whose condition and state differs from all of the rest, by virtue of which they alone would be saved.
The fact is that the impossibility of reconciliation between the Sunni sects on one side and Shi’ites on the other is due to the latter’s disagreement with and contradiction of the rest of the Muslims in the very fundamentals of faith, as we have seen from the declarations of the Shi’ite scholars, and as can be seen from the beliefs and practices of every Shi’ite. This was the state of affairs in the past, and it is the state of affairs at the present time.
Without any doubt the Shi’ite Imamers themselves do not want taqreeb, which is why they have made many sacrifices and suffered great pains in propagating the call for reconciliation and elimination of differences in our Sunni countries, while forbidding that such a call be raised, or allowed to proceed at all, in the Shi’ite countries. Nor do we see a hint of the influence of such a call on their educational institutions. In other words, the call to reconciliation has been restricted to one side, and as a result, every effort towards this cause will be futile, and a mere frivolous mockery, unless and until the Shi’ites categorically refrain from cursing and abusing Abu Bakr and `Umar; unless they cease repudiation and denunciation of anyone who was not, or is no presently, a Shi’ite partisan; and unless they rid themselves totally of their perverse concept of raising the pious Imams of the Prophet’s family from the level of human beings to that of the gods of the pagan Greeks.
All of this is no less than an outrageous injustice against Islam and a diversion of it from the path and the goal to which it was directed by the Prophet to whom was entrusted the Islamic shari’ah (divinely revealed law), and by his noble Companions amongst whom were `Ali bin Abi Taalib and his offspring. If the Shi’ites do not totally abandon such an outrage against Islam and its articles of faith, and its history, then they are doomed to remain isolated from and rejected by all of the Muslims(43)
The upheaval of Baabism and its offshoot, Bahaism, struck Iran over a hundred years ago.Muhammad `Ali Ash-Shiraazi had begun by claiming that he was the Baab (precursor) to the awaited Mahdi. He later claimed that he himself was the Mahdi, and in time he gained a sizable group of followers. The Iranian government chose to exile him to Azerbaijan, the home of Sunnis of the Hanafi school of jurisprudence. Being strict Sunnis, they were considered immune to the influence of such fabulous nonsense. It was, however, only logical to fear that Shi’ites would respond to Ash-Shiraazi’s call, since his invention was derived from Shi’ism. For that reason, he was not exiled to a Shi’ite area, whose inhabitants would be only too willing to accept such fables. In spite of such precautions, a large number of shi’ites became Ash-Shiraazi’s followers, and thus there developed and ever-widening circle of commotion and disorder.
Just as the Shi’ite fables and myths were a factor in the appearance and spread of Babism andBahaism in the past century. So now they can be seen to be a cause of the rejection of Shi’ism by some of the educated Shi’ite youth, in favour of communism. They have awakened to the realization that many Shi’ite beliefs are too ridiculous to he credible, and as a result they have utterly rejected them. Many were drawn to various communist organizations, with their energetic propagandists, books in various languages, and efficiently run centres. These young people were an easy prey, and fell readily into the trap. Had they known the religion of Islam in its original pure state, and acquired a proper knowledge of it, they would have been protected from such a fate. Instead, we find that communism has thrived, especially in lran and in the Shi’ite areas of Iraq. More communists are to be found in those communities than can be found in any other Muslim community.
This concludes what circumstances have allowed me to present by way of fulfilling the covenant which Allah has taken from the Muslims, by which we pledge to give good counsel and a word of caution to all Muslims, solely for the sake of Allah.
Allah protects and preserves His religion, His nation of believers, and our great Islamic identity and existence.
4. What Khomeini means here, is that he not only affirms and believes all that is in the Shi’ite book Al-Kaafi, but he also sees it as obligatory to adhere to it and put its rulings and directives into effect in the Shi’ite state.
5. The two terms `’Ahlus-Sunnah (Sunnis) and `’Shi’ah” (Shi’ites) need to be defined at this point. Ahlus-Sunnah means literally “people of the established way or path”. It refers to the majority of Muslims, who follow the sunnah (way) of Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah, the Almighty. The term Shi’ah is from the phrase shi’atul `Ali (adherents to or company of `Ali), by which this sect is known for reason of its attachment to the idea of the pre-eminence of `Ali ibni Abi Taalib and his descendants.
6. The author’s reference to Azhar University’s being in the beginning stage of its “mission” requires some comment, as this treatise was written over thirty years ago. Since that time, Al-Azhar has incorporated the study of the Shi’ite “Twelve Imamers” school as a required pan of its curriculum in Islamic Studies. This, along with its call for reconciliation of the various sects and schools of thought, might create the impression of acceptance of the misguided sects such as the Shi’ite Twelve Imamers and the Ismailis. In fact, the only legitimate reason for studying such sects and movements is the hope that such a study will bring to light their real natures, and that consequently, their false doc- trines and perverse ideology may be refuted by reference to the authentic sources of Islam, the Holy Qur’an, the authentic Sunnah, and the example of the Companions of the Prophet (Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him).
7. This kind of “favoritism” has been repeated throughout different eras. It was due to the sending of propagandists claiming such lofty goals of reconciliation that Iraq was converted from a Sunni country containing a Shi’ite minority to a state which is predominantly Shi’ite.
8. “Wali” has several meanings, the relevant ones in this context being “the closest friend and associate” and “the one upon whom has been conferred legal authority to rule; vicegerent”. The person intended by this term in the quoted passage is ob- viously `Ali (may Allah be pleased with him), the Prophet’s cousin and the fourth caliph. By forging such a verse the Shi’ite are attempting to give credence to their perverse view that the only legal caliph was `Ali and that the right to the caliphate belongs to Ahlil-Bait (the members of the Prophet’s family) alone. This they tried to do by claiming divine revelation as a source of this belief of theirs, so it was expedient to forge a Qur’anic verse, in order to support their false position.
10. Zanaadiq is the plural of zindeeq. a Persian word meaning one who speaks heresy, or who has deviated from the truth. It is also applied to disbelievers or atheists or free-thinkers. (cf., Lisanul-Arab Vol. 10. p. 147).
11. The meaning of this statement, allegedly made by ‘Ali in the course of an argument with an unnamed zindeeq. is obscure, to say the least. We may surmise from the context that a discussion or dispute had been taking place between them, ‘Ali having been attacked in repudiation of his supposed insistence that he possessed that missing one third of the Qur’an, which according to Shi’ite belief was deleted by the Companions of the Prophet. This is a concoction of the Shi’ites, falsely attributed to ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with him), in order to bolster their attempt to prove the alteration of the Qur’an. As for the verse cited as proof of deletion from the Qur’an, there is unanimous agreement among the Sunni commentators on the Qur’an that, after a careful analysis of the structure of the verse and its context, it may be paraphrased as follows: “If any of you has an orphan girl under his guardianship and he fears that he may not do her justice by granting her an appropriate dowry if he were to marry her, then let him marry other women of his choice.” For further details see Ibn Katheer Tafseerul Qur’an al-‘Adheem. Vol. 1, p. 449.
12. By the ‘hypocrites”, Abu Mansoor At-Tabarsi means the Companions of Allah’s Messenger (Allah’s blessing and peace be upon him), for it was they who collected the Qur’an, the ‘Uthmani version which was adhered to and applied by ‘Ali during the period of his caliphate. If the statement attributed to ‘Ali in At-Tabarsi’s Al-lhtijaaj had really come from him, it would have been treachery against Islam on his part, to possess and conceal some missing portion of the Qur’an and not make it public, nor apply its principles, nor, circulate it amongst his subjects during the period of his caliphate. Clearly At-Tabarsi has insulted and defamed ‘Ali, since what he has written actually implies treachery and deception on ‘Ali’s part.
20. The day of ‘Ashooraa is the tenth day of Muharram of the Muslim lunar calendar. and it has Great significance for the Shi’ites. It is the culmination of long days of bitter grieving and vicious self-inflicted pain which they observe annually in commemoration of he death of Hadhrat Imam Hussain, the grandson of the Prophet Sall Allahu alaihi wasallim. who was martyred at Karbala in Iraq.
21. One naturally questions here why his grandfather Hadhrat ‘Ali bin Abi Taalib did not do just that during the period of his rule. Is his twelfth generation descendant more sincere than Hadhrat ‘Ali in his service of the Qur’an and Islam?
22. Bai’at ur-Ridwaan is the pledge of allegiance and support by the Companions to the Prophet, with which Allah was well pleased, as is clearly indicated by the verse revealed regarding it. The pledge was given to the Prophet by a group of approximately fourteen hundred Companions (amongst them Abu Bakr and ‘Umar) who had headed out with him towards the Holy City of Mecca, unarmed and intending to perform the rites of the minor pilgrimage to Allah’s sacred house, the Ka’bah, in the sixth year of the Hijrah (emigration of the Prophet and his Companions from Mecca to Medina). When they arrived at Hudaibia, a small village near Mecca, the tribe of Quraish forbade them entrance to the city and news spread that they had slain the emissary the Holy Prophet had sent to them. Upon this the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) took the pledge of allegiance to his cause and for the defense of Islam against the disbelievers in case war should have to be resorted to. See t-Tabari’s Tareekhur-Rasul wal-Mulook, Vol.
24. Al-Khaalisi has somehow reasoned that by using the word “believers” in this verse, Allah is implying that some of those who swore allegiance were not believers. Al- Khaalisi concludes from this that the Sunnis are mistaken in using this verse to prove that all those who gave the pledge were believers, and that Allah was pleased with them. In fact, the only way Al-Khaalisi’s interpretation would be credible is if the text read: “… Allah was pleased with the believers among them, when they swore allegiance to you…”
34. The concept of the Muslim nation separating into seventy-three sects, is taken from authentic traditions such as the following related by Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him): “The Messenger of Allah said: ‘The Jews separated into seventy-one sects, and the Christians into seventy-two, and my nation will divide into seventy-three sects.” This was recorded in the compilations of Abi-Dawood, Al-Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah and others, with an authentic chain of transmitters. There is also narrated, in the compilations of Abi Dawood, Ad-Darimi, Ahmad and others the statement: “Seventy-two [of the seventy-three sects of the Muslim nation] will be in the fire, and one only will be in Paradise; it is the Jama’ah [i.e. Ahlus-Sunnah wal Jama’ah].” In yet another narration the, final statement is: “All of these [sects] will be in the fire except one; it is the Jama’ah.” Finally, there is another narration which states: “The Companions asked: ‘Which sect will triumph [i.e., achieve salvation]?’ The Prophet replied: ‘The sect which adheres to that [set of beliefs and practices] which I and my Companions adhere to.”‘ It should be clear from these traditions that the one sect, out of the seventy-three, which is to gain salvation, is the Ahlus-Sunnah, the only segment of the Muslim community which strictly adheres to that which the Holy Prophet and his noble Companions adhered to.
35. The name “Rawaafid” (Rafidites) is applied generally, to all the various sects of the Shi’ites, the first of which appeared during ‘Ali’s time. Among them are the A-Saba’eeah who told ‘Ali that he was God, as a result of which he ordered them to be burned to death. Others followed, amongst them the Zaidiah, the Imamiah, and the Keesaaniah. They differ from each other greatly and often we find one denying the iman of the other. The term rawaafid means literally rejectors, and was first used when the followers of Zaid son of ‘Ali Zain-ul-‘Abideen, the son of Al-Husain son of ‘Ali bin Abi Taalib, demanded that he disown the two caliphs Abu Bakr and ‘Umar. Upon hearing their demand Zaid said: “They were both ministers of my grandfather of the ProphetMuhammad], therefore I will not disown them.” Hearing this, the followers of Zaid rejected him and parted from him, hence the name Rawaafid (rejectors). It later came todenote all the Shi’ah, who claimed to be partisans of the family of the Prophet Muhammad (Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him).
38. The Nusairis (also known as ‘Alawis) are a Shi’ite sect that has a particularly fanatic devotion to ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with him). They hold that Allah appears in the form of certain persons on the earth, and since there were no persons after the Prophet of Allah better than ‘Ali and his sons, Allah manifested Himself in them and spoke with their tongues.
39. Abdul Qaahir Al-Baghdaadi states the Sunni position in Al-Farqu bainal-Firaq: “They unanimously agreed that the ruling of disbelief must be made regarding a person who has called a kaafir any of the ten Companions whom the Prophet (may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon him) testified would be among the inhabitants of Paradise.” He also said that it is waajib (compulsory) to give a verdict of kufr (heretical disbelief) in the case of anyone who considers any of the Companions to be disbelievers.
43. It is a Shi’ite tradition that Taqiyyah is my faith and the faith of my forefathers. They also say that whosoever does not practice taqiyyah. he has no faith. ‘ Further. it is mentioned in Al-lslamu Sabeelus-sa’aadah was-salaam that “If a person expected harm to befall him or his wealth in the general public order. it is incumbent upon him to abandon the order of enjoining the good and forbidding the evil. This ruling is one of the peculiarities specific to the Shi’ites, and is called at-taqiyyah.” Clearly. if this were to be followed to the letter, even jihad (holy war for the sake of Allah) could be abandoned. and this would be definitely in contradiction to the command of Allah the Exalted.
August 11, 2011
Prof Hashim Kamali’s Religious Pluralism Reconsidered
Muhammad ‘Uthman El-Muhammady (a student of Islamic Thought)
In Hashim Kamali’s essay “Islam’s Religious Pluralism in Context” (NST 8 Feb 2011) a number of points was raised, hence the following response from this student of Islamic thought. Firstly it is stated that “whether Islam accepts religious pluralism as opposed to mere religious plurality…[m]uch depends, it seems, on how one understands religious pluralism and then the three Quranic verses that chatacterise Islam”. The three verses cited by him are: the verse meaning “surely the religion before Allah is Islam (submission to His will) (3:19)”; and the verse “whoever seeks other than Islam as a religion, it will not be accepted from him (3:85)”; and “this day I perfected your religion for you, completed My favour to you, and chose Islam to be your faith (5:3)”. These are often cited as evidence that Islam is the only true religion and only those who follow Islam shall be saved.
As a student of Islamic thought the present writer notices that Prof Hashim Kamali does not note the position of the classical commentators concerning those verses as well as the position of ijma’ or the consensus of the scholars on the matter of the finality of Islam in sacred history; he also does not mention the position of the Prophetic Traditions on the matter.
Secondly, he goes on to state that “Mainstream Quran commentaries consider Islam in these verses to be the exclusive name for the religion revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. But Islam is also the primal religion of submission preached by Adam to all his posterity who accepted God as their Lord, as in the divine invocation: “Am I not your Lord? They said: yes we do testify (7:172).”
Then he states “All humankind then, before time began, professed Islam in its widest sense of submission. Understood in this way, the verses recognize the validity of every religion that requires submission to God’s will. This understanding of Islam also tallies with the essence of universality that Islam manifests in its own messages, values and objectives”.
The question which emerges from such position is: is it valid to conclude (as being done by Prof Kamali) from the primordial situation of “[a]ll mankind then, before time began, professed Islam in its widest sense of submission” that “the verses recognize the validity of every religion that requires submission to God’s will” without qualification? It is necessary for Prof. Kamali to provide support for such a position from Muslim classical scholarship so as to make this in line with the mainstream position of the scholars of sacred scholarship of the umma; otherwise that will be presenting highly personal position resting only on personal credibility of Prof. Kamali as an individual, plus the untold spiritual risks with all that this implies.
Then related to this are a number of issues like:what about the mainstream position of the naskh or abrogation of dispensations with the advent of the Qur’anic revelation, apart from those elements endorsed therein? And are the Qur’anic critiques of those other dispensations count for nothing assuming that all come under that which ‘requires submission to God’s will’? It is a very challenging conclusion indeed coming from Prof. Kamali.
Third, then Prof Kamali goes on to mention the position of Toshiko Izutsu who, to him, “has convincingly demonstrated that in several Quranic verses Islam can be taken to present every previous revelation as a way of submitting, and that such verses present Islam as a universal religion. The first to declare himself a Muslim in the Quran is the Prophet Noah: “I was commanded to be among the submitters (muslimin) (10:72).” Concerning Abraham: “His Lord said to Abraham: submit. He said I submit to the Lord of the worlds” (2:31). The succeeding verse recounts that both Abraham and Jacob advised their sons: “Allah has chosen the religion for you. So do not die except in a state of submission (muslimun).”
The question is: does the mention of the verses about Noah, Abraham, and Jacob being involved in ‘previous revelation as a way of submitting’ (and the relevant verses manifesting Islam ‘as a universal religion’ validate those dispensations after the advent of the Qur’anic revelation? Granted the spiritual validity of the dispensations of those prophets (in mainstream position they are Muslims, bringing Islam in their times) but again, in line with progressive revelation, each prophet with his ummah and time, yet, again, what about the doctrine of the naskh , as stated before this, or abrogation of dispensations after the coming of Islam brought by Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him)?
Further, other related issues are: what about the position of the Qur’an as muhaiminan ‘alaihi (5:51) ‘guarding it [the meanings in religions] in safety [so that religions do not swerve away from the correct position]’- and hence its critiques of certain positions among the People of the Book?
And next, related to the above position, what about the Muslims, the people of the Qur’an who are to be witnesses unto mankind just as the Messenger is witness for Muslims? (2:143; 22:78) So Muslims have to stand by their guidance in the Qur’an and ‘give testimony’ in case others swerve from the true path? If Muslims advocate pluralism in Prof Kamali’s sense, they cannot be witnesses anymore; they become the camp-followers of others. Answers to such questions will suggest spiritual and intellectual ‘inadequacy’ of the position of religious pluralism.
The position taken by the Dalai Lama in relation to this issue is sincere and laudable. He says for him the truth is Buddhism for the Muslim it is Islam, for the Christian it is Christianity; but he is on excellent terms with all with respect (and cooperation wherever there are avenues for this as is shown by his activities).
Fourth, Prof Kamali further observes “Every prophet of the Judaeo-Christian tradition has thus taught a different mode of submission to God. If Islam is taken to mean submission in the Quran rather than an institutionalised creed, it would pave the way for “a very eloquent understanding of religious pluralism, one wherein all revelations throughout history are seen as different ways of giving to God that which is most difficult to give — our very selves”.
The question which emerges from the above is if every prophet ‘of the Judaeo-Christian tradition’ (to the Qur’an they are prophets and they are Muslims) ‘taught a different mode of submission to God’, yet they taught tauhid, with no elements of departure therefrom, with only certain differences in the sacred law, and they are spiritually valid in their cycles of prophecy, how can it be concluded that the Islam which they brought ‘would pave the way for ‘a very eloquent understanding of religious pluralism, one wherein all revelations throughout history are seen as different ways of giving to God that which is most difficult to give – our very selves”? Then, again, can we separate that ‘submission’ with the institutionalized creed? Do we separate the ‘submission to God’ from the institutionalized creed of the religion? In Islam, is the ‘institutionalized creed’ wrong? If we apply this to mainstream Islam, is the ‘institutionalized creed’ of Ash’ari wrong or if not wrong at least not in keeping with the submission to God? Is the institutionalized (as happened in history) understanding of the sacred law of the four schools ‘wrong’? It is helpful if Prof.Kamali clarifies these points for the sake of clarity for readers.
Prof Kamali further observes that “ imaan (faith) which rests at the heart of Islam occupies a much larger space in the Quran, occurring hundreds of times, whereas Islam occurs on only eight occasions. Imaan consists of a state of mind, manifested in the testimonial of the faith (kalimah shahadah), whereas Islam consists mainly of conduct — as in the Five Pillars of the faith”.
Fifth, this is followed by Prof Kamali with his observation: “Submission is sometimes said to be the very first step, but perhaps a shallow one if it is not espoused by imaan — as indicated in the following verse: “The Bedouin say: we believe (aamanna); say to them ‘you do not believe’. Rather say ‘we have surrendered (aslamna), for imaan has not permeated your hearts… (49:14).”
To the present writer, it is alright that the issue is although iman ‘occupies a much larger space’ and ‘Islam consists mainly of conduct’ yet both must be in the believer; the iman again must be in conformity with the established creed, not merely vague personal belief about something supernatural, but the belief which has been established in this community, as found expressions in the works of the scholars of sacred scholarship, and also Islam has already been established; history has shown that Islam as the institutionalized religion has been recognized as valid, until the end of time. There has been no accepted view in this religion that pluralism has valid space for it. Personal opinions cannot be a substitute for the position which has been taken by ijma’ after the Qur’an and Sunnah.
Sixth, finally the theological position of Prof Kamali does not reflect authentically the mainstream Sunni discourse. He observes: “In the context of theology, religious pluralism is treated under the three headings of exclusivist, inclusivist and pluralist. The exclusivists believe that only their faith is true and all others are false; the inclusivists hold that their faith is true and others are included in it in some sense. The pluralists maintain that all faiths are true and show different paths to the same reality.” To say with the pluralists that all faiths without qualifications are true is unQur’anic and a highly personal statement. The Islamic position, that of the Qur’an and the Sunnah, is that the religions of the prophets are all true and valid for their cycles of prophecy, and with the advent of the shari’a of Muhammad peace and blessings be upon him they are superseded by his shari’a. That is the Quranic meaning of the statement of him coming as the ‘seal of the prophets’(33:40) acknowledging them and the validity of their dispensations. Other positions are Qur’anically indefensible. To disseminate this would open the floodgates of infidelity. God forbid.
Then seventh, Prof Kamali observes what he states as ‘the Quran is clearly expressive of the inclusivist impulse of Islam: Say, we believe in God and that which has been sent down to us and to Abraham and Ishmael, Isaac and Jacob… to Moses, Jesus and the Prophets from their Lord; we make no distinction whatsoever between them, surrendering as we do unto Him (lahu muslimun) (3:84). But he does not provide the authoritative commentators’ view on the meaning of the verse, and is satisfied with his personal view on the meaning of the verse. If he keeps that to himself, may be there are understandable reasons for such a position; but to express this for the Muslim public, that is something alarming indeed.
Then, eighth, the next observation of Prof. Kamali is laudable. He states “If the essence of religious pluralism is recognition, coexistence and cooperation with people of different religious persuasions within the same society, then Islam is pluralist. Lexicological accuracies apart, no civilisation in history has in fact demonstrated a more resolute commitment to pluralism than Islam.”
So also the following statement from him: ‘For not only the Quran but also the renowned constitution of Madinah are affirmative on religious pluralism. Article 25 of this document proclaimed the “Migrants, the Helpers-Muhajirun, Ansar and the Jews as one ummah”, and left open the possibility for others to join them in the spirit of unity and goodwill.
To him this is: “categorical evidence of Islam’s inclusivity and openness — also illustrating the Prophet’s judicious pragmatism at the expense almost of semantic accuracy. For ummah by definition signifies unity in faith, yet the Prophet went beyond that in the interest evidently of social harmony and cohesion.” Yet, to the present writer, it is necessary to add that ‘the ummah’ in the document, as found in the Sirah of ibn Ishaq, is used to mean the collectivity of people in the city-state of Madinah under the Prophet (peace be upon him) and not the theological meaning of the term. So the Madinah document is not about ‘religious pluralism’ in the sense understanding “of different paths leading to one reality” but about plurality of religions in Madinah.
Then, ninth, concerning the Quran recognizing the existence of other faith systems, including the worship of idols there is the verse in surah al-Kafirun (109:6) meaning: “to you is your religion and to me, my religion”. As for salvation in the Quran it is granted to Muslims, and all those who believe in God and do good deeds when they accept the prophets and finally Muhammad with his advent (2:4; 2:62; 5:69). It is necessary for us to state the authentic position of the religion of Islam and then promote cooperation among people of goodwill and practice the ethics of differences (including linguistic ethics) and not to sweep differences under the carpet. This will avoid spiritual confusion and serve genuine understanding.
Muhammad Uthman El-Muhammady (27 Feb 11)
August 28, 2010
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
نحمده ونصلي على رسوله الكريم
Sufism in Malay Tradition:
Muhammad ‘Uthman El-Muhammady
Seeing Islam in the Malay-Indonesian world means seeing that fiqh teaches man a life of worship, obedience to God and work within the context of the sacred law, with five ahkam, the world as place for getting rewards, avoiding sins. We can see Islamic mainstream theology teaching how life is seen as place for getting evidences about God, His Attributes and Acts, for cultivating strong faith, ending in good and virtuous deeds; then most inwardly, we can discern sufism teaching man about God, His Nature, Attributes, and how man approaches Him, getting proximity unto Him, seeing in the universe manifestation of His Names and Attributes, seeing man as it were ‘imbued with the Divine attributes’; -in fact in Sufism man understands to the fullest what it is to live a life for the cultivation of purity up to the highest level, realizing the ‘Adamic’ nature, for the blessed ones, realizing the Abrahamic prayer about ‘purifying’ the soul in life. These are among the major dimensions of Islam and their interactions in the life of people in the Malay-Indonesian World.
Sufism has given the Malay World metaphysics in the vision of understanding the Divine Presences in the cosmic order, Spiritual Psychology, together with spiritual alchemy on curing the maladies of the soul, spiritual ethics, spiritual cosmology, profound understanding of spiritual symbolism, the notion and reality of the Muhammadan Light, daily life with methodical spiritual discipline, making life ‘alive’, not just ‘dry’ with a legalistic view of things, about the permissible and the forbidden. It provides the beautiful spiritual image of the Adamic man and not man as the perfected being from evolutionary process on the horizontal material plane.It has influenced thought, spirituality, art, literature, even the ‘nashid’, and the daily life of the believer withn his litanies and prayers, from the most educated ones, to the simple man in the street.
In this short lecture it is not possible to deal with the history of Sufism, its discourse among the major scholars ranging from Nur al-Din al-Raniri, Hamzah Fansuri, ‘Abd al-Ra’uf Fansuri, ‘Abd al-Samad al-Falimbani, Arshad al-Banjari, Muhammad Nafis al-Banjari, Shaykh Yusuf of Makasar (who passed away in South Africa), Shaikh Daud al-Fatani, and the rest, the issues therein, and the impact among the people in general, as well as the influence of the various major spiritual fraternities like the Naqshabandiyyah, the Khalwatiyyah and the Ahmadiyyah. It will just provide a general view of the place of Sufism in certain traditional scholars on certain issues touched in their works.
First we can recollect the view in the Malay world with its civilizational dictum: Life is established in accordance with customs, customs are established in accordance the sacred Law, the sacred Law is established in accordance with the revealed book Book’(Hidup bersendikan adat, adat bersendikan Syara’, Syara’ bersendikan Kitabullah): therein there is a combination and integration of revelation, prophecy, human reason and experience in civilization. The notion of ‘customs’ as found in the writings of Tenas Effendy on traditional sayings on Malay Wisdom is akin to the Khaldunian notion of ‘adab’ or ‘awa’id’ which characterizes a civilized collectivity of people.
In the ‘Muqaddimah’ under ‘scientific instruction is a craft’, on the role ‘awa’id’ in civilization he says:
“Sedentary people observe (a) particular (code of) manners in everything they undertake and do or do not do, and they thus acquire certain ways of making a living, finding dwellings, building houses, and handling their religious and worldly matters, including their customary affairs, their dealings with others, and all the rest of their activities. These manners constitute a kind of limitation which may not be transgressed, and, at the same time, they are crafts that (later) generations take over from the earlier ones. No doubt, each craft that has its proper place within the arrangement of the crafts, influences the soul and causes it to acquire an additional intelligence, which prepares the soul for accepting still other crafts. The intellect is thus conditioned for a quick reception of knowledge.”
So in the total context of ‘adat’ in the most general notion in the Malay-Indonesian civilization, we can clearly discern the reality and role of Sufism until contemporary times.
Just to recollect on the position of Sufism in mainstream discourse as summarized by ‘Abd al-Qahir al-Baghdadi, the theologian of Baghdad in his ‘al-Farq bain al-Firaq’ , we can find him saying:
‘The sixth group of those Muslims are ‘the ascetic amongt the Sufis those possessing sharp spiritual vision, those who control themselves, those who who test themselves in spiritual life, then they get spiritual lessons and the reality, they were pleased and resigned with the Divine governance, contented with little, …and their words were couched in two ways: those with evident expressions and those with spiritual allusions in the way of the traditionists…”
and so on mentioning the spiritual virtues of the elite. (al-Farq baiun al-Firaq, pp 242-243) (Dar al-Kutub Lubnan, n.d).
Ibn Khaldun in chapter 6 of the Muqaddimah, under the subject of ‘tasawwuf’ has given an accurate view of the position of this sacred science in Islam, he states:
This science belongs to the sciences of the religious law that originated in Islam. Sufism is based on (the assumption) that the method of those people (who later on came to be called Sufis) had always been considered by the important early Muslims, the men around Muhammad and the men of the second generation, as well as those who came after them, as the path of truth and right guidance. The (Sufi) approach is based upon constant application to divine worship, complete devotion to God, aversion to the false splendor of the world, abstinence from the pleasure, property, and position to which the great mass aspires, and retirement from the world into solitude for divine worship. These things were general among the men around Muhammad and the early Muslims.
(The Muqaddimah, tr.F.Rosenthal, vol.3, p.76)
The position of Sufism in Islam and its history is summarized by al-Hafiz al-Sayyid Muhammad Siddiq al-Ghumari when asked about Sufism replied:
Concerning the one who initiated the foundation of the spiritual path , then know that
The foundation of the spiritual path (or way) is grounded in the celestial revelation being in the sum-total of the religion brought by Prophet Muhammad , since there is no doubt that the station of the supreme spiritual excellence is one of the three of the pillars of the faith, after elucidating one by one of them in his statement: This is Gibril on him be peace coming to teach you your religion.(tradition in Muslim, narrated by ‘Umar bin al-Khattab rd).
Shaykh Daud al-Fatani (d.1847) with Minhaj al-‘Abidin and other works (always combining the three sacred sciences together in his various works: usul al-din, fiqh and Sufism) always presents Sufism as an integral part of Islamic sacred sciences beginning from the small work ‘Kifayah al-Mubtadi’ to that large work ‘Hidayatul Muta’allim’.
In the ‘Minhaj al-‘Abidin’ –being his translation of Ghazali’s work of the same title- he speaks of the seven stages to be passed by the spiritual traveler with discipline of the self, called the steep spiritual paths (‘aqabat): that of knowledge, repentance, steep path of the factors of prevention, the steep path of hindrance, then the path of the factors of motivation, the steep path of spiritual wounding (‘qawadih’) of acts , and finally that steep path of praise and gratitude. All these have to be passed before one can be a real believer and a person of virtuous deeds. (edition of Mustafa al-Babi al-Halabi, Cairo, 1343). This text is very well-known in the Malay world and usually studied before ‘Hikam’ of ibn ‘Ata’illah is studied under the teacher.
In the ‘Kanz al-Minan Sharah Hikam Abu Madyan’ (Matba’ah al-Miriyyah, Makkah, 1328) on the real sterling spiritual merits of people, he says: ‘When you see a person emanating from whom extraordinary happenings against the ordinary customary ways of life, you should not incline yourself unto him, rather you should observe him how is he in relation to carrying out the (Divine) command and prohibitions’.(p. 96). In commenting on the attitude of the common man usually being attracted to extraordinary happenings in an individual, then relying on that person, he comments that ‘…this is fatal poison; a person of gnosis and knowledge does not depend on extraordinary happenings and events which go against the customary ways of nature, truly they rely on the quality [of anyone] following the way of the Prophet –peace and blessings be upon him- in his sayings and acts, in accordance with (Divine) commands and prohibitions…’ (p.96). Yet we can find that this is taking place even in contemporary times in which people are usually attracted to individuals by reason of some extraordinary events happening in relation to them.
In relation to the effectiveness of remembrance in the spiritual transformation of the sincere spiritual traveler-apart from the obligatory prayers and other obligations- he says, quoting Abu Madyan: ’Whenever Allah wants goodness to be in a servant, then He makes him intimate with His remembrance and guides him to be in the state of gratitude unto Him’. He says commenting on this ‘When Allah wants goodness to be in a servant He will make him intimate with His remembrance dan make him grateful unto Him; this is so because when a person performs remembrance of Allah, with real remembrance, realizing its reality, then in that process he will forget all other things , and Allah will preserve him [from being astray] by all other things, and he becomes most loyal unto Allah, away from other things.The messenger of Allah says, in the sacred tradition, that ‘Whoever is busy with remembrance of Me so that he is prevented from making requests unto Me, I will grant unto him that which is better than the one which I give to the one who asks it of Me’.So when God has made a servant intimate with Him with His remembrance, that will be made easy for him while he is alone or with people. And man is granted the sweetness of His paradise ; and where else is there such goodness, and where else [apart from remembrance] can there be sweetness other than this, and where else is the bounty greater than this, especially if this is coupled and enhanced with the virtue of gratitude, making all the organs of the person carry out the commands and avoiding the prohibitions’. This is the pinnacle of happiness which is not granted except as a boon from Him…”(p.95).
Concerning the performance of the obligatory prayer and its impact on the spiritual alchemy of a person and his spiritual transmutation, he says while quoting Shaykh Abu Madyan al-Maghribi(p.94):”…In the [Prophet’s ] saying :make us be in restfulness with it O Bilal’ said the one on whom ‘absence’ from Him is most burdensome; the Prophet saw said make us be in restfulness with it O Bilal, that is the one on whom ‘absence [from remembrance] is most burdensome; [know that] the reality of prayer is that you turn away from all [other than He], and you only concentrate your [spiritual focus] on the Lord, that is the reality of ‘There is no godf but Allah ‘; so the person who prays turns himself away from all the creation (akwan) and he is established in the station of supreme spiritual excellence (ihsan), experiencing annihilation in the Overpowering Majesty of the Lord the Owner of Supreme Majesty and Honour, in his bowing-down, and more enhanced in his experience of annihilation, gaining utmost proximity in his prostration, until he is lost, just like what is in the prayer, and the servant is granted higher form of ‘presence’ with his Lord, with heart filled with joy and happiness, and all the burdensome elements going together with of ‘absence’ are all gone by reason of this ‘presence’. That is [the Prophet] asked [Bilal] to get ready for being in restfulness…’(p.94).
While speaking of the fundamental link between the body, the spirit and the ego or soul from the point of spiritual development of man, quoting Shaykh Abu Madyan, Shaikh Daud says:
‘The Shaykh said ‘bodies are like pens, spirits are like tablet [for writing on], souls [or the human ego] are like goblets’.
Then he comments: “[your] body is your pen, your spirit is your tablet, your soul (or ego) is your goblet for your drink. That is your bodies are as pens because they are like pens standing and walking in obedience towards the Owner of the Worlds Most Knowing, and evident therein the marks like prayer, fasting, [and so on] just like those evident on paper of the impact of letters consisting of the aspirations, and spirits are as tablets, because it is the locus where the Divine Effusion comes, locus of the writings of the secrets from the Divine; so whoever makes good his pen, he writes well on the tablet, so whoever makes his body good [in its works], in obedience , then God grants him large degree of Divine Gifts, and he becomes the locus of secrets for the spirit, and the soul or the ego becomes the goblet for keeping the drink for those who are good in their relations with God, so whoever does not drink with it will not arrive at the station of the people of spiritual striving (ahl al-mujahadat), because the one who does not stand in this way he does not sit therein” (p.92). And so on.
There is a work of translation of the poems of ibn Bint al-Mailaq by Syeikh Ismail al-Khalidi of Minangkabau, together with very clear commentary on the verses.
In the work ‘Mawahib Rabbil-Falaq’ being commentary on the Qasidah of ibn Bint al-Mailaq’ (see al-A’lam of al-Zirikili, vol.6, 188 –through al-mausu’ah al-shamilah) Shaikh Isma’il bin ‘Abdullah al-Naqshabandi al-Khalidi (Matba’ah Islamiah, 1348) gives very illuminating explanations on the spiritual qasidahs of the writer. He gives straight away the commentary of the beginning lines ‘Whoever tastes the drink of the people [of Sufism] will know it; whoever knows it [in the real sense, with ‘spiritual tasting] will purchase it with his soul.’ (Some informations in Malay on this Shaykh and his books, including some data about the commentary of the qasidah by Shaykh Ismail are mentioned in the site http://al-fanshuri.blogspot.com/2010/04/kitab-mawahib-rabbi-al-falaq-syarah.html.)
Then he goes on with it using the commentary of ibn ‘Allan, the famous commentator of the qasidah, ‘whoever possess the qualities of the sufi people, by following their spiritual path, along with the science of the external order and the science of the inner order , meaning that their outward life being conducted in accordance with the sacred Law, and their inward life following the spiritual path, then lights of spiritual realities (nur haqiqat) will illuminate him, then the stations of the people of Sufism and their states will be like food for him” and he will be cured of various spiritual maladies (p.2).
The on the lines ‘And a drop of it is sufficient for the whole creation if they taste it; they will swoon in front of the creation in wonderment’ Quoting Shaykh Ahmad bin ‘Allan in his commentary he says ‘A drop of the drink of the people of Sufism called the drink of reality (minuman haqiqah), even if taken by all creation, that will be sufficient for them all, making them drunk, making them go out from their imaginary existence (wujud wahmi) into real existence (wujud haqiqi); their faces and hearts will be illuminated by lights from the Divine, and the darkness of bodily existence will be eliminated; they will be in a swoon in relation to this world in puzzlement, immersed therein in the ocean of supreme spiritual excellence, with Divine gifts, from the Lord Most High and Most Great.” (p.4).
He says further that this level of spiritual experience is called ‘the station of being together’ (maqam al-jam’), and ‘a person of this station will not see except only the Reality of God Most High, and he is annihilated in relation to all creation, even he is not aware of himself; and the more perfect station is that he returns to the station of separation (farq) after reaching the station of ‘being together’ (jam’), and that is called the station of abiding (maqam al-baqa), the station of the people of firmness (maqam al-tamkin), the station of those who give guidance (maqam al-irshad) and this is the station of the prophets on whom be blessings and peace’.(pp.4-5).
Then he goes to the lines ‘And those who posses the great yearning, even though they are given to drink according to the number, of all breaths [of creation] and all this in one goblet, will not satisfy them’. He says , quoting ibn ‘Allan ‘those who possess such great yearning are drowned in the ocean of this yearning, and if they are given drink in accordance with the number of breaths and the whole world as it were were one goblet, they will not be satisfied’. (p.5). This is a figurative expression to mean that this experience is unending; the expressions of the people of Sufism are given to show the idea of the reality of the drink for the understanding of people, and this drink is not tasted except by those who have been granted the privilege by God by virtue of their following of the discipline and coming to the station of the supreme spiritual excellence . (pp.6-7).
It is interesting that on page 7 of the work there is allusion to the spiritual personality of ‘Ainul-Qudah al-Hamadani.The story is mentioned thus :” ’Ainul-Qudah al-Hamadhani has learned the rational and the traditional sacred sciences, while he was eighteen years old, then he said that he looked at himself, after having studied such branches of knowledge: then I find that I have not found in my heart except the feeling of being scattered; I studied all the books of Imam Ghazali for forty years, until I noted down the explanations and meanings of all the difficult points, and I understood them, thinking that I have achieved the objective. Suddenly there comes Imam Ahmad al-Ghazali [the younger brother of al-Ghazali] and I kept myself in his company for twenty days, then he illuminated for me all states, and so the matter became clear to me that even if I were to seek for them with difficulties for a thousand years I would not have achieved the objective, and all the more so when I am not like such a person; what is being sought by the people of Sufism is Allah Himself, the Truth the Most High, and they were not seeking for name, and description…” (p.7-8).
Concerning the lines ‘To him the manifest word becomes the word of the invisible, and the world of the invisible becomes unto him the world of the manifest’, he gives the commentary, quoting from the explanations of ibn ‘Allan. He says: “The man in spiritual travel who has taken the drink of the people of Sufism , drink so clear, and drowned is he in the sea of love towards his Lord, the manifest world …becomes the world invisible, and the invisible becomes unto him …the world of the manifest.” (p.25). He explains that ‘the one who travels spiritually turns away from that which is other than God, and he focuses the attention of his heart towards Allah the Most High, by cutting himself away from those which turns him away –whether those which are clear and manifest and those which belong to the inward, focusing himself on the remembrance of Allah, which has been taught by his teacher, who is made by him as the ‘rabitah’ –link- while keeping all the spiritual propriety in the remembrance’.(p.25)
“So the person is annihilated in relation to world of the manifest, the ‘alam al-mulk’, or ‘alam al-khalq’, …and this manifest world is invisible unto him, and he enters the realm of the invisible, and the world of the spiritual kingdom (al-malakut), ‘alam al-amr’ (the world of command), …[the world of the realm of ] the spirits, angels, the jinn, and others, seeing this realm invisible with the eye of the heart (mata hati), the vision being clearer than the one seen with the physical eyes. This is termed as the first annihilation (‘fana’), while the spiritual traveler practices his remembrance, and litanies, without stop, day and night, in his travel, experiencing his elevation, without stopping in the realm of the invisible” (pp 25-26).
Further he states that ‘When the spiritual traveler passes by the realm of the invisible with his constant adherence in following the Shari’ah, he will be brought into the realm of the Divine Dominion (‘alam jabarut), being the realm of spirits, and that is also the realm of the invisible, in relation to the realm of the malakut, so the ‘alam al-malakut becomes the realm invisible to it, and the realm of the jabarut becomes the realm of the manifest for it, just like before; this is the beginning of the second annihilation, and the spiritual traveler should focus on the Lord until he is brought to the realm of the Lahut, being the realm of the secret. This is the completion of the second annihilation, being called the annihilation of the annihilation. He is annihilated in relation to creation and in relation to his annihilation. This is the last stage of travel of the traveler. That is pure annihilation.” (pp.26-27). From here the traveler would go the realm of abiding or perpetuity (‘alam al-baqa’) and the station of separation and at this stage he is spiritually fit to be the spiritual guide or murshid.”(p.27).
He also gives the commentary of the lines ‘And you take away your two sandles in the manner of the one realizing the truth; void is he from desiring [the glory of] the world and the afterworld in his quest.’ (p.26). Sandles stand for the world and the hereafter.
Concerning the often misunderstood dictum the Shaykh gives his clear explanations. The dictum is : The Gnostics reach the station in which the various obligations are dropped from them.(p.78). He explains this in the following way: ”’The meaning of this dictum is not as understood by the antinomians and the heretics (ahl al-ibahiyyah wa al-zandaqah) –God forbid-the real meaning is that they do not feel burdened or face difficulty and pain in carrying out big responsibilities in the devotions because such matters have become customary for them, in fact more than customary but have become matters which are so desired by passion if understood in relation to others [others do things because of passion, for them it is as if they perform the devotions because of passion], just like the remembrance of God for the inmates of paradise, being like breathing for them, and thus is the case for the gnostics with other spiritual devotions-may Allah sanctify their secrets. That is the reason why the chief of the Messengers and the Prophets does not abandon spiritual devotions [with his most lofty spiritual station]-peace and blessings of God be upon him, he keeps doing the night prayers, until his feet were swollen;’ and when he was asked why does he do that [to such an extent], whereas his past and coming sins are already forgiven , he replied : Should not I be a grateful servant [of Allah]?…(pp 78).
And he goes on to mention the case of the saint Junaid al-Baghdadi the leader of the people of Sufism –may God sanctify his secret- ‘who did not abandon his spiritual litanies even while he was almost going to give up his life while saying that this is the moment in which I am most in need for reciting my litanies because all the record of my acts has been folded up, and so he did not stop from his spiritual excercises even while he was dying.’(p.79).
He mentions the case then on other occasions people asked the saint for his view about the claim of someone that he has reached a lofty station of gnosis so much so that he he in a position in which the obligations of the sacred Law are no more binding; to which Junaid replied, yes, [he is] in hell. Further he adds that whoever says that the obligatory duties are no more binding on the person and he believes that as article of faith, then he is out of the pale of the faith just as strands of hair is out of the flour.And he warns believers not to be deluded with sayings of people that they have arrived at the supreme spiritual realities in their knowledge (ilmu haqa’iq) from books, such words are words of heresy and antinomianism and unbelief (berkata-kata ia dengan zandaqah dan ilhad)(p.79).
Then we can recollect the very detailed Sufism of the ‘mu’amalah’ aspect of the eighteenth century learned divine of Sumatra, Shaykh ‘Abd al-Samad al-Falimbani in his magisterial ‘Sayr al-Salikin’ or ‘Siyar al-Salikin’ dealing with this sacred science in the manner that was done in the Ihya’ six centuries before him by al-Ghazali covering the aspects of devotions, customary life usages, the spiritual vices, and finally the virtues; in fact he has translated substantial portions of the Ihya’ in his voluminous four volume work, with much additional materials of his own. What is of significant interest here is that he has seen Sufism into the three levels, the mubtadi, the beginning, the intermediate, mutawassit, and the peak, muntahi. For the various stages there are texts suitable to be studied for guidance and actual practice as well as aids in spiritual realization. This work represents the Ghazalian presence in the Malay-Indonesian World.
Apart from that, in a random manner we can refresh our memory with the classical case of the position of Siti Jenar among the ‘Nine Saints of Java’ on the question of gnosis, spiritual realization, and adherence to the Syariah as sacred law of the Community, which reminds us of the case of al-Hallaj in Baghdad centuries before.
There is the case of the conflict of Hamzah al-Fansuri with other scholars who was accused of holding wrongful notion of the wihdatul-wujud, later explained by Syeikh ‘Abd al-Rauf al-Fansuri .
There is the classisification of the correct theological position given by Arshad al-Banjari in Tuhfah al-Raghibin, while giving some useful informations about the various deviant groups and their unorthodox views.There is in this work the notion of the two categories of the Wujudiyyah in the Malay tradition the wujududiyyah of the mulhidin, the heretics, and the correct wujudiyyah of the muwahhid.
Then there are still a number of issues to be addressed effectively: the misunderstanding about Sufism in whole epistemology of Islam, because of certain intellectual tendencies in the so-called modern movements and their off-shoots in Muslim societies. The issue of some making Sufism as independent entity free from the structure of Islam as a living sacred Tradition, thereby mutilating it, making it unable to provide adequate guidance for man lost in the present anti-spiritual cultural environment.There is the issue of seeing Sufism as unnecessary for the modern man busy with modern development and consumerist culture; the issue of the positive role which Sufism has to play in preserving the spiritual identity and meaning of the Adamic human being in relation to his spiritual blessedness and being; the issue of understanding the contemplative and spiritual intelligence developed in Sufism with the rational and analytical intelligence of science and the philosophical path and method and how the two can be integrated so that once again the human intelligence can regain its wholeness and legitimacy in the Islamic spiritual context.
There are also other issues which are to be addressed concerning the role and function of Sufism in the development of the human holistic capital, so that this spiritual tradition is benefited in a positive way; then there is the necessity of the psychologist to ‘know’ Sufism just as there is also, in a secondary way, there is the necessity for the man of Sufism to ‘know’ psychology; then there is still the wrongful notion of the identification of wahdatul wujud with philosophical speculation called pantheism while definitely it is not accurately so; and of course there is still the confusion between what constitutes spiritual witnessing of the gnostic (mushahadah) with the theological position of the theologian, leading to charges of heresy, with the attending consequences against the portrayal of the gnostic’s authentic experience. Also there is the spiritual and intellectual necessity to see the legitimacy of the religion of the prophets as they are in their forms and substance, compared to the position of ‘perennialism’.
Finally there is the present writer’s humble view, for truth and intellectual stability and homogeneity, of the necessity of maintaining and enhancing the four intellectual and spiritual poles of Islam: the teological (Ash’ari-Maturidi discourse, with the necessary additions), the legal discourse of the mujtahids and (in the Malay World the Shafi’ite) with the necessary additions for contemporary times, the spiritual, ethical and philosophical discourse like that of the school of al-Ghazali and his like, with the necessary additional relevant discourse, and the cultural and civilizational discourse like ibn Khaldun and others of the same relevance. Sufism has already operated within this total context of such Islamic discourse. We further hope that within this intellectual, epistemological and spiritual context we can see once again successful flowering of Sufism with its guidance and Divine grace operating successfully among believers and mankind in contemporary times and the future. Wallahu a’lam.
 Presented as key-note address in the International Conference in Mystical Elements in Islamic Art and Literature, ISTAC, IIUM, 21 Julay 2010, at the ISTAC Conference Hall.
 Very Distinguished Academic Fellow , ISTAC, IIUM, Adjunct Professor at Petronas University, Tronoh, Perak, and member of the board of directors, IIM.
August 25, 2010
It was the sight of peach juice dripping from the chin of a teenage French female nudist that led a Cambridgeshire public schoolboy to convert to Islam. Thirty-five years later, Timothy Winter – or Sheikh Abdul-Hakim Murad, as he is known to his colleagues – has been named one of the world’s most influential Muslims.
The hitherto unnoticed Mr Winter, who has an office in Cambridge University’s Divinity Faculty, where he is the Shaykh Zayed Lecturer of Islamic Studies, has been listed ahead of the presidents of Iran and Egypt, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, and the chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, Mahmoud Abbas. “Strange bedfellows,” he concedes.
Tall, bookish, fair-skinned and flaxen-haired, a wiry beard is his only obvious stylistic concession to the Islamic faith.
To the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre (RISSC), which is based at the Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought in the Jordanian capital, Amman, Winter is “one of the most well-respected Western theologians” and “his accomplishments place him amongst the most significant Muslims in the world”. Winter is also the secretary of the Muslim Academic Trust, director of The Anglo-Muslim Fellowship for Eastern Europe, and director of the Sunna Project, which has published the most respected versions of the major Sunni Hadith collections, the most important texts in Islam after the Qur’an.
He has also written extensively on the origins of suicidal terrorism.
According to the RISSC, the list highlights “leaders and change-agents who have shaped social development and global movements”. Winter is included because “[his] work impacts all fields of work and particularly, the religious endeavors of the Muslim world”.
In the 500 Most Influential Muslims 2010, Mr Winter is below the King of Saudi Arabia – who comes in at number one – but ahead of many more chronicled figures. He is ranked in an unspecified position between 51st and 60th, considerably higher than the three other British people who make the list – the Conservative Party chairman Baroness Warsi; the UK’s first Muslim life peer, Lord Nazir Ahmed, who was briefly jailed last year for dangerous driving; and Dr Anas Al Shaikh Ali, director of the
International Institute of Islamic Thought – making him, at least in the eyes of the RISSC, Britain’s most influential Muslim.
“I think that’s very unlikely,” says Winter, seated in front of his crowded bookshelves. “I’m an academic
observer who descends occcasionally from my ivory tower and visits the real world. If you stop most people in the street they’ve never heard of me. In terms of saying anything that makes any kind of sense to the average British Muslim I think they have no need of my ideas at all.”
The son of an architect and an artist, he attended the elite Westminster School in the 1970s before graduating from Cambridge with a double first in Arabic in 1983. His younger brother is the football correspondent Henry Winter. Tim says: “I was always the clever, successful one. Henry just wanted to play football with his mates. I used to tell him, ‘I’m going to make loads of money, and you’ll still be playing football with your mates.’ Now he’s living in a house with 10 bedrooms and married to a Bond girl.” (Brother Henry insists on the telephone later: “She was only in the opening credits. And it’s not as many as 10.”)
If this seems an improbable background for a leading Muslim academic, his Damascene moment on a Corsican beach is unlikelier still.
“In my teens I was sent off by my parents to a cottage in Corsica on an exchange with a very vigorous French Jewish family with four daughters,” Winter recalls. “They turned out to be enthusiastic nudists.
“I remember being on the beach and seeing conjured up before my adolescent eyes every 15-year-old boy’s most fervent fantasy. There was a moment when I saw peach juice running off the chin of one of these bathing beauties and I had a moment of realisation: the world is not just the consequence of material forces. Beauty is not something that can be explained away just as an aspect of brain function.”
It had quite an effect on him: “That was the first time I became remotely interested in anything beyond the material world. It was an unpromising beginning, you might say.
“In a Christian context, sexuality is traditionally seen as a consequence of the Fall, but for Muslims, it is an anticipation of paradise. So I can say, I think, that I was validly converted to Islam by a teenage French Jewish nudist.”
After graduating, Winter studied at the University of al-Azhar in Egypt and worked in Jeddahat before returned to England in the late eighties to study Turkish and Persian. He says he has no difficulty reconciling the world he grew up in with the one he now inhabits. “Despite all the stereotypes of Islam being the paradigmatic opposite to life in the west, the feeling of conversion is not that one has migrated but that one has come home.
“I feel that I more authentically inhabit my old identity now that I operate within Islamic boundaries than I did when I was part of a teenage generation growing up in the 70s who were told there shouldn’t be any boundaries.”
The challenge, he feels, is much harder now for young Muslims trying to integrate with British life.
“Your average British Asian Muslim on the streets of Bradford or Small Heath in Birmingham is told he has to integrate more fully with the society around him. The society he tends to see around him is extreme spectacles of binge drinking on Saturday nights, scratchcards, and other forms of addiction apparently rampant, credit card debt crushing lives, collapsing relationships and mushrooming proportions of single lives, a drug epidemic. It doesn’t look very nice.
“That is why one of the largest issues over the next 50 years is whether these new Muslim communities can be mobilised to deal with those issues. Islam is tailor-made precisely for all those social prolems. It is the ultimate cold turkey. You don’t drink at all. You don’t sleep around. You don’t do scratchcards. Or whether a kind of increasing polarisation, whereby Muslims look at the degenerating society around them and decide ‘You can keep it’.”
It is not this, though, that contributes to some young Muslim British men’s radicalism, he says, since their numbers are often made up of “the more integrated sections”.
“The principle reason, which Whitehall cannot admit, is that people are incensed by foreign policy. Iraq is a smoking ruin in the Iranian orbit. Those who are from a Muslim background are disgusted by the hypocrisy. It was never about WMD. It was about oil, about Israel and evangelical christianity in the White House. That makes people incandescent with anger. What is required first of all is an act of public contrition. Tony Blair must go down on his knees and admit he has been responsible for almost unimaginable human suffering and despair.”
He adds: “The West must realise it must stop being the world’s police. Why is there no Islamic represenation on the UN Security Council? Why does the so-called Quartet [on the Middle East] not have a Muslim representative? The American GI in his goggles driving his landrover through Kabul pointing his gun at everything that moves, that is the image that enrages people.”
Is there a similar antagonistic symbolism in the construction of a mosque at Ground Zero?
“If the mosque represented an invading power they would have every right. Muslims in America are there as legitimate citizens with their green cards, with jobs, trying to get by. They are there in humble mode.
“Would you oppose the construction of Shinto Shrines at Pearl Harbour, of which there a number? How long must the Muslims of lower Manhattan have to wait to get a place to pray five times a day? With Islam there are certain liturgical requirements. It’s not like a church that you can build on the top of a hill and say, we’ve only got to go once a week and it looks nice up there. Muslims need to pray five times a day, they can’t get the subway out and back. It should be seen as a symbol of reconciliation not antagonism.”
Last year Winter helped set up the Cambridge Muslim College, which offers trained imams a one year diploma in Islamic studies and leadership, designed to help trained imams to better implement their knowledge and training in 21st-century Britain. This year’s first graduating class have recently returned from a trip to Rome where they had an open audience with the Pope.
In an increasingly secular Britain, sociologists suggest with regularity that “football is the new religion”. Winter understands the comparison. “Football has everything that is important to religion,” he says. “Solidarity, skill, ritual, the outward form of what looks like a sacred congregation. Except it’s not about anything.” Just don’t tell his brother.
Converts to Islam
Cassius Clay, widely considered to be one of the greatest boxers, shocked America when he revealed in 1964 that he had converted to the Nation of Islam (becoming a Sunni 11 years later) to discard the name of his ancestors’ enslavement.
Born Steven Demetre Georgiou in London, the singer, best known as Cat Stevens, converted to Islam at the height of his fame in 1977. Two years later he auctioned all his guitars for charity and left his music career to devote himself to educational and philanthropic causes.
The British journalist was captured by the Taliban in Afghanistan in September 2001 having crossed the border anonymously in a burqa. After her release 11 days later, she explained that she had promised one of her captors that she would read the Koran and it changed her life. She converted to Islam in the summer of 2003.
The ex-Russian agent, who fled to London, fell ill in November 2006 after being poisoned by radioactive polonium-210. Two days before his death on 23 November he told his father he had converted to Islam.
article from: http://www.independent.co.uk
April 20, 2010
This is the recording of a public lecture given by Shaykh Abdul Hakim Murad during the Fundraising Event for Cambridge Mosque Project and Islamic Outreach ABIM Charitable activities and the Launch of “The Traveling Light Series” at the auditorium of Dewan Jubli Perak, Bangunan Setiausaha Kerajaan Negeri Shah Alam, Malaysia on 27th March 2010.
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