Various Questions

Answered by Shaykh Gibril Haddad


Keywords, Questions

On Fanaticism
Quran Meaning
Hidden Blessings
Islam, men women
Ahmadi-Sunni couple Q
Definiton: taghut

Accounting with Fanaticism

As-Salamu `alaykum:

Imam al-Qurt.ubî in his Tafsîr, verses 84:16-21, cites Qadi Ibn al-`Arabî's discussion of the ruling of prostration for verse 84:21 and his ways of dealing with the fanaticism of some of his contemporaries:

Ibn al-`Arabî said:

Mâlik said that in al-Inshiqâq, {What ails them, then, that they believe not and, when the Qurân is recited unto them, prostrate not?} (84:20-21) the latter verse is not among the firm requisites of prostration. The sound position is that it is among the firm requisites of prostration as in the narration of the Madînans from him; and both the Qur'ân and the Sunna reinforce it. When I was imâm for the people I stopped reciting it because if I prostrated they would discredit it and if I left prostration I would be guilty of falling short. So I avoided it unless I prayed by myself. This is the realization of the promise of the Truthful One, upon him blessings and peace, that goodness shall be considered reprehensible and the reprehensible shall be considered good. He also said to `Â'isha, upon him and her blessings and peace: "Were it not for the recency of your people's disbelief I would raze the House and return it to the foundations of Ibrâhîm."(1)

Our Shayk Abû Bakr al-Fihrî used to raise his hands upon bowing and after bowing, and it is the madhhab of Mâlik and al-Shâfi`î; the Shî`îs do it as well. One day he came to the place where I taught, the lookout of Ibn al-Shawwâ'; at the coast at the time of the Z.uhr Prayer.... With me in the same row were Abû Thamna the chief and leader of the coast guard with a group of his friends waiting for the Prayer and observing some boats in the harbor. When the Shaykh raised his hands in the bowing and after rising up Abû Thamna and his friends said: "Do you not see this Easterner? How did he enter our mosque? Get up and kill him and dump him in the sea and let no one see you!" My heart flew out from between my two sides and I said: "Allâh be glorified! This is al-T.urt.ûshî, the Faqîh of our times!" They said, "Then why does he raise his hands?" I said, "Because the Prophet, upon him blessings and peace, used to! And this is the madhhab of Mâlik according to the people of Madîna!"; I continued to quiet them down and silence them until he finished his prayer. Then I rose up with him to the lodging of the lookout. He read on my face that something was wrong and asked me about it so I told him of the incident. He laughed and said, "Since when did I merit to be killed for a Sunna!"; I replied, "It would not be lawful for you. You are among a people who, if you established the Sunna, would rise up against you and you might lose your life." He said, "Leave that and talk about something else."

(1) Meaning, the right has sometimes to be left for something lesser for the greater good, although what has been left is better than what has been kept.


[SP December 2, 2005]

What Is Meant By The Quran

Within the frame of the Ashari school of aqeedah, how are we to understand what is meant by the Quran. Is it considered the "speech of Allah  (swt)" or the "expression of Allah (swt)"? The uncreated Speech of Allah.

The definition in Usul al-Fiqh -- and often repeated in books of `Ulum al-Qur'an --  is that it is "the expression [Ar. lafz] which was revealed to Muhammad (may Allah bless him and give him peace), inimitable from beginning to end, and whose recitation is an act of worship".

Building on this definition, the actual thing indicated by the above is what is meant by Qur'an in Usul al-Din.

(See Zakariya al-Ansari _Ghayat al-Wusul_,  pp 33-34.)

[SP 2005]

Hidden blessings of remote communities

Salam alaykum

Being frozen in time allows treasures of the past to disappear more slowly. An example of this is the pause markings (`alamat al-waqf) in the mus-hafs of old. These used to be the norm in the Muslim world. Nowadays you will see them only in the warsh mus-hafs of Africa and North Africa, Turkish mus-hafs, and the mus-hafs of the Subcontinent. The Saudis have long been actively engaged in attempting to suppress, marginalize, or at least police those three categories of mus-hafs.

Recently, when I was in Brunei and Malaysia I kept checking in mosques and bookstores and all my searches gave the same results: the Shafi`i world apparently now lives on Saudi time, I thought. Then, one day before my departure as I was sitting in the oldest large mosque of Brunei, the majestic Jami` Sultan Omar Ali Sayfuddin, I found a Southern Thai mus-haf which, lo and behold, had its full-fledged waqf system which differed from anything I had seen before.

These `alamat al-waqf surely have benefits and secrets in them as they help reading illustrate meaning. Hence, I have found recitations which reflect such markings to be more poweful and spiritual than the modern standard.

Today, if we open a mus-haf at Surat al-Fatiha and see no marking whatsoever (other than the verse numbers and vowelization), we should know that it was not always so but that our Muslim forefathers and the teachers of the Umma had devised a graphic system that reflected the science of Qur'anic pause and waqf and that such a didactic system was embedded in the mus-haf scripts of the Umma for many centuries.

Its disappearance happened only in the last couple of generations, and that, only in modernity-aspiring Muslim societies. The latter are only glad to move their dusty volumes off their mosque and home shelves and replace them with the gold-embellished, hardbound products of the King Fahd project and their copycats. It is one of the hidden blessings of so-called retrograde or remote societies that they are spared, to date, such a loss.

[SP 2005-12-12]

Islam and men are not the reason women are mistreated

NN wrote: However, it is not from the Sunna to demonize the male gender as a whole, or to see men as the ultimate source of whatever happens to be wrong in male-female relationships at a given time. These are tendencies against which we need to warn ourselves, not only because of their injustice, but also because they do nothing to heal the problems that arise between men and women.

The Sufi emphasis is that the Sunna does command us - for each and every conscious man and woman - to demonize not each other, but definitely our own feral selves. To put it bluntly: treat yourself as a munafiq by default. Demonization takes a new meaning then; a fitting meaning, like a glove! Then Tawba is in order for the remainder of our God-given lives.

This is why Tawassuf has never been as much of a fard `ayn as the time we are living in, and yet is at its all-time weakest with respect to teaching and practice. Hence it would be right to blame those of our Ulema and Brethren who still do not put it at the forefront of their being and even (sad to say but readily apparent from not only the excursions of the Progressives but also our own discourse) fear that some of those very Muslims are the actual enemy.

But enough sad news! The greater the difficulty and the smaller the qualifications: the greater the Divine help and Divine reward. This was mentioned in many hadiths concerning the struggles of latter-day Believers. From Allah comes all help and guidance, to Him is our return.

Imam al-Nawawi said in Bustan al-`Arifin:
I shall mention in this book a chapter, Allah willing, in which you will see a type of wonder that will cool your eyes. To illustrate the great extent of the concealment of hypocrisy we only need relate the following from the Teacher and Imam Abu al-Qasim al-Qushayri, may Allah have mercy on him, from his Risala with our isnad previously mentioned.

He said: "I heard Muhammad ibn al-Husayn say: I heard Ahmad ibn `Ali ibn Ja`far say: I heard al-Hasan ibn `Alawiyya say: Abu Yazid [al- Bistami], may Allah be well pleased with him, said:

'I was for twelve years the blacksmith of my ego (haddadu nafsi), then for five years I became the mirror of my heart (mir'atu qalbi), then for a year I looked at what lay between the two of them and I saw around me a visible belt [i.e. of kufr == the vestimentary sign of a non-Muslim subject of the Islamic state]. So I strove to cut it for twelve years and then looked again, and I saw around me a hidden belt. So I worked to cut it for five years, looking to see how to cut. Then it was unveiled for me (kushifa li) and I looked at creation and saw that they were all dead. So I recited the funeral prayer over them.'"

I [al-Nawawi] say: The fact that hypocrisy should be as inscrutable as this to the peerless master in this Path [i.e. tasawwuf] is enough to show how greatly hidden it lies! His phrase: "I saw them dead" is the apex of worth and beauty, and seldom do other than the Prophet's words, Blessings and Peace be upon him, gather up such wealth of meanings......

Wa `alal-dunya as-Salam.

[SP 2006-11-09]

Ahmadi-Sunni couple question

Wa `alaykum as-Salam,

[I a]m 25 year of age. I am sunni alhamdullah. I am unmarried and love an Ahmadi girl who is 21 year of age and loves me too much. She does not belong to that group of Ahmadies who do not consider Mohammad (PBUH) the last prophit. That group of Ahmadies belive that Mohammad (PBUH) is the last phrophit. They ha[ve] same Quran as we have. Each and everything is same except that they belive that Imam Mehdi is appeared and Jesus will not come back again. Does that belive make them non muslim ?

The second thing is that i talk to my parents and they are agreed to do my rishta (merriage) with her just for my happiness. That girl is very nice. Do hajab, say prayers, and everything that a muslim womam do. [...] I love this girl so much and i see nothing that makes them non muslim. I just take it as a difference in Belifs and belives are different for Shia community too but thay are not said to be non muslim. I am not agreed with her that Jesus will not come. But does that make them Mushrik or Kafir. [...] I wish Allah can tell me what to do because i didn‘t believe what people say about Ahmadies as thay are not like that and i heard everthing from that Group of Ahmadies knows as Lahoriates. Please help me out with this coz i belive we are made for each other.

There are three main issues in the above questions:
- I    the status of a Muslim who denies the descent of `Isa, upon our Prophet and upon him blessings and peace;
- II   the status of so-called Lahori Ahmadis as opposed to Qadyanis;
- III  the status of a Muslim who denies that `Isa, upon him peace, is presently alive. I document these three issues then conclude with advice for the questioner.

(I) The status of a Muslim who denies `Isa's descent, upon him peace:

The status of a Muslim who denies that `Isa, upon him peace, shall descend at the end of times is that of apostasy.(1)

Furthermore, there is Consensus over his descent.(2)

This Consensus is illustrated by the fact that the reports of his descent are mass-transmitted(3) with over one hundred reports to that effect.(4)

It is explicitly transmitted as an integral foundation of the Muslim Creed by the Four Imams as well as Imam al-Ash`ari.(5)

(II) The status of so-called Lahori Ahmadis as opposed to Qadyanis:

Both so-called Lahori Ahmadis and their mother group, the Qadyanis, are followers of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad of Qadyan who declared himself a prophet and manufactured a religion in the early 1900s along with the Babis, the Bahais, and others.

There is consensus that whoever believes that after the last Prophet, our liege-lord Muhammad - blessings and peace be upon him - there is a new Prophet, is a disbeliever and an apostate. This is stated in Qadi `Iyad's al-Shifa and Imam Muslim's Sharh Sahih Muslim, Allah have mercy on them, among many others.

By following an apostate, these groups are themselves apostates. Habib Ahmad Mashhur al-Haddad, Allah have mercy on him, wrote: "The Muslims of today are of the unanimous view that the Qadiani sectaries are kafirs and apostates who have no connection of any kind with Islam. Verdicts to this effect have been issued against them which are clearer than the sun in the noonday sky."(6)

This means that all followers of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad are apostates, no matter what they call themselves afterwards. Indeed, as far as I know, the language of the constitutional amendments of 7 September 1974 passed by the National Assembly of Pakistan and its Senate clearly includes both "persons of the Qadiani group or the Lahori group" in the status of non-Muslims.

Repentence from such a state entails a formal declaration of the Shahada which must necessarily be preceded by a formal renouncement and denunciation of that man's teachings.

(III) The status of a Muslim who denies that `Isa, upon him peace, is presently alive:

This was the very last fatwa given by the distinguished Imam Ahmad Rida Khan, Allah have mercy on him, according to its editor and translator from Urdu to Arabic, Muhammad Jalal Rida, entitled al-Juraz al-Dayyani `ala al-Murtadd al-Qadyani "The Trenchant Sword of Reckoning on the Apostate of Qadyan") where he said:

"It is no secret that a Qadyani denies  numerous aspects of what one is obliged to know in the Religion, perhaps more than hundreds of such aspects. Then he will stir up the issue of the life and death of our liege-lord `Isa the Messenger of Allah - upon our noble Prophet and upon him the Divine blessings and greetings. He camouflages himself with it from his accursed beliefs which are nevertheless plain to see, whereas it is a banal, secondary matter over which there is a sort of difference of opinion among the Muslims themselves. No misguidance whatsoever results from affirming or denying it, not to mention disbelief.

"But the question of the death of `Isa, upon him peace, would not benefit those apostates in the least, supposing Allah Most High had caused him to die back then! What we ask ourselves here is: why would this in any way hamper his descent?? Prophets only die temporarily, in conformity with the promise of Allah Most High, {Every soul shall taste death} (3:185), then that life is returned to them - literal, worldly, bodily life as they were before their death. How then can the return of the living be impossible? The Prophet, upon him blessings and peace, said: 'Prophets are alive in their graves, praying.'

"Let us concede that the deviants will say that his death is like the death of everyone else. Even then, what is it that prevents his return? Allah Most High said of our liege-lord `Uzayr, upon him blessings and peace: {Allah made him die a hundred years, then brought him back to life} (2:259). ...

"The Ulema of old and those of later times differed as to the life or death of `Isa, upon him blessings and peace, but as for the matter of his descent at the end of time and his killing of the accursed arch-Liar, not one of the people of the Sunna and the Congregation differed over it.(7) Truly it is a doctrine that gained the foundation of Consensus. So we ask again here: What would the death of `Isa benefit the Qadyani? And is it conceivable that the Mongoloid (for he descends from the Mongols) be the Messenger of Allah, the son of Maryam the virgin, `Isa, who was created without a father??"

The above discussion reveals in plain sight that the issue of the life or death of `Isa, upon him blessings and peace, is an irrelevant diversion were it not that it cloaks the Qadyani agenda of attributing the status of `Isa to the false messiah of Qadyan himself, who has died! Hence his followers say: `Isa is dead and shall not descend,' because they mean their leader. In the same way, others of their denominations also mean the same leader, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, not as the Messiah, but as the Mahdi ("they believe that Imam Mehdi has appeared"), while still others mean him as a renewer - and all this only reveals ignorance on top of ignorance of the attributes of Renewers and of the Mahdi in Islam.

Conclusion: Advice for the questioner

The Christians consider one of the Prophets of Allah to be an impostor and the Jews consider two of the Prophets of Allah Most High to be impostors. Yet, despite this despicable trait of theirs, the Shari`a contains an allowance for a Muslim man's marriage with a Christian or a Jewish woman, even if they are astray, because they are originally followers of a Divinely-revealed Scripture. However, the Shari`a does not allow in any way for Muslims to marry followers of a self-appointed prophet and adherents of a man-made religion. Such are not only misguided non-Muslims but, in addition, unmarriageable apostates.

The Muslim who asked the question whether he can marry a person of Ahmadi beliefs, states that his parents approved him only to please him. So he himself shows understanding that neither he nor his parents are trying first and foremost to please Allah or obey Him. Even though he himself approves, and his parents approve of his union with an Ahmadi person, he understands there is a problem, hence he asks this question on a religious forum. Perhaps he also understands that even if all of humanity approves, it would mean nothing if such approval goes against Allah Most High! Allah Most High said:

{You will not find folk who believe in Allah and the Last Day loving those who oppose Allah and His messenger, even though they be their fathers or their sons or their brethren or their clan} (58:22).

The questioner must ask himself reasonable questions that every pious parent and brother would ask their son or brother in a similar situation: is it worth pleasing your ego at the cost of displeasing Allah Most High? Do you find nothing better to bring into your life and raise your children than someone who hails from a group that have no connection of any kind with Islam? Someone who did not even repent but rather continues to share in their betrayal of Allah and His Prophet, upon him blessings and peace by claiming lies against `Isa the son of Maryam, upon them peace? Is this the measure of your love for Allah and His Prophets? Would you not rather be on the side of the believers and those who defend the name of `Isa against his enemies and the Dajjal?

If you stand for truth even if it hurts your feelings, Allah Most High will support you, as He said:

{You will not find folk who believe in Allah and the Last Day loving those who oppose Allah and His messenger: even though they be their fathers or, their sons or their brethren or their clan. As for those who truly believe, He has written faith upon their hearts and has strengthened them with a Spirit from Him, and He will bring them into Gardens underneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide. Allah is well pleased with them, and they are well pleased with Him. They are the party of Allah. Lo! is it not the party of Allah who are the successful} (58:22).

On the other hand, He also said:

{Whoso opposes the Messenger after the guidance (of Allah) has been manifested unto him, and follows other than the way of the believers, We appoint for him that unto which he himself has turned, and expose him unto hell. A hapless journey's end!} (4:115).


(1) `Allama al-Alusi in his Tafsir (7:60) and `Allama al-Saffarini in Lawami` al-Anwar al-Bahiyya (2:94-95).

(2) Imam Abu Hayyan's two Tafsirs al-Bahr al-Muhit (2:473) and al-Nahr al-Madd (same page) and al-Saffarani (op. cit.).

(3) As explicitly stated by: - al-Tabari, Tafsir, verse 3:55, - Ibn `Atiyya as cited by Abu Hayyan in al-Bahr al-Muhit (2:473), - Ibn Hajar in Fath al-Bari (6:358), - Ibn Rushd as cited by al-Ubbi in Sharh Sahih Muslim (1:265), - Ibn Kathir in his Tafsir (1:582, 4:132), - al-Shawkani in al-Tawdih fi Tawaturi ma Ja'a bil-Muntazar wal-Dajjal wal-Masih as cited by `Abd Allah al-Ghumari in `Aqidat Ahl al-Islam fi Nuzul `Isa `alayhi as-Salam (p. 11), - al-Qinnawji (Siddiq Hasan Khan Bhopali) in al-Idha`a lima Kana wa-Yakunu bayna Yaday al-Sa`a, in al-Ghumari (op. cit.), - al-`Azim Abadi in `Awn al-Ma`bud cf. al-Ghumari (p. 12) - al-Kattani in Nazm al-Mutanathir (p. 147), - al-Kawthari in Nazratun `Abiratun fi Maza`imi man Yunkiru Nuzula `Isa `alayh al-Salam qabl al-Akhira (p. 36, 49), - Anwar Shah Kashmiri in al-Tasrih bi-ma Tawatara fi Nuzul al-Masih (p. 56), - and his Ikfar al-Mulhidin fi Daruriyyat al-Din. Allah have mercy on them.

(4) By by the count of `Allama Anwar Shah Kashmiri alone, to which Shaykh `Abd al-Fattah Abu Ghudda added twenty more.

(5) Imam Abu Hanifa and his companions according to Imam al-Tahawi in his `Aqida Tahawiyya; Imam Malik in the `Utbiyya and elsewhere; Imam al-Shafi`i per al-Aburri in Manaqib al-Shafi`i; Imam Ahmad in his `Aqida per the narration of Musaddad ibn Musarhad in Ibn Abi Ya`la's Tabaqat al-Hanabila, Ibn al-Jawzi's Manaqib Ahmad, and elsewhere; Imam al-Ash`ari in Maqalat al-Islamiyyin, Risalat Ahl al-Thughar, al-Shahrastani's Milal, and elsewhere, Allah be well-pleased with them.

(6) Key to the Garden, Quilliam Press, London, 1990.

(7) Even the Shi`is and the Mu`tazilis believe `Isa shall descend at the end of times cf. al-Ghumari, op. cit. (p. 23) - not to mention the Christians.

And Allah knows best.

[GFH, SP 2005-12-23]

Definition of the term "taghut"

Hafiz Murtada al-Zabidi in Taj al-`Arus under "al-jibt" said:

"It is a word applied to idols (al-sanam), soothsayers (al-kahin), and sorcerers (al-sahir). Al-Sha`bi said, in commentary of the saying of Allah Most High {Do you not see how those who have been given a share of the Book believe in al-jibt and al-taghut?}: 'Al-jibt is witchcraft (al-sihr) and al-taghut is the shaytan.' It is narrated from Ibn `Abbas: 'Al-taghut is Ka`b ibn al-Ashraf and al-jibt is Huyay ibn Akhtab [both Jews].' In the hadith it is also mentioned: 'Al-tiyara, al-`iyaafa, and al-tarq are all part of al-jibt.'"

Thus cited by Ahmad Zaki Basha in his glossary appended to his edition of al-Kalbi's Kitab al-Asnam (Cairo: Dar al-Kutub al-Misriyya, 1995) p. 108 col. 1.

Further translation notes:

- Tiyara and `iyaafa are synonyms with zajr and all three mean a type of augury called aeromancy that was widespread among pre-Islamic Arabs and consisted in observing birds in flight so as to divine a good omen from their names and sounds and the manner and direction they flew. Ibn al-Athir, Nihaya.

- Tarq is another type of divination, either lithomancy which is the casting of pebbles on the ground and was practiced mostly by women, or geomancy which consisted in drawing lines in the sand. Ibn al-Athir, Nihaya. Ibn Khaldun describes the latter in his Muqaddima.

So then, calling someone a taghut is the same as calling them a shaytan, and accusing them of serving the taghut is similar to accusing of serving shaytan. Al-`iyadhu billah.


[SP 2006-01-27]



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