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Impermissibility of Celebrating Mawlid

Q.) I was brought up in a Barelwi tradition. Since I have begun seeking knowledge from the wider Muslim (i.e. not just Barelwis, but excluding Shia’s and similar groups, though including Wahhabis and Salafis) community, I can say that I have gained much. I now understand more and more of what the common ground is between groups and focus less on the disagreements. I think this kind of tolerance comes with knowledge. Just as your article, "Humility in Knowledge and Arrogance in Ignorance" would say.

I can say that I have changed certain beliefs that I had before my "quest for knowledge." I have benefited enormously from Deoband educated imams here - as a very famous Middle Eastern Sheikh said "Deobandis know their fiqh."

There is one issue though that remains an anomaly and that really leaves me wondering. That is concerning the Maulid (or as they would say in the Indian subcontinent, Milad). Granted, there are some things that Barelwis may do which are curious, but from all that I have seen around the world the Maulid seems to be an accepted practice among Sunni Muslims. Scholars like Jalaluddin Suyuti, Ibn Hajar Asqalani and even Ibn Taimiya described it as a praiseworthy innovation.

From the Ottoman Turks, to the pre-Salafi Arabs, the Malay Archipelago, the Persian and Indo-Pak region, the Maulid was not controversial or questionable in any way. The Sudanese uprising against the colonial forces was fueled by the emotion of the Maulid (verhandelingen). This is why the colonial forces tried to quell the celebration of Maulid in order to subdue the masses.

Today the Turks (Hanafi) still celebrate it with fervor, the Malay (Shafi’i), the Bosnians (Hanafi), some (non-Salafi) Arabs, the Barelwis, the Sudanese. In fact, the only people who don’t celebrate it seem to be the Salafis, Deobandis and the Tabligh Jamaat (the Shariah base of which is of course the books and texts of the Deobandi school).

This is curious. If imams like as-Suyuti have permitted it (if it is free of blameworthiness), was he in error? Was Asqalani in error? The establishment of a day to celebrate the Maulid is completely regarded as bid'ah by Mufti Usmani, praiseworthy or blameworthy acts aside.

A.) As I explained in my article on celebration of Eid-e-Milaad-un-Nabi, holding a meeting to discuss different aspects of the life of the Holy Prophet Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam is a very meritorious act for which the Muslims should strive to the best of their ability. But confining this discussion to the events of the birth of the Holy Prophet Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam and restricting it to a particular date and holding attendance at such meetings as necessary or obligatory for every Muslim renders this practice as bid'ah or innovation. Mostly the meetings of Maulid today are of this type. Therefore, contemporary Ulema of Deoband have declared it a bid'ah.

If the life of the Holy Prophet Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam is made subject of a meeting, and the meeting is free of the above mentioned defects, nobody can call it a bid'ah. It is in this context that some scholars of the past have allowed the practice.

Answer by: Justice Mufti Taqi Usmani

A Discussion of Milad and Bid'ah

[Note: Although the question does not address the issue of Milad from a fiqh point of view, but only from a historical point of view, yet it is also important to examine the issue in that context. For the most important question for a Muslim has to be whether or not a particular act is permissible according to the Shariah, which is derived from Qur'an, Sunnah, and the practice of the Sahabah, as they understood the Sunnah. The following provides that perspective.]

The establishment of ceremonial gatherings under the banner of "Eid-Milad-un-Nabee" and attaching religious significance to them is purely bid'ah and an innovation in Deen, because neither did Rasulullah Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam himself indulge in it, nor did the illustrious Khulafaa-e-Raashideen, Radi-Allahu anhum, organize such functions. Similarly, neither did any of the other Sahaaba-e-Kiraam, Radi-Allahu anhum, participate in such gatherings, nor is there any incident on record during the blessed era of the taabi’een or tab’e taabi’een (Rahmat-u-Allahi alayhim) that can, in any way, substantiate this innovation. These people were best acquainted with the Sunnah of Rasulullah Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam and had total love for him. They were staunch followers of the Shariah.

Rasulullah Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam has in no unclear terms, said: "Whoever introduces anything that is not part of Deen, into this Deen of ours, it shall be rejected." (Bukhari/Muslim)

In another Hadith he says: "Hold fast onto my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the rightly-guided Khulafa, after me. Hold fast onto it firmly, and beware of newly-introduced practices, for every new practice is an innovation and every innovation leads one astray." (Abu Dawood/Tirmizi)

Severe warnings have been sounded in the above-mentioned Ahadith with regard to introducing and implementing innovations in Deen. The holy Qur’an enjoins: "And whatsoever the messenger giveth you, take it. And whatsoever he forbiddeth, abstain (from it). And keep your duty to Allah. Lo! Allah is stern in reprisal." [Al-Hashr 59:7]

"Verily in the messenger of Allah, ye have a good example for him who looks unto Allah and the last day, and remembers Allah much." [Al-Ahzab 33:21]

"This day have I perfected your religion for you and completed my favor unto you, and have chosen for you a religion, al-Islam." [Al-Maidah 5:3]

There are numerous other Ayat and Ahadith that can be quoted. But from no Ayat or Ahadith can the current form of "Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabee Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam" be proved.

Will such innovations grant proximity to Allah Taala? On the contrary, these innovations should be a cause of great concern and alarm for the Ummat-e-Muslimah!

It is a known fact that Rasulullah Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam is the most superior of all the Ambiyaa alaihimus-salaam and also that he is the seal of all the prophets alayhimus-salaam. He left no stone unturned in conveying Deen to us and rendering precious advice to us. If the "Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabee Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam" was a divinely inspired act, then surely Rasulullah Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam would have commanded the Muslims to it, or at least, either he or his beloved Sahabah, Radi-Allahu anhum, would have practiced it.

That is why, in the light of these unambiguous proofs, the Ulama-e-Haqq have always refuted and rejected the customary form of "Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabee Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam" and Mahfeel-e-Milad and have also always discouraged people from participating in such gatherings.

Some Wrongs of the Contemporary Milad Gatherings

The contemporary form of Eid-e-Milad-un-Nabee Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam apart from being a manifestation of Bid’ah, also encompasses other evils such as the intermingling of sexes, usage of musical instruments and many other such evils. The most abhorring and shocking evils in these functions are the acts of shirk that take place. With hollow claims of "Hubbe-Rasul Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam" (love for Rasulullah Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam) entreaties and supplications are made to beings other than Allah, namely to Ambiyaa alaihimus-salaam and Auliaa-e-Kiraam Rahmat-u-Allahi-alaaihim.

The Belief that the Prophet Comes to the Milad Meeting

Some people also believe that Rasulullah Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam comes to this function and due to this belief, they stand up in respect and veneration. This is absolutely untrue. Rasulullah Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam does not arrive at any "Eid-e-Milad-un Nabee Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam" function. He is in his Rawdha-e-Mubarak (grave) at Madinah Munawwarah and will emerge from it at the onset of Yawmul-Qiyaamah, or the Day of Judgement.

The following Ayat and Hadith testify to this fact: The Qur’an, addressing Rasulullah Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam announces explicitly: - "Lo! Thou wilt die, and Lo! They will die. Then Lo! On the day of resurrection, before your sustainer, you will dispute." [Az-Zumar 39:30-31]

At another place, Rasulullah Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam is addressed together with the rest of mankind: - "Then Lo! After that you surely die, then Lo! On the day of resurrection you are raised (again)" [Al-Muminun 23:16]

Rasulullah Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam himself has said in a Hadith: - "My grave will be the first to be opened on the day of Qiyamah and I shall be the first person to intercede and the first person whose intercession shall be accepted."

These Ayat and Hadith as well (and there are others) prove that all of mankind will be raised from their graves on the day of Qiyamah, with Rasulullah Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam being no exception. On this, there is consensus of the entire Ummah.

The Importance of Durood and Salaam

Instead of squandering our money and time on futile acts of Bid'ah let us rather utilize our precious time, as much as possible in the recitation of Durood and salaam upon our beloved Rasulullah Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam which is indeed, a highly meritorious and virtuous act. The Qur’an enjoins: - "Lo! Allah and his Angels shower blessings on the Nabee 'O' ye who believe ask for the descent of blessings on him and salute him with a worthy salutation." [Al-Ahzab 33:56]

Rasulullah Sall-Allahu alayhi wa sallam has said: "Whosoever sends one Durood upon me, Allah Taala will shower ten mercies upon him." (Muslim). Particularly on Jumuah, one should increase the recitation of Durood and salaam.

[Mufti Ebrahim Desai FATWA DEPT. Jamiat Ulema Islam. South Africa]

1. wud lyk 2 knw is the Mawlid permissable given that noone believes in the Hazir n Naazir issue n dat we dnt fink its an obligation, and we dont mke a fixed tym,rather we do it at any tym out ov love for Rasulullah SAW? I was told dat it is permissible if no corrupt beliefs interfere with it.

2. Is it permissible to kiss a great scholars hands and feet? Mufti Muhammad Shafee' (RA) wrote in his Jawaahirul Fiqh dt is ryt on certain pple but nt evry1,n it is no mor den Mustahab? Plz xplain

3. I had a dream that I kissed the Blessed Hands of the Holy Prophet SAW,but i cant remember how He SAW looks,does this it wasn't realy Him? Plz help

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Assalaamu `alaykum waRahmatullahi Wabarakatoh

We pray that Allah Ta’ala takes you safely for Haj. Please make a lot of dua for us and if you remember, kindly convey our greetings to the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم.

1) A person’s Iman is only complete once he loves Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم more than his parents, his children and all his belongings. It is narrated in Saheeh Al-Bukhari AND Saheeh Muslim that Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم has said,

15 - حدثنا يعقوب بن إبراهيم قال حدثنا ابن علية عن عبد العزيز بن صهيب عن أنس عن النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم (ح) . وحدثنا آدم قال حدثنا شعبة عن قتادة عن أنس قال قال النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم : ( لا يؤمن أحدكم حتى أكون أحب إليه من والده وولده والناس أجمعين(

“None of you truly believes until I am more beloved to him than his father, his children and mankind in its entirety.” (Bukhari 1/14 and Muslim 1/49)

It is firstly essential to discuss the issue of confining the mawlid to the month of Rabi al-awwal. It should be known that Allah Ta’ala has sent the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم with a complete way of life and made him a perfect example for the believers. Allah Ta’ala said,

لَقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِي رَسُولِ اللَّهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ

“Verily for you in the messenger of Allah there was a good example...” (Al Ahzab, 21)

Any action which does not confirm with the prophetic way of life will be rejected in the court of Allah as the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم has said,

2550 - حدثنا يعقوب حدثنا إبراهيم بن سعد عن أبيه عن القاسم بن محمد عن عائشة رضي الله عنها قالت

: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم ( من أحدث في أمرنا هذا ما ليس فيه فهو رد (

صحيح البخاري - (7 / 146 دار ابن كثير ، اليمامة – بيروت(

“Whoever innovates something in this matter of ours (i.e., Islaam), it will be rejected” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari 7/146, Dar Ibn Katheer)

The celebration of the mawlid is an innovation in religion. Neither was it the practice of the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم nor did the companions or tabi’een celebrate this occasion. The great scholar, Allamah Anwar Shah Al-Kashmiri (May Allah Ta'ala be pleased with him) has said,

وأحدثه صوفي في عهد سلطان إربل سنة ( 600 ) ، ولم يكن له أصل من الشريعة الغراء

العرف الشذي شرح سنن الترمذي - (2 / 82 مؤسسة ضحى للنشر والتوزيع)

“A sufi innovated it in the era of Sultan Irbil around the year 600 A.H, and it does not have any basis in our pure Shariah.”

Scholars state that the first person to introduce the innovation (bid'a) of celebrating the Milad was the ruler of Irbil, Muzaffar ad-Din ibn Zain al-Din. This was six centuries after the period of prophet hood.

Allaamah Muizzuddin Hasan Khwaarzimi (rahmatullah alayh) states in his book, Al-Qawl al Mu’tamad,

“The Ruler of Irbal, King Muzaffar Abu Saeed Kaukari, was an irreligious and prodigal king. He ordered the scholars of his time to act according to their opinions and discard the practice of following any school of law. A group of learned men inclined towards him. He (this king) organized Mawlood sessions during the month of Rabi al Awwal. He was the first king ever to introduce this practice.”

A ‘scholar’ by the name of Abul Khattab Umar bin Hasan bin Dihya Al Andalusi supported and assisted the king in this innovation.

Allamah Ibn Kathir (May Allah Ta'ala have mercy on him) has reported on the authority of As-Sabt about this person,

قال السبط: وقد كان كابن عنين في ثلب المسلمين والوقيعة فيهم، ويتزيد في كلامه فترك الناس الرواية عنه وكذبوه

(البداية والنهاية - 13 / 169دار إحياء التراث العربي)

Ibn Unain (Ibn Dihya) used to insult the Muslims and vilify them. He would make additions in his report and exaggerate. The people stopped narrating traditions from him and falsified him.” (Al-Bidaya wa al-Nihaya, 3/144-146)

Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalani (May Allah Ta'ala have mercy on him) has commented on him,

وكان ظاهري المذهب كثير الوقيعة في الأئمة وفي السلف من العلماء خبيث اللسان أحمق شديد الكبر قليل النظر في أمور الدين متهاونا

(لسان الميزان - 4 / 296مؤسسة الأعلمي للمطبوعات – بيروت)

“He was a follower of the Zahiri school of thought and often slandered the scholars and the scholars of the past. He possessed an evil tongue and was stupid, self-conceited, lacked insight in religious matters, and looked down upon religion.” (Lisan al-Mizan, 4/296)

From the afore-mentioned it becomes apparent which type of people innovated the celebration of the mawlid. The companions loved the Prophet the most yet they did not celebrate the mawlid. They remained alive after him for about a century, but despite their unparalleled and profound love towards the Holy Prophet (Peace and salutations be on him), they never celebrated his birthday. If the mawlid was a meritorious and divinely inspired act, then surely Rasulullah would have commanded the Ummah to celebrate it, or at least, either he or his noble Companions would have practiced on it. Since it cannot be substantiated by any action of theirs, it becomes crystal clear that celebrating the mawlid has absolutely no relationship with Islam and it is Bidáh (innovation).

Furthermore, there are numerous other vices which take place at a mawlid. Music, intermingling of sexes, squandering of wealth, omitting compulsory prayers etc. are just few of the many wrongs which takes place on such occasions. Moreover, the Celebration of the mawlid is an imitation of the Christians, who celebrate the birth of the Messiah (peace be upon him).

In light of the above, it will not be permissible to celebrate the mawlid even if a person beliefs that the Prophet is not present. Muslims should rather strive to revive the Sunnah and put an end to bid’ah (innovation); they should not do any action until they know the ruling of Allaah concerning it.

If gatherings are conducted at a random in which the love of Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم is discussed and people are encouraged to follow the Sunnah, then that is permissible on condition there is nothing un-Islamic in such gatherings.

This ruling is derived from the following narration of Saheeh Al-Bukhari and Saheeh Muslim,

6539 - حدثنا عمرو الناقد وإسحاق بن إبراهيم وابن أبى عمر كلهم عن سفيان قال عمرو حدثنا سفيان بن عيينة عن الزهرى عن سعيد عن أبى هريرة أن عمر مر بحسان وهو ينشد الشعر فى المسجد فلحظ إليه فقال قد كنت أنشد وفيه من (هو خير منك. (متفق عليه 

Abu Hurairah narrates, “Umar once passed by Hassaan who was saying poetry in the Masjid. He glanced angrily towards Hassaan. Hassaan responded, “I used to say poetry and in the Masjid there used to be one who is greater than you (meaning Nabi صلى الله عليه و سلم).” (Bukhari and Muslim)

2) As for this question we will prepare a detailed response as time permits in the near future, insha Allah. For now we will suffice by mentioning the summary of Allamah Abid Sindhi on this issue. He mentions,

“It is only permissible (and meritorious) to kiss the hands and feet of a pious scholar, a just ruler or a person who has some religious reputation. To kiss anyone else with this intention would not be permissible. The reason for this is that the Ahadith only mentions kissing the hands and feet of noble people.” (Jawahir al fiqh 1/185, Maktabah Tafseer al Quran)

3) It is reported in an authentic narration that the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم has said,

110 - حدثنا موسى قال حدثنا أبو عوانة عن أبي حصين عن أبي صالح عن أبي هريرة: عن النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم قال « ومن رآني في المنام فقد رآني حقا فإن الشيطان لا يتمثل في صورتي »(متفق عليه(

“Whoever has seen me in a dream, then verily he has seen me, for the devil cannot take my appearance.” (1/52, Dar Ibn Katheer, Beirut, Saheeh Muslim 7/54, Dar al jeel, Beirut)

It is clear from this narration that you have definitely been honoured with seeing the Prophet (Peace and salutations be on him) in your dream. It does not matter if you forgot how the Prophet (Peace and salutations be on him) looks.

And Allah knows best


Ml. Ismail Moosa,
Student Darul Iftaa

Checked and Approved by:

Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Darul Iftaa, Madrassah In'aamiyyah

Hakeemul-Ummat Hazrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (RA) on Mawli, Urs/Hawl and other ceremonies!

Translated by Abu Zainab!


Translator’s foreword:

In this era many young Deobandis, while claiming to love and follow the Akabir, are falling prey to participating in those actions that the elders of Deoband frowned upon and which are considered contrary to their minhaj – namely the ceremonies widely known as the Mawlid, the Urs/Hawl and their like.


The following is a short translation of a piece of writing by Hakim Al-Ummat Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanawi (1863-1943), which was included in Tadhkirat Al-Rasheed, the biography of Hadhrat Imam Rabbani Mawlana Rasheed Ahmed Gangohi (1829-1908) that was written after his demise. Subsequently, Hadhrat Thanawi’s writing was reproduced by Hadhrat Shaykh Al-Hadith Mawlana Muhammad Zakariyya Kandhalawi (1898-1982) in his autobiography, Aap Beeti.


The piece contains the viewpoint of Hakim Al-Ummat and Mawlana Gangohi with regards to the above mentioned issues – this is the viewpoint of all of the elders of Deoband and those who claim to follow the Akabir. Its subsequent inclusion by Hadhrat Shaykh in his Aap Beeti is a clear attestation of the subject matter by one of the leading Hadith scholars and Sufis of the last century. Hakim Al-Ummat’s stance on the issue, therefore, is equally relevant to all who are connected to the Chishti-Sabri-Imdadi tariqah – whether it is through Hakim Al-Ummat or whether it is through Imam Rabbani.

Hadhrat Hakim Al-Ummat’s writings are extremely insightful and regardless of whether we reside in the orient or the Occident; deal with issues that hold even more relevance in this day and age. Claims that the Akabir’s rulings on issues are only relevant to a sub-continental context or milieu is something which leading contemporary Deobandi ulama, who have been residing in the west for nearly 50 years now, do not accept.

It is particularly hoped that youngsters, who align themselves with the elders of Deoband, will find this interesting and are thus able to bring themselves closer to the ways of the Akabir.


May Allah almighty grant us the ability to tread in the footsteps of the elders in the way that they would have desired and wanted us to – a methodology derived from the Quran, Hadith and principles of fiqh as understood by the jurists of this Ummat before the elders, Ameen.

Hakīm Al-Ummat (may Allāh have mercy on him) says:


The effect of the company of Hadhrat Mawlānā Rashīd Ahmed Gangohī was such that no matter how worried one may have been, or no matter how much anxiety (wasāwis) one may have been experiencing, as soon one entered his presence a special type of tranquillity and firmness in the heart could be felt, by which all types of cloudiness and ambiguity would disappear. It could also be noticed that in nearly all of his murīds a complete level of correct aqīdah, firmness in religion, and in particular, a sense of hubb fillāh and bughdh fillāh (love and dislike for the sake of Allāh) could be seen. All this was a result of the blessings of Hadhrat Mawlānā Gangohī’s company. There are numerous incidents that testify to these perfect qualities.


This lowly one (Hakīm Al-Ummat) was able to gain a little faidh (spiritual blessings) and goodness from each time I was in his company and through my correspondence with him. However, on the basis of the prophetic hadīth that whoever is not thankful to people has not thanked Allah, there were two particular good things that are worthy of mention.


The first is with regards to the ilm-e-zahiri (exoteric sciences) and the second is with regards to the ilm-e-batini (esoteric sciences). A brief explanation of the first is that, in spite of having the correct aqīdah, all praise to Allah, I remained mistaken with regards to those issues upon which the ahl al-haqq (people of the truth) and the ahl al-bid’ah (people of reprehensible innovation) differed upon.


This mistake was such that from it stemmed many of my views and actions. In other words, this related to certain ‘amal-e-rasmiya, like the gatherings commonly known as the mīlād sharīf and its like, which the muhaqqiq ‘ulamā, on account of certain corrupt influences, have unconditionally prevented the general lay public from participating in and likewise also prevented the elite (meaning the ‘ulamā) from taking part in.


I have always considered these corrupt influences (mafāsid) to be reprehensible and the one who carries them out to be blameworthy – this feeling that I had felt was on account of my correct aqīdah, and I would always draw the attention of the layman towards these corrupt influences. However, a concept was settling in my mind that the reason behind the ruling of impermissibility was those corrupt influences, and therefore where the reason was absent then the ruling would also not apply. Hence, I felt there was no reason to prevent the elite, who were free of corrupt influences, from participating in those gatherings.


Likewise, I felt that there was no need to unconditionally prevent the lay public from those activities; rather, I felt that the lay public should be granted permission, and that the corrupt influences should then be corrected. In fact, I used to feel that by granting people permission to participate in such ceremonies, there was a possibility and expediency (maslahat) of people’s aqīdah perhaps being rectified – the corruption of which is the primary cause of the impermissibility. I also felt that by completely preventing the general masses, the lay masses would not understand what the corrupt influences were and that their aqīdah would also not be rectified.


For some time I remained in this state and in spite of continually being involved in the studying and teaching of fiqh and hadīth etc. my mind did not feel inclined to the contrary. How can I thank Hadhrat (may Allah sanctify his secret), he himself, with great tenderness and kindness, expressed regret about me to Molwi Munawwar ‘Alī Darbhangwi regarding this.


One of the issues that stemmed from my mistake was that I had learnt particular zikr and ashgal (spiritual exercises) from certain dervishes, who exerted much effort to mould the shari’ah to fit their personal conditions, thinking that I should take what was praiseworthy from them and leave what was reprehensible.


In fact, I had the opportunity of frequenting and remaining in the company of these dervishes. Regarding the existence of the corrupt traits that were present in their gatherings, I felt that through me the aqīdah of the elite would be rectified and that this was not blameworthy. I also felt that simply informing the lay public about what was right and wrong was sufficient in allowing me to eradicate the corrupt traits. Hadhrat Gangohi expressed regret over this especially.


It is also important to remember that Hadhrat Gangohī’s extensive kindness was similar to what has been narrated in the hadīth regarding the Prophet (sallallāhu ‘alaihi wa sallam), that out of profound kindness and modesty, He (sallallāhu ‘alaihi wa sallam) would not rebuke anyone directly. Likewise, in spite of my presenting myself many times in his company, Hadhrat (may Allah sanctify his secret) would not directly raise an objection to me. He was kind to such an extent that if somebody was to protest against me, he would interpret (ta’wīl) my actions in a positive way and would leave the issue ambiguous.


A further aspect to my mistake was that Hadhrat Hājī Sāheb (Hājā Imdādullah al-Muhājir al-Makkī, may Allah have mercy on him) had once delivered a short speech on the impermissibility of bickering and about the differences that exist in those issues (‘amāl-e-rasmiya). Hadhrat Hājī Saheb had then asked me to write a detailed paper regarding this.


Due to the fact that these ideas about the ruling of impermissibility were deeply-rooted in my mind, I wrote a paper on them and read it aloud to Haji Sāheb in his presence. Because Hadhrat would constantly remain in solitude, mingled very little with the general public, entertained positive thoughts about people, and was not fully aware of the situation, ignorance and divergence (dhalālat) of the general masses, he thought positively of the paper and even made changes in certain places.


Also, due to the fact that Hājī Sāheb (may Allah have mercy on him) had asked for the book to be written on his behalf, and because he had set his signature and seal on it, he granted permission for it to be printed under his name. It was thus published under the title Faysla Haft Mas’ala. Some individuals who lacked intelligence considered it to support their bid’āt. How could it, when it contained discourses that clearly refuted the corrupt influences found in the amal-e-rasmiya (customary practices)?!


The book only mentioned the permissibility of those actions for those who had sound aqidah and sound understanding. The idea behind the book was: how could the corrupt influences that affect the general lay masses affect the elite (khawās)?


Returning to the point of discussion, Hadhrat Gangohī (may Allah sanctify his secret) mentioned all of this to Molwi Munawwar ‘Alī Saheb, upon which Molwi Saheb mentioned it to this lowly one (Hakīm Al-Ummat), and so from the strength of Hadhrat’s spiritual blessings (faidh) in a general way I was made aware of my mistake. However, for further details I felt it necessary to correspond with Hadhrat Gangohī and subsequently letters were exchanged many times between us, which have been published in part one of Tadhkirat Al-Rashīd.


In short, the outcome was such that through insight (basīrat) and analysis (tahqīq), I was – through the favour of Allah – made aware of my mistake. And through being made aware a great door of knowledge was opened to me, which had for quite some time remained locked and which in short was a realisation that the reason for the prohibition in reality was the divergence of aqīdah.


The corruption of aqīdah (that comes as a result of customary practices) is widespread, regardless of whether the person committing the action is the one whose aqīdah is corrupt or whether the person committing the action is the sabab (cause for the aqīdah of others to become corrupt). So, if the one committing the action is an ignorant layman, then his aqīdah will become corrupt and if the one committing the action is from the elite (khawās, including the ‘ulamā) then, even though he may be of sound aqīdah himself, on account of him the aqīdah of the masses will be made corrupt. It is clear that there is a prohibition in becoming the cause of the divergence of others.


Moreover, although by delivering a speech it is possible to admonish the public in relation to the corrupt traits, all of the masses, however, cannot be rectified, nor do all of them listen to the speeches delivered there (where these customs are practised). Hence, if an ordinary member of the public was to hear about the actions of an elite person participating in the amal-e-rasmiya but did not hear the discourse calling for the reformation of those actions from corrupt influences, then that individual would be the cause of the lay person diverging (dhalāl).


Clearly, it is reprehensible to be the cause of divergence for even a single individual, regardless of whether or not there exists some sort of expediency (maslahat) in participating. A well-known principle (of fiqh) states that in whichever action an expediency and corrupt trait gathers, and according to the shar’iah that action is not something that is required, then in such a situation the action will be abandoned. Hence, in line with this principle, one should not be concerned with the acquiring of those expediencies. Rather, one will abandon the action to save oneself from those corrupt influences.

It should be borne in mind that if corrupt traits are to appear in those actions that are necessary, then the compulsory actions will not be abandoned. Rather, one will endeavour to remove those corrupt traits. All these rulings and principles are found in the prophetic traditions and the (accepted) principles of fiqh.


It should be clear to the intelligent reader that all this has already been mentioned in my book Islah-e-Rusum (The Rectification of Customs). When my views regarding this issue were rectified, then all those issues that stemmed from them, by the grace of Allah, were also rectified. Hence, I was also rescued from remaining in the company of and meeting with dervishes whose actions were contrary to the shar’iah. I have also written and published an amendment to Faysla Haft Masala through which any doubts relating to a sense of negligence and excess in the matter were removed…

Aap Beeti (part 6 — Yaad-e-Ayyam 5, page 334-337)

Nazim Kutub Khana Yahyawi, Madressa Mazahir Al-Ulum, Saharanpur, India.

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