Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Part 13: Was Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) given the knowledge of unseen?

From the Layman’s Desk: Islamic Article No.18:

Part 13: A Brief Survey: Was Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) given the Knowledge of Unseen?

In the Name of Allah, Most Beneficent, Most Merciful.

As we have seen earlier, the Deobandis/Wahhabis deny, among other things, that Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) was at all given knowledge of the unseen by Allah (swt).  The muslims of Ahlus sunnah say and believe that Allah alone has the self knowledge of unseen and He bestows this to any one whom He wishes.  Knowledge of the Unseen is one of Allah's prerogatives, exclusive to Him except insofar as He discloses it to His elect servants.  The last 12 Parts of this Article have been devoted to proving just this.  In the beginning we have already pointed all the Quranic verses regarding the Knowledge of the Unseen.  Some clearly show that Allah (swt) does reveal His secrets and some knowledge of the unseen to his prophets.  We also produced sound hadiths in support.  There is no error in holding that Allah (swt) bestows a part of the knowledge of unseen to his prophets and they convey it to their successors.   We already noted before that the Qur'an states: Allah will not leave the believers in the state in which ye are now, until He separates what is evil from what is good "NOR WILL HE DISCLOSE TO YOU THE SECRETS OF THE UNSEEN, BUT HE CHOOSES OF HIS MESSENGERS (FOR THE PURPOSE) WHOM HE PLEASES" So believe in Allah. And His messengers: And if ye believe and do right, ye have a reward without measure. (3:179) The beautiful ayah of Surah al Imran 3:179 is ''one of the'' Qati'i Nasoos  for  Prophet  (Peace be upon him)'s Knowledge of Unseen. The context of this ayah proves that Munafiqeen doubted the knowledge of Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) about Imaan and Kufr of people who are yet to be born whereas he does not recognize us.  Here is Tafsir of the ayah:  
Rasul Ullah (sal Allahu alaihi wasallam) said: My Ummah was presented to me in their shapes of clay like they were presented to Adam (as) and I have known who shall believe and who shall do Kufr. When  Munafiqeen found out about this they laughed and said: Muhammad (sal Allaho alaihi wasalam) claims that he knows about Imaan and Kufr of people before their birth whereas we are with him and he does not recognize us.  When the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و آله وسلم) found out what Munafiqeen said, he then stood up on the pulpit, did Hamd and Sana of Allah and said: What will be the situation of those people who found faults in my knowledge, I will explain to you everything from now onwards till the day of judgement. [Tafsir al Baghawi, Tafsir al Khazin, Under 3:179]  Hence from Nass of Quran (i.e. categorical proof of Qur'an) It is established that Ilmul Ghayb is Dhaati (personal) Sift of ALLAH alone but also At’ai (granted) Sift of Prophet (sal Allaho alaihi wassalam).  If this point is understood then Insha'Allah all so called debates on Nafi-O-Isbaat (negation and affirmation) of Ilm ul Ghayb shall end.  This means that ALLAH knows by Himself and is Aalim ul Ghayb (a title, which we mentioned earlier, which cannot be given to anyone else.  Wahabis/Deobandis lie that Ahlus Sunnah believe Prophet to be Aalim ul Ghayb) and he holds the keys of Unseen.  This in no way means he does not teach "ILM UL GHAYB" to anyone.  Wahabis practise hyypocrisy by misquoting Qur'an where Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) denies Dhaati Ilm ul Ghayb not his Ata'i Ilm ul Ghayb.  Regarding the Quranic verses which  deny knowledge of the unseen and extraordinary powers, the reader is urged to understand that those verses really mean that independently the prophets are incapable of knowing the unseen and performing miracles.  And this is our stand too, since it is Allah alone who grants these gifts to his prophets.  So let not the Najdis/Deobandis  beguile you into thinking otherwise!  

We have already explored that many scholars held the view that Allah Most High had granted the Prophet (upon him  blessings and peace) that knowledge before he left dunya. This is confirmed by his own words in which he indicated that his knowledge of the unseen (`ilm al-ghayb) was formerly partial then became complete at a later point. This completion took place first in dream as expressed in the hadith “everything became manifest to me” (al-Tirmidhi, hasan sahih); then while he was awake when he said in the famous hadith of the eclipse, “Nothing whatsoever that I had not been shown before is left but I was shown it while I stood right here” (al-Bukhari and Muslim). There are many other proofs that were listed 18 years ago in Shaykh Hisham’s Encyclopedia of Islamic Doctrine, chapter on the Prophet’s `Ilm al-Ghayb. We have also discussed the last verse of Surah Luqman and the views of the Moroccon  Shaykh Abdullah Ghumari explanation of the hadith regarding Prophet’s (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) knowledge of the unseen ‘except the Five’.  Again, nor is the Prophet's knowledge after his life in dunya in any way lessened. Rather, the contrary is true, as established in the following hadith:  My life is a great good for you, you will relate about me and it will be related to you, and my death is a great good for you, your actions will be presented to me (in my grave) and if I see goodness I will praise Allah, and if I see other than that I will ask forgiveness of Him for you.  The soundness of the this hadith has been explained at great length by the Sunni scholars and therefore we need not listen to those who try to show that the above hadith is a forged one,  since they soundly stand refuted.  Just one quote out of the many:  Qadi Shawkani writes:  "Our Prophet (sallal laahu ‘alaihi wassallam) knows the actions of his Umma. When he sees them doing something good, he is happy and when he sees them doing bad actions he makes du'a for them" [Qadi Shawkani, Nayl al-Awtar]  We reiterate that Shaykh al-Islam, Hafiz Ibn Hajar al-'Asqalani, writes:  "One of the qualities bestowed upon a Prophet is the quality that he knows what has already happened in the past and what will happen in the future" (Fath al-Bari, Chapter on the Anbiya). 

We must remember that after Allâhu ta’âlâ, the most honourable and sacred entity within Islam is the personality of the holy Prophet Muhammad (sall-Allâhu ta’ala ‘alaihi wa sallam), the Chosen One, and his respect is mandatory upon every Muslim. There are Quranic verses and many ahadith concerning reverence towards the holy Prophet (sall-Allâhu ta’ala ‘alaihi wa sallam).  To state shortly, Allah (swt) commands us to revere and honour the holy Prophet (sal Allaho alayhi wasallam) (Qur’an 48:8-9).

We now turn to the Najdis who, according to the righteous scholars, are worse than even the Mu'tazala: for the Mu'tazala denied the Honourable Awliya the knowledge of the Unknown but not the Prophets; while the vicious Wahhabia have denied the Prophets themselves.  As per the Wahhabis, one who claims to know something from knowledge of the Unseen is a taghut or false deity (Ibn `Abd al-Wahhab, al-Usul al-thalatha, end)!  Also, no one except Allah has the knowledge of the unseen. And if any one ascribes knowledge of the unseen to anyone except Allah , then he becomes a mushrik!  Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen: “The ruling on one who claims to have knowledge of the unseen is that he is a kaafir, because he has disbelieved in Allah.”  “Those who claim to have knowledge of the unseen future are all fortunetellers”.  [Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, 1 Shawwaal, no. 115] 

Let us see their own Takfir against their own Imam.  It is also well-known that the Wahhabis/Najdis/Ahle Hadith/Salafis don’t accept the Miracles (karaamaat) of the Awliya-Allah and yet this book, The Lofty Virtues of Ibn Taimiyya speaks of the miracles of Ibn Taimiyyah!  The Book, The Lofty Virtues of Ibn Taimiyya has among its Table of Contents at page 22 Ibn Taimiyya’s “Miracles and Incredible Foresight”, while the explanation for the suffix 42 is given at the bottom of the page…which reads as below :
The occurrence of miracles (karamat) to the awliya’ is a reality that is agreed upon between the scholars of Ahlus-Sunnah, and is proven in the Qur’an and authentic Sunnah. For example, the Qur’an contains the story of the People of the Cave, while the Sunnah contains stories of the Angels greeting ‘Imran bin Husayn, to name a few.  It may be stated that according to the meaning given by the Wahhabi Shaykh Google  the word FORESIGHT is “The ability to predict or the action of predicting what will happen or be needed in the future.” Why we have taken the meaning of this word from google is because when these self-called ahle hadeeth can’t answer us they say that the sunnis have misinterpreted the words.  

It is mentioned in pages 22-25 of The Lofty Virtues of Ibn Taimiyya, written by Hafidh Abu Hafs 'Umar bin 'Ali al-Bazzar and Translated By Abu Sabaayaa:  “And I was told by the righteous Shaykh ‘Uthman bin Ahmad bin ‘Isa an-Nassakh (may Allah be Pleased with him) that he would visit the sick in the hospital in Damascus every week, and this was a constant habit of his. He once came to a young man and supplicated for him, and he was quickly cured. He came to the Shaykh wanting to greet him, and when he saw him, he smiled to him, pulled him close, gave him some money, and said: “Allah has healed you. So, promise Him that you will quickly return to your homeland. Is it right for you to abandon your wife and four daughters without a provider while you sit here?”  The man kissed his hand and said: “Sir, I repent to Allah on your hand,” and he later said:  “I was amazed at what he knew about me, as I did leave them without any provision, and nobody in Damascus had known of my situation.”
And I was told by someone I trust that some judges were on their way to Egypt to assume positions there, and that one of them said:  “As soon as I arrive in Egypt, I will rule that such and such of the noble scholars should be killed.”  Everyone had agreed that this scholar was righteous and pious. However, this man’s heart contained such hatred and enmity to him that it drove him to want him dead. Everyone who heard him say this became worried that he would actually carry out his threat to kill this righteous man, and they were afraid that this man who wanted to be a judge would be led by Satan and by his own desires, causing him to spill sacred Muslim blood - they feared the great evil that would result from such an action.
So, they went to Ibn Taymiyyah and told him of exactly what had taken place.  He said:  “Allah will not allow him to carry out what he wants, and he will not even get to Egypt alive.”  The judge had a very short distance to travel until he would arrive in Egypt when he was suddenly stricken with death.  So, he died before arriving in Egypt, just as Allah had revealed on the tongue of the Shaykh…” [pages 22-25 of The Lofty Virtues of Ibn Taimiyyah]. 
Again, on Page 34 of the same book:  “If I had to swear standing between the corner of the Ka'bah and the spot of Ibrahim, I would swear that I have not laid my two eyes on anyone like him, nor has he seen anyone as knowledgeable as himself.” - al-Hafidh adh-Dhahabi
We read in Al-Uqood al-Duria by ibn Abdulhadi al-Maqdisi, page 326:  “Such as this wise man he could cite the commandments that came down from the heavens and earth.”  Al-Maqdisi is a Salafi, trying to praise his Master:  "To him, Ibn Taymiyyah knew all the divine commandments from Adam (as) to Prophet Muhammad (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam). But, we think that is unseen knowledge!"  [Al-Uqood al-Duria, page 326]
Well...well how about that?  

Now let us see the reports by Ibn Qayyim, a direct student of Ibn Taymiyyah and not to forget an eyewitness to the happenings...

We read the below-mentioned accounts in Madarij al-Salekin by Ibn Qayyim, Volume 2: 

Page 489:  He (Ibn Taymiyyah) informed his companions about the invasion of the Tatars in Shaam in year 699 H, and that the Muslim army would be defeated, but there would neither butchery nor capture. The army would only seek money. This was (foretold) prior to the Tatar marching.  Is this prediction a claim to unseen knowledge?

Page 489:  Then he (Ibn Taymiyyah) told the people and the commanders in year 702 when the Tatars marched towards Shaam: that they (the Tatars) will be defeated and the victory will be for the Muslims.  He gave seventy oaths on that. They (the people) said to him: ‘Say inshallah.’  He replied: ‘Inshallah for sure, no comments.’  I heard him saying that when they (the people) insisted on him, he replied:  ‘Do not insist, verily Allah wrote it in the Guarded Tablet that they (the Tatars) shall be defeated in this battle and the victory will be for Muslims’.  Ibn Taymiyyah made a prediction, and swore seventy(70) times to its authenticity. When the people kept doubting him, he told them the source of his information: the Lau al-Mahfuz (the Guarded Tablet).  It is in the heavens, and Wahhabi/Salafi's do not accept that even the Holy Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) had any access to it?

Pages 489-490:  "When he was sent to Egypt and they wanted to kill him after they made a plot against him. His friends gathered to bid farewell to him and they said to him: ‘We have a succession of messages that they intend to kill you.’ He replied: ‘By Allah they will not be able to achieve that.’ They asked: ‘Will they put you in jail?’ He replied:‘Yes, and I will be there for a long time, after that I will be released.’

We also read:  "When his enemy who is known as Jashengir became the king, they (people) informed him (Ibn Taimiyah) about that and said: ‘Now he has reached to his desire.’ Then he (Ibn Taimiyah) prostrated to Allah in sake of thanking.  They said: ‘What is the reason for this prostration?’ He replied: ‘This is the beginning of his ignominy and losing his power.’ They said: ‘When will that happen?’ He replied: ‘The army when it marches to al-Qurt, he will be defeated.’ Then it happened exactly as I had heard from him.’

Page 490:  It was not just about predictions. Ibn Taymiyyah could also reveal one’s thoughts!  "On more than one occasion, he told me (Ibn Qayyim) about internal things regarding me from the things that I wanted to do but my tongue didn’t mention them."

Page 490:  ‘He told me (Ibn Qayyim) about some great incidents that will take place in the future. But he didn’t specify the time. Some of it I saw and I wait to see the rest.’

On a last note, he performed great miracles, in addition to the ones mentioned.

We read in Al-Alaam al-Alya by Salafi scholar Umar bin Ali bin Musa al-Bazar: 

Page 57:  During the days when I was in his company, whenever he began to discuss an issue, and a question came to my mind, before I raised it, he would answer it.

We also read:  “The pious Sheikh Ahmad al-Herimi told me that he traveled to Damascus and he said: ‘When I arrived, I didn’t have money to use and there wasn’t anyone there whom I knew. So I kept walking hesitantly through the streets. Then suddenly a Sheikh came towards me in a speedy manner. He smiled to me and placed a bag of money in my hand and said: ‘From now on, use it, and do not worry about anything, Allah will not let you.’ Then he went as if he had only come for me. Then I prayed for him and felt happy. Then I asked about the Sheikh with whom I had met on my way. They replied: ‘You don’t know him?’ He is Ibn Taimiyah.”

Page 58:  “Sheikh Taqiuddin Abdullah son of Sheikh Ahmad bin Saeed said: ‘I traveled to Egypt when the Sheikh (Ibn Taimiyah) was residing there. I arrived there at night and I was very ill. Hence I visited some place. Then I heard a sound of someone calling me by my name and nickname. I answered, though I was feeling weak. Then a group belonging to the Sheikh (Ibn Taimiyah) that I had already met previously in Damascus entered.  I said to them: ‘How do you know I arrived even though I arrived at this time?’ They replied: ‘The Sheikh (Ibn Taimiyah) told us that you arrived and you are ill and ordered us to transport you.’ Then I knew that this was a miracle from the Sheikh may Allah be pleased with him.”

Page 58: He (Sheikh Taqiuddin Abdullah son of Sheikh Ahmad bin Saeed) also said: ‘I fell ill in Damascus and was so severely ill that I could not sit up. Then I felt the Sheikh (Ibn Taimiyah) standing over my head whilst I was suffering from fever and sickness. He prayed for me and said: ‘You will become healthy.’ When he left me I automatically got healthy.

Page 59:  “Sheikh ibn Emaaduddin al-Mutrez said: ‘I went to the Sheikh and I had limited money. I greeted him and he greeted me and welcomed me and didn’t ask me if I had money or not.’ After some days my money finished. Therefore I wanted to leave his class after praying with the people. But he held me back and when the people left he gave me some money and said: ‘You don’t have money. So use this.’ I wondered with regards to that.”

We have shown a few examples how these Wahhabis (self called ahle- hadeeth) claim something which, according to them,  is not possible for RasoolALLAH sallallahu alaihe wasallam and they on other side prove the same for their scholar. “We say to them: How can you possibly have knowledge of the unseen when the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) did not have knowledge of the unseen?”  “Are you better or the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)?”

Before we conclude it is very important to understand that Allah’s knowledge is boundless.  This has been explained beautifully by Imam Ahmad Raza  (reh. ) who stated that knowledge of what happened in the past and what is to occur in the future (ilm ma kana wa ma yakun) cannot be the essence of Allah’s Knowledge as time has boundaries and Allah’s Knowledge is boundless. He believes that his opponents undermined Divine Knowledge saying  “We have shown that the knowledge of Allah cannot be restricted both in light of religious evidence and rationally. When Wahhabis read books written by the religious scholars and their followers, and therein study the knowledge of the unseen possessed by the Noble Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) in light of the Qur’an and Hadith, and reach the point that the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) possess knowledge of every past and future event from the beginning of creation till the last day, their reaction is to issue fatwas of shirk and kufr upon these writers. They accuse them of equating the Prophet’s knowledge with Allah’s Knowledge. These Wahhabis are flawed in making this assumption and are incorrect. They themselves in fact fall into the pitfalls of kufr and shirk due to this statement, as they level the limited and measurable knowledge [of creation] to the boundless and infinite (ghyar mutanahi).

To sum up, the Righteous Scholars of Ahle Sunna have written extensively and have established beyond the pale of doubt regarding Prophet’s (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) knowledge of the unseen and future events.  Such scholars also include Qadi` Iyad (1083-1149 c.e.) who wrote al-Shifa' fi ma`rifat huquq al-mustafa (The Healing Concerning the Knowledge of the Rights of the Elect One), and Imam al-Qastallani (1447-1517 c.e.) who wrote al-Mawahib al-laduniyya bi al-minah al-muhammadiyya (The Gifts from Allah: the Muhammadan Dispensations).  These scholars have proven the falsity of ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab who preached that one who claims to know something from knowledge of the Unseen is a taghut or false deity (Ibn `Abd al-Wahhab, Three Principles of Oneness)!  In the same manner, the Wahabbi-inspired Deobandis (“Gulabi Wahhabi”) too are rejected for speaking out falsehood against the Prophet’s (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) knowledge of the unseen and future events.  The evidence regarding the Unseen Knowledge of the Holy Prophet sal Allahu alayhi wasallam is too overwhelming to be narrated here and it stands uncontroverted and irrefuted.  We seek refuge in Allah from such statements that smack of enmity to Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasalla) and Allah’s Pure Religion.
I repeat:  Lots and lots of evidence in favour can be adduced on this subject.  The proofs for Ilm-e-Ghaib are so numerous that the Wahhabi Deobandis can be buried under the evidences. How can the devil’s disciples understand the extent of Prophet’s (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam)  Knowledge of Unseen bestowed on him by Allah (swt) when they have no sense at all of Allah’s limitless and boundless Knowledge of the Unseen which is “Dhati” but in fact there is nothing Unseen for Him!   Being a layman with little knowledge, I have only contributed my Two Cents.  I conclude the article with the warning that denying Ilme Ghaib merits Allah’s Wrath:  “Evil is that for which they have sold their souls– that they should deny what Allah has revealed, out of envy that Allah should send down of His grace on whomsoever of His servants He pleases; so they have made themselves deserving of wrath upon wrath, and there is a disgraceful punishment for the unbelievers.” (Surah Baqarah (2): Verse 90)

May ALLAH save us all from the Fitnah E Wahabiyyah in all its forms and manifestations.  Aameen. In the next concluding part we shall bring some ahadith shareef to show that the emergence of Khwarij (i.e. the Kharjis) and their modern prototypes such as the Wahhabis, Tablighis and their offshoots,  and the Fitna they would cause,  were already known to the Holy Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam). 

Peace and Blessings upon the Prophet, his Family, and his Companions

Allah and His Rasool knows best.

Continued in Part 14. 


Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Part 12: A Brief Survey: Was Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) given the Knowledge of Unseen?

From the Layman’s Desk: Islamic Article No.18:

Part 12: A Brief Survey: Was Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) given the Knowledge of Unseen?

In the Name of Allah, Most Beneficent, Most Merciful.

Imam Ahmad Raza Khan al-Qadiri (1856-1921 c.e.) highlighted several differences between Divine Knowledge and Prophetic Knowledge in numerous works giving some of the most definitive and convincing arguments:  “We do not believe in the equality [of creation’s knowledge] with Allah’s and neither do we uphold it can ever be attained independently and we do not establish except some knowledge [for creation] which is granted by Allah.” He clarified in Khaalis al-I’tiqaad that he never held any of the following views that he Prophet’s knowledge (Allah give him peace and blessings) is personal and intrinsic; that the Prophet’s knowledge (Allah give him peace and blessings) is equal to Allah’s except that Allah’s is eternal and his is contingent; that the Prophet’s knowledge (Allah give him peace and blessings)encompasses everything in Allah’s Knowledge with the exception of His essence and attributes; that the Prophet’s knowledge (Allah give him peace and blessings) effectively encompasses, with complete detail, all everlasting matters (umur gayr mutanahaiyah bil-fi’l). He asked his opponents who alleged he claimed equality between Allah’s knowledge and the Prophet’s (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) to present their evidence.

As we have noted earlier, the Deobandi scholars attribute knowledge of the unseen to their elders and scholars, but are reluctant to do so for the Holy Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wassalm).  Since Allah says in Quran that Allah gives the knowledge of the unseen to those whom He chooses in the various Qur’anic verses, the Deobandis simply do not want to accept this when the Ahlus Sunnah relate it to the Holy Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam).  Thus, on the one hand they don’t believe that the aforesaid Quranic verses and the sound hadiths are sufficient to establish Prophet’s (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) vast knowledge; on the other hand they rely on a non-existent hadith that the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhis wasallam) lacked knowledge of what was behind the wall! According to them this is sufficient for them to prove an Aqidah point!!!   They show disrespect to our Prophet (sal allahu alayhi wa sallam) and elevate their own cult scholars. What more evidences is needed to prove that these Elders and scholars have flouted the Quranic injunctions and have indeed shown disrespect to prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam), trying to lower his (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) status and personality in whichever way they could!!!  Regarding the Prophet’s (sal allahu alayhi wasallam) knowledge of unseen, there is another glaring example of their blasphemous assertions in the Baraheen-e-Qatia which is discussed below.

Radd e Baraheen-e-Qati’a:
Many books were written by Sunni scholars in refutation of  Khaleel Ahmed Ambethvi’s Baraheen-e-Qati’a the Deobandi book which contains many blasphemous statements – for example: “Knowledge of Shaitan and Malakat-ul-Maut is more than the Holy Prophet’s (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam).” NAUZ BILLAH! [Khaleel Ahmed Ambethvi in Baraheen-e-Qatia, written in 1303 AH/1885 c.e, p.148. Later editions include Baraheen-e-Qatia (Pg51, Published By: Muhammad Ishaq Maalik Kutb khana Rahimia Saharanpur in 1365 AH, Written By: Khaleel Anbethwi]  Now let’s explore the fact where the Deobandis have credited the accursed Iblis with having more knowledge than the Holy Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam):

“The final result is: By pondering over the knowledge of the earth possessed by angel of death and satan , one should not use this analogy to prove that prophet (sal Allahu ‘alaihi wasallam) also had the similar knowledge, as there is no documentary evidence for this.  Isn’t this belief (that prophet also had the knowledge of the unseen) a CLEAR SHIRK, and if not, then which part of Iman (belief) is it?  Because such extensive [knowledge] for the Angel of death and Shaytan is proved from Quran and Sunnah [nusus e qatyi`ah]. Where is any such absolute evidence to prove the extensiveness of the knowledge possessed by prophet, sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam which refutes all absolute documents in order to prove one polytheistic belief?”  And then he continues his attack on the Best of the creation (sal Allahu alaihi wasallam) and says:  “Hence , mere presence of the soul (Ruh) of Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wasallam) in Illiyeen and his being higher than angel of death does not mean that the knowledge of Rasul Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wasallam) is higher than or even equal to the knowledge of angel of death in these fields.”  Molvi Khaleel Ahmad said that the knowledge given to angel of death and satan from Allah is proven from Qur’an and Sunnah, but if someone thinks that Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) also was given knowledge of the unseen from Allah , then it is SHIRK! 
Molvi Khalil Ahmad Ambethwi thus compared the knowledge of angel of death with Prophet’s (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) knowledge and he in fact lowered the knowledge and status of Prophet (sal Allahu alayihi wasallam).  In all this, he was aided and abetted by Molvi Rasheed Gangohi the self-professed Wahhabi. (Khaleel Ahmed had actually written it at the behest of Molvi Rasheed Ahmad).  Extolling these blasphemous statements, Rasheed Ahmad Gangohi says on the 51st page of Baraheen-i Qati'a that: “Khaleel Ahmad's book was a blessed one, and kept it at the place called 'Bait-i 'ain-i Islam.'”

Regarding the above, Molvi Rahmatullah Kairanwi (1818-1891) wrote: “I used to think of Molvi Rasheed Ahmad as “Rasheed” but he turned out to be other than this. He has tried hard to prove the knowledge of Rasoolullah sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam to be less than that of Shaytan and has called it Shirk to believe otherwise.” [page 419,“Taqdees al-Wakeel ‘an Tauheen al-Rasheed wa al-Khaleel” ( Urdu) which is the book-form of the actual debate organized by the Nawab of Bhawalpur between Sunni Molvi Ghulam Dastagir Qasoori and the Deobandi Molvis Khaleel Ahmad and Mehmudal Hasan.]  The debate resulted in the ouster (zila badar) of Molvi Khaleel Ahmad from Bhawalpur for his anti-Islamic and evil beliefs.  Though Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki (reh.) was the Pir (spiritual preceptor) of Molvi Khaleel Ahmad, yet he along with Molvi Rehmatullah Kairanvi (reh.) signed in favour of the Ulema of Ahlus Sunnah.  Also, his another disciple, Mawlana Abdus Sami Rampuri stated in his book Anwaar-e-Saatiah that the knowledge was given by Allah to His most beloved prophet.  Compare this: One disciple Molvi Khaleel said that to have a belief that prophet had the knowledge of unseen is SHIRK whereas Mawlana Abdus Sami who was also a Khalifa of Imdadullah Muhajir Makki (and not of Imam Ahmad Raza – which the Deobandies would like us to believe), praised prophet when he said when lower creatures (with respect to prophet) like angel of death are given knowledge of unseen by Allah, then how can someone say Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) is not given knowledge of unseen by Allah?

Comments of Islamic scholar Muhammed Munawwar Ateeq in his Research Paper, are relevant here.  He said that an objective investigator of Baraheen-e-Qati’ah would realize that “these authors not only committed shirk according to their own standard by proving vast knowledge for Satan – which they considered shirk when proven for the Prophet (Allah give him peace and blessings)- but also violated their own standard for accepting textual evidences in aqidah as they offered a baseless report to establish an aqidah point that the Noble Prophet (Allah give him peace and blessings) did not possess knowledge of the unseen whereas they themselves demanded decisive textual proof to prove the vast knowledge of our Prophet (Allah give him peace and blessings)! These authors in fact openly argued that the Noble Prophet’s knowledge (Allah give him peace and blessings) was so limited that he did not even have knowledge of his own fate (Allah forbid!).”   Citing many other reasons, the learned Researcher said: It is clear to any objective reader of Baraheen-e-Qati’ah, therefore, that its authors employed every effort to support the Satan and disparage the Noble Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam).  Of course, Deoband scholars have attempted to refute him - but in vain!

It is to be noted here that incredible as they may seem, but such are the blasphemous utterances by the “Akabirs” of Deoband!   Even a simple layman knows from the Holy Qur’an that the Angels thought they had more knowledge than any creation that Allah (swt) would create, but Allah (swt) preferred Adam over the Angels in honour and knowledge!!!  As reported in Tafsir of Ibn Kathir, Muhammad bin Ishaq reported that Ibn `Abbas said, "Before he undertook the path of sin, Iblis was with the angels and was called `Azazil.' He was among the residents of the earth and was one of the most active worshippers and knowledgeable persons among the angels. This fact caused him to be arrogant. Iblis was from a genus called Jinn.''  Iblis envied Adam (a.s.) and thought he was better than Adam (a.s.)! Was he?  According to Qur’an: 002.033:  He said: O Adam! Inform them of their names, and when he had informed them of their names, He said: Did I not tell you that I know the secret of the heavens and the earth? And I know that which ye disclose and which ye hide.  Iblis was cursed because of his arrogance, pride and disobedience to Allah (swt)! Therefore, the part of knowledge taught by Allah to Adam (a.s.) is higher than the one taught by Him to the angels. Allah ordered the angels to learn the names of things from Adam (a.s.); but He ordered the universes to learn about Allah Himself from the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam).    Also, according to Qur’an (Surah Baqarah) 2:37: “Then Adam received (some) words from his Lord, so He turned to him mercifully; surely He is Oft-returning (to mercy), the Merciful.”  These were special names which Allah informed Hazrat Adam (a.s.) as a favour.  According to Imam Suyuti in al-Durr al-Manthoor vol. 1 p. 58, this name included the name of Prophet Muhammad (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) through whose medium (waseelah), Hazrat Adam (a.s.) was forgiven.  The knowledge of Adam (alaihis salaam), who is first Khalifa (vicegerent) of Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) is a drop in the ocean when compared with the knowledge that Allah Ta'ala gave to his beloved Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam). How could the Deoband Molvis attribute more knowledge and honour to the Angel of Death, and worse, to Iblis in comparison with Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) who is the reason for Allah the Almighty’s creating the Universe; and who is the cause of forgiveness of our father Adam (a.s.) as is also evident from the ahadith of Umar ®, Ibn Abbas ® and Maysara ® with different chains varying from weak to strong! 

Anyway, as stated earlier, for these anti-Islamic writings, two hundred and sixty eight (268) scholars from the Indian subcontinent and thirty three (33) scholars from Harmayn Sherifain declared the fatwa (verdict) of kufr upon Deoband Elders including Khaleel Ambethwi.  Hussam al-Haramayn (The Sword of the Two Sancturies) is the famous book of Imam Raza Khan al-Qadiri (reh.) that contains their Fatwas of Kufr – Al-Mo’tanad al-Mustanad  (The Reliable Proofs) along with their verdicts, comments and testimonials.  In his excellent endorsement to Husam alHaramain of Imam Ahmad Raza, the grand Shafi Mufti of Madina Munawwara, Shaykh as-Sayyid Ahmad al-Barzanji (reh.), regarded the Deobandi passages on the Prophetic Knowledge as clear insults and infidelity.  According to him, the statement in al-Baraheen al-qati‘a  is blasphemy for two reasons:  “The first reason is that Devil has more extensive knowledge than the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam), and it is a clear belittlement of the Holy Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam).  The second reason is that he has termed the extensiveness of the knowledge of the Holy Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) as polytheism. All the leaders of four schools of thought have made clarifications that whosoever belittles the Glory of the Holy Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) is a disbeliever and whoever declares anything belonging to Faith as polytheism and unbelief is unbeliever also.”  Also, according to the venerable Shafii Shaykh, the Deobandis used a false precedent (khalf al-wa’id) to establish “the proposition of the possibility of falsehood or lie” for Allah Most High!

In this connection, however, an Islamic scholar informs us that according to the Deobandis,  Shaykh as-Sayyid Ahmad al-Barzanji (reh.), who was a contemporary of Ahmed Raza Khan, allegedly wrote a book against the latter, entitled “Ghayat al-Mamul fi Ilm Ghayb al-Rasul”.   It is to be noted that at the time when Imam Ahmed Raza Khan met Mufti Al Barzanji, the latter was visibly handicapped since he had lost his eyesight.  As such he could not personally go through Ad dawalatul Makkiyah .  So the book was read out to him.  In these circumstances, it is not possible to hold that the Mufti wrote the book.  Assuming that the book was dictated by him to someone else, as the Deobandis say, then the least what the Deobandis must do is to establish the identity of the scribe.   That is the minimum criteria to accept any manuscript, and Deobandis have to establish the “sama'at" for this, in accordance with the criteria laid down by Imam Suyuti  for accepting manuscripts.  As per the Deobandi version of the story, this original manuscript was taken from Mufti Barzanji and brought to India and never returned!   Now who was the person who had brought this manuscript to India and who published the book written from this manuscript for the first time, is something which all the Deobandis should tell to this world!  According to them on a website, they are also trying to find out the Manuscript of this work and have been going to "Middle East manuscript centers" in search of this 'missing manuscript'!  The said learned scholar even tries to give them some helpful tips by stating that the Deobandi methodology for tracing the book is wrong.  When a book has been printed then the first step is to read the first edition of that book and find out what was the source of that book.  If it was a manuscript then the author mentions the details of the manuscript, such as its location, etc.  So Deobandis must look for the First Printed Version of Ghayat Al-Ma’mul and reveal to the world about the source.   And if they are still bent upon proving their Aqidah , they should provide PRESENT details of this manuscript…”.   We all are still waiting for their feedback all this time but in vain!

While just surfing some websites cursorily, I came across some Deobandis posting questions such as:  “Isnt there any arabic nuskhah of the book available, anywhere? So that we can show the brlvis, esp gf haddad?”  One of them admits on the website: “Your request for an original Arabic copy is important since this is not a matter of the trustworthiness of the Deobandi scholars, but, as one scholar stated, of ‘expert verification’ requiring ‘solid description of provenance and of the physical manuscript’.  We need manuscriptal experts in this regard since it is strikingly odd otherwise that such a *recent* manuscript be altogether unknown in the Hijaz in addition to the fact that it goes against what the Barzanji family of Iraq and the Ahly Bayt of Hijaz generally believe in.”  Be that as it may, the fact is that Mufti Barzanji’s work was manipulated by some Deobandis who took it to India and published it after altering the text.  This forgery in Gayat al-Ma’mul equated the knowledge of Allah and the knowledge of Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam), attributing it to Imam Ahmad Raza.  What an absurdity for a forgery!  The fact remains that Mufti Ahmad al-Barzanji confirmed his fatwa of kufr on those passages in Gayat al-Ma’mul, which despite being altered and having a murky publication history, still contains this confirmation in the opening!  In the meantime the provenance of the alleged manuscript has never been determined!

Shaykh Muhammad Saeed bin Baabseel Ash-Shafi’ (1829-1921), Mufti of the Shafi’ order in Mecca wrote: “After sending praise and salutations, I have seen that which that learned person and professional teacher has purely written. It is a struggle on behalf of the religion of Muhammad. In other words, my brother and my respected Hadrat Ahmed Raza Khan who in his book “Al Mu’tamadul Mustanad” has refuted the evil leaders of the false sects and false beliefs. Such people are worse than all evil, wicked and seditious people. Our author, in his book, has summarized and stated the names of those wrongdoers, who due to their wrong doings, are soon to become the worst and the lowest amongst the infidels.”  He had also supported Ghulam Dastagir Qasoori’s Taqdis ul-Wakil.  

Shaykh Uthman bin Abdus Salam Daghistani (1853-1907), Mufti Madinatul Munawarah wrote: “O Readers! It is essential for you to hold on to this Kitaab which its author has written with great swiftness. You will find this book bright and evident proof in refutal of these groups. Especially those individuals who intend to undo the objective, which is already bound. Who are these individuals who are known as Wahabis? From amongst them is Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani who has claimed Prophethood, and the other ones who have come out of Deen and insulted the dignity of the Holy Prophet (Sallallaho Alaihi Wasallam) are Qasim Nanotvi, Rasheed Ahmad Gangohi, Khalil Ahmad Ambethvi and Ashraf Ali Thanwi and all those who follow their ways.   “Almighty Allah grant Imam Ahmad Raza Khan great reward for he has given cure and has answered his decree which is in his book, “Al Mu’tamadul Mustanad”, in which are also the decrees of the Ulema of Mecca and Medina. Due to the corruption and trouble, it has become necessary for them as they (the misguided) are spreading corruption on this earth. They and all those on their path.”

Shaykh Umar bin Hamadan Almahrasi (1875-1949), Ustaz ul-Ulema and Muhaddith Harmain Sharifain  at the Masjid-e-Nabawi wrote: “After peace and salutations, I put my sight on the book of a learned person on this earth. He has widened the path of knowledge and, in it (the book) made obvious every interpretation and utterance in his clearly convincing and sufficient arguments. He is Hadrat Ahmad Raza Khan on whose name is “Al Mu’tamadul Mustanad”.  “May Almighty Allah protect his life and always keep him happy. Now, that which is in refutal of those people, cursed and evil Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani, who is the Dajjal Kazzab of the last decade. Rasheed Ahmad Gangohi and Khalil Ahmad Ambethvi and Ashraf Ali Thanwi, degrading and insulting Nabi (Sallallaho Alaihi Wasallam). Then, it is no doubt that they are kafirs and those who have the power to execute them, then it is necessary for them to do so, to give them the death sentence.” 

The Thirty-Three (33) scholars of the Two Holy Sanctuaries had condemned Deoband as Wahhabis.  The Deobandi Molvi Khaleel Ambethvi (d.1927) wanted to please the Arab scholars of Ahlus Sunnah  and to show that the Deobandis were not Wahhabis.   Now, please note how the Deobandi-track changes:  In 1907 c.e.,  the official Deobandi Aqida book al-Muhannad ala al-Mufannad (The Sword on the disapproved)  was published in the sub-continent for the first time.  Before Al-Mohannad, the  Deoband Molvi Rasheed Ahmad had said: “If anyone has this belief that prophet  had the knowledge of the unseen, he is a mushrik” (Fatawa Rashidiya); and according to their scholar Khaleel Ahmad Ambethawi, anyone who thinks that Prophet had knowledge of the unseen is in clear Shirk. (Baraheen-e- Qati’a).   Now in a tactical shift to their original blasphemous statements, Question Eighteen (18) was framed in Al Muhannad:   Do you say that the knowledge of the Prophet (upon him be peace) is limited only to the laws of the Shari'ah or was he given knowledge pertaining to the Essence, Attributes and Acts of the Maker (Exalted is His Name), the hidden secrets (al-asrar al-khafiyyah), the divine judgement (al-hukm al-ilahiyyah) and other than of that of which none from creation, whoever he may be, reached the pavilions of His knowledge?  Please note their answer:  We say with the tongue and we believe in the heart that our master, the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace), is the most knowledgeable of all creation, with sciences pertaining to the Essence and Attributes [of Allah], legislations (tashri'at), of the practical rules and the theoretical rules, the true realties and the hidden secrets, and other sciences, that none from creation reached the pavilions of His courtyard, neither an angel brought nigh nor a messenger sent. (Al-Muhannad).   Further, “It is our belief that whosoever says that so and so is more knowing than the Holy Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) is a polytheist, and our elders have pronounced fatawa of polytheism against a person who says that Shaitaan, the accursed, is more knowing than the Holy Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam).” (al-Muhannad ‘ala al-mufannad).  So as per Khaleel Ahmad Ambethavi, he and his teacher Gangohi both are kafir because they both affirmed Satan and the angel of death to be more knowledgeable than prophet!
There are many other questions and answers in Al-Muhannad  such as acceptance of Tawassul, etc., to clearly pretend that Deobandis do not follow the Wahhabi creed but we cannot discuss all that here.  Al Muhannad has only deceived people since Molvi Khaleel Ahmed did not write those beliefs which were present in Deobandi books. The Deobandis will give a list of scholars who signed Al Muhannad but they will shy away from giving the comments of many scholars who signed it.  Also, Deobandis should present the book in the original form in which it was presented to the Arab scholars, that is, in question and answer form, so that everyone can see the truth!  Al-Muhannad clearly distorts the texts and denies the clear meanings saying that Satan was never described more knowledgeable than the Noble Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam).   It also conceals the fact that Rasheed Gangohi and Ismail Dihlawi denied knowledge of the unseen from the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) considering it shirk to believe in it and denies Ashraf Ali Thanvi’s comparing the Prophetic Knowledge to that of lowly creatures calling such comparison kufr!  Khaleel Ahmad presented a Fatwa that contradicted the unofficial beliefs of Darul Ulum Deoband but one will not find him justifying their Kufr in al-Muhannad ‘Ala Al-Mufannad. 

Of course, leading Sunni scholars were wise enough from what followed after Al Muhannad that this was a ploy to falsely refute Hussam Al Harmayn.   Pointing to Muhannad’s gross deceit, Shaykh Gibril Haddad commented in the footnotes of Albani & His Friends (2004: p. 145), “Yet in al-Muhannad, the same author al-Saharanpuri [Khaleel Ambethwi] states (p. 38) that no creature ever received what the Prophet [Allah give him peace and blessings] has received in the knowledge of the first and the last, whether angel brought-near our Prophet-Messenger ... These flip flops were examined by Na’im al-Din Moradabadi (d.1367 AH) in al-Tahqiqat li-Daf all-Talbisat (Lahore).”  In short, the Muhannad is a dismissive and deceitful text carefully crafted by Khaleel Ambethwi to mislead readers regarding the controversial statements of the elite Deobandi ulama.

To summarize, the Deobandis had to publicly withdraw and repudiate their own statements of disbelief in al-Muhannad ‘ala al-mufannad.  The Haramayn Ulama did not alter their opinion about the nature of such ugly words. Molvis Khaleel Ahmad and Thanvi had to concur with Imam Ahmed Raza (reh) in order to get their school reinstated.  Husam al-Haramayn is an authentic book written by a truthful and conscientious scholar.  G.F. Haddad says: "As for the Dawla al-Makkiyya of Imam Ahmad Rida Khan, it is a truly perfected jewel that would be enough proof of its author's grand mastership in Tawhid.  It is probable that anyone that reads it with an authoritative teacher and then denies its pure Sunni character of the highest order is himself not yet - or not anymore - a Sunni, wal-`iyadhu billah."  Sunni scholars wrote many books in support of Hussam Al Harmayn.  One book is by the name 'Hussam Al Harmayn ke 100 saal' (Pages:51) [Book:5]  by Dr. Lateef Hussain Saeedi and another one by name 'Al Sawawam al Hindiya' (Pages:218) [Book:6]  by Munazir-e-Islam Maulana Hashmat Ali Khan Sahab Qadri.   Allama Mawlana Muhammad Hashmat Ali Khan (reh) also wrote Radd Al Muhannad – Ulama-e-Deoband ke Maqr wa Faraib [Refutation of Al Muhannad: Deceptions and Frauds] (Book 3, pages 128).  

Imam Kattani wrote Jala al-Qulub during the scholarly controversy concerning the scope of the Prophet’s knowledge of the unseen in the Hijaz. He himself pointed at the beginning and end of his text that he wrote this work due to the conflicting views among the ulama (p. 34) and it is noteworthy that he resided in the Hijaz for 8 years between 1328-1336H when al-Dawlah al-Makkiyyah was circulating among scholars and its several endorsements were being written and when the controversy was alive and pertinent in the Hijaz. Imam Kattani (1857/1858-1927) the celebrated author of Jala al-Qulub, highlighted that none of the Sunni scholars ever disagreed on the matter that the Beloved Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) possessed knowledge of the unseen; that all of them agreed that the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) was the most knowledgeable individual in creation; and that all of them honoured Prophetic Knowledge. 

Sunni Muslims say and believe that Allah alone has the self-knowledge of unseen and He bestows this upon anyone whom He wishes.  Sarkar-e-Madina (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) ko Allah ki ataa se ilm-e-ghayb haasil hai.  In the words of Peer Saquib al-Shami:  “Allah ne huzoor ko har voh shay ka ilm de diyaa jo huzur naheen jaante theh.  Yeh naheen, ke Allah ne apnaa saaraa ilm de diyaa…”   According to Dr. Tahir ul-Qadri, absolute denial of Prophet’s (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) knowledge of the unseen is Kufr (Unbelief), i.e. “Mutalaqan inkaar karna Kufr hai”.  Any person who accepts any creation to have more knowledge than Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) is a Kaafir: - Shifaa Sharif.  The Holy Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) is the most knowledgeable of all of Allah’s عزوجل creation.

To be concluded in Part 13….


Sunday, February 8, 2015

Part 11: A Brief Survey: Was Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) given the Knowledge of Unseen?

From the Layman’s Desk: Islamic Article No.18:

Part 11: A Brief Survey: Was Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) given the Knowledge of Unseen?

In the Name of Allah, Most Beneficent, Most Merciful.

Earlier, we noted many ahadith.  According to a hadith, the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) said 'Ooteetul ilmal awwaleena wal  Aakhireen" (Meaning  - I have been bestowed with the knowledge of the past (present) and future creations. Prominent scholars like al-Haytami, al-Qari, Abu’l Su`ud, and many others stated that  the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) had knowledge of everything encompassed in the tablet and pen.  Ahmad Rida Khaan al-Bareilawi (reh.) said in Khalis al Itiqaad p 38: "The Knowldege of the guarded tablet, the knowledge of the pen, and the knowledge of whatever existed and of whatever will exist are  part of the knowledge of the Prophet."  This is proven by the fact that all of the above concern whats takes place until the Rising of the Hour, and al-Bukhari and Muslim narrated from Hudhayfa, Abu Zayd al-Ansari, and other Sahaba that "The Prophet e stood among us [speaking] for a long time and did not leave out one thing from that time until the rising of the Final Hour except he told us about it. Whoever remembers it remembers it and whoever forgot it forgot it. All those who are present know this."    The sources of knowledge of Unseen of Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) are: (a) Direct, (b) Indirect, and (c) Prophetic Vision. Direct Knowledge - The above Ahadith and verses refer to the direct knowledge bestowed upon him. Indirect knowledge - The  Quran, was sent to Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) as official document via Hazrat Jibreel (AS). Prophetic Vision - In addition to the above two sources, the knowledge of Unseen was  disclosed to Prophet Mohammad (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) by way of "Prophetic vision".  In this category, the World of Souls (Aalam-e-Arwah), the World of Similitude (Aalam-e-Mithaal) and Prophetic Dreams are included. There are many Ahadith that describe the events unfolded in the past or that will happen in future till the Day of Resurrection and beyond.  This knowledge was bestowed to Prophet Muhammad (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) directly from "Ilm-e-Elahi" (Allah's -SWT knowledge).  Under this category he might have witnessed how things unfolded in the past or will happen in future.  Or may be he was simply informed about them by Allah (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) directly. Please refer to the earlier parts of this Article.  So the opinions of the dissenters do not hold water!  In the book of Ahmad Yaar, Mawa'iz Naimiya p 192 it is written: "The Prophets know the unseen from their birth."  This is established by the doctrine of [the real] Ahl al-Hadith that Prophets are Prophets from birth, and the meaning of Nabi is one who informs others about the unseen.

The Deoband Akabirs’, on the contrary, claim for themselves what they deny for the Holy Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) and as we noted before.  Some of the incidents of their power of perception that verge on the knowledge of unseen and even their being Haazir wa Naazir were presented in earlier Parts.  Here’s another example:  

Ilm-e-Ghayb of Molvi Rasheed Gangohi:

Meer Wajid ali Qannawji narrates this incidence from his Shaykh Molvi Qasim that once he (Molvi Qasim) went to the (town of) Gangoh. There was an earthen pot kept in the "Khankah".  He took that earthen pot and put it in the well to get some water.  When he drank the water, it was bitter.  At the time of Zuhar Salah, he met Hazrat ( Rashid Ahmed) and told about the bitter water. Hazrat (Rashid Ahmed) told that the water of this well is very sweet.  He then presented that earthen pot filled with water to Hazrat (Rashid Ahmed).  When Hazrat (Rashid Ahmed) drank the water he also found the water to be bitter.  Hazrat said "OK,  leave it here",  and he went for Zuhar Salah. After finishing Zuhar Salah , Hazrat    (Rashid Ahmed ) told everyone present there to recite" Kalima Tayyab" as much as they could.  Hazrat also recited Kalima Tayyab and after some time raised his hand, made Dua (supplication) and rubbed his hands on his face.  After that, he took that earthen pot and drank water. It was found very sweet.  Every one drank the water and there was no bitterness in it. Then Hazrat said: "This earthen pot is made from the soil of a grave whose inhabitant was under "punishment of the grave".  Alhamduillah, due to the blessings ( barakah) of kalima Tayyab the punishment has now been taken off.  (Tazkiratur Rashid, vol 1, page 271) (old edition, vol 2, page 212)

From the above, the following points arise:  Molvi Rasheed Gangohi  came to know (how else but by ilm-e-ghayb) that the earthen pot was made from the soil of a grave. This, despite the fact that he was not present when the potter had collected the soil and shaped a pot.  Yet, he came to know the origin of the soil! The Molvi knew what was happening to the inhabitant of the grave, namely, that he was undergoing the punishment of the grave and this he correlated to the cause of the bitterness of the water in the pot.  He could even know that the inhabitant of the grave was no longer undergoing the punishment of the grave as a result of the blessings of Kalima Tayyab.

Now that we have seen Rasheed Gangohi’s claim as above,  let’s see what Rasheed Gangohi says regarding Prophetic Knowledge.   Rasheed Gangohi says: “Whosoever considers the Messenger of Allah (Allah give him peace and blessings) was a knower of the unseen is undoubtedly an infidel and mushrik according to the Hanafi scholars.”  He added, “As for their saying that his knowledge of the unseen of all things is not intrinsic but is granted by Allah Most High is purely absurd and from their fables.” This fatwa was signed by the following Deobandi scholars: Abul Khayrat Sayyid Ahmad, Muhammad Ya’qub, Ahmad Hazarwi, Mufti Azizur Rahman, Abdullah Ansari, Muhammad Mahmud al-Hasan and Muhammad Is’haq. “Is prayer [salah] permissible behind someone who considers the Prophet (Allah give him peace and blessings) has knowledge of the unseen?”  To which he replied in clear words in his Fataawa (3: 113), “Prayer [salah] is invalid behind whoever establishes for the Messenger of Allah (Allah give him peace and blessings) knowledge of the unseen, which is exclusive to Allah Most High, because it is kufr and prayer behind him is unlawful. Such is stipulated in al-Durr al-Mukhtar”.   Under the subheading in his Fatawa “the Messenger’s knowledge of the unseen”, Rasheed Gangohi writes (p. 244 of Daarul ’Isha’at – Karachi), “Hazrat (Allah give him peace and blessings) did not have knowledge of the unseen nor did he ever claim it. The Word of Allah (i.e. Qur’an) and numerous hadiths tell us that he was not a knower of the unseen and believing he has knowledge of the unseen is explicit shirk”.  Rasheed Gangohi similarly states in Mas’alah Ilm-e-Ghayb p. 154, “All four Imams of the schools unanimously concur that prophets, upon them peace and blessings, are not informed of the unseen”.  FATWA OF RASHEED GANGOHI: “When Prophets don’t have knowledge of unseen then saying ‘O Prophet (Ya Rasool ALLAH)’ would be invalid too. If one says while keeping this faith that he listens from far away via knowledge of unseen then this (belief) itself is infidelity.”  (Fatawa-e-Rasheediya, part 3, page 90, by Rasheed Gangohi)  

Now firstly, it must be stated that in Radd al-Muhtar which is the primary reference book for Fatawa according to the Hanafi jurisprudence, Allama ibn Abidin had denounced Wahhabism and called Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab as the Khwarij of our Time.   Allama Ibn Abidin states: ‘…As it has occurred in our times with the followers of Abd al-Wahhab al-Najdi,  who appeared from Najd and imposed their control over the two sacred Harams. They used to  attribute themselves to the Hanbali School but they believed that only they were Muslims and that whoever opposed their beliefs were polytheists (mushrik), thus they considered the killing of those who were from the Ahl al-Sunnah and their scholars to be legitimate, until Allah Most High destroyed their might and power.’ (Radd al-Muhtar, 3/339-340, chapter regarding the followers of Abd al-Wahhab, the Khawarij of our times)”.  Yet  Molvi Rasheed Gangohi ignored this ruling while issuing his aforesaid Fatwa.  Of course, the claim that he did not know about the Wahhabis, their enmity with the Ahle Sunnah as well as the ruling in Radd al-Muhtar, is just an eye-wash! The interesting part is that according to Arwahe Salasa, page 292, Molvi Rasheed Gangohi could find a ruling in Radd al-Muhtar even after literally losing his eye-sight, the details of which we need not mention here.   It must also be stated here that calling Prophet Mohammad (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) as 'Ya Rasulullah (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam)'  is not infidelity but a must.  It is important because the great Imams of Fiqh and Ahadith ( Imam Ahmad, Ibn Abi al-Dunya, Abu Nu'aym, Bayhaqi, Ibn Asakir, etc.  have mentioned this in their books and all their books were written after the death of Prophet Muhammad (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam).  Calling Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) as 'Ya Rasulullah, Ya Habeeballah, Ya Muhammad, Ya Habeebana,  Ya Mustafa (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) (after his death)  is also confirmed by Tirmizi, Nasa'i, Ibn Huzeema, Hakim and Baihaqi.   Arif Billah Sayyid Muhammad Uthman al-Mirghani al-Makki al-Hanafi (d. Mecca, 1268 A.H./1852) said on page 14 of his work Akrab at-turuki ila ‘l-haqq: Think of Rasulullahâ’s  (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) presence facing you, his seeing and hearing you! Even if you are far away, Allahu ta’ala makes your voice be heard and displays you. Here, being near or distant is the same. All these passages show that Rasulullah (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam)  sees and hears those who think of facing him. The founder of Jamaat at-tabligh does not believe in this. He prohibits it even if it would be out of extreme love and says that the Prophet does not see or hear those who think of him. This word of his, however, stems from the basic Wahhabite tenet that states, “The dead do not hear.”  The most correct comment on this subject is the following fatwa of Ahmad ibn Hajar al-Haitami, the last of profound ulamaâ, which is written on the ninth page of the second volume of Fatawa al-kubra which is not being reproduced here for brevity’s sake and digression.  However, in fact coming to the Deobandis themselves, we have already mentioned Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki’s views on Ilm-e-Ghayb earlier and this is what the Pir of Molvi Thanvi and others,  (1814-1896) says:

“O the Grandeur Messenger! This is appeal; O Muhammad Mustafa (salALLAHu alaihi walayhi wassalam)! This is appeal.
I’m stuck in severe hardship nowadays; O my solver of difficulty (Mushkil-Kusha)! This is appeal.
Free me from the caption of grief; O great king! This is appeal.”
(Naala-e-Imdaad Ghareeb Munaajaat, page 18, by Haji Imdadullah Sahib). 

While continuing with the opinions of the dissenters and opponents who, despite the Quranic verses and the overwhelming ahadith shareef, don’t acknowledge that Allah bestowed a partial knowledge of the unseen on Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam), we note to our utter horror and regret that these scholars who call themselves Muslims should stoop to the level of making blasphemous and highly condemnable statements against Muhammad Mustafa sal Allahu alayhi wasallam to score a point on the false pretext of Shirk and Bidah.  Mind you, such things are happening even now at the hands of deviant preachers – many a time in a subtle garb.    We shall not digress into all the details concerning what is blasphemy, its categories and consequences but shall just mention that, generally, according to Islamic scholars, to compare any quality of the Noble Messenger (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) to disgraceful things or say that it is equal to such things is an explicit blasphemy and infidelity (kufr).  Imam lbn-e Hajar in his work Al-Aalam, in chapter of Approved Unbelief, has quoted references from the illustrious religious scholars as follows:  “Whoever utters blasphemy, or whoever appreciates it or shows pleasure upon it, commits blasphemy”.   Blasphemous statements from Deoband Elders and scholars are found throughout their literature but all of them cannot be mentioned in this brief survey.  They are condemnable and have been refuted by the scholars of Ahlus Sunnah.  Accusing those who maintain that Allah acquainted the Prophets with matters of the unseen with kufr [disbelief], is the act of the Kharijites who attribute the verses of shirk [polytheism] to Muslims. In the context of ilm-e-ghayb, Shirk means to believe that a person is able to know the unseen by himself without attributing it to Allah the Almighty.

Blasphemy in Hifzul Iman while relating ilm-e-ghayb:

Anyway, the position of Ahlus Sunnah regarding Prophet’s (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) Ilm-e-Ghayb has been clearly expounded by Shaykh Ahmad Rida Khan (reh.) who stated that the Prophet's  `ilm al-ghayb is partial (juz'i), non-exhaustive (ghayr ihati), bestowed (`ata'i) and not independent (ghayr istiqlali) as established once and for all by the Qur'anic verse {the knower of the Unseen, and He reveals unto none His secret save unto every messenger whom He has chosen} (72:26-27).   Such other Quranic verses we have already mentioned in earlier parts of this Article.

Now, it seems that the part relating to partial ilm-e-ghayb did not go down well with the Deoband Elder, Molvi Ashraf Ali Thanwi and so he made ugly and blasphemous statements:  "If Zaid (meaning anybody) holds the belief that the sacred personality (of the holy Prophet) had the knowledge of the unseen is true, still the question is: does this knowledge of the unseen encompass all things or is it confined merely to some of them? If it means knowledge of only a few unseen things, then how is it that he (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallam) bears the stamp of distinction in this respect? Such knowledge of the unseen is also possessed not only by a Zaid or an Amar (i.e. every Tom, Dick and Harry) but by the epileptics and the insane, the animals and the beasts as well" (Hifz-ul-lmaan, Page 7 & 8, by Ashraf Ali Thanvi.)  It should be noted that the epithet "such" is not only used in the sense of "being like something" but is also used in the sense of "in like measure" and "this much" and this is what is meant here (in Molvi Thanvi’s writing).

As pointed out by Islamic scholar, Muhammad Munawwar Ateeq, the point Thanvi desired to establish was that there was no specialty in the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) possessing knowledge of the unseen when such kind of knowledge was also possessed by other lowly creatures. He not only made an ugly comparison that demeaned the lofty station of our Beloved Prophet  (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) but also ignored the crucial point that virtue was not restricted to full knowledge (kull ghayb), but in fact, even partial knowledge was virtuous.  For example, the degrees among ulama are considered virtuous even though their knowledge is partial. Thanvi did not pause for a moment and ponder as to why he was honoured by the title “hakeem al-ummah” among his mureeds and why his elders, such as Rasheed Gangohi,  were revered with lofty titles such as “Qutb-e-Alam” if virtue was restricted to full-knowledge alone that is only for Allah Most High?

It is common knowledge that if anything is compared with a respectable thing, it implies respect - whereas on the contrary, if anything is compared with a disgraceful and shameful thing, it implies defamation and disrespect. No learned person can deny the authenticity of this interpretation.  Undoubtedly, therefore, Molvi Thanvi is guilty of insolence towards the Holy Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam).  By comparing the knowledge of the Holy Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) with that of animals and lowly creatures, he has definitely committed the heinous crime of insulting the Holy Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam).  Deobandis say that to make the meaning clear the Molvi made changes in the text; but this is another lie. He made changes when muslim population read this and started hurling invectives against him.  He never did any tawba and all that he did was to change the word 'aysa' (this sort of), and this word is used for “misl” (similitude),”itnaa” (this much) and  “is qadar” (this much).

Imam Ahmad Raza Khan (reh.) translated the aforesaid blasphemous statements word by word into Arabic; but without resorting to any interpretations.  This translation he presented to the scholars of Harmayn Sherifain for their consideration and opinion.  For this anti-Islamic writing, two hundred and sixty eight (268) scholars from the Indian subcontinent and thirty three (33) scholars from Harmayn Sherifain declared the fatwa (verdict) of kufr upon Ashraf Ali Thanvi al-Deobandi.  However, it needs to be reiterated here that this Fatwa on Molvi Thanvi was issued NOT for his denial of Prophet’s (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) knowledge of unseen, but for his blasphemy against the Holy Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam).  Even  their own scholars have expressed their disgust at the blasphemous contentions of Molvi Thanvi and labeled them as “Aqbah” (most abhorrent), and “Stinking of Kufr”.   

Without going into the many details, according to the Islamic scholars there is Ijma'a (consensus) that he  who insults the Prophet Sallallahu 'Alayhi wa Sallam is a Kafir." (Radd alMuhtar vol.3/p.294).  Elsewhere he (Ibn Aabideen) says: "I say, and I have seen it in Kitaabul Kharaaj by Imam Yousuf that if a Muslim slanders the Messenger Sallallahu 'Alayhi wa Sallam or belies him (kadhdhaba) or finds fault ('aaba) or degrades (tanaqqasahu) be it known that he has disbelieved in Allah Ta'alah and his wife goes out of his Nikah.. (Baanat minhu imra-atahu)" (Radd al-Muhtar vol.3/p.291).  The above fatawa are from Radd al-Muhtar, Volume Three. This is the same volume that Nuh Keller quotes in defense of the Deobandis. However, Keller neglects to mention that a Muslim who slanders, belies, finds fault, or degrades the Messenger has disbelieved in Allah Ta’ala and his wife goes out of his Nikah. This is the postion of Imam-e-A’zam, Abu Hanafi  and his followers, such as his famous student Imam Yousuf . And the Shafii school concurs!

Interestingly, the Darul Uloom Deoband issued a Fatwa:  FATWA OF KHALEEL AMBETHVI:  “The person who equalizes Prophet’s knowledge to Zaid o Bakr, insane, children or animals is purely an infidel.”  (Almuhannad, page 36, by Khaleel Ambethvi).
However, it may be remembered that this is the same Khaleel Sahranpuri who had said "Knowledge of Shaitan (Satan) and Malakat-ul-Maut is more than that of the Prophet (sal Allahu alayhi wasallam) Nauz Billa.  (Baraheen-Qatia written in 1303 AH/ 1885 C.E. P.148.  This forms the part of our discussion in our next instalment.
Continued in Part 12....