Дин моҳиятини тушунган кимсаларга сир эмаски, Оллоҳ заиф ва ночорларнинг ҳаққига катта ахамият берган. Заифлар деганда камбағаллар, мусофирлар, ғариблар, етимлар, қариялар, аёллар, ижтимоий баланд мартабада бўлмаганлар ва ҳ.з.лар назарда тутилади. Тангри Таъоло заифлар ҳаққини эътиборга олганининг энг яққол далили шуки, Улу Ал-ъазм бўлмиш беш пайғамбарлардан бирига, унинг энг асосий вазифаси қилиб заифлар ҳаққини ҳимоя килишни юклаганидир. Мусо (алайҳиссалом)га Худо томонидан икки вазифа юклатилган бўлиб, бири фиръавнни инсофу-ҳидоятга чақириш бўлса, иккинчиси мазлум бўлмиш иккинчи даражалик фуқоролар яъни бану Исроил қавмини зулмдан қутқариш эди. Тафаккур қилинса, иккала вазифанинг туб маъноси бир эканлигини кўриш мумкин. Яъни, фиръавнни инсоф-ҳидоятга чақиришдан асосий мақсад, унинг зулмини тўхтатиш бўлган. Демак, заифлар ҳаққини ҳимоя килиш пайғамбарлик вазифасининг энг муҳим қисми ҳисобланади, зеро энг ҳурматли беш пайғамбарлардан бирининг жўнатилишидан асосий мақсад, заифларни ҳимоя килиш ва уларни зулмдан қутқариш эди. Бу дегани Мусо пайғамбардан бошқа пайғамбарлар зиммасига заифлар ҳаққини ҳимоя килиш юклатилмаган дегани эмас. Худо бошқа пайғамбарларга ҳам заифларга ёрдам беришга амр қилган. Жумладан, Лут пайғамбарнинг қавмлари йўл тўсарлик қилиб келгиндиларга зулм ўтказиш билан шуғулланганлар. Бу ҳақида Қуръони Каримнинг бир неча жойда зикр қилинган (Анкабут; 29). Шуайб пайғамбар қавмларининг тарозидан уриб қолиш одатлари бор эди. Ўша пайтларда бу одат бой ва ҳурматли кимсаларга нисбатан қўлланилмай, балки фақат оддий фуқоролар ва келгиндиларга нисбатан ишлатилган (Худ; 86). Муҳаммад алайҳиссалом зиммаларига ҳам заифларни ҳимоя қилиш юклатилган. Масалан Қуръонда: Қуршовда чорасиз қолиб кетган қари кишилар, ёш гўдаклар ва аёллар жонига қасд қилаётган золимлар зулмини бартараф қилиш тўғрисидаги буйруқ нозил этилган (Нисо; 74); Арабларнинг аёлларни мерос ҳаққидан маҳрум килганликлари қораланган (Фажр; 19); Бир неча оятларда етимлар ҳаққини еб кетиш қораланган. Худо айтадики: “кимки етимлар ҳаққини исроф этиб ўзи еса, у худди олов-чўғни егани билан тенгдир. Улар тез орада дўзахтаъмини татиб кўришади (Нисо; 10); Камбағалларга молиявий ёрдам кўрсатмаслик ва бой одамларни бу нарса қизиқтирмаслигини танқид қилган оятлар нозил бўлган (Фажр 18); Эрлар ўз хотинларини муъаллакаҳ қилиб қўйишларини қоралаган оятлар бор (муъаллаках дегани, аёлларнинг ҳақиқий хотин сифатида бўлмаслиги, лекин айни пайтда, эрнинг унга талоқ бермаслигидир, Нисо; 129). Бу каби мисолларни чексиз давом эттириш мумкин. Минг афсуски, ҳатто бизнинг замонимизда ҳам баъзи жойларда мазлумлар ҳақлари поймол килиниб, ўша фиръавн замонига мос зулм ҳолатлари ҳали ҳам давом этмоқда. Масалан, чекка шаҳар ёки қишлоқлардан катта шаҳарларга кўчиб келганларнинг ижтимоий мартабаси паст ҳисобланиб, уларни турли ҳил камситувчи лақаблар билан чақиришади, етим йигитдан совчи келса, кўп ҳолатларда рад жавоб берилади, баъзи Исломий манбаъларда, ҳатто, етим киши намозда имом бўлмоқлиги макруҳлиги айтилган. Баъзи жойларда, аёлларнинг мерос ҳуқуқлари йўқ ва ҳ.з. Пайғамбарлар бу каби зулм етказувчи одатларга қарши курашишлари лозимлиги Худо тарафидан илзом килинганидек, уламоларнинг ҳам бу иллатлардан жамиятни халос этишга ҳаракат қилмоқликлари вожибдир. Ханафий уламоларининг аёлларга берган ҳуқуқларини қисқача кўриб чиқсак. Бу мавзу жуда кенг ва кўп қиррали, бир мақола дорасида уни ҳар тарафлама баён килиш мушкул. Лекин, умид қиламизки асосий фикрларнинг зикр этилиши, уламолар, талабалар ва бохисларнинг янада чуқурроқ илмий изланишларига туртки бўлади. Талоқ бериш ҳуқуқи Ислом динида шаклланган мазҳаблар дорасидаги ажрашиш қонунлари дунёвий давлатлар қонунидан тубдан фарқ қилади. Масалан, дунёдаги аксарият давлатларда талоқ бериш ва ажратиш ҳаққи қози cудья ҳукмига ҳавола қилинган. Бу давлатларда, эр ва хотин ажрашиш мақсадларини, унинг сабабларини билдирадилар, лекин, ажратиш ёки ажратмаслик қози иҳтиёрида бўлади. Ислом уламолари эса бу масалага бошқача қарашган. Ханафий уламоларининг бу борадаги бир қатор фикрларини қараб чиқайлик. Уларнинг фикрича, ажрашиш (талоқ бериш) ҳаққи турли ҳолатларга қараб, бир неча тоифа инсонлар ихтиёрида бўлади. Жумладан, эр, хотин, хотин валийси (отаси, амакиси ва ҳ.з.), қози кабилар. Бу тоифа инсонларни ҳар бирини алоҳида зикр қилиб, қайси ҳолда ажралиш ҳаққи берилишини ва бу фатволарнинг манбаъларини айтиб ўтамиз. Хотин Хотин қуйидаги ҳолатларда эридан ажралишига ҳаққи бор: Никоҳ келишувида талоқ унинг ҳам ихтиёрида бўлишлиги шарт қилинган бўлса. Никох аҳдидан сўнг, эри унга талоқ қўйиш ҳаққини берса. Бу келишув икки йўсинда бўлиши мумкин – ямин фавр яъни суҳбат давомида ҳаққи бўлади ва ямин мутлақ - бу ҳақ унга доимий қилиб берилади (Мухтасар Викоя 59). Баъзи жойларда норасида гўдакларни ёшликдан бир-бирига никоҳлаб қўйиш одати жорий бўлса, қиз балоғатга етганидан сўнг, ўз хоҳиши билан ажралишга ҳаққи бор ва куёв бунга қаршилик қила олмайди. Бунинг шарти шуки, никоҳни болаларнинг отаси ёки бобосидан бошқалар қилган бўлишлиги керак. (Мухтасар Кудурий китоби 146, Мухтасар Викоя 51). Киз мажбурлаб эрга берилган бўлса, мажбурлаган кишилар томонидан таҳдид йўқ бўлган пайтда, аёл ўз хоҳиши билан ажралишга ҳаққи бор. Бу ҳақ баъзи уламоларнингфикрича, биринчи фарзанд туғилгунича қолади. Қолган уламоларнинг наздида эса,бу ҳақаёлда доимий қолади (Ал-Бахр ал-Раик; 8; 141). Келиннинг валийси Келиннинг валийси деганда, унинг қариндошлари назарда тутилади. Мисол учун, отаси, бобоси, амакиси, акаси, укаси, бўласи ва ҳ.з. Имом Аъзам мазҳабларида, балоғатга етган қиз валий ризосисиз эрга тегиш ҳаққига эга. Аммо, қуйидаги ҳолатларда унинг валийси ўқилган никоҳни бекор қилишга ҳақлидирлар: 1. Агар қиз ўз тенгига тегмаса. Тенги деганда, фиқҳда Куфъ сўзи ишлатилади. Йигит бир неча масалада қизга тенг бўлиши назарда тутилади, мисол учун, насаб, касб, ижтимой ва иқтисодий ҳолати. Шунга бинонан, агар қиз ўз тенги бўлмаган йигитга тегса, унинг валийлари никоҳни бузиб, уни ажратиш ҳаққига эга бўладилар. Бу ҳақ то биринчи фарзанд туғилганича сақланиб қолади. Баъзи уломаларнинг фикрича, фарзанд туғилгандан кейин ҳам бу ҳақ қолаверади (Мухтасар Кудурий 146). 2. Қизнинг махр ҳаққи камайтирилганда. Фиқҳда махр мисл деган сўз билан келиб, у муносиб махр маъносини билдиради. Муносиб бўлганлигини билиш учун, у қизни яшаб турган жойидаги урф-одатга мурожаат қилинади ва бу қизга ўхшаш қизлар мисол қилиб олинади. Одатда, кизнинг амакиси тарафидаги бўлаларини қиёс қилиб олинади. Агар куёв қизга махрни мислдан кам қилиб берса ва уни беришдан бўйин товласа, қизнинг валийлари уларни ажратиш ҳақлари бор, ҳатто никоҳ ўқилганига бир қанча вақт ўтган бўлса ҳам. (Мухтасар Кудурий 147, Мухтасар Викоя 52). Қози Қози, ҳоким ёки давлат томонидан белгиланган шахслар эр-хотинни қуйидаги ҳолатларда ажратишга ҳақлари бор: Эр жинсий заиф бўлса ёки жинсий алоқага қодир бўлмаса, унинг хотини ажралишни талаб қилса, қози эрга даволаниш учун бир йил муҳлат беради. Даволана олмаса, ундан талоқберишни талаб қилинади, агарда у бўйин товласа, қози уларни ўзи ажратиб юборади (Мухтасар Кудурий китоби 150); Имом Муҳаммаднинг (Имом Аъзам шогирдлари) фикрларича, эр зарари тегадиган касалликка мубтало бўлса (масалан, пес, мохов), хотининингталаби билан қози уларни ажратиб юборишга ҳаққи бор. (Мухит Бурхоний китоби(3;173-176); Эр хотинининг нафақасини беришга ожиз бўлса, яъни рўзғорни тебратишга молиявий тарафдан имкони бўлмаса, баъзи ҳолларда, қози муносиб олимлар фатвоси билан уларни ажратишга ҳаққи бор. Аслида, бу масала Шофий мазҳабига муносиб. Лекин, Ханафи уламоларимиз аёлга зарар етмаслиги учун шу йўлни кўрсатишган. (Мухит Бурхоний китоби 3;177); Эр хотинини хиёнат қилганликда айблаб, даъвосига гувоҳ бўлмаса, эр ва хотин махсус шаклда қасам ичади. Сўнгра, қози хотинни эридан бир боин талоқ билан ажратиб юборади. Мухтасар Викоя китоби (66). Шуни ҳам айтиб ўтиш керакки, турли тоифадаги одамларда ва маълум мамлакат қадриятларида талоқ ҳаққи ҳақида турли хил тушунчалар мавжуд. Баъзи диндорларнинг фикрича, ажралиш ҳаққи фақат эрга тегишли, динга алоқаси бўлмаганлар эса, ажралиш суд орқали бўладиган иш ва буни фақат қонун ҳал қилади деб ўйлашади. Юқорида келтирилган фикрларга асослансак, бу масалада Ханафий мазҳабига мансуб уломалар учинчи тоифадирларки, уларнинг фикрича, ажратиш ҳаққи эр ва қонундан/қозидан бошқа инсонларда ҳам бор экан. Турмуш қуриш, бир-бири билан ҳақ талашиш дегани эмас. Оила ўзаро ҳурмат, меҳрга асосланган бўлиши лозимдир. Агар урф-одатда зулм бўлмаса, албатта унга риоя қилмоклик оиладаги анча мунча тушунмовчиликларни бартараф қилади. Эрнинг молиявий мажбуриятлари Ислом динида аёлларга жуда кўп имтиёзлар берилган. Аёллар деганда факатгина завжа сифатида эмас, балки волида, қиз фарзанд, опа-сингил, амма-ҳола сифатларида ҳам. Шунинг сабаб, қуйида фақат аёлларнинг хотин сифатидаги ҳаққларининг зикр қилиниши бошқа сифатда аёлларнинг ҳаққи йўқ дегани эмас. Масалан, ота ўз ўғлини балоғат ёшига етгунча молиявий тарафдан ёрдам бермоқлиги лозимдир, аммо қизини балоғатдан кейин ҳам то турмушга чиққунича ўз қарамоғида тутмоқлиги, ва турмушдан ажралиб келса, у ҳолда ҳам уни қарамоғига олмоқлиги лозимдир. (Хизанат ал-Фикх; 112. Самарканди) Эрнинг ҳақлари Маълумки, дунёда турли туман урф-одатлар бор. Баъзи мамлакатларнинг одати бўйича эр хотинига хизмат қилмоғи лозим, бошқа жойларда эса бунинг акси. Жумладан, Ўрта Осиёда кенг тарқалган урфга биноан, хотин эрининг хизматини, яъни, уй йиғиштириш, кир ювиш, овқат тайёрлаш каби уй юмушларини қилади. Бу масалада уламолар турли хил фикр билдиришган бўлса ҳам, оила фаровонлигини сақлаб қолишнинг муҳимлиги борасида улар ягона фикрга келишган. Шунинг учун, маълум мамлакат фуқоролари агар улар урф-одатларига зулм аралашмаган бўлса, ўша одатларига риоя қилмоқликлари мақсадга мувофиқ бўлади. Аммо, шуни ҳам таъкидлаб ўтиш керакки, урф-одатга сўзсиз бўйсунмоқлик фарз ёки вожиб эмас. Аёлнинг қандай хақлари мавжудлиги ва мажбуриятлари масаласи ҳақида турли мазҳаб уломалари турлича фикр билдиришган. Хусусан, Имом Аъзам мазҳабларида қуйидаги фикрлар зикр қилинган: 1. Эрига хизмат қилиш Имом Абу Ханифа, Имом Молик ва Имом Шофеий хотинлар эрларига хизмат қилмоқликлари вожиб эмасдир деб айтишган. (Ал-Довъ ал-Мунир, 2; 211. Ибн Каюм ал-Жавзийя). Аммо Ханбалий мазҳабининг баъзи уламоларига кўра эса, хотин эрининг хизматини қилмоқлиги вожиб. Жумладан, Ибн Таймийя ва Жавзажаний ҳам шу фикрда бўлишган. (Ихтиарат Фикхийя; 756) 2. Уй юмушлари Уй юмушларини бажариш учун хизматкор келтириб унинг ҳаққини тўлаш эрнинг бурчи деб қабул қилинганлиги хақида бир қатор фикрлар билдирилган. Мисол учун: Абу Ханифа айтишларича, бир нечта фарзандлари бўлса, эр хотинига бир эмас, балки бир нечта хизматкор ёлламоғи лозимдир. (Мухийт Бурхоний, 3; 536. Бухорий). Абу Юсуф айтишларича, агар хотин олий насаблик ёки ижтимоий баланд табақадан бўлса, иккита хизматкор, акс холда,бир хизматкор тўловини бермоқлик эрнинг бурчидир деб айтганлар. ‘’Самарканд Уламолари Фатволари’’ асарида қуйдаги фикр баён этилган: ‘’Агар хотин хасаб-насаблик бўлса, эр унга икки хизматкор муҳайё қилмоқлиги лозимдир (икки хизматкорнинг нафақасини бермоқлик). Чунки бундай аёл бири уй ичи юмушларига қарайдган, иккинчиси уйдан ташқаридаги юмушларга қарайдиган икки хизматкорга муҳтож бўлади’.’ (Мухийт Бурхоний, 3; 535. Бухорий) Эр хотинининг нафақасини у турмуш қурушидан олдин қандай ҳолда яшаган бўлса, ўша даражада таъминлашга мажбур (Канз Дакаик; 313). 3.Иш, касб ва ҳунар. Турли миллат ва давлатларда касб-ҳунарга тегишли маълум тушунчалар мавжуд. Баъзиларида ошпазлик одатда аёллар касби бўлса, бошқаларида бу эркаклар вазифаси ҳисобланади. Худди шунга ўхшаш бошқа касблар ҳам одатда аёллар ёки эркакларники деб қабул қилинган. Мисол учун, тикувчилик, тўқувчилик, фаррошлик, сартарош бўлиш, тижоратчилик, ҳайдовчилик ва ҳ.з. каби касблар маълум бир жинсга тааллуқли деб тушунилади. Баъзи жамиятларда бу тушунчалар қадрият ва инсонлар онгига шунчалик сингиб кетганки, у ерда бу масала бўйича ортиқча гап-сўзга йўл қўйилмайди, ва бу одатларга қарши борганлар жамият томонидан ҳаттоки калака ҳам қилинади. Ислом уламоларининг бу борадаги зикр килинган фикрларига назар солсак: Ҳар бир эркак ва аёл, одоб-аҳлоқ чегарасидан чиқмаслиги лозим. Ислом чизиб берган умумий қоидаларидан ўтмаслик лозим. Мисол учун, номаҳрам эркак ва аёл қулфланган бир хонада якка ҳолда қолмоқликлари дуруст эмас. Урф-одатда зулм бўлмаса, унга риоя қилмоқлик албатта ўша жамиятда яшовчи инсоннинг обрўсига путур етишидан сақлайди. Умумий олганда, фуқаҳолар касб масаласида кўпгина бир бирига тескари фикрларни баён этишган. Бир мақолада барча бир бирига ҳилоф тушунчаларни келтиришнинг иложи бўлмагани учун, фақат икки касбга нисбатан уламоларнинг қандай фикрларни зикр қилганликларига тўхталиб ўтамиз. Қозилик (Судялик/Ҳакамлик) Аёл киши қози бўлиши мумкин ёки мумкин эмаслиги тўғрисида уламолар қуйидагиларни эътироф этишган; Имом Молик, Шофей, ва Ахмад б. Ханбални ва уларнинг издошлари фикрича бу жоиз эмас (Ахкам ал-Куран, 3; 482, Ибн ал-Арабий). Бу уламолар ўз фикрларини исботлаш учун аёлларнинг ақли тўлиқ эмаслигини таъкидловчи ривоятни келтиришади. Бу ривоятга жавобан Афғонистонлик Ханафи олим Али Қори айтганларки, “аёлларнинг ақли кўпгина эркакларнинг ақлидан устунроқдир”. (Фатх Баб ал-ъиная, 3 ; 110) Имом Абу Ханифани айтишларича, хадд бўлмаган масалаларда жоиз. Хадд дегани, криминал жазо деганидир (мисол учун, қотиллик, йўл тўсарлик ва зўравонлик) ((Фатх Баб ал-ъиная, 3; 119, Канз Дакаик; 463, Муктасар Викоя; 141, Хидоя, 5; 378 Лакнавий хошияси б-н) Имом Абу Ханифанинг шогирдлари Имом Муҳаммад наздларида аёл киши ҳар соҳада қози бўлиши мумкин. Амирлик (Хоким, Мэр ва ҳ.з.) Бу масала ҳам юқоридаги масалага ўҳшаш баҳслар мавжуд, яъни Жумхур уламолар жоизмас дейишган (Ахкам ал-Куран, 3; 482, Ибн ал-Арабий) бўлса, Имом Абу Ханифа ва Ханафий уламолари жоиз дейишган. Шейх Зафар Али Тахнави “Эъло Сунан” китобларида буни жоизлигига Оиша онамизни Жамал маъракасида аскарларга ҳукмронлик қилганларини келтирганлар. У кишининг айтишларича, аскарларни ичида жуда кўп саҳобалар бўлган ва бирортаси Оиша онамизни амир бўлганликларига эътироз билдиришмаган. (15; 35). Умумуан олганда, ортиқча гап сўз ва муаммолардан узоқ туриш мақсадида аёллар ва эркаклар касблари маҳаллий урф-одатларга муносиб танланиши мақсадга мувофиқдир. Хулоса Фуқаҳоларни китобларини ўқиганда, бир нарсани назарда тутмоқ лозим. Ҳар бир фақиҳ ўз муҳитидаги шарт-шароитларни эътиборга олган ҳолда фатво беради. Мисол учун, ҳозир Тошкент шахрида яшовчи оила Муфтий Ҳазратларига оилавий можаро тўғрисида савол билан мурожаат килишса, Муфтий Ҳазрат Тошкент урф-одатларини эътиборга олган ҳолда жавоб берадилар, чунки оила масалаларини маҳаллий одатлар чегарасидан ташқарида муҳокама қилиш қийин масала. Шунинг учун, фуқаҳоларимиз бир масала тўғрисида фикр билдирсалар, доим ҳам уларнинг фикри ҳар замон ва ҳар маконга татбиқ этилиши шарт деб ўйлашдан узоқ бўлиш керак. Юқоридаги Абу Ханифа ва Абу Юсуфларнинг хизматкор келтириш лозимлиги тўғрисидаги фатволари бунга мисол бўлиши мумкин. Яъни, Боғдод, Куфа ва Басра шаҳарлари Абу Ханифа ва Абу Юсуф замонларида бутун дунё тижорий маркази бўлган. Шунинг учун, бу шаҳарларда яшовчи фуқоролар жуда бой бўлишиб, хонадонларда хизматкорлар бўлишлиги оддий ҳолат бўлган. Бизнинг замонда ҳам, Дубай, Қувайт каби бой шаҳарларда хизматкор ишлатиш оддий холдир. Бундан келиб чикадики, Абу Ханифанинг гаплари ўзлари яшаб турган замон ва маконга мос қилиб берилган фатво бўлиши мумкин. Аммо, шуни ҳам ҳисобга олиш керакки, Ханафий уламолар уй рўзғор ишларини хотиннинг елкасига юкламаганлар. Юқорида зикр қилинган мисолларни ҳисобга олган ҳолда, жуда муҳим бир нарсани айтиб ўтиш лозим. Бизни замонда, динни қурол қилиб олиб бир-бири билан урушиб, низолар чиқарувчи одамлар, афсуски кундан кунга кўпайиб бормоқда. Бинобарин, инсон ҳар бир ишини ақл ва донишмандлик билан қилмоқлиги, ҳар бир фикрни мантиқий муҳокама асосида қабул қилиши лозимдир. (Last Revised: 21/11/2020 17:00 UK)
Written By: Shaykh Atabek Shukurov Edited By: Moneeb Minhas An Analysis of the different Islamic opinions regarding the "death" and "return" of Prophet Isa (as). (PART 1) Editor's Note
In July 2014, Shaykh Atabek Shukurov wrote a series of posts on his facebook page (please see the link above) regarding the "Issue of the death and return of Prophet Isa (as)." At the time, many people requested Shaykh to formulate the series of posts into a book or an article to benefit the academics of our society. Unfortunately, Shaykh's religious commitments at the time did not allow this to occur. As a result, I took it upon myself, as one of his students of sacred knowledge, to download, edit and formulate it into an article. Below is the article, compiled from the facebook posts of Shaykh Atabek and written as if from his perspective. Please note that all of the references or content within this article are the research and efforts of Shaykh Atabek Shukurov and I have adopted the role of an editor to formulate it into an article for the benefit of the people. I request readers to study the article with an open mind and without bias to obtain the most from it, as the author, Shaykh Atabek Shukurov had carried out the research on this topic in his passion for the truth and this research is only being made available upon the requests of his students and those who follow his posts on facebook.
On this note, I would like to mention that if there are any mistakes in the editing or wording of the article then please refer them to me (Moneeb Minhas) and not my teacher, therefore, it can be adjusted if necessary as soon as possible. May Allah accept my efforts but moreover, bless my teacher (Shaykh Atabek Shukurov) for his efforts and precious time he spent in carrying out this unique research.
In July 2014, I wrote a series of posts on my facebook page regarding the "Issue of the death and return of one of the most honourable Prophets of Islam: Isa ibn Maryam (as)". I received multiple types of different reactions. Some very positive whilst others critical, not understanding that I was not leaning towards any particular opinion on the matter, rather stipulating the different scholastic studies on the subject so people can understand, that the issue is not as clear as black or white. Majority of us fail to understand that perhaps there is a potential of more than one interpretation or viewpoint. As a result of the posts, I was blissfully requested by many readers to reproduce the posts as an article, to make it more accessible and user-friendly for academics and students of knowledge worldwide.
The Messenger (ﷺ) in this discussion needs no introduction, as without a doubt he is notorious amongst billions globally. To the Jews, he is known as Iēsous, to the Western Christendom as Jesus Christ, to Eastern Christendom as Yassu Mesih and to the Muslim world as Hadhrat Nabi Isa alayhis salaam. A personality, that not only holds many variations in names but also many historical differences amongst different faiths. However, the focus of this article is not to delve into the differences between the religions upon Prophet Isa (as), but rather an academic study of the different opinions within Islam regarding his death and return, or "second coming."
On the topic of Isa's (as) "death and second coming", there are a few opinions that are worthy of discussion. In this article, we will explore and study the two sides of the opinions and every other opinion will potentially fall under one of these two. The first opinion being the most famous (mashur) one in today's day and age amongst Muslims and Contemporary Scholars and the second one being less famous (mashur) but holds weight nonetheless: "Prophet Isa (as) did not die and will return again to this world" This is the most famous opinion held by the scholars. "Prophet Isa (as) died and will not return again" This is the second opinion held by some scholars. Even though, majority of the Muslims will uphold one of these two opinions, on the other hand, you will find some scholars or sects will believe in a mixture of opinions. For example, the statement "Prophet Isa did not die" as is the first opinion, and "Prophet Isa will not return" as is the second opinion. Consequently, we have four potential stances and according to the evidences and discussions, one will combine two stances out of four to formulate their own opinion: Prophet Isa (as) did not die Prophet Isa (as) died Prophet Isa (as) will return Prophet Isa (as) will not return To simplify the academic analysis and understanding for the general public, I will break the article into two parts. The first article will discuss the opinion "Prophet Isa (as) died and will not return" and the second article will discuss "Prophet Isa (as) did not die and will return again to this world." When I make a point for one side, I will also try and give the argument of the other side at that conjecture, so it becomes more of a deeper analysis of the point at hand. Chapter one: "Prophet Isa (as) did not die and will return again to this world." Chapter two:: "Prophet Isa (as) died and will not return to this world again." It has been over two thousand years since the advent of Isa (AS) and over one thousand four hundred years since Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ), so some people may contend, why now? One may question, why should we, or why are we discussing this topic in today's age. I say, there is fathomable reasoning for everything that takes place. In my opinion, the reasoning behind this is that we can relate it to the recent Qadiani movement, whose message was directly connected to Prophet Isa (AS). This Qadiani group originated from the subcontinent and even though they believe in the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) and the Quran, they have claimed to have their own Prophet named "Ghulam Mirza Ahmed Qadiyan." According to Qadianis (or also known as Ahmadis), Ghulam Mirza is the promised Messiah (Isa Masih), who was prophesied to return. Their belief in the Quran has led them to interpret it in their own way and claim that they have verses (ayaat) from the Quran that provide authentic evidence for their belief system. However, as the law of the universe stipulates, "with every cause, comes an effect", and we find no difference in this circumstance. As the Qadiani group expanded, it caused the Muslim Scholars of the time to research deeper about the topic of "Prophet Isa's (AS) second coming", in order to be able to have an academic dialogue with the Qadianis.
The research of the Scholars precipitated two things: This topic became conspicuous and popular The most famous opinion of Prophet Isa (AS) being alive and to return was challenged, to the extent that some of the scholars changed their opinion and supported the death of Prophet Isa (AS) and him not returning again. On the other hand, as for the early scholars and sources we know that this issue was not as big as it is today. We find some of the early scholars amongst the Sahaba and Tabi'een are silent about this issue and the ones who speak about it, do so in a trivial manner. The latter scholars later on included this within the books of Aqeedah (both Maturidis and Ash'aris), many to the extent stating that it would necessitate kufr (disbelief) for the one who rejects the "death and second arrival of Isa (as")." Whether this issue can cause disbelief of not will also be discussed later on.
Many Muslims today, both those engrossed in the field of sacred knowledge and those not, wholeheartedly believe that the "Prophet Isa (as) did not die and will return again to this world." Some earnestly wait for his return with certainty and are not willing to hear the opposite side to this opinion at all. Or some do not think that any other opinion on this matter even exists. However, throughout history we find many groups and notable Scholars who held the opposite opinion that the Prophet Isa (as) will not return to the world and died 2000 years ago. Just to mention a few of them:
1. Most of the Khawarij 2. Some of the Mu'tazila (including some of the Hanafi Mu'tazila) 3. Some of the latest scholars of Ahl Sunnah (Hanafis and Shafi'is), which included:- Sheikh Mahmood Shaltut (Sheikh of Al Azhar) Sheikh Muhammad Rasheed Ridha Sheikh Muhammad Abduh Sheikh Mustafa Maraghi (Sheikh of Al Azhar) Sheikh Muhammad Ghazali Sheikh Muhammad Abu Zuhrah The scholars who rejected the notion of the arrival of Nabi Isa (as) gave a few arguments in support to their opinion. Primarily, they argue that Nabi Isa (as) is not an insignificant person but a major Prophet of Islam, whose mention is made in the Quran twenty five times and in grave detail. As a result, the issue of him returning to the world is not a trivial matter, but if this was the case then Allah would most likely have mentioned it. Consequently, the question arises, why would God not include it in the Quran? They further argue that each holy scripture predicted or prophesied the Prophet that will be coming next, so why is Quran silent, if Isa (as) is to come after Prophet Muhammad (as). Moreover some verses speak about the death of Nabi Isa (as) directly and some indirectly (This will be explained and evidenced later on in the article). There are numerous Ahadtih regarding Nabi Isa's (as) arrival that one will find quite controversial or contradictory that makes it hard to avoid. There are even some narrations that mention Nabi Isa (as) will abrogate some of the principles of Islam. But is it not that Islam is abrogating, but not abrogated? We also know that many Jews and Christians pretended to accept Islam during the time of the early Muslim generations and it is quite clear, looking at some ahadith in books of muhaditheen that some narrations look like they have been inserted into Islam or at least the books of Ahadith.
Additionally, if you study the earliest and most classical collections of Ahadith, the peculiar thing we find is, we actually do not find any Ahadith that discuss or even mention this major event. Another question we can pose as academics is, if RasoolAllah (ﷺ) had completed the faith, perfected it and given everything mankind needed to live a happy life, then what is the wisdom behind sending Nabi Isa (as)?
Analysis of Quran verses used to support the 'death of Isa (as)'
Before we delve into Ahadith and the different arguments pertaining, we will first look at the various ayah's of the Quran that the scholars put forward in support of their argument. The first one we will discuss is the verse from Surah Ale Imran:
إِذ قالَ اللَّهُ يا عيسىٰ إِنّي مُتَوَفّيكَ وَرافِعُكَ إِلَيَّ وَمُطَهِّرُكَ مِنَ الَّذينَ كَفَروا وَجاعِلُ الَّذينَ اتَّبَعوكَ فَوقَ الَّذينَ كَفَروا إِلىٰ يَومِ القِيامَةِ ۖ ثُمَّ إِلَيَّ مَرجِعُكُم فَأَحكُمُ بَينَكُم فيما كُنتُم فيهِ تَختَلِفونَ "[Mention] when Allah said, "O Jesus, indeed I will take you and raise you to Myself and purify you from those who disbelieve. And make those who follow you [in submission to Allah alone] superior to those who disbelieve until the Day of Resurrection. Then to Me is your return, and I will judge between you concerning that in which you used to differ."
Quran - 3:55
Let us analyse this and look at both sides of the arguments: The scholars in support of the opinion that Prophet Isa (as) did not die and will return, I will address as "Group one" or the "First group" and the scholars in support of the opposite opinion, that he (as) has died and will not return as "Group two" or the "Second group."
The second group of scholars say Allah in this verse uses the word "Mutawaffeeka." "Tawaffee" literally means "taking something as a whole." But in the Arabian language and in other places of the Quran where this word is used (eg: Surah 2:240 it says "Waallatheena yutawaffawna minkum" - "And if any of youdie and leave wives behind..." it is translated as "death" or its synonymous terms. Another example of this in the Quran is:
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ تَوَفَّاهُمُ الْمَلآئِكَةُ ظَالِمِي أَنْفُسِهِمْ قَالُواْ فِيمَ كُنتُمْ "Indeed, those whom the angels take (in death) while wrongdoing themselves, the angels will say: "In what (condition) were you..."
Quran - Surah An Nisa - 4:97
Here the word "tawaffahum" or "wafaat" is translated as "death", therefore, in the verse in the discussion above, the scholars of group two argue; wouldn't the word have the same meaning, and if not then why not. On the other hand, the first group of scholars say "wafat" does not only mean death, but rather it could also mean "taking as a whole." God uses this word of "tawaffee" in different places of the the Quran too. For example:
اللَّهُ يَتَوَفَّى الْأَنفُسَ حِينَ مَوْتِهَا وَالَّتِي لَمْ تَمُتْ فِي مَنَامِهَا فَيُمْسِكُ الَّتِي قَضَى عَلَيْهَا الْمَوْتَ وَيُرْسِلُ الْأُخْرَى إِلَى أَجَلٍ مُسَمًّى إِنَّ فِي ذَلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِّقَوْمٍ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ "It is Allah who takes the souls at the time of their death, and those that do not die [He takes] during their sleep. Then He keeps those for which He has decreed death and releases the others for a specified term. Indeed in that are signs for a people who give thought"
Quran - Surah Az-Zumar - 39:42
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِذَا قِيلَ لَكُمْ تَفَسَّحُوا فِي الْمَجَالِسِ افْسَحُوا يَفْسَحِ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ ۖ وَإِذَا قِيلَ انْشُزُوا فَانْشُزُوا يَرْفَعِ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِنْكُمْ وَالَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْعِلْمَ دَرَجَاتٍ ۚ وَاللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرٌ "Oh you who have believed, when you are told "space yourselves" in assemblies, then make space; Allah will make space for you. And when you are told, "Arise," then arise; Allah will raisethose who have believed among you and those who were given knowledge, by degrees. And Allah is acquainted with what you do"
Quran - 58:11
"Tawaffee" in the example above was not translated as "death" but rather "take" and to make this word to mean death, God gives further explanation in this verse and specifically says "at the time of their death (mowtiha)."Correspondingly, if God was to mean "death" in the case of Nabi Isa (as) then he would have given extra explanation as proof beside the word itself. They further argue that in the same verse given previously (Quran - 3:55) God says "Oh Isa, indeed I will take you and raise you up to myself", and by saying so He is applying two actions towards Prophet Isa (as), the first being "Taking" and the second "Raising." He is not applying death but some other abnormal incident, which therefore can be applied that Nabi Isa (as) being taken up "alive" to heaven.
According to my humble understanding, this verse does not give one hundred percent certainty for either side of the argument. There are several points that require further discussion and elaboration:
Firstly, the word "Mutawaffeeka", when used independently, it means "death" no doubt, however, when there is a condition attached to it, then it can mean "taking the ownership as a whole." There is a strong point that can be made at this conjecture. If we take the meaning that "Allah is taking the ownership as a whole", is it not that everything belongs to Allah as a whole and is under His ownership anyway. As for the other verse, where the same term is used (Quran - 39:42) referring to God "...taking the souls at the time of their death and while they sleep", has a total different context completely. "Tawaffee" in this verse is attached to the "Souls" and not to the person as it is in the verse of Surah Ale Imran (3:55). Moreover, when "tawaffee" is attached to the "souls" it will mean "sleeping." As a result, is it possible that this could mean Prophet Isa (as) was taken in a "sleeping status." I say "no", this cannot be the case as "Tawaffee" will only apply sleeping when it is attached to the "Soul", however if it is attached to the person, it has more inclination towards the meaning of "death."
As a matter of fact, I do not think this evidence is adequate to apply death at all. "Tawaffee" no doubt, without any condition attached does denote "death." However, notice how both groups of scholars are over twisting the verse to support their positions. "Tawaffee" means death, but does not say when exactly (the tense is not given). However, those supporting the death of Prophet Isa (as) are alleging that he died specifically in that incident. Considering the verse does not state when, it can be applied that death will overcome Prophet Isa (as) but in the future, or even in his second coming.
Conversely, the argument of the first group of scholars that are claiming "tawaffee" to mean "God will take Isa (as) in His ownership as a whole" have a few counteract questions that need addressing. The first question we can academically pose to them is: if you are deriving this meaning from the ayah, then under whose ownership was Isa (as) before that? Secondly, what about the rest of creation? Are they not under the ownership of God, or is it only those whom God takes up to Him?" To conclude, neither of the sides have a strong argument on the word of "Mutawaffeeka" and it can be broken down academically as I have just demonstrated.
Secondly, we move onto the word "Rafi'uka (Raising you)." This word is used in the Quran in several places. For instance in Surah Al Mujadilah Allah says:
يَرْفَعِ اللَّهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُومِنكُمْ وَالَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْعِلْمَ ''...Allah will raise those who have believed among you, and those who were given knowledge (Scholars)''
Quran - Surah Al Mujadilah - 58:11
From this ayah, we do not find any commentary that states that "Allah will take those whom believed and the scholars to heaven" but rather the meaning is that they will be raised in ranks (spiritual not physical). The question that arises is what is then the meaning of this verse? To understand the meaning of this properly the context must be taken into consideration. In this scenario, the Prophet Isa (as) understood that people are planning to kill him and seeing that some of his disciples had already disowned him, he assumed that death is unavoidable as the Roman soldiers were on their way. They planned on how to trap and kill him. Thereafter, most of his companions left him except a few of them who did not have the means or strength to fight well-trained and armed soldiers. God then reveals to him His promise saying to Prophet Isa (as), "to not worry, you will die a natural death, just not humiliated or killed by the hands of these people. God will protect you from those trying to harm you and increase your status of Prophethood. Moreover, those that follow you, I will give them a status above the disbelievers." As a consequence, this verse is not talking about any of the two issues, but rather giving Isa (as) strength and spirit for the incident at that time. The explanation of this incident can also be found in Tafseer Kabir narrated by Imam Razi (ra).
To sum up, if we have only two options: "death" or "taken to heaven", then the verse from Surah Ale Imran mentioned above (3:55) cannot be used to prove any of that. Both Tawaffee and Rafiuka have two meanings and none of the two groups have taken the literal meaning. Upon further analysis, the verse in discussion is not giving any time limit. As a result, we cannot prove or disprove that the mission of Prophet Isa (as) is finished prior to the disbelievers coming to kill him. However, we can understand the following from the verse: God is promising to Isa (as) that he will not be killed. Isa (as) death will be a natural one and not a murder by the hands of the people. Isa (as) level will be raised higher. Isa (as) followers will be stronger than the disbelievers till the day of judgement. On these points, please note that time limit is mentioned about his followers but regarding the promise about Isa (as) himself there is no time mentioned.
The second verse used by the group in support of Isa (as) death is:
مَا المَسيحُ ابنُ مَريَمَ إِلّا رَسولٌ قَد خَلَت مِن قَبلِهِ الرُّسُلُ وَأُمُّهُ صِدّيقَةٌ ۖ كانا يَأكُلانِ الطَّعامَ ۗ انظُر كَيفَ نُبَيِّنُ لَهُمُ الآياتِ ثُمَّ انظُر أَنّىٰ يُؤفَكونَ "Messiah, son of Mary, was not but a messenger; [other] messengers have passed on before him. And his mother was a supporter of truth. They both used to eat food. Look how We make clear to them the signs; then look how they are deluded."
In this verse, Allah clearly says that Isa (as) is one of the Prophets, to whom the natural principles of life and death are applied. Two things point towards his death here. The first being; the ayah is mentioning Isa (as) in comparison to other Prophets that have "passed on," or in other terms, passed away (died) before him. The second being; Allah says both Isa (as) and his Mother Maryam (as) "used to eat" denoting that they were humans, applying that they were not exempted from the principles of human life (eg: living, dieing, eating, feeling emotions etc).
It would seem the group in support of the death of Isa (as) have a strong argument. On the other hand, it can be argued that God was not discussing or referring to the death of Isa (as) but rather commenting on the fact that he is not divine but a human, and in doing so God is mentioning several points supporting this point: Prophet Isa, son of Mary PBUH is no more than a Prophet and Prophet cannot be God. He is no different in prophethood to the prophets who came before him, and none of the previous Prophets were God, so Jesus cannot be God. He had a kind and honoured mother and God does not have a mother. He used to eat, and God does not eat, nor sleep, nor do any of the actions that humans do. As for the point of the previous Prophets dying, I say it is not a strong argument as some of the prophets become a prophet while other prophets were still alive, such as Haroon (as) who became a Prophet whilst Musa (as) was still alive or Prophet Yahya (John the Baptist) (as) who was alive whilst Isa (as) was preaching as a Prophet of God. This proves that the death of the previous prophet is not a condition for the next one to be sent.
In conclusion, I say this verse can be used in support of Isa (as) dieing but it does not give certain proof as the context is referring to the non-divinity of Isa (as) not that he died or did not.
وَما مُحَمَّدٌ إِلّا رَسولٌ قَد خَلَت مِن قَبلِهِ الرُّسُلُ ۚ أَفَإِن ماتَ أَو قُتِلَ انقَلَبتُم عَلىٰ أَعقابِكُم ۚ وَمَن يَنقَلِب عَلىٰ عَقِبَيهِ فَلَن يَضُرَّ اللَّهَ شَيئًا ۗ وَسَيَجزِي اللَّهُ الشّاكِرينَ Muhammad is not but a messenger. [Other] messengers have passed on before him. So if he was to die or be killed, would you turn back on your heels [to unbelief]? And he who turns back on his heels will never harm Allah at all; but Allah will reward the grateful.
Quran - 3:144
Shaykh Muhammad Ghazali (ra) used this verse as one of his arguments to prove that Isa (as) had died. His main point is God does not make any exemption on the Prophets that have passed away before RasoolAllah (ﷺ).
The response to this would be similar to the previous one given for verse two. I say the text or context of this does not give certainty to the argument: Firstly, God is only explaining that Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) is one of the Prophets who died or will die and his death should not make anyone go back to disbelief. In reality it is discussing the issue being a norm for Prophets of God as they are humans and not divine. Secondly, upon studying the context, it shows that the verse was revealed after the Battle of Uhud, where some misunderstanding occurred during the battle and someone from the Mushrikeen (polytheists of Makkah) killed Mus'ab bin Umair and thought that he had killed RasoolAllah (ﷺ). Thereafter he shouted "I killed Muhammad!" causing some of the Sahaba to panic. This verse was then revealed to clarify to the Sahaba (ra) that death for Prophets including RasoolAllah (ﷺ) is a natural occurrence. Taking these points into consideration, I say still it is not enough proof to prove the death of Isa (as) in the past.
أَمواتٌ غَيرُ أَحياءٍ ۖ وَما يَشعُرونَ أَيّانَ يُبعَثونَ إِلٰهُكُم إِلٰهٌ واحِدٌ ۚ فَالَّذينَ لا يُؤمِنونَ بِالآخِرَةِ قُلوبُهُم مُنكِرَةٌ وَهُم مُستَكبِرونَ "And those they invoke other than Allah create nothing, and they [themselves] are created. They are, [in fact], dead, not alive, and they do not perceive when they will be resurrected."
Quran - 16:21-22
Many use this ayah as an argument to prove the death of Isa (as). They state, that this ayah is referring to anyone who is worshipped or invoked upon, is dead and that hey do not know when they will be resurrected. Prophet Isa (as) is a personality, who is worshipped besides Allah in this world by many. According to this ayah, Prophet Isa (as) is dead because God did not give any exception of anyone including Prophet Isa (as).
According to the first group, they argue a few points contrary to this. Firstly, the verse used is speaking about idols and not humans. It is referring to idols not being worthy of worship as they cannot even do anything for themselves.
In my opinion, there are several points that can be deduced from the verses that support both groups. In support of the first group, the verses are talking about everything worshipped besides God. This includes Prophet Isa (as) because God uses the word "Amwat" which means "dead" and idols cannot die, because they were never living in the first place. Furthermore, the ayah thereafter says "wal ladheena" and according to the rules of nahw (arabic grammar) this word is mainly used for living things and in particular referred to humans. Thirdly, the verse goes into saying "They do not know when they will be resurrected" and it is common knowledge that only humans (and animals according to some) will be resurrected.
And We did not grant to any man before you eternity [on earth]; so if you die - would they be eternal?
Quran - 21:34
Every learned or unlearned man will be able to determine how the second group will derive their evidence using this ayah. In this ayah, Allah is saying to the Messenger (ﷺ) that no one who lived before you had eternal life, this would automatically include Prophet Isa (as) into this category as he was a human and came before the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ). This argument seems very strong in the offset but I say this verse cannot be used to prove the death of Prophet Isa (as). Firstly, because the verse is clarifying that immortality does not belong to humanity and in order to prove that, God is taking our attention towards people of the past. If we are to take this verse literally, rather than its general meaning, it will necessitate the possibility that some humans will have immortal life after the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ), which we know is impossible. Furthermore, if taken literally, then we know that many people were born before the Prophet (ﷺ) and were still alive during the revelation and continued to live on after the Messenger (ﷺ), so the literal meaning would mean that everyone who is born before the Prophet (ﷺ) would have to die, which did not occur and would be impossible as no one would be living today.
As a result, we can deduce that God is not talking about the death of each single human who lived before the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ), instead the meaning of this verse would be "Oh Prophet, those who are insulting you or refusing the truth will not live forever and are neither immortal, but they will meet their death like every human has in the past."
وَإِذ قالَ اللَّهُ يا عيسَى ابنَ مَريَمَ أَأَنتَ قُلتَ لِلنّاسِ اتَّخِذوني وَأُمِّيَ إِلٰهَينِ مِن دونِ اللَّهِ ۖ قالَ سُبحانَكَ ما يَكونُ لي أَن أَقولَ ما لَيسَ لي بِحَقٍّ ۚ إِن كُنتُ قُلتُهُ فَقَد عَلِمتَهُ ۚ تَعلَمُ ما في نَفسي وَلا أَعلَمُ ما في نَفسِكَ ۚ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ عَلّامُ الغُيوبِ ما قُلتُ لَهُم إِلّا ما أَمَرتَني بِهِ أَنِ اعبُدُوا اللَّهَ رَبّي وَرَبَّكُم ۚ وَكُنتُ عَلَيهِم شَهيدًا ما دُمتُ فيهِم ۖ فَلَمّا تَوَفَّيتَني كُنتَ أَنتَ الرَّقيبَ عَلَيهِم ۚ وَأَنتَ عَلىٰ كُلِّ شَيءٍ شَهيدٌ "And when Allah said, "O Jesus, Son of Mary, did you say to the people, 'Take me and my mother as deities besides Allah? He said, "Exalted are You! It was not for me to say that to which I have no right. If I had said it, You would have surely known it. You know what is within myself, and I do not know what is within Yourself. Indeed, it is You who is Knower of the unseen. I said not to them except what You commanded me - to worship Allah , my Lord and your Lord. And I was a witness over them as long as I was among them; but when You took me, You were the Observer over them, and You are, over all things, Witness".
Quran - 5:116-117
This ayah is referring directly to Prophet Isa (as) and narrates a conversation between God and his Messenger Isa (as). The verse quite clearly states that Prophet Isa (as) died because he said: "And I was a witness over them as long as I was among them; but when You took me, You were the Observer over them..." This statement made by Prophet Isa (as) is quite explicit in demonstrating he was unaware about what his nation did after him, because he says: "I know what they did when I was there", but if he was to come back again then would he not know exactly what the Christians did after him. If he was to return then his answer would not be this but contrary to it.
On the other hand, group one argue that here "You took me" does not specify dead or alive. It is quite possible that Prophet Isa (as) could have been taken alive. Furthermore, Prophet Isa (as) could have said "but when You took my soul", which would have applied he has passed away, but instead he says "You took me" which could be dead or alive. As a result this ayah is a weak argument according to group one.
إِن هُوَ إِلّا عَبدٌ أَنعَمنا عَلَيهِ وَجَعَلناهُ مَثَلًا لِبَني إِسرائيلَ "He (Jesus) was not but a servant upon whom We bestowed favor, and We made him an example for the Children of Israel."
Quran - 43:59
The second group argue that in this verse Prophet Isa (as) can be described as the following: A Prophet/Messenger of Allah An example for the children of Israel As a result, they pronounce he is not described as a savior for humanity from the sin of their father Adam (original sin) as the Christians claim and nor is he a savior for the ummah of the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) from the Dajjal as the Muslims claim, or else the ayah would have mentioned it. Moreover, the ayah defines he is only for the children of Israel and if he was destined to come back, then Allah would describe him as "an example for the children of Israel and Ishmael too."
On the other hand, group one argue that the fact that Allah did not mention he (Jesus) is the saviour for the Ummah of Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) from Dajjal is because the context of the ayah or ayahs leading to this ayah is Allah speaking to the "Children of Israel" so as a result, the mention of this point was not necessary in this context.
وَجاهِدوا فِي اللَّهِ حَقَّ جِهادِهِ ۚ هُوَ اجتَباكُم وَما جَعَلَ عَلَيكُم فِي الدّينِ مِن حَرَجٍ ۚ مِلَّةَ أَبيكُم إِبراهيمَ ۚ هُوَ سَمّاكُمُ المُسلِمينَ مِن قَبلُ وَفي هٰذا لِيَكونَ الرَّسولُ شَهيدًا عَلَيكُم وَتَكونوا شُهَداءَ عَلَى النّاسِ ۚ فَأَقيمُوا الصَّلاةَ وَآتُوا الزَّكاةَ وَاعتَصِموا بِاللَّهِ هُوَ مَولاكُم ۖ فَنِعمَ المَولىٰ وَنِعمَ النَّصيرُ "...[It is] the religion of your father, Abraham. Allah named you "Muslims" before [in former scriptures] and in this [revelation] that the Messenger may be a witness over you and you may be witnesses over the people."
Quran - 22:78
This ayah is implicitly used by the second group to imply that Jesus will not return. The ayah states that the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) is a witness upon the Muslims, and Muslims are witnesses upon the rest of the nations. However, if Prophet Isa (as) would come back then He also would be witness upon Muslims and upon other nations too, as a result it is proof that he will not come back.
I say, in order to use this verse to prove the death of Prophet Isa (as) then we need to first resolve the following questions. In this verse it says: "He named you Muslims before, and in this one, so the Prophet can be witness over you and you can be witness over the people..." Many questions arise: Who is the one who called us "Muslims"? What are the "previous ones"and "this one"? What is the meaning of being a "witness"? As for the one who called us "Muslims", there are two opinions: Some say it is referring to Prophet Ibrahim (as) and some said it is Allah Himself. If it is the former then most likely this verse cannot be used to prove the death of Prophet Isa (as). But if it is God, then we need to answer the rest of the questions.
As for the part referring to "before" and "this one", majority of the Ulama (if not all) say "before"here is referring to or meaning before the Quran was revealed ie: in the previous scriptures. Therefore, "In this one" would then be referring to Quran. Upon analysis, my opinion is thus. According to this it cannot be Prophet Ibrahim (as), as the one who called us "Muslims" in the previous nations and in the Quran is the One (Allah) who has sent it.
When we look at the word "witness" used here and its meaning. Scholars say that the Prophet witnesses against us that he has passed on what God ordered him to pass on, whereas some scholars said it refers to the Prophet (ﷺ) being a witness for us to affirm we believed in him and Allah. In my opinion, the latter meaning is clashing with the narration, where it says that some group of his nation will be taken away from him and the Prophet (ﷺ) will say "Oh God, they are my companions (in another narration "my nation" is used). Angels will then say: "Oh Messenger (ﷺ) you do not know what they have done after you." Thus, if we take the second meaning then it will only include the believers who were in the time of the Prophet (ﷺ) ie: the Sahaba.
Additionally, for the part mentioning the Muslims as "witnesses" scholars say it means Muslims will be witnesses or the Prophets, against their nations. In support to this, they gave a narration (hadith) where it says that in the day of Judgement some nations will reject the testimony of their Prophets (as). Thereafter, God will ask the Prophets for witnesses, so they will say: Muhammad and his nation! Then we will give a testimony... (narrated in Bukhari). If this narration is accurate then we have a few options: It is not only the Muslims who are witnesses over the people but Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) too. However, Quran says that Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) is a witness over the Muslims. In the dispute between the Prophets and their nations, there are many other witnesses according to the Quran: Angels, Books, hands and legs of people and even their skins. Quran says "Their mouths will be sealed and their hands and feet will speak to Us and testify" - Quran 36:65 Moreover, "Being a witness" could be because of the following: If it is attached to ''Irka'oo'' it means Prophet (ﷺ) is a witness for our good deeds. If it is to ''Ijtabakum'' then Witnessing of the Prophet can be only over the Muslims If it is to ''sammakum'' then it means against witnessing over this nation As a result, we can conclude that this verse cannot prove that Prophet Isa (as) is dead, as the context does not reflect this issue and also many parts of this narration are clashing with Quran. The actual meaning one can derive from this is thus; "Do good deeds so your Prophet (ﷺ) can be a witness over you and you can be a witness over the people."
Most of the Muffassireen state Muslims are witnesses over the whole of humanity. However, I would argue contrary to this because Quran did not mention all of the Prophets and all of the nations. Hence, we cannot witness over the whole of humanity. As a result, the Quran is clear that the Prophet (ﷺ) is a witness over us (Muslims) and we are witnesses over the people that we saw and lived with. Nevertheless, one should not be mistaken that RasoolAllah (ﷺ) does not have knowledge of the previous Prophets and nations. It is an agreed upon matter that the Prophet (ﷺ) has knowledge of this and much more, beyond our comprehension (Allah and His Messenger knows best). Respectively, using this verse to prove Prophet Isa (as) has passed away is quite far-fetched as the verse is actually referring to the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) being a witness over us (Muslims).
The second group may argue that "If Prophet Isa (as) is alive or if he is coming back then the ayah would have mentioned him also as "a witness over us" because he would be here then to witness over the Muslims. I argue this is not necessary, as if just by seeing us is enough to be a witness over us, then God would or should have mentioned Non-Muslims as well, as they will be present and seeing us. Quran does not mention them at all, as a result, I say, just seeing is not the condition of "witnessing" or what Allah is speaking about is some other type of witnessing, and not in its literal sense. Therefore, the second group cannot use this verse to prove the death of Prophet Isa (as). I think it is safe to conclude that this verse does not prove or disprove the death or life of any of the blessed Prophets (as), including Nabi Isa (as).
وَكَذٰلِكَ جَعَلناكُم أُمَّةً وَسَطًا لِتَكونوا شُهَداءَ عَلَى النّاسِ وَيَكونَ الرَّسولُ عَلَيكُم شَهيدًا ۗ وَما جَعَلنَا القِبلَةَ الَّتي كُنتَ عَلَيها إِلّا لِنَعلَمَ مَن يَتَّبِعُ الرَّسولَ مِمَّن يَنقَلِبُ عَلىٰ عَقِبَيهِ ۚ وَإِن كانَت لَكَبيرَةً إِلّا عَلَى الَّذينَ هَدَى اللَّهُ ۗ وَما كانَ اللَّهُ لِيُضيعَ إيمانَكُم ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ بِالنّاسِ لَرَءوفٌ رَحيمٌ "And thus we have made you a just community, that you will be witnesses over the people and the Messenger will be a witness over you.
Quran - 2:143
Continuing on from the previous argument, we can say that this ayah gives extra proof to the second group over the first. This is because, God confirms that it is only Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) who will be a witness over the Muslims and no other Prophet (as) is made mention of. It further acknowledges that the Muslims are only the witnesses over the rest of the nations and again no mention of Prophet Isa (as) with them is made.
The first group in argument to this respond, the Ahadith mentions Prophet Isa's (as) return but not as a new Prophet and we all know and agree that there will be no new prophet to come after Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ). Furthermore, it is possible to have two Rasools or Prophets in one time. For example: Hazrat Ibrahim (as) and Hazrat Lut (as) were both Prophets simultaneously, as well as Prophet Musa (as) and Prophet Harun (as). As a result, it is possible for Isa (as) to come back within the same nation or Prophetic period as Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ). I say this verse is talking about two main things: Firstly, that the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) being a witness over Muslims for the Muslims to be a "just" (wasat) nation. Secondly, the Muslims being a witness over the people for the same reason, as they should be a "just" nation. The ayah is not specifying that one must be a Prophet to be a witness but rather to be a "just" nation and community.
The first group may argue that the Prophet Isa (as) is actually going to be "one of the ummatis of the Prophet (ﷺ)." First and foremost, the second group can argue, as it is not an authentic claim because if we are to accept this claim then the verse cannot prove the return of Prophet Isa (as). This is because as an ummati of the Prophet (ﷺ), he will not witness over us but over the same people whom the rest of the Muslims will witness over.
إِذ قالَ اللَّهُ يا عيسَى ابنَ مَريَمَ اذكُر نِعمَتي عَلَيكَ وَعَلىٰ والِدَتِكَ إِذ أَيَّدتُكَ بِروحِ القُدُسِ تُكَلِّمُ النّاسَ فِي المَهدِ وَكَهلًا ۖ وَإِذ عَلَّمتُكَ الكِتابَ وَالحِكمَةَ وَالتَّوراةَ وَالإِنجيلَ ۖ وَإِذ تَخلُقُ مِنَ الطّينِ كَهَيئَةِ الطَّيرِ بِإِذني فَتَنفُخُ فيها فَتَكونُ طَيرًا بِإِذني ۖ وَتُبرِئُ الأَكمَهَ وَالأَبرَصَ بِإِذني ۖ وَإِذ تُخرِجُ المَوتىٰ بِإِذني ۖ وَإِذ كَفَفتُ بَني إِسرائيلَ عَنكَ إِذ جِئتَهُم بِالبَيِّناتِ فَقالَ الَّذينَ كَفَروا مِنهُم إِن هٰذا إِلّا سِحرٌ مُبينٌ "(The Day) when Allah will say, "O Jesus, Son of Mary, remember My favor upon you and upon your mother; when I supported you with the Pure Spirit and you spoke to the people in the cradle and in maturity; and [remember] when I taught you writing and wisdom and the Torah and the Gospel; and when you designed from clay [what was] like the form of a bird with My permission, then you breathed into it, and it became a bird with My permission; and you healed the blind and the leper with My permission; and when you brought forth the dead with My permission; and when I restrained the Children of Israel from [killing] you when you came to them with clear proofs and those who disbelieved among them said, "This is not but obvious magic." And [remember] when I inspired to the disciples, "Believe in Me and in My messenger Jesus." They said, "We have believed, so bear witness that indeed we are Muslims [in submission to Allah]."
Quran - 5:110
This verse is a very powerful verse. Not only does it go through the miracles of Prophet Isa (as) but moreover, talks about the day of judgement when Allah will converse with Prophet Isa (as) asking him to recall His (Allah's) favours bestowed upon him. If one analyses this verse closely, one finds that Allah mentions no more than nine different favours He granted to Prophet Isa (as), including curing the sick. However, a point to note here is that Allah does not make any mention of the favour on Prophet Isa (as) of returning to the world again. No doubt, Prophet Isa's (as) return to the world in order to kill the Anti-Christ (Dajjal), see or be a part of the nation of the last Prophet (ﷺ) and have a chance to eradicate the lies the Jews and Christians have attributed on him, are much greater than curing of the sick. According to the second group this is a substantial proof that Prophet Isa (as) will not return or else this would be the place Allah would mention it.
I say, this episode from the Quran is mentioning some of the grants of Allah upon Prophet Isa (as) but not all of them. Allah has granted Prophet Isa (as) numerous amount of favours as He has granted us all numerous amount of favours. Therefore, to argue that the favour of Prophet Isa (as) return has not been mentioned, for that reason, he died and will not return is weak. Subsequently, God does not mention in this verse that He has given Prophet Isa (as) knowledge of the unseen (ie: "...he could say what people are eating and storing in their houses"). The ayah also mentions Hazrat Maryam (as) but does not mention the grants specifically, except in general wording. Moreover, it also mentions "Ma'idah" that is granted to the Apostles but does not mention that the followers of Prophet Isa (as) are victorious until the day of Judgement, as is mentioned in Surah Ale Imran 3:55 ("...superior to those who disbelieve and make those who follow you (O Isa) superior to those who disbelieve until the Day of Resurrection...").
Consequently, we can derive that God's conversation with Prophet Isa (as) is to not count each and every bounty He has given to Prophet Isa (as), but it was only to make mention of some. The main outcome of the conversation is to demonstrate to the Ahle Kitab that God is above Prophet Isa (as) in status and nature, not equal as they claim and it is by Allah he is doing all the things he does and not on his own accord. Ultimately, within this argument this verse cannot be used to support the claim on either side.
"[And mention] when the angels said, "O Mary, indeed Allah gives you good tidings of a word from Him, whose name will be the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary - distinguished in this world and the Hereafter and among those brought near [to Allah ]. He will speak to the people in the cradle and in maturity and will be of the righteous." She said, "My Lord, how will I have a child when no man has touched me?" [The angel] said, "Such is Allah ; He creates what He wills. When He decrees a matter, He only says to it, 'Be,' and it is. And He will teach him writing and wisdom and the Torah and the Gospel. And [make him] a messenger to the Children of Israel, [who will say]. 'Indeed I have come to you with a sign from your Lord in that I design for you from clay [that which is] like the form of a bird, then I breathe into it and it becomes a bird by permission of Allah. And I cure the blind and the leper, and I give life to the dead - by permission of Allah. And I inform you of what you eat and what you store in your houses. Indeed in that is a sign for you, if you are believers. And [I have come] confirming what was before me of the Torah and to make lawful for you some of what was forbidden to you. And I have come to you with a sign from your Lord, so fear Allah and obey me."
Quran - 3:45-51
The second group in analysis of this passage say; God has mentioned what He has given to Jesus (as) which includes Jesus (as) informing the people what they eat and what they store, but did not mention that He granted him the miracle or ability to return to this world again. Surely Jesus (as) returning to this world for the second time is a much greater miracle than informing about what people will eat (knowing the unseen).
In my opinion, this argument from a logical perspective holds immense weight, however, the point can be broken down using the same analysis as the previous one. Such as God only mentions some of the grants He has granted to Prophet Isa (as) and not all of them. Further, God only mentions what is relevant to the topic of conversation between Him, Prophet Isa (as) and his apostles.
ما كانَ مُحَمَّدٌ أَبا أَحَدٍ مِن رِجالِكُم وَلٰكِن رَسولَ اللَّهِ وَخاتَمَ النَّبِيّينَ ۗ وَكانَ اللَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيءٍ عَليمًا Muhammad is not the father of [any] one of your men, but [he is] the Messenger of Allah and last of the prophets. And ever is Allah , of all things, Knowing.
Quran - 33:40
The second group allege if Prophet Isa (as) will return then how can Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) be the last Prophet. However, we assessed this issue in the previous sections. To add to the previous points, the word "Khatam" is recited in two ways: "Khatam" and "Khatim." The meaning of Khatim is finalizing and the meaning of Khatam in arabic is "a seal." As for the "seal" it is a metaphor according to majority of the mufassir. As a result, in both cases it still holds the meaning of the "last." Therefore, the "Last Prophet can be any of the following:
1. Last to come 2. Last to exist 3. Last to function as a Prophet 4. Last to die 5. Last to be appointed as a Prophet 6. Last to receive a revelation 7. Last to bring a new revelation from God 8. Last to guide the people 9. Last to be sent 10. Last to be born 11. Last to bring a religion
These are the potential primary meanings of the term "Last Prophet" that can be derived from this. The first nine are applicable on Prophet Isa (as) according to most, if not all. Most of the Ahle Sunnat believe that Prophet Isa (as) abrogates few issues of Islam, whereas some of the Ahle Sunna have endeavoured to justify it by saying "it is not abrogating." However, this needs some evidence to back it up.
In conclusion, the scholars who deny the arrival of Prophet Isa (as), accept all of the meanings of the "Last Prophet" and applied them on Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ). The scholars who believe in the arrival of Prophet Isa (as) only accepted a portion of the meaning of the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) being the last Prophet. However, the first group argue that point 3,6,7 and 11 can be applied to the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) whilst still believing in the arrival of Prophet Isa (as). I say it is not applicable because of the following issues:
Point 3 (last to function as a Prophet) cannot be done as some narrations (ahadith) state that Prophet Isa (as) will be sent for a duty to kill the Dajjal by the order of God and being sent by the order of God denotes being a Prophet. The order here is not takweeni.
Point 6 (last to receive a revelation). It is vivid within the narrations that he will receive a revelation from God. For example, a revelation of taking the believers to Mount Tur etc.
Point 7 and 11. (Last to bring a new revelation from God) and (Last to bring a religion). According to the narrations, he will ignore jizyah, will kill the pigs and destroy the cross, which are properties outside of the shariah or laws of Islam. As a result, we can conclude that he will bring a new revelation or law (religion).
Overall, I will leave it to the reader, academics and respected ulama to make the decision as to which side they thought had the strongest argument for this section of analysis. However, making an impartial decision at this point would be difficult and inappropriate, as we still need to analyse the other side of the spectrum. This article only focussed on the Quran and the ayahs put forward by the second group (Prophet Isa (as) has died and will not return). Whereas, we still have a huge wealth of Ahadith waiting to be analysed on this topic and put forward by group two. Thereafter, we would then have to analyse the Quran ayahs and Ahadiths put forward by group one (Jesus did not die and will return) before we can make any sort of conclusive decision on this topic. If Allah permits I will write the next parts to this article in the near future. Please do dua I can give justice to the topic and if I have made any mistakes then may Allah forgive me for them and increase our knowledge and understanding on this topic. References Notes This article was sourced and edited from Shaykh Atabek Shukurov's Facebook post. (July - August 2014)
Written By: Shaykh Atabek Shukurov Edited By: Adeel Abu Khaled Posted On: April 17th 2018 Authors Note
Over the course of the last century, as a result of the global spread by several Da’wa carriers of what is commonly referred to as the Islamic Awakening, many forgotten concepts began to emerge. Some of these concepts were very important and had a positive impact on society, both Muslim and Non-Muslim, including: The forgotten history of peaceful coexistence and mutual respect in which Muslims, Jews, and Christians lived alongside one another in medieval Andalusia, Sicily, and under the Ottoman government. The glorious contribution of Muslim thinkers to human academic progress, including the likes of Ibn Sina (d 1037 AD), Abu Rayhan (d 1048 AD), Ibn Rushd (d 1198 AD), Abu Nasr (d 951 AD), Ibn Hayyan (d 815 AD), and others. Unfortunately, many of the concepts which were brought by the Da’wa carriers of this period caused severe harm to Islam’s institutions and Muslims. It is apparent that Muslims and important Islamic institutions around the world are still suffering today from the spread of these destructive ideas, including: Doubting the perfect attributes of God. This includes the attribution of negative character traits to God, such as oppression, deception, and dishonesty. Questioning the nobility of the Prophets and causing harm to their reputation. This includes referring to the prophets in a disrespectful and immoral manner, including their sexual performance and presenting them as being the subject of sihr (black magic). Easily shedding the blood of the people, regardless of their faith. Sometimes a single bizarre comment from a person is sufficient to assign them the death penalty. There are additional categories of concepts that have resulted in adverse effects to several Islamic societies in various ways, including financial, social, academic, and spiritual.
I have spent over 30 years in various fields of Islamic academia and have first-hand experience of the damage that has been done across numerous disciplines. There is no excuse for scholars who are aware of these issues to remain silent and restrained while these ideas and beliefs continue to ruin families, communities, nations, and other faiths and ideological communities that exist alongside the Islamic world. The gravest impact was caused by the first two concepts; respect for God and his prophets. The laymen may not fully grasp exactly what is being elucidated here, but consider the following analogy:
Imagine a publicly-traded company in which the President and Vice Presidents are insulted, ridiculed, and publicly humiliated. What would happen to the value of the company’s stock on the exchange? Not only will shares be unattractive to potential investors, but the value of the stock for existing shareholders would likely plummet!
For any venture to succeed there has to be a constitution and laws that are implemented and adhered to, which are developed and implemented by very wise, upright, and experienced people. Any failure in properly observing the laws will have a deleterious impact on the progress and success of the company’s operations.
The vast majority of humans have great difficulty with resisting the temptations and urges of their nafs (animalistic side), meaning that they are driven mostly by their senses and hedonistic desires. Constitution and laws are not associated with the five senses, but with the higher aspects of the human being, including the intellect and ruh (soul/spirit). For this reason, societies require physical policing, including a police force, courts, and prisons. If the majority of the people across the societies had control over their nafs and expressed the potential of their humanistic natures, rather than their animalistic natures, then the written law wouldn’t need to be enforced through such institutions. However, because this isn’t the case, human societies require the presence of the physical manifestation of law and justice.
The humiliation of the company CEO and his Vice Presidents, who represent the physical manifestation of the law in the organization, will be interpreted as the degradation and disgrace of the law itself. When this occurs, it results in the “law of the jungle”, where the strongest eat the weakest: a plummeting stock price, company restructuring, mass layoffs, and even hostile take-overs. Under these conditions, the honour of the naïve and weak is cheaper than a grain of sand.
Consider another analogy; a country where the citizenry despise and, on a daily basis, insult their leaders and heads of state (Presidents, Prime Ministers, Kings, etc.). You will find that these countries are chaotic and lawless, and that the citizens are disconnected from one another. Families are broken, orphans are left unattended to, minorities are oppressed, and there is no progress in any of the major fields, including the social sciences, medicine, engineering, and industry. Additionally, these nations may also be under threat from external forces and interests. In contrast to that, in countries where the vast majority of the citizenry love and respect their Head of State and leaders, you find peace and tranquillity. What you will discover are strong societies with caring families, a plethora of social workers, many of whom are working voluntarily, and in pluralistic societies, equality under the law for minorities. The social sciences, medicine, engineering, and industry are full of innovation and are making breakthroughs that are having a direct benefit to people’s lives.
This is one of the principles that God has instituted in the universe and is why it is important to respect the physical manifestation of the law. The law has to be above everyone, even the rich and powerful.
The above analogies will help the reader understand why it is important to keep God and his prophets on a very high station. Unfortunately, the Islamic Awakening of the last century brought some very bizarre and absurd concepts to the forefront, and these concepts have had a grave impact on the two holy foundations of Faith, which are:
· Doubting the perfect attributes of God through the attribution of some form of defect (i.e. oppression and dishonesty). · Questioning the nobility of the Prophets and causing harm to their reputation by using the station of prophethood in a humiliating context.
Every major error has grave consequences, and that is the law of nature. While humans are prone to error, nature never is and doesn’t make mistakes.
A lot of religious, academic, social, and even economic chaos that exists today is a consequence of this grave error committed by Muslims in the last century with regard to the above two issues. Some of these harmful outcomes include, but are not limited to: Unending bloodshed. Religious issues that were considered very serious for most of Islam’s history being ridiculed by so-called religious people, causing fitnah (conflict and friction) between Muslims. Non-qualified so-called Islamic scholars twisting and manipulating the central and core teachings of Islam, and ridiculing and denigrating Muslims that try to uphold them. Noble and genuine believers being humiliated and oppressed by self-proclaimed religious scholars. Endless online debates of low character by masses of Muslims who are unqualified to discuss the issues in question. Women being denied access to the mosques and reduced to second-class citizens. While the first of the above mentioned issues of the Islamic Awakening (doubting the perfect attributes of God) is the most insidious, the focus of this article is on the second issue (questioning the nobility of the Prophets). The first problem requires more wisdom and conscience, as it has become deeply rooted in some of the major theological schools of contemporary Islam.
Specifically, this article will focus on some of the grave misconceptions related to the nobility and station of the Prophets that have been raised and put forward by some of the contemporary Islamic schools of thought. Constructive criticism to this article is not only welcome, but encouraged; however, I ask that the criticism be brought forward by academics that are capable of properly dissecting and discussing the issues. I also ask that when moving forward into any dialogue over these issues, that we observe proper rules of adab (Islamic etiquette). My intention is not to target or to disrespect any individuals or contemporary Islamic schools of thought; rather, my hope is to make inroads towards solving the problems which have been caused by these false concepts that were brought by some of the Da’wa Carriers of the last couple centuries. We are all human, and, as is often the case, we are prone to error. It is important for the health and wellbeing of our communities that we make an effort to own up to and correct our mistakes.
I hope readers enjoy this article as you did the previous ones.
For one reason or another, certain groups and individuals of contemporary Muslims take the station of prophethood very easily. For example, if you try to point out some of their errors and give them corrective advice to fix their behaviour, it is not uncommon to receive the following response: ''Well, even prophets used to commit errors and were guilty of sins!''. While we may understand that our fellow brothers and sisters are simply trying to humanize God's prophets, it is by no means acceptable behaviour. The messengers of God should be respected and loved by Muslims and our errors should never be justified by the prophets. In contrast, it is not uncommon for Muslims to compare their good character traits and actions with pop culture personalities such as Kim Kardashian, Mo Salah, or performers on The Voice.
Some may wonder what have the scholars have said about this issue. Some may also even speculate that this widespread and unacceptable thinking and behaviour is the result of a misconception or an incorrect opinion of some contemporary thinkers or schools.
In fact, this issue is very well known and contains some very weak opinions. In Islamic scholarship, the issue is referred to as Protection of the Prophets from sin. I want to present the various opinions of the main Islamic schools of thought, including the school which I follow, without delving too deep into it. I will simply discuss the issue on the level that laymen can correct their understanding. Eventually, I will release a more thorough and scholarly analysis of this issue to a smaller group of academics.
In short, there is disagreement among the schools of thought concerning this issue. Below is an analysis of where the schools differ. Before jumping into the analysis of the issues within the major schools, it is important to clarify some terminology: The term ''textually'' refers to this issue being established based on a sacred text (Quran or Sunnah). The term ''rationally'' refers to the issue being established by rational reasoning. For example, the existence of Prophet Noah is a textual issue but not rational, whereas the issue of the existence of the Creator is rational.
Hanbali/Athari school of thought.
According to the Hanbali/Athari School, Prophets can rationally commit major and minor sins before they attain the station of prophethood (Amidi, V 4, P 143). However, after they attain prophethood they are protected from lying, and major sins. They are protected from the major sin only textually, but it is possible rationally according to Hanbali School. This only relates to deliberate, major sins. The non-deliberate major sin is possible for them to commit (ibid). They are also protected from the minor sins which may hurt their reputation, such as stealing (ibid).
A few examples of their proofs include, but are not limited to: It is possible that a prophet can commit kufr by mistake, not only rationally but also textually, which they claim is confirmed by both Quran and authentic Sunnah with regards to Prophet Muhammad PBUH (ibid P 147). They believe that the Prophet PBUH making a kufri statement by mistake is established by both of Quran and Sunnah. According to them, God has confirmed that the Prophet PBUH has pronounced the Satanic verses. They confirmed the textual possibility of the prophets lying by mistake. However, they give textual proof for this claim, which, according to the context of their statement was a deliberate lie and not a mistake. Specifically, they mentioned that Prophet Ibrahim PBUH lied when he said he was ill when he was not, and claimed that ''the biggest idol has killed the minor ones'' (ibid P 161 and 164 and 167). They essentially claim that Prophet Ibrahim lied (It is unclear if, according to them, it was by mistake or deliberate) when he said that he did not destroy the idols but rather it was the biggest idol that was the culprit. They also used the stories of Prophet Noah PBUH as proof for the prophets lying. According to this claim, Prophet Noah lied by mistake when he said that one of the people destroyed by the flood was his son. They also cite numerous textual proofs to back up their position regarding the possibility of prophets committing minor sins: They cite the story of Prophet Yusuf and quote the opinion of Ibn Abbas and Mujahid, who claim that the wife of Aziz and Prophet Yusuf took off their clothes and lay down together in an immoral fashion. (ibid P 177). They claim that Prophet Dawud PBUH once saw and stared at the naked wife of one of his solders taking a shower and fancied her, and so Dawud intentionally sent her husband to his death in battle so that he PBUH could take her as his wife (Maqdisi, P 17). The main foundation of the Hanbali/Athari school is the narrations, and they rely heavily on the authentic hadith, regardless of the value of the content.
Ash'ari school of thought
Abu Bakr Baqillani stated that it is rationally possible for the prophets to commit sins, both minor and major, before they attain the station of prophethood (Taftazani; V 5, P 50, Amidi; V 4, P 142). Ash'aris claim that the prophets are textually protected from sins that could negatively impact their reputation, but not rationally (Juwaini P 280). However, they ultimately claim that prophets can commit minor sins (ibid). This is the official Ash'ari position even though some of the Ash'ari scholars differ in their view.
Unfortunately, a lot of Ash'ari scholars have been negatively influenced and impacted by the wave of the Islamic Awakening that is characterized by Athari movements, and have subjected themselves to making negative comments about the prophets, such as: Claiming that prophet Sulaiman PBUH was informed that the legs of the Queen of Shiba are hairy and resemble the legs of a donkey; therefore, he constructed a palace with glass flooring so that he could observe her naked legs (Baghawi, V 6, P 167, Qurtubi, V 16, P 175). The absurdity of this story does not even merit academic refutation, because Prophets are high above building an entire palace from glass in order to see the naked shins of a Queen. Not only that, but prophets do not even think of testing the amount of hair which women have on their legs. Whoever falsified this story should be granted a prize for reaching the most extreme state of Schizophrenia. Those that repeat such foolish tales should learn how to use their brains.
Maturidi school of thought.
According to the Maturidi School, the Prophets are free from major and minor sins; however, they may exhibit what is referred to as 'Zalal, or small error (Bazdawi P 172).
Maturidi scholars have clarified the textual evidence, which implies that some of the prophets have committed sin. Two verses that are commonly cited and widely used by contemporary Muslims to support the notion that the prophets are involved in sin are the first and second verses of Surah Fath (48:1-2), in which God states:
"Indeed, We have given you, [O Muhammad], a clear conquest, that Allah may forgive for you what preceded of your sin and what will follow and complete His favour upon you and guide you to a straight path."
Surah Fath - 48:1-2 These verses are frequently used to demonstrate that Prophet Muhammad PBUH committed sins before and after the Conquest of Mecca. There is a slight disagreement with regard to what God is referring to when he said; ''before and after''. There are two main opinions on the issue: Before and after the Conquest of Mecca. Before and after prophethood according to Ash'ari and Hanbali Schools. The official Maturidi School does not involve itself in this point because according to Maturidis, Muhammad PBUH was granted the prophethood before his physical birth in contrast to Ash'aris and Hanbalis who believe that he became a prophet at the age of forty. Some Maturidi scholars support this position according to their individual opinions. However, Maturidi scholars have a different interpretation. In ''Tafseer Maturidi'' it states that this verse [48:1-2] has two possible interpretations: It is referring to his [Prophet Muhammad's] sin, and it indicates that it is forgiven. Furthermore, it is not permissible for us to speculate in regard to his sin or error. This is because contemplating and conjecturing about this issue diminishes the station of prophethood in general and devalues the honour of the Prophet PBUH in particular. Continued speculation in this direction has the potential of persuading someone into disbelief. Furthermore, the Prophet's PBUH sin and the sin of the rest of the prophets are not comparable to ours, because what can be considered as a sin for the prophets can be on the level of Mubah [lawful] for us. God knows best. Scholars also interpret from these verses that God has protected Prophet Muhammad PBUH from committing sin, which is a valid linguistic point. It is referring to the sin of his nation, which means that God forgives the sins of his nation by his Shafa'ah [Interference]. It is similar to the narration which states that ''Muadhin will be forgiven up to the point where his voice reaches'', which means that he will be doing Shafa'ah to anyone who lives within the place where his voice reaches [V 4, P 518]. The above interpretations clearly demonstrate how highly Maturidis treat the station of prophethood. Their position is a clear warning to Muslims about the danger of falling into disbelief with further speculation into the topic.
Another opinion on the same verses [48:1-2] from Maturidi scholar Abu Saud RA is that:
''Your previous and latest sins is referring to ''Khilaf Awla'' (the things you have done which were better not to do). It is referred to as sin because of the high station of the Prophet PBUH''. (V8, P 104)
Unfortunately, we have a lot of Maturidi scholars in the later generations who are influenced by Athari ideas, which has resulted in the attribution of undesirable and harmful qualities to the prophets, specifically due to the overreliance on the collections of hadeeth.
The intention of this article is not to provide an exhaustive analysis of the opinions and evidence of the various Islamic schools of thought on this issue, nor is it to offend any individuals or groups. However, the fact of the matter is that this issue has caused a lot of disorder and confusion among Muslims and Non-Muslims alike. Nevertheless, this article confirms my position that the Maturidi approach towards the prophets is the most consistent with Quran. It should be clearly understood that discussing and speculating about the prophets in any way that puts their honour into question, and lowers the station of prophethood, has and will continue to reap detrimental and destructive consequences for Muslims and Muslim societies. Unfortunately, it is the so-called Muslim scholars of the past and present that are leading the charge to speculate on a number of miserable issues with regards to the prophets, including sexual performance and impotence, the attribution of major/minor sins, their very intimate physical descriptions, etc.
God has strongly cautioned us about this issue:
And among them are those who abuse the Prophet and say, "He is an ear." Say, "[It is] an ear of goodness for you that believes in Allah and believes the believers and [is] a mercy to those who believe among you." And those who abuse the Messenger of Allah - for them is a painful punishment. Quran - 9:61 And [mention, O Muhammad], when Moses said to his people, "O my people, why do you harm me while you certainly know that I am the messenger of Allah to you?" And when they deviated, Allah caused their hearts to deviate. And Allah does not guide the defiantly disobedient people. Quran - 61:5 O you who have believed, be not like those who abused Moses; then Allah cleared him of what they said. And he, in the sight of Allah, was distinguished. Quran - 33;69
The above verses are clear and explicit: hurting and abusing the prophets is not something that God takes lightly. God has warned the people who hurt and humiliate the prophets that they will be on the receiving end of a painful punishment. I believe that this indirectly proves the Maturidi position that the people who disparage and disrespect the prophets may end up in disbelief. There is no doubt that discussing and speculating about the prophets in this way, including attributing to them lies, deception, and sexual immorality is harming and humiliating them. Unfortunately, in the last few years we have witnessed some of the so-called Muslim scholars reduce themselves to making fun of the Glorious Prophets, including Muhammad, Ibrahim, Isa, and Musa PBUT. It is a very miserable reality, and I am afraid that God will not give these scholars free reign and a free pass for this degenerative behaviour. The prophets were sent by God and he takes care of the people who are performing the mission ordered by Him!
The duty of the genuine believers towards their prophets is not to speculate on their ''sins'', or sexual and mental impotence. Instead, our duty is to support them by helping to spread their message, keep them in a high regard, inform the people of their glorious characters, and to protect their honour.
God says: "Indeed, We have sent you as a witness and a bringer of good tidings and a warner. That you [people] may believe in Allah and His Messenger and support him and respect the Prophet and exalt Allah morning and afternoon." Quran - 48:8,9
In this verse, God has clarified what genuine believers should uphold towards the prophets. With regards to this verse I have my own personal understanding, even though it opposes the opinions of a lot of glorious scholars including the top Maturidi scholars. God has mentioned three duties in this verse: supporting, respecting, and exalting. Most of the scholars commented that the first two duties (supporting and respecting) are with respect to the Prophet PBUH and the third is with respect to God.
However, it is my opinion, theologically, that even the third duty can be with respect to the Prophet PBUH, and this tafseer is more grammatically and linguistically sound. On the grammatical point, it is difficult to accept the opinion of the majority of the scholars of referring the first two to the prophet and the third to God. That is why some scholars such as Fakhr Razi, Mawardi, and Alusi preferred that all is to God. I believe we can use the word ''Tusabbihuhu'' in its linguistic meaning, which connotes ''believing someone free from evil attributes and conditions''. However, if we understand it according to the meaning of ''Praying'' then I defer to and support the position of the above three scholars that all of these duties should refer to God only!
Nonetheless, the duty of the genuine believers toward the prophets is to support them, honour them, and reject all of the harmful and miserable things that are attributed to them.
In the last century, some of the Da'wa carriers of the era of the Islamic Awakening have brought ideas and concepts that have diminished the station of prophethood, and it was a major error for which we are still paying a heavy price, especially throughout the last several decades. I am also aware that a very small number of genuine scholars have taken responsibility for the grievous consequence of this error and have tried to correct it. Unfortunately, they were and are very small in number and find themselves in circumstances in which they are standing alone against masses of followers of these incorrect ideas. I hope that the academics of our present age will take it upon themselves to help in reversing the negative effects of these ideas by educating Muslims of their duties towards the prophets, and warning the believers of the severe consequences that come with speculating into these ideas and concepts. By now, everyone should understand and grasp the magnitude of these faults. I ask God to send us a person who will inspire us to wake up from our collective coma.
I want to thank you for believing that your time is worthy of reading my article. That means a lot to me.
I welcome any academic comment.
Abu Saud, Muhammad bin Muhammad Al-Imadi ''Irshad Al-Aql Al-Salim Ila Mazaya Al-Quran Al-Karim'', published by Dar Ihya Al-Turath Al-Arabi, Beirut, Lebanon.
Amidi, Sayfuddin ''Abkar Al-Afkar Fi Usul Al-Din'' published by Matba'ah Dar Al-Kutub wa Al-Wathaiq Al-Qawmiyyah, Cairo, Egypt, Second edition 2004.
Bazdawi, Abu Yusr Muhammad ''Usul Al-Din'', published by Al-Maktabah Al-Azhariyyah Li Al-Turath, Cairo, Egypt, 2005
Juwaini, Imam Al-Haramain ''Kitab Al-Irshad Ila Qawati Al-Adillah Fi Usul Al-Itiqad'', published by Maktabah Al-Thaqafah Al-Diniyyah, Cairo, Egypt, 2009.
Maturidi, Abu Mansur Muhammad bin Muhammad ''Tafsir Al-Quran Al-Adhim'', published by Muassasah Al-Risalah Nashirun, Beirut, Lebanon, first edition 2004.
Ibn Qudama, Muwaffaquddin Abu Muhammad bin Ahmad Al-Maqdisi ''Kitab Al-Tawwabin'', published by Dar Al-Kutub Al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, Lebanon, 1987.
Taftazani, Masud bin Umar, ''Sharh Al-Maqasid'' published by Alam Al-Kutub, Beirut, Lebanon, second edition 1998.
Qurtubi, Abu Abdullah Muhammad bin Ahmad ''Al-Jame Li Ahkam Al-Quran'', published by Muassasah Al-Risalah, Beirut, Lebanon, 2006
Baghawi, Abu Muhammad Husain bin Masud ''Maalim Al-Tanzeel'' published by Dar Taybah, Al-Riyadh, KSA, 1989
Written By: Shaykh Atabek Shukurov Edited By: Sonia Nisa Posted On: April 17th 2018 Authors Note
"I am pleased to say that my previous article regarding the two different Schools of Islam (Quranic and Hadithi) reached my targeted audiences. Shortly, after a well-needed break, I will release the second part of my article on "Geography of the divine religions" if Allah the Al Mighty wills.
In this article, I will determine and discuss another difference between the Quranic and Hadithi school. I have immense hopes that this will open our minds and aid us in the route towards tolerance between the different Schools of Thought. Even though I am a follower of the Quranic School of Thought, which is addressed as "Early Hanafi", I have immense respect towards the Hadithi orientated Schools (Ja'fari, Maliki, Shaf'i, Hanbali and Latter Hanafis) and their learned Scholars. Unequivocally, all of the Scholars have immense knowledge, from whom I have been benefiting and will be so, in my future research and articles. Vice versa, I hope that the followers of the Hadithi Schools are benefiting from the Quranic School. I will ensure to present the Quranic School theology and jurisprudence in the purest possible way. In my previous article, I presented only one matter related to jurisprudence and the difference between the two Schools. However, today, I will discuss one of the most important issues concerning Theology and present the different disagreements.
Hope you enjoy it..." Introduction There is a wide spread rumour within the fundamentals of Islam, amongst the Muslims of our time and age. They believe that every single human is born as a Muslim and it is the default status. Nevertheless, any deformation that takes place in his later life is believed to be a side effect of the environment, the society, and all the other surrounding factors. To summarise the ideology it literally means, "Every single human is born as a Muslim and he is deformed as a non-Muslim because of his parents and other surrounding factors." Hence the widely term "Revert" used for when a person accepts Islam as opposed to "convert".
Personally, I believe it is a valid point, upon which we have a difference of opinion amongst the Hadithi theologians on one-side and the Quranic theologians on the other. It will be of much interest for majority of the Muslims to read and research upon this subject from both angles. I will try my best, to be un-biased, nor disrespect any of the Schools and just merely present my research and evidence. This leaves the reader to decide for himself/herself.
Nonetheless, let me summarise the question: Are we born as a Jew, a Christian or a Muslim? Is the default religion of all humans Judaism, Christianity or Islam?
Ja'fari School: Imam Ja'far Sadiq said, "The Humans are born as Muslims, Hanifs and Monotheists."
Maliki: Imam Malik bin Anas has two opinions: In one opinion, he agreed with Imam Ja'far Sadiq and in the second, he has confirmed that a Muslim is born as a Muslim, a non-Muslim is born as a non-Muslim, and everyone is born upon the condition in which he is going to live and die.
Imam Shaf'i: As of yet, I was unable to determine what Imam Shaf'i said regarding this issue. However, his chief followers have confirmed that every human is created as a Muslim (Baghawi, V 6, P 269). Some of his followers said that every human is created with the condition of being a monotheist who recognizes God (Ibn Kathir, V 6, P 313).
Hanbali: Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal supported the two opinions of Imam Malik. However, his latter position is that ''all humans are born as Muslims."
Latter (and contemporary) Hanafis: Latter and contemporary Hanafis likewise agreed with Imam Ja'far Sadiq and said: "All humans are born as Muslims, and later they may apostate to become Jews, Christians, Zoroastrians or anything else.
All of the above Schools have agreed that every human being is born as a Muslim and that our default status is Islam. Further, they have all used the term ''Fitrah.''
According to Imam Abu Hanifa and early Hanafis, humans are born with no religion what so ever. Being a member of any of the religions including Islam, Judaism and Christianity requires consciousness and awareness, which is impossible as a newborn child (boys and girls). Therefore, claiming that everyone is born following a particular religion is an illogical claim. Everyone is born like a "blank paper", concerning knowledge and religion. A newborn baby does not have the level of intellect, which would support him to contemplate upon different religions nor to choose any of them. Furthermore, the term ''Fitrah'' which is mentioned in Quran does not in form or shape mean Judaism nor Christianity nor Islam.
Proof of the Schools
As we have already understood from my previous article that the disagreement between these schools lies in the fundamentals. I mean, the reason for them to disagree is that they have different foundations for their Schools. Therefore, the Hadithi Schools adhere to the Hadiths as their main foundations, and likewise the Quranic School adheres to the Quran as their main foundation.
What is ''Fitrah''?
From the above discussion, it is evident that one of the main important aspects regarding this issue is the correct understanding of the term ''Fitrah'', which is mentioned in both, the Quran and Hadith. In this article, we are only concerned about the condition in which a human is born. That condition is called ''Fitrah.'' Therefore, I will ignore any other issues, which are not related to this condition. There is a large disagreement about its meaning, and we can review some of the opinions:
''Fitrah'' according to the Hadithi Schools
Imam Malik bin Anas. Scholars have attributed two positions to Imam Malik. One of his opinions was concerning the ''Fitrah'' which is mentioned in Quran and the second one is in the Hadith. He may have changed his opinion about this issue during his life. Imam Abu Walid Baji and Imam Ibn Hajar Asqallani transmitted that Imam Malik believed that ''Fitrah'' is the religion of Islam (Baji, V 7, P 231, Asqallani, V 3, P 250) and it is supported by a group of Maliki scholars (Baji, V 2, P 33). Others also accept this position such as, Abu Huraira (the junior companion), Imam Ibn Shihab Al-Zuhri, Ibn Zaid, Mujahid, Ikrimah, Hasan Basri, Qatadah, and Dhahhak. This opinion is supported by the vast majority (actually consensus) of the [Hadithi] Scholars of tafseer amongst the first three centuries of Islam. They provided evidence for their position using the hadith, which is narrated by Iyad bin Himar Al-Mushaje'i. The Prophet (PBUH) said to the people, ''Do you want me to inform you what God has told me in his Book? God has created Adam and his descendants as Muslims and he gave them the Halal wealth with no haram in it...'' (Ibn Abdulbarr, V 18, P 72, Qurtubi, V 16, P 422, Asqallani, V 3, P 248). The second opinion of Imam Malik bin Anas is that the ''Fitrah" means the condition upon which God has predestined each of us. For example, God has created a group of people and has destined them to be rich or poor, but on the other hand, He (God) created some people to enter into Hell and some to paradise etc... this condition here is called Fitrah. Based on this definition, Fitrah is not of one type, but each person has a different Fitrah. For instance, the Fitrah of John Smith is that he is white Irish, tall, blond, poor, intelligent, poor health, no family, going to paradise etc.. Similarly, other people have their own ''Fitrah''. Abdullah bin Mubarak also followed this opinion. This position was the initial stance of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (Ibn Abdulbarr, V 18, P 78, Qurtubi, V 16, P 423, Asqallani, V 3, P250). They have supported their position with some of the Hadiths. For example, in Sunan Tirmidhi Hazrat Aisha (RA) narrates a hadith, where the Prophet (PBUH) was invited to attend the funeral of an immature child. She said, "O Prophet (PBUH), how amazing is it that he is one of the sparrows of Paradise, for he never has committed any sin!" The Prophet (PBUH) replied, ''Do not say that because you do not know! God has created people [and sentenced them] for Paradise whilst they were still in the back spine of their fathers. Also, God has created people [and sentenced them] for the Hell whilst they were still in the back spine of their fathers'' (Qurtubi, V 16, P 424). Abu Abbas Al-Qurtubi (d 1258 AD) one of the Maliki scholars has confirmed that the opinion of this group is only the correct one concerning the ''Fitrah'' which is mentioned in Quran. However, the ''Fitrah'' which is mentioned in the Hadith collections hold a different meaning because the Quranic Fitrah does not change, whereas the Hadithi definition and meaning is variable (Abu Abbas, V 6, P 675). To bring to back to light, the various opinions of the different schools are as follows, with a few extra proofs: Imam Shaf'i: As of yet, I was incapable of determining what Imam Shaf'i said regarding this issue. However, his chief followers have confirmed that every human is created as a Muslim (Baghawi, V 6, P 269). Some of his followers said that every human is created with the as a monotheist who recognizes God (Ibn Kathir, V 6, P 313).
Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal: He has two opinions: In his early position he deemed ''Fitrah'' the second opinion of Imam Malik. However, his last opinion was that ''Fitrah'' is the religion of Islam (Ibn Abdulbarr, V 18, P 78, Qurtubi, V 16, P 423, Asqallani, V 3, P248). It is also one of two opinions of Imam Malik as we have learnt. Imam Jafar Sadiq: He believed that 'Fitrah' is Islam, Tawhid and recognition of God. It is also the position of the rest of the Imams of Ahl Bait (Qummi, P 349, Majlisiy, V 3, P 203).
Some other scholars said: ''Fitrah means Islam'', and the difference between the opinion of this group and the opinion of Malik, Ahmad and Ja'far Sadiq is that the first group believe that the Fitrah is changeable and deformable. However, this second group believe that Fitrah is unchangeable; therefore, they confirm that God has granted the Fitrah only to the Muslims (Qurtubi, V 16, P 424). This means that the non-Muslims were not created with the Fitrah within them. It is evident that the last two opinions belong to the scholars who do not believe that humans have a free will (Jabri-Hadithi Schools of Thought).
Imam Al-Hakim Al-Tirmidhi (d 854 AD) the Sufi Muhaddith said: Fitrah means poverty (Qurtubi, V 16, P 429). Obviously, this interpretation is according to some type of Sufi-Ishari School.
Latter and Contemporary Hanafis: The scholars of Hadithi type of Hanafi School said: ''Fitrah is the foundation of Islam such as Tawhid and similar things. Humans have been created with the foundations of Islam in their nature'' (Uthmani, V 5, P 383).
Some Scholars said that ''Fitrah'' which is mentioned in Hadith means a quality of the heart to detect the truth. It is similar to the quality of the eye to detect the colour and the ear to detect the sound etc. Similarly, that is how the heart of a human can detect the truth. This is the position of Imam Abu Abbas Al-Qurtubi (Abu Abbas, V 6, P 676).
We are aware that all of the Quranic Schools are vanished by various reasons except the Hanafi School, which was likewise deformed multiple times and lost its initial shape. Today, we are going to witness one of the scenarios of deformation of this school. Therefore, we will discuss Imam Abu Hanifa's response to the question, ''Are all humans born as a Muslim, a Jew, a Christian or even as an Atheist?
Imam Abu Hanifa said: ''God has created all humans free from disbelief (Kufr) and belief (Iman). Then he has given them his commands and prohibitions. The humans who disbelieve, they have done so by refusing and rejecting the truth but by God disowning him. The humans, who have believed in Him (God), have done so by accepting and submitting to Him but by Gods support. [There is an inserted text, which I will clarify later] God did not force anyone to believe nor disbelieve, nor has He created anyone as a believer or a disbeliever but rather, He has created him or her and given him or her the free will to choose. Each human has a free will, whether to be a believer or a disbeliever and God knows the disbeliever when he disbelieves. Then when he (the individual) starts believing, God is knowledgeable of that too, without any change occurring to his knowledge'' (Abu Hanifa, P 7).
The text is very clear, easy to understand and consistent. Imam Abu Hanifah is clearly confirming that God has created us humans, without them being Theist or Atheist and they have a free will to choose amongst the two. However, an unknown person, who inserted the narrative concept about God creating the humans before they were born, distorted this position (It is very obvious to the person who reads the whole text by contemplating its meaning). This concept is called ''Al-Methaq'' or can be translated into English as "The Primordial Covenant." (Please refer to my article, "Destiny with no free will or Al-Methaq" for a deeper understanding of this concept: )
According to this concept, everyone has accepted God as his or her Creator and Lord. The proof for the distortion of this text is that the story of ''Al-Mithaq'' does not match and contradicts the texts before and after, both of which is confirming that humans were created free from belief and disbelief and that they choose to become one after refusing or accepting God. Another proof for the distortion is that Imam Abu Mansur is the main narrator of all the books in their authentic form. He is the scholar who has spread the theological school of Imam Abu Hanifa in Central Asia. However, he rejected the narrations regarding ''Al-Methaq'' and confirmed that it never happened (Maturidi, Bazdawi, P 218).
A question that arises is that based on the above point, what is the ''Fitrah'' according to this opinion?
''Fitrah'' according to them is nature and creation (Nasafi, Kharezmi). This means that God has created the humans in the nature of a human being, which is different to the nature of other animals. Humans have a brain, have speech, and encompass the remainder qualities, which are exclusively specific to humans. For example, only a human being can contemplate over the things, which are irrelevant to his survival (such as theological and philosophical or artistic points). Whereas the other animals can only contemplate about the animalistic needs such as survival, fighting, hunting etc...
Therefore, in the verse, God is ordering us not to deviate from the human nature, which will lead us towards the correct path because the nature which God has granted us is very unique. God orders us not to behave like the animals or animalistic characteristics, who only care about survival, hunting, eating, drinking and reproduction...etc
Some of the latter scholars of the Hadithi School of Thought have found this interpretation more reasonable. This group includes a group of Maliki scholars such as Ibn Abdulbarr Al-Andalusi (d 1071 AD), Ibn Atiyyah al-Andalusi (d 1146 AD), Imam Al-Qurtubi (d 1273 AD) and others (Ibn Abdulbarr, V 18, P 68, Andalusi, V 4, P 336, Qurtubi, V 16, P 427), even though their definition of the Fitrah is not comprehensive, as they believe: ''It is a condition in the child by which he can distinguish between the creation of God, to recognise the Lord Al-Mighty, and recognise His religious commands and believe in Him'' (ibid).
I have made this article in two parts (as I did with the previous one) because it requires a lot of deep thought to understand this issue. I will release the second half when I think is suitable inshaallah...
Abu Abbas, Ahmad bin Umar bin Ibrahim Al-Qurtubi, ''Al-Mufhim Lima Ashkala Min Talkhis Kitab Muslim'', published by Dar Ibn Kathir, Damascus, Syria, first edition 1996.
Abu Hanifa, Nu'man bin Thabit Al-Kufi, ''Al-Fiqh Al-Akbar'', published by Dairah Al-Ma'arif Al-Nizamiyyah, Hyderabad, India, 1924.
Andalusi, Abu Muhammad Abdulhaqq bin Atiyyah, ''Al-Muharrar Al-Wajeez'', published by Dar Kutub Al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, Lebanon, 2001
Asqallani, Ahmad bin Ali bin Hajar (d 1448 AD), ''Fath Al-Bari Sharh Sahih Al-Bukhari'', published by Al-Maktabah Al-Salafiyyah,
Baghawi, Abu Muhammad Husain bin Masud (d 1122 AD), ''Ma'alim Al-Tanzil'', published by Dar Taybah, Riyad, KSA, 1991.
Baji, Abu Waleed Sulaiman bin Khalaf Al-Andalusi (d 1101 AD), ''Al-Muntaqa Sharh Muwatta'', published by Matba'ah Al-Sa'aday, Egypt, 1914.
Bazdawi, Abu Al-Yusr Muhammad (d 1030 AD) published by Al-Maktabah Al-Azhariyyah Lil-Turath, Cairo, Egypt, 2003.
Ibn Abdulbarr, Yusuf bin Adullah Al-Andalusi, ''Al-Tamhid'', published by the Ministry of Religious Affairs, Morocco 2002.
Ibn Kathir, Abu Al-Fida Ismael bin Umar Al-Dimashqi (d 1372 AD) ''Tafsir Al-Quran Al-Adhim'', published by Dar Taybah, Riyad, KSA, second edition 1999.
Majlisiy, Muhammad Baqir (d 1699 AD), ''Bihar Al-Anwar'', published by Muassasah Al-A'lami Lil-Matbu'at, Beirut, Lebanon, 2008.
Qummi, Abu Ja'far Muhammad bin Ali (d 981 AD), ''Ma'ani Al-Akhbar'', published by Dar Al-Ma'rifah, Beirut, Lebanon, 1979.
Qurtubi, Abu Abdullah Muhammad bin Ahmad, ''Al-Jame' Li-Ahkam Al-Quran'', published by Muassasah Al-Risalah, Beirut, Lebanon, first edition 2006.
Uthmani, Muhammad Taqi (contemporary) ''Takmilah Fath Al-Muslim'', published by Dar Ihya Al-Turath Al-Arabi'' Beirut, Lebanon, 2006.
"Globally, Muslims makeup the first largest religious group, with nearly two billion people or you can say 25% of the world's population. Today, a huge majority of Muslims globally belong to the Sunni sect. Although Sunni's are divided into several different sects or schools of thought within themselves, such as Hanafi, Hanbali, Shafei, Ja'fari and Maliki etc, they are considered legitimate under Islamic law. Despite the fact that the currently existing schools of Islam are only the Hadithi, it was not the case before. I mean, the current Islamic schools (Ja'fari, Maliki, Shafei, Hanbali and modern Hanafi) are hadithiy based schools. They keep the Hadith as central located which can be seen in the following points: Every time one asks them for any evidence all they give you is ahadith If they ask you for any proof, similarly they only wait to hear an 'authentic hadith' They emphasise upon studying the science of hadith, which includes commentary of hadith, sources of hadith, knowledge of who narrated the specific hadiths, fiqh of hadith etc. Their authors primarily write concerning ahadith They predominantly spread the knowledge of hadith They evaluate every other source of knowledge (including Quran) by using hadith According to them, the Quran must be understood in accordance with hadith and not other way around. To summarise, the fundamentals of all these 'Schools of Thought' are established upon Hadith, contrary to the 'Schools of Thought' that form their main source upon Qur'an, which unfortunately has become almost extinct in our time and age. Perhaps, potentially the Hanafi School of Thought was the only school remaining that established their fundamentals upon Qur'an. Thereafter, it diverted from its original structure and principles to shape itself similar to the remainder schools. Meaning it shifted is paradigm towards a 'Hadith based perspective School'. This significant change in its model, even though it being introduced from the early stages, became more stronger during the latter and contemporary Hanafis that came after the advent of the great classical Imams of the Hanafi school. In our century, we witnessed several scholars and researchers who attempted in reviving the Qur'anic schools but were unfortunately unsuccessful. These scholars and researchers were branded under many labels throughout our time, such as "Qur'anists", "Hadith rejecters" or even "Heretics". My reason to bring this subject into the light is to demonstrate the differentiation between the two, in hope that the readers will be able to grasp the differences between 'Quranic Jurisprudence' and 'Hadithi Jurisprudence' and will therefore appreciate the knowledge and research of the scholars who have inputted painstaking effort into their work. Furthermore, it will give a clear understanding of what makes the contemporary 'Quranists' different to the 'people of the Qur'an (Ahle Quran)' in the past. With the intention to achieve a clear understanding between the two, I have chosen a subject, which has practically affected every one of our lives.
In this article, I will discuss the geography of the Divine religions because this has caused and is still causing immense repercussions, regardless whether these are of a negative or positive nature. Let us begin with the question: “Are Divine religions geographical?” In simple words, is there a geographical space in which certain divine religions have to have its presence independently? We have two potential answers to this question: Hadithi (Ja’fari, Maliki, Shafei, Hanbali, latter and contemporary Hanafi) Schools of Thought all answered the question affirmatively. Quranic (earliest Hanafi) School of Thought answered the question in negative! I will present the detailed arguments and proofs from both schools perspectives, comment on it, and conclude the article by giving some of my own personal thoughts and opinions on the topic.
Hadithi School has been subjected to many different names such as, Athari, Ahl al-Athar, Ahl al-Hadith, People of the Sunnah, People of Hadith, the path of Ahl Bait, school of Aal, and Path of the Salaf. All of the mentioned names have one meaning: 'following the narrations.' Although this School has many different branches, recognize that all of them follow the same main principle, which is ''Following the narrations.'' The reason behind the formation of all these multiple branches different to one another is that each branch followed their own list of narrations. The formation of this list has many causes: The narrations of a specific group. For example, the narrations of the people who lived in a specific place (for example, Medina), or the narrations of the people who belong to a specific dynasty (for example, Ahl Bait). The narrations, which can be found in specific books (for example six books Hadith) The narrations, which are narrated by certain groups of people (for example Non-Mu'tazila) The narrations, which accord certain principles (refer to Hakim) The narrations of the narrators who are approved by few individuals (such as the ones who are approved by Ahmad or Ibn Ma'een) This is one of the main reasons why I do not consider any of these Schools different from one another. They all are Hadithi oriented with exactly the same main principle of ''Following the narrations.'' Now, let us have a look what each of these Hadithi Schools have to say concerning the above issue: Maliki School: According to this School Jazeerah al-Arab or the Arabian Peninsula, belongs to Islam, so no other religion can exist there besides theirs. This means that the people who follow any religion besides Islam cannot live there and it is the responsibility of the government to banish all of them out of the country. However, non-Muslims can visit it for a few days (Qurtubi, V 4, P 561, Nawawi, V 11, P 136). Ja'fari School: This Schools is known by the following names: Twelvers, Shi'ah, and Rafidhah. They have also confirmed that Non-Muslims are not allowed to live in Arabian Peninsula (Tusi, V 2, P 47) Shaf'i School: They agree with the Maliki and Ja'fari (above) position but they apply the ruling strictly on the geographical location, which is only Hijaz (Makkah, Madinah and Al-Yamamah region (Qurtubi, V 4, P 561, Nawawi, V 11, P 136). Hanbali School: They hold the same position as Shaf'is (Maqdisi, V 13, P 242). Tabari School: According to the great expert of Tafsir, Muhammad bin Jareer al-Tabari claimed, non-Muslims should be banished from any place, which is conquered by Muslims (Asqallani, V 6, P 313, Qurtubi, V 4, P 561). Contemporary Hanafi school; I would prefer to call them as Hadithiy deformation of Hanafi school (in a shorter way; Ha-De-Nafi school). This school took the contradicting statement of Muhammad bin Hasan Al-Shaybani as their main basis to justify the hadithiy deformation of the school. Muhammad made two contradicting statements about the same issue in his two books in one he supported the position of Abu Hanifa and in the second he opposed (Shami, V 6, P 337, Encyclopaedia, V 3, P 130) . So, the modern hanafis took the second statement which is opposing Abu Hanifa and claimed that to be the official Hanafi school. Unfortunately, they practice this habit quite often. Anyway, they said that it is not permissible for Non-Muslims to live in Jazeera of Arabs (Thanvi, V 12, P 555). Quranic School
Unfortunately, we lost many schools, which apprehended the Quran as the main source of guidance. I will discuss the reasons for why they are extinct, as this lengthy topic will require a separate article. Perhaps in the near future, if Allah wills I will focus my efforts to produce this also. However, we only have one of these schools that is distorted. Let us see what this school has to say concerning the above issue: Hanafi School: According to them, it is permissible for non-Muslims to live wherever they want including Jazeerah and even Hijaz and even Haram or even city of Mecca (Shami, V 6, P 337). Only the thing is if some Non-Muslim citizen visits Jazeera of Arabs then there are two options; Either he gets a work permit for the maximum of one year in one go, or if he wants to live for longer then he has to get a long stay permit or citizenship (Quduri, P 235, Marghinani, V 4, P 304, Sarakhsi, V 5 P 119). They should be treated justly as one of the Muslim citizens except for the matters related to their religion. For example, matters concerning buying and selling wine and pork etc are a few examples of this. Consequently, it is not permitted for a Muslim to sell them, but the non-Muslim living in a Muslim country can sell and buy them at their own free will. (Quduri, P 89), also the Judge can punish the Muslim for getting drunk but does not touch Non-Muslim citizen for the same act (Shami, V 6 P 280). Proof of the Schools
Now that we have briefly discussed the opinions and differences between the schools of thought, it will be highly beneficial to look at the proofs of these schools, as the main reason for disagreements between the different schools is the evidence and proof. They use these evidences and proofs to make and authenticate the fundamentals of their school. A crucial point to be noted that the proofs, which they present, may not necessarily be the actual reason for them to take a certain position. Sometimes they may have a very different reasoning, but they bring fourth proofs, as they do not want to show the real reason. Unfortunately, we cannot talk about these real reasons, as no one knows besides God and them themselves what the intention or real reasoning is. However, we should test these proofs, which they present and see how consistent their opinion or applied principles accord with their proofs. If inconsistency remains, we can conclude either of these two things: They are not qualified to derive their opinions directly from the original sources. They have a different reason, which triggered them to take a certain position, which they did not present for the reason they know. Now, let us look at the proofs:
Proofs of the Hadithi School
Obviously, all of the Hadithi schools (Ja'fari-Shia, Maliki, Shaf'i, Hanbali, latter-day (modern) Hanafi) are using the same hadiths to back their positions. This is why I did not discuss each of them in a separate chapter. Instead, I will mention the list of hadiths, which all of these schools utilise: Ibn Abbas (ra) said, The Prophet (PBUH) made a will one day before his death, and ordered us for three things saying, ''Deport the Pagans from Jazeera of Arabs, grant the gifts to the delegation as I used to do.'' Then Ibn Abbas (ra) said, I forgot the third order (Bukhari and Muslim). In the copy of 'Sahih Bukhari' by Jurjani it says, ''Deport the Jews from Jazeera of Arabs!'' (Asqallani, V 6, P 313, Bukhari/Muslim) Ibn Umar (ra) transmitted, The Prophet (PBUH) said, ''I will definitely deport Jews and Christians from Jazeera of Arabs so that no one will live there but Muslims.'' Then he made a very firm order to deport Pagans out of Jazeera of Arabs'' (Tirmidhi, first part narrated by Muslim too). Imam Malik (ra) transmitted from Zuhri (ra), the Prophet (PBUH) said, ''Two religions should not co-exist in Jazeera of Arabs'' (Muwatta) Abu Huraira (ra) said, Once we were in the Mosque and the Prophet (PBUH) said, ''Let us go to the Jews.'' We left the mosque and came to the house of Midraas. The Prophet (PBUH) said to them, ''Embrace Islam so that you will be safe [from the hell], and be noted that the Earth belongs to God and his Messenger! I want to deport you from this place. So, if you want to save your commodity then sell it or else be noted that the Earth belongs to God and his Messenger!'' (Bukhari, Muslim) From the above Hadiths, we understand that the order about deporting the non-Muslims from Jazeera (Arabian Peninsula) was the last concern of the Prophet (PBUH) before his death. Some may think that it was something, which the Prophet (PBUH) was concerned even long before his death because of the hadith of Abu Huraira (RA). However, that is incorrect because the narration says that Abu Huraira was with the Prophet (PBUH) in this incident and we know that he became Muslim approximately three years prior to the death of the Prophet (PBUH). Based on that, we understand that this concern was towards the death of the Prophet (PBUH). This group as a proof for their stance presented all of these hadiths.
Proofs of the Quranic School
As I mentioned previously, we only have one Quranic school remaining, which is stipulated on academical foundations. Unfortunately, this one and only Quranic School went through multiple distortions, which were designed to convert it into a Hadith based School. The most recent major attempt to change the school to a Hadithi perspective occurred in the sub-continent and is still ongoing. Sometimes it is very difficult to extract the original positions of this school but it is still possible if one has an in-depth knowledge of Usul ul-Fiqh. My suggestion to the contemporary scholars would be to leave this school as it is and stop trying to transform it into another Hadithi school, as we already have more than six well-established Hadithi schools. It is good to have different schools, which will broaden our vision. If we carry on transforming all of the schools to one another, then our understanding will be one sided and the vision will be very limited. As we discussed and witnessed, there were several attempts of creating a new Quranic school but neither of them is upright on a solid academic basis (some are in Subcontinent, some in Turkey, some in the Western contries). Unfortunately, this is because we may not have highly qualified scholars who can initiate the establishment of a 'School of Thought.' That is why it is important not to demolish and distort the one that we already have. Now, let us see what Imam azam Abu Hanifa (RA) presented to support his position.
Proof One: God said in the Quran:
''Today, I have completed your religion, and fulfilled my bounty to you and approved Islam as your religion'' Quran: 5:3.
This verse is from Surah Maida, which was revealed in the last period of the Prophets (PBUH) life, placing this as one of the last surahs of the Glorious Quran. The revelation of this surah was completed three months before the death of the Prophet (PBUH). If we were to accept that the Prophet (PBUH) has ordered us one day before his death then this would mean that God has lied when He said that He has ''completed'' our religion. The religion was not complete because one of the most major orders was not mentioned yet. This crucial ''religious order'' is proposing to banish several nations out of their motherlands. The ''several nations'' includes Jews, Christians, Pagans and some other nations, which's members potentially can be millions in number. No doubt, this order is much more difficult than the command of praying five times a day, fasting a month per annum, as we can all understand, if we contemplate. That is why; it is not possible that God and the Prophet (PBUH) will be silent for a lengthy twenty-three years of revelations, that too, concerning such a major and vital issue. Then suddenly, the Prophet (PBUH) remembers, just one day before his death. It is quite absurd to believe in this and it goes against the habit of Allah and His Messenger (PBUH).
Proof Two: God said to the Sons of Israel:
"And [recall] when We took your covenant, [saying], "Do not shed each other's blood or evict one another from your lands." Then you acknowledged [this] whilst you were witnessing. Then, you are those [same ones who are] killing one another and evicting a party of your people from their lands, cooperating against them in sin and aggression." Quran 2:84-85
One of the principles of Imam Abu Hanifa (RA) is that ''the religious principles of the previous nations are considered as principles of Islam too, unless it is abrogated by Islamic text''. In the above verse, God is reminding the Bani Israel (Sons of Israel) about the commands and prohibitions of The Torah (Book of Moses PBUH). Then He (God) did not abrogate this important issue in the Quran, thereafter. Therefore, according to Imam Abu Hanifah (RA), it is part of Islam too. Subsequently, the actual rule: ''Not to evict one another from their homelands.'', which God revealed to the Sons of Israel then, was not abrogated in Islam. Based on this order of God evicting millions of non-Muslims from Arabian Peninsula is in fact prohibited according to the principles highlighted by Imam Abu Hanifah (ra) in his respective school.
Proof Three: God said:
"And do not let the hatred of people for having obstructed you from al-Masjid al-Haram lead you to transgress. And cooperate in righteousness and piety, but do not cooperate in sin and aggression. And fear Allah ; indeed, Allah is severe in penalty." Quran 5:2
As I said above, Surah Maida is the last surah revealed and neither of its principles were abrogated (if we are to believe that Quran has abrogated verses). In this verse, God is specifically mentioning regarding the people who have obstructed Muslims from Al-Masjid Al-Haram. These people were Pagans of Makkah. As we understand, God is ordering us to cooperate with them, with righteousness and piety and forbidding us from cooperating in sin and aggression. Based on this verse, God has issued his last three commands with regards to treating the Pagans of Meccah who have oppressed the Prophet PBUH and Muslims was as following: The last order of God regarding Pagans (mushriks) was to work with them in order to spread the piety and righteousness. The last order of God regarding Pagans was not to take the hatred of Pagans towards Muslims to motivate the negative reaction of Muslims towards them! The third and last order of God regarding Pagans of Makkah (which is in Jazeera of Arabs) was not to join them, to spread sin and aggression. I do not accept that it is possible for God to send these above three points and following it by saying that he has completed our religion then a couple of months later His Messenger (PBUH) contradicting this and ordering the Muslims to help each other to transgress against pagans. This is opposing the exceptional Mercy of God and Merciful character of the Prophet (PBUH).
Furthermore, I do not doubt the hadiths, which the first group presented have defects. Perhaps, it could have been fabricated or misunderstood. Although, I am more inclined towards the fact that they have been fabricated. Nevertheless, let us test the hadiths: In my opinion, the Hadith of Ibn Abbas (RA) is very weak because of the following facts: In the beginning Ibn Abbas (RA) says, "Thursday, and what a Thursday was that!" Then Ibn Abbas have broken in crying and carried on; The Prophet (PBUH) fell very ill and he said, ''Bring a pen and a paper so that I will write something for you so you will not be misguided because of it?'' Ibn Abbas (RA) carried on, Umar (RA) said, [Do not give him anything because] his pain has increased. You have Quran and it is sufficient for us! Then the people disagreed amongst themselves. Thereafter, the Prophet (PBUH) assumed that they would not bring a pen and paper, so he gave them three orders (verbally). After the death of the Prophet (PBUH), Abu Bakr (RA) did not expel anyone and non-Muslims carried on living with Muslims. Historians attribute the deportation of non-Muslims to Umar (RA) the second Caliph after Abu Bakr (RA). We also know that Abu Bakr (RA) also had a Jewish slave that remained with him as a Jew in Arabia. If we accept this narration then it would mean that Umar (RA) first says, "The Prophet (PBUH) is ill so he does not understand what he is saying.'' Then, Umar (RA) returns and says, ''actually, the Prophet (PBUH) has ordered us to deport non-Muslims one day prior to his death!'' (Bukhari/Muslim) I think everyone can see that it is a quite complicated hadith. Some of the scholars have tried to solve the above problems but there is no solid evidence nor strong argument that can be stipulated from this. (Read it in the second part) The Hadith of Abu Huraira (RA) is also problematic because it is contradicting with the verses, which I quoted. Similarly, do not forget that the Prophet (PBUH) has borrowed a loan from his neighbour who was a Jewish person. (Read my comments in the second part) Further, some of the Hadithi scholars endeavour to back up their position using the 26th verse of Surah Tawbah (Quran). I will explain this in my next article but here I can comment that the Hadithi scholars using the verse in this matter demonstrates their weakness in their understanding of the Quran. Therefore, this gives extra credit to Imam Abu Hanifa (RA) and his opinion in this issue.
(I have broken this article in two parts. Shortly I will post the second part with few more chapters and conclusion. Thanks for believing that your time worth reading my articles. It means a lot to me)
Asqallani, Ahmad bin Ali (d 1448 AD), ''Fath Al-Bari Sharh Sahih Al-Bukhari''published by the donation of Prince Sultab bin Abdulaziz Aal Saud, Riyad, KSA, 2000.
Maqdisi, Muwaffaquddin Ibn Qudamah (d 1223 AD), ''Al-Mugni'', published by Dar Alam al-Kutub, Riyad, KSA, third edition 1997.
Marghinani, Burhanuddin Abu Hasan Ali bin Abu Bakr (d 1197 AD), ''Al-Hidayah Shar Bidayah
Al-Mubtadi'', published by Idarah Al-Quran, Karachi, Pakistan, 1996.
Nawawi, Sharafuddin Yahya bin Sharaf (d 1277 AD), ''Sharh Muslim'' published by Massasah Qurtubah, Cairo, Egypt, 1994.
Quduri, Abu Al-Hasan Ahmad bin Muhammad (d 1037 AD), ''Mukhtasar Al-Quduri'' published by Dar Al-Kutub Al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, Lebanon, first edition 1997.
Qurtubi, Abu Abbas Ahmad bin Umar (d 1258 AD), ''Al-Mufhim Lima Ashkala Min Talkhees Muslim'', published by Dar Ibn Kathir, Damascus, Syria, 1996
Sarakshi, Shamsul-Aimmah Muhammad bin Ahmad (d 1097 AD), ''Sharh Al-Sair Al-Kabir'' (the actual text by Muhammad bin Hasan Al-Shaybani (d 805 AD)), published by Dar Al-Kutub Al-Ilmiyyah, Beirut, Lebanon, 1997.
Tusi, Abu Ja'far Muhammad bin Hasan (d 1068 AD), ''Al-Mabsut'' published by Dar Al-Kitab Al-Islami, Beirut, Lebanon, first edition 1992.
Ever since, I have released my last two articles some people were confused and even shocked to know that there is not a single copy of a collection of hadith, which would be classified as 'Sahih' (authentic) according to any principles of the classical or traditional 'Schools of Thought.' Nonetheless, I am delighted to have achieved the positive impact, which was the primary objective of compiling the article. Our Muslim academics and the dawah carriers who are continuously active on social media were hindered from accusing their fellow Muslims for rejecting the 'authentic' words of the Prophet (PBUH). I really hope this is not a temporary thing but continues this way as we accelerate forward. Moreover, I am in high hopes that my last two articles triggered a 'wake up call' within the genuine Muslim academics who are truly seeking knowledge. Based on all this, all these Muslims can and will start working hard to research and study.
Today, I want to share another very important topic, which will magnify into the classical scholars ahadith and analyse the following: How the classical predecessors of hadith have practically applied their established principles. What they did with the ahadith, which were authentic according to their stipulated principles. I have previously demonstrated how their principles are no longer applicable during our time and age. My objective from this analysis is to learn their authentic methods of applying conditions as these are our predecessors and we should learn from them and shadow their footsteps. Additionally, I can clearly discern the confusion amongst the Muslims from the past century concerning the following terminologies: ''Authentic Hadith'' and what to do with it? ''Accepted Hadith'', what does it mean? In this article, I want to quote multiple ahadith, which were authentic in the past and I will demonstrate what the classical scholars of Ahl Sunnah did with them. In order to implement the principles, I have chosen the prophetic narrations, which are related to one specific and very important topic that is very crucial in Islam. Below are the reasons why I chose this topic: There are many prophetic narrations, which spoke about this topic (I will not be surprised if it is Mutawatir Ma'nawi (Mass narrated in its meaning)). For some reason the Prophet (PBUH) appears to be talking about this topic from a different angle. The Prophet (PBUH) is describing this topic in numerous different ways upon multiple occasions, mainly within the last two-three years before his death. The authenticity of these narrations is accepted by all of the scholars, including the scholars of hadith, theologians and jurists. This topic had a major impact in the past (when it took place) and the impact is still present in our time. Based on the above reasons, I hope it will be important and interesting to see how Muhadditheen (Experts of Hadith and Narrators) have dealt with these narrations, in terms of applying the principles, which they have created.
I hope you enjoy this article similarly, to how you enjoyed my previous articles.
There is no doubt that Islam has been passed on to us mainly through two sources; the Quran, which is mass narrated (mutawatir), and through the genuine companions of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) such as Abu Bakr, Ali (ra) etc. More importantly, Quran has reached to us through the real Apostles of the Prophet (PBUH). However, unfortunately not all Muslims were in a good relationship with the Apostles of the Prophet (PBUH). Fortunately, the Prophet (PBUH) has specifically mentioned one group of ''Muslims'' who treated the Apostles bizarrely. The Prophet (PBUH) has mentioned this group upon multiple different occasions and described them evidently with great depth that no one can confuse them with any other group. This group was given the title of ''Khawarij'' (Kharijites). Now, let us try to see what did the Prophet (PBUH) narrate about them, how the experts of the Prophetic narrations represented these narrations and how did they treat the members belonging to this group.
What the Prophet (PBUH) said about Kharijites
There is no doubt that the Prophet (PBUH) clarified the path of guidance and he explained it in the perfect manner. Just before his death, he said; ''I am leaving you with such a bright path that its night is as bright as its day. Only the one who is deliberately intending to be misguided will go astray!'' (Narrated by Irbas bin Saria in the collection of ibn Majah and many others).
Just as the Prophet (PBUH) promised, he actually explained the status of theKharijites, and presented us with a detailed and accurate description of them. We have two types of statements from the Prophet (PBUH) regarding the Kharijites. The first type is a very specific statement from the Prophet (PBUH), where he talks specifically about them by mentioning them explicitly to warn the Muslims. The second type where the Prophet (PBUH) makes a general statement, which includes them as the primary group but it is referring to other groups too.
Specific Hadiths about Kharijties
As for the specific statements of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) regarding the Kharijties are of such a large number that I will not be surprised if it is Mutawatir Ma'nawi. I am reluctant to spend excessive time quoting all of these hadiths from the different collections but alternatively I will quote only from one collection ''Sahih Muslim''.
Imam Muslim RA (d. 875 AD) has three chapters in his Sahih Collection where he narrated twenty-three hadith concerning Kharijites. Below are the names of these chapters: Hadiths concerning the Kharijites and their description Hadiths encouraging to kill Kharijites Kharijites are the worst of creation Imam Muslim (RA) narrated the hadiths within these three chapters through many different chains from the following Sahaba; Ali ibn Abi Talib, Jabir bin Abdullah, Abu Sa'eed al-Khudri, Abu Dharr, and Sahl bin Hunaif (May God be pleased with them all). Obviously, there are many more hadiths from numerous other sahabah in other collections of hadith. I will not quote all of the twenty-three hadiths from Sahih Muslim, but just some hadiths from each of these three above chapters and then translate them for the readers. Moreover, I will mention the opinion of our Muslim scholars relating to these narrations and I will analyse how they apply their established principles.
Hadiths concerning the Kharijites and their description Jabir (RA) said; "Whilst the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was distributing silver that Bilal was holding in his cloth, someone came to the Prophet (PBUH) and said; O Muhammad, [distribute] it by being just!" The Prophet responded; "How come [you are making such as a statement]? If I am not just then who else will be? I will be unfortunate, if I am not just!" Umar (RA) said; "O Prophet (PBUH) let me kill this hypocrite?" The Prophet (PBUH) said; ''May God forbid [such an action]! People will say that I kill my companions. Indeed, this person and his group read Qur'an, but it [Qur'an] does not go any further than their throats. They leave it as an arrow leaves the bow when shooting!'' In many different narrations (of the same hadith), it says that ''they leave Islam'' and that ''they leave the religion.'' This hadith is clearly stating that Kharijites leave religion or leave Islam, which means that they are no longer religious nor Muslims. We will moreover understand the same confirmation of the Prophet (PBUH) in the other hadiths. Therefore, the Prophet is labelling them, as ''they are not Muslims.'' Below are the different opinions of our Muslim scholars and their understanding: This is from the commentary of Sheikh Shabeer Uthmani (died 1949), a highly ranked Deobandi (Subcontinent branch of Hanafi school) scholar. He reports the statements of some of our scholars concerning Kharijites. To summarise everything, he with absolute certainty rejected this hadith for the following reasons: Khattabi (d. 998 AD), a Shafei scholar said: Islam in this hadith means obeying the Political leaders. This means that the Kharijites did not leave the fold of Islam, but instead they disobeyed the Khalif! Mazari (d. 1141 AD) a well-known Maliki scholar said: The Takfeer of Kharijites is one of the most complicated issues. I saw Faqeeh Abdulhaqq come to Abu Ma'ali and ask him concerning the Takfeer of Kharijites; he was afraid, because stating that a Muslim is a kafir and that a kafir is a Muslim is very difficult! Qadhi Baqillani (d. 1013 AD) another Maliki scholar said: It is definitely a complicated issue, because Kharijites did not make an explicit kufri statement My question, why would these scholars give such an opinion? Indeed, it is very strange because: Islam and Religion in these narrations does not mean, ''Obeying the Khalif'' as Khattabi suggested. The context of the hadiths concerning kharijites is simply clear! Additionally, the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is an Arabian, and he knows how to say; ''Obeying the Khalif'', and he knows the meaning of ''Islam and Religion''! Therefore, the opinion and analysis of Khattabi is fallible. Mazari appears inconsistent because he issued the sentence of innovation when Jassas (d. 981 AD) and Abu Mansur Maturidi (d. 944 AD) rejected that the Prophet (PBUH) was effected by Magic. However, when Prophet (PBUH) evidently informs us that Kharijites are non-Muslims and Mazari quotes some scholar who said; ''stating that a Muslim is a kafir is very difficult''. To this, I would say it is more difficult or even impossible to judge Jassas and Maturidi by heresy and innovation for their opinion, which is the correct opinion nevertheless. Indeed, it is strange why Mazari and Abu Ma'ali found it to be a ''difficult issue'' that even the Prophet (PBUH) could not distinguish whether Kharijites were Muslims or non-Muslims! Moreover, Mazari labelled the genuine scholars for rejecting one fabricated statement regarding the Prophet (PBUH) that he lost his mind for one year. If so, then why is he rejecting the large number of hadiths concerning the kharijites leaving Islam and Religion? Conclusion is that Mazari is inconsistent in his analysis and opinions. Furthermore, Qadhi Baqillani made a strange statement saying that, ''Kharijites did not make an explicit kufri statement!'' I am still trying to understand whether Imam Baqillani is either claiming that these large numbers of hadiths concerning Kharijites are fabricated or he is disagreeing with the content of these authentic narrations (which literally means that he is disagreeing with the one who said it). In my understanding, this statement has more to it. One of the weak points of this statement is that ''Do we know each and every statement that was made by the Kharijites?'' If the answer is, no, then the question arises that how can Baqillani or anyone else claim that Kharijites did not make an explicit kufri statement? Another potential critique concerning this statement can be ''Is the Prophet (PBUH) negligent in regards to the issue of stating whether or not someone is a non-Muslim?'' In addition, when we have numerous authentic narrations from the Prophet (PBUH) where he confirms that this group is an apostate, I personally do not think it is as easy to oppose it. Therefore, none of the above opinions can escape trivial criticism. Moreover, I am thinking why Sheikh Shabeer Uthmani has quoted these opinions without checking whether it is strong enough to include in his book? If we compare it with the works of a medical researcher, who is writing about cancer and his research comprises weak and inconsistent opinions then I do not think that this book would hold any academic value, nor would it be taught at any medical institutes. This means none of the medical students would take any interest in reading the works of such authors. However, I assume that this book is about religious subjects which is full of weak and non-reliable books. The next hadith is also from the first chapter; It is the same (previous) hadith (with some differences) but this time narrated by Abu Sa'eed al-Khudri (ra) with some extra information where the Prophet (PBUH) says, "They will be reading Quran, but it will not go any further than their throats! They will kill the believers but will not touch the pagans, and they will leave Islam as an arrow leaves the bow, when shot. If I will be [present] during that time, I will kill them as the tribe of Aad were killed! "
I believe the prediction of the Prophet (PBUH) came true, exactly as he mentioned. The Kharijtes have actually massacred the Muslims. They have mass slaughtered the Apostles and Tabi'een (students of the Apostles). For example, Imam Ali (RA) was killed by one of Kharijites (I will further explain this later on). Furthermore, we still remember the aspiration of Ikrima (the liar), when he said, "I wish to be at Hajj with a spear in my hand, so that I can kill everyone all around me!" (I will talk about this matter separately, too). Moreover, I hope everyone remembers him (Ikrima) saying whilst passing by a mosque, ''Everyone in the mosque are Kuffar!'' And, finally, we still remember how Sufris (the branch of the Kharijite sect of Ikrima) said, ''Anyone who oppose us, are similar to the pagans of the time of the Prophet (PBUH) and have to be killed!'' Besides, the hadith is very clear that Kharijites actually leave Islam and they must serve punishment (killed). Next, I want to review the opinion of the Muslim scholars regarding this hadith: Sheikh Shabeer Uthmani (RA) says; "...they have to be killed so no one from them remains... This hadith means that people are supposed to support Ali (RA) during the battle, and proves the virtue of Ali!" (Further Sheikh Shabeer is silent!)
Habitually, when there is a narration, Sheikh Shabeer and all of these other scholars endeavour to analyse the narration in order to derive all the points and wisdom. For example, there is a hadith where the Prophet (PBUH) asked the boy about his dead sparrow. Below is the Hadith: Some of the scholars have derived three-hundred points and others two-hundred. Here is a book with over 60 points derived from the above hadeeth (about a dead sparrow):
The hadith about the sparrow is very short and not as important, and yet they have managed to derive three-hundred interesting points! Therefore, I would expect that the scholars would derive a minimum of one thousand important points from the above hadith because of its length and the importance of the issue, which is mentioned within (the issue, which caused the lives of millions of genuine followers of the Prophet (PBUH) including his Apostles). However, unfortunately, Sheikh Shabeer (RA) has derived only two points:
1. Support Ali in his battle 2. Ali is a virtuous person
Softly speaking, very strange...
The next hadith is also from the same chapter: Abu Sa'eed also narrates the same story. Prophet (PBUH) very accurately describes the leader of this group (kharijites), mentioning that one of "his hands looks like the breast of a women". Then Abu Sa'eed says that Ali fought against them and after the battle, he asked them to find this person (with that description) and they found him. In the next hadith the Prophet (PBUH) clearly says: They are the worst creatures! (Or ''one of the worst creatures'').
Further, our scholars say; Sheikh Shabeer Uthmani RA says; these [prophetic] statements prove the opinion of the ones who say that they are the disbelievers. But the vast majority of the scholars said; '' It means, the worst Muslims!''
Personally, I do not think that the interpretation of the ''vast majority of the scholars'' is very strong. That is because this interpretation suggests that the Prophet (PBUH) was unable to express himself accurately. He wanted to say ''the worst Muslims'' but instead said ''the worst of the creation.''
In actuality, this entire paragraph is taken from Imam Nawawi (d. 1277 AD) the Shaf'i Jurist. However, Sheikh Shabeer did not explain that he took it from someone else: Further, in the third chapter, Imam Muslim has transmitted another narration where the Prophet (PBUH) clearly re-confirms the word of ''creature'' using two different methods, which proves that he does not mean ''the worst Muslims'' but ''the worst creature.'' In the next hadith, the Prophet (PBUH) explains exactly the time this sect will establish: "There will be a friction between two Muslim groups, which will be followed by the formation of a group. And, the group which is following the truth among the two will be fighting against this group!"
This is a very accurate prediction of the Prophet (PBUH), which came true! Let us look at the second chapter.
Hadiths encouraging killing Kharijites. Ali has narrated from the Prophet (PBUH); "There will be a group of young people towards the end of the time. They are foolish youth who quote the statements of the best creature. They read Qur'an but it does not go any further than their throats. They leave the religion as an arrow leaves the bow when it is shot. If you meet them, kill them! Anyone who kills them will be rewarded by God on the day of Judgement!"
Obviously, in this hadith there are numerous points being made but unfortunately I am not here to comment on them, but instead I am talking about something else. Here are some points from Sheikh Shabeer Usmani RA; Prophet (PBUH) saying; ''They quote the statements of the best creature.'' is referring to the fact that Kharijites used to mention the verse of; ''Judgement only belongs to God [Sura Yusuf; 40]'', also for the reason that Kharijites used to call the people to Qur'an...
I say it is obvious that Sheikh Shabeer is not very accurate here because the Prophet (PBUH) said; ''they quote the words of the best creature'' and did not say, ''they quote the words of the creator''. Therefore, it is not about Kharijites quoting from Qur'an, but it is about them fabricating hadiths on behalf of the Prophet (PBUH). This incorrect interpretation of this hadith is making the people to think that Kharijites keep Qur'an as central located. This incorrect interpretation makes the Muslims treat the people of Qur'an such as Zaid, Abu Hanifa, Afshani and Abu Mansur negatively. However, the correct meaning of the hadith is that they only read Qur'an without believing nor understanding it because it does not go any further than their throats, and the main central located thing for them is the ''words of the best of the creation''. Thus, Kharijites are not the people of Qur'an as many people think, but they are the people of hadith and narrations.
Unfortunately, Sheikh Shabeer is not the only one who translated the ''word of the best of creation" as verses of Qur'an but others too. Here is Imam Nawawi making the same error: And what latter scholars say in defence of Kharijites? Kharijites are the worst of creatures Then name of the chapter is; '' Kharijites are the worst of creatures''. We can see that the word ''creature'' is repeated in Arabic twice in two different forms; one is ''Khalq'' and the second is ''Khaleeqah.'' Thus, there is no way to claim that the Prophet (PBUH) does not mean the''worst of creatures'' but he is trying to say ''the worst amongst Muslims'' as Sheikh Shabeer quoted from the vast majority of the scholars above! Therefore, endeavouring to keep the Kharijites within the fold of Islam is not only baseless but it is actually very banal especially when we saw them killing the genuine Apostles of the Prophet (PBUH) and feeling an extreme level of hatred against them. Therefore, the correct and explicit meaning of what the Prophet (PBUH) said is: The Kharijtes are the worst thing, which is created by God! The ''worst creature'' uttered from the tongue of the Prophet (PBUH) is the most negative thing which can exist in the universe. Hence, it is impossible to translate it as a ''worst Muslim'' unless Sheikh Shabeer and the earlier scholars believe that Muslims are the worst creatures, so Kharijites will be ''the worst amongst the worst''! Now, we can see what the scholars would say about this hadeeth: Sheikh Shabeer Usmani commented on one of the narrators i.e. Yaseer bin Amr or Aseer bin Amr, then he commented on certain part of the hadith where the Prophet (PBUH) said, ''a group of people from east will be misguided''. However, he (Sheikh Shabeer) did not mention anything regarding ''Khalq'' and ''Khaleeqah.''
I believe the commentary of the 'scholars of hadith' appears as a defence of Kharijites from the Prophet (PBUH). For some reason, our early and the latter scholars of Hadeeth tried their best to ensure that the words of the Prophet (PBUH) refrain from even touching the reputation of the Kharijites.
I have merely mentioned the statements of Prophet (PBUH) concerning Kharijites, which are narrated within the collection of Saheeh Muslim, but there are many other narrations in various other Hadeeth collections. The hadiths concerning Kharijites narrated from more than ten Apostles, including the five, which are in Saheeh Muslim. For example; Anas bin Malik, Abdullah bin Umar, Abdullah bin Mas'ood, Abdullah bin Abbas, Abu Umamah Bahili, Uqbah bin Aamir, Abu Bakrah, Abu Barzah, Abdullah bin Wathilah, Abdullah bin Amr, Aamir bin Wathilah, Abu Huraira and other Apostles.
Hadiths regarding the Kharijites have been narrated by many scholars including; Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud, Malik, ibn Majah, Haakim, Bazzar, Tabarani, ibn Hibban, ibn Khuzaimah, Samarqandi, Shashi, Darqutni, Bayhaqi, Abd bin Humaid, San'ani, ibn Abu Shaiba etc...
Each of these narrations are narrated by several different chains, some of them narrated by more than eight chains from the Sahabah. As I mentioned earlier the hadith could be Mutawatir, as it is mass-transmitted!
Next, I will briefly mention the comments that Prophet (PBUH) made regarding the Kharijites: Worst creature! · They leave Islam · They leave religion · They kill Muslims · Wherever you catch them, kill them! · God rewards anyone who kills them! · They are the people of Hell! · Quran doesn't pass their throats · They leave Islam as an arrow leaves the bow when shot! · If I would be alive when they appear, I would kill them! · After leaving Islam, they never come back to it! · They will be quoting the words of the best of the creation The Prophet (PBUH) made numerous comments about the Kharijites, including the above. However, for some strange reason, the early and latter Muslim scholars did not accept these comments.
The above-mentioned scholars have equally participated in creating the principles of testing hadith. For example, Imam Baqillani, Imam Mazari, and Imam Khattabi have introduced their principles to the subject. Based on how they have dealt with the hadith we can understand the following points evidently: If the hadith is authentic and narrated by multiple chains, which potentially can be mutawatir, it does not mean that we have to accept its content and act upon it! You can give an interpretation, which is not relevant, or even completely contrary to what the Prophet (PBUH) actually said. The authenticity of a hadith does not mean anything. One can actually ignore what the Prophet (PBUH) says. Moreover, you can suggest your own opinion, which opposes the authentic (or even mass-transmitted) hadith, even if your opinion does not have any valid basis. Learning the principles of testing hadith is completely separate subject to the subject of ''authenticity'' and ''acceptance'' of hadiths. If there is an authentic mass-transmitted hadith, which is referring to something in particular, then you can still suggest your incorrect interpretation or if you want, you can just completely ignore it. Therefore, rejecting the hadith, or more accurately, not accepting the content of the mass-transmitted authentic hadith was very widely practised by the early and the latter scholars of Islam. This was during the time when the narrations were yet authentic according to the principles of classical scholars. For example, Khattabi actually narrates the multiple collections of hadith through authentic chains.
I think this is another strong reason for the contemporary Muslim Academics and Da'wa carriers to stop labelling the Muslim researchers as ''Hadith Rejecters''.
Summary of the article
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was obvious and explicit to state that the Kharijites leave the fold of Islam and that we have to eliminate them off. God will reward us for terminating them. Muslim scholars disagreed with the Prophet (PBUH) and rejected a great number of authentic hadiths. Mazari said; Prophet (PBUH) has stated Kuffar on them, but it is a very complicated issue, which is why we are not sure whether we can accept what the Prophet said about them. Abu Ma'ali was scared to accept the testimony of the Prophet (PBUH). Khattabi said; Islam and religion in these hadiths means obeying the politicians. Being clear and concise, I say it is one of the two; either the hadith is rejected, or the Prophet (PBUH) was using the words and sentences, which do not match the principles of Arabic Language. In my understanding, it is a clear example where scholars actually reject the authentic narrations based on their opinions.
In the next two articles, we will review the biography of two top Kharijites to see if Muslim scholars accepted the authentic words of the Prophet (PBUH) and treated the Kharijites as he ordered them to treat.
Written By: Shaykh Atabek Shukurov Edited By: Sonia Nisa Posted On: December 12th 2017 Introduction
I can see the depressing situation of Muslim ''Academics'' globally on social media, ''Islamic'' Centres and mosques, where they are obsessed with insulting the laymen and researchers. The most common insult in our time is about rejecting ''the word of the Prophet (PBUH)''. The very same academics, if you analyse, will not think twice when rejecting Quranic verses publicly. I have personally contacted a few of them, advising them to stop labelling the Muslims and oppressing them over the issue of narrations which they themselves, are not familiar with. Upon realisation that the advice is being met on deaf ears, I decided to take the liberty of writing this article for the benefit of them and others thereof.
However, I want to clarify the academic approach, which I adhere to (the classical Hanafi/Maturidi schools of thought) are exempted from the points made in this article. This is because in the classical Hanafi way, we have clear and precise principles, which establish the validity and existence of 'authentic' and 'weak' narrations, that are applicable until our day and age. My advice to the reader of this article, before making any rash judgements, is to please refer to my book "Hanafi Principles of Testing Hadith" and familiarise yourself with the principles applied by the Classical Hanafi's that are used to distinguish the 'sahih' (authentic) narrations, from the 'da'ef' (weak) ones. Alternatively, you can join and study these principles in-depth at our Maturidi College at (be noted there is another organisation called 'Maturidi Institute', which is not related to me in any way!)
In today's day and age, it is quite common to find a Mus'haf of the Qur'an in every Muslim household. Alongside the Qur'an, another set of volumes one can find on the same shelf, usually given similar or if not the equal level of infallibility by Modern day Muslims are the 'Collection of Hadiths', primarily Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim. For Muslims, the promise from God is enough to know that he will indeed protect the Qur'an from any errors and changes over time. The Qur'an has been unchanged and preserved letter for letter globally since it was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in over 1400 years ago. Ironically, we Muslims apply the same thought on the books of ahadith and are under the misconception that they hold the similar level of protection throughout history. Shockingly, not only are these books problematic to authenticate but moreover, there is doubt upon the authors name we add on the front-page of the book. For example, the Sahih al-Bukhari we have in our households and on our shelves today, is unfortunately not the same Bukhari text, that was initially written by Imam Bukhari (ra), but rather by the student of his students (grand students and that too is questionable). Proof of this is that some of the hadiths in Sahih al-Bukhari have Imam Bukhari (ra) himself, in the chain of narrators as the 'third narrator' in the chain.
As Muslim academics, we are displaying double standards, especially when we converse with our fellow Christian brothers and sisters. For example, we hasten to point fingers at the Christian scriptures such as the 'King James Version' (KJV), which has gone through numerous major changes but they still call it the 'King James Version.' We get excited when listening to our comparative religious Scholars like Shaykh Ahmed Deedat (db) and the likes of, when they say, "How can you still attribute the KJV to King James, even though it has been revised from his version several times." However, we fail to see or acknowledge that we may have the same scenario or issue with some of the books of ahadith that we so proudly hold and quote.
Based on the recent comments of Muslim "Scholars'', I have finally decided to release this piece of my research. What I am about to say, may not be easy to digest for Muslims and Scholars, however I deem it necessary to mention these points, as so we do not fall into the act of "double standards" and 'academic ignorance'. Several years ago, I felt the need to spread my knowledge through books for the lovers of knowledge (my book 'Hanafi Principles Of Testing Hadith; which was written and translated by myself, thereafter typed and edited by my students), through delivering lectures internationally, and writing articles on my page (https://shaykhatabekshukurov.com/). I cover a variety of different topics, which include; Hanafi Mustalah-ul-Hadith, Islamic perspective of the beard, rebellion in Islam, apostasy in Islam, matters regarding the Isha prayer, suicide bombing & martyrdom in Islam, permissibility of mortgages in Islam, the myth of black magic on the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), Al-Masih ad-Dajjal from a Hanafi perspective and many more. With every matter I teach, discuss or narrate, I persistently present numerous adequate and authentic evidence from the Qur'an, Sunnah and authentic classical books of famous scholars. For majority of my research and struggle, in return, I mostly receive insults, personal debunks, and derogatory labels, both publicly and privately in different forums. Guaranteed, none of these disappointments me but in actuality, it brands me of a strong nature in the eyes of the public and academics. For the reason that, I only receive insults every time I present academic proofs. It confirms that my arguments are either extremely difficult to refute or non-refutable. What is more humorous is that these same people insult me for something, which God Himself praises highly in the Qur'an. That is making use of our God-given intellect! God says, "Only people of intellect are those who are guided!" (Qur'an - 2:269). People of hell say, "If we would listen or use the intellect than we would not be of the people of hell!" (Qur'an - 67:10). Furthermore, God says, "We have revealed the Qur'an in Arabic in order that you may use your intellect!" (Qur'an - 43:3).
Before proceeding, I would like to clarify that none of the 'Islamic Schools of Thought' or 'Groups/Sects' existing claim that 'the word of The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is rejected or useless.' Intentionally rejecting the words and rulings of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) deteriorates to misguidance! And in some circumstances disbelief. Therefore, the slogan, "Rejecter of the word of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)" is only applicable on non-Muslims.
It is almost painfully self-evident that in our modern age we do not have the company of an Imam of hadith. For example, we have: Imam Bukhari (Muhammad al-Bukhari, Muhadith in the 9th century)who died in 870 AD. and his student Imam Muslim (Muslim Ibn al-Hajjaj, Muhadith in the 9th century) who died in 875 AD. Imam Ahmad (Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Muhadith in the 8th century) who died in 855 AD. and his student Imam Abu Dawood (Abu Dawood, Muhadith in the 8th century) who died in 889 AD. Similarly, Imam Tirmidhi (al-Tirmidhi, Muhadith of 9th century), who died in 892 AD. Imam Ibn Majah (Muhadith of 9th century), who died in 889 AD. Imam al-Nasa'i (Muhadith of 9th century) who died in 915 AD. All of the above and the remainder of the great Muhadditheen passed away over thousands of years ago. We can regurgitate the same for the remainder authors of Hadith collections, such as Naisapuri, Malik, Ibn Hibban, Darami, Bayhaqi, Daraqutni and their likes. Henceforth, I can say, no one can say that, "I have heard this specific hadith from the author of this particular collection of hadith directly!"
As a result, the question arises, that how does one distinguish between an authentic hadith and a fabrication? This question, no doubt arises in many minds of those who study the books of ahadith. My answer is that if any person in our time can claim certain statements as ahadith, based on what is written in the books, then in that case, we are all obliged to have the prerequisites of studying and understanding these books, which apparently are 'collections of words' of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).
Keeping this in mind, I will clarify the following matters in this article or those to come: What experts of hadith say regarding books, which are claimed as collections of the words of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). What happens if one rejects a hadith, which can be found in one of these printed books or manuscripts? What if one finds a book where it says that the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said such and such? Do we deem it one hundred percent infallible and the word of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)? Finally, does everyone need to accept or take a hadith, which can be found in a book? Contemporary Hadiths
When receiving a hadith, it can only be done so in two methods: either from the narrator directly or indirectly.
The direct narrations can only be received using one of these two methods: Verbally from the narrator. As a result, that you actually hear the narrator transmitting the hadith with your own ears. Non-verbally. In other words, that you did not hear him (the narrator) narrating although he may give you permission (ijazah) to narrate it, he may write you a letter including the hadith in it, or he may hand you his book of the narrations Likewise, the indirect way can only be received using one of these two methods: Finding the book, which is written by the narrator himself. Finding the book, which is written by someone else, or it is not clear if it is by the author himself or by someone else. Obviously, in our modern age no one has met the authors of the hadith books directly, so we do not necessarily need to delve into this category of receiving the narrations directly any further. However, we are aware that there are chains (isnaads) to different hadith books today; nevertheless, we need to acknowledge and be aware that there are multiple problems within these chains (isnaads).
To summarise the major problems of these contemporary chains which are still being passed on through generations are as follows: The chains are full of unknown narrators. In terms of not knowing the narrator's biography. We are only aware of their names and a veiled description. Within the science of hadith we classify these narrators as 'Raawi al Majhool' (unknown narrators) and according to Hadith Principles (please refer to my 'Hanafi Principles of Testing Hadith' book p60), many narrators would fall under this category. The narrators in each chain are weak. Majority of the chains (if not all) are 'Munqatt'e' (disconnected). (refer to p96 of my Hanafi Principles of Testing Hadith book) Majority of the chains are transmitted through 'ijazah' (permission) upon multiple places within the chain. However, some of these ijazahs are invalid according to 'Mustalah-ul-Hadith' (Hadith Principles). Upon many occasions, the condition of 'Dhabt' (strong memory) is not applied on the narrators of these chains, and 'Dhabt' (the narrator having a strong memory during receiving and transmitting the narration) is one of the essential conditions of authenticity. (Refer to p76 of Hanafi Principles book, for an in-depth explanation and conditions of Dhabt). From here, we understand that one cannot authenticate a hadith, regardless whether one has a chain to one of the hadith collections, or even if the chain is the shortest in the world today. Using this analysis one can conclude that unfortunately there is no authentic hadith in our time, which is transmitted directly from the narrators.
Now another question may arise; so do we have any authentic hadith, which is narrated through the indirect method? This topic will be discussed further on, in the forthcoming chapter.
Wijadah and its academic validity
Most commonly, in our time we have something called 'Wijadah'. Wijadah in the Arabic language literally means 'to find.' This is a methodology, where one has to find the original manuscript, which was written by the author himself. For example, imagine I find the manuscript of 'Sahih al-Bukhari', which was written by Imam Bukhari (ra) himself, this would be the first step of the process of Wijadah. Wijadah or the authenticating of an original manuscript requires the following conditions: One must be familiar with the handwriting style of the author. One must have the original manuscript, which was written by the author himself. Based on the above two conditions, even if I did find a manuscript of Imam Bukhari (ra), the question arises that how do I determine whether or not it is actually written by Imam Bukhari (ra) himself? Unless I cannot determine with a hundred percent certainty, then, unfortunately, I fail to meet either of the conditions of Wijadah.
Wijadah is still valid, for example, if I find a manuscript of Sahih al-Bukhari, which is written by someone who was classified as an authentic narrator and I recognise his handwriting style, with the condition that it is compared to the original authentic manuscript of the book. Based on these conditions, even the oldest copy of 'Sahih al-Bukhari', which is assumingly written by Abu Zaid Al-Marwari (d 981 AD) would not be categorised under the conditions of 'wijadah' because no one knows his handwriting style (ie how it appeared). In other words, finding a book, which has the name of 'Abu Zaid Al-Marwari', does not prove that it is a handwritten copy completed by him.
The other question that arises is, is 'Wijadah' on hadith an authentic method of transmission? In another word, if someone finds a copy of Sahih Bukhari which is written by Imam Bukhari himself (or at least by one of his students as explained above) is it permissible for him to narrate this copy of Sahih Bukhari? Unfortunately, the simple answer is, NO! It is not permissible to narrate the hadith through wijadah. Below are all the evidence opposing the permission to narrate by wijadah:
The Various Schools of Thought:
Hanafi School of Thought:
Bazdawi (d 482 AD) and Bukhari (d 1330 AD) from ''Kashf al-Asrar''; Maliki School of Thought:
Abyari (d1221 ad); According to Al-Abyari, Wijadah does not even reach to the level of being a 'single chain narration'! Shafei School of Thought:
Imam Haramain (d 1085 AD); Imam Ghazali (d 1111 AD); Imam Ghazali is saying; "If some righteous narrator gives you an authenticated copy of Sahih Bukhari, It is not permissible for you to narrate a hadeeth which you find in it"!
Ibn Katheer (d 1373 AD); Hanbali School of Thought:
Ibn Qudamah Al-Maqdisi (d 1223 AD) Ibn Qudamah is saying; "If the righteous narrator says 'this is a copy of Sahih Bukhari' it is not permitted to narrate the book"!.
Saifuddin Al-Amidi (d 1233 AD) Al-Amidi is saying; "If someone finds the handwriting of the Sheikh where he says "I heard this hadeeth from Fulan" it is not permitted to narrate it"!
Ibn Salah (d 1245 AD); Ibn Hajar (d 1449 AD); All the above evidences from different Schools of Thought certify that receiving hadith through 'wijadah' is not a valid methodology. It is a weak concept and is rejected by many of the leading Imams of the Schools of Thought. I am aware that some scholars of Islam such as Sheikh Ahmad Shakir (d 1958 AD) say that 'wijadah' is compulsory to be acted upon. He has provided evidence that if we do not act upon the wijadah methodology then there will be 'no such thing as acting upon hadith in our time today.'
However, in academia this stance would be deemed as emotional rather than an academical approach to Hadith sciences. Additionally, the mass evidences from different Schools of Thought opposing the acceptance of wijadah hold more weight. If we go with the same way of thinking then why Muslim ''scholars'' have a problem with our Christian brothers who receive all of their Gospels through the same method of Wijadah. Or is it, 'when it comes to you or your religion it is permissible, but for others, it is not!?'
Conclusion and challenge
Consequently, based on all the above evidences and proofs, I say none of the books, which we address as the 'Collection of Hadith' today, are considered as ''authentically received'' in our time! Even if the book is named, 'As-Sahihal-Hadith' (The Authentic Collection of Hadith), I say it is not authentic in our time!
The contemporary Scholars works, such as Shaykh Ahmad Kashmiri, Shaykh Abdulhayy Lakhnawi, Shaykh Mubarakpuri, Shaykh Al-Albani and many others was mainly just 'testing' the chain between the author of 'Collection of Hadith' and Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). However, the chain between the author and us is not authentic regardless!
Contemporary published 'Hadith Collections' are based on manuscripts, which are written by 'unknown people'. This is why the hadith does not even reach the level of valid 'wijadah', which is weak nevertheless (for it being disconnected). Even if the manuscript just has a 'sign' that claims it is written by some famous scholar cannot be accepted as authentic/connected. This is because no one can verify if it is in actuality written by him or someone else, for the reason that no one recognises the handwriting of that scholar. Furthermore, the fabrication in order to damage the religions is well known and mentioned in Quran.
This demonstrates, the total bankruptcy of the 'scholars' who insult other scholars and students of knowledge for rejecting ''authentic'' hadith. If they had studied the books of 'Mustalah' using their 'intellect', which they always use for cursing, they would understand my reasoning and valid points I have made in this article.
Besides, now I want to challenge these 'Scholars! Ulema! And Shuyuk ul-Hadith' and those who want to accept it. The challenge is: "I am willing to give £10,000 in cash to anybody who will bring a single authentic copy, of any of the collection of hadith books! Be it the copy of Sahih Bukhari, Sahih Muslim, Muwatta, Musnad Ahmad or any other collection of hadith!"
My challenge is valid until I will release my next article related to the same very topic which will be followed by another article where I will give some tips of Hanafi-Maturidi way in contrast to the way of Muhadditheen from the four schools of Ahl Sunnah.
Islamic Blasphemy Laws and the strange case of Mumtaz Qadri - part 1
Written By: Shaykh Atabek Shukurov I often look at the online fatwas and talks of Islamic ‘scholars’ and wonder if perhaps they are deliberately trying to arm Islamophobes or to further garner harassment and vilification for Muslims with their bizarre pronouncements. What makes me really sad is that they never couch these as their own idiosyncratic and extremist positions but rather impugn the whole of Islam by insisting that these are the ‘mainstream’ or normative Islamic verdicts, when in fact they have concocted these to please their Salafi paymasters or to whip up their followers into a (violent) hysteria. We have seen this kind of thing multiple times in the past, where scholars have worsened as opposed to resisted sectarian tensions and extra-judicial violence, falling victim to the worst caricatures of religion by its enemies. Now we are seeing it again, this time in Pakistan concerning blasphemy laws as applied to non-Muslims who live in a Muslim country – a country which purportedly follows the normative Hanafi Sunni School of Islam, which categorically and famously does not allow the killing of non-Muslims for ‘blasphemy’. Of course, this does not stop said scholars from binning thirteen hundred years of Hanafi heritage when it suits them. Sadly this cannot be helped, but their disgraceful and fraudulent presentation of the Hanafi School, which they claim to follow in the same breath as rubbishing its tenants, must be addressed.
One may ask what is so strange or interesting about his case to both the Islamophobic press and Muslims scholars. Is it not resoundingly obvious? A vigilante by the name of Mumtaz Qadiri took the law into his own hands and killed a person he was being paid to protect, the governor of the Pakistani state of Punjab, Salman Taseer ( he claims was a blasphemer and therefore an apostate both, for and before questioning Pakistan’s blasphemy law during a fracas about the incident below). The expected response would be that everyone condemns and denounces this killer, right? Sadly not so, as many Muslim Scholars from the Brelwi sect, dominant in Pakistan, including many from the UK, have either supported him openly by stating ‘he did what we could not’ or claimed that he is a martyr. These scholars were, in reality, encouraging people to kill and then calling these killers ‘martyrs’ or ‘shaheed’, who in Islam are people who have a very lofty status with God after death. However, as soon as the British Media get a hold of it[i] – they all started deleting their posts faster than you can say ‘security risk’ or ‘person of interest’. So these so-called scholars do not even have the courage or dignity to back up their ‘convictions’ by leaving the posts on their wall. This is due to fear of the UK government, which, like it or not (and they most certainly do not) is, in fact, one of the most lawful countries. Yet these same people ask or encourage others to kill and become ‘martyrs’. They do not mind that you receive a prison sentence, are killed or are given capital punishment but they want to make sure they keep their jobs, institutes and money out of fear of being investigated or asked questions. This is pure hypocrisy, or rather something worse.who
All of this began with the case of Aasia Noreen. In June 2009 Aasia Bibi, a poor Christian woman with three children from a low ‘caste’ was working on a farm in Shiekhupura, Pakistan. She was asked to collect water from a well and as she was doing this, she took a sip of water using an old cup. Two workers who were Muslims and neighbours of Aasia refused the water stating, ‘we do not take water from the hands of a Christian’.[ii] After this there was a quarrel between the women where heated words were exchanged. It is only at this point there is a dispute about what was said. In court documents, Aasia Noreen maintains that she never made any blasphemous comments and that she respects the Quran as well as the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ). The two sisters argue that Aasia stated that ‘the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) was ill on bed for one month and before his death and insects emerged from his mouth and ear. That he married Khadijah for the purposes of looting her wealth and that the Quran is a ‘man made book’.[iii] The claimants are all connected – two of them are sisters and were studying under the wife of Qari Saleem, the religious scholar who brought forth the claim against Aasia Noreen, who herself maintains that ‘she was falsely accused to settle an old score’.[iv] The claimants all maintain that Aasia confessed to her crime when confronted by hundreds or perhaps thousands of people from her own and nearby villages. They claim that it was ‘civil’ and that Aasia confessed to her crimes but Aasia argues that it was far from ‘civil’, and that: ‘In the village they tried to put a noose around my neck, so that they could kill me,’ and that it was out of fear for her life that she confessed to the crimes of which she had been accused. When analysing the testimonies of the claimants there are many contradictions within their statements with some aspects giving clear indications of ‘coaching’. In court, Aasia maintained her innocence and clarifies that she offered an oath on the Bible that she has never stated “such derogatory…and shameful remarks against the Holy Prophet (ﷺ) and the Holy Quran.” She went onto say “I have great respect and honour to the Holy Prophet (ﷺ) as well as the Holy Quran”. What compounds the problem is that since 1953 in Baluchistan, Islamabad and the entire state of Punjab, the majority of people accused of blasphemy have been people from minorities such as Christians, Hindus, Ahmadis and Shia. Proportionally, in the entirety of Pakistan, minorities are accused of blasphemy much more than Sunni Muslims. The case took a dreadful twist when the Governor of Punjab, Salmaan Taseer, acted as an interloper for Aasia and said the blasphemy laws should be changed. He was subsequently gunned down by his own on-duty bodyguard, Mumtaz Qadri, who claimed that he committed the murder but was ‘provoked’ by Taseer and offered a ‘theological’ justification for his actions, adducing ‘proof’ of Taseer’s apostasy and blasphemy such as that he ‘drank scotch’ (although he admits to never having seen this) and was married to a Sikh etc. (see Criminal Appeals no 210 and 211, Supreme Court of Pakistan). We will leave aside the fact that none of these things is ‘blasphemy’ or worthy of the death penalty in Islam anyway, but I can imagine any non-Muslim friends of Islam understandably being horrified by this account and the extremely ‘inclusive’ criteria that Muslims seem to have for killing people. But please bear with me a while longer.
What compounds the issue is that Brelwi fanatics sent a letter to the Habaib, who are Shafis and who are in all likelihood not aware of the specifics of this case, as well as the case of Mumtaz Qadiri for an Islamic ruling. Now in the letter they mentioned, “It was investigated by a police officer and she admitted her crime in front of him.” Now in the court documents it does not mention she admitted her crime in front of the police officer. In fact she admitted her crime in front of a mob of people who were ready to lynch her. In her statement recorded under section 342 Cr.P.C:
“I offered an oath to the police on the Bible that I have never passed such derogatory and shameful remarks against the Prophet (ﷺ) and the Holy Quran. I have great respect and honour to the Holy Prophet (ﷺ) as well as the Quran.”[v]
I want to say at the outset that understanding ‘blasphemy’ as committed by non-Muslims in Islam actually requires absolutely no Islamic knowledge and can be understood by anyone with a modicum of common sense: it is clear that blaspheming the Prophet (ﷺ) and insulting him or calling him names is dreadful to Muslims. It is however likewise clear that the Prophet (ﷺ) is ‘insulted’ daily, explicitly or implicitly by non-Muslims who don’t believe in him (about five and half billion people, i.e most of Earth) and either regard him as wrong but innocuous or a liar and so on. We do not kill these people. Aasia Noreen's three daughters Further, it is obvious that insulting God is much worse than insulting Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ). According to Muslims, ideas like the Trinity or making an idol of God as, for example, as a naked women with her foot balanced on a skull, is blasphemy. Yet we do not go around burning down temples and challenging Hindus or Christians to a fight (not that many Muslims and non-Muslims alike wouldn’t like to see this). Also consider what unprecedented chaos would ensue if Hindus and Christians started to apply their blasphemy laws onto Muslims and declared monotheism or ‘tawhid’ to be grounds for killing people in a Hindu or Christian state (and this has happened). How would that work? We might also have to kill a whole bunch of Muslims (perhaps the majority) who accuse the Prophet (ﷺ) of losing his mind due to ‘black magic’ or compromising on monotheism due to the ‘Satanic Verses’, because, spin it how you will, those are insulting too. So it is obvious from first principles that the non-Muslim citizens, by their very existence, are usually blaspheming, by Muslim standards – if not the Prophet (ﷺ) then certainly God. Even their worship is sometimes ‘blasphemous’ vis-a-vis Islamic norms. It is likewise then obvious that there can be no death penalty for them in Islam, no matter how disturbing Muslims find this, because then we would have to fight and kill almost everyone who was not Muslim. Of course, some people would actually like this. I hope people can appreciate both that such people are ‘mental’ and the inescapable weight of this rational argument. It is in fact not only a clear and rational necessity but is in fact the very same argument furnished by the first jurisprudential ‘Imam’ of Sunni Muslims, Abu Hanifa. But of course, many Muslims today don’t like this. Maybe it’s too simple or too bloodless or lacks the necessary ‘drama’ they feel should be associated with insults directed at the Prophet (ﷺ). But religion is not about drama, hysteria or mobs. Religion is about answering those questions we ask which distinguish us from beasts: Why am I here? How should I live? Is there anything after death? Why do pain and loss exist, and so on.
Sadly, God is one of the most insulted ‘things’ in the world today. It detracts nothing from him. By rejecting him we only hurt ourselves and deny purpose and hope in an otherwise vast and unfeeling universe. When Pharaoh denied God and claimed to usurp him, who did you feel sorry for, God for having been rejected and insulted or Pharaoh? I felt sorry for Pharaoh, he deceived himself by not accepting God. So did Moses – he persisted in trying to help him for a long time. Now: is Islam really violent and does it really suppress minorities? The answer to this is a resounding ‘No!’ but you would never know that if you were to look at the viler pronouncements of both UK scholars such as the Brelwi adept Asrar Rashid nor those of ‘Dawah activists’, who are actually Salafis masquerading as Hanafis to groom and inveigle their way into normative Muslim communities[vi] Bear in mind before reading further the general strategy of such groups and individuals: Ignoring the position of the Hanafi school, (which precisely for its understanding attitude to minorities and Muslims alike achieved success amongst non-Arabs and in lands with many non-Muslims) and presenting the extremely latter day and heterodox positions of Salafi influenced and cult-like groups from the subcontinent such as Deobandis (who were actually until 2005 apparently proudly funded by the Saudi government) and Brelwis. As for the former, they ignore the normative positions and methodology of Hanafis in favour of their modernist founders such as Shaykh Ashraf Ali Thanwi, Rashid Ahmad Gangohi and such. In the case of the latter, they defer to the equally late and heterodox Shaykh Ahmed Ridha Khan in all matters. Both groups are beholden to Shah Wali Allah, a eighteenth century anti-Sufi scholar who acted as an apologist and propagandist for Salafi archfiend Ibn Taymiyyah in the Indian Subcontinent Quote mining anyone and everyone they can find, especially people such as Shah Wali Allah and Ibn Abideen (who also took the positions of Ibn Taymiyyahh as opposed to Abu Hanifa – though he, unlike them, was open about this) and basically anyone they can find to try and turn the Salafi position into the Hanafi position – so the Hanafi and Maturidi position, which is anathema to the Salafis, is only to be taken and understood through those scholars who claim to be Hanafi but are in fact adherents of the Salafis position – this the same strategy as narrating the Hanafi position through Deobandis and Brelwis. It would assist Salafis greatly if they could pretend that Hanafis are really just Salafis and could thus occupy the ideological ‘main space’. The problem for them is that the scholars they wish to use, whether the very late ones of Deoband and Brelwis or the merely ‘late’ ones such as Shah Wali Allah and Ibn Abideen, openly abandon Hanafi principles. Deploying ‘reason’ and legal arguments…but only if they lead to killing people. Ignoring reason and law in all other cases. Blatantly, shamelessly, uninhibitedly and flagrantly ignoring the Hanafi position and following that of the other contradicting schools. Because it’s always better to err on the side of killing isn’t it? If all else fails, in case of emergency, break glass and freely mis-translate the Arabic People of average intelligence and gullibility need read no further – as long as they look critically at the arguments of those who claim that Hanafis support the killing of non-Muslim blasphemers, they will find they invariably fall into one of these categories. Bearing these points in mind, let’s look at the actual Islamic position of non-Muslims living in Muslim lands. Please remember that Pakistan alleges to be a country that follows the ‘Sunni Hanafi School’ in Islamic Jurisprudence and theology. Therefore let’s look at what is the position of this classical school really is. Imam Abu Bakr al-Jassas al-Razi al-Hanafi was a prominent Hanafi jurist from the fourth century, one of the most respected scholars in the field ofUsul (epistemic principles), and the grand-teacher of Abul Hasan al Quduri, who wrote the most famous and most commonly used primer in Hanafi jurisprudence, ‘Mukhtasar al-Quduri’.[vii] Salafis and occult Salafis alike would very much like to eradicate this man from the history of Islamic scholarship – it would make their lives much easier – but he is too central, too early and too big a deal in the Hanafi school to do away with – not that this stops them from trying. Jassas stated in his book ‘Mukhtasar Ikhtilaf’ in the chapter titled ‘Dhimmi (Non-Muslim living in lands controlled by Muslims) insulting the Prophet’ (ﷺ) that according to Hanafi Imams, a Dhimmi (recall, this is a non-Muslim citizen of an ‘Islamic State’) is not killed but instead ta’dheer(discretionary punishment, which is a maximum of lashing twenty nine) is applicable.[viii] As an aside, a vile strategy being used by faux Hanafis such as Rashid and their impious ilk is to claim that this ‘ta’dheer’ or ‘discretionary punishment’ can include death, thereby turning Hanafis repudiation of the death penalty into a charade where they kill them nonetheless under ‘judge’s discretion’ – but this is sheer unacademic and fraudulent poppycock – since it is an unassailable pillar of Hanafite law that discretionary punishments can never exceed the mandatory ones – the lowest of which historically is forty lashes to a slave – so the highest discretionary or ta’dheer punishment can be as a maximum thirty nine lashes only. So where did they get this ‘discretionary death penalty’ from? Indeed, non-Muslims are justified in fearing, nay, even hating us if we are willing to lie and manipulate to this degree to justify killing. Furthermore, it is funny how God failed to clarify what you would have thought were important matters like killing but instead left it to the ‘discretion’ of judges. As proof for his stance, Imam Jassas mentions the hadith of the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ)which were reported by Ibn Umar (ra), Anas (ra) and Aisha (ra) about a Jewish person who insulted and cursed the Prophet (ﷺ) when they were greeting one another – but yet the Prophet (ﷺ) never killed him nor did he order the Sahabah (companions) to kill him.[ix] But of course, Salafis, Brelwis and Deobandis are always harassing people to follow hadith, anathematising those who question hadith and so on – unless the hadith stops them from stuff they want to do (like killing people for rubbish reasons), in which case they shamelessly ignore them or conveniently discover a ‘weakness’ in their chain which everyone else overlooked for a millennium and an half. Jassas concludes the analysis of this hadith by stating that if a Muslim were to insult the Prophet (ﷺ) he would become an apostate and would have to be killed (because his stance is that apostates should be killed) but for some reason the Prophet (ﷺ) did not kill this Jewish person. He then narrates the hadith of Anas where a Jewish lady poisons food which the Prophet (ﷺ) then eats. When the Sahabah (companions of the Prophet (ﷺ)) caught her and asked him if they should kill her, he said ‘No!’ Jassas states that there is no disagreement that if a Muslim were to do the same thing, he would then become an apostate that is liable for the death penalty. Jassas concludes his explanation of the hadith by stating that the Prophet (ﷺ) not killing her proves that the dhimmi must not killed. Jassas then goes even further, showing a comprehensive and bipartisan style which would shame todays scholars, and analyses the hadith used by those who support the position that a non-Muslim living in a Muslim landshould be killed for blaspheming the Prophet (ﷺ) and says that; ‘if someone were to ask about the incident where a person came to Umar (ra) and said; “I have heard that some monk insulted the Prophet (ﷺ)’’. Umar (ra) said; ‘if I would hear that I would kill him,’ then we do not agree with them about this issue and the chain of the hadith is weak’.[x] Imam Tahawi another genuinely authoritative and genuinely early Hanafi scholar from the fourth century (as opposed to the handpicked, novel and ‘cross party’ groups of scholars served up to a vulnerable Muslim public by those demanding blasphemy killing), in his book ‘Mukhtasar Tahawi’ which has a commentary by Imam Jassas states: ‘If a Dhimmi insults the Prophet (ﷺ) he will not be killed but instead will be disciplined. This is because they have been left alone to practise their religion, and their religion includes worshiping someone beside God and rejecting the Prophet (ﷺ). The proof of this is Jews visited the Prophet (ﷺ)and they said ‘Damn you!’, and the Prophet (ﷺ) replied ‘you too’ but he did not order from them to be killed’’.[xi] Abu ‘Abdullah Al-Qurtubi, a Maliki scholar from the thirteenth century stated that: ‘If a Dhimmi insults the Prophet (ﷺ) he will be killed according to Imam Malik, Imam Shafi, Imam Ahmad and others but according to Imam Abu Hanifa and Imam Thawri, he will not be killed’. Even the senior authorities in the other, rival schools are admitting that Hanafis are not in favour of killing non-Muslims who blaspheme. Not that this will stop the likes of Sheikh Rashid (and too many others to mention) bending over backwards and doing verbal somersaults to try and justify killing people nonetheless – after all, who needs laws or coexistence? As Hiroshi Sakurazaka put it: ‘All you need is ‘kill’’. Now Imam Qurtubi attempts to justify the position of his school (the Maliki school), harder to find in Pakistan than a Latin Americans at a Donald Trump rally) by explaining that if a Dhimmi insults the Prophet (ﷺ), degrades him, describes him by something which is not acceptable, then he should be killed as they do not give him protection for insulting the Prophet (ﷺ). He further explained that his opponents in this issue are Imam Abu Hanifa and Sufyan Thawri and that their followers from Kufa (now in Iraq) as they argued that disbelief is a much bigger issue than insulting – and no one asked for a carte blanche killing spree on non-Muslims (they obviously never met todays scholars and ‘Dawah’ activists). The position of Imam Abu Hanifa and Sufyan Thawri was that a Dhimmi must be disciplined andta’dheer must be applied. This is exactly the rational argument I stated at the outset. Remember, according to Imam Abu Hanifa the minimum punishment ofta’dheer is a stern look and the maximum is thirty nine lashes. Imam Qurtubi then attempts to refute the position of Imam Abu Hanifa [xii] – which is more than a bit above his pay grade, and kind of ignores the whole ‘follow the salaf’ thing that the advocates of blasphemy killing are always going on about – since Abu Hanifa is one of the salaf and Qurtubi most certainly is not. Qurtubi continues that the scholars held the same position in the case of aDhimmi who insults Islam. A Dhimmi that criticises the religion has his agreement (with the Islamic State – a ‘contract’ of citizenship if you will) nullified according to the official position of Imam Malik and that this was also the position of the Shafi school but Imam Abu Hanifa said that thedhimmi will be asked to repent from his statement because criticising Islam does not nullify the contract seeing as God allowed fighting based on onlytwo conditions and both of these conditions must be present according to Imam Abu Hanifa. (This is based on Surah Tawbah verse 12). If they violate their oaths after having made a treaty with you and condemn your faith, then fight against these leaders of ungodliness, who have no regard for their own oaths, so that they will stop their aggression. The first is breaking of the contract and the second is critiquing the religion. Qurtubi argued for his own proof that when they say something against the religion this ‘automatically nullifies’ the contract of citizenship. The fact that God mentioned two conditions does not mean they have to do both, for us to fight against them, according to Qurtubi. Qurtubi then argues that in his school of thought this means if the non-Muslim citizens do something prohibited in the contract, it then becomes permissible to fight against them. If they do not do something which is prohibited in the contract but instead if they criticise the religion it nullifies the contract anyway and Malikis can fight against them.[xiii] Which means that Imam Abu Hanifa holds the position in contradistinction to Qurtubi, the Malikis and Shafis, to say nothing of the Hanbalis and Salafis, that a Dhimmi must not be killedeven if they insult Islam or insult the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ). What is really funny and sad is that Abu Hanifa’s opponents and critics in the distant past were much more honest about his position than those like Asrar Rashid and Co. who claim to be championing his own school, today. Muhammad Amin Ibn Abidin is a Hanafi jurist from the nineteenth century who wrote a long piece about this issue. He is considered a senior Hanafite, but Salafis and others cannot get enough of him because he was fond of quoting their all-time favourite person ever, Ibn Taymiyyah, who was an avowed enemy of Hanafi methodology and creed and let alone wanting to kill non-Muslims for insulting the Prophet (ﷺ), wanted to kill Muslims for saying the intention to prayer out loud. Let’s go through Ibn Abideen’s reasoning. I’m afraid it’s long. ‘If a Dhimmi insults the Prophet (ﷺ) and he does it publicly or does it regularly then he will be killed even if it is woman and this is the ruling from now as narrated from ‘Durr’ and ‘Muntaqa’, this is what Temurtashi [another scholar and commentator] mentioned in his summary’. Obviously, Salafis, Deobandis and Brelwis are over the moon at reading this, remember, ‘all you need is kill’. Ibn Abideen is therefore explaining that this is the brand new fatwa of the Hanafi School which he is following. I think the more perceptive readers will see where this is going. According to Ibn Abideen, Ramli, a Hanafi scholar added a further condition that if there was no prior agreement with the non-Muslims and if they then commit blasphemy then the ‘contract’ will be nullified. On the other hand if it is mentioned in the contract with the Dhimmi then it is obvious, meaning that they can be killed (so the discussion is exactly the same as what the previous Maliki who was trying to attack the Hanafi position, Imam Qurtubi said above). Imam Abu Yusuf (a student of Abu Hanifa) in the book ‘Kharaaj’ mentioned that it was stated in a contract of Abu Ubayda with people of Syria, he said that he would leave their churches, monasteries and temples with the condition that they would not build new places of worship and that they would not insult or beat Muslims. Ibn Abideen narrates that Alama Qasim mentioned from Khalal and Bayhaqi in the chapter of contracts, that when he came to Umar (ra) with the book, there was an extra condition that Christians will not beat Muslims. If they will not keep to this, then the contract will be nullified and it becomes permissible for us to do what we do with our enemies and rebels. After a lengthy preamble, Ibn Abideen continues that the summary of what he mentioned is that the contract will not be nullified unless it was specifically stipulated in that contract that if non-Muslims insult or blaspheme it will be nullified, otherwise it will not be nullified, unless they insult publicly or it becomes their habit as he mentioned before.[xiv] In this issue Shurunbulali, whom Ibn Abideen quotes, wanted to convert the position of the Hanafis to that of the Malikis but because of the conditions mentioned such as the ruling of Umar not being applicable on other places (i.e. it is not general), Ibn Abideen explained however that he was not able to do it (that is, reconcile the Hanafis non-killing position with the killing opinion of Malikis). Ibn Abideen explains that he found quite a few references about a person falling within the parameters of blasphemy if these two things (public insult or habitual insults) occur, but the primary source of all of these references is Hafiz Uddin Nasafi, who said if aDhimmi insults Islam publicly, it becomes permissible to kill him. This is because the agreement between him and the state was that he should not criticise Islam, but if he does criticises Islam, he himself then nullifies the contract and this contract is no longer applicable on him. Ibn Abideen then says, that even this position will necessitate that the reason for the nullification of the contract is that he should not be insulting Islam, and that there is no need for an extra condition as this is known by having a simple contract. Ibn Abideen explains ‘But that is going against our Hanafi scholars’– so he tells the reader to ‘contemplate for yourself’. Ibn Abideen is alluding to the classical Hanafi position which was mentioned by the authorities Jassas and Tahawi – namely that insulting Islam is a part of their [non-Muslims] religion and we give them the right to follow different religions. Thus the justification of Imam Nasafi for killing is clashing with the position of the Hanafi School and this is why Ibn Abideen is saying that there is an obstacle and his opinion cannot be taken. So Ibn Abideen has rejected the position of Nasafi and explained that it does not meet the principles of the Hanafi School – as of yet he has not provided proof for his own position. Ibn Abideen then goes on to say that it was Imam Shafi who introduced the idea that insulting Islam is not seen as something which is covered within the contract of a [Dhimmi], because a part of following their own religion is being able to insult Islam. Something which is claimed by the Hanafi School. Abu Sauud, an Ottoman Scholar, mentioned in his commentary that if they will mention our Prophet (ﷺ) by some evil comment which is based on their religion, or that he was not a Prophet (ﷺ), or he killed Jews without justice, or attributed a lie to him, then according to some scholars his contract will not nullified. If he mentioned something which isnot concerning his non-Muslim religious beliefs and not part of his religion, then as that is not part of the religion of the Dhimmi, he will be disciplined and punished – and according to this commentator, ‘disciplining’ and ‘punishing’ will include killing for the person who will do it continuously or publicly. Here Ibn Abideen is clearly going against the position of the Hanafi School as ‘disciplining’ means ta’dheer (discretionary punishment) and themaximum punishment for this is thirty nine lashes. Ibn Abideen continues that its proof is what we mentioned above from Hafiz Uddin Nasafi in terms of it being public or continuous and that it is mentioned in the chapter ofta’dheer that the arrogant oppressor will be killed, the highway robber will be killed, the people who commit major sin will be killed and Nasafi said kill anyone who causes harm to the people – but Ibn Abideen has already refuted this position and admitted that it does not match with Hanafi principles and authorities. So as you can see Ibn Abideen has not been able to provide proof from the Hanafis, and he has even gone so far as to refute the same person he is now relying on as a proof for killing blasphemers (and even then, only in public or habitual cases) as he has admitted that Nasafi is incongruent with Hanafi rulings on the matter. Ibn Abideen then uses the book ‘as-Sarim al-Maslul’ of Ibn Taymiyyah al-Hanbali. Here it is stated that Imam Abu Hanifa and his student said the contract of citizenship will not be nullified by insulting the Prophet (ﷺ) or Islam and the dhimmi will not be killed due to it, but he will get ta’dheer in the case of his doing it publicly…Ibn Taymiyyah goes on to say that according to Hanafi principles, people on whom there is no death penalty –can nonetheless be killed by the khalifah and the king will have right to kill him and it is permissible for the king to increase the official Islamic punishment if the king thinks it will have a benefit. Quite apart from the fact that we can still see this bizarre ruling in effect in oppressive Wahhabi regimes inspired by Ibn Taymiyyah – from Saudi Arabia to ISIS, and the fact that we can see that when it comes to killing, people are willing to ditch the Sharia entirely and defer to a kind of ‘divine right of kings’, the problem with this is that no Hanafi ever made this statement. Ibn Taymiyyah continues that Hanafis justify this by the reasoning that the Prophet (ﷺ) and the Sahabah used to kill giving the reason that this type of death penalty is a ‘political death penalty’. There are quite a few problematic issues with this as I am sure readers can see, the first being that in the Hanafi School there is no such thing as Siyasa(political punishment) at all. If you ever wanted to see as example of a politically motivated fatwa’, then here it is. The second problematic issue is that Ibn Abideen has not been able to findany Hanafi to support his opinion (and if he can’t even find it, what chance do the erstwhile ‘Hanafis’ Asrar Rashid and Co. have?) but is instead totally randomly using the opinion of Ibn Taymiyyah, the father of modern day Salafism and by no stretch of the imagination a Hanafi – in fact Ibn Abideen’s Ottoman employers had actually banned Ibn Taymiyyah’s works as an affront to Sunnism.[xv] Ibn Abideen continues with more proofs outwith the classical Hanafi School, saying that Badr al-Din al-Aini states that it his opinion based on his ‘personal choice’, that Dhimmis can be killed for blasphemy. We can see that he had not used the Hanafi School as a basis of his opinion or it would not be his ‘personal choice’ otherwise (who knew that the personal choice extended to such matters as killing – but that’s a separate issue). Badr al-Din al-Aini is a hadith orientated scholar, and hence not in accordance with methodology of the Hanafi School. He is the brother in law of Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, a prominent Shafi scholar and his student Kamal ibn Hummam followed this opinion too. More on them later. So what we are seeing is a wholesale, but honest and frank (unlike todays horrendous deceptions), abandonment, by a set of later scholars, of the authentic and early Hanafi position of not prescribing the death penalty for non-Muslims who blaspheme, in favour of Hanbali, Shafis and even anthropomorphists who do support it. If anyone pulled off such a maneuver today, they would be harangued with cries of betrayal of the Sharia and appeasing the government or the ‘West’, let alone modernism. But when it comes to fatwas that deal with violence, well…’all you need is ‘kill’’. Ibn Abideen says explicitly that ‘it is a judgement of the rulers that we have to follow the opinion of our scholars who support killing the one who insults’. So the Hanafi madhab is to be decided by the government of the time and the ‘blessing’ of the differences of opinions of the scholars that we are always being told about is to be overlooked. Or as Henry Ford put it: ‘Available in any colour, as long as it’s black’. What this means is that Ibn Abideen has not brought forth any proof from the Hanafis to support his position. The main reason for him attempting to prove this position is the pressure he received from his employers, the Ottoman Empire c. 1800. Therefore he brought forth the famous opinion of Ibn Taymiyyah that killing people for political reasons is permissible. He states that Ibn Taymiyyah is reliable when he is narrating the Hanafi School and therefore this has to be accepted.[xvi] This is scandalous, as for the first time ever, we are being told that the Hanafi school has to in fact be narrated through a Hanbali anthropomorphist scholar who came seven hundred years after Imam Abu Hanifa and opposes the Hanafi Maturidi school anyway. Ibn Taymiyyah is known for supporting killing over peace, having a habit of transmitting incorrect information from scholars, making errors when narrating scholarly consensus (ijma) and is known to transmit disagreements when there is ijma on the issue. Therefore not only is he an extremist, but he is completely unreliable. Imam Jassas says that concerning a Dhimmi who insults the Prophet (ﷺ) publicly, there is disagreement amongst the jurists. So this contradicts the statement of Ibn Abideen who stated that there was no disagreement about either public or private insults. Jassas says ‘our scholars said he will be given ta’dheer and will not be killed, this is narrated by Thawri. But Abu Qasim narrated from Imam Malik that the Dhimmi will be killed unless he accepts Islam. Waleed ibn Muslim narrated from Owzai and Malik that anyone who insults the Prophet (ﷺ), that is apostasy, and he must repent or otherwise he will be killed’. Jassas then continues and tests the issue of ‘breaking an agreement of citizenship’ and he states that according to Imam Abu Hanifa that agreement will only be broken in onescenario, and that is if this Dhimmi goes and joins the country who is at war with your country. Imam Malik, Imam Shafi and Imam Ahmad said it will be broken even if he critiques our religion.[xvii] A Dhimmi who publicly insults the Prophet (ﷺ) is different to the Muslim who publicly insults the Prophet (ﷺ).[xviii] So as you see that Hanafis are quite clear about this issue even when related to an insult in a public context. Now, some people deceptively use the quote from Imam Muhammad, a student of Abu Hanifa, to present the case that it is permissible to kill theDhimmi. “If she publicly insults the Prophet (ﷺ) there is nothing wrong in killing her.”[xix] Not only has the quote been taken out of context but it has only been used in the issue of a Dhimmi when it is not referring to a Dhimmiat all. The ruse is to use this quote as a reference for a Dhimmi when Imam Muhammad was speaking about the Harbi (Non-Muslim who is not living in Muslim land, whose military is a threat to the safety of the Muslims). Remember in the Hanafi School (and common sense), killing old people and woman in the battlefield is not permissible. That is what the entirety of the chapter from Imam Muhammad is referring to. The chapter is in fact called ‘who amongst the HARBI can and cannot be killed’.[xx] He mentioned that if someone kills Harbi women and old men (in the battlefield) there is no penalty but instead it is better not to do it (Khilaaful Awlaa) The second thing is that according to Imam Muhammad, it will be permissible to kill theHarbi woman if she insults the Prophet (ﷺ) publicly. So there is a difference between a non-Muslim who is protected by their contract, which allows for them to live peacefully in Muslim land and a Non-Muslim who does not live in Muslim land. Using this as reference to give one a licence to kill is completely unacceptable. It seems like the modus operandi is that if you cannot find a classical reference to support your bloodlust then you have to fabricate a reference which has no relevance to the topic at hand. Unlike most Muslims scholars and so-called apologists, I believe in neither undue violence nor undue censorship: you are free to follow either the early Hanafis such as Abu Hanifa and Imams Jassas and Tahawi from the first to the fourth centuries or you can follow the ‘new’ opinions of eighteenth century authorities and the ‘interpretations’ of rival and antagonistic schools. But please be consistent: if people from the eighteenth century or whatever can rewrite the Hanafi school, then don’t complain about someone doing that today either. Don’t complain about ‘modernism’ and if rivals are the most reliable narrators of one’s own position, then I am sure Salafi followers of Ibn Taymiyyah will have no problems with people narrating his positions through Sufis. All I ask is to be consistent and not just pick and choose your favourite evidence when you feel like making a big song and dance about how pious you are because you are willing to kill people because they ‘insulted Islam’. If killing is the determinant of piety then I guess Genghis Khan was an archangel. Who knew. Sadly, this will not be enough to silence the voices that incite and bray so loudly in our community, only to fall silent when they are called out by the press. So allow me to present a veritable barrage of scholars of all stripes, including Salafis and Zahiris, who despite being trenchant critics of Hanafism, are far more honest and state the real position of Abu Hanifa and others of authority in that school, that non-Muslims citizens are not licit to kill for blasphemy, than today’s erstwhile Hanafis. Muhammad ash-Shawkani, a scholar from the eighteenth century, beloved of Salafis, explains in his ‘Tafseer’ (commentary of the Quran), that Abu Hanifa used Surah Tawbah verse 12-16, to say that if a Dhimmi criticises the religion he will not be killed unless he disowns the citizens contract. ‘This is because God only allowed one to fight non-Muslim citizens if two conditions are met, the first is them disowning the contract and the second is insulting the religion. But Imam Malik, Shafi and others said critiquing the religion is enough to be killed because by critiquing, the contract will be nullified’.[xxi] Ibn Hazm an eleventh century Zahiri scholar says that according to theZahiri School, the dhimmi who insults the Prophet (ﷺ) according to Imam Malik must be killed without any excuse, this is also the opinion of Layth ibn Sa’d. Imam Shafi said we have to include the (two extra) conditions (stating it continuously or in public): On the other hand Imam Abu Hanifa and Sufyan and their followers said that anyone who insults God, or his Prophet (ﷺ), will not be killed but he will stopped from it. Some of the Hanafis said we apply ta’dheer. There is a narration from Ibn Umar wherein he states ‘anyone who commits blasphemy must be killed without any excuse’ and therefore, [according to Ibn Hazm] the Hanafis have proven their misguidance and slander by using the Hadith of Anas (ra) about the group of Jews and the Prophet (ﷺ) responded to them by saying ‘to you too’.[xxii] The Hanafis also use the hadith of Aisha and the Jewish lady poisoning him and that the Prophet (ﷺ) did not say kill them and so we do not kill them. Ibn Hazm explains that the Hanafis have no proof beside what he mentioned.[xxiii] Mahmud al-Alusi, an Iraqi/Ottoman scholar, wrote in ‘Ruh al-Ma`ani’ that the scholars who supported killing if the non-Muslim citizen insults publicly are Malik, Shafi, Layth and this was supported by Ibn Hummam: ‘We already said the Dhimmis pay the tax and this protects them and their disbelief (kufr), so insult of the Prophet (ﷺ) is not worse than other kufri beliefs, which are protected by their tax [the ‘jizya’ or exemption tax on non-Muslims]. So that tax which is protecting them by their bigger kufri statements will protect them from insulting the Prophet (ﷺ) and the religion. The criticism mentioned in the Quran is different to what Malik, Ahmad and Ibn Hummam are saying. That is not justice to the Quran. Based on this it is necessary to not apply the ta’dheer too, paying tax means that we have given them permission to make kufri statements. So if the tax protects from kufr, then why does it not protect for small incidental mistakes?[xxiv] Of course, the same people who were insisting on admitting late scholars from the 18th century and rival schools as evidence will now be furious that we have admitted one from the same period who doesn’t want to kill non-Muslims for blasphemy, but pot/kettle etc. Jarir ibn Atiyah, a Maliki scholar from the sixth century narrates: ‘The Dhimmi who critiques our religion, the relied upon position is that he must be killed. The weak opinion in the Maliki School is that some said that if he makes a statement of blasphemy which conforms with his own religion then he will be disciplined for publicising it, but if he makes a statement of blasphemy which cannot be found in his own religion then he will be killed.But Imam Abu Hanifa states that he will be requested to repent, which means that he will be told to stop making these statements. But there is disagreement if a Dhimmi insults the Prophet (ﷺ) and then accepts Islam to avoid a death penalty and the relied upon opinion of the Malikis is that he will left alone. But in Athbiyah it is stated that he has to be killed, so he will be killed and will not get priority over Muslims’.[xxv] Ilkia, a Shafi scholar from the fifth century, states: ‘’This verse [Surah Tawbah: verse 12] proves if Dhimmi publicly insults the Prophet (ﷺ) or criticises the religion it becomes permissible to kill him and fight against him. But Imam Abu Hanifa said just critiquing the religion does not nullify the contract with him. But no doubt this verse is strongly supporting the position of Imam Shafi.[xxvi] Ibn Nujaim a Hanafi scholar from the sixteenth century narrates in ‘Bahr al-Raiq’, that in the following cases a non – Muslim’s protection as ‘Dhimmi’ will not be nullified: If he doesn’t pay the tax – him paying is not a condition because protection he is given is by agreeing to pay and not by actually paying. So not paying will not nullify his contract or status. If he commits adultery with a Muslim woman If he kills a Muslim person, Or he insults the Prophet (ﷺ). In terms of adultery and killing we apply the just punishment as we apply on Muslims but in terms of insulting the Prophet (ﷺ) that is kufr (disbelief) which he already commits anyway so by renewing his disbelief he is not going to get anything extra as he already has that disbelief. That initial permanent kufr did not nullify the transaction so renewing the kufr also will also not nullify the transaction. Badr al-Din al-Aini , a Hanafi scholar from the fifteenth century mentions ‘Waqiyat’ of Husami, a twelfth century Hanafi scholar as saying, if a Dhimmirefuses to pay the tax, the contract will be nullified and we will fight against him – that is the opinion of Imam Malik, Imam Shafi and Imam Ahmad. Ibn Nujaim comments: ‘It is obvious that it is weak in terms of its textual proof and its meaning. What Aini said is also weak as he said ‘I choose’, (meaning that it is his personal opinion), this opinion has no basis in terms of narration from our Hanafi sources. Also in terms of what Ibn Hummam said, he opposed the Hanafi School. Qasim Ibn Qatlubgah, the student of Ibn Hummam, in hisfatwa confirmed that the research of his teacher when he opposes our School will not be accepted. Ibn Nujaim continues: ‘I do find that inside (our heart) we may have inclination in the issue of insulting the Prophet (ﷺ) but for us following the [Hanafi] School is compulsory.It is stated In Hawi al-Qudsi if a Dhimmi insults the Prophet (ﷺ), Islam or the Quran, then we will discipline him and he will be punished’.[xxvii] We see here the inspiring academic and moral rigour of the genuine scholars of the past: he admits that insults to the Prophet (ﷺ) cause him and all Muslims anger and the feeling to lash out – but he insists that the rule of law and Islamic principles are more important than emotion. If only we had a single such scholar today, who understands that religion is there to control our urges and to moderate our impulses, not to unleash them. But today’s scholars are militant when it comes to restraining our urges to talk to a member of the opposite sex and accommodating when it comes to our urge to kill people. They are more than happy to pervert the earliest and most widespread school of Sunnism for this end. Zailae, a Hanafi scholar from the fourteenth century states: ‘He has to be killed according to Shafi. But our proof is that some Jewish person insulted the Prophet (ﷺ), he said ‘damn you oh Muhammad’. The Sahabah said ‘shall we kill him?’ and the Prophet (ﷺ) replied ‘no’. The Prophet (ﷺ) did not nullify contract of the Jew and nor did he kill him. This is our proof against Imam Shafi and Imam Ahmad, as well as against Imam Malik who believed that Dhimmis insulting the Prophet (ﷺ) have to be killed. The insult of the Prophet (ﷺ) is disbelief, but he is already a disbeliever so renewing the disbelief does not cause anything extra which permanent disbelief did not already cause’.[xxviii] Imam Abdul Hakeem Afghani, a Hanafi scholar from the nineteenth century, in his commentary of ‘Kanzul Daqaiq’ stated: ‘In terms of insulting Prophet (ﷺ), this does not nullify their [non-Muslims] agreement with us as he has got permanent kufr. So if permanent kufr does not nullify the contract then the ‘refreshing’ of the kufr also does not nullify it. The proof of this that Aisha narrated that a group Jews came and said ‘damn you!’ to the Prophet (ﷺ) and there is no doubt that this is an insult and if this is nullifying the covenant of citizenship then the Prophet (ﷺ) would kill them as they became non-Dhimmis’[xxix] Imam Abdullah Ibn Ahmad Ibn Mahmoud Al-Nasafi in ‘Kanz Daqaiq’ writes, ‘…the contract will not be nullified by them not paying tax, adultery with a Muslim lady, them killing someone or even insulting the Prophet (ﷺ). But it will only be nullified if he joins a war against us or they will commit treason and overtake the state and then they will be challenging us. Only in that scenario will it will be nullified’.[xxx] In ‘Bidayat al-Mubtadi’ Imam al-Marghinani a Hanafi scholar from the twelfth century narrates: ‘The Contract of citizenship for non-Muslims will not be nullified by them not paying tax, adultery with a Muslim lady, them killing someone or even insulting the Prophet (ﷺ). But it will only be nullified if he joins a party at war with us or they will commit treason and overtake a state; and then they will be challenging us and only in that scenario will it be nullified’’[xxxi] As one can see all the Hanafi scholars are relaying the same position: that a Dhimmi cannot be killed for blasphemy as a contract can only be invalidated in one instance. In ‘Hidayah’, which is a commentary of ‘Bidayat al–Mubtadi’ also written by Al- Marghinani, he states: ‘Shafi said insulting Prophet (ﷺ) is classed as nullifying the contract of citizenship for non-Muslims but our proof is that insulting the Prophet (ﷺ)is kufr and permanent kufr did not nullify the contract so renewing the kufr also doesn’t’.[xxxii] Kamal ibn Humam is the hadith orientated scholar we met above, who supports the anti-Hanafi position of killing non-Muslim citizens for blasphemy says in his commentary on ‘Hidayah’, he states: [He mentions our Hanafi proof about the Hadith of the Jews]. Aisha replied,‘Damn you and may curse be upon you!’ The Prophet (ﷺ), ‘Oh Aisha take it easy, because God loves gentleness in everything’, and then she said “Oh Prophet (ﷺ) are you not listening that they are insulting you?’ And the Prophet (ﷺ) said “I know and I replied to you too”. ‘No doubt it is insulting from them. If it were to nullify the transaction then the Prophet (ﷺ) would kill them but he did not kill them’… So he is giving the Hanafi proof.[xxxiii] Then Ibn Hummam continues on and states ‘but according to me,’ (clearly expressing it is his own personal opinion), ‘insulting the Prophet (ﷺ) and attributing to God what they don’t already believe as part of their religion makes it permissible to kill them.[xxxiv] Shibili, a sixteenth century Hanafi scholar, in his hashia (brief commentary) of the commentary of Zailae on ‘Kanzul Daqaiq’ of Imam Nasafi stated: ‘Abu Yusuf [the student of Abu Hanifa] said, [regarding] someone who commits kufr multiple times he will not be asked to repent but will be killed. In the ‘Hashiyyah’ however it says we ask him to repent indefinitely’. Shibli confirmed we carry on asking him to repent infinitely, so he would not be killed, if he does not accept we will continue asking him. He narrated that Imam Abul Hasan al-Karkhi, a Hanafi scholar from the tenth century said that it is the opinion of all of our scholars; they also said the apostate will not be killed. But there was a narration from Ali and Ibn Umar that after the third apostasy his repentance will not be accepted, as he is demeaning the religion.[xxxv] So our scholars confirm that the apostate will not be killed and a dhimmi insulting the Prophet (ﷺ) regularly will not be killedaccording to Shibili and Kharkhi. Thus Shibili is using the statement of Kharkhi to show that a person insulting the Prophet (ﷺ) regularly will not be killed, as it is one of the two conditions mentioned by the other schools which will result in breaking of the contract of citizenship – but not according to Hanafis. Conclusion
For those who support killing and oppression, this blog post will upset them. Of course, they will never say that they support these things, nor authoritarianism or despotism or legal laxity or anarchy (which they will call ‘theocracy’ or ‘sharia’ or ‘legislating by God’ – evil people have always used God to justify their desires and oppressions, because deep down they think, ‘well, he can’t really speak for himself can he?’) or any of the other pejorative terms. They will try to make themselves sound like heroic warrior monks standing for ‘authentic Islam’ in the face of weak and lily livered people succumbing to ‘liberalism’, ‘secularism’ and ‘the West’. People who want to oppress the masses usually cannot do it openly at the start. Even the Nazis had to ‘start slow’ (just as Islamophobes are doing) and get people to sympathise with them. What the public has to do is to see whether these people are consistent: do they really respect and adhere to Islam or the scholars or the Salaf or the hadith as they so vociferously claim, or is it only when it favours their temperaments and proclivities? I think we can see clear examples that answer that question: Jassas and Abu Hanifa can go in the ideological dustbin when they say something ‘inconvenient’, and there is a remarkable and suspicious ‘unity’ of Salafists, Brelwis and Deobandis – groups who claim to hate one another – behind the issue of killing non-Muslim blasphemers. They want to take Ibn Abideen and Ibn Taymiyyah come what may, even when they admit they are deviating from the Hanafi School.
Ask yourself if this is consistent.
We can clearly see the position of the Hanafi School from nearly all of the great scholars, who stated in multiple places that a Dhimmi living in Muslim land cannot be killed for blasphemy and the reason for this is that he has a contract for protection. We have seen Hanafis hold that this person is already a disbeliever and as such any further statements of blasphemy that are made by this person will not increase his disbelief. Therefore, as per what is mentioned in the Quran, a person will only be fought if he breaks the contract and insults your religion. And insulting the religion of Prophet (ﷺ) in and of itself does not break the contract.
What does nullify the contract of dhimmis is that the person joins people with whom you are at war or they commit treason and attempt to overtake the state. It is only in this scenario the contract will be nullified, not just blasphemy, vile though it is.
This is the relied upon the opinion of the Hanafi School and this opinion is relayed by a huge proportion of Hanafi Scholars.
There are three Hanafi Scholars who left the Hanafi position. If we look at a fourteen hundred year history of anything, any subject, we will find individuals who held virtually every imaginable opinion. So we can see that at one time, senior physicists such as Isaac Newton had a penchant for alchemy or spiritualism and so on. It does not mean that this ‘proves’ that alchemy is a part of physics but rather than any discipline practised by enough people over enough time will have nearly every conceivable tendency. This is why we look at a ‘normal distribution’, in statistical terms, and not at the extremes of the Bell Curve when we look at any group. Some Americans are racist or teachers or astronauts for example. But what are most Americans? Lamentably, today, what is called ‘mainstream Islam’ is frequently occupied by those who are in fact at these fringes of a ‘normal distribution’. Those who support killing will look for these isolated opinions to help support their bloodlust, and they will find them here and there, just as I can find a famous physicist who believes in alchemy or fairies or whatever. But this does not mean that this is the main position of the discipline known as ‘physics’. So it is with the Islamic legal schools.
But if this deviation from the norm and following isolated opinions ispermissible as these people in general and Salafis in particular would like (for their whole sect is based on isolated and aberrant trends in both creed and law), then why not follow the same procedure for other issues too? For example we have many weak opinions in all four schools which will make the lives of people much ‘easier’. There is a weak opinion in the Hanafi School that temporary marriage is permissible, but people will not propagate this as this a position held by Shia Muslims, and apparently we are meant to hate them. There is also a weak opinion within the Hanafi School that if you participate in adultery and you then pay the woman, then you are not liable for any punishment, basically modern day prostitution. I am guessing that modern ‘Hanafis’ who are so eager to follow the minorities within and without the Hanafi school in matters of killing, will not be encouraging their followers to participate in this weak opinion. Anyone who has studied the Islamic sciences to a basic level knows that it is impermissible to follow the weak or minority opinion within a given school anyway. We have been at pains to state many times, by referring to classical scholars, that following the weak opinion is like following an invalid opinion.[xxxvi]
As for these three aforementioned scholars, Aini and Ibn Hummam are Hanafi scholars whose methodology is that of an over-reliance on hadith. What you find is that they leave the position of the Hanafi School on many occasions and instead follow the position of the Shafi, Maliki and Hanbali Schools. Both of them are connected to the famous Shafi scholar Ibn Hajar Asqalani, a pioneer within their school. He placed a huge emphasis on hadith and his commentary of ‘Sahih Bukhari’ is considered the most reliable. Aini is his brother in law and Ibn Hummam is his student. In this instance, both of them are very honest unlike the modern day crypto-Salafists masquerading as ‘Hanafis’, and make it clear that it is their personal opinion and not the opinion of their school. In the case of Ibn Hummam his student, another Hanafi Scholar called Ibn Qatlubgah stated that it is not permissible to follow the position of his teacher as he has gone against the position of the Hanafi School.
Their position is not accepted in this issue as they clearly left the position of the School, most likely due to their affiliation to Ibn Hajar and the emphasis they place on the non-Hanafi methodology of Hadith.
You are free to accept it nonetheless – we are happy to grant those freedoms which Salafis, Deobandis and Brelwis would violently remove, but just don’t pretend that this is the opinion of the Hanafi school. Stand or fall on your own arguments as opposed to prostituting the name of Hanafism to get you a ‘free ride’ with the South Asian public and others who have an affection for it. This is actually the perverted strategy of nationalism adapted here for religion.
Now, most of the joy that occurs in this issue amongst Salafists and extremists who think they have found ‘support’ from the Hanfis is coming from the statement of Ibn Abideen. There are many problematic issues with the position of Ibn Abideen as stated, but he again was honest that he was leaving the position of the Hanafis but then bizarrely insisted that an anti-Hanafite anthropomorphist must be admitted as an ‘Imam’ of the Hanafis. I wonder is Salafis would be as happy to have an anti – anthropomorphist, someone who said that Salafi beliefs are in fact heretical disbelief, such as Al Ghazzali or Imam Razi, admitted as an ‘Imam’ of Salafism. I suspect not, especially given that Ibn Taymiyyah gleefully labelled these two as disbelievers.
The main reason for Ibn Abideen stating his position as he did was probably due to the political pressure placed on him by the rulers who in this case were the Ottomans. He was most likely forced due to fear of death or incarceration. Another clear example of how politics shaped the laws of the Muslims perhaps, but who knows – what is inescapable is that in this issue he not only makes statements which are demonstrably inaccurate (as above) but much worse than this, the basis of his opinion is ‘Shaykh ul-Islam’ Ibn Taymiyyahh – the grandfather of modern day Salafism and ISIS type ideology. ‘Kill first and ask questions later’ is the prime position of his methodology. All you need is ‘kill’, right?
Ibn Abideen also said that there was no disagreement between the Hanafis and the Malikis about insulting publicly, but we have seen many proofs from Jassas, Alusi, Malikis and Shafis where they quote that the disagreement between the schools was only about public insults. He also said that there is no disagreement between us and the Malikis when aDhimmi insults continuously. This is also incorrect as Imam Abu Hanifa stated that we will ask him to repent…infinitely.
Of course, Deobandis and their ilk want to whip people up into an emotional frenzy, that’s the whole point and problem. So they will dramatise, wail, gnash teeth and claim that we have rejected Ibn Abideen and impugned a giant of Hanafism, fill whole blog posts of scholars singing his praises etc. But apart from the fact that Ibn Abideen is a late, though admittedly senior scholar, he is no more or less fallible than anyone else of his rank. Furthermore, why were these same people not kicking up an equal stink when Ibn Abideen was neglecting and ignoring Imams Jassas, Tahawi and even Abu Hanifa? Because kicking up a stink is only when you reject positions they like and scholars they like. It isn’t applied uniformly. Ibn Abideen is expedient to their cause, so they will defend him to the hilt come what may. Abu Hanifa is extraneous and even opposing their desires, so they callously cast him aside. Don’t fall for it.
Therefore the correct and authentic position of the Hanafi School is that aDhimmi living in a Muslim land cannot be killed. They are protected through their contract of residence. Therefore even if Aasia Noreen had made those statements she should not have been given the death penalty. It would also permissible for the governor to release her because according to the Hanafi School ta’dheer punishment can be as little as giving the individual a stern look. However when reading the statements made in court, it seems like there was a personal grudge, with the Muslim girls screaming blasphemy to receive support from the courts with their ongoing vendetta. In Pakistan, the current law needs to be re-assessed and the classical position of the Hanafi School should be implemented. And no, asking for this law to be reassessed is not blasphemy as I believe that the position of the Hanafis is in line with the Quran: No killing of non-Muslims is prescribed for blasphemy and the punishment must not go beyond ta’dheer.
Some sincere people will of course feel aggrieved that there is not a more harsh punishment for the crime of insulting the Prophet (ﷺ). Though the opponents will tell you otherwise, I feel just as furious as the next man when I hear these vile remarks – including the idiotic pronouncements of Muslims who claim the Prophet (ﷺ) was affected by black magic, became impotent, lost his mind or compromised on monotheism due to the ‘Satanic Verses’. All of this disgusts me, not only the vile garbage of Islam haters. But ask yourself: are we to be emotional and driven by our urge for revenge or to be rational and controlled as the Quran asks? Do we want to reflect the Quran or the caricature of Muslims and believers that our enemies without and within would like? Do we let hatred of a people, just or unjust, deviate us from justice and the law of God?
Do you want to kill and avenge on behalf of the Prophet (ﷺ) or do you want to be like him and forbear and teach? Does religion control or unleash our hatred?
Or is it really as these people would have it, that ‘all we need is ‘kill’?