Message No : 10Sr.No : 126/724
Question By : Razi Raziuddin

ASAK all,

It is a very sensitive query thatI am raising, just to educate myself.And
hope that more learned ones, such as Maulana Qasmi and others would help me
in understanding it.

As per belief, I fully abide but have less knowledge about it.

The queries are:

1. What are the verses of Quran (and also the sayings of Prophet, the
Hadith) that clearly refer to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as the last Prophet?

2. How much Qadiyanis differ from it and in what way(s)?

3. What are the fundamental differences between the Ahl-e-Hadith/ Wahabees
and the rest of the Sunni sects?

4. What are the most fundamental differences between the Sunnis and the
Shias?

Remember this, that these are genuine questions only for getting
enlightened, and not dragging into any sensitivities.

And alsoremember, that no one should indulge with any dis-respect or
insensivity towards any of these Muslim classes.

Please be extremely cordial, thoughtful and truthful.Support your points
only in the light of Quran, Hadith and commentaries of Ulema, and scholars.

Thanks.

wa-assalam,

 

Reply By : M. B. Qasmi
Designation : ODI, MMERC, Mumbai 

Muhtaram Razi saheb
ASSALAMU ALAIKUM

Please find below answers to your questions.

Question No. 1
What are the verses of Quran (and also the sayings of Prophet, the Hadith) that clearly refer to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as the last Prophet?

Answer No. 1
Qura¡¯anic verses:

1.¡°Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but (he is) the messenger of Allah, and the seal of the prophets, and Allah has full knowledge of all things. (ch: 33,ver-40)¡±

Imam Qurtabi (ra)
Imam Qurtabi wrote in his book: Ibne Atyah said that the word (khatamun nabiyeen) has a common meaning to all Ulama that can never be subsided (anyway and the meaning is) ¡°there is no prophet after Muhammad (saws)¡± (Tafseer Qurtabi- vo 14 pg 196)

Imam Ghazali (ra)
Wrote in his book: Certainly the Muslim community have understood the meaning of the word (khatamun nabiyeen) that there will be no prophet and messenger after prophet Muhammad (saws). And there is a great unity among Muslim Ummah and no other interpretation will occur in the above-mentioned meaning. (Al- Iqtisad fill Ieteqad-pg-123)

2.¡°This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed my favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion. (ch-5, verse-3)

This verse was revealed to the Prophet (saws) at his last pilgrim of his life. After revelation of the verse the Prophet (saws) was not in the world more than 40 days.

Hazrat imam Razi:
Wrote explaining the verse: the shariah of Muhammad (saws) has been perfected forever. So after prophet Muhammad (saws) no prophet and messenger is required. (Tafseer e-Kabeer)

Imam Allamah Ibne Qayyem:
Wrote: The people of Muhammad (saws) became independent only because of their prophet. They need not any prophet after him because all the blessings have been bestowed on Muhammad and are perfected. (Risalatul Furqan pg. 56)
3.¡°Say: o men! I am sent unto you all, as the messenger of Allah, to whom belongeth the dominations of the heavens and the earths¡± (Ch-8-verse 158)

This verse clearly speaks that Prophet Muhammad (saws) was a messenger for all human beings. And there is no requirement of a new Prophet after him. We mentioned only three verses and there can be few more verses relating the same subject matter in the glorious Qura¡¯an. I hope these would be enough for the people who really want to understand.

Ahaadith (sayings of prophet Muhammad saws):
1. The similitude of mine and other prophets passed before is like a man who builds up a castle and completed it but left place of a brick, so I came and filled the blank place. (Saheeh Muslim-vol-2, pg. 248/ Musnade Ahmad-vol-3. pg. 9)

2. Hazrat Sa¡¯ad ibne Abi Waqqas (ra) reported that the Prophet (saws) had said to Hazrat Ali (ra) you are to me as Hazrat Harun (a) was to Moses (a). But Hazrat Harun (a) was also a prophet like Moses and there is no prophet after me. (Saheeh Bukhari- vol. 2 pg. 633)

3. Hazrat Abu Huraira (ra) narrated that the prophet (saws) had said: Prophets used to guide the children of Israel. Whenever a prophet passes away another would possess the responsibility but certainly there is no prophet after me. (Bukhari vol- 1, pg. 491)

4. Hazrat Thouban (ra) reported that the prophet (saws) had said: In my people there will be 30 liars who will claim to be prophet whereas I am the last prophet and there will not be any kind of prophet (after me). (Abu Dawod vol-2, pg. 228)

These sayings of the prophet clearly say that Muhammad (saws) is the last and final prophet. Moreover, these traditions testify the above-mentioned verses also where it is mentioned that Muhammad (saws) is the seal of prophets, thus the word Seal (khatam) was cleared by many words from the Hadith like ¡®La Nabiya Baadie¡¯ (there is no Prophet after me) Ana Akiru Minan Nabyeen (I am the last from the Prophets).

Again we only mentioned here only four Ahadith, and these are Sahih and Marouf thus we hope these are more than enough to prove the finality of our Loved Prophet (saws).

Question No. 2
How much Qadiyanis differ from it and in what way(s)?

Answer No. 2
I would request the readers to observe the differences through the Qadyanis own statements in different time and places. As Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani sb. and his followers were of the opinion till 1891 that the Prophet (saws) is the last and final prophet. As it is clearly mentioned in his book ¡°Izala ¨Ce Awhaam¡± in a place he wrote:

¡°The Glorious Quran allows none to come as a messenger either new or old after our (khatimunnabiyeen) prophet Muhammad (saws). Because the Prophets have the religious knowledge through Jibrael and Jibrael is prohibited by Allah to reveal with prophetic revelations after Muhammad. So it is impossible that prophets would come and Jibrael will not come¡±. (Izala e-Awham-vol-2, pg.511)

In another place he wrote:
¡°Every wise person can understand easily that if Allah is true in his promises and whatever he kept as promise by his word ¡°Khatamunnabiyeen¡± which is clearly mentioned in the books of Ahadith that Jibrael will not come down with prophetic revelation after the death of Muhammad (saws) so it is perfect that none can come as a prophet after Muhammad at any cost and under any circumstances¡± (Izala e-Awham-vol-2, pg.412)

When Mirza Qadiani sb. wanted to be a prophet he refused all his utterance as quoted above from his books. First of all he claims to be an inspired person and gradually became a prophet of Shariat. The following quotations of Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadyani shows his proclamations as a perfect prophet.

Claim to be an apostle of Muhammad (saws)
Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadyani sb. did not claim at once that he is a prophet. First of all he tried to convince the people exposing himself as an apostle of Muhammad (saws). He wrote:
¡°I am just a reflection of Muhammad (saws). I have been bestowed all the perfections of Muhammad and his prophet-hood even in an apostolic way. So am I a different person who is claiming to be prophet? (Iek ghalti ka izala, Khazaen-vol- 18, pg. 212)

Claims to be an independent messenger sent to Qadyan.
He wrote:
¡°The true God is one who sent his messenger to Qadian¡±
(Dafiul Bala, Rohani khazaen-vol-18, pg.231)

Claims to be an independent prophet and a messenger
¡°I am a messenger and a prophet as well. It means I have been sent by Allah and I receive secret information (from Allah)¡± (Iek ghalti ka izala, R. khazaen ¨Cvol. 180, pg.211)

Propagates that Mirza is superior to all the prophets
And Allah is showing so many signs for me that if they were shown in the time of Nooh, those people would not have drowned,
(Roohaani Khazaa¡¯in page 575, Vol. 22)

So, the Yoosuf of this Ummah, i.e this humble one, is greater than Israeli Yoosuf.
(Roohani Khazaa¡¯in in page 99, Vol. 21)

Although, many prophets have come in the world, I am no less in knowledge and recognition of Allah than any (of them). (Roohani Khazaa¡¯in page 477, Vol.18)

Leave the mention of Ibne Maryam (Eesaa Alayhis Salaam); Ghulam Ahmad is better than him.
(Roohani Khazaa¡¯in Page 240, Vol. 18)

Believes that Islaam is incomplete without belief in Mirza Ghulam Ahmad

The belief of naming the rejecters of Maseeh Maw¡¯ood (Mirza) as ¡®Muslims¡¯ is a filthy belief. One who holds such belief, for him the door of divine mercy is closed. (Kalimatul Fasl page 125)

Believes that the words of Mirza are equal to Qura¡¯an
Whatever I hear through Allah¡¯s revelations, I believe it to be pure from every mistake. My revelation is pure from mistake like the Qura¡¯an. This is my faith. By Allah, it is noble word from the mouth of God, the one only. (Roohaani Khazaa¡¯in Page 477, Vol. 18)

Vilification of the status of Makkah Mukarramah and Madeenah Manuawwarah
The place of Qaadiyaan is that place which Allah has declared as navel (centre) for the whole world and has declared it the mother for all the worlds.
(Al-Fadhl, Qaadiyaan, 11th December, 1932)

I am telling you truthfully that Allah has said the soil of Qaadiyaan is blessed. Here descends those blessings that descend at Makkah and Madeenah.(Al Fadhl, Qaadiyaan, 11th December, 1932)

People also go to perform Hajj as a simple and nafl (act). But, in this place (i.e. Qaadiyaan), the reward is more than the nafl Hajj. (Roohaani Khazaa¡¯in page 352, Vol.5)

Declares all non-Qaadiyaanis as non-believers
All Muslims who have not entered allegiance to Maseeh Maw¡¯ood (Mirza), even though they have not heard the name of Maseeh Maw¡¯ood, are Kaafir and out of the fold of Islaam. (Aai¡¯nae Sadaqat page 35)
That person who believes in Moosa but does not believe in ¡®Eesaa, or believes in ¡®Easaa, but does not believe in Muhammad, or believes in Muhammad but does not believe in Maseeh Maw;oood (Mirza), is not only Kaafir but a staunch Kaafir and out of the fold of Islam. (Kalimatul Fasl page 110)

My opponents have been named Christians, Jews and Idolaters. (Roohaani Khazaa¡¯in page 382, Vol. 18)

Defames all Muslims
Every Muslim looks at these books (of Mirza) with an eye of love and benefits from its knowledge and accepts

me and verifies my call except children of prostitutes
upon whose hearts Allah has put a seal, they do not accept me. (Roohaani Khazaa¡¯in page 547-548, Vol. 5)

Allah has made it clear to me that every person, whom my call has reached and has not accepted me, is not a Muslim. (Tazkirah page 600)

Qadyanism regards itself a separate religion.
It is command of Maseeh Maw¡¯ood (Mirza), and a powerful command, that an Ahmadi should not give his daughter to a non-Ahmadi. To carry out this (order) is also a duty of every Ahmadi
(Brarakaate khailaafat Page 25)

Practice patience and do not perform Salaat behind any person other than our Jamaa¡¯at.
(Al Hakam, Qaadiyaan, 10th August, 1901)

It is our duty that we do not consider non-Ahmadis Muslims and do not perform salaat behind them, because according to us they are rejecters of a prophet of Allah. (Aanwaare khilaafat page 190)

It is not permissible to perform Janaazah (Salaat) of non-Ahmadi Muslims: to the extent that it is not permissible (to perform Janaazah) of non-Ahmadi child too. (Anwaare Khilaafat page 193)

Misinterpretation of the Qur¡¯aanic verses
¡°It is Allah who has sent his messenger with guidance and religion of truth, that He made it prevail over all religion. (Ch-61-ver-9)

It is mentioned not only in every book of Tafseer but also in other heavenly scriptures that the prophecy (mentioned in the verse above) refers to Prophet Muhammad (saws). But Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani sb. claims that the prophecy mentioned in the verse refers to his own personality, thus he wrote:

¡°It is Allah who has sent his messenger (means me) with guidance and the religion of truth. (Tazkira-pg-492/ Arbaeen-vo-3 in R. Khazaen-vo-17-pg426)

He misinterpreted the following verse also
Say: o men! I am sent unto you all, as the messenger of Allah (Ch-8-verse 158)

Mirza Qadiani considered this verse as a prediction to refer his own prophecy.
(Tazkira-pg-352-published in Rubwa)

As it was shown earlier that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani sb. had already admitted that Prophet Muhammad (saws) was the last and final prophet with references of his own books. But later he changed his opinion and tried to misinterpret all the verses and Ahadith which prove the finality of prophet hood.

¡°Muhammad is not the father of any of your men, but (he is) the messenger of Allah, and the seal of the prophets, and Allah has full knowledge of all things.¡± (Ahzab/ch 33-ver-40)

Regarding this verse Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani wrote:
The word Khatamunnabiyeen is not sufficient to prove the finality of prophet hood. It means the seal of prophet, and many people will be prophet by his stamp and testimony. So whenever a prophet happens to come he would be testified with this stamp¡± (Haquiqatul Wahi-vo-22-pg-29/30)

On the contrary at some places he himself translated the word ¡°Khatim¡± with last and final. As writes:

¡°My parents have no child after me so in this way I am their khatimul awlad¡± (Tiryaqul Quloob- R. khazaen-vo-15-479)

In short their believe is not like us, their Kalima is not of ours (Muslims) and their many practices are not at all coping with those of other Muslim in any part of the word then how can we say or consider them as Muslim? Moreover they themselves want them to separate them and us. Then why this nonsense hue and cry if Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan or any other country declare them as non-Muslim minority?

Question No. 3
What are the most fundamental differences between the Sunnis and the Shias?

Answer No. 3
It is known that the first sect, which appeared in the history against Islam and Muslim majority, after Prophet Muhammad (saws) is known as Shiaism. It came into existence due to some simple and reasonable differences of opinions during the ending period of Caliph Sayyidina Uthman Ghani (ra). In the beginning these differences looked quite simple but by the time they proved to be a pre-planned conspiracy against Islam. The sect came up with the opinion that the family of Muhammad (saws) is the highest one in degree and respect so his caliphate must be confined in his own lineage. And Sayyidina Ali (ra) being one amongst his family, was the most appropriate person to be selected as caliph of the last Prophet (saws). This point of view is seemingly simple and reasonable but is based on anti Qura¡¯an and against prophetic teachings. For, Islam puts its great emphasis to remove the concept of superiority only by caste, colour and creed and makes Taqwa (piety) the criterion for dignity and honour. (The Glorious Qur¡¯an Ch: 49/ V: 13). According to the Qur¡¯an (Ch:92/ V;17) Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) was the most pious person of his time thus he was chosen the First Caliph of the Prophet/ Islam.

Once, on the pulpit of Jame Masjid in Koofa Hazrat Ali (ra) was asked that why he (and other Sahabas) had selected Abu Bakr (ra) the first Caliph then he replied: ¡°The Prophet (saws) in his last days made Abu Bakr our Imam of Salaah which is the most important pillar of Islam while I was present over there and he knew my presence as well, so we too chose him our leader for worldly affairs.

One of the most fundamental differences between Shia and rest of the Muslims is to believe in Imamat. This view point of Shias requires believing in Imams as Allah Almighty sends them down after the Prophet (saws).

According to this belief:
(A)Imams are innocent and pure from sins as the Prophets are.

(B)They too receive revelation from Allah Almighty like prophets did.

(C)Their commandments are obligatory to be followed like the instructions of the Prophets.

(D)They are liable to implement Islamic issues or reject any Islamic law.

(E)Besides all, an Imam has the power to abrogate any verse of the Glorious Qur¡¯an.

In brief, the concept of Imamat in Shiaism is the same or grater than that of Prophet-hood in Islam.

Not to say about differences in views, Shias do not agree with Muslim to accept the Kalima of Islam i.e. La ilaha Illallah Muhammadur Rasoolullah, they do add to it "Ali Waliullah, Wasiyyu Rasool Allah".

The second most fundamental principal of Shiaism is to have enmity with the companions of the Prophet (saws), as they believe: ¡®all the companions of the Prophet (saws) who took Baiat (the oath of allegiance) by Abu Bakr (ra), which Sayyidina Ali (ra) also did are Kafir and Murtad. Because they did not prefer Sayyedina Ali (ra) and Sayyidina Aali (ra) is also guilty due to not offering himself for caliphate. (Allah forbids). To them the companions of the Prophet are Kafir while Allah Almighty has proclaimed His pleasure in Glorious Qur¡¯an for all of them.

In Tafsreer Al-Mazhari, Imam Sha¡¯bi, a renowned Imam and teacher of Imam Abu Hanifa (rah) has been narrated to say: ¡°If you ask the Jews, who are the best of the people?¡¯ their reply would be for Moses and his companions, if you ask the Christians about the best among human kind they will surely name the Jesus Christ and his accompanying persons; but if you ask Shias about the companions of Muhammad (saws) they will say that the companions of Muhammad are the worst of people. (Allah forbids)

This believe of Shias goes directly against the annunciation of Prophet Muhammad (saws) since all the companions who embraced Islam by virtue of Muhammad (saws) were given the title of Star of Guidance¡¯ (see Bukhari and all famous Hadith books) who turned to be Murtad just after the departure of Prophet Muhammad (saws) according to the believe of Shiaism.

The third but the most vital difference between Shias and other Muslim Ummah, which damages the castle of Islam, is to deny the totality and perfection of the Glorious Qur¡¯an. Shias are of the opinion that the Qur¡¯an, which is available among Muslims and into the hearts of Millions of Huffaz, is not the same Qur¡¯an that was revealed to Muhammad (saws) but it is Mus-haf-e- Uthmani.(Aqaed-e Shia yek Nazar main)

On the contrary we believe in perfection of the Glorious Qura¡¯an, respect all the companions of the Prophet (saws) and don¡¯t believe in such an Imam/Imamat who can abrogate the verses of the Glorious Qura¡¯an.

These are some famous beliefs of Shias, mentioned above, and theses are the most fundamental differences between Shias and Sunnis. There are some other differences in beliefs with Shias but I think those mentioned are the most fundamental ones. And I hope this will suffice purpose to know and find out the truth. May Allah guide all Muslims to straight path. (Aameen).

Note: Some Shias do not belief in what mentioned above (since there are some 12 sects among the Shia itself) thus our Ulama do not consider all Shia in one category. If one does not believe in what mentioned above as fundamental difference between Shiah and Sunni our Ulama already considered them as Muslims.

Question No 4
What are the fundamental differences between the Ahl-e-Hadith/ Wahabees and the rest of the Sunni sects?

Answer No. 4
In Indian subcontinent Ahl-e- Hadeeth, Salfi, Ghair Muqallideen or Muhammadie is in totality one sect with minor changes and in rest of the world where people migrated from this sub-continent the case is same as in here.

There are two kinds of disagreement between them; Frooyee (minor/ considerable) and Usoolee (major/ fundamental). Frooyee, i.e. in Salahs while standing, one should rest his hands on his chest or blow his navel? How much distance should be between the feet in Qiyam, after Surah Fatiha Ameen should be read loudly or silently? And should do Rafa Yadein (raise up hands to the ears) before Sajda or not? These are minor controversial issues and are mostly based on Ahdith, moreover we (other than them) consider these differences are only in preference, better or good. One should not blame others in these minor and preferable issues. These kinds of differences were found in the period of Sahaba (ra) as well as among the four Imams.

The second types of differences are major ones. And I do believe that here Ahle- Hadeeth is far from the reality. They differ with the stand of Jumhoor -e- Ummah and Suwad-e-Azam (vast majority of Muslims). One of the major differences is that Ahle- Hadeeth do not consider Ijma-e Ummat and Qiyas are from Usoole shairah. Detail discussion is already over about the authenticity of these two to be among the Usoole Shariah please follow the same from the very beginning of this write up.

The second major difference is that they are of the opinion that one must not follow any of the four Imams. They consider that following the opinions of any of the four Imam is Shirk (sharing some one with Allah) and every Muslim should adopt/ practice his own understanding of Qura¡¯an and Hadeeth.

Taqleed means to practice/admit the decision of any of the four Imams- Imam Abu Haneefa, Imam Malik, Imam Shafei, Imam Ahmad bin Hambal (raa). After 4th century all the renowned personality of Islam did follow any of these four Imams. And entire Muslim Ummah including all great Ulama agreed upon their truth and necessity of Taqleed.

Let¡¯s see in detail what do we mean by Taqleed and how we follow our Imams? It is to be notated that this issue of Taqleed is widely campaign by Ghair Muqallidieen or Ahle Hadith and term other Muslims as Mushrik.
Taqleed and its status in the eyes of Muqallideen (those who follow Imams)

No Muslim can deny that the real purpose of religion is the obedience to Allah (SWT) alone. The obedience of the Prophet Muhammad [saws] is incumbent because he reflected the commands of Allah through his sayings and actions. What is lawful and what is unlawful. What is permissible and what is not? In all our practices we must obey Allah and his messenger [saws] with sincerity. Whoever obeys someone else other than Allah and his messenger [saws] or acknowledges as such is outside the realm of Islam. So, for every Muslim it is a must to follow the Qur'an and Sunnah. Some orders of the Qura¡¯an and Sunnah are simple enough to be understood by any educated man. Such commands do not contain brevity, or contradiction. Rather, anyone who reads it will not have any problems in comprehending the meaning. For example the Holy Qur'an states, "Do not backbite one another". (Al-Hujuraat)

Anyone who understands Arabic will know the meaning of this verse. There is no briefness, contradiction with another legal evidence, and thus no misunderstandings will occur.

Another example, the Prophet [saws] said, "There is no difference between an Arab and a Non-Arab."

This saying is obvious. There is no need for an explanation for the meaning. Any Arab who reads this will understand it with out difficulty.

On the other hand, certain rulings and commands of the Qura¡¯an and Sunnah are not clear, brief and vague. Sometimes there is an apparent contradiction with another verse or Hadith. From examples it will become clearer.

1.The Holy Qur'an states, "and for those women who have been given a divorce should wait for period of three QUROO'." In this verse a divorced women's waiting period is being explained. The waiting period of three QUROO' is mentioned which could mean both menstruation period and clean period. If the first meaning is taken then a divorced women's waiting period will be the passing of menstruation three times. And if the second meaning were taken then the passing of a clean period three times would fulfill the waiting period. In a situation like this the question arises which meaning should be taken?

2. In a Hadith the Prophet [saws] says, "Whoever does not leave the occupation of MUKHAABRAH (i.e. giving a portion of a plantation to another person to cultivate it with the condition to jointly share the harvest, whether it be half, one- third, or one-fourth, etc. and also defined as the sale of grain or vegetables before it is ripe) then pronounce to him war against Allah and his messenger." In this Hadith MUKHAABARAH is prohibited. MUKHAABARAH is of many types. The Hadith is silent about which type is prohibited. Is every type prohibited? Or are some types allowed? The Hadith is brief and it raises a question about MUKHAABRAH being totally forbidden or is their more detail to it?

3. In a Hadith the Prophet [saws] says, "Whoever is being lead in prayer by an Imam, the Imam's recitation is also his recitation." Meaning that when an Imam is reciting in a congregational prayer the follower should remain silent behind and listen. But in another hadith the Prophet [saws] says, "Whoever does not recite Surah al-Fatihah there is no prayer." Meaning that everyone must recite Surah al-Fatihah in prayer. Looking at the two ahadith the question arises should the first one be implied as the principle Hadith and thus saying that the second one only applies to the Imam and Munfarid (one praying individually) and the Muqtadi (follower of and Imam) is exempt from this principle. Or should the second hadith be established as the principle hadith thus the first one would then mean that recitation of another Surah apart from Surah al-Fatihah because Surah al-Fatihah is exempt?

Just by reading these few one can see that deducing legal rulings from the Qura¡¯an and Sunnah is not something simple, rather it is quite difficult and these types of questions come up.

One way to take on these questions and difficulties would be to understand them through our own understanding and rely upon our knowledge, and then decide what to do and implement it into practice. Or we could put our understanding and knowledge to one side and look at how our pious predecessors understood the Qur'an and Sunnah. Therefore we would then rely on the pioneers of the knowledge of Qur'an and Sunnah who were experts in this field and adopt our practices according to what they said.

The just thing to do in my opinion is to take the second one, because obviously the first one is quite dangerous. The second one is quite safe and justifiable. This is not only the polite and right thing to do but it is an undeniable reality. If we compare ourselves with our pious predecessors in understanding, intellect, memorization, reliability, faithfulness, piety, sincerity, etc., we would not be worth mention. How can one compare the scholars of First Islamic Era to oneself? They were closer than us to the environment of Qur'anic Revelation. Due to which they could understand the Qura¡¯an and Sunnah much easier, contradictory to us the Prophetic Era was so long time ago that in is difficult to find the complete history of Qura¡¯an and Hadith, the environment in which it was revealed, the condition of the people in those days, the way they talked and dealt with one another, and reflecting a picture of that time is difficult. And as you and me know that in order to understand something all of the above mentioned things are significant.

Keeping all this in mind let us now understand that instead of attempting to understand the difficult commands of the Qura¡¯an and Sunnah by ourselves, and choose the opinion of one of our pious predecessors or scholars, and then it is said that we have adopted the way of this scholar, this is what we call taqleed and it's simple reality. And it should be understood that to do taqleed of an Imam or Mujtahid is applied only when there is difficulty in understanding the message and meaning of the Qura¡¯an and Sunnah, whether this difficulty is based on various meanings of text, brevity in understanding, or contradiction of proofs.

When there are simple, clear, and defined commands in the Qur'an and Sunnah in which there is no problem in comprehension there is no need for taqleed of an Imam or Mujtahid.

A famous Hanafi scholar by the name of Abdul-Ghanee Nabulusy, writes in his book Khulaasatul Tahqeeq fi Hukmil Taqleed wal Talfeeq, "In unanimous legal rulings of Islam understood clearly and simply there is no need to do taqleed of any one of the four Imams. For example, praying, fasting, giving poor due, performing pilgrimage being mandatory. And Adultery, homosexuality, drinking of intoxicants, murder, theft, and robbery being prohibited are clear and simple rulings in which there is no need to do taqleed. Taqleed is only in the those Islamic rulings that are disagreed upon by scholars."

Allamah Khateeb Baghdady, writes in Al-Fiqeeh wal-Muttafaqah, "Legal rulings are of two types. The first type of rulings are those established as a part of the deen, explicitly and clearly, like the five times daily prayers, paying of poor due, fasting in the month of Ramadhan, performing Hajj, and the prohibition of adultery, drinking of intoxicants and other orders and prohibitions of this type. It is not permissible to do taqleed in this category of rulings, because everyone has the knowledge of such rulings, thus how could one do taqleed as it would be meaningless to do so. The second type of rulings is those comprehended through thorough research and establishment of proof like the acts of worship, business transactions, and fine details of marriage. In this type of rulings taqleed is permissible, because Allah SWT say in the Qur'an, "Ask from those who have knowledge if you do not know." Also, if we were not permitted to do taqleed in the detailed rulings of the deen then everyone would have to attain the knowledge of the deen that would make life difficult to fulfill other necessities of life. Plantations, farms, and industries would be destroyed as a result. Thus, to prohibit taqleed of this type is not rendered.

Hakeem-ul-Ummah Hadhrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi writes in Al-Iqtisaad fi al-Taqleed, "Religious rulings are of three types. The first type of ruling is when texts are contradictory to one another. The second, is when they are not, although the aspects of different meanings are possible, whether close meanings or far-fetched meanings are acknowledgeable. The third type is when there is no contradiction, and only one meaning is possible. In the first type to lift away the contradiction a Mujtahid must make Ijtihaad and one who is not a Mujtahid must make taqleed. In the

Second types are opinionated proofs that indicate the possibility of one or more meanings, so the need of Ijtihaad and taqleed again come up. The last type is defined rulings that indicate strong proof and are precise. In such a case there is no permissibility to Ijtihaad or Taqleed.

From the above it is evident that to do taqleed of an Imam or Mujtahid does not mean to understand them as incumbent to be followed or to give them status of the Creator of the Laws (i.e. Allah SWT) rather it means to follow the Qura¡¯an and Sunnah (Allah's Commands and Prophet Muhammad's (saws) Sunnah) as the main purpose. In order the get to that purpose an Imam or Mujtahid is followed as an interpreter of the laws of the Qura¡¯an and Sunnah and we rely on their explanation of Islamic rulings. For this reason there is no need of following an Imam or Mujtahid in defined and clear laws and rulings of the Qura¡¯an and Sunnah. In such cases, the goal of obeying Allah and his messenger is achievable without taqleed or Ijtihaad.

It should also be understood that the phrase "The Imam is to be followed as an interpreter and not as something that is incumbent to be followed" is actually in the meaning of the term taqleed.

Allamah Ibn al-Hummam and Allamah Ibn al-Nujaim define taqleed in Taiseer-ut-Tahreer as, "The saying of a person not being of the source of shari'ah (Qur'an and Sunnah) and practicing upon his saying without asking for evidence and proof."
In this definition a Muqallid (follower of an Imam) does not understand his Imam's saying to be the source of shari'ah, because the source of shari'ah is only the Qur'an and Sunnah (and Ijma' and Qiyaas are under these two). A muqallid understands that the saying of his Imam is more reliable to practice upon because of his full knowledge of the Qur'an and Sunnah.

With a just look at all of this, in practicing taqleed how can it be "wrong" or "shirk"?

Yes if anyone says that an Imam is the source of shari'ah or is to be obeyed in an incumbent sense then that would be committing shirk. But to follow one who interprets rulings of the shari'ah according to their knowledge and understanding then relying on it in these times is absolutely necessary. For example, if the government of India issues out laws and rulings, then the laws are collected in a book and it is published and made available to everyone. Then the people are left to understand and interpret the laws by themselves. Forget about the illiterate people even the highly educated and literate who have not taken courses in law attempt the implement the laws of the government by merely reading that book and then practice upon it. When in need of someone to interpret the law they will seek the help of a lawyer and barrister and then follow his practice. In this example would any sane and intellectual person understand a lawyer as someone who can take the law into his own hands and become ruler of the country and make the laws of the country?

In the same exact way, we should understand the rulings and laws of the Qura¡¯an and Sunnah. When there is need interpretation and explanation of either one we must go back to the A'immah Mujtahideen (Imams of Ijtihaad). After they detail us about that we adopt a practice into our life and this is what we call "Taqleed." So it is an incorrect statement to say that those who do taqleed are following the Imams and not the Qur'an and Sunnah.

I am afraid that If it is consider to be dangerous for one¡¯s health to get self-treatment mere going through books of medicine then why not it is dangerous for one¡¯s Imaan to treat his soul only reading scriptures? A famous Ahl-e- Hadeeth Scholar Maulana Husain Ahmad Batalvi writes and accepts the tr

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