General Islamic History

Tafseer of Deoband Ulama

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Q: Our akaabireen (senior elders) Ulama e Deoband achieved a high rank in ilm (knowledge of Islam), amal (practicing on Islam) and taqwa. As far as ilm is concerned, our akaabireen of Deoband are famous for their excellence in Hadith and Fiqh. However,as far as tafseer of the Quran Majeed is concerned, not much is mentioned about it. Mufassireen among the ulama e Deoband are not mentioned. I only know of two ulama among our akaabireen who had very great knowledge of tafseer: Maulana Ahmed Ali Lahori and Maulana Shams ul Haq Afghani. I would be very grateful if you tell me names of some of our akaabir who had a very high rank in the ilm of Tafseer of the Quraan Majeed .i.e mufassireen among the Ulama e Deoband.

A:
Them not writing on the subject does not mean that they were not proficient in Tafseer. the Darul Ulooms in India and Pakistan, all had their Mufassireen, excelling in teaching Tafseer.

1. Anyway there is Bayaanul Qur'aan by Hadhrat Thanwi.
2. Ma'aariful Qur'aan by Hadhrat Mufti Mohammed Shafi saheb.
3. Translation by Hadhrat Shah Rafee'uddeen Saheb.
4. Translation by Allaamah Shabbir Ahmad Uthmaani Saheb.
5. Translation by Moulana Abdul Maajid Daryabadi Saheb.
6. Kamaalayn by Moulana Mohammed Na'eem Saheb deobandi.


Moulana Yusuf Laher

Aashura and Yazid

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Q: What is the Sunni view on Aashura, the martyrdom of Hazrat Hussein radhiallahu anhu, and the status of Yazid from a Sunni Muslims point of view? I have noticed Shia Muslims placing a large emphasis on the martyrdom of Hazrat Hussein radhiallahu anhu. Also was the leadership of Yazid just? Was Hazrat Hussein radhiallahu anhu the rightful leader of the ummah at that time?

A: The Sunni view of Aashūra: Aashūra is the word used to refer to the tenth day of Muharram. This has always been a sacred day according to all Scholars. The sacredness of Aashoora existed since the time of Nabi Moosa alayhis-salaam, for it was on this day that Allah Ta’ala granted him salvation from Fir’oun and his army. It is said that Nabi Moosa alayhis-salaam fasted on this day out of thanks to Allah. (Zaadul-Ma’aad) According to the Holy Companion Ibn 'Abbas (Radhiallaahu Ánhu), the Holy Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, “We are more closely connected to Musa (Alayhis salaam) .............. so he consequently instructed the Muslims to fast on the day of Aashūra. (Abu Dawood)

It is also reported in a number of authentic traditions that in the beginning, fasting on the day of Aashūra was obligatory for the Muslims. It was later that the fasts of Ramadhan were made obligatory and the fast on the day of Aashūra was made optional. (Sunan Abu Dawud)

However, the Holy Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam) used to fast on the day of Aashūra even after the fasting in Ramadhan was made obligatory. (Bukhari and Muslim)

From the above it is clear that Aashūra was sacred long before the martyrdom of Hazrat Husain (radhiyallahu anhu); hence, it is incorrect and contrary to Islamic Aqeedah to believe that the shaahadat or martyrdom of Husain (radhiyallahu anhu) had anything to do with the sacredness of this day. Instead, Allah Ta’ala chose this great day for the death of his beloved servant.

The martydom of Husain (ra): Islam has never taught or encouraged mourning the death of anyone, except the mourning a widow has to observe for her deceased husband. Rasoolullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) emphasized this point as follows: “He is not from our group who slaps his checks, tears his clothes and cries in the manner of the people of jahiliyyah” (Sahih Bukhari) It is therefore, haraam and totally un-Islamic to observe any type of mourning on the day of Aashūra, or anytime during the month of Muharram, especially the mad, wild actions of people who beat and bludgeon themselves as part of their Muharram/Aashūra ritual. These are baatil practices and acts of deviation that have nothing to do with Islam.

Even Sayyiduna Husain (Radhiallaahu Ánhu), shortly before his demise, had advised his beloved sister Sayyidah Zainab (Radhiallaahu Ánha) not to mourn over his death in this manner. He said, “My dear sister, I swear upon you that you, in case I die, shall not tear your clothes, nor scratch your face, nor curse anyone for me or pray for your death”. (Ibn Kathir vol. 4 pg. 24)

Yazid’s leadership: Yazid was the son of a great Sahaabi, Sayyiduna Mu’aawiya (radhiyallahu anhu). However, Yazid himself was an unjust and impious ruler. He was certainly not entitled to rule an Islamic state. When Hazrat Mu’aawiya passed away, being the heir apparent to the Khilafat, he automatically assumed control of the Islamic state. Yazid was indeed a Muslim of proper aqeedah, but he committed flagrant violations of Allah’s Laws. For this reason our Ulema maintain that Yazid will be dealt with by Allah as He Deems fit, like Allah Ta’ala would deal other sinners. He shall be held responsible by Allah for oppression and violation of rights, and may be forgiven or punished for major sins of a personal nature that he had committed. This is a matter that only Allah can decide on. Allama ibni Katheer (rahmatullahi alayh) summed up the view of the Ahlus-Sunnah on Yazeed in a very balanced way. He states in his famous historical work, Al-Bidaayah wan-Nihaayah:

People have different views on Yazeed. Some love him and hold him in high esteem; these are the Nawaasib, a sect from Syria. As for the Rawaafidh (the Shiah) they curse him and falsely attribute to him many evils. They also accuse him of heresy. However, he was not guilty of that (heresy). A third group are those who neither love him nor curse him, because they know that he was not guilty of reneging from Islam as the Shias claim, and also because there were terrible events that occurred in the Muslim world during his time (for which he was to blame). The worst and most devastating of these was the killing of Husain bin Ali at Karbala, as well as the massacre of Harra in Madinah. As for the death of Husain, it was not on the instructions of Yazeed, nor was he aware of this. It is also likely that he neither approved nor condemned Husain’s killing. Al-Bidaayah wan-Nihaayah vol.6, pg. 256

Hazrat Husain’s uprising: It must be born in mind that Harrat Husain was not a leader at the time when Yazeed ruled. The reason for Imam Husain’s coming to Karbala was to challenge the leadership of Yazeed and oust him from that position. That meant that he would automatically take over the Khilafat. He came to Karbala on the insistence and persuasion of the people of Kufa, and on the promise that he would be their new leader. Had Husain (radhiyallahu anhu) been a Khalifa or a Ruler at that stage, there was no need for him to confront Yazeed personally. He would have dispatched his army, as Kings and Khalifas normally do when going to battle. It is now history that when he arrived at Karbala, all the well-wishers and claimants to his love had totally deserted him (Innaa Lillah wa Innaa Ilayhi Raji’oon)

Allama Thafar Ahmed Thanwi (RA) writes in his magnum opus, I’laa-us-Sunan that the Ahlus-Sunnah believe Hazrat Husain was fully in his rights to take up arms in an attempt to overthrow Yazeed. However, a miscalculation of the sincerity and royalty of his followers resulted in apparent failure to achieve this objective. In this sense, Hazrat Husain was on haqq and fully on the right course.

The above is basically the view of the Ahlus-Sunnah wal Jama’ah on these matters.

And Allah Ta’ala knows best

Mufti Siraj Desai

Old and New Testament

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Q: What is the difference between the bible's old testament and the new testament ?

A:
The Old Testament of the current bible comprises a number of books that the Jews believe were inspired by Almighty Allah to Nabi Moosa (alayhis-salaam) and his followers, while the New Testament contains books that Christians believe were inspired to Nabi Eesa (alayhis-salaam) and his followers. The two collections of books were written thousands of years apart. The Old Testament came first, and then thousands of years later the New Testament was written. However, later on both these collections were compiled in one format.

The above is the viewpoint held by Jews and Christians respectively. We Muslims do not maintain this belief or view, and we have historical facts to back this up. Allah Ta’ala referred to the OId Testament as Taurah, and this was the original book that was revealed to Nabi Moosa alayhis-salaam on Tablets that came directly from Jannat. (Al-Quran 7:145) The Taurah was written down in the time of Nabi Moosa Aalyhis-salaam, but after his demise there began a continuous process of deletions, omission, interpolations, and adulterations. Some books that were not revealed to Nabi Moosa (AS) were added to what the Jews dubbed as the Old Testament and they claimed these books were the result of ‘divine inspiration’ to its authors. Some books contained mere historical facts. The same can be said about the New Testament and its Gospels. Here too, latter Christians added books that just contained historical data to this collection and claimed these were inspired works.

And Allah Ta’ala knows best.

Read more...

Hajre Aswad Pieces

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Q: How many stones are there in the Hajre Aswad (Black Stone in the Kabah, Makkah)?

A:
The Hajre Aswad is originally one stone. When it was taken away by the Qaramita it was broken into several pieces. The Hajre Aswad was returned and today comprises approximately 16 pieces.

Mufti Siraj Desai

Difference Between Nabi and Rasool

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Q: What's the difference between a Nabi and a Rasool?

A: Imam Fakhruddeen Raazi has explained the differences between a Rasool (prophet) and a Nabi (messenger). A Rasool is one who has performed miracles and has received a new Divine book. He establishes a new code of law (Shar'iah) and abrogates the previous code of law and book. He has also visibly seen the angel that comes with the Divine message, and the Rasool is commanded to invite the people towards the Deen.

A Nabi is one who is not given a new book, but rather establishes the book which was revealed to the Rasool before him. He does not abrogate the book and the code of law which was in vogue before him. He sees the angel in a dream or the Rasool of the time informs him that he has been chosen as a Nabi. (Tafseer Raazi V1 p3212, Mafaateehul Ghayb V23 p43)

Moulana Yusuf Laher
Checked and approved by: Mufti Siraj Desai

Alqama bin Wa'il

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Q: We have a dispute in our class of rijal and we would like your advice. Was 'Alqama bin Wa'il in his mother's womb when his father Wa'il bin Hujr died? Or was it Abdul Jabbar bin Wa'il who was in his mother's womb when his father (Wa'il bin Hujr) died?

A:
There are both opinions in the Kitabs on this issue. The Riwaayat in Abu Dawood indicates the Abdul Jabbaar narrated from his father. Most Historians are of the opinion that Alqamah narrated from the father and not Abdul Jabbaar. Some say that he narrated from his father Mursalan. The stronger inclination is that Abdul Jabbaar was in the womb of the mother at the time of his father's death.
Allah Ta'aala knows best.

Check the following Kitabs:
1) At Ta'reekhul Kabeer
2) At Tabaqaatul Kubraa
3) Al Kaashif Fee Ma'rifati Man Lahu Riwaayatun Fil Kutubis Sittah
4) Tahdheebul Asmaa
5) Tahdheebut Tahdheeb
6) Thiqaat ibni Habbaan
7) Siyar A'alaamin Nubalaa'

Moulana Yusuf Laher
Checked and approved by: Mufti Siraj Desai

Abdul Muttalib

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Q. A certain scholar has mentioned that Abdul Mutalib is in jahannum. His proof is a hadith in Muslim Shareef. He also said that the parents of our Nabi Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) are in jahannum, quoting a hadith in Abu Dawood shareef. What is the view of the ulema on this?

A: Indeed, that scholar is quite brazen and bold to use such strong terms for the grandfather and parents of Our Beloved Rasool (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). It is true that these ahadith appear in the books cited above, but the Uleme-e-Haqq have differed on this mas'ala. Some Scholars, such as Mulla Ali Qaari, have accepted these ahadeeth on its apparent meaning and maintain that the parents and grandparents of our beloved Rasool (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) were not blessed with iemaan since they passed away on the religion of the Pagan Arabs. On the other hand, Scholars such as Allama Suyooti and others are of the opinion that the parents of Our Nabi Muhammad (sallallaha alayhi wasallam) were indeed granted iemaan and died as Muslims. The matter is a delicate one and certainly not an issue that we will have to answer for on the Day of Judgment, nor a matter that we shall be called upon to give verdict. We leave the matter to Allah, for He Knows Best. Due to its sensitivity, Ulema say we should not delve too much into this issue, least of all make bold and audacious statements.

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