By Dr. Maulana Abbas Ali Naqvi
Unity among Muslims has been and will remain an imperative in every age. Unfortunately, it never really came to pass; one major reason being more involvement of politics and less that of truth. That’s why the cord of unity is broken at the behest of the selfish vested interests even though unity is a natural phenomenon among Muslims and differences remain more of a perversion. Tauheed, Risalat (prophethood), Quran-e-Kareem, Qibla, Ahl-e-Bait and purification etc. are the platforms which create a conducive atmosphere for the Muslim’s unity. It’s a misfortune that the unity has always been broken by some fraudulent religious scholars and pseudo-intellectuals.
Presently, a conducive environment for Muslim unity is being prepared. At this crucial time, considering it the need of the hour, the broad-minded Khadim-e-Harmain Shareefain, King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia has also taken initiative for this noble cause by organizing an international conference for unity among different “Maslaks”. The destabilizing forces have also become active to please their Jewish masters.
Such positive initiations had been taken in the past also but these attempts could not bear much fruits. The most important step in this regard was taken by Ayatollah Khomeini, a phenomenal personality of the 20th century. He had succeeded to a great extent in bringing the Muslims of the world at a single platform. Many Shia Fuqahas and religious leaders emphasized the need of unity in the past also but the greatest shortcoming was that it was initiated by the minority sect of Shias. If the minority says to the majority, “You are my brother”, it never has the same value as the majority saying to the minority, “You are my brother”.
If the Muslims of India say, “The Hindus are our brother”, it may be considered as a weakness, even if it is said with true love and compassion because the emotion of fear may be the stimulus behind it. On the other hand if the same dictum “You are my brother” is articulated by the Hindus, it will be considered to have some good intention and motivation behind it.
The scholars of Ahl-e-Sunnat, too, have never been ignorant of such a mutual understanding. Various attempts been made by them too. For example, an eminent Ahl-e-Sunnat scholar Sheikh Mahmood Shaltoot, who was the Mufti-e-Azam and the Vice chancellor of Al-Azhar University, had pronounced an important Fatwah to unite the Muslims.
"To offer prayers according to Firqah-e-Jafriya, which is also known as Maslak Shia Asna A’shria, is as religiously legal as to offer prayer according to any Sunni Maslak. The Sunni Muslims should also be tolerant enough and not to indulge in unjustified enmity, the religion Islam is not bound to any particular “Maslak” or limited to some “Maslaks”. Every “Maslaks” has its own reasons, glory and uniqueness which will be accepted by Allah-e-Kareem. Those people, who are not the authentic intellectuals, can follow the Fiqahi regulations approved by these religious scholars whether it is a matter of prayers or of worldly affairs”. (Ahl-e-Sunnat Sheikh Mahmood Shaltoot)
This Fatwah of the great scholar was published in the 24th edition of the popular monthly “Al-Arbi” of Kuwait in 1940. This edition with the Fatwah is still available in the Islamic libraries.
The peace-loving scholars have always done honest efforts to bring the community at one platform, to benefit from the fruits of unity and act upon the Quranic decree. These attempts could never succeed fully due to the conspiracy of anti-Islamic forces. An influential group of Zionists is spending a lot of money and working on this project using some fake Islamic scholars such as Dr. Zakir Naik who is on an anti-Islamic mission. Of late Dr. Zakir Naik has become very popular among the Muslims. He is constantly being praised by a section of the media. Such a hoax has been created as if he is the only distinguished Islamic scholar in the Muslim world who engages in lively debates with scholars of other religions and makes them speechless, thus doing an enormous service to Islam.
The reality is absolutely contrary to it. He has just memorized the Quran-e-Kareem. Not to speak of having any command over fiqh, he does not even know the ABC of fiqh. If anyone wants to understand the reality, he should enquire his finances. From where did he get the funding to organize the International Conference in Mumbai, for instance?
Who is his financer?
What are the links of his PEACE T.V.?
Where his institutions are getting donations from?
What is the source of his affluence?
Last year, just before Muharram, he sought maliciously to pollute the environment by talking about YAZEED PALEED; later on, he agreed to recant on the condition:
- that Shia Asna A’shri faction assures that they will not perform “Tabarrah” on the Caliphs [a practice whereby some Shias allegedly abuse the first three Khulafa-e-Rashedeen, using the vilest of language]. His intentions became crystal clear at this point and every sensible person became aware of his vicious agenda.
Here are some points one should focus on:
(1) If Dr. Zakir Naik is such a great admirer of YAZEED PALEED, then why did he agree, at any cost, to take his statement back? The admiration of YAZEED PALEED is one thing and the condemnation of “Tabarrah” is quite another. If he thinks YAZEED PALEED is “Radhi-Allaho-Anho”, he should stick to his opinion and if ““Tabarrah” sent on the first three Caliphs by the Shia Asna A’shri group is wrong, he must oppose it.
Why is there a bargain in this matter?
(2) Will this problem be solved if Khuja Asna A’shri faction of Mumbai rectifies its mistake? Don’t you know that it is not blamed only on Khuja Asna A’shri faction of Mumbai? Rather this group exists in U.K, U.S, Africa, and Pakistan, even in the Gulf countries. Should only the Khuja Asna A’shri faction of Mumbai rectify their practice of Tabarrah and others may continue this condemnable act?
Is it the right solution to this burning problem?
(3) There are numerous followers of other Asna A’shri factions except Khuja who are found in India and all over the world. At least in Mumbai all of them are condemned for committing “Tabarrah” on the Caliphs and the Sahabees. Will this problem be fully solved by the reform of the Khujas of Mumbai?
Actually Dr. Zakir Naik didn’t express his opinion with the honest intention of getting “Tabarrah” stopped from the congregations (Majlis) of the Shias rather he just wanted the Ahl-e-Sunnat to believe that Shias’Majlis in Muharram is a stage for perpetrating “Tabarrah” on the Caliphs. On the other hand, he wanted to infuriate the Shias by uttering “Radhi-Allaho Anho” for YAZEED PALEED and calling Hazrat Imam Hussain (Alaihis-Salam) greedy with the sole intention to destroy the unity of the Muslims.
Is the Shias’Majlis really a platform for “Tabarrah”?
Let’s see the truth behind this allegation. Is the Shias’Majlis really a platform for “Tabarrah”? I’m quite confident that Dr. Zakir Naik has never attended any Shias’Majlis. He has just repeated a very common allegation against the Shias that is simply labelled on them to deprecate them and spread hatred among the Sunni masses so that the people of other sectarian beliefs break up all relations with them.
The Shia minority has been facing this grave situation since long. The people who have participated in such gatherings (Majlis) can endorse my words that these congregations are a good platform for understanding religion, a good resource for the reformation of the society, the best means to protest against the tyrants and a great hub of intellect and dispenser of knowledge like an open university for all kinds of learning.
This congregation (Majlis) starts with the appreciation (Hamd) of Allah-e-Kareem and “Darood-o-Salam” on Prophet Hazrat Mohammad (peace be upon him) by a renowned scholar and ends with the description of the gory episode of Maidan-e-Karbala. The orator deals with some intellectual or Islamic topic for about two hours or so.
Another important point to be noted by Dr. Zakir Naik is that Shias don’t organize such congregation (Majlis) at a secret place as it is announced well in advance with complete schedule along with the orator’s (Khateeb’s) name and the topic. There is no prohibition on participation for anyone; rather it is an open invitation for all that is sometimes attended and addressed by the noted scholars and followers of Ahl-e-Sunnat also. Now-a-days, it reaches far and wide with the help of technology and it is even telecast “Live” such as the congregation (Majlis) “sham-e-Ghariban” is telecast “Live” on Doordarshan (National channel) on the 10th of Murahham-ul-Haram. The access to a world of information has become quite easy with the advent of internet where anyone can listen and mark the congregation (Majlis) addressed by the prominent and inspired scholars of the Shias. It is a great chance for the truth-finders to investigate whether this congregation (Majlis) is for the spreading of hatred or it is a spring of manifestation of Islam for the reformation of the mankind especially Muslims. The scholars, here, talk with various references about differences in interpretations of historical events.
As far as the blame for “Tabarrah” is concerned, it is absolutely unsubstantiated. People like Dr. Zakir Naik have been making such allegations for long to destroy the Muslim unity.
The Shias also respect the Sahabees as much as Ahl-e-Sunnat do but they don’t consider them as “innocents” like the Ahl-e-Sunnat. They believe that those people, who are not innocents, can be criticized. Late Maulana Maudoodi [the founder ideologue of Jamaat-e-Islami] was also of the same opinion; indeed he took a scientific approach. He thought that the differences of opinion among the Sahabees must be discussed and criticized so that the followers of the Prophet (PBUH), the Ummat-e-Rasool, are saved from such mistakes in future.
A large section of Ahl-e-Sunnat disagrees with this opinion. They think that remaining silent even though dissatisfied with the actions and behaviour of the Sahabees is a demand of the complete faith. So they keep full faith on the Hadees of “Ashaab ka Al-Nujoom”. That’s all the difference between Shias and Sunnis in regard to the dispute about the criticism of the Sahabees. This minor point of disagreement can be exaggerated if one has the malicious will to destroy the Muslim unity.
The Islamic scholars of Ahl-e-Sunnat approve the Hadees of Bukhari Shareef which describes that a group of Sahabees will be dragged by the angels towards the Hell on the day of resurrection, and the Prophet Hazrat Mohammad (peace be upon him) will say, “These are my Sahabees” at this, the angels will reply, “Don’t You (peace be upon him) know how much these people altered your religion”. A large section of scholars believe that no Sahabee of this group can be included in “Ashaab ka Al-Nujoom”. It means they must not be followed as they cannot be the means of forgiveness. Obviously those who brought about the changes in the religion of the Prophet Hazrat Mohammad (peace be upon him) cannot be categorized with those who made the supreme sacrifice of their lives for the sake of Islam.
Ultimately, I think at this point Shias and Sunnis share the same opinion. As a rule Ahl-e-Sunnat do not want to follow such people in; matters of Shariah, yet they waver in criticizing as they are considered to be in the category of the Sahabees. The Shias call such people transgressor “Munafiq”. Dr. Zakir Naik is leaving no stone unturned to cash this difference into his favour. Notably enough, why he didn’t utilize his power to discontinue the practice of “Tabarrah” rather he decorated YAZEED PALEED. Being well aware of this fact, during the last 1400 years, numerous attempts have been made to drag YAZEED PALEED out of the dark valley of disgrace but the rescuers themselves fell down into the ocean of humiliation even though the champions of Yazeed were great scholars, Imams, Faqeeh, renowned Muftees, Mufassir-e-Quran Kareem and eminent historians.
In comparison to those persons, Dr. Zakir Naik is a nonentity.
Dr. Zakir Naik has misguided the people by citing wrong examples. So are his references on his website, supporting his statements, quite ambiguous. The references naming Aligarh Muslim University are also fake and baseless. I have been a student of Aligarh Muslim University and I am not aware of any “Dar-ul-Qaza” which delivers Fatwah or that any Fatwah has ever been issued in favour of YAZEED PALEED from Aligarh Muslim University.
The second reference is given naming “Dar-ul-Oloom”, Deoband which is a great centre of Islamic education. He simply used this name to put some weight behind his statement as this great centre is comparable to the great Al-Azhar University alone in reputation and influence. The founder of “Dar-ul-Oloom”, Deoband and an extraordinary Islamic scholar of his era, Maulana Qasim Nanotawee had articulated his views in this way:
“Neither the Prophet Hazrat Mohammad (peace be upon him) considered YAZEED PALEED as a Caliph nor “Khurooj” [the Islamic practice of protesting against the ruler of the day] was prohibited religiously before him. Even if YAZEED PALEED is assumed to be a Caliph “Khurooj” was not prohibited. Anyway no legal prohibition was practised before Hazrat Imam Hamam (Alaihis-Salam), though all the conditions for Jihad were realistic. Considering this, the positive intention of Hazrat Imam Hussain (Alaihis-Salam) is beyond doubt and if, after all, even he cannot be called a martyr, then who? If (as a mistake) it is assumed and I, denying all these facts, say that the compulsion of Jihad did not exist, yet it would be truly said, when Hazrat Imam Hussain (Alaihis-Salam) was determined to return back ignoring Jihad, the army of YAZEED PALEED did not spare his life and killed him horribly surrounding him from all sides.
Once again before Muharram-ul-Haram, in the pleasant atmosphere of unity among the Muslims, Dr. Zakir Naik is actively engaged in fulfilling his mission and hidden agenda. As a matter of fact, now the Muslims must realize the significance of unity among all sects. Equally important enough is to see Dr. Zakir Naik in the true light of authenticity.
Unfortunately being under the immense influence of the conspirators, our Muslim brothers realize the conspiracies only when they have been robbed. But remember, unity is the greatest need of the present time and to put hindrances in the way of the unity is the blazing desire of the anti-Islamic forces led by none other than Dr. Zakir Naik.
Muslim unity is only possible in the name of Hazrat Imam Hussain (Alaihis-Salam)
After all the discussion, it is crystal clear, if unity is possible it is only in the name Hazrat Imam Hussain (Alaihis-Salam) and not in the name of YAZEED PALEED as Husainiyat is a great platform so the people like Dr. Zakir Naik should be boycotted as he has lost all rights to speak in the matters of Islam after expressing his admiration for YAZEED PALEED.
“Fatwah-e-kufr” has already been issued against him. Whether it is justified or not can only be clarified by the Islamic scholars not a lay person like me. But this much I, of course, know; Dr Zakir Naik has no right to speak on any of the issues of Islam. Then, surprisingly enough, why are some people talking of inviting him to their cities for convocation as an Islamic scholar???
May Allah-e-Kareem save the “Ummat-e-Muslema” from all kinds of evils, tribulations and strife!
Source: Sahafat Urdu Daily, 19 Nov 2008
Translation from Urdu by: New Age Islam