Maulana Nadeem-ul-Wajidi responds to the Fatawahs of Kufr against Islamist Televangelist Dr. Zakir Naik
Translated from Urdu by Raihan Nezami, NewAgeIslam.com
A number of Fatawahs have been issued against Dr. Zakir Naik. The Muftees of Deoband had said that he should not be trusted but the Barailwees have crossed all limits. They have asserted that he should be dealt like an infidel "Kafir" and should be excluded from the Muslim community. This was stated by a Barailwee Mufti of
The general belief is that Dr. Zakir Naik is working for the religion Islam (Deen) amongst the Non-Muslims. His main endeavour is to clear the doubts in the minds of the learned Non-Muslims by explaining the objections and questions raised against the Islamic practices of Sunnah in a scientific and logical manner and comparing them with the teachings of other religions. He has performed very successful debates against the scholars of the Hindus, Christians and Jews etc. before large congregations of people. But for some time, Muslim scholars have felt that he has been favouring unacceptable liberty in Islamic teachings and rules. In particular, his opinions on many critical issues go against the Fiqh Hanfiah. Sometimes, he engages in unnecessary discussions and arguments. For Example, to add " Raziallah Anho" with the name of YAZEED is such a topic that should have been left alone.His status should be left for Allah Kareem to decide as it is a fruitless talk for the scholars and common Muslims. The Shias are annoyed with him because of this.
The work he is doing, however, is really exceptional and incomparable. The work of invitation to Islam is really very difficult and there is every possibility of deviation from the faith as this is a large and bottomless topic. The preachers should not involve themselves into the topics of the differences of different thoughts of school (Maslak). He was appreciated till he confined his speeches within the topic but he was condemned by the religious scholars as soon as he transgressed the limit and interfered in the practices of the Quran-e-Kareem and Sunnah as he has no right to criticize and judge the matters of Fiqh and interpretation of Islamic law. This is the job of the learned and authentic scholars of Islam. For example, he permits to touch the Quran-e Kareem without ablution whereas the majority of the scholars do not permit to do so and the Quran itself confirms it.
"La yamassahu – illa – almotahharoon" (Al-Waqiah: 79)
Dr. Zakir Naik thinks, if the touching of the Quran Kareem is prohibited without ablution, the work of religious reformation will be affected as it will be impossible to give the samples of the Quran-e-Kareem to the non-Muslims. He wouldn't have worried about this, had he been well-versed in the religious doctrine of Fiqh according to which these conditions apply only to Muslims and the non-Muslims are allowed to touch the Quran-e-Kareem without ablution as well.
There are certain contradictions, found in his book of lectures, in the explanations of some Aayat of the Quran-e-Kareem which do not match with the Quran –e-kareem and Hadees Shareef. So it is required of him that he should present the opinions of the Sahaba-e-Karam, their disciples and Islamic scholars while explaining Qurani Aayat. In case, he is not satisfied, he should contact religious scholars of Islam. I have requested him verbally and in writing also not to indulge in such interpretations and instead simply to focus on his topic. I don't know if he would pay heed to my request or not. Even so there is no reason why he should be banished or excluded from Islam on account of his comment, opinions and thinking.
Looking into the past we find that once a great controversy was raised against the Late Sir Syed Ahmed khan also. Deputy Emdad Ali Akbar Abadi and Ali Baksh Badauni had obtained Fatwah-e-kufr against Late Sir Syed Ahmed khan from Maulana Abdul Hayee Firangi Mahlee and Mufti Sa'd-ul-Allah Muradabadi which raised a great hue and cry throughout the country against him. The founder of Dar-ul-Uloom Deoband, Hazrat Maulana Mohammad Qasim Nanautawee was not happy with this controversy rather he wanted to give some suggestions to Late Sir Syed Ahmed khan. The exchange of words between them in this regard has been published in a book named "Tasfiyat-ul-Aqaed". Hazrat Maulana Mohammad Qasim Nanautawee never mentioned him as an infidel "Kafir" or "Fasiq". He just said, " I firmly believe in his great endeavour and mission with a sorrowful heart for the believers of Islam and it is fully justified if I express my love and gratitude for this custodian of the Muslims, but equally, or, may be, more than that I am in my heart feeling hurt by his tainted beliefs. (Tasfiyat-ul-Aqaed, P-5).
Actually, there always has been a section amongst the Muslims which considers exclusion from the sphere of Islam for its opponents as the only solution rather than defeating the opposition by factual proofs and arguments. There was hardly any renowned person in the undivided India left who was not labelled an infidel "Kafir" Their factories of infidel-manufacture did not only make kafir out of the scholars of Deoband only but many renowned preachers and reformists throughout the world were also denounced by this section as kafir. Their books are full of such denunciations. Maulana Zafar Ali Khan, a revolutionary poet, had expressed his anguish and pain in 1956 through this Qat'ah.
Since the light of denunciation as Kafir has burst out of Barailee, its effects and reflections are apparent and noticeable everywhere. They are happy to denounce any Muslims of India and exclude them from Islam even if they slightly differ from them.)
Now-a-days avid practitioners of Kafir-manufacturers and their followers are freely passing judgments with wilful misinterpretation, though this is a very complicated matter and we should fear Allah Kareem before delivering judgments in this regard and calling someone infidel "Kafir" or "Murtid".
According to Hadees Sharif, (Nobody should call anyone infidel "Kafir" or "Fasiq", in case, infidelity "Kufr" is not found in him, the word infidelity "Kufr" will return to him)
According to one Tradition, once the Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, "Any statement given by your brother, don't try to consider it false till you can extract good sense out of it. (Dar-e-Mansoor)
Books of Fiqh present this as a rule that on questions of infidelity or "Kufr", if there are 99 points of suspicion of infidelity "Kufr" and there is only one point against the infidelity "Kufr", the Mufti and the Qazi should act in accordance with that one point.
Hakeem-ul-Ummat Hazrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwee has explained in this connection, "If there are 99 signs of infidelity "Kufr" in any statement and one sign of "Iman", the judgment of Iman will be delivered and not that of the infidelity "Kufr". This is the rule for the judgment of infidelity "Takfeer" that no one should be considered as an infidel "Kafir" till even the tiniest part of "Iman" is left in him.
(Al-Azafat-Alyaumiah, 341/9, Emdad-al-Falawah, V-4, P-393)
There is a very popular incident related to Hazrat Osama (rbuh) in the Hadees Shareef.
Once in a battlefield, an enemy of the Islam recited "Kalma-e-Tauheed" as soon as Hazrat Osama rb attacked him thinking that Hazrat Osama would forgive him and spare his life, but the latter killed him even after his reciting "Kalma-e-Tauheed". When the Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (peace be upon him) heard about this incident, he asked Hazrat Osama (rbuh) why he killed him even after reciting "Kalmah-e-Tauheed". He replied that he had killed many Muslims and had accepted "Islam" just to save his life.
The Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (peace be upon him) asked him if he had opened his heart to see if he had accepted "Islam" because of fear or devotion to the God. If his "Kalma-e-Tauheed" will come to you as a pleader (Muddayee) on the Day of Judgment, what will be your answer? Hazrat Osama said, "O messenger of Allah Kareem, please pray for my forgiveness". But the Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (peace be upon him) kept repeating the same. On hearing this Hazrat Osama (rbuh) wished to have embraced "Islam" on that very day so that all his earlier sins including this would have been pardoned because of the conversion.
Our learned Islamic scholars took great care in delivering the "Fatwa of Kufr (infidelity) ". Hazrat Imam Abu Haneefa (rbuh) had made this rule and decree (we should not condemn as kafir the people of Qibla). He asserted that no one can be considered infidel "Kafir" till he refuses the Oneness of Allah Kareem and the existence of his Messenger Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (peace be upon him). Hakeem-ul-Ummat Hazrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwee has said, "Kafir (infidel) is a very hateful word, so its use should be avoided. Someone can be called infidel "Kafir" only when he is undoubtedly working against the Oneness of Allah Kareem and Islam. For example, if someone has indulged in idol worshipping but if someone hates idol-worshipping and recites "Kalma-e-Tauheed" , then how can we deny his status as Muslim and call him infidel "Kafir"? (Al-Islam-ul-Haqeeqee, P-454)
The greatest Imam Hazrat Imam Abu Haneefa (rbuh) was a great Mujtahid. But he was very cautious in this matter. Once someone asked what his opinion was about a person who openly denies the punishment of Hell and declares that no infidel "Kafir" will enter the Hell. He asked the opinion of his followers. All of them frankly replied that such a person was an infidel "Kafir" who denied the Truth of the Quran. It is clearly mentioned in the Quran that the infidels "Kuffar" will reside in the Hell but this person says that no infidel "Kafir" will enter the Hell.
Hazrat Imam Abu Haneefa (rbuh) said that the apparent meaning of his speech was the same but it can be seen in another sense also. He might have meant by saying that nobody will remain infidel "Kafir" before entering Hell because the Truth will be exposed on the Day of Judgment even to the infidel "Kuffars". They will also accept the existence of Heaven and Hell and believe in the presence of the Prophets. (Peace be upon them). In this way, it is correct that the dwellers of the Hell will not remain infidel "Kafir" or "Munkir". It is another thing that faith won't be profit them at that time. See, how much patience Hazrat Imam Abu Haneefa (rbuh) maintained although he was speaking about a case of pure infidelity "Kufr". (Al-Islam-ul Haqeeqee, P-456).
On the one hand, Hazrat Imam Abu Haneefa (rbuh) maintains so much care in matters of declaring infidelity "Kufr", and on the other hand, those who claim to be his followers are just looking for any objectionable point in the speeches and articles of their opposition so that they get a chance to deliver their Fatwah of infidelity (Kufr) upon them and create another kafir. By the grace of Allah Kareem, our eminent scholars fully believed in the practice and system of Hazrat Imam Abu Haneefa (rbuh). Hakeem-ul-Ummat Hazrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwee has expressed his routine practice in this way," I receive many complaints asking for the Fatwah of infidelity "Kufr" in various situations and statements.
I often reply that this statement is of uncultured behaviour, this person is uncivilized, he has committed a great sin but not the infidelity "Kufr". I fear pronouncing the word infidel "Kafir" because such a verdict will exclude him from the great "rahmat" of Allah-e-Kareem whose sea of mercy and forgiveness is fathomless (Al-Islam-ul Haqeeqee, P-458). Once in a conference, someone said that the Barailwee people call us infidels "Kafirs", why should we also not call them infidel "Kafir"? Hazrat Thanwee said there must be some reason for calling someone infidel "Kafir". He asked them: “What reasons do you have for it?” That person presented many reasons but he rejected all the reasons. Someone asked if they could offer prayer behind the Barailwees. He replied in affirmative. (Kamalat Ashrafiah, P-384)
On the other hand, if any Deobandi scholar offers the funeral prayers of a dead Barailwee Muslim, the prayer is not only repeated but those who offered prayers behind him are also asked for renewal of 'Tauheed and Nikah. Is it justified? We should try to make peace even with our enemies, not to create foes out of our friends at this critical juncture.
In the present time, Islam is gaining popularity among the masses of the world as a perfect way of life and those who are bestowed good sense by Allah Kareem are entering into Islam in large numbers. A large number of devoted Muslims are working for the welfare and popularity of Islam, but some of us are running the kafir-manufacturing factories and trying to label as kafir those who are already bestowed with the true knowledge of Islam.
Such deviated people should try to ponder over their thinking and the ways of dealing with such critical matters. The difference of opinion in the interpretation of spiritual Islamic matters is quite possible but such differences should be sorted out by perfect spiritual and factual reasons and Islamic knowledge in the light of the Quran Kareem and Hadees Shareef, not by denouncing and giving decrees of infidelity (Kufr, Shirk and Fajoor).
Translated from Urdu by Raihan Nezami, NewAgeIslam.com
Source: Hamara Samaj Urdu Daily, New Delhi, 19 November, 2008
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