Banning books and freedom of expression

Discussion in 'Bibliophile's Corner' started by AbdalQadir, Oct 31, 2011.

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  1. AbdalQadir

    AbdalQadir time to move along! will check pm's.

    ok brother NJ, in response to some of your other posts.

    will you dare to present the same justification to Ghawth-e-A3zdham who forbade his murid from reading a philosophy book?

    Will you give the same justification to Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Abu Hanifa, and Al-Ghazali amongst others who forbade their students from reading the tripe of philosophers and the mu3tazila and others, who only had the noble intention of refuting the deviant thoughts found in such books?

    Will you also give the same justification to Ala Hazrat too, who ALSO forbade people from reading books of deviants, and so on?

    Mind you, when talking about the murid of the Ghawth, this is a first generation murid we're talking about, who directly sat with the Ghawth, and took knowledge and fayd from him directly, first-hand, in person - not namesake Qadiris like us who in any case can't even follow the 40th or so khaleefa in the chain. When we're talking 'student' of Abu Hanifa or Al-Ghazali or Ahmad ibn Hanbal, we're not implying a modern day student of knowledge but a mammoth scholar. Rahimahumullah.

    Just what makes you so much more confident than your own Ghawth?

    Sorry, I don't mean to be pedantic and nasty, but shouldn't the "too" be used for books on other topics not related to religion, rather than the other way round.


    (It's a universal problem with all of us, myself included. As Shaykh Ilyas Attar, hafizdhahullah, implies, we in our times give second priority to religion)

    Does their opinion matter to us?

    Should it matter to us?

    Do we seek respect/appraisal/appreciation from them?

    you can take as many jabs at me, but see above, what will you say to the mentioned aimma. i'm a nobody who is just repeating what i understand that they have said/done.

    The devil runs in you like your blood and seeks to prey on your faith.

    Safeguarding your faith is of the utmost importance.

    When people like the sahaba and Abu Hanifa worried about safeguarding their faiths, we don't even exist! Kisi ginti mein hee nahin hain hum!

    Your own Shaykh Ilyas Attar and Ala Hazrat have quoted our elders as saying, "he who does not worry about losing his faith, probably will lose it before he dies". Kattar Sunni tried to give you a subtle hint, but you work best with direct bluntness bro:

    no, you're not; you're dumber.

    sorry, but i just have a thing with bluffs and reverse psychology. i can't not call. to even it out, just so you don't think i'm trying to one-up on you, it's a nafsanic disorder i have ;)

    anyway, alhamdulillah that you're researching into the sharh of that hadith and the dua, and we ask Allah for all the good things His Blessed Habeeb asked Him and we seek His refuge from all the evil things His Blessed Habeeb sought refuge from, 3alaihis salam.
  2. AbdalQadir

    AbdalQadir time to move along! will check pm's.

    jazak Allah bro. a positive post by you in this thread and i pray to Allah, what ever you research, benefits you to the maximum extent, along with the rest of us.

    i will keep my promise and reply to some of your other posts on this thread soon in sha Allah.
  3. AQ

    i found a few via shaykh google but they are in arabic a language i lack.
    i shall get back to you on this eventually i promise...
  4. Wadood

    Wadood Veteran

    carl sagan, the atheist yehudi, insulted HabeebAllah salAllahu 'alayhi wa alihi wa sallam. So throw his books out into the sewer.
  5. Wadood

    Wadood Veteran

    Sincere Sunni having admiration for sufis, and aspiration to be a sufi is enough of humility in this age to begin on this path.

    any conceit can be handled later
  6. AbdalQadir

    AbdalQadir time to move along! will check pm's.

  7. The sixth Imam(a) comprehensively replied to 40 questions posed by Imam Abu hanifah(r) in the court of al-mansur in front of a gathering... after that imam abu hanifa said:

    أن أعلم الناس أعلمهم باختلاف الناس
    the most knowledgeable person amongst the people is the most knowledgeable of the differences amongst them.
  8. sidi AH,

    despite my comments on here i can honestly say that i take what you, in particular, say on here [and elsewhere] to heart. that is because of the respect i have for you. so although i might not do everything you suggest your words of advice DO make me think thrice before i do xyz.

    in all honesty, i have all the volumes of Malfuzat Sharif --published as a single volume--and i have read *some* parts of it but have certainly not read it from cover to cover. i do not want to make false claims. astaghfirullah. (i do plan to read it from cover to cover eventually.)

    amin at your last dua.
  9. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

    parable of a person in a grove. in addition to trees that have tasty and nourishing fruit, there are poisonous berries in the bush. while, tasting a few poisonous berries may not kill you, the potential is there for you to overindulge in such berries which can eventually prove to be fatal. even if you don't die, you may get sick. and there may be snakes lurking in the bush.

    we are just warning you, but you want to argue with us and prove that beating around the thorny bush with bare hands, is safe. well, good luck.

    this is plain conceit nj. if you want to run down good advice, why do you ask in the first place? you claim to be a sufi and admirer of sufis, but you do not have the fraction of humility that is required to even begin on this path.

    "the wise man checks his nafs, and works for [life] after death; and the weakling follows his desires and still hopes to safety from [the wrath of] Allah."

    you are possibly not even aware of the psychological games you play. try reading: 'games people play' and you will recognize/relate to some of your own. [if it helps: i read this book in early nineties like his other books.]

    sure you can, but what is the point?

    when i read malfuzat of alahazrat, i feel diminutive and i feel ashamed of myself and my pathetic life. i am utterly depressed at the state of my affairs and how far removed i am from the sunnah. after a good two or three hour session (of reading malfuzat), i do istighfar many times, and sincerely resolve to be a better muslim. the piety and knowledge of the imam puts me in a thrall - and in spite of feeling insignificant as a small fry in front of the great blue whale, i feel different.

    btw, is it just a hypothetical question or have you really read malfuzat? no offence meant, but just asking.

    in fact, i deliberately avoided dawkins book and didn't bother about hitchens (as i have read his political drivel - and have little respect for the trash he writes). i chanced upon dawkins book in a relative's place. i read it and found it cheesy, but still supplicated to Allah ta'ala to safeguard my faith. i have never read such a book - whether philosophy or atheism - without istighfar and sincere prayer, before and after for hidayah and to keep us on hidayah. only a blithering idiot would trust his nafs.

    you are a very brave man indeed...or extremely foolish.

    may Allah ta'ala guide you.
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2011
  10. My Beloved KS brother! We are talking about minds not backsides. The hygiene habits of Messrs. Dawkins & Hitchens bare no relation to their works.
    Another one you could read is Carl Sagan. Please explain to a thick like me what's wrong with reading both the Malfuzat of Sayyidi Alahazrat one week and The Demon Haunted World by Sagan the next?
  11. Unbeknown

    Unbeknown Senior Moderator

    Alhamdulillah! Faith-refreshing posts.

    I am neither 'well-read' nor an 'intellectual-junkie' but being taught in a convent school I had this 'follow-your-dreams' and 'Science is Right' orientation and so at a time when probably none in my city had even heard of them I went on to read: Carl Sagan's 'Cosmos- Reflections on the Romance of Science' and 'Broca's Brain' : Books in which he speaks of "Knowledge for knowledge's sake" and I had these wild dreams of pursuing astrophysics as a career! (That moron Sagan says that why didn't GOD place revelation on the moon for us to find it when we landed there, why should he send it to earth where it can be found so easily without much toil and application of science ! ! )

    But, Alhamdullilah, slowly, very slowly, but surely I was guided to REAL scholars-- And despite having read Sagan and Hawkins (and that too at a time when I had nothing to hinder me from considering them to be geniuses) -- I found myself looking UP to them: I had found, at last, what "knowledge" IS.

  12. kattarsunni

    kattarsunni Veteran

  13. kattarsunni

    kattarsunni Veteran

    I just about get time to read Sunni Muslim books. And that is excluding reading the Quran (minimum 1 juz) every day, as well as daily awraad, prayer with jama't, attending necessary classes, family and social obligations.

    And those Sunni books I read are just in one language.

    Maybe once I have read all the Sunni works that are necessary in English, Urdu and Arabic, many of them under qualified teachers who can explain hard passages, then I just may have time to peruse the works of an atheist or a deviant.

    But really I should leave that job to the U'lama, who have better intellects and eimaan than I do.

    This fake obsession that some western born people, and eastern wannabe westerners have with trying to seem 'open minded' and not 'narrow minded', and 'well read' and 'academic' is not for me.

    Mainly because our Sunni ancestors have left enough works to stimulate my mind. Just a lifetime to go through the complete works of Imam Ghazzali, or Imam Razi or any One Sunni Scholar and understand them is sufficient for me as a non-scholar layman.
    This alongside so many other tasks like learning my basics.

    Why should I be bothered to even look at the work of arrogant individuals who don't even wash their backsides like Hitchen's and Dawkin's when I have so much to do as a commoner?? Just to look 'hip' and 'open minded' and 'reasonable'? And not 'narrow' and 'backwards'?
    And all that according to modern Anglo/Judaic standards?

    Even to read the whole Quran with a good translation and one excellent commentary is a bigger achievement for someone as common as me...
  14. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

    sigh. why do you always miss the elephant in the room? i am now skeptical about what you might have understood from all that you have read.
  15. (i think sidi AH could write a good rebuttal)

    i always do dua, "Ya Allah make my end on Islam [of course I pray in Urdu/Punjabi] on the maslak of Ala Hazrat!"

    i is not as dumb az i might appear ;)
  16. sidi AH quoth:
    i wholeheartedly agree. i don't see any contradiction between reading books of the philosophers/scientists etc. or any other book and believing that salvation is from Allah's Grace. In fact I think the two are not even related issues.

    i made a deliberate point to read both hitchen's God is Not Great and Dawkins' The God Delusion to see what the most prominent atheists of today had to say about religion--as a sort of test of my faith--and, honestly, i agreed with some parts of the both books but neither of them made me doubt my faith in Islam as being the true religion. But it did help make me more aware of the other side and hence more understanding. Of the two I think Hitchens is by far the better writer. Dawkins is a great scientist and science explainer but too crude a polemicist.

    It was sad that the only--to my knowledge--attempted rebuttals to Dawkins' have come from fundamentalist Christians and not any Muslims.
  17. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

    our elders have said: 'a man who trusts his nafs is an idiot'. we should not trust our knowledge or be overconfident of our own selves or our knowledge.

    how many times have you heard the saying: 'it is not knowledge or deeds, but only the Grace of Allah ta'ala that saves you.'

    righteous ulama would weep fearing the Wrath of Allah, and what makes us so audacious that we think nothing can harm us? and hobnobbing with the enemies of Allah does not earn the pleasure of Allah ta'ala.

    a person no less than ibn rushd said – and he was among the most knowledgeable about philosophy: "The result of [indulging in] kalām and argument causes one to be perplexed in the present state, heresy and doubt [or scepticism] in the end." [Cf Sharh Fiqh al-Akbar]

    not related, but something here and here.
  18. AbdalQadir

    AbdalQadir time to move along! will check pm's.

    i will respond to your post later (i won't let it slip :p) but for now can you give me the sharh of the hadith containing the dua i posted.
  19. Sidi AQ, I appreciate the good intentions behind your post and hope Allah
    rewards you for it but I do not agree entirely with you (as you probably guessed!) It is a weak faith indeed which can be so easily shaken by a book or two! However I will definitely take your advice to read more Islamic books too.
    I am also one of those awaiting the 7-foot Ridawi bookshelf...:)

    p.s. I have only glanced at Mein Kampf -- it is banned in my current place of residence although I could read it online if I so wanted but agree it is probably nonsense although I cannot really judge any book without reading it first. then i can judge it.

    there is a story which Orientalists tell to try and disparage Hazrat Umar (and I'm sure its not true). It goes like this: Hazrat Umar ordered the burning of all books apart from the Koran because he said if it agrees with the Koran it is superfluous and if it doesn't agree with the Koran it is useless. I don't believe Hazrat Umar would say such a thing. It is an Orientalist attempt to try and give the impression that Islam is anti-intellectual. Sadly, my beloved Sunni brother, some of your posts seem to give fuel to such stereotypes.
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2011
  20. AbdalQadir

    AbdalQadir time to move along! will check pm's.

    NJ you might think from my last few posts that I would be getting my kicks from having a go at you due some of your posts, but I say this sincerely as a brother:

    You're an intellectual junkie who by his own admission is also a loose cannon with his emotionalism. Deviant ideas can exploit your (or anyone's) emotionalism. Reading nonsense books is of NO USE to you or other Muslims.

    Perhaps this exactly is your problem when it comes to some of your loose cannon posts when you don't know what you're talking about. Sometimes you seem to be too high on what you've read from here and there.

    This orientalist statement is precisely the result of your reading just anything you can get your hands on.

    In Islam - BENEFICIAL knowledge is power.

    The Prophet's, 3alaihis salam, famous dua and command, to seek refuge in Allah from NON-beneficial knowledge is something the elders of the ummah did not take lightly.

    Feel free to have a go at me as much as you want, but verify it independently too, be it from other Sunni members of this forum, or any scholars you know outside in real life regarding the prohibition from seeking NON-beneficial knowledge.

    Why is learning sihr forbidden? EVEN only to just see what the hell does it entail?

    Will it ever benefit you to read the mahabharat, even if it is 'only to satisfy my literary curiosity' as a friend of mine said? What would Ala Hazrat say to such a person who read the mahabharat just for the heck of it? (I'm NOT insinuating you read books of other religions/sects/voo doo cults)

    Even excessive curiosity is a bad thing in Islam. It is a form of a 'spiritual' greed wherein a person thinks he is doing something beneficial, but in reality it is no different than material greed, or maybe even worse at times.

    There is a reason Ala Hazrat forbade people from reading the books of deviants. Just see how hard Ala Hazrat clamps down on those who read books of deviants, EVEN IF, only with the confidence to 'refute' them.

    There is a reason why even top mujtahid imams like Ahmad ibn Hanbal and Abu Hanifa forbade some of their students from reading the books of greek philosophers, or other people of bid3ah like the mu3tazila.

    Read Ghawth-e-A3zdham's karaamah about the murid who decided once to read a book on philosophy, and the Ghawth just asked him if he could have a look at the book. He flipped through the pages, and when the murid went home, the entire book was erased, it was just blank pages. He then understood the Ghawth's displeasure at his wanting to read a book on philosophy and supposedly advance 'intellectually'.

    Rahimahumullahu jamee3an.

    Why do you think Sufi mashayekh don't even allow murids to read certain books on tasawwuf and/or engage in certain wazaif and litanies, until they have advanced to a certain level?

    Before setting about reading anything, just ask yourself:

    HOW will this knowledge benefit me?

    For worldly matters, we may read books by people of trades, like reading an accounting rules book by a kafir, purely on the topic of accounting, is no issue perhaps.

    But when you read and promote the reading of books on related or inter-disciplinary topics where Islam is included (like 'Islam & Science' topics), then you have to be very careful that you read books by SUNNIS. Promoting the garbage of deviant people like that hosein nasr, even if with the disclaimer "don't take 'aqidah from him" can STILL harm a Muslim's faith. It's a no-brainer, a book of mu3tazilites beliefs will have nothing but their beliefs in it, so it is very easy to summarily state "I'm only reading it to see what's in it" or "to refute it". It's a very easy job to read a book thinking of it as 100% fiction than to read something and then set about to separating deviant [from Islam] fiction from scientific facts or supposedly otherwise good opinions of hosein nasr. Despite the job of reading a mu3tazilite book with the underlying belief that ALL of it is deviancy - being much easier, mujtahid scholars forbade their students from reading such tripe.


    More than one Sunni shaykhs have told me, reading books of tasawwuf is USELESS for common people AT BEST, and that's authentic tasawwuf (books by Sufi masters like Ibn Arabi and some others) they're talking about, not the misguided one of cardinal tahir.

    Scholars have said that learning the ahkam pertaining to Hajj is not necessary for someone who isn't planning on going during that year, if he has other knowledge to catch up on relating to his basic faraid. Learning the ahkam of hayd and nifas is of zero use for an ordinary common man, unless he is getting married or is studying to be a proper scholar/mufti, specially if he doesn't even know the details of the ahkam of namaz, and this is all GOOD knowledge of Islamic fiqh.

    This is all ISLAMIC knowledge we're talking about, and here too there are priorities.

    Speaking of Imam Ghazali, read his book of knowledge on the praiseworthy and blameworthy knowledge categories and even among praiseworthy one's, the priorities for each type.

    What then can we say about seeking knowledge and 'intellectual opinions and views' that are diametrically against Islam and the ways of the Ahlus Sunnah? (ignore knowledge of neutral matters like engineering, and so on)


    I say as a brother - give up on reading garbage like mein kampf or other orientalist tripe calling for 'development' and 'upliftment' of the human race and so on.

    Reading pure fiction like say harry potter perhaps can be deemed entertainment, like watching a movie, which has its own rulings.

    If you love to read that much, then why not focus on knowledge of deen? From the sound of your posts, you sound like you already have acquired a lot of worldly knowledge in matters relating to your trade and so on (and I don't say this to take a dig at you, I mean it nicely). Why not focus on Islamic classics on detailed 3aqaid and detailed fiqh of some basic faraid? Just starting with Ala Hazrat's discourses on wudu and the types of water would leave us in awe.

    Or perhaps replace the hobby of 'reading just anything' with another hobby like calligraphy or woodwork or something. At least that is not as dangerous to your thought process as reading books by kafirs, deviants, perennialists, and so forth.

    Anyway, all this may or may not be directly related to this thread, but it has to do with the general aura around some of your recent posts in various threads. And again, it is not for the sake of taking a dig at you. I say this sincerely because I think this 'intellectual junkie' attitude gets the better of you many times on some fundamental issues. It is not to suggest that I am some gung ho who has read all Islamic classics. But I have however, learnt to stay away from intellectual junk.

    Here's something to put your reading hobby to good use. Read up on the various different shuruh of the hadith containing this dua:

    اللهم إني أعوذ بك من علم لا ينفع ،

    ومن قلب لا يخشع ،

    ومن نفس لا تشبع ،

    ومن دعاء لا يسمع

    WAllahu waliyyut tawfiq.

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