Imam Hamid Raza Khan and the 'Sulh-Kulli' Slander

Discussion in 'General Topics' started by abu Hasan, Jan 27, 2022.

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  1. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

    the false allegation was that sh.hamid raza was supporting the league and was displeased with anyone speaking ill of the league. it WAS false - and when asked about he refuted it.

    in other words, shaykh hamid rida khan did NOT support the league.

    shaykh asrar, however is seen on stages with people who are either not sunni, or are sulh-kulli (such as the guy who praises taqi usmani or tahir etc).

    regardless of our view about sh.asrar, this is not comparable with imam hamid's situation where he was subject to false accusation. sh.asrar whereas may have justifications for his attendance, he is not being falsely accused of attending a gathering or meeting someone [to the best of my knowledge].

    in fact, people like us are in a position similar to imam hamid rida, because we do not consider sh. asrar sulh-kulli just because he attended an event that also had non-sunnis.

    1. imam hamid raza's silence was perceived as support to the league by those hwo made allegations.

    2. however, upon being asked, shaykh hamid did not ignore the issue - he clarified that he does not consider the league to be right - BUT does not criticise sunni muslims joining the league either due to reasons known to them (i.e. joining the league) OR due to ignorance. he says:

    I do not look upon the League favourably (nazar e istihsan) in its present condition because of many violations of shariah [sharayi mafasid] and that a number of deviant, heretical and irreligious people are members of this league. And it is on this basis that I have never allowed anyone to participate in this League. However, at the same time, I do not like to issue a harsh statement [sakht hukm] against staunch Sunni Razawi Muslims, who have joined the League if their participation is due to a sharayi point of view. Let alone takfir, we cannot issue the ruling upon them as deviants or even sinners [fasiq].

    as i said,

    3. shahid sahib's accusation upon sh.asrar is indeed similar to the 'silence is acceptance' accusation; but the silence of imam hamid rida about staunch sunni muslims is not the same as sh.asrar's not speaking about someone who is a known sulh-kulli or a deviant. [disclaimer: i am not saying sh.asrar does not speak against deviants; but only pointing out how the two situations are different].

    as is obvious, there is not comparison in the two cases.
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  2. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

    the above passage and the below passage are not related. you have misunderstood it and mixed it up. i will not hold this against you because this fatwa cannot be understood in proper context without a proper knowledge of history and background of issues of that period.

    alahazrat passed away in 1340 AH. this letter was sent in 1358 AH.

    where is the link between the event and the objection? in fact, mawlana hamid mentioned the above event as an example in his clarification and is NOT related to the objection raised in 1358 AH per se.

    super brief history:
    indian national congress (INC) with gandhi as their leader was fighting the british for self-rule (i.e. independence) and many muslims groups (especially deobandis) - and notably abul kalam azad were with the congress. the muslim league was formed in 1906, with agha-khan III (nizari-ismayili) as the first permanent honarary president of the league. there were other prominent muslims such as the poet dr.iqbal, mohammad ali jauhar and others.

    jinnah was a member of the congress and was hailed as the 'ambassador of hindu-muslim unity' and he tried hard to reconcile the INC and IML. even though jinnah joined the muslim league in 1913, he did not quit congress until 1920. actually, he left both the league and congress by 1920 and lived in britain for a decade; he returned to india and rejoined the league only around 1937 and was elected as the permanent president of the league.

    alahazrat passed away in 1921.

    by 1930s many muslims in the congress were disillusioned by the policies of its leaders. there was a demand for a separate muslim electorate which was opposed by the congress, and in the elections of 1937 ML put up a poor show and the hindu-dominated congress effectively marginalised muslims and there was widespread discontent and communal riots. it is in this atmosphere that many erstwhile members (muslims) quit the congress and joined the league. and the league was now seen as the only organisation muslims could turn to against hindu aggression.

    these events are close to the date 1358/1939 of the question posed to imam hamid rida and form the background of the question.

    many sunni muslims including staunch rizwis joined and supported the league to fight the hindu dominance, because it was a lesser evil. and it is therefore that shaykh hamid did not do takfir of such people who joined the league - NOT to normalise their religious outlook, but only for the protection of muslims. and it is this refusal to consider them sulh-kulli, fasiq or murtad that made people talk ill about him and spread rumours about him that he was himself supporting the league.
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2022
  3. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

    i do not remember complaining of 'harshness', but equating the case of imam hamid rida khan and other luminaries with ulama of our time is an exaggeration and inaccurate.

    it could also be that people were thwarted by your heavy worded and long posts. i agree with some parts of your argument, but your drawing parallels with imam hamid rida and the current spat with shaykh asrar is not only fallacious, but in fact can be held against your own argument.

    since you seem to be eager for a feedback, i am willing to humour you with an analysis of your posts. in sha'Allah wa bi tawfiqihi.
  4. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

    purely technical: your latest post has 13,000+ characters. perhaps if you can keep your posts below 10,000 characters, you may be able to post without getting errors. the forum is due for upgrade, but until then, you will have to live with this.

    : the same post could be split into two.
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  5. TheRidawiWay

    TheRidawiWay New Member

    Mawlana Abu Hasan,

    Your reply to me was premature in that I have spoken about scholars not sitting with deviants willy-nilly. The forum prevented me from posting due to "internal server errors" hence why I could not upload my other posts. This is not the first time that this has occurred.

    Secondly, in my response to Abdullah Ahmed, I have plainly said that I do not agree with Shaykh Asrar Rashid on everything. I have clearly written, “I am not here to defend Shaykh Asrar Rashid nor do I agree with everything that Shaykh Asrar Rashid has said.” So your retort that “if you want us to blindly follow shaykh asrar and accept everything he does or says as THE TRUTH, it won't happen” is completely out of place. I have never called for the blind-following of anyone. Suggestions that I have or that my posts display an appeal of a cult member are ludicrous.

    I have been criticising something that ought to be criticised - a broader culture amongst certain factions of the Barelwi community and in particular, the public lynching of a Sunni scholar with hasty declarations of him being a Non-Sunni. Declaring a Sunni Muslim to be a Non-Sunni on unjustifiable grounds is totally prohibited. This is a grave sin and should never be tolerated. It is even more concerning when this is coming on the part of scholars and self-appointed representatives of the 'Maslak'.

    I am not addressing individuals like yourself who do not exhibit the characteristics of incompetent pseudo-Barelwis. You have to bear in mind that not everybody adheres to appropriate methodological protocol like yourself or others who may do. You did not nor do you declare Shaykh Asrar Rashid a Non-Sunni. But there are people who have done so. Neither you nor I represent Barelwis. You do not speak for them, and nor do I. Nor are our ideals reflective of reality. Hence why the bulk of your response seems to be talking past me or addressing something I do not even hold.

    Laypeople tarnishing the reputation of Sunni scholars with no justification is never acceptable. Sure, Shaykh Asrar Rashid ought to be more mindful as I have also written previously; but this does not justify the above. I myself have been on the receiving end of messages and remarks in-person in which people who do not know their A’s from their B’s have casually remarked on the Non-Sunni status of Shaykh Asrar Rashid without justice. The same applies even more so to scholars because they should know better.

    To reiterate, it is indeed the right of scholars to disagree with Shaykh Asrar Rashid and address their issues with him in a fair and respectable manner. This is a moral duty. In fact, I am one to actively promote scholarly dialogue because it fosters critical engagement and development. It is a means to bring individuals closer together in the sincere ascertainment of the truth. I am sure you are well aware of Ilm al-Jadal and Adab al-Bahth. I had no issue with your critique of Shaykh Asrar Rashid because it was done on due grounds. I had also said for example that he did not word his answers best and more generally, “Mawlana Abu Hasan has mentioned that he disagrees with Shaykh Asrar Rashid on issues. I do too, and I am sure others do as well.” See my posts for similar remarks.

    There is a huge difference between lampooning someone as a Non-Sunni versus saying that he could have acted wiser or worded his answers better. If people think it is fine to bludgeon a Sunni as a Non-Sunni, then we part ways here. For them is their version of the ‘Maslak’ and for me is mine. These are precisely the types of individuals who I have been addressing.

    Shaykh Asrar Rashid is just an example here. We can ignore Shaykh Asrar Rashid as an example and substitute him for Person X. The point is, I would defend any Sunni individual who was subject to such unfair appraisals. Calling someone a Non-Sunni is no light affair. On the other hand, I am more than willing to criticise Shaykh Asrar Rashid or any Person Y if they were to ever make a misstep. The truth is more worthy to be followed (al-Haqq Ahaqq an-Yuttaba’). And may Allah give us Tawfiq in His cause.

    My example of "The Boy Who Cried Wolf" is not exaggerated at all. Many people in fact turn towards real ‘Sulh-Kullism’ when they become disenchanted with the petty bickering that has no place within Ahl al-Sunnah wa l-Jama’ah. How many people deride "Molwis" and scholars because all they do is "speak ill of one another"? When Sunni scholars vehemently turn against one another for immaterial issues, then what impression does this leave upon your average person? Weak-minded secular types hold disdain for the scholarly classes, precisely - though not exclusively - due to this problem. The reason why many people also turn away from the scholarly heritage of the Ahl al-Sunnah in India and Pakistan is because all they see of the scholars there is in-fighting, over say, the 3Ms (see my previous post) and other such overblown (non-)issues. I need not furnish this with multiple examples.

    The endless unnecessary dramas lead individuals to not being able to navigate the boundaries of Ahl al-Sunnah seriously because they become confused and are unable to compartmentalise matters. What it means to be ‘Barelwi’ or upon the ‘Maslak’ becomes quite contentious and awkwardly tense even within Sunni circles (e.g., Dawat-e Islami is termed ‘Dawat-e Ilyasi’, Mawlana Ilyas al-Attari likened to Mawdudi, SDI and the Misbahi scholars of Jami’ah al-Ashrafiyyah, Mubarakpur, etc. smeared with non-’Maslaki’ insinuations, now Shaykh Asrar Rashid, etc.). It is no wonder that so many ‘Barelwis’ choose to follow Arab scholars such as Shaykh Samir al-Nass, Shaykh Muhammad al-Yaqoubi or Sufi scholars from Yemen like the Haba’ib. One reason is because of the absence of such a rampant environment and a more deliberate focus on brass-tacks basics such as mastering the reading of Surah al-Fatihah - as in the case of Shaykh Samir al-Nass (which is why Shaykh Asrar Rashid recommended Sunni Muslims to perfect their recitation with him). Of course, scholars refuting one another will always exist, and at times it is absolutely correct, but minimising discords that are unnecessary and unneeded is crucial on our part. Disunity (iftiraq) and quarrelling are not signs of religious bravado as some may falsely assume them to be.

    More on the above, it is evident that when Barelwi scholars tour the UK from abroad, then it is by far and large another carousel sermonising about polemics, the permissibility of Mawlid, the disbelief of the Deobandis, why conducting annual death-anniversaries is a necessary hallmark practice of Sunni Muslims and so on. All conducted in the Urdu language. The poor quality of the content is masked by the oratory skills of good rhetoricians and the symbolic fanfare around individuals.

    Enter non-Barelwis, and they deliver education-based lessons and courses, exhibit meritorious character, speak the native language and show a far more edifying side to Sunni Islam etc. Barelwis then seem to be surprised that younger generation individuals from an Indo-Pak background flock to these people in the thousands. Who is there to blame? One Barelwi said of this on social media: “The fact that the youths in the Sunni community go seeking Islam elsewhere is a failure of the local masjids and tbh the community in general. If their religious and spiritual fulfilment was being provided locally then they wouldn’t need to seek it elsewhere.” Compare this with Indo-Pak Deobandi scholars from abroad like Taqi Usmani - whom when touring the UK - does not waste his time in food feasts but delivers a pertinent speech to hundreds of Madrasah graduates and scholars about their responsibilities and priorities in the West as ambassadors of the religion.

    Most Sunnis cannot even reason coherently or even comprehend slightly technical discourse (they even find Shaykh Asrar Rashid to be too ‘high-brow’ and elusive). There is no denying that many Sunni individuals learn the necessary beliefs regarding creed only after they join the sort of circles that I have mentioned above. Was it not Shaykh Asrar Rashid who pioneered this in the UK anyway? They actually find a ‘community’ in the UK that is not always at the behest of irrelevant happenings in the Subcontinent for years on end such as the Sayyid Irfan Shah Mashhadi fiasco. It is again pretty telling that brother Aqdas issued a clarion call for Sunni scholars in the UK to denounce Sayyid Irfan Shah Mashhadi and his three-year-old stale saga in another thread recently. I mean, there is little unity within Sunni circles and amongst scholars themselves so expecting cohesive co-ordinated action against the ‘Other’ is like selling a pipe-dream. The news feed continues. People started questioning Shaykh Asrar Rashid’s stance on Hussam al-Haramayn simply because he had ‘moved on’ from issues that he had already tackled to address other critical heresies such as atheism!

    Anyways, I repeat that I do not condone people associating with deviants (if in fact it is proven so) but it is time that we stop living in a fantasy cuckoo-land where all is fine and dandy with ‘Barelwis’ on the ground-level. Of course, this is not sufficient reason to turn towards Deviant X or People Y who have Issue Z but maturity means to take responsibility and accountability for our part in a problem. I would speak more on Barelwi ‘burnout’ and exodus to non-Barelwis but reflexive introspection often does not sit well since the bitter pill of our collective failings is a tough one to swallow.

    My comments are said in the best interests of the Ahl al-Sunnah and those who follow Imam Ahmad Raza Khan ie. Barelwis. I am not here to be ‘liked’ by my brothers but rather to warn them that if these problems are not solved then ‘Barelwis’ will not have any meaningful existence in the Anglosphere, nevermind thrive here. Assuredly, Allah will protect His religion and Ahl al-Sunnah wa l-Jama’ah. This does not necessarily mean, however, the survival of ‘Barelwism’ if understood to mean a particular movement and distinct community which has a specific relation to Imam Ahmad Raza Khan and his school in the Anglosphere. It is of course a given though that the *beliefs* advocated by Imam Ahmad Raza Khan and his ‘school’ shall remain until the Day of Judgement for they are the teachings of the Ahl al-Sunnah wa l-Jama’ah.

    In fact, we already see various competing claimants to the tradition of Imam Ahmad Raza Khan. Perhaps we can now even speak of ‘Asrari’ [non-self-identifying] ‘Barelwis’ versus ‘Shahidi Barelwis’. Credit to Birmingy for the coinages. Readers may disagree and believe that everything is hunky-dory but they are entitled to their opinion and I say what I have as a cordial well-wisher.

    I have also never said that these people are not one of my own. In fact, I have explicitly reiterated otherwise. Just as Imam Hamid Raza Khan, Mufti Sayyid Muhammad al-Ashrafi al-Kichawchawi and Mufti Amjad Ali al-Azmi had criticised the statements, actions and modus operandi of ‘incompetent-extremist’ types whilst still considering them Sunni, I too have done the same. I had clearly explained that even the term that I had used in my previous post was to signify a set of traits exhibited by these individuals and in no way shape or form had I used this term to intend or declare these individuals as being Non-Sunni or even Non-Muslim. I have subsequently not used this term in future posts and opted for other word choices for the sake of advancing discourse and not upsetting my brothers.

    You may think that I am being unduly harsh but it is rightful that some advice and criticism be given sternly. I had also explicitly said that I do not condone preferring malintent over ignorance when it pertains to ordinary Sunni laymen. Fitnah-mongers who brazenly dub Sunni Muslims as not being upon the ‘Maslak’ and imply that they are not part of the Ahl al-Sunnah body without veridical justification however, rightfully deserve to be called out for this behaviour and mindset of theirs. Mawlana Abu Hasan has been harsh on other Sunni scholars in this forum and my harshness is also in this vein. This is also the precedent set by Imam Ahmad Raza Khan; his son Imam Hamid Raza, and his successors Mufti Sayyid Muhammad al-Ashrafi al-Kichawchawi, Mufti Amjad Ali al-Azmi and others as I have shown in my posts. It is crucial that the way and ‘Maslak’ of Imam Ahmad Raza is not hijacked and misrepresented. Here, I do not mean by the ‘Other’, but by our very own.

    Alas, I will probably lay-off activity on this forum due to the multiple repeated server errors that continue to appear for me. I appreciate any and all engagement (albeit admittedly few) that I have received from fellow members. It may be that many readers agreed with my posts and hence why I did not receive substantive pushback on the core of my posts. Withall, I apologise if I have said anything wrong or have breached anyone’s rights. I will still be checking my inboxes occasionally. In my Ad’iyah, Ma’as-Salam.
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2022
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  6. Surati

    Surati Well-Known Member

    Interesting. One cannot help but wonder if the @TheRidawiWay’s fervid defence of Shaykh Asrar is a projection of his own personal experience about the Barelwi scene.

    As a side note, @TheRidawiWay please learn to TLDR. It’s hard to follow your posts without losing concentration.
  7. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

    including those who are unfair with us or scheme against us or try to malign us. those things are bad, but they ARE one of us. we cannot passionately preach to not be excluded and exclude others because they do not agree with us.
  8. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

    how can layman differentiate between sunni scholar and non-sunni? if sunni scholars meet with deviants often and without any discretion, a layman is likely to expect the other ones to be sunnis. and if he discovers from other sources that the people seen with the sunni scholar were deviants and promoting false ideas in their own videos (not alongside the sunni shaykh) - would you blame him for being confused?

    some of the possibilites are:

    1. the layman now considers the deviant as sunni (by virtue of his being seen with the sunni shaykh often) and begins to listen to him.

    2. the layman learns from other sources that the person seen with the sunni scholar is a deviant; and now is doubtful about the sunni scholar.

    3. deviants use these pictures, gatherings to further their own agenda that the sunni scholar-x is with them and approves of them.

    it is good that we are concerned about the sunni scholar and try hard to exonerate him from accusations, but who is responsible to remedy the outcomes of the above scenarios?

    who is responsible if the above cases cause harm to sunniyat?
  9. Unbeknown

    Unbeknown Senior Moderator

    this is part of the "modern etiquette for co-existing alongside deviants in pluralistic societies".

    One may not be able to give the deviants a piece of their minds at every venue for various reasons (one of which is limited time or an uninitiated audience) - but even a short message on one's social media account - reassuring one's followers (and detractors) that you do not consider the entire panel as sunnis or worthy of being followed in religious matters and reaffirming that laymen should keep their distance from the various deviant ideologies that those attendees represent - can go a long way in preempt the kind situation we have on our hands.

    It is not about some people deliberately trying to slur a scholar's reputation - that is unavoidable (as seen from these historical anecdotes) - but the scholar failing to foresee this eventuality and not taking steps to innure the awaam against propaganda (when it's as easy as a small tweet post-event).

    wa Allahu a'alam
  10. Unbeknown

    Unbeknown Senior Moderator

    Another post from the same thread:

    sidi abu Hasan said:

    sitting with deviants or meeting someone or being photographed is nothing. also, we live in a different age. we have a number of constraints in our time; and as long as we make our stance clear - meeting or sitting with deviants or fussaq upon necessity does not make one a wahabi or a sulH kulli. even if one meets them without a valid sharayi need, out of common courtesy or peer pressure or relationships, the maximum extent of such an action is that it is Haram, as long as the person genuinely dislikes the heresy and acknowledges that it is heresy. thus, if you see asrar rashid sitting with a deviant or ijaz shami posing for a photo or mawlana qamruz zaman in conference with warsi/cameron, as long as they make it clear that their stand concerning sunni aqidah and their unequivocal opposition to heresy/zandaqah, they will remain sunnis.

    this is very dangerous unless the following points are borne in mind too!!

    but this does not mean, they can go to any conference and sit with whoever they like. the awam observes scholars and deems their actions to be evidence for their own acts.

    ulama should shoulder their responsibility. they should have the courage to state their beliefs in public. they should have the courage to distance themselves for a principle. isn't it shameful that disbelievers and atheists show such conviction in their beliefs, and those who are supposed to be heirs of prophets are scared to clarify their stand?
  11. Unbeknown

    Unbeknown Senior Moderator

    As posted below:

    Imam Hamid Raza proceeds to explain how he interacted with deviants to show that he is not accepting of them. He writes:

    “I treated Mawlawi Abd al-Bari as per his [i.e. Imam Ahmad Raza Khan’s] teachings when he came to receive me in Lucknow. Community leaders, rich folk and scholars came in their hundreds. As soon as I arrived, they rushed to my second-class carriage and greeted me but I did not reply. He wanted to shake my hand but I did not extend it. I went to the waiting room. He was walking behind me, following me and was persistently asking me to participate. I told him clearly that until the religious issues between me and you are not resolved, I cannot meet you, or attend your conference, or keep relations with you. All praise be to Allah, my approach forced him to reconsider his ways for he spoke directly with Sadr al-Afaadil, Mawlana Naeem al-Din al-Muraadabadi and wrote an apology. It was only after this that I agreed to meet him.”

    This was the way of our elders.

    From a related post:

    Let the following incident be the standard:

    Sometime after the independence the then government of India was about to enact certain laws which threatened the religious freedom of the Muslim community especially the Muslim Personal Law. The atmosphere was tense and it was felt that only concerted efforts on part of the entire community would force the government to change its stand. It was agreed that Rais-ul-Qalam Allamah Arshad would represent the ahlusunnah at the protest conference which was expected to be attended by hundreds of muslims including politicians and, of-course, maulvis from all sects. Allamah sahib agreed to share the stage with the deviants on the following terms:

    1. When I arrive, whosoever is at the microphone will have to leave it and allow me to speak.
    2. I will not wait to listen to any speaker. I will say what I wish to and immediately leave the venue.

    And on the day of the conference he did just that. But before speaking on the topic of the conference, pointing to the deobandis and najids seated behind him on the podium, he said:

    "These people sitting in the rear, we have had and still have serious disagreements with them on issues pertaining to our deen. Let not people think that we have made peace with them. I have come here today just because we have to make a common adversary agree to our terms."

    He came, he spoke, he left.

    Ulema need to distinguish between platforms that are merely a fad and hot-air-releasing parties and those where the absence of sunni representation is just not an option. Attend all platforms indiscriminately is counter intuitive and ineffective. One such organization in India, without naming names to avoid arousing sentiments, is a mix up of reps from all sects and claims to owe its existence to the need for joint action in the face of common threats. Yet, this organization is unregistered and does not carry any weight with the government. So how effective is that and then what purpose doe it serve other than confuse the people?

    When it became clear to the sunni ulema in the state of Maharashtra that the Ru'yat-e-Hilal Committee in Mumbai has been overrun by the members of wayward sects the sunnis on the board resigned and formed their own regional committees which have now, bi Hamdillah, become forces to reckon with and the sunni awam turns only to these committees for issues dealing with moon sighting. Although, at the time many had questioned the decision to resign from the board of a powerful central committee.


    If she praised their religious views or what are known as the shi'ar then the ruling on her is clear and it is incumbent upon every sunni, nay every muslim who knows this, to try his utmost to, at the very least, keep clear of her.

    Allah('azzawajal) knows best the intentions and circumstances of His slaves.
  12. TheRidawiWay

    TheRidawiWay New Member

    Imam Hamid Raza Khan continues:

    “I was accompanied by Mawlana Zuhur Husain Rampuri, Mawlana Rahm Ilahi, and Sadr al-Shari’ah Mawlana Amjad Ali who are deputies of AlaHazrat. We had to attend a conference in which Rawafid, Wahhabiyyah, and other deviants were also present. Can AlaHazrat’s permission for us to attend [the conference] in order to preserve our rights - we seek Allah’s refuge - constitute misguidance or transgression of the law? And we who attended, did we all commit a transgression and deviance? Hasha! ‘Matters are judged according to their aims. Actions are by intentions, and each man will acquire what he intended.’”​

    We can observe from the Imam’s statement that his opponents never once stopped to consider the implication of their accusations upon him. Taken to their conclusion, the accusations of misguidance and transgression would end up attributing such things to AlaHazrat himself. Each member of the Ridawi delegation was, in his own right, a mountain shielding against heresy. Moreover, they were exemplars of scholarly unity in the face of threats to the Muslim community in pre-partition India. The scholars of the Ridawi delegation had deep understanding of the Sacred Law. Imagine deeming them as ‘Sulh-Kulli’ for going to this conference with Wahhabis and Rawafid there.

    “My beloved! All these slanders are only happening because I intended to exchange thoughts so that I may explain and make them understand [our view]. I will never tolerate division within Ahl al-Sunnah, or legal verdicts declaring Ridawis to be deviants or sinful transgressors.”​

    It is a shame that Ahl al-Sunnah has been subject to so much internal strife and quarrelling. There are so many divisions that it would be hard to count; from people declaring others to be off the ‘Maslak’ for allowing difference of opinion in Fiqh issues to even not ‘identifying’ as a Barelwi etc. We are all aware of more ludicrous examples.

    “According to me, if those who are part of AlaHazrat’s close circle attended due to a religious reason then in my view as a jurist, there is no legal accusation that can be made. Yes, depending on his beliefs, a verdict of anathematisation, heresy, or transgression will be rightfully issued accordingly.”​

    Imam Hamid Raza says that a verdict is issued according to the beliefs of the person. That too, depends on the nature of the belief that he professes. I will conclude with the words of Imam Hamid Raza Khan himself about his “own view” regarding his “own people”, and his words regarding “lying slanderers” who are “completely ignorant of Fiqh”.

    “In summary, I do not consider it permissible at all from a legal standpoint to call my own people, those who are true and sincere Sunnis, as disbelievers or deviants or even transgressors. Those who oppose this are completely ignorant of Fiqh. Those who label me or Manzar-e Islam or Jama’at Raza-e Mustafa as ‘League-members’ are lying slanderers, they can never prove this from any of my writings or speeches.”​

    This refers to the Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jama’ah. Anyone who is a Sunni is one of us. Being a Sunni comes above castes, cults and Tariqahs. Sunni laymen should especially understand this. If a scholar is a Sunni then it is necessary to respect him. They should abstain from making sly remarks or having any malice towards him. They should stay away from rabble-rousers and supposed scholars who fan the flames of disunity. This malice is an illness of the heart that is completely forbidden and antithetical to the real Maslak of Imam Ahmad Raza Khan who says in Fatawa Rizwiyyah: “It is not allowed to declare someone a ‘Rafidi’ [or simply, a Non-Sunni] due to ill-suspicion when that person calls himself a ‘Sunni’ and none of his talks contradict the theology of Ahl al-Sunnah.”
  13. TheRidawiWay

    TheRidawiWay New Member

    Imam Hamid Raza proceeds to explain how he interacted with deviants to show that he is not accepting of them. He writes:

    “I treated Mawlawi Abd al-Bari as per his [i.e. Imam Ahmad Raza Khan’s] teachings when he came to receive me in Lucknow. Community leaders, rich folk and scholars came in their hundreds. As soon as I arrived, they rushed to my second-class carriage and greeted me but I did not reply. He wanted to shake my hand but I did not extend it. I went to the waiting room. He was walking behind me, following me and was persistently asking me to participate. I told him clearly that until the religious issues between me and you are not resolved, I cannot meet you, or attend your conference, or keep relations with you. All praise be to Allah, my approach forced him to reconsider his ways for he spoke directly with Sadr al-Afaadil, Mawlana Naeem al-Din al-Muraadabadi and wrote an apology. It was only after this that I agreed to meet him.”​

    Imam Hamid Raza Khan was still accused of being a ‘Sulh-Kulli’ despite his track record. How could allegations that he mingles with deviants and calls for a compromised unity with them and their beliefs be considered honest after considering the above? Similarly, how can Shaykh Asrar Rashid, a person who has been the most vocal Sunni scholar in the West in refuting heresies - to the extent that he has represented ‘Barelwis’ in multiple debates - be declared a ‘Sulh-Kulli’ upon such extremely flimsy grounds?

    “It is without doubt that the current state of the League is in need of correction. It contains many religious issues. I have never told anyone to participate in it [the League] to this day. Allah suffices as a Witness. Yes, at times, I have shed light upon its religious deficiencies when I have been asked regarding it [the League]. Indeed, this much is certain that I do not issue a stern ruling upon any Sunni Ridawi who participates in the League for a religious purpose or simply due to being unaware [of its state]. I say this from a religious standpoint. I have evidence for this in mind. I do not intend to support the League by this but intend to protect my Sunni Ridawi brothers from ex-communication, being judged as deviants or sinful transgressors.”​

    People should look at the nuance that Imam Hamid Raza Khan demonstrates and his caution. He understands that a particular organisation has many defects and flaws yet this does not mean that all those who affiliate with it are necessarily evil. In fact, his response teaches us how to deal with such matters. Furthermore, look at how Imam Hamid says that he dislikes when Sunni individuals are called deviants. He ‘excuses’ Sunni individuals with ignorance and even says that there is no ruling upon anyone if they have a legal reason, albeit mistaken. There is no brash methodology at play here. It is a principled stance that accommodates complexity. Now compare this with how pseudo-Barelwis operate.

    “I have the approach of AlaHazrat, may Allah be pleased with him at the forefront of my mind. Both Manzar-e Islam, which propagates the religion, and Jama’at Raza-e Mustafa. which specifically propagates the beliefs of Ahl al-Sunnah - by the grace of Allah - are in line with the methodology and pristine example of AlaHazrat, may Allah be pleased with him.”​

    Imam Hamid Raza Khan says that this is the very ‘Maslak’ of AlaHazrat himself. Compare with how it has been portrayed in recent times by ideologues; especially in this recent debacle. More broadly, ‘Maslak-e AlaHazrat’ at times is zealously misrepresented as something that is primarily concerned with comparatively minor matters in the branches of Fiqh such as ‘movies’ (videography), prayer behind ‘microphones’ and accepting testimony over the phone for ‘moonsighting’ [M3 in short]. Imam Ahmad Raza Khan did not even speak directly on these matters. Whereas the more productive features that truly highlight the brilliance and way of which Imam Ahmad Raza Khan are ignored such as authoring books, issuing researched-based verdicts, being proficient in multiple disciplines, serving the religion, writing commentarial notes on major works for scholars and students alike, refutation that is grounded in knowledge, respecting scholars, abstaining from slander, having love for other Sunnis, etc. All these are replaced by superficial sloganeering and affairs.

    Imam Hamid Raza Khan explains:

    “AlaHazrat sent me to Mawlawi Abd al-Bari’s conference upon his invitation. The invitation card included Mawlawi Abd al-Bari’s name, the names of other scholars of the Farangi-Mahalli, and the names of some Mujtahidin from the Rawafid. This was when [Edwin] Montagu came to India and was proposing the ‘Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms’ for self-governing institutions which had caused an uproar. Mawlana Abd al-Bari had written that if our voices were to hold no weight during this time then the Deobandis would have presented themselves as the sole representatives of Muslims and would not have hesitated to harm Ahl al-Sunnah.”​

    Imam Ahmad Raza Khan sent his own students to a conference with deviants. Will these individuals issue a verdict against AlaHazrat himself? If not, why not? Is Imam Ahmad Raza Khan not encouraging ‘mingling’ with deviants? Why did he not tell his students to go and refute deviants ‘there-and-then’? Is this not ‘Sulh-Kullism’? What about all the students of Imam Ahmad Raza Khan who went ahead with the invite and attended the conference? Surely, are they not promoting 'Sulh-Kullism'?

    People who were quick to declare Shaykh Asrar Rashid or anyone else for that matter as a ‘Sulh-Kulli’ simply for speaking about Palestine on a HT platform should take heed of the above. Imam Ahmad Raza Khan himself sent Imam Hamid Raza Khan and other scholars to this conference due to Maslahah. Everyone knew that there would be deviants present. Note that it is yet to be even established properly that ‘Fultolis’ and so on are deviants. Here, Imam Hamid Raza and other successors of Imam Ahmad Raza are attending a conference featuring Mujtahidin from the Rawafid and Wahhabiyyah! If blanket rulings and sweeping overgeneralizations are applied then this objection ought to be raised against Imam Ahmad Raza Khan himself, as is questioned by Imam Hamid Raza (see later). Also notice the visionary purpose for which these scholars attended. It was for the greater benefit of Ahl al-Sunnah that could have only been appreciated in hindsight.

    This is not to say that scholars have free reign to mix with deviants and attend all their gatherings unrestrictedly. However, if a scholar does deem it to be in the interest of Muslims and Sunni Islam then they may excericse their judgement to attend certain gatherings in which deviants may also be present with this wisdom in mind. This will not render them instantly ‘off-the-Maslak’ or make them a ‘Sulh-Kulli’ heretic until they hold said misguided beliefs.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2022
  14. TheRidawiWay

    TheRidawiWay New Member

    It is interesting that Imam Hamid Raza remarked:

    “I know very well that this letter is not yours.”​

    Kab saliqah hai falak ko ye sitamgari main
    Aur hi koi hai is parda-e zangari main

    Since when did the heavens become so oppressive?
    Someone else lies behind this rusty veil.​

    “Khayr, whoever wrote it, then be sure to relay to them just this one Hadith: ‘Cursed is the one who harms a believer or deceives him.’”​

    It seems as if Imam Hamid Raza was aware that there are more sinister actors often at play behind the scenes. Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. There exists people with ‘influence’ who whisper into ears, spread messages, make allusions on social media, create doubts and a culture of suspicion against anyone who is deemed a threat to their monopoly over being the sole guardian(s) of Ahl al-Sunnah wa l-Jama’ah and Imam Ahmad Raza Khan. See my previous posts with quotations from Imam al-Ghazali and Imam Ahmad Raza Khan from Fatawa Rizwiyyah on envious nobodies.

    “My beloved! Have you heard the report of the Master of both worlds (peace be upon him) that whosoever aggrieved a Muslim has aggrieved me. And whosoever aggrieves me has angered Allah!?​

    Look at the multiple statements of our Messenger, peace be upon him. Do these individuals not recall their claims of being ‘lovers of the Prophet’ when they cause fitnah in his Ummah - to his people, and to his inheritors? We must reassess people’s claims in light of their realities.

    “All this is done in order to cause divisions within the Ahl al-Sunnah and this will surely hurt the illumined heart of AlaHazrat in his blessed grave. He certainly was a true beloved of Allah, a lover of the Messenger of Allah and a true heir to Ghawth al-Wara [Shaykh Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani]. Praise be to Allah, he has made me his true successor.”
    I will let this speak for itself. Is this what 'Ishq' and 'Mohabbat' for Imam Ahmad Raza means?
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2022
  15. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

    oh, come on brother.

    you are stretching this too far. we understand the point you are driving at, but this is an exaggeration. this fallacious hagiographic post was not needed.

    while i do not say that shaykh asrar is a sulh-kulli, he should also be prudent about who he appears with. we are not living in the time of hujjat al-islam, but in a world where social media has an enormous influence on the common public.

    if shaykh asrar is seen frequently with deviants, the immediate association the common public will make is that such a deviant is an 'approved' aalim. that is a big danger. let alone others, i would consider a person sunni if he appears alongside shaykh asrar, because we consider sh. asrar a sunni. we do not know of every individual in the UK; and we would make assumptions about people only by their association with well-known sunni ulama.

    the adage, 'a man is known by the company he keeps', is still valid.

    so it is necessary for shaykh asrar to stay away from dodgy types; at least to safeguard his own reputation.

    and if sh. asrar does not care for this aspect, and continues to be seen with deviants and appear alongside shady types, we will not be confident about considering those who appear with sh.asrar as sunni. unless we verify from other sources, we will suspend our opinion about a person as a sunni, even if has a photo-op with sh.asrar or that he appeared on a stage with sh.asrar. given this history, he could well be a deobandi, wahabi, albani-lover or minhaji.

    contrast this to the reputation some people build over years and fiercely guard it - the very association with such people is an identifier of a person being a sunni or not.

    eventually, the weight attached to sh. asrar's speeches and actions will diminish. "he is a sunni himself, but has no discretion in appearing alongside deviants", will be the common opinion about him. if he is happy with such a categorisation, who are we to disabuse him from such a choice?

    if i had time, i could quote a dozen hadith and usuli principles - but you seem to be smart enough and well-read to fish them out.

    even though it is not relevant in this issue, it is interesting to note that it is the same league and the same jinnah whose paeans are sung by sunni muslims from pakistan.

    if you want us to blindly follow shaykh asrar and accept everything he does or says as THE TRUTH, it won't happen.

    if not, then he will be judged as you and i - by what we do, what we say.

    one cannot have the freedom to do anything they like, yet get upset that people criticise us or 'call names'.

    i don't know about others, but your latest post looks like the appeal of a cult member.

    to summarise:

    1. a sunni scholar will be deemed as such, and unless he advocates, promotes an aqidah contrary to sunni belief.

    2. errors in fiqh etc. are not grounds to consider a person out of sunni fold.

    3. if a sunni scholar appears in events organised by non-sunnis or deviants or general public where all kinds of scholars are invited, it should be seen whether the appearance of a such a scholar was to REPRESENT the sunni viewpoint.

    or whether the organisers hadd called the scholar to achieve legitimacy for their event. if it is the latter case, the scholar's presence is a personal interest and not that of the sunni public.

    4. if a sunni scholar appeared with deviants and was not aware - he can clarify it when highlighted. and he should avoid meeting them in the future.

    one cannot run with the hare and hunt with the hound.

    if one deplores those who criticise his meeting with deviants, but is still seen as being cordial towards them (i.e. after having been informed), it would look like the scholar is just protecting his reputation. he is not really serious about his hanging out with deviants, but he does not want to be criticised for that either.

    5. a sunni scholar ought to make his stand clear vis-a-vis deviants and deviant positions. equivocation is the younger sibling of hypocrisy.

    6. if a sunni scholar is 'caught' in an event unawares. for example, if i were invited to an event (ok,ok. no need to snigger - of course, no one would invite me, but just a hypothetical situation) and i saw taqi usmani or hamza yusuf walk on hte stage. i would simply leave. but if a scholar is confused on what to do because he doesn't want to cause a scene and he doesn't like it being there, he can clarify it later. but this cannot be often. in fact, if one is known to be outspoken critic of wahabis and deos - they would not be invited. no one wishes to jeopardise their event.

    Allah ta'ala knows best.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2022
  16. TheRidawiWay

    TheRidawiWay New Member

    Imam Hamid Raza Khan responds to the questions and says:

    “You are aware that this weak and fragile servant had been enduring severe illnesses for a long time until I was just recently granted good health by Allah. Due to weakness of mind and spirit, I am unable to undertake strenuous cognitive work.”​

    The poor health of Imam Hamid Raza Khan is reminiscent of the illness suffered by Shaykh Asrar Rashid when the public video campaign had begun. Despite not being fully fit and of good health, Shaykh Asrar Rashid still travelled to see Mawlana Shahid Ali to quell any dispute in the presence of neutral arbiters ie. Mufti Aslam Bandyalwi and Mawlana Naveed Jameel. The meeting was closed with all parties ostensibly on good terms. Similarly, Imam Hamid Raza Khan proceeds to write to resolve the issue raised to him despite his weak state of being.

    “Regarding the slander and allegations that are being levied upon me, then it suffices to say that ‘Matters are consigned to Allah’ (wa-ila Allah al-Mushtaka). The warning in the Qur’an is sufficient for the slanderers: “Falsehood is fabricated only by those who do not believe in Allah’s verses; and they are liars” [Surah al-Nahl, verse 105]​

    Subhan-Allah. Note the resignation that Imam Hamid Raza Khan has to Allah. When one’s own Sunni ‘scholars’ sustain and even encourage an ignorant mob-like environment, what then can one really do? We could excuse ignorant people. But high and mighty preachers?

    “These slanders will surely have aggrieved the hearts and souls of my dear ones. It is mentioned in the Holy Qur’an: “And those who hurt believing men and women for acts they did not do will bear the guilt of slander and flagrant sin” [Surah al-Ahzaab, verse 58]​

    Look at the pain caused to Imam Hamid Raza Khan and his dear and beloved ones. I wonder what kind of ‘Barelwi’ or ‘Ridawi’ would continue these antics that so hurt Imam Hamid Raza Khan. Would you not be aggrieved if someone unjustly brandished you as a heretic and Non-Sunni? Will Imam Ahmad Raza Khan be pleased with those individuals who engage in these low-blow tactics just because they proclaim his ‘love’, ‘Maslak’ and absolute unflinching loyalty to him? Deeds are weighed, not mere words.

    “These matters that you have written to me about have caused me much pain and sorrow to my soul. It is reported in a Hadith that: ‘Whosoever aggrieved a Muslim has pained me.’”​

    Feel the raw emotion of Hujjat al-Islam, Imam Hamid Raza Khan. True love involves feeling the pain of the beloved. Look at the verses and Hadith he cites to show how much this meant to him. Here is a scholar, the son of Imam Ahmad Raza Khan and his successor, being accused of deviance or misguidance without second thought. Scholars who dedicate their entire lives to serving the religion and Ahl al-Sunnah are casually declared as Non-Sunnis with no proper trial and fair hearing. Like in ‘The Boy Who Cried Wolf’, mindlessly casting labels such as ‘Sulh-Kulli’, ‘misguided’, ‘dodgy’ etc. ironically works to undermine Ahl al-Sunnah wa l-Jama’ah. Real deviancy is then dismissed by onlookers as a case of “Here they go again.” It breeds disdain for scholarly authority. Imam Ahmad Raza Khan says in Fatawa Rizwiyyah: “Causing harm to the Shari’ah by lying and establishing untrue claims is extreme foolishness.” Perhaps people should take heed.
  17. TheRidawiWay

    TheRidawiWay New Member

    In my previous posts, I had shown how there were individuals who would character-assassinate Sunni personalities, scholars, and organisations who would serve Ahl al-Sunnah wa l-Jama’ah by falsely labelling them as ‘Nadwis’ [ie. ‘Sulh-Kullis’] during the time of Sadr al-Shari’ah, Mufti Amjad Ali al-Azmi, and Muhaddith-e A’zam-e Hind, Mufti Sayyid Muhammad al-Ashrafi al-Kichawchawi. These individuals would use loaded terms to turn Sunni masses away from Sunni scholars and organisations by giving the unjust impression that they were deviants. Such attitudes, behaviours, and smear campaigns continue today.

    I had mentioned in my previous posts that I would speak regarding a similar incident that occurred with the eldest son of Imam Ahmad Raza Khan, namely Hujjat al-Islam, Imam Hamid Raza. I shall proceed to speak about this incident here which can be found in Fatawa Hamidiyyah.

    As a short summary, Imam Ahmad Raza Khan sent his eldest son Imam Hamid Raza Khan to a conference upon invitation. The invitation card mentioned that deviant scholars were also going to be in attendance. Imam Hamid Raza Khan was accompanied by other students and successors of Imam Ahmad Raza Khan such as Mufti Amjad Ali al-Azmi, Mawlana Rahm Ilahi al-Manglori, and Mawlana Zuhur Hussain Rampuri. Imam Hamid Raza Khan says that he attended the conference because he saw a pressing need to represent Ahl al-Sunnah wa l-Jama’ah on a platform that spoke on behalf of Muslims. As a consequence of his attendance, rumours and unsubstantiated allegations were circulated that Imam Hamid Raza Khan was, in other words, a ‘Sulh-Kulli’.

    Thus, a concerned disciple of Imam Hamid Raza Khan sent a letter to him in Ramadan, 1358 AH corresponding to October, 1939. The disciple wrote about the political situation of the time and in particular about the Muslim League; how the League poses a serious threat to Sunni Muslims because it called for the elimination of distinction between correct and incorrect theologies for political objectives. He states that the Muslim League comprises individuals who are deviants and some who are blasphemers. The disciple emphasised the need to be wary of the deviancy of both the Muslim League and Congress and said that it is an obligation for Sunni scholars that they clearly refute them so that Muslims can be protected from harm.

    The disciple of Imam Hamid Raza Khan then mentioned something very grave. Pay attention.

    “I say with utmost respect and whilst asking for forgiveness, that news has reached here that you, God-Forbid, stay silent in refuting the deviants of the Muslim League. Rather, that you are even displeased with those who refute the Muslim League. To the extent that it is being said here that you give legal concession to Muslims - and refuge is sought with Allah - to participate in the Muslim League under the pretext of necessity! Us attendants to the Ridawi Court and especially this humble Ridawi servant have good reason, and considering the auspicious seat which you occupy, complete certainty that this hearsay is a lie.”​

    Subhan-Allah. Look at how even Imam Hamid Raza was not left unscathed by allegations of this type. There were Sunni individuals who even accused the son of Imam Ahmad Raza Khan of being ‘silent’ instead of refuting deviants. Call them ‘incompetent extremists’ or ‘pseudo-Barelwis’. Whatever floats your boat. Why would it be surprising then that they would also publicly-lynch Shaykh Asrar Rashid or anyone else for that matter when it is convenient for them to do so? I say convenience because it is selective after all as has been demonstrated. Who is Shaykh Asrar Rashid in comparison to Imam Hamid Raza; and who are we in comparison too?

    Of course, as we saw according to the ‘Maslaki’ school of law, silence is acceptance (because of their (mis-)application (of an exception) of a juristic maxim: “Silence in the circumstance of speech is speech” (al-sukut fi ma’rid al-bayani bayan)). See my previous posts. If those in question were Mawlana Shahid Ali and his incompetent allies, this would mean that Imam Hamid Raza Khan approves of the deviancy of the Muslim League because of his alleged silence in refutation of them. The implication of this would mean that Imam Hamid Raza Khan is complicit in the heresies that were present. Accordingly, Imam Hamid Raza Khan would be a deviant, if not an apostate at the very worst due to his silent approval of them.

    Moreover, the allegers went further and claimed that Imam Hamid Raza Khan does not only remain silent but he expresses displeasure in the refutation of deviants. This would be the very definition of a ‘Sulh-Kulli’ according to the Fatwa of Mawlana Hashmat Ali Khan. Mawlana Hashmat Ali Khan says, “‘Sulh-Kulli’ is not an independent group as such but is used to refer to anyone who expresses his open displeasure in the refutation of deviants.” See Fatawa Hashmatiyyah. The allegers have not provided any evidence for their claims here. This is often what occurs. Yet they are also simultaneously unwilling to affirm openly the logical conclusions of their statements and beliefs. See my previous posts where I had spoken about their limbo-state antics and the lack of proper verification.

    “This is why I ask you to quickly acquit your eminent personality from this allegation [...] so that us servants can be reassured and that the mouths of those who are spreading these evil speculations can be shut silent.”​

    It is commendable the way the disciple of Imam Hamid Raza and a sincere well-wisher of the Ahl al-Sunnah sought to seek clarification first before jumping on a bandwagon. He personally directed a letter to the accused seeking full clarity regarding murmurs about him. This is even more important considering who the accused was - a scholar of Islam. It does not matter whether Imam Hamid Raza Khan was the personal spiritual guide of the person or whether he had any relation to him whatsoever. Justice does not discriminate between ‘in-group’ and ‘out-group’. Imam Ahmad Raza Khan himself writes in Fatawa Rizwiyyah: “There is nothing more despicable than to make a claim without its requisite proof.” Compare this with the recent fiasco where full allegations were found to be completely baseless when sources were phoned.

    No answers have been provided as of date.

    Also notice the state of good opinion the person holds regarding his fellow Sunni Muslim. There is no default suspicion or cynical aspersions cast via pre-formed assumptions as we often observe otherwise from pseudo-Barelwis and incompetent types.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2022

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