Monday, February 25, 2008

Human Relations

My understandings from Muhammad Abu Zahra's 'Alaqat al-Dauliya' and Dr. Hashim Kamali's 'Freedom of Expression'.

One of most important principals in our deen, which the so-called modernist movements have blinded us from seeing – there is somewhat of a hardness presented by these Wahabi/Salafi movements, which they present as 'Islam'.

Never, in the past one thousand years has any generation ever referred to themselves as Salafi. The Salaf were the Sahaba and the Tabi'in and those who followed. No one dared to call themselves Salafies because of respect, awe, reverence toward them (the true Salaf as-Salih) and because Muslims always believed that they could strive to be like them, but never would they call themselves them (Salafies), out of sheer respect and honor to them. The modern so called Salafies try to present Islam in their own image, compared to what was understood 300 years back until the time of the Sahaba.

The past 200 years, the wahabi/salafi movement has propagated and Islam, which, if one studies history, will seem like something totally different. One hears things today, which was unheard of in the past.

Groups saying, 'why must we follow a madhab when we have the Quran and Sunnah?' We find books being published on why it is not necessary to follow a madhab. They say we can use the hadith and Quran, it is not necessary to go via the Imams of the Madhahib..

Who preserved the hadith? If one says he is going directly to the hadith, example hadith of Imam Bukhari, because he does not need to follow Imam Shafi'I, then he should look carefully at the life of Imam Bukhari, because Bukhari was a proud follower of Imam Shafi'i.

You reject your history, and you become so confused and blind. The danger is that you get so many people following your Jahl and madness 'in the name of Islam'. And there own views and understandings are spread.

Hawa is followed (personal desires and whims) and to this the Quran says, 'Al-fitnatu Ashadu min al-Qatl' meaning, spreading Fitna (causing and spreading mischief, spreading of unauthentic knowledge or the likes, which leads to the misleading of thousands of people is more dangerous than killing one person).

It is important that we study our history, this rich history, learn from it, so that we can see where and how we understand Islam compared to what was understood before.

Groups have emerged today, propagating the strangest of things, they have tried to convince people that dua after the salah in groups are bida (vile innovation) , dhikr in group's bida, believe it or not, somehow they convinced people that birthdays are bida or haraam, unbelievable.

Moulud has become hated; every night of spirituality like Mi'raj, Nisf Sha'ban, Ashura and these nights are being ignored as ordinary unimportant events.

What amazes the one who has delved into and appreciated or embraced his history, is that the greatest of 'Ulama has unanimously accepted and help up these events as part of Islam and as nights of immense spirituality

Below is a quotation of Imam Suyuti and Ibn Kathir, scholars, gauntlets of knowledge and figures who were authorities in the understanding and spreading of sacred knowledge.



Translated from Suyuti's 'Al-Hawi lil-Fatawi' 2 vols.

(Beirut: Dar al-Kitab al-`Arabi, n.d.) 1:251-252.

"Praise be to God and peace be upon those of His servants He has elected. The question has been asked about the celebration of Mawlid al-Nabawi in the month of Rabi` al-awwal: what is the ruling concerning it according to shari`a, and is it praiseworthy or blameworthy, and does the one who practices it obtain reward for it or no?

"I answer that the origin of the celebration of Mawlid, which consists in the gathering of people, the recitation of Qur'an, the narrating of accounts related to the beginnings of the Prophet (s) and the miracles that have been told as taking place upon his birth, and then in the giving of food to the people who eat and leave without adding anything to this, -- *this is one of the praiseworthy innovations* [huwa min al-bida` al-hasana] for the doing of which one obtains reward, because of the respect shown to the greatness of the Prophet (s) and the demonstration of joy and happiness at the news of his noble birth.

"The first to have innovated that practice is the ruler of Irbil, King al-Muzaffar Abu Sa`eed... one of the noblest and most generous kings (to have ruled). He left man good bequests. He is the one who built the Muzaffari mosque on the side of Jabal Qasyun [in Syria; it is said that Judgment Day will take place on that mountain].

"Ibn Kathir said in his 'Tarikh' [History]:

'He [Muzaffar] used to celebrate the noble Mawlid in Rabi` al-Awwal and organize huge festivities for it. He was a wise king, brave, a fierce fighter, intelligent, learned, and just. May he have mercy on him and ennoble his grave. Shaykh Abu al-Khattab ibn Dihya compiled for him a book on the Mawlid of the Prophet (s) an named it 'al-Tanwir fi Mawlid al-Bashir al-Nadhir' [The Illumination Concerning the Birthday of the Bringer of Glad Tidings and Warner] and the king rewarded him with 1,000 dinars for it. His rule lasted until he died in the year 630 [Hijri] as he was besieging the French in the city of Acca [Acre, Palestine] after a glorious and blameless life.'"

Ibn Kathir says in this book, on page 19:

"The Night of the Prophet's (s) birth is a magnificent, noble, blessed and holy night, a night of bliss for the Believers, pure, radiant with lights and of immeasurable price."

His entire fatwa is that it is good to celebrate it. He calls it "a praiseworthy innovation" according to Imam Shafi`i's classification of innovations between "good" and "bad."

Before we declare things halal or haram, we need to find one familiar and qualified or experienced in the shari'a. one who has made himself tight or fasted with the 'Ulama of the past and consult them. If this is not done, then there is a guarantee that what will be followed will be less authentic or weaker than what the expert has to offer.

It seems like the more one can make haram, the more he is respected. What makes it clear that these people have not delved deep enough into the legacy of Islam, is that they give or state all these things, but the opposite are found in the older writings of those who were giants in 'ilm. Clearly, they have rejected the giants of 'ilm and preferred their own ways. I end of section one with a quote from Sahykh Seraj, 'They wish for us to reject 1000 years of history and spiritual knowledge and follow their Jahl. I would rather reject their Jahl and embrace a 1000 years of scholarship.'

End part one of ten

Muhammad Allie Khalfe

25th February 2008

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