On the 1st of January 2017, the following Fatwa was officially published by Mufti Ebrahim Desai of Darul Ifta Mahmudiyya through their website AskImam.org. Link:
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
At the outset, we wish to note the following observations.
We have been inundated with queries regarding the issue in reference. Alhamdulillah, our revered Muftis of Deoband, Saharanpur, Dabhel, Nadwatul Ulema, and others have adequately fulfilled their responsibilities through their Fatwa.
We have also been inundated with queries from our local public on the consequences of the above-referred Fatwa and we are now obliged to respond.
I myself am a product of the effort of Tabligh and have been regularly supporting and commenting on the various aspects of Tabligh through my Fatwa. Accordingly, any deviation in this noble work is a cause of great pain.
We have been informed of disagreements and inappropriate behavior on this issue. Information related to the public domain cannot remain a secret. It eventually leaks out with disastrous consequences if not appropriately attended to.
It is more disturbing to note that some ‘Elders’ are making undertone remarks against the Fatwa of our great senior Muftis in the issue of Maulana Saad.
The great Hanafi jurist, Imam Qadhi Khan (d.592 AH), writes:
رَجُلَانِ بَيْنَهُمَا خُصُوْمَةٌ فَجَاءَ أَحَدُهُمَا بِخُطُوْطِ الْفُقَهَاءِ وَالْفَتْوَى فَقَالَ الْخَصْمُ لَيْسَ كَمَا أَفْتَوْا أَوْ قَالَ لَا تُعْمَلُ بِهَذَا وَهُمَا مِنْ عَرْضِ النَّاسِ كَانَ عَلَيْهِ التَّعْزِيْرُ
(فتاوى قاضي خان ص۵۱٦ ج٣ قديمي كتب خانة)
“If two people have a dispute, and one of them presents the letters and Fatwa of the Fuqaha to which the other says “the Fatwa is not how they have issued” or “do not act upon their Fatwa”, and these two individuals are respected people, then such an individual shall be given Ta’zir (corporal punishment)”
(Fatwa Qadhi Khan, page 516, volume 3, Qadimi Kutub Khana Edition)
Similarly, it is mentioned in Al Fatwa Al Hindiyyah:
رَجُلٌ عَرَضَ عَلَيْهِ خَصْمُهُ فَتْوَى الْأَئِمَّة ِفَرَدَّهَا وَقَالَ چہ بارنامہ فتوی آوردہ قِيْلَ يَكْفُرُ لِأَنَّهُ رَدَّ حُكْمَ الشَّرْعِ وَكَذَا لَوْ لَمْ يَقُلْ شَيْئًا لَكِنْ أَلْقَى الْفَتْوَى عَلَى الْأَرْضِ وَقَالَ این چہ شرع است كَفَرَ
(الفتاوى الهندية ص٣۷۲ ج۲ مكتبة رشيدية)
“A person is presented with the Fatwa of the scholars by his opposition and says “what kind of a Fatwa is this?”, it is said that he has committed disbelief as he has refuted a command of Shariah. In the same manner, if one does not say anything, but rather, throws the Fatwa on the ground and says “what kind of Shariah is this?” He has committed disbelief”
(Al Fatāwa Al Hindiyyah, page 372, volume 2, Maktabah Rashῑdiyyah Edition)
Any work of Deen can only progress with harmony. Enmity and hatred amongst responsible people lead to the deprivation of blessings (barakah) in the Work. That will lead to the masses being uncomfortable and finally distancing themselves from the work. This would be attributed to the irresponsible emotional attitude of some elders in addressing the issue at hand. Allah Ta’āla created our heads above our hearts. Rationality should prevail over emotions.
Indeed, the purpose of the effort of Tabligh is to jolt people out of their spiritual slumber and create a revolution of Deen in their hearts. The Fuqaha have mentioned that Deen cannot be taught to people without the correct knowledge and understanding of Deen.
It is written in Al Fatawa Al Hindiyyah:
الْأَمْرُ بِالْمَعْرُوْفِ يَحْتَاجُ إِلَى خَمْسَةِ أَشْيَاءَ أَوَّلُهَا الْعِلْمُ لِأَنَّ الْجَاهِلَ لَا يَحْسُنُ الْأَمْرُ بِالْمَعْرُوْفِ
(الفتاوى الهندية ج5 ص353 مكتبة رشيدية)
“There are five pre-requisites for commanding good and prohibiting evil, the first of them is [correct] knowledge [of Deen] for an ignorant person cannot properly command good and prohibit evil”
(Al Fatawa Al Hindiyyah, page 353, volume 5, Maktabah Rashῑdiyyah Edition)
The rulings of the Fuqaha clearly indicate that when a person is ignorant or has become ignorant of the knowledge of Deen, and he makes unIslamic comments and irresponsible statements, then he is no longer able to fulfill the purpose of Tabligh.
The sentiments of the Fuqaha also indicate that those individuals who are entrusted with the responsibility of guiding the people must prohibit the people from reading or listening to any material which may affect their guidance.
‘Allamah Zahiruddin Al Bukhari (d.619 AH) quotes the great Hanafi Faqih and Theologian, Abul Yusr Aḥmad ibn Muḥammad Al Bazdawi Al Hanafi (d.542 AH) by saying:
قَالَ الشَّيْخُ الْإِمَامُ صَدْرُ الْإِسْلَامِ أَبُو الْيُسْرِ: نَظَرْتُ فِي الْكُتُبِ الَّذِيْ صَنَعَهَا الْمُتَقَدِّمُوْنَ فِيْ عِلْمِ التَّوْحِيْدِ فَوَجَدْتُ بَعْضَهَا لِلْفَلَاسِفَةِ مِثْلَ إِسْحَاقَ الْكِنْدِيْ وَالْإِسْفِزِارِيْ وَأَمْثَالِهِمَا وَذَلِكَ كُلُّهُ خَارِجٌ عَنِ الدَّيْنِ الْمُسْتَقِيْمِ زَائِغٌ عَنِ الطَّرِيْقِ الْقَوِيْمِ لَا يَجُوْزُ النَّظْرُ فِيْ تِلْكَ الْكُتُبِ وَلَا يَجُوْزُ إِمْسَاكُهَا فَإِنَّهَا مَشْحُوْنَةٌ مِّنَ الشِّرْكِ وَالضَّلَالِ” قَالَ “وَوَجَدْتُ أَيْضًا تَصَانِيْفَ كَثِيْرَةً فِيْ هَذَا الْفَنِّ لِلْمُعْتَزِلَةِ مِثْلِ عَبْدِ الْجَبَّار الرَّازِيْ وَالْجُبَائِيْ وَالْكَعْبِيْ وَالنِّظَامِ وَغَيْرِهِمْ وَلَا يَجُوْزُ إِمْسَاكُ تِلْكَ الْكُتُبِ وَالنَّظْرُ كَيْلَا تَحْدُثُ الشُكُوْكُ وَلَا يَتَمَكَّنُ الْوَهْمُ مِنَ الْعَقَائِدِ”
(المسائل البدرية المنتخبة من الفتاوى الظهيرية للعيني ت٨۵۵ ص٤۷۲ ج۲ دار العاصمة)
“Shaykh Ṣadrul Islam Abul Yusr said: “I have looked into the books that the previous generation have written in the field of theology, and I found some of them to have been written by philosophers such as Ishaq Al Kindi and Al Isfizari, all of these books are away from the steadfast religion and deviant from the correct path. It is not permissible to look into these books or to keep them, for they are filled with polytheism and deviance.” He then said “I also found many other books in this field written by the Mu’tazilites such as Abdul Jabbar Al Razi, Al Juba’i, Al Ka’bi, Nizam, and others. It is not permissible to keep or look into these books for fear of them creating doubts [within the general masses] and creating an error in their beliefs (Aqaid)”
(Al Masail Al Badriyyah Al Muntakabah Minal Fatawa Al Zahiriyyah, page 472, volume 2, Darul Asimah)
After narrating this Fatwa, the great Hanafi Faqih, ‘Allamah ‘Umar ibn Muḥammad Al Sanami (d.800 AH) goes as far as to say:
قَالَ الْعَبْدُ وَلَمَّا اطَّلَعْتُ عَلَى هَذِهِ الرِّوَايَةِ بِأَنَّ كُتُبَ الْمُعْتَزِلَةِ الْمُشْتَمِلَةِ عَلَى اعْتِقَادِهِمْ وَبَيَانِ مَذْهَبِهِمِ الْخَبِيْثِ لَا يَجُوْزُ إِمْسَاكُهَا وَكَانَ عِنْدِيْ الْكَشَّافُ لِلزَّمَخْشَرِيِّ وَفِيْهِ مَذْهَبُ الْإِعْتِزَالِ فِيْ كُلِّ صَحْفَةٍ وَوَرِقَةٍ فَأَخْرَجْتُهُ مِنْ بَيْتِيْ وَمَا بِعْتُهُ بِثَمَنٍ مَخَافَةَ أَن يُّحْرَمَ ثَمَنُهُ كَحُرْمَةِ ثَمَنِ الْخَمَرِ وَالْمَيْتَةِ وَالْخِنْزِيْرِ
(نصاب الإحتساب للسنامي ت في القرن الثامن ص259-260 مكتبة الطالب الجامعي)
“This servant says when I came across this Fatwa [of Abul Yusr Aḥmad ibn Muḥammad Al Bazdawi Al Hanafi (d.542 AH)] that the books of the Mu’tazilites which contain their filthy beliefs are not permissible to keep, I [realized that I] had with me ‘Al Kashaf’ by Zamaqshari, in it, there were details of the Mu’tazilite belief on every page and every chapter, so I removed it from my house and I did not sell it for money for fear of the money becoming haram upon me, just as money received in the sale of alcohol, dead meat, and pork is also considered haram”
(Nisab Al Ihtisab, page 259-260, Maktabah Al Talib Al Jamii’)
In fact, the Fuqaha have mentioned that well-respected scholars should avoid visiting people who are causing corruption, even if this is done to command them to return to the straight path. This is in order to avoid a misconception amongst the general masses that well-respected scholars support the beliefs of such a person.
‘Allamah Tahir Al Bukhari (d. post 600 AH) writes:
وَفِي النَّوَازِلِ سُئِلَ نَصِيْرُ عَنْ رَجُلٍ يَخْتَلِفُ إِلَى رَجُلٍ مِّنْ أَهْلِ الْبَاطِلِ وَالشَّرِّ لِيَذُبَّ عَنْ نَفْسِهِ إِنْ كَانَ هَذَا الرَّجُلُ مَشْهُوْرًا مِّمَّن يُّقْتَدَى بِهِ فَإِنَّهُ يُكْرَهُ أَن يَخْتَلِفَ إِلَيْهِ
(خلاصة الفتاوى لطاهر البخاري ت بعد ٦۰۰ه ص٣٣۵ ج٤ مكتبة رشيدية)
“It is mentioned in Al Nawazil, Nasir [ibn Yaḥya; a great Hanafi Faqih from Balkh] was asked regarding a person that visits a person who is from amongst those who are evil and have corrupt beliefs so that he may restrain him from himself if this person [who is visiting] is well-known and is from amongst those [scholars] who are followed, then it is disliked for him to visit such a person”
(Khulasatul Fatawa, page 335, volume 4, Maktabah Rashidiyyah)
During the caliphate of Marwan ibn Al-Hakam, the Sahabah and Tabi’un would avoid sitting in his lectures when he began to voice unIslamic tones in his lectures.
We have taken note of the comments in the Fatwa of Darul Uloom Deoband against Maulana Saad. We have also heard many recordings of Maulana Saad through other media channels. It is our humble submission that the Fatwa of Darul Uloom Deoband has been generous in sparing Maulana Saad. There are many other serious statements made by him that cast doubt on his Aqaid. To state one: he states that Hidayah is not in the hands of Allah. This is clearly against the evidential texts and questions the very Iman of a person.
Allah Ta’ala says:
إِنَّكَ لَا تَهْدِيْ مَنْ أَحْبَبْتَ وَلَكِنَّ اللهَ يَهْدِيْ مَن يَّشَاءُ
(سورة القصص آية ۵٦)
“Surely you do not guide who you wish, rather, it is Allah Who guides whom He wishes” (Surah Qasas, Ayah 56)
Maulana Saad also states that Nizamuddin Markaz is second in place after the Haramain. This is indeed serious and clear extremism. The Hadith clearly states that Masjid Al Aqsa is third in place after the Haramain.
It is not permissible for a person guilty of such comments to be in the position of a person who is followed by the people (Muqtada). It is also not permissible to promote such a person or lead the masses to such a person.
Imagine the consequences of subjecting our simple-minded sincere masses to such corrupt expositions.
It is also an indictment of the reverence of so many senior Muftis of India to regard the differences at Nizamuddin as a Gujrati and UP issue. A Fatwa is issued based on clear facts, which are clearly present in this case.
Consider the following clear verdict of Imam Abu Hanifah in such a situation.
‘Allamah Ibn Nujaym has recorded the bequest of the great Imam Abu Hanifah to his illustrious student, Imam Abu Yusuf. In his bequest to his student Imam Abu Yusuf, the great Imam Abu Hanifah said:
وَإِذَا عَرَفْتَ إِنْسَانًا بِالشَّرِّ فَلَا تَذْكُرْهُ بِهِ بَلِ اطْلُبْ مِنْهُ خَيْرًا فَاذْكُرْهُ بِهِ إِلَّا فِيْ بَابِ الدِّيْنِ فَإِنَّكَ إِنْ عَرَفْتَ فِيْ دِيْنِهِ كَذَلِكَ فَاذْكُرْهُ لِلنَّاسِ كَيْلَا يَتَّبِعُوْهُ وَيَحْذُرُوْهُ
(الأشباه والنظائر لإبن نجيم ت970ه ص712 ج2 إدارة القرآن)
“When you recognize that a person is a wrongdoer, then do not mention it [to the people], rather, ask for good of him and mention his goodness, except in matters of Deen. For if you recognize that a person is a wrongdoer in his Deen (i.e. he has corrupt beliefs), then mention him to the people so that they do not follow him and are aware of him”
(Al Ashbah Wal Nazair, page 712, volume 2, Idaratul Quran Edition)
In light of the above quotations, it is not permissible to direct people to Nizamuddin. This will lead them to be misguided and defeat the very noble objective of Da’wah and Tabligh, being to jolt people out of their spiritual slumber to the obedience of Allah Ta’ala.
We should also safeguard ourselves from the ghastly consequences of Nizamuddin and Raiwind differences in our local Masajid.
We should also bear in mind that many deviated groups thrive and capitalize on such differences, thereby advancing their course.
The close and watchful eye of the various media channels should also never be ignored or underestimated. We have observed the role of the media in Maulana Saad’s issue. Fighting against the backlash of the media is a mammoth task akin to a losing battle.
Our revered Muftis of India have exercised caution and resistance before issuing the Fatwa against Maulana Saad in the interest of safeguarding the masses from being misguided by his wrong beliefs.
It should not happen that our local Muftis as well as local Muftis around the world are also constrained one day to issue a Fatwa against their local people by their names who are misleading their masses to the present misguidance of Maulana Saad and the present situation at Nizamuddin.
And Allah Ta’ala Knows Best
Mufti Ebrahim Desai
We have been reliably informed of similar Fatawa by many Muftis of South Africa.