This is our English translation of a document prepared by a team of ulema concerning Maulana Saad Bhopal Ijtema 2023 Bayan. The team was led by Mufti Khizr who is the principal of Jamia Farooqia Harivar, Karnataka, India.
Preamble: Maulana Saad claims that despite being informed directly by Allah SWT, the necessary conditions of the heart did not arise in Prophet Musa (AS) for him to start the necessary actions for change.
By: Mufti Khizr Mahmood Qasmi (Principal of Jamia Farooqia Harivar, Karnataka)
Translated by: Team at tablighi-jamaat.com
Maulana Saad Bhopal Ijtema: Background
In the Bhopal Ijtema (December 2023), it was found that Maulana Saad made many objectionable statements. It is regretful that he has once again disrespected Prophet Musa (AS). Before that, he had been accusing Prophet Musa (AS) of abandoning Dawa and blaming the seclusion of Prophet Musa (AS) as the reason for the misguidance of the Bani Israel. Now he has misrepresented the story of the return of Musa (AS) from Mount Thur when Allah SWT informed Prophet Musa (AS) about his people when they started to worship the calf. In summary, he has concluded that this news (from Allah SWT) did not create the necessary conditions of the heart in Prophet Musa (AS) to start the necessary actions for change. Nauzubillah! (May Allah SWT protect us).
First of all, let’s consider Maulana Saad‘s statement in his own words:
[While speaking about people becoming Murtad (leaving Islam) in Punjab…]
I swear by Allah SWT! The necessary condition of the heart (i.e. worry and concern) that is needed to spark the necessary actions for change, cannot arise without going to Punjab myself and seeing with my own eyes the situation (of Murtad/apostasy) there. How can it happen when even the condition of the heart in Prophet Musa (AS) did not change after being informed by Allah?
Pay attention to my words!
News had been spread about people becoming Murtad (leaving Islam in Punjab) through newspapers and other sources. (One day) while I was accompanied by a man while meeting another gentleman. He (the Sheikh) asked me to make Dua and expressed concern that people were leaving Islam in Punjab. (Upon hearing this remark,) I couldn’t remain silent. I responded, questioning that prayers alone are not enough. I emphasized that simply making Dua would not do anything. The person with me seemed a bit uncomfortable with my response. However, my inner conviction urged me to speak further….. So I continued….. The Sheikh then started crying. Tears started falling. As he was a scholar himself, I praised him and appealed to his status. I reminded him of a Hadith in Mishkat that the Holy Prophet (SAW) clearly stated: Being informed about something cannot be equal to seeing it with your own eyes. I encouraged him to read the Hadith, emphasizing the story of Prophet Musa (AS) who received news from Allah SWT (regarding his people becoming Murtad). Prophet Musa (AS) had a far different reaction when he saw the state of his people himself”
[End of Maulana Saad’s Speech]
Maulana Saad Bhopal Ijtema: General Analysis
The difference between hearing the news and seeing what has happened is a matter of natural feelings and emotions. Maulana Saad, due to his lack of knowledge, made a dangerous accusation against Prophet Musa (AS). He claims that Prophet Musa (AS) failed to develop the necessary conditions of the heart to take action for change when he received the revelation from Allah SWT (Nauzubillah).
To further his point, Maulana Saad even swore to Allah SWT that the change in the condition of the heart is necessary. With this statement, he has implied that Musa (AS) did not at all develop the necessary conditions of the heart. He has also implied that it is not a matter of natural emotions but something that can be controlled (which Prophet Musa (AS) failed to achieve).
So, did Prophet Musa (AS) have the necessary change of heart or not? The Quran mentions that he did! The Quran clearly says that after receiving the news from Allah SWT, Prophet Musa (AS) returned with anger and sorrow. The Quran further explains that upon reaching and witnessing the condition of his people, this condition resulted in his natural emotions of distress. Such emotions are “natural” and beyond his control.
Misinterpretation of the Verse of the Quran
“”وَلَمَّا رَجَعَ مُوسَى إِلَى قَوْمِهِ غَضْبَانَ أَسِفًا قَالَ بِئْسَمَا خَلَفْتُمُونِي مِنْ بَعْدِي أَعَجِلْتُمْ أَمْرَ رَبِّكُمْ وَأَلْقَى الْأَلْوَاحَ وَأَخَذَ بِرَأْسِ أَخِيهِ يَجُرُّهُ إِلَيْهِ قَالَ ابْنَ أُمَّ إِنَّ الْقَوْمَ اسْتَضْعَفُونِي وَكَادُوا يَقْتُلُونَنِي فَلَا تُشْمِتْ بِيَ الْأَعْدَاءَ وَلَا تَجْعَلْنِي مَعَ الْقَوْمِ الظَّالِمِينَ (150) قَالَ رَبِّ اغْفِرْ لِي وَلِأَخِي وَأَدْخِلْنَا فِي رَحْمَتِكَ وَأَنْتَ أَرْحَمُ الرَّاحِمِينَ” (سورۃ الاعراف)”
Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi has written the interpretation of this verse:
“This is the story of Musa (AS) warning his people. He returned in anger and sorrow from Mount Thur and was informed through Revelation what had happened. In Surah Taha: He said, “قال فانا قد فتنا۔۔۔۔.صہ”. This means that he first turned to his people and said, “What an evil thing you have committed in my absence. Do you seek to hasten the punishment from your Lord?” Musa (AS) left his people to receive the commandments of Allah and they should have waited for him (rather than acting foolishly). Musa (AS) then turned to Harun (AS). In his enthusiasm and zeal, he quickly put the Torah tablets aside with such a force that if a viewer did not pay attention, would assume that he had thrown it. He then grabbed his brother Haroon (AS) by his beard and pulled Haroon towards him with his hands for failure to admonish his people. It is to be noted here that the inability of Haroon (AS) to prevent his people from worshipping the calf was beyond his control and his failure was unintentional. Musa (AS)’s aggressive actions and anger too were unintentional. His underlying true intentions were for Deen. Haroon (AS) says: “Oh My Brother, I tried my best to prevent them but they considered me unimportant. They even thought of killing me due to my admonition. Do not humiliate me and make them rejoice nor count me among the wrongdoers”. Musa (AS) then prayed to Almighty Allah even though his mistake was unintentional and said: “O my Lord! Please forgive me for my mistakes. Please forgive my brother too, for our shortcomings concerning these Musrikeens”.
[End of Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi’s Explanation – Source: Bayan Al-Qur’an]
After being informed by Allah, Prophet Musa (AS) was already in the required state and condition of the heart. On reaching his people, a natural overwhelming emotion for Deen developed. This is why he threw away the Torah tablets and treated his brother Haroon (AS) in such a way. This whole incident was born out of unintentional natural emotions.
Look at the big difference with Maulana Saad’s interpretation! The scholars have categorized the incident, i.e. the worshipping of the calf, as an unintentional and natural emotion. Maulana Saad, on the other hand, characterised Prophet Musa(AS)’s condition as something that was within his control. He then accused Prophet Musa (AS) of inadequately reacting to the news from Allah SWT.
This claim of Maulana Saad raises many questions. How can such an honourable Prophet who is receiving direct speech from Allah, not have the necessary conditions of the heart upon receiving the news? Furthermore, Maulana Saad considered the conditions that developed later as the correct and necessary ones. He also says that without these essential conditions of the heart, no action for change will be taken. This interpretation appears to go against the Qur’anic text.
Misinterpretation of the Hadith
The tradition in Mishkat that Maulana Saad has mentioned is this:
عن ابن عباس قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: ” ليس الخبر كالمعاينة إن الله تعالى أخبر موسى بما
صنع قومه في العجل فلم يلق الألواح فلما عاين ما صنعوا ألقى الألواح فانكسرت
Ibn Abbas RA narrated that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: “Being informed is not the same as witnessing it with your own eyes. When Allah SWT told Musa (AS) about his people that they were worshipping a calf, he did not throw the tablets of Torah (upon hearing such news). However, when he saw it with his own eyes, he threw the tablets of Torah and the tablets broke”
Here the Holy Prophet (SAW) has described the incident of Prophet Musa (AS) as an example of the difference between the effect of news (being informed) and actual observation. Maulana Saad has done an incorrect Ijtihad which has nothing to do with this hadith. Nowhere in the hadith is there an article that the news of Allah did not create the necessary condition of the heart in Prophet Musa (AS). This is a misinterpretation and accusation of Musa (AS) which is an addition from his part with the hadith.
A Minor Note
It is but a minor note here that the incident (in his speech) where Maulana Saad corrected a Sheikh saying that “prayers/Dua alone were not enough” was rather inappropriate. Pious individuals will always be affected when hearing news of people leaving Islam. Sometimes a single hearing of such a news will lead to a significant change of heart. This is contrary to those who are insensitive and far from Deen. Even after countless witnessing with their own eyes, worry and concern will not develop.
With regards to asking for prayers, the prayers of those close to Allah have more value than those far from Allah. This should be a basic understanding for those engaged in the effort of Dawah.
In conclusion, it is an obvious mistake to accuse such an honourable prophet of not having the necessary conditions of the heart (worry and concern) to start the necessary actions for change despite receiving direct Revelation from Allah SWT.