We shall discuss in this tract the high status of Hadrat Muhammad (sallallaahu alaiyhi wa sallam/peace be upon him), the Prophet of Islam, and the views of Abul Al'a Mawdoodi and his henchmen regarding the matter.
Allah has created our Prophet (peace be upon him) with all the unique and best attributes and characteristics and has sent him to us, the humankind, for our guidance in this world, and salvation in the hereafter. These attributes and characteristics of the Prophet reflect the high status of his Nubuwwat (Prophet-hood).
The Kalima or Basic Article of Faith's Requirement
The Kalima or basic article of Islamic faith is 'Laa ilaha illallaahu Muhammadur rasuulullaah', that is, 'There is no God except Allah; (Hadrat) Muhammad (sallallaahu alaiyhi wa sallam) is His Apostle/Prophet.' When we recite this article of faith, it puts forth a requirement from us. The first part deals with the Uluhiyyat - Allah's being the only Creator and His entitlement to being worshiped. This requires of us to believe in His attributes (sifat ). In other words, when we recite the first part of the article, we have to believe that Allah is the Creator (Khaliq), the Lord (Malik), the Sustenance-giver, the Ever-existent Being, the Most Benevolent, the Infinite, the Possessor of Wrath etc.
The second part of the article is without the Arabic conjunction wa' (and), which signifies its importance. It relates to the Risaalat or Prophet-hood of our Prophet (peace be upon him). Like the former, the latter part also requires us to believe in the Prophet's attributes and characteristics when we affirm it verbally. These are his being the Nur (Light), Shahid (Spiritually Omnipresent to be the Witness), Rawufur Raheem (Most Kind and Merciful), the Owner of Shafa'at-i Kubraa (Great Interceding Power) and Maqaam-i Mahmuud (Exalted/Elevated Station in Heaven), the Distributor of Allah's Bounties and Blessings, and also being free from all sorts of human frailty.
We must fulfill the requirements of the Kalima by believing in both parts of the basic article of Islamic faith. Without believing in the attributes of Allah and His Apostle, the Kalima will not be of any avail to the Muslim. His or her Imaan (belief) will be found wanting on the Day of Judgement.
High Status of the Prophet
Allah declares in the Koran 5:17, Qad ja'akum minallaahi nurun wa kitaabum-mubeen, meaning "There hath come to you from Allah a Light and a perspicuous Book" (Abdullah Yusuf Ali's translation). In this Ayah (verse), Allah has referred to the Koran as the 'Book', and has also mentioned about a Nur (Light); because the Arabic conjunction wa (and) is between the said two words. Henceforth, our Prophet (peace be upon him) is the Nur or Light (of Guidance). This Koranic term has deep inner or underlying meanings. For more information kindly see Dr G F Haddad's article 'The Light of the Prophet' at www.livingislam.org/nurn_e.html.
Allah declares in the Koran, 33:45-6, Yaa ayyuhaan-Nabiyyu innaa arsalnaaka shaahidaao wa mubashhiraao wa nadheeraa wa daa'iyan ilallaahi bi idhnihii wa siraajaam-muneeraa, meaning "O Prophet! Truly We have sent thee as a Witness, a Bearer of Glad Tidings, and a Warner, - And as one who invites to Allah's (Grace) by His leave, And as a Lamp spreading light" (Yusuf Ali's translation). In this Ayah, our Prophet has been referred to as the 'Witness'. A witness is the person who being present at the place of any incident, and having its full knowledge, testifies in court of law (in this case, on Judgement Day). This Ayah explicitly tells us that our Prophet is spiritually omnipresent (Haadir and Naazir). For further information, see Dr G F Haddad's article 'Omnipresence of the Prophet' at www.masud.co.uk/islam/misc/hazamazar.htm.
Allah declares in the Koran, Surah Taqwir, Ayah 24, Wa maa hua a'lal ghaiybi bi daneen, meaning "Neither doth the Prophet withhold grudgingly a knowledge of the Unseen."
The great Sufi and Mufti of the Indian Sub-continent, Hadrat Ahmad Yaar Khan Naiymi Ashrafi (rahmatullaahi alaiyh/Allah's Mercy be upon him), while explaining the Ayah, wrote in his book Ja'al Haqq, Ilm-i Ghaiyb (Knowledge of the Unseen) chapter, "This is possible only when the Prophet (peace be upon him) is himself aware of the knowledge of the unseen (ghaiyb) and is able to divulge it to the people. The Ayah has been explained in the Tafsir book (commentary) Ma'alimut-tanzil as follows:
'The Prophet is not inclined to withhold grudgingly any unseen matters, revelations and other information and narrations from Allah Almighty. In other words, he is not holding back anything while relating the Divine Revelations to the people, whenever these are made available to him. He doesn't keep secrets or hold back information like the fortunetellers and astrologers'.
"It is stated in Tafsir-i Khazayin, a commentary on the Koran, 'The Ayah expresses that unseen matters are revealed to the Prophet (peace be upon him). He does not grudgingly withhold those from us, but rather, divulges those to us'. This Ayah elucidates that the Prophet imparts knowledge of the unseen to the people. Needless to say, only the one who knows can teach or impart knowledge."
Allah declares in the Koran, Surah Tawba, Ayah 128, Laqad ja'akum rasuulum-min anfusikum a'zeezun alaiyhi maa a'nit-tum hareesun alaiykum bil mu'mineena rawufur raheem, meaning "Now hath come unto you an Apostle from amongst yourselves; it grieves him that ye should perish; ardently anxious is he over you; to the Believers is he Most Kind and Merciful." (Yusuf Ali's translation)
While interpreting the above-quoted Ayah, Allama Muhammad Aslaam, a Pakistani Islamic savant, says in his book Shaan-i Huzuur ba Zabaan-i Haqq (High Status of the Prophet in Divine Revelations), page 27, "Allah has vividly described the high ideals of the Prophet in this Ayah. The Prophet doesn't want to see the humankind in pain and distress. He is in grief when he finds them mired in different problems and trouble. The Prophet is always wishing them well and trying to help them in their dire need. True welfare is the satisfaction of Allah; and real calamity is His dissatisfaction. This is why the Prophet (peace be upon him) was always endeavoring to guide the people onto the right path and was trying to save them from disaster. Certainly the Prophet's attributes Rawufun (Most Kind) and Raheem (Merciful) are continuously being manifested for the believers (to witness)."
Allah also says in the Koran, Surah Tawba, Ayah 74, Wa maa naqamuu illa a'n aghnaahumullaahu wa rasuuluhu min fadlihi, meaning "...The Bounty with which Allah and His Apostle had enriched them" (Yusuf Ali's translation). Mufti Ahmad Iyaar Khan Naimi Ashrafi (may Allah be pleased with him) writes in his book Sultanat-i Mustafa, page 27, "The (above) Ayah proves that the Prophet enriches people. This can only be done by a person who is himself the owner of riches and wealth. The pronoun hu in the Arabic word fadlihi quoted in the said Ayah has been used in place of the Prophet (peace be upon him). This is because the pronoun is generally used in place of the nearest noun in the (Arabic) sentence. Allah knows well."
The Apostle of Allah in this context, in a sahih or authentic Hadith, recorded in Mishkat, Knowledge chapter, declared, Innamaa anaa qaasimun wallaahu yu'tiyy; meaning "I am the Distributor (of Divine Bounties), (while) Allah is the Giver."
Mufti Ahmad Yaar Khan Naimi Ashrafi (rahmatullaahi alaiyh) says in his book Sultanat-i Mustafa, page 37, "It is understood from the Hadith (saying of the Prophet) that whenever Allah wishes to bestow any grants to someone, it is through the distribution of the Prophet (peace be upon him). The grants of Allah and the distribution of the Prophet as quoted in the Hadith are not stipulated with any preconditions. There is no mention about the time-limit, the particulars of the grants and the qualities of the recipients. In a nutshell, whatever Allah grants, the Prophet distributes. Only the person who has been made the owner of everything can distribute everything. This is the Ownership and Right of the Prophet (peace be upon him)."
Allah says in the Koran, Surah Bani Isra'il, Ayah 79, Wa minal-laiyli fatahajjadu bihi naafilatal-laka a'saa ai'yab'asaka rabbuka maqaam-mahmuuda, meaning "And pray in the small watches of the morning; (it would be) an additional prayer (or spiritual profit) for thee; soon will thy Lord raise thee to a Station of Praise and Glory." (Yusuf Ali's translation)
The great Mufti Hadrat Ahmad Yaar khan Nayimi Ashrafi, while interpreting this Ayah, says in his book Shaan-i Habeeb al-Rahmaan, pages 124-5, "Two of the attributes of our Prophet (peace be upon him) have been described here. One pertains to this world, and the other to the hereafter. In this world, his special quality is performing the Tahajjud prayers; and in the hereafter, it is his being raised to the Station of Praise and Glory (Maqaam-i Mahmuud)." "....On the Day of Judgement, his ascension to Maqaam-i Mahmuud is his special quality. This is such a holy station that he would be interceding (Shafa'at-i Kubraa) for all from that most lofty place. All the Ummahs, that is, followers of the Prophets preceding our Prophet would be desperately looking for an intercessor; they would be turning to their Prophets. But all of them would say, Idh-habuu ilaa ghairiyy, meaning, 'Go to someone else'. At last they would find Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu alaiyhi wa sallam) on Maqaam-i Mahmuud. After seeing him in that most exalted station, all, irrespective of friend or foe, would praise him. This is why the place is called Maqaam-i Mahmuud or Praiseworthy Station. In the Du'a, that is, prayer recited after the Adhan (call for prayers in mosques), both its caller and its listener have been commanded to pray for the granting of Maqaam-i Mahmuud to our Prophet; because the Prophet has said, 'I shall intercede (on the Day of Judgement) for the person who prays for me in this manner'."
Allah also says in the Koran, Surah Ahzab, Ayah 21, Laqad kaana lakum fii rasuulillaahi uswatun hasanah, meaning "Indeed you have in the Messenger of Allah an excellent example to follow."
Mufti Ahmad Yaar Khan Nayimi Ashrafi in this context says in his book Shaan-i Habeeb al-Rahmaan, pages 169-73, "Muslims have been admonished to emulate the Prophet's ideals if they were to expect any rewards from Allah Almighty, and also if they were to hope for any Bounties in the hereafter." "....The Prophet's very existence or he himself is a Divine Blessing for all of you. Allah has manifested His own qualities in His beloved Prophet just like a craftsman who designs his product upon a sample. As this sample is one and only, and onlookers are many in the bazaar, so is the Prophet the one and only Example among Allah's Creations. The person who denies the Prophet's Kamaalat or perfection, is, in fact, denying the Perfection of the Creator, Allah Himself."
It is noteworthy that the people, who have corrupt ideologies like the Wahhabi and Mawdoodi and Salafist, say that the Prophet is fallible. If this was to be the case, then it would have been quite irrational or illogical for the Almighty to command us to emulate the Prophet. This Ayah refutes the heretical beliefs of the Wahhabi, Mawdoodi, Salafist and the like and proves that our Prophet (peace be upon him) is Ma'sum, that is, infallible and free from sins.
The Heresy of Mawdoodi and Jama'at Henchmen
Abul A'la Mawdoodi is the founder of the political party Jama'at-i Islami, which is based in Pakistan and has wings in Bangladesh and India. He wrote many books; but the ideology he had put forth in all of his books follow in the footsteps of the Wahhabi and Salafist dogmas. All his writings are incompatible with the Islamic aqeedah, that is, faith. There is more information on Mawdoodi in the online book 'Islam's Reformers' at www.hakikatkitabevi.com. Members of the Jama'at, however, regard the books as 'Islamic' documents. Thus, it has become obligatory to us to expose the truth to the Muslim community.
Heretical Belief 1
Mawdoodi, while explaining the Ayah 'Waastaghfirhu' of Surah Nasr in his Tafsir (commentary) book Tafheemul Koran, wrote, "The meaning of the Ayah is, 'And pray for Allah's forgiveness'. Call in a piteous voice to Him so that He forgives your mistakes and frailties in bearing the responsibilities that were entrusted to you; and also ask for His forgiveness for the incompleteness and weaknesses that have remained while carrying out your duties." The quotation is from the Bengali translation by Abdur Raheem (printed by Mahbub Publications, June 27,1975). A similar English translation can be found online at the Pakistani website www.tafheem.net, where the Ayah in question has been interpreted as follows: "Pray to your Lord to overlook; and pardon whatever error or weakness you might have shown inadvertently in the performance of the service that He had entrusted to you."
Dear readers, what were the responsibilities that were entrusted with the Prophet of Islam? These were his mission to preach his prophet-hood. Mawdoodi has found mistakes and frailties, incompleteness and weaknesses in the Prophet's mission! This dogma is absolutely incompatible with the Islamic faith. Allah says in the Koran, Surah Ma'ida, Ayah 4, Al-yawma akmaltu lakum deenakum, meaning "Today, for you (O people), We have fulfilled your religion." In other words, the Islamic religion is complete. Now, the question we want to pose is that if the religion is complete or fulfilled, then how is it that our Prophet has erred in carrying out the Divine Command of spreading the Islamic faith, as Mawdoodi has alleged? Because, the question of our having a complete or fulfilled religion depends on how our Prophet (peace be upon him) had gone about accomplishing his Divine Mission! Allah testifies that the Islamic religion has reached us in all completeness or perfection. Hence, it is of an absolute certainty that our Prophet had accomplished his Divine Mission.
When the above-quoted Ayah was revealed on the day of A'rafah during the last Hajj (pilgrimage) of the Prophet, he asked his blessed companions as to whether he had performed his Divine duties of spreading Islam properly. They all responded in the affirmative. Therefore, we cannot accept Mawdoodi's opinion as against the testimony of the Sahaba-i Kiram (exalted companions of the Prophet). It is a grave sin to go against the Ijma' (consensus) of the blessed companions.
The Ayah (Koranic verse) that asks the Prophet to seek forgiveness of Allah has been interpreted by the Mufassirin, that is, commentators of the Koran. Imam Ahmad Reza Khan, in his book Kanzul Iimaan, interprets it as follows: "Seek Allah's forgiveness for the Ummah (Muslim community)." It is noteworthy that the Prophet has been asked elsewhere in the Koran to intercede for the Muslims who are sinners by using the same term Istighfar (kindly refer to Surah Nisaa, Ayah 63). Thus, a thorough recitation of the Surah Nasr is required to prove this point. Let's start from the very beginning with the Basmala - Idha ja'a nasrullaahi waal fath-hu; meaning "When comes the help of Allah, and victory"; wa ra'aitan-naasa yadh-khuluuna fii deenillaahi afwajaa; meaning "And thou dost see the people enter Allah's religion in crowds"; fasabbih bi hamdi rabbika waastaghfirhu; meaning "Celebrate the praises of thy Lord (Allah), and seek His forgiveness (for the Muslims who have entered Islam in crowds as referred to above)"; innahu kaana tawwaabaa; meaning "For He is oft-returning (in Grace and Mercy)."
The Koran must be interpreted in relation with the context, and not literally. Mawdoodi's tafsir falls short of this criterion. The Prophet of Islam has said in an authentic Hadith that whosoever interpreted the Koran according to his/her own opinion would find his/her abode in hell.
Mawdoodi's Heresy number 2
An Islamic conference took place in London, UK, in the year 1976, for celebrating the Queen's reign of 25 years. Mawdoodi was allowed to deliver a speech there, which his representative Ghulam A'zam read out to the audience, acting as his master's voice. In that speech, he vomited venom of hatred for our Prophet (peace be upon him). The London Speech (Londoner Bhashon), however, has gone missing, since it met an outcry from the Ulamaa al-Kiraam (Muslim savants). We are quoting from a rare copy that we obtained during that time. The original English may not be the same, for which we apologize.
Mawdoodi says on page 11 of his speech, "The Prophet is neither a superhuman being, nor free from human frailty. As he is not the owner of Allah's treasure (of Bounties), so is he not the All-knowing because of his ignorance in the Unseen (ghaiyb). He is incapable of being beneficial or otherwise to anyone." (This was translated into Bengali by Akhtar Faruque and published by Zhulqarnayn Publications, 1976 version)
We have dealt at length earlier in this tract the issues brought up here by Mawdoodi. Henceforth, we'll only focus on his last statement, in which he says that the Prophet (peace be upon him) is incapable of being beneficial or otherwise to anyone. Allah declares in the Koran, Surah Anbiyaa, Ayah 107, Wa maa arsalnaaka illaa rahmatal-lil-aa'lamin, meaning "We sent thee not, but as a Mercy for all creatures." Mawdoodi contradicts the Ayah as he spews hatred for our Prophet (peace be upon him).
Mawdoodi in his book 'Caliphate and Monarchy', page 136, wrote, "The policy of nepotism followed by Uthman, the 3rd Islamic caliph, was wrong. And something wrong is always wrong, whoever does it. It is not coherent with the intellect or righteousness to prove him right with jugglery of words. And it is also incompatible with the religion not to recognize the mistakes of any Sahaba (companions of the Prophet)." (This book was translated into Bengali by Ghulam Subhan Siddiquee and published by Adhunik Prakashani)
Contrary to what Mawdoodi says, it is prohibited in Islam to criticize the Sahaba al-Kiram. The Apostle of Allah has said, "When fitna (disunion/mischief/chaos) becomes widespread and my companions are targeted for criticism, the learned person (aa'lim) who knows the truth must inform others. Should he not do so, may he be accursed by Allah, His angels and by all people (i.e. pious ones). Allah will not accept any of his (good) deeds or righteousness" (as quoted in the book Sawaiqul Muhriqa). If punishment can be meted out to those who do not stand up to the criticism of the Sahaba, then what would befall the enemies of Islam who resort to their criticism?
It is written in Mawdoodi's book 'The Basic Teachings of Islam', page 55, 1990 version, "Be on the lookout only for the commands of Allah while performing all your deeds. Do not rely on your thoughts and conscience; or on your forefathers' and family members' and relatives' advice and traditions; or on what the cleric or pir sahib (shaykh) admonishes. Only Allah has the authority to command, because He says in the Koran, Inil hukmu illaa lillaah, meaning 'There is no command except that of Allah's'." (The book was translated into Bengali by Abdur Raheem and published by Adhunik Prakashani)
With the above vitriol, Mawdoodi assaults the Wilayat or sainthood in Islam. He advises all Muslims to disobey the commands of the Buzuurgane Deen (Islamic Sufi and dervishes who have knowledge of the Sharia as well as of the Batin i.e. Allah's hidden knowledge). Interesting to note is the Ayah that he puts forth as his document. This is the very Ayah, which the Kharijites, that is, apostates, produced for disobeying the command of Hadrat Ali, the fourth caliph of Islam. They labeled the fatwa of Shirk (polytheism) on him by using this Ayah. Allah says in Surah Nisaa, Ayah 58 of the Koran, Yaa ayyuhaal-ladhiina aamanuu atii'uullaaha wa atii'uur-rasuula wa uuliil amri minkum, meaning "O ye who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the Apostle, and those charged with (Divine) authority among you." (Yusuf Ali's translation)
The Prophet of Islam in a Hadith said, Al-ulamaau warasatul anbiyaa, meaning "Muslim men of knowledge are inheritors of the Prophet." As discussed earlier, Islamic knowledge is made up of two parts: Zahir, that is, outward or revealed explicitly, and Batin, which is hidden. The inheritance of the Prophet does not relate to any property, portable or non-portable, but to the Islamic knowledge that covers both the parts, outward and hidden (For more information kindly refer to the online book 'The Sunni Path' at www.hakikatkitabevi.com). Therefore, we must obey the Awliya and Ulamaa-i Haqqani (Sufi Gnostic), as this is also a Command of Allah Almighty. Mawdoodi is dead against this Divine Command. His fabrication of a commentary on the Koran is, in fact, a recipe for heresy and apostasy! (For more information kindly refer to the Jordanian Islamic savant Nurruddin Zangi's article 'The Sufi Bay'ah: A Prophetic Sunna' at riyada.hadithuna.com/the-sufi-bayah-a-prophetic-sunna/ )
Heresy of a Jama'at Henchman
We'll wrap this tract up with the statement of Ghulam A'zam, the chief of Jama'at-i Islami Bangladesh. He was speaking as the chief guest at a seminar for celebrating the 50 years of Jama'at-i Islami on September 30, 1991, which was arranged by Abul A'la Mawdoodi Research Academy. The news made headlines the following day. Let's quote the Daily Ajker Kagoj (now defunct) of 01.10.1991:
"Ghulam A'zam, the leader of Jama'at-i Islami, has said, 'Prophets did not give anything through research, only Almighty Allah Himself sent His Revelations through them. But thinkers of different Ages showed the way in accordance with the reality of their respective Ages. Likewise, Mawdoodi gave the Koran its real shape."
Dear readers, see how our Prophet (peace be upon him) has been belittled with cunning jugglery of words! According to the Jama'at leader, the Prophet did not give us anything except raw materials of the Koran; on the contrary, Mawdoodi has fulfilled it! Allah says in the Koran, Surah Mai'da, Ayah 04, Al-yawma akmaltu lakum deenakum, meaning "This day have we perfected/fulfilled your religion for you (O people)!"
In conclusion, the Prophet of Islam has given our religion its real or ultimate shape and there is no excuse for believing otherwise. This belief is an integral part of our Kalimat al-Tawhid or basic article of faith. We have to believe in the Tawhid i.e. Oneness/Unity of Allah as well as in the Risaalat i.e. Prophet-hood of Hadrat Muhammad (sallallaahu alaiyhi wa sallam/peace be upon him), the Messenger of Allah. In the light of foregoing discussion, Mawdoodi and his Jama'at henchmen have deviated from the Path of Islam.
[The Bengali version of the article was first published in the Monthly Tarjuman, Chittagong, Bangladesh, in May, 1992.]