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Sunday, April 1, 2012

The False Allegation - The Truth - Clarification

The false propaganda against and blatant fabrications about our highly acclaimed and respected Ulama of Deoband by the ignorant must be refuted at all costs. Numerous pamphlets and booklets have been written distorting the truth about and writings of our distinguished Ulama.

Among the most common pamphlets displayed is "Tabliqism - one way ticket to Hell". "Are these Islamic Beliefs": in one column is the 'Deobandi Tabliqi Beliefs' and next to it is the 'Islamic beliefs'. However, answers to the allegations have been given in various publications. Therefore, this publication will attempt to print all the false allegations and the correct views .

The False Allegation

Rashid Ahmed Gangohi, a founder of Deobandi Movement has the followingbeliefs:

1. The Almighty Allah can speak a lie. (Fataawa Rashidiyya part 1 pg. 20)

2. Allah has already spoken a lie (Taqseedul Qadeer pg. 79).

The Truth

The view of Hadhrat Moulana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi Saheb is that Allah is far above and pure from being attributed with falsehood. There is no blemish of falsehood in His words at all for Allah says, 'Who is more truthful than Allah in speech.' He who believes that Allah speaks a lie is an accursed outright Kaafir and opposed to the Qurãn and Sunnah. (Fataawa Rashidiyya part 1 pg. 3)

Clarification (I)

Fataawa Rashidiyya pg. 84: 'From servant Rashid Ahmed Gangohi, after Salaam Masnoon, you have inquired concerning the Masalah 'Imkaane Kizb' (possibility of falsehood). But 'Imkaane Kizb' in the sense that Allah Taãla has the power to act contrary to what He has ordered, but will not to do with His Free Will, is the belief of this servant. The Qurãn Shareef and the Sahih Ahaadith bear testimony to this belief, and this is the belief of all the Ulama of the Ummah too. For example, Firáwn is promised to be thrown into Hell, but Allah Taãla has the power to enter him into paradise, although He will never give him paradise. And this is the Masalah under discussion at the moment. This is the belief of all my friends. The enemies must have related it differently. Referring to this Power and the non-occurrence of it is termed 'Imkaane Zaati' and 'Mumtana bi Ghayr' Was salaam Rashid Ahmad Gangohi.

Look, how they lay waiting with vicious, malicious attempts to defame this noble personality. If it is not slander then what is it?

To distort the above mentioned Masalah and refer it to Hadhrat Moulana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi Saheb is totally evil and wrong. It is a slander and slander is worse than back-biting,

Clarification (II)

Fataawa Rashidiyya pg. 90: 'That person who believes or utters with the tongue concerning Allah Taãla that "He spoke a lie", is positively a Kaafir, an accursed and opposed to the Qurãn, Hadith and the unanimity of the Ummah. He is definitely not a Mu'min. Taãlallaahu ammaa yaqoolu dhaalimoona oluwwan kabeeraa. (Allah is far above from what the transgressors are saying).'

The misrepresenter, besides being involved with misrepresentation, has earned the wrath of Allah. Let the Hadith of the Master of the Green Dome once again ring in his ears. 'A person does not target another with impiety or a person does not target another with Kufr, but it returns to the former if the latter is not guilty of it.' (Bukhari)

Taqdeesul Qadeer is not compiled by the Ulama of Deoband. In fact there is no such Kitaab by this name.

False Allegation

The Prophet (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) is not the only Rahmatullil Aalameen. (Fataawa Rashidiyya part 2 pg. 19)

The Truth

The view of Hadhrat Moulana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi is that: ''One should know that the attribute of being Omnipresent is the quality of Allah Taãla alone,

like All-Knowing, Creator of the Skies and Earths and so forth. Therefore to attribute this quality of being Omnipresent to someone else, though it be a 'Nabi', 'Wali', or Saint, is to ascribe Partners to Allah in His Qualities, which is termed as 'Shirk-fis-Sifaat."


The word 'Rahmatullil Aalameen' is not a characteristic only of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam). In fact other Awliyaa, Ambiyaa and Ulamaa-e-Rabbaniyyeena are also a means of mercy unto the world, although Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) is the highest of them all. Therefore, if it is used for others with 'Taaweel' (by elucidation) it is permissible.' (Fataawa Rashidiyya pg. 96/97)

False Allegation

To lecture on or discuss the Shahaadat of Hadhrat Imaam Hussayn (Radhiallaahu Ánhu) is Haraam even if the stories are true. (Fataawa Rashidiyya part 3 pg. 113)


The incident of the martyrdom of Hadhrat Hussayn (Radhiallaahu Ánhu) who sacrificed his life for the sake of Truth, is surely very important. But the method adopted, like beating the chest, tearing the garment, pulling the hair, slapping the face, shouting slogans of 'Yaa Hussayn, Yaa Hussayn' and taking out processions to parade in the streets, is what Hadhrat Moulana has stopped and said is Haraam.'

The reason for stopping this is that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) has forbidden the slapping of faces and the tearing of garments.

Therefore to lecture on or discuss the Shahaadat of Hadhrat Hussayn in the abovementioned fashion, with that type of pomp and show, is forbidden in the light of the Hadith. (Fataawa Rashidiyya pg. 104/105)

False Allegation

In the month of Muharram, providing free water and feeding people with milk or Sharbat is Haraam. (Fataawa Rashidiyya part 3 pg. 113)

To feed the poor and needy and to distribute water free to quench their thirst as 'Isaale Sawaab' is no sin. Neither did Moulana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi nor anyone else say it is Haraam.

The Barelvis belief is this, that on the plains of Karbala the martyrs sacrificed their life in thirst. Therefore, the water that is given here as a drink, reaches them.

It is common sense, that this water does not reach them, nor are they in need of it. They are in Jannat. If the whole idea is to convey the reward (Isaale Sawaab), the whole year is available for that. No question arises then whether to make 'Isaale Sawaab' or not. The practice mentioned above similitudes the practices of the Rawaafidh; therefore it is Haraam.' (Fataawa Rashidiyya pg. 147/148)

False Allegation

Ashraf Ali Thanvi, a founder member of Deoband says: 'The Holy Prophet (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) has an education like that of children, lunatics and animals of every category.' (Hifzul Imaan pg. 7)

The Truth

The view of Hadhrat Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi is that: Hadhrat Moulana was asked, 'Did you in Hifzul Imaan or any other book write anything directly or indirectly comparing the education of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) to that of children, lunatics and animals? If not then what is your ruling regarding a person who holds such a belief?' In reply to that Moulana states, 'Let alone writing such falsehood and filth, my heart had never even perceived such falsehood and verily if anyone holds such a belief he is out of the fold of Islam.' (Faisal-e-Khusoomat pg. 21)


Hadhrat Hakimul Ummah, Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (author of the famous 'Bahishti Zewar') did not write the abovementioned statement in Hifzul Imaan. Nor is it his belief. It is a slander on the said Moulana. In fact Hadhrat Moulana has stated clearly in 'Hifzul Imaan' that, 'Knowledge with regard to the Excellence of Prophethood has been bestowed totally upon Rasul (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) (Hifzul Imaan pg. 12)

False Allegation

Prophets are not free from sins. (Tasfiyatul Aqaaid pg. 24 - Cassim Nanotwi, a founder of Deoband)


The topic under discussion in 'Tasfiyatul Aqaaid' was this: It was mentioned in the Hadith, in Shaf'at that on the plain of resurrection people will gather with great fear, perturbed and disturbed. They will go to Hadhrat Aadam (Álayhis salaam) and request him to intercede on their behalf in front of Allah Taãla. Hadhrat Aadam (Álayhis salaam) will refuse and say that it is beyond his influence, because of the incident that he ate from the tree of Jannah which was forbidden to him. Hadhrat Aadam (Álayhis salaam) will say, 'Today Allah's wrath is so great that His anger was never great before and will never be so great after' (though Allah Taãla has forgiven him). He will advise them to go to Hadhrat Nuh (Álayhis salaam). In this way people will flock to the other Ambiyaa (Álayhimus salaam). Each one will be fearful and reluctant, for some reason or the other to intercede on behalf of man. At the end when the people will come to Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam), Rasul (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) will say, 'Very well, I will intercede on your behalf. I will take permission from my Sustainer and He will grant me that permission.'

Hadhrat Moulana wrote that, which was mentioned in the Hadith and not that, 'Prophets (Álayhimus salaam) are not free from sins,' as mentioned in the said leaflet.

False Allegation

Shaytaan has more education than our Prophet (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam). (Barahine Qatia pg. 51 - Khalil Ahmad Ambhetwi)-


We strongly believe and openly claim that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) was given more knowledge than the entire creation of Allah and it is our belief that whosoever says that anyone has more knowledge than Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) then such a person is a Kaafir. Our great Úlama have already given a Fatwa of Kufr upon a person who says Shaytaan has more knowledge than Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) then how could I ever have written such a thing. (Al Muhnad Allal Mufannad Q&A 18-19)


It is totally incorrect. This sentence is not written anywhere in 'Baraahine Qaati'ah', that 'Shaytaan has more knowledge than Rasulullah (SallallaahuÁlayhi Wasallam).'

Moulana Khalil Ahmad (RA) was asked whether he wrote such a statement or not? He replied, 'I did not write such a statement anywhere. It is an open slander on me. On the day of Qiyaamat account will be taken with Ahmad Raza Khan.'

False Allegation

To read Alhamdu Fateha before eating food is Bidat (Fataawa Rashidiyya part pg. 150)


In order to establish anything in Islam, it is necessary that it be verified in the light of the Shariáh. Unless it is not proven by the Shariáh, it cannot be regarded as Deen. Yes, one may call it a matter of convenience. For example, the use of an electric fan, motor vehicle, etc. The moment a person wants to make it part and parcel of Deen, immediately it will need verification from the Shariáh, whether it be Meelaad, Fateha, Giyaarwi, Urs, Dua-e-Thani, Dua immediately after Janaaza prayer or any other ritual for that matter. And on failing to be verified, it will be regarded as Bidat - innovation. The wickedness of being involved in Bidat is that the Sunnats are automatically left out. As darkness spreads, light vanishes.

To read Al-Hamd, Fateha before eating food is not verified and proven in the Shariáh, therefore, it is a Bidat.

Regarding Bidat, Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) has decreed:

1. "He who innovates something in this matter of ours that is not of it will have it rejected." (Bukhari)

2. "Beware of newly-invented matters! For every invented matter is an innovation and every innovation is leading astray and every leading astray is in Hell-Fire." (Abu Dawud; Tirmidhi)

The 'Masnoon' Duas read by Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) before meals and after meals, should surely be read. Hadhrat Moulana Rashid Ahmed Gangohi (RA) did not stop anyone from this.

False Allegation

We cannot make Nikah with any person who takes part in Urs, etc. (Fataawa Rashidiya part 2 pg. 142)


Moulana Rashid Ahmed says in Fataawa Rashidiya, "Taking part in Urs is not an act of Kufr therefore Nikah with a person who takes part in Urs is valid."


Those who go to the Urs and make Sajdah (prostrate) to the graves, pray for boon or ask for a favour from the inmates of the graves, and make Tawaaf of the graves; to solemnise marriages with them will inculcate these Shirk practices in them and others as well. Therefore, unless they don't make Tawbah and refrain from such Shirk practices, Nikah is not allowed until then.

False- Allegation

Giyaarwi Shareef is Haraam and Kufr, even if Qur'an is read. (Fataawa Rashidiyya part 1 pg. 95)


Anything in the name of 'Ghayrullah' (someone other than Allah), whether it be Giyarwi Shareef' or 'Baarwi', is Haraam. This Masalah is found in Shaami, Tahtaawi, Bahrur Raaiq and in many other Kitaabs.

On the other hand, Esaale Sawaab is permissible. No one prohibited Esaale Sawaab provided it is done without specifications of time, place and invitation. But look at the beliefs of these people. They have this belief that the distribution of sustenance is entrusted to Peerane Peer (RA). If the Giyaarwi is held back, he will stop the food.

False Allegation

It is Sawaab to eat crows (Fataawa Rashidiyya part 2 pg. 130)


Crows are of three types: The first type is that which feeds only on grain. It is exactly like a wild pigeon. It is Halaal according to all Jurists. The second type is that which only feeds on excreta, and prey on other animals. It is exactly like a vulture. It is Haraam according to all Jurists. The third type is that which feeds on grain, eats excreta and it catches and eats mice as well. It is like an uncaged fowl, which feeds on grain, worms and even on mice.

Hadhrat Moulana wrote concerning this third type of crow that it is not Haraam. This Masalah of the crow is found in Hidaaya, Durre Mukhtaar, Fataawa Aalamghiri, as well as the other 'Kitaabs' of Fiqh (Jurisprudence).

Therefore, should anyone not eat a crow or a fowl for the rest of his life, there is no criticism and blame on him according to the Shariáh. Yes, if he takes it to be Haraam then he will be answerable. Thus whosoever takes it to be Haraam, in order to correct his belief it is a 'Sawaab' and reward to eat it.' (Fataawa Rashidiyya pg. 492 Rahimia print)

False Allegation

Almighty Allah Taãla is not always 'all knowing'. He finds out whenever necessary. (Taqwiyatul Eemaan pg. 26).


This is an open Calumny and a False Accusation. This sentence is not written at all in 'Tawiyatul Eemaan' that 'Allah Taãla is not always "all knowing". He finds out when necessary.

False Allegation

The Prophet (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) will die and become sand one day. (Taqwiyatul Imaan pg. 69)


The view of Hadhrat Moulana Rashid Ahmed Saheb is that: The meaning of the (phrase) 'to lie on sand' has two meanings. The one is to become soil, the other is the body touches the sand. The latter meaning is meant, and the Moulana (author of Taqwiyatul Imaan) also believes that the bodies of the Anbiyaa (Álayhimus salaam) do not turn to dust. Because a deceased is buried in a grave and he is surrounded with soil all over, his body together with the 'Kafn' touches the sand beneath him is called 'Mitti me milnaa' - to lie on sand. Hence, there is no point of objection. (Fataawa Rashidiyya pg.s 83/84)


In Taqwiyatul Imaan, a Hadith is mentioned in which a Sahaabi (Radhiallaahu Ánhu) told Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) that the people of other places bow out of respect to their Rulers; whereas Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) is more worthy of being bowed to. At this, Rasulullah ( Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) said, 'Look if you happen to pass by my grave, will you bow to it?' The Sahaabi (Radhiallaahu Ánhu) said 'No, I will not do so.' On this, Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) said, 'So do not bow to me ...' (A Sajdah Taazimi is also forbidden).

Commentary: 'I will also die one day and lie on sand (buried); therefore am I worthy to be prostated to? 'This phrase 'Mitti me milne waalaa hoo – I will lie on sand' (meaning to be buried one day), became the bone of contention for the Barelvis.

False Allegation

To think of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) in Salaat is worse than thinking of cows and donkeys. (Siraate Mustaqeem pg. 150)

The abovementioned statement is not found anywhere in 'Siraate Mustaqeem' that, 'To think of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) in Salaat is worse than thinking of cows and donkeys.'

That which was written in 'Sarfe Himmat'. This is terminology used by the Sufis in Tasawwuf (the spiritual field). 'Sarfe Himmat' in 'Tasawwuf' means that a person's meditation over a thing becomes so overpowering and predominant that no other thoughts penetrate into the mind and soul. Like a mirror, if a person does not want any person's reflection to come into it, he covers it with a black cloth and thus no reflection will appear. To contemplate over a figure so that no other thing is contemplated is called 'Sarfe Himmat'.

This has been forbidden in Salaat, that besides Allah, 'Sarfe Himmat' should not be done towards anyone. Salaat should purely and solely be for Allah alone. If 'Sarfe Himmat' is done towards Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam), then the entire Salaat and Ibaadat will be for him.

On the other hand, if any thoughts of cows, donkeys, business, etc. come to mind, or a person gets drowned in these thoughts whilst in Salaat, it is regrettable. There is no fear of it being worshipped. In fact the person regrets that in the course of an esteem Ibaadat like Salaat, he should have such thoughts, Astaghfirullah.

The Kitaab, 'Siraate Mustaqeem' is based on 'Tasawwuf'. The objector is not versed in Tasawwuf'. Therefore, he has translated 'Sarfe Himmat' to mean a mere thought.

What comes to mind is this; that the Objector presents a picture of a Grade One child, learning to read and write ABC and wishing to interpret the writings of Shakespeare.

Moreover, it is stated in the Hadith that Salaat should be performed with full attention. Therefore, when the name of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) is recited in 'Tashahhud' the thought of the Rasul (Sallallaahu Álayhi Wasallam) will come and should come. The Salaat will not be rendered incorrect and this is not unlawful at all. The respected Moulana did not stop anyone from this.

The End

After reading your fatawa on the Salafis could you please answer the following question? Was Maulana Rashid Ahmed Ghangohi a Wahabbi and what are your views on him? As he issued the following fatwa:

Question: Who are the Wahabis and what was the belief of Abdul Wahab al-Najdi? What was his madhab and what type of person was he? What is the difference in belief between the people of Najd and Sunni Hanafi?

Answer: The followers of Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahab are called "Wahabis" and they had good ( umdah) beliefs and their school of thought was Hanbali. Although his attitude was very extravagant (shidatt) he and his followers were good people. But, yes, those who exceeded the limits were overcome by roguishness (fassad). And their basic belief are all united, the difference they have is in actions is (like that) of Shafi'i, Hanafi, Maaliki and Hanbali?

Central-Mosque Admin: The Fatwas referred to in the question are as follows:

a) Have Salafees taken over the Islamic World?

b) Are Salafees Considered Sinful?

In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

Shaykh Mawlana Rashid Ahmad al-Gangohi (Allah have mercy on him) was a great scholar of recent times in the Indian Subcontinent. He was a Muhaddith (scholar of Hadith), faqih ( jurist), Mufassir (exegete), Sufi and a follower of the Hanafi School of Sunni Islamic law and the Matrudi Aqidah. He was an avid follower of the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah ( Allah bless him & give him peace) and immensely engrossed in his love (Allah bless him & give him peace).

He spent all his life studying, teaching and benefiting thousands of thirsty students of sacred knowledge. There was no one like him in his time in piety, knowledge, chastity and being steadfast on religion.

His teachers include Shaykh Mamluk al-Ali al-Nanotwi, Mufti Sadr al-Din al-Dehlawi, Shaykh Abd al-Ghani al-Dehlawi and others (Allah have mercy on them all). He took allegiance (bay’ a) with the great Shaykh of Tasawwuf, Haji Imdad Allah al-Makki in the Chishtiyya spiritual order.

In the latter years of his life, he began teaching all the six books of Hadith (kutub al- Sittah) himself in one year with chains of transmission (isnad) going back to their authors. When he lost his eyesight, he stopped teaching and concentrated more on spiritually reforming his disciples (murids) in a manner that adhered to the teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah.

He students number many, who themselves went on to become great scholars of their time. Scholars such as: Shaykh Khalil Ahmad al-Saharanfuri (author of the renowned commentary of Sunan Abu Dawud in 20 volumes, Bazl al-Majhud), Shaykh al-Hind Mahmud Hasan, Shaykh Abd al- Rahim Raifuri, Shaykh Yahya al-Kandahlawi, Imam Anwar Shah al-Kashmiri (Allah have mercy on them all) and many others were privileged to have studied by him.

His works include: Imdad al-Suluk, Tasfiyat al-Qulub (both in the science of Tasawwuf), Zubdat al-Manasic (rules pertaining to the ritual of Hajj), Sabil al-Rashad and Hidayat al- Shi’a (in refutation of Shi’as). His Fatawa were collected and compiled in a book known as Fatawa Rashidiyya, regarding which you have also asked.

He passed away to the mercy of Allah on Friday after the Jumu’ah Adhan in 1323 A.H. May Allah Almighty sanctify his secret and shower him with mercy and His pleasure, Ameen. (See: al-I’lam bi man fi tarikh al-hind min al-A’lam, 3/1229, Dar Ibn Hazm, Beirut print)

The above clearly demonstrates that Shaykh Rashid Ahmad al-Gangohi was a great scholar of traditional Sunni Islam, follower of the Matrudi Aqidah and the Hanafi School of Islamic law. He was in no way a follower of Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab al-Najdi and was not in any way from those who reject the four Schools of Sunni Islamic law and condone Taqlid.

As far as what you have quoted from his Fatawa regarding Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab al- Najdi, it is true indeed. He answers two questions with regards to him. Below is the translation of each of the two questions and their answers:

“Question: What kind of a person was (Muhammad ibn) Abd al-Wahhab al-Najdi?”

“Answer: People call Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab a Wahhabi. He was a good person, and I have heard that he was a follower of the Hanbali School of Islamic law and acted upon the Hadith. He used to prevent people from Shirk and innovation (bid’a), but he was harsh (shadid) in his attitude.”

“Question: Who are the Wahhabis and what was the belief of Abd al-Wahhab al-Najdi? What was his Madhhab and what type of person was he? What is the difference in belief between the people of Najd and Sunni Hanafis?”

“Answer: The followers of Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab are called Wahhabis. They had good ( umdah) beliefs and their school of thought was Hanbali. However, they were very stringent in their attitude but he and his followers were good people. But, yes, those who exceeded the limits were overcome by wrongness (fasad). And basic beliefs of everyone are united. The difference they have in actions is (like that) of Hanafi, Shafi’i, Maliki and Hanbali.” ( Fatawa Rashidiyya, P. 241-242)

The above is what the respected Shaykh wrote about Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab al-Najdi and his followers. However, one must understand the background of the Shaykh’s statements.

The great Faqih of recent times in the Indian Subcontinent, Shaykh Mufti Mahmud al-Hasan al -Gangohi (Allah have mercy on him) who passed away in 1994 A.D, the grand Mufti of India whose Fatawa are gathered and compiled in 17 volumes discusses the reason behind Shaykh Rashid Ahmad (Allah have mercy on him) mentioning this in his Fatawa.

Note that, these two scholars are two different people and not related to one another, though they both have the same last name, namely Gangohi, which is an attribution to a village known as Gangoh in India. Shaykh Rashid Ahmad (Allah have mercy on him) was the great grand-teacher of the more recent Mufti Mahmud al-Hasan (Allah have mercy on him), hence the latter holds the former in great regard and respect. This humble writer was also privileged to have received Ijazah in Hadith from Mufti Mahmud al-Hasan al-Gangohi.

Nevertheless, Mufti Mahmud al-Hasan al-Gangohi (Allah have mercy on him) states in his Fatawa that, Shaykh Rashid Ahmad (Allah have mercy on him) was initially unaware of Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab al-Najdi’s position, because al-Najdi was initially known in the Subcontinent as a reformer of Sunnah, and the one who strived greatly in rejecting Bid’a and establishing the Sunnah. As such, the respected Shaykh also said what he had heard, for a Muslim should always hold good opinions about other Muslims until it is proven otherwise.

Thereafter, the respected Shaykh’s mentor and teacher sent him the copy of Radd al-Muhtar wherein Allama Ibn Abidin (Allah have mercy on him) clearly refuted Muhammad ibn Abd al- Wahhab. Allama Ibn Abidin states:

“…As it has occurred in our times with the followers of Abd al-Wahhab al-Najdi, who appeared from Najd and imposed their control over the two sacred Harams. They used to attribute themselves to the Hanbali School but they believed that only they were Muslims and that who ever opposed their beliefs were polytheists (mushrik), thus theyconsidered the killing of those who were from the Ahl al-Sunnah and their scholars to be legitimate, until Allah Most High destroyed their might and power.” (Radd al-Muhtar, 3/339-340, chapter regarding the followers of Abd al-Wahhab, the Khawarij of our times)

Mufti Mahmud al-Hasan states that had Shaykh Rashid Ahmad read what Allama Ibn Abidin stated in his Radd al-Muhtar regarding the Wahhabis, he would surely not have stated what he had in his Fatawa.

He states that this does not in any way demean the status and rank of Shaykh Mawlana Rashid Ahmad al-Gangohi, for he had said what he had heard. He did not have knowledge of the unseen, thus he cannot be blamed. Allama Ibn Abidin (Allah have mercy on him) was geographically closer to Najd, thus he was aware at first hand of what Shaykh Rashid Ahmad, who was living in India, was unaware of. (See: Fatawa Mahmudiyya, 13/411-412)

I would like to add here that this is clearly the case when we look at Shaykh Rashid Ahmad’s first Fatwa wherein he states “I have heard that he was a follower of the Hanbali School…..” stipulating that his information was purely based on what he had heard. This was not a matter of Fiqh or Shariah as such in which he needed to investigate, and anyway, a Muslim should always have good opinion (husn al-Zann) about fellow Muslims until the contrary is proven.

Moreover, the students of Shaykh Rashid Ahmad al-Gangohi (Allah have mercy on them all) clearly refuted the ideologies and actions of the Najdis. Shaykh Khalil Ahmad al-Saharanfuri (Allah have mercy on him), a student of theShaykh, stated in his renowned al-Muhannad ala al-Mufannad that he and his teachers hold the same view as Allama Ibn Abidin regarding Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab al-Najdi and his followers. This was agreed upon and signed by almost all of the major scholars of the Indian subcontinent.

Finally before parting, I would like to say that I dislike the idea of dwelling over people’s personalities. Unfortunately, many of us are involved in debating about those who have passed away to the mercy of Allah; hence we have become negligent with actions (a’mal) and preparing one’s self for the hereafter. We will not be asked on the day of Judgment as to what opinion we held about such and such person, but what we will be questioned regarding is our own actions.

“That was a people that have passed away. They shall reap the fruit of what they did, and you of what you do! Of their actions there is no question in your case.” (Surah al-Baqarah, V. 134)

Therefore, do not dwell too much into personalities and names; rather, exceed them to conduct and deeds. Unfortunately, many Muslims argue and debate about these petty issues and leave the important aspects of Deen. Today, Muslims are being attacked in all fields by the enemies of Islam, yet here we are busy fighting amongst ourselves. Thus, we need to leave these issues to one side and concentrate on the things that unite us. May Allah Almighty bless this Ummah with unity, Ameen.

I was reluctant to answer this question and write on this subject, for there were far more important questions that needed answering. However, due to this question being posed repeatedly, I had no choice but to compile an answer. But we must remember that this is not something we need to dwell into, thus the matter is closed here, and I will not be answering any more questions on this topic. .

And Allah knows best

Muhammad ibn Adam
Darul Iftaa
Leicester , UK.

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