HARAAM AND BID’AH IN THE GUISE OF I’TIKAAF

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MUSJIDS CONVERTED INTO VENUES OF
PICNIC AND MERRYMAKING

[By Hazrat Maulana Ahmad Sadeq Desai]

Numerous perturbed ordinary Muslims (laymen) are voicing their concern and consternation at the lamentable bid’ah and haraam merrymaking functions which  are polluting the Musaajid in this era of bid’ah, fisq and fujoor. The vilest aspect of these merrymaking functions organized by molvies and sheikhs, is the false deeni veneer and guise under which these haraam acts are perpetrated. During the Month of Ramadhaan, under ‘I’tikaaf’ guise, Musjids are invaded by sheikhs of the dunya with their legions to squander the holy days of the holy month pandering to the bestial demands and desires of the nafs.

The twin diseases of hubb-e-jah (love of the world) and hubb-e-maal (love of wealth)feature prominently in the organization of these merrymaking functions which contaminate the Musaajid and ruin the souls of the so-called ‘mureedeen’.  Commenting on this lamentable state of affairs, one Musalli of one such Musjid where merrymaking takes place in the name of ‘I’tikaaf’, pours out his lament as follows:

“Assalamu Alaikum, Respected Mufti Sb.

I would like to bring to your notice my concerns. Kindly enlighten me with your comments on the subject.

A SORRY STATE OF AFFAIRS – WHAT HAS BECOME OF OUR MASAAJID WHICH WERE ONCE  HAVENS OF PEACE AND TRANQUILITY?

Firstly may Allah save me from the fate which many ulama have fallen to, Aameen, because it is only with Allah’s toufeeq and fadhl that one can be saved from evil and harming His Deen. When I was young, I can still vividly recall, my late father – May Allah forgive him and fill his Qabr with noor. Aameen – who, was not an Aalim by the way, sitting peacefully in the masjid performing his Salah, making his tilaawat and reciting durood, his tasbeehs and making duaa in the serene atmosphere of the Masjid. Thereafter he would come home and silently have whatever little food there was for him, even if it was the dry roti and yesterday’s left-over food.  Allah grant us toufeeq to emulate his beautiful ways which were in accordance with the Sunnah of His most Beloved Habeeb (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) Aameen.

Alas! How things have changed from those times! Last year, in our town, a renowned sheikh held I’tikaaf.  He came with his entourage from Saudi Arabia. With all due respects to the honourable sheikh, I don’t know if he was aware of the shenanigans or sanctioned what was going on in the Masjid. I presume he must have known for it happened in front of him. .Anyway for his arrival new toilets were constructed, a tent was set up in the adjoining courtyard of the Madrasah,a fridge was placed in the courtyard of the Masjid with free sponsored  drinks (coke, etc.) available at any time. Obviously on account of  big donors, ulama are  supporting it and are speaking in glowing terms of the “generosity” and hospitality and help of the people of the town, gloating over the “wonderful atmosphere” and “success” of hosting the “great event”.

Even ladies were roped in to lend a help in this great “ibaadah”. They came to help fry the savouries in the adjoining tent with supposedly “strict purdah”. Labouring under the false notion that they would gain lots of thawaab. The huge party was conspicuous for the feasting, wasting of food, the socialising, the din and noise levels in the Masjid and children making the best of the “golden” opportunity. Even today the trend continues of packing picnic baskets of food for iftaar after Taraaweeh, and now qiyaam ul lail. How long before there will be a clamour from the modernist wealthy people not to deprive our women from the lovely atmosphere in the masjid with the jahri zikr  etc. Where will this end?

Ulama are not guiding the unwary masses despite holding authoritative posts. The contention is always that at least people are coming to the masjid in the late hours of the night, youngsters are not loitering around, etc.,” not to mention the marketing opportunity which some have seized to cash in by preparing “I’tikaaf hampers” etc My plea. Mufti sb, is that why can’t the ulama guide the unwary and ignorant masses who are thirsty to learn and will be led to where they are taken? Can they not direct them to spend I’tkaaf in a respectable, humble and holy manner, the way our Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), the Sahaabah and the senior Ulama and Shaikhs of former days had observed with little food, with sincerity and in a calm and dignified way without all the merrymaking, fanfare and feasting? By the way some of the foreign mu’takifeen were observed still eating at the time of Fajr Azaan. Allah have mercy on this ummat. This lamentable I’tikaaf circus is going around in different parts of the country annually. Its fine to sit for I’tikaaf and encourage others but why in this way where all and sundry get drawn into succumbing to their nafs by praising the wealthy donors who in turn give the ulama a “pat on the back ” for supporting the event.

In my humble view there are 2 categories of people – the unwary and ignorant poor person who craves guidance but is not helped by the ulama who stand to get nothing from associating with them. Then you have the affluent class who tempts the poor even further by spending their loads of money to host these events. What type of conscience must those people have who feast to no end whilst our Muslim brothers and sisters are starving in the Syrian refugee camps and other parts of the world, and  whilst the Palestinians are being butchered with their limbs being torn apart in this Mubarak Month? Make duaa, Mufti sb that Allah guides us, one and all towards His Shariat and to seek His pleasure, and may He save us from our nafs and shaitaan.  Aameen!  (End of the Brother’s Lament)

Most certainly, the rot and misery of the Ummah, worldwide, are the consequences of the shenanigans, of the ulama-e-soo’ and the ‘shaikhs’ who operate cults of bid’ah and haraam which they dub ‘tasawwuf’. But, these ‘shaikhs’ have not even smelt the fragrance of Tasawwuf.  The camping and picnicking in the Musaajid under cover of their ‘itikaaf’ stunts have ruined innumerable ignorant Muslims.

These jaahil peers and ‘shaikhs’ are highway robbers of Imaan and destroyers of Akhlaaq. Instead of guiding their mureedeen along the Path of Rectitude to achieve Islaah (reformation) of the nafs and Allah’s Pleasure, they lead the juhala along the path to Jahannam all the time using the practices of the Deen as their snares. Thus, the Musjid has become their ground for their festivities and merrymaking, and “i’tikaaf” is their stunt for placing the stamp of  ‘deen’ on their gimmicks and traps. The underlying, sinister objective of these debauchers of Imaan and Akhlaaq is to increase their following to render fleecing the moron wealthy ones an easy process.

The very same hubb-e-jah and hubb-e-maal motives which govern all the merrymaking functions of the Barelwi  Qabar Pujaari Bi’atis  have become the motivation for  the ulama-e-soo’ and corrupt ‘shaikhs’ in the Deobandi camp. These vile molvies and miserable sheikhs are an utter disgrace to the memory of our illustrious Akaabir Ulama and Mashaa-ikh of Deoband. The difference between these fraudulent ‘deobandis’ and the Akaabireen of Deoband is like the difference between heaven and hell. They are darkness piled on darkness.

Whilst laying claim to mantles of Tasawwuf, they are bereft of even a vestige of shame and honour. Most shamelessly and without the slightest iota of Khauf-e-Ilaahi (Fear for Allah), they spiritually pollute and physically mess the Musaajid with their haraam camping and picnicking – with their festivities and merrymaking, all of which they perpetrate in the name of ‘ibaadat’. Truly, we are in that age about which Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) predicted that the “worst of the people under the canopy of the sky will be their ulama from who Fitnah will flow, and the Fitnah will rebound on these ulama.”

THESE MERRYMAKING PARTIES IN THE MUSAAJID, SATANICALLY CONDUCTED IN THE GUISE OF ‘I’TIKAAF’, ARE NOT PERMISSIBLE. ALLAH TA’ALA HAS BESTOWED SOUND AQL (INTELLIGENCE) TO ALL MUSLIMS. THEY SHOULD THEREFORE THINK WITH THEIR BRAINS, NOT WITH EMOTION. IF MUSLIMS CORRECTLY  EMPLOY THE NI’MAT OF AQL, THEY WILL NOT FAIL TO DISCERN THE FLOTSAM AND THE GUTHA OF THE BID’AH AND HARAAM PARTIES WHICH ARE ORGANIZED IN THE MUSAAJID FOR GRATIFYING THE NAFS AND FOR FULFILMENT OF THE PERNICIOUS MOTIVES OF ULAMA-E-SOO’ AND  ‘SHAIKHS’ OF DECEPTION.

QUESTION:
Is the 10 day Ramadhaan I’tikaaf an infiraadi (individual) or an Ijtima-i (congregational) ibaadat? Most of the people need a break because the daily schedules are tight and extensive. Feeding roughly 100 people daily for 10 days —Sehri, Iftaar, Dinner after Taraaweeh and again after the night bayaan at about 11 pm. The Maulana’s host and his mureeds are compelled to participate in this khaanqah activity every year. The participants have a hypocritical stand. The majority talks negatively of this state of affairs. Please comment.

ANSWER:
The 10 day Ramadhaan I’tikaaf is an infiraadi ibaadat. It is not a congregational ibaadat. The gluttonous feasting, especially during the month of Ramadhaan, is vile in particular. Only beasts devour food in the manner described by you. This is indeed a ridiculous set up which the Mauana Saheb has fabricated under guise of Tasawwuf. It is haraam to impose the hardship of preparing meals for so many people, especially during Ramadhaan. The negative talk is sufficient evidence for the unlawful impositions on the womenfolk. The people who participate in this feasting are also blameworthy. It is not permissible to impose the burden of feeding so many people, so many times a day, and that too, in Ramadhaan.

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