A Brother lamenting, writes:
Respected Mufti Saheb
I recently attended the nikah of the daughter of Dr Mubeen who is a prominent member and an old worker at the Johannesburg Markaz of the Tabligh Jamaat. He is originally from Pakistan and he is part of the Shura committee. After the nikah I attended the dawat hosted by Dr Mubeen. There were two separate venues for ladies and men. Accordingly I thought that everything will be according to sunnat so I attended.
When I entered there I was shocked to find that only tables and chairs were set out. I asked one of the waiters if it would be possible for me to sit on the floor and if he could arrange for a table cloth. He happily obliged and gave me permission. I enjoyed the meal and no one prevented me. I noticed Dr Mubeen going from table to table attending to everybody, but it seemed as if he was purposely ignoring me.
Since we are quite close I assumed that this thought was just from shaytaan. I did not see anybody else sitting on the floor. At the nikah ceremony I noticed that many famous Ulema from the tabligh jamaat and major Darul Ulooms had attended. Some people were pointing fingers at me, nevertheless I was happy and didn’t think anything at that time. I met the grooms brother at the dawat, he was an old school friend of mine, he was overjoyed to see me sitting the sunnah way.
On Sunday I attended the Walima. This time I took my dastarkhan with me so as not to cause takleef. I arrived early and I was happy to meet my old school friend outside who is the groom’s brother who was hosting the Walima. I told him “You know how I sit and eat, can I bring my dastarkhaan?” He gave full permission and later even helped me to find a place to sit which was completely out of the way. It was still early and after I laid down my dastarkhaan I noticed that Dr Mubeen had entered and people were going to greet him.
I got up and made my way to him to greet him. He looked at my Dastarkhaan and caught my arm. He said, “I wanted to tell you on Friday when I saw you, that this what you are doing is very wrong. You cannot sit on the floor here. There is a time and place for everything, and this is not the place to do this Sunnat.”
I tried to calm him down by saying that this is my habit and that I am not comfortable with sitting at a table. Before I could finish my sentence he cut me off by nodding his head as if he was disappointed and said, “No no no, there are big big Ulama here. You are insulting them, you are insulting our guests and our hosts by doing this here. We even eat on the floor at home, but here we don’t do this. This is not the place. This is why you must come in Tableegh Jamaat, we will teach you how to practice on the Sunnat. There are great great Ulama here. Who are you? (He was quite loud at this point and I could see another uncle to the left of me shaking his head in agreement as if to spur him on.) You are a small person. You are nothing compared to them. You come here and insult everybody. How can you go and sit like this here? In fact, I want you to come and sit next to me (at a table), you are our Sher (lion), our tiger (he said this as if to apply Vaseline to my wounded heart.) You must come and sit next to me.”
I was almost in tears at this point. I went to my father and asked him to have a word with him outside. I told him that I am not used to sitting at a table. In fact, when I stayed at hotels during safar (journey), they obliged to reserve a special section for me to sit on the floor. This was a Walimah. A Sunnah of our Nabi (Sallallaahu alaihi wasallam). I was heartbroken and confused. My house was a walking distance of 10-15 minutes away. I walked home and warmed up some leftover food and ate it alone at home.
When my mother came home she had found out and asked me why did I not eat. I told her what had happened. She was very emotional. My mother went to visit Dr Mubeen’s wife (who is her very close friend) a few days later to thank her. She was happy that I was sitting on the floor and enquired if I had eaten well. My mother informed her of what transpired at the Walima and that I had not eaten. Upon hearing this his wife started crying.
What I would like to know is that we often hear the Jamaat brothers announce in the Masjid, “My success, your success and the success of the entire mankind lies in Deen. Deen is to obey the Commands of Allah Ta’ala as shown to us by Nabi (Sallallaahu alaihi wasallam). For this to come into our lives a definite effort is required…,” thus I have understood that success lies in following Nabi (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam), and Nabi (Sallallahu alaihi wasallam) never ever sat at a table and ate even though others sat at tables. Therefore I have tried to implement this in my life with my best efforts. I understand and accept that I am a small person and I don’t know everything, that is why I am enquiring, is the Sunnat implemented only at certain times and at certain places or do we abandon the Sunnat when big and great Ulama abandon it in the eye of the public? Do we blindly follow them (the big and great Ulama) when the Sunnat can be implemented? Maybe it is the fault of the host for not providing suitable facilities to eat on the floor and this is why the Ulama are mazoor?
(End of the Brother’s lament.)
COMMENT BY MUJLISUL ULAMA
Brother, firstly, you have to be reprimanded for your attendance of a function organized in kuffaar style. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:
“It is not proper for a Mu’min to bring disgrace on himself.”
You were humiliated the first occasion when you attended the haraam wedding reception, and along with your humiliation, the Sunnah of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) was humiliated with kufr tahqeer (the attitude of contempt). Then despite having been publicly humiliated you went into the very same pit of disgrace by attending the so-called ‘walimah’ where you were humiliated to a greater degree. It is mentioned in the Hadith that a Mu’min is not bitten twice from the same hole. Your error was to have attended the anti-Sunnah, haraam functions.
Needless to say, the attitude of the host was kufr. He mocked and held in contempt the Sunnah of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). The Sunnah is meant for all time right until the Day of Qiyaamah. The ‘great’ ulama present were members of the fraternity of ulama-e-soo’. Only such vile ‘ulama’ bereft of genuine love for Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) are capable of tolerating the flagrantly kufr attitude of the host. Only the evil ulama compromise and abandon the Sunnah and the Haqq in the public domain and tolerate contempt hurled on the Sunnah.
The averment of the host, that the so-called ‘walimah’ was not the venue for the Sunnah but the Tablighi Jamaat Ijtimah tent is the proper venue for the Sunnah is a portrayal of his nifaaq. The Qur’aan Majeed says about those who practise double standards with the Deen:
“They speak with their tongues what is not in their hearts.”
One who has honour for the Sunnah, will never conduct himself so despicably as the host had acquitted himself, showing scorn for the Sunnah of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). That the Sunnah is to be staunchly upheld at all times and in all places is vividly demonstrated by the attitude of Hadhrat Huzaifah (Radhiyallahu anhu). A group of Sahaabah was invited for meals by the Christian king of Irbal. The food was spread on the ground.
Whilst eating, a morsel of food slipped from the hand of Hadhrat Huzaifah (Radhiyallahu anhu). And it fell on the ground. He promptly picked it up and as he was about to eat it, a Muslim sitting next to him whispered to him not to eat it in the presence of the king and his royal retinue. They were looking on and would gain a bad impression of the Muslims.
Hadhrat Huzaifah (Radhiyallahu anhu), loudly exclaimed for all to hear: “Should I abandon the Sunnah of my Beloved for the sake of these ignoramuses?” Then he proceeded to consume the morsel. The host of the brother who was affronted by the brother’s insistence to observe the Sunnah is not only among the Humakaa’ (ignoramuses), he in fact is guilty of kufr. The Christian king and his noblemen did not comment adversely on the Sunnah. They were silent, yet Hadhrat Huzaifah (Radhiyallahu anhu) labelled them Humakaa’. Now what label should be attached to this miserable host who pretends to be a Tablighi but despises the Sunnah?
The refrain, “My success, your success and the success of entire mankind lies in the Deen……….” which is the opening statement in the announcements of the Tablighi brothers, by far and large has become an empty, hollow monotonous cliché. The host who is a prominent member of the Tablighi Jamaat has demonstrated practically the hollowness of this cliché. The vast majority of them is shockingly ignorant of the Sunnah. For them the Sunnah is confined to the turban, kurtah, beard and miswaak. Most of them have even discarded the Waajib Sunnah of the pants above the ankles. They have discarded the Wajib Sunnah of the Sunnah Salaat after the Fardh. They accord priority to their bayaan and relegate the Sunnah Salaat to the background. Their muaasharaat (social dealings) are rotten as the host has demonstrated with his reaction to the brother seated on the ground.
The Sunnah for them is a hobby to be practised at convenience, and to project a faced of piety and holiness. It has no real meaning in practical life. They speak of ‘definite effort’. This has become a comical cliché because there is no ‘definite’ effort’ for the Deen in the lives of the majority of the Tabligh Jamaat members. ‘Definite effort’ is the effort of Hadhrat Huzaifah (Radhiyallahu anhu) and of the Sahaabah (Radhiyallahu anhum).
The implementation of the Sunnah has uniform application. It is not a haphazard culture of convenience and expedience. It is not the handmaid of desire, fashion, style, least of all of Tashabbuh bil kuffaar, and that is exactly what eating from tables and sitting on chairs for meals means.
The errors and sins of ‘great’ ulama may not be followed. Following the errors and sins of ‘great’ ulama was the practice of Bani Israaeel, hence, the Qur’aan reprimands: “They take their ahbaar (molvis and sheikhs – their ‘great’ ulama) and their ruhbaan (their khaanqah sheikhs) as gods besides Allah…..”
About the errors and obscurities of the ‘great’ Ulama, Allaamah Abdul Wahhaab Sha’raani (Rahmatullah alayh) said:
“He who clings to the rarities (errors, obscurities and diversionary views) of the Ulama, verily he has made his exit from Islam.”
The weaknesses, compromises and spinelessness of the ‘great’ ulama who had ate at the tables are never daleel for the expungement of the Sunnah. Their deficiencies are not a basis for treating the Sunnah like a hobby or a handmaid to come forward at beck and call. This should never be the style of this Ummah. Unfortunately, it has become the style of the Muslim masses to follow the sinful deeds of the miscreant ‘great’ ulama simply because such following is appealing to the bestial nafs.
The ulama are never ‘ma’zoor’ for commission of haraam as the brother surmises. They are culpable and complicit in killing the Sunnah by their active connivance and support of the miscreant host. We are living in the era in which the ulama-e-soo’ abound. The Deen has become forlorn and friendless as Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:
“Islam began ghareeb (forlorn and friendless). Soon shall it return to that ghareeb state as it had begun. Congratulations to the Ghuraba (the forlorn ones who struggle to uphold the Sunnah).”