[Abridged from the writings of Hazrat Maulana Ahmad Sadeq Desai]
The Barelvi allegation that Hadhrat Maulana Rashid Ahmed Gangohi (rahmatullah alayh) had declared: “Allah can tell a lie.”, is blatant slander. Hadhrat Gangohi (rahmatullah alayhi) never made such a vile statement nor is this statement recorded anywhere in any of his writings: The Istifta’ (Question) and the Fatwa (the verdict and answer) are recorded in Fatawa Rashidiyya. The translation is presented here:
ISTIFTA’ (THE QUESTION)
What do the Ulama of the Deen say regarding the following question: Does the Zaat (Being) of Allah Ta’ala-Glorious is His Name- have the attribute of kithb (falsehood) or not? Does Allah speak lies or not? How shall a person who says that Allah speaks lies be described? Elaborate and you will be rewarded (by Allah Ta’ala).
The Zaat of Allah Ta’ala is pure and holy, far above being attributed with the quality of kithb(falsehood—lies). Maaathallaah! Never ever is there the slightest vestige of falsehood in His Words (Kalaam). Allah Ta’ala says (in the Qur’aan):
“And, who is more truthful than Allah in word?”
Whoever believes with regard to Allah Ta’ala or says verbally that Allah speaks lies, is an absolute kaafir and mal’oon (accursed). He is an opponent of the Qur’aan Hadith and the Ijma’ (Consensus of the Ummah. Never is he a Mu’min.
“Allah Ta’ala is most high and above the (falsehood) which the transgressors speak.”
However, it is the unanimous belief of all people of Imaan that, for example, while Fir’oun, Haamaan and Abu Lahab have been proclaimed by the Qur’aan to be absolute Jahannami(inmates of the Fire), nevertheless, Allah Ta’ala has the power to grant them Jannat although He will not do so. He has not been rendered impotent (by His promise). He says (in the Qur’aan):
“And, if we desire, we can give every person guidance, but from Me has gone forth the decree that, verily, I shall fill Jahannum with jinn and men.”
It is evident from this verse that if Allah Ta’ala had willed, He would have made everyone Mu’min. But, what He has proclaimed already, He will not act in contradiction thereof. All this is by the volitional power of Allah, not by idhtiraar (i.e. He does not act under compulsion. Whatever He does is by His volitional power and will). He is the Independent Actor. He does as He pleases. This is the belief of all the Ulama of the Ummah. Hence, in the tafseer of Allah’s statement, “If You (O Allah!) forgive them….”, Baidhaawi writes:
“There being no forgiveness for shirk is the effect of the warning (wa-eed of Allah that He will not forgive shirk). Thus, with regard to forgiveness, there is no impossibility in the Zaat of Allah Ta’ala. (i.e. Allah has the power to forgive even the mushrik, if He so wishes).”
The above Question and Answer appear in Hadhrat Maulana Gangohi’s Fataawa Rashidiyya in Volume No.1. It was published more than a decade before the Barelvi’s issued their fatwa of kufr against Hadhrat Gangohi (rahmatullah alayh). From the aforementioned citation, the following facts will be abundantly clear to all seekers of the truth:
* Hadhrat Maulana Gangohi (rahmatullah alayh) never said that Allah Ta’ala speaks a lie or spoke a lie or will ever speak a lie.
* Hadhrat Maulana Gangohi (rahmatullah alayh), himself declared as kaafir and accursed a person who holds the view that Allah Ta’ala speaks lies or that the attribute of kithb is associated with Him.
It is the unanimous belief of the entire Ummah that while Allah Ta’ala will not act in conflict with any of His promises, nevertheless, it does not mean that He is impotent and that He no longer has the power to do anything in conflict with His promise, e.g. Jannat will endure everlastingly by virtue of the will and promise of Allah Ta’ala. But, this does not mean that Allah Ta’ala no longer possesses the power to annihilate Jannat. It is the belief of Islam that Allah Ta’ala has power over all things and that His promises do not render Him impotent from acting.
The Barelvis have distorted and deliberately misinterpreted this Fatwa of Hadhrat Gangohi (rahmatullah alayh) in an insidious attempt to mislead unwary and ignorant people. They have deliberately distorted this Fatwa so that people gain the impression that Hadhrat Maulana Gangohi (rahmatullah alayh) claimed that Allah spoke a lie—Nauthubillaah! When Hadhrat Gangohi, himself proclaims as kaafir a person who holds such an evil belief or who utters such notoriety then it is an act of grave injustice and. blatant slander to accuse him of having declared that “Allah can speak a lie.”, implying thereby that Allah Ta’ala will speaks lies, Nauthubillaah! May the curse of Allah Ta’ala descend on those who have slandered such an illustrious Soul of Islam.
THE QUESTION OF IMKAAN-E-KITHB
Literally, Imkaan-e-Kithb means the possibility of speaking a lie. The Qabar Pujaaris (Grave-Worshippers) grabbed the literal meaning and with it slandered the Ulama of Deoband, accusing them of believing and stating that ‘Allah Ta’ala speaks lies’ – Nauthubillah!
The term imkaan in the context has a technical meaning which means rational possibility, not practical possibility. A rational possibility is valid and intellectually possible without it necessarily being in practical existence. For example, it is possible to imagine in the mind a donkey with a hundred heads although such an animal does not exist. The existence in the intellect is termed rational possibility (Imkaan-e-Aqli) which is the meaning of imkaan in the context.
On the other hand rational impossibility (Mahaal-e-Aqli) refers to an entity which is rationally impossible, hence it will also be practically impossible. For example, it cannot be rationally conceived that one plus one equal three, or something can be black and white in the same substratum at the very same time, or it can be day and night at the very same time.
While the issue in dispute pertains to the domain of rational possibility in the technical meaning, the grave-worshippers accused the Ulama of Deoband with the slander of believing in the practical possibility or the real possibility of Allah Azza Wa Jal acting in contradiction to His Promises, e.g. forgiving Shaitaan, Fir’oun and the like, and granting them admission to Jannat.
The subtlety of the issue has confused the ordinary folk who fell into the snare of slander woven by the Qabar Pujaari molvis. However, Ulama and intelligent Muslims understand that at no stage did the Ulama of Deoband put forth the kufr of practical attribution of falsehood to Allah Azza Wa Jal.
The simple issue is only this: Does Allah Ta’ala have the power (Qudrat) to forgive the incorrigible kuffaar such as Shaitaan, Fir’oun, Haamaan, etc.? It is the belief of the heretical philosophers (those who had sprung up among Muslims) and of the Mu’tazili heretical sect that Allah Ta’ala lacks the power to forgive these kuffaar. In other words even if he wanted to send them to Jannat, He is bereft of the power to do so – Nauthubillah.
The contention of the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jama’ah since the inception of Islam, has always been that Allah Ta’ala does possess the Qudrat although He will not act in conflict with His eternal Promise. The Qabar Pujaaris incline to the Mu’tazili viewpoint. Instead of honestly stating their case, they resort to slandering the Ulama of the Ahlus Sunnah Wa’l Jama’ah. The Kutub of the Ulama of the Ahlus Sunnah state exactly the same view propounded by the Ulama of Deoband on this question. Thus, Hadhrat Maulana Gangohi (Rahmatullah alayh) and the Ulama of Deoband in general, did not proffer any new concept. They simply narrated the official and authoritative view of the Ahlus Sunnah and expounded it for better comprehension.
It is inconceivable to an intellect functioning in the state of equilibrium to accept that Allah Ta’ala lacks the power to pardon Shaitaan. No one had ever claimed that Allah Ta’ala will forgive Shaitaan and admit him to Jannat. But, if Allah Azza Wa Jal chooses to bestow hidaayat to Shaitaan, what power in creation can prevent Him from this simple act? The Qur’aan Majeed is replete with the declaration: “He guides whomever He wills, and He misguides whomever He wills.” In the Qur’aan Majeed Allah Azza Wa Jal states:
“Thus, We have made for every Nabi enemies from from mankind and the shayaateen. They inspire one another with adorned statements of deception. And, if your Rabb wills, they would not be able to do so. Therefore leave them and that (evil) which they fabricate.”
(Al-An’aam, aayat 112)
If Allah Ta’ala so desires that these human and jinn devils acquire hidaayat, nothing can prevent it. Thus, the aayat establishes with certitude the rational possibility of the shayaateen acquiring hidaayat (guidance). Comprehending this simple reality is within the intellectual parameters of even rustic and illiterate folk. There is nothing rationally possible which is impossible for Allah Azza Wa Jal. He repeatedly declares in His Qur’aan-e-Hakeem:
“Verily, Allah has power over all things.”
Now from whence do these moron grave-worshippers hail to curb and truncate the infinite, eternal Qudrat of Allah Azza Wa Jal?
Further confirming the unrestricted Qudrat of Allah Azza Wa Jal, the Qur’aan Majeed states:
“(O Muhammad!) Recite to them the episode of the one to whom We gave Our Aayaat. Then he abandoned it. Thus, Shaitaan pursued him (to enlist and entangle him in evil). Then he became of those who had gone astray. If We had willed, We could have elevated him with those Verses, But he (the vile one) clung to the earth and followed his base desires. Thus, his example is like that of a dog.”
(Al-A’raaf, Verses 175 & 176)
The episode mentioned in these Verses pertains to a very pious Buzrug (Saint) of bygone times¸prior to the advent of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). He fell into the trap of shaitaan and abandoned the Haqq and went astray into kufr and evil. Regarding him, Allah Ta’ala says: “If We had desired”, he would not have gone astray, and he would have been among those of elevated ranks. This establishes the fact that although this person, like Shaitaan, Fir’oun, etc. have been decreed for everlasting doom, Allah Ta’ala has the power to act to the contrary and forgive them. This is the meaning of Imkaan-e-Kithb – the rational possibility of an issue which will not attain practicality by Allah’s choice.
Another pertinent question coming within the purview of this self-same issue, is the possibility of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) being punished by Allah Ta’ala. What is the tafseer of this possibility, and what type of possibility is it? Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) himself elucidated this issue to preclude the assertions of the grave-worshippers bogged in jahl-e-murakkab (compound ignorance). The Qur’aan-e-Hakeem states:
“It is not proper for a Nabi to take prisoners until he spills blood In the land. Do you desire the material things of this world whilst Allah desires (for you) the Aakhirat. Allah is The Mighty, The Wise. If it had not been for a decree preordained, then most certainly, a great punishment would have afflicted you on account of what you had taken.”
(Al-Anfaal, Verses 67 & 68)
On the occasion of the Battle of Badr, 70 prisoners were taken. What had to be done with these prisoners? There were two opinions: One – to ransom them, and two- to put them to death. The former advice was proffered by Hadhrat Abu Bakr (Radhiyallahu anhu) and other Sahaabah, while Hadhrat Umar (Radhiyallahu anhu) was of the latter view.
Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam), being Rahmatullahi lil Aalameen (A Mercy to the worlds), opted for the advice of Hadhrat Abu Bakr (Radhiyallahu anhu), and the prisoners were ransomed and set free. It was on this occasion that these two Verses were revealed with the severe reprimand for Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam).
The day after this incident, when Hadhrat Umar (Radhiyallahu anhu) went to visit Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam), he was shocked to see Nabi-e-Kareem (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and Hadhrat Abu Bakr (Radhiyallahu anhu) bitterly weeping. Overcome with emotion, Hadhrat Umar (Radhiyallahu anhu) said:
“O Rasulullah! Why are you and your Companion weeping so much? If I am informed of the reason, I too shall weep, and if I am unable to weep, I shall simulate a weeping person so as to be like you.”
Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) responded: “I am weeping because I perceived the arrival of the punishment of Allah as close as the nearest side of the tree because I had accepted the opinion of those who had suggested the ransom.” (Ma-aalimaat Tanzeel)
In another Aayat, Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) is commanded by Allah Ta’ala to say:
“Say (O Muhammad!): ‘Verily I fear the punishment of the Great Day if I disobey my Rabb.” (Aayat 7, An’aam)
Now the Qabar Pujaaris may proclaim us to be ‘kaafir’ on the basis of the slander that we believe that Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) will be punished by Allah Ta’ala. This episode comes within the scope of the meaning of Imkaan-e-Kithb.
While there are numerous such examples in the Qur’aan Majeed of Allah’s unrestricted, eternal Power, we shall cite one more for people of intelligence. Allah Ta’ala states:
“If your Rabb had willed then most certainly all on earth, all of them would have believed.”
(Yoonus, Aayat 99)
Only unfortunate and miserable ones can claim that Allah Ta’ala lacks the power to forgive, guide and admit to Jannat Shaitaan, Fir’oun, Haamaan, Qaaroon, Namrood, etc., etc. This fact is a rational possibility. However, by His volitional Will, Allah Ta’ala will not forgive them. Abstention from forgiveness is not the effect of inability or lack of power. It is indeed kufr to believe that Allah Ta’ala lacks the Qudrat to do as He pleases.
Further confirming the unfettered Qudrat of Allah Ta’ala to do as He pleases, the Qur’aan Majeed states:
“So that Allah may reward the Saadiqeen (the Truthful ones) for their truth, and punish the Munaafiqeen (the hypocrites) if He wills or forgives them. Verily Allah is Most Forgiving, Most Merciful.”
(Ahzaab, Aayat 24)
This in a nutshell is the stupid and evil controversy which the Qabar Pujaaris have churned up on the issue of Imkaan-e-Kithb.
FURTHER EXPLANATION OF THE TECHNICAL MEANING OF IMKAAN-E-KITHB
The simple Barelwi laity, being completely unschooled in the technical discussions in the Field of Islamic Aqaaid have, true to their addiction, gorged up all the blatant slanders which their errant peers have fed them. Herewith we present a simple explanation for the many seekers of the Truth; those who refuse to be blindly led by the cult leaders of the Barelwi sect.
Destroying This Universe
We ask you, O Barelwi Brother, what your belief is in regard to Allah Ta’ala’s qudrat of destroying the entire world at this moment of time? Is it possible; can Allah Ta’ala destroy the universe and everything therein now, or not?
If you say, “no,” we advise you to seek help from a psychoanalyst, for verily you are mentally deranged. Your ‘god’ then is similar to the Greek god, ‘the first cause’. You have stripped your ‘god’ or sheared from His attribute of Omnipotence.
And if you answer, “Yes, He definitely has this power,” then verily the ‘imkaan-e-kithb’ bogey stares at you head on. In spite of it being our Aqeedah – the Aqeedah of the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jama’ah – that certain major signs will appear before the destruction of this universe, regardless, Allah Ta’ala has the Full Power of terminating the existence of this universe whenever He wishes, although He will not go against His word and He will let the major signs be enacted before destroying all creation. This is Umoom-e-Qudrat – the universality of Allah Ta’ala’s power. Call it ‘imkaan-e-kithb’ if you like.
Bestowing Imaan to Everyone
If you are still disbelieving, then here is an even simpler illustration; an axiomatic truth. We ask you, O Barelwi Brother, can Allah Ta’ala make the whole world Muslims and People of Imaan at any time He wishes? If you say, “no,” then we admonish you to visit your local Imaam and renew your Shahaadah. And if you declare, “yes” then the ‘imkaan-e-kithb’ bogeyman has hugged and kissed you, for verily Allah Ta’ala declares that He has the Power – the Qudrat – of making all mankind Mu-min if He wishes, but His decision not to, has already been resolved. Can there be a more glaring example of ‘umoom-e-qudrat/ imkaan-e-kithb/ mahaal lizaatihi and mahaal lighairihi/ khalf-e-wa’eed – you can designate it whatever you wish – than this?
This is the simple and straightforward concept of the power of Allah Ta’ala to carry out the contrary to what He has promised. However, in practice and in this present world His erstwhile decision will not change. The terrible and fatal blunder the Barelwi ‘scholars’ have committed is to take literal (i.e. kizb literally meaning ‘lying’) what is technical, thus extrapolating the appalling charges which they level against the honourable senior Ulama of Deoband. Those for whom hidaayat has been decreed will be guided and those who are destined for Jahannam will never be guided.
For a more detailed analysis of the vile slander and fabrication perpetrated by the Imam of the Barelwi sect, read the following article:
The Slander Against Hadhrat Maulana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi Sahib
(Maulana Manzoor Nu’mani)