We are convinced that the venerable Mufti Sahib is surely aware of the fact that when the illustrious Fuqaha-e-Kiraam cite a Hadith as a Mustadal or adduce it in corroboration of the view they expound, then the very citation of the Hadith is the daleel for its saht (authenticity) regardless of any classification of the later Muhadditheen. This is a well-known principle of which the honourable Mufti Sahib is not unaware.
In view of the likely confusion which the venerable Mufti Sahib’s assault on the two Ahaadith may create in the minds of the unwary readers, there is a need to expand somewhat on this subject.
Mustadal (plural mustadallaat) is the basis on which the Fuqaha formulate a Shar’i hukm. Qur’aanic verses, Ahaadith, statements and rulings of the Sahaabah and the principles of Shar’i Qiyaas form the Mustadallaat of the Fuqaha. The Fuqaha do not operate beyond the confines of these Qur’aanic principles. Shaikh Yusuf Bin Ismaaeel An-Nabhaani says in his Hujjatullaah Alal Aalameen:
“Whoever says that Sunnat is only what is explicitly mentioned in the Ahaadith, has in fact rejected all the Math-habs of the Mujtahideen. He has rejected Ijma’. The evil of his belief is not hidden. We seek protection from Allah Ta’ala (against such deviation). It is mentioned in Al-Yaaqoot wal Jawaahir, and similarly it is narrated in Al-Mizaanul Khadriyyah (of Imaam Sha’raani) that Shaikhul Islam Zakariyya (among the Shaafi’ Fuqaha) said: ‘Alhamdulillaah, I have searched for the proofs of the Mujtahideen (i.e. for their dalaa-il and mustadallaat). I have not found even a single fara’ (a mas’alah which is not a principle) from among the Furoo’ of their Mathaahib except that it is substantiated by a daleel, either an Aayat from the Qur’aan or a Hadith or an Athar (statement of a Sahaabi) or Saheeh Qiyaas – based on saheeh principles. ….All their statements are derived from the rays of the Noor of the Shariah which is the foundation. It is impossible to find a fara’ (of the Fuqaha) without a basis (in the Qur’aan and Sunnah).”
It should be clear to men of knowledge that when a Muhaddith of the later eras describing a Hadith says: “I do not recognize it.”, “I do not know it.”, “There is no basis for it.”, “It is weak.”, etc., he says so within the limits of his knowledge and investigation based on principles which he or other Muhadditheen have evolved. He never directs such comments against the Mustadallaat of the Fuqaha who were the Asaatizah of the Asaatizah of the Muhadditheen.
On the contrary, it was the practice of the Muhadditheen to set aside their own Saheeh Ahaadith, if there was a conflict with the practice (amal) and ruling of the Fuqaha. Thus, they would say: “The amal of the Ahl-e-Ilm is on this….”, and they would say this even if they had classified the Ahaadith as weak (Dhaeef). Despite the Hadith being Dhaeef according to their classification, the Muhadditheen would mention the amal of the Fuqaha.
Thus the Muhadditheen who had compiled the Hadith books, would practise in accordance with the Ahaadith which they themselves had classified as Dhaeef because these ‘Dhaeef’ narrations constituted the Mustadallaat of the Fuqaha. The principles and rules of Hadith classification which the later Muhadditheen had formulated did not apply to the Shariah’s laws or to the Hadith mustadallaat of the Fuqaha-e-Mutaqaddimeen.
The Muhadditheen were not among the Aimmah Mujtahideen. They followed the Math-habs in their practical life. They did not formulate a different Math-hab for themselves based on their classification of Hadith.
It is surprising that the venerable Mufti Sahib being an Ustaadh of Hadith is either unaware of or have forgotten about the principle of Talaqqi Bil Qubool. In terms of this well-known principle a Hadith becomes valid for amal even if its isnaad is dhaeef. In this regard, Hafiz Ibn Hajar writes:
“One of the criteria for acceptance of Hadith is the concurrence of the Ulama on making amal (acting) on the Hadith. Such a Hadith (on which there is the concurrence of the Fuqaha) will be incumbently accepted.”
In his Al-Ajwibatul Faadhilah, Hadhrat Maulana Abdul Hayy, explaining the principle of Talaqqi Bil Qubool, says:
“Similarly (will a Hadith be accepted) when the Ummah accepts a Dhaeef Hadith. (Ummah in this context does not include the rank and file). According to the authentic view such a Hadith will be acted on. Allaamah Muhaddith Faqeeh Shaikh Husain Bin Muhsin Al-Ansaari Al-Yamaani was asked about the statement of Imaam Tirmizi who says in his Jaami’ when he narrates a Dhaeef Hadith: “Amal (practical adoption) on it is according to the Ahl-e-Ilm (the Fuqaha).” …….And it was also asked about the established principle on which there is the consensus of the Muhadditheen that anything other than a Saheeh or Hasan Hadith will not be accepted in the matter of (formulating) ahkaam. But this Hadith (referring to a particular Hadith) is Dhaeef. How is it then permissible for the Ulama to act on it?
The Shaikh said in response: “May Allah grant us and you taufeeq. A Dhaeef Hadith is one which lacks a condition from among the conditions of acceptance…..As-Suyuti said in Sharh Nazmid Durar (Al-Nahrul lazi Zakhar): Qubool (Acceptance) is:
What the Ulama have accorded Talaqqi bil Qubool (i.e. the Fuqaha have accepted a narration) even though there is no saheeh isnaad for it. Among the group of Ulama who have narrated this is Ibn Abdul Barr.
Or it (the narration) has become well-known to the Aimmah-e-Hadith. And As-Suyuti has also said after mentioning the Hadith: ‘Tirmizi said: ‘Amal today is on this Hadith according to the Ulama.’ With this statement he indicated that a Hadith is strengthened with the acceptance by the Fuqaha.”
Many authorities have explicitly said that of the evidence for the authenticity of a Hadith is the acceptance by the Ulama even if there is no reliable isnaad for it. As-Suyuti has also said in Tadreebur Raawi: “Some of them (the Authorities) said: ‘Hadith will be accorded authenticity when the People (i.e. the Fuqaha) have accepted it as authentic even if there is no saheeh isnaad for it.” Ibn Abdul Barr said in Al-Istithkaar when it was narrated from Tirmizi that Bukhaari authenticated the Hadith of the Ocean (that its water is pure), while the Muhadditheen do not accredit this type of isnaad. Nevertheless according to me the Hadith is Saheeh because the Ulama have accorded it acceptance.”
It is mentioned in At-Tamheed: ‘Jaabir narrated from Nabi (sallallahu alayhi wasallam): ‘A dinaar is twenty four qeeraat.’ About this Hadith, he said: ‘In terms of the statement of the Ulama and their Ijma’ regarding its meaning, it is independent of isnaad (i.e. it is authentic without an isnaad).
Regarding the practice of Talqeen to the mayyit (according to the Hambali Math-hab). “A Dhaeef Hadith is narrated on this issue. At-Tabraani records in his Mu’jam the Hadith of Abu Umaamah.. …..This Hadith is not substantiated. However, the continuity of practice in this regard in all the lands and ages without any rejection suffices for its practical adoption.”
The Hanafi Muhaqqiq, Imaam Al-Kamaal Al-Humaam, says in Fathul Qadeer (about the weakness of a Hadith): “Among the factors which authenticate Hadith is the concurrence of the Ulama on its practice.”
Tirmizi said after narrating it: ‘Hadithun Ghareebun’. (This Hadith is Ghareeb). But, notwithstanding this, the amal is on it according to the Ulama among the Sahaabah of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and others besides them (i.e. the Taabieen, etc.)’.
Imaam Maalik (rahmatullah alayh) said: “The fame of a Hadith in Madinah makes it independent of a saheeh sanad. Haafiz As-Sakhaawi says in Fathul Mugeeth: ‘When the Ummah accepts a Dhaeef Hadith, then according to the authentic view it will be adopted (for amal). So much so, that it will attain the status of Mutawaatir, and it will abrogate Maqtoo’ (Ahaadith). It is for this reason that Imaam Shaafi’ (rahmatullah alayh) said about (the particular) Hadith: “There is no bequest for an heir”, verily, the Muhadditheen have not substantiated it (i.e. it is not authentic in terms of their criteria). Nevertheless, the Ummah has accorded it acceptance for practical adoption. In fact, they (the Fuqaha) have affirmed it to be Naasikh (i.e. it is an abrogator) for the Qur’aanic aayat regarding wasiyyat (bequest).”
Allaamah Saalih Bin Mahdi Al-Muqbeeli said: “Saheeh Hadith in the specific meaning of the Muta-akh-khireen (the later Muhadditheen from about the age of Bukhaari and Muslim), is that which has been narrated by an uprighteous Haafiz who inturn narrates from a similar narrator without a defect. Saheeh Hadith in the general meaning according to the Mutaqaddimeen (the authorities of the early era) among the Muhadditheen, all the Fuqaha and Usooliyyeen, is a narration on which there is practical adoption (ma’mool bihi).” Thus, when a Muhaddith among the Muta-akh-khireen says: ‘This Hadith is not Saheeh.’, then while it negates the special and restricted meaning of the term, it does not negate the general meaning of authenticity according to the Mutaqaddimeen, all the Fuqaha and Usooliyyeen. Therefore, at this juncture there is the possibility of a Hadith being of the Hasan or Dhaeef or Ghair Ma’mool category. On account of this possibility, it is incumbent to probe the Hadith. If it is established that it is Hasan or Dhaeef Ma’mool bihi (i.e. it has been practically adopted by the Fuqaha), then it will be accepted. And, if it is Dhaeef Ghair Ma’mool bihi (i.e. it has not been adopted for amal by the Fuqaha), then it will not be accepted.”
(End of Maulana Abdul Hayy’s dissertation.)
It is clear that the classified Hadith categories of the later Muhadditheen do not apply to the narrations accepted and adopted by the Fuqaha who went before them. It should be simple to understand that after the demise of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam), Islam did not disappear as Judaism and Christianity had disappeared with the departure of their respective Nabis. Not a single mas’alah of the Shariah was lost after the demise of Nabi-e-Kareem (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).
When the Muhadditheen appeared on the scene two centuries later, they found Islam intact. They followed the Islam into which they were born, and they continued practising the Ahkaam without interpolation, deletion and alteration in the light of their classification of Hadith. The masaa-il of the Shariah which the Sahaabah and their illustrious Students, the Aimmah-e-Mujtahideen had evolved, were all based on the Qur’aan and Sunnah which did not disappear. The Mujtahid Imaams were Muhadditheen of the highest calibre. Only when a Hadith was Saheeh and beyond reproach, would it constitute a valid Mustadal for extrapolation of ahkaam. In the circles of Ilm it is common knowledge that acceptance of a Hadith as a Mustadal by the Fuqaha is the daleel for the authenticity of that Hadith.
Any unbiased person with a little understanding will readily understand that principles formulated two centuries after the age of the Fuqaha-e-Mutaqaddimeen cannot negate the authenticity of the narrations accredited by these illustrious Fuqaha, who flourished in the age of the Sahaabah and in close proximity to their era.
Maulana Abdul Hayy further says: “Shaikh Ibraaheem Ath-Thabrahaiti Maaliki says in Sharhul Arbaeen An-Nawwiyah: ‘The occasion for not adopting Dhaeef Hadith in matters of Ahkaam, is when the Fuqaha have not accepted it. If they have accepted it, then it is confirmed, and it (the Dhaeef narration) becomes a proof which shall be practically adopted in matters of ahkaam, etc. as Imaam Shaafi’ has said….. (This effectively debunks Mufti Radhaaul Haq’s claim that the relevant Ahaadith cited by the Fuqaha are ‘Weak”. They are NOT ‘weak’. They are solid GOLD.)
Haafiz Ibn Hajar says in Fathul Baari: “None of the isnaad (of narrations) is devoid of some criticism. But on the whole the Hadith has a basis. In fact, Ash-Shaafi’ has explicitly stated in Al-Umm that the text of this (Dhaeef) Hadith is Mutawaatir….”……..
(Haafiz Bin Hajar commenting on a certain Hadith said): ‘Bukhaari said: “It is not Saheeh.” The Compilers of the Four Sunan narrated it, and Haakim narrated it from the tareeq of Eesa Bin Yoonus. Tirmizi said: ‘It is Ghareeb.’ We do not recognize it except from the narration of Eesa Bin Yoonus from Hishaam. I (i.e. Imaam Tirmizi) asked Muhammad (i.e. Imaam Bukhaari) about it. He said: ‘’I do not regard it to be secure (i.e. its sanad).’ Ibn Maajah and Haakim have narrated it from the avenue of Hafs Bin Ghiyaath, and also from Hishaam. Tirmizi said: ‘It has been narrated in different ways from Abu Hurairah (radhiyallahu anhu). Its isnaad is not saheeh.’ (However, inspite of all this criticism), the amal of the Ulama is on it. (i.e. they have adopted it and the Ummah is practising accordingly).”
(Be it known that the Shariah as we have it today, was transmitted down the long corridor of more than 14 centuries from the Sahaabah. The Shariah did not reach us from Imaam Bukhaari or from any of the other Muhadditheen who appeared centuries after the Sahaabah. Thus the amal of the Fuqaha-e-Mutaqaddimeen override the Hadith classifications of the Muhadditheen. Even if a Hadith is labelled ‘weak’ by the later Muhadditheen, it has absolutely no effect on a Shar’i hukm which was already Mutawaatir during the age of the Sahaabah and Taabieen.)
Our Ustaadh, Allaamah Shaikh Muhammad Badr-e-Aalam said in the Ta’leeq (Annotation) on the discussion of Imaamul Asr: “I say: …..Verily, the Shaikh does not intend with the aforegoing discussion the abolition of the application of Isnaad. How is this possible? If it was not for Isnaad, anyone would have said whatever he desired. On the contrary, the Shaikh intends to convey that when a Hadith has become authentic by way of indications and it has become obvious, then to discard it merely on the basis of a weak narrator is not correct. How can this be so when continuity of practical adoption of it is a stronger testification for its substantiation according to him?”
And, Shaikh Muhammad Yusuf Binnuri said: “Verily, Shaikh Anwar (Hadhrat Anwar Shah Kashmiri) would say: ‘The purpose of Isnaad is to ensure that something which is not Deen does not creep into the Deen. The purpose of Isnaad is not to expunge from the Deen what has been substantiated of it by the practice (amal) of the Ahl-e-Isnaad (the Ulama whose Isnaad links up with Rasulullah – sallallahu alayhi wasallam)’ ” – End of Hadhrat Maulana Abdul Hayy’s dissertation
Wakee’ Bin Jarraah, the renowned Muhaddith and expert in the field of examining narrators said: “A Hadith which is in circulation among the Fuqaha is better than a Hadith in circulation among the Shuyookh of Hadith.”
In Shaami it is said: “When the Mujtahid employs a Hadith as a basis for formulation (of masaail), then (his istidlaal with it) is the accredition of that Hadith.”
In Imdaadul Fataawa, it is mentioned: “Is the consensus of the Jamhoor not a sign for the Hadith having a strong basis even if the factor of dhu’f (weakness) has become attached to it by way of the sanad?”
In I’laaus Sunan, it is mentioned: “The fame (shuhrat) of a mas’alah liberates us from (the need) of probing the asaaneed.”
Ainul Hidaayah states: “Imaam Shaafi’ has written in his Risaalah that the Taabieen Ulama had accepted it (referring to a particular Hadith with no proven isnaad) in view of the fact that it was confirmed to them that it was the instruction of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). Ibn Abdul Barr said that this instruction (referring to the Hadith in question) is well-known to the Ulama of history and the Fuqaha, hence due to the resemblance with Mutawaatir, there is no need for its isnaad.”
Providing further insight on this issue, Allaamah Anwar Shah Kashmiri explains in Fathul Baari:
“The Muhadditheen (i.e. the later Hadith compilers) take into consideration only the state of the isnaad. They do not consider Ta-aamul (uninterrupted practice from generation to generation initiating from the age of the Sahaabah). Hence, many a time a Hadith is authentic on the basis of their criteria. However, they find that there is no amal on that Saheeh Hadith. This bewilders them. In this regard, Tirmizi narrated in his Jaami’ two authentic narrations, valid for practical adoption. Then he commented: ‘Verily, no one has adopted it for amal. Inspite of the authenticity of the Isnaad no one is making amal on it.
In the same way the Muhadditheen have classified as Dhaeef a Hadith from the angle of its Isnaad although the Hadith is widely practised on it (by the Ummah) during their time (i.e. it was ma’mool bihi). Thus there is a disadvantage from a different angle. It is therefore imperative to consider Ta-aamul along with the isnaad, for verily, the Shariah revolves around Ta-aamul and Tawaaruth.” (i.e. the permanent practice from the time of the Sahaabah.)
The acceptance and citation of the two Hadith narrations by all the Mufassireen and the Fuqaha confer to these Ahaadith the lofty pedestal of authenticity. These Hadith narrations meet the requirements of the principle of Talaqqi bil Qubool par excellence, hence any derogatory epithet attributed to these narration by anyone has to be dismissed as baseless. The aforegoing explanations of the Fuqaha and Ulama demonstrate conspicuously the authenticity of the two narrations which the venerable Mufti Sahib has assaulted in an attempt to produce substance for the bid’ah of loud collective Thikr in the Musaajid. It is indeed academically bizarre for the venerable Mufti Sahib who happens to be an Ustaadh of Hadith to assail the authenticity of Ahaadith which have been accredited by all the Fuqaha and all the Mufassireen. When Fuqaha of the calibre of Imaam Sarakhsi and Allaamah Kaasaani unhesitatingly produce these narrations as confirmatory testimony for the afdhaliyyat of Thikr-e-Khafi, then it is a demonstration of lamentable unawareness of the principles of Hadith to assail such narrations with the comments/classification of the later Muhadditheen in an abortive bid to dislodge the Ahaadith from their lofty pedestal of authenticity accorded to them by Ta-aamul and Talaqqi bil Qubool of the Fuqaha.
Another important fact which the venerable Mufti Sahib has overlooked is that these two Hadith narrations which he has attempted to dislodge and neutralize have been presented by the Mufassireen and Fuqaha in a corroboratory capacity. They are not cited as the primary basis – the actual mustadal – for the superiority of silent Thikr. The primary Mustadal for the view of the superiority of silent Thikr is the Qur’aanic verses and the Sunnah of the Sahaabah and the Salaf-e-Saaliheen. The various Ahaadith serve to corroborate and strengthen the position of superiority of silent Thikr. But the actual Hukm is not reliant on these two narrations. Excise these narrations from the argument, and the hukm remains the same. Silent Thikr will remain superior on the basis of the Qur’aanic verses and the permanent practice of the Sahaabah. And, as far as we Muqallideen are concerned, the unanimous ruling of the Fuqaha suffices.
In the preceding pages we have shown the views of the Fuqaha and Mufassireen who claim consensus on the superiority of silent Thikr. Those who have presented some different views are not in conflict with this Consensus. Their views are applicable to different situations and circumstances. For example, the Chishti Mashaaikh, despite subscribing to the superiority of silent Thikr and believing it to be the Asal Hukm, instruct their mureedeen to practise Thikr bil jahr. Circumstances and attitudes dictate such temporary departures from the unanimous view of the afdhaliyyat of silent Thikr. No one besides the venerable Mufti Sahib, who has ventured different views on the basis of changing circumstances, reject the unanimous view of afdhaliyyat of Thikr-e-khafi.
Since the venerable Mufti Sahib has an agenda to fulfil, he felt constrained to promote and elevate the status of loud Thikr and demote silent Thikr. The agenda of the loud collective Thikr programmes in the Musjid is the guiding and determining factor in the hypothesis of the venerable Mufti Sahib, hence he has failed to discern his conflict with the Sahaabah, Fuqaha and Mufassireen on this issue.
The acceptance of these narrations by the Fuqaha and Mufassireen does not really warrant presentation of further evidence for the saht (authenticity) of the narrations. Nevertheless, since the venerable Mufti Sahib has assaulted the authenticity of these authentic narrations on the basis of the views expressed by some Muhadditheen, it will be appropriate to dilate more on his claim.
In his bid to demote the Hadith narrations from their pedestal of authenticity, the venerable Mufti Sahib averred: “Firstly both Ahaadeeth mentioned are weak narrations as they have been narrated by weak narrators. This is according to Imaam Baihaqi, Imaam Daaraqutni Imaam Zahabi, Hafiz Ibn Hajar and others.”
We believe that the venerable Mufti Sahib has added this caveat as an escape valve. In the event of criticism, he could argue that he did not claim that the charge of ‘weakness’ was unanimous. Let it be understood that the Muhadditheen also have their ‘math-habs’ in the science of Hadith classification. Different Muhadditheen have their own criteria. A Hadith which is dhaeef to one Muhaddith, may be saheeh according to another one. There is considerable difference of opinion on this issue. While some Muhadditheen have labelled these narrations dhaeef, others have described them as Saheeh.
Imaam Jalaluddin Suyuti in Jaamius Sagheer narrating the Hadith: “The best Thikr is khafi.”, from the Musnad of Imaam Ahmad, The Saheeh of Ibn Hibbaan and Baihaqi in Shu’bul Imaaan, says that this Hadith is Saheeh.
Ibn Hibbaan classifies this narration Saheeh in his Saheeh. The narrator who narrates from Sa’d Bin Abi Waqqaas (radhiyallahu anhu) is stated in this Hadith as ‘Muhammad Bin Abdur Rahmaan Bin Abi Kabshah.
Commenting on the Raawi (narrator), Muhammad Bin Abdur Rahmaan Bin Labeenah, it is mentioned in Majmauz Zawaaid:
“Ibn Hibbaan has accredited him and said that he has narrated from Sa’d Bin Abi Waqqaas. However, Ibn Maeen has affirmed weakness for him. The remaining narrators are all Saheeh.”
In Al-Maqaasidul Hasanah it is mentioned: ‘Ibn Hibbaan and Abu Awaanah have authenticated this Hadith (i.e. declared it Saheeh).” By this Chain, this Hadith is Marfoo’.
In Ilal Hadith, Abu Zur’ah said the narrator Ibn Abi Labeebah is ‘Most Reliable’ (Asahh)
Imaam Suyuti narrated this Hadith in Al-Baduris Saafirah from Abu Ya’la Musali from Aishah (radhiyallahu anha). He commented that in this Hadith is Hujjat (Proof) “for our Naqshbandi Mashaaikh” whose Math-hab is Thikr-e-Khafi.
Both these Hadith have been narrated by numerous authorities. The shuhrat (fame) of these narrations “liberates us from the need to investigate the isnaad” as is stated in I’laaus Sunan.” The very shuhrat of these Ahaadith which the venerable Mufti Sahib endeavoured to dismiss with his unfounded and unjustified assault, testifies for their authenticity notwithstanding the ilal (technical defects) which some of the Muta-akhkhir Muhadditheen predicate to the Isnaad.
It is a principle of the science of Hadith that the cumulative effect of a variety of narrations of similar subject matter, but of variant versions in their respective Isnaad, eliminates the dhu’f (technical weakness), and elevates the Hadith to a status of acceptable authenticity. These two Ahaadith faulted by the venerable Mufti Sahib are too well-known. They are recorded in numerous kutub of Fiqh, Tafseer and Hadith. Authorities of all branches of Shar’i Knowledge, present these narrations in their arguments to establish the superiority of silent Thikr.
Added to this, is the acceptance of these narrations by the illustrious Fuqaha. This acceptance (Talaqqi bil Qubool) is the strongest evidence for the authenticity of these Ahaadith. The fact that the Fuqaha present these Ahaadith as Mustadallaat or as corroboration, testifies that their authenticity stems from the era of the Sahaabah, the immediate Asaatizah of the first wrung of Aimmah-e-Mujtahideen in the Taabieen era. These Aimmah passed on their Knowledge to their successors who are the Leaders of the Math-habs, and from them this knowledge pervaded the successive ranks of Fuqaha. These Fuqaha did not glean these Ahaadith or their Ilm in general from kutub. Thus, this Knowledge of Islam which we have in our kutub of Fiqh in front of us is not secondary and tertiary acquired from book-study. It is the Ilm of Wahi which reached us via the noble Links in an unbroken Golden Chain (Isnaad) which links up with Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).
In ascertaining the saht (authenticity) of Ahaadith which constitute the Mustadallaat of the Ahkaam of Fiqh, we are totally independent of the Hadith Books of Imaam Bukhaari, Imaam, Muslim, etc., etc. The presentation of a Hadith by the Fuqaha is the strongest proof of its authenticity. In the face of the accredition of the Fuqaha, the conflicting classification of the Muhadditheen is devoid of substance in the context of the Ahkaam already formulated and finalized during the Khairul Quroon epoch.
In view of the clarity of the exposition of the principle of Talaqqi bil Qubool by the Authorities of the Shariah, the negation of the authenticity of the Hadith of Hadhrat Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) by the 9th century Suyuti is lamentably surprising and untenable. In the face of the thrust of this Principle, Suyuti’s view is baseless. All attempts made by some Ulama of the later ages to assail the Hadith of Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) are devoid of Shar’i substances. Their personal opinions have to be set aside as fallacious. The only motive underlying these abortive attempts to dislodge the Hadith of Hadhrat Abdullah Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) is to extract support for collective loud Thikr performances in the public. The Fuqaha-e-Mutaqaddimeen had no such agenda. They stated the unadulterated Haqq to safeguard the pristine purity of the Sunnah.
In his abortive attempt to scuttle the two authentic Ahaadith, the honourable Mufti Sahib acquitted himself dishonourably by ignoring the principles of Fiqh as well as the principles of Hadith. He summarily dismissed the narrations without according intelligent consideration to the consequences of his lamentable utterance to defame the famous Ahaadith which enjoy the highest degree of authenticity. We are dealing with a Hukm of the Shariah which was concluded by the illustrious Fuqaha long, long before the age of the Muhadditheen. There is, therefore, no need to refer to the later Muhadditheen for ascertainment of the status of a Hadith which the Fuqaha had authenticated by utilizing it as their Mustadal or for corroborating a fatwa which they had issued. In short, these Ahaadith which the venerable Mufti Sahib has assailed, are GOLD.
The salient features for the authenticity of these two Hadith narrations which confirm the superiority of silent Thikr are:
The Jamhoor Mufassireen of the Qur’aan, all cite these narrations to corroborate the Qur’aanic command of silent Thikr. They further cite these Ahaadith without assailing their Isnaad.
Numerous kutub of Hadith record these two narrations as well as many Ahaadith of similar or identical purport.
The accumulative effect of the variety of narrations of the same subject matter eliminate the ‘weakness’ which some Muhadditheen have assigned to the Isnaad.
There is no consensus among the later Muhadditheen on the dhu’f (weakness) of these Ahaadith. According to some Muhadditheen, these narrations are Saheeh.
The clinching evidence for the authenticity of these two Ahaadith are the illustrious Fuqaha who cite these narrations in substantiation of Ahkaam of the Shariah.
The actual hukm of the afdhaliyyat (superiority) of silent Thikr is not based on these narrations. The primary Mustadal of the Fuqaha are the two Qur’aanic verses which command silent Thikr.
Thus the honourable Mufti Sahib’s claim of ‘weakness’ is lamentably weak and devoid of substance. We, therefore, dismiss his contention as utterly baseless and not worthy of a Man of Ilm.
Reconciliation is of no effect
The venerable Mufti Sahib says: “The two types of Ahaadeeth can be conformed to in the following way: silent zikr is permissible, however at times due to circumstances and conditions loud zikr is more preferable.”
This is another specimen of the venerable Mufti’s confusion. He has not demarcated the subject of the dispute, hence his arguments vacillate in a state of confusion. The claim which the Mufti Sahib has tendered is the afdhaliyyat of Thikr-e-jahr. We contend that it is grossly erroneous. The Shariah states with great clarity that Thikr-e-Khafi is afdhal, and on this afdhaliyyat there exists Ijma’. The argument of ‘circumstances’ is applicable in special cases, e.g. the Mashaaikh of Chisht prescribe Thikr-e-jahr for beginners in the Path. But, a departure from the original Hukm due to some expediency, should not be interpreted as an abrogation or cancellation of the original ruling of the Shariah. The original ruling remains extant and may not be tampered with.
However, due to circumstances another permissible method is adopted temporarily to satisfy the need. But this adoption does not demote the original hukm from its pedestal of afdhaliyyat nor does it elevate the permissible method of the lesser degree to the status of afdhaliyyat.
It is manifestly erroneous to portray silent Thikr as ‘permissible’ and loud Thikr as ‘preferred’ as being the original ruling of the Shariah. The opposite is the true position. While silent Thikr is based on Qur’aanic commands and numerous explicit Ahaadith, there is no verse of the Qur’aan which commands or even extols loud Thikr. Likewise with the Ahaadith. There is no Hadith which explicitly states the superiority of loud Thikr. On the contrary, the Ahaadith in general deprecate and derogate loud Thikr. The permissibility of moderate Thikr bil jahr is derived by deduction and inference. In addition, the pendulum of rulings for loud Thikr vault wildly from one extreme to the other – from haraam to permissible, with the in between categories of Makrooh and Bid’ah. There are no such discrepancies and incongruencies related to Thikr-e-Khafi.
This argument of the venerable Mufti Sahib is also baseless.
The Argument of Benefits
The venerable Mufti Sahib continuing his endeavour to substantiate his erroneous theory, avers: “Allamah Munaawi (Rahmatullah alaih) has stated in his kitab Faidhul Qadeer that apart from those times in which loud zikr would disturb others or when one’s intentions are not sincere, then loud zikr would be more virtuous than silent zikr. This is so because more benefits result from loud zikr.” Then he enumerates seven benefits.
The venerable Mufti Sahib has failed to understand that Mansoos Ahkaam are not subject for change on account of benefits perceived by mortals. The superiority of silent Thikr is a Mansoos Alayh practice on which there exists Ijma’. Regardless of the benefits of another practice, the Mansoos silent Thikr practice may not be tampered with. The minimum classification of silent Thikr is Istihbaab, while many authorities claim it to be Waajib and loud Thikr to be bid’ah and haraam.
The benefits even if 100% confirmed, lack Shar’i legality and force for displacing the hukm commanded by the Qur’aan and confirmed by the Sunnah. Although the benefits are acknowledged, the Fuqaha and Jamhoor Mufassireen maintain the superiority of Thikr-e-Khafi. If benefits and other rationale have to be accepted as valid grounds for effecting change to Shar’i commands, the entire Shariah will disappear as a consequence of the distortion and displacement enacted on the basis of interpretation.
The Masnoon practice is to perform Salaat with eyes open. Keeping the eyes closed during Salaat has no orgin in the Sunnah. However, there are benefits in closing the eyes during Salaat. Significant benefits are achieved in concentration and the ability to ward off stray thoughts. If the Masnoon practice of open eyes is displaced by closed eyes, it will be unacceptable. It will be bid’ah. Closed eyes displace the Sunnah practice of performing Salaat with open eyes. It will therefore be bid’ah to perform Salaat with the eyes closed.
However, if due to an abundance of stray thoughts, the musalli becomes restless and is just not able to concentrate, then if he occasionally closes his eyes for a few moments, it will be permissible. But this permissibility due to circumstances does not abrogate the Masnoon practice of open eyes. It will only be prescribed temporarily to assist the musalli in the acquisition of concentration and for warding off the avalanche of shaitaani wasaawis. It is erroneous and not permissible to elevate closed eyes to a higher status than performing Salaat with open eyes, and to justify the permissibility on the basis of the benefits in closed eyes.
Similarly, the benefits pointed out by Allamah Munaawi are not a basis for demoting the practice of silent Thikr which is commanded by the Qur’aan and evidenced by the Sunnah and the unambiguous rulings of the Fuqaha.
The error of the venerable Mufti Sahib is therefore manifest. Allamah Munaawi’s view has to be set aside or reconciled to eliminate the conflict. Allamah Munaawi’s opinion cannot supersede and abrogate the command of the Qur’aan and the original practice of the Sunnah. The personal opinion of Allaamah Munaawi (rahmatullah alayh) who was a follower of the Shaafi’ Math-hab, has no status in view of its stark conflict with the explicit Rulings of the Mutaqaddimeen Ahnaaf Fuqaha in general, and with the verdict of Imaam Abu Hanifah (rahmatullah alayh) in particular.
In fact, Allaamah Munaawi’s view is in conflict with the official ruling of the Shaafi’ Math-hab as well. It has already been mentioned earlier that even according to the Shaafi’ Math-hab, Ikhfa’ is Mustahab. Our Taqleed of Imaam A’zam (rahmatullah alayh) has liberated us from the taqleed of Ulama who appeared on the horizon centuries after him. Thus, Allaamah Munaawi’s opinion is not a daleel to present in opposition to the categoric pronouncements of our Aimmah-e-Mujtahideen.
The venerable Mufti Sahib has only presented the personal opinion of some Ulama who are not among the Aimmah-e-Mujtahideen, and who appeared centuries later. In view of the conflict with the Qur’aan and Sunnah, the venerable Mufti Sahib should discover an appropriate reconciliation to eliminate the conflict with the Mansoos Hukm of the superiority of Thikr-e-Khafi.
In the attempt to justify the imagined superiority of loud Thikr, the venerable Mufti Sahib has ignored all authorities of the Shariah and opted for the view of Allamah Munaawi (rahmatullah alayh) who holds no status in relation to the Mutaqaddimeen Fuqaha.
There is a very significant difference between the verdicts of the Aimmah-e-Mujtahideen and the opinions of Ulama who came many centuries later. Whereas all the verdicts of the Aimmah-e-Mujtahideen are based on explicit Qur’aanic and Hadith Nusoos, further reinforced by irrefutable rational (Aqli) dalaa-il, the views of the later Ulama, instead of being in harmony with the Nusoos, are in harmony with practices which developed centuries after the Sahaabah. This necessitated a reconciliation between the Nusoos and the practices and customs in vogue. Invariably, we observe, the Nusoos being interpreted to strike a balance with the practices and customs. While the Aimmah-e-Mujtahideen’s verdicts were subservient to Qur’aanic and Hadith Nusoos, the later Ulama painfully sought to reconcile the Nusoos with the practices of the Sufiya and the customs which had become entrenched in the masses such as the gatherings in the Musaajid and the special forms of Thikr, etc. after the Fardh Salaat in the Musaajid, and also in other avenues of life.
Another significant factor in the dispute is that the venerable Mufti Sahib has been unable to produce explicit evidence for his personal views regarding collective loud Thikr performances in the Musaajid. He could only manage to cite Qur’aanic verses and Ahaadith which bear no relevance to congregational forms of public Thikr displays. Then he submitted these Nusoos to personal interpretations which he obtained from the works of Ulama who came onto the scene many centuries after the Khairul Quroon. He only has the opinions of some Ulama of later time, but no support from the Sahaabah and the Aimmah-e-Mujtahideen.
CORRUPTION OF THE HEARTS
Proffering another fallacy for his theory, the venerable Mufti Sahib says: “The present time is one in which the hearts of people have been overtaken by negligence and hardness, and our thoughts have swayed and become corrupt, and it is in these evil times that not much benefit can be derived from silent zikr as can be derived from loud zikr except to the extent that Allah Ta’ala desires.”
This is a typical argument of the Ahl-e-Bid’ah whom the venerable Mufti Sahib is emulating in his inordinate zeal for elevating and promoting loud collective Thikr programmes for public display. It is also the argument of one who has conceded by implication his bankruptcy in the sphere of Shar’i Dalaa-il. The Mufti Sahib should add to the list of evils which he has mentioned, riya, ujub and takabbur. The evil, corrupt and hardened hearts about which he has lamented disgorge the noxious stench of riya, ujub and takabbur. Hakimul Ummat Hadhrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thaanvi (rahmatullah alayh), therefore, maintained that these prescribed Thikr programmes intensify the spiritual ailments of the corrupt mureed. Most of these mureeds of this age are puffed up with pride and arrogance. They labour under the satanic notion of self-piety. When they sway their heads to and fro, chanting away their Thikr in public performances, they gain false notions of their buzrugiyat. Shaitaan entraps them with false ideas of their holiness.
There is a greater need in these times to abstain from loud collective Thikr performances in the public. The spiritual corruption is intensified by these programmes which have developed into bid’ah practices. The contention of the Mufti Sahib is baseless. Any averment which conflicts with the original Ahkaam of the Shariah and which aim for their substitution by practices conjured by the minds of men of later times, must incumbently be rejected as bid’ah.
HADHRAT THAANVI’S NASEEHAT
Highlighting the corruption of the juhala in relation to the perpetration of bid’ah, Hakimul Ummat Hadhrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thaanvi (rahmatullah alayh) said:
“After every Namaaz or after Fajr and Asr, all the Namaazis collectively and jahran (audibly) recite Lailaha illallaah. They furthermore, observe this practice with regularity whereas the Buzrugs did not order this practice for all and sundry. It is designed for only special persons. However, the juhala (ignoramuses) have made this practice universal (aam) and incumbent. It is for this reason that the Ulama have proclaimed this practice bid’ah. Now they accuse the Ulama of branding Thikrullah as bid’ah.
Although no one may be pleased with the Ulama (on account of their Amr Bil Ma’roof), the Muhaqqiq Sufiya are pleased with them. They appreciate the Ulama. Allaamah Sha’raani (rahmatullah alayh) who was a very great Muhaqqiq Sufi, said that the acts of the Sufiyah are extremely subtle (Daqeeq) which are beyond the comprehension of the masses. Hence, it is incumbent for the masses not to follow the Sufiyah in Uloom.
On the contrary, they should follow the Jamhoor Ulama because they (the Ulama) are the supervisors and administrators of the Shariah. In fact, the universe can remain in an orderly state only by following the Ulama………..These Ulama (of the Haqq) are the Guards who protect the Imaan of the masses. If they abandon their office, then the Sufi Sahib will have to abandon his cloister and execute this duty. Then all his tasawwuf, states and ecstasies will be forgotten.
The duty of Islaah-e-Khalq is Fardh Kifaayah. If the Molvis abandon this duty, then it will devolve on the Sufis. Therefore, O Sufi! You and your cloister will remain safe as long as this Guarding Jamaa’t (of Ulama-e-Haqq) subsists on earth. You sleep in comfort during the night. When your eyes open, you engage in namaaz and Thikr while the Ulama………….” End of Hadhrat Thaanvi’s exposition
We hope that this naseehat exercises a salutary influence on the venerable Mufti Sahib who is advocating the same type of bid’ah which Hakimul Ummat has criticized. Just as the masses are condemning the Ulama and accusing them of branding Thikrullah as bid’ah, so too is the venerable Mufti Sahib slandering the Ulama and accusing them of preventing Thikrullah.