THE MAULANAS/SHEIKH’S ANTIPATHY FOR
THE ULAMA OF INDIA AND PAKISTAN
His comments on the Ulama of India and Pakistan betray his aversion for these august personalities and beacons of Uloom and Taqwa. Although he acquired his Deeni knowledge from the Ulama of India, he exhibits an inner aversion for them. He thus claims:
“It is necessary, in conclusion, to clarify the usually heard -of prohibition of Muslim women in mosques by Ulama from the East (India and Pakistani. Ulama in the Middle-East, Asia Minor, Europe and Africa do not hold that opinion.”
Who are the Ulama of the Middle-East and Asia Minor to whom he refers to as supposed authorities? He sloops to a ridiculous level by speaking of the “Ulama of Europe”. Who are these “Ulama of Europe”. Does Europe too have Ulama? Is the reference to present modern “ulama” or the Ulama of bygone days? If the Maulana/Sheikh has in mind the modern, suit and tie wearing, clean-shaven faasiq who has obtained some degrees in some ghair-muqallid institution of so-called Islamic learning, then we say to him: We are not interested in the opinions of such misguided people of baatil who labour under the illusion that they are “Ulama”.
If by the Ulama of the Middle -East, Maulana/Sheikh Makda refers to the great Fuqaha, the Aimmah-e-Mujtahideen – the Ulama-e-Mutaqaddimeen and Muta-akh -khireen, the illustrious Salaf and Khalaf, then we say that we are on common ground. In that case, let him produce his proofs to bolster his claim that the Ulama of the Middle-East differ with the opinion proclaimed by the Ulama of India and Pakistan on the question of this prohibition which he seeks to negate. We challenge the Maulana/Sheikh to produce the opinions of the true Ulama who had dazzled the firmament of Deeni Knowledge and Taqwa in the Middle East for many many centuries from the time of the Sahaabah.
But, we again remind the Maulana/ Sheikh that we do not accept the freelancing fussaaq, the graduates of ghair muqallid institutions reeling under western influences of liberalism, as ULAMA of the Shariah. Their opinions are meaningless and worthless in so far as the Shariah is concerned. Now let the Maulana/Sheikh substantiate his claim by citing from the Books of the Shariah written by the great and noble Ulama of the Middle East. Let him cite the opinions of the Sahaabah and of the multitude of Middle Eastern Fuqahaa. Let him show us how the opinions of those great Ulama of the Middle East differ from the opinion of the Ulama of India and Pakistan on the question of women having to don face-covering when they emerge from their homes. What has been the practice among different Arab societies regarding woman and the niqaab? Can the Maulana/Sheikh enlighten Muslims in this regard? Did the Arab Muslims learn of the niqaab from the Ulama of India and Pakistan?
The Maulana/Sheikh has made mention of the opinion of Ulama regarding the niqaab. Why has he chosen to ignore the opinion of the Ulama regarding the question of women’s attendance of the Musjid? If he attaches so much importance to the opinion of the Ulama, will it not be proper for him to attach greater importance to the opinions and verdicts of the Ulama among the Sahaabah, the Taabieen and Tab-e-Taabieen?
THE MAULANA/SHEIKH AND THE MUSAAJID OF INDIA AND PAKISTAN
Maulana/Sheikh Makda moans:
“A grave injustice has been done to Muslim women by builders of Masaajid (Mosques) in India and Pakistan by not providing equal but separate facilities for them in Masaajid built after the Muslim Moghul and Nawa-abi Rule of India. As a result of this unfortunate tendency even up to the present Age, Muslim women in such countries have sadly neglected this basic Islamic requirement of Salaah so much so that the majority of them do not perform their daily prayers having no external encouragement in Masaajid to perform this vital duty to Allah (SWT).”
These remarks are stunning in their puerility. Such childish comments are not expected of men of Knowledge. Let us study the ridiculous remarks more closely. His charge of grave injustice: On which Shar’i basis can one describe the absence of separate facilities for women in a Musjid as an act of “grave injustice” to women? Musjids which lack such facilities are in fact operating in consonance with the spirit of Rasulullah’s (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) “strong advice” to women to perform their Salaat in the inner most apartments of their homes. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) advocated that women perform their Salaat at home; that their Salaat at home is superior to their Salaat performed in even Musjid-e-Nabawi; and that the best Musjid for a woman is her home. These Musaajid of India and Pakistan, therefore, have adopted the advice and the wishes of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). The Musaajid of India and Pakistan have chosen to follow the direction issued by the Sahaabah and the Fuqahaa – the great and illustrious Ulama of the Middle East.
Despite the initial permission, did Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) provide separate facilities for women in the Musjid? Did the Sahaabah provide such facilities as Maulana/Sheikh Makda is advocating? When there is no precedent in the Shariah for the provision of separate facilities for women in Musaajid and when the Shariah does not direct the creation of such facilities, then on what authority does the Maulana/Sheikh allege that an act of “grave injustice” has been committed? On the contrary, the provision of such facilities in Musaajid constitutes an act of flagrant violation of the direction given by Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) in his advocacy of women’s Salaat in the innermost apartments of their homes. The initiation of measures which conflict with the wishes of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) is in fact an act of grave injustice rendered to Nabi-e-Kareem (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).
The Maulana/Sheikh seems to be so pre-occupied and obsessed with the attempt to bring women into the Musaajid that he fails to realize the spiritual disaster which he is courting by ignoring the wishes and the Sunnah of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and his Sahaabah. He is the one guilty of the grave act of injustice – injustice to the Shariah.
The Maulana/Sheikh’s claim of the neglect of Salaat by women
He alleges that the majority of women in India and Pakistan do not perform Salaat because of the lack of separate facilities for women in the Musaajid. In the first place, did the Maulana/Sheikh make a survey of the female population of India and Pakistan to entitle him to advance this brazen claim? What are his grounds for this sweeping claim?
Assuming that the majority of women do neglect their Salaat, what is the evidence to substantiate the claim that such neglect is because women are not allowed to attend the Musjid? On what grounds is such supposed neglect of Salaat by women attributed to the lack of Musjid facilities for women? If a woman refuses to perform Salaat inspite of having the knowledge thereof, it is her own misfortune for which the Musaajid and their builders cannot be blamed. The Shariah exhorts them to perform their Salaat at home, not in the Musjid. If women are ignorant of this, their male overseers and guardians are to be blamed. Musaajid without separate facilities have absolutely no relationship with the neglect of Salaat by women. The Maulana/Sheikh should search for other causes for this neglect. It is downright silly to lay the blame at the doors of the Musaajid.
The Maulana/Sheikh speaks about “external encouragement” to induce women to perform Salaat. Such “external encouragement” according to him is the public Musjid. Women are supposed to pick up their inducement to perform Salaat from the outside. But, this is contrary to the Qur’aan which commands internal encouragement in relation to women. The Qur’aan Majeed thus says:
“Save yourselves and your families from the Fire.” “O People of Imaan, Command your family to perform Salaat. . . .”
It is the obligatory duty of the menfolk of the home to provide the encouragement and the necessary Ta’leem to women so that they understand their duties to Allah Ta’ala. People neglect and abstain from Salaat because of ignorance and spiritual calamities which have overwhelmed them. Women neglect Salaat not because they are not allowed to go to the Musjid, but because their menfolk – their husbands and fathers – had miserably failed to educate them in this regard. The Maulana/Sheikh should therefore exhort the menfolk to execute their sacred duty of educating their womenfolk in the necessary requirements of the Deen.
THE SO-CALLED HISTORIC ULAMA CONFERENCE
Maulana/Sheikh Makda states :
“This grave injustice and spiritual oppression to Muslim women attracted the attention of great Ulama in the Islamic World resulting in an important and historic Conference held in Meccatul-Mukarramah a few years ago. This Conference decided as a directive to Muslims throughout the World that all future Mosques must provide equal but separate facilities for women.”
Let the Maulana/Sheikh be told that his conference of Ulama has no Shar’i standing. The “directive” issued by the conference is not worth the paper on which it was written. Such conferences can be organized by the dozen, and dozens of such worthless directives can be issued. But, baatil remains baatil even if conferences of ulama decide to enact the baatil. Men of true Knowledge have no respect for the nonsensical and baatil “directive” decided on by a conference which lacked Shar’i potency. If there had indeed participated Ulama in the conference which issued the baatil directive, then those Ulama should hang their heads in shame for having betrayed the Deen. Such Ulama cause the Deen great harm and they are among the causes of the degradation of the Ummah. Such Ulama do not speak from the platform of the Deen. Their personal opinions play havoc with their understanding. Such directives are confounded.
Maulana/Sheikh Makda of Zimbabwe attributes the practice of women performing Salaat at home and not in the Musjid, to “traditional tendencies based on tribal, national or sectarian interests”. His rhetoric for a supposed learned man in the Deen amazes one. The liberalism of the present age is glaring in his thinking. His words and style of expression drip with the altitudes of the libertine culture of the kuffaar. He has not been able to hold in check his tongue from wagging against the Sunnah of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). The type of “traditional tendencies” which inhibit women from emerging from their homes is precisely the propagation of the Sunnah of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). The “conservative up-bringing” which he denounces is the teaching of the Qur’aan and the Sunnah. The Nusoos (narrations) of the Qur’aan and Hadith are replete with commands to adopt “traditional and conservative tendencies”.
Female exhibition and emergence are considered among the heinous sins in Islam. The Shariah does not advocate liberalism. The “innermost apartment of the home” stated by Maulana/Sheikh Makda is a conservative tendency exhorted for practical adoption by Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). Its adoption by successive Muslim generations down the long corridor of Islam’s history is part of the “traditionalism” propagated by Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). We and all Muslims should be proud of such “traditional and conservative tendencies” which are parts of our sacred culture.
The donning of garments of unattractive design and shabby form to cover the entire body of the Muslim woman is a teaching of the traditionalism of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). The prohibition of the intermingling of sexes is the result of the influence of the “traditional tendencies” espoused by Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). These are all parts – integral parts – of the culture of a noble Ummah which obtained its “conservative upbringing,” from the Sahaabah of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). This is an upbringing of which we as Muslims should be proud. This sacred traditionalism cannot be exchanged for the influences of a libertine and vile way based on western and other kufr interests and cultures.
Every aspect and sphere of the Sunnah is conservative and it is this holy conservatism which influences Muslims who are keen to lead a life under the Umbrella of the Sunnah. Our Qu r’aan is traditional, our Sunnah is traditional, the Sahaabah whom we revere are conservative. In fact, their conservatism was such that once Hadhrat Hasan Basri (rahmatullah alayh), reprimanding his disciples, said:
“If you had to see the Sahaabah, you will brand them as madmen and if they had to see you, they would have branded you as kaafir.”
Hadhrat Hasan Basri (rahmatullah alayh) was addressing arch-conservatives great Auliya and Ulama — who were among his mureedeen. He was not speaking to misguided and doomed liberals of our times of corruption.
In having adopted a stand against” traditionalism “and “conservatism”, the Maulana/Sheikh has made plain his anti-Sunnah attitude. The traditional tendencies about which he rants are nothing other than the Sunnah of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) and his illustrious Sahaabah. Sweeping rhetoric will not aid him in any way to prove his claims. He has to furnish Shar’i facts to substantiate his charges and claims which are utterly baseless.