[By Hazrat Maulana Ahmad Sadeq Desai]

(Ishkaal is a doubt/uncertainty)

A Brother with some Ishkaals pertaining to the Malfoothaat of Hadhrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (Rahmatullah alayh), poses the following queries:

I have some queries regarding an article that was written by a Maulana of the UK In the article, which I have attached to this email, he quotes miscellaneous Malfoozaat of Hadhrat Thanvi (Rahmatullah alayh). What we have read in these Malfoozaat seems very different to the version of Hadhrat Thanvi as we learnt about him.

I will give a summary of some of the things mentioned in the article which has caused some iskhkaal (uncertainty).



Hadhrat Thanvi said that the doors of ijtihaad are only closed with regards to matters of usool and not when it comes to matters of furoo`.


The Furoo’ in the context refers to new developing issues, e.g. blood donation, surrogacy, transplanting organs, machine-slaughtering, insurance and numerous other issues which always develop with the progress of time. On such issues on which the Fuqaha are silent, then obviously the well-grounded Ulama of the age will be constrained to acquire rulings on the basis of the Usool as well as similar Furoo’ formulated by the Aimmah Mujtahideen of the Salafus Saaliheen era.

Furoo’ in the context does not refer to such Furoo’ on which there is Ijmaa’ of the Fuqaha of the Mathhab, e.g. Wudhu has four Faraaidh, a quarter of the head is Fardh for masah, Qur’baani is Waajib on every adult who has the means, and the thousands of other Furoo’ pertaining all acts of Ibaadat.

However, regarding such Furoo’ on which there exists difference of opinion among our own Fuqaha and Aimmah Mujtahideen, there is scope for Ijtihaad, e.g. Is Isha’ Salaat Fardh in an abnormal time zone region where there is no Isha’ time? According to some Fuqaha, there is no Isha’ Salaat there. This is also Hadhrat Gangohi’s view. However, according to other Fuqaha, Isha’ remains Fardh even in such a region. In an ikhtilaaf of this nature, we shall apply our minds and issue a Fatwa which our hearts believe is the best, and in this particular case, we say that Isha’ remains Fardh.

There are numerous Furoo’ of this nature of Ikhtilaaf. Ijtihaad in them will be permissible. Nevertheless, even if there is some Ikhtilaaf, it remains incumbent to adopt the view of the Jamhoor Fuqaha of the Math-hab, and to adopt Ihtiyaat. If there is no incumbent need, it will not be permissible to depart from the Mufta Bihi version of the Jamhoor Fuqaha of the Math-hab.

It should be well understood that there is no scope for latitude based on nafsaaniyat. Flitting from Math-hab to Mathhab, and from one view to another for the sake of pleasing people, is haraam. Liberals and deviates do so at the peril of the destruction of their Imaan.

It has also been observed that some Akaabir have their own tafarrudaat –views in which they are solitary perpetrators in stark opposition of the Mufta Bihi version of the Jamhoor Fuqaha of their own Math-hab,e.g. Hadhrat Madani (Rahmatullah alayh) performing Tahajjud in Jamaat. Such tafarrudaat should be compulsorily buried, not advertised. There is no daleel in such a misaligned view of a senior. A tafarrud may not be tolerated. It is never a basis for diversion from the Math-hab’s official Ruling.



Hadhrat Thanvi said that when it comes to matters of mu’aamalaat, he will give a Fatwaa on another Madh-hab if it is a case of dharoorat. He asked permission for this from Hadhrat Maulana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi. Permission was granted.


We are in agreement with this. We too adopt this for practical purposes when there is a Shar’i Dhuroorat. In fact this is a principle of our Math-hab. Thus, what Hadhrat Thanvi did was to act within the confines of the Math-hab by acting in terms of the principle which allows for such diversion from the Mathhab and incorporation into the Math-hab of a mas’alah from another Math-hab. The mas’alah of four years waiting period for a woman whose husband has disappeared has been acquired from the Maaliki Math-hab. This procedure is entirely correct and within the confines of the Math-hab.

But this is subject to a valid Shar’i Dhuroorat. It is not based on whim and fancy to dance to the tune of an ignorant modernist public. Nowadays, just any whimsical need of morons is accepted by the maajin moron ‘muftis’ for issuing stupid and corrupt fatwas of jawaaz. This trifling with the Deen is fraught with calamitous consequences.



Hadhrat Thanvi used to recite Soorah al-Faatihah behind the Imaam, but later on left off this practice. When he began doing it, he mentioned it to Maulana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi, but Hadhrat Gangohi maintained silence (didn’t object to it). Later on when he left it off, he again mentioned this to Hadhrat Gangohi, and again Hadhrat Gangohi maintained silence.


This act of Hadhrat Thanvi (Rahmatullah alayh) was his tafarrud, which was erroneous, and must be set aside. He himself dithered on its validity, hence he later abandoned it. Hadhrat Gangohi’s silence is not a determinant or a criterion for accepting tafarrudaat. On the contrary, Hadhrat’s silence was a silent disapproval for the tafarrud of Hadhrat Thanvi.

According to the Jamhoor Hanafi Fuqaha reciting Surah Fatihah behind the Imaam is HARAAM. Thus, Hadhrat Thanvi (Rahmatullah alayh) had erred in this respect, and his abandonment of the practice signifies his Rujoo’.

Every good horse also slips. We follow the Haqq they present, not their errors. We are on solid grounds when we follow the Aimmah and Fuqaha of our Math-hab. There are numerous Rujoo-aat of Hadhrat Thanvi (Rahmatullah alayh). At one stage he was not aware of the fact that to fast only on 10th Muharram is Makrooh, and that another day should be added. There are many such errors even among the Fuqaha, hence the preponderance of two or three views on almost every mas’alah among the Shaafi’ Fuqaha. They have too many qadeem and jadeed views on almost every mas’alah.

The senior who pulls to the side with his tafarrud is on delicate ground. Allah save him from such errors which become blurred to even illustrious personalities. The safest course is to remain firm on the version of the Jamhoor. This is in fact Siraatul Mustaqeem whilst the tafarrud is deviation.

Never shall anyone be questioned on the Day of Qiyaamah for having resolutely adhered to the Jamhoor’s fatwa. But there is the very real possibility of the Mutafarrid Buzrug having to stand in the Divine Court to account for his tafarrud, especially if he had no imperative need for his departure from the Straight Road of the Math-hab.



Hadhrat Thanvi said, “Nowadays this illness is widespread amongst the people of the truth that they compare the Madhaahib of the Mujtahids in such a way that it gives the impression that the other Madhaahib are invalid. For example, they will give preference to the Hanafi position on an issue in such a way that it gives the impression of the Shaafi`ee position being invalid…..In differed upon issues, one should not regard one side as definitively right and the other side as definitively wrong, because sometimes the reality is disclosed at the time of death.”


We are in full agreement with what Hadhrat Thanvi said on bigoted preference to one’s Mathhab. However, that attitude applied to his time in India and perhaps elsewhere, It does not apply to us. We show utmost respect to all Four Mathhabs, and we propagate that followers must strictly follow their respective Math-habs and not be like chameleons such as the MJC sheikhs and even the pseudo deobandi molvis of today. They do not know whether they are moving forward or backwards. They are the muqallids of their nafs, not of the Deen.



Hadhrat Thanvi said: “Some extreme people are so rigid in following their Imaams that they openly reject non-conflicted Saheeh Hadiths because of their Imaam’s statement. May Allaah protect us from such rigidness. It appears from the actions of such people that they regard Imaam Abu Haneefah as maqsood bidh-dhaat. Now, if someone declares this as Shirk in Nubuwwat, what is his mistake?”


We are in agreement with Hadhrat Thanvi’s comments. Ghulu’ is haraam. If, for example, Imaam Abu Hanifah’s view is in conflict with the Hadith, then it will be ghulu’ to doggedly adhere to it. But of absolute importance on this issue is that we are not in position to decide if Imaam Abu Hanifah’s view has to be set aside. This decision is made for us by the illustrious Fuqaha who were Mujtahids in their own right. Thus, we set aside Imaam Abu Hanifah’s view of the abrogation of Aqeeqah, not because we found it to be against the Hadith, but because all of the Hanafi Fuqaha have set his view aside.

We set aside Imaam Abu Hanifah’s view of the 6 Shawwaal fasts being bid’ah on the basis of what our own Fuqaha, the Students of Imaam Abu Hanifah, had ruled. We do not pit ourselves against Imaam A’zam (Rahmatullah alayh) on the basis of our absolutely deficient and weak research. It would be shaitaaniyat if we have to adopt such a route of contumacy.

Another example, is Imaam Abu Hanifah’s view on alcohol which almost all of these modern day stupid muftis adopt despite the fact that for the past almost 14 centuries the Fatwa of the Jamhoor Fuqaha and of all the Fuqaha of the other Math-hab is on the view of Imaam Muhammad (Rahmatullah alayh), which is the view of the prohibition of all forms of alcohol. And this is based on the Hadith.

Now these maajin muftis of our present era come within the scope of Hadhrat Thanvi’s criticism on this issue of ghulu’. Their nafs constrain them to accept the liberal view which is in conflict with the Fatwa of all Math-habs, not only the Hanafi Math-hab.

They want to devour chocolates, sweets, processed junk ‘food, harmful soft drinks, artificial juices, etc., hence they perpetrate ghulu’ by abandoning what the Shariah has propounded for almost 14 centuries.

And, for this nafsaaniyat, they have no valid Shar’i daleel. There is no Dhuroorat for devouring poison, liquor and carrion.

To be continued…

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