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Islams Reformers

The bigotry of the religion reformers or bigots of science who surfaced lately to blame all previous scholars, basic fundamental beliefs or practices

interpreting and

interpreting and explaining the Islamic system under the light of contemporary inclinations of thought. They could do nothing but resort to vicious influences. Imâm Abu ’l-Hasan al-Ash’arî and his successors were not successful, either, because, though they possessed scholastic knowledge, they had not been educated in rational knowledge. They went so far in opposing the Mu’tazila that they introduced into the religion things which did not have place in the religion. Scholars, rulers and masses of people altogether turned their backs to Allah’s Book and our Prophet’s Sunna. The wars declared for luxury, ambition and avarice by a notorious group governing the State caused a serious retrogression. Knowledge and arts disappeared. Meanwhile, Imâm al-Ghazâlî came up and won the confidence of the caliph in Baghdad. But he departed from the palace and tried to refute the Greek philosophy. He criticized all the [Ahl as-Sunna] madhhabs for their weak aspects and inclinations incompatible with Islam. He revived the system of education which had been decaying. Worldly knowledge and religious knowledge had been far away from each other. Yet he was inefficient in hadîth. He dealt too much with rational knowledge. He was in the wrong to have too much interest in Tasawwuf. It was Ibn Taimiyya’s lot to revive Islamic thought and spirit by avoiding these three dangers.” It is true that there have been some Muslim rulers who perpetrated cruelty and wrongdoing under the influence of sycophants and renegades who surrounded them. But Muslim scholars struggled to draw them to the right course by telling them Islamic commands and prohibitions in speech and writing. Therefore, the worst ones among them were more just and more useful than the best ones of irreligious rulers. The world’s histories write about this fact. Those who read the book written by Lord Davenport, an Englishman, will easily comprehend not only that Mawdûdî is wrong but also that he is after sedition. We want to emphasize that non-sahâbî Islamic caliphs might have been cruel and committed sins, yet none of them ever was an unbeliever. They were by no means hostile to Islam. Each of them had commissions of knowledge, Shaikh al-Islâms and counsellors. None of them ever thought of preventing Islam’s progress. All of them struggled to serve Islam. Mosques, schools, madrasas, roads, hospitals, fountains, baths, bridges and various institutions of charity and arts which each of them handed over to the next generation were innumerous. Their remains and many of them themselves are in the open. Millions of Muslims benefit from – 154 –

them today. It is a tactic of the enemies of Islam to attempt to vilify them by putting forward their human defects. Islamic shcolars’ staying away from the sultâns does not show that sultâns were evil. Following the hadîth, “The one who approaches and is modest towards a rich man because he is rich will lose one-third of his îmân,” scholars kept away from every rich or famous person, yet they did not neglect to warn them about Islam’s commands and prohibitions. Mawdûdî, who cannot sense the nuance between these two, attacks Islamic scholars and caliphs by writing in a haphazard way. If, instead of writing about their few faults, he had the honour of writing about their goodness and services to Islam, he would fill volumes of books. Especially the Ottoman caliphs were all learned, pious, just, perfect and blessed persons. An argument based on the surmise that the scholars (in the branches) of Hadîth and Fiqh were devoid of rational knowledge betrays an utter lack of understanding concerning the greatness of Islamic scholars. An Islamic scholar is a great person who has reached the grade of ijtihâd in religious knowledge and learned well what has been discovered up to his time in experimental knowledge and who has attained the degree of Wilâyat al-khâssa al-Muhammadiyya in the ma’rifa of the heart. For the truth-seeking younger generation, who are confused by Mawdûdî’s aggression, which is so vulgarly sordid as to call the Muslim caliphs “irreligious”, the short biographies of some caliphs in the history book Mir’ât al-kâ’inât are translated in the following paragraphs: [1] “VI: Mu’âwiya [2] (radiy-Allâhu ’anh) was one of Rasûlullah’s (’alaihi ’s-salâm) clerks who wrote down the Qur’ân. He acquired his prayers which asked blessings on him. He had a strong reason and intellect, much clemency, generosity and administrative power. He was mild, majestic and brave. He looked as if he had been created to be a sultân. He conquered Sudan, Afghanistan, many parts of India, Cyprus, going to the last one in person. He sent troops to Constantinople. His caliphate was rightful. “The lâ-madhhabî slander Mu’âwiya on account of his combat [1] The Roman numeral in front of each name shows his order of caliphate and the Arabic numerals in parentheses show the dates of his birth and death in the Muslim calendar. Long biographies of Khulafâ’ ar-Râshidîn, Umayyad and Abbasid caliphs are given under the heading “Iwâz” in the famous work by ad-Damîrî. [2] The book begins with blessings invoked on Hadrat Mu’âwiya. – 155 –

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