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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

Hadrat Shâh Walî-Allah

Hadrat Shâh Walî-Allah ad-Dahlawî did not say “idiots” about the Ahl as-Sunna scholars in any of his books, but he complained about the heretical groups who dissented from the four madhhabs. The following passage from him is very descriptive of his reverence towards the Ahl as-Sunna scholars: “Rasûlullah (’alaihi ’s-salâm) said, ‘Great scholars will come in Iran.’ Besides great hadîth scholars such as al-Bukhârî, Muslim, at-Tirmidhî, Abû Dâwûd, an-Nasâ’î, Ibn Mâja, ad-Dârimî, ad- Dâra-Qutnî, Hâkim, al-Baihakî and many others who were educated in Iran, there are the great fiqh scholars such as Abû ’t- Tayyib [Qâdî Tâhir at-Tabarî], Shaikh Abû Hâmid [al-Isfarâ’inî], Shaikh Abû Ishaq ash-Shîrâzî, and al-Juwainî [’Abdullah ibn Yûsuf and his son], Imâm al-Haramain ’Abd al-Malik ibn ’Abdullâh al-Juwainî and Imâm Muhammad al-Ghazâlî and many many others, who were also educated in Iran. Even Imâm Abû Hanîfa and his disciples in Mâwara an-nahr [1] and Khurasan are the scholars of Iran and are within the circle blessed with the good news in the hadîth. A hadîth declares, ‘There will come a mujaddid in every hundred years.’ As he declared, a mujaddid came in each century and strengthened the religion. In the first century of the Hegira, ’Umar ibn ’Abd al-’Azîz removed the cruelty of the rulers and established the principles of justice. In the second century, al-Imâm ash-Shâfi’î explained the knowledge of îmân and separated the knowledge of fiqh. In the third century, Abû ’l-Hasan al-Ash’arî formulated the Ahl-as-Sunna knowledge and rebutted the people of bid’a. In the fourth century, Hâkim and al-Baihakî and the like established the fundamentals of the knowledge of the Hadîth, and Abû Hâmid and the like spread the knowledge of fiqh. In the fifth century, Imâm al-Ghazâlî opened a new way and said fiqh, tasawwuf and kalâm were not different from one another. In the sixth century, Imâm Fakhr ad-dîn ar- Râzî spread the knowledge of Kalâm; and Imâm an-Nawawî spread the knowledge of Fiqh. Thus, a mujaddid, coming in each century up to our time, strengthened the religion. We should not dismiss the matter by saying that the above-quoted hadîth and the like are the miracles predicting future happenings. We should also realize the importance and the value of the predicted happenings.” [2] – 164 – [1] Transoxiana. [2] Shâh Walî-Allah ad-Dahlawî, Izâlat al-Khafa ’an khilâfati ’l-Khulafâ’. v. II. p. 377, Karachi, 1372.

Shâh Walî-Allâh ad-Dahlawî wrote in another book: “One of the wâjibs of Islam is to learn the Divine Rules (al- Ahkâm al-Ilâhî), which can be learned from the Qur’ân, the Hadîth, the works of as-Sahâba and of the Tâbi’ûn and from the teachings deduced from the Qur’ân and the Hadîth. Fiqh is the branch of knowledge that deals with the Divine Rules, and fuqahâ’ are the scholars of fiqh. Fuqahâ’ had different madhhabs, and the scholars who came later differed from one another in choosing and following these madhhabs. Many of them said that one of the famous madhhabs should be chosen and be followed in one’s every business. For those who cannot understand the Qur’ân, the Hadîth and the books of scholars, this manner of following (taqlîd) is a great blessing on condition that their taqlîd be intended to follow the Qur’ân and the Hadîth. If you strongly believe that the ijtihâd [1] of the mujtahid (you have been following) disagrees with (a certain rule clearly stated in) an âyat or hadîth with an open meaning, you should follow, concerning the matter in question, another mujtahid whose ijtihâd appears to be in closer agreement with the Book or the Hadîth. In this case, you should not be prohibited from following another madhhab. Scholars of later generations who have perfectly learned the Sunna and the Works (of early Islamic scholars), who have thoroughly studied the words of (at least) one of the scholars of Islamic fiqh, who know the hadîth, - [1] Ijtihâd means to infer meanings from the figurative âyat-ikerîmas in the Qur’ân al-kerîm. A scholar who is learned enough to perform ijtihâd is called a mujtahid. Performing ijtihâd requirs first learning the basic essentials of Islam, the Qur’ân al-kerîm, all the hadîth-i-sherîfs with all the particulars and details entailed, such as the time of revelation of each and every âyat-ikerîma, where and upon what event it was revealed, the âyat-ikerîmas that invalidated others, which ones invalidated which ones, and so forth, learning all the contemporary scientific branches, which in turn requires years of lucubration and selfsacrifice. This book would be too short to explain all the requirements. Our aim here is to help our readers to develop an idea as to the stupendous size of the job of ijtihâd. Those scholars who devoted all their worldly lives to this unutterably painstaking job of ijtihâd did us so great a favour by doing so that any degree of gratitude would fall short of paying them their dues. May Allâhu ta’âlâ lavish them with rewards in the Hereafter! Please read the five fascicles of Endless Bliss and the book The Sunni Path for detailed information. – 165 –

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