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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

al-Islâm Ibn Hajar

al-Islâm Ibn Hajar al-Askalânî.” [1] It would be extremely insolent, unfair and unreasonable to suppose that the greatest scholars like al-Baidâwî, Imâm al- Ghazâlî, Jalâl ad-dîn as-Suyûtî, Sadr ad-dîn al-Qonawî and Sanâ’ullâh Pâniputî were too ignorant to distinguish a sahîh hadîth from a made-up hadîth, or to suppose that they were as irreligious as not to protect their religion or not to feel pangs of conscience in recording made-up hadîths as sahîh hadîths. We have told at length in the seventh and eighth paragraphs of our book how strictly Islamic scholars studied hadîths. An intelligent and reasonable person who reads those writings will certainly realize that a religion reformer, who shows so much effrontery as to say that there are concocted hadîths in the books written by such a great scholar as Imâm al-Ghazâlî, would have deserved it if his tongue were cut off or his books were burned to ashes. To say that those exalted scholars could not understand the hadîths while their successor Ibn Taimiyya could is a fallacy that would ill befit anyone with the exception of the enemies of the Ahl as-Sunna scholars. Those who cannot comprehend the greatness of Islamic scholars suppose that those exalted leaders also wrote with their short reasons and aberrant thoughts, like these people do. Their sophistry stoops to such low levels as to say, “Al-Ghazâlî’s discernment was obscured under the bad influence of social ideas.” They cannot realize that each of his writings is an explanation of âyats and hadîths. If a person who praises al-Imâm ar-Rabbânî is sincere in his word and if he likes that exalted leader’s writings, he should follow these writings and love the Ahl as-Sunna scholars, whom al-Imâm ar-Rabbânî praises highly, and he should not be disrespectful towards them. One should be a scholar to appreciate the value of another scholar. Not to realize the value of the Ahl as-Sunna scholars, or to strive to blemish and criticize those blessed persons, causes one to depart from al-firqat an-nâjiyya (the Group of Salvation), and he who departs from Ahl as-Sunna becomes either a heretic or an unbeliever. [2] As it is written on page 65 of the book Hidâyat al-muwaffiqîn by Abû Muhammad Viltorî, one of the ’ulamâ’ of India, ’Allâma Ahmad [1] Imâm Muhammad al-Birghiwî, Usûl al-hadîth, p. 91. [2] Mawlânâ Hamd-Allah ad-Dajwî, al-Basâ’ir li-munkirî’t-tawassuli biahl al-maqâbir, Pashawar, Pakistan, 1385, p. 52. – 266 –

Sâwî al-Mâlikî said on the âyat “Idhâ nasîta” of the sûrat al-Kahf in the marginalia of Jalalain’s tafsîr: “It is not permissible to follow a madhhab other than the four madhhabs. One who does not follow one of the four madhhabs is in heresy (dalâla) and also leads others to heresy. Some of such people become kâfirs because one of the things that cause kufr is to attempt to derive rules from âyats and hadîths.” 61 - The following passage is translated from an-Nablusî’s al- Hadîqat an-nadiyya: “1) The hadîth sherîf reported by al-Bukhârî and Muslim declares, ‘If something that does not exist in this religion which I have revealed, is invented with the hope of thawâb, this thing must be refused.’ This hadîth points out that it is not a bid’a to bring forth something that does not concern the religion or worship. The improvements, changes made in eating, drinking, dressing, building houses and in transportation are not bid’a. “2) A hadîth reported by at-Tabarânî says, ‘If Muslims, after their Prophet (’alaihi ’s-salâm), make a bid’a, an innovation in the religion which he revealed, a sunna which is similar to it dissappears from among them.’ This hadîth points out that it is not bid’a to make an improvement or a change in worldly affairs and customs, which is done without expecting thawâb. “3) It is declared in a hadîth reported by at-Tabarânî, ‘Until a man of bid’a gives up his bid’a, Allâhu ta’âlâ does not accept his repentance.’ It is necessary to repent after every sin committed. There are three conditions for the repentance to be correct: to put an end to sinning, to repent what one has done and to resolve upon never to do it again. If one has any debt or duty to other people, one has to pay it back and have oneself forgiven. By ‘man of bid’a’ is meant one who brings forth a bid’a or who commits a bid’a that has already been brought forth. ‘Bid’a’ means ‘inventing a belief, a deed, a word or a moral habit that does not exist in the religion, or spreading such an innovation, and expecting reward for it in the next world’. If a person who commits a sin continuously repents for another kind of sin, his repentance will be accepted. A man of bid’a expects thawâb from his bid’a and thinks that he is doing something good. Therefore, he does not think of repenting. “4) It is declared in a hadîth recorded by Ibn Mâja, ‘Unless the – 267 –

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