Alhamdulillah, the Darul Iftaa was blessed with the visit of Shaykh al-Hadith Hadhrat Maulana Fadhl ar-Rahmaan Sahib (Daamat barakatuhum) on Friday 25th November 2011. Hadhrat was accompanied with other Ulama, most of whom are his students.
Hadhrat Mufti Ebrahim Desai Sahib (Daamat barakaatuhum) requested Hadhrat Shaykh Sahib to offer some advice.
Hadhrat Shaykh Sahib (Daamat barakatuhum) imparted the following precious advices:
Where ever we are and where ever we go, we need to beseech Allah Ta’ala that He makes us a key for opening the doors of virtue and locking the doors of vice (مفتاح للخير ومغلاق للشر). Shaykh al-Arab wal-‘Ajam Maulana Abul Hasan Ali an-Nadwi rahimahullah once visited our madrasah in Moa during our student days. He stated,
“I have read countless reports and accounts of history, I have come to the conclusion that whosoever adopts two features, the world will fall on its knees for him. The two features are:
1) Exceptional capability (نمايا قابليت)
2) Genuine spirituality (سچي روحانيت)
These two qualities were apparent in all the Prophets of Allah. They had excellence in the contemporary art of their time.”
These two qualities were visible in our Ulama of Deoband. They had command over the different sciences and disciplines. They were authorities in syntax, grammar, exegesis (tafseer), hadith and jurisprudence (fiqh). They were academics and sages of their time. Their research was profound and deep. Their works carry substance resulting in millions depending on their works.
Likewise, we need to follow in their footsteps and exert all our energy in acquiring external distinction under the supervision of the experts in the respected sciences. A student of knowledge should not be weak hearted and lacking purpose. He should be ambitious and aspire to transcend the stars.
The wish which should be burning in our hearts is that how can complete Deen come in the life of every human on the surface of this earth. Only when we practice deen totally will we taste true prosperity.
We can safely say our Ulama of Deoband possessed genuine spirituality. They were absorbed in the zikr of Allah Ta’ala, immersed in the recitation of the Qur’an, devoted to spending the nights on the musalla and living a life of taqwa and piety. Their external appearance was radiant with the sunnah and beautified with humility. They were extremely cautious and not audacious.
The field of Iftaa is necessary yet hazardous and perilous. At times some muftis are ready to issue fatwa merely for a meagre monetary gain. When a person is deficient in genuine spirituality, he measures everything according to materialistic gain. He will give in easily for worldly gain. In the world there are those muftis who issue rulings on weak opinions. Hence, this work of Iftaa is a great responsibility and very delicate. One who traverses this path has to remain independent and autonomous from others. Only then will he proclaim the truth without fearing any reproach. However, when propagating the truth, wisdom and diplomacy is vital. The person should believe that he is being advised for his own interest.
Hadhrat Maulana Qasim Nanotwi rahimahullah would not issue rulings; he would send the questioners to another scholar. He would not even lead a congregation in salaah. He would often say,
“How easy is it to perform salaah behind someone else and how much of a responsibility is it to lead the congregation.”
Obviously, not everybody can display this attitude or else the field of Iftaa will cease to exist. Where will people go if everybody evades issuing rulings? We should research and delve deep into the masaa’il keeping the element of precaution ever present. All the cumbersome work in the field of Iftaa has been executed already by our senior ulama. Only in the contemporary issues will we have to exert and exhaust our resources to reach a ruling on that particular matter. However, it is here one should be reserved and harbour extreme caution.
Our Hadhrat Maulana A’zami rahimahullah was a very great mufti. He was asked primarily in many contemporary issues. When the fatwa against Shias was published in al-Furqaan during the Iranian Revolution, Many people were deceived into believing an Islamic state and Islam had finally come in the horizon. Hadhrat Maulana Manzur Numani rahimahullah penned a book exposing the stark reality of Shias and unmasking the true face of the Iranian Revolution. How can Shism coming to the forefront equate to the coming of Islam? He enumerated the true beliefs of the Shias which produced great shock in the masses. When I read this book I was not startled or surprised. My teachers were well versed regarding Shiasm. Hadhrat Maulana Habeeb al-Rahmaan A’zami and Hadhrat Maulana Abdul Lateef Nu’mani rahimahumallah would discuss various issues upon the completion of a day’s lesson. They would disclose to us the reality of the Shias making reference to their very own texts.
My teacher would say, from all those who call themselves Muslims, the worst and the most evil of them is the Shia. When the revolution occurred, people sought guidance and a fatwa with regards to the Shias. The first
Alim who was consulted on this was my teacher, Hadhrat Maulana Habeeb al-Rahmaan rahimahullah. Maulana Manzur Nu’maani was the student of Maulana Habeeb al-Rahmaan rahimahullah. After that, dozens of Muftis issued rulings against the Shias. These fatawa highlighted the beliefs which nullified their Islam. These fatawa expounded on their erroneous and flawed beliefs like the belief of Imamah, the belief that the Quran was distorted, rejecting Sayyiduna Abu Bakr and Sayyiduna Umar radiallahu anhuma as sahabah, differing with the fact of Sayyidah Aisha radiallahu anha’s innocence etc.
Once in a meeting of Jamiutul Ulama, Hadhrat Maulana Hussain Ahmed Madani rahimahullah declared that if there is any difference of opinion in our assembly, then the final verdict will be the view of Hadhrat Maulana Habeeb al-Rahmaan Sahib rahimahullah.
One should issue a fatwa only after extensive research and total contentment. Even after the fatwa is passed, one should fear the possibility of erring. If at any time one makes a mistake, then there should be no hesitation at all in revoking one’s opinion. Our work and services are based on ikhlaas and sincerity. We do all that we do only for Allah. This will only come when genuine spirituality is attained.
We should always supervise and scrutinise our personal actions. Our deeds must be moulded onto the sunnah. This is also a fundamental feature of the lives of the pious. If our lives are void of sunnah, then even sincerity (ikhlaas) will be of no avail.
These were some of the pearls of wisdom imparted by Hadhrat Shaykh al-Hadith Maulana Fadhl ar-Rahmaan Sahib (Daamat barakatuhum). Allah Ta’ala give us the ability to practice on the words of Hadhrat. Ameen.