Love for the Prophet peace be upon him & his Sunnah


The Excellence of Salam (Edited by Mawlana Badrul Islam)

Two people related by Faith should use the expression of peace and security to address each other. Thus Islam taught Muslims to say Assalamu ‘alaykum (meaning ‘Peace be upon you’) and replaced all other forms of greeting.

In this small greeting is hidden an excellent and comprehensive prayer, kindness and affection for the young, and respect and attention for the elders.

Almighty Allah employs the same greeting in the Glorious Qur’an to address His beloved Prophets as a mark of His favour and esteem on them. ‘Peace be on Nuh among the people’ (37:79); ‘Peace be on Ibrahim’ (37:109) ‘Peace be on Musa and Harun’ (37:120); ‘Peace be on Ilyas’ (37:130); ‘Peace be on those sent (to warn)’ (37:59); and ‘Peace be on His slaves whom He has chosen’ (27:59). Believers will also be welcomed into Paradise with the same expression: ‘Enter here in peace, free of fear’ (15:46) and ‘Peace on you for the patience you observed. So, how excellent is the ultimate abode’ (13:24).

Salam is a distinctive practice of Islam and Muslims have been encouraged to spread this greeting. The Messenger of Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam said: “Oh people! Worship Allah, The Beneficent, feed His servants, and spread salam much, and you will reach Heaven in peace [and safety].” (al-Tirmidhi)

Divine reward for the blessed act of practising Salam is explained in a Hadith. Once a person came to the Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam and said, “Assalamu alaykum”. The Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam returned the greeting and when the man had sat down, he said, “Ten rewards have been written for him due to this salam”. Thereafter another person came and said, “Assalamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullahi” (‘Peace be upon you and the mercy of Allah’). The Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam returned the greeting and when the man had sat down, he said, “Twenty rewards have been written for him”. Then another man came and said, “Assalamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh” (‘Peace be upon you; and the mercy of Allah; and His blessings’). The Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam  returned the greeting and when the man had sat down, he said, “Thirty rewards have been written for him”(al-Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud). Such was the value of salam with the early Muslims that it is related Abdullah Ibn ‘Umar radhiyallahu ‘anhuma  would go to the marketplace solely for the purpose of saying salam to whomsoever he met.

Apart from signifying the sentiments of joy, regard and well-wishing salam also has a deep spiritual aspect. The Messenger of Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam said, “The one who is the first to greet is free from pride” (al-Bayhaqi). Thus, to precede in greeting another is a sign of freedom from vanity. It can also be a cure for the grave [and deadly] sin of pride [and haughtiness].

The importance of salam is further emphasized by the Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam who advised that salam be exchanged a second time if after the meeting of two Muslims, even if it be for a brief moment, they are separated by a tree, wall, or rock, and meet again.

Salam should be said when entering or leaving one’s home. A Hadith tells us that this is a source of blessing to the person saying it as well to the family members. Similarly, the person arriving at a gathering should be the first to greet those who are present; the young are instructed to take the lead in greeting the elders; those passing should greet those sitting; and men of a smaller group should greet men of the larger group.

To shake the hands in simultaneity with salam marks the fulfillment of the objective of salam. The Messenger of Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam said, “Shaking hands denotes the completion of greeting”. (al-Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud)

Salam is in essence a really beautiful teaching of Islam. It not only increases love and affection between Muslims but is also a cause of their forgiveness. The Prophet of Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wasallam said, “When two Muslims meet and shake hands, and at the same time glorify Allah, and beg forgiveness for themselves, they shall be forgiven.” (Abu Dawud)

(Adapted from the chapter ‘Rules and Proprieties of Meeting’ in the book ‘Meaning and Message of the Traditions’ (Ma’arif al-Hadith) by Maulana Muhammad Manzur Numani)   

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Mawlana [Rashid Ahmad] Gangohi would strongly emphasise abundant invocation of  blessings and peace (salawat) upon the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) to his disciples, devotees, friends and sincere seekers. He would describe the invoking of blessings and peace upon the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) as being beneficial for both worlds.

He once advised in a letter ‘‘invoke blessings and peace upon the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) regularly, for that is extremely beneficial for the needs of both worlds.’’ (Maktubat Akabir-e-Deoband, (Deoband: Mi‘raj Book Depot), p. 56)

Hakim al-Ummat Mawlana [Ashraf ‘Ali] Thanawi would say of Mawlana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi: ‘‘I saw that Mawlana Gangohi would always be reciting a wird (litany) of salawat and that he talked very little.’’ (Wa‘z al-Nur, p.20)

His disciples had been instructed by him to invoke blessings and peace upon the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace) at least three hundred times a day.

[…] Mawlana Gangohi would say, ‘‘If you are unable to invoke blessings and peace this many times, you should not go without invoking blessings and peace at least once [a day].’’ He would say, ‘‘we are indebted to the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and grant him peace). If you are then miserly in invoking blessings and peace upon him, it is a matter of great disrespect and loss.’’ He preferred the Durud-e-Ibrahimi, which is [usually] recited in salat (prayer). (Bis Barey Musalman, p. 205)

Akabir-e-Deoband Awr ‘Ishq-e-Rasul (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, p.247-248 (Karachi: Maktabah Arsalan, May 2003) By Muhammad Arsalan ibn Akhtar.

Courtesy of  Deoband.org

By Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki
Translated by Muhammad Habib

Read Part One

An open letter by Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki in favour of Mawlana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi

In the name of Allah, Most Beneficent, Most Merciful. We praise Him and send blessings upon His honourable Messenger.

From the needy servant Imdadullah Chishti, in the service of all my friends:

This needy servant has recently received some letters from India, in which was written that some people harbour ill-thoughts concerning Molwi Rashid Ahmad [Gangohi], [and they wish to know] what they should make of him. Therefore, let it be announced and published on behalf of this needy servant that Molwi Rashid Ahmad is an Allah-fearing man of learning and an upright scholar. He is an example of the pious predecessors. His personality is the sublime combination of the exoteric (shari’ah) and esoteric sciences (tariqah).

His days and nights remain occupied in seeking the pleasure of Allah and his Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace). He is preoccupied with the teaching of hadith. After Molwi Muhammad Ishaq[1] that kind of dissemination of the religious sciences has uniquely continued with Mawlana in the entire sub-continent.

Many complex problems are solved at the hands of Mawlana. Every year, about 50 people complete their hadith studies, acquiring ijazah from him. He is engaged in following the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace) and is absorbed in the love of Allah and his Messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace). He speaks only the truth. He is the manifestation of the verse:

And [they] are not afraid of the reproach of any critic. (Qur’an 5:54)

His complete reliance is solely on Allah. He shuns bid’ah (innovation) completely; propagating the Sunnah is his occupation. His forte is converting those with corrupt beliefs into those with sound beliefs. His company serves as alchemy and is the greatest elixir for Muslims. One is reminded of Allah by sitting with him and this is the sign of the men of Allah. He is pious, abstains from the world and is desirous of the Hereafter. He has attained perfection in tasawwuf and suluk. The rich and poor are equal in his eyes, and he treats each the same; he is free from avarice.

Whatever this needy servant has written as praise for him in Diya’ al-Qulub[2] is the truth, and my good opinion and love for him is now far more in comparison to what it was previously. This needy servant considers Mawlana the means of his salvation. I say openly that whosoever speaks ill of Mawlana pains my heart. I have two arms: one is the late Molwi Muhammad Qasim [Nanautwi] and other is Molwi Rashid Ahmad. People have also begun to cast the evil eye on the only one who now remains.

 

My ‘aqidah (belief) and Mawlana’s ‘aqidah is one and the same. I also consider innovation to be wrong. Whosoever opposes Mawlana in religious matters, opposes me, and opposes Allah and His Messenger (may Allah bless him and grant him peace). Those ignorant people who claim that Shari’ah and tariqah are separate entities do so due to their lack of understanding. Tariqah without Shari’ah is unacceptable to Allah, as clarity of the heart can also be achieved by non-believers. The heart is like a mirror. A rusty mirror can be cleared with urine as well as with rose water. However, the difference between both is one of purity and impurity. Adherence to the Sunnah is the yardstick for recognising a friend (wali) of Allah. One who adheres to the Sunnah is a wali of Allah, whilst the innovator acts in vain. Even Dajjal will display many unnatural feats. Allah says,

Say (O Prophet): “If you really love Allah, then follow me.” (Qur’an 3:31)

The one who is not a follower of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) and gives custom to innovative practices cannot be a friend of Allah.

The people of knowledge who love this needy servant, it is only so because of adherence to the Sunnah.

Anyone’s opposition does not harm Mawlana. In fact, as the poet says,

He is the one at loss who does not venerate Mir

Mawlana is a person from whom scholars should benefit and whose company they should consider a tremendous good. It is my desire that no one says nor writes to me any words of disrespect concerning Mawlana. I am deeply pained by such matters. It is strange that you inflict pain upon my beloved and then consider yourself my friend. This can never be! Mawlana is firmly a Hanafi by madhhab, sufi in conduct and a pious, perfect wali. His company should be treasured.

[Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki al-Faruqi al-Thanawi]

25th Dhu ‘l-Qa’dah 1310 AH

Reproduced in Al-Shihab al-Thaqib ‘ala al-Mustariq al-Kadhib, p. 291 (Lahore: Dar al-Kitab, May 2004 ed.)

_____________________________

  1. Referring to the great-grandson of Shah Waliullah Dahlawi, Shah Muhammad Ishaq Dahlawi, who was among the foremost authorities of hadith in his time, the resort of the ‘ulama of his era and heir to his grandfather Shah ‘Abd al-’Aziz Dahlawi. []
  2. Haji Imdadullah writes in Diya’ al-Qulub: ”Whosoever has love, faith and devotion for me, should consider both Molwi Muhammad Qasim [Nanautwi] (may Allah protect him) and Molwi Rashid Ahmad (may Allah protect him) – who have combined both outward and inward perfection – my equal. In fact, he should consider them to be of a loftier rank than me, even though in practice it is the opposite, in that I am in their place and they are in mine. He should value their company because such people are not found in this age. He should attain benefit from their blessed service and under their guidance traverse the ways of tasawwuf. He will not be unsuccessful [by doing so], if Allah wills.  May Allah bless them in age, bestow them with all the blessings of gnosis and the sublimity of His proximity, elevate their status, enlighten the world with the light of their guidance and through the means of the Leader of both worlds (Allah bless him and grant him peace), perpetuate their spiritual legacies until the Day of Judgment.” (Kulliyat-e-Imdadiyyah, p.72-73, Karachi: Darul Isha’at, 1397/1976 ed.) []

From http://www.deoband.org/2010/12/general/book-reviews/intikhabe-bukhari-sharif-book-review/

Intikhabe Bukhari Sharif: Book review 

By Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani 

Translated by Muhammad Habib

Author: Abu Muhammad ‘Abd’Allah ibn Abi Jamrah al-Maliki al-Andalusi,translation and explanatory notes: ‘Allamah Zafar Ahmad ‘Uthmani, publisher: Idara-e-Islamiyyat (Lahore), 2 Volumes, 656 pages.   

‘Allamah Muhammad ibn Abi Jamrah (may Allah shower His mercy upon him) is from amongst the renowned scholars and sufis of seventh century (Hijri) Spain who adhered to the sunnah. He authored a commentary of Sahih al-Bukhari, entitled, Bahjat al-Nufus,[1] which was written in a completely unique and rare style. In this commentary, the ‘Allamah has derived rulings of tasawwuf and ihsan in a wonderfully in-depth manner, from which it is made clear that tasawwuf is not a separate entity to the Shari‘ah, but is an important part of the religion (din), and is essentially derived from the Qur’an and sunnah. The subtleties, inner dimensions, delicate academic points of the hadiths and, in particular, the guidance given to the one traversing the path of tasawwuf, in this book by ‘Allamah Ibn Abi Jamrah (may Allah shower His mercy upon him) are so great and valuable that at times during the read the soul becomes ecstatic. The beauty of it is that these subtleties and inner dimensions are not expounded by the author with any formality or special preparation but are derived from the hadiths in a spontaneous and informal manner.  

In this era, Allah had chosen Hakim al-Ummat Mawlana Ashraf ‘Ali Thanwi (may Allah sanctify his secret) for the tajdid (revival and reformation) of all the fields of religion, especially the science of tasawwuf and spiritual nurturing. Due to the specialities of ‘Allamah Ibn Abi Jamrah’s (may Allah shower His mercy upon him) book, Hakim al-Ummat Mawlana Ashraf ‘Ali Thanwi was greatly fond it.[2] Therefore, it was his desire that it be rendered to Urdu. The good fortune of fulfilling this desire had been decreed by Allah to be the lot of ‘Allamah Zafar Ahmad ‘Uthmani (may Allah sanctify his secret). Accordingly, he translated this book, naming it Rahmat al-Quddus, and added his own explanatory notes to the translation throughout, which comprise valuable academic and reformatory discussions.[3] It is difficult to find an equal in this era to the rank in knowledge and virtue that Allah had granted ‘Allamah Zafar Ahmad ‘Uthmani (may Allah sanctify his secret), and this book truly reflects this.   

After being published in India once, this book had been out of print. Idara-e-Islamiyyat has now done a great favour to those who are thirsty for knowledge by diligently publishing it once again.[4] It is hoped that it will be valued by the people of knowledge and tasawwuf 

(Rajab al-Murajjab, 1401 AH) 

Tabsiray,(Karachi: Maktabah Ma‘arif al-Qur’an, Rabi‘ al-Awwal 1426/April 2005 ed.) p. 89-90

 


 

[1]           The leader of the ‘ulama’ of his era, Shah ‘Abd al-‘Aziz Dahlawi, writes: ‘‘He selected about 300 hadith in it from Sahih al-Bukhari and did a commentary on them. It consists of two volumes. He included obscure sciences and hidden truths. He was one of the great awliya’ and gnostics of Allah. He manifested many miracles, and among them the greatest of them was that he said, ‘Praise be to Allah Almighty, I have never disobeyed Allah.’ ’’ (The Garden of Hadith Scholars – Bustan al-Muhaddithin, p.306 (Turath Publishing, 1428/2007 ed.)) 

[2]           Hakim al-Ummat Mawlana Ashraf ‘Ali Thanawi wrote: ‘‘I have come across a book, Bahjat al-Nufus, which is a commentary of an abridgement of [Sahih al-]Bukhari by the same author. The text is an abridgement of [Sahih al-]Bukhari without the chain of narrations and repetitions therein. In its commentary the author has, from the hadiths and at times from the verses of the Qur’an, derived many rulings concerning the esoteric sciences just as he has done regarding the exoteric sciences. Its being referred to, on occasion, in Fath al-Bari is proof enough of its reliability. As the subject matter of ‘Unwanat al-Tasawwuf and a part of this book is the same, it has been made known to aspirants of this science. – Ashraf ‘Ali, 8th Rabi‘ al-Awwal, 1353 AH. ’’ (Reproduced in Intikhabe Bukhari Sharif, p. 3-4) 

[3]           It should be noted that ‘Allamah Zafar Ahmad ‘Uthmani translated the commentary of only the first hundred hadiths from Bahjat al-Nufus. Also, he translated only those parts of the commentary in which issues relating to tasawwuf have been discussed. More details on ‘Allamah Zafar Ahmad ‘Uthmani’s ‘approach to the translation can be found in his introduction. (Translator)

[4]           Idara Islamiyyat published it as Intikhab-e-Bukhari Sharif. (Translator)

Hakim al-Ummah Mawlana Ashraf ‘Ali Thanawi (may Allah shower His mercy upon him) wrote: 

‘‘One fine, excellent quality that I found in Mawlana [Rashid Ahmad Gangohi], may Allah sanctify his secret, is that he was never heard laughing, nor was he seen to be laughing heartily.  

Similarly, he was never found to be overwhelmed by anger. These two qualities indicated that following the sunnah had permeated his nature. 

We witnessed the similitude of the Noble Prophet’s (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) conduct with Bedouins, as indicated in hadith, in [the practise of] Mawlana Gangohi, may Allah sanctify his secret.” 

Shi‘r al-Firaq, p. 34 (Lahore: Sayyid Ahmad Shahid Academy) compiled by Sayyid Nafis al-Husayni (may Allah sanctify his secret).

Hakim al-Ummah Mawlana Ashraf ‘Ali Thanawi (may Allah shower His mercy upon him) related that Mawlana [Rashid Ahmad] Gangohi (may Allah shower His mercy upon him) would await the straightening of rows prior to leading salat. He would commence salat when it was known that they had been straightened. 

Majalis-e-Hakim al-Ummat, p. 243 (Karachi: Darul Isha‘at) compiled by Mawlana Mufti Muhammad Shafi‘ Usmani 

[Hakim al-Ummah Mawlana Ashraf ‘Ali Thanawi (may Allah shower His mercy upon him)] said, ‘I always give preference to ‘ulama’ over the Sufis [1], for they are the protectors of the religion and its boundaries. This is why I prefer that ‘ulama’ spend more time in teaching, lecturing, preaching or writing and issuing fatwas than remaining in solitude. This statement of mine is a rational one; otherwise, I have a natural love for the Sufis. 

Majalis-e-Hakim al-Ummat, p. 142 (Karachi: Darul Isha‘at) compiled by Mawlana Mufti Muhammad Shafi‘ Usmani  


[1]               Referring to those Sufis who are not ‘ulama’  (translator)

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