Tasawwuf


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.) []
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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)

Shaykh al-Islam Mawlana Sayyid Husayn Ahmad Madani (may Allah shower His mercy upon him) advised: 

‘‘One should be concerned with pleasing the Knower of the unseen. No matter how much success and fame we attain in this world, it is but for a few days. We should [seek to] attain the proximity and pleasure of that Pure Being who is attributed with perpetual eternity.’’ 

Malfuzat Hadrat Madani, p.107 (Delhi: Dar al-Isha‘at, July 1998 ed.) by Mawlana Abu ‘l-Hasan Barah Bankwi

From www.deoband.org

Answered by Shaykh al-Hadith Mawlana Muhammad Yunus Jaunpuri

[Shaykh al-Hadith Mawlana Muhammad Yunus Jaunpuri was asked why the scholars of hadith did not generally give credence to the hadiths reported by Sufis, despite their closeness to Allah and lofty rank. He answered:] 

‘‘Scholars have not given credence to the [hadith] reports of Sufis, as these respected people, due to their preoccupation with acts of devotion (‘ibadat), are unable to fully dedicate themselves to [the seeking of] knowledge. This is why their reports are littered with errors and confusions. Likewise, their husn al-zann (good opinions regarding others) is to such a degree that they do not even make critical analysis and, consequently, accept any spoken word without investigation. This is why their reports contain weak, rejected and fabricated hadiths in abundance.  

This becomes evident after seeing Abu Talib Makki’s Qut al-Qulub and the works of Imam al-Ghazali, Abu ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Sulami and others. 

‘Allamah Taj al-Din al-Subki has compiled all those countless reports which Imam al-Ghazali has mentioned in Ihya’ al-‘Ulum, but are not found elsewhere. There are, however, many reports which do exist either in wording or meaning.    

The truth is that every art has its connoisseurs. We gladly accept that the Sufis are worthy of veneration. However, that does not mean we also accept their word in those sciences in which they do not specialise.    

Yahya al-Qattan says: ‘‘We have not seen the pious (Sufis) more imprecise in anything as they are in hadith.” Another variation reads, “We have not seen the people of good (Sufis) more imprecise in anything as they are in hadith.’’ 

Explaining this, Imam Muslim (pg. 14) writes: “Imprecision finds its way on to their tongues but they do not intend it.” 

Imam al-Nawawi elaborates: ‘‘This is so because of their non-possession of the skills employed by the people of hadith, and hence, error creeps into their reports without their knowledge and they tend to relate inaccurate reports not suspecting them to be false.’’ 

However, no one has rejected the reports of those Sufis who have gained proficiency in this science. For example, Imam Abu Isma‘il al-Ansari al-Harawi (d. 481 AH), the author of Manazil al-Sa’irin, was a Sufi as well as a hadith scholar. His work, Manazil al-Sa’irin, is a renowned work of tasawwuf, of which al-Hafiz Ibn al-Qayyim wrote an extremely detailed commentary, entitled Madarij al-Salikin. 

Similarly, the student of Imam Muslim, Ibrahim ibn Muhammad ibn Sufyan and his student Abu Ahmad al-Jaludi and others were all from amongst the ascetic Sufis, and people (hadith scholars) have accepted their reports. 

The hadith scholar, Abu ‘Abd Allah Yunini, is from amongst the great Sufis. He attained the mantle of tasawwuf from the respected Shaykh ‘Abd Allah al-Bata’ihi, who is from the companions of Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani. [Abu ‘Abd Allah] Yunini is also a renowned hafiz of hadith. Al-Hafiz al-Dhahabi has specifically mentioned him in Tadhkirat al-Huffaz (Vol. 4, p. 223).   

 Similarly ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Muhammad al-Dawudi (d. 467 AH) is a renowned Sufi. Al-Hafiz al-Sam‘ani relates in Al-Ansab: ‘‘He was a master in tasawwuf’’, and he is from amongst the transmitters of [Sahih] al-Bukhari. 

The likes of ‘Allamah Ibn Daqiq al-‘Id and Ibn al-Humam and others being Sufis is a known fact.    

[Finally], all praise is due to Allah, most of our shaykhs of the Wali Allahi tradition were Sufis as well as imams of hadith. 

That is the bounty of Allah, He grants to whom He wills. 

Only Allah knows best.’’ 

The servant

Muhammad Yunus

(may Allah forgive him)

Monday 11th Rabi‘ al-Thani 1391 AH.  

Source: Al-Yawaqit al-Ghaliyah fi Tahqiq wa Takhrij al-Ahadith al-‘Aliyah, Volume 1, 1st edition (UK: Majlis Da‘wat al-Haqq, p. 128-129), collated by Mawlana Muhammad Ayyub Surti.

Related Posts:

Shaykh al-Hadith Mawlana Yunus Jaunpuri’s Passion For Hadith

Musafahah (Greeting) With Both Hands – Answered by Shaykh al-Hadith Mawlana Muhammad Yunus Jonpuri

 

[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)

Shaykh al-Islam Mawlana Sayyid Husayn Ahmad Madani (may Allah shower His mercy upon him) advised: 

‘‘It is not obligatory to give bay‘ah [to a shaykh of tasawwuf], nor does salvation depend on it. Hundreds of thousands of Muslims do not give bay‘ah; will they not be forgiven [for their sins] in the Divine Court? Therefore, you should not be hasty. Continue to search for a guide and pious person who is accomplished in shari‘ah and tariqah. If you find one who fulfils these criteria, give bay‘ah to him. Otherwise, everything lies in following our illustrious Master, the honourable Leader of all creation (blessings and peace upon him). Occupy yourself with this.’’ 

Shaykh al-‘Arab wa ‘l-Ajam Hadrat Mawlana Husayn Ahmad Madani ki Iman Afroz batein, p. 159-160 (Karachi: Majlis-e-Yadgar-e-Shaykh al-Islam, 1993/1413 ed.)

Shaykh al-Islam Mawlana Husayn Ahmad Madani (may Allah shower His mercy upon him) advised, 

‘‘ The blessed age of youth is extremely valuable; adorn it with the pleasant hues of Allah’s remembrance.’’ 

Malfuzat Hadrat Madani, p.83 (Delhi: Dar al-Isha‘at, July 1998 ed.) by Mawlana Abu ‘l-Hasan Barah Bankwi

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