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Bassam Zawadi's Allegations: In Perspective Of History & In Light Of Ahadith.


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Introduction:

Bassam Zawadi a Wahhabi apologist, while writing against the belief of tafweed al mana (relegating the meaning of ayaat mutashabiyaat) wrote it implies that Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jammah (i.e. Ashariyya, Maturidiyya) of believing;[1] Prophet (sallalahu alayhi was'sallam) and his esteemed companions are bunch of failures. And basis for his accusation is; according to Ashariyya Prophet (sallalahu alayhi was'sallam) and some companions knew the meaning of ayaat Mutashabiyaat. Yet they did not pass on the meanings therefore Prophet (sallalahu alayhi was'sallam) failed to deliver the message and companions failed to preserve the knowledge because they failed to pass on the knowledge.

The object of this article would be to inform the readers of what the Ashariyya, Maturidiyya actually believe and what were the reasons which made it difficult to impossible to ascertain the meaning of Mutashabiyaat. And then place this historical account into context of what Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) has destined for Ummah of RasoolAllah (sallalalhu alayhi was'sallam).

Maturidi And Ashari Creeds In Historical Perspective:

The Maturidiyyah hold the belief that Prophet (sallalahu alayhi was'sallam) as well as some of his companions also knew  the knowledge of Mutashabiyaat and haroof al muqat'taat. Over the period of time that knowledge was lost and what was passed on is tainted by disputes and lack of authentic narrations therefore they do not make interpret the mutashabiyaat. Prophet (sallalahu alayhi was'sallam) had stated:
“The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: If anyone interprets the Book of Allah in the light of his opinion even if he is right, he has erred.” [Ref: Abu Dawood, B25, H3644] therefore without certain knowledge and certain proof the scholars of Maturidi creed did not interpret the ayaat mutashabiyaat nor haroof al muqat'taat but practiced Tafweedh (i.e. passing the Arabic words without interpreting them) negating the apparent meaning of ayaat mutashabiyaat because it contradicted with ayaat which are muhkamaat (i.e. clear in meaning and interpretation).

The Ashariyyah have that Prophet (sallalahu alayhi was'sallam) was explained the meaning of mutashabiyaat as well as haroof al muqat'taat and believe that Prophet (sallalahu alayhi was'sallam) taught the meaning to some of his companions. They differ in regards to interpretation of ayaat of mutashabiyaat with Maturidiyyah. They interpreted Mutashabiyaat using the little evidence which was passed on from tabi'tabiyeen and succeeding generations to protect the faith of laymen from the missionary activity of  anthropomorphic sect who attributed to Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) bodily parts consisting of material.
[2] At present the sect of anthropomorphic does not exist but a offshoot of that sect exists known popularly as Wahhabis hence the Ashariyyah deem that there is need for the continuing the interpretation of ayaat mutashabiyaat. In its original form the reality of Ashari creed is that they believe partly in concept of Tafweedh (i.e. relegating the attributes of Allah subhana wa ta'ala as they were revealed in Arabic) and argue that even though the knowledge of Mutashabiyat is known but not all of it. Only little knowledge is known about the interpretation of mutashabiyaat and other knowledge of mutashabiyaat remains mystery because Quran's nature is jawami al kalim. Which means that it written short but expresses vast meanings and the little they know of mutashabiyaat is from vast meanings of ayaat mutashabiyat.

Decreasing Of Knowledge:

Prophet (sallalahu alayhi was'sallam) said:
“The time would draw close to the Last Hour and knowledge would decrease. The rest of the hadith is the same.” [Ref: Abu Dawood, B34, H6460] in another hadith: Religious knowledge will decrease. Religious ignorance will prevail. There will be prevalence of open illegal sexual intercourse.” [Ref: Bukhari, B3, H81] another hadith explains the reason how knowledge will decrease: “I heard Allah's Apostle saying, "Allah does not take away the knowledge, by taking it away from (the hearts of) the people, but takes it away by the death of the religious learned men till when none of the (religious learned men) remains, people will take as their leaders ignorant persons who when consulted will give their verdict without knowledge. So they will go astray and will lead the people astray." [Ref: Bukhari, B3, H100] This decreasing of knowledge started with companions of Prophet (sallalahu alayhi was'sallam) and evidence of happening in the life time of Prophet (sallalahu alayhi was'sallam) is abundant in ahadith.[3] A popular hadith records companions forgetting the verses of rajm except Hadhrat Umar (radiallah ta'ala anh)[4] and this is undeniable proof of decreasing of knowledge amongst the companions of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi was'sallam).

Decreasing of knowledge is one of the signs which is manifesting it self increasingly as the time passes and the knowledge will decrease to such a level that Muslims will no longer understand the Quran:
“... The Prophet mentioned a matter saying, “That will be at the time when knowledge departs.” I asked, “How can knowledge depart when we recite the Quran and teach it to our children and they will teach it to their children up till day of resurrection?” He replied, “I am astonished at you Ziyad (literally: may your mother be bereaved of you Ziyad). I thought you were the most learned man in Medina. Do not these Jews and Christians read Torah and the Injeel without knowing a thing about their contents?[Ref: Mishkaat, Vol1, Kitabul iIm, Book Two, Page 62] in another hadith: "A time will come when nothing will remain of Islam except its name and nothing will remain of the Quran except its script. Mosques will be full of worshipers, but as far as righteousness is concerned they will be empty and deserted. Their ‘Ulama’ (religious scholars) will be the worst of creatures ...” [Ref: Mishkat, Vol1, Kitabul Ilm, Book Two, Page 62] At this lowest juncture of mankind Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) will lift the knowledge of Quran from the hearts, minds and mushaf's of Quran in a night: “Something will come and take the Qur’aan one night and not one aayah will be left, either in the Mushaf or in the heart of any person, but it will be taken away.” [Ref: AbrabicV - Sunan Darimi H3209]

Destiny Of Muslim Ummah And Nature Of knowledge:

Scholars with knowledge are passing away and not enough of them are being replaced. Muslims are disinterested in knowledge of deen and pursue careers secular knowledge of computers, business, for wordily gain. All this will eventually bring Islam and Muslims to the pitiful state; where Muslims will increasingly fallow the Jews and Christians in customs, practices, social behavior and adopt moral values of the dominant culture of Yahood o Nasara then they will be pleased with the Muslims. And Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) has destined for the Ummah of RasoolAllah (sallalahu alayhi was'sallam) to gradually loose the knowledge of Quran. So the promise of Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) to establish the annihilation, destruction of end of the universe is brought about on the worst people on earth because as long as the Quran remains its knowledge will hold up the candle of light in darkness of Shirk and kuffr. Burned at a time so bright that it illuminated regions of Europe to Subcontinent and in another time its light will only illuminate the hearts of few believers who will say;
'There is no god but Allah.' and it will be enough for them to enter paradise. This loosing of precious knowledge started with the companions of beloved RasoolAllah (sallalahu alayhi was'sallam) and this was what Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) destined for them. And Ummah will continue to loose knowledge until nothing of the Quran remains in understanding only the script and when Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) will decree the script will disappear as well.

Sahabah learnt from Prophet (sallalahu alayhi was'sallam) and passed on what they learnt. What the majority of companions didn't pursue (i.e. meaning of mutashabiyaat and haroof al muqat'taat) was with good intention and in obedience to Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) as well as Prophet (sallalahu alayhi was'sallam). Then the companions passed away and the majority of two succeeding generations of also ensured the practice of deen in the foot steps of companions of Prophet (sallalahu alayhi was'sallam). They ignored what the majority of companions ignored (i.e. knowledge regarding Mutashabiyaat and haroof al muqat'taat) and they learnt (i.e. knowledge of fiqh, nasikh wa mansookh, etc) what the majority companions learnt, and taught what they taught. The minority those who had learnt the meaning of entire Quran from Prophet (sallalahu alayhi was'sallam) including ayaat mutashabiyaat and haroof al muqat'taat, taught what was taught to them. From the succeeding generations of Tabiyeen and Tabi'tabiyeen the minority scholars who knew the meaning of Mutashabiyaat and haroof al muqat'taat taught those who were interested in the knowledge. But generally did not discuss the verses due to what Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) stated in the Quran about one who looks for the meanings of such verses. Those who asked about haroof al muqat'taat and mutashabiyaat they explained the meanings to them but they remained minority and the numbers of scholars of Quran who knew the meaning of mutashabiyaat as well as haroof al muqat'taat decreased continuously until the sects of Karamiyya; the sect of anthropomorphic arose. Then what little was known of mutashabiyaat became matter of dispute which has continued from early dispute and inflamed further by resurrection Khariji'ism inform of Wahhabi'ism; since its burning brighter, and hotter.

Knowledge by its nature is something which has to be written, memorized, and taught for it to be preserved otherwise it will be forgotten and lost. Hence general knowledge of Islam as well as specialized knowledge which requires dedicated learning is being lifted by the will of Allah (subhana wa ta'ala). Some knowledge was lifted in early in history of Islam some knowledge of daily fiqh is being lifted up at present because Muslims have abandoned the practice of deen for life of this world, and its enjoyments; which is criminal and will be punished by Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) on the day of judgment . The Sahabah practiced what was important and shunned learning of knowledge which would not benefit them (i.e. knowledge of mutashabiyaat, haroof al muqat'taat). They feared Allah (subhana wa ta'ala), obeyed Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) and obeyed Prophet (sallalahu alayhi was'sallam). Hence their disinterest in learning interpretation of ayaat mutashabiyaat was obedience to Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) and obedience to Prophet (sallallahu alayhi was'sallam). Therefore there is no blame upon them nor upon the two succeeding generations because their intentions and actions were according to Quran and instruction of Prophet (sallalahu alayhi was'sallam). And it is foolish to brand the companions and beloved Prophet (sallallahu alayhi was'sallam) as failures on the basis of foolish assumption that they failed to preserve the knowledge of deen. They passed on what was destined by Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) for each and every single one of them. They passed on according to the plan of Allah (subhana wa ta'ala); to lift the knowledge of Quran gradually and decrease the knowledge to much that nothing of Quran remains only the script; then not even that. After that Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) will establish the annihilation, utter, absolute destruction of earth on it's lowest, dirtiest inhabitants. Then the Mushrikeen of Makkah and Mushrikeen of Earth
[5] will get what they had asked for from Allah (subhana wa ta'ala)[6].

Conclusion:

Prophet (sallallahu alayhi was'sallam) and his companions passed on the knowledge of ayaat mutashabiyaat but those who learnt were minority. And the numbers of those who had learnt decreased with each succeeding generation until the subject became matter of dispute. This early disinterest in learning about ayaat mutashabiyaat was according to the grand plan of Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) lifting of the knowledge of Quran and eventually leading to lifting of Quranic script from face of earth. Those who pursued the knowledge of Mutashabiyaat with good intention of preserving the knowledge of Quran will be rewarded by Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) and those who abstained considering what Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) stated about those who pursue such knowledge they will be rewarded. And those who neglected learning of Quran its meanings because of dunya, its enjoyments, and failed to practice it's teachings with sound intentions they are criminals and will be punished.

Wama alayna ilal balaghul mubeen.
Muhammed Ali Razavi


Footnotes:

- [1] Bassam's actual words are: Sorry Faqir.... but you sound ridiculous and your basically calling the Prophet and his companions a bunch of failures.” Here the word 'calling' has been used to mean referring to or addressing. In either case implications of this are two; one, it means that Ashariyya believe Prophet (sallallahu alayhi was'sallam) and his companions are actually failures. Bassam alleges that they are failure according Ashariyya because Prophet (sallallahu alayhi was'sallam) and his companions failed to pass on the meaning of mutashabiyaat which was known to them. In this context his accusation of Ashariyya calling them failure would imply; Ashariyya actually believe they are failures hence they call them failures by believing in tafweed al mana. And Bassam is protesting against on this is that you are calling them failures meaning insulting them with belief of tafweed al mana. And two, Ashariyya insult Prophet (sallallahu alayhi was'sallam) and his companions because Ashari belief in tafweed al mana implies that companions failed to pass on the meaning of ayaat Mutashaybiyaat hence Ashari's believe they are failures. Now, calling anyone a failure is form of insult. And my assertion that tafweed al mana is insult is supported by Bassam's writing: “Tafweedh Al Ma'na Is An Insult to the Prophet.” because it means Prophet (sallalalhu alayhi was'sallam) and his companions failed to pass on the meaning of ayaat Mutashabiyaat hence they are failures according to Ashariyya. [Ref: Read footnote 1, Article: Refuting Bassam Zawadi: Did Prophet Knew Meaning Of Mutashabiyaat Verses?]

- [2] Ibn Taymiyyah the enemy of Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) took the middle course between Ashariyyah and the Mujassim (i.e. anthropomorphic) sect Hashawiyya also known as Karamiyya and Saqatiyya. He affirmed haqiqi (i.e. literal) meanings of all attributes of Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) which are Mutashabiyaat in nature. He affirmed yad haqiqi (i.e. literal hand) for Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) but relegated the understanding and the what yad (i.e. hand) implies arguing I believe in no taweel (i.e. interpretation), tamtheel (i.e. likening) or ta'teel (i.e. negation) of attributes of Allah (subhana wa ta'ala). In short his position is closer to the teaching of anthropomorphic then to Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jammah because by saying yad of Allah is haqiqi he does give it tamtheel, tashbih (i.e. likeness) to hands which Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) created while negating it. And his modern followers instead of saying yad haqiqi write 'hand of Allah' because its literal translation of the phrase yad'dullahi but the reasoning remains the same between Ibn Taymiyyah and his modern followers. Hence they are guilty of likening Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) to his creation as Ibn Taymiyyah was making Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) in his own image.

- [3] Prophet (sallallahu alayhi was'sallam) told about beginning of creation till the day of judgment. Companion says one who remembered and others forgot.

- [4] Shaytaan makes forget but shaytaan does not come near him hence he could not make him forget.

- [5] Mushrikeen of Earth in light of hadith of Prophet (sallalahu alayhi was'sallam); Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) will send a musky cool wind which will take the life of all who had mustard seed worth eman in their hearts and upon the worst the worst (i.e. Mushrikeen) Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) will establish the destruction, annihilation of earth.

- [6] Mushrikeen of Makkah when they were warned of day destruction which would precede before the day of judgment by Prophet (sallalahu alayhi was'sallam) they said mockingly: And when they said: "O Allah! If this is indeed the truth from You, then rain down stones on us from the sky or bring on us a painful torment.'' [Ref: 8:32] and Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) replies to them: And they urge you to hasten the punishment. And if not for [the decree of] a specified term, punishment would have reached them. But it will surely come to them suddenly while they perceive not.” [Ref: 29:53] in another verse Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) states: But Allah would not punish them while you, are among them, and Allah would not punish them while they seek forgiveness.” [Ref: 8:33] In the context of its revelation the verse means Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) will not punish the Mushrikeen as long as Prophet (sallalahu alayhi was) is amongst them. To punish them Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) gave the order of emigration to Madinah but eventually the Mushrikeen asked for forgiveness from Shirk and became Muslim. Another interpretation is Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) will not punish the Mushrikeen as whole until Prophet (sallalahu alayhi was'sallam) is alive because Prophet (sallalahu alayhi was'sallam) made dua to Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) to withhold the punishment from Mushrikeen. So if Prophet (sallalahu alayhi was'sallam) has passed away without converting the Mushrikeen Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) would have punished them collectively. Another interpretation is just as the Mushrikeen of Makkah mockingly demanded that destruction of world is brought about if Quran is from Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) and Prophet (sallallahu alayhi was'sallam) is true Prophet; in the similar fashion the Mushrikeen in aakhurz zama (i.e. near the end of times) would demand from Muslims the destruction of earth, and punishment of Allah (subhana wa ta'ala). Before Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) brings about what they demanded; Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) will take the life of believers who have mustard seed worth eman in their hearts and the gates of repentance will be closed therefore their seeking of forgiveness from Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) would not be accepted by Allah (subhana wa ta'ala). Then Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) will order the angles to fulfill what He has promised to the Mushrikeen of Makkah and Mushrikeen of Earth; the utter, absolute, annihilation of inhabitants of earth who mocked Allah (subhana wa ta'ala) and disbelieved in is Prophet, in his Guidance.

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