MuhammedAli

Shaykh Madani’s Explanation Of Hifz ul-Iman: Comparision Is In Category Of Limitedness Not In Quantity Of Limited Knolwedge.

2 posts in this topic

Introduction:

Shaykh Ashraf Ali Thanvi a major scholar of Deobandism in his Hifz ul-Iman wrote something which no believer would find acceptable. Ever since it was penned Shaykh Thanvi himself and his supporters have sort to explain away the obvious insult/disrespect directed toward Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). Out of many Shaykh Hussain Ahmad Madani, a major Deobandi scholar wrote to defend Shaykh Thanvi and published Al-Shihab as-Saqib, best described as Gali Nama (i.e. master piece of abuse).

0.0 - Islamic Belief Regarding Ilm al-Ghayb Of Prophet:

Muslims believe Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) has been granted Baaz from knowledge of Ghayb. In words of Sayyidi Ala Hadhrat (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala); Prophet Muhammad’s (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) knowledge of Ghayb is a drop from limitless ocean of Allah’s (subhanahu wa ta’ala) knowledge. And despite this his knowledge of Ghayb is unique and Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is special in his knowledge of Ghayb.

0.1 - Glimpse Of Types Of Ghuyubs Known To RasoolAllah:

It is unique because Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) showed him paradise and hell. He saw the grapes of paradise and saw parts of hell destroying each other. He saw Amr bin Luhai in hell and Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) told he started the Sunnah of freeing animals in the name of idol gods.[1] Prophet (sallallahua layhi wa aalihi was’sallam) foretold; Syria, Iraq, and Yemen will be conquered by Muslims and Muslims will leave Madinah.[2]  Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) informed the companions; he can see them behind him just like he can see them when they are infront of him. Nor their concentration in prayer and nor was their bowing is hidden from him.[3] Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) informed about two people being tortured in the graves when he passed by them. And this is report of Ghayb relating to present. He told they are not being punished for minor sins. One being punished for backbiting and other for not being careful and allowing urine drops to soil his clothes. Note he knew their sins of past due to which they were being punished.[4] And Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) was shown his entire Ummah and the good and bad deeds of his entire nation during his life time.[5] Just from a glimpse it becomes evident prophetic knowledge of Ghayb is unique. And there is no regular Joe, or infant, or lunatic, or animal, or insect with such knowledge of Ghayb.

0.2 - Quantity Of Ghuyub Known To RasoolAllah:

Good and bad actions of Ummah were shown to RasoolAllah (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) during his life time and are presented to him after his passing away.[6] Consider the billions of Muslims and this should tell a Muslim the amount of Ghuyub is known by RasoolAllah (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). Also Ahadith establish everything was revealed to Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) when Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) placed knowledge in chest of RasoolAllah (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam).[7] And therefore Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) told everything from beginning of creation till entry of people to paradise/hell.[8] And this was because Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) was witnessing all that is happening.[9]

1.0 - Actual Statement Of Shaykh Thanvi In Discussion:

“If it is correct to attribute knolwedge of Ghayb to holy being (of Prophet) then issue needing to be enquired is: Is this baaz (i.e. some/limited) from Ghayb or qull (i.e. every/all) Ghayb (of Allah); if baaz (i.e. some) from knowledge of Ghayb is intended then what is so unique about Hadhoor’s (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) knowledge of Ghayb; knowledge like (i.e. aisa) this is even possessed by Zayd and Amr; every infant, lunatic, all animals and quadrupeds; because every person knows something which is hidden from another person. (If knowing Ghayb is criteria of attributing title;) then we should call everyone of them Aalim al-Ghayb.” [Ref: Hifz ul-Iman, by Shaykh Ashraf Ali Thanvi, Page15, here]

1.1 - Shaykh Hussain Ahmad Madani’s Taweel:

Shaykh Madani argued in defence of Shaykh Ashraf Ali Thanvi; he compared some baaz (i.e. limited/some) with baaz and nd not quantity of baaz knowledge. In context of Shaykh Thanvi’s statement his explanation would be reflected as follows: “… if baaz from knowledge of Ghayb is intended then what is so unique about Hadhoor’s (baaz) knowledge of Ghayb; (baaz) knowledge like this is even possessed by Zayd and Amr; every infant, lunatic, all animals and quadrupeds …” In other words Shaykh Madani is saying; instead of comparing the quantity of baaz knowledge of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) with baaz quantity of mentioned creations; Shaykh Thanvi just compared baaz knowledge of RasoolAllah (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) with baaz knowledge of mentioned creations without comparing great quantity of prophetic knowledge with minute knowledge of others.

1.2 – The Right Questions And the Important Answer:

Question arises what would be the outcome if this interpretation of Shaykh Hussain Ahmad is right and believed? And what does it mean regarding character of Shaykh Thanvi if this interpretation is true? Would Shaykh Madani earn a badge of honor and Shaykh Thanvi go free of blame of insulting Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam)? Lets begin with telling you; don’t have your hopes too high about Shaykh Madani’s scholarships and definitely not his smarts (i.e. intelligence).

1.3 - Shaykh Madani’s Taweel In Hifz ul-Iman:

In light of Shaykh Madani’s Taweel the statement will be read: “If it is correct to attribute knolwedge of Ghayb to holy being (of Prophet) then issue needing to be enquired is: Is it baaz from Ghayb or every/all Ghayb (of Allah); if baaz from knowledge of Ghayb is intended then what is so unique about Hadhoor’s (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) baaz knowledge of Ghayb; baaz knowledge like of this is even possessed by Zayd and Amr; every infant, lunatic, all animals and quadrupeds; possesses (such knowledg of Ghayb) as well because every person knows something which is hidden from another person. (If knowing Ghayb is criteria of attributing title) Then we should call everyone of them Aalim al-Ghayb. Now if Zayd decides (and says) yes I will call all of them (with title of) Aalim ul-Ghayb (one should ask Zayd) …” Note words in green are not part of original TEXT but are inserted to convey interpretation of Shaykh Madani. Even though the natural meaning conveys comparision between baaz quantity; please ignore it. Just pretend and go along; Shaykh Madani was correct in his understanding.

1.4 - Shaykh Madani’s Taweel And Its Application On Shaykh Thanvi:

As per interpretation of Shaykh Madani the implications are; Shaykh Thanvi wants to negate uniquesness of prophetic knowledge of Ghayb by comparing word baaz with baaz. Without getting into detail of how much this baaz translates to for Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) and for mentioned creations. And without comparing the type of knowledge of Ghayb which is established for RasoolAllah (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). The following demonstrates what Shaykh Madani is saying: If it is some knowledge then what is so special/unique about Shaykh Thanvi’s some knowledge? Knowledge like of Shaykh Thanvi is known to every idiot, dumb mummal, Kafir, and even Fir’awn had some knowledge. Or if someone wants to negate uniqueness of Shaykh Thanvi’s knowledge by saying: What is so unique about Shaykh Thanvi’s limited knowledge of Islam even infants possess limited knowledge of Islam. Please note quantity of limited/some isn’t being compared but just the nafs (i.e. being, or word) of baaz (i.e. limited, some) is compared.

2.0 - Response To Argument: Compared In Limitedness Not In Quantity:

Shaykh Madani’s argument is; Shaykh Thanvi compared limited knowledge without making, directly or indirectly, the quantity of limited knowledge part of his statement found in Hifz ul-Iman. Shaykh Madani either lacked the smarts (i.e. intelligence) or was just being typical Deobandi. And my accessment is smarts was not his problem but his love/respect of Shaykh Thanvi exceeded the love and respect of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). Because even those who have spent two years in Madrassa will be able to tell you speciality and uniqueness cannot be established and cannot be negated without inserting quantity, type and quality of knowledge into equation. If Shaykh Thanvi had not questioned the speciality/uniqueness and had not compared prophetic knowledge of Ghayb with lunatics, infants, animals, Zaid, Amr and not negated speciality of prophetic knowledge: Then quantity argument of Shaykh Madani would have been valid.

2.1 - Shaykh Thanvi’s Equality In Limited Knowledge Established:

If Shaykh Thanvi’s statement was worded in following way then it would have been acceptable and Shaykh Madani’s point would have been valid: if baaz from knowledge of Ghayb is intended then baaz knowledge like of this is even possessed by Zayd and Amr; every infant, lunatic, all animals and quadrupeds; possesses (such knowledg of Ghayb) as well because every person knows something which is hidden from another person.” But Shaykh Thanvi questioned uniqueness of prophetic knowledge and compared it with; Zaid, Amr, lunatics, animals, quadrupeds and infants in limitedness of Ghayb. And all this to negate speciality/uniqueness of prophetic knowledge. To determine or to negate speciality/uniqueness of prophetic knowledge Shaykh Thanvi had to compare the quantity etc. If he believed prophetic knowledge of Ghayb was far greater then Zaid, Amr, lunatics, infants, animals then there would be speciality/uniqueness of prophetic knowledge and and he would have automatically come to conclusion that Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is unique and special in his knowledge. Shaykh Thanvi denied speciality/uniqueness of prophetic knowledge and that can only be it if he considered/believed the prophetic knowledge to be equal to mentioned creations: “… if baaz from knowledge of Ghayb is intended then what is so unique about Hadhoor’s (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) baaz knowledge of Ghayb; baaz knowledge like of this is even possessed by Zayd and Amr; every infant, lunatic, all animals and quadrupeds; possesses (such knowledg of Ghayb) as well because every person knows something which is hidden from another person.” Alhaisl -: Equality in quantity, type and quality of knowledge is indirectly was implied by Shaykh Thanvi to come to his conclusion. If he had not implied equality into his text his conclusion could not have been against speciality. The principle of determining speciality/uniqueness in knowledge and Shaykh Thanvi’s conclusion is source of equality in quantity argument.

3.0 - Moral Question And Principle Of Establishing Uniqueness:

Question; Is this fair way of determining uniqueness of Shaykh Thanvi’s knowledge? If someone truly and genuinely wants to establish uniqueness then it is wrong to compare superiors knowledge with lowers. The correct method is to compare lowers knowledge with superiors knowledge. In other words to establish uniqueness one should not do as follow; infant knows Tajweed and Shaykh Thanvi knows Tajweed therefore Shaykh Thanvi is not special he is like an infant in his knowledge. The right course of action is that; Shaykh Thanvi knows, Tajweed, Tafsir, Hadith, Arabic, rules of Sarf and Nawh etc. The child only knows Tajweed but due to all other knowledge Shaykh Thanvi is unique in his knowledge. In other words uniquesness in knowledge is determined by quantity of knoweldge and type of knowledge and not through word play; Baaz Ilm al-Ghayb vs Baaz Ilm al-Ghayb. The speciality of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is established by type of Ghuyub he knows and quantity of these Ghuyub.

3.1 - Blame On Shaykh Thanvi Through Interpretation Of Shaykh Madani:

It is obvious uniquesness/speciality of one individual’s knowledge over another is established through the type of Ghuyub known to him and quantity of the Ghuyub. Please consider; what type of person would use such under handed tactic to negate speciality/uniqueness prophetic knowledge over mentioned insignifcants mentioned by Shaykh Thanvi? What I mean is you need to consider: What kind of Iblees would not use quantity and type knowledge to determine uniqueness of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) over lunatics, infants, animals, and quadrupeds: A person who loves and respects Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam)? Or Shaytaan al-Laheen who deliberately wants to insult Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) using this under-handed tactic? And suppose Shaykh Madani wrongly understood the intent of Shaykh Thanvi then just imagine what kind of Iblees would understand the statement in such a way and consider it acceptable? A righteous believer or cursed Iblees? I leave the judgment for the readers.

3.2 - Equating Prophetic Knowledge With Knowledge Of Insignificants:

According to Shaykh Madani; Shaykh Thanvi compares baaz  prophetic knowledge of Ghayb with baaz knowledge of Ghayb of infants and lunatics. It is true having baaz knowledge of Ghayb is not unique but the type and quantity Ghayb knowledge which Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) has been granted is unique to Prophets and especially to him. Knowledge of Quran/Wahi was Ghayb and was unique to Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). Which infant, or lunatic, or animal, or regular Joe shared any part of it without his delivering it? And some evidence relating to this was already presented. Using Shaykh Madani’s logic if someone says; what is so unique about face of Shaykh Thanvi; face like of this even is possed by Zayd, Amr, infants, lunatics, animals, pigs, dogs, and donkeys. Expectedly Deobandi’s would be upset and accuse me of following the Sunnah of Shaykh Madani. But my defence would be in accordance with logic of Shaykh Madani: I merely compared nafs of face with faces of mentioned and not type of faces; therefore no insult was meant because having face is not unique. Natural implication of which is that Shaykh Thanvi’s face is like the faces of mentioned. Rest assured none of them will buy tolerate or accept this Taweel because one of their own is being insulted. But Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is insulted their hearts don’t even percieve it and they preferr distortions of their scholars over what they know to be truth.

Conclusion:

To begin with; to equate Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) and to argue there is no uniqueness of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) over the insignicants mentioned is disrespectful. Shaykh Thanvi’s statement of Hifz ul-Iman if judged in light of Shaykh Madani’s Taweel then Shaykh Thanvi is guilty of employing unwarranted methodology of underminding merit and speciality of prophetic knowledge of Ghayb. And a Muslim can imagine what type of person would go to such length as to compare baaz without comparing quanity of baaz Ghayb knowledge of Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) with animals, infants, and lunatics! All this so he can establish there is nothing special about Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) in his knolwedge: A righteous believer who loves/respects Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam)? Or a disgusting Kafir impersonating to be Muslim; with no love/respect for the Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam)? Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) guides whom He wills.

Wama alayna ilal balalghul mubeen.
Muhammed Ali Razavi

FootNotes:

- [1] “Narrated Aisha: Once the sun eclipsed and Allah's Messenger stood up for the prayer and recited a very long Sura and when bowed for a long while and then raised his head and started reciting another Sura. Then he bowed, and after finishing, he prostrated and did the same in the second rak`a and then said, "These (lunar and solar eclipses) are two of the signs of Allah and if you see them, pray till the eclipse is over. No doubt, while standing at this place I saw everything promised to me by Allah and I saw (Paradise) and I wanted to pluck a bunch (of grapes) therefrom, at the time when you saw me stepping forward. No doubt, I saw Hell with its different parts destroying each other when you saw me retreating and in it I saw `Amr bin Luhai who started the tradition of freeing animals (set them free) in the name of idols." [Ref: Bukhari, B22, H303]

- [2]“Sufyan b. Abd Zuhair reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: Syria will be conquered and some people will go out of Medina along with their families driving their camels. and Medina is better for them if they were to know it. Then Yemen will be conquered and some people will go out of Medina along with their families driving their camels, and Medina is better for them if they were to know it. Then Iraq will be conquered and some people will go out of it along with their families driving their camels, and Medina is better for them if they were to know it.” [Ref: Muslim, B7, H3200]

- [3] "It was narrated from Anas that the Prophet used to say: "Make your rows straight, make your rows straight, make your rows straight. By the One in Whose Hand is my soul! I can see you behind me as I can see you in front of me." [Ref: Nisai, B10, H814] "It was narrated from Anas that: The Messenger of Allah  said: 'Bow and prostrate properly, for by Allah I can see you from behind my back when you bow and prostrate.'" [Ref: Nisai, B12, H1118] "Yahya related to me from Malik from Abu'z Zinad from al-Araj from Abu Hurayra that the Messenger of Allah ( may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said: "Do you see the direction I am facing here? By Allah, neither your concentration nor your ruku is hidden from me. I can see you behind my back." [Ref: Muwatta.I.Malik, B9, H73]

- [4] "Bahr bin Marrar narrated that his grandfather Abu Bakrah said: "The Messenger of Allah passed by two graves, and he said: 'They are being punished but they are not being punished for anything major. One of them is being punished because of urine, and the other is being punished because of backbiting.'" [Ref: Ibn Majah, B1, H349] “Narrated Ibn Abbas:
Once the Prophet went through the grave-yards of Medina and heard the voices of two humans who were being tortured in their graves. The Prophet said, "They are being punished, but they are not being punished because of a major sin, yet their sins are great. One of them used not to save himself from (being soiled with) the urine, and the other used to go about with calumnies (Namima)." Then the Prophet asked for a green palm tree leaf and split it into two pieces and placed one piece on each grave, saying, "I hope that their punishment may be abated as long as these pieces of the leaf are not dried." [Ref: Bukhari, B73, H81]

- [5] “It was narrated from Abu Dharr that the Prophet said: "My nation was shown to me with their good deeds and bad deeds. Among their good deeds I saw a harmful thing being removed from the road. And among their bad deeds I saw sputum in the mosque that had not been removed." [Ref: Ibn Majah, B33, H3683]

- [6] “It was narrated from Abu Dhār that the Prophet said: "My nation was shown to me with their good deeds and bad deeds. Among their good deeds I saw a harmful thing being removed from the road. And among their bad deeds I saw sputum in the mosque that had not been removed." [Ref: Ibn Majah, B33, H3683] “Narrated Sulayman bin Harb, Hammad bin Zaid, Ghalib al Qattan, Bakr bin Abdullah al-Muzani: RasoolAllah (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) said: My life is good for you [because] Hadith are narrated for you and you narrate them. When I die then in my death there is good for you [because] your actions are presented to me. If I see goodness I will praise Allah and if I see otherwise I will seek forgive for you from Allah. [Ref: Khasa’is Ul Kubra, Imam Suyuti, pages 391/392.]

- [7] "Narrated Abdur Rahman ibn A'ish: Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said: I saw my Lord, the Exalted and Glorious in the most beautiful form. He said: What do the Angels in the presence of Allah contend about? I said: Thou art the most aware of it. He then placed His palm between my shoulders and I felt its coldness in my chest and I came to know what was in the Heavens and the Earth. He recited: 'Thus did we show Ibrahim the kingdom of the Heavens and the Earth and it was so that he might have certainty.' (6:75)" [Ref: Tirmadhi, Vol5, H3245, Tafsir Surah Sad] "Then I saw Him put his palms between my shoulder blades till I felt the coldness of his fingers between the two sides of my chest. Then everything was illuminated for me and I recognized everything. He said: Muhammad! I said: At Thy service, my Lord. He said: What do these high angels contend about? I said: In regard to expiations. He said: What are these? [...]" [Ref: Tirmadhi, Vol5, H3246, Tafsir Surah Sad]

- [8]
“Narrated Umar: One day the Prophet
stood up amongst us for a long period and informed us about the beginning of creation (and talked about everything in detail) till he mentioned how the people of Paradise will enter their places and the people of Hell will enter their places. Some remembered what he had said, and some forgot it.[Ref: Bukhari, B54, H414] “Narrated Hudhaifa: The Prophet once delivered a speech in front of us wherein he left nothing but mentioned (about) everything that would happen till the Hour. Some of us stored that our minds and some forgot it. (After that speech) I used to see events taking place (which had been referred to in that speech) but I had forgotten them (before their occurrence). Then I would recognize such events as a man recognizes another man who has been absent and then sees and recognizes him.” [Ref: Bukhari, B77, H601]

- [9] "Narrated Hakim Bin Nafi, Saeed Bin Sinan, narrated Abu Zahriyat, Kathir Bin Murra Abu Shajara al-Hadhrami, Ibn Umar said: Abdullah bin Umar (radi Allahu anhuma) that Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said: "Indeed this entire world is in front of me so that I can observe everything in it. I can see everything in this world and everything that will take place till the Day of Qiyamah. I see the entire world as I see the palm of my hand". [Ref: Kitab al-Fitan, 1st Chapter, Hadith No. 2, by Hafidh Naeem Bin Hammad al-Marwazi]

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Updated.

Shaykh Madani’s Explanation Of Hifz ul-Iman: Comparision Is In Category Of Limitedness Not In Quantity Of Limited Knolwedge.


Introduction:

Shaykh Ashraf Ali Thanvi a major scholar of Deobandism in his Hifz ul-Iman wrote something which no believer would find acceptable. Ever since it was penned Shaykh Thanvi himself and his supporters have sort to explain away the obvious insult/disrespect directed toward Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). Out of many Shaykh Hussain Ahmad Madani, a major Deobandi scholar wrote to defend Shaykh Thanvi and published Al-Shihab as-Saqib, best described as Gali Nama (i.e. master piece of abuse).

0.0 - Islamic Belief Regarding Ilm al-Ghayb Of Prophet:

Muslims believe Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) has been granted Baaz from knowledge of Ghayb. In words of Sayyidi Ala Hadhrat (rahimullah alayhi ta’ala); Prophet Muhammad’s (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) knowledge of Ghayb is a drop from limitless ocean of Allah’s (subhanahu wa ta’ala) knowledge. And despite this his knowledge of Ghayb is unique and Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is special in his knowledge of Ghayb.

0.1 - Glimpse Of Types Of Ghuyubs Known To RasoolAllah:

It is unique because Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) showed him paradise and hell. He saw the grapes of paradise and saw parts of hell destroying each other. He saw Amr bin Luhai in hell and Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) told he started the Sunnah of freeing animals in the name of idol gods.[1] Prophet (sallallahua layhi wa aalihi was’sallam) foretold; Syria, Iraq, and Yemen will be conquered by Muslims and Muslims will leave Madinah.[2]  Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) informed the companions; he can see them behind him just like he can see them when they are infront of him. Nor their concentration in prayer and nor was their bowing is hidden from him.[3] Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) informed about two people being tortured in the graves when he passed by them. And this is report of Ghayb relating to present. He told they are not being punished for minor sins. One being punished for backbiting and other for not being careful and allowing urine drops to soil his clothes. Note he knew their sins of past due to which they were being punished.[4] And Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) was shown his entire Ummah and the good and bad deeds of his entire nation during his life time.[5] Just from a glimpse it becomes evident prophetic knowledge of Ghayb is unique. And there is no regular Joe, or infant, or lunatic, or animal, or insect with such knowledge of Ghayb.

0.2 - Quantity Of Ghuyub Known To RasoolAllah:

Good and bad actions of Ummah were shown to RasoolAllah (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) during his life time and are presented to him after his passing away.[6] Consider the billions of Muslims and this should tell a Muslim the amount of Ghuyub is known by RasoolAllah (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). Also Ahadith establish everything was revealed to Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) when Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) placed knowledge in chest of RasoolAllah (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam).[7] And therefore Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) told everything from beginning of creation till entry of people to paradise/hell.[8] And this was because Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) was witnessing all that is happening.[9]

1.0 - Actual Statement Of Shaykh Thanvi In Discussion:

“If according to Zaid it is correct to attribute knolwedge of Ghayb to holy being (of Prophet) then matter needs to be enquired; is intended meaning of this Ghayb; baaz Ghayb or qull Ghayb (of Allah); if baaz knowledge of Ghayb is intended; then in this what is so unique about Hadhoor (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam); Ghayb knowledge like-this is even possessed by Zayd and Amr; every infant, lunatic, all animals and quadrupeds; because every person knows something which is hidden from another person. (If knowing Ghayb is criteria of attributing title;) then we should call everyone of them Aalim al-Ghayb.” [Ref: Hifz ul-Iman, by Shaykh Ashraf Ali Thanvi, Page15, here]

1.1 - Shaykh Hussain Ahmad Madani’s Taweel:

Shaykh Madani argued in defence of Shaykh Ashraf Ali Thanvi; he compared some baaz (i.e. limited/some) with baaz and not quantity of baaz knowledge. In context of Shaykh Thanvi’s statement his explanation would be reflected as follows: “… if baaz knowledge of Ghayb is intended; then in this what is so unique about Hadhoor (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam); baaz Ghayb knowledge like-this is even possessed by Zayd and Amr; every infant, lunatic, all animals and quadrupeds …” In other words Shaykh Madani is saying; instead of comparing the quantity of baaz knowledge of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) with baaz quantity of mentioned creations; Shaykh Thanvi just compared baaz knowledge of RasoolAllah (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) with baaz knowledge of mentioned creations without comparing great quantity of prophetic knowledge with minute knowledge of others.

1.2 – The Right Questions And the Important Answer:

Question arises what would be the outcome if this interpretation of Shaykh Hussain Ahmad is right and believed? And what does it mean regarding character of Shaykh Thanvi if this interpretation is true? Would Shaykh Madani earn a badge of honor and Shaykh Thanvi go free of blame of insulting Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam)? Lets begin with telling you; don’t have your hopes too high about Shaykh Madani’s scholarships and definitely not his smarts (i.e. intelligence).

1.3 - Shaykh Madani’s Taweel In Hifz ul-Iman:

Note words in green are not part of original TEXT but are inserted to convey interpretation of Shaykh Madani. In light of Shaykh Madani’s Taweel the statement will be read: “If according to Zaid it is correct to attribute knolwedge of Ghayb to holy being (of Prophet) then matter needs to be enquired; is intended meaning of this Ghayb; baaz Ghayb or qull Ghayb (of Allah); if baaz knowledge of Ghayb is intended; then in this what is so unique about Hadhoor (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam); baaz Ghayb knowledge like-this is even possessed by Zayd and Amr; every infant, lunatic, all animals and quadrupeds; because every person knows something which is hidden from another person. (If knowing Ghayb is criteria of attributing title;) then we should call everyone of them Aalim al-Ghayb.” Even though the natural meaning conveys comparision between Baaz quantity of prophetic Ghayb and Baaz Ghayb of creations he mentioned; please ignore it. Just pretend and go along; Shaykh Madani was correct in his understanding.

1.4 - Shaykh Madani’s Taweel And Its Application On Shaykh Thanvi:

As per interpretation of Shaykh Madani the implications are; Shaykh Thanvi wants to negate uniquesness of prophetic knowledge of Ghayb by comparing category of Baaz with Baaz. Without getting into detail of how much each Baaz translates to for Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) and for mentioned creations. And without comparing the type of knowledge of Ghayb which is established for RasoolAllah (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). The following demonstrates what Shaykh Madani is saying: If it is some knowledge then what is so special/unique about Shaykh Thanvi’s some knowledge? Knowledge like of Shaykh Thanvi is known to every idiot, dumb mummal, Kafir, and even Fir’awn had some knowledge. Or if someone wants to negate uniqueness of Shaykh Thanvi’s knowledge by saying: What is so unique about Shaykh Thanvi’s limited knowledge of Islam even infants possess limited knowledge of Islam. Please note quantity of limited/some isn’t being compared but just the Nafs (i.e. being, or word) of Baaz (i.e. limited, some) is compared. Question; Is this fair way of determining uniqueness of Shaykh Thanvi’s knowledge?

2.0 - Response To Argument: Compared In Limitedness Not In Quantity:

Shaykh Madani’s argument is; Shaykh Thanvi compared limited knowledge without making, directly or indirectly, the quantity of limited knowledge part of his statement found in Hifz ul-Iman. Shaykh Madani either lacked the smarts (i.e. intelligence) or was just being typical Deobandi. And my accessment is smarts was not his problem but his love/respect of Shaykh Thanvi exceded the love and respect of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). Because even those who have spent two years in Madrassa will be able to tell you speciality and uniqueness cannot be established and cannot be negated without inserting quantity, type and quality of knowledge into equation. If Shaykh Thanvi had not questioned the speciality/uniqueness and had not compared prophetic knowledge of Ghayb with lunatics, infants, animals, Zaid, Amr and not negated speciality of prophetic knowledge: Then quantity argument of Shaykh Madani would have been valid.

2.1 - Shaykh Thanvi’s Equality In Limited Knowledge Established:

If Shaykh Thanvi’s statement was without aisa (i.e. like-this) and following part of sentence was omitted: “… in this what is so unique about Hadhoor …”. Then it would have been worded in following way: “… if baaz knowledge of Ghayb is intended then
in this; what is so unique about Hadhoor (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam); baaz Ghayb knowledge like-this is even possessed by Zayd and Amr; every infant, lunatic, all animals and quadrupeds …” It would have been acceptable and Shaykh Madani’s point would have been valid that Tashbeeh is in Nafs (i.e. category) of Baaz and not in quantity of Baaz. But Shaykh Thanvi questioned uniqueness of prophetic knowledge and compared it with; Zaid, Amr, lunatics, animals, quadrupeds and infants in limitedness of Ghayb. And all this to negate speciality/uniqueness of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) and his prophetic knowledge. To determine or to negate speciality/uniqueness of prophetic knowledge Shaykh Thanvi had to compare the quantity etc. If he believed prophetic knowledge of Ghayb was far greater then Zaid, Amr, lunatics, infants, animals then there would be speciality/uniqueness of prophetic knowledge and and he would have automatically come to conclusion that Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is unique and special in his knowledge. Shaykh Thanvi denied speciality/uniqueness of prophetic knowledge and that can only be it if he considered/believed the prophetic knowledge to be equal to mentioned creations: “… if baaz knowledge of Ghayb is intended; then in this what is so unique about Hadhoor (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam); baaz Ghayb knowledge like-this is even possessed by Zayd and Amr; every infant, lunatic, all animals and quadrupeds …”Al-Hasil -: Equality in quantity, type and quality of knowledge is indirectly was implied by Shaykh Thanvi to come to his conclusion. If he had not implied equality into his text his conclusion could not have been against speciality but pro-speciality/uniqueness. The principle of determining speciality/uniqueness in knowledge and Shaykh Thanvi’s conclusion is source of equality in quantity argument.

3.0 - Moral Question And Principle Of Establishing Uniqueness:

To establish uniqueness of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) and his knowledge of Ghayb it is wrong to compare his superior knowledge with knowledge of inferiors. The correct method is to compare lowers knowledge with superiors knowledge. In other words to establish uniqueness one should not do as follow; infant knows Tajweed and Shaykh Thanvi knows Tajweed therefore Shaykh Thanvi is not special. The right course of action is that; Shaykh Thanvi knows, Tajweed, Tafsir, Hadith, Arabic, rules of Sarf and Nawh etc. The child only knows Tajweed but due to all other knowledge Shaykh Thanvi is unique in his knowledge. In other words uniquesness in knowledge is determined by quantity of knoweldge and type of knowledge and not through word play;  category of Baaz Ilm al-Ghayb vs category Baaz Ilm al-Ghayb. The speciality of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is established by type of Ghuyub he knows and quantity of these Ghuyub and quality of these Ghuyub.

3.1 - Blame On Shaykh Thanvi Through Interpretation Of Shaykh Madani:

It is obvious uniquesness/speciality of one individual’s knowledge over another is established through the type of Ghuyub known to him and quantity of Ghuyub. What type of person would use such under handed tactic to negate speciality/uniqueness Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) and his Ghyb knowledge over insignifcants mentioned by Shaykh Thanvi? What I mean is you need to consider: What kind of Iblees would not use quantity and type knowledge to determine uniqueness of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) over lunatics, infants, animals, and quadrupeds: A person who loves and respects Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam)? Or Shaytaan al-Laheen who deliberately wants to insult Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) using this under-handed tactic? And suppose Shaykh Madani wrongly understood the intent of Shaykh Thanvi then just imagine what kind of Iblees would understand the statement in such a way and consider it acceptable? A righteous believer or cursed Iblees? I leave the judgment for the readers.

3.2 - Equating Prophetic Knowledge With Knowledge Of Insignificants:

According to Shaykh Madani; Shaykh Thanvi compares baaz  prophetic knowledge of Ghayb with baaz knowledge of Ghayb of infants and lunatics. It is true having baaz knowledge of Ghayb is not unique but the type and quantity Ghayb knowledge which Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) has been granted is unique to Prophets and especially to him. Knowledge of Quran/Wahi was Ghayb and was unique to Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). Which infant, or lunatic, or animal, or regular Joe shared any part of it without his delivering it? And some evidence relating to this was already presented. Using Shaykh Madani’s logic if someone says; what is so unique about face of Shaykh Thanvi; face like of this even is possed by Zayd, Amr, infants, lunatics, animals, pigs, dogs, and donkeys. Expectedly Deobandi’s would be upset and accuse me of following the Sunnah of Shaykh Madani. But my defence would be in accordance with logic of Shaykh Madani: I merely compared Nafs of face with faces of mentioned and not type of faces; therefore no insult was meant because having face is not unique. Natural implication of which is that Shaykh Thanvi’s face is like the faces of mentioned. Rest assured none of them will buy tolerate or accept this Taweel because one of their own is being insulted. But Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is insulted their hearts don’t even percieve it and they preferr distortions of their scholars over what they know to be truth.

Conclusion:

To begin with; to equate Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) and to argue there is no uniqueness of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) over the insignicants mentioned is disrespectful. Shaykh Thanvi’s statement of Hifz ul-Iman if judged in light of Shaykh Madani’s Taweel then Shaykh Thanvi is guilty of employing unwarranted methodology of underminding merit and speciality of prophetic knowledge of Ghayb. And a Muslim can imagine what type of person would go to such length as to compare Baaz without comparing quanity of Baaz Ghayb knowledge of Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) with animals, infants, and lunatics! All this so he can establish there is nothing special about Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) and his knolwedge: A righteous believer who loves/respects Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam)? Or a disgusting Kafir impersonating to be Muslim; with no love/respect for the Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam)? Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) guides whom He wills.

Wama alayna ilal balalghul mubeen.
Muhammed Ali Razavi

FootNotes:

- [1] “Narrated Aisha: Once the sun eclipsed and Allah's Messenger stood up for the prayer and recited a very long Sura and when bowed for a long while and then raised his head and started reciting another Sura. Then he bowed, and after finishing, he prostrated and did the same in the second rak`a and then said, "These (lunar and solar eclipses) are two of the signs of Allah and if you see them, pray till the eclipse is over. No doubt, while standing at this place I saw everything promised to me by Allah and I saw (Paradise) and I wanted to pluck a bunch (of grapes) therefrom, at the time when you saw me stepping forward. No doubt, I saw Hell with its different parts destroying each other when you saw me retreating and in it I saw `Amr bin Luhai who started the tradition of freeing animals (set them free) in the name of idols." [Ref: Bukhari, B22, H303]

- [2]“Sufyan b. Abd Zuhair reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: Syria will be conquered and some people will go out of Medina along with their families driving their camels. and Medina is better for them if they were to know it. Then Yemen will be conquered and some people will go out of Medina along with their families driving their camels, and Medina is better for them if they were to know it. Then Iraq will be conquered and some people will go out of it along with their families driving their camels, and Medina is better for them if they were to know it.” [Ref: Muslim, B7, H3200]

- [3] "It was narrated from Anas that the Prophet used to say: "Make your rows straight, make your rows straight, make your rows straight. By the One in Whose Hand is my soul! I can see you behind me as I can see you in front of me." [Ref: Nisai, B10, H814] "It was narrated from Anas that: The Messenger of Allah  said: 'Bow and prostrate properly, for by Allah I can see you from behind my back when you bow and prostrate.'" [Ref: Nisai, B12, H1118] "Yahya related to me from Malik from Abu'z Zinad from al-Araj from Abu Hurayra that the Messenger of Allah ( may Allah bless him and grant him peace) said: "Do you see the direction I am facing here? By Allah, neither your concentration nor your ruku is hidden from me. I can see you behind my back." [Ref: Muwatta.I.Malik, B9, H73]

- [4] "Bahr bin Marrar narrated that his grandfather Abu Bakrah said: "The Messenger of Allah passed by two graves, and he said: 'They are being punished but they are not being punished for anything major. One of them is being punished because of urine, and the other is being punished because of backbiting.'" [Ref: Ibn Majah, B1, H349] “Narrated Ibn Abbas:
Once the Prophet went through the grave-yards of Medina and heard the voices of two humans who were being tortured in their graves. The Prophet said, "They are being punished, but they are not being punished because of a major sin, yet their sins are great. One of them used not to save himself from (being soiled with) the urine, and the other used to go about with calumnies (Namima)." Then the Prophet asked for a green palm tree leaf and split it into two pieces and placed one piece on each grave, saying, "I hope that their punishment may be abated as long as these pieces of the leaf are not dried." [Ref: Bukhari, B73, H81]

- [5] “It was narrated from Abu Dharr that the Prophet said: "My nation was shown to me with their good deeds and bad deeds. Among their good deeds I saw a harmful thing being removed from the road. And among their bad deeds I saw sputum in the mosque that had not been removed." [Ref: Ibn Majah, B33, H3683]

- [6] “It was narrated from Abu Dhār that the Prophet said: "My nation was shown to me with their good deeds and bad deeds. Among their good deeds I saw a harmful thing being removed from the road. And among their bad deeds I saw sputum in the mosque that had not been removed." [Ref: Ibn Majah, B33, H3683] “Narrated Sulayman bin Harb, Hammad bin Zaid, Ghalib al Qattan, Bakr bin Abdullah al-Muzani: RasoolAllah (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) said: My life is good for you [because] Hadith are narrated for you and you narrate them. When I die then in my death there is good for you [because] your actions are presented to me. If I see goodness I will praise Allah and if I see otherwise I will seek forgive for you from Allah. [Ref: Khasa’is Ul Kubra, Imam Suyuti, pages 391/392.]

- [7] "Narrated Abdur Rahman ibn A'ish: Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said: I saw my Lord, the Exalted and Glorious in the most beautiful form. He said: What do the Angels in the presence of Allah contend about? I said: Thou art the most aware of it. He then placed His palm between my shoulders and I felt its coldness in my chest and I came to know what was in the Heavens and the Earth. He recited: 'Thus did we show Ibrahim the kingdom of the Heavens and the Earth and it was so that he might have certainty.' (6:75)" [Ref: Tirmadhi, Vol5, H3245, Tafsir Surah Sad] "Then I saw Him put his palms between my shoulder blades till I felt the coldness of his fingers between the two sides of my chest. Then everything was illuminated for me and I recognized everything. He said: Muhammad! I said: At Thy service, my Lord. He said: What do these high angels contend about? I said: In regard to expiations. He said: What are these? [...]" [Ref: Tirmadhi, Vol5, H3246, Tafsir Surah Sad]

- [8]
“Narrated Umar: One day the Prophet
stood up amongst us for a long period and informed us about the beginning of creation (and talked about everything in detail) till he mentioned how the people of Paradise will enter their places and the people of Hell will enter their places. Some remembered what he had said, and some forgot it.[Ref: Bukhari, B54, H414] “Narrated Hudhaifa: The Prophet once delivered a speech in front of us wherein he left nothing but mentioned (about) everything that would happen till the Hour. Some of us stored that our minds and some forgot it. (After that speech) I used to see events taking place (which had been referred to in that speech) but I had forgotten them (before their occurrence). Then I would recognize such events as a man recognizes another man who has been absent and then sees and recognizes him.” [Ref: Bukhari, B77, H601]

- [9] "Narrated Hakim Bin Nafi, Saeed Bin Sinan, narrated Abu Zahriyat, Kathir Bin Murra Abu Shajara al-Hadhrami, Ibn Umar said: Abdullah bin Umar (radi Allahu anhuma) that Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said: "Indeed this entire world is in front of me so that I can observe everything in it. I can see everything in this world and everything that will take place till the Day of Qiyamah. I see the entire world as I see the palm of my hand". [Ref: Kitab al-Fitan, 1st Chapter, Hadith No. 2, by Hafidh Naeem Bin Hammad al-Marwazi]

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