Hadhir Nazir: A Novel Discussion On Subject Of Witnessing Of Prophet.

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A student attending South African seminary Dar ul-Uloom Zakariyyah. He introduced himself via email and showed interest in gaining first hand knowledge of subject of Hadhir Nazir. I passed to him links of some of my articles on topic and two important books on topic. Including Hayat al-Nabi, here, and Taskeen al-Khawatir Fi Mas’ala al-Hadhir Wa al-Nazir, here. Both of these books have been authored by Allamah Syed Ahmad Saeed Kazmi (rahimullah). The first mentioned is indirectly related to subject of Hadhir and Nazir while the second is directly on the topic. These two are complex books and require great deal of learning and intellectual capacity to understand. Upon investigation it was discovered the said seminary is Deobandi. About a month later Deobandi brother contacted me and wished to discuss the subject via WhatsApp. The resulting discussion was pleasant and academic. Parts of it were oral discussion and parts were in written.

Hadhir Nazir What It is And Types Of It:

[He asked me brief description of Hadhir Nazir and below was response to him.]

There are three key components of Hadhir Nazir: i) Bashariyyah, ii) Roohaniyyah, iii) Nooraniyyah; also known as Haqiqat al-Muhammadiyyah. Hadhir Nazir is a belief; Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) granted Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) supernatural ability to witness events during his life and spiritually after his passing from this world. Haqiqat al-Muhammadiyyah: It is a belief that all creation originated from portion of Noor which was separated from Noor of Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) and then this was divided into parts and creation was created from these parts. Therefore all parts of creation are connected with Noor of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) and through this interconnectivity Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is aware of deeds of men and Jinn.

[This lead to discussion on evidences of Hadhir Nazir. In somewhat detail I went through with foundational evidence on the subject. On the Nooraniyyah he attempted to resist so I took the path of Tanqeed and passed to him links of Deobandi elders who affirmed Haqiqat al-Muhammadiyyah. Nashr al-Teeb of Shaykh Thanvi,
here. It was followed by reference Shaykh Nanotavi’s Qasaid e Qasmi, here. And finally Shaykh Dehalvi’s Kalam Shah Ismail Shaheed, here, and reference of Yak Roza, here. These four were followed by a ten year old article of mine in which Haqiqat al-Muhammadiyyah was discussed in great detail. It was first posted on but unfortunately it is not been published on IslamiMehfil. I pointed out Awaliyah of Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam is established from Quranic verses and Hadith and Nooraniyyah points to Awaliyah like it does to Nooraniyyah. This indirectly supports the Hadith of Awal creation being Noor of Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam which was also quoted by Shaykh Thanvi in his Nashr al-Teeb. He requested time to look into the subject of Nooraniyyah. And a week and half later came back saying I am not entirely convinced due to many reasons but I am willing to move onto from traditional battle ground to scientific. He said Shaykh Kazmi rahimullah stated via Nooraniyyah Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam was/is aware of deeds and happenings of universe. Scientifically all matter is not living and nor it is linked together to pass the information. To be honest it makes no sense either. In response I informed the brother that he has opened up a very interesting and a novel subject of discussion. It is a discussion for which I am not prepared for and I will have to provide a written response. The following was my written response.]

Unscientific: Dead Matter Connected With Organic Matter:

All matter organic and in-organic is living and Quran established it. Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) states: “Then He directed Himself to the heaven while it was smoke and said to it and to the earth: "Come [into being] willingly or by compulsion." They said: "We have come willingly." [Ref: 41:11] The verse of Quran attributes life to earth and smoke (i.e. gas) because it responded to demand of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). We deem material of vast majority of universe to be life-less but Islamicly it too is living a life but beyond our comprehension. Do note all organic matter fundamentally is inorganic. When inorganic matter is employed in a certain framework the product created is organic material. Therefore there is no reason to question capacity matter to give and transfer information to Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam).

Haqiqat al-Muhammadiyyah Makes No Sense:

Hadhir Nazir part of Haqiqat al-Muhammadiyyah can be best understood with following example. All parts of human body are connected to brain via various means and serves as command and control Centre. Any trauma, touch, cold, and hot felt by human internally or externally its report is received by the brain. In similar fashion belief of Hadhir Nazir connected with Haqiqat al-Muhammadiyyah is that all matter organic or seemingly inorganic all is in someway connected with source which originated it. Think of operating system installed on your computer i.e. Windows XP. The fundamental requirement for your computer to function is an operating system. And every other software installed will be in someway connected to this operating system. This operating system is always aware that another XSoftware has been installed on it because XSoftware has been integrated with Windows XP. The Noor of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is the operating system of creation. Everything installed on operating system even though it is not part of operating system gets connected with it to function. Operating system is always aware of the hardware and the software installed computer. Similarly the Haqiqat al-Muhammadiyyah is the hardware and operating system of creation and due to it Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is aware of all that takes place.

[He later said he understood what Haqiqat al-Muhammadiyyah is without the need of these examples. Brother said Haqiqat al-Muhammadiyyah does not make sense to mean he scientifically does not make sense. I took his statement to mean he cannot grasp how Haqiqat al-Muhammadiyyah functions. It was just a misunderstanding and there was no need for this. Yet I have decided to keep it part of this write-up because it may help others to understand.]

Spooky Action At A Distance And Its Implication For Hadhir Nazir:

Albert Einstein’s spooky action at distance now branded as Quantum Entanglement is; paired particles separated by large distances instantaneously effects and causes the other to act. Professor Michio Kaku explains what Quantum Entanglement is,
here. Professor Michio says when two paired particles are separated placed thousands of light year apart develop a umbilical cord connection develops. And something important takes place: y particle – faster than light - instantaneously is aware of stimulation received by z and acts accordingly. Professor Michio Kaku acknowledges Albert Einstein was incorrect in his statement that nothing can transfer faster then light because Quantum Entanglement proves instantaneous transfer of information over distances which light would take thousands of years to travel. He also says that now the scientist community has revised the statement to: No usable information can be transferred faster then speed of light. And insha-Allah ta’ala ul aziz just like Albert Einstein was wrong so will be Professor Michio Kaku in his assertion, it is just matter of time. Haqiqat al-Muhammadiyyah first thing which Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) created was Noor of Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). And then Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) divided this Noor into two. One part was Noor of Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) and the other went through transformations to result creation. Haqiqat al-Muhammadiyyah in reality is roughly Quantum Entanglement on very large scale with useful information being transferred between the creation and what is known as Haqiqat al-Muhammadiyyah. Scientist community has just managed to unearth a toe of Quantum Entanglement and maybe in coming decades and centuries it will go on to establish interconnectivity of entire creation.

[He said brother I understand the key point in what you have written. What you have wrote is theoretically possible but its pure speculation about what they may come to discover in future and it is leap of great faith believe it. Rather then focusing on scientific theories we should discuss textual side of issue. In response to Deobandi brother I said that I agreed with his conclusion; theoretical plausibility do not prove/refute a textually established/refuted teaching. Concrete scientific facts and textual proofs from religious texts are needed. My objective was only to establish a possibility of communication between two objects with no apparent connections. I am not well versed into the subject either. I am not aware if Quantum Entanglement is a theoretical possibility, or actual naturally observed/occurring phenomena by particle physicists.]

Wahhabi, Deobandi, And Orthodox Beliefs Of Being Sent As Witness And Witnessing:

[During our discussion I had stated that Deobandis and Wahhabis believe in Hadhir Nazir station of Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam to some degree. He asked if I can share with him who believes what. I briefly stated the facts I could recall but also wrote the following.]

Muslims believe Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) directly witnesses the deeds of believers and disbelievers of mankind as they happen. And this belief is termed as Hadhir Nazir. The members of Wahhabi sect disbelieve in this merit of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). Educated elite of Deobandis believe Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) is shown the deeds of his Ummah by angels but oppose direct witnessing of events as they happen. Muslims believe he will testify in court of Allah(subhanahu wa ta’ala) on day of judgment in defense of Prophets, members of his Ummah and mankind in general. And believe his testimony would be based on fact that he was first hand witness. Wahhabis and Deobandis believe Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) will testify in defense of Prophets not having actually witnessed the events. Wahhabis do not believe Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) would testify regarding deeds of mankind which transpired before his birth. And he may testify about events which he saw during his life but definitely not after his death. An elite from Deobandis believe Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) would testify on actions of Ummah but would be informed by angels and members of Ummah that x, y, z, has transpired after his death. And Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) on account of this information would testify on actions of members of his nation. Just like the Wahhabis, the Deobandis also do not believe Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) would bear witness on actions of mankind in anyway.

[He asked: How I have come to know who believes what. He was told that some notions I learnt and believed while I was part of these two sects. And even though some of the beliefs are not stated in books of these sects but the fact that these are established from Sahih/Hassan Ahadith is enough justification that they would be believe in them.]

True Witness And A Liar Bearing Witness:

[He said Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam being sent as Shahid and Shaheed does not necessitate he must see and hear the events. And then he followed this statement with incident mentioned in Hadith. I said: Brother the implications of this dispute are far greater then the subject of Hadhir Nazir itself. Unfortunately the side holding to belief hasn’t fully expounded all reasons why one should believe it. And the sides opposing it have not tried to understand it in more depth. They have been engaged providing/refuting textual proofs on the subject. The issue is more then the subject of Shahid/Shaheed. Firstly the Adil i.e. justice of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala comes into question if a being is presented as a witness but has not seen/heard the events yet testifies and Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala accepts witnessing of a non-witness. Secondly the truthfulness and uprightness of Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam would be in question that he would bear witness even when he has not seen/heard. No Muslim would hold to position which negates Adil of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and truthfulness and uprightness of moral conduct of Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam. After this discussion I wrote following material and sent it to him.]

i) Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) sent Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) has a Shahid and Shaheed (i.e. witness). Quran explains he would testify in defends of Prophets, would bear witness on actions of his Ummah and mankind in general. To be truthful witness the requirement is direct witnessing. And therefore belief of Hadhir Nazir in nutshell is directly witnessing of actions of Jinn and mankind as they transpire. In this context Muslims believe to say he would testify without witnessing the events is to say Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) would be bearing false witness. To say; Ummah will inform him, or Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) has/will inform him; of events and on account of this he would testify does nothing to remove the false witnessing assertion and to even hold any of the belief evidence is required. And fact is that there is no proof in Quran or Hadith that Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) would testify on account of being informed by Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala), or by his own Ummah. Rather all evidence points to direct witnessing of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). This is in accordance with truthfulness and dignity of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) which is negatively effected by Deobandi belief on topic of witnessing. ii) Day of judgment, the greatest court to be established, where nothing but truth will be accepted, and where the presiding Judge is the most Compassionate, the most Merciful, and the all-Knowing, all-Seeing, all-Hearing, the first hand Witness of all evidence to be presented in His court, and Just above all. To say he would accept the testimony of those who have not witnessed the events is contempt of His court, His justice, His judgment, and of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala).

[In the next session he said brother Ali paradise isn’t granted on due to Adil of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala but through his mercy. And he quoted Hadith in which Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam said paradise will be granted due to mercy of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala even to him. In response to this I pointed out brother there is no dispute on this point of yours. The point of contention is if Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala accepts witnessing of a individual who has not actually witnessed the events would that go against His Adil. You believe He will accept such witnessing and I believe Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala would not because it goes against notion of Adil. He said he will have to seriously think about subject of Hadhir Nazir and its implications on Adil of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and Sidq of Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam. And I did not attempt to compel brother into submission because I have come to realize everyone has to fight their own Kafir demons to come to belief. It is always not just about rational, logical, and textual evidences but other elements effect decisions too.]

Ummah Can Testify Without Witnessing So Can Prophet:

[In the previous days session he quoted Hadith in which it was stated Ummah of RasoolAllah sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam would testify in defense of Prophets. And I wanted to address this Hadith and point out an important detail which brother maybe was unaware – underlined below.]

On the day of judgment Ummah of every Prophet would deny that a Messenger was sent for them. Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) will ask the Prophets to provide proof they delivered the messages entrusted to them. Ummah of RasoolAllah (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) will testify on the day of judgment but Ahadith explain that when they will be questioned how can you bear witness in defense of Prophets when you have not seen the events yourself. The Ummah of RasoolAllah (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) would reply Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) has informed us that Prophets had delivered the messages entrusted to them. This establishes the witnessing of Ummah would be similar to witnessing of Khuzaymah Ibn Thabit (radiallah ta’ala anhu): Of a believer who has trusted the information given to him by the Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) and testimony of his is of his faith in truthfulness of Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). Hadith records Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) would then proceed to testify in court of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). There will be no objection from the disbelievers on judgment day that Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) had not directly witnessed the event. This is indicates Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) has witnessed the events and the disbelievers believed Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) witnessed their deeds.

[He disagreed with my conclusion but agreed with what was established from text Hadith. He said that he is not textually compelled enough to believe that there was no objection to witnessing of Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam. Nor is he willing to assume that lack of evidence to contrary establishes logical deduction that Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam witnessed directly without a intermediary. I replied: Brother if a verse states x and another states y and while explaining x  I assume into it text of y without specifying it you will not deduce my Tafsir is baseless rather you will understand that another verse has been incorporated into Tafsir without making direct reference to it. My conclusion was not based on ONLY lack of objection emanating from disbelievers of past but based on evidence of Hadhir Nazir from Quran and Ahadith which we have discussed in detail. And in light of truthfulness and best of character of RasoolAllah sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam and due to lack of evidence of objection. In short my conclusion was in light of whole subject and evidence of it not just lack of objection from disbelievers. Again I did not press the point and asked him to end discussion.]

Receiving A Truthful Report Doesn’t Make You Witness Of Event:

[In our third day session he said brother we rely on the Ahadith which have been transmitted by witnesses. Then why should Ummah and Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam not rely on testimony of Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam and he on testimony of his Ummah? My oral response was that if truthful report is sufficient ground for testifying in court or on judgment day then why didn’t Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala accept the witnessing of Ummah of Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam? If this was criteria then Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala due to testimony of last final Ummah would have decided the case in favor of Prophets. Yet Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam had to testify in defense of Prophets and to support the testimony of his Ummah. Also the truthful Prophets VS lying disbelievers but Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala did not decide the case in favor of Prophets. They said Ya Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala we delivered the messages you gave us but a truthful Prophet reporting back to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala isn’t believed. Brother could not muster a worthy response to counter argument and said he will get back to me. On the same day I followed him up with following written content.]

Fundamental requirement is that a truthful witness must see/hear about events he would testify about in court or else it is false testimony. Even a true report transmitted by Xtruthfull to Ytruthfull will not make Ytruthfull a witness to event. A Sahih, or a Mutawatir Hadith transmitted by a companion who had witnessed the words being spoken by Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) and then truthfully transmitted will not make Tabi a witness. Therefore Muslim Ummah bearing witness in defense of Prophets on account of being informed by Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam). Or Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) witnessing on judgment day after being informed by Ummah, or by Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) does not make him a witness. Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) has stated Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) has been sent as a witness and will be called to bear witness. Hence being sent as a witness, and to bear witness both require witnessing first hand with eyes/ears. Anything less is implicit attribution of ignorance to Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and implicit accusation that Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) would deceptively be a witness when in reality he was not.

[There was no discussion for few days apart from greetings. Then he sought clarification about underlined. I explained; Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala sent Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam as a Shahid/Shaheed. To believe he was sent as Shahid and does not have to see deeds of those to whom he was sent to is implying Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala did not know meaning of Shahid/Shaheed, or that He made mistake by employing it. He said brother we believe he is Shahid/Shaheed but not meaning you associate with it. I replied my dear brother Qadiyanis believe Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam is Khatam al-Nabiyeen but don’t ascribe to it the meaning of last/final Prophet. What good is belief in the Arabic word when the natural meaning of it is being rejected and instead of natural meaning a distorted meaning is being ascribed to it and believed? He didn’t answer the question. I continued: Qadiyaniyyah are disbelievers for rejecting consensus understanding of Khatam al-Nabiyeen and Deobandiyyah do not reject the fundamental meaning of Shahid/Shaheed but definitely reject the natural implications of fundamental meaning when these verses are employed to interpreted in light of other verses of Quran. This is not Kufr but definitely removes the Deobandis from Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jammah and into fold of people of innovation. He disliked that Deobandis were being equated with Qadiyanis and were declared ahlul biddah.]

Taweel Of Fundamental Creed Is Incorrect:

[He said brother we do not reject valid Tafsir of Quran and Hadith. We too explain the verses of Shahid/Shaheed in light of Quranic evidences. I had to leave to attend my son, Muhammad Ibrahim Ahmad, so at night I wrote him the following response.]

Taweel of what is fundamentally established via Qiyas is invalid. We believe Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) is all-knowing and is aware of everything taking place. When Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) enquired from Prophet Musa (alayhis salam) what have you got in your hand he replied staff. On basis of question of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) and the information given by Prophet Musa (alayhis salam) would it be acceptable to make Taweel of fundamental creed; Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) being aware of everything at all times. To believe; Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) isn’t aware of all happenings all times? And to support this new innovated creed should I employ; angels present our deeds to Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala) because He does not see events as they transpire. Taweel of fundamental creed on grounds of Qiyas is just not acceptable. Creed regarding Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam) being sent as Shahid/Shaheed is that he was sent as a hearing/seeing type of witness of mankind and has witnessed all deeds regarding which he would testify.

[Following day he posted audio message saying; brother it is not Taweel but Tafsir. I waited for his call and said to him: Your methodology of Tafsir turns the apparent of combinations of verses toward another meaning through Qiyas of another verse. And objective of your Tafsir/Taweel is to negate the natural meanings. Our method of Tafsir is to build upon the natural meaning of verse. He replied even IF it is Taweel Deobandis and Barelwis both believe Taweel of verses is permissible. I said brother it is true we believe in Taweel. There are two types of Taweel; i) which negates literal reading of a text, ii) which gives another meaning of literal reading of text but objective is not to negate literal reading. The first is regarding those verses about whom Taweel is absolutely essential and their literalism is impossible. Like it is in the case of some of attributes of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala and literalism of these would denote humanly parts to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. And therefore we have two schools of Ahlus Sunnah one practices Tafweed and other Taweel. The second phrases such as ya ahlul kitab, literalism is o people of book and refers to Jews/Christians. Taweel would be O educated people from Jews and Christians. In the literal reading addressed are entire Jews/Christians nations and in Taweel only the educated of these two are being addressed. Quran is Jawami al-Kalim therefore both can be accepted and should be accepted as valid. Taweel of this type expands understanding of verse of Quran without negating fundamental meaning of it due to Jawami al-Kalim nature of Quran. You and your scholars are applying the first type of Taweel methodology to cancel the natural meaning of verse and we are saying there is no need for that in context of this verse because Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is able over what we believe it is not impossible. Why apply Taweel methodology of impossible, i.e. of hand of Allah, upon the verse of; O Prophet we have sent you as Shahid … Hand for Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is impossible therefore Taweel of hand of Allah is required because hand denotes four fingers and a thumb and Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is not creation and not human being. Taweel which negates literal meaning of verse is for those verses whose literalism is impossible. You cannot apply that upon verse in which it is stated Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa aalihi was’sallam has been sent as Shahid because there is no need of Taweel of the natural meaning of verse. He said brother you’re the first one to distinguish between Taweel in this fashion. I said brother I am glad I have contributed something positive to your knowledge. He laughed saying he meant it in negative sense. I asked have I said anything wrong he had to acknowledge he could not dispute with any of it. I said brother my original comment was about making Taweel of fundamental beliefs and not Taweel of verses. Point was we don’t make Taweel of fundamental beliefs by employing other verses and Qiyas is not your or our methodology.]

Wama alayna ilal balaghul mubeen.
Muhammed Ali Razavi

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