The Distinction of Dārul ‘Ulūm Deoband

Muftī Muḥammd Shafī‘ (1897 – 1976) narrates the following statement from his father, Mawlānā Muḥammad Yāsīn Deobandī (1865 – 1936) [1], about his experience at Dārul ‘Ulūm Deoband in the late 19th century:

“I witnessed such a period at Dārul ‘Ulūm [Deoband] when, from the headmaster to the lowest teacher, from the chancellor to the caretaker and servant, all were great possessors of a permanent bond [with Allāh] (ṣāḥib-e-nisbat) and friends of Allāh (awliyā’ullāh). At that time, Dārul ‘Ulūm felt like an institute of learning in the daytime and a Khānqāh in the evening. The sound of remembrance and recitation [of Qur’ān] could be heard from most rooms until the end of the night. This, in reality, was Dārul ‘Ulūm’s mark of distinction – which made it stand out from all the madrasas in the world.” (Mere Wālid e Mājid, Idārat al-Ma‘ārif, p. 62) [2]

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Mawlānā Manẓūr Nu‘mānī on How his Father’s Opinion about Dārul ‘Ulūm Deoband Changed

Mawlānā Manẓūr Nu‘mānī (1905 – 1997) describes his father, Ṣūfī Aḥmad Ḥusayn (d. 1949), as someone whose “concern for Ᾱkhirah was greater than his concern for Dunyā, and while fully occupied in his work, he was from those who remembered Allāh much. The adhkār at different times included within his daily practices numbered around 20,000 in total. In one period, his practice was to recite Durūd Sharīf 4,000 times after ‘Ishā prayer. He was so punctual on Tahajjud that when I asked my noble deceased mother after his demise whether she was aware that our dear father had ever missed Tahajjud, she replied that when she first arrived, he would at times miss Tahajjud but on those days he would definitely keep fast, but for around thirty years, he never once missed it. My respected father died in Ramaḍān of 1368 in such a state that the tasbīḥ was in his hand and he was making dhikr.” (Taḥdīth e Ni‘mat, p. 22)

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Spiritual Connection between the Awliyā’ of Deoband and ‘Allāmah Ibn ‘Ᾱbidīn al-Shāmī

The great recent Ḥanafī jurist of Shām, ‘Allāmah Ibn ‘Ᾱbidīn (1783 – 1836), was connected to the Naqshbandī spiritual line via his teacher, Mawlānā Khālid al-Naqshbandī, a Kurdish-Damascene spiritual master. Mawlānā Khālid al-Naqshbandī (1779 – 1827 CE) spent some time in India where he became a disciple and successor (khalīfah) of Shaykh Ghulām ‘Alī al-Dehlawī (1743 – 1824 CE), the foremost successor of Mirzā Maẓhar Jān-e-Jān (1701 – 1781), whose spiritual chain reaches Mujaddid Alf-e-Thānī. (Shaykh Ghulām ‘Alī al-Dehlawī is also known as Shaykh ‘Abdullāh al-Dehlawī). Ibn ‘Ᾱbidīn describes Mawlānā Khālid al-Naqshbandī as “the unique imām, the noble, committed and matchless scholar, Ḥaḍrat Sayyidī Shaykh Khālid, who has spent his efforts in benefitting [Allāh’s] slaves, and guiding them towards holding fast to the profession of Tawḥīd, such that he became the pivot (quṭb) of the gnostics in all places and the absolute refuge of the aspirants (murīdīn), and the clear and manifest Naqshbandī Ṭarīqah became famous through him in all Islāmic lands…” (Majmū‘ah Rasā’il Ibn ‘Ᾱbidīn, 2:284)

The father of Mawlānā Rashīd Aḥmad Gangohī (1829 – 1905) –  the spiritual and scholarly fountainhead of Deoband –, Mawlānā Hidāyat ‘Alī (d. 1836), was, like Mawlānā Khālid al-Naqshbandī, a disciple and spiritual successor (khalīfah) of Shaykh Ghulām ‘Alī. (Tazkirat al-Rashīd, 1:17)

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Ruling of Hair Transplantation

Question:

Is hair transplantation permissible?

Answer:

Hair transplantation is a form of treatment for baldness. It involves taking hair follicles from parts of the body/head and attaching it to the balding area.

Hair transplantation entails making use of detached solid parts of the human body for medical treatment which as a rule is not permissible.

Making use of a detached solid part of the human body for treatment is only permissible when the detached part is returned to its original place (e.g. a fallen tooth or a cut finger is put back in its place).

Hence, hair transplantation is not permissible as it would fall under the general impermissibility of making medical use of detached solid parts of the human body.

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A Sunnah of Immense Reward: 4 Rak‘āt after the Farḍ of ‘Ishā’

Imām al-Ṭabarānī (260 – 360 H) narrates in his al-Mu‘jam al-Awsaṭ:

حدثنا محمد بن الفضل السقطي، قال: نا مهدي بن حفص، قال: نا إسحاق الأزرق عن أبي حنيفة عن محارب بن دثار عن ابن عمر قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم

من صلى العشاء في جماعة، وصلى أربع ركعات قبل أن يخرج من المسجد كان كعدل ليلة القدر

Muḥammad ibn al-Faḍl al-Saqaṭī narrated to us: He said: Mahdī ibn Ḥafṣ narrated to us: He said: Isḥāq al-Azraq narrated to us from Abū Ḥanīfah from Muḥārib ibn Dithār from Ibn ‘Umar: He said: The Messenger of Allāh (Allāh bless him and grant him peace) said:

Whoever prays ‘Ishā’ in congregation, and prays four rak‘āt before leaving the masjid*, it will be equal to [praying them on] Laylat al-Qadr.” (al-Mu‘jam al-Awsaṭ, 5:254) Continue Reading

An Explanation of Tasawwuf and its Practices

The following article is a translation of a section from the Urdu work, Tasawwuf Kiyā He, by Mawlānā Manzūr Nu’mānī. It comprises of a group of essays written by the author on his observations on Tasawwuf and, in particular, the practices (ashghāl) prescribed by the Sūfī guides (mashāyikh). He offers a strong argument for the need for Tasawwuf and a rationale for the specific practices designed by the scholars of Tasawwuf for spiritual reform. Although the original work comprises of essays by other authors, only those by Mawlānā Manzūr Nu’mānī are presented in this translation. His discussion and analysis is concerned mostly with the practical dimensions of Tasawwuf as they have been observed throughout history amongst its orthodox champions and handed down to its true inheritors in the present time. The other essays (which are not included in this translation) deal with Tasawwuf from its historical and academic/philosophical dimensions also. Continue Reading

Imām al-Bayhaqī’s Letter to ‘Amīd al-Mulk on Imām Abu l-Hasan al-Ash‘arī

In his comprehensive hagio-biography of Imām Abu l-Hasan al-Ash‘arī (260 – 324 H) Tabyīn Kadhib al-Muftarī, Hāfiz Ibn ‘Asākir (499 – 571 H) quotes a lengthy letter written by Imām al-Bayhaqī (384 – 458 H) to the grand vizier of the Seljuk Empire, ‘Amīd al-Mulk (415 – 456 H), on his views about the personality and theology of Imām al-Ash‘arī. Tāj al-Dīn al-Subkī reproduces most of the letter in his Tabaqāt al-Shāfi‘iyyah al-Kubrā[1] with his chain via Ibn ‘Asākir.

Below we present a translation of the letter, which demonstrates Imām al-Bayhaqī’s great respect for Imām al-Ash‘arī and his appreciation of the efforts he made to defend the ‘aqīdah of Ahl al-Sunnah wa l-Jamā‘ah. Continue Reading

The Divine Attributes: Ahlus Sunnah vs. Mujassimah

The following introductory essay delineates the basic creedal differences between Ahlus Sunnah wa l-Jamā’ah and the contemporary Salafiyyah on the subject of the divine attributes. It further seeks to support the position of Ahlus Sunnah from the Qur’ān and the statements of the pious Salaf from the first three generations of scholars, including Imāms Abū Hanīfah, Shu’bah, Sharīk, Abū ‘Awānah, Sufyān al-Thawrī, Mālik, Sufyān ibn ‘Uyaynah, Hammād ibn Salamah, Hammād ibn Zayd, Abū Yūsuf al-Qādī and Muhammad ibn al-Hasan al-Shaybānī (may Allāh have mercy on them all).

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The Meaning of Iman

Muftī Rashīd Ahmad Ludhyānwī

Question:

In a public gathering, Gandhi stated these words while delivering a speech: “I do not understand why I should not recite the kalimah? Why should I not praise Allāh? Why should I not accept Muhammad as His messenger? I have faith in the saints and the prophets of all religions.” Can Gandhi be called a Muslim for saying the aforementioned words? Please attend to the reply quickly, because I have need for it for a religious publication. Explain with proof, may the Most Merciful reward you. Continue Reading