بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
By Shaykh-ul-Hadīth, Hadrat Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh
Blessing of Clothing
The great Muhaddith, ‘Allāmah An-Nawawī rahimahullāh, in his masterpiece Riyād-us-Sālihīn, begins the discussion on clothing with the following verses of the Glorious Qur’ān:
O children of Ādam! We have sent down to you the dress that covers your shame and provides adornment. As for the dress of taqwā [piety] that is the best. (7:26)
… And made for you garments that protect you from heat, and garments that protect you in your battles. (16:81)
We learn two very important lessons about clothing from these verses of the Qur’ān. The first lesson is that clothes are a blessing from Allāh ta‘ālā. Commenting on the phrase, “We have sent down to you”, the commentators of the Qur’ān have stated that clothes are a blessing from Allāh ta‘ālā as the sources from which clothing is produced, e.g. cotton, are created by Allāh ta‘ālā and man has no role to play in the creation of the source. Likewise, clothes are a blessing from Allāh ta‘ālā because it is Allāh ta‘ālā alone who inspires us with the ability and imagination to utilise these resources to manufacture and produce clothing.
Purpose of Clothing
The second lesson is that clothing serves three main purposes. The first purpose is to cover and conceal the ‘awrah. The ‘awrah is that portion of the body which should not be revealed without a Shar‘ī necessity. Thus, we can imagine what a great bounty clothes are; for without clothes how would we be able to cover our ‘awrah and thus maintain our dignity and honour?
The second purpose is to protect the body from heat, cold and other physical harms. Hence, we have different types of clothes to match different climates and also for different activities. For example, we have specially designed wear such as armour and camouflage clothing that is used in unique circumstances such as wars, to protect the wearer.
To reflect our nature, Allāh ta‘ālā mentions a third purpose of clothing, that is to adorn and beautify. We can further understand these three purposes through an everyday example. A man can wear a sheet that will cover his ‘awrah which is sufficient to fulfil the minimum Shar‘ī requirement. However, rather than limit himself to this, he will also wear a jubbah (thobe) and a shawl, to not only safeguard his body but also make himself look more presentable. The masnūn du‘ā as related by Sayyidunā ‘Umar radhiyallāhu ‘anhu upon wearing new clothes highlights some of the above purposes:
All praise is for Allāh who has dressed me in such clothing that covers my ‘awrah and which also aids me in my beautification. (At-Tirmidhī, Ibn Mājah)
Beautification is a Worthy Trait
Jamāl (beautification) is an action approved and indeed recommended by our Sharī‘ah. The Sīrah of Prophet sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam also teaches us to keep in mind beauty when clothing ourselves. In a hadīth we find the following narration:
Indeed, Allāh is beautiful and loves beauty. (Muslim)
Therefore, when dressing and adorning ourselves we should make the following intentions:
1) to acquire the Pleasure of Allāh ta‘ālā.
2) to follow the sunnah of Rasūlullāh sallallāhu ‘alayhi wasallam.
3) to please my near and dear ones, e.g. my spouse, my parents, my children. This is also a deed in itself liked by Allāh ta‘ālā, thereby increasing His Pleasure.
Due to his exalted taqwā and spiritual status, Hakīm-ul-Ummah Hadrat Mawlānā Ashraf ‘Alī Thānwī rahimahullāh was not inclined towards adornment. However, the renowned Shaykh would, keeping the third intention in mind, adorn himself in moderation and refrain from total abstinence.
Two Major Pitfalls
Whilst beautification is recommended by the Sharī‘ah, there are two major pitfalls that must be avoided. The first is an incorrect intention. To adorn oneself for show, pride, or to display exclusivity, are all intentions that must be avoided. Dressing with this in mind that ‘no one has the clothes I have’, or ‘no one looks or should look like me’, or ‘my clothes show that I am better than everyone else’, are all thoughts which reflect an incorrect intention and are not permitted. Hence, it is essential to constantly review and rectify our intentions in this regard.
The second pitfall is of extravagance. Extravagance is usually the consequence of a person’s incorrect intention to show off, to feel better than others and to display their greatness. There is a fine line between beautification and extravagance. Designer wear is a good example when trying to make this distinction. If we buy an item of clothing worth £25 for £100, only because it has a specific label, we should question ourselves ‘What is driving me to do this? If I can purchase the same product, of the same quality, for a much cheaper price, what am I paying the extra for?’ When we question ourselves in this way, it will expose the incorrect intention that we are spending to help satisfy our inner pride and desire to maintain our ‘status’ and ‘exclusivity’, leading to extravagance in spending.
Therefore, as Muslims we must ensure whilst adopting adornment and beautification that one remains within the limits of the Sharī‘ah, by reviewing the intention and abstaining from extravagance.
The Best Clothing
O children of Ādam! We have sent down to you the dress that covers your shame and provides adornment. As for the dress of taqwā [piety] that is the best. (7:26)
The verses of the Glorious Qur’ān also direct our attention to another form of dress, a type of garment which conceals, protects and beautifies the inner self. This garment, is the garment of taqwā and is essential for every person, for it is this garment that covers and subdues the radhā’il, i.e. those negative traits of the heart, such as pride and jealousy, which a person would be ashamed of and would not want others to see. Also, it is the garment of taqwā that helps a person adorn his inner self with the fadā’il, i.e. the praiseworthy traits of the heart, such a humility and generosity, which beautify a person’s character. It is the garment of taqwā which also provides a person protection from all the trials of this world and the Hereafter.
Therefore, it is the ‘Libās-ut-Taqwā’ (the dress of taqwā) which is the greatest garment a person can adorn. The Glorious Qur’ān reminds us of this by using the phrase ‘that is the best.’ The outer appearance may temporarily deceive the onlooker, however ultimately the great beauty or ugly nature that lies within will be revealed. We experience this in our day to day lives. A person may be wearing the most striking of clothes but if the inner self is not adorned then, despite the initial positive impression, upon interaction we find the person unappealing.
True concealment, true protection, and true beauty in this world and more importantly in the Hereafter is only achieved when the inner self is ‘dressed’ with the clothing of taqwā. Therefore, whilst continuing to use the blessing of clothes to beautify our appearance, we should give more attention to the beautification of the inner self.
May Allāh ta‘ālā grant us the tawfīq to use the blessing of clothes in a manner which acquires His Pleasure and to adorn ourselves with the best of clothes, taqwā. Āmīn.
© Riyādul Jannah (Vol. 29 No. 10, Oct 2017)
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم “ سِبَابُ الْمُسْلِمِ فُسُوقٌ، وَقِتَالُهُ كُفْرٌ ”
Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said,
“Abusing a Muslim is Fusuq (i.e., an evil-doing), and killing him is Kufr (disbelief).” [Bukhari]
عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ، أَنْ رَجُلاً، لَعَنَ الرِّيحَ عِنْدَ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم فَقَالَ “ لاَ تَلْعَنِ الرِّيحَ فَإِنَّهَا مَأْمُورَةٌ وَإِنَّهُ مَنْ لَعَنَ شَيْئًا لَيْسَ لَهُ بِأَهْلٍ رَجَعَتِ اللَّعْنَةُ عَلَيْهِ
‘Ibn ‘Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) narrated that a man cursed the wind in the presence of the Prophet ﷺ, so he said:
“Do not curse the wind, for it is merely doing as ordered, and whoever curses something undeservingly, then the curse returns upon him.” [Tirmidhi]
عَنْ حُذَيْفَةَ قَالَ: مَا تَلاَعَنَ قَوْمٌ قَطُّ إِلاَّ حُقَّ عَلَيْهِمُ اللَّعْنَةُ.
Hudhayfa (Allah be pleased with him) said, “People do not curse one another without that curse coming true.” [al-Adab al-Mufrad]
وعن أبي الدرداء رضي الله عنه قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم : “إن العبد إذا لعن شيئًا، صعدت اللعنة إلى السماء، فتغلق أبواب السماء دونها، ثم تهبط إلى الأرض، فتغلق أبوابها دونها، ثم تأخذ يمينًا وشمالا، فإذا لم تجد مساغًا رجعت إلى الذي لُعن، فإن كان أهلا لذلك، وإلا رجعت إلى قائلها”.
Abu-Darda’ (May Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “When a person curses somebody or something, the curse goes up to heaven and the gates of heaven get closed. Then it comes down to the earth and its gates get closed. Then it turns right and left, and if it does not find an entrance to go anywhere, it returns to the person or thing that was cursed; if he or it deserves to be cursed; otherwise it returns to the person who uttered it.” [Abu Dawud]
For those that don’t know me, let me introduce myself. I am an Alim who studied in an institute for seven years, thereafter worked in several so-called Islamic institutes giving me enough experience to write this article, Alhumdu Lillah. I also have many Ulama colleagues and acquaintances, which has added to my experience! I will be fair, maybe it is because I am an Alim and have so many Ulama colleagues I have had such overwhelming experiences and in such a large capacity. Definitely more than the average person reading this, who may not be an Alim or has not had as many experiences because he/she does not know Ulama, as well as some of us, do. I just want to add these are my experiences, but I am not a selfish person – Alhumdu Lillah! I have also heard many of my friends, colleagues and family members who have had bad experiences with Ulama. This is what has to lead to me mustering the courage and speaking on behalf of them all. In case people who are naive say, “these are just a few experiences.”
CURSING A BELIEVER
I am going to start from recent events, as the whole reason I decided to lift my pen on such a crucial, but essential, critical, but vital topic is the image above which is my most recent experience, this was the final straw. How can we imagine anyone would give such a curse, let alone an Alim, a Mawlana, an individual who has studied Qur’an and Hadith of the Prophet ﷺ for several years under qualified Ulama. You must all be wondering what the reason was. I wasn’t going to write the story behind that message, not because I am scared, not at all. I am not afraid of the truth Alhumdu Lillah, nor am I afraid to admit my mistakes in public or in private. I feel it will get too long and I will end up going off on a tangent, as I tend to do. For the moment, I want readers to think of what possibly could be a justified reason to give someone such a curse (bud-dua)? What would be a reasonable explanation for it? Please do think long and hard. Has anyone of you heard such a curse (bud-dua) before? Would you give such a curse (bud-dua) to your enemy or even a Kafir?
Well, we all use WhatsApp and have several groups for friends, family, maybe work colleagues and other social uses perhaps. Many Alims/Alimahs will have “Ulama/Alimaat” groups where they would discuss Fiqh/Hadith or Deeni issues (if the group is used for the correct purpose). I was on such a group not so long ago. There were many young Alims on the group, some may have still been studying. It was a simple issue of someone making a statement of not putting titles next to a scholar’s name and Aisha (Allah be pleased with her) was written just as “Aishah”, this scholar was a Mufti so he should have addressed himself as a Mufti and wrote “Allah be pleased with her” or “Radhi Allahu Anhaa” after Aishah. This brother was corrected and he did not argue or reply back. Minutes later another person on the group went further and just wrote “IT” for Shaykhul Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (Allah have mercy upon him). I waited to see if anybody criticised him for it, as the first person was criticised. We should be fair in criticism and not pick and choose who we criticise. If our Ustadh makes a mistake we ignore it and when another person makes a mistake we magnify it? This is totally contradictory to the teachings of Islam. So, after seeing nobody commented and criticised this individual, I made a comment, I said, “We have gone a step further, far from removing titles, we are using acronyms for great Ulama.” This individual responded saying, or should I say ‘justifying’ his position, “It is acceptable because it is the Urf to use short form on Social Media.” I understand people use slang and short form on Social Media, but since when did HE become Urf. Urf is a term used in Fiqh, something which is “common in the people”, something socially habitual. One man is not Urf! One man does not decide what Urf is! It is based on a “whole” society. He further went on to say, “if I did not like it I don’t need to use the short form. He doesn’t mind using it so he will use the short form.” I found this a little arrogant, why? Doesn’t Islam say we should be doing “what’s right”? Not what “we want.” If everyone is going to do what they want, then what is the purpose of Qur’an and Hadith? What is the purpose of having knowledge?
So to hear this behaviour coming from an Alim was shocking, he didn’t need to say that. He could have accepted he was wrong or proved his point. Not by making things up that it’s Urf because Ulama have said, which Ulama? He didn’t state one single Alim who has endorsed this short form for the names of Ulama or Salaf Saliheen on Social Media or public forums. I further emphasised that I found his statement arrogant, there’s a difference between calling someone “an arrogant individual” and saying something is “an act of arrogance”. No doubt, there are signs of arrogance in Qur’an and Hadith, like there are signs of a Munafiq. As humans we use it in everyday language”, e.g. “He/she was a bit arrogant that day.” This doesn’t mean we are claiming to be God! Only Allah knows what’s in the hearts, but what is in the heart is often revealed through our actions and especially our tongues. As Imam Ibnul Qayyim (Allah have mercy upon him) says, “If you want to get a taste of someone’s heart, look at his tongue.” Here, Imam Ibnul Qayyim (Allah have mercy upon him) isn’t claiming to be God, he is making a factual statement.
MOLVIS ARE GOOD LAWYERS!
Moving on, this individual demanded that I do not call him/others arrogant (despite me clarifying it was the statement that came across as arrogant), especially because they are Ulama. Wow! I was shocked, let’s just look at this carefully… so you can never EVER call an Alim arrogant? Despite what they do, great! This is some serious dictatorship, asking us to follow him blindly. I was then removed from the group because the truth hurts. I rang the admin to ask why I was removed, he said because I called his teacher arrogant, even though I hadn’t. We debated the issue and he could not accept he was wrong. I bade him farewell. Regardless of what exactly happened, it is important to note the traits of evil Ulama, the corrupt ones, the ones cursed by the Prophet ﷺ. What I would like to point out at the end of this story, the Alim who removed me was confronted by several Ulama as to why he made this curse. He denied it, despite me sending a screenshot with his name, then another showing number. He replied saying it is all a lie and I had photo-shopped the image! Subhan’Allah, I have never known anyone in my entire life to lie so much, let alone an Alim.
عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ” لاَ يَنْبَغِي لِلْمُؤْمِنِ أَنْ يَكُونَ لَعَّانًا ”
Ibn ‘Umar (Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “The believer is not one who curses others.” [Tirmidhi]
عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم “ لَيْسَ الْمُؤْمِنُ بِالطَّعَّانِ وَلاَ اللَّعَّانِ وَلاَ الْفَاحِشِ وَلاَ الْبَذِيءِ ” . قَالَ أَبُو عِيسَى هَذَا حَدِيثٌ حَسَنٌ غَرِيبٌ
‘Abdullah (Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “The believer does not insult the honour of others, nor curse, nor commit Fahishah, nor is he foul.” [Tirmidhi]
ARE ALL ULAMA CORRUPT?
For those who say this is only one incident and it is not fair to ‘paint all Alims/Alimahs with the same brush. Wallahi! I am not that judgemental and narrow-minded, as to use one incident and magnify it to give all Ulama a bad name. So far, I have not once said “ALL” Alims/Alimahs are corrupt. Nor will I be saying that in the rest of the article In Sha Allah. My main reason behind this article is not to name and shame an Alim or any Ulama (notice names have not been mentioned). The aim is to protect the general public from the corrupt and crooked, immoral and depraved Ulama. We must remember there are two types of Ulama; a) Ulama Haqq (rightful) and b) Ulama Soow (corrupt). From this we can deduce, contrary to popular belief not every Alim/Alimah will go to Jannah, and yes, the rule applies to males and females. Please see the Hadeeth.
In his book Ad-Daa’ Wad-Dawaa’, Ibn Al-Qayyim (Allah have mercy upon him) explains the Hadeeth of the first three to be thrown into Hell on the Day of Resurrection. He says: “from Abu Hurayrah, who said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah ﷺ say, ‘Verily, the first to be judged on the Day of Resurrection will be a man who had died as a martyr. He will be brought forward. Allah will remind him of the favours He had bestowed upon him and the man will acknowledge them. Then He will ask him: `what did you do to express gratitude for it?’ The man will reply: `I fought for Your Cause till I was martyred.’ Allah will say: `You have lied. You fought so that people might call you courageous, and they have done so.’ Command will then be issued about him and he will be dragged on his face and thrown into Hell. Next, a man who had acquired and imparted knowledge and read the Qur’an will be brought forward, Allah will remind him of the favours He had bestowed upon him and the man will acknowledge them. Then He will ask him: `what did you do to express gratitude for it?’ The man will reply: `I acquired knowledge and taught it, and read the Qur’an for Your sake.’ Allah will say to him: `You have lied. You acquired knowledge so that people might call you a learned (man), and you read the Qur’an so that they might call you a reciter, and they have done so.’ Command will then be issued about him, and he will be dragged on his face and thrown into Hell. Next, a man whom Allah had made affluent and to whom Allah had given plenty of wealth, will be brought forward, Allah will remind him of the favours He had bestowed upon him and the man will acknowledge them. He will ask him: `what did you do to express gratitude for it?’ The man will reply: `I did not neglect any of the ways you liked wealth to spend liberally for your sake’. Allah will say to him: `You have lied. You did it so that people might call you generous, and they have done so.’ Command will then be issued about him and he will be dragged on his face and thrown into Hell.” And the wording, “So these are the first of Allah’s creation the Fire will be kindled with on the Day of Resurrection“[Saheeh Muslim, 13/45/1905]
Then he says: “And I heard Shaykh Al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (Allah have mercy upon him) say, “Just as the best of the people are the Prophets, then the worst of the people is the one who imitates them, giving the false impression that he is from them while he is not from them. The best of people after them are the Ulama’ and the Shuhada’ and the Siddeeqoon and the Mukhlisoon, and the worst of the people is the one who imitates them while giving the false impression that he is from them, while he is not from them.” [Ad-Daa’ Wad-Dawaa’ pp38-39]
TWO CATEGORIES OF ULAMA
In the Hadeeth, there are grave warnings of dreadful things awaiting the Ulama-e-Soow. They are among those who will be first to enter into Jahannam. They are astray and are leading others astray. The Prophet ﷺ said: “A person who seeks knowledge with the object of acquiring worldly riches, will not even smell the fragrance of Jannat.” [Targheeb]
The Prophet ﷺ said: “Whoever acquired knowledge for the purpose of attracting people to be inclined towards him, will be cast into Jahannam.” [Targheeb]
and also “The worst of people, have the worst Ulama.” [Targheeb]
It is also reported that Rasulullah ﷺ said: “Knowledge is of two kinds: One type is that which is only on the tongue (having no effect upon the heart). This is Allah’s proof against men (He completed His argument). The other type is that which is in the heart and is beneficial knowledge.”
The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said, “The majority of the Hypocrites of this Ummah [Muslims] will be its readers [i.e. those who read the Qur’an and not act according to it].” [Musnad Ahmad no. 10/123]
In another Hadeeth, He ﷺ said: “In the latter days the devout ones (Sufis) will be ignorant and the Ulama immoral.”
“Seek not knowledge in order to contest with the Ulama and to argue with the ignorant ones and to attract people towards you by it. Those who do this will be cast into Jahannam”.
Sayyidina Umar (Allah be pleased with him) said:
“On behalf of this Ummah, I am most fearful of the Alim who is a hypocrite.”
People asked: “Who is a hypocritical Alim?”
Umar (Allah be pleased with him) replied:
“He is one who by the tongue is an Alim, but in his heart he is ignorant.”
Hasan (Allah be pleased with him) said: “Do not become such that in spite of having acquired the knowledge of the Ulama and become acquainted with the deep researches of the thinkers, you behave and act in the manner of ignorant fools.”
Regarding the corruption and fitnah of the Ulama in times close to Qiyamah please this article on the link. The Prophet ﷺ said: “There will come a time on the people when there will remain nothing of the Islam except its [ism] name and nothing will remain of the Qur’an except its [rasm] outward form. Their Masjids will be full of people/very well built but will be empty of guidance. Their scholars will be the evilest under the heavens; from them, [fitnah] turmoil will emanate from them and to them will it return.” [Baihaqi, Shu’bul Iman no. 2/788]
“DON’T PUT ALL YOUR EGGS IN ONE BASKET”
Ulama have always played a major role in the Ummah, no doubt Ulama of the past were very sincere and honest. They treated people fairly and justly. More importantly, they gave rulings and fatwas with complete knowledge and Taqwa. The Ulama of the past had the Hereafter in mind and were God-conscious. It is because of these Ulama, Islam reached us in its pristine form – Alhumdu Lillah for their sacrifices, and I am not ungrateful. You can learn more about Ulama Haqq here. However, in the past there were also corrupt scholars and evil Ulama, the difference is today they have increased in number far more than that of the past. I heard a renowned Alim of the UK state, “Before Qiyamah, the majority of the Ulama will be corrupt.” Please do not take this statement lightly, let it sink in before you read any further. This means that the true Ulama will be few. No doubt there are good Ulama living today, even here in the West, but if we want the best for ourselves and our children we need to find those Ulama. Not every Imam is a God-fearing person, not every Madrasah teacher has Taqwa and piety. Many Imams beat their wives and stand like hypocrites on a Friday to lecture the community about peace and justice in their sermons. There are many examples I can give of “Molvis behaving badly,” unfortunately too many. I am pretty sure everyone reading this article will have had their own experiences too, at least with one Alim. I want to create a balance, give you the other side of the coin (every coin has two sides). We need good Ulama, to guide and direct us, but is every Alim good and pious? Imam Anwar Awlaki (Allah have mercy on him) once said, “Every deviant sect was made by an Alim.” So for those of you who are still in cuckoo land and think we must respect “every Alim”, that is wrong, unfortunately. You respect the devout and pious Ulama, the way to find one is to look at his actions, not his speech. Anybody can talk with a sweet tongue, looking eloquent and handsome.
There are many signs of corrupt Ulama. One example I would like to start with is, teachers who beat the living daylights out of our children when we send them to Madrasahs and Darul Ulooms, (this still goes on FYI). Some so-called Ulama damage our children so painfully, these children lose all confidence in themselves. They neither progress in Deen nor Dunya. They grow up hating Islam, hating Ulama, hating the Masjid and probably hate their parents for sending them to Madrasah. These children grow up distant from the Qur’an and distant from Islamic knowledge. Many later get married and have their own children, but they will not send them to the Masjid because of the experiences their father had when he was a child.
Who is to blame for all of this?
Simply because Molvi Saheb couldn’t control his anger?
Molvi Saheb didn’t get his tea on time that day?
Or due to the fact Molvi Saheb had an argument with his wife that day, he took it out on our children?
For all those evil Ulama out there, who justify child abuse, shame on you! I challenge any single one of you, show me one Ayah of the Qur’an, one Hadith where it allows you to hit a child. Show me one incident where the Prophet ﷺ hit a child? You may deceive the parents of the child by saying, “it’s for their own good!” La Hawla Wa La Quwata Illa Billah! How will you justify your zulm in Allah’s eyes?! I have no hesitation in calling such people zalims, Alim or non-Alim, zulm is Haram for everyone. It was even Haram for the Prophet of Allah ﷺ, but it has been made halal for Ulama? Allah himself declares zulm haram. Dear parents, beware of whom you send your child to, to learn Islam. Please don’t just look at convenience, “Molvi Saheb lives on the same street as us, SO HE MUST BE GOOD!” Such naïve thinking can be dangerous. Find good Madrasahs and good teachers, regularly talk to your children about their day at school and Madrasah. Ask them, “Does your Ustadh hit?” Being shy about these matters will only cost you and your child, their future. Zulm is zulm, wrong is wrong.
COMPLAIN, NOT MOAN AND WHINGE
I understand it is hard for parents, especially mothers (usually the mothers do the running around) to confront an Ustadh or the principal with regards to these issues. Considering many Alims/teachers are defensive when it comes to acknowledging their own mistakes, the short story I gave at the start is evident to this. Nevertheless, confront them.
ARROGANT & NARCISSISTIC MOLVIS
I have met many Alims who are arrogant narcissists in their approach and manner and most won’t accept their mistakes. Some will use, or should I say MISUSE Qur’an and Hadith to justify their behaviour. I remember working for a so-called Islamic charity run by Ulama. One of the senior Alims, who I used to respect a lot in my naïve days, whenever I would disagree with him or air an opinion he didn’t like (because of his arrogance), would quickly quote the Hadith, “respect your elders.” I laugh now thinking back on it, to disagree with someone is disrespectful? Having an opinion is disrespectful? Then to misuse Hadith! Subhan Allah. Another sign of corrupt Ulama, true knowledge makes you humble. Some Alims just cannot accept criticism nor accept their mistakes. Arrogance was Haram for the Prophet (SAW), who made it Halal for Molvis?
WHO IS TO BLAME?
The blame is not always on Darul Ulooms, initially, I blame the parents who are the mothers and fathers of these children. Many parents don’t have the correct intention for sending their children to Darul Uloom or making them Alim/Alimah. I have heard this from many Pakistani Ulama, in Pakistani families as long as one or two are educated and professionals, i.e. bringing the money in, the weaker children or not as bright are “shoved” into Madrasahs. So how can we fully blame Darul Ulooms for producing such arrogant individuals when their parents’ intentions were not sincere? So the lion’s share of the blame is on the parents, rather than the individuals themselves. They spend six or seven years in an Islamic environment, unable to change their ways and bad habits. How will such people make changes in the Ummah? But the one thing I will blame Darul Ulooms for, most of them anyway, is focusing on numbers, 40-50 graduates a year? What’s the need? Since when has Islam been about numbers? They need to stop lowering their standards and focus on quality, not quantity. I understand times have changed from the 80s and 90s and there is more focus on the secular side, but then you need to look at some of the product you are making. There is absolutely no need for such a great number of Ulama, especially when they are leaving with no Tarbiyyah and Islah (upbringing) whatsoever. Anyone who disagrees can ask me personally, the incidents I have seen/had with recent graduates. I won’t share them here, because my intention isn’t to expose anyone but nobody should suffer at the hands of these wolves. Yes, ‘wolves in sheep’s clothing’, or should I say, ‘Devils in Molvis’ clothing’! “Islam does not say suffer peacefully.” – Malcolm X (Allah have mercy on him)
“QUALITY NOT QUANTITY.”
Islam has never been about numbers, never. When Islam started the Prophet ﷺ only had Abu Bakr (Allah be pleased with him), He ﷺ only had his wife Khadijah (Allah be pleased with her). One man and one woman, why didn’t He give up? Because that one man and one woman were equal to a whole Ummah! “Quality not quantity.”
On the day of Badr, there were only 313 Sahabah (Allah be pleased with them) against 1,000. Why didn’t they wait for more people to accept Islam? Simply because those 313 were unique and consolidated, they could overcome an army of 10,000 if you ask me! “Quality not quantity.”
Now, this is a problem everywhere, especially on social media. It has become all about numbers, followers and likes. Please see this article for further information.
When Madrasahs/Maktabs/Darul Ulooms just focus on numbers, people tend to start thinking is it just about making money?! More students, more fees?! I am sorry Sherlock, but it doesn’t take a genius to work that one out There are Madrasahs in the UK who focus on quality, fewer numbers more productivity. I don’t see them closing down because they cannot pay the bills. My point being we need “less Ulama,” but good Ulama.
The Prophet ﷺ: “Knowledge (of the Deen) will be (imparted and acquired) for purposes other than the Deen, the Dunya (wealth and fame) will be pursued with the deeds of the Akhirah.”
MONEY-MAKING MILLIONAIRE MOLVIS
Umar (Allah be pleased with him) said, “When you see that any scholar loves the world, then his scholarship is in doubt.”
Now we come on to the money-making Molvis, another sign of corrupt Ulama. These sell their Deen for the Dunya. Ulama who made their Madrasahs and Islamic schools into businesses, purely for money making. They neither care about the children nor the parents, as long as their surpluses add up at the end of the year. But society is deceived and loses out. They charge extortionate rates to parents for fees, their teaching standards are abysmal. Which only proves one thing: they are bereft of any form of sincerity. I am not playing God nor being judgemental, sincerity has signs and so does a lack of sincerity. Not forgetting the ones who became millionaires by selling Taweez and taking advantage of people’s misfortune, but that doesn’t stop these Molvis from making their “fortune.” Read this to see how much scholars charge for lectures.
Then we have Ulama who are the power-hungry control freaks. The Dictators. Nothing short of a Tyrant. Their word is the Gospel. You cannot question them or differ with them. They make Hitler and Stalin look like puppets. They will never let go of their “kursi” (position) once they hold it, Imam or principal. Some go to great lengths to get those positions. I know of an Alim in my local Madrasah who tried to absolute name me and shame for reasons Allah knows best (I don’t want to get defensive on here, nor come across defensive). But the dictator himself was not elected in management, another Alim had been selected by teachers by the majority of votes. This Alim in front of my own eyes swindled and dwindled the votes, then put his own name at the top. Most of you won’t believe it, but it is true – Allah is my witness. Masjids and Madrasahs are no longer JUST places of worship, rather they are places for politics and corruption. For power and greed! Inna Lillah Wa Inna Ilayhi Raji’oon.
RACISM AND UNFAIRNESS
Oh yes! You all knew that was coming. Racism is in everyone, not just Ulama. So why have I mentioned it here? The Racism is in Ulama is to another degree, far more than the average person. Possibly because they have a lot of authority and control, but they use that to their own advantage. Not how Allah has taught them in the Qur’an. Any institution whose constitution is based on Racism can never ever be successful in the eyes of Allah SWT, Qur’an and Hadith teaches us that. How can you judge a person from the village their grandparents lived in?? Are you for real?! Nowadays we have schools that give preference to people from their own village. Once I had a debate with an Alim who was so very defensive in respect of such schools, in my naïve days I respected this Alim a lot as he worked in my Madrasah, but his Racism was unbelievable. Nice to know what these people keep in their hearts:
“Hatred has already appeared from their mouths, and what their breasts conceal is greater. We have certainly made clear to you the signs if you will use intellect.” (3:118)
Unbeknownst to him, the school have a policy, in which they give preference to certain members of certain mosques (all to do with villages in India). Wow! When you live in the 21st century Britain you would think those days would have gone, you would think Racism was a thing of the past. Shame on such Ulama, would Fatima bint Muhammad ﷺ be allowed in your school? She certainly isn’t from your village. Why do I single these guys out, when all Mosques have similar policies? The Alim asked me this same question, but I am a fair man, Alhumdu Lillah. My answer; the Mosques are run by committees, who are mostly laymen, not Ulama. You should know better. Not saying they are correct either. I am not a member of any Mosque for this reason; their Racist constitutions. Unfortunately, I am unlike other Ulama who just look at their own benefit, I have principles – Alhumdu Lillah. Because Ulama lack principles, they tend to “stick up for their own”. This is totally against Islam.
Every Masjid and Darul Uloom is “Waqf”, nobody owns these buildings, they were made with the public’s money. When they ask for Lillah money they don’t ask you which village you are from?!
I wrote this whole article after one incident where I walked into a Masjid in Blackburn and I was told by an Alim I wasn’t welcome because I am not from their village in India!!! I am really sorry my parents weren’t born in your village (THANK GOD THEY WEREN’T). What makes it worse is when I related the incident to some acquaintances, I was told to ‘chill out and relax. It was just a joke?!’ I apologise for my lack of sense of humour, but Racism is Haram and so are Racist jokes. Dear Molvis, don’t make Haram into Halal because it suits you. Islam is not a buffet, you can’t pick and choose. And for the record, I have a perfect sense of humour, Ma Sha Allah. There is a fine line between immaturity and cracking a joke, learn the distinction between the two. If your local Masjid or Madrasah or any organisation, be it a charity does wrong, it is wrong. I am sorry for stating the obvious, but some Ulama find this really hard to digest. Because they are blind and too stubborn to accept the truth. If an Alim or any Islamic organisation does wrong they must be condemned, NOT condoned and overlooked. Zulm is not just in Syria and Burma, we have many Ulama who oppress people right here in the UK, but it is brushed under the carpet. More importantly, when an individual complains and speaks up he is made to look like the bad guy. Why? Because we are deceived by the long turbans and flowing beards of Molvis. You respect good Ulama, not the bad ones. And you certainly do not worship them and make them into God! If people dislike and loathe what I say, then teach your staff members and parents not to behave with me in a Racist and arrogant manner. Alhumdu Lillah! My mother did not give birth to a coward, I CAN speak and SHALL speak till Allah wants me to. Allah says about the Jews and the Christians,
“They have taken their scholars and monks as lords besides Allah, and [also] the Messiah, the son of Mary. And they were not commanded except to worship one God; there is no deity except Him. Exalted is He above whatever they associate with Him.” (9:31)
One final factor that has a major role in corrupt Alims/Alimahs is part-time classes, which I have never agreed with, Absolutely Dead Against.
Here’s the proof: have you ever heard of a part-time pilot? Part-time doctor? Part-time surgeon? Part-time lawyer? Part-time engineer? No! But we hear of part-time Alims/Alimahs, disgraceful.
If you were in an operating theatre and you were told the surgeon has only studied a part-time course, would you be happy for them to operate on you? Only a fool would be.
How on earth can we rely on part-time Alims/Alimahs? I understand the need to educate and equip our boys and girls with Islam but I don’t understand the need of so many Alims/Alimahs, ESPECIALLY when you are not doing a proper and thorough job of it, sorry. Let them learn Arabic and Tafsir and Hadith within a few years. You don’t need to give them the title of a scholar when they have not studied in depth. If this continues, you will see more and more evil spread in the Ummah because of these half-baked scholars. Parents are not to jump on the bandwagon and follow what everyone else does, Allah gave you Aqal. The full blame though, lies on the founders of these places, many just open because the mosque next door has opened an Alimah class, Competition?
JEALOUSY, ENMITY AND BACKBITING
On the topic of competition, Alims and Alimahs need to learn to work together and avoid jealousy and hatred on Every Little Thing! Seriously, it is not healthy AT ALL! There are Ulama that have conspired to shut another Madrasah down because they opened on the same street. Does this Alim not believe in Taqdeer? Rizq is in Allah’s hands? Unity/working together? Someone once famously said,
! ایک گلی میں دو کتے رہ سکتے ہے لیکن دو مولوی نھیں
“Two dogs can live (peacefully) in one alley, but two Molvis cannot.” Well said, I fully agree.
One of the reasons we have so many mosques and madrasah is that a certain Molvi had beef with another Molvi Saheb, so the first one split from the mosque and built his own. Is that Ikhlaas? Sincerity has signs. It is the same in Madrasahs. I don’t need to look far, Blackburn has over 40 mosques. If you look at the history behind some of these mosques, it is because they are from different villages in India – so they split. Two mosques on the same street?! These mosques were not built with Ikhlaas, how will they be successful? Allahul Musta’aan! On a micro level, we have the same on WhatsApp groups. Ulama bicker and fight over petty issues, then they go and open their own groups. Such childish behaviour is embarrassing.
THE TRUE SCHOLARS
“…Those truly fear Allah among His servants are those who have knowledge (Ulema). For Allah is Exalted in Might and is Forgiving.” [Al-Fatir: 28]
Regarding “…Those truly fear Allah among His servants are those who have knowledge…” Imam Ibn Kathir (Allah have mercy on his soul) stated that “The more the knowledge of Allah and His SWT power is complete, the more He SWT will be feared by those who have the complete knowledge.”
Imam Al-Qurtubi (Allah have mercy on his soul) said that “The scholars are those who know the power of Allah SWT. They are in no doubt of His SWT punishment no matter what the sin is.”
It was narrated by Ali (Allah be pleased with him) that Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) said, “The scholars are those who know that Allah is capable of anything.”
On the authority of Ziyad ibn Lubayd (Allah be pleased with him), the Prophet ﷺ said, ‘….and knowledge will go [or disappear].’ He said, ‘O Messenger of Allah how will knowledge leave [disappear] whilst we read the Qur’an and our children read the Qur’an and they will make their children read it till the Day of Judgement.’ He said, ‘May your Mother lose you I thought your one of the men of understanding of Madinah. Don’t you see these Jews and Christians reading their Torah and Gospel but they don’t practice anything of it.’ [Ibn Majah no. 4048]
Ali (Allah be pleased with him) said I heard the Messenger of Allah ﷺ says, ‘Fitnah will certainly come.’ I asked what is the way out O Messenger of Allah ﷺ? He replied, ‘The Book of Allah [swt] is the way, for it contains information of what happened before you, news of what will come after you and a decision regarding matters that will occur among you…It is decisive [fasl] and not a joke [hazl]. Whoever leaves it, is a tyrant and Allah [swt] will break him, and if anyone seeks guidance else-where [other than the Qur’an] Allah will lead him astray. It is the rope of Allah [swt], the wise reminder, the straight path, whims would not deviate it nor the tongue become confused, and the scholars cannot be fully satisfied [i.e. still more to explore]. It is not worn down by repetition nor do its wonders ever cease……He who quotes it speaks the truth, he who acts according to it is rewarded, he who judges according to it is just, and he who invites people to it [i.e. the Qur’an] is [himself] guided to the Straight Path….’ Tirmidhi no. 2906 [Dha’eef – the chain is weak but the meaning is Saheeh –scholars comment that this is more likely the statement of Ali and not the Prophet ﷺ]
Abdullah Ibn Mas‘ood (Allah be pleased with him) said, “No age will dawn upon you but it will be viler than the one preceding it. I do not mean a ruler better than another ruler, or a year better than another year, but (I mean) that your Ulama and Fiqh will disappear, and you will not find (uprighteous) successors to them. Then there will come people who will issue ‘fatwas’ [legal opinions] based on their own opinion.” And in another narration, “Who will blunt Islam and destroy it.”
Hakeemul Ummah, Mawlana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (Allah have mercy upon him) states: “Rasulullah ﷺ directed us to follow the ‘Sawaad-e-A’zam’ in times of fitnah. From the different opinions of Ulama, the preferred view seems to be the one that is understood from the Zaahir (text) of the Hadith i.e. ‘follow the majority.’ This view is restricted to the Khayrul Quroon when Khayr (goodness) was dominant (Ghalib). Today’s “majority” are not the purport of the Hadith (i.e. the Sawaad-e-A’zam Hadith), because today the majority consists of misguided people.”
يحيى بن معاذ ينشد في مجالسه كان
مواعظ الواعظ لن تقبلا…. حتى يعيها قلبه أولا
يا قوم من أظلم من واعظ ….قد خالف ما قاله في الملا
أظهر بين الناس إحسانه ….و بارز الرحمن لما خلا
I have written this article as a reminder for myself and other Ulama, first and foremost. A wise man once said, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Becoming an Alim is easy, especially in this day and age when standards are so low in Darul Ulooms. Anybody can pass like wind through six years, we have all heard of “Arafati Molvis.” We need to live up to the title, ‘Mawlana’.
I always say, “Ulama LOVE the title ‘Mawlana’, but very few people LIVE the title of a Mawlana.
In no way, means or fashion do I think of myself as a true Alim or from the Ulama Haqq. I am not perfect and there is no pretence or artificial humility there. You don’t need to be perfect to complain and speak up. You don’t need to be flawless to criticise someone. You just need to be clear and be sincere. Humility leads you to criticise your own, arrogance leads you to always “defend” your own. I have always believed that, feel free to disagree. I am not going to criticise Brelwi Ulama and Salafi Ulama when we have corruption in our own, you put your own house fire out first! Why should I be afraid to speak the truth, when these corrupt Ulama are not afraid of lying? I intend to empower people to stand up to the Ulama that deceive us and mislead us, learn to wake up and speak up! Don’t be afraid of these bullies and cowards. Many are just armchair critics, they can never meet you and have a challenge face to face. Please do listen and follow the true Ulama, I have not said once stop following Ulama. Just learn that there are two types and look for the right type. Finally, there are people out there campaigning against Ulama; Muslims and Non-Muslims, no doubt there are anti-ulama folk out there. I pray this article does not reach them, as they will misuse it against the purpose for which it was written. I fully support honest, truthful and sincere Ulama who are doing a fantastic job educating the masses. If you are anti-ulama, please read this below:
“Those who disrespect the Ulama and the Awliya, humiliate and disrespect them when they are laid in their graves their faces they will be turned away from the Qiblah! I swear by Allah! If you do not believe me, go and check for yourselves.”
Hadhrat Mawlana Rasheed Ahmad Gangohi (Allah sanctify his secret)
Allah keep us united on the truth. Allah grant us ALL Hidayah and guide us to the straight path. Allah protect us from being amongst Ulama Soow and save us all from Hellfire.
Ismail Ibn Nazir Satia (Unafraid to speak the truth, Alhumdu Lillah!)
10th Safar 1439
“The most dangerous man in society is he who has nothing to lose.”
By Shaykh Abul Hasan ‘Ali an-Nadwi (rh)
This is a transcription of a speech delivered in Dewsbury, UK in 1982 at the opening of the Dewsury Markaz.
I am filled with happiness by your reception. I would be most ungrateful if I do not respect your wishes and share my inner feelings. If I desire I could shower you with praises, for Almighty Allah has bestowed me with an abundance of vocabulary, but I would not be fulfilling the right of friendship.
Da’wah in the Seerah
As you are aware, the Prophet (Sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) had a burning desire to invite humanity towards Islam. Despite 13 years of untiring effort in Makkatul Mukarramah and 7 years in Madinah Munawwarah, there was no large scale movement of non-Muslims into Islam. Between 7 AH and 10 AH, which is the period after Fatah-Makkah until the Prophet (Sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam)’s demise, there was such an influx of people entering the ranks of Islam that was not witnessed in the preceding 20 years.
Imam Zuhri (ra), an eminent Muhaddith and Tabi‘, expressed surprise on this sea change, with so many people embracing Islam in a matter of just 3 years. Along with other distinguished Muhadditheen, he has commented that this was due to non-Muslims having had an opportunity for the first time to observe and intermingle with Muslims, witness their honesty, fair dealing, compassion, and sole reliance on Almighty Allah. This left such a deep and profound impression on non-Muslims that thousands entered into the fold of Islam within a relatively short period of time.
Applying the Lessons of Seerah Here and Now
This incident also contains abundant lessons on how Muslims should live in this country. Their conduct should be sublime and captivating. Whosoever should see us should accept Islam. Whosoever sits with us should be inclined towards Islam. There should be no need to convince anyone to accept the Truth.
Therefore, in this country if you wish to live peacefully and have an opportunity to present Islam to the host community, you will need to inculcate and manifest sterling qualities, not just inside the Mosques but also outside in the streets, in the markets, in your daily activities, and at home. A life of Taqwa will immediately attract non-Muslims towards Islam.
Dangers of Living Isolated and Insulated
As an ordinary student of Islam it is my religious responsibility to warn you. If you do not lead an upright life, if you continue to live an insular lifestyle, and if you fail to manifest the beauty of Islam to non-Muslims, then you face some real dangers. In such a case, there is no reason for you to feel content and secure in this country.
If ever the fire of race, religion, or nationalism rages here you will not be saved. In Spain there were Mosques a hundred times more beautiful than yours. So do not feel content and self-satisfied. As an ordinary student of religion I would wish to express my joy and happiness at this wonderful new Mosque. But what words shall I use to congratulate you?
Lessons from Spain
Others may not speak to you as plainly, but remember the glorious Masjid of Cordoba. It still stands in Spain. Iqbal, Poet of the East, so eloquently reminisces the great legacy of Islamic Spain in his famous poem, Masjid-e-Qurtaba. In Islamic Spain, there were such brilliant Mosques, celebrated Madrasahs, famous scholars like Shaykh al-Akbar (ra), Ibn al-Hazm (ra), Qurtubi (ra), Shatbi (ra) – and how many others shall I mention?
However, when the flames of religious sectarianism raged then the Mosques and Madrasahs became deserted. Once, Islamic Spain boasted such magnificent structures, distinguished educational centers, refined culture and society. Regrettably, the Muslims, despite such a high standard of living, did not draw the non-Muslims of that country to see the truth of Islam, to warn them of the dangers of disbelief, with the result that ensuing religious violence subsequently consumed them like a morsel. The Arabs with their glowing history, architectural splendor, and vast oceans of knowledge, were displaced from the country. Today, unfortunately, the ears eagerly wait to hear the Azaan and the empty Mosques thirst for the Salaah.
Earn Your Place in Your Country
My dear brothers, you must earn your recognition in this country. You should earn your place and leave an imprint on the host community of your value and significance. You must show your exemplary conduct is far nobler than that of other people. You must impart on them the lessons of humanity. You should demonstrate such commitment and noble virtues that impress on people that there cannot be found more upright humans elsewhere besides you. You need to establish your worth, showing what blessing and mercy you are for the country.
If however you decide to live in an enclosed environment simply content with your Prayers and Fasting, apathetic to the people and society you live in, never introducing them to the high Islamic values and your own personal qualities, then beware lest any religious or sectarian violence flares up. In such a situation, you will not find safety or protection.
I pray to Almighty Allah my prediction is totally unfounded. But remember, you are guests here. YourTabligh, Mosques, Madrasahs, Ibadah, and religious sacrifices are all worthy of commendation. May Almighty Allah grant you Barakah. But do not forget to earn your place in this country. Gain proficiency of the national language and use it to effectively propagate Islam. Prepare writers and orators to convey the message of Islam. Although you will distance yourself from their religion, do not distance yourself from them. Establish your credibility to the extent that if you are entrusted with onerous responsibilities, as was Prophet Yusuf (`Alayhi as-Salaam), you do not shirk but embrace all challenges wholeheartedly.
Your Priority Should Not Be Wealth and Luxury
You will have to present a new pattern of life to this country. You will not earn recognition by exerting yourselves in the workplace. If you overwork you will be looked upon disparagingly and be likened to horses and bulls. In fact, you will be labelled as money-making machines. However, if you can show to the people here that you are worshipers of Almighty Allah and not wealth, you do not bow before power but only before virtue, you are humans and think like humans, you are concerned not only about yourselves but also about others; and you are compassionate about your own children as well as theirs, that you are earnestly concerned about the path of destruction they have chosen for themselves, you will then earn their respect. They will begin to respect Islam and become desirous of studying it. They will ask you for literature concerning Islamic beliefs and practices and an opportunity will arise here for you to promote Islam.
On the other hand, if you remain preoccupied in eating and working, engaged in prayers, remaining indifferent to what is happening in the country, insulated within the Muslim community, totally apathetic to what is happening outside, which direction the country is taking – in such a situation if there is trouble you will not be able to save yourselves.
I have been meaning to convey and accentuate this message to you as I do not know whether I will be able visit you again in the future. You gathered here with love and affection and therefore it was easy for me to convey. As a student of religion it would have been convenient for me to recommend the virtues of reciting various Zikr or prescribe certain Wazifahs but you may not have had an opportunity of listening to the message I have just conveyed from anyone else.
Please strengthen your position in this country. Earn your recognition. Do not be like a straw or crop that is uprooted by a mere breeze. You should be so firm that not even a hurricane is able to displace you. Display such noble character that you attract the hearts of the people. See then how these people will stand up to defend you. If there is the slightest hostility towards you, they will be the first ones to argue on your behalf and argue what a blessing you are for them.
May Almighty Allah grant us the ability to understand what is right; may He bless and protect you. Ameen.
Courtesy of Darul Ihsan