Friday, February 24, 2012

Regrading Shirk, Tawassul/Wasilah and Knowledge of the Unseen

Shirk means attributing the Qualities and traits of Allah-SWT (which are specifically descriptive of Him-SWT alone) to anybody or anything else ... for example to believe any one other than Allah-SWT is 'Hazir-o-Nazir' would also come under shirk and when we call out to anyone other than Allah-SWT we actually are denoting this quality of Omni-presence and All-hearing to that person or thing which falls under the exact definition of Shirk.

It is not acceptable for anyone to call out to anyone or anything other than Allah-SWT (especially for the fulfillment of any need at all), be the person a Christian, Jews, Sikhs, Buddhists, Hindus, Qadiani, Shia, Sunni, Berailvi, Sufi, Ahl-e-Hadis, and or any other so called maslaq that exists. Infact if you study Hinduism, they too believe in One final God, and believe some similar notion about their demi gods.

the difference between Shirk and disbelief is that in disbelief, One simply does not believe in Allah-SWT. And in Shirk, one believes in Allah-SWT, but also believes that others share similar qualities as Him-SWT or are partners or co-creators or co-sustainers with Allah-SWT, and the act of this belief of shared qualities which are solely specific of Allah-SWT is Shirk.

to say things like "Ya-Muhammad" or "Ya-Ali" or "Ya-Hussain" etc are all incorrect - because none of them are hazir-o-nazir only Allah-SWT is Omni-present and only Allah-SWT is All-Hearing, All-Seeing, All-encompassing, All-Sustaining. He-SWT is the sole Provider and none can fulfill our needs but Him-SWT.

Sayyiduna Rasoolullah (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) said, "On the Day of Qiyamah, that person will be closest to me who used to read Durood Shareef in abundance. The person who reads the Durood Shareef on Fridays, Almighty Allah fulfils a hundred needs of his, seventy needs of the Hereafter and thirty of this world. Almighty Allah also commands an Angel to present the Durood Shareef to me as you would receive a present. This Durood Shareef is then preserved in a white record". (Sadaatud Daarain)

“Whoever recites Durood at my grave, I hear it myself. And whoesoever recites it from a distance, Angels present them to me.” (BAIHAQI)

Allah Almighty has appointed a group of angels who travel the world, and in my Ummah, whoever sends salutatations to me, those salutations are presented to me by these angels.” (IBNE HABBAN)

Almighty Allah says: “Surely Allah and His Angels send blessings on the Holy Prophet (Sallal Laahu Alaihi Wasallim). O you who believe! Send Blessings (Durood) and Salutations (Salaams) on the Prophet with worthy Salutation”.(Surah al-Ahzab: 56)

There is no human who was ever created more exalted in spiritual and physical stature than the Prophet Muhammad-SAAW. There is no human superior to him-SAAW in the eyes of Allah-SWT or closer than his-SAAW to Allah-SWT. The proof being the above ayat that Allah-SWT Himself-SWT sends blessings (Durud) on the Prophet Muhammad-SAAW. Thus if he-SAAW cannot hear us directly when we recite durud from a distance and angels have been ordained the duty to carry our durud like gifts to him-SAAW (in barzakh), then no other creation on earth can be expected to be all-hearing or ever-present (hazir-o-nazir). Only Allah-SWT is Omni-Present and All-Hearing and only He-SWT has the right to be called out to for all our desires and needs.

Al-Jinn (The Jinn) ruku 2

72:20 (Picktall) Say (unto them, O Muhammad-SAAW): I pray unto Allah only, and ascribe unto Him no partner.

72:21 (Picktall) Say: Lo! I control not hurt nor benefit for you.

72:22 (Picktall) Say: Lo! none can protect me from Allah, nor can I find any refuge beside Him

72:23 (Picktall) (Mine is) but conveyance (of the truth) from Allah, and His messages; and whoso disobeyeth Allah and His messenger, lo! his is fire of hell, wherein such dwell for ever.

72:24 (Picktall) Till (the day) when they shall behold that which they are promised (they may doubt); but then they will know for certain) who is weaker in allies and less in multitude.

72:25 (Picktall) Say (O Muhammad-SAAW, unto the disbelievers): I know not whether that which ye are promised is nigh, or if my Lord hath set a distant term for it.

72:26 (Picktall) (He is) the knower of the Unseen, and He revealeth unto none His secret,

72:27 (Picktall) Save unto every Messenger-AS whom He hath chosen, and then He maketh a guard to go before him and a guard behind him

72:28 (Picktall) That He may know that they have indeed conveyed the Messages of their Lord. He surroundeth all their doings, and He keepeth count of all things.

In The Name of Allah-SWT the Most Gracious, The Most Merciful
Declare O Prophet-SAAW, that you only worship your Rabb-SWT and ascribe no partners to Him-SWT and that you are not responsible for their vices and virtues nor is it a part of your duties, being also His-SWT creation and His-SWT bondman. All your affairs are in His-SWT very control and you have no refuge save Him-SWT . However, your duty as His-SWT Messenger is only to convey His-SWT Message and whoever disobeys is destined to abide in the Hell. But the wretched souls incapable of accepting would never heed what you say. When they will see Akhirah materializing and the promise of retribution for disbelief coming true, they would know who was weak and fragile. They think that a handful of powerless Muslims posed no serious threat to them.

But they have seen in this world that Allah-SWT's Word is true and would so witness it in the Akhirah. Therefore, tell them that the hour of the Doomsday is only known to Allah-SWT , and not to His-SWT Prophets-AS. Only He-SWT Knows whether it is very near or far away. But it certainly is there. As for the Unseen, it is again only known to Him-SWT save what He-SWT informs the Prophets-AS on, through revelation, in full confidence and secrecy. He-SWT dominates everything and has a count of each particle in universe.

Knowledge of the Unseen
It must be remembered that the Knowledge of the Unseen is peculiar to Allah-SWT as His-SWT Knowledge is independent of any source or medium. He-SWT Knows even 'the number of atoms in each speck of the universe and whatever these contain. He-SWT Knows everything at all times. This is the kind of knowledge no one else can possess. But the Information over the Unseen, as hinted in the preceding paragraph, is given to the Prophets-AS as and when required for the fulfillment of their Prophetic responsibilities. The Holy Prophet-SAAW is blessed with this information to the highest degree, but despite it, he does not have, by any stretch of imagination, a share in Allah-SWT's Attributes.

The Holy Prophet-SAAW and Knowledge of the Unseen
This is an issue often discussed in public debates. However, according to the consensus of the righteous scholars, to say that the Holy Prophet-SAAW did not know the unseen, or to make him-SAAW the topic of discussion in this context is not permitted at all. In fact it is so impudent that it may well jeopardize one's faith. It is true that the Holy Prophet-SAAW is not a partner in His-SWT Being and His-SWT Attributes, nor anyone else. The knowledge vouchsafed to His-SWT entire creation is less than what has been given to the Holy Prophet-SAAW alone. The Ayah under discussion may be interpreted to mean that he-SAAW does not claim to know the unseen, nor does he-SAAW foretell anything even about himself-SAAW as to what may befall him-SAAW the next day. He-SAAW speaks only that of which he-SAAW is blessed with knowledge by Him-SWT .

They must be warned of the consequences of their denial, for undoubtedly this Quran is from Allah-SWT , duly supported by logical as well as Scriptural evidence. And many a righteous scholars of Bani Israil enjoying knowledge of the earlier Divine Scriptures have believed in it, testifying its authenticity. Other are just being arrogant, denying out of sheer ignorance and conceit. A severe punishment awaits them and Allah-SWT does not guide such transgressors.

7:188 = Say you-SAAW : I possess no power of benefit or hurt to myself save as Allah-SWT wills; and had I knowledge of the unseen I would have amassed ample good, and evil would not have touched me. I am nothing but a warner and bringer of good tidings to a people who believe.

The Exalted Office of Prophethood
The Holy Prophet-SAAW is being told to inform the people that he-SAAW has no power over his-SAAW own gain and loss, for it is purely in the control of the Almighty. It is His-SWT Will that prevails and it is by His-SWT Grace and blessing that he-SAAW enjoys an exalted status, which depends upon His-SWT Pleasure. Prophets-AS, too, are Allah-SWT's creation who submit to His-SWT Omnipotence and always look up to Him-SWT for His-SWT Blessings. To ascribe partners in Divine Attributes is polytheism; neither a Prophet-AS, nor an angel-AS nor a Wali can be taken as partners in any of His-SWT Attributes. In fact, to eradicate this very evil Allah-SWT sent His-SWT Messengers-AS unto mankind. It is not proper to hope for the attainment of health, affluence or other worldly needs from a Prophet'-AS or to make obedience conditional to the fulfillment of mundane desires. The expectation generally associated with the Aulia that they can prevent a loss or cause benefit is absolutely wrong. Take note that these are Divine Attributes and whatever happens is by His-SWT Free Will.

The Holy Prophet-SAAW told the people that he-SAAW had no knowledge of the unseen. Had he-SAAW any control over his-SAAW gain and loss, he-SAAW would have never gone through any distress. He-SAAW could have avoided all problems by making the correct choice and avoiding possible loss, had he-SAAW known the unseen. But they could see how he-SAAW endured hardships and temporal losses. Though he-SAAW was not responsible for the worldly loss or gain yet the status he-SAAW enjoyed was to impart broad and enlightened vision and knowledge to the mankind through which they can perceive the end results of evil and the reward of piety, to help cultivate a strong faith in the Day of Judgement. Take note that the Messengers-AS of Allah-SWT are the personalities "those mildest gestures can brighten the destiny of millions. At the same time it can also be a source of punishment if inspite of being associated with a Prophet"-AS, one fails to accept the faith and be obedient. Therefore, all authority rests with Allah-SWT . Barakah can be acquired through the Prophets-AS and the Aulia but it is not a ride that all associating with them will always be guided.

Knowledge of the Unseen
Secondly, it is worth paying attention that the topics addressed by the Prophets-AS pertain to the unseen, such as the Angels-AS, Barzakh, Hereafter and the Almighty Himself-SWT , Who-SWT is the Greatest of the Unseen. The Prophets-AS do inform mankind on the unseen but reiterate that they do not possess the Knowledge of the Unseen themselves. In fact, all realities pertaining to the unseen conveyed to mankind by the Prophets-AS are revealed unto them by Allah-SWT . The major share of such knowledge, of course, went to the Holy Prophet-SAAW and his knowledge excels all his-SAAW distant and recent predecessors. But this is termed as Information on the Unseen whereas Knowledge of the Unseen is that which is not attained through a medium or a source and is an Attribute of the Almighty. The excellence of Prophethood is that people become not only aware of good and evil but also practically begin to refrain from the latter and thus receive the glad tidings of salvation. This is also an indicator of the distinction of a Wali that those who associate with him are blessed with correction of beliefs and practices. But only those shall be blessed with this correction who embrace faith because the pre requisite of receiving beneficence from a Prophet-AS is faith.

Knowledge Of The Unseen; A Divine Peculiarity
The knowledge of the unseen is Allah-SWT's domain while the Messengers-AS are informed over it. Therefore, if Allah-SWT withholds information over a particular matter, it cannot be known. In this case Allah-SWT used the hoophoe as a courier to convey the news to Prophet Sulaiman-AS. It had witnessed a city called Saba in Yemen, ruled by a woman (Queen Bilqees), who had all the resources required for running an empire and sat on a magnificent throne.

Human estimation and planning, based on which people imagine Allah-SWT to be like them and argue about Him-SWT , carry no importance at all. The Knowledge of the Unseen is only with Allah-SWT and it is He-SWT Alone Who-SWT knows what is there in-store for tomorrow. No human being can predict what can befall him the very next moment. So the only reasonable thing for a human being to do is obedience because he does not know when the Hour may strike, when everything is shacked up and the Day of Judgement is established. Allah-SWT certainly Knows when it is going to be. Rather, it is He-SWT Who-SWT will cause it and He-SWT certainly is Omnipotent. Therefore, following His-SWT instructions and planning for the future within the framework of His-SWT‘s obedience is the most appropriate thing to do.

The extent of human knowledge is so limited that when Allah-SWT brought him to this world from his mother's womb, he was completely ignorant of everything. He knew nothing about his food or clothing. He was completely incapable of discriminating between right and wrong; he had no knowledge whatsoever. Allah-SWT blessed him with senses which gradually turned more and more refined with the passage time, and man began to acquire knowledge. The primary source of this acquisition is the sense of hearing. Seeing is the second major source, as a person collects information primarily through hearing, while the opportunity to witness everything is comparatively less.

17:57 = Those whom they call upon seek access themselves to their Rabb-SWT , striving which of them shall be the nearest; and they hope for His-SWT Mercy and fear His-SWT Chastisement; the Chastisement of your-SAAW Rabb-SWT is indeed ever to be guarded against.

Wasilah (Means of Approach)
The idols of angels, Prophets-AS or saints which they worship are themselves always seeking means of pleasing Allah-SWT . They worship and obey Allah-SWT diligently so that their obedience may serve as a Wasilah to obtain His-SWT Pleasure. They remain hopeful of His-SWT Mercy while being fully conscious and apprehensive of Him-SWT . He-SWT is without any want. And certainly His-SWT Punishment is worthy of being feared.

5:35 = O’ you who believe; fear Allah-SWT and seek approach to Him-SWT . And strive hard in His-SWT Way that haply you may thrive.

The address to those claiming faith continues. The Quranic style of speech here is charming indeed, when it says: "O’ you who believe!" This expression connotes affection, love and advice, and stresses upon the believers to renounce sin, abandon Allah-SWT's disobedience and not to allow the relationship between them and Allah-SWT weaken; rather to strive for strengthening it. For this purpose, one must find means of approaching Allah-SWT , termed as Wasilah.

Reality of Wasilah
According to scholars the meaning of Wasilah is to be joined in love, if it is written with s. (see the difference in the Transliteration) it will mean an absolute joining without hinting at any under King emotions. Here it calls for such actions which increase Allah-SWT's Love in the heart, and by which Allah-SWT will take the seeker as His-SWT beloved. According to the Quran: "Follow me (the Holy Prophet-SAAW ) and Allah-SWT shall love you (3:31).

If you fulfill your obligations and restrain yourself from sin as commanded by the Holy Prophet-SAAW , Allah-SWT shall start loving you. If you complement them with Sunnah and voluntary Salat, as was the practice of the Holy Prophet-SAAW, Allah-SWT shall love you even more. Next in order are those neutral practices for which no hard and fast method has been fixed in Shari’ah. They are permissible, but include those acts which were not practiced by the Holy Prophet-SAAW as a routine throughout his life. Conforming to his-SAAW way of dressing also falls under the same category. Once Hadhrat ‘Umar Faruq-RAU had a new shirt with longer sleeves. He sent for a knife and asked his son to cut off the extra length. The son said that he would get a scissors, but Hadhrat 'Umar-RAU insisted on using the knife as once the Holy Prophet-SAAW had done so. It is quite possible that the Holy Prophet-SAAW may have used a knife due to the non availability of scissors but Hadhrat 'Umar-RAU had a choice. Nevertheless, following the Holy Prophet-SAAW comprehensively was extremely important to him.

When Hadhrat Ibn-e-'Umar-RAU was an old man, he was on his way to Hajj riding a camel. Suddenly, he bent down touching the packsaddle and sat up straight again. Those accompanying him asked the reason behind this action. He told them that there used to be a tree there, and as the Holy Prophet-SAAW had passed by he had bent down on his camel in a similar manner to avoid the branches. "But the tree is no longer here." he was asked. He replied 'Even if the tree stands no more, the gestures of the Holy Prophet-SAAW stand today to be followed. What do we have to do with the tree?"

If this level of adherence to the Holy Prophet-SAAW even in neutral acts is practiced. Allah-SWT's love too will multiply manifolds. This love will be initiated from Allah-SWT's side and it is characteristic of His-SWT Love, that when it is received, a person, in turn, starts loving Him-SWT . Even in everyday life if we love someone he will also reciprocate, and if we hate someone without even uttering a word, he too will begin to hate us. Following the Holy Prophet-SAAW in an endeavour to qualify for Allah-SWT's Love is the reality of Wasilah. Similarly, any action helpful in approaching Allah-SWT shall be a Wasilah. An intermediary or any human being helping in His-SWT Path will also be Wasilah. Such as the Prophets-AS, the Companions-RAU, the Aulia-, the pious and the righteous scholars. It is true that one's good deeds can be referred to while praying to Allah-SWT , since deeds are also a creation. Praying through the Wasilah of pious people is also permissible: so long as the motive is pure. One should not sell the honourable names of the Prophets-AS and the righteous for some petty mundane benefits. The Wasilah should only be sought for the sake of Allah-SWT , to seek His-SWT Pleasure and to struggle in His-SWT Cause. If Wasilah is available, but there is no struggle, optimum results cannot be obtained.

This should be ascertained from those who have had the opportunity to benefit from the company of an accomplished Shaikh, but for some reason it discontinued altogether or the time gap between the meetings drew longer. The spiritual states in this case tend to weaken. To benefit from Wasilah, be it good deeds or a pious person, one's personal efforts, are the pre-requisite. Jihad with sword is obligated by necessity. It may become an individual or a collective obligation, depending upon the prevailing circumstances. But Jihad with one's own soul to cultivate virtue and repel evil is a never ending process. Therefore, strive in the Cause of Allah-SWT , and work hard for success both in this world as well as in the Hereafter. When the Quran mentions success, it embraces personal, family, and national life extending to after life and the Day of Resurrection. The worldly affluence, in comparison, means nothing. For, firstly it is impossible that the entire wealth of the world may ever accumulate in one hand. And even if the non-believers amass all the wealth of the world and even if they double it, it will not suffice as ransom on the Day of Judgment. Allah-SWT will not accept anything because everything belongs to Him-SWT and they are not offering any personal belonging. The logical outcome of disbelief is punishment. A desire to find an outlet from the Hell will always pique the non-believers, but they will never succeed. Eternal torment and perpetual pain is their destiny. Therefore, it is very important to abandon wrongdoing, and obey Allah-SWT ; to love Him-SWT and win His-SWT Love. To achieve this one must put his heart and soul and his very life in His-SWT Cause. This is not an ordinary affair. The wealth is mundane and will not be of any help in the Hereafter, but Allah-SWT's Love will entitle a person to behold His-SWT Splendour and have the honour of a dialogue with Him-SWT . Do take a note of the difference

JazakAllah Khair

May Allah-SWT forgive me any mistakes and correct me in my understanding where I have erred.

ps: Another kind of Shirk that we all fall victim to at some point and time or the other ... and that is placing our own likes and desires over what Allah-SWT has preferred for us, thus accepting our own selves as na'uzubillah Allah-SWT equals or partner god (Allah-Forbid!)

May Allah-SWT protect us from this worst and most hidden shirk that we fall victim to committing without realizing the true significance of what we are doing. Ameen

We all must seek protection and guidance from indulging in this unforgivable crime at any level, be it out of ignorance or misunderstanding. May Allah-SWT keep us safe from this gravest of sins and may He-SWT guide us on to the sirat-e-Mustaqeem. May He-SWT eliminate all firqa's and bring us all to the authentic and pure Islam, free of all sects, the one that the Prophet-SAAW brought more than 1400 yrs ago. May He-SWT unite this Ummah and fill our hearts with His-SWT Love and the urge for being obedient to Allah-SWT alone, and in the ways taught to us by the Holy Prophet Muhammad-SAAW. May He-SWT shower us with His-SWT forgiveness and Mercy and May He-SWT join all our hearts in Love and Peace and allow us to be a source of pride and joy for our Prophet Muhammad-SAAW, his-SAAW's family-RAU, the Companions-RAU and the Aulia-RUA and be an honourable part of his-SAAW's Ummah. Ameen!