Original Articles

Takfeer of Shia Muslims by Deobandi clerics: Playing with fire – by Sabah Hasan

969755_10151685699160482_1431509472_n

دار العلوم دیوبند کی جانب سے سنی بریلوی اور شیعہ مسلمانوں کے خلاف نفرت انگیز فتاویٰ – Deobandi fatwa against Sunni & Shia – See more at: https://lubpak.net/archives/235373

I am no religious scholar, but as an ordinary Muslim I have always found it logical that the decision as to eiman (faith) or kufr (negation of faith) of human beings belongs solely to Allah the Omniscient or to those He finds capable of taking such decision – usually His representatives, and most certainly not every Tom, Dick and Harry who knows a thing or two about religion.

I have seen the fatwa (religious decree) of February 1986 by many Ulama-e-Deoband of Pakistan (including Samiul Haq’s father Abdul Haq, then a sitting senator, Nurududdin Shamzai and Yusuf Ludhianvi, both very eminent Deobandi religious scholars, and about 50 others) that apostatizes Shias and declares them ‘wajib-ul-qatl’ (subject to mandatory killing). The Anjuman-e-Sipah-e-Sahaba (ASS) and its gorier face, the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) were born as a result of this fatwa, as did the still continuing three decade old episode of Shia Genocide in Pakistan.

fatwa_quetta-e1307744924126One had hoped that this gift of General Zia Nahaq shall gradually die, and “enlightened moderation”, to which his successor usurper paid a lot of lip service, shall replace it, at least among the intelligentsia if not the clergy. So, on the one hand, while one is encouraged by the views of Maulana Ishaq Madani (Ahle-Hadith) and recent statement of Javed Ghamidi (ex-Jamaat-e-Islami), as also the officially expressed views of most religious parties, more so the Barelvis, that declare Shias to be Muslims, on the other hand one was discouraged to read a piece in a high circulation newspaper by Mr. Ansar Abbasi that almost parrots the ASS/LeJ position. Mr. Abbasi is not a lone wolf – his pack of backers is easily identifiable. This may, thus, be a feeler – if not the foundation – for enactment of the Hurmat-e-Sahaba bill introduced by the ASS terrorist Azam Tariq in the assembly – a piece of legislation that effectively apostatizes Shia Muslims.

Now let us go back to the 1986 Deobandi fatwa. It stated three ‘bases’ for takfeer (apostatization) of Shias:

1. That they believe in divinity of Hazrat Ali a.s. and the Imams a.s in his progeny, and thus at a higher status than the Holy Prophet (sawas)
2. That they believe the Quraan in its present form as having been tampered with and incomplete.
3. That they abuse sahaba (ra) (companions of the Holy Prophet (sawas)) and Ummuhaat al-Momineen (ra) (wives of the Holy Prophet (sawas))

Let us take a look at each of these ‘bases’:

The Ali a.s that Shia Muslims believe in prided in calling himself “a slave among the slaves of Muhammad (sawas)”. He was martyred while prostrating to Allah, as was his son and the third Imam Husain a.s. Can we logically believe a follower of the Holy Prophet (sawas) at a higher status than him? Is it logical that one prostrating to Allah is himself a divine being? Do divine beings face martyrdom as our Imams a.s. did?
Go to any Shia household, seminary or mosque anywhere in the world and pick up a copy of the Quraan there. Compare it with the ‘authentic’ Quraan. You will find not an iota of difference. In fact, the belief that Quraan can be tampered with is itself a blasphemy against the Divine Guarantee that, “It is We that revealed the Quraan, and it is We that shall keep it safe.” Shia religious scholars right from Sheikh Saduq (d. 991) to Syed Muhammad Husain Tabatabai (d. 1981) and Syed Abul Qasim Khu’I (d. 1992) have written detailed commentaries confirming what I have submitted.

These two purported ‘bases’ of takfeer are so absurd that they are no longer repeated as ‘reasons’ for apostatization of Shias. The third ‘basis’ – which Mr. Ansar Abbasi has reintroduced in the vernacular press – is trickier.

It is a matter of record that senior-most Shia scholars of today, Sayyed Ali Khamene’i (HA) and Sayyed Ali Sistani (HA) have issued decrees prohibiting (declaring ‘haraam’) abuse of those held in esteem by Sunni Muslims. Any Shia abusing any Ummul Momineen (ra) or Sahabi (ra) shall, therefore, be violating this decree and committing a forbidden act.

Having said that, I would submit the following:
1. While such abuse is a vile act, using it as a basis for takfeer has no basis in Quraan or Sunnah.
2. Not all who professed to have converted to Islam at the hands of the Holy Prophet (sawas) actually did so. That is clear by the presence of Sura al-Munafiqun (The Hypocrites) in the Quraan. So, it is logical that not all who apparently accepted Islam actually did so and were, therefore, at the level of being sahaba (ra).
3. What about those personalities who abused eminent sahaba? For instance, history records that Muavia initiated the practice of abusing Ali a.s. from Umayyad pulpits. Ummul Momineen Aisha (ra) has been quoted as saying: ”Uqtul al-Naasal” (Kill that old jew) in respect of Caliph Usman (ra). In their eagerness to apostatize Shia Muslims, are the Ulama-e-Deoband – and now Mr. Abbasi – not using the same sword for these two?
4. What about those who were responsible for killing of sahaba (ra)? More serious than abuse, perhaps? During the caliphate of Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra) a posse under his military commander killed the sahabi Malik ibne Nuwaira (ra) and Khalid bin Waleed raped his widow, also a sahabia. During the reign of Hazrat Usman (ra), the sahabi Abdullah ibne Masoud (ra) was beaten so severely by government functionaries that he died of his wounds. During the same period, Hazrat Abuzar (ra) was exiled to the desert on the bare back of a camel – an act that resulted in his death. And then the uprisings against the caliphate of Hazrat Ali a.s. in the form of Jamal (led by Ummul Momineen Aisha (ra) and Talha and Zubayr) and Siffin (led by Muavia, along with Marwan al-Hakam and Amr ibne Aas). Thousands of sahaba (ra) – including Hazrat Ammar ibne Yasir (ra) – lost their lives in these uprisings. What about those responsible for their being killed? And then what about those responsible for martyring the sahabi and Imam Husain ibne Ali a.s. at Karbala? Persons like Zakir Naik are on record as having sought Allah’s pleasure for the one responsible for the martyrdom of Husain (a.s.). Would the Deobandi decree also cover this friend of theirs?

In summary, my submission is simple: let us not commit the possible blasphemy of deciding on issues that fall exclusively under Divine Authority – or authority of those to whom He delegates it – but certainly not within our authority. In the process, we are also guilty of opening a can of worms that will apostatize those whose sanctity we are ostensibly trying to protect!

ulma deobandi deobandi

About the author

Guest Post

3 Comments

Click here to post a comment
  • (Ahlul Bayt News Agency) – Grand Iraqi Shiite Cleric, Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani said that there is no real difference between Sunnis and Shiites or Kurds and Christians, adding we are servants for all Iraqis.

    The Grand Ayatollah, Ali al-Sistani, during a meeting with a delegation of Sunni clerics from the southern governorates and the Kurdistan region and a representative of the Sunni Endowment, on the sidelines of the first national conference of religious scholars Shiites and Sunnis in Iraq in the city of Najaf, issued Fatwa in sanctity of Iraqi blood in general and Sunni in particular calling on Shiites to ward off danger from the Sunnis in Iraq. He emphasized that spilling the blood of Iraqis in general, and Sunnis in particular, is forbidden.

    Ayatollah Sistani affirmed: Today the Shi’ite must defend the human and political rights of the minority Sunnis. The rights of the Sunni, who are being persecuted, needs to be protected by the shi’ite and everyone else in Iraq – it is all of our responsibility.

    He added that our call is for unity, we do not differentiate between an Arab and Kurd, that Islam is the one who brings us together.

    The head of the Sunni delegation in southern Iraq, Sheikh Khalid Al Mulla, after the meeting with Grand Ayatollah Sistani said: The Grand Ayatollah called on Shiite brothers to protect their Sunni brethren and ward off danger for them.

    Mullah added: Sayyed al-Sistani said that I am a servant of the Iraqis, and there is no difference between Sunni or Shia or Kurd or Christian.

    Meanwhile The Secretary General of the People Trend, Ali al-Sajri, called the Sunni clergymen to follow the stance of the Grand Ayatollah, Ali al-Sistani, to save Iraq from the sectarianism created by the politicians.

    In a press statement, Sajri appreciated “Ayatollah Sistani’s stance in the current critical time created by the politicians who do not care for the interests of the Iraqi people.”

    “The religious authorities have to settle the crisis because the politicians failed to settle it and they keep it for their electoral propaganda without realizing its consequences,” he added.

    “The national project is not related to the politicians, but it is related to calls of the religious authorities to settle the crisis and start a new phase in Iraq,” he concluded.

    Also Iraqiya coalition Eman Mosa al-Mohammadi described the fatwa of religious authority, Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani in sanctity of Iraqi blood and Sunnis in particular as a bright picture of the religious authorities and their keenness on the unity of the country.

    She said “The religious authorities have always been and will remain a real safety valve to maintain the unity of the nation and the unity of its social fabric.”

    Mohammadi added that “the Fatwa, in its pure and obviously form, in this time is a painful blow to advocates of sectarian strife who are trying to drag the country into a dangerous slider.”
    http://abna.ir/data.asp?lang=3&Id=402789

  • Fatwa closes the doors in front of any sedition between the Sunnis and the Shiites
    Islam Times- In a wise step that will close the doors on any sedition between the Sunnis and the Shiites on the one hand, and will obstruct American and Israeli schemes on the other, a fatwa was issued on October the 2nd by the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Syed Ali Khamenei, which prohibits insulting the prophet’s companions, God bless them, and/or abusing the mothers of the faithful wives of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be on him and on his household).________________________________________ Khamenei’s fatwa is important despite the fact that dozens of the religious prominent Shiite symbols in Iran have earlier condemned the campaigns of abusing Sayeda Aisha, the wife of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) because he is a very prominent Marja. In fact, Khamenei is also the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, which includes the largest number of Shiites in the world.
    http://www.islamtimes.org/vdcgnu9w.ak9yq4j5ra.html