Did Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismāῑl Shahῑd RA say that the Prophet ﷺ has turned to sand?

 

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

It is the view of the ‘Ulamā of Deoband that the earth cannot eat or decompose the bodies of the Prophets ‘Alayhim Al Ṣalāh Wassalam after their deaths. Rather, the Prophets ‘Alayhim Al Ṣalāh Wassalam are alive in their graves.

Moulānā Khalῑl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrῑ Raḥmatullahi ‘Alayh writes in Al Muhannad ‘Alal Mufannad; a book detailing the beliefs of the ‘Ulamā of Deoband:

عِنْدَنَا وَعِنْدَ مَشَائِخِنَا حَضْرَةُ الرِّسَالَةِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ حَيٌّ فِيْ قَبْرِهِ الشَّرِيْفِ وَحَيَاتُهُ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ دُنْيَوِيَّةٌ مِنْ غَيْرِ تَكْلِيْفٍ وَهِيَ مُخْتَصَّةٌ بِهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ وَبِجَمِيْعِ الْأَنْبِيَاءِ صَلَوَاتُ اللهِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَالشُّهَدَاءِ 

“According to us and our elders, the Prophet Ṣallallāhu ‘Alayhi Wasallam is alive in his blessed grave. His, Ṣallallāhu ‘Alayhi Wasallam’s, living [in his grave] is the same as his living in this world, without any restrictions. This is specific for the Prophet Ṣallallāhu ‘Alayhi Wasallam, all the Prophets Ṣalāwatullāhi ‘Alayhim and the Martyrs”[1]

Taqwiyatul mān is a book written by Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismāῑl Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh.

Let us first briefly introduce this great personality from the Indian subcontinent.

A Brief Biography of Moulānā Shāh Ismāl Shahd Ramatullāhi ‘Alayh

Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismāῑl Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh was born on 12th Rabῑ’ Al Thānῑ 1193 AH (1779 CE) in Delhi. He was the son of Ḥadhrat Shāh ‘Abdul Ghanῑ Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh (d. 1227 AH) and the grandson of the erudite scholar, Ḥadhrat Shāh Waliullah Al Muḥaddith Al Dehlawῑ Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh (d.1176 AH).

At the age of 8, he completed the memorisation of the Holy Qur’ān. After this, he began to study the books of Arabic grammar (Naw), Arabic morphology (arf) and logic (Maniq) under his father.

After the passing of his father, he was nurtured by his uncle, son of Ḥadhrat Shāh Waliullah Al Muḥaddith Al Dehlawῑ Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh (d.1176 AH), Ḥadhrat Shāh ‘Abdul Qādir Al Dehlawῑ Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh (1230 AH).

Upon completion of his studies, he began to study the field of Ḥadῑth under his uncle, son of Ḥadhrat Shāh Waliullah Al Muḥaddith Al Dehlawῑ Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh (d.1176 AH), the masterly scholar, Ḥadhrat Shāh ‘Abdul ‘Azῑz Al Dehlawῑ Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh (d.1239 AH).

He also studied under his uncle, son of Ḥadhrat Shāh Waliullah Al Muḥaddith Al Dehlawῑ Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh (d.1176 AH), Ḥadhrat Shāh Rafῑ’ Al Dῑn Al Dehlawῑ Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh (d.1233 AH).

During his days of study, he not only focused on the books that he was studying, but also endeavoured to train his body in vocational arts such as archery, swimming, and fencing.

He was also a passionate ūf, taking a pledge (bay’ah) at the hands of Sayyid Aḥmad Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh (d.1245 AH) and writing a book in the field titled; aqqat-e-Tasawwuf.

Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismāῑl Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh also wrote many other books. They include:

1)     Al irāt Al Mustaqm

 

A book compiling the sayings of Sayyid Aḥmad Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh (d.1245 AH).

 

2)     dāh Al aq Al ar F Akām Al Mayyit Wal ar 

 

A book detailing the laws of innovation (bid’ah)

 

3)     Manab Imāmah

 

A book detailing the status of Prophethood.

 

4)     Imkān Al Nazr Wa Imtinā’ Al Nazr

 

5)     Raddul Ishrāk Wal Bida’

 

A book in the Arabic language in refutation of polytheism (shirk) and innovation (bid’ah).

 

6)     Risālah Fῑ Usūl Al Fiqh 

 

A treatise in the Arabic language on the principles of Fiqh (Usūl Al Fiqh). 

 

7)     Tanwrul ‘Aynayn F Ithbāt Raf’il Yadayn

 

8)     Silk Nūr

 

9)     Taqwiyatul mān

 

A book which is a translation in Hindi of the first chapter of his book, Raddul Ishrāk Wal Bida’.

He was married to Ummu Kulthūm Bint ‘Abdir Raḥmān, who was the niece of Shāh Rafῑ’ Al Dῑn Al Dehlawῑ Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh (d.1233 AH) and the granddaughter of Shāh ‘Abdul Qādir Al Dehlawῑ Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh (d.1230 AH).[2]

There are many great stories mentioned regarding Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismāῑl Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh’s bravery, knowledge, forbearance, and altruism.

On one occasion, he was invited to give a speech. During the speech, the people noticed that his tone was very low. The people found out that he had not eaten for a full day. When they presented some food to him, he smiled and said: “My companions are also hungry, I will not eat until they are also fed”.[3]

His memory was such that he would dictate five different articles to five different people at the same time.[4]

His teacher, Shāh ‘Abdul ‘Azῑz Al Dehlawi (d.1239 AH) referred to him as:

حُجَّةُ الْإِسْلَامِ 

“A proof for Islām”[5]

The author of Nuzhatul Khawātir, Shaykh ‘Abdul Ḥayy Al Ḥasanῑ (d.1341 AH), describes Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismāῑl Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh as:

أَحَدُ أَفْرَادِ الدُّنْيَا فِي الذَّكَاءِ وَالْفَطِنَةِ وَالشَّهَامَةِ وَقُوَّةِ النَّفْسِ وَالصَّلَابَةِ فِي الدِّيْنِ 

“A unique individual in the world in terms of intelligence, acumen, magnanimity, self-power and steadfastness in religion”[6]

He participated in many wars against the Sikhs during the reign of Ranjit Singh. He was considered the main advisor to Sayyid Aḥmad Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh (d.1245 AH)[7] and was martyred in 1246 AH in Balakot.

He was buried in Balakot.[8]

Did Moulānā Shāh Ismāl Shahd Ramatullāhi ‘Alayh hold the view that the Prophet Sallallāhu ‘Alayhi Wasallam has turned to sand?

A detailed answer showing the misinterpretation of Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismāῑl Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh’s comments has been given by the late Moulānā Sarfrāz Khān Ṣafdar Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh in his critically acclaimed work in the Urdu language:

عبارات اکابر

“The statements of the elders”

We have translated his response.

Moulānā Sarfrāz Khāafdar writes[9]:

The claim:

[Aḥmad Radhā] Khān Ṣāḥib Barelwῑ and his followers have raised an objection upon Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismāῑl Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh that he has, Allah forbid, claimed that after the Prophet Ṣallallāhu ‘Alayhi Wasallam’s demise, the Prophet Ṣallallāhu ‘Alayhi Wasallam turned to sand, in his grave. This is despite the fact that it is mentioned in an authentic narration that Allah Ta’āla has forbidden for the ground to eat the bodies of the blessed Prophets ‘Alayhim Al Ṣalāh Wassalām.

Thus, [Aḥmad Radhā] Khān Ṣāḥib [Barelwῑ] writes:

“In Taqwiyatul mān, page 20, a [portion of a] Ḥadῑth has been mentioned:

أَرَأَيْتَ لَوْ مَرَرْتَ بِقَبْرِيْ أَكُنْتَ تَسْجُدُ لَهُ 

“Do you see that if you were to pass by my grave, would you prostrate before it?”

He (the author of Taqwiyatul mān, Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismāῑl Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh) then translates this Ḥadῑth with the words:

بھلا  خیال  تو  کر  جو  تو  گزرے  میری  قبر  پر  کیا  سجدہ  کرے  

“Think! If you were to pass by my grave, would you prostrate in front of it?”

In discussing the explanation of the Ḥadῑth, he adds that the meaning of the Ḥadῑth is: “I (Prophet Ṣallallāhu ‘Alayhi Wasallam) will also die and mix in sand one day”. Those who support and honour him (the author of Taqwiyatul mān, Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismāῑl Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh), [I ask you], which word of the Ḥadῑth indicates towards this meaning [that he has extracted]? On one side, you have the words of the Ḥadῑth: “If you were to visit my grave” and on the other side, you have the filthy meaning that [he has extracted]: “I shall die and mix in sand”. Look at this open slander upon the Prophet Ṣallallāhu ‘Alayhi Wasallam?

The Prophet Ṣallallāhu ‘Alayhi Wasallam says:

مَنْ كَذَبَ عَلَيَّ مُتَعَمِّدًا فَلْيَتَبَوَّأْ مَقْعَدَهُ مِنَ النَّارِ 

“He who lies upon me intentionally should prepare his abode in the [Hell]fire”

Oh Wahhābis! Show us the abode of your scholar (the author of Taqwiyatul mān, Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismāῑl Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh) in light of the Ḥadῑth of the Prophet Ṣallallāhu ‘Alayhi Wasallam.

Our Prophet Ṣallallāhu ‘Alayhi Wasallam has said:

إِنَّ اللهَ حَرَّمَ عَلَى الْأَرْضِ أَنْ تَأْكُلَ أَجْسَادَ الْأَنْبِيَاءِ 

“Surely Allah has forbidden the earth from eating the bodies of the Prophets”

Oh Wahhābis! Look at how your scholar has blasphemed our Prophet Ṣallallāhu ‘Alayhi Wasallam”

[Kawkabah Al Shihābiyyah ‘Alā Kufriyāt Abil Wahhābiyyah, p.27, Maḥal Murād Ābād]

The response

Let us first present the exact statement of Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismāῑl Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh as found in Taqwiyatul mān. Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismāῑl Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh first presents the following Ḥadῑth:

عَنْ قَيْسِ بْنِ سَعْدٍ قَالَ أَتَيْتُ الْحِيرَةَ فَرَأَيْتُهُمْ يَسْجُدُونَ لِمَرْزُبَانٍ لَهُمْ فَقُلْتُ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ أَحَقُّ أَنْ يُسْجَدَ لَهُ قَالَ فَأَتَيْتُ النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَقُلْتُ إِنِّي أَتَيْتُ الْحِيرَةَ فَرَأَيْتُهُمْ يَسْجُدُونَ لِمَرْزُبَانٍ لَهُمْ فَأَنْتَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ أَحَقُّ أَنْ نَسْجُدَ لَكَ قَالَ "أَرَأَيْتَ لَوْ مَرَرْتَ بِقَبْرِي أَكُنْتَ تَسْجُدُ لَهُ؟" قَالَ قُلْتُ لَا قَالَ "فَلَا تَفْعَلُوا"

After mentioning this Ḥadῑth, Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismāῑl Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh translates the Ḥadῑth into Urdu as follows:

ترجمہ!  مشکوۃ  کے  باب  عشرۃ  النساء  میں  لکھا  ہے  کہ  ابو  داؤد  نے  ذکر  کیا  کہ  (سیدنا  حضرت)  قیس  بن  سعد  (رضی  اللہ  تعالی  عنہ)  نے  نقل  کیا  کہ  گیا  میں  ایک  شہر  میں جس  کا  نام  حیرہ  ہے  سو  دیکھا  میں  نے  وہاں  کے  لوگوں  کو  سجدہ  کرتے  تھے  اپنے  راجہ  کو  سو  کہا  میں  نے  البتہ  پیغمبر  خدا  صلی  اللہ  علیہ  وسلم  زیادہ  لائق  ہیں  کہ  سجدہ  کیجے   ان  کو  پھر  آیا  میں  پیغمبر  خدا  صلی  اللہ  تعالی  علیہ  وسلم  کے  پاس  پھر  کہا  میں  نے  کہ  گیا  تھا  میں  حیرہ  میں سو  دیکھا  میں  نے  ان  لوگوں  کو  کہ  سجدہ  کرتے  ہیں  اپنے  راجہ  کو  سو  تم  بہت  لائق  ہو  کہ  سجدہ  کریں  ہم  تم  کو-  تو  فرمایا  مجھ  کو  بھلا  خیال  تو  کر  جو  تو  گزرے  میری  قبر  پر  کیا  سجدہ  کرے  تو  اس  کو؟ کہا  میں  نے  نہیں!  فرمایا  مت کرو-

ف – یعنی  میں  بھی  ایک  دن  مر  کر  مٹی  میں  ملنے  والا  ہوں  تو  کب  سجدہ  کے  لائق  ہوں-  سجدہ  تو  اسی  ذات  پاک  کو  ہے  کہ  نہ  مرے  کبھی-  اس  حدیث  پاک  سے  معلوم  ہوا  کہ  سجدہ  نہ  کسی  زندہ  کو  کیجیے   نہ  کسی  مردہ  کو  نہ  کسی  قبر  کو  کیجیے  نہ  کسی  تھان  کو  کیوں  کہ  جو  زندہ  ہے  سو  ایک  دن  مرنے  والا  ہے  اور  جو  مر گیا  سو  کبھی  زندہ  تھا  اور بشریت  کی  قید  میں  گرفتار  پھر  مر  کر  خدا  نہیں  بن  گیا  بندہ ہی  بندہ  ہے

“Translation! It has been mentioned in the chapter of the companionship of women (Bāb ‘Ushrah Al Nisā) of Mishkāt that [Imām] Abū Dāwūd [Raḥimahullah] states that Ḥadhrat Qays ibn Sa’d Radhiyallāhu ‘Anhu said:

“I went to a place called Ḥῑrah and saw the people over there prostrating to their king. So, I said [to myself]: “Indeed, the Prophet Ṣallallāhu ‘Alayhi Wasallam is more worthy of being prostrated towards”. Later on, I came to the Prophet Ṣallallāhu ‘Alayhi Wasallam and told him that I went to a place called Ḥῑrah and saw the people over there prostrating to their king, oh Prophet of Allah, you are more worthy of being prostrated towards. So he said “think! If you were to pass by my grave, would you prostrate in front of it?” I replied “no”. He responded “don’t do such a thing””

Explanation – the meaning [of the statement “If you were to pass by my grave, would you prostrate in front of it?”] is that “I am also to die and mix in sand one day, so how can you prostrate before me? Sajdah is only performed before the Being that does not die”. This Ḥadῑth tells us that prostration should not be made before a living person, a deceased person, a grave or a shrine. This is because everyone that is alive will die and everyone that is dead was once alive and shackled in the chains of humanity. Nobody became a god after death; everyone remained a servant.”

All that Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismāῑl Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh has mentioned in the statement above is an explanation and elaboration of a Ḥadῑth. In it, he has explained the reason as to why one should not prostrate to anything or anyone besides Allah Ta’āla. The reason for this is that prostration cannot be made in front of a being that is going to die and be buried in sand. Rather, prostration can only be made in front of that Being who will live forever, will not die, and will not be buried in sand; and who can this Being be other than the Lord? For it is only He who is حي لا يموت – “One Who is Living and will not die”. All others besides Him shall die – كل نفس ذائقة الموت – “Every soul shall taste death”.

Now, let us elaborate upon the statement of Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismāῑl Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh wherein he interpreted the words of the Prophet Ṣallallāhu ‘Alayhi Wasallam to mean:

میں  بھی  ایک  دن  مر  کر  مٹی  میں  ملنے  والا  ہوں

“I will also die and mix in sand one day”

If Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismāῑl Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh meant that the Prophet Ṣallallāhu ‘Alayhi Wasallam’s body shall become sand just as the bodies of ordinary human beings shall turn to sand, then this statement is obviously an objectionable statement and contrary to an authentic narration which explicitly mentions that Allah Ta’āla has prohibited for the earth to eat the bodies of the Prophets ‘Alayhim Al Ṣalāh Wassalām.

However, this is not the intended meaning of Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismāῑl Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh’s statement and nor would a Muslim intend such a meaning. Rather, he simply meant that the Prophet Ṣallallāhu ‘Alayhi Wasallam would also pass away and would also be buried in a grave; thus his blessed body would touch and meet the sand of the grave. He did not intend that, Allah forbid, the body of the Prophet Ṣallallāhu ‘Alayhi Wasallam will turn to sand.

A person once presented this quote from Taqwiyatul mān to the erudite scholar, Muftῑ Rashῑd Aḥmad Gangohῑ Rahmatullahi Alayh, and said:

“This quote creates doubt; what is meant by the statement ملنا میں مٹی - ‘mix in sand’? The opposition, with their leader being Aḥmad Radhā Khān Ṣāḥib Barelwῑ accuse Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismāῑl Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh of having the view that the bodies of the Prophets ‘Alayhim Al Ṣalāh Wassalām shall turn to sand. Please explain.”

Muftῑ Rashῑd Aḥmad Gangohῑ Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh replied:

“The statement ملنا میں مٹی - ‘mix in sand’ has two meanings:

1)     To turn to sand and mix with the earth just as how many things that fall on sand eventually become a part of the sand

 

2)     To touch the sand

The second meaning is the meaning intended by Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismāῑl Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh as he himself was of the view that the bodies of the Prophets ‘Alayhim Al Ṣalāh Wassalām do not turn to sand.

Hence, due to the fact that a deceased person is surrounded by sand and his body and burial shroud touch the sand, it is said that his body ‘mixes in the sand’. Accordingly, there is no basis for any accusation.

And Allah Ta’āla knows best.

Rashῑd Aḥmad”

[Fatāwā Rashdiyyah, v.1, p.9, Delhi]

Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismāῑl Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh’s view that the Prophet Ṣallallāhu ‘Alayhi Wasallam is alive in his grave may be understood from the following poem written by Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismāῑl Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh himself:

ان   آنکھوں  سے  ہر  چند  وہ  جسم  پاک

بظاہر  ہوا  مختفی  زیر  خاک

“Although outwardly that pure body is hidden from these eyes beneath the earth

ولے  نور  ان  کا  ہے  قائم  مقام

کہ  ہر  پاک  دل  میں  ہے  ان  کا  مقام

“Its light stands in its place, as there is a place for it in every sound heart”[10]

If [Aḥmad Radhā] Khān Ṣāḥib Barelwῑ were to make the effort of picking up an Urdu dictionary, this issue would have been resolved very quickly.

The word ملنا is brought in the Urdu language for many meanings which vary according to the presentation of a sentence and the intention of the speaker. The famous Urdu dictionary, NūAl Lugāt, defines the word ملنا as:

پیوستہ ہونا – ملحق ہونا – چسپاں ہونا –ایک ذات ہونا

“To stick, to be adjacent to, to affix, to become one”

[Nūr Al Lugāt, v.4, p.632]

The Urdu dictionary, Jāmi’ Al Lugāt defines the ملنا as:

دفن ہونا- مٹی میں پڑنا

“To be buried, to lie in sand”

[Jāmi’ Al Lugāt, v.2, p.565]

The Urdu dictionary, Munayyir Al Lugāt defines the ملنا as:

خاک میں ملنا-دفن ہونا

“To meet in dust, to be buried”

[Munayyir Al Lugāt, p.90]

The Urdu dictionary, Nūr Al Lugāt also mentions:

لفظ  "میں"  کبھی  "سے"  کے  معنی  میں  بھی  استعمال  کیا  جاتا  ہے  جیسے  کہتے  ہیں "درخت  میں   باندھ  دو "  یعنی "درخت  سے  باندھ  دو"

“The word ‘in’ can at times come in the meaning of ‘with’ [in the Urdu language] such as when we say “tie it in the tree” i.e. “tie it with the tree”

[Nūr Al Lugāt, v.4, p.738]

It is a unanimously accepted principle that a statement should be interpreted within its context. In the context of the discussion in reference, it is unprincipled to interpret Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismāῑl Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh’s statement in isolation and make a wrong attribution to Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismāῑl Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh about the blessed body of the Prophet Ṣallallāhu ‘Alayhi Wasallam.

It is the belief of all the ‘Ulamā of Deoband including that of Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismāῑl Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh that while the Prophet Ṣallallāhu ‘Alayhi Wasallam is in his grave (qabr); which is made of sand, his blessed body is absolutely intact.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best 

Mu’ādh Chati

Student Darul Iftaa
Blackburn, England, UK

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

 



[1] عقائد علماۓ دیوبند اور حسام الحرمین – المہند علی المفند - (221) دار الاشاعت 

 

انظر إلى:

"جزء حياة الأنبياء" للبيهقي

"حياة الأنبياء" لتقي الدين السبكي

"إنباه الأذكياء في حياة الأنبياء" للسيوطس

وقد جمع هذه الرسالة الحكميم محمود أحمد ظفر السيالكوتي وهو مطبوع بـإدارة المعارف الإسلامية 

 

 

[2] شاہ اسماعیل محدث دہلوی شہید بالاکوٹ لپروفیسر خالد محمود (26) مکتبہ دار المعارف 

 

[3] ارواح ثلاثہ (53) مکتبہ عمر فاروق 

 

[4] ارواح ثلاثہ (81) مکتبہ عمر فاروق

 

[5] شاہ اسماعیل محدث دہلوی شہید بالاکوٹ لپروفیسر خالد محمود (26) مکتبہ دار المعارف 

 

[6] وكان كالوزير للإمام

نزهة الخواطر (914) دار ابن حزم

 

[7] وكان كالوزير للإمام

نزهة الخواطر (914) دار ابن حزم

 

[8] وقبره ظاهر مشهور بها

زهة الخواطر (916) دار ابن حزم

[9] عبارات اکابر (74-78) مکتبہ صفدریہ

[10] شاہ اسماعیل محدث دہلوی شہید بالاکوٹ لپروفیسر خالد محمود (132) مکتبہ دار المعارف

 

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

It is the view of the ‘Ulamā of Deoband that the earth cannot eat or decompose the bodies of the Prophets ‘Alayhim Al Ṣalāh Wassalam after their deaths. Rather, the Prophets ‘Alayhim Al Ṣalāh Wassalam are alive in their graves.

Moulānā Khalῑl Aḥmad Sahāranpūrῑ Raḥmatullahi ‘Alayh writes in Al Muhannad ‘Alal Mufannad; a book detailing the beliefs of the ‘Ulamā of Deoband:

عِنْدَنَا وَعِنْدَ مَشَائِخِنَا حَضْرَةُ الرِّسَالَةِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ حَيٌّ فِيْ قَبْرِهِ الشَّرِيْفِ وَحَيَاتُهُ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ دُنْيَوِيَّةٌ مِنْ غَيْرِ تَكْلِيْفٍ وَهِيَ مُخْتَصَّةٌ بِهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ وَبِجَمِيْعِ الْأَنْبِيَاءِ صَلَوَاتُ اللهِ عَلَيْهِمْ وَالشُّهَدَاءِ 

“According to us and our elders, the Prophet Ṣallallāhu ‘Alayhi Wasallam is alive in his blessed grave. His, Ṣallallāhu ‘Alayhi Wasallam’s, living [in his grave] is the same as his living in this world, without any restrictions. This is specific for the Prophet Ṣallallāhu ‘Alayhi Wasallam, all the Prophets Ṣalāwatullāhi ‘Alayhim and the Martyrs”[1]

Taqwiyatul mān is a book written by Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismāῑl Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh.

Let us first briefly introduce this great personality from the Indian subcontinent.

A Brief Biography of Moulānā Shāh Ismāl Shahd Ramatullāhi ‘Alayh

Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismāῑl Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh was born on 12th Rabῑ’ Al Thānῑ 1193 AH (1779 CE) in Delhi. He was the son of Ḥadhrat Shāh ‘Abdul Ghanῑ Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh (d. 1227 AH) and the grandson of the erudite scholar, Ḥadhrat Shāh Waliullah Al Muḥaddith Al Dehlawῑ Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh (d.1176 AH).

At the age of 8, he completed the memorisation of the Holy Qur’ān. After this, he began to study the books of Arabic grammar (Naw), Arabic morphology (arf) and logic (Maniq) under his father.

After the passing of his father, he was nurtured by his uncle, son of Ḥadhrat Shāh Waliullah Al Muḥaddith Al Dehlawῑ Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh (d.1176 AH), Ḥadhrat Shāh ‘Abdul Qādir Al Dehlawῑ Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh (1230 AH).

Upon completion of his studies, he began to study the field of Ḥadῑth under his uncle, son of Ḥadhrat Shāh Waliullah Al Muḥaddith Al Dehlawῑ Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh (d.1176 AH), the masterly scholar, Ḥadhrat Shāh ‘Abdul ‘Azῑz Al Dehlawῑ Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh (d.1239 AH).

He also studied under his uncle, son of Ḥadhrat Shāh Waliullah Al Muḥaddith Al Dehlawῑ Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh (d.1176 AH), Ḥadhrat Shāh Rafῑ’ Al Dῑn Al Dehlawῑ Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh (d.1233 AH).

During his days of study, he not only focused on the books that he was studying, but also endeavoured to train his body in vocational arts such as archery, swimming, and fencing.

He was also a passionate ūf, taking a pledge (bay’ah) at the hands of Sayyid Aḥmad Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh (d.1245 AH) and writing a book in the field titled; aqqat-e-Tasawwuf.

Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismāῑl Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh also wrote many other books. They include:

1)     Al irāt Al Mustaqm

 

A book compiling the sayings of Sayyid Aḥmad Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh (d.1245 AH).

 

2)     dāh Al aq Al ar F Akām Al Mayyit Wal ar 

 

A book detailing the laws of innovation (bid’ah)

 

3)     Manab Imāmah

 

A book detailing the status of Prophethood.

 

4)     Imkān Al Nazr Wa Imtinā’ Al Nazr

 

5)     Raddul Ishrāk Wal Bida’

 

A book in the Arabic language in refutation of polytheism (shirk) and innovation (bid’ah).

 

6)     Risālah Fῑ Usūl Al Fiqh 

 

A treatise in the Arabic language on the principles of Fiqh (Usūl Al Fiqh). 

 

7)     Tanwrul ‘Aynayn F Ithbāt Raf’il Yadayn

 

8)     Silk Nūr

 

9)     Taqwiyatul mān

 

A book which is a translation in Hindi of the first chapter of his book, Raddul Ishrāk Wal Bida’.

He was married to Ummu Kulthūm Bint ‘Abdir Raḥmān, who was the niece of Shāh Rafῑ’ Al Dῑn Al Dehlawῑ Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh (d.1233 AH) and the granddaughter of Shāh ‘Abdul Qādir Al Dehlawῑ Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh (d.1230 AH).[2]

There are many great stories mentioned regarding Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismāῑl Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh’s bravery, knowledge, forbearance, and altruism.

On one occasion, he was invited to give a speech. During the speech, the people noticed that his tone was very low. The people found out that he had not eaten for a full day. When they presented some food to him, he smiled and said: “My companions are also hungry, I will not eat until they are also fed”.[3]

His memory was such that he would dictate five different articles to five different people at the same time.[4]

His teacher, Shāh ‘Abdul ‘Azῑz Al Dehlawi (d.1239 AH) referred to him as:

حُجَّةُ الْإِسْلَامِ 

“A proof for Islām”[5]

The author of Nuzhatul Khawātir, Shaykh ‘Abdul Ḥayy Al Ḥasanῑ (d.1341 AH), describes Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismāῑl Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh as:

أَحَدُ أَفْرَادِ الدُّنْيَا فِي الذَّكَاءِ وَالْفَطِنَةِ وَالشَّهَامَةِ وَقُوَّةِ النَّفْسِ وَالصَّلَابَةِ فِي الدِّيْنِ 

“A unique individual in the world in terms of intelligence, acumen, magnanimity, self-power and steadfastness in religion”[6]

He participated in many wars against the Sikhs during the reign of Ranjit Singh. He was considered the main advisor to Sayyid Aḥmad Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh (d.1245 AH)[7] and was martyred in 1246 AH in Balakot.

He was buried in Balakot.[8]

Did Moulānā Shāh Ismāl Shahd Ramatullāhi ‘Alayh hold the view that the Prophet Sallallāhu ‘Alayhi Wasallam has turned to sand?

A detailed answer showing the misinterpretation of Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismāῑl Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh’s comments has been given by the late Moulānā Sarfrāz Khān Ṣafdar Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh in his critically acclaimed work in the Urdu language:

عبارات اکابر

“The statements of the elders”

We have translated his response.

Moulānā Sarfrāz Khāafdar writes[9]:

The claim:

[Aḥmad Radhā] Khān Ṣāḥib Barelwῑ and his followers have raised an objection upon Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismāῑl Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh that he has, Allah forbid, claimed that after the Prophet Ṣallallāhu ‘Alayhi Wasallam’s demise, the Prophet Ṣallallāhu ‘Alayhi Wasallam turned to sand, in his grave. This is despite the fact that it is mentioned in an authentic narration that Allah Ta’āla has forbidden for the ground to eat the bodies of the blessed Prophets ‘Alayhim Al Ṣalāh Wassalām.

Thus, [Aḥmad Radhā] Khān Ṣāḥib [Barelwῑ] writes:

“In Taqwiyatul mān, page 20, a [portion of a] Ḥadῑth has been mentioned:

أَرَأَيْتَ لَوْ مَرَرْتَ بِقَبْرِيْ أَكُنْتَ تَسْجُدُ لَهُ 

“Do you see that if you were to pass by my grave, would you prostrate before it?”

He (the author of Taqwiyatul mān, Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismāῑl Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh) then translates this Ḥadῑth with the words:

بھلا  خیال  تو  کر  جو  تو  گزرے  میری  قبر  پر  کیا  سجدہ  کرے  

“Think! If you were to pass by my grave, would you prostrate in front of it?”

In discussing the explanation of the Ḥadῑth, he adds that the meaning of the Ḥadῑth is: “I (Prophet Ṣallallāhu ‘Alayhi Wasallam) will also die and mix in sand one day”. Those who support and honour him (the author of Taqwiyatul mān, Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismāῑl Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh), [I ask you], which word of the Ḥadῑth indicates towards this meaning [that he has extracted]? On one side, you have the words of the Ḥadῑth: “If you were to visit my grave” and on the other side, you have the filthy meaning that [he has extracted]: “I shall die and mix in sand”. Look at this open slander upon the Prophet Ṣallallāhu ‘Alayhi Wasallam?

The Prophet Ṣallallāhu ‘Alayhi Wasallam says:

مَنْ كَذَبَ عَلَيَّ مُتَعَمِّدًا فَلْيَتَبَوَّأْ مَقْعَدَهُ مِنَ النَّارِ 

“He who lies upon me intentionally should prepare his abode in the [Hell]fire”

Oh Wahhābis! Show us the abode of your scholar (the author of Taqwiyatul mān, Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismāῑl Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh) in light of the Ḥadῑth of the Prophet Ṣallallāhu ‘Alayhi Wasallam.

Our Prophet Ṣallallāhu ‘Alayhi Wasallam has said:

إِنَّ اللهَ حَرَّمَ عَلَى الْأَرْضِ أَنْ تَأْكُلَ أَجْسَادَ الْأَنْبِيَاءِ 

“Surely Allah has forbidden the earth from eating the bodies of the Prophets”

Oh Wahhābis! Look at how your scholar has blasphemed our Prophet Ṣallallāhu ‘Alayhi Wasallam”

[Kawkabah Al Shihābiyyah ‘Alā Kufriyāt Abil Wahhābiyyah, p.27, Maḥal Murād Ābād]

The response

Let us first present the exact statement of Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismāῑl Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh as found in Taqwiyatul mān. Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismāῑl Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh first presents the following Ḥadῑth:

عَنْ قَيْسِ بْنِ سَعْدٍ قَالَ أَتَيْتُ الْحِيرَةَ فَرَأَيْتُهُمْ يَسْجُدُونَ لِمَرْزُبَانٍ لَهُمْ فَقُلْتُ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ أَحَقُّ أَنْ يُسْجَدَ لَهُ قَالَ فَأَتَيْتُ النَّبِيَّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ فَقُلْتُ إِنِّي أَتَيْتُ الْحِيرَةَ فَرَأَيْتُهُمْ يَسْجُدُونَ لِمَرْزُبَانٍ لَهُمْ فَأَنْتَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ أَحَقُّ أَنْ نَسْجُدَ لَكَ قَالَ "أَرَأَيْتَ لَوْ مَرَرْتَ بِقَبْرِي أَكُنْتَ تَسْجُدُ لَهُ؟" قَالَ قُلْتُ لَا قَالَ "فَلَا تَفْعَلُوا"

After mentioning this Ḥadῑth, Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismāῑl Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh translates the Ḥadῑth into Urdu as follows:

ترجمہ!  مشکوۃ  کے  باب  عشرۃ  النساء  میں  لکھا  ہے  کہ  ابو  داؤد  نے  ذکر  کیا  کہ  (سیدنا  حضرت)  قیس  بن  سعد  (رضی  اللہ  تعالی  عنہ)  نے  نقل  کیا  کہ  گیا  میں  ایک  شہر  میں جس  کا  نام  حیرہ  ہے  سو  دیکھا  میں  نے  وہاں  کے  لوگوں  کو  سجدہ  کرتے  تھے  اپنے  راجہ  کو  سو  کہا  میں  نے  البتہ  پیغمبر  خدا  صلی  اللہ  علیہ  وسلم  زیادہ  لائق  ہیں  کہ  سجدہ  کیجے   ان  کو  پھر  آیا  میں  پیغمبر  خدا  صلی  اللہ  تعالی  علیہ  وسلم  کے  پاس  پھر  کہا  میں  نے  کہ  گیا  تھا  میں  حیرہ  میں سو  دیکھا  میں  نے  ان  لوگوں  کو  کہ  سجدہ  کرتے  ہیں  اپنے  راجہ  کو  سو  تم  بہت  لائق  ہو  کہ  سجدہ  کریں  ہم  تم  کو-  تو  فرمایا  مجھ  کو  بھلا  خیال  تو  کر  جو  تو  گزرے  میری  قبر  پر  کیا  سجدہ  کرے  تو  اس  کو؟ کہا  میں  نے  نہیں!  فرمایا  مت کرو-

ف – یعنی  میں  بھی  ایک  دن  مر  کر  مٹی  میں  ملنے  والا  ہوں  تو  کب  سجدہ  کے  لائق  ہوں-  سجدہ  تو  اسی  ذات  پاک  کو  ہے  کہ  نہ  مرے  کبھی-  اس  حدیث  پاک  سے  معلوم  ہوا  کہ  سجدہ  نہ  کسی  زندہ  کو  کیجیے   نہ  کسی  مردہ  کو  نہ  کسی  قبر  کو  کیجیے  نہ  کسی  تھان  کو  کیوں  کہ  جو  زندہ  ہے  سو  ایک  دن  مرنے  والا  ہے  اور  جو  مر گیا  سو  کبھی  زندہ  تھا  اور بشریت  کی  قید  میں  گرفتار  پھر  مر  کر  خدا  نہیں  بن  گیا  بندہ ہی  بندہ  ہے

“Translation! It has been mentioned in the chapter of the companionship of women (Bāb ‘Ushrah Al Nisā) of Mishkāt that [Imām] Abū Dāwūd [Raḥimahullah] states that Ḥadhrat Qays ibn Sa’d Radhiyallāhu ‘Anhu said:

“I went to a place called Ḥῑrah and saw the people over there prostrating to their king. So, I said [to myself]: “Indeed, the Prophet Ṣallallāhu ‘Alayhi Wasallam is more worthy of being prostrated towards”. Later on, I came to the Prophet Ṣallallāhu ‘Alayhi Wasallam and told him that I went to a place called Ḥῑrah and saw the people over there prostrating to their king, oh Prophet of Allah, you are more worthy of being prostrated towards. So he said “think! If you were to pass by my grave, would you prostrate in front of it?” I replied “no”. He responded “don’t do such a thing””

Explanation – the meaning [of the statement “If you were to pass by my grave, would you prostrate in front of it?”] is that “I am also to die and mix in sand one day, so how can you prostrate before me? Sajdah is only performed before the Being that does not die”. This Ḥadῑth tells us that prostration should not be made before a living person, a deceased person, a grave or a shrine. This is because everyone that is alive will die and everyone that is dead was once alive and shackled in the chains of humanity. Nobody became a god after death; everyone remained a servant.”

All that Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismāῑl Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh has mentioned in the statement above is an explanation and elaboration of a Ḥadῑth. In it, he has explained the reason as to why one should not prostrate to anything or anyone besides Allah Ta’āla. The reason for this is that prostration cannot be made in front of a being that is going to die and be buried in sand. Rather, prostration can only be made in front of that Being who will live forever, will not die, and will not be buried in sand; and who can this Being be other than the Lord? For it is only He who is حي لا يموت – “One Who is Living and will not die”. All others besides Him shall die – كل نفس ذائقة الموت – “Every soul shall taste death”.

Now, let us elaborate upon the statement of Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismāῑl Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh wherein he interpreted the words of the Prophet Ṣallallāhu ‘Alayhi Wasallam to mean:

میں  بھی  ایک  دن  مر  کر  مٹی  میں  ملنے  والا  ہوں

“I will also die and mix in sand one day”

If Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismāῑl Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh meant that the Prophet Ṣallallāhu ‘Alayhi Wasallam’s body shall become sand just as the bodies of ordinary human beings shall turn to sand, then this statement is obviously an objectionable statement and contrary to an authentic narration which explicitly mentions that Allah Ta’āla has prohibited for the earth to eat the bodies of the Prophets ‘Alayhim Al Ṣalāh Wassalām.

However, this is not the intended meaning of Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismāῑl Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh’s statement and nor would a Muslim intend such a meaning. Rather, he simply meant that the Prophet Ṣallallāhu ‘Alayhi Wasallam would also pass away and would also be buried in a grave; thus his blessed body would touch and meet the sand of the grave. He did not intend that, Allah forbid, the body of the Prophet Ṣallallāhu ‘Alayhi Wasallam will turn to sand.

A person once presented this quote from Taqwiyatul mān to the erudite scholar, Muftῑ Rashῑd Aḥmad Gangohῑ Rahmatullahi Alayh, and said:

“This quote creates doubt; what is meant by the statement ملنا میں مٹی - ‘mix in sand’? The opposition, with their leader being Aḥmad Radhā Khān Ṣāḥib Barelwῑ accuse Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismāῑl Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh of having the view that the bodies of the Prophets ‘Alayhim Al Ṣalāh Wassalām shall turn to sand. Please explain.”

Muftῑ Rashῑd Aḥmad Gangohῑ Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh replied:

“The statement ملنا میں مٹی - ‘mix in sand’ has two meanings:

1)     To turn to sand and mix with the earth just as how many things that fall on sand eventually become a part of the sand

 

2)     To touch the sand

The second meaning is the meaning intended by Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismāῑl Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh as he himself was of the view that the bodies of the Prophets ‘Alayhim Al Ṣalāh Wassalām do not turn to sand.

Hence, due to the fact that a deceased person is surrounded by sand and his body and burial shroud touch the sand, it is said that his body ‘mixes in the sand’. Accordingly, there is no basis for any accusation.

And Allah Ta’āla knows best.

Rashῑd Aḥmad”

[Fatāwā Rashdiyyah, v.1, p.9, Delhi]

Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismāῑl Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh’s view that the Prophet Ṣallallāhu ‘Alayhi Wasallam is alive in his grave may be understood from the following poem written by Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismāῑl Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh himself:

ان   آنکھوں  سے  ہر  چند  وہ  جسم  پاک

بظاہر  ہوا  مختفی  زیر  خاک

“Although outwardly that pure body is hidden from these eyes beneath the earth

ولے  نور  ان  کا  ہے  قائم  مقام

کہ  ہر  پاک  دل  میں  ہے  ان  کا  مقام

“Its light stands in its place, as there is a place for it in every sound heart”[10]

If [Aḥmad Radhā] Khān Ṣāḥib Barelwῑ were to make the effort of picking up an Urdu dictionary, this issue would have been resolved very quickly.

The word ملنا is brought in the Urdu language for many meanings which vary according to the presentation of a sentence and the intention of the speaker. The famous Urdu dictionary, NūAl Lugāt, defines the word ملنا as:

پیوستہ ہونا – ملحق ہونا – چسپاں ہونا –ایک ذات ہونا

“To stick, to be adjacent to, to affix, to become one”

[Nūr Al Lugāt, v.4, p.632]

The Urdu dictionary, Jāmi’ Al Lugāt defines the ملنا as:

دفن ہونا- مٹی میں پڑنا

“To be buried, to lie in sand”

[Jāmi’ Al Lugāt, v.2, p.565]

The Urdu dictionary, Munayyir Al Lugāt defines the ملنا as:

خاک میں ملنا-دفن ہونا

“To meet in dust, to be buried”

[Munayyir Al Lugāt, p.90]

The Urdu dictionary, Nūr Al Lugāt also mentions:

لفظ  "میں"  کبھی  "سے"  کے  معنی  میں  بھی  استعمال  کیا  جاتا  ہے  جیسے  کہتے  ہیں "درخت  میں   باندھ  دو "  یعنی "درخت  سے  باندھ  دو"

“The word ‘in’ can at times come in the meaning of ‘with’ [in the Urdu language] such as when we say “tie it in the tree” i.e. “tie it with the tree”

[Nūr Al Lugāt, v.4, p.738]

It is a unanimously accepted principle that a statement should be interpreted within its context. In the context of the discussion in reference, it is unprincipled to interpret Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismāῑl Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh’s statement in isolation and make a wrong attribution to Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismāῑl Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh about the blessed body of the Prophet Ṣallallāhu ‘Alayhi Wasallam.

It is the belief of all the ‘Ulamā of Deoband including that of Ḥadhrat Moulānā Shāh Ismāῑl Shahῑd Raḥmatullāhi ‘Alayh that while the Prophet Ṣallallāhu ‘Alayhi Wasallam is in his grave (qabr); which is made of sand, his blessed body is absolutely intact.

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best 

Mu’ādh Chati

Student Darul Iftaa
Blackburn, England, UK

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

KHARWASTAN

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