CRITICISM AND THE RIGHT OF CRITICISM
A literal translation of a letter entitled: “Tanqeed aur Haqqe Tanqeed” which appeared in the Dhul-Hijjah of the Bayanaat – Karachi
by Maulana Muhammad Yoosuf Ludhianwi
You have a high regard for Maulana Sayyid Abdul Aa’la Maududi. This question may be surprising and shocking to you that why the respected elders of the Ummah are up in arms against Janab Maulana Sayyid Abdul Aa’la Maududi and his ‘Islamic Movement’. I ask you that why did the Ulama oppose Sir Sayyid Ahmed Khan’s ‘Islaah Islam’ move- ment, Abdullah Chackralwi’s ‘Qur’aanic Movement’, Ghulam Ahmed Parvez’s ‘Tulu Islam’ movement, Dr. Fazkyrragnab’s renewal of Islam movement and the progressive Islam movement of the socialists?
In answer you will say that each of these, according to their understanding, created a blueprint in their minds and made this their basic standard and foundation. Thereafter, whatever suited and met their standards from the Islam of Muhammad Sallallahu alaihi wa Sallam was incorporated into it, and whatever was unsuitable or against their mode of thinking was either abused, ridiculed, jeered, made a joke of and explained away or far-fetched meanings and interpretations were given so that the original meaning was erased. Obviously their thoughts, senses, feelings, and hearts were not subordinate to Islam, but rather the acceptance or rejection of the tenets of ‘Islam’ was at the mercy of their set-standards. It was incumbent upon the Ulama to tear apart this ‘Is- lamic Talisman’ and bring forward the original Islam of Muhammad SallalLahu alaihi wa Sallam, which has been preserved for the last fourteen hundred years in people against this new calamity of ‘Islamic Thinkers’. You know that the Ulama of this Ummah have carried out their duties whilst disregarding all obstacles. They have been sworn at; they have been painted with all types of labels; they have been ridiculed; they have been pierced with the arrows of accusations; but they (the Ulama) had to carry out their duty, and have verily tried to do so. As long as they have life and the power of speech in them, it must not be expected that they will refrain from committing the “offence” of calling a spade a spade, or day a day, and night a night.
Now listen! In the same manner Janab Maududi Saheb conceived and created a blueprint, which he presented as the ‘Islamic Movement’, and on which foundation the ‘Jamaat Islami’ came into existence. Today his ‘Jamaat Islami’ has an imprint on the big and small. Allah forbid, my intention is not to convey this, that the law that applies to the previously mentioned individuals also applies to Janab Maududi, as there is a difference in rank and grade The reason for giving the examples of ‘layer upon layer of darkness’ is only to stress that these people fail to under- stand the True Islam.
They are unanimous in creating a new path and a new map for Islam. It is a different question that the path of some are totally different from the teachings of Muhammad Sallallahu alaihi wa Sallam and some have a few differences. What doubt is there in this that all of them have, through the medium of their understanding and thinking, put forward ‘their Islam’ to the masses. They have proclaimed it to be the truth and have invited the people towards it.
There is a proverb in Arabic: ‘For everything that falls, there is one who will find it’. Everyone surely finds someone with whom one shares common ideas and thoughts. This is a brief answer to pour Question. But 1 feel this will not satisfy you, hence I will have to elaborate on it. In today’s discussion 1 invite you to think and ponder on one point only. You must have read in the constitution of the Jamaat Islami this sentence from the pen of Janab Maududi Saheb:
“No human should be made a ‘Measure of Truth’ besides Rasulullah Sallallehu alaihi we Sallam, no one should be regarded as free from ‘criticism’, no one should be engrossed in the ‘mental slavery’ of anyone. As Allah has shown, everyone should with a complete standard examine and inspect every person, and according to that measure, whatever grade befits a person, that person should be regarded as such”.
In this constitutional belief, Janab Maududi Saheb has induced every member of the ‘Jamaat’ – whatever position one holds – not to think that any human Is above criticism besides Rasulullah Sallallahu alaihi wa Sallam, nor should one fall under the sway of another’s ‘mental slavery’, and with the examining powers that Allah Ta’aala has given Maududi Saheb and his ‘Jamaat’, everyone should be pecked at and examined. After attaining the results, whatever grade one attains should be con- ferred on that person. Now let us read from the ‘Maududi Mazhab’ and see that while criticizing, how Maududi Saheb has peeled and skinned the Salaf (pious predecessors). Listen, Maududi Saheb says that:
1. The example of Moosa Alaihis salaam is of that hasty victorious commander, who marches forward without strengthening and estabil- ishing his authority, and behind him mutiny spreads in the conquered lands like wild fire in a jungle. Maududi Mazhab, page 23.
2. The danger of the highway robbery of a mischievous soul also con- fronts the Ambiyaa. An illustrious Prophet like Dawood Alaihis salaam. was werned on an occasion that.”…………and follow not desire that beguile thee from the way of Allah’. Surah Saad: 27 Ibid page 21
3. Dawood Alaihis salaam became influenced with the customs of the Israeli society of his time and requested Orya to give a divorce. Ibid page 24
4. Dawood Alaihis salam had a speck of carnal desire in his deeds. Ibid Page 25
5. Human weaknesses overcame Nuh Alaihis salaam snd he became a prey to the passion of Jahiliyyah. Ibid page 26.
6. Actually Ismat (chastity) is not a requisite with the soul of the Ambiyaa. This is a Lateef (delicate) point. Allah Ta’aala had intentionally lifted His protection at some time or the other from every Nabi, so that one or two trangressions are committed, hence the people may not regard the Ambiyaa as Gods, and will know that these are human too. Ibid page 30.
7. The Ambiyaa trangress too, they are even punished. Ibid page 31.
8. Younus Alaihis salaem committed a few deficiencies in the fulfilling of the Faraa’id of Risalat, and probably became Impatient and left his position before time. Ibid page 35.
9. The Sahaabah were at times overcome with human shortcomings; they reviled one another (read the balance of this paragraph on page 56. I am ashamed of copying it further).
10. The Sahaabah Kiraam many a time erred in understanding the original spirit of Jihaad fi Sabilillah. Ibid page 59.
11. Once a humble person like (Abubakr) Siddique Akbar who was immersed in Lillahiyyat (the way of Allah) erred (blundered) in fulfilling a delicate demand of islam.
12. Personal greatness overcame and made Umar Radhiallahu Anhu helpless for a few moments at the time of the demise of Rasulullah Sal- lallahu alaihi wa Sallam. Ibid page 60.
13, Hazrat Uthman, on whom the burden of this great duty (of Khilafat) was placed, did not possess the qualifications that were granted to his noble predecessors. Therefore, Jahiliyyah found an inlet to creep into the social code of Islam. Ibid page 65.
14. The verdicts of the Khulafaa Raashideen, which they issued as Qadis, did not become law in Islam. Ibid page 66.
15. Hadhrat Uthman, one after the other, appointed tiis relatives to high posts, and gave them other such concessions, which generally became a source of criticism among the people. Ibid page 71.
16. For example he bequeathed on Marwan one fifth (5 lakh Dinars) from the booty of Africa. Ibid page 71.
17. History reveals, and it truly shows, that Marwan and Yazeed are despised personalities among the Muslim Ummah. These are the softest words that could be said regarding Marwan and Yazeed. Faraan monthly September 1976, page 42.
18. These policies of Uthman Radhiallahu Anhu are without doubt, erroneous. A wrong will remain a wrong, irrespective of who commits it. To try and prove it correct by oratory or fabrications is not the demand of logic and justice, nor is it the requirement of the Deen, that an error of a Sahaabi should not be called an error. Maududi Mazhab, page 73.
19. One very despicable Bid’ah began during the reign of Hadhrat Mu’aawiyah, that he himself, and by his orders, all his governors, while delivering Khutbas on the minbars reviled Hadhrat Ali Radhiallahu Anhu. To revile and swear a person after his demise, forget the Shari’ah, it was against human etiquette to do so, and especially to soil the Jum’ah Khutbah with such filth is a very debased act according to the Deen and etiquette. Ibid page 75.
20. The effort of joining together (Istilhaaq) Ziyaad bin Simayyah are also among those acts of Hadhrat Mu’aawiyah Radhiallahu Anhu, wherein because of political reasons he contravened an accepted law of the Shari’ah. Ibid page 76.
21. Hadhrat Mu’aawiyah Radhiallahu Anhu in trying to make him (Ziyaad) his supporter and helper took evidence on the adultery of his father (Abu Sufyaan). And after concluding proof therof, made Ziyaad his (Abu Sufyaan’s) illegitimate son, and on that source made him his brother and a member of the family, This and in whatever manner it may be despised morally, is evident. But according to law — this is an illicit thing, because in the Shari’ah paternity is not proven from adultery. ibid page 77.
22. Amr bin Al’aas committed two such acts, that there is no way out but to call if wrong. Ibid page 84.
23. Hadhrat Ali appointed Malik bin Haarith and Muhammad bin Abu- bakr as governors, whereas, these two people had a hand in the murder of Unman. This is known to everybody. During the entire reign of Ali Radhiallahu Anhu this is the only deed that it seems, cannot be called anything else but wrong. Ibid page 85.
24. Hadhrat Aysha Radhiallahu Anha and Hafsah Radhiallahu Anha became bold, and began to ‘stretch their tongues’ in the presence of Rasulullah Sallallahu alaihi wa Sallam. Ibid page 88.
25. After studying History it is found that until now, no thorough Mujaddid was Dorn. It was near that Umar bin Abdulaziz attained that position, but he was not successful. Ibid page 91.
26. In the reviews of Immam Ghazali, there are a few llmi and Fikri flaws, and that may be distributed into three portions, One type is those flaws, that resulted in his works due to the poor knowledge of Hadith, The second type from among those flaws is due to the Aqliyyah overpowering his mind. And the third type from among these flaws is his leening towards Tasawwuf more than that which was necessary. Ibid page 92.
27. The first thing that rattles in me regarding the revival mission from the time of Hazrat Mujaddid Alf Thaani to the time of Shah (Waliyullah) Saheb and his disciples, in this, thar, in Tasawwuf they did not estimate the illness of the Muslims. They prescribed for them the same food from which they should have been completely kept away. Ibid page 92.
28. Neither Hadhrat Mujaddid Seheb nor Shah (Waliyullah) Saheb was unaware of this ‘Illness’. Criticism regarding this is found in the writings of both. It is possible that they did not truly estimate the serious- ness of this ‘disease’. For this reason these two venerable personalities gave these sick people the same food, which had proven to be fatal. The outcome of this was that gradually, both circles became influenced by the same disease. Ibid page 94.
29. Although Maulana Ismail Shaheed R. Alayhi understood this reality well and adopted the same course as that of Ibn Taymiyyah, but, as this was present in the literature of Shah Waliyullah Saber, the effects of which remained in the writings of Shah (smail Shaheed R. Alayhi, tlute chain of Peer/ Mureedi continued in the movement of Sayyid Saheb Therefore, this movement could not be free from the germs of the ‘dis- ease of sufiyyat.’ Ibid page 95.
30. And we note this ‘Jahalah’ – with the exception of a very small Jamaat – among the general Muslims from East to West, be they from il- literate pvblic; or graduate Ulama; or mendicant Mashaa’ikh; or grad- uates of colleges or universities. The thoughts, ways and manners of all these are different, but they are unanimous in not knowing the truth and soul of Islam. Ibid page 19.
I have presented a few drops from the enraged ocean of Janab Maududi Saheb’s criticism. All this, according to his own assertion, is written after examining by the ‘standards’ shown by Allah. I do not wish to discuss or debate each point. Think for yourself that after all these criticism what picture is formed of Islam in the mind. Nevertheless, I feel that for your convenience a few basic points should be presented
The instruction of Janab Maududi Saheb that besides Rasulullah Sallallahu alihi wa Sallam no human is above Tanqeed (criticism). Before thinking of its outcome, first ponder that what is Tanqeed (criticism)? (The Oxford dictionary says it is judging of merit; critical observation). Tanqeed is an Arabic word which means to gauge, assay, examine, inspect, test and to ascertain the truth from untruth. In the Urdu asuage it means to be catious, seize on trifling faults, reveal shortcomings: i.e. Tanqeed will mean that after examining a thing, an error is ascertained, then its weak precints are proclaimed. When we say that a certain per- son criticised someone, then nothing else will be understood besides that the weak points of the person criticised are brought to light. That person was examined and all faults and shortcomings were revealed.
Whatever thing or person that is the centre of criticism, the first pic- ture that comes to mind regarding that thing or person is that it or that person is not reliable, hence it or that person needs examining. Only after an examination could it be ascertained whether this thing or per- son is reliable, because that which is hundred percent reliable does not necessitate an examination. I am sure you have not yet seen a wise person in this world, who goes around examining reliable things. It is an accepted fact that, there is no necessity to test or inspect reliable things or personalities. Those things that are wothy of criticism, are not reliable. For example, regarding weights and meausres that are stamped by the government and used in commerce, one will not find people while purchasing articles going around, asking merchants: “Mister, are these measures and weights used by you correct or not?”. After being stamped by the government these weights and measures are above criticism, and do not need any further examination. After all this, if one is found to do so, what shall be said of him?
Now, when Maududi Saheb tells us that no human besides Rasulullah Sallallahu alaihi wa Sallam is above criticism, then, nothing else is meant, but, that save Rasulullah Sallallahu alaihi wa Sallam, no human is reliable before us. Janab Maududi Saheb labels this reliability as ‘mental slavery’, and that none should be influenced by the ‘mental slavery’ or any human besides that of Rasulullah Sallallahu alaihi wa Sall am.
For this reason, according to his own picture of Islam, he has not granted the verdicts of the Khulafaa Raashideen as legally lawful, whereas, Rasulullah Sallallahu alaihi wa Sallam has in strong terms ad- vised his Ummah to strongly hold onto the Sunnahs of the Khulafaa Raashideen. You must have read this Hadith in the Mishkaat Shareef:
‘Irbaad bin Saariyah Radhillahu Anhu reports: “Rasulullah Sallalla- hu alihi wa Sallam after leading the salaah, turned his face towards us, and delivered a very dynamic lecture, (as a result of which) tears flowed from the eyes, and hearts were moved. (Thereafter) a person said: “0 Messenger of Allah, this was like a farewell lec- ture, please advise us.” He said: “I advise you to fear Allah, and obey and accept (your leaders), even if he be a Habshi slave, be- cause the one among you who will live after me, shall witness many discords. It is incumbent on you (to hold fast) onto my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the Guided Khulafaa Raashideen. Hold fast unto it, and keep it tight with the teeth. Beware and stay away from new (modern) ideas and acts. For every new act (that is thought to be a part of religion) is Bid’ah, and every Bid’ah (leads) astray”. Musnad Ahmad, Abu Dawood, Tirmizi; Ibn Majah, Mishkaat page 29.
Do you know that when one criticises another, what is meant by this? Listen, if the knowledge of a person is criticised (even if it is regarding one Mas’alah or an affair), it will mean that in this Mas’alah the opposite person’s view is incorrect, or the knowledge of the criticiser is superior. If the understanding of one is attacked, it will mean the criticiser’s un- derstanding is superior. If the deeds of a person are attacked, it will mean that the deed-s of the criticiser is of a higher standard. In short, for whatever reason the next person is criticised, it will mean that the knowledge, deeds, intelligence and understanding of the criticiser is superior.
At times the criticiser is truly better than the opposite, but the criticiser in self vain imagination and aggrandisement regards himself to be su- perior. In Islam this is called ‘Kibr’ or ‘Takabbur’. This is the same ‘Kibr’ which overtook Iblis, and through this wrang self aggrandisement, in- stead of being a ‘Muallim Malakut’, he was cursed till the day of Qiyaamah. Now put these Usul (principles) before you, and ponder over the criticism, and the Usul of Maududi Saheb’s criticism. He gives every Tom, Dick and Harry the right to criticise everybody from among the Salf Saaliheen except Rasulullah Sallallahu alaihi wa Sallam. You tell me what would this be called? According to Maududi Saheb, does every member of his Jamaat have better knowledge and understanding than the Salaf Saaliheen? If not, then what else can his motive be besides self conceited imaginations and notions? When Maududi Saheb says that Younus Alaihis salaam committed a few errors in fulfill- ing the Risalat, at that time his claim would tantamount to this, that he understood the responsibilities of the Risalat more than Younus Alaihis salaam, and possibly (Na Uzubillah) more than Allah, because the least, that is expected from Maududi Saheb is that he will not confer an im- portant post In his Jamaat to someone that he knows will not diligently carry out the duties. But according to Maududi Saheb Allah Ta’aala conferred the Risalat on Younus Alaihis salaam and did not take this precaution. In like manner when he says that the passion of Jahiliyyah overcame Younus Alaihis salaam, then it is, as if he is claiming that his foresight on the passions of Jahiliyyah is greater than that of Younus Alaihis salaam, and that he has the strength to withstand the passions of Jahiliyyah. He says regarding himself:
‘It is Allah’s faith that I did not commit any deed or say any word under the influence of my passions, nor did I commit it. Every word that I uttered in my lectures, I measured each one of them before saying them, remembering that I would have to account for it before Allah and the creation. Therefore, I am assured in my position that I did not utter a word against Haq’. Maududi Mazhab, page 29.
When he says that Dawood Alaihis salaam was influenced by the customs of the Israeli society and committed certain acts, he forgets that Lhe one that is captivated by the ‘mental slavery’ of one’s society can never be a Nabi. With all this, it gives one the impression that if Hazrat Maulana Abdul Aa’la Maududi was in the place of Dawood Alaihis sa- laam, he would never had asked 0rya to divorce his wife.
When he says that in certain matters Hadhrat Mu’aawiyah Radhiallahu Anhu did not even take into consiaeration human morals, at that time he thinks of himself as a greater Aalim in human morality than Mu’aawiyah Radhiallahu Anhu. When he says that Mu’aawiyah Radhiallahu Anhu openly disobeyed a certain fundamental of the Shari’ah, at that time he presents himself as a greater Aalim of Shari’ah than Hadhrat Mu’aawiyah Radhiallahu Anhu.
When he says that from the time of Umar bin Abdulaziz Rahmatullahi alaih till the time of Sayyid Ahmed Shahid Rahmatullahim aiayht, there was a shortcoming in the Tajdeedi missions of all the Mujaddids, at that time he tries to make believe that he understands Tajdeed and revival of the Deen more than all those pious elders. And when he very proudly claims this:
‘Instead of understanding the Deen from the present or previous personalities, I have always tried to understand it from the Qur’aan and Sunnah) Therefore, always when trying to know what the Deen of Allah wants from me and every Mu’min, I never try to see what certain Buz- rugs have said, but rather, I try to see what the Qur’aan says and what Rasul says’.* Maududi Mazhab, page 98.
* [Who taught you the Quraan and Sunnah? People of the present or the past! The Angels of the Mala Aalaa?, or like Ghulam Ahmed Qadiani, he came with it from the stomach of his mother? It is the height of ungratefullness. Those through the Barakah of whom a few correa or incorrect words were learnt, are being rejected and discarded.2 Fundamentally, these are the same viewpoints of Mirza Ghulam Ahmed Qadiani and Ghulam Ahmed Parwez]
He is actually trying to show to the people that in the long History of the Ummah there was not born anyone besides himself who understood the Deen. Well, this is a different subject, on which Insha’Allah, when time permits, I will say something. Briefly, I would say this, that the mo- tive of criticism is always that one feels ‘Ana khayrum minhu’ (I am bet- ter than him). It one is really superior to another in knowledge, under- standing, deeds and morals, then verily one has the right to criticise an- other who has a lower standard. If one on his own accord feels supe- rior, and if this is his motive, then every Mu’min should beseech Allah for His protection.
Now in reality if Janaab Maududi Saheb is superior in knowledge, understanding, deeds, Taqwa etc than these whom he has criticised, then, without doubt he has the right to cirticise them, But if in comparison to these gentlemen, he really is lower, and has the urge to criticise, then what can his motive be besides high mindedness, arrogance, self- conceit and Takabbur?
According to the viewpoint of Janab Maududi Saheb, when no individual of the 1400 year old Ummah is above criticism, nor can anyone be rehed upon, and according to the standards shown by Allah, it is incumbent to examine every person, then this question arises, that the Deen that has reached the Ummah of today through the Naql Riwaayah, knowledge and deeds of the Salaf Saaliheen, could it be relied upon? Do you know that the proofs and arguments of our Deen are taken from four sources:
(a) The Kitaab of Allah
(b) The sunnah of Rasulullah Sallallahu alaihi wa Sallam
(c) The Ijmaa of the Ummah
(d) and the Qiyaas of the Mujtahideen.
The Fiqhi Masaa’il of the A’immah Mujtahideen have been abrogated in such a manner, that Mashaa’Allah, Maududi himself is a Mujtahid Mut- laq. He is not in need of benefitting from any present or past tutor to understand the Deen. When the whole Ummah is in need of a critical examination and are thought to be unreliable, then it is clear that Ijmaa will be of no value The dependance of the Kitaab and Sunriah are on Riwaayat and Diraayat, especially when according to the research of Janab Maududi Saheb the Sahaabah Kiraam Radhiallahu Anhum at- tacked one another and (Na Uzubillah) called one another liars If in re- ality, Na Uzubillah, the Sahaabah Kiraam Radhiallahu Anhum were as pictured by the crrticism of Maududi Saheb, then it is evident that the Ummah that will come after this will be even worse The result will be that beginning from the Qur’aan and Hadith till the Ijmaa and Qiyaas, everything will be doubtful and will be regarded as unreliaLilv, until Mau- dudi Saheb will show us through the standards shown to I;am by Allah, that liow reliable a certain thing is and how unreliable others are In all fairness, please tell us, what else besides this did Mirza Gtiwlam Ahmed Qadiani and Mr. Ghulam Ahmed Parvez say? Where did Maududi Saheb attain this ‘Allah’s Standard’, in the light of which every indwidual from the Salaf Saaliheen have been examined and graded’ What! will Wahi again be revealed to him, or will he leap back fourteen hundred years and personally hear the Ov,r’aan and Sunnah from Rasulullah Sal- lallahu alaihi wa Sallam? When he does not accept the connections of any personality of the past or present, nor is he prepared to shoulder the ‘mental slavery’ of anyone, then from which cave will he recerve the ‘Standards of Allah’?
You may also know that Allah Ta’aala has taken upon Himself to safeguard this last Deen of ours till the Day of Qiyaamah. The Deen can only be safeguarded when the words of the Nusus of the Deen are preserved without any changes. Its meanings are also preserved. Then the manner in which Rasulullah Sallallahu alaihi wa Sallam had practised and demonstrated it himself, and how the Sahaabah Kiraam Radhialiahu Anhum practised these in his presence, should also be preserved Then through these deeds the proficiency in Islamic thought arC pleasure; the path of Ihsaan; and the understanding of the Deen that is created, should also remain preserved. Briefly, four things are mentioned here: words, meanings, deeds and Islamic thought. We who are engrossed in ‘mental slavery’ do not think, but it is our belief that Allah Ta’aala has without any break or interruption preserved these four things, and we are indebted to those through whom these were preserved. They are our guides and leaders. We have complete reliance on them. We are their ‘mental slaves’, and we are thankful for their kindness and benevolence. If hypothetically these great personalities are removed from in between, and .”. is thought that in a certain period of words, meanings, deeds and Islamic thought could not have been preserved, or it could not be relied upon, then, be- cause of this, the entire structure of the Deen is being put into a nega- tive light. But, according to the viewpoint of Maududi Saheb, not one of the four things mentioned remains credible, because the disgrace of being ‘mentally enslaved’ to the personalities of the past or present periods is totally unacceptable in his lofty court, nor will he accept in any way. Even if we give him the benefit of the doubt, that the words of the Qur’aan and Sunnah are preserved, then too the stages of interpre- ting the words and giving them their proper meanings, and through practising them, for one to reach the stage” of Islamic thought, will yet have to be covered. Since Maududi Saheb does not accept the ‘mental slavery’ of any human, therefore he will have to traverse this whole path on his own, and in the same manner he will also have to cover the path through his own intellect and understanding The result that will ensue and the picture that one will form of the Deen needs no comments. It is a fact that a person that wants to remain in the Deen of Muhammed Sallallahu alaihi wa Salam, will have to become a ‘mental slave’ of those Salaf Saaliheen who had upheld the Deen. The person that cannot withstand this ‘disgrace’ or does not want to follow it, cannot attain true Islam (The Islam brought by Muhammed Sallallahu alaihi wa Sallam), even if one reaches the highest of positions. After refuting the reliability of the sayings and conditions of the Salaf Saaliheen and not becoming engrossed in their ‘mental slavery’, if Janab Maududi Saheb has in- vented some scientific way, we will be looking forward to know about it, on condition that it is a bit different from the styles and modes of Mr. Parvez and Mirza Qadiani.
I accept that Janab Maududi Saheb is a good author and has a fiow- ing pen, but I feel that he in his lofty thoughts, sometimes uses such words that according to the situation are utterly out of context. For example, take the words ‘ above criticism’ and ‘mental slavery’. These, according to their coherence are meaningless. Ponder, that if ‘mental slavery’ is not a shortcoming in the Islamic religion, but is a thing to be proud of a thousand times, then should one not be proud of following the path of the Salaf Saaliheen and those who have shouldered the burden of Islam? What shall be the meaning of this saying of Rasulullah Sallallahy alaihi wa Sallam.:
‘That my Ummah will never unite on falsehood’.
Picture a child of the grades who went to Madrasah or school for the first time. The Ustaaz began teaching him the alphabets, and taught him that this is ‘Alif’ and that is “Ba’. In reply to this the pupil says: ‘Sir, I am a thinker of the fourteen century (or nineteen century AD.), why should I accept your ‘mental slavery’? It is apparent what type at edu- cation this ‘thinker’ will attain. We do not even hold this position in rela- tion to the Sahaabah and Salaf Saaliheen, as the relation of the modern ‘thinker’ had with his Ustaaz. We learned the rudiments of Deen from these noble personalities. The result of the revolt against conforming to their ‘mental slavery’ is not different from that pupil who claimed to be a ‘thinker’. may Allah forgive me. I am of the opinion that those who severe their links from the Salaf Saaliheen, and throw off the yoke of their ‘mental slavery’, and are trying to map out a new path of Islam, in essence they do not acknowledge Islam, but repeatedly use the words of the Qur’aan and Sunnah, because there is no other way to spread their Kufr and disbelief among the Muslim public. I do not regard Janab Maududi Saheb among. them, but it is regretted that he has, by reject- ing the ‘mental salvery’ of every personality among the Salaf Saaliheen, given preference to the ‘mental slavery’ of the orientalist western dis- believers, and he has adopted the ‘mentality of the free thinkers’ after whom the modernists of today are running.
Janab Maududi Saheb has satirized and ridiculed the following of the path of the Salaf Saaliheen as ‘mental slavery’ which the Qur’aan pro- daims as ‘Sabilul Mu’mineen’ (a way for the believers) and has warned those who disregard it of a severe punishment in Jahannam. This is the same ‘mental slavery’ that the Qur’aan describes as “As Siraatal Mus- taqeem’ (The straight path), and instructs one to supplicate for its guid- ance. Also, this is the same ‘mental slavery’ for which the Muslims rub their noses five times a day and make du’aa. What a bad and distateful interpretaiton this is, that the path on which countless caravans of pious people have trodden, the following of whom is today labelled as ‘mental slavery’.
If you have studied the emergence of all the false sects dunng the Is- lamic period, then this truth will dawn upon you that the Foundation of all these sects are on “Ana wala ghayri” (Me and no one besides me) All these heve felt ashamed of the ‘mental slavery’ of the Salaf Saali- heen, and have floated their lofty thoughts in the jungles of their own in- telligence and understanding. Thereafter, whichever way their heads rose their thoughts began to float in that way.
The first fitnah in Islam was introduced by Abdullah bin Saba, a Jew, whose basic thinking was founded on that no one is above criticism besides the noble personality of Rasulullah Sallallahu alaihi wa Sallam Then from the stomach of this Saba’iyyah the fitnafi of the Khawaarij was born, who exclaimed aloud that Ali Radhiallahu Anhu and the other Sahaabah did not understand Islam “We understand more than them”. Then on the same basis the sects of Mu’tazilah, Murjiyyah, Qadriyyah, etc took root. Each one of them potrayed! the following of the Salaf as ‘men1al slavery/’. They went astray and led others astray. In our mod- ern times the new sects that emerged, although their basis and view- points differ, you will find that they are more or less unanimous on the above point. It is fashionable today to satirize the Saiaf Saaliheen; to extract worms from their deeds; injure their personalities; shoot arrows of criticism at them; and label their following as, revisionism, out moded, obsolete, orthodoxy, mental slavery, etc. etc It is sad that Janab Maududi Saheb has also based his ‘Islamic Movement’ on these lines. When we read the history of the Khawaarij, we were surprised at their boldness. They claimed to understand the Deen more than such a personality who had seen with his own eyes the Sun of Islam rise, and who had been an associate and confidant of Rasulullah Sallallahu alaihi wa Sallam during his 23 year period of Nubuwwat, who had eye- wit- nessed every incident of the Nazule Wahi; who had spent his whole life from childhood till old age in the service of Islam. We fail to understand what has happened to their senses? They vehemently criticise his relig- ious understanding. History repeats itself. Today the criticisms of Janaab Maududi Saheb (his attack on Uthman Radhiallahu Anhu and other Sahaabah) has removed our astonishment and surprise regarding the Khaarijis. Maududi Saheb tries to make us understand that Uthman Radhiallahu anhu was not able to upkeep the ‘Islamic system’, nor did anyone after him have!he guidance and power to do so. Now Janab Maududi Saheb’s ‘Islamic movement will spear the Islamic System. ‘In hiya illa Khaarijiyyatun Jadidatun’ (Verily it is a new Khaariji order) The angels of Allah are modest in presence of Uthman Radhiallahu Anhu.
Rasulullah Salallahu alaihi wa Sallam says:
‘Should I not feel modest before that person, in the presence of whom the Malaa’ikah feel modest’ Muslim, Mishkat page 56).
Maududi Saheb does not feel a jerk by this, but showers licentious criti- cism on him. Rasulullah Sallallahu alaihi wa Sallam in recognising the great sacrifices of Uthman Radhiallahu Anhu says:
‘Whatever Uthman Radhiallahu Anhu does after this, there shall be no accusation upon him’ Tirmizi, Mishkat.
But Maududi Saheb feels it an honour to heap accusations on him Rasulullah Sallallahu alaihi wa Sallam advises the Ummah:
‘Fear Allah regarding my Sahaabah (companions), fear Allah re- garding my Sahaabah. Do not make them a source of criticism after me. That person who has loved them, has loved them be- cause they love me, and those who hate them, have hated them because they hate me’. Tirmizi.
But Maududi Saheb deems it important to criticise them by sifting them all through a sieve. It grants every Tom, Dick and Harry the right to criticise. By criticising them it instructs the Ummah to despise and hate them, so that people may keep away from becoming their ‘mental slaves’. This is the same Khaarijiyyah in a new colour, which surfaced during the time of Sahaabah It is stated in the Hadith that the ‘Later one’s among this Urnmah will curse its forebearers’.
I end this letter, by mentioning the command of the Faqihul Ummah, Abdullah bin Mas’ud Radhhllahu Anhu. You may compare the ‘standard of truth’ between that of this great Sahaabi and that of Maududi Saheb.
‘If you wish to follow anyone, then follow the path of those who have passed away, because one is not safe from the fitnah of a living person. I mean those who are among the Sahaabah of Muhammed Sallallahu alaihi wa Sallam. They were the best among this Ummah; they possessed the clearest of hearts; they attained the deepest of knowledge; and had the least formalities. Allah Ta’aala had chosen them as companions of His Nabi and to up- keep His Deen. Therefore, recognise their virtues, and follow their footsteps. As far as possible hold fast unto their characters and qualities, because they are on the straight path’. Razeen.
May Allah Ta’aala give us and the entire Ummah the Towfeeq of following this golden advice, and keep us on the straight path. (Aameen).
Muhammed Yousuf Ludhianwi