I thought I was among those practising Islam in its pure form. 

Only Allaah is Maulaana, our Protector. 

The whole scheme of making us participate in Shirk. 

Ploy to put ru'ab (awe) in our hearts with maulaana - khaleefa - ijaazat.  

I thought I was among those practising Islam in its pure form.

When I was young, I was aware of two sects in Islam. Number one, the Shias, who display their fervent love for the prophet's household and consider it fit that the prophet's son-in-law should have succeeded him as the caliph. Sect number two, to which my forefathers claim to belong, the Ahl-as-sunnah wal-jamaa'ah, who are called by that name, I thought, only in order to distinguish themselves from the shias. I thought that sans the distinguishing features of the Shia sect, what was being practised by my elders was pure, unadulterated Islaam.

But as I started to compare the speeches and actions of the elders guiding our community, in relation to what is taught in the Qur-aan, I was disappointed and felt disgusted. It dawned on me that most of the learned men (aalims) of the subcontinent are secretive sympathizers of Sufism, with its attendant specialization in shirk, i.e., equating with Allaah or ascribing partner/s to Him.

Only Allaah is Maulaana, our Protector.

The aalims (religious learned men) in our society are revered so much that it was impossible to think of any deficiency in their knowledge or honesty, much less suspect any mistake or mischief on their part.

Because of this, it took a long time for me to infer and then come to a definite conclusion about their practice of introducing shirk in the speeches and their tendency to mislead the people. The starting point was my uneasiness about their calling each other "Maulaana" and making the people call them so.

In a supplication (du'aa), in the last aayah of sura Al-baqarah, (2:286) we are taught by Allaah to pray as follows: 

" Our Lord! Condemn us not if we forget or fall into error;
our Lord! Lay not on us a burden like that which Thou didst lay on those before us;
our Lord! lay not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear.
Blot out our sins, and grant us forgiveness. Have mercy on us.
Thou art our Protector; help us against those who reject Faith. "

My question is : How can we, after invoking Allaah, as taught by Him, in our above prayer as Maulaana (our Protector), also call any human being as maulaana ?. I treat this as shirk, equating with Allaah.

Some learned men argue that the word maulaa has so many other meanings. From this argument of theirs, we have to surmise that when they call someone maulaana, it does not necessarily mean that they are calling him their protector, but something else. The other meanings enumerated include : Rab (cherisher and sustainer) , Maalik (owner or master), one who does a favour, Naasir (a helper), a follower, a beloved, a neighbour, etc. The meaning applicable varies according to the context, they say. But common sense also demands that it should be used only if it is really suitable and applicable in the context.

In Qur-aan, verse 16:76, Allaah has used the word maulaahu to mean his master, in connection with two human beings. But the word has been used only because it is relevant and truly applicable to the context. Here the word maulaahu has been used to refer to "his master", while mentioning something about a servant. 

Also, in Sura 44 verse 41, the words "maulan 'an maulan" has been used in the meanings "a protector" and "a client" or "a friend", in connection with human beings.

But how can we justify using the the word in an irrelevant context ? The learned men confer the title maulaana to the persons who have graduated from their madrasas, after completing their study course. Now, in what meaning the word is applicable to them.

Are they our protectors ? Or are they our masters? Or our helpers? Our beloved ? Our followers ? Our neighbours ??? In what meaning is the word used for them ?  If one of the harmless meaning like "beloved" is taken as applicable, then who is the na (meaning 'our') of the maulaana ? which makes the meaning "our beloved". May be he is a beloved to you, but why include other muslims ?? May be others do not even know him or, on the other hand, may be others dislike him. Why use an irrelevant word to include all ?

Besides, when a word is relevant and suitable to the context, but still if there is a possibility of mischief or misunderstanding by using that word, then it is better to abandon its use and instead use another word of equivalent meaning in which there is no possibility of mischief or misunderstanding. (An example is : Allaah prohibited the believers from using the word "raa'inaa" to call the attention of the prophet in his assemblies and instead commanded the use of the word "unzwurnaa". Although the word "raa'inaa" is also suitable and applicable in the context, but the non-believers were using the word to cause mischief.) (Qur-aan 2:104).

The fact is that the word maulaana is used by them to equate with Allaah the person who is being called so and when the hearer silently accepts the unfit title given to the learned man, he also becomes guilty of participation in equating him with Allaah.

Qur'aan is clear that Allaah is the Maulaa of the believers (mu'mins) :

Sura Muhammad : 11 "That is because Allah is the Protector of those who believe, but those who reject Allah have no protector."

Sura At-tahreem : " If ye two turn in repentance to Him, your hearts are indeed so inclined; but if ye back up each other against him, truly Allah is his Protector, and Gabriel, and righteous one among those who believe, and furthermore, the angels will back (him) up."

Aal-i-'Imraan : 150 " Nay, Allah is your protector, and He is the best of helpers. "

Al-an'aam : 62 " Then are men returned unto Allah, their True Protector surely His is the Command, and He is the Swiftest in taking account. "

Al-Anfaal : 40 " If they refuse, be sure that Allah is your Protector, the Best to protect and the Best to help. "

At-Taubah : 51 : " Say: "Nothing will happen to us except what Allah has decreed for us: He is our Protector " : and on Allah let the believers put their trust. "

Yoonus : 30 " There will every soul prove (the fruits of) the deeds it sent before: they will be brought back to Allah their rightful Lord, and their invented falsehoods will leave them in the lurch. "

Al-hajj : 78 : " And strive in His cause as ye ought to strive, (with sincerity and under discipline). He has chosen you, and has imposed no difficulties on you in religion; it is the cult of your father Abraham. It is He Who has named you Muslims, both before and in this (Revelation); that the Messenger may be a witness for you, and ye be witnesses for mankind! So establish regular Prayer, give regular Charity, and hold fast to Allah! He is your Protector, the best to protect and the Best to help! "

Sura At-tahreem : 2 " Allah has already ordained for you, (O men), the dissolution of your oaths (in some cases): and Allah is your Protector, and He is Full of Knowledge and Wisdom. "

Such repeated assertions by Allaah and such defiant rebellion by our elders. Let us not call any human being "maulaana" , even if the word has other meanings, as an act of precaution (taqwa) in the matter of our Creator and Sustainer, our Merciful Lord, who is also severe in punishment and unto whom we have to return.

Finally, while they advance so many arguments and justifications for calling human beings a "maulaana", I wonder why I never heard any one of them mention Allaah as "maulaana", the real, one and the only "maulaana" (our protector), on which matter there is no doubt, nor can there by any ?

One more question. In Qur'aan, in sura Yousuf, verse 41 & 42, the word "Rab" has been used for a human being, that is for the ruler or master. Now, if they do another innovation in the deen and start calling a learned man "rabbanaa" (meaning our master), will it also be acceptable to those who call learned men "maulaana" ?

The whole scheme of making us participate in Shirk.

I allege that their calling each other "maulaana" and making the muslims to call them so, is a deliberately and intentionally malicious act. This allegation is not a conjecture, as you will come to know when you analyse their whole scheme of equating with Allaah and making others participate in it. The other components of this scheme, inter alia, are :

  • Their system of Bai'ath : an oath with one of the elders (shaikh or peer)
  • Appointing Khaleefa (deputy) and granting Ijaazat (permission) to administer oath.
  • The shaikh or peer administers an oath to the common man in which the person undertakes to desist from some forbidden things, for example he says he will not lie or he will not steal, etc. and / or promises to do some good things. The oath also serves as an oath of personal allegiance to the shaikh, because the person who is under an oath with an elder is not expected to give a similar undertaking to another. The shaikh instructs the mureed (disciple) to utter a set of words of zikr (remembrance) of Allaah at a given time and a given number of times everyday and in the manner instructed.

    The shaikh also appoints deputies (khaleefa) who, with his authorisation or permission (Ijaazat) administer such oath or bai'ath to new disciples.

    Talk to any muslim who has taken such an oath, about his bai'ath. Now see what bai'ath he is reminded of ? Without hesitation he will tell you about his bai'ath with Maulaana a,b,c who is the khaleefa of Maulaana x,y,z and who has his ijaazat , etc.

    Now let us reflect on the greatest and the most beneficial contract, bargain or deal (bai'ath) he has struck, when belief enters a muslim's heart and he becomes a believer :

    Sura At-Tauba : verse No. 111 :

    How many of us muslims remember this covenant ? A covenant binding on The Most High ?

    Day in, day out, we are indoctrinated with the dogmas of our deviant elders, so that we forget the deal we have entered with our Lord and instead remember a cheap oath we have taken, which not only not encompasses complete submission to Allaah, but on the other hand includes innovative methods of doing zikr, so that the person, while engaged in such zikr, transgresses all boundaries of kufr and shirk and falls into far error.I will explain those innovative methods of doing Zikr in a moment, before which I will explain the hidden intentions behind using the words khaleefa and ijaazat.

    Khaleefa : Qur'aan narrates the scene when Allaah informed the angels of His decision to send man to earth as His deputy (khaleefa) :

    This is the Aayaath of Qur-aan which these elders are contravening when they call themselves a khaleefa of their shaikhs. Allaah made man as His khaleefa but these people completely forget this and instead pride themselves on being a khaleefa of mere men.

    Ijaazat : If you read the following three verses of Qur'aan

  • al-a'araaf : 123
  • Ta-ha : 71,
  • Ash-shu'araa : 49
  • you will come to know that when the magicians in Pharaoh's court believed in prophet Moses' teachings (peace be upon him), Pharaoh frowned upon them and said : "What ? Do you believe in Moses before I give you permission?".

    When they recognised the truth, they believed in Moses and thus they believed on the Lord of the worlds. What is the necessity for them to wait for the permission of Pharaoh ?

    The Pharaoh failed to subjugate the magicians into seeking his permission before doing a good thing. But here, the shaikhs trick the common man into indirectly seeking their Ijaazat (permission) to do an apparently good deed. "Apparently good deed" , I say, because the methods of zikr taught by them is fraught with danger.

    Zikr (remembrance of Allaah) is an action much required and recommended by Allaah. Allaah's exhortation and direction about this in Qur-aan is a sufficient authority for us. Yet doing zikr by remembering or thinking that I am doing it with the permission or instruction of so-and-so might well end up again as an act of equating someone with Allaah.

    Ploy to put ru'ab (awe) in our hearts.

    Before explaining the deviant methods of Zikr taught by these elders, I will deal with the material benefits arising to them out of their using the combination of words : maulaana, khaleefa, ijaazat and bai-'ath in their conversations.

    The use of these words for human beings, in the manner already explained, constitue kufr (rejection) and derision of the verses of Qur-aan and shirk (equating with Allaah). When someone listens to these and does not protest, but on the other hand remains silent, it amounts to participating in the speaker's act of kufr and shirk and in course of time he becomes like them.

    Allaah puts awe in the heart of those who commit kufr (rejection), because they joined partners or equals to him. Read the following two verses of Qur-aan :

    Al-'Imran 151 : " Soon shall We cast terror into the hearts of the unbelievers, for that they joined companions with Allaah, for which He had sent no authority; their abode will be the fire; and evil is the home of the wrong-doers! "

    Al-Anfaal 12 : " Remember your Lord inspired the angels (with the message): "I am with you: give firmness to the Believers: I will instil terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers: smite you above their necks and smite all their finger tips off them."

    I remember many a people who approached me for a donation singly or in pairs. The first thing they will do after salaam, is to introduce the elder accompanying them or about the elder who started their madrasa. "He is maulaana x,y,z , who is the khaleefa of maulaana a,b,c and has his ijaazat. " The moment you agreeingly listen to this, you are finished. I have observed people mesmerized into donating sums liberally to previously unknown visitors who play this simple trick on potential donors. Such exploitation is not occasional. There are elders who exploit their clients their whole lifetimes.

    In the next chapter, I will, in-shaa-Allaah, detail the deviant ways of zikr engaged in and taught by these elders. We shall also have a brief look at what sufism is and know what the khan-qaahs are, which nurture sufism and its deviant methods and which are glorified to no end in the book Fazaail-e-A'amaal propagated by the Tableegh Jamaa'ath.

    New techniques to involve people in shirk and ridicule :

    About an year and a half ago, a get-together of learned persons was held in a Madrasa in Virinjipuram, Vellore district. At the time of serving snacks, just a couple of hours after a sumptuous lunch, it was announced over the public address system that "sharaaban tahoorah" will now be served. The announcement was greeted by the audience with giggles. Then a decoction of saunf seeds was served.

    A teacher of another madrasa who attended the get-together reported this to me and said he didn't like the announcement at all, because sharaaban tahoorah will be served only in the paradise and it is a ridicule to call a worldly drink sharaaban tahoorah. After reflecting more on the relevant aayah of Sura Al-insaan : 21, it also dawned on me that the verse promises that sharaaban tahoorah (a pure drink) will be served in paradise by Allaah. By making you hear the announcement that sharaaban tahoorah will be served (by the organizers of the get-together) and not protesting it, they are making you to participate in an act of equating with Allaah.

    Please read the relevant verse :

    " Upon them will be green Garments of fine silk and heavy brocade, and they will be adorned with Bracelets of silver; and their Lord will give to them to drink, a drink pure." (76:21) 


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