DIFFERENCES IN THE UMMAT AND SIRAAT-E- MUSTAQEEM, Fiqh / Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

After crippling the entire Ummat, there remained a need to extract worms from the fruits of achievements realized by the Ummat‟s great leaders, so that no respect and reverence for any saint manifests itself in the heart and mind of the new generation and none of Maududi‟s followers become „mental slaves‟ of any predecessor. He has achieved this aim with very high hopes. According to him there were but a handful of individuals who attained any feat worth mentioning in the field of revivalism. Amongst these are: the Khalifah Umar bin Abdil Azeez, the four Imaams viz. Imaam Abu Hanifah, Imaam Maalik, Imaam Shaafi and Imaam Ahmad bin Hambal, Imaam Ghazaali, Ibn Taymiyah, Mujaddid Alfe Thaani, Shah Waliullaah, Sayid Ahmad Shaheed and Moulana Muhammad Ismail Shaheed (rahmatullahi alaihim ajmaeen).

Regarding Umar bin Abdil Azeez (rahmatullahi alaih), Maududi has already stipulated, as mentioned before, that “Umar bin Abdil Azeez was close to achieving the status but was unsuccessful.”

In his opinion the four Imaams managed merely to arrange the laws of Islaam from their origins in a principled form, but they achieved nothing in the way of the duty of the prophets, as if to say they did not actually fulfil the realities of their task, which was the prime objective.

With regards to Imaam Ghazaali, he states : “There existed certain educational and ideological deficiencies in Imaam Ghazaali‟s work of revivalism. They can be categorised into three sections: The first concern those deficiencies due to his weakness in the field of Hadith. Secondly, those deficiencies arising from his total inclination towards logic. Thirdly those faults arising from his inclination towards Tasawwuf to a greater extent than was necessary.” [Tajdeed Wa Ahyaa-e-Deen, page 78]

After mentioning about Imaam Ghazaali, he comments on the work of Sheikhul Islaam, Ibn Taymiyah: “The reality is that he was unable to form any political movement by which there could arise a revolution in the government, thereby allowing the keys of power to be transferred from the control of jaahiliyyah to Islaam.” [Ibid, page 86]

After Ibn Taymiyah he mentions the feats of Mujaddid Alfe Thaani, Shah Waliullaah, Sayid Ahmad Shaheed and Moulana Ismail Shaheed, he says: “The first point which arouses apprehension in me regarding the revival work from the time of Mujaddid Alfe Thaani till Shah Sahib and his successors is that they failed in fully diagnosing the illness of the Muslims regarding Tasawwuf which these people have advocated. In its very essence it is derived from the original Tasawwuf of Islaam and is no different from Ihsaan. But those factors which I feel should be refrained from are the signs of Tasawwuf, the language of Tasawwuf and the maintenance of those methods which resemble the ways of Tasawwuf.” [Ibid, page 131]

It is apparent that Maududi harbours a dislike for Tasawwuf, its term and methods. However he does not have the courage to label the Tasawwuf of these elders as un-Islaamic, but he mocks it by saying: “Just as a Halaal substance such as water becomes prohibited when it is harmful for a sick person, similarly this practice, although legal, is liable for discarding because the Muslims have been administered with opium under its (Tasawwuf) guise. These chronically ill patients upon hearing it once again, remember their opium which kept them in a slumber for centuries.” [Ibid, page 132]

“Mujaddid Alfe Thaani and Shah Sahib were aware of this disease of the Muslims but they did not realize the seriousness of this illness. Consequently both of them administered the same medicine to their patients, which proved destructive for this illness. As a result the followers of both men began to be influenced by this age old disease.” [Ibid. Page 133]

“Although Moulana Ismail Shaheed understood this reality well, he adopted the same method as Ibn Taymiyah. This method is found in the literature of Shah Waliullaah and some effect of it remained in the writings of Shah Ismail Shaheed. This series of sage-disciple (peer-mureedi) continued in the movement of Sayid Sahib. Accordingly this movement could not remain pure from the germs of the disease of Sufism.” [Ibid. Page 134]

These are the elders of the Ummat which Maududi has selected in his presentation. Only a fool can, after regarding this criticism as truth, have any trust in these elders and follow their examples. Once again examine the nine categories of revival which Maududi has presented. Firstly he mentioned the correct evaluation of one‟s environment. In his opinion, all the elders from Imaam Ghazaali till Shah Ismail Shaheed with the exception of Ibn Taymiyah failed to diagnose the illness of the Muslims correctly, and instead continued administering “mafia injections” to them.

After pondering over these two facts, it can be concluded that these personalities were Sufis and according to Maududi, Sufism is the actual disease of the Muslims. If these personalities were themselves infected with Sufism, how could they possibly cure such an incurable disease of the Ummat? If this was the condition of these saintly elders whom the world regards as Mujaddids, then what will be the state of the rest of the Ulama of this Ummat?

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