If all the seniors of the Ummat were deprived of Maududi.s and his followers. trust, then how can the knowledge which we received through them be trusted as otherwise. Maududi has mentioned his mistrust for each one individually. He has thus totally discredited the elders and has convinced his followers consequently of a need for Ijtihaad in all the Islaamic sciences. Regarding the science of Tafseer he writes: ¡°There is no need for a Tafseer (commentary) of the Qur`aan. A highly qualified professor who has studied the Qur`aan in depth, and has the ability to teach the Qur`aan in a modern way is sufficient. By means of his lectures he can develop the skill of understanding the Qur`aan in intermediate students. Thereafter he can teach the Qur`aan for the BA. Degree in such a manner that they progress sufficiently in Arabic and thereby become fully acquainted with the spirit of Islaam.¡± [Tanqeehaat, page 193]
Regarding the science of Hadith, Maududi has written in his Tafheemaat on pages 287 and 298 under the caption ¡°Maslak-e-I`tidal¡± the summary of which is that the establishment of the authenticity of a Hadith is not dependant on the pronouncement of the Muhadditheen, but is dependant on understanding the temperament of Rasulullaah (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam). The infamous rejecter of Hadith Ghulaam Ahmad Parwez once wrote that his opinion regarding Hadith is not more serious than Maududi.s. The summary of Maududi.s opinion in his own words is as follows:
¡°The services of the Muhadditheen are accepted. It is also an accepted fact that whatever material they produced for examining the Ahaadith was extremely useful in research for the Ahaadith of the first era. Now is it correct to place total trust in them? They were after all only humans. They could not surpass the limits that Allaah has established for attaining knowledge. Naturally, their work was not devoid of human errors. Then how can it be said that whatever they classified as correct, is in reality correct.¡± [Tafheemaat, page 292]
Maududi searches for every opportunity to criticise the Sahaabah because he has a special affinity to revile them. Because the Sahaabah were the first narrators of Hadith, it was essential to discredit them as well as the other narrators of Hadith, in order to make the chain of narration dubious. Consequently he writes: “Firstly it is extremely difficult to ascertain the character, strength of memories and other internal characteristics of the narrators; and secondly those people who formulated opinions about them were themselves not free of human weaknesses.” [Ibid. Page 292/3]
Concerning this he writes further:”Above all this, it is strange that at times the Sahaabah (radhiAllaahu anhum) were overcome by human weaknesses and they used to attack one another.” [Ibid. Page 294]
As long as the science of Hadith does not conform with Maududi.s conception of the Prophet.s (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam) character, he will regard it as unworthy of recognition and without hesitation reject all the accepted Ahaadith of the entire Ummat. There are numerous examples at my disposal, but I am constrained to overlook them for the sake of brevity.
Among the various sciences of Islaam, after the science of Tafseer and Hadith, the most important is Fiqh (jurisprudence). He (Maududi) has so much aversion for it that at times he gives warnings of Jahannum regarding it. In his book “Huququs Zawjain” he writes under a certain heading: “On the Day of Qiyaamah these sinners will be brought with their religious leaders in the presence of Allaah.
Allaah will ask them: „Did we grant you knowledge and intelligence so that you do not make use of it?‟ Was Our Kitaab and Sunnah of Our Nabi (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam) given to you so that you could remain sitting with it while the Muslims continued to be led astray? We have made Our Deen easy. What right did you have to make it difficult? We gave the command to follow the Qur`aan and the Nabi (sallAllaahu alaihi wasallam). Who compelled you to supercede them and follow your predecessors?” (Moulana here makes the assumption that the pious predecessors of Islaam had not followed the Qur`aan and Sunnah and that they had ruled contrary to it, Astaghfirullah!)
“We kept the solution for every problem in the Qur`aan. Who asked you not to touch the Qur`aan, and regard the books written by men as sufficient? There is no hope for any Aalim that he will find refuge in the laps of the authors of Kanzud Daqaa`iq, Hidaaya and Aalimgiri (all Kitaabs of Fiqh). However the ignorant will be given a chance to answer thus: „O our Rabb, indeed we followed our leaders and our seniors, and they led us astray. Our Rabb, give them double punishment and curse them severely‟.” [Huququs Zawjain, page 98]
(Maududi has translated these 2 verses in Tafheemul Qur`aan as follows: “O Sustainer of ours, we followed our leaders and elders and they misguided us. O Sustainer, give them double punishment and curse them severely. (Tafheemul Qur`aan, vol.4, page134. sixth edition, June 1973)
This whole text reflects Maududi‟s internal attitude towards the pious predecessors and jurists of this Ummat. Hatred and animosity of such intensity is dripping from each word, such that no Muslim should feel towards any lowly Muslim, let alone the pious predecessors of the Ummat.
The verses of the Qur`aan which he has quoted here refer to the disbelievers who will on the Day of Qiyaamah say in the presence of Allaah: „O our Rabb, we were prevented from following in the footsteps of the Ambiyaa due to our leaders and our seniors, and they led us astray. The actual fault is theirs. Give them double punishment and curse them
severely‟.” (These verses have been deleted from the new edition of his book.)
When I read this extract concerning the elders of the Ummat I find it difficult to determine whether Maududi was in a stupor at the time of writing it or he, in reality actually regarded them to be out of the pale of Islaam, like the Kharijites. The authors of Kanz, Hidaaya and Aalimgiri are merely conveyers. Their crime is only that they conveyed the Masaa`il in their books. These Masaa`il are not theirs, but were formulated by the Imams (Imaam Abu Hanifah, Imaam Abu Yusuf, Imaam Muhammed – rahmatullahi alaihim) and according to Maududi these personalities are “leaders of the kuffaar” who are liable for double punishment and regarding whom the Qur`aan has warned of severe punishment for them. Why does he harbour such hatred and spit so much venom for these pious personalities? Simply because he cannot find any reference in these writings of the Aimmah which conforms to his own understandings. Let us be fair, can the intellect allow such defilement, for which there is no substantiation or reason?
I have mentioned before that in these precarious times of predominance of ignorance the only salvation is to follow the pious predecessors and hold on firmly to them. Without this support no person‟s Imaan can be safe merely on the knowledge that is available today. If one does not refer to or rely upon the predecessors, then shaitaan will capitalise on this situation and easily lead astray. He will make one person a Parwez, another Chakraalwi and another Ghulaam Ahmad Qadiani. It is most unfortunate that Maududi regards the emulation of the elders as the most serious crime. He mocks it by branding it “mental slavery”. Take note of his words: “In my opinion it is not permissible for a learned person to make Taqleed, it is a sin, in fact worse. But remember, to follow the principle of a certain school of thought according to ones own research is completely different from Taqleed. It is the latter which I regard as incorrect.”
This is Maududi‟s personal opinion. The basis of this incorrect opinion is that he regards every literate person as learned, and grants every learned person the status of a Mujtahid. Both these assumptions are incorrect. Had he considered for a while, he would have realized how lofty is the status of Ijtihaad. It is for this very reason that from after the fourth century until Mujaddid Alfe Thaani and Shah Abdul Azeez, the whole Ummat was unanimous on the matter of Taqleed. Were not all these elders learned according to Maududi? Did they follow the Imaams and in the words of Maududi thus committed “a sin, in fact worse”?
It is an irrefutable fact that Maududi does not trust anyone from amongst the elders, including the Sahaabah (radhiAllaahu anhum). Hence he also expresses a feeling of distrust in the knowledge which has been conveyed to us via them.