14 Muharram 1435 – 18 November 2013
A Concerned Brother writes:
“A conference known as “Moulana Qasim Nanotwi (r.a.) Award Conference” is due to take place here in Gauteng sometime in January 2014. The event will be held over 3 days or so and many Ulema, Shuyookh, VIP’s and dignitaries local and abroad will be attending, primarily from Saudi, Turkey and other middle eastern countries; although some Indo-Pak Scholars will also be expected. The organizers (who are mainly Arab and Turkish scholars) say that the main object is to make the Arab and other middle eastern scholars aware of the sterling work and services of the Deobandi Ulema. The first Conference of this nature took place about 2 years ago in Turkey and a number of our South African Ulema (amongst them members of the Fordsburg Jamiatul Ulema) were also in attendance. Scholars such as Hazrat Mufti Taqi Uthmani D.B. delivered talks apprising the attendees about the efforts, sacrifices and services of the Deobandi Ulema and establishment of Darul Uloom Deoband. At the end of the conference, one scholar was chosen and honoured by being given the “Moulana Qasim Nanotwi (r.a.) award.” In that first conference, an elderly Turkish scholar by the name of Sheikh Mahmood Effendi received the prestigious award. This year, the rumour is that Hazrat Moulana Saalim Saheb D.B., son of Hazrat Moulana Qari Tayyib Saheb (r.a.) is in line to receive this award. Of course, in the previous conference, Arab and Turkish scholars also delivered talks. The concern was that some of the speakers were either clean shaven or with sparse beards. Furthermore, the entire conference was videotaped.
This year, the organizers requested that the conference be held in South Africa and for this they approached a local Darul Uloom here in Gauteng. The principal of this Darul Uloom is fully supporting the event; but to avoid the negative aspects such as clean-shaven scholars giving speeches and the videotaping that will most probably take place (even though the principal voiced his disapproval of these aspects), the principal suggested that all the programmes take place in the town’s civic centre hall and not in the Darul Uloom Masjid. However the principal has put his weight behind the conference by hosting and offering all the attending dignitaries accommodation and meals at the Darul Uloom. The expenses will be phenomenal as besides providing meals and accommodation (for which the students’ boarding is being spruced up and upgraded for the more than a hundred VIP’s), the business class plane tickets also have to be sponsored for them. To collect funds for this purpose, the principal gathered local businessmen and wealthy people and appealed to them to contribute towards this noble cause.
Should we support and attend such a conference or not? Please comment.”
Muhammad Ismail 8 Muharram 1435 Aboo firstname.lastname@example.org
The description of the proposed conference presented by you breaks our heart. Such a conference cannever be permissible in terms of the Shariah. Consider the following factors of hurmat:
(1) Phenomenal Israaf (waste). Huge sums – millions of rands – will be wasted for this futile, ostentatious, merrymaking function whilst millions of Muslims are suffering in grinding poverty and jahaalat the world over. The suffering of Muslims in the Syrian refugee camps and the suffering of Muslims in other parts of the world render this colossal waste of money a monstrous haraam obscenity.
The Ulama, in particular from Turkey, where the relief camps of the suffering Syrian refugees are located, are well aware of the misery of the hundreds of thousands of Muslim women, children and men languishing in hovels and huts. Yet, their hearts remain unmoved. Whilst the Muslim Ummah is on flames with misery and suffering, the Ulama and Shuyookh deem it appropriate to organize and participate in a festival of colour and flamboyance – a three day event of israaf, riya, takkabbur and tashabbuh bil kuffaar. Something is drastically wrong with the Heart and Brain of the Ummah.
Amid the misery of the Ummah, how is it possible for those who are supposed to be the Waratha (Heirs) of the Ambiya to revel stoneheartedly in sumptuous meals of waste and flamboyant expression of academic ability bereft of the ethos of Islamic asceticism so much emphasized by the Qur’aan and Sunnah, and practically demonstrated by the Sahaabah and Auliya whose patterns of life the Ulama perennially cite to impress audiences. Flamboyance and waste are the very antithesis of everything for which hadhrat Maulana Qaasim Nanotwi (rahmatullah alayh) stood.
Undoubtedly, the participants in this three-day event of waste and flamboyance come within the purview of the Qur’aanic aayat:
“Then your hearts became hard as stone or harder than stone, for verily, from even some stones gush out rivers, and verily, some stones split open and water springs forth, and some stones roll (from heights) for the fear of Allah.”
Ulama in the meaning of the Qur’aan and Sunnah are only those who are embodiments of Khashiyat (Fear and Humility): “Verily of Allah’s servants, only the Ulama fear Allah.”(Qur’aan) The three-day event of Israaf and Riyacannot be justified by any stretch of Islamic logic.
(2) Riya –show and ostentation accompanied by takabbur. These evil characteristics are concomitant to such functions of show and waste. The natural attributes of Ilm-e-Deen are khashiyat (fear), tawaadhu’ (humility), ikhfa (concealment) and khalwat (seclusion and solitude). All the paraphernalia accompanying this type of ostentatious and wasteful merrymaking function are nugatory of these sterling attributes without which a man cannever be an Aalim of the Deen regardless of his academic qualifications, scrolls of certificates and flowing robes flaunting academic distinction.
(3) Tashabbuh bil Kuffaar: The ‘prestigious’ award of honour is pure kuffaar innovation which Muslims, even the Ulama, are today emulating, and by so doing they creep into the proverbial “lizard’s hole” of the Yahood and Nasaara as mentioned by Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). Are these Ulama emulating Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) or the Sahaabah or the Fuqaha or the Auliya or even our Akaabireen of the recent past in this lamentable bid’ah of awards and prizes? Are they following Hadhrat Maulana Qaasim nanotwi (rahmatullah alayh)? Did any of these illustrious Stars of Uloom and Taqwa who strode and brightened the firmament of this Deen ever indulge in such kuffaar style flamboyant doling out of awards?
Indeed they are sullying the glorious name of Hadhrat Maulana Qaasim Nanotwi (rahmatullah alayh) by dubbing the kuffaar award ceremony after his name. The name for this haraam function is a scandalous misnomer. There is absolutely no resemblance between this three-day un-Islamic event and the noble ascetic, Hadhrat Maulana Qaasim Nanotwi (rahmatullah alayh). A grave injustice is being perpetrated by besmirching the name of this illustrious Aalim and Wali with this un-Islamic award ceremony. Are they taking their direction from the Nobel Prize kuffaar, or from other kuffaar award-giving ceremonies?
The Ulama of Deoband – and all of them are today under the earth – never were in need of advertising themselves. They abhorred publicity. Despite their concealment, Allah Ta’ala projected them and their works which are available today all over the world. The sterling work of our Akaabir Ulama of Deoband is not in need of the services of the modernist Arab and Turkish shuyookh for exhibition. Nothing of our Akaabir Ulama remains hidden. Kuffaar-style events and merrymaking functions of flamboyance and waste are the very antithesis of the Maqaasid (Objectives) which were pursued by the likes of Hadhrat Maulana Qaasim Nanotwi (rahmatullah alayh). There is nothing prestigious about the nonsensical award which will be pinned on the lapel of some Molvi/Shaikh who will bask in stupid flattery of a kind castigated by the Qur’aan:
“Those who rejoice over their deeds (feeling pleased with themselves) and love to be praised (and flattered) for what they have not accomplished – never think that they will escape from the Punishment (of Allah). For them there is a dreadful punishment.”
The function and the award-doling stunt are perfect examples of Talbeesul Iblees (Deception of Shaitaan). The event is ostensibly to propagate the exploits of the Senior Ulama of Deoband, but the ‘award’ is handed to some gloating Molvi/Shaikh who will be purring with self-esteem when he is ‘honoured’ in the galaxy of flamboyant celebrities with drivel which has absolutely no significance in Islam and which is totally out of character of all that the Ulama of Deoband stood for.
(4) Beardless dolts: The evil of the merrymaking function is compounded by the presence of beardless (clean-shaven) dolts and characters with beards in haraam kuffaar style. Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said that when a faasiq is honoured, the Arsh of Allah shudders. What type of ‘Maulana Qasim Nanotwi’ function is this where the kabeerah sin of honouring fussaaq is committed flagrantly without a twinge of conscience?
(5) Videotaping and Photography: Did Hadhrat Maulana Qaasim Nanotwi (rahmatullah alayh) have any affinity with these flagrant, major sins?
(6) Collecting funds for this haraam function is also haraam. It is not permissible to contribute funds for this wasteful, ostentatious function of futility adorned with acts which are decidedly un-Islamic. There is nothing noble in this function. Those who are desirous of thawaab should contribute their money to the destitute, the fuqara, masaakeen and the suffering refugees living in misery in squatter camps. They are the ones who have to struggle for a frugal meal a day. In this scenario, with what heart can Muslims contribute funds to feed obese men swimming in luxury, eating sumptuous dishes thrice daily and revelling in waste and extravagance, pomp and show?
Never should you support this conference.
Let the Molvis and Shaikhs take Ibrat from the following salubrious episode. Allah Ta’ala revealed to His Nabi, Hadhrat Yusha’ (alayhis salaam) that He would soon be destroying a city of 60,000 inhabitants. Twenty thousand of them were Auliya whose A’maal (practical deeds of piety) equalled the A’maal of the Ambiya. Extremely surprised, Hadhrat Yusha’ (alayhis salaam) enquired: “O Allah! Punishing the transgressors is understandable. But why destroy even the 20,000 pious men?” The Divine Response was that these 20,000 holy men mingled, socialized and fraternized with the fussaaq and fujjaar. They had abandoned the obligation of Amr Bil Ma’roof Nahy Anil Munkar until they became so desensitized regarding the sins and transgression perpetrated by their affluent friends and donors that silence in the face of fisq, fujoor and haraam became their attitude. They romped and made merry together at functions, wedding ceremonies, etc.
The type of wasteful and baatil function being planned bodes ill for the Muslim community. Opulence gone wild is a sure sign of the impending athaab which overhangs the community.
It is our appeal that the local Ulama should not support this un-Islamic event.
“Therefore, take lesson, O People of Intelligence.” (Qur’aan)