Fazaail-e-Aamaal – Inviting To Disbelief
What is essential to know is that:
Allaah created the creation in order that they should worship Him. Furthermore, Allaah prepared for them – from His Provision – all that they would require. About this Allaah – the Most High – said:
“I did not create jinn and mankind, except that they should worship Me. I do not seek any provisions from them, nor do I ask that they should feed me. Indeed Allaah is the Provider, the Possessor of Might and Strength.”
[Soorah adh-Dhaariyaat 51:56-58]
The beginnings of directing worship to other than Allaah (Shirk or polytheism) lay in the excessive praise and respect given to certain dead pious Muslims, who – due to peoples’ love for them – became idols that were worshipped and supplicated along with Allaah. Allaah – the One free from all defects – said:
“Indeed We have sent down to you the Book in truth, so worship Allaah alone by making the Religion purely for Him. Surely the Religion, worship and obedience should be for Allaah alone. But those who take as awliyaa (friends and protectors) others along with Allaah say: ‘We only worship them so that they may bring us closer to Allaah.’ Indeed Allaah will judge between them concerning that in which they differ. Indeed Allaah does not guide those who are liars and disbelievers.” [Soorah az-Zumar 39:2-3].
“And they worship those besides Allaah that can neither harm nor benefit them, and they say: ‘These are our intercessors with Allaah.’ Say to them: Do you inform Allaah about that which He does not have knowledge in the heavens and the earth? Glory be to Allaah and how free He is from that which they associate as partners with Him.” [Soorah Yoosuf 10:18]
“So Allaah – the Most Perfect – informed us in these two Aayaat (Verses) that the mushriks had taken others from the creation as awliyaa along with Allaah. They worshipped them along with Him, by offering du’aa (supplication) to them, and directing to them hope (of attaining safety or of being cured from some illness) and fear, sacrifice, vows, and their like claiming that directing such worship to these awliyaa would bring them closer to Allaah and that these awliyaa would then act as intercessors between them and Allaah. Yet Allaah – the Most Perfect – rejected such claims and made clear its falseness and labeled those who claimed such a thing as being liars and disbelievers!” 1
“Thus it should be clear to all who have intellect, that the cause of disbelief of the earlier kuffaar (disbelievers) was due to them taking the Prophets, awliyaa, trees, stones and other things from the creation, as intercessors between them and Allaah, believing that such intercessors would fulfil for them their needs and aspirations, without any permission from Allaah – the Most Perfect – nor His approval. They considered it to be similar to how ministers and advisors intercede on behalf of the people with the worldly kings. So they made a (false) analogy between Allaah – the Most Majestic – and the worldly kings and leaders, saying: just as a person who wishes to present his needs to a king has to go through the king’s advisors and ministers, then likewise we draw closer to Allaah by making du’aa (supplication) to the Prophets and the awliyaa; taking them as intercessors between us and Allaah.
However, this analogy is the height of futility and falsehood. Since Allaah – the One free from all defects – has none that is comparable to Him, nor can analogies be made between Him and His creation. Indeed no one intercedes for His creation, except with His permission, and none will be granted shafaa’a (intercession), except the people of Tawheed (the ones that single out Allaah alone for worship). For Allaah – the Most Perfect – has knowledge and power over all things, and is the Most Merciful of those who show mercy. He does not fear anyone, nor is frightened by anyone, since He – the Most Perfect – has power and dominion over His slaves and disposes of their affairs as He Wills.
This is contrary to the earthly kings and leaders, for they do not have power over everything, nor do they have knowledge about everything. This is why they are dependant upon advisers, ministers and armies to assist them in matters which they, by themselves, are unable to do. They are also in need of being informed about those who are in need, which is another reason for their being surrounded
by ministers and advisors. But the Lord – the Mighty and Majestic, the One free from all defects and shortcomings – is free from any type of need or assistance from any of His creation. He is more merciful to them than their mothers and He is the Most Just. And according to His Wisdom, Knowledge and Power, He places all things in their proper place. It is therefore not permissible to compare Allaah with His creation in this manner.” 2
The Jamaat Tableegh is the well-known group, whose members travel from Masjid to Masjid for a fixed number of days, following a pre-defined syllabus. Their activities centre mainly upon readings from the Fazaail-e-Aamaal (also known as Tableeghi Nisaab) and gathering others to join them in their activities. In general, they stick to non-controversial issues and claim that their sole aim is to encourage people towards following the religion by mentioning the virtues of different acts of worship. The adherents to the Jamaat Tableegh intend to enjoin the good and forbid the evil but in reality they are not only failing to call people to the greatest good – Tawheed, but in fact are calling people to the masjid to gather and listen to readings from a book which is encouraging the very evil that Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) was sent to destroy! The shirk of invocation.
Ironically, the Deobandis actually do consider direct invocation of other than Allaah to be Shirk, however the Fazaail-e-Aamaal has several incidents in ‘Virtues of Charity and Hajj’ that involve direct invocation to the Messenger of Allaah. Mentioned below are some of them:
1) “In Medina, there lived a woman from the Hashimi family, whose servants used to ill-treat her. She went with her complaints to Rasoolullah where she poured out her heart. From the grave was heard this reply, “Do you not prefer to follow my excellent example. Have patience, as I patiently persevered.” She said: ‘After hearing that voice all my grief disappeared and all the servants who used to annoy me passed away.” 3
2) In one story, a man named Abu Muhammad had to repay 80 gold coins that were kept as a trust with him. He spent the money and had no one who could help him repay back the 80 gold coins. So he … “…then went to the grave of Rasoolullah, where he made Du’aa for the whole night, sometimes at the grave and sometime at the minbar (pulpit), begging for a way out of his predicament. In the latter part of the night, he heard a voice coming to him from the darkness near the grave saying, ‘O Abu Muhammad, take this’. My father stretched forth his hand and a bag was given to him. In it was 80 gold coins!” 4
3) Yet in another story, three men fasted for days on end since they could not find food. One of them went to the grave of Rasoolullah and said: “O Rasoolullah hunger has overtaken us.” Soon afterwards … “a man from Alawi family knocked at the door. We opened the door and found a man with two servants, each one carrying a large basket with many delicious foods.” The man from the Alawi family said before leaving, “You have complained about hunger to Rasoolullah. I have seen Rasoolullah in a dream and he commanded me to bring food to you. 5
4) “Hazrat Ibn Jalaa relates, “While in Medina, I once suffered tremendous hunger. It became so unbearable that I presented myself at the grave of Rasoolullah and said, “O Rasoolullah, I suffer great hunger. I am now your guest.” Thereafter, sleep overtook me and in a vision I saw Rasoolullah gave me a piece of bread. I ate half of it and when I woke up, I found myself with the other half of that piece of bread still in my hands.” 6
5) In another story, a traveller said at the grave of the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam): “I have come from Egypt and for five months now, I have been in your presence. I beg of Allaah and of you that one such perso should take charge of feeding me, so that I be made able to depart homewards from here. Thereafter, I prayed for further things, went and sat down near the Minbar (pulpit).” A man then came to him and gave him food to eat that consisted of bread, ghee and dates. After the hungry man had eaten to his fill, he was given the remaining food in a basket along with about one sa’a (7 kilogram’s) of dates. The man (who fed the traveller) then said: “By Allaah, do not ever complain to my grandfather, Rasoolullah again. It disturbs him greatly. For, as long as, you remain here and whenever you have the need for food, it shall be sent for you.” He then sent a servant along with the traveller to reach him to the Prophet’s grave. Upon reaching Baqi, the traveller said to the servant, “It is all right, for now I know the way. You may return. The slave replied: “I have not the right to return without having left you at the grave. Perhaps, Rasoolullah will inform my master if I should.” 7
Inna lillaahi wa inna ilayhi raaji’oon
The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam warned:
“Whosoever dies whilst making du’aa (invocation, supplication) to others besides Allaah, will enter the HellFire.” 8
Anas radiallaahu ‘anhu related:
“In times of drought, ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab radiallaahu ‘anhu used to ask ‘Abbaas ibn ‘Abdul-Muttalib to pray for rain on their behalf. He himself would say: “O Allaah we used to ask Your Prophet to supplicate on our behalf to You, and You would bless us with rain. Now we ask the uncle of our Prophet to supplicate to You on our behalf, so bless us with rain.” Anas said: So they would be blessed with rain.”9
Sulaym ibn ‘Aamir al-Khabaairee relates:
“That the sky withheld all rain, so Mu’aawiyah ibn Abee Sufyaan went out to pray for rain along with the people of Damascus. So when Mu’aawiyah sat upon the pulpit he said: “Where is Yazeed ibn al-Aswad al-Jurashee?” So the people called him and he came stepping between the people. Then Mu’aawiyah commanded him, so he ascended the pulpit and sat at his feet. Then Mu’aawiyah said: “O Allaah! Today we are asking the best and most noblest amongst us to supplicate to You for us. O Allaah, today we put Yazeed ibn al-Aswad al-Jurashee forward to supplicate to You for us. O Yazeed! Raise up your hands to Allaah.” So he raised up his hands and the people raised up their hands. Then rain-clouds, like large shields, came quickly from the west, and the winds blew, and it rained so much that people could hardly reach their houses.” 10
So why didn’t ‘Umar radiallaahu ‘anhu and the rest of the Companions who were with him, go to the grave of our beloved Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam; or to the grave of the greatest of the awliyaa Abu Bakr radiallaahu ‘anhu, and make du’aa (supplication) to them for rain? Why? Because they knew that doing so would constitute shirk? Likewise, why didn’t Mu’aawiyah, and those of the righteous people with him, not delegate someone to go to Madeenah – to the grave of the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, or any of the Companions buried there – or directly make du’aa to them from Damascus, in their time of distress and great need? Why? Because they knew that doing so would constitute shirk!
However, Maulana Muhammad Zakariya Kandhelwi in his book Virtues of Hajj brings a story which contradicts the sound hadeeth of Anas radiallaahu ‘anhu above!!
“During the Khilafah of Umar radiallaahu ‘anhu – Madina was troubled by great drought and hunger. A certain man presented himself at the grave of Rasulullah sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam saying: “O Rasulullah your ummah is suffering destruction. Beseech Allah that rain descend from the heavens.” Thereupon he saw Rasulullah sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam in a dream in which Rasulullah sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said to him: “Convey my salaams to Umar and tell him rain will come. Tell him also that he holds to intelligence and reason.” The man conveyed the message to Umar radiallaahu ‘anhu. When he heard the message Umar radiallaahu ‘anhu wept bitterly and exclaimed: “O Allah as much as is in my power I try not to be mindful.” 11
SOME POINTS OF BENEFIT
Firstly: That Shirk began during the time of Noah ‘alayhis-salaam, due to the excessive love and veneration that the people had for certain dead pious Muslims. Imaam al-Qurtubee (d.654H) – rahimahullaah – said: “The initial images that were made of these righteous men were done in order that the people could be reminded about their righteousness and so strive in being righteous; as they strove. So they worshipped Allaah by the graves of these righteous men. Then a people came after them who forgot the intent of their fore-fathers’ actions. So Shaytaan whispered to them saying: Your fore-fathers used to worship these images and held them in great veneration.” 12
Secondly: “That Shaytaan is eager to misguide mankind and to plot against them. He comes from the angle of exploiting man’s emotions, and lures them into doing acts that are (apparently) good. Thus, when Shaytaan saw amongst the people of Noah their great love and esteem for the righteous, he tricked them into going beyond the bounds in their love, and he got them to make and place statues of these dead pious Muslims in their places of gathering. The objective of this was to make them swerve away from the right path.
Thirdly: That Shaytaan does not only observe the present generation, and seek to deceive only them; but he also wishes to misguide and deceive future generations. Thus, when he could not plunge the present generation, from the people of Noah, into Shirk, he eagerly awaited the next generation’s arrival, in order that he could misguide them.” 13
Fourthly: That the worshipping of dead pious Muslims continues to be practiced amongst the Ummah even today. The difference being is that the names have changed. Thus, instead of worshipping Wadd, or Yaghooth, or Ya’ooq; people have instead directed the same practices of Shirk – like supplicating directly to the pious dead, and taking them as intercessors between them and Allaah – to others; such as to Shaykh ‘Abdul-Qaadir al-Jeelaanee in Iraaq, or al-Baydaawee in Egypt, or Chishtee in India, etc. However, changing the name of a thing, does not change its reality.
In reality what the Jamaat Tableegh are doing is not the work of the Prophets but rather helping, and being a vehicle to spreading many vile innovations (bid’ah) in belief as well as actions through the evil book Fazaail-e-Aamaal. In doing so they are a major reason behind many false beliefs and concepts that are held, astray practices that are done, and thus are a major cause for the Ummah’s sickness. A sickness which they increase by their enthusiasm without knowledge.