Funny story with La Nabi Ba’adi

Once a man started to claim that he was a prophet. He said to the Muslims, “I am a new prophet who has come for your guidance. Accept me and do not reject me as Bani Isra’eel rejected their prophets!

So a humble Muslim approached him and asked, “What do you say about the hadith ‘There are no prophets after me.’” (in Arabic, la nabi ba’adi – no prophet after me)

This claimant of prophethood paused for a moment and said, “My name is La.”

In other words, he is saying his name is “No”, and he is the “No” who is referred to in the hadith “No prophet after me”. His absurd argument is that “No” is the name of the Prophet after Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم.

Jinn, Al-Dajjal and the Messiah

 بسم الله الحمد لله و صلاة و سلام على سيدنا محمد و على آله و بسم

Have you ever been to a gathering and as the night progresses, the conversations depart from the substantive to eery Jinn stories? They’re spooky and fun. And there are always these vague second-hand stories told by someone’s uncle’s-brother’s-friend’s-nephew in Pakistan. Why are they always from Pakistan? Does the Pakistani government make citizenship easy for them? Must not be a condition on their passports…

But in all seriousness, we know that there is another species of sentient beings on this Earth who are generally outside of our domain of perception called Jinn. Some of the are evil, and some of them are Muslims. From their evil ones are those who use their ability of suggestion (waswasa) to cause people to go astray. The father of this species is Iblis. Generally speaking, this is where our level of concern with them should end.

For centuries, Muslims knew that the Jinn existed, but did not concern themselves with them much beyond that point. If they were interested in the presence of any being, it was the Angels, for their righteous company. Discussions were about stories with Angels, and the righteous actions associated with them. In other words, they were most interested in goodness. A proof of this is the statement of the Sahabi Hudhayfah bin al Yaman رحمه الله, who said The people used to ask about the good, and I would ask about the evil fearing that it will overtake me.” He was the exception.

But as time passed, conversations strayed from Allah, the Prophet and his Angels to Jinn. In the Subcontinent, there’s an obsession with Jinn, Al-Dajjal, who are his followers, when is the Hour and such. This is the very culture that Ahmadiyya was born into and it is reflected in its beliefs.

Islam certainly has an eschatological tradition, which speaks about the End of Times, the Major Trials and Tribulations, the anti-Christ (Al-Maseeh Al-Dajjal), the wars, and so on. But in general, Muslims did not and should not concern themselves with these things on a day to day basis. We do not dwell on things we cannot control or affect other than to make the necessary du’as. Instead, Muslims concerned themselves with what Shaykh Hamza Yusuf termed as “Sacred Monotony” – the daily acts of worship that truly define the faith and the simple peace it derives.

Regarding the end of times, the signs are interesting to hear and mubashiraat (glad news) to those who live to experience them, as it strengthens one’s faith and serves as a “roadmap” during difficult times. But just like anything that we cannot change, there is no point in dwelling on them other than as points of reflection. When they come, they will come. It is not for us to force them to come about. This is why there are but a handful of ahadith about these events, compared to literally thousands of ahadith about accepting Allah’s decree (al-Qadr).

But when you compare this to Ahmadiyya, we see a different picture. We see a faith that is obsessed with the end of times, obsessed with who is Dajjal, who is Imam Mahdi, who is the Messiah, etc. The faith is defined by “Who is the Messiah”, even before Tawheed. They make say otherwise, but consider the following picture:

The above picture is emblematic of this absurdity. The Ahmadiyya faith is calling to a Mahdi-figure before calling to the Oneness of God, before ‘La ilaha il Allah’, before saying ‘God has a plan for you’, or ‘God wants good for you’, etc. Straight to the Messiah. “Well gee, I know that you’re dealing with a messy divorce, a gang-infested neighborhood and doubting God’s wisdom in your life, but the Messiah came 100 years ago.”

Islam is based on the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم, not merely in lip-service or some poem, but in what is actually discussed and taught. Islam is not a post-Messiah phenomena, nor will it be even when the one and only Messiah, ‘Esa bin Maryam عليه السلام (Jesus) does appear. But in the Ahmadiyya, it is exclusively based around the Messiah, the Messiah, the Messiah. Not Allah, Allah, Allah.

One closing point…some might try to defend their position by arguing that we are in the “latter days”. Many Muslims, including yours truly, believe that we approaching the end of time, when there will be great periods of deception, confusion, extreme human suffering, famine, so much so that a person will wake up a firm believer and go to sleep a disbeliever. But the way to defend oneself in these times is not through arguing and debate, but through cultivating a connection to Allah that comes about through worships and knowledge of the faith. This lesson is not something unique to today time, even if we lived 1000 years ago, the same lesson would apply. Because our deaths are closer to us than the coming of the Messiah and his enemy.

May Allah guide us to the right path: Islam, not Ahmadiyya

و صلى الله على سيدنا محمد و على آله و سلم

What Problem Did Ahmadiyya Solve?

بسم الله المحد لله و صلاة و سلام على سيدنا محمد و على آله و سلم تسيما


Each break-away group is usually based on a single perceived problem that they attempt to solve. An exampe is the now defunct group al-Batiniyya. Al-Batiniyya was a 10th century Ismaili movement, who were the dominant Shi’a group for centuries. While they had many arguments, the central problem the Batiniyya wanted to solve was that the Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم was no longer with us, and as such, we cannot receive direct guidance from him. Therefore, they believed a living Imam was necessary, who would communicate with Allah and the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم and report back immediate guidance. For the Batiniyya, this was the famous “Hidden Imam”.

One of the qualities of the sectarian mind Imam al-Ghazali detested was that it never followed its arguments to their full logical conclusions. Instead it would always stop at a certain point and refused to analyze any further. Al-Ghazali argued that the very problem the Batiniyya was attempting to solve was only made worse by their solution.

He responded, if the Prophet صلى الله عليه عليه و سلم is dead and therefore not reachable, the Imam is Hidden and also not reachable. Thus, their “Hidden Imam” did not solve the problem. The Batiniyya leaders responded that the scholars know the Hidden Imam’s recorded statements and use them as guidance in their time. This was no different than citing the recorded ahadith of the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم, while the Prophet himself was absent. The solution the Batiniyya presented seemed to make sense, but upon closer inspection, it did not solve their invented problem.

Compare this to Ahmadiyya. Lets put aside specific doctrinal differences for the moment and look at the model Ahmadiyya presents: Islam became corrupt, therefore, Allah sent a new prophet to refresh the religion and guide the Muslims. At firs glance this sems to make sense.

Everyone who is alive today never met Mirza Ghulam, never saw him, never even heard his voice, etc. How then does this alleged prophet help us if he is not even around in our time? What difference is there between the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم and this man, if we never met either? It is as if they are saying the immediate guidance of the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم does not apply to us because we are divorced from him by time and place, therefore, we need someone who we are also divorced from by time and place.

His followers would likely posit that the “khalifahs” are the inheritors of Mirza Ghulam. Therefore, if we follow the their “khalifahs”, we will be guided. This is the solution for the problem in their initial solution (Confusing, eh?). But if we are to follow religious leaders who take from Mirza Ghulam, how is that model different than the Muslim spiritual guides who already inherent from the Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم? One group inherits from the Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم and the other inherits from someone who claims to inherit from the Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم. All that does is add an extraneous layer of complexity.

Do you see the parallel between the Batiniyya and Ahmadiyya? The solution the Batiniyya and Ahmadiyya present do not solve their problem. They both merely create clever arguments for why their specific doctrines are the solutions to non-existent problems.

For our Ahmadi readers, if you are told that Mirza Ghulam came to perform a certain task, follow that statement to its fullest conclusion. Check if he really solved a problem, or just created a clever rhetorical device. This applies to his “divine jama’at” he started, the volumes of unread books he composed, him being the Imam Mahdi, etc. And ask yourself, are these “problems” Ahmadiyya tries to solve really problems that torment the average Muslim, or merely questions they themselves create, for which they conveniently provide the solution?

These are the intellectual tools you need to help deconstruct Ahmadiyya’s alleged purposes. And when you are done, you will be left with a faith that offers no solutions, no purpose and no guidance.

May Allah guide us all to believe in the only Messiah, ‘Esa bin Maryam عليه السلام

و صلى الله على سيدنا محمد و على آله و سلم

An Overview of Imam Al-Ghazali

بسم الله الحمد لله و صلاة و سلام على سيدنا محمد و على آله و سلم

Watch…

I know many people read this blog, but do not comment. If you have watched and have reflected upon it, send me an email from the “Contact Us!” link above. Sultanul Qalam, specific to you, watch the ending.

و صلى على محمد و آله

Sign of a Break-Away Sect

 بسم الله المحد لله و صلاة و سلام على سيدنا نحمد و على آله و سلم تسليما

What constitutes a break-away sect? What are its signs and characteristics? There are many, but here I will quickly focus on one.

One of the major characteristics of a break-away sect is that they tend to focus on a particular aspect of a religion (ie details, secondary aspects) and as if it is a major, over-arching theme that defines the entire religion.

Case and Point: All Muslims believe in the Messiah, ‘Esa bin Maryam عليه السلام, and that another person named Imam Mahdi, will be his contemporary and both will come towards the very end of the time. However, this is an eschatological detail, not the central theme of the religion. But in the Ahmadiyya faith, this aspect is the single, central defining theme of the faith, such that even its website cites that they are:

In other words, in their declaration of being Muslims, they felt the need to simultaneously declare that particularity that separates them from the traditional, orthodox Muslim community.

Of course, all break-away sects also focus on the major aspects of their respective faiths. But, their insistence on a particular interpretation of a particular detail as the over-arching theme that is invariably divergent from the mainstream is a strong indication that they are a break-away sect.

Finally, such sects follow a common pattern. For the first few generations they are able to place special emphasis on their particular interpretation of the detail. After two or three generations the interpretation is retained, but adherents focus more on the major elements of the faith. After a few more generations the particular interpretation is completely de-emphasized except for cultural or social reasons, and shortly afterwards adherents are resorbed back into the original group.

May Allah guide us all to what is True

و صلى الله سيدنا محمد و على آله و سلم

Dealing with the Modern Crisis: Islam vs Ahmadiyya

بسم الله الحمد لله و صلاة و سلم على رسول الله و على آله و سلم

The morality preached by both Muslims and Ahmadis is generally the same. Both communities are affected by a pervasive, attractive and in many ways deeply negative culture that tends to leads them away from the noble teachings that they are imbued with.

The result is an entire generation of youth who, even if their identity as Muslim or Ahmadi, still engage in the harmful and sinful behaviors of their larger cultural context. The leadership of these respective communities feel obligated to call their youth back.

Here are their approaches:

The Official Ahmadiyya Approach

  1. Mirza Masroor threatening to “kick out” young women who find it difficult to cover: Video available here. And if you “challenge” him, you’re a hypocrite.
  2. Spying and gossip about wayward youth (Leaked reports here)
  3. Public humiliations and ex-communications for people who engage in sinful behavior, justified in Tariq Magazine (Full Transcript here)
  4. Ban Facebook: The exact statement is “The practice of making and maintaining individual facebook pages/accounts is not permitted.“ http://www.alislam.org/egazette/faq/facebook-policy/
  5. “Desi Uncle knows best” immaturity to modern problems.


The General Muslim Approach

Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan gives a wonderful presentation where he illustrates the Crisis of Faith and Confidence affecting the Muslim community. I’ll be honest, he’s brutal. If you’re an Ahmadi looking to bash Muslim communities, you’ll find plenty of fodder here.

But listen to the maturity and the depth of thought this one Muslim presents that puts Mirza Masroor’s lack of intellectualism to shame. For example, regarding Ahmadiyya’s “Ban Facebook” approach, Khan argues that Facebook is not the problem, it is merely a symptom of a larger problem. By simply banning Facebook, you will merely create an “Everything is haraam” mentality.

Instead, his solutions are:

  • Create A Culture Around Strong Friendship
  • Create an Open Forum
  • Internalization, Then Islamic Knowledge
  • Psychological Crisis Among Older Youth
  • Studying Islam in Secular Universities
  • Equipping Our Youth to Leave Being Defensive

The full talk is available here:The transcript is available here (Thanks MuslimMatters!)

And this is just one example, other organizations, institutions and individuals are rising to the challenge to address these problems.

Conclusion

Both the Muslim and the Ahmadiyya communities are facing the same crisis. One of them addresses it by ex-communications, public humiliations, spying, banning Facebook, and the “Holier than Thou” approach. The other deals with the root problems and posits positive, constructive solutions, and calls back wayward Muslims.

Which do you believe in?

و صلى الله على سيدنا محمد و على آله محمد

Shaykh Habib ‘Ali Jifri gives the Hadith of Love

بسم الله الحمد لله و صلاة و سلام على رسول الله و على آله و سلم

I was blessed to attend the 2011 Reviving the Islamic Spirit conference in Toronto this past December. I usually dislike conferences as being shallow, mostly image and lacking substance, but this was an exception. I would recommend everyone attend, and I intend to go next year, in sha Allah.

The following is a cell-phone clip from a talk by Shaykh Habib ‘Ali al-Jifri presenting the famous and beautiful Hadith Musalsal of Love.

For those who cannot watch the video, Shaykh Habib ‘Ali narrates that one day the Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم met Mu’adh ibn Jabal رحمه الله and said, “Indeed I love you. So when you finish your prayers, do not forget to say ‘Oh Allah, I seek your help in remembering you, and thanking you and perfecting my worship of you.’”. When Mu’adh told the next person, he began by saying “Indeed, I love you”, thus spreading the love of the Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم, and continued with the rest of the narration.

This tradition continued from one to the next to begin by telling the recipient, “Indeed, I love you”, until it came to Shaykh Habib ‘Ali from his Shaykhs. So Shaykh Habib ‘Ali said to the crowd of around ~20,000, “Indeed, I love you all, So whenever you finish your prayers, do not forget to say ‘Oh Allah, I seek your help in remembering you, and thanking you and perfecting my worship of you.’”

The Love of the Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم traveled through time and place through an unbroken chain and reached us.  This type of hadith, where you say it to the next person, is called a Hadith Musalsal. I put this video to help dispel the “Jahil mullah molvie terrorist” stereotype that is presented by some within the Ahmadiyya community.

One final point. When someone watches a video like this, his or her natural reaction is to want to do Durood Shareef (Salawat). The most proper way of doing so is to send ask Allah to send prayers upon the Prophet Muhammad, and upon his family. A simple form would be Allahumma salli ‘ala saydina Muhammad wa ‘ala aali saydina Muhammad.

May Allah guide us all.

و صلى الله على سيدنا محمد و على آله و سلم تسليما

Ahmadiyya and the Era of Sectarianism

 بسم الله الحمد لله و صلاة و سلام على رسول الله و على آله و سلم

One of the most amazing aspects of Islamic history are the stages that the Muslim community passed through. It seems that in every generation a new issue arose that needed to be dealt with, and through Allah’s Lutf (subtle care) different personages and figures came to help stabilize the Ummah.

Such stages of Fitnah include:

  • The shock and instability after the death of the Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم;
  • The four false prophets who arose in Arabia and subsequent wars with Abu Bakr رضي الله عنه;
  • The crusaders versus the numerous Muslims generals;
  • The Tatar invasion of Ghengis Khan when ‘Izz al-Din ibn ‘Abd al-Salam unified the Muslims;
  • You see this pattern repeated…

But what about the fitnah of Sectarianism?

If you read ahadith about the 73-sects, you might get this impression that you need to ask yourself which of the 73-sects you are upon? Which is true? Which am I? How do I know which is correct? Lets have a debate and find out! But then ask yourself, is sectarianism really the main problem in our times?

Sectarianism is a fitnah that the Muslim world primarily experienced 100-300 years after the departure of the noble Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم. During this period is when the Muslims divided into literally hundreds of small theological, political and social groups, each claiming to be the “True Islam”. Compounding the problem, many of those new ideologies held extremely compelling arguments in their favor – don’t think they were flimsy!

It was during that time that the masses were engaged in debate over the technicalities and subtleties of the Deen. Confusion was wide-spread, father and son, student and teacher, governor and subject, even two highly ranked scholars all would vehemently argue. Many were influenced by outside ideologies without even realizing it. Others embraced invented ideas wholeheartedly. Some new groups gained prominence, one even took control of the Khilafah!

But as Allah says in the Qur’an, “Travel through the land; then observe how was the end of the deniers.” If we reflect on this ayah, Allah is not calling on us to see how a splinter-sect thrived during its glory days, but how it ended. The vast majority of those sects and groups are no longer in existence today. Some burned out, most fell into obscurity with only a few thousand scattered followers nowadays. Alhumdu lillah, our generation was largely saved from that Fitnah.

At this moment, the vast majority of the Muslims follow “regular Islam”, version 1.0, and are at little risk of joining the remnants of a break-away group. What does this tell us? This is not the era of sectarianism or schisms. ‘Aqidah problems are rarely the immediate issue with contemporary Muslims. The debates are over, that fitnah has come and gone. And just as we do not need to excessively concern ourselves with past issues, we do not need to re-engage ourselves in questions of dogmatic belief that have already been answered. Islam does not need to be re-invented. Newly created arguments are exactly how break-away sects are formed in the first place! Instead we stand on the shoulders of giants to face the current issues that that plague our modern community.

But the Ahmadiyya religion seeks to re-open questions that, not only were answered centuries ago, are not subjects of contemporary debate and have no relevance to our modern times. They went as far as to publish this ludicrous lists of the “72 sects”, many of whom have not even existed in hundreds of years, but somehow allegedly came back into existence, managed to unify, all condemn Ahmadiyya, and then went back into non-existence. Convenient.

You tell me:

  • What is telling a woman who was raped by Qadaffi’s forces that, “by the way, the Mahdi came about 100 years ago, looks like everyone missed him”, going to do for her shattered self-esteem and self-respect?
  • What is a Somali man who watched all of his children die from starvation in the droughts going to do if you tell him, “Jesus is dead”.
  • What is a Chechen mother whose son “disappeared” going to do with your attempts to convince her that half of the Qur’an is a bunch of confusing metaphors whose correct understanding no one understood for 1300 years?

Clearly ‘Aqidah is not the primary issue of our times. But the “problems” Ahmadiyya attempts to solve are not on the minds of Muslims, nor are they even our concerns. No one is looking at a calendar thinking, “Man, so when is ‘Esa bin Maryam عليه السلام going to return?” My friends, you are dwelling on non-issues to a people who have more immediate concerns on their minds.

Just like every other break-away group that preceded it, Ahmadiyya has come, will run its course, and will eventually fade away.I am glad that our pious predecessors protected the religion from corruption during the era of sectarianism, and I pray for the forgiveness of those who were sincere but slipped into misguidance. May Allah guide us all to the Truth and keep us firm upon it.

و صلى الله على سيدنا محمد و على آله و سلم

Who is the Messiah?

بسم الله الحمد لله و صلاة و سلام على سيدنا محمد و على آله و سلم

The Messiah is ‘Esa bin Maryam عليه السلام.

Per the Qur’an, no one else is the Messiah other than ‘Esa bin Maryam عليه السلام.

We are Muslims who believe in the Messiah, ‘Esa bin Maryam عليه السلام.

We invite Ahmadis to accept the Messiah.

May Allah guide us all

The Providence of W. Deen Muhammad

بسم الله الحمد لله و صلاة و سلام على سيجدنا محمد و على آله و سلم

In 2008, the American Muslim community wept as Wallace Deen Muhammad returned to Allah. I’ve met many famous people in my life, but amongst the most memorable was meeting W. Deen Muhammad. It was Fall 2003, and I was a beardless 19 year old sophomore in college. I took a trip to North Carolina with some older African-American Muslim gentlemen to meet and schedule him to deliver a talk for our Muslim Students Association (MSA). He had striking blue eyes and a glow of wisdom that only comes with experience written on his face. He was glad to meet a member of the MSA, even a skinny 19 year old, happy we were continuing the tradition, and briefly mentioned how they helped him when his community had expelled him.

…But who was W. Deen Muhammad and why am I writing this on a blog about Ahmadiyya?

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