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Shaykh Nuh’s “mistaken takfir” analysis

Posted by Abd Al Mustafa on Wednesday 18th April, 2007

I truly did not want to even go anywhere near this subject but the deobandi blogs are full of impressions and expressions that a neutral scholar from the arab world has highlighted the fatwa of Imam Ahmad Rida (RA) as a mistake. I have great respect for shaykh nuh and my respect and feelings towards him have not changed in any way after reading his article on the barelwi/deobandi conflict.


However, the shaykh cannot claim to be neutral or un-biased, and he should take a look at and take ideas from this discussion to see what he missed out. And off course the message below.

The dispute is certainly over a century old & one that will not be decided or concluded based on a contemporary Scholar’s review.


It is unfortunate & distressing that a Scholar of his repute & piety should need to raise his pen on this issue without consulting & referring to any of the senior research Scholars of the Ahl as-Sunnah w’al Jama’ah. Alhamdu lillah, not only do we have ‘Ulama’ from the Sub-Continent capable of communicating with the Shaykh in the ‘Arabic language but also ‘Arab research Scholars in the Middle-East who have a thorough understanding of the century old conflict.


…………..The former Director General of the Ministry of Islamic Affairs & Endowments, Dubai, UAE, Khadim al-‘ilm ash-sharif, ShaykhIsa bin ‘Abd Allah bin Muhammad bin Maan’i al-Humayri, for example could perhaps have been consulted. Not only is he an ‘Arab Research Scholar but he also speaks the Urdu language & is well known amongst the Ahl as-Sunnah w’al Jama’ah ‘Ulama’ & the Deobandi School.


Shaykh Nuh’s essay is of course neither the full account nor the works he relied upon sufficient source material for such an independent analysis. The ‘Ulama of the Ahl as-Sunnah w’al Jama’ah have been informed & positive & constructive steps will be taken to ‘inform’ the Shaykh of his errors & more appropriately make more printed material available to him. It is sad to apparently see the lack of Shaykh Nuh’s research on this matter. Hardly a fair examination or analysis if someone had honestly asked for one. The Shaykh is also not one appropriate for such an independent impartial study either since his thinking may be susceptible to some level of bias when he enjoys a warm relationship with the Deobandi ‘Ulama’ & frequents their centres globally. read on….

what’s worse is the fact that shaykh nuh portrayed Imam Ahmad Rida (RA) in a few of his statements to be somewhat a newbie molvi…………just goes to show how much he knows about the great Imam, let alone being able to write up a balanced piece on the conflict. And the fact that he is surrounded by deobandies & undercover deobundies doesn’t help his neutrality either.


However, some good will come out of this, Inshallah. Just look at the affair with shaykh gibril (another non-indopak scholar) who, when first became aware of this conflict almost attempted to refute Imam Ahmad Rida (RA) but when the ulama got in contact with him and made availabe for him original documents, he has somewhat made a shift in his views and opinions on the issue (well actually i do not know his exact views on the issue, but when you see the shaykh label gangohi as a leader of the wahabi influenced deobandi school & thanwi as the same, i rest my case).

3 Responses to “Shaykh Nuh’s “mistaken takfir” analysis”

  1. fadl said

    salaam, shaykh nuh kellers essay was a mistake. i understand where he is coming from and i do not doubt his intentions but for now his essay was the mistake. may be after learning urdu and familiarizing himself equally with both parties and their writings and not having the need to have others translate for him, then i would welcome it to be a wise move, but only then.

  2. Ibrahim said

    will shaykh nuh also be addressing the issue of the deobandi fatwa on moududi..???

  3. Hamza said

    Shaykh Nuh & Deobandis get refuted by molvi rashid ahmad gangohi himself:

    THE FATWÂ’ Rashîd Ahmad Gangohî, in reply to a question writes:

    Question No: 30 A poet who in his poetry uses words as idol or statue or calamity of Turks tragedy of Arabia in his compositions of the Prophet, salla Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam, what is the legal [shar’îy] ruling on this? Elaborate and be rewarded!

    Answer: The person expressing these ill words although does not intend the actual real apparent meanings rather intends the metaphorical and figurative meaning, nevertheless, [such words] are not void of inference of insolence, blasphemy and offence of the Unblemished Self of Allâh, Most Exalted and the Messenger of Allâh, salla Allahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. For this very reason, Allâh, the Exalted, prohibited the [Prophetic] Companions from uttering Râ’inâ and instructed the usage of the [substitute] word of Unzurnâ. When in actual fact the purpose of the Companions, Allâh be well pleased with them all, was not by any means to intend the meaning which the Jews [deliberately mockingly] intended but since it was a means of pleasing the Jews and carried implications of hurting and offending the Messenger [salla Allâhu ‘alayhi wa âlihî wa sahbihî wa sallam] thus, the ruling communicated:

    “Say not [to the Messenger, salla Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam] Râ’inâ but say Unzurnâ [Do make us understand]” al-Qur’ân 2:104

    …… and likewise the speaking of the eminent Companions [Allâh be well pleased with them all] in the presence of the Prophet, salla Allâhu ‘alayhi wa âlihî wa sahbihî wa sallam, with a raised voice was not, ma’âdh Allâh, intended to harm or offend, on the contrary it was merely due to their nature and character. However, since it carried implications of offending and disregard of honour and respect the ruling was thus given:

    “O you who believe! Raise not your voices above the voice of the Prophet [salla Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam], nor speak aloud to him in talk as you speak loud to one another, lest your deeds may be rendered fruitless while you perceive not.” Al-Qur’ân 49:2

    What an unambiguous ruling that though your intention was not to disparage however by doing so your deeds would become wasted and you wouldn’t even be aware of it. Also the same is in a Hadîth: “Kunya [nomen] yourself with the kunya Abî’l Qâsim” which was [later] prohibited during the Noble lifetime [salla Allâhu ‘alayhi wa âlihî wa sahbihî wa sallam] for offending the person of the Master of the World, in that if someone was to call someone [with the same kunya] then thy will assuming thyself to be addressed confer attention even though the caller did not whatsoever intend to offend the Messenger of Allâh, salla Allâhu ‘alayhi wa âlihî wa sahbihî wa sallam. And, Ibn Mâjah reports that when Ash’ath bin Qays Kundî arrived he enquired, “O Messenger of Allâh, are you not from us?” And this enquiry, and knowledge of ghayb is with Allâh, was simply because all ‘Arabs from Quraysh till Kunda are from the Banû Ismâ’îl. So thee replied, “Do not accuse our uncles of adultery and do not negate our lineage from our fathers, we are the progeny of Nadar.” Behold! This word merely carrying a far reaching implication – to what extent the Prophet [salla Allâhu ‘alayhi wa âlihî wa sahbihî wa sallam] rejected and prohibited and insisted on good manners of speech. ….. In sum, these words carried apparent insolence and offence hence to utter such words will be kufr:

    “Verily those who annoy Allâh and His Messenger [salla Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam] – Allâh has cursed them in this world, and in the Hereafter, and has prepared for them a humiliating torment.”

    al-Qur’ân 33:57

    … It is said in Shifâ’: “That, when a person has uttered something when speaking of the Prophet, salla Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam, without intending to insult, neither to offend and nor does he believe it to be but has uttered for the Prophet, salla Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam, words which constitute kufr [like] from cursing him or insulting him or falsifying him or associating that which is unlawful upon him or negating that which is indispensable upon him which for his status are [considered] blemishes, salla Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam, like associating a major sin …. or uttered something disrespectful out of sheer ignorance which is construed as a kind of verbal abuse even if his circumstances apparently illustrate that he did not intend to demean the Prophet, salla Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam, nor did he rely on it or he uttered it merely through ignorance or due to distress and depression or due to influence of intoxication or due to lack of thought or by his tongue running away from him or uttered it in the heat of the moment. Then the legal ruling concerning such a person without hesitation is death.”

    [Qâdî ‘Iyâd bin Mûsâ Mâlikî D544H ash-Shifâ’ Vol 2 Page 203-204 Published by ‘Abd at-Tawwâb Academy, Multân]

    Hence, it is required that the writer of such kufr [entailing] words be severely reprimanded and if possible [to do so], if he does not stop then he should be killed because he is the harmer and offender of the Grandeur of the Exalted and His Messenger and Prophet, salla Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

    And Allâh, the Exalted is Most Knowledgeable. Servant Rashîd Ahmad Gangohî

    We can only but say: “On such a very vocal protest thy own testimony is severe enough”


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