Thursday, October 25, 2018

Why Follow A Mujaddid-II

"He who dies without having a pledge of allegiance (to the Imam/Khalifah) on his neck, dies the death of Jahilliyah."-- Holy Prophet Muhammad (sa)

'Allah’s Messenger (sa) said three times: May Allah’s mercy be upon my Caliphs.  The Companions said: ‘And who are your Caliphs, O Messenger of Allah?’ He said: ‘Those who revive my Sunna and teach it to the people!’" (According to al-Hasan bin ‘Ali (ra): Ibn ‘Asakir in Tarikh Dimashq al-Kabir, 51/61)

"The obligation of appointing an Imam (Khalifah) is from the necessities of the Shari'ah that simply cannot be left." - Imam Al-Ghazzali

It is regrettable that most Muslims today are simply unaware of the deep verities of the Faith they otherwise claim to profess and even practice. People in their ignorance and stupidity usually remain satisfied with what they are habitually familiar with- inherited family traditions, ritual practices and the tales of dead and gone Divine savants in their communities. So much so that by their sheer negligence of profound teachings - especially those pertaining to the advent of Divinely-imbued souls to guide the Ummah in every era of Islam-, the folks do not recognize what they are missing out in experiential spirituality or the rich inner life that the Islamic Way promises to the Divine-seekers.  

Against this indifference of contemporary peoples stand the rich record of the past. Indeed through the millennium and more of Islamic history, the Divinely-raised Mujaddidin had left their imprints on Islamic spirituality in every era. As Shah Waliullah Dehlawi (ra) noted in one of his books: "A Mujadid appears at the end of every century, the Mujadid of the 1st century was Umar bin Abdul Aziz for establishing justice. The Mujadid of the 2nd century was Imam Shafi for explaining the Aqa’id and Fiqh. The Mujadid of the 3rd century was Abu Hasan al Ashari for formulating the sciences of Ahl us Sunnah and refuting the innovators. The Mujadid of the 4th century was Imam al Hakim and Al Baihaqi for laying the foundations in Hadith sciences and Abu Hamid Isfara’ini for spreading Ilm of Fiqh. In the 5th century was Imam Ghazzali for opening new paths in Fiqh, Kalaam and Tasawwuf. In the 6th century was Fakhr ud-Din Razi for spreading knowledge of Kalaam while Nawawi spread knowledge of Fiqh.” [Shah Walliullah in his Izalat al-Khafa]

Like many saints of Islam in the past, in the previous century, the Promised Massih and Mahdi Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) of Qadian also offered layers of spiritual and logical explanations to ‘normalize’ the phenomenon of Divine Manifestations among the Muslim believers. Through his comprehensive and all pervading engagement with the spiritual doctrine in all its settings, the Promised Massih (as) has left behind an extraordinary range of explanations emphasizing the need for recognizing an Elect of God whenever such a person announces his spiritual mission of renewal of the Faith. The Promised Massih (as) noted that Allah (swt) maintained the institution of Reformers (Mujaddidin) after the Seal of the Prophets, because along with their own practical example, these personages command a spiritual attraction and influence, and virtue of the highest degree could be observed in their persons-  a path of spirituality that any thoughtful person would inherently find appealing. 

Reproduced below are two such expositions made by the Promised Massih (as) in his writings.

(1) In his famous book Haqiqatul Wahi”the Promised Massih (as) cited the sacred tradition from the Holy Prophet (sa)- regarding the advent of Mujaddidin, cited above- in order to explain the significance of Divine Elects among the believers in every era to provide living testimonials to the vitality of the Islamic path. In this discourse, the Promised Massih (as) dismissed all usual objections that sceptical persons and the ignorant ones raise on the subject of Mujaddidin by providing simple but powerful counter-questions/arguments whereby he points to the authenticity of the Hadith regarding the advent of the Mujaddidin in every era. Just as no one knows the names of all the Prophets who had appeared and preached Tawheed among all corners of the world, before the glorious advent of the Holy Prophet (sa) in the spiritual world; Allah (swt) would have raised Mujaddidin in all parts of the expanding Islamic world in the previous eras and hence, he argues that the Hadith cannot be invalidated on the ground of one not being able to agree on the chronological listing of Mujaddidin of the past. 

Read the Discourse Below: 

'Meaning that, Abu Dawud reports that the Holy Prophet, may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said: ‘At the head of every century, God will commission a Mujaddid for this Ummah who will revive the Faith for its sake.’

The twenty-fourth year of the present century is now nearing its end and it is not possible that a saying of the Holy Prophet, may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, should remain unfulfilled.

If someone asks, If this Hadith is authentic, then tell us the names of the Mujaddids [Reformers] of the twelve centuries?’, the answer is that this Hadith has been continually held as authentic by the scholars of the Ummah. If, at the time of my claim, even this Hadith is to be declared as a fabrication, such can indeed be expected only from these maulawis.

Some eminent scholars of Hadith themselves claimed to be the Mujaddids of their own times, while others have tried to project someone else as the Mujaddid. Therefore, if this Hadith is not authentic, they did not act honestly.

As for the names of the Mujaddids, it is not necessary for me to remember them all. Such all-encompassing knowledge is exclusive to God alone. I lay no claim to know the unseen except for what God reveals to me. Furthermore, this Ummah is spread over a large part of the world. Divine wisdom raises a Mujaddid in one country at a certain time, and in another country at other times. Who can have full knowledge of the works of God and who can encompass His domain of the unseen?

Will you please tell me how many Prophets have appeared in every one of the nations from Hadhrat Adam as [Adam] to the Holy Prophet, may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him? If you tell me this, I shall tell the names of the Mujaddids too. It is obvious that lack of knowledge about something does not necessarily mean that it does not exist....'(pp.241-42; Haqiqatul-Wahi). 

(2) In his collection of Discourses entitled Malfoozat, one can read an address delivered by the Promised Messiah (as) on 31 January 1898, after Fajr Prayer, where he spoke about the profound and organic linkages between Nubuwwat and Wilayat/Mujaddidiyyat:

A Succession of Mujaddidin and Muhaddithin

(A) matter worthy of reflection is that one form of rain descends so that the seed may be sown, and another form of rainfall descends so that the seed may grow, develop and flourish. In the same manner, the rain of prophethood descends to sow the seed. After this, the rain of the recipients of divine revelation (Muhaddithin) and the Reformers (Mujaddidin) falls, so that this seed may sprout, grow and develop as alluded to in the following verse:

Verily, We Ourself have sent down this Exhortation, 
and most surely We will be its Guardian…..Al-Hijr, 15:10

I have stated countless times that prophethood serves as an anchor for divinity. An individual who rejects prophethood, slowly but surely reaches a state where they deny the existence of God. Moreover, sainthood serves as an anchor for prophethood. When a person rejects a saint, eventually and gradually they lose their faith. At present, you may observe that a period of over 1300 years have elapsed since the Messenger of God, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him. If God Almighty had remained completely silent until this time and if He had not manifested Himself, Islam would have no more value than a tale or fable and it would have no distinction or superiority over any other religion. 

For example, the Hindus attribute miracles to their saints and relate these stories as they appear in their puranas and shastras, but can demonstrate no such feats today. In the same manner, if today the miraculous signs of Islam were related by Muslims as they appear in their books, but they could not show any such signs in this day and age, what superiority would it possess over other religions? 

Human nature is such that it expresses a dislike and aversion to such things that do not possess a superiority over others. Faith in Islam would fall weak if it did not possess a superiority, because faith cannot remain strong unless it finds perfection in a matter. Therefore, the hedge of sainthood has been planted around the tilth of prophethood. You may reflect and see how clear and subtle a response this is to those who raise objections against God taking oaths. (p. 234; Malfuzat-I)

To read the first part, click here