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Nov 14, 2013

Respect For The Syed [Descendant Of The Beloved Prophet Sall-Allahu Alaihi Wa Sallam)]

A'la Hazrat's Love for Syeds (may Allah be pleased with him) Love for Allah and His Rasool is the foundation of Islam and undoubtedly Imaan is imperfect without it. It is incumbent on believers to also love the illustrious family of the Holy Prophet in fact prophetic traditions have exhorted us to do so and explained its great excellence and merit. Rasoolullah has stated in a Hadeeth, “He who passes away possessing love for the family of Muhammed passes away as a martyr, he passes away as someone whose sins are forgiven, as one who is Taa’ib (his repentance is accepted), as a complete Mumin (believer), Izraeel (the angel of death) and the Munkar Nakeer (angels that question a deceased in the grave) give glad tidings of Jannah to him and he is sent to Jannah with grand honour similar to when a bride is sent to her matrimonial home. Listen attentively; two doors to Jannah are opened in the grave of a person who passes away possessing love for the family of Muhammad, Allah makes his grave a destination for the angels of mercy to visit and indeed he who passes away possessing love for the family of Muhammad passes away on the creed of the Sunnah and congregation.” (Tafseer Kabeer by Imaam Fakhrudeen Raazi, Vol. 7. Pg. 390)

Love for the Saadaat (descendants of the Holy Prophet) was the essence of Imaam Ahmed Raza Khan, praise for the Ahle Bait and Saadaat was the Wazifa of Aala Hazrat and serving them was his Imaan. Aala Hazrat’s Hadaaiq-e-Bakhshish perhaps the most profound anthology of Na’at Shareef in the Urdu language is proof to the intense love he possessed for the Ahle Bait and Saadaat. He eloquently states,

Kya Baat Raza Us Chamanistaan-e-Karam ki
Zahrah hei Kali jis mei Hussain aur Hasan Phool

Raza, what can be said of that beautiful garden of mercy!
Wherein Zahrah is the blossom of grandeur and Hasan and Hussain, the scented flowers

Teri Nasl-e-Paak mei hei Bacha Bacha Noor Ka
Tu hei Ain-e-Noor Tera sub Gharaana Noor ka 

Ya RasoolAllah! Every child of your lineage is Noor
You are the fountain head of Noor, your entire family is Noor

These words of prose are only a slight indication of Aala Hazrat’s reverence. When we peruse the judicial rulings of Imaam Ahmed Raza in Fataawa Razvia, his veneration becomes clearer. The following is a question posed to Aala Hazrat and answered by him:

Question- A person is a Sayed but his mannerism and actions are resentful and the cause of shame. Is it permissible or not to abandon interacting with him based on his actions? Is it acceptable or not to respect him due to his Nasabi (genealogical) background? Can preference be given to a virtuous non-Sayed over this Sayed due to Aamaal (actions)? In such a condition, does the Shariah incline towards Aamaal or Nasab (geanology)?

Answer- Respect for a Sayed who truly subscribes to the Sunni path is necessary irrespective of what his Aamaal may be. Due to these actions, estrangement from him must not be observed. Distancing should be observed from the abhorred actions themselves. In fact even if his Mazhab (religious views) has a slight difference that doesn’t reach the point of Kufr (disbelief) like Tafdheel (giving preference to Sayyidunna Ali over the other Sahaaba), still too does respect to him being a Sayed not fall away. Yes if his religious views reach the point of Kufr like Raafdhis, Wahaabis, Naichris, Qadiyaanis etc. Then respect to him becomes haraam because the reason for showing him respect meaning Sayaadat (state of being a Sayed) doesn’t now exist. Allah states in the Holy Quraan,

He said, “O Nuh, he (meaning your son) is not of your family because undoubtedly his work is not righteous.” (Surah Hud, Verse 46)

The Shariah has given excellence to Taqwa (piety). The Holy Quraan states,

Indeed the noblest amongst you in the sight of Allah is he who is the most pious. (Surah Hujraat, Verse 13)

However this excellence is Zaati (personally acquired), the excellence of Nasab is based on the Muntahaa (end tie) of the genealogy. The Muntahaa of the Saadaat is the Holy Prophet, respect for this excellence of lineage is Fardh (obligatory) on every pious person. This respect is not for the Sayed himself but it is actually Rasoolullah’s veneration. And Allah knows best. (Fataawa Razvia, Vol. 22, pg. 422-3)

Aala Hazrat states, “To disrespect a Sayed who is Sunni is strictly prohibited…Rasoolullah has stated in a Hadeeth, “He who doesn’t recognize the worth of my descendants is either one of three things: a hypocrite, an illegitimate product of intimacy or someone conceived during the period of impurity.” (Kanzul Ummal, Vol. 2, pg.104 Hadeeth number- 34199) Majmaul Unhur states, “It is Kufr to use language of contempt for the Ulema and Sayeds.” (Vol. 1, pg. 295) Undoubtedly a person who disrespects a Sayed solely based of his Sayaadat is an absolute Kaafir. Performing Salaah behind such a person is either totally futile or Makrooh (abhorred). Without a Shar’ee proof, to call someone who is popularly known as a Sayed even though his lineage is not familiar, as one whose Sayaadat is unconfirmed is a major sin if the conditions of Qazf (ascribing falsehood) are prevalent in such a case. Such a person will be lashed 80 times as punishment and his testimony thereafter will always be rejected. If the conditions of Qazf are not prevalent, then it is certainly hurt to Muslims without Shar’ee cause and offense to Muslims without a Shar’ee reason is definitely Haraam.” (Fataawa Razvia, Vol. 24, pg. 341-2)

Imaam Ahmed Raza Khan also states, “This Faqeer (Imaam Ahmed Raza Khan) with the grace of Allah, is a humble slave of the respected Saadaat. I believe that their love and greatness is the means of salvation and intercession. I have printed in my books that even if a Syed begins to hold incorrect views, still too does his respect as a Sayed not fall away provided that these views don’t reach the point of Kufr. Yes after the point of Kufr is reached, Sayaadat itself doesn’t remain and his respect becomes Haraam. I have also repeatedly issued this verdict that for us to regard someone as Sayed and respect him, it is not necessary for us to decipher him as a Sayed by our subjective knowledge. We shall respect all who are regarded as Sayeds and we have no need of investigations. Neither have we been commanded to demand their genealogical chains nor force them to exhibit them. It is absolutely impermissible to slander or attack them if they don’t exhibit their chains. People are responsible for their genealogy. Yes when it is indisputably proven that a certain person is not a Sayed but he presents himself as one, we shall neither respect such a person nor address him as a Sayed. It will also be appropriate to alert other unacquainted persons of his sinister deception. Actually my practice is based on an incident wherein an altercation occurred between a Sayed and someone else. The former said, “I am a Sayed” but the latter demanded, “What proof do you have of being a Sayed?” This person sees a dream at night and it is like the panorama of the day of reckoning. He came to the Holy Prophet in the hope of intercession but he turned his blessed face away from him. This person submitted, “O Prophet of Allah, I am also your Ummati (follower).” and Rasoolullah replied, “What proof do you have that you are my Ummati?” (Fataawa Razvia, Vol. 29, pg. 587-8) 

Many are aware of this famous incident. Once, Imam Ahmad Raza Khan (radi Allahu anhu) was invited to the home of a certain person. In those days, the Ulema were carried in chariots as a means of transport. A'la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) was sitting in one of these chariots that was carried by the chariot-bearers. As they proceeded along the way, Sayyiduna A'la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) suddenly commanded the chariot-bearers to stop. He immediately alighted from the chariot and asked, "Who is a Sayyad from amongst you? I am receiving the scent of a Sayyad." One of the chariot-bearer's, who was a Sayyad, was too scared to speak. Nevertheless, when A'la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) further prompted that person to reveal himself, he came forward and admitted that he was Sayyad.

With tears in his eyes, A'la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) fell at his feet and began asking for pardon. The Sayyad continuously asked A'la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) to refrain from doing so but, A'la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu) continued asking for pardon, by saying, "Please forgive me. What would I do on the Day of Qiyamah if the Beloved Prophet (Salla Allahu 'alayhi wa Sallam) asks me concerning this incident, and says to me that I showed disrespect to his family?"

The Sayyad readily forgave A'la Hadrat (radi Allahu anhu). But this Aashiq-e-Rasool (Salla Allahu Alayhi wa Sallam) was yet not satisfied. He commanded the Sayyad to sit on the Chariot, and placing the chariot on his blessed shoulders, carried the Sayyad for the same distance which he had been carried!

Allahu Akhbar! Those who had been witnesses to this incident could not believe that the Imam of the Ahl as-Sunnah Wa'h Jama'ah, the Mujaddid of Islam was carrying a chariot-bearer on his blessed shoulders. But to A'la Hadrat (radi allahu anhu), that person that he was carrying was no ordinary chariot-bearer. It was a family of the Beloved Prophet (Salla Allahu Alayhi wa Sallam)!

Allahu Akbar! Aala Hazrat didn’t just talk love for the Saadaat, he practically demonstrated it. Whenever Aala Hazrat saw a Sayed, he would stand in veneration even if the Sayed was a small child. On the instruction of Aala Hazrat, Sayeds would receive a double share of Shirnee (sweetmeats) in assemblies of Meelad Shareef. He would kiss the hands of the Saadaat, fulfill their needs and seat them in places of distinction in his gatherings. Love and respect to Rasoolullah, the Ahle Bait, Sahaaba, Saadaat and Auliya made Aala Hazrat Imaam Ahmed Raza Khan the heartbeat of believers and an esteemed and revered icon of Islam. We pray to Allah to grant us even an iota of the true love he possessed for the personalities of Islam, Ameen.


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