Ala Hazrat’ Imam Ahmad Raza Khan (1856–1921, sometimes transcribed as Ahmad Raza Khan) was a prominent Muslim Alim from Bareilly, a city in Northern India during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He was a follower of Hanafi fiqh. Hanafi Fiqh (the school of Islamic Fiqh, founded by Abu Hanifah), was one of four schools that enjoyed massive and general scholarly acceptance. Imam Aĥmed Riđā was also poet and writer, authoring nearly 1,000 books and monographs of varying lengths in Arabic, Persian and Urdu.
No student of Islam can claim to complete his or her studies until a full investigation is undertaken of the genius and the contribution made to Islam and the Ahl Sunna wal Jamaat by this great scholar. Ala Hazrat as he is affectionately referred to by people of the subcontinent is best described as a multi-dimensional genius whose real contribution to humanity and Islam is only now being fully understood by scholars, political figures, scientists and leaders around the world.
Ala Hazrat as:
A‘lahazrat learnt Islamic studies by leaps and bounds. When he was four, he completed the Nazra (oral recitation) of the Holy Qur’an. At five, he delivered his first speech, at twelve, he wrote his first book in Arabic, a commentary of “Hidayat-un-Nahav”. At the age of thirteen, on 19th November 1869, Dastàr (accomplishment of Islamic studies) was conferred on him. On this very day, he wrote a Fatwa on the issue of foster-brotherhood and presented it to his respected father, Hazrat Naqi Ali Khan, who found it absolutely correct. Looking to the talent of his son, Hazrat Naqi Ali Khan authorized him to work as a Mufti (one who issues Islamic verdicts) since then. Thus, at 13, A‘lahazrat became full-fledged Mufti. Much to our surprise, A‘lahazrat achieved so much within such a short period. Yet, what is most surprising is that he became a Mufti while he was teenager. It is a fact that savants of vast experience and high caliber only are authorized to work as a Mufti.
A‘lahazrat learnt a few books of Urdu and Persian from Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Qadir Beg. He also learnt a little from Hazrat Mawlana Abdul Ali of Rampur (d. 1885). A‘lahazrat learnt 21 subjects from his respected father, Hazrat Naqi Ali Khan (d. 1880). Besides, he was also taught by his Shaykh, His holiness Shah Al-i-Rasùl of Marehrah Sharif (d. 1879) and H.H. Shah Abul Hasan Nùri of Marehrah Sharif (d. 1906).
Thus, this talented student who later on proved himself at home in so many subjects, learnt most of the subjects at home.
Just like how a tree is known by the fruits it produces, a teacher is known by the students he has taught and inspired to go forward, develop and spread the teachings he has received from his master. A‘lahazrat taught a number of persons. Yet it cannot be said with certainty as to how many persons in all were taught by A‘lahazrat. The reason is that at that time, no pomp and show was in vogue. Service to religion was the only motto. The number of students was not remembered, students were remembered.
Some of his prominent pupils are Mawlana Hasan Riza Khan, Mawlana Mohammad Riza Khan, Mawlana Hamid Riza Khan, Mawlana Sayyid Mohammad Jilani Muhaddith-i-‘Azam of India of Pilibhit, Mawlana Sayyid Nùr of Chittagong, (Bangla Desh) and Mawlana Hashmat Ali Khan of Pilibhit. Some of his prominent caliphs are Mawlana Abd al-Hayy of Africa, Shaykh Swaleh Kamal, Sayyid Ismail Makki of Saudi Arabia, Mawlana Ziauddin Ahmad, Hujjatul Islam Mawlana Hamid Riza Khan, Mufti-i-‘Azam Mawlana Mustafa Riza Khan, Mawlana Amjad Ali (Writer of Bahar-i-Shari‘at), Mawlana Naimuddin Moradabadi, Mawlana Didar Ali of Lahore, Mawlana Abdul Alim Siddiqui (father of Shah Ahmad Noorani of Pakistan), Idul Islam Mawlana Abdul Salaam of Jabalpur, Mawlana Burhanul Haq of Jabalpur, Mawlana Lal Mohammad of Madras etc.
Great from great, each and every pupil of A‘lahazrat emerged to be a great savant. Now the position is that every Sunni savant all over the world, how great he may be, wishes to be called a servant of A‘lahazrat. He takes it as a great honor. Such is the honor of the noble A‘lahazrat.
A mufti is one who issues Fatwas or Islamic verdicts. He is supposed to be a doctor of Islamic jurisprudence. Of course, he is a savant of savants, who works with greater sagacity, understanding and responsibility. A‘lahazrat was a mufti of international repute. Questions for fatwa from every corner of the world were received by A‘lahazrat, who replied them explicitly with ample references and quotations from Holy Qur’an, Hadith and other authentic books of religion and science. Most complicated and insoluble questions were sent to A‘lahazrat and he solved them in no time. In this field, A‘lahazrat has written a number of books and booklets on a number of issues. But his masterpiece is “Fatawà-i-Rizawiyya” which runs in 12 volumes and each volume is spread over 1000 pages. It can thus be called is a book of books. It is a dictionary of Fatwas and an encyclopedia of Muslim jurisprudence.
Dr Hasan Riza Khan presented his thesis on “The place of A‘lahazrat in Islamic jurisprudence”, which was accepted by Patna University, India and a degree of doctorate was conferred on Dr. Hasan Riza Khan. Conceding the intellect of A‘lahazrat in Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence), Justice D. F. Mulla, a Parsi Judge of Bombay High Court observed that in India and Pakistan, two great books were written on Fiqh — one “Fatawà-i-Alamgiri” and the other “Fatawà-i-Rizawiyya”. An uncommon feature of Fatawà-i-Rizawiyya is that it is hailed by among friends and foes alike.
Many erudite present day schoalrs of Islam have agrred that it is difficult to become a mufti. But it is easier for a mufti to remove his difficulties through Fatawà-i-Rizawiyya.
A‘lahazrat enjoyed a lofty position in the science of Hadith. A‘lahazrat has written several books on the subject. A muhaddith is a scholar of the sayings of Holy Prophet (Allah’s Grace and Peace be upon him). He is a master of this subject.
The savants of Arabic have accepted the intellect of A‘lahazrat in this field. Applauding the ability of A‘lahazrat in the science of Hadith, Shaykh Yasin Ahmad Khyari al-Madni has observed about A‘lahazrat as “Huwa Imam-ul-Muhadduthin” That is, A‘lahazrat is the leader of Muhaddethin. (Plural of Muhaddith). Allama Muhammad Zafar al-Din Rizawi has compiled a collection of traditions quoted by A’lahazrat in his books in several volumes. The second volume has been published from Hyderabad (Sindh) with the title of “Sahih al-Bihari” in 1992 containing 960 pages. Mr. Khalid al-Hamidi of Jamia Millia of Delhi writing his doctoral dissertation of ulamà of sub-continent to Hadith literature. In this dissertation the author has mentioned more than forty books/treatises of A‘lahazrat on Hadith literature.
A‘lahazrat delivered only religious speeches or rather he used to deliver only religious sermons. Nowadays, Muslims have become used to listening to political speeches or speeches to validate one’s worldly position on a subject. These are easy discourses to give and can be delivered by anyone who claims to be a scholar. These blind speeches contain no restraints and no exhortations at all. Blind support, blind criticism and blind assurances are the main ingredients of such speeches. The only job of a political speaker is to support his party, oppose his rival party and give assurances in lieu of his support. However, a sermon is quite different. It entails a lot of difficulty for the speaker. Here every sentence and every word is to be spoken with great care and responsibility. A speaker may be taken to task for uttering even a single word, which is incorrect, inappropriate or indecent. In this field too, A‘lahazrat had a beauty of his own. On the issues where it was difficult for others to make even an introductory speech, A‘lahazrat was able to speak extensively on almost all subject pertaining to the soul. He never used to speak on the subject of his choice nor on a given subject. But, whenever he was asked to deliver a sermon, he usually said: “Till now, I could not deliver a sermon to myself, how can I deliver a sermon to others. How ever, if you have any religious problem to be solved, put it before me. I will try to get it solved, because once a question is put up, then under Shariah, it becomes obligatory to answer it”. People of his day went on putting up their questions and thereafter A‘lahazrat made his detailed and dignified speech covering the answers of all the questions with all facts and figures, references and quotations. How simple and superb was his way of speech? He avoided speaking every now and then. He made a speech only when it was needed. However, usually during the year, he used to deliver magnificent speeches on three occasions — first, at the time of Annual Function of Dastàrbandi of students; secondly, on the eve of 12th Rabi al-Awwal (Holy Birthday of Holy Prophet) and thirdly, at the Urs ceremony of H. M. Hazrat Al-i-Rasùl Saheb of Marehrah Sharif.
Once, on the eve of Urs ceremony of Hazrat Shah Abdul Qàdir Saheb, A‘lahazrat went to Budaun where he spoke continuously for six hours over Surah Al-Duha (Sura 30), which consists of only 11 small verses. Such was the greatness of the oratory of al-mufassir A‘lahazrat.
A Mujaddid means a Renewer of Islam. He is known as a predominant and pre-eminent savant of a particular century — Islamic century in terms of Hijra. How to recognize a Mujaddid, there is a criterion for it. In this connection, the savants of Islam have set a principle that a Mujaddid is he, who must have enjoyed his eminence at the end of a century as well as in the beginning of the next century. It clearly means that, other things being equal, a savant, who lived (took birth and died) within a single century, is out of the purview of being a Mujaddid straightaway.
During the century, whatever wrong spreads on the holy road of Islam, a Mujaddid is supposed to clear it away, repair the damaged portion and renew the road for the passers-by of the new century, Just as for a particular year, a Nobel laureate in a particular field may be one or more, in the same way, in respect of a particular century, the Noble Savant of Islam. I mean to say Mujaddid, may be one or more than one.
Mawlana Zafar al-din Bihari has written a book “Chaudhvin Sadi ka Mujaddid” published from Maktaba-i-Rizawiyya, Lahore. It depicts a comprehensive century-wise list of renewers of Islam according to the consensus of savants. It shows that Hazrat Umar Bin Abdul Aziz is the Mujaddid of the first century. Imam Muhammad Bin Ghazali is the Mujaddid of fifth century. Imam Jalaluddin Suyuti is the Mujaddid of ninth century. Mulla Ali Qurari is the Mujaddid of tenth century. Shaykh Ahmad Sarhandi is the Mujaddid of 11th century along with Shah Abdul Haq Muhaddith Dehlawi and Mir Abdul Wahid Bilgrami. Alamgir Aurangzeb is the Mujaddid of 12th century. Shah Abdul Aziz Dehlawi is the Mujaddid of 13th century and A‘lahazrat is the Mujaddid of 14th century. In 1318/1900 in a meeting held at Patna (India) and attended by ulamàs. Mawlana Abdul Muqtadir Badauni (d.1334/1915) conferred the title of Mujaddid-i-Mi‘at-i-Hazira (Revivalist of the current century) to A‘lahazrat in the presence of 500 hundred high-ranking ulamàs of the sub-continent. In 1324/1906 the curator of the Mecca library Sayyid Isma‘il bin Khalil Makki called A‘lahazrat a Mujaddid. In 1330/1911 Shaykh Musa Ali Shami called him the Mujaddid of the 14th century. In 1330/1911 Shaykh Hidayatullah bin Muhammad bin Muhammad Sa‘id Sindhi called A‘lahazrat the Revivalist of 14th century.
A‘lahazrat was Mujaddid of the 14th century. He was born in 1272 A.H. and passed away in 1340 A.H. At the end of the century, A‘lahazrat was sailing in the boat of eminence. He was a savant who mattered around the end of century. A‘lahazrat has been accepted as sole Mujaddid of fourteenth century unanimously.
Even after writing a single book on a single subject, one becomes an author. Those who have had to their credit a dozen of books or so, they are usually known as great authors. But what to say about A‘lahazrat, who has written hundreds of books on various subjects? More or less, he has written one thousand books and treatises on fifty-five subjects as revealed by Mufti Ijaz Wali Khan Shaykh al-Hadith Jami‘a Nizamiyya Rizawaiyy, Lahore, in al-Mu‘tamid al-Mustanad, (Turkey).
Allama Zafar al-din Rizawi had presented the bibliographical data of A’lahazrat in his book al-Mujmal al-Mu‘addid li Talifat al-Mujaddid (1327/1909), Dr. Hasan Riza ‘Azami also has given details of writings (Urdu, Persian, Arabic) of A‘lahazrat in his doctoral dissertation an A‘lahazrat. Dr. Majeedullah Qadri of Karachi University (Sindh, Pakistan) has given the details of A‘lahazrat’s contribution to various rational and traditional branches of knowledge in his doctoral dissertation on A‘lahazrat. Dr. Muhammad Mas‘ud Ahmad has collected the titles of books and treatises of A‘lahazrat. This list may exceed to one thousand books/treatises after completion. Mawlana Abdul Mubin Nu‘mani of al-Majma‘ al-Islami (Mubarakpur, India) has also compiled a book on the academic and literary contributions of A’lahazrat — rational and traditional branches of knowledge. The monthly al-Mizan (Bombay) and the monthly Qari (Delhi) have given the same details in their special issues on A‘lahazrat in 1976 and 1989 respectively.
And now some scholars are collecting the data of those scholars and writers who have written or are writing on A‘lahazrat. Dr. Muhammad Mas‘ud Ahmad, R.B. Mazhari, Prof. Fayyaz Ahmad Khan Kawish, Ijaz Ashraf Anjum etc., are prominent compilers. In the light of these researches we came to this conclusion that A‘lahazrat was a unique author of his time. Hardly would there be any savant throughout the world except Imam Jalal al-din Suyuti, who might have written so many books.
To read, write and speak a language is another thing but to possess skill in a language is quite different and a linguist is one who possesses skill in different languages. A‘lahazrat possessed noted proficiency in Arabic and Persian apart from Urdu and Hindi. Urdu was his own language; Hindi was the language of his country — no wonder he became master of these languages. What really matters is that he attained marvelous proficiency in Arabic while he was a non-Arab. He was so adept in Arabic that the Masters of Arabic from Arabian countries seemed to be mere students before him. He has written over 200 books in Arabic in prose as well as poetry. His single book “al-Daulat-al-Makkiyya” is enough to prove the proven proficiency of A‘lahazrat in Arabic. Whosoever wants to ascertain his standard of Arabic, I will advise him only one thing? Pick up “Al-Daulat-al-Makkiyya”. Don’t disclose anything about its writer. Open any page of this book and place it before any Master of Arabic literature. Ask him not to go through its contents. Ask him simply to give his opinion about the standard of language used. Then see what he says. You will appreciate that he will appreciate a lot. Then tell him that it has been written by a non-Arab. Please believe that he won’t believe. You may take any Arabic couplet of A‘lahazrat and ask any Arabic poet his openion of it. Leave it all. His Arabic Qasidas in praise of Allama Fazl-i-Rasùl Badauni or his Persian Qasida in praise of Allama Abdul Qadir Badauni are masterpieces. Open the first page of first volume of “Fatawà-i-Rizawiyya”; Its preface is a galaxy of literary pearls. Its preface is the preface of literary talents of A‘lahazrat. Similar is the case of A‘lahazrat in case of Persian. He has written a number of books in Persian and Urdu. He also presented presentable poetry in Persian and Urdu. His Qasida-i-M‘irajiyya is included in the syllabus of the Sindh University (Pakistan) for M.A. Urdu.
What is needed to make one a linguist, A‘lahazrat possessed far more than that.
Once upon a time, on the auspicious occasion of the Urs ceremony of Hazrat Shah Abdul Qàdir at Budaun, A‘lahazrat spoke continuously for six hours over the commentary of Surah “al-Doha‘ (parah 30) comprising only 11 small verses. A‘lahazrat has also reduced to writing his commentary on this Surah. Thanks to the knowledge and ability of A‘lahazrat, it exceeds 600 pages. In his book “Ujala” (in Urdu), Prof. Mas‘ud Dehlawi has observed that if A‘lahazrat was to write commentary on Holy Qur’an for the whole of his life, even then it would not have been complete. What he says is correct and correct in toto. When his commentary of 11 small verses covers more than 600 pages, then for sure, the commentary of the entire Holy Qur’an consisting of 6666 verses, small and big, would fetch about half a million pages at least. His father Mufti Muhammad Naqi Ali Khan had written a commentary of Surah Al-Nashrah, which has been published from Karachi in 1989. It consists of 438 pages — lo! a commentary of 8 small verses in 438 pages! A‘lahazrat was the son of this great Mufassir.
The position of A‘lahazrat in the field of commentary can be adjudged from another angle also. Hazrat Mufti Ahmad Yar Khan is a pupil of Hazrat Mawlana Naimuddin Moradabadi, who was a caliph of A‘lahazrat. Mufti Ahmad Yar Khan has written a commentary of Holy Qur’an. “Tafseer-i-Nayeemi”. The commentary of each paragraph is spread over 1000 pages which is a commendable task. When the position of his caliph is so high, then it can be taken for granted that the position of A‘lahazrat must have been very high.
A‘lahazrat has translated the Holy Qur’an into Urdu published in 1912 under the name and style of “Kanz al-Iman Fi Tarjuma al-Qur’an.”
Mawlawi Irfan has translated into Urdu a book “Jazb al- Qulùb Ilb Dyar al-Mehboob” written by Shah Abdul Haq Muhaddith Dehlawi in Persian, under the name of “Rahat-al-Qulùb”. In the preface of his book, he has mentioned that the work of translation is not an easy job. Whosoever may have had an occasion to under-take this work, better knows the difficulties he has to face. I agree with Mawlawi Irfan as I too experienced a lot of difficulty in translating a few poetic verses of “Hadà’iq-i-Bakhshish” of A‘lahazrat into English though my translation is restricted to a drop in ocean. Reasonably, the more difficulty arises, the more responsible book it is sought to be translated and Holy Qur’an is the most responsible book of the universe.
Translation does not mean substitution of words only. Translation is what reflects the true sense. Every man who knows English and Urdu, cannot translate an Act into Urdu. He is not supposed to be acquainted with the legal terminology as also the purpose of legislature without which the translation of any Act or legal matter is impossible. Holy Qur’an is the highest book of law revealed by Allah, the Most High upon his Holy Rasùl. Its translation into another language can only be done by a Doctor of Religion who possesses equal command of both the languages. He is supposed to be well aware of the Islamic sciences as also the purpose of Allah, the Highest Legislator.
As far as the translation of A‘lahazrat is concerned, it satisfies all the above conditions and it is most surprising that A‘lahazrat dictated the translation to Mawlana Amjad Ali ‘Azami in extempore. The original manuscript is preserved in the library of Idara Tahqiqat-i-Imam Ahmad Riza (Karachi). It is further surprising that there are no corrections and omissions in the manuscript. Needless to say that to be a doctor of religion, A‘lahazrat is a Mujaddid and insofar as his being at home in Arabic and Urdu is concerned, he is an author of about one thousand books in Arabic, Urdu and Persian — in prose as well as poetry. The translation of A‘lahazrat provides simple, idiomatic and appropriate Urdu. It fully preserves the position, prestige and purpose of Allah and His Prophet. This is why the Sunni savants of the entire world recognize his translation as a standard one. However, there are certain people who try in vain to find fault with the translation of A‘lahazrat. This is because of ignorance or rancor. The Urdu translations available are many. The fact is that the translation of A‘lahazrat has not lowered the standard of other translations; yet, it has not allowed the translations of below standard to assume the place of standard translation. It must be borne in mind that in his translation from beginning to the end A‘lahazrat has nowhere pointed out any mistake or mistakes what so ever of any of his counterparts. So A‘lahazrat cannot and should not be held responsible if the people later on make a comparison of other translations with that of A‘lahazrat, with the result that some blunders in other translations become apparent.
About a dozen books have been written on the comparative study of “Kanz al-Iman”. One of the books “Tauzih al-Bayan” by Allama Ghulam Rasùl Saeedi is a comprehensive one. Those who wish to have a bird’s eye view are advised to consult the booklet “Qur’an Sharif Kay Ghalat Tarjumon Ki Nishandehi” (pointing out of wrong translations of Holy Qur’an), which has been written by Qari Riza-ul-Mustafa Azmi, published from Aijaz Book Depot, Calcutta. Prof. Dr. Majeedullah Qadri of Karachi University has written his doctoral dissertation on the comparative study of Kanz al-Iman and other selected Urdu translations. It is most comprehensive. I give hereunder the comparative study of various translations in regard to only four small verses of Holy Qur’an, which is enough to evidence the respective standard of various translations. One thing to be noted is that I am presenting English version of these translations. In case of any doubt, being double translation, the original text of Urdu translations may please be seen in the above booklet;
(1) Wa Lamma Yalamil Lahul Lazina Jahadoo Minkum
Different translations by different translators have been made as under:
(a) And still Allah did not inquire “who are fighters amongst you”. (Shah Abdul Qadir & Mahmood Hasan)
(b) Though still Allah did not inquire well the very crusaders amongst you. (Fateh Muhammad Jullandhari)
(c) Though still Allah did not know amongst you who waged crusade. (Abdul Majid Daryabadi)
(d) Though still Allah did not see the very people who waged (Mawlawi Ashraf Ali Thanvi)
(e) And still Allah did not put your Ghazis (crusade-conquerors) to test. (A‘lahazrat)
Now attention is invited to the fact that Mawlawi Shah Abdul Qàdir and Mawlawi Mahmood Hasan are pointing out that Allah did not enquire (say enquire at all). Mawlawi Fateh Muhammad Jullandhari is going a step further by pointing out that Allah did not inquire well.
The doctor did not treat the patient and the doctor did not treat the patient well — there is lot of difference between the two. The latter version, in fact, points out a shortcoming or charge on the part of the doctor — a shortcoming if he could not and a charge if difference between did not enquire and did not enquire well. The latter part clearly speaks of a charge against Allah as certainly. He could but did not. In any case, Mawlawi Fateh Muhammad Jullandhari has not been able to use word “well” well Mawlawi Abdul Majid Daryabadi went wrong all the more by saying that Allah did not know. It is a more serious charge than that of not enquiring well. It is not necessary that one who asks something or enquires of something, does not know himself. To substantiate it, I would refer to the verse “Wa ma Tilka Be Yamineka Ya Moosa”(Arabic text); of Holy Qur’an. Allah enquired of Hazrat Moosa Alaihis Salaam as to what was in his right hand. Did He not know that it was his A‘asa (Holy Staff). Of course, He knew. To say flatly that Allah did not know, clearly goes to point out lack of knowledge on Allah’s part, which is an absurd charge.
Mawlawi Ashraf Ali Thanvi well caught hold of the words “enquire” and “know” and better chose to put such words into oblivion but even so he used the word “see”(dekhna). In Urdu, this word is usually used in the sense of sight or look. Mawlawi Ashraf Ali translates to say that Allah did not see the very people. It goes to show that either Allah could not see or the people were able to escape His sight. If the first part is followed, then Allah remains blind and if the latter part is followed, then the sight of Allah stands challenged.
It is surprising to note that at hundreds of other places, Mawlawi Ashraf Ali Thanvi and others have translated that Allah knows everything; Allah sees everything. Allah knows what you know not; Allah sees what you see not. Readers would appreciate that Allah is the same and the translators are the same but the translations are not the same.
Now come to the translation of A‘lahazrat that still Allah did not put your Ghazis to test. Here it is to be seen that “did not put to test” is something different from “did not know” and “did not see”. Not putting to test does not constitute any charge or shortcoming on the part of Allah. Rather it is a boon. It is His sweet will whether or not to put to test any of His bandas (slaves). A‘lahazrat has used the word “Ghazis” (conquerors of crusade). Though the word crusaders is also correct, yet looking to the context of the verse, the word “Ghazis” is more befitting.
Thus, it would be seen that A‘lahazrat presented his translation conveying the real sense of the verse as also preserving the prestige of Allah, the Most Prestigious. Conversely, the Deobandi savants either could not follow the real sense and used the words as such. Or, they followed the real sense but could not use the appropriate words. Or, they could use the appropriate words but did not for the reasons best known to them.
(2). Wa Yamkuroona wa Yamkurullah, wallaho khayr-ul-makerin.
(a) And they also betrayed and Allah also betrayed and the betrayal (fareb) of Allah is the best of all.(Shah Abdul Qadir).
(b) And they defrauded and Allah defrauded and Allah is with good frauds (makr). (Shah Rafiuddin Muhaddith).
(c) They also played tricks and Allah also played tricks and the trick (dau) of Allah is the best of all. (Mahmood Hasan).
(d) They also plotted and Allah also plotted and the plotting (chaal) of Allah is the best of all. (Fateh Muhammad Jullandhari).
(e) And they were planning of their own and Allah Mian were planning of (their) own and Allah is the most stable planner. (Mawlawi Ashraf Ali Thanvi).
(f) And they defrauded as they could and Allah was doing his secret planning and the secret planning of Allah is the best of all. (A’lahazrat).
The first four translations speak and clearly speak that Allah betrayed, Allah defrauded, Allah played tricks and Allah plotted. Now if any non-Muslim comes forward to criticize Islam on the ground that God of Islam is He, who is a big traitor or a big fraud and goes on to quote such translations of such savants as evidence, then what do we have to say? God forbid that if such is Islam, then Islam would remain only a touch-and-go. The language used by these translators is so clear that it requires no further interpretation or explanation. Even the men of ordinary intelligence understand well that the said words are dirty and defamatory and such translations are anti-Islam and Anti Allah.
Mawlawi Ashraf Ali Thanvi, however, realized the dirt of these translations and in place of betrayal, fraud or plot, he used the word “planning”. However, he has used the word “Allah Mian”. Whether or not, Mian can be used with Allah, is another aspect of controversy. I do not want to go into it at this time. Further, he has used “were planning” for Allah. Whether or not plural can be used for Allah, is another aspect of controversy. I do want to go into it at this time. However, I would like to point out only one thing, which is glaring. Within this very sentence, “Allah Mian were planning” and “Allah is the most stable planner” have been used. It means that in a single sentence, Allah has been used in singular and plural form both. At least one thing at a time must have been applied.
Far from flaw, A’lahazrat has presented a careful and graceful translation. In Arabic, the word “makr” carries different meanings. The first “makr” as it relates to Kuffar (Non-Muslims), has been translated by A‘lahazrat as “fraud” and the subsequent “makr” which relates to Allah, has been translated as “secret planning”. Now the question arises: Whether a single word can have double meaning in the same sentence? Yes, by all means. To pay fine is not fine, is a fine example.
(3) Wa wajadaka dallan fahada.
(a) And found you wandering, then gave you the way (Shah Abdul Qadir).
(b) And found you forgotten-of-the-way, thus showed you the way. (Shah Rafiuddin Muhaddis Dehlawi).
(c) And was (you) unaware of the way, then showed (you) the right way. (Fateh Muhammad Jullandhari).
(d) And Allah found you unaware (of Shari’at), so told you the way (of Shari’at). (Mawlawi Ashraf Ali Thanvi).
(e) In love with Him He found you. The way to Him He showed you. (A‘lahazrat)
I hardly need tell you that all these translations are not of common men but of savants, who must have studied the sciences of Islam in full. Every savant knows and preaches that a prophet is one who cannot err. A prophet is m‘asùm (innocent). But surprisingly enough, here someone sees the prophet wandering and someone sees him going. To all appearances, Shah Abdul Qadir seems to have found himself wandering over getting the appropriate words, hence, he has given the way for attributing “wandering” to the Holy Prophet. Similarly, Shah Rafiuddin Muhaddith and Mawlawi Fateh Muhammad Jullandhari were either unaware of different meanings of the Arabic word “Dal” or had forgotten the same, hence, they went out of their way to ascribe straying and unawareness of the way to the Holy Prophet. However, even if these savants thought like so, they must have learnt a lesson from the study of verse No.2 of Surah Najam of Parah 27 “Ma dalla Sahibokum wama ghawa”
(…………Arabic Text…….. ………)
which speaks clearly that the Holy Prophet neither became misled nor he went out of the way.
In Arabic, the word “dal” has got four different meanings viz, unaware, mixed, lost in love and lofty-tree. Whichever of these is appropriate on the occasion should only be used. Nothing should be fitted hurriedly which is out of sense or which kills the sense. Keeping to the dignity of the Revealer and the Revealed of Holy Qur’an, A‘lahazrat has translated the “Dal” into lost in my love”. A man of love talks of love. One who loved the Holy Prophet picked up the word of love out of different words. After all, choice differs from man to man. Moreover, the name of Holy Prophet is Muhammad as well as Ahmad (Allah’s Grace and Peace be upon him). Muhammad means one whom Allah praised most and Ahmad means one who praised Allah most. All this bears testimony to his being lost in love with Allah.
My readers would appreciate that like Arabic, in English too, there are so many words, which have got so many meanings. It is the prima facie duty of the translator to have an eye on the various meanings and use the appropriate equivalents only. It should not be twisted in a free style. Take an example; “Everybody must take interest in Namaz”. Interest means curiosity or inclination. It is interesting that interest also means the extra sum charged from the borrower called “sood” which is strictly prohibited in Islam. In the name of translation, it may be twisted to mean that while in Namaz, the so-called extra sum (sood) may be taken or accepted or realized. More so, not only it may be taken but it must be taken. Is it translation or manipulation? Remember, translation is what reflects the true sense. If not, it is nonsense. A translator should not be interested in making his translation interesting only; the interests of the author ought to be predominant.
(4) Wama Ohilla Behi le ghayrillah.
(a) On what called the name of other than Allah. (Shah Abdul Qadir)
(b) And whatever called thereupon, for other than Allah. (Shah Rafiuddin Muhaddith)
(c) And on whatever thing, upon which called the name of any other except Allah, has been made haram. (Fateh Muhammad Jullandhari)
(d) And the animal who has been nominated for other than Allah. (Mawlawi Ashraf Ali Thanvi)
(e) And that animal, who was slaughtered calling the name of other than Allah (A‘lahazrat).
In this connection, it is necessary to mention that the part of verse preceding the above portion is as follows (as translated):
“No doubt, Allah made haram (strictly-forbidden) for you the carcass, the blood, the swine-flesh and……….”.
Allah has clearly named the first three things which are haram for us and the fourth thing, which is haram is what has been translated by the various translators as above. What comes under the fourth category of things, is the only point of consideration. All the translators are saying in one tone that in order to save from being haram, the name of Allah only is to be uttered. But when and on what?
As for as the first part of the question is concerned, it is only A‘lahazrat and none else whose translation provides a reply thereto. A‘lahazrat is talking of zibah (slaughter) whereas the other translators are talking of nothing like that. Whether A‘lahazrat is correct or the other translators are correct? Those who are fond of calling A‘lahazrat wrong, may call him wrong. But such opponents of A‘lahazrat will create problem for themselves too. If A‘lahazrat is taken as wrong and the element of Zibah is withdrawn, then calling of any animal in the name of non-Allah shall render the animal haram for you outright. To call Bilal’s cow, Haleema Saadiya’s goat, camel of Anas shall make these animals haram. Now which of the two would you like to withdraw — word of zibah used by A‘lahazrat or word of wrong used by you for A‘lahazrat?
Replying to “on what”, A‘lahazrat says “animal”. All the other translators except Mawlawi Ashraf Ali Thanvi do not talk of animal at all. If A‘lahazrat is taken as wrong and the word of animal is also withdrawn, the translations of Shah Abdul Qadir, Shah Rafiuddin Muhaddith and Mawlawi Fateh Muhammad Jullandhari shall have to be taken as correct, which would hardly leave anything which might not be haram. In the light of these unsaddled translations, everything which is called in the name of non-Allah, becomes haram. If the house of Zaid is spoken, then house becomes haram. If we utter the name of Zaid on book, pen, watch or the like, then all such things shall become haram. Interesting or unfortunate as you think, if the names of translators are uttered on these translations, then such translations would become haram.
Mawlawi Ashraf Ali Thanvi has talked of animal. But he has not talked of Zibah. He is silent on this point. Moreover, he has talked of nomination. Everybody knows that zibah and nomination are two different things. Animals are earmarked or nominated for marriage, Waleema (post-marriage feast) etc etc. According to the translation of Mawlawi Ashraf Ali Thanvi, all such animals nominated for non-Allah would become haram. One thing interesting I would like to add is that according to Shari’at it is permissible that an animal nominated in the name of an Idol, may be immolated in the name of Allah. It is a principle which is accepted by Mawlawi Ashraf Ali also but now in the light of his translation, it would mean that an animal may be immolated in the name of Allah, who had already become haram by way of nomination in the name of idol (non-Allah). Thus, it would be seen that the word “nomination” is creating difficulties on various fronts from various angles.
When the position of these translators is going so wrong, will you still be right to call them right? Will you not be wrong to call A‘lahazrat wrong? If I am not wrong, the above juxtaposition of various translations of only four verses is enough to distinguish between right and wrong. Kindly take some pains, apply your mind and take your own decision.
Some people object that while translating A‘lahazrat has used additional words which do not exist in the text. It is a fact. But it is also a fact that there should be no objection for additional words. Objection if any, should be in regard to objectionable words, if any. Moreover, such an objection applies not only to A‘lahazrat but to all other translators equally. In the fourth example given above, Mawlawi Ashraf Ali Thanvi adds the word “animal”. There is no word equivalent to it in the text. However, we find no objection because it is not objectionable. So is the case with A‘lahazrat.
Whenever he has used the additional words, he has done so with a view to conveying the true sense of the matter. Translation does not mean one-word substitution. Sometimes, use of additional word or words becomes essential. I give an example. Suppose, “a white lie” is sought to be translated into Urdu. There may be various translations such as Safaid jhoot (a lie of white colour), Saaf jhoot (a clear lie), Gora jhoot (fair-skinned lie) and Shayastgi Ke liye Bola gaya qabile ma‘afi jhoot
( Urdu text )
(an excusable lie told for the sake of politeness).
To all its appearance, some people would object to the last one and their objections would be such as:
(a) What is the equivalent of Shayastgi (politeness) in the text?
(b) What is the equivalent of Qabile maafi (excusable) in the text ?
(c) Why has the translator mentioned the cause of the lie?
(d) Why has the translator gone in favour of excuse on his own ?
All these objections appear to be correct but actually none of them is correct. It shall have to be impressed upon the people that every language has got its own beauty. The white lie as used in English has been translated in its true sense. It is right that white means “Safaid” and lie means “Jhoot”. Yet, it is wrong that white lie means “Safaid jhoot”. In other words, it can be said that “a white lie” of English is quite different from “Safaid jhoot” of Urdu. I may add that if “Safaid jhoot” of Urdu is sought to be rendered into English then it would be better translated as “a damn lie”. The endowments of A‘lahazrat in the field of translation of Holy Qur’an into Urdu can hardly be translated into words. And to say that his translation is wrong, is not a white lie but a damn lie.
A‘lahazrat has researched in various fields. Whatever he went into, he went to the full depth of it.
(1) Wuzu (ablution) is the act of washing the parts of the body, which are generally exposed, in a prescribed manner. For making Wuzu, water is required. But water is a wide term. Which type of water is fit for making Wuzu and which type of water is unfit for the purpose. Such a question came up for consideration before A‘lahazrat. My readers will be deeply surprised to know as to how deeply A‘lahazrat went into the matter. In 1915, he wrote a separate treatise over this issue. A‘lahazrat has described 160 kinds of water; the Wuzu is permissible to make with. Besides, the water with which Wuzu cannot be made, A‘lahazrat has given 146 kinds thereof. Thus, in all, A‘lahazrat has described 306 kinds of water.
(2) Tayammum is an alternative of ablution (Wuzu or ghusl) made without water under certain circumstances. A‘lahazrat has drawn a list of 181 things fit to be used for Tayammum. He has given a separate list of 130 things unfit for the purpose.
(3) Mawlana Zafar al-din Rizawi, one of the noted students of A‘lahazrat, is author of “Hayat-i-A‘lahazrat”, an authentic biography of A‘lahazrat. The Mawlana states that he was able to fill up the “Naqsh-i-Murabba” (a sixteen column quadrilateral) by 1152 methods. He further states that A‘lahazrat from whom he learnt this art, knew to fill it up by 2300 methods. Nowadays, the position is that one who knows to fill it even by 16 types, thinks himself to be a perfect Master. The Mawlana has written a book in which he has practically shown 1152 different ways of filling up the Naqsh. The knowledge of a student speaks of the heights of his Master. This shows that A‘lahazrat made an in-depth research whereby he could succeed to chalk out 2300 methods.
(4) Once someone asked A‘lahazrat if there were only 99 names of Holy Prophet, Hazrat Muhammad (Allah’s Grace and Peace be upon him). A‘lahazrat replied: “About 800 names of Holy Prophet are usually found in the books. I have been able to gather upto 1400 names and Allah knows better the exact number.” It is difficult for a savant to enumerate even 200 such names while A‘lahazrat is talking of 1400. Certainly his research was not deep but deeper. Moreover, he does not say that he has been able to find out 1400 names and that is all. He keeps the issue open for further research. Such is the greatness of a great researcher.
(5) His Holiness Imam ‘Aàli Muqam Hazrat Imam Hussain (May Allah be pleased with him) proceeded from Mecca for Karbala (Syria) on 3rd Zilhij and reached there on 2nd of Moharram. Some of the people raise an objection to it. According to them, it was impossible for Hazrat Imam Hussain to reach Karbala from Mecca within such a short time, particularly when in those days the caravans used to proceed only on horses and camels.
On this point, A‘lahazrat made a full research. He pointed out that the caravan of Hazrat Imam Hussain (May Allah be pleased with him) proceeded on horses. He also pointed out the various kinds of horses. He even pointed out the number of horses in the fleet of Hazrat Imam Hussain, their individual races, and various routes through which the caravan proceeded. He went to the extent of pointing out the respective distances and the aggregate distance from Mecca to Karbala, the different kinds or routes, the holy caravan, passed through — sandy, stony and otherwise. He pointed out the different speeds of different horses. He pointed out their speeds vis-à-vis the kinds of routes. He pointed out the time to be taken by a particular horse of a particular race on a particular route. Thus, after making a thorough research, the “thorough-bred researcher” proved fully that the caravan of Hazrat Imam Hussain (May Allah be pleased with him) having proceeded from Mecca on 3rd Zilhij carrying horses of such and such races passing through such and such routes, must have reached Karbala-i-Mo‘alla only on 2nd Moharram and so it came to be.
Research is a matter of talent but the talent of A‘lahazrat in the field of research is a matter of research itself.
Prof. Zia al-din was the Vice Chancellor of Aligarh University and Sayyid Sulayman Ashraf was Professor of Islamic Studies. Prof. Zia al-din was a noted Mathematician of India. Once he got confused over a question of mathematics. The question was so complicated that despite all efforts, it remained unsolved. Insofar as, Prof. Zia al-din made up his mind to go to Germany in order to consult his German counterparts. Meanwhile, Prof. Sulayman Ashraf advised him to approach A‘lahazrat at Bareilly on this issue. Prof. Zia al-din raised certain queries about A‘lahazrat. On being told that A‘lahazrat was Maulana [Mawlavi], he paid no heed and began to make all arrangements for his trip to Germany.
However, Prof. Sulayman Ashraf did not change his stand and went on insisting that he should visit Bareilly. Upon this, Prof. Zia al-din said: “I admit what you say. I admit that he is a great man. But it is not a question of Islamic science; it is a question of mathematics. What has a Mawlawi to do with mathematics? What a deriding it is to go to him for such a question which is a gordian knot even for mathematicians.” Even so Prof. Sulayman Ashraf did not retract at all and argued: “As compared to Germany, Bareilly is at an arm’s length and direct train is there. What ails you if you go there first for my sake? If you get satisfaction, all well. If not, you are at liberty to proceed to Germany or anywhere you like.” Then, Prof. Zia al-din said: “If you so insist, let me see A‘lahazrat”. Finally both the gentlemen reached Bareilly and met A‘lahazrat. A‘lahazrat was running somewhat indisposed. However, A‘lahazrat asked Prof. Zia al-din, “What brings you here?” “In connection with a question of mathematics”, he replied. “What is that”, A‘lahazrat asked. Prof. Zia al-din said: “The question is not so easy. I shall tell you when you are at ease,” “Even so, what is that?” — A‘lahazrat remarked. Prof. Zia al-din then went on putting up his lengthy and uphill question. By the time the question was finished A‘lahazrat replied forthwith: “Its answer is such and such.” Hearing the answer at such a slip shod, Prof. Zia al-din was all-agape. He was overwhelmed with the charisma of A‘lahazrat’s talent. He said: “I heard of Ilm-i-Ladunni (inspired knowledge) but today I have seen it with my own eyes. Glorious mathematicians are vainglorious. The real genius is A‘lahazrat who took no time to solve an insoluble question for which I have been languishing since long.” Prof. Zia al-din, thus, took a sigh of relief and thanked Prof. Sulayman Ashraf for his kind and fruitful guidance.
Thrilling news appeared in the English Daily “Express” of 18th October 1919 published from Bankipur, Patna (Bihar). It was regarding a unique and dreadful forecast made by Prof. Albert of USA, who happened to be an astronomer and mathematician of international repute. Its gist was as under:-
“On 17th December, 1919, six planets which are most powerful viz. Jupiter, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Saturn and Neptune will be in conjunction and the Sun will come in opposite direction of these planets. These planets will fetch the sun towards them with all their gravity. The result will be that the magnetic properties of these planets will pierce into the sun and it will inflict a hole into the sun, which will be in the shape of a big dagger. And, such a stain on the sun will be visible which everybody would see on 17th December 1919 with naked eyes. Prof. Albert further predicted that conjunction of such planets, which was not witnessed for the last twenty centuries, would cause disorder in the air and it would bring about big storms, terrible rains and powerful earthquakes. The earth will return to its normal position after several weeks.”
The news spread like wild fire. Panic gripped the whole world. Some of the Muslims fell prey to it as well. Mawlana Zafaruddin of Bihar, a disciple and caliph of A‘lahazrat apprised A‘lahazrat of such forecast of Prof. Albert. Thereupon, A‘lahazrat wrote an article belying the forecast tooth and nail brandishing it as baseless and bogus, which was published in the Monthly “Al Riza” from Bareilly. This contradictory article too gained equal publicity. A‘lahazrat was challenging Prof. Albert. A Mawlawi was challenging an astronomer. An Indian was challenging an American. It was towards the middle of November and the people were waiting impatiently for 17th December. In order to allay the fear on the part of his Muslim brethren, A‘lahazrat rose to the occasion and chose to get his article published. A‘lahazrat consoled the frightened Muslims and advised them:-
“Muslims: be afraid of Allah. Don’t be afraid of Albert. His forecast is false and baseless. It is neither desirable nor permissible for you to pay any heed to it”. Interestingly enough, A‘lahazrat gave as many as seventeen arguments to disprove the said forecast. The arguments advanced by A‘lahazrat are astronomical and technical. Men of common understanding cannot understand. So, it is of no use to reproduce them in full. However, those who can and those who wish to make a deep study of these arguments, may please go through the booklet “Prof. Albert F. Porta Ki Peshin Goi Ka Rad” published from Maktaba Gharib Nawaz, Allahabad.
However, to present something for a common, man, I would like to point out that A‘lahazrat argued vehemently that the very basis of such a forecast was wrong. The forecast was based on the principle that “sun is stationary and the earth moves around the sun”. In the light of Holy Qur’an, A‘lahazrat declared:- “The sun and moon do move according to their course. They are sailing within a circle. It is earth (not sun) that is stationary around which the sun and other planets revolve”.
According to the working of Prof. Albert, the mutual distance of six planets as on 17th December 1919 worked out to 26 degree, whereas A‘lahazrat presented a detailed chart depicting the real position of such planets as on 17th December, according to which, such mutual distance worked out to 112 degree. There was such a lot of difference between the two.
Prof. Albert gave all the weight to Law of Gravitation. Confuting it, A‘lahazrat argued that the said conjunction did not conform with the Law of Gravitation as well. Either of the two shall have to be discarded then. Have all the planets made a pact to attack the sun alone? Why will they not attack each other, A‘lahazrat quipped. If the Law of Gravitation is correct, it is bound to affect all — more effect upon what is nearer and sharper effect upon what is weaker. When the attack of six planets can cause such an injury to the sun, then why the Saturn could not be destroyed by the gravity of the remaining five planets, especially when the Saturn is smaller than Sun by thousand times, A‘lahazrat asked.
Mars is smaller than Saturn. Mercury is the smallest of all. So in this way, these are bound to be shattered into pieces. What an absurd it is to believe that the weaker might not suffer at all and the strongest (sun) will lose the battle, A‘lahazrat argued. Even on the basis of the Law of Gravitation, there can be no such conjunction of planets, A‘lahazrat declared. That is, A‘lahazrat beat Albert from both ends.
By and by, the time passed and the crucial day of 17th December arrived. As the sun rose, the panic-stricken people began to take it as Doomsday. The routine life went to standstill. Clouds of horror hovered heavily. Some people laid hope in Albert. Some people laid hope in A‘lahazrat. The names of Albert and A‘lahazrat were running on the lips and tips of one and all. By grace of Allah, the day went off peacefully, the sun set setting the pandemonium at rest. Nothing untoward took place anywhere. The position of Albert was all burst.
Everybody witnessed that what A‘lahazrat had observed and declared, came true word by word. It bagged three cheers for A‘lahazrat. Prof. Albert also conceded the talent of A‘lahazrat in the field of astronomy.
The earth moves constantly about its own axis and also round the sun, which is stationary. This theory espoused by Copernicus, Kepler and Galileo, gained popularity all over the world. The theory says that the speed of rotation of earth is 1036 miles per hour i.e. 17.26 miles per minute i.e.30389 yards per minute i.e.506.4 yards per second. Against this theory, nobody could speak. It was A‘lahazrat who challenged it and declared:-
“The Islamic principle is that the sky and earth are stationary and the planets rotate. It is sun that moves round the earth; it is not earth that moves round the sun.”
In order to substantiate it, A‘lahazrat put forward two-tier arguments. First, he quoted a number of verses from Holy Qur’an and Hadith, the translation of some of which is given below:
1. The movement of Sun and Moon is according to a course.
2. The sun and the moon are sailing within a circle.
3. The moon and the sun were besieged for you which are constantly moving.
[For detailed study, please see "Nuzool-i-Ayat-i-Furqan Besukoon-i-Zameen-o-Aasman” of A‘lahazrat written in 1339 A.H, published from Riza Academy, Bombay.]
It is thus; quite clear that the sun moves and it is obligatory upon every Muslim to believe it because it is what Allah ordains us to believe. In light of Holy Qur’an and Hadith, the theory of rotation of earth is absolutely wrong. Such arguments were more than enough for Muslims but for Muslims only. For others, A‘lahazrat presented a number of arguments based on scientific understanding — technical and otherwise. A‘lahazrat wrote several books on this subject. In 1920, he presented his book “Fauz-i-Mubin Dar Radd-i-Harkat-i-Zamin”, Published from Idara Sunni Dunia, Saudagran, Bareilly. This book contains 105 arguments, dozens of diagrams and lots of calculations in refuting the said theory. Out of 105, I am giving below gist of only five logical and axiomatic arguments which are quite easy and which can be understood by a man of average intelligence.
1. If a heavy stone is thrown up straight, it would fall on the same place from where it was thrown, whereas according to the theory of movement of earth, it must not happen. According to it, if the earth were moving towards east, the stone would fall in west because during the time it went up and came down, that place of earth from where the stone was thrown up, due to movement of earth, would slip away towards east. Suppose, the process of stone going up and coming down took a time of 5 seconds, then according to the said speed of movement of earth, that is, 506.4 yards per second, the earth would slip away towards east by 2532 yards i.e. about one and a half miles In other words, the stone must fall in the west of that place (place of throwing up the stone) at a distance of about one and a half miles but actually it would fall on the same place from where it was thrown up. It shows that the said theory of movement of Earth is wrong.
2. If two stones are thrown away at the same time and with the same power — one towards east and the other towards west, then what should happen according to the said theory of movement of earth, is that the stone going towards west must appear to be going very fast and that the stone going towards east very lazy. Suppose the power of throwing the stone is 19 yards within three seconds, then the respective stones would fall in the east and west at a distance of 19 yards only but according to the said theory, by the time the westward stone would cover a distance of 19 yards in three seconds, the place from where the stones were thrown, would slip away towards east by 1519 yards (506.4 x 3) In this way, it must fall at a distance of 1519+19 i.e. 1538 yards, whereas it would actually fall only at a distance of 19 yards. Similarly, the other stone going towards east must fall in the west at a distance of 1519-19 i.e. 1500 yards, whereas actually it would fall in the very east at a distance of 19 yards only. It shows that the said theory of Movement of Earth is wrong.
3. Suppose, from a tree, two birds fly with equal speed and for equal period, one of them goes towards east and the other towards west. Now if their flying speed is equal to the speed of movement of earth, that is, if they fly at a speed of 1036 miles per hour, then according to the said theory, bird going towards west must fly at a speed of 1036+1036 i.e. 2072 miles per hour (being its own speed added by the speed of movement of earth), while the bird going towards east would not be able to move even an inch as its speed after adjusting the speed of movement of earth (both being equal) would become zero. On the contrary, what would actually happen is that the bird going eastward would go in the east to a distance of 1036 miles during an hour and the bird going westward would go in the west at a distance of 1036 miles. It shows that the said theory of movement of Earth is wrong.
For a bird, the abnormal speed of flight of 1036 miles per hour has been assumed only to bring it parallel to the speed of movement of earth and simply to prove that according to the said theory, the bird flying towards east would not be able to cover any distance even if it comes abreast of a plane in the matter of speed and flies at a rate of 1036 miles per hour.
4. If it is intended to kill a bird appearing at a distance of 10 yards in the air from a particular place and suppose it takes two seconds in stringing the bow and shooting the arrow, then by the time the arrow is shot, that particular place would slip away within these two seconds at a distance of 1013 yards at a speed of 506.4 yards per second being the speed of movement of earth and thus the arrow can never reach the target, whereas it may be taken for granted that the arrow would hit the target. It shows that the theory of movement of Earth is wrong.
5. If a bird is sitting on a pillar near its nest just at a distance of one yard, even then it can never reach the nest, because in order to reach the nest, the bird shall have to fly — may it be for a second or part thereof. The fact is that, the bird can never surpass the speed of 1036 miles per hour, which is said to be the speed of movement of earth. It shows that the theory of Movement of the Earth is wrong.
Need you go yet for further arguments? Go on thinking over plane, gun, cannon, missile squad and so forth.
Thus, we can come to the conclusion that a person who challenged the great scientists like Copernicus Kepler, Galileo, Newton etc, must have been a great scientist himself. I would like to add that what is required to disprove the theories of these scientists, A‘lahazrat has done ahead of it but sooner or later its credit will be bagged by someone else who will win the fight in the name of a scientist for, A‘lahazrat is better known as a Muslim theologian rather than a scientist.
Economics is the science of wealth, as says Adam Smith, who is called the Father of Economics. Adam Smith wrote a book entitled “Wealth of Nations” which was published in 1776. For centuries, this subject was taken as dry and no interest was shown in it. It was only around 1940 when this subject gained popularity. International depression was the main cause behind it. During the time of A‘lahazrat (1856-1921) Economics was a subject, which was not given much importance. Nevertheless, A‘lahazrat through his book published in 1912, presented four peerless points for the economic development of Muslim brethren. These are:
1. Barring the affairs wherein Government is involved, the Muslims should decide all their disputes mutually so that millions of rupees, which are being spent over litigations, may be saved.
2. The affluent Muslims of Bombay, Calcutta, Rangoon, Madras and Hyderabad should open banks for other poor Muslims.
3. Muslims should not purchase anything from anybody except Muslims.
4. The sciences of Islam should be propagated and publicized,
At the instance Prof. Rafiullah Siddiqui Chairman Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education Hyderabad (Sindh), has written an article “Fazil-i-Bareillvi Kay Char Ma‘ashi Nikaàt”, published from Maktaba-i-Chashm-i-Rahmat, Balrampur (UP), India. Prof. Siddiqui has beautifully explained all the four points at length; I have had all the appreciation for Prof. Siddiqui and his article.
Through his first point, A‘lahazrat has propounded the theory of savings. He has realized the significance of savings and has made people to realize it. In most of the under-developed countries, the rate of saving varies from 5 to 8%. Now the economic experts have declared that for economic development of the country, saving to the tune of 15% of the national income is a must. The importance of savings over-shadowed the world in 1936 when Lord J.M. Keynes of England presented his “Theory of Savings & Investment”, which proved successful in overcoming the international depression. In short, according to Keynes, saving is all. It is equal to investment according to his Equation. Thus, more saving, more investment; more investment, more development. For this theory of Saving & Investment, Prof. J. M. Keynes was honored by England and the most prestigious title of “Lord” was conferred on him. Prof. Rafiullah Siddiqui has so nicely and so rightly quipped that Prof. J. M. Keynes was honored in 1936 for what was already pointed out by A‘lahazrat in 1912. Who deserved and who bagged the honor, is thus to be seen. Yet, it may be taken for granted that A‘lahazrat would not accept such an honor from British even if he were presented one.
Secondly, A‘lahazrat presented the theory of opening banks. Needless to mention that banks in the eyes of A‘lahazrat were meant to be interest-free banks. History of banking is known to all of us. A‘lahazrat suggested and talked of opening banks at a time when banks played no significant role in the country. In 1912, there were only a few banks in India, in big cities, and nobody could foresee then that after a lapse of three or four decades, the importance of banks would assume so much proportion. No doubt, it was A‘lahazrat who was able to peep into future and suggest boosting up the banking industry before hand.
A bank is an institution through which the savings of the masses are deployed over productive investment. It is bank that collects pennies but provides pounds. Banks help the people create tendency of saving. Being a great economist. A‘lahazrat well realized the hazards of hoarding and advocated for the development of the banking industry.
The third point of A‘lahazrat is that Muslims should purchase each and every thing from Muslims only. Apparently, this point appears to be based on somewhat narrow-mindedness. But it is not so, if we go deep. What A‘lahazrat says is that Muslims should purchase from Muslims only. It is not restricted to a particular place, locality or province. It means that Muslims countries should purchase from Muslim countries only. It means that A‘lahazrat has opposed the free-trade theory as espoused by Adam Smith and suggested Trade Protection so as to withstand the competition in the international market. Fredrick List, a noted German economist has emphatically supported the Trade Protection Policy. Prof. Rafiullah Siddiqui has very much appreciated this point of A‘lahazrat. According to him, A‘lahazrat wanted to provide economic protection to Muslims but the Muslims neglected the economic acumen highlighted by their own savant, A‘lahazrat.
To the misfortune of Muslims, what was pinpointed by A‘lahazrat for the benefit of Muslims, was utilized by non-Muslims. Second World War had badly ruined Germany, France, Italy etc. The economy of these European countries was crippled. European Common Market (E.C.M) consisting of six European countries came into existence. It achieved marvelous success and the entire World witnessed that it changed the entire story. The staggering economy of these countries mustered a sudden boom and the German mark became the powerful currency of the world. After all, what was this E.C,M.? It was a practical shape of the guidelines given by A‘lahazrat just on the lines that Muslims should make purchases from Muslims only. Even today, if the Muslim countries unite and follow such a policy, luck will smile upon them.
Now come to the fourth point. It is regarding the publicity of Islamic sciences. When theories of economics are going on, how far it is desirable to talk of Islamic sciences or religion. A Mawlawi always remains a Mawlawi-some people may think. Prof. Siddiqui has duly appreciated the importance of knowledge of Islamic sciences but meanwhile he has gone to say that this fourth point is not in regard to economics. With due respect to Prof. Siddiqui, I would like to say that he has hastened to observe like so, perhaps because of its appearance. Prof. Siddiqui has succeeded in realizing the importance of this point but has failed to link it with economic theories.
To my mind, this point is all the more important. Everybody knows that there is lot of difference between theory and practice. Implementation is an upheaval task. The first three points of A‘lahazrat provide a theoretical approach. The fourth one provides a pragmatic approach. It must be borne in mind that A‘lahazrat has introduced what we may call Muslim Economics. He has talked of benefit and betterment of only Muslims. From this angle, all the four points are inter-connected. The first point of A‘lahazrat is regarding mutual settlement of their disputes. The idea is so nice but its implementation is fairly difficult. As says Adam Smith, “man is the born servant of self interest”. Everybody wants to gain. Nobody wants to lose. In quest of gain, man runs after the courts headlong. He runs and runs towards the courts till he gets a gain what he calls justice. Such a race towards the gain makes the litigation time-consuming as well as money-consuming. Now A‘lahazrat speaks of preaching and teaching Islamic sciences to the people. He means to say that spirit of Islam must prevail upon the Muslims. A‘lahazrat goes to say that such an abrupt race of litigation can be controlled only with the spirit of Islam. Under true spirit of Islam, Muslims shall prefer to get their disputes decided only by their Muftis whom they would consider as heirs of Holy Prophet and regarding Holy Prophet (Allah’s Grace and Peace be upon him), the Holy Qur’an declares as under:-
“By Allah, they shall not be Muslims unless they make you Hàkim in matter of their disputes and unless they accept your decision by heart and feel no hindrance whatsoever there from in their hearts.”
Thus, a true Muslim shall be duly satisfied with the decision of a Mufti regardless of the fact whether he remains a gainer or loser. He would accept the decision by heart. Nor would he take it as point of prestige, as a true Muslim wants nothing but what Allah and His Holy Prophet (Allah’s Grace and Peace be upon him) want for him. He would not knock at the doors of the court at all. A short meeting with a Mufti can solve a long dispute. Thus, it would be seen that the fourth point advanced by A‘lahazrat is very much linked with the theory of mutual settlements Muslims by avoiding litigation with a view to ensuring large savings.
The second point is of opening Muslim banks. Muslims would like to help Muslims only when they are taught to help them in terms of Islamic sciences, that is, in light of Holy Qur’an and Hadith. Interest is a prize of exploitation. Muslims would refrain from accepting interest if they are told that usury is haram (strictly forbidden) according to Holy Qur’an and whosoever accepts interest, should be ready to fight with Allah on the Day of Judgment. Only through the injunction of Islamic spirit, which flows from the knowledge of Islamic sciences attained through the study of Islamic books or through the company of Islamic savants, Muslims can agree to opening of interest-free banks and usury can be put an end to. If the rich people open banks out of their riches, the poor people will get rid of their poverty to a great extent. First, the poor will be able to get employment in various projects financed by banks. Secondly, the poor section will be able to secure interest-free loans from the banks, which they would get otherwise at a heavy rate of interest. Thus, the second and fourth points of A‘lahazrat are well linked together.
Muslims should make purchases from Muslims only — is the third point. It does not purport to say that Muslims should sell to Muslims only. A‘lahazrat is restricting outgoings only of Muslims. Unless the Muslims are taught of their religion, nothing can be achieved in this field. A person, who has no knowledge of Islamic studies, is western-minded, would hardly purchase anything from Muslims. He would be addicted to using foreign goods and would not hesitate to purchase them from any corner. Nowadays, it is seen that those who have craze for using foreign goods, may it be, cigarette, wine or anything like that, help the foreign companies earn a lot of foreign exchange. A Muslim would make purchases from Muslims only when it is impressed upon him that Holy Qur’an declares:
(Space for Arabic script) “Innam al-Mo’minoona Ikhwatun”
That is, “Muslim and a Muslim are brethren.” Unless he treats the other Muslim as his brother, he would not extend him a brotherly-treatment. Moreover the teachings of Islam shall bear wide repercussions on the standard of trade. No trader would like to give short weight as it is forbidden in Islam. No trader would make any adulteration of any kind, as it is forbidden in Islam. No trader would try to conceal defect, if any, in his commodity as it is forbidden in Islam. No trader would resort to unnecessary hoarding of stock as it is forbidden in Islam. No trader would allow unnecessary bargaining in price as it is forbidden in Islam. In this manner, under the yoke of Islam, trade will wear a bloomy look. If Muslims undertake to make purchases from Muslims only and if Islamic spirit prevails, then a Muslim will not be able to get wine, because no Muslim would like to sell it as it is forbidden in Islam. In this way, not only the trade will flourish but it will also bring about a flawless society.
So, it is evident that all the four points of A‘lahazrat are coherent and co-related insofar as Muslim Economics is concerned. As I have been associated with Economics for the last twenty years, I had a right to study A‘lahazrat in this field and so I did. I have no hesitation to say that before the insight of A‘lahazrat in the field of Economics, I find myself no better than a big zero.