A brief introduction:
This kithab was compiled by Hazrath Shaikh Zakariya (Rahimahullah). It consists of Aayaats of the Quran, Ahadith, stories of the Sahabah and stories of the pious predecessors that explain the virtues of good deeds. The object of the book is to encourage the Muslims on doing good deeds, and not to explain any ruling of Shari’ah. Shaikh Zakariya (Rahimahullah) was not the first to write a kithab of this manner, but the likes of this kithab have been written by the authors of the past, like Kithab-u-Zuhd by Abdullah bin Mubarak (Rahimahullah), Fadhaiulul Quran by Imam Shafi’ (Rahimahullah), Al Adabul Mufrad by Imam Bukhari (Rahimahullah), Al Targheeb Wal Tarheeb by Ibnul Qayyim Munziri (Rahimahullah), etc.
The role of Fazail-e-A’mal in Tableegh Jama’at
It is a total misconception that Fazail-e-A’mal is the guide book of Tableegh Jama’at. This book only consists of the virtues of good deeds. The concept of Tableegh Jama’at was not derived from this book, nor is the jama’at dependant on this book to do the work of tableegh. They thought it necessary to stipulate such a book that would encourage people towards good deeds, and this book served the purpose; therefore, the people who join this work are advised to stipulate a specific time for the reading of this book. However, it is not compulsory upon each an every person who joins this effort to read this book. Many of the Arabs who are doing this effort chose to read Riyadu-s-Saliheen instead, and they are allowed to carry on with this work. Similarly, Riyadu-s-Saliheen is also read in many of the masjids in Colombo on certain days of the week. Therefore, it is totally incorrect to regard this book as the guide book of Tableegh Jama’at.
Some objections made against Fazail-e-A’mal:
A common comment made against Fazail-e-A’mal is that some of the narrations mentioned in it are weak and fabricated. This comment is not totally correct, as there are no fabricated narrations in this book. There are dha’eef (weak) narrations in Fazail-e-A’mal. However, it is important to point out that the word dha’eef, literally translated as ‘weak’, is a terminology and should not be understood in its general sense. Its application is based on the rules explained in the sciences of hadith. Moreover, weak narrations are not acceptable only in regards to aqeedah and the rulings of Islamic jurisprudence. Majority of the scholars have accepted weak narrations as far as virtues of good deeds are concerned. Even Imam Bukhari (Rahimahullah) has brought weak narrations in his book, Al Adabul Mufrad, which shows that he also accepts weak narrations in regards to virtues of good deeds.
Some scholars claim that there are such narrations in Fazail-e-A’mal, especially in Fazail-e-Durood, that prove that the author had beliefs of shirk and believed in the Omnipresence of Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam). These are false allegations made against the author, who was one of the most prominent scholars of the Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama’ah.
Firstly, such allegations are made mostly by Arab scholars, who are unaware of the difference between the Deobandis and the Barelwis. They regard both these groups to be one, as both of them are from , and attribute the beliefs of Barelwis to the Deobandis. It is some of the Barelwis who believe in grave-worshipping and the Omnipresence of Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam), and these beliefs have been attributed to the Deobandis. Some of these Arab scholars, like Shaikh Ibn Uthaymeen (Rahimahullah), retracted from what they said after the actual situation was explained to them.
Secondly, the author has mentioned references for each and every narration or incident he has mentioned. Therefore, any comments regarding these narrations or incidents should be attributed to the author of the reference provided, as Shaikh Zakariya (Rahimahullah) has absolved himself by giving the reference.
Thirdly, most of the incidents mentioned in Fazail-e-Durood are of pious predecessors. It is incorrect to say that these are fabricated Ahadith, as the word Hadith is used for the sayings of Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam).
It is also incorrect to confirm the beliefs of the author through these incidents, as the object of the author was only to emphasise on the virtues of durood mentioned in them.
Moreover, most of the incidents mentioned are dreams, and no rulings of Shari’ah can be derived from dreams. It is farfetched to confirm someone’s faith from a dream, of another person, mentioned in his kithab.
Lastly, most of the copies of Fazail-e-A’mal do not have Fazail-e-Durood attached to them, and it is not considered as part of the kithab-reading stipulated by the Tableegh Jama’at.
It is incorrect to compare the Shias, Qadiani, etc. with Tableegh Jama’at as we have clarified above that Tableegh Jama’at is not based on the narrations of Fazail-e-A’mal; and none of the narrations of Fazail-e-A’mal are fabricated.
To end thereof, one should not be misguided with all the false accusations on this jama’at, but rather look at how the Ummah has benefited through this jama’at. We should always supplicate to Allah Ta’ala to show us the right path and save us from the misguidance of Shaitan. Moreover, we should always bear in mind that the pious and the learned amongst the Ummah cannot be unanimous upon something that is false or not part of Islam, as Nabi (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) has mentioned:
إن الله لا يجمع أمتي أو قال أمة محمد صلى الله عليه وسلم على ضلالة ويد الله مع الجماعة ومن شذ شذ إلى النار
Allah Ta’ala will not unite the Ummah of Muhammed (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) upon misguidance. Allah’s help is with majority. Whoever deviates from them will be thrown into the fire of Jahannum.
Sunan Al Tirmizi Vol.2 Pg.39 (H.M. Sa’eed Company)
A thought provoking act
How will one account for the many thousands of people all around the world, Arabs and non-Arabs, and of all works of life, be they great Ulama, Muftis, intellectuals or professionals, to be associated with this noble work. They all cannot be wrong. They must have encountered something positive in this work for them to be part of it. The solution is, come within and see for yourself.
And Allah knows best
Ml. M. Jawed Iqbal (Sri Lankan),
Student Darul Iftaa
Checked and Approved by:
Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Darul Iftaa, Madrassah In'aamiyyah