Advice given by Mufti Ahmad Khānpūrī on da'wah and tablīgh 'ilm AND ahl al-'madāris

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The coming Ijtima in Isipingo Beach
Advice given by Mufti Ahmad Khānpūrī (dāmat barakātuh) to the 'Ulamā at the Darul Iftaa, last Tuesday May 27, 2014.

Hazrat Moulana Yusuf Tootla Saheb Daamat barakatuhu requested Hazrat Mufti Ahmad Khanpuri Saheb to request the Ulama to support the coming Ijtima in Isipingo Beach.

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

'Ilm is such a great blessing that we will never be able to repay Allah Ta'ālā for it. In relation to thisni'mah He says in the Holy Qur`ān:

وَمَنْ يُؤْتَ الْحِكْمَةَ فَقَدْ أُوتِيَ خَيْرًا كَثِيرًا

And whoever is given wisdom is certainly given a lot of good. [1]


The author of Al-Durr Al-Mukhtār relates in his muqaddimah (prolegomenon) that someone saw Imam Muhammad Al-Shaybānī (rahimahullah) in his dream and asked him, "How has Allah dealt with your affairs?" He responded: "Allah told me, 'O Muhammad, if I intended to punish you, I would not have placed the knowledge of this dīn in your heart."[2]

This shows us that bestowment of 'ilm is a sign that Allah intends khayr (good) for us.
Allah Ta'ālā says:
وَرَبُّكَ يَخْلُقُ مَا يَشَاءُ وَيَخْتَارُ مَا كَانَ لَهُمُ الْخِيَرَةُ
And your Lord creates what He wills and chooses. Choice is not with them...[3]
This means that Allah has chosen us for this 'ilm and has destined us for this. As such, it is our responsibility to use our abilities for the sake of this 'ilm. The question is, what are we exactly supposed to do? Nabī (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) himself has explained to us our role:
إِنَّ الْعُلَمَاءَ وَرَثَةُ الأَنْبِيَاءِ إِنَّ الأَنْبِيَاءَ لَمْ يُوَرِّثُوا دِينَارًا وَلاَ دِرْهَمًا إِنَّمَا وَرَّثُوا الْعِلْمَ فَمَنْ أَخَذَ بِهِ أَخَذَ بِحَظٍّ وَافِرٍ
Indeed the scholars are the heirs of the Prophets, and the Prophets do not leave behind dinar or dirham (gold or silver coins). The only legacy of the Prophets is knowledge; so whoever takes from it, then he has indeed taken the most able share.[4]

The next question is what was Rasūlullah's (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) mission itself? Allah Ta'ālā says:

هُوَ الَّذِي بَعَثَ فِي الْأُمِّيِّينَ رَسُولًا مِنْهُمْ يَتْلُو عَلَيْهِمْ آيَاتِهِ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ
He is the One who raised amidst the unlettered people a messenger from among themselves who recites to them His verses, and purifies them, and teaches them the Book and the wisdom[5]

The four objectives stated in this āyah should also be our objective in this world. The lives of ourakābir bear proof to this as well. When India did not remain under Muslim control anymore, theakābir gathered together to make plans for keeping Islam alive in this country. Mawlana Nanotwī suggested that we should seek support from the people (i.e. in the form of donations) because they do not have help from the government any. We can see the fruits of their efforts today in all themadarāris and in the students of those madāris through whom the knowledge of this dīn was spread.

Some people ask today that why these scholars take a salary [if they are working for dīn]? The answer is that the purpose is not to attain dunyā. If it was, they would have chased after other occupations that provide a higher salary. The only reason here is so they have enough money for daily expenses.
Day by day, time is passing by and our connection with our akābir is slowly deteriorating. Mufti Mahmūd's father Hāmid Hasan (rahimahumallah), (student of Shaykhul Hind), upon graduating from Deoband was sent by Shaykh al-Hind (rahimahullah) to a madarsah in Nihtaur[6] which Shaykh al-Hind established himself. He spent his entire life there earning a very low salary to the point that he would never attend any invitations for weddings. Even if someone would send him food, he would not eat from it and rather give it away to someone else. Subsequently, the Imām of the madarsa's Masjid passed away and so Mufti Mahmūd's father (rahimahumallah) began to lead the prayers in his stead. After this continued for quite some time, the trustees of the Masjid decided that they should set a salary for him in order to repay him for leading the prayers. When they tried to give him a salary, he responded with the following words, "Until now I was earning a livelihood by selling the Qur`ān, would you like it that I sell my prayers as well?"

He meant that there should be at least one act that is done solely for the sake of Allah Ta'ālā without any exchange, even though it is not harām. Each one of us should try to start up some dars(lessons) on Qurān, hadīth, etc. in our individual masājid alongside our paid duties so we may have something extra done solely for the sake of this dīn. We should not wait for a high salary from some illustrious madarsah; rather, we should start up something on our own alongside our regular jobs even if it is outside the boundary of our typical madāris and masājid.

It is also important for us all that we should make a schedule for our daily routine and not waste our time in frivolous activities. Mufti Shafī' (rahimahullah) once said that Mawlana Thanwī (rahimahullah) would often tell him to manage every single minute of his day such that not a single moment goes wasted. Mufti Shafī' (rahimahullah) states that he gained so much benefit from this [advice] that it can't be expressed in words[7].

On a side note, there is an ijtimā' that is about to take place, so the 'Ulamā should also take part in it. Mawlanā Ilyās was a student of Shaykh al-Hind, and he was the founder of this work, so it is also a part of the work of our akābir. There are two different silsilah (lines of work) of our akābir. One wasmadāris and the other is da'wah and tablīgh that helps bring the 'awām (the common people) close todīn. It is through it that children from even affluent families are now studying in our madāris. So many people have come into the dīn and left the wrongs they used to commit [due to the efforts oftablīgh].

Hadhrat Rāypūrī (rahimahullah) and Hadhrat Madanī (rahimahullah) would also attend the ijtimā' in the areas for a few days. I have personally seen Mufti Mahmud Sahib (rahimahullah) attending such gatherings as well. In fact, if there was a reading of a fadāil book after any prayer, he would never leave his spot until he had listened to the ta'līm.

We (i.e. ahl al-'madāris and ahl al-'ilm) are overwhelmed by our passion for 'ilm that inspires us to spend most of our time researching and authoring books while they (i.e. ahl al-tablīgh) have a greater passion for tablīgh which inspires them to spend most of their time in da'wah and tablīgh. As such, the ahl al-'ilm should busy themselves in their respective field, but if they have any free time available where they are not busy with such things they should definitely make time for tablīgh as well. If someone asks why we are not out for tablīgh, tell them that this is our line of work, but do not become stagnant and make an effort to set out for tablīgh if you are given the opportunity during your free time.

This does not mean one should show ghulū (extremism) by disparaging and criticizing one another. We should remember that political parties are the harīf (opponents) of one another whereas dinīgroups are each other's halīf (supporters and partners).

For example, we are all followers of the sharī'ah of our Nabī (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) and must act on his teachings, but at the same time it is incumbent on us to have īmān in all of the prophets. If we reject even a single prophet, our imān does not last. So our 'amal is on the teachings of Nabī (sallallahu 'alayhi wa sallam) but we have to accept and bring faith in all the prophets.

Each group has their own specialty; there is no need to criticize the other for their efforts. Many of our akābir were on both sides, so we should make some time for both and give each other support.

The talk can be downloaded here.

[1] Al-Quran, 2:269
[2][قال الحصكفي] وَقَالَ إسْمَاعِيلُ بْنُ أَبِي رَجَاءٍ: رَأَيْت مُحَمَّدًا فِي الْمَنَامِ فَقُلْت لَهُ: مَا فَعَلَ اللَّهُ بِك؟ فَقَالَ: غَفَرَ لِي، ثُمَّ قَالَ: لَوْ أَرَدْت أَنْ أُعَذِّبَك مَا جَعَلْت هَذَا الْعِلْمَ فِيك
(رد المحتار علي الدر المختار، ج ١، ص ٥١، ايج ايم سيعد كمبني)
[3] Al-Quran, 28:68
[4] Sunan at-Tirmidhī, 2682
[5] Al-Quran, 62:2
[6] A town in Bijnor district in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.
[7] The actual urdu wording was: "Uska andazah nahin lagaya ja sakta"

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