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Mauln Sa'd

Kndhlaws
accomplishments and
views:
Clarifying the Truth and
Dispelling the Lies
Preface
Praise be to Allh to the extent of sufficiency. Blessings and
peace be upon His favored servants, foremost among them
being our chief and authority Muhammad, the Favored.
Blessings and peace also be upon Muhammads family and
companions and all the followers of his footsteps.

Distinction of the Ummah of Muhammad


Allh has honored the ummah of His beloved prophet
Muhammad
with a large number of
distinctions and special privileges. Hazrat Shah Waliullah
even said: Muhammad
was given dual
prophethood: just as he was given prophethood and
responsibility of preaching to the humankind, so was his
Ummah1. Oh, the honor, the blessing, the fortune, the glory!

The Ummahs sensitivity and concern towards Islm


Along with other honors and distinctions, the 14-century old
history of the Ummah also features the unrelenting efforts
and blessed struggles by its noble followers to preserve it
from all forms of waywardness, misdirection, adulteration,
corruption, mistakes and slips which any movement falls into
naturally due to the natural tendency of followers to err: on
the side of caution at times, and on the side of laxity, at
others. The history of all previous Ummah is totally devoid of
such reformatory and corrective struggles and movements.
Only Allhs special blessing could have accomplished this!
Only He can reward the torchbearers of this perpetual
reformatory and corrective work! History tells us that the
righteous leaders and scholars of this Ummah have never
bowed to any pressure or criticism in this noble struggle.

The distinctive banner of scholars


Students pursuing Islmic history in depth are well aware
that scholars throughout the centuries have raised aloft the
banner and always stood by the creed: I love Truth and
Brother X as long as they are together. When they part ways,
Truth alone retains my love, not X. It matters little whether X
is the political head of the day or the richest billionaire of the
age. Even if he be the Khalfah of Islm, the righteous
scholars have kept prioritizing Truth over X. This

1
Hujjatullhil Blighah, (Chapter of the essence of prophethood
and its features) 1/84.
/


temperament of scholars is nothing but a practical
demonstration of Allhs promise to preserve the Qurn and
by extension, this Deen.

): (.
We (Allh) revealed the Qurn and We are there to protect it.
(Qurn)

Constructive Criticism
One of the efforts that this Ummah has made to keep the
Deen of Islm on its right track is constructive criticism. It is
natural and human to get off track, to lapse, to err, to make
mistake. Nobody, not even the righteous scholars, is free of
this defect. The pious scholars and leaders of the Ummah
throughout the centuries have always warned and notified
the lapsers of their slips and mistakes. This is a blessed and
virtuous work which in fact is acting upon Allhs command:
Help each other in virtue and piety.2

To err is human
It is universally accepted that lapses and mistakes are an
essential feature of being human. Imm Shfi' taught his
favorite work ArRislah 80 times. Every time, Imm Shfi'
would discover one or more errors in his book and then
correct them. In the end he once said: Let it be! Allh refuses
to let any book except His error-free3.

2
): (

3
Raddul Muhtr alad-Durril Mukhtr 1/105 (AlMaktabatush
Shamilah version 1/27)
Imm Ahmad ibn Hambal says: Who on earth can stay free of
slips of tongue and malapropisms4?5

Linguistics pioneer Salhuddn Khall Safd has an amazing


take on error-propensity of even the notables:

Mistakes and malapropisms have afflicted even the


great. They have been the bane of perfectionists,
even the once with knowledge was as deep as
massive Mount Sabeer. Even a prodigious6 genius
has rarely escaped its tentacles, be he a brave-heart
like 'Abdullh ibn Zubair, the Caliph; or a master of
poetry like 'Abdullh ibn Zubair, the poet. The near
impossibility of escaping slips and mistakes stems
from the fact that they find a way even in simple
copying, and the tendency to reproduce word-by-
word without cross-verification often turns out to be
its growing place. Leading pioneers of this Ummah
have erred, and authoritative linguists who in a way
control the reins of language have slipped. The list
includes geniuses of Basrah like 7 and prodigies of

4
Malapropism = the mistaken use of a word in place of a similar-
sounding one (Oxford Dictionary of English)
5
Muqaddimah Ibnus Salh, Chapter: Marifatul Musahhaf: 140
(Shamilah: 1/383)
6
Prodigious = Remarkably or impressively great in extent, size, or
degree (ODE)
7
Geniuses of Basrah like Khall ibn Ahmad, Ab Amr ibn Al, s
ibn 'Umar, Ab 'Ubaidah Mamar ibn Musann, Abul Hasan
Akhfash, Ab Usmn Jhiz, Asm, Ab Zaid Ansr, Ab 'Umar
Jarm, Ab Htim Sajistn, and Ab Abbs Mubarrad.
Kufah like 8 Isnt this list of pioneers and leaders of
writers and speakers enough?

When a man ponders to the extreme upon one


aspect,

Of knowledge, the other aspects drown down in it.9

In the couplet at end, Imm Safd explains the reason why


even these legends are unable to stay free of errors and
slips.

Summary
In brief, constructive criticism, comments pointing out
errors, and remarks calling for correction are gentlemanly
deeds and an important responsibility of scholars. It is also a
bright chapter of academic history, an excellent treatment of
human weakness, and an amazing demonstration of Allhs
power (for He alone can stay free of fails).

Destructive Criticism
At times, criticism and comment calling for correction are
made with devious intentions or they later on lead to spite
and vindictiveness. And then this blessed deed turns into an
evil vice in the form of insulting human honor and prestige.
In extreme cases, it comes close to destruction of Islm

8
Prodigies of Kfah like Kas, Farr, Mufazzal Zabb, Hammd
Rwiyah, Khlid ibn Kulsm, Ibn Arb, 'Al Ahmar, Muhammad ibn
Habb, Ibn Sikkt, Ab 'Ubaid Qsim ibn Sallm, 'Al Lihyn, Tawwl,
Abul Hasan Ts, Ibn Qdim, and Abul Abbs Salab.
9
Tashh-ut Tashf and Tahrr-ut Tahrf, p. 40 (Shamilah: 1/4)
itself. Referring to some such painful incidents, researcher,
critic and Hadth-memorizer Shamsuddn Zahab laments:

If you feel you have the capability (to take up the


hard work needed for becoming a Hadth-scholar)
and you have the necessary comprehension,
truthfulness, piety and cautiousness, then go ahead,
otherwise keep away from the trouble. If you are
overwhelmed by personal interests, factionalism,
and blind support for an opinion or school of
thought, then by Allh, dont tire yourself. If you
know you are prone to errors, incapable of mind-
taxing work, likely to transgress limits set by Allh,
favor us by staying away from this discipline. Evil
plots harm none but the plotters themselves.10

Evil impact of destructive criticism on elders and young


ones
Mauln 'Abdul Hai Lakhnaw writes:

(Destructive criticizers resorting to compiling all the


critical quotes about a person while ignoring the
acclamatory compliments about him) is one of the
greatest trials. Due to this, common people develop
ill-will towards great elders and even reputed
scholars mistakenly hold erroneous opinions.11

10
Tazkiratul Huffz 1/10 (Shamilah 1/10)
11
ArRaf wat Takml 1/67 (Shamilah 1/67)
Praiseworthy deed of scholars to rectify destructive
criticism
When destructive criticism and unfounded allegations raised
their ugly heads, acclaimed scholars of Islm performed the
duty of proclaiming the pure Truth and defending its
flagbearers. This write-up intends to do the same.

Unfounded Criticisms and the True Facts