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Ahl-e-Hadees: Not part of 'T' syndicate you are forced to believe

Sunday October 21, 2012 05:55:31 PM, Team

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The infamous Azad Maidan violence in Mumbai and recent arrests of some Muslim youth in Pune blast case are once again used by a section of media, and named and unnamed sources from Indian intelligence agencies to malign the entire Muslim community, especially those belonging to Ahl-e-Hadees sect. A number of reports of these unfortunate events have references of the accused as being 'Ahl-e-Hadees' - quite surprisingly without verifying the veracity of this claim.


In one report published by Hindustan Times August 16, 2012 and taken by some other newspapers, it is said: "The police suspect that the vandals at the Azad Maidan rally on Saturday could be affiliated to the Ahle Hadees sect. “From the CCTV grabs we have obtained, it is clear that they came prepared for violence. They were dressed similar to Ahle Hadees followers,” said a senior crime branch officer." 


The investigating agencies are free to probe any act of violence in all possible angles. But it is strange that neither the police officer nor the media thought it necessary to check validity of this particular angle. If they had done so, they would have come to know that 'Ahl-e-Hadees' do not have any declared or undeclared dress code.


Besides this, there are lot of misconceptions about the term Ahl-e-Hadees - in print and electronic media, which is freely taking round nowadays. Hence we requested Jamiat Ahl-e-Hadees Maharashtra to document the details about their activities as well as their organizational structure. Jamiat Ahl-e-Hadees has provided us this document with a request to publish hoping that the media and the investigating agencies henceforth would - in the name of fairness and truth, refrain in future from publishing or quoting any references to term 'Ahl-e-Hadees' without proper verification.


Religious and Historical Perspective
The word 'Ahl-e-Hadees' itself contradicts the notorious perception of being an organization. In contrast, Ahl-e-Hadees is one of the many sects or schools of thought obeyed by Muslims across the globe. It is the right straight path for observance of principal Islamic teachings.


Ahl-e-Hadees is the actual definition of Islam as, literally, it stands for the believers who hold 'Quran and Hadees' as the only parameter and the basic criteria for practicing Islam. The Quran in tandem with all the sayings including the teachings (Sunnah) of Prophet Mohammed (Peace Be Upon Him) are called as 'Hadees' when put together.


Hence the word 'Ahl-e-Hadees' automatically transforms into a definition that explicitly states 'The firm believers in Quran and Sunnah'. That is enough to prove that Ahl-e-Hadees existed in the time of Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) or since the Quran and Hadees were first revealed.


Both the Quran and Hadees act as the pillars of the Islamic edifice that would collapse if these two pillars tremble. Hence the Islam practiced and taught by Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) along his revered Companions (Sahaba) is the true Islam. This version of Islam, as 'Ahl-e-Hadees believe, is permissible and all the Muslims are bound to embrace it.

Ahl-e-Hadees' primary and basic principle is 'Monotheism'. It is the bedrock of Islam. They believe that Allah Almighty is the sole creator, sustainer and owner of the universe and all its possessions. Hence Allah solely deserves to be prayed and worshiped. There is no one like Him. No one can equal Him.


Ahl-e-Hadees also believe in termination of Prophethood after Prophet Mohammed (PBUH). Prophet Mohammed (PBUH), the last among the Messengers, was descended to lead the stray hordes of humanity lurking in the darkness. Hence it becomes a moral and religious duty of every believer to obey him (PBUH) in every walk of life. It is only his (PBUH) prerogative to be followed.

Origin in India
The history of Ahl-e-Hadees in India dates back to the time the Companions of Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) came as tradesmen using the sea route. They landed at the south-western coastal areas of the huge country. These moralists were embraced and welcomed with warmth. Their highest moral values persuaded many Indian aboriginals to accept Islam as their way of life. These proselytes have been archived as the followers of Quran and Hadees (Ahl-e-Hadees). This is proved in the words of third Hijrah century tourist Bashaar Muqaddissi. "All the Muslims I saw who inhabited Sindh were Ahl-e-Hadees Muslims", he observed.

In the period that followed, many Muslim sects began to show up. Hence people living under a particular imperious ruler adopted the sect of their master (Kings etc.) because of ignorance. That acted as a precursor to the power imbalance. This power imbalance resulted in hegemony of one sect (the sect of the ruler) over the other (the sect of the nation). Despite that Ahl-e-Hadees existed in every period, retaining their prestigious historical identity. They also boast their glorious participation in the construction of the nation which is preserved in the historical documentations too.

Role against British imperialism
If the historical documentations are to go by, Muslims were the first to stand against the tyranny of colonial rule. Among them, Ahl-e-Hadees were most prominent and outperformed their co-strugglers to be a free nation. Sayyed Ahmed and Shah Ismail Shaheed (martyr) constituted an anti-imperialist front after Shah Abdul Aziz issued a 'Fatwa' against illegitimate British occupation. The members of this anti-imperialist front were mostly from this Ahl-e-Hadees sect.


Later the members, other than Ahl-e-Hadees, gradually drifted away from the front. This front launched its unstopping confrontation against the British rule and fought for over one-and-a-quarter century. This front was characterized by mass participation including Wali Mohammed Phalti, Maulana Wilayet Ali, Maulana Inayat Ali, Maulana Naseeruddin Dehlvi, Maulana Naseer Mangalori, Gazi Abdullah, Fazle Ilahi Wazeerabadi and Ameer Abdul Kareem. They fought for at least fifty years before the Mutiny 1857 erupted and sacrificed their lives and belongings for their motherland. The contribution of Ulma-e-Sadiqpoor fighting along with the front is unprecedented. Their sacrifices are too enormous to be preserved in an archive.

There are records to show how Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru Acknowledged Sacrifices of Ulema-e-Sadiqpoor (Patna). One such is:
"While acknowledging the contributions of the family of Ulma-e-Sadiqpoor, Pandit Nehru said to Maulana Abdul Khabeer, the then President of Emaarate Ahl-e-Hadees, Sadiqpoor (Patna), "If we compare the overall sacrifices of all the Ulema in the history of united India with those of the family of Ulema-e-Sadiqpoor then the latter's contributions would prevail the former's concerted efforts in Indian freedom."

The seeds of sparkle of the Mutiny 1857 that erupted from Meerath had been sown long back and that latter turned into a massive flame of rebellion against the British empire. That saw huge participation from the members of Ahl-e-Hadees sect.


The soldiers of the Murdan Regiment rebelled as a result of the concerted efforts by Maulana Wilayet Ali. Bahadur Shah Zafar handed the reins of the army at Delhi's Red Fort to one General Bakht who was from this Ahl-e-Hadees sect (see the preface of 'The Historical Booklet of 1857').


During the period, a number of 'Fatwas' were issued against the British rule that were mostly signed and supported by the Ulema from Ahl-e-Hadees sect specially by Shaikhul Kul Nazeer Husain Dehlvi.


Hence it can be stated that Ahl-e-Hadees played the most prominent role and stood against the English establishment in tandem with their compatriots.


William Hunter prepared a report on the behest of British government depicting the members of Ahl-e-Hadees sect as the real threat to the empire and held them responsible for the 1857 rebellion. He christened them as 'Wahabis' and recommended strict punishments for them. It is categorically mentioned in the book 'Our Indian Muslims' by William W. Hunter. Consequently, lakhs of Ahl-e-Hadees members fall prey to the ire of the British government.


According to Dr.Tara Chand, half a million 'Wahabis' were massacred in united India. Many of them were condemned to serve 'Kalapani' at Andoman and Nikobar islands. Their assets were attached. Fifteen Ahl-e-Hadees 'Madrasas' were brought down to the ground in the Capital (Delhi) only. The Mutineers (Wahabis) were pronounced with the most severe and most excruciating punishments.


Even the British parliamentarians, unbearable to hear the horrendous atrocities, walked out of the house. Some broke down in the middle of the session. (see 'The Other Side Of The Picture').


Meanwhile, Maulana Husain Batalvi, another Ahl-e-Hadees, filed a writ in the court denouncing the label of 'Wahabis'.

The trials and arraignments of these Wahabis by the English establishment are glorious and inseparable part of Indian political history and independence. These trials are popularly called as 'Wahabi Trials' that have been recorded in the government documents.


Participation in Indian National Congress
The 1885 setting up of the Indian National Congress saw a mass participation from the members of Ahl-e-Hadees sect. They were at the forefront of anti-British movement. They were great votaries of Hindu Muslim unity.


Maulana Abul Klam Azad and Maulana Sayyed Dawood Ghaznavi were two prominent members of Ahl-e-Hadees sect who fought for independence from the Congress platform. They are undoubtedly counted as the heroes of India's freedom struggle.


Later Maulana Abul Klam Azad was elevated as the first Education Minister of free India. He also headed the Indian National Congress and was hailed as a great leader. He is known as 'Imamul Hind' (Religious leader of Indian Muslims).


He vociferously opposed the two nation theory. His evergreen and everlasting writings and oratories are full of patriotism and propagate Hindu Muslim unity. His valuable thoughts act as a lantern in the darkness and guide us to retain the national integration. They are a paradigm for every Indian to follow. It is said that it was him who brought the ordinance from Britain that guaranteed freedom.

Maulana Abdul Qadir Qasoori, another Ahl-e-Hadees presided the Punjab Congress Commission for a decade from 1920 to 1930. Maulana Waliullah Hanif, Maulana Abdullah Al-Kafi, Maulana Abdullah Al-Baqui, Maulana Abul Qasim Saif Banarsi, Maulana Abdul Azim Rahimabadi and Maulana Abdul Wahhab Arvi were some of the veterans members of Ahl-e-Hadees sect who played outstanding role in India's freedom struggle.

Organizational Structure
In 1906, the Ahl-e-Hadees officially constituted its organizational structure in order to undertake reforms among the Muslims. It also focused to eliminate the traditions and rituals that contrasted Islam. Those rituals included building the replicas of the shrines of Hazrat Hasan and Hazrat Husain (Prophet's grandsons), taking out Muharram procession, building shrines, celebrating Prophet's (PBUH) birthday (Eid Miladunnabi) and praying whole night on Shabe-Bra'at. The Ahl-e-Hadees dutifully consider reforming these anti-Islamic rituals through positive attitude. For achieving this goal they believe not to resort to power and sabotage, and never used violent means to prove their points.


In 1906, Ahl-e-Hadees was christened as All India Ahl-e-Hadees Conference that later transformed into a full-fledged 'Markazi Jamiate Ahl-e-Hadees Hind' in 1956.

One of the founders of Jamiatul Ulma Hind
Jamiatul Ulma Hind is the integral part of political, social and welfare programmes throughout the mainland. It also takes upon itself the social reformations. Jamiatul Ulma Hind is always found at the forefront of the aid and rescue during the time of natural calamities, floods and earthquakes. It was set up as a result of sustained efforts by Ulemae Ahl-e-Hadees.


Maulana Sanaullah Amratsari, another Ahl-e-Hadees, while addressing a huge congregation in Lukhnow, proposed the idea of an organization represented by Ulema.


Later on Jamiatul Ulema Hind came into existence after the similar proposal was put forward at a congregation at Delhi. At that time it was represented mostly by Ulemae Ahl-e-Hadees. They were not only its members but also took its reins into their hands. Maulana Abdul Wahhab Arvi, who was head of Markazi Jamiate Ahl-e-Hadees Hind, also presided the Jamiatul Ulma Hind.

Social Services
A thorough and in-depth analysis reveals that Jamiat Ahl-e-Hadees retains its non political identity. It is confined to the religious activities. Remaining non-political despite being fractured and rounded after the partition, Jamiat continued with its welfare works and facilitated the development of the country. It's totally a non-political as there is no place for slogans of self-rule or autonomy in Prophet's (PBUH) way of life.


Jamiat Ahl-e-Hadees for its organizational purpose does not propagate any political movement, other political means or any destructive activity. However, its members are free to associate themselves to any political party on their own. The members with their political associations have played a central role in national politics.


Jamiat Ahl-e-Hadees has been the main constituent at All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMILB) since its inception. The contribution by the Jamiat in national history, and in the educational field cannot be neglected. A number of its members have been conferred upon many government and semi-government medals as an acknowledgement.

Jamiat and its wings have been undertaking various welfare programs. Whether its providing financial aid to economically backward students, financing treatments and co-operating in various hygienic activities, arranging meals for poverty stricken and fixing stipend for them. For implementation of all those programs there are Baitul-Maal based across its various wings.


Apart from that, aid, rescue and rehabilitation is dome during natural calamites. Markazi Jamiat Ahl-e-Hadees reached the affected with relief funds and often paraphernalia. The Mumbai 26/7 deluge, during the communal riots in Malegaon, the Jamiat was at its forefront in aid and rescue. In spite of being a minority in the Muslim community, the services by Ahl-e-Hadees and its members can be found.

Stand against Terrorism
Jamiat run many educational institution and releases many magazines and newspapers. These institutions and the magazines like fortnightly "Tarjuman, Delhi", monthly "Islahe Samaj (Hindi)", fortnightly "Akhbar-e-Aslaf (Urdu and Hindi)", speeches Friday Sermons all reflect the very ideologies of the Jamiat.

Recently, Markazi Jamiat Ahle Hadees held a convention at Delhi with the subject as "Islamic Madaris - Centre of Humanity or Hub of Terrorism?" on July 22 and 23, 2006. Union Home Minister Mr. Shiv Raj Patil, Former Prime Minister Mr. V.P.Singh and Minister of States for External Affairs Mr. E. Ahemadee attended this convention.


Delivering his speech on this occasion, the Home Minister acknowledged that Islamic institutions are preaching for humanity and they are taking part in nation building with others and they are nothing to do with the terrorism. Not long ago Mr. Chhagan Bhujbal (Former Home Minister, Govt. of Maharashtra) had also publicly acknowledged that Jamiat Ahle Hadees is no where indulged in any kind of terrorism or any king of anti-national activities.

The convention unanimously deplored the acts of terrorism and declared that Islam and terrorism are poles apart. The convention while condemning the terrorism expressed its concern over rule of media the way it is dragging the names of the whole Muslim community in general and Ahle Hadees sect in particular as responsible for the terrorism activities in the country.

'SIMI links'
Jamiat Ahle Hadees has never indulged in any king of anti national activities, never sought destructive path of any king and doesn't have any
record of such kind of activities. In contrast, Jamiat always stick to its firm belief that these things are anti Islamic and they are against teachings of Islam. Jamiat believes in politely preaching Islamic values i.e. "Preaching for good work and denouncing the evil."

Raising ones hands during prayers and other things, which Ahle Hadees do during prayers, are confirmed practices of the prophet (PBUH) and there are many people, nowhere related to Jamiat Ahle Hadees, who adopt this practice. But it does not in any way means just being doing these things they are Ahle Hadees, as some section of the media reported recently. Since Jamiat Ahle Hadees, as mentioned again and again is not the name of any tradition but it has rock solid ideology based on Islamic principals and does not have any political agenda.

Quite possible SIMI members might be adopting these things during their prayers, but Jamiat Ahle Hadees never agreed to the alleged ideologies of SIMI and its former parent body Jamat-e-Islami. In contrast Jamiat Ahle Hadees have proven ideological differences not only with SIMI but Jamat-e-Islami as well and these differences were as old as these organizations and traces of these differences can be founding pre-independence era also without much effort.

Now if a person is caught doing any alleged anti national activities and he is "raising his hands" and "saying Ameen aloud" during prayers but is neither a member of Jamiat Ahle Hadees nor is agreeing to its ideologies, how can he be termed as "Ahle Hadees" and how can Jamiat be responsible for a person's individual acts?

To conclude Jamiat Ahle Hadees has separate code of conduct, designed strictly on the Islamic principals that forbid its followers from coddling in any unlawful activities and asserts its members to obey these guidelines clearly depicted by the Holy Words of Quran and practiced by the Prophet (PBUH). It is what Islam and Muslims are meant for.




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