Parts Of The Dīn And Aḥādīth

Question

I have two questions to ask of you. Are the following obligations based on the khafī (i.e. that which is not part of the Qur'an) revelation: five daily prayers, washing feet in ablution, miracles, predestination, and belief in the life in barzakh?

Do we have to reinterpret the verses which confirming anthropomorphism?


Answer

The first two obligations in the list you have mentioned are based on sunnah al-mutawātirah (transmitted from generation to generation). However, we see that the scholars differ over the details of ablution. The difference of opinion among the scholars regarding ablution owes itself to different interpretations of the related Qurānic verses. There is no dispute about the way the Holy Prophet (sws) performed ablution. The whole ummah has always unanimously held that the Holy Prophet (sws) washed his feet while making ablution.

Belief in miracles and predestination are major constituents of the religion. The miracles narrated in aḥādīth will be confirmed or discussed in the light of the authenticity in isnād. Predestination means that our life, death, parents, brothers, sisters and some other things related to our life over which we have no grip have been foreordained by Allah Almighty. This is a part of belief in Allah Almighty. It has been further explained in various narratives. The aḥādīth showing that our good or bad character is also a part of predestination result from misunderstanding on the part of the narrators. The principle of trial presented in the Holy Qur'ān explicitly negates this misunderstanding.

Some people have taken the word barzakh to mean the graves in which we are buried. This is not explicitly mentioned in the ḥadīths. It is actually the understanding of some of these ḥadīths. Barzakh can be defined as a grave for its common use in daily language. However, considering grave as the world of barzakh is a grave mistake.

I do not know which ḥadīths discuss anthropomorphism. Hand and face have been ascribed to the Almighty in the Holy Qur'ān. The Book also refers to His sitting on the divine throne. Similar expressions have been used in some ḥadīth narratives. Some have interpreted such expressions literally and believed in anthropomorphism. In my opinion, these words have been used figuratively. The Holy Qur'ān itself clarifies that there is nothing similar to Allah Almighty. It means that all such expressions should be interpreted figuratively. They cannot be explained literally.

Translated by: Abid Mahmood Hashmi

About the Author

Talib Mohsin


Mr Talib Mohsin was born in 1959 in the district Pakpattan of Punjab. He received elementary education in his native town. Later on he moved to Lahore and passed his matriculation from the Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education Lahore. He joined F.C College Lahore and graduated in 1981. He has his MA in Islamic Studies from the University of Punjab. He joined Mr Ghamidi to learn religious disciplines during early years of his educational career. He is one of the senior students of Mr Ghamidi form whom he learnt Arabic Grammar and major religious disciplines.

He was a major contributor in the establishment of the institutes and other organizations by Mr Ghamidi including Anṣār al-Muslimūn and Al-Mawrid. He worked in Ishrāq, a monthly Urdu journal, from the beginning. He worked as assistant editor of the journal for many years. He has been engaged in research and writing under the auspice of Al-Mawrid and has also been teaching in the Institute.

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