The Ummah of Nabi (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) is generally facing a crisis of appalling proportions. The general decline in Deeni knowledge and awareness is unprecedented in the annals of Islamic history. Religious strife and torment is being experienced in every corner of the globe. How far and distant the days of the glorious regime of the Sahabah (RA) seems when the law of Allah Ta’ala reigned supreme; and peace, tranquillity and sublimity prevailed. When one ponders over the situation, a genuine perception is gained of the great sacrifice and effort required to restore some measure of what has been lost. An even greater realisation is gained of the fact that the severity of the situation is such that only the mercy of Allah Ta’ala and his acceptance of our duas could resolve this sad state of affairs. Thus when a wonderful occasion such as Shabe Bara’at dawns upon us, one realises the tremendous need for the believers to derive maximum benefit and to turn in unison and beg and plead from the Most Merciful of All Those Who Show Mercy.
However it must be understood that Islam is a pure and unadulterated religion in which no form of innovation will be tolerated. Only the application of the Holy Quraan and its supreme and perfect illustration by our beloved Nabi (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) is acceptable in the sight of Allah Ta’ala. Any deviation from this is sure to gain naught but loss and disappointment by its perpetrators. It was a keen realisation of the fundamental importance of this authenticity and purity of the teachings of Nabi (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) to be protected from adulteration that led to the Sahabah (RA) and the chosen scholars of the first few centuries of Islam expending untiring efforts towards it’s preservation. As the time passed from the demise of Nabi (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam), so too did the
efforts of the enemies of Islam increase in the quest to vanquish the Deen of Allah Ta’ala with one area of effort being a direct attack at the Muslims and the truth of Islam.
A second and perhaps more devious effort was an attack from within. A no-holds barred attempt to adulterate and obliterate the true teachings of Nabi (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) so that the name of Islam remained, but the practices carried out under its banner would be foreign and contrary to that revealed to Nabi (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) . To this end, thousands of Ahaadith were fabricated and a threatening situation developed. However, while such devious plots bore fruit against the other religions ego Christianity (the fabrication of .ne Trinity, etc.);Islam was protected and the sons Islam rose to this challenge with great zest and zeal.
With regard to the field of Hadith, one cannot possibly go into the various steps and measures that were taken over the ages in order to protect the authenticity of Hadith and separate the pure from the fabricated. To mention just a few:
Ahaadith were written down from the time of the Sahabah (RA) and transmitted likewise;
Allah Ta’ala endowed certain chosen servants with exemplary memories;
Enabling them to memorise thousands of narrations with their chain of narrators;
An in-depth study into the life and character of every narrator was made – thus enabling the scholars to establish whether the narrator could be trusted – such studies were recorded and categorised;
Great distances were travelled at great expense by the scholars, in order to establish the authenticity of even the slightest detail – etc. Based on the results of these exhaustive efforts, Ahaadith were categorised into various levels of acceptability in the light of the general worth of the chain of narrators. It will now be the duty of the general Ummah to accept the rulings of these great scholars in the field of Hadith and to abide by their opinion with regard to the acceptability of the subject matter of the various Ahaadith. Only in this manner can we hope to have a clear conscience with regard to our Deeni practices that they truly stem from the established Sunnah and are not borne from custom and imitation of other ideologies. .
A great tragedy is that in recent times, when Islamic knowledge is at such low ebb and when very often
emotionalism becomes weightier than spiritualism, many unaware brothers have become victims of the enemies of Islam who are hell-bent on spoiling the true teachings of Nabi (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam). The situation has deteriorated to such an extent that even certain scholars of Deen have fallen prey to their devious plans. These adulterated practices have even begun to be expounded from the Mimbars (pulpits) of our Masaajid. So great is the problem that some of these practices have become so famous and accepted that nowadays when some Ulama step forward and in the light of the opinions of the scholars of Hadith speak out against such practices, people (sometimes even other scholars) reject these Ulama and turn a deaf ear, some feel that there is no necessity for these Ulama to take objection. This is a grave attitude indeed. We must understand that no matter how beautiful and well-known a practice may be, its acceptability is dependent on it being established in the Light
of Shari’ evidence.
Moulana Fazlur Rahman Saheb (DB) has by means of this and other such booklets made an effort towards
establishing the truth and presenting the true teachings of Nabi (Sallaho Alaihe Wassallam) before us. It will now be our duty to appreciate Maulana’s efforts by implementing the true Sunnah practices and abandoning any innovations that may have crept into our lives, no matter how popular they are or how pure and religious we consider them to be. It is hoped by means of this treatise that such a view would be adopted, especially with regard to the occasion of Shabe Bara’at. Let us reiterate the genuine need for us to exert ourselves in Ibaadah (worship) and Dua on this occasion and the importance of keeping our religious exertions in conformance to the Sunnah and to veer clear from that which is not established in the light of authentic Ahaadith. Only then will our efforts bear fruit.
Another important point is that due to this particular field being a technical and complex one and the knowledge of the general masses very scant with regard to its terminology, some of the subject matter of this booklet may prove difficult to understand for many. An attempt has been made to alleviate this difficulty by means of detailed footnotes wherever necessary. However, one should make a genuine attempt to read it with concentration and appreciate its contents. An appeal is made to the Ulama, if possible, to choose appropriate occasions and read out the contents of this and other such booklets, illustrating and explaining wherever necessary. May Allah Ta’ala accept Maulana’s efforts and take much more work. from Him. May He also grant us the tawfeeq (ability) to accept and practise.