First and foremost I request your duas. I have known your work and Fatwaa for many years and also inquired about your rank and stature from South African Ulamah [sic] and also read their opinions about you.
As you well know that I regard you as an Alim of Taqwa, knowledge and Seniority, Masha'Allah.
You also know that I (after consultation) with Ulamah [sic] severely disagree with your language, tone and mannerism towards others (particularly Ulamah [sic]) and I consider it disrespectful.
I am not a graduate of a Darul-uloom and neither do I consider myself knowledgeable but after discussions with many South African (and Non-South African) Ulamah [sic] I disagree with some of your Fatawaa and most certainly with the language and mannerism.
I have wrote in opposition to these matters on the blog with the greatest respect, Adab and dignity.
However, I failed on the forum and suggested the following about you:
- I am SHOCKED by some of things being said about Ulamah [sic] and such things should NOT be tolerated
- You should be CHALLENGED HEAD ON and STRONGLY REFUTED by the Ulamah [sic] of South Africa on Fiqh matters where your opinion DOES NOT conform to Deobandi Ulamah [sic]
My harsh (unreasonable and out of line) words were pointed out by others and I retracted, apologized and sought forgiveness publicly.
I now seek your forgiveness (directly) for using words which are not suitable for an Alim of your caliber and I request that you forgive me for the sake of Allah (SWT) as I committed a mistake.
I will not stand down in highlighting issues which I see to be problematic with your stance and mannerism but I do offer an unreserved apology and seek forgiveness for anything and everything which I may have said which is in contradiction to the Sunnah.
Some brothers are insisting on debating with me online about your Fatwaas while clearly declaring that they don't understand your Fatwaas, their basis or reasons at all. I am bringing it to your attention that I will debate/discuss with them although they acknowledge their lack of knowledge of Islamic Shariah and correct understanding of your Fatwaas.
If you wish for me to call South Africa and discuss the matter with you on the phone, please let me know.
Hazrat, I will continue to disagree with you where I find your opinions in contradiction to Shariah as per my duty in Islam. I am NOT a Salafi, NOT a Ghair-Muqallid, NOT a Modernist and I have spent the past decade and a half REFUTING these groups but my Islamic sense of duty demands of me to disagree with you publicly where your opinion is public. Please give me permission to make your response to this email public.
Shaykh (Mufti) A.S. Desai (HA) Response (06MAY2014):
6 Rajab 1435 (6 May 2014)
Abu Salih Muadh Khan
Your e-mail dated 6 May refers.
There is no need to apologize to me for anything. I am not even aware of what your have written, said or publicized as I never search for anything on the internet. In fact, I don't know how to use the internet.
You believe that your criticism is the Haqq. Hence, you should continue to propagate what you believe to be the Haqq. If you believe that I am on baatil, then feel at liberty to criticize and condemn me even utilizing the same strident stance which I have adopted to criticize others. Allah Ta'ala will judge on the Day of Qiyaamah who is plodding the path of baatil.
Feel at ease regarding my attitude towards you. I harbour absolutely no rancour towards you for any type of criticism which you or any of my detractors may be desirous of. Execute whatever you believe is your duty. Feel free to debate, scrutinize and condemn on line whatever I say or whatever happens to be my views. It is your right to dissect and refute whatever you feel is baatil. Thus, when you believe that any of our fatwas are baatil, feel free to dissect, condemn and refute same.
Your criticism and suggestions numbered 1 and 2 should not be of any concern to you. There is no need to apologize for these two statements you have made. Your statements are legitimate, acceptable and mild criticism of a person whom you believe is plodding the line of baatil. Do as your "Islamic sense of duty demands" of you.
Do delete the letter 'h' from the end of the word 'Ulamah' [sic]. It is a glaring error. Feel free to make public my response in any way you deem appropriate.
May Allah Ta'ala guide and protect you.
Further clarification (06MAY2014):
I have a Bayan of Hazrat Maulana Qari Muhammad Tayyib Qasmi (RA) and in this Bayan he talks about respecting and honoring others based on any strand of "superiority" and you are superior to me in multiple areas i.e. age, Seniority, Taqwa, knowledge and experience and I am not just stating it based on humility but actual facts. Therefore, I can never think of adopting harsh and disrespectful language towards you at all and there is no reason for it. However, I have learned from our Akabir to state, express and above all practice "Haqq" and this is what I have done close to 2 decades and shall continue to do so.
I shall keep the spelling of "Ulama" in mind in the future. There are three further matters which I want to bring to your attention, as follows:
- I did download your old Bayans cleared the static (and disturbance) thus improving the quality and sent them to the person who is in charge of your website as samples and also made suggestions on the improvements to website in response to our discussions on the matter last year.
- Your stance on the Qiblah (in America) is used by "Ahbash" of USA to justify their misguidance as there is no other Hanafi Alim in the world who backs this opinion so I had no choice but to refute your opinion as thoroughly as my limited abilities could muster. Alhumdolillah that you have made your stance a lot clearer and publicly stated that a person may follow other Ulama if he/she believes their opinion to be valid and this is against Ahbash who categorically call every other opinion (on the matter) misguidance. Your opinion is based on your research but their opinion about changing the direction of Qiblah in Lebanon and USA is based on choosing a path divergent from Ahlus-Sunnah Wal-Jamaat!
- In your booklet "THE KUFR AND SHIRK OF IBN TAIMIYYAH" on page 4 you have referred to Abdullah Hariri as "Shaikh". Abdullah ibn Muhammad ibn Yusuf al-Harariyy [عبد الله الهرري الحبشي] (1910-2008) is the founder of a sect called "Al-Ahbash". Since it is a Middle-Eastern phenomenon our (Deobandi) Ulama from Indo-Pak have neither encountered them nor investigated or issued Fatawaa on them but it is well known to Arab Ulama. Hazrat (HA), I request that you consult South African Ulama with knowledge of Middle-East affairs about this group. In USA this group is known as "Association of Islamic Charitable Projects" abbreviated as AICP. This group also maligns and slanders Sahabah (RA) and here is the testimony of Shaykh (Mufti) Hussain Kadodia (HA) from South Africa who is the student of Shaykhul-Hadeeth (Maulana) Fazlur-Rahman Azmi (HA):
They are a Lebanese group, followers of Sh. Abdullah al-Harari al-Habashi, originally from Ethiopia. They hold a number of errant views, including classifying those Sahabah who fought against Hadhrat Ali as rebels, takfir of Ibn Taymiyyah etc, rather takfir of nearly anybody who disagrees with them.
You will find Fatawa against them, by many senior Sunni Scholars of the Arab World. To improve their relationship with India Sunnis, they first tried to join up with the Barelwis. When the noticed the ghulu(extremism) of the Barelwis, especially on the issue of Ilm al-Ghaib, they dropped them like a hot coal!
Their Shaikh even wrote a refutation of this belief.
They then tried to get some support from our Deobandi Ulama.
So they sent a representative to our Darul Ulums here in SA about 2 years ago.
He was allowed to address our students and explained the Salafi problem to them very well. The problem was, part of his dars included insisting that the students all say "Ibn Taymiyyah kafir" Ibn Taymiyyah kafir"! which they of course refused and which he couldn't bear.
They are very open about they beliefs and openly call hadhrat Muawiyah a rebel etc
Request for your duas and guidance as always.