"ash-Shifa" of Qadi 'Iyad (ra) Refuting The Barelwi Creed
8th August 2011
TweetAsh-Shifa of Qadi Iyad, translated by Aisha Bewley, p 348-351
SECTION 3: The Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam)'s States With Respect To Worldly Matters
We will examine the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam)'s worldly states with respect to his beliefs, reports and actions.
As for worldly beliefs, one aspect of his state in this regard is that it was possible for him to believe something concerning the matters of this world based on one interpretation when the opposite was true, or to be subject to doubt or supposition regarding them. These matters are not the same as matters of the Shari'a.
Rafi' ibn Khadij (radiallaahu 'anh) said that the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) came to Madina while they were pollinating the dates and asked, "What are you doing?" They told him and he said, "Perhaps it would be better not to do it." So they left it and there were less dates. They mentioned that to him and he said, "I am a man. If I command you to do something in your deen, then do it. If I tell you something from opinion, I am but a man."' Anas (radiallaahu 'anh) added, "You know better the affairs of your world." Another variant has, "I had an opinion, so do not blame me for having an opinion."
In the hadith from Ibn 'Abbas (radiallaahu 'anhuma) we find, "I am a man. What I tell you from Allah is true. In what I say from myself, I am but a man. I can err and I can be right." This is what he said about himself regarding his opinions about the affairs of this world. That is not the case with any words which came from him or his ijtihad when laying down the Shari'a or making a sunna.
This matter is also illustrated by what Ibn Ishaq (ra) has related about the time the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) dismounted near the waters of Badr. Al-Hubab ibn al-Mundhir (radiallaahu 'anh) said to him, "Is this a place where Allah has made you dismount so we cannot go forward or is it simply a question of opinion, military tactics and strategy." He said, "It is opinion, military tactics and strategy." Al-Hubab (ra) said, "Then this is not the place to dismount. Continue until we come nearer the water, towards the enemy. We can alight there and then we can fill up the wells beyond it. We will drink and they will not drink." The Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) said, "You have indicated the correct course of action," and did what al-Hubab had suggested.
Allah said to the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam), "Take counsel with them concerning the matter." (7:159)
The Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) wanted to placate one of his enemies with a third of the dates of Madina. He took counsel with the Ansar and, after hearing their opinion, changed his mind. Fallibility of this kind which pertains to any such worldly matters which do not involve the science of the deen, its beliefs or teachings are permitted to him since none of this implies imperfection or demotion. They are ordinary things capable of being known by anyone who attempts to learn and occupy himself with them. The heart of the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam), however, was filled with gnosis of Allah's lordship. He was full of the sciences of the Shari'a. His mind was directed towards the best interests of his community in this world and the deen.
But such fallibility only happened in respect of certain matters. The rare case is allowed and in things which concern observing this world and its fruits, not in doing such things often, followed by stupidity and inattention. Many transmissions have come from the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) showing a deep knowledge of the matters of this world and understanding of the fine points concerning the best interests of his people and the politics of the different groups of his followers which was a miracle among men. This has already been discussed in the chapter of this book devoted to his miracles.
SECTION 4: The Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam)'s Judgements
As for what the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) thought concerning his human capacity to judge, the recognition of the true from the false, and the science of distinguishing the beneficial from the corrupt, this is similar to the previous topic
Umm Salama (radiallaahu 'anha) said that the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) said, "I am a man and you bring your quarrels to me. Perhaps one of you might know how to argue more eloquently than the other, and so I would decide in his favour according to what I hear. Whoever is given a judgement which contains any of his brother's right should not take any of it or a piece of the Fire will be cut out for him."
In the transmission of az-Zuhri (ra) from 'Urwa (ra), it has, "Perhaps one of you might be more eloquent than the other and so I would suppose that he was speaking the truth and give judgement in his favour."
His judgements were based on the apparent evidence and what the prevailing opinion demanded through the testimony of witnesses, swearing on oath, looking for the most likely interpretation, and recognising a hawk from a handsaw while knowing what the wisdom of Allah demands concerning these things.
If Allah had so willed, He would have acquainted the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) with the secrets of His slaves and the hidden consciences of his community and then he would have judged between them by pure certainty and knowledge without any need for confession, clear proof, oath or probability. However, since Allah has commanded his community to follow the Prophet and imitate his actions, states, decisions and life, and since this knowledge, had it existed, would have been part of his special knowledge by which Allah preferred him, his community would not have had any way of following him in this respect nor of establishing a proof, through the precedent of one of his cases in his shari'a, because they would not know what he had been shown in that case which caused him to reach the judgement he reached. It would have been by a hidden element of Allah's teaching to him by which he was able to see into their secrets. The community as a whole would not have access to it.
Allah made the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam)'s judgement proceed by the outward, in which he and other men are equal, so as to enable his community to imitate him completely both in respect of particular judgements and also as regards arriving at a judgement. The community have taken his sunna from this outward knowledge and certainty since clarification by action is more sublime than that by verbal reports due to the comparative nature of verbal expressions and their openness to different interpretations. Reaching judgement by outward actions has a more subtle clarification, is clearer in judgement and has greater benefit for the needs of disputes and quarrels. It was also in order to enable the community to be guided by all the judgements he made and so that verification of what has been related from him would be made possible and the rule of his shari'a could be established. Hidden within these judgements is some of the knowledge of the Unseen which the Knower of the Unseen has kept back. "He does not show His Unseen to anyone, except for a Messenger with whom He is pleased." (72:26) He teaches him what He wills of it and keeps to Himself what He wills. None of this detracts from his prophethood nor does it lessen his protection.
End of Qadi Iyad's (ra) words
Comment: This is a clear refutation of the Barelwi claim that the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) is given knowledge of everything, knowledge of every science, mathematics, physics, biologie, and also the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) knows what is in the hearts and thoughts of people.
And this book has been translated by a Darqawi Shazili Sufi, so the Barelwis cannot say that Salafis mistranslated this, Qadi Iyad (ra) did not say such.
In matters of the Duniya and judging between people, the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) clearly told that he is a man, and how can any Muslim deny such clear sayings of the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam).
May Allah send Salah and Salam on the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam), his household, his companions, and those who follow them.
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