By Ahsan Qazi*
Recently, the movement of Tehreek-e-Labbaik has called into question what it really means to love Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), and more importantly, how does one really go about understanding the love for the Prophet. Tehreek-eLabbik and Its leader, Khaddim Hussain Rizvi, so-called devout of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) hijacked Pakistan through his protests. Although jailed now, Rizvi, rendering himself as the protector of Pakistan’s blasphemy law showed that the ones who seem to be preaching Islam and love for the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) had no clue of what they were preaching, how they were preaching, and to whom they were preaching. If one makes the counter argument that Rizvi, in fact, exactly knew his material and audience, it makes Rizvi and his party even more accountable for spreading falsehood. In either case, Rizvi’s political and religious ideology created chaos.
Tehreek-e-Labbaik’s falsehood attracted and continues to attract blind followers. Public, also reliant on deviant preachers such as Khadim Hussain Rizvi and media-maulanas is also lacking guidance from scholars who truly stick to the authentic sources (Quran and the Sunnah). The public rather clings to people like Rizvi, Amir Laiqat, and leaders of other sects who feed on the ignorance of blind followers. This is how Rizvi and maulanas like him make their case of “I am your peer (spiritual master) and you are my mureed (disciple).” Without diving too deep into Sufism, simple research renders that the concept of peer and mureed is frequently used in Sufi orders that consist of Qadiriyya, Chishtiya, Shadhiliya, and Suhrawardiyya. Such chain of thought prevents individuals from looking into Quran, Sunnah, and the authenticated research of great scholars like Ibn Taymiyyah, Ibn Qayyim, Ibn Jawzi, Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, Muhammad ibn al Uthaymeen and other renowned scholars who have greatly contributed to the study of Fiqh and the sciences of Hadith. Their efforts and contributions to the field of Fiqh and Hadith are the foundational stones by which the falsehood of Rizvi and those alike should be countered; thereby, stopping misinformation, fanaticism, and falsehood.
It comes as a no surprise that Khadim Hussain Rizvi was booked under sedition and terrorism charges at Lahore’s Civil Lines police station. Dawn News reported, “Additionally, Chaudhry said all the suspects who were directly involved in the destruction of state property — which caused a loss of Rs50 million — and misbehaving with citizens during the TLP-led protests are being booked under terrorism charges at various police stations.” No one seems to really grasp the impact of such dangerous movement until psychological, social, and financial destruction occurs. In case of Rizvi, his falsehood and rhetoric fueled dangerous fanaticism and spread the false religious ideology that is neither supported in light of Islamic Creed (Aqedah), teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and the practice of Salaf-us-Sahaleen, the righteous predecessors. As a result, Rizvi and his followers deliberately engaged in violence, causing public unrest, and going as far as calling for the murder of supreme court judges, an internal revolt within Army and the newly established government Prime Minister, Imran Khan.
To beware of lies of Rizvi and all self-proclaimed maulanas, where must one begin? A careful study of authenticated Hadith brings us to the answer, which comes from Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) himself. Because we take our teachings of Islam from authentic sources, such as the Quran and the Sunnah, we must turn to the two foundational sources and derive everything from the foundational principles. It is reported in Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī (6065), Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim (2533) Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)’s statement “عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ عَنْ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ خَيْرُ النَّاسِ قَرْنِي ثُمَّ الَّذِينَ يَلُونَهُمْ ثُمَّ الَّذِينَ يَلُونَهُمْ ثُمَّ يَجِيءُ مِنْ بَعْدِهِمْ قَوْمٌ تَسْبِقُ شَهَادَتُهُمْ أَيْمَانَهُمْ وَأَيْمَانُهُمْ شَهَادَتَهُمْ. (Abdullah ibn Mas’ud reported: The Prophet, peace, and blessings be upon him, said, “The best people are those of my generation, then those who come after them, then those who come after them. Then, there will come people after them whose testimony precedes their oaths and their oaths precede their testimony.)” Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) tells us exactly where to seek answers if we aim to remain steadfast upon Islam without deviation. The latter part of his Hadith confirms the kind of deviants and false preachers we continue to see. Furthermore, AbuBakr Jabir Al-Jaza,iry, a lecturer in the Noble Prophetic Masjid writes in his Minhaj Al-Muslim, a two-volume works as he explains in sub-chapters of Aqeeda/Creed, “The majority of the reciters, the Hadith scholars are from these three generations as clearly defined by the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) in the above mentioned Hadith.”
To love Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is to understand his station that Allah granted him. In another Hadith, Sa’d bin Hashim bin Amir (Rh) narrated that he asked Aisha (Radiallah Anha) to explain him the character of the Muhammad (PBUH). She replied, “Don’t you read the Quran? I said: ‘Yes.’ Upon this, she said, ‘The character of the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) was the Quran.’” This Hadith highlights the entire religion of Islam, its essence. Prophet Muhammad’s greatness as a human being, as a prophet, and as the leader of the Muslim ummah is that his life was in accordance with the legislation of Allah and according to Quran. Additionally, the definition of loving the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), the Imams, reciters, and scholars of Hadith and Fiqh is to understand their virtue. It is to acknowledge the complete implementation of the legislation of Allah in their lives. It to follow the people of knowledge and scholars in faith with full sincerity. According to Al-Jaza,iry, “The majority of reciters, the Hadith scholars, Fiqh scholars, and Tafsir scholars are from these three generations as clearly defined by the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in the above Hadith.”
It becomes clear then, one should only follow the authentic scholars who lived in accordance to the Quran and the Sunnah. The scholars, people of knowledge are those who have built their scholarship of Hadith and Fiqh upon studying the lives of the three generations that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) defined in the above hadith. The present-day Islamic scholar should imitate the imams and scholars that were among the three generations Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) pointed to. Rizvi is not a scholar. His religious and political claims are contrary to the methodology of a religious scholar or an academic scholar. Rizvi’s political legitimacy is not valid either because of the dangerous political rhetoric he spews in addition to the lack of knowledge to contribute positively to Pakistan’s political process. Which Islamic scholar will have Quran open before him and deliver a talk with foul speech? The true scholars are pure from the behavior like of Rizvi, like of Aamir Laiqat, and other media-maulanas. If we love our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), our love should be purely based on the way he implemented the Quran. Our love should be based upon his teachings, the life he lived, and the foundation he left us with. We should look to the life of Prophet’s (PBUH) companions, the three generations that Prophet (PBUH) directed us to. This is where our search must begin. This is where we should gather the knowledge to make the judgment that Rizvi, the like of Rizvi and other media-maulanas should be fully avoided because such individuals are the cause of societal chaos that erupts from their lack of Islamic knowledge and lack of foundational education for any positive contribution to Pakistan’s political processes.