The Official Site of Shaykh Abdul Raheem (hafizahullah)
The following article was written by shaykh Mumtazul Haq of streatham, London, UK. It was checked and edited by Abdul Raheem.
This is one of the most misunderstood and hence, misquoted concepts. Some people forcefully try to impose their own confused understanding of this issue upon others while labelling them with kufr and shirk.
There are many terms in daily life which people use but do not take their literal meanings, for example people say, “so and so has a runny nose “. No sane person in the world will think that to imply this, the nose must be running somewhere. No, The nose is fixed in it’s place, the liquid is running.
When we say the river is flowing, we mean that the river has banks which are stationary with a fixed route but what is flowing is the water in the river.
When people say , “I have a heartburn”. That is never understood to mean that their heart is on fire.
Similarly the term wahdatul-wujood, though literally means, “unity or oneness of existence” but it does not imply that the whole creation is one or that Allah the Almighty, Himself exists physically INSIDE everything and in all creation, as some people forcefully try to imply.
Wahdatul-wujood is also not listed amongst the Aqaaid nor is it taught as such in any institution including Deoband. Rather, it is described as the awareness of Allah in the heart of a believer as he progressese in his relationship with Allah. This has been described in a saheeh hadeeth reported by Imam Bukhari rahmatullahi alayhi:
إنَّ اللهَ قال : من عادَى لي وليًّا فقد آذنتُه بالحربِ ، وما تقرَّب إليَّ عبدي بشيءٍ أحبَّ إليَّ ممَّا افترضتُ عليه ، وما يزالُ عبدي يتقرَّبُ إليَّ بالنَّوافلِ حتَّى أُحبَّه ، فإذا أحببتُه : كنتُ سمعَه الَّذي يسمَعُ به ، وبصرَه الَّذي يُبصِرُ به ، ويدَه الَّتي يبطِشُ بها ، ورِجلَه الَّتي يمشي بها ، وإن سألني لأُعطينَّه ، ولئن استعاذبي لأُعيذنَّه ،
“Indeed Allah has said. “Whosoever has any hatred against any of my friends , I have declared war on him. And my servant does not attain more closeness to me with anything other than that which I have made obligatory upon him. And my servant continues drawing closer to me through voluntary (additional) deeds until I begin to love him. Then when I love him , I become his hearing with which he hears, his sight with which he sees, his hand with which he holds and his legs with which he walks. And if he asks me anything I definitely give him and if he seeeks my refuge I definitely grant him.” (Saheeh Bukhari)
In this hadeeth, inspite of the prophet sallallaho alaihe wasallam saying that Allah says ,
“I become his hands and legs…” nobody accepts this in the literal sense, rather it is explained to mean that all the affairs and actions of a person become subject to Allah’s will and Allah’s pleasure.
Being close to Allah also means a person loves Allah deeply as Allah says in the Quran,
والذين أمنوا أشدّ حبا لله
“And those who believe, love Allah profusely. ”
Being in a state of deep love with and close to Allah, one is then overcome with Almighty Allah’s awareness so much so that as though everything else simply seems insignificant and meaningless as though it does not matter. The only thing which is important to such a person is the pleasure and nearness of Allah. They do not even contemplate anything but Allah. This is also mentioned in the Quran,
قل ان صلاتي ونسكي ومحياي و مماتي لله رب العالمين
“Say! Indeed my prayers and my sacrifices, and my life and my death are for Allah, Lord of the worlds.”
Their prayers then also become as the prophet sallallaho alaihe wasallam has stated ,
ان تعبدالله كأنك تراه.
“That you worship Allah as though you are seeing him”.
In this saheeh hadeeth the prophet sallallaho alaihe wasallam described the feeling and awareness “as though you are seeing Him (Allah).” Because physical vision of Allah in this worldly life is not possible but the feeling and awareness is attainable; “as though one sees Allah”. When the believers will be blessed with the vision of Allah in jannah, the other blessings of Jannah will seem insignificant compared to the vision of Allah. If that will be the case in paradise then what value can the worthless things of dunya have in the eyes of a friend of Allah who lives and worships him “as though he sees Him.”
One who reaches this level will then obviously not feel any attraction or have any significance of anything in his heart and mind, as for him Allah is sufficient for all his affairs as Allah says in the Quran,
أليس الله بكاف عبده
“Is Allah not sufficient for his servant?.”
Everything else becomes worthless in their eyes and they “FEEL” that the only real power , authority and independent existence, is that of Allah, the Almighty. Everything else is simply a manifestation of His will and authority. In all of Allah’s creation they see his Qudrat in action. This state of awareness is termed as wahdatul- wujood . Some people like Shah Wali-Ullah Muhaddith Dehlvi and Mujaddid Alfe-Thani, Sheikh Ahmad Sirhindi rahimahumullah have instead used the term “wahdatush-shuhood ” to describe the same concept as this represents the issue more clearly as being an awareness or a state instead of a reality, as the term wahdatul – wujood appears to imply.
If the term “wahdatul-wujood” is a problem which seems to be the case for many people , then there are many other problems as well. The very term “AQEEDAH” has neither been mentioned in any place in the Quran nor any hadeeth anywhere but is used freely in all circles without any problem.
Some people confuse this issue with a belief of Hindus who believe in “HULOOL” (incarnation), whereby they believe that God actually and physically descends into his creation and resides IN them.Their belief in this concept is backed up by them worshipping different things, like cows, monkeys, snakes and other creatures, because they believe that God is actually in them. This is obviously total and utter kufr. This however, is not the belief of any muslim anywhere in the world. Had that been the case, then these people would have also worshipped things other than Allah, like the Hindus do so.
So this proves that the concept of wahdatul-wujood is not the actual or physical existence of Allah within his creation but rather an awareness and understanding of his “QUDRAT” at work in his creation in a manner that the creation seems insignificant and meaningless in comparison to the majesty and authority of Allah Rabbul ‘Aalameen.
An Arabic poet says:
ولله في كل تسبيحة
وفي كل تحميدة شاهدُ
وفي كل شيء له اٰيةٌ
تدل علي انه واحدُ
In every tasbeeh and tahmeed, there is a statement (proof) of Allah
And in everything there is a sign indicating that Allah is one.
This means that in every flower, in every beautiful bird, in every scenery of mountains & waterfalls, in the sun the moon, the stars. the universe, in every grain of crops and every brand of flakes, there is Allah i.e. A sign of the power of Allah, and of the wisdom of Allah.
May Allah bless us with His qurb, may Allah give us the understanding of our Deen and may Allah give us tawfeeq to stop accusing the friends of Allah with things they have not said or meant and may Allah protect us from having any enmity with any of His friends and May Allah save us from being at war with Allah.
POST TIME: 17 January, 2016 08:13:28 PM
Why does the Muslim world bleed today?
The political power struggle to achieve regional supremacy between Saudi Arabia and Iran may lead to serious complications in future
Look at the Middle East today. A region mired in proxy battles, unending bloodshed, rising extremism, sectarian conflicts, collective attempts to distort the values of a great religion and mounting resentment between the countries among themselves. The region usually captures the headings of the global media industry for these reasons. Think a little deep; go back to the days of the pre-Islamic era and compare the region’s past with its present.
It may sound sarcastic to some, but it will become clear why the God Almighty found it so exceedingly indispensable to send the last Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) along with his divine revelations to the Middle East and not anywhere else.
In the pre-Islamic times, except Yemen, no part of the Arabian Peninsula had any government at any point of time, and the Arabs never acknowledged any authority other than the authority of the chiefs of their tribes. The only law of the land was lawlessness. In the event a crime was committed, the injured party took law in its own hands, and tried to administer “justice” to the offender. This system led very frequently to acts of horrendous cruelty. Observe carefully, that old tribalism and the Bedouin-like attitude to take law in own hands to tackle dissent and execute whoever has come back. Eternal peace didn’t appeal the nomads and tribes so war seemingly had become a pastime or rather a dangerous sport. The incidence of inter-tribal war dominated the Arabian landscape just like the proxy wars of today. The bigger and powerful tribes exercised a certain amount of authority in their respective areas. Till this day this feature is starkly noticeable but practised differently with the help of political and clerical patronage. They acknowledged the authority of the one person who led them into a foray but he could command their obedience only if they had an assurance of receiving a fair share of the booty, and his authority lapsed as soon as the expedition was over. This too is observed during the reigns of successive monarchic and dictatorial regimes. In today’s Middle East, the modality has only changed but the inherent old tribal characteristics are still very much active and alive.
For establishing peace and setting up an egalitarian society the Prophet Muhammad (SM) had embarked upon a relentless struggle on the basis of the revelations and teachings of the holy Qur’an. He had successfully accomplished his great mission. As a religion Islam was firmly established in the desert oasis of Middle East, but its teachings and values were hijacked and usurped by none other than its very followers. Rifts had begun to appear as soon as he died.
The bad news for the Muslims is that: there neither would be another prophet and nor another divine revelation of a holy scripture to end their 1500-year-old self-made schism. They will have to resolve the centuries old Shia-Sunni dispute by themselves and they are not realising it. Perhaps they want to deliberately ignore that fact.
This writer is particularly sceptic about the role of today’s Middle Eastern Islamic scholars, clerics and leaders of the many schools of thought, in terms of ending a schism of stupidity. Can’t they realise that this one deep-rooted conspiracy surrounding the succession of the Prophet has greatly divided the Muslim Ummah for the worse?
Browse through the innumerable Islamic websites, view the Islamic TV channels, and watch the Youtube videos and you’ll find an army of scholars relentlessly delivering speeches, interpreting Quranic verses and Hadith, holding theology group discussions, explaining the Islamic way of living and the 10 ways on how to go to paradise but not even a single show has had held dialogues and discussions about the internal crisis and traumas that’s been tearing our religion apart, branding us as global villains.
The message is: it apparently may look like being rooted in the deep divisions among the Sunni and Shiite branches of Islam, but has as much to do with political and economic clout as anything. It’s here where the clerics and scholars should have played a crucial role to separate religion from Middle East’s ongoing intensified sectarian conflicts.
They failed to do so because they seemingly have failed to take lessons from the Qur’an itself.
Ironically, their ignorance and failure to guide the Muslim world according to Quranic teachings reminds me of our Prophet’s authentic tradition –
You’re living during a time when few have memorized while many have understood, and a time will come when many will have memorized while few have understood.
In today’s Arab world few actually understands while many have memorised the Qur’an from top to bottom. If the Arabs could have only stick to the teachings in the holy book and not get engaged in the brawl over succession the situation would have been different today, but the devil sneaked in to divide and destroy the Ummah.
From a personal standpoint, the more this writer learns, the more he sees the bizarre nature of Shai-Sunni discourse. The more he realises how Muslims have reached to this all time low point. Every time the sectarian rift reminds me of God’s own words in the Qur’an. He says in Chapter 23, Verses 52 & 53:
And surely this religion is one religion and I am your Lord, therefore be careful (of your duty) to me. But they cut off their religion among themselves into sects, each part rejoicing in that which is with them…
The point however is that, it was the followers who have divided the followers of one religion under the tutelage of none other than the devil. And in today’s Muslim world the devils are pre-dominantly reigning supreme under the guise of Muslim intellectuals and the cleric class. Communal violence between Islam’s deadly sectarian attacks is actually directed by clerics or political leaders. Extremist groups, many of which are fostered by states, are the chief actors in sectarian killings today. Sadly this is unlikely to change any time soon.
Incited over the execution of the prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, events in the Middle East are spiralling fast. The political power struggle to achieve regional supremacy between Saudi Arabia and Iran is fast tarnishing Islam’s global image at a time when a form of militancy otherwise known as ISIS has been terrorising the globe. Can’t the Saudis or Iranians realise it? Yes, but they don’t care.
This writer, like many, is aware of this fact but he is powerless while seeing the devil triumphing jubilantly at his success. At the time of writing this piece, at least 10 people had been reported to have been killed and some nine Sunni mosques firebombed in suspected reprisal attacks following a series of ISIL attacks on Shias in Iraq.
Finally, the breakdown in diplomatic relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran signifies a dead-end for regional efforts to end the wars in Yemen and Syria but the loggerheads concern also our home.
It’s about the devil and his agents surrounding us. The legacy of years of sectarian violence that has so bitterly divided the Middle East along Sunni-Shia lines fuelling the animosity of deep distrust should not any how manipulate us. Bangladesh may not be home to a large Shia minority but it actually has recorded sectarian conflict at a smaller scale just last year – remember the bomb attacks on Hussaini Dalan in central Dhaka. It was actually intended to exploit carnage and division.
Needles to say, our scholars and Imams have their respective roles to play in countering potential sectarian threats. The Friday sermons in mosques too, should bring about the subject for preventing any upcoming unrest.
The devil has markedly landed in our soil; therefore, locate his agents within and fight them.
The writer is a freelancer
A Great Beard Comes
With A Great Responsibility
“We need to emphasise that differences of fiqh are the not the depth of religion, the depth of religion is piety.” ~ Shaykh Akram Nadwi