A brilliant exposition of the debauched ‘interpretation’ of Hanafism/Sunnism by the subcontinental Deobandi sect (note that their arch-nemeses the Brelwis are not much better either). These people truly are a ‘Godsend’ to Islamophobes as evidenced by how frequently they are wheeled out as evidence of the ‘real’ Islam by them.
This (and the previous article by the same author) should be enough to dispel the myth of the Deobandis and other Salafi inspired groups being ‘authentic Islam’ for right thinking people of any background.
By Sheikh Atabek Shukurov
In light of my previous article, which clarified that there is no death penalty (nor necessarily any kind of physical punishment or incarceration) for even public and witnessed homosexuality in Islamic law, which I was compelled to release after the tragic shooting at the ‘Pulse’ nightclub in Orlando, which had caused Islamophobes and Salafists alike to insist at this inopportune time, that there is capital punishment homosexual acts in Islamic ‘sharia’ law, (most ‘helpful’ of them given the scrutiny Islam was under due to the actions of the unhinged individual who was the shooter, who it seems was a practising homosexual man himself), the feedback and response I received from readers was overwhelmingly positive. Most of them simply wanted some proof from classical Islam that homosexuality, despite being a sin in Islam, as it is in most religions, did not mandate any kind of violent punishment, especially as Islam was accused of mandating the death penalty – even by burning – for gays.
You can read the original article here:
One would assume that like most of the readers (and the silent majority of Muslims), one’s priority at times like this would be to exonerate Islam as opposed to wanting to appear ‘tough’ on gays. Sadly, although the Muslim laity was happy to receive proofs from the authoritative Hanafi school of Islamic law that homosexuals were not to be killed, sectarian and Salafist interests were sent into conniptions of rage, with many reminding us that there was a ‘difference of opinion’ between Abu Hanifa, the eponymous founder of that school and his students so there was room to kill homosexuals (again, most ‘helpful’). Others, putative Hanafis, with worrying alacrity found an interest in rival schools of law that did allow killing of homosexuals and suddenly started reminding everyone that it is important to ‘respect other opinions’ (especially when they help you kill people). Yet others started finding an interest in ‘ijtihad’ (novel Islamic legal reasoning) and insisting that we adopt modernism and ignore the early and authentic opinions of the Salaf (earliest generations of Muslims) for very latter day and even 20th century scholars who did allow the killing of homosexuals (again, most ‘helpful’). Most disturbingly, partisans of the Deobandi sect from the Indian Subcontinent, who routinely claim Hanafi affiliation but have deeply a Salafist and violent methodology, defended the unprecedented and vile position of their founders, namely that homosexuals should not only be stoned to death but then burnt thereafter or burnt alive, a position which has no textual or rational evidence, is unprecedented in Islam and was debunked beyond recovery in the original article (and indeed any text of Islamic law).
With absolutely no regard to the public image of safety of Muslims in the wake of this attack, to say nothing of the Sharia, these people have been ‘trolling’ the internet defending the indefensible, ignoring and decrying Islamic sources and claiming, most ironically, that their opponents are ‘modernists’.
Here, I wish to drive a steak into the still beating heart of this vampiric notion of justifying acts of vile violence in Islam by resorting to the excuse of ‘discretionary punishment’ or ‘tazeer’, because as we will learn, when Salafists cannot prove the harsh and violent penalties they require from God or Islam, they resort to a sort of rehashing of the ‘Divine Right of Kings’ and claim that, well, there may not be, for example anyway to kill homosexuals or thrash your wife in Islamic texts but that’s fine, we can do it anyway if the ‘governor’ of Muslims in an ‘Islamic State’ makes up a law to that effect. Astute readers will notice that making up laws that fly in the face of what God has mandated was previously known to and decried by these people as ‘secularism’ and ‘legislating by other than what Allah has revealed’ but has now become a convenient tool to justify any and every punishment they would wish to inflict show their moral indignation.
I again foresaw and debunked this disgraceful line of ‘reasoning’ in my initial article, and comprehensively showed that discretionary punishments in Islam were severely limited as they are never allowed to reach the level of even the smallest ‘hadd’ (or sharia mandated corporal and capital punishments), an argument which one would have thought was self-evident, since if God has not specified in the sharia the rules of even capital punishment and has left it to the ‘discretion’ of ‘governors’ then the question of why we need a divinely revealed law in the first place if ‘governors’ and ‘kings’ and ‘judges’ are to have infinite latitude to kill people regardless, is a legitimate one.
Just as an aside, my advice to readers of all backgrounds and religions: when people in power talk about their ‘discretion’ they simply mean their ‘right’ to oppress you and do whatever they want. They have always found compliant helpers from amongst the religious class, right up to and including the time of Nazi Germany.
So let’s see how Muslims abuse sharia methodology and ‘discretionary punishment’ (tazeer), but only if it helps them do violent things – never the other way round so as to be lenient. Because we know that to these people, being lenient is ‘modernism’ and ‘selling out’ but being violent and harsh is ‘not backing down in front of Kufaar’, ‘authentic Islam’ and ‘following the Sunnah’.
In the previous article, we saw that Abu Hanifa disagreed with his student Abu Yusuf in this issue. We’ve learned that Abu Hanifa said there is no capital punishment but only Ta’zeer, whereas Abu Yusuf said; it has to be treated as normal adultery.
Also, we saw that 99% of Hanafis supported the position of Abu Hanifa and said that there is no hadd. More than that they said; ‘No one said that they should be burnt or thrown from the high building’.
Of course, we saw online that those desperate to kill grabbed onto the opinion of Abu Yusuf and focused on taking this as the Hanafi position, but the bottom line is that his opinion was not accepted by the Hanafi school, as I adequately demonstrated in the first article.
Then we saw that Zafar Tahnawi and the Deobandis (died 1974 AC, so about as modern as you can get without actually being literally contemporary) claimed that there are two options for the ‘public homosexuals’;
- Stoning to death and then burning their body
- Burning them alive
Also, we saw how Zafar Tahnawi rejected the opinion of 100% of Hanafis, including the opinion of Abu Yusuf. That is because Abu Yusuf treats it as normal adultery, but Zafar Tahnawi treats it as a totally different thing, as stoning to death and burning, or burning alive which is not the punishment of any sin accordingly to Hanafis (and others too).
Based on that we can see that Zafar Tahnawi created totally new thing in Islam, a secular thing, and I would say a very dangerous and savage thing.
Further, we learned about the four types of ta’zeer which were created by Hanafi Mashaikh (scholars who came after 450 Hijri) as confirmed by Kasani and many other late Hanafis and we saw that the maximum ta’zeer never can reach to the minimum Hadd, based on the statement of Prophet Muhammad. I quoted two of them;
- ‘Anyone who punishes out of hadd to the level of hadd, he is transgressor’.
- ‘No one should give more than ten lashes except as a hadd’.
We also saw that Imams Muhammad, Jassas, ibn Nujaim and other Hanafi scholars confirmed the authenticity of these two hadeeths, used them to prove that the maximum Ta’zeer never can reach to the level of the minimum Hadd. The only disagreement was once again between Abu Hanifa, who said that the minimum Hadd (sharia appointed punishment) is 40 lashes therefore maximum ta’zeer (recall, discretionary punishment) is 39 lashes and Abu Yusuf who said the minimum hadd is 80 lashes therefore the maximum ta’zeer is 75 or 79 lashes. That was the narration of ‘Dhahir’ from Abu Yusuf. In a weak narration Abu Yusuf said that the head of the country can give even more lashes with no limit. The other disagreement was between Deobandis and all Hanafis and Muslims.
First, a bit of housekeeping, because despite the surfeit of proofs offered which ably demonstrated that there is no killing of homosexuals and for all but the worse offenders al the Hanafi school requires is a stern look or verbal reprimand, Deobandi partisans have been employing smoke and mirrors to save themselves embarrassment. It is a poor attempt but I will clarify it for the readers briefly before moving on – because after my last article many modern Hanafi molanas all over the world were concerned to respond and defend their deformed Hanafi school.
Unfortunately, they were unable to respond to any of the points in the article. Instead they have sent only two points, which I already explained in the article. But because I know that they don’t have a quick ‘understanding skills’, I want to explain it to them once more. If you understood the last article, you can just skip this section if you like. Here are their two and a half points;
- In the work ‘Hidaya’ of Marghinani who died in 593 Hijri, it says that Abu Hanifa said that Homosexuals will get Ta’zeer and will be jailed as it is in ”Al-Jame’ al-Sagheer’‘ of Muhammad, the student of Abu Hanifa.
- Mahbubi, a scholar who died 747 Hijri said in his book ”Sharh al-Wiqayah’‘; ‘The one who commits an anal sexual act out of marriage will get Ta’zeer according to Abu Hanifa, but accordingly to his two students he gets the punishment of adultery’. The proof of Abu Hanifa is that sodomy is not and adultery, so you cannot apply the punishment of adultery on it. Also Sahaba disagreed on the punishment of the sodomy according to the ‘reliable’ hadith of ‘Ikrima the Liar’; some of them said they should be burnt, some said they have to be thrown from high building and stoning. So accordingly to Abu Hanifa they get Ta’zeer by the above mentioned methods.
This is just a perfect example in which modern Hanafis demonstrate their total incapability and bankruptcy in the Hanafi fiqh:
- If you want to deceive the people make sure that you don’t quote from both of ‘Hidaya’ and ‘Sharh Wiqaya’ in the same place. That’s because as you see in the Hidaya he is narrating from Jame’ Sagheer were Muhammad says that Ta’zeer according to Abu Hanifa is by jailing. As you see Dhahir Riwaya is once more confirming that the Ta’zeer is not by burning as Zafar the Deobandi said, but by jailing as Hanafis said.
- As for the opinion of Mahbubi who died 747 Hijri. I already mentioned in my last article the statement of Ghaznawi who died 593 Hijri where he said: ‘Some of our mashaikh said that ta’zeer should be by burning, throwing from the highest place, and keeping in a smelly place. But the correct opinion is that Ta’zeer is only by lashing!’ So when these individuals cannot understand or address a proof, they just repeat their misdirection as if the proof was never there in the first place. I am really worried for their followers if this actually works on them.
- Also, I’ve mentioned in my last article that this is confirmed by ”Bahr”, ”Nahr” and ”Shamia” and other undeniable, famous and authoritative texts which are basic to all Hanfites. But modern Hanafis just ignored that all, because in their madrasas they don’t read any of these books but ‘Sharh Wiqaya’.
- More than that, lets read what Mahbubi said together; ”Also Sahaba disagreed on the punishment of the sodomy; some of them said they should be burnt, some said they have to be thrown from high building and stoning. So accordingly to Abu Hanifa they get Ta’zeer by the above mentioned methods.” So according to Mahbubi ta’zeer should be by either burning or throwing from the highest place. And you remember what Imam Jassas who died 370 Hijri said; ”But no one said that you have to burn or throw them from the highest place!’‘ So let’s ignore whoever we want for later scholar who say what we want them to say, even if they are going against the Imams (*but lets not admit that to lay Muslims)
- Also, Mahbubi attributing his own Takhreej about what should be Ta’zeer accordingly to Abu Hanifa is wrong. First of all it is not narrated from Abu Hanifa, but it’s his own assumption. And secondly, in ‘Dhahir Riwaya’ it is confirmed to be only ”Ta’zeer” as it is in all of the Mutoon that narrated Dhahir Riwaya. And even the copy of Jame’ Sagheer which is quoted in Hidaya it says that Ta’zeer should be by jailing. So based on that and many other proofs assumption of Mahbubi is totally wrong.
So modern ‘Hanafis’ have ignored tonnes of proofs and arguments that I presented. It is their habit of just avoiding the proofs but yet speaking so vulnerable people can see that they are still there speaking and ”holding” a debate. Dishonest people!
All of that shows how modern Hanafis have totally rejected the Hanafi school by following one of the muqallids (lower level scholars who are not qualified to exercise independent juristic reasoning, unlike, say, Abu Hanfia, who can) who died in 1974 AC. That is what we call ‘modernism’ and an inverted mentality. I mean, very obviously one has to follow the qualified scholars whose name is ”Mujtahid” and thereby reject the opinion of non-qualified scholars whose name is ”Muqallid”. But in our case, they did it exactly the other way around because it suited them to do so for a violent fatwa. They reject the opinion of hundreds of experts for the sake of some non-qualified latter day guy and yet still have the chutzpah to call their opponents ‘modernists’.
In this article I want to demonstrate another example of how modern Hanafis reject the opinion of Abu Hanifa and many other mujtahids for the sake of another muqallid, but only when it suits their a priori biases, which sadly seem to always be of a violent nature.
Take the two statements of Prophet PBUH which were used by Hanafis to say that maximum ta’zeer has to be less than the minimum had – the two abovementioned hadeeths. One of the contemporary scholars of modern ‘Hanafis’ and a head figure of Pakistani Deobandism, Muft Taqi Usmani, has commented on both of them.
Let’s see what he said. First is his comment on the following hadeeth;
‘No one should give more than ten lashes except in a hadd’.
Mufti Taqi Usmani, in order to comment on this hadeeth mentioned the opinion of the scholars about the maximum ta’zeer, in summary;
- 39 lashes, followed by Abu Hanifa and Muhammad
- 79 lashes followed by Abu Yusuf, and in the narration of ‘Dhahir Riwaya’ from Abu Yusuf it is 75 lashes.
- Shafei said; for the free man it should be less than the minimum hadd of the freeman, and for the slaves it is less than the minimum hadd of the slaves
- Ta’zeer of each crime should be less than its hadd, followed by Imam Ahmad in one narration
- Head of the country will decide regardless, whatever he wants. It is the opinion of Malik, Abu Thour, Abu Yusuf in one narration, and Tahawi. And it is the opinion of Anwar Shah Kashmiri.
But as for the Hadeeths where the Prophet PBUH forbids from applying a punishment more than 10 lashes and applying a hadd without committing anything mandating a hadd, Mufti Taqi made the following comment;
As for the hadeeth, scholars gave different interpretations;
- It is about a master applying it on his slave, and husband on his wife, and teacher on his student. It is the opinion of some latest scholars, including Ashraf Tahnawi ‘I’la Sunan’ volume 11, page 737
- It is abrogated
- Hadd here doesn’t mean a ‘punishment’ but a ‘prohibition’. Meaning you can lash more than 10 times if someone commits an Islamic ‘prohibition’. But if someone does something which is not prohibited in the Quran and Sunnah only then should you only lash less than 10 times.
Basically, he is saying that the limit of ten lashes is only for things which are ‘non-religious’ transgressions (we will see just how inclusive this is shortly) but for ‘religious stuff’ you can lash more than ten times. This is the opinion of Ibn Taimia, and Mufti Taqi classed it as ‘the best ever interpretation’.
We will see that Mufti Taqi also supports the opinions in which it says not punishing with more than 10 lashes is only applicable when the wife commits something which is not classed as a sin according to God and Prophet, as well as a father can apply it on his son for the thing which is not a sin, also master can apply it on his slave. Basically, he is saying that the hadith is only telling you to limit your punishments to ten lashes for personal ‘transgressions’ your wife might make against you, which are not even sins, like maybe not doing the laundry or not providing certain sex acts or not putting enough salt and chilly in the food (Mufti Taqi doesn’t tell us which no sinful acts nonetheless mandate a beating from the husband). In those cases, he thinks you can lash your wife but ‘only’ ten times. God forbid if she does something which is a sin, in which case you can presumably ‘go to town’ on her according to Uthmani.
I think readers don’t need to be told that this is a most bizarre ‘reading’ of this hadith, supported as are most violent fatwas, from FGM to killing civilians, as usual by latter day Salafi archfiend Ibn Taimia, to whom Taqi Usmani is forced to turn to for support when showing the ‘Hanafi’ position. It is also very strange that The Prophet is so inexact in his language that he means to say ‘don’t beat your wife with more than ten lashes when she annoys you’ but doesn’t know how to say that and instead specifies the hadd punishment for sins. Odd, because we are told that the statements of the Prophet were to ‘clarify’ the Quran. But now we have Taqi Usmani and Ibn Taimia ‘clarifying’ the already pretty clear statements of the Prophet for us. Presumably we need someone else to clarify the statements of Usmani and Ibn Taimia and so on, ad infinitum.
I really don’t understand what the Deobandi School’s obsession is with wife beating and burning gays anyway. Like these are the main issues in Islam that we need to defend and erect our barricades. I know people claim there is ‘wife beating’ mentioned in the Quran. This is due to their erroneous and teleological reading of the Quran (and everything else), an error repeated recently by the ‘Study Quran’ team. I don’t have space to go into all I want to say about this alleged ‘wife beating’ in the Quran, but I will do so in a separate article. Here I just want to say that I find it impossible to fathom the Deobandi schools quote mining and willingness to rubbish the Hanafi school in favour of wife beating and ‘gay burning’, especially as they have been embarrassed about this recently when their senior scholars Ashraf Ali Thanwi’s unnecessary remarks on wife beating ‘etiquettes’ were exposed in Canada and embarrassed Muslims and armed the ample contingent of Islamophobes in that country: http://www.torontosun.com/2012/03/23/book-tells-muslim-men-how-to-beat-and-control-their-wives.
Isn’t it very strange though how these people present two totally opposing things about the same issue, namely wife beating, on different occasions? I mean: When they are asked by non-Muslims about wife beating in Islam they say; ”No, No, No! Islam doesn’t allow wife beating! It’s only touching her gently with a tooth brush!” ‘It’s only for ‘nushuuz’ or serious disobedience, such as letting your enemy into your house!’ That’s what they say normally in debates, or TV interviews or public speeches.
But as you see here, they say; You don’t beat your wife with a toothbrush or ‘miswaak’, but you actually lash her for 1-10 lashes with a whip. And you lashing her is not for her committing any prohibition from God and Prophet PBUH or ‘nushuuz’, but even for something which is not classed as a sin at all. I am not saying they lie, but maybe when they say ‘toothbrush’ they mean the toothbrush of some type of Dinosaurs (actually I am not sure if they believe in dinosaurs). And them saying ‘touching’’ is actually coming from ‘louching’ which came from ’lashing’. And the word of ‘gently’ means lashing as a ‘gentlemen’ means muscularly.
As you see he is opposing not only hanafi school in order to support ibn Taimia but opposing Quran even accordingly to their own understanding. That’s because both of ibn Taimia and Taqi Usmani said: you can lash your wife 10 times even if she doesn’t commit sin. If she commits a sin then lash her for more than 10 times. Now compare it to their another claim of permission of beating the wife only in the scenario of “nushooz” I. E. act of sin. So in one place they say you can only beat if she commits a top sin but here they say you can lash 10 times only if she doesn’t commit a sin. But if she commits a sin then more. Then some logic question arises; What is the maximum limit of ”Tazeer” if your wife commits a sin? Well answer is confirmed by Mufti Taqi where he said ”No maximum limit!” as it is the position of Abu Thour, Zafar Tahnawi, Anwar Kashmiri and weak narration from Abu Yusuf. Actually Zafar Tahnawi suggested two possible options too.
How does it sound like?
Whenever something bad happens and someone ‘takes the [alleged] law into their own hands’, like the Pulse massacre, these people say ‘how dare he! He is vigilante! He doesn’t represent Islam! Islamic punishments such as killing gays are only in Islamic State!’’. But here they are allowing husband to lash his wife for no sin at all and allowing the father to do it with his son and master with the slaves! What happened to the ‘Islamic State’ and ‘judge’?! Is that only in front of non-Muslims and Islamophobes?
I would love to see them get up and say that when they are ‘defending’ Islam. Actually, be careful what you wish for. The episode following the ‘Pulse Massacre’ has, if anything, shown us that these people literally have no filter and no concern or awareness of the public image of Islam.
I hope you take a note of the disagreement between real Hanafis and the modern ones. So, the real Hanafis say that lashing the wife is not permissible for the husband regardless if she commits a sin or does something which is not a sin! But modern ‘Hanafis’ say; ‘You can lash her for doing something which is not a sin for ten times, but for sin you have to increase the number of lashes’.
But nowadays, Muslims will buy anything, even a brand new and baseless opinion such as this, as ‘authentic’ as long as it is harsh and ‘opposes the kufaar’. So ‘kufaar’ and feminists are against wife beating, therefore it must be part of Islam, and so on. I don’t know what you call this ‘logic’.
Also, we saw in the previous article how all of the Hanafis used this hadeeth for the meaning of Ta’zeer. So, Mufti Usmani is actually opposing the interpretation of all of the Hanafi scholars just to follow the interpretation of the Hanbalite anthropomorphist Ibn Taimia. Yet if you call these people ‘Salafi’ they get offended. Strange!
Further, Mufti Taqi supports the opinion of Ibn Taimia and gives an example of the police punishing someone for crossing a red light, and says that the police cannot lash for more than ten times because this act is not forbidden by God and Prophet (crossing red lights is forbidden by Islam in the same way as any act of putting people in danger through potential vehicular manslaughter would be but put that to one side for now). And according to Usmani, the same is applicable on a father punishing his son and a husband his wife. Thus, if they commit something which is forbidden by God and the Prophet PBUH then he applies the punishment which is more than 10 lashes. But if they commit something which is not forbidden by God and Prophet then he can punish them only up to 10 lashes.
He further clarifies the opinion of Ibn Taimia and says that some ignorant people have misunderstood Ibn Taimia, and that Ibn Taimia was right in what he said, namely that ”Hadd” has two meanings: one is ‘prohibition’, and the second is ‘punishments’, and Usmani goes to great lengths to give a lot of examples from hadeeths to show that ”hadd” is used in both of the meanings. According to Usmani and Taimia, in this specific hadeeth, hadd means prohibition as Ibn Taimia said. So, no denying that he fully supported the opinion of Ibn Taimia.
We already saw that modern Hanafis have no problem with rejecting the opinions of Abu Hanifa without any excuse or basis, so rejecting it with the basis of supporting the opinion of Ibn Taimia is only to be expected from them.
Unfortunately, the modern Hanafis of subcontinent are not the first people to reject Abu Hanifa for the sake of Ibn Taimia, I already demonstrated how Ibn Abideen does it too: https://shaykhatabekshukurov.com/2016/03/10/islamic-blasphemy-laws-and-the-strange-case-of-mumtaz-qadiri-part-1/ Ibn Abideen is classed as one of the highest late Hanafi scholars by many Hanafis.
Just to remind everyone, Ibn Taimia is not Hanafi scholar he is a Hanbali and an anthropomorphist. And from about six hundred years after the ‘Salaf’ and Abu Hanifa. Again, if anyone else acts like this, these people are quick to label them as ‘modernists’. But their own novel and ‘pick and mix’ approach seems fine to them.
Just so as you are not left in any doubts about his willingness to justify corporal punishments on the shakiest of grounds, Taqi Usmani goes on to say that you can lash for more than the minimum limit of Hadd regardless, as it is the opinion of Malik, Abu Thour and there is a narration from Abu Yusuf (which we saw is weak, but Usmani does not care about the weakness nor the position of the school) and that it is the opinion of Ashraf Tahnawi (the wife beating author who was a gift to Canadian Islamophobes above) and Anwar Shah Kashmiri.
I personally don’t really see the point of presenting yourself as a ‘Hanafi’ scholar or representing ‘classical’ Islam if you are then going to quote mine from anywhere and anytime to justify your opinions whilst disregarding your own school. So what is the purpose of adducing Imam Malik and even latter day scholars (who unlike him are not even at a level to exercise independent juristic reasoning) whilst disregarding Abu Hanifa et al and yet still claiming to be Hanafi. Why not just be honest and say; ‘Look guys, I don’t give a monkeys about the Hanafi opinion, I’m going to look for evidence from anyone and everyone, including rival schools and Salafis to justify what I think is the right opinion. I take it upon myself to choose the right opinion and disagree with the Hanafis, because I am that amazing’. Then at least people too can choose.
Sometimes these people exercise a sort of blackmail on their unsuspecting Muslim victims by ‘name dropping’ other Imams, in this case Imam Malik, and making it look like that you have to take his opinion as well. This defeats the whole object of following a school because they are in effect saying that you have to follow every school and every opinion, most of which are contradictory. It also makes the idea that differences of opinion are a ‘mercy’, which is oft repeated by these scholars, meaningless, because far from being a mercy, it is a curse as you have to follow all of the opinions, which makes everything at least four times as hard in most cases. Anyway, there is no such principle as you have to follow or even ‘respect’ each and every contradictory of the opinions of the Four Imams, these people simply cause epistemic chaos by making it up as they go along to support their own biases and preconceived sectarian notions. And Ibn Taimia is not one of the ‘Four Imams’ anyway. Or an ‘Imam’ at all.
As for the opinion of Abu Yusuf, Mufti Taqi himself confirmed that we have two positions in ‘Dhahir Riwaya’;
- Maximum ta’zeer is 79 lashes
- Maximum ta’zeer is 75 lashes
He also confirmed that the third opinion of Abu Yusuf which says there is no limit of discretionary punishment or tazeer, to be a weak narration from Abu Yusuf. In his apparent enthusiasm to lash wives and support Ibn Taimia, Mufti Taqi seems to have forgotten his own statements on the matter.
”Weak narration” in Islamic scholarship terms means most likely Abu Yusuf didn’t make this statement. That’s why scholars say; ”Weak narration means no-narration”!
That is all about the first hadeeth.
But Mufti Taqi also egregiously went on and mentioned the second hadeeth where Prophet PBUH which says; ‘Anyone who punishes out of hadd to the level of hadd is a transgressor’.
Before mentioning what Mufti Taqi said about this hadeeth I want to remind you about what Hanafi scholars, amongst whose ranks Mufti Taqi and his acolytes count themselves said about it ;
Here is Imam Muhammad, the direct student of Abu Hanifa [died 189 Hijri] narrating this hadeeth in his ‘Muwatta’ and using it as a proof to say that no Ta’zeer should reach to the severity of 40 lashes:
Here is Imam Jassas (died 370 Hijri), a scholar virtually indispensable to Hanafi epistemology, who uses this hadeeth to prove exactly the same thing as Imam Muhammad:
Now we can compare this to what Mufti Saab said. Obviously, Mufti Usmani already brazenly rejected what all Hanafi scholars said. Now he is opposing even this hadeeth which Hanafis are using as a proof. So he has to show an excuse for rejecting this hadeeth and opposing the Hanafi school, to this end he says: “We can respond to this hadeeth by saying that Haithami [died 973 Hijri] and Suyuti [died 911 Hijri] (Shafei scholars) classed it ”weak”. Or we can say that ”hadd” in here means a ”sin”!”
So, modern Hanafis are rejecting the opinion of Imams Muhammad and Jassas who are classed as early Hanafi mujtahid (senior scholars who can exercise independent legal reasoning) scholars and the rest of the Hanafi scholars because two late Shafei Muqallid scholars (lower ranked scholars who are not allowed to disagree with the Mujtahids) said something else.
Again, if anyone else acts like this – brazenly quote mining, going outside of the school to find scholars from opposing schools as a ‘proof’’, ignoring the early for the late scholars, weakening and ignoring hadith that they don’t ‘like’, these very same people describe them in the harshest terms as ‘modernists’, ‘sell outs’, ‘puppets of the West’ etc. But when they do it themselves, then it suddenly becomes fine!
Overall there are several points;
- Sheikh Anwar Shah al-Kashmiri is one of the top scholars of the Subcontinent. For me he is not less than Ibn Hajar, but actually above him. I don’t class him as Hanafi, but he is great scholar of Hadeeth with Shafei/Hanbali inclination in the hadeeth.
- Rejecting the opinion of Abu Hanifa, Muhammad, and the narration of ‘Dhahir Riwaya’ from Abu Yusuf and the official Hanafi position, for the sake of the opinion of Ibn Taimia: I personally don’t have a problem with independent research, even if Mufti Taqi is not qualified to be Mujtahid. It is good that Mufti Taqi is doing this ‘research’. But the problem is when they do it themselves and yet forbid anyone else from doing it, even those more knowledgeable than them. Also, it is good that Deobandi scholars do independent research, but they shouldn’t class their opinion as ”the Hanafi school”. Also, they shouldn’t label other researchers as ”heretics” or or ”khabeeths” or ”modernists”. If these labels are applicable on anyone then it is only them for rejecting the opinion of Abu Hanifa and many other mujtahids for the sake of Ibn Taimia, and only when it suits them and only when it is harsh and violent.
- Mufti Taqi saying; ‘This hadeeth is referring to the errors which are not classed as sin’. So, you can lash someone without them committing a sin. But it should be a father doing it to his son or husband to his wife or teacher to his student. I say; obviously lashing is not a good method for a teacher to use. As well as I think Mufti Taqi is contradicting himself (I assume) or at least he is opposing Hadeeth which all of them class as authentic in which it says; ”you can beat your wife but not painfully” and they said it is such as using a toothbrush. But as we know now, all of that was nothing. Maybe they show that in the debates with non-Muslims or television appearances or before female audiences, but actually they believe that you can lash your wife, but make sure that it will be less than 10 lashes.
- It is a really bizarre point: So Mufti Taqi is 100% fine to reject the opinion of Abu Hanifa and he follows the opinion of Ibn Taimia. Where is Abu Hanifa, and where is Ibn Taimia and his followers Mufti Taqi and Zafar Tahnawi? It is the same as one diamond in comparison to glass and sand.
- If the opinions and verdicts of Salaf such as Abu Hanifa can be rubbished at will by 14th or even 21st century scholars, why complain of modernism at all? If Mufti Taqi can disregard Salaf such as Abu Hanifa as he pleases, why can’t anyone else? Is it a special dispensation from God to Deobandis and Ibn Taimia but no one else?
- Imam Muhammad, Jassas and many other mujtahids gave an interpretation to the word of ”Hadd” which is in these hadeeths. But Ashraf Tahnawi, Kashmiri and Taqi Usmani rejected that and followed the interpretation of Ibn Taimia. Fine, I am not stopping them. But why are they stopping anyone else rejecting salaf and early scholars in the same manner?
- One of the principles of taqleed (the idea in Islamic law that one who is not qualified must follow a mujtahid scholar who is) says that anyone who didn’t reach the level of Ijtihad has to follow a Mujtahid. But as we see here, they totally rejected the opinion of mujtahids in many things such as maximum limit of Ta’zeer, interpretation of hadeeth, etc.
- Again, this is why many have rightly pointed out that far from being a Sunni or Hanafi offshoot, Deobandism, like Salafism, is its ‘own thing’: they have idiosyncratic and unprecedented rulings and positions and consider their latter day scholars to rank beside or outrank those authoritative scholars of the past/Salaf. Again, I am not trying to disrespect or censor them on account of this, I just would like them to be honest about it instead of using the sympathy that most Muslims have for Hanafism to disguise their true beliefs and principles and act as a ‘Trojan Horse’ to introduce their ideas under the false label of ‘Hanafsm’.
- Also, there is another principle: If a Mujtahid uses some hadeeth then it is considered authentic and has to be accepted by Muqallid. Yet here is Muhammad (supposed to be Mujtahid according to Zafar Tahnawi and Mufti Taqi, or at least one hopes so) using the hadeeth of maximum limit of Ta’zeer as proof; But they rejected it anyway. Isn’t it just too brazen and presumptuous of them? If they think they are above Imam Muhammad then say this clearly and let’s see what people think of this claim.
- Muhammad (the Mujtahid one) uses this hadeeth, so it should be classed as authentic for the Hanafis. Also, Imam Muhammad gives an interpretation to the word of ”Hadd”. But Mufti Taqi disregards all of that. He rejects what Muhammad said about the authenticity of the hadeeth and follows two Shafei muqallids, Haithami and Suyuti, because it suits his troubling end (beating and burning people for certain infarctions he doesn’t personally like). As well as this, he rejects the interpretation of Mujtahid Muhammad and follows the interpretation of muqallid Ibn Taimia.
- Now the question is what about all of the fiqh and hadeeth principles which Mufti Taqi is completely and unapologetically disregarding? As I said, I personally don’t have a problem with that. You can do you whatever you want. And it is good that our scholars in our century are trying their best to do research. But don’t pejoratively label the one who follows the real Hanafi position when you by yourselves are following Ibn Taimia. That’s like calling Jeremy Corbyn a traitor to the Labour party and using Boris Johnson as your ‘proof’. As you allow to yourself to reject the authentic opinions of Abu Hanifa for the sake of Suyuti, Haithami, Ibn Taimia and other muqallids, allow others to search for the authentic opinions of Abu Hanifa and follow them. You don’t represent the classical Hanafi school, so please clarify that – as sheikh Taqi Usmani in fact to his credit did – he first clarified the position of Abu Hanifa then honestly and openly rejected it. He is not trying to deceive the people by saying that opinion of Ibn Taimia is actually opinion of Abu Hanifa.
From these quotes anyone can see that the Deobandi school is a modified/deformed version of Hanafism, they reject the opinions of Abu Hanifa and Hanafis based on the opinion of Ibn Taimia, Haithami, Suyuti etc… Again I come back and say; it is good that people are trying to do research. We should encourage that. But we should be aware that all of them are humans. As they are rejecting the opinions of Abu Hanifa, we also can reject their opinions, and they shouldn’t get worked up about that.
So perhaps we should summarise some of the apparent ‘principles’ of modern ‘Hanafis’:
- Don’t tell people what you really believe: so tell people, especially women and non-Muslims that you believe in ‘lightly beating’ your wife with a toothbrush for ‘serious sins’ when you actually believe in lashing her with a whip for no sin at all. When others act like this though, get angry with them for ‘hiding their beliefs’
- If you can’t find any proof for lashing your wife or burning gays in the Hanafi school, look elsewhere and import that into the Hanafi school.
- It’s fine to use the latest and modern scholars (*but only if they believe in lashing your wife and burning gays)
- You can ignore Abu Hanifa and all of the senior Hanafis but still be ‘Hanafi’
- You can ignore any hadith you want if it stops you lashing and burning people, but if anyone else does this they are ‘hadith rejecters’ and ‘enemies of the Sunnah’
- Grading of hadith is to be done by junior and later scholars, not senior and early ones. But you are still following ‘early Salaf’
- You can follow a solitary and weak opinion and ignore all the others (*but only if it helps you lash your wife or burn gays)
- You have to ignore the opinion of your school for those of the other schools or no school at all (*but only if it helps you lash your wife or burn gays)
- You have to follow the opinions of all of the schools simultaneously otherwise you are ‘disrespecting’ them. Unless it makes your life easier, in which case how dare you, stick to your own school you miscreant!
- When people ask you about Islamic punishments say that they are only in an ‘Islamic State’ and how dare people take the law into their own hands. But then allow people to lash others, such as their wives, by themselves – no need for a judge or Islamic State etc
- The best time to start defending your opinions about burning gays and lashing your wife is straight after terrorist attacks on gays. This will help Muslims a lot.
As I have said, you are free to follow these ‘principles’. I would say however that from my side I have proved that:
- No Hanafi (*except Deobandis) said you should stone and then burn gays, nor kill them nor hurt them at all
- No Hanafi (*except Deobandis) said you can whip or lash your wife for anything, let alone something which is not sinful.
You can decide which principle is following ‘Quran and Sunnah’ for yourself.