Monday, 26 September 2011

Hanbali Madzhab and Theology

Assalaamu'alaikum wa rahmatullah!

I mingled with few Tabligh kids before the disconnection. Well, I guess permanently disconnecting from everyone here in my hostel. I also observed their activities and some of them tried to befriend me last semester although later I felt that I was lied by them in term of friendship that they brought me in since I think that they are trying to leave their legacy here through me by converting me or other students. That's not sincerity and not an attitude of a good friend.

I can't be apart of their movement because I am already attached to Imam Ahmad and other Hanbali madzhab syeikhs in term of methodology. However I am not following anything blindly. I must check everything. I was supplied with kitabs by the government of Saudi Arabia when I was in Holy Mecca. They allowed me to bring them back with me. Now, I have a question. Am I a Wahhabi if I am following Hanbali madzhab? I do not oppose any tariqah and I noticed that my ancestors were also people of tariqah. I was accused by family members as a traitor sometimes because I betrayed our ancestral madzhab.

However the people of tariqah in Malaysia are not of Hanbali madzhab but of Shafi'ie madzhab and this madzhab is a madzhab prominent in Yemen, some part of Egypt, southern Iran, and some part of Palestinian territory. It is also prominent in Malaysia because the Hadramis of Yemen and Southern Persians had brought it here in ancient time through da'awa with Sufism framework. I still respect this madzhab especially the honorable Imam Shafi'ie may Allah be merciful to him, and I always remember the poem of Imam Shafi'ie about a person who lament that he does not deserve the Firdaus (a paradise), but he could not also bear the torment of gahannam.

Ya Allah, the paradise name is also the name of the guy who had made me feel sad and I used to love listening to his Quran recitation while praying as a ma'mum. His voice sometimes reminds me to the voice Tamer Hosny. Well, not the music thingy but the sound of the voice. I love to listen to Tamer Hosny and he also sings Egyptian patriotic songs and other religious songs. My Arabic too sounds more inclined to Egyptian dialect because of Egyptian media influence though I always thought that it sounds more Levant and I hate Egyptian accent of formal speech. I wanted to speak in Classical Arabic, not dialectical Arabic : ( It is not his fault nor anyone anyway, perhaps misunderstanding but I had already said goodbye so I must hold my word. I could never blame nor be angry to my brothers and sisters. I love all of you no matter what your madzhab, racial background and movement is as long as we are in the same boat, loving Him and prophet Muhammad s.a.w with all of our heart.

I had read few blogs where people are accusing some Hanbalis as the mujassimah in term of theology. Mujassimah means people who characterize the God to human likeness. I do not know and not sure which Hanbaliah are these people but when I read Hanbaliah kitabs, I never come across this notion that the God is sitting on the Throne like mortal king or anything like what is characterized in Judeo-Christian portrayal of the God in paintings. Are all Hanbalis considered by people around the world as Wahhabis? As a Muslim of Hanbali methodology, I am way more tolerant than my compatriots who claims themselves as following Shafi'ie methods and I visit churches, temples, and other places without restricting myself. If I am a Wahhabi, I suppose to be violent to all of these institutions but usually I talked in a polite manner with non-Muslims portraying morality of prophet Muhammad s.a.w as what had been prescribed in Quran and Sunnah. I do not have any problem with Shi'ites, perhaps they might also hate me like other sunnis hate them but I do not consider them as different from me. I also learned about them because I am tired of baseless enmity. 

I am also supporting tariqas and heart purification but I oppose praying for intercession through the dead and dead walis. Only for me, heart purification must be based from Quran and Sunnah tradition. I am also visiting maternal grandparents graveyard. I love them both and I feel guilty to them especially to late grandpa since I didn't treat him well before he passed away. I even dreamed about him during Ramadan of my first degree third year. May Allah forgives my grandparents sins and grant them mercy and love while waiting the Time with patience. I believe that I must strictly memorize and practice the Quran. I had read in some sites written in Malay too that others who are not following Shafi'ie methodology or opposing certain tariqa would be called names as Wahhabi, Shi'ite, Jews agent or perhaps infidels? I was like, what the... Astaghfirullahal 'adzeem (I seek forgiveness from the God the Greatest).

I believe it happens when we are restrictive to ourselves and most of all we are actually ignorant. We call people this and that, calling names to others, but inside ourselves? Empty ~ Beside listening to others about certain news, we also need to certify and check it through our 'own consideration,' of course with prayers and supplications to Allah 'Azza wa Jalla for His guidance. Allah already gave us everything we need for consideration including Quran, Sunnah, and logic and it is our fault for leaving them behind and not even bother to use them. Why we accuse people for our own carelessness? Many people accuse Hanbalis as radicals when we talk, but we had forgotten about Sayyid Abdul Qadir Jailani when he was also accused because of his words couldn't be understood by people.    

If talking about Creed, first as a Muslim without looking at what is my madzhab, I believe in Allah as my Salvator, my Companion, my Entertainer, my Sustainer and He is everything for me. None other than Him! Nobody helps me in this world, except Allah 'Azza wa Jalla. Everything which I virtually see as helping me are just asbabs (reasons) hiding His glorious help and assistance behind it. Ibrahim a.s also prayed to the God when he was burned by Nimrod and he told an angel to go away while the angel coming to save him from enormous pyre. He only beg Allah to save him. When people look to me as a weird person walking alone, sitting alone at canteen or restaurant, or going to class alone and proudly asking me questions just to show how many friends they have, I would just like to answer them: "my God is my Companion." I don't need you who ask me or coming to me to be my friend simply because you see me alone. No need for sympathy. My Lord is not selfish and He never hurt my heart. He is kind to me and He loves me, that's why He tests me with all of you. My friendship and trust is only with Him, only for Him.

Regarding how Allah looks like? I believe that Allah 'Azza wa Jalla does not look like anything in this universe. He is beyond imagination. Even it is a sin to put metaphorical meaning on what He describes about Himself in the Quran. In simple word in plain speech, say the God says something like... His right Hand... It is just His right Hand. Don't speculate anything on it. Don't go far to interprete it nor placing any metaphorical meaning to it. Leave it just like that. How does the God's Hand look like? Like human hands? T-Rex hands? We don't know and our physical eyes are blinded by this world. We do not want to speculate about this subject matter. It is a waste of time and not our right to describe anything about it except for what He describes about Himself. 

I know about Ash'ari and Maturidi theology. Ash'ari is prominent among Shafi'ies while Maturidi is prominent among Hanafis. Hanbali creed forbids to dwell in kalam (speech game). It is the heritage of the Greeks and in Iraq, Nestorian Christians are the master of this branch of knowledge. In history, Christian fellows in Roman empire had also involved in kalam when they encountered Greek polytheists and now we could see the result of kalam in Christian's theology and doctrine. I am not talking about the ancient Church Councils but it is more than that.

People who are involved in kalam are people who love to debate and argue. I do not like to argue nor debate too. I love to keep my silence and only talk when it is important. Usually I act more than talking. I see that Westerners and people who are influenced by Western Education love to debate and talk much than doing work. They theorize so much and it makes my head dizzy learning about their stupid politics matter. Well, it's apart my own fault too. Who asked me to gatal tangan ticking the course. They love to talk than doing works, bunch of egos. My sister who worked in Saudi Arabia also said the same. Those Americans and Europeans working with her love talk so much but do less job. "They talk and talk and without we realize they are demanding us to do their job," said sister. However, they are given higher wages due to their passport and country position in the world hierarchy and perhaps level or standard of education which are all made by human. It's not special to the KSA, but also to other countries in the world. I'm not surprised at all with this phenomena. We think that we are inferior while others think that they are superior. Perhaps they need to learn Imam al-Ghazali books too. While those who feel inferior to Europeans because thinking that some ego Europeans are modern should apply them to be their rulers and give away their house to them. They should go and live on the tree because they are not European. 

I believe other imams also have the same opinion as Imam Ahmad. I also read this book entitled I'tiqaadul A-immatul 'Arbe'ah or the Creed of the Four Imams edited by Muhammad bin Abdul Rahman al-Khumais published by the Department of Religious, Waqaf and Da'awa Affairs of Saudi Arabia.  It talks about all of the honorable Imams regarding their creed.

I also read something about Three Interrelated Tawheed. I do not know how to translate that but it is Ibnu Taimiyyah methodology to understand the theology in which he divides it to Uluhiyyah (Divinity), Rubbubiyah (Lordship), and Asmaa' wa Sifaat (Names and Characteristics). There are reasons for ulamas to act and in their view according to situation at that time. We have to consider why they were taking certain measures?

I had also managed to read again the First Part of a Tawheed book in this solitary period. It was a basic book when I was in i'idadi level in the madrasah where I fought my dorm mate and hated people around called the Tawdheeh al-'Aqidatul Mufeed Fee 'Ilmut-Tawheed (Useful Explanation of the Creed in the Knowledge of the Creed) by the late of Hussain Abdul Raheem Makki, the Ulama of Tawheed and Mantiq and edited by Musa Ahmad al-Baad, the Teacher in the Usool Fiqh of the Hanafi Madzhab in the Shari'ah department of al-Azhar. It also talks about the 20 Specific Characteristics of the God. 

Last time, I supposed to memorize the book according to class syllabus but what to say, I didn't understand what happened around me so I memorized more Buddhism teachings compared to Islamic books. Luckily I didn't burn nor dump those Islamic books in my room just after I finished my studies during my confusion time. I am memorizing it again and asking teachers the explanation too. A very interesting and simple book. I think everyone should also read them and asking their teachers to provide them. 

Regarding Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab. His movement is just like the movement of Tabligh-e-Jama'at but only in different continent and of different fiqh madzhab. Tabligh-e-Jamaat is mostly influenced by Hanafi madzhab as I saw many Malay compatriots are imitating their Pakistanis and Bangladeshis brothers' method of salat but at certain part they are in Shafi'ie method like during sitting at tashahud aakhir posture. I am not supporting violence but I think that many things should be cleared up in order to gain peace. 

I have trilingual materials about his basic book in Arabic, Malay, and English with me. In English it is called as the Three Principles. I do not regard his books or teachings as an authority because the authority is only Quran and Sunnah. Other than that are just guides according to his view. Teachers are only people who provide guidelines from what they learned to others so no need to be ta'assub (fanatics) on certain methods, groups or teachers. His book on Three Principles basically talks about:

1. the knowledge about Allah which includes the awareness about His prophet, Muhammad s.a.w, and the awareness about Islam based from daleel (evidence) from Quran and Sunnah.

2. acting and practicing the knowledge in daily life.

3. calling to it through da'awa.    

4. patience due to harm befalls due to da'awa.       

I wonder why people call people who are said as his followers or fanatics as Wahhabi and not Muhammadi? His name is Muhammad and not Abdul Wahhab. That is his father and his father was a modest person. Regarding salafi, I personally thought that all of four imams are salafus-saaleh. They are all people of sunnah. I wonder why only Hanbalis are called as salafis? And it is also accused as the reason for Europeans feeling threatened by Pakistani, Middle East, and Bangladeshi Muslim immigrants in their territory. 

Hurmmm... Human are all the same. No matter how they think about themselves or about others. They just reflect each other, but only in different titles or topics. Whatever evil attributions they gave to others, they also possess that. It's raining now, supplications time, insyaallah.     

Sealed with prayers for mercy, peace, and love, amin!

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