WAS GURU NANAK A MUSLIM?
Although the title of this paper may seem rhetorical to some,
the fact is that there has existed a trickle of
voices throughout the ages that have either
sincerely queried over this question, dismissed it
as absurd, or vigorously asserted an answer in the
As indicated by a
unique survey (right) we conducted supplementing
this paper, the same is certainly true of today. In
answer to the question: 'Do you believe Guru Nanak
was a Muslim?' 72% (166) of respondents, from a
total of 232 votes, said they did NOT believe him to
be a Muslim, while 8% (19) were honest enough to
claim ignorance. But, what was most worrying was
that 10% (23) of respondents were certain he was
Muslim, while an equal percentage thought he could
be. The poll suggests that 20% (47) of respondents
doubt Nanak was a kaafir (disbeliever). If
this site were a sensationalist newspaper, the
heading for this news would most probably read
something like: "Almost a quarter believe Guru Nanak
could have been a Muslim."
There exists a mixture of ignorant
and deluded Muslims that have erroneously concluded
that Guru Nanak was either an overt Muslim or one
who had converted to Islam, but, for one reason or
another, never openly proclaimed or practiced it -
choosing instead to conceal it. And the following
excuse usually accompanies this latter opinion: his
Muslim identity was, down the centuries, reinvented
by some of his followers into the traditional Sikh
identity we know of today. There are then those
Muslims who go the extra mile in their attempt to
audaciously prove and promote the notion, often to
the extent of compromising the very basic tenets and
principles of Islam, that Nanak was a Muslim.
From an Islamic perspective,
giving any type of credence to such an idea will, in
essence, occur due to two reasons:
Either extreme ignorance.
Or, a misunderstanding of the creed ('aqeedah) and principles
Muslims who have knowledge of
'aqeedah (creed and doctrine), as it was
understood and implemented by Prophet Muhammad (upon
whom be peace and blessings of Allaah) and his
companions, and have a rudimentary knowledge of Guru
Nanak's life and teachings, will certainly be
utterly bewildered to learn of fellow Muslims who
hold such dubious opinions. It is for this reason
that an in depth study be undertaken to
comprehensively address this subject.
Since the inception of the
initiative, we have received a number of emails from
Muslims sincerely enquiring into this hackneyed
query over whether Nanak was a Muslim.
Nadeem Bhatti in 2006 questioned:
I am interested in the whole question of whether Guru
Nanak was in fact a Muslim.
While Mr Rahman queried:
By the way my ackee [brother] said that
apparntly guru nanak was a muslim .... [I]f this is
true can u show me some prove so that i can show
them to other. [sic]
jazak allah khair
Mohsin Malik simply asked:
Was guru nanek a muslim, and then followers
rasied his status to something greater? [sic]
Firstly, let us take the following rule of thumb: when an object is
described or attributed to something, it does not
always mean that it is an accurate reflection of the
truth. For example, if one were to label a bottle of
water with the label: Coke, it would not change the
contents. Hence, claims need to be examined to
determine their veracity; the assertion that someone
who is known to be a non-Muslim is said to be a
Muslim demands that the claim be critically
There have been two modes of historical association between Islam
Those from the Muslim community, often described as Sufi saints and
mystics, who openly interacted and supported the
Arising from the moment when the Gurus
decided to incorporate material into their
scriptural corpus from the couplets of certain
so-called Muslim holy men, viz. Kabir and
And it is through the use of this historical association that those
attempting to bridge this religious gap between
Islam and Sikhism have gone so far as to affirm Guru
It is, therefore, imperative that if we are to correctly answer
this question, a critical examination of the
evidence that supports the above two modes of
historical association between the two religions be
conducted through the all-important lens of the
Islamic 'aqeedah (creed).
But before that, it is necessary to firstly know who a Muslim is
and how one is designated and recognised as one.
THE DUEL DECLARATION OF ISLAMIC FAITH
The Shahaadatayn, or the duel declaration of
Laa ilaaha ill Allaah - There is none worthy of worship in
truth except Allaah.
Muhammad ar-Rasool Allaah - There is none worthy of being
followed in truth except the Prophet and
Messenger Muhammad (upon whom be peace and
blessings of Allaah).
Since this is a "declaration" of faith, "it is the
first thing sought from the unbelievers when they
are invited to embrace Islam", i.e. to articulate
it, for the Prophet said:
illallaah and rejects whatever else is
worshipped besides Allaah, then his property and
blood become sacred and his reckoning is with
Similarly, when the Prophet (upon whom be peace and
blessings of Allaah) sent
Mu'aadh as a proselytiser to Yemen, he instructed
You are going to a people from
the People of the Book, so let the first thing to
which you call them be the worship of Allaah.
An alternate wording is recorded by Imam Muslim in
So call them to
laa ilaaha illallaah ....
This profound statement, however, needs to be broken
down and elaborated upon further so as to arrive at
a correct and accurate answer to the question of
Guru Nanak's alleged Muslim identity.
In his book Clarifying the Meaning of La Ilaha
Illa Allah, the former Grand Mufti of Saudi
Arabia, Shaykh 'Abdul-'Aziz bin 'Abdullah bin
Baaz, explicated the Shahaadatayn as
This is the religion of Allah, the one which
He has sent His messengers with and revealed His
books with. It is the religion that He sent Muhammad
(upon whom be peace and blessings of Allaah) with,
the religion which entails making Allah one, and
having sincerity for Him. It also entails the belief
in His messenger Muhammad (upon whom be peace and
blessings of Allaah) and submitting to his
legislation by statement, action, and belief. Its
foundation and basis is the testimony that none has
the right to be worshipped besides Allah (the
testimony) which Allah has sent all of the
messengers with. So for that [reason] there's no
Islam except with this testimony which (began) from
the time of Nuh [Prophet Noah] up until the time of
Muhammad (upon whom be peace and blessings of
There is no Islam except with this statement
by word, action, and belief. So based upon that the
illa Allah with his tongue and confirms it with
his heart and actions. The Muslim makes Allah
one and singles Him out for all worship and
disassociates (himself) from the worship of other
than Him. It is a must that there be along with this
(which has been mentioned) the testimony that the
messenger ship is for the Prophet Muhammad (upon
whom be peace and blessings of Allaah).
The scholars of Islam, both past and present,
have defined Laa ilaaha ill Allaah thus:
Stated Shaykhul Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (d.728H) -
rahimahullaah, "Allaah (the deity) is
al-Ma'looh (the one who is deified). And
al-Ma'looh is the one who is deserving of
Stated Imaam al-Qurtubee (d.671H) -
rahimahullaah, "Laa ilaaha illallaah:
That is: there is none worthy of worship besides
Stated Imaam Haafidh al-Hakamee (d.1377H) -
rahimahullaah, "So the meaning of
ilaaha illallaah is: There is no deity worthy of
worship in truth, besides Allaah (laa ma'bood bi
In this respect, Shaykh Ibn Baaz continues with his
The actualization of the first: and it is "Laa
ilaha illa Allah" by singling out Allah with all
acts of worship making Him the one who it is
specifically for. It is also belief in everything
that Allah informed us about as well as His
Messenger (upon whom be peace and blessings of
Allaah) from the affair of paradise, hell fire, the
books, the messengers, the last day and the
pre-decree its good and bad.
As for the actualization of the second: and
it is the testimony that Muhammad (upon whom be
peace and blessings of Allaah) is the messenger of
Allah, then faith in him consists of belief that he
is the servant and messenger of Allah and that Allah
sent him to all of mankind and jinn. He called them
to the Tawheed of Allah and to believe in
Him. Also (from the actualization of this testimony
is) following that which the messenger of Allah
came with, along with the belief in all those
who have come before from the messengers and
prophets. Then after that (comes) the
the legislations of Allah, which He has legislated
for His servants upon the hand of His messenger
Muhammad (upon whom be peace and blessings of
Allaah), and (along with that) is taking hold to it,
holding fast to it with prayer, obligatory alms,
fasting, pilgrimage, jihad, and other than that.
Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan said in
Bearing witness that he is the Messenger of
Allaah requires having faith
him; obeying him in what he commanded; keeping
away from what he prohibited; believing in whatever
he informed; and following him in what is prescribed
In regards to the Muslim's belief in "the
legislation of Allah", Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan
Also, from the requirements of
illallaah is to accept Allaah's Prescribed Laws
in matters of worship, social
transactions and in what is lawful and unlawful, as
well as to reject all other laws besides it. Allaah
the Most High said: "Or do they have partners
with Allaah who have prescribed for them a religion
that Allaah has not ordained?" [Soorah
It is therefore obligatory to accept the
Prescribed Laws of Allaah in matters concerning
worship, social transactions, judging between people
in that which they differ regarding their personal
situations and other matters, whilst [at the same
time] rejecting man-made laws. What this means is to
reject all the innovations and deviations that have
been introduced and propagated by the devils - from
amongst mankind and the jinn
- in the matter
of worshipping Allaah. "Indeed, whoever accepts
anything of this has actually committed
in [the matter of] obedience to Allaah,
just as Allaah said in this verse: ...
take their rabbis and their priests to be lords
besides Allaah." [Soorah at-Tawbaa 9:31]
In an authentic narration the
Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam
recited the above verse to Adee ibn Haatim
at-Taa'ee, may Allaah be pleased with him
so he said: "O Messenger of
Allaah, we do not worship them." So he replied: "Do
they not make lawful to you that which Allaah has
made unlawful, which you then deem as lawful? And do
they not make unlawful to you that which Allaah has
made lawful, which you then deem as unlawful?"
He said: "Yes indeed." So the Prophet
'alayhi wa sallam said to him:
worshipping them." ...
Shaykhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah,
clarified this point in more
detail in Majmoo' Fataawaa
stating: "Those that take their rabbis and priests
as lords obeying them in their making lawful what
Allaah has declared to be unlawful, and their making
unlawful what Allaah has declared to be lawful,
occurs in one of two ways:-
they know that they [i.e. the rabbis and priests]
have changed the Religion of Allaah, yet follow them
in this act of changing (tabdeel).
believe to be lawful that which Allaah has made
unlawful; and unlawful that which Allaah has made
lawful, following their leaders in this, along with
knowing that they have opposed the Religion of the
Messengers of Allaah. This is unbelief
which Allaah and His Messenger consider to be
shirk - even if they do not actually pray or
prostrate to them .... Also, this making unlawful
what is lawful, and making lawful what is unlawful,
if it occurs from a scholar whose intention is to
follow the Messenger, but the truth [in this matter]
was not clear to him, but he feared Allaah as much
as he was able, then Allaah will not take him to
task for his mistake. Rather, he will be rewarded
for the scholarly striving
undertook in obedience to his Lord. However,
whosoever knows that this is a mistake, yet still
follows his mistake, turning away from the saying of
the Messenger, then such a person has a share of
especially if the person is following his whims and
desires in this, supporting it with his tongue and
hand, along with having knowledge that this opposes
the Messenger. This is shirk,, the doer of
which is deserving of punishment." ...
So this is the major [type of]
shirk which negates the very
laa ilaaha illallaah
This clarification of religious figureheads
duplicitously changing what God has legislated and
finalised by declaring permissible what God
originally made forbidden, and vice-versa, is
important when we come to examine those who, despite
being affiliated to the Muslim community, were also
in cahoots with the Sikh community.
This association with the non-Muslims (mushrikoon)
also falls under one of Islam's doctrinal principles
(qawaa'id) called: al-walaa wal-baraa
(allegiance and non-allegiance).
In his monumental treatise, The Three Fundamental
Principles of Islaam, the great revivalist
Muhammad ibn Abdul-Wahhaab at-Tameemi declared:
That whoever is obedient to the Messenger and
singles out Allaah with all worship, upon
then it is impermissible for him to have
friendship and alliance with those who oppose Allaah
and His Messenger, even if they are those most
closely related to him. The proof is the saying of
Allaah, The Most High:
"You will not find a people believing
in Allaah and the last day loving those that oppose
Allaah and His Messenger, even if they are their
fathers, or their sons, or their brothers, or their
kinsfolk. Rather Allaah has decreed true faith for
their hearts, and strengthened them with proofs,
light and guidance from Him; and He will enter them
into gardens of paradise beneath whose trees rivers
will flow, and they will dwell therein forever.
Allaah is pleased with them and them with Him. They
are the party of Allaah. Indeed the party of Allaah
are the successful." [Qur'an 58:22] (bold
Commenting on this principle, Shaykh 'Ubayd
This matter is from the greatest
principles of the religion because it incorporates
the principle of 'association (Al-Walaa) and
Alliance is to love and support
for the sake of Allaah; disassociation is to hate
and show enmity for the sake of Allaah. (bold ours)
In this respect, the Shaykh quotes Muhammad ibn
Abdul-Wahhaab as follows:
The foundation and support of the
religion is two things:
Firstly: The command to worship
Allaah alone, to promote this, love those upon this
and declare whoever abandons this to be a
Secondly: The prohibition of
Shirk in the worship of Allaah, warning against
this, hating those upon it and declaring whoever
practices this to be a disbeliever.
Shaykh al-Jaabiree continues:
(alliance) is to love and lend support for the sake
of Allaah, and this is 'Muwaddah' because
loving and hating has to be for the sake of Allaah.
it is compulsory
to hate for the sake of Allaah even though it may be
a close relation, if it is someone that opposes
Allaah and are stubborn in their resistance to the
divine legislation of Allaah.
They do not show love to people
who are upon disbelief, disobedience and wickedness.
(bold, underline ours)
The Shaykh concludes:
If these four groups: Fathers,
sons, brothers and kinsfolk are to be hated, then
whoever is more distant than them is more deserving
to be hated if they oppose Allaah and His Messenger.
But what are the consequences of muwalaat
towards the disbelievers or those who oppose Allaah
and His Messenger? Shaykh Abdul-Muhsin al-Ubaykaan
divides "loyalty (muwaalaat) to the
Kuffaar [disbelievers] and aiding them (mudhaaharah)"
into three types:
That this (loyalty) is a
complete, unrestricted, general tawallee
(loyalty with underlying love and pleasure).
This is kufr [disbelief] that expels from the
religion of Islaam ....
That (the loyalty) is for
the sake of attaining a specific benefit for the
one who makes this loyalty and gives this
apparent aid, whilst there is nothing that
justifies resorting to this, such as fear (of
harm) and its likes, then [t]his is unlawful (haraam)
and it is not kufr.
That (the loyalty) is shown
due to fear of the
Kuffar and its likes, so the ruling
pertaining to this is that it is permissible.
It goes without saying that the most dangerous type
of loyalty is the first one; it is this category
that is of utmost importance in respect to this
Before we move on, it is imperative that we briefly
explain the scholars' repeated use of two integral
words in this context, viz. tawheed
and its mutual opposite Shirk. Shaykh Abdur
Rahman as-Sa'dee defined tawheed as follows:
Tawheed is the servant's knowledge, belief, and
outward acknowledgement that the Lord alone has
every Attribute of perfection. The servant also
believes that there is no one who shares with Him in
these Attributes, none similar to Him in His
Perfection, and that He possesses the sole right to
be worshipped by all of His creation. The servant
then devotes all forms of worship to Him alone.
Included in this definition are all three categories
[Tawheed of Allaah's Lordship]: It is to acknowledge
that only the Lord creates and provides for His
creation, and He alone takes care of all their
Tawheed al-Asmaa was-Sifaat
[Tawheed of Allaah's Divine Names and Attributes]:
It is to affirm all the beautiful Names and
Attributes that Allaah has affirmed for Himself and
those that His Messenger Muhammad (upon whom be
peace and blessings of Allaah) affirmed for Him,
without likening Him to His creation
or claiming that He is
similar to anything,
and without perverting the texts
or declaring them to be devoid of any real meaning.
[Tawheed of Allaah's Worship]: It is to single out
Allaah with all the different types and varieties of
one's worship, making them all sincerely for Allaah
alone, without ascribing a single partner to Him in
any of that.
Shirk is the antithesis of tawheed. Shaykh
Muhammad ibn Saalih al-'Uthaymeen states:
Tawheed is the greatest commandment given by
Allaah since it is the foundation upon which the
whole Religion is built .... The most serious of all
that Allaah forbade is shirk, and this is because
the greatest of all rights are the rights of Allaah,
the Mighty and Majestic. So if a person violates the
right of Allaah, then he has violated the greatest
of all rights, which is the tawheed of Allaah, the
Mighty and Majestic.
While Shaykh al-Fawzaan adds:
is to set-up partners with Allaah the Exalted
in those matters concerning His Lordship
or His Divinity and Worship
The predominant form of
occurs in matters of His Divinity and Worship;
such as supplicating to other than Allaah or
directing any form of worship, such as slaughtering,
vowing, or [reverential] love, fear and hope, to
others besides Allaah - and
shirk is the
greatest of all sins.
Hence, committing "unrestricted shirk ... causes a
person to leave the Religion"
 of Islam.
In summary, what we have outlined are the following
- the duel declaration of Islamic faith that
a) Laa ilaaha ill Allaah
- There is none worthy of worship in truth
b) Muhammad ar-Rasool
Allaah - There is none worthy of being
followed in truth except the Prophet and
Messenger Muhammad (upon whom be peace and
blessings of Allaah).
This declaration entails verbal utterance in
order to enter into the folds of Islam.
Legislation is for Allaah alone, which entails a
rejection of all other laws.
The principle of
al-walaa wal-baraa -
allegiance and non-allegiance, which included
the different categories of
The definition of
Tawheed and its three
With these points in mind, we are now in a
position to determine whether Guru Nanak was a
AN HISTORICAL PERUSAL
An article written by a Muslim academic titled:
The Mission of Guru Nanak: A Muslim Appraisal,
has been widely published on various Sikh websites.
Unfortunately for Professor Mushirul Haq, this
appraisal has come at a price. It is apparent from
the outset that the Professor is certainly no
scholar of Islamic theology. In fact, his evaluation
seems to advocate the untenable idea of religious
plurality. He reasons:
In fact, the only and real factor
different religions is
message which is
conveyed to the people through various means.
A religion devoid of such message is no
longer a religion. But
the existence of
the divine message among various religions
cannot be taken to mean that one religion has
necessarily borrowed the message from another,
because, as it has been pointed out, this very
common message is the real essence of every
Once it is understood that religion by itself
is not a purpose but only a means
leading people nearer to God, there is no
difficulty in realising that
every religion can
stand by itself. (bold, underline ours)
His contention is that the common factor that
pervades all religions is a message which, at its
source, is divine. The implications are astounding
because for this to be true, the Professor must
reject the Shaahadatayn.
As covered earlier, the only logical conclusion when
correctly understanding and applying the first part
of the Shaahadatayn: "There is none
worthy of worship in truth except Allaah" is, as the
Prophet (upon whom be peace and blessings of Allaah)
implied, the rejection of whatever else is
worshipped besides Allaah. Since Muslims negate all
forms of false worship except what Allaah has
legislated in Islam, it stands to reason, thus, that
Muslims necessarily reject all opposing claims of a
message being divine, which includes Sikhism.
Furthermore, since the second part of the
Shaahadatayn: "There is none worthy of being
followed in truth except the Prophet and Messenger
Muhammad (upon whom be peace and blessings of
Allaah)", entails believing, following and obeying
him, Muslims are obligated to accept his following
The example of me with respect to the
prophets before me is like that of a man who built a
house and made if complete save one brick. People
were looking at how nice the building was but were
wondering about that brick. I am that brick and I am
the last of the prophets. (Sahih
I am Muhammad, I am Ahmad. I am
by me Allah eliminates disbelief. I am
upon my foot people will gather on the Day of
Judgment. And I am al-'Aqib; there is no
prophet after me. (Sahih
al-Bukhari and Muslim)
There will be thirty liars among my people,
each one claiming to be a prophet; while I am the
last prophet and there is no prophet after me. (Sahih
I had been given preference over the other prophets
by six tings: I was given the perfect form of
speech. I have been assisted by dread being
instilled in my enemies. Spoils of war were made
legal for me. All the Earth was made a prayer place
and a purifying place for me. I was sent to all
humanity. And prophecy was sealed by me. (Sahih
Hence, since Prophet Muhammad (upon whom be peace
and blessings of Allaah) was the last and final
recipient of a divine message with no successor,
Prof Haq is proven wrong.
The Professor's leanings towards religious plurality
are not only evident from statements such as: "As a
matter of fact, monotheism is the real foundation of
almost every religion", but also discernible from
subtle allusions similar to the following wherein he
says: "[W]e may take the example of the so-called
polytheists of Mecca at the time of Prophet
If the Professor intends by the word 'monotheism' to
be the Arabic equivalent of the word tawheed,
then, as we have already shown, his statement is in
actuality false. It is a must that a Muslim accept
the belief that there is no other religion that
establishes the unity, uniqueness and absolute
perfection of Allaah through the three categories of
tawheed (Lordship, Worship, and His Names and
Attributes) as Islam does. To say otherwise is to
risk negating one's belief in the theology-proper of
Islam. Thus, Prof Haq's claim that "monotheism
cannot be taken as the sole property of any
particular religion" clearly contradicts the
It seems that what essentially exposes the
underlying reason for the Professor's adoption of
the irrational notion of religious plurality is his
statement: "Every religion in one way or the other
affirms the existence of the one Supreme God." In
relation to the three categories of tawheed,
Prof Haq could only have reached this vacuous
conclusion by accepting the category of Tawheed
of Lordship in exclusion to the other two.
Had he judged this affair in light of all three
categories as he should have, he would have been
steered towards the inevitable conclusion that every
religion in one way or the other affirms the
existence of the one Supreme God, but not His
Worship or Divine Nature.
The Professor bends over backwards in his attempt to
show the "high ideals [that] Guru Nanak stood for"
and "hence the striking similarities between his and
Islam's teachings". He adds that when "passages from
the Qur'an and the hymns of Guru Nanak are placed
side by side, one can understand the reason of the
Muslims' regarding Guru Nanak as one of them".
But once again, as our entire site has demonstrated
beyond reasonable doubt, when one critically
examines both the orthodoxy and orthopraxy of both
religions, there is only a striking dissimilarity.
As we shall see, Guru Nanak affirmed the
contradictory theology of Nirgun-Sargun,
which includes the Omnipresence of God (a notion
that the Professor erroneously ascribes to Islam
when he adjudges: "The features common between the
two are, for example, belief in the One, Omnipresent
and Omnipotent God..." and "Muslims believed in an
omnipresent God."). Islam on the other hand, rejects
the doctrines of God's Omnipresence, Pantheism,
Monism and Anthropomorphism; instead it teaches that
the Most High God is "separate and distinct from his
In his further eagerness to show a similarity
between the two religions, the Professor ironically
quotes a verse from the Qur'an which, if he had
understood and interpreted as Prophet Muhammad (upon
whom be peace and blessings of Allaah) had
originally taught, works as a proof against him:
He is First and
the Last, the Outward and Inward; and He is the
Knower of all things.
This verse has been distortedly translated and, more
importantly, incorrectly interpreted. The Arabic
word rendered as "the Outward" is ath-Thaahir,
which, in this context, has always been understood
by the early Muslims to mean "fawqa kulli shay
- above everything".
The Professor should also know that the
Soteriological beliefs of both religions are
impossible to reconcile (as documented on our site);
so in what way are there striking similarities when
the fundamentals of each are mutually exclusive?
Although the Professor acknowledges that "at no time
did he [Nanak] claim to be a Muslim", it is
inexplicable for any Muslim who correctly
understands the tawheed of Allaah to contend
that "if Muslims and Hindus had realized the essence
of his message they could have regarded him as one
of them". The Professor thankfully does
concede that "since Guru Nanak refused to be
reckoned as either a Hindu or a Muslim, both the
religious groups regarded him as one who was
determined to weakening the roots of Hinduism and
Islam". And this is precisely how a person, who
understands both the rudimentary aspects of the
Islamic creed and the a priori rules of
bi-valued logic, would be expected to react when
encountering the antithetical teachings of Guru
The Professor then opines: "Once he was satisfied of
having himself been divinely commissioned he could
not have associated himself with either the Hindus
or the Muslims, because the association would have
destroyed his mission. His mission was to bring the
people back to the original teachings of their own
religions." This reasoning is somewhat paradoxical,
though completely understandable given the
Professor's ignorance of tawheed. If Nanak's
mission was to encourage Muslims to return to their
original teachings, it would have been
self-defeating to associate himself with a religion
which, in accordance to its original teachings,
would have eventually inculcated in its adherents
the precept of spurning Nanak's associative attempts
sans his complete renunciation of Sikhism and
acceptance of Islam.
Moreover, his claim that Nanak "was to remind them
that all the messengers and the prophets in history
came only to lead people to the right path. These
messengers never considered themselves belonging to
one group. They were for all" directly contradicts
the following tradition of Muhammad (upon whom be
peace and blessings of Allaah) who said:
I am the nearest
of all the people to Jesus, son of Mary, in this
life and the hereafter .... Prophets are brothers
from the lineage of the father, though their mothers
are different their religion is one; and
there is no prophet between us.
Worse still for the Professor, Allaah says in the
And We did not
send any messenger before you (O Muhammad) except
that We inspired him (to proclaim) that
ilaaha illa ana (none has the right to be
worshipped except Me (Allaah)), so worship Me
(Alone). (Qur'an 21:25)
Hence, the 144,000 prophets sent to their respective
communities over the long course of human history
all taught and proclaimed the first part of the
shahaadah: "None has the right to be worshipped
in truth except Allaah," thus making their religion
one. Allaah declares unequivocally:
Truly the Religion
with Allaah is (only) Islam. (Qur'an 3:19)
Whoever follows a
religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted
from him and in the hereafter he shall be from
amongst the losers.
Hence, Darshan Singh Maini's sentimental views that
"the Guru [Nanak] had the highest respect for that
pristine Islam which had risen in the 8th century
like a flame of truth in the burning sands of
Arabia. Its original message had a strongly humanist
 is again,
like those of the Professor, inconsistent with the
fundamental tenets of Islam.
All this is especially true when one contrasts the
following saying of Nanak to the Islamic 'aqeedah:
Guru Nanak is reported to have said to Babur:
There are millions of Muhammads, but only one
God. The unseen is True and without anxiety.
Muhammads stand in His court.
So numberless, they
cannot be reckoned.
Prophets have been sent and
come into the world.
Whenever He pleaseth, He
hath them arrested, and brought before Him.
slave Nanak hath ascertained,
That God alone is
pure and all else is impure.
Thus does the Professor, at least in this instance,
Babur is said to have listened to it. But
could he have allowed a Muslim to say so? Near
impossible, I should say. The century in which Guru
Nanak was born was in fact the century of religious
ferment insofar as the Muslim community was
concerned. There were Muslims who claimed themselves
to be the mahdi, the rightly guided one, and were
ultimately persecuted on the behest of the ulama
because their utterances were regarded contrary to
the Islamic faith.
A similar stance is also held by the new-age
Ahmadiyya cult who falsely ascribe to Islam and call
themselves Muslims. In the following video, the
movement's fourth so-called Khalifatul-Masih
(successor to the promised Messiah), Mirza Tahir
Ahmad, makes the preposterous claim:
Wahan tho aap (Guru Nanak) Tawheed danai gai
You (Guru Nanak) went there (Makkah) to proclaim Tawheed ....
He also affirms:
Jamaat-e-Ahmadiyya majboor hai aap ko naik
samaj tai huwai ye mana karnai kai kai aap khuda kai
eik Wali-ullaah tai, Sufi tai...
In recognising you (Guru Nanak) as pious, the
Ahmadiyya community is compelled to accept the fact
that you (Guru Nanak) were an intimate friend/ holy
man (wali) of Allaah - you were a Sufi ....
This is further made clear by Ahmadi "professor",
Abdul Jaleel, who
proclaims on their website:
But a careful study of Sikh traditions and
relics of Sikhism lead to an irrefutable conclusion
that Guru Nanak discarded the Hindu doctrines and
assimilated the teachings of Islam to such an extent
that Sikhism, in its pristine form, can be looked
upon as a sect of Islam.
What has preceded, however, not only exposes the
ignorance of the Ahmadiyya movement and its
firgureheads vis-á-vis orthodox Islam, but
also further cements (as though further cementation
was necessary) the position of all Muslims towards
them: the Ahmadis are no less upon disbelief (kufr)
than the Sikhs they attempt to impress upon with
their false Nanakian arguments.
Though the above emphatically puts to rest any
suggestion of Guru Nanak's overt Muslim identity, a
poser could still be forwarded by a Muslim arguing
that Nanak may have
uttered the shahaadah privately while
choosing not to disclose his conversion to anyone.
Since this is a legitimate and valid theological
position, it demands a response.
WAS NANAK A CLOSET MUSLIM?
Shaykh Rabee' bin Hadi Umair al-Madkhalee said:
It is permissible for a Muslim who fears for
himself to conceal his religion, so he does not
manifest his Islam and doesn't call to it and the
fundamental principle of enjoining the good and
forbidding the evil and jihad is dropped in such
cases, as was the situation of Najaashi [King
of Ethiopia who accepted Islam at the time of the
Messenger of Allah] and those who accepted
Islam with him from his people. They did not have
the ability to openly manifest their Islam, nor
anything from their religion like the prayer or
jihaad or enjoining good or forbidding evil or
calling to the religion of truth.
If Nanak was a Muslim who did indeed have a hitherto
unknown yet legitimate reason to conceal his
conversion, then how long could this have feasibly lasted?
According to Max Arthur Macauliffe, Nanak "was born,
according to all ancient Sikh records, in the early
morning of the third day of the light half of the
month of Baisakh (April-May) in the year A.D. 1469"
 and died
"on the tenth day of the light half of the month of
Assu, Sambat 1595 (A.D. 1538) at Kartarpur in the
Panjab" (though some Sikhs put it at 1539).
 There are
two dates one could conceivably take to estimate a
given period of time for Nanak to have outwardly
practiced the religion of Islam. It could either be
from the moment of his birth, which means that he
had 68-9 year period, which is unlikely, or from the
moment of his so-called enlightenment in 1499 C.E.
when he "was thirty years old",
(although the date 1496CE
have also been suggested)
which leaves him a
good 38-9 years. We also know that Nanak spent
approximately 28 of these 38-9 years on his
udhasis (proselytising missions) with his
partner Mardana, who was said to be a Muslim. These
28 years of travel took Nanak to places as far
afield as Tibet and the Middle East (11 years);
thus, one would expect that he would have joined his
Muslim companion Mardana (assuming Mardana prayed)
and/ or other Muslims in their respective locales,
from whom he would presumably have had no reason to
hide his Islam, to openly practice his duties of
During such periods of normality, Shaykh al-Fawzaan
states in al-Muntaqaa min Fataawaa (1/9-10):
Whoever utters the testification
of laa ilaaha illallaahu muhammadur-rasoolullaah,
the ruling of him being a Muslim
and then and [sic] his blood is sacred. If he acts upon the requirements
inwardly and outwardly, he is a true Muslim, and
for him are good-tidings, both in this world and in
the Hereafter. If he acts upon the requirements, but
does so only outwardly, then he is judged to be a
Muslim based upon his outward conduct and he is
treated as a Muslim, even though inwardly he is a
whose affair is left to
Allaah. If he does not act upon the requirements
of laa ilaaha illallaah,
himself with merely pronouncing it, or he acts in
opposition to it, then the ruling of apostasy
will be applied to him, and he will be treated
as an apostate. If he acts upon some of its
requirements without acting upon others, then it
will have to be seen: If the requirements that he
has left constitute apostasy, then he will be judged
as an apostate; such as intentionally abandoning the
Prayer, or directing any form of worship to other
than Allaah. If, however, that which he has left
does not constitute apostasy, then he will be
considered a believer whose faith
deficient in proportion to what he has left; such as
those who commit sins that are of a lesser degree
than [the major acts of] shirk.
If all things were equal and Nanak was a Muslim, the
question which then begs to be answered is whether
there exists any historical account of Nanak having
manifested his Islam "outwardly"?
Was Guru Nanak ever circumcised? Did he eat
halaal meat (something forbidden for Sikhs to
consume)? Did he give zakaah (obligatory
alms-giving)? And above all else: did he pray any of
the five obligatory prayers and are there any
witnesses to this?
These questions are, as we said, important
the outward practice of faith, as Balwant Singh
Anand rightly acknowledges:
On the religious plane, a Mohammedan must
believe in God, angels, Quran, Prophet, the
resurrection and day of judgement. He should also
have firm faith in Kalima, pray five times a
day, undertake fasts, go on pilgrimage of Mecca and
give one-tenth of his earning as charity.
As Sikhism does not have an authentication process
for historiography similar to Islam's Sciences of
Hadeeth, it is difficult to say how far the accounts
of Nanak's life are true and how much is folkloric
embellishment. Hence, all stories recounted in our
attempt to answer the aforementioned questions are
being examined at face value.
An opportunity of worship vis-á-vis prayer
did, in fact, present itself to Nanak very early on
during the start of his mission and after his
so-called enlightenment at the age of 30. But the
decision Nanak took in this respect effectively lays
waste to any excuses of him legitimately having
hidden his faith to the point of suspending his
prayers. Following his re-emergence from the river
Baeen after having allegedly gone missing for three
days, the story continues as follows:
The news that the Guru had disappeared and
appeared again and also that he had said, "There is no Hindu and no Musalman" reached the Nawab. The
Qazi demanded that the Guru should be summoned and
required to explain his sweeping assertion which
bordered on heresy. The Guru went to the Nawab who
expressed his surprise at the alleged pronouncement
that there is no Hindu or Musalman and asked him to
explain whether Qazi was not a true Musalman. The
Guru replied that it was difficult indeed to be a
true Musalman and explained:
"He who is firm in his faith
Has a right
to be called a Muslim
His acts must accord with
his faith in the Prophet
He must cleanse his
heart of his pride and greed
No more troubled by
the two impostors-life and death
Resigned to the
will of God
Knowing Him as the Doer
the domination of the self
Compassionate to all
Such a one may call himself a Muslim."
(Majh Ki Var, Guru Granth Sahib, p. 141) (bold,
At this point it is necessary to point out that this
may be true of Nanak's world view, but certainly not
of the Muslims. Alas, the response, or lack thereof,
has not been recorded by the chronicler; but if it
had been, then, assuming it came from an erudite
Qazi (or Qadhi - judge), it would most probably be
along the lines of him explaining that faith (or
eemaan in Arabic) increases through acts of
obedience to Allaah and decreases through acts of
disobedience. Based on this, a Muslim would still be
a Muslim despite his faith having weakened.
It so happened that the time for prayer came. The Nawab asked Guru if he
would join them in the prayer, if all the religions
were the same.
There is a revealing point made by the Nawab at this
point. He does not ask Nanak to join them in prayer
on account of him being a Muslim, but on the basis
that all religions are the same, thereby alluding to
the possibility of Nanak not necessarily having to
be a Muslim to join them in prayer:
The Guru agreed and to make himself clear
accompanied his critics to the mosque where Qazi led
the prayers. When Namaz (prayer) was offered and the
faithful kneeled, Nanak was observed to remain
standing and taking no part in the prayer. On being
asked, Nanak told the Qazi and the Nawab, that their
prayers were not acceptable to God because while
their bodies were bowing, their minds were occupied
with other things. The former was thinking of mare
which had just given birth to her foal, lest it
should fall into the well which was in his courtyard
and the latter was absorbed in thoughts of horses
which his agents were purchasing in Qandhar.
A number of key points emerge from this story:
Firstly, the Nawab Daulat Khan's invitation for
Nanak to come join them in prayer does not seem
to stem from the belief that Nanak was or had
claimed to be a Muslim, but rather on his
declared position that "there is no Hindu or
Musalman" and, therefore, to him "all the
religions were the same".
Secondly, his refusal to pray upon the basis
that said prayers would be rejected makes Nanak
guilty of committing shirk with Allaah. No Muslim has the authority or the knowledge
to issue such a judgement over the acceptability
of said persons' prayer on the basis of their
hidden thoughts. And since this hidden
information is known only to Allaah alone, not
only would such a judgement be exclusively the
purview of Allaah, but in claiming such
knowledge Nanak is guilty of making himself
alike with Allaah's absolute divine attribute of
Omniscience. Although it is true that Allaah
could, if it suited His divine purpose, reveal
this type of hidden knowledge to his chosen
emissaries; but, given that Nanak was not a
Muslim (as this paper will show), ergo, he was
not an emissary of God and could not have been
privy to said knowledge.
As for prayer in and of itself, Shaykh Bin Baaz said
that it "is the most important act of worship after
Whoever keeps performing it protects his
religion and whoever neglects it destroys all other
things. Moreover, whoever performs it at some
times and gives it up at some others is a
disbeliever according to the soundest of two
opinions by scholars even if he does not deny its
obligation. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
"That which differentiates us from them
(non-Muslims, disbelievers, hypocrites) is our
performance of Salah. He who abandons it, becomes a
disbeliever." (Related by Imam Ahmad and
Ahl-ul-Sunan (authors of Hadith compilations
classified by jurisprudential themes) with an
authentic chain of narrators on the authority of
Buraydah ibn Al-Husayb (may Allah be pleased with
him)).The Prophet (peace be upon him) also said:
"What makes one a disbeliever and a polytheist is
abandoning Salah." (Related by Muslim in his
Sahih book of Hadith).There are many Hadith that
were reported on this regard. It is incumbent upon
every Muslim whether male or female to be cautious
against negligence and lenience in performing Salah.
They should be consistent in performing Salah at
their due times. They should do it with humbleness,
tranquillity [sic] and submission in order to be
done in a way that pleases Allah (may He be
Therefore, the intransigent ones that still insist
Nanak was a Muslim, will have to reconcile between
Nanak having purposefully missed the prayer and his
excuse, which does not qualify as a legislative (shari')
reason except that it amounts to shirk, for
having done so.
This incident also has Nanak claiming to be a
recipient of divine revelation:
"I am a singer of God's praises. The Lord
called me, an idler, to His Court of Truth; He gave
me a mission of life; To go on singing His praises
and spreading His message day and night in the
world." (Nanak I)
And this, as already covered, amounts to a clear
statement of disbelief and the rejection of the
second part of the shahaadatayn since
Muhammad (upon whom be peace and blessings of
Allaah) was the final recipient of revelation.
cites an account of Nanak's supposed journey to
Mecca and the Ka'bah (with some versions including
an addition in which the Ka'bah is said to have
 its position in
a direction contrary to Nanak's outstretched legs:
Guru Nanak travelled ... accompanied by
Mardana ... to Mecca and Baghdad dressed, as his
near contemporary, Bhai Gurdis, says, in blue, like
a Haji, ablution-pot in one hand, prayer-mat
in another, and with a BOOK under his arm, as is the
custom among the pious Muslims.
At Mecca, says the Janam Sakhi, he lay down
being fatigued in a mosque with his feet towards the
Kaaba. When the Mullah saw this act of sacrilege, he
was infuriated and kicked him, saying, "Knowest thou
not this is the House of God, and thou sleepest, thy
feet towards the holy Kaaba". Unperturbed, the Guru
quietly answered, "Turn my feet in whichever
direction God's House is not."
Not only is this again another proof for Nanak to
openly practice Islam (prepared as he was dressed as
being in the holiest of holies, but the story
says nothing of Nanak following Prophet Muhammad
(upon whom be peace and blessings of Allaah) by
praying towards and circumambulating around the
Ka'bah, or kissing its Black Stone (hajr al-aswad).
Another point to be made, which could raise some
doubt over the authenticity of the above account, is
the statement of the fifth Guru, Arjun Dev, who
haj kaabai jaa-o na
I do not make pilgrimages to Mecca, nor do I worship at Hindu sacred shrines
poojaa kara-o na nivaaj gujaara-o
I do not perform Hindu worship services,
nor do I
offer the Muslim prayers ...
naa ham hindoo
na musalmaan ...
I am not a Hindu,
am I a Muslim.
Since Sikhs maintain that the same Jott
(divine light) subsisted in all 10 Gurus, it would
only be consistent to say that since one Guru did
not consider himself a Muslim nor did he deem it
appropriate to visit Mecca for pilgrimage, the same
would have to be true for all the others; unless it
be tenuously argued that this prohibitory edict
evolved later on during the development of Guruship.
Otherwise, not only does this conspicuous stance
raise the question of how Nanak's journey as a
Hajji (pilgrim) to Mecca could be reconciled
with his successor's apparent prohibition, but also
reinforces the point being argued that Nanak did not
consider himself nor could he have been a Muslim.
What is worse, however, is the repeated suggestion
that Nanak knew the specific details of their hidden
thoughts, which, as mentioned above, constitutes
Shirk billah (associating partners with
In addition, we are told that Nanak also rejected
the theological acceptance of the seven samawaat
(heavens/ skies) - information that is an integral
part to having correct belief in what Allaah has
informed Muslims of vis-á-vis the unseen
While in Baghdad contradicting the Muslim
priests views that there were only seven upper and
as many lower regions Guru Nanak shouted out his own
"There are worlds and more worlds
below them and there are a hundred thousand skies
over them. No one has been able to find the limits
and boundaries of God. If there be any account of
God, then alone the mortal can write the same; but
Gods account does not finish and the mortal himself
dies while still writing. Nanak says that one should
call Him great, and God himself knows His ownself".
As far as we are aware, there is no other historical
evidence of Nanak's observance of prayer or his open
declaration of faith, let alone him having practiced
any of the many other outward manifestations of
faith that would be a necessary corollary of his
obedience to Allaah and His Messenger.
There are, however, other historical accounts
attributed to Nanak wherein the founder of Sikhism
openly declares himself not to be a Muslim. For
instance, Jagjit Singh states:
Guru Nanak declared that he was neither a
Hindu nor a Mussalman. To pointed questions at
different places, he replied, "I am neither a Hindu,
nor a Mussalman. I accept neither the
 "If I say
I am a Hindu, I am lost altogether; at the same
not a Mussalman."
More emphatically, in reply to a question posed by
the people inquiring into which of the two religious
paths - Hinduism or Islam - Nanak followed, he
"There is no Hindu, no
Mussalman; which of
these paths can I follow? I follow God's path. God
is neither Hindu nor Mussalman. I follow God's right
 (bold ours)
Guru Nanak's reply clearly indicates his
break with his Hindu past. Guru Nanak clarified
that he was rejecting both the Hindu and the Muslim
paths, and instead, was following God's right
path, because God was neither Hindu nor Mussalman.
In other words,
rejects the Hindu and the Muslim paths, not
because of the shortcomings of their followers, but
mainly because God is non-sectarian. ... A Hindu
Khatri complained to the Delhi Sultan that "he does
not recognise the authority of either
While Sher Singh damningly recounts how, while
refusing to have faith in Prophet Muhammad (upon
whom be peace and blessings of Allaah), Nanak
instead encouraged faith "only" in God - a statement
that categorically negates the second part of the
duel declaration of Islamic faith:
When a Qazi asked Nanak to have faith in one
God and His one Rasul - prophet, he said:
why to have
faith in the latter who takes birth and dies,
believe ONLY in the One who is Omnipresent.
(bold, capitalisation, underline ours)
The question still remains to be answered as to how
Guru Nanak's alleged Muslim identity will
convincingly be proven? More fundamentally, however,
is how a person endeavouring to do so will be
able to explain away many of Nanak's more
tendentious antithetical teachings and statements the worst of
which include the contradictory concept of God that
is Nirgun-Sargun; reincarnation; and claims
of having received divine revelation from God.
His acceptance of the bipolar nature's of God as
Nirgun and Sargun are found, for example, in the
following verses of the SGGS:
The Lord is without attributes
the attributes of virtue are under His control. (SGGS
From His state of absolute
existence, He assumed the immaculate form; from
formless, He assumed the supreme form
As regards reincarnation, then the following are
only a small selection of verses that clearly
establish Nanak's affirmation of said notion:
O Nanak, by the Hukam of God's
Command, we come and go in reincarnation. (SGGS
You shall not be consigned
again to the wheel of reincarnation. (SGGS
Their comings and goings in
reincarnation do not end; through death and rebirth,
they are wasting away. (SGGS
All the world continues coming
and going in reincarnation. (SGGS
No one merges with Him through
the love of duality; over and over again, they come
and go in reincarnation. (SGGS
Further evidence is found in Nanak's belief of karma
and its association with past lives:
Born because of the karma of their past mistakes, they make
more mistakes, and fall into mistakes (SGGS
149) (bold ours)
Since a person cannot commit
mistakes before being born, this proves that a past
life, or as the following verse puts it: "janam
janam ke paap", must have existed for the accruement
of bad karma.
Take to the Lord, the Destroyer
of the sins and
karma of past incarnations
(JANAM JANAM KE PAAP). (SGGS
156) (bold, underline, capitalisation ours)
When all is said and done, however, what all
this boils down to is whether there exists any credible
and convincing evidence of Guru Nanak having
articulated the Shahaadatayn?
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah said:
With regard to the
Shahaadatayn, if a
person does not utter them although he is able to do
so, then he is a kaafir
according to the consensus of the Muslims. He is
both outwardly and inwardly
according to the Salaf
and the majority of its scholars. A group of the
Murji'ah - the Jahamiyah of the Murji'ah such as
Jaham as-Saalihi and his followers - said that if he
believes in his heart, then he is outwardly a
kaafir but not inwardly. We have pointed out
above the origin of this belief, that this is an
innovated belief that has been introduced into
Islam. This was not the belief of any of the
aimmah - the reputed Muslim jurists and
scholars. We have stated above that inward belief
must be confirmed by outward words of
acknowledgement rather more than that, and that the
existence of inward faith, belief and love without
any outward confirmation is not possible.
Since there does not exist any evidence of Nanak
having ever declared the Shahaadatayn, and
while there exists copious evidence of him having
held and taught concepts of kufr (disbelief),
Guru Nanak could not have been anything other than a
Finally, Prof Haq stated in his aforementioned
This is also a fact that ... Muslims at large
esteemed Guru Nanak ....
This claim brings us to the next section of our
research. In order to cover all angles in our
assessment over why some Muslims have mistakenly
entertained the idea that Guru Nanak was a Muslim,
we have to examine those individuals who ascribe
themselves to Islam and are revered by all Sikhs,
viz. Kabir, Farid, and Mardana.
SIKHISM'S MUSLIM CONNECTIONS
Darshan Singh Maini observes:
Guru Nanak's hymns were, in fact, composed
when the Sufi movement in Islam had ushered in a
renaissance of religious thought to be matched by
the Bhakti movement around the same time. Sikhism,
thus, became a happy Sangam or fusion of the two
parallel streams, even as it carved out its own
identity in its own sui generis form.
It is unsurprising that Sikhs find a commonality and connection
with the Sufis of Hindustan. We would add that like
Sikhism, Sufism also carved out its own identity
with its own
sui generis (literally: of its
own kind/genus or unique in its characteristics).
This identity, however, came about through the
rejection and violation of the Prophet's Sunnah,
which in Arabic is called bid'ah. This sinful
act - considered second in severity after the worst
sin of all: ash-Shirk - was most succinctly
and comprehensively defined by Imam ash-Shaatibee as
A newly invented way (in beliefs and actions)
in the religion, in imitation of the
by which nearness to Allaah is sought, not being
supported by any authentic proof, neither in its
foundations nor in the manner in which it is
The principle for worship in Islam is that it is:
mana' (forbiddance) unless there is an authentic
proof from the sharee'ah to say otherwise.
This means that God cannot be worshipped except in
the way He has legislated; thus, Muslims cannot
invent ways of worship not legislated by Allaah and
His Messenger or practiced by his companions. For
this reason, the Prophet Muhammad (upon whom be
peace and blessings of Allaah) said:
I warn you of the newly invented matters (in
the religion), and every newly invented matter is an
innovation (bid'ah), and every innovation is
misguidance, and every misguidance is in the
In specific regards to the Sufis, Shaykh Ihsaan
Ilaahee Dhaheer said in his book Sufism: Its
Source and Origin:
When we look deep into the teachings of the
first and latter-day Sufis and the statements that
have been quoted and narrated from them in the Sufi
books of old and present, we see a huge difference
between it and the teachings of the Qur'an and the
Sunnah. Likewise, we don't see its roots or its
seeds in the history of the chief of all creations
(Prophet Muhammad, upon whom be peace and blessings
of Allaah) nor in that of his righteous and noble
Companions, from the best of Allaah's creation.
Rather, contrary to that, we see that it has been
derived and acquired from Christian Monasticism,
Brahmanism, Hinduism, the religious devotion of
Judaism and the asceticism of Buddhism.
While Shaykh Abdur-Rahmaan al-Wakeel said in the
introduction of the book The Downfall of Sufism:
Indeed, Sufism is the lowest and vilest of
schemes, which the Devil innovated so that the
servants of Allaah can mock and ridicule along with
him in his war against Allaah and His Messengers. It
is the veil of the Magians (Majoos), which gives the
impression that it is divine. Rather, it is the veil
of every enemy to the true religion. Examine it and
you will find in it Brahmanism, Buddhism,
Zoroastrianism, and the Manichaean beliefs. You will
find Platonism in it. You can even find Judaism,
Christianity and the idolatry of the Days of
Ignorance in it.
It is, thus, unsurprising that Sikhs have inclined towards some of
these Sufis whose innovated beliefs ultimately
originate from non-Islamic sources.
MARDANA - THE BARD OF NANAK
The person is upon the religion of his friend,
so let each one of you look to see whom he befriends.
(upon whom be peace and blessings of Allaah)
In Islam, immense importance is given to the company one keeps. It
is the crowd one interacts with that determines
one's socio-religious stance and standing.
In relation to one's religion, and according to the above cited
the Pious Predecessors (as-Salaf as-Saalih),
as well as the scholars of Islam, take the principle
that a person is upon the religion of the one s/he
befriends and accompanies.
The great scholar from the second generation of
Muslims (at-Tabi'een) Muhammad ibn Sireen
(d.110 A.H.) said:
This knowledge is religion, so let each of
you be careful
as to whom he takes his
They (the Salaf [Pious Predecessors]) did not
used to ask anything more about a person after
having asked about three affairs: Who he walks with,
who he enters upon (i.e. visits) and who he
associates with amongst the people.
The great scholar from the companions 'Abdullah Ibn
Indeed a person walks alongside and
accompanies the one whom he loves and who is like
While the companion Abu ad-Dardaa said:
It is from the
fiqh (understanding of
a person) that he [chooses] those whom he walks
with, whom he enters upon (visits) and whom he sits
When we examine the life of Mardana, we find that he spent a large
portion of his latter days accompanying Guru Nanak:
Mardana was a Muslim, a professional rebeck
player of the village Talwandi .... Mardana
accompanied Guru Nanak on his long Missionary
journeys, particularly his visit to the Muslim World
of the Middle East. Mardana died at Kartarpur about
nine years before Guru Nanak passed away. Besides
the succeeding Sikh Gurus, Mardana is the only
Sikh disciple who was permitted to use
Guru Nanak's name in his hymns. Guru Angad addressed
himself as Nanak the Second, while Mardana addresses
himself as Mardana Nanak I. This abiding bond
between Mardana and the Guru is expressed in all the
three hymns of Mardana we have in the Adi Guru
We can appreciate why Trilochan Singh, after having
initially called him a Muslim, describes him as a
Sikh disciple! Holding to the aforementioned
principle of companionship and acknowledging the
fact that we are in no position of excommunicating
from Islam, it would be difficult to see how Mardana
was not a Sikh. The sad fact is that Mardana
shamefully accompanied Nanak in propagating the
disbelief of his doctrine; what type of Muslim who
fears Allaah's Anger and punishment would accompany
such a person and partake in such an activity?
Mardana's choice, however, was not based on his
ignorance of Islam; rather it seems that after
having been presented with the opportunity of
following Nanak on his udhasis, he accepted
it with full knowledge of the consequences:
Baba asked Mardana to accompany him to play
the rabab and sing the sabad with him, so that he
would get the better of both the worlds. To this
Dana replied, 'We hardly make our both ends meet, by
singing Ragas before the rich. In case we follow
you, our families would starve, we shall miss
even our prayer (Namaz), and thus, we might stand
condemned in both the worlds. How do you plan to
liberate me?' Guru Nanak said, 'O Dana! You are
ignorant. God protects and feeds us all. Namaz
(prayer) and roza (fast) are benedictions bestowed
by God. God's abode is the heart of the saints. At
the final judgement, none shall come to the rescue.'
Guru Nanak further emphasised, 'Dana, in case you
now turn to be Mardana (brave) and play rabab along
with singing the Word of God (Shabad) you will gain
in both the worlds.' Now Mardana set out with Guru
Nanak to enlighten the people living in this world.
Mardana played on the rabab and Guru Nanak sang the
shabad. Often Mardana would accompany the Guru in
singing the divine Word. Thus the kirtan originated
Even on his death bed, Mardana issued potential
statements of disbelief, such as, calling Nanak
"Master" and yearning to be his "true disciple":
Old age and illness had finally caught up
with Mardana, Nanak's companion of forty-seven
years. He was now seventy-six years old .... Nanak
was always by his bedside, comforting him as he
drifted in and out of uneasy sleep .... Mardana had
travelled with him through sun and rain and snow
accompanying him to regions that were strange and
unfamiliar. He had looked after Nanak devotedly,
finding joy in that service. He had played his rabab
with such feeling that those who listened were moved
by the music. He had been with the Guru for so many
years that he had become a part of the Guru's way of
life and a part of the Guru himself. ...
Though the illness continued to weaken him
day by day, Mardana seemed to be at peace with
himself and his approaching death. Early one
morning, he opened his eyes and saw the Guru still
sitting by his side, exactly where he had been when
Mardana had fallen sleep.
"Master," he said, without fear, "my time has
"So be it, my dearest friend," Nanak said,
"I will build a shrine to your memory so that the
world shall forever remember Nanak's companion,
"No, Master," Mardana said, with
a small smile. "My spirit is attempting to find
release from this cage of flesh and bones. Do not
seek to hold it in a prison made of stone." He
paused for breath. "In years to come, whenever
people talk of you, as they will, my name will be
mentioned too. I only wish to be remembered as a
true disciple of Nanak."
Nanak caught his
friend's hand in both his and squeezed it gently. In
Mardana, he had found the respect and
a disciple, the love of a friend, the support and
affection of a brother, and the joy of a companion.
They had been together for so long and been through
so much that their souls were bound together in a
way that the world had rarely seen, a bond that even
death could not break.
Master, it is time for the
morning prayer." His eyes fixed on his Master's
face, Mardana left this world. Nanak gently closed
Mardana's eyes and drew the sheet over his face.
Someone in the room began to sob and Nanak saw that
it was Shehzada. He drew him into an embrace and
consoled him. Then he went quickly to bathe so that
he could be in time for the morning prayers.
So blind was Mardana's devotion to his "master" that
not even the emotional appeals of his wife and
daughter, who in Islam had infrangible rights over
his company and support as a husband and father,
could dissuade him from setting out on his long
At the end of the first itinerary, when
Mardana reached Talwandi, his wife and children
tried to stop him from going again with Nanak, but
he did not agree.
The scholar Mu'aadh bin Mu'aadh said to Yahyaa bin
O Abu Sa'eed! A person may hide his viewpoint
from us, but he will not be able to hide that in his
son, or his friend or in the one whom he sits with.
And Mardana's son, Shahzada, would certainly not
have been oblivious to his father's religious
His [Mardana] wife and two sons, Shahzada and
Raizada also joined him. Daily he played Rabab while
the Guru sang the celestial songs, sometime in
solitude, sometime in congregations morning and
What was the consequence of this exposure? Following
his father's death, it turned out for him to be, at
least in this instance, the lamentable case of 'like
father, like son':
When it was time for
looked, as always, towards the spot where Mardana
sat. He saw Shehzada, sitting in his father's place
ready to start playing on his rabab. Nanak smiled
and began his song.
Little wonder he smiled, having ensnared an entire
family towards the practice of kufr
So in conclusion, what do we recognise Mardana to
be: a Muslim or a Sikh?
After all, this is a man who, in terms of
al-walaa wal-baraa, showed clear muwalaat
(loyalty) and mudhaaharah (aid and
assistance) towards a disbeliever. And we know what
the verdict is for the one who shows
general tawallee (loyalty with underlying
love and pleasure): kufr (disbelief) that
expels from the religion of Islam.
Ibn Battah narrated from Yahya Ibn Sa'eed Al Qattaan
When Sufyan Ath Thawri came to Basra, he was
trying to find out about Rabee' Ibn Sabeeh and his
station with the people. He asked: "What is his
[Sabeeh] madh'hab (Islamic school of
thought)?" They said: "His
nothing but the Sunnah (follower of the Prophetic
tradition)". Then he [Sufyan] said: "Who does he
associate with?" They said: "The Qadariyyah,"
 He said:
"Then he is a Qadari."
Ibn Battah then commented:
Allaah's mercy be upon Sufyaan ath-Thawree.
He has indeed spoken with wisdom and he spoke the
truth. He spoke with knowledge that is in agreement
with the Book and the Sunnah and what is
necessitated by wisdom and what the people of sure
insight know. Allaah, the Exalted, said: "O
you who believe! Take not as (your) Bitaanah
(advisors, consultants, protectors, helpers,
friends, etc.) those other than you (outside your
religion or upon other than the right way) since
they will not fail to do their best to corrupt you.
They desire to harm you severely." (Aali
If the logic of Sufyaan's position was extended to
Mardana's case, the conclusion one would draw is
that since Mardana accompanied the Sikhs, he was a
Ibraheem bin Maysarah (d.132 A.H.) said:
Whoever honours an innovator has aided in the
DESTRUCTION of Islam.
What would, therefore, be the state of the one who
honours a disbeliever?
Whenever you accompany the people,
accompany the best of them.
And do not accompany
so that you are destroyed with those
who are destroyed.
Farid ud-Deen Masud
Ganj-i-Shakar (1175-1265 C.E.)
 is a well
known mystic from Pakpattan, South Asia. Sikhs hold
him in the highest regard, just as they do their 10
Gurus, because he is one of 15 Bhagats (devotees)
whose teachings were chosen and incorporated into
their holy scripture: Sri Guru Granth Sahib. Baba
Farid, as he is commonly known as, had 112 of his
couplets (saloks) and four hymns included.
However, when one critically examines this Sufi's
life and the Chishti Order (silsilah) he
belonged to, the reason soon becomes clear as to why
it was that Guru Nanak developed an affinity towards
him and his teachings. More importantly, looking to
his past will also help determine this Sufi's status
as a Muslim; that is to say, whether he was from the
people of tawheed and sunnah or from
the people of bid'ah and misguidance.
As we have already mentioned, part of the correct
understanding of the three categories of tawheed
is the affirmation of a literal distinction between
the Creator and the Created, the atemporal and the
temporal, i.e. a rejection of Omnipresence,
Pantheism, Monism and Anthropomorphism.
When we look to the leading proponents of the
Chishti Sufi Silsilah, such as its founder
Khwaja Syed Muhammad Moinuddin Chishti,
Qutubuddin Bakhtiar Kaki,
Farid, et al., we find that they did not
affirm that Allaah, in terms to His Essence (bi
thaatihi), is separate and distinct from His
creation (baa'inun min khalqihi), nor that He
is literally above all His creation in a way that
befits His divine majesty. On the contrary, their
Order affirmed the antithetical doctrine made famous
by the infamously prominent Sufi Muhiyyud-Deen Ibn
Gort et al. state:
The Chishtiya sufis were followers of the
doctrine of Wahdat al-Wujud ("Unity of
Being") first propounded by the great
eleventh-century sufi Ibn Al-Arabi. In Persian this
is translated as hama u ast i.e. "He is all."
This doctrine implies that real being is God and all
are manifestations of Him.
Professor of Law at Emory University School of Law,
Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na'im, wrote:
Khwaja Hsan Moinuddin Chishti was the first
missionary to reach the subcontinent, where he
established the Chishtiyya Sufi tradition ... 'the
most important religious influence on Indian Islam
was the teaching of Ibn al-Arabi and the doctrine of
wahdat al-wujud, the unity of being' (Lapidus
1988: 449), which was spread by both the Chistis
 (bold ours)
Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of World Religions
During the period of the Great SHAYKHS (c.
1200-1356), a centralized network of Chishtiya
monasteries (khanqahs) were established in
the northern provinces of Rajputana, the Punjab, and
Uttar Pradesh .... Great emphasis was originally
placed by the Chishtiya on the Sufi doctrine of the
unity of being (wahdat al-wujud), oneness
While B. S. Anand states:
And what is most important is that they
[Farid and the Sufis] affirmed the ancient Vedantic
doctrine of union with God, the merging of the
finite with the Infinite.
Before we move on, it is necessary to assess the
position of Baba Farid vis-á-vis the great
Islamic scholars' stance towards those who held a
doctrine antithetical to the orthodox position that
Allaah is separate and distinct from His creation.
Imam Abu Hanifah (d.150 A.H.) was uncompromising in
this respect and considered it disbelief
The sayings of the Elders concerning Allah's
transcendence are many indeed. For example, Shaykh
al-Islam Abu Isma'il Al-Ansari recorded in his book
Al-Faruq, with his chain of authorities, that
Abu Mut Al-Balkhi asked Abu Hanifah about a person
who had said, "I do not know if my Lord is in Heaven
or on earth." He said, "He has committed
blasphemy. Allah has verily said, 'The Most
Gracious is firmly established on the Throne [20:5],
and His Throne is above the seven heavens."
Al-Balkhi then asked, "What if he says that Allah is
established on His Throne but he says that he does
not know if the Throne is up above or on earth." Abu
Hanifah answered, "He is a
because he denied that He is up above (fi
Whoever denies that He is in
Heaven has committed blasphemy." Another version
adds, "This is so because Allah is in the highest of
high places ('ala 'illiyin), and He is
supplicated up to Him and not down."
(bold, underline ours)
This too was Abdullah Ibn Mubarak's (d.181 A.H.)
Alee Ibn al-Hasan Ibn Shaqeeq reports, I asked
Abdullah Ibn al-Mubarak: "How are we to know our
Lord?" He replied: "He is above the seventh Heaven
above His Throne. We do not say as the Jahmiyyah
 say, 'He is here on the earth.'" This was
mentioned to Ahmad Ibn Hambal (rahimahullah), he
stated: "That is how it is with us (i.e. how we
 (bold ours)
Even Shaykh Abdul-Qadir al-Jilaani (d. 561 A.H.),
whom a vast number of Sufis falsely claim to follow
and regard as their own, refuted this idea saying:
And from their saying [the Saalimiyyah] is that
Allaah is in every place and [that] there is no
difference between the Throne and [what] is other
than it of the [various] places. And
Qur'an is rejection of them [them being
liars]. Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic
said: "Ar-Rahmaan ascended above the Throne." And it
was not said, "...ascended above the earth..." and
nor upon the interiors of mountains. And mountains
and other than them are from the places (amkinah).
Ghunyat ut-Taalibeen of Shaykh Abdul-Qaadir
 (bold, underline ours)
While the Shaykh of Imam al-Bukhari, the compiler of
the magnum opus Al-Jami' as-Saheeh, Muhammad
bin Yusuf al-Firyaabee (d.212 A.H.), declared:
Whoever says Allaah is not above His Throne is a
kaafir [disbeliever] and whoever claims that Allaah
did not speak to Moses is a kaafir.
"Khalq Af'aal il-Ibaad" of Imaam al-Bukhaaree (p.15)
The Shafi'ee scholar, Imam Ibn Khuzaimah (d.311
Whoever does not acknowledge that Allah is above His
'Arsh [Throne], above His seven heavens, and that He
is separated from His creatures,
is a Kafir
(unbeliever). Such person must be ordered to repent
and disavow his belief, or else he must be beheaded
and thrown on a garbage dump so that neither
annoyed by the foul odor of his carcass.
 (bold ours)
In taking all of the above into consideration, it
would not be too difficult to predict what these
illustrious scholars would have made of Baba Farid's
apparent affirmation of Wahdatul-Wujood:
Says Farid, the Creator is in the creation,
the creation in the Creator.
Whom shall we blame
when He is everywhere. (23-24)
This cannot in any way be construed or interpreted
as affirming the 'aqeedah of the Pious
Predecessors. To say that Allaah is in the creation
and the creation in Allaah is to categorically
negate Allaah's 'uloo (absolute elevation)
and His distinction and separation from what He has
created. And this interpretation is likewise clear
to Harbans Singh:
Creator in the creation abides, and the creation in
Him. From this metaphysical thought of
oneness between the Creator-Lord and the
[a living being, or more specifically, the immortal
essence of a living organism] ....
 (bold ours)
Shaykh Bin Baaz said in answer to a question that
sought an Islamic ruling over a Muslim father who
told his son that "Allaah is present everywhere":
This answer is false, and it is from the speech of
the people of innovations, from the Jahmiyyah and the Mu'tazilah, and whoever
follows their footsteps. And that which is correct
is what Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa'ah is upon, that
Allaah, Glory be unto Him, is above the heavens,
over the Throne (Al-'Arsh), above all of His
creation, and His Knowledge is everywhere. This is
just as is proven by the Qur'anic verses, and the
Prophetic Hadeeths, and the consensus of the Salaf
(predecessors) of the Ummah (Muslim nation). ...
And with that it is known that the statement of the
people of innovations, that Allaah is present
everywhere, is from the most false of falsehood,
and it is the way of the Hulooliyyah (those who
believe Allaah dwells within his creatures), who are
innovators and astray. Rather,
disbelief and misguidance, and it is
of Allaah, glory be unto Him, and
Messenger (may peace and
blessings be upon him), in what is authentic from
him regarding his Lord being above the heavens.
 (bold, underline ours)
The level of Baba Farid's deviation from the truth,
however, does not stop there. In further
investigating the historical accounts of his life,
one is taken a back by the filth of shirk and
bid'ah he and his Chishti colleagues were
An example of one heretical form of worship he was
famed for was his extreme acts of penance. One such
penance, which he had seemingly made his own, was
called the "inverted prayer":
He perpetuated in South Asia the Central Asian Sufi
practice of the "inverted prayer" (salat-i
ma'qusi). This consisted of a spiritual retreat
for prayer by hanging by one's feet from a rafter
or in a dry well, remaining in an inverted state of
contemplation from daybreak to sunset, often
continued as an isolated retreat (chilla) for
forty days in
 (bold, underline ours)
This last, a rare test from which only the greatest
among the Chishti Sufis could obviously come out
successfully, is stated to have drawn on him Divine
benediction in the form of a celestial Voice. This
early excruciating penance also drew from his Master
Khawaja Qutbuddin and the great Khwaja Muinuddin
great ecstatic praise and blessing. ...
Owing to his great learning and piety he was known
as Sheikh-i-Kabir (The Supreme Divine).
It is the general opinion of the Indian
Shaikhs that no saint has excelled Baba Farid in his
devotions and penitences... According to Shaikh
Nizam-u'd-din Auliya, it was a pathetic and
thrilling scene to see Baba Farid in his prayer.
When alone in his room he would lay his head on the
ground for hours and recite, (I die for Thee and I
live for Thee).
underline, italicisation ours)
Based on the "determination... [and] tenacity he
exhibited in his ascetic practices" B. S. Anand is
"inclined to believe that he did perform this
chillah". Anand, in fact, cites Slokas
90 and 91 from the Adi Granth itself as
"indirect evidence" for this:
Farid, my dry body hath become a skeleton,
Ravens peck at the hollows of my hands and feet,
Up to the present,
God hath not come to mine
aid, Behold His servant's misfortune
O, ravens, you have searched my skeleton and
eaten all my flesh,
But touch not these two
eyes, as I hope to behold my beloved
Farid is hung up-side-down in the well, the
birds have made nests in his body and yet his search
for God is not complete. In the next
he entreats the birds to spare his eyes, even though
his body has become a skeleton, so that he may have
the power to behold his Beloved. Such was the
extreme penance which Farid underwent to seek his
To Anand, it matters not whether this was a
legitimate act in Islam (why would it?), what is
significant, however, is his interpretation that
such "extreme" worship is given credence in his holy
scripture. For him, it is enough for asceticism to
hold "negative virtue" if it is not
"counter-balanced by the attachment to the Lord". It
is sufficient to validate Farid's asceticism because
it is "coupled with a positive vibrant affirmation
of the Lord 'I live and die for thee' ... which were
always on his lips"
Is there any proof from the Qur'an or Sunnah or the
example set by the Pious Predecessors, or scholars
who followed them in perfection, of hanging from a
tree or well for days on end? Those thoroughly
familiar with the biography of Prophet Muhammad
(upon whom be peace and blessings of Allaah) and his
companions will know that this type of extreme
worship was neither advocated nor encouraged. What
is certain is that if this worship was not approved
by Allaah, then the alleged celestial voice would
have to have originated from none other than the
devils! This is consistent with what Allaah says in
the Qur'an concerning the liars and sinners:
Shall I (Muhammad)
inform you upon whom the devils descend? They
descend on every lying, sinful person. Who gives ear
(to these devils) and most of them are liars. (Qur'an 26:221-3)
Muhammad (upon whom be peace and blessings of
Allaah) discouraged extremism in all its forms. He
said, repeating thrice: "Doomed are those who go to
The reason for this discouragement - especially of
going to extremes in worship - was because it would
lead to unnecessary hardship that would invariably
cause fatigue, which could then potentially
culminate in burn-out. Imam an-Nawawi commented on
the meaning of the above tradition saying it meant:
Those who delve too deep and go to extremes, and
overstep the limits in both word and deed.
The Prophet (upon whom be peace and blessings of
Allaah) came to facilitate ease and guide humankind
towards a balanced way of life. He said:
Everybody has his time of energy, and every
time of energy is followed by a time of lethargy.
But if a person tries to follow a moderate path,
then I have hope for him, but if he becomes one who
is pointed out (in the street), then do not think
anything of him.
Shaykh Naasir-ud-Deen al-Albaani explicated the
meaning of a tradition, related by Anas ibn Maalik
and narrated in the Saheehayn (Bukhari and
Muslim), wherein three people - who were "new to
Islaam" - erroneously concluded after being informed
of the following worshipping habits of their
Prophet: standing in prayer at night, fasting during
the day and marrying women, that his level of
worship was "little". The reason being, as
al-Albaani elaborates, was "because of what had
settled in their minds that the Prophet must pray
the whole night and that he must fast all the time
and that he was a monk and did not go near his
wives. So they were shocked to find something that
was not in compliance with their notions". And the
reason for this false assumption was that "Allaah
had forgiven all of the Prophet's past and future
sins". This distorted notion caused them to "assume
that they were obligated to exceed in worship and
that they must surpass what they heard about the
Prophet's worship" resulting in the following
pledges being made: The first person said "I will
pray all night and won't sleep." The second: "As for
me, I will fast all the time and never go a day
without fasting." And the third: "I will not marry
women." This was a form of extremism on their part
where they thought they knew better, which arose
because of their failure in strictly following the
example of their Prophet.
When the Prophet learned of this, he corrected them
during a sermon (khutbah) by teaching them
the path of true moderation:
What's wrong with these people who say such
and such. As for me, then I am the most fearful of
Allaah amongst you, and the most dutiful towards
Allaah amongst you. As for me, then indeed I fast
and I don't fast; [Al-Albaani: "meaning I don't fast
all the time."] And I pray at night and I also
sleep; [Al-Albaani: "meaning I do not stay up the
whole night, as is done by those extremists amongst
worshippers who increase and try to surpass the
worship of Allaah's Messenger (saws). This is why
'Aa'ishah said, as is recorded in Saheeh Muslim:
'The Prophet (saws) never stayed up a whole night in
worship.'"] And I marry women.
So whoever turns
away from my Sunnah (example) then he is not from me.
In another tradition narrated in the Saheehayn,
the Prophet (upon whom be peace and blessings of
"Have I been told that you fast by day and pray by night?" 'Abdullah
said: "Yes, O messenger of Allah." He said: "Don't
do it. Fast and break your fast, sleep and pray, for
your body has a right on you, your eyes have a
right on you, your wife has a right on you and your
guests have a right on you. It is sufficient for
you to fast from each month three days, and you will
have for every good deed the equivalent of ten; that
is [like] fasting for all time." (bold ours)
The Prophet Muhammad (upon whom be peace and
blessings of Allaah) also discouraged accepting
handouts. Instead he inculcated in his followers the
noble habit of alms-giving:
Abu Hurayrah said: "I heard the Messenger of
Allaah (upon whom be peace and blessings of Allaah)
say: 'By Allaah, if one of you were to go out in the
morning and gather firewood on his back, and sell it
and make himself independent, and give some of it in
charity, this is better for him than his coming to a
man and asking for anything, whether he gives or
refuses. The upper hand is better than the lower
hand, and start with those who are under your
According to another report: It was said,
"Who are those who are under our care, O Messenger
of Allaah?" He said, "Your wife is one of those who
are under your care."
The Prophet (upon whom be peace and blessings of
Allaah) taught the Muslims that they all have
responsibilities, which included those who were
responsible over the affairs and well being of
Allaah will ask every responsible person
(literally, shepherd) about those for whom he was
responsible, whether he took care of them or not,
and He will even ask a man about the members of his
Contrast these instructions with the following
incidents. Baba Farid's extremism is said to have
extended to such an extent that it even affected the
health and well being of his loved ones:
The saints of the Chishti order regarded
money as carrion. They subsisted on
nazur (unasked for money and presents). Very
often they had to starve. Once when the wife of Baba
Farid reported that her son was about to die on
account of starvation, he replied that he was
helpless. God had so decreed and he was dying. Baba
Farid wore worn-out and patched garments. When he
died there was nothing in his house for the purchase
of his shroud, and the door of his house was
demolished to provide unbaked bricks for his grave.
How helpless could this man have been to display
such cold, callous and irresponsible behaviour? And
yet we are told that "Baba Farid led a life of piety
According to Gurbachan Singh Talib, Sheikh Farid
"slept with only a small worn-out blanket which
could hardly cover his body"; an indication of his
"utmost discipline and self-denial in the matter of
food and clothing".
Moreover, Anand is uncertain as to why, despite "so
many followers and the great popularity that he
enjoyed, all income or gifts to the Khanqah",
"the last years of Farid's life were spent in
extreme poverty" to the extent that "towards the
end, it appears, there was almost nothing in the
house to sustain Baba Farid and his family". And yet
"this did not deter him from rigorously following
his routine of prayers, fasts and penitence"!
answer is obvious: extremism.
As for Baba Farid's warped and perverted
interpretation of the concept of 'Submission to
God's Will', then this could have most plausibly
been the inevitable result of a person who chose to
follow a Sufi path that had veered so far from the
Sabeel (path) of Muhammad (upon whom be peace
and blessings of Allaah). Allaah says:
And truly this is
my (Muhammad's) straight path (sabeel), so follow
it, and follow not the (other) paths, for
will separate you away from His (Allaah's) path.
This He has ordained for you that you may become
This contorted Sufi notion of submission to God's
Will has even been mentioned by Daljeet Singh during
his appraisal of Sufism. He observes:
Self-surrender to the Will of God, a point
which had been stressed by the Prophet himself,
became a cardinal feature of the Sufi tenets. So
much so, that some Sufis would not even take
medicine while sick, nor work to earn a living.
Nor would they make any effort to avoid suffering.
They felt that by resort [sic] to human ingenuity and device they would be opposing the
Will of God. In the same line is the story of the
Sufi who fell in the river. To both the questions of
an on-looker as to weather [sic] he wanted to be rescued or to drown himself, he replied in
the negative, meaning thereby that let God's will be
done. This is typical example of the Sufi stress on
surrender to the will of God and let things happen
as they may.
As scholars, such as Ibn al-Qayyim,
pointed out, this conception of leaving everything
to God's Will has the potential of not only being
wrongly applied to justify forbidden and sinful
deeds, but also interpreted to mean the absence of
accountability for neglecting Allaah's commands and
This entire view was perfectly summed up in the
following Sufi poem:
The pen of destiny has written down what is
It is all the same if we move or stay
It is crazy of you to seek provision,
When the foetus hidden in his mother's womb gets his
This could quite plausibly have been the reason
behind Farid's extreme detachment from the world,
which led to him shirking his rights and
responsibilities: the belief in the absence of
accountability. But, this is certainly not what
Wahb said: "A freed slave of 'Abd-Allaah ibn
'Amr said to him: 'I want to spend this month here
in Bayt al-Maqdis (Jerusalem).' He said, 'Have you
left your family anything for their provisions
during this month?' He said, 'No.' He said, 'Then go
back to your family and leave them something for
their provisions, for I heard the Messenger of
Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)
saying, It is enough sin for a man to
those he is responsible to feed.'"
(bold, underline ours)
Sa'd ibn Maalik reported that the Prophet (upon whom
be peace and blessings of Allaah) said to him:
No matter what you spend on your family, you
will be rewarded, even for the morsel of food you
put in your wife's mouth.
And Ka'b ibn 'Ijrah said:
A man passed by the Prophet (upon whom be
peace and blessings of Allaah), and his Companions
were impressed with how strong and energetic he
appeared. They said, "O Messenger of Allaah, if only
this was for the sake of Allaah!" The Messenger of
Allaah (upon whom be peace and blessings of Allaah)
said: "If he is going out to earn a living for
his young children, this is for the sake of
Allaah; if he is going out to earn a living for his
aged parents, this is for the sake of Allaah; if he
is going out to earn a living so he can keep himself
from begging from others, this is for the sake of
Allaah; but if he is going out to boast and show
off, then this is for the sake of
An evaluation of a Sufi would not be complete
without mentioning their alleged miracles (karamaat).
These could include the appearance of "miraculous
gifts (karamat) during the period of ritual
prayer" or "the ability of the shaykh to foresee
events and to predict the actions of others". One of
the murid's (students) of Baba Farid was
Nizam ad-Deen (whom we shall examine later,
insha'Allaah) who narrated one of the most
famous incidents involving his murshid
(spiritual guide/ teacher) in this context:
One day Farid ad-Din offered his morning
prayer and placed his head in prostration .... He
used to spend some time in that position very often.
Only I was present at the time. A man suddenly
appeared and spoke so gruffly that the shaykh was
disturbed in his devotions. While still prostrate
with the garment spread over him, he asked, "Who is
there?" "I am," I replied "The man who has come,"
remarked the shaykh, "is he a Turk of medium size
with slightly yellowish complexion?" I looked at the
man; he was as the shaykh described him. "Yes, he is
like this," I replied. "Is he wearing a chain around
his waist?" inquired the shaykh. When I looked, I
saw that he was. "Yes, he is," I replied. "Has he
anything in his ears?" I looked at him and replied,
"Yes, he has rings." Every time that I went to look
at the man, his colour changed. "Tell him," the
shaykh told me, "to go away before he is disgraced."
The man took to his heels and disappeared.
Although the historical validity of these types of
folkloric tales is near impossible to ascertain, it
is sufficient for us to scrutinise it at face value.
Suffice it to say, that this is impossible for any
human to achieve without some external mode of help,
such as, acquiring information from the help of a
Jinn, which would constitute shirk with
Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta' in
Saudi Arabia said concerning those who seek help
from a Jinn:
Seeking the help of the Jinn and turning to
them to fulfill needs, such as asking them to harm
or benefit a person, is an act of Shirk (associating
others in worship with Allah). It is a kind of
mutual benefiting between Jinn and mankind; the Jinn
fulfill the human's needs and in return they get the
human's veneration, trust, and reliance. Allah (may
He be Exalted) says, "And on the Day when He
will gather them (all) together (and say): 'O you
assembly of jinn! Many did you mislead of men,' and
their Awliya (friends and helpers) amongst men will
say: 'Our Lord! We benefited one from the other, but
now we have reached our appointed term which You did
appoint for us.' He will say: 'The fire be your
dwelling-place, you will dwell therein forever,
except as Allah may will. Certainly your Lord is
All-Wise, All-Knowing.' And thus We do make the
Dhalimoon (polytheists and wrong-doers) Awliya
(supporters and helpers) of one another (in
committing crimes), because of that which they used
to earn." [Qur'an 6:128-9] ....
To say, however, that such knowledge was an
exclusive attribute of Baba Farid allowing him to
access portents of the unseen (ghayb), which
could only be known by Allaah alone, is to claim
equality with Allaah's absolute divine attribute of
Omniscience and would again amount to shirk.
Baba Farid and the early adherents of the Chishti
Order also enjoyed what is known as sama':
The Chishti commitment and contribution to
sama in India is overwhelming. ...
sama poetry of two
types-one which focuses on spiritual links
addressing figures of Sufi hierarchy in praise and
devotion, God in Hamd, Prophet in
and saints in Manqabat. The second type
focuses on spiritual emotion, or mystical love,
ecstatic states and on separation and union. Some of
this poetry is composed by the saints themselves,
some addresses the saint, while some is associated
with certain aspects of a saint's life and works, or
with the ritual devotion to the saint and his
Music of sama is set within a
metric framework, accompanied by the
tabla, sarangi, harmonium and
is sung by a group of qawwals who are led by
one or two solo singers. The music can be classical
In the performance of
sama, music and
poetry fuse together, and have a special effect on
the listener. They reach a spiritual state which
expresses itself in gestures-weeping, vocalising and
ultimately a dance of ecstasy. An offering is made
to the qawwal with the permission of the
Shaikh or presiding elders.
sama is practised by the
Chishtiyas of South Asia, what is crucial is the
immediate power of the spiritual-emotional impact of
the sama songs, the power of music serving
the power of saints in Darbar-e-Auliya.
We are further informed:
[group gathering] kindled the flame of Divine love
in their hearts. The Sufi saints gained spiritual
advantages from audition. According to Al-Ghazali,
the saints, by means of Sama, stir up in
themselves greater love towards God, and
of music, often obtain spiritual vision and
ecstasies. Their hearts become in this condition
as clean as silver in the flames of a furnace, and
attaining a degree of purity which could
be attained by any amount of mere outward
austerities. The Sufi then becomes so keenly
aware of his relationship to the spiritual world
that he loses all consciousness of this world and
falls down senseless.
The mystic saints were conscious of nothing
except the Divine love. Sama delighted the
ear. It reminded them of God. It was the spiritual
interpretation of a line of poetry that made them
ecstatic. The listeners of
Sama were more in
perfect state than the musicians or he recitors of
poetry. The musician might sing with or without
feelings, whereas the listeners felt truly, because
the spiritual reality appeared before their
There is, as you might have guessed, nothing in the
annals of early Islamic history that comes even
close to resembling these musical extravaganzas.
Prophet Muhammad's (upon whom be peace and blessings
of Allaah) worship, over the stage of his revelatory
life of 23 years, has been recorded in meticulous
detail and at no time did he enact or instruct his
companions to acquire such an alleged spiritual
state through this innovated (bid'ah)
practice. In contrast, he forbade the use of musical
instruments for men while only allowing women to use
a duff (drum-like instrument) on three
specific occasions: the two days of Eid, a wedding
where segregation is strictly observed, and on the
arrival of a traveller.
Baba Farid it seems, however, gave little concern to
adhering to the example of his Prophet.
most famous murid's (Nizam ad-Din Awliya)
recorded conversations, we are told of how addicted
the teacher was to these sama' sessions:
He then told a farther story about SHAYKH
FARID AD-DIN- may God sanctify his lofty secret-AND
HIS INCLINATION FOR SAMA'. "Once he wished to
listen to sama', but no reciter was present. He
[Farid] then directed Badr ad-din Ishaq-may God
grant him mercy and be pleased with him: 'Go, fetch
the letter that Qazi Hamid ad-din Nagauri -may God
have mercy upon him-has written.' Badr ad-din left
and, fetching the satchel that contained letters and
notes, he brought it to the Shaykh. He reached into
the satchel. The very first letter that he selected
was the one from Qazi Hamid ad-din. He brought it to
the Shaykh. 'Stand up and read,' ordered the Shaykh.
Badr ad-din stood up and began to read from that
letter. It began as follows: 'This humble, weak and
worthless beggar Muhammad Ata, who is the servant of
the dervishes and from head to toe is but dust under
their feet.' The Shaykh had heard but this much when
a spiritual state and a taste for God became
manifest in him."
As for the company he kept, we find the same
failings of shirk and bid'ah. Take his
most celebrated student Nizam ad-Din Awliya.
Sama' was so important to this man that he
went so far as to categorise rules for it without
even taking into consideration the basic rule of
forbiddance unless there is divine
legislative evidence to the contrary:
Shaikh Nizam-ud-din Auliya grades
into four categories-halal (lawful),
(unlawful), mobah (permissible), and
makrooh (undesirable). If one is inclined
towards Divine love, Sama is permissible, if
he is absorbed in ecstasy during the audition and if
he is not acting under the sexual impulse, it is
lawful; but if it is full of mundane objects, it is
detestable. He prescribed rules of audition,
firstly, the singer should be a perfect man. Shaikh
Nizam-ud-din Auliya emphasised that participants of
Sama should be free from anxieties. The place
where Sama is held should be beautiful and
exhilarating. The participants of
be lovers of Sama. The auditors of
should sit after applying scent. They should wear
neat and clean clothes.
At "the core of the large song repertoire of
the textual and musical composition" of
Nizam ad-Din's disciple "and Sufi poet par
excellence" Amir Khusrau:
He is considered the founding father of the
His music shows his love and reverence for his
saint, and evokes the spiritual-emotional link to
that Shaikh .... The qawwals of Hazrat
Nizam-ud-din Auliya sing mostly Amir Khusrau's
music, which is composed of North Indian music, some
classical Persian, and some of his own creations.
So central was the ritual of sama' to these
Chishtis that it even led unbelievably to the death
of Baba Farid's own Murshid Khwaja Syed
Muhammad Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki. Despite being
justifiably "opposed by the Ulama on this account",
"the Khwaja regarded sama (audition) as a
means of inducing a mystical state of ecstasy".
 This led
to the following incident:
The death of the Khwaja is a story of great
significance to sufis. He took part in a sama'
ritual in the khanqah of Shaikh 'Ali Sijzi.
When the musician recited the following verse,
written by the celebrated sufi, Shaikh Ahmad of Jam,
the Khwaja was seized with ecstasy:
The martyrs of the dagger of
(surrender) Each moment get a new life from the
Taken to his house, the Khwaja ordered the
verse to be repeated each time he regained
consciousness, which always occurred at the time of
obligatory prayers. He then lapsed back into an
ecstatic state. On the fifth night, 14th Rabi' 1,
633/27th November, 1235, he died and was buried in
Mahrauli about eleven miles from Delhi, at a place
he himself had chosen.
The Khwaja likewise had his opportunities to display
his alleged "supernatural powers":
A traditional story which presents the
sanctity and supernatural powers of Khwaja
Qutbu'd-Din Bakhtiyar involved a tank which was
built to overcome Delhi's water shortage. Sultan
lltutmish devised a scheme for it, but was unsure
where to choose the site. According to tradition,
the Prophet Muhammad appeared to both the Sultan
and the Khwaja indicating a particular spot.
Hauzi-i-Shamsi was excavated, and the area became
significant, not only as a source of water, but more
importantly, as a cultural and religious centre,
where the spiritual and intellectual elite of Delhi
Another story regarding the Khwaja's
supernatural powers is as follows. A poet named
Nasiri from Transoxiana, bagged the Khwaja to [sic]
today for the success of his poetry at the Sultan's
court. The Khwaja prophesied his good fortune in
this regard. At court a recitation of the first
verse failed to capture the Sultan's attention, but
the poet mentally invoked the power of the Khwaja.
At that point, the Sultan began to listen with rapt
attention and afterwards rewarded him with
thirty-five thousand tankas. In gratitude,
the poet requested the Khwaja to take half for the
poor, but the Khwaja refused to accept payment.
It is interesting to note that in spite of the fact
that the Prophet (upon whom be peace and blessings
of Allaah) severely rebuked and warned against the
appearance of the innovators after his death, we are
told that he (upon whom be peace and blessings of
Allaah) appeared to a man guilty of committing clear
acts of shirk and innovation!
In regards to the subject of karamaat
(miracles of God's chosen people), then this is a
phenomena that is affirmed by Ahlus Sunnah
(the people of the Prophetic example) without doubt.
But, there are stipulations and a criterion through
which this is to be interpreted and understood. Imam
Ibn Abil 'Izz al-Hanafi, in his explanation of the
masterful creed of Imam at-Tahaawi, elaborates on
this subject by stating that a miracle is what
produces a "commendable, objectionable, or
A miracle may serve a purpose which Islam has
commended, in which case its performance is right,
either obligatory or commendable. But if it secures
a thing which Islam has only permitted, it will be
regarded as a worldly blessing for which one should
thank Allah. If it produces something which is
forbidden or undesirable, it will invite punishment
or Allah's hatred .... Such things happen when
the person concerned makes a wrong judgment, follows
a view blindly, does not know things well, is swayed
by some emotion, does not possess sufficient power,
or is impelled by a need. In short, a miracle is
either commendable, objectionable, or permissible.
In the event it is permissible but produces
something good it is a blessing; but if it does not,
then it is like any useless thing.
Finally we have a contemporary of Baba Farid, "The
Great Chishti Shaykh 'Abd al-Quddus of Gangoh
(d.991/1583), famous for his ecstasies and his faith
in wahdat al-wujud ... his son Shaykh Rukn
al-Din ... was also highly ecstatic and a firm
believer in wahdat al-wujud ...."
We could carry on, but the examples given above are
more than sufficient for us to draw the following
conclusion: it is beyond reasonable doubt to infer
from Baba Farid's religious life and his commitment
to the heretical Sufi Chishti silsilah that
this man was most assuredly not from Ahlus Sunnah.
How true are the words of Ibn Abil-'Izz al-Hanafi
concerning people like Baba Farid and others of a
Many of these people think they can attain
what the prophets attained through their own means,
through intensive devotion and' purification of the
soul, without following the ways of the prophets.
The final personality to be mentioned is one who was
part of a movement from which, according to B. S.
Anand, Farid "borrowed many features" including:
"extreme asceticism ... sang and danced in the
ecstasy of the Beloved One":
 Kabir of the
Kabir (c.1398-Unknown C.E.), or Bhagat Kabir as he
is also known in Sikhism, is said to have been
liberated according to the soteriology of Sikhism:
Guru Amar Das, the third Sikh Guru said the
following about Bhagat Ji:
Naam Dayv the printer, and Kabeer the
weaver, obtained salvation through the Perfect Guru.
Those who know God and recognize His Shabad lose
their ego and class consciousness. Their Banis are
sung by the angelic beings, and no one can erase
them, O Siblings of Destiny! (SGGS 76)
It is said that Kabir was "found in a lotus pond
near Benaras by Neeru and his wife Neema who adopted
him and named him Kabir (the Most High) ....
Though a Hindu by tradition, he was a Muslim
In general, however, Kabir's life is not as well
documented as the previous two Bhagats with a
lot of what has filtered down to us through history
immersed in legend and folklore:
Kabir's story is surrounded by contradictory
legends, on none of which reliance can be placed.
Some of these emanate from a Hindu, some from a
Mohammedan source, and claim him by turns as a Sufi
and a Brahman saint. His name, however, is
practically a conclusive proof of Moslem ancestry:
and the most probable tale is that which represents
him as the actual or adopted child of a Mohammedan
weaver of Benares, the city in which the chief
events of his life took place.
In respect to the uncertainty surrounding the
historical accuracy of stories attributed to
Kabir, the best thing we can do, as we have done
thus far, is to evaluate them at face value. Hence,
according to one story:
[Kabir] saw in Ramananda his destined
teacher; but knew how slight were the chances that a
Hindu guru would accept a Mohammedan as disciple. He
therefore hid upon the steps of the river Ganges,
where Ramananda was accustomed to bathe; with the
result that the master, coming down to the water,
trod upon his body unexpectedly, and exclaimed in
his astonishment, "Ram! Ram!"-the name of the
incarnation under which he worshipped God. Kabir
then declared that he had received the mantra of
initiation from Ramananda's lips, and was by it
admitted to discipleship. In spite of the protests
of orthodox Brahmans and Mohammedans, both equally
annoyed by this contempt of theological landmarks,
he persisted in his claim; thus exhibiting in action
that very principle of religious synthesis which
Ramananda had sought to establish in thought.
Ramananda appears to have accepted him, and though
Mohammedan legends speak of the famous Sufi Pir,
Takki of Jhansi, as Kabir's master in later life,
the Hindu saint is the only human teacher to whom in
his songs he acknowledges indebtedness...
seems to have remained for years the disciples of
Ramananda, joining in the theological and
philosophical arguments which his master held with
all the great Mullahs and Brahmas of his day.
When we take the above story on its own merit and
test it against the principle of association (al-walaa
wal-baraa), i.e. the person is on the religion
of the people he interacts with and takes his
knowledge from, we must conclude for the sake of
consistency that just as we readily placed Mardana
alongside his life long teacher Guru Nanak, we must
likewise do the same with Kabir for having
him as his spiritual guide and supported him in
propagating his non-Islamic ideas against Islam and
And Underhill reaches the same conclusion: "From the
point of view of orthodox sanctity, whether Hindu or
Mohammedan, Kabir was plainly a heretic ...."
Kabir shared with his fellow devotees of the Bhakti
movement, along with so many other Sufis, a belief
in "the 'simple union' with Divine Reality which he
perpetually extolled", as can be witnessed from the
The creature is in Brahma, and Brahma is in
the creature: they are ever distinct, yet every
He Himself is the tree, the seed, and
He Himself is the flower, the fruit,
and the shade.
He Himself is the sun, the light,
and the lighted.
He Himself is Brahma, creature,
He Himself is the manifold form, the
infinite space; He is the breath, the word, and the
He Himself is the limit and the
limitless: and beyond both the limited and the
limitless is He, the Pure Being.
He is the
Immanent Mind in Brahma and in the creature. ...
Kabir is blest because he has this supreme vision!
Within this earthen vessel are bowers and
groves, and within it is the Creator: ...
says: "Listen to me, my friend! My beloved Lord is
Your Lord dwells within you: why need your
outward eyes opened?
The infinite dwelling of the Infinite Being
is everywhere: in earth, water, sky, and air.
Hari is in the East: Allah is in the West.
Look within your heart, for there you will find both
Karim and Ram. ...
Kabir is the child of Allah
and of Ram: He is my Guru, He is my Pir.
Says Kabeer, O my Lord, You are contained in
According to Muzaffar Alam, the doctrine of 'simple
union' asserted by the Bhakti movement paralleled
the doctrine of Wahdat al-Wujood:
It was the Sufic belief in unity in
multiplicity, known as wahdat al-wujud (Unity
of Being), which provided the doctrinal basis for
all these developments in the process of religious
synthesis and cultural amalgam. This Islamic
doctrine had interesting parallels in India: it had
no difficulty accommodating the various versions and
interpretations of non-dualism given by Indian
philosophers and saints .... This idea was also
expressed in the Nirguna Bhakti assertion of the
fundamental unity of Hindus and Turks. Kabir, for
instance, saw no difference between Ram and Rahman.
Notable in his poetry is the coalescence of Hari and
Hazrat, Krishna and Karama, Muhammad and Mahadeva,
Ram and Rahim.
Wakabayashi and Rita echoed Alam's astute
Sufi practices in the Indian subcontinent evolved in
peculiar ways. These practices interacted with and
were influenced by, among other things, the Bhakti
(devotional) traditions of India ... one of the most
enduring tenets of Sufism is
(the unity of all beings, and also a stage where the
seeker and the sought become one), and it too has
resonances in Bhakti poetry.
Similarly, D. Singh admits:
God is for him both Transcendent and
Immanent. It is possible for God to have union with
Him. Kabir claims such communion with God. ...
He calls Him both with and without
Attributes, Persona and Impersonal, Finite and
Infinte [sic], Conscious and Unconscious, and Transcendent and Immanent.
He is above all opposites and Ineffable. He also
talks in pantheistic terms when he says, "And the
Lord Himself takes form." Sometimes his descriptions
Despite this muddled, contradictory and
conspicuously un-Islamic outlook, D. Singh still
outlandishly maintains that "Kabir was a
Kabir is also guilty of making some blasphemous
claims against the Qur'an and its origin:
The Purana and
the Koran are mere words;
Lifting up the curtain, I have seen.
utterance to the words of experience; and he knows
very well that all other things are untrue.
If Kabir did utter this deplorable statement, then
by consensus of Muslim scholars he was a disbeliever
since all Muslim scholars have affirmed throughout
the ages that the Qur'an is the speech of Allaah and
not "mere words". Imam at-Tahaawi said:
The Qur'an is the word of Allaah which came
from Him in the form of speech, without any need for
us to know how. He sent it down to His Messenger by
revelation. The believers believe that it is true
and they are certain that it is indeed the word of
Allaah and that it is not created like the words of
human beings. Whoever hears it and claims that it is
the words of human beings is a
[disbeliever], who is condemned and warned of Hell,
as Allaah says: "I will cast him into Hell
fire." [Qur'an 74:26].
Since Allaah threatened with Hell the one who
said: "This is nothing but the word of a human
being," [Qur'an 74:26], we know and are
certain that it is the word of the Creator of
humankind, and it does not resemble the speech of
Ibn Abil 'Izz al-Hanafi commented on this maxim
It is not created like the speech of human
beings. Whoever hears it and thinks it is the
speech of man is an infidel. Allah has condemned
and censured him and threatened him with Hell-Fire
when He says, "I will burn him in the Hell-Fire"
[74:26]. By Allah's threatening with the Fire those
who say, "This is nothing but the word of a mortal"
[74:25], we know and become certain that it is the
speech of the Creator of mankind and is completely
unlike [t]he speech of mankind. ...
Allah has condemned as an infidel one who
says that the Qur'an is the word of a man. Since
Muhammad was a man, therefore, whoever says that the
Qur'an is the word of Muhammad in the sense that he
composed it is certainly an infidel. ...
In short, the Ah as-Sunnah, the four schools
of fiqh and others of the Elders and later
scholars all agree that the Qur'an is the uncreated
speech of Allah. ...
The words of the author, "It is completely
unlike the word of any mortal," mean that it is
incomparably more eloquent, true and dignified.
In this respect, Ibn Abil 'Izz also quotes Imam Abu
This is also the view of Abu Hanifah, as
appears in his Al-Fiqh al-Akbar, in which he
"The Qur'an is the word of Allah,
whether written in the book, remembered in the
hearts, recited by the tongues or revealed to the
Prophet. Our recitation of the Qur'an is created and
our writing of the Qur'an is created and our
reciting of it is created. But the Qur'an itself is
not created. What Allah has mentioned in the Qur'an
quoting from Moses and others and from the earlier
prophets and from Pharaoh and Iblis, all of that is
the speech of Allah, in which He is informing about
them. It is the uncreated speech of Allah. The
speech of Moses and other created beings is itself
created. But the Qur'an is the word of Allah and not
their speech. Moses heard Allah's words when He
spoke to him. He spoke to him with the speech which
is His attribute from eternity. And all of His
attributes are different from the attributes of the
creatures. He knows, but not as we know. He has
power, but not as we have power. He sees, but not as
we see. He speaks, but not as we speak."
Such was the strictness of the scholars in respect
to this doctrinal point that they even condemned
those found to be elusive or equivocal. The shaykh
of Imam al-Bukhaaree and Imam Muslim, for example,
went as far as to censure the one who said the
Qur'an was a "quotation":
Whoever claims that the Qur'an is two things,
or that the Qur'aan is a hikaayah
(quotation), then he is, by Allaah, besides whom
there is none worthy of worship, a
(heretic), kaafir (disbeliever) in Allaah
.... The Qur'an is the Speech of Allaah, it began
with Him (i.e. He spoke it), and to Him will it
return. Nothing from Allaah is created, neither [sic] and nor are His attributes, nor His Names, nor His
 (bold ours)
Similarly, Shaykh 'Abdul-Qaadir al-Jilaani said:
So whoever claims that it (meaning what has
been described previously) is created, or [merely]
an expression (ibaarah) of it [the Qur'an],
or that the tilaawah (recitation) is other
than the matluww (that which is recited), or
says, "My pronunciation of the Qur'an is created",
then he is a
kaafir (disbeliever) in
Allaah, the Mighty. He is not to be mixed with, nor
eaten with, nor married to, nor taken as a
neighbour. Rather, he is boycotted and debased
(humiliated). He is not to be prayed behind, and nor
is his testimony accepted, and his guardianship is
not valid in the nikah (marriage) of his
client. And he is not to be prayed over when he
dies. If there is (hope of) success in him, then his
repentance is demanded three times like that of the
murtadd (apostate), so either he repents,
otherwise he is killed (as an apostate).
Thus, what would these scholars say concerning the
one who declared the Qur'an to be "mere words"?
What might have also been gleaned from the
previously quoted lines of poetry is that Kabir was
disposed to addressing the "Infinite" (God) by the
blasphemous Hindu names Brahma and Ram:
Tradition relates that Kabir died in extreme
old age, when his body had become inform and his
hands were no longer able to produce the music with
which he had in younger days celebrated the praises
It is from the principles of 'aqeedah in
understanding the Tawheed of Allaah's Divine
Names and Attributes that we are restricted to
calling Allaah only by those names that He and His
Messenger have informed us of. In this respect,
Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-'Uthaymeen mentions
the principle: "The Names of Allah are
Tawqeefiyyah; there is no place for intellectual
free-thinking regarding them", and elaborates:
Allah's Names are
meaning a kind of knowledge that is restricted to
textual evidence; there is no place for intellectual
free-thinking regarding them. Based upon this, we
must suffice ourselves with what is found in the
Book and the Sunnah, without adding or taking
anything away. This is because the intellect will
not be able to grasp the understanding of Allah's
Names that He rightfully deserves, so then we must
suffice ourselves with textual evidences only ....
Furthermore, to ascribe a name to Allah the
Exalted that He did not ascribe to His own Self, or
to deny something He has named Himself, would be a
serious crime against Him.
As a side note, the meaning of the name Brahma,
according to the Oxford Sanskrit-English Dictionary,
Dictionaries, includes: The Supreme Spirit,
which is certainly not a divinely revealed name of
In contradistinction to the Qur'an, wherein Allaah
declares that He has not created all things in jest/
play, Kabir writes:
His play the land and water, the whole
His play the earth and the sky!
play is the Creation spread out, in play it is
established. The whole world, says Kabir, rests in
His play, yet the Player remains unknown.
Similarly, he betrays his ignorance over the divine
declarative word "kun" (Arabic for "Be/
 which is
spoken by Allaah during His creating and
manufacturing process, by claiming:
And from the word
Om the Creation
After the accumulation of all this damning evidence,
the question that requires answering by those who
incessantly hold to the position that Kabir was a
Muslim (Mohammedan) is why he was so transparent and
deliberate in expressing such conspicuously
heretical Hindu beliefs?
recognised that Kabir was a heretic to the
"orthodox" Muslims, while distinguished Sanskrit
scholar Prof. Horace Hayman Wilson (1786-1860)
concluded that he was not a Muhammadan. Similarly,
Rev. Ahmad Shah perceives:
The study of the Bijak certainly leaves a
fixed impression that the basis of his mental
equipment was Hindu. His apparent acquaintance
with Mohammedan belief, customs and phraseology
might easily be purely external and acquired. But
with his Hinduism the case is entirely different.
His mind is steeped in Hindu thought and mythology,
and his mother tongue is Hindi.
Westcott on the other hand disagreed, being
"inclined" instead to agree with those theories
which suggested that Kabir was both a "Muhammadan by
birth" and "associated with the Sufi order" (though
he fails to furnish a name of this order). He,
however, forwards the following proviso to his
[T]he great object of his life was to break
down the barriers that separated Hindus from
Muhammadans. We believe that in his desire to
achieve this object he actually took up his
residence in Benares and associated there with the
followers of Ramanand[a]. We can well imagine that
his teaching gave offence both to orthodox
Muhammadans and to orthodox Hindus, and it is
probable that both parties welcomed the opportunity
afforded by Sikandar Lodi's visit to Jaunpur in 1495
to wait upon him with a request that he would rid
them of one who despised tradition when in conflict
with the truth.
Later he further adds:
[Y]et there is reason to believe that the
teaching of Kabir has gradually become more and more
Hindu in form.
In light of the evidences cited above, which
strongly support the charge of heresy, one can fully
understand the anger the Muslim "orthodox" must have
felt towards this "one who despised [their]
tradition" and utilised, in place of their adhered
theology, Hindu philosophy and phraseology.
Kabir's singular pursuit in seeking "to break down
the barriers that separated Hindus from Muhammadans"
resulted in him denouncing "the whole apparatus of
piety, Hindu and Moslem alike-the temple and mosque,
idol and holy water, scriptures and priests ... as
mere substitutes for reality".
denunciation, however, is wholly justified when one
takes into consideration the following quotes from
the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (henceforth indicated by
the letter G) and the Bijak (henceforth
indicated by the letter B) that demonstrate Kabir's
ridicule of the Imams, Muslims and certain rituals
Because of the love of woman, circumcision is
done; I don't believe in it, O Siblings of Destiny.
If God wished me to be a Muslim, it would be cut off
If circumcision makes one a Muslim,
then what about a woman?
She is the other half of
a man's body, and she does not leave him, so he
remains a Hindu. (G)
If your Khuda wished circumcision, he would
have sent you circumcised into the world.
Kabeer has grasped hold of the Lord's
Support, and the Muslims have utterly failed. (G)
[In context with circumcision and the
Give up your holy books, and
remember the Lord, you fool, and stop oppressing
others so badly. (G)
[Kabir's allusion to belief in
reincarnation] The mobile and immobile
creatures, insects and moths - in numerous
lifetimes, I have passed through those many forms.
I lived in many such homes, O Lord, before I came
into the womb this time.
I was a Yogi, a
celibate, a penitent, and a Brahmchaaree, with
Sometimes I was a king,
sitting on the throne, and sometimes I was a beggar.
Says Kabeer, one who meets the True Guru, is
not reincarnated again. (G)
My pilgrimage to Mecca is on the banks of the
Gomati River (G)
Where have the Hindus and Muslims come from?
Who put them on their different paths? ...
Qazi, which book have you read? (G)
O Qazi, the One Lord is within you, but you
do not behold Him by thought or contemplation.
You do not care for others, you are a religious
fanatic, and your life is of no account at all.
Your holy scriptures say that Allah is True, and
that he is neither male nor female.
But you gain
nothing by reading and studying, O mad-man, if you
do not gain the understanding in your heart.
Allah is hidden in every heart; reflect upon this in
The One Lord is within both Hindu and
Muslim; Kabeer proclaims this out loud. (G)
Worshipping their idols, the Hindus die; the
Muslims die bowing their heads.
cremate their dead, while the Muslims bury theirs;
neither finds Your true state, Lord. (G)
Whence have the Hindus and Muhammadans come?
Who has started these religious systems?
Think well in your hearts who has obtained heaven.
Kabir is on the road to God and is marching
on to his end, forsaking all partial views (B)
If someone completely unfamiliar with the person of
Kabir were to be given his complete couplets to read
in full, and then asked to make a choice between the
following two options: was Kabir a Muslim or a
Hindu? The unbiased and critical mind would have to
be extremely deluded to say Muslim. In fact, it
would not altogether be unsurprising if that person
decided that Kabir was neither. Rev. Shah is
partially correct in stating that a study of his
most authentic work, along with what is contained in
the SGGS, and the Bijak "leaves a fixed
impression that the basis of his mental equipment
was Hindu". But, perhaps a more accurate
interpretation, in accordance to his teachings and
his association to the Bhakti movement, would be
that he was neither Muslim nor Hindu. And Kabir's
following rhetorical question from the Bijak
(later to be more perspicuously expressed by his
successor Guru Nanak as: "There is no Hindu, there
is no Muslim"): "Whence have the Hindus and
Muhammadans come?" certainly supports this.
What is to be said in the end is that the evidences
strongly suggest that any claim of Kabir's
association to Islam is certainly more doubtful than
for the two preceding bhagats - such was his
The objective of this research was to determine the
answer to the question of Guru Nanak's Muslim
identity - repeated ad nauseam by both
Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
This was done by examining the historical evidence
available to us through the lens of Islamic
'aqeedah (creed), which we broke down into the
following relevant categories:
- the duel declaration of Islamic faith, which
a) Laa ilaaha ill Allaah
- There is none worthy of worship in truth
b) Muhammad ar-Rasool
Allaah - There is none worthy of being
followed in truth except the prophet and
messenger Muhammad (upon whom be peace and
blessings of Allaah).
This declaration entails verbal utterance in
order to enter into the folds of Islam.
Legislation is for Allaah alone, which entails a
rejection of all other laws.
The principle of
al-walaa wal-baraa -
allegiance and non-allegiance, which included
the different categories of
The definition of
Tawheed and its three
A critical examination of the historical sources
reveals that there exists no evidence to suggest
Guru Nanak ever having recited the Islamic
declaration of faith, either publically or
otherwise. More significantly was the theological
and doctrinal practices and teachings of Nanak which
directly violated the shahaadatayn and the
three categories of tawheed to the point of
committing the greatest crime against Allaah:
In our bid to cover this topic comprehensively, it
was also necessary to make an historical perusal of
Sikhism's Muslim connection, i.e. those people who
were associated to Islam and the Muslim community,
but intimately revered by Sikhs. These included Guru
Nanak's bard, Mardana, and two of Nanak's
predecessors: Baba Farid of the Sufi Chishti Order,
and Kabir of the Bhakti movement.
Although it is not in our purview to make takfeer
bil 'ayn (excommunication of individuals), the
evidence in regards to the position of said
bhagats pointed to the inescapable conclusion
that they were unquestionably not from those Muslims
who adhered to the Prophetic tradition (Ahlus
Sunnah). Instead, it is beyond doubt that all
three committed shirk and bi'dah,
while Mardana and Kabir were certainly guilty of
making allegiance (tawallee) to non-Muslims
and assisting them (mudhaaharah) in
propagating their anti-Islamic beliefs and
In all, there is not a single shred of evidence to
suggest that Guru Nanak was a Muslim.
Subhanakallaahuma wa bi hamdika, ash-Shahaadu
al-Laa ilaaha illa Ant, astaghfiruka wa atoobu
Here are two such examples:
7: Reported by Muslim (no.37).
ibn F. al-Fawzaan (1998),
Declaration of Faith, (UK, Message of
Islam), p. 17.
A.A. bin A. bin Baaz (2006),
Clarifying the Meaning of La Ilaha Illa
Allah, (NY, Al-Hujjah Publ.), p. 22.
3: Refer to
Majmoo'ul-Fataawaa (10/249) and (13/200) and
Iqtidaa'us-Siraatil Mustaqeem (p. 461).
4: Refer to the
Tafseer (2/291) of al-Qurtubee.
6: Refer to
Ma'aarijul-Qubool (2/416) of Haafidh al-Hakamee.
The Meaning and Conditions of Laa ilaaha
illAllaah, (Sunnah Publishing), p.
ibn F. al-Fawzaan,
cit., p. 14.
Ibid., pp. 40-3.
1: Al-Waajibaat Al-Mutahattimaat (pg. 5).
ibn A. al-Jaabiree, (2007),
for the Intellects in Explanation of the
Three Fundamental Principles of Islaam,
(UK, Salafi Publications), pp. 68-9.
These first two conditions of muwaalaat have
also been mentioned by "al-Qurtubee (4/57,
18/52) in his 'Tafseer' and also Abu Bakr
Ibn al-Arabee in 'Ahkaam ul-Qur'aan'
here for more information.
A-M. al-Ubaykaan, Muwaalaat and Mudhaaharah (Loyalty and
Support) to the Mushrikeen (Polytheists),
(Salafi Publications), pp. 1, 3, 4.
Shaykh Saalih Aal ash-Shaykh also covers
11: Tashbeeh: To claim that
Allaah similar to His creation in one or
some of His Attributes or Actions.
12: Tamtheel: To claim that
Allaah is similar to His creation in all of
His Attributes and Actions.
13: Tahreef, also referred to
ta'weel: To pervert [distort] the
meanings of the texts that establish
Allaah's Names and Attributes.
14: Ta'teel: To claim that
Allaah's Names and Attributes have no
meanings at all.
A-R. ibn N. as-Sa'dee (2004),
Essential Questions and Answers Concerning
the Foundations of Eemaan and Obstacles in
the Path of Eemaan, (Toronto, T.R.O.I.D
Publications.), pp. 17-8.
ibn S. al-'Uthaymeen (1997),
Explanation of the Three Fundamental
Principles of Islaam, (UK, Al-Hidaayah),
ibn F. al-Fawzaan,
cit., p. 15.
Haq, The Mission of Guru Nanak: A Muslim
Appraisal, (Sikhi Wiki).
doctrinal fallacy of the Omnipresence of God
has been discussed in detail and
emphatically refuted in our article:
Muqaatil bin Hayyaan (d. 150H): The Meaning
of 'al-Baatin' is 'the Closest to Everything
With His Knowledge' Whilst He is Above His
D.S. Maini (2003),
Islam in Sikh scriptures, (The
Tribune India, updated 2006).
8: Cf. Max Arthur Macauliffe, "The Sikh
Religion," Oxford, 1909, Vol.I, p. 121.
Birth of Sikhism, (Ahmadiyya Muslim
Community, The Review of Religions, March).
ibn H. U. al-Madkhalee (2005),
An Explanation of the Tolerance of Islam and
the Mercy that it Contains,
M.A. MacAuliffe (1909),
The Sikh Religion, Volume 1,
(Internet Sacred Text Archive, 2001).
S.S. Brar (2009),
Master Guru Nanak Dev (1469-1539),
Prof Daljeet Singh believes the year of
Nanak's enlightenment to be 1496 CE:
He was married in 1487 and was blessed with two sons, one in 1491 and the
second in 1496. ... By all accounts, 1496
was the year of his enlightenment when he
started on his mission.
(Eds) D. Singh, K Singh (1997),
Sikhism: Its Philosophy and History,
(Institute of Sikh Studies, New Delhi), p.
Both Harbans Singh and Mohinder Singh state:
According to the Sikh sources it was in 1497
that Nanak, then just 28 years of age,
received "the Divine call," his "Revelation"
or his "Enlightenment.
H. Singh, M. Singh (1988),
Prof Harbans Singh Commemoration Volume, (Prof. Harbans Singh
Commemoration Committee), p. 54.
Surinder Singh Johar agrees:
He left Sultanpur in 1497 after his
enlightenment. "The Janamsakhis state that
Guru Nanak revisited Talwandi twelve years
after he had left Sultanpur. Having regard
to the fact that there is a custom among
Sanyasis of revisiting their birth-place
twelve years after their initiation, this
statement may be accepted as true."
- S.S. Johar (1969),
Guru Nanak, A Biography, (New Book Co.), p. 140.
ibn F. al-Fawzaan,
cit., pp. 39-40.
B.S. Anand (2009),
Farid, (New Delhi, Sahitya Akadmei), p.
S.S. Gandhi (2007),
History of Sikh Gurus Retold: 1469-1606 C.E.
Vol.1, (Atlantic Publishers &
Distributors), pp. 88-9.
A.A. bin A. bin Baaz (2010),
Ruling on whoever performs Salah at certain
times and gives up at others,
(Portal of the General Presidency of
Scholarly Research and Ifta').
1: Hau dhaadi vekaar kaarai laaia; Raat
dihai kai vaar dhurho pharmaaia; Dhaadi
sachai mehl khasam bulaaia. (Majh Var Mahla
The Philosophy of Guru Nanak, Volume 1, (Atlantic Publishers &
Distri), pp. 116-17.
op. cit., pp. 80-2.
Vaars Bhai Gurdaas, Pannaa 1:
baabaa fir maakae gayaa neel basathr
kithaab kaashh koojaa baa(n)g musaalaa
bait(h)aa jaae maseeth vich
jithhae haajee haaj gujaaree||
baabaa suthaa raath noo(n) vaal mehiraabae
jeevan maaree lath
dhee kaerrhaa suthaa kur kuaaree||
lathaa(n) val khhudhaae dhae kiou(n)akar
paeiaa hoe bajagaaree||
pakarr ghaseettiaa firiaa maakaa kalaa
hoe hairaan karaen juhaaree
Donning blue attire then Baba Nanak went to
He held staff in his hand, pressed
a book under his armpit, caught hold of a
metal pot and mattress.
Now he sat in a
mosque where the pilgrims (hajis) had
When Baba (Nanak) slept in the
night spreading his legs towards the alcove
of mosque at Kaba, the qazi named Jivan
kicked him and asked who was this infidel
Why this sinner is
sleeping his legs spread towards God,
Catching hold of the legs he lynched (Baba Nanak) and lo
and behold the miracle, the whole of Mecca
seemed to be revolving.
All got surprised
and they all bowed.
O.P. Ralhan (1997),
Great Gurus of the Sikhs, Volume 1,
(Anmol Publications PVT. LTD.), p. 131.
Sri Guru Granth Sahib Vol. 1, (Allied Publishers), pp. XXXIX.
Prof Haq also recounts this story, but
rejects the literalist take on it, instead
interpreting it as allegory.
R.K. Pruthi (2004),
Civilisation Series: Sikhism and
Indian Civilization, (Discovery
Publishing House), p. 56.
Janamsakhi, Bhai Bala, p. 292.
Some Sikh scholars consider the author Bhai
Bala to be "fictitious" and, thus, hold this
biography to be "spurious". Trilochan Singh
believes it to be authentic but corrupted by
the heretical groups: "the Minas, or
Meharban and his followers. Then ... by the
Handaliyas, and then by the printers". See:
H.R. Gupta (2008),
History of the Sikhs 1469-1708, Vol. 1,
(Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers Pvt. Ltd.,
New Delhi), pp. 40-3.
Janamsakhi, Bhai Mani Singh Wali (Janamsakhi
Prampra, edited by Kirpal Singh, Antka,
Singh, K Singh,
cit., p. 220.
19: Janamsakhi, Meharban Wali, pp. 10-12.
24: Janamsakhi, Bhai Bala, p. 279. Latif, p.
Singh, K Singh,
cit., p. 223.
4: S.R., I [M.A. Macauliffe (1993),
Sikh Religion Vol. I, (Delhi)],
pp. 102, 121, 123.
Philosophy of Sikhism, (Shiromani
Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, Amritsar), p.
(published under Majmoo' al-Fataawa,
vol. 7, compiled by Ibn Qasim), p. 151.
a more comprehensive introduction, read
Notes on the Evils of Innovation.
ibn F. al-Fawzaan (2001),
At-Tasawwuf: Al-Mansha' wal-Masdar, p.
Masra' at-Tasawwuf, p. 19.
Narrated by Abu Hurairah,
at-Tirmithi, 2484 (Hasan).
Judging a Claimant to Salafiyyah by his
(Salafi Publications, no.114, 2010).
Selections from the Sacred Writings of the Sikhs, (Orient
Blackswan), p. 148.
op. cit., pp. 1078-9.
Nanak Spiritual Masters, (Indus Source),
op. cit., p. 1080.
Judging a Claimant to Salafiyyah,
op. cit., p.166.
Early deviant sect that denied Allaah's
Divine Pre-Ordainment: the sixth pillar of
Judging a Claimant to Salafiyyah,
cit., Reported by al-Laalikaa'ee, 1/139.
to be confused with the eleventh century
Sufi, the so-called "patron saint of
Lahore", Pakistan, Data Ganj Baksh Ali ibn
'Uthman al-Jullabi al-Hujwiri.
Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki,
Wahdatul Wujood: Lit. Unity of Existence - The
belief that all existence is a single
existence and everything we see are only
aspects of the Essence of Allaah.
Shaykh Muhammad ibn Rabee' ibn Haadee al-Madkhalee explicated:
The third ideology is that of
wahdatul-wujood, i.e. that all in
existence is a single reality, and that
everything we see is only aspects of the
Essence of Allaah. The chief claimant of
this belief was Ibn 'Arabee al-Haatimee
at-Taa'ee, who was buried in Damascus having
died in the year 638H. He himself says about
this belief in his book
"The slave is the Lord and the Lord is a slave, I wish that I knew which
was the one required to carry out the
required duties. If I were to say the
servant then that is true, or if I were to
say the Lord, then how can that be required
for Him." (Al-Fatoohaat-ul-Makkiyyah as it
is attributed by Dr. Taqiyyuddeen
al-Hilaalee in his book
also says in al-Fatoohaat:
who worshipped the calf worshipped nothing
(Quoted as Ibn 'Arabee's
saying by Ibn Tayrniyyah in al-Fataawaa
(vol.11), who attributes it to the book
Ibn 'Arabee is called
'al-'Aarif billaah' (The one having great
knowledge of Allaah) by the Sufis, and also
Akbar' (The great pivot), 'al-Miskul-Adhfar'
(the sweetest smelling musk), 'al-Kibreetul-Ahmar'
(the reddest brimstone), despite his belief
in wahdatul-wujood and other calamitous sayings. Indeed he praised
Fir'awn (Pharaoh) and declared that he
Furthermore he speaks against Haroon for his
criticism of his people's worship of the
calf, thus directly opposing the text of the
Qur'aan. He also held that the Christians
were Unbelievers only because they made
divinity particular to 'Eesaa, whereas if
they had made it general to all then they
would not have been unbelievers. [Despite
all the gross deviation of Ibn 'Arabee and
the fact that the scholars declared him to
be an Unbeliever, yet he is revered by the
Sufis and others who do not distinguish
between the truth and falsehood, and those
who turn away from accepting the truth even
when it is as clear as the sun. But his
books, which are filled with clear apostasy,
Fusoosul-Hikam are still circulated. He
even has a
tafseer, which he called
at-Tafseerul-Baatin since he holds that
there is an apparent and a hidden meaning
for every Aayah, so the outer meaning is for
the people of
From this group came
Ibn Basheesh who said:
rescue me from the mire of
tawheed, and drown me in the centre of
the sea of unity, and mix me into the state
of unity and oneness until I do not see, nor
hear, nor sense except through it."
- M. ibn R. ibn H. al-Madkhalee, (Trans) Abu T. D. ibn R. Burbank (1999),
Reality of Sufism in the Light of the
Qur'aan & Sunnah, (Al-Hidaayah
Publishing and Distribution), pp. 21-2
J.D. Gort, H. Jansen, H.M. Vroom
Religions view religions: explorations in
pursuit of understanding Vol.25,
(Rodopi), p. 202.
A.A. Na'im (2002),
Islamic Family Law in a Changing World: A
Global Resource Book, (Zed Books), p.
Doniger, Merriam-Webster Inc (1999),
Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of World
op. cit., p.31.
308: See 'Ali Al-Qari, Sharh Fiqh al-Akbar,
p.171; Adh-Dhahabi, Al-'Ulu, p. 103.
Abi Al-'Izz, (Trans) M. A.-H. Ansari (2000),
Commentary on the Creed of at-Tahawi (Sharh
al-'Aqidah at-Tahawiyyah), (Riyadh,
Saudi Arabia, Al-Imam Muhammad Ibn Sa'ud
Islamic University), p. 236.
3: Jahmiyyah are the followers of Jahm Ibn
Safwan, who was the first one to publicly
declare the denial of Allah's Attributes.
Before long he denied the Attributes of
Allah, he was killed and crucified by Khalid
Ibn Abdullah Al-Khusari, Prince of Iraq.
This took place during the era of the
Tabioon, (students of the Companion).
All the scholars at his time called him a
[disbeliever] on account of plainly denying
the Attributes of Allah.
4: Reported by ad-Daarimee in
ar-Radd 'alal-Mareesee (p. 24 and 103)
and ar-Radd 'alal-Jahmiyyah (p. 50) and
Abdullaah Ibn Ahmad in
as-Sunnah (p. 7, 25, 35 and 72).
S.A. Kayum (2005),
Jamaat Tableegh and the Deobandis, (Ahya
Multi-Media), Chapter 3: Pantheism, Wahdat
al-Wajood or Moksha: Additional Proofs from
the Sayings of our Pious Predecessors
Abdul-Qaadir al-Jeelaanee (d. 561H):
Refutation of the Saalimiyyah Sect Who Claim
Allaah is Everywhere And Not Above His
Muhammad bin Yusuf al-Firyaabee, Shaykh of
al-Bukhaaree, (d. 212H): Whoever Says Allaah
Is Not Above His Throne is a Kaafir,
Where is Allaah? (With slight modification),
(SalafiPublications.com). For more
information on this subject,
N.M. Sadarangani (2004),
Poetry in Medieval India: Its Inception,
Cultural Encounter and Impact, (Sarup &
Sons), p. 63.
Encyclopaedia of Sikhism: S-Z, Volume 4, (Punjabi University), p.
A.A. bin A. bin Baaz, (Trans) A. Walker
The Statement: Verily Allaah is Everywhere,
(CalgaryIslam.com, Ad-Da'wah Magazine, Issue
S.A. Kugle (2007),
& Saints' Bodies: Mysticism, Corporeality, &
Sacred Power in Islam, (UNC Press), p.
Biographical Encyclopaedia of Sufis: South Asia, (Sarup & Sons), p.
Encyclopaedic Survey of Islamic Culture, (Anmol Publications PVT.
LTD.), p. 211.
op. cit., pp. 21-2.
2453; classed as
by Shaykh al-Albaani in
M.N.D. Al-Albaani (Trans. I. Alarcon),
Al-Asaalah Magazine, Issue 21.
Reported by Ibn Hibbaan and classed as hasan
in Saheeh al-Jaami', 1774.
27: Prakash, Dr. Satya. The Great Sufi Saint
Baba Farid - Study in Life, Teachings and
Perspectives on Shaikh Farid. Ed.
Gurbachan Singh Talibi, Baba Farid Memorial
Society, pp. 35-40.
Foundations of the Composite Culture in
India, (Aakar Books), p. 232.
op. cit., p. 86.
G.S. Talib (1974),
Sheikh Farid Shakar Ganj, (New Delhi,
National Book Trust), p. 31.
op. cit., p. 34.
Sikhism: A Comparative Study of its Theology and Mysticism,
(Amritsar, Singh Brothers), p. 144.
Ma'aarij al-Qubool, 2/255, mentions the story, among others, of a
man committing immoral actions with his wife
and said, "What is this?" She said, "It is
the will and decree of Allaah." He said, "We
accept what Allaah decrees."
2/160; Sunan Abu Dawood, 1692.
3/164; Sahih Muslim, 1628.
C.W. Ernst, B.B. Lawrence (2002),
Martyrs of Love: The Chishti Order in South
Asia and Beyond, (Palgrave Macmillan),
ibn Mani, A. ibn Ghudayyan, A-R. Afify,
Seeking help from the jinn to fulfill one's
(Alifta.com, Permanent Committee Fatwas), p.
Foundations of the Composite Culture in
India, (Aakar Books), pp. 200-1.
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said:
In general, it is a well known principle of
the Islamic religion that the Prophet (upon
whom be peace and blessings) did not
prescribe that the righteous men, devoted
worshippers and ascetics of this ummah
should gather to listen to verses of poetry
chanted to the accompaniment of
handclapping, rhythm sticks or daffs. It is
not permissible for anyone to go beyond the
limits of Islam and follow something other
than that which was narrated in the Qur'an
and Sunnah, whether that has to do with
inward matters or outward, whether for the
common man or the elite. But the Prophet
(upon whom be peace and blessings of Allaah)
granted a concession for some kinds of
entertainment on the occasion of weddings
and the like, and he also granted a
concession to women allowing them to beat
the daff at weddings and on other joyous
occasions. But with regard to the men of his
time, none of them used to beat the daff or
clap his hands, rather it was proven in
as-Saheeh that he said, 'Clapping is for women, and Tasbeeh is for
men,' and he cursed women who imitate men
and men who imitate women.
Because singing, beating the daff and clapping the hands are actions of
used to call a man who did that
mukhannath (effeminate), and they used
to call male singers
makhaaneeth (pl. of
mukhannath). This is well known.
- Majmoo' al-Fataawa, 11/565,
Auliya, B.B. Lawrence, H. Dihlavi (1992),
ad-din Awliya: morals for the heart:
conversations of Shaykh Nizam ad-din Awliya
recorded by Amir Hasan Sijzi, (Paulist
Press), p. 252.
op. cit., pp. 240-1.
op. cit., pp. 323.
op. cit., p. 462.
op. cit., p. 193.
op. cit., p. 459.
op. cit., pp. 30-1.
Bhagat Kabir, (Encyclopedia of the
Kabir here is an Arabic word, then it does
not mean "most high", but rather: great,
large, powerful, influential, distinguished,
formidable, eminent, important, etc.
Tagore, E. Underhill (1915),
Hundred Poems of Kabir, (London,
MacMillan and Co. LTD.), p. x.
p. 92: "I became suddenly revealed in
Benares, and Ramananda illumined me;..."
pp. 6-7, 8, 96, 62, 72.
Sri Guru Granth Sahib.
The Languages of Political Islam: India 1200-1800, (C. Hurst & Co.
Publishers), pp. 91-92.
Wakabayashi, R. Kothari (2009),
Decentering Translation Studies: India and
Beyond, (John Benjamins Publishing
Company), p. 121.
op. cit., p. 158.
Tagore, E. Underhill,
cit., p. 50.
op. cit., p. 96, 104, 117.
105: Al-Fiqh al-Akbar, pp. 40-50.
op. cit., p. 105.
Ahmad bin Sinan al-Waasitee (d. 258H):
Shaykh of al-Bukhaaree and Muslim Sends
Jahmite Ash'aris Fleeing From Their Secret
Hideouts: 'Whoever Says the Qur'an is Two
Things Or a Hikaayah is, by Allaah, a
Shaykh Abdul-Qadir al-Jeelaanee (d. 561H):
Cleans Out the Secret Hideouts of the
Ash'arites and Sends them Fleeing For Cover
Out Of Awe and Terror: Whoever Claims the
Qur'an is an Ibaarah (Expression) is a
Kaafir Whose Repentance is to Be Sought,
G.H. Westcott (2006),
and the Kabir Panth, (READ BOOKS), p.
Ibn S. al-'Uthaymeen (2003),
Exemplary Foundations Concerning the
Beautiful Names and Attributes of Allaah,
(Canada, TROID), pp. 28-9.
A-R. A-A. Ibn F. Ibn Z. Ibn M. (2005),
Investigation into the literal meaning of
'Brahma' in Sanskrit language according to
Oxford Sanskrit - English dictionary and
Tagore, E. Underhill,
cit., p. 89.
Originator of the heavens and the earth.
When He decrees a matter, He only says to
it: 'Be!' - and it is.
Tagore, E. Underhill,
cit., p. 88.
The Bijak of Kabir, (Hamirpur, U.P., India), p. 4.
op. cit., pp. 32-3.
Tagore, E. Underhill,
cit., p. xvi.
Sri Guru Granth Sahib.
op. cit., p. 57.
Guru Granth Sahib,
Sri Guru Granth Sahib.
Sri Guru Granth Sahib.
Sri Guru Granth Sahib.
Sri Guru Granth Sahib.
Sri Guru Granth Sahib.
Sri Guru Granth Sahib.
Uncloaking Mirza Ghulam Ahmad's Guru Nanak