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Answering Gibril Fouad Haddad, His book ‘Al-Albani and his Friends’ And The Barelvi Sufis – Part 1 – The Issue of Calling Oneself Abdul-Mustafa or Abdun-Nabi

Compiled, Translated and Annotated
Abu Hibban & Abu Khuzaimah Ansaari


All praise be to Allaah Jalo Wa A’la the lord of the creation and of all that exists we praise him seek his aid and assistance, and may there salutations upon the Last and final Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee Was-Sallam) in abundance.

Very recently , Gibril Fouad Haddad published a book titled, ‘Albani and his freinds’, Haddad a rabid soofee has attempted to rebuke and refute theScholars of Ahlus-Sunnah.

To proceed:

Without lengthening this introduction and wanting to address the issues and points, it will not be inappropriate to mention some background with regards to this epistle that is to be presented inshallaah. As is well-known ash-Shaikh al-Allaamah Ehsaan Elaahee Zaheer rahimahullah authored a monumental book against the extreme and misguided Soofee sect, the Bareilwee’s.

The scholarly level and standard of this book is not hidden from anyone and it is well accepted and acknowledged to be a classical work However in recent times a criminal, an individual upon heretical ways, Gibril Fouad Haddad has attempted to answer this book in a brief manner, but unfortunately has failed miserably and thereby discredited himself and his misguided soofee cult, their methodology aswell as these central issues, it would have been better if he had not undertaken this task thereby preventing the misguidance of others and himself.

Some of his answers to some chapters were so poor and based upon ignorance that we had no choice but not to answer them. what we saw fit to answer then Inshallaah it will presented, and all help and aid is sought from Allaah alone, the creator of creation.

Therefore what follows are replies to what Gibril Haddad compiled

Part 1

The Issue of Calling Oneself Abdul-Mustafa or Abdun-Nabee

The summary of the article is, Haddad brings names of a number of people with the name Abd un-Nabee thereby trying to prove it is permissible because a large number of people kept this name. Secondly he deduces that Shaah Ismaa’eel Shaheed’s book in English has an introduction by a one named Ghulaam Rasool therefore why the double standards and thirdly be brings a poem.

We do not wish to paste the whole of his article, however when necessary we will paste what is needed, as for those wanting to see what he wrote then this will not be far from an internet search So from all this it can be seen he does not mention anything to prove his claim all he has done is to present some information and as usual, as the great diversion tactician that he is, nothing gets answered in the scholarly manner that we would have liked to have seen.

It is also to be noted here the point of contention was keeping the name Abdul-Mustafa as Ahmad Raza Khaan kept for himself and not Abdun- Nabee, yet Haddad brings a list of names that were Abdun-Nabee only.

However as this discussion has opened we also will see what is said concerning this. We also need to note that Ahmad Raza Khaan did not only call himself Abdul-Mustafa but would also refer to himself with this name and more importantly Haddad failed to realise the names that he has mentioned were the original names of those people. They did not unlike Ahmad Raza Khaan change them to Abdun-Nabee or Abdul-Mustafa, as we know from Bareilwee sources that his real name was something different and he was given various other names by members of his household.

As Shaikh Allaamah Ehsaan Elaahee Zaheer mentioned in al-Bareilwiyyah,

“He was named Muhammad, his mother kept the name Aman Mian, his father Ahmad Mian and his grandfather called him Ahmad Raza.” (A’la Hadhrat pg.25 of Bastawee). “But Ahmad Raza was not satisfied with any of these names and kept the name Abdul-Mustafa for himself.” (Mann Huwa Ahmad Raza pg.15 of Shuja’at Qaadiree, refer to al-Bareilwiyyah)

Ahmad Raza Khaan and went one step further and said,

“The believer is really the one who is Abdul-Mustafa.” (Fataawa Ifreeqiyyah pp.28-29).

Meaning that the believer is a believer when he worships the Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alahee Was-Sallam).

Allaamah Abu Muhammad ibn Hazm said,

“All the names (which contradict Tawheed) which manifest the worship of other than Allaah,then they with agreement are unlawful for example Abdul-Amr, Abdul-Ka’bah and others except Abdul-Muttalib” (See Fath ul-Majeed pg.400-401 and Qurratul-U’yyoon al-Muwahhideen pg.575).

The Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee Was-Sallam) also ordered man to change his name who had an addition to Abd, which was not from the name of Allaah. Once a tribe came to the Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee Was-Sallam) and a man was named Abdul-Hajar. So the Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee Was-Sallam) asked him,

“Whats your name?” he replied, “Abdul-Hajr.” So the Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee Was-Sallam) said to him, “Your name is Abdul-Allaah (now.) (Transmitted by Ibn Abee Shaybah in Musannaf)

Dear readers please note importantly that, Ahmad Raza Khan was named ‘Muhammad’ but he was not satisfied with this and therefore changed it to Abdul-Mustafa.

It is known that there is virtue and blessings in the name of Muhammad and there would be no reason to change this name. The name Muhammad and the names of other Prophets are also virtuous.

Hence Allaamah Minawee said,

“After the (naming of) names of Allaah the names of the Prophets and Messengers (Alayhis-Salaam) should be given precedence because Prophets and Messengers were the most best and pious from the people amongst their nations, Just as their manners, actions, taqwaa and status was great and lofty then their names were also good and virtuous, hence being named with the names of the Prophets (Alayhis-Salaam) is a means of virtue.” (Faidh al-Qadeer 3/246)

Imaam Bukhaari has established a specific chapter in his Saheeh,

“Baab Mann Samma Baa-Asmaa al-Ambiyaa” (Chapter From Naming the names of the Prophets.) (Saheeh ul-Bukhaari with Fath ul-Baaree 10/577)

Similarly Imaam Nawawee in his Explanation of Saheeh Muslim established a similar Chapter heading,

“Baab at-Tasamma Baa-Asmaa al Ambiya Was-Saaliheen.”

Imaam Bukhaari has established another Chapter heading in his Saheeh more specific to the name of Muhammad,

“Baab Qaul an-Nabee Sallalahu Alayhee Was-Sallam Samwaa Baa-Asamaa WaLaa Takoonu Bee-Kunniyatee” (Chapter the Statement of the Prophet: name yourselves on my name And do not use My Kunyah” and he then presents the hadeeth of Abu Hurairah (the same as the chapter heading). (Saheeh al-Bukhaari Ma’a Fath 10/571 and Sunan Abee Dawood Ma’a Au’n al-Ma’bood 4/446).

Imaam Nawawee said,

“A group of the companions have narrated this hadeeth which include Jaabir and Abu Hurairah.” (Adhkaar pg.261 of Nawawee)

Many Scholars have established lengthy chapters in mentioning the virtues of the name Muhammad and some even authored books specific to this name, such as Haafidh Ibn Bakeer as-Sairfee authored, “Fadhal Mann Asmah Ahmad Wa Muhammad.”

So for someone now to change his name from Muhammad to Abdul- Mustafa is something indeed strange. Some may argue that Mustafa is the name of the Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee Was-Sallam), then this is correct and if Ahmad Raza had re-named himself Mustafa then this would have also been admirable and something virtuous, but he does not do so rather he calls himself the Abd (slave) of Mustafa.

The word Abd literally means slave in the context of worship ie the slave of Allaah similarly to Abid, the worshiper. So when Abd is used in names it solely devoted based upon the concept of worship, therefore this necessitates a name of Allaah should follow it to denote he is a slave of Allaah. Mr Haddad argues Abd is also used in the context of a servant or

slave and therefore when it is said Abdul-Mustafa it refers to the servant of the Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee Was-Sallam), but we say in the custom of the Arabic language you do not find people calling or referring to their servants or slaves as Abd, rather they refer to them as Ghulaam, which also means slave or servant.

It is narrated by Abdullaah bin Umar who said the Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee Was-Sallam) said,

“The most beloved names with Allaah are Abdullaah and Abdur-Rahmaan.” (Saheeh Muslim 2/206, Abu Dawood with Au’n 4/443, Tirmidhee with Tuhfa 4/28, Ibn Maajah 1/273, Daarimee 2/380, Musnad Ahmad 2/128, Baihaqee 9/306, Mustadrak al-Haakim 4/274).

Allaamah Raaghib said,

“Abd and A’boodiyyah (Servitude) is the expressing of humility and E’baadah is an expansion and also explanatory of Abd and it means to humble oneself and no one is worthy of it except the one who is most deserving of it and who has favoured the people the most, and that is the dhaat of Allaah ONLY.” (al-Mufradaat Fee Ghareeb al-Qur’aan 1/319).

Allaamah Muhammad Murtadha Zubaidee Hanafee said something very similar that Abd refers to the servitude of the one who is most deserving of it with humilty. (Refer to Taaj al-Uroos 2/410).

Allaamah Ibn Manzoor Afreeqee said the same in his Leesaan ul-Arab (3/271) and mentions the hadeeth of Abu Hurairah from Saheeh Muslim which is to follow next, Allaamah Ibn Manzoor goes onto say,

“Because they would associate their servitude (Abdiyyah) to themselves and this is specific only to Allaah alone because is the Rabb of the E’baad (the slaves) and all the people are his E’baad (slaves).

Hence The illustrious companion one of the great Imaams of Ahlul Hadeeth, Abu Hurairah said,

“Without doubt the Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee Was-Sallam) said, “No one should say ‘my slave or my ummatee because all of you are the slaves of Allaah and all your women are the female slaves of Allaah, rather you should say my servant or maid.” (Saheeh Muslim 2/238)

Mr Haddad also raises this point when mentioning the English edition of Taqwiyyatul -Eemaan, wherein the introducer of the book, is Ghulaam Rasool Mehr. So Haddad excitingly says,

“The strange statement that to name oneself Abd al-Rasul al-Nabi or Ghulam al-Rasul/al-Nabi is shirk? originates in the book of Shah Isma`il Dihlawi titled Taqwiyat al-Iman [cf. Darussalam English edition p. 42, p. 54, p. 141]. It is ironic that the preface to the English edition of this book is signed precisely by one Ghulam Rasool Mehr, since Ghulam also means slave in Arabic.”

There is a great lie here, which Mr Haddad thought he would mention it would go unnoticed, and that is no.1 lies on by saying we say it is Shirk to use the names Ghulaam Rasool or Ghulaam Nabee, no.2 he equates Abdun-Nabee And Abdur-Rasool with Ghulaam Nabee and Ghulaam Rasool and no.3 that Shaah Ismaa’eel Shaheed Dehlwee has refuted and reprimanded the usage of the name Ghulaam Nabee or Ghulaam Rasool.

If one looks at the page references cited by Mr Haddad then one will come to know that the names Shaah Ismaa’eel was referring to were Abdun-Nabee, and prefixes with Baksh and Ghulaams to Muhiuddin and Moinuddin, no where at all does he mention the names of Ghulaam Rasool or Ghulaam Nabee.

The word Ghulaam as mentioned before means slave or servant and not worshipper (as Abd means worshipper), it is this distinction which Haddad and his associates fail to realise. In addition to this Ghulaam Rasool or Ghulaam Nabee literally mean the servants of the Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee Was-Sallam), ie they spread his authentic Sunnah, stick to it and encourage, warn from Bida’h and practices contrary to the Sunnah, they mention the virtues and lofty status of their Prophet.

Even your own Bareilwee Scholar affirms our position, he Muftee Ahmad Yaar Khaan Gujraatee Bareilwee Hanafee says,

“This prohibition is on the basis of it being highly disliked as it is not good to say Abdi (ie Abd) and it is better to say Ghulaam.” (Jaa ul-Haqq p.363).

Shaah Waleeullaah Dehlawee said,

“From the aspects of Shirk it was also that they would their offspring Abdul-Uzza and Abush-Shams and other such names. Then these names are from the central aspects of shirk and this is why the Sharee’ah has forbade such names.” (Hujjatullah al- Baalighah 1/63).

It is well known that Uzza was a female, which the people used to worship (refer to Sunan Nasaa’ee) and when Makkah was conquered the Messenger of Allaah (Sallalahu Alayhee Was-Sallam) ordered Khaalid bin Waleed (Radhiallaahu Anhu) to kill her, (refer to Tafseer Ibn Katheer 4/254. So Abdul-Uzza were such names adopted by people with regards to worship and this proves our earlier point of Abd referring solely to worship.

Ibn Hajr al-Makkee said,

“It is Haraam to name someone King of Kings because this name exclusively belongs to Allaah, similarly the same applies to the names Abdun-Nabee, Abdul-Ka’bah, Abdul-Daar, Abdul-Alee and Abdul-Hassan as these names contain Shirk.” (Sharh Minhaaj from Majmoo’a al-Fataawa 3/253.

Shaikh Mulla Alee Qaaree Hanafee said,

“The name Abdun-Nabee which is famous then this is disbelief as is apparent however if Abd is referred to something that is possessed (ie bought) or captive then it is not disbelief.” (Sharh Fiqhul-Akbar pg.238).

So this does not know mean because it is not disbelief it is permissible to use the name rather it will still remain impermissible, hence Shaikh Mulla Alee Qaaree said also,

“It is not permissible to keep the names Abdul-Haarith or Abdun-Nabee and these names which are well-known and customary amongst the people, then there is no reliability in this.” (Mirqaat Sharh Mishkaat 9/106).

Maulana Abdul Hayy Lucknowee wrote in answer to the question,

Is it permissible to keep the name Abdun-Nabee or names similar to it.” He answered, “If this name Abdun-Nabee is kept with regards to belief then it is clear shirk… ” (Majmoo’a al-Fataawa 3/95)

He also said whilst asked the question,

“Is it correct to keep the names Abdul-Rasool or Abdul-Hussain.” He answered, “Such names which have an addition to the name Abd, which is in reference to someone other than Allaah (ie Nabee or Rasool) then it is not correct in the Sharee’ah. So any names of this nature are not free of shirk. The Qur’aan and Sunnah indicate the prohibition of keeping such names and the scholars of the Ummah of Muhammad have continuously clarified this issue.” (Majmoo’a Fataawa 2/327).

It should also be noted that Haddad has used the kunyah Abdul-Mustafa for himself, after all the discussion that has preceded we have come to know this is impermissible without a doubt. To continue the discussion further we ask to what extent is keeping the name Gibril permissible, as Gibril is the name of Angel.

Haafidh Imaam Ibn Qayyim said,

“It is unlwaful to call humans based upon the names of Angels.” (Tuhfatul-Mawlood pg.94).

Ashab said,

“When Imaam Maalik was asked concerning keeping the name of the Angel Jibreel (Haddad spells it as Gibril) (for humans) he replied it is unlawful.” (Qadhee A’yaadh has also mentioned this from Imaam Maalik).

Imaam Bukhaari also brings a report in his Taareekh al-Kabeer in which the Messenger of Allaah (Sallaahu Alayhee Was-Sallam) advised keeping the names of the Prophets and prohibited the names of the Angels.

Although Imaam Baihaqee has reported from Imaam Bukhaari who said this chain needs to be looked into. So we say neither is the Kunyah Abdul-Mustafa permissible and nor is the name of Gibril, so we ask you oh you Rabid soofee with what face have you claimed your legitimacy with

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