Creed of the Deobandi Elders

The Seventeenth Question: al-Muhannad

The Seventeenth Question


Q.17: Allama Khalil Ahmad Sahranpuri, al-Muhannad ‘ala ’l-Mufannad, pp.53-55 ½ ‘Do you say that the Prophet (saw) is only superior to us like an elder brother is to a younger brother and nothing more? Did one of you write such contents in a book?

هل تقولون  إن النبي صلى الله عليه و سلم لا يفضل علينا إلا كفضل الأخ الأكبر على الأخ الأصغر لا غير؟ و هل كتب أحد منكم هذا المضمون في كتابه؟


None of us, nor our respected predecessors (buzrgun), believe this whatsoever. We do not even believe a man who has weak faith can utter the like of such misguided statements. Whoever says that the Prophet (saw) has no superiority over us except as an elder brother has over a younger brother, we believe with respect to him that he has left the fold of Islam (da’ire iman se kharij hain). The works of all of our Elders state the complete opposite of this and they expounded and clearly explained the aspects of his excellences and merits and his (saw) multiple favours upon us, the entirety of the ummah, where it is impossible to affirm even one such quality for any person from the creatures, let alone all qualities. If one invents the like of such flimsy false statements upon us or upon our Elders, it is baseless and should not be heeded at all, for indeed his (as) being the most superior of all human beings and the most honourable of all creation and his (as) leadership over all Messengers and his imamate over the Prophets is from the decisive matters which is not possible for a layperson to have doubt about at all. So, if one attributes to us the likes of such false statements, let him clarify it from our works[1] so we can show to every fair and understanding person (samajdar munsif) his ignorance and his wrong understanding (uski jahalat aur bad-fehmi) as well as his heresy and evil religiosity.

ليس أحد منا و لا من أسلافنا الكرام معتقداً بهذا  البتة و لا نظن شخصا من ضعفاء الإيمان أيضاً يتفوه بمثل هذه الخرافات و من يقول : إن النبي عليه السلام ليس له فضل علينا إلا كما يفضل الأخ الأكبر على الأصغر، فنعتقد في حقه أنه خارج عن دائرة الإيمان و قد صرحت تصانيف جميع الأكابر من أسلافنا بخلاف ذلك، و قد بينوا و صرحوا و حرروا وجوه فضائله إحساناته عليه السلام علينا معشر الأمة بوجوه عديدة، بحيث لا يمكن إثبات مثل بعض تلك الوجوه لشخص من الخلائق  فضلا عن جملتها و إن افترى أحد بمثل هذه الخرافات الواهية علينا أو على أسلافنا    فلا أصل له و لا ينبغي أن يلتفت إليه أصلا،  فإن كونه عليه السلام أفضل البشر قاطبة و أشرف الخلق كافة  و سيادته  عليه السلام على المرسلين جميعا و إمامته النبيين من الأمور القطعية التي لا يمكن لأدنى مسلم أن يتردد فيه أصلا و مع هذا إن نسب إلينا أحدا من أمثال هذه الخرافات فليبين محله من تصانيفنا حتى تظهر من كل منصف فيهم جهالته و سوء فهمه مع إلحاده و سوء تدينه بحوله تعالى و قوته القوية



[1] One such work is Shah Ismail Ibn ‘Abd al-Ghani al-Dihlawi’s remarks in his book expounding the tenets of Islamic monotheism Taqwiyat al-Iman. It has been one of the many sources for intra-Hanafi theological schism within the sub-continent due to the ostensible implications of disparagement against the Prophet and his status. In one place in the book it states (in translation from, p.73:

It means that all the human beings are brothers to one another. The one who is the most elderly and the most pious is an elder brother. We should respect such a person just like our elder brother. Allah is the Rabb of all and therefore, we should worship none but Him alone. Thus we understand that all the people who are close to Allah, regardless of whether they are Messengers or saints, are none but the helpless slaves of Allah and are our brothers and as long as Allah has bestowed on them marks of greatness, they are like our brothers and we are instructed to obey them. Since we are younger to them, we are instructed to respect them in their capacity as human beings only without giving them a Divine status (i.e. without making them an object of worship).

See Sh. Abu ’l-Hasan Nadwi’s translation of the Taqwiyat al-Iman entitled Risalat al-Tawhid from Urdu into Arabic published by the Ministry of Religious Affairs, Saudi Arabia available here at and finally cf. the blunt review by G. F. Haddad at and its equally blunt rebuttal found at and the references therein.


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