At the recent killing of Dr. Muhammad Shakil Auj, who was the dean of Islamic Studies at the state-run University of Karachi by extremists in Pakistan, I want to narrate a phenomenon that Muslims may need reminding of. First Pakistan came for the Ahmadis, then the Shias, and now it is other Sunnis as well whom the Mullahs do not agree with. This was only a matter of time.
Extremist Mullahs (who claim to be Muslims) have existed since the inception of Islam to oppose the innocent and truthful spiritual heirs of the Prophet Muhammad (sa). The latter were only widely accepted by Muslims hundreds of years after their deaths. The following is a list of the divines of Islam who were opposed by the Mullahs of their time.
During the Life of the Prophet:
– Prophet Muhammad (sa) himself was opposed by the Munāfiqīn (the hypocrites) and their leader Abdullāh bin Ubayy bin Sulūl, who spread discord and tried to create a civil war among the Muslims, and insulted the Prophet Muhammad (sa) many times, yet claiming to be his followers on the exterior
1st Century Hijrah:
– The third Caliph, Hadrat ‘Uthmān (ra) was killed by extremist Muslims from Egypt, under the guile of Abdullāh bin Saba’, a Mullah of his time (he was a so-called Muslim convert from Judaism)
– The fourth Caliph, Imām ‘Alī (karamAllāhu wajuhū) killed by the Mullahs of his time, the Khawārij group who refused to accept his authority as the Caliph
– The grandson of the Prophet (sa) and fifth rightly-guided Caliph Imām Hassan (ra) poisoned to death by the great Mullah Yazīd
– The other grandson of the Prophet (sa) Imām Hussayn brutally martyred by the Mullah Yazīd along with 80 members of the Prophet’s (sa) family at Karbala, Iraq
– Imām al-Ḥakīm al-Tirmidhī, a great Sūfī of his time and Sunni jurist, had to flee from his native city of Termiz to Balkh and later Nishapur due to the opposition of the Mullahs of his mystical writings on the concept of Seal of Prophethood
2nd Century Hijrah:
– The great Sūfī (mystic) Junayd of Baghdād, Muhammad al-Faqīh, and Imam Mālik bin Anas (founder of the Mālikī school of jurisprudence still followed by Muslims today) all were learned scholars and saintly men, who were branded as apostates and heretics
– Imām al-Nasa’ī, compiler of one of the six authentic hadīth books in the Sunni canon used today, was beaten to death by the Khawārij
– Imām Shāfi‘ī (founder of the Shāfi‘ī school of jurisprudence still followed by Muslims today) was labeled a heretic and killed by another Muslim named Fityān – who was a follower of the Mālikī school of jurisprudence – along with his followers
– Imām Abū Hanīfah, the founder of the Hanafī School of Jurisprudence (followed today by the majority of Muslims), was branded as an apostate and an infidel. He was arrested, imprisoned, tortured and poisoned. He died in prison when he was praying.
– Imām al-Tabarī, the famous historian who compiled the book “History of the Prophets and Kings” still read today, was persecuted by followers of the Hanbalī school of jurisprudence, who would pelt his house with stones. ‘Abbasid authorities actually buried Tabarī in secret due to fears of mob violence.
3rd Century Hijrah:
– The great Imām Bukhārī whose Sahīh Bukhārī is regarded as the most authentic canonical Sunni hadīth collection, was also branded as an apostate: 3,000 ‘ulamā’ (scholars) and mullahs gave evidence of apostasy against the Imām. He was exiled from Bukhara to Khartang. Even there he did not have peace from his persecutors and he prayed in anguish to Allah for refuge. He was soon gathered to his Creator.
– Another great scholar and a savant was Imām Ahmad bin Hanbal (founder of the final of the four Sunni schools of jurisprudence still followed today by Muslims – the Hanbalī school). He was imprisoned and shackled and made to walk from Tarsus to Baghdad where during Ramadan he was lashed in the burning sun.
4th Century Hijrah:
– Mansūr al-Hallāj was the famous Sūfī of his time. He was arrested, imprisoned, lashed. His limbs were severed one by one and he was eventually hanged.
5th Century Hijrah:
– Even the famous and renowned Imām al-Ghazālī did not escape from the bigoted mullahs. They branded him as an atheist, a free thinker and an apostate whose books were declared unorthodox and un-Islamic. His books were ordered to be burnt and Muslims were forbidden to speak to him. His followers, if any, were ordered to be beheaded.
– Shaykh Shahāb al-Dīn Suhrawardī was a great mystic of his time. He was executed sometime between 1191 and 1208 in Aleppo on charges of heresy, by the order of al-Malik al-Zahir, son of Saladin
– Imam Ibn Hazm of Córdoba, Spain was declared a heretic and his books were burned. He was exiled to die in the jungle of Labla, Spain.
6th Century Hijrah:
– Hadrat Shaykh ‘Abd al-Qādir Jilanī, who became known as the Sultān of Sūfīs was also denounced as a heretic and an apostate by more than 200 ‘ulamā’ under the leadership of the Mullah Abu al-Farāj bin ‘Abd al-Rahmān al-Jawzī
– Ibn Rushd (known in the west as Averroes) was tried as a heretic by the religious community of Córdova, exiled to Lucena (a largely Jewish village outside of Córdoba) his writings were banned and his books burned.
– Ibn ʿArabī, perhaps the greatest mystic philosopher of Islam in history, was reviled and deemed heretical by the Mullahs of his time and is insulted and reviled by Muslims even today (mainly Salafis/Wahhabis)
7th Century Hijrah:
– Shaykh Abu al-Hasan al-Shādhilī and Shaykh ‘Azīz bin ‘Abd al-Salām were both notable Sūfī saints and authors. Yet they were declared heretics
– Nizām al-Dīn Awliyā’, the sultān of saints of India, was also branded a heretic
– Shaykh Ibn Taymiyyah was a highly distinguished scholar, who was imprisoned for a long time in Egypt and was tortured. He died in prison.
– Shams of Tabrīz, the close associate and friend of the great mystic Mawlānā Rūm (known in the West as Rumi), was killed by Muslims
– Jalāl al-Dīn Rūmī himself was declared an apostate, as were all who followed him
8th Century Hijrah:
– Those dubbed as ‘heretics’ in this century were two important personages: one was Imam Ibn al-Qayyim, the ideological student of Shaykh Ibn Taymiyyah, who was imprisoned, humiliated, lashed and tortured.
– The other was Sūfī Tāj al-Din Sibkī, who was also harassed by the Mullahs.
9th Century Hijrah:
– Mawlānā Nur al-Dīn ‘Abd al-Rahmān Jāmī, a popular saint, was accused of heresy.
10th Century Hijrah:
– Mawlānā Ahmad Bihārī (India), a venerable sage, was martyred in Delhi for his supposed blasphemous writings.
– Sūfī Bā Yazīd Sarhaddi went to Peshawar to preach his views. He was declared a renegade and an apostate.
11th Century Hijrah:
– Shaykh Ahmad Sirhindī also known as Imām al-Rābbanī and Mujaddid Alf Thānī (reformer of the second millennium of Islam) was the Mujaddid and Reformer of this century. He was accused of heresy by the Muslim clergy before the Imperial Court of Delhi. He was imprisoned.
– Sūfī Sarmad, an Armenian Muslim who had migrated to India, was attacked by the Mullahs and then sentenced and killed by beheading
– Muhammad bin Ibrāhīm was a Persian exegete whose life was devoted to making the teachings of Islam easily understood by the common people. He was opposed by the clerics who declared him an infidel.
12th Century Hijrah:
– Mawlānā Ma‘sūm ‘Alī Shāh Mīr was a Sūfī in Deccan, South India where he got into debate with the clerics. They contrived to convince the king, ‘Alī Murād Khān that he was a traitor to his kingdom. The Sūfī was murdered and the ears and noses of his followers were cut off and their beards shaved off.
– Shāh Walī Allāh of Delhi was a Mujaddid and Reformer of the century. He translated the Holy Qur’an in Persian — the then official language of India. This enraged the Mullahs who stated that the Holy Word of God should not be translated from the original Arabic. People conspired to kill him, but he miraculously escaped unscathed.
– It is ironic that Muhammad bin ‘Abd al-Wahhāb – who was a Najdī Arab and ideological founder of the Wahhābī (Salafī) Movement – was declared a heretic by the Muftī and Imām of the Holy Ka‘bah in Mecca. As is well known, most of the Arabs of Saudi Arabia, including the Royal Family, are Wahhabis now, which is where the irony lies.
13th Century Hijrah:
– Mawlawī ‘Abdullāh Ghaznāwī, a steadfast scholar of Islam, was attacked by the half-educated mullahs at the Afghan Royal Court and was exiled. He was exiled in the reign of one Amīr and when he returned during the reign of the next Amīr, he was insulted, humiliated and thrown into jail where he died.
– Mawlānā Muhammad Qāsim Nanutwī was a disciple of Shāh ‘Abd al-Ghanī of Delhi, the Founder of the famous Deoband (India) Seminary of Islamic studies. Mawlānā Qāsim was a popular Muslim leader and a formidable debater and a scholar. He was declared an apostate and an infidel by twelve ‘ulamā’ of Mecca and 32 of Medina, because he held that the coming of a zillī/burūzī nabī [shadow prophet] (a Sūfī concept) could not and would not abrogate the position of the Prophet Muhammad as Khātam al-Nabīyyīn, Seal of the Prophets.
14th Century Hijrah:
– Hadrat Mirzā Ghulām Ahmad (as), the Mujaddid of his age as well as the Imām Mahdī of Islām, declared a heretic by many of the Muslim scholars of his age and also now. The caliphate that came after him also declared heretic and his followers (the Ahmadis) persecuted and killed not only by Mullahs but by entire Muslim states like Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, and Pakistan. Like all the other revivers of Islām before him who were rejected during their times but accepted hundreds of years later, it is the faith of Ahmadis that the majority of the Muslim world will eventually accept Hadrat Ahmad as well.
– Many innocent Muslims of the Shia stream, Sufi, and even Sunni, are being killed in the Muslim world due to the actions of Muslim extremist groups like the Taliban and ISIS, as well as Mullahs of our time whom the Prophet (sa) described in the following words:
“There will come a time upon the people when nothing will remain of Islam except its name and nothing will remain of the Qur’ān except its words. Their mosques will be splendidly furnished but destitute of guidance. Their divines will be the worst people under the Heaven; strife (fitnah) will issue from them and avert to them.” (Mishkāt al-Masābīh 1/91 Hadīth #276)
– Originally taken from Chosen Saints of God and the Bigoted Mullahs by the late official historian of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Mawlānā Dost Muhammad Shāhid (rh)
– Commonsense about Ahmadiyyat by Faizur Rasul
– With Love to the Muslims of the World by Hadrat Mirza Tahir Ahmad, Caliph IV of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community (rh)
– Biographical accounts of all of the above reformers (which anyone may personally verify for themselves)