The Notion of Fasting In Islam and Other Religions

Fasting has been a universal religious practice in many religions and within both Eastern and Western societies. From the earliest times, abstinence from eating food or drinking water has been observed for a variety of purposes, some of them being spiritual purification, repentance, mourning, sacrifice, atonement of sins and enhancement of knowledge and power. Today, fasting is also used as a treatment in Naturopathy as well as Ayurveda. Modern medical sciences have proved multiple health benefits gained from fasting. But here we are to talk about the forms and objectives of fasting in world religions:

Fasting in Hinduism:

Fasting is one of the fundamental practices of Hinduism. Hindu devotees are exhorted to fast every once, twice, or thrice a week for the sake of Gods or Goddesses. On their fast days, they also engage in prayer and meditation especially during the nights. The core essence of Hindu fasting is the denial of the physical needs of the body for the sake of spiritual gains. One is encouraged to undergo bodily sufferings and endure hunger and hardship, so his sins would lessen. It is like punishing oneself. So, instead of God punishing him, he punishes himself. Hindus believe this would lessen some of his sins and he would have more good times in his life. According to Hindu scriptures, fasting helps build a personal attachment with the Almighty God by establishing a harmonious relationship between the body and the soul. They say that fasting deters one from indulging in mundane affairs and worldly desires allowing time for spiritual attainment and paying the way to get closer to God. Vedic scriptures enjoin observing a complete fast on the day of Ekadashi. Everyone from the age of eight to eighty, irrespective of caste, gender, or any material consideration, is supposed to abstain from both food and water on this day.

Fasting in Judaism

Fasting in Judaism has myriad objectives. It is seen as both inner-directed and outer-directed in Biblical and rabbinic scriptures. By their act of fasting, Jews invoke God to act graciously towards Israel. While collective fasts are observed to arouse the compassion of the Lord for the whole Jewish community, personal fasts are performed as atonement for individual sins. Jewish bride and groom fast on their wedding day to begin their married life in a state of purity and sanctity, as the act of fasting atones for the previous sins of the couple.

We find comparatively few regular fast-days in Jewish calendar. Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement), is the most important fast-day for the Jews, as it has been motioned in the Mosaic Law:

“On the tenth day of the appointed month in early autumn, you must deny yourselves. Neither native-born Israelites nor foreigners living among you may do any kind of work. This is a permanent law for you. 30On that day offerings of purification will be made for you, and you will be purified in the Lord’s presence from all your sins. 31It will be a Sabbath day of complete rest for you, and you must deny yourselves” (Leviticus 16:29-31).

Yom Kippur is believed to be the most significant and serious day in the Jewish calendar, which is observed for repenting and grieving for the sins committed in the past as well as praying for forgiveness.

In Judaism, one purpose of fasting is to lower the volume on physical pursuits in order to focus more acutely on our spiritual selves.

Fasting in Christianity

Unger’s Bible Dictionary explains that the word fast in the Bible is from the Hebrew word sum, meaning “to cover” the mouth, or from the Greek word nesteuo, meaning “to abstain.” It means to go without eating and drinking (Esther 4:16). The form of fast prescribed by Jesus Christ was quite similar to the Jewish fast. Therefore, it must have been complete abstinence from food and drink, as it is obvious from the following Sermon on the Mount, in which Jesus Christ instructed his earliest disciples to observe fast:

“And when you fast, don’t make it obvious, as the hypocrites do, for they try to look miserable and dishevelled so people will admire them for their fasting. I tell you the truth that is the only reward they will ever get. 17But when you fast, comb your hair and wash your face. 18Then no one will notice that you are fasting, except your Father, who knows what you do in private. And your Father, who sees everything, will reward you” (Matthew 6:16).

Although the true form of fasting in Christianity is complete abstinence from food and drink, many Christians today don’t observe it. They drink water or juice, eat certain foods and skip certain meals during the fast, or just avoid eating meat for a few days. But some Christians abstain from both food and drink.

In Catholicism, fasting is considered an exercise that helps strengthen spiritually. By giving up something that isn’t sinful helps Catholics control their fleshly desires and maintain bonds with the poor. Lent, a forty-day period of fasting is observed by Roman Catholic, Anglican, and certain other churches in emulation of Jesus Christ’s example of his fast in the deserts of Judea. The Good Friday fast commemorates the day Christ suffered. Recently, Evangelical fasts have become increasingly popular, with people fasting for spiritual nourishment, solidarity with impoverished people. In some Christian societies, fasting is also observed to advance a political or social-justice agenda. As for Protestants, they consider fasting, usually accompanied by prayer, to be an important part of their personal spiritual experience.

Fasting in Islam

Fasting is the one of the five pillars of Islam. It is mandatory for every Muslim male and female to observe fasts during the month of Ramadan. The form of Islamic fasting is to completely abandon food, drink and sexual intercourse from daybreak to sunset. The fasting person should be adult (one who has reached puberty), sane, healthy, and not travelling, as the Qur’an points out:

The month of Ramadan [is that] in which the Qur’an was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for the people and clear proofs of guidance and criterion. So whoever sights [the new moon of] the month, let him fast it; and whoever is ill or on a journey – then an equal number of other days. Allah intends for you ease and does not intend for you hardship and [wants] for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful. (2:185)

The chief objective of Islamic fasting, as enunciated in the Quranic injunctions and Prophetic traditions, is al-Taqwa; meaning righteousness and God-consciousness. The Quran is very clear in its fundamental objective of enjoining fasts upon Muslims. It says: “O ye who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you as it was prescribed to those before you, that ye may become righteous (achieve Taqwa).” (2:183).

So, the essence of fasting in Ramadan is Taqwa, or righteousness, which Muslims are required to observe throughout the whole blessed month of Ramadan and onward.

The Islamic notion of fasting is comparatively broader and more result-oriented. Islam introduced a radical shift in the meaning, form and spirit of the fast. It made the fast more natural and effective. Before Islam, fasting was seen as a symbol of sadness, mourning, atonement for the sins, a reminder of disasters as well as self – mortification, but Islam radicalized such doom and gloom notions of fasting, into an enlightened concept of righteousness and God-consciousness.

اسلام اور دیگر مذاہب میں روزہ کا تصور

روزہ بہت سے مذاہب میں اور مشرقی اور مغربی دونوں معاشروں میں ایک آفاقی مذہبی معمول رہا ہے۔ قدیم ترین زمانے سے ہی کھانے یا پینے سے پرہیز کرنے پر مختلف مقاصد کے تحت عمل کیا جا رہا ہے، ان میں سے کچھ روحانی طہارت، توبہ، سوگ، قربانی، گناہوں کا کفارہ اور علم اور طاقت میں اضافہ کرنا ہے۔ آج روزہ فطری معالجہ اور آیور وید میں ایک علاج کے طور پر بھی رکھا جاتا ہے۔ جدید میڈیکل سائنسز نے روزےسے صحت کے بڑے فوائد ثابت کئے ہیں۔ لیکن یہاں ہمیں دنیا کے مذاہب میں روزے کی شکل اور اس کے مقاصد کے بارے میں بات کرنی ہے :
ہندو مت میں روزہ :
روزہ ہندو مذہب کے بنیادی معمولات میں سے ایک ہے۔ ہندو مذہب کے پیرو کاروں کو دیوی اور دیوتاؤں کی خاطر ہفتے میں ایک، دو یا تین مرتبہ زوزہ کا حکم دیا گیا ہے ۔ اپنے روزے کے ایام میں وہ عبادت اور مراقبہ میں مشغول ہوتے ہیں خاص طور پر راتوں میں ۔ ہندو مذہب میں روزے کا بنیادی مقصد روحانی فوائد کی خاطر جسمانی ضروریات سے باز رہنا ہے۔ انہیں جسمانی تکالیف سے گزرنے اور بھوک اور مصیبتوں کو برداشت کرنے کی حوصلہ افزائی کی جاتی ہے، تاکہ ان کے گناہ کم ہوں ۔ یہ خود کو سزا دینے کی طرح ہے۔ لہذا خدا کے ذریعہ سزا پانے کے بجائے وہ خود کو سزا دیتے ہیں ۔ ہندوؤں کا یہ مانناہے کہ اس سے ان کے گناہ کم ہوں گے اور اس سے زندگی میں اور زیادہ اچھا حالات ہوں گے ۔ ہندو صحیفوں کے مطابق، روزہ جسم اور روح کے درمیان ایک پرامن تعلق کے قیام کے ذریعہ خدا تعالی کے ساتھ ایک ذاتی تعلق استوار کرنے میں معاون ہے۔ ان کا کہنا ہے کہ روزہ اکتساب روحانیت کا موقع فراہم کر کے اور خدا کی قریب حاصل کرنے کے راستے دکھا کر انسان کو دنیاوی معاملات اور خواہشات میں ملوث ہونے سے باز رکھتا ہے ۔ ویدک صحیفے ایکادشی کے دن ایک مکمل روزہ رکھنے کا حکم دیتے ہیں ۔ ذات، جنس، یا کسی بھی مادی حیثیت سے قطع نظر آٹھ سال سے اسی برس تک کے تمام لوگوں کواس دن کھانا اور پانی دونوں سے پرہیز کرنا ہے۔
یہودیت میں روزہ :
یہودیت میں روزہ کے بے شمار مقاصد ہیں۔ اور بائبل اور عبرانی صحیفوں میں اسے اندرونی ہدایت اور بیرونی ہدایت دونوں کے طور پر دیکھا جاتا ہے۔ روزے کے ذریعہ ، یہودی خدا سے اسرائیل کی طرف نظر رحمت کی دعا کرتے ہیں ۔ اجتماعی روزے پوری یہودی کمیونٹی کے لئے خداکی رحمت کو متوجہ کرنے کے لئے رکھے جاتے ہیں ، جبکہ ذاتی روزے انفرادی گناہوں کے لئے کفارہ کے طور پر رکھے جاتے ہیں۔ یہودی دولہا اور دلہن پاکیزگی اور تقدس کے ساتھ اپنی ازدواجی زندگی شروع کرنے کے لئے اپنی شادی کے دن روزہ رکھتے ہیں اس لئے کہ روزہ اس جوڑے کے سارے پچھلے گناہ کا کفارہ ہوتا ہے ۔
ہم یہودی کیلنڈر میں نسبتا چند باقاعدہ روزے کے ایام پاتے ہیں ۔ یوم کبور (کفارہ کا دن) یہودیوں کے لئے سب سے اہم روزے کا دن ہے جیسا کہ یہ شریعت موسوی کے قانون میں مذکور ہے :
“ابتدائی موسم خزاں میں مقررہ مہینے کے دسویں دن تمہیں اپنی ذات سے پہلو تہی کرنی چاہیے۔ نہ ہی کوئی اسرائیلی اور نہ ہی تمہارے درمیان رہنے والا غیر ملکی کوئی بھی کام کر سکتا ہے ۔ یہ تمہارے لئے ایک مستقل قانون ہے۔ 30 تمہیں اس دن طہارت عطا کی جائے گی ، اور تم خدا کی بارگاہ میں تمام گناہوں سے پاک کردئے جاؤ گے ۔31 یوم سبت تمہارے لئے مکمل آرام کا دن ہو گا اس دن تم خود سے پہلو تہی کر لوگے (احبار 31 16:29) ” ۔
یوم کبور یہودی کیلنڈر میں سب سے اہم اور سنگین دن خیال کیا جاتا ہے، جو کہ ماضی میں کئے گئے گناہوں کی توبہ اور اس پر نادم ہونے اور معافی کی دعا کرنے کے لئے بھی منایا جاتا ہے۔
یہودیت میں روزے ایک مقصد اپنی روحانیت پر سختی کے ساتھ توجہ مرکوز کرنے کے لئے جسمانی سرگرمیوں کو کم کرنا ہے۔
عیسائیت میں روزہ :
انگریزی کی بائبل ڈکشنری سے یہ پتہ چلتا ہے کہ بائبل میں لفظ روزہ (fast) عبرانی زبان کے لفظ سم (sum) سے نکلا ہے جس کا مطلب منہ کو ‘ڈھکنا’ ہے یا یونانی لفظ (nesteuo) سے ہے جس کا مطلب ‘‘پرہیز کرنا’’ ہے اس کا مطلب کھائے پیئے بغیر رہنا ہے (آستر 4:16) ۔ حضرت یسوع مسیح کے ذریعہ بیان کی گئی روزے کی شکل یہودیوں کے ہی روزے کی طرح ہے ۔ لہذا، ضرور یہ، کھانے پینے سے مکمل پرہیز ہوگا جیسا کہ یہ پہاڑ پر مندرجہ ذیل وعظ سے واضح ہے جس میں یسوع مسیح نے اپنے قدیم ترین شاگردوں کو روزہ رکھنے کی ہدایت دی :
“اور جب بھی تم روزہ رکھو تو اسے ظاہر نہ کرو جیسا کہ منافق کرتے ہیں، اس لئے کہ وہ شکستہ حال اور پریشان دکھنے کی کوشش کر تے ہیں تاکہ لوگ روزہ رکھنے کے لئے ان کی تعریف کریں ۔ میں تمہیں سچائی بتا تا ہوں کہ صرف وہ اجر ہی ہے جو انہیں ملے گا ۔ 17جب تم روزہ رکھو تو کنگھی کرو اور اپنا چہرہ دھوؤ ۔ 18 اس لئے کہ کوئی یہ نہیں جان سکے گا کہ تم روزے سے ہو ، سوائے تمہارے خدا کہ جو کہ ان تمام باتوں کو جانتا ہے جو تم خفیہ طور پر کرتے ہو۔ اور تمہارا خدا جو سب کچھ دیکھتا ہے تمہیں اس کااجروثواب دے گا (متی 6:16) ” ۔
تاہم عیسائیت میں روزہ رکھنے کی اصلی شکل کھانے پینے سے مکمل پرہیز ہے، لیکن بہت سے عیسائی آج اس پر عمل نہیں کرتے ۔ وہ پانی یا جوس پیتے ہیں مخصوص کھانے کھاتے ہیں اور روزہ کے دوران کچھ خاص کھانوں سے پرہیز کرتے ہیں ، یا صرف کچھ دنوں تک گوشت کھانے سے پر ہیز کرتے ہیں ۔ لیکن بعض عیسائی کھانے پینے دونوں سے پرہیز کرتے ہیں ۔
کیتھولک عیسائیت میں روزے کو ایک ایسا معمول سمجھا جاتا جو روحانی طور پر مضبوطی فراہم کرتا ہے ۔ ایسی چیز کو چھوڑ کر جو کہ گناہ نہیں ہے کیتھولک اپنی شہوانی خواہشات پر قابو پاتے اور غریبوں کے ساتھ رشتوں کو برقرار رکھتے ہیں ۔ یہودیہ کے ریگستان میں یسوع مسیح کی مثال کی ہمسری میں رومن کیتھولک انگریز اور بعض دیگر گرجا گھر کے ذریعہ روزے چالیس دن کا روزہ رکھا جاتا ہے۔ گڈ فرائیڈے کا روزہ اس دن کی یاد میں منایا جاتا ہے جب عیسیٰ مسیح کو ایذا دی گئی ۔ حال ہی میں، انجیلی روزے تیزی سے مقبول ہوئے ہیں جنہیں لوگ روحانی تغذیہ اور غریبوں کے ساتھ اتحاد کے لئے رکھ رہے ہیں ۔ کچھ عیسائی معاشروں میں روزے ایک سیاسی یا سماجی انصاف کے ایجنڈے کو آگے بڑھانے کے لئے رکھے جاتے ہیں ۔ جہاں تک پروٹسٹنٹ کا تعلق ہے، وہ ذاتی روحانی تجربے کا ایک اہم حصہ بننے کے لئے عام طور پر روزے کو نماز کے ساتھ شمار کرتے ہیں ۔
اسلام میں روزہ
روزہ اسلام کے پانچ ستونوں میں سے ایک ہے۔ رمضان المبارک کے مہینے میں روزے رکھنا ہر مسلمان مرد اور خواتین پر فرض ہے۔ اسلامی روزے کی شکل صبح سے لے کر غروب آفتاب تک مکمل طور پر کھانے پینے پر اور جنسی تعلقات کو ترک کرنا ہے۔ روزہ دار بالغ سمجھدار صحت مند اور مقیم ہونا چاہئے جیسا کہ قرآن فرماتا ہے :
‘‘(روزوں کا مہینہ) رمضان کا مہینہ (ہے) جس میں قرآن (اول اول) نازل ہوا جو لوگوں کا رہنما ہے اور (جس میں) ہدایت کی کھلی نشانیاں ہیں اور (جو حق و باطل کو) الگ الگ کرنے والا ہے تو جو کوئی تم میں سے اس مہینے میں موجود ہو چاہیئے کہ پورے مہینے کے روزے رکھے اور جو بیمار ہو یا سفر میں ہو تو دوسرے دنوں میں (رکھ کر) ان کا شمار پورا کرلے۔ خدا تمہارے حق میں آسانی چاہتا ہے اور سختی نہیں چاہتا اور (یہ آسانی کا حکم) اس لئے (دیا گیا ہے) کہ تم روزوں کا شمار پورا کرلو اور اس احسان کے بدلے کہ خدا نے تم کو ہدایت بخشی ہے تم اس کو بزرگی سے یاد کر واور اس کا شکر کرو’’۔ (2:185)
اسلامی روزے کا اہم مقصد جیسا کہ قرآنی احکامات اور احادیث میں بیان کیا گیا ہے تقوی اور نیکی ہے۔ قرآن مجید مسلمانوں کو روزے رکھنے کا حکم دینے کے اپنے بنیادی مقصد میں انتہائی واضح ہے قرآن فرماتا ہے : “مومنو! تم پر روزے فرض کئے گئے ہیں۔ جس طرح تم سے پہلے لوگوں پر فرض کئے گئے تھے تاکہ تم پرہیزگار بنو۔ “(2:183)۔
لہذا رمضان المبارک میں روزہ رکھنے کا مقصد تقویٰ یا نیکی ہے جسے رمضان المبارک پورے مہینے میں مسلمانوں کو ادا کرنا ضروری ہے ۔
روزے کا اسلامی تصور نسبتا زیادہ وسیع اور نتیجہ خیز ہے۔ اسلام نے روزہ کے معنی، شکل اور اس کی معنویت میں ایک بنیادی تبدیلی کو متعارف کرایا ہے ۔ اس نے روزہ کو اور زیادہ فطری اور مؤثر بنا دیا ہے ۔ اسلام سے قبل، روزہ کو سوگ، اداسی، گناہوں کا کفارہ، ایک آفت کی یاد دہانی کرانے والا اور یہاں تک کہ نفس کشی کی بھی ایک علامت کے طور پر دیکھا گیا تھا، لیکن اسلام نے روزہ کے اتنے ابتر تصور کو تقویٰ اور نیکی کے روشن خیال تصور میں بدل دیا ۔

Shab-e-Barat (Laylatul Bara’at): Is it Incompatible With True Islam?

By Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi

Every moment, second, minute, hour, day or night that is spent in the submission and obedience to Allah, the Almighty and His beloved Prophet (peace be upon him) is exceedingly meaningful and highly valuable. But there are some specific days, nights and months, which have their own weight due to extra importance attached to them. Among those nights, is Shab-e-Bar’at that is the best of all nights after Laylat ul Quadr or Shab-e-Bara’at in the estimation of Allah.

How and Why Muslims Celebrate Shab-e-Bara’at?

Therefore, devoted Muslims of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan celebrate the Shab-e-Bar’at on the 15th day of Sha’aban. Although this night is not celebrated in the Arab countries, Shab-e-Bar’at also known as Laylat ul Quadr or Laylat ul Nisf min Sha’aban is a traditional Islamic festival in the South Asia.

This year, Shab-e-Bar’at will be celebrated on the 24th of June, 2013. The celebration generally includes worshipping Allah throughout the night, asking for His forgiveness, reciting the Quran and making a great deal of supplication to Allah, the Almighty. Since the night is believed to be full of divine bounties and spiritual blessings, Muslims customarily clean and decorate their houses with chains of lights and candles. Symbolizing the especial grace of God bestowed on this night, the clusters of decorated houses look very beautiful in the shimmering lights. As lightening is a clear sign of rejoicing divine bounties, it is done as an expression of gratitude to Allah, the Almighty who bestows uncountable rewards and blessings on His worshippers especially on this night. It is also a kind of salute to Him, as it is established by scores of authentic Islamic sources that on this night God writes the destiny of all living creatures for the upcoming year. Muslims with a good festive spirit add to their delights by arranging sweets and sending them to their relatives and friends. Some people organize delicious feasts and invite others to their houses to eat together. Thus, they endeavour, on this night, to adopt the noble Islamic behavioural beauty of “Sila Rahmi” (Maintaining bonds of kinship) in their daily lives. Islam has given it paramount importance as the Prophet is reported to have said:

“Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, should maintain the bonds of kinship” (Bukhari)

Among the most prevalent customs to celebrate this night are giving in charity, distributing clothes, foods and other commodities of daily use to the poor and needy. Thus the observance of this night sets good examples of Islamic righteousness mentioned as “Birr” in the Quran, which carries huge weight in the estimation of Allah and earns His immense pleasure. This concept of ‘Birr’ is beautifully illustrated in the Holy Quran:

It is not Birr (righteousness) that you turn your faces (in prayer) towards East or West; but it is righteousness to believe in God and the Last day, and the Angels and the Book, and the Messengers; to spend of your wealth – in spite of your love for it – for your kin, for orphans, for the needy, for the wayfarer, for those who ask, and for the ransom of slaves; to be steadfast in prayer and practice regular charity; to fulfill the contracts which you have made; and to be firm and patient, in pain and adversity and throughout all periods of panic. Such are the people of truth, the God – minded (Qur’an, 2:177).

So, this is how the night of mid Sha’ban is celebrated by mainstream Muslims especially in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Malaysia. Keeping in view the above norms, the core essence of celebrating Shab-e-Bar’at can be summed up in three fundamentals of Islamic worship: Ibaadat (Worshipping God), Sila Rahmi (Maintaining bonds of Kinship) and Birr (acts of righteousness). All the above-mentioned ways of celebrating the night exhort us, in one way or the other, to fulfil our duties towards both our Lord and fellow human beings. While the sleepless night spent in various forms of worship is a gratitude to God, giving in charity, helping the needy, sending sweets to friends and relatives, inviting others to the feasts and things like these are, obviously, effective means to maintain bonds of kinship and attain righteousness. These are the clear objectives of celebrating Shab-e-Bar’at as intended by millions of South-Asian Muslims today.

Wahabi View on this Celebration:

But what can we do when our Wahabi zealots and Salafi puritans declare everything we do as shirk (heresy) and Bida’ah (innovation)? They reject our religious congregations and Islamic celebrations outright even if they are observed with complete regard to the Qur’an and Hadith. The same holds true to the celebration of Laylat ul Quadr (known as Shab-e-Barat in the Indian subcontinent). Despite its having been authenticated and scrutinized by scores of Sahih Hadiths approved by their own imams such as Sheikh Al-Bani, a renowned scholar of Hadith, Wahabis are hell bent on classing it as Bida’ah. Their argument is; since it is not observed in Wahabi-influenced Arab, so it should be banned in all parts of the world. But mainstream Muslims, particularly Indian Muslims are not too naive to tolerate the Wahabi Arabisation of their religion and culture!

Recently, we caught up with an article titled as: Shab-e-Bar’at: Haqiqat Kya hai? (Shab-e-Bar’at: What is the reality?) By Muhammad Asif Iqbal, New Delhi, published and circulated in several Urdu newspapers of India including Jadeed Khabar and Sahafat, published from New Delhi. The crux of the argument in this article is that the celebration of Shab-e-Bara’at has no basis or authority in Islam and it is nothing more than an innovation which was started after the demise of the Prophet (peace be upon him). The writer says in the second Para of this article:

“The reality is that Muslim Ummah today has given this night the status of a celebration associating with it a number of specific customs and rites that they observe with strong faith and gaiety. Just as Muharram (the first Islamic month) has been made a number one celebration, similarly the night of mid Shaban is observed as a number two celebration. But in fact, it is a false and man-made celebration. Neither it is mentioned in the Quran nor does Hadith approve of it. Similarly, we don’t find any mention of it in the history of Sahaba (Prophet’s Companions) or any approval by our clergy of earliest Islamic period. Obviously, Islam is not a religion of celebrations.” (Page no.3, Daily Jadeed Khabar, New Delhi, Friday 21, June, 2013)

He goes on to the extent of declaring it a custom of Iranian fire worshippers (known as Baramikah). In a bid to prove his point, he concocts a baseless story that goes like this: “the celebration of Shab-e-Bar’at was first invented by the Iranian fire worshippers who entered Islam in the 132th year of al-Hijrah, when Banu Abbas made alliance with Iranians and other Ajamis (non-Arabs) hatching a conspiracy to take over the Umayyad caliphate that was backed by Arab militants. Though the Iranians had embraced Islam, but their inbuilt love for the fire could not evade. Therefore, they sought to keep worshipping fire by innovating a custom of lightening the mosques. When Banu Abbas took over the Umayyad caliphate, they allied with the newly converted non-Arab Muslims. As a result, many Iranians reached the big posts of the government. Baramikah were given such high positions in the Islamic state that Khalid Barmaki was made a minister. When he died in 163 AH, the Caliph Haroon al-Rashid appointed his son Yahya as the minister of Baramikah. Since Baramikah were fire worshippers in their early days, their minister Yahya invented a weird custom of lightening sacred fire in the era of Caliph Haroon al-Rashid. Associating some good deeds with the mid night of Shaban, he innovated the custom of lightening on this night. The objective behind his lightening was to evoke love and respect for the fire in the hearts of people. It was he who innovated the Bida’ah of lightening in mosques so that his people could worship the fire. Thus, the custom of firing and lightening in Islam was started 150 years after its advent. With the passage of time, it continued with various forms and changes. Today, the new shape of this custom is before our eyes.” (Page no.3, Daily Jadeed Khabar, New Delhi, Friday 21, June, 2013)


The Holy Qur’an States: “Indeed, We sent it down during a blessed night. Indeed, We were to warn [mankind].” (44:3)

Although the majority of the Qur’an exegetes consider the “blessed night” in the above verses to refer to the Night of Decree which is considered to be in the month of Ramadan, some commentaries also mention that this “blessed night” may be that of mid-Sha`ban. This view is based on the scores of Ahadith about the great merits of the latter. Consequently, a great number of the Quranic exegetes and scholars of Hadith have unanimously agreed upon the observance of this night. The famous scholar of Islam, juristic expert and the approved exegete of the Quran Imam Suyuti writes: “As for the night of mid-Sha`ban, it has great merit and it is desirable (Mustahab) to spend part of it in supererogatory worship.” [Haqiqat al-sunna wa al-bida’t aw al-Amr bi al-Ittiba` wa al-Nahi `an al-Ibtida Page No. 58]

Authentic Ahadith about the merits of Shab-e-Bara’at

Usually the Wahhabis/Salafis/Ahle Hadith are seen claiming that all Hadiths about the merits of Shab-e-Bar’at are “Daeef” (Weak). First of all, the Hadith of Ibn Habban is termed as “SAHIH” by classical scholars of this technical Islamic science. Even if any follower of such groups does not believe in the classical scholars of Hadith, here is a compelling evidence from the Salafi/Wahhabi so-called Mujaddid of the last century and a reputed scholar of Hadith, Nasir ud Din Albani. He declared Hadiths of 15th Shabaan as “Sahih” (authentic). See: (Silsilat ul-Ahadith-as Sahiha, Nasir ud din Albani, Volume No. 3, Page No. 135)

Among the Hadiths stressing the importance of 15th Sha`ban (Laylat al-Quadr) is the following:

(1) Narrated by Aisha (r.a), I missed Allah’s Messenger during the night and found him in al-Baqui’. He said: Were you afraid that Allah and His Messenger would deal unjustly with you? I said: Allah’s Messenger, I thought that you had gone to some of your other wives. He (the Prophet) said: Verily Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, comes down to the heaven of the world in “the middle night of Sha’ban” and forgives sins even more abundant than the hair of the goats of Kalb. [Sunan Tirmidhi Volume 001, Hadith Number 670, Ibn Maja Volume 002, Hadith Number1379]

(2) Narrated by Abu Musa al-Ash’ari, Allah’s Messenger said, Allah, the Exalted and Glorious looks down on “the middle night of Sha’ban” and forgives all His creation, except a polytheist or one who is mushahin(one bent on hatred). [Sunan Ibn Maja Volume 002, Hadith Number 1380]

(3)  Narrated by Abdullah Ibn Amr Ibn al-‘As Allah’s Messenger said, Allah, the Exalted and Glorious looks down on “the middle night of Sha’ban” and forgives all His creation except two people, the Mushahin (one bent on hatred) and the murderer. [Musnad Ahmad Volume 003, Hadith Number 6353]

(4) It is reported by Abu Thalaba that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: On the 15th night of Shabaan, Allah looks over at his creation and forgives all the believers except for the one who begrudges and hates. He leaves them in their enmity. [Bayhqi, Tafsir ad-Dar al-Manthur under the Verse 44:3]

(5) It is reported by Muaz bin Jabbal that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Allah looks at His creation in “the night of mid-Sha`ban” and He forgives all His creation except for a Mushrik (idolater) or a Mushahin (one bent on hatred). [Ibn Hibban, Sahih, ed. Shu`ayb Arna’ut Volume 012: Hadith Number 5665]

(6) Narrated by A’isha: She said: The Prophet (peace be upon him) stood up in prayer during part of the night and made his prostration so lengthy that I thought his soul had been taken back. When I saw this I got up and went to move his big toe, whereupon he moved, so I drew back. When he raised his head from prostration and finished praying, he (pbuh) said: “O A’isha, O fair little one (Humayra’)! Did you think that the Prophet had broken his agreement with you?” She replied: “No, by Allah, O Messenger of Allah, but I thought that your soul had been taken back because you stayed in prostration for so long.” He said: “Do you know what night this is?” She said: “Allah and His Prophet know best.” He said: “This is the night of mid-Sha`ban! Verily Allah the Glorious and Majestic look at His servants on “the night of mid-Sha`ban, and He forgives those who ask forgiveness, and He bestows mercy on those who ask mercy, and He gives a delay to the people of envy and spite in their state.”

[Bayhaqi in Shu`ab al-Iman Volume 003: Hadith Number 3835]

(7 IImran bin Husain (ra) reported, Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) having said to him or to someone else: Did you fast in the “Middle of Sha’ban?” He said: No. Thereupon he (the Holy Prophet) said: If you did not observe fast, then you should observe fast for two days. [Muslim Book 006, Number 2607]

  Scholarly Opinions

The virtue of the night of mid Shaban has been established right from the Prophet (peace be upon him) himself and has come from multiple channels of transmission from Abdullah bin Amr, Muadh, Abu Hurairah, Abu Thulabah, Awf bin Malik, Abu Bakr, Abu Musa, Aishah (May Allah be pleased with all of them) each of the narrations strengthening each other.

Imam Shafi’i writes:

“Verily, Dua is accepted on five nights: the night of Juma’, the night of Eid Al-Adha, the night of Eid Al-Fitr, the first night of Rajab, and the 15th night of Shabaan”. [Al-Umm, Volume 001, Page No. 231]

Imam Shurunbulali Hanafi writes:

“It is desirable to revive the last ten nights of Ramadan, two nights of Eidain (Eid ul-Fitr and Eid ul-Adha), ten nights of Zil Hijjah, and the 15th night of Sha`ban.” [Noorul Eidhah Page No. 63]

Shaikh Abu-Ishaq Ibrahim Al-Hanbali writes:

“It is desirable to revive the time (with Salat and Ibadah) between the two E’sha’s (Maghrib and E’sha) because of the Ahadith. Many scholars say: Similarly with the night of Ashura, the first night of Rajab, and the 15th night of Sha`ban”. [Al-Mubdi Volume 002, Page No. 27]

Sheikh Mansoor Bahoti Hanbali writes:

“As for the 15th night of Sha`ban, it is a night of virtue. Some of the Salaf prayed the whole night, although establishing congregational prayers (on this night) is good innovation. And the reward of Ibadah on “the 15th night of Sha`ban” is the same as the reward of Ibadah on the night of E’id. [Kash-shaful Qina, Volume 001: Page No. 444]

Sheikh Mubarakpuri (Salafi scholar) writes:

“You should know that a sufficient number of Ahadith have been narrated confirming “the virtues of the 15th night of Sha`ban”. All these Ahadith prove that it has a basis.

After relating many Ahadith about the importance of this night, he says:

“The sum of all these Ahadith is strong evidence against the one “who thinks there is no proof” of the virtue of the 15th night of Sha`ban” and Allah knows best. [Tuhfat ul Ahwadhi Volume 003: Page. 365-367]

Ibn-Taimiyyah when asked about the 15th night of Sha’ban replied:

‘‘As for the 15th night of Shabaan, there are many narrations and Athar (quotes from the Sahabah) regarding its virtue. It has been reported of the Salaf that they prayed in this night. Therefore, praying alone on this night, having precedence in the Salaf, is sufficient evidence and something of this kind surely cannot be denied”.

At another occasion, Ibn-Taimiyyah was asked the same question and he replied:

“If one prays on this night alone or in a select company of people as many groups amongst the Salaf did, “then it is good”. [Fatawa Ibn Taimiyyah Volume 23, Page 131-132]


To sum up, the virtues of the blessed night of mid Sha’aban are established by a Qur’anic verse, scores of authentic Ahadith and a group of the Salaf (سلف “predecessor” is an early Muslim of the first three generations of proponents of the religion). So, it is highly recommended to celebrate this night and stay up on it, and the Wahabi view declaring it Bid’ah (innovation) is a “Reprehensible” (Munkar) opinion.

Seminar: “Sufism and Humanity” in Lucknow:4th December

4th December,Lucknow

The All India Ulama & Mashaikh Board, the apex body of the Sufi Sunni Muslims in India, held a national seminar:  “Sufism and Humanity”on 4th December in Vishweshvaraiyah Auditorium in Lucknow.

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Sufi Sunni ulema and intellectuals with various backgrounds spelled-out their opinions on the current ongoings. Several Indian Sufi clerics, who run some of the largest Sunni Islamic seminaries in India, seemed worried about the growing phenomenon of pseudo-Sufism or “neo-Sufism” dressed in diametrically different political forms.


The national seminar on Sufism was held in the wake of the recently organised 33rd annual conference of the Jamat Ulama-e-Hind in the largest Sufi shrine in the country, Ajmer Dargah — perhaps for the first time in the Indian history. AIUMB averred that the Ajmer Dargah was dragged into a well-worked-out political campaign by Jamiat-Ulama-i-Hind (JUH), an avowed supporter of the Congress party. The key members of the JUH whose ideologues have clearly and categorically declared Sufism as “anti-Islamic”, chose to hold their 33rd annual conference in the prime Sufi Dargah in India, Ajmer Sharif in Rajasthan. “It was an out-and-out political attempt to woo the mainstream Indian Muslims anchored in age-old Sufi traditions”, said the various participants and speakers at the Sufi seminar in Lucknow.


It is noteworthy that the JUH had castigated the Sufi practitioners as “pseudo-Sufis” in the past. Therefore, the Sufi Ulema asked as to “how would the JUH like to brand itself now when it has held its 33rd largest annual conference in Ajmer using the prime Sufi shrine in India for its own political ends”?


The Lucknow Sufi seminar’s key participants — 30-40 Khankaah’s representatives present, 200 Ulema’s Attended and in total the auditorium was filled with 1000 person .They exhibited great zeal in strengthening the foundations of Sufism to combat all the forms of violent extremism. 15 Selected Papers were presented by Sufi Scholars.It was widely covered in the Newspapers,Specially Urdu. Few Papers gave special 4 pages in all the editions of there Newspapers.


Remarkably, while the Lucknow Sufi seminar stressed on composite nationalism (muttahida qaumiyat), inclusive democracy (jumhuriat) and pluralism (qaumi yakjehati) in its final-day declaration, the annual conclave of the JUH in Ajmer promoted the religionist and sectarian narratives.


Hazrat Maulana Syed Mohammad Ashraf, founder and president of AIUMB inaugurated the seminar and spoke at length about the misdeeds of Wahhabi/ Salafi elements that are tormenting social fabric in the country and  creating an atmosphere of  confrontation.

He also said that  AIUMB has succeeded in exposing all the Wahhabi/ Salafi elements in India and to such an extent that they are now in the process of recreating their  new identity card. He said that all of a sudden  in a long history of 100 years , Jamiate Ulema e Hind has woken up to claim Hanafi and Chishty tag to save its  reputation which has well been tainted by thier  proclaimations, practices and  presentations.

The books written by Wahhabis in these 10 decades bear testimony of their adherance to wahhaabi ideology and  their strong will to propagate the ideology through speeches, books , curriculum and teaching  and preaching.

Now they are at a loss to remain attached with the tag and want to misguide the people and the government by claiming  to be Sufis. Hazrat Khawaja Moinuddin Chishty was under attack for 100 years and now the great saint of all times has gathered the attention and respect of all those that took pride in hurting Dargah culture for decades.

The seminar was  organised at Vishweshwaraiah auditorium and was well attended function. people from all shades of life and far flung areas  from different parts of country came to attend the seminar. A memorandum was also shared with the administration on the same.

It was also stressed in the Lucknow conclave that Sufism belies all the notions which Salafism stands for. Traversing from Central Asia to the Indian subcontinent, Sufism incorporates harmonious local practices like music and qawwali which are rejected by the radicals in Islam.

Not long ago, in March 2016, World Sufi Forum was slated as the first-ever mega Sufi event of counter-extremism with more than 200 international dignitaries from 20 countries. Though seen as the first and last event as such, it, however, seems to have begun an unending onslaught on the particular ideology which the Sufi forum believes is a grave threat to the country’s pluralistic ethos.


आतंकवाद के विरुद्ध आन्दोलन का नाम हुसैनियत है

15 Oct
Syed Alamghir Ashraf

इस्लाम मानवता का धर्म है। इस्लाम शब्द ही से इस धर्म का उद्देश्य और उस का अर्थ समझ में आ जाता है। इस्लाम एक इन्सान के  निजी एवं व्यक्तिगत जीवन से लेकर उसके पारिवारिक, सामाजिक धार्मिक, राष्ट्रीय एवं अंतर्राष्ट्रीय जीवन जीने का तरीका सिखाता है। पूरे विश्व में शांति की स्थापना करने हेतु पैगम्बर मुहम्मद SAW साहब ने फ़रमाया की पड़ोसियों का ख़याल रखो। वो पड़ोसी चाहे जिस धर्म या समुदाय से सम्बन्ध रखते हो। अपने आप को किसी धर्म या समुदाय से सम्बंधित करने वाले ढोंगी हर जगह पाए जाते हैं। वो सम्बंधित धर्म और समुदाय को नुकसान पहुन्चाते हैं। उस धर्म का अपमान करते हैं। इस्लाम धर्म से अपने आप को सम्बंधित कर इस्लामी शिक्षाओं का उल्लंघन और उसे अपमानित करने वाला इस्लामी इतिहास में सब से बड़ा आतंकी और अत्याचारी व्यक्ति यज़ीद है। जिस ने पैग़म्बर SAW साहब के परिवार को शहीद किया और औरतों और बच्चों पर ज़ुल्म किया। अब अगर इस्लाम धर्म को यज़ीद की विचारधारा से देखा जाये तो उस में ज़ुल्म, अत्याचार, हिंसा और अन्याय मिलेगा। अगर इस्लाम को हुसैन के कर्मों और उनकी सोच के आधार पर देखा जाये तो इस्लाम में न्याय, शांति, प्रेम, अहिंसा सब्र और सौहार्द मिलेगा। यह एक वास्तविकता है कि अधर्म का अंत होता होता और सत्य अजर और अमर होता है। यही वजह है कि यज़ीद के अत्याचारों का सूर्य शाम के अंधेरों में डूब गया लेकिन हुसैन के सत्य की किरने आज भी हर सवेरे में चमकती हैं। आज हुसैन अ.स. सिर्फ हज़रत अली अ.स. के बेटे और हज़रात मुहम्मद SAW के नवासे नहीं रहे बल्कि क़यामत तक के लिए सत्य और असत्य, सच और झूट, धर्म और अधर्म के बीच फ़र्क और विभाजक का नाम हुसैन है। अत्याचार और अन्याय के विरुद्ध उठने वाली हर आवाज़ का नाम हुसैन है। ज़ुल्म और ज़्यादती के विरुद्ध खड़ा होने वाला हर व्यक्ति हुसैनी है। आल इण्डिया उलमा व मशाईख बोर्ड इसी हुसैनी मिशन को जन जन तक पहुँचाने का काम कर रही है। इस्लाम के नाम पर फैलाई जा रही दहशतगर्दी और उस पर हो रही घिनावनी राजनीति के विरुद्ध तमाम खानकाहों, दरगाहों और आस्तानों की सामूहिक आवाज़ बन कर आल इंडिया उलमा व मशाईख बोर्ड देश भर में गग्रुकता अभियान चला रहा है। साम्प्रदायिकता के विरुद्ध आपसी सौहार्द को बहल करने का कार्य कर रहा है। इस संगठन को विश्वास है की सूफियों और सूफीवाद में यकीन और आस्था रखने वाले लोग इस अभियान का हिस्सा बनेंगे और देश के कोने कोने में नफरत के विरुद्ध प्रेम के दीपक हर भारतीय के दिल में रोशन करेंगे। आतंकवाद और कट्टरवाद के हर रंग को मुंह तोड़ जवाब देंगे। यह देश हमारा है। हुसैन अ.स. हमारे है। उनका मिशन हमारा है। हज़रात इमाम हुसैन अ.स. ने फ़रमाया ज़ुल्म और अत्याचार के विरुद्ध जितनी देर से खड़े होगे बलिदान उतना ज्यादा देना होगा। कर्बला में हजारों यज़ीदी फ़ौज के सामने तनहा हुसैन ने ज़ालिम यज़ीद के सामने सीना तान कर यह पैगाम दिया कि ज़ुल्म सहना भी ज़ुल्म है। अकेले पर और कमजोरी की परवाह किये बगैर बुराई के खिलाफ खड़े हो जाओ। सत्य कभी कमज़ोर और तन्हा नहीं होता। आज अधर्मी और असत्य का साथी ज़ालिम यज़ीद का नाम लेने वाला कोई नहीं। कर्बला के बाद किसी माँ ने अपने बच्चे का नाम यज़ीद नहीं रखा। सत्य और धर्म की खुदाई आवाज़ बनकर हुसैन आज भी हर नेक इन्सान के दिल में बसे हैं। जब से इन्सान बेदार और जागरूक हुआ है हर कौम पुकारती है कि हमारे हैं हुसैन।

आज कुछ आतंकवादी अपने आप को मुसलमान कहते हैं और अपनी दहशत के कारोबार को इस्लाम की सेवा कहते हैं। इस्लाम के इन दुश्मनों और उस जैसी विचाधारा रखने वाले हर व्यक्ति को यह समझना होगा की इस्लाम यज़ीदी विचाधारा का नाम नहीं है इस्लाम हो हुसैन आचरण और विचारधारा का नाम है। आज के इस युग में यज़ीदी विचारधारा को वहाबी विचाधारा से जाना जाता है। जो कल यज़ीदी थे आज वही वहाबी हैं। कल भी पैगाबर ए इस्लाम के परिवार वालों ने इस विचारधारा का विरोध किया था और आज भी वो परिवार इस विचारधारा का विरोध कर रहा है। इस परिवार की सामूहिक आवाज़ का नाम आल इण्डिया उलमा व मशाईख बोर्ड है।

उलमा, मशाईख और विद्वानों का यह संगठन पिछले एक दशक से आतंकवाद और कट्टरवाद के विरुद्ध एक लम्बी लड़ाई लड़ रहा है। इस के लिए कई महासभाए और महासम्मेलन का आयोजन भी किया। इसी साल मार्च में अंतर्राष्ट्रीय सूफी सम्मेलन के नाम से एक बड़े सम्मेलन का आयोजन दिल्ली में 4 दिनों तक किया गया। इसी कड़ी को आगे बढ़ाते हुए यह संगठन आगामी 4 दिसंबर को एक सुन्नी कांफ्रेंस लखनऊ में करने जा रहा है जिस में देश भर की सूफी सज्जादा और विद्वानों को आमंत्रित किया गया है। चूँकि यह सम्मेलन देश में कट्टरता और साम्प्रदायिकता के विरुद्ध एक आन्दोलन है इस लिए यह हर भारतीय का कार्यक्रम है। इस में हर भारतीय को भाग लेना चाहिए। मीडिया बंधुओं से मुख्य रूप से निवेदन है की इस अभियान का हिस्सा बने और अपन सहयोग दें।

AIUMB condemns terror attack on Uri and demands action against Pakistan

New Delhi 23rd September

Press Release


All India Ulama & Mashaikh Board [AIUMB] has while condemning terror attack on Military camp at URI in Kashmir has criticized Pakistani establishment for creating havoc in the lives of People of Jammu & Kashmir who have otherwise identified with India and taking part in all constitutional and administrative institutions of the country.


President of the Board and founder Hazrat Maulana Syed Mohammad Ashraf Kichchawchchvi said in a statement released from Chittorgarh of Rajasthan and read in all the unit meetings that, Islam never allows killing of innocent people. The government, military establishment and secret agencies in Pakistan are working overtime to destabilize peace and tranquility in Kashmir which is disservice to Kashmir youth as they have every right to acquire higher education participate in nation building and become proud citizens of India.

In Delhi AIUMB condemned Uri Attack in demonstration led by Shah Hasan Jamee National Secretary AIUMB and Syed Farid Ahmad Nizami, Syed Shadab Hasan Rizawi. Syed Alamgir Ashraf President AIUMB Maharashtra lead a protest in Nagpur, Maulana Ale Rasul Ahmad Qadri in Lucknow (UP),Maulana Ramzan Ali Naeemi   president AIUMB Punjab in Bhatinda,Syed Salman Chishty in Ajmer . Local units of bhilwara (Rajasthan) ,Ludhiana (Punjab), Nautanwa ( Maharaj gunj,UP ) have also recorded their protest.

AIUMB president further said that the unfinished agenda in Kashmir is to get the Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) vacated from Pakistani military and government of India must pursue this part in all global forums including UN.

In meetings held today in almost all the branches of AIUMB including Head Office in New Delhi, the participants expressed anguish over the disturbances in valley since 8th July after death of a dreaded terrorist Burhan Wani of Terror outfit Hizbul Mujahedffn who was glorified  by Nawaz Sharif the Pakistani Prime Minster ignoring all the sensitivity of India.

The participants were clear in their assertion that Pakistan is destabilizing Kashmir only to divert attention of the Pakistani people who are fed with Nawaz Sharif for his bad governance or no governance.  The situation of Baluchistan, POK, Northern areas also came up for discussion with special reference to Brahabdagh Khan Bugti ,exiled son of assassinated Bloch iron man Nawab Akbar Bugti ,because Junior Bugti has prayed for political asylum in India. Atrocities on Pakistani people by Nawaz Sharif regime has created peoples unrest and so Pakistani establishment has started death and destruction in Kashmir with a strong hope of easing out local pressure.

AIUMB units all over India pledged their support to the actions to be taken by Government of India and demanded that harsh steps are taken to force Pakistan from trouble mongering in the peaceful localities, Ceasefire violations on control line and terror attacks on military establishment like Uri.

World Sufi Forum will encourage the Indian Muslims to create an environment of peace and pluralism in India: Syed Mohammad Ashraf Kichhouchhwi

Muslim Scholars Brainstorm to Organize World Sufi Forum in the AIUMB Meeting held by the Markazi Julus-e-Chishtia, Nagpur

Nagpur, Feb 08 (AIUMB press release)

The essential and inherent message of Islam is peace and security and it is guaranteed, not only for the Muslims but also for all other adherents of faith traditions, including even those who follow none. Allah sent the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as “mercy” for all worlds. Therefore, it cannot be denied that there is zero tolerance for terrorism in Islam.

These opinions were expressed by Maulana Syed Mohammad Ashraf Kichhouchhwi, president and founder of All India Ulama & Mashaikh board (AIUMB). He was addressing Muslim Scholars Sufi leaders and the Islamic clerics in an AIUMB Meeting held by the Markazi Julus-e-Chishtia, in Nagpur.

It’s an unfortunate phase of the time in the today’s history that the terrorists are playing havoc across the world in the name of Islam, he said. “Whether it is in Syria, Iraq, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh elsewhere in the Muslim world, the extremist jihadists have certainly caused major distractions and irreparable loss of human life and dignity”. “Heinous crimes and completely ungodly acts are being perpetrated in the name of God, which go completely against the true spirit and basic tenets of Islam. One such core ethic of Islam is that taking the life of a single innocent is a crime against all humanity (Quran 5:32)”, Maulana Syed Mohammad Ashraf Kichhouchhwi said.

Addressing this important meeting organized by the Markazi Julus-e-Chishtia, Nagpur, the founder and president of the AIUMB,  further Syed Mohammad Ashraf Kichhouchhwi said that this meeting was held in preparation for the World Sufi Forum on 17-20 March, which will include an international seminar and a grand-level public conference in Ram Lila Maidan onMarch 20.

Syed Mohammad Ashraf Kichhouchhwi further intimated that “This International Sufi Conference and the World Sufi Forum will bring together Indian Sufi scholars, imams, Ulama, Mashaikh and intellectuals with nearly 40 Islamic scholars, Ulama and Sufi Mashaikh  representing Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia, China, Turkey, Canada, Syria, Arabia, Africa, Australia, the United States of America, and the UK”. “Sufi Scholars from the prominent Islamic University, Al-Azhar Shareef, Oxford, Harvard, California and professors from the University of Cambridge and Canada will also be present. Thus, a mixed gathering of Ulama and scholars from the around the world will get tighter in an effort to discuss different aspects of the current situation and build a strong framework for the solutions”.


Maulana Syed Kichhouchhwi added that the World Sufi Forum will pave the ways for the Indian Muslims to contribute in creating an environment of peace and pluralism in India


Maulana Syed Alamgir Ashraf (provincial president of Maharashtra AIUMB) said that All India Ulama and Mashaikh board is against terrorism of all forms. He added saying that “the Board aspires to foster the universal Islamic values by spreading peace, brotherhood and unconditional love. Sufi Ulama at the board, he said, are striving to guide the life of Indian Muslims in the democratic structure of the country.

Speaking at the meeting, Haji Salim Ashrafi, Chairman the Markazi Julus-e-Chishtia Chhattisgarh appreciated the dedicated efforts and activism of the Board in preaching the values of peace and pluralism and eradicating the vices of violence and social distress. He said that there is no place for intolerance in Sufism.


At the very outset of the event, there was a beautiful traditional recitation of the Holy Quran and it ended with the Salat-o-Salam (recitation of peace and blessings on the Prophet PBUH). Among those who attended this meet were:


Sufi M K Christi (Gujarat Minority Commission Chairman), Syed Mu’az Ashraf, Grand Mufti of Maharashtra Mufti Abdul Qdeer Khan, Mr. Abdul Rasheed Qalandar, Maulana Nadeem Rizvi, the Siratun Nabi committee chairman Abdul Hasan Taji, Abdul Razzaq Taji,  Mr. Faisal Rangun Wala, Mr. Firoz Sheikh, Mr. Kamil Ansari, Haji Sohail Patel, Hanif Patel Ashrafi.  Besides them, many ulama, Mashaikh, Imams and intellectuals were also present in large numbers.

The Entire Life Of The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) Is Synonymous With Peace, Harmony And Tranquility

AIUMB Event in Lucknow

31 December 2015

All India Ulama & Mashaikh Board, an apex body of Sufi Sunni Muslims in India organised a glorious event of Eid Miladun Nabi in its office held by its branch in Lucknow, Uttar Pardesh. This is an event which is traditionally organised in the Islamic month of Rabiul Awwal, when the Propeht Muhammad (pbuh) was born. The program was chaired by Syed Ha


mmad Ashraf, General Secretary, All India Ulama & Mashaikh Board (UP).

On this occasion, an Indian Islamic scholar, Maulana Abul A’as Hasan Misbahi expressed his views and said that “the entire life of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is synonymous with peace, harmony and tranquillity”. He continued: “The complete adherence to the teachings of the Prophet’s life will greatly help us transform the world into an abode of peace. At a time when the world at large is suffering the severe atrocities, chaos and disorder with all peace-making efforts going in vain, there is greater significance of the Prophet’s model of peace that can ensure safety and security in the modern world”.

In his address, Maulana Abul A’as Hasan Misbahi further said that “If we take a cursory glance at the pre-Islamic Arabia before the birth of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), we come to realise that the Arab society was nothing short of a cult of the perverts and autocrats. False pride in racism and tribalism was on their peak. Nothing was safe, secure or preserved, be it character of the men or the chastity of the women in Arabia. Evil emotions of vengeance and retaliation were rampant in the society. Women were treated like objects of pleasure and plunder in the public markets. Thus, the entire humanity had fallen in a pit of moral, ethical, spiritual and social vices. In such an age of complete darkness and ignorance, the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was sent as epitome of mercy, enlightenment, education and spiritual and moral guidance in the desert of Arabia”.

This is how the spiritual teachings of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) transformed an ‘era of ignorance’ into an ‘age of enlightenment’, Maulana said reiterating his point that even today if the Prophet’s legacy of peace and piety is adhered to, the present-day seekers of peace and solace will attain a great source of inspiration in his life. Much in the same way as in the Pre-Islamic Arabia, the modern world which is steeped in moral downfall, ethical degradation and spiritual vacuum, can be catapulted into a world of heavenly peace, delight and spiritual solace.

In keeping with its tradition, the Miladun Nabi event began with the recitation of the verses from the holy Qur’an. At the conclusion, Syed Hammad Ashraf, General Secretary, All India Ulama & Mashaikh Board (Uttar Pardesh) expressed vote of thanks to all the participants and audience. Some of the notable among them were Nayyar Azam, Janab Abu Bakr, Ramzan Ali, Usman Ali, Rauf Ahmad, Hamraz Ali.

Syed Mohammad Ashraf Kichchawchchvi Met The Bangladesh-Based Members Of The AIUMB International Wing

Press Release:

In the backdrop of a strong consensus of All India Ulama and Mashaikh Board endorsed by great many Sufi masters, scholars and ulama over a decision to organize an international Sufi conference titled “World Sufi Forum”, AIUMB has embarked on this mission with great gusto. Notably, the Board’s president and fo12027562_1164487853580536_1703972228665493286_nunder, Syed Mohammad Ashraf Kichchawchchvi has attained renewed energy in an untiring dissemination of his universal message of peace and pluralism that he plans to deliver to the wider Muslim world through the World Sufi Forum.


In this context, the founder and president of All India Ulama & Mashaikh Board Syed Mohammad Ashraf Kichchawchchvi recently visited a neighboring Muslim country Bangladesh, where Islam has 1.7 billion adherents according to the latest study in 2015. He went on meeting both the Muslim masses and religious leaders alike with his well-planned program to work out the Sufi ideology of peace and counter-terrorism. He is quoted to have said that his visit to Bangladesh was aimed at apprising the Bangladeshi Muslims of the pressing need to integrate for this cause supporting the Sufi leaders’ initiative with all means possible.

Most prominently, Syed Mohammad Ashraf Kichchawchchvi met the Bangladesh-based members of the AIUMB International wing which is locally known as “Anjuman e Ashrafia” with a huge following in the country. On this occasion, he addressed meetings in the capital Dhaka and some other places and asked the Islamic clerics, intellectuals and Sufi sheikhs of Bangladesh to take part in the International Sufi Conference which is to be held in Delhi in March 2016. The public meetings and small-scale gatherings proved fruitful and fetched lot of support for the international Sufi conference. Countless people pledged to attend the event. Numerous Islamic scholars came forward with their proposals to read research papers in its seminar. Even one of the renowned Qaris (Qur’an reciters) wished to render his service to recite Quran, which is a prime part of the function.


It is worth mentioning that Bangladesh enjoys good following of the Sufi Mashaikh as a result of the herculean efforts made by ancestors of Syed Mohammad Ashraf, the AIUMB president. According to their preserved history, they did great deal of service there in an effort to create a huge base of Sufi followers and disciples who are now united under the banner of Anjuman Ashrafia  extending their vital support to the Sufi cause.


In this context, it would be interesting to trace back the history of Sufi culture and tradition in Bangladesh. Islam was first introduced to Bangladesh during the caliphate of the Prophet Muhammad’s first four companions, known as Khulafa-e-Rashidin (the rightly guided caliphs). Modern researchers have found out that inhabitants of this land were well-acquainted with Islam much earlier than the Muslim conquest of Bengal. Arab merchants would visit Chittagong port even in the pre-Islamic period. But it was a small group of Prophet’s companions who came to Chittagong in 618 during the lifetime of the Prophet (pbuh). They preached Islam in various parts of Bangladesh for years and then went to China. Thereafter, several delegations of the early Arab Muslims arrived in this land to preach the faith, tradition and culture of Islam.  The most notable among them were the Sufi saints, who came to be known as Pirs and Fakirs in Bangladesh. They contributed the most pivotal part in preaching Muslim culture in the country. For instance, the famous Sufi saint of Bangladesh, Shah Jalal of Yemeni origin, who was a descendant of the Prophet’s family and belonged to a family of saints, had a large share in it.


The Sufi saints, followed by a group of Prophet’s companions, preached moderate, progressive, multi-cultural and pluralistic Islamic tradition, which was the main reason behind its successful spread in this land of ancient Vedic culture. These Muslim mystics (pirs and faqirs) reached out to every section of Bangladeshi society and preached the universal values of infinite love, mutual respect, religious harmony and social affinity in place of retrogressive and ritualistic views in the name of religion. Thus, their egalitarian messages stressing the ideals of peace, pluralism, human equality, universal brotherhood and social justice attracted the countless natives of Bangladesh towards their Islamic faith tradition.


In contemporary Bangladesh, the impact of Sufism can be seen through the prism of arts and culture. The multi-faceted Sufi tradition reflects an essentially peaceful and pluralistic culture that connects contemporary Bangladeshi Muslims to their old-age Indo-Islamic heritage. The most redeeming features of Sufism’s appeal in Bangladesh continue to be its inbuilt qualities of openness, wide embrace and social accommodation. Therefore, it can be fairly considered a completely peaceful, non-confrontist, inclusive and subversive trend in Bangladesh.

However, many opine that the spirit of Sufi culture and tradition in the country is now beginning to wean off. It has been reduced to only occasional Shrine visitation, spiritual consultation or observance of Sufi-oriented rituals and festivals. Today’s fakirs and pirs in Bangladesh also seem to have done away with their effort to keep alive the mystical Sufi culture of pluralism and moderation. Though they still engage in their occupations in the mazars (shrines of the saints), that outnumber the mosques and madrasas in some areas, they have almost lost an impacting ideology that continued to preach peace and moderation for centuries. Now their business is merely providing spiritual consultation to the shrine visitors and devotees, who look up to them as their peer-o-murshid (spiritual guru) and seek consultation in relation to the issues in their life and career. As Sufi masters, pirs and fakirs are no longer the influential ideologues in the country, radical thought is taking roots in some parts. The orthodox clergy began to play their part in reshaping the common religious mindset of Muslim community, adversely impacting the harmonious culture in the country.

Nevertheless, the peace-loving and spiritually inclined moderate Muslims of Bangladesh are waking up to this reality and are eager to reclaim the lost legacy of harmonious Sufi tradition in the country. In this situation, what the apex body of Indian Sufi Sunni Muslims, the AIUMB is trying to do in Bangladesh assumes great significance.

हज़रत मुहम्मद ﷺ की जीवनशैली पर अमल ही सफलता की कुंजी : अशरफुल अम्बिया सम्मेलन में सैयद मोहम्मद अशरफ किछौछवी का खिताब

दिल्ली -16 दिसंबर।

बानिये इस्लाम हज़रत मोहम्मद  ﷺ. को अल्लाह  तआला ने  पूरी दुनिया के मार्गदर्शन के लिए भेजा और  अल्लाह तआला ने अपने महबूब को तमाम खूबियों से नवाज़ा। यही  कारण है कि पैगम्बर ﷺ का जीवन  जहां मुसलमानों के लिए मार्गदर्शक है वहीं सारे मानव समाज  के लिए मिसाल है। ये  विचार हज़रत सैयद मोहम्मद अशरफ किछौछवी ने  ऑल इंडिया उलेमा मशाईख बोर्ड सीलमपुर, दिल्ली इकाई द्वारा शास्त्री पार्क में आयोजित एक जलसा बनाम अशरफुल अम्बिया सम्मेलन में व्यक्त किया।


मौलाना सैयद मोहम्मद अशरफ किछौछवी  (सदर-ऑल इंडिया उलेमा मशाईख बोर्ड) ने अपने अध्यक्षीय भाषण में पैगम्बरﷺ की सीरत पर रोशनी डालते हुए अधिक कहा कि पैगम्बर ﷺ की पवित्र जीवनी मानव जाति के सभी के लिए नमूना है। आज पूरी मानवता को हुज़ूर  की सीरत से सबक लेने की जरूरत है क्योंकि आप ﷺने मानव जीवन के सभी क्षेत्रों में  ऐसा लाजवाब नमूना पेश किया जिसका  उदाहरण मानव इतिहास  में न पहले था  और न आज तक कोई प्रस्तुत कर सका है।  आज हुज़ूर ﷺ की पवित्र जीवनी से पूरी मानवता को नैतिकता का सबक  लेना चाहिए क्योंकि पवित्र जीवनी  में ही वह नैतिक मूल्य हैं  जिन पर अमल करके  पूरी मानवता लोक  व परलोक में सफल  हो सकती है और सीरते रसूल (सल्ल) का पालन ही सफलता की  गारंटी है।


सम्मेलन को सम्बोधित करते हुए मौलाना सैयद आलमगीर  अशरफ (अध्यक्ष  AIUMB महाराष्ट्र) ने अपने संबोधन में सीरते रसूल के  अमल पर  ज़ोर देते  हुए कहा कि पूरी दुनिया में शांति, सौहार्द , सहिष्णुता और शालीनता का  राज़ सिरते रसूल में छिपा है इसीलिए जब कोई मनुष्य पूर्ण तौर पर  हुज़ूर का. फररमानबरदार हो जाता  है  तो वह पूरी मानवता के लिए नैतिक मूल्यों का  का सूचक  बन जाता है।


सय्यद  माज़ अशरफ ने अपने भाषण में मुसलमानों से हुज़ूर ﷺ कि जीवन शैली अपनाने की अपील की और कहा कि आज के दौर में हुज़ूर ﷺ की सीरत कोअपनाए बिना कोई चारा नहीं है क्योंकि पैगम्बर  ﷺ  की सीरत-ए-तैयबा में ही पूरी मानवता के लिए दिशा निर्देश मौजूद हैऔर सिरते नबी पर अमल करके पूरी मानवता शांति, सौहार्द का गहवारा  बन सकती है।

सम्मेलन की शुरूआत कारी मरगूब  की तिलावत कुरान से हुआ, कारी राहत अली ने सञ्चालन  किया और अनवर  कादरी बदायूंनी, मोहम्मद नदीम ने नाते नबी से लोगों को मोह लिया।

सम्मेलन में, सूफी अजमल निज़ामी, हज़रत मौलाना सैयद जावेद अली नक्शबंदी, सूफी एहसान, मौलाना हसनैन अशरफी,  हाफिज सलीम चिश्ती, रईस अहमद अशरफी , आस अशरफी , वकील अहमद अशरफी, अख्तर सिद्दीकी, सईद अहमद अशरफी, मौलाना वारिस अली क़दीरी , मौलाना मोहम्मद इलियास अशरफी, मौलाना शाहजहां, मोलाना रईस आलम क़दीरी , मौलाना आसिम अशरफी, मोलाना आशकार, मौलाना जहांगीर, कारी मुशर्रफ, नवाज़  अशरफ देहलवी, मोहम्मद ज़फर अशरफी के अलावा भारी संख्या में लोग मौजूद रहे सम्मलेन  का समापन  सलात व सलाम और दुआ पर हुआ ।