Let us analyse the following transcript of an interview with Javed Ghamidi. The interview can be accessed here.
Question: You have been accused of rejecting ḥadīth, especially the aḥādith in Ṣaḥīh Al-Bukhārī regarding the return of Sayyidunā ‘Isā ‘alayhi ‘s-salām. Also, those aspects pertaining to women covering their heads.
Javed Ghamidi: This is a critique. I say in response to this critique that in order to form an opinion about someone, our Creator has made us responsible to do a thorough investigation and then make a statement.
What is being said about me in this regard is a clear lie and it is a clear slander. My book on Islām called Mīzān is available. It is in print; it is not hidden anywhere. You must be made aware that I have explained the entire Islām in it and there are more than 1200 narrations in it – more than 1200 aḥādīth.
I take responsibility for my words and say that there is no book that explains the entire religion of Islām which contains more aḥādīth in it.
Hence, this is simply a lie that is being spoken.
However, what is correct is that there are many narrations which I do criticize. This is not some crime that I have committed for the first time. In the world of knowledge and research, this is a historical record.
You should first understand what a ḥadīth is. Rasūlullāh ﷺ gave us the Qur’ān and the Sunnah. He handed this over to the Muslims. With agreement and consensus, the Muslims then passed this on to the next generation. The Muslims passed the Qur’ān on in its entirety from one generation to the next.
Rasūlullāh ﷺ read the Qur’ān out and those who could write, wrote it down. Those who could memorize it had memorized it. Thousands of ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum passed it on to hundreds of thousands of people, and then to millions. This is referred to as transferring or passing down something with ijmā’ (consensus) and tawātur (mass transmission).
In the same way, Rasūlullāh ﷺ had performed ḥajj according to the way of Sayyidunā Ibrāhīm ‘alayhi ‘s-salām. He performed ṣalāh in the same way as the previous messengers. Moreover, he fasted according to their way.
So, the entire Sunnah has been passed down to us in the same way, in totality. In the last fourteen hundred years, there has been no year in which Muslims did not perform ḥajj. There has been no year in which the Muslims did not fast. There has been no day in which they did not perform five times ṣalāh. All this history is well-known. So, in the Qur’ān and the Sunnah, Allāh gave us the religion and Rasūlullāh ﷺ conveyed it to the world in its final form.
Now, Rasūlullāh ﷺ live in the world. Indeed, he fulfilled many responsibilities as the Messenger over the 23 years. During that time, people came to him and met with him. Now, as is the case with many great people, after all, he was the Messenger of Allāh, so people started to speak about him. Someone said that he went to meet him and he said such and such. Another person said that he was once delivering a sermon and said such and such. Another person said that he asked a certain question and this was the answer given. In this way, there were many different things narrated. What is this? This is the record of the knowledge and practice of Rasūlullāh ﷺ. People narrated this. Because people narrated it, that is why there were so many discussions and debates about it.
There are many such things in this record, that when a scholar had seen it, he understood and felt that it is incomprehensible. Some things were found to be contrary to the Noble Qur’ān. It was found that the actions of some narrators were not correct. They used to invent things and fabricate lies. Thereafter, there were scholars that adopted this field as their work. They then studied all the reports and critiqued them. Many people were narrating these reports. They selected them and began compiling books. They weighed the reports, critiqued them and even rejected some. They accepted many things. This is what is found in Ṣaḥīh Al-Bukhārī and Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim. These were works done by human beings. Just as it was permitted to critique something back then, it is also permitted to critique them even today. Hence, in this historical record, there are some things that I have critiqued and criticized. However, as a result of this, if I become a ḥadīth rejecter, then it was first Imām Bukhārī who did this, he selected a few thousand from hundreds of thousands.
Response to Javed Ghamidi
Javed Ghamidi’s ‘response’ contains numerous lies and factual inaccuracies, carefully layered within his speech and presented to unsuspecting Muslims in order to deceive them.
In his fanciful narrative, Javed Ghamidi employs a Trojan Horse fallacy so he can reject aḥādīth while trying to make it seem as though he’s not really doing anything wrong. He simply invents this twisted ‘Historical Record’ ruse so he can try and get away with boldly attacking the blessed Sunnah of Rasūlullāh ﷺ.
The previous Messengers are in complete agreement with Rasūlullāh ﷺ regarding beliefs (such as Tawḥīd, the necessity of following the Messenger of the time etc). However, the practices and subsidiary rulings of each religion differed. Javed Ghamidi very deceitfully alleges that the Sunnah is something that was present in the religions of every previous Messenger and remains unchanged. This is nothing but a baseless lie against Rasūlullāh ﷺ and the previous Anbiyā’ (Prophets).
Javed Ghamidi also makes other ridiculous statements, such as his claim that his book ‘Mīzān’ contains of the greatest number of narrations found in any book on Islām. A mere cursory glance at easily accessible famous works will reveal this as a complete lie. Basic collections of ḥadīth like Riyāḍ Aṣ-Ṣāliḥīn, compiled by Imām Nawawī raḥimahullāh, contain far more narrations than the Mīzān of Javed Ghamidi. Ṣaḥīh Al-Bukhārī (a ḥadīth collection which Ghamidi himself refers to in his ‘response’) – even excluding the repetitions, contains more than double the number of narrations in Ghamidi’s Mīzān!
In his explanation of this ‘Historical Record’ theory of his, Javed Ghamidi is pulling the wool over the eyes of the listeners and ensnares them with his fabricated definitions of ḥadīth and sunnah. As part of his attack upon the sunnah and ḥadīth, he tries to make it out as though the ṣaḥābah raḍiyallāhu ‘anhum would basically go around concocting random things and attributing them to the Prophet ﷺ! Yet, what is the difference between the transmission of the Noble Qur’ān, which he accepts, and the transmission of this ‘Historic Record’, which he so brazenly rejects? They were both transmitted by the same people! We seek Allāh’s protection from ever accepting or uttering such nonsensical drivel. May Allāh Ta’ālā be well pleased with all of the ṣaḥābah. Āmīn.
Throughout history there were of course many people who did fabricate lies and attribute them to Rasūlullāh ﷺ. However, the Muḥaddithūn – the greatest masters of the sciences of ḥadīth – developed and established sciences and rigorous methods of ḥadīth verification in order to distinguish the true from the false. But what about Ghamidi? What exactly were the principles utilised by Ghamidi when selecting his 1200 narrations?
Ghamidi says that historically, scholars sifted through the ḥadīth corpus. But which scholars of the Ummah have scrutinized his Mīzān and accepted it? Which scholars have reviewed and agreed with his views regarding which aḥādīth should be accepted and which aḥādīth should be rejected? Which scholars have surveyed his methodology and approved of it?
What about all the reports which have been authenticated and accepted before the arrival of Javed Ghamidi? Why is it that the Muḥaddithūn, being the greatest experts in the sciences of ḥadīth transmission and authentication, don’t agree with Ghamidi’s assessment in rejecting whatever ḥadīth he feels like discarding?
Another absurd claim that Javed Ghamidi makes in trying and justify his rejection of aḥādīth is his accusation that even Imām Bukhārī raḥimahullāh would reject aḥādīth just like he does.
First of all, Imām Bukhārī raḥimahullāh didn’t discard every ḥadīth which he didn’t include in Ṣaḥīh Al-Bukhārī – in fact Ghamidi seems to be completely unaware that Imām Bukhārī raḥimahullāh actually also compiled other ḥadīth collections too. Also, when Imām Bukhārī raḥimahullāh did reject a narration, it was done via the principles of ḥadīth authentication and rejection (e.g., if a known fabricator of ḥadīth narrates something).
Compare this to how Javed Ghamidi haphazardly rejects aḥādīth because they conflict with things like liberalism, feminism, and his deficient understanding of the Qur’ān.
It is truly shocking how such a short ‘response’ could be littered with so many lies, factual inaccuracies, misrepresentations and deception.
May Allāh Ta’ālā save us from such deceit and falsehood. Āmīn.
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