Issuing a Fatwa o­n the question of participation in functions of the nature of the bicentennial celebrations, Hakimul Ummat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thaanvi (rahmatullah alayh) said:

“The Religion of Islam does not give this permission (i.e. permission to participate). Un-Islamic shi-aar (salient acts) whether by word or deed, are major sins tantamount to (acts) in opposition to Islam. In brief, it is neither permissible to participate in such gatherings nor to honour this flag (of the country in this manner) nor to sing the national anthem, because Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: ‘Whoever, enhances the gathering of a people, becomes of them.”

It is therefore Waajib for the People of Islam to remain aloof (of such functions). It is also improper for members of other religions to make such demands o­n Muslims. It is imperative for them to exempt Muslims.”

(Imdaadul Fataawa, Page 647, Vol.4)

At the end of his Fatwa, Hakimul Ummat (rahmatullah alayh), commented: “In this reply (i.e. in the Fatwa) I have kept in view the aayat: ‘Do not insult the deities of those who call (worship) deities other than Allah….’ In fact, this issue (of the flag and the anthem) deserves a harsh response.”

In this comment Hadhrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (rahmatullah alayh) says that Islam views this sin of shirk, i.e. the acts of honouring/worshipping the flag and singing the anthem, in such a grave light that the need is for a stern and harsh rebuttal. However, since the Qur’aan forbids insulting the deities of others, he has refrained from employing harsh terms to decry these practices.

We hope that sincere Muslims who were misled by members of the ‘ulama-e-soo’ and other shayaateen in the community, have realized their folly and the gravity of their crime of participation. They should repent and make the necessary amends to restore their bond with Allah Ta’ala.

The flags and anthems of countries, whether Muslim or non-Muslim, come within the scope of the prohibition of worshipping idols described as alansaab in the Qur’aan Majeed. Hakimul Ummat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (rahmatullah alayh), stated that the prohibition to stand for a flag and sing the anthem is within the ambit of the Umoom (Generality) of the aayat:

“O People of Imaan! Verily, liquor, gambling, idols (alansaab) and arrows (of superstition are filth of the act of shaitaan, therefore abstain from it.”

In terms of the country’s constitution which enshrines the principle of religious freedom, Muslims should be exempted from this type of worship which is tantamount to shirk in Islam.

the majlis volume 16 number 02

Question: At Muslim schools or Madrasahs teachers ,are required by the managements to teach Muslim children to sing the anthem. They have to be trained to observe all etiquettes attendant to the anthem. What does the Shariah of Islam rule in this matter?

The anthem of any cOUilt:ry, be it a Muslim country, is among the shi-aar of non-Muslims. (Shi-aar refer to the outstanding public practices which advertise a culture, cult

or way of a community or nation). Adopting the shi-aar of non-Muslims is among the Kahaa-ir (major sins), and in some cases shirk, e.g. standing in honour of a flag or when singing the anthem.

For these reasons it is not permissible to teach the anthem to Muslim children nor to sing it nor to stand in honour when it is sung. Since these acts are in conflict with Islam, it is incumbent to abstain. It is not permissible for teachers to obey such instructions of the school managements nor is it permissible for
and Muslim pupils to obey their teachers who instruct them in these hamam practices. It is infinitely better for the concerned Muslim teacher to opt for resignation or dismissal

rather than teaching Muslim children to commit acts which are in flagrant violation of the Deen. And, likewise it is infinitely better for Muslim pupils to opt for expulsion rather than to prostrate in obedience to commands of kufr and haraam issued by miscreant teachers who do not believe in the Razzoaqtyat (Providence) of Allah Ta’ala.

. If a teacher believes that Allah Ta’ala is the Sole Raaziq (Provider) ‘then he/she, will resign without .hesitation. It is not possible for a Muslim with a healthy Iman to submit to the haraam dictates of a fussaaq management.

the majlis volume 16 number 2


Hadhrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (Rahmatullah alayh) said:
Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) had prohibited bowing when making Salaam. I desire that the Deen returns to its original state (i.e. free of all bid’ah acts). But, what can be achieved by only my desire? Even to those of our Jamaat (i.e. Deobandis) who are supposed to be followers of the Sunnah, there are only a couple of issues which they regard as bid’ah, e.g. qiyaam in moulood, third and seventh day khatam customs, etc. Besides these customary acts of bid’at, they do not regard other bid’ah practices to be bid’ah even if such acts are worse bid’ah than the customary acts.
For example, bay’t. The belief of compulsion underlying bay’t is a total bid’at. Nowadays people believe that it is compulsory. This belief is bid’ah. It is indeed lamentable that when this fact is pointed out, then people of our own Jamaat oppose it (i.e. they refuse to accept the reality of these acts being bid’ah).
Another grave error is that Thikr is considered to be adequate for Islaah (self-reformation). I had debated two hours with a Buzrug of our own Jamaat who maintained that Thikr suffices for Islaah. It is obvious and clear that reformation cannot be achieved merely by means of Thikr. In fact the nafs of some will become more corrupt with only Thikr. He will begin to believe that he is a buzrug, then he will not be concerned with his Islaah (pride and vanity will ruin him).
Islaah of the Nafs is something else. Reformation is achieved by opposing the dictates of the nafs.

from the majlis volume 26 number 6


Hadhrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (Rahmatullah alayh)

If you seek an interpretation for your dream, do not ask an ignoramus. Refer to an intelligent person who will present an intelligent meaning. In most cases, a dream materializes according to the  first interpretation given.

       A man saw in a dream that his one leg was in the west and the other in the east. He asked the interpretation from some moron who said that his legs will be amputated. Shocked and fearful, the man went to an expert muabbir (dream-interpreter) for an interpretation. The muabbir enquired if he had already  asked anyone for an interpretation. When the man  explained  what  had been said about his dream, the muabbir said: ‘Alas! What he has said will happen. If you had come to me first, I would have presented a good interpretation.’

Dreams are extremely weak forms of information and are reliant on interpretation. The Akaabir Auliya have clarified that even kashf, ilhaam (spiritual inspirations) and karaamat (miracles) are not phenomena of great importance. In fact, regarding karaamaat (miracles) which are generally considered to be of great importance and viewed with awe, some Auliya have said: “Karaamaat are the haidh (menses) of Men (i.e. of Auliya).”  In other words, just as females feel embarrassed and endeavour to conceal their menses, similarly do the Auliya endeavour to conceal their karaamaat. They become embarrassed when their miracles are exposed.

Many among the Ahlullaah (Auliya) had wished that they should not have the ability to demonstrate miracles. The reason for this attitude is a reduction in status in the Aakhirat which they perceive upon demonstrating a miracle. In the Aakhirat those pious and obedient Muslims who were not among the Auliya will be accorded status of Karaamat (honour) while those who had displayed karaamat here on earth will be deprived of that special  status of Karaamat. This is the secret underlying the disdain of the Auliya for  demonstrating miracles.

However, such Auliya who are Ma’thoon are  excluded from the deprivation explained above. (Ma’thoon Auliya are those who display karaamat by the permission  and  command of Allah Ta’ala. Others, due to their lofty ranks of Wilaayat, have been bestowed  the ability to display miracles which they sometimes demonstrate at will. The Auliya of this latter category will be somewhat deprived of Karaamat in the Aakhirat, – Mujlisul Ulama).

Now when this is the condition of even kashf, ilhaam and karaamat, one can understand the insignificance of dreams. But nowadays, dreams are given great importance.

If someone sees himself in a dream wallowing in an evil condition, but  on waking up if he takes wudhu and performs two raka’ts Namaaz, then  the dream regardless of how evil and fearful it may be, will not harm him in any way whatsoever. On the contrary if someone sees himself in a dream in a good state (e.g. he is by the Ka’bah or in Jannat), but when awake he indulges in evil and misdeeds and his beliefs  are buffeted by doubts, then  his good dream will be  of no benefit  for  him.

Thus, the state of  awakefulness is of importance. One has volition to act while awake whereas  dreams are phenomena beyond one’s volitional control. (A person should be  concerned with what he does whilst awake and not brood over what he sees in dreams). But today, some people elevate dreams to the level of Wahi. In fact, even  higher than Wahi. (Hence, they will override even the Shariah on the basis of dreams of pious people. Bid’atis and Tablighis suffer from this disease. – Mujlisul Ulama)

Then there are those who progress further than dreams. They experience kaifiyaat (spiritual states of elevation). For them  these kaifiyaat are the be all and the final word of Deen. They become oblivious of the actual  objective which is Amal in compliance with the Shariah for which Wahi was sent and for which the Ambiya (Alayhimus salaam) were dispatched. The importance  of this (the Shariah) is lost to  such persons.

By this exposition, I am not negating the reality of dreams, kashf, ilhaam, karaamat and kaifiyaat. While these conditions are existential realities in the Tareeq (Tasawwuf), they have to be maintained within their own category and not elevated above the Shariah. But people  have gone to extremes in these issues.

We therefore find that in some quarters the practice of initiating mureeds (Peeri-Mureedi) has become a mission in conflict with the Shariah. On the other hand, there are those who, due to being spiritually barren, negate Tasawwuf in entirety. Jahl (ignorance) is the common factor for both groups of extremists.

In this matter, the Bid’atis (such as the grave-worshippers) suffer greater ignorance than the Wahhaabis (Salafis). Remember that the criterion is always the Shariah, not dreams and miracles.

taken from the majlis volume 26 number 06

An Investigation into Western Education

Author: Hakeem-ul-Ummat Hadhrat Moulana Ashraf ‘Ali Saheb Thanwi (rahimahullaahu Ta’ala)
In the Name of Allah Ta’ala, the Most Kind and the Most Merciful
All praises are for Allah Ta’ala, the Nourisher of this world,
And prayers and salutations be upon His Nabi,
Our Leader Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alyhi wa sallam), and his children and his companions.
In our time, the permissibility or impermissibility of Western education is often discussed. Since the proofs of the majority of either side are not enough for a decisive answer, hence, every day the (severity of this) controversy increases without a (satisfying,) authentic answer (from a qualified researcher). We found it suitable that we should decide (i.e. the answer to this mas’alah) according to our opinion.
We hope that it would be enough for the (reader to) judge. As for the fossilized, no speech or writing has ever proven enough, and there is no hope (of it happening) in the future.


Q. A pious shaykh who is a non-Alim, in his bayaan citing Hadhrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (Rahmatullah alayh), spoke in favour of western education. Please listen to the bayaan, and comment on his views. Is his view valid? Jazaakalaah.

Our Comment
We have listened to the six minute bayaan. The Shaykh Sahib is confused. While he mentions Hadhrat Thanvi’s naseehat, he fails to understand that:
1) No one says that secular education is haraam.
2) No one says that science in toto is haraam.
3) No one prohibits employment (nokri).
4) No one prohibits earning wealth.
5) No one says that earning is not necessary.
However, the pursuit of these objects is haraam if undertaken in haraam ways. If the pursuit of lawful worldly objectives entails plunging into haraam, fisq, fujoor and kufr, then such pursuit is haraam. Pursuing worldly objectives via universities and the like leads to the worst of moral and Imaani corruptions. The shaykh Sahib is quiet on all the corruption and evils which are concomitant to the pursuit of western education. He does not even mention what happens to females in universities. The manner in which the shaykh spoke about English ta’leem confirms that he is either ignorant of the evils and destruction to Imaan and Akhlaaq caused by western education or he is intentionally passing over these evils in order to condone such pursuits.



EVERY MUSLIM WHO is still conscious of the Deen and the goals of the Aakhirah will have no alternative other than to concede that almost every newspaper in the country is pornographic. What then is the Shariah’s reaction to reading such evil, satanic slut papers? The practice of Hakimul Ummah Maulana Ashraf Ali Thaanvi (rahmatullah alayh) will throw some light on this question and offer guidance for us.

During the 1930’s newspapers, even kuffaar ones, were exceptionally conservative and dignified. Even kuffaar governments censored and excised moral filth from the papers. A Muslim paper in the Urdu language used to be delivered to Hadhrat Thaanvi (rahmatullah alayh). It was an Urdu paper devoid of pictures and the filthy gossip and slander stories which adorn the slut papers of this era. Since there is always a need for the Ulama, especially those to whom the community refers for Deeni guidance and Fatwa, to stay abreast with developments, Hadhrat Thaanvi (rahmatullah alayh) permitted the Urdu paper to be delivered to his Khaanqah. However, Hadhrat Thaanvi would not read the paper nor look at it. Hadhrat’s method was to ask one of his mureeds to read out only the headlines of the articles and reports. The mureed would read the headlines and Hakimul Ummat would listen. If any article attracted his attention, he would ask the mureed to read it for him. After the paper was completed in this manner, Hadhrat Thaanvi would take it away to prevent others in the Khaanqah from reading it. This was the caution which Hadhrat Thaanvi (rahmatullah alayh) had adopted with regard to newspapers which were completely bereft of the filth, muck, slut and pornography in which almost every newspaper excels today. Undoubtedly, it is haraam to allow children to read these pornographic papers. Also for adults it is not permissible to relish and derive pleasure from the haraam pictures, and from the gossip and slander stories. In fact, it is not permissible to introduce these papers into the home. A man should feel ashamed of bringing home a paper in whose pages pornographic pictures are splashed. He has a wife, daughters and sons at home. Only a dishonourable husband/father is able to allow his family to daily indulge in zina of the eyes and mind thereby corrupting their spirituality and Imaan. Wives too have become utterly shameless. Like their western kuffaar immoral counterparts, they are able to tolerate their husbands savouring their nafs and contaminating their Imaan with the almost nude pictures of immoral women. They should then not become surprised and despondent when the attention of their husbands is diverted from them to the filthy Aids-Carriers they see in the streets. These immoral papers should never be left lying around the home. The Malaaikah of Rahmat most certainly do not grace such houses with their auspicious presence. The home then becomes an abode for the shayaateen.