The War Against the Arabic Language

Speaking ill of the dead

The below is taken from Abdul Wahab’s Saleem face book page:

A common misconception that was referred to in the comments of my previous post by well-wishing Muslims is that since he has died there is no point in discussing his life. The reference made was to a tradition in which the Prophet -SAWS- said, “Do not vilify/abuse the dead lest you hurt the living.”

This tradition contradicts the actions of the companions before our beloved Messenger -SAWS- as found in Bukhari, Muslim, An-Nasai, Ibn Majah and others: “A funeral passed by the Prophet (ﷺ) and they praised him for his noble characteristics. He said: ‘(Paradise is) guaranteed for him.’ Then another funeral passed by and they spoke badly of him by mentioning his bad characteristics, and he (the Prophet (ﷺ)) said: ‘(Hell is) guaranteed for him. You are the witnesses of Allah on earth.’” [Ibn Majah]

In this scenario the Prophet -SAWS- didn’t stop the companions from discussing the evils of the second funeral despite the fact that he forbade them from speaking ill of the deceased in the first tradition. The scholars reconciled between the two traditions by saying that it is generally forbidden, yet this rule may be over-ruled in certain circumstances.

Ibn Battal says in his explanation of Bukhari, “…such is the case with the deceased… If most of his life was filled with evil then one is permitted to mention him with evil…”

Ibn Hazm says, “It is not permissible to curse the deceased however to warn of [their] disbelief or corrupt actions is permissible.”

Al-Mubarakfuri says in his explanation of al-Mishkah commenting on the tradition forbidding the vilification of the dead, “This tradition seems to be general apparently, however, the generality has been qualified by the tradition of Anas [RA] in which people mentioned the deceased with both good and evil, in response to which the Prophet -SAWS- said: “It has been granted and you are the witnesses of Allah on the land.” He -SAWS- didn’t forbid them from speaking ill of the deceased, rather he affirmed and accepted their witness.”

In conclusion, cursing and abusing the deceased is strictly prohibited. But mentioning the fog around them, especially in the scenario where one fears for such actions to be confused with true Islam, is considered acceptable and may be deemed an obligation. Put emotions aside and be objective. We are talking about a man who told the people that your wives don’t have to pray Salah, the second pillar of Islam! A man who said that the will of a Qutb (supreme Wali) is equivalent to the will of Allah.

I am certain that the issues the companions were discussing about the two deceased were much less than these. Claims of such nature were never found among the companions and the scholars assert that both funerals were Muslim funerals (i.e. they may have been companions). [al-San`ani/Subul al-Salam]

Lastly, I tried my best to use the politest language so I don’t hurt the feelings of the well-wishing Muslims who maybe confused by his teachings.

And Allah knows best.

The Purging of Muslim Spain

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Amazon affiliate link: Blood and Faith: The Purging of Muslim Spain, 1492-1614

In April 1609, King Philip III of Spain signed an edict denouncing the Muslim inhabitants of Spain as heretics, traitors, and apostates. Later that year, the entire Muslim population of Spain was given three days to leave Spanish territory, on threat of death. In a brutal and traumatic exodus, entire families and communities were obliged to abandon homes and villages where they had lived for generations, leaving their property in the hands of their Christian neighbors. In Aragon and Catalonia, Muslims were escorted by government commissioners who forced them to pay whenever they drank water from a river or took refuge in the shade. For five years the expulsion continued to grind on, until an estimated 300,000 Muslims had been removed from Spanish territory, nearly 5 percent of the total population. By 1614 Spain had successfully implemented what was then the largest act of ethnic cleansing in European history, and Muslim Spain had effectively ceased to exist. “Blood and Faith” is celebrated journalist Matthew Carr’s riveting chronicle of this virtually unknown episode, set against the vivid historical backdrop of the history of Muslim Spain. Here is a remarkable window onto a little-known period in modern Europe – a rich and complex tale of competing faiths and beliefs, of cultural oppression and resistance against overwhelming odds.