Khaleel Ahmad Saharanpooree is one of the foremost scholars of the Deobandee Hanafee’s. He is the author of the book ‘Al-Muhannad A’la Mufannad Aqaa’id Ahlus-Sunnah Wal-Jama’ah.’
This book is a reply to some questions concerning aqeedah posed by Ahmad Raza Khaan Hanafee Bareilwee. The replies of Maulana Khaleel Ahmad have signatures of affirmation to indicate the signed people agree to its contents i.e. the beliefs it contains. So some of the Deobandee scholars who have signed it included:
Maulana Mahmood al-Hasan
Maulana Meer Ahmad Hasan Amaruhwee
Maulana Azeezur Rehmaan.
Maulana Hakeem al-Ummat Ashraf Alee Thanwee
Maulana Muhammad Ahmad (The son of Maulana Qaasim Nanautwee)
Maulana Aashiq Elaahee Meerthy.
Maulana Muhammad Mas’ood Ahmad (The son of Maulana Rasheed Ahmad Gangohee)
Infact there are over 100 testification’s of deobandee scholars affirming and agreeing with the beliefs and concepts of the deobandee hanafee’s in this book.
Therefore it will be correct to assume the contents of this book reflect the belief’s of the Deobandee Hanafee’s. We will also include other statements from the eminent deobandee scholars that establish the same beliefs so that a deobandee does not argue we have just quoted from one book and that this may have been a personal belief of the author, as opposed to the general belief of the deobandee’s.
Maulana Khaleel Ahmad writes,
“And our Imaams who have performed permissible ta’weel (figurative interpretations) of the verses in terms of correct language and Sharee’ah, so that we, with little comprehension, understand. For example taking Istiwaa to mean Conquer and Hand to mean Power; then this is also correct with us.” [al-Muhannad A’la Mufannad (p.10) (p.31 in another edition)]
Oh deobandee’s, figurative explanation’s in the attributes of Allaah are not acceptable as his attributes are to be accepted in the same manner in which they were narrated. Similarly and likewise it is also incorrect to figuratively explain Istiwaa to mean conquer, as Istiwaa can only mean conquer when there is something or someone to conquer or to overpower, so who competed with Allaah whilst he was over the Throne, and who was more powerful then Allaah that he had overpower them. We seek refuge in Allaah from this.
Furthermore, the linguists of the Arabic language have declared this meaning (of conquering) to be incorrect. (See Fath ul-Baaree (1/177).
Imaam Abul Hasan al-Asha’aree himself said, “With agreement this meaning according to the explainers of the Qur’aan is incorrect.” (Mukhtasir Sawaa’iq al-Mursalah (2/326).
Maulana Khaleel Ahmad Saharanpooree further said,
“In aqeedah we follow Abul-Hasan al-Ash’aree and Abu Mansoor Mautureedee and in the tareeqah of the Soofiyyah we follow the Naqshbandiyyah, Chistiyyah, Qaadirayyah and the Seharwardiyyah.” [al-Muhannad A’la Mufannad (p.13-14), there are many similar statements from other deobandee scholar affirming also affirming this, see also Ulama Deoband’s Ka Maslak (pg.59) of Qaaree Muhammad Tayyib, Fataawaa Raheemiyyah of Muftee Laajpooree, Taareekh Dawat Wa-Azeemat of Maulana Abul Hasan Alee Nadwee,, Ikhtilaaf-e-Ummat Aur Siraat-e-Mustaqeem of Maulana Yoosuf Ludhiyaanwee and many more.]
We ask the deobandee’s, why do you follow Abul-Hasan al-Asha’aree and Abu Mansoor al-Matureedee in their beliefs? Is it because the belief’s of Abu Haneefah were incorrect, if this is the case then how can you do taqleed of him in subsidiary issues which are of lesser importance then the more important issues of beliefs. Also if his beliefs were incorrect then it must follow that his understanding of subsidiary issues would have also been incorrect as the subsidiary issues are built upon the principles. We say this is disrespect and disparagement to Abu Haneefah from your part because you abandon him in the more important issue’s.
Which tareeqah did Abu Haneefah follow? If he did not follow any tareeqah then why do you follow a particular one, did Abu Haneefah order this? Have the deobandee’s surpassed him in his knowledge and adopted one of these tareeqah’s. The tareeqahs are not from the madhab of Abu Haneefah, this is another discredit to him.
The concept of tasawwuf (Soofism) has not been mentioned from Abu Haneefah so how have the deobandee’s adopted and began this practise. All these points show the vessel echoing, “We do taqleed of Abu Haneefah.” and yet at the same time it is empty.
You follow the old beliefs of Imaam Abul-Hasan al-Asha’aree and you still continue in taqleed of his old beliefs to this today. Hence you follow and do taqleed of two Imaams. The slogan the deobandee’s used to utter of not being allowed to pick and chose between the madhabs has been abandoned. They follow one madhab in issues of belief and another in issues of fiqh. It is well established with the scholars of Ahlus-Sunnah al-Jama’ah that Abul Hasan al-Asha’aree left the way of figurative explanation of the attributes of Allaah and adopted the way of Ahlul-Hadeeth, so we was Ahlul-Hadeeth. So now you should also become and call yourselves Ahlul-Hadeeth. Lastly there are differences in beliefs in the Asha’aree and Matureedee schools of beliefs, so how can the deobandee’s follow both, do you pick and chose again.
Regarding the Aqeedah of Abul-Hasan al-Ash’aree then he has affirmed that he left this Aqeedah (i.e. of ta’weel of the Sifaat of Allaah) and adopted the path of Ahlus-Sunnah, which is to affirm the meaning of the attribute without asking how (the kayfiyyah).
He mentions leaving this old Aqeedah and accepting the correct Aqeedah in his two books, ‘Al-Ibaanah an Usool ad-Diyaanah’ and ‘Maqaalat A-Islaamiyyeen.’ He also proclaimed the Aqeedah of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jama’ah whilst giving khutbah’s from the minbar.