Ranks with Allah
Mu' meneen Brothers and Sisters,
As Salaam Aleikum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh. (May Allah's Peace, Mercy and Blessings be upon all of you)
One of our brothers/sisters has asked this question:
Dear Brother Burhan,
I have very recently started reading your sight and must tell you that it is very informative.I have been a very ignorant Bohra and now i think I realise it is my fault.
Anyway my question is:
I went for my friday prayers to the Mosque recently and as there was no Bhaisab or Amil in town to lead the Prayers,a Mulla led them (Of course with the permission from Bhaisaheb/Sheikh why permission is required i dont know)I saw some Sheikhs did not pray with us in congregation.I asked one of them Why this was the case and he told me some story about "TARBIAT" So i went ahead to question him that does this mean that a Sheikh or Mulla and normal Mumin are also different in the eyes of God?
He said YES!That is why they have been given these status. As far as I know they become Sheikhs and Mullas by paying an amount of money. I am sure he answered this way due to his Ignorance.
Because of my lack of knowledge which i am now working on i could not confront him!How would you or with which Ayats would you make an ignorant man like him look down in embarasment?
Your Brother in Islam.
(There may be some grammatical and spelling errors in the above statement. The forum does not change anything from questions, comments and statements received from our readers for circulation in confidentiality.)
Ranks with Allah
In the name of Allah, We praise Him, seek His help and ask for His forgiveness. Whoever Allah guides none can misguide, and whoever He allows to fall astray, none can guide them aright. We bear witness that there is no one (no idol, no person, no grave, no prophet, no imam, no dai, nobody!) worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Muhammad (saws) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers.
If there is a mosque in a community, and an imam is appointed to lead the prayers by the authorities or leadership, then it is his right to lead the prayer in congregation. But in case the imam oversleeps, or leaves town, etc. and is not available to lead the prayers, then the one who has been appointed by the imam to lead the prayers in his absence, has a right to lead the prayers. If the imam did not appoint anyone, then one amongst the believers who is the most pious may lead the prayers, or even the one who has memorized more of the Quran may lead the prayers. These are the teachings of the Messenger of Allah (saws), his noble ahle-bayt and his noble companions; and they all followed this principle.
Thus, if the brother Mullah was appointed by the imam to lead the prayers, then all the believers should have prayed behind him, and the excuse given by the sheikh about tarbeeyat is ridiculous! All human beings are equal in the sight of the Lord, and the most honorable in his sight is not the one who has been given titles in exchange for money, or has family lineage, or has wealth, or position, or power, or strength, etc.; but rather, the most honorable in the sight of Allah is the one who is the most pious and God-Fearing of them. This is clearly stated in the Holy Quran!
Allah says in the Holy Quran: Chapter 49 Surah Hujurat verse 13:O mankind, We created you from one man and one woman, and then divided you into nations and tribes so that you may recognize one another. Indeed, the most honorable among you in the sight of Allah is he who is the most pious of you. Surely Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise.
Your Statement: So i went ahead to question him that does this mean that a Sheikh or Mulla and normal Mumin are also different in the eyes of God? He said YES! That is why they have been given these status. As far as I know they become Sheikhs and Mullas by paying an amount of money. I am sure he answered this way due to his Ignorance.
Your deduction is indeed accurate that these people have been given these titles of Mullas, Sheikhs, MKDs, NKDs, etc. in exchange for an amount of money; and these titles have absolutely no basis or authority from Allah Subhanah, His Quran, or His Messenger (saws). Allah clearly states in the above quoted aayah of Surah Hujuraat that the most honorable amongst mankind in the sight of Allah is the one who is the most pious or God Fearing! The Sheikh who made this claim that people are differentiated by Allah in ranks through the titles given by some human being in exchange for an amount of money, is not only ignorant; but also arrogant! And in the arrogance of the title of Sheikh that he bought, he refused to pray behind a believer who was rightfully leading the prayer!
Your Question: How would you or with which Ayats would you make an ignorant man like him look down in embarasment?
Allah Subhanah is the One Who honors whom He Wills, and debases whom He Wills. Our intention should not be to embarrass someone or debase him; because it may be that the Sheikh was sincerely ignorant, and that ignorance is what brought about the arrogance in him! Our intention should be to guide him to the Truth of what Allah and His Messenger (saws) have guided the believers. The above aayah quoted of Surah Hujuraat is a perfect answer to anyone who says that one is superior to the other because of color, race, wealth, power, titles, etc. Allah Subhanah Himself declares who is superior to the other, and his barometer for superiority is not wealth, position, power, titles, lineage, etc. but it is: taqwa and piety.
Whatever written of Truth and benefit is only due to Allahs Assistance and Guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah Alone Knows Best and He is the Only Source of Strength.
Your Brother in Islam,