BOOKS OF HAZRAT SYEDNA PIR MEHER ALI SHAH SAHIB (R.A)
Tahqiq-ul-Haq Fi Kalima-tul-Haq
first book of Hazrat Tahqiq-ul-Haq Fi Kalima-tul-Haq (The truth about
Kalima-tul-Haq) was written in 1897 AD in Persian language. It gained wide
approbation in the Islamic world because of its high scholarly and analytical
content, and the erudite discussion on important religious and spiritual issues
contained in it. In 1962, a second edition of the book, containing Urdu
translation along with Persian text, was published. Finally, a third hard-bound
edition was published, with further amplifications and printing improvements, in
The central themes of this book is Wahdat-ul-wajood (Ultimate Oneness of Being), and the Kalimah-e-Tawhid (Translation: There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is His messenger). This book of Hazrat Syedna Pir Meher Ali Shah (R.A) provides a masterly exposition of the concept of "Wahdat-ul-Wajood" and helped clear many of the prevailing misinterpretations of the concept.
Reason for writing the book
The agreed meanings and implications of Wahdat-ul-Wajood and Wahdat-ush-Shahud appear to have been departed from by one Maulana Abdul Rahman of Lucknow, a contemporary of Hazrat, in his booklet titled "Kalimatul Haq" (The Word of Truth). The Maulana was an eminent religious scholar, well-versed in both Shariah sciences and in Tasawwuf (Sufism) He was a staunch believer in Wahdat-ul-Wajood, in theory as well as practice. It appears, however, that during the course of his spiritual journey, he was so overcome by excessive absorption in the concept of Tawhid-e-wujudi (Unity of Being) as to indulge in a rather distorted interpretation of the concept in his above-mentioned book. In effect, he described idols (false gods) to be "at par with Allah", through a mis-interpretation of the word "ilah" (god) used in the Kalima-e-Tawhid. Maulana even went a step further and asserted that the entire Muslim Ummah was under an obligation to accept his aforesaid version of Wahdat-ul-wajood, and that ulama (past or present) who rejected this version were, or would be, guilty of misguidance.
Taking serious note of this, some contemporary ulama denounced Maulana Abdul Rahman's views as amounting to heresy, although very few of them were able to effectively counter the many learned and weighty arguments that the Maulana had advanced in support of his view-point. The result was that the issue threatened to disrupt the unity of the entire Muslim ummah.
It was this point that Hazrat decided to intervene, and wrote his book titled "Tahqiq-ul-Haq Fi Kalimatul Haq". In this book, he refuted Maulana Abdul Rahman's stand on the the point at issue with powerful and convincing arguments derived from Quran and the hadith. He conclusively proved that the meaning and interpretation of Kalima-e-Tawhid, which had been unanimously accepted and acted upon by the Islamic ummah ever since the period of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) and with his full approval, but which Maulana Abdul Rahman had differed from in his booklet, were enough to preserve the iman of a Muslim, and to rid him from "kufr" (unbelief) and shirk (association or ascribing "partners" to Allah). At the same time, however, Hazrat desisted from dubbing Maulana as a heretic, as many other ulama had done. Instead he considered the latter's views to be based, not on any willful or ill-intentioned distortion but on an "overpowering spiritual experience", and therefore attributable to a state of mind beyond the Maulana's own control.
The subject covered in Hazrat's book was highly delicate and sensitive. Furthermore, the arguments advanced by the Maulana in support of his point of view had been very strong and scholarly, and they could only be refuted by reasoning equally logical and convincing. Because of this, Hazrat's book was necessarily a highly erudite and scholarly piece of writing, and its contents could be truly understood only by persons well-versed in both the Arabic language in which the book was written, and the intricacies and subtleties of the spirit.
Indeed the book was hailed by distinguished scholars and sufia as a work of outstanding merit and a masterpiece. Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi, who occupies a position of eminence among the Sub-continent's ulama, was reported to have observed,
"If Hazrat Meher Ali Shah had not produced this book, it would have become exceedingly difficult (if not well-nigh impossible) for the Muslim community to preserve its age-old belief structure in the face of the powerful case made by Maulana Abdul Rahman for his point of view. Thanks to this book, the controversy which threatened to divide the ummah into two bitterly opposed groups was amicably resolved and laid to rest for all time to come".
Topics covered in the book
a) Meaning and explanation of the Kalima’s opening words “ There is no god but Allah”;
b) A discussion of Tawhid-e-wujudi (Unity of Being), and of the way to understand and experience it as done by the classical and eminent spiritual masters;
c) Meaning and explanation of the second part of the Kalimah “ (Muhammad (P.B.U.H) is the Messenger of Allah)"; and
d) Selected ahadith (traditions) of the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) on this and
mentioned earlier, this book was written by Hazrat (R.A) as a part of his fight
against Qadianism or Ahmadiya movement. In short, the book Shamsul Hidayah
established the case for Jesus Christ’s ascent to Heaven "alive” and
“in person” in such forceful and incontrovertible terms as to totally
demolish Mirza’s interpretation and claims. The book was, therefore, acclaimed
by the Muslim ulama of all schools of thought. This
book was written in the year 1899.
Reason for writing the book - in Hazrat's (R.A) own words
A summary of reasons given by Hazrat in the beginning of the book for its compilation is reproduced below:
(a) The era of true guidance, firm adherence to the faith, and balanced thinking and action is now long past, with the result that human nature is being increasingly influenced by prejudice and ignorance.
(b) Due to the general lack of piety, and fear of God, inner light, and scholarly ability, it has become difficult to distinguish between right and wrong and to preserve true belief.
(c) Simplicity and truth, which are among the basic and important principles of Islam, have given place to greed, mischief and hypocrisy.
(d) Despite these shortcomings, people now tend to consider themselves to be all-knowing, and to regard the visions of prophets of Allah to be the subject of error and misinterpretation, and the “ijtihadat” (re-interpretations) of early ulama to be ‘obsolete’ while they consider their own meanings and interpretations to be immune from those faults.
(e) Because of all this, the patently wrong and misleading views set forth in Qadyani writings have started gaining more and more credence, making it imperative that something effective be done to stem this tide.Hazrat added that the Qadyani views had been brought to his notice earlier, but he had been restraining the ulama from condemning them because he considered this to be against the Islamic principles of tolerance and broadness of outlook. However, a situation had now been reached which could not be tolerated or ignored any longer. He had, therefore, written the book “Shamsul Hidayah” to inform the people about the true meanings of the Quranic ayah and the Prophet’s (P.B.U.H) ahadith on the related points, and thereby ensure that the established and unanimously accepted beliefs of Islam are not discarded merely due to the lack of correct knowledge.
In short, the book Shamsul Hidayah established the case for Jesus Christ's ascent to heaven "alive and in person" in such forceful and incontrovertible terms as to totally demolish Mirza's interpretation and claims. The book was, therefore, acclaimed by the Muslim ulama of all schools of thought. The adverse and abusive remarks made about it by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad and his followers in their various writings and sayings were an indirect proof of their helplessness in providing an effective answer to the arguments and reasoning presented by Hazrat in the book. The book has gone through three editions since it was published, the latest one having been published in 1985.
As Hazrat had made out a very strong case in his book "Shamsul Hidayah" to expose the fallacy of the arguments put forward by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad to back up his claim to be the masil of Jesus Christ and later the Promised Messiah in person. Besides negating those arguments, Hazrat had also called upon Mirza to explain the true inner meaning of the Kalima-e-Tayyibah.
About two years of the publication of Shamsul Hidayah, the Qadyani camp published two books by way of rejoinders to Shamsul Hidayah. One of these titled "Ijaz-ul-Masih" (The Miracle of Messiah), was written by Mirza himself. Concerning his own book, Mirza put forward the claim that it was beyond human power to reply to the arguments contained in that book (Ijaz-ul-Masih).
The second Qadyani book, titled "Shams-e-Bazighah" (The Shining Sun) was written and published by Mirza Sahib's loyal disciple and old-time associate, Maulvi Ahsan Amrohi. In this book, an effort was made, besides other things, to give a detailed explanation of the Kalimah (There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is His Messenger), as had been demanded by Hazrat in his book Shamsul Hidayah.
In reply to
Mirza’s two aforesaid books, Ijaz-ul-Masih and Shams-e-Bazighah, Hazrat wrote
his now-renowned book Saif-e-Chishtiyai (The Chishtia Sword), and had it
distributed free of cost to the sub-continent’s ulama and mashaikh as well as
among religious schools and other institutions.
further elaborated the arguments contained in Hazrat’s earlier book
Shams-ul-Hidayah. In addition, it made nearly one hundred critical comments on
the incorrect meaning and logic, errors of grammar, diction and idiom,
plagiarisms and distortions in respect of Surah Al-Fateha (the opening Surah of
the Holy Quran) as contained in Mirza’s Ijaz-ul-Masih. Similar criticism were
made of the contents of Shams-e-Bazighah, in which an effort had been made by
Mirza to spell out the meaning of the Kalimah (There is no god but Allah and
Muhammad (P.B.U.H) is Allah’s Messenger) as demanded by Hazrat in
Shams-ul-Hidayah and objections had also been raised to the various points made
in that book (Ijaz-ul-Masih, written by Mirza Qadyani).
As clarified by Hazrat in his introductory remarks, this book, like Shamsul Hidayah, was also written by Hazrat on the insistence of some ulama and other people rather than on his own initiative, and its real purpose was to explain the correct position of the related issues from the standpoints of the Quran and the Hadith for the information and guidance of people rather than to indulge in polemics with Mirza and his followers.
Saif-e-Chishtiyai elaborated further upon the arguments contained in Hazrat's earlier book Shamsul Hidayah, and also gave convincing rejoinders to the objections raised by Mirza concerning that book. In addition, it made nearly one hundred critical comments on the incorrect meanings and logic, errors of Arabic grammar, diction and idiom (which are crucially important in relation to the Quran and the Hadith, since even the slightest error can completely distort the meanings of the relevant ayat and ahadith) in respect of Surah Al-Fateha contained in Mirza's Ijaz-ul-Masih. Similar criticisms were made of the contents of Shams-e-Bazighah. The details of these various comments, which can be properly understood only by those well-versed in Arabic language and in religious issues, may be seen in the book itself.
In Saif-e-Chishtiyai, Hazrat had inter alia predicted that since Mirza was an impostor, he would never have the privilege of visiting Madina Munawwara and paying his respects at the tomb of the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H), which, according to a hadith was one of the things which Jesus Christ (the real Promised Massiah) was destined to do, along with the performance of Hajj, after his future descent to earth. This prediction was proved correct when Mirza died a few years later neither performing Hajj nor visiting Madina.
Saif-e-Chishtiyai was hailed by contemporary religious scholars as a
masterpiece on the subject. It was quoted extensively by writers of Quranic
commentaries and other religious authors as a reference to prove their various
points. As intended, this book did effectively stem the advancing Qadyani tide,
making it almost completely ineffective. It helped thousands of Muslims to
rediscover the truth about the issues that Qadianism had raised, besides making
many Qadianis themselves repent and rejoin the ranks of orthodox Muslims.
Saif-e-Chishtiyai was hailed by contemporary religious scholars as a masterpiece on the subject. It was quoted extensively by writers of Quranic commentaries and other religious authors as a reference to prove their various points. As intended, this book did effectively stem the advancing Qadyani tide, making it almost completely ineffective. It helped thousands of Muslims to rediscover the truth about the issues that Qadianism had raised, besides making many Qadianis themselves repent and rejoin the ranks of orthodox Muslims.
4. I’la Kalimatillah Fi Bayan-e-Wa Ma Uhilla Bihi Legharillah
Word of Allah through the Quranic ayah: “And that which hath been dedicated to
anyone other than Allah- II, 173). First Published in 1322 A.H. (1904-05 A.D.).
of the book
book was written by Hazrat (R.A) to present the correct and balanced view, according
to the Quran and Sunnah, concerning certain issues of day-to-day significance,
which have been a constant source of controversy among ulama of different
schools of thought.
a) Permissibility of sacrificing animals in the name of Allah by way of thanksgiving to Him, but at the same time as an invocation of blessing for the souls of eminent religious and spiritual personalities;
b) Legitimacy of making offering at shrines of ‘ulama and Mashaikh (spiritual leaders);
c) Seeking spiritual help from the souls of eminent deceased Awlia-e-Allah;
d) True meaning and scope of the Quranic injunctions to the believers to place complete and absolute faith in Allah in all matters;
e) Intercession by prophets before Allah on the sinners’ behalf on the Day of Judgment; and
f) Ability of the deceased to hear after death.
The book was meant to rectify the extremist and diametrically divergent views that had come to prevail over time among ulama of different schools on these points. Immediate occasion for writing it was provided by certain questions posted to Hazrat by a group of Pakhtun and Afghan ulama from Indian’s NWFP. For the benefit of these ulama, Hazrat wrote the book in Persian. Later, on Hazrat Babuji’s initiative, the Persian text was republished along with its Urdu translation for the benefit of the general reader.
AlFatuhat-us-Samadiyyah (Divine Bounties)
book (published in 1325 A.H. – 1907-08 AD) was written in answer to ten
questions addressed by a group of non-conformist ulama to Hazrat indirectly
through one of his disciples, Qaim Ali Chishti who was in a Madressah Nomaniya.
questions posed by the non-conformist ulama had been carefully chosen, so as
to cover several different branches of Islamic sciences. This was not done
presumably in the hope that no single person could be so widely learned as to be
able to do justice to all of them. They covered, for example, such subjects as
scholastic theology, linguistics, jurisprudence, philosophy, logic, Euclidean
Geometry, numbers, and so on, many of which had generated controversies among
‘ulama of the early Islamic period. Thanks, however, to the ‘Ilm-e-laduni
(Divinely inspired knowledge) with which he had been blessed by Allah. Hazrat
gave detailed replies to each one of the Questions.
To sum up, Hazrat’s book Al Futuhat-us-Samadiyyah covers some of the exceedingly complex and abstruse branches of Islamic sciences, and provides ample proof of the extraordinary vastness and depth of Hazrat’s knowledge and erudition.
Twelve questions posed by Hazrat to the non-conformist ulama, which were never answered
twelve questions addressed by Hazrat to non-conformist ulama at the end of the
book Futuhat-us-Samadiyyah, which, as stated earlier, never elicited any answers
from the latter, are summarized below:
a saying of Syedna Muhammad bin Ali with respect to the alphabetic system,
Hazrat asked the ulama to explain the meaning of that saying, and the reason for
their present sequential order.
one of the observations of Uwaisa-ibn-ul-Kamal on this subject, Hazrat asked for
the reasons behind it.
sought a solution to one of the conundrum (riddles) attributed to Sahib Abi
Madyan, which was more concise than the one that the ulama had asked Hazrat to
explanation was sought about the source and the reason of the “exception”
contained in the following expression of leading Islamic jurists:
maturity of the shadow of everything is similar in size to the thing itself
except around noon-time”.
some of the observations of leading scholastic theologians like Ashari,
Ibn-e-Kalab Hishm-bin Al-Hikam, Ibn Sina and others about the Word of Allah and
about letters and sounds, Hazrat asked his opponents to analytically prove the
correctness of anyone of those observations. He also inquired whether the latter
regarded “sifat” (attributes) of Allah to be identical with zaat
(“person”) of Allah Himself or separate from It.
is the geometrical figure that proves tawhid (Unity of Allah)? And which is the
figure relied upon by a Trinitarian Christian to justify his creed of Trinity.
Also indicate how the latter can be disproved with the help of Euclidean
three circles whose radiuses are equal in length to three given lines, of which
one touches (the circle) on the inside and the other on the outside. Describe
also the nature of relationship between the three radiuses which is conducive to
the solution of the problem.
the argument of the Ashairah (The Asharits) concerning the “recentness” (as
opposed to “ancientness”) of the universe, and describing it as incorrect,
Hazrat has called for reasons (if any) in favour of its correctness.
(R.A) question on this subject is also reproduced in full because of its
hadith concerning “Tahawwul-fissuwar” (transformation of figures) included
in Sahih-ul-Bukhari – apparently conflicts with the Quranic ayah (There is
nothing whatever like unto Him (i.e., Allah) – XLII, 11. Please reconcile the
two. How many scholars have objected to this hadith, and why? Give the reasons
for this from the hadith and the ayah themselves.
the hadith concerning the ‘Miraj’ (Ascension) of the Holy Prophet Moses from
among the apostles of Allah for the purpose of intervening in the matter of
determining the number of obligatory ritual prayers to be enjoined upon the Holy
Prophet’s (P.B.U.H) ummah? And why was this intervention considered necessary
at all considering that the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) himself had been blessed by
Allah with the knowledge of everything – past, present and future?
is the position of each particular apostle with respect to the specific
“falak” (heaven) to which he is related?”
Hazrat sought clarification as to why in the following Quranic ayat, which relate excerpts form the conversation between the Prophet Moses and Khizar, the latter used the singular pronoun for himself in the first ayah and the plural one in the second:
As for the ship it belonged to poor people working on the river, and I
wished to mar it for there was a king behind them who was taking every ship by
force (XVIII, 79)
And we intended that their (i.e., the parents’) Lord should change him
(i.e., the rebellious son) for one better in purity and nearer to mercy. (XVIII,
relation to the ayah – “And all things We have kept in a clear register
called for an explanation for the commentary on it by Shaikh Muhyuddin
Ibn-ul-Arabi (R.A), and on the points arising out of that commentary.
sought an explanation of some of the Quranic verses containing reference to
celestial bodies (sun, moon, stars etc). In particular, he enquired about the
reason for the phases of the moon having been specified as twenty-eight (28).
opposing ulama were asked to reconcile some of the conflicting observations
concerning astronomy/astrology and mathematics.
sum up, Hazrat’s book Al Futuhat-us-Samadiyyah, covers some of the exceedingly
complex and abstruse branches of Islamic branches and provides ample proof of
the extraordinary vastness and depth of Hazrat’s knowledge and erudition.
these questions still remain unanswered.
Tasfiah Mabain Sunni Wa Shi’ah
book, the last of Hazrat’s writings in prose, represents an effort by him to
amicably resolve the age-old schism between the Sunni and Shi’ah sects of
Islam. The major cause of discord between the two sects has been the divergence
of views between them about the manner in which the question of succession to
the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) was settled after his passing away, and especially
about the order in which the four Pious Caliphs (Abubakar, Umar, Usman and Ali)
were installed in the office. The Prophet (P.B.U.H) himself had not nominated a
successor, and had left the question to be decided on the basis of democratic
consensus in accordance with the true principles of Islam. Although the matter
was resolved with unison and amity at the time, issues seeking to sow the seeds
of dissension were raised concerning it, long after the event, by forces which
could only be regarded as ill wishers of the Muslim Ummah that had attained
dizzy heights of glory in a short period of time.
of the ruinous effects of this schism on the unity and integrity of the Muslim
Ummah, moderation-living ulama have endeavored from the beginning to bridge it
through their writings and pronouncements. Unfortunately, the schism has
continued to persist, largely because the voice of moderation and restraint has
often been stifled amidst the tumult of extremism, and also because the ill
wishers of the Islamic Ummah have, through their machinations and conspiracies,
not allowed the controversy to be resolved once and for all. Realizing the grave
and fundamental significance of this matter, therefore, Hazrat decided to write
on the issue in what was meant to be yet another effort to effect a lasting
reconciliation between the two sects. In this book, he quoted extensively from
Quran and Hadith to establish the legitimacy of the decision taken consensually
on the question of Khilafat (succession) to the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H), and to
present the correct and balanced view about the respective eminence of members
of the Prophet’s household (Ahle-baet) and his distinguished Companions (As’haab)
which had also developed overtime into a major point of conflict. The balanced
but scholarly and convincing tone in which the book has been written cannot but
elicit the admiration of all fair-minded readers. At the end the august author
appealed to both the sects to follow the path of moderation which is hallmark of
Islam, and to view the issue involved objectively and in correct perspective.
dictated the manuscript of this book to Khan Bahadur Maulvi Sher Muhammad,
custodian of his respondence, for some time before it was interrupted, first by
Hazrat’s illness and then by the onset of spiritual state which developed
gradually into Istighraq (total spiritual absorption). During his illness,
Hazrat’s permission was sought for the printing and publication of the
manuscript but he desired the matter to be deferred for the time being.
Unfortunately Hazrat passed away before the final completion and publication of
the book. After a careful review of the 142-page manuscript, the book was
published in 1979 with suitable explanatory notes.
Hazrat’s foreword indicating reasons for writing the book
friction between the Sunni and Shi’ah is not something new, that it should
call for an appeal by seekers of truth to present-day ‘ulama for its
resolution. Indeed, our venerable ancestors have been giving expression to their
views on the subject on the one hand and love for the Ahle-baet (Members of the
Prophet’s household) on the other with due moderation and decorum over the
past few centuries. Unfortunately, however, a new element seems to have entered
the scene in the recent times. This is the belief that it is essential for a true
sunni to be antagonistic to the Ahle-baet and friendly towards the Umayyids,
i.e., the two groups that were pitted against each other in the battle of
Karbala. The fact, however, is that the sunnis have never been guilty of this
attitude; indeed love and respect for Ahle-baet has always been regarded by the
sunni sect as a corner of their belief structure.
reason for this new trend seems to be that sunni ulama have, in their
speeches and teachings, tended largely to focus on rebutting the shi’ah
practice of hurling abuse on the Umayyad and their sympathizers, and have given
much less attention to highlight the virtues and excellent qualities of the
view of this situation, some well-meaning sunni ‘ulama have lately been
emphasizing the need for effective stemming of the aforesaid unhealthy trend. In
compliance with their wishes, and despite my lack of ability, competence and
time for this deterring task, I have therefore decided to write a few pages on
the subject. These pages bring together some of the views contained in earlier
writings and my own considered ideas on the subject. They are meant for the
information of persons interested in this vital issue, with the prayer that the
readers should pray for my salvation in recompense for a humble service to
Islam. May Allah, Who bestowed on the world and its denizens His boundless Mercy
in the august person of the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) of Islam (termed
Rahmat-ul-lil Alamin - Mercy for all the words) by Allah Himself in Quran,
condone the sins of the Muslim ‘Ummah and forgive us all.”
covered in the book
"Allah hath promised such of you as believe (O mankind !) and do good works that He will surely make them to succeed (the present rulers) in the earth even as He caused those who went before them their religion which He hath approved for them, and will give them in exchange safety after their fear. They serve Me; (and) they ascribe nothing as partner unto Me. Those who disbelieve henceforth, they are the miscreants." (XXIV, 55)
writing of fatawa, or rulings on religious-cum-juridical issues based on the
Quran and Sunnah, is an important branch of Islamic learning. Its importance
stems from the fact that the Islamic Shariah comprehends every sphere of a
Muslim’s life, be it religious, spiritual, secular or any other. Fatawa are
meant to provide correct guidance on matters of day-to-day concern to persons
who are not themselves versed in the religious knowledge, but who are
nevertheless anxious to observe the Shariah in all matters as meticulously as
possible. Because of its nature and importance, the writing of Fatawa calls not
only for a thorough knowledge of every aspect of Shariah, but also an ability to
interrupt that knowledge accurately in relation to the issues under reference,
and also to couch the Fatawa in compilations of such eminent leaders of sunni
“Fiqh” as Imam Abu Hanifa, Imam Malik, Imam Shafi, and Imam Ahmad Bin
Humble, and of Imam Jaffer Sadiq (R.A) whose fiqh compilations are drawn upon by
the Shi'ah ulama, are the prime sources for the derivation of fatawa.
The book Fatawa-e-Mehria (Rulings of Hazrat Meher Ali Shah) brings together the Fatawa of Hazrat’s own writing. They were first published in book form in 1960. They have been further reviewed twice and their latest (third) revised edition was published in 1988.