The following six step argument has been formulated with the modern skeptic and atheist in mind. Drawing from the works of Imam al-Ghazali (may Allah have mercy on him) and others, each premise is accompanied with an explanation of the exact ‘manner of deduction’ (kayfiyyat al-wazn), so the reader may appreciate exactly what is being done. Using only intuitively deductive modes of argument which have their origin in the Qur’an and which no sane human being can reject, the argument seeks to establish an Entity attributed with necessary existence (ithbat al-wajib) and attributes of perfection such as life, will, power and knowledge, and also free of resemblance to the creation in any way which would allow one to pose the question, Who created him? This will all be done based only on universally accepted absurdities (musta’hilat). Certain areas where the doubt casters attempt to undermine our proof have been given extra attention. Most major objections have been dealt with in the main body of the article.
There has been a growing tendency in recent times within some quarters of the Muslim Ummah to attempt to understand the hadiths of the beloved Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) without the proper prerequisite knowledge of fiqh and its principles. Movements have emerged, a fundamental part of whose methodology it is to take hadiths in their apparent and literal meanings, without attempting to understand the actual purpose of any hadith. The issue of how those in congregational prayer should stand is no exception. They have looked at the chapter in Sahih al-Bukhari entitled Bab ilsaqi ‘l-mankibi bi ‘l-mankibi wa ‘l-qadami bi ‘l-qadami fi ‘l-Saff (Chapter regarding the joining of shoulders to shoulders, and feet to feet in prayer rows) and the athar of Sayyiduna Nu’man ibn Bashir and that of Sayyiduna Anas (may Allah be pleased with them) (hadith: 725) and without even attempting to use their intellect to explore the various interpretations to which the wording is open, they seek to enforce on the Muslims the physical joining of shoulders and feet with one another when standing in the prayer row. The ‘ulama of the madhhabs (that is, the four established schools of Islamic law) have always maintained that this is not how these athar are to be understood.
It is with great sadness that we note confusion in the minds of many students and even some scholars concerning the obligation of the niqab (veil) in the Hanafi madhhab, which expressly classifies covering the face as binding on women and forbids the exposure of the face in the presence of ghayr mahrams (strangers). While there have been dozens of works penned on this issue, we wish to focus on the Hanafi stance due to the abuse it is being subjected to. We ask Allah Most High to grant us the tawfiq (ability) to explain the issue in a manner pleasing to Him.
In regards to folding one’s clothes while praying and the issue of isbal (wearing one’s garment below the ankles), Shaykh al-Hadith Mawlana Muhammad Zakariyya Kandhlawi (may Allah have mercy on him) writes in Lami’ al-Darari (vol. 1, pg. 327-28): “Qadi ‘Iyad considers the tying back of the hair and folding of the clothes undesirable for the person performing salah, this is regardless of whether he does it outside or inside salah, and he mentions that the scholars are unanimous that this does not invalidate the prayer.
The issue of the permissibility of istighathah/isti ‘anah is one that is widely discussed and a bone of contention for many. The elders of Deoband — like their predecessors from the Wali Allah and Mujaddidi tradition — write that there are three meanings of isti’anah.