Imam Abu Hanifah, Wrapping of silk and other issues

(Published in ‘Al-Jawwad’, February 1958 A.D.)

After that, the Rizwan editor writes out of the wonders of shamefulness as follows: “Not only this, the Shia faith is so dirty that it is permissible to have sexual relations even with women in the prohibited degree (Mahram) provided one has wrapped his private part with silk. Zainul Abideen Haeri Mazandarani, a Shia scholar, writes in Zakhiratul Ma’ad (page 95) that: ‘Intercourse (with mother and sisters) is permissible after wrapping silk.’”

The editor of Rizwan has written about Shaykh Zainul Abideen Mazandarani in a very disrespectful way. Thus, after this he and all the scholars of his religion do not have any right to be addressed respectfully. However, I would like to follow the way of Ahlul Bayt (as) and remain within the limits of civility.

The reality shall be exposed when you read the question and answer of Zakhiratul Maad in entirety:

“Question: If a person wraps a silk handkerchief or something like it over his sexual organ so that during intercourse or otherwise it does not come in contact with the woman’s body, is ritual bath (Ghusl) obligatory on him?

Answer: The obligation of ritual bath is not bereft of strength. And it is narrated from Abu Hanifah that it is permissible to penetrate the mahrams (mothers, sister, daughter etc.) after wrapping silk.”

This question and answer prove that the questioner has tried to obtain a verdict of his Shia religion about that issue of Ahlul Sunnat. Shaykh Mazandarani says that the ritual bath would be obligatory in any case. However, it is the ideology of Abu Hanifah that leave aside the obligation of ritual bath, it is even permitted to fulfill one’s lust in this way through women in the prohibited degree.

Hence, this is the verdict of the Hanafis and has no connection with the Shias. The editor of Rizwan omitted the words ‘it is narrated from Abu Hanifah’ and tried to grant the Shias that we fulfill our lust through mahrams after wrapping silk. He has repeated this in the journal of the Safar month also that ‘these wordings are present on Pg. 95 of Zakhiratul Maad and one who proves it wrong would be rewarded a thousand rupees.’

I do not want to argue much in this matter but I want to show that if narrations are presented in this way after omitting some words and any religion is criticized with it the Rizwan editor will not get protection in the corner of the grave also. Here are some examples:

A) Today any Christian can say, “It is present in the fourteenth ruku1 of the sixth part of Quran that: ‘surely God is third among the three’. This proves that the belief of Trinity is sanctioned by Quran. One who proves this reference wrong would be rewarded a hundred thousand rupees.”

B) Then, another Christian can say, “Isa was the son of God, and it is quoted in the eleventh ruku of the tenth part of the Quran that ‘Isa is the son of God’.”

C) Not only this but he himself is God as mentioned in the seventh and fourteenth ruku of sixth part that ‘surely God is Messiah bin Maryam’. One who proves these references wrong would be rewarded a hundred thousand rupees.

Under such circumstances, the Rizwan editor would become a Christian due to his own rule.

D) At that time, a Jew could say, “Why did you become a Christian? Our religion is even more ancient and true, and supported by Quran, as ‘Uzair is the son of God’. This is also present in the tenth part’s eleventh ruku.

E) Not only this, according to our belief, the Quran considers God as helpless. It is mentioned in the thirteenth ruku of the same part that ‘the hands of God are tied’. One who disproves these references shall be rewarded ten million rupees.”

At that time, the Rizwan editor would prefer to become a Jew.

F) But the problem is that the idol-worshippers would not allow him to be at peace and say, “The command is present in Surah Nuh of Quran that, ‘By no means leave your Gods, nor leave Wadd nor Suwa nor Yaghus and Yauq and Nasr.’ One who proves this reference wrong would be awarded a billion rupees.” Then, the poor editor of Rizwan, Maulana Syed Mahmud Ahmad Rizvi, would start prostrating before the idols.

G) Alls well till here, but he would also have to become a Shia with which he has deep hatred. I challenge that the leader of Sunnis, Shah Abdul Aziz Dehlavi has written all those defects, which were found in the three caliphs, A’ysha and Muawiyah in his book Tohfa Ithna Ashariya. All those facts are present even today in the same book. If a person proves this reference wrong he would be awarded ten billion rupees.

H) Well, Tohfa Ithna Ashariya is the work of someone else. I present the sentences penned by the Rizwan editor himself. The editor of Rizwan has written them in the issue of December 1954 from Pg. 6 to 10. They are not the sentences of anyone else. The Rizwan editor has himself written them as headings in bold letters:

    (1) The Righteous Caliphate and Yazid in the same pan

    (2) Companions of the Prophet sacrificed Islam

    (3) Abu Bakr was not farsighted

    (4) Umar accepted insult to religion

    (5) Talha and Zubair were liars

    (6) A’ysha was a revolter

    (7) A’ysha, Siddiq and Uthman were wealth- hoarders

    (8) All companions and followers of companions liked luxury and power

    (9) Amir Muawiyah, Iblis and Ahriman (Zoroastrian God of Darkness)

    (10) The Prophet’s daughters married infidels

    (11) The father-in-law of the Messenger of Allah (S) was an infidel

The Rizwan editor has himself written all these statements. If someone proves this reference wrong he would be rewarded a hundred billion rupees. When the Rizwan editor has already accepted all these issues what stops him from being a Shia? It is better to either prove these references wrong and win the prize or become a Shia and improve his hereafter.

When the distrust of the Rizwan editor was unveiled in ‘Razakar’ that he has removed the words: ‘It is narrated from Abu Hanifah’ and committed great dishonesty, he became so blatant that he tried to prove that the Mujtahid Mazandarani had quoted Abu Hanifah to ridicule him.

However, it was neither an occasion of ridicule nor any word of the writing proves that it is a taunt. Mujtahid has written these statements as proof. It is obvious that to quote someone in reply and not rejecting it, proves that the one whose saying is quoted by Mujtahid, he is his religious leader and guide.

This proves that Abu Hanifah must also be an Imam of Shias. Now if the editor of Razakar says that there is no Abu Hanifah among Shias he should ask this only from Mujtahid. If not, he should visit his grave and do ‘Chilla’ (forty day seclusion for mystic communism) and say, “Sir, you died after writing this and left us in trouble. What have you written?” Some reply might come from his grave.2

Maybe the Rizwan editor would purposely fail to recognize this Abu Hanifah. But he cannot succeed in befooling the people.

Come, Mr. Rizwan Editor, let me tell you who this Abu Hanifah is. He is your Imam and a leader of the Hanafis. Among the four Sunni schools of Islamic law, Numan bin Thabit Kufi is the head of the Hanafi school. He is also called ‘Abu Hanifah (r.a.)’. Hammad was his teacher and his students include Imam Abu Yusuf and Imam Muhammad bin Hasan. Both his students are credited with propagating his religion. His biography titled Seeratun Numaan is written and published by Allamah Shibli.

Do you recognize him now?

What can now be the reply for the blatant allegation that Abu Hanifah is called our Imam? Whereas our twelve Imams are those before whom the world bows. Venerating whose shrines is a cause of honor for the rulers of the time.

Also note another misinterpretation, that after stating the obligation of the ritual bath, Mazandarani quotes the saying of Abu Hanifah that ‘Intercourse with Mahrams after wrapping silk’, you construe it to be an approval and proof of obligation of ritual bath. It is the height of misunderstanding.

Actually, the Rizwan editor is infuriated that Mazandarani relied on writings of others and increased the condition of ‘wrapping silk’ in the verdict of Imam Abu Hanifah. While the verdict given by their Imam did not have even that much restriction that one should wrap silk. There was complete freedom that any Hanafi could perform Nikah with his mother, sister, daughter, paternal aunt, maternal aunt, niece, mother-in-law, daughter-in-law and all Mahrams and fulfill his lust through them and increase his progeny. It is written in the famous book of Hanafite teachings, Hidayah:3

“If a person marries a woman with whom Nikah is prohibited and then, even if he goes to bed with her, according to Abu Hanifah the legal penalty would not be applicable on him.”4

And the ‘Great Imam’ has proved it as follows:

“And, according to Abu Hanifah, this marriage is correct according to the circumstance because it is capable of fulfilling the need. Women are daughters of Adam and capable of bearing children and this is the aim of marriage.”5

Fakhruddin Razi, a famous Sunni Imam, has described this verdict of Imam Abu Hanifah in his renowned Tafsir Kabir6 in the exegesis of the verse:

“Forbidden to you are your mothers…”7

“The third point mentioned by Shafei (r.a.) is that if a man marries his mother and even commits incest, the penalty is applicable to him while Abu Hanifah (r.a.) has said that the penalty is not applicable.”

Obviously, if an Imam gives such freedom and a scholar of another religion interprets it in an incomplete way and restricts them to the use of a silk handkerchief, the Hanafi scholars and especially the Rizwan editor would be annoyed. However, Mazandarani has not used the words ‘wrapping silk’ without any reason because Imam Abu Hanifah did not want to trouble his followers by making it incumbent on them to all the time perform Nikah with mother, sisters etc. hence, he has prescribed this method for them. A verdict is present in Bahrur Raqaiq Sharh Kanzud Daqaiq (Book of Marriage) that fulfilling lust by Mahrams after wrapping silk etc. is permissible. If it is done with mahram women after a cloth is wrapped on one’s organ, its prohibition is not proved.

Similar advice is given to those who do not want to care about Islamic law during fasting days that they should wrap silk and fulfill their desires so that they remain safe of the obligation of atonement (Kaffarah) etc.

Not only this, but even the ritual bath would not become obligatory. This narration is present in Jameur Rumooz.

Hence, Aqa Mazandarani has replied that the ritual bath would be obligatory among we Shias in such a state also. However, according to Abu Hanifah, a great Imam of Ahlul Sunnat, if one copulates after wrapping silk, the ritual bath would not be obligatory on him. Not only this, but according to him, even mahrams can become objects of lust after wrapping silk.

This is the true sense of Aqa Mazandarani. God knows what the Rizwan editor understood from it due to his good sense or evil intention?

Now, the Rizwan editor would have recognized Abu Hanifah as to what the temperament of his great leader was and the secret of the popularity of Hanafi faith is also understood. Such liberal laws attract everyone. God be praised! If you want to see more wonders of your Imam, read the following statements of Imam Ghazzali. You will come across some more interesting laws:

“Abu Hanifah has almost destroyed the Islamic law. He made its ways dubious and changed its system…The disorder in details of Prayer in his religion is not a hidden issue. The discussion would become lengthy if I delve deeper. The fruit of his foolishness is obvious even in the shortest Prayer. Even if he presents his shortest prayer to a foolish ignorant, he would also flatly refuse to follow him (such is the picture of that Prayer).

If a person dives into a pond of wine, wears a tanned skin of dog, says ‘Takbiratul Ihraam’ (Allaho Akbar) in Hindi or Turkish languages without performing ‘intention’, and instead of reciting Quranic chapters recites the translation of ‘Madhaa Mataan’, (Two green leaflets), pecks two prostrations without bowing so fast that he does not even perform ‘Quood’ (short sitting in prayers) in between, and at the end he intentionally releases flatulence without reciting Tashahud, it would be considered a salutation and (then the prayer is complete).

If one passes gas in the middle of prayer he should perform ablution (at that time) and after the prayer, he should pass it deliberately, since he did not intend to complete the prayer in his former effort. (Here) every sensible person should be certain that Allah did not appoint any Prophet with such prayer and the Messenger of Allah (S) himself never invited towards such a prayer. Moreover, prayer is a pillar of Islam. Nevertheless, Abu Hanifah considered the above-mentioned prayer as the shortest obligatory prayer. He believes that messengers were sent only with such a prayer and all other acts in prayer are for etiquette and are recommended. As far as fasting is concerned, he has uprooted its pillars and left it half-dead, because he made it compulsory to give precedence to intention of fasting.

For Zakat he issued a verdict that it is permissible to delay its payment even if it is badly needed and the eyes of beggars remain open waiting for it. He also gave a verdict that if a person dies before paying Zakat, its obligation would be taken away from him. Did not Abu Hanifah destroy the Islamic law in this way?

For Hajj, he gave an exactly opposite order. That it is obligatory to perform the Hajj immediately. However, needs of other Muslims are not related with Hajj (as in Zakat).

These were some of his wonders in worship acts. Now, as for penalties, he annulled their purpose also and ruined all the basics and commands. The purpose of Islamic law is protection of life, dignity and wealth. Abu Hanifah demolished the rule of capital punishment in cases when a killer kills with a stone. He made strangling of neck, drowning in water and killing through various heavy things a way to avoid capital punishment. He moved so ahead that he rejected sense and extemporization and said that killing with such objects cannot be called murder and it is doubtful. Which sensible person can believe in such emulation? Except when there is an effect of excessive stupidity.

As far as copulation is concerned, Imam Abu Hanifah has established ways through which penalties are annulled. For example, paid sex and establishing sexual relations with mothers after performing Nikah with them. He believed that all these acts invalidate penalties. A person who wants to commit an evil act with a believing woman, what difficulty would he have in hiring her? Can anyone justify this?” Then he said that if four just witnesses testify against him for fornication and he himself confesses once, the penalty shall be cancelled.

He gave a verdict about wealth and property that making minor changes in a usurped thing deprives the owner of its ownership. For instance, making flour out of usurped wheat…At last, he made such a rule, which almost demolished the Shariah of Muhammad (S). When false testimonies are presented about the Nikah of a wife with someone else and if the judge wrongly gives decision in its favor the woman becomes lawful for him even though this second man is fully aware of the truth and the woman would in future be prohibited on her former husband.”

After this the cup of Imam Ghazzali’s patience began to overflow and he says:

“And if the hearts would not have united over the emulation (Taqleed) of such foolishness even one whose feelings were a little perfect would not have followed one who explains the Islamic law like this. Thus the former Imams denounced Abu Hanifah with great severity. The scholars have accused him of destroying their Islamic law. Even Qazi Abu Bakr said after seeing the law of retaliation of Abu Hanifah that it is insane to assume that the killer did not intend to murder with those heavy objects. On the other hand, if he has a contrary belief and issues this order he has made a good plan to destroy religion.”8

If some more details of the ‘great Imam’ are needed refer to the following writings in the fourth part of this same book Kitab Mankhool:

“Abu Hanifah was not a jurist (Mujtahid) because he was unaware of the (rules of) language. His saying, “Lau Ramaahu bi Abu Qubais” ‘If he shoots an arrow towards Mt. Abu Qubais’ proves his ignorance (in spite of the presence of the article ‘bi’ he says ‘Abu’ instead of ‘Abi’). That is, it should be, ‘If he shoots an arrow towards Mt. Abi Qubais’. Also, he was unaware of traditions. Hence, he was attracted towards weak traditions and rejected the correct ones. He was not even a ‘Faqih’ (expert jurisprudent) and used to resort to conjecture for no reason at all even though it was often contrary to reality.”

The same Qazi Abu Bakr whose saying is quoted by Imam Ghazzali says regarding Abu Hanifah after much argumentation that:

“There is no need to worry while opposing Abu Hanifah because I am sure he has committed mistakes in ninety percent of his verdicts in which he differs with the other Imams and in the remaining ten percent he is an equal partner in this. It is even possible that his opponents may have precedence in this also.”

The editor of Rizwan would have known as to who that Abu Hanifah is, who permits fulfillment of lust even from mahrams. He might have also learnt of his other feats. How much favor he has bestowed on the Messenger of Allah (S) that he did not let anything from prayer to penalties of murder un-tempered. According to the saying of Imam Ghazzali, ‘he devastated it completely’.

If leaders are such what the followers would be? Praise be to Allah.

Followers all over the world try to emulate their leaders. If the Rizwan editor too tries to emulate Imam Abu Hanifah what can one say? He would get a license to all types of lustful deeds, in spite of the claim of Islam.

In 1957 A.D., some Pakistanis performed prayers of Eid al-Azha in Urdu. There was a great hue and cry on this from Pakistan to India, that it was an innovation, an insult to Islam and disgrace of Divine commands etc. etc.

God knows what all they said. While those followers had just stepped on the way shown by this great Imam. Had they moved a little forward, God knows what these spectators would have done. However, I am surprised over only one thing that the followers had to bear these atrocities, but the holy personality who opened the door to this innovation and dishonor of Divine religion is called the ‘Great Imam (r.a.)’.

  • 1. Subdivision of (Juz/para) parts of Quran
  • 2. Rizwan, Lahore Pg. 12 14/7, December 1954
  • 3. Published at Matba Shaykh Yahya, Pg. 381
  • 4. Hidaya, Pg. 381
  • 5. Hidaya, Pg. 381
  • 6. Vol. 3, Jamaliya, Egypt, First edition Pg. 182
  • 7. Surah Nisa 4:23
  • 8. Kitab Mankhool, Imam Ghazzali with reference to Istiqsaaul Afham, Vol. 2, Pg. 199-201