Almighty Allah’s Oath on “Pen and its Writings” - Enlightening Talk by Dr Hassan Mohi-ud-Din Qadri
[Chairman Supreme Council of Minhaj-ul-Quran International Dr Hassan Mohi-ud-Din Qadri chaired an FMRi programme on March 1, 2021, to celebrate 70th Birthday of Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri. Speaking to the participants on the occasion, he selected a unique topic to express his views in the light of the first verse of Sura al-Qalam:
ن ۚ وَالْقَلَمِ وَمَا يَسْطُرُونَ
Noon. (Only Allah and the Messenger [pbuh] know the real meaning.) By the pen and by that (subject) which (the angels) write down! [Q.68:1]
The translation of the exalted talk by Dr Hassan is produced here by Shaykh Abdul Aziz Dabbagh for our readers’ benefit and enlightenment.]
The Faird-e-Millat Research Institute is a blessed department of Shaykh-ul-Islam’s research work tasked to accomplish his creative work in the form of one thousand books authored by him on a wide variety of subjects relating to the Islamic revivalism, his enlightening teachings of the Qur’an and Sunna and Islam’s message and practicability of global peace and observance of human rights for the creation of an integrated human society free of corruption, exploitation and violence permeated with the restoration of human dignity. The department is one of the rays of his erudition and light of guidance he is engaged in spreading all over the world. This is one of the spiritual benefits he is bestowing upon his followers and a reflection of Allah’s infinite benevolence and mercy He has conferred on him. FMRi is the nucleus of his research and creative work related to the revival of original and true Islamic teachings and the renaissance of learning treasured in the Qur’an and Sunna. Speaking about this special blessing, Shaykh-ul-Islam has always told us that whatever it is, it is nothing but the spiritual alms we receive from the sacred footwear of the exalted Messenger of Allah (pbuh). Once, in an ecstatic state, he said: You know not what blessings and spiritual donations Allah’s Beloved Messenger (pbuh) has bestowed upon Minhaj-ul-Quran International.
Shaykh Abd al-Qadir al-Jaza’iri, was an Algerian religious and military leader who led a struggle against the French colonial invasion in the mid-19th century. An Islamic scholar and Sufi who unexpectedly found himself leading a military campaign, he built up a collection of Algerian tribesmen that for many years successfully held out against one of the most advanced armies in Europe. His consistent regard for what would now be called human rights, especially as regards his Christian opponents, drew widespread admiration, and a crucial intervention to save the Christian community of Damascus from a massacre in 1860 brought honours and awards from around the world. Within Algeria, his efforts to unite the country against French invaders saw him hailed as the ‘modern leader’, and his ability to combine religious and political authority led to his being acclaimed as the ‘Prince among the Saints’.
Almighty Allah had blessed Shaykh al-Jaza’iri with the capabilities of a great revolutionary leader, administrator and commander. He was endowed with a fluent and expressive pen and flowing and eloquent speech that would capture hearts of his readers and audience. He had an all-inclusive vision, with traditional as well as modern thoughts and a humanitarian approach towards peace, integration, tolerance, and non-violence. He would take all religions together to solve the problems of all communities putting up in a society. Whether Jews or Christians, all would seek his shelter when in trouble. However, none of the rulers or their representatives would dare come to him.
A great erudite, exalted scholar and exegete, a revolutionary leader and great Saint, Shaykh al-Jaza’iri narrated one of the most blissful and rapturous occurrences of his life which has been reported by Imam Yusuf b. Ismael al-Nabhani in his famous work Jawahir al-Bihar. The entrancing incident relates to the Holy Prophet’s call for Shaykh al-Jaza’iri to visit his mausoleum.
Imam al-Nabhani has described him in his scholarly book that he served the Umma for years and spent his energies for the realization of people’s interests. For long, he remained engaged in these activities to spread Islamic teachings of peace and moderation, integration and harmony and fighting the battle of truth against infidelity, adultery, mischief and treachery. In his heart of hearts, however, he would feel a deep pang owing to his close spiritual love contact with the exalted Messenger of Allah (pbuh) for a call to visit the exalted court of Allah’s Messenger (pbuh).
So blessed and spiritually favoured he was that the call to visit the holy presence of Allah’s Beloved Messenger (pbuh) showered mercy on him and he reached Medina, the illumined. Imam al-Nabhani has illustrated in his report the most captivating scenes of his visit to the Mausoleum and the spiritual ascension that followed.
“You are welcome Abd al-Qadir!” the holy voice said.
According to Imam al-Nabhani’s reporter, Shaykh Abd al-Qadir al-Jaza’iri reached Medina at night. He took bath, put on the new robe, scented and perfumed and wore his grand turban he had brought for the occasion. It was the Tahajjud prayer time when he reached the Messenger’s mausoleum. Imam al-Nabhani reports:
“Bowing before his two exalted companions, Abu Bakr and Umar (may Allah be well pleased with both of them), I presented my humble being before the Mawajaha Sharif and, with lowered and welled eyes, invoked salutations, peace and blessings on the Beloved Messenger (pbuh).”
وَقُلتُ: يا رسول الله ﷺ، عبدك بباك يا رسول الله ﷺ، كلبك باعتابك يا رسول الله ﷺ، نظرته منك تغييني يا رسول الله ﷺ، عطفه منك تكفيني. فسمعته يقول لي: أنت ولدي ومقبول عنده بهذه السجعة المباركة.
“Then I submitted: ‘O Messenger of Allah! Your most humble slave, the devoted and dedicated dog, is at your blessed door; your generous eye on me would enrich me with selfless and unworldly being. Your bounty and benevolent care will suffice me. So I heard the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) saying: “Sonny, Abd al-Qadir, you are welcome! We accept and welcome you with this panegyric!”
The report also relates:
“I entered the Jibril Door and stood with the utmost humility at the first step before the compartment of the Chief of the Women of Paradise, the exalted daughter of Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) and did not step over the threshold of Qadmayn Shareef, in fact, inwardly waiting for the permission to enter. This was a unique state I had never experienced. With eyes flooding and arms and hands folded for bowing before the Holy Presence of the Beloved Messenger (pbuh) in love and devotion, an ecstasy overwhelmed me and I started uttering panegyrics, eulogizing the Holy Prophet (pbuh). It streamed down from my lips wave upon wave. A sea of blessed words in commotion, I felt as if drowned into its stormy upsurge. Thousands of stars collected on my lips turning into a galaxy of praise poetry flowing through me like a downpour from the realm of light. And in this great prolific trance, a blessed sound lit my ears as if the grill of the mausoleum was opened. Then I heard the holy voice: ‘You are welcome Abd al-Qadir, in this pleasing state of spiritual flow! We accept and welcome you with this panegyric.’”
According to the narration, Shaykh Abd al-Qadir al-Jaza’iri, dazzlingly delighted, observing extreme propriety of his presence before Allah’s Beloved Messenger’s glorious personage, started taking small humble steps to near him. However, due to the extreme propriety and devotion, he could not firmly stay in front of the blessed feet of the Beloved Messenger (pbuh) and with folded arms and love-humble face tried to stand before the green grill in Qadmayn Shareef. Hard it was to have a look at the grill, he could not hold himself and screamed into unconsciousness.
According to Imam al-Nabhani, the reporter narrated:
فسمعت قائلا يقول: هذا سيدنا التهامي، ... فرفعت بصري فل حال الغيبة فاجتمع به بصري وهو خارج من شباک الحديد من جهت القدمين الشريفين، ثم تقدم إلی الشباك الآخر وخرقه إلی جهته وقرابته فخا مفخّما بادنا متماسکا، غيرعن شبیه الشريف أكثر، وحمرته وجهه أشد مما ذکره أصحاب الشمائل، فلما دنی منی رجعت الی فحسی فحمدت الله تعالی، ثم جعلت اذکرالله تعالی، فصعقت کالأولی، فورد عليَّ قوله تعالی: (إِذَا دُعِيتُمۡ فَٱدۡخُلُواْ فَإِذَا طَعِمۡتُمۡ فَٱنتَشِرُواْ.) (الأحزاب، 33 /53)
“Then (the grill opened and) I heard someone saying: Here is our Master and Protector; so in the same fainted state, I raised my eyes that focused on the effulgent countenance while he was out of the grill of Qadmayn Shareef. Then he moved to the next grill and opened it. So I glimpsed his magnificent transcendent personage, slightly taller than medium height, a white tinged reddish complexion, moderately wavy hair and large black eyes with outlined lids and long lashes, the apex of the physical beauty adoringly portrayed by the Companions, Biography writers, scholars and Imams, which I used to describe in my talks and speeches. A tempest of love coiled my heart that shook me with the intent: ‘Abd al-Qadir! See the opportunity; the Beloved Messenger (pbuh) has blessed you with his effulgent sight; step ahead and kiss his holy feet.”
“What a sight! Looking at the holy hands and the blessed feet, the robe of light and dignity and the divine turban, the growing morning bright sacred countenance and the fragrant tresses; beholding the Messenger of Allah (pbuh), Ta-Ha and cooling my eyes seeing al-Muzzammil and al-Muddaththir—I was slightly moving with the blessed intention to kiss the sacred feet when the effulgent sight was taken away! I was shifted from reverie to the tangible realm of reality. I submitted my intense gratitude to Almighty Allah for this mercy. Then again I screamed into the senseless state wherein the holy verse of the Qur’an was instilled into my heart:
إِذَا دُعِيتُمۡ فَٱدۡخُلُواْ فَإِذَا طَعِمۡتُمۡ فَٱنتَشِرُواْ.
When you are invited, then enter (at that time). Then, when you have eaten the meal, (get up from there and) disperse without delay. [Q.33:53]”
Abd al-Qadir! You have received whatever bites you were destined to take. That contains your gnosis, growth, survival, adequacy, pleasure-seeking of Allah’s Messenger (pbuh), reasoning, intellect, preaching and publication. Keep and protect these bites and distribute their benefits and favours amongst the Umma.
I felt that my visit was granted. O Allah’s Messenger! I was neither an exegete, nor a hadith-scholar; nor had I any communication skill, nor any spiritual affluence to donate. It is all your alms bestowed on me.
And he kept every moment of his life engaged in distributing the same bites amongst Umma.
Shaykh-ul-Islam, the Reviver of Time
Now look at our eminent Farid-e-Millat, Dr Farid-ud-Din Qadri. When Tahir was 12 years, Farid-e-Millat received a visit call from the Beloved Messenger of Allah (pbuh) with special instruction to take Tahir along. He took 12-year-old Tahir there and left him before the same Mawajaha Shareef. There is hardly any member of MQI who is not familiar with this special blessing conferred on Shaykh-ul-Islam through his eminent father’s mediation of sublime spirituality. He was blessed with a large container of milk by Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) and directed to distribute it amongst Umma.
Whether running and supervising his research in the Farid-e-Millat Research Institute authoring and producing tens of hundreds of books, or planning, directing and controlling a 70-day sit-in and educating the nation on basic human rights entrenched in the constitution, the Inqilab March or Islamic revivalism, serving the spread of hadith knowledge through compiling compendiums or designing, compiling and producing voluminous Qur’anic Encyclopaedia, addressing religious, economic, political and social meetings and conferences and promoting global peace and re-introducing the real identity of Islam to the world communities and coordinating the MQI and developing its future leadership, all his innumerable pursuits, creative ventures and activities are coming from the same milk-container he was awarded by the Beloved Messenger of Allah (pbuh). He is distributing the divinity and theophany of the realm of light, bringing into commotion the ocean of knowledge to make it reach out to all the communities on the globe. This entire flow of the sea of knowledge removes the darkness of ignorance and spreads light of awareness all around. The source is the holy footwear of Allah’s Messenger (pbuh) wherefrom it sprouts, flows and floods.
The modern revivalist of Umma, he has been endowed with rare capabilities of head and heart to raise the Himalayas of logic, communication, understanding and clear reception by his readers and listeners in whatever given time something is required to transpire. Such productivity is only possible due to the spiritual support that he is blessed with by the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) and the holy contact exists to date.
I recited the holy verse of Sura al-Qalam in the beginning of my discourse:
نٓۚ وَٱلۡقَلَمِ وَمَا يَسۡطُرُونَ
Noon. (Only Allah and the Messenger [pbuh] know the real meaning.) By the pen and by that (subject) which (the angels) write down! [Q.68:1]
Allah has taken oath on Noon, the pen and that which the angels write, or the subject which they have written, are busy writing and are directed to write in the time to come. According to the exegetes like Imam Ibn al-Jarir al-Tabari, Imam Ibn Kathir , Imam Jala ud Din al-Suyuti and many others Noon here implies the inkpot while pen refers to any device with which we write by taking ink from the pot, while wa-ma yasturoon indicates what the angels have been writing.
According to Ibn ‘Asakir in Tarikh Madina Dimashq (vol. 56, p. 208), Abu Hurayra has narrated that the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) say: Almighty Allah created pen before everything else. Then He created Noon, the inkpot. Almighty Allah has said: ‘Noon. (Only Allah and the Messenger [pbuh] know the real meaning.) By the pen and by that (subject) which (the angels) write down!” Then He commanded the pen to write. It submitted: what to write? Write whatever has transpired and what actions, deaths and signs have to happen (until the Last Day). The pen started writing and it wrote all (the occurrences, coincidences, fortunes, misfortunes, calamities and disasters that have to take place until the Last Day. Allah then stamped the pen following which it could not speak, nor would it be able to utter anything until Resurrection. Allah then created reason and said: I have not created anything more unique than you. I take an oath of My Glory that I will make you perfect in what pleases Me and will make you imperfect in what displeases Me.
According to the exegeses, the pen wrote knowledge which Allah will impart, the provisions He will give, the signs He will create, the creation he will originate and generate and the results and repercussions that will come about until the Day of Judgement. The pen wrote all that and kept writing and is busy writing and will keep persistently writing. It wrote the signs of all the eras and epics of time. It wrote the creation of first human and the later perfections when prophets were created and then wrote their conditions, environments, events actions, moral excellence and history. It then wrote the raising of the Last of the Messengers (pbuh), his signs, instances and events. Then it wrote about his Caliphs, their followers and the pious luminaries and saints and our Master and the Chief Helper, Ghawth al-A‘zam.
The pen must have written all the revivalists that are to come and serve the Din of Allah. It must have written what the Reviver (Mujaddid) of our time, Shaykhu-ul-Islam has written and is writing and the service he is rendering to Islam—its spread and modern interpretation and the counter terrorist philosophy, theme, fatwa and recompilation of hadiths and the Qur’anic Encyclopaedia. This implies that whatever the revivalists, the hadith-scholars, the researchers and jurists have to write and create has already been written before their birth by the pen on which Almighty Allah has taken oath.
The verse “and by that (subject) which (the angels) write down” connotes that whatever the pen has written is bound to appear through all those who will be assigned to produce that and the Lord of the Universe will create for them favourable environment and means to accomplish the divinely prescribed assignment. Almighty Allah has taken oath on the pen and that which has been written; that therefore, has to occur. This oath then includes whatever Shaykh-ul-Islam, the Revivalist of his time, is writing with his pen, thousand books, thousands of addresses, talks, interviews, lectures and conferences he speaks to, architectures he is raising for the futuristic expansion of MQI and the universities, colleges and hundreds of schools he has established and is further striving to generate and expand the span of renaissance of Islam he is striving for.
Almighty Allah has awarded the favour and benefit of His oath to all the eras with the grace of His Exalted Messenger’s sacred footwear. Shaykh Abd al-Qadir al-Jaza’iri received it; Imam al-Shafi‘i, Imam Fakhr-ud-Din Razi, Imam Abu al-Hasan al-Ash‘ari, Imam al-Maturidi collected it; all the Imams, scholars, jurists, and all the revivalists were blessed with this favour of Allah’s oath. And our era, awaiting the favour, got it through Shaykh-ul-Islam’s erudition, expertise, vision and his power to bring about developments wherever he plans and executes.
What a sacred pen that has written a colossal research work! What a blessed inkpot that affects and effects his writing process. Neither the pen nor the inkpot is his. Both the pen and inkpot is donated to him by Allah’s Exalted Messenger (pbuh). Pen writes when it is given the command and the inkpot is the ardent love of the Holy Prophet (pbuh), the contact with Medina, the humble service to the members of the Prophet’s household, the sincere and most humble love for the Chief of Women of Paradise, the Messenger’s most venerated and glorified daughter and maddening love for Hasanayn Krimayn. This inkpot is love for ‘Ali and love for Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman (may Allah be well pleased with them).
The divine pen moves on and the Reviver of time writes as pre-planned and recorded in the divine write-ups by the pen and angels. The Reviver, Shaykh-ul-Islam mulls over the priorities and plans and executes the plan of writing and the projects of the Qur’anic teachings, hadith compilation, juristic research work, addressing the global religious, economic, social and communal issues in the light of the teachings of the Quran and Sunna. The Farid-e-Millat Institute, in this way, is part and parcel of the divine plan of writings by Shaykh-ul-Islam and a spiritual favour of Allah’s oath on “pen”! If it is Jihad, Shaykh-ul-Islam collects all the intellectuals, think tanks and scholars and clears them what Jihad actually is and how this Arabic word has been misinterpreted and used in Western literature on extremism. He corrects such blunders against Islam at global level and the entire scenario changes in favour of the Qur’anic teachings.
When it comes to Muslims in the West and their difficulties, he organizes Wembley Conference and invites the leaders of all the religions—Jews, Christians, Hindus, Sikhs, all—and develops the consensus on integration, tolerance, moderation and counter-terrorism measures. Then he writes the peace curriculum comprising 40 books and spreads it in all the countries at university level and is honoured by the OIC summit in Riyadh and wins laurels in convincing them to launch the peace curricula in their universities as the MQI has already put up its workable example at various levels.
This and all his projects are truly the spiritual alms he receives from the blessed footwear of Allah’s Messenger (pbuh). The spiritual benefits of Allah’s oath on the divine pen and its writings are flowing like a stream of knowledge and guidance as has already been written down by “the pen” by Allah’s command and the Reviver, Shaykh-ul-Islam is writing hundreds of books and delivering talks, lectures and conferences in thousands. Allah’s oath on “pen” and what angels are writing has showered its blessings on Shaykh-ul-Islam in abundance and he is the beneficiary of Allah’s oath:
نٓۚ وَٱلۡقَلَمِ وَمَا يَسۡطُرُونَ
Farid-e-Millat Research Institute
On the occasion of Dr Hasan Mohiuddin Qadri’s enlightening talk, the Director Farid-e-Millat Research Institute (FMRi) Muhammad Farooq Rana gave a comprehensive presentation highlighting the Institute’s role in the research work and production process of books authored by Shaykh-ul-Islam that transpires in the Institute.
Shaykhul-Islam’s “pen” is continuously busy writing for which he has organized FMRi where scores of researches remain day and night busy in accomplishing their assigned projects under the direct guidance and supervision of Shaykh-ul-Islam. These projects are put up to him on completion for scrutiny and finalization.
This department was established in the eighties, after launching MQI, to usher in the era of knowledge, research and revivalism. The very next year, it set up the departments of library, transcription, research and editing, translations, writing and designing. Later, the departments of composing, information technology and literature too were added. So far, it has produced and published over 600 out of a thousand books authored by his eminence Shakh-ul-Islam. Currently, about another one hundred English, Urdu and Arabic books are in different phases of production at the Research Institute.
Besides research and production of books authored by Shaykh-ul-Islam, FMRi has the honour to serve the MQI Leadership, MQI Departments, Forums of MQI and the worldwide organizational network of MQI with its branches in Canada, United Kingdom, Pakistan, etc. Shaykh-ul-Islam appreciates the performance of FMRI:
“Minhaj-ul-Quran International’s department FMRi is playing a key role in the unfathomable work on Islam’s diverse concepts like balance and equipoise, forbearance and tolerance, love and peace, interfaith harmony and intra-faith moderation, etc. The valuable services of this centre of research in promoting these teachings and practices simply beggars description.”
Long live the Mujaddad of our time.
Long live Shaykh-ul-Islam.