The ruling concerning the Barelwis

Reference: Fataawa al-Lajnah ad-Daa.imah lil-Buhooth al-‘Ilmiyyah wal-Iftaa., – Volume 2, Page 396, Fatwa No.3090

Question: There is a particular group in Pakistan called the “Barelwis” or “Jamaa’ah Nuwaaree” which is a reference to their current leader known as “Nuwaaree”. I ask your excellencies the Sharee’ah ruling regarding them and their ‘aqeedah, and the prayer behind them as this is a contentious issue which many people are unaware of the reality. I will mention some of their defective ways and beliefs:

  1. The belief that the Messenger of Allaah (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) is alive;
  2. The belief that the Messenger of Allaah (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) is present and all-seeing, especially immediately after Salaat al-Jumu’ah;
  3. The belief that the Messenger (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) is the foremost intercessor;
  4. They believe in “saints” and the dead in their graves, and they offer salaah at the graves requesting them for their needs to be met;
  5. Their commendation of domes and lighting up of graves;
  6. Their saying “Yaa Rasool, Yaa Muhammad (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam)”;
  7. Their hatred towards whoever loudly says “Aameen” and raises his hands in the salaah, considering such a person to be a Wahhaabee;
  8. Their great astonishment at the use of the miswaak before the salaah;
  9. Kissing the thumbs whilst doing wudhoo, the adhaan and after the salaah;
  10. After the salaah, their imaam repeating the aayah: {Allaah sends His prayers on the Prophet and also His angels too}, [Soorah al-Ahzaab, Aayah 56].
  11.  They gather after the Salaat al-Jumu’ah standing and reciting anaasheed and sending praises [to the Prophet (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam)];
  12. After they complete the Noble Qur.aan in the Salaat at-Taraaweeh in the month of Ramadhaan, they prepare alot of food and distribute it in the dining area of the masjid, in addition to sweets;
  13. They build masaajid and seek much importance in decorating them, writing “Yaa Muhammad” above the mihraab (standing place of the imaam);
  14. They consider themselves the people of the Sunnah and correct ‘aqeedah and that [all] others are in error;
  15. What is the Sharee’ah ruling regarding performing the salaah behind them [their imaam], considering I am a medical student in Karachi and live next door to the masjid where they are in [overall] control (i.e. their beliefs and practices prevail)?

Response: Whoever has these characteristics and attributes, then it is not permissible to offer your salaah behind them (their imaam), and whoever knows of their condition, then their salaah is not correct. This is because most of their characteristics and attributes are of kufr (disbelief) and bid’ah (innovation) which negate the tawheed (oneness) with which Allaah had sent His messenger and revealed in His Book, and that which conflicts with the Qur.aan, such as His (Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala) saying:

{Verily, you (Muhammad) will die and verily, they (too) will die}, [Soorah az-Zumar, Aayah 30]

And His saying:

{And the mosques are for Allaah [alone], so invoke not anyone along with Allaah}, [Soorah al-Jinn, Aayah 18]

And their bid’ah which they practice should be detested with good manners, and if they accept [and leave these practices] then all praise is for Allaah [alone]; And if they do not accept [and continue in these practices] then you should leave them and offer your salaah in the masjid of the Ahlus-Sunnah. And in this, with respect to Ibraaheem (alayhis-salaam) there is a good example:

{And I shall turn away from you and from those whom you invoke besides Allaah. And I shall call on my Lord; and I hope that I shall not be unblest in my invocation to my Lord}, [Soorah Maryam, Aayah 48].

And with Allaah lies all success and may Allaah send prayers and salutations upon our Prophet (sal-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and his family and his companions.

Abu 'Abdullaah

About Abu 'Abdullaah

- from London, UK. He is a graduate of the Islaamic University of Madeenah, having graduated from the Institute of Arabic Language, and later the Faculty of Sharee'ah in 2004.