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Ghamidi on Farahi
Nikhat Sattar


(This is a transcription by Nikhat Sattar of a video speech given by Javed Ahmad Ghamidi on Imam Hamid al-Din Farahi on the occasion of a seminar held in Azamgarh, India in Nov 2019 about the history of Madrasah al-Islah) 

 The Qur’an possesses a unique place in the arrangements made by God to provide guidance to humankind until the Day of Retribution. God has mentioned as a principle that when differences arose between people, He initiated the process of sending messengers. They were prophets, warners and givers of glad tidings. Then books were revealed through them, so that they could give verdicts in case of differences in matters of religion. This same fact has been mentioned at various places in the Qur’an in different ways. The Qur’an has been given the status of a balance, a scale so that people can establish truth in matters of religious significance.

If we analyze our approach to the Qur’an, we can say definitively that our religious thought has eroded the status of the Qur’an. The greatest favour that Imam Farahi has done to the Muslim ummah is that he has restored this status with utmost eminence. The manner in which he understood the Qur’an, the manner in which he taught how to teach it, the way in which he compiled its fields of knowledge and the extent to which he reached into the depths of its verses and explained who they address and how, and how the Qur’an elaborates on its decisions create the basis for a firm foundation for the establishment of the governance of the Qur’an: the final verdict; the balance through which it explains what is acceptable in religion and in the guidance from God, and what is unacceptable.

I consider Imam Farahi to be one of God’s signs for this world. Before this time, the world was controlled by kingdoms. Will Durant has described this period that was dominated by religion as one in which politics too was under religious control and, as a result, religion determined social and cultural systems. That period has ended. At the beginning of the new world, the birth of Imam Farahi, was in fact, an arrangement from God to bring His evidence into this new world. If we assess the consequences of such an arrangement at a global level, we observe on the one hand that the old way of thinking is over and its justifications are no more; its foundations have been destroyed. On the other hand, this age, which can also be called the age of reason, or of disbelief, if one considers its impact, was making demands for strong evidence based on the requirements of human nature. Imam Farahi’s work, as evident in his books and discussions in his written material, unveils the inherent reasoning in the Qur’an with great prominence and glory. If, on the one hand, history is leading itself to disbelief, God’s evidence is now in a position to highlight itself equally strongly.

The age in which kingdoms flourished was an age of the ruler and the ruled. The manner in which laws were made had completely different bases and reasons, whether among ourselves or by the Roman civilization. All of this is now irrelevant. A man like Allama Iqbal had also felt the need for revival and reconstruction of religious thought along modern lines. For this, a solid foundation was not available, even to this wise man of the ummah. It is a fact that this was provided by Imam Farahi’s discourse. We owe our ability to have our legal ignorance to be influenced now to Imam Farahi’s presentation of the Qur’an as the balance, the standard; explanation of its arguments and determination of its foundations of thought. Only after this happens globally will it be possible that within the nation states of modern times, Muslims will be able to implement the shari‘ah of God in its true spirit. This was not possible previously because the judicial framework we had developed and the premises on which it was built did not address the requirements of modern times.

Human acts are extraordinary in their respective periods of time. It is only guidance from God that can be global and transcends time and place, and that can maintain its relevance and connections in all ages. In this age, when a new world is upon us and is changing rapidly, Imam Farahi has given the strong foundation with which to practice not only God’s shari‘ah in our individual lives, but also to make it relevant to current times, using the same discourse and the same school of thought. Just as earlier thinking had divided the world into Dar al-Islam and Dar al-Harb, and its demands were met, Imam Farahi, by discovering the law of itmam al-hujjah, has shown us how to view the world now. The world is to be viewed from one perspective for the times of the messengers and another for current times, until the end of the world. Relations between people, nations and the way to call people to faith are all different. If the world is moving towards a global state, what should be the role played by Muslims? These points become obvious if Imam Farahi’s books, exegesis and writings are studied, in which he provides a reconstruction for Muslim thought. If both students and their teachers were to study Imam Farahi with this in mind, they will find that if Western scholars think that civilization ends with their innovation in thinking, different signs from God are also emerging. Imam Farahi is one such sign, and, it is not impossible that this reasoning could be brought to completion through God’s Book towards the end of the world.





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