Appearing below is my page about the Deobandis. I took it down recently because I was planning a rewrite, but I'm not well again so rather than procrastinate I have restored it. However, I have not restored the links because it's time consuming.
Insha-Allah, hopefully I can do a rewrite over the next week or two and if I do then I can restore all the links and set up any new ones in one go.
PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS PAGE HAS NOT BEEN PROOFED. IF ANYONE NOTICES ANY MISTAKES COULD THEY PLEASE CONTACT ME AT:
OR RING ME ON: 0437 611 146.
DEOBANDIS: RIGHTLY GUIDED SHAYKHS
WHO KNOW AND UNDERSTAND ISLAM
On the Contact page I recommend that anyone seeking a fatwa can not only contact the Australian National Imams Council (ANIC) www.anic.org.au, which is the peak Islamic body in the country, but also islamqa.org .
On that page I stress that islamqa.org is a reputable site staffed by qualified Shaykhs, predominantly from the Deobandi school of thought.
They are Hanafi scholars from the Chishti Tariqah who follow the teachings of the Darul Uloom Deoband, www.darululoom-deoband.com, a strictly orthodox Islamic Sunni madrasah, based in the town of Deoband in Uttar Pradesh, India.
I should explain that the Chishti Tariqah is a Sufi order, or school if you wish, in Tasawwuf. The latter is commonly known in the West as Sufism. There are several such orders in Islam as well as the Chishti Tariqah, including the Naqshbandī Tarīqah and Qadiriyya Tariqah.
There is an interesting introduction to the topic on islamqa.org. It begins ‘My question is regarding sufism,’ . . . The link is https://islamqa.org/?p=3496 .
There are several other links on the same site which are invaluable. For example, one headed ‘Four questions about tareeqah’ https://islamqa.org/?p=52051 makes the important point that Tasawwuf, just like any discipline, can be hijacked by those seeking only to serve their own interest – not Allah’s (Subhanahu wa ta’ala - Glory be to Him, the Most High).
There are various transliterations of all the relevant schools such as the Chishti, Naqshbandī and Qadiriyya – including the word Tariqah itself which basically means the path or way – I loosely interpret it as school – but the path or way of the votary or devotee if you wish - seeking Allah’s (Subhanahu wa ta’ala - Glory be to Him, the Most High) love is more accurate.
I have quoted below the entry from the Britannica about Tariqah Tariqa | History, Sufism, Meaning, & Facts | Britannica. I believe it to be accurate, but if anyone finds any fault with it please contact me on email@example.com . I do not want to perpetuate any misconceptions.
The only changes I have made to the quote are to capitalise the word ‘haqq’ because it is one of Allah’s names (Subhanahu wa ta’ala - Glory be to Him, the Most High) and to leave it in lower case could be misunderstood. I have also added the Durood after the name of the Prophet Muhammad (sall-Allahu alayhi wa-sallam - may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). If you fail to call down Allah’s blessings and peace upon him after saying or hearing his name you risk being cursed.
“Tariqa, also spelled tariqah, Arabic tarīqah, (“road,” “path,” or “way”), the Muslim spiritual path toward direct knowledge (ma'rifah) of God or Reality (Haqq). In the 9th and 10th centuries, tariqa meant the spiritual path of individual Sufis (mystics). After the 12th century, as communities of followers gathered around sheikhs (or pīrs, “teachers”), tariqa came to designate the sheikh's entire ritual system, which was followed by the community or mystic order. Eventually tariqa came to mean the order itself.
“Each mystic order claimed a chain of spiritual descent (silsilah) from the Prophet Muhammad (sall-Allahu alayhi wa-sallam - may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), established procedures for initiation of members(murīd, ikhwān, dervish and fakir),and prescribed disciplines. By following the path of a known “friend of God,” or Sufi saint, under the guidance of his sheikh, the Sufi might himself achieve the mystical state 'hal' of the friends of God(awliyāʾ Allāh, singular wālī Allāh).Though sober teachers inveighed against excesses, the search for spiritual ecstasy sometimes led to such practices as drug taking and wild acrobatics, activities that earned for some of the orders the names whirling, howling, and dancing dervishes. Dervish orders frequently established monasteries(ribat, khankah, zāwiyah, and tekke)in which laity as well as members were invited to stay.
“First established in the 12th century, the orders numbered in the hundreds by the mid-20th century, with a membership in the millions. The greatest expansion of Sufi tariqas was in the central Islamic countries, where they played a vital role in the religious life of the Muslim community. Orders also exist in West Africa, eastern Europe, India, and Central and Far Eastern Asia.” - Britannica.
I do not describe myself as a Sufi because I do not have a Shaykh from any of the Tasawwuf orders.
If you hit the link for Darul Uloom Deoband it will open on the home page in English. The site offers wide-ranging advice for those seeking guidance.
The Deobandis are not a cult and to the best of my knowledge do not espouse any heretical beliefs. Obviously, Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala - Glory be to Him, the Most High) knows best, but as far as I am aware they adhere strictly to the traditional teachings of Islam, including the Sunnah.
As Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala - Glory be to Him, the Most High) well knows I have the deepest of respect for these Shaykhs and follow them in most matters pertaining to Islam.
One of those I admire greatly is the late Maulana Mufti Muhammad Shafi (Rahmatullah Alayhi – May the mercy of Allah be upon him), the former Grand Mufti of Pakistan. Mufti Muhammad Shafi was the author of an excellent Tafsir called Ma'ariful Qur'an which is available in English in an eight-volume set.
His Tafsir holds pride of place upon my bookshelves, along with the English translations of other noble works such as Tafsir Ibn Kathir.
It is available from Darussalam Islamic Bookstore in Lakemba, Sydney, and their store in Coburg, Melbourne.
Mufti Muhammad Shafi’s son, Mufti Muhammad Taqi Usmani, is still alive and lives in Karachi. He has his own website. It is muftitaqiusmani.com.
He has authored several books, including Radiant Prayers, which I have found invaluable over the years. Some of his books are available from the Darussalam Bookstore.
He also supervised the English translation of his father’s Tafsir, Ma’ariful Qur’an, and made some footnotes to clarify certain issues.
Another Deobandi Shaykh of note is Shabbir Ahmad Usmani, the author of Tafsir-Usmani. Originally written in Urdu, it is very popular among the Muslims of the Sub-continent and is available in English in a three-volume set.
Probably one of the most renowned of the Deobandi Shaykhs, someone who is well known among many reverts in the West, is Shaykh Ashraf Ali Thanvi.
He wrote a book in Urdu called Bahishti Zewar which was an excellent handbook of Hanafi Fiqh – the rules relating to the practice of Islam. Even though the Shaykh died in 1943 Bahishti Zewar is still widely used on the Sub-continent today.
It has been translated into English several times – not always as eloquently as one would wish.
The title is commonly translated in English as Heavenly Ornaments. I use a copy translated by Maulana Muhammad Mahomedy, published by Zam Zam Publishers, who are based in Urdu Bazar, Karachi, Pakistan. My copy is the second edition published in February 2005.
It is the best translation I have found so far and would recommend it, especially if you are new to Islam. However, you may have trouble finding a copy in Australia. I bought mine years ago in Melbourne but have never seen a copy since.
The copyright is held by Madrasah Arabia Islamic in South Africa, so they may have authorized other printings since mine was published.
Zam Zam Publishers have a website so you may be able to contact them to see if they know of any Australian distributors. The address is zamzampublishers.com.pk .
Following my reversion to Islam in 1983 in Melbourne as a Sunni Muslim who follows the Hanafi school, I lived in Pakistan for more than five years from April 1985 to September 1990 under my Muslim name, Yahya Abdullah. Please note that for personal reasons I no longer use my Muslim name. As such if you write to me please address me as Ian.
Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala - Glory be to Him, the Most High) in His infinite Wisdom and Mercy guided me rightly about how I should practise Islam and by His leave I used to sit in Islamabad, at a mosque in Aabpara, with the murids (disciples) of Deobandi Shaykhs from the Chishti Tariqah and also murids from the Qadiriyya Tariqah.
It was one of the Deobandi murids from the Chishti Tariqah who taught me to recite Qur'an. May Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala - Glory be to Him, the Most High) bless him and his family in this life and the next for his righteous conduct. A pious man whom I believe had only the best of intentions.
Sadly, I had to cut my ties with him and the other murids because while I was living in Islamabad I was repeatedly harassed by somebody and feared that he could come to harm and I would be blamed.
The harassment on occasions was pretty severe. Among other things my name was blackened with lies. For example, stories were spread that I was a Communist, a Qadyani, an imposter – a spy. None of these claims were true.
I am not a Communist and never have been. I come from a right-wing family. My father, Charles Calderwood, stood for parliament as a right-wing candidate in the 1952 state elections in Victoria. I have never been a Qadyani or Ahmadi – I utterly reject any claims that there has ever been another prophet after Rasoolullah SAW – and I most certainly am not an impostor or spy. I was a professional journalist for much of my working life and never worked for any intelligence agency.
I have attached copies from page 5 of The Age dated Saturday the 06th of December 1952 showing my father as being listed as one of the candidates for the State election. He was standing in the seat of Hawthorn for the Electoral Reform Liberals (ERL). Two copies are attached: one is a full page which shows the story listing the candidates while the second attachment is of the story itself. The first link is THE AGE SAT 06 DECEMBER 1952 FULL P5 and THE AGE SAT 06 DECEMBER 1952 CALDERWOOD HAWTHORN .
I was born in Newcastle, New South Wales, on the 11th of January 1946 at the Mater Hospital (now known as the Calvary Mater Hospital). I was very ill at birth and my parents were warned I may not live and as such delayed the publication of my birth notice until they were certain I would survive.
Two copies of the notice published in the Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate (later known as the Newcastle Herald) on Wednesday the 23rd of January 1946 are attached. I have attached two so the notice can be seen in context on the page. One is a copy of the full page and the other a copy of the announcement of my birth. The link for the full page is IAN CHARLES CALDERWOOD BIRTH FULL PAGE and the link for the announcement is IAN CHARLES CALDERWOOD BIRTH ANN.
My father did not serve in the armed forces during the Second World War, but worked in administration at Broken Hill Proprietary Company (BHP). I assume that he would have been classified as working in ‘essential services’ – what was called a reserved occupation in those days - and as such would have been exempt from fighting. See the Australian War Memorial page Reserved occupations, Second World War | Australian War Memorial (awm.gov.au) and the National Museum Australia page Second World War conscription | National Museum of Australia (nma.gov.au) .
My parents were married on the 11th of February 1939 at the Church of Christ at Mayfield in Newcastle. Copies of the announcement of their impending marriage on page 12 of the Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate on the 02nd of February 1939 are attached.
I have attached two copies, one of the announcement and the second of the full page so that the former can be seen in context. I regret they are not high-quality copies, but they are the best I can do. The copies are from Trove, part of the National Library of Australia (NLA). The link is 02 Feb 1939 - APPROACHING MARRIAGE - Trove (nla.gov.au) .
The link to the full page on this website is MARRIAGE CALDERWOOD-TEWKESBURY FP and the link to the announcement is
I have also attached four copies of page 2 from The Newcastle Sun published on Thursday the 16th of February 1939 about my parents' marriage. STORIES TO COME.
Once again I have attached the full page so the story can be seen in context and then three more pages of the stories listed under the heading ‘Weddings of the Week’. Because of the way Trove has set up its printing I had to save three pages so I could highlight the story about my parents marriage. The link for the page isp2 - 16 Feb 1939 - The Newcastle Sun (NSW : 1918 - 1954) - Trove (nla.gov.au)
As well as the above I have attached two copies of page 5 from The Newcastle Sun of the same date. A photo on that page shows my mother in her bridal gown. One copy is of the full page and the second is of the photo itself. I assume there has not been enough room for my mother’s photo on page 2 so they have spilled it to page 5. STORY TO COME.
The link is16 Feb 1939 - At The Great Northern - Trove (nla.gov.au)
My father worked in administration at BHP in Newcastle but being ambitious in 1949 he took us all, my mother, my sister and me to Melbourne to live. He wanted to be an accountant and believed he had a better chance of achieving his dreams there.
In the 1940s and 1950s Melbourne was the financial centre of Australia and he was convinced he could succeed there far more than in Newcastle or Sydney.
My mother's maiden name, Tewkesbury, is sometimes spelled on official documents with an 'e' after the 'k' and sometimes without. The original English spelling was with the 'e' but the family dropped it when they migrated to Australia from England.
So yes, my parents were married. May Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala - Glory be to Him, the Most High) correct me if I am wrong, but to the best of my knowledge Islam recognises Christian marriages. As such, I'm not a bastard.
Ian C. Calderwood 10 Oct 23
NEW COPY ENDS – I NEED TO REWRITE THE FOLLOWING TEXT AND WEAVE IT IN WITH THE ABOVE.
Later in Karachi, one brother even said he had been told I was a paedophile – a claim that was utterly false. I have never touched a child wrongfully in my life.
I was assaulted about half-a-dozen times – twice so viciously I had to flee for my life. Needless to say the assaults affected me, particularly one in Islamabad in which a policeman raised his rifle butt to hit me in the face because I was slow to produce identity papers.
I don’t doubt that the encounter was a set up. I believe that the policeman and another one were lying in wait for me as I was walking home from working at The Pakistan Times at Zero Point.
On realising that I was the target of a vicious attack I fled the scene and ran to the home of an Imam I knew who lived opposite shouting out for Allah’s help. If it wasn’t for the Imam’s intervention I could have come to serious harm or even been killed.
It was only by Allah’s Grace (Subhanahu wa ta’ala - Glory be to Him, the Most High) that I wasn’t shot in the back by the policeman as I fled to the Imam’s house.
On another occasion when I was living in Islamabad I went for a stroll one evening intending to walk from my flat at G7 Markaz to Aabpara to have a meal. It was a beautiful evening – warm and pleasant – so I thought that instead of taking the main road to Aabpara I would take a back road that led to the Rose Garden, which was opposite the shopping centre.
As I expected the road was deserted, but as I was wandering along enjoying the starlit sky I realised that a car was keeping apace with me a short distance behind.
I grew uneasy and stepped up my pace. The car picked up speed so fearing now that I may be about to be robbed I broke into a run. The car accelerated towards me so I ran off the road into the bush only to see as I looked back a hand appear from a back window with a pistol. The occupant then fired a shot into the air and the car sped off.
I do not know what the incident was about – whether it was just ruffians trying to scare me or something even more sinister – but it frightened me and left an indelible impression on my mind.
Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala - Glory be to Him, the Most High) is my witness that I have told the truth to the best of my recollection about the above incidents –He well knows I would not lie about such matters.
I was comparatively new to Islam in those days and failed to appreciate the importance of placing my trust in Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala - Glory be to Him, the Most High), and in Allah alone (Subhanahu wa ta’ala - Glory be to Him, the Most High) and nobody else but Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala - Glory be to Him, the Most High).
BROKE UNDER PRESSURE
If I had taken that path in Islamabad I probably would have stood my ground, but I failed unfortunately and broke under the pressure of what really amounted on occasions to little more than persecution. Who was responsible? I don't know. I certainly have my suspicions, but in Islam suspicion is not enough. If you can't prove an allegation then you should remain silent.
In saying this, I want to stress that the harassment was coming from individuals whom I suspect had nothing to do with Islam – or very little. Judging by their behaviour they seemed to show little more than contempt for the teachings of the religion.
I say above that 'If you can't prove an allegation then you should remain silent' but is that really good enough given the fact that my gut feeling is that something sinister may have happened.
Is the real truth that my enemies, who are also Allah's enemies (Subhanahu wa ta’ala - Glory be to Him, the Most High), knowing I knew the truth about the blackmailing of Hamer and enraged by my escape from Australia - which had only been by Allah's Grace (Subhanahu wa ta’ala - Glory be to Him, the Most High) - wanted not just to settle the score but to utterly discredit me.
I don't know. Because all you have amounts to little more than circumstantial evidence. But I must admit, weighing all that evidence - and there has been far more than I have already set out - one would have to say that there is no doubt Allah's (Subhanahu wa ta’ala - Glory be to Him, the Most High) enemies pursued me in Pakistan. And, if that is correct then the next question is, what is to be done about the matter?
Because something has to be done. And I say that not only because the experience scarred me for life - I have never forgotten what happened - but it has left a lasting impression upon my Lover (Subhanahu wa ta’ala - Glory be to Him, the Most High). He has not forgotten and He is making sure I don't.
And, if you think I am saying that in jest or even lightly you are more than wrong. My Beloved - and He is my Beloved - He is my world this creature and He knows it- can be more than oppressive if He wishes. And He never forgets.
William Congreve famously wrote: "Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, nor Hell a fury like a woman scorned". But what a lie! Hell hath no fury like my Beloved scorned. And, believe me, I would not dare to scorn Him. If it pleases Him, He will get what He wants! And more besides if it helps me to win His love. That's all I live for. His love.
I want to stress that to the best of my knowledge there were only a few people involved in the harassment of me in Pakistan. I liked the Pakistanis – the ordinary people – the Shaykhs and the murids. They were good, righteous people and I was shown compassion and understanding by many.
I recall with nothing but affection the Imam at the mosque in Aabpara. His name was Ghulam Rasool. He showed true brotherly spirit in that he allowed me to live in the mosque on several occasions. May Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala - Glory be to Him, the Most High) reward him and his family in this life and the next for his piety, his mercy.
It isn't easy, when you are alone upon the earth, with nobody but Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala - Glory be to Him, the Most High) as your only Friend, Helper and Protector, to make such a journey.
As such, please reader, don’t take my comments as being any reflection upon Pakistan, nor any reflection on Islam. It wasn’t the religion that was the problem, nor the vast majority of the people. Unless I am mistaken it was Shaitan and his friends and helpers.
For further details about my stay in Pakistan, please see my pages headed ‘Living in Pakistan’ and 'Organized crime research'.
In recommending islamqa.org I want to draw attention to an issue that can perplex and mislead reverts to Islam.
Aside from the Deobandis there are other Muslims on the Sub-continent some of whom are alleged to hold questionable beliefs. In commenting below about them I have chosen my words carefully. It is dangerous to generalise and in so doing innocent people can be defamed.
However, it has been alleged that some Muslims hold heretical beliefs.
Those beliefs include claims that the Prophet Muhammad (sall-Allahu alayhi wa-sallam - may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) is Alimul Ghaib.
Alimul Ghaib means one who has complete knowledge of the unseen. To make such a claim about Rasoolullah (sall-Allahu alayhi wa-sallam - may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) is wrong. It is not correct and can lead to disbelief.
Only Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala - Glory be to Him, the Most High) and Allah alone, has compete knowledge of the unseen.
For a refutation of the claim that Rasoolullah (sall-Allahu alayhi wa-sallam - may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) has complete knowledge of the unseen see islamqa.org [https://islamqa.org/?p=53911].
As well as clicking on the above link, a complete copy of the full text of the Shaykhs comments refuting such claims can be read on my page entitled ‘islamqa org texts 2’.
It is also alleged that some people claim that Rasoolullah (sall-Allahu alayhi wa-sallam - may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) is Haadhir-Naadhir.
The words Haadhir-Naadhir mean one who is Omnipresent – one who is present everywhere at the same time.
To claim that Rasoolullah (sall-Allahu alayhi wa-sallam - may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) is Omnipresent is wrong. It is not correct and can lead to disbelief.
Only Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala - Glory be to Him, the Most High) and Allah alone, is Omnipresent.
Once again, for a refutation of the claim that Rasoolullah (sall-Allahu alayhi wa-sallam - may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) is present everywhere at the same time see islamqa.org [https://islamqa.org/?p=53911].
As well as clicking on the above link, a complete copy of the full text of the Shaykhs comments refuting such claims can be read on my page entitled ‘islamqa org texts 2’.
Allegations have also been made that some people believe that Rasoolullah (sall-Allahu alayhi wa-sallam - may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) is made of Nur – light. In other words that he is not a human being.
If those claims are correct then it must be stressed that the Prophet Muhammad (sall-Allahu alayhi wa-sallam - may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) is a human being, just like the rest of us.
Rasoolullah (sall-Allahu alayhi wa-sallam - may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) is not made of light, but it is true that he is a light for mankind in the sense that he is a guide for mankind, who lights the way to true beliefs and righteousness.
The claim that Rasoolullah (sall-Allahu alayhi wa-sallam - may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) is made of light – that he is not a human being – is refuted by Islamqa.org [https://islamqa.org/?p=136267] . A complete, unedited copy of the answer by the Shaykh is available on my page ‘islamqa org texts 3’.
Other allegations have been made that some people believe they are allowed to call upon Rasoolullah (sall-Allahu alayhi wa-sallam - may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) – in short to invoke him as an intermediary with Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala - Glory be to Him, the Most High).
Once again, if those allegations are correct then it must be emphasised that such beliefs are wrong. In praying, seeking Allah’s Love, Mercy, Kindness and Forgiveness, His Guidance, His Help – for whatever reason - one can only call upon Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala - Glory be to Him, the Most High), and Allah alone and nobody else but Allah.
To do otherwise is to court disaster. Unless Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala - Glory be to Him, the Most High) shows such a person mercy and forgiveness they run the risk of Jahannam – Hell.
Having said that, it is important to note that the matter of calling upon Rasoolullah (sall-Allahu alayhi wa-sallam - may the blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) needs clarification.
If you read islamqa.org [https://islamqa.org/?p=53911] you will see that at the end of the answer the Shaykh notes:
“Durood containing the words Yaa Rasoolullah can be read if the person does not have the belief that Nabi (SAW) is present and he is listening when he is reading it. When Durood is read, the belief that the Angels will convey it to Nabi (SAW) on behalf the person should be kept. (Fataawaa Haqqaniyyah Vol. 1, Page 162,163).”
The full text can be viewed on my page ‘islamqa org texts 2’.
I again want to stress that I cannot give my own opinion about the teachings of Islam. It is strictly forbidden in Islam for any unqualified person to give their own opinion about the religion. If a person does so then, unless Allah (Subhanahu wa ta’ala - Glory be to Him, the Most High) forgives them, they run the risk of being punished.
As I have stated previously I can only refer anyone interested in Islam to authoritative sources. Insha'Allah, I will attempt at all times to do so.
One of the reasons why I have set out above my unqualified support for the Deobandis and islamqa.org is that I think it is only fair to readers that they know I rely heavily on the Deobandi school of thought for guidance.
Even though I do quote from other reputable sources I try to always be cautious and ensure that whoever I recommend is following the teachings of Islam.
Allah (Subhanahu wa ta'ala) knows best.
Ian C. Calderwood:
Newcastle, NSW. 22 December 2021 but then deleted awaiting rewrite.
RESTORED at LAKEMBA, NSW, 11 February 23 with changes then taken down for editing.
RESTORED at LAKEMBA, NSW, 14 July 23 to quran-e-hakim.com without change except to correct spelling of starlit and add words ‘as a Sunni Muslim’.
This page needs to be expanded and rewritten, but I am too sick and weak to do so at present.
Ian C. Calderwood 14 July 23.
EDITED ON 10 OCTOBER 23 AT LAKEMBA, NSW, BY IAN C. CALDERWOOD
AMENDED ON 11 OCTOBER 23 AT LAKEMBA, NSW, BY IAN C. CALDERWOOD
FURTHER CHANGES 13 OCTOBER 23
RESTORED BUT NOT EDITED 18 FEBRUARY 24 BY IAN C. CALDERWOOD
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