Asia Discussion Middle East

Aurangzeb: The Salafi Mughal Emperor?

Written by Shoaib

In the early winter of 1658, India was undergoing political turmoil. The Emperor Shah Jahan had become ill and abdicated the throne in favour of his eldest son Dara Shikoh. Shah Jahan spent his reign engulfed in the midst of his riches where he would entertain himself with music, dance and narcotics. Too often we remember his achievement of creating the Taj Mahal but history forgets the oppression of the poor builders and labourers who paid the real price for the build.

The Mughal Kingdom had no concept of primogeniture (the passing of the crown to the eldest son), in fact it had become customary to overthrow your father and brothers to become King, even if it meant everyone’s death. Shah Jahan’s abdication meant this process began.

Of the four brothers, Aurangzeb had the most military experience and competence in governance. Dara and Aurangzeb stood as a stark contrast to each other. Dara, like his father, enjoyed parties, dance, lavish spending and had little consideration of the poor. Aurangzeb on the other hand was a devout worshipper who took his governance seriously, often spending time with his soldiers or listening to the complaints of the poor. It is no wonder that in a matter of months he had completely assumed power over greater India.

His Reign

It became well known that Aurangzeb prayed regularly and even woke to pray voluntary prayers at night (Tahajjud). He not only read the Quran daily but also wrote copies of the Quran which were sold at market along with caps he had sewn, all so that he did not take personal money from the treasury. He redirected all the wealth, which had been spent for personal use and frivolity by his predecessors, on military expeditions, crushing all rebellions and making the Mughal Empire the largest it had ever been.

A handwritten copy of the Quran written by Aurangzeb

A handwritten copy of the Quran written by Aurangzeb

He banned music and singing, despite being accomplished in both. He banned alcohol, gambling, dancing, castration, drugs, unjust taxes, and bowing to the King. All which were the legacy of the Mughal Empire under his predecessors.

Noticeably Aurangzeb had taken to heart lessons he had learnt from his teacher Muhammad Salafi. He had learnt Hanafi Fiqh (Law) so actively took part in court compared to his predecessors but relied on the scholars to issue final verdicts. By the end of his reign he compiled his Shariah rulings into one book “Al Fatawa Al Alamgiriyah” which became popular across the entire Muslim world under the name “Al Fatawa Al Hindiyah”

Aurangzeb actively fought against invented practices in Islam (bidah)and myths. He fought against Sufism, sometimes to extremes for example killing Sarmad Kashani, a naked “majzoob” (holy man). He prevented Sufism to such an extent that prominent Sufi Bulleh Shah one day danced and played music in the streets of Lahore in protest of their practices being shut down.

His legacy was a military one as well as a religious one. Sufi Islam rarely recognises a military aspect to Islam whereas it was said that once Aurangzeb left his throne for the battlefield, he never returned to his throne except to die.

Tombs and processions were the hallmark of a Sufi funeral so he drew a will forbidding that his grave be simple without a tomb built around it and that no lavish procession take place with his body. His desire to return Islam to its original pure state was undeniable. Perhaps this is why some referred to him as a “remnant of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs.” (Shaykh Tantawi).

Was he really a Salafi?

A Salafi is someone who believes in strict monotheism, that nothing can be added to Islam after the Prophet ﷺ and that the first three generations of Muslims (the Salaf) ought to be emulated. Ahlul Hadeeth, meaning follower of the Prophet’s ﷺ Hadeeth (words or actions), is another word for Salafi.

The word Salafi pops up early in Aurangzeb’s life, his closest teacher throughout childhood was Muhammad Saleh Kamboh Salafi. His attempt to rule in the guidance of the early generations along with his attempts to eradicate polytheism and bidah shows adherence to the grain of Salafiyyah. Furthermore his reign of banning music, dance and Sufi practices indicates a clear Salafi rulership compared to the Sufi rulership of his forefathers, especially Akbar.

Fatawa Hindiyya/Alamgiriya of the Hanafi rulings under Aurangzeb

Fatawa Hindiyya/Alamgiriya of the Hanafi rulings under Aurangzeb

There are 4 Schools of Fiqh known as Madhhabs: Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi and Hanbali. Salafis do not blindly follow any instead reconcile all of them by following whichever of the four is closest to the Hadeeth of the Prophet ﷺ. Salafiyyah isn’t incompatible with the schools of thought, rather it attempts to follow them the way they were followed originally not the blind and rigid way they were followed later.

Aurangzeb ruled by Hanafi Fiqh, something often sited as proof he couldn’t have been Salafi. But by looking at the past through a modern lens we fail to grasp context. Take Shaykh Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab, for example, there is no doubt he is Salafi for he fought against polytheism (shirk) and bidah. However he was Hanbali  when it came to Fiqh. Clearly when it comes to ruling by a school of thought, it does not necessarily mean complete blind following of it.

A consideration to make is that the Hanafi school of thought was the only one widely available throughout India. Maliki, Hanbali, Shafi’ Fiqh were all scarcely taught. It was only after Shah WaliUllah travelled to Hajj (1737) that any alternative began becoming more widely available in the Indian subcontinent.

It is also historically documented that the Hanafi judges, the state, leadership and scholars kept a great deal of pressure on the ruler they served to maintain the Hanafi status quo (Imaam al-Fullanee in al-Eqaadh p.171)

For example when the Hanafi scholar Abu Yusuf Al-Qadee was appointed Chief Judge he was given the sole right to appoint the judges of modern day Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Jordan, Egypt etc. He chose people solely from his own Hanafi madhhab (school of thought) to be the judges throughout the main parts of the Muslim lands. This suppressed all the other madhhahib and became a theme for every new Chief Judge appointing people under themselves. This is mentioned by Shah WaliUllah in HujjahAllah al-Baligah and Al-Maqreezee in Al-Khutat as well as many other books.

Aurangzeb is often referred to as a “Sufi” in many of his biographies, something which again may indicate he wasn’t of Salafi belief. The word Sufi is often used in India to mean any pious person. Often times even today in Pakistan, India and Bangladesh people will say “so and so is such a Sufi” meaning “so and so is pious”. One thing we can say for sure looking at his legacy is he was definitely not a Sufi.

Was this the first time Salafis were in India?

“Salafi” is interchangeable with the word “Ahlul Hadeeth”. The word Ahlul Hadeeth dates back to the companions of the Prophet ﷺ as well as their students and their students after them.

When the youth came to study with the companion of the Prophet ﷺ Abu Saeed Al-Khudri (ra) he said:

“Come oh youth, you have come to seek knowledge. The Prophet ﷺ instructed us to open the gatherings for you. For indeed you, after us, are the Ahlul Hadeeth”
– Sharaf Ashabul Hadeeth by Khateeb Baghdadi. Classed Sahih by Albaani in Silsila Sahiha

Historians of the early era of Islam describe how the Ahlul Hadeeth were very widespread. Islam had conquered Azerbaijan in 22AH, Africa in 27AH, Spain in 92AH and India in 90AH. This all before the great Imams had even began working on their madhahib and the majority of the Muslims were Ahlul Hadeeth.

“I found pagans and I found Muslims, most of the Muslims are Ahlul Hadeeth”
– Ahmad ibn Bashar al-Maqdisi upon seeing the Muslims in Mansura, Sindh in 365AH


“I found Muslims, most of the Muslims are Ahlul Hadeeth” Maqdisi on arrival in India

The second Caliph of Islam Umar (ra) officially sent preachers to India in 15AH. There are even earlier reports that some Indian tradesmen had heard of the Prophet ﷺ in Makkah and taken news of it to India. A group of new Muslims were travelling from India to meet the Prophet ﷺ but on their journey they learnt of the Prophet’s ﷺ death. This shows Islam was  all years before Muhammad bin Qasim (the conqueror of India) was even born!

The earliest of the four great Imams was Imam Abu Hanifa (rh) who was born in 80AH and then Imam Maalik (rh) born in 93AH. Islam had already reached the parameters it is at today. Add on to this the time it took for the Imam’s to learn, then form their schools of thought, then teach their students, then their students to fully grasp the schools of thought and then were able to take this understanding to the world. In the mean time the Muslim world had been ruled by something other than their schools of thought for a long time; The madhhab of Ahlul Hadeeth.

Abu Mansoor ibn Tahir al-Baghdadi (born 369AH) sheds light on this:

“It is clear that the people of the lands of Ar-Rum (Rome meaning Europe), Al-Jazeerah (Arab lands), Ash-Shaam (Jordan and Syria), Azerbaijan, Baab-ul-Abwaab  and others which were conquered were all upon the madhhab of Ahlul Hadeeth. Also the inhabitants of Africa, Andalus (Spain) and all the countries beyond the western sea (Americas) were from the Ahlul Hadeeth. Also the people of the lands of Al-Yaman (Yemen) upon the Zanaj coastline were all from the Ahlul Hadeeth”

Centuries before Aurangzeb, Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi (born 361AH) was one of the greatest Muslim leaders of his era. He ruled over modern day Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran. Whilst he spent the first part of his life Hanafi he later said “As-Sultan (referring to himself) has left the Hanafi madhhab to the madhhab of Ahlul Hadeeth” (Tareekh of Ibn Khalliqaan)


“As-Sultan has left the Hanafi madhhab to the madhhab of Ahlul Hadeeth” Mahmud Ghazni 971 – 1030 CE

Sultan Muhammad bin Tughluq, over 300 years before Aurangzeb, also showed clear Salafi beliefs. Although not asserting his beliefs at the beginning of his reign, towards the end he followed orthodox Islam. The traveller, Ibn Batutta, describes Sultan Muhammad bin Tughluq as meticulous in his prayers and who stuck strictly to the commands of the Quran and Hadith, punishing those who innovated anything new (bidah).

Alam al Din (grandson of the well known Sufi Baha al-Din Zakariyya of Multan) again centuries before Aurangzeb ascribed to Salafi beliefs and after Aurangzeb, Shah WaliUllah did the most work to tackle bidah and misguidance and to promote the way of the Salaf.

Ahlus Sunnah only have one name, they are Ahlul Hadeeth
– Abdul Qadir Jilani in Gunya Tu Talibeen

Abdul Qadir Jilani is venerated by Sufis today referred to as “Gaus Pak” and for whom the practice of Giyyarvee has become innovated. Ironically he himself was Ahlul Hadeeth and opposed to Sufism.

These examples show that Salafi beliefs were nothing new to India showing that Aurangzeb too was a Salafi. All of Aurangzeb’s opinions and beliefs will never be known. His track record clearly shows someone who promoted the way and the following of the Salaf. He stood against shirk and bidah in every way including on the battlefield. What could be closer to being Salafi than these characteristics?

This in no way is to say if he was not Salafi then he was not righteous. Nor is it to say anyone else who is not Salafi has not served Islam and Muslims. Its just that the contribution of the Ahlul Hadeeth/Salafis is the history which is less spoken of making it a lot more interesting to discuss.

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  • His ustadz was a direct descendant of Umar ibn Khattab radhiAllaah anhu. He killed his own brother Dara, who was heretic, the one who had memorised portions of hindu scriptures.

    Allaah Azza wa Jal facilitated him in gaining power and enabling to crush paganism during his era.

    • Did not know that! Really interesting, do you have references for that?

      Thanks so much

      • He was a Sufi Muslim. His teacher was the Grandson of Mujaddid Alif saānī ( May God have mercy on him ), who was a prominent Nakshbandi Sufi.

        Second Aurangzeb built a tomb for a sufi saint and also his last wish was to be buried next to a sufi shrine. Throughout his life he gave gifts to Sufis. These are facts.

          • There is no such thing as strict Sufism. The religion has many branches it starts with Aqeedah (Tenents of Belief), Islam(Shariah, fiqh, hadith, usul), then comes Eman(Having Aqeedah in the heart) and at last comes Ihsan (Perfection or Tassawuff or Sufism). Any Sufi who dances naked is because he went directly to Sufism without going through the initial stages. As for music their is a difference regarding its permissibility and its permissibility is never in public places. So all those people who are Sufis without Sharia are deviants and all who follow extremely the Shariah without Tasawuff become extremists but when combined together, you get Aurangzeb

          • Read the works of the reviver of the millennium the great Imam Ahmed Farooq Sirhindi (QS), and you’ll get a better understanding of the Indian subcontinent and the true essence of Sufism.

          • He is SUFI follower, you whole generation cannot give birth to any man that can match a shoe of any SUFI.
            Stop spreading you SALFIST propaganda by hijacking sufism’s NAMEs

  • Rebranding a renowned Hanafi ruler as salafi is awkward i thing. No mazhab cause bida’h its the ignorance which is the main cause of bida’h. The arab was engulfed with bida’h before Sahaikh Wahhab Rahimahullah and he is Hanbali also Sultan Gaznavi chose Shafee Mazhab leaving Hanafi . Shaykh abdul Qadir Jilani rahimahullah was Hanbali, Mujaddid a Alfe e Sani was Hanafi and Ashraf Ali Thanwi was also Hanafi and great Imam of Tazkiyah so in a sense All the righteous predecessor followed among the four school of thought.

    Yes in a sense all mazhabi are salafi because the chain of Fiqh reach to sahaba radiallahu’anhum and the compiler of mazhab are also tabe’i or tabe’in, And the people who practice, remember, learn hadith they are call ahlul hadith.

    In short words my expression is do not stand head to head the Ahlul Hadith and Salafi term to Fiqh school of thought. Two are different things with different definition. Allah knows best 🙂

  • Lol. It definitely would have taken a lot of heart to go that far in these baseless claims.

  • Poor poor article. Poor English, dishonest generalizations, ridiculous conclusions and laughable strawman-esque arguments.

    When can one start! Just a few points to help a man pursuing truth to realise the folly of the article:

    Mahmood Ghaznawi, from a millenium ago, did not follow the Ahle Hadith of Indian subcontinent which sprung couple centuries back…a simple student of deen knows that many a time Ahl al-Hadith in the early times referred to non-Hanafis/non-Ahl al-Ra’y. Shaf’i’i and Ibn Hanbal were champions of that usage of “Ahl al-Hadith”!

    And btw….
    Salahuddeen, the warrior king, was a Sufi.
    So was Nooruddeen Zengi – the Turk warrior king.
    So was Ibn Tumart, the founder of the Muwahhidoon dynasty.
    And the Sanusis of N Africa.

    So was Shah Waliyullah….Fuyud al-Haramain, Hama’at, Tafheemat…lol, hardly what modern Salafis will approve of! He himself talks of the sheer amount of Sufi silsilahs he was part of, had ijazahs from. He got them from India and then different types (Shadhili, Ba alawi etc) from Arabia.

    And so was Aurangzeb, a Sufi, whether you like it or not.
    He spread, preserved & enforced Hanafi fiqh. He practised, encouraged & helped purify the Naqshbandi silsilah of Tasawwuf. And of course, he opposed, helped eradicate & guide the misguided pseudo-Sufis and disrespectful Shi’is. Executing a Jewish-Hindu type of Sufi who was polluting pristine Shariah-based Sufism does not make him anti-Sufi. He was helkping it, purifying it!
    If opposing the bid’ahs of heretical Sufis makes him “Salafi” – then opposing extreme Shiahs makes you Nasibi. Shoaib bhai, it’s either 1 of 2 things it seems:

    1) A sort of willful ignorance (tajahule arifana) being applied to avoid any sort of cognitive dissonance in the mind of one’s own idealistic understanding of history or that of one’s fellows in the sect.
    2) Simply an incapability of nuanced understanding of the ikhtilafs, strands and sects of Ahl al-Sunnah & others throughout our history.

    Such ignorant generalizations of juhhal have always existed amongst awaam in the Ummah…hence when Imam Shafi’i & Imam Nisaa’i opposed the Ahl al-Bayt-cursing Nasibis, juhhal said oh, theyre rafidis now!
    When Imam Bukhari disagreed with the extreme literalists re Khalq al-Qur’an, they said oh, he’s a Mutazil type guyi.
    When Imam Hasan al-Basri opposed the materialist-types in his day, juhhal said oh, he’s almost like a khariji/qadriyyah (Qadr-rejectors).

    When the great Sultan Awrangzeb Alamgir Naqshbandi opposed heterodox sufis, some juhhal say oh, he’s a salafi. The heterodox juhhal sufis will say oh, he’s a wali-hater, gustakh etc…

    And the way you try to argue his being Hanafi was somehow probably due to pressure of Ulama by citing an incident of 7 centuries prior to him in Baghdad is the very definition of strawman arguments…maybe I’ll use this as an example in future discussions as how ‘not’ to present arguments.

    Also have a read of Fatawa Alamgiriyya will you…plenty of Sufi stuff in there for our “Ahle Hadith” brethren to use in their anti-Hanafi propaganda.
    Give us a break.

    • Poor English? Please provide reference so I can correct it.
      Poorly written? Yes a lot of what you wrote came across as aggressive. Aggression and belittling a person usually comes in when ones beliefs have been shaken up, and for that I’m proud.

      At least you took the time to read the article. Thank you.

      Firstly a strawman argument is when you create a false argument and then refute it. I didn’t refute anyones beliefs. I haven’t said Sufism is bad, just that Aurangzeb was clearly against it from reading his biography.

      Sultan Mahmud Ghaznavi, I agree with you but toward the end of his life he said (as detailed in his article) he said “The Sultan followed the hanafi madhhab but now follows the madhhab of the ahlul hadeeth”

      Something that you keep applying is your modern understanding of Ahlul Hadeeth/Salafi. Its an ancient term as old as Islam as detailed in the article from Abu Saeed Al-Khudhri, there’s even a hadeeth with the use of the word. No one is saying Aurangzeb or any of these people belonged to the current modern day salafi organisations nor to Jamiat AhleHadith India. Its the principles he displays throughout his life that he shares with the original people.

      Using Baghdadis quote was to show that the Ahlul Hadeeth madhhab was widespread in the early centuries so there was no reason why someone like Tughluq, Ghaznavi, Aurangzeb etc were Salafi/Ahlul Hadeeth.

      You just have to glance at Shah WaliUllah’s life to realise that when he went on Hajj he was a Sufi Naqshbandi and returned Ahlul Hadeeth.

      Either way, mr., why not have your name properly so we can discuss. Clearly you share a passion for history too and there’s no reason why we can’t discuss this in a civilised way without attempting low blows like claiming each others English is lacking!

      • What you see as a show of aggression, as I clearly mentioned, was at the fallacy of the article’s premises. Alhamdulillah my beliefs were not remotely shaken by this article – but maybe my emotions were shaken: slight anger & frustration at a meek attempt at distorting the truth…because of the potential for misleading innocent readers.

        Of course I read the article, I love all things Aurangzeb-related, which is why this article is so disappointing! As for you reading my reply above, I’m not so sure! I would appreciate you re-read it…

        All you just said about Ahle Hadith…sigh…please re-read what I posted. I didnt deny it’s existence before, but Shafi’is, Hanbalis, and sometimes even Maliki & Hanafi muhaddiths were called Ahl al-Hadith. It meant Scholars of Hadith! Modern Indo-Pak usage: – a version of salafis, who generally have a tendency of Hanafi-hating.

        BTW the meaning of Straw man argument: When you present an argument (A) in a way that it appears to refute a particular claim (B), when it is actually irrelevant to claim (B) and rather proving something else entirely (C).

        A – Aurangzeb banned bid’aat and the heresies of pseudo-Sufis like his brother and Sarmad etc.
        B – Aurangzeb was a Sufi
        C – Aurangzeb was against heterodox Sufism.

        You are using A to refute B, when in reality it only proves C.
        And C and B are not remotely contradictory.
        Or else every prominent accepted Sufi of history will be non-Sufi, Junayd al-Baghdadi (did he not condemn al-Hallaj), al-Qushayri (see his Risala for condemning bid’aat), al-Ghazali (frequently lambasts wayward Sufis) etc etc.

        Many such examples in the article.

        The other things I claimed were:
        “Poor English, dishonest generalizations, ridiculous conclusions and laughable strawman-esque arguments”.

        Sorry if you felt the English comment was a low-blow – that was probably uncalled for from myself. TBH it was a part of my critique on the article, but maybe not relevant to the real issue I have with your premises. But the rest of my post is no low or high blows – it’s things to actually consider.

        Here is a “dishonest generalization”:

        “Aurangzeb fought against Sufism….He prevented Sufism to such an extent that prominent Sufi Bulleh Shah one day danced and played music in the streets of Lahore in protest of their practices being shut down”

        Why would you generalize that action of Aurangzeb to mean “preventing” & “fought against” Sufism when you, as a student of history, know so well that he spent his life honouring and practising the ways of the pure Sufiyyah…and his efforts were to remove heresies from extreme Sufis, not to remove Sufism in general. Why do you give an example of a dancing musician Sufi instead of the real Sufis of the time, the Naqshbandi-Mujaddidi tareeqah, to which Aurangzeb belonged. That’s what I meant by dishonest generalization (of the term Sufism).

        “ridiculous conclusion” is the title itself. I’ve tried to explain the simple well-known disparity in the usage of the term Ahle Hadith in both my posts. Seekers of the truth can analyse honestly.

        Straw man argument example above.

        What does my name have to do with discussing??

        Few more points about your latest reply:

        – “Using Baghdadi’s quote…” – I wasn’t referring to Baghdadi’s quote. I was referring to how you tried to prove Aurangzeb could have been pressured into adopting Hanafiyyah (when in reality his inner passion was for the way of our Ahle Hadith brethren of today or something????, lol!!) but was too scared of opposing the Hanafi Ulama – for that you cited the state of Baghdad (not Baghdadi) by using as evidence the practice of Imam Abu Yusuf….now kindly re-read my argument on this. (BTW this is another fine example of straw man argument)

        khayr bhai, May Allah guide us to the truth and grant us honesty and integrity in the field of ilm. Ameen

        • Another important issue about my first reply which you did not address:

          When I mentioned examples of Salahuddeen etc, it was in reference to this most “dishonest generalization” and “ridiculous conclusion” from the article:

          ” Sufi Islam rarely recognises a military aspect to Islam whereas it was said that once Aurangzeb left his throne for the battlefield, he never returned to his throne except to die.”

          Now in that light read the Salahudden etc examples.

          This is also a baseless claim without proof.

          • Oh and I almost forgot…re Shah Waliyyullah.
            You say look at his life…indeed…look at his life. And also look at what I mentioned re him in my first reply. I have Fuyood al-Haramayn before me at this moment…not even a muta’assib anti-Sufi can deny this is the work of one of the greatest Sufis of his day. It’s essentially a Sufi!

        • I agree, it’s very annoying and fustrating seeing people insult great leaders who follow the straight path with baseless opinion to propogate their false hidden agendas …
          Almost like con merchant ..

      • Salam alaykum bro. Very nice article. Is there any way to follow you on Facebook or other social media?

    • There is a masjid just near the shrine of one the greatest sufisaint Khwaja Ghareeb Nawaz rahamtulaahi تعالیٰ علیہ built by Aurangzeb strong proof of his Sufi belief and respect for auliya Allah

  • I noticed above comment may appear aggressive to author. I apologize if that is the case.
    What has come out as an aggressive disapproval is intended for the arguments, not the author.

  • Just a baseless and man made story without evidences and proofs..these kind of stories can give u a bit of relaxation that you are on right path but believe me it is far away from the Truth and righteousness..
    May Allah show us the right path..

  • For interest here’s an article by one of the staunchest Salafi ulama of our day in relation to Aurangzeb and this very question:

    I’m not claiming that Shaykh is an authority on this topic, Indian historians are authorities on Indian history, not Arab Ulama, due to language barrier. He’d have used secondary and/or tertiary sources. But he does not claim to be an expert on Aurangzeb’s history, but has merely analysed the facts before him honestly. Here is a quote:

    “… but in fact he (may Allah have mercy on him) was a Hanafi in terms of madhhab, and what is well-known about the Hanafis in that land is that they are Maturidis in terms of beliefs (‘aqeedah). Many of those who have written biographies of him stated that he was a Sufi. Allah knows best about him and his beliefs. There is nothing that we know about that for certain.”

    A Hanafi, Maturidi and a Sufi.

    • its not about if he was sufi or not its about beliefs of one person i would not mind sufi believing in tawheed of Allah and denying bidahs which sufis of today do and there are some rare sufis in today which rejected the shirk and bidah such as teacher of shaykh Muhammad ibn wahab Rahmatuallahi was naqsbandi sufi but he taught him to reject grave worship as far as i know so it a sufi believes in true way of islam he is ahle hadith and anyways as for aurganzeb we cannot say weather he was sufi or not but the history of india mostly is fabricated on matters not all like aurganzeb killed people and ive seen many sufis fabricate stories so i can not trust anything sufi invent many stories of there own But im not denying the history on all im just saying Allah hu alim as for you my brother i hope you dont believe in invoking on other then Allah and such shirk stuff such as mawlid which is innovation im not perfect But If we all repent Allah will forgive us may Allah unite us on Quran and Sunnah according to how Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him understood ameen ya Allah 🙂

  • look up khushal khan khattak before you call Aurangzeb a sufi or a saint of sorts. this person was our sworn enemy and his islam was built upon the blood of the afghan people.

    • Before Aurangzeb came to power, afghans (pathans) had a monopoly on most river crossings in north India. They wouldn’t let anyone cross unless a heavy tax was paid.

      Aurangzeb ended this extortion racket. It is for this reasons few Afghans turned against him. One of them was this great poet Khushal Khan Khatak who wrote poetry against Moghuls.

      No big deal. Subcontinent is littered with graves of those who challenged Alamgir.

  • I would like remind everyone here that some of the greatest mujahideen in the history of Islam were sufis. I do not want to go way back to the times of Salahudin al ayubi, but I´ll start from the reign of the mughals. Mughal emeror Akbar was involved in creating a new religion called Deen-e Akbari&deen-elahi. Was it not for my ancestor and a sufi saint of his time Ahmed Sirhindi who resisted Akbar´s reforms the entire indian sub continent today would be following Akbar´s false religion. And we are talking about half a billion muslims. Fast forward to 1919 when Afghanistan fought the British empire for the third time it was under the leadership of my great grandfather who was also a sufi saint of his time. Many mujahideen in north Africa who were fighting against italian colonizers were also sufis, particularly in libya. Omar mokhtar also known as the lion of the desert was a sufi. Across the indian sub continent during the years of colonialism many uprisings against British rule were organised by sufis. So for the author of this article to claim that Sufis are passive, and “ignore” the military aspect of Islam is pure ignorance of the history sufism and their contribution to the Islamic world. Sufism is all about peace and love, but when the deen was under attack by the enemies of Islam, sufis have always been on the forefront of the struggle.

  • Baseless article trying to disfigure history to justify his newly invented ‘wahabi’ sect.

    Not need to evidence the innovative blog rather, this individual needs to provide reliable, factual history, all I see here is no facts or quotes from historian or religious scholars but baseless opinion…

    He was 100% hanafi who followed the majority opinion, hence the Fatwa Alamgiri was the concensus opinion of hundreds of world renowned scholars of the time.
    If he was a modern day salafi he would have analysed the Quran and Hadith with limited knowledge and ran his own show of the basis of his Nafs…

    SonofNooh, absolutely hit the nail on the head here… ??

    • Did you even read the article? Clearly you haven’t…

      It’s a shame you would comment without even caring to read the arguments presented

  • Fatwa Alamgiri testifies loud and clearly that Aurangzeb Alamgir along with all the Ulama he followed were all strict Hanafis in Fiqh, Maturidi in Aqeedah and also orthodox Sufis. In fact, Fatwa Alamgiri is a frequent target of insults and derision by the ahlul hadeeth movement in India. Your article acts as a good example though of typical salafi attempts at historical revisionism.

    I will post info on his theological background when time permits on this blog:

    • I don’t think you read the article. The conclusion was that he was not salafi…but not strictly sufi either

  • You clearly are misinformed. Aurangzeb clearly was a Naqshbandi in tariqah in hanafi in fiqh and murid of Naqshbandi shiekh Muhammad Masum Sirhindi Ibn Ahmad faruqi Sirhindi (mujjaddid Alf sani) who personally trained Aurangzeb.

  • See adh-dhahabi’s famous siyar to read Salahuddin Ayyubi being described as a “Muta’assib” (fanatic) Ash’ari. He was also an ardent propagater of Sufism, and dealt very harshly with the Shiah and Hashwiyyah (equivalent to Salafis today) sects. Refer to the article, “Salahuddin the Anti-Salafi”. Similarly, Aurangzeb was a Muta’assib Hanafi, Maturidi Sufi. You only need to read through Fatawa Alamgiri to confirm this fact which is known to even the most novice of Indian historians. You basically just wrote what you wished the truth to be. And also Shah Waliullah was a hard-core Naqshbandi Sufi and Ash’ari in Aqeedah.

    • Actually that isn’t the case, the article did conclude he was not salafi by today’s standards but also not sufi by his own time’es standards.

      Shah WaliUllah was only as you described for the first 30 years of his life and then he changed his opinions, please research this.

      • You havent given a single argument why Aurangzeb was not a sufi. No, opposing music and grave veneration has nothing to do with sufism. And do you have ANY source that Shah Waliullah opposed sufism at the end of his life?

  • Nice article very well written and lot of valuable information to gain, jazakallahu khair

  • Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.
    This entire stuff about Aurangzeb was very new to me and I got excited to know about him. But the comments have much diluted it. Now I am going back to my old thought about all mughal emperors that they were Sufis. And Sufi is someone who sometimes sees Allah in Rasoolullah but they also claim the aqeeda of wahdatul wujood. This aqeeda is against Tawheed. The Sufees name tawakkal as something else than the complete trust in Allah.

    If someone can explain it with right references, the sahih isnaad please. Jazakumullahu khairan

    • Wa alaikum salaam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatahu,

      The aim of this article was never to prove that he WAS salafi but rather to explore it. The conclusion is that he was not, he was a hanafi sufi BUT that said he was not a hanafi sufi like the sufis at the time and he was not a hanafi like some extreme cultish people are today either.

      The main thing to bear in mind is that there was no salafi/ahlul hadeeth dawah at the time in India so he could never have been that. It’s clear from his biography that he was never told any of errors in sufi belief and therefore never rectified them however he did rectify the errors he saw in sufism which shows someone attempting to follow the truth – which is salafiyyah in essence.

      Salafiyyah is based on following the Quran and Sunnah and pious predecessors. If an individual attempts to do this but he doesn’t have the knowledge to know what is the absolute truth – then this person may have the wrong idea about a few things but they in essence are salafi. This is something which I believe Aurangzeb was trying to do (follow the truth but that he was unable to find it as no one was propagating it at the time) – and this was my message in this article.

  • Brother Shoaib,

    This is the most absurd article I’ve ever read. It’s full of bogus claims and false information. Please don’t embarrass yourself further.

    Also, your understanding of “Sufism” is completely wrong. You are clearly looking at it from the Wahhabi-Salafi lense. Do yourself a favor, leave your salafi bubble for some time, be objective and read a few good books on real Tasawwuf. Read the works of Imam Ahmad Zarruq like “Qawaid al-Tassawwuf”.

    May Allah guide us. Ameen.

  • You are liar Wahabi hazrat Aurangzeb Alamgir Rahimatullah Alaih was true sunni not salafi at the time of his death he had a wasihat that burried me to near the Dargah of Hazrat Syed zaynuddin Rahimatullah Alaih and said he came Before 300 years From my birth but he is my Peer Spiritual Guru ….. He was true sunni and Sufi …. You liars wahabi Terrorist aulad of Ibn e Abdul Wahab najdi pig

  • I am sorry, but reading this article made me very angry. I will give the author (May Allah guide him) the benefit of the doubt and assume he is just ignorant.

    Sufism is not “music and grave veneration”, even though these practices might be wide spread among sufis. Its a inner islamic movement to live an ascetic life, purify your soul and try to follow the awliya of Allah (azzawajal), who are the best people after the prophets. Interestingly, Ibn Taymiyya and his students, who salafis consider their scholars, never opposed sufism as a whole but endorsed it. Ibn Taymiyya writes:

    “As for the Sufis, they affirm the love (of Allah), and this is more evident among them than all other issues. The basis of their Way (tariqa) is simply will and love. The affirmation of the love of Allah is well-known in the speech of their early and recent masters, just as it is affirmed in the Book and the Sunna and in the agreement of the salaf.” (Cairo: al-matba`a al- salafiyya, 1394/1974 p. 38)

    His student Al-Dhahabi was a Suhrawardi-Sufi as he says himself in his book Siyar A`lam al-Nubala’.

    Music and dancing is very controversial among sufis. Some promote it, some oppose it. For example Sufi-Shaykh Ramadan al-Bouti opposed dancing. Its not some fundamental aspect of sufism.

    Claiming that Aurangzeb was not a sufi because he opposed music, dancing and grave cult, is totally nonsense. If you have any fear of Allah (azzawajal), delete this aritcle full of falsehood and untruths. No group – except the sahaba – has done as much for Islam as sufis. Sufis like Sultan Salahudin (rahimahullah) fought the crusaders. The sufi Mehmed II. (rahimahullah) conquered Istanbul. Sufis like Emir Abdelkadir or Omar Mukhtar fought against the colonialists. Sufis like Ibn Qudamah, Al-Ghazali, Ibn Abdul-Salam, Al-Suyuti, Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, Ahmad Sirhindi etc wrote extremely beneficial books for the Ummah. How will you justify slandering all these great muslims in front of Allah (subhana wa ta’ala)?

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