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The Conclusive Argument From God (Shah Wali Allah of Delhi's Hujjat Allah al-Baligha)

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Item Code: NAH085
Author: Marcia K. Hermansen
Language: English
Edition: 2019
ISBN: 9788171513659
Pages: 550
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 9.5 inch x 6.0 inch
Weight 940 gm
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About The Book

The Conclusive Argument from God is the master work of Shah Wali Allah of Delhi (1762), considered to be the most important Muslim thinker of pre-modern South Asia. This work, originally written in Arabic, represents a synthesis of the Islamic intellectual disciplines authoritative in the eighteenth century.

In order to argue for the rational, ethical and spiritual basis for the implementation of the Hadith injunctions of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), Shah Wali Allah develops a cohesive scheme of the metaphysical, psychological, and social knowledge of his time.

This work provides an extensive and detailed picture of Muslim theology and interpretive strategies on the eve of the modern period and is still evoked by numerous contemporary Islamic thinkers.


About The Author

Marcia K. Hermansen, Ph. D. (1982) in Islamic Studies, University of Chicago, is Professor at Theology Department, Loyola University, Chicago. She has published numerous articles on classical Islamic thought, mysticism, Islam in South Asia, Muslims in North America, and other topics.



In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate. Praise be to God who created the human race with a predisposition to the religion of Islam and right-guidance, and formed them with a natural disposition for the clear, tolerant, easy, monotheistic (Hanifi)' religion. Then they became beclouded by ignorance and fell to the lowest of the low and suffering overtook them. Then God was merciful to them, gracious to them, and sent the prophets to them so that through them they would be brought out from the darkness to the light, and from the constricted place to the vast expanse, and He made obedience to Him conditional upon obedience to the prophets; how great an honor and exaltation! God made whomever He wished among their followers succeed in carrying on their teachings and in understanding the inner meanings of their laws, so that they became, through the blessing of God, possessors of their (the prophets ') secrets and winners of their lights, and there is no honor greater than that. Those counted among them were preferred over a thousand worshippers, and they ascended to Malakut" as great ones, and reached a level where the creatures of God pray for them, even the fish peep in the water. 0 God, grant blessings and peace upon them and their heirs as long as the earth and heavens remain. Among them may You accord our master, Muhammad, supported by the noble and clear signs, the best of blessings, the most noble of greetings, and the greatest felicity. May You shower upon his family and Companions the first rain of Your pleasure and reward them with the best of rewards.

This servant, who is in need of the mercy of God, who is the Most Generous One; Ahmad, called Wali Allah, the son of 'Abd al-Rahim, may God treat both him and his father with His great grace and make their descendants blessed and continuing, holds that the main topic in the fields of sciences of certainty ('ulum yaqiniyya) and their chief element, the basis of the religious disciplines and their foundation, is the discipline of the hadith reports.

In them is cited what proceeded from the greatest of the messengers, may God send peace and blessings upon him and on his all his family and Companions; whether (this is) a saying, or an action, or an acquiescence," for these are the lamps in the dark night and the signs of guidance and they are like the radiant full moon. The one who follows them and keeps them in mind is rightly- directed and guided and he is given great good.' The one who opposes them and turns away is misguided. He has fallen down and his soul only increases in ruin. For the Prophet, may the peace and blessings of God be upon him, forbade, commanded, warned, brought good tidings, coined similitudes and reminded them of God, and these are as extensive as the Qur'an or more SO.6 This discipline has ranks and its masters are at various degrees. It has outer shells, within them a kernel, and oysters in whose centers are pearls.

The learned scholars, may God have mercy on them, have sub- sumed under many headings the means for dealing with its elusive and problematic issues.



It may be thought that the rulings of the divine laws do not en- compass any aspect of the beneficial purposes (masalih) and that there is no relationship between human actions and that which Allah makes a requital for them, and that being obligated by the divine laws is like the case of a master who wants to test the obedience of his servant, so he orders him to lift a stone or to touch a tree something which has no use to it besides being a test, so that when he obeys or disobeys, he is requited for his action. This is a false idea which is refuted by the practice of the Prophet, may the peace and blessings of God be upon him, and the consensus of the generations whose goodness has been attested. The one who is incapable of recognizing that actions are considered in the light of the intentions and the psychological attitudes from which they emerge, only touches knowledge in the sense that a needle touches water when it is submerged in the ocean and then withdrawn. It is better that he should weep for himself rather than boast about his own ideas. The Prophet, may the peace and blessings of God be upon him, said, "Indeed, actions are judged according to the intentions, and God, may He be Exalted, said, "Their flesh and their blood will not reach Allah, but the devotion from you will reach Him.

Prayer was legislated in order to remember God and converse privately with Him, as God, may He be Exalted, said, "Undertake prayers in order to remember Me,4 and to be a preparation for the vision of God, may He be Exalted, and seeing Him in the next life, as the Messenger of God, may God's peace and blessings be upon him, said, "You will see the, Lord like you see this moon, and do not doubt that you will see Him, thus, if you are able to keep from being prevented from praying before sunrise and before sunset, perform the prayers. The alms tax (zakat) was legislated as a defense against the baseness of miserliness, and to suffice the needs of the poor people, as God, may He be Exalted, said about those who refused to pay zakat, "And let not those who hoard up that which Allah has bestowed on them of His bounty think that it is better for them. Rather, it is an evil for them. That which they hoard will be their collar on the day of Resurrection and as the Prophet, may the peace and blessings of God be upon him, said, "Inform them that God, may He be Exalted, has made charity a duty for them, taken from the rich among them and then given to their poor ones.

Fasting is ordained in order to subjugate the lower soul, as God the Exalted said, "That you might purify yourselves", and as the Prophet, may the peace and blessings of God be upon him, said, "The fast has the effect of curbing lust.

The pilgrimage was legislated to honor the emblems of God, as God, may He be Exalted, said, "Indeed the first sanctuary placed for people ... " He said, "As-Safa and al-Marwah are among the holy symbols of God." Retaliation (qisas) was legislated as a deterrent against killing, as God, may He be Exalted, said, "And there is life for you in retaliation, 0 men of understanding." The punishments (hudud) and the ways of atoning (kaffarat) were legislated as deterrents to disobedience, as God, may He be Exalted, said, "That he may taste the evil consequences of his act.'' The Jihad was legislated for promoting the word of God and making sedition cease, as God, may He be Exalted, said, "Then fight them until there is no sedition and religion is all for Allah." The rules of economic transactions (mu 'amalat) and marriage relationships were legislated to establish justice among them, and so forth with other issues indicated in the Qur'anic verses and the hadiths, and more than one of the scholars applied himself to this in every generation.

Therefore the Prophet, may the peace and blessings of God be upon him, on certain occasions explained the inner meanings of designating particular times, as he said about four (rak'ats) before the noon prayer, "This is an hour when the gates of heaven open, and I like that a righteous act from me ascends to heaven at that time." It is reported from him, may God's peace and blessings be upon him, about fasting on the day of 'Ashura," that the reason for its being legislated (originally) was the salvation of Moses and his people from Pharaoh on that day, and the reason for its being legislated among us is our following the practice of Moses, may peace be upon him.




Acknowledgments xiii
Translator's Introduction xv
The Conclusive Argument from God. Hujjat Allah al-Baligha  
VOLUME I : The General Principles from Which Are Derived the Beneficial Purposes Considered in the Rulings of the Divine Law  
Shah Wan Allah's Preface 3
Shah Wan Allah's Introduction 11
BOOK I: The First Investigation: The Causes of Religious Obligations and Requital 31
1. Absolute Origination, Creation of the Material World and Divine Management 33
2.The World of Images ('Alam al-Mithai) 37
3.The Highest Council 43
4.God's Customary Way of Acting (Sunna) 49
5.The True Nature of the Spirit (Ruh) 53
6. The Inner Dimension of the Imposition of Religious Obligations 57
7. How Religious Obligation is Derived from What is Divinely Decreed 60
8.Why Religious Obligation Necessitates Requital 69
9.The Variations in the Natural Dispositions of People 73
10. The Causes of the Thoughts Which Motivate Actions 78
11. The Adhering of Acts to the Soul and Its Being Held Accountable for Them 80
12. The Connection of Actions to Psychological Attitudes 84
13.The Causes for Requital 87
BOOK II: The Second Investigation: The Manner of Requital during Life and after Death 91
14.Punishment for Acts in This Life 93
15.The True Nature of Death 97
16. The Variation of the States of People in the Intermediary W orId 101
17. Concerning Some of the Secrets of the Events of the Day of Assembly 106
BOOK III The Third Investigation: The Supports of Civilization (The Irtifaqat) 113
19.The First Irtifaq 119
20. The Art of the Proper Manner of Livelihood (The Second Irtifaq) 121
21.The Management of the Household 123
22.The Art of Economic Transactions (Mu'amalat) 127
23.The Governing of the City-State (the Third Irtifaq) 129
24.The Conduct of Kings 132
25.The Policy towards Assistants 134
26.The Fourth Irtifaq (the Caliphate) 137
27. The Agreement of People on the Principles of the Irtifaqat 140
28.The Conventions Current Among People 142
BOOK IV The Fourth Investigation: Human Felicity 145
29.Concerning the True Nature of Felicity 147
30.The Differences among People in Felicity 151
31. The Divisions among People in their Manner of Obtaining This Felicity 153
32. The Principles to Which the Attainment of the Second Way Goes Back 156
33.The Way of Acquiring These, Qualities 161
34. The Veils Preventing the Manifestation of the Sound Original Nature (Fitrai 165
35.The Way of Removing These Veils 168
BOOK V: The Fifth Investigation: Piety and Sin 171
36. Preface: Concerning the True Nature of Piety and Sin 173
37.The Unity of God (Tauhid) 175
38.Concerning the True Nature of Associationism (Shirk) 179
39.The Categories of Associationism (Shirk) 184
40.Belief in the Divine Attributes 190
41.Belief in Predestination 197
42. Belief that Worship is the Right of God, May He be Exalted 203
43. Honoring the Emblems of Allah, May He be Exalted 210
44. The Inner Meanings of the Ablution and Full Bath 214
45. The Inner Dimensions of Prayer 218
46.The Inner Meanings of the Zakat 221
47.The Inner Dimensions of the Fast 224
48.The Inner Dimensions of the Pilgrimage 227
49. The Inner Meanings of Various Types of Pious Actions 229
50.The Ranks of Sin 232
51.The Harmful Influences of Sins 236
52. The Acts of Disobedience of a Person which Have an Impact on Himself 238
53. The Sins which are Between a Person and Other People 241
BOOK VI: The Sixth Investigation: The Regulation of Religion 245
54. The Need for the Guides to the Paths and the Founders of Religions 247
55. The True Nature of Prophecy and Its Characteristics 250
56. The Explanation of the Fact that the Basis of Religion (Din) is One and the Religious Laws (Shara'i) and Codes (Manahij) Vary 257
57. The Causes of the Revelation of the Divine Laws Relating to One Age Rather than Another, and to One People Rather than Another 262
58. The Causes for Being Held Accountable for the Codes (Manahij) 271
59. The Secrets of the Ruling (Hukm) and the Reason for Legislation (Illa) 275
60. The Beneficial Interests (Masalih) which Require the Obligatory Religious Acts, the Pillars, the Proper Behaviors, and Their Like 280
61.The Inner Meanings of the (Appointed) Times 287
62. The Inner Meanings of the Numbers and the Fixed Quantities 292
63. The Inner Meanings of Making Up (Qada') (for Missed Religious Obligations) or Receiving Dispensations (Rukhsai (to Diminish Them) 299
64. The Establishment of the Supports of Civilization 303
65.Rules which Bring into Effect Other Rules 310
66. Rendering the Ambiguous Precise, Solving the Problematic, and Deriving Rulings from All-Embracing Principles and So On 316
67.The Facilitation (of Religious Duties - Taisir) 322
68. The Inner Meanings of Encouragement (to Righteousness) and Deterrence (from Sin) 327
69. The Ranks of the Community with Regard to Arriving at the Desired Perfection or Its Opposite 334
70. The Need for a Religion which Abrogates the Other Religions 340
71.Fortifying the Religion Against Distortion 346
72. The Causes for the Differing of the Religion of Our Prophet, from the Religion of the Jews and Christians 353
73.The Causes of Abrogation 357
74. The Explanation of What Had Been the Condition of the People of the Jahiliyya which the Prophet Reformed 361
BOOK VII The Seventh Investigation: The Derivation of the Shari'a Laws from the Reports of the Prophet<!-- b--> 371
75. The Explanation of the Categories of the Prophet's Knowledge 373
76. The Difference Between the Beneficial Purposes (Masalih) and the Religious Laws 376
77. The Way the Community Received the Divine Law fom the Prophet 383
78. The Ranks of the Books on Hadith 387
79. The Manner of Understanding What is Meant by the Utterance (Kalam) 396
80. The Manner of Understanding the Legal (Shar'i) Meanings From Qur'an and the Sunna 400
81. Judging Among Divergent Hadiths 405
82. The Causes of the Disagreement of the Companions and the Successors Concerning Applied Jurisprudence 414
83. The Causes for Disagreement Among the Schools of the Jurists 427
84. The Difference Between the People of the Hadith and Those Who Exercise Personal Opinion 437
85. An Account of the Condition of People Before the Fourth Century and After 451
Bibliography 479
Indices 483
Qur'anic Citations 483
Hadith Citations-English 488
Subjects and Terms 496
Proper Names 503
Sample Pages

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