Precautions of writing books
Shaykh-e-Tareeqat Ameer-e-Ahl-e-Sunnat ‘Allamah Maulana Muhammad Ilyas ‘Attar Qadiri Razavi دَامَـتْ بَـرَكَـاتُـهُـمُ الْـعَـالِـيَـهْ
Since the dawn of Islam, people have taken pen to paper to share the message of faith with the wider public. Despite being a ubiquitous aspect of Muslim society, writing books is an arduous endeavour that entails many considerations. For example:
* When writing an Islamic book, monograph, or article, the author’s primary goal should be the pleasure of Allah Almighty. There is no harm in taking credit for one’s work but public acclaim or popularity should not be the aim. One should bear in mind the very real possibility of erring and its subsequent impacts on the author’s hereafter. The challenges to one’s sincerity in this regard are subtle as the ego and Satan will employ all of their arsenal to trap one in the vices of ostentation and conceit.
* Be careful when commenting on the Qur’an or hadith because it is unlawful (Haraam) to interpret these sacred sources based on one’s own opinion; only verified explanations and opinions of the exegetes and hadith specialists should be cited. Similarly, precaution should be taken when writing about Islamic rulings, lest a form of continuous sin is established.
* It is only human for authors to occasionally err. To ensure accuracy, we founded the department of ‘Majlis Tafteesh-e-Kutb-o-Rasaail’ approximately 20 years ago (around the year 2000). The department checks and verifies the content of all of our writings before publication.
* Using careless phrases, empty expressions of humility, lies, and exaggerated statements, can all lead to being taken to account in the Hereafter. Our pious predecessors رَحِمَهُمُ الـلّٰـه were extremely cautious about their choice of words. For example, Sayyiduna Maymun b. Abu Shubayb رَحْمَةُ الـلّٰـهِ عَلَيْه states: ‘I was writing a letter when I stopped on one word, thinking that if I write this word, the letter will become well-articulated but it will entail lying. Knowing it would decrease the eloquence of my letter, I still avoided using it, (Ihya-ul-Uloom, vol. 3, p. 169). This is one example of the diligence of our pious predecessors.
* Poems of praise, and odes are especially susceptible to gross errors such as flouting rules of poetic meter or writing something contrary to Islam. Preferably, only scholars and experts should cast poetry of this nature. Even seasoned poets have committed grave errors in some of their Islamic poetry.
* اَلْـحَمْـدُ لـِلّٰـه all my writings are checked by a panel of ulema and my poetry is verified by field experts.
May Allah Almighty protect us from ostentation, desire for fame, and the harms of Islamic and moral mistakes in writing. May He enable us to write only that which pleases Him.
اٰمِیْن بِجَاہِ النَّبِیِّ الْاَمِیْن صَلَّی اللہ تَعَالٰی عَلَیْہِ وَاٰلہٖ وَسَلَّم
(Note: this article was written with the help of the Madani Muzakarah that took place on the 6th of Ramadan Al-Mubarak, 1442 Hijri, 18th April 2021, after the Taraweeh Salah. It was shown to Ameer-e-Ahl-e-Sunnat دَامَـتْ بَـرَكَـاتُـهُـمُ الْـعَـالِـيَـهْ, edited accordingly, and then presented here).