With respect to Ashraf Ali Thanvi we will just point out two important things, before charging him with disrespect in Hifdh Al-Iman:
1. When Ala Hazrat sb Barelvi comments relating to Thanawi’s text in Hifdh Al-Iman was shown to Ashraf Ali Thanawi.
He strongly rejected the meaning and “interpretation” and commented that
he could not even dream of thinking such a repugnant (khabees) thing about the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him).
that if anyone was to believe and directly or indirectly agreed with what Molvi Ahmed Raza Khan Sb had understood/misunderstood from his text then
he (Ashraf Ali) would, in accordance with the rulings of Shariah, consider such a person to be outside the pale of Islam for denigrating the Prophet (peace and blessing be upon him). This is a documented comment of Hakim Al-Ummat.
He himself denounced such a thought for Allah’s messenger and disowned the misunderstood interpretation of his words.
2. In addition to this, with an aim of making his statement more clear and understandable, and to rule out any confusion He twice made changes in the text so as there would be no ambiguity left in the text. Thereafter, the text read as follows:
THE ISSUE WAS THAT ALIMULGAIB SIRF ALLAH KO KAHA JAEGA YA PYARE NABI KO ALIMULGAIB KAHNA JAEz HAI YA NAHIN................(wheatehe to call alimulgaib is only for Allah or it can be said about Allah and rasool both) Baqi yeh bat ki HUZUR KA ILM TAMAM Makhlooqat se zyada hai ismein kisi ko koi ikhtalaf nahin hai.................
“Aap ki zhat-e-muqqadasa par alim-e-ghayab ka hukaum keya jana agar baqol Zayd sahih ho to daryafet taleb yay amr hah keh iss ghayab seymurad ba’az ghayab hay ya kul ghayab. Agar ba’az uloom-e-ghayabiya muradhain to iss mey huzoor sallalaho alhey wasalam ki keya takhsees hay?///Mutlaq ba’az uloom-e-ghayabiya to ghair Ambiya ahlehimussalam ko bih hasil hain/// to chaheyay keh sub ko alim ul ghayab kaha jaway.” (Bast Al-Banan — forward slashes mark changes made to text by Hakim Al-Ummat)
Trans: “If it refers to but some of the unseen, then how is the Revered One [the Prophet] (Allah bless him and give him peace) uniquely special? Certain knowledge of unseen is possessed by the non-prophets also, so everyone should be called ‘knower of the unseen…’”
Ashraf Ali Thanawi made it also extremely clear that no one was to publish the old text of Hifdh Al-Iman.
These changes were done in the lifetime of Ala Hazrat R.A sb.
Two books were written by Ashraf Ali for the announcement of change of his sentences – Bast Al-Banan Li Kaff Al-Lisan An Kitab Hifdh Al-Iman (1329AH) and Tagyir Al-Unwan Fi Ba’di Ibarat Hifdh Al-Iman (1342AH).
Requesting for dua for unity of sunnis.