Allah (Ta’ala) said in verse 59 of Surah An-Nisa:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُوا الرَّسُولَ وَأُولِي الْأَمْرِ مِنْكُمْ فَإِنْ تَنَازَعْتُمْ فِي شَيْءٍ فَرُدُّوهُ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَالرَّسُولِ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ تُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ ذَلِكَ خَيْرٌ وَأَحْسَنُ
“O believers! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger (Muhammad (saw)), and those of you (Muslims) who are in authority (Ulul ‘Amr). (And) if you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger, if you believe in Allah and in the Last Day, that is better and more suitable for final determination.”
This verse made it clears that one should obey Allah, His Messenger and those in authority, and this includes rulers and scholars. But the obedience to rulers and scholars is in matters agreed upon, and in matters of difference, the believers should refer to Allah and His Messenger, and this means that one should not obey a ruler in disobedience to Allah and His Prophet, neither a scholar whose saying opposes Quran and Hadith.
So in this verse Allah has clearly separated obedience to rulers and scholars from the obedience to Allah and to His Prophet, and has made two levels:
First level: Allah and His Prophet who should be referred to in matters of disagreement. And this is the final authority for Muslims one cannot oppose, and referring to them constitutes belief in Allah and in the Last Day.
Second level: Rulers and scholars who should be obeyed if there is no disagreement.
This verse is clear that in matters of disagreements, we should refer to the Quran and the Sunnah. Shaykh Muhammad Husayn Al-Battalwi quoted this verse to show that Taqlid Shakhsi (Taqlid of only one particular scholar) is void, and he also asked ten questions to the Deobandiyah in the form of a challenge.
The Deobandi scholar who answered him was Mahmud ul Hasan Deobandi, he first wrote “Adillah Al-Kamilah” and then “Idah ul Adillah” to answer this challenge to his group.
“Idah ul Adillah” was first published in 1299.
In the second edition published by Asghar Husayn in 1330, Mahmud ul Hasan wrote:
“As obedience to rulers under orders is considered as obedience to rulers superior, likewise the obedience to the noble Prophets and preponderantly (obedience) to those in authority (Ulul Amr) will be considered as obedience to Allah by itself. And considering those who obey the Prophets and different people of authority (Ulul Amr) as being outside the obedience to Allah will be like some people lacking of reason considering those who obey the orders of rulers under orders as being outside the obedience to superior rulers
This is why Allah revealed “If you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger and to those among you (Muslims) in authority (Ulul Amr)” and it is clear that in this verse “those in authority” (Ulul Amr) are nothing but other than the Messengers. This verse makes it clear that that obedience to the Messengers and preponderantly to those in authority (Ulul Amr) is obligatory.
You (Ahlul Hadith) have seen this verse: “Refer it to Allah and to His Messenger if you believe in Allah and in the Last day” but you did not know that in the same Quran in which this verse is, there is also the verse that Ahqar (most despised: meaning himself, a terminology used by Sufi to describe themselves) presented.
It is not surprising that as usual you have considered these two verses as contradictory and you have given the Fatwa that one abrogated the other. Mujtahid Sahib, I am saying that hoping to make void Taqlid in matters of difference (with this verse) is similar to the story of a hungry man would say two and two Rotis (Indian breads) make four” End of Mahmud ul Hasan’s words.
Click on the link below to see the scan of this second edition, and this book is present in Maktabah Rehmaniyah, Model Town Lahore, which is the library of Jamiyah Rehmaniyah.
So the words “And to Ulul Amr” have been added by Mahmud ul Hasan to show that in matters of disagreement, one should also refer to the scholars, and their obedience is like the obedience to the Prophets, while Allah ordered to obey scholars, but in matters of disagreements the final verdict is that of Allah and His Messenger.
While Allah gave us a clear message and differentiated between the obedience to the scholars and rulers and the obedience to Allah and to His Messenger, and conditioned the first one by the final authority that is Allah and the Messenger, the people of Taqlid have made obedience to scholars to the same level as obedience to the Messengers, and as they could not find any verse of the Quran for this, they invented one.
So not only they opposed Allah’s differentiation between Messengers and rulers/scholars, but they invented their own religion in which obedience to human beings who make mistakes is on the same level as obedience to Prophets who receive revelation from Allah.
Some Deobandi answered that it was a mistake from Mahmud ul Hasan and not an alteration like in the magazine “Furqan” of April 2000, Luknaw, p 33: “When this mistake happened, he (Mahmud ul Hasan) was not Shaykh ul Hind, only a teacher since 9 years”.
And he brought other doubts saying how could he do that, when there were a lot of Hufaz (Quran memorizers) in every town?
One should know that when this book was first published in 1299 H, at that time Mahmud ul Hasan had already taught the “Sunnan” of At-Tirmidhi since 6 years, the “Sahih” of Al-Bukhari since 4 years. He was 30 years old. So after teaching such great books, he had a lot of knowledge. If he had not, why did he accept the challenge from a great scholar of Ahlul Hadith, he should have left this matter to his elders?
And it was Mahmud ul Hasan’s routine to read his books to his teacher Qasim An-Nanotwi who was a memorizer of the Quran.
And An-Nanotwi’son, Muhammad Ahmad was in charge of publishing the first edition.
1000 copies must have been published first time, and there might be so many readers. And there is a great probability that the Deoabandi elders (Gangohi, Thanvi, Kasmiri, Ahmad Husayn…) had read this answer to a great scholar of the Ahlul Hadith, as it came to a challenge to the Deobandi group, so it is difficult for them not to have read this answer to this challenge to their group.
30 years later, the second edition came and Mahmud ul Hasan was 60 years old, at that time he was called Shaykhul Hind by the Deobandiyah. Asghar Husayn published the second edition, and he is from the Deobandi major scholars. He wrote a biography of Mahmud ul Hasan and was very close to him.
At the end of second edition, from which the extracts were given, there are words of Asghar Husayn: “This precious book, whose great value is known only from people of knowledge, was only published once in 1299…and some pages of the first edition were not well printed and it lost its beauty…Some companions felt the need and asked the Ahqar (himself) to obtain recompense for its publication. And the person (himself) took it with happiness to publish Hazrat Ustad’s Fuyudh Ilmiyah (lights of knowledge), and I corrected the old manuscript carefully and with a lot of efforts…and because of my defective understanding, I could not understand some ( sentences), so I took help from the Author himself and corrected it…” End of Asghar Husayn’s words.
So 30 years later, 1000 people must have read this book, maybe much more, Deobandi major scholars must have had a look, Asghar Husayn checked it and corrected the mistakes, and despite all of this, this mistake in quoting the verse of the Quran was not removed, so it is much more than an error.
Rather, the verse 59 of Surah An-Nisa was:
“Obey Allah and obey the Messenger (Muhammad (saw)), and those of you (Muslims) who are in authority (Ulul ‘Amr). (And) if you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger, if you believe in Allah and in the Last Day”
And Mahmud ul Hasan quoted this verse as such: “(And) If you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to Allah and to His Messenger and those of you (Muslims) who are in authority (Ulul ‘Amr)”
And he claimed this verse to be different from this one: “Refer it to Allah and to His Messenger, if you believe in Allah and in the Last day”
While the verse is the same one, and one can see Mahmud ul Hasan carefully quoted them so to make them appear as two verses. In the first one he quoted the parts of the beginning “If you differ in anything then refer…” and in the second he quoted the end of the verse “if you believe in Allah and Last day” so his aim was to prove that there are two verses: One tells to refer to Allah and to His Prophet and to those in authority in matters of disagreements, and the other tells to refer to Allah and to His Prophet, so one verse is to be understood with the other.
While there is no verse that tells to refer to those in authority in matters of differences. And Mahmud ul Hasan in both cases did not quote the verse fully, while in such matters one should have quoted full verses.
And these matters are about obedience to Allah and His Messenger, they are matters relating to the creed of Muslims and submission to Allah and His Messenger. So these verses are among fundamentals of the Muslim creed, how is it possible to err in quoting them?
So the topic is clear, and this error remaining in the book thirty years after is clear that it is a deliberate alteration in the Quran, and specifically when the proof is being established with the added parts.
And the disease of blind Taqlid, Ta’asub has lead its people to the level of competing with the Jews and the Christians in their alteration of the Books of Allah. Shaytan has made their evils actions look beautiful to them, and they legislated a religion for which Allah did not send any revelation.
Prisoners of their desire, blinded by their love of Imam Abu Hanifah, they want to put their Imams to the same level of the Prophet (saw).
This is why Mahmud ul Hasan wrote in his “Taqrir Tirmidhi” in the chapter of transactions:
"What is obtained is that the topic of Khyar is among important topics and Abu Hanifah contradicted in it the majority and a lot of people from the first and later generations, they wrote Rasail in refutation of his (Abu Hanifa)'s Madhab on this topic and Maulana Shah Waliyullah Muhadith gave preference in his writings to the Madhab of Ash-Shafi'i taking evidence from the Ahadith and Nusus (religious texts), and likewise our Shaykh gave preference to his Madhab and said the truth and justice in this topic is to give preference to Ash-Shafi'i and we are Muqalid and the Taqlid of our Imam Abu Hanifa is obligatory upon us. Allah knows best"