Many questions have been received with regard to a recently published book titled “Hey! Who Am I Really?” Since many aspects in the book deal with fundamental beliefs, it was deemed necessary to explain the issues in detail in their proper perspective. The explanation will insha Allah be done in several parts.
This is Part One of the series.
Question: I read a book titled “Hey! Who Am I Really? and found it interesting. It was my intention to circulate it to family and friends but have now heard that there is some controversy over the book. Is it authentic and suitable to circulate to others?
Answer: Firstly, it is fundamentally important to be very selective of who one acquires the knowledge of deen from. It is reported from ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) that Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said: “Verily this knowledge (of the Quraan and sunnah) is deen. Hence beware of who you take your deen from.” (Jaami‘us Sagheer – Al-Mawaahibul Ladunniya, pg. 665). Therefore it is extremely important to “read” the author before one reads the book. Some of the most important aspects about those who one takes deen from are: Who were his teachers? Were they people of the correct ‘aqeedah? Did they adhere to the sunnah? etc. With regard to the author, his teacher in this book, from beginning to end, is Fadhlallah Haeri. The only thing that the readers learn about him from the book itself is that he worked in the petroleum industry and then set out in pursuit of spiritual knowledge. This hardly says anything much, hence it leaves the reader without any idea of whether the person is from among the Ahlus Sunnah or does he subscribe to something else? Nevertheless some of his statements quoted in the book make it clear that he has strayed from the path of deen.
Nevertheless the book in question is dedicated to “all seekers” who ask the following questions: “Who am I really? Why am I here? Where am I going? Which road do I take?” The most important question is “Which road do I ‘take’?” The one who understands which is the correct road and traverses that path will reach the destination of Jannah. Once he reaches Jannah safely, it does not really matter whether he understood the deeper philosophy of his reality and existence or not.
The road to take is simply “Siraatul Mustaqeem” – the Straight Path. Siraatul Mustaqeem is the path of the Quraan and sunnah. The first recipients of the Glorious Quraan and the instructions and explanations of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) were the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) – the noble companions of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam). They understood the path clearly and traversed it with distinction. Hence the Quraan Shareef has declared the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) as the criterion. Allah Ta‘ala declares: “The forerunners (to Islam) among the Muhaajireen and the Ansaar and those who have followed them (the Sahaabah