Question: I have heard a bayaan broadcast from one of the radio stations in which the maulvi saheb was extolling the virtues of Khatm-e-Khaajgaan. From the tenor of the Molvi sahb’s bayaan the listener definitely gains the impression that this Khatm-e-Khaajgaan practice is sunnat, in fact waajib. Names of senior Ulama of Deoband such as Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (Rahamatullahi alaih) were cited to emphasise indulgence in this zikr. I am fearful of not participating in this practice now because I may be leaving out a sunnah or waajib act. In fact, the Molvi sahb giving the bayaan said words to the effect that because this practice has come down from the Akaabir we should not question it. Please clarify the position of Khatm-e-Khaajgaan in the light of the Shariah. Will I be sinful in not participating in this practice?
Answer: The practice of Khatm-e-Khaajgaan is not a Sunnah practice, leave alone being waajib. The emphasis attached to this practice by inexperienced molvis and the warnings sounded over questioning this practice confirm that much excess has crept into this practice and hence it is elevated to even a higher pedestal than Sunnah acts, such as Salaatul Haajat, etc. Far from promoting the khatm-e-khaajgaan the Molvi saheb has actually demoted the practice. When a mubaah (permissible) act is stressed to such an extent that the impression is gained of it being Sunnah than the act becomes bid’ah and it then becomes necessary to dissociate from the practice. The strain this Molvi and others of like mind exert in propagating the Khatm-e-Khaajgaan has made this practice a bid’ah. Umbrage is taken when the public do not participate in the khatm-e-khaajgaan. The khaajgaan is practised in cult-fashion in the Masaajid in full glare of the public leaving the distinct impression to the masses that this is some masnoon form of Ibaadat. The simple Khatm-e-Khaajgaan of some Buzrugs bears no resemblance to the ghuluw which these local molvis have injected into the practice. It is incumbent to abstain from participating in the khatm-e-khaajgaan in view of this act being over-emphasised and portrayed as a Sunnah act. Its status now is that of bid’ah.