OUR FAILURE IS OUR LOSS 2

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Figure 1A: A leader receiving a pose of genuflection from a devotee.

PEDDLING PURITY

Rabī` al-Awwal/Rabī` al-Ākhir 1427

According to the feel good propaganda machine in the English speaking countries, Islam is on the march. It is the fastest growing religion in the United States, United Kingdom and just about everywhere else. Everyone is ready to be a Muslim.

Revival is abounding, growing day by day and reaching untold millions, convinced by a scientific miracle or by watching a debate series that Islam is the end all and be all.

Of course those that come into Islam are immediately exposed to the joy of born believers greeting them, if one should read the carefully crafted articles and newspaper ads penned by some Muslim apologists in the West. But the reality of the matter is much darker than what is being given. [1]

Rather than believe a media machine as well oiled as any other, should we not question these claims? Is Islam, dormant as a civilisation for one hundred years, really on the move or is the revival counted on merely counterfeit? Hopefully, if one should read the first instalment of Our Failure is Our Loss, they will understand that the internal and external forces against Orthodox believers and the Orthodox faith is great indeed.

But within this article we would like to bring attention to a more glaring reality amongst the Muslims, that being of the white washed spokesmen who are calling for the ‘revival of the Ummah.’ While no one can question the good nature of these preachers (as many of those saying this are Orthodox and not cultists), there are still a great many other queries that exist.

Those calling for the reinvigoration and revival of the Ummah are claiming to possess the means and have called the believers forward to rush, crowd by crowd, into the new Promised Land.

After theological and spiritual relativism, ecumenicalism that is taking place between Orthodox Muslims and cults (and sometimes false religions), the other pernicious tree is the rise of ‘confessional Islam,’ a movement riding on the heels of some of those claiming renewal for the Muslims.

Within the past fifteen to twenty five years, confessional Islam has been making major inroads into the English speaking countries where Muslims reside, having been diligently carried from the ravaged confines of the Muslim countries by its’ missionaries.

It comes with its’ own apparatus, technicians, guides, gurus and media savvy devotees. In many cases, Muslims are exposed to these spiritual masters during symposiums or study circles. Those in attendance are told by a ‘shaykh[2] to follow Islam, which it is the truth and one must implement the faith.

The area for concern that comes is when they are commanded to take the bai`ah (oath of allegiance) to the ‘shaykh,’ adhering to his words, that become the letter of the law. As the crowds fall over each other to move forward and grip the ‘shaykh’s’ hand, the meeting place takes on a static electricity reminiscent of a rock concert or cathedral.

Once the oath, usually based on the words of the ‘shaykh’ or his loyal devotees, concludes, they become the needy ones to the ‘shaykh’, the murīds. One can see the relationship begin to crystallise, the believer in him becoming more confident and strident in the words of the ‘shaykh.’

Often, he will not travel without the permission of the ‘shaykh’, conduct transactions without consulting him or take up acts of righteousness without asking for his opinion on their validity.

The follower or murīd is made to feel content by the company of the ‘shaykh,’ his desire their desire, his wish being their command. As he passes each stage of learning, having kept the company of the ‘shaykh,’ ‘murshid,’ ‘peer’ or wise man, he seeks that others should also join ‘the truth,’ so they too might be guided aright.

Now the murīd begins the search for new recruits. And this is precisely where the problems begin to spread. The recruiter seeks new members for the way of his master, perhaps he is even sent by recommendation.

Upon meeting a perspective new member, the barrage of questioning begins. [3] These questions tend to centre on the theme that the Muslims must be purified, they are in need of purification.

How could the Muslims possibly be purified without some sort of advisor to initiate the process? Someone who was skilled, illuminated, full with the light of Allah, could bring the necessary transformation about in the life of a believer.

Someone not aware of the questions posed to them may answer that they are doing fine, enjoying their life as a Muslim, learning and continuing to grow. But the recruiter would stress that this was not sufficient, that more was needed to be pure. At this point, the recruiter divulges the great secret, the words of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him,

Whoever dies and does not have a bai`a [4] on his neck, dies the death of Jāhiliyyah. [5]

It is with this, the interrogator explains, that someone will be purified on the Day of Resurrection. If anyone dies without this oath of allegiance, without pledging his bai`a to someone, he dies on other than Islam. [6]

Realising the grave matter laid out in the hadīth, anyone concerned for their Hereafter would want to avoid the calamity of dying on unbelief. At the earliest opportunity, the novice steps into the presence of the ‘shaykh’ and takes his oath of allegiance.

He has now joined the Tarīqah. [7] The believer now feels confident, pleased in his heart that he will not die on a faith other than Islam.

The protégé then will take the approval of his new master in almost every area of his life. What he is ordered to do, he commits without so much as an eye blink and feels no concern about repercussions.

Many of these leaders, although teaching new age religion, style themselves ‘Sūfī shaykhs,’ finding that many Muslims respond to titles that may match great luminaries of times past. At times, the new student will be put to tests, to check loyalty as well as development in the new environment.

This has included ritual periods of imposed fasting exceeding or at the level of 40 days,[8] imposed periods of seclusion[9] with sleep and nourishment deprivation, [10] taking and making use of whatever the teacher gives [11] and so on. If proven worthy, the student is allowed additional access to the ‘shaykh’, a revered rank and begins to enjoy status and authority among his peers. [12]

The writer has seen as an eye witness and has been reported to accounts in which students admit sins to the teacher, confess short comings in married life and also tell of internal workings and whisperings of their soul.

Indeed, no one has a right to fault sincere advice, but those being visited and gathered around are not being sought for advice, they are conducting a confessional. Rather than heading to Allah and asking for repentance, the follower pleads his case to the ‘shaykh’, being absolved by him of sin. The normal programme for absolving is the following,

a)      visualising the ‘shaykh’ when in seclusion or in public. [13]

b)     Asking permission to travel or seek any knowledge from the ‘shaykh[14]

c)      Seeking permission of the ‘shaykh’ to carry out praiseworthy or meritorious actions in the Revelation of Allah. [15]

d)     Giving the teacher’s ideas precedence over their own, although these may collide with right and wrong as the student knows it. But this is to be put in context that the ‘shaykh’ has more illuminated knowledge, thus the follower may be mistaken. [16]

Now that this programme is implemented, what has been replaced? The four points above usually replace or severely hamper the following,

a)      building a greater relationship with Allah[17]

b)     study of the faith in a systematic manner [18]

c)      learning the evidences of the revelation and acting upon them [19]

d)     preaching and testifying of the truth to wayward Muslims and also unbelievers. [20]

Doubt is often expressed by people who hear about human beings being taken advantage of in this way, especially when they are Muslims. It seems as if only gullible people would allow this, as if somehow their intelligence is lacking in an area where critical inquiry is needed.

This is not altogether fair, as there are more than just a few forces at work with regard to this issue. We attempted to address the fear of Divine Retribution due to the issue of bai`a, as well as the desire for acceptance and success. Group work and cohesion are also stressed, which help to mould the individual to norms without the organisation, although they are sinister.

But the final force at work has to do with personal responsibility. The structure of the group, although not always explicitly detailing the matter so, lends to a feeling that one bears no personal responsibility.

Those placing their trust in a personal ‘shaykh’ of the type mentioned may often times not feel the pressing desire to study and research about their faith. The points that he puts forward are halāl if he proclaims permissibility and harām if he proclaims impermissibility.

It is just that simple. [21] One rests assured regarding their faith, salvation, halāl, harām and spreading the word of Allah, as their personal guide has already taken this responsibility. One in this situation could be expected to do little more than what is presently taking place, which is nothing.

The stifling atmosphere, where few questions are asked and absolute obedience is rewarded with the students being crowned ‘shaykh’, only leads to the further spiritual atrophy of the follower. One can see this phenomenon now in the type of leadership that is produced and is currently being rapid fire replicated in English speaking countries where Muslims reside.

After 8-12 years of study, these new, fresh faced ‘shaykhs’, ‘Sīdīs’ and ‘Ustādhs’ also begin recruitment drives, taking under their wing unsuspecting victims to continue the same process of indoctrination and in effect putting to sleep another generation of what could have been dynamic preachers and grass roots believers working with the general people.

VIRTUE BY ASSOCIATION

Obviously, anyone that would challenge such an entrenched system, which is the same one prevailing in certain circles of the Muslim world, will find resistance. A common evidence quoted is where the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, stated,

‘The scholars are the inheritors of the prophets.’ [22]

If the scholars are the inheritors of the prophets, then they are obviously their successors and as such it would entitle them to a certain authority. That being the case, we should heed the words of the scholars, submitting to their authority, as the breadth and depth of their knowledge is far more steep than our own.

The scholars, they maintain, at times have a hidden knowledge of things that we fail to grasp. Thus, things that the ‘shaykh’ may say or do, although appearing to be kufr and shirk, are actually consonant with the Revelation. An example used for illustration is where the Prophet Mūsa, peace be upon him, met the great figure al-Khidr, peace be upon him. [23]

While taking a journey with the sage, the Prophet Mūsa, witnessed certain things that were reprehensible in his estimation and were condemnable. But when the time for them to part ways had come, al-Khidr, peace be upon him, explained the events and the divine plan behind them. [24]

Modern ‘shaykhs’ use this as evidence of the fact that the student does not always know the truth of a matter, so it is better not to speak up, even if seeming contradictions abound.

The teacher has access to knowledge that the student could never hope for, as his illuminated state is evident to all of his seekers. This way of logic and reasoning stifles any opposition that could be brought, those questioners or doubters merely being dubbed as ‘not very spiritual’ or ‘non-traditional.’ But questioning will still persist, which leads to the next line of defence, that of precedent.

At the presence of opposition to their orders or statements, sceptics will be told that this is the way of the Tarīqahs of old. Every Tarīqah has this method. From the outset, the beginning Tarīqahs, Qādirī, [25] Suhrawardī, [26] Chishtī [27] and Naqshabandī,[28] engaged in the same actions, thus negating them from these contemporary figures is to actually question history and Islamic scholarship at its’ highest level.

Enlightened ‘Sūfi Shaykhs’ will coo their detractors into submission, pronouncing the words, ‘Brother, there is a difference of opinion about this,’ or ‘This issue is not agreed upon,’ giving the innocuous appearance that the issue contains some shade of doubt, therefore, condemnation would be bigoted, sectarian and absolutely partisan.

There are now some defending the practice of samā`[29], use of stringed and wind instruments in worship for devotional purposes, stating that certain named scholars understood this to be the case.

If they in their knowledge, overflowing and mountainous in depth, accepted this, how could we then find condemnation? The oversimplification present simply has to be exposed. A scholar is not only revered for his scholarly demeanour, but first and foremost his evidence. If a scholar was of exalted character and would not pray, it would not be of any avail for him to quote his reasons why, as he is in direct contravention of divine writ. [30]

Those who hold fast to transplanting these same blameworthy practices into the countries where Muslims now reside also claim none other than Shaikh ul-Islam `Abdul Qādir al-Jīlānī, may Allah have mercy upon him, as a rallying cry to hide behind, using his name for all manner of things. Some of the most famous accretions attributed to him are,

a)      False banquets and gatherings, told to be in his honour and that he approved of silently or explicitly, with regard to Hereafter events as well such as punishment of the grave. [31]

b)     Gatherings of musical instruments being played during worship. [32]

c)      Use of his name to bolster some modern spear heads of Tasawwuf [33]

When examining their claim to Shaikh ul-Islam, one would have to examine his life and personal characteristics. Fortunately, his biography has not been lost in the vicissitudes of time, like in the case of religious figures such as Buddha, Zoroaster or Confucius.

The praise being to Allah, the Hanbalīs, his legal school, keep and have always kept copious records on their scholars. Those seeking to establish traditions from him regarding his personal and devotional life have plenty of sources from eye witness accounts. Eye witnesses include Imāms Muwaffaq ud-Dīn Ibn Qudāmah,[34] `Abdur-Rahmān ibn al-Jawzī [35] and other great Hanbalī figures.

Shaikh ul-Islam `Abdul Qādir al-Jīlānī, may Allah have mercy upon him, was once asked, ‘Has there ever been a walī of Allah upon other than the creed of Imām Ahmad ibn Hanbal?’ He replied, ‘Neither has that happened, nor will it happen.’ [36]

Many may not understand the significance of the question or the answer. The fact is, Shaikh ul-Islam al-Jīlānī, may Allah have mercy upon him, did not give ijāzah to non-Hanbalīs in a capacity to succeed him or in teaching Ihsān or other texts or sciences for that matter.

In fact, the very question, asked by a Hanbalī to him in a gathering of all Hanbalīs, indicates the absence of non-Hanbalīs in the gatherings. In addition to this point, his two most senior students, Imāms Muwaffaq ud-Dīn Ibn Qudāmah and `Abdur-Rahmān ibn al-Jawzī, never report from anyone else in the gatherings, be it music or otherwise. [37]

And as his Tarīqah was the first one that was fully operational in his lifetime and prepared, it would take the most precedence. The practices and methods of those scholars firmly grounded in the Sunnah, the Basran way of perfection that emanated from the household of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, have the most right to be followed and not later accretions attributed to them.

A RETURN TO RESPONSIBILITY

If one attempts to put all of this in context, a picture may emerge that shocks one into action. Confessional forms of Islam are nothing more than attempts (intentional or not) to divorce the believer from personal responsibility and the striving for knowledge, which was commanded when the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, stated,

‘Seeking knowledge is an obligation on every Muslim.’ [38]

One seeking knowledge may take on a teacher or teachers as those with more expertise in an area may be needed to explain difficult issues. But  no ‘shaykh’, ‘Sīdī,’ ‘Ustādh,’ peer or murshid may efface a text or principle that has been laid down in the revelation. Neither of these figures has an opinion that could abrogate revelation. [39]

The individual believer is responsible for learning and implementing the foundational truths of the faith himself. No one will be saved from eternal judgement by their own works, sacrifices or someone else’s works, good or evil. As someone becomes aware of such knowledge, they will realise their own need to step forward and exercise vigilance in knowing the faith.

Fast food Islam simply will not be sufficient to give nourishment to a growing spiritual body. Going from strength to strength, from infanthood to maturity, the Muslim requires wholesome spiritual food that will edify and not undermine his or her state.

Everyone is tested in the scales of Revelation when discussing such matters. Allah has declared spiritual equality in opposing and accepting revelation,

Whoever contends with the Messenger after the truth has been made clear to him and follows other than the way of the believers, We will turn him over to that and roast him in the Fire. And what an evil return that is indeed. [40]

Thus for someone opposing the Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him, or the believers (consensus), his or her personality, rank or status is irrelevant, as he or she is an opponent to revelation.

Bai`a indeed does have certain valid applications, but these things must be studied and understood carefully. There are examples in the Revelation of the oath of allegiance and they are governed by revelation. But when comparing to modern examples, there are at times gross discrepancies.

Followers sometimes pledge to kill, die for or submit themselves in total to the ‘shaykh’ even if it opposes their own understanding. [41] Other formulae may be more sensible but no less problematic, for where have these quatrains, couplets and lengthy stanzas of oaths originated from in the first three generations? And if they did not originate there, then in what way are we indebted to or in need of them?

Every believer has the right to question when things may seem unclear, as has been clarified by the Lord and enshrined in divine writ. Consider the case of the angels, who were concerned about the creation of human beings,

They said, ‘Will you place therein one who will do harm and shed blood in it while we are celebrating Your Praises and Glorifying You?’ He said, ‘I know what you do not know.’ [42]

The question posed by the angels was answered. Their questioning and receiving an answer shows the Divine Right to ask when something does not make sense or when certain circumstances require explanation.

Common Muslims have to start to hold leadership responsible for actions and statements made at symposiums and large gatherings. And especially when they are asked to surrender or cede authority, inquiry must be constant until definite evidence is produced.

Allah told us that in foundational matters, the Revelation is easy to understand and that we must strive to make sense of it. He proclaimed,

We have made the Qur’ān easy to remember. So who will take the time to remember and reflect? [43]

If it has been made easy to remember, then let us march forward with reflecting on and making the revelation paramount in our lives. Threats from so called ‘shaykhs,’ gurus and holy men should have no effect on the believer, as salvation is a gift from Allah, when He proclaimed,

And it will be proclaimed to them, ‘Enter the garden with what you used to do.’ [44]

He has also proclaimed,

Enter into My Presence, My Slaves. Enter My Paradise. [45]

It is the sole providence of Allah that one may be admitted into Paradise and saved from Eternal Judgement. Salvation and the forgiveness of sins is HIS SOLE DOMAIN,

You were on the very edge of going into the pit of the Fire and He gave you salvation from it. [46]

Allah said,

Whoever feared the Most Merciful in the unseen with a pure heart, it will be said, ‘Enter in peace. This is the Day of Eternity.’ There they have all that they desire and there is more with Us. [47]

Let no one have any fear of their teachers or leaders when forgiveness of sin, salvation and entrance into Paradise belongs to the Possessor of Majesty and Grandeur forever! And with Allah is every success.

Was-Salaam,

Abū Ja`far al-Hanbalī

 

 

 

 


[1] This is certainly not to say that no revival is happening at all or that people are not coming to a faith in the Lord. However, those that are selling this menu to kuffar are not being completely honest about their designs as well as some of the consequences of their actions in certain circumstances.

[2] This word carries two meanings. One is that of an old man, usually someone atleast forty years old. The second meaning, one who is learned in the faith and senior in knowledge amongst their peers, is the meaning most commonly intended and in vogue in our midst.

Those who abuse their office and are given this title (many apply it to themselves and often use it as one would use their first name) are yielded a form of authority over their flock that is more clandestine than the priest over his parish or the pastor over his congregation. A basic Muslim should be weary when people can wield absolute power without responsibility.

We have differentiated between two spellings of the word, those being ‘shaykh’ and ‘shaikh.’ The former refers to the counterfeit teachers and preachers selling confessional Islam while the latter denotes those preaching Orthodox faith from the past or now.

[3] The style of inquiry and interrogation used by recruiters seems suspiciously like those dialectics favoured by the cults. At times, the phrases, word usage and vocabulary are the same, designed to make the common Muslim feel that they are someone not measuring up or meeting the vigorous standard as propounded and demanded by the perspective of the organisation, which has put itself into place as correct Islam.

[4] This Arabic word carries the meaning of taking an oath of allegiance or obedience. This is generally done by clasping the hand (s) of someone and stating one’s obedience to them in a matter in so far as they do not disobey the revelation.

This was done in the times of prophets, kings and khalīfahs of the past. The oath doesn’t involve swearing by Allah or others than Allah, but is a pledge that one will adhere to what principles or orders they are given in so far as the one in authority is following the commands of revelation.

There are oaths of allegiance in matters such as military service in the Muslim army, obedience to a prophet, obedience to an appointed leader by the khalīfah and appointed scholars of the judiciary and so on.

The problem today is that some of those using this way are actually formulating their own words, taking their own devotees and commanding an almost Masonic form of power over anyone initiated. This has consequences in situations where these people might (and undoubtedly will when they over step their bounds) clash with revelation or the understanding of the first three generations.

[5] Collected by Imām Muslim in his Sahih collection under the Book of Imārah (Leadership), vol. 3, hadith #1476-77 as well as by Imām al-Bukhārī under the same chapter.

[6] What the recruiter fails to disclose (or may be ignorant of, as his ‘shaykh’ taught him) is that in the same chapter, for some five pages, the context of these āhādīth is fleshed out, referring to the bai`a given to the khalifah, who is in governance.

The scholars, from the first age to now, that have commented upon these texts, mention that the issue is connected with the state of the one who dies at a time of tribulation and does not have an Imām to discharge his rights for him. Please see Sahih Muslim bi-Sharh in-Nawawi, vol. 12, pp. 237-239 for further details.

[7] This is an Arabic word, signifying way, path or travelling method.

[8] When queried about this point, many advocates quote the story of the Prophet Mūsā, peace be upon him, as a precedent, but this only complicates matters. There are a number points with the Prophet Mūsā, peace be upon him, that need consideration.

1)       He was a prophet, so this was commanded of him.

2)       He was in the presence of Allah, who gave him food, drink and preserved him from need to relieve himself and so forth.

3)       The Last Prophet, Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, only laid down for us the 30 day (or 29 in certain years) fast of Ramadan to be as purification and law for us. Outside of this, one would only fast thirty days if they were making up a mixed fast.

Even the great Imam Ibn an-Najjād, may Allah have mercy upon him, known for his righteousness, fasted every other day, the fast of the Prophet Dawud, peace and blessings be upon him.

4)       There is yet to be decisive evidence brought by a ‘shaykh’ that this is needed for a pupil or to be imposed. Until a definite evidence is brought for imposition, it must be rejected, for we have not been commanded in this regard.

5)       At times, these 40 day fasts, again attempting to follow the Prophet Mūsā, peace be upon him, have been done in a fashion where the adherent is taking almost no nourishment.

Cases have been reported of malnutrition, death and also other abnormalities. The question that should be answered is why they would subject someone to this when they have not been commanded in Revelation to do so in the first place.

[9] This at times includes novices being given a picture of their ‘shaykh’ and told to concentrate on it, staring at it frequently and waiting. During the ‘remembrance’ sessions, followers are told that in seclusion, they should try to visualise their ‘shaykh’ to imagine that he is always with him.

These practices, although the building blocks for auto-suggestion (hypnotism while one is awake but without them knowing it), they have yet to be born out by any text or the first three generations.

[10] This bears some resemblance to the aboriginal sweat lodge ceremonies carried out in the United States by such tribes as the Lummi, Muckleshoot and Klamath Falls. But an unequivocal text has yet to be given on enjoining this as a way of practice for followers. No text is produced by these figures that prove their pupils must endure these rigours.

[11] There was an eye witness account the writer came to know from a believer who left one of these groups in which adherents were actually passed a plate of human excrement and made to eat it.

It was later explained by the teacher that the follower had to annihilate himself in the ‘shaykh’, to actually become so trusting that no matter what could be given, the student could make use of it. After the person recovered in a hospital from shock as well as the poisoning of the excrement, he promptly left that group.

[12] Where do we find the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, giving his love to believers based upon these initiations and gruelling tribulations which sometimes result in personal injury to followers? If this was not the way of the greatest human being that ever lived, why should it be our way?

[13] There are some who put great hope in their teacher giving them salvation on the Day of Resurrection or even pre-empting the questioning in the grave due to their holiness. The folly that this leads to is unimaginable in terms of personal responsibility.

[14] Even such a mundane act as whether or not one may take their wife to one hospital rather than another is not left to the seemingly unilluminated follower, but entrusted to his teacher.

[15] Thus certain actions will be sunnah in one’s madhhab according to the mu`tamad of one’s madhhab, yet a teacher will tell the student not to do them, or that they are forbidden in his ‘lodge’ or gathering and that if one does them they will be expelled.

The choice would then be stark for someone following the Hanbalī School. Should they choose 400,000 scholars that passed down knowledge through more than twelve centuries or upgrade their knowledge due to a guru to whom someone has become attached?

[16] Members of the ‘lodge’ are often given blanket approval for impermissible actions and witness them in their teachers. Evils multiplied a thousand times include touching members of the opposite sex, the use of tobacco and other narcotics in religious ritual, dance accompanied with the use of string and wind instruments, alcohol used as a means of worship and many other disturbing trends.

When these are bought to their attention, the confused member or onlooker is told that these things cannot be understood by them as they are only following sharī`a, the outward laws, while not understanding haqīqah, the true reality of things. Thus their questioning would only be superfluous and hamper their reaching the desired goal.

The writer, upon witnessing an act such as this, once requested evidence for these displays of evil. The reply he received was, ‘Asking for evidence is actually the proof of your ignorance.’ The point was simple. Critical analysis of any kind was merely rejected, acceptance and trust taking precedence over inquiry and presentation of evidence from Revelation.

[17] It is here that the most dastardly of deeds comes into play. These same ‘Tarīqahs’ will sap all hope of individual success and intimacy with Allah from a believer by bellowing, ‘You know, you can never become pure by yourself. You must have a ‘shaykh’. You need a ‘shaykh’.

Without a murshid, you’re lost in life, you will never make it.’ These clever catch phrases and slogans are used to reduce strong willed, able bodied believers into spiritual sludge, easily and effortlessly malleable in the hands of someone with ill intentions.

[18] One can witness members in these organisations and ‘lodges’ that know not the word of salvation or the content of it. These same people, who are Muslims, are woefully ignorant of the Word of Allah and His Prophet.

In this state, someone can only become a slave when not having access to the unadulterated Words of Truth. We have been told to study the revelation and its’ command (Surat ul-Qamar, ayah 42), yet the ‘lodges’ see fit to leave their students as they are, lost in the ‘shaykh’, intoxicated in his presence.

[19] If one is busy with the teacher, how can they have time to work, enjoy life or live independent from his watchful gaze? At times, students are discouraged from marrying outside the group, fearing incompatibility.

[20] Perhaps in need of address is this terrible neglect. As one takes on the robe of the group or the manner of his ‘shaykh’, he actually becomes more alienated from the people, remote from the common society and even aloof from the work of faith.

Grassroots work in the urban war landscape of the United States, specifically the prison system (which the writer is well acquainted with) is suspiciously absent from the presence of these ‘lodges’ and their leaders. Both Muslim and kāfir are unaware of their impact, indeed perhaps even their existence.

What appearances that are made are at times staged and other times for soliciting need or sustenance from followers, who are further goaded for time and money. It is a sad indictment, but one which must be faced.

[21] What the writer is referring to is the actual foundations of faith, basic knowledge of what is permissible and impermissible and general points and relevant issues of enjoining the right and forbidding the wrong.

The believer is made responsible for these in respective order where Allah has proclaimed in sūrahs Muhammad (47), ayah 19 (faith), Mā’idah (5), ayaat 1-5 (basic issues of permissible and impermissible) and Luqmān (31), ayah 17 (basics of enjoining the right and forbidding the wrong).

So no one can put this in the hands of a leader or teacher and merely feel absolved of their personal obligations. However, if a teacher or leader is a scholar and able to pass judicial rulings, it would not be necessary to know in depth knowledge about the subject at hand.

But it should be understood that more often than not, those passing these rulings or giving orders are not muftis and tend not to give reference to any that garner rank. The problem becomes compounded when a leader becomes leader over souls in a movement and speaks on issues of foundational faith and non-essentials, both of which he is not within his depth to comment upon.

[22] Collected by Imām al-Bukhārī in his Jāmi` and classed by him as sahīh.

[23] This is mentioned by Allah in His Revelation in Surat ul-Kahf (18), ayaat 60-82

[24] And this is the primary difference between the reprehensible innovations carried out by some ‘shaykhs’ and that of al-Khidr, peace be upon him. Indeed, there is a similarity between the actions of al-Khidr and the ‘shaykhs’, both of which are seemingly wrong or evil in their outward form. But this is the only similarity.

There are a number of important discrepancies that disqualify these ‘shaykhs’ from using al-Khidr as an evidence for their erratic and oft-times depraved behaviour,

a)       al-Khidr, peace be upon him, was receiving news of the unseen from Allah, who was putting it in his heart. This is directly opposite to the false teacher, who claims this but in fact is either working by his own whims or lead astray by the adversary, Shaitan.

b)       The meeting between the two was ordained by Allah, not by the whims of a modern teacher, holy man or guru.

c)       When questioned by the Prophet Mūsa, peace be upon him, the figure in question gave responses bound in revelation, truths revealed to him. When these ‘shaykhs’ are questioned, they have excuses, verses, āhādīth out of context or the words of other figures like them who are outside of the first three generations and thus there is no consensus on their actions.

d)       The Prophet Mūsa, peace be upon him, asked for evidence, something that was given when the time came and their journey came to an end. When demanding evidence from the modern guru or holy man, the response is that these are illuminated individuals, therefore there must be some wisdom (the work ‘hikmah’ is oft-repeated and misused) that is driving him to do these things, a wisdom not embodied in any text, but in the heart of the ‘shaykh’ who is a ‘gnostic of Allah.’

[25] This is named after the legendary Shaikh ul-Islam `Abdul Qādir ibn Mūsā al-Jīlānī (470-560 AH/1077-1166 AD), one of the greatest Hanbalī scholars of his time and a strong preacher of salvation and purification. Although originally coming from Jīlān in today’s Iran, he came to Baghdad and studied with scholars of high calibre, showing promise for the future.

His Tarīqah began as a hostel for students, wives fleeing domestic abuse and a refuge from recovering alcoholics and criminals. These people in turn became scholars or were reformed to upright believers.

Some stayed at the hostel in the capacity of groundskeepers, cooks and the like. Of those that are claiming the Qādirī title so boastfully, where is the grassroots work that this way was founded upon? Indeed, much of the Tarīqah posturing has become little more than sloganeering.

[26] The shaikh of this Tariqah was originally Diyā ud-Dīn as-Suhrawardī (490-562 AH/1097-1168 AD), a scholar of great repute who was born and raised in Baghdad in Iraq. He taught at length on purification of the heart and return to the Revelation as a source of complete guidance.

Although the organiser and Imam of the Tarīqah, however his nephew Shaikh `Umar ibn Muhammad as-Suhrawardī (543-632 AH/1145-1234 AD), became more popular and is held by many to be the real organiser and codifier of the Tarīqah. This was later taken to India, where it spread there and to parts of South East Asia. The early scholars of the Suhrawardī laid great emphasis on transmission and memorisation of hadīth, in addition to fiqh.

[27] The Imam and teacher was Abū Ishāq ash-Shāmi (329 AH/940 AD), a high ranking scholar from Syria who was sent to Afghanistan to preach the faith. He settled in the town of Chesht (also Chisht) near Herat in modern day Afghanistan and taught people Islam in depth, from elementary to advanced level.

One of the vigorous supporters of this way came later a scholar named Shaikh Mu`īn ud-Dīn Chishti (547-634 AH/1141-1236 AD), bringing more Hanafī fiqh as well as an emphasis on personal devotion to India.

Shaikh Abū Ishāq and his students laid great emphasis on supplication, particularly memorising of all supplications related to sustenance and health, thus when calamity struck they could depend on Allah and Him Alone.

The Shaikh believed that someone having knowledge of these and all other supplications could be an effective preacher as well as cultivating and bettering their relationship with Allah.

Shaikh Abū Ishāq also stressed that students were not to allow themselves to mix their Islam with the animistic practices present around them. How sad it is that the dynamism originally underlying the Chishti scholars of India, Afghanistan and South Asia has declined.

[28] The Imām was Muhammad Bahā ud-Dīn Shāh Naqshaband (717-791 AH/1317-1388 AD), a Hanafi scholars born in Central Asia. This scholar and his early students laid heavy emphasis on proper recitation of the Qur’ān, commentary of the Qur’ān and discussion on the reasons for revelation.

They believed that someone who understood the Qur’ān in a holistic manner could make a dynamic impact on society at large. Some of have credited this knowledge and emphasis as the reason for the longevity of the last Islamic governing system, the Ottomans, who were overwhelmingly Naqshadandī in principle.

[29] The word linguistically means, ‘hearing, listening,’ but has also been taken to refer to many other things. In one context, this word refers to large gatherings of Remembrance of Allah, in which there are readings of Qur’ān, Sunnah texts, testimonies of faith taken from people desiring to embrace Islam and so forth.

In another context, the word refers to the use of wind and string instruments for worship and Remembrance of Allah, as well as dancing to the instrumentals, which sometimes takes place in certain circles. At times, narcotics or alcohol are also sought. It is this second type of samā` that the writer is referring to, so the reader should not be confused.

[30] This is the same thing that has happened with wind and string instruments. Scholars have used their rank as the measuring stick, shifting the ground from evidence and the first three generations, to their outward character.

[31] Consistent demands for them to produce the historical precedent for these actions leading back to Shaikh ul-Islam and his inner circle (including Imāms Muwaffaq ud-Dīn, `Abdur-Rahmān ibn al-Jawzī, Ibn al-`Imād and others) have never been met or satisfied.

Rather, only facile dismissals have been brought. Tradition has been given precedence over Revelation and even history. One would have to exercise caution, for could this not lead to the conditions mentioned in Sūrahs al-Mā’idah (5), ayaat 40-51, at-Tawbah (9), ayah 31 and others which give ominous warning about following traditions of scholars over matching with the truth.

[32] Those who would claim they may use wind and string instruments, Shaikh ul-Islam condemns them when he says,

‘They consider it lawful to play the drum, the mandolin and other musical instruments. They have no rules of lawfulness in their relations with women. They are unbelievers and it is permissible to shed their blood.’ (Kitābu Sirr il-Asrār wa Mazhar il-Anwār, pp. 114-115)

Shaikh ul-Islam says of clapping and dancing in circles of remembrance,

‘They claim that it is lawful to dance and clap hands. They claim for their shaikh a special status that puts him beyond the jurisdiction of the Sharī`a. This is an innovation, entirely incompatible with the practice of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him.’ (Kitābu Sirr il-Asrār wa Mazhar il-Anwār, pp. 114-115)

[33] One point to remember is that Shaikh ul-Islam mentions this in a chapter regarding Sufis. Previous to mentioning these blameworthy people who claim to be Sufis, he mentions the Orthodox Muslims who follow the way of truth when he says,

‘The People of Tasawwuf are divided into two categories, the second category containing some eleven subgroups.

‘The first group consists of the Orthodox Muslims, The members of this group possess words and deeds that agree with the Sharī`a and the way. They are Muslim Orthodoxy, some of whom will enter the Paradise without reckoning or trial.

Some will have an easy reckoning and trial after which they will exit from the Fire and enter the Paradise. They will not be condemned to the Fire for eternity which is different to the kāfir and the hypocrite.

‘The rest of these are people of innovation…’(Kitābu Sirr il-Asrār wa Mazhar il-Anwār, pp. 114-115)

[34] 541-620 AH/1146-1223 AD. One of the major resources for the Hanbali School and Shaikh ul-Islam for his time, this Imām was sometimes referred to as, ‘the Muftī of the Mortals.’ Although versed in the sciences of Sharī`a, he was also a very studious astronomer and mathematician.

He was also a soldier in the Islamic army and was a Sūfī of the Qādirī Order, having taken initiation directly from Imām `Abdul Qādir al-Jīlānī, may Allah have mercy upon him.

[35] 509-597 AH/1115-1202 AD. Shaikh ul-Islam of the Hanbalīs of his time, member of the Qādiri Tarīqah in Baghdad and one of the best students of Shaikh ul-Islam `Abdul Qādir al-Jīlānī, may Allah have mercy upon him. While in his youth, he memorised more than 100,000 āhādīth and the Qur’ān in his youth.

A direct descendant of Sayyiduna Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, and a best friend to Imām Muwaffaq ud-Dīn may Allah have mercy upon him, he brought over 10,000 people into Islam with his hands. He wrote over 300 books and was a senior theologian of high standing in the seminary that he founded.

[36] Al-Istiqāmah, vol. 1, pp. 85-86

 

[37] One then has to wonder, how have all of these non-Hanbalīs in creed and fiqh become involved with the Tarīqah when the first Qādirīs possessed no one from another madhhab? Claims made by some to the Qaadiri Tariqah seem even more fanciful when remembering that again, the Shaikh gave no unbroken ijāzah leading back to himself to anyone from another madhhab.

Those who have any transmission back to him have interrupted or connected transmissions. The writer has only been able to find two authentic links of transmission from non-Hanbalis (and these are interrupted or connected, not unbroken) back to Shaikh ul-Islam, one being a Mālikī source and one coming from one Hanafi source.

Besides this, evidence is lacking regarding thousands upon thousands claiming allegiance to a scholar who did not believe they could become a friend of Allah without leaving their present madhhab.

[38] Collected by Imāms al-Baihaqī and Ibn `Adī and classified as authentic.

[39] We have seen numerous examples within the past several decades of an almost Sanhedrin establishment of figures claiming themselves to be scholars. In Jordan, one figure proclaimed that in this day and age, polygamy would be impermissible, due to the emotional harm that results [a clear contravention to Surat un-Nisā’ (4) ayah 3] while another stated that the women veiling themselves completely is ‘bad da`awa’ (a contravention of the practice of the Prophet’s wives, may Allah be pleased with them) along with one claiming that ‘Father’ was one of the names of Allah that was abrogated later along with the Trinity (please see Surat ul-Mā’idah (5,), ayaat 72-75 regarding the consequences of such words). But their authority has often been left uncontested by those under their sway, which actually should elicit more concern than the statements which are clearly blasphemous.

[40] Surat un-Nisa (4), ayah 115

[41] There was an eyewitness account that the author was referred to in the United States in which followers of a certain ‘shaykh’ were actually told to make two units of prayer to their dead founder, intending him and praying specifically to him, attempting to visualise him.

The ex-member explained that he believed this to be clear idolatry, but at the time was so overwhelmed with the responsibility of not dying without an oath of allegiance on his neck, that he acquiesced to the command.  How many others submit their intellects in a matter that Allah has given no right? Has Allah not made the matter clear in His Proclamation in Surat ush-Shūrā (42), ayah 21?

[42] Surat ul-Baqarah (2), ayah 30

[43] Surat ul-Qamar (54), ayaat 17, 22, 32 and 40.

[44] Surat ul-A`rāf (7), ayah 43

[45] Surat ul-Fajr (89), ayaat 29-30

[46] Surah Āli Imrān (3), ayah 103

[47] Surah Qāf (50), ayaat 33-35

The Trial of Takfir: A Problem for Some Sunnis Too

islamic-rage-boy-head-only
Figure 1A: There is a particular brand of Islam that is increasingly falling out of favour with common believes, yet it still clings on to the edge of relevance by its’ fingernails.

After a public meeting this last Saturday morning after Salat ul-`Isha,’ I realise that the translation of The Divine Lightning: The Decisive Speech from the Lord of Lords, the Words of the Messenger of the King, the Bestower, the Statements of the People of Wisdom in Answer to Muhammad ibn `Abdul Wahhab is the most significant matter in the last decade or perhaps two. I don’t say this matter lightly either.

We normally see that takfir is an issue that is the hallmark of the cults and their followers; but it is also becoming a recent trend for some Sunnis to pick up the baton of takfir when they dislike someone or when someone will not see their way of thinking…and all without the consent of the Qadis and judges.

In the tiny hub of Nottingham, Salafiyyah, Shi`ah and Ahmadiyyah cults run riot in the local area, founding and funding charitable projects, places of worship and also centres of study of children and adults.

As with every other location when cults appear, it produces extremes within some of the body of the Sunnis that try to repel it. The typical example is to fight fire with fire. “What…? You called me a kafir? No! You’re a kafir!”

All of this behaviour is not unique to Nottingham but rather exists in areas where the tribulation of Salafiyyah or other cults exists. Some elders in the local community, in an attempt to hold on to the youth, have used takfir and hiding behind the Urdu language as tools for securing the trust and continued patronage of their masjids (after all, someone must pay the lightbill, right?).

When the Divine Lightning was published, I felt a wave of relief that the three year odyssey of translation, collation and publishing delays had finally ended. Now the matter was complete and this would be a magnum opus of the theology of Muslim Orthodoxy and a warning to laymen indulging in takfir.

The mammoth of machine gun takfir had already been creeping and lurking in the shadows before the publishing of the book at the hands of a zealous youth in the local area who had as much association with true knowledge of Islam as I do ancient Turkish shamanism.

He had gathered around him a number of fresh faced youths, stumbling and bumbling in their pronunciation of Surat ul-Fatihah; but they were certain in the knowledge that a waiting list of Muslims were now unbelievers based upon the statement of their shaykh or mawlana.

Curiously, I had the opportunity to make hajj the previous year and some of these individuals had come with me. As a testament to their truly surface and often insultingly pathetic knowledge of Islam, they were woefully ignorant of most of the issues pertaining to Hajj and even questioned the knowledge and motives of our Hajj guide.

This blew over after some time, but then they continued in their folly, refusing to pray in Masjid ul-Haram and praying in stairwells; all of this being substantiated by the “knowledge” that all the imams in the Sacred Masjid were cultists (this seems strange as at one point among the senior scholars there – before his removal – was Shaikh Muhammad `Alawi al-Maliki; but I digress).

I stood in disgust as Muslim brothers intentionally avoided being in the most sacred masjid on Earth for the five prayers and preferred to loaf around their hotels like the unemployed. What are these people doing?

Just as the fitnah had come it was over as we had completed Hajj, our visit to Madinah and then travelled back to the UK. I was now safely in a different area and away from the fitnah of the takfir.

This fitnah rose its’ head again recently when I found my name on a list of some perhaps 9 other people who had received takfir. I felt honoured to have been mentioned in the same breathe as some great scholars but angered that it was only in the capacity of takfir.

The deafening sound of animosity, hatred and revenge was growing as brother after brother came to me. When the number hit 10 I knew it was an issue and decided that the individual must be contacted.

Numerous attempts to speak with him failed, two attempts at face to face contact never happened as he ducked meeting me. I wondered what type of man I must be facing who would call someone a kafir behind his back but then not defend his ideas and suppositions in private.

When we realised that the second arranged meeting would not happen, we left from our local masjid to go home. While at the house, I received a riotous phone call with brothers arguing and one of them explaining that now the pint sized “mufti of the mortals” had arrived, in all of his hate filled regalia; but he was still not prepared to meet. Then after some ducking and dodging he came on the phone.

Evasive and his voice quaking, he seemed agitated. My point was simple. We need to meet regarding this takfir on laymen, teachers, scholars and such and if he did not arrange it in one week, I would have to take steps to meet him every day at his lecture until the matter was resolved.

He spoke very wearily and hung up the phone. This had been ten days after meeting with two Salafis who had a rank hatred for what I had translated in the Divine Texts and statements I had made about Salafiyyah.

I heard nothing for four days and then received a call from a colleague close to our Sunni zealot. He had explained over the phone in soft and delicate language that he wanted to speak privately just between a few of us and that they wanted to clarify some issues.

My exact statement over the phone was that I will not be coming for a debate or any discussion, only to clarify the fact that the charges of kufr that were being thrown around are incorrect, that he is not one of the People of Knowledge, in word or deed.

After the call, the date was set. I would have to meet them after sunset, Friday going into Saturday after 9pm. I decided that I would bring some witnesses and record it as I knew that what I was going to say had far reaching consequences and I wanted there to be no misunderstanding in the issue.

The day rolled around and I knew that the believers were gathering. I was now present in the masjid and the people began to file in; unfortunately, as I suspected the individual on the phone did not bring the small amount of people that he said he was going to bring.

Half of the elder leadership in the city (perhaps half of whom were not literate in Arabic) came in and sat down across from me (most of whom without giving salam), thus already these geriatric men were setting the standard that they wanted this to be a battle.

Before I knew it, more of the witnesses arrived with the brothers that had brought me to the masjid. There were now some 25 people present. The organisers did not want to have witnesses for their actions. The brother of takfir or “the mawlana” appeared but was cowering and glowering behind the jalabiyyahs of two other people.

He hid and avoided eye contact consistently and did not want to even look any of the people in the face. I made it clear and told the organisers that I would not allow the crowd of now 30 people to interrupt the discussion and that I wanted them to be present as since the takfir was public, the gathering must be public.

A flurry of Urdu began, which I answered in Arabic, stating that I do not care what anyone had to say in their language and that the language of Islam is Arabic. We will not be hiding behind Urdu tonight. After a 15 minute delay, I was allowed to speak.

I began, translating my statements from Arabic to English as I discussed that apostasy is what happens when a Muslim disbelieves and that takfir is to be given to such a one by a scholar or panel of them and not laymen.

From there I went into the three conditions of takfir, the 6 impediments of takfir and the four types of takfir delivered by the scholars. Once this was done, I finally rounded the matter out that takfir and dispute in it has nothing to do with the foundation of faith

(translation: if there is an individual that has done kufr and then two scholars make their ruling, one saying he is an unbeliever and another saying otherwise, they are not to resort to calling eachother unbelievers).

After I completed my opening statement, there was a barrage of questions brought forward by one of the shaykhs that our companion of takfir had brought with him. It seems that although wearing clerical robes and murmuring pious platitudes with his eyes rolling back in his head, he could not defend himself in English, let alone the Arabic of Islamic thought.

The first question asked of me was whether or not I was Deobandi. My answer was that if someone could find a single Pakistani or Indian in my family I would pay that person as such a thing was far fetched indeed. Asian faces looked rigid and so did mine. I had little time for their games.

I had no interest in the Deoband/Jama`ah Ahle Sunnat issue. My main issue was to cut the takfir issue off at the head. Due to the fact that I was “sometimes seen with Deobandis,” the shaykh brought to speak for the takfir mawlana saw this as a question mark over my head.

I stated that I had not taken an oath of allegiance to any Deobandis (which for some reason was being circulated) nor did I have any Deobandis as a spiritual guide.

However, I continued, there were brothers from the jama`ah that I held in high regard. I went about, referring to my opening statements on takfir, stating that Riyadh ul-Haq and Muhammad ibn Adam al-Kawthari could not be called unbelievers as the conditions, impediments and forms of takfir could not be satisfied.

I further when on to mention that the second of the two Imams had learned the creed from Shaikh Muhammad `Abdul Latif Al-Farfur,  so was the Hanafi Grand Mufti of Damascus kafir for associated with someone believed to be a kafir?

The next question that came on the tongue of one of the mouthpieces of the takfir machine brother was why I had written in the Divine Lightning the expression, “may Allah be pleased with him,” after the name of Imam Taqi ud-Din Ibn Taymiyyah.

My reply is that I had not written it, but that the author of the work, Shaikh Sulaiman ibn `Abdul Wahhab, had written it. A few swallows and gasps went around the room so I opened the plastic bag I had brought and pulled out the oldest manuscript of the book. If they even asked for it, they were going to get it. They saw my ready hand and left the matter.

Instead they asked me what my position was on Imam Ibn Taymiyyah. I asked… which Ibn Taymiyyah? Majd ud-Din Ibn Taymiyyah? Shihab ud-Din Ibn Taymiyyah? Fakhr ud-Din Ibn Taymiyyah? `Abdullah ibn Taymiyyah?

Which Ibn Taymiyyah? (the reason I did this was break the audience and the three mouthpieces and their takfir machine out of the funk in some people’s minds that when you hear Ibn Taymiyyah you were meant to have a knee jerk reaction).

He failed to mention Taqi ud-Din Ibn Taymiyyah but instead said that he was referring to the one called astray by Imam Ibn Hajar al-Haitami (with his living some 200 years after the events of the life of Imam Taqi ud-Din Ibn Taymiyyah, it is difficult to understand why someone who is supposed to be a scholar would quote tertiary sources rather than primary and secondary).

The crowd was building as more brothers came into the room from outside. It looked like the room had about 40-45 people in it. It was like another jumu`ah prayer was in session.

My statement was to quote the fact that the scholars did differ about Imam Taqi ud-Din Ibn Taymiyyah and the 11 main masa’il of dispute between them. The chosen shaykh for the night was not happy with the answer and continued to ask what I said about him, to which my reply is that I don’t say anything as I quote the scholars and their positions, not pass rulings.

In a fury, he asked that if he was called astray by Imam Al-Haitami, how could the Imam put a statement of mercy in the book? My statement was that there were even some who did make takfir, but this had nothing to do with the foundation of the religion.

Thus two scholars could hold diametrically opposed positions about one individual without both of them having to be called unbelievers. This was the nature of Takfir bil-Mu`ayyin (Engl. The takfir of the individual).

I translated back into English the questions asked and also the statements but the said shaykh was not happy and hit out again, asking what I say if they say he is deviant. I knew at this point that I was being asked a question that would define my faith.

Based on one individual, it would be decided if I was going to be Muslim or not, a game I refused to play. Instead I asked the group mufti if he would consider making takfir on Imams Ibn Kathir, Adh-Dhahabi and others, as they not only asked for mercy on Imam Taqi ud-Din Ibn Taymiyyah but referred to him as Shaikh ul-Islam.

He would not answer the question (really, who would want to make takfir on these Imams?) and I could see a disturbing picture emerge. The group mufti was the trigger man for the takfir machine cowering behind the group.

It also needs to be mentioned that many of the people in the time of Taqi ud-Din Ibn Taymiyyah that made takfir or called him astray were the very ones who prayed on him along with other Muslims when he died. The shaykh did not accept this point.

He also had no understanding of Takfir bil-Mu`ayyin; this would not be the only frightening issue for that evening. I was further asked regarding my statement that most claimants to Shaikh `Abdul Qadir al-Jilani today are inauthentic to which I held to it and quoted the issue and even the book where it had come through.

It seems someone had shown shaykh sahib my Our Failure is Our Loss on the topic and he was steamed (I have reproduced the text under the same heading that you have read this article under and do so proudly and unapologetically and still defy anyone to come with otherwise).

The Shaikh had three khulafa’, Imams Muwaffaq ud-Din Ibn Qudamah (d. 620 AH), `Abdur-Rahman ibn Al-Jawzi (d. 597 AH) and `Abdul Ghani ibn `Abdul Wahid al-Maqdisi (d. 600 AH) and according to some accounts one more. There were no successors that the Imam gave license and permission to in order to pass on his Tariqah that were not Hanbalis.

We know who these people were and they were the very ones that handed down his books to us. We have a huge amount of information about him, but it is through these men that we received it.

I did not say that there were no murids from other madhhabs, as some historians claim that Imam Mu`in ud-Din Chishti met him; but again, we have no sanad, thabat or chain of transmission in Tariqah to him or any other non-Hanbalis.

So where did they get this knowledge? Well, it is a claim at best until it is proven. The mufti of the group was angered by this but more so when I cross examined him and asked if he drank coffee, tea, slept on the floor or covered his head as a compulsory act at all times during his waking hours.

It had not been my attempt to offend him but one thing was for sure; we are not going to redact our position back on one of the Imams of my madhhab.

Shaikh `Abdul Qadir al-Jilani, may Allah be pleased with him, did not do the dhikr that was attributed to him, celebrate banquets in his own honour or his own birthday and death anniversary throughout the year and such (how could he when he was alive? To celebrate his own death anniversary would be quite bizarre and his three or four successors didn’t do it either).

The dispute in this matter was left and it was brought back around to the topic of Imam Taqi ud-Din Ibn Taymiyyah, with the group mufti saying that the creed of Imam Taqi ud-Din Ibn Taymiyyah is the same as that of Muhammad ibn `Abdul Wahhab.

I realised at that point that he had no knowledge of history, Salafiyyah or the Imams of the School of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal. I had asked before if anyone had a problem with the creed of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, may Allah be pleased with him and if they were upon his creed or not?

They claimed they were upon his creed. I then said that this meant they had to listen to everything that I said and not make takfir and then hold that other people had to do the same thing.

This situation carried on for some length until he asked me if I make takfir on the Salafiyyah cult and the Deobandis who had Salafiyyah within them. At that point, I had to be very clear and careful.

I began with the statement that firstly Deoband is not a cult and that Shaikh Ahmad Rida Khan knew of them and respected them before some of them studied with members of Salafiyyah so their beginning and foundation was not as a cult.

Deoband has two sets within them: those who are connected with the Salafiyyah of Lucknow, which is Salafiyyah and has the sixteen masa’il of Salafiyyah with few distinctions.

Then there are those of Deoband who may have some of the masa’il and do not know that they have borrowed them. Some of the Deoband members that have left their confines and studied in more depth have moved outside of its’ strictures and received much benefit.

As for Salafiyyah, yes it is a cult; but the takfir upon it is general. Thus when the scholars say that, “Salafis are kuffar, they are followers of Musailimah…their teacher and head is a false prophet…” this is a general statement without saying that each and every Salafi is a kafir.

This is the Takfir Ta’ifat ul-Kufr: the takfir of a group. This takfir of a group is without saying each and every one is an unbeliever. Those that have been named by the scholars have takfir ul-mu`ayyin but without saying each and any.

The chosen shaykh was furious with this and began to ask how someone could doubt that their kuffar, that Ahmadiyyah are kuffar and so forth. I stated that the kufr is not the issue but whether each and every single individual was an unbeliever.

He asked me about Muhammad ibn `Abdul Wahhab and I informed him of the statements of the scholars regarding him, his sons and grandsons. He asked me about Salafiyyah of India and I gave the same statement.

Finally, in his anger, he asked me if I made takfir on the individuals that he named. I stated that I accept the statement of the scholars but I do not state that whoever did not make takfir on them is an unbeliever because none of the scholars ever had this attitude with any of the forms of takfir except the one that involves someone mentioned by name in the Qur’an.

I watched as the shaykh pulled out a copy of Imam Ahmad Rida Khan’s Hussam ul-Haramain. He asked if I had heard of the document and I affirmed that I indeed knew of the text. What happened next was most curious indeed.

The shaykh for the takfir mawlana then asked if I agreed with the takfir that had been made by the author (Imam Ahmad Rida Khan) and also the Imams of Makkah, Madinah and other locations that had affirmed the fatwa. When I affirmed the same, the shaykh became elated and asked if I would make takfir by name on the individuals mentioned.

I answered in the negative, stating that I held the takfir of the Imams of the Holy Sanctuaries, in that the actions were kufr and the Takfir bil-Ijtihad was their right and office. As for the Takfir bil-Mu`ayyin, I do not make that ruling or the one of ijtihad, but merely affirm them.

He insisted however that I affirm them and make takfir on the individuals in the book by name. Why would I not myself make takfir on Ghulam Ahmad and other figures, to which my reply was that the Qadis who sentence on others make takfir while we affirm the generalities and what they had mentioned.

The shaykh of the night would not have this and insisted that whoever did not call them kuffar or doubted in the kufr of any one of them was a kafir. When I heard this, I queried about whether every single and all of the masses of Deobandis and Salafis, Ahmadis and the like were unbelievers, which he readily admitted.

When he did this, I informed him that he had just made takfir on the children, women, old men and ignorant people among them. Furthermore, I stated that neither the author of the work nor the scholars that agreed said that anyone who did not agree or doubted in the kufr of those individuals was an unbeliever.

I further stated that in this issue he was actually in agreement with Muhammad ibn `Abdul Wahhab. The shaykh vigorously disagreed and said he was not Salafi in this issue and would show me the proofs. The crowd waited while the pages of Hussam ul-Haramain were flicked back and form.

It must be here somewhere, I could see his raised eyebrows saying. As the minutes clocked by I knew he would not find it. I had read the book cover to cover along with the one against Nadwat ul-`Ulama and no such ruling had been brought into place.

While the shaykh was busy ruminating over his statements, others jumped in to try to catch me out on Imam Taqi ud-Din Ibn Taymiyyah, the Qadiris and other issues, which were revisited again.

The old shaykh did not find the point, but still stick to his guns in spite of the absence of such a ruling in the text. I calmly submitted to him that we are reading the same book but coming to radically different positions.

He again re-iterated that whoever did not call them kafir was himself a kafir and the same for the one who doubted it. I decided to cut to the chase and narrated an incident. Al-Hajjaj ibn Yusuf ath-Thaqafi was one of the great murderers of the Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, and there were two positions regarding him.

Sayyiduna `Abdullah ibn az-Zubair, may Allah be pleased with him, as a mujtahid, made takfir bil-Mu`ayyin and said he was an unbeliever; but Sayyiduna Ibn `Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, held a position with Takfir bil-Ijtihad and condemned the actions.

Did either of these two make takfir on the other? No they did not, I insisted to the shaykh. The reason for this was the issue of takfir bil-Mu`ayyin has nothing to do with the foundation of faith, so because we differ over this issue of takfir, we do not call one another kuffar.

I saw the shaykh recline back and he was not able to formulate any response in this regard. I translated to the crowd while I heard them speak in very noisy Urdu. A dear brother of mine, Qari `Imran, jumped from the crowd and came over to my side to explain what was going on in Urdu.

I was brought up to date and informed that they were not accurately telling the other Urdu speaking only people there what was going on or translating into English. Unfortunately, this really did nothing but make an argument for an advocate for Darwinism that there is a link between the human race and a reptilian ancestor.

The end result that these three men came to was that I was not from Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jama`ah. The reason for this was that I refused to make takfir on the people mentioned. I asked the shaykh which group I was seeing that I was not from Muslim Orthodoxy and my ticket had been revoked.

But there would be no answer…Urdu would be used and hidden behind…no challenge…be quiet or we’ll make takfir on you…no questions allowed.

I then said to the crowd, “So now you can see that the shaykh here does not believe that interpretation is one of the impediments of takfir, he believes takfir is from the foundation of the faith and does not know the conditions, impediments and forms of takfir.”

I said the same to the shaykh, but he was not interested. I then further stated that I had accomplished what I had come to do. I had advised against the takfir mawlana, I had stated that in this issue he is upon the creed of the Khawarij and that the people around him don’t know proper Islam but they know that other people are unbelievers.

There was a great deal of crowd interaction and things were wrapped up very quickly. People young and old were able to see that they had no impediments of takfir in any systematic context and that they would use it against any perceived enemies.

Many brothers had been shocked at the virulent and wholly unscholarly display by the takfir mawlana’s team. I had been patient, spoken about what I meant to and controlled the direction throughout. I had accomplished my goal, defended people from the unacceptable brush of domino takfir and also kept to the Consensus of the Scholars that not every cultist was a kafir.

I quickly informed his people that the takfir mawlana should be stripped of all speaking posts and should relearn his creed, fiqh and other knowledge (if he had truly acquired any) in its’ entirety. Whether this would happen or not is something in the Knowledge of Allah.

I had felt the weight of Muslim Orthodoxy and thousands of years on my back; my only hope is that I had done those ancient worthies proud and silenced takfir.

I felt that I had basically summarised The Divine Lightning in the whole 2 hrs and 9min discussion that had occurred. The scholars, the inheritors, the lamps of the Ummah and their understanding, had been defended by a miserable slave of Allah, but nonetheless defended.

The takfir mawlana left the same way he had come and how he had been throughout my whole presentation: silent. This is what I had wanted. I desired nothing from him but silence.

Book Review: A God Who Hates

Figure 1A: A God Who Hates, offered in Hebrew translation.
Figure 1A: A God Who Hates, offered in Hebrew translation.

The reader would say from the outset that it was very difficult to get through this particular work; this was not due to the title or any saucy (or original) material prepared by the writer of the work.

No…instead it was how mechanical and boring it read. One who found himself reading through this book could only complete such a work after making a firm oath to do so or perhaps being threatened with rendition.

I believed that I would read about an author who prayed, fasted and then some tragic or severe event in her life began to re-shape her world view. Is she not the same Wafa Sultan described as “being raised in a devout Muslim family?”

Someone would expect this reading from someone casting herself as an authority and being held in esteem by others for her unique inside knowledge of Islam.

Any reader will be sorely disappointed once the dust jacket is cracked up and the words inside are read. Wafa Sultan memorably states, “Baniyas’s proximity to the sea had made it accessible to European tourism and kept it comparatively free of the constraints of Islamic law, which shackled the lives of the inhabitants of Aleppo.” A God Who Hates, pp. 22-23

If this was free of Islamic law, then how did the author grow up to be a devout Muslim? Further confusion comes from the fact that there is no mention in any of the pages of this work regarding her worship, hijab, wudu’ or any of the other external and cultured signs of Islam that someone would expect from a “devout Muslim family.”

The only thing we are able to put together is that there was a second marriage in the family to produce a son who would be his heir, Sultan’s mother was beaten mercilessly and other things that leave the reader wondering how this all ties in as a polemic against Islam.

Also balance this against the fact that Syria is ruled the Alawi Shi`ah cult and the legal system is pulled from French (primarily), American and British legal codes. There are a few tumbleweeds of Revealed Law in a few family matters like custody and some other things, but how Islam plays an over arching role in a Syrians life is humorous at best when remembering this Ba`athist regime.

We then have Morad, the husband of Wafa Sultan, who abandoned his own wife to go to the United States, knowing that she had little or no chance of getting out of the place without his written consent. (A God Who Hates, pp. 93-94;)

She stated in another section of her book, “I am a Muslim woman. Yes, I think of myself as a Muslim, whether or not I believe in Islam. I did not choose to be a Muslim, but it is not within my power to make myself anything else.” (A God Who Hates, pp. 113-114).

It is in works like this (which I affectionately call Professional Apostate Literature or PAL) that we often find an author claiming that they are still Muslim although they are atheists, strident homosexuals or any other manner of clear rebellion. Not only am I Muslim, but I don’t accept revelation, the Revealed Law, the Lord who revealed it; but I am still Muslim.

Let us be clear here…no you’re not. This is not Judaism where one can be just like Albert Einstein or Sigmund Freud and claim Judaism although rejecting their Lord. Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud and other secular Jews are making reference to the fact that although they reject the religion of their family, they are still racially Hebrew (if their claims to Hebrew stock are to be believed although we have yet to get any independent data on their Semititude) or “Jew” for shorthand.

Thus they may have rejected the religion of their race, but they still identify with the struggles and emancipation of their perspective ethnic group. The same could be said of a Black man in the United States who rejects his Christian religious faith (which is still so integral in Black culture to be almost inseparable) but is still dedicated to Black emancipation. The same could be said for the one who rejects his Hindu faith but as an Indian is still heavily involved in Asian issues.

This works for these groups as no formal and uniform definition has been given for someone who is to belong to their faith; but this did not occur with the Muslims. Islam is not a race but a revealed religion. Most Arabs today (and 52% of Palestinians, 22% of Egyptians and some 15% or more of “Jordanians”) are Christians and not Muslims. We have a definition of what Islam is and what it means as defined by its’ Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.

The Companion Ibn `Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated, “I heard the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, saying, ‘Islam is built on five: the testimony of there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, establishing the prayer, discharging the Zakah, making Hajj and fasting Ramadan.’[1]

The Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, also said, “When you have subdued the people of a city or a fortress, if they testify that there is no god but Allah, they have the same rights as you and they have the same laws against them as what you have.” [2]

Al-Miqdad ibn al-Aswad, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that he said one day, “Messenger of Allah, What would you say if I met a man from the idol worshippers and he fought me. He struck one of my hands with the sword and cut it off.

He ran away from me to a tree and then he said, ‘I have submitted to Allah. I am Muslim.’ Shall I then kill him, Messenger of Allah, after he said it?” He said, “Do not kill him.”

So I said, “Messenger of Allah, he has cut off one of my hands! He only said those words after he cut my hand! So should I kill him?” He said, “Do not kill him. If you killed him then he would have been a Muslim like you before you killed him. After you killed him, you would have been an unbeliever like him before he had submitted.” [3]

Anas, may Allah be pleased with him, related that the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said: “Whoever prays as we do, becomes Muslim and faces the Qiblah as we do, eats of our sacrifices, then this is a Muslim to whom Allah and His Messenger have granted protection. So do not betray Allah in His Protection that was granted to him.” [4]

`Ubaidullah ibn `Adi ibn al-Khiyar, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that a man from the Helpers spoke of someone who had come to the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, in a gathering and then sought permission to kill a man from the hypocrites.

The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, spoke up and said, “Does he not bear witness that there is no god but Allah?” The man said, “Yes, but there is no testimony for him.” He then asked, “Does he pray?” He said, “Yes, but there is no prayer for him.” He said, “These are the people whom Allah has forbidden from being killed.” [5]

The Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, “Whoever is pleased with Allah as Lord, Islam as religion and Muhammad as Prophet has tasted the sweetness of faith.” [6]

`Ubadah as-Samit, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated from the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, who said, “Whoever bears witness that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, Allah has made the Fire impermissible for him.” [7]

Thus we were not told, “Whoever said he was Muslim no matter what and rejected revelation shall go to the Paradise.” No! Whoever believed that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah shall go to Paradise.

This is not the only contradiction that Wafa Sultan offers us. She often questions polygamy (for some reason the people who have never been fully involved in it or raised in it have the most to say about it) and asks what responsibility men hold for what is in her opinion a dastardly crime. (A God Who Hates, pp. 120-131)

Nevermind the fact that the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, took care of all of his wives and maintained them until the day that he died and the Muslim community later maintained them. It is of no consequence that these “products of men who have let their desires run free” have produced some of the greatest minds, scientists and upright people of history.

Are we able to say that the prophets Ibrahim, Isma`il, Ishaq, Ya`qub, Imams Ahmad ibn Hanbal,  `Ali ibn Abi Talib, `Abdur-Rahman ibn Al-Jawzi, my grandfather and father did not take care of their responsibilities.

I, as a product of polygamy, can see first hand that I was pushed hard in education and speak more than one language. Members of my family were and are polyglots for the most part due to globetrotting, expulsion from countries in the Middle Ages and so forth.

If we should look at the country that she fled to – the United States – which is supposed to be a bastion of monogamy, what have they accomplished? With 5,000 children dead from gang violence between the years of 1988-1992 from monogamy or “strong women who did it themselves,” I have not seen the success.

If the Muslims were so sexually depraved, why is it that every 60 seconds a woman is raped and a child is molested according to US crime statistics? This would not seem like a country that fosters love and unity.

A careful read in the book with also reveal the starry eyed lies of this writer when during her whole time on the West Coast of the United States – the gang capital of the planet – she stays safely nestled away in the hills and other areas, pretending to be part of the American dream.

One will find no mention of her visits to Compton, Inglewood, Watts, San Francisco’s Hunter’s Point, West Covina Pacoima and other places that are not fit for human habitation.

Her visits in Long Beach are unsurprisingly short and limited to a tiny tip of the city that is sometimes not even counted as Long Beach, California. In the very epicentre of gang banging by Arab youths in LA, no mention is made of this fact.

She makes the same error as people in the United States make when referring to the niqab as the burqa` (A God Who Hates, pp. 148-149). This leads me to cast further doubt upon her knowledge of Arabic or Islam when she does not know the difference between the niqab and the burqa`.

My doubts are further augmented when she said that Islam forbids the translation of the Qur’an into other languages besides the original Arabic, (A God Who Forbids, pp. 165-166).

If this was the case, then why did Salman Al-Farisi, may Allah be pleased with him, translate extracts to his people in Farsi. Further, why were sections of it translated when it was sent to Muqawqis (a Coptic speaking Orthodox Christian), Negus (Amharic speaking Orthodox Christian)?

In fact, the entire dialogue between the great theologian Ja`far ibn Abi Talib, may Allah be pleased with him, and the Negus was done through translators and the verses translated.

Muslims theologians have never said the Qur’an cannot be translated. The theologians have said that a translation of the Qur’an is not the Qur’an as that is not what was revealed on 27 Ramadan 12 BH.

One cannot read the Qur’an in English and derive rulings for juristic matters and legal foundations although they can derive devotional benefits from reading a translation. The English translation of the Qur’an does not require the reader to have wudu’ before touching it as the English or translation is not the revelation.

Sultan proves herself wrong yet again on the topic of disliking of the language used by the Holy One in describing the unbelievers (A God Who Hates, pp.169-170), the prohibition of usury and the imagery that the Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, utilises to drive home the point of how severe a sin usury is in its’ affect on society (A God Who Hates, pp. 171-172) and numerous other issues.

Someone looking into the affair will find that her problems range from everything from what Allah revealed all the way to sexuality and ethics. Much of her opinions expressed sound borderline psychotic (which perhaps for a secular Arab from a Ba`ath regime that studied American psychology intensively in the gang and serial killer capital of the world doesn’t sound so out of place or bizarre) when looked at in normal circumstances.

Consider statements from Wafa Sultan such as: If Pakistani mothers raised their children better, Pakistan would be the Switzerland of the Middle East (A God Who Hates, pp. 144-145), when her son Mazen’s hearing returned after medical treatment, she chanted to her husband, “Long Live America” (A God Who Hates, pp. 98-99), when a teacher by the name of Mr. Wilson brought her son to her in order to pick up the hearing aid that had been lost, Sultan made a link to `Umar ibn Al-Khattab and stated, “Long Live Mr Wilson and everlasting death to Omar ibn al-Khattab!” (A God Who Hates, pp. 100-101).

Other pearls of wisdom include the old canard about “women being the majority of the people of the Fire” (A God Who Hates, pp. 137-138), quoting a false hadith that “a man has a right to expect his wife, if his nose runs with blood, mucus or pus, to lick it up with her tongue” (A God Who Hates, pp. 138-139), Muslims living in the West are hypocrites (A God Who Hates, pp. 145-146), by holding a Qur’an memorising contest in Anaheim, California, American troops and the US government interests in Iraq were being put in harms way (A God Who Hates, pp. 150-151).

Of course there is more, but every intelligent person that can read these quotes in context can be sure of one thing. There is something wrong with Wafa Sultan that was there before she had her problem with Islam. The early chapters of her book describe how her toxic and diseased attitude toward men developed.

In her boasting about her appearance on Al-Jazeera, she left out (and most rightly for someone trying to save her credibility) her seemingly being cornered by an Algerian professor (Ahmad bin Muhammad, Professor of Religious Politics, Algiers) on the fact that she has sided with a country (the United States) that has the blood of millions of Native Americans, Blacks, Latinos and others on its’ hands domestically and not just internally.

As an immigrant to the United States and perhaps not knowing English very well (she’s only been there over 20 years, give her time!), she might have forgot this part. Rather than admit that she might need more study, or simply state, “I will look into this matter but until further notice, I hold to my aforementioned position,” she stepped into strange waters.

She brazenly pursed her lips and shouted towards her opponent, “Christopher Columbus discovered America in 1492. America was founded in 1776, approximately 300 years later. You cannot blame America – as a constitution, regime and a state – for killing the Indians.”

I had to watch this twice to be sure that Mrs Sultan was not under the influence of hallucinogenic products. Professor Muhammad was not referring to Christopher Columbus’s landing in 1492 (although much could be said for his 1493 return to Hispaniola on behalf of the crown to exterminate the Carib peoples and make room for expansion), but rather the establishment of the United States.

Unless you work for the Smithsonian Institute or the Waffen SS 21st century, those who access history and know the sources texts are aware that upon arrival of American settlers and the founding of the United States, there were close to 100 million people in what is now the continental United States.

Part of the Aztec Empire stretched into the southwestern states that make the West Coast of the United States and of course the dirty matter of the Atlantic Slave Trade.

Between 60-100 million people just up and disappeared from the African continent and strangely found their way in the United States where they still reside in ghetto/internment camp circumstances for the most part.

If one would like to know more about the slaughterhouse enacted by the United States government, referring to the works of Russell Means, Ward Churchill (with a bibliography of 500 sources for one book alone), as well as articles penned by the Muckleshoot, Lummi, Onandaga and numerous other reports.

The writer, upon completing this Herculean task of finishing Wafa Sultan’s book was left with one thought: if she apostated, then it is better for the Muslim world. We need no such people in our ranks. Let these countries have our theological ranks.

Although it is not a fair trade I will gladly take the intellectuals that have come into our ranks from the unbelievers from the unbelievers. When your intelligentsia deserts you, the next thing is the collapse of your civilisation.

As long as we keep receiving the Abdul Hakim Murads, Muhammad Marmaduke Pickthalls, Malcolm Xs and so many others, let us gladly give up a Wafa Sultan, Ayaan Hirsi Ali or Bilquis Sheikh. Let’s make room for a smarter, sharper and more helpful member in the Ummah.

We don’t want people who are Muslim when life is in your favour. We want the people who came in when it is not advantageous. We should welcome the Makkan Muslim and keep the Madani on the far wing. Remember that 500 Makkan Muslims were tortured and it didn’t shake their faith.

It took a change of address to Madinah and the first hypocrites to appear in that city. Perhaps we have too many old Madanis that need to be discarded for more Makkans. I welcome them and their contribution…and this is why I can safely and confidently say goodbye to Wafa Sultan and her poorly written mumblings.


[1] Collected by Imams Muhammad ibn Isma`il al-Bukhari in his Al-Jami` us-Sahih, Book of Iman under the chapter, Your Supplication is YourFaith; Muslim ibn Al-Hajjaj in his Al-Jami` us-Sahih, Book of Faith, under the chapter, Explanation of Islam, Iman and Ihsan, the Necessity of Faith in what Allah, Glorified and Exalted has Destined and Decisive Evidence on Rebuking Whoever Does not Believe it, and classed by both of them as authentic.

[2] Collected by Imams Muslim ibn Al-Hajjaj in Al-Jami` us-Sahih, Book of Jihad under the chapter of the Permissibility of Making War Against the Unbelievers who Have Been Sent the Call of Islam and That They Do Not Have to be Informed of the Approaching March and classed by him as authentic.

[3] Collected by Imams Muhammad ibn Isma`il al-Bukhari in Al-Jami` us-Sahih, Book of Battles under the Subchapter; Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj in Al-Jami` us-Sahih, Book of Faith under the chapter of the Impermissibility of Killing the Unbeliever who said that there is no god but Allah and classed by both of them as authentic.

[4] Collected by Imam Al-Bukhari in Al-Jami` us-Sahih, Book of Prayer under the chapter of Facing the Qiblah and classed by him as authentic.

[5] Collected by Imam Malik ibn Anas in Al-Muwatta’, pp. 131-132 and classed by him as authentic

[6] Collected by Imam Muslim ibn Al-Hajjaj in Al-Jami` us-Sahih, Book of Faith under the chapter of the Evidence that Whoever is Pleased with Allah as Lord, Islam as Religion and Muhammad as Messenger is a Believer, Even if He Does Major Sins and classed by him as authentic.

[7] Collected by Imam Muslim ibn Al-Hajjaj in Al-Jami` us-Sahih, Book of Faith under the chapter of the Evidence that Whoever Dies on Tawhid Will Enter the Paradise and classed by him as authentic.

New Release

 

Figure 1A: The earliest work against Salafiyyah is now in English for the first time with accompanying notes.
Figure 1A: The earliest work against Salafiyyah is now in English for the first time with accompanying notes.

as-Salaamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullah,

We praise Allah for His Favours as He has blessed us with another release. It is our hope that this will be the mainstay and most authoritative work on Salafiyyah from the great responsa literature of Muslim Orthodoxy.

was-Salaam,

brother in Islam,

Al-Hajj Abu Ja`far al-Hanbali