A Sincere Advice and Clarification

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by Ahmad Banajah al-Hadhrami & Some Students of Perlis

Text of A Sincere Advice and Clarification

  • A Sincere Advice and a Clarification

    5 Shaban 1432

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    In the following treatise, we are going to clarify some Qawaaid (Principles) which some of our

    Muslim brothers have innovated by themselves, for which no proofs can be found within the Quran

    and the Sunnah. What is very saddening is that some of these innovated Qawaaid have entered into

    most of the Salafi communities around the world.

    The truth is that there is a big misunderstanding between the people. If you observe the situation of

    most of the Salafi brothers in this Fitnah, we see that they have not taken the methodology of the

    Salaf but rather have made Taqleed (blind following) of certain individuals.

    Some of the points which will be clarified in this treatise, if Allah wills, are as follows:

    1. The meaning of al Kibaar al Ulamaa (Big Scholars)

    2. Our attitude towards the Kibaar al Ulamaa

    3. Tawaqquf, its meaning and its ruling

    4. Supporting the Haq and Refuting the Baatil is from among the principles of Ahlus Sunnah

    Point 1 : The meaning of Kibaar al Ulamaa

    What is the definition of Kibaar al Ulamaa? If we look into the Quran, the Sunnah and the speech of

    Salaaf, there is no evidence to support that the age of a scholar defines whether he is either from

    the Kibaar or Sigaar al Ulamaa (small scholars). Some people misunderstand that the Kibaar refer to

    those who are old in age while the Sigaar refer to those who are young in age.

  • This understanding is against the Quran, the Sunnah and the Ijmaa (consensus) of the Salaaf i.e. that

    Kibaar and Sigaar are defined by the age of the scholars. Rather it is the knowledge that a scholar

    possess and his adherence to the Sunnah that defines his status.

    Syaikh ul Islaam Ibn Taimiyyah , Imaam Ahmad, Ibn Hazm, An Nawaawee, Al Haafiz Ibn Hajr, Imaam

    Al Bukhaari, Imaam Muslim and their likes, these scholars started to lead the people when

    they were in their thirties. They were young in age but no doubt they are from amongst the Ulamaa

    of the Ummah.

    While at the same time you will find people who have reached their nineties but they are nowhere

    similar to those who are younger than them with respect to Ilm (knowledge). Therefore age is never

    a criterion to distinguish between Kibaar al Ulamaa and Sigaar al Ulaama.

    So if somebody was to ask regarding the meaning of the Athaar of Ibn Masud when he

    said:

    And the sign that the people will always be in Khair (goodness) is as long as they take knowledge

    from their Kibaar from amongst their trusted people and their scholars. If they take from their Sigaar

    and from their evil people, they will be destroyed. (Abu Nuaim in Hilyatul Aulia)

    The answer is no doubt there are Kibaar al Ulamaa and Sigaar al Ulamaa. However the definition

    of Kibaar al Ulamaa is that they are those who are upon the Haq (truth) and at the same time

    advice the people to follow the Haq.

    While the Sigaar al Ulamaa are Ulamaa of Ahlul Bidah regardless of their age.

    Therefore an Aalim from the Ahlus Sunnah is from the Kibaar, regardless of his age, his knowledge

    and his level i.e. Aalim or Mujtahid. This is because an Aalim from the Ahlus Sunnah is upon the Haq

    and they also call the people to follow and practice the Haq.

    On the other hand, an Aalim from the Ahlul Bidah is from the Sigaar, regardless of their age, their

    knowledge and their level. This is because an Aalim from the Ahlul Bidah is upon Baatil (falsehood)

    and they also call the people to follow and practice the Baatil.

    And the evidence for this definition is that

    1. If we look into the Quran and the Sunnah, we will find that Allah and His Messenger

    describes knowledgeable people of Ahlul Haq to be the Ulamaa while at the same

    time He describes those whom possess Ilm but from amongst the Ahlul Baatil from amongst

    the Juhhaal (Ignorant). Allah said in Surah Al Araaf verse 176:

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    And had We (Allah) willed, We would surely have elevated him therewith but he clung to the

    earth and followed his own vain desire. So his description is the description of a dog: if you drive him

    away, he lolls his tongue out, or if you leave him alone, he (still) lolls his tongue out. Such is the

    description of the people who reject Our Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations,

    etc.). So relate the stories, perhaps they may reflect.

    And He said in Surah Al Jumuah verse 5:

    }

    { 45 The likeness of those who were entrusted with the (obligation of the) Taurat (Torah) (i.e. to

    obey its commandments and to practise its legal laws), but who subsequently failed in those

    (obligations), is as the likeness of a donkey who carries huge burdens of books (but understands

    nothing from them). How bad is the example (or the likeness) of people who deny the Ayat

    (proofs, evidences, verses, signs, revelations, etc.) of Allah. And Allah guides not the people who

    are Zalimun (polytheists, wrong-doers, disbelievers, etc.).

    and the Hadith of Abdullah Ibn Amr :

    ]

    [

    Verily Allaah does not take away knowledge by snatching it away from the servants, but he takes

    away knowledge by taking away the scholars, until when no scholar remains; the people take

    ignorant ones as leaders, so they are asked and give judgements without knowledge (and in the

    report of al-Bukhaaree:) So they give judgment according to their opinion and they go astray and

    lead others astray. (Sahih Bukhari: 100 and Sahih Muslim: 2673)

    If we read the stories and biographies of the Ulamaa of Salaf, we will find that all of them

    regardless of being of different ages and levels, they were calling the people to one another. Anas

    used to call the people to learn with Al Hassan Al Basri even though al Hassan

    was younger than Anas and that al Hassan was a Tabieen while Anas

  • was a Sahabah (Companion of the Prophet ) . Similarly Imam Ahmad used to call the

    people to take knowledge from Imam Al Bukhari even though Imam Al Bukhari was

    still at a very young age. When the son of Ishaq went to Imam Ahmad to seek

    knowledge from him, Imam Ahmad asked him to return to his father and learn from him

    even though Ahmad was of a higher level in knowledge than Ishaq . This shows that

    age is never a criterion, rather it is the Ilm that one possesses and that they are from Ahlul Haq, that

    defines that they are from Kibaar Ulamaa.

    Point 2: Our attitude towards the Kibaar Ulamaa

    If we look into the evidences from the Quran and the Sunnah, Allah commands us to follow

    only His speech and the speech of His Messenger, Muhammad , by the understanding of the

    companions and not the speech of others regardless who they are. Allah said in

    Surah An Nisaa verse 115:

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    And whoever contradicts and opposes the Messenger (Muhammad ) after the right path has

    been shown clearly to him, and follows other than the believers' way. We shall keep him in the path

    he has chosen, and burn him in Hell - what an evil destination.

    Allah commands us to follow Him and His Messenger and this is the meaning of

    Salafiyyah. We are commanded to follow the Haq regardless who or where it is from and refute the

    Baatil regardless who or where it is from. So no one is allowed to say to us that we have to follow a

    certain individual except if it is being mentioned in the Quran and the Sunnah.

    So if somebody is to ask regarding the role of the Ulamaa. We answer by saying that we respect

    and love them because they are righteous but meanwhile we take their opinions and speech in order

    to help us to understand the speech of Allah and His Messenger by the understanding

    of the Salaf and to only clarify but not to take their opinions and speech as a new source of evidence.

    Allah said in Surah Al Anbiya verse 7:

    }: { 41 So ask Ahluz Dzikr if you do not know.

    What is meant by Dzikr here is the Quran and the Sunnah. Allah commands us to ask those

    who have the Quran and the Sunnah regarding the Quran and the Sunnah and not ask them

    regarding their own opinions. Therefore we follow their opinions if they coincide with the Quran and

    the Sunnah and we do not follow them in their mistakes.

  • Point 3: Meaning of Tawaqquf

    Before we explain the meaning of Tawaqquf , we have to first look at the evidences. This is because

    the people have made Tawaqquf as a methodology in the religion.

    The word Tawaqquf is neither found in the speech of Allah in the Quran nor found in the

    speech of His Messenger in the Sunnah. Rather this word had its beginning in the end of the

    second century Hijrah. It was being used to describe those who took the middle way i.e. the way

    between Ahlus Sunnah and Ahlul Bidah. This group of people refused to support Ahlus Sunnah and

    at the same time refused to refute and reject Ahlul Baatil. They claimed that they remained in the

    middle and did not wish to take any sides. The Imaams of Sunnah at that time such as Ahmad Ibn

    Hanbal and Ishaq , u