Miscellaneous and Other Interesting Articles
ADVICE To Our
the Scholars of Najd
Sayyid Yusuf ibn Al-Sayyid Hashim al-Rifa'i [1420/1999]
In the Name of Allah All -Beneficent Most Merciful
"Say: Who gives you provision from the sky and the earth? Say: Allah. Lo! We or you assuredly are rightly guided or in error manifest. Say: You will not be asked of whb vvat we committed, nor shall we be asked of what you do. Say: Our Lord will bring us all together, then He will judge between us with truth. He is the All Knowing Judge" [34:24-26].
"Lo! Allah enjoins justice and kindness and giving to kinsfolk, and forbids lewdness and abomination and wickedness. He exhorts you in order that you may take heed" [16:90]
"O my people! Yours is the kingdom today, you being uppermost in the land. But who would save us from the wrath of Allah should it reach us?" [40:20].
All praise belongs to Allah! Blessings and greetings upon our Master Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah and upon his Family and most honorable Companions and all those loyal to him.
To proceed: Using as my point of departure the narration of the Prophet, peace and greetings be upon him, "Religion is sincere, faithful advice." We said: [Faithful] to whom? He replied: "To Allah, to His Book and His Messenger, to the leaders of the Muslims and their multitude." 3 and after the publication of my book "al-Radd al-Muhkam al Mani" 4 and that of other books authored by people of learning,5 I waited to see if, perhaps, some of your doings and methods would change. However, nothing of the sort took place.
Therefore, since Allah says in Surat al-Asr,
"By the declining day,
Lo! Man is in a state of loss,
Save those who believe and do good works, and exhort one another to truth and exhort one another to endurance." [103:1-3],
I decided, after the Prayer of Counsel (al-istikhara), to address you with this sincere faithful advice which, I hope, will be accepted. I ask our Lord Most High to show it to us, and show us falsehood for what it is and grant us to avoid it. May He not make this matter confused for us lest we follow our lusts. It is Allah alone who guides to what is right.
Accordingly, I Say trusting in Allah for success.
It is not permitted to change Muslims- believers in monotheism who pray with you, fast, pay zakat, and perform pilgrimage shouting over and over, "Ever at Your call, O Allah! Ever at your call, there is no partner with you, ever at Your call! Truly all glory and praise, all favor and grace belong to you, and all sovereignty and dominion! No-one can be a partner to You!" - It is not permitted, by Law, to charge them with idolatry (al-shirk) the way your books and publications are filled with such charges; the way your preacher clamors on the day of the Major Hajj in the mosque of al-Khayf in Mina, in the eve of the Feast of the pilgrims and all Muslims; and the way his fellow preachers frighten the people of Makka and those in the Holy Mosque on the Day ofId al-Fitr through all their verbal assaults and false accusations. Stop this, and may Allah guide you! To frighten a Muslim is prohibited, especially the dwellers of the Two Sanctuaries. There are many sound sacred texts to that effect.
You have declared the Sufis disbelievers then the Ash'aris. You have denied and denounced imitation of and adherence to the Four Imams, Abu Hanifa, Malik, al-Shafi'i and Ahmad ibn Hanbal. Whereas their imitators formed and continue to form the vastest mass (al-sawad al-a'zam) of the Muslims, just as the King 'Abdal-Aziz - may Allah have mercy on him! - textually stipulates reliance upon, and due consideration of the Four Madhahib. Therefore, stop this and may All guide you!
Whoever turns disbeliever after his Islam has the status of an apostate (murtadd) whose killing becomes licit. Therefore, remember the narration of your Prophet the Elect One - Allah bless and greet him and his Family, "Do not revert after me and turn disbelievers again, striking at one another's neck." 6
After you finished doing the above, you let loose certain hirelings you had nurtured, so that they began to throw accusations of misguidance and deviance at the Islamic groups and organizations that work in the field of calling to Islam (da'wa) and are active raising up the Word of Allah and commanding good and forbidding evil. I mean organizations such as Jama'at al-Tabligh; al-Ikhwan al-Muslimin; the Deobandi group that represents the brightest Ulema of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh; and the Barelwi group that represents the vastest mass of the common muslims in those countries. In so doing they have made use of books, tapes, and the like. Then you went and translated those books into various languages, distributing them free through your numerous outlets. Likewise, you published a book that contains the declaration that the people of Abu Dhabii and Dubai are disbelievers, together with the Ibdis, 7 your colleagues on the board of Majlis al-Ta'awun. As for your attacks on the renowned Al-Azhar University and its scholars, they are too numerous to count!
You keep repeating the phrase of the noble hadith, "Every innovation is misguidance" 8 without discernment, only to criticize and condemn others, yet approving certain actions that contradict the Prophetic Sunna without condemning them nor counting them as innovations. We shall list some of them.
You close the Mosque of the Messenger of Allah, peace and greetings be upon him, after the Isha prayer when this Mosque was never closed before your time in the history of the Muslims, preventing people from performing retreat (I'tikaf) and late night prayers (tahajjud) in it, and you forget the saying of Allah Most High,
"And who does greater wrong than he who forbids the approach to the sanctuaries of Allah lest His Name should be mentioned therein, and strives for their ruin? " [ 2: 114].
You impose on the callers to prayer in the Hijaz a specific style of adhan which is the one you use in Najd, within a specific, limited duration of time, and you require that the voice not be softened nor beautified in calling the Muslims to this paramount symbol of the Religion which is Salat.
You forbid teaching and admonition in the Two Sanctuaries even if the teacher is one of the great Muslim scholars and even if he comes from the Hijaz or al-Ahsa' as long as he does not follow your school of thought or carry an explicit permit written and sealed by you. Anyone other than yourselves is thus barred, were it the Rector of the distinguished al-Azhar! Therefore, fear Allah and do not go to excess in promoting your madhhab but keep a good opinion of your brothers among the scholars of Islam.
You forbid the burial of Muslims who die outside Madina and Makka from taking place in those Two Cities which are of the most blessed sites, loved by Allah and His Prophet, peace and greetings be upon him, depriving the Muslims from obtaining the immense reward of burial in them. It is related from 'Abd Allah ibn 'Adi al-Zuhri the he said, 'I saw the Prophet, peace and greetings be upon him, on his mount, standing on the hillock, saying, "By Allah! You are surely the best land of Allah and the most beloved to Allah of the lands of Allah, and if I were not being driven out of you I would never go out" 9 . It is also narrated form Ibn 'Umar that he said the Messenger of Allah, peace and greetings be upon him, said, "Whoever can die in al-Madina, let him die in it, for I do intercede for whoever dies in it." 10
You forbid women from reaching the Place of the Noble Meeting al-Muwajaha al Sharifa at the grave of the Prophet, peace and greetings be upon him, and greeting him just as men do. If you could, you would prevent women from circumambulating the Holy House with their lawful relatives, all contrary to the practice of the pious Predecessors and the Muslims! You despise the believing women who protect their honor and worship their Lord. You rebuke them harshly, block them from seeing the [original] Mosque and the imam with multiple barriers, and stare at them with suspicion and distrust. All this is an ugly innovation for it is the start of something that did not take place in the time of the Prophet, peace and greetings be upon him, nor that of the pious Predecessors. For the rows of the men used to stand behind the imam, then those of the boys, then those of the women, all praying together without barrier behind the Prophet, peace and greetings be upon him.
You have brought hirelings and ignoramuses whose only skill is frowning and placed them at al-Muwajaha al Sharifa with their backs turned to the Elect Prophet, peace and greetings be upon him. They turn their backs and rear ends to him, facing his visitors and all Muslims with sour faces full of spite, giving them sinister looks and taunting them with charges of idolatry and innovation, almost attacking them physically. They rebuke this one, bark at that one, hit the [supplicating] hands of the third, raising their voices to censor and blame, ignoring and forgetting the saying of Allah,
"O you who believe! Raise not your voices above the voice of the Prophet, nor shout when speaking to him as you shout to one another, lest your works be rendered vain while you perceive not. Lo! They who subdue their voices in the presence of the Messenger of Allah, those are they whose heart Allah has proven unto righteousness. Theirs will be forgiveness and immense reward. Lo! Those who call you from behind the private apartment, most of them have no sense." [49:2-4].
All this behavior is compounded with arrogance and persistence in humiliating the lovers and beloved of al-Mustafa, peace and greetings be upon him, and his visitors among the Believers in his noble presence and right before his noble sleeping-ground which the Shaykh of the Hanbalis Abu al-Wafa' Ibn 'Aqil considered the most sublime spot in all the universe as related by Shaykh Ibn al-Qayyim in his book Bada'I al-Fawa'id." 11
You forbid women from visiting the noble Baqi' with no agreed-upon, clear and explicit proof form the Law. 12 You create difficulties for the Muslims who perform visitation in other than short and restricted times. Some of them wait for the opportunity of burying the dead so that they can visit al-Baqi'! You have also forbidden guides to al-Madina al Munawwra from accompanying visitors, eliminating their livelihoods and leaving visitors in confusion. They do not know the location of the graves of the noble Family of the Prophet, peace and greetings be upon him, not those of his wives, the Mothers of the Believers, not those of his companion and this is truly grave injustice, tyranny, oppression, and arrogance which Allah Most High shall never accept, neither His most honorable Prophet, peace and greetings be upon him. Stop it, and may Allah Most High guide you!
You destroyed the sign-posts by which we knew the graves of the Companions, the Mothers or the Believers, and the members of the noble Family of Prophet. You left them a vacant lot, the grave posts stones were scattered so that we no longer know whose grave is where. Gasoline was even poured on one of them. 13
Truly there is no change nor power except with Allah Most High, Most Great. Leave stone superstructures intact that they are allowed! Leave the hand-span elevation for it is allowed, together with the two grave -posts! It is established that the Prophet placed a rock on top of 'Uthman ibn Maz'un's grave saying, "With it I shall designate the grave of my [milk-] brother and later bury in it whoever dies among my relatives." 14 Kharija ibn Zayd said, "I can see myself when we were young men in the time of "Uthman [ibn 'Affan]. The Strongest one of us in high jump was he who could jump over the grave of 'Uthman ibn Maz'un and clear it." 15
You created an inquest and trial center in the corner of the Prophetic Sanctuary previously, now next to al-Baqi'. There, you sentence those you observe to use intermediaries (tawassul), or visit frequently, or act humbly, weep or supplicate to Allah Most High in front of the most noble grave, seeking the Prophet as a means of approach to Allah Most High. You shower them with a hail of questions prepared in advance pertaining to the validity of visitation, using intermediaries, and [celebrating] the noble Birth. Whoever you deem in violation in the above you imprison, cancel his residency permit, and banish him from the land. All this when these are, in fact, matters that turn between the status of desirability (istihbab) and that of indifference (ibaha) among the scholars, including the Hanbalis, so that it is impermissible to declare apostate a Muslim on their basis or pursue him in justice. I was told by a trustworthy former detainee that his hands remained chained all the while of his month-long incarceration so that he performed ablution and prayed in chains. He was even prevented from reading the Holy Qur'an. Fear Allah! Injustice shall reap multilayered darkness on the Day of Resurrection! Can such evil take place in the Mosque of the Prophet who said, "I am only a means offered" 16 Allah sent him as a mercy to all the worlds: what about the Muslims you treat so harshly in close vicinity to him in his own Mosque? Remember he said,
"Prophets are alive in their grave, praying"
"Truly Allah forbade the earth to consume the bodies of Prophets." 17
Baqi' al-Gharqad; Ibrahim, the Prophet's, peace and greetings be upon him, son, was buried next to him.[T]
You allowed a generous donor from Madina to raze and rebuild the mosque of Abu Bakr al-Siddiq, may Allah be well pleased with him, in Jabal al-Khandaq at his expense. Once the building was razed, you canceled the rebuilding permit for you consider it an innovation to visit the seven Mosques at the site of the Battle of the Trench, concerning which was revealed Surat al-Ahzab! In fact, you wish to destroy them all. 18
You forbid people to bring in and read Dala'il al-Khayrat fi al-Salawat 'ala al-Nabi ("Guide to all Good things in the Invocation of Blessings upon the Prophet, peace and greetings be upon him") 19 by the knower of Allah Most High and descendant of al-Hasan, May Allah be well pleased with him, Shaykh Muhammad Sulayman al-Jazuli and other books. Yet you know of the books and magazines that enter the land and are put on display, all sorts of publications deemed abominable and reprehensible by the Law. Fear Allah.
You spy on, harass, arrest, and punish whoever holds gatherings of celebration and commemoration of the Prophetic birth that are devoid of any lawfully reprehensible activity. Yet you do not object to gatherings of entertainment, musical instruments, singing, and all such displays. Since when is it allowed to use a double standard, humiliating the loving faithful while cajoling the mindless dissolute?
You forbid the imams in the mosques to recite the qunut supplication in the dawn prayer, deeming it an innovation 20 when you know that it is established in the Law according to two of the four Imams, al-Shafi'I and Malik. Why do you impose your own opinion and create difficulties for the Muslims?
You do not allow anyone to be imam in either of the Two Sanctuaries except one of your own. You make it categorically forbidden to the Ulema of al-Hijaz, al-Ahsa' and others. Is this an act of justice, or an obligation of the Religion? Fear Allah All Mighty and be just! For Allah Most High loves who are just.
You have wreaked destruction on the historical vestiges of the Prophet, peace and greetings be upon him, and those of his most honorable Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, in Madina al-Munawwara especially, of the two Sanctuaries. Nothing seems to remain of these vestiges anymore except the Prophetic Mosque itself. Yet, in our time, the nations of the world pride themselves in and preserve their historical vestiges as a memento, a lesson, a meaningful sign of their time-honored past. But you consider that every vestige that is stopped at for perusal or visit, is a partner [worshiped] together with Allah Most Sublime. But Allah Most High Himself ordered us to travel the earth to see the vestiges of the idolaters and derive lessons from them, such as 'Ad and Thamud, found at Diyar Salih, al-'Ala', near Madina al-Munawwara, which are still visited sites, as Allah Most High said,
"System have passed away before you. Do but travel in the land and see the nature of the consequence for those who did deny (the messengers)" [3:137].
"Have they not traveled in the land to see the nature of the consequence for those who disbelieved before them? They were mightier than these in power and (in the) traces (which they left behind them) in the earth. Yet Allah seized them for their sins, and they had no protector from Allah. That was because their messengers kept bringing them clear proofs (of Divine sovereignty) but they disbelieved; so Allah seized them. Lo! He is Strong, Serve in punishment" [40:21-22].
"Has not the history of those before you reached you: the folk of Noah and (the tribes of) 'Ad and Thamud and those after them? None but Allah knows them. Their messengers came unto them with clear proofs, but they thrust their hands into their mouths, and said: Lo! We disbelieve in that wherewith you have been sent, and lo! We are in grave doubt concerning that to which you call us" [14:9].
Why then do you deprive the Muslims from witnessing the sign-posts and vestiges of the battles of Badr, Uhud, Hudaybiya, Hunayn, al-Ahzab and others of the Days of Allah in which He gave victory to His Messenger and righteous servants, routing idolatry and the polytheists? Fear Allah, and be among those endowed with hearts so that, perhaps, you will be granted mercy!
You have provided a haven to Nasir Albani 21 and abetted him, allowing him to publish his book Ahkam al-Jana'iz wa Bida'uha in which he openly asks for the removal of the grave of the Prophet, peace and greetings be upon him, from the most noble Mosque! 22 You appointed him a member in the upper board of the Islamic University in Madina al-Munawwara and a teacher in it. After the late King Faysal barred him and expelled him from the country with some of his followers you returned him to that position. You still liberally propagate and recommend his deviant books but have interdicted and forbidden some of the books of Hujjat al-Islam al- Ghazzali, Abu al-Hasan al-Nadwi, 'Abd al-Fattah Abu Ghudda, al-Maliki, Sa'id Hawwa, al-Buti and others of the Ulema of the Muslims. Where is justice and equity?
You nurtured al-Albani's student and deputy in Kuwait, 'Abd al-Rahman 'Abd al-Khaliq, directing your followers to him, lavishly supporting him with every means. He assailed the host of the Friends of Allah in his Fada'ih al-Sufiyya ("The Disgraces of the Sufis") in which he deems all Sufis misguided, free-thinking heretics (zanadiq) and lawless esoteric (batiniyyin) even they count those eulogized by Ibn Taymiyya, Ibn Rajab, al-Dhahabi, and the rest of your putative authorities! Remember a rigorously authentic hadith qudsi states: "Whoever shows enmity to a single friend of Mine, I declare war on him." 23
You take advantage, every year, of the opportunity of maintaining, polishing, and refurbishing the Prophetic Mosque in order to eliminate many of the emblems of islam [still] found in the inner hall of the Mosque such as historical vestiges and praises of the Prophet, peace and greetings be upon him. You painted over many of the verses of al-Busayri's poem on the Prophetic Mantle (al-Budra 24 you have also tried to cover up the famous two verses-- inscribed on the windows of the Mosque- quoted in the Story of al-'Utbi as mentioned by Ibn Kathir in his Tasfir:
"O best of those whose bones are buried in the deep earth,
and from whose fragrance the depth and height have become sweet!
May I be the ransom for a grave in which you dwell,
where one finds purity, bounty and munificence! 25
If the custodian of the Two Sanctuaries- King Fahd - had not stopped you when the news reached him then ordered you to restore them as they were ! But what is the reason for this disrespect and obstruction of your most noble Prophet, peace and greetings be upon him, the means of access between you and your Lord? What has transpired between you and him? You seem to have forgotten His saying,
"Those who vex the messenger of Allah, for them there is a painful doom" [9:61]
"Lo! Those who malign Allah and His messenger, Allah has cursed them in the world and the Hereafter, and has prepared for them the doom of the disdained" [33:57]
You allowed a man by the name of Muqbil ibn Hadi al-Wadi'I- known through his books and tapes for his propensity to insult and disparage those of the Ulema who disagree with him, those who call unto Allah, and the pious of this Community of Islam - to produce some research at the end of his studies at the Islamic University of Madina titled "About the Dome Built over the Grave of the Messenger, peace and greetings be upon him" sponsored by Shaykh Hammad al-Ansari. In this paper he demands openly and without shame that the Noble Grave be brought out of the Mosque, deems the presence of the Grave and Noble Dome there major innovation, and asks that they both be destroyed! On top of this you granted him high marks na da passing grade!
Do you honor those who challenge the Messenger of Islam, the Beloved of Allah, the Mercy to the Universes and His Intimate Friend? Then this man directed hundreds of his followers, imitators, and their kind among those influenced by your School, bearing arms, to destroy and unearth the graves of the pious Muslims in Aden, Yemen, a few years ago 26 . They roamed the land spreading corruption and ruin, digging up the graves of the dead with picks and spades until they brought out the bones of some of the dead and blind dissension. We heard they even used dynamite in some places! All this is a part of the record of your deeds.
You named the volume of the Qur'an printed on order of the Custodian of the Two Sanctuaries- Allah reward him for it!-- by the name of Mushaf al-Madina al-Nabawiyya ("Volume of the Prophetic City") instead of Mushaf al- Madina al-Munawwara ("Volume of the Illuminated City"). It seems you refuse to acknowledge that this blessed city became illuminated - as did the entire world -by the sending and messengership of our Master Muhammad, peace and greetings be upon him. Yet the young girls of the Ansar called out in the past,
"The full moon rose over us form the mountains of al-Wada'!"
For the Prophet, peace be upon him, is indeedal-Badr; the full moon - and the Light, 28 as Allah said,
"O Prophet, Lo! We have sent you as a witness and a bringer of good tidings and a warner, and as a summoner unto Allah by His permission and as a lamp that gives light" [33:45-46]
"Now has come unto you light from Allah guides him who seeks His goods pleasure unto paths of peace. He brings them out of darkness unto light by His decree and guides them unto a straight path"[5:15-16]
Go back to the books of commentary and you will see that they explained the light mentioned in the foregoing verses to meanal-Mustafa, peace and greetings be upon him. Here we will not argue with you concerning the light of his noble essence but we say that he was light and Mercy through the Book and the Sunna and guidance that he brought. Allah Most High said,
"He brings them out of darkness unto light by His decree and guides them unto a straight path" [5:16]
You insist on naming the overseeing board for the affairs of the Two Sanctuaries, "Presidency of the Meccan Sanctuary and the noble Prophetic Mosque" (ri'asat al-haram al-makki wa al-masjid al-na-bawi al-sharif) but you do not say, The Noble Prophetic Sanctuary (al-haram al-nabawi al-sharif), likewise in your road signs indicating that direction. Why is not his Mosque [referred to a] as a Sanctuary?
The Prophet, peace and greetings be upon him, declared all of Madina a sanctuary. 'Asim ibn Sulayman al-Ahwal said that he asked Anas: "Did the Messenger of Allah, peace and greetings be upon him, make Madina a sanctuary (haram)?" He said: "Yes! From such -and -such a place to such-and -such a place. So, whoever gives rise to some innovation in it," -Anas said to 'Asim and this is a very tough stipulation, "incurs the curse of Allah, the angels, and all people! Nor will Allah accept from him the least of barter and trade on the Day of Resurrection!"
Another narration- also form a Anas- states, "then he, peace and greetings be upon him, marched until Uhud came into sight and said, 'This is a mountain who loves us and whom we love.' Then, overlooking al-Madina, he said, 'O Allah! Truly I am declaring a sanctuary all that is between its two mountains as Ibrahim declared Makka a sanctuary. O Allah! grant them blessings in their mudd and sa'[measures]." 29
Also narrated from Abu Hurayra, the Prophet, peace and greetings be upon him, said, "Al-Madina is a sanctuary (al-madinatu haram), so whoever gives rise to an innovation in it or gives safe haven to and innovator, let the curse of Allah be on him, that of the angels, and that of All people! And let not the least barter nor trade be accepted from him on the Day of Resurrection!" 30
It has become your custom to suppress whatever does not please or satisfy you from the books of our Islamic heritage which you cannot prevent from entering the [Saudi] Kingdom because the general public need them. This is a criminal act both in Islamic Law and in secular laws against the views of the authors who are Ulema of the pious Predecessors. They cannot summon you before a judge in this world but they can certainly summon you before the Almighty Judge in the next world Among the passages that were suppressed or altered and tampered with:
This is a bold felony against an author and his book! When the editor was asked about it, he replied that your agents were the ones who had changed and tampered. I have a facsimile of his own hand-written statement to that effect.
Whereas you separate women from their relatives in the Mosque of the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, on the pretense that you are anxious to preserve chastity and Religion, you station your men at the entrances reserved for women, fully facing them, as if those men were divinely immunized against all that may occur in others. Likewise you station your male observers within the rows of the men and women who circumambulate the House in the greater and minor pilgrimages, fully facing the faces of women and demanding them to don the face-veil in violation of the position of the vast majority of the Ulema that it is obligatory to uncover the face when accomplishing this rite.
You do not object to those who terrorize the Muslims who are in the Meccan Sanctuary and investigate them, arresting them if they do not produce residency papers, in violation of the saying of Allah Most High, "and whosoever enters it is safe" [3:97]. In addition, these doings create commotions and spoil the climate of purity, peace, quiet, and dignity for "those who meditate therein and those who bow down and prostrate themselves" [2:125].
You adamantly decline to ratify, in the Islamic law courts, the contracts of marriage and nikah between Muslim men and women for any foreign Muslim male and female if the man is a visitor and does not possess a document of permanent residency. This is an innovation and injustice for which you are entirely accountable if the man commits and illicit act.
You do not enlist any student into undergraduate and graduate studies without first examining him in what you term "correct doctrine" not contenting yourselves with the fact that one is a Muslim from the ranks of the common Muslims who declare Oneness for Allah Most High. This is despicable fanaticism.
When some one disagrees with you over any issue in jurisprudence or doctrine, you publish a book reviling him, declaring him an innovator or an idolater without granting him his right to defend or justify himself against such charges, as has happened with al-Maliki, Abu Ghudda, al-Sabuni and others.
You strove to commit a major innovation in which none preceded you, not even those who adhered to your doctrines and methods before you; striving to close down the noble Baqi' cemetery, prevent burial in it, and redirect the burial of the new dead to another spot far from the place of idolatry and innovations, as you put it, so as to stop people from entering al-Baqi' and visiting whoever is in it of the Prophetic relatives, the Companions, the Successors, and the rest of the Righteous. Allah Most High brought your endeavors to naught causing someone to inform king Fahd, the custodian of the Two Sanctuaries, of this plan. Whereupon he rejected what you were planning and ordered that al-Baqi' be enlarged so as to eliminate your pretext that it became too full to accommodate more Muslim burials.
You approved, without the least objection, the razing of the house of Khadijat al-Kubra -Allah be well- pleased with her!- The mother of the believers and First Beloved of the Messenger of the Lord of the worlds- Allah bless and greet him and his Family. That place is the spot where the Revelation descended upon him for the first time from the Lord of Mighty and Majesty. You did not raise a peep when this destruction occurred, satisfied that washrooms and latrines took its place! Where is fear of Allah? Where is Shame before his most noble Messenger?
You tried and continue to try - as if it were your goal in life- to destroy the last remnant of the historical vestiges of the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, namely the noble place where he was born. This house was razed then changed into a cattle market, then some pious people used ruse to transform it into a library which became "Maktabat Makka al-Mukarrama." You began to pray at that place with evil stares and vengeful threats, trying to entrap it with the official departments. You openly requested that it be destroyed and have shown hostility to the authorities pressing them hard to effect such destruction after the decision taken to that effect by the organization of your major scholars a few years ago. I have an explicit taped recording of this decision. But the Custodian of the Two Sanctuaries, King Fahd -- the prudent and wise man who is a aware of next worldy consequences-- ignored your request and froze it indefinitely. Alas, for shame! Such disrespect and disloyalty against this noble Prophet, peace and greetings be upon him, by whom Allah Most High brought us out and yourselves and your ancestors into light! What a shamelessness in his presence the Day we come to drink form his blessed Basin! Alas, woe and misery for a Sect that hates its Prophet whether in word or in deed, holding him in contempt and trying its best to eradicate his traces! Yet Allah Most High says to us,
"Take as your place of worship the place where Ibrahim stood (to pray)" [2:125].
And he said, bestowing on the Israelites the gifts of Talut, Musa, and Harun,
"And their Prophet said unto them: Lo! The token of his kingdom is that there shall come to you the ark wherein is peace of reassurance from your Lord, and a remnant of that which the house of Musa and the house of Harun left behind, the angles bearing it. Lo! Herein shall be a token for you if (in truth) you are believers" [2:248].
The Ulema of Quranic commentary said that these vestiges consisted in the staff of Musa peace be upon him, his sandals, etc.35 Read also, if you like, the sound and authentic hadiths that pertain to the physical and personal relics of the Prophet, peace and greetings be upon him, and the true concern of the Companions, may Allah be well pleased with them, over them as mentioned in the pages of sahih al-Bukhari. There is enough evidence "for him who has a heart or gives ear with full intelligence" [50:37] and ample provision for those who think and reflect. 36
Those that came before you were of the Hanbali Madhhab, following and imitating the school of the Imam and Shaykh Ahmad ibn Hanbal beginning with Ibn Taymiyya, Ibn al-Qayyim, Ibn Rajab, Ibn 'Abd al -Hadi, Ibn Qudama al-Maqdisi, then al-Zarkashi, Mar'i ibn Qudama al-Maqdisi, then al-Zarkashi, Mar'i ibn Yusuf, Ibn Jubayra, al-Hijawi, al-Mardawi, al-Ba'li, al-Buhuti, Ibn Muflih, finally Shaykh Muhammad ibn 'Abd al- Wahab and his sons, Mufti Muhammad ibn Ibrahim, and Ibn Humayd- may Allah have mercy on all of them. However, now you dissociate yourselves from this school, declaring that "you are Salafis." 37 Shaykh 'Abd al-'Aziz Ibn Baz recently announce in an interview with the periodical al-Majalla that "he does not confirm to nor rely on the Hanbali madhab and the jurisprudence of the Hanbalis" but that you "all conform only to the Qur'an and the Sunna."
Glory to Allah Most High! And are Imam Ahmad and his brothers the others Imams not in Conformity to the Qur'an and Sunna? Or have you and this Shaykh and his followers all reached the rank of mujtahid mutlaq and the rank of Imam in the Law - one who exerts his own personal reasoning and juridical opinion without following, not imitating whoever preceded him? We seek refuge in Allah Most High from ignorance, illusion, and deluded claims! We seek refuge from having reached the time described by the Prophet, peace and greetings be upon him, when he said, "just before the Hour there shall come days in which ignorance shall descend and knowledge be lifted , and killing will abound." 38
He also said, "Truly Allah does not take away Knowledge suddenly and forcefully from His servants, but He takes it away by taking away the Ulema until none is left, at which time the people shall take for their leaders ignorant persons who will be asked questions and will answer without knowledge. They shall be misguided and misguide others." 39
You have allowed youngsters and immature babblers (sufaha al-ahlam) to attack the pious Predecessors who are the most eminent personalities of this Community, among them the Proof of Islam, Imam al-Ghazzali 40 - Allah have mercy on him! You encouraged a certain Mahmud al-Haddad to publish a book in which he claims to have gathered together the two works of hadith - documentation by al-'Iraqi and al-Zabidi -- for [all the narrations cited in] Ihya 'Ulum al-Din and which began by attacking Imam al-Ghazzali and accusing him of misguidance and major aberrations! This, of course, after first attacking, through all your publishing media, Imam Abu al-Hasan al-Ash'ari 41 and his followers who constitute the vast mass of the Muslims since hundreds of years and whom you have described as "misguided and misguiding others"! (See past issues of your periodical, al-Buhuth al-Islamiyya; Safar al-Hawali's Manhaj Ahl al-Sunna wa al-jama'a: and others). I have shown the [Saudi] minister of religious endowments, Shaykh 'Abd Allah 'Abd al-Muhsin al-Turki, some of these issues myself but nothing changed.
You narrowed, then closed the door of faithful advice from the Muslims to their rulers and those in authority among them. You gave fatwa that whoever trespasses it commits a sin and showed enmity to such advisers. All this when the Muslims and their rulers are in the direst need of admonition and sincere advice towards good! May Allah send blessings and greeting on him who said, "Religion is sincere, faithful advice." We said,[ Faithful] to whom? He replied, "To Allah, to His Book and His Messenger, to the leaders of the Muslims and their multitude." 42
You acted scandalized and denounced al-Khomayni, the Iranian leader, and his friends when they made the verse,
"The only reward of those who make war upon Allah and His messenger and strive after corruption in the land will be that they will be killed or crucified or have their hands and feet on alternate sides cut off, or will be expelled out of the land. Such will be their degradation in the world, and in the Hereafter theirs will be an awful doom" [5:53]
an excuse to issue death warrants and execution orders against their adversaries. Yet you yourselves later took that same verse as an avenue to commit the same acts against your own opponents, using it to cut off the heads of inadvertent offenders among the foreigners and the helpless, even for possessing a little hashish or qat. We neither heard that you consulted the Islamic Juridical Council (Majma 'al-Fiqh al-Islami) located near you in Jeddah, nor that you sought out the least conformation in the matter from other authorities such as al-Azhar or the major Ulema of the Muslims! It appears that you have studiously forgotten, in your capacity as judges, the narration of 'A'isha that the Messenger of Allah, peace and greetings be upon him, said, "Ignore the offenses of those seen to possess [good] qualities (dhawi al-hay'at), except in [corporal and capital ] penalties." 43 A'isha also related that the Prophet, peace and greetings be upon him, says, "Stave off the penalties from the Muslims as much as you can, and if any leeway is found than release the detainee. Truly it is preferable for the ruler to pardon mistakenly." al-Titmidhi narrated it and said, "This report has been narrated from her without raising it up to the Prophet, peace and greetings be upon him, which is more correct." 44 The Hadith master Ibn Hajar said:
Al- Bukhari said the most authentic narration on the chapter is Sufyan al-Thawri, from "'Asim, from Abu Wa'il, from 'Abd Allah ibn Mas'ud who said, "Stave off the penalties by way of inconclusive evidence. Avert death from the Muslims as much as you can." The same was narrated from 'Uqba ibn 'Amir and Mu'adh with mawquf chains and 'Umar with munqati 'mawquf chain. 45 Abu Muhammad ibn Hazm related it from 'Umar in al-isal with a sound mawquf chain. Ibn Abi Shayba similarly narrated through Ibrahim al-Nakha'I from 'Umar that the latter said: "To erroneously not apply the penalties because of inconclusive evidence is dearer to me than me than mistakenly applying them on the basis of inconclusive evidence." It is also in al Harithis's Musnad Abi Hanifa, from Miqsam, from Ibn'Abbas, raised to the Prophet, peace and greetings be upon him 46 .
You also forgot what the Most Truthful said concerning human life,
"Whoever kills a human being for other than manslaughter or corruption in the earth, it shall be as if he has killed all the mankind, and whoever saves the life of one, it shall be as if he has saved the life of all the mankind. Our messengers came unto them of old with clear proofs (of the sovereignty of Allah), but after wards lo! many of them became prodigals in the earth" [5:32]
And you forgot that the Prophet, peace and greetings be upon him, said, "The first judgment that shall be passed among the people on the Day of Resurrection shall be over blood [unjustly shed]." 47 Therefore, fear Allah Most High and do not kill a life which Allah Most High made sacred, except in justice! And be warned of the causes for remorse and guilt on the Day of Woe and Resurrection.
You brain-washed gullible young men with your School and rigid opinions such as Juhayman al-'Utaybi, executed for seizing the Meccan Sanctuary with his cohort. Your teacher was his teacher and spiritual master. They used to return and refer to him as well as act upon his and al-Jaza'oro's opinions. They would roam under your sights, harassing the Muslims in the Two Sanctuaries, commanding and forbidding and strutting until their force increased, their claws grew long, and they did what they did, so they were surrounded and killed, or wounded and taken prisoner. Then you announced that you had nothing to do with them and were innocent of their misdeeds! But their books and the publications they left behind are the best witnesses and to the facts. For they stated themselves fully with your extremist views and became completely intoxicated with them. Still you continue on your way, without the least shame - all in the name of the Qur'an and Sunna! Therefore, fear Allah to Whom you shall return.
You have declared as disbelievers the Sufis, then the Ash'aris and the Maturidis- then you turned to the Ikhwan, then the Tablighis, then the rest of those who make da'wa and the thinkers of Islam.. what have you left for the Muslims besides yourselves?
You forbade and stopped all lessons except yours; all madhahib except your madhhab, all admonitions except your admonitions. As a result, there are no more gatherings of knowledge, no more sessions of admonition, no more circles of Qur'anic readings, no more gatherings of dhikr. What will you say tomorrow to your Lord? When it shall be said, "And stop them, for they must be questioned" [37;24]
You declared Ibn 'Arabi 48 a disbeliever then Hujjat al-Islam Al-Ghazzali. Then you declared that Hasan al-Banna' did not die as a martyr, neither the martyrs of Afghanistan as "their creed was not correct as a whole, indeed, they were followers of the Hanafi School, erring, and bound for destruction." You left none but yourselves as those who are saved, forgetting the Prophet's, peace and greetings be upon him, saying, "If anyone says, 'The people have perished,' then he perished the most." 49
You built a university in al-Madina al-Munawwara and named it the Islamic University, near the Master of Prophets, peace and greetings be upon him. People and scholars then flocked to it with their cherished children and sons, rejoicing at the chance of drinking form this spring, thinking it would increase them in love and followership of their Beloved, peace and greetings be upon him, his dear Family, his Companions, and the Successors. But there you were teaching them how to deprecate him and all of them! You also had the students spy on and surveil one another so as to report to you the names and activities of those you named grave-lovers (al-quburiy-yun)! Namely, those who made frequent visits and salutations upon the Master of Messengers and the Mercy of Allah to the worlds so that you might wage war against them, ostracize them and expel them! You would only keep whoever became your client and obeyed you- for those alone are truthful and trusted according to you.
Whoever graduated successfully at your hands, having drunk in the gamut of your beliefs, you sent back to their countries as your representatives to sound out your warnings and announce your glad tidings that their misguided fathers and way ward nations must renew their Islam. Such graduates you pampered with lavish salaries, opening offices for them and every conceivable opportunity. As a result, dissensions and enmity flared up between them and the Ulema and pious Muslims of the generations of their fathers and past Shaykhs. Such graduates resemble the time bombs you manufactured and filled with all kinds of bad opinions of others and deep-seated contempt. This has transformed Muslim countries, especially Africa and Asia, into battle-fields of perpetual dissensions among Muslims. This condition has even spread to the Muslim countries that gained their independence from Russia only recently, all the way to Muslim minorities and communities in Europe, America, Australia and elsewhere! To Allah is our complaint.
Neither Ibn Taymiyya, Ibn al- Qayyim, nor any of the Imams of the Salaf before them said that the Sufis were all polytheists. There, they said that among them were those who reach the level of siddiq - truthful saint. Look up, if you wish, the books of al-Dhahabi and Ibn Rajab, Ibn Taymiyya's Fatawa, Ibn al- Qayyim's Madarij al-Salikin and others. Yet you declare the Sufis apostate in their entirety and impute them with innovation and idolatry!
The same acts are committed by your minions and newfound pupils, the likes of 'Abb al-Rahman 'Abd al-Khaliq, Jaza'iri, Zino, Dimashqiyya, Albani, Wadi'I, and whoever sings their tune. I ask, are these opinions of yours in conformity with the Pious Predecessors or are you full-fledged innovators who single yourselves out in all of them? Is it permissible, then, for you to say "We are Salafis," when no Salafi ever precede you in committing such acts?!
Your deep-seated illness has contaminated America and Europe. As a result, disagreement flared up in the mosques and schools of the Muslims, this one following Ibn Baz and 'Uthaymin, declaring apostasy to the Sufis and those who make dhikr, that one Ash'ari or Maturidi; the third one, Deobandi or Barelwi, etc. Each is fighting the other and forbidding salat behind the other as well as marriage or brotherly relations, severing the ties of Religion. I have witnessed this myself and was present when a Muslim preacher was prevented from giving khutba in an American mosque on the grounds that he was a Sufi, following which, a quarrel flared up among the worshippers Repent, and repent now to Allah the Lord of the worlds who said,
"Repent unto Allah all, O believers, so that you may succeed" [24:31].
The slaughters and terrible events presently taking place damage the reputation of Islam and play havoc with the Muslims. For example, what happened in Algeria and Egypt or in the Meccan Sanctuary is nothing but the fruit of your graduates and beliefs, and the reading of your publications, all of them built on apostatizing (takfir), calling monotheists idolaters (tashrik), hurling accusations of innovations (tabdi') and holding the worst opinions of the Muslims. If you want to see this clearly and so that all people can see this plainly, it suffices to sift through those extremists, is there any Sufi among them, any Azhari, or Ash'ari, or follower of one of the Four Madhahib? And after you set them loose you kept silent and mute, sitting back and watching instead of firmly condemning their acts. You were not of those who gave them sincere, faithful advice. I truly wonder, after this, who is the manifest corrupter?
You accuse the Muslim who differ with you of being deviant Jahmis or Mu'tazilis. The truth is, you are the Jahmiyya because you agree with them in some of their doctrines and you are the Mu'tazila because you concur with them in denying sainthood and saints as well as their miraculous gifts, the life of the dead, 50 and the arbitration of reason in matters of the unseen in religious issues. It was said,
She flung her bane at me and slinked away.
Do not blame a moral trait then display it;
Shame on you If you do-great shame!
You adopted the practices of the Khawarij. Whenever one of the Muslims comes to you-- especially students of Islamic knowledge --you begin by checking his doctrine: is it correct in your view or not?
"What do you say about this? and about that? and where is Allah?" etc. This is exactly what the khawarij would do in the past whenever a Muslim monotheist met him. If he differed with them they killed him. As for the polytheists and the disbelievers, they showed them kindness, reciting the verse,
"And if anyone of the idolaters seeks your protection, then protect him so that he may hear the word of Allah; and afterward convey him to his place of safety. That is because they are a folk who know not" [9:6].
"Shall We then treat those who have surrendered as We treat the guilty? What ails you? How foolishly you judge!" [35-36].
The Four Madhahib had pulpits in the Meccan Sanctuary --you destroyed them51 and teaching chairs -- you banned them. Among the last to date was that of Dr. Muhammad ibn 'Alawi al-Maliki who succeeded his father and grandfather. But your eyes could not bear to see him there, so you accused him of misguidance and sheer disbelief in your book al-Hiwar. Had Allah not prompted me to defend him with my book al-Radd al-Mani' and others of the people of learning with theirs, 52 and if King Fahd, the Custodian of the Two Sanctuaries, had not interfered to protect him, he would have been ancient history today.
There used to be Ulema also in the Noble Prophetic Sanctuary, teaching the Four Schools of Law. The last one was Shaykh 'Abd al-Rahman al-Juhani al-Shafi'I- the author of the manual Qatf al- Thimar fi Ahkam al-Hajj wa al-I'timar- whom you prevented from teaching, 'until he obtain a permit for teaching, until he obtain a permit from Shaykh Ibn Baz.' The permit was never issued and so he was stopped from teaching.
Another was the scrupulous, erudite scholar and mufti, Shaykh 'Abd Allah Sa'id al-Lahji al-Shafi'I - rahimahullah! One of your spies stopped him from teaching and all requests to Ibn Baz to return him to teaching failed. As a result, the students were deprived of the benefit of his valuable lessons. Before him the verifying, erudite scholar, Shaykh Isma'il 'Uthman al-Zayn al-Shafi'I --rahimahullah!-- was also stopped and harassed. Allah is the one who shall take accounts of you!
Thus was the gate of teaching in the Four Madhahib closed shut after such teaching had lived on uninterruptedly since the earliest ages of Islam-- the days of the Tabi'in and their Successors from the best praised Islamic centuries and even in the time of your predecessors when they penetrated the Hijaz. Yet you gave full opportunity there to al-Jaza'iri and his ilk, such as his in-law, to repeat and shout at the top of his lungs, right next to al-Mustafa, peace and greetings be upon him, "The father and mother of the Prophet, peace and greetings be upon him, are in hellfire! The father and mother of the Prophet, peace and greetings be upon him, are in hellfire!" repeatedly.53 Truly we belong to Allah and to Him is our return, there is no change and no power except with Allah, sufficient for us is Allah, and what a wonderful reliance! All this is in the balance of your deeds and under your responsibility in the presence of our Almighty Lord, without fear not trembling on your part before Allah Most High, Who said,
"Lo! Those who malign Allah and His messenger, Allah has cursed them in the world and the Hereafter and prepared for them the doom of the disdained" [33:57]
"Those who vex the messenger of Allah, for them there is a painful doom" [9:61].
There was a vestige at the spot where the Prophet's, peace and greetings be upon him, camel alighted in the mosque of Quba' when he emigrated to Madina, at which location was revealed the verse. 54
"A place of worship which was founded upon duty to Allah from the first day is worthier that you should stand to pray therein, wherein are men who love to purify themselves. Allah loves the purifiers" [9:108].
You eliminated this vestige which we used to see until recently.
There used to be, in the Mosque of the Two Qiblas, a marker indicating the old qibla and the abrogated direction of prayer towards the Farthest Mosque [in al- Qudus, Sham], so you eliminated it on the grounds that you consider it an innovation.
You eliminated the garden of the Sahabi Salman al-Farsi, may Allah be well pleased with him, which contained a date palm-tree planted by the Prophet, peace and greetings be upon him, and you destroyed the well of al-'Ayn al-Zarqa' near Quba' and the well of Aris -the "well of the ring."55 you also forbade sighting of the well of Ruma which 'Uthman, may Allah be well pleased with him, had bought from a Jew and turned into a permanent endowment for the Muslims in the way of Allah Most High. There are many other important vestiges that were either eliminated or defaced and changed.
Followers of the Four Schools from the population of al-Ahsa' used to have private schools for the study of each madhhab. You closed them down and forbade any teaching from taking place in them because, according to you, it is impermissible to teach other than your madhhab in the schools for men and women under your jurisdiction. When they began to hold private tuition in their own houses you surveiled them, harrassed them, besieged them, and spied on them! Are these the acts of the righteous callers to Allah, the elite of the people of Allah, and the scrupulously God wary servants of simple living (zuhd) who fear their Almighty Lord, Subhanahu wa ta'ala, Who said,
"And guard yourselves against a day in which you will be brought back to Allah. Then every soul will be paid in full that which it has earned and they will not be wronged" [2:281].
"Do such (men) not consider that they will be raised again Unto an awful Day, The day when (all) mankind stand before the Lord of the Worlds?" (83:4-6).
You wrecked destruction on the house of the great Companion Abu Ayyub al-Ansari, radia Allahu anhu, who hosted the Prophet, Allah bless and greet him and his Family, upon his arrival at Madina al-Munawara before the building of his noble apartments. All the periods that preceded yours have preserved this vestige, including your immediate predecessors. But you destroyed this most noble vestige which used to be in the qibla of the most prayer-niche (mihrab) the noble Prophetic Mosque on the pretext that "the polytheist Muslims" derived blessings from it!
You destroyed, near the house of Abu Ayyub al-Ansari, radia Allahu anhu, the library of Shaykh al-Islam `Arif Hikmat which was filled with priceless books and manuscripts.56 Its fine Ottoman architecture was unique. You destroyed all of the above when it was far from the enlargement of the Sanctuary and had nothing to do with it.
You also destroyed the well of BirHa' inside the enlargement area, leaving no trace of it nor any marker indicating its former existence. The Prophet, peace and greetings be upon him, entered it as mentioned in Sahih al-Bukhari and elsewhere. You spared none of the vestiges of al-Mustafa, peace and blessings be upon him, and his Companions
Only in Madina, only the Prophetic Mosque, why did you not turn to Khaybar and other places? And is it permissible to imitate the Jews who destroy and eliminate every Islamic vestige in al-Qudus al-Sharif by erasing our own vestiges in al-Madina al-Munawara? What have you left of our glorious heritage for future generations?
Finally, you emboldened yourselves to issue rulings in the name of the pure, undefiled Law, for the killing of whoever differed with you among those who specialize in [the application of] healing [verses and supplications] al-ruqya, and spiritual healing, naming them magicians! Nor did you distinguish between the genuine and true authorities among them and the charlatans. You reserved for yourselves the absolute right of fatwa and verdict in the matter. As a result, you shed the blood of numerous innocent people on the grounds that they are magicians whose blood is licit, ignoring the command of Allah, Subhanahu wa Ta'ala, "that you slay not the life which Allah has made sacred, save in the course of justice" [6:151] and the statement of the Bringer of glad tidings and Warner, peace and greetings be upon him, "The first judgement that shall be passed among the people on the Day of Resurrection shall be over blood [unjustly shed]." 58 Therefore, stop at the limits and do not trespass bounds; leave alone whatever is of indecisive status. Beware the Day punishment shall be exacted for the embryos from their killers,
"a day whereon a man will look on that which his own hands have sent before, and the disbeliever will cry, 'Would that I were dust!' "[78:40].
"And guard yourselves against a day in which you will be brought back to Allah. Then every soul will be paid in full what it has earned, and they will not be wronged" [2:281].
O our brothers, the Scholars of Najd!
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is dear to the heart of every Muslim. Its governors - beginning with the Custodian of the Two Sanctuaries - spend every effort in serving the guests of the Merciful such as the pilgrims of Hajj and 'Umra. However, because of your aberrant and anomalous behavior - as I described in this booklet - all you do is hurt the governors of this developing State who have placed on your shoulders the trust of legal and religious matters. You must keep this trust faithfully. Do not mix into it your lusts and your own perceptions lest those who lie in ambush, find in this State an opportunity to argue against it, that it is inadequate and incapable of protecting the important sites and law-related affairs in the cities that contain the holiest objects of Islam.
Therefore, fear Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala, with regard to your Religion and your State and your Islam and the Muslims! Show more concern in combating dispersion and distance yourselves from causing factionalism among Muslims.
I ask Allah Most High that you be among those "Who hear advice and follow the best thereof" [3:18].
Was-Salamu 'alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.
Yusuf ibn al-Sayyid Hashim al-Rifa'i