Miscellaneous and Other Interesting ArticlesAl-Albani Unveiled
(1) The foremost Hanafi scholar of his time, Imam Muhammad Amin ibn Abidin (d. 1252/1836 Rahimahullah) said in his celebrated work Hashiyya radd al-Mukhtar (vol. 3, pg. 309): "In our time Ibn Abdal Wahhab (Najdi) appeared, and attacked the two noble sanctuaries (Makkah and Madinah). He claimed to be a Hanbali, but his thinking was such that only he alone was a Muslim, and everyone else was a polytheist! Under this guise, he said that killing the Ahl as-Sunnah was permissible, until Allah destroyed them (Wahhabi's) in the year 1233 AH by way of the Muslim army."
(2) Shaykh Zayni Dahlan (Rahimahullah) said in his book Futuhat al-Islamiyya (vol. 2, pg. 268): "The sign of the Khawarij (the first deviant sect that appeared in the time of the Companions) concerning the shaving of the head, was not found in the Khawarij of the past, but only in the Najdi's of our time!"
(3) Shaykh al-Islam Hussain Ahmad al-Madani (Rahimahullah) said in his book ash-Shihab as-saqib (pg. 42): "Ibn Abdal Wahhab arose in the beginning of the thirteenth Islamic century in the Najd. His thinking was false, and his beliefs were corruptional; on these grounds he opened the way for killing the Ahl as-Sunnah."
(4) A more contemporary view on the Wahhabite sect has been expressed by Abdal-Hakim Murad in the journal Islamica (pg. 9): "Ibn Abdal Wahhab, however, went far beyond this (i.e; of Ibn Taymiyya). Raised in the wastelands of Najd in Central Arabia, he had little access to mainstream Muslim scholarship (I say: This may be disputed by his supporters). In fact, when his da'wah appeared and became notorious, the scholars and muftis of the day applied to it the famous hadith of Najd: Ibn Umar (Allah be pleased with him) reported the Prophet (Peace be upon him) as saying: "Oh God, bless us in our Syria; O God, bless us in our Yemen." Those present said: "And in our Najd, O Messenger of God!" But he said, "O God, bless us in our Syria; O God, bless us in our Yemen." Those present said, "And in our Najd, O Messenger of God!" Ibn Umar said that he thought that he said on the third occasion: "Earthquakes and dissensions (fitnah) are there, and there shall arise the horn of the devil." (Sahih al-Bukhari). And it is significant that almost uniquely among the lands of Islam, Najd has never produced scholars of any repute.
The Najd-based da'wah of the Wahhabi's, however, began to be heard more loudly following the explosion of Saudi oil wealth. Many, even most, Islamic publishing houses in Cairo and Beirut are now subsidised by Wahhabi organisations, which prevent them from publishing traditional works on Sufism, and remove passages in other works considered unnacceptable to Wahhabist doctrine.
The neo-Kharijite nature of Wahhabism makes it intolerant of all other forms of Islamic expression. However, because it has no coherent fiqh of its own - it rejects the orthodox madhhabs - and has only the most basic and primitively anthropomorphic 'aqidah, it has a fluid, amoebalike tendency to produce divisions and subdivisions among those who profess it. No longer are the Islamic groups essentially united by a consistent madhhab and the Ash'ari 'aqidah (see later). Instead, they are all trying to derive the Shari'ah and the 'aqidah from the Qur'an and the Sunnah by themselves. The result is the appaling state of division and conflict which disfigures the modern salafi condition."
Another person who is a reference for today's neo-"Salafi's", is Muhammad ibn Ali al-Shawkani (d. 1250/1834). He was a leading scholar of the Zaydi (Shi'ah) sect found mainly in the Yemen. He claimed to have departed from his old Shi'ite ways and joined the Ahl al-Sunnah. He was attacked by the scholars of his day for saying Taqleed was completely haram, as well as other important issues. Some scholars had accused him of still holding on to his deviant Zaydiyyah-Mu'tazilite (rationalistic thinking that was propounded by one of the first deviant sects of Islam) thinking, while pretending to be within the fold of orthodox Sunni Islam; but Allah knows best! It is a well known fact that he denied the consensus of the Companions (Ijma as-Sahaba), as well as rejecting the validity of the Fatwa of a Companion! One may refer to Anwar Ahmad Qadri's book Islamic Jurisprudence in the Modern World (pg. 142) for a lenghthier discussion.
Many scholars have noticed the extreme tendencies within the "Salafiyya" sect around the world, for its lack of respect for the scholars of the four Madhhabs, its Aqeedah and some untenable juristic positions it has produced over a short period of Islam's history. The scholars have not been afraid of declaring the neo- "Salafi's" to be neo-Kharijites in their behaviour and attitude to other Muslims. Note, the scholars are not saying that the neo-"Salafi's" are Kharijites, but rather they seem to have certain traits which were only found amongst the Kharijites of the past. One of the most striking things I have noticed amongst these 'neo-Kharijites', is their direction of Qur'anic verses that were revealed specifically for the unbelievers, as referring to the believers who do not seem to have their way of thinking! This was a well known practise of the Kharijites of old; as we shall see below.
A well known scholar of the "Salafiyya", Dr. Yusuf al-Qardawi (who has himself been attacked by other members of the "Salafiyya", especially for holding some untenable positions in his book al-Halal wal Haram fil Islam) said in his book Islamic awakening between Rejection and Extremism (pg. 41-3): "Imam al-Shatibi (Rahimahullah) wrote (in his book al-I'tisam, 2. 182-4): 'Ibn Abbas (Allah be pleased with him) was right. When a person knows the reason behind a certain verse or surah, he knows how to interpret it and what its objectives are. However, ignorance of that leads people to misinterpret it and to have different opinions, without an insight and knowledge which could lead them to the truth, and prevent them from indulging ignorantly in such matters with no support or evidence from al Shari'ah, and therefore go astray and lead people astray. This can be demonstrated by what is reported by Ibn Wahab from Bakir who asked Nafi': What does Ibn Umar (Allah be pleased with him) think of al-Haruriyyah (i.e; al-Khawarij who were also called al-Haruriyyah after the place -Harawra- where they gathered and were found by Ali ibn Abu Talib and the Companions of the Prophet [may Allah be pleased with them all] who supported him)? Nafi' answered: He thinks they are the most evil of people. They applied the verses which pertain to the kuffar on the believers.' (NB- Imam al-Bukhari has recorded Ibn Umar as saying in his Sahih [vol.9, pg.50; English edn]: These people (the Khawarij and heretics ) took some verses that had been revealed concerning the disbelievers and interpreted them as describing the believers ).
Al-Qardawi also said (pg. 42): One of the causes of such shallowness is that extremists never listen to people who hold different views (and I can personally testify to that), never accept any dialogue with them or imagine that their own views could be tested in the light of others, and may thereby be either accepted or rejected. Most of them have not been taught by reliable Muslim ulama who are specialised in the field. Rather, they have received semi-knowledge directly from books and newspapers without any opportunity for revision or discussion which could test the learner's understanding and analyze the depth of his knowledge. They simply read, 'understand', then deduce what they wish. However, their reading, understanding, and deduction may well be wrong or deficient. There might be someone somewhere who opposes their opinions on stronger and more valid bases, but they are not aware of that because nobody has drawn their attention to such a possibility. These devout young people have ignored the facts that if they want to study al Shari'ah, they must seek the help of reliable Muslim scholars. They cannot venture into this extensive and entangled discipline without the guidance of reliable Muslim scholars who can interpret and explain obscurities, define terms, and point out the relationships between the parts and the whole and also equate similarities. Those who venture into it alone will meet with the same catastrophic results which could certainly befall the unskilled swimmer who ventures into dangerous waters. Proper knowledge of al Shari'ah cannot be perfected without practice and close contact with the experts, especially in those areas where opinions diverge, evidences seem to contradict each other, and certain matters seem to be under suspicion. This is why our venerable 'ulama' have warned us not to seek to study and understand al Qur'an al Karim through a person who has only memorized it without any knowledge of its contents, nor to seek knowledge through a person who has acquired his own "knowledge" from reading newspapers and journals only, without being properly instructed by reputable and qualified scholars."
topic began with a brief discussion on Taqleed and I would like
to finish with the following two questions for you to
ponder over. (A) Would it not be classified as being Taqleed if one were
to accept the classifications of Hadiths, exegesis
of the Qur'an etc; by a renowned Islamic scholar, if
one was not to go back to the original sources which are used to
authenticate the Hadith and so on? (For example, if
a scholar claimed that a Hadith found in the Sunan of
Imam Abu Dawood was Sahih and you accepted it as being Sahih - since
you trust him, then are you not practising Taqleed; if you, yourself
do not go back to the original sources used to classify the Hadith in
question, since sometimes a Hadith classified
to be Sahih by one scholar can be classified as being Da'eef
by another!). (B) Is it not true that those who are calling
for the abandonment of Taqleed, are calling for the Taqleed
of their own books and speeches; hence creating their own