This series called Breaking the Chains is an attempt to appeal those who have respect and love for Da’wah As Salafeeyah to adhere to its noble principles. May Allah bring benefit through it.
Principle Number 1: The importance of returning to the ‘Ulama.
Without doubt referring to the scholars in issues that are not clear in the Qur’an, Sunnah and Ijma’ (consensus) is obligatory. They are the inheritors of the Prophet, the leaders of this Da‘wah and a point of return for the Ummah. Allah has said:
“And when a matter of safety or fear comes to them they spread it. And if they were to return it to the Messenger and the people of authority (the scholars and the rulers) they would know who would be able to extract the matter…” [4:83]
Shaikh Saalih As Suhaimi said regarding the aforementioned verse:
“Verily the scholars are the signposts of guidance and the lamps in the darkness. Whoever deviates from their way and doesn’t return to them regarding the contentious matters of the Ummah will be astray and lead others astray.” [Tanbeeh Thawil Afhaam:34]
Imam Muqbil Ibn Haadi Al Waadi’ee said regarding the remedy for problems between the Salafis:
“And from it (the remedies) is to return to the people of knowledge from Ahlus Sunnah. Allah has said: “Ask the people of knowledge if you don’t know.” [16:43] But some students of knowledge are pleased with what they have from knowledge and argue with everyone who opposes them. And this is from the reasons of separation and differences…” [Naseehati Li Ahlis Sunnah: 11-12]
Unfortunately, there are those who pontificate that the “senior brothers” are to be adhered to based upon their interpretation of the statement of a scholar.. The following statement was said by one of their followers:
“The Salafi scholars recognise our brothers at Maktaba Salafeeyah to be the seniors and representatives of the Dawa in the west. It is upon the Salafi youth to adhere to these senior brothers…”
Indeed some scholars do recognize them based upon their perceptions. However, there are four matters surrounding this issue:
- Seniority is primarily based upon knowledge. Imam Al Khateeb Al Baghdaadi said:
“The people will remain upon good once their scholars are elderly and once they are not young. Because the enjoyment, hastiness and foolishness of youth has left him…” [Sharf Ashaabul Hadeeth Wa Naseehatu Ashaabil Hadeeth: 243]
Note: However, this doesn’t mean that one can’t take from those who are younger as some of the scholars such as Ibn ‘Abbas, Mu’aadh Ibn Jabal, Imam Malik, Imam Bukhari and Shaikh Ul Islam Ibn Taymeeyah were barely beyond their teenage years when they began to teach, give rulings and da’wah.
Unfortunately, the seniority of these individuals in the Da’wah is based upon age rather than sound knowledge. It must be known that knowledge of the religion is the main criteria for entrance into the field of Da’wah. Therefore, being elderly in the Da’wah while lacking firm knowledge based upon principles and evidence doesn’t benefit. For this reason one may observe that such individuals violate some of the fundamentals of ‘Aqeedah and the methodology of the Salaf while perceiving that they are upon guidance.
- It is incomprehensible to perceive that what Shaikh Hasan Ibn ‘Abdul Wahhab Al Banna (who is one from many scholars) meant by this and other statements was to bestow unrestricted leadership of the Salafi Da’wah in the West to Salafi Publications. In other words, some are interpreting the Shaikh’s speech to mean that they have been given the green light to disparage, appraise, approve and disapprove of individuals with full unrestricted authority. Without doubt such an interpretation is indeed farfetched.
- As aforementioned, returning to scholarly guidance is from the principles of Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jama’ah. Therefore they are the ones who are adhered to because placing such immense responsibility in the hands of other than the people of knowledge would lead to immense catastrophe.
The phrase “Salafi scholars” is used in an unrestricted fashion when in this case (if we were to follow their line of reasoning in point number two) it was Shaikh Hassan Al Banna who said such. Therefore, this is not something known to the Lajnah Ad Daaimah who include the Grand Mufti and Shaikh Fawzaan. Likewise, most of the scholars of Makkah, Madeenah and Riyadh are not privy to this declaration. Hence in lieu of the phrase “Salafi Scholars” the name Shaikh Hassan Al Banna should be inserted.
To conclude, the Salafi adheres to the Qur’an, the Sunnah, the understanding of the Salaf and the scholars of this era who are the leaders of Da’wah As Salafeeyah. As for adhering to the du’aat (callers), preachers, students of knowledge and translators this is absolutely inappropriate when dealing with major affairs such as Takfeer (calling a person a Kaafir), Tabdee’ (calling a person an innovator) and Tafseeq (calling an individual a sinner). Shaikh Saalih Al Fawzan said:
“And from here it is obligatory for those who take these names [Tabdee’, Tafseeq and Takfeer] and they don’t understand them to learn before they speak. And to fear Allah because speaking without knowledge, especially in these matters, is a great evil. And it is also from speaking about Allah without knowledge which is greater than Shirk...” [Majmoo’ah Rasail Da’weeyah Wa Manhajeeyah: 148]
To be continued…