Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Pledge of Mutual Respect and Co-Operation: Sunnis and Salafis

Below is a short response to the abovementioned pledge as well as a discussion of the term 'Sunni' and its validity, posted on, subject to approval!

Assalaam alaykum,

The term 'Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jama'ah' was used by the First Three Generations. See the first page of Imam at-Tahawi's creed text: 'This is an explanation of the creed of Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jama'ah...' The Messenger of Allah, salla Allahu alaihi wa sallam, said in a Sahih hadith, narrated by both Al-Bukhari and Muslim: 'The best generation is my generation, then those who come next, then those who come next.' If the best generations had no problem calling themselves Ahl us-Sunnah, i.e. Sunnis, then I don't see why those who adhere to doctrine and practice of the First Three generations, which is the Four Madhabs and the creedal disciplines of Imams Ahmad, Abu Hasan Al-Ash'ari and Abu Mansur Al-Maturidi, should shy away from calling themselves 'Sunnis'. It means to adhere to nothing other than the Sunnah of our Beloved Messenger and the way of the First Three Generations.

As for the Salafi movement, no pledge or signed document will change what the Imams of Ahl us-
Sunnah said about Muhammad ibn Abdul-Wahhab and his movement, including those who were contemporary to him and the generations just after, which is that Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhab is an apostate and a false prophet and his movement is the revival of the Khawarij in our age. These Imams include, amongst others:

-Imam Sulayman ibn Abdul Wahhab (Hanbali Qadi, see his book As-Sawaiq Al-Ilahiyya)
- Imam Mustafa Ash-Shatti (Hanbali, see his book An-Nuqul Ash-Sha'riyyah, translated as The Divine Texts and available from
- Imam Alawi Al-Haddad (Shafi'i, see his book Misbah Al-Anaam)
- Imam Ahmad Dardir (Maliki)
- Imam As-Sawi (Maliki)
- Imam Ibn Abdideen (Hanafi)

Insha'Allah the writings of many of these authors on this topic will be available in English soon, and with Allah alone is every success!

Assalaam alaykum,


P.S. I would like to further add that this is not a personal attack on any individual, but the objective, rather, is to discuss the facts of revelation and the facts of history. The Day of Judgement is real, and within Islam there is the true Orthodox faith and there are counterfeits. I desire to see all Muslims die on the truth and not any form of counterfeit Islam, and Salafiyyah is a very serious counterfeit.

p.p.s I've deleted most of the comments on this post, as of 14 May, and left that which is most beneficial. The discussion on iman and salvation is a response to a question that a brother posted.


Mahdi Lock said...

Jazakum Allah khairah for an excellent question. This actually brings us to a discussion on the subject of Iman increasing and decreasing. I'll break this down into points:

1) Iman is actually of two types: salvational and devotional. The evidence is Surah Al-Fath 48:4, where Allah says: 'He is the One Who places sakeenah in the hearts of the mu'minum to increase them in iman with their iman.' Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, says that the first iman mentioned is certainty, confirmation and knowledge (and this increases and decreases) while the second iman is iman in Allah and His Messenger, which doesn't increase or decrease but rather one has it, and they're a believer, or they don't, and they're a kafir.

2) The terms Mu'mim and Muslim, like the term Iman and Islam, mean the same thing when they are not found togther in the same verse or hadith. When they are found together they mean different things. For example, in Surah Al-Baqarah 2:183, Allah says: 'O you who have faith (aamanu), Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you.' Here, Mu'minum is the same as Muslimum,those who believe in Allah and His Messenger, as we've all been commanded to fast and no-one could excuse themselves from fasting by saying that their iman wasn't high enough, or deficient in some way. The other verses are Surah Nur 24:62 and Surah Al-Hujuraat 49:15, where Allah says: 'The Mumimun are only those who believe in Allah and His Messenger.'As for Iman and Islam referring to different things when found together, an example would be the incident with the Desert Arabs that you mentioned above, which is in Surah Al-Hujurat 49:14. Imam an-Nawawi, may Allah have mercy on him, also quotes that verse when commenting on the Jibril Hadith in his sharh of the Arba'in An-Nawawiyyah. In the verse (49:14) and the Jibril hadith Islam is the five pillars and Iman is the six articles of faith. The point about the desert Arabs is that they had said the Shahada and were performing the other pillars but they did not yet have faith in Allah, His Angels, His Books His Messenger, The Last Day and the Divine Decree, so in essence they were hypocrites, as Ibn Abbas points out in his tafsir.

Indeed, you will hear some brothers say: 'I am a Mu'min insha'Allah'. This is referring to devotional faith, as the brother is not doubting his faith in Allah and His Messenger but rather he is expressing a desire to have higher devotional iman, i.e. more dedication to perform righteous acts and so forth. Other brothers, such as myself, will say: 'I am a Mu'min', and all we mean is that we believe in Allah and His Messenger (i.e. we're Muslims), as stated in 24:62 and 49:15 and therefore we are amongst those whom Allah has commanded to fast.

I hope that makes sense! For a much better discussion on the matter I would recommend reading Imam an-Nawawi's introduction to the Book of Iman in his Sharh of Sahih Muslim, and with Allah alone is every success!

Assalaam alaykum,

Mahdi Lock said...

Surah Tawbah 9:72: 'Allah has promised the believing men and women (mu'mimun and mu'minat) the Paradise.' So yes, salvation is promised to those who believe in Allah and His Messenger.