The heads of the Mu’tazilah (Isolationists) are Waasil bin ‘Ataa and Amr bin Ubayd . They were called as such because Waasil bin ‘Ataa deserted the gathering of al-Hasan al-Basree whose lessons he used to attend.
Whilst the Jahmiyyah denied names, attributes and actions for Allaah, the mutazilah affirmed names for Allaah (on the surface only) but denied that He has attributes (Sifaat) and actions (af’aal) which are tied to His will. Their later heads such as Abu al-Hudhayl al-Allaaf (d. 235H) also developed and refined al-Jahm bin Safwaan’s rational proof, and incorporated other elements into it, such as the Atomism (al-jawhar al-fard) found amongst the Greeks and Indians.
This proof allowed them (the Mutakallimoon in general) to argue, without resorting to any revealed text, for the createdness of the universe, and thereby a Creator, and then through that, the plausibility of prophet hood, and resurrection. This is because those atheist philosophers did not accept revelation to begin with, so these Mutakallimoon tried to convince them using rational methods, employing the language, terminology and classification of the atheist philosophers themselves (in particular, that of Aristotle).
But their proof was a corrupt one that in reality proved the opposite of what they intended, and as a result of this – in order to save their proof and remain consistent in the face of the Philosophers who took the opportunity to pound them through this route, they were forced to:
The Mu’tazilah entered the notion of reason being superior to revelation and gave it prominence, and it was one of their hallmarks. They also invented the term “Hashawiyyah” (worthless ones) which they used to denigrate the People of the Sunnah, who remained steadfast upon the Straight Path and guided themselves by the Prophetic traditions.
From their later figureheads were the likes of Bishr al-Mareesee (d. 218H) and Ibn Abee Du’aad (d. 240H) who were instrumental in stirring the rulers of the time against the People of the Sunnah on the issue of the creation of the Qur’an, and in particular against Imaam Ahmad bin Hanbal (d. 241H) who was imprisoned and beaten for not agreeing to their doctrine of disbelief that the Qur’an we have is something created. There were many other prominent Scholars who were executed for not succumbing to these heretics and their intellectual terrorism, just as there were many who were forced outwardly to agree, out of fear for their lives.
Just as the Saamiree was to Banee Israa’eel, when he took all of their gold from them, melted it all, and made a calf which they worshipped – and thus he brought together all the idols and gods they used to worship whilst in Egypt, and merged all those falsehoods into one, the calf – then such is al-Jahm bin Safwaan (ex. 128H) to this Ummah, for he gathered together all the greatest falsehoods and doctrines of disbelief, combined them all together and spread this filth within the Ummah.
Whilst the label Jahmiyyah is taken after al-Jahm, al-Jahm himself, in speaking about Allaah, took from al-Ja’d bin Dirham (ex. 124H) whose sources in turn were from Jews and Sabean Philosophers. He also took the doctrines of the Murji’ah and in trying to refute the Qadariyyah, he innovated the doctrine of the Jabariyyah. And he was the first to devise a crude form of the rational proof (hudooth ul-ajsaam) – during his arguments with the Indian Materialist Philosophers, the Sumaniyah – that all the later Mutakallimeen would use and make as the base and foundation of their religion and speaking about Allaah in particular.
Their Deviations are :
For all of these doctrines, the Scholars and Imaams of the Muslims who wrote about al-Jahm after his demise, declared al-Jahm to be a kaafir (disbeliever) and he was executed in 128H by the ameer of Khurasaan, Salam al-Ahwaz, and his teacher al-Ja’d was also executed four years earlier in 124H.
This innovation occurred just prior to the end of the first century hijrah, and there is some difference as to who the originator was, with the names presented such asDharr bin Abdullaah al-Hamdaanee, Qays al-Maasir and Hammaad bin Abi Sulaymaan – they all lived in the same era and in the same locality, al-Kufah in Iraq, so it is certain that the idea origination in a certain location. This irjaa’ was that of the Jurists (Fuquhaa) and which manifested in the Hanafis. Al-Jahm bin Safwaan(see the section on the Jahmiyyah below) also propounded irjaa’ and his was an extreme form that was passed on through the factions of the Mutakallimoon.
irjaa’ is to expel actions from the reality of faith (Eemaan) and to restrict faith to being only what is in the heart, or what is upon the tongue, or only in the heart and tongue. And thus, all the legislated actions, be the obligatory or recommended, are considered external to the essence and reality of Eemaan (faith).
A consequence of this belief is that Eemaan therefore is really only a single thing that is indivisible, that all the believers are equal with respect to it, and thus there is no variation in the faith of the believers and that faith does not increase or decrease. Thus, the sinful, wicked person is considered to be a believer with complete faith, similar to the pious righteous one, and as such, alongside Eemaan(in the heart), no sins can damage, harm, diminish or invalidate that Eemaan. This doctrine is the opposite of that of the Khawaarij who claim that the commission of a major sin completely nullifies a persons faith entirely, and renders him a disbeliever.
The Murji’ah are of different groups and levels, and they are as follows:
It is no wonder that the Salaf considered this to be of the most vile, evil and harmful of innovations to the Ummah, in that it erodes and destroys their Eemaan and thus their connection to Allaah, their worship of Him and obedience to Him, and therefore it directly impacts their success in this life and the next. For this reason, there is severe speech in the words of the Righteous Salaf against this innnovation. Ibn Battah in his al-Ibaanah brings from az-Zuhree (d. 124H), his saying:
‘’No innovation has been innovted into Islaam more harmful to its adherents than this – meaning al-Irjaa’.
And he also brings the saying of al-Awzaa’ee (d. 157H)
‘’Al-Awzaa’ee said: Yahyaa and Qataadah used to say: There is not a [saying] of the people of desires (i.e. deviation, misguidance) anything more harmful to the Ummah, in their view, than that of al-Irjaa’ (expelling actions from eemaan).
This irjaa’ mindset is unfortunately rampant in the Ummah today and you recognize it straight away when you hear people saying – when being admonished to enter into Allaah’s obedience – “faith is in the heart“, “my heart is pure“, “it’s all what is in the heart“, “modesty is in the heart” and other similar statements.
This aqidah of expelling actions from the reality of Eemaan (faith) is also the standard doctrine of the Ash’arites who teach this in all their institutions and schools. And it is also found in the books of so called 20th century reformers who come from Ash’arite backgrounds, such as Taqi ud-Din an-Nabahani, the founder of Hizb ut-Tahrir, who brought together a number of the major innovations in his works. These activists belittle, if not pay lip-service to the role of righteous actions and moral qualities in the rectification and formation of Muslim societies as a matter of principle, and focus purely on political work aimed at ideological and physical revolutions, because they believe it is systems of law imposed from top-down that produce the moral qualities and characteristics, and true change in societies. This is a secularist materialist understanding of how societies are formed, rise and decline, it is not a Sharee’ah understanding.
The point being here that many of these so-called reformative movements are plagued with the concepts of the major innovations in their thoughts and ideologies and methodologies. This is why having an absolutely solid grounding in aqidah is essential, especially in the modern era, where every Abdullah, Zaid and Nasreencomes out in the name of giving da’wah whilst being wholly ignorant of the aqidah of the Companions and the Righteous Salaf and where there are a plethora of so called “brotherhoods” and “liberation parties” competing for the hearts and minds of ordinary Muslims using propaganda and employing emotional sentimental issues (of a social, economical and political nature) rather than solid, firmly-grounded knowledge (of aqidah, tawhid) from its authentic sources, which in turn gives the correct, sound, authentic perception and evaluation of all things, events and occurrences, and which is the true basis of unity and rectification.
The Second Century After Hijrah and the Heads of Innovation
In the first century after hijrah we saw four main innovatory concepts and beliefs emerge, these were orientations in relation to specific topics. In the next century (after 100H), there appeared figureheads who took some of these innovations, and added their own innovations, and then further sects appeared as a result. They began to speak on a wider range of issues and topics related to the Islamic aqidah, and these doctrines became formalized into distinct schools of thought that began to debate and refute each other. These groups tried to refute innovation with another innovation and did not adhere steadfastly to the Book and the Sunnah upon the way of the Companions. Most of them employed the intellect as the definitive source of knowledge and made it to be decisive in the affairs of the religion, in particular the affairs of aqidah. They were forced into this orientation due to their interaction and debates with atheist philosophers schooled in Greek Philosophy and Indian Materialist Philosophy, and not being properly grounded in the Islamic aqidah and the revealed texts, and not holding fast to the way of theCompanions and their followers, they started operating upon corrupt underlying premises (along with the associated terminology) without which they could not have debated with those Philosophers with a view to defending, as they thought, the Islamic aqidah.
These people became collectively referred to as the Mutakallimoon (the Speculative Theologians), and they were all united upon a corrupt intellectual proof which they wrongly made to be the absolute truth upon which the very veracity of the religion of Islaam depends. This is known as “Hudooth al-Ajsaam” and is used to argue that the universe is created and therefore has a creator. It basically argues by the presence of qualities (Sifaat), incidental attributes (a’raad) and events (hawaadith) within bodies as evidence for the universe being created (which is simply a collection of all such bodies), and thus the presence of a creator. It is a corrupt and flawed proof, and they used it argue against the atheist philosophers. The atheist philosophers saw the flaw in it [that Allaah too must be created because if the universe is not eternal, then there must be a period in which it did not exist and in that period Allah was devoid of the action (fi’l) and speech (kalaam) that brought it about, and thus he must have acquired these attributes and actions, therefore making Him created, upon the same argument of the Mutakallimoon]. And seeing this flaw, they used it to pound Islam and the Muslims. Due to this (corrupt) proof the Mutakallimoon were forced to take a position towards the revealed texts in order not to invalidate it and to maintain their argument against the Philosophers. This was the birth of their denial of the Names, Attributes and Actions and the origins of their “taw’eel” by which they attacked the sanctity of the revealed texts.
The Mujassimah, Mushabbihah (Anthropomorphists)
In the second century, Muqaatil bin Sulaymaan (d. 150H), is said to be the originator of this misguidance, and he used to know al-Jahm bin Safwaan, and debate with him. It is narrated from Abu Haneefah (d. 150H), as occurs in Taareekh Baghdaad (13/164), that he said:
‘’ Two vile views have come to us from the East: Jahm the Mu’attil (negator) and Muqaatil the Mushabbih (resembler).
Thus, whilst the Jahmiyyah denied that Allaah is described with attributes such as hearing, seeing, face and so on, the Mushabbihah claimed Allaah’s attributes are just like ours, thus resembling Him to the creation. These are innovations at two opposite extremes. This faction (the Mushabbihah) were not from the Mutakallimeen (those trying to defend Islam using speculative theology), but they merely exaggerated in affirmation of Allaah’s attributes. It is also important to note that those wrote about Muqaatil in later centuries, did so by relying upon the books of the Mu’tazilah and thus, it is possible that much of what is ascribed to Muqaatil may not be accurate.
Whilst this tajseem and tashbeeh (anthropomorphism) did manifest itself in this period, it was by no means prominent and widespread. The bid’ahs of theJahmiyyah and Mu’tazilah of negating the attributes were much more prominent widespread at this point, and the refutation of the Salaf against the negators (Mu’attilah, i.e. Jahmiyyah and Mu’tazilah) is much much more than their speech regarding the Mushabbihah. However, because Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah, the People of Hadeeth, the People of Truth, affirmed the attributes for Allaah (whilst negating any likeness and resemblance from them) the Jahmiyyah and Mu’tazilahbegan to accuse Ahl us-Sunnah with anthropomorphism, that which Muqaatil bin Sulaymaan and the Mushabbihah were upon.
This was a false accusation and label, and this became their legacy which has been carried on and used to attack Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah to this day. The innovation of the Mushabbihah in the second century would be taken up further by another group called the Karraamiyyah (see below), who were from amongst the Mutakallimeen.
They are named after Abdullaah bin Sa’eed bin Kullaab (d. 240H) and he was the first to affirm something of the attributes of Allaah, in opposition to the Jahmiyyahand the Mu’tazilah. The Jahmiyyah denied Allaah’s Names (asmaa), Attributes (Sifaat) and chosen Actions (al-af’aal al-ikhtiyaariyyah), and the Mu’tazilahaffirmed the Names (on the surface only claiming they are synonymous labels devoid of independent meanings that denote attributes) and denied the Attributes and Actions. So Ibn Kullaab was the first to affirm something of the Attributes. He affirmed the Attributes of Allaah’s essence (dhaat) which are: hayaat (life), ilm(knowledge), iraadah (will), qudrah (power), basr (seeing), sam’ (hearing), kalaam(speech), and in addition to that he also affirmed the attributes such as wajh (face),‘ayn (eyes), yad (hands). However, because Ibn Kullaab could not refute theMu’tazilah on the issue of Allaah’s wilfully chosen actions (al-af’aal al-ikhtiyaariyyah), he denied these attributes, which include Allaah speaking when He wills, becoming angry, pleased, and ascending over His Throne and so on.
And thus denial of the actions of Allaah, with the argument that they would necessitate that Allaah becomes subject to change (and thus becomes like the creation), became the hallmark of the Kullaabi creed – which is to deny what they call events (hawaadith) from Allaah.
Within this context and framework, Ibn Kullaab innovated a new saying on the issue of the Qur’an, he said kalaam (speech) is only the meaning that exists with Allaah’s self, which is indivisible and eternally with Allaah, and as for the Qur’anthat we have with us, it is only a hikaayah (quotation) of that meaning which is present with Allaah eternally. He innovated this view to avoid clashing and contradicting that rational proof of “hudooth al-ajsaam” which was common to all the Mutakallimoon.
For this reason, the likes of Imaam Ahmad were very severe against Ibn Kullaab and those who adopted his views such as al-Haarith al-Muhaasibee – because they were simply rekindling the fitnah of the Jahmiyyah and Mu’tazilah of the Qur’anbeing created after they had been subdued and defeated. Ibn Kullaab also adopted the aqidah of al-Jahm bin Safwan in the topic of al-eemaan (faith), expelling actions from it. This Kullaabi creed was later taken up by Abu al-Hasan al-Ash’ari and it became popularized through the name of al-Ash’ari, even though Ibn Kullaab is its true author.
They are also from the Mutakallimoon who were upon that same rational proof, and they are the followers of Muhammad bin Karraam (d. 255H). Opposing theJahmiyyah, Mu’tazilah and Kullaabiyyah, they tended towards tajseem and tashbeeh (anthropomorphism) and thus they stated Allaah is a body (jism), and that Allaah is in contact (touching) the Throne. For this reason, they were refuted by the Kullaabiyyah and Early Ash’aris (who adopted the Kullaabi creed). The Karraamiyyah also adopted the creed of the Murji’ah which was to expel actions from faith (Eemaan). They claimed faith is merely the expression on the tongue, (which means the hypocrites would be considered believers).
The term “Mujassimah” became synonymous with the term Karraamiyyah in the usage of the Kullaabiyyah and early Ashariyyah who refuted them. However, this label of “Mujassimah” was also applied in falsehood to Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah, the Imams of Hadeeth, the People of Truth because they affirmed the attributes of Allaah, and Allaah being above the Throne (but not with the exaggeration and excesses of the Karraamiyyah).
This was simply a replay of what happened in the century earlier, when the Mu’tazilah accused Ahl us-Sunnah with the tajseem and tashbeeh of Muqaatil bin Sulaymaan, who had gone to the other extreme of the negation and denial of theJahmiyyah and Mu’tazilah.
The Esoteric (Baatinee) Movements
Within this period as well, from the end of the third century hijrah (around 300H onwards), the Esoteric (Baatiniyy) movements appeared and these were the foundations of the heretical mystical Shi’ites and Sufis mixed with philosophy, that brough much repugnance, filth and permissiveness over the centuries to follow. All of these people believed that there are higher truths beyond religion, which is only a veil for the common people, and thus they denigrated the notions of revelation and prophet hood, as did the Philosophers.
They are name after Abu al-Hasan al-Ash’ari (d. 324H) and he was brought up in the house of one of the prominent Mu’tazilah, Abu Ali al-Jubaa’ee. He remained a Mu’tazili for forty years of his life, after which he abandoned them due to a dispute regarding a particular theological matter. After he abandoned the Mu’tazilah he adopted the creed of Ibn Kullaab, and thereafter, the Kullaabi creed became popularized through the name of Abu al-Hasan al-Ash’ari. However, the original Kullaabi creed was only adhered to by the Early Ash’aris and their contemporaries, such as al-Ash’ari himself, Abu al-Abbaas al-Qalaanisee, Ibn Mahdee at-Tabaree(d. 380H), Abu Bakr al-Baqillaani (d. 403H), al-Bayhaqee (d. 458H). The later Ash’aris starting mainly from al-Juwaynee (d. 478H), al-Ghazali (d. 505H), ar-Raazee (d. 606H) hybridized that early Kullaabee creed with some of the usool of the Mu’tazilah and Jahmiyyah, and took it into a different direction. This is what all Ash’aris today are upon.
Whilst the early Kullaabi Ash’aris only had a problem with the wilfully chosen actions (al-af’aal al-ikhtiyaariyyah) and could not reconcile them with their rational proof of “hudooth al-ajsaam“, the later Ash’aris rejected the aspects of the Kullaabi creed that the Early Ash’aris corroborated and defended, such as affirming some of the attributes of Allaah’s essence (face, hands, eyes) and affirming Allaah Himself, with His essence, is above the Throne, above the heaven.
The Ash’aris, therefore were upon the following:
The polemics of the later Ash’aris turned out as nothing but contradictions, inconsistencies and mostly plays with words and definitions with a view to trying to obfuscate the reality of their views which are nothing but the leaves that cover the twigs emanating from the branches of the Jahmiyyah and Mu’tazilah. You can read more about them at Asharis.Com, and in particular this article.
The scholars have defined the term Ḥizbīyah in numerous ways. However, I would like to quote the explanation of our beloved Shaykh Muḥammad b. Ṣāliḥ al-‘Uthaymīn RA which I believe is the best description and most relevant to the background of this article. The noble Shaykh states in his famous book, Kitāb al-‘Ilm, which I happened to partially translate as well – with the blessing of Allāh:
“It is an obligation for every student of religious studies to liberate himself from any kind of factionalism (Ḥizbīyah or Ṭā’ifīyah) in terms of dedicating loyalty to all those who are associated with that specific group and to disassociate with all those who do not (i.e. Al-Walā’ wa al-Barā’). It is undoubtedly against the Manhaj (methodology) of Salaf (righteous predecessors) because the Salaf were never divided into groups rather they associated themselves to only one group i.e. Muslimūn Therefore, there is no room for Ḥizbīyah or having associations or disassociation with each other, except that which is done so according to the directives of Qur’ān and Sunnah.
For example, there are people who associate themselves to a particular group; then they affirm or propagate that group’s methodology and seek to prove from the evidence that which is against their own selves and in favor of others; and they attempt to call others deviants even if the others are closer to Ḥaqq (truth) than their own selves. And they bear the slogan: ‘If you are not with me, then you are against me,’ which is a foul standard as there is an undeniable state in between ‘being with me’ and ‘being against me’. For an instance, if he is against you for a valid reason, then in fact he is with you and aiding you as the Messenger of Allāh SAW said:
“Help your brother whether he is an oppressor or an oppressed,” A man said, “O Allāh’s Messenger (ﷺ)! I will help him if he is oppressed, but if he is an oppressor, how shall I help him?” The Prophet (ﷺ) said, “By preventing him from oppressing (others), for that is how to help him.’’
Therefore, (even in the course of disagreement, it is forbidden to be divided into factions because) Islām has no room for factionalism (Ḥizbīyah). Thus, when factionalism appeared among Muslims, their methods diverged and they became divided into different sects. Moreover, they began to eat each other’s flesh and as a result, they turned coward and began to fizzle out. To this, Qur’ān comments: “And do not dispute and [thus] lose courage and [then] your strength would depart; and be patient. Indeed, Allah is with the patient.” 
Similarly, we find some students of knowledge who associate themselves to a particular Shaykh (teacher) and tends to defend him in all matters, whether right or wrong and become hostile to all others and prove them as deviants or innovators and consider only their Shaykh to be on truth (Ḥaqq) and believe that only he posses the right knowledge, while all others are either ignorant or corrupt. This is a big mistake. Therefore, it is important to take the statement of ‘whomever’ states according to Qur’ān and the Sunnah of the Prophet SAW.”
Similarly, Shaykh Muqbil al-Wadā‘ī was asked about how to protect youth from falling into the prey of Ḥizbīyah, to which he responded: “By teaching them Al-Walā’ (association) with greater importance. As such youth tend to only respect those who are part of them and bear affection for them and call people solely to the lectures of their associates. And those who are not part of them are considered enemy.” 
They are the followers of Hasan Al-Bannaa. There are several points to be noted about their methodology, the most important of which are the following:
“May Allaah bless the one who upon light in which he appeared
To the worlds, and so he surpassed the sun and the moon
This habeeb (i.e. Muhammad) along with his beloved has gathered
And pardoned everyone in what sins they did in the past.”
They are a people that have read the books of Sayyid Qutb and accepted what is in them from truth and falsehood. So you will find them defending Sayyid Qutb when someone criticizes him, even if the truth is with the one criticizing.
It is well known that Sayyid Qutb was not from the men of religious knowledge. His original status was that he was an author. Then he adopted the beliefs of the Ash’arees – the belief of ta’weel (misinterpretation of Allaah’s Attributes), as did others among the learned people from Egypt. He has serious and vile errors, which the people of knowledge have refuted and exposed. But when they expose these errors, this results in the rage of the Qutubees befalling them by way of their criticizing, speaking ill and discrediting them. So Allaah is sufficient for us and He is the Best of Guardians.
So the basic principle is that: Men are known by way of the Haqq (truth) and the Haqq is not known by way of men. So it is obligatory on us to accept the truth and to worship Allaah, Lord of all worlds, by it, and to abandon everyone that treads an innovated methodology. And we must place as our role model, the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), his Khulafaa, his Companions, and those who followed them amongst the Imaams of guidance. And Allaah is the One who grants success.
The definition of the people who adhere and ascribe to this methodology:
The Suroorees are a group of people or a sect that ascribe themselves to Muhammad Suroor Zayn-ul-‘Aabideen. They have some aspects of the Sunnah and some aspects of Bid’ah (innovation) in them. The most important characteristics that can be noted from them are:
And our rulers in this land (of Saudi Arabia) are Muslims – all praise be to Allaah. They use Allaah’s Legislation for judging in their court systems and they establish the prescribed punishments (hudood). So declaring them to be disbelievers or talking about them in a manner that leads to revolting and rebelling against them is considered a great form of causing corruption. Due to this, we must warn against those who adhere to this methodology or rid ourselves from them, especially since they have attacked the scholars of this land by reviling them, making slanderous remarks against them and accusing them of betraying the Deen. This matter indicates what they are behind.
They are a people that follow Muhammad Ilyaas, the founder of this Jamaa’ah.
A biography of the founder: Muhammad Ilyaas was born in 1302H. He memorized the Qur’aan and read the Six Collections of Hadeeth.  He was upon the Deobandi methodology, taking the Hanafee madh-hab, the Ash’aree and Matureedee Creed and the Sufi way. They have four Sufi orders amongst them:
Shaikh Muhammad Ilyaas gave the Sufi bay’ah (oath of allegiance) to Shaikh Rasheed Al-Kankoohee, who later became Shaikh Rasheed As-Saharanpuree. Then he renewed it with Shaikh Ahmad As-Saharanpuree who certified him to take oaths of allegiance. Muhammad Ilyaas would sit in detached isolation (khalwah) by the grave of Shaikh Nur Muhammad Al-Badaayunee, in what is known as the Jishtee Muraaqabah (self meditation). And he would go out to the grave of ‘Abdul-Qudoos Al-Kankoohee, the one who forced the ideology of wahdat-ul-wujood  on him. He resided and taught in Delhi and passed away in 1363H.
Circumstances that brought about the start of the movement:
Shaikh Abul-Hasan An-Nadwee saw that Muhammad Ilyaas took refuge in this way of giving Da’wah when the ways of blind-following failed to rectify the people of his region. Shaikh Miyaan Muhammad Aslam quotes one of Ilyaas’ sayings that he received kashf (mystic disclosure) to follow this way through a dream in which he was inspired with a new tafseer (interpretation) of Allaah’s saying: “You were the best nation brought out for mankind, commanding good and forbidding evil and believing in Allaah.” [Surah Aali ‘Imraan: 110] And it was that going out (khurooj) to call people to the way of Allaah cannot be realized by staying in one place based on Allaah’s word “brought out” and that one’s Eemaan increases by going out in this khurooj based on Allaah’s saying: “and believing in Allaah” after having said: “brought out for mankind.”
The following can be noted from what has just been mentioned:
The methodology of the Jamaa’at-ut-Tableegh can be summarized in six issues or six principles or six characteristics:
There is an objective behind each of these six principles or characteristics as well as a virtue to be attained. So for example the objective behind (Laa Ilaaha IllaAllaah) is to: “Eradicate the corrupted yaqeen (Certainty) from the heart while placing the correct and valid yaqeen into the Essence (dhaat) of Allaah.” They really intend the belief of wahdat-ul-wujood with this.
Point to be noted about Jamaa’at-ut-Tableegh:
People who deny the existence of Allaah and claim that ad- Dahr (time) manages and disposes the affairs of the world.
Allaah, The Most High, says concerning them:
And they say: “There is nothing but our life of this world, we die and we live and nothing destroys us except ad-Dahr (time). And they have no knowledge of it: they only conjecture.” [Qur’aan, soorat al-Jaathiyah (45): 24].
The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said:
“Allaah Said, ‘The son of Adam annoys Me for he abuses Ad-Dahr though I am Ad- Dahr (Time); in My Hands are all things, and I cause the revolution of day and night’.”[Agreed upon hadeeth. Saheeh al-Bukhaaree, vol. 6, no.351].
The statement “I am ad-Dahr,” means that Allaah is The One Who manages Time as explained in the hadeeth itself: “In My Hands are all things [including Time].” Allaah is The One who Created everything and who disposes the affairs of everything [including Time]. It is wrong, therefore, to attribute anything to Time.
The Answer: First I would like to comment on your saying that they are intellectual. So, if you mean by the intellect that of contemplation, then yes! They are intellectuals who contemplate and understand; and if you mean by that the maturity of the intellect and its following of the right way in its affairs (Rushd), then they are not intellectuals. That is why Allaah described the Kuffaar as deaf, dumb, and blind, so they have no sense. They are, however, intellectuals–having the intellect of contemplation, through which evidence is established upon them.
In reality when they say that Allaah does not exist they say this out of arrogance, otherwise they know it is impossible that an erected door makes itself exist nor does it make itself stand upright. They know that it is inevitable that such door needed a carpenter or a blacksmith to build. It is also certain that it needed a construction worker to install. Indeed they know the food they eat and the water they drink definitely is in need of someone to produce and that the food is in need of someone to sow its seeds. They also know that it is impossible for anyone from the people to create such seed-produce, nor to make its seed grow to become a standing crop having stems and bearing fruits.
They know all of this, and they know that this is something which humans are incapable of doing. They, however, are being arrogant, and there is no benefit in debating with an arrogant. He will never accept [the truth], no matter what it may be. If you tell him, “This is the sun” and it is right before him, he will not accept. It is a waste of time to argue with people of this kind, and, as stated by some scholars, the way to invite them is to contend with them in fight not in debates.
The Khawaarij (Kharijites) are one of the deviant sects, as is proven by the texts and by scholarly consensus. Al-Bukhaari (6934) and Muslim (1068) narrated that Yusayr ibn ‘Amr said: I said to Sahl ibn Hunayf: Did you hear the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) say anything about the Khawaarij? He said: I heard him say – and he gestured with his hand towards Iraq –: “From there will emerge people who recite the Qur’an, but it will not go past their collarbones. They will pass out of Islam as an arrow passes out of the prey.”
Ibn Maajah (173) narrated that Ibn Abi Awfa said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “The Khawaarij are the dogs of Hell.”
Classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Ibn Maajah.
The Khawaarij are followers of whims and desires and innovation who have deviated from the path of Ahl as-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa‘ah, but we do not describe them as disbelievers because of their innovation, unlike others who follow whims and desires.
An-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
The view of ash-Shaafa‘i and the majority of his fellow scholars is that the Khawaarij are not to be described as disbelievers; this also applies to the Qadariyyah and the majority of the Mu‘tazilah and other groups that follow whims and desires.
End quote from Sharh Muslim, 7/160
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
The Khawaarij who deviated, whom the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) enjoined us to fight, and whom Ameer al-Mu’mineen ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with him), one of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs fought, and whom the leading scholars of Islam among the Sahaabah, Taabi‘een and those who came after them were unanimously agreed upon fighting, were not described as disbelievers by ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib, Sa‘d ibn Abi Waqqaas and others among the Sahaabah; rather they regarded them as Muslims even though they fought them, and ‘Ali did not fight them until they shed blood unlawfully and raided the property of the Muslims; then he fought them in order to ward off their wrongdoing and aggression, not because they were disbelievers. Hence he did not take their womenfolk captive and he did not seize their wealth as booty.
End quote from Majmoo‘ al-Fataawa, 3/282
Ibn ‘Aabideen (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
Even though you may find that some scholars, within the context of debating with the Mu‘tazilah and other groups, use the word kufr (disbelief) when refuting their arguments, what they meant is that their (the Mu‘tazilah’s) arguments would inevitably constitute disbelief, without implying that they themselves were disbelievers, because what may be concluded from a view is not necessarily to be attributed to the one who holds that view.
Moreover, they think that they have shar‘i evidence to support their view, even though they are wrong and are falling into error.
End quote from Haashiyat Ibn ‘Aabideen, 3/46
Shaykh ‘Abd ar-Rahmaan ibn Saalih al-Mahmoud (may Allah preserve him) was asked: Are the Khawaarij kaafirs (disbelievers)?
The scholars differed as to whether they are disbelievers, but the correct view is that they are not to be regarded as disbelievers. ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib (may Allah be pleased with him) was asked about them: Are they disbelievers? He said: They fled from disbelief, but they fell into the innovation of labelling others as disbelievers; we will not fall into the innovation of labelling others as disbelievers and thus label them as such. This is the correct view, in sha Allah, even though their innovations may be described as innovations that constitute kufr.
End quote from Lam‘at al-I‘tiqaad, 7/26
Among their innovations are the following:
We may be forgiven for thinking that the Khawarij are an anachronism; a thing of the past, that have no bearing upon Muslims and today’s world. But we would be terribly wrong! The Khawarij, as we shall soon see, were prophesied as raising their ugly heads throughout time, until the Dajjal appears at their tale end. It is crucial, therefore, that we acquaint ourselves with their traits, attitudes and bent of mind:
Ibn Hajr wrote: ‘The Khawarij, what led them to judge those who opposed them to be disbelievers, making their blood lawful … and engage in fighting and killing Muslims? All this is from the vestiges of those who worship upon ignorance; those whose hearts haven’t been expanded by the light of knowledge. nor do they hold tightly to the firm rope of knowledge.’13 Indeed, more than any other fitnah today, the ummah is beset with takfiri violence, murder and mayhem, wreaked upon it mostly by those ‘young in age and weak in intellect.’
Despite their ostensibly impressive religiosity, which has ensnared many a youth into their misguided, brutal embrace, Ibn Hajr puts things into perspective for us: ‘It was said of them [that they are] “Reciters,” because of their tireless exertion in reciting the Qur’an and [devotion in] worship. Except that they would interpret the Qur’an upon other than its intended meanings, were obstinate, and went to extremes in regards to worldly detachment (zuhd), humility in prayer (khushu‘) and other [such] things.’16
Fewer things are as repugnant as the blind, holier-than-thou absolutism of the newly reformed sinner (as the Khawarij saw themselves to be). In their purer than the pure self-righteousness they declared ‘Ali, Mu‘awiyah, and other sahabah to be unbelievers or kuffar. For they had failed to cross over to their puritanical way of seeing things. In fact, Khariji bigotry has always treated with contempt the true people of knowledge. The mediating voices of the scholars become, for the Khawarij, religious compromise or betrayal. Juristic nuances are seen by them as pharisaic, there to hide the simplicity of passing judgement on others. The Prophet ﷺ said about such murderous misfits: ‘They shall recite the Qur’an thinking it is for them, but it is against them.’20 And that: ‘They would call to the Book of Allah, but would not be from it at all.’21 Such can be the tragedy of those who, not withstanding their religious zeal, are wet behind the ears in terms of age, experience and knowledge.
In contrast to those ‘young in age, weak in intellect,’ the Prophet ﷺ said: al-barakah fi akabirikum – ‘The blessings are with your senior ones.’22 Indeed, cutting-off from the senior scholars in particular, and the people of knowledge and spirituality (ahl al-‘ilmi wa’l-ihsan) in general, is the root causes of how zeal for religious purity is taken over the brink into all-out fanaticism.
Ibn Taymiyyah said:
‘The Khawarij were the first to declare Muslims to be unbelievers due to committing sins. They declared as disbelievers whoever opposed them in their innovation, and made lawful the shedding of blood and the seizing of wealth.’24
More than any other attribute, rahmah – compassion, mercy and clemency – was the defining quality of the Prophet ﷺ. Allah says about His Prophet: We have not sent you but as a mercy to the worlds. [21:107] The Prophet ﷺ once said: ‘I am indeed a merciful gift.’27 That being so, seldom will you find this profound prophetic attribute manifest upon them, save in some limited way. Anger, hostility, resentment and vengeance are more what animate them than mercy, humanity and tolerance. For theirs is the way of political agitation, not reconciliation; of demolishing, not building; of insulting the people of knowledge, not honouring or being guided by them; of “learning” via books, not at the feet of seasoned ‘ulema.
Again, seldom will you find one of them having a daily wird, or set portion, of sending salutations (salawat) upon the Prophet ﷺ, by which the bonds of profound love and attachment to him are cultivated. In fact, veneration (ta‘zim) of the Prophet ﷺ, and that ambition to emulate something of his inward states, are generally conspicuous in them by their absence.
Yet without this deep prophetic attachment, dehumanising the Quranic message and making faith appear utterly repugnant becomes more than a possibility; it becomes a hideous, living reality. What is clear is that those unschooled in ihsan – in the beauty of shari‘ah-rooted spirituality – will only bring ugliness into the world.
Which of the four Madhhabs is most correct?
Allaah has made our worship based on His Book and the Sunnah of His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). The right way is to understand the texts of sharee’ah as they were understood by the Companions of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and their followers among the scholars who are qualified and prominent mujtahids. This includes the imaams whose sincerity, fairness and leadership in religion, knowledge, virtue, goodness and righteousness is a matter of record. The four imaams and founders of the schools of Islamic fiqh (Imaam Abu Haneefah, Imaam Maalik, Imaam al-Shaafa’i and Imaam Ahmad) – may Allaah have mercy on them all – all followed the texts of the Sharee’ah and their efforts were all focused on teaching and spreading sound Islamic knowledge. All of them were on the right path, and all were devoted followers of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). If mistakes happened, then the Sahaabah made mistakes too. The things to be followed in Sharee’ah are those for which evidence (daleel) is established. In some cases, some scholars may not have known of daleel whilst others did, but this does not mean that their knowledge and ability is to be discredited. All of them were seeking to find and propagate the truth. If a person wants to follow one of the Imaams and adopt his madhhab, then he should follow him in matters for which there is clear, sound daleel, for this is what is required in Islam, but he should not develop partisan or sectarian feelings towards anybody. It is not permissible for the Muslim to believe that he has to follow anybody in all that he says except the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).
The person who is suitably qualified can examine what the scholars said and see what is supported by sound daleel. The “rank and file” Muslim who does not know how to examine the evidence and weigh it up should follow a scholar whose religious commitment and knowledge he trusts, and act according to his fatwas. And Allaah knows best.
If the Qur’an is perfect and complete and contains everything needed for the laws and regulations of sharee‘ah, what need is there for the Sunnah?
The enemies of Islam are always keen to cast aspersions upon the religion of Allah, may He be exalted, in various ways and by various means. They spread their specious arguments and misguidance among the ordinary Muslims and they are followed by some of those among the Muslims who are weak in faith and ignorant. If one of these ordinary people were to give the matter a little thought, he would realize that their specious arguments are invalid and their argument is worthless.
One of the easiest ways in which the ordinary Muslim can refute this flimsy specious argument is to ask himself: How many rak’ah do I pray in Zuhr? What is the minimum threshold at which zakaah becomes obligatory? These are two simple questions which no Muslim can do without knowing the answer to, but he will never find the answer to them in the Book of Allah, may He be exalted; rather he will find that Allah, may He be exalted, instructed him to pray and He instructed him to give zakaah, but how can he carry out these commands without looking to the Prophet’s Sunnah? This is impossible. Hence the Qur’an needs the Sunnah more than the Sunnah needs the Qur’an As Imam al-Awzaa‘i (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
The Book needs the Sunnah more than the Sunnah needs the Book.
al-Bahr al-Muheet by az-Zarkashi (6/11); quoted by Ibn al-Muflih al-Hanbali in al-Aadaab ash-Shar‘iyyah (2/307) from the Taabi‘i Makhool.
We think only in the most positive terms of the brother who asked this question, and we think that he asked by way of seeking ways to refute those who say such things and claim to be respecting the Holy Qur’an thereby.
One of the ways in which we may refute those who claim that the Muslims have no need of the noble Sunnah, and that the Holy Qur’an alone is sufficient, is to note that this view is a rejection of the words of Allah, may He be exalted, in His holy Book, in many verses of which He instructed us to accept what the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) brought, to refrain from that which he forbade, to obey him and to accept his rulings. For example, Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And whatsoever the Messenger (Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him)) gives you, take it, and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it) , and fear Allah. Verily, Allah is Severe in punishment”
“Say: “Obey Allah and obey the Messenger, but if you turn away, he (Messenger Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him)) is only responsible for the duty placed on him (i.e. to convey Allah’s Message) and you for that placed on you. If you obey him, you shall be on the right guidance. The Messengers duty is only to convey (the message) in a clear way (i.e. to preach in a plain way)”
“We sent no Messenger, but to be obeyed by Allah’s Leave”
“But no, by your Lord, they can have no Faith, until they make you (O Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him)) judge in all disputes between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept (them) with full submission”
So what should this person do who claims that he is content with the Qur’an and therefore has no need for the Sunnah with regard to these verses? How will he respond to the commands of Allah, may He be exalted, contained in them?
This is in addition to what we said briefly first of all, which is: how can he establish the prayer which Allah, may He be exalted, enjoined upon him in His holy Book? What are the numbers of the prayers? What are the times of the prayers? What are the conditions of them being valid? What invalidates the prayer? And you may ask similar questions about zakaah, fasting, Hajj, and all the other rituals and laws of Islam.
How will he apply the words of Allah, may He be glorified and exalted (interpretation of the meaning): “Cut off the hand of the thief, male or female, as a recompense for that which they committed, a punishment by way of example from Allah. And Allah is All-Powerful, All-Wise” [al-Maa’idah 5:38]? What is the minimum value of wealth that defines theft? From where should the hand be cut off? Is it the right hand or the left hand? What are the conditions to be met with regard to the stolen item? And you may ask similar questions about the hadd punishments for zina (fornication or adultery), slander, li‘aan and so on.
Badr ad-Deen az-Zarkashi (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
Ash-Shaafa‘i said in ar-Risaalah, in a chapter on the obligation of obedience to the Messenger (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him):
Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): “He who obeys the Messenger (Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him)), has indeed obeyed Allah” [an-Nisa’ 4:80]. With regard to every obligation that Allah, may He be exalted, has enjoined in His book, such as Hajj, prayer and zakaah, were it not for the explanation of the Messenger, we would not know how to do it and it would not be possible for us to do any act of worship. Because the Messenger is of such great importance with regard to sharee‘ah, obedience to him is in fact obedience to Allah.
Al-Bahr al-Mheet (6/7, 8)
Similarly, the wise Muslim realises that the one who claims to be venerating the Book of Allah, may He be exalted, is one of those who are most opposed to the Qur’an and one of those who are drifting furthest away from the religion, because he regards the Qur’an alone as sufficient to establish the religion and its rulings, but he inevitably either does not follow what was brought by the Sunnah, so he becomes a disbeliever, or he does do it, therefore he is contradicting himself!
Allah, may He be exalted, sent His Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) with Islam, and this great blessing is not only the Qur’an; rather it is the Qur’an and the Sunnah. When Allah blessed the ummah by perfecting the religion and completing His favour upon them, what was meant was not only the sending down of the Qur’an; rather it was the perfection of the rulings in both the Qur’an and the Sunnah, based on the fact that further verses of the Holy Qur’an were sent down after Allah, may He be exalted, stated that He had blessed His slaves by perfecting the religion and completing His favour.
Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):
“This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion”
Badr ad-Deen az-Zarkashi (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
The words of Allah, may He be exalted: “This day, I have perfected your religion for you” mean: I have perfected the rulings – not the Qur’an – for you, because after that He revealed some verses that did not have anything to do with the rulings.
Al-Manthoor fi’l-Qawaa‘id (1/142)
Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
Allah, may He be glorified, explained on the lips of His Messenger, in His words and the words of His Messenger, everything that He enjoined and everything that He forbade, everything that He permitted and everything that He prohibited, and everything that He pardoned. Thus His religion is perfect, as Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):
“This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favour upon you”
I‘laam al-Muwaqqi‘een (1/250)
The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) stated that the Sunnah that he brought is like the Qur’an in that it is from Allah, may He be exalted, in that it constitutes proof, and in that it is binding upon people; and he warned against being content only with what is in the Qur’an in following what it enjoins and refraining from what it forbids. He gave an example of something that is proven to be haraam according to the Sunnah but is not mentioned in the Qur’an; in fact in the Qur’an there is a suggestion that it may be permissible. All of that appears in a single saheeh hadith.
It was narrated from al-Miqdaam ibn Ma‘di Karib from the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) that he said: “Verily, I have been given the Book and something like it with it, but soon a man will be lying replete on his couch and he will say: You should adhere to this Qur’an. Whatever you find is permitted in it, take it as permissible, and whatever you find forbidden in it, take it as forbidden. Verily, the (meat of) tame donkeys is not permissible to you, nor is (the meat of) every animal that has fangs.”
Narrated by Abu Dawood (4604); classed as saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood.
This is what the Sahaabah (may Allah be pleased with them) understood from the religion of Allah, may He be exalted:
It was narrated that ‘Abdullah said: May Allah curse those who do tattoos and those who have tattoos done, those who pluck theirs eyebrows, and those who file teeth for the purpose of beautification, changing the creation of Allah. News of that reached a woman of Banu Asad who was called Umm Ya‘qoob, and she came to him and said: I have heard that you cursed such and such, and such and such. He said: Why should I not curse those whom the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) cursed, and those who are cursed in the Book of Allah? The woman said: I have read the Mus-haf from cover to cover and I did not find in it what you say. He said: If you had read it you would have found it. Have you not read the verse: ‘And whatsoever the Messenger (Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him)) gives you, take it; and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it)’ [al-Hashr 59:7]? She said: Yes. He said: And he did indeed forbid that. She said: I think your family do that. He said: Go and look. So she went and looked, and she did not see anything of what she expected to see. He said: If that were the case, she would not live with us.
Narrated by al-Bukhaari (4604) and Muslim (2125)
This is what the Taabi‘een and the leading scholars of Islam understood about the religion of Allah, may He be exalted, and they did not know anything else: which is that there is no difference between the Qur’an and Sunnah with regard to quoting evidence and constituting binding proof, and that the Sunnah explains and clarifies what is in the Qur’an.
Al-Awzaa‘i said, narrating from Hassaan ibn ‘Atiyyah: Jibreel used to come down to the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), and the Sunnah explains the Qur’an.
Ayyoob as-Sakhtiyaani said: If a man is told about the Sunnah and he says, “Forget about that and tell us about the Qur’an,” then you should know that he is misguided and is trying to mislead others.
Al-Awzaa‘i said: Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): “He who obeys the Messenger (Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him)), has indeed obeyed Allah” [an-Nisa’ 4:80] and “And whatsoever the Messenger (Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him)) gives you, take it” 
Al-Awzaa‘i said: al-Qaasim ibn Mukhaymirah said: Whatever was haraam at the time when the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) died is haraam until the Day of Resurrection, and whatever was halaal at the time when he died is halaal until the Day of Resurrection.
See: al-Aadaab ash-Shar‘iyyah (2/307)
Badr ad-Deen az-Zarkashi (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
Al-Haafiz ad-Daarimi said: He (the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him)) said: “I have been given the Qur’an and I have been given something (else) like it.” There are some hadiths that speak of matters of which the Qur’an did not say anything but they can only be in accordance with what Allah willed, such as the prohibition on the flesh of tame donkeys and every wild animal that has fangs, which are not mentioned in the Book.
With regard to the hadith that was narrated via Thawbaan, which speaks of the command to check hadiths against the Qur’an, ash-Shaafa‘i said in ar-Risaalah:
It was not narrated by anyone whose hadith was proven to be sound with regard to any matter, minor or major. The imam (leading scholar) of hadith, Yahya ibn Mu‘een, stated that it is mawdoo‘ (fabricated). It was also classed as having been fabricated by the heretics. Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr said in Jaami‘ Bayaan al-‘Ilm: ‘Abd ar-Rahmaan ibn Mahdi said: The heretics and the Khaarijis fabricated the hadith “Whatever comes to you from me, check it against the Book of Allah; if it is in accordance with the Book of Allah, then I said it, but if it goes against it, then I did not say it.” Al-Haafiz said: This is not saheeh. But some people agreed to check that hadith against the Book of Allah, and said: We checked it against the Book of Allah and found it to be contrary to the Book, because we did not find anything in it to say that no hadith should be accepted except that which is in harmony with the Book; rather we found in it the command to obey him, and the warning against going against his commands is in itself a ruling. End quote.
Ibn Hibbaan said in his Saheeh concerning the words of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), “Convey from me, even if it is one verse”: This indicates that the Sunnah may also be described as “verses”.
The scholars have mentioned several ways in which the Sunnah explains the Qur’an. For example, it is in accordance with what is in the Qur’an; it restricts what is mentioned in broad terms, specifies what is mentioned in general terms, expands upon what is mentioned in brief, abrogates some rulings, and introduces some new rulings. Some scholars summed that up in three points.
Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
What every Muslim must believe is that there is nothing in the saheeh Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), not even a single Sunnah, that is contrary to the Book of Allah. Rather the Sunnah, in relation to the Book of Allah, falls into three categories:
It is not permissible to deny any of these three categories, and there is no fourth category of the Sunnah in relation to the Book of Allah.
Imam Ahmad objected to those who said that “The Sunnah may overrule the Book” and he said: Rather the Sunnah explains and clarifies the Book.
What Allah and His Messenger testify to is that there is no single saheeh report from the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) that contradicts the Book of Allah or goes against it at all. How could that be, when the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) is the one who explains the Book of Allah, it was revealed to him, Allah guided him by means of it, he was enjoined to follow it and he is the most knowledgeable of all people about its interpretation and meanings?!
If it were permissible to reject a Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) on the basis of what a person understands of the apparent meanings of the Qur’an, then most of the hadiths would be rejected and the Sunnah would be abolished completely.
There is no one who is presented with proof from the saheeh hadiths that is contrary to the view of his madhhab or sect, but he is able to cling to the general meaning or broad meaning of a verse, and he says: This report from the Sunnah is contrary to this general meaning or broad meaning, therefore it is not to be accepted.
Even the Raafidis follow this exact approach in rejecting proven and mutawaatir hadiths. Thus they reject the words of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), “We (Prophets) are not to be inherited from; what we leave behind is charity”, and they say: This hadith is contrary to the Book of Allah, because Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): “Allah commands you as regards your children’s (inheritance); to the male, a portion equal to that of two females”
The Jahamis rejected many saheeh hadiths that affirm the divine attributes, based on the apparent meaning of the verse (interpretation of the meaning): “There is nothing like unto Him”
The Khaarijis rejected the hadiths that speak of intercession, and the emergence from Hell of those among the monotheists who committed major sins, based on their understanding of the apparent meaning of the Qur’an.
The Jahamis rejected the hadiths that speak of seeing Allah in the Hereafter, even though there are so many saheeh hadiths to that effect, on the basis of their understanding of the apparent meaning of the verse in which Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): “No vision can grasp Him”
The Qadaris rejected the proven hadiths that speak of the divine decree, based on their understanding of the apparent meaning of the Qur’an.
Each sect rejected what it rejected of the Sunnah on the basis of their understanding of the apparent meaning of the Qur’an.
So either we should reject all of these reports of the Sunnah, or we should accept all of them and not reject any of them on the basis of what may be understood from the apparent meaning of the Qur’an. But rejecting some of them and accepting others on the basis of this argument is an obvious contradiction.
There is no one who rejects a hadith on the basis of his understanding of the apparent meaning of the Qur’an but he accepts many times more than that.
Imam Ahmad, ash-Shaafa‘i and others denounced those who rejected the hadiths that speak of the prohibition on all wild animals that have fangs, on the basis of the apparent meaning of the verse in which Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): “Say (O Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him)): “I find not in that which has been inspired to me anything forbidden to be eaten…”
The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) denounced those who merely reject his Sunnah that is not mentioned in the Qur’an, even though they did not claim that it was contrary to the Qur’an. So how about one who claims that his Sunnah is contrary to the Qur’an and opposed to it?
At-Turuq al-Hukamiyyah (65-67)
Shaykh al-Albaani (may Allah have mercy on him) wrote an essay entitled Manzilat as-Sunnah fi’l-Islam wa Bayaan annahu la yustaghna ‘anha bi’l-Qur’an (The status of the Sunnah in Islam, and that we cannot do without it and rely only on the Qur’an), in which he said:
You all know that Allah, may He be blessed and exalted, chose Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) to be His Prophet and He selected him to convey His message. So He sent down to him His Book, the Holy Qur’an, in which – among other things – He instructed him to explain it to people. Allah, may He be exalted, said (interpretation of the meaning): “And We have also sent down unto you (O Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him)) the reminder and the advice (the Quran), that you may explain clearly to men what is sent down to them” [an-Nahl 16:44]. What I think is that the explanation referred to in this verse include two types of explanation:
Conveying the words verbatim, which is conveying the Qur’an and not concealing it. This means delivering it to the ummah as Allah, may He be Blessed and exalted, sent it down to the heart of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). This is what is meant by the verse in which Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): “O Messenger (Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him))! Proclaim (the Message) which has been sent down to you from your Lord” [al-Maa’idah 5:67]. ‘Aa’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said, according to a report narrated from her: Whoever told you that Muhammad concealed anything that he was instructed to convey has told the gravest of lies against Allah. Then she recited the verse mentioned. Narrated by al-Bukhaari and Muslim. According to a report narrated by Muslim, she said: If the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) had concealed anything that he was instructed to convey, he would have concealed the verse in which Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): “And (remember) when you said to him (Zaid bin Haarithah the freed slave of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him)) on whom Allah has bestowed Grace (by guiding him to Islam) and you (O Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him)too) have done favour (by manumitting him) “Keep your wife to yourself, and fear Allah.” But you did hide in yourself (i.e. what Allah has already made known to you that He will give her to you in marriage) that which Allah will make manifest, you did fear the people (i.e., Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) married the divorced wife of his manumitted slave) whereas Allah had a better right that you should fear Him” 
Explaining the meanings of the words, phrase or verse for which the ummah needs an explanation. This mostly applies to verses which speak in brief, general or broad terms. In such cases the Sunnah comes and expands upon that which is mentioned in brief, specifies that which is mentioned in general terms, and restricts that which is mentioned in broad terms. This may be by means of what the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said, or by means of what he did or approved of.
The verse in which Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): “Cut off the hand of the thief, male or female” [al-Maa’idah 5:38] is a good example of this. The word thief is a broad term, as is the word hand. But the hadith explains the meaning of the former, and restricts it to the thief who steals property worth one quarter of a dinar or more, as the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “There is no cutting off of the hand except for property worth one quarter of a dinar or more.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari and Muslim. The latter [hand, as the Arabic word yad may refer to the hand or the entire forearm] is explained by the action of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) or by the actions of his companions of which he approved. They used to cut off the hand of the thief from the wrist joint, as is well-known in the books of hadith. The hadiths also explain what is meant by the hand as mentioned in the verse on tayammum – “and rub therewith your faces and hands (Tayammum)” [an-Nisa’ 4:43, al-Maa’idah 5:6] – as also referring to the hand [as opposed to the entire forearm], as the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Tayammum means striking [the ground or other clean, dusty surface] with the hands and then wiping the face and hands.” Narrated by Ahmad, al-Bukhaari, Muslim and others from the hadeeth of ‘Ammaar ibn Yaasir (may Allah be pleased with him).
There follow some other verses which cannot be understood correctly except by means of the Sunnah:
“It is those who believe (in the Oneness of Allah and worship none but Him Alone) and confuse not their belief with Zulm (wrong i.e., by worshipping others besides Allah), for them (only) there is security and they are the guided”
The companions of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) understood the word zulm (wrong or wrongdoing) in general terms, which included every wrong deed, even if it is minor. Hence they were confused about this verse and they said: O Messenger of Allah, which of us has never confused his belief with wrongdoing? But he (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “That is not what it means; rather it refers to shirk (ascribing partners to Allah). Have you not heard the words of Luqmaan, ‘Verily! Joining others in worship with Allah is a great Zulm (wrong) indeed’ [Luqmaan 31:13]?” Narrated by al-Bukhaari and Muslim and others.
“And when you (Muslims) travel in the land, there is no sin on you if you shorten your Salat (prayer) if you fear that the disbelievers may attack you”
The apparent meaning of this verse suggests that shortening prayers when travelling is allowed only on condition that there is fear. Hence some of the Sahaabah (may Allah be pleased with them) asked the Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him): Why are we still shortening the prayer when we are safe now? He said: “That is a charity that Allah has bestowed upon you, so accept His charity.” Narrated by Muslim.
“Forbidden to you (for food) are: Al-Maytatah (the dead animals – cattle-beast not slaughtered), blood…”
The hadith explains that “dead meat” [that which is not slaughtered in the prescribed manner] of locusts and fish, and liver and spleen, which come under the category of blood, are halaal. The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Two types of dead meat and two types of blood have been made permissible to us: locusts and fish (of all types), and liver and spleen.” Narrated by al-Bayhaqi and others with both marfoo‘ and mawqoof isnaads. This isnaad of the mawqoof (i.e., the name of the Sahaabi is missing from the isnaad) version is saheeh, and it comes under the same ruling as a marfoo‘ hadith (one in which the chain of narrators goes all the way back to the Prophte (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him)), because this could not have been said on the basis of the personal view of any Sahaabi.
“Say (O Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him)): “I find not in that which has been inspired to me anything forbidden to be eaten by one who wishes to eat it, unless it be Maytatah (a dead animal) or blood poured forth (by slaughtering or the like), or the flesh of swine (pork, etc.) for that surely is impure, or impious (unlawful) meat (of an animal) which is slaughtered as a sacrifice for others than Allah (or has been slaughtered for idols, etc., or on which Allah’s Name has not been mentioned while slaughtering)”
But the Sunnah prohibits some things that are not mentioned in this verse, such as when the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Every wild animal that has fangs, and every bird that has talons, is haraam.” And there are other hadiths that prohibit certain foods, such as when the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said on the day of Khaybar: “Verily Allah and His Messenger forbid you to eat the flesh of tame donkeys, for it is an abomination.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari and Muslim.
“Say (O Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him)): “Who has forbidden the adornment with clothes given by Allah, which He has produced for his slaves, and At-Taiyibat (all kinds of Halal (lawful) things) of food?”
Here too the hadith explains that there are some kinds of adornment that are prohibited. It is proven that the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) came out to his Companions one day with a piece of silk in one hand and a piece of gold in the other, and he said: “These two are prohibited for the males of my ummah but they are permissible for the females.” Narrated and classed as saheeh by al-Haakim.
There are many similar and well-known hadiths in as-Saheehayn and elsewhere, and there are many more similar examples that are well known to the scholars of hadith and fiqh.
From the above it is clear to us that the Sunnah is of great importance in Islamic legislation. If we look again at the examples mentioned – let alone others that we have not mentioned – we will be certain that there is no way to understand the Holy Qur’an unless that is alongside the Sunnah.
Manzilat as-Sunnah fi’l-Islam (p. 4-12)
We advise you to read this essay by Shaykh al-Albaani (may Allah have mercy on him), as it deals with the exact same topic as your question.
Thus it should be clear:
That it is not permissible for anyone to separate the Qur’an from the Sunnah when it comes to confirming rulings and their binding nature upon the one who is accountable. The one who does that is indeed going against what the Qur’an contains of the commands to obey the Messenger (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), follow his Sunnah and refrain from what he forbids. The Prophet’s Sunnah came to reinforce what is in the Qur’an and to explain it, restrict what it mentions in broad terms and specify what it mentions in general terms. It also independently introduced new rulings. It is binding upon the Muslim to follow all of that.
Assume that we regard this matter as an issue of dispute between us and our opponents who say that we should be content with the Qur’an alone. We say: In the Holy Qur’an we are instructed, in the event of dispute, to refer to the Qur’an and the Sunnah! Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):
“O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger (Muhammad (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him)), and those of you (Muslims) who are in authority. (And) if you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), if you believe in Allah and in the Last Day. That is better and more suitable for final determination”
So what will our opponent do with this Qur’anic proof? If he accepts it, he will refer to the Sunnah, and thus invalidate his view. But if he does not refer to the Sunnah, then he will be going against the Qur’an, which he claims is sufficient with no need for the Sunnah!
Is following the four madhhabs included in the hadeeth about the 73 sects?
The well known hadeeth about the ummah splitting into seventy-three sects is the hadeeth of Mu‘aawiyah ibn Abi Sufyaan (may Allah be pleased with him), who said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) stood up amongst us and said: “Those who came before you of the people of the Book split into seventy-two sects, and this ummah will split into seventy-three sects, seventy-two of which will be in the Fire and one in Paradise. That is the jamaa’ah (the main body of Muslims).”
Narrated by Abu Dawood (4597) and others; classed as saheeh by al-Haakim (1/128). In fact he said: It is an important hadeeth that highlights a major fundamental issue. It was also classed as saheeh by Ibn Taymiyah in Majmoo‘ al-Fataawa (3/345), ash-Shaatibi in al-I‘tisaam (1/430) and al-‘Iraqi in Takhreej al-Ihya’ (3/199).
The hadeeth was also narrated by at-Tirmidhi (2641) as follows: “My ummah will split into seventy-three sects, all of whom will be in the Fire except one sect.” They said: Who are they, O Messenger of Allah? He said: “[Those who follow] the path which I and my companions follow.” It was classed as hasan by Ibn al-‘Arabi in Ahkaam al-Qur’an (3/432), al-‘Iraqi in Takhreej al-Ihya’ (3/284) and al-Albaani in Saheeh at-Tirmidhi.
The words of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), “My ummah will split into seventy-three sects” indicate that the differences that lead to splitting are differences concerning fundamentals and beliefs, not in minor issues and rulings of fiqh.
The words of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) concerning the saved group, “That is the jamaa‘ah (the main body of Muslims)” or, according to another report “[Those who follow] the path which I and my companions follow” also confirm that. Those who differ concerning minor issues are not regarded as going beyond the bounds of the jamaa‘ah by doing so, or as going beyond the bounds of the teachings of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and his Companions. The Sahaabah differed concerning various minor issues, but that did not lead to their splitting and becoming divided. No one said that as a result of those (minor) differences they were included in the hadeeth about the sects; rather they were one group (jamaa‘ah), following one path and the same fundamentals of belief. The same may be said about the four Imams, the founders of the madhhabs that are followed, and other people of knowledge and virtue. They are the jamaa‘ah, the saved group, Ahl as-Sunnah. Whoever deviates from their basic principles and beliefs is the one who deserves to be included among the people of the sects and innovators who go astray.
Hence ash-Shaatibi (may Allah have mercy on him) said: These sects only became sects because of their differing from the saved group with regard to some fundamental matter of religion, or one of the basic principles of sharee‘ah, not with regard to a minor matter, because having a different view or an odd view on a minor matter does not lead to a difference that would result in splitting and division. Rather division occurs when there are differences concerning fundamental matters.
End quote from al-I‘tisaam (2/200)
Thus it is known that the four imams are innocent of division, as are their followers who adhere to the basic principles of Ahl as-Sunnah. As for those who differ from that and follow the ways of the Mu‘tazilah, Shi‘ah, Murji’ah or other sects and followers of whims and desires, this is the one who has gone against Ahl as-Sunnah and is included among the blameworthy sects.
Are the contemporary Islamic groups among the seventy-three sects?
When Hudhayfah asked, “O Messenger of Allaah, we were in a state of ignorance and evil, then Allaah brought us this good. Will there be any evil after this good?” the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said, “Yes.” Hudahyfah asked, “Will there be any good after that evil?” He said, “Yes, but it would be tainted with dakhan (i.e. a little evil).” I asked, “What will its dakhan be?” He said, “There will be some people who will guide (people) according to something other than my guidance and will lead them according to something other than my Sunnah. You will see their actions and disapprove of them.” Hudhayfah said, “Will there be any evil after that good?” He said, “Yes, there will be some people who will invite others to the doors of Hell, and whoever accepts their invitation to it will be thrown in it (by them).” Hudhayfah said, “O Messenger of Allaah, describe those people to us.” He said, “They will be from among us and speak our language (i.e., from among the Arabs).” Hudhayfah asked, “What do you command us to do at that point?” He said, “Adhere to the jamaa’ah (group) of the Muslims and their leader.” Hudhayfah asked, “What if there is no jamaa’ah and no leader?” He said, “Keep away from all those different sects, even if you have to bite (i.e. eat) the root of a tree, till you die while you are still in that state.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari and Muslim).
This important hadeeth explains to us that the Muslim is obliged to adhere to the jamaa’ah of the Muslims and to co-operate with them wherever they may be, whether it is a jamaa’ah that is found in the Arabian Peninsula, or in Egypt, or in Syria, or in Iraq, or in America, or in Europe, or in any place.
When the Muslim finds a group that is calling people to the truth, he should help them and be one of them, he should aid them and encourage them, help them to remain steadfast in adhering to the truth. If he cannot find a jamaa’ah at all, then he should adhere to the truth and he will be the jamaa’ah even if he is only one, as Ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him) said to ‘Amr ibn Maymoon: “The jamaa’ah is that which is in accordance with the truth, even if you are on your own.”
The Muslim has to seek the truth. If he finds an Islamic center which promotes the truth, or a group in any place which promotes the truth – i.e., which calls people to the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger, and to sound belief – in Europe or Africa or in any place – then he should join them and seek the truth, doing so with patience, and being with the people of truth.
This is what is obligatory upon the Muslim. But if he cannot find anyone who calls people to the truth, whether a state or a group, then he must adhere to the truth on his own and be steadfast in doing so. In that case he will be the jamaa’ah, as Ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him) said to ‘Amr ibn Maymoon.
In these times – praise be to Allaah – there are many groups which are calling people to the truth, as in the Arabian Peninsula (the Saudi government), the Yemen, the Gulf, Egypt, Syria, Africa, Europe, America, India, Pakistan and other parts of the world. There are many groups and Islamic centers and Islamic societies which are calling people to the truth and proclaiming the message, and warning against that which is opposed to it. So the Muslim who is seeking the truth in any place has to look for these groups, and when he finds a group or a center or a society which is calling people to the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), he should follow it and adhere to it, such as the Ansaar al-Sunnah in Egypt and Sudan, Jama’iyyat Ahl al-Hadeeth in Pakistan and India, and other groups which are calling people to the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), devoting their worship sincerely to Allaah alone, and not calling upon anyone else such as the occupants of graves or others.
Majmoo’ Fataawa wa Maqaalaat Mutanawwi’ah li Samaahat al-Shaykh al-‘Allaamah ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him), vol. 8, p. 179
Who are the Wahhaabis and what is their message?
It is obligatory upon the Muslim to follow the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), according to the way of the righteous salaf who followed the guidance of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), the Sahaabah and those who followed them – may Allaah be pleased with them all. These people are called Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah (the People of the Sunnah and the Community). Everyone who follows the way brought by the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is one of them. The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) brought the message of Tawheed (absolute Oneness of Allaah) and rejection of shirk(polytheism, or association of others with Allaah); he called people to worship Allaah alone and none other. With regard to the word “Wahhaabis”, some people use this word to refer to the message of Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhaab ibn Sulaymaan al-Tameemi al-Hanbali (may Allaah have mercy on him), and they call him and his followers Wahhaabis. Everyone who has any knowledge of the movement of Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhaab (may Allaah have mercy on him) and his message knows that he sought to spread the message of pure Tawheed and to warn against shirk in all its forms, such as attachment to the dead, or to trees and rocks, etc. In his ‘aqeedah (belief), he was following the way of the righteous Salaf and the Taabi’een [i.e., the earliest generations of Islam], as is indicated by his books and fatwas, and the books of his followers among his sons and grandsons and others. All of these books are in print and are in circulation among the people. His message was in accordance with the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). Wahhaabism is not a new way or a new school of thought; rather it is a call to Tawheed and the revival of aspects of the religion that had been forgotten. What you have to do is to beware of those who warn you against the Wahhaabis, because they are warning you against following the truth and the early generation of this Ummah. Applying the word “Wahhaabis” to those who adhere to correct belief and warning people against them is the way of the ignorant and biased. We ask Allaah to keep you safe and sound.
See Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him), 3/1206; see also Question # 12203. And Allaah knows best/
Advice to those who do not recognize the Salafi scholars and call them Wahhaabis:
The Muslim is obliged to accept the teachings of Islam, and act upon them. When he hears of some word or deed which is based on evidence (daleel) from the Qur’aan or Sunnah, then he has to accept it and give it priority over anything else. He should check what people say against the evidence of sharee’ah, and only accept those views which are in accordance with that evidence. It is known that Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Abd Al-Wahhaab (may Allaah have mercy on him) called people to Tawheed and he wrote his famous book on that topic which is called Kitaab al-Tawheed. In this book he limited himself to quoting only the clear evidence from the verses of the Qur’aan and the saheeh ahaadeeth of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). Commentaries on this book were written by his grandson ‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn Hasan and other scholars. Hence none of his opponents can refute this book or claim that his evidence is false. They fabricated lies and believed them, so they believed that he was misguided. They gave the same label to the scholars of the Muslims such as Shaykh Ibn Baaz and Shaykh al-Albaani (may Allaah have mercy on them both). It is known that the shaykhs whom we have mentioned did not deviate from the correct view with regard to beliefs and actions; they followed the same path as the Sahaabah and Taabi’een, the four imaams, the authors of the Six Books and others. Those who do not acknowledge them do that either out of ignorance, blind imitation of others, jealousy, stubbornness or following their own whims and desires, or adherence to traditions, bid’ah (innovation) and evil actions that go against the evidence (of sharee’ah). Earlier and later scholars have proven such people to be wrong. So we must follow the evidence and give it priority over the views of all people.
The misguidance of those who believe that kufr only means disbelief
Kufr takes different forms. The Murji’ah and other followers of bid’ah (reprehensible innovation) say that kufr is only based on disbelief. But this view is contrary to the evidence and contrary to the truth. It is known that the Messengers were sent with miracles and proof to which hearts submitted. It is rare indeed that people believed that what the Prophets brought was false; most instances of kufr stemmed from arrogance, rejection and stubbornness. Allaah mentioned that Quraysh did not disbelieve the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), “but it is the Verses (the Qur’aan) of Allaah that the Zaalimoon (polytheists and wrongdoers) deny” [al-An’aam 6:33 – interpretation of the meaning]. This happens very often. Hence the scholars divided kufr into various types: the kufr of negligence and not caring; the kufr of arrogance and pride; the kufr of disbelief; the kufr of hypocrisy; the kufr of doubt. There is a great deal of evidence to that effect in the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). The story of Abu Taalib and the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) is clear; he believed in him and he used to say, “Our son does not tell lies,” but he was still a kaafir, because he never made a statement of faith or followed it up with actions.
Shaykh ‘Abd-Allaah al-Ghunaymaan
The difference between the mushrikeen and the kuffaar, and to which category do the Jews and Christians belong?:
The kaafir is the one who denies and conceals the truth. The basic meaning of the word kufr in Arabic is concealment. Shirk means devoting worship to anyone or anything other than Allaah.
Kufr may take the form of denying and rejecting, but the mushrik may also believe in Allaah. This is the difference between the mushrik and the kaafir.
Each word may also carry the meaning of the other, so the word kufr may be used in the sense of shirk, and the word shirk may be used in the sense of kufr.
Al-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
Kufr and shirk may carry the same meaning, which is disbelief in Allaah, may He be exalted, or they may be used separately, whereby shirk refers to the worship of idols and other created beings, whilst also acknowledging Allaah, as the kuffaar of Quraysh did, and kufr may have a more general meaning than shirk. End quote.
Sharh Saheeh Muslim. 2/71
Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
Kufr is denial and concealment of the truth, such as one who denies that prayer is obligatory, or that zakaah is obligatory, or that fasting Ramadaan is obligatory, or that doing Hajj when one is able to is obligatory, or that honouring one’s parents is obligatory, and so on, or one who denies that zina is haraam, or that drinking intoxicants is haraam, or that disobeying one’s parents is haraam, and so on.
Shirk is devoting acts of worship to something or someone other than Allaah, such as one who seeks the help of the dead, those who are absent, the jinn, idols, the stars, and so on, or who offers sacrifices to them, or makes vows to them. A kaafir may be called a mushrik and a mushrik may be called a kaafir, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And whoever invokes (or worships), besides Allaah, any other ilaah (god), of whom he has no proof; then his reckoning is only with his Lord. Surely, Al‑Kaafiroon (the disbelievers in Allaah and in the Oneness of Allaah, polytheists, pagans, idolaters) will not be successful”
“Verily, whosoever sets up partners (in worship) with Allaah, then Allaah has forbidden Paradise to him, and the Fire will be his abode”
And Allaah says in Soorat Faatir (interpretation of the meaning):
“Such is Allaah, your Lord; His is the kingdom. And those, whom you invoke or call upon instead of Him, own not even a Qitmeer (the thin membrane over the date stone).
Their calling on anything other than Allaah is called shirk in this soorah, but in Soorat al-Mu’minoon it is called kufr.
Allaah says in Soorat al-Tawbah (interpretation of the meaning):
“They (the disbelievers, the Jews and the Christians) want to extinguish Allaah’s Light (with which Muhammad has been sent — Islamic Monotheism) with their mouths, but Allaah will not allow except that His Light should be perfected even though the Kaafiroon (disbelievers) hate (it).
Here Allaah calls the kuffaar kuffaar, and He calls them mushrikeen. This indicates that a kaafir may be called a mushrik and a mushrik may be called a kaafir. There are many similar verses and ahaadeeth.
Another example is the hadeeth in which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Between a man and shirk and kufr there stands his giving up prayer.” Narrated by Muslim in his Saheeh from Jaabir ibn ‘Abd-Allaah (may Allaah be pleased with him). And the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The covenant that differentiates us from them is prayer; whoever gives it up is a kaafir.” Narrated by Imam Ahmad, Abu Dawood, al-Tirmidhi, al-Nasaa’i and Ibn Maajah with a saheeh isnaad from Buraydah ibn al-Husayb (may Allaah be pleased with him). And Allaah is the Source of strength. End quote.
Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz, 9/174, 175.
The Shaykh (may Allaah have mercy on him) also said:
It is also shirk to worship only something other than Allaah. This is called shirk, and it is called kufr. Whoever turns away from Allaah altogether and devotes his worship to something other than Allaah, such as trees, rocks, idols, the jinn or some of the dead such as those whom they call awliya’ (“saints”), and worship them, pray to them or fast for them, and forget Allaah altogether, this is the worst form of kufr and shirk. We ask Allaah to keep us safe and sound. Similarly those who deny the existence of Allaah and say that there is no god, that life is only material, such as the communists and atheists, are the most disbelieving and misguided of people, and the worst in terms of shirk. We ask Allaah to keep us safe and sound. The point is that people who hold these and similar beliefs are all regarded as mushrikeen and kaafirs who disbelieve in Allaah. Some people, out of ignorance, mistakenly regard calling upon the dead and seeking their help as waseelah and think that it is permissible. This is a serious error, because this action is one of the worst forms of shirk and associating others with Allaah. Some ignorant people and mushrikeen call it waseelah, but it is the religion of the mushrikeen whom Allaah criticized and condemned. He sent the Messenger and revealed His Books to denounce it and warn against it. End quote.
Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz, 4/32, 33
The Jews and Christians are both kaafirs and mushrikeen. They are kaafirs because they deny the truth and reject it. And they are mushrikeen because they worship someone other than Allaah.
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And the Jews say: ‘Uzair (Ezra) is the son of Allaah, and the Christians say: Messiah is the son of Allaah. That is their saying with their mouths, resembling the saying of those who disbelieved aforetime. Allaah’s Curse be on them, how they are deluded away from the truth!
Here they are described as mushrikeen. In Soorat al-Bayyinah they are described as kaafirs, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Those who disbelieve from among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) and Al‑Mushrikoon, were not going to leave (their disbelief) until there came to them clear evidence”
Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him) said, refuting those who say that the word mushrikeen cannot be applied to the People of the Book:
It is most likely that the people of the Book are included among the mushrikeen, men and women alike, when this word is used in general terms. because the kuffaar are undoubtedly mushrikeen. Hence they are forbidden to enter al-Masjid al-Haraam, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“O you who believe (in Allaah’s Oneness and in His Messenger Muhammad)! Verily, the Mushrikoon (polytheists, pagans, idolaters, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allaah, and in the Message of Muhammad) are Najasun (impure). So let them not come near Al‑Masjid Al-Haraam (at Makkah) after this year”
If the People of the Book did not come under the general heading of mushrikeen, then this verse would not apply to them, and Allaah would not have referred to the beliefs of the Jews and Christians in Soorat Baraa’ah (al-Tawbah) where He says (interpretation of the meaning):
“they (Jews and Christians) were commanded [in the Tawraat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)] to worship none but One Ilaah (God — Allaah) Laa ilaaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He). Praise and glory be to Him (far above is He) from having the partners they associate (with Him)”
So they are all described as mushrikeen, because the Jews said that ‘Uzayr is the son of God and the Christians said that the Messiah is the son of God; and because they took their priests and rabbis as lords instead of Allaah. All of this is the worst form of shirk. And there are many similar verses.
Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn Baaz, 4/274
Who are Ahlul Kitab( The people of the book):
People of the Book consist of both believers and disbelievers, as indicated in the Qur’aan, where Allaah (AWJ) mentions the disbelievers among them (interpretation of the meaning):
“O people of the Scripture!: Why do you disbelieve in the verses [about Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him)] of Allaah, while you (yourselves) bear witness (to their truth)”. And:
“Say: O people of the Scripture! Why do you stop those who believe from the path of Allah, seeking to make it crooked, while you (yourselves) are witnesses? And Allaah is not unaware of what you do”.
And Allah (AWJ) said about the believers among them, making clear the difference between them and the aforementioned (interpretation of the meaning):
“Not all of them are alike; a party of the people of the Scripture stand for the right, they recite the Verses of Allaah during the hours of the night, prostrating themselves in prayer. They believe in Allaah and the Last Day; they enjoin what is right and forbid evil and they hasten in good works; and they are among the righteous. And whatever good they do, nothing will be rejected of them; for Allaah knows well those who are the pious”. (Aala Imran, 3:113-115)
These people also believe in our Prophet (S) and the Quran which was revealed to him as mentioned (approximate translation of meanings is):
“And there are, certainly, among the people of the Scripture, those who believe in Allah and in that which has been revealed to you, and in that which has been revealed to them, humbling themselves before Allah. They do not sell the Verses of Allah for a little price, for then is a reward their Lord. Surely, Allah is Swift in account”. (Aal Imran, 3:199)
The disbelief of the disbelieving People of the Scripture, that include Jews and Christians, in our times does not expel them from being People of the Scripture. So, the rules and regulations related to them regarding permissibility of eating their food and marrying their chaste women, in the Qur’aan and Sunnah, are still applicable to them.
The roots of Iman (faith) which Allah has revealed to His Messengers in the Holy Books: Tawrah (Torah), Injil (Gospel), Zabur (Psalms), and the Qur’an; and which the Messengers Ibrahim (Abraham), Musa (Moses), ‘Isa (Jesus), and other Messengers (peace be upon them) called to, are all the same. The former ones of them told the latter about them; and the latter confirmed what the former said, even if they differed in the branches, each according to the circumstances of their own era and the benefit of the people at their time. This is the wisdom and mercy of Allah, as He says, The Messenger (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) believes in what has been sent down to him from his Lord, and (so do) the believers. Each one believes in Allâh, His Angels, His Books, and His Messengers. (They say), “We make no distinction between one another of His Messengers” – and they say, “We hear, and we obey. (We seek) Your Forgiveness, our Lord, and to You is the return (of all).“ (Surah Al-Baqarah, 2: 285).
Allah also says, And those who believe in Allâh and His Messengers and make no distinction between any of them (Messengers), We shall give them their rewards; and Allâh is Ever Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (Surah Al-Nisa’, 4: 152).
Allah also says, And (remember) when Allâh took the Covenant of the Prophets, saying: “Take whatever I gave you from the Book and Hikmah (understanding of the Laws of Allâh), and afterwards there will come to you a Messenger (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) confirming what is with you; you must, then, believe in him and help him.”
Allâh said: “Do you agree (to it) and will you take up My Covenant (which I conclude with you)?” They said: “We agree.” He said: “Then bear witness; and I am with you among the witnesses (for this).” Then whoever turns away after this, they are the Fâsiqûn (rebellious: those who turn away from Allâh’s Obedience). Do they seek other than the religion of Allâh (the true Islâmic Monotheism – worshipping none but Allâh Alone), while to Him submitted all creatures in the heavens and the earth, willingly or unwillingly. And to Him shall they all be returned. (Surah Al-‘Imran, 3: 81-83).
Allah also says, Say (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم): “We believe in Allâh and in what has been sent down to us, and what was sent down to Ibrâhîm (Abraham), Ismâ‘îl (Ishmael), Ishâq (Isaac), Ya‘qûb (Jacob) and Al-Asbât [the offspring of the twelve sons of Ya‘qûb (Jacob)] and what was given to Mûsâ (Moses), ‘Isâ (Jesus) and the Prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between one another among them and to Him (Allâh) we have submitted (in Islâm).” And whoever seeks a religion other than Islâm, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers. (Surah Al-‘Imran, 3: 84-85).
After mentioning Ibrahim’s call for Tawhid (monotheism) and the Messengers who were contemporary with him, Allah says, They are those whom We gave the Book, Al-Hukm (understanding of the religious laws), and Prophethood. But if these disbelieve therein (the Book, Al-Hukm and Prophethood), then, indeed We have entrusted it to a people (such as the Companions of Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) who are not disbelievers therein. They are those whom Allâh had guided. So follow their guidance. Say: “No reward I ask of you for this (the Qur’ân). It is only a reminder for the ‘Alamîn (mankind and jinn).” (Surah Al-An’am, 6: 89-90).
Allah also says, Verily, among mankind who have the best claim to Ibrâhîm (Abraham) are those who followed him, and this Prophet (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) and those who have believed (Muslims). And Allâh is the Walî (Protector and Helper) of the believers. (Surah Al-‘Imran, 3: 68).
Allah also says, Then, We have sent the revelation to you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم saying): “Follow the religion of Ibrâhîm (Abraham) Hanif (Islâmic Monotheism – to worship none but Allâh) and he was not of the Mushrikûn (polytheists, idolaters and disbelievers). (Surah Al-Nahk, 16: 123).
He also says, And (remember) when ‘Isâ (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), said: “O Children of Israel! I am the Messenger of Allâh unto you, confirming the Taurât [(Torah) which came] before me, and giving glad tidings of a Messenger to come after me, whose name shall be Ahmad. (Surah Al-Saff, 61: 6).
He also says, And We have sent down to you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) the Book (this Qur’ân) in truth, confirming the Scripture that came before it and Muhaymin (trustworthy in highness and a witness) over it (old Scriptures). So judge among them by what Allâh has revealed, and follow not their vain desires, diverging away from the truth that has come to you. To each among you, We have prescribed a law and a clear way. (Surah Al-Ma’idah, 5: 48).
It is authentically reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, I am the nearest of all the people to ‘Isa ibn Maryam (Jesus, son of Mary) in this world and in the hereafter. All the prophets are paternal brothers; they have different mothers, but their religion is the same. Narrated by Al-Bukhari.
Second, The Jews and the Christians changed the words from their (right) places and carried out commands other than those given to them. Thus, they changed the principles of their religions and the rulings of Allah, such as the claim made by the Jews that ‘Uzayr is the son of Allah. They claim that Allah got tired from creating the heavens, the earth, and what is in between in six days, so He rested on Saturday. They also claim that they crucified ‘Isa (peace be upon him) and killed him. They consider hunting on Saturday legal, while Allah prohibits them from doing so. They also abrogated the Had (prescribed penalty) of Zina (adultery) for a married person.
They said, Truly, Allâh is poor and we are rich! They also said, Allâh’s Hand is tied up (i.e. He does not give and spend of His Bounty). In addition to other verbal and practical distortions made on purpose in following their own desires. The Christians also claim that ‘Isa (peace be upon him) is the son of Allah, and that he is another God besides Allah. They believe the Jews in their claim that they crucified and killed him. Each of them (i.e. the Jews and the Christians) claim that they are the children of Allah and His loved ones. They disbelieve in Muhammad (peace be upon him) and envy him, although they are supposed to believe and support him, in addition to other aspects of disgrace and discrepancies among them. Allah has told us a lot of their lies and distortions of the creeds and legislations that were revealed to them. He exposed them, and replied to them in the Qur’an saying, Then woe to those who write the Book with their own hands and then say, “This is from Allâh,” to purchase with it a little price! Woe to them for what their hands have written and woe to them for that they earn thereby. And they (Jews) say, “The Fire (i.e. Hell-fire on the Day of Resurrection) shall not touch us but for a few numbered days.” Say (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم to them): “Have you taken a covenant from Allâh, so that Allâh will not break His Covenant? Or is it that you say of Allâh what you know not?” (Surah Al-Baqarah, 2: 79-80).
Allah also says, And they say, “None shall enter Paradise unless he be a Jew or a Christian.” These are their own desires. Say (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم), “Produce your proof if you are truthful.” (Surah Al-Baqarah, 2: 111).
Allah also says, And they say, “Be Jews or Christians, then you will be guided.” Say (to them O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم), “Nay, (we follow) only the religion of Ibrâhîm (Abraham), Hanîfa [Islâmic Monotheism, i.e. to worship none but Allâh (Alone)], and he was not of Al-Mushrikûn (those who worshipped others along with Allâh – see V.2:105).”
Say (O Muslims), “We believe in Allâh and that which has been sent down to us and that which has been sent down to Ibrâhîm (Abraham), Ismâ‘îl (Ishmael), Ishâq (Isaac), Ya‘qûb (Jacob), and to Al-Asbât [the offspring of the twelve sons of Ya‘qûb (Jacob)], and that which has been given to Mûsâ (Moses) and ‘Isâ (Jesus), and that which has been given to the Prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and to Him we have submitted (in Islâm).” (Surah Al-Baqarah, 2: 135-136).
Allah also says, And verily, among them is a party who distort the Book with their tongues (as they read), so that you may think it is from the Book, but it is not from the Book, and they say: “This is from Allâh,” but it is not from Allâh; and they speak a lie against Allâh while they know it. (Surah Al-‘Imran, 3: 78).
Allah also says, Because of their breaking the covenant, and of their rejecting the Ayât (proofs, evidence, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) of Allâh, and of their killing the Prophets unjustly, and of their saying: “Our hearts are wrapped (with coverings, i.e. we do not understand what the Messengers say)” – nay, Allâh has set a seal upon their hearts because of their disbelief, so they believe not but a little. And because of their (Jews) disbelief and uttering against Maryam (Mary السلام عليهما) a grave false charge (that she has committed illegal sexual intercourse); And because of their saying (in boast), “We killed Messiah ‘Isâ (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), the Messenger of Allâh,” – but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but it appeared so to them [the resemblance of ‘Isâ (Jesus) was put over another man (and they killed that man)], and those who differ therein are full of doubts. They have no (certain) knowledge, they follow nothing but conjecture. For surely; they killed him not [i.e. ‘Isâ (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary) عليهما السلام]: But Allâh raised him [‘Isâ (Jesus)] up (with his body and soul) unto Himself (and he عليه السلام is in the heavens). And Allâh is Ever All-Powerful, All-Wise. (Surah Al-Nisa’, 4: 155-158).
Allah also says, And (both) the Jews and the Christians say: “We are the children of Allâh and His loved ones.” Say: “Why then does He punish you for your sins?” Nay, you are but human beings of those He has created (Surah Al-Ma’idah, 5: 18).
Allah also says, And the Jews say: ‘Uzair (Ezra) is the son of Allâh, and the Christians say: Messiah is the son of Allâh. That is their saying with their mouths, resembling the saying of those who disbelieved aforetime. Allâh’s Curse be on them, how they are deluded away from the truth! They (Jews and Christians) took their rabbis and their monks to be their lords besides Allâh (by obeying them in things which they made lawful or unlawful according to their own desires without being ordered by Allâh), and (they also took as their Lord) Messiah, son of Maryam (Mary) (Surah Al-Tawbah, 9: 30-31). Allah also says, Many of the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) wish that if they could turn you away as disbelievers after you have believed, out of envy from their ownselves, even after the truth (that Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم is Allâh’s Messenger) has become manifest unto them. (Surah Al-Baqarah, 2: 109).
There are countless examples of their distortion, contradictions, and disgrace. We only intend to mention some examples of their status as an answer to the question.
Third, according to what has been mentioned above, it is evident that the origin of religions legislated by Allah for the people is one, which needs no rapprochement. It is also evident that the Jews and the Christianshave distorted what was revealed to them from Allah, until their religions became false, Kufr (disbelief) and misguidance. Thus, Allah sent them His Messenger Muhammad (peace be upon him) as well as to all the nations so that he would reveal the truth that they had concealed, correct the ‘Aqidahs (creeds) and rulings they had distorted, and guide them to the right path.
Allah says, O people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians)! Now has come to you Our Messenger (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) explaining to you much of that which you used to hide from the Scripture and pass over (i.e. leaving out without explaining) much. Indeed, there has come to you from Allâh a light (Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) and a plain Book (this Qur’ân). Wherewith Allâh guides all those who seek His Good Pleasure to ways of peace, and He brings them out of darkness by His Will unto light and guides them to the Straight Way (Islâmic Monotheism). (Surah Al-Ma’idah, 5: 15-16).
He also says, O people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians)! Now has come to you Our Messenger (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) making (things) clear unto you, after a break in (the series of) Messengers, lest you say: “There came unto us no bringer of glad tidings and no warner.” But now has come unto you a bringer of glad tidings and a warner. And Allâh is Able to do all things. (Surah Al-Ma’idah, 5: 19).
However, they turned away from him out of injustice and envy after knew the truth.
Allah says, Many of the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) wish that if they could turn you away as disbelievers after you have believed, out of envy from their ownselves, even after the truth (that Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم is Allâh’s Messenger) has become manifest unto them. (Surah Al-Baqarah, 2: 109).
He also says, And when there came to them (the Jews), a Book (this Qur’ân) from Allâh confirming what is with them [the Taurât (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)], although aforetime they had invoked Allâh (for coming of Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) in order to gain victory over those who disbelieved, then when there came to them that which they had recognised, they disbelieved in it. So let the Curse of Allâh be on the disbelievers. (Surah Al-Baqarah, 2: 89).
He also says, And when there came to them a Messenger from Allâh (i.e. Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) confirming what was with them, a party of those who were given the Scripture threw away the Book of Allâh behind their backs as if they did not know! (Surah Al-Baqarah, 2: 101).
He also says, Those who disbelieve from among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) and Al-Mushrikûn, were not going to leave (their disbelief) until there came to them clear evidence. A Messenger (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) from Allâh, reciting (the Qur’ân) purified pages [purified from Al-Bâtil (falsehood)]. (Surah Al-Bayyinah, 98: 1-2).
How can a sane person who knows about their insistence on falsehood and their extreme injustice in spite of their knowledge, and out of envy and following desires, how can anyone hope for rapprochement between them and the true Muslims?
Allah says, Do you (faithful believers) covet that they will believe in your religion inspite of the fact that a party of them (Jewish rabbis) used to hear the Word of Allâh [the Taurât (Torah)], then they used to change it knowingly after they understood it? (Surah Al-Baqarah, 2: 75).
He also says, Verily, We have sent you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) with the truth (Islâm), a bringer of glad tidings (for those who believe in what you brought, that they will enter Paradise) and a warner (for those who disbelieve in what you brought, that they will enter the Hell-fire). And you will not be asked about the dwellers of the blazing Fire. Never will the Jews nor the Christians be pleased with you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) till you follow their religion. Say: “Verily, the Guidance of Allâh (i.e. Islâmic Monotheism) that is the (only) Guidance. And if you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) were to follow their (Jews and Christians) desires after what you have received of Knowledge (i.e. the Qur’ân), then you would have against Allâh neither any Walî (protector or guardian) nor any helper. (Surah Al-Baqarah, 2: 119-120).
Allah also says, How shall Allâh guide a people who disbelieved after their belief and after they bore witness that the Messenger (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) is true and after clear proofs had come unto them? And Allâh guides not the people who are Zâlimûn (polytheists and wrong-doers). (Surah Al-‘Imran, 3: 86).
If they are not considered more evil and hostile to Allah and to the believers than Mushrikun (those who associate others with Allah in worship), they are at least equal to them. Allah says to His Messengers about the Mushrikun, So (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) obey you not the deniers [(of Islâmic Monotheism – those who belie the Verses of Allâh), the Oneness of Allâh, and the Messengership of Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم] They wish that you should compromise (in religion out of courtesy) with them: so they (too) would compromise with you. (Surah Al-Qalam, 68: 8-9).
He also says, Say: (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم to these Mushrikûn and Kâfirûn): “O Al-Kafirûn (disbelievers in Allâh, in His Oneness, in His Angels, in His Books, in His Messengers, in the Day of Resurrection, and in Al-Qadar)! “I worship not that which you worship, “Nor will you worship that which I worship. “And I shall not worship that which you are worshipping. “Nor will you worship that which I worship. “To you be your religion, and to me my religion (Islâmic Monotheism).” (Surah Al-Kafirun, 109: 1-6).
A person who thinks of compromising between Islam, Christianity, and Judaism is like a person who tries to match two contradictory things; truth and falsehood; Kufr and Iman.
Fourth, if a person calls to declare a truce or a peace treaty between these sects in order to spare the blood of people, avoid wars, enable people to earn their living, maintain the earth, call to the truth, and guide people to justice, it will be a great and noble purpose. However, the truth should be protected, and this should not be done at the expense of Muslims. The participants may adulate the Mushrikun and give up some of the rulings ordained by Allah or some of their dignity. On the contrary, they should keep their self-respect and stick to the Qur’an and the Sunnah of their Prophet (peace be upon him), in obedience to the way of the Qur’an and following the Messenger (peace be upon him).
Allah says, But if they incline to peace, you also incline to it, and (put your) trust in Allâh. Verily, He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower. (Surah Al-Anfal, 8: 61).
Allah also says, So be not weak and ask not for peace (from the enemies of Islâm) while you are having the upper hand. Allâh is with you, and He will never decrease the reward of your good deeds. (Surah Muhammad, 47: 35).
The Prophet (peace be upon him) applied this practically when he concluded a peace treaty with Quraysh in the year of Al-Hudaybiyah, with the Jews in Al-Madinah before the Battle of Al-Khandaq (the Trench) and the Battle of Khaybar, and with the Christians of Rome in the Battle of Tabuk. This had the greatest impact and the most wonderful results; peace spread, lives were saved, the truth prevailed in the world, people embraced Islam in crowds, and everyone began to work for the benefit of this world and the Hereafter. Thus, the result was prosperity, power, and the spread of Islam and peace.
History and reality are the strongest proof of this for the impartial and sane people who are free from fanaticism and sophistry. Therein is indeed a reminder for those who have a heart or listen heedfully. Allah is the One Who guides to the straight path. He is Sufficient for us, and He is the Best Disposer of affairs.
Fifth, Druze, Al-Nusayriyyah, Al-Isma`iliyyah and those who follow them such asBabists and Baha’is have manipulated the religious texts; legislated for themselves what Allah has not permitted for them; and imitated the Jews and the Christians in their distortions out of following the desire imitating the first leader of Fitnah (trial):`Abdullah ibn Sab’ Al-Himyary, the head of Ibtida’ (heresy), misguidance, and spreading conflict among the Muslims. His evil spread widely; many sects were deceived by him, so they turned to Kufr after having embraced Islam; and controversy spread among Muslims. Thus, the call for rapprochement between such sects and the Muslims is useless and futile, as they resemble the Jews and the Christians in their misguidance, Kufr, envy towards the Muslims and conspiring against them, even if their ways and intentions are different. Thus, they apply the same policy of the Jews and the Christians with the Muslims. For some reason, a group of Egyptian Azhari scholars attempted to make this rapprochement with the Iranian, Rafidi scholars of Qum after the Second World War.
Some of the sincere great scholars were deceived by this call, as their hearts were too pure and they were inexperienced in life. So, they issued a magazine called “Al-Taqrib”. However, the truth was uncovered soon after, and this call ended in failure. This is not strange, as the inclinations are different, the ideas are distinct, and the ‘Aqidahs are contrasting. There is no way to reconcile the contraries.
Sabians: who were they and what were their beliefs?
This group of people are mentioned in three places in the Qur’aan. The first is the verse in which Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Verily, those who believe and those who are Jews and Christians, and Sabians [wa’l-saabi’een ], whoever believes in Allaah and the Last Day and does righteous good deeds shall have their reward with their Lord, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve”
The second is the verse in which Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Verily, those who believe (in Allaah and in His Messenger Muhammad), and those who are Jews, and the Sabians [wa’l-saabi’een], and the Christians, and the Majoos, and those who worship others besides Allaah; truly, Allaah will judge between them on the Day of Resurrection. Verily, Allaah is over all things a Witness”
And the third is the verse in which Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Surely, those who believe (in the Oneness of Allaah, in His Messenger Muhammad and all that was revealed to him from Allaah), and those who are the Jews and the Sabians [wa’l-saabi’oon] and the Christians, — whosoever believed in Allaah and the Last Day, and worked righteousness, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve”
The word saabi’ (Sabian) is derived from the verb saba’a which refers to the action of leaving one religion and entering another.
Al-Tabari said: al-saabi’oon is the plural of saabi’, which means one who has changed his religion, such as an apostate from Islam who has left his religion, or anyone who leaves the religion that he used to follow and joined another. The Arabs called such a person saabi’… And it is said in Arabic saba’at al-nujoom meaning the stars appeared…
See Tafseer al-Tabari, 2/145; Lisaan al-‘Arab under the heading saba’a.
With regard to their beliefs, Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: The people differed greatly concerning them, and the imams were unsure about them because they did not have enough knowledge of their beliefs and religion. Al-Shaafa’i (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: They are a kind of Christian. And he said elsewhere: Their case is to be examined further; if they resemble the Christians in basic matters but they differ from them in some minor issues, then the jizyah is to be taken from them. But if they differ from them in basic issues of religion then their religion cannot be approved of by taking the jizyah from them.
With regard to the views of the salaf concerning them, Sufyaan narrated from Layth that Mujaahid said: They are a people who come between the Jews and the Magians and have no religion. In Tafseer Shaybaan it is narrated that Qataadah said: The Sabians are a people who worship the angels.
Ibn al-Qayyim said: I said: The Sabians are a large nation among whom are both blessed and doomed. They are one of the nations who are divided into believers and disbelievers, for the nations before the coming of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) were of two types, kaafir nations all of whose people were doomed and among whom were none who were blessed, such as the idol-worshippers and the Magians; and others who were divided into those who were blessed and those who were doomed, namely the Jews, Christians and Sabians. Allaah has mentioned the two types in His Book, where He says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Verily, those who believe and those who are Jews and Christians, and Sabians [wa’l-saabi’een ], whoever believes in Allaah and the Last Day and does righteous good deeds shall have their reward with their Lord, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve”
And He says something similar in al-Maa’idah. And in Soorat al-Hajj He says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Verily, those who believe (in Allaah and in His Messenger Muhammad), and those who are Jews, and the Sabians [wa’l-saabi’een], and the Christians, and the Majoos, and those who worship others besides Allaah; truly, Allaah will judge between them on the Day of Resurrection. Verily, Allaah is over all things a Witness”
He did not say here: those among them who believed in Allaah and the Last Day, because He mentioned alongside them the Magians and those who worship others besides Allaah. So He mentioned six nations, among whom are two who are doomed and four who are divided into the doomed and the blessed. When He promised the reward to those who believed and did righteous deeds, he mentioned four nations and no more. In the verse which speaks of the judgement between the nations He included these two nations with them, and in the verse which speaks of the promised reward He did not include them. Thus it is known that the Sabians included both believers and disbelievers, both doomed and blessed.
This is an ancient nation which existed before the Jews and Christians and they were of different types: Sabians who were haneefs (monotheists) and Sabians who were mushrikoon (polytheists). Their kingdom was in Haraan, before the time of the Messiah. They wrote books and had knowledge. There were many of them in Baghdad, including Ibraaheem ibn Hilaal al-Saabi’, the author of al-Rasaa’il. He followed their religion but he fasted Ramadaan with the Muslims. Most of them were philosophers and wrote famous essays which were mentioned by the scholars who wrote about philosophy and religion.
In brief, they did not reject the Prophets or regard it as obligatory to follow them. In their view, whoever followed (the Prophets) is blessed and saved, and whoever follows a path similar to that of the Prophets by virtue of his own reasoning is also blessed and saved, even if he did not follow the Prophets in specific terms. In their view the call of the Prophets was true but there was no one specific route to salvation. They believed that the universe had a Creator and Sustainer, Who is Wise and above any resemblance to created beings, but many of them, or most of them, said: we are unable to reach Him without intermediaries, so we have to approach Him through the mediation of spiritual and holy who are pure and free of any physical elements and who are above place and time, rather they are created pure and holy.
Then he mentioned that they used to worship these intermediaries and seek to draw close to them, and they said, “These are our gods and intercessors with the Lord of lords and God of gods.”
Then he said: This is some of what was narrated by the scholar who studied religion and philosophy about the religion of the Sabians, and is based on what had come down to them. But among this nation are some who believe in Allaah and His names and attributes, His angels and Messengers and the Last Day; and among them are disbelievers. There are some who took from the religion of the Messengers whatever suited their own reasoning and ideas of what is good, so they followed it and were content with it.
Basically, they took what they thought was good from other religions, and they did not take the people of one religion as friends and others as enemies; they did not favour one religion over another. In their view all religions served some purpose in this world, so there was no sense in their fighting one another, rather the good things in each were to be adopted so as to perfect the human condition. Hence they were called saabi’een because they refrained from following any one particular religion. Hence more than one of the salaf said: They are not Jews or Christians or Magians.
There are two types of Sabians: the monotheistic Sabians (saabi’ah hunafa’) and polytheistic Sabians (saabi’ah mushrikoon). The monotheists are the ones who are saved and there were debates among them, and one group refuted the view of the other. These are the people of Ibraaheem as the Jews were the people of Moosa, and the monotheists among them were his followers.
Ahkaam Ahl al-Dhimmah, 1/92-98.
What he mentioned about the Sabians being divided into monotheists and polytheists was confirmed by Shaykh al-Islam in more than one place. See al-Radd ‘ala al-Mantiqiyyeen, 287-454; 290-458; Minhaaj al-Sunnah, 1/5. See also the discussion by Shaykh Ibn ‘Aashoor on this issue, in his commentary on the verse from al-Baqarah.
What is blameworthy extremism?
The hadeeth which condemns extremism was narrated from ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Mas’ood (may Allaah be pleased with him) who said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Those who go to extremes are doomed.” He said it three times.
Narrated by Muslim (2670).
The scholars have many explanations for what is meant by extremism and those who go to extremes, all of which are in harmony with one another and do not contradict one another. All of them may be summed up as meaning one thing; it boils down to overburdening oneself and being too strict in matters where strictness is inappropriate.
These meanings include the following:
1 – Going to extremes in worship, which leads to excessive hardship. Islam does not enjoin anything but that in which there is ease and tolerance. It forbids excessive strictness in religion. The forms of extremism that people have invented in religion and were listed by the scholars as being examples of extremism are virtually innumerable.
Al-Nawawi said in Sharh Muslim (16/220):
i.e., those who delve too deep and go to extremes, and overstep the limits in both word and deed. End quote.
2 – Introducing innovations into religion, by forbidding that which Allaah did not forbid, and introducing forms of worship and commitments that did not exist at the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in Majmoo’ al-Fataawa (10/620):
Monasticism and innovated forms of worship which were not prescribed by Allaah and His Messenger are akin to the cases where the mushrikeen and others forbade good things that Allaah has permitted, and examples of the extremism that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) criticized when he said: “Those who go to extremes are doomed” and “If the month were made longer for me, I would have continued to fast without a break so that those who delve too deep would give up their attitude”, such as extreme hunger and thirst which harm the mind and body, and prevent one from doing obligatory or mustahabb actions that are better than that. The same applies to walking barefoot and naked, which harms a person and brings no benefit, as in the hadeeth about Abu Israa’eel who vowed to fast, and to stand always and never sit, and never seek shade, or speak. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Tell him to sit down, and seek shade, and speak, but let him complete his fast.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari. This matter is broad in scope. End quote.
3 – Exaggerated and affected speech, by trying to select words which attract people’s attention, with no meaning or benefit.
Ibn Abi’l-Dunya narrated this hadeeth in his essay al-Gheebah wa’l-Nameemah (Backbiting and malicious gossip), in a chapter entitled Ma jaa’ fi Dhamm al-Taqa’’ur fi’l-Kalaam (p. 15), in which he narrated from ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “That which I fear the most for my ummah is every well spoken hypocrite”
It was also narrated by Ahmad in al-Musnad (1/22) and classed as hasan by the editors of al-Musnad.
He also narrated that ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: “The prattling of speech is the prattling of the shaytaan.”
Ibn al-Atheer said in al-Nihaayah (5/164):
Those who go to extremes in speech are those who speak in an affected manner.
4 – Indulging in that which does not concern one, asking about that which is inappropriate, and delving too deeply into that which is of no benefit.
The one who goes to extremes is the one who delves too deeply into a thing, and burdens himself with looking into it in the manner of ahl al-kalaam, who examined matters that do not concern them, who indulge in that which their minds cannot comprehend.
from ‘Awn al-Ma’bood (12/235).
Ibn Rajab said in Jaami’ al-‘Uloom wa’l-Hukam (p. 285):
The one who goes to extremes is the one who delves too deeply and looks into that which does not concern him. Examining and asking too much about the ruling on something that is not mentioned among obligatory duties or haraam things may lead to thinking that it is haraam or it is obligatory, because of its similarity to some duties or prohibitions. Accepting pardon for it or refraining from asking too much about it is better. End quote.
Then Ibn Rajab (may Allaah have mercy on him) mentioned some examples of what we should refrain from asking too many details about with regard to matters of the unseen that are unknown and subtle fiqhi differences, and discussing things that rarely happen, and so on.
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen said in Sharh Riyadh al-Saaliheen (1/416-418)
The same applies to being too strict in matters of worship, when a person is very strict in prayer, fasting and other things that Allaah makes easy for him. If he is too hard on himself with regard to that which Allaah has made easy for him, he is doomed.
Another example is what some sick people do – especially in Ramadaan – when Allaah has permitted them not to fast when they are sick, and they need to eat and drink, but they are hard on themselves and continue fasting. We also tell these people to apply the hadeeth to themselves: “Those who go to extremes are doomed.”
That also includes what some students do who are focusing on issues that have to do with Tawheed. When they come across verses or ahaadeeth which speak of the attributes of the Lord, may He be glorified and exalted, you see them examining them closely and asking questions that they are not supposed to ask, which the early generations of the ummah, the Sahaabah and Taabi’een and imams of guidance who came after them did not have the habit of asking. So you see one of them examining matters which his is not obliged to examine as a sign of going to extremes or delving too deeply in these matters. We say to these people: If you are content with what the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them) were content with, then stop that, but if you are not content with it, then may Allaah never make you content. Rest assured that you will fall into extremism and hardship and stress.
That also includes what some seekers of knowledge do of inserting rational possibilities into the words of some texts. So you will see them say, “Such and such is possible, and such and such is possible” – until the text becomes very confusing and the benefit of the text is lost, and that is wrong. Follow the text as it appears to be and set aside these rational possibilities, because if we examine every text in the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and try to find all rational possibilities in its meaning, we will have no verse or hadeeth left that one may quote as evidence, and all interpretations may become possible for every text. These rational ideas may be illusions from the shaytaan that he instils in people’s hearts in order to confuse their beliefs and faith – Allaah forbid.
Another example is what some people do who go to extremes with regard to wudoo’, so you see them doing wudoo’ three or four or five or six or seven times or more, when there is no need to do that. Similarly with regard to ghusl from janaabah, you see them exhausting themselves when they do ghusl, putting water in their ears and nostrils. All of that is included in the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), “Those who go to extremes are doomed, those who go to extremes are doomed, those who go to extremes are doomed.”
Everyone who is too harsh on himself with regard to something that Allaah has made broad in scope [?} is included in this hadeeth. End quote.
With regard to adhering to outward signs of religious commitment and observing the sacred limits of Allaah, and obeying His commands, these are obligations of Islam, and the way to enter the Paradise of the Lord of the Worlds, and no one regards them as going to extremes except one who wants to free himself from the rules of sharee’ah and attack the established rulings. The blameworthy kind of going to extremes is that which goes beyond the laws and etiquette of sharee’ah. How can adhering to it and following it and clinging tightly to it be going to extremes??
The decisive factor with regard to that is the evidence from the Qur’aan and Sunnah. That for which there is saheeh evidence which clearly shows that something is obligatory – such as covering the face and letting the beard grow – or that something is forbidden – such as the prohibition on musical instruments and mixing with women and so on – it is not permissible to describe it as going to extremes or harshness, because that implies accusing the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) – who enjoined us to do it – of going to extremes. God forbid that he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) should be like that.
As for that concerning which there is no text, and is one of the four aspects of extremism mentioned above, then this is what should be criticized and avoided, and should not be confused with the proven, clear rulings of Islam.
With regard to the hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her), in which she said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was never given the choice between two things but he would choose the easier of the two, so long as it was not a sin; if it was a sin he would be the furthest of the people from it Narrated by al-Bukhaari (3367) and Muslim (2327) –
It cannot be taken in any way whatsoever as meaning forsaking sharee’ah and falling short in duties. Rather the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was the keenest of people to achieve true submission to Allaah (‘uboodiyyah) with all that it implies. What is meant by “the choice between two things” is with regard to worldly matters where Islam does not command or forbid anything, or matters in which there is a broad choice between what is Sunnah and what is mustahabb. But if the shar’i ruling indicates that something is obligatory or prohibited, then that must be adhered to, without overstepping the mark or falling short.
Al-Haafiz Ibn Hajar (may Allaah have mercy on him) said in Fath al-Baari (6/575):
The words “between two things” mean, of worldly matters. This is indicated by the words “so long as it was not a sin”, because there is no sin in matters of religion. The words “so long as it was not a sin” mean, so long as the easier of the two did not imply sin. If it did imply sin, then he would choose the more difficult option. In the hadeeth of Anas that is narrated by al-Tabaraani in al-Awsat it says: “but he would choose the easier of them, so long as Allaah would not be angered by it.” end quote.
YAZIDI SECT :
The Yazidis are a deviant sect that began in 132 AH following the demise of the Umayyad state. In the beginning, it was a political movement to restore the glory of the Umayyads, but ignorance continued to prevail among them, and their innovations and misguidance developed until they went beyond the pale of Islam altogether.
The roots of this sect go back to the time after the battle of Karbala’, during the reign of Yazid ibn Mu‘aawiyah and the martyrdom of al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali (may Allah be pleased with him) and many of Aal al-Bayt (may Allah be pleased with them).
The Shi‘ah began to curse Yazid and accuse him of heresy and drinking alcohol.
After the demise of the Umayyad state, the Yazidis began in the form of a political movement. They loved Yazid and objected to the cursing of him in particular, then they objected to cursing in general, to the extent that they objected to the cursing of Iblees. They turned their attention to the Book of Allah, and erased every mention in it of curses or devils or seeking refuge, on the grounds that these words had not existed in the original Qur’an, and that that was something that had been added to it by the Muslims. Then they began to venerate Iblees who is cursed in the Qur’an.
In their book it says: “Obey and listen to my servants in what they tell you to do and do not speak of that in front of strangers, such as the Jews and Christians and people of Islam, because they do not understand what it is, and do not give them any of your books lest they change them without you realising.”
They respect the Christians, to the extent that they kiss the hands of priests and share communion with them, and they believe that the wine is truly the blood of Christ.
They took from the Christians the practice of baptism, whereby they take the infant to a spring called ‘Ayn al-Bayda’ and immerse him in it. When the child reaches the age of one week, they bring him to the shrine of Shaykh ‘Adiyy, where he is immersed in water and they shout his name out loud, asking him to make the child a Yazidi and a believer (in the angel peacock), i.e., Iblees.
When Islam entered the Kurdistan region, most of the inhabitants followed the religion of Zoroastrianism; some of the teachings of this religion were passed down to the Yazidis.
Their beliefs are mixed with Magian and idolatrous teachings, and they raised Yazid to the level of divinity. In their view the hierarchy is: Allah – Yazid – ‘Adiyy.
See: al-Mawsoo‘ah al-Muyassarah fi’l-Adyaan wa’l-Madhaahib wa’l-Ahzaab al-Mu‘aasirah (1/371-376).
For more information on their beliefs and misguidance, see the following:
Al-Yazeediyyoona fi Haadirihim wa Maadeehim by ‘Abd ar-Razzaaq al-Hasani
Al-Yazeediyyah: Ahwaaluhum wa Mu‘taqadaatuhum by Dr Saami Sa‘eed al-Ahmad
Al-Yazeediyyah wa Asl ‘Aqeedatihim by ‘Abbaas al-Ghazzaawi
Ma Hiya al-Yazeediyyah? Wa Man Hum al-Yazeediyyoon by Mahmoud al-Jundi
From the above it is clear that the Yazidis are a deviant and misguided sect who are beyond the pale of Islam. If this is a person’s religion, there is no doubt that he is a disbeliever whose religion is contrary to the religion of Islam that was brought by the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him).
Based on that, it is not permissible for a Muslim to marry a Yazidi woman, just as it is not permissible to marry a mushrik (polytheist) or Magian woman, and the like. No exception is made regarding disbelievers who are outside the pale of Islam, with regard to marriage, except in the case of the Jews and Christians, because they are originally People of the Book. As for the Yazidis and others, they have no Book in the first place; rather they are an apostate sect who combine all kinds of disbelief in one religion. Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning): “And do not marry Al-Mushrikat (idolatresses, etc.) till they believe (worship Allah Alone)” [al-Baqarah 2:221].
Ibn Qudaamah (may Allah have mercy on him) said in al-Mughni (7/102):
With regard to all the disbelievers, apart from the People of the Book, there is no dispute among the scholars concerning the prohibition on marrying their women or eating meat slaughtered by them. With regard to an apostate woman, it is prohibited to marry her no matter what religion she follows. End quote.
Which of the four Madhhabs is most correct?
Allaah has made our worship based on His Book and the Sunnah of His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). The right way is to understand the texts of sharee’ah as they were understood by the Companions of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and their followers among the scholars who are qualified and prominent mujtahids. This includes the imaams whose sincerity, fairness and leadership in religion, knowledge, virtue, goodness and righteousness is a matter of record. The four imaams and founders of the schools of Islamic fiqh (Imaam Abu Haneefah, Imaam Maalik, Imaam al-Shaafa’i and Imaam Ahmad) – may Allaah have mercy on them all – all followed the texts of the Sharee’ah and their efforts were all focused on teaching and spreading sound Islamic knowledge. All of them were on the right path, and all were devoted followers of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). If mistakes happened, then the Sahaabah made mistakes too. The things to be followed in Sharee’ah are those for which evidence (daleel) is established. In some cases, some scholars may not have known of daleel whilst others did, but this does not mean that their knowledge and ability is to be discredited. All of them were seeking to find and propagate the truth. If a person wants to follow one of the Imams and adopt his Madhhab, then he should follow him in matters for which there is clear, sound daleel, for this is what is required in Islam, but he should not develop partisan or sectarian feelings towards anybody. It is not permissible for the Muslim to believe that he has to follow anybody in all that he says except the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).
The person who is suitably qualified can examine what the scholars said and see what is supported by sound daleel. The “rank and file” Muslim who does not know how to examine the evidence and weigh it up should follow a scholar whose religious commitment and knowledge he trusts, and act according to his fatwas. And Allaah knows best.
Who are Ahl al-Hadeeth? What are their distinguishing features?
The phrase Ahl al-Hadeeth (people of hadeeth) refers to a group who venerate the Sunnah and seek to propagate it. They adhere to the ‘aqeedah (beliefs) of the companions of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). In seeking to understand their religion, they refer to the Qur’aan and Sunnah and the interpretation of the best generations, unlike others who adhere to beliefs other than the ‘aqeedah of the righteous salaf and refer to human reasoning, tastes and what they see in dreams.
This group is the saved group, the victorious party, which many imams have stated is the group referred to in the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “A group of my ummah will continue to prevail, following the truth. They will not be harmed by those who humiliate them until the decree of Allaah comes to pass when they are like that.” (Narrated by Muslim, 1920).
The imams, in the past and more recently, have said a great deal describing this group. We may chose from among them the following:
1 – al-Haakim said:
Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal did well when he commented on this report by saying that the victorious group who will prevail until the Hour begins is “ashaab al-hadeeth” (the people of hadeeth). Who is more deserving of this description than people who follow the way of the righteous and follow in the footsteps of the salaf who came before us, and exposed the falsehood of the people of bid’ah (innovation) by basing their arguments on the Sunnahs of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)?
Ma’rifat ‘Uloom al-Hadeeth, by al-Haakim al-Nisaboori, p. 2, 3
2 – al-Khateeb al-Baghdaadi said:
Allaah has made these people – Ahl al-Hadeeth – the pillars of sharee’ah, and He has destroyed through them all abhorrent innovations. They are the trustees of Allaah among His creation, the intermediaries between the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and his ummah. They are the ones who are striving hard to protect his religion; their light is shining, their virtues are well known, the signs of their sincerity are obvious, their way is prevailing, and their evidence is supreme. Every group has its own focal point which is based on whims and desires, apart from the people of hadeeth, whose reference point is the Qur’aan, whose evidence is the Sunnah and whose leader is the Messenger to whom they belong; they do not pay any attention to whims and desires, and they do not care about personal opinions. They are content with what is narrated from the Messenger, and they are the ones who are entrusted with it and they take care of it. They are the guardians and keepers of the faith, the vessels and bearers of knowledge. If there is a difference of opinion concerning a hadeeth, people refer to them, and what they rule is what is accepted and listened to. Among them are prominent faqeehs, great imams, ascetics who are well-known among their tribes, men who are known for their virtue, skilled reciters of Qur’aan and good speakers. They are the majority and their way is the right way. Every innovator pretends to be following their path, and cannot dare to claim any other way. Whoever opposes them, Allaah will destroy him, and whoever goes against them, Allaah will humiliate him. They are not harmed by those who forsake them, and those who stay away from them will not prosper. The one who cares for his religion needs their help, the one who looks down on them is a loser, and Allaah is able to support them.
Sharf Ashaab al-Hadeeth, p. 15
3 – Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said:
Hence it is clear that the people who most deserve to be called the victorious group are “Ahl al-Hadeeth wa’l-Sunnah”, who have no leader to follow blindly apart from the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). They are the most knowledgeable of people concerning his words and deeds, the most able to distinguish between what is sound and what is not [of hadeeth]. Their imams have deep knowledge of that, they are the ones who understand its meanings and are the most sincere in following it. They accept it and believe in it, and act upon it. They show love to those who adopt it and they show enmity to those who oppose it. They are the ones who measure any idea against that which is proven in the Qur’aan and Sunnah, so they never adopt any idea and make it one of the basic principles of their religion unless it is proven in that which the Messenger brought. Rather they make that which the Messenger brought, the Qur’aan and Sunnah, the foundation and basis of their beliefs. With regard to the issues concerning which people dispute, such as the attributes of Allaah, the divine decree, the threat of Hell, the names of Allaah and the principle of enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil, etc., they refer that to Allaah and His Messenger. They examine the general ideas concerning which the different groups dispute, and whatever of these ideas is in accordance with the Qur’aan and Sunnah, they approve of it, and whatever goes against the Qur’aan and Sunnah, they reject it. They do not follow conjecture or whims and desires. For following conjecture is ignorance and following whims and desires without any guidance from Allaah is wrongdoing.
Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 3/347, 348.
We should note that Ahl al-Hadeeth includes everyone who follows the hadeeth of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and gives it precedence over all else, whether he is a scholar or an ordinary Muslim.
Shaykh al-Islam [Ibn Taymiyah] said:
We do not mean by Ahl al-Hadeeth only those who study it, write it down or narrate it, rather we mean anyone who takes care to memorize it, understand it and follow it, both inwardly and outwardly. The same may be said of “Ahl al-Qur’aan” (the people of the Qur’aan).
The basic quality of these people is their love of the Qur’aan and hadeeth, referring to them and their meanings, and acting upon what they learn.
Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, 4/95
The imams have said a great deal on this matter. You can learn more by referring to the sources quoted above, as well as volume 4 of Majmoo’ Fataawa Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Tammiyah
Who are the saved group?
Division and differences among this Ummah is something inevitable, to which history bears witness, as do the texts of the Sunnah of our Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Whoever among you lives after I am gone will see a great deal of dissent.” Narrated by Abu Dawood (4067); classed as Saheeh by al-Albaani in Saheeh Abi Dawood.
Dissent has occurred in the political field, as well as in the fields of thought and ‘aqeedah, which is represented in the appearance of different sects at the end of the era of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs, such as the Murji’is, Shi’ah and Khawaarij.
But by His mercy, Allaah decreed that this division should happen when some groups drifted away from the way of the main body of the Muslims and developed their own different approach, and they were distinguished by their own names and character. So the ‘aqeedah of Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah, and the ‘aqeedah of the majority of Muslims, was not confused even for a day with that of the other, misguided sects, so that those sects would not dare to call themselves Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah, rather they are called after the bid’ah (innovation) that they introduced, or the person who founded the sect. You can see that when you examine the names of all the sects.
The famous hadeeth about the ummah splitting into seventy-three sects bears witness to that.
It was narrated from Mu’aawiyah ibn Abi Sufyaan (may Allaah be pleased with him) that he said: The Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) stood among us and said: “Those who came before you of the people of the Book split into seventy-two sects, and this ummah will split into seventy-three: seventy-two in Hell and one in Paradise, and that is the jamaa’ah (main body of Muslims).”
Narrated by Abu Dawood (4597) and others; classed as saheeh by al-Haakim (1/128), who said: it is an important hadeeth that represents a basic principle. It was classed as hasan by Ibn Hajar in Takhreej al-Kashshaaf (63). It was classed as saheeh by Ibn Taymiyah in Majmoo’ al-Fataawa(3/345), al-Shaatibi in al-I’tisaam (1/430), and al-‘Iraaqi in Takhreej al-Ihya’ (9/133). It is mentioned frequently and often quoted as evidence by the scholars in the books of Sunnah, and it was narrated from a number of the Sahaabah via many isnaads, most of the soundest of which specify the number of sects as being seventy-three.
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) described the saved group as the jamaa’ah, i.e., the consensus of the Muslim scholars. In other reports he also described them as “the vast multitude”, as in the hadeeth of Abu Umaamah and others which is recorded by Ibn Abi ‘Aasim in al-Sunnah (1/34) and al-Tabaraani in al-Mu’jam al-Kabeer (8/321), with an isnaad that is hasan li ghayrihi (hasan because of corroborating evidence).
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) also described them in the following terms: “My ummah will split into seventy-three sects, all of whom will be in Hell except one group.” They said: Who are they, O Messenger of Allaah? He said: “(Those who follow) that which I and my companions follow.” This is mentioned in the hadeeth of ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Amr which was recorded and classed as hasan by al-Tirmidhi (2641). It was also classed as hasan by al-‘Iraaqi in Ahkaam al-Qur’aan (3/432), al-‘Iraaqi in Takhreej al-Ihya’ (3/284) and al-Albaani in Saheeh al-Tirmidhi.
This is the clearest sign that the Muslim can use to determine what is the saved group, so he should follow the way of the majority of scholars, those whom all the people testify are trustworthy and religiously-committed, and he should follow the way of the earlier scholars among the Sahaabah, Taabi’een and the four Imams and other scholars, and he should beware of every sect that differs from the main body of Muslims (jamaa’ah) by following innovation (bid’ah).
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
The sign of the people of bid’ah is that they do not follow the salaf. End quote from Majmoo’ al-Fataawa (4/155).
He also said (3/346): The sign of these groups – i.e., the seventy-two groups that go against Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah – is that they forsake the Qur’aan, Sunnah and scholarly consensus. The one who follows the Qur’aan, Sunnah and scholarly consensus is one of Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah. End quote.
It is not permissible for anyone to imagine after this that the Shi’ah, for example, are the saved group, or that the deviant Sufis, Khawaarij or Habashis are the saved group. Rather these are innovated groups which only follow invented ideas, that are denounced by the scholars and the majority of Muslims, who feel repulsion in their hearts towards them. Their ideas were never believed in for a day by Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Uthmaan or ‘Ali (may Allaah be pleased with them), or by Imam Abu Haneefah, Maalik, al-Shaafa’i or Ahmad ibn Hanbal. Would any wise person think that a belief that these imams were unaware of could be correct?
Think about it. There is the greatest and most obvious difference between Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah (the saved group) and other, misguided groups.
Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) says:
Hence the saved group is described as Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah, and they are the greater majority and the vast multitude. As for the other groups, they are followers of weird ideas, division, innovation and whims and desires, and none of these groups reached anywhere close to the size of the saved group, let alone being equal to them, rather some of these groups are very small in number. The sign of these groups is that they go against the Qur’aan, Sunnah and scholarly consensus. The one who follows the Qur’aan, Sunnah and scholarly consensus is one of Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah.
Majmoo’ al-Fataawa (3/346).
Al-Shaatibi has mentioned many names of the doomed groups in al-I’tisaam (1/453-460).
The scholars of Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah have stated in their books that the other sects are among the misguided and doomed innovated groups, and that they deserve to enter Hell because of the reprehensible ideas and grave innovations that they have introduced into the religion of Allaah. But in most cases they are not regarded as kaafirs, rather they are regarded as Muslim sects.
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
Similarly, with the other seventy-two groups, those that are hypocrites are inwardly kaafirs, and those that are not hypocrites but rather believe inwardly in Allaah and His Messenger are not inwardly kaafirs, even though they are mistaken in their interpretations, regardless of what that mistake may be. Some of them may have some of the branches of hypocrisy, or they may not have the kind of hypocrisy that dooms a man to the lowest depths of Hell.
The one who says that each of the seventy-two sects is guilty of kufr that puts one beyond the pale of Islam is going against the Qur’aan and Sunnah and the consensus of the Sahaabah (may Allaah be pleased with them all), and the consensus of the four imams and others. None of them regarded any of the seventy-two sects as kaafirs, rather they regard one another as kaafirs.
Majmoo’ al-Fataawa (7/218).
This does not mean that every sect that calls itself Muslim is actually Muslim, rather they may be kaafirs and apostates, such as the extreme Raafidis, the extreme Sufis and the baatini sects such as the Druze, Nusayris and others. These are all beyond the pale of Islam and are not regarded as being among the sects mentioned in the hadeeth.
The cause of difference and division among these groups mentioned in the hadeeth has to do with fundamental matters of religion and basic issues of ‘aqeedah, not differences of opinion regarding fiqh.
Al-Shatibi (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:
These are regarded as sects because they differ from the saved group with regard to some fundamental issues of religion and basic rules of sharee’ah, not with regard to minor issues, because differences with regard to minor issues does not lead to division and factionalism, rather factionalism occurs when there are differences concerning fundamental issues of Islam.
If some Muslim groups stand out from others because of a specific method of da’wah and working for Islam, but they do not go against Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah in their ‘aqeedah, then they are not to be regarded as doomed groups, rather they are among the saved group in sha Allaah, if they follow the way of the Sahaabah and Taabi’een in ‘aqeedah and action.
Characteristics of the saved group:
The most prominent characteristic of the saved group is adherence to the way of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in ‘aqeedah (belief), ‘ibaadah (worship), manners and attitude, and dealings with others. The saved group has distinct characteristics in these four areas.
In matters of ‘aqeedah you will find that they adhere to that which is indicated by the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), i.e., absolute Oneness (Tawheed) of the Divinity and Lordship of Allaah, and of His Names and Attributes.
In matters of worship, you will find that this group is distinguished by its total adherence to and application of that which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) used to do with regard to different kinds of acts of worship, how they are done, to what extent, where and when, and for what reasons. You will not find them introducing innovations into the religion of Allaah, rather they show the utmost respect towards Allaah and His Messenger, so they do not put themselves forward before Allaah and His Messenger (cf. al-Hujuraat 49:1) by suggesting any innovated act of worship for which He has not granted permission.
In matters of manners and attitude, you will also find that they differ from others by virtue of their good attitudes such as wishing the Muslims well, being content, having a cheerful countenance, speaking well, being generous, being courageous, and other noble and good characteristics.
In matters of dealings with others, you will find that they deal with others in an open and sincere manner. They are the ones to whom the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) referred when he said: “The two parties (to a transaction) have the choice (of proceeding with the transaction or cancelling it) until they separate. If they are sincere and open, their transaction will be blessed for them, and if they are lying or deceitful, the blessing will be lost.”
If a person is lacking in any of these characteristics, then does not mean that he is not one of the saved group, but for all, there will be degrees according to that which they did (cf. al-Ahqaaf46:19). Falling short in matters of Tawheed may put a person outside the saved group, such as lacking in ikhlaas (sincerity or purity of intention). The same applies to bid’ah, as a person may do acts of bid’ah which put him outside the saved group.
In matters of morals and dealings with others, defects in such matters do not put a person outside this group, although they may reduce him in status.
We need to look in more detail at the matter of attitude and manners. One of the most important matters of attitude and manners is unity and uniting upon the truth. This is what Allaah urges us to do in the aayah (interpretation of the meaning):
“He (Allaah) has ordained for you the same religion (Islamic Monotheism) which He ordained for Nooh (Noah), and that which We have revealed to you (O Muhammad), and that which We ordained for Ibraaheem (Abraham), Moosa (Moses) and ‘Eesa (Jesus) saying you should establish religion (i.e. to do what it orders you to do practically) and make no divisions in it (religion) (i.e. various sects in religion)”
Allaah tells us that those who divide their religion and break up into sects, Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) has nothing to do with them. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Verily, those who divide their religion and break up into sects (all kinds of religious sects), you (O Muhammad) have no concern in them in the least” [al-An’aam 6:159]
Unity and harmony are among the most prominent characteristics of the saved sect – Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah. If any dispute arises among them, stemming from ijtihaad in matters where ijtihaad is permitted – they do not bear ill-will, enmity or grudges against one another. Rather they regard one another as brothers even though these differences arise between them. One of them will pray behind another even if he thinks that he does not have wudoo’ whilst the imaam thinks that he does have wudoo’. For example, one of them may pray behind another who has eaten camel meat, and this imaam thinks that this does not break wudoo’ whereas the person praying behind him thinks that it does break wudoo’. So he believes that his prayer behind this imaam is valid, but if he himself were to pray in that state on his own he would think that his prayer is not valid. All this is because they believe that differences which arise from ijtihaad in cases where ijtihaad is allowed, are not really differences, because each of them has followed evidence (daleel) as he is obliged to do, and which should not be ignored. So they believe that if their brother differs from them with regard to some action because he is following the evidence (daleel), then in effect he is agreeing with them, because they advocate following the evidence wherever it is. So although he differs from them, he is still following evidence from the Book of Allaah or the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). The scholars are not unaware of the differences of this nature that arose among the Sahaabah even during the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), but he did not rebuke them. When he (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) came back from the campaign of al-Ahzaab, and Jibreel came to him and told him to go out to Bani Qurayzah, who had broken the treaty, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) told his companions, “None of you should pray ‘Asr until he reaches Bani Qurayzah.” They set out from Madeenah to Bani Qurayzah, and they were worried about missing the ‘Asr prayer. Some of them delayed the ‘Asr prayer until they reached Bani Qurayzah, and they prayed it after the time for the prayer had passed, because the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) had said, “None of you should pray ‘Asr until he reaches Bani Qurayzah.” Others prayed ‘Asr on time, saying that all the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) had meant was that they should hasten to go out (to Bani Qurayzah); he did not mean that they should delay the prayer. These are the ones who were correct, but the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) did not rebuke either of the two groups, and neither expressed enmity towards the other. The Muslims who claim to follow the Sunnah should be one ummah and not divide into groups, fighting one another verbally and arguing and hating one another for a matter in which it is allowed to have different opinions. There is no need to mention every group by name; the smart person will understand what I mean.
I think that Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah should unite even though they differ in the ways in which they understand those texts which may be interpreted in different ways. That is a matter in which there is room for differences, may Allaah be praised. What matters is harmony and unity. No doubt the enemies of Islam want the Muslims to be divided, whether they are enemies who express their enmity openly or they are enemies who make an outward display of friendliness towards Muslims and Islam, but that is not real. We must be distinguished by this characteristic which is the characteristic of the saved group, i.e., being united.
Majmoo’ Fataawa wa Rasaa’il li Fadeelat al-Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen, vol. 1, p. 38-41
Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhaab – a reformer concerning whom many malicious lies have been told
You should note that one of the ways in which Allaah deals with His chosen slaves is to test them according to the level of their faith, to show who is sincere and who is not. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
[These letters are one of the miracles of the Qur’aan, and none but Allaah (Alone) knows their meanings.]
Those who are most severely tested are the Prophets, then the next best and the next best, as it says in the saheeh hadeeth of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).
If you study the seerah (biography) of the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), you will see that he went through severe tests; he was even accused of being a liar, a sorcerer and a madman; garbage and filth were thrown on his back; he was expelled from Makkah; and his feet bled in al-Taa’if. This was the situation of all the Prophets who were rejected before him (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him).
Shaykh al-Islam Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhaab (may Allaah have mercy on him) suffered the same as other sincere scholars and daa’iyahs, but in the end the message of truth that he brought prevailed. How could it be otherwise? How could the light of truth be extinguished? Think about this man and how Allaah helped him to sow the seeds of Tawheed throughout the Arabian Peninsula and put an end to all kinds of shirk. If this indicates anything, it indicates that he was sincere in his call and made sacrifices for that cause as far as we can tell, and of course his efforts were supported and helped by Allaah.
But the enemies of this call have spared no effort to make false accusations concerning it. They claimed – falsely – that the Shaykh claimed to be a prophet, and that he did not respect the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) properly, and that he condemned all the ummah as kaafirs… and other fabrications and lies that were told about him. Anyone who examines these claims will realize for sure that they are all lies and fabrications. The books of the Shaykh which are widely circulated bear the greatest witness to that, and his followers who answered his call never mentioned anything to that effect. If the matter were as they claim, his followers would have conveyed the same ideas, otherwise they would have been disloyal to him. If you want to know more details about this and to clarify the matter, you should read the book Da’aawa al-Manaawi’een li Da’wah al-Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhaab by Dr ‘Abd al-‘Azeez al-‘Abd al-Lateef, which will answer all your questions, if Allaah wills.
With regard to calling his followers Wahhaabis, this is just another in a long series of fabrications made up by the enemies of his call, to divert people away from the call of truth and to place a barrier between his call and the people so that the call will not reach them. If you study the story of how al-Tufayl ibn ‘Amr al-Dawsi (may Allaah be pleased with him) became Muslim, you will see the parallels with what happened in the case of Imam Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahab.
Ibn Hishaam narrated in his Seerah (1/394) that al-Tufayl set out towards Makkah, but Quraysh intercepted him at the gates of the city and warned him against listening to Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him). They made him think that he was a sorcerer who could cause division between man and wife… they kept on at him until he took some cotton and put it in his ears. Then when he saw the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), he thought to himself that he would take out the cotton and listen to him, and if what he said was true then he would accept it from him, and if he what he said was false and abhorrent, he would reject it. When he listened to him, all he could do was become Muslim on the spot.
Yes, he became Muslim after putting cotton in his ears. Those who oppose the call of Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahab fabricated lies the same way Quraysh did. Quraysh understood full well that the call of Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) had the power to reach people’s hearts and minds, so they exaggerated in their lies about the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) in an attempt to stop the truth reaching people. Similarly we see that those who speak against Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhaab and his followers repeat the same lies that were told against the original call.
You should – if you follow the truth – not pay any attention to these lies and fabrications. You should look for the truth of the matter by reading the books of Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahab, for his books are the greatest proof that these people are lying, praise be to Allaah.
There is another subtle point that should be noted, which is that the Shaykh’s name was Muhammad, the attributive of which is Muhammad. The word Wahhabi is the attributive derived from al-Wahhaab (the Bestower), who is Allaah, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Our Lord! Let not our hearts deviate (from the truth) after You have guided us, and grant us mercy from You. Truly, You are the Bestower [al-Wahhaab]”
As al-Zajjaaj said in Ishtiqaaq Asma’-Allaah, p. 126, al-Wahhaab “is the One Who gives a great deal. This form (fa’’aal) in Arabic is indicative of something that is done to a great extent. Allaah is al-Wahhaab (the Bestower) Who gives to His slaves one after another.”
Undoubtedly the path of al-Wahhaab is the path of truth in which there is no crookedness or fabrication, and His party is the one that will prevail. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And whosoever takes Allaah, His Messenger, and those who have believed, as Protectors, then the party of Allaah will be the victorious”
“They are the party of Allaah. Verily, it is the party of Allaah that will be the successful”
Long ago they accused al-Shaafa’i of being a Raafidi (Shi’ah) and he refuted them by saying:
“If being a Raafidi means loving the family of Muhammad, then let the two races (of mankind and the jinn) bear witness that I am a Raafidi.”
We refute the claims of those who accuse us of being Wahhabis by quoting the words of Shaykh Mullah ‘Imraan who was a Shi’i but Allaah guided him to the Sunnah. He said:
“If the follower of Ahmad [the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)] is a Wahhaabi, then I affirm that I am a Wahhaabi
I reject the association of any other with Allaah, for I have no Lord except the Unique, the Bestower (al-Wahhaab)
Those who were called by the Prophet accused him of being a sorcerer and a liar.”
(See: Manhaaj al-Firqat al-Naajiyah by Shaykh Muhammad Jameel Zayno, p. 142-143.
Will every Muslim enter Paradise, even if he was a hypocrite or did not pray or committed shirk?
We should understand properly the general principle concerning this matter, the matter of entering Paradise and spending eternity in Hell. It is a simple matter that is explained in a brief hadeeth that was narrated by Muslim in his Saheeh (135) from Jaabir (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: A man came to the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and said: O Messenger of Allah, what are the two deeds that make entering Paradise or Hell inevitable?
He said: “Whoever dies not associating anything with Allah will enter Paradise, and whoever dies associating anything with Allah will enter Hell.”
An-Nawawi said: With regard to the words, “What are the two deeds that make entering Paradise or Hell inevitable?” what is meant are the characteristic that makes Paradise inevitable and the characteristic that makes Hell inevitable. End quote.
This hadeeth explains that what makes it inevitable that a person will enter Paradise is if he dies believing in Tawheed, and what makes it inevitable that a person will spend eternity in Hell is if he dies believing in shirk.
This is a definitive principle that is well-known and well established in the religion of Islam. There are mutawaatir texts which confirm and affirm it. Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Verily, Allah forgives not that partners should be set up with him in worship, but He forgives except that (anything else) to whom He pleases, and whoever sets up partners with Allah in worship, he has indeed invented a tremendous sin”
The Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) explained, in the hadeeth about intercession, the situation of the sinners in Hell, and he explained that no one will be brought out of Hell except those who died believing in Tawheed and uttered the Shahadah (testimony of faith), and had in their hearts something of faith: “There will be brought out of the Fire anyone who said, Laa ilaaha ill-Allah (there is no god but Allah) and had in his heart goodness equal to the weight of a grain of barley. Then there will be brought out of the Fire anyone who said Laa ilaaha ill-Allah (there is no god but Allah) and had in his heart goodness equal to the weight of a grain of wheat. Then there will be brought out of the Fire anyone who said Laa ilaaha ill-Allah (there is no god but Allah) and had in his heart goodness equal to the weight of a small ant.”
Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 6861; Muslim, 285.
Based on that, we can find out the situation of those mentioned in the question.
If a person fell into major shirk, whether he was originally a mushrik like the Jews, Christians, Buddhists and other types of disbelievers, or he was a Muslim then he apostatized from Islam by falling into major shirk – as mentioned in the question – then his claim to belong to Islam or his having a Muslim name will be of no benefit to him, and neither will any good deeds that he did and so on, if he fell into major shirk and died in that state without having repented. Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And indeed it has been revealed to you (O Muhammad SAW), as it was to those (Allah’s Messengers) before you: ‘If you join others in worship with Allah, (then) surely (all) your deeds will be in vain, and you will certainly be among the losers.’
Nay! But worship Allah (Alone and none else), and be among the grateful”
The one who does not pray at all, either in his house or in the mosque, and does not attend Jumu‘ah or prayers in congregation, has also rendered his good deeds invalid and has falling into kufr by not praying at all. The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “The covenant that stands between us and them – i.e., the characteristic that separates the Muslims from the disbelievers – is the prayer. Whoever does not pray has disbelieved.”
Narrated by at-Tirmidhi, 2545; an-Nasaa’i, 459. classed as saheeh by al-Albaani.
With regard to the hypocrites, if what is meant is the people of major hypocrisy, namely those who make a show of being believers in this world when they are concealing kufr in their hearts and hiding it from the people, they will be in a worse position than the kuffaar and mushrikeen. Hence their fate will be in the lowest levels of Hell, as Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Verily, the hypocrites will be in the lowest depths (grade) of the Fire; no helper will you find for them”
But if what you meant by hypocrites is those who fall into some acts of hypocrisy, such as lying or betraying a trust or breaking a promise; or he fell into some kind of minor shirk, such as showing off or swearing by something other than Allah; or who fell into some major or minor sin – such a person does not become a kaafir just by doing that thing. It does not put him beyond the pale of Islam and he will not spend eternity in Hell because of it, if he dies believing in Tawheed. Rather his case is up to Allah: if He wills He will punish him for his sin, then admit him to Paradise because of his belief in Tawheed, or He will bestow His grace upon him from the outset and admit him into Paradise and forgive him for the sins that he committed. Al-Bukhaari (6933) and Muslim (1659) narrated that Abu Dharr said: The Messenger of Allah (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) said: “Jibreel appeared to me at the side of the Harrah and said: ‘Give your Ummah the glad tidings that whoever dies not associating anything with Allah will enter Paradise.’ I said: ‘O Jibreel, even if he steals and even if commits zina?’ He said: ‘Yes.’ I said: ‘Even if he steals and even if commits zina?’ He said: ‘Yes.’ I said: ‘Even if he steals and even if he commits zina?’ He said: ‘Yes, and even if he drinks alcohol.’”
If kaafirs have good morals, will they enter Paradise? Will the children of the Kuffar enter Paradise?
You should note that all the kaafirs who hear the message of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and do not enter Islam will go to Hell. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“Verily, those who disbelieve (in the religion of Islam, the Qur’aan and Prophet Muhammad) from among the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) and Al-Mushrikun will abide in the fire of Hell. They are the worst of creatures”
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “By the One in Whose hand is my soul, no one of this nation, Jew or Christian, hears of me then dies without having believed in that with which I was sent, but he will be one of the people of the Fire.” Narrated by Muslim, 153.
The point is not whether their morals are good, rather the point is whether they submit to Allaah and obey his commands. Do you not see the Magians [Zoroastrians] or the Buddhists, for example, who worship fire or idols instead of Allaah, and they do not worship Allaah or submit to Him alone, and the Christians who say that God has a son, and other mushriks (those who associate others with Allaah). They are being ill-mannered towards Allaah, and insulting and reviling Him. The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Allaah says, ‘The son of Adam denied Me and he had no right to do so. And he reviled Me and he had no right to do so. As for his denying Me, it is his saying: He will not remake me as He made me at first – and the initial creation [of him] is no easier for Me than remaking him. As for his reviling Me, it is his saying: Allaah has taken to Himself a son, while I am the One, the Everlasting Refuge. I begot not nor was I begotten, and there is none comparable to Me.’” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 4974.
So how can their morals be good when they are so ill-mannered towards Allaah, even though Allaah has given them hearing and sight, and has made everything easy for them, and has sent His Messengers to them and revealed His Books to them, and bestowed His blessings upon them, so it is His right that they should thank Him and not be ungrateful to Him or disbelieve in Him. If they do not do that then they deserve His punishment and wrath. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“and your Lord treats no one with injustice”
With regard to the situation of their children who die when still young, Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz was asked about that and he said:
If one who is not yet accountable dies among kaafir parents, then he comes under the same rulings as them in this world, so he should not be washed and the funeral prayer should not be offered for him, and he should not be buried in the Muslim graveyard.
But in the Hereafter his case is referred to Allaah. It was narrated in a saheeh report that when the Messenger of Allaah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) was asked about the children of the Muhrikeen he said: “Allaah knows best what they would have done.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 1384.
Some of the scholars were of the view that Allaah’s knowledge about them will be made manifest on the Day of Resurrection, and that they will be tested, as will the people who lived during the fatrah (interval between two Prophets) and others. If they do what they are told to do then they will enter Paradise, and if they disobey then they will enter Hell. There are saheeh ahaadeeth from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) which say that the people who lived during the fatrah (interval between two Prophets) will be tested on the Day of Resurrection. These are the people whom the call of the Messengers did not reach and those who come under a similar ruling, such as the children of the Muhrikeen, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And We never punish until We have sent a Messenger (to give warning)”
This is the most correct view among the various opinions concerning the people who lived during the fatrah (interval between two Prophets) and others whom the call did not reach, and it is the view favoured by Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah and his student Ibn al-Qayyim, and a number of the earlier and later generations.
Majmoo’ Fataawa WA Maqaalaat Mutanawwi’ah, 3/163-164.
 Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī, Ḥadīth 6952.
 Sūrah al-Anfāl, Āyah 46.
 Kitāb al-‘Ilm, p. 89 – 91.
 Tuḥfah al-Mujīb, p. 112.
 [al-Hashr 59:7]
 [an-Noor 24:54]
 [an-Nisa’ 4:64]
 [an-Nisa’ 4:65].
 [al-Maa’idah 5:3].
 [al-Hashr 59:7].
 [an-Nisa’ 4:11].
 [ash-Shoora 42:11].
 [al-An‘aam 6:103].
 [al-An‘aam 6:145].
 [al-Ahzaab 33:37].
 [al-An‘aam 6:82].
 [an-Nisa’ 4:101].
 [al-Maa’idah 5:3].
 [al-An‘aam 6:145].
 [al-A‘raaf 7:32].
 [an-Nisa’ 4:59].
 [al-Maa’idah 5:72]
 [al-Tawbah 9:32-33]
 [al-Tawbah 9:30, 31]
 [al-Bayyinah 98:1]
 [al-Tawbah 9:28]
 [al-Tawbah 9:31]
 (Aala Imraan, 3:70)
 (Aala Imran, 3:99)
 [al-Baqarah 2:62]
 [al-Hajj 22:17]
 [al-Maa’idah 5:69]
 [al-Baqarah 2:62]
 [al-Hajj 22:17]
 [al-Shoora 42:13]
 [Aal ‘Imraan 3:8]
 [al-Maa’idah 5:56]
 [al-Mujaadilah 58:22]
 [az-Zumar 39:65-66].
 [an-Nisa’ 4:145].
 [al-Kahf 18:49]
 [al-Isra’ 17:15]