An Advice to the Salafis to Show Kindness and Softness and to Reject Disunity and Differences … and to Leave the Unlegislated Type of Boycotting
Translated by Ahmed Abu Turaab / www.shaikhalbaani.wordpress.com
The Imaam said, “All Praise is due to Allaah, we praise Him, and seek His help and forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allaah, the Most High, from the evils of our own selves and from our wicked deeds. Whosoever has been guided by Allaah, none can misguide him, and whosoever has been misguided by Allaah, none can guide him. I bear witness that there is no true god worthy of being worshipped except Allaah, Alone, without partner or associate. And I bear witness that Muhammad is His true slave and Messenger.
O you who believe! Fear Allaah as He should be feared, and die not except in a state of Islaam (as Muslims with complete submission to Allaah). Aali-Imraan 3:102
O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person (Adam) and from him He created his wife, and from them both He created many men and women, and fear Allaah through Whom you demand your mutual (rights) and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship). Surely, Allaah is ever an All-Watcher over you. An-Nisaa 4:1
O you who believe! Keep your duty to Allaah and fear Him, and speak (always) the Truth, He will direct you to do righteous good deeds and will forgive you your sins. And whosoever obeys Allaah and His Messenger, he has indeed achieved a great success. Al-Ahzaab 33: 70-71
As for what follows: Then the best of speech is the Speech of Allaah, and the best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad. The worst of affairs are the newly-invented matters, and every newly-invented matter is an innovation and every innovation is misguidance and all misguidance is in the Fire.
The [following] saying of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم is known amongst us all, ‘The religion is sincerity, the religion is sincerity, the religion is sincerity.’ We asked, “To whom, O Messenger of Allah?” He said, “To Allaah, His Book, His Messenger, and the leaders of the Muslims and to the common Muslim.’
And it is obligatory upon every sincere advisor to direct advice to we Muslims today from the general folk, more particularly, we Salafis who make up a large proportion of this huge number of Muslims, and who are proud that Allaah, the Blessed and Most High, has favoured them over many Muslims by facilitating the understanding of tawheed for them, which is the foundation for being saved in the Hereafter from the enduring punishment, … tawheed which we have studied and come to know well and which we have fulfilled through [our] aqidah.
But I feel, and sorrow fills my heart, that what you see regarding ourselves when we stop at this aqidah and what it entails, from those things which are known such as acting upon the Book and the Sunnah and not putting anything else but the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم forward … we have taken this stance, of correctly understanding tawheed, which it is obligatory on every Muslim to take, and to act upon what is established in the Book and the Sunnah concerning that which is connected to fiqh which has, through the passing of these many years, split into various schools of thought and divided ways …
But it appears, and this is what I have repeated on many occasions, that this Islamic world, which includes the Salafis themselves, has become preoccupied from [focusing on] an important aspect of this Islaam which we have adopted as an ideology. A general, all-encompassing Islaam for all aspects of life–and from that is manners and being upright on the Path. Many of us do not give importance to this aspect of Islaam, i.e., to improving manners and [one’s] conduct. We read the saying of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم in the books of the authentic Sunnah, ‘Indeed a man will reach the ranks of the one who stands to pray at night and fasts during the day through his good manners.’ And in the Noble Quraan we read that the Muslims splitting amongst themselves is not from Islamic manners, especially we Salafis, over things that do not necessitate differing or discord; concerning that we read His Saying, the Most High, ‘… and do not dispute and [thus] lose courage and [then] your strength would depart …’ Anfaal 8:46.
And indeed what is truly sad is that we hear–and not only in the Islamic countries–that the Muslims have divided into many groups and numerous sects, even in the current battle between them and the disbelievers who invaded some of the lands [of the Muslims], like our brothers for example in Afghanistan. All of us know that they are now in a battle with the communists, but regretfully they have divided into groups. And the cause for that is nothing but turning away from some of the direction that Islaam has given regarding uniting and throwing aside schism and discord, the previous aayah is clear about that, ‘… and do not dispute and [thus] lose courage and [then] your strength would depart …’ Anfaal 8:46.
I say: this differing and conflict did not stop at the borders of those countries far from us, but rather it has reached us too. And we Salafis who claim that we cling to the Book and the authentic Sunnah–we are not rejecting the favour of Allaah the Blessed and Most High on us, wherewith He guided us to tawheed and to acting upon what is established in the Book and the Sunnah–but isn’t it established in the Book and the Sunnah that we do not envy each other, nor hate each other and that we be brothers as Allaah the Mighty and Majestic ordered us in His Book and His Prophet صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم in his sunnah? Yes.
This is something which we know as being a piece of knowledge, but which we did not implement practically. And maybe we will [hopefully] implement and strive for it rapidly.
It is lamentable that there is some disunity and discord for extremely petty reasons; as such it is obligatory to …”
The Shaikh continued, “It is lamentable that there is some disunity and discord for extremely petty reasons; as such it is obligatory to keep before our eyes what is, in today’s language, called, ‘religious tolerance,’ [at-tassamuh ad-deeni]–but with the meaning which Islaam allows.
‘Religious tolerance’ can be expanded to an extent which Islaam does not permit, but we know the correct meaning of tolerance; which is if we see that a person who is not a Salafi–let alone if he is a Salafi–has a specific opinion or independent judgement [ijtihaad], or that he really has made a mistake in some of his actions, that we do not rush to scold him and then to boycott him. Rather it is obligatory upon us to traverse the path of giving sincere advice, which was what we started this talk with when we mentioned the hadith, ‘The religion is sincerity, the religion is sincerity …’
So if we advise him and he responds to it, then that is what we want, and if he does not respond then there is not any cause [for blame] upon us, and it is not permissible that we rush to ostracise him. Rather it is [incumbent] upon us to remain with him, persevering in advising him from time to time, and now and then, until he becomes firm and upright on the correct path.
We note in many of our private gatherings let alone others, that an issue with two adversaries will have each one trying to pull the topic to favour himself, he will not present the issue without it being for him or against the other person, as should be the case in discussions to reach the truth as Allaah the Blessed and Most High ordered, and not to show that I, I am the one who is correct and he is not.
“… I will call to mind some texts from the noble aayahs which will benefit us in this regard and take us back, if Allaah wills, to being one hand, one rank, with not a single one of us boycotting any of his brothers, but rather persisting in instructing and advising him …”
As such, on this occasion we must remember that the aayahs and some authentic hadiths, knowledge of which I do not think is hidden from anyone of us, but whose implementation and execution is … for this reason [on this occasion] and using my weak memory, I will call to mind some texts from the noble aayahs which will benefit us in this regard and take us back, if Allaah wills, to being one hand, one rank, with not a single one of us boycotting any of his brothers, but rather persisting in instructing and advising him.
So all of us know the Saying of Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, “The believers are but brothers, so make settlement between your brothers. And fear Allaah that you may receive mercy.” Hujuraat 49:10 Here fearing Allaah is a general order to be distant from every act of disobedience to Allaah the Mighty and Majestic and to His Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم. From that is following the guidance and light which Allaah the Mighty and Majestic and His Messenger ordered us to follow, likewise from that is what He mentioned before the order to fear Him which was to, “…make settlement between your brothers …” so reconciliation between the brothers should be attempted when there is an indication that there is something which could lead to disunity. And disunity is not restricted only to disagreement in aqidah, but rather to disagreements in the tenets [Ahkaam] of the Legislation which [our] noble Islaam came with.
This aayah, “The believers are but brothers, so make settlement between your brothers. And fear Allaah that you may receive mercy,” … so the mercy which we all hope for from Allaah the Blessed and Most High is only obtained by fearing Him, the Mighty and Majestic. For this reason it is [incumbent] upon us to make peace between the differing parties. Likewise in the Noble Quraan there occurs, “And hold firmly to the rope of Allaah all together and do not become divided. And remember the favour of Allaah upon you–when you were enemies and He brought your hearts together and you became, by His favour, brothers. And you were on the edge of a pit of the Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus does Allaah make clear to you His verses that you may be guided.” Aali Imraan 3:103 There is no doubt that this aayah was [initially] directly addressing the Companions of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم, for He addressed them, saying, “… And you were on the edge of a pit of the Fire, and He saved you from it …” through what means was this deliverance [achieved]?
Without doubt it was through …”
The Imaam continues, “Without doubt it was through the sending of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم to them with the Book of Allah, the Mighty and Majestic, and through his clarification/explanation [of it] عليه الصلاة والسلام.
Do you think we have a share in this aayah? We thank Allaah that we have a portion not to be slighted of this aayah where Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, spoke … especially its middle part [where He said], “And remember the favour of Allaah upon you–when you were enemies and He brought your hearts together and you became, by His favour, brothers.” What is it that brought our hearts together and gathered us together here and there? It is nothing but eemaan in the obligation of returning to the Book and the Sunnah and returning to them for judgement always and forever … such that if something appears which indicates that there will be some difference and disunity, as He, the Most High, said, in the aayah which you all know very well, “And if you disagree over anything, refer it to Allaah and the Messenger, if you should believe in Allaah and the Last Day. That is the best [way] and best in result.” Nisaa 4:59 … this is from what Allaah the Blessed and Most High has blessed and favoured us with …
… the Mighty and Majestic addressed us in the generality of the text whereas He addressed the Companions with it specifically, saying, “…And remember the favour of Allaah upon you–when you were enemies and He brought your hearts together and you became, by His favour, brothers. And you were on the edge of a pit of the Fire, and He saved you from it.”
We used to be as most of the Muslims today live, and they are Muslims, but the Saying of Allaah the Blessed and Most High applies to a lot of them if not most of them, “And most of them believe not in Allaah except while they associate others with Him.” Yusuf 12:106
“… Alhamdulillaah, Allaah the Mighty and Majestic has saved us from shirk, rather from all forms of shirk, so this is from the greatest of blessings upon us …” So, alhamdulillaah, Allaah the Mighty and Majestic has saved us from shirk, rather from all forms of shirk, so this is from the greatest of blessings upon us. But we have to realise the completion of this blessing upon us by agreeing and not differing, as the beginning of this aayah orders us, “And hold firmly to the rope of Allaah all together and do not become divided.”
That which confirms or that which can be a cause to preserve the unity of our ranks and unite our word if something which hints at division occurs, is what I said just now: sincerely advising one another regarding the religion of Allaah the Mighty and Majestic. But this advice has to be as Allaah the Mighty and Majestic ordered in the following aayah, “Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good instruction, and argue with them in a way that is best. Indeed, your Lord is most knowing of who has strayed from His way, and He is most knowing of who is [rightly] guided.” Nahl 16:125
We read this in the Quraan all the time, but how often we, regretfully, leave [the limits set by] this aayah and do not implement it, nor do we call our brothers who share with us in our inclination and this Salafi methodology [based upon it], let alone other than them. Rarely do we follow this way and path which Allaah the Blessed and Most High ordered us with. “Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good instruction, and argue with them in a way that is best.” Arguing in a way that is best requires what we mentioned just now: some tolerance, and this tolerance demands two things from us …”
The First Point: That we should bear in mind–that every one of us should keep in mind that revelation did not come down upon him regarding the opinion he holds, and that it is possible that he is mistaken and the person he is arguing and debating with is correct. When a person discusses [an issue] with him, each one of us should spontaneously bring to mind the fact that we are not infallible, whatever one’s level from amongst us is, whether he is learning or a scholar.
How often the statement of the scholars is proven to be correct, ‘There can be found in the inferior person, what is not found in the superior.’ It is possible that the scholar is mistaken and the student is correct. The student maybe incorrect and the illiterate one who does not know may be correct. Summoning this reality makes a person careful and causes him to stop at the truth [not being arrogant and rejecting it when it is pointed out by] the person he is having a discussion with. And this is a type of manners taken from the Noble Quran, because Allaah the Mighty and Majestic mentioned in His Book that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم used to address his people, who were polytheists–and what a difference there is between the polytheists in their misguidance and the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and his Companions in their eemaan–yet along with that Allaah the Mighty and Majestic taught him this lofty [part of] manners which we expressed as tolerance, so He said in the Noble Quran, “And indeed, we or you are either upon guidance or in clear error. Say, ‘You will not be asked about what we committed, and we will not be asked about what you do.’” Saba 34:24-25
So this is the highest degree of tolerance during a debate, it does not mean a Muslim relinquishes his belief but in it is an assumption that one of the two groups is on the truth and the other is upon misguidance.
Who is this group [which is on misguidance]? He did not specify it here but whenever he calls them to having faith, telling them that if they disbelieve in what he صلى الله عليه وسلم has brought from Allaah the Mighty and Majestic, then, “Indeed, you [disbelievers] and what you worship other than Allaah are the firewood of Hell. You will be coming to [enter] it,” Anbiyaa 21:98 [this is] when he declares his belief to them and explains their lot if they continue to oppose him صلى الله عليه وسلم.
[But] when he debates with them he صلى الله عليه وسلم says, “And indeed, we or you are either upon guidance or in clear error.” This is how the Prophet عليه الصلاة والسلام addressed the polytheists, so how then should one of us address one of his own?
There is no doubt that he must be humble with him and show him tolerance, and not launch an all-out attack on him and become distant from him as one enemy does from another. This aayah is very important, and we should remember it well, “And indeed, we or you are either upon guidance or in clear error. Say, ‘You will not be asked about what we committed, and we will not be asked about what you do.’”
And there are some authentic hadiths which we are also in need of remembering practically and not [leaving it at] just [being acquainted with them] as a notion or a piece of knowledge, and [one of them is] his saying عليه الصلاة والسلام, “Do not hate one another, and do not be jealous of one another; and do not desert [cut your relations with] each other, and O Allaah’s worshippers! Be brothers. Lo! It is not permissible for any Muslim to desert [not talk to] his brother [Muslim] for more than three days.’” Bukhari no.6065
Why does he ostracise him? Out of hatred and jealousy, not for a legislated reason, not because he disobeyed Allaah and His Messenger; rather the worst that can be said is that: [the person being boycotted] disobeyed Allaah and His Messenger due to what the person arguing with him holds to be a misunderstanding, but he didn’t openly proclaim disobedience, he did not believe that this [i.e., what he was doing] was a sin yet despite that [it is possible that] he is disobeying Allaah the Mighty and Majestic, so then [because of that] one of us comes along and boycotts him.
There is no doubt that this boycotting is legislated but cutting off from one another due to a difference in views and in understanding is the turning away from one another which is prohibited in the first part of this hadith, “Do not hate one another, and do not be jealous of one another; and do not desert [cut your relations with] each other …” Additionally, this characteristic or type of manners, i.e., being jealous of one another is something which has spread amongst our Salafi brothers.
So at times in some areas there will be a dispute over who will give a speech or lesson … ‘No, I have more right!’ ‘No, he does!’ Yaa Jamaa’ah, fear Allaah regarding yourselves.
If there is someone who has some knowledge and he wants to share what he knows amongst the people then leave him and let him speak and aid him in that. Do not look at each other to gain superiority and by being arrogant towards him because you see him to be less than you in terms of knowledge, and he may see the situation to be the opposite to you, and thus dissension and conflict begin. And as a result of that these issues which the Prophet عليه السلام forbade in the authentic hadith occur, “Do not hate one another, and do not be jealous of one another; and do not desert [cut your relations with] each other, and O Allaah’s worshippers! Be brothers. Lo! It is not permissible for any Muslim to desert [not talk to] his brother [Muslim] for more than three days.’” It is obligatory to sever this boycotting and end it.
This hadith, in reality, is from the Mercy of Allaah the Mighty and Majestic upon His servants, because He did not forbid boycotting absolutely, but left open the opportunity for some sick souls to vent their anger and spite and jealousy within three days. It suffices a person to vent his anger through these three days, he has been allowed to do that. But if he exceeds that [time limit] then he has done something haraam.
And as occurs in some authentic hadiths, by exceeding the three days in which the Legislator has permitted him to boycott, he would deserve to enter the Fire, in another hadith [there occurs], ‘It is not allowed for a Muslim to boycott his brother for more than three. They meet and so this one turns away from that one, and that one from this. And the best of them is the one who initiates giving the salutation to his brother,’ i.e., if it is difficult for this Muslim who has, allowably, cut off from his brother for three days, but at the same time he has not forgotten the severe threat from the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم that it is not allowed for him to continue in that for more than three days, [if it is difficult for him] then the least that [can be done] … to actualise amica bility between the two people who have cut off from each other after three days … immediately, straightaway it is enough to escape from this threat for him to initiate giving his brother salaam. Then after that salaam some talking will occur and after that talking some friendship … and so on. And as is said, ‘Rains start with a drop, and then pours forth.’
So nothing less than a Muslim taking the initiative to give salaam to his brother who he had boycotted on the third day and in that is an escape from the threat that accompanies boycotting … for three days.
Listen along with me to this prophetic saying from the Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم and the threat it contains for the one who cuts off from his brother without a just cause, he صلى الله عليه وسلم said, ‘The Gates of Paradise are opened every Monday and Thursday, and every servant who does not associate anything with Allaah is forgiven …’ We rejoice at this, ‘Because we are the callers to tawheed, and we are the ones who raise the banner of calling to tawheed, and to eliminating any form of shirk with Allaah,’ so we then assume that we will enter Paradise without any reckoning or punishment, [like a flight] ‘in transit’ as is said today, because we are monotheists who do not associate anything in worship with Allaah–but this is not the case [i.e., we are not guaranteed Paradise].
Listen to this hadith and comprehend it and try to follow it as your model in your life, ‘The Gates of Paradise are opened every Monday and Thursday, and every slave who does not associate anything with Allaah is forgiven, except a man between whom and his brother is a grudge. It is said, ‘Wait for these two until they reconcile. Wait for these two until they reconcile. Wait for these two until they reconcile,’ i.e., wait for them and do not forgive them until they reconcile and return to being brothers, ‘… on thrones facing each other.’ Ibrahim 15:47
‘The Gates of Paradise are opened every Monday and Thursday, and every slave who does not associate anything with Allaah is forgiven, except a man between whom and his brother is a grudge. It is said, ‘Wait for these two until they reconcile. Wait for these two until they reconcile. Wait for these two until they reconcile,’ then in another hadith he عليه السلام said, ‘There are three whose prayer does not rise more than a hand span above their heads: A man who leads people [in prayer] when they do not like him; a woman who has spent the night with her husband angry with her; and two brothers who have severed contact with one another,’ i.e., cut off from one another, harbouring mutual enmity.
So the evil effect of boycotting, ostracising and leaving one another without a legislated justification apart from a difference in opinion is that [one’s] prayer is not raised to Allaah and is not accepted, as He the Most High said, “To Him ascends good speech, and righteous work raises it.” Faatir 35:10
So the prayer of these two who have severed contact with one another is not raised up to Allaah the Blessed and Most High.
Many times severing ties and harshness occur due to suspicions and mistaken impressions crossing one’s mind regarding one’s Muslim brother. So this hadith which is the last [to be mentioned] came along to warn and forbid us from having bad suspicions of a Muslim.
So he عليه الصلاة والسلام said, ‘Beware of suspicion, for it is the worst of false tales and don’t look for the other’s faults and don’t spy, and don’t hate each other, and don’t desert [cut your relations with] one another. O Allaah’s slaves, be brothers!’ Bukhaari 6724
In the first part of the hadith he forbids us from having evil suspicions of a Muslim brother and further clarifies that by saying that it is the worst of false tales, that you [for example] say, ‘So and so is like this, so and so is like that,’ [it is the worst of false tales because] you have no proof from Allaah the Mighty and Majestic for what you say, and if you did have a proof which permitted you to have evil suspicions about your brother then it is [still] not allowed to backbite him.
Rather, as we stated at the beginning of this lecture, it is upon you to advise him and guide him and direct him to that course which you see is in accordance with the Legislation.
And oftentimes this evil suspicion will push the one harbouring it to commit these violations which the Prophet عليه السلام mentioned along with the prohibition of having evil suspicions about a Muslim when he said, ‘…and don’t spy …’ ‘… don’t look for the other’s faults [tahassus] and don’t spy [tajassus] …’
Tajassus is to follow after a Muslim’s mistakes in order to defame him and slander him and vilify him. As for tahassus then some scholars say that both these words [i.e., tajassus and tahassus] have the same meaning, but the reality is that tahassus [i.e., ‘looking for the other’s faults’] has a meaning which differs from that of tajassus [i.e., ‘spying on’] because sometimes it is not correct to use the word tajassus in place of tahassus, for in the Noble Quraan there is the saying of Ya’qoob عليه السلام to his sons, ‘… go and find out [tahassasu] about Joseph …’ Yusuf 12:87
So tahassus is running after someone’s news, and listening to it, so here it is as though tahassus is more specific than tajassus.
Tahassus can be regarding something good and bad, but as for tajassus then it is only regarding evil. In this hadith the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم prohibited both things, he prohibited chasing up people’s affairs and spying, for affairs are judged by their intent, so if the purpose behind tahussus is to attain some good then there is no harm in it, as for tajassus then there is no good in it whatsoever, for this reason it is not allowed for a Muslim to follow up on and listen to what a Muslim says with the intent of chasing up his mistakes and hidden matters, and to land him in something he would not like.
‘Don’t spy and don’t be envious of one another,’ why does a person envy his Muslim brother?
This is something which most regrettably a person–almost–has a natural propensity for, and I say ‘almost’, because I do not believe that Allaah created a person with a natural disposition to envy his Muslim brother, that is why I said, ‘a person–almost–has a natural propensity for …’ [but I said this] due to just how much jealousy [does in fact] overcome the people. And the reality is that this disease, jealousy, is a chronic one and how often it emerges amongst the wealthy–whether rich in material gains or wealthy in terms of knowledge. So the person who is rich in materials gains is envied by those like him, and the wealthy in knowledge is envied by those like him, and then that results in being a cause for hatred and envious people to enter.
And the Prophet عليه السلام said, educating/disciplining us, ‘…and don’t look for the other’s faults and don’t spy, and don’t hate each other, and don’t desert [cut your relations with] one another. O Allaah’s slaves, be brothers as Allaah the Blessed and Most High ordered you to,’ i.e., in His Saying, the Most High, ‘And hold firmly to the rope of Allaah all together and do not become divided.’ Aali-Imraan 3:103
So this was a speech and exhortation which I hope Allaah the Blessed and Most High will cause to be of benefit, and [I hope] that He grants us true brotherhood and friendship which we are all in need of actualising.
We ask Allaah the Mighty and Majestic to aid us in obeying Him in all that He has ordered.
Glory is to You, O Allah, and praise is to You. I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship but You. I seek Your forgiveness and repent to You. —————–Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 23.
Questioner: In the talks of the brother Kamaal, he described the Salafis as having harshness and not being kind, so I don’t know, do you think … that this feature is the one most common, the Saved Sect inshaa Allaah they are the strangers, or is it a characteristic of some people and what is your advice regarding this issue?
Al-Albaani: By Allaah my brother, I believe that there is a basis for this accusation but that it is exaggerated. We cannot free ourselves from faults such as this but I also think that the opponents of the da’wah exaggerate its extent. And there are reasons for that some of which are from the nature of the jamaa’ah [itself], and some of them are from the nature of its opponents. If there is a jamaa’ah ordering the good and forbidding the evil from the generality of Muslims then it is this group. For this reason when they urge the enjoining of good and forbiddance of evil it appears to those other people who are overly lenient in upholding this obligation [themselves] that there is harshness and extremism is in it. For this reason the oppressive international disbelieving media calls these [so called] extremists, ‘fundamentalists’, because they are distinct from the others due to the fact that they are very eager for their Islaam and their religion to be a judge on earth, so this is what is connected to the reality of these strangers or the people of creed or the saved sect. Another thing which may be a fault in them or some of them and no group or jamaa’ah is free of this, is that at times harshness may emanate from them which should not do so, but then this is exaggerated and then all who follow this correct methodology become included in it, and thus the matter moves from reality to imagination.
So for these two reasons, one of which is connected to the reality of these people who uphold this obligation which others do not uphold except the very few who are rare, and the other which is connected to their opponents who are not happy with this methodology which they tread upon especially when they are trying to tackle issues which those other [overly-lenient] people regard as secondary issues, this is what they call it [i.e., ‘secondary’ issues] when they are being soft, for otherwise they have called it [by names such as] ‘trivial’ and they say it is a cause for disunity … and so on …
So this is what I see to be an answer to your question.
Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 609.
Questioner: What do you think about giving some general advice, O Shaikh, to the callers, namely, an advice about how to call to the establishment of a correct knowledge-based methodology in Jordan?
Al-Albaani: Before everything, it is obligatory on our brothers who are eager to follow the Book and the Sunnah to study it in a precise, scholarly manner, with perception and the correct understanding, and [careful] deliberation from basing [one’s knowledge] on the personal opinions of those who regard themselves as having become from the students of this noble pursuit. And in addition to studying this knowledge, it is also obligatory that every student be keen to act upon what he has learnt, so that his knowledge not be a proof against him on one hand, and so that Allaah, the Blessed and Most High, benefits the people through his knowledge [on the other].
Thereafter it is fitting that a third point be noted, which is that when we want to call the people to the guidance and light that He has bestowed upon us it is obligatory that we be gentle and not severe/harsh with them and that we do not make it appear to them as though we are more special than them due to this knowledge.
We have to regard all of the people who we see as being far from the prophetic guidance صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم as being ill. And there is no doubt that the non-physical illness sickness is more severe and harmful than the bodily one. And if a medical doctor is supposed to treat his patients with kindness, such that many of them say that some patients become better just by hearing kind words from their doctor, then how much more so and how much more deserving it is that the student of knowledge, who has undertaken [the responsibility of] directing and guiding the people to following the Sunnah and following what the Righteous Predecessors were upon, be gentle in calling them, soft when dealing with them.
And if the Prophet صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم reproached [the noble] lady Aishah, may Allaah be pleased with her, when she was stern when returning the greeting to that Jew who had visited the Prophet صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم and who wickedly said when giving salaam, ‘As-Saam alaikum,’ [i.e., death be upon you]. So his salaam was not clear[ly recognisable] as being the salaam said by the Muslims and nor was it clear that it was a supplication for death upon the Chief of the Messengers. The Jew did not say it clearly and openly, and naturally, he would not have dared to have addressed the Prophet عليه السلام when the state [i.e. , power] was his at that time, by saying, ‘As-Saam alaikum,’ [openly].
But due to the ignominy and the spite and the disbelief in the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم that was in the Jew’s heart, he did not give the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم as-salaam which is one of the Names of Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, as occurs in an authentic hadith, but [instead] he mumbled it and said, ‘As-Saam alaikum.’ And it goes without saying that that would not be hidden from the Prophet صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم, so he عليه السلام, replied to him briefly, extremely concisely by saying, ‘Wa alaikum,’ [‘… and upon you …’].
As for the [noble] lady Aishah, who was behind the hijab, no sooner had she heard this twisted phrase coming from that Jew than she said, ‘And upon you be death and curses and the Anger [of Allaah], [you] brothers of apes and pigs!’ So when the Jew left, the Prophet عليه السلام said, ‘What is this, O Aaishah?’ She said, ‘O Prophet of Allaah! Didn’t you hear what he said?’ He said to her, ‘Didn’t you hear what I said, O Aaishah?’–and here is the point being proven–‘There is no gentleness in a thing but it adorns it, and it is not removed from something but it mars it.’ Bukhari no. 6602
So if the Prophet عليه السلام was like this with someone who spoke to that Jew in that stern way, i.e., Aaishah may Allaah be pleased with her–and she had the right to because she understood from the Jew’s statement that he was supplicating for death upon the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم–what then should our stance be towards our brothers who at the very least share with us in the two Shahaadahs? There is no doubt that we must be kind and not harsh with them.
And due to this, when the Prophet صلى الله عليه وعلى آله وسلم sent Mu’aadh ibn Jabal and Abu Musa al-Ash’ari, may Allaah be pleased with them both, to Yemen, he counselled them with the following, “Be easy going and do not be harsh, give glad tidings and do not put people off, cooperate and do not be divided.” [Muslim no. 4526, the Shaikh mentioned a shorter wording].
So all of this and what was mentioned before makes us pay heed to the fact that we should be forbearing and easy-going with the people. And as I say on this occasion and how often I do say this: our call, walhamdulillaah, is the true call, and the people are heedless of the truth.
The truth in and of itself is heavy on the people, so it is enough of a burden on them that we call them to this truth which is [already] heavy on them. The burden of the truth is enough for them [to try and handle]. And this is what should deter and prevent us from adding to this load on them by our use of a harsh manner in calling them to the truth.
For when harsh manners are added to the intensity of the truth and its burden upon the people … if calling the people [to the truth] is accompanied by the intensity of the truth and its burden on them–and this is something correct, then it is not befitting that we add another burden to this one–which is not correct, [for] then this second burden [i.e., harsh manners] will be a hindrance for the people from accepting this truth which is weighty in and of itself, as He the Most High said, “Indeed, We will cast upon you a heavy word.” Muzzammil 75:5
For this reason, part of what he عليه السلام said to Mu’aadh in the incident where he prolonged his recitation in the Ishaa prayer which led one of the Ansaar to cut off his prayer behind him, pray on his own and then go home, leaving the Jamaa’ah–so when this news reached Mu’aadh he was severe in his attack upon this Ansaari, such that he said about him, ‘He is a hypocrite.’ And Mu’aadh, may Allaah be pleased with him, made this statement based upon the general principle which Ibn Mas’ood mentioned in his long hadith reported in Sahih Muslim, ‘None would remain behind from the prayer in congregation except a hypocrite,’ and likewise there is another hadith [which mentions] that the person who is in the mosque and hears the call to prayer but then leaves is a hypocrite. [So] Mu’aadh used this general principle [when making his statement] concerning that person, and he was mistaken in doing so. Because that man did not leave the prayer due to him following [his] desires but rather due to an excuse he had which he clarified to the Prophet عليه السلام when he complained of Mu’adh to him. So the Prophet عليه السلام sent for Mu’aadh as is known and he عليه السلام said to him, “Do you want to cause fitnah, O Mu’aadh? Do you want to cause fitnah, O Mu’aadh? Do you want to cause fitnah, O Mu’aadh? It is enough for you to recite, ‘By the sun and its brightness,’ ‘By the night as it envelops,’ and surahs like it and when one of you leads the people in prayer let him make it light,’ [Bukhaari and Muslim] to the end of the hadith.
So the point is that hardness and harshness harm the da’wah, and we, regretfully, notice about many of our brothers that every time the newer this person is to the da’wah the rougher he is in it, because he thinks that harshness helps the da’wah, whereas the reality is that it harms it and in this regard His Saying, the Mighty and Majestic, is enough for you, “And if you had been rude [in speech] and harsh in heart, they would have disbanded from about you.” Aali-Imraan 3:159
And I also see [it appropriate] that I mention that today we have been afflicted with the opposite of what we were put to test with in past generations. In the past we were afflicted with the rigidity of the scholars, let alone the students of knowledge, let alone the general masses, we were tested with the blind following of the madhhabs. And the Muslims continued in this rigidity for many a long generation. Now there is a return, there is a blessed awakening to go back to the Book and the Sunnah, and there is no doubt that it has produced its ripe fruit–but now it’s the opposite of that [initial] affair that we complain about. We used to complain about rigidity but now we [must] complain about uninhibitedness [i.e., dashing ahead].
“… ‘I think that … my opinion is that … I think that this statement is incorrect …’ and he interferes in every major and minor issue–all the while not being able to read a hadith correctly …”
Everyone who hears a statement from the Book or the Sunnah … not understanding anything from the Book and the Sunnah except a few phrases and words which he hears from some of the callers [daa’ees]–words which may be true and some of which may be incorrect … because of that [i.e., the few phrases he may have picked up, some of which are correct and some of which are not] he sees himself as having become a scholar, it being permissible [now] for him to say, ‘I think that … my opinion is that … I think that this statement is incorrect …’ and he interferes in every major and minor issue–all the while not being able to read a hadith correctly.
This [situation] has its dangers. And if the affair, and this is my personal opinion, if the affair hinges between following one of the four madhhabs and being rigid on it and between every Muslim becoming a claimant to knowledge and to ijtihaad, then there is no doubt that remaining upon what the forefathers were upon in following the madhhabs and to discard the opinions of the ignorant ones who have not studied any knowledge, is better. And this is by way of choosing the lesser of two evils.
A wise person or an author from Iraq made a very beautiful statement …, he said, “That I make ijtihaad and err is more beloved to me than for me to perform taqleed and be correct,” he said, “I only said, ‘… more beloved to me …’ and not that it is better because a mistake is not better than a correct answer.”
For this reason, we have to advise our brothers who share with us in the da’wah and in adopting the Book and the Sunnah not to be deceived by themselves or by some of the pieces of information that they have learnt from others and which were not [acquired] through their own personal study.
For in relation to others this opens up a door [leading to criticism] concerning us which we will have no way of answering; for they raise an objection saying that we permit those who, as they say here in Syria, ‘… cannot differentiate between a long stick and the [Arabic] letter alif [even though both are straight] …’
Without doubt, this is a fault attributed to the Salafi da’wah but there is [also] no doubt that the Salafi da’wah does not approve of the adoption of personal opinions emanating from people who are not students of knowledge, and who, even if they are, have not yet matured or become fully developed in knowledge.
For this reason, I recommend that these people do not become conceited by their own opinions and that they seek the assistance of the people of knowledge, for the Quraan, as you know, divided the people into two categories: a scholar and a non-scholar.
And the situation was like this in all of the past generations, especially the first, the most illuminated generation, that of the Prophet عليه السلام. So the people used to be of two categories [like we said], the scholar and the layman, and this is what Allaah the Mighty and Majestic referred to in His Saying, “So ask the people of the message if you do not know.” Nahl 16:43
Ibn al-Qayyim and others say that from amongst the Companions the scholars who would issue religious verdicts [fatwas] barely reached two hundred in number, two hundred scholars–they were not like the millions, maa shaa Allaah, of Muslims today where each one has an opinion to give, [saying], ‘I have an opinion that …’–[no,] the thousands upon thousands of other Companions would not have each one putting forward his opinion, but they would, rather, implement His Saying, the Most High, “So ask the people of the message if you do not know.”
And so based upon this aayah, it is obligatory to spread this reality among our Salafi youth and to cause them to live by it, such that they always and forever have before their eyes the fact that [if you are a scholar then] you perform ijtihaad and understand the Book and the Sunnah, and if you are not a scholar then it is not your obligation to say: ‘I think such and such …,’ ‘I performed ijtihaad and came to the conclusion that …,’ whether that be in declaring hadith to be authentic when you are not from the people [scholars] of Hadith, or whether it is in deriving a ruling and you are not from the faqeehs.
So it is [a must] for him to actualise this aayah, “So ask the people of the message if you do not know.”
For the example of these people who are not from the people of knowledge or from those capable of passing verdicts and yet have the audacity to [actually] issue religious verdicts [fatwas] is like that of the man who the Prophet عليه السلام supplicated against by asking Allaah the Mighty and Majestic to destroy him because he passed a religious verdict which led to the death of an innocent Muslim soul.
You know this hadith which Abu Dawud reported in his Sunan, that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم sent out an expedition where they fought, evening came and went and in the morning one of them got up after having had a wet dream, he also had a great many wounds on his body. He asked the people with him if they thought he had a concession not to take a bath from ritual impurity. They replied saying that he must take a bath, so he did but died.
When news of this reached Allaah’s Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم he supplicated against him [i.e., against the one who issued the verdict], saying, “They killed him, may Allaah kill them! Why did they not ask if they did not know? Verily, the cure for ignorance is to ask …” The student of knowledge must always and forever keep this hadith before his eyes so that he does not dare to deliver a religious verdict and so be afflicted with the same thing that the man whom the Prophet supplicated against was afflicted with, when he supplicated that Allaah the Blessed and Most High kill him.
And from what has preceded it comes to light that the bad consequences of being bold in giving fatwas affect the mufti firstly, and the one whom the ruling applies to, secondly.
Thus, once this meaning has established itself in the students of knowledge who have not attained familiarity with the Book and the Sunnah and [nor with] following up the statements of the Imaams and comparing them and choosing the strongest one amongst them, but [who have] only [learnt] how to say, ‘I think such and such … I understand it to be like this …’–then let these people free themselves from/avoid both of these calamities which I just pointed to: firstly, that they themselves fall into a mistake, and [secondly] that they cause others to err. And that is [achieved] by asking the people of knowledge and after that it is not their responsibility as to whether the one who issued the fatwa was mistaken or not. Because if he is correct, then how excellent, and if he made a mistake then the sin is on the one who issued it–so instead of him bearing the responsibility himself because he gave a verdict without knowledge and [as a result also] embroiled [in the problem] the one he gave the verdict to, [a verdict] not based upon knowledge, let him leave that sin for someone else … And this does not mean that our youth, in their asking the people of knowledge, do not try to seek information about one scholar or another–between a mere claimant to knowledge and a true scholar, between a scholar of a madhhab and those ignorant of the Book and the Sunnah, and this is another issue.
What is important is that he asks those in whose knowledge and religion he trusts, when he does so he will not fall into the problem which that person who gave the verdict that the injured Companion had to take a bath fell into, and because of his ignorance of the Sunnah, he did not give the [correct] fatwa that it was [in fact] permissible for him to perform tayammum because water was harmful to him. And it really did harm him and was the cause of his death.
So this is a statement [I’ve made] and maybe I’ve prolonged it but I hope that Allaah the Mighty and Majestic will give us the tawfiq to act upon beneficial knowledge and that He makes us aware of our own worth and that He does not make us from those who are self-conceited, for self-importance is a pitfall, there being no greater trap than it.
Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 181.
Questioner: There are some youth with us who initially used to go to one of the scholars and another group would go to a different one. Then the situation escalated until partisanship occurred, i.e., all of them became partisan to a scholar, such that they would start to have enmity and would not sit with each other?
Al-Albaani: Of course, this is not permitted in Islaam. We always say that there is no partisanship in Islaam. Islaam forbids this factionalism. Because this person who clings to the opinion of a certain scholar and that other person who holds on to the opinion of a different scholar–neither this scholar nor that other one are infallible as the Prophets and Messengers were. For this reason the Muslims should live upon mutual love and [by giving] advice one to another and not to show partisanship to any person in the world, except one–and that is the Prophet of Allaah صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم. The most a Muslim can do is to trust in a scholar, [trust] in his knowledge, and the fact that he is, for example, distant from the vanities of this world and from jobs in the government which very often are the cause in leading an employee to deviate from the knowledge which he calls the people to.
So when a Muslim sees that a scholar is more knowledgeable, has more taqwaa and so on than another, there is no objection to him taking the opinion of that scholar but without slandering the other one. So it is [a must] for them to be … as is said, believers are sincere advisors, [they] advise one other, so when one of them sees that such and such a scholar is more knowledge than so and so, because he presents proofs and evidences and so on … so that they come together and do not be enemies.
The important thing is that partisanship has been forbidden in Islaam through the text of the Noble Quraan, because it leads to the division, hatred and enmity that I have mentioned. And Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, says, “And do not be of those who associate others with Allaah. [Or] of those who have divided their religion and become sects, every faction rejoicing in what it has.” Ruum 30:31-32
And in an authentic hadith in Muslim and others, [there occurs], “… do not hate each other, and do not desert [cut your relations with] one another. And be brothers as Allaah ordered you to be …” or as he said عليه الصلاة والسلام.
So this is how the Muslims must live, especially under these regimes which try to turn the Muslims away from their religion and their manners.
Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 573.
Questioner: There are some youth in Holland and elsewhere, Salafis alhamdulillaah, we do not doubt their creed but they say vile things about some of the scholars, especially the scholars of the Hijaaz. They say, ‘We don’t trust them, because some of them flatter the taaghuts [evil leaders]’ is this correct, O Shaikh?
Al-Albaani: From what I myself hear directly and from those things I hear through others, like you just told me now, it appears to me that those who speak against the scholars and charge them with flattering the taaghuts [evil leaders], [it appears to me that] these people who accuse the scholars of the present day are, without doubt, from the youth. And we, in turn, cannot think ill of them, i.e., of their intent–but we do suspect their knowledge. So firstly, the shallowness of their knowledge and their scant acquaintance with correct Islamic fiqh and [secondly] with Islamic manners which the Muslim youth should have been brought and raised up on, it is this, with regret, which the present day and age’s generation of youth has been deprived of.
It is true that there now is an Islamic, as they say, awakening. But I say, firstly, that this awakening is in its early stages, it has not even reached half way yet, let alone its end. Secondly, that this awakening is an ideological and knowledge-based one which has not been accompanied by an awakening in manners.
For this reason we advise these youths to apply themselves eagerly to seeking knowledge and to do so sincerely for Allaah the Mighty and Majestic, firstly. And that they rectify/discipline themselves and teach themselves Islamic manners. And if they do that, they will withhold their tongues from speaking ill of people in general, let alone speaking about the honour of the scholars who are the elite of this Ummah.
Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 574.
Questioner: How do you deal with or what is the ruling concerning someone who has left the manhaj of the Salaf as-Saalih from the people of knowledge or those other them, how do you deal with them and what is the ruling concerning them? Benefit us [by giving us an answer], may Allaah help you.
Al-Albaani: May Allaah bless you, it is fitting that this scholar or learner deals with the generality of Muslims on the basis of giving sincere advice, i.e., it is a must for him to always, as far as he is able, contact them personally or by phone or to write to them, [so he should] use any means he can by which he can offer some sincere advice and knowledge to these people. And it is not fitting that just because of the occurrence of some difference in an aspect of knowledge that we make that a reason for one Muslim to distance himself from his Muslim brother.
I am totally convinced about what I am saying–with the condition that no stubbornness/obstinacy becomes apparent to me from the one who opposes our manhaj or call. If stubbornness does become apparent then what remains is [just] wasting time in contacting them, especially because a person’s abilities are limited and he cannot meet each and every individual in a town, let alone a country, let alone the world.
Thus, he must contact those people who are most likely to benefit from what he says, his communication with them, his friendship, his companionship, [those who will benefit] more than the others, so he starts as that poet said:
Copious, is knowledge, if thou seeketh it…..Insufficient, is thy time, to acquire it
So start with the most important thing and then the next, [give precedence] to the most important thing and then the next in importance: this person [for example] has the propensity to understand you and respond to you more than that [other] person, so give him two portions of your time not one, there [could be] another person who deserves three portions and so on. But if you can, do not cut off from this person who deserves one portion, only do so if his obstinacy becomes apparent to you, and obstinacy is disbelief so there is no point in wasting time with him.
And this is how the answer to the question will be; that those people who used to be on the Salafi way but who then affiliated themselves with the partisan way–it is not fitting that such a person be boycotted, rather we should follow up on him by giving him knowledge and reminding him and so on. Until the time we lose hope regarding him, Allaah forbid, and he becomes a part of the group of stubborn, obstinate ones, as he عليه السلام said, “No one in whose heart is an atom’s weight of pride will enter Paradise.” A man said, ‘O Messenger of Allaah! What if a man likes his clothes to look good and his shoes to look good?’ He said, ‘Allaah is Beautiful and loves beauty. Pride means rejecting the truth and looking down on people.” Muslim no. 285
So when you feel that a person is rejecting the truth and is looking down upon you then free yourself of him, as for the others, then you have to be with them according to the limits of your ability.
And [saying] this much is sufficient, and all praise is due to Allaah, the Lord of all the Worlds.
Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 581.
Questioner: What do you say, O Shaikh, about someone who says, ‘You do not ask for [Allaah’s] Mercy for those who opposed the Aqidah of the Salaf, like Al-Nawawi, Ibn Hajr, Ibn Hazm, Ibn al-Jawzi and others, and those from this day and age like Sayyid Qutb and Hasan al-Banna,’ bearing in mind that you know what Al-Banna [has written] in his Memoirs and [what] Sayyid Qutb has in [his book], ‘In the Shade of the Quraan?’
Al-Albaani: We believe that mercy, or to be more precise, asking for mercy is permissible for every Muslim and impermissible for every non-Muslim. So the answer depends on what the person believes–[i.e.,] whoever thinks that these people and those like them who were named in the question are Muslims then the answer is known from what has preceded: that it is permissible for a person to supplicate for mercy and forgiveness for them. And whoever thinks, Allaah forbid, that these Muslims who were mentioned in the question are not Muslims then it is not permissible to ask for mercy for them, because [asking for] mercy has been forbidden for the unbelievers. This is the answer regarding what was asked in the question.
Questioner: They say this based upon [their assumption] that the manhaj of the Salaf was that they would not ask for mercy for the people of innovation, and following on from that they regard these people who were mentioned in the question as being from the people of innovation, so it is from this angle that they do not ask for Allaah’s Mercy for them.
Al-Albaani: We now made a statement, [that] asking for Allaah’s Mercy is permissible for every Muslim and not permissible for a non-Muslim, is this statement correct or not?
Questioner: It’s correct.
Al-Albaani: If it is correct then the second question is not valid, and if it is not correct then the discussion can continue. Are not those, who some of these name as being from the people of innovations, prayed over? Is the prayer of the Muslims not performed over them?
And from the aqidah of the Salaf which the khalaf inherited from the Salaf is that prayer is performed behind every righteous or sinful [Imaam] and it is [also] performed over every righteous and sinful person, as for the non-Muslim, then he is not prayed over.
So, these people who I do not think the second question applies to, are they prayed over or are they not prayed over?
I do not want to get into a debate unless I am forced to, so if the answer is that they are prayed over the topic is over and no tenable position remains for the second question, and if not, then the discussion is open and possible.
Questioner: Okay, the person who says they shouldn’t be prayed over, O Shaikh, does so based upon [their assumption] that they are from the people of innovation, so what is the answer to that?
Al-Albaani: What is the proof?
Questioner: He uses the Salaf as proof, for example, he will differentiate between sins and immorality [on one hand] and the people of innovation who innovate into the religion [on the other]. And the Salaf never used to pray over the people of innovation nor sit with them nor eat or drink with them, so it is from this angle that he says this thing.
Al-Albaani: You have digressed, so pay attention. What was the question?
Questioner: About praying over them?
Al-Albaani: No. And [indeed] you had to have digressed because you gave a long answer that was misplaced. The question was, ‘What is the proof?’ You mentioned a claim, and a claim is not proof. Who is the one who says that the Muslim who innovates is not prayed over? What is the proof?
Questioner: He doesn’t have any proof except, just … only … that he uses the action of the Salaf as proof.
Al-Albaani: Are the actions of the Salaf proof?
Questioner: This is what he says.
Al-Albaani: Okay. Where is the proof?
Questioner: He doesn’t mention any, but the statements in this regard are always general.
Al-Albaani: Okay, the Salaf, wouldn’t the Salaf boycott people for committing a certain sin or for a certain innovation, does this then mean that they declared them to be disbelievers?
Al-Albaani: So they judged that he was [still] a Muslim.
Questioner: Of course.
Al-Albaani: Okay, we do not have a middle way between a Muslim and a non-Muslim, i.e., we do not have a station between two stations as the Mu’tazilah do. [A person is either] a Muslim and so is treated as a Muslim, or a disbeliever and is treated as such. Thereafter, my brother, may Allaah bless you, these are just claims, that the Salaf would not pray over the generality of innovators, or over all innovators, this is just a claim which is present in the minds of some good people who …
Thereafter, my brother, may Allaah bless you, these are just claims that the Salaf would not pray over the generality of innovators, or over all innovators, this is just a claim which is present in the minds of some good people who deal with issues based on zealousness and emotion that is not coupled with sound knowledge, [sound knowledge which is] based upon, ‘Allaah said … Allaah’s Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said.’
And I presented a reality to you which no two will differ over, which is that there is either a Muslim or a non-Muslim. So the Muslim, whatever his state, is prayed over and inherits and is inherited from, is washed, shrouded and buried in the graveyard of the Muslims, and if he is not a Muslim … he is buried in the graveyard of the non-Muslims. We do not have an in-between.
But if a certain worshipper or a certain scholar does not pray over a certain Muslim, then that does not mean that praying over that Muslim is not permissible, it only means that he is aiming at some wisdom which may not by realised without that [action]. Like the hadiths which you must remember some of, where the Prophet عليه السلام said, ‘Pray over your companion.’ The Prophet never prayed over him.
Would you say that the Prophet not praying over a Muslim is more important or a Salafi scholar refusing to pray over a Muslim? Tell me, what is more important?
Questioner: The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم leaving [praying over a Muslim].
Al-Albaani: Good. So if the Prophet’s abstention from praying over a Muslim does not show that it is not permissible to pray over him, then it is even more correct that the abstention of a scholar from the Salaf from praying over an innovating Muslim does not show that he is not prayed over. Thereafter, even if it did show that he is not prayed over, does that mean that supplications of mercy and forgiveness are not made for him, as long as we believe that he is a Muslim?
So, in short, the abstention of some of the Salaf from praying over some of the Muslims due to an innovation does not negate the legitimacy of praying over every Muslim because that [action of the Salaf] was to reprimand and chastise those people like him, as the Prophet عليه السلام did regarding the one he didn’t pray over and whose only sin was that he died whilst having a debt to clear, and the one who acted unfaithfully regarding war booty and so on. Thus, this abstention, i.e., the abstention of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم is more important than the abstention of some of the Salaf, and this and that [i.e., the abstention of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and the Salaf] do not prove that it is not permissible to pray over the Muslim innovator.
At this point something has to be researched/discussed: we have to know who an innovator is, exactly like we must understand who a disbeliever is. So here the question that presents itself, as they say these days, is: does everyone who falls into disbelief have [the ruling of] disbelief applied to him?[/Is everyone who falls into disbelief declared a disbeliever?], likewise, is everyone who falls into an innovation declared an innovator? Or is it not like that?
If the answer is that it is not like that then we can continue this topic, and if the answer is obscure then it must be clarified. I will repeat the question with some detail.
What is an innovation? It is a newly-invented matter which is in opposition to the Sunnah of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم and through which the person performing it wants to get closer to Allaah, the Blessed and Most High.
So is everyone who innovates an innovation an innovator?
I want to hear the answer in short, ‘No,’ [or] ‘Of course he is.’
Al-Albaani: So who is an innovator?
Questioner: The one whom the proof has been established against yet after that he still persists in his innovation?
Al-Albaani: Good. So these people [mentioned in the question] whom they say mercy should not be asked for: has the proof been established against them? Allaah knows best. I personally say Allaah knows best. As for you, what do you say … personally?
Questioner: The same answer as you, O Shaikh.
Al-Albaani: May Allaah reward you with good. So, what is the foundation of these people, Islaam or disbelief?
Al-Albaani: Okay. Thus, the principle is that mercy is sought for them, isn’t that so?
Al-Albaani: Thus the issue is over. So it is not allowed for us to build a fifth madhhab and say, ‘It is not permissible to ask for mercy for so and so and so and so,’ from the common folk of the Muslims, let alone their elite, let alone their scholars, for two reasons, and this is a summary of what has preceded:
- The first reason: is that they are Muslims.
- The second reason: is that if they are innovators we do not know if the proof was established against them and they [thereafter] continued in their innovations and their misguidance …
For this reason I say that one of the onerous mistakes of today is that the practising youth, the ones who think that they are clinging to the Book and the Sunnah, [actually] oppose the Book and the Sunnah without even realising it. And as a result, I have the right to, based upon their madhhab, call them innovators, because they have opposed the Book and the Sunnah–but I will not go against my madhhab [and call them innovators when the proof has not been established against them]. The foundation concerning these people [i.e., the youth mentioned above] is that they are Muslims and that they didn’t intend to commit any innovations and that they do not haughtily reject the truth and nor do they reject the evidence and proof. For this reason we say they wanted what was correct but made a mistake.
When we come to realise this reality we will be saved from a lot of the difficult issues of this time. One of them is the Jamaa’ah Al-Takfeer wal-Hijrah which used to be in Egypt and which had spread some of its ideology to Syria when I used to be there, then it reached here too. We used to have some brothers on the Salafi methodology, the Book and the Sunnah, who were influenced by their false claims and who [as a result] stopped praying in congregation in the mosque, in fact, they stopped praying Jumu’ah [in the mosque] too. They would pray in their areas and houses, until the time we sat with them. We held three sittings. The first was between maghrib and ishaa, [after this meeting] they refrained from praying behind us, i.e., from praying behind us Salafis, and I don’t want to just say myself … they used to say, ‘We rely on your books,’ but they still wouldn’t pray behind me, why? Because they [i.e., the Salafis] do not call those Muslims who they call disbelievers, to be disbelievers. So this was the first sitting.
The second was in their own house and it continued to midnight, but the glad tidings of their responding to the true call started to show, walhamdulillaah, such that we made the call to prayer and stood to pray and we prayed there just before midnight and they prayed behind us. This was the second sitting.
As for the third, then it continued from after ishaa prayer up until the adhaan of fajr, one [continual] sitting. And it was, alhamdulillaah, the death knell [of their false ideology]–to this day they are with us, and about twelve years have passed since this event, walhamdulillaah.
So they were only doubts that came over them due to their lack of understanding of the Book and the Sunnah. And maybe you know, O brother Khaalid, that understanding the Book and the Sunnah is not something easy [to achieve] today after we have inherited numerous madhhabs and [split into] very many groups in [issues] of creed [aqidah] and in Islamic jurisprudence [fiqh].
So the beginner student of knowledge cannot dive into this ocean of differences except after a very long, prolonged time of study in what today is called comparative fiqh [fiqh al-muqaarin] and a study of the proofs of the differing sides in usool and furoo, and in reality, [like I said] this, firstly, requires a long lifetime, and the tawfiq of the Lord of the Worlds, secondly, until Allaah will make true the Muslim’s supplication which the Prophet صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم made it a sunnah for him to say, which he would say as part of the supplications uttered during the night prayer, ‘O Allaah! Guide me concerning that which they differed in over the truth with Your Permission! Indeed, You guide whoever You want to [guide] to the Straight Path.’
For this reason, I advise our youth of today being brought up on the Book and the Sunnah to slow down and to be more reflective/patient and not to issue rulings which they base upon what is [just] apparent from the texts, because it is not for a Muslim to go by every [seemingly] apparent thing, for if not then in terms of knowledge he will live a life of chaos which has no end.
I think you know that the closest of the madhhabs to the Book and the Sunnah is the Ahlul-Hadith, and you also know that the Ahlul-Hadith relied on the narrating of the innovators if they were trustworthy, truthful and great memorisers. The meaning of this is that they did not include them amongst the disbelievers and neither did they include them amongst those for whom mercy is not sought. Rather, you know that some of the Imaams who are followed today and whose being a Muslim no true Muslim scholar doubts, and not only [do they not doubt that those Imaams are Muslims] but [in fact they affirm that] they are scholars of excellence, yet along with that [these Imaams who are followed] may oppose the Book and the Sunnah and the Salaf as-Saalih in more than one issue. By that I mean, for example, An-Nu’maan ibn Thaabit, Abu Hanifah, may Allaah have mercy on him, who used to say that eemaan does not increase or decrease and who used to say that it is not allowed for a Muslim to say, ‘I am a believer, ‘inshaa Allaah,’’ and that whoever does say, ‘inshaa Allaah’ [in that phrase] then he is not a Muslim. There is no doubt that this saying [of Imaam Abu Hanifah, may Allaah have mercy on him] is an innovation in the religion, because it opposes the Book and the Sunnah, but he didn’t intend to commit an innovation, he wanted the truth but made a mistake.
For this reason, opening this door of doubting the scholars of the Muslims whether they be from the Salaf or those who came later [khalaf] is an opposition to what the Muslims are upon. And our Lord, the Mighty and Majestic says in the Noble Quraan, “And whoever opposes the Messenger after guidance has become clear to him and follows other than the way of the believers–We will give him what he has taken and drive him into Hell, and evil it is as a destination.” Nisaa 4:115
And finally I want to remind you of a reality about which there is no difference but I wanted to add something else to it which many of our youth in this day and age do not ponder over. This reality is the statement he عليه السلام made in many hadiths, “Whoever declares a Muslim to be a disbeliever has committed disbelief,” this is a reality about which there is no doubt, and the detailed explanation of this is well-known from some other hadiths, i.e., if the one he has declared to be a disbeliever is [in fact] a disbeliever then he is correct but if not then it goes back on him. This does not require a discussion because the hadith about it is clear, but I wanted to add to it and say: whoever declares a Muslim to be an innovator then either that Muslim [who he declared to be an innovator really] is an innovator or if not then he [i.e., the one who accused the other of being an innovator] is the innovator.
And this is the reality which I mentioned to you just now: that our youth declare the scholars to be innovators and they are the ones who have fall into innovation whilst they know not, and they [i.e., these hasty youth] do not want to commit innovations in fact they fight them, but the saying of the poet applies to them:
Sa’d led the camels to water while being wrapped up
Not like this, O Sa’d, are the camels taken to drink
[Ed. Note: namely he led the camels to water while being wrapped up such that he could not take his hands out of his garment, and thus did not perform his duty of tending to the camels correctly, and it is an example used for someone who falls short in carrying out a matter.]
For this reason, I advise our youth to stick to acting upon the Book and the Sunnah within the limits of their knowledge and not to tower over others who they cannot match in either knowledge or understanding, and maybe even righteousness.
So people like [Imaam] An-Nawawi and Al-Haafidh Ibn Hajr al-Asqalaani–give me someone in the [whole of the] Islamic world like these two men.
Leave Sayyid Qutb, he was a man we revere for his jihaad but he was no more than an author, a man of letters, a composer [of words]–but he was not a scholar so there is nothing odd about the fact that things and things and things emanated from him which opposed the correct methodology.
As for the ones who alongside him mention An-Nawawi and Ibn Hajr al-Asqalaani and others like them … it is oppression to say about them that they are from the people of innovation, I know that they were both Ash’aris but they both did not intend to [wilfully] oppose the Book and the Sunnah, they erred and thought two things about the Ash’ari aqidah that they inherited: firstly that Imaam al-Asha’ri held that view but he only did so in the earlier days because he came back from holding that opinion, and secondly, they were under the false impression that it was correct, but it is not.
[Addressing the questioner:] Bring what you have [i.e., mention what beneficial points of knowledge you have] …
Questioner: O Shaikh, from the manhaj of the Salaf was that they would not judge a man to be from Ahlus-Sunnah except when he would have the characteristics of the [Ahlus-]Sunnah, and that if he innovated or praised the people of innovation then he would be counted as one of them, as the Salaf would say for example, “Whoever says that Allaah is not above the Heavens then he is a Jahmee.”
Al-Albaani: Some of that is present, but do not forget what I just said to you: this does not mean that he is not a Muslim, just as when the Prophet عليه السلام did not pray over the one who died whilst having a debt or the one who acted unfaithfully regarding the war booty or the one who killed someone [all of this] does not mean that such a person is not a Muslim. This, O my brother, is to educate as we explained before, this is something else. If the Salafi narrations are not complementing each other or unanimous [mutawaatir] then it is not fitting that a manhaj is based upon a saying from an individual from the Salaf. Thereafter this manhaj is in opposition to what is known from the Salaf themselves: that a Muslim does not leave the fold of Islaam simply by committing an act of disobedience or an innovation or a sin which he perpetrates. So when we find someone who differed with this principle we go back to explaining it as I just mentioned to you, that it is to reprimand and discipline/educate.
We have [an example] in Imaam Bukhaari, and what will explain to you what Imaam Bukhaari was? [i.e., how great a scholar he truly was] Some of the scholars of hadith left Imaam Bukhaari and would not narrate from him, why? Because Imaam Bukhaari differentiated between the one who says the Quraan is created–[for he regarded the one who said this as being] misguided, an innovator, a disbeliever, according to the terminology the scholars have used concerning such people–and the one who said, ‘My pronunciation of the Quraan is created.”
Imaam Ahmad stated that the one who said this statement, i.e., that my pronunciation of the Quraan is created, is a Jahmee, and based upon this ruling some of the people who came after Imaam Ahmad ruled that Imaam Bukhaari is not to be taken from because he has made a statement of the Jahmees. The Jahmiyyah do not say that only one’s pronunciation of the Quraan is created, they [in fact] say that the Quraan is not the Speech of Allaah but is just another part of Allaah’s creation. So what is then said about [Imaam] al-Bukhaari who made the statement, ‘My pronunciation of the Quraan is created?’ and [what is said about] Imaam Ahmad who said that whoever makes that statement is a Jahmi?
It is not possible for us to reconcile between both issues except by interpreting it correctly in a way which corresponds to the principles … and before I continue, I think along with me, you [do] differentiate between the one who says the Quraan is created and the one who says that his pronunciation of the Quraan is created, don’t you?
Al-Albaani: So, how will we answer the statement of Imaam Ahmad that whoever says my pronunciation of the Quraan is created is a Jahmi? How do we answer this statement? There is no answer except for what I mentioned to you, that it was to warn the Muslims from saying something which the people of innovation and misguidance, i.e., the Jahmiyyah, will take [as a means of calling the people to their falsehood]. So maybe someone, to try to make those around him fall into a problem they will have no way of escaping from, will say, ‘My pronunciation of the Quraan is created,’ but who [really] intends [that] the Quraan itself [is created] when he says that, but it is not necessary that everyone who says this statement intends that same evil meaning. So now, Imaam Bukhaari has no need for anyone to claim that he is pure–for Allaah the Mighty and Majestic has shown him to be pure, since [right] after the Noble Quraan, Allaah made all of his book [i.e., Sahih Bukhari] accepted amongst the generality of Muslims despite the differences amongst those Muslims.
Thus, when he [i.e., Imaam Bukhaari] said, ‘My pronunciation of the Quraan is created,’ he meant something correct by it [and not the evil meaning intended by the innovators], but Imaam Ahmad feared [the outcome of this] and so said, ‘Whoever says that is such and such,’ to warn [the people] and not by way of believing that everyone who says that is truly a Jahmi, no. For this reason when we find a ruling in the statements of some of the Salaf that whoever falls into innovation then he is an innovator it is to rebuke and not by way of believing [that everyone who does so is an innovator].
Maybe it is pertinent on this occasion to mention the well-known narration from Imaam Maalik when a man came to him and said, ‘O Maalik! Allaah’s Ascendancy?’ He replied, ‘Al-Istiwaa is known. The ‘how’ is not and asking about it is an innovation. Remove the man for he is an innovator.’ So the man didn’t become an innovator just because he asked a question, he wanted to understand something but Imaam Maalik feared that as a result an objection to the Salafi Aqidah would occur, so he said, ‘Remove the man, for he is an innovator.’
Look now how the means differ, do you or me, or Bakr, or Umar or Zaid and so on think that … if we were to ask a person from the common folk of the Muslims let alone their elite a question like this … shall we give him the same answer that [Imaam] Maalik gave and put him in the same category as that man, saying, ‘Remove him for he is an innovator?’
Because the time [we live in] differs, the means which in those days were accepted are not acceptable today–because they harm more than they benefit. And this speech has a connection with the well-known principle of boycotting in Islaam, or ostracizing for the Sake of Allaah.
Many times I am asked that so and so is my friend and companion but he does not pray, he smokes, does such and such … and so on, shall I boycott him? I say [in answer]: do not boycott him, because you ostracizing him is what he wants. Your leaving him will not benefit him, on the contrary, it will make him happy and will [just] leave him in his misguidance.
And I remember on this occasion the example of that sinner, someone who had abandoned the prayer but who repented. He went to pray his first prayer at the mosque and lo and behold [when he gets there] he finds the door closed, and so says, ‘You’re closed and I have a day off [from praying]!’ [i.e., the first chance he got he went back to his old ways].
So this sinner which the [practicing] Muslim wants to boycott, it is as though from his behaviour he is saying [the same thing as the person in the example above], ‘You’re closed and I have a day off …’ [i.e., he wants the practicing Muslim to leave him so he can carry on as he is].
Because a righteous person accompanying a sinner hinders that sinner from committing his sins, and that sinner does not want that. So if a righteous person boycotts him, it is what the sinner wants. For this reason, boycotting is a legislated means through which the realization of a legislated benefit is desired, i.e., to educate/discipline the person being ostracized. So if the boycotting does not educate him, and in fact just causes him to increase in misguidance upon misguidance, then it is not applied.
Today we live in a time in which it is not right that we stick to the means that the Salaf used to use, because they were moving forth from a position where [the sunnah] was strong and [innovation was] weak.
Today, have a look at the state of the Muslims, they are weak in everything, not only in the governments, individuals [too], the state of affairs is as he عليه السلام said, “Indeed Islaam began as something strange and will return to being strange. So glad-tidings to the strangers.” They said, ‘O Messenger of Allah! Who are the strangers?’ He replied, “They are the righteous few among the evil masses, those who disobey them are more than those obey them.”
So if we open the door to boycotting, ostracising and declaring people to be innovators–we will have to go and live in the mountains.
Rather it is obligatory on us today to, “Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good instruction, and argue with them in a way that is best.” [Nahl 16:125]
Questioner: As a completion of this discussion, O Shaikh, this issue as you have noticed is something which repeats itself often these days … in the following comments I wanted to point to something so that the benefit [from this discussion] will be complete, inshaa Allaah. And this is something which the brothers who adopt this stance mention.
They say that, “We say that mercy should not be sought for them [i.e., for those scholars] because asking for Allaah’s Mercy for them is permissible but not obligatory. We do not prevent nor declare to be forbidden the asking of Mercy for them but we refrain [from doing so] so that it does not show some form of praise, or recommendation, or commendation for the people of innovation. We may say that these people are not innovators for example and are not from the major innovators, but we do not praise them or say they are scholars. For example, when mention is made of Al-Nawawi we do not say, ‘Imaam al-Nawawi,’” rather sometimes they refrain from and shun quoting from them or referring to them.
Such that in a talk one of our brothers was giving he quoted something from one of these, and the thing he quoted was quite frankly a Salafi quote which aided the manhaj, [but] they said to him, ‘How can you quote from these people?’ And by ‘these people’ I am not referring to those who our Shaikh [al-Albaani] mentioned, like Ibn Hajr or al-Nawawi, but let’s say, for example, Sayyid Qutb, Muhammad Qutb, so he [i.e., the people who say you should not ask for mercy] said, ‘How can you quote these people when they are known not to be Salafi, so when you, being a Salafi, quote from them, it is as though you are praising them and as a result the people will say that these people are Salafis. And this is a way of deceiving the people regarding them and maybe [as a result] they will become like them in innovations and deviance and being far from seriousness.”
So if you, O Shaikh, see fit to comment on this.
Al-Albaani: Firstly, I don’t think this is what their objective is, and secondly, if their objective [by not quoting from these scholars or asking for Allaah’s Mercy for them] is a way of warning then I say:
These people [i.e., the ones who hold the views mentioned above of not asking for Allaah’s Mercy] who you just alluded to, do they read Fathul-Baari [i.e., the explanation of Sahih Bukhaari by Ibn Hajr al-Asqalaani] or not?
Whichever of the two answers we assume, then it is a mistake in relation to them. If it is said they do not read it, then where do they understand Sahih al-Bukhaari from, its explanation, its understanding, the differences of opinion, the terminology, [things related to the] hadith and so on …
They will not find, in the whole world, explanations of Sahih Bukhaari that are entirely Salafi.
They will not find a [totally] Salafi explanation of Sahih Bukhaari like we want, and even if they did it would only have the main points [and wouldn’t be as detailed as Fathul-Baari]. As for this ocean replete with comprehensive knowledge, which Allaah granted to the author of Fath [ul-Baari] they will not find what it contains in any of the books that have taken up the task of explaining Sahih Bukhaari.
Thus, they will lose out on a huge amount of knowledge. So if they mean or what they say includes, amongst the things they warn against, preventing people from benefitting from what this Imaam [i.e., Ibn Hajr] says, then they will lose out on knowledge whereas it is possible for them to gather between taking the benefit and repelling the harm which is what the scholars do.
In the [whole] world now, not a scholar after al-Asqalaani and al-Nawawi can be found, to this day, who can do without benefitting from both of their explanations–this one’s [i.e., Ibn Hajr al-Asqalaani’s] explanation of Bukhaari and that one’s [i.e., Imaam al-Nawawi’s] explanation of Muslim.
Yet along with that, when they [i.e., the scholars] take benefits from both of their books, they know that in many issues they were Ash’aris and were contrary to the methodology of the Salaf as-Saalih. So with their knowledge and not with ignorance they [i.e., the scholars] were able to take the knowledge which benefits them from these two books or their authors, and turn away from what would harm them and not benefit them.
So I want to say that the thing I fear the most is that behind all of this [apparently] favourable but in reality false talk is a warning from benefitting from their books, and [that being the case] then there is a loss.
And if they say that we do benefit from both of their books and read them ourselves and to others too–if that is the case then what is the point of this procedure of refraining from asking for Allaah’s mercy for them when they are Muslims as we said at the beginning of this answer?
Additionally, what is the benefit or the fruit of their saying, “We do not say that it is not permissible to ask for Allaah’s Mercy for them, but we [personally] don’t, because he fell into innovation,” we just mentioned that not everyone who falls into innovation is called an innovator, not everyone who falls into disbelief is declared a disbeliever, the disbelief may have been unclear to this one and the innovation unclear to that one, we already said this.
Thus, there is no benefit from this cautiousness now. Thereafter, O my brother … the scholars who we inherited this good da’wah from–was their stance like this towards these Imaams? Was it like the stance of these new, novice, youngsters who claim Salafiyyah? They [i.e., those scholars] were like these [youngsters]? The opposite is the case. It is only natural that these [ignorant youth] be like those who preceded us to this righteous da’wah.
Is there anything else?
Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 665.
Questioner: O Shaikh, a number of Yemeni brothers came to you asking you about a Jam’iyyah. There was some obscurity in their question … and he said that some of the people of such and such a charitable organisation [Jam’iyyah] are the students of Shaikh Muqbil and so on and so on even though Shaikh Muqbil has warned against them many times and has spoken against them harshly when warning against them, in fact, he freed himself from them and they greatly vilify Shaikh Muqbil.
In fact, in a cassette called, Hiwaarun Haadi ma’a Muqbil ibn Haadi, one of them said to him, ‘In my eyes you and al-Ghazali are the same,’ and this is a student of Shaikh Muqbil’s saying to him, ‘In my eyes you and al-Ghazali are the same. Al-Ghazali spoke against the Sunnah and you speak against the Sunnah in the name of defending the Sunnah.’
And one of them who is also a student of Shaikh Muqbil’s, but who is a disobedient student said to me, ‘The Ahlul-Hadith have harshness in them and a lack of worship, look at Shaikh Muqbil,’ and at the same time they praise the people of innovation.
I’m not talking about the people of innovation concerning whose innovation one may have a doubt–rather the innovators like the grave worshippers. There is a Sufi in Hadramaut who has every calamity in him, i.e., a grave worshipper, a mufawwid [someone who says we don’t know the meanings of Allaah’s Attributes], everything, so they go to him and study with him in fact some of them said, ‘The open heartedness of this Sufi is better than the intolerance of Muqbil.’ And this Sufi sends the children of those whom they call as-Saadah [Ed. Note: i.e., those who they claim are Haashimis whose family tree goes back to the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم] to Saqqaaf [the well-known Sufi who lives in Jordan].
And now Ali Hasan Abul-Harith told me that their numbers have reached forty, by Allaah, this news was like a bolt out of the blue … when he started to see the youth turning towards the Sunnah he took their kids and sent them here [to Jordan, to the Sufi Saqqaaf]. So these hizbis, those from these Jam’iyyah’s or the hizbis in general, these people, wallaahi, they try to make the people stop going, wallaahi, to Shaikh Muqbil while at the same time they praise these innovators and send their children here to Saqqaaf and others.
So what do you say about that, O Shaikh, and we have grown tired of them and they have bothered and disturbed us?
Al-Albaani: I say, you … may Allaah guide you. Why are you distressed/concerned about these people? We have no power, my brother, why do you concern yourself with these people? They are numerous, the whole world is full of them, falsehood is like this.
Questioner: Many people follow them.
Al-Albaani: Here from the aayahs which are relevant, “Then perhaps you would kill yourself through grief over them, [O Muhammad], if they do not believe in this message, [and] out of sorrow.” [Kahf 18:6]
My brother, take an instruction and lesson from the consolation the Lord of the Worlds gave to His Noble Prophet in this aayah, even though these people [mentioned in the aayah] were disbelievers, misguided people, polytheists and so on. Those people [who you mentioned], even though they are misguided, whatever the case they have not left the fold of Islaam and [have not left being] Muslims.
For this reason I am amazed, wallaahi, every time someone sees a person or people who he used to think were Salafi but who then deviated that they say this and that and this and that.
This saying [i.e., that the Sufis are tolerant whereas Shaih Muqbil, rahimahullaah, is harsh] emanates from two things: either ignorance or feigning ignorance, or both.
The Sufis are well known, for example, in Syria, so and so the Sufi will not reject [something but at the same time will not] fulfil it rights, he has a sweet tongue–because he does not order the good or forbid the evil, he will not love for the Sake of Allaah or hate for the Sake of Allaah. Whereas a person who is on the Path of the Salaf loves for the Sake of Allaah and hates for His Sake, he will at times speak softly and at other times will speak sternly, because this is the Sunnah of the Prophet عليه السلام.
The Sufi does not know sternness because the ahkaam of the sharee’ah do not concern him, what concerns him is attracting the hearts, what concerns him is that the people come forward to kiss his hand, nay, even both his hands at the same time. For this reason when these people say that [Shaikh] Muqbil is harsh but that Sufi is easy-going and soft they do so because of their ignorance or due to their purposefully ignoring [the truth] and because they are running behind that which will benefit them personally.
You said some Yemeni brothers came to me and then what was it [that you were reminding me of?]
Questioner: They wanted to obscure [the situation by using what you said in the wrong way] they said that …
Al-Albaani: What shall we do with them?
Questioner: I asked because, of course, many of the youth there listen to the statements of the Shaikh [i.e., Shaikh al-Albaani] so when they hear what you say, inshaa Allaah, the situation will become clear to them. I remember that in the fatwa, [there was a mention of the permissibility or not of] putting money in the bank, you don’t remember, O Shaikh?
Interjection: … they started forming groups, the tape is present.
Al-Albaani: O my brother, what can we do with them?
Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 784.