As-salaamu `alaykum wa-rahmat Ullaahi wa-barakaatuh.
The purpose of this message is to start, I hope, a self-criticism dialogue among the Salafi brothers on this list. What I have been sadly observing over the last few years is the development of a strong trend among us that can be described by the following (among other problems):
1. Harshness in judging other individuals or organizations. Relying on the views of various scholars and students of knowledge, we have set ourselves stern judges and given ourselves the ultimate authority to admit or expel whomever we please from the Salafi da`wah.
2. When our great scholars make a statement criticizing a certain group or individual, they often limit the criticism to the criticized scope or area. They do not go beyond that to drop all the Islamic rights of the criticized party. Thus, they apply a great measure of fairness that we have totally neglected. Just listen to the tapes of al-albani (r) when he criticizes Sayyid Qutub or Safar al-Hawali.
3. We have set a few scholars as the Czars of “Jarh-and-ta`deel”, taking their views as the final words that could doom or save a person. We forgot that those scholars are only human, and their views are liable to being right or wrong.
4. Major organizations in US, Canada, England, and other countries have adopted particular scholars as their guides on approving or disapproving all other scholars and organizations. This has resulted in feelings of hatered and mistrust among many Salafi brothers who support this or that scholar, and has created wide rifts among the scholars themselves.
5. Many Salafi brothers go to certain scholars and describe to them their viewpoints regarding certain individuals or organization in the West, thereby securing judgments from those scholars that they take back to the West and use as weapons against their “Salafi” opponents. This has furthered the atmosphere of hate and mistrust within the Salafi community.
6. The young brothers who come into the Salafi dawah are first introduced to the issues of “Hizbiyyah”, “Qutbiyyah”, “Takfeer”, “Haakimiyyah” before they understand the alphabets of the Salafi Dawah. This is not the way we started, neither is it the way that our Ulama recommend.
7. Many of the students of knowledge have said words of criticism in the past that were not meant for the general public, but were nonetheless so widely spread that they set a wrong trend in the minds of the newcomers. I feel myself guilty of helping with that, and am now more inclined to remaining silent than voicing an opinion that can very easily be misunderstood or misrepresented.
8. The typical “Salafi” champion in the minds of many people is now a frowning person, clutching his teeth, and carrying a “jarh-and-ta`deel” gun with which he is ready to “zap” whomever he thinks suitable. Where did the compassion disappear, and what did we do with the established rights of other Muslims on us? Where did we go wrong in our tarbiyah?
My sincere advice to the enthusiastic young Salafi brothers around the world is that they should direct more attention toward seeking the true and deep knowledge instead of mostly dwelling on “Jarh and ta`deel” issues that only bring hardness to the heart.
WAllaahu ta`aalaa a`lam.
Abu Abdillaah Muhammad al-Jibaly