Shaikh al-Albaani

Translations From His Works

Category: On Harshness

“Finding Fault With All who Differ with Us in Fiqh Issues Even Though They are with Us on The Path of the Book and The Sunnah.”


 

The Imaam said, “I fear that our brothers will grow up to slander and find fault with everyone who differs with us in fiqh issues even though they are with us on the path of the Book and the Sunnah, and thus fall into going to extremes and falling short.”

Muhaddithul-’Asr, p. 87.

Al-Albaani’s Advice to Every Muslim on the Face of the Earth


 

 

The Imaam said, “My advice for every Muslim on the face of the earth, especially our brothers who share with us their affiliation to the blessed da’wah, that of the Book and the Sunnah on the methodology of the Pious Predecessors–I advise them and myself to fear Allaah, the Blessed and Most High, firstly, and then [advise them] to seek more beneficial knowledge as He the Most High said:

“And fear Allaah. And Allaah teaches you.” [Baqarah 2:282]

And [I advise them] to couple their meritorious knowledge which in our united opinion is that which does not digress from the Book, the Sunnah and the methodology of the Pious Predecessors, along with this knowledge of theirs and [along with] whatever increase in it they are able to seek–[I advise them] to couple that with action upon that knowledge, so that it will not be a proof against them but for them:

“The Day when there will not benefit [anyone] wealth or children. But only one who comes to Allaah with a sound heart.” [Shu’araa 26:88-89]

Thereafter I warn them from joining many of those who have left the path of the Salaf in many, numerous issues, something which can be termed as rebelling against the Muslims and their Jamaa’ahs [i.e., like the Khawaarij], rather we order them to be as the Prophet عليه الصلاة والسلام said in an authentic hadith, “And be servants of Allaah, brothers,” as Allaah the Blessed and Most High ordered you, and we should, as I said in a previous sitting and which I repeat again [here], and there is benefit in repeating [such points]–in our da’wah we should be gentle with those who oppose it and we should always and forever stand in line with His Saying, the Blessed and Most High:

“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] and the ones who have the most right for us to use [such] wisdom with them are those who are the most severe in their conflict/disagreement with us in our doctrine and our aqidah so that we do not bring together [both] the weightiness of the true call [itself which] Allaah عز وجل favoured us with and the burden of ill manners in calling to Allaah عز وجل.

So I hope that all of our brothers in all Islamic countries imitate these Islamic manners and seek, by doing so, Allaah’s Face عز وجل [i.e., to do so sincerely] and not to want any reward or thanks [from the people].”

Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 900.

On Harshness | 13 | Slandering the Scholars of the Hijaaz and Accusing Them of Adulating Taaghuts [Evil Leaders]



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 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 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.

On Harshness | 12 | Having Bigotry Towards Shaikhs


 

Questioner: There are some youth with us who initially used to feel comfortable with/go to one of the scholars and another group would feel comfortable with/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 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 them away from their religion and their manners.

Al-Hudaa wan-Noor, 573.

On Harshness | 11 | Self-Conceited Student of Knowledge, how dare you issue a fatwaa?


 

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.

On Harshness | 10 | Thousands of Companions, and only two hundred scholars? And today? ‘I performed ijtihaad and came to the conclusion that …’


 

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 discarding 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.

On Harshness | 9 | The truth in and of itself is already heavy enough on the people, so, “Be easy going and do not be harsh …”


 

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

On Harshness | 8 | Be Gentle


 

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 scholarly, 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.

PDF: An Advice to the Salafis to Show Kindness and Softness and to Reject Disunity and Differences … and to Leave the Unlegislated Type of Boycotting


Here is the PDF version of all the separate posts in one place.  If you want to save it, right click on the link and go to ‘Save Link/Target As’:

Harshness.

 

On Harshness | 7 | Justified and Exaggerated Accusations of Harshness Against the Salafis


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.

On Harshness | 6 | An Advice to the Salafis to Show Kindness and Softness: Chasing Each Other’s Faults


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.

End.

On Harshness | 5 | An Advice to the Salafis to Show Kindness and Softness: The Threat Associated with Boycotting


 

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 amicability 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.

On Harshness | 4 | An Advice to the Salafis to Show Kindness and Softness: Revelation did not Come Down upon You


 

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.’”

On Harshness | 3 | An Advice to the Salafis to Show Kindness and Softness: The Blessing of Tawheed


 

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 …”

On Harshness | 2 | An Advice to the Salafis to Show Kindness and Softness and a Mention of the Permitted Religious Tolerance


 

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  …”

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