The PDF: Worshipping Personalities.
Questioner: I want you to give some advice to some of the brothers, students of knowledge in Kuwait. The current situation will not be hidden from the Shaikh concerning the fitnah which is on-going one after the other with the youth of the awakening, from which is the fitnah of the brothers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia [concerning] the brother Safar and Salmaan and so on and those who support what they are on in some issues which they speak about, this issue has reached us in our area in Kuwait and then, ya’ni,“… each group [is] rejoicing in its belief …” [Mu’minoon 23:53]
Al-Albaani: Allaahu Akbar.
Questioner: … and each person claims the love of Lailaa [i.e., each person claims that he is right] …
Al-Albaani: Yes, by Allaah.
Questioner: … every one of them says, ‘I am on the Straight Path …’
Questioner: ‘…I am the one bearing the Banner … the Banner of Salafiyyah and I am defending it.’
Now something has come between the brothers who are, inshaa Allaah tabaaraka wa ta’aala, on the Salafi way because of these issues, and there is nothing for us except this issue [i.e., it has become the only thing that concerns them]: we have left seeking knowledge …
Al-Albaani: Yes, by Allaah.
Questioner: … we have left memorizing the Book of Allaah the Blessed and Most High, we have left many things and [instead] speak about this issue, such that many of our brothers, the youth, have no concern except this issue, speaking about this person’s honour or that.
And they have made this the vehicle for what? The vehicle for the Salafi da’wah and for defending the Sunnah speaking by dishonouring so and so, and so and so, and so and so, and so and so [fulaan and fulaan and fulaan and fulaan], then the issue resulted in defaming[tajreeh] the people themselves and not the mistakes they have.
So now the youth, our youth who are at their prime, when someone comes … and I’ll give you one example, what we know about the Muslim Brotherhood when a youth starts practising Allaah’s Religion, taking up this way, they warn him against what? Against the Salafis.
Questioner: [So] now as soon as this youth comes to practice the first thing they warn him against is the tape of so and so, and the cassette of so and so, and so and so.
This is the most important thing now, and this is what many of the youth talk about now until they have become identified with and known for [saying things like], ‘This person is an innovator … this person is misguided … this person has such and such an issue …’
Al-Albaani: Laa hawla wa laa quwwata illaa billaah..
Questioner: ‘… this one has this and that … and this one praises the people of innovation … and this one says such and such …’ and if you were to say to this person that this person [who you’re talking about] …
I was asked one time, a person came to me and said, ‘What do you say about Shaikh [Sayyid] Qutb?’ I said, ‘Yaa akhi, I love him for the Sake of Allaah, he’s a Muslim, and I hate the mistakes that he has. I love him as a Muslim, the general love [a Muslim has for another], and I hate the mistakes that he has …’
Al-Albaani: Tamaam [i.e., perfect/right/fine].
Questioner: … so they started saying, ‘This person is praising the people of innovation! And he’s saying that they have this and that! … These people should be warned against! … Here the proof is available …’
Shaikh, your advice for these youth, may Allaah bless you.
Al-Albaani: By Allaah, Yaa akhi, my opinion is not to apply oneself to/turn to these people who are being praised or criticised today.
And in reality, on many nights questions come to me from Kuwait, the Emirates and elsewhere, [saying], ‘What is your opinion about so and so?’ from which it is obvious that he [i.e., the questioner] is either for that person [he is asking about] or against him.
So I repel him from such a question and say to him, ‘Ask, Yaa akhi, about that which will benefit you concerning those things connected to rectifying your aqidah, your worship, improving your manners. Don’t ask about Zaid, Bakr and Amr [i.e., Tom, Dick and Harry], because this question adds fire to fire.
The person asking might be with these people and against those, or with those and against these, so if you [i.e., I] praise this one you will have slandered that one, or if you praise that one you will have slandered this one, [and] so this, as we said, just increases the fire’s intensity.
For this reason, I advise [the youth] with a concise statement which [in fact] reminds me of Abu Bakr as-Siddiq’s statement when the Prophet عليه السلام passed away. He [i.e., the Prophet عليه السلام] is the one personality whose love all of the Muslims are united upon, whoever turns away from this love will have disbelieved, in contrast to their difference in their love for many of the Companions and their slander of some of them, in most cases this will be [regarded as] fisq and not disbelief.
[So] what I want to say is that even though the Prophet عليه السلام is the Chief of Mankind, and every Muslim’s beloved, when Umar stood up fervently against the one who reported the news that the Prophet had passed away, you know the story, Abu Bakr as-Siddiq proceeded to say, ‘Whoever used to worship Muhammad, then Muhammad has died, and whoever used to worship Allaah, then Allaah is Living, Eternal, and does not die.’
So I do not hold that each one of these factions should be partisan to so and so against so and so or vice versa. Rather I advocate the statement of the Lord of the Worlds, ‘And be with the truthful,’ [Tawbah 9:119], so these youth you pointed out [in the question] are most deserving of [listening to] this statement, it is upon these people who get all worked up to correct their aqidah, their worship, their behaviour, and not to become bigoted for one of these individuals or against him.
Because such fanaticism, firstly, is just like worshipping people/personalities, the type of worship which Abu Bakr as-Siddiq warned against in his previous statement, ‘Whoever used to worship Muhammad, then Muhammad has died, and whoever used to worship Allaah, then Allaah is Living and does not die.’
So becoming enthused towards these people is to become enthused over those who are not infallible, and the issue is as Imaam Maalik, the Imaam of the place of migration, said, ‘There is none from us except that he rejects and is rejected, except for the companion of this grave,’ and he pointed to the Prophet’s صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم grave.
So any person who becomes fanatical for another, [whether that person be] a scholar or a caller, then he will find mistakes in him, and [any person who] becomes fanatical against another will soon find that he [i.e., the person he is against] will have something correct and will soon find some good in him …
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