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The Intra-Sunni Divide: A history of the schools of Aqeedah wrt Sifat

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  • The Intra-Sunni Divide: A history of the schools of Aqeedah wrt Sifat

    As-Salamu-Alaykum wa Eid Mubarak,

    As Muslims, we are all in whole hearted agreement that Islam is the objective truth and that no religion apart from Islam will be accepted. However, when it comes to defining an orthodox (Sunni) understanding of Islam, according to the beliefs of the Prophet Alayhis Salatu Was Salam and the Sahabah Radiyallahu Anhum, we disagree.

    Key among these issues are the glorious Sifat of Allah Azza Wa Jal.

    So having thought about the topic for some time, I have come to what I understand may be the truth regarding the schools of Aqeedah, and this will help us conceptualise who is in Ahlus Sunnah and who is not.

    Now some of you might ask, who are you? Are you a scholar, or even a student of knowledge? No, I am not. I am a layperson, however the layperson does not and cannot ever do Taqlid in Aqeedah - it is dangerous and can lead to shirk if for example the scholars you follow allow such a thing. Whilst I believe people can loosely adhere to a school/s of Aqeedah, saying that whatever the scholars in a certain school say is always fact can lead to deviation.

    With that out of the way, let me lay out how I understand the schools to have developed.

    History of the Schools with regards to Sifat (Attributes) of Allah

    Here is an outline of the schools, both historically and presently:

    Click image for larger version

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    In addition, I have also made the following diagram as clarification to how the schools view each other (to my knowledge):

    Click image for larger version

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    Amir ul-Muminin Sayyiduna Ali KarramAllahu Wajhah said,
    "Mahma tasawwarta bi-balik, fallahu bi-khilaf dhalik,"
    Whatever comes into your mind, Allah is other than that,

    Al-Aqeedah Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal (Riwayah Abu Bakr al-Khallal),
    1/116

  • #2
    A few hours ago, I started writing this explanation:

    Explanation
    • In early Islamic history, after the period of the Salaf, with the onset of two individuals, Imam Ahlus Sunnah Ahmed bin Hanbal Rahimullah and Imam Ibn Kullab Rahimullah, the doctrine of khalq al-Quran (creation of the Quran) was rejected. These two individuals also transmitted ideas that would later become the Athari and (under Imam Ahlus Sunnah, Abu Hasan al-Ashari Rahimullah) the Ashari schools.
    • Early on these two schools differed on minor issues such as are the letters of Arabic created or uncreated? Is defensive Kalam permissible etc.
    • Both schools however agreed on matters when it came to the Sifat and particularly the interpretation of Sifat al-Mutashabihat - namely their position was don't interpret.
    • Both schools accepted that attributes such as Yad, Wajh etc. are attributes of Allah but that we do not go further than that. We consign their interpretation to Allah.
    • Aside from these two schools, who hold the most correct and safest opinion in my understanding, two other schools emerged which pivoted towards the Mutazilite and Mujassimite positions.
    • These were the understandings of Imam Abu Mansur al-Maturidi Rahimullah and Imam Jarir at-Tabari Rahimullah.
    • Imam Abu Mansur al-Maturidi practiced figurative interpretation (which I have called Tawil al-Batin) and perhaps believed that this stops anthropomorphic thoughts from coming into our minds.
    • Imam Jarir at-Tabari practiced literal interpretation (which I have called Tawil al-Zahir), and perhaps believed that interpreting the Sifat in a literal manner
    I faultered when I got to the last line.

    I have assumed Imam at-Tabari held that position in early Islamic history, based on the statement of a modern Taymiyyan Athari (Yasir Qadhi). However, when I thought about it more and actually tried to find evidence that he held this position - I found no evidence. Yasir Qadhi's statement was not on the exact issue of Sifat and even if it was, Imam at-Tabari never used the word "Zahir" - meaning literal.

    My problems with my understanding above are two-fold then: There exists no early representation of Imam Ibn Taymiyyah Rahimullah's thought. I tried searching for it and at one point thought I would change Jariri to Barbahari, but even al-Barbahari's Sharh-as-Sunnah (some contest he even wrote it) holds no such view. My other problem is that this requires me to state that Imam Nawawi, Imam Suyuti and the later Asha'irah Rahimullah Alaihum are all just as incorrect as Imam Ibn Taymiyyah Rahimullah and this does not make much sense to me. How can these great scholars all have veered off onto the wrong path, with no one scholar beginning their deviation? I thought to myself, if Imam an-Nawawi Rahimullah is not upon the pure Ahlus Sunnah (or at the least on the fringes of it), then how can I say I am? And how can Abu Mansur al-Maturidi Rahimullah be the starter of a fringe school?

    I was also very confused by the fact that Ibn Abbas Radiyallahu An seems to hold the opinion of the Maturidis, allowing Tawil in certain circumstances e.g. with Saaq, a narration stated by Imam at-Tabari, authenticated by al-Hakim and ad-Dhahabi Rahimullah Alayhum.

    After much ponderance I have realised that the statement of the scholars of Ahlus Sunnah, both old and new, is correct. That even the later Asha'irah, Maturidiyyah and (only the Qudaman) Atharis are correct. The logical analogue that my mind required to the Taymiyyan Athari school, is certain Asha'irah/Maturidiyyah who adopt a Mutazilite style position, negating that the Sifat of the Mutashabihat verses of the Quran are Sifat in the first place, and holding more overt Mutazili views e.g. the rejection of miracles etc. Such "scholars" would be the likes of Rashid Rida, Muhammad Abduh, Hamza Yusuf (I think he was one who performed Ta'til, but even if he isn't he seems to quote the likes of Ibn Rushd etc.), Atabek Shukrov, Usama Hasan and Mufti Abu Layth (real name Nahiem Ajmal). Just as the Mujassimah in the early period of this ummah were the minority deviation, so are these a minority deviation today. The majority deviation of the past were the Mutazilah and the majority deviation of today are the Mujassimah (the tables have flipped).

    The Asharis however did develop and change their ideas with time, but all they truly did was go from one acceptable opinion (qudaman athari) to another (maturidi).

    So in light of all this, I revise my diagram:
    Click image for larger version

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    Insha'Allah I will soon post a more bullet point summary of the above, and include examples of scholars from all schools listed.
    Amir ul-Muminin Sayyiduna Ali KarramAllahu Wajhah said,
    "Mahma tasawwarta bi-balik, fallahu bi-khilaf dhalik,"
    Whatever comes into your mind, Allah is other than that,

    Al-Aqeedah Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal (Riwayah Abu Bakr al-Khallal),
    1/116

    Comment


    • #3
      My second diagram would be correct, but I have made a third diagram which more clearly shows the claimants to the schools that we find in the modern period:

      Click image for larger version

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      Explanation
      • The Salaf as-Saliheen likely held one of three positions: They did not talk about the Ayat al-Mutashibahat much, they performed Tafwid al-Ma'na and said the interpretation is with Allah (e.g. Imam Malik Rahimullah) or they (occasionally) performed a figurative interpretation (e.g. Ibn Abbas Radiyallahu An) Tawil al-Batin.
      • With the coming of the three aqeedah scholars, Ahmed bin Hanbal, Abu Hasan al-Ashari and Abu Mansur al-Maturidi Rahimullah Alayhum, we got the three early sunni schools: The Maturidis (who have largely remained the same ever since), the Asharis (who changed as the nature of the majority of Ahlul Biddah changed) and the Atharis (who have largely remained the same ever since).
      • The Maturidis generally consigned the meaning and interpretation of the attributes to Allah, but in the case of attributes such as Wajh and Yad etc. they gave an interpretation that is possible within the bounds of the Arabic language - a figurative interpretation. Many of the early Hanafis however were infected with Jahmiyyah/Mutazilah thought and they only heavily reinforced the Maturidi position later - but the Maturidi school survived and flourished under the likes of an-Nasafi and al-Taftazani Rahimullah Alayhum. Still, early on it was quite a small school.
      • The early Asharis and Atharis always consigned the meaning and interpretation of the attributes to Allah and perhaps they viewed Tawil as impermissible.
      • The early Asharis and Atharis only differed on a small number of issues (which they still differ on today), namely whether arabic letters are created/uncreated, permissibility of defensive Kalam etc.
      • In the early period of Islamic history, the main threat to Ahlus Sunnah came from the people who would do Ta'til (rejection of the attribute) e.g. the Mutazilah, and although there were some Mujassimah heretics, they were few and far between. So in the early period, the scholars of Ahlus Sunnah dedicated most of their efforts to refuting the Mu'tazilah.
      • The arguments of the Mutazilah were thrown in the trash can by the genius of early Sunni Mutakallimun, and their movement died out quickly.
      • In the mean time, anthropomorphism subtly creeped into Hanbali/Athari school, and some of the Hanabilah started uttering biddah, saying that the attributes of Allah should be interpreted "literally" - this word "literally", the arabic "Zahir" is not found from any of the Salaf.
      • Within the Hanbali school there was severe backlash to this, and one scholar, Ibn Jawzi Rahimullah, even went as far as adopting Maturidi-style Tawil to attack the innovation infecting his school.
      • As the Hanbali school descended into anthropomorphism, the Hanafi school managed to save themselves from the doctrines of Khalq al-Quran and rejection of Allah's attributes and started reinforcing Sunni beliefs (this can be seen in the scholars the likes of al-Zamakshari Rahimullah) and the majority of their scholars adopted the original Hanafi Aqeedah school of the Maturidis.
      • Ibn Jawzi Rahimullah seems to have silenced the Mujassimite threat and so their appears to be a blissful period in Islamic history where there was little to no innovation in Aqeedah (this period is between Ibn Jawzi and Ibn Taymiyyah Rahimullah, starting at the 6th century and ending in the late 7th century - strangely this seems the literal middle period of Islamic history).
      • The three schools, Maturidi/Hanafi, Ashari and Athari/Hanbali were at peace and Ahlus Sunnah were dominant.
      • However, just as the fitna of the Mutazilah/Jahmiyyah had started with Wasil ibn 'Ata, the fitna of the Mujassimah/Hashwiyyah began again with Ibn Taymiyyah.
      • Ibn Taymiyyah was born into the Athari school but soon rejected it and invented giving literal interpratation (what I have labelled Tawil al-Zahir). Ibn Taymiyyah's student Ibnul Qayyim al Jawziyyah furthered his position, and both of them (otherwise extremely knowledgeable scholars) shared in most of their mistakes.
      • However Ibn Taymiyyah's other students, Ibn Kathir, ad-Dhahabi and others retained the original Athari school and wrote against their teachers.
      • Ibn Taymiyyah was refuted by many scholars of all four schools similar to how the Mutazilah were refuted but his ideas lingered in the minds of the Hanbalis.
      • With the arrival of Ibn Abdul Wahhab, Ibn Taymiyyah's thought now took over most of the small Athari/Hanbali school and just as many of the early Hanafis were Jahmiyyah, many of the late Hanbalis are Hashwiyyah, following Ibn Taymiyyah in his mistakes.
      • The Athari school still remains, just as the Maturidi school was there in early Islamic history, and it is followed by a few traditional Hanbalis, especially in Damascus.
      • The Ashari school meanwhile, slowly shifted towards the Maturidi school, at times lingering between the Atharis and Maturidis as certain Ashari scholars pivoted towards accepting figurative interpretation, then rejected it at the end of their lives. Other Asharis more whole-heartedly accepted figurative interpretation, such as An-Nawawi Rahimullah.
      • But the late Asharis, as a reaction to the shift in position of what angle the majority of Ahlul Biddah come from, have now overtly adopted Maturidi views on the Sifat, permitting Tawil.
      • A small contingent are apparent in the modern era, who mirror the Mujassimah of the early period, in that they adopt Mutazilite views. Just like their mirror opposites in the current era, the Hashwiyyah, the claim to be Asharis and Maturidis, just as the Hashwiyyah claim to be Atharis. For example, look up the likes of Muhammad Abduh - modern examples are Shabir Ally, Mufti Abu Layth and Atabek Shukrov.
      • There is a strange symmetry noticed in Islamic history, both through time and within each era, of the various mubtadi groups.
      Amir ul-Muminin Sayyiduna Ali KarramAllahu Wajhah said,
      "Mahma tasawwarta bi-balik, fallahu bi-khilaf dhalik,"
      Whatever comes into your mind, Allah is other than that,

      Al-Aqeedah Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal (Riwayah Abu Bakr al-Khallal),
      1/116

      Comment


      • #4
        Lists of some scholars representing each School/Sect

        Mutazilah/Jahmiyyah Sect
        • Wasil bin Ata
        • 'Amr b. 'Ubayd
        • Jahm bin Safwan
        • al-Jahiz
        • etc.

        Maturidi School
        • Imam Ahlus Sunnah Abu Mansur al-Maturidi Rahimullah
        • al-Hakim al-Samarqandi Rahimullah
        • an-Nasafi Rahimullah
        • al-Taftazani Rahimullah
        • Ali Qushji Rahiumullah
        • Mulla Ali al-Qari Rahimullah
        • Ahmed Sirhindi Rahimullah
        • Shah Waliullah ad-Dehlawi Rahimullah
        • Mustafa Sabri Rahimullah
        • and many more.

        Ashari School - Early
        • Imam Ahlus Sunnah Abu Hasan al-Ashari Rahimullah
        • al-Baqillani Rahimullah
        • al-Bayhaqi Rahimullah
        • al-Juwayni Rahimullah (rejected Tawil at the end of his life)
        • Hujjat al-Islam al-Ghazali Rahimullah
        • and many more.
        Ashari School - Late
        • Fakr-ad-din al-Razi Rahimullah
        • an-Nawawi Rahimullah
        • Qadi Ayyad Rahimullah
        • al-Zamakhshari Rahimullah
        • Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani Rahimullah
        • Yusuf an-Nabhani Rahimullah
        • and many more.
        Athari School
        • Imam Ahlus Sunnah Ahmed bin Hanbal Rahimullah
        • Harb ibn Isma'il al-Kirmani Rahimullah
        • Ibn Battah Rahiumullah
        • al-Qadi Abu Yala al-Baghdadi Rahimullah
        • Abdul Qadir Jilani Rahimullah
        • Ibn Hamdan Rahimullah
        • Ibn Qudamah al-Maqdisi Rahimullah
        • Imam al-Saffarini Rahimullah
        • Abdul Wahhab Rahimullah
        • and many more.
        Hashwiyyah/Mujassimah sect
        • Ibn al-Zaghuni
        • Ibn Taymiyyah
        • Ibnul Qayyim al-Jawziyyah
        • Ibn Abdul Wahhab
        • etc.
        Last edited by Muhammad Hasan; 26-05-20, 05:25 PM.
        Amir ul-Muminin Sayyiduna Ali KarramAllahu Wajhah said,
        "Mahma tasawwarta bi-balik, fallahu bi-khilaf dhalik,"
        Whatever comes into your mind, Allah is other than that,

        Al-Aqeedah Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal (Riwayah Abu Bakr al-Khallal),
        1/116

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Muhammad Hasan View Post
          My second diagram would be correct, but I have made a third diagram which more clearly shows the claimants to the schools that we find in the modern period:

          Click image for larger version  Name:	Schools History.png Views:	0 Size:	74.1 KB ID:	12704623
          Did you mistaken Jahmiyyah with Mu'tazilah?

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Rauf View Post

            Did you mistaken Jahmiyyah with Mu'tazilah?
            Yeah to be honest it gets a bit confusing with regards to those two, they are sort of interchangeable, although I am not sure of Wasil Ibn Ata held Khalq al-Quran (which would take you out of Islam). So yeah, they should probably be switched.
            Amir ul-Muminin Sayyiduna Ali KarramAllahu Wajhah said,
            "Mahma tasawwarta bi-balik, fallahu bi-khilaf dhalik,"
            Whatever comes into your mind, Allah is other than that,

            Al-Aqeedah Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal (Riwayah Abu Bakr al-Khallal),
            1/116

            Comment


            • #7
              Really the term Jahmiyyah is interchangeable with Mutazilah, as Hashwiyyah is interchangeable with Mujassimah.

              What I was trying convey is that there are some scholars from these groups who are not Muslims and there are some scholars who are Muslims.
              Amir ul-Muminin Sayyiduna Ali KarramAllahu Wajhah said,
              "Mahma tasawwarta bi-balik, fallahu bi-khilaf dhalik,"
              Whatever comes into your mind, Allah is other than that,

              Al-Aqeedah Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal (Riwayah Abu Bakr al-Khallal),
              1/116

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Muhammad Hasan View Post
                Really the term Jahmiyyah is interchangeable with Mutazilah, as Hashwiyyah is interchangeable with Mujassimah.

                What I was trying convey is that there are some scholars from these groups who are not Muslims and there are some scholars who are Muslims.
                Which of those you listed aren't Muslim? The ones without 'rahimahullaah' behind them?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by TazkiyyatunNafs View Post

                  Which of those you listed aren't Muslim? The ones without 'rahimahullaah' behind them?
                  Not necessarily.

                  Also, generally when I write Imam Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibnul Qayyim Rahimullah Alayhum's names I add Rahimullah - Mercy of God.

                  I'm not a judge, and outside of cases where it is obvious (e.g. The "Ahmadis", Rafidies who hold Quran has changed, people who think a major sin e.g. Homosexuality is allowed and not sinful etc.), I simply rely on actual scholarly authorities to make Takfir.

                  I won't make takfir, but let's look at four individuals - Wasil Ibn Ata, Jahm bin Safwan, Ibn Taymiyyah Rahimullah and Ibn Abdul Wahhab.

                  Wasil Ibn Ata

                  The founder of the Mutazilite movement. He seperated from Hasan al-Basri Rahimullah's circle and made Ta'til of the attributes. His beliefs include that we will not see Allah on the day of judgement, that Yad, Wajh etc. are not attributes, that a Muslim who is sinful (e.g. a murderer) is neither a believer nor disbeliever (whilst Ahlus Sunnah hold he is a believer). He is understood to deny the Qadar of Allah.

                  These beliefs go against much of the beliefs of the Salaf, the Sahabah and the Prophet Alayhis Salam.

                  Yet many Sunni scholars were hesitant to label the early Mutazilite school as Kuffar, rather they were recognised and Mubtadi (innovators) from the position of the Prophet Salallahu Alayhi Wa Salam and the Companions Radiyallahu Anhum.

                  I am not the judge of any man, but I doubt we can call Wasil Ibn Ata a kafir. Nevertheless it is possible that some Sunni scholars made takfir of him. Making takfir is dangerous, per the hadith of the Prophet Alayhis Salam so I reserve judgement, but with the limited knowledge I have of him I would say that he is safely a Muslim, even if he is a heretic. Also I note the hadith of the Prophet when he described the Murjiah and Qadariyyah "Jews of my Ummah" and the "Zoroastrians of my Ummah" - he described them as part of his Ummah. Allahu Alam.

                  Jahm bin Safwan

                  He held all the beliefs Wasil held but held an additional one - Khalq al-Quran - the belief that the Quran is created.

                  I struggle to understand how one who doesn't even think Quran is Kalamallah can be a Muslim. I will leave it at that.

                  Ibn Taymiyyah Rahimullah

                  A genius and particularly I admire his work on Islamic economic theory and his refutation of the Christians. Some of his ideas really explain things fully - e.g. the distinction between Nabi and Rasul - personally I feel his view is the strongest. He talked to the rulers in a way no scholar since has done and he was a man of Zuhd and Tasawwuf. I personally feel he should not have been jailed for his view on triple talaq (even if it is incorrect, going against ijma). I would ask how it is we can call such a man a Kafir...

                  I should state that some scholars made Takfir of him, but the vast majority that I listen to today reserve such a judgement and describe him as a scholar the likes of which we may never see again, but a scholar who made crucial mistakes.

                  He is a Muslim insha'Allah. As for the question of whether he is a Mubtadi, this pains me too much. I would just say we don't know if he held beliefs like the extinguishment of hell when he passed away.

                  May Allah bless him.

                  Ibn Abdul Wahhab

                  A Hanbali who held the views of Ibn Taymiyyah in addition to certain other views. He studied the Quran and Hanbali fiqh with his father, an Athari, but later deviated...

                  Hudhaifa bin al-Yaman Radiyallahu An said that the Prophet Salallahu Alayhi Wa Salam said:

                  Verily, I fear about a man from you who will read the Qur'an so much that his face will become enlightened and he will come to personify Islam. This will continue until Allah desires. Then these things will be taken away from him when he will disregard them by putting them all behind his back and will attack his neighbor with the sword accusing him of Shirk. The Prophet peace be upon him was asked, "which of the two will be deserving of such an accusation? - The attacker or the attacked?" The Prophet replied, "the attacker (the one accusing the other of Shirk)"

                  - Tarikh ul Kabir by al-Bukhari, Volume No. 4, Page No. 301 and Sahih ibn Hibban, Tahqiq Nasir Albani, Volume 001, Page No. 200, Hadith Number 81. al-Albani said: 'this hadith is hasan', c.ref Silsilat al-Ahadith al-sahihah - Albani Volume 007-A, Page No. 605, Hadith Number 3201
                  Although later scholars of his strand of thought will strenuously deny it, I think it hard to argue against the way he viewed fellow Muslims. He viewed them as Mushrikeen. His movement, that began in Najd (reminding me of certain other ahadith), rebelled against the Uthmaniyyun.

                  It is reported on the authority of Ibn 'Umar that the Messenger of Allah (may peace and blessings be upon him) said:

                  Any person who called his brother: "O unbeliever" (has in fact done an act by which this unbelief) would return to one of them. If it were so, as he asserted (then the unbelief of man was confirmed but if it was not true), then it returned to him (to the man who labeled it on his brother Muslim).

                  - Sahih Muslim 60 b
                  I seriously struggle to understand how one who virtually makes takfir of all the Muslims, calling them mushrikeen, whilst reinvigorating the mistakes of the previous ulama, how that man can be affirmed to be a Muslim.

                  To my knowledge however, the vast majority of the scholars I listen to today however do not make Takfir of him. So I will leave it at that.


                  In summary, I do not make takfir of the four individuals listed above, nor am I qualified to. Two of them do not deserve it, and the other two are debatable but it is better to be safe.


                  Amir ul-Muminin Sayyiduna Ali KarramAllahu Wajhah said,
                  "Mahma tasawwarta bi-balik, fallahu bi-khilaf dhalik,"
                  Whatever comes into your mind, Allah is other than that,

                  Al-Aqeedah Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal (Riwayah Abu Bakr al-Khallal),
                  1/116

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    As a whole, as I have stated above, some of the Mutazilah held kufr beliefs, which are outside the fold of Islam and the same is true for the Mujassimah.

                    When it comes to individual people in those sects, I am not a Judge or a highly trained scholar, so it is best for me not to comment.
                    Last edited by Muhammad Hasan; 26-05-20, 09:41 PM.
                    Amir ul-Muminin Sayyiduna Ali KarramAllahu Wajhah said,
                    "Mahma tasawwarta bi-balik, fallahu bi-khilaf dhalik,"
                    Whatever comes into your mind, Allah is other than that,

                    Al-Aqeedah Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal (Riwayah Abu Bakr al-Khallal),
                    1/116

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Muhammad Hasan View Post

                      Not necessarily.

                      Also, generally when I write Imam Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibnul Qayyim Rahimullah Alayhum's names I add Rahimullah - Mercy of God.

                      I'm not a judge, and outside of cases where it is obvious (e.g. The "Ahmadis", Rafidies who hold Quran has changed, people who think a major sin e.g. Homosexuality is allowed and not sinful etc.), I simply rely on actual scholarly authorities to make Takfir.

                      I won't make takfir, but let's look at four individuals - Wasil Ibn Ata, Jahm bin Safwan, Ibn Taymiyyah Rahimullah and Ibn Abdul Wahhab.

                      Wasil Ibn Ata

                      The founder of the Mutazilite movement. He seperated from Hasan al-Basri Rahimullah's circle and made Ta'til of the attributes. His beliefs include that we will not see Allah on the day of judgement, that Yad, Wajh etc. are not attributes, that a Muslim who is sinful (e.g. a murderer) is neither a believer nor disbeliever (whilst Ahlus Sunnah hold he is a believer). He is understood to deny the Qadar of Allah.

                      These beliefs go against much of the beliefs of the Salaf, the Sahabah and the Prophet Alayhis Salam.

                      Yet many Sunni scholars were hesitant to label the early Mutazilite school as Kuffar, rather they were recognised and Mubtadi (innovators) from the position of the Prophet Salallahu Alayhi Wa Salam and the Companions Radiyallahu Anhum.

                      I am not the judge of any man, but I doubt we can call Wasil Ibn Ata a kafir. Nevertheless it is possible that some Sunni scholars made takfir of him. Making takfir is dangerous, per the hadith of the Prophet Alayhis Salam so I reserve judgement, but with the limited knowledge I have of him I would say that he is safely a Muslim, even if he is a heretic. Also I note the hadith of the Prophet when he described the Murjiah and Qadariyyah "Jews of my Ummah" and the "Zoroastrians of my Ummah" - he described them as part of his Ummah. Allahu Alam.

                      Jahm bin Safwan

                      He held all the beliefs Wasil held but held an additional one - Khalq al-Quran - the belief that the Quran is created.

                      I struggle to understand how one who doesn't even think Quran is Kalamallah can be a Muslim. I will leave it at that.

                      Ibn Taymiyyah Rahimullah

                      A genius and particularly I admire his work on Islamic economic theory and his refutation of the Christians. Some of his ideas really explain things fully - e.g. the distinction between Nabi and Rasul - personally I feel his view is the strongest. He talked to the rulers in a way no scholar since has done and he was a man of Zuhd and Tasawwuf. I personally feel he should not have been jailed for his view on triple talaq (even if it is incorrect, going against ijma). I would ask how it is we can call such a man a Kafir...

                      I should state that some scholars made Takfir of him, but the vast majority that I listen to today reserve such a judgement and describe him as a scholar the likes of which we may never see again, but a scholar who made crucial mistakes.

                      He is a Muslim insha'Allah. As for the question of whether he is a Mubtadi, this pains me too much. I would just say we don't know if he held beliefs like the extinguishment of hell when he passed away.

                      May Allah bless him.

                      Ibn Abdul Wahhab

                      A Hanbali who held the views of Ibn Taymiyyah in addition to certain other views. He studied the Quran and Hanbali fiqh with his father, an Athari, but later deviated...



                      Although later scholars of his strand of thought will strenuously deny it, I think it hard to argue against the way he viewed fellow Muslims. He viewed them as Mushrikeen. His movement, that began in Najd (reminding me of certain other ahadith), rebelled against the Uthmaniyyun.



                      I seriously struggle to understand how one who virtually makes takfir of all the Muslims, calling them mushrikeen, whilst reinvigorating the mistakes of the previous ulama, how that man can be affirmed to be a Muslim.

                      To my knowledge however, the vast majority of the scholars I listen to today however do not make Takfir of him. So I will leave it at that.


                      In summary, I do not make takfir of the four individuals listed above, nor am I qualified to. Two of them do not deserve it, and the other two are debatable but it is better to be safe.

                      Where did you get it from that Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhaab rahimahullaah made takfir on all the Muslims? Do you think graveworshippers - even though they might be ignorant -, are not mushrikeen?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I've yet to meet a Muslim who had a problem with ibn taymiyyah that didn't have issues in his aqeedah or other practices of Islam
                        "My servants, you who have transgressed against yourselves, do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Truly Allah forgives all wrong actions. He is the Ever-Forgiving, the Most Merciful." (Surat az-Zumar: 53)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by TazkiyyatunNafs View Post

                          Where did you get it from that Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhaab rahimahullaah made takfir on all the Muslims? Do you think graveworshippers - even though they might be ignorant -, are not mushrikeen?
                          Grave worshippers are mushrikeen.

                          If someone does Sujud directing intentionally towards a grave and intends worship then this is shirk. It doesn't matter whether it is a grave or an alive person or whatever, it is shirk billah (associating partners with Allah = Kufr, disbelief).

                          Now if a Japanese Muslim goes to another and bows down to them as a form of respect (not intending worship) then this is Haram and forbidden and a serious sin but not shirk as actions are according to intentions.

                          Whoever says that a grave worshipper i.e. one who worships the grave by doing Sajdah towards it or doing Tawah around it is not shirk (astaghfirullah), then they are a kafir too. This is known in the religion by necessity. This is a fundamental point of Aqeedah and the reason why we do not do Taqleed in Aqeedah.

                          However:

                          None of the Ulama who contradicted Ibn Abdul Wahhab rahimullah ever stated that grave worship is not haram - grave worship is haram. What they contested is Abdul Wahhab declaring Kafir people who did the following:

                          Tawassul

                          Tawassul is the act of seeking an intemediary to Allah. E.g. I ask my father, who is close to Allah than me, to make dua for me. Or I ask you to make dua for me. Or I ask Allah, that Oh Allah, due to the rank of X, Y, Z person.

                          Some evidences from Quran and Ahadith:

                          And We did not send any messenger except to be obeyed by permission of Allah . And if, when they wronged themselves, they had come to you, [O Muhammad], and asked forgiveness of Allah and the Messenger had asked forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah Accepting of repentance and Merciful.

                          (Sahih International's Interpretation of al-Quran, an-Nisa, verse 64)
                          Narrated Anas:


                          Whenever drought threatened them, `Umar bin Al-Khattab, used to ask Al-Abbas bin `Abdul Muttalib to invoke Allah for rain. He used to say, "O Allah! We used to ask our Prophet to invoke You for rain, and You would bless us with rain, and now we ask his uncle to invoke You for rain. O Allah ! Bless us with rain."(1) And so it would rain.

                          - Sahih al-Bukhari 1010
                          `Uthman bin Hunaif narrated that a blind man came to the Prophet (ﷺ) and said:

                          “Supplicate to Allah to heal me.” He (ﷺ) said: “If you wish I will supplicate for you, and if you wish, you can be patient, for that is better for you.” He said: “Then supplicate to Him.” He said: “So he ordered him to perform Wudu’ and to make his Wudu’ complete, and to supplicate with this supplication: ‘O Allah, I ask You and turn towards You by Your Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ), the Prophet of Mercy. Indeed, I have turned to my Lord, by means of You, concerning this need of mine, so that it can be resolved, so O Allah so accept his intercession for me (Allāhumma innī as’aluka wa atawajjahu ilaika binabiyyka Muḥammadin nabi-ir-raḥmati, innī tawajjahtu bika ila rabbī fī ḥājatī hādhihī lituqḍā lī, Allāhumma fashaffi`hu fīyya).’”

                          - Jami` at-Tirmidhi 3578; Imam Tirmidhi Rahimullah rates it, "Hasanun Sahih" and Zubair Ali Zai, the Darussalam Authenticator, rates it "Sahih"
                          If you ask someone to help you (e.g. you ask your mother to help you) or you ask someone to make dua for you this is not shirk, if and only if you understand that Allah is the creator of all actions and means. Technically it is shirk to ask your mother to help you if you believe she can act independently of Allah's will - Shirk al-asbab.

                          If you make dua to anyone apart from Allah then this is Shirk - for you can only make dua to Allah - that is an act of worship.

                          Asking the Prophet Alayhis Salam, when he was alive, to make dua for you is thus proved by the above hadith, provided you are making dua to Allah and that you understand only Allah can truly help you.

                          Now the issue comes when we discuss what happens when Rasulallah Salallahu Alayhi Wa Salam dies.

                          Status of the Prophet Alayhis Salam

                          Every soul shall taste death, this is in the Quran and so this also applies to the Prophets of Allah Alayhim Salam as well.
                          Every soul will taste death, and you will only be given your [full] compensation on the Day of Resurrection. So he who is drawn away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise has attained [his desire]. And what is the life of this world except the enjoyment of delusion.

                          (Sahih International's Interpretation of al-Quran, Surah Ali Imran, verse 185)
                          However, with regards to Rasulallah after death:
                          Anas b. malik reported Allah's Messenger (ﷺ) as saying:

                          I came. And in the narration transmitted on the authority of Haddib (the words are): I happened to pass by Moses on the occasion of the Night journey near the red mound (and found him) saying his prayer in his grave.

                          -Sahih Muslim 2375 a
                          Anas ibn Malik narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said:
                          “The Prophets are alive in their graves performing Salat”

                          - Recorded by al-Bayhaqi in his ‘Hayat al-Anbiya’ and Abu Ya’la in his Musnad; Sahih al Isnad according to Al-Albani: Tawassul, Its Types and Its Rulings p. 58, c.ref Silsilatul Ahaadeth as-Saheehah, Hadith 62
                          Sayyiduna Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) narrates that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) said:

                          “None of you greets me except that Allah returns my soul on me until I return his greeting”

                          - Reported by Abu Dawud in his Sunan 2/254/2036 (translation), al-Albani said it has a good chain: Tawassul, Its Types and Its Rulings, p.59, c.ref Silsilatul Ahaadeth as-Saheehah, Hadith 2266
                          So is Tawassul of Rasulallah Alayhis Salam permitted?

                          It depends who you ask.

                          The majority of the Ulama have held it to be permissible and mustahab - recommended. However a minority of Ulama have stated that the Salaf never did this (although there are hadith I could bring to affect that would seem to contradict this position, however their authenticity is contested).

                          So this is a matter of Ikhtilaf, some say it is permissible and recommended (but of course you should not be extreme and do it all the time as that would be innovation), whereas other learned Ulama held it to be impermissible, arguing that for example when the Sahabah did Tawassul through Ibn Abbas Radiyallahu An that they did not do it upon the Prophet Alayhis Salam who had tasted death.

                          However, what did none of the Ulama do? None of them, absolutely none of them, held Tawassul to be Shirk, which takes one out of the fold of Islam and makes their blood halal.

                          Ibn Taymiyyah Rahimullah was the first to argue it is shirk in name, but in affect he wasn't really arguing it was shirk as he did not make Takfir of Bakri - a man who made takfir of him over this issue and who did Tawassul of the dead. In fact he let him live with him in his house when Bakri was exiled.

                          To say that Tawassul of Rasulallah Alayhis Salam is shirk after he is dead and so to make takfir of all who do it (when the majority of scholars including Imam an-Nawawi Rahimullah and Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani Rahimullah recommended it) is dangerous and a serious innovation.

                          What did Ibn Abdul Wahhab do?

                          He read the Quran and thought that the verses condemning the pagans doing intercession of the idols/deities which they worshipped to a chief deity applied to those around him who were going to graves and asking the people in the graves (who they thought were alive) to make dua for them to Allah.

                          The difference is that he people going to the graves for tawassul know that the people in the graves cannot help them of themselves and they are not making dua to them but requesting that they make dua for them to Allah, just as if they were alive. The only difference is, they have died, so the question of whether they can make dua and permissibility of this action arises.

                          Now reflect again on this hadith:

                          Hudhaifa bin al-Yaman Radiyallahu An said that the Prophet Salallahu Alayhi Wa Salam said:

                          Verily, I fear about a man from you who will read the Qur'an so much that his face will become enlightened and he will come to personify Islam. This will continue until Allah desires. Then these things will be taken away from him when he will disregard them by putting them all behind his back and will attack his neighbor with the sword accusing him of Shirk. The Prophet peace be upon him was asked, "which of the two will be deserving of such an accusation? - The attacker or the attacked?" The Prophet replied, "the attacker (the one accusing the other of Shirk)"

                          - Tarikh ul Kabir by al-Bukhari, Volume No. 4, Page No. 301 and Sahih ibn Hibban, Tahqiq Nasir Albani, Volume 001, Page No. 200, Hadith Number 81. al-Albani said: 'this hadith is hasan', c.ref Silsilat al-Ahadith al-sahihah - Albani Volume 007-A, Page No. 605, Hadith Number 3201
                          As for evidence, I am sure I do not need to prove to you that Ibn Abdul Wahhab thought this was shirk, as soon some members of this forum may do my job for me.

                          But here is a scholar, who follows Ibn Taymiyyah's Aqeedah - which he refers to as the Athari creed, which I fundamentally disagree with, who left the movement of Ibn Abdul Wahhab:



                          Amir ul-Muminin Sayyiduna Ali KarramAllahu Wajhah said,
                          "Mahma tasawwarta bi-balik, fallahu bi-khilaf dhalik,"
                          Whatever comes into your mind, Allah is other than that,

                          Al-Aqeedah Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal (Riwayah Abu Bakr al-Khallal),
                          1/116

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Some minor spelling/grammar edits I would make to the above, as well as removing Rahimullah after Ibn Abdul Wahhab (added by accident)

                            Originally posted by Muhammad Hasan View Post

                            Grave worshippers are mushrikeen.

                            If someone does Sujud directing this intentionally towards a grave and intends worship then this is shirk. It doesn't matter whether it is a grave or an alive person or whatever, it is shirk billah (associating partners with Allah = Kufr, disbelief).

                            Now if a Japanese Muslim goes to another and bows down to them as a form of respect (not intending worship) then this is Haram and forbidden and a serious sin but not shirk as actions are according to intentions.

                            Whoever says that a grave worshipper i.e. one who worships the grave by doing Sajdah towards it or doing Tawaf around it is not shirk (astaghfirullah), then they are a kafir too. This is known in the religion by necessity. This is a fundamental point of Aqeedah and the reason why we do not do Taqleed in Aqeedah.

                            However:

                            None of the Ulama who contradicted Ibn Abdul Wahhab ever stated that grave worship is not haram - grave worship is haram. What they contested is Ibn Abdul Wahhab declaring Kafir people who did the following:

                            Tawassul

                            Tawassul is the act of seeking an intemediary to Allah. E.g. I ask my father, who is close to Allah than me, to make dua for me. Or I ask you to make dua for me. Or I ask Allah, that Oh Allah, due to the rank of X, Y, Z person, please grant me A/B/C.

                            Some evidences from Quran and Ahadith:







                            If you ask someone to help you (e.g. you ask your mother to help you) or you ask someone to make dua for you this is not shirk, if and only if you understand that Allah is the creator of all actions and means. Technically it is shirk to ask your mother to help you if you believe she can act independently of Allah's will - Shirk al-asbab.

                            If you make dua to anyone apart from Allah then this is Shirk - for you can only make dua to Allah - that is an act of worship.

                            Asking the Prophet Alayhis Salam, when he was alive, to make dua for you is thus proved by the above hadith, provided you are making/requesting dua (be made) to Allah and that you understand only Allah can truly help you.

                            Now the issue comes when we discuss what happens when Rasulallah Salallahu Alayhi Wa Salam dies.

                            Status of the Prophet Alayhis Salam

                            Every soul shall taste death, this is in the Quran and so this also applies to the Prophets of Allah Alayhim Salam as well.


                            However, with regards to Rasulallah after death:






                            So is Tawassul of Rasulallah Alayhis Salam permitted?

                            It depends who you ask.

                            The majority of the Ulama have held it to be permissible and mustahab - recommended. However a minority of Ulama have stated that the Salaf never did this (although there are hadith I could bring to affect that would seem to contradict this position, however their authenticity is contested).

                            So this is a matter of Ikhtilaf, some say it is permissible and recommended (but of course you should not be extreme and do it all the time as that would be innovation), whereas other learned Ulama held it to be impermissible, arguing that for example when the Sahabah did Tawassul through Ibn Abbas Radiyallahu An that they did not do it upon the Prophet Alayhis Salam who had tasted death.

                            However, what did none of the Ulama do? None of them, absolutely none of them, held Tawassul to be Shirk, which takes one out of the fold of Islam and makes their blood halal.

                            Ibn Taymiyyah Rahimullah was the first to argue it is shirk in name, but in affect he wasn't really arguing it was shirk as he did not make Takfir of Bakri - a man who made takfir of him over this issue and who did Tawassul of the dead. In fact he let him live with him in his house when Bakri was exiled.

                            To say that Tawassul of Rasulallah Alayhis Salam is shirk after he is dead and so to make takfir of all who do it (when the majority of scholars including Imam an-Nawawi Rahimullah and Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani Rahimullah recommended it) is dangerous and a serious innovation.

                            What did Ibn Abdul Wahhab do?

                            He read the Quran and thought that the verses condemning the pagans doing intercession of the idols/deities which they worshipped to a chief deity applied to those around him who were going to graves and asking the people in the graves (who they thought were alive) to make dua for them to Allah.

                            The difference is that the people going to the graves for tawassul know that the people in the graves cannot help them of themselves and they are not making dua to them but requesting that they make dua for them to Allah, just as if they were alive. The only difference is, they have died, so the question of whether they can make dua and permissibility of this action arises.

                            Now reflect again on this hadith:



                            As for evidence, I am sure I do not need to prove to you that Ibn Abdul Wahhab thought this was shirk, as soon some members of this forum may do my job for me.

                            But here is a scholar, who follows Ibn Taymiyyah's Aqeedah - which he refers to as the Athari creed, which I fundamentally disagree with, who left the movement of Ibn Abdul Wahhab:


                            Amir ul-Muminin Sayyiduna Ali KarramAllahu Wajhah said,
                            "Mahma tasawwarta bi-balik, fallahu bi-khilaf dhalik,"
                            Whatever comes into your mind, Allah is other than that,

                            Al-Aqeedah Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal (Riwayah Abu Bakr al-Khallal),
                            1/116

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I had typed a lengthy reply addressing some of the points you made, but truthfully, it's not deserving. As for the Shaykh, then he's free from what you and the likes of Yasir Qadhi ascribe to him. May Allaah have mercy upon the shaykh! The following will suffice to answer some of the slander that's taking its rounds:

                              Shaykh Muhammad Ibn Abdul-Wahhāb (may Allah’s mercy be upon him) said in reply to Sulaymān Ibn Suhaym who accused the Shaykh of takfīr:

                              “Indeed Allah knows that this man has fabricated lies against me by ascribing to me what I never said, and most of which have never even occurred to me! From them is his claim that I invalidate the books of the Four Madhhabs, and that I say that the people (i.e. the ummah) has been upon nothing (i.e. no Islam) for 600 years! And that I make takfīr of the one who makes Tawassul (seeks nearness to Allah) through the righteous ones [who have passed away]. He claims that I made takfīr of Al-Busayri… and that I said that whoever swears by other than Allah is an unbeliever… My answer to all of this is: ‘How free you are, O Allah, from all imperfections, the Most Perfect. Indeed this is a great slander.’ And before this, there were those who slandered the Messenger Muhammad (ﷺ) claiming that he had reviled Jesus the son of Mary (may Allah’s peace be upon them) and that he reviles the righteous. So their hearts resemble one another in their fabrication of lies and bearing false witness.”

                              Sharhu Aqīdat Al-Imām Al-Mujaddid Muhammad Ibn Abdul-Wahhāb, by Shaikh, Dr. Sālih Al-Fawzān, pp. 142-156.

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