|ARTICLE CONTENTS |
1. The Great Imaams of Sunnah did not declare those who differed with them in the affairs of permissible ijtihaad to be astray and they did not make binding upon others their own juristic opinions.
2. Why would one person differ with another over a position of genuine ijtihaad?
3. Holding on to a position in ijtihaad firmly is allowable but vilification of one who holds the opposing opinion is not correct!
4. The Scholars have differed from the earliest of times, even the Sahaabah but they were united in the fundamanetals: The usool and the 'aqeedah.
5. The student of knowledge, the one who has ability must seek out the truth when the scholars differ!
6. The student of knowledge does not precede the scholars and he prefers the opinions of the scholars over his own. And precedence is given to the elder scholars.
7. The difference between the refutation of Ahlul-Sunnah upon Ahlus-Sunnah and the refutation of Ahlus-Sunnah upon Ahlul-Bid'ah.
The Great Imaams of Sunnah did not Declare those who Differed with them in the Affairs of Permissible Ijtihaad to be Astray and they did not make Binding upon them their own Juristic Opinions
Shaikhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah) stated:
|"And there is no one from the Imaams except that he has sayings and actions that are not to be followed alongside the fact that he not to be vilified or debased due to them.."|
The great Imaams of this era, the likes of Shaikhul-Islaam Ibn Baaz and Imaam al-Albaanee and al-Faqeehul-Allaamah Ibn Uthaimeen (rahimahumullaah) did not regard the affairs of ijtihaad to be ones which should be utilized to declare other Muslims to be sinners (faasiqoon) or innovators (mubtadi'oon) or hizbiyyoon if one differed with another in it. They did not regard the issues of admissible ijtihaad to be ones that cause hatred and enmity between them.
Shaikhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah) stated:
|"And there is no one from the Imaams except that he has sayings and actions that are not to be followed alongside the fact that he not to be vilified or debased due to them - and as for these sayings and actions, then they are not known to be in clear-cut or absolute contradiction to the Book and Sunnah, rather they are issues of ijtihaad regarding which there is differing amongst the people of knowledge and Imaan - So it is even possible that these affairs may be qat'iyyah (clear-cut) issues for some to whom Allaah has made the truth clear (since the truth is one), however it is not allowed for him to make binding upon the people that which is clear to him but not clear to them." |
[Majmoo' al-Fataawa, 10/ 383-384]
And this is of course related to the scholars - that in one issue from the affairs of ijtihaad that two scholars (or more) may hold two opposing positions whilst each one holds his evidence to be clear-cut in support of his position - yet all of them are united in the fundamentals and principles of Islaam, that which the Salaf of this Ummah were united upon.
Shaikhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah) stated:
|"So have knowledge that the distinguishing sign of ahlul-Bid'ah is to abandon the following of the Salaf - and for this reason Imaam Ahmad stated in his treatise [narrated by] 'Abdoos bin Maalik: The foundations of the Sunnah with us is to hold fast to that which the Companions of Allaah's Prophet (salallaahu 'alaihi wassallam) were upon." |
[Majmoo' al-Fataawa, 4/155]
Unfortunately some who are new to Salafiyyah in our times and have not understood the usool and qawaa'id of this blessed da'wah, or they feign knowledge of it and in reality are ignorant of it - they are satisfied with little knowledge and are driven by blind following and zealousness, so they miss these beautiful gems of benefit. You find them making binding upon the people the simplest of affairs of differing in ijtihaad (in the affairs of fiqh) - calling the people to either take their position or the position of their Shaikh or else they will publicly and openly warn against them and call for their abandonment! One may even agree with them in the opinion they hold, yet they will still declare him to be misguided until he makes walaa' and baraa' (allegiance and enmity) based upon it as they do.
Until the one who has differed with them agrees with them in making enmity and allegiance around their opinions, they will claim that he has abandoned the Islamic fundamental of enjoining the good and forbidding the evil.
These young 'vanguards' of the da'wah, as they see themselves, have understood next to nothing of these important principles. The reason is because they have not truly studied, they have not studied with a body of Scholars nor read their opinions, they restrict themselves to one set of opinions and declare those who oppose them to have opposed the Deen and the Salafi Manhaj, declaring others to be upon the path of misguidance. And you find them only utilizing the opinions of other scholars when it agrees with their own desires, and at the same time leaving out the fact that those scholars did not regard these issues to be ones that necessitate separation and division between ahlus-Sunnah.
Why would one Person Differ with another over a Position of Genuine Ijtihaad?
i) It is possible that a differing position is held by a person who seeks the truth - he understands and accepts the position of the scholars who took that particular position, so he is not blindly following, rather he is upon knowledge that he has gained - so even if he is mistaken, he is nevertheless excused because he has striven to reach the truth. This person is a seeker of truth, so if later he sees a stronger opinion from another scholar which convinces him otherwise, then he turns to that position. And this is from his excellence. And this was the way and the Minhaaj of the Salaf.
If he opposes one scholar in an affair of ijtihaad but agrees with another due to what he sees of evidence, then he is not considered to be misguided in his Manhaj or 'aqeedah. Ash-Shaikhul-'Allaamah Muqbil al-Waad'iee (rahimahullaah) stated in agreement to the great Imaams before him:
|"As for when does a person exit the Manhaj of the Salaf as-Saalih - it is when he falls into innovations then he exits the Manhaj of the Salaf - either to Soofism or to Shi'ism or to establishing the birthdays or welcoming the secular laws or having restricted allegiance such al-Hizbiyyah (i.e. partisanship), so a person displays allegiance in accordance to his hizb (group or party) and enmity due to his hizb." |
[Tuhfatul-Mujeeb, p. 111].
So as the scholars have mentioned, such as Shaikh al-Albaanee, that when a person falls into innovation, calls to it and makes walaa and baraa (allegiance and enmity) around his innovation, then he exits the Salafi Manhaj.
ii) It is also possible that a person is upon the position of a particular scholar, not due any evidence or seeking of the truth, but due to that fatwa agreeing with his desires and the other fatwas opposing his desires, in which case he is sinful and should be advised with the fear of Allaah, the Most High. He is obligated to adhere to the truth regardless of whether it agrees with one's desires or not. He cannot utilize the argument that many people use to support their desires claiming, "the scholars differ". Rather difference of opinion is not a proof for any person to persist in following his own desires, al-Haafidh Ibn Abdil-Barr (rahimahullaah) stated:
|"[Utilizing] difference of opinion is not a proof with any of the people of knowledge from the jurists of the Ummah, except for the one who has no insight, has no knowledge with him and has no proof for his saying." |
[Jaami' Bayaan al-'Ilm wa Fadhlihi, 2/229].
Also al-Khattaabee (rahimahullaah) stated:
|"And differing is not a proof - rather the explanation of the Sunnah is a proof upon those who differ with each other, from the earlier people and the later people." |
iii) It may be possible that a person is ignorant and thus he asks the people of knowledge as Allaah has commanded in His Book, or he reads or hears of a ruling and then adheres to it and he does not know how to utilize the evidences and proofs or how to derive rulings. This one is also excused if he is mistaken, but once the truth reaches him and it opposes the original fatwa upon which he based his action, he turns to the opinion that is supported by stronger evidences. So this one has fulfilled that which Allaah has commanded him with, i.e. "Ask the people of knowledge if you do not know."
Holding on to a Position in Ijtihaad Firmly is Allowable but Vilification of one who Holds the Opposing Opinion is Not Correct!
Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah) stated:
|"And as for the one from whom it is known that the ijtihaad is admissible, then it is not permissible to mention him from the viewpoint of vilification of him and ascribing sinfulness to him, rather it is obligatory due to what he possesses of Imaan and taqwa to have allegiance for him and to love him."|
Some scholars hold very firm positions in the rulings that they derive. Others may hold opposite opinions. However holding onto a strong and firm ijtihaadee position of an 'aalim based upon his understanding of the texts does not necessitate that those who hold another opinion based upon their ijtihaad are therefore deviants, hizbees or sinners, unless that position is something that the Salaf did not allow differing regarding.
Yes, one can hold with evidence that the ijtihaad of another 'aalim is erroneous and incorrect, but he he may not say that he has left the ranks of Salafiyyah! For example, the scholars differ upon the issue of i'tikaaf, which is to seclude oneself in the mosque for a number of days in the worship of Allaah; and it is usually performed in Ramadhaan. Some have said (such as Shaikh al-Albaanee) that it is not be performed except in the three mosques: Masjid al-Haraam in Makkah, Masjid an-Nabawee in Madinah and the Masjid al-Aqsa in Jerusalem, and they brought forth their evidences. Yet others (such as Shaikh Ibn Baaz, Ibn Uthaimeen and al-Fawzaan) held that it can be performed in any congregational mosque, and they brought forth their evidences. Yet neither body of scholars declared the others to be innovators or sinners due to them not agreeing with the views of the other - nor did one accuse the other of abandoning the Islamic principle of "enjoining the good and forbidding the evil" or to be "corrupted in the understanding al-walaa wal-baraa"!
Another example is the mighty issue of the prayer: The one who abandons the prayer out of laziness or lack of desire to pray, is he considered to be an unbeliever? The scholars again take differing positions, some (such as Shaikh al-Albaanee) held such a one is not an unbeliever, so long as he does not deny its obligation - rather he is considered to be a major sinner, weak in Imaan. Those who differed with him (such as Shaikh Ibn Baaz, Ibn Uthaimeen, etc.) held such as person who abandons the prayer out of laziness even if he affirms its obligation, to be an unbeliever - yet neither side declared the other to be from the khawaarij or murji'ah or innovators. This shows a great understanding of the principles of the Deen - that the Salafus-Saalih and the Scholars who followed their path knew that which was admissible differing and that which is not admissible.
Shaikhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah) made this clear in his saying:
|"For this reason it obligatory to make clear the condition of the one who erred in hadeeth or in narrating and the one who errs in his opinion of his fatwa and the who errs in zuhd or in matters of worship. That is the case even if the erroneous one is a mujtahid who has been deceived by his error - and is [thereby] rewarded for his ijtihaad. Making clear speech and action that is established [and proven] by way of the Book and Sunnah is waajib and that is even if his opposition occurred in speech and action. And as for the one from whom it is known that the ijtihaad is admissible, then it is not permissible to mention him from the viewpoint of vilification of him and ascribing sinfulness to him, for indeed Allaah has forgiven him his error - rather it is obligatory due to what he possesses of Imaan and taqwa to have allegiance for him and to love him; and to establish that which Allaah has obligated from his rights of mentioning him with good, to supplicate for him and other than that." |
[Majmoo' al-Fatawa, 28/233-234]
The point here to note is his saying: "It is not permissible to mention him from the viewpoint of vilification of him and ascribing sinfulness to him" - So if the scholar makes an admissible ijtihaad, even if it is opposed by others with "stronger" proofs, it is not permissible to malign him or to curse him and dishonor him, or to declare him to a hizbee or an innovator.
Indeed we hold that a scholar is rewarded even for his error in accordance to the hadeeth of the Prophet (salallaahu alaihi wassallam) which affirms that the mujtahid who is correct in his ijtihaad receives two rewards whilst the erroneous receives one reward. [al-Bukhaaree in al-I'tisaam, no. 7352]
The Scholars have Differed from the Earliest of Times, even the Sahaabah but they were United in the Fundamanetals: The Usool and the 'Aqeedah
The scholars differ and they have differed from the earliest of times of Islaam, even the Sahaabah and those who followed in their path differed, but this differing was not in the usool or the foundations of the Deen. The Sahaabah differed in minor affairs of the branches (furoo') and they were united in their 'aqeedah as has been pointed out by the scholars of guidance such as Shaikhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah):
|"And the intended purpose is that the Sahaabah - may Allaah be pleased with them - did not fight ever, over a principle (qaa'idah) from the principles of Islaam originally. And they did not differ in anything from the fundamentals of Islaam, not about the Attributes, not about the Qadr, not about the issues of al-Asmaa and al-Ahkaam (passing of rulings), nor in the issues of the rulership." |
Shaykh al-'Allaamah 'Abdul-Muhsin al-'Abbaad (hafidhahullaah), was asked (dated 20/8/1423H), "Is it permissible to say that the Sahaabah differed in 'aqeedah?" So the Noble Shaykh replied:
|"There is differing found amongst the Sahaabah in the furoo' (subsidiary affairs). And there is absolutely no differing found in the usool (foundations). And if there was, then what would the difference be between Ahlus-Sunnah and the innovators then?!"|
The point is that there is a form of differing that is tolerated amongst ahlus-Sunnah whereby they do not declare each other to be disbelievers, innovators or sinners just because someone holds an opposing position. Rather the 'ulamaa may rebut each other and an 'aalim may refute a position that his brother from ahlus-Sunnah holds, but at the same time maintaining his honour; not warning from him or commanding others to stop taking from him; and not calling people to boycott him.
Regarding Imaam ash-Shaafi'ee (died 204H, rahimahullaah), al-'Allaamah Rabee' al-Madkhalee (hafidhahullaah) mentions that he refuted the opinions of his Shaikh, Imaam Maalik (died 179H, rahimahullaah); and he refuted the opinions of Abu Haneefah (died 150H, rahimahullaah) and that of his two companions. Also al-Layth bin Sa'd refuted the opinions of Imaam Maalik in a well-known treatise. And the two companions of Abu Haneefah (rahimahullaah), Abu Yoosuf and Muhammad bin Hasan ash-Shaibaanee opposed him in a third of his madhhab. Shaikh Rabee' continued to say:
|"The mistakes of the Ulamaa in this aspect of the (Religion) have been refuted much and often; and not a single one of the critics made takfeer (as a means) of lowering the rank of the one whom he refuted and manifested his mistakes. And no one spoke in this manner because these affairs are not reckoned to be sins and innovations by which one is declared a sinner, or a kaafir, or by which the precision and reliability of a narrator is disparaged. This is the methodology of the 'ulamaa of ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa'ah from the early period of their history up to this era of ours; but ahlul-Ahwaa wal-Bidah wal-Fitan (The People of desires, innovation, trials and tribulations) come out with new methodologies, such as the likes of the manhaj of Muwaazanaat in order to protect the people of major innovations." |
[See Bayaan Fasaadul-Miyaar; Hiwaar Ma'a Hizbee Mutasattir; page:7-8]
Ash-Shaikhul-Faqeeh al-'Allaamah Ibn 'Uthaimeen (rahimahullaah) stated:
|"Firstly, know that differing of the 'ulamah of the Ummah of Islaam, if it occurs regarding ijtihaad then it does not harm the one who is not granted correctness [in his conclusion] because the Prophet (salallaahu alaihi wassallam) said: "When a judge makes a judgment, he makes ijtihaad, and he is correct, he receives two rewards. And if he makes a judgment, he makes ijtihaad, and he in incorrect, he receives one reward." [al-Bukhaaree in al-I'tisaam, no. 7352]. However for whomsoever the truth has been make clear, then following the truth becomes mandatory for him in every condition. The differing that occurs between the 'ulamah of the Islamic Ummah is not a reason for differing between the hearts, because the differing of the hearts leads to great and immense corruption, just as Allaah, the Most High, stated: "And do not dispute with one another lest you lose your courage and your strength departs, and be patient. Surely Allaah is with the patient." [al-Anfaal: 46]. The differing between the 'ulamah that is considered as allowable which is mentioned and cited, then it is that differing which has a possibility through investigation. |
As for differing of general folk, those who do not understand and do not posses fiqh, then no recognition is given to it. For this reason it is an obligation upon the general person to return back to the People of Knowledge, just as Allaah, the Most High, has stated: "Ask the People of Knowledge if you do not know." [an-Nahl: 43]. As for the saying of the questioner: Is that [allowance] in every affair of [differing]? Then it is not like that. Differing occurs in some issues, and in other affairs there is agreement upon, and there is no differing concerning them. However there are some issues in which there is differing of ijtihaad (juristic opinion), or that some of the people are more knowledgeable than others in their knowledge and understanding of the texts of the Qur'aan and Sunnah - and this is where the differing occurs. As for the affairs of the principle tenets, then there is seldom any differing in them."
[al-Fatawa ash-Shar'iyyah fil-Masaa'ilil-'Asriyyah min Fatawa 'Ulamah al-Bilaad al-Haraam, p. 792]
Here Shaikh Ibn 'Uthaimeen (rahimahullaah) affirms that there are differences in ijtihaad of the Scholars that do not necessitate separation of the hearts, let alone boycotting, hajr and warning against! Knowing the affairs where differing is tolerated and those affairs where it is not is very importance for those embarking upon rectification and disseminating knowledge. If one cannot distinguish between the two, he will be quick and hasty in ruling the people of Sunnah to be misguided as has become apparent amongst some of the youth! Or one may regard people of bid'ah to be upon the Sunnah as is the case with others!
The Student of Knowledge, the one who has Ability must seek out the Truth when the Scholars Differ in Ijtihaad!
The scholars' differing in affairs of ijtihaad in which differing is tolerated is not an allowance to pick and choose as one wishes, rather the student of knowledge should look into the opinions of various scholars and seek that which seems to him to be closest to the truth.
Al-'Allaamah Ibn 'Uthaimeen (rahimahullaah) was asked by a student concerning the difference of opinion amongst the scholars due to their varying ijtihaadaat (juristic opinions) and that he is not able to reach a conclusion and this was causing him confusion. So the Shaikh (rahimahullaah) answered:
|"This issue that has been put forward in this question by the questioner is not merely an issue for the student of the sharee'ah but indeed general for everyone - that if he sees differing of the 'ulamah he falls into confusion - however the reality is that there is no confusion in that. This is due to the fact that if a person has differing fatwas in front of him, then he follows the one that is closest to the truth, in accordance to the abundance of his knowledge and the strength of his Imaan just as a person if he is ill, and two doctors differ [regarding the treatment], then the patient will take the saying of the one whom he sees to be stronger in proof in his description of the cure. |
So if the two affairs to him seem the same in strength of evidence, i.e. that he is not able to decipher which of two scholars has the stronger position; then here some of the scholars have stated that the person should take the more difficult of the two opinions, as that is the safer approach. Some of the scholars have stated that one should take the easier position because this agrees with the ease of the Islamic Religion in accordance to the saying of Allaah, the Blessed and Most High: "Allaah wishes for you ease and He does not wish for you hardship." [al-Baqarah: 185]. And His saying: "And He has not made for you in the Religion any difficulty." [al-Hajj: 78]. And likewise the saying of the Prophet (salallaahu alaihi wassallam): "Make things easy and do not make them difficult." [al-Bukhaaree in al-'Ilm, 69].
This is because the origin is to discharge the affair until there is something firmly established to lift this origin. And this principle is for the one who is not able to arrive at the truth by himself - and if, however, he is able to reach the truth such as the student of knowledge who is able to read what has been said about this particular issue, then he draws a conclusion with what he sees based upon the sharee'ah evidences with him. And in this condition, he (the student of knowledge) is necessitated to research and read so that he come to know that which is more authentic from these sayings in which the scholars have differed."
[Kitaab ad-Da'wah, 5; Ibn 'Uthaimeen, pp. 45-47].
This is the detail and tafseel that the scholars provide that lay down for the Muslim - principles that keep him guided aright and prevent him from going beyond bounds with regard to his brothers from ahlus-Sunnah who differ with him in the affairs of ijtihaad related to the furoo' (branches) of the Deen.
The Student of Knowledge does not Precede the Scholars and he Prefers the Opinions of the Scholars Over his own.
And Precedence is Given to the Elder Scholars
A student of knowledge should not formulate his own opinions without having a precedence of an 'aalim, as this will cause him to fall into error and deviation, if not immediately, then over a period of time - making oneself independent from the scholars and their fatawa is a cause of destruction of a youth in the early days of his pursuit of knowledge.
The Salaf of this Ummah used to give precedence to the elders and more knowledgeable Scholars over the younger mashayikh, even though in both there is virtue. Shaikh al-Fawzaan mentions in his article entitled, "Fi fadhil-'Ulamaa al-'Aamileen wal-Haththi 'alat-Ta'allum minhum" (The Excellence of the Scholars who Act, and Encouragement to Learn From Them) the statement of Abdullaah bin Mas'ood (radhi Allaahu 'anhu) who stated:
|"The people will not cease to be upon goodness so long as they take knowledge from their Scholars, their greater ones and their elders. So when they take knowledge from their young ones and their foolish ones, they are destroyed." |
[Reported by Ibn Mandah in the Musnad of Ibraaheem bin Adham, pg. 34]
Al-'Allaamah al-Fawzaan also mentioned the statement of Allaah's Messenger (salallaahu alaihi wassallam) in which he said:
|"Indeed from the signs of the Hour is that knowledge will be taken from the younger/lesser ones." [Reported by at-Tabaraanee in al-Kabeer (22/362), and declared authentic by al-Albaanee in as-Saheehah (695) and Saheeh al-Jaami' (2207)]|
The noble Scholar, Abdus-Salaam bin Barjis Al Abdul-Kareem (rahimahullaah) stated in his excellent treatise entitled, "Awaa'iqut-Talab", that the people of knowledge differed regarding the explanation of the term 'sighaar'* (younger ones) in these narrations. And the sayings have been mentioned by Ibn Abdil-Barr in "al-Jaami'" (1/157) and Imaam ash-Shaatibee in "al-I'tisaam" (2/93). Then he mentions that Ibn Qutaibah (rahimahullaah) proceeded upon the position that the term "sighaar" refers to those young in years, so Ibn Qutaibah (rahimahullaah) said regarding the saying of Ibn Mas'ood (radhi Allaahu 'anhu):
|"He intends that the people will not cease to be upon goodness so long as their 'ulamah are the elders (in age), and their 'ulamah are not young ones. This is because the delights and treats of youth have left the elderly one; and likewise have left him his hotness or anger, his hastiness, his foolishness; and he is now (in old age) accompanied by experience, practice and expertise. Doubts do not enter his knowledge, and he is not overcome by desire. He does not incline towards greed or covetousness, and he is not fooled by the Shaitaan as he fools the young one. And with years comes dignity, sobriety, reverence, awe and prestige. |
It is possible that these (blameworthy) affairs can come upon a younger person that the elder one is secure from, so if they enter upon him and he delivers fatwa, then he ruins others and destroys himself."
* The term can also be readily used to describe ahlul-Bid'ah as has been reported from Ibn al-Mubaarak.
The early Salaf were cultivated upon giving precedence to the fatawa and understanding of those who came before them from the early generations, al-Imaam al-'Allaamah Ibnul-Qayyim stated:
|"Chapter: The permissibility of giving fatawa based upon the narrations of the Salaf and the fatawa of the Sahaabah; and that they are more worthy of taking from rather than the opinions of the late-comers and their fatawa - and that they will be closer to the truth in accordance to them being closer to the time of the Messenger (salallaahu alaihi wassallam). And the fatawa of the Sahaabah are more befitting to be taken than the fatawa of the Taabi'een and the fatawa of the Taabi'een are more worthy to be taken than the fatawa of the following generation (Taabi'ee at-Taabi'een) and so on and so forth. So the closer one is to the era of the Messenger (salallaahu 'alaihi wassalam), then being correct is more likely. And this is a ruling in a general generic sense and not necessarily in everything from the affairs." |
[I'laam al-Muwaqi'een, 4/148]
The Difference between the Refutation of Ahlul-Sunnah upon Ahlus-Sunnah and the Refutation of Ahlus-Sunnah upon Ahlul-Bid'ah
Ahlus-Sunnah hold that one is permitted to refute the opposing opinion with evidences and proofs, noting that this refutation is between ahlus-Sunnah and ahlus-Sunnah.
Our Shaikh, Ahmad as-Subay'ee, (hafidhahullaah) stated in concise and excellent words:
|"All of the People of Knowledge make mistakes, but the mistakes of Ahlus-Sunnah and Ahlul-'Ilm differ from the mistakes of Ahlul-Bid'ah, both fundamentally and generally - just as the way in dealing with these differences, differs also. |
So the mistake of the Scholar or student is refuted in the knowledge based issues, but he is not attacked or warned against or treated severely in the way the people of innovation and desires are treated. And upon this the people of knowledge have proceeded."
[19th of Muharram 1431H, corresponding to the 25th of December 2010]
And there are a number of differences between this type of naseehah or response and the refutation which is carried out against ahlul-Bid'ah, the hizbiyyeen and the people of desires and separation. Several of those differences are mentioned below:
a) To refute and expose the callers to bid'ah and hizbiyyah is waajib by way of obligation upon a group of the Ummah (fard kifaayah). Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah) stated:
|"And like the Imaams of bid'ah from the people who speak with opposition and contradiction to the Book and Sunnah, or they have methods of worship in opposition to the Book and Sunnah; to make clear their condition and to warn the Ummah from them is an obligation by the agreement of the Muslims - the purification of the Path of Allaah, His Deen, His Minhaaj, and His Sharee'ah and to repel their transgressions and their enmity due to it, is an obligation by kifaayah (upon a portion of the Ummah) by the agreement of the Muslims. And if Allaah had not raised those who would repel their harm, then the Deen would have become corrupted - and their corruption is greater than the corruption caused by the enemy through warfare because when they conquer they do not corrupt the hearts and what is contained within them of Religion except over periods of time. As for these (callers to innovation), then they corrupt the hearts from the outset." |
[Majmoo' al-Fatawa, 28/231-232]
And of course the Scholar of Sunnah who has erred who is known for his adherence to the usool and the qawaa'id (fundamentals and principles) who makes an error in ijtihaad is not to be treated in this manner. He is advised, corrected but he is not worse "than the corruption caused by the enemy through warfare".
However if his opposition is in the usool, in that which the Salaf never allowed differing in, then he is advised by the Scholars who write to him, speak to him and rectify his affair. If he persists in opposing the usool of the Salaf, in those affairs agreed upon, then the scholars first and foremost refute such an individual, and the people follow them. Opposition to the 'aqeedah and manhaj could be in one issue or many issues. It is not that the case that one opposition to the aqeedah is tolerated but many are refuted. Rather every single opposition to the aqeedah and manhaj is re
Should it Lead to Division and Warning?
Let us bring forth an example of an issue in our times where the scholars may have taken variant views, whilst agreeing in the origin, yet that has not been a cause of enmity and hatred between the ranks of the people of Sunnah.
This in essence is a lesson for those over zealous youth who treat the genuine differences in ijtihaad of the scholars or slightly variant views in the branches of Deen just as they treat the madhhabs of bid'ah! This new current that has tried to impose itself upon the Salafis whereby they regard anyone who does not agree with them to be upon hizbiyyah, imitating al-Ikhwaan al-Muslimoon and thus must be warned against openly and abandoned.
|The Permissibility of Asking the People to Aid in the Building of a Masjid or Other Than That for a Genuine Need|
And Allaah, the Most High, knows best if in this affair there is any true differing amongst ahlul-'Ilm, except in some details of how this sadaqah is to be collected, such as the permissibility or otherwise of collection boxes within the Masjid.
There has recently arisen a group of youth who misinterpret and misunderstand the texts related to Sadaqah and use those texts to declare other Salafis to be deviants and upon the path of hizbiyyah.
They know full well that these Salafis do not seek and have never sought Sadaqah from the people for their own personal needs, rather they encourage the people to give in charity for Allaah's cause for the establishment of a Masjid or other than that.
The issue of asking Muslims to help build a Masjid for Allaah's sake or to expand an existing Masjid or other than that, that will bring about a benefit for the Muslims generally is something for which there is ample evidence in the Book and the Sunnah - many of these evidences are general encouragements to give in the cause of Allaah, the Most High, but some are also very specific.
These evidences are used by many of the Scholars to permit the people to collect funds for the general Muslims, whether it be for a Masjid or its expansion, or for a well from where the Muslims may obtain water, or for the benefit of the poor Muslims and those in poverty. Here are just some of the more specific proofs:
|POINT OF EVIDENCE: |
The Messenger (salallaahu 'alaihi wassallam) Encouraged the People to give Sadaqah for the Expansion of the Masjid an-Nabawi - A Specific Cause!
And this is not 'Demeaning the Da'wah', nor 'Blameworthy Begging'.
i) On an occasion Uthmaan bin Affaan (radhi Allaahu 'anhu) stood in the Masjid and said:
|"Is 'Ali here? Is az-Zubair here? Is Talhah here? Is Sa'd here?" They replied: "Yes." Uthmaan said: I adjure you by Allaah besides whom there is none worthy of worthy of worship! Are you aware that the Messenger of Allaah (salallaahu ıalaihi wassallam) said: "Whoever buys the land of Banu so-and-so, Allaah will surely forgive him." So I bought it - then I came to the Prophet (salallaahu 'alaihi wassallam) and told him, and he said: "Add it to the Masjid and the reward for it will be yours." So they (i.e. Ali, Talhah, Zubair and Sa'd - may Allaah pleased with all) said: "Yes"|
This is part of a lengthy hadeeth that shall be quoted again below, inshaallaah. It is Reported by Imaam an-Nasaa'ee (rahimahullaah), no. 3636; Chapter: Waqful-Masajid - Endowment for the Mosques. Authenticated by the Imaam and Muhaddith Al-Albaanee (rahimahullaah) who said: Saheeh.
ii) In a different wording of the above hadeeth, there occurs the wording: The Messenger (salallaahu alaihi wassallam) said:
|"Whoever buys the land of Banu so-and-so, Allaah will forgive him." Uthmaan (radhi Allaahu 'anhu) said: "I bought it for twenty or twenty five thousand! Then I came to the Messenger (salallaahu alaihi wassallam) and told him." He said: "Add it to our Masjid and reward of it will be yours." |
[An-Nasaa'ee, no. 3637. Al-Albaanee said: Saheeh]
iii) In another wording which makes clear the intent, Uthmaan (radhi Allaahu 'anhu) said: "Are you aware that the Masjid became too constricted and small for the people and the Messenger of Allaah (salallaahu 'alaihi wassallam) said":
|"Who will buy the plot of the family of so-and-so and add it to the Masjid in return for a better plot in Paradise?" Uthmaan (radhi Allaahu 'anhu) said: "I bought it with my capital wealth and I added it to the Masjid." |
[An-Nasaa'ee, no. 3638. Al-Albaanee said: Saheeh].
And there several more ahaadeeth of this nature reported with similar wordings collected in the Sunan. And these words of the Messenger (salallaahu alaihi wassallam) were not due to any personal gain, as he was far removed from such characteristics, but rather for the sake of Allaah, the Most High, and for the general benefit of the Muslims. This is not to be considered demeaning and forbidden and blameworthy begging. And this is the understanding of many of our Scholars in line with the texts.
|Allaamah al-Fawzaan Concerning the Usage of Donation Boxes and Collecting Funds for a Masjid in Need|
Ash-Shaikh al-'Allaamah Saalih bin Fawzaan (hafidhahullaah) was asked:
|"May Allah give you good, this question comes by way of the internet from America, the question is: What is the ruling on placing donation boxes inside the Masjid in order to collect money to cover the Masjid's bills and expenses, keeping in mind that the Muslims in America do not receive financial assistance from the government rather they only depend upon Allah and then they depend on the money they collect?"|
The noble Shaikh answered:
|"The door of donations is wide, if there is a need for donations to the Masjid for renovations of the Masjid or building a Masjid or those things which will benefit the Masjid and there are not enough funds to cover the expenses except by way of donations then there is nothing wrong with this. And this is from cooperating upon piety and righteousness." |
[Taken from a translation on salafitalk.net by one of the contributors. Source: http://saif30.af.org.sa/node/101 ]
Some of the ahaadeeth quoted above from the third Caliph Uthmaan (radhi Allaahu 'anhu) make mention of other statements of Prophet (salallaahu 'alaihi wassallam) whereby the Companions would donate for the general benefit of the Muslims for other than a Masjid:
|"Whoever buys the well of Roomah, Allaah will forgive him." Uthmaan (radhi Allaahu 'anhu) said: So I came to Allaah's Messenger (salallaahu 'alaihi wassallam) and said: "I have bought the well of Roomah". So he said: "Give it to provide water for the Muslims and the reward for it will be yours." The hadeeth continues to state: "Whoever equips the army of al'Usrah, Allaah will forgive him." Uthmaan (radhi Allaahu 'anhu) said: "So I equipped them so that they were not even lacking a rope or a bridle." [An-Nasaa'ee, no. 3636. Al-Albaanee said: Saheeh]|
|Shaikh Ibn Uthaimeen's Letter of Recommendation and Encouragement for the Purpose of Building a Masjid|
Below is a letter written by ash-Shaikh al-Faqeeh al-Allaamah Ibn Uthaimeen (rahimahullaah) encouraging people to give money for the building of a Masjid (vol. 18, page 286 of his Fatawa):
|Encouragement to Give in Charity for the Building of Mosques |
In the name of Allaah, Most Merciful, Bestower of Mercy.
All praise is due to Allaah. The salutations and peace be upon our Prophet, the seal of the Prophets and the Imaam of the pious; and upon his family and his Companions, and those who follow them precisely till the Day of Resurrection. To proceed:...
Indeed the mosques are from the most excellent of affairs for which wealth is donated, and for which the reward is perpetual, for indeed its reward is continuous, varied and manifold. This is because the Muslims worship Allaah within them (the Mosques) by way of the Salaat and other than that. In it is the worshiper, and the one who recites Qurıaan, and the one who studies knowledge and other than this. The Muslims benefit by way of them by seeking shade from the heat and comfort from the cold.
For this reason the Prophet (salallaahu alaihi wassallam) encouraged with the building of them. Bukhaaree, Muslim and other than them narrate from the hadeeth of the Ameer al-Mu'mineen 'Uthmaan bin 'Affaan (radhi'Allaahu 'anhu): I heard Allaah's Messenger (salallaahu 'alaihi wassallam) saying:
"Whoever build a Masjid, then Allaah will build for him it's like in Jannah."
And in a wording:
"Allaah will build for him a house in Jannah."
So the recompense is immense and the reward is great, a house in the [eternal] Abode of Blissful Dwelling, in proximity of the Merciful Lord, in the Abode wherein the bliss will not come to an end and nor will its people ever perish.
Indeed in the district of (...), one of the areas of the city of (...), there is a need for the building of a Masjid so that its people may establish within it the congregational prayer, and actualise and fulfil the benefits that were cited earlier. They are in need of the assistance of their Muslim brothers to share with them in the reward and recompense, and to aid them upon this important and honourable affair.
So I address the call to my Muslim brothers that they contribute and partake in the building of this Masjid from the generosity of their souls, whether it be small or great, and whoever does good to the weight of an atom shall see it.
And may Allaah grant success to all due to what is in it of goodness and righteousness.
Written by Muhammad bin Saalih al-Uthaimeen.
So this is not "disgracing the da'wah" or "blameworthy begging" nor is it a resembling of the hizbies or the Ikhwaan al-Muslimeen. Rather it is cooperation upon righteousness and piety, not for any personal gain, but for seeking the Face of Allaah. And is common for a Scholar to pen down a recommendation in favour of a group of ahlus-Sunnah asking the people to aid them in the establishment of a Masjid or Markaz, and this is not a sign of hizbiyyah, not from near or far.
|Questions to Shaikhul-Islaam Ibn Baaz (rahimahullaah) and the Permanent Committee regarding collection boxes:|
Shaikhul-Islaam Ibn Baaz (rahimahullaah) was asked:
|"What is your ruling on the charity boxes that are placed in Masjids to collect money to be spent on poor students, and so on? Can we put Zakah money in these boxes?" |
"Allah (may He be Praised and Exalted) shows the categories of people who have the right to receive Zakah in this Ayah (at-Tawbah:60):
"As-Sadaqaat (here it means Zakaat ) are only for the Fuqara (poor), and Al-Masakin (the poor) and those employed to collect (the funds), and to attract the hearts of those who have been inclined (towards Islam), and to free the captives, and for those in debt, and for Allah's Cause, and for the wayfarer (a traveler who is cut off from everything); a duty imposed by Allah. And Allah is All-Knower, All-Wise."
The charity boxes placed in Masjids are usually used for the benefit of the Masjid, but those who serve these Masjids or seek knowledge there are not included in the eight categories. So it is not permitted to put any Zakah in these boxes.
However, it is permissible to help the people who benefit from these boxes with money other than the obligatory Zakah, as Allah (may He be Praised and Exalted) says:
"Help you one another in virtue, righteousness and piety." (Qur'aan 5:2) and He also says: "And do good that you may be successful." (Qur'an 22:77)
May Allah grant us success! May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions!"
Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta': Shaykh 'Abdul-'Azeez ibn Baz, Shaykh 'Abdul-'Azeez Aal ash-Shaykh, Shaykh 'Abdullah Ghudayyan, Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzan, Shaykh Bakr Abu Zayd.
[Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta' - Vol. No. 9; Page No. 454; Source: alifta.com]
|A question was posed by the Markaz as-Salafi, Manchester UK, to ash-Shaikh al-Allaamah Zaid al-Madkhalee (hafidhahullaah) as follows:|
|"Is it permissible to place a box close to the entrance of the mosque for the collection of donations from the congregation and is it permissible to place a box in the mosque so that the congregation are able to put forward questions and suggestions?" |
"It is permissible to place a box close to the mosque for the collection of donations with conditions:
The first: The one carrying this out this is upon the methodology of the pious predecessors, ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa'ah.
The second: The objective behind the collection of donations is known- and this objective is to be the carrying out of pure good, like the buying of land to build a mosque or school upon it, or the assistance of the stricken from the poor Muslims known for their clinging to the Sunnah, and that this is to be known and clear to the public.
And beware that the collection of donations is not exploited for personal gains or for affairs that harm the religion and the society, and the brothers are to know - the ones who asked the question and are intent upon setting up this box - that Allah is observant over everything and He will hold accountable every individual upon his actions from goodness and evil. So it is upon them to characterize themselves with the characteristics of truthfulness with Allah and with the slaves of Allah (i.e. the people) and seek the reward with Allah, the Mighty and Majestic. And the placing of boxes differs in accordance with differing countries, so if the group - the questioners - are in an Islamic country, then they must obtain permission from the relevant authority that has been specified to issue permissions or refusals, and if they are in a non-Islamic country and the questioners are aware that there is no objection from the government or objection posing danger to them, so if it like that i.e. the state does not object and the possibility of any danger to the group is non-existent, then there is no objection in placing the box and in proceeding with that which they have resolved upon.
As for that which is connected to the placing of a box which questions are placed within to be answered then that which I see is that you pursue a route other than this and that is the collection of questions and directing them to the scholars."
[Recorded source and translation: Markaz as-Salafi, Manchester, UK: salaficentre.co.uk]
|The noble Scholar, ash-Shaikh Muhammad ibn Haadee al-Madkhalee (hafidhahullaah) on collection boxes and collecting for a need: |
|"There are brothers who have set up collection boxes in the Masjid to collect funds for those in need - so some others have complained about collecting those funds in the Masjid, and they make mention of the fact that the paper money on the pounds and coins have faces, and they have made an issue of that. So the brothers initially were covering the money, and now they are asking can we put a box in the Masjid for the collection of those funds?" |
"This is a good question and likewise beneficial - yes, the placing of a box in the masjid for the collection of charity so that the destitute is aided, and likewise the poor person, the one in need, the one afflicted by a tragedy affecting his wealth or his home or his family - then all of this is considered from the excellent charitable deeds - i.e. the usage of these, a box that is placed there for the people to donate money into. However it is obligatory upon the ones who establishes that collection box that they are honest people, people of truthfulness and Religion and that they are trustworthy, so that this wealth is not spent except upon the one who is deserving - and there is no flattery or impressing of anyone in the Religion of Allaah, the Blessed and Most High. As for the affair of the pounds and coins that have upon them images then that does not harm, for indeed it is hidden [in the box], and there is no harm in that."
[Source: ad-Dawrah al-'Ilmiyyah with al-Maktabah as-Salafiyyah, Madeenah, 1431H. Recording source: salafitalk.net]
|The Muhaddith of Yemen, the Allaamah and Mujaahid, Muqbil bin Haadee al-Waadi'ee (rahimahullaah)|
Finally the Muhaddith of Yemen, the Allaamah and Mujaahid, Muqbil bin Haadee al-Waadi'ee (rahimahullaah) himself encouraged the people of Sunnah to cooperate with ahlus-Sunnah even in terms of financial aid as well as religion, and this in no way whatsoever is to be considered as "disgracing the da'wah":
|"Dated 1st of Rabee ath-Thaanee 1419 after Hijrah. |
Our Brothers for the sake of Allaah, the Salafees, the brothers at al-Maktabah as-Salafiyyah and Islamic Centre in the city of Birmingham in Britain are mentioned with righteousness and love for the Sunnah and calling to it and making war against innovations and hizbiyyah (partisanship).
I hope that our brothers from Ahl us-Sunnah agree to co-operate with them financially* and spiritually for they are deserving of that
Verily, Allaah supports His slave as long as he is in support of his brother. May Allaah protect them, for they are facing the call of Christianity and Atheism and the call to nakedness and unveiling as well as the calls of innovation and hizbiyyah. And they protect their brothers from slipping into corruption, calamity and innovations and other than that from the various types of misguidance. May Allaah grant success for all that He loves and is pleased with.
(Shaikh) Abu Abdur-Rahmaan Muqbil ibn Haadee al-Waad'iee from Sa'dah in Yemen"
[Original document: Salafi Publications, Archives]
* Of course this does not mean that the Shaikh (rahimahullaah) is approving of donation boxes and the like, but it is a clear statement of recommendation that Salafi Publications be aided financially in their da'wah efforts by ahlus-Sunnah.
All of these Prophetic texts and scholarly rulings show the permissibility of encouraging the people to donate sadaqah for the general and specific benefit of the Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa'ah, seeking by way of that the reward of Allaah and His Paradise. So how can the one who encourages the people to give sadaqah due to the need of a Masjid for the Salafis or the expansion of an existing one be considered to be upon hizbiyyah in light of the above Prophetic texts and scholarly rulings!? How can it be said these brothers who are known to be upon Salafiyyah and Sunnah, who have been connected to the Scholars for twenty years and remained close to them throughout this period and have received praise and commendations from them, whose number it is difficult to enumerate have taken the path of hizbiyyah?!
These are the same ahlus-Sunnah who have been described with unveiling the calls of innovation and hizbiyyah till this day. There are those amongst some ignorant youth who have labeled a Masjid of ahlus-Sunnah that has within it a collection box to be a masjid of hizbiyyah that they refuse to acknowledge to be upon Salafiyyah. It is upon them to leave off this exaggeration in understanding and learn how to understand differing so that ahlus-Sunnah remain united upon the usool and recognise differences can occur in the furoo' where there is room for ijtihaad.
Unfortunately, some deluded youth, new to knowledge and Salafiyyah fail to understand this affair as it should be understood. They are not versed in the etiquettes of differing, and assume by default that their opinion is always correct, and that whoever opposes their opinion has deviated from the Salafi Manhaj. If they find one who differs with what they have gathered of opinions, they automatically accuse him of resembling the people of hizbiyyah and bid'ah, they call for that person to be abandoned and label him to be astray.
What they fail to understand is the following important points as it relates to sadaqah and donations:
ONE: When the people of hizbiyyah call people to donate to them and their organisations, they do so by taking that as a goal of their da'wah. They do not disseminate beneficial knowledge, rather they travel from one place to another only to gather wealth for their hizb and use it misguide the Ummah. The Salafiyyoon regard the establishment of tawheed and the sound 'aqeedah to be the most important affair of Deen, and this was the purpose of the sending of the Prophets and Messengers - that none but Allaah is worshipped, that He is obeyed in whatever He has commanded and forbidden, in accordance to the Book and the Sunnah upon the understanding of the Salaf.
TWO: The people of hizbiyyah utilise whatever they are given to establish bid'ah and misguidance. They use the donations of the people to fight against the Manhaj of the Messenger (salallaahu alaihi wassallam) and his Companions. The people of Sunnah utilize sadaqah to establish the da'watus-Salafiyyah, to feed the poor, to build Salafi Masaajid and so on.
THREE: The people of hizbiyyah use their wealth to divide and split the Ummah upon the false and restricted walaa' and baraa' (allegiance and enmity) based upon principles they have innovated for themselves. They will give to whoever supports their bid'ah and their hizb, and they will withhold from giving to those who oppose them and differ with them. In this manner they increase their numbers by the usage of wealth, and not by calling to path of Allaah and His Messenger (salallaahu alaihi wassallam). The people of Sunnah love for the sake of Allaah, they hate for the sake of Allaah, they give for the sake of Allaah and they withhold for the sake of Allaah. They are guided in all their affairs by the principles established in the Book and the Sunnah.
FOUR: The people of hizbiyyah gather and utilise the wealth of the people to gain the Dunyah for themselves, to become wealthy upon the wealth of the people - they are treacherous. The people of Sunnah utilise the wealth in those areas for which it was collected. So if was collected for the purpose of building a Masjid, then it is used to build a Masjid. If it was collected to feed the poor, then the poor are fed and so on. They do not seek wealth to line their own pockets!
FIVE: The people of hizbiyyah utilise the sadaqah of the people to establish political supremacy - they make their goal the pursuit of political power - so they use the sadaqah and zakaat of the people to enter into and promote democracy and democratic candidacy. They gather the zakat of the people and utilise it in other than the areas specified and singled out on the Qur'aan and purified Sunnah. They may use it install one of their leaders into power by spending sadaqah on election campaigns (or organising mass demonstrations), or to remove those who they despise from power - all of this in accordance with the manhaj of al-Ikhwaan al-Muslimoon. Ahlus-Sunnah do not collect or receive sadaqah except that they spend in the cause of Allaah, as Allaah and His Messenger (salallaahu alaihi wassallam) have specified in the texts. Ahlus-Sunnah are far removed from devious political machinations! Walhamdulillaah!
SIX: The people who desire the Dunyah seek sadaqah whether they have a need or no need - they seek habitually for no purpose even if all their needs are fulfilled. They are the blameworthy beggars! The people of truth and sincerity do not ask of the people for any self gain unless they have desperate need and they are in poverty not able to survive otherwise, in which case they are excused, as has been mentioned by the scholars, such as Ibn Uthaimeen (rahimahullaah). The believers work with their own hands to provide for their families and children, but if they are not able to fulfil their needs, they may ask only to fulfil their needs - and the righteous believers give generously as an act of worship. The people of Imaan also encourage others to give in sadaqah, not for themselves as they are sufficed, but rather for the poor, the needy, the destitute, for the cause of Allaah, for the Houses of Allaah and so on. And this is reported in the Qur'aan and from Allaah's Messenger (salallaahu 'alaihi wassallam) in hundreds of authentic ahaadeeth!