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Posted By Topic: Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips on Suicide

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Moosaa
03-28-2010 @ 7:01 PM    Notify Admin about this post
Abul-'Abbaas Moosaa ibn John Richardson (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
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the following article is important to understand first:
http://www.salafitalk.net/st/viewmessages.cfm?Forum=31&Topic=10967


In the Name of Allaah...

After repeated requests for me to clarify the errors in the writings of Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips, and the gravity of some of the mistakes that I have come accross, I will begin clarifying some of the more dangerous of his mistakes in a series of articles, this being the first (in shaa' Allaah).(1)  I hope that the author will take note of them, accept them as humble advice and correct his mistakes.  I also hope that those who have his books will amend their copies, so that his mistakes are not followed.  I ask Allaah to make the truth clear to all who read this, and to make it done sincerely for His Sake alone.

Dr. Bilal Philips on Suicide
[FOR CLARITY: A better title for this article is what is found on TROID: "Errors in the Writings of Bilal Philips".  I meant by "Dr. Philips on Suicide" that: Here is some criticism of Dr. Philips' words on suicide in one of his books, not a comprehensive evaluation of his position on the subject.]


Stated Dr. Bilal Philips in his book, "Islamic Studies Book 3" (2nd edition, 2005, IIPH, Riyadh, p.85):
quote:
...Suicide has been classified as haram (forbidden) in Islam.  In fact, the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alayhe wa sallam) himself informed us that one who kills himself will find himself in the Hell-fire forever, killing himself over and over again in the same way that he did in this life.(2)  The one who commits suicide implies by his act that Allah has unjustly burdened him beyond his God-given abilities, and such a concept is, in reality, equivalent to kufr (disbelief)...

In this passage, Dr. Philips contradicts the belief of Ahlus-Sunnah and supports the belief of the Khawaarij and the Mu'tazilah: that the one who commmits suicide is a kaafir who will remain in the Hellfire forever.  They are harsh and go overboard (ghuluww) with regards to the texts warning of punishment.  Ahlus-Sunnah are balanced and take positions based on all texts combined.  Consider another hadeeth on the topic, one found in Saheeh Muslim (113):

quote:
"When the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alayhe wa sallam) made hijrah to Madeenah, Tufayl ibn 'Amr came as well, along with a man from his tribe.  This man became ill when he first reached Madeenah and his illness became so severe that he took a knife and slit his wrist (over the top, or possibly near the knuckles), and the blood spilled out until he died.  Tufayl then saw him in a dream, in a good vision, except that his hands were wrapped up.  

So he asked him, "What has your Lord done with you?"

He replied, "He has forgiven me because of my hijrah to His Prophet (sallallaahu 'alayhe wa sallam).

The he asked, "Why are your hands wrapped up?"

He said, "It was said to me: We shall not fix something you have corrupted yourself!"

So Tufayl relayed this to the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu 'alayhe wa sallam), so he said:

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"O Allaah!  And forgive his hands (too)!"

The hadeeth clearly shows that suicide does not expel a person from Islaam, but rather it is a major sin that can lead to punishment in the Hereafter.

Al-Qaadhee 'Iyadh (d.544) said in Ikmaal al-Mu'lim (1/403):
quote:
In this hadeeth is proof for Ahlus-Sunnah for what they say, that Allaah may forgive the sins of whomever He wants, and it explains the hadeeths before it that might seem to give the false impression that someone who commits suicide faces the eternal threat of remaining (in the Fire) forever.(3)  It is also a refutation of the Khawaarij and Mu'tazilah.

Abul-'Abbaas al-Qurtubee (d.656) said in al-Mufhim (1/324):
quote:
This hadeeth means that that someone who commits suicide is not a kaafir, and that he will not be made to stay forever in the Fire, as is found in the statement of Allaah (that means), "Verily Allaah does not forgive that partners be set up for him, but He forgives things less than that for whomever He wants." [4:48]

Al-Haafith an-Nawawee (d.676) said in al-Minhaaj (2/131), after entitling the chapter: "Proof that Someone who Commits Suicide is not a Kaafir":
quote:
In the hadeeth is proof for the great principle of Ahlus-Sunnah that whoever kills himself or commits sins and then dies without repenting is not a kaafir, and he is not to be decisively declared to be in the Fire.  Instead, he is subject to the Will of Allaah... And this hadeeth explains the other hadeeths before it that might indicate from their wordings at first glance that someone who commits suicide and other major sinners are to remain forever in the Fire.(3)

And we read this hadeeth to our shaykh Rabee' ibn Haadee al-Madkhalee in his house in the Summer of 1424, and he confirmed for us what the scholars say, that:
quote:
The hadeeth proves that a major sin does not expel someone from Islaam.

As for the rationalization offered by Dr. Philips, that "The one who commits suicide implies by his act that Allah has unjustly burdened him beyond his God-given abilities, and such a concept is, in reality, equivalent to kufr (disbelief)..."

This is a blanket ruling on all people who commit suicide.  It is factually untrue, as people commit suicide for different reasons.  What Dr. Philips has mentioned is, in fact, one case of a person who commits suicide.  However, not everyone who commits suicide has believed that Allaah has unjustly burdened him beyond his abilities.  Rather, it is likely that only a small minority of people who kill themselves actually believe this, and Allaah knows best.  Actually, the one who believes such a thing has disbelieved  before he even committed suicide, so he would be a disbeliever whether he committed suicide or not, because of his belief.

To say that the very act of suicide itself implies this belief is totally unfounded and a contradiction to the hadeeth mentioned and the beliefs of Ahlus-Sunnah built upon it.  Furthermore, it resembles the rationalization of the Khawaarij in this very issue and other issues similar to it.

I ask Allaah that He allows the author and those who have followed him through his book to recognize this dangerous error, shun the ghuluww (extremism) of the Khawaarij in all of its forms, and embrace the moderate approach to Islaam that Ahlus-Sunnah are known for.  Allaah is the All-Hearing, the One who responds.  

And Allaah knows best.  May Allaah raise the rank of His final Messenger and grant him peace.

FOOTNOTES:

(1) I taught from Dr. Philips' "ISLAMIC STUDIES - Book 3" two years ago in an international school in Jeddah.  The book was already in place and I did not choose it.  I noted many mistakes in my copy as I went through it, and I will begin this series of clarifications with those mistakes.  Please note that anyone who might claim that I am hunting for mistakes or "out to get" Dr. Philips should simply fear Allaah and realize that I have nowhere near the time, resources, nor motive to hunt for his mistakes.  Although, after going through just one of his books, I was convinced that there is actually a need for a student of knowledge to go through all of them and correct the mistakes in them.

(2) This misunderstanding is based on a false interpretation of a hadeeth in al-Bukhaaree (5778) and Muslim (109), that the one who kills himself either by stabbing himself, poisoning himself, or throwing himself from a mountain, will be made to repeat that action in the Hellfire repeatedly, "khaalidan mukhalladan feehaa abadan", meaning: for an extremely long period of time, but not forever, as understood by the scholars of Ahlus-Sunnah, as will be explained further in this article.

(3) Like the one misunderstood by Dr. Philips, mentioned in footnote #2.


Moosaa ibn John Richardson

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Moosaa
03-31-2010 @ 3:38 PM    Notify Admin about this post
Abul-'Abbaas Moosaa ibn John Richardson (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
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CLARIFICATION

Perhaps there is something that was not made clear enough in my initial article...

I have received numerous emails alerting me that there was no takfeer of someone who commits suicide in Dr. Philips' words, only a "concept equivilent to kufr" but no mention of him being outside Islaam.

I would like to thank my concerned brothers and sisters for their emails and apologize for not making that issue clearer in the original article.

Dr. Philips said, "In fact, the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alayhe wa sallam) himself informed us that one who kills himself will find himself in the Hell-fire forever..."

No one from Ahlus-Sunnah(*) believes that there are some Muslims who have to go to the Hellfire forever.  Thus, to say that someone shall be in the Hellfire forever is a statement of takfeer.  The words that follow in the passage are an attempt to justify why he should be in the Hellfire forever.

Again I apologize for not making that clearer in the original article.

The article has created quite a bit of discussion on different forums.  Here are some of the other reactions to the article that have reached me so far:

1-we shouldn't speak about the scholars
2-the author meant kufr doona kufr  
3-the critic is not qualified to evaluate scholars
4-lets leave this matter to the scholars
5-a shaykh in makkah had good things to say about bilal philips on many occasions
6-a doctor in umm al-qura said bilal philips is ok
7-a student in madeenah said bilal philips is ok
8-we have to ask the author what he meant
9-we have to understand these words in light of his other writings and statements
10-the author has not been advised
11-the article is backbiting
12-the article is based on speaking without knowledge
13-the article has little or no benefit
14-the author has so many books and so much work for the da'wah
15-the criticism is based on jealousy
16-the "concept" being "equivilent to kufr" doesn't mean it is kufr
17-we shouldnt be posting people's mistakes on open forums
18-the critic has misunderstood the passage
19-we should accuse our own intellects and own erroneous interpretations before we accuse a Sunnah propagating Muslim of things, which even his choice of words, clearly indicate that something else could be intended
20-we have ulema not brothers who translate to ask about this, it is easy to go to Mekka or medina or even easier to call if clarity is needed
21-discussing these kinds of issues may distract us from thinking about death and our own situation
22-the author has ijazahs from known scholars and so he is a scholar (comparison to critic implied)
NEW TO THE LIST:
23-the passage was taken out of context
24-the worst possible meaning has been applied (to ambigious words)
25-the critic has put words in the author's mouth
26-the critic wants to turn people away from the author by manufacturing mistakes (that don't exist)
27-the author only said forever because that is what is in the hadeeth
28-some of the scholars quoted in the criticism are ash'arees
29-the critic made a "tricky sticky statement" that warrants him being hauled over coals
30-some websites have translated the hadeeth using the same wording as the author


I'd like to keep the dialogue open with these reactions, and I will try to clear up some of the confusion that produced these reactions, in shaa' Allaah, so the honest Muslim who seeks the proper understanding is not confused.

This discussion is only for people seeking academic clarifications, not emotional rants.  I can not do anything for someone blinded by their attachment to personalities except ask Allaah to remove that trial from his way.

(*) Previously worded (mistakenly): "No one who claims Islaam as their religion..."  This would include all deviant groups, even those outside of Islaam.

Moosaa ibn John Richardson

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Moosaa
04-01-2010 @ 9:12 AM    Notify Admin about this post
Abul-'Abbaas Moosaa ibn John Richardson (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
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FOREWORD: The Importance of a Proper Understanding of the Issue

The issue of suicide and its ruling in Islaam should be considered extremely important for every Muslim!!  When misunderstood, it is:

1) An issue that has lead to whole communities not praying janaazah over Muslims and not allowing their burial in the Muslim graveyard (or section of the graveyard), since he was considered to have committed suicide, while praying over a Muslim and burying him is one of his basic six rights in Islaam!!

2) An issue that has lead to takfeer of individual Muslims, in some occasions the majority of an entire community openly refers to someone who committed suicide as a kaafr, and that takfeer goes up to the heavens and COMES BACK ON EITHER THE CLAIMED OR THE CLAIMANT!!

3) An issue that has prevented whole communities from making du'aa' for people in DIRE NEED of their brothers' and sisters' supplications, as the scholars have stressed.

4) An issue that has prevented inheritence from being distributed to its rightful recipients!

5) An issue that has led to the honor of Muslims being violated as they are treated as kaafirs and mentioned in a bad light after their death...

And the harms that result in misunderstanding this issue and misrepresenting it in our writings are more than this.  Imaams and community leaders in the West who have had to face such a dillema can confirm this.  So to consider this mistake (spread in a published book or on the internet to thousands of people or more all over the world) to be of little significance is merely a trick of the shaytaan dear brothers.  May Allaah guide our hearts and tongues.

Moosaa ibn John Richardson

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abooabdilfattaah
04-02-2010 @ 5:59 AM    Notify Admin about this post
Aboo 'Abdil-Fattaah Salaah bin Bernard Brooks (Pittsburgh, PA, USA)
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Bismillaah, al-hamdulillaah, wa salaatu wa salaamu 'ala rasoolillaah, wa ba'd:

As Salaamu 'alaikum wa Rahmatullaahi wa Barakaatuhu ...

"Imaams and community leaders in the West who have had to face such a dillema can confirm this."

I can testify to the truthfulness of this statement.  Indeed, this effort to clarify the likes of these mistakes is necessary and of great benefit for communities in the West; communities whose congregations have long relied upon such books.  To illustrate this point, please consider the following:

In 2008, a young new Muslimah, who had only accepted Islaam one or two years prior, committed suicide - may Allaah forgive her and have mercy upon her.  The girl was troubled and was receiving treatment for her mental health issues.  Her non-Muslim family exclaimed to me that Islaam was the only thing that gave her any stability whatsoever.  Nonetheless, she took her own life (by Allaah's permission).  Knowing the girl's issues and knowing that her level of Islaamic knowledge was at a minimum, we proceeded to arrange her Janaazah and encouraged the Muslims to make du'aa for her.  When we did this, we received the following comment by a sister in our community:

"You made a dua that Allah grant the Jannah to the sister who
committed suicide.  Please know that there will be no Jannah for the
one who commits suicide, and that however the person committed suicide
will be what they will do over and over for eternity in the Hellfire."
  
The sister then proceeded to quote some Ahaadeeth regarding the
punishment of the one who kills himself, residing in the Fire forever.

It should be noted that the sister who made those remarks recanted them upon receiving clarification regarding the issue and was remorseful and showed regret for discouraging the Muslims from making du'aa for the girl.

It's clear that this understanding is widespread throughout Muslim communities and it highlights the need for such Tafseel as provided by our brother Abul 'Abbaas.  As many English speaking Muslims are in possession of Dr. Philips' Islamic Studies books, as well as the fact that they are used as the primary curriculum for Islamic studies in many Muslim schools in the West, I encourage our capable and trustworthy students of knowledge, such as Abul 'Abbaas, to continue in the serialization of these mistakes.  Indeed, it serves as a benefit both to Dr. Philips as well as the readers of his books.

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Aboo 'Abdil-Fattaah Salaah Brooks
Imaam, Al-Masjid Al-Awwal
Pittsburgh, PA  


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Aboo 'Abdil-Fattaah Salaah Brooks

Moosaa
04-16-2010 @ 8:52 AM    Notify Admin about this post
Abul-'Abbaas Moosaa ibn John Richardson (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
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wa 'alaykumus-salaamu wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh,

Jazaak Allaahu khayran Abaa 'Abdil-Fattaah for the account.

As for the clarifications of the responses made:

1-we shouldn't speak about the scholars

It is obligatory for every Muslim to reject ideas that oppose the Book and the Sunnah whenever he is able to recognize them, whether the idea comes from the people of innovation or from the mistakes of our own scholars from Ahlus-Sunnah.  In this case, maintaining the purity of the religion is a priority over preserving the "flawless" image of the mistaken scholar.

That is the case if the author was actually a scholar.  However, Dr. Philips (may Allaah make him a scholar) is quite simply not an 'aalim (scholar).  Refer to this thread for clarity on the meaning of the word "scholar":

http://www.salafitalk.net/st/viewmessages.cfm?Forum=14&Topic=10861

And again, even if he were a scholar, there is no scholar above criticism (after the Prophets and Messengers).  So to say that Dr. Philips is a scholar who can not be refuted is ghuluww (religious extremism).  A balanced position would be: Dr. Philips is a speaker and an author, whose works have benefit, as well as mistakes.

Imaam Maalik was reported to have said, "There is not one of us except that he is either refuting someone or being refuted."

Of course, in the West the word "scholar" is used for a student who does well on tests, even as early as first grade.  "Scholars' programs" are offered to students who achieve.  This broader meaning is too general to have been intended here.

2-the author meant kufr doona kufr

Kufr doona kufr: lesser kufr, or a major act of disobedience that is labeled kufr in the texts, yet it does not reach the level of major kufr that expels one from Islaam.

The obvious understanding reached by the readers of the passage (those whom I have encountered) does not support this idea.  If this was the intention, then it was obstructed by his words on the general ruling on people who commit suicide, that they will be in Hell forever.  The justification offered for this eternal punishment is that they "indicate" that Allaah has unjustly overburdened them.  (Refer to the original passage)

It is the obvious meaning understood from the passage in the book that is important to clarify here, not what Dr. Philips intended.  Dr. Philips is not standing next to the readers to explain his intentions behind every passage.

3-the critic is not qualified to evaluate scholars


Review point #1 above.

Also, my writing was not an evaluation of anyone, it was criticism of a passage in a book.

4-lets leave this matter to the scholars

I do not know which scholars are reading "Islamic Studies Book 3" by Dr. Philips.  I think this response was partly based on the confusion over the meaning of the word "scholar" mentioned in point #1.

5-a shaykh in makkah had good things to say about bilal philips on many occasions

This is totally irrelevent.  Aside from it being useless as a tazkiyah (scholarly recommendation), due to the anonymity of the "shaykh", it has nothing to do with the misleading passage in the book.  Even if Dr. Philips' scholarship was recognized by the scholars, and he was widely recognized as "Shaykh al-Islaam", his books would still be subject to criticism.  To believe that someone's status puts him above criticism is ghuluww (extremism).  Refer again to point #1 above.

6-a doctor in umm al-qura said bilal philips is ok

Refer to point #5 above.

7-a student in madeenah said bilal philips is ok

Again, refer to point #5 above.

8-we have to ask the author what he meant

Refer to point #2 above.

[to be continued in shaa' Allaah...]

Moosaa ibn John Richardson

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Moosaa
04-17-2010 @ 7:35 AM    Notify Admin about this post
Abul-'Abbaas Moosaa ibn John Richardson (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
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9-we have to understand these words in light of his other writings and statements

An open mistake, especially a misrepresentation of the beliefs of Ahlus-Sunnah in a core matter of eemaan, is to be corrected openly.  If the focus were a study of Dr. Philips' beliefs, then gathering all his statements on the subject would be appropriate.  

Even in that case, a person can contradict himself by speaking correctly on one occasion and incorrectly on another, and to explain a clear mistake by saying, "He said forever, but he actually meant: not forever," or "He said equivilent to kufr, but he actually meant: not equivilent to kufr," is based on the idea that he could not have erred, and thus we need to explain away the mistakes and misleading passages so they end up carrying the same meaning as the passages he spoke correctly in.  This kind of interaction with people's statements is actually one of the innovations brought by Abul-Hasan al-Ma'ribee, wherein the principle of "mujmal and mufassal" is applied to the speech of people, to explain away clear errors.

To summarize, you are free to choose how you want to understand this issue:

a) Dr. Philips spoke correctly when he said, "...It is well known among Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaaıah that the sinfull (sic) believers will not be in Hell forever. There are many other highly authentic hadeeths which explain that all the believers in Hell will be removed by Allah after all the intercessions of His creatures have ended."  However, he spoke incorrectly in Islaamic Studies Book 3, when he referred to the one who commits suicide as residing in the Fire forever, describing his action as equivilent to kufr, since it indicates that he feels Allaah has unjustly overburdened him (a belief of major kufr, not minor!).

b) Dr. Philips actually spoke correctly in Islaamic Studies Book 3, just as long as you understand that when he said "equivilent to kufr" he meant "not equivilent to kufr".  And believing that Allaah has overburdened someone unjustly is "lesser kufr".  And "forever" used in this context, even with the obvious support for its absolute meaning, actually means, "not forever".

[Answer key will be provided later - in shaa' Allaah...  more to come.]

Moosaa ibn John Richardson

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Moosaa
04-18-2010 @ 10:33 AM    Notify Admin about this post
Abul-'Abbaas Moosaa ibn John Richardson (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
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10-the author has not been advised

This is based on a misconception that we may not correct an open mistake until after advising the person privately.  While it is better without doubt, there are a number of reasons why it can become difficult or even impossible to accomplish:

a) the mistaken one is deceased
b) the mistaken one can not be reached
c) the mistaken one is argumentative and refuses advice
d) the mistaken one attacks his advisors
e) the mistaken one does not believe he is mistaken

These reasons, and others like them, do not stand in the way of clarifying our religion for the masses when needed.  A simple look at Dr. Philips' lengthy and confusing responses to past criticism, as well as his more recent posts defending this mistake specifically (example: "So, you wanna make a name for yourself, take a "pot shot" at the "big guy"") will lead the reader to understanding that some of the above actually apply in this case.

Furthermore, I did not have any contact information for him, so I tried contacting him through his official website before posting anything publicly, yet the CONTACT US feature was not working, and at the time of this writing, it is still not functional.  I originally posted the criticism to a mailing list with some subscribers who are big fans of Dr. Philips, some of them showing blatant and open ghuluww (extremism) for him, so I had no doubt that the article would reach him within a day or so.  I was more concerned that the correction reach the people who needed it in the first place.

But let us assume now that the critic has an evil, hardened heart, overcome with rancour and jealousy (may Allaah soften my heart and yours), and that was the real reason for the the article.  Does identifying this make the passage in the author's book go away as if it was never written?  Will people now walk away from Islamic Studies Book 3 believing that a Muslim who commits suicide is still a Muslim?

And speaking about someone's unspoken intentions is a dangerous gamble, with little payoff if you are right!  If it is true that the intentions were not sincere, then the mistaken passage still needs corrected.  And what has really been gained?  If it is not true, then it is slander, a major sin, and the slanderer could be made to pass over his good deeds to the slandered, or take accountability for the slandered's sins!  I personally do not understand why anyone would want to enter this kind of gamble!

And for the sake of fairness - Why is the critic alone blamed for not advising privately before a public correction (without any possible excuse offered), while every Zayd and 'Amr who has spoken about the critic and his intentions publicly has done so without advising him privately first!!  Let them apply their own innovated conditions and principles to themselves!  Partisanship is steeped in double standards, isn't it?

Moosaa ibn John Richardson

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sajid_chauhan_81
04-18-2010 @ 3:46 PM    Notify Admin about this post
unspecified ساجد (Mumbai (India))
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quote:
A simple look at Dr. Philips' lengthy and confusing responses to past criticism, as well as his more recent posts defending this mistake specifically (example: "So, you wanna make a name for yourself, take a "pot shot" at the "big guy"") will lead the reader to understanding that some of the above actually apply in this case.
Plz. click here for a glimpse.

Moosaa
04-18-2010 @ 7:54 PM    Notify Admin about this post
Abul-'Abbaas Moosaa ibn John Richardson (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
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11-the article is backbiting

The prohibition of backbiting does not apply to correcting someone when they have opposed the truth.  Again, the purity of the religion takes priority over the mistaken one's reputation.  Read up on the permissible and even obligatory occasions for mentioning something about someone he does not like to hear.  A passage referred to often by the scholars is the one in Riyaadh as-Saaliheen.  This link below is similar to it, and is likely based on it:

http://www.salafitalk.net/st//viewmessages.cfm?Forum=9&Topic=8336


12-the article is based on speaking without knowledge

It is a short, concise article that clarifies the difference between the aqeedah of Ahlus-Sunnah and the 'aqeedah of the Khawaarij, based on a pivotal hadeeth from Saheeh Muslim, along with quotes from three of the oldest and most reliable explanations of Saheeh Muslims available in print!  With that, I do apologize for any weaknesses in it.  

However, it seems that such a strong reaction to the article might possibly be an indication of "partisan blindness" - which prevents people from using their intellects to judge in an issue where their revered figure may have been mistaken, and Allaah knows best.


13-the article has little or no benefit

Someone who believes this can really benefit -in shaa' Allaah- from scrolling up and reading:
FOREWORD: The Importance of a Proper Understanding of the Issue

And the post after it that mentions a true account of how misunderstanding this issue affected a real community!

Moosaa ibn John Richardson

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Moosaa
04-19-2010 @ 9:26 AM    Notify Admin about this post
Abul-'Abbaas Moosaa ibn John Richardson (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
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14-the author has so many books and so much work for the da'wah

No one has denied any of his publications or da'wah efforts, or said that because of this mistake he shall receive no reward for that!  If he wrote 1000 books and gave da'wah for 80 years he would still be subject to criticism and correction when he errs.

Again, whatever level some people fancy him to be upon, he can never reach a level that the greatest scholars (less than the Prophets) never reached: a level where one's writings are infallible and not subject to criticism or correction.


15-the criticism is based on jealousy

This statement is either true or false.

If it is true, then you have accurately identified a problem in the critic's heart.  However, this doesn't actually do anything for the mistaken passage in Islamic Studies Book 3.  It still exists and it goes on misleading people unless a correction reaches them.

But, if the statement ("the criticism is based on jealousy") is false, then the claimant has placed himself in great danger and has to face the Lord of the Worlds with a very heavy major sin in his account: an evil statement of public slander, one that could reach the four corners of the earth, and "A man may speak with a word that is displeasing to Allaah, without paying it much attention, yet he is made to descend into the Hellfire because of it, deeper than the distance between the East and the West."

So if you have already taken this gamble and made this kind of statement publicly, ask yourself: Without any solid proof of what is in the heart of the critic, and without his own admission of jealousy, what was the benefit of me gambling with my own Hereafter, based on conjecture!?  Am I really ready to hand over my own good deeds to the critic or take on the burdens of his sins if I am wrong?  And what is the payoff if I am right anyway?

On top of a highly dangerous gamble, the whole idea is mere "conjecture" itself!  And that in itself is another sin!  No matter how bad your opinion may be of the critic, you must acknowledge that your claim to what is in his heart might possibly be untrue, since it is conjecture without evidence.

Allaah is all-forgiving!  He says, what means, "O you who believe!  Repent to Allaah with sincere repentance, in hopes that your Lord will expiate your sins for you and allow you entrance to gardens under which rivers flow..."


16-the "concept" being "equivilent to kufr" doesn't mean it is kufr

This kind of reaction comes from one of three types of people:

a) Someone whose English is very weak, possibly not a native English speaker.  Such people should look up the word equivilent in a reliable dictionary and get a language coach to go through the passage and its criticism before speaking about it publicly.

b) Someone who is so infatuated by Dr. Philips that they could promote or entertain clear doubletalk that leads to the understanding that "a concept being equivilent to kufr" actually means "a concept not being equivilent to kufr"!!

c) An ill-intended person who seeks to keep the Muslims from clarity in their religion, and Allaah's refuge is sought.


17-we shouldnt be posting people's mistakes on open forums

Refer to point #11 above.


18-the critic has misunderstood the passage

I invite anyone who feels this way to conduct an honest and objective survey of ten average teenage Muslims, as the book is designed to be taught to high school students.  Ask them to read the entire passage from the book (pp.84-85) and then ask them about Islaam's position on a Muslim who commits suicide.  Ask them to support their answer with a quote from the passage they read.  Report your findings.

It is important to realize that in a real-life scenario where students are studying this book in a Muslim school, sometimes with an under- or unqualified teacher, that Dr. Philips is not there to explain what he meant or to refer the students to his other writings.  The apparent meaning of the passage to a high school student who is learning his religion is what must be considered here.

MORE
* I thought I would have time to go over each and every response, but now, as my "spring break" comes to a close, I need to wrap up this discussion.  So I have to excuse myself from clarifying each point, and focus a few that need attention more than others. *


23-the passage was taken out of context
24-the worst possible meaning has been applied (to ambigious words)
25-the critic has put words in the author's mouth
26-the critic wants to turn people away from the author by manufacturing mistakes (that don't exist)


None of these claims have any truth to them.  You are welcome to read the criticism again and find something to support this.  But because these statements of denial were offered by the author himself, some of his followers may accept them without actually reading (or re-reading) the correction objectively.

Instead of denial, the author would do well to simply fix the passage (may Allaah aid him in that).


27-the author only said forever because that is what is in the hadeeth

The apparent wording of the hadeeth "khaalidan mukhalladan feehaa abadan" most definitely supports the idea of 'forever' and 'eternal' linguistically.  However, when translating hadeeths, we do not rely solely on the arabic language and its devices used in the passage, rather we translate them for meaning, keeping in mind the relationship of this hadeeth to the other evidences on the topic.  No aayah or hadeeth should ever be explained in a way that contradicts the correct Islaamic 'aqeedah!

Had the author only kept to translating the text as "forever", then it would have been an excusable mistake and an understandable one.  However, he has gone far beyond this, and he has actually explained the meaning he translated, proving that he intended "forever" literally, by offering a reason why they should be in the Fire forever, naming their belief "kufr" (and using words like "concept" "indicate" and "equivilent" do not interfere with this meaning being conveyed, sorry).  Then, in his blog responses, after attempting to explain kufr as "minor kufr", the author ends up going back to the idea of "major kufr" anyway, and says he was referring to the non-Muslims.

This kind of doubletalk only confuses people, and keeps them from identifying a dangerous mistake in 'aqeedah.  


28-some of the scholars quoted in the criticism are ash'arees

This is the author's most obvious smokescreen attempt to date (may Allaah excuse him).  The books quoted are from the earliest and most reliable explanations of Saheeh Muslim available, the books of an-Nawawee and those who came before him.  Our position with regards to the writings of an-Nawawee and those like him - We benefit from them in the things that are not related to their mistakes in 'aqeedah (like their speech about the Attributes of Allaah).  This is the position of the scholars of Ahlus-Sunnah.  It is the Haddaadee Sect that claims an-Nawawee's and Ibn Hajr's books are books of innovation as a general ruling, and they must be abandoned in totality.

So to conclude: Has the critic quoted an-Nawawee and the others from their mistakes or from their correct writings in line with the teachings of Ahlus-Sunnah?  Judge for yourself!  Compare their words with the major scholars of today on the topic:

http://www.salafitalk.net/st/viewmessages.cfm?Forum=8&Topic=10927

After comparing objectively, perhaps a few more of Dr. Philips' supporters will recognize the smokescreen and see the need for clarification.


29-the critic made a "tricky sticky statement" that warrants him being hauled over coals

This is referring to a mistaken expression I made, that "No one who claims Islaam as their religion believes that some Muslims will have to stay in the Fire forever..."  It is true that the Khawaarij and Mu'tazilah deny intercession for Muslims who enter the Hellfire for minor sins, and it is true that they claim Islaam as their religion.  While the scholars have differed over the validity of their claim (which Dr. Bilal seems to not know about), to deny their ascription to Islaam is a clear error, which you will find corrected OPENLY above.

However, to take a mistaken expression from the critic (one that has been openly corrected) and run with it is just another smokescreen attempt.  If a critic errs in an expression, it simply does not make the author's mistakes go away, or the criticism invalid.  

I ask Allaah that He not allow myself or Dr. Philips to be hauled over coals in this life or the Next.


30-some websites have translated the hadeeth using the same wording as the author

Refer to point #27 above.  I would advise anyone who has translated this hadeeth to be extremely cautious, keeping in mind that some of your audience do not have much background in principles of 'Aqeedah, and to avoid translating the hadeeth using expressions like "forever" and "eternally", and to take the time to explain the meaning of the hadeeth, as misunderstanding it leads to dangerous consequences as shown in some of the posts of this thread already.

I pray that Allaah blesses the Muslims with understanding in the Religion, and keeps them from extremism and attachment to personalities.  May Allaah forgive the critic, the author, and the readers, and make them all true beleivers who He blesses with good statements and actions that guide many to His Religion.

And Allaah knows best.

Moosaa ibn John Richardson

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MuhammadS
04-19-2010 @ 11:59 PM    Notify Admin about this post
Abu Ilyas unspecified (unspecified)
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السلام عليكم و رحمة الله

Brother Moosa, I've sent you a PM, in case you didn't know by now, because I don't think that one is automatically notified once they receive a PM, so I just wanted to let you know.

How disgusting is poverty after sufficiency, and even more disgusting is misguidance after guidance - Qasasul Anbiya by ibnKathir

SulaimanSalafee
04-20-2010 @ 4:37 AM    Notify Admin about this post
Abu Humairah Sulaiman Ibn Sa'ad Abubakar (Nigeria)
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Posts: 4
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Assalaamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuhu!

Masha Allah, until reading this article today, I used to hold the same belief (of course based on the same hadeeth with khaalidan mukhallidan wordings) and I would have done the same thing that the sister did, I would have asked the muslims not to pray for someone who committed suicide.

I am from Nigeria and insha Allah, salafee. We were recently faced with the fitnah of a youngman from this country trying to blow up an aircraft, it was a real fitnah for me and other salafee brothers here because people here are not able to make tamyiz between the salafee and the hizbees and all that. I was really vocal in many circles in my criticsm and condemnation of this and other acts of terrorism and suicide bombings and one of the adilla I used is the hadeeth mentioned. I remember clearly saying that if he were to die in blowing himself up, he would have been in jahannam forever.

May Allah forgive me and protect the muslims from the evil of this and my other mistakes. I ask Him (subhanahu wa ta'alaa) to increase our brothers in knowledge and make them reasons for the guidance of others

Wassalaamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

wasim.ahmed
04-20-2010 @ 5:13 PM    Notify Admin about this post
Abu 'Abdil 'Azeez Waseem ibn Abdirraheem Al Peshimaam (Bangalore,India / Al Qaseem , K.S.A)
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Posts: 221
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Bismillaah,
Alhamdulillaah wassalaatu wa salaam 'ala Rasulillaah, wa ba'd,

Dr Bilal Philips has responded to the article above & one can easily realise that instead of accepting the fact that there has been a mistake either in his understanding of suicide or to say the least in writing about it, he is defending what he wrote & giving other explanations. It would have been enough for him to clarify & say that he doesn't support the view of the Khawaarij & that this sentence should have properly orded to remove any doubts.

quote:
The one who commits suicide IMPLIES by his act that Allah has unjustly burdened him beyond his God-given abilities, and such a concept is, in reality, equivalent to kufr (disbelief)


People commit suicide for various reasons & the reason mentioned by Dr Bilal Philips might also be present BUT this wouldn't be known unless the one who has committed suicide or is about to actually tells us that. His action of merely committing suicide doesnt IMPLY it or Prove it as will be clear to any English reader since this was written in English.

And he says (may Allaah guide us & him) in his clarification ,

quote:
Please note also that my discussion was about people in general and not specifically Muslims. Non-Muslims are three quarters of the world, and this is the most common reason for them even if it may not be so for Muslims (which remains to be proven). I only mentioned Muslims in the last sentence of the tafseer saying, ıMuslims are not permitted to give up hope in Allah at any time and they are expected to look at difficulties as merely temporary tests from Allah, soon to followed by a period of ease.ı)


The issues of Riddah are not applied to the kuffaar, so where does this explanation stand ?


Wassalaamu 'alaikum.




yasin3683
04-21-2010 @ 3:08 AM    Notify Admin about this post
ibn Ahmad Maher ibn Ahmad (U.S.A.)
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Posts: 950
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Bismillaah Al-Hamdulillaah wa salatu wa salaamu 'ala rasulullaah  
Amma-ba'd  

May Allaah support and make victorious those who sincerely defend His Religion as well as those who sincerely refute that which is falsely attributed to Allaah's Religion, regardless of whose mouth or pen the falsehood comes from. [Ameen!] As our dear, righteous scholars of Ahlus Sunnah wal Jama'ah (rahimahumullaah) have explained:
quote:
The truth is not known by men, but rather the men are known by the truth.


May Allaah guide Bilal Philips to the Sunnah in 'aqidah and manhaj and character and worship! This is what is desired. We make du'aa for him and those like him (who still have an opportunity to make tawbah), and ask Allaah for their correction.

Bilal Philips has been advised, and no one is preventing Bilal Philips from repentance for mistakes he made in public and on paper regarding the Usool of this Religion. Allaah said (what means):

quote:
Except those who repent and do righteous deeds, and openly declare (the truth which they concealed). These, I will accept their repentance. And I am the One Who accepts repentance, the Most Merciful. (Al-Baqarah 2:160)

In the meantime, the Muslims are warned of Philips' errors for their own benefit and the overall benefit of the Ummah. Philips' errors are warned against for the sake of Allaah, not because of something personal - but rather it is because of the statements he's made or written in opposition to wahy (revelation).  
Allaah said:
quote:
So if they believe in the like of that which you believe, then they are rightly guided, but if they turn away, then they are only in opposition. So Allaah will suffice you against them. And He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower. (Al-Baqarah 2:137)

So it is obligatory for our beliefs ('aqidah and manhaj) to match the beliefs of the Prophet (salallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) and the sahaaba (radiallaahu 'anhum). Otherwise, we are only in opposition.

This is no small matter, ya ikhwaan wa khawaat!

As we have learned from the people of knowledge, Muslims should be upset concerning the false statements Philips and others such as him have made concerning the Religion of Allaah; Muslims shouldn't be upset because Philips and those like him and their errors are being refuted. Muslims should thank Allaah that He subhanahu wa ta'aala decreed for some of His slaves (such as the righteous Salafi scholars and their righteous students) to refute the falsehood so that others may distinguish the haqq (truth) from the baatil (falsehood). Contemplate - for a moment, may Allaah bless you - the opposite.

As we learned from Shaikh Ahmad an-Najmee's sharh (explanation) of [url=http://www.salafipublications.com/sps/apps_sharhussunnah.cfm]Sharh-us-Sunnah[/url], when the scholars warn against a deviant or an innovator or a person with errors in 'aqidah and manhaj, this warning of his errors actually helps him. How? The more his errors are warned against, the less people will follow him in opposition to wahy (revelation), therefore the less sins he will accumulate, due to the Prophet's (salallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) statement:
quote:
"Whoever calls to guidance has a reward like the example of the reward of those who follow him, not decreasing their reward in anyway. And whoever calls to misguidance has upon him the sin like the example of the sin of those who follow him, not decreasing their sin in anyway."
(Muslim, no. 2674)  

And if the people of the Sunnah stay quiet and do not warn of Philips' mistakes, then how will those who sincerely want Paradise going to distinguish the truth from falsehood?

quote:
"When some people said to Imaam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal (rahimahullaah) that they felt uneasy about criticizing people, he replied, 'If you remain silent and I remain silent, then who will make the ignorant person aware of the authentic from the defective?'"
(Majmoo'-ul-Fataawaa of Ibn Taimiyyah (28/231))

Contemplate the following - may Allaah bless you.

If someone falsely accused you or your wife or your mother, you would be in uproar defending yourself or your family and refuting the slander. At the very least, you would be distressed. Wouldn't you? So what about having [url=http://www.salafitalk.net/st/viewmessages.cfm?Forum=9&Topic=8232]Gheera[/url] (honorable jealousy) for the rights of Allaah and His religion? Aren't the rights of Allaah greater than our rights? Reflect that Major Shirk is not forgiven on Yawm Al-Qiyammah, whereas theft and murder and rape are forgiveable.

quote:
Verily, Allaah forgives not that partners should be set up with him in worship, but He forgives except that (anything else) to whom He pleases, and whoever sets up partners with Allaah in worship, he has indeed invented a tremendous sin. (An-Nisa 4:48)

Another matter that is of importance - that we should all beware of - is speaking about Allaah without knowledge.

quote:
"Say: (But) the things that my Lord has indeed forbidden are Al-Fawahish (great evil sins, every kind of unlawful sexual intercourse, etc.) whether committed openly or secretly, sins (of all kinds), unrighteous oppression, joining partners (in worship) with Allah for which He has given no authority, and saying things about Allah of which you have no knowledge." (Al-A'raf: 33)
  
Shaikh Rabee' bin Hadee al-Madkhalee (hafidhahullaah) and many others from the 'Ulema (rahimahumullaah), in commenting on this verse, explain the reason for speaking about Allaah without knowledge being greater than shirk is due to the fact that shirk results and emanates from speaking about Allaah without knowledge. [ [url=http://www.salafyink.com/aqeedah/ThinkBeforeYouSpeak.pdf]Speaking about Allaah without Knowledge[/url] ]

Wouldn't you rather stay clear of transgressing these limits? And wouldn't you rather defend Allaah's Religion, playing a role in its preservation? Wouldn't you want to be a means in your children and grandchildren and subsequent generations knowing the truth? Wouldn't those significant matters be something weighty, maa sha` Allaah, to have in your book of good deeds on Yawm al-Qiyammah?  

The Messenger of Allaah (salallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said:
quote:
There will not cease to be a group from my Ummah, manifest upon the truth, not being harmed by those who forsake them, neither by those who oppose them, until the hour is established.
[Muslim 3/1523, Ahmad 5/278 and others]

So Allaah subhanahu wa ta'aala will support His religion with or without me and you. But if we support those whom Allaah supports and refute that which opposes the truth, then we will be rewarded in sha` Allaah, and, in sha` Allaah, we will be counted amongst the party of Allaah and not the party of Shaytan.

As student of knowledge Abu Hakeem Bilal Davis said concerning the characteristics of the people in the above hadeeth,
quote:
"From their characteristics is that they defend the Religion and repel from it the false interpretations of those who are ignorant and those who fabricate and add to the religion that which is not from it.

As the Messenger of Allaah (salallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) said, in a hasan hadeeth by various routes:
quote:
Indeed this knowledge is carried in every generation by its truthworthy ones, and they repel from it the ta`weel (false interpretations) of those who go beyond bounds, the fabrications of those who fabricate, and the distortions of the ignorant.
And the Messenger of Allaah (salallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) also said:
quote:
What I fear most for my Ummah are the Imams of misguidance.
It is said about them, "they are people of 'ilm (knowledge) and fihm (understanding)," but in actuality they are a people who are given to misguiding the people.
    

Know - may Allaah have mercy on you - that loyalty has to be directed to Allaah subhanahu wa ta'aala, and no one in opposition to Allaah. Imagine standing on Yawm al-Qiyammah awaiting your judgment knowing that you agreed with, supported and defended statements in opposition to what Allaah revealed to His Messenger (salallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam), and therefore agreed with, supported and defended the falsehood of shaytan. Aoodhoobillaah!

And if your reason for supporting Philips is because of the dunya or some relationship you have with him, then know - may Allaah have mercy on you -that the Messenger of Allaah (salallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) said:
quote:
"Verily the firmest of the handholds of Eemaan are loving for the sake of Allaah and hating for the sake of Allaah."


And know - may Allaah show you mercy - that the Messenger of Allaah (salallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam) said: Love the one whom you love in moderation; perhaps one day he will be one whom you hate. And hate the one whom you hate in moderation; perhaps one day he will be one whom you love. [authentic, Saheehul-Jaami' (no. 176); at-Tirmidhee]

Beware of loving someone too much for a day may come that you have to hate him (for Allaah), and beware of hating someone too much for a day may come that you have to love him (for Allaah).

Abu Hakeem Bilal Davis said about this particular issue:
quote:
What is 'ajeeb (amazing) is that when Ahlus-Sunnah stand to clarify that which has taken place as it relates to distortion, transgressions against the Deen of Allaah subhanahu wa ta'aala, we have individuals, ikhwaan, who become upset. Not upset at the fact that the Deen of Allaah has been transgressed against, but upset at the fact that fulan, al 'alan (such and such) from amongst the children of Adam are spoken against [again] due to statements they've made against the Deen of Allaah Al-'Adheem (The Great). [This is because they] have love for them, because [their] hearts are binded to them, connected to them.

...And as occurs, ikhwaan, in the statement of the 'Arab, "Indeed your love for something blinds and deafens you."

And that - subhanAllaah - is the case. We find that when a person is in love with something, when a person has a passion for something, then that love and passion he has often times causes him to become deaf and blind. And so he sees not and hears not except that which comes from his beloved. So we should [enjoin one another] to be lovers of haqq (truth) and haters of baatil (falsehood). And we ask Allaah to show us the haqq, and to bless us to follow it and accept it. And we ask Allaah that He allows us to recognize baatil and misguidance, and blesses us to turn away from that and to distance ourselves from that.


And as for those who know Philips' falsehood, then what will their excuse be on Yawm al-Qiyammah if they stay quiet, especially since Allaah has clarified in the Qur`an and in the Sunnah of His Messenger (salallaahu 'alaihi wa sallam) that warning of falsehood is not only permitted, but in fact [url=http://www.salafitalk.net/st/viewmessages.cfm?Forum=9&Topic=7483]obligatory[/url] on those who are able.

So for the sake of Allaah, be sincere [for Allaah] and support those who defend Allaah's Religion, and [url=http://www.salafyink.com/hadeeth/SupportingFalsehood.pdf]do not support falsehood[/url] or those who propagate falsehood. May Allaah unite us upon the haqq, and support the people of the haqq against those who are not pleased with Islam [that Allaah perfected and completed for us over 14 centuries ago] as a religion.


Here are some links that further show the mistakes of this man Bilal Philips (may Allaah guide him):

[url=http://www.salafitalk.net/st/viewmessages.cfm?Forum=6&Topic=562]Errors In Usool Of Bilal Philips[/url]

[url=http://www.salafitalk.net/st/viewmessages.cfm?Forum=9&Topic=6688]Bilal Philips in Nutshell[/url]


Subhanak Allaahuma wa bihamdika ash-hadu anlaa illaaha illa anta astaghfiruka wa atubu ilayk  

If I said anything correct, then it is from Allaah (subhanahu wa taa'ala), and if I erred, then that is from me and shaytan.

Moosaa
04-23-2010 @ 10:22 AM    Notify Admin about this post
Abul-'Abbaas Moosaa ibn John Richardson (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
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Posts: 1280
Joined: Sep 2002
          
I have added some more clarifications after point #18 above.

I thank Allaah that He gave me the ability to help clarify something of His Religion, and that I helped some of my brothers and sisters - by Allaah's Permission - see through the conufusion created by the original passage and by the chaotic responses that followed the criticism of it.

Moosaa ibn John Richardson

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Moosaa
04-23-2010 @ 12:54 PM    Notify Admin about this post
Abul-'Abbaas Moosaa ibn John Richardson (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Member
Posts: 1280
Joined: Sep 2002
          
"All of this for one mistake?"

This is a classic case of "al-'ilm nuqtah kath-tharahal-jaahiloon", (Knowledge is a simple point that the ignorant people have made into a lot of issues).  (Attributed often to 'Alee ibn Abee Taalib, may Allaah be pleased with him)

Moosaa ibn John Richardson

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ibrahim.bukhari
04-24-2010 @ 1:30 PM    Notify Admin about this post
unspecified unspecified (unspecified)
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May Allaah reward you Moosaa, ameen...  I don't know how you could have made the realities and misconceptions of the situation any clearer for those who desire to understand!

Ibrahim Bukhari

yasin3683
04-27-2010 @ 7:49 PM    Notify Admin about this post
ibn Ahmad Maher ibn Ahmad (U.S.A.)
Member
Posts: 950
Joined: Nov 2006
          
Bismillaah Al-Hamdulillaah wa salatu wa salaamu 'ala rasulullaah  
Amma ba'd

Shaikh Muhammad bin 'Umar Baazmool (hafidhahullaah) said:

quote:
Sixth point: The reality of this statement (i.e. to devalue the leading figure heads is a difficult affair) is itself an application of the manhaj of Muwaazanaat. It (Muwaazanaat) is a false methodology that ruins and dilutes the Religion, whilst that which is truth is clear and sublime. And within this (Muwaazanaat, and the claim that devaluing the leading figure heads is a difficult affair) is termination of the truth and disappearance of its people, except that which Allaah wills.
  

quote:
Tenth point: The lowering of a man or being raised (in the eyes of the people) is something in the hands of Allaah; He (The Most High) alternates it how He pleases and it is not an affair of yours.

Fulfil the obligation you have been commanded, which is to clarify the truth, disapprove of evil and warn against the bid'ah of this figure head. If he accepts the (truth), humbles himself, returns to the (truth) and repents to Allaah, then Allaah will raise his status if He (The Most High) wills, because Allaah raises one who humbles himself in His presence.

But if he oppresses and transgresses, then this man is from Ahlul Bid'ah; (so) how can you shed tears for him and that he has been lowered (in the eyes of the people)? Subhaanallaah!


Subhanak Allaahuma wa bihamdika ash-hadu anlaa illaaha illa anta astaghfiruka wa atubu ilayk  

If I said anything correct, then it is from Allaah (subhanahu wa taa'ala), and if I erred, then that is from me and shaytan.

Moosaa
04-30-2010 @ 8:18 AM    Notify Admin about this post
Abul-'Abbaas Moosaa ibn John Richardson (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Member
Posts: 1280
Joined: Sep 2002
          
Important Guidelines Regarding the Texts of Wa'eed (Threatened Punishments): Kufr, Will not Enter Paradise, Will Abide in the Fire, He is not from us, etc.

http://www.salafitalk.net/st/viewmessages.cfm?Forum=14&Topic=10967

Moosaa ibn John Richardson

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