Asalamu Alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatahu,
Whether you agree or disagree for the most part with Shaykh Ibn Taymiyyah rahimullah, or Imam Al-Ghazali, rahimullah, here are some interesting quotes from both of them, as well as some others contemporary and classical scholars, that can perhaps be of value in terms of understanding unity in the community…
However, should you read the speech of Allah subhanwa wa t’ala concerning unity (8:45-8:49), inshAllah, that is sufficient.
Don’t Reject Something Permissible Just Because You See Ahlul Bid’ah Doing That Thing…..
Ibn Taymiyyah in his Minhaj us-Sunnah said:
الذي عليه أئمة الإسلام: أن ما كان مشروعاً؛ لم يُترك لمجرد فعل أهل البدع، لا للرافضة ولا غيرهم، وأصول الأئمة توافق هذا
“What the scholars of Islam have agreed upon is that if something is legitimate in the Shariah, don’t abandon it just because the people of innovation practice it. This is regardless of whether they are Raafidis or other than them. This is in agreement with the usool of the scholars.”
However, if a particular thing is known to be specific to a group of Ahlul Bid’ah and is a symbol of their group, then it’s recommended to leave that thing.
Having Ahlul Bid’ah Spread Their Bid’ah is Less Worse Than People Staying Kuffar…
Ibn Taymiyyah in his Majmu’ al-Fataawa said:
وقد ذهب كثير من مبتدعة المسلمين: من الرافضة والجهمية وغيرهم إلى بلاد الكفار، فأسلم على يديه خلق كثير، وانتفعوا بذلك، وصاروا مسلمين مبتدعين، وهو خير من أن يكونوا كفارًا، وكذلك بعض الملوك قد يغزو غزوًا، يظلم فيه المسلمين والكفار، ويكون آثمًا بذلك، ومع هذا؛ فيحصل به نفعُ خلقٍ كثير كانوا كفارًا وصاروا مسلمين
“Many from the innovators amongst Muslims, such as the Jahmiyyah and Raafidah went to the lands of the kuffar. Many kuffar accepted Islam because of them and they benefitted greatly. They eventually became Muslim innovators themselves. However, this is better than them remaining kuffar. Also, you have some of the kings who would invade territory and oppress both the Muslims and kuffar in that conquered land and be sinful in doing so. Despite this, there would be great benefit, whereby many kuffar would become Muslims.”
Shaykh al-Islam ibn Taymiyyah said in his Majmoo al-Fatāwā, vol.28, p.212:
“If establishing the obligations of knowledge, jihad and other than that, is unfeasible except through someone who has bid’ah whose harm is lesser than the harm of leaving that obligation, obtaining the advantage of the obligation with the likely disadvantage along with it is better than the opposite.”
Shaykh al-Islam ibn Taymiyyah in his Majmoo al-Fatāwā, vol.3, p.235 spoke about Ibn Makhluf as a man who is a liar who has little knowledge and religion, yet despite this in Volume 3, page 277 he still said regarding Ibn Makhluf and his ilk:
“I will them help on what is good and God fearing.”
In the Fatawaa al-Lajnah al-Daa’ima, Volume 2, page 237 it was asked to the scholars regarding the Sufis, Jamaa’at at-Tableegh, Ikhwaan al-Muslimeen, Sunnis, Shias, etc. which one of these groups were closest to Ahlus Sunnah. The scholars replied back saying (going straight to the end of the answer):
“Each one of these groups have truth and falsehood. You should be cooperating with them in that which they are right and stay away from that where they are wrong with advice and cooperation in that which is good and God fearing.”
The members of this committee were Abdullah ibn Qu’ood, Abdullah ibn Ghudyaan, Abdul Razzaaq Al-‘Affifi and the chairman is Abdul Azeez ibn Baaz.
They gave a similar fatwa in Volume 2, pages 238-239, fatwa no. 6280.
Shaykh Nasr ad-Deen al-Albani in the cassette tape Silsilat al-Huda wal-Noor said that we should not do cooperation with the Hizbis by trying to enter the parliament, but he said that we should do cooperation in that which is good and God fearing.
Shaykh Muqbil bin Haadee al-Waadi’ee in his Risaala “Haadhihi Da’watuna wa ‘Aqeedatuna”, page 13, no. 12 said that he sees the obligation of cooperating with any Muslim in that which is truth. Also refer to his Qama’ Al Mu’aanid, pages 229 and 528.
Shaykh al-Uthaymeen in the cassette tape Liqaa’ Al Shaykhayn ibn Uthaymeen Wa Rabee’ said that there must be cooperation with the da’wah groups.
Yes Ahlul Bid’ah groups might call non-Muslims into their bid’ah, but just as Shaykh al-Islam ibn Taymiyyah said in his Majmoo al-Fatāwā, vol.13, p.95-96 this is better than if the non-Muslims were to remain kuffar.
Imam al-Ghazali in his book “al-Mustasfa” talks about how blind sectarianism may hinder our ability to seek the truth:
ولذا تورد على بعض العوام مسألة عقلية جليلة فيقبلها ، فإذا قلت هذا مذهب لأشعري أو الحنبلي أو المعتزلي نفر عنه إن كان يسيء الاعتقاد فيمن نسبته إليه . وليس هذا طبع العامي خاصة بل طبع أكثر العقلاء المتسمين بالعلوم إلا العلماء الراسخين الذين أراهم الله الحق حقا وقواهم على اتباعه .
“And so when some laymen are presented with an idea, they accept it. However, once you tell them that this idea is adopted by the Ashari, or Hanbali or Mu’tazilite school of thought, they immediately seek to distance themselves from that stance due to their negative opinion of the one whom the idea is ascribed to. This habit is not exclusive to the laity, rather it’s the habit of most of the intellectuals who practice the Islamic sciences, with the exception of those firm scholars whom Allah has shown the truth to and empowered them to follow it.”
Quote from Br. Baasim Zawaady:
If the classical Asharis and classical Atharis knew that modern Asharis and Salafis continue to disunite and not cooperate to establish a Caliphate and allow the kuffar to continue to humiliate the Muslims, and that they do this all in the name of “honoring” the classical scholars and their respective theological madhabs, they would give them a nice big smack right across the head if they were able to.
If you think for a second that the likes of Ibn Taymiyyah or al-Ghazali would have prioritized what they authored if they were living in the secular world we are living in, then know that the classical scholars are innocent from you and you have no idea who the scholars you claim to admire so much were.
Quote from Br. Baasim Zawaady:
Many of us cannot even remotely stand the possibility that scholars such as Ibn Taymiyyah, Muhammad bin Abdul Wahhab, al-Maturidi, al-Ghazali, Ibn Hajar al-asqalani, an-Nawawi, al-Qurtubi, etc. and other scholars on their caliber could have invalid mistakes in their aqeedah.
Many of us cringe and shudder at the mere thought. Many of us use these scholars as the litmus test to determine truth and are not in anyway open at all to the mere possibility (not even plausibility, but possibility) that they could have invalid mistakes in aqeedah.
I’m afraid many of us still lack a true proper understanding of the Shahadah and what the authoritative sources of Islam are.
“Islam is a commitment to principles, not people.” – Imam al-Ghazali (this could be a quote from the contemporary/late Sh Muhammad Al Ghazali, and not Shaykh Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali,…regardless…Allah have mercy on both of them).
Imam Malik is famously reported to have said:
كُلُّ أَحَدٍ يُؤْخَذُ مِنْ قَوْلِهِ وَيَرُدُّ إِلَّا صَاحِبَ هَذَا الْقَبْرِ
“Everyone’s statement could be taken and rejected, except for the one in this grave”, whilst pointing to the grave of the Prophet (peace be upon him).
Imam az-Zamakhshari said:
قيل لعالم: من أسوأ الناس حالًا؟ قال: من لا يثق بأحد لسوء ظنَّه، ولا يثق به أحد لسوء فعله
“It was said to a scholar: Which person is in the worst of states? He said: He who trusts no one due to thinking negatively of everyone and as a result of this, no one trusts him either.”
“The color of your shirt is different than mine. I’m going to fight you now!” – people who look to fight with others, while forgetting what’s around them
Those loud voices today that are denouncing and bitterly fighting over the minutiae of being deobandi, salafi, sufi, barelwi, etc., etc., will have a rude awakening in 5, 10, 15 years when they see what kinds of issues and doubts their children are facing. I have yet to meet a teenage Muslim questioning his faith or considering leaving his faith on an issue like “Is it bid`ah to exclusively follow a single madhhab.” And I am not saying the questions of bid`ah, innovation, etc., are not important to discuss, but there are limited resources in the community, limited intellectual capital, limited attention spans and many of these bitter disagreements fall under religiously acceptable differences of opinion anyway. So are we apportioning our limited resources wisely?