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The Principle of Limitation (Tawqeef)

Shaykh ul-Islaam ibn Taymiyyah rahimahullaah


From 'al-Qawa'id al Nuraniyah al Fiqhya' p.112 -113
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Ibn Taymiyyah states:
Peoples' sayings and actions are of two kinds: acts of worship by which their re
ligion is established, and customary practices which are required for day to day
living. From the principles of the Sharee'ah we know that acts of worship are t
hose acts which have been prescribed by Allaah or approved by Him; nothing is to
be affirmed here except through the Sharee'ah. However, as far as the worldly a
ctivities of the people are concerned they are necessary for everyday life. Here
the principle is freedom of action; nothing may be restricted in this regards e
xcept what Allaah subhaanahu wa ta'ala has restricted. This is the case because
commanding and prohibiting are both in the Hands of Allaah. As far as worship is
concerned there has to be a command from Him concerning it. Thus, when it requi
res a command (from Allaah) to establish something, how can we say that somethin
g is restricted without His command?
That is why Ahmad bin Hanbal rahimahullaah and other jurists (fuqaha) who base t
heir judgements on ahadith say, "In relation to acts of worship. the principle i
s tawqeef;" that is to say, nothing can be legislated in this regards except wha
t Allaah Himself has legislated. To do otherwise is to incur the risk of being i
ncluded in the ayah:
Do they have partners (with Allaah) who have prescribed for them in religion tha
t concerning which Allaah has given no permission? (Soorah Shoorah, Aayah 21)
But as far as living habits are concerned, the principle is freedom because noth
ing can be restricted in this regards except what Allaah Himself has prohibited.
Here, to do otherwise is to be included in the meaning of His saying:
Say : Do you see what Allaah has sent down to you for your sustenance? Yet you h
ave made some part of it halaal and some part haraam. (Soorah Yoosuf, Aayah 59)

The Origins of Shirk


Author: Shaikh Naasir ud-Din al-Albaani
Source: Tahdheerus-Saajid min Ittikhaadhil-Quboori Masaajid
Article ID : TAW010004
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From that which has been established in the Sharee'ah (prescribed law) is that m
ankind was - in the beginning - a single nation upn true Tawheed, then Shirk (di
recting any part or form of worship, or anything else that is solely the right o
f Allah, to other than Allah) gradually overcame them. The basis for this is the
saying of Allah - the Most Blessed, the Most high:
"Mankind was one Ummah, then Allah sent prophets bringing good news and warnings
." (Surah Baqarah 2:213)
Ibn 'Abbas - radiallaahu 'anhu - said:
"Between Nooh (Noah) and Adam were ten generations, all of them were upon Sharee
'ah (law) of the truth, then they differed. So Allah sent prophets as bringers o
f good news and as warners"(1)
Ibn 'Urwah al-Hanbalee (d.837 H) said:
"This saying refutes those historians from the People of the Book who claim that
Qaabil (Cain) and his sons were fire-worshippers"(2)
I say: In it is also a refutation of some of the philosophers and athists who cl
aim that the (natural) basis of man is Shirk, and that Tawheed evolved in man! T
he preceeding aayah (verse) falsifies this claim, as do the two following authen
tic hadith:
Firstly:His (the prophet (sallallaahu `alaihi wasallam) ) saying that he related
from his Lord (Allah) : "I created all my servants upon the true Religion (upon
Tawheed, fre from Shirk). Then the devils came to them and led them astray from
their true Religion. They made unlawful to people that which I had made lawful
for them, and they commanded them to associate in worship with Me, that which I
had sent down no authority."(3)
Secondly:His (the prophet (sallallaahu `alaihi wasallam) ) saying: " Every child
is born upon the Fitrah(4) but his parents make him a jew or a christian or a m
agian. It is like the way an animal gives birth to a natural offspring. have you
noticed any born mutilated, before you mutilate them."

Abu Hurayrah said: Recite if you wish: "Allah's fitrah with which He created man
kind. There is to be no change to the creation (Religion) of Allah."(Surah ar-Ru
m 30:30)(5)
After this clear explanation, it is of the upmost importance for the Muslim to k
now how Shirk spread amongst the believers, after they were muwahhideen (people
upon Tawheed)
Concerning the saying of Allah - the most perfect - about the people of Nooh:
"And they have said : You shall not forsake your gods, nor shall you forsake Wad
d, nor Suwaa', nor Yaghooth, nor Ya'ooq, nor Nasr."
(Surah Nooh 71:23)
It has been related by a group from the Salaf (Pious Predecessors), in many narr
ations, that these five deities were righteous worshippers. However, when they d
ied, Shaytaan (Satan) whispered into their people to retreat and sit at their gr
aves. Then Shaytaan whispered to those who came after them that they should take
them as idols, beautifying to them the idea that you will be reminded of them a
nd thereby follow them in righteous conduct. Then Shaytaan suggested to the thir
d generation that they should worship these idols besides Allah - the most high
- and he whispered to them that this is what their forefathers used to do!!!

So Allah sent to them Nooh (as), commanding them to worship Allah alone. However
none responded to hiscall except a few. Allah - the mighty and majestic - relat
ed this whole incident in surah Nooh
Ibn 'Abbas relates:
"Indeed these five names of righteous men from the people of Nooh. When they die
d Shataan whispered to their people to make statues of them and to place these s
tatues in their places of gathering as a reminder of them, so they did this.

However, none from amongst them worshipped these statues, until when they died a
nd the purpose of the statues was forgotten. Then (the next generation) began to
worship them."(6)
The likes of this has also been related by Ibn Jareer at-Tabaree and others, fro
m a number of the salaf (Pious Predecessors) - radiallaahu 'anhum.
In ad-Durral-Manthoor (6/269):
'Abdullaah ibn Humaid relates from Abu Muttahar, who said: Yazeed ibn al-Muhalla
b was mentioned to Abu Ja'far al-Baaqir (d.11H), so he said: He was killed at th
e place where another besides Allah was first worshipped. Then he mentioned Wadd
and said:
"Wadd was a Muslim man who was loved by his people. When he died, the people beg
an to gather around his grave in the land of Baabil (Babel), lamenting and mourn
ing. So when Iblees (Satan) saw them mourning and lamenting over him, he took th
e form of a man and came to them, saying : I see that you are mourning and lamen
ting over him. So why don't you make a picture of him (i.e. a statue) and place
it in your places of gatherings so that you maybe reminded of him. So they said:
Yes, and they made a picture of him and put in their place of gathering; which
reminded them of him.

When Iblees saw how they were (excessively) remembering him, he said : "Why does
n't every man amongst you make a similar picture to keep in your own houses, so
that you can be (constantly) reminded of him."

So they all said "yes". So each household made a picture of him, which they ador
ed and venerated and which constantly reminded them of him.

Abu Ja'far said: "Those from the later generation saw what the (pevious generati
on) had done and considered that........to the extent that they took him as an i
lah (diety) to be worshipped besides Allah. He then said :" This was the first i
dol worshipped other than Allah, and they called this idol Wadd"(7)
Thus the wisdom of Allah - the Blessed, the Most High - was fufilled, when he se
nt Muhammed (sallallaahu `alaihi wasallam) as the final prophet and made his Sha
ree'ah the completion of all divinely Prescribed Laws, in that He prohibited all
means and avenues by which people may fall into Shirk - which is the greatest o
f sins.
For this reason, building shrines over graves and intending to specifically trav
el to them, taking them as places of festivity and gathering and swearing an oat
h by the inmate of a grave; have all bee prohibited.

All of these lead to excessiveness and lead to the worship of other than Allah -
the Most High. This being the case even more so in an age in which knowledge is
diminishing, ignorance is increasing, thre are few sincere advisors ( to the tr
uth) and shaytaan is co-operating with men and jinn to misguide mankind and to t
ake them away from the worship of Allah alone - the Blessed, the Most High.

Notes
(1) Tahdheerus-Saajid min Ittikhaadhil-Quboori Masaajid (pp.101-106)
(2) Related by Ibn Jareer at-Tabaree in his tafseer (4/275) and al-Haakim (2/546
) who said: "It is authentic according to the criterion of al-Bukhari." Adh-Dhah
abee also agreed.
(3) Al-Khawaakibud-Duraaree fee Tarteeb Musnadul-Imaam Ahmad'alaa Abwaabil-Bukha
aree (6/212/1), still in manuscript form.
(4) Related by Muslim (8/159) and Ahmad (4/162) from 'Iyaadh ibn Himaar al-Mujaa
shi'ee radiallaahu 'anhu
(5) [From the Editors] Ibn-al-Atheer said in an-Nihaayah (3/457): "Al-Fitr: mean
s to begin and create, and al-Fitrah is the condition resulting from it. The mea
ning is that mankind were born upona disposition and a nature which is ready to
accept the true Religion. So if he were to be left upon this, then he would cont
inue upon it. However, those who deviate from this do so due to following human
weaknesses and blind following of others....."
Al-Haafidh Ibn Hajar said in Al-Fath (3/248): "The people differ concerning what
is meant by al-Fitrah and the most famous saying is that it means Islam. Ibn 'a
bdul-Barr said: That is what was well known with most of the salaf (pious predec
essors), and the scholars of tafseer are agreed that what is meant by the saying
of Allah - the Most High - "Allah's fitrah with which He created mankind." is I
slam
(6) Related by Al-Bukhaaree (11/418) and Muslim (18/52)
(7) Realted by al-Bukhaaree (8/534)
(8) Related by Ibn Abee Haatim also, as is in al-Kawaakibud-Duraaree (6/112/2) o
f Ibn 'Urwah al-Hanbalee, along with an isnaad which is Hasan, up to Abu Muttaha
r. However, no biography could be found for him, neither in ad-Dawlaabee's al-Ku
naa wal-Asmaa, nor Muslim's al-Kunaa, nor any one elses. And the hidden defect h
ere is that he is from the Shee'ah, but his biography is not included in at-Toos
ee's al-Kunaa -- from the index of Shee'ah narrators

Shaykh al-Albaanee's advice to the Jamaa'ah at-Tableegh


(English translation of a lecture given by the Shaykh)
"All praise is for Allaah, and prayers and salutations upon the Prophet Muhammad
(sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam)"
Question: Where do the Jamaa'ah at-Tableegh go wrong? What is the remedy for the
ir situation?
Response: The remedy is Knowledge, as we have always advised them. Instead of go
ing out for this "khurooj", which has no basis in the Sunnah, whereas they make
it a Sunnah to be followed. Rather they should sit in the masaajid and learn the
hadeeth and fiqh and the manner of reading the Qur.aan correctly as it was sent
down - [since many of them who speak, and this is a wicked practice which they
have established for the people (in that) they encourage them to speak -] and th
en (they) are not able to correctly read the aayah, not to mention the ahaadeeth
of the Messenger, (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) - [since he explains the aaya
h in a way that causes him to fall under the saying that occurs in the knowledge
of the Sciences of hadeeth ('Ilm Usoolil-hadeeth): "That the student must learn
the "Arabic language so that when he reads a hadeeth he does not introduce mist
akes into it, but reads it as the Messenger, (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam), sa
id it"] - and if not then he falls under the saying of the Messenger, (sal-Allaa
hu `alayhe wa sallam), "He who reports me that which I did not say, then let him
take his place in the Fire"
Even when the Book is in front of him and he reads from it - [then he even canno
t read it properly even though the Book is fully vowel pointed] - but even so th
ose whom we hear in many of the masaajid cannot read the hadeeth of the Messenge
r, (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam), properly, - not to mention the being able to
explain them correctly, and not to mention explaining the rulings contained the
rein - whilst those sitting and listening are in dire need of this fiqh taken fr
om the Sunnah.
Therefore the cure for those people is for them to return to the circles of know
ledge in the masaajid and find a scholar who has knowledge of the different read
ings (Qiraa'aat), knowledge of Tajweed, knowledge of fiqh, knowledge of hadeeth
and knowledge of Tafseer. - so that they can learn. Then, after that if any of t
hem becomes able to call the people - then he has to call the people. However, t
hey call themselves, "Jamaa'ah ad-Da'wah" and the "da'wah" is the call to Islaam
, 'the group of spreading the religion', but this religion of Islaam has to be u
nderstood by the caller so that he may able to spread it correctly and properly
- and if not then - ((the one who does not have something cannot give it)) and t
his is a well known truth.
Therefore we advise them, since in many of them we find sincerity of purpose, an
d that they are active in da'wah, however, what was said of old of them was true
, as follows: "Sa'd brought them in - leading them: That is not how you bring in
camels, O Sa'd!)): ((That is not how you give da'wah to Islaam O Jamaa'ah)) da'
wah to Islaam requires scholars who are able - especially if they go out from th
eir lands to the lands of Kufr and misguidance, such as Europe and America - as
over there problems and doubts come to them which you would not even think about
in the Muslim lands - so where will they find the answer to them - he who does
not have something cannot give it.
I believe that they - Jamaa'ah at-Tableegh, if they really do wish to spread the
religion of Islaam - then it is not enough that they are students, rather they
must be scholars and mujtahids - taking Islaamic rulings from the Book and the S
unnah. Why? Because they go to a land where the habits, customs, usages, and pro
blems are different to ours - so where will they get the answers from? They have
no answer - rather one of them may mistakenly think that he has some knowledge
- and therefore give Fatwa's - just as the Companions gave Fatwas to the injured
man and killed him - they gave Fatwa without knowledge and so erred and led int
o error, just as the Messenger, (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam), said in the had
eeth recorded by al-Bukhaaree and Muslim, "verily Allaah does not take away the
knowledge by removing it from the hearts of the scholars, but He takes the knowl
edge away by taking away the scholars - until there does not remain any scholars
, so the people take ignorant ones as their leaders - and they are asked and giv
e judgment without knowledge." This is exactly what is happening these days - th
at many people give fatwas without knowledge and therefore go astray and lead ot
hers astray - therefore for those who wish to give da'wah - it is not enough tha
t they are students, rather they must be scholars - deriving rulings from the Bo
ok and Sunnah - and if not, then they are not able to convey the message of Isla
am, particularly in those foreign lands.
I end this talk with a point noted by a famous scholar of Andalus - Ibn Rushd al
-Maalikee - he gave an example for the mujtahid scholar and the muqallid scholar
- a very good example - saying, "The example of the mujtahid and the muqallid i
s the example of the person who sells leather socks and the one who makes them.
So a man comes to the seller of leather socks and asks him for a particular size
[and maybe he wants an unusual size, small but wide] and he doesn't find this s
ize amongst his stock - so he has to go to the maker of the leather socks and sa
y I want a leather sock of such and such a size - and he makes it. This is the e
xample of the mujtahid and the other one, the muqallid (blind follower)."
So where will they find answers required in that land? Therefore we advise them
strongly - since they have sincerity and feeling for Islaam, and desire to sprea
d it amongst the people - to seek knowledge. There is no other way than that; af
ter that, perhaps, Allaah will grant them that knowledge and open the door of tr
ue da'wah to them, and if not, then, the one who does not possess something cann
ot simply give it to others.
Our way, is that "the best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (sal-Allaahu
`alayhe wa sallam)", and this is the text agreed upon by all Jamaa'ahs amongst M
uslims throughout the world. No one says, "The best of guidance is the guidance
of Abu Haneefah, or Maalik, or ash-Shaafi'ee, or Ahmad", and yet, all of them ho
ld that they are people of knowledge and excellence and that their purpose is to
follow the Messenger, (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam), and his way.
Hence, all Muslims, irrespective of group or sect, agree upon this basic princip
le that "the best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (sal-Allaahu `alayhe w
a sallam)". Despite this agreement there is still some difference with regard to
how that is put into practice and in making this Prophetic truth a fact upon th
e face of this earth. It is here that they differ, and we have just discussed ab
out what is knowledge, which is "what is commanded by Allaah and His Messenger (
sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam)". There is also no disagreement about this fact.
However, in practice today you hardly ever hear a scholar answer a question by s
aying, "Allaah Ta'aala says ." Or "The Prophet (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) sai
d...". Instead they say "so and so says ", and that is NOT knowledge. So what is i
mportant for the Muslims today is that they come together upon the principles -
and these are agreed amongst them - and stick to them and not leave them on one
side and we say, "The best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (sal-Allaahu
`alayhe wa sallam)".
Then we also see, after that, that one person prays in a certain manner and anot
her in a different way and another and so on , and likewise in wudoo., fasting, Ha
jj etc. etc. Why? What is the reason? The only reason is that they have NOT foll
owed the simple basic principle of "the best of guidance is the guidance of Muha
mmad (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam)" Why is this so? Because making this princi
ple a reality in our religious life requires knowledge of what Allaah and His Me
ssenger, (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam), says. In particular what is authentica
lly reported from the Messenger (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) and keeping away
from that which is NOT authentic from him (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) - so
where is this way, its method and application today?
Then we return to the question and say, ((All of the Jamaa'ahs amongst the Musli
ms say (( the best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (sal-Allaahu `alayhe
wa sallam))), but the Jamaa'ah at-Tableegh and others - we do not particularise
them alone since the problem is general - has their 'aqeedah become one - and th
ey have been in existence for many years.
So has the 'aqeedah of its members become a single 'aqeedah? Has their 'ibaadah
(worship) become one? Etc. In my opinion the answer is "NO", since you will find
amongst them, the Hanafee, the Shaafi'ee, the Maalikee, and the Hanbalee, just
as you would find outside the Jamaa'ah, and so on in this way there is no differ
ence between them and the other Jamaa'ahs. Likewise within Jamaa'ah at-Tableegh
you will find people who lean towards the Book and the Sunnah as we have just ex
plained. However, you do not find amongst them scholars who guide these (people)
to the Book and the Sunnah. Instead, they rely upon any scholar who will explai
n to them what is in the Book and the Sunnah since they believe that it is the Q
ur.aan and the Sunnah that are to be acted upon. As for the great majority of th
em, they are not like that. The reason is that not all of them have that belief
which would unite them if they possessed it. Therefore, you see them do many thi
ngs at variance with the Sunnah. Eg; (this thing) which they alone do and have p
articulate themselves with, from amongst all of the various different Jamaa'ahs.
This is what they call "khurooj" - going out in the way of Allaah - meaning goin
g out with the Jamaa'ah to various towns, cities, lands and even non-Muslim coun
tries. So we always remind them that going out in the way of Allaah is a good th
ing since the Messenger (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) said "He who takes a pat
h seeking knowledge. Allaah makes it easy for him a path to Paradise". However,
if they believe, along with us, that the best guidance is the guidance of Muhamm
ad (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam), then (we ask), "had he (sal-Allaahu `alayhe
wa sallam) and his noble companions used to go out in tens in that way to give d
a'wah of Islaam?" ((INTERRUPTION)) And the people in the time of the Messenger (
sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) were in greater need of knowledge since they were
surrounded by the unbelievers. So he, (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam), would se
nd a knowledgeable one and not send ten or twenty along with him who did not kno
w anything. Rather they would learn from the people of knowledge in their own la
nds.
So I am sure you all know that he, (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam), sent Mu'aadh
Ibn Jabal (radhi-yallaahu 'anhu), alone, Abu Mousa (radhi-yallaahu 'anhu) alone
, and likewise 'Alee (radhi-yallaahu 'anhu), Abu 'Ubaydah (radhi-yallaahu 'anhu)
and Dihyah (radhi-yallaahu 'anhu) etc. etc. all singly. We do not find at any t
ime in his blessed life that he, (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam), sent along wit
h a scholar, people who were not scholars - to Yemen. What was in Yemen but Shir
k and Kufr, and consider, there was need in the time of the Messenger, (sal-Alla
ahu `alayhe wa sallam).
Therefore we say that the foundation of da'wah is Knowledge - Knowledge of the B
ook and the Sunnah - and I would draw your attention to the fact that despite be
ing around many years they still do not have a single unifying 'aqeedah nor a si
ngle unifying worship, nor commonality in their prayers. So what is it you will
convey to the people while you have not yet conveyed it to your ownselves? Begin
with your ownselves first, then those around you. What will the Jamaa'ah at-Tab
leegh convey if they themselves have not still agreed in 'aqeedah? As far as I k
now, Jamaa'ah at-Tableegh does not give any importance to the affairs of 'aqeeda
h. Indeed, many of them state openly that, "we do not go into the affairs of 'aq
eedah since they cause differences amongst the Muslims", nor do they take care t
o correct their worship and Prayers and make that in accordance with the Sunnah.
So he who does not possess something cannot give it to another.
They call to Islaam. What is Islaam? Prayer!, Fasting!, Zakaah! Etc. If a questi
oner comes and asks, "How did the Messenger of Allaah, (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa s
allam), perform Salaah?" to one of their callers (Da'ee), not just one of their
common followers, then he cannot answer. Why? Because from the beginning, from t
heir first principles, they are NOT taught to, first of all, make sure that they
are upon following the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of the Messenger, (sal-All
aahu `alayhe wa sallam), of Allaah. Either he will be restricted to a particular
madhhab or following a particular Soofee order - about which some Soofee's spea
k openly and say, "The number of ways to Allaah are like the number of created b
eings". So, perhaps, this Shaykh belongs to one of those Soofee orders about whi
ch the scholars are agreed that nothing of them ever existed in the first three
generations after the Messenger, (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam), whose excellen
ce was testified to and Allaah Himself says:
{Verily, this is My Way, leading Straight: follow it: follow not (other) paths:
they will scatter you about from His (great) Path}, [Soorah al-An'aam, Aayah 153
].
And so if the head of the callers who established the Jamaa'ah at-Tableegh; he h
imself follows a particular madhhab, blindly - Hanafee or Shafi'ee or any other;
And he himself follows one of these Soofee orders - then what is this Islaam th
at they call to? Prayer only? We often hear and know that many people who had no
t used to pray have started to pray - we do not deny that. We know many extreme
Soofee's in all the lands of Islaam, and particularly Syria, where they have liv
ed for many years - Shaykhs of the Soofee's who devour the people's wealth and l
ive upon the hunger of their followers - and yet people who were formerly drunka
rds become their followers and begin to pray. But is that what is wanted? That a
person becomes like the example mentioned by the Messenger, (sal-Allaahu `alayh
e wa sallam), "The example of the scholar who does NOT act on his Knowledge is t
hat of a lamp which gives light to the people and burns itself away." That is no
t what is wanted. What is wanted is that the Muslim gives da'wah having a certai
n Knowledge of his religion - and where does he get that knowledge from? As we h
ave said: Either he himself becomes a scholar by studying the Book and the Sunna
h or he takes the Book and the Sunnah from one who is a scholar of that. We do n
ot find that amongst the followers of Jamaa'at - Ut-Tableegh - and for all these
years - and likewise for the Ikhwanul Muslimeen - and they have not come togeth
er in their thinking - so within the Ikhwan you find those who adhere to the way
of the Pious Predecessors, the Soofee, the follower of a madhhab, and in some l
ands even the Shee'ah - we know that from their long history - what Islaam is it
that they call to?
And know after mentioning their shortcomings - I advise them - that instead of g
oing out for this "Khurooj" which was, firstly, not found in the time of the Pro
phet, (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam), and secondly, that it is organized in a w
ay that has no basis in Islaam - three days, four days etc. - Instead of that "K
hurooj", which did not exist in the first and best period of Islaam, sit in the
masaajid and study the Book of Allaah, either by yourselves if you are from the
former group and if not, then, by asking the people of Knowledge if you do not k
now.
And we often hear them begin their lesson with the saying: "Our success lies in
following the Sunnah". Fine, but if you ask, "What is the Sunnah in the Prayer t
hat you have just performed?". He doesn't know. The Imaam sits after the prayer,
opens "Riyaadh as-Saaliheen" - and what a good book it is - he reads two or thr
ee ahaadeeth and does not explain them or make their meaning clear - reading onl
y the text. Then the people go away not knowing anything. Why? Because the Shayk
h didn't explain. Why? Because he doesn't have something, hence he cannot give i
t.
So, instead of wasting time reading ahaadeeth which they do not understand - let
one or two of them out of the thousands seek knowledge - tafseer, hadeeth, lang
uage etc. Then, let them call the people to Islaam upon clear guidance. The Jama
a'ah at-Tableegh in this form, what do they call to? To Islaam, fine. Then what
is the 'aqeedah that a Muslim has to have? Is it the Ash'aree 'aqeedah, the Maat
ureedee 'aqeedah or the 'aqeedah of Ahlul hadeeth? Each is upon that which he fo
und his father, mother, grandfather - or from al-Azhar or the latest Islaamic Un
iversity etc. Otherwise his mind is completely empty, neither having this nor th
at - what is the reason?
Firstly, it is not part of their system that they teach their Jamaa'ah the 'aqee
dah.
Secondly, it is not part of their program to teach the people what is Sunnah and
what is Bid'ah - and the Arab Muslim poet of old said: "I learnt what was bad n
ot for its own sake but to avoid it: and he who does not know bad from good fall
s into it." And this poetic wisdom is taken from the hadeeth of Hudhayfah Ibn al
-Yamaanee (radhi-yallaahu 'anhu) who said about himself: "The people used to ask
Allaah's Messenger, (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam), about the good. And I used
to ask about the bad fearing it would come to me "
And as the poet said: "Sa'd brought in [the camels], leading them: O Sa'd - that
is not how you bring camels in."
If you call to Islaam - you have to know what it is, beginning with Eemaan and p
erhaps the brothers will recall the hadeeth: "That a man came to the Prophet (sa
l-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) with very white clothes and black hair... [the hade
eth of Jibreel concerning Islaam, Eemaan and Ihsaan ] "
Eemaan in Allaah - I have never heard any of our brothers explain the word "Eema
an in Allaah" - of which it is possible to write volumes about, and it is suffic
ient for us that Shaykh al-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah wrote a whole book called "Kitaa
bul-Eemaan" - and the muhaddithoon (scholars of hadeeth) of old wrote such books
such as Ibn Abee Shaybah and Abu 'Ubayd al-Qaasim as-Sallaam - all of them writ
ing books on Eemaan.
What is "Eemaan in Allaah? The Muslims believe in Allaah, the Christians believe
in Allaah, the Jews believe in Allaah, everyone but the atheists believe in All
aah. But each one's belief in Allaah is different from the other. So what is tha
t Eemaan (in Allaah) which is the first condition of Eemaan? This topic is never
studied. This Eemaan contains the belief in the Oneness of Allaah's self; it co
ntains the Oneness of Allaah's worship - that He alone is worshipped; it contain
s Allaah's Uniqueness in his Attributes.
Jamaa'ah at-Tableegh do not speak about these at all - so then, what O Brother i
s this Islaam that you call people to? And where are you with regard to his (sal
-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam) sayings:
((Pray as you see me praying)) and ((Take your rites of Hajj from me for I do no
t know - perhaps I will not meet you after this year)).
Then, our advice is that some - not all thousands or millions of them - but tens
or thousands of them should obtain knowledge of the religion who then can guide
them to the following of Allaah's Book and the ahaadeeth of Allaah's messenger,
(sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam).
As for the going out - then no one should go out except for the scholar - as sho
wn in the guidance of Allaah's Messenger, (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam). As fo
r spreading the religion - then each person passes on what he knows - but that i
s not to be in ordered form that people from Amman leave their families and chil
dren and go to Europe and America. Let them remain at home and learn Allaah's re
ligion as did the Companions of the Prophet, (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam). We
again repeat, :The best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad, (sal-Allaahu `
alayhe wa sallam)."
Where are those who best understand this rule? Without a doubt they were the Com
panions of the Prophet, (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam), then those who came aft
er them, then those who came even after them. Fourteen centuries have passed and
whatever we might say about changing times or methods etc. - we are now in the
1400's and never in these 1400 years did a group of scholars go out in hundreds
in this way, travelling through the lands to give da'wah. Why did they not do th
at? Therefore the scholars say, "And every good is in the following of those who
came before, and every evil lies in the innovations of the latter people."
No one will argue about giving da'wah since Allaah Ta'aala says:
{Let there arise out of you a group of people }, [Soorah Aal-'Imraan, Aayah 104],
but the problem lies in the method of da'wah and the way it is given, and what i
s introduced into that which had not been used to be in the time of the Prophet,
(sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam), and that one having knowledge goes out - why d
oes he go out? To learn! Brother, stay in your homes, the masjid is next door, s
it there and learn from the scholars.
<INTERRUPTION> from someone in the audience asking what is wrong with going out
to the masaajid.
O beloved Brother, may Allaah be Pleased with you - this is NOT the point of dis
cussion - do not enter us into issues which are not related to where the problem
lies , I say there is no problem - but the ones nearer to you have more right, yo
ur family, your neighbors etc. then to whom will you call? Have you taught your
family the correct 'aqeedah? And taught them how the Prophet, (sal-Allaahu `alay
he wa sallam), used to pray? Jamaa'ah at-Tableegh do NOT learn or teach how the
Prophet, (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam), used to pray and make Hajj etc. So as
a member of Jamaa'ah at-Tableegh have you taught that which is obligatory to you
r family whom you live with? They are the closest of people to you. So you leave
them alone and go to another town and say to me "what is wrong?" - I say there
is nothing wrong, but start with yourselves, then those closest to you. Do not l
eave your land - going here and there - he who does not have something cannot gi
ve it.
We in ash-Shaam (Syria), have an example which they mention - they say: "That th
ere was a Kurdish man, zealous for Islaam, but knowing very little about it - he
met a Jew on the road one day and said to him ((become a Muslim or I will kill
you)), so he replied; ((I will become a Muslim - what do I say?)) He said: ((By
Allaah, I don't know!))"
What benefit is this type of enthusiasm - he doesn't even know what to say to th
e Jew about Islaam. So we say, - that before this enthusiasm - sit and learn wha
t Islaam is - then spread it amongst the people in the best way. And this is eno
ugh of a mention of the short-comings of Jamaa'ah at-Tableegh. And we do not wis
h to go further into the details since that requires research of their history -
and what is correct and what is not - but that which is very clear. Is that thi
s "Khurooj" in groups who hardly know anything about Islaam?
<INTERRUPTION: This accusation you make..., that you say that they don't pray in
the way the Prophet, (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam)>
Brother, it is not an accusation - It is something we see. <Continuation of INTE
RRUPTION>
Then as I have said to you - if we do find someone amongst Jamaa'ah at-Tableegh
praying according to the Sunnah, then this Sunnah has not come from them but fro
m outside. So, in this case you are like the person mentioned in the Quran:
{And one of her household saw (this) and bore witness, (thus) }, [Soorah Yoosuf, A
ayah 26].
Al-Hamdu-Lillaah, and you pray according to the book, Sifatus-Salaatin-Nabee (sa
l-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam), - why don't you pray according to a book produced
by Jamaa'ah at-Tableegh? Because they haven't produced any such book. Then - we
return to what is most important - to 'aqeedah - so do you say that we accuse th
em of not giving importance to 'aqeedah? Well, they themselves clearly state tha
t - they do not call to 'aqeedah, nor to the Book and the Sunnah - everyone rema
ins upon his madhhab
I say, as long as the Jamaa'ah at-Tableegh want to spread Islaam and have this e
nthusiasm - then the Sunnah must come from them - not have to be taken from othe
r Jamaa'aha. I know them from Syria and from sitting with them, and I know them
here .. so I am not ignorant of them, so that you say that I accuse them. Rather y
ou accuse us of accusing them - but I speak based on knowledge
So, in brief, with regard to the Jamaa'ah at-Tableegh - we are thankful for thei
r enthusiasm but not for the way in which they show it. This enthusiasm has to h
ave knowledge attached to it - and knowledge as has preceded is "what Allaah and
His Messenger, (sal-Allaahu `alayhe wa sallam), say". This hadeeth is authentic
. Is there any scholar amongst them who is able to say that this hadeeth is weak
so that he can be upon clear guidance in his religion? They do not have such a
one to this day. Why? Because their way is at variance with the correct way:
{Verily, this is My Way, leading Straight: follow it: follow not (other) paths},
[Soorah al-An'aam, Aayah 153].
..........
Translated by: Maaz Qureshi