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A Response to Yasir Qadhi’s Explanation of the Concept of Istihlaal Being Concocted by Modern Salafi Thinkers

http://static.boomp3.com/player2.swf?id=o4sc8hwh00s&title=my+reply+to+yasir+prototymy reply to yasir prototype

Introduction

The Above is a reply to a lecture that Yasir Qashi gave in a seminar. The title of the talk was called “The reception of Ibn Taymiyyah’s Fatwa Amongst Modern Salafi Thinkers”

1.       The essence of the entire seminar was that there were extremely contra-distinctive results between the objectives of the rest of the speakers in comparison with the intended and conclusive information by which Yasir based his research upon. The panel information can be accessed here http://www.casaw.ac.uk/conf/rj2009/programme.html and I literally downloaded every single talk and had to torture myself with hearing the insanity that forms the substances of their arguments. It truly was excruciating and agonizing torture, but we had to bear through most of it in order to understand the atmosphere from which Yasir Qadhi gave this talk.

2.       The panel was based on the advocacy of secular and or progressive ideals and how to foster these ideals, possibly import them into the muslim world through a redefining of established Islamic concepts. Such speakers for example tried to speak about the issue of jihad and tried to demarcate a distinction between classical understandings to conservative or traditionalists ideas held in the muslim world today.

3.       Now, I do have to question the mindset or the wisdom behind Yasir or the entire progressive committee who formulated the entire conference for not evaluating the essence of Yasir’s message with the message being promoted in the panel. Why is that, because the entire focus of the panel was to find avenues of how to steer Muslims away from what they call “fundamentalist thinking” of holding that a political system must require Divine intervention in the form of divine legislation, whereas according to the manner yasir in which articulated his message to the audience, he concedes to what he erroneously calls the “classical” view that whoever rules by other than Allah’s law is an outright kaafir with no questions asked, without any tafseel, and presented this view to the audience which was completely antithetical to the very objectives that this conference was trying to achieve.

At any rate I wish to list two main fallacious arguments and explain them in a bit of detail, followed by bringing forth a 3rd point which is geared towards pointing out the misinformation that was portrayed by Yasir. After this, I wish to further correct some pieces of information that Yasir incorrectly portrayed, and finally to conclude with this particular reply to his presentation, I wish to point out the fundamental fallacy of his research that he presented and this particular fallacy destroys the very premise of him even being able to foster the viewpoint he articulated in the first place.

Fallacies

1.       The entire scope and essence of his research given in the talk was based upon the insinuation that the view regarding restricting takfir of the one who rules by other than Allah’s Law unless it is accompanied with istihlaal, he claims that such a view was somehow the concoction of modern day salafi thinkers.

Such a claim apparently implies that there is absolutely no scholastic precedent before these modern thinkers which is the first historical blunder from which he proceeds to establish his rather erroneous research.

This view insinuates that they themselves invented a new concept that none before them has advocated (false) and it also implies that these three scholars of the modern era that their understanding of faith was deficient

Proofs against Yasir

The najdi Imaam Alamaah Abdul-Latif Ibn Abdur-Rahman Bin Hasan aali Shaykh rahimahullah who said

And it is to pass judgement when the judgement is based on a false shariah which opposes the Book and the Sunnah, such as the such as the laws of the Greeks and those of Europe and those of the Tartars and their various legislative codes (qawaaneen) the source of which are their own opinions and desires. Similar to this are the various cultural and customary practices of the Beduins. Hence whoever made it lawful to judge (man istihaala) by any of this in the issues of blood or other than it is a kaafir.  Allahu Ta’ala said

“And whoever does not judge by what Allah reveals, such are the disbeleivers” [5:44]

And concerning this verse, some of the muffasiroon said that the kufr intended here is the kufr that is lesser ythan the major kufr, because they understood that this verse applies to whoever judges by other than what Allah has revealed but does not make that lawful (ghayr mustahil) but they do not dispute among themselves regarding it application in general to the mustahil (the one who makes it lawful) and that the kufr in this case is the kufr that ejects one from the millah[1] Manhaju-Ta’sees p.71

Imaam Abdur-Rahman Bin Naasr as-S’adi al-Hanbali said

So ruling by other than what Allaah revealed is from the actions of the people of disbelief and it can be disbelief that expels one from the Religion (and here is the condition) if one believes that it is halaal.[2]

Ibn Abil-Izz al-Hanafee

“So here is a matter that is obligatory to comprehend, and it is that the rule by other than what Allaah revealed can be disbelief that expels one from the Religion and it can be a sin: major or minor. It can be disbelief that is either figurative or minor disbelief and that is according to the condition of the ruler. So if he believes (istihlaal al-qalbi) that Ruling by what Allaah revealed is not obligatory or that he has an option in it or if he undervalues it along with certainty that it is the rule of Allaah, then this is major disbelief. If he believes in the obligation of ruling by what Allaah revealed and he knows of it in this event, but he forgoes it – along with knowledge that it is worthy of being implemented – then he is a sinner and he is called a disbeliever with figurative disbelief, or with minor disbelief.”Sharh al-‘Aqeedatu-Tahaawiyyah (p. 323-324)

‘Allaamah Muhammad al-Ameen ash-Shanqeetee commented upon this statement of Imam al-Qurtubee:

So disbelief is either disbelief less than disbelief (kufr doona kufr), or it can be that one sees it to be permissible or he intends to deny the Judgments of Allah and reject them despite knowledge of them. As for the one who rules by other than what Allah revealed and he knows that it is a crime, and that the one who does it is impudent – and he only does it due to his desires – then he is from those Muslims who sin.

Then he said:

Know that the liberating position in this research is that…whoever does not rule by what Allah revealed in opposition to the Messengers, and he has nullified the Judgments of Allah, then his transgression and his corruption and his disbelief – all of it – is disbelief that takes one out of the Religion. Whoever does not rule by what Allaah revealed, believing that he is perpetrating a prohibited action, the doer of which is foul – then his disbelief and his transgression and his corruption does not take him outside the Religion.” [3]

The Consensus of the Ummah’s Ulema in the Time of the noble Khaleefa Qaadir Billah

Ibn al-Jawzi mentioned in his al-Muntadham in the events of 433 A.H.

Muhammad bin Nasir narrated to us: Abu al-Husain bin Muhammad bin Muhammad al-Farraa narrated to us: The Head of the Islamic State, Abu Ja’far ibn al-Qaadir Billah distributed al-I’tiqaad al-Qaadiri after 430 A.H. It was read from a script. The ascetics and the scholars had gathered including Abu al-Hasan Ali bin Umar al-Qazweeni, who wrote his name below this script before the lawyers did so [as signature]. Then the lawyers wrote their names. Beneath all of this, it was written: “This is the belief of the Muslims. Whoever contradicts it would have transgressed and disbelieved”. This script is as follows:

then they mention 50 points of the Muslim creed, and the LAST point, point 50 is

50. A Muslim would not be called a disbeliever for leaving out any obligation except for the obligatory prayer. If one leaves out a prayer without a valid excuse whilst he is healthy and free [from valid engagement] until the final moment expires, he would be a disbeliever even if he does not deny its obligation, because of the Prophet’s saying: “Between the slave and disbelief is abandoning the prayer. Whoever abandons it, he would have disbelieved”. He would remain a disbeliever until he expresses regret and repeats it. If he dies before expressing regret and before repeating the prayer, or he kept this in his heart [without expressing it], his Funeral Prayer would not be performed, and he would be raised with Pharoah, Hamaan, Qaaroon and Ubay bin Khalaf. Abandoning other actions would not bring about disbelief until one denies them.

Then it says: This is the statement of the Ahl al-Sunnah Wa al-Jamaa’ah. Whoever takes hold of this, he would be on the Clear Truth, the method of the Deen and the Plain Path. It would be hoped for such a person that he would be saved from the Fire and he would enter Paradise, if Allah wills.

2.       Even if, for the sake of discussion, the above erroneous portrayal of the classical position vs the modern position was indeed correct, the problem is, is that these assumptions made by Yasir about the “modern salafi thinkers” was not their stated and well known stances (views) to begin with.

I will utilize al-Albanee as the focal point since he basically rendered al-Albanee as going the most left field in opposition to the fatwa. He claims al-Albanee’s view as the most antithetical to Ibn Taymiyyah’s view.

Imaam Muhammad Naasiruddin Al-Albaanee:
Who said, in one of his earlier cassette recorded lessons, wherein he is describing an argument he had with someone about the Takfeer of Mustafah Ataturk, the secularist who converted the constitution of Turkey from the Hanafee code Sharee’ah, to the man-made laws. So Shaykh Al-Albaanee said:

I made clear to him (i. e. his opponent) that the Muslims did not make Takfeer to Ataturk who was Muslim. No. (They did so) when he freed himself from Islaam when he implicated upon the Muslims an institution other than the institution of Islaam. And from that was the example of his equalizing between the inheritance of the male and the female. But Allaah says according to us, ‘And for the male is the share of two females. ‘ And then he obligated upon the Turkish masses, the Qobah (i. e. a Turkish-style hat).[4]

Explain above

3.       Pointing out some misinformation that has taken place with regards to the deficiency in the relaying of information about the subject. The deficiency is not bound by the mere lack of time (20 minutes) but the articulated conceptualization Yasir chose to advocate. The essence of what I would call dishonest portrayal of this modern day discourse is that there is ONLY

a.        The view that istihlaal is required for the performance of takfir OR

b.       The view that blatant takfir is made outright with no holds barred

Yasir proceeded his entire deduction of this discourse in the manner of advocating to the people that the classical sunni view is one and not the other. This is the problem that affects many of the Muslims in their thought because many people have fallen into the idea that it is one or the other and such a quarantined view has caused them to view the other viewpoint as kharijite or murji views.

The express view of Ahlu-sunnah, the classical traditionalists view is that it can be BOTH either one or the other and not exclusively as one or the other. The proof for this is what most of the imams of ahlu-sunnah from the Najdi Imaams, Ibnul-Qayyim Ibn Taymiyyah and various jurists of each madhaab.

Ahlu-sunnah does not fully reside within one view or the other, but encompasses both views based upon the conditions of the one who does it (rules by other than what Allah has revealed)

Other erroneous deductions

1.       He claims Ibnul-Qayyim and Ibn Katheer followed the absolute takfir without question viewpoint which he impugns Ibn Taymiyyah with, claiming that these two followed Ibn Taymiyyah unrestrictedly in this view. He claims the same for Ibn Ibraheem

Muhammad Ibn Ibraheem

This is the saying from the Shaykh in a fatwa he gave which clarifies the context of al-hukmu bi ghayri ma anzalallah in his fatwa (1/80)  9/1/1385 hijrah

So he, the Illustrious Imaam said

And likewise, the implementation of the meaning of ‘Muhammad is the messenger of Allah’ is by judging to his shari’ah and confining oneself to that while rejecting whatever opposes it from the secular laws and all those matters for which Allah sent no authority. And the one who judges by them (secular laws) or refers to them for judgment while believing in the correctness of that or the permissibility in it, then he is a kaafir with the kufr that ejects from the religion. And if he does that without belief in their correctness and regarding it permissible to judge by them, then he is a kaafir with the kufr of action, which does not eject from the religion”[5]

al-Haafidh Ibnul-Qayyim al-Jauziyyah says

And what is correct is that judging by other than what Allaah has revealed is both types of kufr (disbelief) – kufr asghar (the minor disbelief) and kufr akbar (the major disbelief) – and [which of the two it is] depends on the condition of the ruler. If he believes in the obligation of judging by what Allaah has revealed in this situation but turned away from it  out of disobedience – and while acknowledging that he is deserving of punishment then this is kufr asghar .And if he (i’taqada) believes that it is not obligatory and that he has a choice in the matter , along with his firm belief that it is the judgement of Allaah – then this is kufr akbar – and if he was ignorant in the matter or made an error then he is one who errs (mukhtee’) and his ruling is as the same for those who err (i.e. one reward).

Ibn Katheer

This is because Ibn Katheer also reveals on this particular issue the view of the salaf, which is directly his stated view, that regarding the ayah that marks the entire discussion in question, which is

﴿وَمَن لَّمْ يَحْكُم بِمَآ أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ فَأُوْلَـئِكَ هُمُ الْكَـفِرُونَ﴾

He reports the following about this ayah in his tafseer

Ibn Jarir recorded this statement. `Abdur-Razzaq said, “Ma`mar narrated to us that Tawus said that Ibn `Abbas was asked about Allah’s statement

(And whosoever does not judge…)

He said, `It is an act of Kufr.’ Ibn Tawus added, `It is not like those who disbelieve in Allah, His angels, His Books and His Messengers.’ Ath-Thawri narrated that Ibn Jurayj said that `Ata’ said, `There is Kufr and Kufr less than Kufr, Zulm and Zulm less than Zulm, Fisq and Fisq less than Fisq.”’ Waki` said that Sa`id Al-Makki said that Tawus said that “This is not the Kufr that annuls one’s religion.”

2.       He claims that a shift has taken place between the pre-modern and classical advocation of this discourse within the modern age. As we can now see from the above statements of authoritative figures who precede these modern thinkers by centuries, we can clearly see that no such shift has taken place, rather Yasir has surprisingly brought forth a not so well researched study in which he advocated in this seminar

3.       He claims that modern scholarship was “forced” to alter the stance of Ibn Taymiyyah, which is also a befuddlement of the correct and actual discourse at hand, because as we can see from the proofs that were already given by authoritative figures centuries before these modern thinkers, we can now understand that this is just simply not the case.

Analyzing Ibn taymiyyah’s fatwa in actuality

The first fallacy of Yasir’s presentation to the audience regarding Ibn taymiyyah’s fatwa is that he portrays the understanding that this isolated fatwa of Ibn Taymiyyah on the Mongols is his entire view on al-Hukmu bi ghayri ma anzalallah.

In reality, al-Hukmu bi Ghayri ma anzalallah is an umbrella topic that includes a number of issues which differ in the rulings or end results of those who fall into the issue of ruling by other than what Allah has revealed.

To understand the fatwa of Ibn Taymiyyah, one must understand the issue of tabdeel bi shar’iyyah. The same goes for the statements of Muhammad Ibn Ibraheem in which many ignorant people have unsurprisingly understood a perception from these two individuals that is merely delusional of their own wishful thinking.

Absolute takfir

entails matters that which someone would

1.       Tabdeel of shariah (example would be secularism)

Shaykh Muhammad ibn Ibraheem aalu-Shaykh– said concerning secular laws

“… The fifth, and it is the greatest and the most encompassing and the clearest opposition of the Shari’ah and stubbornness in the face of its laws and insulting to Allah and His Messenger and opposing the courts of the Shari’ah on their roots and branches and their types and their appearances and judgements and implementations the references and their applications. So just like the courts of the Shari’ah there are references, all of them returning back to the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger like that, these courts have references, which are laws that are assembled from many legislations and laws like the laws of France and America and England and other laws and from the Metha’hib of some of the innovators who claim to be under the Shari’ah.

And these courts are now fully operational in the settlements of Islam, people entering them one after another, their ruler’s judge upon them with what opposes the Sunnah and the Book with the rules of that law and they impose that on them and approve it for them. So what Kufr is there beyond this Kufr and what nullification of the Shahaadah of Muhammadar Rasool-Allah is there beyond this nullification?![6]

Al-Haafidh Ibn Katheer who said: “So whoever leaves the clear Sharee’ah, which was revealed to Muhammad Ibn Abdullah, the Seal of the Prophets, and takes the Hukm to other than it from the laws of Kufr which are abrogated, he has disbelieved. So what about the one who takes the Hukm to the ‘Yasaaq’ (the law of the Tartars which mixed Sahree’ah rulings with invented rulings) and puts it before it?! Whoever does that, he has disbelieved by the Ijmaa’ of the Muslims.[7]

This statement, is clearly advocating the state of the ruler who replaces the shariah and finds direction elsewhere (another system of law) and to derive from this that Ibn Katheer’s view on the one who rules by other than what Allah has revealed as being an outright kaafir is nothing short of academic dishonesty at the least,

2.       Kufr al-bawah (example would be passing legislative codes that circumvent Allah’s law openly like banning hijaab, fighting Islam, burning masaajid and other acts which Ibn Jibreen has highlighted.)

3.       Istihlaal (considers it permissible)

How Yasir’s Entire thematic structure of his presentation is rendered null through misrepresenting another fatwa by Ibn Taymiyyah

The fatwa that he, and many kharijite ideologues like to quote, is the following statement

And it is known by necessity in the Deen of the Muslims and by the agreement of all the Muslims that whoever FOLLOWS a Sharee’ah other than the Sharee’ah of Muhammad then he is a Kaafir and it is like the Kufr of the one who believes in some of the Book and disbelieves in some of the Book.” -“Al-Fataawa”, Vol. 28/ 524

Here is what he actually says

وَمَعْلُومٌبِالِاضْطِرَارِمِنْدِينِالْمُسْلِمِينَوَبِاتِّفَاقِجَمِيعِالْمُسْلِمِينَأَنَّمَنْسَوَّغَاتِّبَاعَغَيْرِدِينِالْإِسْلَامِأَوْاتِّبَاعَشَرِيعَةٍغَيْرِشَرِيعَةِمُحَمَّدٍصَلَّىاللَّهُعَلَيْهِوَسَلَّمَفَهُوَكَافِرٌوَهُوَكَكُفْرِمَنْآمَنَبِبَعْضِالْكِتَابِوَكَفَرَبِبَعْضِالْكِتَابِكَمَاقَالَتَعَالَى : { إنَّالَّذِينَيَكْفُرُونَبِاللَّهِوَرُسُلِهِوَيُرِيدُونَأَنْيُفَرِّقُوابَيْنَاللَّهِوَرُسُلِهِوَيَقُولُونَنُؤْمِنُبِبَعْضٍوَنَكْفُرُبِبَعْضٍوَيُرِيدُونَأَنْيَتَّخِذُوابَيْنَذَلِكَسَبِيلًا }

Ibn Taymiyyah said: And it is known by necessity in the Deen of the Muslims and by the agreement of all the Muslims that whoever considers it permissible to follow a Sharee’ah other than the Sharee’ah of Muhammad then he is a Kaafir and it is like the Kufr of the one who believes in some of the Book and disbelieves in some of the Book.” -“Al-Fataawa”, Vol. 28/ 524

The word they miss out is “Sawagha” in Arabic which means “consider it permissible”

Now, if the essence of Yasir’s message to the audience was to prove that Ibn Taymiyyah never viewed the concept of “considering it permissible” to be a viable requisite for performing takfir of a ruler and that only modern salafi thinkers alone had concocted such a theory, then by due right of his misquotation of Ibn Taymiyyah, if one corrects his misquotation by bringing the Arabic term that he intentionally or unintentionally left out, the Arabic word being “sawwagha” which means “to consider permissible”, if Yasir was to actually bring the right quotation, then the entire basis of his analytical deduction of this discourse goes down the drain, because the essence of Yasir’s articulation was to prove Ibn Taymiyyah never harbored such a view, yet Ibn Taymiyyah’s actual words fully harbors this view, thus his entire deduction goes out the window


[1] Manhaju-Ta’sees p.71

[2] Tayseeru-Kareemu-Rahman

[3] Adwaa`ul Bayaan (2/104)

[4] Fataawa Ash-Shaykh al-Albaanee wa-Maqara’netihah bi’Fatawaa Al-‘ Ulaama”, Pg. 263 from his cassette #171

[5] [Fatwa 1/80] 1385 hijri

[6] “Tah’keem Al-Qawaneen”

[7] “Al-Bidaayah wa Nihaayah”, Vol. 13/ 119