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Athari Replies to Concocted Theories of the Murjia Vol 1: “Ahlu-Sunnah are three”

الحمد لله رب العالمين، وصلى الله وسلم وبارك على نبينا محمد وعلى آله
وصحبه أجمعي
وبعد
السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركات

Introduction

Before I delve into the subject matter of the title, it is required that I elucidate as to why I chose “Murjia” rather than “Ash’aris”. The reasoning is simple and I elucidate it at length in a forthcoming work regarding the revisionist madhaabs titled “Revisionist Ideologies in Light of Islam”. At any rate, in this work (which is near completion) I have explained at length that in existence as of today, there is absolutely NO translation of the arabic term مرجئة(Murji’a) or إرجاء (Irj’a) in the English language. When every single speaker of Islam, be he an alim, a da’ee, an ustadh, or whoever, when they speak of the murji’a, its name retains its original Arabic within the language they are giving dawah in (other than Arabic). This mere lack of translating has slowed down the process for the Muslims of non-Arabic speaking cultures to not fully relate to it. So in this work I elaborate in-depth that in reality, the murji’a if we were to find a most accurate word in the English language, I would render it as “liberals” and likewise, Irj’a, as a concept, would be accurately rendered into English as “liberalism”. I’m not going to highlight all i said and the proofs as to why this is so here in this post as it would take to long, however, I will highlight one point which does relate to this post.

Liberalism is an ideology that inherently embraces and is open to humanistic philosophies and methodologies. One of these methods is pluralism. Now, there are many types of pluralism and Islam is not opposed to all types of pluralism, but there is one specific type of pluralism that is a direct contradistinction with “Hold on together upon the rope of Allah” and this type of pluralism is called “religious pluralism”. Actually, This is general. the Pluralism that I speak of that is in opposition to the unity of the Muslims is “doctrinal pluralism” which is a sub category of “religious pluralism”.

At any rate, pluralism, that is religious and more importantly doctrinal pluralism, is a methodology in which liberalism does not only accept, but advocate with great fervor. So what is Pluralism?

Pluralism is basically to accept the diversity of views as acceptable. Now Islam has nothing wrong against pluralism when the vacuum of diverse views centers on legislative, scientific, and natural sciences. The problem that Islam has on pluralism is when pluralism is allowed and acceptable at the doctrinal level regarding Allah’s revelation to man. Right now as we speak, the secular progressive world is at war with Islam in its ideological impact to the people because the secular progressive cult manages to brainwash the people to believe that unity can come through “diversity of thought” and their main line of defense is “to deny this principle is to be intolerant of others”. On the opposite end, Islam educates the people on the logical and reasonable conclusion through intellectual proofs that real and actual unity can ONLY be achieved through a cohesive system of fundamental principles which we call “beliefs” which transcends the various divides of the people like race, color, gender, etc, and these principles are what unites people together.

Unity can never be achieved through differing in fundamentals. Unity through difference ONLY work for the nation of disbelievers. WHY, because the disbelievers are there as merely a trial for the believers. They have no use in existence except as a trial to the believers. Their rise to power or their fall from power is only due to the actions of the Muslims. When Muslims are strong and dedicated to their faith, the kuffar are weak and subdued, and when the Muslims abandon the book and the sunnah and seek guidance elsewhere, then it is the kuffar and the enemies of Islam who gain dominance and this is the sunnah of Allah since the ummah of Bani Isra’eel. And this is part of the reason or tafseer regarding the ayaah in which Allah says

“… And if Allah did not check one set of people by means of another, the earth would indeed be full of mischief. But Allah is full of bounty to the ‘Alamin”
( سورة البقرة , Al-Baqara, Chapter #2, Verse #251)

So unity through diversity even in fundamental values can work for the kuffar and Allah attested to this by informing Muhammad alaihi salatu salaam, and indirectly us that

“They fight not against you even together, except in fortified townships, or from behind walls. Their enmity among themselves is very great. You would think they were united, but their hearts are divided. That is because they are a people who understand not. ”
( سورة الحشر , Al-Hashr, Chapter #59, Verse #14)

So the kuffar can come together on a common cause ONLY because Allah allows it as a test to the Muslims. However, Muslims can never achieve unity except through the cohesiveness of their unison ideals and when Muslims differ from these Islamic beliefs, this causes a dissension that opposes the ayaah of Allah

And hold fast, all of you together, to the rope of Allah (i.e. this Qur’an), and be not divided among yourselves , and remember Allah’s Favour on you, for you were enemies one to another but He joined your hearts together, so that, by His Grace, you became brethren (in Islamic Faith), and you were on the brink of a pit of Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus Allah makes His Ayat (proofs, evidence, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.,) clear to you, that you may be guided.
( سورة آل عمران , Aal-e-Imran, Chapter #3, Verse #103)

So as we can see, unity or disunity has no direct relevance to the kuffar for we can see how the progressed materially while in unity or disunity, but for the Muslims, their unity in thought is due to their beliefs (aqaa’id) and for Muslims, unity and disunity has a direct relevance on the progression of Islam

Argument One
The destruction of Tamyeez (distinction)

the Sunni principle established in Islam according to the experts of Islamic law and tradition

Imaam ash-Shaafi’ee said: “That a person meets Allaah with every sin except Shirk is better than meeting Him upon any one of the innovated beliefs.” Reported by al-Bayhaqee in al-I’tiqaad (p.158)

Al-Fudayl bin ‘Iyaad said: “Whoever sits with a person of innovation, then beware of him and whoever sits with a person of innovation has not been given wisdom. I love that there was fort of iron between me and a person of innovation. That I eat with a Jew and a Christian is more beloved to me than that I eat with a person of innovation.” Reported by al-Laalikaa’ee (no.1149)

Shaikh-ul-Islaam Ibn Taimiyyah (ra) said:
“Some of the Shaafi’ee and Hanbalee scholars as well as others have permitted killing those who call towards innovations that are in opposition to the Qur’aan and Sunnah. This is the same case with the Maalikee scholars who say: ‘Maalik and others have only permitted killing the Qadariyyah for the purpose of eradicating corruption in the land, not because of their apostasy.’” As-Siyaasah ash-Shar’aiyyah: pg. 123.

And he (ra) also said:

“Any innovator that has the proof established against him, it is required for him to undergo punishment. And if not, then still, his innovative and forbidden actions are fruitless and contain no reward in them. Rather, they subtract from his good deeds, reduce from his reward and serve as a means for lowering his honor and status. This is the ruling concerning those who are misguided and their recompense. And Allaah rules with equity and justice, He does not wrong anything, not even an atom.” Ar-Radd ‘alaa Al-Akhnaa’ee

Taqee-ud-Deen Abu Muhammad ‘Abd-ul-Ghanee Al-Maqdisee (ra) said concerning the various groups:
“Know, may Allaah have mercy on you, that Islaam and its adherents are undermined by three types of groups: 1) The first type reject the ahaadeeth concerning Allaah’s attributes and declare their narrators to be liars. These individuals are more harmful to Islaam and its adherents than the disbelievers. 2) Another group believes them to be authentic and accepts them, however, they distort their meaning. These people are far worse in harm than the first group. 3) The third type of group combines the first two views. According to their claims they eliminate any anthropomorphic qualities to Allaah, while they are lying. This directs them to accept the first two views. And they are more greater in danger than the first two groups.” ‘Aqeedat-ul-Haafidh ‘Abd-ul-Ghanee: pg. 121

Ash-Shaatibee (ra) said:
“When these groups begin to call towards their misguidance and they beautify it in the hearts of the common people and those who have no knowledge, then indeed, the harm that these people cause to the Muslims is just like that of the harm that Iblees causes. And they are the devils from among mankind. Thus there is no doubt that they must be exposed for what they are –people of innovation and misguidance – as well as those who attribute themselves to these divisions, if there is sufficient evidence that shows that they are from among them. So there is no doubt that these types of people must be exposed and expelled, so that the harm that emanates from them will not return to the Muslims. And if they abandon exposing them and withdrawing away from them, then the outcome of this is far worse than the harm caused by them, if the reason for abandoning the exposition of them is done out of fear of causing division and hatred…” Al-‘Itisaam (2/228-229)

The Conclusive Criterion Regarding Evaluating the Islam of Individuals

Yahyaa bin Sa’eed al-Qattaan said, “When Sufyaan ath-Thawree came to Basrah he began to look into the affair of ar-Rabee’ bin Subaih and the people’s estimation of him. He asked them, ‘What is his madhhab?’, and they said, ‘His madhhab is but the Sunnah’. He then asked, ‘Who is his companionship?’ and they replied, ‘The people of Qadr’ so he replied, ‘In that case he is a Qadari’.” Al-Ibaanah (2/453)

In the above riwaya, ath-Thawree was “inquiring” a person’s Islam, seeking the stance of their Islam.


The Purpose For Observing the Islam of Others

We first negate that we need to over-dwell and completely occupy our lives on other people’s Islam, HOWEVER, our aakhira LIES on our associations and this is a crystal clear fundamental in the religion of the Muslims and there is no need to quote the monumental proofs from the texts and the scholars to prove it.

We need to understand that the Muslim is required to have some level of tamyeez when dealing with everyone, Non-muslims especially, and then as well Muslims.

We say all of this in light of a statement made based on either a lack of knowledge or a faulty precept which was

Quote:
Western Muslims have failed to grasp the danger of engaging in discussions on creed as many have no knowledge to empower themselves to understand with maturity. For that reason, most are using creed as a means of identification, thereby diagnosing other Muslims, categorizing them and using that as a means to feel a sense of importance and self-worth.

the original premise is correct, but the intention aiming at a particular objective is what is problematic from an Islamic standpoint.

thr correct aspect of his statement is that, yes, many muslims do engage in polemics that go beyond their level, many of whom are ignorant and or are driven by a hysteria of possibly some sectarian pride. Thats understandable.

However, what we find problematic is that we do not simply negate our Islamic methodology of tamyeez (distinction) on the basis of the actions of the people of ignorance.

Furthermore, those who do care and have a meticulousness in their behavioral etiquette are not classified as those who do so based on trying to “feel a sense of importance and self worth”

The purpose for distinction and meticulousness that is employed by all and sundry who follow this Islamic methodology is simply because they worry about their emaan and their hereafter. When the Messenger of Allah identifies that most of the Muslims will be in the fire, 72 out of 73, that leaves a thin line in which the Muslim understands he is confined within. It is not a game and it is not a gamble. Just as much as the Muslim is jeopardizing his emaan and aakhira for the invalidation of a person’s Islam or “correct Islam”, likewise he is jeopardizing his emaan and his or her aakhira by accepting as correct a person’s Islam.

Our way is a way of the middle course. We consider the believer as “safe” and innocent UNTIL proven guilty, and likewise we also take into account the prevalence that corruption and misguidance has within the Muslim populace. And it is of no wonder in which the messenger of Allah said in a beautiful hadeeth

“Love your loved ones in a moderate manner, perhaps they may do something which will make you hate them, and hate the ones whom you hate in a moderate manner, perhaps they may do something with will make you love them

Argument Two
The Difference Between Extremism and Meticulousness (with Caution)

It is said as an argument against those who have a level of meticulousness and caution (mudqiq and waraa) that

“Your being extreme” or “This is a result of extremism”

No, we are cautious because truth is more beloved to the eyes of a Muslim than any individual.

People who say such or use such an argument are not aware of the difference between extremism (ghuloo) and meticulousness.

ghuloo is to exceed the bounds of Allah, merely caring for your aakhira and emaan as to understanding the mindset of a particular Muslim is not called “exceeding the bounds” rather it is the islamic fulfillment of the practice of the best of generations exemplified by the illustrious Imaam, Muhammad ibn Sireen who said

إن هذا العلم دين فانظروا عن من تأخذون دينكم

I.E.

the fact of the matter is that this knowledge (meaning the knowledge of the religion and what it is based on i.e. the reports, specifically the science of knowing who is who called jarh wa t’adeel) is deen, so then beware and cautious of who your take your religion from

to further enhance our understanding of this noble athar, another athar is needed and was stated by the same Imaam, Ibn Sireen, he said (and i have to say it in English because i don;t have the arabic now)

“the fact of the matter is that the religion (the WHOLE religion, the Qur’an included) is based on the isnaad (the chain of transmission): if it was not for the isnaad, then anyone could have said whatever they wanted to say”

these two separate statement compliment each other

So we ask, Was Muhammad ibn Sireen an extremist for advising the Muslims to
1. beware
2. cautious

about who we take our religion from. We do not call this extremism, we call this meticulousness and cautious.

Argument Three
The Idea that Meticulousness entails intolerance

Another aspect of this modern day liberalism of pluralism is the prevalent idea that having waraa, awareness and being meticulousness about our aakhira entails being extreme and leads to intolerance.

In the shariah, tolerance only goes to a certain point before we reach the stage of intolerance. the Muslims is not one or the other. He is not intolerant on all and sundry and nor is he simply a liberal humming bird where he allows everything to happen. The Muslim is balanced and the ayaah

“And we have made you a balanced nation”

applies to EVERY SINGLE facet of the human experience. Even in the matter of tolerance and intolerance, the Muslims remains balanced, not leaning towards one side or the other.

The problem with today’s liberal pluralism is that when traditionalist speak of and highlight the errors of those who error, they are castigated as those who are intolerant of others, which is a common ad hominem attack with its specific aim and objective to silence the advocates of correctness which will by default, whether liberal pluralists (murji’s) realize it or not, but the silence and inaction of the righteous is the cause for the spread of tyranny and vices. Even kaafir thinkers have conceded to this point.

Furthermore, highlighting realities is not “intolerance” per se. It may be intolerance from the person’s own view, but it never transcends beyond that. Moreover, we ar living in a world where advocates to liberalism and progressive ideals wish for others to implement tolerance to them but do not care or desire to do the same for others.

the Murji’a desire for us to remain silent on matters that eventually destroy one’s aakhira but then are open in their defamatory comments about traditionalists methodology.

Argument FourThe Argument that this is a Western Phenomenon

stated

Quote:
Western Muslims have failed to grasp the danger of engaging in discussions on creed as many have no knowledge to empower themselves to understand with maturity. For that reason, most are using creed as a means of identification, thereby diagnosing other Muslims, categorizing them and using that as a means to feel a sense of importance and self-worth.

We ask, was Sufyaan ath-Thawri suffering from this western phenomenon when he said this

“When Sufyaan ath-Thawree came to Basrah he began to look into the affair of ar-Rabee’ bin Subaih and the people’s estimation of him. He asked them, ‘What is his madhhab?’, and they said, ‘His madhhab is but the Sunnah’. He then asked, ‘Who is his companionship?’ and they replied, ‘The people of Qadr’ so he replied, ‘In that case he is a Qadari’.” Al-Ibaanah (2/453)

Was al-‘Amaash infected with this western phenomenon when he said

“They (the Salaf) did not used to ask anything more about a person after having asked about three affairs: Who he walks with, who he enters upon (i.e. visits) and who he associates with amongst the people.” Al-Ibaanah (2/478)

How about ‘Utbah al-Ghulaam said, “Whoever is not with us, then he is against us”. Al-Ibaanah (2/437)

was Utbah suffering from this western phenomenon.

How about Ibn Sireen when he said

“This knowledge is deen, so before of whom you take your knowledge from”

was Ibn Sireen suffering from this western phenomenon.

A Refutation that the Madhaab of Ahlu-Sunnah in Aqeedah is Three
The Initial Athari Response

there are two statements made on this. One is made by Suhaib Webb, the other is made by the scandalous Philadelphian Jahmi Abdur-Rahmaan as-Sondalaanee may Allah guide us and them.

Suhaib says

Quote:
Ahl-Sunna are three: 1. Than Athari and their Imam is Imam Ahmed
2. The Ashari’s and their Imam is Abu Hassan al-Ash’ari
3. The Maturidi’s and their Imam is Abu Masur al-Maturidi That does not mean we can’t have spirited discussions, enlightened discourse and so on if done with sound scholarship, or under the guidance of scholars. I share your feelings on the issue and feel that most people are really burned out. The most important Athari text is the Tahawiyah, then the introduction to Aqidah found in the Epistle of Abi Zaid al-Qayrawani, the Lum’a of Imam al-Maqdasi, the works of Ibn Taymiyah and so on. I would also strongly encourage one to read Imam Hassan al-Banna’s Epistle on Aqida and the recent work of Dr. Yusuf al-Qaradawi “The differences between the creed of the salaf and the creed of the khalaf.”

If you want to cross check these ideas with your Ashar’i brethren then read the Jawhar al-Tawhid with the explanation of al-Bayjouri who states, “Regarding these sifaat, there are two schools, the school of the Salaf was to pass these verses, affirm them, leaving the meanings to Allah without going into explaining them.” As for the Khalaf, “They would adopt an explanation of the attribute that was fitting for Allah’s sublime majesty.” As one of my teachers told me, “They had the same destination; they just took two different paths.” Both, at the end of the day, affirm Allah’s sublime nature, that He is not like his creation and His creation is not like him. Thus, as Sheikh al-Qaradawi stated, “They agree on the general principles of creed, and differed on the secondary issues.”

Abdur-Rahman as-Sondalaanee al-Jahmee states the same only he further qualifies it by saying

Quote:
Ahlu-Sunnah in aqeedah are three and they are the atharis, ash’aris,. and maturidis. However, in Kalaam, Ahlu-sunnah are two, ash’aris and Maturidis, and why this is so is because the hanbalis (atharis) exited their madhaab from the realm of kalaam discussions

This discussion in its initial form is based on Imaam Ahmad when he was asked “who are the saved sect”. Imaam Ahmad’s answer was “the Ahlul-Hadeeth wal-Athar”

The source from which the murji’a gathered this quote, from what I know, is from Imaam as-Safareenee in his book in creed

Here is the actual rendering of his words
Some scholars said: (the saved sect) meaning, Ahl al-Hadeeth, i.e. the Atharis, the Ash’aris and the Maturidis

From what I have encountered, no scholar in Islamic history before or during as-safarini’s time has made this statement, ever. Nevertheless the fact that he says “some scholars said” is apparently something he heard that may have been going around or something he came across. Whatever the case, it is apparent that it is not something he agrees with. In fact his very “sharh” of this statement proves this.

He states
I say: The wording of the Hadeeth, i.e. The Prophet’s statement: ‘except one sect’, contradicts the idea of multiplicity, and thus I said:
This text (about the saved sect) cannot be applied to any sect
Save the Ahl al-Athar’
(1/76)

Thus, according to the very Imaam whom the Asharis and maturidis used his words to imply upon us that he accepted them as part of ahlu-sunnah, is himself negating them to be so based upon the understanding of the salaf of which bases its understanding of “those who are saved” on being none other than “what the companions were upon”

However if we, the Muslims, were ever sane enough to accept such a notion from our unwanted opponents among the ahlul-kalaam, then based on their own premise, where did they ever exert this half hearted principle upon the “atharis” at any point in history. Ibnul-Qudamah is the champion of the athari aqeedah and is defamed by some of the ash’ari’s own predecessors. Ibn Taymiyyah is likewise a chief representative of the Athari schoo and we all recognize the nature and extent of the extremists revilement made against him by a lunatic fringe heretics.

I find it strange how we are expected to implement this invented theory that no one on the planet said before and yet the enemies of the methodology of ahlul-hadeeth are absolved from ever having to implement this principle that they invented. This tops as one of the top 10 double standards of all time.

At any rate, the path of the preserved group from misguidance are those who follow the athaar (the signposts) of the Sunnah, and this methodology is a single methodology, not multiple, for multiplicity is antithetical to singularity and defies the purpose for Allah in the Qur’an and the Prophet Muhammad alaihi salatu salam for identifying the straight and singular way, for multiplicity is the cause for division and disunity.

Imaam As-Sam’aanee (d.489AH) said: “From that which proves that the Ahlul-Hadeeth are upon the truth is that if you were to read all of their written books, from the first of them to the last of them, their old and new, along with the fact that they lived in different countries and times and there were long distances between them and each one of them lived in a region from amongst he regions, you will find them upon a single way and single matter with regards to the explanation of the creed” (Al-Intisaar li-Ahlul Hadeeth. p.45)

Available for Download in PDF: Athari Replies to Concocted Theories of the Murjia Vol 1