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View Full Version : Bridges of Understanding - a suggested approach to sectarian debate



Abu Ibraheem
12-03-2006, 01:15 AM
:sl: origanlly this was a letter to somebody else. I feel that we will all derive benifit from this as long as we stay sincere.

The literal translation of Ahlus Sunnah means the people of Sunnah. As far as I know salafis are very strict on following the Sunnah of the Prophet saaws, the rightly guided khulufah and who they deem to be the first three generations. In many conversations with them they have simply stated the Hadith where the Prophet saaws says in so many words that the best generation his, then the one after that and then the one after that, after the third the Prophet saaws warned us to watch out for scholars that would commit perjury. So from what I know the Salafis lay claim to stick to these three generations. And I haven’t seen anything yet from them that disproves that, except for the Saudis destruction of sacred places, like building toilets on where the house of one of the Prophets family used to live etc. however, I feel that it would be wrong to make a sweeping generalization and hold each salafi to account for their actions. Back to the main point, I have only seen Sunnah coming from these brothers and they emphasize it strongly, as their slogo goes “Qur’aan and Sunnah.” I need to know what makes them not from the Ahlus Sunnah. How do they contradict the Sunnah? They grow beards, take from the vast volumes of the Ahaadith, and practice that which the scholars agree upon and leave that where there is dispute like music, loud dhickr, tawwusal through the dead, etc.

Aqeedah, I have seen many false arguments in regards to what the salafis believe, I was once told that salafis believe that Allah sits on a chair, has literal hands, two eyes and ears and so forth. However when looking through salafi publications I supprisingly found that they believe in the transcendence of Allah just as shaykh Nuh Ha Meem outlines in umdat us salik. Allah is beyond time and space, and so forth. I tend to find that the group that accuses them of such reads from Aqeedah ut Tahaawiyah as a foundational text and then I find the salafis using Aqeedah ut Tahaawiyah as a foundational text. So are we speaking past each other when we use the same text? That question comes into mind.

With the issue of Fiqh, I tend to notice that they follow the stronger position by looking to the masaa’il of the four Imams and taking from them. They claim not to be bound to one Imam. I ask whats the problem with this? Is not the diversity a Rahmah from Allah so we can choose?
Its not nafs if we pick and choose the stronger position right? I must say that not just anybody can do this, go to the Qur’aan and the Sunnah and derive rulings for themselves. The Imaams did us a great favour with their research and blood sweat and tears. Knowledge of ussol ul fiqh and other knowledge’s are required to look at the masaa’il and choose which position. I have also found that the salafis do not forbid following a madhaab its self but they condemn the extremism within, talking about denying Ahaadith and saying to people they are not allowed to follow certain sunnahs as their Imaam did not do it. I can understand their arguments because I try to be diplomatic in my stance to this whole issue of sectarian debate. I do understand that madhaabs are not the following of the Imaam but the methodology they used to derive from the Qur’aan and the Sunnah which was then passed down from student to student. That takes us to the issue of following scholars. We cant forbid the the following of scholars and who do the salafis follow when somebody tells them a status of a haith, whether its Sahih, Hasan or daeef, they have no choice but to follow a scholar blindly. Unless we all become scholars, so in reality this whole la taqleed issue to me is a no brainer. Also we all have to take into consideration that even in the time of the Prophet saaws there were people praying differently, some would raise the hands and some would not. They knew the masaa’il direct from the prophet saaws but we find no arguments of mixing and matching. In fact we find no argument of even following a madhaab. Personally I recommend somebody to follow a madhaab if they don’t know nor have the time to study the masaa’il of fiqh in depth. However I feel strongly that Allah will not punish a person due to the fact he was not a Hanafi, Maliki, Shafee, Hanbali etc. As long as he strived to follow the Sunnah of the Prophet saaws and was sincere in his worship towards Allah. Wallahu Ghufurun Raheemun and indeed Allah is forgiving and Merciful.

Tasawuf – heres another argument I find that people are bashing heads with each other refusing to listen. Even though the term tasawuf was not mentioned by the Prophet saaws Imaam Ibn Taymiyyah Rahimahullah admits that tasawuf is a state of ihsaan which is known in the Qur’aan as tazkiyah an nafs. (fatawaa al kubraa volume 10 & 11). It is also interesting to note that Karen Armstrong in her biography of Muhammad saaws states that this religion was known as tazkiyah before Allah revealed the word Islaam in S.5.3. so in essence tasawuf and tazkiyah are the same thing. The Sufis practice tasawuf – purification of the heart and then we have the salafis practicing the same thing but yet they call it tazkiyah! Or tarbiyah.
We have to point out here that the word tasawuf, even though it was not used by the Prophet saaws, it was used by orthodox scholars such as Imaam Malik, Imaam Nawawi and Imaam Ghazali and many others and these scholars accepted the term tasawuf for the science known as tazkiyah so I find the argument here is only the word. It is again a strong example of how Muslims of our age strive to differ and cause friction amongst themselves. And I mean no offense by that.

Ash'ari and Maturidi Aqeedah, - we have discussed aqeedah, I don’t even know what ashari and maturdi, neither am I deviant if I don’t follow one of these two. I stick closely with Aqeedah ut tahaawiyah by Imaam Tahaawi, Fiqh ul Akbar by Imaam Abu Hanifah and Imam Ghazalis discourse in his Ihyaa. I have not known a salafi yet to go against these texts I bite onto with my molar teeth.

The issue of tawasul – as far as I have been educated they do believe in tawasul, but they dislike the going to graves and asking the dead for things. As I don’t find that an article of faith to ask the dead for favours, etc. I don’t follow it either, that does not mean I follow Muhammad Ibn Abdul Wahaab. If I cant find the Prophet saaws doing so, or teaching so then I cant practice this. And shirk is something that Allah judges not humans unless its blatantly manifest, we are not to judge people inwardsly as we haven’t the ability to see the heart. As for going to graves and asking for favours, it could be a bidah and if it was, no Muslim has the right to enforce them on other Muslims or class thm as part of the out group because they refuse to do so.

For example, I may claim to love the Prophet saaws, but I don’t celebrate his birthday, but I am happy that he was born and strive to follow his Sunnah but yet I get some brother takfeering me because I fail to practice their bidah hasanah. You would have to admit, when this happens a bidah hasanah becomes sour for that person takfeering and to be honest how many times have you heard your brothers and sisters moand and groan about *******es on milaad un Nabi, when they are supposedly celebrating. For those who believe the Prophet saaws is present do you really feel the Prophet saaws is going to be pleasured by the talk of how *******es are kuffar and munaafaqen for not celebrating the prophets birthday?

Seriously we do have issues and I love to talk about them, not for the wrong reasons, I try to build bridges and not burn them. Allah commanded us not to divide ourselves into sects and He also commanded us to make peace when two groups are fighting. So please let us at least read through. Understand that this is not a debate or an argument. Let it be known that the Prophet saaws was about to tell the Muslims when laylatul Qadr was until Muslims started arguing in front of him. It was at that point when Allah took the knowledge away. So its not about hwo knows the most, whos right are wrong. Its about peace, justice, truth and all the praise worthy qualities that Muslims should embodie in order to unite upon the Qur’aan and the Sunnah. And this ummah will never unite upon error so isn’t it best that we reject the things that are being disputed and causing division between Muslims of today and follow only that our scholars agree upon? And when I say our scholars I mean scholars that the deobandiyah, the brelviyah, the salafiyah agree upon. For example you like Ibn Abbas, I like Ibn Abbas, o.k common ground! You like Imaam Ghazali , so do I , now we getting somewhere. You don’t like Muhammad Ibn Abdul Wahaab, o.k fair enough, lets not go there. I don’t like Rida Khan Brelvi , o.k for the sake of Allah lets leave both of these scholars alone. Let us go back. Back to the important scholars we really love. The roots of the tree that the Prophet saaws advised us to bite unto when so much dispute appears. Its not hard, it is only our stubbornness that makes it hard! So shall we burn bridges and ourselves in the process or should we build bridges of understanding that help people cross safely? Its down to how we conduct ourselves in dialogues as such. So who wants to understand each other?
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Abu Ibraheem
12-03-2006, 01:30 AM
bump
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Abu Ibraheem
12-03-2006, 11:52 AM
bump again
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Abu Ibraheem
12-03-2006, 02:21 PM
it seems like nobody wants to touch on this .....sigh ... ah well i will let it linger ... wasalams
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united
12-03-2006, 02:31 PM
there is nothing wrong with salafis except for the fact that many of them claim to be qualified to make up their own rules. if you have the time to look thorugh the books of hadith then there is no problem. however most of us have busy lives which means that we are not all qualified to pick and choose hadith.
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Abu Ibraheem
12-03-2006, 02:59 PM
I understand what you are saying, but i have to say that the salafis i know follow the four Imaams in their rulings, however they take from the strongest opnion. We shouldnt make up our own rules, none of us here are self made mujtahideen
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Eric H
12-03-2006, 03:01 PM
Greetings and peace be with you Abu Ibraheem;

Thank you very much for starting this thread, and i believe that we should strive further and build interfaith bridges of understanding and tolerance.

You have raised many good points but if I can just pick out a small part of your post.

So its not about hwo knows the most, whos right are wrong. Its about peace, justice, truth and all the praise worthy qualities that Muslims should embodie in order to unite upon the Qur’aan and the Sunnah
I believe that you are very close to the problems of humanity, when you said it is about justice, peace and truth. I feel that when we concentrate on just two of these things justice and peace then we might progress peacefully.

When we bring truth into consideration we cause ourselves huge problems. I appreciate that you are talking about different understandings of Islam; but I am a Christian so my understanding of truth will be different again.

Somehow people of all persuasions need to find ways to live in justice and peace. we must each be allowed to pursue the truth in the way that speaks clearly to ourselves.

In the spirit of searching for God

Eric
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Abu Ibraheem
12-03-2006, 09:07 PM
Eric i appreciate your comments, even though we may disagree to what the truth is, at least we have a platform for a dialouge free from personal hatred, etc. Its important that we listen to others.peace
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MusLiM 4 LiFe
12-03-2006, 09:09 PM
datz 2 long man :offended: cnt u summarize it?
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Skillganon
12-03-2006, 09:22 PM
Originally Posted by Abu Ibraheem
:sl: origanlly this was a letter to somebody else. I feel that we will all derive benifit from this as long as we stay sincere.

The literal translation of Ahlus Sunnah means the people of Sunnah. As far as I know salafis are very strict on following the Sunnah of the Prophet saaws, the rightly guided khulufah and who they deem to be the first three generations. In many conversations with them they have simply stated the Hadith where the Prophet saaws says in so many words that the best generation his, then the one after that and then the one after that, after the third the Prophet saaws warned us to watch out for scholars that would commit perjury. So from what I know the Salafis lay claim to stick to these three generations. And I haven’t seen anything yet from them that disproves that, except for the Saudis destruction of sacred places, like building toilets on where the house of one of the Prophets family used to live etc. however, I feel that it would be wrong to make a sweeping generalization and hold each salafi to account for their actions. Back to the main point, I have only seen Sunnah coming from these brothers and they emphasize it strongly, as their slogo goes “Qur’aan and Sunnah.” I need to know what makes them not from the Ahlus Sunnah. How do they contradict the Sunnah? They grow beards, take from the vast volumes of the Ahaadith, and practice that which the scholars agree upon and leave that where there is dispute like music, loud dhickr, tawwusal through the dead, etc...................
I agree with what you said, and it is a good advice.

Here: is something to read: http://www.islamicboard.com/sects-di...lafi-path.html

You could have done away with the saudi destruction of this and that, that is more of a political statement.
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Abu Ibraheem
12-03-2006, 10:10 PM
Salam

I agree, Salafis and Saudis are not one of the same thing. Its wrong to use the the finger of balme to point to all salafis for the destruction of a few sacred sites here and there, and there could have been more care took with the leveling of graves there. We can not just drive bulldozers straight over somebodys grave, and plus i hate what they did to the grave of the Prophets mother. I have vowed not to discuss about the Prophets parents, as Muslims we should not touch that issue with a bargepole. wasalams
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Skillganon
12-03-2006, 10:20 PM
Originally Posted by Abu Ibraheem
Salam

I agree, Salafis and Saudis are not one of the same thing. Its wrong to use the the finger of balme to point to all salafis for the destruction of a few sacred sites here and there, and there could have been more care took with the leveling of graves there. We can not just drive bulldozers straight over somebodys grave, and plus i hate what they did to the grave of the Prophets mother. I have vowed not to discuss about the Prophets parents, as Muslims we should not touch that issue with a bargepole. wasalams
Wasalam.

Technically we should all follow the way of the salaf. Inshallah when more muslim come's into studying Islam they automatically in essence are following the way the salaf (they are salafi in what the word entails) if they know it or not.

I agree in the methodolgy or the salafi. In matter's of fiqh I do not know much about it to disagree, and I am busy trying to follow what is already clear, and ovoid those that are not clear.
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Eric H
12-03-2006, 11:11 PM
Greetings and peace be with you Abu Ibraheem;

Prayer is the way to build bridges of understanding and the way to brake down the stone walls in people’s hearts that separate them.

Christianity is just starting to understand the power of prayer when it comes to bringing people together. I am a Catholic, and I have just come home from attending a service in an Anglican Church, our priest was there and he read the sermon. There were people of other Christian denominations there also. In my heart I said a prayer for all the people who could not be with us, and people I would like to see joined in prayer, Muslims, Hindu and Jew.

Yesterday there was our monthly Churches Together prayer breakfast in the Methodist Church, sadly I missed it but people from a dozen churches usually attend. Tomorrow we have a joint prayer evening in our Catholic Church and I hope to see people from other denominations there in prayer with me.

Next Saturday is a joint effort between the churches organising various parties and events for the elderly, disabled and the children. I shall be helping out in an Anglican church, there is a party for people with learning disabilities.

It is a great joy for me that I can pray with other Christians; just a few hundred years ago we would have been trying to kill each other instead of praying together.

Do Muslims pray with other Muslims who are seen to be different?

In the spirit of seeking a greater interfaith friendship

Eric
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Skillganon
12-03-2006, 11:29 PM
Originally Posted by Eric H
Greetings and peace be with you Abu Ibraheem;

Prayer is the way to build bridges of understanding and the way to brake down the stone walls in people’s hearts that separate them.

Christianity is just starting to understand the power of prayer when it comes to bringing people together. I am a Catholic, and I have just come home from attending a service in an Anglican Church, our priest was there and he read the sermon. There were people of other Christian denominations there also. In my heart I said a prayer for all the people who could not be with us, and people I would like to see joined in prayer, Muslims, Hindu and Jew.

Yesterday there was our monthly Churches Together prayer breakfast in the Methodist Church, sadly I missed it but people from a dozen churches usually attend. Tomorrow we have a joint prayer evening in our Catholic Church and I hope to see people from other denominations there in prayer with me.

Next Saturday is a joint effort between the churches organising various parties and events for the elderly, disabled and the children. I shall be helping out in an Anglican church, there is a party for people with learning disabilities.

It is a great joy for me that I can pray with other Christians; just a few hundred years ago we would have been trying to kill each other instead of praying together.

Do Muslims pray with other Muslims who are seen to be different?

In the spirit of seeking a greater interfaith friendship

Eric

Well technically the difference is not apparant. Yes we do, except those who are clearly out of the fold of Islam.
For example "Nation of Islam" which has very little got to do with Islam.
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Abu Ibraheem
12-03-2006, 11:57 PM
Greetings and peace be with you Abu Ibraheem;

Prayer is the way to build bridges of understanding and the way to brake down the stone walls in people’s hearts that separate them.

Christianity is just starting to understand the power of prayer when it comes to bringing people together. I am a Catholic, and I have just come home from attending a service in an Anglican Church, our priest was there and he read the sermon. There were people of other Christian denominations there also. In my heart I said a prayer for all the people who could not be with us, and people I would like to see joined in prayer, Muslims, Hindu and Jew.

Yesterday there was our monthly Churches Together prayer breakfast in the Methodist Church, sadly I missed it but people from a dozen churches usually attend. Tomorrow we have a joint prayer evening in our Catholic Church and I hope to see people from other denominations there in prayer with me.

Next Saturday is a joint effort between the churches organising various parties and events for the elderly, disabled and the children. I shall be helping out in an Anglican church, there is a party for people with learning disabilities.

It is a great joy for me that I can pray with other Christians; just a few hundred years ago we would have been trying to kill each other instead of praying together.

Do Muslims pray with other Muslims who are seen to be different?

In the spirit of seeking a greater interfaith friendship

Eric
Christians like yourself are becoming very rare. Its good to see your posts and i really do hope that you benifit from being with us here.

You may have seen how Muslims pray together in rows. Every Friday we have diferent sects praying in the same gathering, we even have a shia who places the stone on the floor. You see us all standing together but our hearts are against each other.

I have to tell you that this point does not disproof Islam as the Prophet of Islam Muhammad, whom we consider to be the last Prophet in the chain of Biblical patriarchs and prophets you are familar with, said that the Muslims would divide themselves into seventy three sects and he also said that the mosques would be full but the hearts would be against each other. The reason us Muslims are so defeated and humilated is because we humiliate ourselves by our actions. We refuse to unite and bicker over so many issues, but there will come a time when Islam will rise. Thats aslo recorded. It would be useul to look into the end of days prophercies in Islam and about the traditions of the Anti Christ and so forth. peace .
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arabiyyah
12-04-2006, 10:14 PM
For example "Nation of Islam" which has very little got to do with Islam.
there idol worshipers because they worshiped there leader.
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