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بيان جمعية (عقيدة) عن مؤتمر الشيشان باللغة الانجليزية، A statement by the Association for the of Theology, about the conference entitled: “Who are Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah”.

تاريخ الموضوع : 8/9/2016 الموافق الخميس 6 ذو الحجة 1437 هـ | عدد الزيارات : 1813

 A statement by the Saudi Academic Association for the Study of Theology, Religions, Sects & Ideologies about the conference entitled: “Who are Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah”.

 

Who snatched the title Ahl us-Sunnah?

 

All praise is due to Allah who said: “O you who have believed, stand persistently firm for Allah, witnesses in justice, and do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from being just. Be just; that is nearer to righteousness. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what you do”.

And may Allah exalt the mention and send peace to the leader of Adam's offspring: Muhammad bin Abdillah, and all of his family and companions.

 

To proceed:

 

News has been spread in the media about the conference held in Grozny in Chechnya entitled: “Who are Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah”. This conference declared in its closing statement – the 24:th of Dhul Qi’dah 1437 h. – that:

"Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah are (those who follow): the Ash’ariyyah and the Maturidiyyah in their creed, the followers of the four schools in Islamic jurisprudence, and the people of pure Sufism with regards to knowledge, manners and purification".

After that, they attached the sentence: "from them are Ahl ul-Hadith al-Mufawwidah" after the word "Creed", and this is an additional mistake since Ahl ul-Hadith has nothing to do with Tafweed (affirming the wording of Allahs attributes without understanding what it means)

The conference was also characterized by slandering and backbiting of the Salafi methodology, false accusations of its followers and attempts to make connections between them and followers of extremists.

This is not the first time this type of distortion and deceit takes place and it might not be the last.

Just as the Association finds the time and the place of the conference strange it also denounces its conclusion as a grave error. Thus The Association deems it necessary to explain the truth and remove the confusion in that which was declared in the closing statement, with the following points:

Firstly: Indeed the meaning of the term “Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah” is clear, and all praise is due to Allah. Many scholars of Islam in past and present have explained it. Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah are the predecessors of the Islamic nation – the three first distinguished generations – and those who followed them in that which is good – those who ascribe themselves to the Salaf and assume their way and methodology.

Their methodology is: the pure Islam; clear from any flaws. It’s the straight path, the path of those upon whom Allah has bestowed His favor: the prophets, the steadfast affirmers of truth, the martyrs and the righteous.

 

The reason for using this particular epithet came from the necessity to differentiate between those who practiced the pure Islam, clean from any innovation, and those who divided their religion and split into various sects.

 

They were called Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah because they followed the Sunnah and were united upon that (al-Jamaa'h) Their leader is Allah's messenger (may Allah exalt his mention and send peace to him), he is the only one that they truly support and the only one they believe is infallible. For this reason they are the most knowledgeable about his Sunnah and those who follow it the most. They see it as a light, cure and salvation.

 

Their most significant characteristic is their certainty that the most truthful speech is the words of Allah, and the best of all guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (may Allah exalt his mention and send peace to him), they do not exceed the Qur’an and the Hadith. They act in accordance to what Allah says: “Follow, [O mankind], what has been revealed to you from your Lord and do not follow other than Him any allies.”

 

Since they have always relied on the Qur’an, the Sunnah and the consensus in issues pertaining to knowledge, their statements have always corresponded to the authentic evidences and rational thinking.

Furthermore, they believe that all good comes from following the Salaf, and that security from misguidance lies in following the religion as it was first reveled. The Prophet (may Allah exalt his mention and send peace to him) said when he described the saved group: “They which I and my companions are upon” Reported by Tirmidhee.

 

Imam Malik (may Allah be merciful to him) said: “The last part of this ummah cannot be rectified, except by that which rectified its first part”. (ash-Shifaa: 2/88).

 

They consider innovations as being that the worst of affairs and stress that it is something take people away from Allah and as well as dividing the Ummah. Because of that, they are earnest in staying away from and warning against innovations and its people. The Prophet (may Allah exalt his mention and send peace to him) said: “For whoever among you lives after me will see much discord. So hold fast to my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs who will come after me. Adhere to them and hold fast to them. Beware of innovations (in religion) because every innovation is a misguidance. Reported by Abu Daawood and Tirmidhee. 

 

The noble student of the companions Abul 'Aaliyah (may Allah be merciful to him) said: "Follow the Sunnah of your prophet and that which the companions were established on, and stay away from these Ahwaa (the desires that takes a person away from guidance) that cast discord and hatred between people". As-Sunnah by al-Laalaakaa'ee (1/56).

 

They are by the grace of Allah the people with most knowledge and insight, calmness and peacefulness, they are merciful to the creation, say the truth about those who oppose them and judge them with justice.

 

Their creed is as follows:

 

They worship Allah and Allah alone and they follow his messenger and his messenger alone (may Allah exalt his mention and send peace to him), all the while distancing themselves from polytheism and its people. Furthermore they believe in the Ghayb (unseen) and the Last Day. Regarding the Names and the Attributes of Allah, they affirm everything that Allah has affirmed for Himself through His Book or through His prophet (may Allah exalt his mention and send peace to him) - whether it be attributes of Essence or Actions – without denying or distorting them, or neglecting their meaning (Tafweed), or inquiring into their true nature (Takyeef) or likening Allah to the creation (Tamtheel).

 

They say that belief is composed of speech and action. They are on a middle path in this between Murji'ah and Wa'eediyyah, likewise they are on middle path in their belief in predestination between Jabariyyah and Qadariyyah.

 

Further, they are callers to noble manners and righteous actions and treading a middle path far away from extremism and recklessness.

 

No one are farther away from extremism then them and they are the most active people in preventing the extreme Kharijites – by refuting them and giving them advice – nobody works harder than them in this issue, not in the past nor in the present.

 

Secondly: The epithet Ahl us-Sunnah is old, and its people are the elite of the Muslims.

They are the best of Allah's close pious servants and they are praised in this Ummah. They are the pious predecessors – the companions, their followers and their followers – and those who followed their path like the leading imams from the famous schools of jurisprudence, and those who came after them with the correct creed from those who ascribed themselves to these schools of jurisprudence – Hanafiyyah, Maalikiyyah, Shaafi'iyyah and Hanaabilah – or those who didn't ascribe themselves to them.

 

It's truly sad how the participants of the conference, when they defined Ahl us-Sunnah, failed to mention the pious predecessors and the imams of the Muslims, even though this epithet was famous before the upcoming of the Ashariyyah, Maturidiyyah and the Sufis. Here we have the noble student of the companions Muhammad bin Sireen (May Allah be merciful to him) who said – like we can find in the foreword of Saheeh Muslim 1/ 12:

 

 "They didn't use to ask concerning the chain of narration, but when the tribulations occurred, they began saying: Name for us your men. So they would look at Ahl us-Sunnah and their hadeeth would be accepted. And they would look at the people of innovation, and so their hadeeth wouldn't be accepted".

 

Ayyoub as-Sakhtiyaanee (May Allah be merciful to him) said - as it was reported in as-Sunnah by al-Laalakaa'ee 1/30 -: "From the blessing for a youth or a non-Arab is that Allah guide them to a scholar of Ahl us-Sunnah".

 

Imam ash-Shaafi'ee (May Allah be merciful to him) said – in al-Umm 4/121 -: "Ahl us-Sunnah from the people of Allahs religion are those who have patience with the truth". As we can see, the imams used this epithet in many different occasions.

 

So considering that this name is very old we can see clearly the error in limiting Ahl us-Sunnah to those who came after the first generations.

 

In spite of this, some of them say that the statements of the Salaf and the imams doesn't mean anything, and that Ahl us-Sunnah is an epithet of the schools of thought that came to existence after them!

 

Thirdly: Anybody can come with claims without proofs, and that's what the attendees of the conference did when they defined Ahl us-Sunnah; it was just a claim with no proof.

No Muslim can dispute that those who have most right to be described as Ahl us-Sunnah are the ones who make the Qur'an and the Sunnah as their reference and source. Because these two are the truth without a doubt, and those who stick to them are the people of the truth: "And those who believed followed the truth from their Lord".

 

By a fair comparison between the two methodologies: the followers of the scholastic schools of thought – like the ones they claimed were from Ahl us-Sunnah – and the followers of the Salaf  anyone will see who are the most deserving of the epithet "Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa'ah", and who snatched that epithet!

The truth is clear and is not hidden from the clever person.

 

Are the followers of the pious predecessors those who deserve this noble description – and a part of their correct methodology and clear creed has been mentioned earlier – or those who are guilty of denying the attributes of the Lord of all Worlds – under the cover of interpretations or Tafweed? Or perhaps those who make Irjaa a part of their creed in Imaan, and Jabar a part of their creed in the predestination?

Are the followers of the Salaf those who deserve this beautiful epithet or those who give preference to the human intellect over the Islamic texts when they claim that they contradict one another, and who neglect the evidence of revelation by claiming that it doesn't provide certainty, but rather speculations and guessing, while claiming that whatever their intellect dictate for them is certain? And in this they deprived the revelation of the Lord of all worlds from benefitting guidance and certainty in the most important issues in the religion!

Or those who say that the authentic hadeeth of the truthful and believed (i.e. the Prophet) should be rejected in tenets of faith if they are Aahaad (hadeeths reported by one or few chains of narrations) – which is the case with most of the Sunnah?!

And they say that parts of the apparent meaning in the Qur'an and the Sunnah are misguidance and resembling Allah with the creation?!

Do the followers of the righteous predecessors deserve this description more or those who charted their own methodology regarding the knowledge of Allah and how to deduct it, which the messengers and their followers didn't know?

The answer is clear and the unbiased person doesn't have any doubt about it.

 

Fourthly: the Association advices all Muslims to have Taqwaa and warns the bearers of Islamic knowledge to misuse scientific terms, because it leads to the alteration of understanding, refutation of the truth and correction of falsehood. The effects of this on the Muslims are not hidden.

The Association sees the rise of renunciations after the conference, by Islamic scholars and callers in different parts of the Islamic world, as glad tidings by the grace of Allah and a sign of forsaking for those who turned away from the correct methodology.

And the Association reminds that the task of Ahl us-Sunnah is much greater, and that is that they make every effort they can to give support to the methodology of Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa'ah and call to it, as well as they refuting the distortions of those who went astray, the claims of the errant and the interpretations of the ignorant ones.

Allah is the one who gives glory to His religion, completes his light and supports his pious servants.

Allah knows best, may Allah exalt the mention and send peace to His servant and messenger our prophet Muhammad, all his family and companions.

Written in the beginning of Dhul Hijjah, 1437 h.

 


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