Correcting Some Errors Committed by Yusuf Estes Regarding his Comments on Salafiyyah

_________________________________________________________________________

CORRECTING SOME ERRORS COMMITTED BY YUSUF ESTES REGARDING HIS COMMENTS ABOUT SALAFIYYAH
________________________
Verily all praise is for All h, we praise Him and seek His aid and ask for His forgiveness, and we seek refuge with All h from the evils of ourselves and our evil actions. Whomever All h guides there is none who can misguide him, and whomever All h misguides there is none who can guide him, and I bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped except All h Alone, having no partner, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and His Messenger. May the Sal t and Salaam be upon Prophet Muhammad (SallAll hu 'alayhi wa Sallam), his family, his companions, and all those who follow him until the Last hour.

“O you who have believed, fear All h as He should be feared and do not die except as Muslims (in submission to Him).” { li-Imr n (3): 102}

“O mankind, fear your Lord, who created you from one soul and created from it its mate and dispersed from both of them many men and women. And fear All h through whom you ask things from each other, and (respect) the wombs. Indeed All h is ever, over you, an Observer.” {an-Nis (4): 1}

“O you who have believed, fear All h and speak words of appropriate justice. He will amend for you your deeds and forgive your sins. And whoever obeys All h and His Messenger has certainly attained a great attainment.”
______________________________________________________________________________ © SalafiManhaj 2009 1

Correcting Some Errors Committed by Yusuf Estes Regarding his Comments on Salafiyyah

_________________________________________________________________________

{al-Ahz b (33): 70-71} Verily, the most truthful speech is the book of Allaah. The best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (sallAll hu ’alayhi wa Sallam). The worst of affairs are the newly-invented ones, and every newly-invented matter is an innovation. Every innovation is a misguidance and every misguidance is in the Fire. To Proceed: It seems long gone are the days when the general populous of Muslims knew exactly who to refer to when seeking consultation in matters of belief, methodology and manners. predicament which has been eloquently described in the following hadeeth is surely upon us: " " Narrated ’Abdullah Ibn ’Amr Ibn al-’As (radi Allahu ‘anhu): “I heard Allah’s Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) saying: “Allah does not take away the knowledge by taking it away from (the hearts of) the slaves, but He takes it away through the death of the scholars till no scholar remains, people will take as their leaders ignorant people who when consulted will give their verdict without knowledge. So, they will go astray and will lead the people astray.” 1 In current times, how many Muslims, with pin-point accuracy, does this hadeeth describe? Only Allah knows the reality of this question, but we can safely say that we do know many incidents which have bore witness to the prophetic accuracy of this hadeeth. Of these occurrences is what transpired during a lecture presented by our brother, the Muslim apologist, Yusuf Estes 2 during his Malaysian Tour of 2008. The whole incident was captured on camera and presented on YouTube. 3 Actually, it is the first video which pops up, with over 7,000 hits, when the term “Salafi” is typed in its search engine, which heightens the DEFCON level to the need of clarification for the defence of ad-Da’wah as-Salafiyyah. The incident transpires due to a question which is directed towards our brother Yusuf: “There are many Islamic movements nowadays, how do we know which one is Salafi?” The

1 2

Saheeh al-Bukh r vol. 1, no. 100 and Saheeh Muslim. Yusuf Estes, (b. 1 January 1944 in Ohio, grew up in Texas), is an American convert to Islam and former National

Muslim Chaplain for the United States Bureau of Prisons and Delegate to the United Nations World Peace Conference for Religious Leaders. Yusuf Estes was brought up in Houston in a Protestant Christian family; members of the Disciples of Christ.
3

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZVITfO-P94

______________________________________________________________________________ © SalafiManhaj 2009

2

Correcting Some Errors Committed by Yusuf Estes Regarding his Comments on Salafiyyah

_________________________________________________________________________

It seems from the contents of the question that the person who promoted the question is either new to Salafiyyah or is looking into Salafiyyah and perhaps the person is, due to the multitude of groups, religiously disorientated. The question is a very important question, which must be answered correctly, based upon knowledge, so that the sincere seeker can be presented with clear sign posts which lead directly to the destination of truth. However, two parts of the above hadeeth materialise consecutively. The first part to materialise is “people will take as their leaders ignorant people”. Unfortunately, the above question is directed to someone who is not from the people of knowledge, but in reality, his expertise lies perhaps in comparative religion. Part of the error is due to our inability to compartmentalise between a Muslim personality or a Muslim apologist and someone who is firmly grounded in knowledge of Islam. It seems that just because some Muslims are competent in the field of comparative religion, many take this for granted to mean he must be a “Shaykh” or “aalim” in matters pertaining to the sciences of the Islam. Thus, Islamic, scholarly credentials are superimposed over on an individual merely because he possesses rhetoric or excels in comparative religion. More often than not, this results in the lines becoming blurred and knowledge-based consultation being directed towards individuals who simply have no scholarly right. The second part “who when consulted will give their verdict without knowledge” reverberates throughout this YouTube video and culminates in a catalogue of errors. Yusuf Estes sets in motion his answer in a mocking manner: “Well ask them they’re real proud of it! Do you really want the answer to this one? You guys want the answer to this one? It’s not our topic... you want the answer to this (gesturing to someone in the crowd)? You don’t want to hear it do you? (He leans forward and smiles) you’re not Salafi are you?” 4 Why the mockery and ridicule towards the people who love and defend the Sunnah? Is he not aware of the dangers that accompany ridicule and mockery? Does he not love the people of the Sunnah? If so, why the words “you’re not Salafi are you?” Would someone who has love and respect for the Salafi manhaj articulate such counteractive words? The person who asked this question was simply seeking a sincere clarification, and in return they received a cynical rhetorical question which instantly undermined the magnitude of the question. He removes his glasses and continues: “Actually, there are things that are called deviant groups, and then there are groups which are normal, but people try to turn it into something deviant. To be a follower of a particular jurisprudence, such as Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi’i, Hanbali, Ja’fari – like
4

0.00 – 0.27

______________________________________________________________________________ © SalafiManhaj 2009

3

Correcting Some Errors Committed by Yusuf Estes Regarding his Comments on Salafiyyah

_________________________________________________________________________

this. According to al-Azhar University, they ruled on these five and said that these are all Madhaahab {sic}... these are Madhaahab of learning how to make wudhu, how to pray - things like that.” 5 The subtle assertion becomes apparent for the trained eye. It is the same old accusation, the one which claims the Salafis stubbornly refuse to distinguish between real, deviant groups and the historical tradition of the Madhaahib (schools of religious thought). Incidentally, this is quite ironic, because we actually levy a counter claim saying that many don’t understand the difference between permissible form of Taqleed (itibaa’) and its blame-worthy type. Let us take the opportunity here to remind ourselves that it is not obliging upon any of the slaves of Allah to follow a particular madhhab. We move to reinforce this important point by quoting the words of a famous scholar who lived in an age wherein blind-following was considered mandatory. Shaykh Muhammad Sultan al-Ma’soomi said in his response to the question which originated from the land of the Rising Sun: “Does everyone who is honoured with the Religion of Islam have to join one of the four madhhabs?” “As for the madhhabs, they are the opinions of the scholars, their understanding as regards certain problems and their deductions. Allâh the most high did not make it obligatory to follow these opinions, deductions and understanding, nor did his messenger, since they contain that which is correct and that which is incorrect. There is nothing that is totally correct except that which is established from Allah’s Messenger and very often the Imams would make a pronouncement in a matter and then the truth would come too their attention , being a variance with that, so they would retract from their sayings! As for following one of the madhhabs or any other madhhabs, then that is neither obligatory nor recommended and it is not binding for a Muslim to follow any one of them in particular. Rather he who follows one of them in particular in every matter, then he is a mistaken sectarian and a blind-follower. He is one of those who split up their Deen and become sects and Allah, the Most High, has forbidden splits within the Deen: Verily, those who divide their religion and break up into sects (all kinds of religious sects), you (O Muhammad SAW) have no concern in them in the least. 6

5 6

0.27-1.04 Sooratul-An’aam (6): 159

______________________________________________________________________________ © SalafiManhaj 2009

4

Correcting Some Errors Committed by Yusuf Estes Regarding his Comments on Salafiyyah

_________________________________________________________________________

“And be not of Al-Mushrikûn (polytheists, idolaters the disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah). (31) Of those who split up their religion (i.e. who left the true Islamic Monotheism), and became sects, [i.e. they invented new things in the religion (Bid’ah), and followed their vain desires], each sect rejoicing in that which is with it. 7 Islam is a single Deen and there are no madhhabs or ways therein which one is obligated to follow except for the way of Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah and his guidance.” 8 So in what manner do we handle: “According to al-Azhar University, they ruled on these five and said that these are all Madhaahab {sic}... these are Madhaahab of learning how to make wudhu, how to pray - things like that.” Shaykh Saalim at-Taweel was asked about this peculiar statement and he said in reply:
This statement is false. The Madhaahib are not four or five or more than that. Each Major Scholar had his students, books and madhhab, for instance like the Madhab of the Dhaahirryah or the Madhhab of ’Awzaa’i, however the Madhaahib which have become famous are the four, and what is intended by this are the four famous Madhaahib (i.e. Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi’i and Hanbali). As for the madhhab Ja’fari, which is mentioned in the question, this is not from the Madhaahib of Ahlus Sunnah and it is external of Ahlus Sunnah. So the one who attaches this innovated methodology to the Sunnah, it is either done out of ignorance or for an evil intention.

After informing his audience that groups such for sports and other worldly affairs are permissible and that there is no such thing as “Radical Islam”, Brother Yusuf goes on to say: “Now having said that, and I am talking about the words only and not the people, there are very good people who call themselves Soofees... they are very good, but the word Soofee itself was not something that came from the Prophet Muhammad. So you can be a good person without being a Soofee, ok? And you can get to Allah without following a tareeqa (a school of Sufism). Now, I have heard some of them say, “You can’t,” and now there are going to have to prove their point to me.” The statement which needs to be challenged and clarified is: “There are very good people who call themselves Soofee.” We wonder does this general tazkiyyah (commendation) for individuals who hold to a deviant group help the questioner on his quest for finding the truth. Wasn’t the very nature of the question a plea to sift out the weeds (deviant groups) from the flowers (people of the Sunnah)? Another question we are forced to ask is what initially and
7 8

Sooratul-Room (30): 31-32 From the book: hal lil Muslim mulzam bi itibaa’ madhhab mu’ayyan min al-Madhaahib al-Araba’ah? (Is it

obliging upon a Muslim to follow one of the four Madhabs?)

______________________________________________________________________________ © SalafiManhaj 2009

5

Correcting Some Errors Committed by Yusuf Estes Regarding his Comments on Salafiyyah

_________________________________________________________________________

ultimately makes a person “good”? Is it primarily his kind nature, polite manners and zuhd (Abstemiousness)? Or is it his unadulterated belief in Allah and the other articles of faith, combined with his tenacity in remaining firm on the path of the people of the Sunnah? It is reported from Imaam Maalik from the narration of ’Abdullaah bin Yoosuf at-Taneesee who spoke about a man from the city of Nasiyeebeen who came to Imaam Maalik. The man informed Imaam Maalik that: “there are some people called as-Soofiyyah in the city who, when they finish eating, begin reciting poetry and dancing.” Imaam Maalik exclaimed “are they insane?!” The man responded: “No.” Maalik then asked: “Are they boys?” The man replied: “No, they are old and intelligent men.” Maalik then said: “We have never heard of this from any of the people of Islaam.” 9 Ibn ul-Jawzee transmitted in Talbees Iblees that Imaam ash-Shaafi’ee stated: “If a person practices Sufism(tasawafa) at the beginning of the day, he doesn't come at Zuhur except an idiot” and that “Nobody accompanied the Sufis forty days and had his brain return(never)”. Then Estes says: “And when somebody says, ‘we are Salafi’ first of all I am going to guess that he doesn’t know the Arabic Language. I’m going to guess he probably doesn’t know. Or he said it so much he forgot what it really means. Salaf means someone who is dead and gone (someone chuckles in the crowd). These are your predecessors, so a guy is standing tell you, ‘I’m dead’ (more people in the crowd chuckle)!? And they say: Salaf as-Saalih, Righteous Predecessor. Ok, I’m a dead righteous guy?! It doesn’t work!” 10 Ibn Taymiyyah says in his Majmoo’ al-Fataawaa: There is no criticism for the one who proclaims the way (madhhab) of the Salaf, who attaches himself to it and refers to it. Rather, it is obligatory to accept that from him by unanimous agreement because the way (madhhab) of the Salaf is nothing but the Truth.! 11

9

Dr Ahmad Bakeer Mahmood (ed.), Tarteeb ul-Madaarik wa Taqreeb al-Masaalik (Beirut: Daar Maktabah al-

Hayaat, 1387 AH/1967 CE), vol.2, p.54. Also in Dr Taahir Muhammad ad-Dardeeree (ed.), Manaaqib Maalik, liQadi Eesaa bin Mas’ood az-Zawaawee (Madeenah, KSA: Maktabah Tayyibah, 1411 AH/1990 CE), p.157. AzZarawaylee, Risaalah Dhamm al-Bida’ wa Ahlaha, p.236. Also in al-Waghleesee, al-Mi’yaar ul-’Arab, vol.11, p.34 and refer to what was stated by ash-Shaatibee as al-Wanshareesee transmitted from him in the same book, vol.11, p.39.
10 11

3:11 Majmoo al-Fataawaa, vol.4, p.149

______________________________________________________________________________ © SalafiManhaj 2009

6

Correcting Some Errors Committed by Yusuf Estes Regarding his Comments on Salafiyyah

_________________________________________________________________________

The words of Ibn Taymiyyah seem to be at odds with the claim of brother Yusuf. Ibn Taymiyyah informs us categorically that not only should one refrain from criticising the one who refers to himself as a Salafi, but it is also obliging to accept that from him by unanimous agreement. The phrase which steps up to challenge the logic of Yusuf is the part when Ibn Taymiyyah said: “who attaches himself to it and refers to it”. So how can someone attach himself to the madhhab of the Salaf and what does it mean to attach one’s self to the madhhab of the Salaf? To affiliate oneself to a thing can be achieved (in Arabic) by adding the Arabic letter ‘Yaa’ (known as the Yaa an-Nasab or Yaa an-Nisbah) to the end of the word you wish to affiliate yourself, someone or something with. This word could be a continent, country, city or even a school of thought. A practical example of this can be displayed through the use of the term ‘Hanafi’ ( ). This term basically involves the attaching of oneself (perhaps in matters of

fiqh and mannerisms) to a particular school of thought which is attributed to Abu Hanafi; it doesn’t mean that you are claiming to be dead, or even more absurd, that you are Abu Hanifa (who died many centuries ago)! So what caused Brother Yusuf to err in this instance? The cause is the same cause which many have fallen victim to 12 , and such is due to a failure to separate correctly when distinguishing between the terms ‘Salafi’ and ‘Salaf’. Brother Yusuf mistakenly believes that when you say “Salafi” you are calling yourself “Salaf”, which is a term we use to refer to someone who preceded us. But as we explained above, the term ‘Salafi’ has the Yaa an-Nasab suffixed to it which modifies its meaning, making it a relational adjective. The relation here is in matters of belief, practice and manners. He also says that we refer to ourselves as ‘Salaf as-Saalih’, which is an odd accusation devoid of any proof or logic. Also, usage of the term ‘Salaf’ does not require that the thing you are referring to be dead (contrary to Yusuf Estes’ definition), because if it did only mean how Yusuf intended, how are we meant to understand the following hadeeth when the prophet Muhammad addressed his daughter, Fatimah by saying:

“Indeed, I am for you a blessed Salaf.” 13
This whole catalogue of errors demonstrates, once again, the importance of drinking from the fountain of people of knowledge and not from people who, themselves, should be drinking from the same fountain. Not only is our brother Yusuf outside the dominion of the scholars,

12

Another individual who falls in to this error is Abdul Kareem Hattin. A refutation of him can be found here: Muslim (no. 2482)

http://www.salafimanhaj.com/pdf/SalafiManhaj_AbdulKarimHattin
13

______________________________________________________________________________ © SalafiManhaj 2009

7

Correcting Some Errors Committed by Yusuf Estes Regarding his Comments on Salafiyyah

_________________________________________________________________________

but he is also someone who lacks knowledge in the basic Usool of the religion and of the Arabic language, which makes his gambled guess “first of all I am going to guess that he doesn’t know the Arabic Language,” a product of pure irony. Yusuf continues: “The one who came up with this idea was actually a very good scholar, but he was a loner in that he had his own thing going. He didn’t come from a particular following of anything, he just come {sic} up with a lot of stuff on his own. He was an expert in his studies of hadeeth; he was one of the best Muhaddith (scholar of hadith) in the last century. He died in September 1999 14 .” 15 The scholar who Yusuf is referring to is the Muhaddith (scholar of Hadeeth) of our time, Imaam Muhammad Naasiruddeen al-Albaanee. 16 Here is where things really take a turn for the worse, and things are said which amount to Gheebah (slandering). Is he not aware of the famous saying:

" 17

The flesh of the scholars is poisonous
The first of these baseless accusations is the disturbing claim that Shaykh, Naasir ad-Deen was the one who formulated the term Salafi. This is a serious accusation which implies many deplorable things. In all honesty, it would have served him well to exhaust every possible route of personal error in his own understanding and judgement before making such sweeping indictments against one the inheritors of the Prophets. The charge here is simple and clear; that Shaykh al-Albaani coined a new, religious term which has no scholarly chain of narration. So was the term Salafi invented by the great Shaykh, al-Albaanee? Imam adh-Dhahabee, who died 748AH, said: “It is authentically related from ad-Daaraqutnee that he said: There is nothing more despised by me than 'ilmul-kalaam (innovated speech and rhetoric). I say: He never entered into 'ilmul-kalaam, nor argumentation. Rather, was a Salafee (a follower of the Salaf).” [Siyar vol.16, p.457] As-Sam’aanee (d.562H) said in al-Ansaab, vol.3, p.273: “As-Salafi: this is an ascription to the Salaf and following their ways, in that which is related from them.” lbn al-Atheer (d.630H) said in al-Lubaab fee Tahdheebul-lnsaab, vol.2, p.162), commenting upon the previous saying of as-Sam'’aanee: "And a group were known by this ascription.”
14 15 16 17

He actually died 1420AH\2nd October 1999CE 3:45 http://www.fatwa-online.com/scholarsbiographies/15thcentury/alalbaanee.htm A famous statement often used by the Salaf to stress the level and importance of the Ulama.

______________________________________________________________________________ © SalafiManhaj 2009

8

Correcting Some Errors Committed by Yusuf Estes Regarding his Comments on Salafiyyah

_________________________________________________________________________

Given the fact that Shaykh al-Albaani died in the year 1420AH and that the two quoted Imams died centuries before him, we can safely conclude that the term ‘Salafi’ was used long before the birth of Shaykh al-Albaani. Many Scholars used the term “Salafi” long before the birth of Shaykh al-Albaani and to attribute it to Shaykh al-Albaani as a brain-child is a grave error which needs to be retracted from. What does Yusuf exactly intend by the words, “...but he was a loner in that he had his own thing going.” We struggle to understand this in any form of positive context, and thus we are forced to conclude that this is nothing more than a disparaging remark. What made it harder to rub away the dirt off this remark is the coupling of this remark with the statement that follows it, “He didn’t come from a particular following of anything, he just come (sic) up with a lot of stuff on his own.” The claim is quite obvious here, and it reads that the Shaykh introduced “a lot of stuff” into the religion, stuff which was never practised before in the history of Islam, which is tantamount to accusing the Shaykh of inventing multiple innovations. So why did he accuse our Shaykh of coming “up with a lot of stuff on his own”? Perhaps his tongue indulged in such, because he does not truly comprehend the difference between a Mujaddid (one who revives and aspect of Islam) and a Mubtadi’ (one who innovates something new into Islam). Al-Alqamee said in his explanation of fore-mentioned narration that the meaning of tajdeed (revival) is revival of action upon the Book and the Sunnah and command in accordance with them – that had been effaced. Mistakenly he considers the Shaykh to have innovated various things in Islam when the reality is he resuscitated comatose Islamic-rooted beliefs and practises which had long been abandoned by Muslims. Can Yusuf Estes meet the challenge of producing evidence for a single one of these things that he accuses him of? And if not is he prepared to retract this statement and make sincere tawbah to his Lord? So how accurate is Brother Yusuf’s assessment of Shaykh al-Albaani? Do his scholarly contemporaries view him in the same negative light? And if not, whose words should we accept to be in alignment with the truth? The former Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Imaam ’Abdul Aziz Bin Baaz 18 said regarding Imaam Naasiruddeen al-Albaanee: “In the modern era, I have not seen anyone more knowledgeable, in matters pertaining to hadeeth, under the canopy of the sky, than the Great Shaykh, Muhammad Naasir ad-Deen al-Albaani.” Then the Imaam was asked about the hadeeth wherein the Messenger of Allah said: “Verily, on the eve of every century Allah will send to this Muslim nation (Ummah) someone who will revive and renew for it the Deen." 19 So he was asked: “Who is the Mujaddid (reviver) of this
18 19

http://www.fatwa-online.com/scholarsbiographies/15thcentury/ibnbaaz.htm Hadeeth is reported by Abu Hurairah and recorded in Sunan Abu Dawud

______________________________________________________________________________ © SalafiManhaj 2009

9

Correcting Some Errors Committed by Yusuf Estes Regarding his Comments on Salafiyyah

_________________________________________________________________________

century?” He replied: “In my opinion, Shaykh Muhammad Naasiruddeen al-Albaanee is the Mujaddid of this era.” 20 Shaykh Muhammad Bin Saalih al-’Uthaimeen 21 said while commenting on Shaykh al-Albaani: “What I know about the Shaykh (al-Albaani), through my few meetings with him, is that he is very eager to act according to Sunnah and keen to wage war against Bid’a (innovation), irrespective whether it is in (matters) of aqeedah or action. As for my acquaintance with him through his written works, then I have come to know him through such, and I have come to know that he possesses a great deal of knowledge in the science of hadeeth. Allah, the Most High, has caused many people to benefit from his written works, in terms of knowledge, methodology and in the renaissance of Science of Hadeeth. This has yielded great benefit for the Muslims, and all Praise is for Allah. As for his written works in the field of verification and checking of Hadeeth, then what an excellent work.” Imaam Muqbil bin Haadee al-Waadi’i 22 (rahimahullah) said regarding Imaam Naasiruddeen: “What I believe, and I take account of it in front of Allah, is that Shaykh Muhammad Naasiruddeen al-Albaanee is from the Mujadideen (the revivers of the Deen), who the Messenger of Allah spoke the truth about when he said: “Verily, on the eve of every century Allah will send to this Muslim nation (Ummah) someone who revives and renews for it its affairs.” 23 We learn here that not only did his illustrious contemporaries confirm him as a man deeply rooted in knowledge and someone who was firm upon the Sunnah and an enemy of Bid’a, but they also consider him to be that special individual who is sent by Allah to rejuvenate and remedy many of the affairs of the Ummah at the eve of every century. This again consolidates our previous point concerning the difference between a Mujaddid and a Mubtadi’. So we bang the hammer and usher in the noble jury and ask: on the scales of justice and equity do the words of Brother Yusuf Estes succumb faster to gravity or the words of the major scholars of Islam? Yusuf continues: “If you see a picture of him, you look at me and look at him, you’d say they must come from the same family (i.e. due to physical resemblance) – very much alike. His name was Shaykh Naasiruddeen al-Albaanee; he did some wonderful things, Maashaa Allah we make du’a for him, but this is a mistake, and I make more mistakes really than anybody. So it’s not that but the mistake was to say that we
20 21 22 23

Majallat al-Asaalah, no.23 http://www.fatwa-online.com/scholarsbiographies/15thcentury/ibnuthaymeen.htm http://dammaaj.wordpress.com/2009/01/08/biography-of-shaikh-muqbil/ Hadeeth is reported by Aboo Hurayrah (radi Allaahu ’anhu) and is found in the Sunan of Aboo Dawood and

others.

______________________________________________________________________________ © SalafiManhaj 2009

10

Correcting Some Errors Committed by Yusuf Estes Regarding his Comments on Salafiyyah

_________________________________________________________________________

need to have a group to call ourself (sic) by to distinguish ourselves from the people of Ahul Bid’a... well the Ahul Bid’a means people of innovation, so will call ourselves on the same manhaj or methodology of the Salaf as-Saalih – that’s what he was saying (i.e. Imaam al-Albaanee). We are on the methodology of the righteous predecessors; that’s what he is trying to say. But the people turned it into a group and used that to justify whatever they did. It’s not acceptable, that is not acceptable and he would of never endorsed it, because his own students have told me themselves 24 , they didn’t endorse it; Muhammad Jibaali, Ibn ‘Uthaimeen, you can go and talk to them in Saudi Arabia yourself, see them or talk to their students at least, and ask them and they will say no! No! No! This is not what we meant, not like this. Not going in and pointing at people and calling them kaafir and labelling all the leaders and things like that – that was never intended.” This is where the reader needs to maintain a keen eye while we unravel the knot in this par of his speech, because found in this part of his speech are unfounded accusations and misconceptions which need to be brought to the forefront for the simple need of clarification. So after enlightening the audience on his physical resemblance to the Shaykh, he tells us that the Shaykh did some wonderful things and that we should make du’a for him, but then he says, “But this is a mistake”. The vagueness of the word “mistake” is removed by his following statement, “So it’s not that but the mistake was to say that we need to have a group to call ourself {sic} by to distinguish ourselves from the people of Ahul Bid’a...” Straight away we are prompted to ask where exactly lays the error of Shaykh al-Albaani?! Is he saying his mistake was to advocate the name Salafi so that we may distinguish ourselves, for the sake of clarity, from the people of innovation and misguidance? If this is his claim, then we have already shown the bankruptcy of this assertion via the solid statements of the Salaf. Maybe he is not saying this (despite it being the most apparent probability), and he is actually attaching error to the Shaykh due to that “the people turned it into a group and used that to justify whatever they did.” If he intends this to be Shaykh al-Albaani’s error, then this needs to be refuted from two angles: 9 How does he know that these so-called people who ‘turned it into a group and used that to justify whatever they did justify’ were actually Salafi and were in any way or form attached to the Shaykh? Also, which Salafi, after the death of the Shaykh, uses the term ‘Salafi’ to justify whatever he does?! We strongly demand here that Yusuf Estes furnishes us with proof to support the validity of this claim.

24

He says this with emphasis.

______________________________________________________________________________ © SalafiManhaj 2009

11

Correcting Some Errors Committed by Yusuf Estes Regarding his Comments on Salafiyyah

_________________________________________________________________________

9 Moving on the supposition that a group did rise after the death of al-Albaani and did hijack the name Salafi and did abuse the term Salafi like a stolen credit-card to do whatever the desired to do, how would this return to be an error of Shaykh al-Albaani?! This type of thinking sounds akin to the fallacious concept of original sin which is found in the teachings Christianity. No matter which way you orientate the statement of Yusuf Estes, the question repeatedly still comes up: where exactly is Shaykh al-Albaani’s error?! Another observation we would like to point out here is that Shaykh Muhammad Bin Saalih al-’Uthaimeen was not a student of Shaykh al-Albaani. This glaring error necessitates us to inquire, who exactly were these people he spoke to? Another glaring error is the lack of ability to realise that the people of the Sunnah or the Salafis are in fact a group or sect, and this is made quite clear in the following hadeeth: “And this Ummah will divide into seventy-three sects all of which except one will go to Hell and they (i.e. the Saved Sect) are those who are upon what I and My Companions are upon (i.e. those who follow My Way and the Way of my Companions).” 25 And the Hadeeth: “There shall not cease to remain a single group from my community upon the Truth, victorious; they are unharmed by those who abandon them and those who oppose them. They will remain (in my community and in such a state) until they fight the liar (i.e. the Anti-Christ (Dajjal).” 26 So both hadeeths describe the people who cling to the Sunnah with terms such as Taa’ifa or Firqa. Muslims need to learn to understand that just because we are a sect or a group, that doesn’t necessitate the conclusion that the Salafis have split from the Jamaa’a or that we fall under any of the verses which prohibit sectarianism. On the contrary, the 72 sects have split from the Salafis, and thus have split from the Jamaa’a. The Jamaa’ah by definition is in summary what Abdullah ibn Mas’oud said:

“The Jamaa’ah is what concurs with the truth, even if you are alone.”
The long quote ends with a statement which makes it self-evident that Brother Yusuf Estes is not clear regarding the true attributes of Salafis. How could he say: “Not going in and pointing at people and calling them kaafir and labelling all the leaders and things like that – that was never intended,” and then think that this is the mischievous, devious traits of the Salafis?! Does he not visit the multitude of Salafi websites and in particular their

25 26

Reported by at-Tirmidhee - Hasan Reported in Sahih Muslim

______________________________________________________________________________ © SalafiManhaj 2009

12

Correcting Some Errors Committed by Yusuf Estes Regarding his Comments on Salafiyyah

_________________________________________________________________________

sections dedicated to the issues of takfeer? 27 This is the type of error non-Muslim think tanks fall head first into when chronicling the history of the Salafis 28 ; they blend together the takfeeris, jihadis and sometimes the Ikhwaanis under the banner of Salafiyyah. We suggest Brother Yusuf takes the time out to visits websites such as SalafiManhaj.com, CalltoIslam.com and SalafiPublications for a true reflection of how Salafis conduct their affairs surrounding the issue of Takfeer. Advice for the noble reader: The main endeavour of this critique is to herd the flock of the Allah’s Messenger back to the path which heads towards his scholarly inheritors. Not only have Muslims become ignorant regarding the lofty status of the people of knowledge, but many Muslims have become ignorant regarding exactly what constitutes a person of knowledge. It seems nowadays one only need an eloquent tongue, a small amount of Arabic vocabulary and a noble title on his makeshift résum± to be considered a person of knowledge. It is imperative that we learn the true characteristics of the people of Knowledge so that we can sustain our spiritual nourishment, particularly in these times when Muslims have become more numerous, groups have become more complex in their disputes and the callers to the gates of the fire are many. (rahimatuAllahi ‘alaihi) said: Muhammad Ibn Seereen

"This knowledge is a matter of Deen, so be careful who you take your Deen from." 29
Muhammad Ibn Seereen lived in a time when the Sunnah beamed brightly on the faces of the people like the Sun rays on a cloudless day. So what about these days? Days during which the dark clouds of shirk, kufr and bida’ block out the rays of the Sunnah like clouds on a rainy day. The people of the Sunnah are a minority which necessitates the fact that their scholars are even less. This reality does not cause the believer to despair, but rather it renews his dynamism to search out and locate the true inheritors of the prophet. The remedy for much of our ignorance can be found in the noble verse:

Ask the people of the Reminder, if you do not know. 30
27 28

To declare someone to be a disbeliever. We provide here a link to an excellent website which dispels the myth and the common practise of coupling the Introduction of Sahih Muslim no: 62 Soorah an-Nahl (16):43

Salafis with other misguided, extreme groups: http://www.thewahhabimyth.com/
29 30

______________________________________________________________________________ © SalafiManhaj 2009

13

Correcting Some Errors Committed by Yusuf Estes Regarding his Comments on Salafiyyah

_________________________________________________________________________

However, the problem nowadays lies not just in the neglect of this verse but also upon whom to accurately apply it. So how should we analyse the people, who breathe the same air as us, in these turbulent days of ours? What legacy and advice have the people of knowledge left behind for us to hold firm to during chaotic storms of fitnah and division? The Imaam of the people of Sunnah, of his time, Abu Muhammad Khalf al-Barbahaaree (died 329H) said in his monumental work Sharhus Sunnah:

¿ ¿
31

¿ ¿

May Allah have mercy upon you - examine the speech of every one of the people of your particular time, and do act hastily nor enter into anything until you enquire and observe; did any of the Companions of Allah’s Messenger speak about it or any of the scholar? So if you find a narration from them, then hold firmly to it, do not go beyond it for anything or give preference to anything over it and thus fall into the fire.

Contained in this quote is a formula which inoculates from the deceases of misguidance and misplaced dependency, for every single Muslim, no matter his level. We ask Allah Azza wa Jalla to connect our hearts to the hearts of the real people of knowledge, and we ask Him Azza wa Jalla to aid the Muslims to be real to themselves when understanding the reality of their levels and that He humbles them for the good of the people and for the good of themselves. May Peace and blessings of Allah be showered upon His Messenger Muhammad, his noble Companions, his family and everyone who follows their guidance until the Last Day.

31

Sharhus Sunnah (p.61)

______________________________________________________________________________ © SalafiManhaj 2009

14

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful