Wahhabi Contentions: (1) Asharism and Sufism were Separate and Merged and (2) Calling to Other Than Allah is Shirk

Question:

assalamu ‘alaykum

Yasir Qadi says:

“The permissibility to make du`a to the dead is of course an import of (late) Sufism, and not pure Ash`ari thought. Although, of course, in our times the two movements (which, once upon a time, were distinct and separate), are now one. I have written and am presently writing a number of papers on the merging of these two movements. Basically, this issue goes back to the Ash`ari definition of ilah, which, as al-Razi and others state, means ‘the one who can independently create?’ Hence, if you don’t believe your dead Shaykh can create life or give you sustenance himself, but rather does so by a power given to him by Allah, this would not be shirk according to that definition. As we proved in our class ‘Light of Guidance,’ the Arabs of old also believe their idols were given powers by Allah, and did not claim they had independent powers. Additionally, our definition of shirk is taken from the Quran, and is ‘to give the rights of Allah to other than Allah,’ and du`a is a sole right of Allah. But all of this is a separate topic, meant for another article!”

Before Yasir Qadi posts his articles, my question is: Were the Sufis really a ‘separate’ movement than the Ash`aris. Is such an idea being spread out by the so called ‘Maliki-in-Fiqh-Salafi-in-Creed’ scholars of Mauritania? I am not aware of such from the Islamic Sunni institutions of Morocco.

jazak Allahi khayr

Answer:

Yasir Qadi is merely a demagogue that uses rhetorical tricks rather than proofs, and knows how to manipulate his audience with a shipload of hidden assumptions. He likes to use words like “obviously,” “of course,” “everybody that is reasonable knows,” “we have proved elsewhere,” or “will prove in the future,” and the like, to dodge the fact that he cannot prove what he is saying. (I have highlighted them below for your amusement). And of course he is far too busy to engage in a proper dialogue. I have made some brief comments on what he said below:

Yasir Qadi says: The permissibility to make du`a to the dead is of course an import of (late) Sufism and not pure Ash`ari thought;

The issue here is what does he mean by du`a? If he means prayer, then no Muslim will disagree that it is kufr to make du`a to the dead. If, however, the meaning of du`a here is simply calling, without any sense of worship to the person called, then this is another matter.

Should someone claim that every du’a is worship then how would they understand the following verse in the Holy Qur’an:

لاَّ تَجْعَلُواْ دُعَآءَ الرَّسُولِ بَيْنَكُمْ كَدُعَآءِ بَعْضِكُمْ بَعْضاً
“Make not the addressing (du’a’) of the Prophet among you like your addressing one another…”

So basically we cannot interpret du`a to mean worship in every context. A call without worshiping the called upon is just a call, and it is not shirk. Moreover, calling a person who has died is done every day in every single one of the 5 daily prayers, where a Muslim says, “Ya Ayyuhan-Nabi,” i.e. “O Prophet!” Clearly then, calling a person who has died is not an import of late Sufism.

Yasir Qadi says: Although, of course, in our times the two movements (which, once upon a time, were distinct and separate), are now one. I have written and am presently writing a number of papers on the merging of these two movements.

Wahabism is a movement. It started about 200 years ago under the guidance of the books of Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibn Al-Qayyim, who were both chief heretics in their time. By playing the games of the Batiniyyah sects, hiding and lying about their real beliefs, they managed to preserve their necks, though there were a few close calls.

The Ash`ari school is not a movement, it is the school of the Sunni belief system. Its name comes from Abu Al-Hasan Al-Ash`ari, not because he made up the school’s belief, but because he defended, detailed and systematized the belief of Sunnis to the extent that most Sunni scholars after him cannot but admit that he is their imam. That is, either him, or Abu Mansur Al-Maturidi, who did the same thing as Ash`ari did at approximately the same time, but in another location.

Likewise Sufism has been around since the beginning, whether it went by that name or not. Sufism is simply the art of following Sunni Islam, while trying to distance oneself from the desires and vanities of this life. It is the science of applying Islam to one’s life to the fullest extent, especially on the inside.

Yasir Qadi says: Basically, this issue goes back to the Ash`ari definition of ilah, which, as al-Razi and others state, means ‘the one who can independently create’. Hence, if you don’t believe your dead Shaykh can create life or give you sustenance himself, but rather does so by a power given to him by Allah, this would not be shirk according to that definition.

This is a fallacious argument. How does saying that the word ‘ilah’ means ‘the one who can independently create’ also mean that something other than Allah can create? The definition does not say that there can be a ‘dependent creator.’ It simply says that Allah creates independently of anything or anyone. In fact, when you say that Allah creates independently, you are saying that Allah does not create through an agent, so it is implied that no one and nothing other than Allah creates, i.e. it is not possible that someone be given a power to create.

A person who believes that his dead Shaykh can create life and give sustenance by a power given to him by Allah is indeed a blasphemer. No Muslim believes that, and Sunni Sufis certainly do not believe that. Ash`aris do not believe that other than Allah can create. There is only one creator.

Note that by “create” we mean to bring into existence, or to have independent influence on events.

Yasir Qadi says: As we proved in our class ‘Light of Guidance’, the Arabs of old also believe their idols were given powers by Allah, and did not claim they had independent powers. Additionally, our definition of shirk is taken from the Quran, and is ‘to give the rights of Allah to other than Allah’, and du`a is a sole right of Allah. But all of this is a separate topic, meant for another article!

The du`a that is prayer, i.e. worship, is only for Allah. However, merely calling is not only for Allah. As usual the Wahabis have a great preoccupation with words, with an incredible blindness to the ranges of meaning behind them.

His definition of shirk is not very clear. What does he mean by ‘give the rights?’ For example, if I give Zakaat to an official collector, then it is Allah’s right that this money is given to the poor. So if the collector takes the money for himself (and he is rich), has he committed shirk according to Yasir? It is a strange definition.

A better definition of shirk is ‘to attribute to Allah a partner, part or a likeness to creation.’ This is because the belief in Allah’s Oneness is the belief that ‘He does not have a partner, part or a likeness to creation.’

Questioner says: Before Yasir Qadi posts his articles, my question is: Were the Sufis really a “separate” movement than the Ash’aris. Is such an idea being spread out by the so called ‘Maliki-in Fiqh-Salafi-in-Creed’ scholars of Mauritania? I am not aware of such from the Islamic Sunni institutions of Morocco.

Sufism is really just a branch of the Islamic sciences that a person focuses more or less on. It is not really a movement, although there are of course Sufi movements. So there is no separation between Sufism and Ash`arism. However, like in all the sciences, some scholars are more famous for one thing than the other. Then we also find those unique individuals that master them all. For example Al-Qushayri is a famous imam of both Ash`ari creed and Sufism.

The problem that Wahabis have with merely calling the name of a dead person comes from their belief that Allah is a kind of creature. This makes it difficult for them to come up with a way of thinking of themselves as monotheists. After all, since what they worship and call Allah (but isn’t actually Allah), is simply another physical thing, all physical things become potential rivals. This leads to paranoid delusions, such as thinking that calling the name of a dead person is shirk.

For a Muslim, however, the basis for monotheism is clear. It is the belief that Allah does not have a partner, parts or a likeness to creation. As long as one believes this, one has not committed shirk by calling a dead person, because one does not believe that the dead person has any power to create at all, but is merely a creation, whose calling may or may not correlate with a desired effect created by Allah.

Authored by Shaykh Abu Adam al Naruiji

20 Responses to Wahhabi Contentions: (1) Asharism and Sufism were Separate and Merged and (2) Calling to Other Than Allah is Shirk

  1. abdulHAQ says:

    As’salamu alaikum,

    (“Make not the addressing (du’a’) of the Prophet among you like your addressing one another…”)

    BUT surprisingly I have seen in Saudi Arabia the locals calling/addressing unknown people, Muslim or non-Muslim as Ya Muhammad. It looks very strange that on one hand the Salafis prohibit Mawlid celebrations as unlawful veneration and on the other address even the kuffar as Muhammad. Is this practice allowed Ya Shaikh?

  2. loveProphet says:

    Walaikum us Salam,

    Logic kills wahabis, they don’t know left and right about it.
    Lucky the din wasn’t entrusted to them(i.e. the task of defending the din against the various heresies), otherwise most of the Muslims might have been misguided, Allahu A’lem.

  3. Abul Layth says:

    Wonderful response masha’allah. The idiocy of certain individuals makes itself clear when they meet someone with knowledge of the Asha’ri doctrine.

  4. sheilaX says:

    Shalom,

    You said: “After all, since what they worship and call Allah (but isn’t actually Allah), is simply another physical thing, all physical things become potential rivals.”

    You know, this is one of the most astute diagnosis of the Wahhabi/Salafist condition I have ever come across.

  5. Islaminus says:

    Hah,

    I agree with what you said: “…After all, since what they worship and call Allah (but isn’t actually Allah), is simply another physical thing, all physical things become potential rivals.”

    I’ve met a person who disputed my saying “Allah is everywhere”. He questioned back “Allah in the toilet also?”. I mean, I *could* be wrong, but how could he put such a noble name together with such a lowly place? In one sentence!

    wassalamualaikum.

  6. If Aļļaah was everywhere He would be physical, so this is not different from the belief of the wahabis. One must believe that Aļļaah is not in a place. He is the creator of time and place and He is not in them. He existed before them and He is now as he was, i.e. existing without them. Some people use the phrase “Allah is everywhere” to mean that He knows everything that happens everywhere. If this is what they mean it is not kufr, but it is sinful, as there is no prescribed permission to use such a misleading figurative expression. It is the invention of the Muˆtizalah sect to use this phrase with this meaning. If one means it literally, namely that Aļļaah Himself is literally everywhere, spread out and mixed with creation, then this is blasphemy by scholarly consensus. A person with such a belief must reject this belief in his heart and become Muslim by saying, “there is no god but Aļļaah, and Muĥammad is His messenger.”

  7. Islaminus says:

    Assalamualaikum,

    thank you dear Syaikh for straightening that out for me. That’s what happen when ignorant people (like me) start talking about something he has no knowledge of.

  8. Salam says:

    To loveprophet

    we don’t base our aqeedah on logic, we base it on Quran and Sunnah with understanding of the righteous Salaf.

    we already have many authentic statments by righteous Salaf and Imams of sunnah who came after them confirming Allah to be above His throne above the heavens.
    that is sufficient for us to know that what we believe is the correct belief.
    We make taslim and not question with our brains, our brains
    are limited and Allah is not limited.

  9. One cannot understand the Quran or the Sunnah without a brain. You are contradicting yourself when you say that Aļļaah is above in the sense of location, and then that Aļļaah is not limited. Being in a place means being limited. That is why the imams of anthropomorphism disagreed on how many limits they thought Aļļaah to have, between one to six. Ibn Tamiyyah, their imam of imams, felt six was more likely in one of his sayings. One wasn’t enough for him.

    It does not really matter how many limits they believe in, it is all kufr. Saying or believing that Aļļaah has even one limit means that one does not know Aļļaah, and has ascribed to Him imperfection. That is why Muslims believe that Aļļaah’s aboveness is one of status and power, not place.

    Aţ-Ţaĥaawiy, and he represents the pious salaf, stated: {Aļļaah is above} the status of {having limits, extremes, corners, limbs or instruments.}{The six directions} up, down, front, back, left and right {do not contain Him, like all created things}. This same thing was stated by the most eloquent of all creation, as narrated by Muslim and Al-Bayhaqiyy:
    اللهم أنت الْأَوَّلُ فَلَيْسَ قَبْلَكَ شَيْءٌ وَأَنْتَ الْآخِرُ فَلَيْسَ بَعْدَكَ شَيْءٌ وَأَنْتَ الظَّاهِرُ فَلَيْسَ فَوْقَكَ شَيْءٌ وَأَنْتَ الْبَاطِنُ فَلَيْسَ دُونَكَ شَيْءٌ
    “O Aļļaah, You are the First, so there is nothing before You, and You are the Last so there is nothing after You. You are Al-Ţħaahir so there is nothing above You. And You are Al-Baaţin, so there is nothing below you.” If there is nothing above Him and nothing below Him, then He is not a body or in a direction, and He does not have physical specification.

    Ibn Al-Jawziyy in his book “Daf’ Shubah al-Tashbhi” said: “And they (the corrupt Ĥanbaliyys) made Aļļaah’s aboveness physical, and forgot that physical aboveness can only be for a body, or an indivisible element, and (they forgot) that aboveness can be used for the meaning of high status, for one may say for example, ‘so and so is above so and so’.”

    In other words, Ibn Al-Jawziyy is saying that in no way shape or form is the denial of physical direction and physical aboveness a denial of an aboveness that is not physical. Physical aboveness is refuted, however, as it is a limited aboveness, because it involves at least one physical limit. For example, if someone says that Aļļaah is physically above the ˆArsħ (throne), then he is saying that Aļļaah has a limit adjacent to the throne.

    See also:
    https://sunnianswers.wordpress.com/2008/06/01/wahhabi-contention-how-are-ar-rahmanu-alal-arsh-istawa-and-laysaka-mithlihi-shay-different/

    Abu Adam

  10. Rashid says:

    Assalam-u-Alaikum,

    Dear Shaikh! Is it allowed to recite Salat upon the Prophet [Alaihis Salam] while calling him directly, like reciting Assalat u Wassalaam u Alaika Ya Nabi? If this is valid, is it only on the blessed grave of The Holy Prophet [Alaihis Salam] or we can recite this Salat anywhere?!

    Wa-Salam,
    Rashid

  11. Definitely, you do it already at least 5 times a day in your daily prayers saying, “Assalaamu ˆalayka yaa ‘ayyuha-n-nabiyyu wa raĥamtu-ļļaahi wa barakaatuh”

  12. Rashid says:

    Jazak ALLAH! I really love you for your beautiful answers. May ALLAH ALMIGHTY always help you!

  13. [mlm blog] says:

    [mlm blog]…

    Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it… [ ǂ]…

  14. cheese says:

    You know, the way you highlighted parts of Yasir Qadhi’s presentation, such as “Of course” and “another article” is a really, REALLY low blow. I mean really, what was the point of that? They are just statements, highlighting them doesn’t prove anything other than his linguistic style.

    I’m not Ash’ari myself, but when I see something like this, all I see is what might otherwise be a thought provoking piece degenerating into something petty. You can get your point across without petty attacks on his linguist writing style.

  15. Actually his writing, from a purely stylistic point of view, is not bad. That was not the point. The point is that he says “of course” without explaining why it is “of course.” I explicitly stated my purpose when I said, “He likes to use words like “obviously,” “of course,” “everybody that is reasonable knows,” “we have proved elsewhere,” or “will prove in the future,” and the like, to dodge the fact that he cannot prove what he is saying.” This might trick some untrained readers, so I wanted to highlight this flaw in him.

  16. cheese says:

    Just because he chooses not to go into details of proving every single thing he mentions, doesn’t mean he can’t prove it. It isn’t fair that you make it seem so sinister.

  17. Attari says:

    Cheese, instead of you doing exactly what you are supposedly protesting against, it would be awesome if you could bring forward your proofs and negate what the Sunnis say. Or is that too much to ask of a wahabi- a daleel?

  18. He has made a career out of spreading the ideas of the wahabi sect. I think it is fair. See the heading of our website.

  19. Ali says:

    Can u guys please tell me whether u know the meaning of kalima or not if u do then u should not have any problem saying Ya Nabi or ya Rasool Ullah S.A.W.W. Can u please show me meaning of kalimah in any language which proves that was Prophet or will be Prophet. It goes like this There is no one worthy of our worship, except the One ALLAH and Mohammed (S.a.w.w) is the messenger of ALLAH. is the messenger is used for all times

  20. Maturidi says:

    Asalamu’alaykum

    May Allah reward you Sheikh Abu Adam, your teachers, your students and your family. One of THE best and top site for Aqida which every Muslim must visit for their Aqida checkup!!!

    I have one question regarding the authenticity of this statement and your view on this.

    It is also reported that al-Maturidi’s daughter was married to al-Hasan al-Ash’ari, the father of Imam Abu al-Hasan `Ali al¬ Ash’ari. [Narrated by Abu Sa’d Abd al-Kareem al-Sama’ni d.562AH.in Ansab, p498,

    Is this true since he is the only imam to mention this (as I know).

    May Allah reward you and your teachers and keep it up!!! Please make dua for me!

    Brother Maturidi, Manchester, UK

    YasirQadiconfused.com

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