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Monday, 18 Muharram 1431
S A L A F I Y Y A
We will say at the very outset that the books written by the scholars of Ahl as-Sunnat (rahmat-Allahi ta'ala 'alaihim ajmain) do not mention anything in the name of "Salafiyya" or a "Salafiyya madhhab." These names, forged later by the la-madhhabi, have spread among the Turks through the books of the la-madhhabis translated from Arabic to Turkish by ignorant men of religion. According to them:
"Salafiyya is the name of the madhhab which had been followed by all the Sunnis before the madhhabs of Ashariyya and Maturidiyya were founded. They were the followers of the Sahaba and the Tabiin. The Salafiyya madhhab is the madhhab of the Sahaba, the Tabiin and Taba at-Tabiin. The four great imams belonged to this madhhab. The first book to defend the Salafiyya madhhab was Fiqh al-akbar written by al-Imam al-azam. Al-Imam al-Ghazali wrote in his book Iljam Al-awam 'ani 'l-kalam that the Salafiyya madhhab had seven essentials. The 'ilm al-kalam of the mutakhirin (those who came later) began with al-Imam al-Ghazali. Having studied the madhhabs of the early 'ulama' of kalam and the ideas of Islamic philosophers, al-Imam al-Ghazali made changes in the methods of 'ilm al-kalam. He inserted philosophical subjects into 'ilm al-kalam with a view to refuting them. Ar-Radi and al-Amidi conjoined kalam and philosophy and made them a branch of knowledge. And al-Baidawi made kalam and philosophy inseparable. The 'ilm al-kalam of the mutakhirin prevented the spreading of the Salafiyya madhhab. Ibn Taymiyya and his disciple Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyya tried to enrich the Salafiyya madhhab which later broke into two parts; the early Salafis did not go into details about the attributes of Allahu ta'ala or the nass of mutashabih. The later Salafis were interested in detailing about them. This case becomes quite conspicuous with the later Salafis such as Ibn Taymiyya and Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyya. The early and the later Salafis altogether are called Ahl as-Sunnat al-khassa. The men of kalam who belong to Ahl as-Sunnat interpreted some of the nass, but the Salafiyya opposed it. Saying that Allah's face and His coming are unlike people's faces and their coming, the Salafiyya differs from the Mushabbiha."
It is not right to say that the madhhabs of al-Ashari and al-Maturidi were founded later. These two great imams explained the knowledge of itiqad and iman communicated by Salaf as-salihin, arranged it in classes and published it making it comprehensible for youngsters. Al-Imam al-Ashari was in al-Imam ash-Shafi'i's chain of disciples. And al-Imam al-Maturidi was a great link in al-Imam al-azam Abu Hanifa's chain of disciples. Al-Ashari and al-Maturidi did not go out of their masters' common madhhab; they did not found new madhhabs. These two and their teachers and the imams of the four madhhabs had one common madhhab: the madhhab in belief well-known with the name Ahl as-Sunnat wal-Jamaat. The beliefs of the people of this group are the beliefs of the Sahabat al-kiram, the Tabiin and Taba' at-Tabiin. The book, Fiqh al-akbar, written by al-Imam al-azam Abu Hanifa, defends the madhhab of Ahl as-Sunnat. The word 'Salafiyya' does not exist in that book or in al-Imam al-Ghazali's Iljam Al-awam 'ani 'l-kalam. These two books and Qawl al-fasl(69), one of the explanations of the book Fiqh al-akbar, teaches the madhhab of Ahl as-Sunnat and answers the heretical groups and philosophers. Al-Imam al-Ghazali wrote in his book Iljam al-awam: "In this book I shall inform that the madhhab of the Salaf is right and correct. I shall explain that those who dissent from this madhhab are the holders of bidat. The madhhab of the Salaf means the madhhab held by the Sahabat al-kiram and the Tabiin. The essentials of this madhhab are seven." As it is seen, the book Iljam writes the seven essentials of the madhhab of the 'Salaf.' To say that they are the essentials of the "Salafiyya' is to distort the writing of the book and to slander al-Imam al-Ghazali. As in all the books of Ahl as-Sunnat, it is written after the words 'Salaf' and 'Khalaf' in the section on "Witnessing" in the book Durr al-mukhtar, a very valuable book of fiqh: "Salaf is an epithet for the Sahaba and the Tabiin. They are also called the Salaf as-salihin. And those 'ulama' of Ahl as-Sunnat succeeding Salaf as-salihin are called 'Khalaf.'" Al-Imam al-Ghazali, al-Imam ar-Radi and al-Imam al-Baidawi, who was loved and honored above all by the 'ulama' of tafsir, were all in the madhhab of Salaf as-salihin. Groups of bidat that appeared in their time mixed 'ilm al-kalam with philosophy. In fact, they founded their iman on philosophy. The book Al-milal wa 'n-nihal gives detailed information on the beliefs held by those heretical groups. While defending the madhhab of Ahl as-Sunnat against those corrupt groups and rebutting their heretical ideas, these three imams gave extensive answers to their philosophy. Giving these answers does not mean mixing philosophy with the madhhab of Ahl as-Sunnat. On the contrary, they purged the knowledge of kalam from the philosophical thoughts interpolated into it. There is no philosophical thought or philosophical method in al-Baidawi's work, or in the tafsir of Shaikh-zada, the most valuable of its annotations. It is a very nefarious calumny to say that these exalted imams took to philosophy. This stigma was first attached to the 'ulama' of Ahl as-Sunnat by Ibn Taymiyya in his book Al-wasita. Further, to state that Ibn Taymiyya and his disciple Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyya tried to enrich the Salafiyya madhhab is to divulge a very important crux where those who are on the right path and those who have deviated into error differ from each other. Before those two people there was not a madhhab called "Salafiyya," nor even the word 'Salafiyya'; how could they be said to have tried to enrich it? Before those two, there was only one right madhhab, the madhhab of Salaf as-salihin, which was named Ahl as-Sunnat wal-Jamaat. Ibn Taymiyya tried to distort this right madhhab and invented many bidats. The source of the books, words and heretical, corrupt thoughts of today's la-madhhabi people and religion reformers is only the bidats invented by Ibn Taymiyya. In order to deceive Muslims and to convince the youth that their heretical path was the right path, these heretics devised a horrible stratagem; they forged the name "Salafiyya" from the term "Salaf as-salihin" so that they might justify Ibn Taymiyya's bidats and corrupt ideas and drift the youth into his wake; they attached the stigmas of philosophy and bidat to Islamic 'ulama', who are the successors of Salaf as-salihin, and blamed them for dissenting from their invented name Salafiyya; they put forward Ibn Taymiyya as a mujtahid, as a hero that resuscitated Salafiyya. Actually, the 'ulama' of Ahl as-Sunnat (rahmat-Allahi ta'ala 'alaihim ajmain), who are the successors of Salaf as-salihin, defend the teachings of itiqad of Ahl as-Sunnat, which was the madhhab of the Salaf as-salihin, and, in the books which they have written up to our time and which they are still writing today, they inform that Ibn Taymiyya, ash-Shawkani and the like have dissented from the way of Salaf as-salihin and have been drifting Muslims towards perdition and Hell.