Bismillah al-Rahman al-Raheem was-salaat was-salaam `alaa Rasul-illah wa 'alaa alihi wa sahbihi wa sallam

Allahumma Salli ala Muhammad wa Alihi wa Sahbihi Ajmaeen

wpe4D.gif (7651 bytes)

Al-HamduliLlahi, who has raised in every century Righteous Scholars to dispel the darkness that plagues the innocent among our Community, Scholars who bring back to life the Sunnahs that were either lost of forgotten. Though the hypocrites hate it, there are people of determination who posses distinction, and are able to recognize these precious jewels that Allah uses to teach and warn us about matters that have become apparently in fashion in our days.   The "salafi" movement has split families throughout the world and put husband against wife, son against father, and brother against brother. This is very apparent with the current situation in Sri Lanka.   The "salafis" are labeling the very rich customs that have been practiced for generations in their land, labeling everything Shirk and Bid`ah.  They entice and rouse zealous youths into questioning practices like Mawlid and standing when Salawat is being presented to the Prophet (saw).  Mawlid is a practices that has kept them together for generations, and kept love between them out of the love of the Prophet (saw), and it  is now being questioned. Coming from America, I cherish this practice and it hurts to see that such a practice may be in  jeopardy because of out side influences.

Outside influences have penetrated every fiber in the Community of Sri Lanka, from Masjids, to Madrasahs and Bookstores.   When they arrived on the scene, the  "salafis" seemed to be sincere brothers giving `sincere advice`, but the People of Sri Lanka couldn't imagine the hatred that they had in their hearts for events that are being practiced for nothing more than Love of the Prophet (saw). They have penetrated Sri Lankas's Islamic Organizations with elections and financial services to the point that these Organizations are now afraid to speak out against their tyranny, even though they have the ability to do so.   Only a few of them speak out, and these few are the heroes who risk there very lives to protect and to bring out better understanding of their customs in the face of threats and claims of being controversial. Shaykh Hisham Kabbani, President of As-Sunnah Foundation of America was invited to give lectures in Sri Lanka about issues that many are confused about. These issues, namely Bid`ah, Mawlid, Shirk and Islamic Unity, along other related subjects, are the main focal point of animosity between brothers and family. 

Originally, Shaykh Hisham Kabbani, the Chairman of As-Sunna Foundation of America, was invited, but due to his schedule at the time, it was not possible for him to attend.   He commissioned Dr. Fouad Haddad to deliver a number of speeches for the conference, and he selected myself {Ismaeel Dhul-Qarnayn} to accompany Dr. Fouad, and to assist him in any way I could.  With Shaykh Hisham's du'a, I left California with the intentions to assist Dr. Fouad, but I had no idea what was ahead of me. 

Due to the difficulties with telecommunications in Syria, where he is studying, Dr. Fouad unfortunately was not able to make the flight, and planes from Syria only came twice a week. Despite this, we knew we had to continue with the conference as scheduled, and due to the fact that Shaykh Hisham had sent me, they selected me to deliver the speeches myself.

This was a big burden for me, as I felt unprepared, but after I received the du`a of my Shaykh, and he relayed to us in Sri Lanka that he and Shaykh Nazim were supporting us through their prayers, my confidence was fortified.  Knowing that we had such support prepared us for the important tasks and unanticipated circumstances that were ahead of us.

The First Meeting: Clearing Misconception of Innovation

This was/is a topic that has been placed on the lips of many. Our attempt was to present an abundance of material on the Hukm of innovation, because in our days there are many who are looking at one view of innovation, while ignoring the Sayings of the Scholars regarding it.   During this meeting we were able to pinpoint the problem of labeling everything Bid`ah, with the saying of the Prophet [saw] and explanation from the Most Famous Scholars of Islam.  For instance: " Every new invention is innovation (Bid`ah) and every Bid`ah is misguidance (Dhalaalah) and every misguidance is in the Fire" and on the other side of this" " Whoever introduces in Islam a good Sunnah will have the reward for it and those who acted upon it after him without deminishing anything from those who acted on it" {both of these hadiths can be found in Riyaadhus-Saaliheen}

After the lecture we opened the forum to a question and answer session.  The questions were limited to only the topic that was discussed during the lecture.  If some questions were asked that were not related to the topic, we would provide the information at another time if requested, unless the board had agreed on answering them. One particular question that the People of Sri Lanka could not wait for, was the question about Mawlid.  We had to decline to answer because this was going to be discussed in the next lecture, but it was clear to me, by the reaction of the people, what was really what was on their minds. The topic that was discussed and the ones that were to follow { Mawlid, Shirk and Islamic Unity} were no doubt related to the questions about Mawlid in their minds.

The Second Meeting: Mawlid

This was the topic about Mawlid in which we had presented a lecture over an hour and a half with the many proofs about the permissibility Mawlid and the overall obligation to increase the love of the Prophet (saw). Proof was given from the Quran,  ahadeeth and the `Ulama. We were assisted in the question and answering session by a respectable member of Sri Lanka, Malauvi Baari Saahib. He had answered some of the questions that he felt he could elaborate on  and with great success he cleared many gray areas in the language of his own people. With this night we had provided the proof that the People of Sri Lanka requested along with where they attain the information for themselves. Also we shed light on a Book of Qaseedahs that they hold dear to their hearts. This praised book was attacked by the `salafi` community there for no reason except that it contained  words of Praise on the Prophet {saw}. This attack shows how far they would go to even insult the nature of the Prophet (saw). I was so touched by their book of Qaseedahs called, Subhaana Mawlid and at the same time was stricken by sadness at the vicious letter of "refutation" that the `salafis` had done against it, in which they deny thiqat hadiths and outright denigrate the status of our Holy Messenger Sayiddina Muhammad (saws).   I promised the People of Sri Lanka that after I receive permission from my shaykh, I would refute every lie that was contained in their hateful letter.

We were thanked after the lecture for stating clear facts and information about the Mawlid. With this response, I had gathered that there was a cloud of mystery and misunderstanding that the People of Sri Lanka had had about Mawlid, even though they have been practicing it themselves for generations. These misunderstandings opened the way for `salafis` to infiltrate their circles of Dhikr and Mawlid, with nothing but the intentions to inject doubt within the hearts and minds of those who wished nothing but to increase their Love for the Prophet {saw}. But that night, with the support and du`a of our mashaykh, was a victory for the Mawlid.

The Third Meeting: Shirk

As I said earlier, these discussions were actually all related to Mawid in the minds of many, in which they had to attempted to attribute the Mawlid to Shirk and Bid`ah. This night, we had addressed a small booklet that was issued in Sri Lanka call "Saint Worship". This small booklet concentrated it attention of giving the verdict that visiting graves was shirk, asking intercession was shirk and suggesting that the Awlia has no special relationship to Allah and comparing them to the friends of Shaytaan etc.     We based this night on giving the meaning of what Shirk in 2 parts. One is worshiping other than Allah and the other is the lesser Shirks that in one time or another we all suffer from, like riya and kibr etc.   We exposed the many mistakes that this pamphlet held, since this seemed to be the main source of those who claim shirk by those who believe and follow the Awlia.

We again were successful in clearing the misconceptions of this matter. The question and answering cession was the same as the nights that preceded. Questions on Mawlid were being put to attention as well as innovation. This topic on shirk is not only being discussed in Sri Lanka. It is the same all over the world and the same patterns are being used. They claim that these are shirk and they don't vary from their interpretations in the least:

  1. Ziyaarah
  2. Asking Intercession
  3. The Prophet {saw} is dead {na`udhubiLLahu}
  4. Saying that someone who has some Knowledge of the Unseen  is shirk

The Final Night:  Islamic Unity

There couldn't have been a better topic to end this conference. Because it is something this Ummah is suffering from, Unity. We had concentrated on the need to know who and what the Scholars of the Ahlas- Sunnah wal Jamaa`ah were. And the importance on clinging onto their explanations of the Religion. Also we had noted in order to accomplish this, we must also recognize the reasons of who were/ are the `wolves in Islamic clothing ` that exist within our Ummah. Because to recognize them, helps us distinguish the good from the bad. And we did this by mentioning and explaining the what the Prophet {saw} had mentioned about them.

Br. Saalih gave an historical account of this movement since the time of the `Puritan Islamic Movement ` of Muhammad ibn Abdul-Wahhab, up to the their present scholars. His speech was fiery, and held nothing back.   Being from Sri Lanka , he has witnessed firsthand how their Community had became infested by the lowest dregs of the Ummah; how this sect split family and friends, husband and wife; mother from children; congregations from imams.   We also mentioned how other organizations were invited but did not attend, not because of other obligations, but because of intimidation. Since the "salafis" had penetrated every sector of their Islamic society, they were afraid to be seen at our meetings.  One reason being that many organizations, institutions, and scholars relied on the financial support {petro-dollars} from the "salafis", and if they were pointed out in our meeting they feared that their funds would be withheld from them.

This is a sign that the Scholars of the Jamaa`ah need to stand for what is right.  This is what was felt in my heart, as well as in the heart of one of the Greatest Muhaddiths in our time, Shaykh Hasan Saqqaf, whom I had the privilege of meeting  in Sri Lanka.  He expressed to me the importance that the Scholars of the Jamaa'ah  standing up, and he implied that most of them are sleeping.  "This is how they invaded us, they came through the back door while the scholars were sleeping".   Shaykh Hasan Saqqaf  related to me that he has written over 80 books and half of them are refuting the beliefs of the `modern-day-salafi`, on issues like tasbeeh, tajseem, and istawa, and refuting scholars like Al-alBaani.   He  expressed his admiration of Shaykh Hisham and  his desire of talking and meeting with Him soon and presented me with copies of many of  his books to give to our shaykh. As a present to me, he gave me seven of his books which cover these subjects. 

From this journey, I learned that it is the same story there as it is here. This poison is the same everywhere, and the remedy for it dosn`t change. What I mean by this is that the "salafis" are all the same all over the world, with the same mentalities and limitations. Usually they can be refuted with the resources that come from both our scholars and their own scholars like, Ibn Taymiyyah, Ibn Qayyim etc.  This is the method that we used in every topic in Sri Lanka. This is one of the reasons that the `salafis` that were present, could not refute our presentations and they had to resort to asking questions that were unrelated to the topic and the tactic of repeating the same questions over on day after day.  To my surprise, they were exceptionally quiet.  I had suspected that there would be more exchanging between us with the topics and that they would resort to their familiar characteristics like stomping out of the forum, but they didn't. I could only assume that they could not present a rebuttal because we had delivered clear, precise evidence from our sources as well as their own. Subhanallah, when the Light of Haqq shows forth, no darkness can dim it.

Conclusion:

We will conclude this successful visit by requesting all the People of Sri Lanka especially the Scholars of the Sunnah that are there, who are able to refute the 'salafis', to do so in order protect the future of Ahl as-Sunnah wal-Jama`ah.  Do not be intimidated by their money because it is nothing but sand in their hands. The People of Sri Lanka have enough resources to band together to take back their schools that are corrupting the children, to take back their Masjids which have been swept from under their feet by `elections`,  and to take back their Islamic centers by uniting their own resources to stop corrupt beliefs from being distributed.  You have the proofs and the knowledge so you have to do is to use it against the 'salafis'.  If we do other than this, we will be questioned about it because our children will grow up with `salafi` belief, and they will reject the Beliefs of the Jamaa`ah. If we don't do this, we will loose our children until the Love of the Prophet {saw} will not exist anywhere on your beautiful  island.

And Success is with Allah.