Response to the Readers’ Replies

Shaykh Hisham always tries to keep respect in his method of addressing our brothers in his email and articles, and to keep the dignity of each person. On the other hand we see nothing but attacks against Shaykh Hisham and the unfairness is apparent in the arguments and questions. So we are saying again–Islam is for Muslims, it is the religion of love and peace. Don’t practice it as they do in the Middle East, where the stick comes down on the heads of people if they have a different idea or understanding than the “official” one.

Respecting one’s own and others’ opinions and keeping everyone’s dignity is an Islamic trait. Our brother Fulan, the initiator of these debates, wrote a long set of articles on Islamic good manners, the etiquette of disagreement and so on. Why did he write it if he isn’t going to practice it? When we feel people are being harsh and hard towards us we don’t like to be forced into anything. Islam came with love. The Prophet (s) brought Islam with love not with hatred. In the answer the shaykh is preparing he is trying to be very precise and simultaneously succinct. Meanwhile he is preparing an intermediate answer, that will follow this letter shortly. However, a full-fledged answer is not going to be made available immediately.

Brother fulan, is it Islamic etiquette, the manner you are using? If you think so, reprint your neighbor Fulan’s article on Islamic Good Manners and check. It appears to be clear unfairness and a direct attack. One should keep respect, as we are trying to keep respect. One cannot force another to do something. Previously we have been attacked by many people because we sent articles about Mawlid and what Ibn Taymiyya said about Sufism. It seems the same methods are being used again. However, we will simply continue to send information on the Ahl as- Sunnah wal-Jama’at’s decisions on subjects such as Tasawwuf, tawassul, Mawlid and other important matters of faith and fiqh.

Shaykh Hisham kept respect for the questions, and didn’t make any comment on them, even though they are very elementary. However, since they have been asked he doesn’t want to answer them in an elementary way, so he is preparing an intelligent answer, though the questions don’t deserve it. Now since Fulan is forcing us to say something about the questions, so I am saying it.

The level of the questions surprised me, as these questions appear to be to be written by a naive person. And we know Shaykh Adly is not a naive person, he is the Imam of a mosque and former chairman of Rabitah. “Was the Prophet a Sufi?”– is this a question? Should the Prophet (s) be named after a subject or is the Prophet (s) going to be the source of all subjects in Islam? It appears like a baited trap to cause us to speak improperly against the Prophet (s), and we hope this not the purpose. One cannot ask if the Prophet was a Sufi, it is like asking if he was a faqih or a muffassir or a muhaddith. If someone asks that, it means that person doesn’t know that the terms Tasawwuf and Sufi were not used in the time of the Prophet. The title for the Prophet is Prophet (s). As Shaykh Hisham is mentioning in his upcoming reply, the science of Hadith came after the Prophet, so you cannot say that the Prophet (s) was a muhaddith. No one should demean the Prophet (s) by using a term for him which is less than his station as Prophet (s). A muhaddith is one who has conveyed a story or happening that occurred in the past. One can say that people who came after the Prophet (s) are muhaddiths, but not the Prophet (s) himself. And this applies as well to Tasawwuf.

Not one single scholar in the entire history of Islam came against Tasawwuf, as long as it keeps the way of Shari’ah and Sunnah. Because Tasawwuf is Ihsan. The Prophet (s) defined Ihsan in the famous hadith of Jibril (as), so no one can say that Ihsan is not in Islam. Anyone who says that, is either either ignorant or stubborn. I only gave that short definition of Tasawwuf at this time. Instead of attacking Shaykh Hisham, why not wait for his response? We hope everyone will try to keep respect as much as possible. If anyone doesn’t like the above definition, then he or she can come up with his own, from his own sources.

Sincerely,

mateen

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