The Doctrine of Ahl as-Sunnah Versus the “Salafi” Movement

Muslims of the twenty-first century should beware of the renewed onslaught on their beliefs being conducted today from within our Communities East and West. In the name of Qur’an and Sunna, but actually supported by certain regimes pursuing specific ideologies, “Salafis” are taking over the mosques built by Ahl al-Sunna in Europe and North America — mostly Indian and Pakistani immigrants — by means of elections and fundings. It is the duty of all Muslims to ascertain that the mosques of Allah continue as centers of sound Islamic practice, not “Salafi” practice. This can only be done if one first appraises oneself of the reality of “Salafi” beliefs which are different from those of the main body of Muslims.

The Prophet said, Peace be upon him: “My Community will split into seventy-three sects. All of them will be in the fire except one group.” They asked: “Who are they, O Messenger of Allah?” He said: “Those that follow my way and that of my companions.”[2] This is a rallying-cry to the Firm Rope of 1,418 years of mainstream Islam and an invitation to reject the absurd claim of the “Salafi” movement that it is they, and not Ahl al-Sunna, who are the Saved Group. As Zahawi asks — may Allah have mercy on him: If the saved group are those who came after Muhammad ibn `Abd al-Wahhab, then what is the status of all those who came before him, and that of the majority of those who came after him — that is, Ahl al-Sunna wa al-Jama`a?

This warning is not meant as an attack on Islamic unity. On the contrary, our cry of alarm must be understood as a reaffirmation that the Saved Group which the Prophet mentioned in his hadith are the People of the Way of the Prophet and their scholars. Those scholars have spoken in no uncertain terms in condemnation of the innovations of Wahhabis and “Salafis” in our time, as the present book and the bibliography below, al-hamdu lillah, prove beyond doubt.

May Allah give victory to those who stand truly for the way of His Prophet, Blessings and Peace be upon him. O Believers, read this book and take heed of its message. We conclude this brief introduction with a selective list of authors and works of Ahl al-Sunna scholars in whose pages the deviations of Wahhabis and Salafis are exposed time after time and conclusively refuted. We look forward to their translations and recommend every one of them. And all praise belongs to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.

Shaykh Hisham Muhammad Kabbani

Los Altos, California

1 Muharram 1418

19 May 1996

Ahl al-Sunna condemnations of the Wahabi/Salafi Heresies: A Select Bibliograpy

Al-Ahsa’i Al-Misri, Ahmad (1753-1826): Unpublished manuscript of a refutation of the Wahhabi sect. His son Shaykh Muhammad ibn Ahmad ibn `Abd al-Latif al-Ahsa’i also wrote a book refuting them.

Al-Ahsa’i, Al-Sayyid `Abd al-Rahman: wrote a sixty-seven verse poem which begins with the verse:

Badat fitnatun kal layli qad ghattatil aafaaqa

wa sha“at fa kadat tublighul gharba wash sharaqa

[A confusion came about like nightfall covering the skies

and became widespread almost reaching the whole world]

Al-`Amrawi, `Abd al-Hayy, and `Abd al-Hakim Murad (Qarawiyyin University, Morocco): Al-tahdhir min al-ightirar bi ma ja’a fi kitab al-hiwar ["Warning Against Being Fooled By the Contents of the Book (by Ibn Mani`) A Debate With al-Maliki (an attack on Ibn `Alawi al-Maliki by a Wahhabi writer)"] (Fes: Qarawiyyin, 1984).

`Ata’ Allah al-Makki: al-sarim al-hindi fil `unuq al-najdi ["The Indian Scimitar on the Najdi's Neck"].

Al-Azhari, `Abd Rabbih ibn Sulayman al-Shafi`i (The author of Sharh Jami’ al-Usul li ahadith al-Rasul, a basic book of Usul al-Fiqh: Fayd al-Wahhab fi Bayan Ahl al-Haqq wa man dalla `an al-sawab, 4 vols. ["Allah's Outpouring in Differentiating the True Muslims From Those Who Deviated From the Truth"].

Al-`Azzami, `Allama al-shaykh Salama (d. 1379H): Al-Barahin al-sati`at ["The Radiant Proofs..."].

Al-Barakat al-Shafi`i al-Ahmadi al-Makki, `Abd al-Wahhab ibn Ahmad: unpublished manuscript of a refutation of the Wahhabi sect.

al-Bulaqi, Mustafa al-Masri wrote a refutation to San`a’i's poem in which the latter had praised Ibn `Abd al-Wahhab. It is in Samnudi’s “Sa`adat al-Darayn” and consists in 126 verses beginning thus:

Bi hamdi wali al-hamdi la al-dhammi astabdi

Wa bil haqqi la bil khalqi lil haqqi astahdi

[By the glory of the Owner of glory, not baseness, do I overcome;

And by Allah, not by creatures, do I seek guidance to Allah]

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