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Refuting the Claims of Jamāʿah al-Tablīgh

Shaykh Muḥammad Taqī al-Din al-Hilālī, Al-ʿAllāmah Ḥammūd al-Tuwayjirī

A brief debunking of just a few of the vile claims of Jamāʿah al-Tablīgh.

The Refutations:

  1. Refuting Jamāʿah al-Tablīgh’s Claim that they are “Travellers in His Cause”
  2. Destroying the False Claim of the Tablīghī: Shaykh al-Islām Muḥammad ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhāb Harmed Ahl al-Sunnah and Killed “the Martyrs”
  3. Refuting Jamāʿah al-Tablīgh: Seeking Intercession Through the Prophets and the Ṣūfī Imams
  4. Refuting Jamāʿah al-Tablīgh: Claiming to See the Majestic Throne and Transcendency of the Need for Worship
  5. Refuting Jamāʿah al-Tablīgh: Blatant Shirk and Refusal to Forbid Evil
  6. The Foolish Self-Degradation and Major Shirk of the Tablīghī Leadership
  7. Illogical Blind Imitation

1. Refuting Jamāʿah al-Tablīgh’s Claim that they are “Travellers in His Cause”1

Allāh says:

التَّائِبُونَ الْعَابِدُونَ الْحَامِدُونَ السَّائِحُونَ الرَّاكِعُونَ السَّاجِدُونَ الْآمِرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَالنَّاهُونَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَالْحَافِظُونَ لِحُدُودِ اللَّهِ ۗ وَبَشِّرِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ

“[Such believers are] the repentant, the worshippers, the praisers [of Allāh], the travellers [for His cause], those who bow and prostrate [in prayer], those who enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong, and those who observe the limits [set by] Allāh. And give good tidings to the believers.”
[Al-Tawbah, 9:112]

In response to the false claim made by the Jamāʿah al-Tablīgh that the travellers [for His cause] applies to them, Shaykh Muḥammad Taqī al-Din al-Hilālī mentioned:

Ibn Kathīr (رحمه الله) said in the tafsīr of the saying of the Most High: the travellers [for His cause] in the one hundred and twelfth verse of Sūrah al-Tawbah: [Narrations] have proven that what is meant by travelling here is jihād2 as has been related by Abū Dāwūd in his ‘Sunan’ from the ḥadīth of Abū Umāmah (رضي الله عنه) that a man said to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم): “O Messenger of Allāh, grant me permission to travel [as a means of worshipping Allāh].” The Messenger of Allāh (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: “The travelling of my ummah is only jihād in the way of Allāh.”3 Then, he [Ibn Kathīr] said: Travelling [as mentioned here] is not what some have understood who believe they are worshipping simply by travelling from one place in the world to another, or to spend time in mountains, caves, and plains. Such [travelling] has not been legislated except in times of social upheaval and religious discord. As Imām al-Bukhārī confirms in the ḥadīth of Abū Saʿīd al-Khudrī (رضي الله عنه) that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: “A time has almost arrived in which the best form of wealth will be to graze cattle at the mountain peaks and valleys [i.e being away from the people], just so that he may escape from the religious trials and tribulations with his dīn [intact].”3

Shaykh Muḥammad Taqī al-Dīn concludes:

The overarching sentiment of the callers to Jamāʿah al-Tabligh is the spread of innovation and ignorance. It is as if they are replying [to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم)] saying: No, O Messenger of Allāh, it is not as you claim. Rather, simply travelling has been legislated as a means of worship without jihād in the path of Allāh [struggling to ensure the word of Allāh is highest in the way shown by the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم)]. Moreover, [according to them], no one shall reach the true essence of this religion without it. Even if one were to engage in acts of worship, whether they be obligatory or voluntary, their dīn will be deficient until they travel with us. This is the very pinnacle of misguidance. Rather, anyone who knows that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) has nullified common travel as being a form of worship in Islām, but still has chosen to confirm it, has indeed openly opposed Allāh and His Messenger. Thus, they will be from among the most humbled.4

2. Destroying the False Claim of the Tablīghī: Shaykh al-Islām Muḥammad ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhāb Harmed Ahl al-Sunnah and Killed “the Martyrs”5

Al-ʿAllāmah Ḥammūd al-Tuwayjirī [d. 1413 AH] said:

This is the wording of the statement of Ḥusayn Aḥmad [one of the tablīghī leaders] maligning Shaykh al-Islām Muḥammad ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhāb (may Allāh, the Most High, have mercy on him]:

‘Know that the matter of Muḥammad ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhāb only became apparent in the beginning of the thirteenth century in Najd [Saudi Arabia]. His creed was corrupt and his views false. Hence, he fell into fighting and killing Ahl al-Sunnah. Thus, he forced them to defame and refute others using his creed and views. He even declared lawful the seizing of their assets, and held the view that in killing them there existed a great reward, save for the people of Ḥijāz [Western Arabia] whom he harmed greatly. He used to revile and insult the pious predecessors and display the most detestable of manners with regards to them. Many of his opponents gained martyrdom on his hands. In reality, he was an oppressive tyrant, war criminal, perpetually engaging in sin. This is the reason why the Arabs reviled him more than the Jews and the Christians.’

Al-ʿAllāmah Muḥammad Taqī al-Dīn al-Hilālī responded:

‘These are the words of a spurned devil, rejector of the truth, champion of falsehood. Allāh has made apparent his lies and clarified to mankind its scandalous nature. For He has blessed the call of Shaykh Muḥammad ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhāb until it spread, circulating and gaining victory in all places. It is completely consistent with the Book [of Allāh] and the Sunnah of His Messenger [may the peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him].

His claim that his call was the cause of harm for the people of Ḥijāz is a blasphemous lie. As the people of Ḥijāz were the ones who prevented those from Najd from performing Ḥajj for twelve years until the victory of Allāh arrived. A war was fought between the people of truth and falsehood. The people of falsehood were defeated in a very short period of time and the country was returned to the people of tawḥīd. This is an incident that I have seen myself.

So, if the eradication of the domes [erect over the surfaces of graves] and the destruction of idols [worshipped besides Allāh] is a means of harm for the polytheists, then they continue to be in a state of harm. Indeed, the destruction of such domed structures and the culling of worship [next to it] is the unadulterated truth brought by the Messenger of Allāh [may the peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him].’

[Shaykh Ḥammūd said:] Then Shaykh Hilālī mentioned the ḥadīth of Abū al-Hayyāj al-Asadī who said: ʿAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib (may Allāh be pleased with him) said to me: ‘Shall I not raise you upon the mission that the Messenger of Allāh [may the peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him] raised me? That I do not leave any raised grave except that it is levelled, and that I leave no likeness [portraying the companion of a grave] except that I have destroyed it.’

Then Shaykh Hilālī said: ‘Thus, if the followers of Shaykh Muḥammad ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhāb fought the polytheists, destroying their idols, then the Messenger of Allāh [may the peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him] did likewise: [Allāh said]:

وَقُلْ جَاءَ الْحَقُّ وَزَهَقَ الْبَاطِلُ ۚ إِنَّ الْبَاطِلَ كَانَ زَهُوقًا

‘And say, “Truth has come, and falsehood has departed. Indeed is falsehood, [by nature], ever bound to depart.’
[Al-Isrāʾ, 17:81]6

‘For it is sufficient shame that such an insult is recorded from [Ḥusayn Aḥmad] against the people of knowledge and īmān, [Allāh said:]

وَسَيَعْلَمُ الْكُفَّارُ لِمَنْ عُقْبَى الدَّارِ

‘And the disbelievers will know for whom is the final home.’
[Al-Raʿd, 13:42]’

3. Refuting the Tablīghiīn: Seeking Intercession Through the Prophets and the Ṣūfī Imams7

Al-ʿAllāmah Ḥammūd al-Tuwayjirī (d. 1413 AH) said:

From among the corrupt creeds mentioned by Muḥammad Aslam with regards to Ḥusayn Aḥmad [tablīghī leader], as elucidated on page 45 of his book ‘al-Shihāb al-Thāqib: ‘Indeed, we issue our invocations using the prophets as interveners and as a means of access. Also, we seek this from the men of the tree of Ṣūfiyyah, Jushtiyyah, and Naqshabandiyyah and other than them from the mashāyikh of this chain.’ Then, he said: ‘As for the Wahhābiyyah8, they do not seek such intervention.’

Muḥammad Taqī al-Din al-Hilālī has refuted this claim in his book ‘al-Sirāj al-Munīr’ on page 26. He says: The people of innovation seek a means of access through physical beings. This means of access they seek is invalid. The ones who uphold the oneness of Allāh seek to access Him by means of His excellent names and His sublime attributes. They seek this access by means of their love for Him and their emulation of His noble Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم). By means of the strife they put forward in making his sharīʿah victorious, and holding steadfast to his Sunnah. For such is the only correct means of seeking access to Allāh as taught by His Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) when he related to us the story of the companions of the cave. Those three men sought access by means of their actions. The first sought this access by means of his righteous treatment of his parents. The second by means of his modesty that prevented him from engaging in fornication. The third by means of the justice and equity he displayed in treatment of one of his workers. This ḥadīth is confirmed in ‘al-Ṣaḥīḥayn’ from the narration of ʿAbdullah ibn ʿUmar (رضي الله عنهما). As for the tree of Ṣūfiyyah, this is non-existent in the Book of Allāh and the Sunnah. Just as it has never been narrated in the biographies of any of the companions or the Tābiʿīn or the imams of jurisprudence. Rather, it is nought but the tree of Zaqqūm: food for the ones who engage in sin. Save only for the ones among them that uphold the oneness of Allāh and follow His Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) [i.e., after making sincere tawbah from this shirk]. For such a person, it may be that Allāh forgives him for the invention of this innovative term.

4. Refuting Jamāʿah al-Tablīgh: Claiming to See the Majestic Throne and Transcendency of the Need for Worship9

Al-ʿAllāmah Ḥammūd al-Tuwayjirī (d. 1413 AH) said:

From among the catastrophes mentioned by Muḥammad Aslam regarding some of the tablīghī leaders is what has been narrated from al-Khawājah ʿUthmān al-Hārūnī who said to one of his subjects Muʿīn al-Dīn al-Jushtī: Look at the sky above you.

I said: So I looked at the sky.

He said: Where are you currently looking?

I said: I look upon the majestic throne.

Then he said: Look at the earth.

So I looked at the earth.

He said: Where has your gaze reached?

I said: It has reached below the dirt.

Then a call was heard from the world of the unseen saying: I have accepted Muʿīn al-Din!

Then, I travelled to Madīnah with my guide to visit the grave of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم). When I came upon the Rawḍah of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم), I offered my salāms to him (صلى الله عليه وسلم).

Then, a sound was heard from inside the rawḍah saying: And peace be upon you O chief of all the mashāyikh on land or upon the sea.

So when this call was issued, ʿUthmān al-Hārūnī said: Excellent! Your work has now concluded.

I say: This fanciful tale is based on falsehood, raving madness, and senseless jabber. From among the most detestable aspects of falsehood it contains is the claim of the lying tablīghī that he was able to see the Majestic Throne and that his gaze was able to reach even that which is below the dirt. Also, from among the ugliest of lies is his claim that a call was issued from the world of the unseen testifying as to his acceptance. Also, detestable is his claim that he heard a call from inside the rawḍah returning the proffered salām and naming him as the chief of all of the mashāyikh in the land or upon the sea.

As for the saying of al-Hārūnī to Muʿīn al-Dīn al-Jushtī: ‘Excellent! Your work has now concluded’, it is apparently proving his belief that Muʿīn al-Dīn no longer requires worship or religious acts of any kind after the issuing of the call he heard from inside the rawḍah. This is from among the claims of the godless who allege that the ones who have come upon true knowledge and complete recognition derive no benefit from acts of worship. They use as evidence to support this the saying of the Most High:

وَاعْبُدْ رَبَّكَ حَتَّىٰ يَأْتِيَكَ الْيَقِينُ

“And worship your Lord until there comes unto you the certainty (i.e. death).”
(Ḥijr, 15:99)

They say its meaning is: Worship your Lord until you attain true knowledge and complete recognition and certainty. If such a thing is attained, then worship is no longer necessary. This was mentioned by Shaykh al-Islām Abū al-ʿAbbās Ibn Taymiyyah (رحمه الله): ‘Some of them may have even claimed: worship until you have attained Ḥāl (condition of overwhelming, encompassing piety according to Ṣūfī ideology). If you attain such a Ṣūfī Ḥāl, you no longer have need for acts of worship! Among those people are those who allege to have attained the said goal of true knowledge and complete recognition. Thus, they make permissible for themselves abandonment of that which is obligatory and perpetration of that which is unlawful. This is disbelief.’ Then, he said: ‘As for their evidencing this claim with the saying of the Most High: “And worship your Lord until there comes unto you the certainty (i.e. death),” it opposes their interpretation rather than supports it. Al-Ḥasan al-Baṣrī said: Indeed, death is the only end-point Allāh has made for the actions of His slaves.’ Then, he recited: “And worship your Lord until there comes unto you the certainty (i.e. death).” This is because ‘certainty’ here means death according to all of the scholars of Islām. As for the claim that it means: Worship your Lord until you attain certainty and then there is no worship after that point—this is complete disbelief according to all of the Imams of the Muslims.’ This is the end of the intended quote and a summary of his words (رحمه الله) taken from pages 417-420 from the eleventh volume of Majmūʿ al-Fatāwá.

Ibn Kathīr said regarding the verse “And worship your Lord until there comes unto you the certainty (i.e. death)”: This noble verse proves that acts of worship, like ṣalāh and its like, are obligatory on every person as long as his intellect remains intact. It has been used as evidence to disprove the view of the godless that the meaning of ‘certainty’ is the attainment of true recognition or knowledge. Such that if one of them should come upon this claimed true recognition, they shall be unburdened of all religious responsibility. This is disbelief, misguidance, and ignorance. For, truly, the prophets (عليهم السلام) and their respective companions were the most knowledgeable of Allāh, superior in their recognition of His rights, attributes, and the glorification He deserves. In addition to this, they were among the most dedicated to His worship. They surpassed mankind in its entirety in the frequency of their acts of worship and their habitual practice of righteous acts. They continued on this path until they met their demise. Thus, ‘certainty’ here means death.’

In this story and in many others that have been narrated from the tablīghī leaders is that which proves their obstinate idiocy and complete intellectual foolhardiness. It acts to prove that Shayṭān has managed to form a firm hold over them, beautifying their actions of falsehood and playing with them to the furthest extent imaginable.

Indeed, Allāh has said:

وَمَن يَكُنِ الشَّيْطَانُ لَهُ قَرِينًا فَسَاءَ قَرِينًا

“And whoever takes Shayṭān (Satan) as an intimate; then what a dreadful intimate he has!”
(al-Nisāʾ, 4:38)

The Most High also said:

وَمَن يَعْشُ عَن ذِكْرِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ نُقَيِّضْ لَهُ شَيْطَانًا فَهُوَ لَهُ قَرِينٌ

“And whosoever turns away (blinds himself) from the remembrance of the Most Beneficent (Allāh) (i.e. this Qurʾān and worship of Allāh), We appoint for him Shayṭān (Satan – devil) to be a Qarīn (an intimate companion) to him.”
(al-Zukhruf, 43:36)

5. Refuting Jamāʿah al-Tablīgh: Blatant Shirk and Refusal to Forbid Evil10

Shaykh Muḥammad Taqī al-Dīn al-Hilālī said:

They [the Jamāʿah al-Tablīgh] are a people—may Allāh guide us and them to His straight path and distance us from the path of the companions of the raging Fire— who believe in some of the Book of Allāh and disbelieve in other parts, although this disbelief is not vocalised on their tongues.

From this is that attempting to change objectionable acts is forbidden according to them. Rather, they claim that they enjoin that which is good but will not forbid that which is evil. One of their leaders told me that he spent a full day and night in a domed structure in which they used to worship others besides Allāh, and that he prayed in the attached mosque five prayers while being fully aware of what was narrated by al-Bukhārī from the ḥadīth of Āʾishah (رضي الله عنها) who said: The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: “May the Curse of Allāh be on the Jews and the Christians for taking the graves of their prophets as mosques”11. [Āʾishah said]: He would caution against what they used to do. For if it was not for that, his grave may have been made open. Except that he feared that it would then have been made a place of worship. Narrated by Umm Ḥabībah and Umm Salamah (رضي الله عنهما) who described to the Messenger of Allāh (صلى الله عليه وسلم) a church they saw in Abbasinya. They mentioned its adornments and the images therein. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: “They are people who, when a pious man among them had died, would erect on his grave a place of worship and draw such images. They are among the most evil creatures according to Allāh.”12

The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) cursed the Jews and the Christians as a way of cautioning his ummah from falling into their actions. Whomever prays next to a grave has indeed taken that grave as a place of worship. For a masjid is simply a place of prostration, regardless of whether a structure has been built in that place or otherwise. So I said to him [the Tablīghī]: How could you have effectively left five prayers? Are you not afraid of the curse of the Messenger of Allāh (صلى الله عليه وسلم) upon the one who does such an act? For the person who leaves a single prayer until its time completely expires is considered a disbeliever according to the consensus of the companions. Read my book ‘The Ruling of the One Who Abandons the Ṣalāh’ which is with the book ‘The Straight Path and Its Evidence.’ He was not able to answer.

If he did answer and decided to spread his secret, he would have said: Indeed, I prayed in that idol as a way of garnering the favour of the polytheists and their acceptance. So leave me to go on an excursion with them such that they are fully aware of my submission to them, never objecting to their way.

So how objectionable is this calamitous call upon its people! It has allowed them to fall into abandoning prayer which is outright disbelief. As for the ṣalāh they pray within these structures erected on graves, they are all absolutely invalid. This is because acceptance of an act of worship can never coincide with a curse falling upon the one carrying out the act.

Furthermore, they have termed correcting that which is objectionable as a form of immersing oneself with that which is of no concern. Rather, it has been termed frivolous excess by them. All the while Allāh, the Most High, has never disjoined enjoining good from forbidding evil in his great Book. Thus, whomever desists from one has indeed desisted from the other. Whoever claims that we have no need to correct that which is objectionable—whether it be in the form of shirk, innovation, or disobedient acts—has indeed falsified the Book of Allāh and the Sunnah. Allāh describes the hypocrites in Sūrah al-Tawbah, verse 67-68:

الْمُنَافِقُونَ وَالْمُنَافِقَاتُ بَعْضُهُم مِّن بَعْضٍ ۚ يَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمُنكَرِ وَيَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَقْبِضُونَ أَيْدِيَهُمْ ۚ نَسُوا اللَّهَ فَنَسِيَهُمْ ۗ إِنَّ الْمُنَافِقِينَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ ‎﴿٦٧﴾ وَعَدَ اللَّهُ الْمُنَافِقِينَ وَالْمُنَافِقَاتِ وَالْكُفَّارَ نَارَ جَهَنَّمَ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا ۚ هِيَ حَسْبُهُمْ ۚ وَلَعَنَهُمُ اللَّهُ ۖ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابٌ مُّقِيمٌ

“The hypocrite men and hypocrite women are of one another. They enjoin what is wrong and forbid what is right and close their hands. They have forgotten Allāh, so He has forgotten them [accordingly]. Indeed, the hypocrites – it is they who are the defiantly disobedient. Allāh has promised the hypocrite men and hypocrite women and the disbelievers the fire of Hell, wherein they will abide eternally. It is sufficient for them. And Allāh has cursed them, and for them is an enduring punishment.”

The Most High said when describing the believers:

وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتُ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَاءُ بَعْضٍ ۚ يَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَيُقِيمُونَ الصَّلَاةَ وَيُؤْتُونَ الزَّكَاةَ وَيُطِيعُونَ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ ۚ أُولَٰئِكَ سَيَرْحَمُهُمُ اللَّهُ ۗ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ ‎﴿٧١﴾‏ وَعَدَ اللَّهُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتِ جَنَّاتٍ تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهَا الْأَنْهَارُ خَالِدِينَ فِيهَا وَمَسَاكِنَ طَيِّبَةً فِي جَنَّاتِ عَدْنٍ ۚ وَرِضْوَانٌ مِّنَ اللَّهِ أَكْبَرُ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ هُوَ الْفَوْزُ الْعَظِيمُ ‎﴿٧٢﴾

“The believing men and believing women are allies of one another. They enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and establish prayer and give zakāh and obey Allāh and His Messenger. Those—Allāh will have mercy upon them. Indeed, Allāh is Exalted in Might and Wise. Allāh has promised the believing men and believing women gardens beneath which rivers flow, wherein they abide eternally, and pleasant dwellings in gardens of perpetual residence; but approval from Allāh is greater. It is that which is the great attainment.”
(Sūrah al-Tawbah, 9: 70-72)

Therefore, one cannot be truly safe from hypocrisy, described with īmān, except by combining between the two.

6. The Foolish Self-Degradation and Major Shirk of the Tablīghī Leadership13

Al-ʿAllāmah Ḥammūd al-Tuwayjirī (d. 1413 AH) said:

Among the foolish, raving madness of the Jamāʿah al-Tablīgh is the statement mentioned by Muḥammad Aslam regarding Shaykh Muḥammad Zakraiyyā al-Kandahlawī al-Sahāranfūrī al-Ḥanafī al-Diyūbandī al-Jushtī al-Naqshabandī, known to them as the ‘fragrant flower of India’ and the ‘blessing of our time’, ’the most senior of all the muḥaddithīn’, and ‘Shaykh of Ḥadīth.’

Muḥammad Aslam said: He is among the most senior scholars of the Diyūband province, the shaykh of all the mashāyikh, the highest ranking authority for the Jamāʿah al-Tablīgh.

Tablīghī Leader Characterises Himself as a Najs Indian Dog

He (Muḥammad Aslam) mentions that he wrote in one of his treatises: If you arrive before the Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم), then say these words to him: An Indian dog sends his salām to you (describing himself as a dog). If you are able to, in the same sitting with utmost respect and manners, after sending ṣalāh and peace on him, say: It is unbefitting for this impure najs to even send his salām on you. However, you are a mercy to everything in existence. This najs (impure one) possesses no recourse but to return to the compassion of your gaze.

I (Shaykh Ḥammūd) say: These foolish words emanate only from a man who has reached the very apex of nonsensical speech and thoughtlessness. It is most befitting for such a person to be considered among the three whose pen has been lifted14. This is because there is no intelligent person that would be pleased for another to say to him: ‘you are a dog’, or ‘you are najs’. As these two attributes are among the most blameworthy of characteristics. There is no intelligent person that could ever be pleased with such a description, much less attach such characteristics to himself. Allāh—the Most High—has mentioned the parable of the cur as one who, after receiving His signs, casts them away, opting instead to follow his own desires. Then, the Most High said:

سَاءَ مَثَلًا الْقَوْمُ الَّذِينَ كَذَّبُوا بِآيَاتِنَا وَأَنفُسَهُمْ كَانُوا يَظْلِمُونَ

“Evil is the likeness of the people who reject Our āyāt (proofs, evidences, verses and signs, etc.), and used to wrong their ownselves.”
(Al-Aʿrāf, 7:177)

Imām Ibn Kathīr on the One Who is Compared to a Dog

Ibn Kathīr explains: That is, evil is the likeness of the one who has been compared to a dog who possesses no regard except for the attainment of nourishment and sexual gratification. Thus, the one who extricates himself from the realm of knowledge and guidance, opting instead to follow his own carnal desires and whims, is most similar to a dog. How contemptible is such a comparison!

As for his referring to himself as najs, Allāh—the Most High—has described the polytheists with the same word, the Most High said:

إِنَّمَا الْمُشْرِكُونَ نَجَسٌ

“Verily, the Mushrikūn (polytheists, pagans, idolaters, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allāh, and in the Message of Muḥammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم)) are Najasun (impure).”
(Al-Tawbah, 9:28)

The first verse mentions the severe blame of the one described by the attributes of a dog. As for the one who refers to himself as a dog, he is even more deserving of this blame and censure.

The second verse indicates the severe blame of the polytheists. As for the one who seeks to resemble them, choosing to describe himself by their attributes, then he is like them. As the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: “Whoever seeks to resemble a people will be from among them.”15 Narrated by Aḥmad, Abū Dāwūd, with authentic chains of narration on the authority of ʿAbdullāh ibn ʿUmar (رضي الله عنهما).

As for his saying: ‘This najs possesses no recourse but to return to the compassion of your gaze,’ we say the following in response: Such a statement is a form of major shirk. As Allāh—the Most High—said to His Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم):

قُلْ إِنِّي لَا أَمْلِكُ لَكُمْ ضَرًّا وَلَا رَشَدًا

“Say: “It is not in my power to cause you harm, or to bring you to the Right Path.””
(Al-Jinn, 72:21)

Ibn Jarīr explains: This is because the One who holds that power is Allāh, the One who possesses sovereignty over everything in existence.

If the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) did not hold the power to harm nor to bring about guidance to the path of righteousness while he (صلى الله عليه وسلم) was still alive, then after his death it is even more befitting that he would not possess such power. With this, it becomes plainly evident that these words of Zakariyyā that specify the compassionate gaze of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) as being his only recourse represents unadulterated major shirk.

7. Illogical Blind Imitation16

Shaykh Muḥammad Taqī al-Dīn al-Hilālī said:

We [the Jamāʿah al-Tablīgh] say, as a group, that blind imitation is obligatory and compulsory. All of the prerequisites set by the pious predecessors for ijtihād [striving to reach the truth in an issue of Islamic jurisprudence in light of the Qurʾān and the Sunnah] are completely lost in the scholars of today. We also believe that legislated sufism is the only methodology that would facilitate attachment to Allāh, tasting the sweetness of īmān, and experiencing its characteristics. Due to this, any man or group that opposes us in these two matters is certainly and truthfully not from among our ranks.

Abū ʿUmar ibn ʿAbd al-Barr said concerning the corruption of blind imitation in his book ‘Jāmiʿ Bayān al-ʿIlm wa Faḍlih’ after mentioning his chain of narrators to Ibn Masʿūd (رضي الله عنه) that he used to say: “Go forth as either a scholar or a teacher, and do not depart as a characterless yes-man between these states.” Then he mentions with his chain of narrators to Ibn Masʿūd (رضي الله عنه): “In the time of ignorance, we would label the characterless yes-man as a person who, when an invitation to food is issued, he would bring others with him. Such a person exists among you today: he is the one who acquires his religion from men, that is, the blind imitator.” He [Ibn ʿAbd al-Barr] continues clarifying the blame associated with blind imitation until he says on page 142 of the second volume:

A group among the jurists and adopters of opinion have used intellectual, opinionated arguments in the justification of blind imitation. Among the most convincing of these arguments that I have seen is the saying of al-Muzanī (رحمه الله) whose wording I bring here.

He says: It should be said to the blind imitator, do you possess any evidence that supports the ruling you have made?

If he says yes, then blind imitation has been successfully falsified. This is because it is this evidence in actuality that has stipulated the issued ruling, not blind imitation.

If, instead, he says: I have issued this ruling without any evidence.

Then it should be said to him: Why would you allow blood to be spilled, or make permissible sexual relations between two people, or allow the consumption of wealth (i.e. legal rulings) while Allāh has made all of these things ḥarām except with a clear evidence. He—the Exalted in Might—says: “What warrant do you possess for this?” meaning what evidence do you have for this?

If he says: I know that the ruling I have issued is correct even if I do not know the evidence for it because I have blindly imitated a great scholar who only speaks in consideration of the evidence which is obscured from me.

Then it should be said to him: If it is permissible for you to blindly imitate your teacher who is a scholar and does not speak except with evidence that has been obscured from your purview, then should you not also be blindly imitating the teacher of your teacher because he also would only speak in accordance with the evidence which, here, is hidden from your teacher. Just as your teacher does not speak except in accordance with evidence that is hidden from yourself.

If he says: Okay, then he would have abandoned the blind imitation of his teacher for the blind imitation of his teacher’s teacher. Then, this could be applied to those teachers that are even higher than that going up the chain of teachers until finally arriving at the companions of the Messenger of Allāh (صلى الله عليه وسلم). For if he was to refuse this fact, it would represent a clear contradiction.

It would then be said to him: How could you allow the blind imitation of one who is younger than you and possesses less knowledge, while seeing it impermissible to blindly imitate the seniors who possess a great deal of knowledge? This is a clear contradiction.

If he answers: This is because my teacher, even if he is younger, has combined all of the knowledge of those above him in addition to his own knowledge. Thus, he is most insightful both in terms of the opinions he adopts and as far as that which he chooses to leave.

Then it should be said to him: Then the ones who have learnt from your teacher would also be considered as having combined all of the knowledge of your teacher and those above him in addition to their own knowledge. Hence, you should blindly imitate them instead of your teacher. Also, you yourself are more deserving of blind imitation then your own teacher because you have combined the knowledge of your teacher and those above him in addition to your own knowledge.

If he then repeats his previous statement, then bring attention to the fact that, according to him, the most junior scholars and those who narrate from them are more deserving of blind imitation than the companions of the Messenger of Allāh (صلى الله عليه وسلم). Just as his colleagues should be blindly imitating their own followers, and their followers and so on analogising his logic would mean that the higher categories of teacher must follow those beneath them until the end of the chain.

Sufficient in detestability and corruption is any stance taken that would lead to such a conclusion.

Muḥammad Taqī al-Dīn comments: As for their complete rejection of ijtihād, it is a mistake from them and shows their complete ignorance. The purpose of ijtihād is to settle arguments and debate if there is no clear passage [from the Qurʾān and the Sunnah] which a judge may use, in which case he judges between the two arguing parties in accordance with his own opinion while saying as Ibn Masʿūd (رضي الله عنه) said: “If this ruling is correct, then it is from Allāh. If it is a mistake, then it is from myself.” If, afterwards, it should become clear that his judgement in the matter was incorrect, he would rescind his ruling and issue a ruling in accordance with the truth.

As for matters of creed and acts of worship, there is no place for ijtihād in them except by way of judging one opinion to be correct among the others in the issues in which there is a difference of opinion. As Allāh—the Glorified, the High—is not worshipped with innovation. Rather, He is worshipped with that which He has legislated through the sayings of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم), his actions and with that which he has silently approved. Anyone who is not a Muftī or a judge does not have to perform ijtihād. Rather, he must only follow what has been revealed unto the Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم). For it is sufficient for him and a curative measure [from ignorance]. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said: “A party among my ummah shall remain upon the truth. They are unharmed by those who oppose them until the order of Allāh is issued.”17

So what do the callers to blind imitation have to say concerning this authentic ḥadīth? How will they interpret it? Is the party among this ummah who remains upon the truth these ignorant, blind imitators? How do you know this party to be upon the truth? How could they claim that the entire Muslim ummah is ignorant of the Book of Allāh and the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allāh (صلى الله عليه وسلم), not a single one of them knows anything from their revelation? This is none other than a misguided straying, far away from the straight path.


[1] Al-Sirāj al-Munīr: 7
[2] Translator note: The jihād being referred to here is one that has fulfilled the prerequisites set in the sharīʿah, performed at its prescribed time under an appointed leader to make the word of Allāh highest according to the Sunnah of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم).
[3] Authentic: Narrated by Abū Dāwūd: 2486. Graded authentic by al-Albānī in ‘Ṣaḥīḥ al-Jāmiʿ’:2093.
[4] Authentic: Narrated by al-Bukhārī: 19.
[5] Al-Qawl al-Balīgh 76-7
[6] Here reference is made to the recitation of this verse by the Prophet [may the peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him] at the conquest of Makkah during the removal of the idols that used to be housed within the Kaʿbah.
[7] Al-Qawl al-Balīgh: 179-180
[8] Translator note: Wahhābī is a name used by the people of innovation to describe the ones they falsely claim blindly follow the daʿwah of Shaykh al-Islām Muḥammd ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhāb. The mashāyikh have refuted this claim and clarified its reason. Shaykh ʿAbd al-Muḥsin al-ʿAbbād said: “The daʿwah of Shaykh Muḥammd ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhāb (رحمه الله) is built upon following the Book of Allāh and the Sunnah, while while holding fasting to the way of the pious predecessors from the companions of the Messenger of Allāh (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and those who follow them in goodness. He did not invent a new way that opposed this methodology. Considering this, his daʿwah and those who benefit from his call should not be described as “wahhābi”. This is because associating oneself to a particular person is only applicable if the person in question originates a new way. However, he has not brought a way that is new. Rather, those who have not been guided to the upright, straight path aim to slander those who benefit from his call by naming them Wahhābiyyah. All for the sake of alienating others from benefiting from his blessed daʿwah that was built upon the Book of Allāh, the Sunnah, and that which the pious predecessors of this ummah had adopted.” See Manhaj al-Shaykh Muḥammd ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhāb fī al-Taʾlīf by Shaykh ʿAbd al-Muḥsin al-ʿAbbād: 5-6
[9]  Al-Qawl al-Balīgh: 108-110
[10] Al-Sirāj al-Munīr: 10-11
[11] Authentic: narrated by al-Bukhārī: 435-436 and Muslim: 531.
[12] Authentic: narrated by al-Bukhārī: 417.
[13] Al-Qawl al-Balīgh: 127-129
[14] The Shaykh is being facetious here, referencing the ḥadīth: “The pen is lifted for three: the sleeping person until he awakens, the child until he experiences a nocturnal emission (reaches puberty), and the mentally retarded person until he attains mental clarity.” Narrated by al-Nasāʾī: 3432, al-Tirmidhī: 1423, and Abū Dāwūd: 4402. Graded authentic by Shaykh al-Albānī in Ṣaḥīḥ al-Jāmiʿ: 3512.
[15] Authentic: narrated by Aḥmad 2: 50 and 92 and Abū Dāwūd: 4031. Graded authentic by Shaykh al-Albānī in Ghāyat al-Marām: 109.

[16] Al-Sirāj al-Munīr: 21-23
[17] Authentic: narrated with many wordings by al-Bukhārī 9:125 and Muslim: 1920, 1924. See also ‘Ṣaḥīḥ al-Jāmiʿ al-Ṣaghīr wa Ziyādatih’ 2:1219 by Shaykh al-Albānī for a collection of all the wordings of this ḥadīth.

Published: July 5, 2023
Edited: September 17, 2023


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