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Update! Pledge of Mutual Respect and Cooperation

Update 9.25.07: List of signatories missed in the first issuance, added below. .

In the Name of Allāh, the Ever-Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy

All Praise is due to Allāh, and may the salutations of Allāh be upon the Beloved Messenger.

Alḥamdulillāh, a very blessed and important step was recently taken by a number of du`aat and students of knowledge in the Western world. This was done in order to achieve a more cooperative spirit and foster a greater degree of harmony amongst Sunni Muslims. A mention of this momentous event was made in another MM post here.

The attached 'Pledge of Mutual Respect and Cooperation', signed by people of diverse theological backgrounds, all of whom have historically used the label of Ahl al-Sunnah (or 'Sunni' for short), is intended to be a guideline for mutual interaction (a modus vivendi of sorts), primarily for themselves, and also for those who might look to them for guidance.

Primarily, it states that:

- The fundamental issues of creed, as embodied in the famous Hadeeth of Jibreel, are simple, and it is not a requirement of Islam that every single Muslim be cognizant of the more abstruse issues of theology.

- The situation and times we live in warrants an even more concerted effort to achieve unity amongst Muslims, and avoid splintering to the greatest extent possible.

- Disputations of more complex issues of theology need to be conducted by people who are trained in these sciences, and not by lay-Muslims. Additionally, even when such discussions take place, they should be done in accordance with proper Islamic etiquette.

- No charges of takfeer should be labeled against other Sunni groups or scholars, and neither should the motives or character of those who profess alternate theologies within Sunni Islam be impugned due to their allegiance to that theology.

- Individual Muslims should, to the greatest extent possible, respect the local scholars of the community, and not engage in rash actions that might polarize the community or lead to further strife. There are proper ways of handling differences of opinion – even theological ones.

- Lay-Muslims, especially the youth (i.e., college level) should avoid getting passionately involved in intra-Sunni polemics, whether on campus or online, as this inevitably leads to the splintering of an already fragile local community.

- At an individual level, all Muslims should strive to come closer to Allāh through increased acts of worship, and at a community level they should come together in order to counter any and all negative and false images of Islam.

The last paragraph is also an important disclaimer. All of the parties that have signed on to this document identify themselves as being from the tradition of Sunni Islam. And it is an undeniable historical reality that this label has been used by a number of diverse, and at times contradictory, theological groups, for the last thousand years of Islam. I personally have no qualms considering these groups within the broad fold of Sunni Islam. What combines these various strands (for example, the veneration of all of the Companions of the Prophet salla Allahu alayhi wa sallam, and a sincere attempt to understand and implement the Prophetic Sunnah as preserved in the Sunni canonical traditions such as the Saheehs Bukhāri and Muslim, amongst other issues) is much greater than what disunites them, especially vis-à-vis other groups. That being said, there are indeed, as the document states, some serious and legitimate differences within these various strands. And it is my personal conviction that the purest theology is that of the first three generations of Islam; it is these generations that we should seek to emulate. The pious predecessors of these generations freed themselves from the dialectic theology known as the science of kalaam, and from the theological positions that were derived from this science. And this is something that I too hold to, and consider Sunni Islam at that pure and blessed stage to have been nothing other than the beliefs of these pious predecessors. It is important to stress, however, that the purpose of this pledge is not to vindicate or justify one ideology over another. These differences have existed within Sunni Islam (in the broad sense of the term) for the last twelve centuries, and the fact of the matter is that, barring some sort of Divine Intervention, it does not appear that these difference will leave us any time soon. Therefore there needs to be a more pragmatic and realistic attempt at cooperation, one that retains our traditionalisms and respects our historical traditions, yet at the same time takes into account the context of our current political and social situation.

No doubt there will be those who will find fault with this agreement. Some might read in phrases or ideas that are not present. Others will not be satisfied with the wording of the document, viewing it as either too liberal and encompassing, or too narrow and strict. But it is not meant to satisfy everyone, for that is not its purpose (and nor is it a feasible goal!). Rather, the document is nothing more than an expression of a shared conviction that all the signatories feel very strongly about. Those who disagree have the right to do so – it is not being forced on anyone. But it is hoped from those who look up to some of the signatories and take knowledge from them, that they might take an example from this collective stance and be more proactive with other groups and organizations. Having said that, there will always be extremisms on all sides, especially amongst over-zealous, under-experienced youth. What is desired, though, is that such extremism not find a voice amongst authentic and respected scholarship.

On a personal note, I am very happy that Allāh blessed me to be a part of this process from its very inception. Although I am very passionate about the specific theological doctrines that I hold to be correct (and all those whom I've had the privilege to teach can attest to that), I believe that there is a time, a place, an audience and a methodology for dealing with such issues. And I also believe that such issues need to be put into perspective, taking into account our local, national, and international situation. Even if I disagree with some specific theological doctrines of other signatories, I am proud to call all of them my brothers in faith; I am always honored to be in their company; I am eager to further my relationship with them; I sense a genuine spirit of Islamic brotherhood whilst amongst them; I wish the best for them and their da`wah; I am desirous to benefit from their wisdom and knowledge; and I consider myself the least amongst them in piety and taqwa.

In this blessed month of Ramadhan, I pray that this pledge helps in bringing about a renewed sense of optimism, and fosters greater unity, amongst us all. No doubt other steps need to be taken, but insha Allāh this is a blessed and necessary first step.

Yasir Qadhi
Download document – Pledge of Mutual Respect and Cooperation (pdf)

Please also see AE's background post

Co-signers include (MM's on-board Islamic Specialists highlighted):

Abdelrahman Helbawi, Abdul Karim Khalil, Abdullah Adhami, Abdurraheem Green, Abdur-Rahman ibn Yusuf Mangera, Abu Aaliyah Surkheel Sharif, Abu Eesa Niamatullah, Aisha Faleh AlThani,, Asma Mirza, Cheikhna B. Bayyah, Dawood Yasin, Ebadur Rahman, Faraz Rabbani, Fuad Nahdi, Gul Muḥammad, Haitham al-Haddad, Hamza Yusuf, Hasan al-Banna, Ibrahim Osi-Efa, Jihad Hashim Brown, M. Abdul Latif Finch, M. Afifi al-Akiti, Mehdi Kader, Mokhtar Maghroui, Muḥammad Alshareef, Muḥammad Ash-Shaybani ,Muḥammad ibn Adam, Omar Qureshi, S. Abdal-Hakim Jackson, Shamira Chothia Ahmed, Siddique Abdullah, Suhaib Webb, Tahir Anwar, Talal Al-Azem, Tanveer Hussain , Tawfique Chowdhury, Usama Canon, Usama Hasan, Walead Mosaad, Yahya Rhodus, Yasir Qadhi, and Zaid Shakir.

UPDATE to SIGNATORIES: The following names were missed from the original list of signatories and will be likely added in the next update: Yaser Birjas, Muḥammad Faqih, Waleed Basyouni

Related:

al-bukhari alhamdulillah allah mohammad mohammed muhammad

About Yasir Qadhi

Yasir Qadhi is someone that believes that one's life should be judged by more than just academic degrees and scholastic accomplishments. Friends and foe alike acknowledge that one of his main weaknesses is ice-cream, which he seems to enjoy with a rather sinister passion. The highlight of his day is twirling his little girl (a.k.a. "my little princess") round and round in the air and watching her squeal with joy. A few tid-bits from his mundane life: Sh. Yasir has a Bachelors in Hadith and a Masters in Theology from Islamic University of Madinah, and a PhD in Islamic Studies from Yale University. He is an instructor and Dean of Academic Affairs at AlMaghrib, and the Resident Scholar of the Memphis Islamic Center.

196 comments

  1. mash Allah, may Allah bless you all, ustadh Yasir, ustadh Hamza Yusuf, and Shaykh Abdullah bin Bayyah.

    this statement is something I’m personally happy to endorse and recognize, as a layman, the implications and responsibility of. Something I’ve waited a long time to hear and which would be welcome to a great number of mosques, which should be the houses of Allah and dhikr, not of ikhtilaf (argument) and fitna (evil chaos).

    May Allah guide and help all of us to recognize those truths and bases for reasonable and honorable co-existence, and strengthen us to achieve those aims of daw’ah and internal bolstering of the community, ‘cleaning our own dirty laundry,’ which waited out the last decade as internecine quarrels sapped our collective energy.

    As the Prophet said in a longer hadith: “You will suffer from ‘wahn’ (fatigue)… and this will have two roots, love of the dunya and trembling at death.” – and: “I don’t fear for you poverty, rather I fear for you wealth, that you will strike at each other’s necks in desire for this world (dunya).” aw qama qalahu

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  2. Brilliant.

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  3. During aqeedah 102 in NJ Sheikh Yasir Qadhi gave a pretty lengthy and passionate appeal to the students to the effect of this post. May Allah bless him for that, those wise words still resonate in my mind whenever I see the evil of asabiyah spring forth over and over in Islamic dialouges.
    The problem existed for a while and then it became more apparent and alhamdulillah the leaders became more aware who are now undertaking concrete steps to minimize this evil. The pressure is on them to make this more than just PR and be sincere to this pledge so that it becomes visible to their students and a reflection of their teachings.
    I think all institutions should have “disclaimers” in their classes as we had in NJ to give their students the broader perspective. May Allah help them in the good they undertake.

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  4. Maa shaa Allaah!

    I just read this on Imaam Suhaibs Webb blog too

    Baarak Allaahu feek

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  5. Alhamdulillah this is great news. May Allah accept this great declaration and may it be the means to bring everyone together in common purpose. Amin.

    wa s-salam, Yahya Birt

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  6. One Sentence:

    “Unique Array of Co-Signers”

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  7. Unique and beautiful.
    May Allah make the statement and ITS EFFECT blessed and honorable in spirit and action

    jazakumAllahkhair to all the Shayookh and Sh. Ibn al-Bayyah.

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  8. May Allah put His baraka in this humble effort. Ameen.

    Yeah I remember your talk at LightuponLight Toronto shaykh and I remember your deep reply to my question on Islam’s future in the West. Alhamdulillah, good to see these precautions being taken.

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  9. Ma sha’ Allaah, this is extremely beautiful. May Allaah bless these actions and make them acceptable, and I hope this methodology of da’wa extends from the West to the East.

    Wouldn’t that be miraculous?

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  10. This took real humility and courage. Alhamdulillah.

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  11. Salam :D

    It’s about time!

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  12. mashaaAllah- and what a beautiful time for it, Ramadan..may Allah swt accept this pledge and unite all of us and bless the ummah and give us strength. Barak Allah feekum wa feena wa fil muslimeen. ameen.

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  13. A bit unrelated here, but why don’t you come up with a post tipping Muslim bloggers?

    At the risk of sounding like advertising, here is my weak effort-
    http://wishsubmission.wordpress.com/2007/09/18/tips/

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  14. as-salamu `alaykum,

    This is very nice, ma sha’ Allah, and may Allah reward all the signatories. However, aside from these prominent figures extending olive branches to each other in such a public manner, I hope they will also become just as accommodating (if not moreso) towards the common people with whom they are at ideological variance, insha’ Allah.

    Let’s hope for the best, insha’ Allah. This is a positive step.

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  15. May Allah Bless the signatories, Bless this effort, and Unite all the Muslims in His Service, ameen!

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  16. so do all the mashaikh in the US know about this pledge?

    I was looking for Sheikh Husain Abdul Sattar’s(sacredlearning.org) name and dint see it.

    may Allah swt Guide us all to what is the truth and keep us firm upon it forever. Ameen

    Verily only Allah swt knows, and we know not.

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  17. May Allah guide us all to His Path.

    I’ve seen a few unity agreements in my time. Nothing of this size though.

    Let’s see how this plays out.

    May Allah shower all of us with His Blessings in this month and show all of us the Light of His Straight Path.

    “And Allah, the One free of all defects, does not leave any time without a people who preserve this Sharee’ah, rebutting the people of falsehood and explaining the mistakes of those making errors.”
    (Al-Muntaqan-Nafees min Talblees Iblees).

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  18. Yay.

    Now can we go eat some butterscotch and chocolate Häagen-Dazs ice cream at 2am? I’m hungry!

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  19. There is not harmony, nor peace without respect. may Allah make this a simple yet strong step towards a true islamic community full of respect to all.

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  20. masha allah…

    what a significant move and a needed one indeed…i hope allah swt shower his blessings upon this group…i also anticipate and hope this group of ulemaa to be the front line to defend islam and muslims in the west..

    jazakum allah khair

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  21. in a general sense i feel cooperation is needed between all muslims and humans.

    I see no reason for a special pleade to be signed in order to enjoin cooperation on righteousness.

    Thus, i see no value in this signed document becuase it still causes confusion amongst the people. What exactly do you mean by ‘sunni’… if it you mean ‘non-shia’ then make that as explicit as possible, because the ash’ari’s and maturidis are not sunni in the sense of ‘firqatun-najiyah’ unless that belief has changed amongst the ‘salafi’ signatories…

    wAllahu ‘alim

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  22. Asalaamu Alaaikum,

    Indeed we do need to stop division between us…

    But Insha’Allah I will read the actual document (pact), and take my time with my decision.

    jazaakAllah Khair for the post Sheikh,

    Wa’alaykum Asalaam

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  23. I see this document creating more splits, as time will tell. An obvious result of lack of communication (and cooperation amongst yourselves!).

    More later, but let’s put this contract to acid test:

    Yasir, are Ash’aris heretics?

    A three or two letter answer would end the dilemma, iA. Not a paragraph, but just ‘yes’ or ‘no’ would suffice. JK

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  24. Abu Zubair,

    To be honest I am amused and somewhat tickled by your constant prodding to get me to say what you want.

    With all due respect to you akhi, I must also say I find it ridiculous and somewhat insulting that you – who apparently are completely unaware of the theology that I’ve taught directly to over four thousand students in the U.K., U.S.A, Canada and Australia (and all blessings are due to Allah alone), not to mention to countless thousands of others via Islamic satellite stations, and who apparently also seems to have forgotten all the published works that I’ve written – that you now come and wish to ‘test’ my theology. Had you been aware of my dawah, or even bothered to once again look at any work of mine (none of which I’ve withdrawn from or rescinded), I don’t think you’d be asking these questions.

    The theology that I hold dearly to is as clear as the light of day – its in ALL my works, and very apparent in the classes I teach. The last of these classes, for your infrormation, dealt with the topic of Asma wa al-Sifaat upon the methodology of the earliest generations, and a detailed refutation of the beliefs of the modern mutakalimun, from their usool and furu’. It explained *why* the Asharis and Maturides held the doctrines they did, where they came from, and how to correct their misunderstandings. It was taught to over six hundred and fifty students in Toronto. To the best of my knowledge, there exists no material like it in English. (Some of the comments above are from those who attended that very class.)

    If you are unaware of my dawah then you have no need or right to make assumptions or issue public challenges.

    I suppose the main difference between us is what I perceive to be your sensationalist and melodramatic style. There are gentler and wiser ways of preaching the truth. Perhaps another difference is that even if I believe that group to be incorrect in some aspects of its theology, I am not as harsh upon them as I perceive you to be. The current situation that we live in dictates this. I just don’t see any wisdom in charging forth and labeling the way you do. I believe there are wiser and subtler ways of expressing the truth. And, if you read the very comments I wrote in my post above, and in this one, it is extremely clear what my position is.

    But, if you wish to purposely not connect the dots and cause fitna, then words better than mine can also be distorted, but only by a specific group of people.

    In any case, you may assume and label as you please. The message I have given is clear to those who are sincere. Hence, I see no point in continuing this discussion from my side.

    Wa salaam

    Yasir

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  25. I’d like to know who the 2 sisters are: Sr Aisha and Sr Asma?

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  26. Yasir, please do not make this personal. No one is insulting anyone. I was not testing your theology. Read my previous comment. I was testing the document you signed (and it failed the acid test). It wasn’t to find out what you believe, as that is al-hamdulillah very clear. It was only to find out whether you are still able to express those views unhindered as a result of your signature; or whether being signatory now prevents you from stating those beliefs openly and explicitly. I am not challenging your da’wah, because I never had anything against you personally or even what you teach. And not everyone who disagrees with you is necessarily, unwise, melodramatic, ill-intentioned, bent on making fitna. No one is distorting your words or even attempting to. (Don’t you remember only recently, I was the only one defending your lecture against a barrage of criticisms?:) ) No one is here to label you or anyone else, and I believe we are all sincere here.

    Cut out the personal stuff, dear brother. I have been personally attacked openly quite a few times, only months or weeks before there was ever a talk about this pact. But I couldn’t care less if the critic isn’t brave enough to tell me straight to my face. You should be glad that I am always forthright with these issues and I state how I feel in my heart leaving nothing to be said in private to anyone else. Others obviously have a different way of dealing with things.

    Back to the previous question; the question is merely about classification and categorisation, and not about labelling Ash’aris as heretics with the intention to insult them. Just like the Kuffar are called kuffar, since this a shar’i-Quranic terminology to refer to all the non-Muslims. Ahl al-Bid’a, or ‘heretics’, as you well know, is another shar’i terminology to refer to all those who are not Sunnis. It is only to do with classification and has nothing to do with sensationalism as you suggested.

    And if you insist that the term ‘heretics’ is too sensationalist, how about describing the Ash’aris as non-Sunnis? Just as many of us describe the kuffar simply as non-Muslims in order not to offend them? Does your contract allow you to state the truth you believe in, in its most inoffensive form?

    This is the question that needs answering.

    Regarding AE’s comment on his blog: ‘As for those who haven’t signed it yet: there is no conspiracy theory and no-one has been left out’.

    This is false. All those whom I have spoken to so far from the students of knowledge from Makkah, Madina and England (and at least one I know of in the US) were never asked to sign this, or in the cases that they were informed about it, they declined to sign. The problem is that amongst all the brothers, I seem to be the most vocal of them all with respect to these issues, whereas everyone else agrees with me in private yet fails to support me publicly giving various excuses. I am sure Yasir can tell you all about it since he was one of those who would pat me on the back, only a couple of years ago, for debating with these ‘elders’ on a certain list.

    Once again, I would like to emphasise, in case I am misunderstood again, I am all for cooperation with the UFOs, not to mention our Ash’aris brothers in faith. My issue, (rather, our issue), here is not cooperation, because as I had imagined, and as it was suggested by AE, it is all about belittling the differences between Sunnis and heretics and considering them all Sunnis. The contract only confirmed our fears. Proof? Brother Yasir’s inability to state explicitly what he believes. To be honest, even if he could state ‘yes, they are non-Sunnis’ that would be more than enough to dispel the misunderstanding this vague contract has produced. But his silence speaks volumes, not to mention that it runs contrary to the pact he has with Allah:

    “when Allah took a covenant from those who were given the Scripture, [saying], “You must make it clear to the people and not conceal it.” But they threw it away behind their backs and exchanged it for a small price. And wretched is that which they purchased.”

    Whatever the case, there is no reason to run away from a dialogue. Surely, if people are so willing to have a dialogue and show brotherly love and respect to those whom they consider to be heretics in private, they can show more brotherhood, love, consideration, unity and cooperation towards those whom they consider to be their true Sunni brothers privately and publicly.

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  27. Assalamualaikum,

    I would like to second the concerns raised by Yasir in his post above, not about Abu Zubair since I don’t know much about him, however about many of our *salafi* brothers and sisters who have expressed concern about why I am a signatory to this document as well.

    It seems that there is some sort of self-righteous attitude amongst many of our brothers and sisters and some sort of thought that they are perhaps the last vanguards of a pure and pristine dawah and we who have graduated some time ago, have some how forgotten the lessons we had learnt in our days in Medinah. This I find really offensive and if not purely arrogant.

    I would like these chaps to come down to the grass roots dawah that we are involved in, touching the lives of thousands of students in three continents around the world like AlKauthar is doing (and all praise is to Allah alone) and learn from the ground that which their cosy homes and coushy keyboards and tit for tat tussles on mailing lists will not teach.

    In my days working as a doctor in training these days, I have learnt an important lesson. I have learnt firsthand that theory is something and by Allah, practise and reality at the patient’s bed is something else. There is a different sence of urgency, a different perception of reality, a different feeling of ability and a different feeling of prepardeness to work to help the Ummah. I think a person in his intern/house officer years learns nearly 10 times more than he does in theory years. There is no one to humble a doctor more, then a patient and his disease. I dare say this is the same for Islamic dawah as well. I would urge these brothers and overzealous sisters to come down to the grass roots individual dawah and humble themselves. Be involved in this global way in the dawah scene which I and many of the signatories to the document are involved in and then comment.

    It is good and well that they are involved in some dawah here and there, perhaps a website here or there, perhaps a tv program here or there, or perhaps a trip to the lands of the non-Muslims in the Summer to teach a course here and there (and may Allah increase them in their ability to do more) – my problem is not that they are doing this little since everyone’s circumstances are different. However, the problem is that they have somehow appeased themselves that they are doing enough to give them a good idea of whats happening on the ground – but they have no idea of how the world of the Muslim ummah presents to I, Yasir and the rest of the signatories on the document who travel for dawah widely and see the Muslim world in a very different light. Atleast have respect, if not then empathy and if not then atleast have shame. If not, then do as you wish.

    As far as I am concerned, I am convinced that the state of dawah that we are in, with our religion being insulted at every second article and our Prophet at every second cartoon editorial, the very future existence of muslims minorities at question and our own muslim countries being erroded day by day through the silent work of missionaries – it then falls upon the able, to unite in a manner and upon a platform that is possible to unite on, to present a more cohensive front to the intellectual, political and media onslaught on our way of life and our values and ideals. For too long we have been reactionary, now is the time to be proactive.

    Tawfique Chowdhury

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  28. I know this may seem a silly thing to ask in the face of the seriousness of this issue, but… who exactly is br. Abu Zubair/ al-Harrani?

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  29. Br Tawfique: whilst you stated that this comment as not directed to me, I would like to respond.

    I appreciate and fully agree with your main point about the importance of grass roots da’wah and in co-operating with not only Asharis, or those signatories to the pact, by HTs, Deobandis, Tablighis, Mu’tazila (modernists), even the Shi’a and indeed non-Muslims, in the defence of Muslims and Islam. Those who are aware, will know that I continually encourage and support such efforts. I believe I am better aware of many of these issues (with regards to civil liberties at least) than many other of our ‘Salafi’ brothers, more forthcoming in my support for such efforts, and in touch with brothers who are dedicating their time to this, and co-operating with all Muslims and non-Muslims alike in this regard. It pains me often to be here and feel I am prevented from opportunities of doing this work, and engaging in the way that you, Yasir or many others do – for that reason I have been very eager to return and participate in all this work, and far more than that.

    However, what I fail to understand is why there is a conflict in the above and holding firm to our beliefs and principles; why is it not possible for us to co-operate with other Muslims or non-Muslims, without diluting our principles, or being prevented from openly and explicitly stating our beliefs? ‘Salafi’ Muslims have worked for example with HTs (Asharis) and even Shi’a in the UK (e.g. the Unity March in 2005) but never claimed that they were also from Ahlus-Sunnah (in its specific sense). In fact, their beliefs were never even discussed. Ibn Taymiyyah fought alongside the Asha’irah in the defence of Islam, against the invading Tatar, yet this did not stop him from writing works against the Asharis before and after the invasion. Why should the two be mutually exclusive? This is the crux of our disagreement.

    Finally, I do understand why you consider it offensive or arrogant for people who are distant from the reality you are facing, to say that you have forgotten what you’ve studied in Madinah etc etc. But I would remind you that both you and Yasir, whilst in Madinah, said the same thing about others engaged in da’wah in the West, saying that they were not firmly grounded in knowledge and had never studied properly – and I personally at the time felt that was arrogant myself. I have never looked at these issues in terms of who has studied, or under whom, to what extent – I examined the validity of their arguments. Moreover, it should also be considered that there are brothers in the West, engaged in similar work, who do not agree with the pact and would not be signatories to it.

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  30. Tawfique Chowdhury

    Abu Zubair, if you would like to maintain respect for your brothers, then carry on this discussion offline.

    It is very clear you are jumping the band wagon and have not yet clarified with us properly and you seem to be reading through the lines and clealry misunderstanding Yasir’s post. Calm down. You are welcome to email your concerns and speak to me and I am more than willing to clarify things to you from our perspective.

    I am not willing and will not carry on an online tussle with anyone.

    Tawfique

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  31. Tawfique Chowdhury

    From Ibn Uthaimeen rahimahullah, in his book: The book of knowledge, he says:

    “From among the most important disciplines which are obligatory for the student of knowledge to possess is verification. Verification in transmitting news and verification in passing judgement. So, if information is transmitted, then it is imperative to verify it’s authenticity from the one whom it is being transmitted. So, if information is transmitted then it is imperative to verify it’s authenticity from the one whom it is being transmitted. If its is authenticated, and a religious verdict is issued, then quite possibly the information you have heard may be based upon a principle which you are unaware of, leading you to pass judgement that the religious verdict is a mistake whilst in reality it is not a mistake!

    So what is the remedy for such a situation?
    The remedy is that you must call the one to whom this news is attributed and say to him: “such and such has been transmitted on your authority, is this correct?” Then, discuss the issue with him. It could be that your disagreement and subsequent alienation of him was due to what you heard which was alarming, because you do not know the reason for that which has been transmitted.
    It is said: “if the reason is known, then there is not alarm.” So, it is imperative to firstly verify the information and religious verdict, thereafter, call the one from whom it is being transmitted and ask him: “has this been authenticated or not?” Then discuss it with him; Either it will be that he is upon the truth and that which is correct, so you turn to it, or that which you are upon is the truth so he will turn to it.

    Also tathabbut is an important matter because the transmitters sometimes have evil intentions. They deliberately transmit that which aims to discredit the transmission; sometimes they do not have evil intentions, but nevertheless they understand a matter contrary to that which was intended. Because of this it is obligatory to seek tathabbut. So if the chain of narration serves to verify that which is transmitted, you arrive at a level of discussion with the one from whom it is being transmitted, before you pass judgement on the statement that it is a mistake or not. This is because it may quite possibly become clear to you after the discussion, that the truth is really with the one from whom the statement is transmitted.
    In conclusion if a statement is transmitted on the authority of such-and-such and you feel it is wrong, then follow the following three steps, in order:
    1 – Verify the authenticity of the narration;
    2 – Look into the issue to ascertain the correct ruling, and if it is correct then support and uphold the position of the one from whom the narration is transmitted. However, if you find it is wrong, then proceed to step 3;
    3 – Telephone the one from whom the narration is transmitted and discuss the issue with him calmly and respectfully.

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  32. Dear brother Tawfeeq, it seems you have made a number of assumptions here. Questioning the public statements the brothers have made and signed is not akin to disrespecting them. I have not joined any bandwagon, and if I have, then I am, indeed, the driver.

    The matter should have been dealt with in private if it was kept private. But we broke away from our private dialogues when we decided to do things by ourselves without consultation, and hence, this came as a surprise to us all. Besides, my first comments were only in response to AE’s post. Yasir then mentioned the agreement. And now agreement is there for us all to read. It is authentically attributed to you all and in many places the meaning is clear and other places, vague. But that’s besides the point, for we have not even begun to discuss the treaty, yet.

    I only wanted to put this pact to acid test and it failed. If it wasn’t for the fact that this public agreement is confusing so many brothers, I would not have gone public.

    If you remember, I did not go public about Usama’s support for TR’s call on moratorium, because he himself did not go public. Here the matter has become public, of which I am a member, and we would all like to know the shara’i basis for all this. We all deserve to know what’s going on.

    If you are only willing to clarify privately for whatever reasons, that is entirely your decision and I respect that. But I do not see why it must be done privately after all the affects it has had.

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  33. The questions/concerns that Abu Zubair has posed are on my mind and those of many other muslims throughout the world, and I believe that the signatories are at a responsibility to answer them.

    Muhammad

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  34. The ahl-hadith link has been moved into the post. Before criticizing pacts and the students of knowledge who signed it, let’s consider the situation of our own dawah, our laziness and our lack of interest in knowledge, and I am specifically talking about youth in my area. You know who you are ;) -Amad

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  35. Br. al-Harrani, why don’t you read Sh. Yasir’s disclaimer again in the post above. I think the ‘clarification’ you are seeking is quite obvious in what he states there…

    There are two ways of correcting the wrong aqeedah, either by criticizing the wrong or by clarifying what is correct.

    2+2=5
    either you can say 5 is the wrong answer or without criticizing the wrong answer, you can say: the correct answer is 4, and prove that 4 is the correct answer, people themselves will realize that 5 was the ‘wrong’ answer!
    wAllahu t’ala ‘alam

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  36. A dear friend, Shaykh Haitham commented on the multaqa forums,

    “You will see how harsh some of the Salafi signatories will get towards their Salafi brothers in debating the adequecy of this pledge. While the opposite will be true about their attitude towards people of Bid’ah.”

    Actually, I am disinclined to be too concerned with the concern quoted because the signatories have a track record that speaks for itself in terms of how they deal with brothers, the kindness and mutual respect that they show to others, etc. It is in fact out of this spirit that they became signatories. On the other hand, what I am more concerned about is how those who felt that they were left out (either by their own choice or by the choice of the formulators) and their followers will treat the signatories. Would this become a new basis for wala wal bara now? Would the signatories now become the new sub-set of Ahl-bidah “closest to us”?

    Another question I’d like to raise is that in terms of reaching out to thousands, to actually be effective in dawah, who else is there besides the signatories that is doing more? Of course, there are a few exceptions… there are other AlMaghrib teachers too who are effective and have widespread appeal (like Sh. Waleed, Sh. Yaser Birjas, etc.). But if you honestly step back, those with the most dawah impact these days are those with their names on the document. Is it a coincidence that kindness and establishing the correct methodology in lieu of “destroying” the incorrect one has more appeal and has a greater chance of success? If one thinks of these things in reasonable metrics, I believe the answer is clear. You can keep banging the drums of refutations, yet if the only ones who are reading it and “hooraying” it are ALREADY part of your click, where is the benefit?

    Finally, I am not sure why this document has to change anything between the non-signatories and the signatories. Just do the things that everyone has been doing. The “cooperation” has ALREADY been going on, with or without the treaty… all the treaty does is to trickle it down to the level of the laymen polemics— to shut those futile arguments down. May Allah purify our intentions and make the best for our akhira appear the best in our duniya.

    P.S. I could not log into the multaqa forum, so if any of the readers can post this on my behalf there, that’d be great.

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  37. who is abu zubairrr /al-harrini – if somebody doesnt mind clarifying it pls

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  38. Well for one thing, Abu Zubair al-Harrini is part of hanbalis.com which is a wikipedia type of site for the Hanbali madhab.

    His comments are very intereseting. You can also find more opinions similar to his on the pledge posted on the Islamic Awakening Forums.

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  39. salaam,

    “The ahl-hadith link has been moved into the post.”

    I am a little confused, do you mean out of the post?

    “Before criticizing pacts and the students of knowledge who signed it, let’s consider the situation of our own dawah, our laziness and our lack of interest in knowledge, and I am specifically talking about youth in my area. You know who you are”

    Irrelevant to the point that was made.

    Look up in the post under joining the conversation. -MM

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  40. More later, but let’s put this contract to acid test:

    Yasir, are Ash’aris heretics?

    first note – our ‘on board’ shuyookh such as sh. tawfique have recommended for this discussion to go private, you can email info//at//muslim matters . o r g if you need.

    secondly, with that said i wanted to address this question, not speaking on sh. yasir’s behalf but quoting something that he said in the almaghrib light upon light class that i feel is an answer to this question,

    he said there’s a “general” ahlus sunnah, meaning not shia, or extreme sufi groups, etc. then there is the ‘specific’ of ahlus sunnah which is the pure aqeedah of the first 3 generations. ash’aris are within the general fold of ahlus sunnah, but not the specific.

    i think people need to read the original post above, its not a copy paste as is being found on all the other websites, here’s some quotes from above in sh. yasir’s posts that i think address this issue,

    “I personally have no qualms considering these groups within the broad fold of Sunni Islam. ”

    and,

    “And it is my personal conviction that the purest theology is that of the first three generations of Islam; it is these generations that we should seek to emulate. The pious predecessors of these generations freed themselves from the dialectic theology known as the science of kalaam, and from the theological positions that were derived from this science. And this is something that I too hold to, and consider Sunni Islam at that pure and blessed stage to have been nothing other than the beliefs of these pious predecessors.”

    and,

    “The last of these classes, for your inforrmation, dealt with the topic of Asma wa al-Sifaat upon the methodology of the earliest generations, and a detailed refutation of the beliefs of the modern mutakalimun, from their usool and furu’. It explained *why* the Asharis and Maturides held the doctrines they did, where they came from, and how to correct their misunderstandings .”

    this is basically the same thing that has been taught for a while now (light upon light is being taught for over a year now), as sh. yasir said.

    anyway.. thats it for me on this one, i think everyone needs to just step back and actually read everything and let it digest before jumping to conclusions… now.. back to that whole ramadan thing :)

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  41. Asalaamu Alaaikum Wa Rahmatullah,

    Here are my Thoughts on the Pledge of Mutual Respect and Cooperation

    Posted at the MM blog:

    http://muslimmatters.org/2007/09/22/pledge-of-mutual-respect-and-cooperation/

    After giving this some consideration…insha’Allah me and my blog will sign on. I see that this is an effort for cooperation, and unity & respect between both sides. Neither side will “drop” or “integrate” their beliefs, but will just cooperate with each other, and fight/stand together in public, against those who are trying to defame islam, and will insha’Allah also continue their respetive debates/arguments in private…by those who are qualified to do so. As a young Muslim living in the west, who does not count herself amongst the knowledgeable (not even close), i really liked this part of the agreement:

    “- Urge our brothers and sisters in faith to concentrate on enriching their lives by
    deepening their practice of Islam through properly learning the basics of the faith,
    adopting a consistent regimen of Qur’anic recitation, endeavoring to remember and
    invoke Allah in the morning and evening, learning the basics of jurisprudence, attempting
    to engage in voluntary fasting as much as possible, studying the Prophetic biography on a
    consistent basis, studying the etiquettes that guide our interactions with our fellow
    Muslims, and the performance of other beneficial religious acts, to the extent practical for
    their circumstances;”

    I can speak for myself that i and many others around me have engaged into far too much useless bickering between this person and that group, while at the same time failing to see how low our imaan is/was, and how little our acts of worship were. This is I believe a very important reminder you posted in the “pact”. We need to engage in these things FIRST and foremost before we go running off into debates. You also mentioned that we should leave the debates/discussions to the knowledgeable amongst us. I agree to this as well. I also agree with that we need to stop takfir (or atleast leave it up to those who are knowledgeable enough (and who are in the position) to label a person or group as kaffir/kuffar.

    The last part was very crucial as well, we should fight this campaign against Islam together.

    Insha’Allah this agreement is succesful,

    May Allah guide the astray and deviant amongst us, whoever they might be, May Allah clear our heart of any shirk, nifaaq, or kufr and May Allah guide us all to that Path which pleases Him MOST, AMEEN

    jazaakAllahum Khair Sheikh Yasir, and all the Shayookh who signed. I hope that this agreement works for the better.

    Wa’alaykum Asalaam wa Rahmatullah

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  42. Ya Ikhwan,

    I think we need to chill out and calm it down a little and really CONTEMPLATE and THINK and CONTEMPLATE of what is going on.

    Going on in the world, where you are, the state we are all in before we start spitting fire.

    Please, do not let us dismantle something that has been intended for good immediately, BEFORE we understand the “why’s” and the “can we even do this?”. We MUST understand these issues (Shariah implications as well as the societal) before jumping to conclusions.

    As so many of our Ulema have advised the students of knowledge (and on relative terms speaking that is a FRACTION of the population demographic on this blog) to NOT be hasty… DO NOT BE HASTY.

    This comment is not to the signers but to us…the general masses. The laymens…the one’s WITHOUT knowledge compared to others. The ones (and I speak for myself 1st) who need to humble themselves a little more insha’Allah. Especially in this month.

    If anybody wants to talk real crazy then email them privately…or call them or whatever. Don’t make it a spectacular event where 100′s can read and spread.

    May Allah protect us from fitna and increase us in good.

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  43. Astaghfirullah I meant to say: we should fight, rather inform, and teach these people, (and all Americans & other Western people) who are making campaigns against islam or who have misconceptions about islam….together. :D

    Ma’Salaama

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  44. Salams,

    just a quick question: does anyone know if Sh. Waleed Basyouni, Abdul Bary Yahya, Dr. Bilal Philips, and Dr. Jafer Sheikh Idris were asked to sign this pledge?

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  45. Unfortunately Zaytuna institute , is moving away from a traditionalist ash’aree institution, to a modernist secular institution. Just give it some years and you will begin to see ideas like multiple religions all lead to ALLAH concepts being thrown at us. If you examine the tapes coming out when they were young to the tapes nowadays , you can see a big ideological change in them. The tapes nowadays you will rarely hear a quote from the Qur’an, but you will hear hundreds of ideas from this political scientist to that Philosopher. Now when I listen to their tapes, my faith starts going down.

    Recently the founder of zaytuna institute went to meet the Dalai Lama along with the President of ISNA, in order to seek solutions for Islam’s negative image in the west. Instead of turning to the ulama they are turning to Buddhism. I found this quite shocking and repulsive. http://www.isna.net/index.php?backPI…35&tt_news=704

    “Yusuf said the challenges before the world demand that people of all faiths reach out to others.”

    “The essence of pain and suffering in this world is ignorance,” said Yusuf, co-founder of the Hayward-based Zaytuna Institute, an Islamic think tank. “We can no longer ignore each other as faith-based communities.”

    In light of all of this, I found it was a move , which would hurt Islam more then uplift it.

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  46. Ibn Abdullah, I was told that Sh. Waleed did too, though the person was not sure. So, I am seeking confirmation from him directly. w/s

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  47. SrAnonymous: Asma Mirza is the president of MSA National. I don’t know about the other sister.

    I’ll refrain from saying anything else about this discussion.

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  48. Salafiyya,

    I don’t agree with that assessment. Zaytuna Institute has become an internationally renowned institution of learning. Their ‘Ulema have also become leaders and the manner in which they give dawah is going to be different from the local Imam.

    I also don’t agree with your basic assumption that Western and Islamic traditions are incompatible in every single regards. While we have mutually exclusive understanding of theology and jurisprudence, there are some areas of overlap and Zaytuna focuses on those issues.

    Try being less reactionary, inshaAllah.

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  49. Brother al-Harrani,

    I’m unclear about what you found unclear in the pact. Could you expand a bit and point out specifically what you found unclear?

    Also, can you please define what makes one a heretic, as defined by your acid test?

    Thanks!

    Siraaj

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  50. As-Salamu ‘Alaykum

    May Allah preserve you brother Al-Harani. I enjoyed reading your comments brother jazakallahu khayral jazaa’.

    I would like to comment on this by saying that is very sad that people like Muhamad Ash-Shareef, yasir Qadhi and Tawfique choudry would sign along with this, as they in my mind and the minds of many other people have only been good for the sunni da’wa over the years.

    As has been mentioned before, no one is against co-operation with non muslims so obviously they wouldnt be against working with sects such as the asha’ira and their likes.

    The problem, however, is when we start to legitimize the suniness (for lack of a better word) of other sects who if we are honest we belive that their kind will be in the fire .

    I don’t see this pact of co-operation helping anyone except the asha’ira on that list. Sunni islam was never harmed by the outlandish statements, distortions and lies of the Asha’irah and their companions from the non-sunni’s. On the contrary this only helped the sunni’s in explaining to the people their mistakes and guiding people away from them.

    So by making a pact like this and using words such as sunni to describe some of the signatory’s then this is indeed unwise and as i have said gives some of the signatory’s some legitimacy in what they call to.

    Secondly, i would like to say that this type of thing would have been a very good idea if it was done between sunni’s themselves, as many sunni’s are disunited on many petty issues which are explained away by words such as ‘manhaj’ and other silly things.

    It would have been more productive and fruitful insha Allah if such a pact was done with sunni organizations across U.K and U.S.

    This is pretty much what i wanted to say and i hope i dont offend any of my brothers and sisters with this honesty.

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  51. Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.

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  52. Imam SIraj Wahaj should sign the pledge..since he has great fan following =)

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  53. assalamu alikum

    Did the sincere people who helped craft and signed this pledge think about when to release this pledge to general public? Why was this issue raised during this month? Highly disappointed with the timing, especially when it is being admitted that it will criticized and hence emotionally charged debates will be carried out. This couldn’t have waited three more weeks?!

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  54. The duty of students of knowledge is to refer back to the ulama and to connect people with the ulama.

    The tullaabul ilm should not take matters in their own hands.Instead, they should have presented the matter to THEIR TEACHERS before signing the”pact”.

    Any pact giving legitimacy to the ashaaira , matureediya, hulooliya, qubooriya will only weaken the dawah towards sunnah. It will only confuse the beginners.

    Let us OPENLY declare and defend and PROPAGATE our aqeedah. After all , aqeedah is not a private thing; it is some thing upon which we base our wala and bara and our hubb and bugd.

    Cooperation is good. Giving legitimacy to ahlul bid’ah is not.

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  55. Shaykh Haitham Hamdan and abuz zubair’s observations contain valid points. Instead of addressing them with knowledge based clarifications, we should not give emotional replies and should not speak about “ground realities”.

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  56. asalamalikum

    Abu Rayhaan:

    I would like to comment on this by saying that is very sad that people like Muhamad Ash-Shareef, yasir Qadhi and Tawfique choudry would sign along with this, as they in my mind and the minds of many other people have only been good for the sunni da’wa over the years.

    Sorry akhi, what is in your minds and in others minds does not constitute a proof or evidence. I don’t know what you are trying to say in the last line but if you mean they have been good for the dawah only for a few years, it is not only inaccurate but also not a good premise to dismiss a good argument.

    The problem, however, is when we start to legitimize the suniness (for lack of a better word) of other sects who if we are honest we belive that their kind will be in the fire .

    I am not sure who “we” is and why you think “they” need “our” legitimization. Do you believe all the great scholars with ash’ari tendency will be in the fire? Do you imply that asha’riya are from the kuffar? What exactly are you saying?

    Secondly, i would like to say that this type of thing would have been a very good idea if it was done between sunni’s themselves, as many sunni’s are disunited on many petty issues which are explained away by words such as ‘manhaj’ and other silly things.

    Sure go ahead… the two efforts are not exclusive of each other. I am not sure why this pledge somehow detracts from other noble goals. Go ahead, you and other brothers, and work on uniting the “manhajis” too. We’ll help inshallah as you need. I am sure all these shayookh on “our” side will be signatories to that too. As for the rest of your comment, most of what you have stated is from Sh. Haytham in its flavor, so I think it is important we clear our own thoughts first before letting others make our conclusions for us.

    Ibrahim

    Highly disappointed with the timing, especially when it is being admitted that it will criticized and hence emotionally charged debates will be carried out.

    SubhanAllah, the timing was a “gift” in Ramadan… because the message is one of peace and kindness. The one who needs to be criticized is not the one who puts forward the message of mercy between believers, but rather the one who disrupts it.

    Any pact giving legitimacy to the ashaaira , matureediya, hulooliya, qubooriya will only weaken the dawah towards sunnah. It will only confuse the beginners.

    You dear brother, sound very TROIDish/ SPsh, sorry to make that leap. Please do tell me if I am off the mark. If that is the case, who are the few and the proud left in the ever-shrinking circle of “accepted scholars”? And why does it matter what Yasir/Tawfique/etc. do, because they are already “off the manhaj” anyway? If you aren’t with the grand click, then the preceding doesn’t apply to you though the style is clearly adopted.

    wallahualam

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  57. salam aleykum…

    subhan allah…the way this forum is going is totally negative..i suggest the brothers and sisters to refrain from posting their comments until they review what they have to say atleast 10 times…its only fair so you dont create any anomosity or false accusations…

    may allah swt guide us all

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  58. Assalam Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah

    just to clarify, the sister above ‘salafiya’ is not me (I didnt read many of the posts clearly, but I just don’t want anyone to be confused, even though I doubt anyone even noticed)

    In regards to the pact, I dunno about it nor do I know what I should follow so I’m just not going to disagree/agree with it just yet. Doubt it would make a difference anyways.

    Assalam Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah

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  59. Asalamu ‘Alaykum

    Amad,

    I can see that you feel emotional about this and insha Allah if we leave emotions out of this then it would be better.

    amad said:

    “Sorry akhi, what is in your minds and in others minds does not constitute a proof or evidence. I don’t know what you are trying to say in the last line but if you mean they have been good for the dawah only for a few years, it is not only inaccurate but also not a good premise to dismiss a good argument.”

    Thank you for trying to clarify dear brother.

    Yes, this is not what i intended by my statement. What i intended was that the aforementioned people have been excellent for sunni da’wa in the west for many years so it was sad to see people which such records signing something like this.

    Amad said:

    “I am not sure who “we” is and why you think “they” need “our” legitimization. Do you believe all the great scholars with ash’ari tendency will be in the fire? Do you imply that asha’riya are from the kuffar? What exactly are you saying?”

    ‘we’ refers to the sunni’s , and i believe that they need our legitimization because the asha’ri theology is an illegitimate creed that has no standing in the religion of islam.

    No, i don’t belive that all of the great scholars that had slight asha’ari TENDENCIES, as you so justly and correctly put it, will be in the fire.

    No, Im not implying that the asha’irah are from the disbelievers.

    Amad said:

    ” As for the rest of your comment, most of what you have stated is from Sh. Haytham in its flavor, so I think it is important we clear our own thoughts first before letting others make our conclusions for us.”

    Im not sure what you mean by letting shaykh haythem make my mind up for me, seeing as he supposedly signed this so it would seem that he agreed with it. insha Allah if you could explain that to me. jazakallahu khayr

    I will insha Allah try to get in contact with shaykh Haythem al-hadad to see his understanding of this pact.

    before i end this message i would like to clarify something because i can imagine some more of the same old tirades throwing accusations of ‘arrogance’ or people being seekers of ‘sectarianism’.

    Lets make it clear that some of those signatory’s such as Yasir Qadhi and Tawfique choudry believe that the Asha’irah are beyond the pale of sunni islam and that the asha’irah will be from those who will be in the fire.

    This fact is as clear as the sun at the time of dhuhr in the saharah desert.

    To me and many other brothers this pact just looks like a gaging order.

    wallahu ‘alam.

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  60. Ha, it’s good to know some things will never change. Salafis will be salafis, and we’ll always find someone to pick a fight with online, even during Ramadan :D

    Just of curiosity – Ibn Hajr al-Asqalani’s Sunniness? Yay or nay? Why or why not? I’m expanding my horizons, and I’d like to hear the full spectrum of hardcore salafiyyah’s gavels come smashing down with a verdict.

    Siraaj

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  61. To amad:
    As salaamu ‘alaykum.

    Iam not from from SP/TROID. may Allaah correct them and us.
    Sorry if I sounded like them.

    Iam speaking about referring back to THEIR (Yasir qadi’s, Tawfeeq chaudry’s) TEACHERS.
    Please read the second paragraph of my first post.
    jazaakallaahu khayra.

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  62. Shaykh Yasir: You should’ve said Audhu billahi min ash-Shaytaan ar-Rajim at the start of this MM post. :)

    salafiya: I’m sorry if you think Islam is the ONLY path. It isn’t. Other paths existed, now Islam is the only true one. Fragments of the Divine Truth are there in Buddhism or and there is no harm in learning from it with a strong base in Islam. Everything is there in Islam…but there are somethings about this deen you will only come to fully appreciate, if you look at it through the eyes of a totally different world-view. The universal religion can only be fully understood in a universal view.

    This discussion is simply about semantics now. Perhaps a simple name change would solve the issue?
    If there was an option to follow better scholars than these men and women, than perhaps this discussion would be relevant. Should we follow the followers or follow the leaders? :D

    May Allah protect the Muslims.

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  63. Assalaamu alaykum,

    I’m sorry my dear brothers and sisters, but I do not see how this pact ‘legitimizes’ the ash’aa^irah. All it says is that the more intricate differences should be left for a certain setting (i.e. the classroom).

    Also, my understanding of the term ‘Sunni’, as used in the above pact, was only in contradistinction to Shi’ism. i.e. in the broad sense of the word. I don’t see why everyone feels it is being used in the specific sense (i.e. the Saved Sect, Ahl usSunnah wa alJamaa’ah).

    I don’t think the Ash’ari signatories are ready to say at all that the ‘Salafi’ creed is the creed of the Saved Sect. And I think it has been made quite clear that the ‘Salafi’ signatories are not saying that Ash’arism is the creed of the Saved Sect. Allah knows best.

    The main thing I gleaned from the pact is not to promote futile ‘laymen’ debates, nor to make takfir on individuals; however, I don’t think at all that the pact is saying that we cannot call kufr for what it is. Praying to dead people is major shirk that nullifies one’s Islam; period. I don’t think any of the ‘Salafi’ signatories are going to be any less shy about this fact; they simply are agreeing to refrain from applying the label of ‘kafir’ to specific people. Allah knows best.

    So it seems quite clear to me that there is no ‘legitimization’ of any groups going on in this pact. Allah a’lam, perhaps brothers are seeing something that isn’t really there…

    If I am mistaken about my perception of this pact, then our respect shuyookh who are involved in the drafting and/or signing of the pact are free to correct me.

    wassalaam

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  64. As salamu ‘alaykum Shaykh Yasir,

    We have endorsed this pledge here – http://islamcrunch.com/archives/pledging-for-sunni-muslim-unity/

    Fi AmanAllah.

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  65. @ Abu Ameerah:

    Yeah…Team Work Makes The Dream Work!!!

    FULL ON!!!

    “???”

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  66. Typically anything written can be interpreted by Shaytaan to mean a number of things…both good or bad. I highly doubt the shaykhs are disputing amongst each other here. If anything, I believe they are clarifying.

    Give yo brothers 70 excuses !

    P.S. Use more of these :D :) ;)

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  67. ^What I meant to say was that I could be pointing out something a brother missed…only to have the brother tell me I am accusing him.

    90% of communication is non-verbal–all we got is 10% here. So shaytaan can play his tricks.

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  68. Br. Jalal & Abu Rayhaan, jazakumAllahkhair for the clarifications.

    I would like to add a few important points here (and I think I speak for all or most of us here at MM):

    1) Acceptance of the pledge in itself is not a criterion for any loyalties or the opposite. Although I asked the question of others, I will state that there is no wala wal bara associated with what one feels of the pledge.

    2) I can understand and can appreciate that brothers will have issues in a bit here and a bit there of the pledge or more than bits. It is difficult to overcome what we have become used to accepting as the “norm” and making the leap of faith in accepting those under a common umbrella against whom our hearts have come to distrust. Obviously most of us have not had the personal counsel of one ore more of the signatories in order to better understand motivations and objectives like myself and other MM staff have had the privilege of.

    3) Whether you agree with the pledge or not should not change our relationships for the worse. The purpose was to increase brotherhood, not tensions. So, if you don’t like it, leave it, and do not let the Shaytaan build in your hearts anything against the people that you respected and trusted before. If the signatories are right, then their reward is immense and double. If they are wrong, they are still rewarded, so who are we to blame them for wrongdoing. Blame-games of course are not the same as healthy discussions, sincere questions and honest clarifications.

    Let’s leave our emotions with the food in the fridge and treat each other with the utmost respect. And I will be the first to say that I apologize if I was too sharp in any of my comments.

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  69. One more thing… I have hinted at this before, but in my humble opinion, the pledge brings the moderate elements of all sides together on a platform of cooperation. There is a reason why the Kabbanis and their ilk were not invited (this answers someone’s jabs at me)… similarly there is a reason why many of the super-salafis were kept out. The former would have clearly loved to be part of this to earn legitimacy which they have for the most part lost, while the latter probably would have kept to their little shrinking circle of scholars.

    Sunni doesn’t mean that one should employ the analogy of the progressive definition of Muslims (i.e. everyone is a Muslim who says he is a Muslim even if Qadiyani). Labels mean nothing if most of the practice is not within the mainstream fold of “Sunnism”.

    But for the most part, we don’t have to worry about this. Extremism is always on the fringe, if we stay in the middle, we won’t much deal with it.

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  70. Yusuf Ziya Ahmedoglu

    AA,
    Dear Brs. & Srs.,
    I would like to briefly do the following comments:
    1. Imam Azam Abu Hanifa died at 150 A.H, he was from atbai al-tabi’in, his two students, Imam Abu Yusuf and Imam Muhammad al-Sahibani were teachers of Imam al-Shafi’i, so hanafism is begun and estblished by scholars before sShafi’ism, and also before Hanbalism, since Ahm. b. Hanbal died at the date of 204 A.H. Therefore if there is some madhabs to be qualified as Salafis, from Salaf, Abu Hanifa and his mazhab have to be included in that, as opposed what I feel is not done by some. If you exclude Hnafis from Islam, then you may be excluding almost one third of Ummah.

    2. Sufism: This term is so soft, has a lot of meanings depending on locality, practices, cultures etc. But there is taqwa, there is zikr, there is tazkia etc. In Quran, in hadith, not all sufis worship to graves, thinking that Muslims worship graves is very daring accusatory stand, since Muslims read Surah al-Ihklass and believe in tawhid. We must be carefull not to be literalist always, in Quran there are majazs (methaphors). In many cases ulama of Ummah saw some tariqahs good and fitting to Shari’a and haqiqah. There is no guaqrantee that only saudi understanding Islam is correct. Even in Saudi Arabia there are many different local scholars who are not officially favored, can not speak. They have very different aproach to Islam as opposed to officially favored ones. There are many gems hidden and pushed to the corners of nisyan,every where includiong Saudi Arabia, I believe. sir.

    3. Slafism: Salaf is niot defined in Qura’an, neither in Hadith, it is not madhhab, not aqida and not amali. It is a genaral principle. The ones who follow the early and pure Islam may be qualified with it. But Wahhabism is different. Wahhabism, as opposed to what Abdul Wahhab scholarly wrote and taught, that was scholarly approach, no prblem, buty as political term it is a political context mixed with Islamic affiliaiton, Wahhabism developed at 18th century as opposed to Ottoman Khilafa, and ended up to Saudi Kindgdom with the cooperation of English, and Western powers, remember Lawrence of Arabia. The result of which is today’s Muslim world is sufferuing headles, untyless, divider and ruled, don’t forget sir, today is yesterday’s child. So nomatter what it may mean Salafism must not be contaminatedd by poltical kingdom conspring against umah’s khilafa. Of course Ibn Taymiyya, Ibn al-al-qayyim and the likes were great scholarsof tjheior time, no body must monopolize them for their own interest as opposed to Ummah’s. It is known by specialized scholars that how many times some sentecse from the books of Ibn Taymiyya and may be others too are omitted for political interterst and printed in later editions.
    Humbly and Respectfully.
    Yusuf

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  71. Assalaamu Alaykum,

    I have read the treaty, and read the comments above.

    I would just like to make a few observations:

    I don’t think that those who disagree with this pledge should be labelled, implicitly or explicitly, as over-zealous, unlearned, extremist, and so on.
    This creates a barrier to constructive diaglogue, forces an ‘us and them’ situation.

    I don’t think our beloved (and I truely mean that) students of knowledge who are posting here should fall into this trap of ‘we know better’. The truth can come from the mouth of a layman, as well as a scholar.

    We should allow – and maybe promote? – discussions on this treaty. Not doing so will stir up more ill-feelings towards the proponents of this treaty.

    Now with regards to the treaty itself:
    I think some fundamental issues of this treaty need to be clarified from the original text, and then evaluated.

    Who benefits from this treaty? And how so?
    And in reality, will all parties see this benefit?

    I think Haytham Hamdan raises some interesting comments. And unless these can be openly discussed, without fear of labelling as I mention above, then we have already lost something important to us as a result of this treaty, and that is seeking honest clarifications on issues which trouble us.

    My observation so far, is that the Salafis have more to lose than to gain – while the well meaning Salafis are happy to co-operate, I see little evidence of this, at the grass roots level in London, from the Non-salafis. So again, who is benefiting from this? the masses? How so?

    Waslaamu Alaykum,

    Abu Adam

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  72. I forgot to mention:

    I *do* regard this treaty as a statement of intent, more than anything, that the signatories sincerely intend a way forward in co-operation. By my questions above still stand.

    Wasalaamu Alaykum,

    Abu Adam.

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  73. Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem:

    MAN! This pledge was DUE sooo yesterday…Alhamdulillah…it has finely materialized…

    And for all those respected brothers and sisters (of all ages) who are having a tough time swallowing this pledge…Please consider this as a bitter medicine…it may be uncomfortable in the beginning, but it sure will do your body & soul good in the long run, insha’Allah ur Rahmaan!

    So give it a sincere shot….Its Time to Rock!….together as one Wall :)

    Assalaamu Alaikum

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  74. I’m so glad people know what’s good for me. I have been exposed to the same kind of patronising rubbish from this pledge’s oh so clever supporters on my blog, to the point where I just deleted the post taking issue with it. This is not a call for unity, this is an imposition of Sunni orthodoxy. Pledges don’t unite people – that requires discussion, compassion and engagement on the ground. This doesn’t invite discussion, it demand conformity. Islam is a faith of reason, not blind agreement. This nonsense will simply further maginalise those Muslims who already feel traditional forms of scholarship – and their representatives – are irrelevant.

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  75. as-salaamu ‘alaikum,

    There have been too many posts I would like to comment on but in order not to lose our focus and to save time, I would refrain from dealing with questions like why are Ash’aris heretics, or how do we view Ibn Hajar, or the Islamic view on practising certain elements of Buddhism as suggested, or why we must cooperate (even though we have stated 101 times we haven’t a problem with that), or which of the brothers have done more work than others, and why some are more popular than others, or who is more aware of the da’wah at grass root level, or who is more active than the other. None of this is relevant to the core ideas that were being promoted before the pledge, and now confirmed by the pledge itself.

    Let me now list the problems with this pledge and show why it contradicts the Shari’a:

    1) To begin with, there shouldn’t be a need for a pledge, if it really is all about cooperation and nothing else. No matter what theological/ideological background one comes from, one should be mature enough to cooperate with others with different beliefs. It is the ‘SuperSalafis’ that need pledges (how ironic?) This much is common sense. We in London have, and still do, cooperate with Hizb al-Tahrir, the Shi’a (IHRC), the socialists, the liberals, the Jews and others. Yet, not once did any one of them asked us to sign an agreement of any sort, simply because there isn’t a need, if our intention is simply to cooperate.

    2. The contract, nearly in its entirety, is about recognising the heretics as Sunnis and their differences with us as legitimate. To be precise, only two out of twelve paragraphs in the whole document are related to cooperation.

    For instance, paragraph #1 states: ‘we recognize that the historical nature of Sunni Islam is a broad one’. Were it to say: ‘Sunni Islam in its broadest sense’, as it did at the end of the paragraph, it wouldn’t have been an issue. However, the wording in the beginning suggests that Sunni Islam itself is in fact broad and not limited to Athariyya or Ash’ariyya.

    It states: ‘Urge Muslims to categorically cease all attacks on individual Muslims and
    organizations whose varying positions can be substantiated based on the broad scholarly
    tradition of the Sunni Muslims.’ This implies that the heretical views held by the Ash’aris have a basis in the broad scholarly tradition of Sunni Muslims, and therefore on that basis they shouldn’t be attacked. This implicitly gives legitimacy to heretical non-Sunni views.

    It states: ‘Saying this, we do not deny the reality of legitimate differences and approaches’, and hence, it explicitly confirms for us all that the pact regards the differences between Ash’aris and Sunnis as legitimate. Legitimate differences are those that must be tolerated and not condemned, such as the difference that the Prophet saw his Lord or not. Illegitimate differences are those that cannot be tolerated and must be condemned, such as Ash’ari view that the Quran is created. Indeed, our ancestors were imprisoned, tortured and killed, their heads detached from their bodies and placed in the centre of the city for all to see the end of those who did not confirm to the theory of the creation of the Quran. If such differences were legitimate, there wouldn’t have been a need for such sacrifices.

    Although, Yasir has tried his best to explain his position to us all, that he has not changed his view one bit. We would assume with a certain level of surety that he still considers them to be heretics. However, Yasir’s views do not concern us as much as his inability to state what he believes explicitly, especially to clarify the confusion this has caused amongst many. Many of the blogs that support this pledge, and even many of the comments posted here clearly seem to get the message that Ash’aris are being given legitimacy, despite of Yasir clarifying himself subtly. What is dangerous and worrying is Yasir’s inability to clarify for everyone in explicit and non-sensationalist terms that ‘Ash’aris, in the specific sense of the term ‘Ahl al-Sunni’, are NOT Sunnis’. He cannot say even this much which is enough to highlight to us all the true nature of this pact.

    3. It forbids the obligation of commanding the good and forbidding the evil on those capable of performing it for no obvious Shara’i reason. It states in paragraph #2: ‘Likewise, detailed discussions in matters of theology are the specific domain of trained specialists, and proceed on the basis of well-defined principles and methodologies, which are beyond the knowledge of the generality of Muslims.’ The sentence is too general and vague, for gives the impression to an average Sunni Muslim to to keep himself out of every and any discussion that goes beyond the six pillars, for anything beyond that, apparently, is only for the specialists. However, most of the issues where Sunnis greatly differ with the Ash’aris are not necessarily detailed. In fact, Allah being literally above the throne is hardly a detailed topic that requires a specialist to champion. And it is fard ‘ayn on every Muslim who sees the munkar of denying Allah’s literal elevation, to condemn the munkar, irrespective of whether or not he calls himself a Shaykh, whether or not he has ijazas or whether or not he has studied properly. He has been ordered to preach, even if it be one verse, and to forbid the munkar upon seeing it with his hands, then his tongue and then his heart. Likewise, the belief that the Quran is literally the word of God is something that concerns every Muslim layman where he has an obligation to forbid the evil.

    It states: ‘Urge Muslim scholars and students of sacred knowledge to take the lead in working to end ad hominem attacks on other scholars and students;’ This goes against the Shari’a since the Muslims are obliged to attack heresy and heretics.

    4. It states that the layman is not required to know anything other than the six pillars of faith. It states: ‘The average Muslim is only responsible for knowing the basics of creed as they relate to a simple belief in Allah, His Angels, Scriptures, the Prophets and Messengers, the Last Day, and the Divine Decree.’ This is false, since a Muslim layman is required to believe in all that it states in the Quran, and none of that at all should be considered from the ‘detailed matters’ left only for the specialists. From the fundamental beliefs a layman must hold on to is the attributes of Allah as stated in the Quran, the description of paradise, hell and resurrection, the belief in Jinns and much more. The signatories have absolutely no right to restrict a layman’s belief to the six pillars of faith. Ibn Taymiyya’s al-Wasitiyya is meant for the layman and comprises of many fundamental beliefs which the Ash’aris are opposed to. This is precisely why they held a tribunal for him. This pact necessitates that we no longer teach our Sunni commoners the Wasitiyya, the Hamawiyya or even the Sharh of al-Tahawiyya, or that the commoners must not criticise the Ash’aris based on what they have learnt from such blessed Sunni works.

    5. It urges instant cessation of takfeer. It states: ‘We especially urge the immediate cessation of all implicit or explicit charges of disbelief;’ However, takfeer is a right of Allah alone, as far as Ahl al-Sunnah are concerned (Ash’aris think otherwise), and it cannot be subjected to an agreement where the signatories have the right to exempt each other from Allah’s ruling on them. And if we had the right to exempt anyone, surely, the Prophet – SallAllahu ‘alayhi wa-sallam – would have exempted his parents and his uncle. Moreover, the modern Ash’ari problem is not only with names and attributes, but also with tawhid al-uluhiyya itself. Many of them advocate praying to other than God which takes a person beyond the pale of Islam, without being excused for ignorance according to the correct position. This is Allah’s deen, and not that of the signatories to decide who to include and who to exempt from takfeer. The traditional works of fiqh, in the chapter of apostasy do not mention ‘pacts’ or ‘agreements’ as an impediment of takfeer. Besides, takfeer is part of our fiqh and sharia, and it is not something to be abhorred, but to be implemented wisely according to the laws laid down by Allah. Takfeer is in some cases necessary if it involves a Muslim woman marrying a Musrik praying to saints, etc.

    Even though the non-compliance of this treaty with the Sharia is enough to make it non-binding upon its signatories, putting that to the side for a moment, what are the advantages or disadvantages of this treaty?

    In terms of advantages, then I honestly cannot think of one, especially as it has been stated by a supporter of this pledge, that cooperation was already taking place anyway, so this pledge has not brought anything new to the table in that regards.

    In terms of the disadvantages, then the following comes to my mind:

    a) For years the Ash’aris have been fighting for their recognition as a legitimate Sunni school in order to be exempted from criticisms and to gain legitimacy as Sunnis. Well, our Salafi brothers have given it to them on a golden plate.

    b) The aim of this treaty was to unite the two main factions, the Sunnis and the Ash’aris. However, it has had exactly the opposite affect and has divided us all further into four factions; 2 conformist and 2 non-conformist factions from both sides. Those from the Sufi-Ash’ari side who did not sign this agreement deserve my utmost respect for being principled men!

    c) The aim of this treaty was to halt all internet debates (where the Ash’aris were getting battered and rapidly losing ground), however, it resulted in even more debates in the month of Ramadan, where some of the signatories themselves have implicitly charged their opponents with insincerity.

    d) The aim of this pact was to halt attacks against the Salafis, yet, this very thread contains an explicit attack on the wahhabis, by people who seem to supporting the pledge.

    All-in-all, the pact we are told is about unity, was in fact a suicide pact, and the only ones to die are our respected Salafi brothers.

    Whatever the case, as other students of knowledge have stated, it is only a matter of time when this pact falls apart, due to its vagueness and impracticality, and most probably the Salafis will be the first ones to break it. Let us also remember that this is not exactly the first pact being signed by some of the signatories. We in the UK have been there and done that ten times over. This is all new for our brothers across the pond since they happen to be a decade behind us, with all due respect.

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  76. as-Salâm ‘alaikum wa rahmatullah,

    I haven’t read any of the comments posted after the one I wish to comment on, so forgive me if these things have been addressed already.

    I don’t know what you are trying to say in the last line but if you mean they have been good for the dawah only for a few years, it is not only inaccurate but also not a good premise to dismiss a good argument.

    I think he meant “only been good” i.e., they haven’t been bad.

    Do you believe all the great scholars with ash’ari tendency will be in the fire? Do you imply that asha’riya are from the kuffar? What exactly are you saying?

    1. There is a difference between having Ash’arî tendencies and between being Ash’arî.

    2. Only the disbelievers will enter Hell? What happened to « … seventy-three sects, all in the Fire except one … »? I’m pretty sure Prophet Muhammad did not mean that the other seventy-two sects of Muslims were considered disbelievers.

    The one who needs to be criticized is not the one who puts forward the message of mercy between believers, but rather the one who disrupts it.

    There is a saying that goes something like this [obviously paraphrased]: when the truth and falsehood collide and turmoil results, the falsehood is to blame for it, not the truth.

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  77. Salaam ‘Alaikum:

    This isn’t about “imposing” Sunnism on the entire Ummah. Like it or not, we “Orthodox Sunnis” exist, and I don’t think there is something inherently sinister about trying to address our issues with each other. I’m not sure what this is going to do or mean, but it’s not like those with beards and turbans are sitting there twirling mustaches together and dreaming of ways to impose themselves on everyone else. If they say this is about Sunni and Sunni, then take them at their word, and see what comes of it (or doesn’t) instead of seeing a plot behind every corner.

    How is your comment not representative of the exact thing you often complain about?

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  78. “No doubt there will be those who will find fault with this agreement. Some might read in phrases or ideas that are not present. Others will not be satisfied with the wording of the document, viewing it as either too liberal and encompassing, or too narrow and strict. But it is not meant to satisfy everyone, for that is not its purpose (and nor is it a feasible goal!). Rather, the document is nothing more than an expression of a shared conviction that all the signatories feel very strongly about. Those who disagree have the right to do so – it is not being forced on anyone. But it is hoped from those who look up to some of the signatories and take knowledge from them, that they might take an example from this collective stance and be more proactive with other groups and organizations.”

    Re-quoting excerpt from document.

    Siraaj

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  79. May I ask why my post is being moderated while everyone else’s is getting through?

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  80. BismillahirRahmanirRaheem
    Salamu’alaykum Amad,

    Certainly you association of my tareeqa to other Shaykhs is interesting, but fundamentally flawed.

    http://www.yursil.com/blog/2006/05/statement-of-non-association-with-naqshbandi-michigan/

    In that regard, one could simply claim your ilk are Bilal Phillips remnants and work from there.

    But is this really the approach of unity?

    Mudslinging and disregarding each others opinions?

    Why you didn’t invite Shaykh Nuh Ha Mim Keller and Shaykh Yaqoubi?

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  81. anyone know if Gibril Haddad and Abdul Hakim Murad were asked to sign this?

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  82. al-Harrani: some comments get caught by some filters set up and get moderated, but we post them as soon as we see those. all your comments made have been put up (scroll up inshallah and you should see them).

    sorry for any inconvenience, i am fixing the filters so that more of the comments get through inshallah.

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  83. “I apologize if I was too sharp in any of my comments” – Amad

    Nice of you to say that AFTER labelling people as SP’ish and troidish. I don’t know about anyone else but I see that as a form of extremism but hey what do i know im probably another “manhaji”. Just because someone disagrees with whats being done here, I don’t think it’s right to attack them.

    I feel really sad about the double standards how we are going out and building bridges of unity with those of the Ash’ari creed and yet we choose to push our brothers away by labelling and name calling who undoubtedly do have some issues but their aqeedah is good. Last time I checked, we loved people because of their love for Allaah and their beliefs of Allaah rather than their actions towards us.

    If we made some sincere efforts to close the gap between us and those brothers, I believe with conviction that we can do it. But I guess it’s far easier to point and ridicule them and their “little shrinking circle of scholars”…

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  84. Assalaam Alykum,

    As Brother Abu Zubair said this pledge is indeed nothing but a legitimacy document for the asharis and maturidis.

    I am shocked how many people of knowledge signed this. Indeed it is a sad day.

    Cooperation doesnt mean legitimizing the heretics . We cooperate with anybody if they are on the truth but we dont sign a pledge for that.

    Jazakallah Khair
    Suhail

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  85. And one more thing, does shaykh yasir or others who signed this pact are above criticisms. I mean according to others who are supporting them it seems like that. You are calling other with names like extereme and what not just because they criticize the pledge. Brothers fear Allah and be just.

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  86. I have to say that I’m really sad about this whole thing – as someone said, look at the disunity here!
    It’s the month of Ramadhaan – we’re about to pass the two-week/halfway mark – let’s make the most of it!

    My advice, first to myself and then to everyone else: let’s try to cut down on our Internet usage (especially blogging!), let’s try to hold off on the arguments ’till after Ramadhaan, and let’s just love each other for the Sake of Allah!

    I really don’t want any of us to lose out on ajr, so how ’bout we just let this digest for a while and see how it goes? Let’s read a page of Qur’an instead of a page of comments :)

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  87. @Ahmad AlFarsi

    That’s exactly what I am thinking. I don’t understand what the big deal is.

    @Siraaj Muhammad

    People are reading this document…but aren’t contemplating on it? They’re seeing flash words and going nuts, I think.

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  88. Why argue over who is right or wrong when you have the manuals (Quran and Sunnah) left to us by the messenger (S.A.W). Remember the famous Ali (R.A) comment about wiping the Khuff; “If Islam is the precede of opinion, then wiping the bottom of the Khuff is more appealing than above it”.

    Ramdhan Kareem
    Yussuf

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  89. Al-HarranI:
    “There have been too many posts I would like to comment on but in order not to lose our focus and to save time, I would refrain from dealing with questions like why are Ash’aris heretics, or how do we view Ibn Hajar, or the Islamic view on practising certain elements of Buddhism as suggested…”

    Just to clarify, I never said PRACTICE Buddhism. What I was referring to was looking at things through a different view. You can reflect on the Qur’an in a new way so as to increase your eeman simply by hearing what they have to say about the concept of Time.

    “b) The aim of this treaty was to unite the two main factions, the Sunnis and the Ash’aris…
    c) The aim of this treaty was to halt all internet debates…
    d) The aim of this pact was to halt attacks against the Salafis…”

    I should point out that much of this was of your doing brother. Your comments should’ve been emailed to brother Yasir and brother Chowdhury. Did you not think that perhaps this would happen? What the consequences of your words would be?

    If you disagree, no one here is forcing you to sign it. Leave it at that.

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  90. I just realized that the goal of this pledge has already been successful.

    The goal was that the shaykhs would agree to this and eventually also their students. But now some 50 bloggers/blog groups have also agreed. And insha Allah this number will increase. Isn’t that the goal of this pledge–to positively influence the jamhur (masses)?

    :D

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  91. Salaam alaykum Dawud,

    Time will tell how successful or unsuccessful the pledge is. As brother al-Harrani correctly pointed out, there are more factions now, but I’d say we’ve gone from 2 to 3 (rather than 4) – 2 nonconformist, 1 conformist.

    The two original groups will find themselves smaller due to the establishment of the third which is conformist. In my opinion, the third group, the conformist group, has the potential to have the most practical impact in their daw’ah amongst the masses of Muslims as it will not force people to pick and choose this group or that group, but rather, it will put a halt on the intergroup bickering to some degree and allow everyone some leverage to get their daw’ah out without fear of being dogpiled by opposition.

    As far as results go, I’ve been on both sides of the discussion in my own way, and the results have been best when, as the sister above aptly put it, we teach people that 2 + 2 = 4 and letting them arrive at their own conclusion rather than coming from the opposite angle.

    Siraaj

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  92. Siraaj you lost me on that one… could you re-explain in a more detailed manner?

    I only see some of the salafi brothers disagreeing so far.

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  93. “I have to say that I’m really sad about this whole thing – as someone said, look at the disunity here!
    It’s the month of Ramadhaan – we’re about to pass the two-week/halfway mark – let’s make the most of it!

    My advice, first to myself and then to everyone else: let’s try to cut down on our Internet usage (especially blogging!), let’s try to hold off on the arguments ’till after Ramadhaan, and let’s just love each other for the Sake of Allah!

    I really don’t want any of us to lose out on ajr, so how ’bout we just let this digest for a while and see how it goes? Let’s read a page of Qur’an instead of a page of comments”

    Wise Words. Wise Words.

    Let’s take a breather now. I mean half of you must be fasting, you’re spending away your precious minutes debating. Maybe they’re not wasted, and maybe you should keep debating, (if you think you have a point to make, and are standing up for what you believe to be the truth) but why not take it to email, i mean is it really necesarry to have an argument in the comments section of the MM Blog? Take it to chat, email, whatever you want, just do it elsewhere.

    And remember folks we aren’t singing a “forfeit ALL of your beliefs, agree with the otherside wholeheartdly” pact, obviously the debates, discussions WILL continue. Just not in the same way it was before.

    And on another note: I would like to know if anymore people signed or showed interest in this agreement?
    Have the following people signed or got whiff of this unity pact: Sh. Dr. Saleh Saleh, Sh. Bilal Phillips, Sh. Khalid Yasin?

    And are there Shayookh, Ulema from outside the “western” borders that agree with this?

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  94. Whoops, sorry, meant the conformist, if you could edit that so it’s clearer, it would be greatly appreciated.

    Siraaj

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  95. It doesn’t matter who signs this pledge, it seems to have no purpose except to ‘applogize’ to the ashari/maturidis or give them legitmacy. That fact that this pledge is out now in public causes in my view more problems to the layperson who had no clue about salafi/ashari debates. I have spoken to people who have taken yasir’s class in toronto and now are wondering what is going on, after explicitly stating the falsehood of kalam why would he sign a pledge with them? why does he need a pledge to cooperate? cooperation needs no pledge with ambiguous language. Yasir may be clear on his position with the ashari’s and maturidis but many of his students from aqeedah 102 are now confused.

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  96. also what does the pledge mean by ‘implicit’ takfeer?

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  97. Typos corrected, admin deleted wrong post
    =====

    Asa
    Hi All.
    1. Do the asharees then regard Ibn Taymiyyah’s views, i.e the belief of the Salaf to be within the realms of ijtihad?
    So do they believe that its ‘permissible’ to say that Allah is above the creation?
    2. If the signatories signed the pledge, then that pledge should just be for them, not us, since when did we give these people to sign on behalf of us?
    The aqeedah of the Salaf is never going to take off until the Khilafah comes about. because it is only when the society, coupled with the Dawah, coupled with the authority will the aqeedah ever be established.

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  98. عن أبي زرعة، عن أبي هريرة؛ أن أعرابيا جاء إلى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم فقال: يا رسول الله! دلني على عمل إذا عملته دخلت الجنة. قال: “تعبد الله لا تشرك به شيئا. وتقيم الصلاة المكتوبة. وتؤدي الزكاة المفروضة. وتصوم رمضان” قال: والذي نفسي بيده! لا أزيد على هذا شيئا أبدا، ولا أنقض منه. فلما ولى، قال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم: “من سره أن ينظر إلى رجل من أهل الجنة، فلينظر إلى هذا”.

    “On the authority of Abu Hurayrah: A Bedouin came to the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) and asked, ‘O Messenger of Allah! Tell me of a practice by which, if I adhere to it, I might enter Paradise.’ (The Messenger of Allah) replied, ‘Worship Allah and do not associate any partner with Him. Enjoin the prescribed prayers. Pay the obligatory charity tax. Fast for Ramadan.” (In response to this) he exclaimed, ‘By the one in whose Hand is my soul, I will never exceed any of this, nor will I ever yield from any of it.’ Then when he turned away the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, ‘Whosoever desires to gaze upon a man from the inhabitants of Paradise, may he look upon this one.”
    [Sahih al-Imam Muslim]

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  99. Ayyub al-Sakhtiyani, the famous Basran Tabi’i, said: “Indeed, from the well-being of a youth or a non-Arab is that Allah should guide them to a scholar from the companions of the Sunnah.”

    al-Hasan al-Basri, another famous Tabi’i, said: “Do not sit with the people of innovated beliefs, do not debate with them and do not listen to them.”

    Abu Qilabah, another one, said: “Do not sit with them (i.e. innovators) and do not mix with them for I do not feel safe that they will not drown you in their misguidance and confuse you about much that you used to know.”

    Fudayl b. Iyad said: “Do not trust the innovator concerning your religion, and do not seek his advice in your affairs, and do not sit with him since whoever sits with an innovator Allah will cause him to become blind.”

    And he also said: “I reached the best of the people, all of them were people of the Sunnah, and they warned against the people of innovation.”

    Ibrahim b. Maysarah said: “He who honours an innovator has assisted in the demolition of Islam.”

    I hope such Athâr of the Salaf have been taken into consideration, before embarking on something heavy as a pledge.

    And I hope the scholars, the elder ones who have alot of knowledge and experience and who are the inheritors of our beloved Prophet, have been consulted on such matters. And if not, it would be wise to inform them of it so we can take their advice.

    wa-Allahu Alam.

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  100. assalamu alaykum

    Shibli, if a person does all the things mentinoed in this hadith and then insults Allah and His Messenger or believes that Jesus, son of Mary, peace be upon him, was the only begotten son of God, or that Abdul Qadir Jilani hears him and answers his prayers, will he still enter Jannah as per this hadith?

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  101. wa `alaykum as-salam, Abu Bakr. You inquired:

    [Shibli, if a person does all the things mentinoed in this hadith and then insults Allah and His Messenger or believes that Jesus, son of Mary, peace be upon him, was the only begotten son of God, or that Abdul Qadir Jilani hears him and answers his prayers, will he still enter Jannah as per this hadith?]

    قال: تعبد الله لا تشرك به شيئا
    “(The Messenger of Allah) replied, ‘Worship Allah and do not associate any partner with Him…”

    You people are all so charged up that you aren’t even reading properly.

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  102. Just confirmed that Shaykh Waleed was indeed a signatory.

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  103. Interesting statement

    This athar from Mutarraf ibn Abdullah ibn Shikhir, one of the more prominent of the Tabi’in (died 95) comes to mind.

    He said:

    We used to go to Zayd ibn SuHan, he would admonish us saying “Oh servants of God, Be kind and kindred; the servants means to God are found in only two things: Fear and Hope.

    Mutarraf – may God show him his mercy – said: I went to him one day and found the people had written a document, something similar to the following format: “God is our Lord, Muhammad is our Prophet, the Quran is our leader, who ever is with us then we are… (etc., etc.) and whoever differs then we are against him, and we are… (etc., etc.)”

    Mutarraf said: They then presented this document to everyone, one by one, asking “Do you agree, oh so-and-so?” until they reached me. They said “Do you agree young man?”

    I said: “No”

    Zayd ibn SuHan said: “Don’t show haste with the young man. What is it that you have to say, Oh young man?”

    I said: “God Almighty has certainly taken from me a covenant in his book, as such I will not create another separate from that which he himself took from me.”

    The people then retracted, not one of them agreeing, and they were around thirty people.

    [See Hilyat al-Awliya (2/204) and Al-Siyar (4/192)]

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  104. You’re right, I should have typed out my questionmore carefully, however as you and I both know, those who make du’a to Abdul-Qadir Jilani do not regard that as worship. As for those who insult Allah and His Messenger amongst the “Muslims”, they will also claim that they worship Allah alone. In fact, you will find people doing both of these actions calling themselves “Sunnis”. You will even find some who do the first or propogate it that are considered scholars.

    Thissort of issue is my major concern with this pact

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  105. MM Mods perhaps it would be a good time to suspend the discussion?

    :)

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  106. Pls note all the comments related to the question I had posted were moderated due to a complete misunderstanding of what I was getting at and at the advice of the Shayookh. The point of the pledge was never to be the all-authoritative, binding and “THE” resolution from the “salafi” point of view. So, the “us” vs. “them” angle (not even considering the fact that just because someone didn’t sign it doesn’t mean that he is against it or for it) is unfortunate, and not implied. -Amad

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  107. Assalamu alaikum. When I first read this pledge I thought ok that sounds nice mashaAllah, but then I read it again. I feel that ideally it is good but practically its not. What I feel that most ppl are going to take from this is that this sheikh signed a pledge with this sheikh and so everything that sheikh says he also agrees with to be true. Now as a Muslim who in the past couple of years moved to the west coast- I tell you what-there are sooo many Muslims who have an understanding of Islam that I was completly unaware of before moving here. Maybe I lived in a bubble before, but SubanAllah! I also can not tell you how many ppl MashaAllah become Muslim out here and then you don’t see them for a few weeks or months. Then one day you see them again and they are talking about how Allah is everywhere, and that they learned about some dua’a to say this many times and then you do this, this many times and then that will happen, or that they attend a dhikr cirlce once a week where they are chanting certain words, the list goes on and on. Now I am supposed to say “ok Alhumdulilah” because I am not a scholar? I can’t agree with that! Now of course there is common sense involved here in how you handle this situation, but I can’t just walk away from that person and be ok with it!

    Now I am all for standing together as Muslims for our rights here in the west. I don’t care who you are or even if you are Muslim for that, but I am cautious on the other side of this pledge and what it is implying.?

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  108. If you would like to talk about following, you have some of the biggest no names on your list, people who make themselves out to be so big (especially at the grass roots level : ) ) but in reality do they have any support? So I really do believe that figures should not be looked at in terms of how much following they have, but rather the effects they have on the ummah, society, and most importantly how much of what they’re calling to is actually the truth. Another observance of this pact is, how many of these people have been giving da’wah for over 20 years…where is the seniority? Key members who established the da’wah were not consulted, this is something definitely to be concerned about. Ja’far Idress…the amount that he’s done for the ummah and the west,..his seniority…the wisdom and experience…how is it at all not considered… how could you ever not consult him when he is the teacher and shaikh of alot of the people that did sign? Bilal Philips? Siraj Wahaj? Jamal Zarbozo? the list goes on… Consultation of more credible sources needs to be mentioned. Then after that you mention people with followings…you might do some justice to the western ummah. Allah knows better and best.

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  109. where is sheikh hussain abdul-sattar, was he asked?

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  110. Umm Hussayn if I was a shaykh I sure wouldn’t want any of your support. LOL.

    Now would really be a good time to end the discussion Amad. I don’t know MM’s policy but their is a limit to everything ya know.

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  111. Insha’Allah the MM editorial board will close the comments soon (after we consult w/ each other)… Amad and the others are probably praying Taraweeh right now :)
    I suggest you read the latest post for now ;)

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  112. closing the comments would be very counter productive, ask sunniforum. It would only widen the gap.

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  113. We’ll see what the others say, insha’Allah… for now, the comments are open.

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  114. Asalaamu Alaykum,

    please don’t close the comments. If this pledge can’t stand up to a few criticisms, then what does that say?

    Open discussion is better.

    Waslaamu Alaykum,

    Abu Adam

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  115. It’s not the pledge I’m concerned about, it’s about people getting distracted from what’s more important right now… after all, it’s Ramadhaan – we should be focused on increasing our ‘ebaadah and getting the most of out of this blessed month rather than getting sidetracked by arguments and debates over something which doesn’t really seem to affect most of us directly.

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  116. Ding ding ding!

    Here’s a solution – shut down the comments section here until Ramadan ends. Open it back up afterwards.

    True, most people will simply find another venue to sound off and argue, but that doesn’t mean you have to be a party to it ;)

    Siraaj

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  117. Siraaj, you read my mind! :)
    Like I said above, I’ll have to wait for the other board members to respond. For now, all we can do is watch our tongues/ fingers.

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  118. O Allah, the Lord of Jibrail, Mikaeel, and Israfeel, Originator of the Heavens and the Earth, Knower of the seen and the unseen. You are the One who arbitrates between your servants in that which they dispute. Guide me to the truth by Your leave in that which they have differed. Verily, You guide whomsoever You will to the straight path.

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  119. As salaamu’alaykum.

    Everything that Allaah likes is an ebaada, discussing something like this is not wrong , as long as the discussion is civil.

    Peoples concerns should be adressed , after all those that signed this are speaking for us, and encouraging us to have the same co-operation that they wish to have.

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  120. Jabir Ibn ‘Abd Allah narrated, the Messenger of Allah (SAAW) said:

    “Do not acquire knowledge in order to vie with scholars, …whoever does that his abode will be the Fire, the Fire.”

    (Ibn Hibban, Sahih)

    The moment I saw someone doing “acid test” on Yasir Qadhi, they lost credibility for me. Then when I saw the same person went on with the mantra of how Yasir Qadhi “failed” the test I saw the immaturity shinning through. It really doesn’t matter for me if that person is called al Harrani or has any other name, the manner told me right off that this attitude is not the attitude of a student of knowledge much less someone knowledgeable.

    I am not going to make any comparisons with the pact of hudaybiya because the two pacts are totally different, yet the events from the life of prophet sallalahu alahi wassalam are meant to teach us something. While the pact of hudaybiya looked like it was simply going to benefit the Quraish of Makkah legitamizing in their oppression and torture of Muslims and that Muslims had mostly a losing situation however, what we learnt from the attitude of sahaba that even when they didn’t like the pact, they respected the decession of their leader. They didn’t test their leader, nor did they disrespect him. And their leader didn’t consult them beforehand if he should do this pact or not.

    It doesn’t surprise me to see people disagreeing, the pact clearly indicated some will, what saddens me is how some have decided to deal with their disagreement. We seemed to be far off from the tarbiya of how not to take teachers/leaders at convenience. So long the teacher agrees with me, I’ll respect him.

    Shutting down the discussion probably wont work but reflecting on our behaviour will.

    May Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala grant us wisdom, purify our hearts and protect our teachers.

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  121. asalamalaikum. JAK Omar for the link to Shaykh Waleed. Interesting and thoughful.

    JAK Sr. Shama for your comments and everyone else for their thoughts.

    I have a lot on my mind but will limit it to two thoughts at the moment, one positive and one ironic:

    1) There is a silver lining to the clouds here. It is obvious that the people of Sunnah cling to their deen and ideology in the strongest of fashions and view anything that even appears to detract it with great introspection. This in itself is a sign of the resilience.

    2) At the same time I find it ironic that those calling out with “where are the ulema” have themselves not consulted the ulema (or at least mentioned so) or brought anything from the ulema. Rather they have relied on lesser students of knowledge (lesser in terms of experience and even age collectively) to counter those with more experience and more knowledge (at least what is apparent).

    wsalam

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  122. Dear brother Amad,

    I have detailed my criticism of the document above. Please feel free to respond. We wouldn’t like to get side tracked into personal insults or useless comments. Who has or has not signed it does not matter. Those who haven’t signed it are far greater in number than those who have. There is a lot of politics involved in why some of them might not like to go public at this stage. I can say this because I have spoken to them. But this is all besides the point. I do not want to prove or disprove something by looking at the number of people that have signed it, questioning their credentials and establishing my own. This is not about who is bigger and more learned than the other.

    Arguments are all there and a response would be helpful.

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  123. salam Akhi Abu azZubair, I wasn’t playing the numbers game at all. And the intention of the “pledge founders” was not to capture every single person of knowledge either, mostly for practical reasons, and partly because this is not supposed to be binding on anyone.

    The point of my second comment was clear, in that one of the arguments made against the pledge was the reference to the lack of Ulema, and why this contention falls flat in the face of the reality of those arguing with this point due to the lack of any “referring back to the ulema” by them.

    There was absolutely no insult intended. Shaykh Haitham is a personal friend and teacher, for instance. And I have great respect for you as well. The reality though is that there are more knowledgeable and more experienced people who signed the pledge than those who have disagreed with it. Fact, not emotion or astighfirullah any insult. This sort of vetting of the parties is fair and part of the due and just process whenever one weighs pros and cons of anything.

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  124. “Ding ding ding!

    Here’s a solution – shut down the comments section here until Ramadan ends. Open it back up afterwards.”

    But if this is what’s happening in Ramadan, I can only imagine what will happen after Ramadan :)

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  125. Brother Amad, the fundamental problem is that you have already assumed that those who signed this are far greater in knowledge and experience than those who have not. What makes you think that the contemporaries of these signatories are less knowledgeable? After all they studied in the same Uni. One of the signatories has finished his masters from madina, but so has his contemporary who disagrees. Another one is a graduate, so are so many other people who have not signed it. And in many respects they might be far more knowledgeable with respect to some issues and not so knowledgeable with respect to others. So please, do refrain from making false assumptions that those who didn’t sign are somehow lesser than those who did.

    I mean, tomorrow, I can get Sh Safar to sign it and other big names. What would you say then? Who on the list is more senior than Sh Ja’far Idris?

    But to me, this is all childish talk. Mature people, especial those who have shunned the Salafi past are expected to look more at the argument than the one making that argument.

    Which is why I keep on insisting that I have been my arguments very clear quoting explicitly passages from the contract and arguing why they contradict the shari’a. Maturity dictates that the arguments are refuted, and not that people are insulted or questioned or discredited. (btw, the ref to insulting was not directed at you…)

    All we are saying is let’s talk it out.

    And Ramadan shouldn’t be an excuse to delay such important issues.

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  126. “I mean, tomorrow, I can get Sh Safar to sign it and other big names”

    ‘Sign it… ‘ meaning sign a counter-statement.

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  127. Yes comments aren’t closed yet.

    Who will have the last comment!? The race is on!

    Everyone should listen to this: Sh. Yasir Qadhi – Day of Judgement.

    Yallah! Click!

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  128. Sr. Shama,

    As salaam ‘alaykum wa rahamatullah.

    Jazaakillahu khairan for your thoughts and comments. They truly were very touching and one can honestly feel that they came from the heart. I pray Allah protects you and continues to guide all of us. Aameen.

    As much as my heart was filled with sorrow after reading your post, my mind continued to reflect on your words. And I would like to share with you some of the conclusions I reached, just as you did with everyone else here.

    Firstly, the hadeeth you mentioned. No one can question the authenticity of the hadeeth you mentioned (it is indeed a scary one indeed). Yet one can question the strength of the correlation between the message of the hadeeth and the situation we have at hand. In the words of Yasir himself: “We are nothing more than pseudo-scholars”. So to give them the rights of the scholars is an injustice to great tradition of islamic scholarship through out our history. A person as great as Yasir has benefited the ummah much indeed, but that still doesn’t mean we put him in a position higher than he is deserving. You can refer to the introduction of Imam Muslim to his Saheeh, as well as the tafseer of (12:76).

    My second observation was pertaining to the “Acid test”. The acid test was not done on Yasir Qadhi, but rather the pledge itself. It was there to prove that we can no longer call a spade, a spade anymore. If we believe the ashaairah are heretics, there shouldn’t be anything that stops us from calling them just that. Likewise, if we believe they are sunnis there should be nothing to prevent us from that as well. We need to learn to be open, concise, and specific in our speech. Rather than hiding behind vague and ambiguous words, going around in circles, and causing confusion for the masses.

    My third point -Baaraka Allahu feeki- is on your comparison of the attitudes of the sahaabah towards the treaty of hudhaybeeyah and the attitude of those who question this pledge. The very first point you have to remember is that the one who agreed to sign the treaty of hudhaybeeyah was a Man who was receiving revelation and inspiration from the most high. Our brothers who agreed to this pledge, with all due respect to their knowledge, are not receiving any divine inspiration but rather are just using their own personal ijtihaad. So note that it would be easier for the sahaabah to accept that from the Prophet, than it is for us to accept this pledge from our “leaders”. A man who receives revelation is in no need to consult anyone, but do notice at the same time that the Prophet (SAW) was the most consulting of men. So to use a one off example is not valid, but rather we look at his life as whole.

    Also keeping in mind that the integrity (if not their judgment) of some our leaders can also be brought into question, due to some of the actions that they have been doing. One need look no further than Aug 16th, 2006. Or maybe ask the the muslims Australia of those that are from there. The Sahabah did whole heartdly submit to the commands from Allah and his messenger, but even that did not prevent them from asking the reasoning behind it.

    I hope my points are clear insha Allah. May Allah continue to grant us tawfeeq to do all good during this blessed month. Aameen.

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  129. Brother Amad,

    As salaam ‘alaikum wa rahamatullah.

    I’d like to start off by saying that I love you for the sake of Allah. I know it’s not easy being in a position of criticism, and I pray that Allah grants you (and all of us) the tawfeeq to continue doing the right thing. Aameen. I admire the patience you’ve had with everyone and sincerely thank you for it.

    Secondly, my beloved brother, I would like to point out that it is upon the person(s) taking the (greater) action to seek council with his(their) elders and superiors before they delve into anything that can effect the da’wah scene and ummah as a whole. This part should not be neglected. Baaraka Allahu feekum.

    Thirdly, baaraka Allahu feek, if it is mashaykhs council that you would like, I’m willing to offer my services to call any specific group of mashaykh you’d like. Whether it be Mohammad Khaleefah Tameemi and Saud al Khalaf (Yasirs personal teachers and supervisors) or Abdur Razzaq al ‘abbaad and his Father (Abdul Muhsin) or perhaps Sh Ahmad Rashid (tawfeeqs teacher). Or perhaps you’d like to take it to the mashaykh of Riyaadh (Fawzaan, Jibreen, Abu Zayd, etc…) in anycase if you’re willing to resolve this with the mashaykh (in its true sense) then I think that would be great, but what I fear is that people will not live up to their judgement, as some people have already written their decision in stone. So the ball is in your court.

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  130. A very serious problem that exists in the USA and UK is when people go back to Saudi Arabia and other Muslim majority nations to get the scholars to parrot what they want them to say to support their positions. Example:

    Real scenario: “Salafi” and “Ikhwani” people disagree on voting in general elections.

    Salafi goes back to Shaykh Fulan in Saudi Arabia:

    “There are modernists and people of bid`ah from the Ikhwan, who say we should vote in general elections and pledge our allegiance to the kuffaar. Can you please comment on pledging allegiance to the kuffaar and what it entails?”

    Salafi gets the answer he wants.

    Ikhwani goes back to Egypt and asks:

    “There are Wahhabiyyah in the USA who preach hatred and destruction of the US government. What should our stance be against such people?”

    Ikhwani gets the answer he wants.

    Rinse and repeat…

    There are a thousand other variants of this scenario and it has been going on for years. Often times when these people go back to the scholars they pepper their “inquiries” with the flesh of their Muslim brothers.

    So when someone says, “I talked to Shaykh Fulan from Jeddah and he said you’re all going to hell.” Realize that he may as well have asked the Shaykh what the position of Abu Jahl will be on the Day of Judgement. Don’t accept any of this unless you can 100% substantiate the environment in which the Shaykh was asked (was he under pressure from peers and students in the room?), the exact wording of the question, is the Shaykh in a position to understand the question’s context, and the Shaykh’s EXACT WORDS, and many other variables.

    Unless you can know these things 100% for sure then you’re probably better off ignoring it.

    w-Allahu A`lam. was-salam

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  131. asalam alaykum

    when Shaykh Wasiullah was in Manchester (a few weeks ago) he was asked about this issue of unity, heres a summary of his answer:

    ‘the shaykh was asked a question on Unity between the different groups, or jammats as he put it. I wrote a few notes on his answer:

    ”…he started with saying of the messenger about the sects amongst the Jews -> 71 sects and the Christians -> 72 sects and how all of these will be in the fire except for one of them. He said the correct way for unity is to stick to the book of Allah and the sunnah of the messenger.
    He briefly mentioned that not all muslims in these sects will abide in hell forever – after being purified from the fire they will then enter the heaven (inshaAllah). He continued, ‘Unity amongst the sects is not possible since you cannot unite with those who commit shirk with Allah’.
    Note: he started with saying ‘la ya joos’ (not permissible).
    This was everything I wrote down – there’s definitely more though.”

    (found here: http://alternativeentertainment.wordpress.com/2007/09/04/pg-ramadhan-updates/#comments)

    I asked Abu Easa:
    ”How do we understand the shaykhs answer with recent events, does this change your recent efforts of ‘unity’?

    AE’s reply
    Let my “efforts of unity” manifest themselves first, then we’ll see insha’Allah. I’m glad to see that the event went well as I heard.”

    It would be good to get a more specific fatwa – inshaAllah

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  132. I was curious is rumaysaan, the learned abu rumaysa, one of the greatest translators in the west.

    Jinzaman , I am not being reactionary, I raised a legitimate concern, I feel it is counter productive to consult the Dalai Lama on how to improve the image of Islam in the west, when shaykh hamza yusuf , studied under some of the greatest scholars the ummah has produced. The effect this has on the youth is that it could potentially allow them to take the Dalai Lama as a spiritual authority. Let alone dragging the president of ISNA into it.

    As far as we can tell, no, IP addresses are different -MM

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  133. also to clarify sister salafiya , I am a guy.

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  134. I’m not sure why everyone is getting all defensive with Abu Zubair’s criticism. Sh. Yasir is always asking his students to ask intelligent questions, and as far as this pact is concerned, I think Abu Zubair has hit the nail on the head. So, I really would like to see Sh. Yasir respond to Abu Zubair’s criticisms.

    Ramadan or no Ramadan is not really an excuse because this post was made in Ramadan. If the replies to the criticism was to be held-off until after Ramadan, then the post should have been held-off as well.

    Also, this debate needs to be held in public because the matter affects the public and the pact is released to the public.

    Lastly, those who don’t really have much to add to the actual debate should really stop making this page longer.

    My $0.02

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  135. al-Salamu ‘Alaikum,

    It would be not too much if this ‘pledge’ is brought in front of some of the major scholars these days, i.e. translated in Arabic and accompanied with some explanations.

    People who find it disturbing to ask what the scholars may opinion, should think twice. They are the inheritors of the Prophet, who are most knowledgeable of the Shari’ah and its objectives and who have the best concern with the general Muslim communities. Beside they being elders, it is most fitted to ask them at least what they think of such an initiative that concerns the general Muslims and which is something public.

    As for the fear one might have, in getting conflicting opinions, then that is surely no reason to ignore their position and – more importantly – their responsibility as inheritors of this Ummah. And I don’t believe, neither any sane person I guess, that people willingly misinterpret their views; after all, aren’t the students of the ‘Ulama who narrate what they say? And most of the people who signed the pledge are considered to be students of ‘Ulama? I’m saying: let the brethren ask the active scholars, one, two or three; and let them inform us of their views with respect to this heavy matter.

    wa-Allahu A’lam

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  136. Harun al-Qayrawani

    as-Salaamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu

    It appears to me that while critics of this pledge seem to have convinced themselves that their objections are factual and concrete, the reality is that these arguments are littered with baseless assumptions and reading into the simple text of the pledge unwarranted ideas, as Yasir Qadhi pointed out.

    To illustrate this, I would like to dissect the post by my respected brother, al-Harrani (may Allah bless him), where he has summarized a number of his arguments.

    Let’s keep in mind al-Harrani’s statement:
    (((Let me now list the problems with this pledge and show why it contradicts the Shari’a)))

    This is no small claim, and hence we should find in his post explicit factual evidence that demonstrates how this pledge contradicts the Shari’a. But instead, we find nothing of this sort. Let’s begin examining the arguments one-by-one.

    (((1) To begin with, there shouldn’t be a need for a pledge, if it really is all about cooperation and nothing else.)))
    I’m afraid this is simply not an argument. Because the pledge is unnecessary, therefore it contradicts the Shari’ah?! And this is your very first objection, immediately after stating you are going to show why the pledge contradicts the Shari’ah!! Brother, there SHOULDN’T be a need to tell muslims – or anyone for that matter – to be respectful, polite courteous. It’s a given. Unfortunately, there IS a need, because common sense is not all that common when the emotional supercedes supercedes the rational mind and the desires dominate the nafs. There ‘shouldn’t’ be a need to condemn aggression and violence or other things which have nothing to do with Islam. Unfortunately, there IS a need, because people don’t seem to get it.

    (((2. The contract, nearly in its entirety, is about recognising the heretics as Sunnis and their differences with us as legitimate.)))
    Just because you say so, doesn’t make it so. It has already been mentioned that this pledge is NOT about justifying any theology. This pledge is about putting an end to the splintering of our community due to ignorant and rash action on the part of those with little knowledge. The problem is that the over-zealous youth have created a firestorm in the western muslim community labeling one another deviant, engaging in character assasination, personal attacks, maligning organizations, and so on, creating huge divisions in the community amongst people who – at the end of the day – really don’t understand the nature of these differences between salafis and sufis anyway! This pledge is for the leading students of knowledge to come together and discuss these important differences BUT WITH RESPECT AND PROPER ADAB, not leaving it to ignorant laymen to bash people on internet forums.

    Yes there are major differences, but how do we deal with those differences? By getting the average lay people on the internet calling each other liars and disbelievers and writing articles bashing eachother? Or by those who are knowledgeable and have actually studied these issues in detail from real scholars coming together and discussing with proper adab? Even the average muslim who calls him or herself a sufi may not really understand the true nature of the sufi/ash’ari beliefs. These fights amongst people in the muslim community are never productive and cause more harm than good. People spend more time reading refutations of deviants than trying to do something beneficial for the ummah and trying to come closer to Allah, Subhanahu wa ta’aala.

    (((For instance, paragraph #1 states: ‘we recognize that the historical nature of Sunni Islam is a broad one’. Were it to say: ‘Sunni Islam in its broadest sense’, as it did at the end of the paragraph, it wouldn’t have been an issue.)))

    Actually there is no contradiction between the two since the statement concerning the nature of Sunni Islam being broad is in reference to the concept of Sunni Islam in its broadest sense!! This is a perfect example of playing with semantics of the wording to create unfounded objections. “Oh, Technically, it should have been worded this way or that way!!” What’s next? Spelling errors??

    (((It states: ‘Urge Muslims to categorically cease all attacks on individual Muslims and
    organizations whose varying positions can be substantiated based on the broad scholarly
    tradition of the Sunni Muslims.’ This implies that the heretical views held by the Ash’aris have a basis in the broad scholarly tradition of Sunni Muslims, and therefore on that basis they shouldn’t be attacked. This implicitly gives legitimacy to heretical non-Sunni views.))))

    Notice it says individual muslims and organizations. What it implies is that individuals should not personally be attacked for holding views that thousands of sincere Muslim scholars who studied the Book and the Sunnah, have held before them. Instead you can criticize the CONCEPT with sound arguments and evidence from the Qur’an, Sunnah and the understanding of the salaf, etc.

    This basic misunderstanding about the pledge is repeated throughout your post. The pledge does not prevent one from teaching what they hold to be the correct aqeedah and answering objections and positions that run contrary to it. Rather, the pledge prevents one from futile LABELLING OF INDIVIDUALS AND ORGANIZATIONS. For instance, to denounce a specific individual on the pledge as a deviant heretic and call others to boycott them is counterproductive and not appropriate. Instead, one can point out the correct matter and why that which runs contrary to it is incorrect.

    (((It states: ‘Saying this, we do not deny the reality of legitimate differences and approaches’, and hence, it explicitly confirms for us all that the pact regards the differences between Ash’aris and Sunnis as legitimate. )
    There is a correct meaning to the statement and an incorrect meaning, and you have chosen to interpret it with the latter. As for the former, it implies legitimacy, not in the sense that we agree all theologies are equally founded in the Qur’an and Sunnah, but in the sense that such differences are present in the community and those who hold them have their reasons for doing so even though we may disagree, and they should be cooperated with and when such issues are discussed they are to be discussed in a respectful manner with proper adab amongst those with advanced knowledge of the issues.

    Another mistake that you make is conflating the issue of what we believe and how we express it. And this is an extremely important point. For instance, we believe that the one who disbelieves in the Prophet Muhammad sallalahu alayhi wa salaam is going to be punished in hell. But would we attend an interfaith dialogue and yell out to Christian attendees, “O you cross-worshippers!!! O you followers of satan!! You Mushrikeeen! You are going to burn in hellfire!! So believe in Islam”. How productive would that be? That would drive people away from Islam. As you know the ayah “Fabimaa rahmatin minAllahi linta lahum…” until the end, and also “Ud’oo ilaa sabeeli rabbika bil HIKMA…” until the end. So just because we believe that the Ash’ari positions are wrong, dangerous, and lacking any basis from the Islamic evidences, it does not mean that we are going to express that belief in the unsuitable manner that you propose. Telling people they are heretics is not likely to make them receptive to new information.

    (((3. It forbids the obligation of commanding the good and forbidding the evil on those capable of performing it for no obvious Shara’i reason.)))
    No it doesn’t. It asks that we do so with wisdom and in the correct setting, and with the correct etiquettes as the great scholars and exegetes of the past have explained.

    (((It states: ‘Urge Muslim scholars and students of sacred knowledge to take the lead in working to end ad hominem attacks on other scholars and students;’ This goes against the Shari’a since the Muslims are obliged to attack heresy and heretics.)))
    Keyword: Ad hominem.

    (((It states that the layman is not required to know anything other than the six pillars of faith.)))
    Regarding other than this, one who is ignorant has the excuse, ‘udhr bil-jahl. Thus, it is perfectly correct in what it says. There is no excuse in these six fundamentals, but if someone does not know all the linguistic gymnastics and textual polemics surrounding tafweed, ta’weel, ta’teel, tashbeeh, tamtheel, takyeef, takhyil, sifat dhaatiyah, sifat ikhtiyaareeyah, haqeeqee and majaazeee….. and so on and so – that’s not a problem!!

    (((It urges instant cessation of takfeer. It states: ‘We especially urge the immediate cessation of all implicit or explicit charges of disbelief;’)))
    Takfeer is a serious matter and hence merits such serious treatment. Muslims in general have really abused it, and this is not related to the obligatory matters you are referring to, but rather a disease in our community. Again, you read into the pledge ideas which are not there.

    So, in conclusion, dear and respected brother al-Harrani – you are entitled to your opinion on this matter but clearly your objections are not concrete and your statement that the pledge contradicts the Shari’ah is a gross charge which is not supported by anything you have said.

    I ask Allah to forgive us all in this blessed month and guide us to that which is pleasing to him.

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  137. Harun al-Qayrawani

    A few other things I forgot

    (((This pact necessitates that we no longer teach our Sunni commoners the Wasitiyya, the Hamawiyya or even the Sharh of al-Tahawiyya, or that the commoners must not criticise the Ash’aris based on what they have learnt from such blessed Sunni works.)))

    This is demonstrably false since courses taught by Yasir Qadhi and others like “Light Upon Light” teach students exactly the material found in all the books upon the salafi aqeedah, such as those by Ibn Taymiyyah, ad-Daarimi, Ibn Qudaamah, and hundreds of others. And this very course contains a detailed section on deviations in which Ash’ari aqeedah and the arguments used in support of it are analyzed and criticized in great detail with reference to al-Juwayni, Ghazali, Baqillani, Ar-Razi and others. So we can safely discard this objection of yours.

    On another note, there was the comment that the number of scholars who have not signed the pledge is bigger than those who have, and this is not only a futile comment but it clearly misses the point brother Amad was making. Which scholars have SPOKEN AGAINST the pledge? Not refused to sign it, or didn’t hear about it, or not affected by it, etc. Which one spoke against it? And there you will find that there is more in favour of the pledge than there is against it. You have senior students of knowledge like Shaykh Yasir Birjas and Shaykh Waleed Basyouni and others who studied under the likes of Shaykh Shanqitee, Shaykh Uthaymeen, Shaykh Bin Baaz, and you level the charge against them that they are intentionally and knowingly contradicting the Shari’ah? SubhanAllah, brother, I don’t know what to say.

    wa alay-kum as-salaam

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  138. Comment Moderated– Br. Suhail: Harun provided arguments, just like others did. Let’s keep the topic, not each other. -MM

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  139. I pledge to this.

    “Unity through Diversity”

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  140. comment moderated– let’s stick to the topic and not each other -MM

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  141. Asalaamu Alaiakum,

    Harun al-Qayrawani, great post & points brother.

    Ma’Salaama

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  142. assalaam ‘alaikum
    Just some general guidelines for everyone because we will be generous about moderating comments from hereon:

    -READ the comments first, if your point has ALREADY been made, don’t repeat it. Otherwise it will be deleted… its not personal, just saving your energy and everyone else’s.
    -Please DO NOT make personal comments. Stick to topic, not to others.
    -Please DO NOT patronize. If you don’t like the discussion, then you don’t have to read it. Don’t call out those who want to participate in it due to the importance they may feel is attached to it.

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  143. Harun al-Qayrawani

    as-Salaamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu

    I did interpret the pledge from a different angle. Why? To show that it does not necessitate the wrong implications that its critics have laid out. Always have the best opinions and thoughts regarding your muslim brothers and sisters. And I didn’t just give interpretations of the pledge based on whims – I supported it based on what these du’aat stand for, and I gave the example of the aqeedah class taught and how it shows that it is not in any way preventing the correct aqeedah from being taught nor does it prevent wrong beliefs from being criticized. I’m not reading extra assumptions into the pledge, I’m reconciling the explicit statements of the salafi signatories with the subtle details of the wordings that the critics constructed their entire arguments on. The point is, the objections are based on assumptions that are unwarranted. If one can’t PROVE that one’s assumptions about the pledge are the reality, then one cannot substantiate one’s objections, and these objections remain conjectural.

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  144. We need a cool down period.

    Everything will balance out insha Allah.

    The Asma wa Sifaat debate has been going on for a long time, I don’t think this pledge will bring it to an end.

    There will always be people defending the Sunnah. Even if in our own minds we feel that some have abandoned it.

    Let’s make taubah for our sins, we might might not make it to next year.

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  145. Br Harun,

    ‘aazaka Allah akhee,

    You have definitely thought out your answers, maa shallah tabaaraka Allah. May Allah reward you for the ihsaan you put into it.

    I don’t have it in me to counter argue all of your points, so I will suffice with the one that requires the least amount of writing (for the time being insha Allah).
    1- As for the light upon light class taught by Yasir it was a milestone for sunni ‘aqeedah in North America indeed. Light upon Light is a class that was and no longer is. Brothers who have attended the seminars have over heard Yasir saying that it will be the last time he teaches the class as whole (I.E. the refutation and detailed sifaat part, also known as the second weekend). Thus making it a one weekend class where refutation of the ashaairah is not discussed. This was further confirmed by Almaghrib workers. So there was a class that did teach detailed rudood, but that class is no more. Perhaps Yasir can shed some light on that. If my sources are incorrect I apologize, however for the time being I have no way of further confirming.

    2- It is one thing to stop criticizing deviants, its another thing to tell people its okay to study with them, and perhaps even encourage it as well. As was done this year by Yasir at ISNA/MSA. With an audience between 20,000 to 40,000.

    So to say that some legitimizing isn’t taking place is an incorrect assessment. I believe the ambiguities of the pledge are specified by the actions of those who signed it. Which Allah only knows, and of which time will show us how far they go in implementing this pledge, and perhaps even going beyond it.

    May Allah guide us to that which is best and most beloved to him. Aameen.

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  146. الحمد لله رب العالمين، وصلى الله وسلم وبارك على نبينا محمد وعلى آله وصحبه أجمعين
    وبعد
    السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركات
    akhee jinzaman

    the zaytoona institute is in fact headed away from the subserviance to sufism and into the subserviance of the asrani/aqlaani movement. It is quite clear once one observes the non esoterical elements in Hamza Yusif’s dawah within the institute particularly after the 9-11 thing.

    I don’t think much of those who find fault with Abu Zubayr’s stance are basing it on constructive cirticism, but rather on emotions. Abu Zubair’s words, if examined, is what is the result of this pact. What is easily seen form the pact itself based on the wording is the for the qawaa’id of ahlu-sunnah to be placed in the back seat for the purpose of appeasing and not offending validly ruled heretics shar’i wise. This is no different than the liberal/conservative polemics in which conservatives question the validity and integretiy of the intentions liberals pose for their enforced visions of appeasement and “not offending others” methodology

    lastly, anyone who has any sense and any ikhlaas would realize that actions of this nature (magnitude) require the consultation of Ahlul-Ilm rather than in the hands of students.

    as someone pledged to “unity through diversity”
    the asl of muslims is “Unity through haq”

    There is no unity in division, there is only cooperation, and that is only through that which is cooperable. There are to many accounts in whih ahlul-hadeeth were upon this and never fumbled to this “unity through diveristy” methodology.

    May Allah guide us to His siraat
    نفعنا الله بعلمكم، وأثابكم، وصلى الله على سيدنا محمد وعلى صحبه أجمعين

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  147. When these shuyookh stand before Allah they will be able to tell Allah, “Allah you knew our condition. You knew how we were being attacked and killed. How Your Prophet SAAWS was being insulted around the world. You knew we were weak with division. You knew that we were struggling to even practice Your deen. You knew all this and you know all this. And we, knowing all this made a decision that perhaps we would not have made under other circumstances for Your sake and ours.

    And Allah will understand. And if you think He won’t than you have to realize Allah is not a ‘robot’, He is not unaware of our condition, of the very thoughts in your mind.

    Islam is aql and naql–don’t forget the aql or else you’ll be seen as a naql-head !

    Shaykh Waleed Basyouni pointed out that Salahudin Ayubi was an Ashari and the Ummah united behind him. Ali (ra) fought alongside men who our hearts would feel were worse than an Islam-hater. If these great men made these decisions–who are we to now say, “No you are wrong.”

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  148. Salaam alaykum, Ar-Rumaysaan,

    I corresponded with Shaykh Yasir just today about what was mentioned, and Light upon Light will be taught.

    There is a one weekend version as well, and it may be as you’ve said with refutations removed, but they will both still be taught. I can’t wait til it comes to Chicago – everyone loves Shaykh Yasir over here ;)

    Siraaj

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  149. SubhanAllah if only such passion, enthusiasm, and fervor in Muslims would be evoked from more dire matters – the open wounds of the ummah that continue to bleed in so many places the world over; the apparent death of khushoo in our prayers; and the indifference we now see and experience to open and blatant evils in our communities.

    The very existence of the way of Allah in this world is under threat, perhaps if we were a little more mindful of our situation we would see things for what they are.

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  150. Br. Siraaj,

    Wa ‘alaikum as salaam wa rahamatullahi wa barakaatuhu,

    I’m sorry for not making myself clearer, but the way I see it. It will be taught one or two more times. Really depending on the demand. But after that it will cease, and the one weekend class will take over. In any case my second point still stands, and insha Allah the du’aat themselves will make clear everything.

    O our lord do not deviate our hearts after you have guided us and bestow upon us mercy from you, indeed you are al-wahaab. Ameen

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  151. as-Salaamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu

    jazakAllah khayran Ar-Rumaysaan for your courteous and fair response. May Allah bless you and bring you closer to Him, Subhanahu wa ta’aala.

    If the class is still being taught, ‘depending on the demand’, as you said, then that in itself shows that its content does not run contrary to the pledge. And furthermore, even within the class itself, when discussing the deviations within the ummah, Yasir Qadhi gives numerous disclaimers about the importance of mutual respect and cooperation and leaving off unproductive argumentation, and how these serious differences need to be discussed by those with both ‘Ilm and Adab, etc. etc. and everything else that I mentioned in my earlier comments.

    Also, if you scroll up towards the top of this thread, you will find a post by Yasir Qadhi where he makes the exact same point, and mentions that he taught this class to 600 students in toronto and that it refutes modern kalaam groups, etc. Now, akhee, think about this for a moment – why would he mention this class now if he believes his approach in that class was incorrect and contrary to the spirit of the pledge?? You see, the claim that the class won’t be taught because of the new pledge is illogical on the very basis of the fact that Yasir Qadhi stands by the content of the class and actually refers to it as evidence of his view on the appropriate time and place for expressing criticism in the appropriate manner.

    In the end, as you said, we will see how things play out, inshaa’Allah.

    -

    my beloved brother al-Boriqee,

    With all due respect, it seems that while you claim others are responding to akhee Abu Zubair based on emotion, you personally lay the blanket accusation against all of us who support the pledge as well as the signatories, that we are lacking in our ikhlaas, we lack any sense, and that we are placing the fundamentals of the shari’ah aside to appease Ahlul-Bida’ah!! SubhanAllah, may Allah forgive you. I do not think such comments are befitting of a believer in any month, let alone the blessed month of Ramadan. If you can actually respond to the clear points that many others and myself have expressed, please feel free to do so. Otherwise, I ask that we all refrain from attacking anyone else without any evidence. I ask Allah to shower you with His Mercy and Blessings.

    wa alaykum salaam.

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  152. Salaams…

    How sad has this post become, the idea that a step towards *trying* to build a little unity amongst the muslims has led to so much disunity, is very disheartening indeed.

    The pledge is not there to pretend we all agree or that we can all be one big happy family, it’s aim was to stop this, exactly what is taking place, muslims attacking one another, behaving in an inappropriate manner. You do not see the scholars who have signed this behaving this way towards one another, and that is the example we should be following.

    Do you not feel ashamed that others are pointing to your posts as an example of “muslims dissing one another”……….isnt it enough that the ummah is divided that we take something that is trying to be of benefit and use it to cause more division.

    You may not agree with the pledge, or feel that it is appropriate, or that salafis should not work with Asharis etc etc etc etc…… but show some manners, be polite to one another, give those who are involved and have taken this step with the best intentions, (as i am sure it is not easy to call sooo many to agree on a pledge like this) the benfit of the doubt, that they are doing what they feel is right, for the better of this ummah as a whole.

    Do you not see the weight of the responsibility that Allah SWT has placed on them, whether you like it or not, as muslims we need to build a foundation for the way forward, this whole post has shown how dis-united we are.

    So please think deeply before you post for all to see and for it to be written on your deeds with Allah. May we all make our actions those that are pleasing to Allah and not those to split the brotherhood that should exist.

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  153. Br. Harun,

    Wa ‘alaykum as salaam wa rahamatullahi wa barakaatuhu,

    Aameen and you as well, and may He make jannatul firdaws both of our aboads. Aameen.

    Akhoona al-faadil, please do keep in mind that my comment about future classes was purely based upon the fact that Al-Maghrib, as well as being an educational institute, is a FULL TIME business. So if their is an overwhelming demand for it, and Almaghrib sees it as an over-riding Maslahah, Yasir will have no choice except to abide by his contract/agreement. Secondly we will have to see how the future classes of light upon light go (in terms of their content), if they go on (with the tawfeeq of Allah I pray they do). Thirdly, asking me why Yasir would do something is somewhat illogical, is it not? As I can’t answer on anyones behalf except myself. What I can do is state things as I see them. If it is logical perhaps I can pose my questions: What are du’aat doing shaking the hands of non mahram women? why are they promoting the institutes of Ahl ul bid’ah? Or why is Hamza Yusuf calling them “The future of north america”? (excuse me for not finding such a statement flattering at all). Or perhaps why, when logical and conscience objections are brought forth, arrogant and condescending remarks are returned? As you can see a lot of questions can be posed, but after Allah, only those whom are involved can answer these inquiries. For the sake of clarity and being open, I honestly hope they do. I still do stand by the fact that time will tell, but I also hope that we all learn from our mistakes and we take heed before making any (more) grave errors or mistakes. As today we can avoid answering mankind, but tomorrow there is no escaping the questioning of Allah.

    O Allah show us the haqq as haqq and grant us the tawfeeq to follow it, and show us baatil as baatil and grant us the tawfeeq to abstain from it. Aameen

    May Allah increase all of our du’aat and us in al-’ilm an-naafi’, al-’amal as-saalih, and hikmah. Indeed Allah is Al-’aleem al-Hakeem. Aameen.

    Baaraka Allahu feek akhee Harun, it truly is a pleasure corresponding with you. It might not be a bad idea if as a result of this pledge they hold a seminar on adab al-hiwaar wal ikhtilaaf. *hint hint* :-)

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  154. As-Salamu ‘Alaykum

    What i want to understand and maybe you Haroon could fill me in because even though yasir qadhi pushed this pledge and was involved from the very beginning he doesn’t seem to want to help people understand his pledge.

    So heres what i want to understand:

    If this piece of paper’s purpose was to help Muslims at a time when we need unity and has nothing to do with accepting and withholding from publicly criticizing the belifs of the asha’irah who signed this pledge or their shaykhs who with all due respect to them didnt sign this pledge.

    If this is the case then why don’t we add rafidha and qadiyani’s ? Surely if this bill was to promote co-operation and to lessen the burden of the muslims in the west on such issues as niqab being baned, hijab being baned, muslims being held unfairly by governments etc, then why don’t we add the rafidha? or qadiyani’s?

    Yes we all believe the qadiyani’s and co to be disbelievers, but dont you think that when non-muslims are involved in the decision making process for such issues and see a sheet with 300,000 signitors against them , that they will think to themselves :

    ” erm… ok ahmad is a sunni so lets count him, ‘abd al-fatima is a rafidhi so he doesn’t count…..”

    All they see is muslim not rafidhi , isma’eeli etc

    So the point im trying to make is that if this pledge’s MAIN purpose was to help the muslims in the west in political issues then there is virtually no issue that Muslims in the west are facing that siding with the qadiyani’s , isma’eeli’s and rafidha wont help muslims.

    So if thats the case then why aren’t they in the pledge too?

    If you scroll up you’ll see that many in fact all of the brothers who disagree with this pledge don’t have a problem with working with even the rafidha who curse the sahaba if it means more numbers on a petition to stop people banning niqab and hijab.

    and im sure that the people who signed the pledge think the same so ill ask the question again:

    If this is not about accepting anyone’s theological beliefs , increasing the crowd at their talks or refusing to call them heretics and is just about helping muslims in political issues then why doesn’t the bill say that we should work with anyone who identifies themselves as Muslims such as the rafidha, qadianis’ and co ?.

    one last point: I think people should stop trying to demonize those that disagree with this pledge as super salafi’s or other crazy things. The super salafi’s think were ALL going to hell.

    Jazakumallahu khayr.

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  155. Bint Basheer,

    akramakillah,

    Jazaakillahu khairan for your eye-tearing post. A beautiful reminder indeed, I pray that Allah grants us the tawfeeq to benefit from and implement the stated points.

    My only point of observation is if you would please scroll up and read the first post of al-harrani, then the first post of Yasir, and then the following 3 posts of Tawfique. From there on in, you would’ve noticed where the un-islamic manners began. Indeed we do reap what we sew.

    May Allah grant us ikhlaas in statement and action, and increase us in khushoo’, tawaadu’ , and hilm. Bi rahmatik yaa arham ar-raahimeeen.

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  156. Assalaamu Alaykum,

    Brother Harun al-Qayrawani, Jazak Allahu Khair for contributing to this discussion in a constructive way.

    I would respond to your input by suggesting that the fact that Yasir Qadhi already had disclaimers in his courses, shows that such a pledge was not needed, but was only needed by the Ashari’s.

    More specifically, what I’m saying is, the majority of Salafis on that pledge already co-operated with the asharies, and already promoted good manners when disagreeing, and already promoted working with others for the greater good of the Muslims.

    Hence, the predge was need neede by the salafis at all – because masha’Allah the salafi duat were already mature and well behaved in that regard. Therefore, the only thing I see the pledge doing, is legitimising the Ashari aqeedah in Salafi circles, and trying to subdue any argument against their beliefs, which they see as increasingly indefensable in the face of such good teaching by the salafi organisations.

    The Asharies needed this pledge, not the Salafis. And the Salafis are the only ones to lose, and they gain nothing – because co-operation and respect was already in place by the salafi signatories.

    I hope my comment is clear,

    Wasalaamu Alaykum,

    Abu Adam

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  157. I think Abu Rayhan’s comment is a very valid one, and deserves a response – ideally from a signatory to the pledge.

    Wasalaam

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  158. as-salaam alaykum

    I do not think this pledge is going to have any effect on the muslims, maybe the 0.05% [please prove me wrong?] of muslims in the west who use blogs and forums etc. Even then, will it change ANYTHING?

    No one has addressed al Harrani’s questions and calls for clarity, which is a very fair observation he has made.

    Unity will not be acheived by a 50,000 sell out crowd at a nasheed event, or on internet forums and blogs, or signing pledges, it is from the inviduals, the homes, the masajids, and communities that unity needs to be focussed on, at the grass roots level insha Allah.

    اللهُمَّ أَرِنَا الحَقَّ حَقّاً وَارْزُقْنَا التِبَاعَةَ وَأَرِنَا البَاطِلَ بَاطِلاً وَارْزُقْنَا اجْتِنَابَهُ، بِرَحْمَتِكَ يَا أَرْحَمَ الرَّاحِمِينَ

    and Allah Knows Best

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  159. Salaam Alaikum

    I was planning to write a longer response, but Br. Harun al-Qayrawani has stated much of what I was going to say (and also Br. Ahmad al-Farsi). Reading through Br. Harun’s comments, I agree with all of them, hence I don’t want to re-iterate those over here. Please read them again (yes, even if you’ve read them before). Here, I will comment on some matters that were not mentioned by him.
    Basically it appears that words are being distorted and intentions read in; unfortunately what this means is that the worse possible meanings are being derived, and then extrapolated to the most evil scenario, when such intentions simply do not exist, on EITHER side. I must confess that while it is saddening to see such an attitude, I accept that this is a fact of life, and there will always be people who do this, and insha Allah those who are doing it on this page are sincere (even if, in my judgment, their overzealousness is misplaced).
    - What is ironic is that while some of our brothers are so concerned that this pledge will somehow infringe on ‘our’ rights to preach the truth, this issue (of preaching the truth and expressing one’s own theological opinion and refuting other opinions) was EXPLICITLY brought up by me in the meeting that took place in Wales, where most of the signatories were physically present. I stated that of course what this pledge means is that such discussions and refutations will be done in a proper manner by all of us, and not that it will close the door for debate and teaching our respective theologies. And the main signatory from another camp – whose name has been mentioned on this page already – completely agreed and said, “Of course. It is understood that you might prefer to teach from Kitab al-Tawheed [a Salafi creed] and tell others to take from it, and wouldn’t be telling them to go to Sharh Jawharat al-Tawheed [an Asharite creed], whereas I would do the opposite.” Therefore this fear is completely unfounded – it was expressly dismissed by us in our meeting.

    - Also, the pledge does not state that average Muslims should stop talking about theology; it states that ‘unproductive and divisive discussions’ should be avoided. Surely if an average Muslim sees something that he thinks is wrong, he should at least verbally try to give advice. What I don’t want to see is that differences between Salafis and Asharis lead to actual physical divisions (or worse) in, say, campus MSAs ,or that such debate causes disunity amongst us vis-à-vis others. There are numerous cases of such occurrences all over North America, where the level of animosity and hatred reached ridiculous bounds. This fact was one of the motivational factors that caused us to come together. Many of our youth go to extremes in these matters, even though each side is just as muqallid to their ‘shuyookh’ as the other side is!

    - With regards to my not verbalizing that the Asharis are not within the specific fold of Sunni Islam but rather within the general fold, this has absolutely nothing to do with the pledge. If you had asked me the same question on the internet two weeks ago, or two months ago, I would have felt just as much consternation. The reason is that I just don’t believe it’s wise to talk about these differences blatantly on such a public forum in such a harsh tone. Rather, if you were to attend an intensive halaqa, or an Al-Maghrib or Al-Kauthar class (both of which are public) the situation is different, and we can build up to that level, with proper proofs and in an academic environment, conforming to the proper etiquette. But to come barging in on a website, ‘guns-a-blazing’ (Texan style!), is, in my opinion, counterproductive. In any case, this is my opinion, based on my personal experience, and has nothing whatsoever to do with the document, contrary to what was assumed above.

    - Although this point has been mentioned by me and many others in the comments above, once again I reiterate: this document does not in the slightest hint that all of our differences are trivial, or that ‘they’ or ‘us’ are guided or misguided. Those who are reading this in are using their imaginations. The document does not at all state that we are all one and the same. Rather, what it states is that such disagreement needs to be kept in perspective, and dealt with wisely.

    - Light upon Light will continue to be taught, as it is, untouched and unchanged. Some cities will get both weekends, others only the first half. Those cities that get the one weekend course will, insha Allah, get its part two some time later down the line. Its just a question of logistics, nothing to do with this pledge. (One more example of how some facts have been twisted and presented in a negative light).

    - The question of why other groups haven’t been added is a relevant one. However, I think it is simply unfair to equate Asharis with Shi’ahs and Qadianis . There is a much closer bond, theologically and historically, between the Ahl al-Hadeeth and the Asharis – their scholars are (for the most part) our scholars, and (again for the most part) vice versa. We pray behind each other; in the ‘real’ world we build masjids and Islamic schools together; we interact on a very personal level with each other. Again in the ‘real’ world, Muslims who ascribe themselves to Sunnism study under both types of scholars, many times not even realizing which specific school their teacher belongs to – by this I mean the awaam of Sunnis do not and cannot differentiate between the two. In fact, I would even go so far as to say that the average Muslim in N. America would not even be aware that there are theological differences between these two groups and the institutions that represent them. The same cannot be said of other groups – even the most ignorant Muslim is aware if the Masjid he prays in is Sunni or Shia. Of course cooperation is done with ALL people in good and taqwa, but those groups that are closest to us deserve more of our walaa than other groups.

    - As for the claim that this document creates disunity, I think this charge is simply unfair and totally baseless. For some reason, people are assuming that ‘we’ somehow represent Salafiyyah (I have even come across comments such as ‘What gives him the right to represent my view point?’). This is something that I have never claimed, nor could ever have the right to do so, and in fact no alim, regardless of how great he is, can have that right. Once again I state: this is a non-binding agreement upon others! If you are inspired by it, alhamdulillah, and if not, Alhamdulillah. In my eyes you are no less of a Muslim if you strongly feel that this pledge is a mistake. I won’t treat you any differently, and nor will those who signed it (and yes, in this point, I can speak on their behalf as I know all of them personally). If you wish to treat me or other signatories differently, that is your decision. But I am not going to label and divide people into camps of those who agree versus those who don’t, nor will I go around asking others which camp they wish to be in! I never expected all ‘Salafis’ or ‘Sufis’ to agree to this; it’s a personal matter between the signatories and whoever *chooses* to respect their agreement. Hence from my perspective the agreement itself, and those who signed it, would not be creating any new groups.

    - I agree that it is not the most important thing to see who signed or who didn’t. Rather, the most important thing is to look at the content and not the individuals signing. However, that doesn’t mean that the individuals signing should be ignored. An opinion from a respected da’ee obviously holds more weight than an unknown one. (This is on a theoretical level – I know there are respected du’aat who have signed the pledge and there are also those who would be opposed to it). And Alhamdulillah quite a number of significant du’at have signed on (not just me). This in no way diminishes the status of those who disagree, all I’m saying is that this fact should not be completely overlooked either. And it also means that some level of husn al-dhann should be exercised, if not for me, then at least for them, for there are those on that list whom I consider more knowledgeable than me.

    - With regards to the statement that the ‘Salafis’ are the ones who lose by this pledge and the ‘Asharis’ gain, that is an opinion. But, firstly, this is not an all-out ‘Salafi’ vs. ‘Ashari’ pact, and secondly, I don’t see this as a loss or victory for any one group over another, but rather as a blessing for all Muslims in N. America. Also one needs to realize that this pledge was primarily targeted towards the rash and impetuous youth from both camps (as the wording quite clearly indicates), intending that they stop causing fitnah in their unwise ways and concentrate on more beneficial matters. I do believe that many of the people commenting from other countries do not appreciate how the situation had deteriorated in some segments of Muslims regarding these issues.

    - On a personal note, I would like to state that I am sympathetic to many of the concerns expressed, especially those expressed by Sh. Haitham Hamdan, which were also expressed in a polite and respectful manner, jazahu Allah khayr. I fully understand and see where he is coming from. However, I along with the other signatories of ‘our’ theology, feel that these fears will not materialize insha Allah. All of us are fully aware of Ahl al-Hadeeth theology and are proud to teach it. In fact, all of us are very active in teaching it, and we don’t plan to stop or change our classes. But let me state this: five years ago, I was the senior-most American student at the Islamic University of Madinah, and the most active Western student as well (I say this only to bring out the point that I had some experience and a little bit of knowledge). Yet, if I had been approached with this very document, in all likelihood I would have raised many of the same concerns that these brothers (most of whom are presently oversees) have raised, and I would have refused to sign it. Yet, here I am, five years later, signing such a document and seeing this as a good matter for the Muslims of N. America. Experience teaches one just as much as books do, and in these last years that I have been giving dawah, I have softened greatly in the harshness that I used to exhibit against the Asharis and moderate Sufis. Yes, they still have mistakes, some of them very serious, but seeing the entire context of our Western situation first-hand has made me realize that there is little to be gained by such harshness, especially in the times and place we live. Perhaps others who are presently studying oversees will also come to agree with this attitude in the years to come, and then again perhaps they won’t. My theology hasn’t change one iota, but my attitudes towards specific groups has. And it is well known that mu`amalah with other groups is a context-based matter, and not one that has specific rulings in the Sharee’ah.

    - There is much talk about why I didn’t ‘go back to the Mashayikh’ for approval. This is a very deep question, and a topic that I, over the course of other posts not related to this one, will insha Allah tackle in the future. I have already given a brief perspective on this in my talk of establishing a vision for Muslims in the West (available on MM’s ‘Blog Best’ section). With regards to this matter in particular, I asked the people whom I typically refer to in such matters. Some of them have also signed, so there is no need to mention their names. Others whom I respect and would turn to for guidance in matters related to the situation of Western Muslims are Sh. Jafar Idris and Sh. Salah al-Sawi. I spoke with both of these Shaykhs about cooperating on a public level with certain famous individuals (who have also signed the pledge). I mentioned their names explicitly and I asked their opinion about it. They both responded in the same manner (paraphrasing of course), ‘If you see there to be maslaha in this, then you may do it.’ Let me be clear about this: I did NOT have the opportunity to speak to either of them about this specific pledge (although others are approaching them regarding it as far as I know), but I DID speak with them about the broader ideology that is behind the pledge, which is public cooperation with certain groups and individuals, and they both responded that it depends on the pros and cons (maslaha versus mafsada), and that I would have to weigh out which of the two was heavier. Neither of them gave me a blanket ‘yes’ or ‘no’, and in my opinion this is a sign of their wisdom and maturity. Others whom I spoke with, as I said, are already signatories, so there is no need to mention what they think. With regards to going back to mashayikh oversees, then with all due respect to them I simply do not view this matter as being one that should go back to them. If I myself, having experienced first-hand the Western situation for the last few years, have changed my own views, and I am from the West, how would I then expect an alim who has lived his entire life in India or Saudi to understand our situation? Sometimes we place our ulamaa above the level they deserve, and that is a fact that needs to be said plainly and clearly. I say this with the utmost respect to them – after all I owe my own knowledge (after the blessings of Allah) to them. But, in the end of the day, they are human beings, and a product of their own culture and civilization, just like I am a product of mine. Of course there are other issues associated with this matter as well, which to me are not as relevant as the first one (of them is the way that the question is presented to a Shaykh; after living in Madinah for a decade I can assure you that Western students in particular, and students in general, are able to present a scenario the way *they* see it – hence a fatwa is given that is simply not relevant to the actual situation, since it was interpreted through the eyes of the students). In any case, I have conferred with the people of knowledge whom I look up to and who are more aware of our situation than overseas Mashayikh, and they have said that I would have to weigh out the pros and cons, which I did.

    - Lastly, to sign this document is, for me at least, a purely ijtihadi issue. I prayed istikhara over this and asked those whom I trust. I fully admit that there is a possibility, no matter how slight, that this might be a mistake on my part. But at this point in time, and also seeing the reaction from the broader Muslim community (and not the reactions primarily represented on this page and a minority of websites), I am much more prone to see this as bringing about much good, insha Allah ta’ala, for the Western Ummah as a whole. If you disagree with this verdict, then this is your prerogative, and I respect you no less for that. But I do ask that you observe a level of civility and husn al-dhan with your brothers in Islam who feel that this is a positive step for Muslims of N. America and England.

    Jazak Allah khayr.

    Yasir


    NOTE:
    MM believes that the views of those who disagree with this pledge have been adequately expressed in the comments above, as has the response. People are free to agree or disagree. In light of many of the recent comments, it appears that there will be little to be gained by keeping the comments open, except perhaps creating more ill-will and going around in circles.
    If there are any serious concerns that you feel have not been addressed, please e-mail info(at )muslimmatters. org. The last ten nights of Ramadhan are fast approaching, let’s try to concentrate on them for the time being.

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  160. BIsmillaah Ar-Rahman Ar-Rahiim

    All praise is to Allaah who has blessed the creation with belief, raised our statuses and prefered us over the earlier creations. May peace and blessings be upon the Prophet of Allaah and may those of his descent be blessed, honored and protected.

    I was asked to sign this pledge two years ago by my husband and adamently refused believing that I would be transgressing the limits set by Allaah. I have thought about this matter very seriously since then. I have been blessed to see the error in my decision to not sign and have deeply regretted this severely. Perhaps now it is too late, however the sun has not risen from the west and repentance is still accepted. Alhamdulillaah, wa laa ilaha illa llaah wa allaahuakbarr.

    I agree to this pledge and hereby authorize my signature to be released on it. May the believers forgive me and may we support eachother emphatically for the sake of Allaah to reach Paradise in this life and in the next.

    Halimah bint David

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