‘al-I'tidaal Fee Sayyid Qutb’ Q&A with Shaykh Al-Albani

>> Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Recently my beloved salafiyyah brothers have been attacking my beloved Ikhwani brothers and I tried to find a middle ground. However I could not help but notice that a lot of the accusations against the Ikhwani brothers seemed forged. Then when I searched and I found what Shaykh Al-Albani (a salafiyyah scholar) said about Sayyid Qutb (who most of the salafiyyah brothers attack today). And now my question to my salafiyyah brothers is - do you not read your own scholars?

InshAllah I'll be also posting up Shaykh Jibreen's (who was in the Permanent Committee for Islamic Research and Fataawa in Saudi Arabia) fatwa on Sayyid Qutb and Shaykh Rabee, who always attacks Sayyid Qutb, later.

The following was recorded on a tape by Abi Lailatal Athari and it is commonly sold under the title,
‘al-I'tidaal Fee Sayyid Qutb’. The date of the recording is 1st of Rabi' al Awwal 1414H – 9th
December 1993.

Shaykh Al-Albani rahimuhullah interview

Questioner: (Alleges that Sayyid Qutb pronounced everyone a ‘Kafir’ –

Al-Albani: ‘We do not know this about him. Rather he has composed words
during his stay in prison which are akin to inspiration.

Questioner: Sayyid Qutb claimed that the Ummah lives in a state of Jahiliyyahh
which is worse than the first state of Jahiliyyahh. He has also claimed that the
Masajids are akin to the temples of Jahiliyyahh and that Islam does not apply to
such societies. I heard this myself, Shaykh.

Al-Albani: Have you been to Egypt?

Questioner: No, I have not.

Al-Albani: He is an Egyptian. He is describing what he has seen in the likes of
mosques in Egypt such as Sayyida Zaynab, Sayyid Badawi, etc.

Questioner: Are all mosques in Egypt like that?

Al-Albani: No. I do not say all mosques are like that and neither does Sayyid
Qutb. Rather, he is giving a general statement.

Questioner: Did you comment that ‘Ma’alim fil-Tareeq’ (Milestones) is about
Tawheed (monotheism) written in a modern way?

Albani: I say that there is a chapter in this book which is of great benefit,
called ‘La ilaha illallah minhaj hayah’. That is what I am saying and as I have said
before, Sayyid Qutb is not a scholar but rather he has written some words
which I believe are like light from light ilham (inspiration) including the
chapter ‘Way of Life’. A large number of Salafees have not adopted what the chapter ‘Way of Life’ discusses. ‘Milestones’ has many interesting points and


Mysteries of Cleanliness

>> Sunday, February 8, 2009


So it was suggested to me that I should also explain what Imam Ghazzali wrote because the readings are too hard for the common reader. The main reason I never wanted to explain the writings of Ghazzali was because I did not want to lead the readers views by my own views. But then while reviewing the past posting I realized that the excerpts are hard to understand. So I have come up with a middle ground. I will explain what the piece is about but will not give commentary on it.

This piece is on Cleanliness and the chapter (chapter or book 3) has to deal with Wudu. Basically like everything else Imam Ghazzali claims that this too has a esoteric and exoteric attributes. He puts this after the Shahada (or the chapter called Foundation of belief) but before Salah (and the rest of the five pillars). Reason for this is because Shahada or the foundation of belief makes you a Muslim so he talks about that first. He wants to talk about Salah before anyother pillar because Salah 5 times a day is the action you perform the most. However to perform Salah you must make wudu first hence he has placed this section between the first two pillars.

In the Words of Imam Ghazzali

The Holy Prophet said: Religion is founded on cleanliness. He said: Cleanliness is the key to prayer. God said: Therein arc men who love purity and God loves the pure (9:109). The Prophet said: Cleanliness is one-half of belief. God said: God desires to make you clean and to complete His favours on you (5 : 7).
Those who possess insight understand by these sayings that the most important thing is the purification of the heart. If the tradition `cleanliness is one-half of faith' is limited only to the external cleanliness of physical organs by water and not also to the purification of the heart which may entertain evil designs and thoughts, its meaning then will be distant and it is impossible.
Purity has got Four Stages
(1) The first stage is the purification of the external organs from excrements and fifths. (2) The second stage is the purification of the body organs from sins and faults. (3) The third stage is the purification of the heart from evil traits and evil vices. (4) The fourth stage is the purification of the inner self from everything except God. This is the stage of the Prophets and the saints. Every item of cleanliness is half of action, because the object of the actions is the glorification and greatness of God. In reality God's knowledge is not attained unless the heart is purified of all things other than God. For this reason, God said: Say 'God', then' leave them to play in the useless talks (6:91). There can be no two things in mind at the same time and God also has not created two minds in the same man. The object of the actions is to adorn the mind with praiseworthy qualities and religious firm faith. It is well known that the mind will not be adorned with those qualities till the blameworthy evils and false faith reign in it.
To purify the mind from these evils comprises half of its actions and the first half is pre-requisite for the second. In this sense, purity is said to be half of belief. So to purify the bodily limbs from the prohibited things is the first half and to strengthen it with religious acts is its second half. These are the stages of belief and every stage has got its rank. Nobody will attain a 'higher stage. unless he first goes through the lower one. He can not attain real purity of heart till he purifies it from the blameworthy vices and adorn it with the praiseworthy qualities. He can't purify the heart till he purifies his organs from prohibited things and makes it firm with religious acts. The more honourable is the object, the more difficult is the attainment of that object. The longer is the road that leads to it, the greater are the obstacles. Don't think that this can he attained with ease and without efforts. He who is blind to these stages of purity will not understand the above mentioned four stages. He will understand the lowest stage of cleanliness. It is like the outer husk of a crop or like skull in relation to brain. He understands that the outer cleanliness is the desired object and makes exaggeration in it and spends much time an wealth in advertising (Istinja) in cleanliness of cloth, body and • the use of water and thinks that the noble purity comprises these outward and external cleanliness. The early Muslims concentrated their entire attention and energies on the purification of their hearts and were lenient in their outward cleanliness. Even Hadrat Omar, being placed in a high position, made ablution with the water from a jar which belonged to a Christian woman. The companions were accustomed not to wash their hands after eating from the remains of fat and food but to wipe them out against the arches of their feet and regarded the use of soap as innovation. They used to say prayer kneeling and prostrating directly on the ground in the mosque and walk barefooted on the roads. They used to use pebbles after calls of nature.


Use of Pictures

>> Saturday, February 7, 2009

This is something I found from a naqshbandi site. I do not endorse this view nor views that go angainst this view. ALL my intention is (which was also the objective of creating this blog which I strayed from recently) to bring easy access of opinions from a variety of difference scholars. It is your choice to take them or not.

In the opinion of the Naqshband

Imam at-Tahawi al-Hanafi said: "The Lawmaker (s) first forbade pictures entirely, even stripes on clothes, because people had only recently turned away from worshipping images, so that was prohibited across the board. When his prohibition of such images became solidly ingrained, he permitted striped clothes due to the necessity of using clothes, and he permitted whatever is practiced as a matter of trade, because the ignorant are safe from exalting such practice. As for what is not practiced as a matter of trade, it remained forbidden."

The scholar of comparative fiqh ("jurisprudence") cAbdur Rahman al-Jaziri wrote in his three-volume Fiqh cala-l-Madhahib al-arbaca: "The prohibition of making pictures stems, in the eye of the Law, from the use of pictures towards the corruption of belief, as for example the use of statues for the worship of other than Allah... As for their utilization in the context of a sound matter, such as teaching and learning something, then pictures are permitted and there is no sin in them."

Readers are invited to look up further discussions of the views of the Fours Schools in the aforementioned book.

Muslim relates on the authority of cA'isha (r): 'We had a curtain on which was the picture of a bird, and which every person would face upon coming in. The Prophet (s) said one day, 'Put this somewhere else, for every time I come in I remember the dunya (the world).''

The scholar of "Salafi" thought, which follows the strictest mashrab ("Drinking-well") of Ibn Taymiyyah, Sayyid Sabiq, after mentioning the hadith of Muslim quoted above, said: "This hadith indicates that pictures are not unlawful (haram), because if it were unlawful in the final analysis, he would have ordered that it be destroyed, and not contented himself with having it placed somewhere else. He then mentioned that the reason for placing it somewhere else was that it made him remember dunya. This is also the view of at-Tahawi.

"As for pictures that have no shadow, such as engravings on the wall or on metal; and pictures which are found on clothes and curtains and photographic prints [in books, calendars, passports, and nowadays videotapes for a didactic purpose etc.]: these are all permitted (fa hadhihi kulluha ja'izah)."



>> Wednesday, February 4, 2009


As most of you know I started classes again last week hence I am not updating consistently. My classes Alhamdulliah are Arabic 202, World at War (history), Islam (Religion 322) and Politics of Islamic Resurgence (Political science). The last two classes are the reason I am posting this up.

Where ever I go today or whoever I speak to I keep on hearing, "that Muslims need to reinterpret Islam." And that great "modern" scholars are reinterpreting Islam and no longer allowing four wives and slaves etc.

So in the political science class I am learning that a new wave of Islamic resurgence "reinterprets" disallows four wives. And that Islam said four wives because it was really limiting the amount of wives to one (using some messed up logic). Or that they "reinterpret" the verse to mean that it is only to help the poor widows. Then to top it off these "modern" Muslims speak ill of our traditional teachers and say they need to also follow these "reinterpretations."

Now my question is, "are these reinterpretations?" Because Aisha (rA) the wife of the Prophet (pbuh) the greatest faqhi (Islamic Jurist of all time) said about surah nisa ayah 3 (the verse that speaks on the issue of four wives), “that men tended to marry orphan girls who were under their guardianship out of consideration for either their property, beauty or because they thought they would be able to treat them according to their whims, as they had no one to protect them. After marriage such men sometimes committed excesses against these girls. It is in this context that the Muslims are told that if they fear they will not be able to do justice to the orphan girls, then they should marry other girls whom they like.” And Ibn Abbas the companion who was an expert at Quran commentary [Chosen by the Prophet (pbuh) himself to explain the Quran to others] said, “that in the Jahiliyah period there was no limit on the number of wives a man could take. The result was that a man sometimes married as many as ten women and, when expenses increased because of a large family, he encroached on the rights either of his orphan nephews or other relatives. It was in this context that God fixed the limit of four wives and instructed the Muslims that they may marry up to four wives providing they possessed the capacity to treat them equitably.” I further encourage you to read the interpretations of ibn Jubayr who was of the second generations of Muslims and when he died it was said that knowledge has went into the earth that will never come again and of Imam Qurtobee an Andulsian scholar. And you will see that these “reinterpretations” are not new, rather they are returning to the original interpretations.

Finally for all these “modern” Muslims who call for a reinterpretation I ask them to do two things: One to read the original interpretation before they start to preach their own interpretation. And more importantly not to fear the false criticism from the criticizer for your religion is from Allah and Allah sees nothing wrong with it. To further clear up the second request I quote Maududi’s explanation of the ayat dealing with four wives, “This verse stipulates that marrying more wives than one is permissible on the condition that one treats his wives equitably. A person who avails himself of this permission granted by God to have a plurality of wives, and disregards the condition laid down by God to treat them equitably has not acted in good faith with God. In case there are complaints from wives that they are not being treated equitably, the Islamic state has the right to intervene and redress such grievances.
Some people who have been overwhelmed and overawed by the Christianized outlook of Westerners have tried to prove that the real aim of the Qur'an was to put an end to polygamy (which, in their opinion, is intrinsically evil). Since it was widely practised at that time, however, Islam confined itself to placing restrictions on it. Such arguments only show the mental slavery to which these people have succumbed. That polygamy is an evil per se is an unacceptable proposition, for under certain conditions it becomes a moral and social necessity. If polygamy is totally prohibited men who cannot remain satisfied with only one wife will look outside the bounds of matrimonial life and create sexual anarchy and corruption. This is likely to cause much greater harm than polygamy to the moral and social order. For this reason the Qur'an has allowed those who feel the need for it to resort to polygamy. Those who consider it an evil in itself may certainly denounce it in disregard of the Qur'an and may even argue for its abolition. But they have no right to attribute such a view to the Qur'an, for it has expressed its permission of polygamy in quite categorical terms. Indeed, there is not the slightest hint in the Qur'an that could justify the conclusion that it advocates abolition of polygamy. [For further elaboration see my (Maududi’s book) book, Sunnat k A'iniHaythiyat, Lahore, 3rd edition, 1975, pp. 307-16.]”