Shaykh Sālih bin Fawzān Al-Fawzān on How to Unite the Ummah
Shaykh Sālih bin Fawzān al-Fawzān on How to Unite the Ummah and a Refutation of Those Who Cause Doubts in Aqīdah & Tawhīd.
رد العلامة صالح الفوزان حفظه الله على من يشككون في العقيدة
مقطع قيم للشيخ من شرح السنة للبربهاري
“As for those who disaffirm ‘Aqīdah’ and ‘Tawhīd’ [and say], “These are terms that have no evidence, they did not use to these terms”, this causes scepticism [towards matters of ‘Aqīdah and Tawhīd], they want to uproot this ‘Aqīdah so they come with these words. They say, “This is not present in the Qur’ān or the Sunnah, ‘Tawhīd’ and ‘Aqīdah’…”. These are meanings; these are the meanings of what has come in the Qur’ān and Sunnah.
But they want to cause scepticism towards [matters of] ‘Aqīdah,so as not to differentiate between the misguided groups and the upright ones.And so as not to refute the people of falsehood (misguided groups).This is what they intend.This is what their “learned” ones intend. As for their uncivilized and their rabble, who take [their knowledge] from garbage dumps- the garbage dump of thoughts – they repeat these words.As what has been written in some of the papers and books.They shouldn’t even be called books,[they should be] called garbage dumps,but they are the ones who called them books.So it is not permissible to turn towards these suspicions. And this [concern with matters of ‘Aqīdah and Tawhīd] is something that has become common in the ummah, and they have given it great concern, so as to differentiate between truth and falsehood, and between guidance and misguidance.
And they [people of deviation] have an intention by this [disaffirming ‘Aqīdah & Tawhīd], and it is to mix the people,so that there is no differentiator between an atheist and a heretic and an upright and an innovator… everyone under the name of Islām.They say, “In order that the Muslims become united.”The Muslims cannot be united except under one ‘Aqīdah, one that is correct.
They cannot be united except under one correct ‘Aqīdah – the same one that united the Sahābah after they were disunited. “…for you were enemies one to another but He joined your hearts together…” [‘Āli `Imrān: 103]
So what is it that united the Sahābah after division and conflict except this ‘Aqīdah that is with usand that is ‘There is none worthy of worship [in truth] except Allāh [alone], and Muhammad is His Messenger’. And nothing can unite the people except the correct ‘Aqīdah,but if they differ in ‘Aqīdah then they cannot be united, never, na’am.
There is differing in fiqh, matters of fiqh, then this does not harm and does not cause separating and enmity because this is an allowable differing. But differing in ‘Aqīdah, this is not allowable and those who differ can never be united,those who differ in ‘Aqīdah can never be united no matter how much they try, because he wants to join opposites, and you can never join between opposites and contradictions.If they want unity for the Muslims then it is upon them to fix their ‘Aqīdah first.
The ‘Aqīdah that the Messengers, from the first of them to the last, were concerned with and would start with.It is upon them to single out this ‘Aqīdah. If they follow one Aqīdah then the ummah will be united,if they are truthful and serious [in uniting the ummah]. But they make fun of those who speak in matters of ‘Aqīdahand call to the [correct] ‘Aqīdah.
They say, “He makes takfīr of the people”,”he wants to separate the Muslims” and whatever else they say. So we say to them then go ahead, unite the Muslims upon what you say. You will never be able to; you will never be able to. But if the ‘Aqīdah is one then they would become united easily. “…He it is Who has supported you with His Help and with the believers And He has united their hearts.If you had spent all that is in the earth, you could not have united their hearts, but Allāh has united them. Certainly He is All-Mighty, All-Wise.” [Al-‘Anfāl: 62-63]
“And remember Allāh’s Favour on you, for you were enemies one to another but He joined your hearts together, so that, by His Grace, you became brethren, and you were on the brink of a pit of Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus Allāh makes His Ayat clear to you, that you may be guided” [‘Āli `Imrān: 103.]
So nothing will unite the people except a correct ‘Aqīdah that the Messengers came with, from the first of them to the last, Muhammad ﷺ. “And We did not send any Messenger before you (O Muhammad ﷺ) but We inspired him (saying): La ilaha illa Ana [none has the right to be worshipped but I (Allāh)], so worship Me (Alone and none else)” [Al-‘Anbiyā’: 25]
“And verily! This, your religion (of Islāmic Monotheism) is one religion, and I am your Lord, so keep your duty to Me.” [Al-Mu’minūn: 52]
And in the other ayah: “Truly! This, your Ummah [Sharia or religion (Islāmic Monotheism)] is one religion, and I am your Lord, therefore worship Me (Alone).” [Al-‘Anbiyā’: 92]
They will not unite except upon worshipping one Lord. And He is Allāh, Subhānahu wa Ta’Alā, because he is the true Lord and other than Him is falsehood, “That is because Allāh He is the Truth (the only True God of all that exists, Who has no partners or rivals with Him), and what they (the polytheists) invoke besides Him, it is Bātil (falsehood) And verily, Allāh He is the Most High, the Most Great” [Al-Hajj: 62].
So in there is the unity of the Muslims if they are truthful. Let them correct the Aqīdah and expel the foreignism in it, the way Muhammad ﷺ came with it.Then the Muslims will be united upon it. And this is what the Salaf, like Al-Barbahārī and others, intended in authoring these treatises and books that clarify the correct Aqīdah.When the fitan and division and misguidance occurred, they wrote these creeds in order to explain the Sunnah that the Messenger of Allāh ﷺ and his companions and the favoured generations were upon.Whoever follows it is saved and whoever deviates from it is destroyed. The one that the Messenger said about, “I have left you upon a white plain (clear guidance), its night is like its day.” And Allāh says, “…This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islām as your religion…” [Al-Mā’idah: 3]
This is where we need to be united. But to say, “Let us cooperate in that which we agree and excuse each other in that which we disagree” then this is from the impossibilities if the difference is in the ‘Aqīdah.But if the differing is in fiqh, in the matters of fiqh then this could be possible – though what is obligatory is to follow the evidence.Even in matters of fiqh it is obligatory to follow the evidence. “…if you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to Allāh and His Messenger…” [An-Nisā’: 59].
But in a matter of fiqh, where it is possible [that there is differing], then this doesn’t cause division among the Muslims.Therefore, Ahl us-Sunnah there is among them the Hanafī and the Malikī and among them the Shafi’ī and the Hanbalī and they do not differ, and all praise is due to Allāh.And they do not divide. Because these are efforts (from those who are qualified to arrive at a legal ruling) relating to fiqh, they have soundness and possibilities from the evidences. Contrary to ‘Aqīdah, their ‘Aqīdah is one. The Hanbalī’s and the Maalikī’s and the Shafi’ī’s and the Hanafī’s, their Aqīdah is one.Although there is amongst their followers those who have opposed them (i.e. the Imāms) in ‘Aqīdah. This is found amongst the Hanbalī’s and amongst the Hanafī’s’ and amongst the Shafi’ī’s and amongst the Maalikī’s.[There are those among them] who have opposed the Imāms in their Aqīdah. He is only ascribed to them in fiqh, but in ‘Aqīdah he opposes them.So these are not considered [true] followers of the Imāms, because they followed them in something but opposed them in something more important.They opposed them in something more important. So we don’t consider them followers of the Imāms while they oppose them in ‘Aqīdah.
So this is what caused the scholars like Al-Barbahārī and others to layout the correct path that is taken from the Book of Allāh and the Sunnah of His Messenger and the guidance of the Salaf.In order that the Muslims follow it. And this is from sincerity to Allāh and to His Messenger and to His Book and to the Imāms and general people of the Muslims.But if the matter was hidden, and was not revealed, and these books were not written, many people would have been misguided.But these books, and all praise is due to Allāh, they are a blessing from Allāh ‘Azza wa Jal.And a proof upon his creation, so that those who were to be destroyed might be destroyed after clear evidence, and those who were to live might live after clear evidence. Na’am.”
Translated by Nader bin Muhammad.