by ‘Abdullaah ibn Muhammad ibn ‘Abdul Wahhaab
All praise is due to Allaah, the Lord of all that exists, and may blessings and peace be upon our trustworthy Prophet Muhammad, and upon his family and his Sahaabah and the Taabi’een. To proceed:
We, the assembly of the ghazw (military expedition) of the muwahhideen, when Allaah blessed us – and to Him is due all praise – with entering Makkah al-Musharrafah at midday on yawm as-sabt (Saturday), the eighth day of the month of Muharram al-Haraam in the year 1218 after the Hijrah, after the chiefs of Makkah, its ‘ulamaa’ and all of its general public had sought the covenant of security from the ameer of the ghazw, Sa’ood; after they had previously agreed with the leaders of the hajeej and the ameer of Makkah to fight him or to make a stand in the Haram, to prevent him from the House; so when the troops of the muwahhideen marched against them, Allaah cast fear into their hearts, so they scattered in disarray, each one of them considering retreat their best option;
And the ameer at that time offered the covenant of security to everyone in al-Haram ash-Shareef, and we entered, our slogan being the talbiyah, in safety, our heads shaved and trimmed, not in fear of anyone of the creation, rather of the Master of the Day of Judgement;
And from the time that the troops entered the Haram, in their great numbers, self-controlled, well-mannered, without cutting down any tree, nor chasing any game animals, nor shedding any blood except for the blood of the hady, or whatever animals Allaah had made lawful according to the legislated manner;
And when our ‘Umrah was completed, we gathered the people on the morning of yawm al-ahad (Sunday), and the ameer (rahimahullaah) proposed to the ‘ulamaa’ that which we seek from the people and for which we fight them, which is: the purity of tawheed for Allaah ta’aalaa alone. And he informed them that there is no disagreement between us regarding anything except for two matters:
The first of them being the purity of tawheed for Allaah ta’aalaa, and the understanding of the types of ‘ibaadah, and that du’aa’ is one of them, and clarification of the meaning of the shirk due to which our Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa-sallam) fought the people, and his call continued for a long period of time after the Prophethood to that tawheed and to the abandoning of attributing partners with Allaah, all of that before the other four pillars of al-Islaam were made obligatory.
And the second matter is al-amru bil-ma’roof wan-nahyu ‘anil-munkar (commanding the good and forbidding the evil), of which nothing remains among them except its name, its effects and meaning having been erased.
So they agreed with us regarding the goodness of that which we are upon, in general and in detail, and they gave the bay’ah to the ameer upon the Book and the Sunnah, and it was accepted from them and they were all pardoned. So he did not put the slightest pressure on a single one of them, and he continued to treat them all with the utmost kindness, especially the ‘ulamaa’.
So we explained to them in that meeting, before they departed from us, the evidences for what we are upon, and we sought from them sincere advice, reminder, and explanation of the Truth.
And we informed them that the ameer clearly stated in their meeting that we would accept anything for which they brought a clear evidence from the Book, or the Sunnah, or an athar from as-Salaf as-Saalih, such as al-Khulafaa’ ar-Raashideen whom we are commanded to follow by his saying (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa-sallam): “You must follow my Sunnah, and the Sunnah of the rightly-guided Khulafaa’ after me.” Or from the four mujtahid imaams and those who received knowledge from them, until the end of the third generation, in accordance with his saying (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa-sallam): “The best of you are my generation, then those who follow them, then those who follow them.”
And we informed them that we are with the Truth, wherever it goes, and followers of the clear evidence, and we do not care if that means opposing what those before us were upon, and they did not reject any of that.
Regarding seeking needs from the dead, and the structures built over the graves:
So we put before them the matter of seeking one’s needs from the dead, and asked if they still had any misunderstanding regarding it? So one of them mentioned one of two misunderstandings, and we refuted them with the undisputable evidences from the Book and the Sunnah until they accepted, and there was none left among them who had any doubt or misgiving regarding that for which we fought the people, that it is the clear Truth without any doubt.
And they gave us their strongest oaths, without it being asked from them, of the broadening of their understanding and the certainty of their conscience, that they no longer held the slightest doubt that the one who says: “Yaa Rasoolallaah (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa-sallam)”, or: “Yabna ‘Abbaas”, or: “Yaa ‘Abdal-Qaadir”, or other than them from the creations, seeking by that to avert an evil or bring a good from anything that Allaah ta’aalaa alone is capable of doing, such as healing the sick, or granting victory over the enemy, or guarding from a misfortune, or the like: that he is a mushrik guilty of major shirk, whose blood may be shed and whose wealth is lawful, even if he believes that the ultimate controller of the universe is Allaah ta’aalaa alone but he turned to the creations with du’aa’, seeking intercession from them, and drawing closer to them, in order to fulfill his need from Allaah by virtue of their “secret” and by their interceding with Him for them while they are in the barzakh;
And that the structures built over the graves of the righteous people have become in this age idols to which people turn for the fulfillment of needs, and at which acts of devotion are performed, and whose inhabitants are called upon in difficulties, as the people of Jaahiliyyah used to do.
And among them were the mufti of the Hanafiyyah, Shaykh ‘Abd al-Malik al-Qala’i, and Husayn al-Maghribi the mufti of the Maalikiyyah, and ‘Aqeel ibn Yahyaa al-‘Alawi.
So thereafter we demolished all that was worshipped by glorification and belief in it, and due to which benefit and aid were hoped for, from all of the structures built over the graves and other than them, until there did not remain in that purified land a single taaghoot to be worshipped, so all praise is due to Allaah for that.
Then all taxes and customs rates were abolished, and all tobacco pipes were broken, and it was announced that they are haraam. And all of the places frequented by the users of narcotics and those famous for immorality were burnt down, and it was announced that everyone must regularly perform the salaah in jamaa’ah, without praying in different groups, rather that they should gather to pray behind a single imaam, and that imaam should be a follower of one of the four imaams, may Allaah be pleased with them. Then the people would be united, Allaah alone would be worshipped, there would be concord, and discord would disappear.
And an ameer was appointed for them, and the affair was settled without bloodshed, violating honour, or putting pressure on anyone, and all praise is due to Allaah, the Lord of all that exists.
Then they were given the letters written by Shaykh Muhammad regarding tawheed, containing the proofs and explaining the evidences for it with the unambiguous aayaat and the mutawaatir ahaadeeth in order to convince them. And a summary of that letter was made for the general public, to be distributed in their sittings and studied in their assemblies, and for the ‘ulamaa’ to explain its meanings to them in order that they may understand tawheed so that they could hold on to the firmest handhold, and in order that the reality of shirk may be clarified to them so that they could avoid it by being safe on the clear understanding.
And among those who were present from the ‘ulamaa’ of Makkah, and witnessed most of what took place, was Husayn ibn Muhammad ibn al-Husayn al-Ibreeqi al-Hadhrami, and thereafter al-Hayyaani. And without hesitation he gathered with Sa’ood and his advisors from the people of knowledge, and asked about the matter of intercession, regarding which the swords were drawn, without shyness or embarrassment, for he had not done any wrong regarding it before.
So we informed him that our madhhab in the usool (fundamentals) of the religion is the madhhab of Ahl as-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah, and our way is the way of the Salaf, which is the safer way, and indeed the more knowledgeable and wise, as opposed to those who say that the way of the Khalaf is more knowledgeable.
Allaah’s Attributes, and al-qadhaa’ wal-qadar
And it is that we accept the aayaat and ahaadeeth of the Attributes upon their apparent meanings, and we leave their true meanings, while believing in their realities, to Allaah ta’aalaa. For Maalik, one of the greatest of the ‘ulamaa’ of the Salaf, when asked about al-istiwaa’ in His Saying (ta’aalaa): “Ar-Rahmaan rose over the Throne.” [Taa-Haa: 5] said: “Al-istiwaa’ is known, the “how” of it is unknown, believing in it is waajib, and asking about it is bid’ah.”
And we believe that good and bad are all from the Will of Allaah ta’aalaa, and that nothing occurs in His Dominion except that which He wills. For the slave is not capable of creating his own actions, rather he earns from them reward due to Allaah’s Favour, and punishment due to Allaah’s Justice, and Allaah has no obligation over His slave in anything.
And that the believers will see Him in the Hereafter, without mentioning how or comprehending it.
Regarding following the madhaahib:
And in the furoo’ (branches) of the religion we are upon the madhhab of Imaam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, and we do not object to whoever follows one of the four imaams, as opposed to other than them whose madhaahib have not been clarified.
The Raafidhah, Zaydiyyah, Imaamiyyah and the likes of them: we do not accept from them anything from their corrupt madhaahib, rather we require that they follow one of the four imaams.
And we do not deserve the level of al-ijtihaad al-mutlaq (absolute ijtihaad), and none among us claims it. However, in some matters, if we find an authentic nass (text) from the Book or the Sunnah that is not abrogated or specified or contradicted by a stronger evidence, and one of the four imaams says according to it, then we take it and leave the saying of the madhhab, such as the matter of the inheritance of the grandfather and the brothers, for we put the grandfather first in the inheritance, even though the madhhab of the Hanaabilah says otherwise.
And we do not inquire into a person’s madhhab, and we do not oppose him, unless we find a clear text opposing the madhhab of one of the imaams in a matter involving an outward symbol of the religion (shi’aar), such as the imaam of the prayers; so we order the Hanafi and the Maaliki, for example, to observe the same calmness when rising from rukoo’ (i’tidaal), and in the sitting between the sajdatayn, due to the clear evidence for that, as opposed to the Shaafi’i imam reciting the basmalah aloud, for we do not order him to recite it quietly. And there is a great difference between these two matters. So when the evidence is strong, then we advise them to follow the nass, even if it opposes the madhhab, and that is found only very rarely.
And there is no objection to ijtihaad in some matters as opposed to others, and this is not contradictory to the lack of the claim to ijtihaad. For it has been that a group of the imaams of the four madhaahib had their own particular views regarding certain matters that were in opposition to their madhhab, whose founder they followed.
Regarding the writings of the ‘ulamaa':
Moreover, we turn for aid in understanding the Book of Allaah to the well-known and respected tafseers, among the greatest of which are, to us, the tafseer of Ibn Jareer, and its summary by Ibn Katheer ash-Shaafi’i, and likewise al-Baghawi, al-Baydhaawi, al-Khaazin, al-Haddaad, al-Jalaalayn, and other than them.
And for understanding the hadeeth, to the commentaries of the prominent imaams, such as those of al-‘Asqalaani and al-Qastalaani on al-Bukhaari, and that of an-Nawawi on Muslim, and that of al-Manaawi on al-Jaami’ as-Sagheer.
And we give great importance to the books of hadeeth, especially al-Ummahaat as-Sitt and their commentaries, and we give importance to the other books in the rest of the fields of study: Usool, furoo’, qawaa’id, biographies, grammar, morphology, and all other sciences of the Ummah.
And we not order the banning of any writings at all, except those that contain what the people have fallen into of shirk, such as Rawdh ar-Rayaaheen, or which may result in defects in the ‘aqeedah, such as ‘ilm al-mantiq (the science of logic), which a group of the ‘ulamaa’ have declared to be haraam. But we do not interrogate and search for the like of them. Likewise regarding the book ad-Dalaa’il, unless its owner stubbornly displays it publicly, then it is banned from him.
And what occurred from one of the bedouins regarding banning certain books of the people of at-Taa’if, was due to his ignorance, and he as well as others were warned from doing it.
Misconceptions and falsehoods regarding the da’wah:
And from what we are upon is that we do not view the enslavement of the ‘Arabs as permissible, and neither did we do it. And we did not fight against anyone but them. And we do not view it permissible to kill women and children.
As for the lies forged against us in order to hide the truth and deceive the people: that we explain the Qur’aan with our opinions, and that we only accept those ahaadeeth which agree with our understanding, without referring back to a commentary or consulting a shaykh, and that we lower the status of our Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa-sallam) by saying that the Prophet is a decomposed set of bones in his grave, and that the stick of one of us is of more benefit than him, and that he cannot intercede, and that visiting him is not recommended, and that he did not know the meaning of “laa ilaaha illallaah” until “So know that none has the right to be worshipped but Allaah” was sent down to him, even though the aayah was sent down in al-Madeenah, and that we do not rely on the sayings of the ‘ulamaa’, and that we ban the books of the followers of the madhaahib due to their containing both truth and falsehood, and that we are mujassimah (anthropomorphists), and that we make takfeer of all of the people of our time and after the sixth century of the Hijrah, except for those who are upon our way;
And branching off from that is their claim that we do not accept the bay’ah of anyone until he admits that he was a mushrik before, and that his parents died attributing partners with Allaah;
And that we forbid sending prayers (salaah) on the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa-sallam), and that we absolutely forbid the legislated manner of visiting the graves, and that whoever follows our way then he is forgiven everything, even his debts, and that we do not give any importance to the Ahl al-Bayt (may Allaah be pleased with them), and that we force them to marry those who are not their equals, and that we force the old man to divorce his young wife so that she can marry a young man if their case is brought before us, then there is no basis to any of that.
So all of these falsehoods, and others besides them that we were asked about before, our answer to every one of these matters is: “Glorified are You! This is an enormous slander.” [An-Noor: 16] So whoever narrates from us any of that, or attributes it to us, then he has slandered us a forged a lie.
And whoever witnesses our state, and is present in our sittings, and verifies that which is with us, will know for sure that all of that has been made up and forged against us by the enemies of the religion and the brothers of the shayaateen, in order to frighten the people away from submitting to Allaah ta’aalaa with tawheed in ‘ibaadah, and abandoning all forms of shirk, regarding which Allaah has stated that He will not forgive: “And He forgives other sins besides that to whom He wills.” [An-Nisaa': 48]
For we believe that whoever commits any of the major sins, such as killing a Muslim unrightfully, adultery, usury, drinking intoxicants, and he repeats that, then his doing that that does not take him out of the fold of al-Islaam, and he is not condemned to eternity in the abode of punishment, as long as he dies as a muwahhid in all forms of his ‘ibaadah.
The status of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa-sallam):
And what we believe is that the status of our Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa-sallam) is absolutely the highest status of the creations, and that he is alive in his grave with the life of the barzakh, higher than the life of the shuhadaa’ that has been mentioned in the Revelation, because he is better than them without doubt. And that he hears the Muslim’s sending greetings (salaam) on him, and that it is sunnah to visit him, however it is not allowed to set out on a journey except to visit the masjid and pray in it, and if he intends along with that to visit the grave of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa-sallam), then there is no objection.
And whoever spends his most precious time in sending the prayers (salaah) on him (‘alayhis-salaatu was-salaam) according to the manner narrated from him, then he has succeeded in attaining the bliss of both worlds, and it will suffice him from his worries and stress, as it is mentioned in the hadeeth from him.
And we do not reject the karaamaat (miracles) of the awliyaa’, and we give them the recognition that they deserve, and that they are upon guidance from their Lord as long as they follow the legislated way and the laws of the Sharee’ah. However, they do not deserve to be given any form of ‘ibaadah, whether during their lives or after their deaths. Rather, du’aa’ may be sought from them while they are alive, and indeed from any Muslim, for it has come in the hadeeth: “The du’aa’ of a Muslim for his brother is answered.” And he (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa-sallam) ordered ‘Umar and ‘Ali to pray for forgiveness for Uways, and they did so.
And we affirm the intercession for our Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa-sallam) on the Day of Resurrection, according to what has been narrated, and likewise we affirm it for the rest of the Prophets, angels, awliyaa’, and children who died young, also according to what has been narrated. And we ask it only from the One Who has power over it, and He will give His Permission for it to whomever He wills from the muwahhideen, who will be the most fortunate of people to receive it, as is narrated, by one of us saying: “O Allaah, grant us the intercession of Your righteous slaves, or Your angels” or the like, which is sought from Allaah alone, not from them. So it is not said: “Yaa Rasoolallaah” or: “Yaa Waliyyallaah, I ask you for intercession”, or anything else like: “Come to my aid”, or: “Save me”, or: “Heal me”, or: “Grant me victory over my enemy”, or the like, which none but Allaah ta’aalaa alone is capable of granting. So if this is sought from those who have been mentioned
> while they are in the barzakh, then it is a form of shirk, for there is no narrated text supporting that in the Book or the Sunnah, neither is there any athar from as-Salaf as-Saalih in that regard, rather it is narrated in the Book and the Sunnah and from the consensus of the Salaf that it is major shirk, due to which the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa-sallam) fought the people.
Swearing oaths and making tawassul:
So if you asked us what we say regarding swearing oaths and making tawassul by other than Allaah, then I say:
We look into the state of the one who is swearing the oath: if he intends by it glorification, like his glorification of Allaah or even greater, as occurs with some of the extreme mushrikeen from the people of our age, when he is asked to swear by his shaykh, i.e. his object of worship whom he depends upon in all of his affairs, he will not accept to do so if he is lying or in doubt, but if his is asked to swear by Allaah only he will do so; then such a person is certainly a kaafir, from the worst of the mushrikeen, and he is the most ignorant of them by consensus. But if he does not intend glorification, rather he does it only due to a slip of the tongue, then this is not major shirk, but the one who said it must be forbidden from it and warned, and ordered to seek Allaah’s forgiveness immediately.
As for tawassul, which is to say: “O Allaah, I ask You by the status of Your Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa-sallam), or by the right of Your Prophet, or by the status of Your righteous slaves, or by the right of Your slave so-and-so”, then this is among the blameworthy bid’ahs for which no evidence has been narrated in the texts, like raising the voice when sending prayers (salaah) on the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa-sallam) after the adhaan.
The Ahl al-Bayt:
As for the Ahl al-Bayt, a question regarding them was directed to the ‘ulamaa’ of ad-Dir’iyyah, and also regarding the permissibility of the marriage of a Faatimiyyah woman with a non-Faatimi man, and the answer was as follows:
The Ahl al-Bayt, may Allaah be pleased with them, are undoubtedly entitled to our love and affection, as is narrated in the Book and the Sunnah. So it is obligatory to love them and show affection for them, however al-Islaam has made the people equal. So no-one is better than another except in piety. Along with that, they deserve respect and preference, as do the rest of the ‘ulamaa’, such as sitting at the front of the gatherings, being served first with respect, and given priority when giving way in the street and the like, when others of similar age and knowledge are present.
As for the common practice in some countries or giving preference to their children and their ignorant ones, over one who is more deserving than him, to the extent that if he does not kiss his hand every time he greets him then he will blame him, or quarrel with him, or beat him, or argue with him, then this is a practice for which there is no narrated text or evidence. Rather it is an evil act, whose removal is obligatory. And if he kissed the hand of one of them when returning from a journey, or due to his abundance of knowledge, or from time to time, or after a long absence, then there is no objection to that. However, what has become commonplace in the latter-day jaahiliyyah is that kissing the hand has become a symbol for those who are believed, or whose ancestors are believed, to possess certain powers, or a custom of the arrogant towards other than them. So we forbade it absolutely, especially for the above-mentioned people, in order to prevent the ways leading to shirk as much as we are able.
And the only reason that we demolished the house of as-Sayyidah Khadeejah, the Dome of the Birthplace, and some of the zawaayaa attributed to some of the awliyaa’, was to prevent that, and to guard against attributing partners with Allaah as much as we were able, due to the enormous importance of doing so, for shirk will not be forgiven by Allaah. And it is worse than attributing a son to Allaah ta’aalaa, because a son is a perfection in the case of the creation; as for shirk, it is a deficiency, even in the case of the creation, in accordance with His Saying (ta’aalaa): “He gives a parable from yourselves: Do you not have slaves whom your right hands own who are partners in that which We have provided for you?” [Ar-Room: 28]
And as for the marriage of a Faatimiyyah woman to a non-Faatimi man, then it is permissible by consensus, indeed there is no dislike in it at all. For ‘Ali married his daughter to ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab, and both of them are sufficient examples to follow. And Sakeenah bint al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali married four men, and none of them was a Faatimi, not even a Haashimi, and the Salaf continued on that way without objection. However, we do not compel anyone to get his female ward married, unless she herself requests it and refuses someone unequal to her in social status (kufu’). And the Arabs are equal to each other (akfaa’), so that which is commonplace in some countries of refusing marriage on the grounds of social status is proof of arrogance and trying to be praised. And great evil and corruption could result from this, as has been narrated. Indeed, marriage between those whose status is unequal is permissible, for Zayd – who was a freed slave – was married to Zaynab, the Mother of the Believers, and she was from Quraysh. And the matter is well-known to the followers of the madhaahib. [End of quote.]
Establishing the evidence and the conditions of making takfeer:
So if somebody, seeking to frighten people away from the truth and submission to it, says:
If you declare with certainty that whoever says: “Yaa Rasoolallaah, I ask you for intercession” is a mushrik whose blood may be spilt, then the necessary implication of it is that the majority of the Ummah have committed kufr, especially those of the later generations, because the ‘ulamaa’ that they followed clearly stated this to be recommended, and they criticised those who say otherwise!
This is not necessarily the implication, because the implication of the madhhab is not itself a madhhab, as is well-known. For example, it is not implied that we are mujassimah (anthropomorphists) just because we talk about the direction of Allaah’s ‘uluww (highness, loftiness) as narrated in the hadeeth regarding that.
And we say regarding those who have died: that they are a nation that has passed away; and we do not make takfeer of anyone except the one whom our da’wah to the Truth has reached, and to whom the path has been clarified and the evidence established, and who then continues arrogantly and stubbornly, like the majority of those whom we are fighting today, who insist on attributing partners to Allaah, refusing to carry out the obligations of the religion, and openly committing the major sins and forbidden acts. And as for those other than the majority, we only fight them due to their aiding such people, their acceptance of them, their increasing of their numbers, and their participation with him in fighting us. So in that case he carries the same ruling regarding the duty to fight him. And we excuse those who have passed away, that they were mistaken but excused, due to the fact that they were not infallible from error.
So it is absolutely not allowed to justify that by saying that there was ijmaa’ on such a thing, and whoever criticised those who said otherwise was mistaken. And it is not a new thing for someone to be mistaken, for those who were better than them also made mistakes, such as ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab (radhiyallaahu ‘anhu); for when the woman corrected him, he retracted from his statement regarding the matter of the mahr (dowry), and in regard to other matters that are well-known in his biography. Indeed, a large group of the Sahaabah made a mistake while our Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa-sallam) was among them, and his light guiding them, when they said: “Make for us a dhaat anwaat, as they have a dhaat anwaat.”
So if you said:
This is the case of the one who is confused, then when he is corrected he accepts it; then what is to be said about the one who understands the evidences, has looked upon the sayings of the imaams who are followed, and who persisted on that way until he dies?
There is nothing preventing us from excusing those mentioned, and we do not say that he is a kaafir, and neither do we say about the one mentioned previously that he is guilty of his mistake, even if he persisted in his mistake, due to the lack of anyone who would struggle for the sake of this matter in that time, with his tongue and his sword and his spear. For the evidence was not established against him, nor was the path made clear to him, rather the majority trend of the authors of the time mentioned was the wholesale abandoning of the sayings of the imaams of the Sunnah regarding this matter altogether, and whoever looked upon them was opposed by them before it could settle in his heart, and their prominent people continued to forbid their lesser people from even looking into this matter altogether, and the kings’ authority deterred anyone whose heart accepted it, except those of them whom Allaah willed.
Moreover, Mu’aawiyah and his companions (radhiyallaahu ‘anhum) saw it fit to oppose Ameer al-Mu’mineen ‘Ali ibn Abi Taalib (radhiyallaahu ‘anhu), fight him, and declare war against him. They were mistaken in doing that according to ijmaa’, and they persisted on that mistake. Yet it is not known that a single one of the Salaf made takfeer of a single one of them, by ijmaa’. Indeed, they did not even label him as a faasiq; rather, they affirmed for them the reward of ijtihaad, even if they were mistaken, as is well-known among Ahl as-Sunnah.
And we are likewise: we do not make takfeer of anyone whose religion is correct, whose righteousness, knowledge, piety, and ascetism is well-known, whose life is praiseworthy, and who made his sincere effort for the Ummah by devoting himself to teaching the beneficial sciences and writing about them, even if he was mistaken in this matter or in other matters. An example is Ibn Hajr al-Haytami: for we are well aware of what he said in ad-Durr al-Munadhdham, yet that does not detract from his great knowledge, and for this reason we give great importance to his books, such as Sharh al-Arba’een, az-Zawaajir, and others, and we rely on what he has transmitted, for he is one of the ‘ulamaa’ of the Muslims.
This is what we are upon, addressing all who possess sound mind and knowledge, and who possess the quality of fairness, without inclining towards bigoted partisanship or fanaticism: to look to what is said, and not to who said it. As for those whose habit is to oblige adherence to a particular person in everything, regardless of whether it is truth or otherwise, then he has blindly followed those regarding whom Allaah has said: “Verily, we found our fathers following a certain way, and we are following in their footsteps.” [Az-Zukhruf: 23] His custom and habit is to know the truth by the people, not the people by the truth. So we do not address him or the like of him except with the sword, until his crookedness is straightened out and his error corrected. And the armies of tawheed, praise be to Allaah, are victorious, and their banners are unfurled with success and progress, “and the unjust will know by what an overturning they shall be overturned.” [Ash-Shu'araa': 227] And “verily, it is the Party of Allaah who will be victorious.” [Al-Maa'idah: 56] And He said (ta’aalaa): “And verily, it is Our troops who will be victorious.” [As-Saaffaat: 173] “And it was incumbent upon Us to grant victory to the believers.” [Ar-Room: 47] “And the good end is for the pious.” [Al-A'raaf: 128]
Moreover, from what we are upon is that bid’ah (innovation), which is everything that was introduced into the religion after the three generations, is in all of its forms blameworthy, as opposed to those who say that there are good and bad bid’ahs, or who divide them into five categories; unless we can harmonise by saying that the good bid’ahs are those that as-Salaf as-Saalih were upon, and that they include that which is obligatory, recommended, and permissible; and in that case they might figuratively speaking be termed bid’ahs; and that the bad bid’ahs are anything other than that, and that they include that which is forbidden and that which is disliked. And there is no objection to this harmonisation.
So from the blameworthy bid’ahs that we forbid are: raising the voice with the adhaan in that which is not part of the adhaan, whether it is with aayaat, or sending prayers upon the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa-sallam), or dhikr, or other than that after the adhaan, or during the night of al-Jumu’ah, or Ramadhaan, or the two ‘Eeds; for all of that is a blameworthy bid’ah.
And we have abolished that which was customary in Makkah of announcing to the people to make dhikr or pray for mercy and the like, and the ‘ulamaa’ of the madhaahib admitted that it was a bid’ah.
And from them is: the reading of a hadeeth on the authority of Abu Hurayrah before the khutbah; and the commentator on al-Jaami’ as-Sagheer has clearly stated that to be bid’ah. And from them is: holding gatherings at a particular time to recite the story of the Prophet’s birth (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa-sallam) in the belief that it is a specially recommended act of worship, without teaching the knowledge of the seerah; for this has not been narrated.
And from them is: holding gatherings to recite the rawaatib of the mashaayikh with raised voices, and reciting al-Faatihah, and making tawassul through them in important affairs; such as the raatib of as-Sammaan, and the raatib of al-Haddaad, and their likes. Indeed, such gatherings might include major shirk, so they are to be fought due to that; and whoever among them is given direction and accepts that these matters in such forms are not Sunnah but rather bid’ah, then he is left; but if they refuse, then the ruler is to punish them what that which he sees sufficient as a deterrent.
And as for the ahzaab (compilations of dhikr and supplications) of the ‘ulamaa’ that are taken from the Book and the Sunnah, then there is no objection to reciting them and doing so regularly; for dhikr, sending prayers on the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa-sallam), seeking forgiveness, reciting the Qur’aan, and the like is highly recommended according to the Sharee’ah, and the one who observes it is rewarded, and every time a slave of Allaah does it more, then his reward increases, but as long as it is done in the legislated manner: without going to extremes, or corrupting it, or altering it; for Allaah ta’aalaa has said: “Call upon your Lord with devotion and with a low voice.” [Al-A'raaf: 55] And He said (ta’aalaa): “And to Allaah belong the Most Beautiful Names, so call on Him by them.” [Al-A'raaf: 180] And by Allaah, how great was an-Nawawi with his compilation Kitaab al-Adhkaar, so the interested one should benefit from it, for it contains that which will suffice the one who is successful.
And from them is: that which is commonplace in some countries of reciting the mawlid of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa-sallam) with poems that are sung, and mixed with sending prayers on him, and adhkaar and recitation of the Qur’aan, and doing that after the Taraaweeh prayer, believing it in that form to be an act of worship. Indeed, the general public imagines that this is from the narrated sunan. So that is forbidden. As for the Taraaweeh prayer, it is sunnah, and there is no objection to praying it in jamaa’ah regularly.
And from them is: that which is commonplace in some countries of praying the five obligatory prayers together after the last Jumu’ah of Ramadhaan. And this is one of the evil bid’ahs by ijmaa’, so they are to be warned from that with the severest warning.
And from them is: raising the voice with dhikr when carrying the dead, or when pouring water over the grave, and other than that which has not been narrated from the Salaf. And Shaykh at-Tartooshi al-Maghribi has authored a concise book which he entitled al-Hawaadith wal-Bida’, and Abu Shaamah al-Maqdisi wrote a summary of it; so it is upon the one who is concerned for his religion to obtain it.
And we only forbid those innovations that are taken as religion and worship. As for that which is not taken as religion and worship, such as drinking coffee, composing poetry, mentioning the good qualities of the kings, etc. then we do not forbid it, as long as it is not mixed with things like dhikr or i’tikaaf in the masjid, believing it to be an act of worship; for Hassaan refuted Ameer al-Mu’mineen ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab (radhiyallaahu ‘anhu), saying: “I used to recite this poetry in front of one who was better than you,” so ‘Umar accepted it.
And all kinds of permissible recreations are allowed, because the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa-sallam) allowed the Abyssinians to play their sports on the day of ‘Eed inside his masjid (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa-sallam). And singing during building or the like is allowed, as is training for warfare with various types of weapons, as well as that which incites bravery such as war drums, but not other musical instruments, which are forbidden. And the distinction between them is very clear.
And there is no objection to beating the daff (hand-drum) at weddings, for he said (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa-sallam): “I have been sent with the easy religion of monotheism (al-Haneefiyyah as-Samihah).” And he said: “Let the Jews know that in our religion there is enjoyment.”
Regarding Shaykh al-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah and Imaam Ibn al-Qayyim:
Moreover, we view both Imaam Ibn al-Qayyim and his Shaykh [Shaykh al-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah] as two imaams of truth from Ahl as-Sunnah, and we view their books among the greatest of books; however we do not blindly follow them in every matter, for everyone may have his saying accepted or rejected except our Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa-sallam). And it is well-known that we disagree with them regarding a number of matters, including the matter of the triple divorce in a single sitting, for we say according to it, following the saying of the four imaams. And we view the waqf as valid, and that nadhr (vowing) is permissible, and that it must be fulfilled in everything except the disobedience of Allaah.
And from the forbidden bid’ahs is: recitation of al-Faatihah for the mashaayikh after the five prayers, and going to extremes in praising them, and making tawassul through them in the way that is commonly done in many countries, and after gatherings of ‘ibaadah, believing that this is from the best acts of worship; while it may lead to shirk without a person realising it. For a person might be led to commit shirk without realising it, due to its hidden nature; otherwise, the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa-sallam) would not have sought Allaah’s protection from it with his saying: “O Allaah, I seek Your protection from attributing a partner with You knowingly, and I seek Your forgiveness for that which I do unknowingly. Verily, You are the All-Knower of what is hidden.”
So it is necessary to memorise these words, and protect oneself from shirk as much as possible; for ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab said: “The ties of al-Islaam will be undone, one after another, when a person will enter into al-Islaam who does not know what jaahiliyyah is.” And that is because he will commit shirk, believing it to be an act of worship. We seek Allaah’s protection from going astray and losing our eemaan.
This is what I presented during the discussion with the previously mentioned shaykh [Husayn ibn Muhammad al-Ibreeqi] at the time that he was hesitant, and he requested from me every time to put it in writing; so when he insisted on it, I wrote this down for him without referring back to any book, because I was occupied to the utmost degree with the affair of the ghazw; so whoever wishes to confirm that which we are upon, then let him come to us in ad-Dir’iyyah, and he will see that which will satisfy his thoughts and comfort his sight, of lessons in all of the sciences, especially tafseer and hadeeth; and he will see that which will amaze him, with Allaah’s praise and help, of the establishment of the outward symbols (sha’aa’ir) of the religion, and kindness to the weak, the visiting delegations, and the poor people.
And we do not reject at-Tareeqah as-Soofiyyah, and the purification of the inner self from the evil qualities of disobedience to Allaah connected to the heart and the limbs, as long as the person abides by the laws of the Sharee’ah and the correct methodology. And we do not try to come up with lengthy justifications for any aberrancies in his statements or actions.
And we do not depend on, ask for help from, seek victory from, or place our trust in all of our affairs except upon Allaah ta’aalaa, for He is Sufficient for us, and what an Excellent Trustee; an Excellent Master and an Excellent Helper. And may Allaah bless Muhammad and his family and companions, and grant them peace.
Ad-Durar as-Saniyyah fee al-Ajwibah an-Najdiyyah