< Pledge of Mutual Cooperation - Response « Strangers Oasis

Pledge of Mutual Cooperation - Response

30 10 2007

Firstly, let me say that in posting this, my goal is not to support this opinion or cause fitnah and division.  Part of what we have lost is the ability to read differing opinions and rationally analyze what is being read and either accept or respectfully disagree with such an opinion without becoming emotionally vested in the topic. 

It is with this in mind, continuing the discussion (respectfully), and giving voice to differing opinions that I post this.  Have a read, and feel free to post your thoughts, insha’Allah.  And remember, we are all Muslim brothers and sisters at the end of this.

“Pledge of Mutual Respect and Co-operation” - the Scholars Clarify 

All praise is due to Allaah and may the Salaat and Salaam be upon the final Messenger of Allaah, his family and his companions.

To proceed:

Concerning the propagation of the recent “Pledge of Mutual Respect and Co-operation” that was signed by a number of callers of diverse theological backgrounds and students from the West, we thought it befitting that it be presented to some of the Scholars so that they may clarify the legislated stance towards such a pledge, and that the view point of the people of knowledge could be shared with the Muslim minorities in the West. We also present the translated copy of the pledge for those who would like to ascertain what is being presented to the people of knowledge and that no additions or subtractions were made that may affect their responses. Any issues that may arise concerning the accuracy of the translation can be sent to:

…and we will make the necessary changes, inshaa.-Allaah, if such changes affect the meanings of what is being presented.

The first Scholar approached concerning the pledge was Shaykh `Alee Naasir Faqeehee (a lecturer at al-Masjid an-Nabawee and the Islaamic University of Madeenah, and Head of the Department of Knowledge Related Affairs at the King Fahd Qur.aan Printing Complex) on the 22nd of Ramadhaan 1428. We will continue to share the views of the people of knowledge concerning this pledge as we present it to them, and add their comments to this document with the permission of Allaah the Exalted.

The Shaykh, may Allaah preserve him, mentioned a number of points which are worthy of reflecting upon - for all:

After reading it, the Shaykh began by stating that: “This is not the first, second, tenth or even hundredth time that an attempt such as this has been made. For a long time efforts have been made in order to produce such a formula, the only thing that differs is the method and the wordings. It should be known that achieving the objectives of such a pledge is impossible; it is like shooting a stray bullet that will never reach its target. How can (a pledge such as) this be possible, bringing together people of different theological[1] backgrounds that are contradictory to each other?!”

The Shaykh described the basis for such a pledge as proceeding from the principle of “let us co-operate amongst ourselves in the issues that we agree upon, and excuse one another in the issues that we disagree upon”.

In support of the Islaamic University of Madeenah, the Shaykh iterated: “Just because some of the co-signers (of “The Pledge”) are graduates from the Islaamic University (of Madeenah) does not mean that the methodology of the University is at fault. Rather, the methodology of the University is correct, however, the University cannot guarantee that all the students who graduate from it are or will remain upon the same methodology”.

In reference to the claim that “The Pledge” is specific to issues pertaining to the West, the Shaykh vehemently rejected this by saying: “Their claim that this is a Western issue and that Major Scholars elsewhere do not need to be involved: We say to them that the same Islaam you have over there in the West is the same Islaam we have here. What is false and contradictory to Islaam over here is also false and contradictory to Islaam over there. Islaam is suitable for all times and places”.

The Shaykh advised that the pledge be taken to other scholars so that the legislated stance towards the falsehood that it consists of can be further elaborated on. Until that time, we would like to share the comments of Shaykh Ibn `Uthaymeen concerning the error of those who include other groups such as the Ashaai`rah and Maturidiyyah in the circle of Ahlus Sunnah, as occurs in the Shaykh`s Majmoo` al-Fataawa:

“Therefore they are united upon the Sunnah, they are Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaa`ah. It is understood from the author`s[2] words that those who disagree with them in their methodology are not included with them. So the Ashaa`irah and Maturidiyyah for example are not considered to be from Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaa`ah because they are in opposition to what the Prophet, صلى الله عليه وسلم, and his companions were upon in terms of understanding and implementing the Attributes of Allaah the Elevated with their apparent meanings.

Therefore, those who claim that Ahlus Sunnah are comprised of three groups; Salafiyoon, Ashaa`irah and Maturidiyyah, are erroneous. We say; how can all of them be from Ahlus Sunnah while they contradict each other? Is there anything after the truth except falsehood?! How could all of them be Ahlus Sunnah while each one refutes the other? This is impossible, it could only be possible if two opposites can be combined, if so then yes this would be possible.

There is no doubt that only one of these groups alone are the Sunnis, so which one is it; the Ashaa`irah, Maturidiyyah or Salafiyyah? We say that whoever is in accord with the Sunnah is the Sunni (adherer to the Sunnah) and whoever is in opposition to the Sunnah is not a Sunni. We say that the Salaf, they are the ones who adhered to the Sunnah and they are the Jamaa`ah, and this label cannot be attributed to other than them. Never!

Words are according to their meanings, so let`s look and see, how could we label those who oppose the Sunnah `Ahlus Sunnah` [or Sunnis for short]?! It is impossible, and how can we claim that three groups that differ with each other are united? Where is the unity?!

Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaa`ah are those who follow the Salaf in their `Aqeedah, including individuals from the latter [generations] until the Day of Resurrection. If an individual is upon the way of the Prophet,صلى الله عليه وسلم, and his companions, then indeed he is a Salafee.”

Madeenah.Com Administration,
- revised and approved by:

Abu Abdul Waahid Nadir Ahmad
Abu Abdullaah Mohammed Akhtar Chaudhry
Zulfiker Ibrahim al-Memoni al-Athari

This article can be found with the original Arabic text at:



[1] The term used by the Shaykh was “Aqeedah” which is translated into creed, but being that the term “theology” was used for creed in the pledge, it was retained for consistency.

[2] Shaykhul-Islaam ibn Taymiyyah, may Allaah have mercy upon him.

[3] As an added benefit, Ibn `Uthaymeen states in his explanation of al-`Aqeedah as-Safariniyyah:

“Who are Ahlul Athar? They are the people who adhered to the narrations, they adhered to the Book and the Sunnah and the statements of the Sahaabah, may Allaah be pleased with them. This label cannot be applied upon any group or sect except the Salafees, those who adhere to the methodology of the Salaf.”



17 responses to “Pledge of Mutual Cooperation - Response”

30 10 2007
mujurip (18:39:00) :

I’m really interested to see what sh.Salman’s analysis would be on this.

30 10 2007
AbdelRahman (22:01:32) :

Hah these are the same people who started encourage “Saudi National Pride Week” to be taught in the curriculum of Madinah.

Azhar is where it’s at. It may be cheap, poor, dirty, and sometimes wacky, but there’s no doubt the level of knowledge you can gain there is multitudes higher than at Madinah U.

31 10 2007
Faiez (01:12:02) :

Interesting perspective. Too much of this pledge is theory. I don’t see much of practical application of the unity pledge as of yet.

31 10 2007
siraaj (04:48:01) :

With regards to institutions, I think each has its strength and weaknesses, depending on how you look at it.

If you’re looking for what some would call openmindedness towards fiqh and aqeedah issues, and others would call laxity, then Azhar is your place.

If you’re looking for strictness in adhering to the Sunnah from a hadeeth perspective and strictness in Aqeedah, or perhaps, a firm stance, Madeenah is your place.

If I had to choose between one and the other, I’d choose Madeenah because I can get the ‘Ilm, and it’s got the realtor’s catchphrase written all over it - location, location, location - 10,000 times the reward for praying in Madeenah ;)

31 10 2007
siraaj (04:50:09) :

Practical application would be, for example, that lay-students of knowledge not debate one another online incessantly, or in a vulgar manner. Convey the message, state the rebuttal respectfully and mercifully, and then move on.

31 10 2007
AbdelRahman (19:50:32) :

“If you’re looking for strictness in adhering to the Sunnah from a hadeeth perspective and strictness in Aqeedah, or perhaps, a firm stance, Madeenah is your place.”

I don’t know if I agree with that, even. Azhar has teachers like Salah Sahwi and others, very strict with their Aqeedah and Sunnah/Hadith teachings.

If anywhere in Saudi, it’ll be Imam Saud in Riyadh - the Madkhalee influence hasn’t hit as hard there. Either way the Saudi culture has an interesting effect on the spirit of Islam. Like Yasir Qadhi was saying at ISNA to us, “The mistake of the Salafi dawah was importing the Saudi culture along with the Aqeedah of the Salaf.”

31 10 2007
Siraaj (20:17:25) :

Well, a few points:

1. Shaykh Salah hasn’t taught at al-Azhar since 1977. Him and others like him have started up SAA in Egypt, and it has accreditation from al-Azhar, but we’re talking about al-Azhar itself.

On the other hand, al-Azhar, even if it has Athari creed, also has ashari creed taught as well. This goes back to my comment - some say openminded, some say lax, it all depends on perspective.

2. Can say much about al Imam as I don’t know much about it.

I think each place will have advantages and disadvantages, depending on how you want to look at it.

3 11 2007
Sis Shaykha (06:45:25) :

Asalaamu Alaaikum,

“Rather, the methodology of the University is correct, however, the University cannot guarantee that all the students who graduate from it are or will remain upon the same methodology”.

That was a tad bit…harsh!

We will see if the objectives of the pact are established, insha’Allah. I know for certain that the main goal isn’t to “integrate” or “accept/approve” from any of their beliefs, although everyone seems to think that, even the scholars.

But they brought up really, really…really good points.

I’m still “signed on” though

but hopefully this was forwarded to Sheikh Yasir Qadhi, and to those who signed…..

Wa’alaykum Asalaam

p.s. yes, i like the way they disagreed, respectfully, unlike some Muslimzzz did.

6 11 2007
SaqibSaab (04:39:21) :

So what’s worse? XTREEEEME Saudi culture, or clearly ‘Ashari teaching and bizzare strange fatwas coming from the Azhar name?

There’s no clear choice except both have their ups and downs and the student who ends up wherever has to free himself from what’s wrong and ask for the forgiveness of our Ulema.

6 11 2007
siraaj (19:00:03) :

“Ask for the forgiveness of our Ulema” ?

24 11 2007
Independent (05:34:40) :

Wouldn’t it just be better to go to independent ulema who are not part of any government backed school? Or are not on any offical payroll? Or don’t cozy up with the rulers?

24 11 2007
Siraaj (06:15:37) :

“Wouldn’t it just be better to go to independent ulema who are not part of any government backed school? Or are not on any offical payroll? Or don’t cozy up with the rulers?”

If we applied this thinking wholesale to the Ulamaa’ of the past, we would lose many great scholars and their works in the process.


24 11 2007
salam (07:24:24) :

for informed people such as yourselves, why is there a bit of a debate when it comes to discerning what university is better to study at?

i ask because everyone knows madinah will teach salafi aqidah and polemicize against everything else. everyone also knows that azhar will teach ashari and others and so on and and on.

its true that madinah has a nice location but do you really want to be indoctrinated as opposed to being taught?

24 11 2007
muwahid187 (08:10:11) :

“If we applied this thinking wholesale to the Ulamaa’ of the past, we would lose many great scholars and their works in the process.”

This is untrue the Ulema throughout history practiced this principle all the time and Islam is not dependent on individuals.

24 11 2007
muwahid187 (08:16:28) :

“Scholars” that Befriend Tyrants?

By Aboo Jandal ash- Shahbaawee

These are some narrations that should help the wise differentiate between the true scholar and the faker. Most of the true scholars, these days, are either behind bars or on the battle frontlines.

‘ Abdullaah Ibn ‘ Abbaas said that Allaah’s Messenger ( sallallaahu ‘ alayhi wa sallam ) said, “There shall be rulers whom you will recognize from them good and evil. Whoever opposes them is saved. Whoever abandons them is freed. And whoever intermingles with them is destroyed.” (Collected by Ibn Abee Shaybah and at- Tabaraanee ; al- Albaanee authenticated it in “ Saheeh al- Jaami ’”, hadeeth #3661).
Abul-A’war as- Sulamee said that Allaah’s Messenger ( sallallaahu ‘ alayhi wa sallam ) said, “Be wary of the ruler’s gates; for there, there is difficulty and humiliation.” (Collected by ad- Daylamee and at- Tabaraanee ; al- Albaanee authenticated it in “as- Silsilah as- Saheehah ”, hadeeth #1253).

Aboo Hurayrah said that Allaah’s Messenger ( sallallaahu ‘ alayhi wa sallam ) said, “Whoever approaches the ruler’s gates becomes afflicted. Whenever a slave draws closer to the ruler, he only gains distance from Allaah .” (Collected by Ahmad; al- Albaanee authenticated it in “ Saheeh at- Targheeb wat-Tarheeb ”, hadeeth #2241. A similar narration, save the last sentence, is reported from Ibn ‘ Abbaas ; al- Albaanee authenticated it in “ Saheeh at- Targheeb wat-Tarheeb ”, hadeeth #2242).

Jaabir Ibn ‘ Abdillaah said that Allaah’s Messenger ( sallallaahu ‘ alayhi wa sallam ) said to Ka’b Ibn ‘ Ujrah , “O Ka’b Ibn ‘ Ujrah , I seek Allaah’s protection for you from the leadership of fools. There shall be rulers, whoever enters upon them, then aids them in their oppression and validates their lies, then he is not from me nor I from him, and he shall not be admitted to the Hawd . Whoever does not enter upon them, and does not aid them in their oppression, nor validates their lies, then he is from me and I from him, and he shall be admitted to the Hawd .” (Collected by Ahmad, al- Bazzaar , and Ibn Hibbaan ; al- Albaanee authenticated it in “ Saheeh at- Targheeb wat-Tarheeb ”, hadeeth #2243. Similar narrations are reported from an- Nu’man Ibn Basheer , ‘ Abdillaah Ibn Khabbaab (from his father), Abee Sa’eed al- Khudree , and Ka’b Ibn ‘ Ujrah ; Al- Albaanee authenticated these other narrations in “ Saheeh at- Targheeb wat-Tarheeb ”, ahaadeeth #2243-2246).

As for narrations from the words of the Companions, then as- Suyootee has collected from ‘Alee Ibn Abee Taalib, Ibn Mas’ood, Hudhayfah Ibn al- Yamaan , and Abee Dharr , narrations of general warning against approaching the rulers or their gates. See “ Maa Rawaahul-Asaateen Fee ‘Adam al- Majee ’ Ilas-Salaateen ”.

There are too many with similar meanings, so here are some examples:

Ibn Mas’ood said, “Whoever wishes to honor his religion, then he should not enter upon the ruler.” (Collected by ad- Daarimee ).

Ibn Mas’ood also said, “A man enters upon the ruler, carrying his religion with him, then exits without anything with him.” (Collected by al- Bukhaaree in his “ Taareekh ” and Ibn Sa’d in “at- Tabaqaat ”).

Hudhayfah Ibn al- Yamaan said, “O indeed! Never should any of you walk even a hand-span in the direction of the ruler.” (Collected by Ibn Abee Shaybah ).

He collects from the later scholars of the Salaf , similar narrations from Sufyaan ath-Thawree , Sa’eed Ibn al- Musayyib , Hammaad Ibn Salamah , al- Hasan al- Basree , Ibn al- Mubaarak , Abee Haazim , al- Awzaa’ee , and al- Fudayl Ibn al-‘ Iyaad .

Here are some examples from these scholars of the Salaf :

Sufyaan at- Thawree said, “Don’t go, even if they ask you to visit them just to recite ‘ qul huwallaahu ahad ’.” (Collected by al- Bayhaqee ).

Maalik Ibn Anas said, “I met more than ten and some Taabi’een , all of them saying, do not go to them, do not admonish them, meaning the ruler.” (Collected by al- Khateeb al- Baghdaadee in “ Ruwaah Maalik ”).

Sufyaan ath-Thawree said, “Looking at the ruler is a sin.” (Collected by Abee ‘Alee al- Aamudee in his “ Ta’leeq ”).

Bishr al- Haafee said, “How disgusting is it to request to see a scholar, but then to get the response that he is at the ruler’s gate.” (Collected by al- Bayhaqee in “ Shu’ab al-Eemaan”).

What remains is the matter that: isn’t speaking the truth in the face of a tyrant the greatest Jihad? The answer: Yes, but other similar narrations mention why it is the greatest Jihad and martyrdom, because after he commands the good and denounces evil, the ruler kills him. This is the real speaking of the truth, not the following of desires and visiting the ruler daily until the scholar is one of his personal advisors and henchmen. The Salaf were afraid that most people were too weak to stay firm in the face of the tyrant, but instead would be affected by his power and wealth, thereby justifying religious compromise with the ruler, which is exactly what we see these days from our “scholars.” How wise were the Salaf , and how foolish are the Khalaf .

Allaah knows best.

Important Point: These narrations warn against approaching tyrannical, MUSLIM rulers, so what of those rulers who apostate by aiding the infidels against the Muslims, or by legislating manmade laws, or ruling by manmade laws, etc.

16 12 2007
Dawud Farquhar (15:41:12) :

muwahid187 (08:10:11) :

>> …and Islam is not dependent on individuals.

Allaah SWT safeguards Islam through the efforts of individuals when needed and through the collective actions of the jama’ah when needed. From amongst the inumerous examples, the following 2 are always cited as sufficient evidence how individuals can change the course of history and safeguarding Islamic fundamentals:

1. Abu Bakr’s (RA) decision to go to war against the apostates who refused to pay Zakah, thus going against the ‘ijmah of the rest of the Sahabah.

2. Imam Ahmad’s refusal to sign the declaration that the Qur’an is created (Yahya ibn Ma’een signed the paper under coersion to safeguard his life and Imam Shafi’ee fled to Egypt to avoid the fitnah).

Our Ulema are the standard bearers of the Deen and it is unfortunate that we are so casual is letting our tongues lose upon them.

As for your comments on ‘what of those rulers who apostate’ then clearly the fitnah of the takfeeri ideology and the da’wah of the Khawarij is still very much alive and thriving today. It is our duty to remove ourselves from matters that do not concern us and that we seek advise and council from our Ulema in regards to them.

Let me leave this beautiful narration as a reminder to us all.. The Prophet (SAW) said; “From the excellence of a man’s Islam is to leave that which does not concern him.” [Hasan, transmitted by Tirmidhi and others]

Some early Muslims said, “Whoever busies themselves with that which does not concern them misses out on much of that which does concern them.” That is, to leave that which is not important or befitting of him, whether in speech, actions, or thought.

If you are interested in something, it does not automatically mean that it “concerns you”. Every legally responsible person should refrain from saying anything except when there is a clear advantage to speaking. Whenever speaking and not speaking are of equal benefit, it is Sunnah to remain silent, for permissible speech easily leads to that which is unlawful or offensive, as actually happens much or even most of the time (and there is no substitute for safety).

The Prophet (SAW) said; “Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him say what is good or remain silent.”

This haddeth is an explicit, legal text indicating that a person should not speak unless what he intends to say is good, meaning that the benefit of it is apparent to him. Whenever one doubts that there is a clear advantage, one should not speak. Imam Shafi’ee said, “When one wishes to speak, one must first reflect, and if there is a clear interest to be served by speaking, one speaks, while if one doubts it, one remains silent until the advantage becomes apparent.”

Some further points of advise to myself and all of you…

“O Messenger of Allah, which of the Muslims is best?” And he said, “He who the Muslims are safe from his tongue and his hand.”

“A servant unthinkingly says something pleasing to Allah Most High for which Allah raises him whole degrees. And a servant unthinkingly says something detested by Allah Most High for which he plunges into hell.”

17 12 2007
Muwahid187 (05:17:16) :

1. Actually the statement that Islam is not dependent on Individuals is absolutely correct because Allah will find a way to preserve this deen regardless if a certain individual stands up or not. So if Imam Ahmad did not stand up to the heretics someone else would have stood up in his place and Allah would have saved the Aqeedah of Ahlus Sunnah.

2. As for your other statement regarding the rulers then they do not rule by what Allah has revealed and this is Major Kufr. They have taken themselves as gods besides Allah in legislation. It seems to me you come from a Madkhali type background based on what you said. As far as the Saudi government scholars are concerned they fall under the Ahadith mentioned in the above article and the statements of the Salaf.

It is interesting to note that you could not respond to those Ahadith but when on about ‘insulting’ the shcolars. I did not insult the scholars they insulted themselves by becoming closer to tyrannical rulers.

Warning against the biggest issue of our time which is the leaving of the Shariah for the ruling of Man made laws is not considered something that doesn’t concern a Muslim. So the hadith you quoted do not even apply in this situation.

“And in the Tafseer of His, the Most High’s statement:

Do they then seek the ruling of (the Days of) Ignorance? And who is better in judgment than Allaah for a people who have firm Faith. [Al-Maa’idah, 50]

Ibn Katheer, may Allaah be merciful to him, said, ‘He, the Most High, objects to those who leave from under the ruling (Hukm) of Allaah, which encompasses all of what is good and which forbids evil, and goes to other than that, from the opinions and desires and terminologies, which are fabricated by men with no basis in the law (Sharee’ah) of Allaah. Such as the people of pre-Islamic days of Ignorance (Jaahiliyyah) who used to rule in accordance with the misguidance and ignorance, from which they would fabricate with their opinions and their desires.

And likewise, what the Tartars (Tataar) rule in, according to the kingdom-oriented politics that have been taken from their king, Genghis Khan , who fabricated for them ‘Al-Yaasiq’, which is a phrase that refers to a book assembled from rulings he took from several legislations from those of the Jews and the Christians and the Islamic religion (Millah) and other than them. And in it are also several rulings, which he took from his own views and desires. So it became a followed legislation amongst his descendants (lit. sons), which they put ahead of the ruling (Hukm) of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger .

So whoever does that, then he is a disbeliever (Kaafir) whose fighting is obligatory (Waajib) until he returns to the ruling (Hukm) of Allaah and His Messenger such that he does not rule by other than it neither a little nor a lot.

He, the Most High, said: Do they then seek the ruling of (the Days of) Ignorance? In other words, they seek and desire and they turn away from the ruling (Hukm) of Allaah. And who is better in judgment than Allaah for a people who have firm Faith? In other words, and who is more just than Allaah in his ruling (Hukm) for he who comprehends that Allaah is the Most Wise of judges and more merciful to His creation than the mother is to her infant child? As verily, He, the Most High, is Knowledgeable of all things, the Powerful over all things, the Just in all things.’ – “Tafseer Ibn Katheer ”, Vol. 2/67

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