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.
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 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 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.”
- 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:
 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.
 Shaykhul-Islaam ibn Taymiyyah, may Allaah have mercy upon him.
 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.”