Debunking Yasir Qadhi(ism)
Yasir Qadhi Acknowledges the Consistency of the Salafis (Madkhalis) Not rebelling Against the Ruler
Compiled, Translated and Annotated
Abu Khuzaimah Ansari
On Wednesday 10th April 2019 Yasir Qadhi (YQ) delivered a lecture at the al-Waleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (ACMCU), Georgetown University titled Rethinking Salafism: Shifting Trends & Changing Typologies Post Arab Spring. The link can be found below.
YQ while attempting to define the quietist or purist trend of Salafism, as the western academia have come to broadly use this term mentions a definite fact which has a significant basis in the works of the early pious ancestors. YQ during his lecture at the Future of Salafism Conference in Oxford UK and also throughout the presentations of other speakers, was very vocal and outspoken and brazenly used the term Madkhali to describe the puritan or quietest trend of Salafism, as if he was obsessively fixated with the deranged term because of what and how it was related to Shaykh Rabi b. Hadi al-Madkhali.
At timestamp 20:17 YQ says, and we quote verbatim
“Some Quietest interpret the texts to indicate that supporting the ruler is an act of faith and a fundamental pillar of the religion and so if you do not support the ruler you are a heretic and of course a primary example of this is the Madkhalis, they make it a theological point of faith that you must support the ruler. Out all of the quietists, whatever my personal position might be about them they are the most consistent they will support the ruler regardless.”
Jonathon Brown interjects and says “any ruler or just..”
YQ continues and says any ruler as long as there is no kufr buwaha – open disbelief.
Then at timestamp 36:37 he talks about the development and changes in the Salafi trend in Egypt and goes onto say that the only person who remained consistent was the small strand of Madkhali Salafism the most famous amongst them, (Shaykh) Muhammad Saʿid Raslan, Hafizahullah.
The point is, even YQ knows the Salafis are consistent in their matters of theology and faith because they use only the Quran and Sunnah as their source based on the understanding of the pious ancestors. The Salafis believe this as the one and only approach to understanding and practicing Islam, whether they are matters of theology, methodology and jurisprudence.
This idea of the Salafis being consistent in their belief system is a hallmark of the Salafis or what academics incorrectly refer to as Madkhalis. The Salafis have a rich history and an illustrious legacy of being united. For instance, Imam al-Bukhari (d.256H) said:
“I met more than a thousand men amongst the people of knowledge from the people of al-Hijaaz, al-Makkah, al-Madeenah, al-Koofah, al-Basrah, Waasit, Baghdaad, Shaam and Egypt. I met them numerous times, generation after generation and then generation after generation.’ I met them while they were ample and widespread for over forty-six years; the people of ash-Shaam, Egypt and al-Jazeerah twice, (the people of) al- Basrah four times in a number of years. (Those of) al-Hijaaz (over a period) of six years and I cannot enumerate how many times I entered (upon the people of) al-Koofah and Baghdaad along with the muhaddithoon of Khuraasaan, amongst them: al-Makkee ibn Ibraaheem, Yahyaa ibn Yahyaa, ‘Alee ibn al- Hasan ibn Shaqeeq, Qutaibah ibn Sa’d and Shihaab ibn Ma’mar.
And in ash-Shaam: Muhammad ibn Yoosuf al-Firyaabee, Aboo Mushir ‘Abdul-A’laa ibn Mushir, Abul-Mugheerah ‘Abdul- Quddoos ibn al-Hajjaaj, Abul-Yamaan al-Hakam ibn Naafi’ and those who came after them, (I met them) numerous times.
And in Egypt: Yahyaa ibn Katheer (or Yahyaa ibn Bukayr), Aboo Saalih – the scribe of al-Layth ibn Sa’d, Sa’eed ibn Abee Maryam, Asbagh ibn al-Faraj and Nu’aym ibn Hammaad.
And in Makkah: ‘Abdullaah ibn Zaid al-Muqri and al-Humaydee, Sulaymaan ibn Harb – the qaadee of Makkah and Ahmad ibn Muhammad al-Azraqee.
And in al-Madeenah: lsmaa’eel ibn Abee Uwais, Mutarrif ibn ‘Abdullaah, ‘Abdullaah ibn Naafi’ az-Zubairee, Ahmad ibn Abee Bakr Aboo Mus’ab az-Zuhree, Ibraaheem ibn Hamzah az- Zubairee and Ibraaheem ibn al-Mundhir al-Hizaamee.
And in al-Basrah: Aboo ‘Aasim ad-Dahhaak ibn Makhlad ash-Shaybaanee, Abul-Waleed Hishaam ibn ‘Abdul-Maalik, Hajjaaj ibn al-Minhaal and ‘Alee ibn ‘Abdullaah ibn Ja’far al-Madeenee.
And in al-Koofah: Aboo Nu’aym al-Fadl ibn Dukayn, ‘Ubaydullaah ibn Moosaa, Ahmad ibn Yoonus, Qabeesah ibn ‘Uqbah, Ibn Numayr, and ‘Abdullaah and ‘Uthmaan, the two sons of Aboo Shaybah.
And in Baghdaad: Ahmad ibn Hambal, Yahyaa ibn Ma’een, Aboo Ma’mar, Aboo Khaithamah and Aboo ‘Ubaid al-Qaasim ibn Sallaam.
And from the people of al-Jazeerah: ‘Amr ibn Khaalid al- Harraanee.
And in Waasit: ‘Amr ibn ‘Aun and ‘Aasim ibn ‘Alee ibn ‘Aasim.
And in Marw: Sadaqah ibn Fadl and Ishaaq ibn Ibraaheem al- Handhalee.”
(Sharh Usul Ei’tiqaad Ahlus-Sunnah, 2:172).
This shows the consistency of the Aqidah and Manhaj of the Salafis, while on the contrary the people of deviation and splitting vehemently differ with each other in one era and land let alone over centuries. We also see the consistency and clarity of the Aqidah and Manhaj of the Salafis in that they are unified in their affairs which span 1400 years. This is the hallmark of consistency and In-sha-Allah, the truth.
And we find Abu Muhammad Abdur Rahman Ibn Abi Hatim (d.327H) transmits from Abu Zur’ah Ubaidullah al-Razi (d.264H) and Abu Hatim Muĥammad Ibn Idris al-Razi (d.277H) said while expounding on the belief of Ahl al-Sunnah:
“We have reached the Scholars in all the lands – The Hijaz, Iraq, Sham and Yemen, and from their Madhhab was…” (Asal al-Sunnah wa Ei’tiqad al-Din, 1; al-Lalaka’i Sharh Ei’tiqad Ahl al-Sunnah Wal Jama’ah, 1:176-180)
Meaning that they encountered various scholars in the different lands and they were upon the same creed and methodology Some biographers and historiographers mention Abu Hatim al-Razi had over 3,000 teachers.
Imam Abul Qasim Ismaʿil al-Asbahani (d.535H) said:
“That which elucidates the Ahl al-Hadith are the Ahl al-Haq is that if you look at all of the books written by them, whether they are the early Ahl al-Hadith or the Ahl al-Hadith of our time, whether residing in different cities, in different eras with large distances between them and even after travelling huge distances to reach them, then despite all of this, you will find them upon the same Creed, the same path and the same Manhaj.” (al-Hujjah Fi Bayanil Mahajjah, 2:224)
Imam Qawam al-Sunnah i.e. Abul Qasim also said:
“We saw the Ashabul Hadith, and they travelled far and wide to collect the narrations, then they sifted out the weak ones from the authentic narrations, they compiled them and they memorised them. The Ashabul hadith (Ahl al-Hadith) then acted upon these narrations and they promoted and spread these narrations this being their dawah and they used the narrations of the Messenger of Allah sallahu alaihi wasallam to refute the mukhalifin (the opposers).
These Ashabul Hadith had with them a vast amount of authentic narrations just like the cloth seller has clothes, the one who sells dates has dates, and the one who sells perfume has perfume! So the one who sold dates becomes known as the date seller and the one who sells clothes becomes known as the clothes seller and the one who sells perfume becomes known as the perfume seller, then similarly the Ashabul Hadith and the scholars of hadith became known as the Ahl al-Hadith.
When these Ahl al-Hadith saw people going away from the ma’ruf (that which was known by way of necessitating and following the Messenger of Allah sallahu alaihi wasallam) and they could see people leaving the authentic narrations and they could see people from the various sects making tanqid and making disparaging remarks against the narrations the scholars of hadith began to refute these people and began to warn against them in their gatherings. The Ahl al-Hadith began to mention the real meanings of the words of the Messenger of Allah sallahu alaihi wasallam as they ought to have been understood.
So it is fair to say from this evidence that the scholars of hadith who authored all of the works in promoting the ittiba (following) of the Messenger of Allah sallahu alaihi wasallam in reality they are the Ahlus Sunnah and have more of a right to call themselves the Ahlus Sunnah then any other person or group and this is because according to the scholars the real meaning of Sunnah is to follow the authentic chain of narration (hadith) from the Messenger of Allah sallahu alaihi wasallam concerning the ahkam and to act upon that and to stay away from that which has come by way of a forbiddance in these narrations. Thus this is a clear evidence to say that the Ahl al-Hadith, Ashabul Hadith are actually none other than the Ahlus Sunnah themselves.
If someone was to say that if this is the case then every other sect other than the Ahlul Hadith also mention various narrations as evidences for their beliefs and their actions then what do we say about them? Then our response is, that those which in opposition to an authentic narration bring a weak narration, in opposition to a complete narration, bring a mursal (an incomplete) narration, in opposition to a marfu’ narration (a narration that reaches with complete chain the Messenger of Allah sallahu alaihi wasallam) bring a mawquf narration (that which does not reach the Prophet sallahu alaihi wasallam but a companion) then they cannot be on the same level as the Ahl al-Hadith whichever sect they may be from!
The one who follows the Messenger of Allah sallahu alaihi wasallam based on the authentic narrations he is the one who is following a clear evidence and he is the one who is taking his understanding from the authentic narrations, not from the weak or the incomplete narrations which cannot be in comparison to those narrations which are authentic.
Thus it is clear that the Ahlus Sunnah is the one who will follow the authentic narrations and go out of his way to follow the authentic narration over and above any other narration or saying, whereas those who are ahlul ra’i (people of opinion and conjecture) they only follow the narrations which fit well within their hearts and minds.” (al-Hujjah Fi Bayanil Mahajjah, 3:413-414)
In conclusion, even the most misguided of people will inadvertently speak the truth. The Salafis have not given any Tom Dick or Harry any authority whatsoever, to classify us, we are only one type of Salafi and the others are not Salafi, even if people are adamant in doing so. YQ inadvertently admits the Salafis follow the Divine Texts which naturally allows us to be consistent for 1400 years. If YQ and those upon a similar methodology to him are going to use the term Madkhali for us, then it is only fair based on this consistency that he innovates another term for the early Pious ancestors, as they were also on this consistency.
In the same video, YQ also distorts and manipulates some key facts, whether out of ignorance or deliberately, both are equally bad and intellectual dishonesty, but what do you expect from such people? Shaykh Fawzans view regarding the rulers and obeying him is based on the texts, our obedience to them and following the Sunnah. The reason YQ gives his concocted explanation is because he cannot label Shaykh Fawzan as a Madkhali. I believe this is a methodical and deliberate distortion of the true facts in order to brush away a classification dilemma. More on this deception later In-Sha-Allah