|Translation of the Persian explanation of Shaykh Saleh Sabziwari|
Deniers of authority of intellect; Muslim Salafists
(I seek refuge to God from the expelled Shaytan
In the name of God, the most merciful and the most beneficent
Praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds, and peace be upon Mohammad and his purified family
After explaining the triple qualities of intellect as a standard of cognition, namely “necessity”, “unity”, and “self-evidence”, our master Al-Mansoor began to introduce the deniers of the authority of intellect, which in the previous lesson we studied two of them “Christian scholars” and “Muslim Ahl Al-Hadith” and referred to their similar approaches in dealing with wisdom and religious doctrinal scriptures. In this lesson, we will address another group of deniers of the authority of intellect in the statement of our master Al-Mansoor, and they are)
(The point that should be noted first is that the Muslim Salafists in general have a lot of commonalities with the “Muslim Ahl Al-Hadith”, to the extent that they can be called one group in many ways, although in some ways they can be considered distinct; since Salafists are more entrenched in terms of conviction than the Ahl Al-Hadith, and in many jurisprudential and practical affairs, they also express a more hard-liner view, which is to the extent that they may be distinct from one another. The fact is that our master Al-Mansoor does not explicitly distinguish between the two, but rather he introduces the Salafists as the new version and an evolutionary from the Ahl Al-Hadith, and this becomes clear from his expression as he continues. He says: )
Unfortunately, (given that it has led to a very unfortunate consequence in the Islamic world) although many of the Muslim scholars (such as scholars from Ahl Al-Ra’y, Mu’tazilites and the Shia) did not agree with this approach during the first Islamic centuries, (i.e., the second and third century), it continued to exist under protection of Abbasid reign since the time of Mutawakkil, (Died 247 AH) (considering that the Abbasids had not openly and visibly supported this approach before Mutawakkil, but Mutawakil precisely contrary to the caliphs before him, especially the Ma’mun and the Mu’tasim of Abbasid, put Hadith-oriented mindset and anti-intellect ideology among his policies and completely took out the field from pro-wisdom scholars and gave it to the scholars of the Ahl Al-Hadiths, and set forth for those narrators who were close to him, awards and prizes, and asked them to publish anti-wisdom Hadiths such as the Hadiths that would allow the sight of God to be public among the people. The support of this man from the Ahl- Al-Hadith and his battle against rationalism to such an extent that those with Hadith-oriented mindsets, even though consider him to be an alcoholic bloodthirsty, they know him as “Muhyi Al-Sunnah” meaning “the reviver of the Sununah”!! It is undeniable that what type of a Sunnah that could be, one which has been revived by the brutal alcoholics and oppressors!! Anyway this approach has been under this type of “revival”) and also under the propaganda of a group of Hanabilah (i.e. followers of Ibn Hanbal, such as Abu Muhammad Barbahari and Ibn Battah) who regarded themselves as followers of the predecessors and was transferred to the subsequent Islamic generations (such as Ibn Taymiyyah, Ibn Qayyim Jawziyya and later Mohammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab), up until today that it has reached a group referred to as “Salafia.” (i.e. those who are inclined toward the “Salaf” meaning “predecessors” and support people those who were in the past. Apparently this is a name they have selected for themselves, but even if others have chosen this name for them they are happy with it and therefore our Master Al-Mansoor calls them with this name). These people who consider themselves the heirs of “Ahl al-Hadith”, (meaning that they do not know their beliefs and actions contrary to their beliefs and actions and consider themselves inheritors of their thoughts and jurisprudence) have inherited the lack of wisdom from leaders such as Ibn Taymiyyah (Died 728 AH) (Because they do not approve and love any other Muslim scholar as much as they approve and love Ibn Taymiyyah and they do are not impacted by anybody as much as by him, whereas, even though Ibn Taymiyyah had a brief knowledge about intellectual sciences, was strongly against logic and Philosophy and rather was against wisdom and the witness for this statement is that not only he deemed many philosophers, such as Ibn Sina [Avicenna] disbelievers, but also he propagated the most unwise perceptions from religious texts, and in particular in the field of theology, he was resembled limb simulators. With all this, it is strange that some of his lovers today are willing to accept this fact and consider this view of our Master Al-Mansoor without reason, and they claim Ibn Taymiyyah was not against wisdom at all! The reason is that they themselves are more against wisdom than him and accordingly see him more rational than themselves and therefore they are right in this sense; Because Ibn Taymiyyah with all that level of irrationalism he had, was still more rational than the Salafists of our era and had wiser views than them to such an extent that if he was present today and saw his descendants today he would deny them; Regarding the fact that these Salafist have enriched Ibn Taymiyyah’s irrationalism and promoted it; As our Manster Al-Mansoor points it out and says: ) and increased it through guidance of the people like Ibn Abd al-Wahhab (Died 1206 AH) (who, at least in terms of intellectuality, were several degrees more irrational than Ibn Taymiyyah) in two directions: From one side they do not regard the intellect as proof, not only in cognition of the practical narrations supervising the religious edicts (and Halal and Haram and they believe intellectual reasoning from jurisprudential narrations, especially in the field of worships, is not necessary and should be treated with mere solidarity and obedience), but also has suspended intellect in the cognition of theoretical narrations supervising over religious beliefs, (in this respect, they differ from scholars of other sects; even though these days, at least among Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah, majority of the scholars of their sects, have found Salafist tendencies in the field of ideology, although they have religious and anti-Salafist tendencies in the field of jurisprudence) and they have believed that religious beliefs (contrary to religious laws) do not require any wise reason and can be based on conjectural narrations; (i.e. Wahid and non-Mutawatir narrations) since in their opinion, conjectural narrations, whenever considered correct with their self-made standards (such as authenticity of narrators based on verification by Zayd and Amr and Bakr and conformity of the content in the narration to the sect and their formal version from religion), will cause certainty! While, this is contrary to the opinion of the majority of people of knowledge, (from among Ahl Sunnah wa Jama’ah and other Muslims) and people like Shafi’i (Died 204 AH) (who unlike Abu Hanifah, is accepted and respected by Salafists) and jurisprudent and expert (i.e. Mujtahids and Muslim researchers) communities (meaning most of them or majority of them) have emphasized that nothing cause certainty, except what, the issue of which by God is certain (like Quran and the Mutawatir narration) with no contradiction. (It is a very important point that the belief in the conjectural nature of Wahid and non-Mutawatir narrations is not a heresy made our Master Al Mansoor, but according to credible documents and evidences, most of the past scholars, rather closer to all of them, believed in this and our Master Al Mansoor has just reminded it. Yes, belief in lack of authority for Wahid and non-Mutawatir narrations have had less supporters in the past overall and therefore has been subject to forgetfulness more than other beliefs, but it has precedent among big scholars of early centuries and with this description, our Master Al Mansoor has just revived and rebuilt it.) Yet further, people like Nawawī (Died 676 AH) (from among big and well-known scholars of Ahl Sunnah wa Jama’a) have emphasized properly that such a belief (that is the belief in certainty of Wahid narrations and non-Mutawatir) is nothing but stubbornness against the sensible (Because a human clearly feels with his senses that Wahid and non-Mutawatir narration with one narrator who possibly is subject to error, cannot guarantee certainty in its issuance and therefore the claim for its certainty is to be stubborn and obstinate against something which is perceived through sense.
This was one of the two directions that according to our Master Al Mansoor Salafists have increased irrationalism in them) On the other hand, these people not only have not considered the conformity of narrations to the intellect as required, (which is considered the foundation of Salafisim), but also have not regarded their conformity to the Quran which is the most original religious text and conforms to the intellect, (which may be considered as the foundation stone of Wahhabism which is the enriched and promoted Salafisim) so that, there remains no attachment to intellect and the wise people and wisdom in any way (since after throwing away intellect and passing down Quran, there remains no link with their rationality and wisdom for them) and hence grounds for propagation of superstitious and polytheistic beliefs (such as belief in God having up and down positions and motion and body limbs) become provided for them. (Because the only deterrent factor for “polytheism” and “superstition” as two deviations in faith, is the wisdom and in absence of wisdom there is no obstacle in the path of emergence of such beliefs). These people have emphasized with a surprising recklessness and fearlessness (given that they are contrary to taking caution in religion) that the conjectural narration, (i.e. Wahid and non-Mutawatir narrations) not only abrogates the intellect rule, (even though intellect’s rule is true inherently, but the rule of conjectural narrations has credibility-based and what needs credibility cannot rule out what is true inherently) but also is an abrogation of the Quran. (this approach appears in many statements of the new Salafists) While the Quran, is a book (both in terms of issuance and in terms of its certitude reasoning) of certainty (contrary to the illusions of those who regard the entire Quran as the conjectural reasoning and assume that it’s only the Sunnah which is certitude reasoning!) and abrogating it with conjectural narrations is not reasonable (because a conjectural thing, such as a Wahid narration, does not have the capacity to abrogate a certain thing like God’s book). In addition, it is in contradiction with the predecessor community (i.e. the typical companions, the Tabe’in and the followers of the Tabe’in) and even contrary to the view of the leaders of which these people regarded as their followers! (Because they claim to be the followers of the pioneers from among the predecessors) As for instance Malik ibn Anas (Died 179 AH) (one of the Hadith’s fourfold Imams of the Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah) did not regard permissible, the Quran’s abrogation through the Prophet’s Sunnah and Shafi’i (Died 204 AH) (another Imam from those fourfold Imams of Hadith among the Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah) also agrees with him in this case and Ahmad ibn Hanbal (Died 241 AH) said that the Sunnah is the interpreter and explainer of the Quran, not dominant (i.e. precedent and primary) over it and he considered the belief of the rule of Sunnah (i.e. its primacy and precedence) over the Quran, as an “astonishing audacity!” Abu Hanifa’s (Died 150 AH) (who was another Imam from the Imams of the fourfold sects in Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah even though was not confirmed nor accepted by the Ahl Al-Hadith, which is why our Master Mnasoor has mentioned it last) point of view was completely clear in this regard; whereas he did not believe in general, much validity for these types of narrations (as some of his opinions will be pointed out in the section about prevalence of traditionalism) and preferred the intellect to them, even in the area of laws! (As intellectual analogy in none of the sects was as widespread as it was in his, and even, according to the opinions of some people it was extreme; because the virtue of intellect and its criterion for knowledge and cognition does not necessarily mean that one can comprehend the commandments such as prayer and fasting merely by intellect and without reliance on religion; considering that such religious ordinances are in fact nothing but credits defined by religion and naturally their credibility is only known by referring to religion itself. Like the rules of driving in our time, which are completely credible and they cannot become known without referring to the legislator and this is something intellect does perceive. Therefore, one should not infer from the invitation of our master Al-Mansoor toward religious rationality, that his honor deems intellect sufficient for cognition of Halal and Haram and Mustahab and Makrooh or he believes in comparison of some of them to others. Rather in fact he believes the only way to know God’s commandments, is to refer to His book and the definitive tradition of His Prophet and His Caliph on earth and he does not accept to compare the commandments to one another and he believes this approach is from the necessities of intellect) With the above description, the approach adopted by this group, is more similar to the Christian leaders’ approach (previously explained) than those of Muslim leaders (i.e. the scholars of the predecessors) and practically has made the same results in the Islamic society as those made in the Christian society; (like a pair of shoes) since as an example, the belief (of the Salafists) that God is not like His creatures (regarding the fact that He has explicitly said: «لَيْسَ كَمِثْلِهِ شَيْءٌ» which means there is nothing similar to Him) and yet, has real direction, (meaning has up and down) movement (i.e. He comes and goes to and from the heavens in universe) and body (i.e. hand and face and foot and eye and finger), is contradictory to the same extent as the belief (of Christian scholars) in the unity of God and divinity of father, son and the Holy Spirit at the same time! (That is, they are the same in terms of contradiction and impossibly to be added) Yet, the Salafists, while referring to their conjectural narrations, propagate these types of polytheistic beliefs, (rather Takfir their opponents!) as the Christians while referring to their conjectural narrations, do exactly the same work! (Allahu Akbar [God is the Greatest], see how our master al-Mansoor reveals the polytheism of those who consider themselves the only monotheist Muslims of the world, and consider other Muslims polytheists and consider their life, property and honor Halal! It is from the works of God who has intended to crush these arrogant ignorant people in their place by this virtuous servant of Himself who denounces them so that they stop creating sedition among Muslims creating corruption on earth!) Even the Salafists have indulged in lack of wisdom so much as they deny the sensibles, while referring to the conjectural narrations; (rather just do illusionary interpretation of them) as for instance, they deny the sphericity of the Earth and its rotation around the sun and still believe that the sun orbits around the earth! I (as an objective and empirical example) have talked to one of their scholars myself in this regard and I explained to him that the sphericity of the Earth and its rotation around the sun is among the successive facts (i.e. Mutawatir facts, meaning that a huge number of people in this century have observed this and informed about it and their collusion on lie is not possible) and rather sensibles, (i.e. things that are permeable to the five senses; given that the sphericity and the earth’s rotation are visible by observing the sunrise and sunset, and some other natural evidences and clues and therefore is considered a sensible and perceptible thing) in which having doubt is fallacy, (i.e. sophistry) but he said that even if he observes sphericity of Earth and its orbiting with his own eyes, he will not confirm it; since in his opinion, it is contrary to narrations! (and yet it is not fully clear that it is contrary to which narrations; because on the contrary many Muslim scholars believe that some verses and narrations imply sphericity of Earth and its orbiting around Sun and they mention some certain instances, but apparently this community has a special interest in opposing things that are perceptible and intellectual and they only receive narrations that are opposed to rationalities and senses!) This approach which is similar to the approach of the Church during the medieval ages (because the Church in that era also accused some Physicists like Galileo with opposition against religious scriptures due to his belief in sphericity of Earth and its rotation around Sun), proves the degree of lack of wisdom among this group. (Because the highest degree of irrationalism is denial of perceptibility.
From here, our master Al-Mansoor begins his very deep and foundational critique about lack of wisdom and puts forward the fundamental proof of the essential unity of intellect and wisdom and religion and says:) While lack of wisdom involves atheism (even though it happens unconsciously and unknowingly) since intellect, (as it is certain) is creature of God and (as it is perceptible) is the only means that God has given to human being for cognition and in this way, opposing it, means opposing the will and deed of God! Those who (like Salafist) regard the intellect, as the rival for religion, (and in the struggle with it) neglect this great reality that intellect and religion were originated from one source and both are the creatures of the unit God! (He says: “They neglect this great reality” in the sense that apparently they are aware of that but ignore it.) Is there any disagreement in the creation by the unit God and do some of His creatures contradict others?! (This question by his honor is implies the denial; that is, there is no disagreement in the creation of the unit God and none of His creatures contradict others. As he says:) It is clear that this is not true; since God’s deeds are based on His wisdom (and are not vain nor based on accident; hence) and none of them contradict others (since the wise deeds are consistent and in conformity with each other); As He has said: «مَا تَرَىٰ فِي خَلْقِ الرَّحْمَٰنِ مِنْ تَفَاوُتٍ ۖ»; “In the creations by God, you can find no contradiction”! (See how the words of our master Al-Mansoor are in harmony with the word of God and do not differ in a single letter!) In other words, the one who has sent the religion, is the one who has created the intellect and in this way, contradiction of intellect and religion is impossible. (The contradiction here is in the literal sense and the intention from contradiction is what is well known by contradiction. As he immediately says:) Those who consider intellect and religion in contrast with each other, have unknowingly turned to Zandaqah (meaning dualism and a state of having two gods) and have assumed the creator of intellect apart from the creator of religion! (i.e., they have found the same belief that they would have separated the creator of intellect from the creator of Shari’a. Therefore he says: ) Believing the contradiction between intellect and religion, is a polytheistic belief which arises against the monotheistic belief; since existing dualism in the world and opposition between creation and religious legislation, is only acceptable based on atheism! (i.e. by denying the existence or unity of God)
(This was the rational proof of the consensus between intellect and religion, but our master Al-Mansoor, after its rational proof, begins the religious proof and in accordance with his own principles, brings the clear Qur’anic verses as his reasons and emphatically states :) There is no doubt that religion agrees with intellect and clearly approves it, even calls people toward it and fears its quitters (just as intellect does exactly the same stance toward religion); as for instance He says: «إِنَّا أَنْزَلْنَاهُ قُرْآنًا عَرَبِيًّا لَعَلَّكُمْ تَعْقِلُونَ»; “We have revealed Quran in Arabic, so that you may use your intellect” (meaning that the purpose of God in sending the revelation of the Quran in the eloquent and clear language of Arabic, has been to help the intellect to know the truth) and says: «كَذَٰلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ آيَاتِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَعْقِلُونَ»; “In this way God explains His verses to you, so that you may use your intellect” (the purpose of God that explains His signs, is to help wisdom to know the truth) and says: «إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَآيَاتٍ لِقَوْمٍ يَعْقِلُونَ»; “Indeed there are signs in it for a group who use their intellect” (i.e. the signs in creatures are only recognizable by intellect) and says: «إِنَّ شَرَّ الدَّوَابِّ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ الصُّمُّ الْبُكْمُ الَّذِينَ لَا يَعْقِلُونَ»; “Indeed in God’s view, the worst beasts are the deaf and dumb who does not use their Intellect” (meaning that, those who do not use intellect, whether like the Salafists who do not recognize intellect as a proof or for any other reason, to gain knowledge about religion or nature, on one hand, are not capable of recognizing external facts similar to deaf and dumb people and on the other hand, are worse than all animals!) and says: «صُمٌّ بُكْمٌ عُمْيٌ فَهُمْ لَا يَعْقِلُونَ»; “They are the deaf and dumb and blind people, so they do not use their intellect” (i.e. Not using intellect in the eyes of religion, equals to deafness, dumbness and blindness in facing the truth, which naturally leads to the impossibility of recognizing it!) and says: «وَيَجْعَلُ الرِّجْسَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ لَا يَعْقِلُونَ»; “And God places contamination in those who do not use their intellect!” (i.e. irrationality is the source of all sorts of cultural, political, and economic contaminations whose examples are evident in our surroundings.) These verses clearly imply that people (such as Salafists) who deny (theoretically) the authority of intellect and avoid its use (practically), are the worst beasts in God’s view and are joined with contamination and ignorance (and this is a fact that is fairly visible and inductive, since the most brutal crimes in the Muslim world are largely under the control of these Salafists, and these are the head of criminals and oppressors in the Islamic world and based on their passions in order to get to power shed Muslims bloods and take their women as slave do not have mercy on their children and behead like butchers and cut skins and chop the flesh!); but precision of these verses in authority of intellect and necessity for using it, is to the extent that the denier of that, may be the denier of Islam’s fundamental principle and is someone who has left it! (Because, according to the principles of His excellency Mansoor, whatever is extracted from clear and explicit texts of the Quran, is a fundamental principle in Islam and the denier of a fundamental principle in Islam is not a Muslim. Of course, he has considered the infidelity of this congregation probable and did not issue a decisive Fatwa, otherwise we would have known them as infidels without any doubt and would enforce the laws of infidelity on them! But we are the followers of this great man who does not separate from the Book of God in a single letter and does not speak from his passion and we do not violate his Fatwa and follow him in the sense that we recognize this group to be probably infidel. Though he continues to reinforce this possibility and according to his personal experience with this group says: ) I have heard so many times from this group that they reject the rationalities (absolutely) and consider any kind of wisdom in understanding the Sharia, as a heresy and it is clear that if someone present evidences (meaning sufficient number of proofs and clear arguments) to an individual from above mentioned group, the verdict of an apostate (according to the basis by jurisprudents) or hypocrite (according to the special basis by our master Al-Mansoor) will be executed on him; since validity of the intellect and the necessity to use it in Sharia is among the requirements in Islam, for which an individual unaware of this fact is not excused. (For example, the necessity of prayer and the impermissibility of marriage with the Maharim. To conclude, he has generally considered the Salafists infidelity probable, on one hand due to the fact that they deny authority of intellect and on the other hand, according to the polytheistic statements about God by them, but the proof of their infidelity is only possible in the existence of a detailed and complete knowledge, and he has not concluded its possibility in the general and collectively. This means that one cannot be say as a rule: “all Salafists are infidels” but if sufficient arguments are brought forth for “a Salafist” in particular, such as if a number of Muslims hear from him that he says wisdom and intellect is in general void mentions for God direction and motion body limbs, one can consider him an apostate or hypocrite.
Wa salamualaikum wa rahmatullah)
↑ . [Translator note: One of the Sunni schools of jurisprudence named after Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal]
↑ . Those who simulate God with a being who possesses limbs
↑ . See: Ibn Abd Al- Bir, Al-Tamhid, vol. 1, page 7.
↑ . [Pertinacity and arrogance]
↑ . See: Nawawī, Sharh Sahih Muslim, vol. 1, page 132.
↑ . Salafism is the ideology of the salafists
↑ . As an example see: Albani, Irwa Al-Qalil, vol. 1, page 322.
↑ . See: Ghazali, Al-Mankhul, page 387.
↑ . See: Usul al-Sarakhsi, vol. 27, page 143; Badr Al-‘Eini, ‘Umdat al-Qari, vol. 1, page 31.
↑ . See: Khatib Baghdadi, al-Kifayah fi ‘Ilm Al-Riwayah, page 30.
↑ . [Translator note: A deed which is liked by God.]
↑ . [Translator note: A deed which is disliked by God.]
↑ . excommunicate
↑ . See: Bin Baz, Al-addilla al-naqliyah wa al-hissiya ‘alaa Imkan al-souud Ila al-Kawakib wa ‘alaa Jariyan al-Shams wa sukoun al-‘ardh.
↑ . Al-Mulk/ 3.
↑ . Dualism, Hidden atheism
↑ . Yusuf/ 2.
↑ . Al-Baqarah/ 242.
↑ . Ar-Ra’d/ 4.
↑ . Al-Anfal/ 22.
↑ . Al-Baqarah/ 171.
↑ . Yunus/ 100.
↑ . Religious verdict
↑ . “Maharim” is the plural of Mahram. Mahram persons are certain individuals for a woman or a man including, father, brother, son, grandfather and above, grand son and below, uncle for a woman and daughter, mother, aunt, sister, grandmother and above, grand daughter and below etc.