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Shaikh Ibn Uthaimeen Refutes the False Principles of Sulayman al-Ulwaan
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Topics: Ibn Abbaas Takfir Ulwaan

The following quote is taken from a commentary by Shaykh Muhammad bin Saalih al-Uthaymeen (rahimahullaah) upon the speech of Shaykh al-Albaanee (rahimahullaah) on the subject of takfir and rulership. It addresses a false claim made by Sulaymaan al-`Ulwaan - a reference point for contemporary Leninist takfiris - that attempts to abolish the tafsir of Ibn 'Abbaas regarding the verses in the Qu'raan pertaining to not ruling by what Allaah has revealed, as well as addressing a distortion of a statement of Shaykh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah subsequently used to distort the meaning of the same aforementioned verses.

This is a lengthy topic and we will address it in full in the form of a report at a later date. For now, the quote is merely to illustrate that the major and well-known scholars of Ahl us-Sunnah have amply refuted and exposed the false claims of those who propound takfiri thought and ideology.

Shaikh Muhammad bin Saalih al-Uthaimeen (rahimahullaah) said:

Shaikh al-Albaanee has used this athar (narration) of Ibn 'Abbaas (radiallaahu anhu) as proof, and likewise other Ulamaa have taken this athar with acceptance, even there is in its chain of narration what there is . Nevertheless, they have taken it with acceptance, due to its truthfulness in its reality, as indicated in many texts. For the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) said, Reviling a Muslim is fusooq (sinfulness) and fighting him (to kill him) is kufr, yet despite this, his fighting against him does not expel a person from the religion, for the Most High has said, "And if two parties from amongst the Believers fight each other, then reconcile between them" up until he said, "Verily the Believers are brothers, so reconcile between your two (sets of) brothers". However, when this did not please those who have been put to trial (maftooneen) with takfir, they began to say, This narration is not acceptable! It is not authentically related from Ibn 'Abbaas! So it is said to them, how can it not be authentic when it has been accepted and adopted by those who are greater than you and more knowledgeable of you of hadeeth?! And you say, We shall not accept it.

If we were to accept that the matter was as you said (i.e. that we should not accept this athar), that it is not authentic from Ibn 'Abbaas! Then we have many other texts that indicate that kufr can be applied to something without the kufr that expels from the religion being intended by that, such as what occurs in the verse mentioned before and also as occurs in his (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam's) saying, There are affairs in my Ummah which are kufr: reviling the geneology and wailing of the dead. And we do not expel these from the Ummah. However, the affair is as it has been said, A paucity in knowledge, and paucity in understanding the general principles (qawaa'id) of the Sharee'ah - as Shaikh al-Albaanee has said, may Allaah grant him success, in the beginning of his words - is what brings about this misguidance. And then there is another matter and this is the evil intent which often brings about this evil understanding, because when a person desires something, it will lead his understanding to that which he actually desires, and then he will make tahreef (distort) the texts based upon that.

And from the well known principles of the Ulamaa, is that they say, Seek evidence then believe, but do not believe (first) and then seek evidence (to support that belief), and as a result, go astray.

Hence the causes are three a) paucity of Sharee'ah knowledge b) paucity of understanding of the Sharee'ah principles c) an evil understanding that is based upon an evil intent.

As for the athar (narration of Ibn 'Abbaas) itself, which has been mentioned previously, then it is sufficient for us that the most learned and skilled of the Ulamaa like Shaikh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibn al-Qayyim, and others, then all of them have taken it with acceptance, and they speak by it, and they quote it, hence the narration is authentic.

Originally from the cassette Commentary Upon Fitnah of Takfir and found in Fitnah of takfir, pp. 63-64.

And the Shaikh also said:

Also from the evil understanding is the saying of the one who attributed to Shaikh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah that he said, When Kufr is mentioned with the definite article (i.e. al-Kufr), then the Major kufr is intended by it, then seeking to use this as evidence to justify making takfeer on account of the verse  "...then they are the disbelievers (5:44)", despite the fact that there is nothing even in this verse to show it is the kufr (that expels from the religion)!

As for the correct saying from Shaikh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah, then it is his distinction - rahimahullaah - between kufr with the definite article (al-kufr) and the kufr without it (kufr). So as for the wasf (description), then it is correct if we say concerning it, they are disbelievers (haa'ulaa kaafiroon), or they are the disbelievers (haa'ulaa il-kaafiroon), based upon the kufr that they have been described with, of the kufr that does not expel from the religion. Hence he distinguished between the act being described, and the person doing the act being described.

Hence, built upon this, then our explanation of this verse in the manner that has been mentioned, we judge that ruling by other than what Allaah has revealed is not the kufr that expels from the religion, rather it is the kufr of action, since the ruler (haakim) has departed by this act of his from the right mode of conduct. And it is not to be differentiated in any of that between a man who takes a secular law (qaanoon wad'iyy) from others and then makes it a referent point for judgement in his state (yuhakkimuhu fee dawlatihi), and between one who devises his own law (qaanoon), and then puts this secular law in place. Since, the most important thing is: Does this law oppose the Heavenly Law or not?

Fitnat ut-Takfir, p.78, originally from the cassette "Commentary on Fitnah of Takfir".

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