August 12, 2015 by salafidawahuk
Questioner: What is your advice concerning what is happening between the youth in terms of them confronting and renouncing each other?
Shaykh ’Uthaimeen: No doubt this division which is occurring between the upright youth, [this] declaring each other to be misguided and having enmity and hatred for those who do not agree with them on their methodology, there is no doubt that this is something tragic and deplorable which may lead to a major relapse.
Such disunity is the coolness of the eyes of [both] the human devils and those from the Jinn, because the human and Jinn devils do not want the people of good to unite on anything, they want them to be divided, because they know that separation is what causes the strength that comes about through practising and turning to Allaah, to crumble, and Allaah’s Saying shows this, “And do not dispute and [thus] lose courage and [then] your strength would depart …” [Anfaal 8:46] and His Saying, “And do not be like the ones who became divided and differed after the clear proofs had come to them …” [Aali-Imraan 3:105] and His Saying, “Indeed, those who have divided their religion and become sects—you, [O Muhammad ﷺ], are not [associated] with them in anything …” [An’aam 6:159] and His Saying, “He has ordained for you of religion what He enjoined upon Noah and that which We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad ﷺ], and what We enjoined upon Abraham and Moses and Jesus—to establish the religion and not be divided therein.” [Shuuraa 42:13]
So Allaah the Most High has forbidden us from splitting and has explained its adverse effects to us, thus it is obligatory on us to be one Ummah, our word united. Splitting leads to corruption and disbands the affair [of the Muslims], and is the cause of weakness in the Islamic Ummah.
Differing occurred amongst the Companions, may Allaah be pleased with them, but disunity and enmity didn’t, nor hatred—differing even occurred amongst them in the time of the Prophet ﷺ, an example of which is when the Prophet ﷺ was done with the expedition of the confederates [Al-Ahzaab], Jibreel came to him and ordered him to go out to Bani Quraizah due to them having breached the treaty, the Prophet ﷺ said to his Companions, “Let none of you pray ’Asr but at Bani Quraizah,” so they left Medinah heading towards Bani Quraizah and the time for ’Asr became due.
Some of them said, “We will only pray at Bani Quraizah, even if the sun sets, because the Prophet ﷺ said, ‘Let none of you pray ’Asr but at Bani Quraizah,’ so we say, ‘We hear and we obey.’”
Others said, “The Prophet ﷺ meant that we should hasten to leave, he didn’t mean that we should delay the prayer.”
This reached the Prophet ﷺ but he didn’t scold any of them, he didn’t berate anyone for his understanding, and they themselves didn’t split due to a difference of opinion in understanding a hadith of the Prophet ﷺ—in the same manner it is obligatory on us not to split and that we be one nation.
As for splitting to occur such that it is said that, ‘This person is from the Salafees, this one from the Ikhwaanis, this one is from the Tableeghis, this one is a blind-follower, this one is from such and such and that one from such and such,’ then this is a big mistake. The hope we have for this Islamic awakening will disappear if disunited groups declare each other to be misguided and discredit each other.
The solution to this problem is that we traverse the way of the Companions, may Allaah be pleased with them, and that we know that this differing which is a result of ijtihaad in an issue in which ijthaad is permitted is a differing which does not have a [harmful] effect, and that on the contrary in reality it is concurrence—but how is that so?!
I disagree with you in a particular issue because what the proof that I have calls for disagrees with what you are saying, and you differ with me in this issue because what the proof that you have calls for disagrees with what I say—so in reality we are not at odds because our statements are taken based upon what we hold to be what the proof demands, so what the proof requires is in front of all of our eyes and each of us only took that opinion because it is based upon the requirement of the proof, so I commend and give credit to you because you had the courage to oppose me in defence of the proof—and I am your brother and friend—because this objection is according to the proof in your eyes, so it is obligatory on me not to hold anything against you but rather that I should thank you for taking the stance you did, and you should do the same.
And if each of us were to force his opinion on the other, my imposition of my stance on him would not be more binding than his imposition of his stance on me, for this reason I say that it is obligatory that we make this differing which is due to ijtihaad not to be a cause of splitting but harmony [instead] so that our word can be united and good can come about.
But a person might say: this remedy might not be feasible for the common masses, so what is the solution?
The solution is that the heads and leaders of the people from each group get together to think over and research the issues of discord amongst us such that we can be united and in harmony.
And during Hajj one year an issue came before me and some brothers. Two groups were brought before me, three to four men in each, each group accusing the other of disbelief and cursing it—and they were pilgrims on Hajj!
What had happened was that one of the groups said that when the other stood up to pray, they placed their right hand over the left on the chest and that this was disbelief in the Sunnah since according to this group the Sunnah was to leave the arms by the sides.
The other group said that leaving the arms by the side without putting the right hand over the left is disbelief which allows the one who does so to be cursed, and the dissension between the two was severe, but with Allaah’s Grace and then the efforts of the brothers and with a clarification of the unity that it is obligatory for the Islamic Ummah to practise, each one of them left while being pleased with the other.
So look at how the Devil toyed with them in this issue in which they differed to the extent that each of them ended up declaring the other to be a disbeliever, whilst [bearing in mind that] the issue was about a Sunnah and not one of the pillars of Islaam, not even about something obligatory or waajib, the most that can be said about it is that some scholars hold that placing the right hand over the left above the chest is the Sunnah and that others say that the Sunnah is to leave them by the side—even though the correct answer which the Sunnah proves is to place the right hand over the left arm as Sahl ibn Sa’d, may Allaah be pleased with him, said according to what is reported in al-Bukhaari, “The people were ordered that a man is to place his right hand over his left arm in prayer.”
So I hope that Allaah سبحانه وتعالى blesses our brothers who have different inclinations and methodologies in the means of da’wah, I hope that He blesses them with unity and love and goodness of heart—and when the intention is correct the cure becomes easy, as for when it is not good and when each one is amazed with his own opinion and nothing except it matters, then success will be far off.
And I want to bring to mind an important matter: if the differing is in issues of creed [’aqidah] then it is obligatory to correct it and that whatever conflicts with the madhhab of the Salaf must be disproved and that whoever traverses a path which goes against the madhhab of the Salaf in this issue [of ’aqidah] is warned against.
Majmoo’ Fataawaa wa Rasaa’il Fadilatish-Shaikh Muhammad ibn Saalih al–’Uthaimeen, vol. 27, pp. 322-328