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Home / Deviated Groups / The Deviant Group:The Reasons behind its Deviance and its Clearest Characteristics by the Esteemed Shaykh Ali Hasan al-Halabi(Hafidhullah)

The Deviant Group:The Reasons behind its Deviance and its Clearest Characteristics by the Esteemed Shaykh Ali Hasan al-Halabi(Hafidhullah)

Indeed all praise is due to Allaah. We praise Him; we seek His aid and we seek His forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allaah from the evils of ourselves and the wickedness of our actions.
Whomsoever Allaah Guides, there are none to guide and whomsoever Allaah Misguides, there are none who can guide.
I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship in truth except Allaah alone, without having any partners.
I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and messenger.
O you who believe! Fear Allah (by doing all that He has ordered and by abstaining from all that He has forbidden) as He should be feared. [Obey Him, be thankful to Him, and remember Him always], and die not except in a state of Islam (as Muslims) with complete submission to Allah Aal-‘Imran: 102
O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person (Adam), and from him (Adam) He created his wife [Hawwa (Eve)], and from
them both He created many men and women and fear Allah through Whom you demand your mutual (rights), and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship). Surely, Allah is Ever an All-Watcher over you An-Nisa: 1
O you who believe! Keep your duty to Allah and fear Him, and speak (always) the truth. He will direct you to do righteous good deeds and will forgive you your sins. And whosoever obeys Allah and His Messenger (SAW) he has indeed achieved a great achievement (i.e. he will be saved from the Hell-fire and made to enter Paradise) al-Ahzab: 71-72
To proceed: Indeed the best of speech is the Book of Allaah and the best guidance the guidance of Muhammad sall Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and the worst of affairs are those that are newlyinvented, for every newly-invented matter is an innovation; every innovation is a misguidance and every misguidance is in the fire.
We read today in the newspapers and journals; see in clarifications and reports and hear on radio stations and satellite channels a new terminology for that group that have deviated from the middle way, broken away from the people of truth and parted company with the best of creation. In doing so, they break this Ummah’s peace and belie it in its faith. Their description is ‘The deviated group.’
This terminology has caught my eye;
does it fulfil its intent?
is it sufficient in warning the worshippers and delivering [peace in] the lands?
And the reason for this, clearly, is that deviation has different types and is of various forms – so upon what meaning of misguidance does this have?
From those who are misguided are those whose misguidance returns to themselves only, a deviation from the truth.
From those who are misguided are those whose misguidance envelopes them in the quagmire of partisanship and the endless chasm of party spirit.
From those who are misguided are those whose misguidance is based upon deep Sufism and apostate excessiveness.
From those who are misguided are those whose misguidance stems from ignorance, pretentiousness and vying with others.
And other than this from the types and shades of misguidance!
So, upon this, defining the group as ‘The deviated group’ does not warn against them, nor is it a sufficient deterrent from them, as many forms of misguidance share this description.
And the one who is astray does not see themselves as being so but rules upon others that they are – out of pride and boastfulness.
So what is obligatory, and which there is no truth except in doing so, is to describe this group and name it as it is and show that which it is distinguished in and known for – from takfeer, bombings, rebelling against the rulers, defamation of the people of knowledge that they are government agents, that they fall into irjaa, of sitting, partisanship, secrecy and other than this!
The comprehensive definition that captures all of these traits in those individuals, which is almost the consensus among the senior people of knowledge, its distinguished students and choice callers to the Salafi manhaj, is that they are the Takfeeriyoon or those of the Takfeeri ideology – due to their great deviation and extreme exaggeration.
So why do we not use this term – to exemplify the warning against them?
And why do we not be frank with this true description of them, with the frankness of an open warner?
I say today as I have been saying for approximately ten years: ‘The matter of takfeer is from the most dangerous and extreme upon the individual and the wider society [ummah] and from the greatest causes of ruin equally for its rulers and citizens.
Due to the many lies, terrible errors and ruinous desires in this matter, I have written [about it] – and pressed on – no to argue with the deviated tyrants, defending the actions of those with authority or vindicating the actions of those who oppose Allaah, may He be glorified and exalted, in the rule and dominion. And all those who look into it [this work] should fear Allaah before {The Day whereon neither wealth nor sons will avail. Except him who brings to Allah a clean heart} [Ash-Shuara: 88-89] and have peace and certainty.
I say, with caution, that which the truthful righteous prophet said, {“O my people! I have indeed conveyed to you the Message of my Lord} [al-A’raf: 79]…
Except those upon whom the Lord of the creation has mercy upon.’1
And here are the characteristics from which the sparks [of this deviant group] emanate – in many outward manifestations that one of the people of expertise, from the callers to Islaam and people of knowledge, may Allaah reward him with good, gathered. The most important of them are:
1) The young and unintelligent broadcast matters regarding calling to Allaah, ordering the good and forbidding the evil, without knowledge, understanding, or referring to the scholars, or the people of understanding and experience!
2) The overarching hegemony of the tendency to revolt [against the rulers] in their minds and constantly droning about it and giving rulings with regards to it despite the fact that they are not from the people of authority, nor from those established in knowledge who have specific authority over this in the Shariyyah. 1 From my book Sayhatu Natheer bikhatarti Takfeer p. 107 printed in 1407AH
3) Spreading the phenomenon of takfeer without considering the Shar’ee conditions, understanding or establishment2 and what results from this upon individuals, groups, bodies organisations and other than this.
4) Making takfeer by association – in that which the Ummah falls into.
5) Hastily giving rulings and stances based upon rumours, speculation and suspicion.
6) Error and ignorance in the methodology of using evidences. From this – using texts as proofs for that which they do not prove, without implementing the fundamental principles of the Shariyyah and applying the texts for that which they are not applicable. Also, their ignorance of the understanding of the salaf and their explanation of the evidences. And their general lack of concern for the methodology of using evidences, with regards to that which is general and specific, restricted and unrestricted and that which is abrogated, and what is similar to this.
7) Their lack of concern for the principles of the greater good and evil deeming what is most appropriate and overruling that which is not – the process by which the peace of the Ummah, its security and faith is ensured.
8) Taking knowledge from other than the scholars – from the people of innovation, intellects, thinkers and those who incite [political] action – those who, with regards to Shariyyah knowledge, are not outside the laity!
9) Ill manners with the scholars, mashaa’ikh and students of the Shariyyah knowledge. This is by giving them insulting labels; belittling them; spreading that which causes them harm to them; to pit the hearts of the youth and masses against them and to have the nerve to slander and libel them!
10) Ill manners and alienating themselves, as an act of religion, from those who must be respected and held in high esteem – such as parents, brothers, the elderly, teachers, neighbours, colleagues and senior figures in bodies and societies.
11) Their haste to answer the call to fitnah and actions that intend to rabble rouse – gathering, agitating and flocking to each and every call without referring to the people of knowledge, wisdom, fiqh and understanding. Rather, they refer to whosoever conforms to their desires!
12) Associating and disassociating upon whims and desires – upon that which corresponds to what they want – not upon the evidences and Sunnah!
13) Wading into major matters and dangerous issues from the Ummah’s great affairs, which should not be addressed except by the reckoned scholars of Islaam – those established in knowledge; the people of authority. These affairs being matters such as making takfeer of individuals and bodies and giving the pledge of allegiance or revolting and the like of these.
14) Planting malice within the souls of the general masses of the Ummah and polarising their hearts against those who oppose them. An example of this is polarising the hearts of the young, women and he general masses and other than this from that which ruins the youth, opens the door of slander and trials that ruin the religion and destroy wealth and generations.
15) Incessantly talking about matters that the general masses have no business with – from politics and oppression and other than this that the prophet sall Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam ordered to have patience
upon. These are concerns that cannot be remedied except by those who are its people and the people of authority in the Ummah; the scholars, leaders, those of [reckoned] opinion and consultation.
16) Lack of patience, knee-jerk reactions and impatience for results of da’wah, and other than da’wah, which results in pessimism and hopelessness.
17) Lack of wisdom and experience such that they fall into errors that those like them fell into before them. They do not benefit from past lessons and morals. ‘And the content one is he who gains lessons from other than him.’ However, they cannot learn lessons from others!
18) Inclination towards harshness and use of force to the extent that they resort to actions that are not permissible in the Shariyyah to spite those who oppose them, such as slander, declaring enmity, fabricating lies against them and cutting off from them. Rather, some have taken up to physical acts and direct actions to harm and more than this!
19) Errors in correct application of the principle of ordering the good and forbidding the evil and the manner of doing so. Similarly, their adopting of the Mu’tazili, Kaariji methodology in doing so and the way of the people of desires.3
In all, these characteristics are only found in a number, with sorrow, that is not few of the children of the Ummah – not restricted to one land, group or party but they have increased in number in some lands, groups and parties and decreased in others.
Some of them even, to my sorrow, are groups that sneak under the title of Salafiyyah.
Others claim to ascribe themselves to the Sunnah and the Jama’ah!
The third [group from among them] ascribe themselves to deviant groups such as the Raafidah, Khawaarij, Mu’tazilah, Soofiyyah and the people of rhetoric [Ahlul Kalaam].
After all this, we can say some clear speech frankly and categorically:
These characteristics and attributes have never been applicable in totality through the entire history of Islaam except to the Khawaarij, whose principles and outward characteristics concur with this deviant group – may Allaah guide it to the balanced way. Not applying this description of them, with the deepness of its meaning and symbolism, would be to be obstinate to that which has been perceived [of them] and a rejection of that which has been seen from them.
The Khawaarij, as doctor Safar al-Hawaali, may Allaah guide him, said in a moment of frankness and admission in his book The Phenomenon of Irjaa in the Islaamic Ideology (1/289), where he said, describing them (despite being from their people4), ‘A group that distinguishes itself from all other groups with excessiveness, extremism and exceeding the limits – just as it is set apart in its methodology in activism with its rashness, impetuousness, blind revolting, and hasty tendency to destroy and inflame.
Coarseness is their nature and narrow horizons their feature. They never have a choice between two things except that they choose the more difficult of them. They are not given the choice between two paths except that they traverse the more burdensome of them! They do not encounter two possibilities except that they align to the more incorrect of them’!!
I say: He certainly spoke truthfully (in this), by Allaah! And we hope the reporter conforms to this report – even if it is after some time!
And then:
44 And what is amazing is that Safar remains upon this way, despite the fact that the Shariyyah evidences and what has been witnessed through the state of affairs has shown the ruin of his ideas and the great trials that result from them! And what is even more amazing is the one who conforms to that which is in his book and affirms him in his error while claiming to be using wisdom and circumspection! It is but a returning [‘Awdah!] to that which has preceded and gravitation to the foundation of the tribulation!
Look my brother Muslim, wherever you are and however you are – where are you from these characteristics and tendencies? Look to your stance with regards to them!! Look to the extent that you are influenced by them negatively and positively!
Be truthful with yourself and be sincere to your lord…
And then:
Beware – you and me – of useless carrying and incorrect interpretations… Beware – you and me –of stubbornness with the selves and fighting with the souls… Beware – you and me – of the satanic whisperings and the whisperings of partisanship and ideology…
It is upon you, my brother, to be a judge over yourself before your burial is prepared for you… It is upon you, my brother, to accompany those who are truthful to you and advise you… It is upon you, my brother, to adhere to knowledge , its people, callers and carriers…
If you do not do this:
You will find yourself without conscience, or feeling, straying, vacant and lost…
Or, you will find yourself among this deviant group…
May Allaah have mercy upon the Imaam Ibn Hazm al-Andaloosi, who said in his book al-Fisal (5/98), ‘Know, may Allaah have mercy upon you, that Allaah has never allowed any good to come of any of the deviant groups. Through them, he never allowed the conquest of even a town from the lands of the disbelievers, nor did they lift a flag for Islaam.
And they do not cease to try to overthrow the Muslim organisation, causing differing among the ranks of the Muslims, raising the sword against the people of the religion and wandering the earth causing ruin’ Whether or not they are
aware of it or not!
And, indeed, we ‘Say what we have said here as a refutation of the extremism of the extremists and the takfeer of those who make takfeer – those who open the door, legislating, with their actions and speech, for all the enemies of the religion to describe Islaam as being extreme and the Muslims of being terrorists without differentiating or detail.
With the evil of that which they do, they are an opposing force that prevents da’wah to true Islaam and are a major cause of restriction to the Muslims – the exhaustion of their material means and the waning of their strength. So many Allaah rectify them and guide them to the right path…’5
And our lord, the exalted, says {Nay! Man will be a witness against himself} [al- Qiyamah: 14] whether in the dunya or {The Day when all the secrets (deeds, prayers, fasting, etc.) will be examined (as to their truth) [at-Tariq: 9].
And our last prayer is that all praise is to Allaah, Lord of all creation.
5 My book at-Tahtheer min Fitnatit Takfeer (pp27-28 – the first edition printed in 1417AH). And the state of affairs has attested to that which I said and reminded of! And history has written that which we warned against and feared! And that which we were afraid of happened. And indeed to Allaah we belong and to Him we return.
2 For this reason we give them the moniker ‘The Takfeeriyeen’ however, takfeer, with consideration of the Shariyyah fundamentals and foundations is from the principles of the ‘aqeedah and its sound values.
3 Refer to these nineteen characteristics and other than them in my book Sayhatu Natheer bikhatarti Takfeer pp 17-23 under the chapter ‘The Khawaarij’.

Translated by AKEEL AHMED

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