Part II “Who are the Sunnis? A Lamentation”
by Anwar Khan
As I sit to answer this I am gripped by a state of unexpected indetermination as what I thought to be a painless task has become rather difficult. Painless because I can simply translate a passage from one of the hundreds of manuals on Sunni creed—where defining Sunnism is a run of a mill standard procedure. Additionally, the relative homogeneity of the content on this subject matter by Sunni writers— for well over a millennium— makes the work further free from complication(1).
On the other hand it also involves considerable difficulties. How does one sufficiently and honestly summarize a creed, a methodology, a collective ethos of centuries to a readership that is primarily non-Muslim, who hold reservations—not without some valid reasons— about Sunnis and Sunnism as they have come to understand them, even when theses perceptions do not match the reality of historical Sunnism? This is further complicated by the following facts:
a) Two centuries of brutal Western colonial experience— first through direct military interventions and then subjugation through their political, economic and cultural institutions; and then the nationalist and socialist movements that tried to fight colonialism—which themselves, ironically, were influenced by modernist dialectics rather than Islam; and then finally the emergence of the religious reactionary movements opposing the nationalist and socialist worldview; all of these developments had a deeply tragic effect on the Muslim world in general and Sunnis in particular where today very few Sunnis can discern a difference between the high-culture religious ethos of their forefathers and the meager cultural scraps they have inherited, which they mistakenly take for authentic Sunnism. Today, the majority of Muslims in the streets of Makka, Cairo, Kabul, Baghdad, Karachi, and Jakarta, for example, would not have heard of the Ashʿarite Creed of which most of them are, unknowingly, subscribers to. Most Muslims do not quite understand let alone appreciate the intellectual heritage of the previous generations, invoking the cliche achievements of the past notwithstanding.
b) As a result of the above experience, a very large segment of the Sunni world in our times are leading a life of advanced cognitive dissonance where the dichotomous recall of the blessed memory of their glorious past and vicious advocation of Western scientistic worldviews are not only seen normal but a prerogative of religion.
c) The traditional vanguard of Sunnism like the madrasa(scholastic institutions) and the zawiya/khanqah/ribāṭ(sufi lodges) have become relics of antiquity in the Arab world( with some notable exceptions). And where they do still exist like the Indian Subcontinent, for example, they are merely a shadow of their former selves: artifacts now rather out of place in the modern cosmopolitan jungle. In other words, the traditional vision of Ahl al Sunna ethos is preserved in far fewer places and institutions than most Sunnis today are aware of. Satellite channels, television programs, and university courses have effectively substituted centuries old institutions as the sources of knowledge, wisdom, and guidance for Sunnis.
d) While most Sunnis do sense the tremendous helplessness and crisis overwhelming the Muslims world, they do not quite understand how it all went wrong and how to remedy the problem. That is, their diagnosis is in the main significantly problematic.
One can write all one wanted about the historical Sunni Creed, but other than providing some intellectual stimulation, this exercise achieves very little, for “on the ground” the entities manifesting that reality are few and increasingly receding from view. After all a creed is not just about believing in God and Muhammad as His Messenger. It is far more than that. The islands that do exist in this sea of postmodern religious superficiality are few and far apart. This is indeed tragic. Non-Muslims (and Muslims for that matter) may not fully comprehend the magnitude of the loss. To put it bluntly, it is the disappearance of these institutions that have allowed the mutilated versions of Islam such as Wahhabism to not only exist but flourish. I am reminded of the urdu poem:
چمن میں تخت پر جس دم شہ گل کا تجمل تھا
ہزاروں بلبلیں تھیں باغ میں اک شور تھا غل تھا
کھلی جب آنکھ نرگس کی نہ تھا جز خار کچھ باقی
بتائے باغباں رو رو یہاں غنچہ یہاں گل تھا
The garden once boasted the spectacular throne of the rose;
With thousand nightingales in commotion, merry in song, on willows
Then the daffodil opened her eyes—bewildered— to the reign of thorns,
And the mournful sighs of the gardener: “here was the rose and there the boughs”
My lamentations notwithstanding, there are some good news on the horizon. Some very interesting developments are taking place in the Sunni world of late. In August 2016 a conference took place in Grozny, Chechnya, where over a 100 Sunni scholars of the highest repute congregated with the aim of determining, as I proposed to do here, “ who are the Ahl al Sunnah wa al Jamaʿa?”(that is, the Sunnis).
As an avid observer of theological and political developments in the Middle East, I can not recall an event of recent times with as much far-reaching consequences as this conference. Its aftermath has caused quite a stir in the Muslim world, especially the Arabic speaking part. It has obliged many Arab governments to conduct special sessions to discuss its ramifications and has generated a social media frenzy unmatched in recent memory. What is so special about this conference? It is that for the first time since the inception of the state of Saudi Arabia, the religious framework underpinning its very existence—Wahhabism—was adjudged to be outside the fold of Sunni Islam!
One might naturally ask, “hold on, why did it take so long for the Sunnis to get their act together? Why did they allow this aberration to loom over them only to realize now that it does not belong with them? Too little too late!”
The fact is that the Sunnis have consistently refuted Wahhabism from its earliest days. In fact, the first refutation of the teachings of this sect came from no other than Sulaymān ibn Abdul Wahhāb, the brother of Mohammad ibn Abdul Wahhab, the founder of Wahhabism. His father Abdul Wahhab, and his brother Sulayman were orthodox Sunni scholars of good repute who were disgusted with their own family member’s deviation from the well-trodden path. His brother wrote a refutation of the beliefs and activities of his younger brother in his book al Sawaʿq al -Ilahiyya (Heavenly Bolts of Lightenings). Since then an unceasing flood of literature refuting the Wahhabis have appeared exposing it for what it is: a false claimant to a Sunni Islam it shares little with, and little cares for.(2) That Sunni scholarship and institutions of the time perceived the deviation and danger of this aberration, and put a devoted resistance to it is not up for contention. As it has ever been, the problem has been politics.
Saudi Arabia—the gift that keeps on giving
As the the Saudi state came into being in 1924, there was no real threat from any traditional Sunni political entity barring its path—mainly due to the Anglo-Zionist’s carving up of the former Ottoman Empire and reducing the emerging Sunni political entities into vassal-states post World War I. The precursor to the 1924 Saudi state was the short-lived First Saudi State of 1814 under the leadership of Abdullah ibn Saud, the great-grandson of Muhammad ibn Saud, the tribal chieftain whose political support to Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhab allowed the Wahhabi sect to first survive and then grow within Eastern Arabia in the last half of the 18th century. After Abdullah ransacked Karbala in 1802 and killed 5000 inhabitants, and then marched onto Madina in 1805, the Ottomans could no longer afford to take this nascent nuisance lightly. Under the leadership of Ibrahim Pasha, the Ottomans sent an expeditionary force that finally routed the ragtag army of Abdullah ibn Saud in 1818 and sent him to Constantinople as a prisoner where he was executed. The Wahhabi center, Diriyah, was burnt to the ground. For a century thereafter the Wahhabis were political non-entities and a minor nuisance at the margins of Islamic thought— this until the British of blessed memory, decided to bring the genie out of the lamp once again, to create calculated chaos in the Muslim world at the onset of World World I. (3)
At the conclusion of WWI and the defeat of the Central Powers, among them the Ottoman Empire, the territory that is Saudi Arabia today saw a rivalry between Sharif Hussein of Makka— a Sunni— and Abdul Aziz ibn Saud— a Wahhabi—both fighting for ascendancy in the territories left behind by the defeated Ottomans. Interestingly both were instigated and supported by the British to mount the treacherous Arab Revolt against the Ottomans, and after its success, the British played both sides to see who gets the upper hand, whilst preferring the bedouin Abdul Aziz ibn Saud as representing a much more reliable vassal and servant of the Empire than the learned and more nuanced Sharif Hussein.(4) Eventually, Abdul Aziz defeated the forces of Sharif Hussein in 1926 (partly due to British betrayal of Sharif Hussein) and became the sole ruler of what is known today as Saudi Arabia.
After the discovery of oil in the 1930s, the political fortunes of the Saudi dynasty and their ideological patrons, the Wahhabis, changed dramatically— to the tremendous detriment of the Muslim world. Now they would have the financial clout to export their version of Islam to other parts of the Middle East and shape it as they saw fit, or rather as their patrons, the Anglo-Zionists, saw fit. In the following decades they would buy governments, institutions, groups, and individuals with as little effort as the signing of a cheque. They would bankroll the Muslim Brotherhood against the Nationalist regime of Gamal Abdul Nasser in Egypt throughout the 50’s and 60’s, and then decades later, ironically, support Abdul Fatah Sisi and the Egyptian military to remove the democratically elected Muslim Brotherhood government of Mohammad Morsi. They would support the Houthi Imam Mohammad Al Badr against the Yemen Arab Republic forces in the North Yemen Civil War of 1960s, then decades later, again ironically, support the Yemeni government against the same Houthis (they supported formerly) in the current Yemen Civil War, which has turned an already impoverished country into a humanitarian nightmare. You got to appreciate the Saudi taste for consistency.
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the Saudis rarely missed the opportunity to logistically support and bankroll most sectarian Sunni outfits ever to appear upon the horizons in places like Bosnia, Chechnya, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Sudan, Somalia, and Algeria, among others, and turn genuine grievances of the native populace into full fledged sectarian bloodletting, conveniently serving the interests of their masters, the Anglo-Zionists. As an Afghan, the present author has himself experienced first-hand the evil impact of Saudi oil money first in the Mujahideen era against the Soviet Union, and then in the Afghan Civil War of 1992-1996.(5) Their support for groups like the Muslim Brotherhood affiliated Hezb-i-Islami of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar and the Wahhabi cleric Abdul Rasul Sayyaf’s Ittehad, and their advocacy to keep the sectarian pitch high in the political discourse, especially against the Shiites, has harmed Afghan national interests tremendously. It was the Saudi influence, through their warlords of choice that brought Wahhabism into Afghanistan, a country, hitherto, imbued with a Sufi cultural, spiritual and intellectual ethos which had guided the lifestyle of its inhabitants for centuries, and that primarily accounted for the existence of vibrant Jewish, Hindu and Sikh communities that were found in many of its cities. A country where the Mathnavi of Rumi and the Gulistan of Saʿdi adorned every child’s lips saw the transformation of a generation into trigger happy excommunicators, thanks to the sons of Abdul Aziz ibn Saud who themselves conducted their night vigils in European brothels, but would happily see hundreds of thousands of youth perish in the diabolical “jihadi” paradigm that they established at the behest of Empire.
This was manipulation on a political level. On the intellectual level the effects were equally devastating. With their money, they build a very influential media empire. They bought publishing houses, satellite channels, bribed universities, created charity organizations that advanced their cause, bought journalists that articulated the inarticulable, promoted televangelists that promoted their version of Islam. Media power houses like MBC and Rotana are Saudi owned. They also have a huge influence in the print media. Arab News, Al Sharq al Awsat, and Al Hayat, among others, are Saudi monarchy’s mouthpieces. Like the Jewish Lobby’s juggernaut over the media and academia in the US, the Saudi influence on the media and academia in the Muslim world has been quite effective over the course of the past fifty years. Let us look at some examples from the Saudi Cables that Wikileaks released recently in which the extent of Saudi manipulations of the Muslim world could be seen:
This cable is about the protestations of the Saudi ambassador to Pakistan about the president of the International Islamic University of Islamabad, Mumtaz Ahmad, for inviting the Iranian ambassador to a cultural week on campus. The Saudi Embassy called Mr. Ahmad to express “its surprise,” and suggested that he invite the wife of the Saudi ambassador instead of the Iranian ambassador. Mr. Ahmad refused to disinvite the Iranian ambassador, so Saudi diplomats suggested having Suliman Abu al-Khail, a Saudi academic with a position in the university’s administration, convene a board meeting and “choose a president for the university who is consistent with our orientation,”. Mr Ahmed was replaced soon thereafter.
This cable is about the protestations of the Saudi ambassador in Cairo to Naguib Sawiris, founder of the privately owned ONTV network, over the appearance of a Saudi dissident, Saad al-Faqih, on one of its talk shows. The station, under pressure, said it would not invite al-Faqih again and asked the ambassador to appear on the program at a later date, as an act of redemption.
This Pakistani newspaper published an interesting report, received through the Wikileaks dump, by a US Consulate worker, Bryan Hunt, on the Saudi support for radical religious schools in Pakistan. While reports by US consulate employees should be usually taken with a grain of salt because it is the US intelligence agencies themselves promoting and benefiting from the fake “Islamic Terror” paradigm, this need not negate that certain reports, like this one, could well be congruent with reality. Moreover, not all employees in government institutions are necessarily aware of the their own government’s involvement in such designs. Here is an interesting excerpt from the report:
Locals believed that charitable activities being carried out by Deobandi and Ahl-e-Hadith organizations, including Jamaat-ud-Dawa, the Al-Khidmat Foundation, and Jaish-e-Mohammad were further strengthening reliance on extremist groups and minimizing the importance of traditionally moderate Sufi religious leaders in these communities. Government and non-governmental sources claimed that financial support estimated at nearly 100 million USD annually was making its way to Deobandi and Ahl-e-Hadith clerics in the region from “”missionary”” and “”Islamic charitable”” organizations in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates ostensibly with the direct support of those governments. Locals repeatedly requested USG support for socio-economic development and the promotion of moderate religious leaders in the region as a direct counter to the growing extremist threat.
Another malevolent contribution of the Saudis is their financial support of popular televangelists that promote the Wahhabi worldview. One of the most popular— among a long list— is the physician turned Muslim preacher Dr. Zakir Naik. What is interesting about Dr. Naik is that he can hardly pronounce Arabic words properly, let alone read texts, and lacks any traditional training in Islamic sciences—a common trait among the self made TV preachers. As mentioned before, in the absence of traditional sources of knowledge and wisdom, television has become the most effective source of forming perceptions among the masses. Muslims are no exception to this. Dr Zakir Naik has used the TV platform to skillfully play on the emotions of a disconnected and powerless Muslim masses by preaching a confrontational (though he calls it “peaceful”), triumphalist and superficially high handed Islam of debates, “proving” this, “debunking” that. All along dressed in a Western suit, speaking English, his discourses riddled with superficial scientific terminologies, on a T.V channel (owned by him), ironically called Peace TV.
Dr Zaik Naik claims a viewership of over 200 million viewers worldwide.(6) This number is not off the mark. In the absence of potent Muslim institutions, his showmanship provides a sense of moral triumph to the Muslims who see in point scoring on issues such as evolution, “contradictions” in the Bible, “scientific” wisdom behind Muslim rituals, “scientific” miracles of the Quran, etc— a reiteration of the truth of their religion. Unknown to the masses that this materialistic approach (even if some of the points are true) to religious discourses is in stark contrast to the intellectual and spiritual traditions of Sunnism. The reliance of religious conviction on the “findings of science” is a trademark reformist/Wahhabi preoccupation, for the Wahhabi approach to God is indeed a quantitative one. Understanding this is crucial in allowing one to distinguish the radical superficiality of the reformist/Wahhabi worldview from that of traditional Sunnism where longing for the Divine was manifested in a totality of experiences, cultural and spiritual practices and intellectual pursuits and not only through a narrow, rather Protestant preoccupation with texts.(7)
Let me quote here in detail Dr. Khaled About El Fadl who explains the above phenomenon very aptly:
There is a real irony in the way the puritan(Wahhabi) approach social and political issues that they believe originated in the West. In fact, the contradictions that plague various aspects of the puritan approach in this regard border on schizophrenic. Puritans reject inquiries into philosophy, political theory, morality, and beauty as too subjective—and, even worse, as Western inventions that lead to nothing but sophistry. With the majority of the puritan leadership comprised of people who studied the physical sciences, such as medicine, engineering, and computer science, they avowedly anchor themselves in the objectivity and certitude that comes from empiricism…so values like human dignity, love, mercy and compassion are not subject to quantification, and therefore cannot be integrated into Islamic legal judgments. Because aesthetic judgments are considered anathema and humanism is waved away as a Western corruption, puritans render the humanistic legacy of the Islamic civilization irrelevant and they ignore the accomplishments of past generations of Muslims in fields such as philosophy, the arts, and architecture, poetry and music, moral and ethical theory, and even romanticism and love. Puritans ignore the fact that long before there was a Western influence, Muslims wrote volumes upon volumes on love, beauty, and chivalry….this puritan attitude only augments the sense of disoriented rootlessness keenly felt by many modern Muslims. But even more, the puritans conveniently ignore that one can as easily claim that empiricism itself is indeed a Western invention…. The impact of puritans on the Islamic intellectual heritage…has been nothing short of devastating.(8)
The rise of preachers like Dr. Zakir Naik is less due to their intellectual abilities (though he has a great memory) and more to the financial and logistical support by the hidden hands (or not so much) of the Saudis. In the process, a whole generation of Sunni Muslims are raised thinking that people like Dr. Zakir Naik are the true flag-bearer of Sunni scholarship. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
Chomsky referred to the subversive social engineering that “manufactures consent” in society. The same has been been happening in the Sunni world where for the first time a new creed is being manufactured, unknown to the oblivious Sunni masses, who are to be the victims. Now, this phenomenon clearly cannot solely be attributed to the Wahhabi missionary zeal to export its version of Islam. The Anglo-Zionist Empire prefers nothing more than subjugating people who are disconnected from their roots and faithfully play the role assigned to them in the diabolical paradigm called “clash of civilizations”. Towards this end the intellectual framework of Wahhabism has done wonders. Superficiality as a Path to God, the title of this article, is not only referring to the idea of achieving God’s pleasure through “sanctioned” militancy, but more importantly referring to the intellectual framework underpinning this state of mind.
This obviously does not mean that all Wahhabis are inherently violent people. This author has some friends of Wahhabi conviction who are decent people and abhor all kind of violence. The problem however is—and even the decent among them are beginning to behold this—that when you have a creed that is supremacist in nature, monopolistic on piety, and holding all other manifestations of Islam to be outside the fold of Islam, it easily leads to violent, at worst, and disinterested in the plight of others, tendencies among its subscribers. Because there is nothing that brings the worst out of man more than seeing himself morally superior and cosmically different than the rest. The kind of people of whom the Qurʿān says, “then your hearts became hardened thereafter and are like stones, or even yet harder.(Baqarah, verse 74)
Dr. Zakir Naik being awarded by the Saudi monarch Salman ibn Abdul Aziz.
What was the point of this lengthy digression? To prove that the Muslim world has been an hostage to a Saudi Leviathan for the last half century at least, and that mounting an effective resistance against it is a very tall order. The traditional pulpits of influence were simply out maneuvered and out financed. Which Sunni government would challenge the Saudis since many of them are recipients to Saudi largess? Which publishing house would dare to publish refutations against the Wahhabis, only to be inevitably shut down? Which media outlets would make the mistake of producing materials exposing the horrors of the House of Saud? If one can understand the complete Zionist hold on the political and intellectual centers of power in the U.S., one will be in a position to begin to understand the Saudi hold on Sunni centers of power. Therefore the fact that the Grozny Conference was able to be conducted with the presence of so many recognizable Sunni scholars despite the always present threats and sabotage of the Saudis is a very welcome respite from their menacing juggernaut. (9)
Its not that these scholars suddenly had a boost of conscience after years of convenient procrastination. Many moral Sunni scholars and writers have run their pens dried exposing the Saudis for what they are. But books do not cause change anymore. Few read them. Meaningful change is contingent upon the most important factor of our times: political will. But not for the efforts of Ramazan Kadyrov to spend money, provide logistics, and all the resources of the state to make this conference a reality, something of this nature would never have happened. Political Will is the single most important factor in changing ground realities.
Attendees at the Grozny Conference
It will be naive to think that this one conference could change the ground realities overnight. Conferences do not do much if no political will exists to convert their aspirations into reality. In spite of my own reservations, I sincerely hope that the momentum generated by this conference can lead to a new age of Sunni consciousness where the masses begin to understand that what they hold to be “Sunnism” is a modern construct mainly created by colonial subversions, and has little to do with the heritage of true Sunnism. This is especially more true for the Arabs than any other group. I also hope that it sends a message to non-Muslims(at least those interested) that the savagery perpetrated in the name of Islam has no religious sanction, the Quran and Hadith-citations of the Jihadists notwithstanding.
With that preface—despite all its shortcomings— let us delve into the question set at the outset, Who are the Sunnis? Here is a translation of Sheikh Usama al Azhari’s concluding remarks in the Grozny Conference answering that question.(10) It has been rendered into idiomatic English and certain liberties have been taken to get rid of repetitions and rhetorical ploys intelligible in Arabic only:
On August 27th 2016,—as a response to the grand theft of the Ahl al Sunna wa al jamaʿa (the People of Approved Way and the Group, hereby we refer to them as Sunnis) that has been effected by the false claimers—the Khawārij(11) and their ilk—who have greatly disparaged the image of this beautiful religion by their evil acts,—this conference, by the initiation of Muslim scholars worldwide, has taken place— with the auspicious remembrance of the martyred Sheikh Ahmed Kadyrov( father of Ramazan Kadyrov)— to deliver a decisive verdict on ‘who are considered to be Sunnis’, what are their attributes, their beliefs, their canons, their overall Path to God (sulūk), and to show how the modern claimants to this blessed title, have deviated from the truth. This we do under the patronage and care afforded to us by his excellency Ramazan Kadyrov, may God preserve him. And with the sacred presence of the Imam of Al Azhar, Sheikh Ahmed Tayyib. And the presence of over 200 renowned scholars of Islam from all over the Muslim world. After much deliberations, this conference makes the following conclusive remarks:
Firstly, the Sunnīs are limited to the subscribers of the Ashʿarī and Matūrīdī creed.(12) And those imitating the 4 schools of Jurisprudence : the Hanafī, Shafiʿī, Mālikī and Hanbalī schools respectively.(13) And those associated with the authentic Sufism— the aim of which is refinement of character through purification of the self—following the principles set by Junayd al Baghdadi and those who have followed him earnestly and became lighthouses of guidance.(14) And this [Sunni] path sanctifies all sciences that serves the Revelation, and expounds the teachings and aims of this religion, most important among them: the preservation of life and the intellect, and the preservation of the religion from deviation and from becoming a thing of manipulation, and the preservation of items of value to people, and their honor, and the preservation of refined manners.
Secondly the Qurʾan is like a sacred precinct surrounded by sciences that serve her, by helping extrapolate meanings within her, and helping us understand the aspirations and aims it sets which, if followed, ultimately brings us closer to God. It is the fountainhead that keeps giving. The verses in it inspired civilizations, cultures, sciences. Life imbuing mercy within it inspired high etiquettes and faith, and the desire to build, and to spread peace and security in the world, so that different people and cultures could see with their own eyes that this faith is raḥmatun lil ʿalamīn (mercy unto the worlds). And that it is the source of contentment in this world and the Hereafter.
Thirdly, the Sunnī Way is the most inclusive and accurate of all the narratives within Islam. It is the most authenticated [thanks to its self critical traditions]; and the most cautious with judgements; and the most concerned with correct and honest transmission of scholarly work.; and the most advanced in their pedagogical approach— setting the highest of scholarly standards, part of which is to employ the human intellect to understand the Revelation concurrently with the examination of ground realities that may exist, and to remove the dichotomies, to the extent possible, between the two.
Fourthly, throughout the ages many centers of learning came came into being and represented the Sunnī Way, the likes of al Azhar in Egypt, Zaytuna in Tunis, the Qarawiyyīn in Fes (Morocco), and the schools of Mauritania, the learning centers of Algeria, Sudan, Hadramawt (Yemen), and the theological seminaries of Suleimaniyya and Baghdad, and the schools in Syria, the Malay Archipelago, India, and the Caucuses, and many other places across the world. Throughout the centuries all these schools taught and transmitted earnestly the beliefs of the Ahl al Sunna as preserved in the Ashʿari and Maturīdī creeds. And they successfully produced hundreds of thousand of scholars who strove to reach all horizons from Siberia to Nigeria, from Tanzania to Jakarta. In the process they assumed different positions and ranks. Some in capacity of ifta (rulings), others as judges, and many as teachers. Societies as a whole benefited tremendously from their services. They extinguished the fires of sedition and wars. And played great roles in extending peace and security to all, and most importantly, the right view of the religion was able to take hold amongst the people.
Sunnīsm throughout the ages played the role of a watch tower, alarming and cautioning the onset of devious ideas and groups. They would set the standards for debating and exposing them. Always showing urgency and will in pushing back deviations into the hole it came out of. They employed all the tools at their disposal to maintain the primacy of authentic representation of Islam. Their services at the scholarly front curtailed many waves of deviation that would rise from time to time. As a result, the Ummah of Mohammad (PBUH), was afforded the space to build a civilization, and out of it came the geniuses of this nation who excelled in fields as various as Algebra, Geometry, Arithmetics, Medicine, Surgical Sciences, Engineering, Psychology, Optics, Acoustics, Biology, Anatomy, Chemistry, Physics, and Astronomy among others. Achievements in these fields was not a coincidence. But rather the fruits of the intellectual space that the scholars of Sunnīsm had set as a result of raising the level of religious discourses.
But nonetheless, in every age deviant tendencies, like bubbles riding the waves would rise, and would wrongfully claim to be the rightful flag-bearers of the Revelation. They fight the established wisdoms of our traditions and spread sedition and chaos. The first of these deviants were the Khawarij of old. The latest manifestation of these Khawarij in our times are the Salafi Takfīris , like ISIS and others who share their sectarian and bloody visions of “Islamic glory”.(15) The common denominator between the latest manifestation of Khawarij and their historical forefathers is their manifest deviation [from the well trodden path], the encouragement of things considered invalid traditionally, and most crude and ignorant interpretation of the faith, which has unfortunately opened doors to all kind of perverted thoughts entering religious discourses, the most outrageous being takfir and its twin sister: spilling of blood, in the process disparaging the name of islam, and causing its hatred by others. This has necessitated the upright and fair-minded to come forward and wrest the faith from the wrong-doers per the Prophetic injunction: “this religion is carried by the most upright amongst people, who deny the deviants their malice, the usurpers their usurpation, and the ignorants their ways”.
This conference could be, God Willing, a turning point in resting the title of Ahl al Sunna from these fake claimers and save it from being used for their nefarious ends. No more on our name we declare! And hopefully this can be the beginning of a new effort to revive the Right Way once again, which was built by our great seminaries and its men, which negates and fights sectarianism and deviation. And through it a message of mercy, peace and security could be sent to the world. So that, by the Will of God, our lands could once again be a light unto the world and bastions of peace.
The conference concludes with the following recommendations:
1) to start a satellite channel in the Russian Federation, and through it propagate the right image of Islam to people as an effort to correct the damage done by these terrorists and Khawarij.
2) to resuscitate the return of theological seminaries where the true aims of the Revelation— as historically done by our pious forefathers— with the right method(manḥaj), and dispensation of a comprehensive curriculum that produce a complete man and woman of learning, capable of addressing modern problems, and able to curtail the growth of deviation [in thought], and one capable of holding the primacy of peace and security at all times.
3) strong effort is needed in reaching out to people through social media, and to employ capable people, who know how to navigate the modern space of electronic media to address people. With the aim that this presence [on the social media] may provide an alternative view and at the same time refute the toxic material being disseminated by the Khawarij.
4) to elevate the [learning and teaching] level of all the Islamic sciences, especially Uṣūl al Fiqh(Legal Methodology) and Kalām(Rational Scholasticism). For these two are most useful in addressing the intellect, and most advantageous in refuting the ideologies of takfīr (excommunication) and ilḥād (atheism).
5) a research center should be established in Chechnya to study the deviant groups, their conceptual frameworks, statements and methods. And to publish critical literature on them, so their toxic effects could be driven back to some degree. Moreover, to study the causes and intellectual trends that make people abandon their religion. We need to arrest the developments of these currents by providing a cultivated and refined alternative to the primitiveness that has plagued religious discourses. We, the attendees, have recommended to call it Markaz Tabṣīr (lit: Center for Insight/providing light)
6) the importance of raising cooperation between different centers of learning like al Azhar, Zaytuna, Qarawiyyīn and other research bodies, with their counterparts in the Russian Federation.
7) opening distance learning institutions for those [within the Russian Federation] who desire traditional scholarship but are unable to commit due to work and the inconveniences of travel.
8) bring to governments’/politicians’ attention the need to support and foster the space needed for the growth of religious institutions dedicated to wasaṭiyya (middle way/moderation). And to caution them (the governments/politicians) on the dangers and pitfalls of forming alliances of convenience for the sake of political expediency [with groups subscribing to the same conceptual frameworks as the Khawarij], because this creates further problems.
9) arranging scholarships for [students] attending this conference and others in the Russian Federation to study in places like Al Azhar University.
10) to conduct meetings of similar nature on a constant basis to assess and reassess the aims and aspirations envisioned in this conference.
11) and lastly to make a committee that see through the enforcement of the recommendations made here. And also to see through that the work of this conference is translated into different languages especially into Russian, and other local dialects, so that awareness of what was achieved here is spread. (End)(16)
Some final remarks
As could be gaged from the recommendations made by the conference, the Sunni scholarship is clearly trying to move towards Russia. This is not because of opportunism or financial gain because praising the Saudis would have been much more lucrative towards that end. This pivoting is mostly because the Sunni scholarship is finally afforded some meaningful role to play without the arm twisting by the political entities in defining where they stand on the diabolical paradigm of religious discourses set by the Ango-Zionist empire. And they have chosen the side that makes rational and moral sense. Let’s be clear here, I do not think this conference was initiated at the behest of Vladimir Putin, as suggested by many of its detractors. I do not think Putin is interested in Sunni revival. He may see some practicality in forging alliance with traditional Sunni entities because he has seen the devastating effects of Wahhabism in Russia and its sphere of influence. But I do not think he is interested except in terms of its potential to accommodate Russian national interests. (Interestingly there was no coverage of the conference on Russia Today or Sputnik, both, practically, mouthpieces of the Russian government, which should suggest that it was not a Russian project).
This is an initiative spearheaded by Ramazan Kadyrov, with his money, time and effort. Kadyrov is one of a kind in today’s dark political elite: a sincere religious Sufi Muslim who deeply cares about the state of the world. He has first-hand witnessed the devastation caused by Wahhabism in his homeland of Chechnya, culminating with the assassination of this father, Ahmed Kadyrov, the leader of the Chechen resistance against the Russians. His father had the foresight that fighting the Russians was a war that could not have been won, and—most importantly— that the Russian state under Putin was not the Soviet Union with its high-handedness and hubris . It was an entity that could be spoken to and respected. What ultimately, however, pushed the Chechen leadership to pursuit peace was the malevolent presence of the Wahhabi elements in the Chechen resistance which Ahmed Kadyrov knew would surely bring gloom and destruction to Chechnya and its traditions. He suited for peace and ended his fight against the Russians, for which he was assassinated eventually by the Wahhabi elements. This submission to fate was in accordance with Chechen traditions of honorable reconciliation and submission to a stronger adversary from whom one expects honorable treatment, unlike the American reception of naked human pyramids at Abu Ghraib. Imam Shamil Daghestani, the legendary Chechen folk hero, before him fought the Tsar’s army for over 25 years but when he was finally defeated, he handed himself to Prince Aleksandr Baryatinsky believing that as a nobel adversary who sent shivers down the Tsar’s army he will be treated with dignity. And so he was.
Ramazan Kadyrov’s Chechnya is a living example of what Sunni Muslims are able to achieve when left to their own devices, free from external manipulations. A Sunni-Sufi society living peacefully with its neighbors and respecting the different national and religious traditions within it. This does not mean she has to open her doors for filth and debauchery, like Dubai, to make the white man happy and be called a “progressive” state. Chechnya has not sold its soul. It is a deeply conservative society where the ideals of Islam could be seen in the public and not only in houses of worship like some Arab states. In the West, Kadyrov has been called a “thug”, “dictator”, “Putin’s poodle”, among other names, and has had more bad press than all the Saudi princes combined which is quite a feat if you think about it. Simply because he represents a model of leadership that is anathema to Anglo-Zionist designs: a deeply religious man who can not be bought or lured.
Grozny during the war.
We would have to wait and see if the aspirations and goals set in this conference will become a realization. We would also have wait and see if the people involved in the conference will escape the clutches and spell of the Anglo-Zionist configuration systems which will work overdrive to stop it at its tracks. I have no doubt that some of the scholars involved in the project, like Habib Ali Jifri and Habib Umar are incorruptible. But the Empire’s configuration system— at its head its Wahhabi henchmen— will spare no trick to sabotage it.
I hope that I have proved in this article—to some extent at least— that Sunnism and Wahhabism are two different traditions with different theological and spiritual frameworks, despite its conflation as one by confused, misinforming and sometimes downright lying sources of information. Muslims being people thrown at the forefront of today’s political, social and cultural warfare, and suffering from the brunt of its assaults, it is high time for people in the West to understand properly their Muslim terms that keep flashing on their TV screens as they sip their latte’s, oblivious to the state of the world. Ignorance maybe blissful but it is never a virtue, especially in our times when the powers that be count on our ignorance and fear to destroy peoples, lands and cultures and increasingly push us into the abyss from whence there is no return.
I would like to end this article with providing some samples of zikr or remembrance of God, a practice primarily associated with the Sufis in our times but which once adorned most houses, villages and cities of the Muslims, but now unfortunately the preoccupation of old people only. The youth substituting it with movie theaters and football.
1) For example, if one had to take a look at Aqīda al Taḥawiyya (Creed of Imam Taḥawī), written in the 9th century, and Tuḥfat al Murīd Sharḥ Jawḥar al Tawḥīd of Imam Bajūrī in the 19th century, one would struggle to find any meaningful differences in creedal matters other than the unavoidable evolution of writing style—the mutaʾakhirīn (later generations) works employ heavy philosophical terms in comparison to the mutaqaddimīn(former generations).
2) I have sufficed in this article with some basic differences between the traditional Sunni worldview and the Wahhabi one, simply because I thought the audience being non-Muslims primarily will not find it too relevant. To read further on the differences between the Wahhabi creed and traditional Sunni creed and methodology and some of the outstanding issues between the two camps, read this very well written, short but informative article by Zubair Qamar, Wahhabism: Understanding the roots and role models of Islamic extremism,
Wahhabism: A Critical Essay by Hamid Algar is a also very useful read.
3) For an excellent account of the services of the Saudi state and Wahhabism to Empire read, The Direct Instrument of Western Control over the Arabs: The Shining Example of the House of Saud, by Dr. Abdullah Mohammad Sindi.
4) There is an interesting verse in the Qurʾān that says “the bedouins are the worst in disbelief and hypocrisy”(Tawba, verse 97). There is also a saying of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH): “He who dwells in the desert (al-bādiyah) becomes rough in disposition,” recorded by Tirmidhī (among others) on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbās. One has to say that the British were not negligent of these texts and chose their partners accordingly.
5) Even if the decades following the Soviet invasion has taught us that the problem of militancy in Afghanistan started with the formation of the Mujahideen or resistance fighters to Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, this does not make the resistance to the Soviets regrettable. To the contrary. The sad part is that factions within the Mujahideen, like all groups historically, saw power and money along with the good cause and sold themselves to the highest bidder. Recently it has become a trend within liberal commentators on Afghanistan to put the blame of all that went wrong with Afghanistan on the resistance movement against the Soviets. The metamorphosis of a genuine cause into something undesirable does not make the cause any less genuine or morally wrong. It should however teach us about the Empire’s configuration skills at taking something genuine and turning into repugnant if it suits her designs.
7) Radical superficiality is a term coined by Professor Vincent Cornell of Emory College of Arts and Sciences.
8) Abou Fedl, Khalid. The Grand Theft: Wrestling Islam from the Extremists. HarpersCollins. 2005
9) For example a very prominent Saudi writer, Mohammad Ale Sheikh, explicitly threatened the Egyptian state and people for allowing their highest religious authority to attend and bless the conference: “the participation of Sheikh Al Azhar(Rector of Azhar) in the Grozny Conference, that has excluded the Kingdom[of Saudi Arabia] from being considered Sunni, forces us to change our relationship with Egypt. Our country is more important, and Sisi’s Egypt can go to Hell”
مشاركة شيخ الازهر بمؤتمر غروزني الذي اقصى المملكة من مسمى اهل السنة يحتم علينا تغيير تعاملنا مع مصر فوطننا اهم ولتذهب مصر السيسي الى الخراب
— محمد آل الشيخ (@alshaikhmhmd) August 31, 2016
In the past these threats were taken seriously, but Sisi seems to realize that the end of the Saudi state is nigh and does not seemed to be bothered too much. This may account for the recent rift between the Saudi and Egyptian governments. The most intense in decades. This does not make Sisi a hero. He is a politician after all and raises his flag to whatever direction the breeze is blowing.
10) Sheikh Usama Al Azhari is one of the leading Egyptian Sunni scholar and known for his contributions in refuting extremism. Of late he has become quite intimate with the Egyptian President Sisi and this could potentially mare his reputation if he is not careful. Political strongmen always cast magical spell on the most sincere and moral of people. I pray his proximity to Sisi does not cause him to lose his objectivity.
11) Khawārij (Outsiders/Seceders) were a literalist sect that appeared during the Caliphate of ʿAli, May God be pleased with him. Their appearance is considered the First Schism(fitna) within Islam. But they were more of a military threat than an intellectual one. Their stunning literalism of the Qurʾan, devoid of any principles, found little support among the Muslim masses. They were the first to do takfīr (excommunication) of other Muslims if they found them in opposition to their beliefs. They were the first to adjudicate the completeness of one’s belief with action, even though mainstream Muslims held beliefs and actions to be two separate things. Therefore with the Khawarij, a sinner was as good as not being a Muslim even if he he/she held the right beliefs—something the Wahhabis creed also maintains—but considered unanimously invalid by mainstream Muslims to this day. This accounts to the blood-spilling tendency of the modern Khawarij—the Wahhabis— for whom the notion of God is a blood-thirsty Creator who finds nothing more satisfying than see His creation punished for the most trivial of matters, as opposed to being the Most Merciful the Most Compassionate, a statement that every chapter of the Qurʿan begins with. The Khawarij were vanquished in 659 A.D. in the battlefield of Nahrawan by ʿAli, May God be pleased with him.
12) Ashʿari refers to Abu al Hasan al Ashʿari (874-936 A.D), the 9th century theologian who wrested traditional Muslim creed from the excesses of Muʿtazilī rationalism that was increasingly becoming state religion. He did not come up with a new creed but rather revived the true creed of the First Righteous Generations (Salaf Saliḥ), which was being inoculated by the heavy Greek dialectic philosophy of the Muʿtazilīs. This theme of “revival” (tajdīd) of the true creed is a recurring theme in Muslim history. The basis of which is a Prophetic tradition: “Verily God will send at the beginning of every century such a person for this nation (ummah) who will rejuvenate and restore their religion.” (Reported by the Hadith master Jalal ud Din al Suyūṭī in his Jamiʿ al Saghīr). Refer to Part I of this article of furthering reading on Imam Ashʿarī’s role.
Maturidī referes to Abu Mansur Maturidī (853-944 A.D), a contemporary of Ashʿari who performed a similar role to him in the Far East (Transoxania) of the Muslim domains. While Imam Ashʿari’s main constituents were the Arabs, Imam Maturidī almost entirely was addressing the Ajamī( non-Arab) Muslims. The Ashʿari and Maturidī creeds are usually mentioned separately as an appreciation of their monumental and equal efforts in defending the right creed, and not necessarily to drive the point of any substantive difference between the two. The differences, if any, are peripheral at best.
13) The Four Schools of Sunni Jurisprudence
Hanafi founded by Nuʿmān ibn Thābit ibn Zūṭā ibn Marzubān also known as Imam Abū Ḥanīfah ( 699 – 767 AD). This school contains the most followers among Sunni Muslims, especially among non-Arabs. This school is followed in Turkey, Afghanistan, Indian Subcontinent, Central Asia, Sudan, and parts of Iraq and Syria.
Māliki founded by Mālik ibn Anas ibn Mālik ibn Abī ‘Āmir al-Asbahī (711–795) also known as Imam Malik. He was a student of Abu Hanifa and Imam Jaʿfar al Sadiq. This school’s followers are mostly in North Africa in our times. Morocco, Mauritania, Libya, Algeria and Tunisia mostly. These countries are mostly Arabs and Berbers.
Shāfiʿī founded by Abū ʿAbdullāh Muhammad ibn Idrīs al-Shāfiʿī (767–820 AD), also know as Imam Shāfʿī. He was the student of Imam Malik. Most followers of this school are Arabs with the exception of Indonesia and Malaysia. Followed mostly in Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Hejaz and Iran(before it converted to Shīism).
Hanbali founded by Aḥmad bin Muḥammad bin Ḥanbal Abū ʿAbd Allāh al-Shaybānī (780–855 AD), also known as Imam Ahmed. This school historically claimed the least followers and is in our times, practically speaking, almost extinct in its original form. Many Wahhabis claim to belong to this school but this is a deceitful Trojan horse tactics. They do no adhere nor hold adherence to any of these schools praiseworthy.
These are the Four Schools of Sunni Jurisprudence whose differences lay in some legal issues only and not in creed. Other schools also appeared but became defunct with the passing of time. One can adopt any school among these four and be considered a Sunni. They were all considered valid manifestations of worshipping God among the overwhelming majority of Muslims throughout the ages. Only in modern times have their validity been questioned by reformist trends, among them the Wahhabis. These reformist movements would like to connect themselves to the “pure” and “pristine” times of the First Righteous Generations(al salaf al ṣalih) by bypassing these schools of Jurisprudence and a millennia of scholarly input which they hold to be “man-made” artifacts of little spiritual value. How would they connect themselves back to those pious generations? By merely sticking to the guidance afforded by the Qurʿan and Sunnah (Prophetic Ways preserved in books), so they claim. In essence they want to deny all the history and achievements of Muslims from the 8th century to the 18th century(this is when Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhab appears), which they call as “ages of innovation in worship”. A millennia of Muslim achievements in law, philosophy, art, architecture, and all kinds of humanities assigned to the dustbin of history!
14) Junayd of Baghdad (835-910 A.D.) is a central figure in the spiritual chains of almost all Sufi orders. His chain(sanad) of gnosis goes to Ali and Abu Bakr, May God be pleased with them, and theirs to the Prophet of Islam(PBUH). He was known as shaykh al ṭaifatayn— the leader of the two groups— meaning possessing esoteric and exoteric gnosis. The mentioning of Junayd, May God be pleased with him, as part of Sunnism is to show that Sufism and Sufis are an essential part of Sunni identity, despite the modern day reformist charges that it is something alien to the Islam brought by Prophet Muhammad(PBUH). Sufism or tasawwuf, is the science of inner refinement of the self through inner and outer struggles(mujahadat), initiated and guided at each stage at the hands of a qualified master(murshid), who is connected to the Prophet of Islam, through an unbroken chain (sanad) of spiritual masters. The idea being that there is gnosis (maʿrifa) that can only be known through internal struggles and refinement of the self which books and automated ritual may not afford, though they may not be excluded at any stage. In this it could be compared to Platonic Transcendentalism but guided by Qurʿanic Revelation. The Prophet of Islam called this inner refinement iḥsān(lit: goodness) and defined it as “worshipping God as if you are beholding Him, for if you fail to behold Him then surely know that He is Beholding you.”
Iḥsān or Sufism therefore is the crowing jewel of the Islamic Revelation because it completes man (or woman for that matter as it is not intended for men only, Rabiya Adawiyya was a monumental woman saint of Islam, whose spiritual accomplishments dwarfed many a spiritual men of her times) as a spiritual being. Its through the Sufi ethos that one behold the glories of God mentioned in the Qurʿān “We shall show them Our signs in the horizons and in themselves, till it is clear to them that it is the truth. Suffices it not as to thy Lord, that He is witness over everything?(Fussilat, verse 53). Sufism, in essence, is the science of of beholding the Signs of God in one’s self primarily, along with the horizons. The reformist trends within Islam want to deny this and talk only of beholding God’s Signs in the horizons, again denoting their materialistic approach to understanding God. The likes of Dr. Zakir Naik would like us to belief that God’s signs are, among other material things, in the miracle of the embryo, the life of bees, the formation of mountains, and other scientific miracles of the Qurʿan( which I hold to be true also). But he is utterly negligent of the greatest miracle of Islam: the transformation of the human state. How was it that a generation of Arabs used to burying their infant daughters alive, killing each other on the flimsiest of charges, inheriting their father’s wives, pagans of the crudest types, most backward of nations, all of a sudden burst to moral life, rhythm and civilization? It was through the initiation of iḥsān at the hands of the splendid Sun of Mercy, the Prophet of Islam.
Sufism, historically, manifested itself in Sufi Orders or tariqah But achieving iḥsān was not exclusive to the Sufi orders. It was the Sufi orders, for the most part, that were guiding the morality of Muslim societies and keeping check of deviant tendencies. No wonder when the Western colonial powers first interacted with Muslim societies they either tried to woo the Sufi leaders or tried to crush them. The appearance of groups like the Wahhabis are for a great part the result of the Western colonial efforts to push to the margins the role and influence of the Sufi orders.
The famous among the Sufi orders are the Qadiriyya, Rifaʿiyya, Naqshbandiyya, Suhrawardiyya, Chishtiyya, Shaḍhaliyya, Mevleviyya, Owaisiyya, among many others. Interestingly, one can hardly find a Sunni figure of historical repute from the 9th century onward to the 20th century who was not a Sufi or did not belong to a Sufi order! Salahuddin Ayyubi(Saladin), the Liberator of Palestine from the Crusaders, Mehmet the Conqueror, Imam Shamil Daghestani, Abdul Qadir Jazairi, Omar Mukhtar, are the warriors that the Wahhabis so fondly mention as mujahideen but conveniently gloss over the fact that they were all Sufis!
To conclude this issue of Sunni identity, historically a Sunni Muslim, for example Salahuddin Ayyubi (Saladin), was an Ashʿari in creed, a Shafiʿī in jurisprudence, and a Qadiri Sufi. While the first two—namely creed and jurisprudence— associations were essential in being called a Sunni, the third—Sufism—was more of an ideal association rather than essential.
Interestingly, there is also a tradition similar to Sufism in Shiite Islam. It is called ʿirfan. Mulla Sadra Shirazi, the famous Shiite philosopher, was a proponent of it. The Shiites of ʿirfanī orientation were much less discerning and sectarian vis a vis the Sunnis as they rightfully understood that Divine Attainment was not a monopoly of any one group.
15) Salafi is a euphemistic title that the Wahhabis use for themselves. A Salafi is a person who aspires to connect themselves to the First Righteous Generations of Islam or al sallaf al saliḥ—a period of high piety and righteousness, technically referred to the first 300 years of Islam but what the Wahhabis usually mean by this term is the generation of the Companions of the Prophet of Islam. They therefore negate the contributions of all generations of Muslims after the First Righteous Generations, in its totality, in the realms of scholarship and piety. This aspiration to connect oneself to the First Righteous Generations is the goal of all Sunnis, and not only the so-called Salafis. But the overwhelming majority of Sunnis historically never accepted that connecting oneself to the First Generations necessitates negating the validity of the preceding generations and their contributions. Moreover, each generation is instrumental in linkage to the previous generation because in Islam the wisdom of the religion is taken from the hearts of its men through tallaqī (unbroken human chain in understanding something) and not through texts only, as is the preoccupation of the Salafis. In reality, the Salafi title is an oxymoron: to be a Salafi one has to be living in that historical period. For one to believe that one is living in 6th century Arabia is most probably in an advanced stage of cognitive impairment. They are rightful called Wahhabis because their school goes back to one man only—Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhab.
Refreshing and informative; thank you. Here in the UK all we see and hear are Imams telling their assemblies that Islam will breed the westerners into oblivion. Which is in fact happening. So it is good to hear that elsewhere morality and rationalism and the Logo lives on.
Thank you for this write-up – once again, Mr Khan. Glad to learn about Sulaymān ibn Abdul Wahhāb’s refutation, of which I hadn’t known.
But I’m especially glad you discussed the Grozny Conference.
I still have to digest all the rich points you raised, but let me make a comment on Putin’s interest in Sunni revival.
Clearly, the conference was Kadyrov’s project. You may recall that when he thought of not standing for reelection, he said he wanted to dedicated more time to his Islamic studies (http://springtimeofnations.blogspot.com/2016_02_01_archive.html).
So there is no doubt this was his baby.
Nevertheless, Putin’s interest is real, though obviously geared towards Russian national interests. Russian Muslims should raise their profile internationally, through their scholarly attainments. Hence the need, he said during a 2013 meeting with Russia’s muftis, for a high-standard theological school:
“Based on centuries of national experience in religious education and its rich theological heritage, Russian Islam has everything necessary to have its say in development. …The voice of Russian Muslim leaders should resonate louder in the international arena, among the global Islamic community. [And this] will ensure the sovereignty of Russia’s spiritual space. [The school’s quality must be such that] it will be recognised by the majority of international Muslim scholars.”
Putin goes on to discuss other necessary activities – academic, legal, social, etc., including a savvier use of media – all aimed at “developing a positive image of traditional Islam as an important spiritual component of Russia’s identity.”
(Also interesting was this address: http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/transcripts/19473)
RMM, I am happy that you found the article useful. And thank you for that supplementary information and the links. It will be great if someone can undertake (if already not done so) a project where we are represented with details (and not just snippets) about Putin’s views on Islam in Russia. A lot of the interesting stuff is in Russian and many of us don’t have access to it.
I suppose one would have to interview him…
Dear Amar Khan
Here is a booklet from the Naqshbandia Pakistan
You may be interested
Here is related books library http://www.naqshbandiaowaisiah.org/books
As an American born in the eastern edge of the Arabian Peninsula more than 6 decades ago, I would like to express my appreciation to the author for this long and informative article.
It makes the British Imperial role in keeping that peninsula in a prolonged age of obscurantism clear in very welcome detail that was previously only referenced briefly and generally by writers such a F William Engdahl who I recall wrote that the initial British Imperial interest Arabia had more to do with the approaches to India than to the Arabian Peninsula per se.
While they were at it, however, I am sure they were gloating over the prospects of controlling the kingdom that has the principal holy places of one of the world’s 3-4 major religions.
And then when oil replaced coal and sail as the energy of maritime transport, even more strategic assets fell into their clutches.
There is hope for the Arabs as there is hope for victims of pedophilia and occult mind control by the Imperialists who have so abused victimized individuals or entire areas of the world and their civilizations and religious faiths.
The diabolical hand of the Occult Bureau of British Intelligence in ALL of these horrors suddenly came to me in a flash several months ago:
The Luciferians of the Empire and their New World Order are self loathing masters of fear and control. One and only one of various symbolic themes in their 911 ritual (to make Islam The New Enemy) was the numerology flaunted in broad daylight of Immolating The Goddess, Love, True Care, or however you desire to name it. 93 being the freemasonic number symbol of love, that is, moving form the number 9 of base consciousness to the 3 of the Trinity of higher consciousness entailed in Thought , Spirit, and Action existing in harmony and coordination with each other.
I know little of Islam, but this article is a very good primer. I am told that the three Abrahamic religions are each and all derived from Astro-theology (and that does not bother me, the way it bothered Martin SEB) and are known among students of such esoterica as ‘The Desert Sky Religions’. Judaism being stellar, Christianity solar, and Islam lunar (Crescent moon).
In my study of symbols in religion, it was also brought to my attention that Holy Spirit in Christianity is often symbolized by the moon.
In Spain you have the influence of the Moorish occupation there, in a print by Bartolomeo Murrillo showing the Virgin Mary with a crescent moon at her feet, which I picked up a print of in Toledo, Spain, and hung on my wall,
in a trinity with a Goya and a Velasquez. . I’m not an art historian but I optimistically related the moon to the Holy Spirit or the Sacred Feminine, although it just occurred to me that it could mean the replacement of Moorish rule with Catholic rule in Spain, I suppose!
Further studies revealed that in Christianity, or Catholicism,at least, Holy Spirit and Virgin Mary and Moon and The Dove (white bird of peace) are all more or less the same idea, the white crescent of the moon being very similar in appearance to a white dove, winging its way across the sky. It would be very interesting to see if the same symbology is operative in Islam (despite not depicting living forms in Islamic art…..because these symbols are far older than the three religions…….) all the more so because a major covert operation between the British Empire and The Saudis, since the war in Afghanistan provoked by Zbigniew Brezinski to fund Wahabbi terror internationally for decades, involving “a super tanker of oil per day” in barter trade for British weapons and liquid funds for the joint Wahabbi/British cause was, and IS called “Al Yamama”. Sorry, rushed. Do a search. Al Yamama Oil for Arms and add British Defense contractor BAE.
Translation: The Dove
Peace is war. The occult hand of British Intelligence, the most experienced part of the AZ Empire of Fear and Loathing. And Occult Mind Control.
Time to rip down the curtain and de-occult the occult, i.e. reveal the previously hidden.
While I’m not sure the meaning of the Virgin with the Crescent in that picture.But probably it comes from this ” In Roman Catholic iconography, the Virgin Mary is associated with both stars and crescent in her representation as the Woman of the Apocalypse, “clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars”.The Crescent and Star symbol wasn’t first an Islamic one. It was used throughout the East since long before Alexander the Great’s days.And during the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantine). The Ottoman’s started using it as a symbol during the 19th Century (Westernizing period) as a symbol of their Empire. And it spread throughout the Islamic World as a symbol after that.
I think you are right, Uncle Bob 1. Like I said, lots of this stuff predates the 3 Abrahamic religions by thousands of years.
It makes sense to me that none of the three just sprang into existence without prior influences, symbols, concepts etc.
Easter being related to the fertility goddess Astarte, for one example. More or less around planting time. Complete with very fertile bunnies.
And much of it is almost subliminally implanted so to speak, in the subconscious. Which is why the Occult Bureau of British Intelligence is nothing to scoff at. Look at the job they did on Germany in the 1920s through the 1940’s , before they shifted the narrative as “victors” and cover up artists.
Astarte. Ishtar, Astaroth was a Baylonian Mesopoamian godess associated with love and war.
Since she was also related to the moon she often appeared with a new crescent moon and a ‘star’, Venus.
It is likely that Mary was associated with her as the new religion supplanted the old. Most religions proceed by syncretism.
In Mexico for instance the quintessentially Mexican Virgin is the Virgin of Guadalupe who combined features of the banned and defeated Mayan/Aztec religions but came to be seen as uniquely their own.
It would be wrong to say that Mary is ‘nothing but’ Astarte or Ishtar (that kind of ‘reductio ad absurdum’ is a function of ignorance) but it is correct to note certain ‘borrowings’ in theology and iconography which simply prove that time and our concepts of the eternal do not stand still.
Very well written and quite informative article! Thank you saker for bringing over more voices to explain the modern world for us.
Yes, absolutely great article. It clearly shows how the ‘British’ (i.e. Pharisaic mafia) Empire infiltrated, distorted, subverted/subverts both Christianity & (Sunni) Islam, use(d) them, and more recently (since the 9/11 false flag) also by pitching them against each other.
The Western (e.g. British/Dutch) ‘Puritans’ (e.g. Calvinists, but also the Latin papists to a certain extent), weren’t all that different, see e.g. http://mtwsfh.blogspot.nl/2007/12/1620-plymouth-massachusetts.html
The Anglo-Zionists were clearly aligned with these Saudi desert pirates from the start, and they most likely knew very well (e.g. the many oil seeps), before destroying the Ottoman Empire, that there was, beside in Iraq, lots of oil along the Arabian coast of the Persian Gulf.
Dear Anwar Khan,
[Quote] After Abdullah ransacked Karbala in 1802 and killed 5000 inhabitants, and then marched onto Madina in 1805, the Ottomans could no longer afford to take this nascent nuisance lightly. [Un-Quote]
Where to start and again your article is full of inaccuracies. First of all Abdul Wahhab went to Kerbala, Iraq for three consecutive years, and killed more than 20,000 Shia Pilgrims and looted them. And, you are right that Turkey didn’t do anything until he turned towards the Sunni in Madina. Three consecutive years, 1802, 1803 and 1804.
I am assuming that your reply is in good faith. I am not expert in Islam or Islamic history. I do want to note though that a criticism of what appears to be a very small part of a large history provided by Mr Khan can easily appear as confrontational pettifogging. I hope further communication from you will remove my fears. – Fk mod
I have not still read this article, but, I know this commenter, Mohamed, since time ago and seems to me that the man is very knowledgeable in Islam history and especially shia Islam.
I hope that the lately usual aversion to dissent here does not derpive us of a good and informative discussion, which, to be so, should include the shia poit of view, getting lame otherwise.
This, in case what is desired is discussion and intellectual interchange with independence of thinking and not only broadcasting.
“I have no problem with opposing points of view. I do have a problem with sniping and pettifogging.
At this point, it is hard to tell which category these posts are going to fall into.
Perhaps, as suggested before, Mr Mohammed can offer an entire article as a response and see if it comes up to the standard. But you should know that there is more than one possible reason for posts not getting through. ‘Fair and Balanced’ is a policy that often is not. – fk mod”
I just want to say that I fully agree with mod fk that the discussion of an article dealing with religion out to be exempt of any “confrontational pettifogging” or “sniping”. I also encourage the mods to remove any language which is uselessly confrontational. Feel free to disagree, but please do that in an academic tone rather than a polemical one.
It seems to me that “sniping and pettifogging” refer to other than trying to remedy a factual innacuracy that may be important and may signal either bias or carelessness on the part of an author. A factual correction should not be considered sniping unless it is truly trivial and does not affect at the arguments or the presentation, and it is presented with sarcasm or belligerantly.
A fact is a fact, and a lack of expertise on a given subject on the part of a mod is probably irrelevant. If, for example,if someone writes that WWII ended in 1943, and someone corrects this to the proper date, this is not pettifogging or sniping, and one needen’t be a WWII expert to note that the correction of a date relates to a fact and not to an opinion or a bias.
Abdul Wahhab died in 1792, so he could not have attacked Karbala “3 consecutive times in 1802, 1803 and 1804”. You accuse me of “historical inaccuracies” but fail to check your facts.
This does not mean that Karbala was not ransacked before 1802. It was attacked in the reign of Mohammad ibn Saud which was during the life of Mohammad ibn Abdul Wahhab. It was attacked in 1801 by Abdul Aziz ibn Mohammad and many people were massacred. Shias were killed, no doubt, but so were Sunnis. The Wahhabis made no difference between the Shias and Sunnis as they saw both as deviants. That is why I mentioned “inhabitants” of Karbala. My mentioning of the 1802 Massacre was in the context of setting the stage for understanding the creation of the 1924 Saudi state.
In any case, I am not obliged to answer your particular contentions because as aptly pointed out by the moderators here, you are pettifogging and taking the discussion into a different direction. I am not sure the readers here will appreciate your efforts to drag everything under the Sun towards the Shia plight. As any reader can tell that this article was written with upmost objectivity and avoidance of any sectarian sloganeering. For you to have found an issue where non exists clearly suggests your contributions in the comments space is purposeful pettifogging. If you have an issue with what is said here or in the article before this, you may systematically put your thoughts to pen and present it to readers here. I am sure the Saker readers are educated enough to separate the wheat from the chaff and decide who is being “historically inaccurate”.
Dear Anwar Khan,
As mentioned by Fk Mod, “I am not expert in Islam or Islamic history.” This also applies that most of the members on this blog are not expert in islam or Islamic history.
My approach was to make of several smaller posts, highlightings to the members, who are not expert in Islam or Islamic history, the inaccuracies in your article . Now, I will take a different approach.
Your have based your articles to prove that Sunni Islam is not toxic. Ask any Shia and/or any Christian, they will tell you it was toxic from inception. The whole non-Muslim world believes that Islam was brought on sword, and as a Shia I believe it is correct.
1. You have tried to prove that Wahhabism is toxic. However, you have not shown the roots of Wahhabism. In your note 2, you have tried to connect Wahhabism to ibn Taymiyyah who lived in 12-13 centuries. But what are the roots of ibn Taymiyyah?
2. You claim that Sunnis are from Ash’arite creed, but you have failed to address the toxicity of Ashrites. Can you addressed why did the Asharites murdered the other Sunnis en-mass who were called, “Mu’tazilah”.
3. I think WizOz has asked excellent questions, but you have avoided to answer him. In your answer to him and to quote you, God is a body sitting in His Throne in the Sky. They are anthropomorphists for the most part.”. Doesn’t each and every Sunni believe they will see Allah on Judgment Day sitting on His Throne?
Mohammed, i am a Muslim with some understanding of Islam. I do not get your point. Ibne Taymiyya was a student of Imam hanbal, as I am sure you know. If Mr. Answer goes into the entire history of where In e Taymiyya had differences with other scholars, that would need a book. Besides that is not the subject of this article.
To claim that entire Sunnism is toxic ad you imply, shows a distinct ignorance of Islamic history. Even more so it shows your bias. Of course, no group in the history of mankind is free of all blame. The thesis being discussed here is the intellectual basis of Sunnism, not how adherents acted.
“How can you tell the dancer from the dance?” – W. B. Yeats. – fk mod
I see the -fk mod has already replied you. Both Imam Hanbal and ibn Taymiyyah lived in different time periods, however ibn Taymiyyah did follow the Sharia of ibn Hanbal. Ibn Taymiyyah was so toxic, the Sunni locked him up and literally threw away the keys to his imprisonment in the sea.
So, where did the toxicity in Sunni religion came from? Why was ibn Taymiyyah so toxic? What were the roots of his toxicity?
To understand that, as a Muslim, you have to learn the True History of Islam during the time of the Prophet (saws) and at least 60 years after his demise. True History from the Sunni Books, as this is what each and every Shia is taught. Questions like:
1. Why did the Sahaba burn the Holy Quran?
2. Why did the Sahaba rejected the Holy Quran in Classical Quranic Arabic?
3. When was the Holy Quran converted to Classical Quranic Arabic?
4. Why is the Holy Quran not in chronological order?
5. Why are the ayas (verses) in the sura (chapter) not in chronological order?
6. Why did the Sahaba burn the Sunnah of the Prophet, especially taking the meaning of Sunni into account?
7. Why there were so many Civil Wars within Islam in those 60 years after the demise of the Prophet?
And many, many more. If you learn the above you will understand the toxicity.
As suggested by Mr. khan, you should write something systematic with references to prove the kind of baseless things you are suggesting here or else you are just another comments section warrior. And we have many of them. Unless you do that you are just clogging the comments section even if you think you are providing some intellectual stimulation.
An astonishing tour de force. Witnessing and explaining things that I felt intuitively through my many trips to Russia, most recently in 2015/2016.
It truly appears that the forces of light, regardless of creed, are coming together in Russia, a place which puts artificial constructs of ‘mutli-culturalism’ to shame, as the superficial and fake doctrines of convenience they are at bottom.
I am a Russian, born in Canada, to Ukrainian and Russian parents.
But my Ukrainian father’s mother was Polish, and his family name derives from Iran and the East. My mother looked somewhat Mongolian. (without the Russified Mongols the battle on Kulikovo Pole may well have been lost.)
Our Russian poets and heroes are Rakhmaninov, (Muslim) Pushkin (Ethiopian, Kolchak (Turkish). Our Monarchs were mostly German. Our Aristocrats spoke French and mimicked Paris, and yet… we are not only still here… but here with a glorious vengeance.
Glorious vengeance? Against whom?
That does not sound as the same goal V.V.Putin has for Russia, since he tries to achieve peace and reconciliation amongst all the Russians and forget vengeances, all this, recognizing, or course, the victims on each side, being accountable of their own history.
But the main Russian victims happened to be at hands and because of Nazi Germany ( and then you seem to be very proud of your monarchs of German origins… ).
Just the other day,in my researching, I was reading this excerpt of a book, on certain people who, since the 90s to this day are playing the friends with Russia ( in my opinion with the aim of infiltrate them ) but before, in the 80s, were claiming for the development of “new electronic weapons which could kill the Russians in the millions while leaving industries and railroads intact”, counting with the invaluable collaboration of old Nazi specialists who worked at Peenemunde and so, whom they helped defending them from justice.
I would like to know your opinion about it, since you seem a real “Russian patriot”:
“Old Nazis and new dreams”
Link removed as warned the other night and off-topic. Mod
Vengeance “Against whom?”. Against those who tried to destroy Russia; Mongols (twice), Germans (twice), French (twice, once with Napoleon and his international European Grande Armee, and once allied with Britain, the Ottoman Empire and Sardinia, to take Crimea.
Ultimately, of course, against the West, which is even now huffing and puffing at the door, looking very much like the Third Reich coming back for a sequel, as the Fourth Reich.
Besides, ‘with a vengeance’ does not mean revenge but ‘with an extraordinary amount of passionate energy.’ As we say in English: ‘Living well is the best revenge’ and that is what Russia is doing.
Perhaps you simply read too much into my post.
Yes, perhaps, was “reading” vengeance against communists…
But, I hope that, even when not published, you were able to go through that link, to be able to know of perhaps some enemies you are not aware, because today trasvesticized, and who may be you could have even within….
Seems the various Anons have gone off on a tangent due to not understanding the idiomatic use of ‘with a vengeance.’
It’s just an expression, used as an intensifier.
Franz simply used it to emphasize the survival of ‘Russianess’, as a distillation of many historical ethnicities, and despite many invasions.
He could have said ‘and how!’ – another idiom meaning the same thing.
“It truly appears that the forces of light, regardless of creed, are coming together in Russia”
Franz, I feel this too. But it is a different kind of light, rising in the East as it is. It combines Old West values with Orthodox morals, and that uniquely-Russian stoic strength. I have been drawn to it, like many of us moths driven from Home by the darkness. There is a reason this site is not in Russian, they don’t need it. We true Westerners are adrift, lost under a cloudy sky without a compass. We wont abandon the Enlightenment, but we have abandoned the West. Or I should say, it has abandoned us. We are now all that is left of that once mighty civilisation.
I had a funny thought the other day. As our time passes, I imagined myself as not an Australian, but as a member of the British Diaspora. Why does that term sound so strange? I barely acknowledge my English/Celtic ancestry; my children are the sixth generation born here. But I begin to imagine a world where the West has fallen, and how we will see ourselves in this brave new world.
I want to feel proud again.
Franz on December 06, 2016 · at 6:19 pm UTC
What a perceptive and moving post!
The Anglo diaspora are unique in that they appear to be successful Conquistadors.
Having more thoroughly annihilated their host populations – far more thoroughly than even the Spaniards did – they live in the great lie that always underpins the reality of the oppressor among the oppressed.
And how is it that the Conquest sickness goes on in the West in general? How is it that the Fourth Reich looks exactly like the Third Reich did, only clearer? Is the illness genetic or is it the strength of Talmudo-Satanism winning hearts and minds again? Perhaps some of both.
And what an irony you have pointed out! Having murdered millions, re-populated the entire planet with their ’seed’ and their language, the Conquistadors are confronted with a pervasive, cosmic howling. ‘What For?’ All the platitudes died the day Bush the First committed the ultimate act of vandalism inspired by the Enlightenment. He said: “There is a New World Order, and from now on, the world had better understand, that whatever America says, goes”.
This was the ‘noble sentiment’ which signaled the invasion of Iraq.
The last word on the cosmic debacle you have sensed may belong to President Saddam Hussein:
When he saw that the West was in the grips of demonic forces and that all reason and logic had died there, he said of the West: “They have opened the gates of Hell.”
The moving finger writes, and the accusation is a terrible one. Millions of deaths later we can say, ‘What for’? indeed. With you, I sense mountains of karma looming over anyone who participated in or merely benefited from the last thousand years of Conquest.
Perhaps ‘God’ IS that kind of just retribution.
On a lighter note, I heard yesterday someone, Mark Sleboda I think, say: “Russia is the heart of Eurasia.” Seeing the, now obvious, morally bankrupt devastation that is Europe (The Zio-Fascists in The Ukraine, very aptly, called themselves ‘The Heart of Europe’) I asked myself: “Is he and am I, clutching at straws”? I think it is much more than that. I think it is not a New World Order, but a new paradigm coming out of the chaos.
I fear the Moving Finger, I feel the chill of it’s shadow. The West has a number of fatal flaws, but the main one will actually save us. We have become terrible at Empire, because we can no longer live up to our own ideals at the same time. We came to rule the world not by military might or futuristic technology, but by the strength of our Enlightenment principles. Like the Romans, it was our ability to ‘convert’ subject people to our lifestyle which saw us rule the world for centuries.
When I weep for what we did to ourselves last century in two European civil wars, I also remember that it was this last war that exposed the lie of Western moral dominance. If Israel had been founded 100 years ago, it would be carved in stone and the indigenous peoples would be stuck in their reservations. But after what Hitler (the West) did, it is no longer acceptable to acquire land by military conquest. Israel will fail not because it (or the West) lack the military might to finish the job, but that the hypocrisy of our actions, by our own moral code, would invalidate the outcome. We have become hamstrung by our own morality. No external force has ever beaten the West. We have defeated ourselves.
And on your lighter note, Eurasia is a reality, long predicted by Orwell. But Eurasia will not be the West but something different. It will a successor state led by Russia and Germany, both have authoritarian tendencies and more traditional values. The French Revolution will finally die. What I hope is our American leader can negotiate a controlled decent, and we can keep the West alive in the New World. It could be that the West will retreat into bastions, modern day monasteries where the dream of Liberté, égalité, fraternité will be repeated in low Gregorian voices. Democracy slept for 2000 years, I hope it won’t take that long before we see the Light again.
Re: Emir Abd el-Kader
Emir Abd el-Kader: Hero and Saint of Islam
Can we say that the tenets of Wahhabism have no foundation in the doctrine of Islam? Does it propose a different creed than the one revealed to Mohamed? Is it different from the periodic movements of ‘Islamic revival (or Tajdid, also Sahwah) led by a “reviver” or mujaddid, who arrives at the beginning of every (Islamic) century, as promised by the Prophet himself, in order to stop (religious) “ignorance”, “false innovations”, “deterioration in following of the Sunnah”, and to fight against it (i.e. jihad)?
I am very happy you asked those very pertinent questions.
As to the first question, Yes we can say that the “tenets” of Wahhabism have no foundation in the doctrine of Islam, if those tenets are( among others) (a) God is a body sitting in His Throne in the Sky. They are anthropomorphists for the most part.(b) excommunicating Muslims for being mere sinners or not subscribing to the exact creed that the Wahhabis subscribe to, and as a result allowing for their enslavement, their valuables to be confiscated, and most often their blood spilling allowed. (c) believing, as they do, that the living do not have any connection with the “dead” and thus visitation of graves is not permissible as it promotes “grave worship”. Sainthood is non existent in Islam, they claim. (d) Most contributions of Muslims after the initial generations are “innovations” and blameworthy. These tenets are most definitely not part of Islamic doctrine as the overwhelming majority of Muslims throughout history understood it.
But does that make Wahhabis non-Muslims? Not exactly, at least not the lay among them. There are voices within Sunni scholarship that have adjudicated Wahhabi scholars as non-Muslims, for propagating the above . One of the hallmarks of Sunnism is that it does not excommunicate anyone as long as they subscribe to the least denominator that makes one a Muslim, which is (1) attesting that there is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his Messenger, and (2) avoiding contradicting this claim. Sunni Islam is very tolerant of voices within Islam that subscribe to different understanding of the creed, as long as it is limited to the intellectual sphere. They never called the Muʿtazilites non-Muslims even though the differences between the Sunnis and the Muʿtazilites were quite pronounced. The same is true for the Shias. The overwhelming Sunni scholarship never held Shias to be non-Muslims But they did call the Khawarij to be non-Muslims because they were not limited to the intellectual sphere. Other than their deviances in the universals of the creed, they were killing, pillaging and spreading strife. There should be no doubt therefore that those Wahhabis who are killing other Muslims believing that they are not Muslims based on the above tenets of their depraved minds can not be the followers of the religion that the Prophet of Islam brought.
As to the question of whether Wahhabism is any different than the periodic movements of “Islamic revival” (tajdid), then the answer is a categorical YES. Just because a movement claims to be a “revivalist of the true creed” does not make it one. The Bahaʿi faith hold Bahaullah to be a “reviver” also, among other titles. The Qadiani faith hold Mirza Ahmed to be a “reviver” also. It does not necessarily make them one even despite their claims of wresting the religion from decline. Whenever a “reviver” appears his creed, work, and contributions have to be in agreement with the “agreed upon” principles of the Sunni faith. Agreed upon revivers have been Umar bin Abdul Aziz, Imam Shafiʿī, Imam Ashʿarī, Hakim Nishaburi, Imam Ghazali, Imam Razi, Ibn Arabi, Ibn Hajar Asqalani, Imam Suyuti, Imam Ramli, Imam Ahmed Sirhindi, Shah Waliullah Dehlawi, Murtada Zabidi, Said Nursi. Knowing who the reviver is is not a categorically certain thing. But these are some of the names that are mentioned throughout history. Does Mohammad ibn Abdul Wahhab fair among them in any shape or form? Not at all. Not in scholarly input nor in creed.
Thank you for your clarifications.
But as I understand, Wahabbis are still considered Muslim by the vast majority of Muslims as long as they affirm the central tenet of Islam and avoid to contradict it. I never heard of a condemnation of Wahabbism from the Islamic authorities.
The central tenet of Islam is in fact, not that God is one (many ‘religions’ affirm that), but that Mohamed is God’s Messenger, that the revelation made to him is the ultimate truth and supersedes all other revelations, therefore the rules of worship established by him are the only correct ones that must be imposed upon the whole Mankind, by violence if necessary.
Speaking of ‘revivalism’ I was referring to Islamic movements (Bahaism is definitely a non-Islamic movement). The question is: did those movements advocated or condoned violence for the restoration of the faith?
Now, asking for a return to ‘true Sunnism’ is to my understanding (or lack of it) a return to the pure tenets of Islam as they were laid down by the Prophet. But that, necessarily affirms a subordinate position for Christianity whose faith is explicitly condemned by Mohamed, condemnation sustained by all Islamic authorities (Sunni or Shia).
Asking Christians to ‘tolerate’ Islam (I am not speaking of the silly accusations of Islamophobia), to give it an equal place in still Christian societies is to actually demand their ultimate conversion. I am not sure that this thing would go so quietly as people wish for.
If you read my comments carefully I did not say that Wahhabis are not Muslims.
As for Bahaism, if you read their literature they do not categorically deny to be Muslims. They hold Bahaullah to be a “reviver” among other things. It’s another issue that the mainstream Muslims do not hold them to be Muslims. The same for Qadianis.
As for last part of your question, I am afraid that is a separate issue all together and answering it requires a detailed writing. The comments section I believe is not an appropriate place for it.
Sorry. Forgot to mention my name in the above comment. There is also another comment that I forgot to mention my name related to the same post.
If you read my comments carefully you will find that I did not say that Wahhabis are not Muslims. I said the Khawarij movement(7th century) were considered non-Muslims. Wahhabis are often called Khawarij not in absolute terms but in some specific things i.e. their crude literalism of the religious texts and tendency to excommunicate others. But not all Wahhabis do that therefore one can not categorically call them non-Muslims. I specified that those who kill Muslims thinking them to be non-Muslims can not possibly be Muslims for many reasons. I have friends of Wahhabi conviction and they abhor violence and blood spilling of all manners in the name of religion. Are they not Muslims? Certainly they are. Then what makes them Wahhabis you may ask? I think i have answered that in the article above.
The question really is whether violence against ‘unbelievers’ is advocated by the ‘authentic Historical Sunnism’ or is just a perversion of the Wahhabis with no foundation in ‘authentic’ Sunnism (in the Quran, in the haddiths, in the Sharia, in the commentaries of Islamic scholars, in the historical practice of centuries of Islamic wars). Indeed, it requires “a detailed writing” and not fudging the issue.
Excellent question. What are the roots of Wahhabism?
I will also add to your question the “believers”, who are considered “unbelievers” such as Shia and Sunni Mu’tazilah. The Mu’tazilah who were Sunni were completely annihilated?
The only crime of Mu’tazilah like Shia was, they preserved the Great Greek Philosophy and they used mind and reason like Shia. Then the remaining Asharites closed the doors of knowledge and named themselves Sunnis.
It is good that you bring the Mu’tazilah into the discussion. To my understanding (or lack of it) the most vexatious thing about them was the denial of the ‘eternity’ of the Quran.
To the chagrin of the Sunnah, it was established for long beyond any reasonable doubt that the Quran was ‘assembled’ significantly later than Mohammad’s time. I don’t now whether the Mu’tazilah were applying to the Quran the methods of text criticism established by the Greeks.
The Sanaa palimpsest only confirmed the initial doubts. Gabriel Sawma’s “The Qur’an: Misinterpreted, Mistranslated, And Misread.The Aramaic Language of the Qur’an” shed new lights on the genesis of the Quranic compilation. It actually confirms the known fact that a (if not the) primary source of ‘Jibreel’ revelations was Mohammad’s wife’s cousin Waraka ibn Nawfal (“Khadija then accompanied him to her cousin Waraqa bin Naufal bin Asad bin ‘Abdul ‘Uzza, who, during the pre-Islamic Period became a Christian and used to write the writing with Hebrew letters. He would write from the Gospel in Hebrew as much as Allah wished him to write… as the Sahih al-Bukhârî informs us), who ‘interpreted’ for Mohammad his ‘revelations’. This is a clear admission that the real inspiration for Mohammad was one of the ‘Hebrew’ Gospels (Ebionites, Hebrews, Nazarenes) of Judaizing gnostic sects circulating in Arabia, which put the claim of Mohammad’s prophet status on very shaky grounds. Now, not that would in any way support the fanciful theories of Kamal Salibi (who sold his soul to the “Zionists” after debunking their claims over Palestine – see his “The Bible Came from Arabia”) about the Arabian origins of Christianity, which should be left in the garbage bin of history where they belong.
Gibrail Sawma’s book is a big disappointment. I was interested to buy this book but because of the very high price tag I wanted to research it first. I’v stumbled upon a lecture about the book in Youtube by the Author himself (2 episodes, total of 3 hours, in Arabic). And luckily that I’ve found earlier on before ordering the book how shallow and misleading is both the book and the author himself.
The author based the book on the assumption that since the old Arabic script is similar to the Aramaic script then this means that the Qur’an was written originally in Aramaic and not Arabic?!
Moreover, he claims that since the old Arabic script is missing the dots on the letters then this means that there are two different versions of the Qur’an: an old one without the dots, and a new one with the dots (??)
The rest of his claims are based on the assumption that since there are some words in the Qur’an that appears to be Aramaic and not Arabic, then the Qur’an must have been originally written in Aramaic. I was shocked that someone who claims to be in knowledge of the Semitic Languages fails to understand that all the Semitic languages have common features, including the vocabulary!
The worst and most foolish point the author is trying to make is: Muhammed, who did not speak or know Aramaic, was revealing a book in the course of 23 years in Aramaic to his Arab followers who did not speak or know Aramaic yet they were memorising and preaching by this book ?????
@Muhammed, who did not speak or know Aramaic
What makes you so sure? Waraqa bin Naufal certainly did, the ‘Gospel’ he translated in Arabic was certainly written in Aramaic, which was the lingua franca of all the ME. Mahomed was a trader, he must have spoken the current language.
“The Qur’an: Misinterpreted, Mistranslated, And Misread.The Aramaic Language of the Qur’an” is not a scholarly work. Right from the introduction there are errors and poor academia. The author fails to recognize that in verse 2:61 – the word is misranمِصْرًا and not misra(مِصْرَ). Misran is appropriately translated as city/town/village by many translators as its an uncommon word for just that in Arabic and secondly if referring to Egypt – it would have been misra as it was appropriately used to refer to Egypt (misra) 4 other times in the Quran.
The book and content otherwise is a decent look at comparing the Aramaic understanding of an Arabic text, which really wouldnt make sense because the main audience is Arab as the Quran would be revealed among Arabs, and Aramaic speakers would be the secondary audience much later.
I personally wouldn’t trust most of its claims and assertions, due to some of these gross errors right from the start, as mentioned right above.
Would stay away, unless you can personally verify some of the assumptions and claims made by the author. If you’ve bought it, then I wouldn’t completely trust it’s content.
Also not to mention, all the verses are off by one. The above verse is supposed to be 2:61 but the author references 2:62. and other reviewers mentioned this as well. This occurs throughout the entire book.
It is good that you bring the Mu’tazilah into the discussion. To my understanding (or lack of it) the most vexatious thing about them was the denial of the ‘eternity’ of the Quran.
The Quran being Created or Un-Created has nothing with complication of Quran. It has to do with definition of God. The Shia belief, later taken by Mu’tazilah and Ibada is Existence and Non-Existence. God Existed and nothing else, and everything is Creation, including Time and Space.
The true meaning of Kalam is Word. Sunni believe like Jews in Creation and Un-Creation. As the Bible says, “In the beginning Word was with God ….”
Thus, to Sunni the Word (Kalam) is Eternally with God, like His Throne and so forth. The Shia say that Throne and so forth are all Metaphor, thus Quran like everything is Created.
According to Shia God has no body and He is not a Spirit, as both of these occupy Space and Time, which were Created by God.
Was then the ‘Word’ created? Of course, it is not what the “Bible” (actually the Gospel of Saint John the Theologian) said:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” Of course, the “Word” is the Son “who was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” Both Sunni and Shia reject this truth.
Was the Spirit created? Of course, it is not what the Jews believed:
“In the beginning God made the heaven and the earth. But the earth was unsightly and unfurnished, and darkness was over the deep, and the Spirit of God moved over the water. And God said, Let there be light, and there was light. And God saw the light that it was good, and God divided between the light and the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night, and there was evening and there was morning, the first day” (i.e. the Time).
Is the Creature, the Created, i.e. World, the Cosmos, outside God?
Shia believe that it is Existence and Non-Existence. God Existed and nothing else, therefore everything is Created. His Throne and so forth are metaphor. God has no body and He is not a spirit. Both Time and Space are Creation too.
All Other Religions and including Sunni, believe in Created and Un-Created. The Sunni believe that God’s Throne is real and not Created. His Throne is with Him from the beginning, including the Space. He occupies Space above the Seven Heaven and Earth a similar number.
I know that Christians believe that Word is Jesus and for this reason I didn’t reference to Christians. I referenced to Jews, who like Sunni believe that the Word was with God and Un-Created. Most of the Sunni belief is taken from Judaism, from abu Hurairah. To them Men is Created in God’s Image, thus Adam is 4 floor tall like Allah.
The Sunni believe that on Judgement Day, God will be sitting on His Throne and He will Judge the people, therefore people will be able to see Him once at least.
The Shia believe that we will never see God, and no one is seen God and will see God. God has no Needs, therefore He has no need for Throne, and the Throne is metaphor like everything else.
God has no Needs. And, Creator cannot be creation. Emotions, Senses, Body, Spirit and so forth are creation.
Since these are all creation, therefore God cannot be creation and has no Need for Emotions, Senses, Body, Spirit and so forth.
And, God has no Emotions, no Senses, no Body, no Spirit and so forth.
Thus, when we say that God Loves and/or Hates, these are only metaphors for us mortals to understand him.
Dear Anwar Khan,
Another toxicity of Sunnism, I would like for you to address why Shia and Mu’tazilah were murdered for their belief that the Holy Quran is Created and not Eternal (Kalam).
Even Johann Wolfgang von Goethe has reflected on this:
“Whether the Koran is of eternity?
I don’t question that!…
That it is the book of books
I believe out of the muslim’s duty.”
The question is why the Sunni resort to violence when other believers don’t believe as them?
Usually, one resort to violence when someone is not secured in their belief.
“”The question is why the Sunni resort to violence when other believers don’t believe as them?”
You are here on The Saker, so that suppose you have at least some knowledge in history and geopolitics.
Who in the islamic world is resorting to violence and threatening innocents with headchopping and gang rape ??? who is the mastermind behind them (ISIS, Al Qaieda and other beasts) ? the answer is simple my freind. it is the zionist jews and their anglo-saxons lackeys. This have nothing to do with Islam (Shia or sunna).
Since the beginning of the Sunna Shia schism the shiites were always outnumbered at least 8 or 10/1. if the sunnites are such bloodthirsty and evil, why there were never a cataclysmic conflict between the two faction like the Thirty years war in the christian world ?
The fact is that Muslims (whether they are shiites or sunnites) are, just like any common, sane person everywhere and just want to have a peacefull and prosperous life with their neighboors.
What you say about Shia sounds very much as atheism.
WizOz on December 12, 2016 · at 12:18 pm UTC
What you say about Shia sounds very much as atheism
Now you see WizOz, why the Shia and the Mu’tazilah (who took their belief from Shia) were persecuted. The Mu’tazilah were completely annihilated, but the Shia are still persecuted till today and called Kafir. You rightly mentioned, “sounds very much …”, but it is not. It is lack of understanding of the Shia religion on part of Sunni.
Lots of people think that only Iranian are Shia, but in fact most of the Arabs are Shia whose mother tongue is Arabic. The majority of Sunni don’t know, speak or read Arabic. Reading the Quran and Prophet in the original language and not transliterated language.
So, the Shia were persecuted for believing that Quran is created like everything else. :)
Let me rephrase my question. Are the commandments of Muhammad ‘eternal’ (rather for eternity) or are limited to a certain time? That, of course, annuls the prophetic status of Muhammad. The precepts of Islam are obsolete and should be discarded. You can’t have the cake and eat it.
What is Eternity? Is God First and Last? If God is Last, then are we Eternal too with Him? Can He then be Last?
Is God bound by Time? For us mortals, we understand First and Last, so we are told that God is First and Last, meaning He is Eternal for Eternity. Are the mortals Eternal for Eternity.
First and Last are the 99 Names (Attributes) of God. BTW, does God have a Name?
Here is what Imam Ali says in his book about the 99 Names (Attributes) of God:
Praise is due to Allah whose worth cannot be described by speakers, whose bounties cannot be counted by calculators and whose claim (to obedience) cannot be satisfied by those who attempt to do so, whom the height of intellectual courage cannot appreciate, and the divings of understanding cannot reach; He for whose description no limit has been laid down, no eulogy exists, no time is ordained and no duration is fixed. He brought forth creation through His Omnipotence, dispersed winds through His Compassion, and made firm the shaking earth with rocks.
The foremost in religion is the acknowledgement of Him, the perfection of acknowledging Him is to testify Him, the perfection of testifying Him is to believe in His Oneness, the perfection of believing in His Oneness is to regard Him Pure, and the perfection of His purity is to deny Him attributes, because every attribute is a proof that it is different from that to which it is attributed and everything to which something is attributed is different from the attribute.
Thus whoever attaches attributes to Allah recognises His like, and whoever recognises His like regards Him two; and whoever regards Him as two recognises parts for Him; and whoever recognises parts for Him mistook Him; and whoever mistook Him pointed at Him; and whoever pointed at Him admitted limitations for Him; and whoever admitted limitations for Him numbered Him. Whoever said: ‘In what is He?’, held that He is contained; and whoever said: ‘On what is He?’, held He is not on something else.
He is a Being, but not through phenomenon of coming into being. He exists but not from non-existence. He is with everything but not in physical nearness. He is different from everything but not in physical separation. He acts but without connotation of movements and instruments. He sees even when there is none to be looked at from among His creation. He is only One, such that there is none with whom He may keep company or whom He may miss in his absence.
Islam and the Destiny of Man
A new, revised edition, in paperback, of a highly successful book. Islam and the Destiny of Man is a wide-ranging study of the religion of Islam from a unique point of view. The author was brought up as an agnostic and embraced Islam at an early age after writing a book (commissioned by T. S. Eliot) on Eastern religions and their influence on Western thinkers.
The aim of Islam and the Destiny of Man is to explain what it means to be a Muslim, a member of a community which embraces a quarter of the world’s population and to describe the forces which have shaped their hearts and minds. Throughout the book the author is concerned not simply with Islam in isolation, but with the very nature of religious faith, its spiritual and intellectual foundations and the light it casts upon the mysteries and paradoxes of the human condition.
‘Considered essential by [those] seeking to understand Islam.’ (Sunday Telegraph) ‘…a book dealing with the most vital and crucial questions now agitating our lives.’ Maryam Jameelah — Muslim World Book Review
‘This book deserves to be read over and over again.’ — Muslim Education Quarterly
‘This is a beautifully written book. It offers a taste of theology, of history, of aesthetics and of eschatology blended in such way as to provide a whole and balanced image, a vision of life that is both comprehensive and thoroughly Islamic.’ — Parabola
‘Considered essential by [those] seeking to understand Islam.’ — Sunday Telegraph
‘This book deserves to be read over and over again.’ — Muslim Education Quarterly
It is common enough in the West to dress chimpanzees in human
clothing, either for the amusement of children visiting a zoo or to advertise
products on television, and contemporary Western tailoring looks very
well on monkeys; it looks less well on human beings and absurdly
inappropriate on Muslims at prayer; but it is the badge of ‘civilization’ and
worn as such. A soldier knows that he is truly in the army when he puts on
his uniform and a monk is assured of his vocation when he dons the robes
of his order; both Kamal Ataturk and Mao Tzetung, when they wished to
make a complete break with the past and create a new kind of Turk and a
new kind of Chinese, started by changing their people’s mode of dress, and
it is interesting to note how quick Catholic priests are to adopt secular
clothing when they lose confidence in their priestly function.
Those who think of themselves as clever monkevs will dress as clever
monkeys, while those who believe themselves to be the ‘Viceregents of
Allah on earth’ will also dress accordingly. Sometimes we are more
concerned with peripheral threats than with the threat closest to us; many
Muslims are deeply concerned about the threat to their way of life
represented by such Western customs as dancing and ‘dating’, but only a
few are aware that not merely their way of life, but their very identity as
Muslims might be undermined by a mode of dress totally alien to the
Islamic concept of man’s role in creation.
The argument one hears only too frequently is that ‘outward things’ do
not matter; all that matters is ‘what you have in your heart’. This argument
is, to say the least, naive. What we have in our hearts is constantly
influenced — and eventually changed — by our immediate environment, and
the environment closest to us is the robe, suit or dress we wear; after that
comes the home, and after the home, the city.
Just as the way in which people dress indicates their idea of themselves,
so the way in which they build indicates their idea of society and of the
purpose of life. Occidental architecture in this century is an open book in
which the ideologies of our time may be studied. Traditional Islamic
architecture, despite a tremendous variety of styles, bears the unmistak-
able stamp of Islam; the traditional home and the traditional city were
precisely matched to the lives of people who, in all their activities, followed
the sunnah of the Prophet, and for this very reason they facilitated the
following of the sunnah, just as Arab dress facilitates the performance of
the ablution and the movements of the ritual prayer.
–Chas. Le Gai Eaton
Thanks James. Great quote!
I think lamentation is too light a word; how about quisling, betrayers, takfiris, Uncle Tom? The Sunni governments and people are enablers and participants in the evil of the Western ME Empire. I don’t care about who killed who in the Eighth century, the Shia can hold their heads up as resisters, their honour intact and their glory ensured. The Sunni can join the Western public as equally responsible for the millions dead, the civilisations destroyed, and the bribes taken.
The time has come for loyal Sunnis and Westerners to resist our governments with all our might, or suffer History’s righteous vengeance.
Dear Anwar Khan
This is an excellent read. I commend you. You have done your research and have presented it so well.
“I am not sure the readers here will appreciate your efforts to drag everything under the Sun towards the Shia plight”
In your previous article you had taken some things very lightly. You had tried to excuse the brutality that the Shia had faced as a political compulsion or something that they faced in the past. You obligated a reply to your earlier article in the form of pointing out your omissions just as you compelled an appreciation of your painstaking and meticulous work here.
This is great read, an enormous effort and a well written article, a no mean feat.
Thank you so much and keep up the good work
Partisan of Ali, (aren’t we all are?)
Thank you for your appreciation. When writing articles of this nature one can not cover every detail with what is ideally required. I did not necessarily take things “lightly”, but one has to cram as much info as possible to get a pertinent point across knowing it will not go well with some. People often get disappointed with not reading about things close to their heart as they understand it. It is bound to happen. At the end of the day we all have our points of view, discussing events that happened in the past with more than a little fog covering it. Any reasonable person– free of socially and culturally charged emotional impulses– will accept the obvious challenges associated with writing about such issues.
The focus of this series is to put significant daylight between Sunnism and Wahhabism because the doings of the latter is often referred as “Sunni”, and this is not only historically inaccurate but also an affront to millions of Sunnis.
I rely on the good senses and good hearts of my Shia brothers and sisters to understand the challenges we all face and Muslims and put our run of the mill sectarian slogans to the side, if not totally rid ourselves of it. We may still debate and challenge each other with passion on the intellectual front. We always have and we should. But with the right etiquettes (adab) and holding the highest standards of character (akhlaq). After all we all long for the Divine and approach it as well as our worldly existence allows, with obstacles on every turn. But I am afraid sectarianism has blinded many of us from appreciating that. I pray we transcend it.
I would like to say that the point of the article of differentiating between What is Sunnism and Wahabism was brilliantly executed for the space constraint you had in writing this article. In one blow you have been able to give a concise view of what the Sunnis are up against in trying to retrieve the Sunni name from the Wahabis which the Anglo Zionists support and also deceptively call these neo Khawarij as sunnis in order to achieve their geo-political agenda.
Salaam from a
Ashari Shafi’i Qadiri sufi
“But I am afraid sectarianism has blinded many of us from appreciating that. I pray we transcend it.”
There are so many things that give hope. Saudi/west backed rebels have just collapsed in Aleppo. This was only possible with a Sunni alliance with the Shia, and let’s not be ungrateful to orthodox Russia who broke the back of this fitna. Not that I’m a fan of Assad, but this fight was not about Assad.
I’ve met the most selfless sunnis and the most selfish Shia. So even though beliefs matter, so does the individual. I admire the Sunnis fighting along side the Shia. Even though the fight is a hard one, the way is clearer for the Shia. Those Sunnis have to overcome so much Saudi propaganda to see the truth.
Like I said, keep up the good work.
“Those Sunnis have to overcome so much Saudi propaganda to see the truth.”
In some ways yes, considering the context where the Petrodollar has ruled the earth for fourty years.
But in others, no! There is plenty of evidence. I’ve seen children burst out laughing in the face of Wahabi imams as they understood the fraud, and that was a long long time ago now! Perhaps that story would make an interesting appendix to this article and for the Saker’s audience and community, if I ever find the time (and the ability to write as well as Anwer!) I might give it try.
Thank you Anwer.
Please look to the Khalifat movement in 1920’s India. Gandhi’s role.
You see the Zionist deceit of their Hindutva movement* was never enough to explain to me the change in the Muslim Leagues approach to Congress and Independence, there’s a mountain or two of evidence to help with that understanding. After being reminded of the chronology by Shieikh Imran we must consider the timing, it was only after the hijack of the Hejaz that partition as a concept gained traction.
whether those who opted for partition knew it or not at the time there was a reaction there to what was happening to the West of the sub-continent. It’s a fascinating consideration, one worthy of further investigation.
*Zionism, Wahabism Hindutva etc. all the post-enlightenment philosophies are indeed distinct from that which proceeded them, there can be no denying this though a few of the above comments betray the desire of the deceived to cling on their bigotry
All these philosophies randomly born at the same time? Some kind of cosmic coincidence I guess. Not like there’s a Deceiver let loose upon the earth or anything like that…
I hope I may be forgiven for quoting extensively. I find the text so dense, in a good way, that I find myself needing to pick it apart, in discrete pieces, to think about and comment on it.
“This obviously does not mean that all Wahhabis are inherently violent people. This author has some friends of Wahhabi conviction who are decent people and abhor all kind of violence. The problem however is—and even the decent among them are beginning to behold this—that when you have a creed that is supremacist in nature, monopolistic on piety, and holding all other manifestations of Islam to be outside the fold of Islam, it easily leads to violent, at worst, and disinterested in the plight of others, tendencies among its subscribers. Because there is nothing that brings the worst out of man more than seeing himself morally superior and cosmically different than the rest. The kind of people of whom the Qurʿān says, ‘then your hearts became hardened thereafter and are like stones, or even yet harder.’ (Baqarah, verse 74) ”
What Mr Khan seems to have written is a recipe for every form of sectarian extremism. As I read, I thought how easy to substitute the word ‘Jews’ or ‘Fundamentalist Jews’ for Wahhabis .
No wonder. Israel and Saudi Arabia ‘getting along’ is the most peculiar and hidden secret of the Middle East of today.
Thank you so much Anwar Khan. I wonder how many politicians, pundits and purveryors of platitudes are even marginally aware of the historical threads and developments described in such a fine and thorough essay on an important and complex subject. Before reading the essay my knowlegde of the Sunnis barely exceeded the awareness of their name and of its unwarranted use by the notorious warmongers.
This also confirms indirectly the excellence of this site, which opens new vistas and knowledge on areas and issues otherwise destined to remain unknown. And yet very important topics, helping to form reasoned opinions, rather than repeating banalities spread by a crass and discredited mainstream media.
One of the truly frustrating things about the sectarian divide in the ME is it is totally manufactured by the West, and Muslims seem incapable of dealing with it. This debate should be happening in tea houses and after prayer on Friday, not on the battlefield. The Western Empire has a long history of divide and conquer, it is our modus operandi. I can admire the terrible beauty of the Empire’s program, they have maneuvered their two greatest foes in the ME (Sunni and Shia jihad) into destroying each other. I feel like cracking your two heads together to make you see sense! But then I remember my own weakness and culpability as a Westerner, so I have empathy. All we can do is join the Resistance Block, and pray the Sunni find the strength to join us.
Egypt is here, it has begun.
Sorry to keep bothering you Mr. Khan,
But what the world really needs to hear are the Sunni turning on the Saudi regime. The House of Saud has let the Moneychangers into the Temple, are in bed with the Zionist Entity and have turned the Muslims holy places into a theme park. They are the wind behind the Wahhabi sail; funding the Madrasas, paying the wages of the takfiris, and lobbying in Washington to keep the blood flowing in the ME. They are the Islamic Counter-Reformation, if you count the Arab Socialist/Nationalist movement and the Islamic Revolution as progress (which I do). The Anglo-Zionists need to portray Islam as backward and violent, and the Saudis are making it so. Many people in the West lament that Islam does not denounce Terrorism loudly enough, I was one to always retort with look what we are doing to provoke it. But this is no longer enough, the Saudis are killing the Sunni perspective, you need to clean up your House.
Love your comments
The Shia resistance is an extension of Karbala. It was before that event that whenever Muslims were called on to sacrifice, that they used to excuse themselves, I have children, I have property, I have other priorities. So much so that Hussein’s brother and father before him had to compromise.
But then after Karbala came the understanding. They were questioned, and for those that are reluctant, are questioned even today, is your child more precious than that of imam Hussain (as)? is that you leave greater than what he sacrificed for? is your own life more important than that of Hussain?
And you here the reply from every Shia of the imam, and you see this message reinforced every ashura.
There was a comment I had read here on the saker, where it spoke about even a minor bend in the start that would make a laser/light to deviate from its (straight) path to a great extent. Daesh is a result of this straying from the light. And just as an exaggerated statement is needed to show people how far they have come from where they were supposed to be, Daash has been an eye opener for the Sunnis to get their act together and not be tools.
The oppression of the Shia, like Mohammad correctly pointed out, predates the wahabi creed. But brother Anwar has written something trying to address the state of affairs of the Sunni umma. He is part of the solution or understanding.
Salam Partisan of Ali,
Yes, this oppression has been going on since the inception of Islam. Every 200 years, there is awakening when this oppression gets too close to comfort. Then the bogie man is found and labelled as Khawārij (Outsiders/Seceders).
Now, after two hundred years this bogie man is found in Grozny, Russia and not in Egypt as Wahhabism and labelled as Khawārij (Outsiders/Seceders).
It is not us, it is Khawārij (Outsiders/Seceders). The Khawārij (Outsiders/Seceders) keep changing their faces.
Always felt there were three to four types of main political factions in Islam since early days. And they have such similar contemporaries, or you can say they have filtered down to this day
1 You have those that sided then with Hussain and were then marginalised from power, the Shia. They had times when they were stronger, like the Shia of Ali that followed him in kufa during siffin, not necessarily Kufans.
In the Iranians you see the reflection of Salam the Persian, and his ardour for Ali
“the Arabs did not realise his value until appeared among their Persian neighbours some who knew the difference between gems and gravel”
2 You have the extreme hatred for the Ahlul Bayt that you see in the bani umaya and you see that in the Al saud today
3 You had those then that sided with Abdullah ibn Zubr, opportunist and fence sitters, and you see them in contemporary Sunnis today that are not wahabi, they didn’t agree with the killing of Hussain, but didn’t come to help or involve them selves, but were appalled at the atrocities being committed
4 You see the khwarij in Daesh
5 You see the Houthis today and they are so much like their begining, the failed rebellion of Zaid ibn Hussain and they fight now just as fiercely but the forces stacked against are so strong
6 You see certain sects of the Shia that are so insular and secretive, just like their beginnings
7 You have those Arab tribes that didn’t fight but offered to do so at a later time at the time of Karbala, they knew Hussein’s position, and these you see in the Omani Arabs
You could add to this list or fine tune it
For the saker community:
Please remember that although the Saud have great wealth that the majority of orthodox Muslims (both Sunni and Shia) are brought up with these stories in their hearts from a young age.
This is the Islamic oral tradition rooted in the Arabic oral culture which pre-dates the Islamic and even Christian Era and is as valid as the oral traditions of southern India or of China, and the wise amongst you can accept that.
Some of the great and the not so good may not have followed the traditions over the centuries, but well, we’re still here! All of us.
Great article, scholastic work of this sort is the right antidote against the venom the wahabi salafi fundamentalists inject these times within the rank and file of Muslim ummeth everywhere.
The ink of the scholars is more worth than the blood of the martyrs, this hadees ran into my mind when i finished your great writing. I must applause you for this scholastic work. I read it twice. Let the wahabi/salafi/maududi mutations read it and realise and repent for the sins they committed against their fellow muslims. Your work is a detoxing agent.
Here is some books about Sufism , amazing collection, take a look http://www.naqshbandiaowaisiah.org/books