Shaykh Abu Esa: Scholars Aren’t Saints

MV: This goes along with how some people consider scholars like “saints”

Reblogged from:

I hope and pray that one the most important lessons you’ve learnt during the fitnah this year is to not blindly follow *any* single person or scholar or role-model or whoever. I’m emphasised this a silly number of times I know, especially with respect to myself and naturally aimed at those who might study with me etc, but it really is so important.

Absolute loyalty to any individual or group over loyalty to Allah, His Messenger and the general Muslims, will burn you in this life and quite possibly burn you in the next as well.

It doesn’t matter if there is historical pressure to do so i.e. such as absolutley following the early Imams of Fiqh without question.

It doesn’t matter if there is political pressure to do so i.e. with those scholars under the control of leaders or those who hold influence and power etc.

It doesn’t matter if there is cultural pressure to do so i.e. with the Pirs or Molvis or community leaders around you because you know no better.

It doesn’t matter if there is peer pressure to do so i.e. with all your peers and their following “cool” scholars on social networks and TV/Video channels.

It doesn’t matter if there is colleague pressure to do so i.e. not wanting to upset or refute your colleagues or friends for “the sake of unity”.

It doesn’t matter if there is emotional pressure to do so i.e. your friends and family around you joining a particular group, cult or sect.

NO-ONE should be followed unquestioningly. That belongs only to Allah and His Messenger. Don’t let anyone blackmail you or intellectually belittle you into doing anything else. You are a free soul created to worship Allah. You weren’t obligated to call yourself a Salafi, or a Sufi, or an Ikhwani, or a Tabligihi or whatever, or to follow these groups as if any one of them offer some kind of divine boarding-pass to Jannah. Scholars are meant to help you, guide you, protect you. Not to suppress you, restrict you, dumb you down, and make you robotic clones blind to free thinking and perceiving the truth by yourself.

You’re a Muslim, that’s it. That’s what Allah jalla wa ‘ala named you, AND He wanted to tell you that as well lest you start making things difficult for yourself when you see all the fitnah around you and get confused:

“He has chosen you and placed no hardship in your religion, the faith of your forefather Ibrahim. He has called you Muslims.” (22:78)

And let me clarify something about myself as well for those asking: I don’t care whether you’re Salafi, Sufi, Shi’ah, Ikhwani, Jew, Christian, friend, family or enemy. If what you say is in the interests of the Muslims then I am with you and I will support what you have just said, without having to support the person who said it. And if I feel that what you say is against the Muslims – and I have the ability and courage – then I will do what I can to counter that in whichever way possible.

I don’t care who you are. You can be Yasir Qadhi or Hamza Yusuf, Rabbi Jonathan Sacks or Richard Dawkins, Rabee’ al-Madkhali or Abu Qatadah, Salman al-‘Awdah or Habib ‘Ali Jifri, Tariq Jameel or Tariq Ramadan, or even AE or his own blood brother. That’s my guarantee. And I would expect the same from them towards myself as well should I stray, as should indeed *all* Muslims.

I am completely and utterly free of any restriction to saying what I want. There’s not a *single* person on this planet that controls what I do. If I decide not to criticise a person of bid’ah, a person of evil, a friend, a colleague, an enemy, then that’s because *I* didn’t want to. It was my choice and my choice alone, and no-one else’s. I just hope that what I decided to do was out of loyalty to Allah, His Messenger and the Believers.

If you think that because I and many other scholars believe it often counter-productive for our community to criticise one another’s varying theologies and methodologies in front of the masses who don’t benefit from it, that somehow I will be silenced when there is a pressing need and I won’t defend the general Muslims when necessary then you are so desperately wrong.

I have openly defended the wider interests of our community as I see fit, as well as the innocent Believers and their honour who are being slaughtered for their Deen, and I will continue to do so with His tawfeeq iA. This has meant I have had to speak against friends and family who I love and agree with, as well as others I naturally disagree with from the people of other sects and bid’ah etc. No pledge or treaty or friendship will ever stop me speaking when the blood of the Muslims is on the line. If you side against the Muslims, be warned. Whoever you are.

In fitnah, we all lose it one way or the other. When pressure is applied to you, you fall back to your people, your upbringing, your family, your race, your ethnicity, your friends, your teachers, your masters, the ones who hold sway and bias over you. That’s natural, and that’s why the truth can be so hard to find at such times because we all run for cover to our comfort zones and biases and weaknesses and bid’ah and emotions. That’s why you never follow people at such times, but follow principles which are free from the above factors.

That’s why I again appeal to you all to ignore all sectarian calls and party politics which throws the Muslims, their blood and their honour under the bus. Let our loyalty to Allah be higher than that.

And anything which supports the Muslims and protects their honour and strengthens them and brings unity, then support it *whoever* that comes from whether evil people, those of bid’ah, those you dislike, or those you profoundly disagree with.


~Shaykh Abu Esa Niamatullah

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