There has been an observable trend in the da'wah over the past 10 years in the form of networks of individuals and organizations whose aim is disconnect the West from having any real concrete attachment to the Scholars upon the Salafi creed and methodology, to raise themselves up as independent scholars who are taken as reference points for the great and serious matters arising in the ummah, and to open doors for the opposers and enemies of the Salafi da'wah to gain access to the ears, hearts and minds of the those Muslims at large who understand, in principle at least, that following the way of the Salaf is obligatory even if they may not know all of its details and may have shortcomings in following that way (due to being deceived by misguided and dishonest callers who feign attachment to Salafiyyah). These individuals include Yasir Qadhi, Muhammad Alshareef, Tawfique Chowdhury, Waleed Basyouni, Haitham al-Haddaad, Abu Eesa Niamatullah, Navaid Aziz, Ahsan Hanif and numerous others, and organizations such as al-Maghrib Institute, al-Kauthar Institute, Green Lane Mosque are part and parcel of this agenda. This is clearly observable in the way they cleverly market their speakers in Hollywood style promotionals, their aim being to instill love and veneration in the hearts of the people towards these callers, (largely because there is a financial incentive behind it, in order to draw people to their seminars). And either with the tongue of flesh or the tongue of disposition, many of them state or insinuate that "scholars in the desert" are out of touch with reality, and therefore cannot properly evaluate and appreciate the conditions in other lands. This being part of their justification to spread the idea of the need for contemporary "intellectually-stimulating" scholars (meaning themselves) who can guide and direct the Ummah. This is alongside our knowledge that the Scholars whom they belittle in this way use modern means of communication in order to be acquainted with the affairs in other Muslim lands and in order to communicate with those from other nations. And also our knowledge that these scholars are visited by people from all over the world who inform them of the condition and situation of Muslims in those lands and some of these scholars (as we have witnessed directly first hand) are so clued-up about the internal politics of other nations (stretching from Malaysia, to Turkey, to Britain to the US) that it would leave you dumbfounded.
Lecturers from al-Maghrib Institute including Yasir Qadhi (center), Waleed Basyouni, Abu Eesa Niamatullah, Navaid Azeez and others.
From the way these people behave and in what they write and express, they give the impression that there is nothing more resentful and hated by them than the fact that the attachment of the Salafis (whom they mock and vilify) to Salafiyyah is an attachment that proceeds upon an understanding of the reality of eemaan (faith), as in, it is one in which belief is tied to the actions of the heart which are tied out outward speech and outward action and behaviour. In other words, Salafiyyah is not just something believed in and said with the tongue, it is one that has with it the actions of the heart and the outward actions (that must necessary follow) and there must be congruency, consistency and conformity in all of that. The reason is that this type of (correct and desired) attachment to Salafiyyah comes in the way and agenda of these people because the outcomes and conclusions of the da'wah of those holding onto the Salafi creed and methodology, loving it and venerating it and following it in speech and action, and calling others to this way are as follows:
One: The general masses being connected to the true, genuine Scholars upon the Salafi creed and methodology, there being love and veneration in their hearts for these scholars and the diminishing of the status of these people who are marketed as independent scholars for the West. Two: The masses heeding the rulings and statements of the Salafi scholars, taking caution from the groups of innovation and misguidance from the Jahmiyyah (Ash'aris, Maturidis) and umbrella organizations such as al-Ikhwan (who accommodate every sect of innovation and even the Shi'ah) and al-Tabligh, and others - whereas we see these people (Yasir Qadhi, Abu Eesa Niamatullah and others) showing cooperation, love and cordiality with them. Three: The masses knowing who to refer to in the nawaazil (issues affecting Muslims at large), particularly in matters of politics, war and the like, and knowing that they are going to get advice and direction that will be rooted in the Prophetic texts and understandings of the Companions, and not ideas and opinions of self-propped pseudo-scholars. Four: The masses acquiring a criterion for distinguishing between bid'ah (which is the cause of the turmoil and chaos in the Ummah, its weakening and the calamities befalling it) and sunnah, and subsequently, knowing the people of the Sunnah from the people of bid'ah, and subsequently, the activities of these people (Yasir Qadhi, Abu Eesa Niamatullah and others), their da'wah, their methodhology and their allegiances being exposed and as clear as the daylight sun. Five: The instilling of deep-rooted love and veneration of the Tawhid of the Messengers in the hearts of the masses (instead of it treating it as a mere academic subject) and making them have walaa and baraa around that and making that a criterion in all things such that the hypocrisy in action of people like Abu Eesa Niamatullah in opening arms and showing friendship to the Jahmites and Sufi grave-worshippers who call for istighaathah to other than Allaah and invite people to major Shirk (under the guise of permitted tawassul and the likes) is plain and clear for all to see.
So when those holding to the Salafi creed and methodology pursue and achieve these goals, this comes in the way of the agenda of those people of disconnecting the masses from the Scholars, raising themselves as independent scholars, and opening the doors for the Jahmites, grave-worshippers and others, so they can enter upon the masses and misguide them in their religion.
From their numerous tactics - in which they follow the ways of the Ash'aris (with whom they are very cordial at the same time) and of the people of innovation and misguidance in general - is to devise or use derogatory names for the people of the Sunnah. Today, their greatest label is the use of the term "Madkhali" (or "Jaamee") by which they misguide the masses into thinking this is some new sect with a new methodology. This is just a ruse and a trick (as we shall demonstrate inshaa'Allaah) in order to make the people flee from the Salafi scholars as a whole and the methodology they are united upon and whose combined statements and rulings, when put together as a whole, provide a clear, uniform orientation that is clearly visible in the da'wah and methodology of the Salafis whom these people slander and revile and which is conspicuously absent, nay, directly clashes with that which they are upon and what is apparent from their own speeh and action.
This is not about one Scholar whose tribal name just happens to be "al-Madkhali" (or "al-Jaamee"), but it is simply scapegoating one Scholar for what actually has been said, collectively, by all the contemporary Salafi scholars as it relates to issues in which they (this new band of callers) are disputants to those holding onto the Salafi creed and methodology. In other words, when you look at the da'wah of these people, and you look at their methodologies and their views and opinions they publish on their personal websites and blogs, or which they state in their lectures or answers to questions, and you look at their allegiances and friendships, you will see the general orientation which becomes readily apparent from all of that to be in stark contrast with what the Salafi scholars as a whole are upon in methodology, and we mean here the likes of Imaam al-Albani, Imaam Ibn Baz, Imaam Ibn Uthaymin, Shaykh al-Fawzan, Shaykh Rabee', Shaykh al-Ghudayan, Shaykh al-Luhaydaan, Shaykh Ahmad al-Najmee, Shaykh Salih al-Suhaymee and numerous others. It is for this reason they use the "Madkhali" or "Jaamee" or "Super-Salafi" label in order to conceal their own falsehood and hinder others from seeing it.
We shall illustrate all of this, and it will all become absolutely clear inshaa'Allaah, by Allaah's will and permission, by commenting upon an outburst posted by Abu Eesa Niamatullah (a lecturer for al-Maghrib Institute) on Facebook after he was admonished for his revilement and slander upon one of the great Salafi scholars of today, Shaykh Rabee' bin Haadee al-Madkhali, and in which he slanders the Salafis in general and makes a spurious claim of being upon Salafiyyah. We shall evaluate each of his falsehoods one by one inshaa'Allaah, and show that the Salafi methodology and the Salafi scholars, collectively, are in one valley and he is in another.
Further, in keeping with reality: Alongside whatever has been mentioned above, this does not mean that there are no mistakes made by Salafis or things for which there might be rightful criticism. However, when these matters arise from certain Salafis, due to individual aberrations, they are often inflated, exaggerated and used as a means to hinder others from the truth that the Salafis have with them in belief, speech, action, da'wah and methodology. A person would do real well to understand the point being made by Imaam al-Albani (rahimahullaah) in this article here, where he deals with doubts concerning ascription to Salafiyyah:
No my brother! You have not followed the verse, since the verse means the correct form of Islaam. It is necessary that you address the people according to their level of understanding, so will anyone understand from you (when you say 'I am a Muslim') that you are indeed a Muslim with the desired meaning in the verse (of correct Islaam)? As for the various cautionary matters you have mentioned, then these are sometimes correct and sometimes they are not correct. Since your saying about harshness, then this can sometimes occur from individuals, yet this is not representative of a methodology that is tied to knowledge and belief. Leave aside individuals for now, we are actually talking about manhaj (methodology). This is because when we say Shi'ite, or a Druze, or a Khaarijee, or a Soofee, or a Mutazilee, the various cautionary matters you raised come into play (and can apply to them aswell). Hence, this is not the subject of our discussion...
The point here made by Imaam al-Albani (rahimahullaah) is actually applicable to the doubts of individuals like Abu Eesa Niamatullah and those like him, and inshaa'Allah this will be elaborated upon at the relevant part in this series.
Finally, Autumn has arrived and its noticeably colder. To keep you warm until we come to deal with Abu Eesa Niamatullah's slanders and doubts, we'll leave you with this picture to the right, where Abu Eesa is sat with the Jahmiyyah (Ash'aris), each of whom is a disputant with respect to the aqidah of the Salaf, and each of whom claims that the Ash'aris are Ahl al-Sunnah, and whilst some of them are diplomatic in the way they speak about Salafis (for higher-level agendas perhaps) some of them are not too conservative when it comes to speaking about the Imaams of Salafiyyah and reviling the Salafi creed. He is sat with Hamza Yusuf, Zayd Shakir and Abdullah bin Bayyah, all Ash'ari Sufis. As for Abdullah bin Bayyah, then he is similar to Muhammad Alawi al-Maliki who was residing in Saudi Arabia and calling to istighaathah from other than Allaah and calling to invoking others besides Allaah, and this is also found in the writings of Abdullah bin Bayyah who utilizes all the same doubts as Muhammad Alawi al-Maliki. We will elaborate upon this at the relevant part in this series inshaa'Allaah.
Note: As for the use of some of them of the statement of Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah where he explains his attempts to reconcile between the Ash'aris and Hanbalis (in his time), by citing a brief historical period of unity between Hanbalis and Ash'aris in the early fifth century, then this was based upon the fact that al-Ash'ari was actually upon the madhhab of Imaam Ahmad and that the book al-Ibaanah contains that which is pretty much in overall agreement with the creed of Imaam Ahmad and of the Salaf. So on this basis, there was understanding between Hanbalis and some of those ascribed to al-Ash'ari and held whatever was in al-Ibaanah to be their creed. However, these people who are present today, are not Ash'aris in that sense, rather they are Jahmiyyah and they drifted away from the Salafi creed al-Ash'ari tended to at the end of his life to the tajahhum and i'tizaal of Abu Mansur al-Bagdhadi, Abu Mu'ali al-Juwayni, and to what al-Ghazali was put to trial with and likewise al-Razi, and finally we reach the times of al-Aamidee and al-Taftazani where they had hybridized kalaam with falsafah, and that's leaving aside the Sufism, tasawwuf, gnostic mysticism and illuminism that al-Ash'ari was free and innocent of which was introduced by al-Qushayri, al-Razi and al-Ghazali (after the latter two got diseased by the books of Ibn Sina and others from the Baatiniyyah). So whoever used those statements of Ibn Taymiyyah is using them out of place, for todays Jahmites posing as Ash'aris renounce what is in al-Ibaanah and do not believe it, and their views are clearly the views of the Jahmites in issues such as al-uluww, al-istiwaa and the sifaat khabariyyah. To get further clarity on this issue, you should read this article (The Levels and Ranks of Ash'arism or Those To Whom It is Ascribed - An Important Classification - see here) on the different types of groups who ascribe or are ascribed to Ash'arism. Had today's Ash'aris sincerely and honestly believed what is in al-Ibaanah, then alhamdulillaah, this means that whatever remains of the minute details of the doctrine of Ibn Kullaab which might have a trace or two in al-Ibaanah can be creased and ironed out. But that is not the situation we have as is very clear.