An Academic Discussion with Dr. Yasir Qadhi
What is Salafi Dawah
Abu Aaliyah Abdullah ibn Dwight Battle
M.A Candidate (Hadith and its sciences)
Verily praises belong to Allah. We praise Him, seek his assistance and His forgiveness. Blessed is Allah, Who sent Islam as a complete way of life to mankind and sent His final and last Messenger Muhammad (SallAllahu alayhi wa salam).
Recently an article was sent out from Dr. Yasir Qadhi titled, “On Salafi Islam“. This article directly attacks the correct methodology of Islam, causes confusion among naive Muslims and aides the enemies of the Sunnah. What’s more is this paper can and will possibly push people away from Salafi character and its beliefs. Therefore due to this imminent threat, I seek Allah’s support in highlighting the misconceptions, distortions and contaminated facts found in this piece of writing. This is the second discussion on the subject of Dr. Yasir Qadhi’s (May Allah rectify his affairs) paper.
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
- Dr Yasir Qadhi states:
1.1 Points of consensus among Salafī movements
There are some general characteristics that are present in all manifestations of Salafism, without exception. In particular:
Here Dr Yasir (May Allah pardon him) paves the way for the remaining part of his paper, by only mentioning a few points of consensus among Ahlus-Sunnah wa Jama’ah and not the foundations of the Salafi Dawah. He mentioned the points of consensus about Tawhid, Aqeedah, and the avoidance of innovations among the Salafi Dawah, while strategically avoiding the consensus of obedience towards the ruler, as will be discussed later on. –Insha Allah
It would have been better for Dr Yasir to mention the fundamentals of the Dawah by relying on books  which mention and define the points of consensus among the Salaf.
The Dawah of Ahlus Sunnah is built on 3 principles;
1: Sincerity in worship to Allah, which includes following the Prophet (sallAllahu alayhi wa salam)
2: Sticking the Jama’a of the Muslims by hearing and obeying the ruler in everything except disobedience to Allah
3: Warning from innovation and innovators.
The proof for these three principles of our dawah can be found from the Prophet’s (sallAllahu alayhi wa salam) words:
ثَلاَثٌ لاَ يُغِلُّ عَلَيْهِنَّ قَلْبُ مُؤْمِنٍ : إِخْلاَصُ الْعَمَلِ لِلَّهِ ، وَالنَّصِيحَةُ لِوُلاَةِ الْمُسْلِمِينَ ، وَلُزُومُ جَمَاعَتِهِمْ ، فَإِنَّ دَعْوَتَهُمْ ، تُحِيطُ مِنْ وَرَائِهِمْ.
“Due to three things hatred doesn’t enter the heart of a Muslim:Sincerity in deeds for Allah, giving Nasihah to the A’immah of Muslims, and sticking to the Jama’ah. For indeed the call is protected from behind them”
Shaykh Muhammad Adam Al-Ethiopi (may Allah preserve him) said
(Sincerity.) Means to do an act solely for Allah’s pleasure and His happiness, without seeking any worldly gain.
(Being sincere) means to have correct belief in Allah’s Lordship along with sincere intentions in worship.
(Sincerity towards the rulers of the Muslims) means to obey them in their rights, not revolt against them.
(Sincerity towards the rulers of the Muslims) To agree with them in belief and in righteous deeds such as prayer in congregation and Jumu’ah , etc.
The foundation of Salafi dawah comes from Ahadeeth like this similar in meaning. Nonetheless, you forgot to mention and up this point of our discussion there aren’t any verses, Ahadeeth or statements from scholars to support your claims!
- Dr. Yasir Qadhi at the end of this section says: they respect and take recourse to the legal and theological opinions of Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyya (d. 748/1328).
SubhanAllah! I ask you in all earnestness, is Ibn Taymiyya the only scholar referred to for recourse for legal and theological opinions? Aren’t the Quran and Sunnah and Ijma enough for recourse? One could easily understand from this speech my brother that the Salafi Muslims blindly follow Ibn Taymiyya in legal and theological opinions, and you know in reality; this isn’t a fact!
Allah orders us to take refer to the Quran, the Sunnah and the understanding of our salafi scholars. He says:
فَإِن تَنَازَعْتُمْ فِي شَيْءٍ فَرُدُّوهُ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَالرَّسُولِ إِن كُنتُمْ تُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الآخِرِ
And if you have a dispute concerning any matter, refer it to Allah and the messenger if you truly believe in Allah and the Last Day. [An-nisa’I 59]
فَاسْأَلُواْ أَهْلَ الذِّكْرِ إِن كُنتُمْ لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ
. “Ask the people of Dhikr [the Scholars] if you don’t know”[ An-Nahl :43]
Dr Yasir (May Allah show you mercy) had you said: “Salafi Muslims rely on the understanding of the Salaf to understand legal an theological opinions.”
I feel this would have been better and would have given a clear cut picture of this blessed Dawah, because the understanding of the salaf doesn’t restrict us to one particular Imam.
Imam Ahmed said: “Beware about speaking in an issue, which no Imam has preceded you in.”
- Dr Yasir Qadhi says :1.2 Points of contention among Salafīgroups
This sub-title is very misleading. There aren’t any Salafi groups. The Prophet (sallAllahu alayhi wa salam) defined the Salafi Muslims as those who cling to truth as one party not factions. What’s more, he warned about groups that split up resulting from misguided leaders.
He (sallAllahu alayhi wa salam) said:
إنما أخاف على أمتي الأئمة المضلين وقال رسول الله صلى الله عليه و سلم لا تزال طائفة من أمتي على الحق ظاهرين لا يضرهم من يخذلهم حتى يأتي أمر الله
The thing I fear the most for my Ummah is Misguided leaders.Then He(sallAllahu alayhi wa salam) said: There will always remain a group of people from my nation adhering to the truth and those who oppose them,won’t harm them until Allah decree passes
- Dr Yasir says: “While there is general agreement on the above, there are numerous issues in which disagreement abounds…
Let’s get something understood before we continue. The differences among the Salaf don’t exists in the 3 absolute fundamentals of the Salafy Dawah, which include theology, methodology and straying from the Jama’ah. There are some differences among our salaf in positions of Fiqh stemming from various grounds and reasons.
- Dr. Yasir says: Position with respect to the validity and necessity of following one of the jurisprudential schools (madhāhib):
The numerous Salafī strands hold conflicting positions with regard to the ruling on adhering to a particular madhhab, so much so that it has been a source of tension amongst them.
Which scholars hold this source of tension? It would be nice to review their arguments and their names.
Dr Yasir says: Impermissible: opposition to the canonization of the schools of law was historically a feature of the Ẓāhirīschool (of Ibn Ḥazm, d. 456H).
The Ẓāhirī School wasn’t started by Ibn Hazm. It was started by Dawud ibn Ali Al-Asbahani Az-Zahiri (270H)  who was initially a student of Imam Ash-Shafi’s (204H) school. Their differences weren’t about the permissibility or impermissibility to follow a jurisprudent school, but mainly in the issues relating to Qiyas.(reasoning/analogy).The Zahiri school is a Mathhab, so I find it quite a challenge for them to hold it impermissible to follow a Jurisprudence school!
Dr. Yasir says: anti-madhhab’ trend can be traced back to Muḥammad Ḥayāt al-Sindhī (d. 1163) who influenced al-Ṣanʿānī (d. 1182), al-Shawkānī (d. 1250), Ṣiddīq Ḥasan Khān (d. 1307), and, most recently, Nāṣir al-Dīn al-Albānī (d. 2000). All of these individuals were decidedly anti-madhhabist.
These Imams that you mentioned were against fanaticism and blind following any Imam other than the Prophet (sallAllahu alayhi wa salam).
Imam Ash-Shawkani said:
“Blind following is when the person doesn’t ask about the Quran, and Sunnah , but only asks about the Madhhab of his Imam.”
Maybe this statement of Ash-Shawkani misleads you to believe he was anti–Madhhabist. He clearly rejected blind following the Imam of the Madhhab.
Imam Ash-Shawkani said:
” If a person goes beyond only relying on his Madhhab and asks for proof from the Quran and Sunnah, then he isn’t a blind follower. In this situation he’s safe. Every person who blindly follows isn’t blameworthy, when it’s made certain he asked the scholars about the Quran and Sunnah.” 
Imam Mulla Ali Al-Qari Al-Hanafi said it best:”
” It’s not obligatory for anyone in this Ummah to be a Hanafi, Maliky , Shafa’I or Hanbali, but rather it’s a must for everyone who doesn’t know something to ask the people of Dhikr [the Scholars]. The four Imams are included as the people of Dhikr[ the scholars]. For that reason it’s said, who follows an alim meets Allah safely. The people are only obliged to follow Prophet Muhammad (sallAllahu alayhi wa salam) 
Dr Yasir Qadhi says: Dissociation from ahl al-bidʿa. Theoretically all Salafīs dissociate from religious innovations and those who adhere to and propagate them.
This is correct brother, and it’s obligatory as ordered from the Prophet (sallAllahu alayhi wa salam)
وَإِيَّاكُمْ وَالأُمُورَ الْمُحْدَثَاتِ ، فَإِنَّ كُلَّ بِدْعَةٍ ضَلاَلَةٌ.
“Beware of newly innovated matters. Every innovation is astray.“
Shaykh Abdul Muhsin Al-Abbadd: these words drive a Muslim to follow the Sunnah and steer him away from all kinds of innovations.
Dr. Yasir Qadhi says: However, the scope and method of how this dissociation is implemented at the practical level varies from group to group and from scholar to scholar.
This is totally incorrect. There is a brilliant book to add to your library titled:
” إجماع العلماء على الهجر والتحذير من أهل الأهواء : تأليف :خالد الظفيري
” The Consensus of the Scholars for boycotting and warning against the people of desires” written by Khalid Adh-Dhafiri
In this book the author mentioned over 30 Imams’ positions and guidelines for dealing with Ahl-al-bida’, all which are from a consensus of Ahlus Sunnah. And Allah knows best.
- Dr Yasir (May Allah guide him) adds “Those with the strictest stance on this issue inevitably cast a wide net of ‘guilt by association if person B associates with known deviant A, then person B is declared deviant. If person C then associates with deviant B, now he too becomes a deviant, ad infintum, ad nauseum. The unfortunate, though predictable, product of such disaffiliation and judgment is the precipitation of further division and splintering within this brand of the Salafī community.
The practices of the salaf illustrated in their books mention principles and guidelines for interacting with ahl-al-bid’a. This isn’t the discussion to mention such rules. However, you should begin with the Quran and the book mentioned above (May Allah grant you success)
Dr Yasir Qadhi says: This methodology is the defining group of the ‘Madkhalīs’
Allahu Musta’an! You avoided using the term Wahhabbi, but it’s easy for you say, “Madkhalis“.
Abu Hatim Muhammad ibn Idris Ar-Razi said: “A sign from the people of innovation is they throw insulting titles on the people of Sunnah.
Dear Doctor Qadhi, this narration serves as a dire warning against blackening the names of Sunni scholars with disgracing titles, names or descriptions.
Dr yasir says: (students of the Saudi Shaykh Rabīʿ bin Hādī al-Madkhalī), who legitimize this practice by considering it an extension of the science of al-Jarh wa’l-taʿdīl (the science of ‘ḥadīth criticism’ whereby Ḥadīth specialists deem narrators to be reliable or not)
The Prophet (sallAllahu alayhi wa salam) said:
إِيَّاكُمْ وَالظَّنَّ فَإِنَّ الظَّنَّ أَكْذَبُ الْحَدِيثِ
“Beware of suspicion; verily it’s the worst kind of speech.”
You consider the criticisms of Shaykh Rabee built on guilt association? Can you mention anyone he has criticized in that approach? Shaykh Rabee’ Al-Madkhali’s criticisms are based on knowledge and proof. In numerous questions and answers sessions he has explained the process of criticism and the manner of advice.
Question: A Salafi Muslim lives and works with a person who propagates innovation. Whenever he advises this brother, he doesn’t listen. Should he remain there with him?
Answer: It’s not permissible to sit with the people of innovation, live with them or be dependent on them. Allah says: And incline not toward those who do wrong, lest the Fire should touch you, and you have no protectors other than Allah, nor you would then be helped (Hud 113) If he is a layman or student of knowledge who loves the right path and desires advise, then he should be advised and taught. Conversely, if he’s a close friend to the person and cowering servant to him and disapproves of his errors in front of him at the same time, then this is a trial and refuge in Allah is sought. 
From this question it is plainly witnessed that the Shaykh doesn’t have the method of criticizing as you claim. The questioner clearly stated two things;
He lives and works with a person who propagates bid’ah. Wouldn’t you say living and working with a person of innovation is a form of association? Did Shaykh Rabee’ declare the questioner to be an innovator?
In any case and in all honesty, I must agree that there is a homogeneous group/society who use the science of Jarh wa Ta’dil in a heterodox method. They are notorious for connecting A to B then B to C from Face book pages, Twitter followings,e-mail lists,Cc and Bcc’ forwards ,and the likes. This group entices loyalists in its colonies by using Shaykh Rabee Al-Madhkhali’s name. To affiliate them to the Shaykh by connecting their method in opposite to his practice is sacrilege to the science of Jarh wa Ta’dil and to the Shaykh’s honor.
قَالَ يَا نُوحُ إِنَّهُ لَيْسَ مِنْ أَهْلِكَ إِنَّهُ عَمَلٌ غَيْرُ صَالِحٍ
He said: “O Nuh (Noah)! Surely, he is not of your family; verily, his work is unrighteous.[ Hud: 46]
Have you read part 1?
Dr. Yasir Qadhi’s paper is almost identical to this Wiki article. Pay close attention to the right side of the page.
سُبْحَانَكَ اللَّهُمَّ وَبِحَمْدِكَ ، أَشْهَدُ أَنْ لا إِلهَ إِلَّا أَنْتَ أَسْتَغْفِرُكَ وَأَتْوبُ إِلَيْكَ
 Books like the Quran, six books of Hadith, usul As-Sunnah by Imam Ahmed, sharhus Sunah from Al-Barbaharee, all of which are available in English all over the web.
 Foundations for the Prophetic Methodology , by Shayh Rslan,page 172(Cario, Adwaee Salaf, 1430H)
 Tirmithi 2658, ibn Majah (230) Shaykh Al-Albani graded it as being Sahih in his checking of Ibn Majah.
 Mushariqu Anwaril Wahajjah wa Mataal’As-rarul Bahajah fi Sharh Sunnan ibn Majah , by Muhammad Adam Al-Ethiopi , 1st edition, 1427H, (Riyadh Darul Mughani, Vol4375-377)
At- Tirmithi 2229 )) at-Tirmithi graded this hadeeth as being Hasan Sahih.
 Dawud ibn Ali Al-Asbahani(200-270H),Imam of Ahl Thaahir, He was a Faqeeh,and a narrator on many Hadith. He became preoccupied with the issue of Qiyas and as a result became lost many areas of Fiqh. Due to his following the apparent texts all of the time without comprehending the meaning he made heinous statements. Imam Ahmed criticized him for saying the words of the Quran are created.(Al-Bidiyah wa Nihiyah by Ibn Kathir)
 Al-Qawlul Mufeed fee Hukmil Taqleed 1st edition( found inside of Fathul Rabbani Vol5/ pg2169) , by Muhammad ibn Ali Ash-Shawakani(Sana’ : maktabatul Jeel , 1423H/2002)
 He is Ali ibn Muhammad Sultan , known as Al-Qari because of his recitations of Quran. He authored numerous books, the most famous are Sharh An-Nukhbau, Sharh ala Al-Mishkah. He resided and died in Makkah 1014H.
 ’Muhammad Sultan Al-Khajnadi (1380H), Must the Muslim follow a particular madhhab among the four, page 77, 1st edition (Ad-Dammam:, Dar Ibn Al-Qayyim, 1422H/2001)
 Sunnan Abu Dawud #4607, Sunnan Ibn Majah # 42 graded as being Sahih by Shaykh Al-Albani in his checking on Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah.
 Shaykh Abdul Muhsin Al-Abbadd’s explanation of Sunnan Abu Dawud, courtesy of Maktabahtus Shaamalah.
 Printed by Maktabah Al-Asala in Saudi, telephone: 6873384
 : Al-Lalaka’ee , Sharh usul It’qad Ahlis Sunnati wal Jama’ vo1 1,page 200, 5th edition (Riyadh, Darun Taybah 1418h) checked by Dr. Ahmed ibn Sa’d Al-Ghamadi.
 Sahih Muslim# 6701
 At-Tharee’atu ila bayan Maqsidi kitabis Shari’ah , by Shaykh Rabee Madkhali,1st edition vol1,page 250(Algeria: Mirath An-Nabawi 1434H)