Never Judge a Book by Its Cover.
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Al-Alamah Ash-Sheikh Muhammad Ibn Ibrahim Al Asheikh narrated that Sheikh Abdur Rahman Al-Bakri from Najd opened up a center in Oman for teaching Tawheed. He did this from his own wealth and sometimes he would travel between Oman and India for lengthy periods of time teaching.
One day he was outside a masjid in India where a teacher used to curse and slander Shiekh Muhammad ibn Abdil Wahhab. After the teacher exited the masjid he met with Shiekh Abdur Rahman Al-Bakri and told him that he knew Arabic, but he’d like for Sheikh Abdur Rahman to listen to him.
This teacher’s concern was the Arabic words he used in his classes, so Sheikh Abdur Rahman went home and removed the cover off of Kitab At-Tawheed and placed it on the shelf before the guy arrived. Before they started the Imam asked if it was okay to eat some watermelon first,so then afterwards they returned back ,and he read Kitab At-Tawheed and while he was reading he was nodding his head and asked ” who wrote this book?, it resembles the chapters in Sahih Al-Bukhari, by Allah it’s just like it!”
Sheikh Abdur Rahman said: “I don’t know.” So the Indian Imam said:”let’s go to Shiekh Al-Ghazuwi and ask him.” Sheikh Al-Ghazuwi had a large library.
We entered Al-Ghazuwi’s library and I told him I had some pages from book and needed to check them out, so Al-Ghazuwi said: who’s the author?” I replied I don’t know.” right away he knew what I was doing, so he said bring the collection of Tawheed. Thus, after comparing them together he said this book is by Muhammad ibn Abdil wahhab. Next the Indian Imam shouted: Kafir, then he they grew silent and calmed down and said if this is his book, we’ve oppressed him. After this the teacher and his students all together began making dua for Shiekh Muhammad ibn Abdil Wahhab after their classes in India.
Lessons we can learn from this story
- The status quo isn’t always right
- It’s not always safe to take a position against a person until you know their speech, act and beliefs for yourself.
- Reading things for yourself is very important.
- The people we wrong we should make dua for them.
- Sometimes its better to give people information without letting them know the author,so they can accept it. if they know the author before reading they might not read it.
- The people of the truth will always follow the Salaf. Sheikh Muhammad ibn Abdil Wahhab never met Imam Al-Bukhari, but their literary style and use of evidences are the same.
- The caller must be patient when he hears attacks against the Salaf. Shaykh Abdur Rahman didn’t write that Indian Imam off,but took an opportunity to educate him.
- A teacher can be ignorant of another, and force his students to follow his view and thus they all fall into slander and errors- they used to all curse Sheikh Muhammad ibn Abdil Wahhab.
- The caller must use wisdom in conveying Quran and Sunnah. Sheikh Abdur Rahman removed the cover off the book. Allahu Akbar!!
- People will always believe the negative things they hear about a person first,before checking for themselves.
- When we find out we have erred we must hasten to repent.
- We must read to verify reports sometimes
- The Wahhabi rumors and scare tactics are nothing more than an attack on the Quran and the Sunnah.
- Do you think the Indian Imam would have read the book had he known the author ?
- What happened when he didn’t know the author and found out the author’s minhaj was similar to Al-Bukhari?
Fatawa Ash-Sheikh Muhammad Ibn Ibrahim(vol1/79)
prepared by Abu Aaliyah Abdullah ibn Dwight Lamont Battle
Doha, Qatar ,1438H
Academic/Khateeb in Qatar.