The Khawarij are the Murji’ah

The Khawarij are the Murji’ah
Author: Abdul Malik Ahmad Ibn al-Mubarak ar-Ramadani
Source: Madarik un-Nadhr (with additions. trans Abu Iyaad)
Article ID : GSC020001  [27229]

The reason which has led to me to include this chapter [within the book] is that I have observed many of these biased [partisans] accusing Shaikh Ibn Baz, Shaikh al-Albani, and Shaikh Ibn‘Uthaimin of Irja’. The reason for this accusation is that these shaikhs have explained the meaning of the verse ‘and whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed…’ in the detailed manner that is well known to the Salaf, and because they do not perform takfir in an unrestricted absolute manner[1]. And also because they prohibit rebellion against the oppressive rulers amongst the Muslims. And even if they were to see clear and manifest kufr (disbelief) they would still prohibit it if the ability to do so did not exist and any Shari’ah benefit could not be realised.

Therefore I say:

ONE: The saying or the ruling of coming out against the rulers in rebellion is in actual fact the madhhab (methodology) of the Murji’ah, for Ibn Shahin has narrated from [Sufyan] ath-Thawree that he said, “The Murji’ah hold it permissible to use the sword against the people of the Qiblah (muslims in general).” [2]

He also reports that it was said to Ibn al-Mubarak, “Do you hold the view of Irja’?” He replied, “How can I be a Murji’ when I do not hold it permissible to come out with the sword (against the Muslims).” [3]

Further, as-Sabuni (d.449) narrates with an authentic chain of narration going back to Ahmad bin Sa’id ar-Ribati that he said, “’Abdullah bin Tahir said to me, ‘O Ahmad, certainly, you (people) have hatred of those (meaning the Murji’ah) based on ignorance, and I have hatred of them based upon knowledge. Firstly, they do not believe that obedience is due to the ruler…’”. [4]

I say: Do not these texts prove clearly that they (i.e. Safar al-Hawali, Salman al-Awdah, Ali bin Haj, etc.) are the Murji’ah in truth and that our Scholars previously mentioned are free from that!

An important observation: And the strange matter is that Safar al-Hawali does not understand this clear connection between the Murji’ah and the Khawarij. He said, “As has been reported from Imam Ahmad a statement whose meaning is difficult to understand and this is his statement: ‘Verily the Khawarij, they are the Murji’ah’”.! And then he comes with a blow that is unbearable, he says, “Explaining this statement to refer to the Irja’ of the Companions is possible”!!![5]

I say: If he had followed up the previous narrations he would have known that it is not difficult to understand the connection between the Murji’ah and the Khawarij in rebelling against the leaders.

And there should be no surprise for that matter that Irja’ should appear and spread shortly after rebellion. Qatadah said, “[The innovation of] Irja occurred after the trial of Ibn al-‘Ash’at (one of the proponents of the Khawarij)”. [6]

Other evidences to show that these people are upon (the innovated belief of Irja’) include:

TWO: That they do not except themselves from having perfect iman and what follows on from that – even if one of them explicitly states that he is following the methodology of the Salaf. Do you not observe that they say, “the Shahid Hassan al-Banna…” and “the Shahid Sayyid Qutb”? And if it was said to them, “If describing them as Shahid was something obligatory within the movement, something they could not avoid saying, then the least they should do is to add “Insha’allah (if Allah wills)”.

Al-Bukhari has included in the Book of Jihad within his Sahih a chapter in which he said, “Chapter: It is not to be said that so and so is a shahid” and he mentioned the various proofs for that. And this has been requested from continuously and repeatedly but they become haughty and disdainful, saying instead, “You belittle and jihad and ridicule the information and news pertaining to the worldly matters!!”

I also say concerning this refusal to make except oneself (or others from having perfecting iman or from having been guaranteed Paradise etc.) that ‘Abdur-Rahman bin Mahdi – may Allah have mercy upon him – said, “The basis of Irja’ is to not except oneself (or others from having perfect iman or from being guaranteed Paradise etc.)” [7]

THREE: Going back to the original discussion (in this treatise) I say: The angle and direction that the very first Murji’ah came from was their great veneration of iman and their belittlement of sin and disobedience (i.e. that they do not affect a persons iman) and they considered it unlikely or an exaggeration that a person’s iman could be destroyed by sins. Therefore, they stated, “No sin can harm in the presence of iman”! It was from this that there misguidance occurred.

As for these people of today, then their angle and direction is to venerate politics such that everyone who is with them in their movement then he is a person of loyalty. And if a person has understanding of the movement [its aims and means etc.] then no sin can affect a person, even if it is committing shirk with the Lord of all the worlds!!! Do you not see how their chiefs and main organisers fall into the greatest of sins and yet they do not move on account of shame (for the religion). Their shame is only for their party and their movement!! Do you not see how they become alarmed and shocked if Shaikh ‘Abdul-‘Aziz bin Baz and Shaikh al-Albani both say that going into a bloody battle with the Jews should be abandoned and instead attention should be given to strengthening the Muslims first [before engaging in a battle in which they would get slaughtered without any doubt]. And this is a fatwa from true and real mujtahidoon (i.e. those qualified to give verdicts on such affairs).

However, when one of their movement leaders makes a mistake, then it is an obligation within their movement to lower the eyes and not to notice it, regardless of how hideous and disgraceful it might be.

And how frequently do they give rulings regarding the shedding of blood and the taking of property and then proceed to shed it in vain. If they had actually reached the level of being students of knowledge, then this would be the best that could be thought of them.

Take this Ali bin Haj (Algeria) for example, he gives a verdict for the killing of thousands of Muslims and the expulsion of those that remain and also for the disturbance and frightening of secure townships (which are safe and sound). And likewise whatever he says in praise and commendation of democracy and other such things that we have just quoted from him. So along with all of this no one criticises him, in their view, except a (government) agent!!

And before him, Sayyid Qutb reviled and rebuked some of the Prophets of Allah the Most High, and also censured some of the Companions who had been guaranteed Paradise. He also considers that the shari’ah politics are embodied in Socialism. There are many other things which have been explained in detail by Shaikh Rabi’ al-Madkhali in his most recent books, and Shaikh al-Albani said about him, “Verily, the carrier of the flag of the science of criticism and appraisal today, in this era is our brother, Dr. Rabi’ and those who refute him do not refute him upon the basis of knowledge ever, and the knowledge is actually with him…”. So this is a testimony for Shaikh Rabi’ from a specialist in the field itself![8]

Then comes along this Turabi with his claim of this so called Islamic State in Sudan and who organises conferences in order to unite all the religions, and in order to commend and praise the religion of the grave worshippers and also in order to erect a very large number of churches, which were not be found even in the secularist state before his time. [And who calls for free mixing between men and women in society, and seeks to repel and remove the prescribed punishments of the Shari’ah (hudud)].

And then there is the ease that they (the political activists) give to the Afghanis, such that they do not change anything from the religion of the grave worshippers and heresies. Rather, they fight against the People of Tawhid in defence of the Taaghoots (of these grave worshippers etc.)! And their plot and conspiracy against the leadership of Kunar al-Islaamiyyah is not distant in our memories!! And this town was the only in Afghanistan that was established upon Tawhid, and in which prayer was established in the best of manners and the hudood likewise. And there was no other town known for waging a war against intoxicants like this one. But then the state of the Ikhwan ul-Muslimoon came along, and it but left them enraged and mad, until they waged war against it and assassinated its amir, the Salafi Shaikh, Jameel ur-Rahmaan – may Allaah have mercy upon him. So they combined the greatest of sins absolutely, Shirk and the killing of a soul without due right.

So there is all of this and much more and yet it does not harm their faith! And it does not cause their leadership to be lost! But rather, woe to the one who even thinks about criticising them, since he is reviling the corroborators of jihad. In fact, they have raised high their hopes – alongside these disgraces and innovations that reach the level of kufr – that the Islamic State that should be aspired to is the on that is in Afghanistan and Sudan!! As occurs in the cassette of Salman al-Awdah, “Why do they fear Islam”. Yet the affair is not like that as Allaah the Most High has said:

It will not be in accordance with your desires (Muslims), nor those of the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians). Whosoever works evil, will have the recompense thereof, and he will not find any protector or helper besides Allâh. An-Nisa – 4:123

It is for this reason that some of the People of Knowledge have considered them to be amongst the Extreme Murji’ah, because the Murji’ah venerated Eemaan, and it is a pillar of the religion. But as for these, then they venerate a part of the many parts of the religion, which is Politics, alongside their knowledge that their form of politics is not exempt from being mixed with Socialism and Democracy. This is well known to whoever has come across the books of Sayyid Qutb and others similar to him. Rather, say in short, “This is the fiqh of the innovated [modernist] movement”. The Murji’ah did not negate the harm caused to a person of faith due to shirk that he commits, they acknowledged that alongside kufr, no good deed can benefit. But as for these [contemporaries], then they intercede for the scholars, even if they spoke with clear and manifest kufr!!!

FOUR: This issue is followed by another issue in relation to the Murj’iah and that is their absence of clarifying the Sunnah to the people, and their abandonment of refuting the Innovators. Ibn Taymiyyah – may Allaah have mercy upon him – said, after speaking about the people of takfir:

“And in the face of those who perform takfir in falsehood are a people who do not know the aqidah of Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah as it truly should be known, or they know some of it but are ignorant of some of it. Yet whatever they do know of it, they do not always explain it to the people but conceal it[9]. And they do not forbid the innovations that oppose the Book and the Sunnah[10], nor do they rebuke the People of Innovations and neither do they punish them[11]. In fact, they may even criticise absolutely any talk of the Sunnah and the fundamental principles of the religion [i.e. Tawhid etc.][12]. Or they may accommodate everyone, with all their varying madhhabs[13]… This approach has overcome many of the Murji’ah, some of the Jurists, Sufis and Philosophers. And both of these two approaches (i.e. that of the Takfiris and the Murji’ah and those with them) are deviant, and outside the [confines of the] Book and the Sunnah.” [14]

And no two people will differ with each other that this is one of the greatest of foundations that the religion of the political activists revolves around. And is there anyone to reject their [well known] principle, “Let us excuse each other in that which we differ and let us work together in that which we agree upon”!! And I have explained in a previous footnote – from the words of Hasan al-Banna – that they actually mean every type of difference, i.e. absolutely! They say this because if they began to reject and refute the People of Innovation, they would lose many of their followers, those whom they extend further in their misguidance.

But then they do not just limit this to the People of Innovation, rather they extend it to the People of Kufr. It has already preceded in the words of the Ikhwan ul-Muslimeen their satisfaction with being in brotherhood with the Christians, in fact even requesting this from the Christians, as I have quoted from the words of Hasan al-Banna and Qardawi who states that there is no dispute concerning the religion between us and the Jews!! Then what after this!!? [15]

So these are four principles in which they agree with the Murji’ah. So who amongst the people are more worthy of being described with Irja’?! Is not this saying true concerning them:


[1] And to give some illustrations of the methodology of the Khawarij in the words of the modern day political activists and reformers:

Sayyid Qutb, the mentor and leader of the neo-Kharijites, whose writings and works are the spring and fountain of today’s political activists said (Zilal 2/1057): “And mankind has apostatised [by turning] to the worship of the servants [of Allaah] and to the oppression of the religions. And they have turned away from ‘Laa ilaaha illallaaha’ (the declaration) – even if a small party from them remain repeating ‘Laa ilaaha illallaah’ upon the minarets without actually understanding its meaning and intending its meaning, yet he repeats it without rejecting the legislative Hakimiyah that the servants have claimed for themselves“.

And he says further “Except that mankind has returned to the Jahiliyyah (of the first times) and it has apostatised from ‘Laa ilaaha illallaaha’, having given to those servants the specific characteristics of Uluhiyyah and has not considered the Tawhid of Allaah and has not given exclusive loyalty to Him

And then he follows this with, “The whole of mankind, including those who repeat from the minarets, in the eastern and western parts of the world, the words ‘Laa ilaaha illallaaha’, without any [consideration of] meaning or reality, then they are the most sinful of people and will be the most severely punished on the day of Judgement because they have apostatised by turning to the worship of the servants (of Allaah).”!!???

And how strange it is and how baffling it is that the Qutubiyyah, Surooriyyah, Khawarij of the Era, do not shudder at the fact that the application of their own principles would render their mentor and leader Sayyid Qutb an apostate!!! Do they not see that he has mocked and reviled the Kaleem of Allaah, Musa (alaihis salaam) as well as the most notable of the Companions of Allaah. He describes Musa (alaihis salaam) as ” excitable, impetuous, highly strung and temperamental” (Tasweer al-Fannee p.154) and he says further, “Lets leave him at this point (of history) and return to him at a later stage of his life, after ten years, and perhaps he has calmed down and has is now composed and at ease with himself” and he continues, “Then lets leave him for a while so that we can see what the passing of time has done to this highly strung youth”!!!.

And do they not see that Shaikh Bin Baaz – rahimahullaah – upon hearing the words of Sayyid Qutb being read out to him stated, that “Mockery of the Prophets is apostasy on its own”. [During a lesson of Shaikh ‘Abdul – ‘Azeez ibn Baaz – hafizahullaah – in his house in Rayaad: 1413H, ‘Minhaajus-Sunnah tapes of ar-Rayaad]. So will these newly-arisen foolish minded ones proclaim with the might of their tongues that Sayyid Qutb apostatised by these words of his??!!

Hence, they are the Murji’ah in truth since innovations and calamities such as those of Qutb, Mawdudi, Turabi and others do not harm faith in the view of these activists.

Salman Awdah said in his cassette, “Jalsah ala ar-Rasif” about the singer who openly commits fisq, “Allaah will not forgive him! Unless he repents, because the Prophet (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) ruled that he will not be forgiven [saying] ‘All of my Ummah will be forgiven’ …! This is because they are apostates [murtaddoon] due to this act of theirs!![*]… This is apostasy from Islam!! This one will abide eternally in the fire – and refuge is with Allaah -, unless he repents!! Why? This is because they do not believe in the saying of Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic, “And do not come near to zina (fornication or adultery), verily it is an obscenity and an evil way indeed” Allaah is watchful over you! The one who acknowledges that zina is unlawful and an obscenity and which angers Allaah, would he then boast (about his sin) in front of the people?! In front of millions, or many thousands of people?! … A believer would never do this!…”

[*] The manhaj of the Khawarij, pure and clear. Awdah does not even leave room for himself to manoeuvre out of this, his words being clear, that such people are apostates on account of a sin alone.

Aa’id al-Qarnee said, on p.335 of ‘al-Misk wal-‘Anbar’, “And this – meaning intoxicants – are the greatest of those things by which Allaah is disobeyed upon His earth!!“??[**]

[**] And is this greater than the greatest of calamities of Turabi? And the government of Sudan, which in the view of these foolish-minded newcomers is the model of an Islamic State??!! Is it greater than the kufr, shirk and bid’ah to be found in this so called Islamic State?? Is it greater than the shirk of the grave worshippers of Afghanistan?!

And Safar al-Hawali said at the end of the first side and the beginning of the second side of his cassette, ‘Duroos ut-Tahawiyyah (2/272), “This metropolitan is like a hotel in one of the Gulf States, Dubai…In this hotel – there is one who says, openly proclaiming – there are drinks in this hotel, which they call spiritual drinks, meaning that khumoor (various types of intoxicants) are presented in relation to what is available (in the hotel) of amusements and videos etc. – So this is an open and clear call – and all the people present are happy with this – that contain images that establish that they… – and refuge is from Allaah – have mixed dancing and nakedness along with the consumption of khamr (intoxicants). We seek refuge in Allaah from this kufr, because declaring what Allaah the Blessed and Exalted has made unlawful to be lawful (istihlaal) is without doubt, clear and open kufr!!!

I say: Reflect carefully! He has already presented this image of open sinfulness and then he called the reason or motive behind it “istihlaal”. And then built upon this he quickly moved onto the ruling of takfir, a ruling in which he leaves no room for interpreting this action as “the lesser kufr” (kufr doona kufr), saying, “[it is] clear and open kufr (kufr sareeh). And the great mistake and blunder of these people concerning the issue of “istihlaal” is what has made them graze in the madhhab of the Khawarij. And if this is not so, then what is the difference between this sin and others. And is it impossible to find a sinful person in the earth who does not invite his associate or friend to partake in his sinfulness?! It certainly does grieve us that this is the explanation of Aqidatut-Tahawiyyah!

And we see that Aa’id al-Qarni’s methodology is the same when he made some recantations from some of his serious blunders stating, “Fourteen: I had said in a cassette, ‘Whoever makes it obligatory upon the people that he should be an Ikhwani or a Salafi or a Tablighi or a Sururi, then his repentance should be sought. Either he repents or he is to be killed.’ This is an error that emanated from me and I seek Allaah’s forgiveness from it. What I meant was that whoever did that, then he has legislated (into the religion). However, it is an error regardless and I pardon myself from it. I believe that the madhhab of the Salaf is the correct madhhab and it is the one that is obligatory for the people to follow, to be guided by it and to traverse its path.” [refer to al-Ajwibah al-Mufidah of Jamal bin Harith]. So will al-Qarnee then apply his principle to the many thousands if not hundreds of thousands of partisans who have made it obligatory to be a Hanafi, or a Maliki, or a Shafi’i? And who have declared it haram to choose from each of the madhhabs. Will he rule that every single one of them has legislated into the religion and has such has become an apostate and renegade? May Allaah kill this unlicensed desire and ignorance!!

And Shaikh al-Albani was asked concerning the book, “Dhahiratul-Irjaa fil-Fikr al-Islami” of Safar al-Hawali, and in this book takfir is performed on account of certain sins! He replied, “I gave my viewpoint on a matter about thirty or so years ago when I used to be in the [Isamic] University (of Madinah) and I was asked in a gathering about my opinion on Jamaa’at ut-Tabligh. So I said on that day, ‘They are the Sufis of this era’. And now it has occurred to me that I should say about this Jamaa’ah who have emerged in the present times and who have opposed the Salaf, I say here, in accordance with the statement of al-Hafidh adh-Dhahabi: They have opposed the Salaf in much of the issues of manhaj, and it is befitting that I label them the Khawarij of the era. And this resembles their emergence at the current time – in which we read their statements – because they, in reality, their words take the direction and objective of that of the Khawarij in performing takfir of the one who commits major sins. And perhaps I should say, this is either due to ignorance on their behalf or due to devised plot!! And I say this in light of [the statement of Allaah], “Let not the hatred of a people make you depart from justice. Be just and fair and that is closer to taqaa”. I do not know whether they say that every major sin takes one outside the fold of Islaam! However, they always revolve around certain major sins but remain silent or just pass by other major sins! And for this reason I do not see that we should make this label absolute, and that we should say, ‘They are Khawarj’, except from certain aspects. And this is the justice that we have been ordered to abide by…” [The Cassette:The Surooriyyah are the Khawarij of the Era, end of the first side].

[2] Laalikaa’ee in Usul ul-I’tiqad [no.1834]

[3]Al-Kitab ul-Latif [no. 17]

[4] Aqidat us-Salaf wa Ashabul-Hadith [109]

[5] Dhahirat ul-Irjaa (1/361)

[6] Reported by Abdullah bin Ahmad in as-Sunnah (644), al-Khallaal in as-Sunnah (1230), Ibn al-A’rabi in his Mu’jam (714), Abul-Qasim al-Baghawi in al-Ja’diyat (1061), Ibn Battah in al-Ibanah (1235), al-Lalikaa’ee in Usul ul-I’tiqad (1841) and it is Hasan.

[7] Reported by al-Khallaal in as-Sunnah (1061), al-Aajurree in ash-Sharee’ah (p.139) and others. Something similar is also reported by Ibn Shahin in al-Kitab al-Latif (16) and al-Lalikaa’ee in Usul ul-I’tiqad (1835). The apparent disconnection in the chain of its Athar does not do it any damage since something similar to it has come with a connected and saheeh chain in Tahdhib ul-Aathar of at-Tabari (1519) and something similar has also been mentioned from Sufyan. Refer to al-Hilyah of Abu Nu’aym (7/33) and al-Abaateel of Jawzjaani (42).

[8] The cassette “Manhaj al-Muwaazanaat” by Tasjeelaat at-Tayyibah of Medinah an-Nabawiyyah.

[9] Just like some from the Ikhwan ul-Muslimeen who were nurtured upon Salafiyyah but their hizbiyyah prevents them from clarifying and explaining the Salafi aqidah and which orders them with partisanship to a particular madhhab and which also prevents them from showing the people from looking at what is in the other madhhabs of the Sunnah. This is because this would cause a split in the ranks according to their philosophy!

[10] Refer to the words of Hasan al-Banna in Mudhakkiraat ad-Da’wah wad-Daa’iyah (p.64-65) concerning the necessity of remaining silent about the well known differences in the issues of aqidah such as the gatherings of the various Sufi orders, tawassul through the righteous, and making supplications through the dead! And he says at the end of it, “And the Muslims have differed over these matters for hundreds of years, and they will never cease to differ. And Allaah, the Blessed and Most High is pleased with love (amongst ourselves) and unity.”!!

[11] Such as the Ikhwan who say, “We criticise the innovation but we do not rebuke the one who commits it (or brings it)! And we dislike the innovation, but we do not hate its doer!!”

[12] Such as the Ikhwan who say, “Speaking about the Sunnah is trivial. And speaking about the Names of Allaah and His Attributes is [but] philosophy and it is a waste of time”!!

[13] Such as the Ikhwan, for you will “Consider them to be united, yet their hearts are dispersed, separated” since amongst them are the Sufis with all their different tariqahs, the Ash’ari, the Maturidi, the Rafidi, the Jahmi and the Mu’tazili.

[14] Majmu’ ul-Fatawa (16/427) and refer to Bada’i ut-Tafsir of Ibn al-Qayyim (5/548)

[15] As for Ikhwan ul-Mufliseen, then they stated in al-Mujtama’ (dated 30th Dhil Qa’dah 1415), “Our position with respect to our brothers, the Christians in Egypt and the Arab world is clear and one that is quite old and well known: What is due to them is what is due to us and what is binding upon them is what is binding upon us. They are our partners in this land. In our long struggle in this land, they are our brethren and they have every right in the land, both the material and the spiritual, religious or political… and whoever states anything other than this then we are free of him and of what he says”!!!

And they also made the Islamic Shura council as a sister to the democracy of the Kuffar, saying, “And when Shura has its own special meaning in the view of Islam, then it is in essence equivalent to the rules of democracy (nidham al-demoqratee)”.

And this declaration of theirs also contains a request to the government to abide by the secular laws, not the Shari’ah. They said, “With the persistence of the Ikhwaan in requesting the government that it should not face harshness with harshness, and that it should adhere to the secular rules and judgements (akham al-qanoon wal-qadaa).”

Rather, they are satisfied and pleased with this for themselves as they stated further, “However they (the Ikhwan), continued and persisted in their adherence to the secular constitution and laws (ahkam ad-dustoor wal-qanoon)….”

And they did not say this out of taqiyah (dissimulation), but rather out of satisfaction, as they themselves have witnessed against their own souls stating further, “And the [underlying] issue in all of this, is not political and nor a manoeuvre, but it is an issue of religion and creed (din wa aqidah), and upon which the Ikhwan will meet their Lord, “The day that wealth and sons shall not benefit. Except he who comes with a sound and pure heart”

And then there is the statement of Hasan al-Banna, “And I affirm here that our dispute with the Jews is not one concerning the religion because the Quran has encouraged us to befriend them and be cordial with them. And Islam is Shari’ah for humankind before it is a Shari’ah for a specific group of people. And it has praised them (the Jews) and has placed agreement between us and them, “And do not dispute with the People of the Book except by that which is best”. And when the Noble Quran touches upon the issue of the Jews it does so from an economic and legal point of view…”!!! [Ikhwan ul-Musilmoon, Ahdaath Sana’at Tarikh (1/409-410)]

And Qaradawi says, in addition to enormity of al-Banna, “We do not fight the Jews for the sake of aqidah (i.e. religion)!! We are fighting against them for the sake of land!! We do not fight them because they are Kuffar!! We fight them because they have occupied our land and have taken it without due right” [Ar-Raayah, 4696 Wednesday, 24th Sha’ban 1415]