A Salafi is not to be confused with Salafussoleh (السلف الصلح). They are not synonymous and the name label is not interchangeable. The Salafussoleh (the pious/virtuous/righteous predecessors) are the Sahabah (الصحابه), Tabi’in (التابعين) and Tabi’ al Tabi’in (تابع التابعين).
خَيْرُ النَّاسِ قَرْنِي ثُمَّ الَّذِينَ يَلُونَهُمْ ثُمَّ الَّذِينَ يَلُونَهُمْ
“The best people are those of my generation, then those who come after them, then those who come after them”
(Sahih Bukhari, Sahih Muslim)
Imam Hanafi (born 80H) Imam Malik (93H), Imam Shafie (150H), Imam Ahmad Hanbali (164H) — imams of the Four Mazhabs — and Imam Ash’ari (240H) were of those generations (the Salafussoleh).
Ibn Taymiyya (born 661H), Nasiruddin Al-Albani (1033H), Muhammad Abd Wahhab ((1115H), Ibn Baz (1330H) and Ustaimin (1928AD) were NOT among the Salafussoleh but yet they are the Wahabi-Salafi’s primary references.
Salafis claim to follow the Salafussoleh but it’s just their claim. A certain bisexual Malaysian politician also claims to be like Nelson Mandela. A Salafi claims to follow the Salafussoleh as much as a Quranist (the deviant anti-hadith sect) claims to follow the Quran.
All three lofty claims (by Salafi, the bisexual Malaysian politician and Quranists) are far from the truth. Indeed someone who is jahil murakkab will easily make mistakes and contradict the Quran and himself as Dr Bilal Philips has done in this video.
Dr Bilal Philips is a Salafi. He has openly declared this. At least he is honest about it. Whereas almost all Wahabis/Salafis in Malaysia refuse to be called Wahabi/Salafi. (Note: Wahabi, Salafi, Wahabi-Salafi are used interchangeably — they are essentially the same).
Dr Maza and Dr Zulkifli al-Bakri are admirers of Dr Bilal Philips. They take as their primary references Ibn Taymiyya (661H), Nasiruddin Al-Albani (1033H), Muhammad Abd Wahhab (1115H), Ibn Baz (1330H) and Ustaimin (1928AD), who were not among the Salafussoleh. Just saying.
This 15-minute video exposes the Salafi’s defective learning methodology or rather the lack of one. It also shows that the Salafi’s aqidah is not the same as of the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaah, who do follow the Salafussoleh.
Salafis (a.k.a. Wahabis) are fond of criticising and mocking fellow Muslims for following a Mazhab. They want to give us a false impression that Mazhabs are only for blind adherents who are not capable of rational thought and void of an investigative mind.
On the contrary, it is precisely because we think rationally and logically that we take our knowledge from a Mazhab and its scholars instead of from people who pretend to know more than the Mujtahid Imams and the Mazhab scholars (imam bermazhab). As narrated in the video:
“Isnad is part of religion and if it was not for isnad, then anyone could say whatever he pleases” — ‘Abdullah ibn al-Mubarak (118H-181H)
This applies to all branches of Islamic science — hadith, usuluddin, usul al-fiqh, fiqh, inheritance law, spiritual purification etc.
However, as narrated in the video, Dr Bilal Philips and the Salafis have found a short-cut to skip over the chain of authority (isnad). Well, Dr Bilal Philips is indeed a product of that short-cut.
Salafis overrate their own opinion.
“What earth would give me place to live and what sky would shade me if I should speak about the Qur’an with my opinion or by something I do not know.” (Abu Bakr r.a.)
“Beware of using your opinion in religious matters.” (Umar al-Khattab r.a.)
“Whoever wants not to be kept waiting at Sirat as much as a blink of an eye, let him not say anything about Allah’s religion out of his own opinion.” (Imam al-Qurtubi)
Salafis also accuse muslims of committing shirik when we seek the Prophet’s (saw) intercession (tawassul). Their logic is that the Prophet “is dead” and that we can only seek help directly or solely from Allah. (By the way, the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaah do know that it Allah who answers our doa).
We also, of course know that the Prophet (saw) is no longer with us in body but Salafis are gravely mistaken if they think that the Prophet (saw) is totally cut off from us.
Dr Bilal Philips emphatically says “The Prophet is dead” despite the Quran saying:
“And do NOT call those who are slain in the way of Allah ‘dead’. Nay, they are living, only you do not perceive it” (Al-Baqarah 2:154).
If Allah has told us to not call those who are slain in the way of Allah ‘dead’ then what more the Prophet (saw)?
Indeed how did Nabi Musa (as) meet Nabi Muhammad (saw) during Isra Mi’raj if Nabi Musa (as) was absolutely ‘dead’? Let’s not forget what else the Prophet (saw) also said:
“The Prophets are alive in their graves, praying to their Lord”
“(The night I was enraptured to my Lord) I saw Musa standing in prayer in his grave”
“No one greets me except Allah has returned my soul to me so that I can return his salam”
“My life is a great good for you, you will relate about me and it will be related to you, and my death is a great good for you, your actions will be presented to me (in my grave) and if I see goodness I will praise Allah, and if I see other than that I will ask for forgiveness of him (for you)”
“Whoever invokes blessings on me at my grave, I hear him, and whoever invokes blessings on me from afar, I am informed about it”.
“Whoever visits my grave, it becomes incumbent upon me to intercede for him”.
These Salafis just don’t get it hence deviating in creed and doctrine (namely aqidah) from that of the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaah and likewise the Salafussoleh.
Dr Bilal Philips also shows his total misunderstanding of the lesson to take from the story of Nabi Musa’s (as) encounter with Nabi Khidr (as).
Bilal Philips first falsely claims that we (adherents of a Mazhab and students of qualified ASWJ teachers) use it to justify obedience to guru2 bersanad without questioning them. Then after claiming that we are mistaken, he proceeds to confidently give his personal interpretation: “The correct analysis is that behind calamities is good”.
Whereas in actual fact the Prophet (saw) had said: “We wished that Moses remained patient so that Allah would have told us more about their story”.
The word ‘patience‘ (sabr) is indeed mentioned seven times in the story whereby Nabi Khidr (as) keeps reminding Nabi Musa (as), “You’re not going to be patient”. Nabi Khidr (as) also finally said: “This is the parting between you and me, and I shall tell you the explanation of those things on which you could not remain patient” (Al-Kahf 18:78).
Bilal Philips instead forms his own ignorant and false opinion that “the correct analysis” or the moral of the story is that we should not follow a mazhab.
Bilal Philips also contradicts himself and the Quran by stating an Islamic ruling and then violates the rule a few seconds later. The Islamic ruling he violated was:
“Do not invent similitudes for Allah” (An-Nahl 16:74)
“There is nothing whatever like unto him” (As-Shura 42:11).
Instead he incredibly goes ahead to compare Allah to a painter (What???) and then goes further to reveal his twisted aqidah by saying that Allah is “in the same place.” (@12:40 of the video).
Whereas Allah exists without a place or direction. Aqidah Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaah adalah Allah wujud tanpa tempat dan arah.
The video narrater then says “Bilal Philips is unable to understand the very words that he is uttering. And he wants to explain to us his understanding of the Quran and Sunnah?” (@14:32 of the video).
The video narrater further says, “And since the Salafis often contradict the Four Mazhabs, that just goes to prove they haven’t understood the methodology of any of the Mujtahidin among the Salafussoleh.” (@14:56). Dr Bilal Philips is proof of this.
That is why till this day we do see Salafi/Wahabi scholars sometimes having useless debates with each other trying to prove one’s understanding is correct and his opponent (another fellow Salafi/Wahabi) is wrong. They will call each other extremist Salafis or neo-Salafis. In these present times we wouldn’t see such debates on aqidah between Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaah scholars because matters have been settled and what’s left is for muslims to focus on ibadah to be closer to Allah.
On the other hand, Salafis/Wahabis busy themselves trying to distant Muslims from ibadah by claiming that our amalan that we have been practising for centuries are haram and sinful (e.g. Tahlil, kenduri arwah, membaca surah Yasin setiap malam Jumaat, talqin, mawlid, tawassul, qasidah etc).
Again, that is what they claim based on their own personal opinion or by relying on opinions of those Salafi scholars who form their own misguided opinion (like Dr Bilal Philips, Dr MAZA, Dr UZAR, Dr RORA etc).
We reject the the Salafi’s claim that they understand Islam best by skipping over generations of the Chain of Authority (isnad).
So you see, since Salafis don’t believe in following qualified scholarship and instead subscribe to a D-I-Y philosophy, therefore, a more appropriate name for them would be a D-I-Y Muslim or a Selfie.
– AA –