Today in this session, by the leave of Allah, we have with us our teacher, our Shaykh, the Muhaddith of Makkah, Mudarris of the Haram, Makkah and we will be presenting some questions to him.
The first question is Shaykh, what is the right position regarding Ismaeel Menk? Can knowledge be taken from Ismaeel Menk, even if it is regarding , Heart Softeners, Fiqh, Stories, Biographies etc? What is the right stance on this issue?
Shaikh praises Allaah and sends blessings upon the Messenger of Allaah sallAllaahu alaihi wa sallam
The reality is that a few days ago, I guess a month and not more than that, someone asked me regarding a person called Ismaeel Menk, he is called Mufti and what is your opinion regarding him.
I replied to him saying that I am hearing his name (Ismaeel Menk’s) for the first time. Then later, someone else asked me that this person is such that people invite him in general gatherings and our Ahlul Hadith also invite him in their gatherings/programs/conferences so is this individual worthy of taking knowledge from? Even then I told that person that I don’t have information regarding him (Ismaeel Menk) but I also added that any individual whose Aqeedah and Manhaj is not known, one should not take knowledge from him neither should he be invited in the gatherings and conferences of Ahlul Hadith. This is because such an individual can be harmful later, he will spread the effects of his false Aqeedah and Manhaj to his listeners and followers. My position is that any individual who hides his Manhaj and deceives with his unclear/vague speech and calls himself Muslim, or even what I heard about him (Ismaeel Menk) that he says I am upon the way of the early Muslims, then all these statements are unclear. For this reason knowledge should not be taken from any such individual, be it Ismaeel Menk or anyone else. This is what I had replied earlier.
Later on, when the issue became more clear and people started asking me about it, then my dear ones like yourself – Zulfiqar and Omar presented all the evidences. So Alhamdulillaah, in light of all those evidences which also include some statements from Ismaeel Menk himself wherein he is again beating around the bush, that one must not criticize any School of Thought, there should be cooperation with everyone, and then while carrying on Ismaeel Menk attacks none other than the Ahlul Hadith themselves especially those from India and he said that “see these people (ahlul hadith) are such that they criticize one another and stay away from one another and this is the reason people stay away from them whereas the Jamaat at Tabligh are far ahead and spread throughout the world”. From this speech I have taken that this man (Ismaeel Menk) is certainly Deobandi and a Deobandi can be Jamaat at Tablighee. According to my experience with the Jamaat at Tabligh, they possess a false Aqeedah, they are themselves from the Hanafi school of thought, Ashari in creed and believe in giving an oath of allegiance as a form of tazkiyah and this is a form of bid’ah, there is no doubt in this matter. Because of this reason, AFTER LISTENING TO HIS (ISMAEEL MENK’S) OWN SPEECH AND NO-ONE ELSE’S, I have reached a conclusion that this person is certainly a strict Deobandi, Hanafi and an opponent of Ahlul Hadith. This is because he did not attack anyone else except the Ahlul Hadith and this what I got to know after listening to his own statements. He spoke only against the Ahlul Hadith with the allegations that they keep fighting and stay away from everyone and this is the reason people stay away from them. This means that he has a serious grudge against the Ahlul Hadith in his heart.
At this stage I would like to say that inviting Ismaeel Menk into our (Ahlul Hadith) platforms/gatherings can seriously mislead our youth.
The second question is Shaykh, did you call Ismaeel Menk “Castrated”?
In the earlier questions, someone had asked me about him and at that point I did not know much about him. But I had replied with a general speech that any individual who does not declare his Aqeedah and Manhaj, then such an individual is castrated and this implies that they have no shame in Aqeedah. Rather in some gathering I had given an example that a lot of people hold the ideology of the Ikhwan Al Muslimeen and the Jamaat al Islami and they propagate that one must not criticize anyone and have special love and relations for the Shias and they themselves criticize the governments who are upon Tawheed like the Saudi government. So I will still say that these people are castrated as far as their Aqeedah is concerned, I have used this word several times. Even at this point I used this word with the same connotation and intent. I did not specifically call Ismaeel Menk “castrated”. If he too is like this, those who do not declare their aqeedah, like I have heard from his statements then this could apply to him as well because he does not clarify his Aqeedah, whereas in fact his Aqeedah is now clear to us in my opinion. He must not hide, it has become quite clear, people can understand towards which way you are proceeding.
Q: Shaykh what is your opinion regarding Abu Talhah Zahack, is he a liar or had he lied upon you?
A: Regarding Abu Talha Zahack, then I will not say he lied upon me. Rather when I was told that it is being spread about me that I used the word “castrated” for Menk specifically, then I found it to be bad and I said this thing is not right as I did not say this specifically about Menk rather my intent was general. If what I said was wrong then I apologize to Abu Talha Zahack and I apologize if he is being attacked because of me because this is not what I want. But I have not said from my own side that Menk is castrated rather I called all those who do not clarify their aqeedah and deem every Aqeedah to be correct.
Q: Shaykh the next question is that what should be the position of the Ahlul Hadith towards a person whose Manhaj (Methodology) is not clear? Can knowledge of Aqeedah, Fiqh, Stories, Biographies or Heart Softeners be taken from such an individual?
A: You might have heard that someone, it was Faizan or someone, who had taken this information from me and I had repeatedly told him that it is not correct to take anything from such an individual whose Aqeedah is not correct, not even heart softening reminders. A person who claims to follow the Quran and Sunnah and his deeds and actions give testimony to his claim, then it is alright to take from him because such an individual with present the correct reminders but a person who does not hold the correct Aqeedah, then such a person cannot present any reminders other than those in the Tablighi Nisaab.
Q: The next question is that what is your position/stance on those people who say that the word/label of Salafi/Athari/Ahlul Hadith is not neccessary because it is not proven from the Quran and Sunnah?
A: The first question I would like to ask these individuals is that do they really believe in the Quran and Sunnah? If they indeed believe then from the Quran itself Alhamdulillaah, the one who follows the Messenger of Allaah صلي الله عليه وسلم would be called an Athari, Muttabi. If there is any word which is not proven from the Quran and the Sunnah then that word is taqleed in the way these people use it and its obligation. But Athari and Ahlul Hadith is proven just like Allaah said regarding the Quran in Surah Nisaa ayah 87 -” And who is truer in Hadith (statement) than Allaah?” So in this same context, the ulema from not just today but muhaddithin (hadith scholars) of old as well, these people are ignorant, they don’t read hadith, they may just read hadith for blessing (not with comprehension and insight) but if we look into Sunan at Tirmidhi then we will find Imam Tirmidhi has used the word Ahlul Hadith and as far as Fiqh is concerned then he mentions Imam Abu Haneefa he says Ahlul Kufa and Imam Abu Haneefah, Ahmad, Ishaq, he (Imam Tirmidhi) refers to them as “this is the statement of our companions” which means Ahlul hadith. And then you know that there is a book called Aqeedah Ahlul Hadith by Shaykh Saboonee who lived in the end of the third century and died in the beginning of the fourth century (Hijri). So this is not a new word, rather this word is the actualization of one’s manhaj. Allaah has called everyone a Muslim in the Quran but when we ask an individual what kind of Muslim are you? Are you a Raafidi who curses Abu Bakr and Omar رضي الله عنهما and calls them all kaafir? Or a Qadiyaani who have created a new Prophet, are you a hanafi, shaafi, hanbali, teejani, a lot of questions will follow. So when people have placed boards (labels) on themselves, then they have taken the statements of their Imams and used names for themselves whereas the Sahaba themselves have used the term Ahlul Hadith for themselves and they have used it as a distinguishing/ differentiating sign for themselves and there is nothing wrong in using such a distinguishing label and there should be no shame in using it. Such kind of statements come from those who are indeed the enemies of hadeeth and the sunnah of the Beloved Messenger of Allaah صلي الله عليه وسلم and say openly that this hadith is not acceptable in our madhhab (school of thought) and we will not accept this hadith and in reality they have a lot of issues which contradict the hadith whereas the one who acts according to the hadith, then these people criticize him, expel them from the mosques and these things exist. So due to these reasons, it is necessary in this day and age because if one calls himself Muslim then it necessitates that he must be a strict adherent of the Quran and the Sunnah and the only title for the practicer of the Quran and Sunnah is either Ahlul Hadith or Athari, which means the one who accepts and follows the Athaar (sayings) of the Messenger Of Allaah صلي الله عليه و سلم and the Sahaaba, and Salafi as Allaah’s Messenger صلي الله عليه وسلم called himself Salaf and the Sahaba are also our Salaf. So these titles have become a necessity to use and not to be hidden. One must not be secretive about them rather openly declare that we call towards the pure, complete religion on the Sunnah of RasoolUllaah (sallAllaahu ‘alaihi wasallam) about which Allaah gave glad tidings on the day of Arafah towards which we call as Abu Shaama said that “all matters must be returned to the early matters”. So either you call yourself Salafi, Ahlul Hadith or Athari, it all refers to acting upon the real teachings contained within the Quran and Sunnah.
Shaykh what is your advice for the general masses as to who are the individuals they should turn to for seeking knowledge?
See every community has their own distinguishing/differentiating factor, a non Muslim seeks knowledge from people of his own community; if he is a Jew he will approach a rabbi for seeking knowledge, if he is a Christian he will approach a pope or pastor to seek knowledge. Even among the Muslims, a lot of sects have cropped up about which the Messenger of Allaah صلي الله عليه وسلم had informed us that there would be 73 sects after him and the one sect that will be the saved sect is the one with the Jamaah (the Sahabas) whereas there is a danger others are going to be in the Hell-fire and if Allaah wills, by His Mercy, He may pardon them after their punishment in the Hell-fire. But I would say that out of these 73 sects, one must seek knowledge from the scholar of that sect which bases itself upon the clear evidences of the Quran and Sunnah and teaches this to the people. Taking knowledge from anyone else is not correct. Even if people become soft on this and say that there is no problem in seeking knowledge from anyone, of any sect, then this thing is indeed harmful for the Ummah in general and the Salafi community in particular.
Shaykh what is your advice for those people who call themselves Ahlul Hadith but defend Ismaeel Menk and other people on a similar methodology to Menk and spend their day and night trying to defend them and trying to prove them to be Salafis?
I would just like to say that once a matter has been clarified regarding someone, then even the tongue is accountable in front of Allaah, there is no doubt about it. And one must not think that whatever one speaks out of his desire, then he will be saved . Therefore a person must never speak about any matter without investigation. Based my own investigation, I have reached a conclusion that Ismaeel Menk is NOT a Salafi and even after this if anyone is trying to prove him to be a Salafi, then surely he is either knowingly deceiving people and consequently he is committing a grave sin, or he is naive and I would advise such a person to listen to the answer of Ismaeel Menk’s father regarding him and then listen to the statements of Ismaeel Menk himself (regarding the Ahlul Hadith) and the gist of his statements is that one must cooperate with everyone and not be like Ahlul Hadith from what he intends to say although his wordings are not the same but by exclusively using the Ahlul Hadith as a bad example and created hatred in the people for Ahlul Hadith. In light of these evidences, I would say that surely he NOT a Salafi and neither does he hold love for the Salafis. Now it may so happen that after a few days he may openly declare himself to be either Salafi due to these occurences or he may openly declare himself to be Hanafi but I hold firm belief that he is indeed Hanafi with Ashari Aqeedah and this is certain, there is no doubt about it.
Q: Shaykh I would like to ask you that Abu Usama Ad Dhahabi has defended Ismaeel Menk. So is his defense correct?
A: Yes you did read out a few of the statements of Abu Usamah and one of the statements is that he says I do not know Mufti Menk personally although I have heard that he has spent some days with Menk. Secondly, it is quite surprising that if he indeed does not know Menk (as he claims) then he should investigate and he himself asserts that one must investigate and we are not Muqallid (blind followers) etc. Then whose Taqleed is he doing (following blindly) now? He should listen to Menk’s statements and then analyse and then speak about the Manhaj and Aqeedah of Menk. He is DEFINITELY NOT a Salafi, from his actions, from his speech, from his Salah, just look athis picture, the way he prays. All the Ahadeeth that he will have read in Kulliya Shareeah (College of Shariah)or else, the sweeping glances that these people (Hanafis/Deobandis) give on Hadith (i.e. they don’t pay attention to understand Ahadeeth) so he must not have found a single authentic Hadith on placing the hands below the navel during Salah. In light of all this, I am suprised at Abu Usamah as to how can he say such things. I would like Abu Usamah to investigate and then speak or retract his statements. It is my right upon him and based on this right I ask him to retract from his statements.
Q: Shaykh a new statements has been released from his (Menk’s) administration that the Deobandi Ulema Committee of South Africa had placed a condition that any Mufti who gives a fatwa should hold the view of Taqleed Shakhsi (blind following of one single individual), be Maturidi, Ashari etc. so it is being announced that Ismaeel Menk did not approve of these conditions. Based on this, can it be said that this man is Salafi and as per what you heard from his own statements?
A: I would like to ask that have you heard these statements from his own tongue that he did not sign upon these conditions? Have you heard it yourself or through someone else?
Q: His administration has announced this.
A: As far as administration is concerned, then it may be that he (Menk) himself is not aware of this and people have just spread it. In my opinion, he can never say such a thing and can never abandon his group. And even if he has not signed on those conditions, then it may be due to some other reason or he may believe that these conditions must not be put forth but we would like him to openly declare himself. And I address the Ulema (scholars) of the entire world when I say this and I believe I have the right to say this that when they say they are doing Taqleed of Imam Abu Haneefa, then are they doing taqleed of him in reality? No, certainly not. In fact we are his true followers as far as his statements and Aqeedah is concerned. Because Imam Abu Haneefa has said that a person who says Allaah is not above His Throne is a Kaafir (disbeliever) so these people (Deobandis/Hanafis) are not his Muqallids (blind followers). This is a wrong claim when they say they are Muqallid of Imam Abu Haneefa. If they are indeed, then they should act believe in the same Aqeedah as Imam (Abu Haneefa) and follow the advice of Imam (Abu Haneefa) that if my statements contradict the hadith of the Messenger of Allaah صلي الله عليه وسلم then leave my statement. So I would like that if you indeed love the Messenger of Allaah and this religion, then you should openly declare that these conditions are not correct and I have not signed upon these conditions because they are wrong in light of the evidences. Then we would make Duaa for you that Allaah guides you towards pure Salafiyyah.
Q: The last thing I would like to ask you is that the statement that has been released from Menk’s administration regarding the declaration from the father of Ismaeel Menk that Menk is a staunch Deobandi, he teaches Bahishti Zewar (Jewels of Paradise – a book of deobandis written by Ashraf Ali Thanvi) and he has served the elders of Deoband like Mahmood Hasan Gangohi and Maseehullah Khan when they visited him. So what is being said by the administration is that his (Menk’s) father is a man of advanced age, above 80 years and his statements are not reliable. So is this right shaykh, can this be a possibility?
A: I am indeed very surprised at this statement what you told me, I have heard the statements of his (Menk’s) father from the beginning till the end. Now something written has (supposedly) come from Menk that his father is aged and this is very surprising that he has deemed his own father to be a senseless person (due to his age) that he will say whatever he wants without comprehending it. He i.e. Ismaeel Menk has said this regarding his own father that he has become old and his statements will not be considered. So does this mean that your father has spoken falsely about you and your father was not able to recognize you (his own son) even in such a long span of time! This point is a little irksome. If this is the case, then you must advise your father that he should accept the same Aqeedah and Manhaj which you claim to be upon that he must also accept it i.e. Salafi Manhaj openly. Whereas when your father was asked whether you have become a Salafi so your father wholly rejected it and gave evidences to free you from Salafiyyah and said no he (my son – Ismaeel) cannot be Salafi because his entire education and service is Hanafi and even now whatever he is doing, he is doing to serve the Hanafi methodology and for this reason he is not a Salafi.
Now if someone has written on behalf of you or you have yourself written that your father’s intellect has become so weak that he is just blabbering like a fool so I would like to advise you to not let your father speak any such thing on your behalf. In the early generations, the sons of the hadith scholars (when they became too old) would stop their fathers from narrating hadith lest their narrations become weak. All these things aside, if you indeed claim that your father has not spoken justly for your because he has reached an advanced age of 80 and he is speaking without comprehending then you are accepting that you are Salafi while your father said you are NOT. So we would like you to openly declare that you are Salafi because this is a very prestigious label in the sight of Allaah to seek His pleasure in sha Allaah that a man says this according to what Allaah says in Surah Fussilat Ayah 33 “And who is better in speech than he who [says: “My Lord is Allaah (believes in His Oneness) and then stands straight (acts upon His orders)] and invites men to Allah (Islamic Monotheism) and does righteous deeds and says “I am one of the Muslims”. And the foremost meaning of a Muslim is the upholder of the Quran and Sunnah.
May Allaah reward you with good and I thank you people for presenting the correct information to me which had become adulterated by the tongues of many people and coming to me for clarification and whatever was in my capability, I said according to that and I think what I have said is correct. And everything I have said, I said it with complete presence of mind and not based upon speculations or incomplete information (and not without evidence).
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