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Warning Against the Innovators
  The Methodology of Ahl-us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa'ah in Warning Against Innovators and Their Books
Author: Shaikh Rabee' bin Haadee al-Madkhalee
Source: book Manhaj Ahl-us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa'ah Fee Naqd-ir-Rijaal wal-Kutub wat-Tawaa'if
Article ID : BDH050002  [31918]  
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"Those who preceded him in mentioning similar remarks to that, from the Maalikee scholars, was Abul-Waleed At-Tartooshee. Hence, he mentioned in his letter to Ibn Mudhfar: ‘As for what you stated in respect to Al-Ghazaalee, then I personally saw the man and spoke to him. I found him to be a person from among the scholars. His virtues reached high levels and the qualities of intelligence, understanding and practical application of the branches of knowledge were gathered in him for a long period of his life. Then it began show on him that he abandoned the methodology of the scholars and embarked on the path of the foolish workers. Then he accepted Sufism, so he abandoned the sciences of knowledge and its adherents. Instead, he embarked on knowledge of spiritual visions, convictions that possess the hearts and illusions of the Devil. Then he mixed that up with philosophical views and allegoric symbolism. This brought him to attack the scholars and the callers. And he continued to withdraw himself away from the Religion. So when he worked on the book Al-Ihyaa, he intended to speak about the sciences of different states of the mind and body and the secret allegories of the Sufis. In spite of this, he was unaware of these things and did not understand nor possess knowledge of them. So he stumbled over himself and filled his book with fabricated ahaadeeth.’" [32]

Al-Wanshareeshee said:

"Ibn Al-Qattaan said: ‘When the book Ihyaa ‘Uloom-ud-Deen arrived at Qurtuba (Cordoba), the people spoke badly about it. Many people rejected the things written in it, especially their judge Ibn Ahmadain, for indeed, he was foremost in that. This was to the point that he declared its author a disbeliever. And he urged the sultaan (authority of the land) to take action against it. He (the sultaan) then called on his scholars and they all agreed on burning it. So ‘Alee Ibn Yoosuf commanded that this be carried out, according to their legal rulings.

So its burning took place in Qurtuba by the west gate in the public square of the masjid. Its pages were set on fire after having been doused with oil and an assembly of the town’s common people witnessed the event. Then he (‘Alee Ibn Yoosuf) turned his attention to his entire country and ordered them to burn it. Thus, the country of Morocco came to be well known for its perseverance in burning it, during that time. Hence, the burning of it became a means for the cessation of their wealth, the spreading of divisions and their constant facing of defeat."

I say that the linking of the cessation of their wealth t the burning of the book Al-Ihyaa is not correct. Indeed, the Sahaabah burned the mus-hafs for fear of the trials of misguidance and differing that would befall the ummah. Rather, what is correct is to say: "Say: O Allaah, Possessor of all wealth. You give wealth to whom You will and You take wealth away from You will, and You endure with honor whom You will and You humiliate whom You will." [33] Then it must be said that the reason for the cessation of their wealth was due to the abundance of their sins and disobedience.

Al-Haafidh Adh-Dhahabee (ra) said in his report on those who died in the year 537H:

"‘Alee Ibn Yoosuf Ibn Taashafeen was a commander of the Muslims and the leader of Morocco (in his time). He inclined towards justice, practicing the Religion, worshipping Allaah, bearing a good conscience, having a strong affection for the scholars and a severe hatred for rhetoric (kalaam) and those who indulged in it. When the books of Abu Haamid (i.e. Al-Ghazaalee) reached him, he ordered that they be burned and was very stern in this matter. However, he was oppressed and weak compared to the head leaders. So due to this, the evils of alcoholic drinks spread throughout his region and he was paid no attention. And he refrained from worshipping and Ibn Tumirat pounced upon him and was followed by his companion ‘Abd-ul-Mu’min."

Thus, this shows that the reason for the cessation of their wealth was due to the spread of evil and alcoholic beverages and due to the weakness of ‘Alee Ibn Yoosuf.

Ibn Al-Jawzee (ra) said:

"Then a group of people came – meaning from the Sufis – and they began to speak to them concerning hunger, poverty, fantasies and illusions. And they authored books on that, such as was done by Al-Haarith Al-Muhaasibee. Then other people came after them and they revised the way of Sufism and they characterized themselves with attributes by which they distinguished it from its (original) state. Such attributes include wearing tattered and old clothing, hearing (music), bursting out in passionate emotions, dancing and clapping. And they specified themselves by exceeding in cleanliness and purification.

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