UPDATED (JAN.2012): Suhaib Webb Opposes Shaykh Nuh Ha Mim Keller & Sunnipath.

Yet another case of dwarfs shouting at Muslim giants. Suhaib Webb (picture above) openly shows his opposition to our beloved Shaykh Nuh Ha Mim Keller, and to the Sunnipath Academy. He described Shaykh Nuh’s group as  the “Keller cult”. Suhaib had once been a teacher at Sunnipath but then joined the Al-Maghrib Institute. Not a smart move. But the Al-Maghrib Institute was thrilled, no doubt, from Suhaib’s about-face as shown in the Institute’s introduction.

Now to more context and details of Suhaib’s bizarre statements. These comments of Suhaib were generated when, on his blog, he was asked if he agreed with the legitimate Sunni practice of istighaatha. Someone had copy-pasted an excerpt from Sunnipath by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani explaining its permissibility. Here is what our beloved Shaykh Rabbani correctly said:

In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful & Compassionate

There are a few issues:

a) It is a fundamental belief of Muslims that only Allah benefits or harms; that only Allah gives and takes;

b) It is also a fundamental belief of Muslims that Allah has created means for humans to take;

c) However, the relationship between these created means and their effects is only normative: it is Allah who creates the means, and Allah who creates the results.

This is why Shaykh Abd al-Rahman al-Shaghouri (Allah have mercy on him), the great spiritual guide and master of the sciences of faith (aqida) from Damascus, explained,

“Taking means is necessary, and denying that they are effective is necessary. Whoever negates means is denying the Wisdom of Allah, and whoever relies upon means is associating others with Allah.”

This is the understanding upon which Muslims “call upon other than Allah.” It is no different from taking medicine when sick, or going to a mechanic when your car is giving trouble: if you think that the medicine itself creates the healing, or that the mechanic is the one himself creates the fixing, then you have serious innovation in belief. The sound understanding is that Allah creates the healing when you use the medicine, and He creates the fixing when the mechanic does their job: we affirm these means, but also affirm that it is Allah who created both the means and the resultant effect.

This is pure affirmation of Divine Oneness. How can it “smack of shirk.”

See answer(s) mentioned below.

Wassalam,

Faraz Rabbani

SUHAIB’S HARSH RESPONSE

Let’s read Suhaib’s harsh response in the comments section of his website here:

After I was shown a number of answers at Sunnipath, I left them. I would not encourage anyone to take fatwa or knowledge from them as they are not qualifed. Nor would I encourage anyone to go to Jordan and live with the Keller cult. The reports we are getting from there and the damaged murids we are seeing in Cairo, we need to avoid these people at all cost. A simple remedy. When you go to study some place ask yourself, where is the memorization of the Qur’an, its study and the Sunna? Where is the fiqh and the Usol? I’ve been told that [they] buy Nuh Keller’s sweaty clothes, nasty old miswaks and so on. This is not Islam, this is Hislam. This is not an issues of sufi salafi, this is an issue of a Jim Jones type cult.”

Comparing Shaykh Nuh’s students to a “Jim Jones type cult”? Suhaib realizes his response was out of anger and says:

I must admit my anger got the best of me. However, as you have stated, there must be a better way. I’m truly appreciative of this nasiha and pray Allah will bless me to follow the best of it.

He continues:

That being said, I would like to make it clear that I have found instances of families being broken by this group and witnessed an intolerance from some of their followers that borders on bigotry. I have a dear friend who left the group and has since left Islam. I would prefer not to go into details, but he was ex communicated from the group by their leader. I do not agree with Nuh Keller, his followers nor with what Sunnipath pushes as being mainstream. Islam is not about any personality save the Prophet {sa).

Suhaib then compares Shaykh Nuh’s group with “churches”(!):

Unfortunately I find many similarities between such groups and the very churches I attended before my Islam. I would not encourage anyone to go to Jordan to live with them, nor take fatwa [or] courses from Sunnipath. Unity has its price and we cannot use it to justify destroyed families and the strange opinions found at Sunnipath.

Suhaib’s opposition is so much that he believes:

American Muslim leadership has a responsibility to stand up in front of any group that threatens the social fabric of our communities and pushes strange opinions off as though they are the norm.

He then concludes by saying:

Let folks know now that I’m not going respond to the barrage of comments I’m about to receive regarding this. I have no time for this and hope and pray that we can move beyond desires and look at the realities articulated by the Qur’an, Sunna and the Usol.

(Source: http://www.suhaibwebb.com/blog/general/what-is-the-ruling-on-seeking-divine-ai-from-other-than-allah-even-if-it-were-a-prophet-answered-by-al-allamah%CC%84-sh-muhammad-al-hasan-walid-al-dido-al-shanqiti/)

Suhaib is “not going to respond to the barrage of comments”? Why? Is he afraid to counter the clear evidence for istighaatha that the majority of Muslims in Islam’s history have supported? And what other “strange opinions” in Sunnipath did he read? More importantly, on what basis did he find those opinions “strange”? Is Suhaib not telling us because there is no sensible and strong basis for his position? Probably.

Apparently Suhaib heard some bad news from some people, but then generalized against Shaykh Keller, his students, and Sunnipath wholesale. He is upset, but his reaction is clearly extreme. Unfortunately Suhaib has been swayed by the Wahhabi-Salafis though he says “I’m not a salafi, nor do I claim to be one.” This is perhaps why some call him a ‘sufi-salafi’. He may be following a strain of Egyptian salafism who like tasawwuf but dislike tawassul and/or istighaatha, and other similar practices that Sufis are known for.

SUHAIB’S TEACHER:  SHAYKH MUHAMMAD HASSAN AL-DIDO

Suhaib’s teacher, Shaykh Muhammad Hassan al-Dido, is a favorite of many Saudis who is known for his so-called “moderate Wahhabism.” The Shaykh even studied in Saudi Arabia for some time and has successfully spread his version of Wahhabism in Mauritania. He is known to harbor critical thoughts against istighaatha — a practice accepted by orthodox Sunnis as legitimate.  While he is more diplomatic, softer, and less rejectionist than most Wahhabis, his personal views clearly lean towards key Wahhabi positions, such as his opposition to tawassul. While he rejects certain Sunni practices, he does not accuse Sunnis who practice them of shirk. He attempts to reconcile contradictory positions in the name of “unity” which dilutes the understanding and meaning of what a genuine Sunni means.

For example, when Shaykh Muhammad Hassan al-Dido was asked what Ahl al-Sunna wa’al Jama’ah meant, he never referred to the Ash’aris and Maturidis at all. Rather, he said:

The scholars pieced together these two terms and coined what that the Prophet and his companions were upon “the sunna and community of the believers.” However, the meaning of the term sunna in this context is not the meaning of the term known amongst the scholars of Islamic law. The legal definition of sunna is a commanded legislative action that is not mandatory where one is rewarded for performing it and is not punished for leaving it. This is the meaning according to the scholars of Islamic law and the principles of Islamic law, but this is not the intended meaning. Also, the intended meaning of the community of believers is not a large number of individuals or a righteous group only. On the contrary, Allah says in the six chapter of the Qur’an, “And if you were to obey most of the people, they would misguide you from the path of Allah. “ The intended meaning of the Sunna is the way that the Prophet and his companions were upon. So this is what we call “Sunna” and “community” regarding their terminology, and there should be no arguing over terminology” is a famous axiom of Usōl al-Fiqh.]

It is interesting that Shaykh al-Dido used a verse that was used to describe disbelievers to indirectly oppose the idea that any Muslim majority understanding of creed (as the Ash’aris and Maturidis stood for) was not necessarily correct. The verse he quoted was 6:116. The famous Tafsir al-Jalalayn gives the tafsir of the verse as follows:

“If you obey most of those on earth, that is, the disbelievers, they will lead you astray from the way of God, [from] His religion; they follow only supposition, when they dispute with you concerning [the status of] carrion, saying: ‘What God has killed is more worthy of your consumption than what you kill yourselves!’; they are merely guessing, speaking falsehood in this [matter].”

Tafsir Ibn Abbas gave the tafsir of the same verse to refer to the disbelieving Meccans:

“(If thou obeyedst) O Muhammad (most of those on earth) i.e. the Meccan leaders who were Abu’l-Ahwas Malik Ibn ‘Awf al-Jushami, Budayl Ibn Warqa’ al-Khuza’i and Julays Ibn Warqa’ al-Khuza’i (they would mislead thee far from Allah’s way) in the Sacred Precinct. (They follow naught but an opinion) they pronounce nothing but surmise, (and they do but guess) they lie to the believers when they say to them: that which Allah immolates is better than that which you slaughter with your own knives.”

Why did Shaykh al-Dido not inform us that the above mufasirreen referred to disbelievers in the above verse and not to Muslims, as he portrayed?

Contrary to what Shaykh al-Dido says, the truth is that the main mass of Muslims — and specifically the majority of Muslims — is what represents the Ahl al-Sunna wa’al Jama’ah, and they are the Ash’aris and Maturidis. Most Hanafis are Maturidi while most Shafi’is and Malikis are Ash’ari. It is strange that Suhaib Webb and his Shaykh al-Dido are comfortable in excluding Ash’aris and Maturidis as part of Ahl al-Sunna wa’al Jama’ah.

Shaykh al-Dido’s critical defense of Ibn Taymiyyah (a favorite of Wahhabis) is also well known. Unfortunately Shaykh al-Dido shows his bias by opting for a non-critical approach against Ibn Taymiyyah on what reputable scholars criticized him for, such as his heterodox and anthropomorphist understanding of `aqeedah, his opposition to Ash’aris, and other abominable statements in `ibadaat. A detailed exposition of Ibn Taymiyyah’s big blunders in `aqeedah — very serious to be overlooked — can be read at:

Related to beliefs and principles of the philosopher of anthropomorphism Ibn Taymiyyah
Ibn Ĥajar accuses Ibn Taymiyyah and Ibn Al-Qayyim of Tajsiim (anthropomorphism)
Ibn Taymiyyah says Allaah needs, is divisible, and settles in a place
Ibn Taymiyyah says Aļļaah needs, is divisible, settles in a place, has 6 limits, has a size, and must be creating (though He can choose what to create – but not whether to create or not.)
Ibn Taymiyyah says Allaah is divisible into quantities and areas
Ibn Taymiyyah’s Bucket theology
As-Sanuusiyy does not agree with Ibn Taymiyyah regarding composition and need.

Shaykh Muhammad ibn Adam al-Kawthari’s view on Ibn Taymiyah as well as Shaykh Gabriel Fouad Haddad’s view of Ibn Taymiyah are worth reading.

It is truly surprising that in spite of Shaykh al-Dido’s many `ijaazas he received from reputable Ash’ari-Maturidi Shuyukh, he is still mainly on the track of some Salafi variety. Suhaib mirrored his teacher’s views when he (Suhaib) said:

“I have nothing against the Asharia, they are my brothers and I have ijazat in their texts. I don’t agree with them, will bring up other opinions that might not fit their own, but I have nothing but respect for them.”

It’s funny how Suhaib receives `ijazat from Ash’aris only to disagree with them. Along with Suhaib’s sufi-salafi confusion, his Ash’ari confusion also persists — his good intentions notwithstanding.

SUHAIB’S INDIRECT TUSSLE WITH SHAYKH GF HADDAD

Suhaib had published an article on his blog titled, “How Ash’arism Spread,” by a scholar named Taqi al-Din Ahmad b. ‘Ali al-Maqrizi, in which he took an unconventional stand towards Ash’ari theology. The original article can be read here.

Though Suhaib was not the author, he clearly endorsed its contents and is the reason he posted it on his blog.

Shaykh GF Haddad responded with an article on Taqi al-Din Ahmad b. ‘Ali al-Maqrizi that can be read here.

This led to a debate in which Suhaib’s anger led him to call Shaykh al-Haythami a “bigot” for his critical views of Ibn Taymiyyah. Suhaib later repented but still gave his justification in an article entitled, “Saying So Long To a Dear Friend:  Traditional Islam.” He said:

“One of the grave mistakes I made in that debate was to call al-Haythami a bigot. Until this day the traditionalist have done nothing but remind me of this error….First I said he was a bigot in regards to Ibn Tammiyah and did not use the term in an absolute form. However, this was a grave mistake and I ask Allah to forgive me and that is sufficient.”

Suhaib is right to repent for his inappropriate behavior. But note that his defense of Ibn Taymiyyah had clearly made him exceed the bounds of etiquette our Qur’an and Sunnah specified. Excluding his repentance, Suhaib’s staunch defense of Ibn Taymiyyah was a typical Wahhabi reaction. He did the same by using derogatory language against Shaykh Nuh Keller and Sunnipath, as noted above.

In spite of Suhaib’s Islamic education and wish for “unity” and true moderation — a need for a “third discourse”, as he put it — he is somehow still unable to control his temper, even if his repeated repentences are commendable. How he expects Muslims to accept his “third discourse” in view of this is rather puzzling.

STEPPING AWAY FROM AHL AL-SUNNA

Suhaib’s opposition to traditional Islam was made clear by him in in the same article that, as illustrated above, was aptly titled for what he intended to convey:

In short, I’m washing my hands from traditional Islam. I’ve resigned my post from Sunni-Path. This is not an easy decision for me as Sh. Faraz [Rabbani] is a true friend and beloved companion. But, the discourse is one and the same and with all respect I advice (sic) others to step back from traditional Islam and adopt the path of Islam. Stick to the way of the major scholars, avoid disputes, move forward and keep a clean heart towards others. I will not spend my days attacking traditional Islam, but I’m free from it and have nothing to do with it.

Suhaib has deleted the above words from his writings though they are captured above for all to read. It makes me wonder what Suhaib meant by sticking “to the way of major scholars” when, in the same passage, he said he is “free from” traditional Islam and has “nothing to do with it.” Which “major scholars” is Suhaib following if not from traditional Islam? Suhaib failed to elaborate on this important point.

 

SUHAIB STEPS CLOSER TO WAHHABISM

I certainly hope brother Suhaib will retract his abominable statements, separate his past ‘church’ experience from his current Islamic learning, and not mix apples with oranges.

But his relatively new leadership position at Al-Maghrib Institute in 2007 indicates the contrary. Though he has humbled himself by admitting his anger (repeatedly), he still makes it crystal clear beyond any shadow of a doubt not to learn from Shaykh Nuh Keller, Sunnipath, and by extension all other mainstream/traditional Islam sources.

Suhaib’s call is a call away from Ahl al-Sunna wa’al Jama’ah – not towards it, and this is very unfortunate.

 

SHAYKH NUH HA MIM KELLER & SUNNIPATH

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Shaykh Nuh Ha Mim Keller, he is one of the greatest `ulema living today.  His background and biography are worth reading to better understand how misplaced and unethical Suhaib Webb’s insults against Shaykh Keller were. Suhaib was criticizing an accomplished Shaykh who continues to teach and inspire millions:

“Shaykh Nuh Ha Mim Keller, American Muslim translator and specialist in Islamic Law. Born in 1954 in the north-western United States, was educated in philosophy and Arabic at the University of Chicago and UCLA. He entered Islam in 1977 at al-Azhar in Cairo, and later studied the traditional Islamic Sciences of hadith, Shafi’i and Hanafi jurisprudence, legal methodology (usul al-fiqh), and tenets of faith (`aqidah) in Syria and Jordan, where he has lived since 1980. His English translation of `Umdat al-Salik [The Reliance of the Traveller] (1250 pp., Sunna Books, 1991) is the first Islamic legal work in a European language to receive the certification of al-Azhar, the Muslim world’s oldest institution of higher learning. He also possesses ijazas or “certifiates of authorisation” in Islamic jurisprudence from sheikhs in Syria and Jordan.

“His Other translations and works include: Al-Maqasid: Imam Nawawi’s Manual of Islam; The Sunni Path: A Handbook of Islamic Belief; and Tariqa Notes (handbook for those on the Shadhilli path of tasawwuf).  He is currently translating Imam Nawawi’s Kitab al-Adhkar [The Book of Rememberance of Allah], a compendium of some 1227 hadiths on prayers and dhikrs of the prophetic sunna. He is also completing a work on the issue of the Qibla which will be available soon.  (from http://www.masud.co.uk) [This book has been completed and is now available!]

“Nuh Keller is an exponent of the traditional following of qualified scholarship. His translation of the Umdaad us-Salik (Reliance of the Traveler) is among the best works available in English language on Classical Fiqh.  He has written many articles defending the following of qualified scholarship (taqlid). Many issues that surround this matter have been put to light and discussed e.g. the definition of Bida’a, a word often used with unsurpassed authority by the followers with higher intensities of outward exertions. He has also talked of and written on Tasawwuf in classical Islam, which he argues is a central Islamic science, just as science of Tafseer.”(Source:  http://www.masud.co.uk/ISLAM/nuh/)

The Sunnipath Academy is one of the best online Sunni academies around. I had taken an online class from them myself and greatly benefited from it. I highly recommend Muslims to read their Question-Answer archives and to take classes with them. You may learn more at:  http://www.sunnipath.com/. It is very inspiring to read the teacher profiles at the Sunnipath Academy, and I encourage all of you to do so:
http://www.sunnipath.com/About/academyTeachers.aspx

 

AN EXPLANATION FOR SHAYKH NUH’S STUDENTS’ ACTIONS?


WHY DID THE COMPANION OF THE PROPHET (PBUH) TAKE THE PROPHET’S HAIR?

Regarding why Shaykh Nuh’s followers are so eager to have Shaykh Nuh’s used items,  and wanting a “good explanation for that”, perhaps the doubters and slanderers should ponder over why the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace), after he shaved his head after the pilgrimage, that Abu Talha was the first one to take of his hair (Bukhari). Why would Abu Talha want the Prophet’s (Allah bless him and grant him peace) hair?

WHY DID THE PROPHET (PBUH) DISTRIBUTE HIS NAILS?

Imam Ahmad narrates in his Musnad (4:42) from `Abd Allah ibn Zayd ibn `Abd Rabbih with a sound (sahih) chain as stated by Haythami in Majma` al-zawa’id (3:19) that the Prophet clipped his nails and distributed them among the people. Why did the Prophet  (Allah bless him and grant him peace) distribute his nails among the people?

WHY DID THE COMPANIONS WANT THE PROPHET’S (PBUH) SWEAT?

Anas said: “The Prophet stayed with us, and as he slept my mother began to collect his sweat in a flask. The Prophet awoke and said: O Umm Sulaym, what are you doing? She said: This is your sweat which we place in our perfume and it is the best perfume.” (Narrated Imams Muslim and Ahmad). Why did the Prophet’s noble followers want the Prophet’s sweat (Allah bless him and grant him peace)?

THE PROPHET (PBUH) USED HIS SALIVA (AND SOIL) TO CURE SOMEONE?

Bukhari and Muslim narrated that the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) used to heal the sick with his saliva mixed with some earth with the words: “Bismillah, the soil of our earth with the saliva of certain ones among us shall heal our sick with our Lord’s permission.” Heal the sick with saliva? Ponder over the sahih hadeeth.

WHY DID THE COMPANIONS OF THE PROPHET(PBUH) WANT HIS ABLUTION WATER?

Bukhari and Muslim narrate that the Companions would compete for whoever would get the remnant of the Prophet’s ablution water in order to put it on their faces. Why would the Companions want the Prophet’s ablution water?

IMAM NAWAWI SPEAKS IN FAVOR OF TABARRUK

One of the greatest scholars in Islam, Imam Nawawi (in “Sharh Sahih Muslim”) said: “In these narrations is evidence for seeking blessings with the relics of the saints” (fihi al-tabarruk bi athar al-salihin). This, of course, with the understanding that the relics of holy people are a means to receiving blessings from Allah Almighty.

And that explanation by our beloved Imam Nawawi can be used to understand why Shaykh Nuh’s followers are so eager to have some of his used possessions. Instead of casting doubt and, worse, joining in the slandering of a pious Muslim like Wahhabis-Salafis routinely do, has it ever occurred to you that his followers are simply following the early Muslims of the Salaf by wanting to be close to the possessions of Shaykh Nuh who they see as their noble and pious Shaykh?

Just as the Companions were eager to have the Prophet’s hair, nails, sweat, ablution water, and many other things because they were associated with the holiest human who ever existed, likewise the followers of Shaykh Nuh wish to associate with the things of who they see as their pious Shaykh and role model who emulates the Prophet (Allah bless him & grant him peace) and other early followers of the Salaf.

In view of the above, how can any fair-minded and educated Muslim condemn Shaykh Nuh’s followers? And if doubters and slanderers are still doubtful about Shaykh Nuh and/or his followers, then you should also cast doubt on why the followers of the Prophet (Allah bless him and grant him peace) were so eager to obtain the Prophet’s items (na’udhubillah). The Prophet gave his possessions to his followers as well, as noted above. Tabarruk is a noble and established practice in our Islamic tradition that Shaykh Nuh’s followers are following, and in full agreement with the Qur’an and Sunnah — even if the Salafis-Wahhabis foolishly think that tabarruk and tawassul are”shirk”.

We listen to the scholars of jurisprudence and not the words of some confused, young Muslims who choose not to follow any of the four schools of Sunni jurisprudence, and who condemn traditional Sunni Islam out of their utter ignorance and misinterpretation of a genuine Sunni act. It is well known that Suhaib Webb not only condemns traditional Sunni Islam, but also rejects or at least questions the genuine Sunni acts of tabarruk and tawassul.

Suhaib Webb should be reprimanded for his over-reaction, misguidance, and misinterpretations regarding Shaykh Nuh and his followers, and for telling brothers and sisters not to learn from Shaykh Nuh. Suhaib Webb should repent as it is Shaykh Nuh and his followers who are closely following Sunni tradition, unlike Suhaib Webb who is condemning them and the entire Sunni tradition represented by the illustrious “heirs of the Prophets”, including our beloved Imam Nawawi.

May Allah Guide us on the Right Path and forgive us for our wrong assumptions and misinterpretations of the actions of the pious.

A TREND OF INSULTS FROM THE AL-MAGHRIB INSTITUTE

It is a pity that the trend one sees at al-Maghrib Institute is not a good one. It is a poor example to the youngsters who see the instructors as great role models. Somehow Suhaib chooses to ignore these repugnant attacks against Sunni Islam:

  • Yasir Qadhi accused great Sunni scholars and the beautiful al-Burda poem of “shirk“. Does Suhaib Webb see this as a genuine Sunni act of unity? Why has Suhaib not expressed his disagreement with this?
  • Yasir Qadhi says Shaykh Muhammad ibn Alawi al-Maliki is promoting shirk. Does Suhaib Webb see this as a genuine Sunni act of unity? Why has Suhaib not expressed his disagreement with this?
  • Then we see Suhaib Webb, an instructor at al-Maghrib Institute, describing Shaykh Nuh Ha Mim Keller’s group of students as the “Keller cult” and “an issue of a Jim Jones type cult.” Previously he called Imam Haythami a “bigot.” The retraction may be of these words, but his opposition to traditional Islam, even if in more polite terms, remains. Suhaib’s behavior is clearly not Sunni.

Suhaib, please humble yourself and speak with respect about the people of knowledge. You were only 5 years old in your warm, cozy Oklahoma home when Shaykh Nuh Keller converted to Islam at 23 years of age in 1977.  Shaykh Nuh Keller became Muslim long before you did, and so he has drunk from the pool of knowledge with traditional Muslim scholars long before you did. Your criticisms of him are misplaced, inappropriate, and exaggerated. You should refrain from such behavior again in the future.

All of these insults and opposition are against scholars and Muslims who are followers of the Ash’ari-Maturidi creed, and adherents of the four Sunni schools of jurisprudence (Hanafi, Shafi’i, Maliki, Hanbali). In other words, they are insults against Ahl al-Sunna wa’al Jama’ah — what most Muslims in Islam’s history have believed and stood for. This opposition against the majority only disunites, if only they knew.

Allah, guide brother Suhaib’s soul and take the confusion away from him. Allah, keep all of us on the Path of the Muslim majority. Aaameen.

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23 responses to “UPDATED (JAN.2012): Suhaib Webb Opposes Shaykh Nuh Ha Mim Keller & Sunnipath.

  1. A lot has changed since this article was first written. Webb has become increasingly dangerous in recent years, and neither sufis or salafis want to associate themselves with him. In short he’s become a complete modernist, to the extent of being a sell-out. His flock of mainly young middle class fans follow him because he ‘permits’ everything from music, to premarital courting to shaking a woman’s hand to turning a blind eye to homosexuality. I mean the progressive disappearance of his beard correlates almost identically to his deviation from mainstream Islam. If you disagree in any way shape or form (even respectfully) he often retorts arrogantly as to ‘who have you studied with?!’ and instantly blocks you. He’s just after popularity these days. It’s not a sufi-salafi issue anymore, both groups look at him these days and often wonder where is the Islaam in this guy and his fan club.

  2. Apparently people commenting on Webb’s website quote him as a good shaykh. Webb has articles of Qaradawi quoting Ibn Abdul Wahhab is a fatwa. Such articles and comments can be found on these links and others too:

    http://www.suhaibwebb.com/islam-studies/no-condemnation-in-areas-of-ijtihad/

    http://www.suhaibwebb.com/islam-studies/a-sufi-salafi-connection-sh-abdul-wahab-ra-and-imam-al-sindi-ra-dr-john-voll/

    A lot of respected people are good friends with Suhaib Webb or work alongside him. Does that mean they approve of Ibn Abdul Wahhab? Does that mean he was a good person and this whole Wahhabi misguidance thing is just over-exaggerated? Some people portray Ibn Abdul Wahhab as the great saint of modern times but others portray him as a devil.

    • Dear brother/sister,

      I respect Suhaib Webb as a Muslim and brother who is more tolerant than many. For example, those who do tawassul or istighatha are not condemned as polytheists by him, in spite of his disagreements. Having said that, bear in mind that Shaykh al-Dido, surely Suhaib’s favorite teacher, has spread certain aspects of Islam that have close similarities to Wahhabi teachings. For example, his opposition to istighatha and tawassul, as well as their disagreement with Ash’aris and Maturidis. Suhaib Webb, now more tolerant of differences, was very open in his condemnation of Sunnipath Academy (now Qibla for the Islamic Sciences) and Shaykh Nuh Ha Mim Keller. He exceeded his limits when he spread his warnings and bad thoughts of Ahl al-Sunna wa’l Jama’ah and told Muslims not to learn from them. This is unacceptable. I would like to see Suhaib Webb apologize and repent for what he said because his statements surely caused a lot of damage. Also, if he is free of traditional Islam, as he said, then which Islam is he following?

      Due to the above, in spite of the beneficial articles one may find on his website, one needs to remain cautious about what he writes or chooses to post. His positive association in events and other programs with Imam Hamza Yusuf and other Ahl al-Sunna teachers should not be seen as support of their beliefs. It is a demonstration of camaraderie and brotherhood which should be commended for purposes of unity. Details on issues of worship, however, become more apparent in private. This differences, I believe, should not be ignored but acknowledged. Ignoring serious differences in the name of unity is to make our Sunni tradition more vulnerable to pseudo-Sunni attacks. Some scholars, like Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, go to the extent of not even explaining issues related to shirk to those who ask due to his assumptions that they will necessarily be used for “polemical” purposes, which is patently false and unhelpful to surely many. This is different from the approach of Shaykh Abdal-Hakim Murad and Shaykh Nuh Ha Mim Keller who are more open in their defense against Wahhabis. I prefer this approach.

      Regarding Yusuf al-Qardawi, I would read his articles like I read Suhaib Webb’s articles — with caution. There is much to gain from their writings but also easy to mix right with wrong. And no, the whole Wahhabi thing is not an over-exaggeration at all. Had that been the case, none of the Ahl al-Sunna scholars today and in the past would’ve warned people from his teachings. There is actually not a single Ahl al-Sunna scholar who praises Ibn Abdal-Wahhab. Kitab al-Tawhid, for example, refers to Ash`aris as “nullifers” of the Divine Attributes, says the Qasida Burda has shirk, that Allah is literally above His Throne, among other anti-Sunni beliefs. These are serious errors that cannot be overlooked. I think one or two scholars among the Deobandis praised him in certain ways, but should not be representative of Deobandi beliefs.

      May Allah keep us in the fold of Ahl al-Sunna wa’al Jama’ah and protect us from error. Aaameen!

      Wassalam,
      Muhammad (Sunni1)

      • Is Qaradawi a Salafi scholar? He’s an Azhari, isn’t he? He is very, very popular. Webb is also an Azhari. He says he learns from Salafis and Sufis equally.

  3. Salam alaikum ,,,,,i dont have much knowledge but i have never met more knowledgable and more kind and more nice person than Nuh Keller

    • Walaykum-salaam, I fully agree with you regarding Shaykh Nuh Ha Mim Keller. He is light in a time of darkness!

      May Allah Bless you and may Allah Forgive our sins. Aaameen!

      Wassalam,
      Muhammad (Sunni1)

  4. No doubt this is an important issue for you and i can tell that Sh. Keller and co. are dear to your heart. That having said, i think it is equally, if not more important to leave scholarly disagreements to scholars. Brothers and sisters who are not scholars should refrain from “defending” one scholar against other purely because they are vulnerable to insulting others and speaking on behalf of their emotions (as opposed to sound knowledge). If Sh. Keller wants to defend himself, he’s perfectly capable of doing so. If he chooses to remain silent, that is his right as well. Let’s stop treating scholars like pokemon cards and leave an analysis of “great” they are, to those who know the criteria to measure scholarship.

    • My perspectives are not my own but of scholars who belong to one of the four schools of Sunni jurisprudence in fiqh and of scholars of the Ash’ari, Maturidi, and Athari schools in creed. All of my standpoints in this blog are represented by them. Those who care about their Religion will pay heed to this advice as this group of scholars represents the vast mass of Muslims throughout Islam, in history and in contemporary times. Those who follow this mass are Guided on the Right Path, while those who choose separate ways are jeopardizing their Salvation. Know well that as the Day of Judgment draws near, those who claim to be scholars will, in fact, be misguiding Muslims. While such pseudo-scholars exist, they must be differentiated from genuine scholars. Unfortunately Yasir Qadhi belongs to the former category and not the latter as he contradicts the vast mass of Muslims in many matters of fiqh and `aqeedah. This blog, as an act of `ibidah, serves to unveil such people. May Allah Guide all of us to the Truth. Aaameen.

  5. Salam,

    I’ve made it common to check your site for new articles and updates. Mashallah, for this one. May Allah reward you. Ameen.

    Wa Salam,

    Ian

  6. to be honest im not even suprised with the crued and ill comments made towards such a personality and towards authentic islam. its clear the knowledge that these ‘new cults’ salafi wahabis deobadi ect all have absolute minimal knowledge and hikmah, but abudances of hated and jah’liah to say the least.

  7. Assalaamu alaykum,

    I still hold Imam Suhaib Webb in great esteem. And I think this article has some element of danger, as it endangers the benefit people can gain from him. I always admired how he was able to teach Ghazali and Ibn Taymiyah in the same setting. Although I would urge people AT THE SAME TIME time to hold onto SunniPath and scholars such as Shaykh Abdul Hakim Murad, Hamza Yusuf and so on.

    • This blog does not say that Suhaib Webb has not produced any good for Muslims. However, his crude statements against genuine Sunni scholars like Shaykh Nuh Ha Mim Keller, Shaykh Faraz Rabbani, and the rest of the eminent scholars in Sunnipath (Qibla), and by extension Seeker’s Guidance, and Zaytuna University — who all learn and teach the same genuine Sunni Islam — are to be repudiated in the strongest terms possible. His opposition to great and orthodox Sunni scholarship and name-calling against them is unwarranted and dangerous as it drives Muslims away from genuine Sunni Islam to pseudo-Sunni sects, and drives a wedge between and among Muslims and serves to divide our blessed Ummah. We do not need division at this time, but unity. Those who divide Muslims must be warned against, even if they have contributed positively in other ways.

  8. Fantastic article and analyses. I loved how you were on top of everything that happened between multiple parties and listed excerpts in chronological order. It shows himmah that we should all aspire to.

  9. The author failed to address the question: why do Shaykh Nuh’s followers buy his used miswaks? I’d like a good explanation for that.

  10. Assalam alaykum Sunni1,

    I wanted to thank you for the article and for taking the time to put it together. I agree with you that the schools of ahlus sunnah wal jama’a in aqida are Maturidiy and Ashariy schools and in Fiqh are Hanafi, Shafi’i, Maliki and Hanbali schools. May Allah guide other Muslims to this truth and may He guide them to taking their knowledge from the right teachers. Amin.

    • This is the Wahhabi problem. While knowing well that the vast majority of Muslims in Islam’s history are Ash’ari/Maturidi, they do takfir and impugn the Ummah with accusations of “shirk” (polytheism). Little do they know that without the Ash’aris/Maturidis, they would not have been able to receive authentic knowledge from the early pious adherents who lived before them.

      Such accusations reflect the height of ignorance, arrogance, and extremism which can never be representative of any authentic Muslim.

      Sunni1

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