NEW! Yaser Birjas says: Muslims can eat chicken in fast-food restaurants in America.

(Picture of Yaser Birjas)

Yaser Birjas and Yasir Qadhi, both instructors at al-Maghrib Institute, had a debate on whether it is permissible to eat meat from the People of the Book (Ahl-e-Kitaab), i.e. the Jews and Christians, in the USA. Part-1 and Part-2 of the debate between Yaser Birjas and Yasir Qadhi can be heard on youtube.

While Yasir Qadhi’s position in this instance is correct (a rarity indeed) — that it is not allowed for Muslims to eat any unslaughtered meat, including chicken, from American fast-food restaurants — Yaser Birjas begged to differ. Yaser Birjas firmly believes that eating chicken at McDonalds and other such places in the USA is permissible. This is clear from Yaser Birjas’s words at the very end of the debate in Part-2, when he clearly confessed to eating such meat:

“I was eating chicken, he [meaning Yasir Qadhi] was eating something else.”

But eating such chicken is no laughing matter. It is haraam.  Like Yasir Qadhi, Yaser Birjas is not qualified to give a fiqhi opinion on the matter. Even worse, Yaser Birjas says he derives his position on the permissibility of eating chicken at US fast-food restaurants from the Shafi’i madhab (!). This is a gross misrepresentation of the Shafi’i madhab which Yaser Birjas should repent for. Such blunders are inevitable when non-scholars like Yaser Birjas play scholar on fiqhi issues when they are clearly not in a position to do so. One can only wonder how many youth were misguided by Yaser Birjas’s position that Muslims can eat chicken in US fast-food restaurants “because they are People of the Book.”


Shaykh Hamza Karamali of Qibla (formerly Sunnipath Academy) explains the incorrect understanding that some people (like Yaser Birjas) have of the Shafi’i madhab’s position on the matter. It is worth reading Shaykh Karamali’s response in full to understand how Yaser Birjas misrepresented the Shafi’i madhab.

A questioner asked:

“Could you please explain to me the position of the Shafi’i madhhab on eating the meat of those who call themselves Christians, in the West, for example, Mcdonalds? Is it halal to eat this type of meat?”

Shaykh Karamali responded:

In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate

assalamu `alaykum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh

I pray that this message finds you well. May Allah reward you for asking this important question.

It is not permissible to eat meat unless it fulfills the conditions of a valid Islamic slaughter. Meat that hasn’t been Islamically slaughtered is called “carrion” (Ar. maytah) and Allah Most High clearly prohibits the consumption of carrion in many verses, such as  “Prohibited for you are: carrion, blood, …” (5:3).

The meat that is sold in supermarkets and restaurants in countries with small Muslim populations, such as the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and other countries, does not generally meet the conditions of a valid Islamic slaughter and is not permissible to eat.

Some Muslims argue that the Shafi`i school permits eating such meat. This is a mistake. The meat that is prevalently available in such lands is not halal and impermissible to eat even according to the Shafi`i school.

The Muslims who mistakenly ascribe this position to the Shafi`i school argue that (1) since the Shafi`i school does not require the slaughterer to recite the name of Allah while slaughtering, and (2) since the Quran permits us to eat the meat of Christians, the meat found in supermarkets and restaurants is permissible to consume. This reasoning is incorrect on both of its premises.

The first premise is a true premise but makes a number of incorrect assumptions. It is, in fact, true that reciting the name of Allah while slaughtering is not a requirement in the Shafi`i school. However, the Shafi`i school–like other schools –makes other stipulations regarding a valid slaughter that are generally not met in non-Muslim countries. For example, the slaughter is only valid if the windpipe and gullet of the animal is severed with a sharp instrument. Killing the animal through electrocution or a through a shot to the head violates this condition and the resulting dead animal is not permissible to eat at all. This is, in fact, how most meat is slaughtered in non-Muslim countries.

The second premise also does not lend credence to the argument because according to the Shafi`is, the meat validly slaughtered by Christians (i.e. by severing the windpipe and gullet with a sharp instrument) is only permissible to eat if the Christians meet certain stringent conditions. The vast majority of Christians alive today don’t meet these stringent conditions and their slaughtered meat is not permissible to eat in the Shafi`i school. [1] So, if anything, the Shafi`i school is even stricter than other schools when it comes to the permissibility of eating meat that is slaughtered by the People of the Book.

And Allah Most High knows best.


[1] The Shafi`is stipulate that the Christian whose slaughtered meat is permissible to eat is someone who has an uninterrupted Christian lineage all the way back to pre-Islamic times. If the Christian is of non-Israelite descent, then this needs to be positively established (virtually impossible in our times). If the Christian is of Israelite descent, then the conditions are less stringent.

Reference: Hashiyat al-Jamal `ala Fath al-Wahhab
MMVIII © Qibla.


The Shafi’i Fiqh Fatwa Department was also asked the same question.


“Allah made it lawful to eat the meat of the people of the book/scripture…Now in the U.S.A. does the same apply to fast food places that sell chicken and you do not know how it was killed?”


Regarding a Muslim consuming meat whilst residing in a minority context, Imam Nawawi mentioned,

“What if an animal is found slaughtered, and it is not known whether or not the one who slaughtered it was a Muslim, from Ahl al-Kitab, or from other than them [Majusi]? In this case, when the animal is found in lands where there are Muslims and others, it shall not be considered as halal (i.e. it is impermissible) due to the uncertainty of if it was lawfully slaughtered.” (Rawdat al-Talibin 3/270, also see: Mughni al-Muhtaj 6/121)

According to the United State’s 2010 Census figures, about 16.1% of Americans adhered to the category of “no religion.” And 0.7% claimed to be Buddhists, 0.4% claimed to be Hindus, and 1.2% claimed other religions. Thus, about one-fifth of the population in the United States adheres to a religion other than Christianity, Judaism, or Islam. In some states, like Vermont, the rate of people claiming “no religion” is significantly high, being reported at 34%.


Accordingly, the situation in the United States would be as Imam Nawawi stated in Rawdah, “it is not clear as to whether or not he who slaughtered it was a Muslim, from Ahl al-Kitab, or from other than them…” (Rawdat al-Talibin 3/270)

Therefore, it is not permissible to eat the meat served in fast-food restaurants in the United States; unless verified that the food served is acceptable according to Islamic dietary guidelines.

And Allah knows best. Fatwa Dept.


Yaser Birjas should repent for speaking without knowledge and misguiding and confusing our youth on the matter. His view must certainly have caused many youth to eat haraam chicken at McDonalds and other places in the USA. We seek refuge in Allah from such misguidance. Indeed, our beloved Prophet (peace & blessings be upon him) had warned:

“Allah does not take away the knowledge by ordering it pulled out of the hearts of the people. Instead, Allah takes the knowledge away by making the scholars die. When no scholar remains, people take for the themselves ignorant leaders whom they ask for religious answers. These leaders will answer them with ignorance, thus straying and leading them astray.”

(Source: Hadith Tirmidhi)

May Allah protect us from pseudo-scholars and Guide us on the Straight Path of the most knowledgeable in our Ummah. Aaameen!


NEW! Al-Maghrib Institute says: Praying with Hands Below Navel is Wrong.

The Al-Maghrib Institute teaches in this article in the Al-Maghrib Institute Forum that (for men) placing the hands below the navel in prayer is wrong. This explanation is peppered with explanations of evidence from Naseerudin Al-Albani (from the anti-madhabi so-called “Ahl-e-Hadeeth” anti-Sunni sect) and “Dr. Bilal Philips” (the notorious Jamaican-Canadian Wahhabi whose writings are filled with anti-Sunni gibberish). If he thinks the title “Dr.” is supposed to make us believe his explanations are spot on, then he is sadly mistaken.

It is a fact that the Hanafis and Hanbalis pray with their arms below the navel. Al-Maghrib Institute conveniently hides this from their students. Not only is this an attack on Hanafis and Hanbalis, and attributing ignorance to generations of their scholars and followers — who were part of the pious salaf us-salih — but also shows that Al-Maghrib Institute teachers promote teachings contrary to the Hanbali madhab. So much for the claim that Wahhabi/neo-Wahhabi fiqh is Hanbali. As one brother rightfully puts it: “Wahhabis are fake Hanbalis.”  I say they are Hanbalis of convenience, just as they are Hanafis, Shafi’is, and Malikis of convenience. Therefore, learning jurisprudence from the Al-Maghrib Institute is to mix the wrong with the right based on a layperson methodology of the Islamic Sources that was never followed by Ahl al-Sunna wa’al Jama’ah today and throughout Islam’s history.

Al-Maghrib Institute’s teachers, though lacking any competency in ijtihad or in the understanding of the ijtihad of the mujtahideen who were capable of delving in it, nevertheless still feel comfortable in declaring their understanding of fiqh to be superior to Muslims of the Salaf who had higher knowledge. May Allah Protect us from laypeople who arrogantly play with fiqh without any `usool as a baby plays with his toys. Al-Maghrib Institute’s pseudo-scholars will be held accountable for teaching youngsters ignorance and a selective understanding of what our glorious `ulema taught and stood for.


Shaykh Faraz Rabbani of Seekers Guidance (formerly of Sunnipath Academy) was asked the following question:

“I am referring you to an article written by a ‘salafi’ in response to Hasan as-Saqqaf’s refutation of al-albani. The issue discussed is that of the placing of the hands in prayer. Their argument is very convincing since they quote from scholars such as Ayni, the [Hanafi] commentator of al-Bukhari, which appears to show that hanafi salah is based on weak dalail. What have the scholars said in response to this?”

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani responds:

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Walaikum assalam,

The early Muslims used to say: “This matter is your deen, so be careful where you take your deen from.”

Things to think about:

1. Are Salafis reliable transmitters of knowledge, or people of gross innovation?

2. Who is “Mubarakfooree,” whose work was quoted on that site? He was a major member of the Ahle-Hadis (Wahhabi) movement of India , with a gross anti-Hanafi bias, as his (otherwise often useful) works clearly show.

3. Imam Ahmad transmitted the hadiths of placing one’s hands on one’s chest in his Musnad and was certainly aware of the hadiths transmitted on this matter. However, his position (and the relied upon position of his school) [see: Kashshaf al-Qina` of al-Buhuti, and al-Mughni of Ibn Qudama] is the same as that of Imam Abu Hanifa and his students: the sunna, as Imam Ali (Allah be pleased with him) said, is to place one’s hands below the navel. Note that all these giants were absolute mujtahids, something Mubarakfooree and, even more so, Albani, are nowhere close to being.

4. Much of the article is mis-quotes, mixing and matching scholarly reasoning, and imbalanced argument.

5. The established Sunni position is that all four madhhabs are sound, and their positions valid to follow, because the fact is that they are inevitably based on sound proofs, when one considers the legal methodology of that particular school. One cannot superimpose one school’s legal methodology on another.

6. As an aside, Hasan Saqqaf is an innovator, whose innovations (especially in matters of aqida and methodology) are far worse than those of the Wahhabis. His most recent work is a negation of (the soundly established) beholding Allah in the Next Life.

The following is taken from Shaykh Abdurrahman ibn Yusuf’s excellent work in English on the evidences of the Hanafi school, Fiqh al-Imam:

Evidence of the Hanafis:

1. Wa’il ibn Hujr narrates, “I saw Rasulullah placing his right hand upon the left one below his navel, in prayer.” [Musannaf Ibn Abi Shayba, Athar al-Sunan 90]

This is the third version of Wa’il ibn Hujr’s narration which was mentioned at the beginning of the chapter containing the words, “below the navel.” Some Hanafi scholars have stated that this version cannot be used as conclusive evidence for their opinion, because the words “below his navel” are only to be found in some editions of Musannaf Ibn Abi Shayba, and not in them all. This is aside from the fact that, as we mentioned, it has an inconsistent text.

However, it is stated in Fath al-Mulhim that “Allama Qasim ibn Qutlubgah has judged this version to be of sound transmission.” Allama Muhammad Abu’l-Tayyibal-Madaniwrites in his commentary on Sunan al-Tirmidhi that this narration has a strong chain, and Shaykh ‘Abid Sindhi states, “Its narrators are trustworthy.” Also, a number of scholars have verified that the addition, “below the navel” is to be found in many manuscripts of Musannaf Ibn Abi Shayba, even if it is not found in the recently published editions. [See Athar al-sunan 148]

Therefore, despite the problematic nature Wa’il ibn Hujr’s narration, this version of it can not be rendered totally unacceptable, since there are many other more reliable reports that strengthen it.

2. ‘Ali states, “To place one palm over the other beneath the navel, is from the sunna of salat.” [Bayhaqi 312*, Musannaf Ibn Abi Shayba 1:391]

It is a known fact that whenever a Companion utters the words “It is from the sunna” regarding any action, it means it is something acquired from Rasulullah himself. Hence, ‘Ali could have only reported this practice as sunna after observing Rasulullah do it. The problem with this narration is that it contains ‘Abdal-Rahman ibn Ishaq in its chain who has been classified as weak. The Hanafis have not fully relied on this narration as a basis f or their opinion, but since there are many other narrations which reinforce it, it could still stand as supplementary evidence.

3. Hajjaj ibn al-Hassan relates, “Either I heard Abu Mijlaz saying or I inquired from him, ‘How should one position his hands [during prayer]?’ He replied, “He should place the inner portion of his right hand upon the back of the left one beneath the navel.” [Musannaf Ibn Abi Shayba 1:390]

The transmission of this hadith is sound [hasan], as ‘Allama Mardini states in his book al-Jawhar al-naqiyy.

4. Ibrahim al-Nakh’ay relates, “One should place his right hand upon the left one beneath the navel whilst in salat.” [Musannaf Ibn Abi Shayba 1:390]

The transmission of this hadith is also sound [hasan].

5. Abu Hurayra narrates, “The placing of one hand over the other in salat should be beneath the navel.” [al-Jawharal-naqiyy 2:31*]

6. Anas reports that there are three aspects from the character of Nubuwwa [Prophethood]: to open fast early, to delay the suhur [pre-dawn meal], and to position the right hand over the left one beneath the navel while in salat. [al-Jawharal-naqiyy 2:31*]

Other reasons for the Hanafi opinion:

The scholars have provided various reasons why the hands are best placed beneath the navel and why this method has been classified as most preferable.

(a) Although most of the ahadith on this issue are weak in one way or another, the narrations presented by the Hanafis have been judged to be more sound than the rest.

(b) Ibn al-Humam states in his book Fath al-Qadir, “Due to the inconsistency and contradiction s found between the various narrations, it is best to resort to analogy and reasoning. Standing before the Lord demands a posture which expresses respect and reverence. Since positioning the hands beneath the navel is probably the most respectful way of standing, it will be considered most superior. On the other hand, the reason for women being instructed to position their hands on their chest, is so that greater concealment [and modesty] can be achieved by this.”

3. ‘Allama ‘Ayni states, “To position the hands beneath the navel holds great virtue. It is a posture which signifies great respect. It displays greater contrast to the postures of the disbelievers.” He also writes, “This is the same posture in which one stands before the rulers [of this world].” He further states, “Placing the hands on the chest creates a similarity with women, hence that cannot be classified as the sunna for men.” [‘Umdat al-qari 3:16*]

Walaikum assalam,
Faraz Rabbani.


A knowledgeable analysis of the matter is also available in the Seeking `Ilm website over here.

May Allah Protect us from the misguidance of Al-Maghrib Institute and keep us on the Right Path as taught by the Hanafi, Hanbali, Shafi’i, and Maliki schools of jurisprudence, whose superior understanding of Islam was rooted in the time of the pious salaf us-salih. Aaameen.

NEW! More Strange anti-Sunni Quotes by Al-Maghrib Institute.

The Al-Maghrib Institute teaches “The Light of Guidance: The Fundamentals of Faith 101”. This hyperlinked document shows that these course notes were made by Yasir Qadhi and taught by various teachers to Al-Maghrib Institute students. Note that the course notes are dated “February 2011,” which clearly indicates that this is a very recent and current course by Al-Maghrib Institute. True to their Wahhabi-Salafi colors, their attacks on orthodox Sunni Islam continue. 

The following is a selection of strange quotes from the course that are contrary to orthodox Sunni Islam.

(1) The quote below in the Al-Maghrib Institute course notes states that Shaykh Abdal-Qadir Jilani was worshipped “more and more.” But by who? The notes are silent about this. What is being attacked here is not “worship” of the Shaykh, but the orthodox Sunni practice of tawassul which is not worship. The specific quote from the course:

“As with the people of Nūḥ, when [Shaykh Abdal-Qadir Jilani] died the people started to exalt him and worship him more and more. Now, his grave is found in twelve different lands in the world. The basis of shirk is to take a righteous person and put him higher than he deserves.” (p.89)

(2) The quote below in the Al-Maghrib Institute course notes states that it is not allowed for a Muslim to travel to a mosque with the intention of getting blessings. The course notes says:

“In Damascus, the Umayyad mosque is the oldest masjid, and it is Islāmically not allowed to travel to Damascus just to pray in that mosque thinking that it will give you blessings. You can go there to sight-see and visit the mosque, but you cannot think that you will get more reward by going there.” (p.96)

This is an echo of one of Ibn Taymiyah’s strange fatawa, which was soundly refuted by Ahl-al-Sunna scholars in a previous post in the section titled, “Yasir Qadhi Parrots Ibn Taymiyah’s Mistake.” What do Yasir Qadhi and the Al-Maghrib Institute have to say about the Sunni scholars’ unveiling of Ibn Taymiyah’s blunder regarding the matter? Curiously but unsurprisingly, the course notes are silent about this. 

(3) The quote below in the Al-Maghrib Institute course notes states that there is “nothing holy” about the Prophet’s (peace & blessings be upon him) grave. The course says: 

“Do not seek barakah from the [Prophet’s] grave. Ask Allāh to help you and make du‘ā. Do not seek blessings by kissing or touching the grave. Also, realize that the copper grailing was built 300 years ago and has nothing to do with the Prophet (allallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam). It was built by the Ottomans and there is nothing holy about it. If you think that the grave exudes barakah by some barakah osmosis, it has been 14 centuries, and the barakah would have reached Minnesota. This would mean that the carpets next to the grailing and the land around it are blessed. This is not the way our religion works, and we are not a superstitious religion. His body was blessed, but where he is buried now is not assumed to transfer the blessings to the whole world.” (p.97)

Typical of Wahhabis-Salafis, notice the disrespect and lack of adaab the Al-Maghrib Instiute has for our beloved Prophet (peace & blessings upon him) when they shamelessly said: “If you think that the grave exudes barakah by some barakah osmosis, it has been 14 centuries, and the barakah would have reached Minnesota.” Can a true orthodox Sunni ever be so disrespectful, sarcastic, and comfortable with such mockery?

(4) The quote below in the Al-Maghrib Institute course notes states that asking the Prophet (peace & blessings upon him) to make du’a for you is shirk.  The course states:

“People make du‘ā to the Prophet (allallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) or ask the Prophet (allallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) to make du‘ā for them to Allāh….They are taking a prophet of God and making him into a god like the Christians. This is a clear manifestation of shirk.” (p.98)

However, the Sunna Foundation provides the specific evidence of a Companion of the Prophet (peace & blessings upon him) who went to the grave of the Prophet (peace & blessings upon him)  and asked the Prophet (peace & blessings upon him) to ask Allah to give rain to the Ummah:

Al-Bayhaqi relates with a sound (sahih) chain: “It is related from Malik al-Dar, `Umar’s treasurer, that the people suffered a drought during the successorship of `Umar, whereupon a man came to the grave of the Prophet and said: “O Messenger of Allah, ask for rain for your Community, for verily they have but perished,” after which the Prophet appeared to him in a dream and told him: “Go to `Umar and give him my greeting, then tell him that they will be watered. Tell him: You must be clever, you must be clever!” The man went and told `Umar. The latter said: “O my Lord, I spare no effort except in what escapes my power!” Ibn Kathir cites it thus from Bayhaqi in al-Bidaya wa al-nihaya and says: isnaduhu sahih; Ibn Abi Shayba cites it in his Musannaf with a sound (sahih) chain as confirmed by Ibn Hajar who says: rawa Ibn Abi Shayba bi isnadin sahih and cites the hadith in Fath al-Bari. He identifies Malik al-Dar as `Umar’s treasurer (khazin `umar) and says that the man who visited and saw the Prophet in his dream is identified as the Companion Bilal ibn al-Harith, and he counts this hadith among the reasons for Bukhari’s naming of the chapter “The people’s request to their leader for rain if they suffer drought.” He also mentions it in al-Isaba, where he says that Ibn Abi Khaythama cited it.

The legal inference here is not from the dream, because although the dream of seeing the Prophet is truthful, a dream cannot be used to establish a ruling (hukm) due to the possibility that the person who saw it makes an error in its wording. Rather, the inference from this hadith is based on the action of the Companion Bilal ibn al-Harith. The fact that Bilal came to the grave of the Prophet, called out to him, and asked him to ask for rain is a proof that these actions are permitted. These actions fall under the rubric of asking the Prophet for help (istighatha), seeking him as a means (tawassul), and using his intermediary (tashaffu`), and none of the Companions reprimanded him, and therefore it was understood that such actions are among the greatest acts of drawing near to Allah.

In his edition of Ibn Hajar, the Wahhabi scholar Ibn Baz rejects the hadith as a valid source for seeking rain through the Prophet, and brazenly condemns the act of the Companion who came to the grave, calling it munkar (aberrant) and wasila ila al-shirk (a means to associating partners to Allah). We seek protection from Allah from ignorance and error.

According to al-Maghrib Institute’s neo-Wahhabi logic, this would make the Companion Bilal ibn al-Harith guilty of shirk ul-akbar.  May Allah protect us from such perverted accusations against the beloved Companions of our beloved Prophet (peace & blessings upon him)!

(5) The Al-Maghrib Institute course states that tabarruk (or the act of asking Allah for things using objects associated with holy people) should not be done because there is no way of knowing what is and what is not authentic that belongs to the Prophet (peace & blessings upon him).  But what if authentic possessions of the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) did exist, and Muslims did tabarruk with them? The course notes below do not explicitly answer this question, though they imply that it is permissible. The reason is because, the course notes state, that: “Theoretically, the remnants of the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) will always exude barakah.” The course says:

“What about seeking barakah from the Prophet’s hair and clothes and shoes in our times? What about seeking barakah from the remnants of the Prophet (allallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam)? Theoretically, the remnants of the Prophet (allallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) will always exude barakah. The problem that arises is that we have no way of knowing that this item was in fact the item of the Prophet (allallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam). By and large, we can guarantee that this is a forgery and fabrication. There are at least 12 shoes on display around the world from China to places in Africa that claim to be shoes of the Prophet (allallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) even though he only had one pair of shoes in his life….A little common sense will tell you that this is not real. We don’t have a single item on the face of the earth that we know belonged to the Prophet (allallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam), even those in museums. There is nothing on the face of the earth that we know for sure that belonged to the Prophet (allallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam).” (p.99)

The above, however, contradicts what is quoted from the notes in #7 below.

(6) The course says below: “The stones of the Ka’bah are not even blessed,” and “The Ka’bah itself is not holy.” The only comment is that I ask Allah to protect us from such perfidious, anti-Sunni statements. The course says:

“It is not that uncommon to get a small piece of the cloth of the Ka‘bah. There is nothing that is blessed about the cloth of the Ka‘bah. The stones of the Ka‘bah are not even blessed. Only al-ajar al-aswad is blessed. We are not polytheists and pagans and idol worshippers. The Ka‘bah itself is not holy. It is the area and land and environment that is holy but not the physical structure.” (p.100)

(7) Recall from #5 above that Al-Maghrib Institute attempted to forbid tabarruk through the Prophet’s (peace & blessings upon him) possessions by saying there is no way of knowing what the authentic possessions of the Prophet (peace & blessings be upon him) are. Also, remember that Al-Maghrib Institute said that “Theoretically, the remnants of the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) will always exude barakah” (p.99). Now, the course says:

“In contrast, if a person is asking for blessings from an object he think (sic) Allāh has blessed, then this is bid‘ah and not shirk.” (p.101)

This is a contradiction. In #5 above, al-Maghrib Institute stated that in theory the Prophet’s (peace & blessings upon him) things will always exude barakah, and implied that tabarruk would be permissible if we knew those possessions authentically belonged to Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings upon him). But now we know from the quote above that even if authentic possessions of Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings upon him), or of any genuine saint, did exist, it would still be “bid’ah” to ask Allah for things using those possessions. How can an act be both “theoretically” correct, but “bid’ah” if actually practiced? It sounds a bit like Al-Maghrib Institute’s contradictory stand on Mawleed.

Though repulsive, however, it is good to know that al-Maghrib Institute has shifted its position from “shirk” to “bid’ah” in regards to tabarruk. One day I hope the position will change from “bid’ah” to halaal in line with orthodox Sunni tradition.

(8) Now to tawassul. It is well-known that Wahhabis of all varieties (including the al-Maghrib Institute variety) forbid the act of tawassul in the form of asking Allah for things using a pious intermediary who is living the life of barzakh in the grave. Even more interesting is the recognition and admission by Al-Maghrib Institute that famous Islamic scholars allowed this form of tawassul that al-Maghrib Institute is against! The course says:

“It is true that many famous scholars starting from medieval Islām such as An-Nawawi, Ibn ajar, Al-Shawkāni and Al-Suyūṭī clearly allowed this type of tawassul. Ibn Taymiyyah, Ibn Al-Qayyim, Ibn Kathīr agree with us.” (p.135)

This is proof that al-Maghrib Institute picks and chooses from scholars, instead of choosing to follow the great majority of Muslims on the matter.  They prefer to adhere to controversial individuals rather than fully established and uncontroversial scholars (though Shawkani is rather strange in some aspects from a truly Sunni perspective). It is to be noted, however, that Ibn Kathir did not express any outright condemnation of this form of tawassul. And neither was he influenced by Ibn Taymiyah’s strange understanding of creed (`aqeedah).  

(9) Of the Ash’aris and Maturidis — both of which represent the Ahl al-Sunna wa’al Jama’ah — the al-Maghrib Institute class notes state:

“These groups are our theological cousins. Their book definition of tawḥīd is incorrect. Ulūhiyyah is missing from their definition. It is not a coincidence that where this group became dominant, shirk in ulūhiyyah also increased. When you make du‘ā to a dead saint, according to this group you are not committing shirk. They define tawḥīd in rubūbiyyah and do not accept ulūhiyyah as a part of tawḥīd. For us, ulūhiyyah is tawḥīd because what is lā ilāha illa Allāh except ulūhiyyah. At the end of the day, these people are not bad people. They just have incorrect ideas. They are our brothers in Islām and we love the good in them and try to correct the bad in them. They are the closest group to pure Sunni Islām. Ibn Taymiyyah said we include them in the general, broad sense Sunni Islām. At the end of the day, what combines us is more than what separates us.” (p.169-170)

Note the accusation of shirk when the notes state, “It is not a coincidence that where this group became dominant, shirk in ulūhiyyah also increased.” However, in the same breath the notes state, “At the end of the day, these people are not bad people” and “They are the closest group to pure Sunni Islam“?  How can people who have been accused of committing “shirk in uluhiyyah” be the “closest group to pure Sunni Islam”? Especially when the same notes state in page-158 that “Worshipping other than Allāh (subḥānahu wa ta’āla) is kufr. Shirk definitely is a type of kufr.”

Is it perhaps because Yasir Qadhi knows that the vast majority of Hanafis are Maturidi and the vast majority of Shafi’is and Malikis are Ash’ari? In other words, 99% of Muslims have been Ash’ari and Maturidi — and Yasir Qadhi and his entourage have the audacity to claim that they have committed “shirk in uluhiyyah”? Some famous Ash’ari scholars are Imam Nawawi, Imam Baihaqi, Imam Ghazzali, Imam Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalani, Imam al-Qurtubi, Qadi `Iyad al-Maliki, Shaykh al-Khatib al-Baghdadi, Imam Fakhrud-Din ar-Razi, and many others. Even Salahhad-deen al-Ayoobi was Ash’ari. Can any Muslim in their correct state of mind accuse these Muslims of “shirk in uluhiyyah”? Is this perhaps why Yasir Qadhi in the same breath says Ash’aris and Maturidis are not bad people? We seek refuge in Allah from such extremist accusations and belittling of our great `ulema.  

May Allah Guide all of us to the path of the Muslim majority — not the minority splinter groups that the Al-Maghrib Institute diehardly propagates.

NEW! Yasir Qadhi Insults Famous Sunni Scholars of Theology, Including Imam Ghazzali

Yasir Qadhi said:

The greatest figures of kalaam, starting with Ibn Furak, al-Baqillani, Abd al-Qahir al-Baghdadi, al-Juwani, al-Ghazali, and then ending with the main seal, Fakhr al-Din al-Razi – all of them had very minimal knowledge of hadeeth and the sciences of hadeeth. Al-Ghazali unabashedly admits this in his Ihya, and this is not just a claim shrouded in modesty, but rather the truth, as any student of hadeeth knows. The mere quantity of fabricated and extremely weak (wahi and batil) ahadeeth in this work are enough of an indication to the veracity of his claim. Additionally, he has no works on the sciences of hadeeth or shurooh of the books of hadeeth, yet he wrote numerous works on mysticim, pure philsophy (read his Miskhat al-Anwar – and much can be said about this work, which is perhaps wiser not to say in public!), and kalaam.

It is a amazing that Yasir Qadhi has chosen to slander the greatest scholars Islam has ever produced. It is through them that our Religion was defended from pseudo-Sunni and other heretics, and it is through them that correct knowledge of Islam has reached us.

Shaykh Gabriel Fouad Haddad responds to insults against Hujjat al-Islam, Imam Ghazzali:

Those Who Attack Imam Ghazali
by Sh. G. F. Haddad

Bismillah al-Rahman al-Raheem
was-salaat was-salaam `alaa Rasul-illah wa ‘alaa alihi wa sahbihi wa sallam

Today’s “Salafis” have revived a particularly bad trait of some naysayers of the past, which consists in attacking Imam Ghazali and belittling those who read his works and cite them to illustrate their opinions. This concerns especially his major book Ihya’ `Ulum al-Din, because it is a landmark of tasawwuf whose immense success and readership the enemies of tasawwuf find particularly galling. Some go so far as to claim that Ghazali was mad when he wrote it, others misconstrue Ghazali’s deathbed reading of Imam Bukhari as a renunciation of tasawwuf, others yet bring up the condemnations of the book by a handful of scholars known for their anti-sufi bias. Yet Allah has allowed the book to tower high above the clamor of its few detractors, and its translations keep increasing in number and quality. The following is intended to provide readers with reliable references concerning his life and works so as to protect ourselves, with Allah’s help, against the slurs of ignorance and envy.

Salah al-Din al-Safadi (d. 764), Abu Hayyan al-Andalusi’s student, relates in his great biographical dictionary entitled al-Wafi — which contains over 14,000 biographies:

Muhammad b. Muhammad b. Muhammad b. Ahmad, the Proof of Islam, the Ornament of the Faith, Abu Hamid al-Tusi (al-Ghazali), the Shafi`i jurist, was in his later years without rival.

In 488 he gave up the entirety of his worldly estate (and his professorship at the Nizamiyya, where he had taught since 484) and followed the way of renunciation and solitude. He made the Pilgrimage, and, upon his return, directed his steps to Syria, where he abided a while in the city of Damascus, giving instruction in the mosque retreat (zawiyat al-jami`) which now bears his name in the Western quarter. He then voyaged to Jerusalem, exerting himself greatly in worship and in visiting the holy sites and places. Next he travelled to Egypt, remaining for a while at Alexandria…

He returned to his native city of Tus (shortly before 492). Here he compiled a number of valuable books [among them the Ihya’] before returning to Nisabur, where he was obliged to give lessons at the Nizamiyya (499). He subsequently forsook this and made his way back to his home city, where he assumed the directorship of a retreat (khaniqah) for the Sufis and that of a neighboring college for those occupied with learning. He divided his time among good works such as reciting through the Qur’an and holding lessons for the People of Hearts (the Sufis)…

It is among the noblest and greatest of books, to the extent that it was said concerning it: If all books of Islam were lost except the Ihya’, it would suffice for what was lost… They disapproved of him for including in it hadiths which were not established to be authentic, but such inclusion is permitted in works of encouraging good and discouraging evil (al-targhib wa al- tarhib). The book remains extremely valuable. Imam Fakhr al-Din al-Razi used to say: “It was as if Allah gathered all sciences under a dome, and showed them to al-Ghazali,” or something to this effect. He passed away… in 505 at Tabaran… the citadel of Tus, where he was interred.(1)

The above clearly refutes the fabrication by some that Ghazali disavowed tasawwuf towards the end of his life. Let us turn to the fabrication of those who try to separate between the Ghazali of usul al- fiqh and the Ghazali of tasawwuf. When they are told that Imam Ghazali’s books on the methodology and foundations of Islamic law are considered required reading in the field — such as his Mustasfa and Mankhul and Shifa’ al-ghalil — they say that he wrote them before his period of seclusion during which he adopted tasawwuf. In reality, the greatest and most comprehensive of the four books he wrote on Usul al-fiqh (Principles of law) was composed in the last period of his life as stated by Dr. Taha al-`Alwani in his book Usul al-fiqh al-islami:

Al Imam al-Ghazali’s Encyclopedia of Shari`a Source Methodology, his fourth book on the subject, and his last word, was al- Mustasfa, which has been printed several times in Egypt and elsewhere. Indeed, this is the work he wrote after coming out of his period of meditation and seclusion.(2)

The notice on Ghazali in the Reliance states:

In Damascus he lived in seclusion for some ten years, engaged in spiritual struggle and the remembrance of Allah, at the end of which he emerged to produce his masterpiece Ihya’ `Ulum al-Din [Giving Life to the Religious Sciences], a classic among the books of the Muslims about internalizing godfearingness (taqwa) in one’s dealings with Allah, illuminating the soul through obedience to Him, and the levels of believers’ attainment therein. The work shows how deeply Ghazali personally realized what he wrote about, and his masterly treatment of hundreds of questions dealing with the inner life that no-one had previously discussed or solved is a performance of sustained excellence that shows its author’s well- disciplined intellect and profound appreciation of human psychology. He also wrote nearly two hundred other works, on the theory of government, Sacred Law, refutations of philosophers, tenets of faith, Sufism, Koranic exegesis, scholastic theology, and bases of Islamic jurisprudence.(3)

What about Ghazali’s scholarly critics? The most vocal, Ibn al- Jawzi — a detractor of Sufis — dismisses the Ihya’ in four of his works: I`lam al-ahya’ bi aghlat al-Ihya’ (Informing the living about the mistakes of the Ihya’), Talbis Iblis, Kitab al-qussas,(4)and his history al-Muntazam fi tarikh al-muluk wal-umam.(5)His views influenced Ibn Taymiyya and his student Dhahabi. The basis of their position was Ghazali’s use of weak hadiths, a list of which is provided by Taj al-Din al-Subki in his Tabaqat. Is their criticism justified or an exaggeration? Most likely the latter, in view of the fact that both the hafiz al-`Iraqi (d. 806) and the hafiz al-Zabidi (d. 1205) after him documented every single hadith in the Ihya and never questioned its usefulness as a whole. Rather, they accepted its immense standing among Muslims and contributed to its embellishment and spread as a manual for spiritual progress. As Subki stressed, Ghazali never excelled in the field of hadith.(6)

More importantly, the majority of hadith masters hold it permissible to use weak hadiths in other than the derivation of legal rulings, such as in the encouragement to good and discouragement from evil (al-targhib wa al-tarhib), as countless hadith masters have indicated as well as other scholars, such as al-Safadi himself.(7)It must be understood that Ghazali incorporated all the material which he judged of use to his didactic purposes on the bases of content rather than origin or chain of transmission; that most of the Ihya consists in quotations from Qur’an, hadith, and the sayings of other than Ghazali, his own prose accounting for less than 35% of the work;(8)and that most of the huge number of hadiths cited are authentic in origin.

In conclusion, we say as al-Safadi that the Ihya’ ranks as a work of targhib or ethics, which is the principal business of tasawwuf. Criteria of authenticity for evidence cited in such works are less rigorous than for works of `aqida and fiqh according to the majority of the scholars, as the next section shows. To hold works of tasawwuf to the criteria of the latter works is to blame apples for not being oranges. Consequently, as al-Safadi correctly indicated, the criticism of Ihya’ `ulum al-din by some on the basis of weak hadiths does not stand, nor does similar criticim of like works, for example Dhahabi’s criticism of Abu Talik al-Makki’s Qut al-qulub and others. Those who cling to such criticism while ignoring the massive endorsement of tasawwuf and its books by the Muslim scholars cling to their own prejudice rather than sound knowledge. Our advice to these brethren is: We remind you of al-Dhahabi’s advice in his biographical notice on Ibn all-Farid in Mizan al-i`tidal: “Do not hasten to judge, rather, keep the best opinion of Sufis”;(9)of Imam Ghazali’s advice in al-Munqidh min al-dalal: “Think good thoughts (about Sufis) and do not harbor doubts in your heart”;(10)and of Ibn Hajar al-Haytami’s fatwa concerning critics of those who respect tasawwuf and believe in awliya’: “Bad thoughts about them (Sufis) is the death of the heart.”(11)Take the great good that is in each of the works of the Sufis in the proper manner, respect the masters of tasawwuf, the least among whom towers high above you in knowledge, do not search out the disagreements of scholars, and stick to humbleness and respect before those who speak about Allah from Whom comes all success.

(1) Salah al-Din Khalil ibn Aybak al-Safadi, al-Wafi bi al-wafayat (Wiesbaden, 1962-1984) 1:274-277 (#176).
(2) Taha Jaber al-`Alwani, Usul al-fiqh al-islami: Source Methodology in Islamic Jurisprudence, ed.Yusuf Talal DeLorenzo (Herndon, VA: IIIT, 1411/1990) p. 50
(3) Reliance of the Traveller p. 1048.
(4) Ibn al-Jawzi, Kitab al-qussas wa al-mudhakkirin p. 201.
(5) Ibn al-Jawzi, al-Muntazam 9:169.
(6) Taqi al-Din al-Subki, Tabaqat al-shafi`iyya 4:179-182.
(7) See al-Hakim, al-madkhal li `ilm al-hadith” (beginning), al- Bayhaqi Dala’il al-nubuwwa (introduction), Nawawi, al-Tibyan fi `ulum al-qur’an p. 17. The latter says: “The scholars are in agreement on the legitimacy of using weak hadiths in the realm of virtous works.” Al- Sakhawi stated the view of the scholarly consensus on this question in the Epilogue of of his al-Qawl al-badi` fi al-salat `ala al-habib al- shafi` (The admirable doctrine concerning the invocation of blessings upon the beloved intercessor) (Beirut: dar al-kutub al-`ilmiyya, 1407/ 1987) p. 245-246.
(8) T.J. Winter, trans. Ghazali’s “Remembrance of Death” (Cambridge: Islamic Texts Society, 1989), Introduction, p. xxix n. 63.
(9) al-Dhahabi, Mizan al-i`tidal 3:214.
(10) al-Ghazali, al-Munqidh min al-dalal (Damascus 1956) p. 40.
(11) Ibn Hajar al-Haytami, Fatawa hadithiyya (Cairo: al-Halabi, 1970) p. 331.

Reproduced with permission from Shaykh M. Hisham Kabbani’s _The Repudiation of “Salafi” Innovations_ (Kazi, 1996) p. 326-330.

Blessings and Peace on the Prophet, his Family, and his Companions

GF Haddad ©
[7 Sep 1996]


May Allah Protect us from Yasir Qadhi’s bigotry and his efforts to divide the Sunnis. 

NEW! Yasir Qadhi Questions the Creed of the Majority of Muslim Scholars

A question was asked by a student of al-Maghrib Institute to Yasir Qadhi about the creed of the majority of Sunni scholars on if it is true that the majority of Sunni Muslim scholars in the Islamic Community are Ash’aris. 

Islamic tradition has established that Ash’ari, Maturidi, and correct Athari creeds represent Ahl al-Sunna wa’al Jama’ah. This has been noted by distinguished Islamic scholars of every era for the past 1,000+ years. Yet, Yasir Qadhi begs to differ and casts suspicion on Ash’ari creed (and by extension Maturidi creed which is almost the same) which has been followed by the majority of Islam’s scholars. This is a well established fact. It is as if Yasir Qadhi claims he knows better than the scholars of past (who lived closer to the time of the salaf us-salih).

The question and Yasir Qadhi’s response are provided below. May Allah Guide us from heterodoxy and pseudo-Sunni “scholars” like Yasir Qadhi who are leading Muslims away from Sunni orthodoxy.


Is it true that today the majority of Sunni Muslim SCHOLARS in the Ummah are Ash’arite?

Yasir Qadhi’s response:

“It’s difficult to state with certainty. Large generalizations are made, for example, since ‘this particular school’ is Ashari in theology, then all of its hundreds and thousands of graduates must also be so. However, in my personal experience, if you were to interview the vast majority (yes, the VAST majority) of the graduates of these schools, they have only a cursory understanding of theology in the first place. If you know what to ask (for example, are Allah’s actions characterized as being the wisest?), it is very possible to ‘trick’ them into giving response that are pure Sunni, despite the fact that they might verbally claim allegiance to kalaam theology.”

Yasir Qadhi later says:

Hence, it is rather tricky to claim that the majority of scholars are this or that; I would say that the majority are upon the fitrah, even if they might be influenced by kalaam in some specific issues (for example, the issue of istiwaa).

Yasir Qadhi continues:

Now, I do believe there were certain moments and places in history where Asharites were indeed a majority of scholars, such as in middle Mamluk Egypt and Syria (the time and era when Ibn Taymiyyah lived), but how about the rest of the Muslim world at that time? The Muslim empire spanned half of the globe and was not limited to Damascus or Cairo. Has their been any exhausitve research or substantiated proof that the majority of scholars of the entire earth were of this or that theology?

Yasir Qadhi concludes by saying:

So, to conclude this point, although 1) the Nizamiyah College, 2) the Ayyubid Dynasty after it and the University it founded, and, 3) the Muwahidoon, are the three primary factors for the sudden resurgence of kalaam theology in post 5th century hijrah, I am a bit more suspicious of the claims that, even from that time, it represented the majority of the Ummah.

Shaykh Muhammad ‘Alawi Maliki, the late great Sunni giant of Islam and considered to be a renewer (mujaddid) of his century said in his article, “The Ash’aris”:

“Many sons/daughters of Muslims are ignorant of the Ash’ari School, whom it represents, and its positions on the tenets of the Islamic faith (aqidah), and yet some of them are not God-fearing enough to refrain from accusing it of deviance, departure from the religion of Islam, and heresy about the attributes of Allah. The ignorance of the Ash’ari school is a cause of rendering the unity of the Ahl al-Sunnah dispersing its ranks. Some have gone as far as to consider the Ash’aris among the categories of heretical sects, though it is beyond me how believers can be linked with misbelievers, or how Sunni Muslims can be considered equal with the most extreme faction of the Mu’tazilites, the Jahmites.  

“Shall We deal with Muslims as We do criminals? How is it that you judge?” [Qur’an 68:35-36] 

The Ash’aris are the Imams of the distinguished figures of guidance among the scholars of the Muslims, whose knowledge has filled the world from east to west, and whom people have unanimously concurred upon their excellence, scholarship, and religiousness. They include the first rank of Sunni scholars and the most brilliant of their luminaries, who stood in the face of the excesses commited by the Mu’tazilites, and who constitute whole sections of the foremost Imams of Hadith, Sacred Law, Quranic exegesis. Shaykh al-Islam Ahmad ibn Hajar ‘Asqalani (d. 852/1449; Rahimullah), the mentor of Hadith scholars and author of the book “Fath al-Bari bi sharh Sahih al-Bukhari“, which not a single Islamic scholar can dispense with, was Ash’ari. The shaykh of the scholars of Sunni Islam, Imam Nawawi (d. 676/1277; Rahimullah), author of “Sharh Sahih Muslim” and many other famous works, was Ash’ari. The master of Qur’anic exegetes, Imam Qurtubi (d. 671/1273; Rahimullah), author of “al-Jami’ li ahkan al-Qur’an“, was Ash’ari. Shaykh al-Islam ibn Hajar Haytami (d. 974/1567; Rahimullah), who wrote “al-Zawajir ‘an iqtiraf al-kaba’ir“, was Ash’ari. The Shaykh of Sacred Law and Hadith, the conclusive definitive Zakariyya Ansari (d. 926/1520; Rahimullah), was Ash’ari. Imam Abu Bakr Baqillani (d. 403/1013; Rahimullah), Imam ‘Asqalani; Imam Nasafi (d. 710/1310; Rahimullah); Imam Shirbini (d. 977/1570; Rahimullah); Abu Hayyan Tawhidi, author of the Qur’anic commentary “al-Bahr al-muhit“; Imam ibn Juzayy (d. 741/1340; Rahimullah); author of “al-Tashil fi ‘ulum al-Tanzil“; and others – all of these were Imams of the Ash’aris. If we wanted to name all of the top scholars of Hadith, Qur’anic exegesis, and Sacred Law who were Imams of the Ash’aris, we would be hard put to do so and would require volumes merely to list these illustrious figures whose wisdom has filled the earth from east to west. And it is incumbent upon us to give credit where credit is due, recognising the merit of those of knowledge and virtue who have served the Sacred Law of the Greatest Messengers (Allah bless him and grant him peace). What good is to be hoped for us if we impugn our foremost scholars and righteous forbearers with charges of aberrancy and misguidance? Or how should Allah give us the benefit of their scholarship if we believe it is deviance and departure from the way of Islam? I ask you, is there a single Islamic scholar of the present day, among all the PhD.’s and geniuses, who has done what Ibn Hajar ‘Asqalani or Imam Nawawi have, of the service rendered by these two noble Imams (May Allah enfold them in His mercy and bliss) to the pure Prophetic Sunnah? How should we charge them and all Ash’aris with abberancy when it is we who are in need of their scholarship? Or how can we take knowledge from them if they were in error? For as Imam Zuhri (d. 124/742; rahimullah) says, “This knowledge is religion, so look well to whom you are taking your religion from.”  

Is it not sufficient for someone opposed to the Ash’aris to say, “Allah have mercy on them, they used reasoning (ijtihad) in figuratively interpreting the divine attributes, which it would have been fitter for them not to do”; instead of accusing them of deviance and misguidance, or displaying anger towards whoever considers them to be of the Sunni Community? If Imams Nawawi, ‘Asqalani, Qurtubi, Baqillani, al-Fakhr al-Din al-Razi, Haytami, Zakariyyah Ansari, and many others were not among the most brilliant scholars and illustrious geniuses, or of the Sunni Community, then who are the Sunnis?  

I sincerely entreat all who call others to this religion or who work in the field of propagating Islam to fear Allah respecting the honour of the Community of Muhammad (Allah bless him and grant him peace) is possessed of goodness until the Final Hour, we are bereft of any if we fail to acknowledge the worth and excellence of our learned.”  

In conclusion, the Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l Jama’ah are the true followers of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) and his Companions (Allah be pleased with them all), followed by by those who trod their path for the last 1400 years. It is in summary the followers of Imam Abu’l Hasan al-Ash’ari (Rahimullah) and Imam Abu Mansur al-Maturidi (Rahimullah) in Aqeedah, and this saved sect is represented by the adherents of one of the four schools – Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi’i and Hanbali today. This is the sect which has had the largest following throughout Islamic history as-Sawad al-Az’am) as confirmed by the Qur’anic and Ahadith based evidence and it will remain dominant until the Hour is established, inshaAllah.


Does Yasir Qadhi dare question the creed of Ahl al-Sunna wa’al Jama’ah? Does Yasir Qadhi dare question the creed of our illustrious scholars like Imam Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalani, Imam Nawawi, Imam Qurtubi, and many other well-known Ash’ari scholars? If they were not on the correct Islamic creed, then would Yasir Qadhi care to tell us who had the correct Islamic creed in each of the generations that have passed?

For more of Yasir Qadhi’s insults against the Ash’aris, one may refer to this previous post.

May Allah protect us from Yasir Qadhi and his followers who are propagaters of pseudo-Sunni  misguidance, and who try to separate Muslims from the great mass of Muslims. May Allah keep all of us in the fold of the Ash’aris, Maturidis, and correct non-anthropomorphic Atharis who comprise the vast majority of Muslims in Islam’s history.

I end with a list of FAMOUS ASH’ARI SCHOLARS:

  • Abu Ishaq al-Isfarayini
  • The hafidh: Abu Nuaym al-Asbahani, the author of the book, Hilyat al-Awliya’
  • Shaykh Abu Muhammad al-Juwayni , who was the one whose hand lit up after he died, because he had written so many authentic religious judgments (fatwas);
  • Abdul-Malik Abul-Ma’ali al-Juwayni , who is the son of Abu Muhammad al-Juwayni and the famous Imam of the Haramayn, the Haram of Makkah and the Haram of al-Madinah;
  • Abu Mansur at-Tamimi, the author of Al-Farqu Baynal-Firaq and ‘Usul ud-Din;
  • The hafidh: al-Isma’ili, who authored the book: Al-Mustakhraj ‘Ala Sahih al-Bukhari;
  • The famous hafidh: al-Bayhaqi;
  • The hafidh: ad-Daraqutni ; who was among the giants of the hafidhs of hadith;
  • The hafidh:, al-Khatib al-Baghdadi, who authored the famous book, The History of Baghdad;
  • The ustadh: Abul-Qasim al-Qushayri, the author of Ar-Risalah al-Qushayriah, a famous book in Sufism;
  • His son, known as Abun-Nasr;
  • The shaykh: Abu Ishaq ash-Shirazi , who was a famous Shafi’i scholar who authored At-Tanbih, Al-Muhadhdhab, and Al-Luma’;
  • The famous Shafi’i faqih: Nasr al-Maqdisi;
  • Imamal-Ghazali;
  • Abul-Wafa’ Ibn ‘Aqil al-Hanbali;
  • The Hanafi judge: ad-Damghani, who was the judge of all judges in his era;
  • Imam Abul-Walid al-Baji, a famous Maliki scholar;
  • The Imam, the Master: Ahmad ar-Rifa’i;
  • The hafidh: Abul-Qasim Ibn ‘Asakir;
  • Ibnus-Sam’ani, who acquired the knowledge through about 1000 shaykhs and authored the book: Al-Ansab;
  • Al-Qadi ‘Iyad al-Malikiyy, the author of Ash-Shifa;
  • Imam Nawawi;
  • Imam Fakhrud-Din ar-Razi, the author of the famous book of interpretation;
  • Al-Qurtubi, who is also famous for his book of interpretation;
  • The Shafi’i shaykh: ‘Izzud-Din Ibnu ‘Abdis-Salam, who was known for being strict in bidding that which Allah made lawful and forbidding that which Allah made unlawful;
  • The Maliki scholar, linguist, and faqih: Abu ‘Amr Ibnul-Hajib;
  • Al-Qadi Ibn Daqiq al-‘Id, who, according to some sayings, reached the level of ijtihad;
  • Imam ‘Ala’ud-Din al-Baji, a famous Maliki scholar;
  • The judge of the judges: Taqiyyuddin as-Subki;
  • The hafidh of Jerusalem: al-‘Ala’i;
  • The hafidh: Zaynud-Din al-Iraqi, and his son, the hafidh, AbuZur’ah;
  • The Seal of the hafidhs: Ibn Hajar al-‘Asqalani;
  • The seal of the linguists, Imam Murtada az-Zabidi, who was a follower of the school (madhhab) of Imam Abu Hanifah;
  • The judge of the judges, the famous later Shafi’i scholar: Zakariyya al-Ansari;
  • The Sufi shaykh: Baha’ud-Din ar-Rawwas;
  • The Mufti of the city of Makkah: Ahmad Ibn Zayni Dahlan , who authored a famous book: The History of Islamic States;
  • The famous Indian scholar: Waliyyullah ad-Dahlawi;
  • The Mufti of Egypt, the shaykh: Muhammad ‘Ulaysh al-Maliki;
  • The shaykh of the Azhar Mosque in Egypt, who lived about 100 years ago: Shaykh ‘Abdullah ash-Sharqawi;
  • The famous shaykh from Tripoli: Abul Mahasin al-Qawuqji, who died less than 100 years ago in Egypt. Much of the narration which has reached us today was narrated through him;
  • Imam Husayn al-Jisr at-Tarabulsi of Tripoli, who is known for his books: Ar-Risalah al-Hamidiyyah and Al-Husun al-Hamidiyyah, both authored to defend the Religion of Islam against the atheists at the time of the Ottoman Sultan, AbdulHamid II;

NEW! Yasir Qadhi Criticizes `Aqeedah of Imam Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalani’s Student

Yasir Qadhi, nicknamed as “Abu Ammar” in the Al-Maghrib Institute Forums, had this to say of the great scholar, Imam Shams al-Din al-Sakhawi (may Allah bless him abundantly), known to be the foremost student of the eminent scholarly giant of Islam, Imam Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalani:

“As-Sakhawi, with all due respect to his knowledge of hadeeth, was not purely upon the ‘aqeedah of Ahl as-Sunnah.”


The ugly attack by Yasir Qadhi on the great scholar of Ahl al-Sunnah wa’al Jama’ah is an attack on the unity of Muslims and disparagement of our glorious scholars who our beloved Prophet (peace & blessings be upon him) described as the “heirs of the Prophets”.  Yasir Qadhi did not mention that questioning the `aqeedah and hadeeth knowledge of Imam al-Sakhawi is tantamount to questioning the `aqeedah and hadeeth credentials of the well-known, established hadeeth master, Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalani. May Allah Protect us from Yasir Qadhi’s bigotry and misguidance.

Below is the biography of the great Imam al-Sakhawi– conveniently dismissed by Yasir Qadhi and unexplained to his students:

“The foremost student of Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalani and a great jurist, historian, and hadith master, Shams al-Din Muhammad ibn `Abd al-Rahman al-Sakhawi, like Taqi al-Din al-Subki and al-Suyuti, belonged to the Shadhili order founded by Abu al-Hasan al-Shadhili, as represented by the great Maliki Master Ibn `Ata’ Allah, five of whose works al-Sakhawi transmitted to posterity, including the Hikam, from the Shadhili commentator Ahmad Zarruq (d. 899).

In his biography of the famous men of his time entitled al-Daw’ al-lami` al-Sakhawi reveals that his father Zayn al-Din `Abd al-Rahman ibn Muhammad (d. 874) was a Cairo-born Sufi of great piety, and a member of the Baybarsiyya Sufi community where Ibn Hajar, Sakhawi’s teacher, taught for forty years.1

In the section of his al-Jawahir al-mukallala fi al-akhbar al-musalsala devoted to the transmission of hadith through chains formed exclusively of Sufi narrators, Sakhawi states that he himself had received the Sufi path from Zayn al-Din Ridwan al-Muqri’ in Cairo.2

In the same work Sakhawi also mentions several of his teachers and students of hadith who were Sufis. Here are the names of some of them, together with the words used by him to describe them in his biographical work al-Daw’ al-lami`:*

Abu Bakr ibn Muhammad al-Hishi al-Halabi al-Shafi`i (b. 848) the head of the Bistamiyya Sufis in Aleppo, the mother trunk of the Naqshbandi Sufi order affiliated with Abu Yazid al-Bistami. He spent two years in Mecca with Sakhawi, who wrote him an ijaza or permission to teach. In this ijaza Sakhawi calls him: “Our master, the masterful Imam of merits and guidance, the Educator of Murids (students in the Sufi path), the Mainstay of Wayfarers in the Sufi path, the Noble Abu Bakr al-Hishi al-Halabi, may Allah preserve him and have mercy on his gracious predecessors (i.e. the chain of his shaykhs in the Sufi path), and may Allah grant us and all Muslims their benefits.”3

Badr al-Din Hussayn ibn Siddiq al-Yamani al-Ahdal (d. 903): al-Sakhawi gave him a comprehensive ijaza granting him permission to teach all of his books.4

Abu al-Fath Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr al-Madani al-Maraghi (d. 859): Sakhawi took hadith from him. He was head of two Sufi khaniqas in Cairo, the Zamamiyya and the Jamaliyya. He led a life of seclusion for the most part, and wrote a commentary on Nawawi’s manual of Law Minhaj al-talibin, and an epitome of Ibn Hajar’s Fath al-bari because of his defense of Ibn `Arabi, he was murdered in front of the Ka`ba by a fanatic.5

Taqi al-Din Abu Bakr ibn Muhammad al-Qalqashandi (d. 867), also called `Abd Allah. He received the Sufi khirqa or cloak of authority in Cairo. He is said to have read the whole of Sahih al-Bukhari in three days while in Mecca. He lived in al-Quds, where al-Sakhawi met him and took hadith from him.6

Thiqat al-Din Abu al-`Abbas Ahmad ibn Muhammad al-`Uqbi (d. 861). He taught hadith and tajwid in Mecca, where Sakhawi studied under him.7

Kamal al-Din Muhammad ibn `Abd al-Wahid al-Sikandari al-Siwasi (d. 861). He was a master of all sciences and taught at the Madrasa al-Ashrafiyya in Cairo, after which he headed the Shaykhuni Sufi khaniqa. He authored many books.8

Abu `Abd Allah Muhammad ibn `Ali al-Husayni al-Qahiri al-Shafi`i al-Sufi (d. 876). Munawi’s deputy judge in Cairo, a student of `Izz al-Din ibn Jama`a, Jalal al-Din al-Bulqini and many others, and a student and friend of Sakhawi’s teacher Ibn Hajar whose work Fath al-bari he copied twice. A teacher of fiqh and hadith, he wrote an epitome of Ibn al-Athir’s Kitab al-ansab. He was an old acquaintance of Sakhawi’s father, and consequently treated Sakhawi himself “with indescribable respect.” He was one of the ten students to whom Ibn Hajar gave his authority in teaching hadith after him.9

Abu Khalid Muhammad ibn Abi Bakr al-Jibrini (d. 860). He was a writer, archer, horseman, and Sufi shaykh at the zawiya (alcove-mosque) of Jibrin, where al-Sakhawi met him and took hadith from him. Sakhawi says of him: “He was handsome, modest, generous, courageous, and endowed with spiritual strength and virility after the shaykhs of true majesty.”10

Zaki al-Din Abu al-`Abbas Ahmad ibn Muhammad al-Ansari al-Khazraji al-Sa`di al-Muqri’ al-Sufi (d. 875). An associate of Ibn Hajar and a prolific writer, he wrote an autobiography in more than fifty volumes, although Sakhawi said he was unaffected, congenial, readily given to tears, and quick of repartee.11

Thiqat al-Din Abu `Ali Mahmud ibn `Ali al-Sufi al-Khaniki (d. 865). Born and raised in Cairo’s Khaniqa al-Siryaqusiyya where he taught late in life. He died while at Mecca for the pilgrimage.12

Abu al-Faraj `Abd al-Rahman ibn Khalil al-Dimashqi al-Sufi (d. 869). He was a muhaddith. Al-Sakhawi studied under him in Cairo and at the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus.13


1 al-Sakhawi, al-Daw’ al-lami` (Beirut: dar maktabat al-hayat, 1966) 4:124-125.

2 A.J. Arberry, Sakhawiana: A Study Based on the Chester Beatty Ms. Arab. 773 (London: Emery Walker Ltd., 1951) p. 35.

3 al-Sakhawi, al-Daw’ al-lami` 11:96-97, 74-75.

4 Ibid. 3:144-145.

5 Ibid. 7:162-165.

6 Ibid. 11:69-71.

7 Ibid. 2:212-213.

8 Ibid. 8:127-132.

9 Ibid. 8:176-178.

10 Ibid. 7:197.

11 Ibid. 2:146-149.

12 Ibid. 10:140-141.

13 Ibid. 4:76.


CNN Naively Says Yasir Qadhi & Muslim Matters Teach “Traditional Islamic Teachings”.


Recently the CNN invited Yasir Qadhi and a few of the staff of Muslim Matters to their studio and presented them as “moderates” who teach “traditional Islamic teachings”. The Muslim Matters staff was able to take advantage of this ignorance by CNN that did not even question them once about their support of Wahhabism and their differences with the majority of Muslims. The title of the video is “Moderates counter Muslim extremists”.

The CNN reporter said:

“Meet the staff of Muslim Matters, a website that answers questions using traditional Islamic teachings to counter arguments made by Islamic extremists.”

Amad of Muslim Matters, known for casting aspersions against Ahl-al-Sunna, said:

“Our goal was to be able to present an orthodox voice online and show that you can be 100% orthodox and 100% American.”

But who besides Wahhabis, neo-Wahhabis, or some manifestation of Salafi-Wahhabism say that Wahhabism and its different shades are “orthodox” and “moderate”? CNN failed to explain the definitions of a “moderate” and “extremist” though one can understand the shallow approach CNN was following.   

CNN naively appeared to define an “orthodox” and “moderate” Muslim as any Muslim who condemned militants (so-called jihadists). This simplistic, bi-polar division of Muslims — condemners of militancy are “moderate” and “orthodox”; supporters of militancy are “extremists” – brushes over and obscures the various shades of extremism and, instead, lumps non-violent extremists with the real moderates: This is exactly what CNN did when they lumped Yasir Qadhi with Imam Hamza Yusuf and Imam Zaid Shakir, the latter two being genuine Sunni moderates while Yasir Qadhi being a rabid, unorthodox Wahhabi.

Had CNN done their homework, they would have invited Imams Hamza Yusuf, Zaid Shakir, and other teachers from Zaytuna College who represent ‘traditional Islamic teachings’ to their studio rather than Yasir Qadhi and Muslim Matters who are a pseudo-Sunni, Wahhabi minority. 


Did it not occur to CNN that a condemner of violence may possibly be contributing to the problem of extremism in other ways? By failing to mention the various shades of Islamic extremism, and mixing apples with oranges,  CNN bestowed accolades on Yasir Qadhi and Muslim Matters as propagaters of “moderation” and “orthodox” Islam.

In actuality, Yasir Qadhi and his entourage are known to represent a minority neo-Wahhabi/Salafi sect of Islam that contradicts the beliefs of the Sunni majority: followers of the Ash’ari/Maturidi/Athari creeds and followers of the Hanafi, Shafi’i, Maliki and Hanbali schools of jurisprudence.

Even if many youngsters support neo-Wahhabi groups like Muslim Matters, Sunni scholars – now and in the past – who represent the Muslim majority have condemned such groups as unorthodox and extreme. This fact completely escaped CNN. This resulted in CNN praising extremist Wahhabis and distorting the image of genuine, orthodox Sunnis. 

Even if Yasir Qadhi does not espouse violence, he is known to make takfeer (condemning Muslims as being out of the fold of Islam) against most Muslims, and accuses them of reprehensible innovation (bid’ah) and polytheism (shirk). In lock-step with Wahhabi teachings, he openly praises Ibn Taymiyah’s unorthodox understanding of creed, uses his categorization to explain creed, and casts aspersions against followers of the Ash’ari creed (and by extension the Maturidi creed) of being outside the fold of Islam.

CNN should have known that those who were being condemned by Yasir Qadhi collectively represent most Muslims in Islam’s history and are the real “moderates” and followers of “orthodox” Islam.

CNN should have known that a long list of orthodox Sunni scholars refuted Wahhabism in their books, treatises, and poems, and warned the Muslim masses from their reprehensible innovations in matters of belief and worship. A sample of these Sunni scholars is provided below.


Wahhabism indeed fuels ideological extremism and a bi-polar vision of the world — similar to the keyboard “jihadists” and other pseudo-Sunni militants they set out to condemn. Indeed, one finds parallels in the role models the Wahhabis use. While non-violent Wahhabis and militant “jihadists” interpret the statements of Ibn Taymiyah and Muhammad ibn Abdal-Wahhab differently, they view both as legitimate and valid scholars in almost all accounts. Sunni scholars view these individuals as astray from orthodox Sunni Islam, mainly in matters of creed but also in matters of worship.

Wahhabism was the ideological fuel that inculcated Osama bin Laden, who then turned to a hybrid Wahhabi-Salafi “jihadist”. Those who say Wahhabism was not part of Osama bin Laden’s beliefs and worldview are naive. He was born and raised in Wahhabi Saudi Arabia, had a Wahhabi father who was close to the Saudi Wahhabi monarchy, and whose son Omar bin Laden in a recent book clearly stated that his father is a “Wahhabi”.


ANWAR AL-AWLAKI. Does CNN know that Muslim Matters at one time supported Anwar al-Awlaki, the militant “jihadist”? Does CNN know that “moderate” Muslim Matters was very happy in 2007 when Anwar al-Awlaki was released from prison in Yemen, and devoted an entire article to this? This article was written by the same “Amad” that CNN invited to its studio. Muslim Matters said this of Anwar Awlaki:

“Alhamdulillah this is great news. I urge all the brothers and sisters to send a quick email to Imam Awlaki, telling him how happy we are that he has been released from his unlawful and undeserved imprisonment, back to his family and friends. May Allah protect our scholars and students of knowledge from the oppressors and the dictators of the world.”

SAUDI WAHHABI EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS. Does CNN know that many, if not most, instructors at al-Maghrib Institute (all of whom support Muslim Matters) studied and graduated in Wahhabi educational institutions in Saudi Arabia? Namely, the following instructors: Muhammad alShareef (the founder of al-Maghrib Institute), Yasir Qadhi, Yaser Birjas, AbdulBary Yahya, Shpendim Nadzaku, Navaid Aziz, Ahsan Hanif, and — the latest addition — Abdullah Hakim Quick.

SUNNI SCHOLARS REFUTE WAHHABISM. Does CNN know which moderate, orthodox Sunni scholars wrote against Wahhabis and warned Muslims from them? The following is a sample: 

–Al-`Amrawi, `Abd al-Hayy, and `Abd al-Hakim Murad (Qarawiyyin University, Morocco): Al-tahdhir min al-ightirar bi ma ja’a fi kitab al-hiwar [“Warning Against Being Fooled By the Contents of the Book (by Ibn Mani`) A Debate With al-Maliki (an attack on Ibn `Alawi al-Maliki by a Wahhabi writer)”] (Fes: Qarawiyyin, 1984).

–`Ata’ Allah al-Makki: al-sarim al-hindi fil `unuq al-najdi [“The Indian Scimitar on the Najdi’s Neck”].

–Al-Azhari, `Abd Rabbih ibn Sulayman al-Shafi`i (The author of Sharh Jami’ al-Usul li ahadith al-Rasul, a basic book of Usul al-Fiqh: Fayd al-Wahhab fi Bayan Ahl al-Haqq wa man dalla `an al-sawab, 4 vols. [“Allah’s Outpouring in Differentiating the True Muslims From Those Who Deviated From the Truth”].

–Al-`Azzami, `Allama al-shaykh Salama (d. 1379H): Al-Barahin al-sati`at [“The Radiant Proofs…”].

–Al-Barakat al-Shafi`i al-Ahmadi al-Makki, `Abd al-Wahhab ibn Ahmad: unpublished manuscript of a refutation of the Wahhabi sect.

–Al-Buti, Dr. Muhammad Sa`id Ramadan (University of Damascus): Al-Salafiyyatu marhalatun zamaniyyatun mubarakatun la madhhabun islami [“The Salafiyya is a blessed historical period not an Islamic school of law”] (Damascus: Dar al-fikr, 1988); Al-lamadhhabiyya akhtaru bid`atin tuhaddidu al-shari`a al-islamiyya [“Non-madhhabism is the most dangerous innovation presently menacing Islamic law”] (Damascus: Maktabat al-Farabi, n.d.).

–Al-Dahesh ibn `Abd Allah, Dr. (Arab University of Morocco), ed. Munazara `ilmiyya bayna `Ali ibn Muhammad al-Sharif wa al-Imam Ahmad ibn Idris fi al-radd `ala Wahhabiyyat Najd, Tihama, wa `Asir [“Scholarly Debate Between the Sharif and Ahmad ibn Idris Against the Wahhabis of Najd, Tihama, and `Asir”].

–Dahlan, al-Sayyid Ahmad ibn Zayni (d. 1304/1886). Mufti of Mecca and Shaykh al-Islam (highest religious authority in the Ottoman jurisdiction) for the Hijaz region: al-Durar al-saniyyah fi al-radd ala al-Wahhabiyyah [“The Pure Pearls in Answering the Wahhabis”] pub. Egypt 1319 & 1347 H; Fitnat al-Wahhabiyyah [“The Wahhabi Fitna”]; Khulasat al-Kalam fi bayan Umara’ al-Balad al-Haram [“The Summation Concerning the Leaders of the Sacrosanct Country”], a history of the Wahhabi fitna in Najd and the Hijaz.

Many more Sunni scholars and their works exist that refute Wahhabism.

Does CNN know that Yasir Qadhi teaches Muhammad ibn Abdal-Wahhab’s Kitab ut-Tawheed? Ibn Abdal-Wahhab is the founder of Wahhabism whose followers massacred Sunnis and Shi’ahs and called it “jihad” because they accused them of polytheism (shirk). The orthodox Sunni scholars have refuted Wahhabism’s founder as well as his writings, including the books Yasir Qadhi teaches in Muslim Matters and the al-Maghrib Institute.

SUPPORTING A SHAYKH WHO CONDONES VIOLENCE AGAINST CIVILIANS. Does CNN know that Yasir Qadhi has called Shaykh Salman al-Oudah his “mentor” even though he legitimizes the killing of civilians in Jerusalem? Does CNN know that Shaykh Salman al-Oudah was one of Osama bin Laden’s favorite scholars?

PRAISING AN OSAMA BIN LADEN SUPPORTER. Does CNN know Yasir Qadhi’s praise of an Osama bin Laden supporter — the late Wahhabi scholar, Ibn Jibreen? Yasir Qahdi had this to say of Ibn Jibreen when he died:

“Truly with the death of the Shaykh we have lost the last of the great giants of our era.” 

WAHHABI MENTORS. Does CNN know that Yasir Qadhi’s colleague, Waleed Basyouni, who teaches at al-Maghrib Institute and who is supported by Muslim Matters, studied at the al-Imam Muhammad University in Saudi Arabia that was named after the founder of Wahhabism (Muhammad ibn Abdal-Wahhab)? Does CNN know that Waleed Basyouni was a student of the late Ibn Baz, the former Wahhabi grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, who had forbidden women to drive? Does CNN know that Waleed Basyouni also supported Ibn Jibreen, the Osama bin Laden supporter? 

SUPPORTING ALI AL-TIMIMI. Does CNN know that Yasir Qadhi openly supports a Wahhabi, Ali al-Timimi, who was accused and convicted of being the spiritual guide of the “Virginia jihadists” and is currently serving a life sentence in a US prison?  Yasir Qadhi wrote an entire article praising and defending Ali al-Timimi on the Muslim Matters website.

Here are some words of Yasir Qadhi’s strong support and admiration for al-Timimi, who shaped and directed him in the path he has taken :

“I personally owe a lot to Sh. al-Timimi, and I can say (with pride) that fifteen years ago, back in the early 90’s, he played an instrumental role in shaping and directing me to take the path that has led me to where I am today. I had the opportunity to be of the first batches of his students – in fact he was the first teacher who taught me the realities and intricacies of tawhid and aqidah, which, to this day, remains my primary focus and speciality.”

TEACHING UMAR FAROUK ABDULMUTALLAB. Does CNN know that Umar Farouk AbdulMutallab, also known as the “Underwear Bomber” who tried to blow up a US-bound plane on Christmas in 2009, attended Al-Maghrib Institute’s seminars in both the UK and United States, including a class taught by Yasir Qadhi?

YASIR QADHI CONFESSES TO BEING A SALAFI. Does CNN know that Yasir Qadhi described himself as a Salafi as stated in this Washington Post article?:

“Yasir Qadhi, a lecturer with AlMaghrib Institute, an Islamic educational organization founded by a former prayer leader at Dar-us-Salaam, cited his own experience as an example of how Salafism has adapted in the United States.”


Wahhabism-Salafism has never represented orthdodox Sunni Islam. Wahhabism originated in the 1700s while Salafism originated in the late 1800s/early 1900s and branched of into offshots and hybrids later in the century. Orthodox Sunni Islam originated in the early Islamic period of Prophet Muhammad (peace & blessings upon him) and has been represented by scholars of the Ash’ari/Maturidi/Athari creeds and Hanafi, Shafi’i, Maliki, and Hanbali schools of jurisprudence.

YASIR QADHI, AL-MAGHRIB INSTITUTE, AND DAR-US-SALAM. Does CNN know that Yasir Qadhi is a leader and teacher of the Wahhabi Al-Maghrib Institute that has origins in Dar-us-Salam, the Wahhabi institute in Maryland, USA that was founded by Safi Khan who graduated from the Wahhabi Imam Muhammad ibn Saud University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia? This has been explained in some detail in a separate post in this blog.


The above are only selected examples of how Yasir Qadhi, Muslim Matters, and the al-Maghrib Institute contradict moderate, orthodox Sunni Islam. CNN should browse this blog carefully and examine the specific sources and citations noted.  It is common knowledge that any Wahhabi group, including Muslim Matters, can never truly claim the mantle of “moderation” and “orthodoxy” even if they think they do.

The mantle of moderation and orthodoxy has always been represented by the Muslim majority who have condemned Wahhabism, including the likes of Muslim Matters, and similar splinter groups that appeared over the generations.  CNN failed to understand and explain that extremists can still be in the non-violent camp as well — just as Yasir Qadhi and Muslim Matters are. This makes them poisonous to our society ideologically, if not in terms of brute violence. This should concern CNN just as much, if not more, than the orthodox Sunnis who truly practice “traditional Islamic teachings” and who have dealt with the Wahhabi-Salafi menace time and again. CNN should never have invited Yasir Qadhi and other Muslim Matters staff and represented them as promoters of “orthodoxy”, “moderation”, and “traditional Islamic teachings”. Rather, they should have invited the real moderates like Imam Hamza Yusuf, Imam Zaid Shakir, or Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad. 

Please write to CNN and request them to qualify and correct their view of who exactly a “moderate” and “extremist” is. CNN has damaged its image and reputation as a trustworthy news source by portraying extremists as moderates, mixing the facts, and wrongly representing the moderate, Sunni majority.

Write to CNN and tell them the truth.