False Salafism: From Catechism to Cataclysm

Abdal Hakim Murad aka Tim Winter

My confused awakening has been made all the more traumatic by the seeming absence of authentic scholars of Islam. All I find is people parroting the post modernism of the West in marginally Islamic garb and the ascendency of the heresies of the Najd which the Sultans tried so hard to suppress. I cling to the hope that there are more like this writer, a man who speaks with  understanding of the authentic Islam…

”The struggle of the non-terroristic Salafi is to provide a methodology that forbids the validation of terrorism. Divorced from the classical Usul of the Ummah – and often contemptuous of it’s defenders – he insists on individual interpretation of the Book and Sunna. Thus he puts the insecurities and needs of every reader where the consensus of the scholars used to be. Either the Ummah reads the scriptures or the Self does; and he finds it hard to prevent a terroristic self from reading them terroristically.

Nasir al-Din al-Albani, during his years at Medina, sowed the seeds for the ideas of many different groups, one of the largest being Jama’a Salafiyya Muhtasiba. His criticism of the established Najdi scholars who ‘neglected the Book and Sunnah’ by de facto following the Hanbali school made him a hero of ‘pure Islam’ to many young activists, particularly those from disadvantaged tribal groups. They came to develop strong ties with Abd al-aziz Bin Baz, rector of the new Islamic University in Madina, who gave them their name. Unlike Albani and Bin Baz, however, some of their members voiced their dislike of the government; and this was particularly the case with their most famous offshoot, known as  the Ikhwan. These uber-Salafists took their inspiration from the original Ikhwan, fighters for the Wahhabi state in the 1920’s, extremists who finally rebelled against the king because of his use of Western technologies such as radios, and his opposition to their plans for an invasion of Iraq. At the Battle of Sabila in 1929, they were crushed by their ‘moderate’ brethren.

The new Ikhwan, comprising many former students of Bin Baz, burst onto the world stage in 1979 when three hundred of them forcibly took over al-Masjid al-Haram, the ‘Inviolable Mosque’, taking thousands of worshippers hostage. Under their leader Juhayman al-‘Utaybi, they proclaimed his disciple, the Salafi student Muhammad al-Qahtani, to be the long awaited Mahdi. Days later the Saudi army stormed the mosque, and the leaders were tried and executed.

The scholars know that the Quran and Sunna are foreign to everyone who does not study according to the classical rules. Without the Two Sources, a Muslim is without blessings. Study the calamities of Muslim lands today, and you will see what methodology is responsible for these misfortunes, that kill the innocent, and bring such joy to the hearts of so many idolatrous enemies of the faith.”

– Abdal Hakim Murad, Contention 57 from ‘Commentary on the Eleventh Contentions’ (used without permission)

Do yourself a favour and buy the book here before it goes out of print like his others:


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