Praise of Shaykh ‘Abd Allah ibn Bayyah (b. 1935) By Shaykh Yūsuf al-Qaradāwī (b. 1926) (May Allah preserve them both)
Indeed it is from God’s blessings upon a person that they be acquainted with great people—those who have their scholarly importance, their religious importance, and their intellectual (fikrī), spiritual (sulūkī), and reformist (islāhī) importance. This is a blessing that deserves gratitude, and I believe that among the favours of God (Most High) upon me, and from His beneficence towards me, is that I know one of the unique scholars the like of whom time is rarely generous [in bringing forward].
Indeed he is none other than the supremely erudite (al-‘allāma) Shaykh ‘Abd Allah ibn Bayyah, whose renown in knowledge and eminence has reached the horizons, and whom [people] far and near have come to know. I have known him for many years in the context of conferences and councils in which he participated with his knowledge, ideas, and efforts.
The reality is that the more I have come closer to him and got to know him better, the more I have loved him and [the more] he has risen in my estimation. Rarely does a person combine both love and esteem for an individual: there are people whom one esteems and respects but does not love, and there are those whom one loves and has a strong emotional [attachment] to, but one does not esteem them and respect them.
As for those for whom one combines [both] love and esteem, they are few [in number], and among these few is the Shaykh ‘Abd Allah ibn Bayyah, who God has given numerous excellent qualities. He combines [religious] conservatism and liberalism: he is a conservative individual, but he is not closed; and he is an individual who facilitates, but he is not lax. He is a Mālikī: he has memorized the fiqh of the Mālikīs, their texts (mutūn), their commentaries (shurūh), their supercommentaries (hawāshī), and their various poetic codifications of disciplines (manzūmāt), but he is also supremely erudite in fiqh in general, and comparative fiqh. He is Salafī in creed, but he is also a Sūfī, with spiritual inclinations, without monasticism, just as our Shaykh Abū al-Hasan al-Nadwī said that he adopts Sūfism on the basis that it is spirituality, and purification for the soul, and connection with God, Blessed and Exalted is He. Shaykh ‘Abd Allah ibn Bayyah is [thus] between Salafism and Sūfism.
He also combines what people in our age call purity of origin (asāla), and being contemporary (mu‘āsara), for he is a man of authenticity, connected to the [Islamic intellectual] heritage, cognizant of it, well aware of its various treasures in fiqh, exegesis, hadīth, history, literature, and other [disciplines], but he is [at the same time] not distracted from the [present] time, for he lives the time, its problems, its various currents, unlike many of our scholars who live alone in the past, and do not know anything about the present, while Shaykh Ibn Bayyah knows the past, lives with the present, and peers into the future.
Perhaps it is his knowledge of the French language, on the one hand, and his assuming [positions] of great responsibility in his country—more than once he was a minister, and more than once he bore great responsibilities—perhaps all of this has made him open up to the age and look to it with an eye, and look to the [intellectual] heritage with the other eye. For this reason he has concerned himself with the aspects of Islam pertaining to reform and renewal, and the necessity of changing the umma to that which is more blessed and better, by means of changing its thoughts, changing its learning, changing its aspirations, or what the Qur’an has expressed as “souls”: “Indeed God does not change the condition of a people until they change their own souls” [13:11].
The reality is that the excellent qualities of Shaykh ‘Abd Allah ibn Bayyah are [so] many [that] this place does not have the room for [their enunciation], and the [aforementioned comments] are simply passing thoughts by means of which I express the eminence of the Shaykh, and express my love for him; and [they are also] a prayer that God brings us together with him, for I believe he is one of the righteous (sālihūn), one of the doers of good, God willing, and I say, as Imam al-Shāfi‘ī has said:
I love the righteous, and I am not one of them;
Perhaps through them I will attain intercession.
And I dislike the one whose wares are sins
Even though I am equal to them in wares
I ask God, Glory be to Him and be He Exalted, to shower blessings upon the life of Shaykh ‘Abd Allah ibn Bayyah, benefit the umma through him, benefit the religion, the religious, Islam, and the Muslims through him, and bless all his family and progeny, and that He raises us [in the Hereafter] together, with those [around] the Messenger of God, may God bless him and give him peace, with “Prophets, the veracious (siddīqīn), the martyrs, and the righteous (sālihīn), and how blessed they are as companions! [4:69]”
Translated from http://www.binbayyah.net/ by Usaama al-Azami for virtualmosque.com
May Allah bless and protect Shaykh Abdullah. May Allah bring you to his level of scholarship and piety. AMIN!
If it is possible for the Ulema to be between Sufism and Salafi then no doubt it is possible for us. This is the methodology that I am a follower of.
ALLAHU' AKBAR. THAT ALL THATS NEEDS TO BE SAID, EVEN THOUGH I AM FORTY YEARS OLD THIS ALMOST BRINGS ME TO TEARS. I FEEL LIKE I KNOW YOU BROTHER SUHAIB, I HAVE BENEFITED GREATLY FROM CD'S OF THE EMINENT SHAYK(MAY ALLAH PRESERVE HIM). MY TEACHER IS A GOOD FRIEND OF THE SHAYKH AND FROM THE SAME PLACE. HE TOLD ME A STORY ONCE THAT SHAYKH ABDULLAH BIN BAYYAH WAS ELECTED AND HAD TO REPORT TO WORK, AND WHEN HE GOT THEIR EVERYONE SPOKE FRENCH INSTEAD OF ARABIC, BECAUSE THIS WAS THE LANGUAGE I GUESS OF THE POLITICIANS OR SO CALLED INTELLECTUALS. SO SHAYKH GOT THE MOST RENOWN FRENCH DICTIONARY AND WENT BACK HOME AND MEMORIZED IT AND IN A FEW MONTHS HE WENT TO WORK AND TAUGHT THEM PROPER FRENCH. SUBHANA ALLAH.
I feel the same way about Shayk Bin Bayyah, both love and esteem. I have found him always to be a scholar who is always willing to assist those who request of him answering the simple and detailed questions. He would open his house in Jeddah and make the guest feel like they are at home. No matter if you were a scholar or a common person, he would gave you equal attention. On several occassions I have noticed this behavior from him. Such scholars are so rare in our time. May Allah preserve him and raise his rank. I love you Shaykhuna.
“If it is possible for the Ulema to be between Sufism and Salafi then no doubt it is possible for us. This is the methodology that I am a follower of.”
I agree with that statement, but some detractors would say 'we are not scholars, and thus we cannot distinguish what good to take and what bad to leave'. how do we respond to that?
mashAllah on this statement;
Sidi Suhaib and Ustadh AbulHussein, any comment on this most recent statement from Shaykh Allamah bin Bayyah?
“I call upon the Muslims to revive the science of Tasawwuf”
On the day of Friday July 10th, 2009, during the second international conference in honor of Sidi Shiker (a well-known Moroccan Wali), Shaykh Abdullah Bin Bayyah invited the Muslims to revive the science of Tasawwuf and to return it to its proper place, by which the sciences of the Din itself may be revived.
Bin Bayyah, who is one of the top scholars of Mauritania (West Africa), also stated in his speech entitled “The Foundations of Tasawwuf in the Book and the Sunnah”, that Tasawwuf (Sufism) is not a separate religion, but rather that it derives from the Qur’an and Sunnah, and that the scholars have developed its principles just as they have developed and derived the principles of Fiqh (Islamic Sacred Law) from those two sources as well.
The Shaykh also addressed in some detail the meaning of Tasawwuf, saying: “This word has become widespread and famous to the point that the meaning it points to has become obscured”, adding that Tasawwuf – like the other Islamic madhahib – was cognizant of the rifts that appeared in the Islamic Ummah, and confirmed that “Tasawwuf is a proof against the Sufi, the Sufi is not a proof against Tasawwuf”. In his definition of Tasawwuf, Bin Bayyah stressed that it is “Ihsan” (spiritual excellence), deriving this from the famous hadith Jibril, and adding that this means to seek perfection, and to have love for and longing towards meeting Allah Most High.
The Shaykh also mentioned that Tasawwuf is one (legitimate) science among the sciences of Islam, and stated that an Islamic science can either focus on the outward aspect, namely the actions of the limbs, which is termed “fiqh”, or it can focus on the inward aspect, namely the purification of the soul, softening of the heart, being inwardly detached from the dunya, and so on, and this is termed “tasawwuf”.
In terms of its Islamic origins, the Mauritanian scholar affirmed that its origins lie in the Qur’an and Sunnah, and quoting numerous verses and hadiths to support this, as well as some of the statements of the early founders of Tasawwuf, such as Imam Junayd who said: “This way of ours is confined within the principles of the Qur’an and Sunnah”.
The Shaykh also depended heavily on many occasions during his speech on the book “Qawa’id at-Tasawwuf” (Principles of Sufism) by Shaykh Ahmad Zarruq (d. 846 H), adding that this Moroccan scholar is indeed the “police” of the Sufis in the entire world.
At the end of his speech, Shaykh Bin Bayyah addressed some of the criticisms against Tasawwuf over history, such as the question of the Shuyukh specifying the dhikrs (and their numbers) for their followers, the use of dhikr beads, the question of Tawassul (using the righteous as a means to gain Allah’s blessings) and Tabarruk (deriving blessings from the relics of the righteous), and visiting the graves of the righteous Awliya, confirming in each point that they have a solid basis in Islam.
salam, will someone please answer this question – i believe the athari, ashari and maturidi schools to be from the aswj insha Allaah, but do the atharis differ from the other two on the issue of predestination/preordainment/fate/decree etc?
Do the atharis believe that everything is preordained by God, and that we are stuck within that, and that Ali (ra) said :”it is the secret of God” ?
i think the other two believe that Allaah is independent of time and space (as do the atharis) and therefore knows creation absolutely, thus His writing of destinies occurred due to this, and their destinies are due to free will allowed by God, but not occurring because of the writings of their decrees? is this true?
also, if everything happens because of God, and He is independent of time and space, then were not even our actions, intentions, destinies, everything created by God, including our abilities, our inclinations, our behaviours, our personalities, temperaments, characteristics, mindset, logic, evils, ends? are our intentions independent of God, merely allowed by Him, but not controlled or caused by Him? I am confused on this issue, can someone please elucidate…?
Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh
It is not necessary to be Athari to have the right believe in Allah. Just believe about Allah what He and Rasulullah salalahualayhiwasalam said and leave the rest. There is no need to engage in conversation or thoughts about Allah which He and Rasulullah salalahualayhiwasalam did not address.
And there is no need to be Salafi and Sufi.
Believe what the Quran and Nabi salallahualayhiwasalam say about Allah.
Don’t blindly follow a sheikh. Ask Allah for guidance as well.
Don’t commit shirk by calling upon dead saints.
Don’t follow any innovations in religion.
Strive to improve yourself. (No need for Sufism. The Quran and Sunnah are superior to everything else when it comes to improving oneself.
The Quran and Sunnah suffice us. We don not need Salafism and Atharism to be on the right course. Similarly, it is clear we should not follow man made aqeeda(Ashari, Maturidi) and practices (Sufism).
We also don’t need innovated terminology. Ihsan, not Sufism. We call ourselves Muslims not Sunni. Yes, Ahlus Sunnah Wah Jammah but we call ourselves Muslim when asked as to our religion.