Praise be to Allāh the Lord of world; may the blessing and peace be upon the Prophet, his household and companions all together.
The events and happenings unfolding around the world generally and the Islamic world specifically are not hidden from most people, although their level of awareness may vary from one person to another.
On 21, November, 2017 , as I have mentioned on many occasions, one of the younger mashaayikh called my attention to a post written by one Abu Mazeedah against the Saudi government and the Saudi senior scholars in defence of the al-Ikhwān al-Muslimun. He also told me that a lot of brothers from among the students of knowledge had written rejoinders to the post, but to him, those rejoinders did not really address the shubhaat raised my that man. Although I had opened a Facebook account years before that time, I initially declined the request of this brother of ours that I write a rejoinder for several reasons: one, I had not made a single post on my wall before then. Yes, I would come on Facebook some times, read some posts by some people, pass some comments if necessary; two, I discovered that people would not really address issues on which they differed, rather they would abuse one another. And this personally to me is detestable, and more importantly our religion doesn’t support this except when necessary; three, the disscussants on Facebook or other platforms hardly submit to the truth even when it is clear to them and this to me is a share waste of precious time, more so our religion frowns at this.
Around 12:00 a.m after our brother had spoken with me, I checked my phone and I saw that he had sent the write-up by that man to my WhatsApp. When I read it, I felt I had to change my stand because the post contained some shubhaat that needed clarification. This I did by writing series of rejoinders on the post and other ones written by the same person. And I don’t think anyone who is truly a Salafi will have any problem with the fact that I defended those scholars with evidences available to me as he had defended the Ikhwānis and those upon their manhaj incarcerated by the Saudi authorities. I don’t think a serious Salafi would prefer we leave the youths with those shubhaat!!
Let’s take a walk further down memory lane.Some months before the incident of Abu Mazeedah, I was invited to participate in a seminar in Ilorin. I eventually declined the invitation whe I was told the topic I was to discuss. The topic was “the specious arguments of the sects that differed with Ahlus-sunnah”. Much as this topic sounds very interesting, I don’t know how a Salafi preacher today would discuss this topic without talking about the Ikhwān.
To cut a long story short, I didn’t honour the invitation because I felt the main organizer ,i.e. the prof would not like me to mention the Ikhwān and he might rejoin me which might also prompt me to want to do a counter rejoinder and they might not even give me the opportunity to do so and this might make me very displeased. So I had to inform sheikh Sarumi and Imam Qamar as both of them were the ones that suggested my name to the committee set up by the prof. Initially they both objected to my refusal to participate but after lengthy discussions with each one of them, they left me with my decision.
To cut a long story short, what I feared eventually happened in the seminar. The lecturer [ sheikh Ibn Raaji] who eventually treated the topic that was earlier given to me,mentioned the Ikhwān and how they are not from among the people of Sunnah. This didn’t please some of the doctors seated; they came to the defence of the Ikhwān.
When it was the turn of Sheikh AbdurRauf Ballo, another lecturer on that day, to present his lecture, he buttressed the position of sheikh Ibn Rāji.
Some months later,a brother produced some short clips which contained the opposing views of those doctors and the other lecturers
Prior to this seminar organized by the prof and the other one organized by Haadhaa Bayaanun Linnaas, our mashaayikh in Markaz had always defended the prof. It was only two persons, one is out of Markaz now, that would speak against him based on what they knew of his manhaj.
However, when we watched the video of the Ilorin seminar organised by the prof and saw their stand on Ikhwān, we felt this stand of theirs could pave way more for the Ikhwāni dawah in Lagos and coud also affect some adherents of the Salafi dawah in Lagos.
Knowing full well that the Ikhwāni dawah believes in protests against the authorities, struggling for political power, even if it leads to compromising as many Islamic principles as possible, we felt it was a duty on us to caution our brothers from the new direction of the prof, reason being that we were the ones who recommended him to our brothers in our own area by inviting him in year 2009.
Surprisingly, the first person to caution his own listeners against the prof and another doctor was the one who had defended the prof among us most and whose wives would also attend the other doctor’s lectures- and that was sheikh Sa’eed Hamzah, and this goes a long way to tell us that the matter isn’t personal as some people have always presented it-
A lot of people then weren’t pleased with this refutation of his among them was one of the younger mashaayikh in Ikorodu who was very bitter about it. He had a discussion that lasted about an hour with me on this. He frowned seriously at calling the prof a sururi. On that day I said to him, “Let’s keep aside whether it is right to use that word for him or not. Are you saying we should keep quiet and not discourage who cares to listen from among our Salafi brothers from attending gatherings to which the prof and his likes invite the Ikhwāni preachers ? He could not give me a direct answer.
On December 24, 2017, we organized a seminar on the matter of the Ikhwān where in we cautioned people from falling for them and falling for those that are defending them. This,however, did not go down well with some brothers among whom was the brother mentioned earlier who later convinced others against us. He also succeeded much later in winning another brother who had before then had very tough position on the prof, although the brother fell for him based on another issue.
Some weeks after our seminar ustadh Ibrahim Oganija also wrote a refutation on one of the doctors which he posted on Facebook. When I saw this, I gave him a call and told him his write-up was somehow harsh.
During this period I received so many calls asking me to caution our people.
A day or so later someone wrote a rejoinder to that of ustadh Oganija blasting us all in the Markaz. I got to know this when the person sent it to me on WhatsApp. On seeing it,I read it and later gave him a call asking him why he had sent this to me. Initially he told me it was social media. Then said to him ” What do you mean by social media? We are not on the same WhatsApp group” Then he said to me ” Is it not one of you that wrote refutation against Dr Sharaf ?” I replied him ” But I am not the one that wrote it.” Then he apologised to me on that. After this I tried to explain to him what had led to all that; this led to serious discussion between both of us.
About two hour later the person called me to inform me that he recorded our conversation to share with his ikhwah who also had similar position to his.
Some days later, I tried to speak to our brothers in markaz that I had received so many calls on those refutations done by the sheikhs, Sa’eed Hamzah and Ibrahim Oganija. I then suggested that any person amongst us who intended to do any refutation in which the name of markaz would be mentioned, should carry others along. All those present agreed. However sheikh Oganija was not in the sitting but I communicated the message to him. But to my surprise, his response was that no body could force his opinion on him if his opinion differs from theirs. On reading this reply of his, I didn’t bother to write any further message to him on the matter.
Some weeks later, he decided to hold a lecture on the TMC and some dakaatira with the theme:
THE MUSLIM CONGRESS ” TMC” “As I Know Them” and with the topic:
(Some mistakes & innovations that take ” TMC” out of Ahlus-Sunnah Wal-Jamaaha And the relationship between some Dhakaatir and The Muslim brotherhood in Nigeria ( TMC& Tadhomun)
” which is the reason for our division now”)
He sent the handbill containing this information to markaz’s WhatsApp group. The asaatidha on seeing this reacted disaprovingly to it with different comments viewing it as something that could cause fitnah as it was too direct.
I personally did not write any comment on it for two reasons; one, he had said no body could force their opinion on him in my last chat with him; two, it was not hidden from him that weeks before that we held a seminar the handbill of which did not bear the name of any particular jamaah in Nigeria not even the name of al-iKhwan al-Muslimun that we intended to talk about.
When we met two or so days later I suggested to the members present that we write a disclaimer exenorating us from that program of his that carried that big theme and topic. When we did this and ustadh Oganija saw it on Facebook, he felt we had embarrassed him with that.
The issue is, he should not expect us to share in the repercussions of any unguarded action by him as was the case when he attacked baba Lagege, the blame was not borne by him alone despite the fact that we advised him then not to do that, but he accused me then specifically of being too lenient. People’s blame was not limited to him because people felt we were friends and I must have supported his action. The Same can be said of the refutation he posted on Facebook about Dr Sharaf.
Concequently he gathered his students and addressed them. After that we saw some of his students coming online to abuse us. This was also countered by some brothers.
To cut a long story short, it is this event that led to the severance of the relationship between me and him contrary to what some people are saying.
I do refutations when I deem it necessary. However, I avoid making it too direct particularly where I think it could cause trouble. I avoid abusing people as much as I can in my refutations. And this can be seen in my rejoinder to a doctor who, in a seminar held some months ago, was bold to refute me; he even mentioned my name; he connected me to sheikh ar-Rayyis and not only that even connected me wrongly to a lecture he did on ” the methods of al-Ikhwaanal-Muslimun in misleeading the youths ; he also ascribed me to following the methodology of sheikh Rabee’ and sheikh Muhammad Amaan al-Jaamii.
I watched the video of this doctor and did some clarifications on his specious argument without mentioning his name nor abusing him. This has been my way which I would not leave in order to please anyone. Yes, I am strict when it comes to upholding the truth. However, that doesn’t mean I should be abusing people in order to present it. I avoid abuses as much as possible unless when I think it is necessary.
May Allāh unite us all upon that which pleases him
Written by: Sheikh ‘AbdulGaniy Juma’h, Hafidhahullah.