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    Fake Salafi Refutation

    Beware of the Rulers
    by Sufyn ath-Thawr

    The Advice [1] of Sufyn ath-Thawr

    Sufyn ath-Thawr [2] - rahimahullh - wrote to Abbd ibn Abbd al-Khawws al-Arsf [3] - rahimahullh - saying:

    To proceed: You are in a time which the Companions of the Prophet sallallhu alayhi wa sallam used to seek refuge from reaching, and they had the knowledge that we do not have, and they had precedence which we do no. So how is it for us, when we reach that, having little knowledge, little patience, few helpers upon what is good, corruption of the people and pollution of this world?! So take to the original state of affairs and cling to it. [4] I advise you to remain unknown, since this is the age for remaining anonymous (khuml). [5] And remain aloof and mix little with the people, since before, when the people met, they would benefit from each other. But today that has gone and your safety - in our view - lies in abandoning them. [6]

    Beware of the Rulers. Beware of coming near to them and of mixing with them in any of the affairs. Beware of being deceived, so that it said to you: Intercede [for me], so that you help one oppressed, or repel an act of oppression - because that is from the deception of Ibls, which the wicked reciters have taken as a means to attain a favorable position. [7] It used to be said: Beware of the fitnah (trial) of the ignorant worshipper and the wicked scholar, because the trial of these two is indeed a trial for everyone put to trial.

    If you find questions and need for fatw, then take take advantage of it - but do not compete desirously for it. And beware of being like the one who loves that his saying is acted upon, or that his saying is publicised or listened to, and if that is abandoned, the effects of that are seen upon him. [8]

    And beware of the love of leadership, since leadership may be more beloved to a man than gold and silver - but it is something difficult and obscure; and this will not be understood except by wise Scholars. [9] So seek after your lost soul and work with correct intention and know that there has come near to the people a matter which a person would be desirous of death.

    Was-salm. [10]

    -- COMMENTARY --

    1. The text and explanation of this wasiyyah (advice / legacy) has been taken from the book: Min Wasyus-Salaf (pp.19-25) by Shaykh Salm al-Hill - hafidhahullh.

    2. He is Ab Abdullh Sufyn ibn Sad ibn Masrq ath-Thawr (97-161H). The appelation referring to Thawr ibn Abd Mant; and not Thawr of Hamdn. One of the stores of knowledge and mountains or retention - and when the Ulem (Scholars) are mentioned, then Sufyn is a dazzling star. His biography is famous and fills the books of Jarh wat-Tadl (validating and invalidating the narrators), history and Fiqh; and his life-story is well known.

    From the Editors: What follows is a very brief biography of Sufyn ath-Thawr, taken from Siyt Almun-Nubal of adh-Dhahab and Tahdhbut-Tahdhb of al-Hfidh Ibn Hajar al-Asqaln.

    His Shaykhs include: Ab Ishq as-Sab, al-Amash, Sulaymn at-Tam, Ibrhm ibn Maisarah, Ibn Awn, Zaid ibn Aslam, Amr ibn Dnar, Ibn Ajln, Ibn al-Munkadir, Abz-Zubayr, Yahy ibn Sad al-Ansr ...

    His Students include: Shubah, al-Awz, Mlik, Abdur-Rahmn ibn Mahd, Yahy ibn Sad al-Qattn, Ibn al-Mubrak, Hafs ibn Ghiyth, Abdullh ibn Wahb, Abdur-Razzaq, Fudail ibn Iyyd, al-Wald ibn Muslim, Wak ibn al-Jarrah, Yazd ibn Hrn, Ab Nuaym and Al ibn al-Jad - who was the last reliable narrator to report from him.

    Shubah, Ibn Uyaynah, Ab آsim, Ibn Man and others said: Sufyn is the chief of the Believers in hadth.

    Ibn al-Mubrak said: I wrote from one thousand one hundred Shaykhs and I did not write from anyone better than Sufyn, so a man said to him: O Ab Abdullh, you saw Sad ibn Jubayr and others, he said: That was before. I did not say that I did not see anyone better than Sufyn.

    Ibn Mahd said: Wahb used to give precedence to Sufyns memory over that of Mlik.

    Ad-Duwar said: I saw Yahy ibn Man and he did not prefer anyone to Sufyn in his time - neither in Fiqh, Hadth, Zuhd or anything.

    Ahmad bin Hanbal said: No one takes precedence over him in my heart.

    An-Nas said: He is greater than for it to have to be said that he is reliable, and he is one of the Imms whom I hope is one of those whom Allh has made an Imm for the pious.

    Ibn Ab Dhib said: I have not seen anyone more like the Tbin than Sufyn.

    Ibn Hibbn said: He was one of the foremost of the people in Fiqh, War (piety) and precision.

    Ibn Uyaynah said: I have not seen a man knowing the lawful and prohibited better than Sufyn.

    Ishq ibn Rhawaih said: I heard Abdur-Rahmn ibn Mahd mention Sufyn, Shubah, Mlik and Ibn al-Mubrak and say: The most knowledgeable of them was Sufyn.

    Muhammad ibn Zunbr said: I heard Fudail say: By Allh! Sufyn was more knowledgeable than Ab Hanfah.

    Bish al-Hf said: Ath-Thawr, to us, is the Imm of the people.

    Qabsah said: I have not sat in a sitting along with Sufyn except that I remembered death. I have not sn anyone who remembered death more than him.

    It was said to Sufyn ath-Thawr: For how long will you continue to seek Hadth? He said: And what is better than Hadth that I should prefer it? Hadth is the best of the knowledge of the world.

    Abdur-Rahmn ibn Mahd related: I heard Sufyn say: Never has a hadth reached me from Allhs Messenger sallallhu alayhi wa sallam, except that I would act upon it even a single time. Here ends the Editors Inclusion.

    His biography can be found in Tahdhbul-Kaml (11/54), at-Tabaqtul-Kubr (6/371), Trkh Baghdd (9/151) and Siyar Almun-Nubal (7/229). Ab Nuaym al-Asbahn has written a delightful and complete biography of him in Hilyatul-Awliy (6/356 - 7/144) - the likes of which I have not seen.

    3. He is Ab Utbah Abbd ibn Abbd ibn Khawws al-Arsf ash-Shm. One of the nobles of Shm (region of Syria, Jordan and Palestine); and their worshippers. Declared reliable by Yahy ibn Man, Yaqb ibn Sufyn al-Fasaw and others. His biography is found in Trkhad-Drim (no.495), al-Marifah wat-Trkh (2/43) of al-Fawas and also Hilyatul-Awliy (8/281-282).

    4. This pure saying is inherited from the Companions of the Prophet sallallhu alayhi wa sallam - from whom it is very widely reported that person must do Ittib (follow the narrations from the Prophet sallallhu alayhi wa sallam and his Companions) and cling to the old way, as is reported authentically from Ibn Masd - radiallhu anhu: Follow and do not innovate - it is enough for you [and every innovation is misguidance].

    Reported by Wak in az-Zuhd (no.315) and through him Ahmad in az-Zuhd (p.202), ad-Drim in the introduction of his Sunan (1/69) and others. It is Sahh due to its supporting chains and the addition in brackets is from Ahmad and at-Tabarn in al-Kabr (9/154) and is also Sahh.

    5. The khmil is the one who is hidden, the one who is not mentioned or known. This is a sign of taqw (piety) and goodness, since the sincere ones do not cease to be fearful of riy (ostentation). Therefore, they strive hard to hide this from the people and turn their eyes away from their righteous actions; and strive to hide them harder than the people and turn their eyes away from their righteous actions; and strive to hide them harder than the people strive in their wickedness - hoping for sincerity in their actions - so that Allah may reward them for their sincerity on the Day of Resurrection. And the people of good did not intend fame, nor seek it, nor that which leads to it - and if granted by Allh - they flee from it and prefer not to be known. Since it leads to conceit and then destroys the fame.

    Imm Muslim in his Sahh (18/10) and al-Baghaw in Sharhus-Sunnah (15/21-22) both relate that آmir ibn Sad ibn Ab Waqqs said: Sad was looking after his sheep and camels, so his son, Umar, came to him. When Sad saw him he said: I seek refuge in Allh from the evil of this rider. So when he came to him, he said: O father! Are you satisfied with being a desert-dwelling Arab amongst your sheep and camels, whilst the people are arguing about who is to rule in al-Madnah? Sad hit Umar on the chest and said: Shut-up! For I have heard the Messenger of Allh sallallhu alayhi wa sallam say: Indeed Allh loves the pious, self-contented and hidden servant.

    So what Sufyn intended by saying: This is the age for remaining anonymous, is that one should hide their good actions from people - not that one should become lazy and apathetic. The proof for this is from considering two matters:- Firstly: It is established from the Prophet sallallhu alayhi wa sallam that he said: A strong believer is better and more beloved to Allh than a weak believer. Secondly It is established that the Prophet sallallhu alayhi wa sallam would seek refuge with Allh from laziness and slothfulness.

    6. What he means by uzlah (remaining aloof) is mixing little with the people - since there will still be some benefit to be gained from each other. So, he does not mean that you should avoid the people altogether, since if the dut (the callers to Allh and his Dn) do that - then when will the ignorant learn, the confused ones be guided and the one who oppresses himself desist! There is no doubt that the one who mixes with the people and patiently bears their harms has a great reward.

    7. Ibn al-Jawz (d.597H) - rahimahullh - says in Talbs Ibls (p.121-122): From the deception of Ibls upon the Scholars, is their mixing with the Rulers and flattering them and abandon censuring them when able to do so. And perhaps they find allowance for them where really there is no allowance, in order to attain a worldly goal - and threefold corruption comes about through this:

    Firstly: The Ruler - he says: If it were not correct, then the Scholar would have censured me - and how can I not be correct - and he eats from my wealth?

    Secondly: The common person says: There is no harm with this Ruler, nor his wealth, nor his actions, because the Scholar does not criticise him.

    Thirdly: The Scholar - because he corrupts his Dn through that. Ibls may deceive them into entering upon the Ruler saying: We enter in order to intercede for a Muslim. This deception is uncovered by the fact that if a different person entered to intercede - the Scholar would not be pleased with that; and perhaps speak ill of him - since he wishes to be alone in the Rulers attention.

    So entering upon the Ruler involves great danger, since the intention may be good when you first enter, but then may be changed by their honouring you, or bestowing things upon you, or by having ambitions and by not being able to avoid flattering them and leaving-off censuring them. Sufyn ath-Thawr used to say: I do not fear from their debasing me, but I fear from their being generous towards me so that my heart inclines towards them.

    And al-Hfidh Ibn Rajab al-Hanbal (d.795H) says in Sharh Hadth M Dhibn (p.53):Many of the Salaf used to forbid entering upon the Kings in order to command them with what is good and forbid them from what is evil also. From those that forbade them were: Umar ibn Abdul-Azz, Ibn al-Mubrak, ath-Thawr and others. Ibn al-Mubrak said: And with us, the one who orders and forbids is not the one who enters upon them and orders and forbids, but rather the one who orders and forbids is the one who keeps away from them. And that is for fear of trials for the one who enters upon them since a person when far away maybe deceived into thinking that he will order and forbid them and be stern with them - but when he sees them face to face, his soul inclines towards them, since love of nobility is hidden in the soul. Therefore he flatters them and is lenient with them and perhaps he inclines towards them and comes to love them, especially if they treat him kindly and generously and he accepts that from them. And this happened to Abdullh ibn Tws with a certain ruler, in the presence of his father Tws, so Tws rebuked him for that. And Sufyn ath-Thawr wrote to Abbd ibn Abbd and in his letter was: And beware of the rulers...

    Ibn Abdul Barr (d.463H) - the Scholar of Andulus - says in Jmi Bayannil-Ilm (l/185-186), ending the chapter in which he mentioned the Salafs hatred of entering upon the kings and rulers:

    And the meaning of this chapter is with regard to the wicked oppressive ruler. However, as for the just and noble of them, then entering upon him, seeing him and helping him to do good is one of the best of good deeds. Do you not see that Umar ibn Abdul-Azz was accompanied by the great Scholar such as Urwah ibn az-Zubair and his level; and Ibn Shihb az-Zuhr and his level. And Ibn Shihb used to enter upon the ruler Abdul-Mlik and his sons after him. And from those who used to enter upon the ruler were:- ash-Shab, Qabsah, Ibn Dhuaib, Raj ibn Haywat al-Kind, Abl-Miqdm - who was a noble scholar, al-Hasan, Abz-Zind, Mlik ibn Anas, al-Awz, ash-Shfi and others too many to mention. So if the Scholar enters upon the ruler - now and again when there is a need - and he says what is good and speaks with his knowledge, then that is good and a means of Allhs pleasure until the Day he meets Him. But these sittings are usually a trial; and being safe therefrom is abandoning what is in them.

    I say: Indeed they have spoken the truth, done well and have advised sincerely - rahimahumullh - because they were like the unclothed preachers who are not disbelieved - and how could they be anything else after they had heard the saying of Allhs Messenger, sallallhu alayhi wa sallam: He who comes to to the ruler is put to trial. Reported by Ab Dwd (no.2859), at-Tirmidh (no.2256), an-Nas (7/195-196), Ahmad (l/357) and others from Ab Ms al-Ashar - and it is Sahh due to supporting narrations.

    8. This is riy (showing-off and ostentation). I have explained its causes, how it approaches, its types, et&u and its cure, in my book called ar-Riy.

    9. Ibn Abdul-Barr wrote in Jmi Baynil-Ilm (l/143-144) some lines on this:

    Love of leadership is a poison which destroys this life,
    And makes love a war for its lovers;
    It cuts both throats and ties of relationship,
    So that no character nor Dn remains.
    He who obtains leadership while ignorant or before wisdom,
    Then you will not see him except as an enemy to the rightful;
    He desires and envies a people and be is lesser than them,
    Competing thereby with the enemies of the Prophets.

    So refer to what he wrote in this chapter, for it is of great value, and if a student of knowledge were to travel for one month seeking it - then he would be fortunate.

    10. Reported by Ab Nuaym in Hilyah (6/376-377) and Ibn Rajab mentioned a portion of it in Sharh Hadth M Dhibn (pp.53-54) and adh-Dhahab reported it in the biography of Sufyn in Siyr Almun-Nubal, and it is a famous testament possessed by the Scholars.

    Al-Hfidh al-Mizz - rahimahullh - says in Tahdbbul-Kaml (14/143) in his biography of Abbd ibn Abbd: And he was one of the noble ones of Shm and their worshippers, and Sufyn ath-Thawr wrote the famous letter to him, being a testament, and mention of manners, wisdoms, examples and admonitions.

     
     
     
     
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