Al-Albaani asked about Sayyid Qutb | 9 | The Shaikh’s Praise of Specific Statements of Qutb Doesn’t Mean He Agreed With Everything Qutb Said and His Criticism of Him Doesn’t Mean He Called Him a Kaafir
by The Albaani Blog
The Yemeni Youth: But I think, and Allaah knows best, from that the people will understand … they will say …, I know what you are saying is true without doubt, [but] what will the people go and say, they will say that, “Shaikh al-Albaani … why do you say this is a mistake …” because some of them study this, they study the tafsir of Surah Ikhlaas from the tafsir of Sayyid Qutb, and they say, ‘Why do you say such and such? Shaikh Qutb is the best of those who spoke about the explanation of Laa ilaaha illallaah, I heard Shaikh al-Albaani say such and such …’ they say such things and make things unclear … maybe, I know [what you are saying] but the common folk, many of them, O Shaikh …
Al-Albaani: O Shaikh, fear Allaah regarding yourself.
The Speech of Allaah wasn’t saved from the likes of these things that you are relating from the people. What did Allaah say about the Jews and the Christians? “… and you will find the nearest of them in affection to the believers those who say, ‘We are Christians,’ …” [Maa’idah 5:82]. What is found here? There is praise from Allaah for the Christians–are you able to say no?
He won’t answer.
Let him learn, my brother, give and take.
The Yemeni Youth: The end of the aayah, what is meant by the Christians are those who fear Allaah and who cried out of the fear of Allaah, those who believed, this is what I understand, maybe I am mistaken, but I’d like to ask.
Al-Albaani: The Christians concerning whom this aayah was revealed, were they monotheists on the way of Jesus, when between Jesus [and the coming of Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم] there was a gap of five hundred years or more?
The Yemeni Youth: I don’t know, just, that which I see, that which I understand from the aayah … I don’t want to say …
Al-Albaani: Sorry, my brother, say what you have.
The Yemeni Youth: That He [i.e., Allaah] praised those among them who believed in the Final Message.
Al-Albaani: Correct. And the Jews?
The Yemeni Youth: “That is because among …” [Maa’idah 5:82], this is what I understand, and Allaah knows best.
Al-Albaani: Sorry, my brother, generally, are they the same? The Jews and the Christians, are they the same?
The Yemeni Youth: No, the Jews are further astray.
Al-Albaani: This is the point. So there is praise of the Christians generally, as for whether they believed, then it is not our topic [i.e., it is not what we are talking about now]. We, right up until now, believe that Allaah the Mighty and Majestic, nurtured us upon [the fact that] and taught us that there is a difference between the Christians as Christians and the Jews as Jews, putting aside whether there was a group amongst them who submitted to Islaam or not. So it is not fitting that such aayahs are taken to support the fact that Allaah has praised the Christians and [then] we leave the clear Saying of Allaah, “They have certainly disbelieved who say, ‘Allaah is the third of three,’ …” [Maa’idah 5:73]
So don’t be concerned about the fact that they will take an aayah from the Quraan and misinterpret it so that it will be a proof for their misguidance [i.e., they will take Allaah’s praise of the Christians and based upon that say everything Christians say is good and they will leave Allaah’s criticism of them], let alone the fact that they [i.e., those who use Al-Albaani’s praise of some parts of Qutb’s books] will take what al-Albaani says or what those who are higher than al-Albaani and more knowledgeable than al-Albaani say to strengthen their deviance and misguidance.
Why are you, as they say in Syria, ‘He took hold of the ladder horizontally and walked off,’ [i.e., harming everyone on his way and knocking them over, a Syrian proverb talking about people who do not know how to handle issues properly], what concerns you about this group?
I once said regarding Sayyid Qutb … you’ve heard of Shaikh Abdullaah Azzaam, Abdullaah Azzaam, he used to be here, from the Ikhwaan al-Muslimoon, and seven to eight years ago, the Ikhwaan al-Muslimoon issued a resolution to boycott al-Albaani, and to boycott Abu Yusuf, and to boycott everyone who affiliated themselves to his [i.e., al-Albaani’s] da’wah, bearing in mind that Abdullaah Azzaam was the only man from the Ikhwaanis who would hardly have heard that Shaikh al-Albaani had a sitting at a house except that he would be from amongst the first of those present, and he would have a small notebook with him and a small pen, like this, really small, he would write his notes in it, this man who was truly tender hearted.
[But] when the Ikhwaanis issued their decision to boycott me he totally stopped visiting me. I met him in Suhaib Mosque, we were leaving after the prayer, naturally I gave him salaam, he replied to my salaam with shyness because he didn’t want to oppose the ‘decision.’
I said, ‘Why this, O Shaikh? Is this what Islaam ordered you with?’
He said, ‘Soon shall the clouds of summer clear up.’ [i.e., this situation will be over soon just as a summer cloud disappears without rain].
Days came and went, and [one day] he came to my house to see me but I wasn’t there. In summary, he followed after [my news] and came to know that Nidhaam [the Shaikh’s brother-in-law] was with me … he [i.e., Azzaam] knocked the door and came in, I welcomed him, he said, ‘I came to your house but didn’t find you there. And as you know, I’m keen to benefit from your knowledge …’ I said that that was how I knew him to be, but what is the meaning of this address? [i.e., these opening statements, what have you come to say?]’
He said, ‘You declared Sayyid Qutb to be a disbeliever.’
I said to him, ‘Where did I do that?’
He said, ‘You say that he acknowledged the belief of Wahdatul-Wujood in his explanation of the first part of Surah Hadeed, and secondly in [Surah] Qul Huwallaahu Ahad.’
I said, ‘Yes. He narrated statements of the Sufis and nothing can be understood from them except that he agrees with Wahdatul-Wujood. But from our principles, and you are from the most well-acquainted of people with them because you attend my gatherings, is that we do not declare a person to be a disbeliever even if he has fallen into disbelief except after the proof has been established against him. So how is it that you announced this boycott? And I am still here? [i.e.., you could have come to me to clarify things if they were unclear].’
… [when that other man came] to check to see whether it was true if I declare Sayyid Qutb to be a disbeliever, I said to him, ‘Sayyid Qutb says this [i.e., the saying of the extremist Sufis about Wahdatul-Wujood] in such and such Surah …’ [so] the other man opened it [i.e., Qutb's book] up in another place [and showed the Shaikh a part where Qutb said something good and based upon that] said, ‘He is a man who believes in Allaah and His Messenger and in tawheed!’
I said to him, ‘My brother, I do not deny this truth which he has said but I criticise this falsehood which he has stated.’
And despite this sitting we had, later he [i.e., Azzaam] went and published two or three consecutive pieces in the Al-Mujtama’ magazine in Kuwait with the title, ‘Shaikh al-Albaani declares Sayyid Qutb to be a disbeliever.’ It’s a very long story [but] the point to be had is: where do I say this and this?
So the one who holds that al-Albaani declared Sayyid Qutb to be a disbeliever is like the one who holds that Shaikh al-Albaani praised Sayyid Qutb in a place … [i.e., one group goes to extremes and takes Albaani’s praise of certain statements of Qutb’s to mean everything Qutb said was okay and the other takes Al-Albaani’s criticism of Qutb to mean that he declares Qutb to be a disbeliever] … these are people of desires and there is no way for us to stand in their way except that we pray to Allaah for them only, “Then, would you compel the people in order that they become believers?”[Yunus 10:99]
For this reason, I think [you should] put the fervour/passion you have into learning the Sunnah and calling to it and spreading it amongst the Ummah. And don’t put personal enmity between you and people, especially when they have gone ahead to the actions they have sent forth, whether good or bad [i.e., they have passed away].
The Yemeni Youth: Jazaakallaahu khair.
Al-Albaani: Wa iyyaak, in shaa Allaah.
The Yemeni Youth: O Shaikh, by the way, Abdullaah Azzaam, I read a book of his, it’s called, Al-Imlaaq Sayyid Qutb, he refuted you in it, a booklet, I read it and it seems like it’s distributed in Peshawar.
Al-Albaani: I said to you, my brother, he refuted me in the Al-Mujtama [magazine], and unfortunately in that he was an oppressor. I didn’t want to relate the rest of the story to you because it had no connection to our discussion but now you are compelling me to complete it.
So days came and went and someone … from … what’s his name … Abu … their older brother … I used to visit them for a number of years … he said that he wanted me to attend an iftaar gathering in Ramadaan [as far as I recall], I don’t remember exactly, the point is he had invited Shaikh Abdullaah Azzaam who had come from Afghanistan.
I told him I would come under a condition. He asked what it was and I said, ‘The man [i.e., Abdulaah Azzaam] did such and such to me … and refuted me after we had sat in my brother-in-law, Nidhaam’s, house, and I made him [i.e., Azzaam] understand that I do not declare Sayyid Qutb to be a disbeliever but that I do make clear that what he said was disbelief. [Yet after that] he went and printed two or three articles in the Al-Mujtama’ magazine. So now I make it a condition upon you that you organise a private sitting for me with him so that I can call him to account over what he did.’ He replied, ‘It will be so.’
And I did sit with him [i.e., Azzaam] and said, ‘What is this? When you know my opinion, which is that I do not declare Sayyid Qutb to be a disbeliever? How did you go and write two articles in the Al-Mujtama’ magazine, with such a heavy title?’
He said, ‘Wallaahi, I went to Makkah for Umrah and the youth gathered around me and said that Shaikh al-Albaani declares Sayyid Qutb to be a disbeliever …’
I said, ‘Namely, you move according to the emotions of the youth? You are supposed to use your intellect and knowledge …’ and so on.
The point is that I carried on with him until I took a pledge from him that he would correct what he had written about me in the same magazine, the Al-Mujtama’ magazine, but he didn’t do it–may Allaah have mercy on him.
My point is, don’t busy yourself with the people, with individuals–this is a path which has no end, this is a path which has no end/a door which will not close.
The Yemeni Youth: Okay, O Shaikh, there is an issue …