Zeal Alone Is Not Enough

“By Allah, one of the youth came to me, and he would always visit me. He loved me, and he was Jordanian. He took Shukri Mustafa as a leader, and became fascinated by his ideas. I never saw a youth holding onto his faith as tightly as this one. He was a pharmacy student, and he would sometimes come to break his fast with me in Cairo.One day, after he met Shukri Mustafa, he came to visit me. He started to speak, and I began to enter into a discussion with him. Suddenly, it was time to pray. I noticed that he was reluctant to pray behind me, so, I said to him: “Please, lead us in the prayer.” So, he stepped forward and led us. Afterwards, every time I would step forward to lead the prayer, he would say that he was travelling (so that he would lead, instead). So, I asked him, in a straightforward manner, “What do you think of me?”He asked: “Do you want me to be frank with you?”

I said: “Yes, be frank.”

He said: “I consider you to be a disbeliever.”

I asked: “Why, son? What is the issue?”

He replied: “You are from the Ikhwan al-Muslimin.”

I said: “OK.”

He went on: “Everyone in the Ikhwan al-Muslimin is a disbeliever.”

I asked: “Why?”

He said: “Because they do not make takfir of al-Hudaybi, the disbeliever [*].”

Imagine! With such ease! I said to him: “Come, let me tell you: ash-Shafi’i and Ahmad bin Hambal differed over the disbelief of the one who abandons the prayer out of laziness. ash-Shafi’i said that he is not a disbeliever, and Ahmad said he is a disbeliever, and then they debated over it, with none of them declaring the other to be a disbeliever.”

Subhan Allah! Because of his extreme zeal and emotion, he said to me, in his exact words: “If I was present, and had debated ash-Shafi’i, and he had refused to make takfir, I would have declared ash-Shafi’i to be a disbeliever.”

I said: “There is no might nor power except with Allah. We are finished. Get out of here. If it has gotten to this point, then we are finished.”

And yes, he eventually became entangled with Shukri Mustafa, and received a fifteen-year sentence, and he is still in jail until now. They, because of their lack of knowledge, are simply youth with much zeal, and the hearts of these youth were made to follow their desires.”

[‘Fi Dhilal Surat at-Tawbah’; p. 104]

[*] al-Hudaybi (may Allah have Mercy on him) was a scholar from the Ikhwan who was arrested by ‘Abd an-Nasir. Although he himself considered ‘Abd an-Nasir to be a disbeliever, when he was being tortured in prison, and was asked if ‘Abd an-Nasir was a disbeliever, he would reply: “What would we gain if we did or didn’t declare him to be a disbeliever?” – saying this out wisdom, in order to avoid having anything damning recorded against him by his own tongue. So, Shukri’s group made takfir of al-Hudaybi because of the answer he gave, which didn’t contain explicit takfir of ‘Abd an-Nasir. They then went even farther, declaring the Ikhwan to be kuffar for not making takfir of al-Hudaybi.

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