In the Name of Allah, the Ever Gracious, the Most Merciful…
Controversial American preacher, Yusuf Estes, warns against those whom he considers to be deviant groups in Islam, claiming the word “Sunni” refers to people who do not follow the Quran, and clearly and openly denies being a Sunni (from Ahlus-Sunnah). He says:
When I come back to the country, they’ll ask me, ‘Are you a Sunni?’ I say, ‘No, I am not.’ Why? Well, I’m not going to leave out the Quran. I follow the Quran AND the Sunnah. (Audience laughs.) Anybody here only follow Sunnah? Duh!
We have previously reported that while Yusuf Estes endorses the legitimacy of the word “Shiite” and he openly endorses ascribing to the Iranian Shiite “Ja’fari” Mathhab, he questions the linguistic basis of the word “Sunni” and blames the Muslims who ascribe to it:
But where did you get “Sunni” from? “Shiite,” I know where they got it from! It’s Shee’ Ali, it means the supports of Ali. Yes or no? Yea, that’s what it means! It doesn’t mean they’re right, but I’m just saying that’s where the name goes. Where did you get the name Sunni? Where did you get it? You don’t know, do you? You don’t know who gave it to you, do you? But yet you say it? Is that amazing? You have no problem, “I’m a Sunni!” OK, really, where did it come from? Does it come from “Sunnah”? Are you sure? Does that mean then that you only follow Sunnah, you don’t follow the Quran? Huh? Because guess what – Shiites do have some hadeeth! They have a book, al-Kaafee, which is sufficient, that’s what it means, of hadeeth. So they take Sunnah, and they take Quran. So you gotta really be careful…
Here, Yusuf Estes ignorantly challenges the Religion of the Muslims and their love and attachment to the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah raise his rank and grant him peace). One might ask: Are there really people who think that Ahlus-Sunnah (the Sunnis) do not follow the Quran? Honestly, has this ever crossed anyone’s mind?
Again, to refer back to widely accepted scholarly sources of knowledge, let us look to the earliest and most authoritative books on ascriptions and their legitimacy in Islam, like as-Sam’aanee’s (d.562) al-Ansaab, a dictionary of ascriptions with discussions of their origins and validity, wherein he said (7/278):
Sunni is an ascription to the Sunnah, the opposite of bid’ah (innovation). When the numbers of the people of innovation increased, a number of people took this ascription (Sunni). He then mentions numerous examples of the early scholars who used this ascription.
Muslims have used the word “Sunni” to ascribe to the way of Ahlus-Sunnah throughout the history of Islam, without objection. These ignorant words of Yusuf Estes are a disgraceful insult to the Muslims around the world who practice their Religion uprightly by ascribing to the Sunnah, seeking to distinguish themselves from the Shiite who unjustly curse the noble and honored Companions.
No, Yusuf Estes, as most children could teach you: Sunnis do not reject or refuse to follow the Quran!
Yusuf Estes and the Shiite
Yusuf Estes has openly published and invited his followers to read Iranian Shiite literature on his “IslamNewsRoom” website as recently as August 2012. His private claims that he has retracted such deviance are baseless. After promoting the writings of a Raafidhee Ayatollah, from the most deviant of the Shia sects, he only removed the article after he was exposed. He spoke not a word against the Shia after openly propagating their writings.
Additionally, his private advice to Muslims at that time included references to the Ayatollah, Muhammad Hadi Marifat, a senior Iranian Raafidhi figure, as one of “the true scholars of Islam”. This has been documented clearly on pp.52-58 of the highly informative PDF: Yusuf Estes and the Quran. Ahlus-Sunnah, be warned of this two-faced man.
Amazingly, Yusuf Estes’ descriptions of the Shiite can be accurately summarized in the following few points:
- They follow the Quran and Sunnah.
- Their Iranian “Ja’fari” Math-hab is one of the five legitimate math-habs in Islam, which Muslims are allowed to ascribe themselves to.
- Their ascription, “Shiite”, is valid linguistically (while Sunni and Salafi are not).
- Their scholars (i.e. Ayatollahs) can be referred to as “true scholars of Islam”.
- Speaking against them causes headaches and division in the Ummah.
- He has studied under Shiite scholars and benefitted from them. (on Peace TV)
Yusuf Estes Excludes Himself From Ahlus-Sunnah
Despite all the double-talk and confusion being spread by this man, one thing can be clearly understood from Yusuf Estes – He is definitely not a Sunni, by his own explicit admission (as quoted above):
When I come back to the country, they’ll ask me, ‘Are you a Sunni?’ I say, ‘No, I am not.’
The Muslims are grateful to Yusuf Estes for being clear on at least one issue. May Allah guide him.
The Scholars Warn the Muslims Against Yusuf Estes
Shaykh ‘Ubayd al-Jaabiree, retired professor from the University of al-Madeenah, warned the Muslims against Yusuf Estes, describing him very accurately as:
He is either astray, leading others astray, or he has lost his mind. [Source]
Another scholar, Shaykh ‘Abdur-Rahmaan Muhyiud-Deen, former Mufti at the Prophet’s Masjid, said:
Astray, leading others astray… he does not know about Islam… Satan has spoken upon his tongue… [Source]
Please do not take the deviations of Yusuf Estes lightly. Many of his errors are extremely dangerous, reaching the level of disbelief in Allah’s Religion. Protect yourself by reading the articles here on this website, and help protect your brothers and sisters in Islam by recommending this website. May Allah bless and protect you.
And Allah knows best.