In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Ever Merciful…
Previously, we have reported the dangerous statements of controversial American preacher Yusuf Estes about groups and sects, such as:
- The Iranian Shiite “Ja’fari” Math-hab (Raafidhah, Twelver, Imamiah Shia) is a legitimate math-hab in Islam, like the four math-habs. (click here)
- Publishing material from an Iranian Ayatollah from Iranian Raafhidhah propaganda. (click here)
- Claiming that the Shiite and the Muslims have the exact same Quran. (click here)
- Blaming and ridiculing Muslims from Ahlus-Sunnah for calling themselves “Sunnis”, while claiming that Shia follow the Quran and Sunnah. (YouTube)
- Claiming “Salafiyyah” (following the path of the early righteous Muslim imams) is a source of division invented by today’s scholars. (click here)
- His rejection of the way of Ahlus-Sunnah, saying that Sunnis don’t follow the Quran. (click here)
Back in 2005, Yusuf Estes was asked about the many different groups that claim to the be the true Muslims and which one is correct. He begins by quoting the Statement of Allah:
واعتصموا بحبل الله جميعا ولا تفرقوا
“Hold fast all of you together to the Rope of Allah, and do not be divided…” [3:103]
In the discussion that follows, Yusuf Estes proceeds to show us clearly just how confused he really is and how truly unfit he is to deal with such issues, saying:
Think for a moment and ask yourself about the word ‘Islam’. Does it appear in the holy texts? Does it appear in the holy scripture of Islam? Do we find the word ‘Islam’ in the Quran? Do we find the word ‘Muslim’ in the Quran?
Do we find these other words, or other groups, that have been mentioned recently, do we find them in the Quran?
Because if we find it in the Quran, obviously that would be authentic. But if we don’t find it there, then how would we get any kind of evidence to support our view that this group or that group would be correct?
Source: A 2005 Huda TV Program called “Lifting the Fog” (beginning at about 10 minutes into the recording), uploaded to YouTube dozens (if not hundreds) of times over the years. The video continues to be re-uploaded, and Yusuf Estes himself continues to recommend it at his IslamNewsRoom website, as recently as September 24, 2013 (screenshot).
There are a number of serious flaws with this shallow understanding of such a crucial issue in Islam.
If someone were to take Yusuf Estes seriously and actually try to implement this misguidance, he would be forced to accept the authenticity of some seriously misguided groups, like:
- The Shiite Cult (based on a Quranic passage in praise of Ibrahim, see: 37:83)
- The Ansaar Allah Cult of Dr. York (USA) who claims to be an angelic being in control of the universe (based on a Quranic passage commanding the believers to be ‘Ansaar Allah’ (those who aid Allah, see: 61:14)
- The Shia-backed ‘Hizbollah’ Party (based on Quranic passages in praise of Hizbullah (the sect of Allah, see: 5:56, 58:22)
- A number of other deviant cults whose names were contrived from Quranic phrases, like Tableegh, Soofees, al-Ikhwan al-Muslimoon, Murji’ah, Qadariyyah, etc.
From this, one can easily see the severely flawed logic found in the statement of Yusuf Estes, “If we find it in the Quran, obviously that would be authentic.”
These groups and others, aside from being clearly deviant, are different groups which have different beliefs, and thus they could not collectively be the one correct group of true Muslims, since the authentic hadeeth (known to Yusuf Estes and quoted often by him) identifies 72 deviant sects of claimants to Islam, and only one “saved sect”. Aside from the multiplicity of the above groups, none of them are upon what the Messenger of Allah (may Allah raise his rank and grant him peace) was upon, with his companions, despite their names being contrived from Quranic passages. This does not provide the slightest grounds for authenticity or acceptability.
In fact, the names that the Muslim scholars throughout history have used to describe the “Saved Sect” – the true Muslims – are:
- The Jamaa’ah
- Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah
- The Salafees
They may be referred to with different names in different places and in different eras of history, yet they are one united group, the true followers of the Book of Allah, the Sunnah of the Messenger (may Allah raise his rank and grant him peace), and the Companions and their early students. They are the true Hizb of Allah (the sect of Allah), the saved sect, the people of the Jamaa’ah, because of their beliefs and methodology, not because of the wording of the label used to refer to them!
The stray sects are misguided and astray, not because of the wording of the labels used to refer to them, but because of their beliefs and methodologies in their attempts to practice Islam.
For example, the Jahmiyyah are considered disbelievers because of their beliefs, by scholarly consensus. Some of their sub-cults, like the Laf-thiyyah Sect, say that the mus-haf in the hands of the Muslims is not the actual Quran, and that the real Quran is only with Allah. People who believe this are outside of Islam, as they have separated themselves from the beliefs of the Messenger of Allah, who identified the written mus-haf as the Quran, saying (what means): “Do not travel with the Quran to the land of the enemy.” [Saheeh Muslim]
People who oppose the basic Muslim beliefs that the Quran is written in books, recited on tongues, and memorized by heart, are outside of Islam because of the deviation of their beliefs, not because of a label that they have attached to themselves.
Another example: The Ja’fari Math-hab of the extremely deviant Raafidhah Cult believe that their imams know the unseen and revelation has continued after the death of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah raise his rank and grant him peace). They are not disbelievers because of their name, Ja’fari, or Raafidhi. Rather, they are disbelievers because of their direct contradiction to basic Muslim beliefs found in the clear texts of the Quran and Sunnah.
Yet another example: People who reject the Sharee’ah Laws sent down by Allah are also not Muslims. For example, some people affected by Western thought deny that the Muslim court system is required to make apostates choose repentance or face the death penalty, an established Shariah Law based directly on many clear authentic hadeeths, like (what means): “Whoever changes his religion, then kill him.” [Saheeh al-Bukhari] People who reject Allah’s Shariah Law are outside of Islam, not because of the wordings of the labels they are described with, but because of their rejection of what is established in the Religion of Islam.
Avoiding the Stray Sects: The Prophetic Solution
After warning his ummah about the splitting and differing that will take place, the Messenger of Allah (may Allah raise his rank and grant him peace) clarified that the one group of the 73 sects that will go to Paradise is known as “the Jamaa’ah”. [Ibn Maajah #3992] This is further detailed in another narration (what means): “What I and my companions are upon.” [Tirmithi #2641]
In another crucially important hadeeth, the Prophet (may Allah raise his rank and grant him peace) said (what means): “Those of you who live long after me shall witness great differing. So upon you is (to follow) my Sunnah, and the Sunnah of the rightly-guided Caliphs, hold tightly to it and bite onto it with your molar teeth. And be warned of newly-invented matters (in the Religion), as every newly-invented matter is an innovation, and every innovation is misguidance.” [Abu Dawud #4607]
Which group today remains firm upon this way? When you look to all the various groups and their foundations, you only find one group today that claims pure adherence to the way of the Prophet and his noble companions. They are Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah, the people who cling tightly to the way of the Prophet (may Allah raise his rank and grant him peace) and his companions. Whether you call them Sunnis, Salafis, Atharis, Ahlul-Hadeeth, Ahlul-Athar, or any other description, they are the only ones whose true allegiance is to the Book and the Sunnah, according to the understanding of the Companions.
Confusion Dispelled: The Jamaa’ah is the Majority of the Muslims?
Some people wish to believe that the majority of the Muslims are the actual “Jamaa’ah” that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah raise his rank and grant him peace) was speaking of. According to this notion, a minority of the Muslims who cling the way of the Prophet and his companions could not be considered “the Jamaa’ah”. This is falsehood from a textual, historical, and logical standpoint.
Textually, the Companions – the Jamaa’ah themselves – did not understand this. ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ood (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “The Jamaa’ah is what is in accordance to the truth, even if you were alone (in that).” [Sharh Usool Ali’tiqaad #160]
Also, among the Prophets were those who only had a few followers. Quranic accounts of Nooh (Noah), for example, and how most of his people rejected his message, show how the Jamaa’ah upon the truth can be a small group of people, the minority.
In our ummah’s history, in fact, we find many cases of the Truth being supported by the minority of the Muslims, while the majority were upon misguidance. The clearest and most widely known case of this would be the Jahmiyyah trials of the early third century, when the correct beliefs were held by only a small band of people around the great imam, Ahmad ibn Hanbal. While most of the Muslims were on a belief opposing the Book and the Sunnah as the companions understood them, this tiny minority was the actual “Jamaa’ah” spoken of in the hadeeth.
Logically, how could the majority of the Muslims be the “Jamaa’ah” when the Prophet (may Allaah raise his rank and grant him peace) identified the saved sect, the “Jamaa’ah”, as a minority in the very hadeeth quoted by Yusuf Estes?! The hadeeth clearly states that the Muslims will split into 73 sects, and all of them will be in the Hellfire except one – the “Jamaa’ah”. So, the saved sect, the Jamaa’ah, is one group out of 73 groups, according to the Messenger of Allah (may Allah raise his rank and grant him peace).
You do the math – Is ONE SECT out of 73 the majority or the minority?
Once you have understood this – may Allah bless you with understanding – it should be crystal clear that the solution to the problem of disunity is not to follow what the majority of the Muslims are upon.
Is Yusuf Estes with “the Jamaa’ah” Spoken of in the Hadeeth?
Amazingly, while claiming to offer Muslims the solution to their disunity, Yusuf Estes himself clings to a number of teachings that are in direct contradiction to the Book, the Sunnah, and the way of the companions! In fact, he says exactly what some of the disbelieving Jahmiyyah say about the Quran (proof), he claims that the Shiite Ja’fari Raafidhi math-hab of Iran is a legitimate math-hab in Islam (proof), and he rejects and mocks Allah’s Law regarding apostates (proof). Clearly, these concepts have nothing to do with the way of the saved sect, the Jamaa’ah, those who are upon what the Messenger of Allah was upon (may Allah raise his rank and grant him peace), and his companions.
Another Open Invitation to Yusuf Estes
Since avoiding groups doomed to the Hellfire is an apparent concern of Yusuf Estes, he should think carefully about the state of the Muslims today and the real Prophetic solution to all of this differing. We openly invite him to truly follow the hadeeth he quotes and join the Jamaa’ah of the Muslims that the Messenger (may Allah raise his rank and grant him peace) described, those upon his way and the way of his companions.
- We openly invite Yusuf Estes to abandon the beliefs of the Jahmiyyah and come to the Jamaa’ah – the way of the Prophet (may Allah raise his rank and grant him peace) and his companions (may Allah be pleased with them).
- We openly invite Yusuf Estes to stop promoting the Iranian Shiite religion and come to the Jamaa’ah.
- We openly invite Yusuf Estes to accept all of the Islamic Shariah Laws, not just the ones he feels are appropriate.
- We openly invite Yusuf Estes to stop speaking about the Religion of Islam without knowledge of it, a distinguishing sign of those who are definitely not upon the way of the Prophet and his companions, the way of firmly grounded knowledge before speech and action.
Muslims beware! The issue of names and labels is commonly taken as a smokescreen tactic by people of deviant creeds who do not wish to be discovered. And Allah knows best.
Click here for more information about the Jamaa’ah and how to identify it.
Written by: Moosaa Richardson