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Al-Ahbash: Evolution and Beliefs

Question and answer details
Sanaa
2012/04/22
Dear scholars, As-Salamu `alaykum. I would like to ask you about the Association of the Islamic Charitable Projects in Germany. Is it a reliable association? I visited their web site on the net "www.aicp.org", and I read some of the articles about Islam. However, I discovered that the information included is mainly concerned with at-tabarruk bil-awliya' was-salihin (seeking blessings of saints and righteous people). Could you please shed more light on the origin and beliefs of such a sect in detail.
On Islam Fatwa Editing desk
Answer

Wa `alaykum As-Salamu wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuh.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger.

Dear sister in Islam, we would like to thank you for the great confidence you place in us, and we implore Allah Almighty to help us serve His cause and render our work for His Sake.

We have visited the site you mentioned in your question and we came to the conclusion that this site is maily concerned with publishing information and articles about Al-Ahbash. Here, we will try our best to brief you on Al-Ahbash sect as well as their dogmas and beliefs by citing the following:

"Al-Ahbash is a stray sect that follows `Abdullah ibn Al-Habashi. It has recently appeared in Lebanon taking advantage of the ignorance and poverty that resulted from the Lebanese civil war. It calls for the revival of the approaches of the advocates of the science of Kalam (theology), Sufis, and the Batiniyyah, with the aim of corrupting the Islamic creed, fragmenting Muslims and distracting them from their main issues.

Establishment:

`Abdullah Al-Harari Al-Habashi is `Abdullah ibn Muhammad Ash-Shybi Al-`Abdary by lineage, and is called Al-Harary because he comes from the city of Harar in Abyssinya (Al-Habashah). He came to Lebanon in 1950 after he incited sedition against Muslims there. He joined hands with the ruler of Indragy , the son in law of Hilasilasy , against the Islamic schools for teaching Qur’an in the city of Harar in 1376 AH/1940 CE causing what is known as the sedition of the Kolob country which resulted in sentencing the manager of the schools to twenty three years of imprisonment then he was exiled to Joury county and died there.

Moreover, the rest of the Sheikhs and callers to Islam fell in the hands of Hilasilasy who humiliated them and drove them to flee to Egypt and Saudi Arabia. That’s why `Abdullah Al-Harary was called ‘ the leader of the sedition”. Since he came to Lebanon he kept inciting sedition exactly as he used to do in his country and kept spreading his corrupt beliefs, insulting the Prophet’s Companions (may Allah be pleased with them all) accusing `A'ishah, the mother of the believers (may Allah be pleased with her) of not following Allah’s orders in addition to issuing wrongful fatwas.

Al-Habashi has recently succeeded in attracting a large group of insolent fanatics who do not consider anyone as a Muslim unless he declared his submission to their leader and his corrupt creed that includes the Batinyyah and the Rafidah. Moreover, they force themselves on people by going to their houses and insisting that they learn the Habashi creed.

Beliefs and dogmas:

Reading thoroughly all that has been issued by such sect, one would clearly see that they violate the principles of Islam and its main creed. Following are some of their beliefs:

1- Concerning creed, they follow the condemned school of Irja'. It is well known that the Islamic creed held by the Prophet’s Companions and their successors states that faith is a matter of declaring in words, believing in the heart and all this must be reflected in action for belief without practice and submission to Shari`ah has no place in Islam. However, according to them it is not necessary that faith be reflected in action and hence a person remains a believer even if he neglects all the pillars of Islam.
2- Such a sect consider it permissible to seek the help of the dead besides instead of that of Allah and this is clearly considered in the Qur'an and Sunnah as ascribing partners to Allah. They urge people to do so claiming that the dead get out from their graves to fulfill the requests of those who call upon them and then get back to the graves. Allah Almighty says: “They worship beside Allah that which neither hurteth them nor profiteth them, and they say: These are our intercessors with Allah.” (Yunus: 18)

3- They consider that the Qur'an is not the words of Allah but that of Gabriel.

4- They claim to follow the Shafi`i School in respect to fiqh and belief. However, they are, in fact, very far from the principles of the School of Imam ash-Shafi`i.

5- They claim that Allah has created the universe and sent the Messengers to humans for no purpose or wisdom and whoever attributes any of Allah's actions to the Divine Wisdom is a mushrik.

6- They abuse the Prophet’s Companions (may Allah be pleased with them all) particularly Mu`awiyah, `A'ishah, Khalid ibn al-Walid. They declared that Mu`awayh (may Allah be pleased with him) was not a true believer. In such case, they are similar to the Rafidah who also insult the Prophet’s Companions. [Muslims must abstain from discussing the relationship between the Prophet’s Companions and their disagreements. They must also recognize their role in promoting Islam and their being privileged with the Companionship of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him). It is confirmed that Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said: "Do not abuse my Companions for if any one of you spent gold equal to Mountain Uhud (in Allah's Cause) it would not be equal to a mudd or even a half mudd spent by one of them."? Allah Almighty says: “And those who came (into the faith) after them say: Our Lord Forgive us and our brethren who were before us in the faith, and place not in our hearts any rancor toward those who believe. Our Lord! Thou art Full of Pity, Mercifl.” (Al-Hashr: 10)]

7- One of the most flagrant violations of this sect is their issuing of wrong fatwas that contradict the Qur'an and the Sunnah. For instance, they consider gambling with non-believers permissible in order to take away their money as long as this does not lead to sedition. Moreover, they consider robbing the harvest and the cattle of non-believers and permissible. They also consider it permissible to deal in Riba (interest) with non-Muslims, and to join lottery games. Moreover, one of their most obvious violations to the principles of religion is their declaration that it is permissible to look lustfully at women, on television or elsewhere, and also that intermingling between men and women without any restrictions is permissible. These are some examples of their weird fatwas that clearly contradict Shari`ah and consider all grave sins as permissible practices.

8- One of their mean ways of making Mulsims abstain from following the scholars of Islam is their belittling of their status, insulting them and labeling many of them as kuffar (non-Muslims). Among the scholars which they labeled as kuffar Ibn Taymiyyah, Adh-Dhahabi, Muhammad ibn Abdel-Wahhab, Sayyed Sabiq, Sayyed Qutb, etc."

Translated excerpts, with modifications, from Al-Mawsu`ah Al-Fiqhiyyah Al-Muyassarah fi Al-Adyan wal Madhahib Al-Mu`asirah.

In this context, we'd like to cite for you the following fatwa issued by the eminent Muslim scholar, Dr. `Ali Jum`ah, Professor of the Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence at Al-Azhar University:

“This sect follows `Abdullah Al-Harary Al-Habashi, and it has surface and deep levels. At the surface, this sect seems to adhere to the Shafi`i School of Jurisprudence, and to Imam Al-Ash`ari’s School as regards creed. However, at the deep level, their main intention is to corrupt the Muslim creed and incite sedition amongst the Muslim Ummah. Moreover, they are paid agents to the enemies of Islam.

After inciting sedition in Harar, `Abdullah Al-Habashi moved to Beirut where he started deceiving young men into joining his suspected group. He worked as an editor for publishers in Lebanon and started to cooperate with the Jews and their agents in South Lebanon. He started in the seventies to spread his corrupt thoughts and to declare many scholars as non-Muslims, especially Imam Ibn Taymiyyah , Imam Muhammad `Abdul Wahhab , the Hanbalis and all those who held different views from his under the pretext that they violate the principles of Imam Al-Ash`ari or what he has understood from the texts of the Shafi`is .

Moreover, he urged his followers to incite sedition wherever they go. For instance, they cause such a controversy concerning the direction of the Qiblah in America violating all the principles of modern science claiming that they are just innovations and rejecting substantial evidence. They caused the same problem in Japan.

In addition to causing a problem over their following other Muslims in prayers, the problem over food, the controversy over getting married to women belonging to other revealed religions and other issues that are controversial amongst Muslim scholars.

They hold strange deviant views that have never been expressed by any Muslim sect, group or movement. They declared that intermingling between men and women is permissible without any restrictions, and that Muslim leaders are not true believers and that it is permissible to cooperate with non-believers. They also once spread that their leader died then they declared that it was a rumor. In such a way, they made people detest them as they were always linked with sedition. Several Muslim authorities warned against such a sect including: the Islamic Research Academy at Al-Azhar, the General Authority for Research, Fatwas and the Islamic call and guidance in Saudi Arabia, the Higher Council for Fatwas in Northern America.

In order to continue deceiving people, they usually do not express their true views and intentions in the books or any of the publications that they issue. Even the books issued by their leader is quite ordinary and do not contain any of their aberrant views which is, in fact, part of their plan to deceive people and attract more followers. However, many of their followers repent and revert to the true path when they learn the truth about such sect."

Based on the aforementioned facts, we'd like to conclude with the following points:

1- The Ahbash group is a stray group that is not considered among main stream Muslims and they have to revert to the true path of the Companions and their successors, both in belief and in action.

2- It is not permissible to follow the fatwas of such sect.

3- They are not trustworthy and people must be warned against their dangerous corrupt views. Moreover, Muslims should advise the followers of such sect to revert to the true path.

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