It is beyond the scope of this short article to expose all of the heterodox and extreme views held by IERA spiritual guide, scholarly authority and senior student of Wahhabi doyen Abd al Aziz Ibn Baz, Haitham Al Haddad. One can mention his shockingly poor understanding of FGM, which he legitimises by saying that Islam allows only a ‘bit’ of the clitoris to be removed (Islam in fact deems any tampering with the female clitoris to be mutilation and prohibited) or that he regards Osama bin Laden to be a ‘martyr’ (as according to Haddad he died fighting the ‘enemies’ of Islam http://www.islam21c.com/politics/2644-advice-to-muslims-on-the-death-of-osama-bin-ladin/) amongst numerous noxious and un-Islamic views held by this abominable individual.
For anyone to claim that Haddad is the voice of ‘mainstream’ Islam is absurd (a list of his masters heresies can be found here: https://asharisassemble.com/2013/04/10/ibn-baz-another-heresiography-by-gf-haddad/) but that is exactly what Haddad and his mouthpieces (partisan outlets ‘Islam21c.com) are asserting in light of his being ‘maligned’ by the Sunday Times (http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/news/uk_news/National/article1355803.ece) and the Daily Mail (the Daily Mail was so moved by his defence that they ‘maligned’ him again here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2563170/Anger-extremist-cleric-given-podium-preach-London-university-despite-history-hate-speech-against-women-gays.html).
Haddad pleads here in response: http://www.islam21c.com/politics/reply-from-dr-haitham-al-haddad-to-allegations-made-in-the-daily-mail-sunday-times-newspaper/
”I would go further and suggest the article is intended to evoke an antipathy for orthodox religious values and of Muslims in general. This is because I have a reputation for sticking only to those beliefs and practises that enjoy a general consensus among classical Islamic scholars and schools of thought in my public and private discourse.”
It is sufficient to show what a bald lie this is via another article on the very same site where he openly criticises the ‘general consensus’ amongst Muslims in nothing other than the most fundamental aspects of creed:
”…This proof for the existence of God became widely accepted by not only the Jahmites, but also the Mu’tazilites, and later on the Ash’arites and Māturīdiyyah. It was upon this fundamental understanding and premise that all these groups interpreted the rest of the religion; including the beautiful names and attributes of Allāh. This became a crucial point at which they left the universally held beliefs of the Early Muslims (salaf) and adopted a completely different approach to understanding Islām. As it was rooted in Greek philosophy, they were termed as “mutakallimūn”, the scholars of speculative”
You can read the whole article here: http://www.islam21c.com/theology/al-ta%E1%B8%A5awiyyah-pt-30-the-quran-is-the-uncreated-unparalleled-words-of-allah-part-23/
For the uninitiated, Haddad spends the whole of this article trying to establish that practitioners of the majority beliefs of Islamic theology, namely the Asharite and Maturidi schools of belief, are in fact heretics (he really means disbelievers but does not want to say it openly). Yet he was complaining while defending himself that he has a reputation for ”sticking only to those beliefs and practises that enjoy a general consensus among classical Islamic scholars and schools of thought in my public and private discourse”. How so if the majority of Muslims (and scholars of the past) are in fact heretics according to Haddad? This is precisely like a Mormon saying that he represents mainstream Christianity when attacked by the press. Or like a Christian saying that he believes Catholics and Protestants are both heretics…but ‘he represents the beliefs of mainstream classical Christianity and schools of thought’ i.e a bald lie.
In fact, Haddad is so banal, that he actually admits that the view he is criticising is the one of the majority of Sunni Islam in the same article:
‘The view of the Ash’arites concerning the Kalām of Allāh, which is still held until today within the broad spectrum of Sunni Islām…’
If you are going to lie, at least put a bit of effort into it…
Even more hilariously, in the same article, he impugns the ‘Kalam Cosmological Argument’ and considers it illegitimate. Which is funny, as that is the argument that his own organisation IERA and his own well known student, Hamza Tzortzis, use to prove the existence of God and call non-Muslims towards Islam and relieve Muslims of their charitable donations!
Unfortunately, because of the frequent attacks on Muslims, often by these very same papers which for once correctly named and shamed Haddad as an extremist and a heretic, namely the Times and Daily Mail, Muslims feel besieged and start to defend themselves (and anyone else who says they are with the Muslims). Haddad and Wahhabist groups understand this and use the group feeling and persecution of Muslims to rally them around their own cause and to get off the hook from non-Muslims by saying ‘hey, all Muslims think the same as us. If you’ve got a problem with us, you have a problem with all Muslims and all Islam’.
The above shows the lie in this: Haddad in one place, when defending himself against non-Muslims, speaks to Muslim unity and group feeling by saying that ‘they are just attacking me for saying what most Muslims believe!’ but when speaking to his own Salafist constituency on the very same site he states that ‘What the majority of Muslims believe is wrong!’
For once the Islamophobes are right.
They are right about Haddad.
High praise indeed…especially as my purpose in setting up this site is to try and copy your site!
Good. Don’t let the get away with it. Don’t let them get away with tricking people to believe that they represent mainstream Sunni Islam, and the ‘correct Islam of the salaf’.when it comes to believes and don’t let them get away with expounding interpretations of law that are based on an extreme sternness in the heart and absence of mercy and goodwill.
The salaf mentioned mutashabihat (allegorical, ambigous) reports for a reason and said to pass them on as they have come without modality. If there was no difficulty with such texts and reports they would not have said anything and simply engaged in tafsir as with other texts. Why the highlighting, why the controversy? These so called representatives of the salaf make such texts the basis of their understanding of Allah, and cry hue and scream ‘heretics’ at those who do not structure their fundamentals around mutashabihat, and they accuse Sunnis of adopting Greek philosophical beliefs, while in reality all that they did was to adopt concepts fro the Greeks to refute many of the Greeks very own concepts and establish things of an unequivocal Islamic basis like Allah being the creator and maintainer of everything and the universe having a beginning, miracles being possible. While their forebears where busy harassing great scholars like Al-Tabari for not believing that Allah with seat the prophet (pbuh) on the throne with him (‘audhu billah) and shouting ‘sitting’!, ‘sitting’! when a person recited ‘al-Rahmanu ‘ala al-‘arsh istawa in a gathering held by Imam al-Qushayri, and yet another one of their great saying from Al-darimi al-Sijzi, imitated by Ibn Taymiyya is that if Allah willed he could makes istiwa on the back of a gnat. What is their beef with Christians? Where do they get of telling Christians that their believes are illogical?
Such great intellects, such deep and profound understandings, such great intellectual contributions. Are they telling us by the way that if it was not for false greek ideas then the Muslims would all believe that Allah sits, is composed of part and limbs, moves around and can make istiwa on the back of a gnat? So if it was not for the greeks all Sunni Muslims would have beliefs that are not much more rational than belief in Zeus for example? I don’t believe so.
Why do they use kalam arguments? What blatant hypocrisy. I suppose one has to convince a person of the general belief in the creator before one can disclose to him that the creator is described by what was previously mentioned, but then what happens with the kalam arguments, oh no, down the drain they go, better find another argument. How about the classical salafi, ‘this is what the intellect confirms’ argument. Merely saying so seems to be an argument, sort of like ‘come on, you know, come oon´
I can not see how any one can display himself as an intellectual while studying under and taking knowledge from people taught by Ibn Baz. Or perhaps Ibn Baz was the archetype of a ‘salafi’ intellectual, I doubt anyone else would agree though.
Furthermore, given their great popularity, dominance over many mosques, bookstores etc how does that work for their whole ‘we are the ghuraba” the chosen blessed strangers. No one has more resource than these people and many people struggle financially and in other terms to publish classical sunni books these people have spewed out works in the last decades and it is difficult to find any general mixed mosque or Islamic center over which they don’t have huge influence, at least that is my experience and impression.
Unfortunately these people can not be banned from the west.
It is obvious that fiqh is needed today for new situations, but based on the established methodologies, and it is not sufficient to reiterate what our scholars have written and concluded in the past. It is important though that this fiqh is not dominated and taken over by people who are driven very much by hatred and who have very little mercy, even for other Muslims.
Please excuse my long rant but these topics just make my blood boil.
Has anyone heard from brother Paul Williams? I hope he’s well.