By Maulana Ahmad Sadeq Desai d.b
Salafi’ism is a deviated sect which had mushroomed about 250 years ago with the advent of Muhammad Ibn Abdul Wahhaab, the spiritual patron of the Najdis from the family of Saud who were installed as the rulers of Arabia by the British colonialists who had guided, conspired with and armed the Najdis to rebel against the last Khalifah of Islam, namely, Sultan Abdul Hameed of the Uthmaani (Ottoman) Empire. Britain had conspired with the Saudi Salafis who were organized and led by the Englishman, Thomas Lawrence, known by the nickname, Lawrence of Arabia, against the Khalifah of Islam.
The cornerstone of the Salafi movement is the rejection of the Taqleed of the Four Math-habs of the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jama’ah. On the basis of their hollow slogan of ‘the Qur ’aan and the Sunnah ’, they refute the authentic position of the Shariah which was transmitted down the centuries from the Salf-e-Saaliheen (the Pious Predecessors) of the Khairul Quroon epoch (the initial three Noblest Ages of Islam).
While the Salafis vehemently and vociferously denounce and refute the Taqleed of the Four Math-habs of the Sunnah, they covertly subscribe to the Taqleed of Ibn Taimiyyah who flourished in the 8th century of the Hijri era. Although they accuse the followers of the Four Math-habs of being ‘blind followers’ of the illustrious Imaams (Aimmah Mujtahideen) of the inceptional era of Islam, they (the Salafis) are guilty of the blindest taqleed. They reject the Taqleed of the Aimmah Mujtahideen, but they fanatically cling to the taqleed of Ibn Taimiyyah who appeared more than 700 years after Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). A despicable trait of Salafis is their Shiah type of Taqyah (Holy Hypocrisy). They reject the authentic and Islamically rational and logical Taqleed of the Four Math-habs while they blindly follow Ibn Taimiyyah without having the honesty and decency of stating their belief in this deviated doctrine of the blind taqleed of a man who appeared more than seven centuries after Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).
Their deception constrains them to raise the slogan of the Qur’aan and Sunnah. However, they are not the true and honest followers of the Qur’aan and Sunnah. Whereas the Ahlus Sunnah (the Four Math-habs) accept the interpretations of the Qur’aan and Hadith presented by the Sahaabah, the Salafis subject the Qur’aan and Hadith to the whimsical and baseless interpretation of Ibn Taimiyyah. Then they audaciously claim to deduce the rulings from the Qur’aan and Hadith. It is their baseless slogan—Qur’aan and Sunnah— which makes Salafi’ism the greatest threat to the correct Deen of the ignorant masses.
The ignorant and unwary are misled into the math-hab of dhalaal (way of deviation) of the Salafis when this slogan is dinned into their ears. In a nutshell, Salafi’ism is the blindest following. It is the substitution of authentic and rational following of the early authorities (Salf-e-Saaliheen) of Islam for the taqleed of Ibn Taimiyyah of the 8th century.
Another characteristic of Salafis is their lack of Taqwa and Tawaadhu’ (Humility). They are generally hard-hearted, and extremely disrespectful in their criticism of the Aimmah of the Math-habs. This characteristic is the natural effect of following baatil (falsehood). Whoever strays from the Path of the Salf-e- Saaliheen, must necessarily stumble, grope and ultimately fall into the abyss of dhalaal (deviation). They are akin to the early deviated sect, the Khawaarij whose followers exhibited external signs of piety while they were morally and spiritually bankrupt.