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Analysis of the Statement of Asrar Rashid (Birmingham) Concerning the Creed of the Salaf - Part 1: The Claim of Following the Aqidah of the Salaf!
Posted by Abu.Iyaad, in Articles
Topics: Asrar Rashid Asrar Rasheed

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We were requested recently to comment on statement of creed issued by a person named Asrar Rasheed of Birmingham, who is an Ash'ari / Maturidi in creed (the word "Ash'ari" is an umbrella term that includes the Maturidis, that's how most Maturidis themselves see it). A scan of a statement of creed written by this individual was sent to us on 5th April 2011. We have no idea when it was written, but we commenced responding to it on 14th April 2011. In the commentary upon this statement, we will come to realize how today's Ash'aris do not really differentiate between the early Kullabi Ash'aris (who were much closer to Ahl al-Sunnah) and the Later Ash'aris who reverted to many of the positions of the Jahmiyyah and Mu'tazilah in the sifaat, and left the way of al-Ash'ari. At the same time, these contemporaries deceive themselves into thinking that what they are upon is the way of the Salaf, when the reality is that they are not even upon the creed of Ibn Kullaab and al-Ash'ari and his early students (the Kullaabi Ash'aris), let alone the way of the Salaf. Further, when they present their creed, it is presented in a deceptive manner using generalizations and vagueness, and the avoidance of any specificity and detail so as to allow a false ascription to the Salaf to be made in front of the audience.

Before we start commenting on his statement, we should clarify that all of those we have addressed previously on this site have been proven to be dishonest, conniving, calculated people, whose lies are plain and manifest to see to anyone with even an ounce of sincerity and the desire for seeking truth.

So Allaah knows best about Asrar Rasheed how he will behave after the hujjah is established upon him that his orientation in creed (coming from the Ash'ari Maturidi schools) is founded originally upon a matter that the Salaf condemned and vilified, namely the blameworthy ilm al-Kalaam which is the language of al-ajsaam and al-a'raad which he is trying so desperately to hide. What we find in practice is that as it becomes increasingly clear that the later As'haris had little to do with Abu al-Hasan al-Ash'ari himself and lost connection with him and that the Maturidis, from the very outset, were closer to the Mu'tazilah in creed than they were to the early Kullaabi Ash'aris, these people became more shrewd and more adept in the way they formulate and present their creed to the masses so as to conceal many things (by ommission) and to give the false picture that they are following the Salaf by maintaining policy of speaking in generalizations devoid of tafseelaat (details).

Asrar Rashid's Statement of Creed

This is a scan of a hand written copy sent to us, and inshaa'Allaah we will translate the relevant excerpts and comment upon them:

Translation and Commentary: Part 1

Asrar Rashid wrote:

...A [person] asked me to clarify my aqidah in the topic of Tawhid, so I say - and with Allaah, the Exalted, lies success -:

Indeed, my aqidah in the topic of Tawhid is that which the majority of the Righteous Salaf, those for whom goodness has been testified, as occurs in the hadeeth, "The best of generations is my generation, then those who follow them, then those who follow them." Indeed, the madhhab (way) of the Righteous Salaf is most knowledgeable, most precise, and most safe, being established upon the Book and the Sunnah, and it is that which the best of the Ummah and the most senior of the Scholars traversed upon.

We have a number of points here:

First: His ascription to the Salaf and their aqidah is upon his mistaken notion that what the Salaf were upon is what the Ash'aris [those who label themselves as Ash'aris today] and Maturidis are upon today. This is a demonstrably false notion, it is not possible to reconcile between these two because one is based upon the pure and untainted stream and fountain of revelation and the other is based upon the refuse of the previous Hellenized nations from the Jews, Christians and Sabeans who had founded their theology upon the language of al-ajsaam wal-a'raad which then came to the Mutakallimeen of Islaam, from which are the Jahmiyyah, Mu'tazilah, Raafidee Hishaamiyyah, Kullaabiyyah, Ash'ariyyah, Karraamiyyah and Maturidiyyah. This was what the Salaf were very severe against, and this is the very Kalaam they condemnded and declared its practitioner a deviant, heretic, straying wanderer. Do not be deceived by the tricks these people play today by fooling around with the definition of "Kalaam" and when they try to convince you that the Salaf practiced "kalaam." Kalaam is a generic word, and the Salaf did not condemn the genus of Kalaam (as in speech in theological matters), but they condemned the Kalaam which is the language of al-ajsaam wal-a'raad and which is the foundation of the deen of the Mutakallimeen, the Jahmiyyah, Mu'tazilah, Kullaabiyyah, Karraamiyyah, Ash'ariyyah, Maturidiyyah - all of them, both the Mu'attilah amongst them and the Mujassimah amongst them.

Second: He affirms that the way of the Salaf is the truth, that it is a'lam (most knowledgeable), ahkam (most precise) and aslam (most safe). However as we shall see, this will become nothing more than an attempt to impress upon the readership that Asrar Rasheed respects and venerates the way of the Salaf in aqidah, when in practice and reality, he is an opposer to it. These Ash'aris and Maturidis have realized that to say what their predecessors in the ilm al-Kalaam they borrowed from the Hellenized Jews, Christians and Sabeans say, that what they are upon is a'lam (more erudite) and ahkam (more precise), but what the Salaf were upon is aslam (more safe), that this gives the game away to a lot of people. For this reason, they have abandoned this speech of their predecessors in ilm al-Kalaam and have become more adept in concealing the reality of what their speech about Allaah is founded upon. This is why we see this grand opening by Asrar Rashid at the beginning by which one is led to believe that he venerates and respects the Salaf and follows them to the letter and word and gives the pretence that the considers their way to be a'lam, ahkam and aslam. However, as we shall see, what follows at the end of his written statement leads to nothing but an anti-climax and delivers nothing of substance by which one can rightfully say "Indeed the opening of Asrar Rashid's statement is backed up the closing of Asrar Rashid's statement," rather one will conclude that the last of which Asrar wrote in his creed above falsifies everything that came before it and proves that his attachment to the Salafi aqidah is in name only and is mere decoration for the followers who can't see beyond the glitter.

Third: The way of the Salaf is tafseel (detail) when it comes to mentioning and presenting their creed, and one would have thought that Asrar Rashid would have practically followed in their footsteps alongside this glittering introduction that appears to venerate and respect the Salaf and highlight the excellence and correctness of their way. Instead, as we shall see in what follows, Asrar has filled his entire page with generalizations which appear to be in agreement with the way of the Salaf in wording, but the reality of what Asrar Rashid intends by these statements and the truthfulness of his claim can only be verified when he proceeds to mention his creed in detail, something he has quite clearly avoided and for no vain reason either. Of the approximately 80 or so books that we could list written by the Salaf from the mid second century until the early fourth century (from 150H to 320H) on the issues of creed in which they opposed the Ahl al-Kalaam, we find that whilst they (the Salaf) outline generalized principles that summarize their creed, they give specific details on specific issues that pertain to the Attributes of Allaah, such that there would no confusion left in the mind of anybody who reads their statements about the difference between what they were upon of ithbaat without tahreef and ta'weel and what the blameworthy Ahl al-Kalaam were upon of ta'teel through tahreef (called ta'weel) and against whom all of these books were authored by the Salaf. People like Asrar Rashid probably recognize this reality (as in, mentioning specifics will quickly expose you and your creed as being in conflict witht that of the Salaf). If they were to start writing down exactly what attributes they affirm as attributes of the essence (dhaat) and what attributes they do not, then the wider audience would quickly identify that this is characteristic of a creed founded upon ilm al-Kalaam and not based upon the way and methodology of the Salaf even if it is decorated with the generalizations and the broad principles of the Salaf like those Asrar Rasheed has mentioned in his statement above, but which he explicitly opposes as soon as he delves into mentioning or hinting at his creed on the subject of the sifat khabariyyah and al-uluww and revealing that he is a follower of the Jahmiyyah, Mu'tazilah and the Later Ash'aris (who followed the way of the Jahmiyyah and Mu'tazilah in denying al-uluww for Allaah and His sifaat khabariyyah) and not a follower of the Salaf and nor of Ibn Kullab or al-Ash'ari or the very Early Ash'aris - and we have extensively documented their position on al-uluww and the sifaat khabariyyah dhaatiyyah in numerous articles on this site, so please refer to them, and we also explained the reality of the creed of the early Kullaabi Ash'aris, who were the staunchest of people against the Jahmiyyah and Mu'tazilah in the issue of al-uluww and the sifaat khabariyyah dhaatiyyah.

We shall look at his next statement in Part 2 inshaa'Allaah.

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