On the fitna of women
by Sh. G. F. Haddad

In al-Zawiya...groups.com, "N. N." wrote:

al-salamu 'alaykum,

wa laykum as-salaam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatahu

Some interesting remarks by Dr. Khaled Abou El Fadl, faqih and scholar extraordinare.

rather he is a deviant extraordinare who follows his personal desires and aql over textual evidence and abandons the way of the ulema of Ahl us Sunnah. May Allah swt protect us from his like. Ameen

Below is an article refuting some of his ideas from Sidi GF Haddad

As-Salamu ʿalaykum:

On the Khaled Aboul Fadl article in the New Republic:

After a lengthy process of textual research and prayer for divine guidance, he concluded that reports against dogs were passed on through questionable chains of transmissions, or contradicted by more favorable reports--for instance, one story of Muhammad praying with his dogs playing nearby.

... in the middle of the desert as narrated from al-Fadl ibn ʿAbbas - with one puppy and one mule in the vicinity - by Ahmad and Abu Dawud.

Aboul Fadl is a Muʿtazili and the NR is a Zionist magazine.

The article goes on to say that the man urges his wife to be his imam in prayer. If his textual research is one tenth as prudent as his law, it is no wonder he tosses out what is ironclad to rely on imagination. Jahm ibn Safwan "prayed" and "researched" for a long time before he came out with the creed that God Most High is "the wind and the air all around."

Aboul Fadl does exactly what he blames fundamentalists for doing: leaping over and royally ignoring meticulous hadith scholarship and analysis so as to push something extreme and unheard of, in the name of Islam, "engaging in a de novo reading of the texts" and so on. He said in one interview:

"For fundamentalists 'ijtihad' consists only of consulting the Quran and Sunna, ignoring the interpretations of jurists through the ages. It is liberative because it negates all the accumulated interpretations, so you aren't anchored. You approach the text as if no one has ever read it before ['de novo'=from scratch] and don't bother with consulting authorities."

He claims Wahhabis do not read, while he reads a lot, but the result is the same: outlandish ijtihad. Of course he is more palatable because he has ethics while they do not. The article aims to paint someone who means well. But one can be an atheist and have ethics: it is not enough.

ʿAbd Allah ibn Ahmad said: My father [Ahmad ibn Hanbal] said:

"The graves of the great sinners of Ahl al-Sunna are a garden, while those of the ascetics (zuhhad) among the innovators are a pit; the depraved (fussaq) of Ahl al-Sunna are the Friends of Allah, while the ascetics of Ahl al-Bidʿa are the enemies of Allah." (Ibn Abi Yaʿla, Tabaqat al-Hanabila.)

This would apply to all Ahl al-Bidʿa, whether they are modern Khawarij or modern Qadaris, even if they are each other's enemies.

Most troubling to his ideological enemies, Abou El Fadl cannot be written off as a Westernized "Uncle Tom," a term puritans use to dismiss American Muslims with similar open views. His work is painstakingly grounded in classical Islamic sources, they acknowledge, giving him the ability to defend his modern interpretations with a dizzying command of ancient traditions.

The materials found in the sections in which the classical sources catalogue aberrations are not called "the classical sources". If one burrows these syllabi of errors one can fish out many an anomalous ruling but these are not "painstakingly grounded in Islamic sources." Nor have any of the world masters of the Prophetic traditions been known to recommend this man as even a student in the field, much less one with any command to speak of. A Muʿtazili would be in fact especially handicapped in hadith as they are notoriously ignorant of hadith and its disciplines. This does not mean they cannot put up a display that would pass for knowledge to laymen or in academe.

In one of his books he states, "The bottom line for me is that I do not believe it possible for God to be unjust or ugly...." In the NR he expresses the same thought in defense of dogs as pets. This is not fiqh, this is hawa - caprice - "me" and "I." As if all the Imams of the past believed it possible for God to be unjust or ugly based on the fiqh of dogs! Have you ever seen such a childish line of argument?

When the cause is his personal likes and dislikes, "objectively approaching a text" goes out the window. This fundamental flaw was pointed out by other readers on sri. As shown above, this is precisely what he blames fundamentalists for doing ("In a literalist paradigm all you end up doing is projecting your own prejudice on to the text").

The key here is the method of solipsism-as-the-bottom-line. This is the Muʿtazili method, to set the subject as the ultimate judge of God and man in the name, of course, of enlightened reason. The subject alone decides right and wrong according to "what is beautiful and what is ugly" (al-hasan wal-qabih) unfettered by anything called Qur'an and Sunna or the principles of the Shariʿa applying in stodgy, rigid (to them), demonized Sunni Islam: "He says don't give me any intuitive, common sense, humanistic arguments..." where "he" is Bin Laden and the defender of reason and humanism is KAF.

He would like to think he is the only alternative when, in the context of Sunni legal thought, he is another latter-day aberration.

Hajj Gibril
GF Haddad
[Mon, 29 Dec 2003]

next page





latest update: Wed, 7 Jan 2009


* living Islam – Islamic Tradition *