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The Decisive Word Concerning Mutual Cooperation


A much-needed response to Ṣurūrī/Quṭbī propaganda of working with groups such as Jamāʿah al-Tablīgh and al-Ikhwān al-Muslimīn.


  So co-operating upon righteousness and piety (taqwá) and mutual advising necessitates warning against evil and not co-operating with the wicked.


Imām Ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah (d.756H) - raḥimahullāh- said:

‘‘Every action must have a beginning and a goal.  So an action will not be an act of obedience and worship, until its source is īmān (faith), and its incentive is purely īmān, not customs or desires, nor seeking praise, or position, or other than that.  Indeed its incentive must be purely īmān, and its goal must be seeking the Pleasure of Allāh, and His Reward.’’[1]


Allāh the Exalted said:

‘‘And co-operate upon righteousness and piety, and do not co-operate upon sin and transgression.’’ [Sūrah al-Māʾidah 5:2]

Shaykh ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz Ibn Bāz (d.1420H) - raḥimahullāh- said:

‘‘So co-operating upon righteousness and piety (taqwá) and mutual advising necessitates warning against evil and not co-operating with the wicked.’’ [2]


Some of the newly arisen callers have invented a principle wherein they say: ‘We shall co-operate upon that which we agree, and excuse each other for that in which we differ.’  When Shaykh ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz Ibn Bāz was asked about this principle, he answered by saying:

‘‘Yes, it is obligatory upon us to co-operate upon that which we agree, by way of aiding the truth, and calling to it, and warning against that which Allāh and His Messenger (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) have prohibited.  As for excusing each other in that which we differ, then this is not to be taken in an absolute sense.  Rather, it is an area that needs further elaboration.  So whatever falls under the matters of ijtihād in which the proof is unclear, then it is not permissible to oppose each other in it.  And for whatever opposes a text from the Book and the Sunnah, then it is obligatory to oppose the one who opposes the text with wisdom, and good admonition, and to debate in a manner that is good, acting upon the statement of Allāh the Exalted:

‘‘And co-operate upon righteousness and piety, and do not co-operate upon sin and transgression.’’ [Sūrah al-Māʾidah 5:2]

And the statement of Allāh the Glorified:

‘‘And the Believers, men and women, are allies of one another, they enjoin the good and prohibit the evil.’’ [Sūrah al-Tawbah 9:71]

And the statement of Allāh the Mighty and Majestic:

‘‘Call to the Way of your Lord with wisdom, and a good admonition, and debate with them in a manner that is good.’’ [Sūrah al-al-Naḥl 125]

And there is the statement of the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam): ‘‘Whoever sees an evil, then let him change it with his hand.  So if it is not possible, then with his tongue.  So if it is not possible, then with his heart, and that is the weakest of faith.’’ [3] And there is the statement of the Prophet (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam): ‘‘Whosoever directs towards goodness, then he has a reward similar to its doer.’’ It is related by Muslim in his Ṣaḥīḥ [4], and the āyāt and aḥādīthabout this are many.’’ [5]

Then, upon being asked about this principle, Shaykh Muḥammad Ibn Ṣāliḥ al-’Uthaymīn said:

‘‘So their statement, ‘We shall co-operate upon that which we agree,’ then this is true.  As for their statement, ‘…and we shall excuse each other for that in which we differ,’ then this is in need of further elaboration.  So whatever is permissible from the matters from ijtihād, then we excuse each other (when we differ) in them.  However, it is not permissible for the hearts to be in opposition due to this differing.  As for when it is in other than the permissible matters related to ijtihād, then we do not excuse the one who opposes (the truth) in it, and it is obligatory upon him to submit to the truth.  So the first part of the sentence is correct, but as for the other part, then this is in need of further elaboration.’’ [6]

Shaykh Muḥammad Nāṣir al-Dīn al-Albānī (d.1420H) - raḥimahullāh- said in criticism of the one who speaks with this statement:

‘‘They are the first ones to oppose this statement, and we do not doubt the correctness of the first part of this statement, and that is, ‘We shall co-operate upon that which we agree…’  The first part has obviously been borrowed from the statement of Allāh the Exalted:

‘‘And co-operate upon righteousness and piety, and do not co-operate upon sin and transgression.’’ [Sūrah al-Māʾidah 5:2]

As for the other part, ‘…and we shall excuse each other…’ then it must undoubtedly be restricted.  Whenever we advise someone, we say to the one who is in error: You are in error, and the proof is such and such.  So if we see him as being content and sincere, then we appeal to him and his affair, so we co-operate with him in that which we agree upon.  As for when we see him as being obstinate and stubborn, but possessing the ability to reflect, then at that point, this statement is not correct, and we do not excuse each other for that in which we differ.’’ [7]


The following is the final and decisive word with regards to how the People of the Sunnah should relate to the plethora of jamāʿāt (groups) and haraakaat (movements) which have been newly invented in this time:

[Q]: ‘Based upon the statement of Allāh the Exalted: ‘‘And co-operate upon righteousness and piety, and do not co-operate upon sin and transgression,’’ [Sūrah al-Māʾidah 5:2] it is said that it is obligatory to co-operate with the Islamic groups (jamāʿāt), even though we may differ with them in methodologies, and their way of daʿwah (calling to Allāh).  So the way of daʿwah according to the Jamāʿat al-Tablīgh is not the way of daʿwah according to al-Ikhwān-Muslimīn, or Hizbut-Tahreer, or Jamaa’atul-Jihād, or the Salafīyyeen.  So what is the decisive statement concerning this co-operation?  And is this limited for example, to co-operation in conferences and programs?  And what about presenting the daʿwah to non-Muslims, since there may be confusion for the new Muslims.  So every group from amongst these groups will direct them to their own centres of learning, and to their own scholars.  So they will be in a state of bewilderment and confusion in this affair, so how is it possible to avoid such a circumstance?

The Committee of Major Scholars replied:

[A]: ‘‘The obligation is to co-operate with the group that traverses the methodology of the Book and the Sunnah, and what the Salaf of the Ummah were upon; in terms ofcalling to Allāh the Glorified, and being sincere in worship of Him, and warning from Shirk, innovations, and disobedience, and to advise all of the groups that oppose this.  So if they return to the correct position, then they are to be co-operated with.  But if they persist upon being contrary, then it is obligatory to keep away from them and to adhere to the Book and the Sunnah.  And co-operation is to be with the group that adheres to the Book and the Sunnah; it is to be in whatever is from goodness, righteousness and piety; from programs, conferences, lessons and lectures and everything that will benefit Islām and the Muslims.’’ [8]


It can be found that some people with suspect agendas will use certain fatāwá of the people of knowledge in order to carry out their set objectives. However, there should be no confusion in this regard, as these fatāwá which they like to use are often more than twenty years old. Therefore, one should be aware of the fact that these Fatāwá are abrogated, and it is obligatory to follow the guidance contained within the most recent rulings and to aid the truth in these matters, not to set up false principles and then search for supporting statements.  “And if it were not that the ignorant one might come across them and be fooled, then it would not be something worth mentioning.” [9]

Indeed, it was only with time and experience that the realities of these groups and movements became clear for all to see, as is evident in the followingdiscussion which took place between Shaykh Ibn Bāz, Dr. ʿAbdullāh al-’Ubaylān, and some other students from Haa‘il:

Questioner no.1: Concerning Jamāʿat al-Tablīgh - we ask Allāh to guide all of us and to show them the truth - there is a paper from his eminence the Shaykh which was written by his eminence to help the (tableeghee) brothers. However, this was done in the past.

Shaykh Ibn Bāz: You know, there is an article from us in the magazine ad-daʿwah which is very good (in which we) have elaborated (the matter of this Jamāʿah) and it is (in) concise (form). It has now been published - it’s now been published just recently.

Dr. ʿAbdullāh al-’Ubaylān: The brother means that they published old things.

Questioner no. 1: They have changed the date of the paper, and they put 5/7/...

Dr. ʿAbdullāh al-’Ubaylān: 18 (i.e.. 5/7/1418H)

Questioner no. 1: They use it as a proof, and we do not want for the people anything except good...

Shaykh Ibn Bāz: What is it...

Questioner no. 1: ...We want to guide them to beneficial knowledge...

Shaykh Ibn Bāz: ... What is it...What is it...What is this paper?

Questioner no. 2: A letter from one of the duʿāʾʾʾt or one of the people who goes out with the Jamāʿah; he is asking you about the permissibility of khurūj (going out for daʿwah) and your opinion about the Jamāʿah, and you told him...

Shaykh Ibn Bāz: Do you have it (i.e.. the paper) with you now?

Questioner no. 2: No. No. I gave it to the Shaykh - Shaykh ʿAbdullāh (al-’Ubaylān) read it...

Shaykh Ibn Bāz asks Shaykh ʿAbdullāh al-’Ubaylān: Do you have it with you now?

Dr. al-’Ubaylān: No, it’s not with me right now. It’s in Haa‘il.

Questioner no. 2: But, O Shaykh, you said, that is, that there is good in them, and that there is no problem to go out with them. So the result of this, may Allāh bless you, is that the Jamāʿahhave falsified and misstated the date, and they have put it on 5/7/1414H. They have started to distribute this to the villages and the old people and to the... so these people have started to go out with them.

Dr. ʿAbdullāh al-’Ubaylān: Even the women have started going out with them.

Questioner no. 2: Even the women with the proof that the Shaykh gave a fatwá́in the 7th month of the year 1414 with regards to that. We want, O Shaykh...

Shaykh Ibn Bāz: Take...take this magazine (i.e. the magazine with the new fatwá́in it) and distribute it...

Dr. al-’Ubaylān: To all the people.

Shaykh Ibn Bāz: This magazine is concise and beneficial. It was published on the fourth or the fifth day...

Dr. al-’Ubaylān: The article is clear...clear...

Shaykh Ibn Bāz: Concise and beneficial.

Questioner no. 2: (So) this is not true? This is a forgery?

Shaykh Ibn Bāz: There is much speech from us about them... a lot... in accordance with what we have been told about them, because (things have) changed...

Dr. al-’Ubaylān: The situation has changed.

Shaykh Ibn Bāz: Our brother Yūsuf al Mʿaláhee was with them, Ismāʿīl Ibn ’Afīf was with them - a group was with them - Sa’d al-Hasayn - then Sa’d al-Hasayn changed, (and) wrote about them (in a manner) contrary to this. However, the affair has been decided, that they have some ignorance in ʿaqīdah (creed), from what has been narrated from precise, trustworthy individuals...[10]

“You consider them to be united, yet their hearts are dispersed, separated.”[Sūrah al-Ḥashr 59:14]


[1] ar-Risaalatut-Tabookiyyah(p. 12)

[2] al-Furqān magazine (issue no. 14, p. 15)

[3] Related by Muslim (1/69)

[4] Related by Muslim (8/62)

[5] Majmūʿ al-Fatāwá wa Maqālāt al-Mutanawwiʿah(3/58-59)

[6] Sahwatul-Islāmiyyah(1/218-219)

[7] al-Furqānmagazine (issue 77, p. 22)

[8] This fatwá́ is dated: 11/16/1417, (no. 18870).  It was signed by al-’Allāmah ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz Ibn Bāz, Shaykh ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz Ibn ʿAbdullāh aalush-Shaykh, Shaykh ʿAbdullāh Ibn ’Abdur-Raḥmān al-Ghudayyān, Shaykh Bakr Ibn ʿAbdullāh Abū Zayd, and Shaykh Ṣāliḥ Ibn Fawzān al-Fawzān.

[9] Muntaqan-Nafīs min-Talbees Iblīs(p. 314)

[10] Taken from a cassette entitled: “Liqaa‘ Talabatul-’Ilm bi Haa’il ma’a Hay‘atu Kibāril-’Ulamāʾ‘” 

Prepared by Abū Ibrāhīm al-Canadee and Maaz Qureshi

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Tags: Tablīghī, Quṭbiyyah, Deviation, Muslim Brotherhood, Surūrī

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