The Khawārij of the Era
A crushing blow to the Ṣurūrī daʿwah and their caller to misguidance: Ṣafar al-Ḥawālī.
And in conclusion, it is befitting that we describe these people as the extremist Murjīʿah of the era before we describe them as the Khawārij of the era
THE STATEMENT OF IMĀM AL-ALBĀNĪ:
Shaykh, al-’Allāmah, al-Muḥaddith, Muḥammad Nāṣir al-Dīn al-Albānī – raḥimahullāhu ta’aʿalá – was asked upon the seventeenth of Dhu al-Ḥijjah 1418H in the cassette entitled, ‘Khaarijiyyatul-’ʿAṣriyyah’ about the book al-ʿIrjā‘, ‘O Shaykh of ours! What is your opinion concerning the book Dhaahiratul-ʿIrjā‘ fī Fikril-Islāmee of Safar al-Ḥawālī?’ So the Shaykh stated his opinion, then it was said to him, ‘What about the comments found, especially in the second volume?’
So the Shaykh said, “I gave my viewpoint on a matter about thirty or so years ago when I used to be in the University (i.e. the Islamic University of al-Madīnah) and I was asked in a gathering about my opinion concerning Jamāʿat al-Tablīgh. So I said on that day, ‘They are the Ṣūfīyyah of this era.’ And now it has occurred to me that I should say about this Jamāʿah which has emerged in the present times and which have opposed the Salaf. I say here, in accordance with the statement of al-Ḥāfiẓ al-Dhahabī: They have opposed the Salaf in much of the issues of manhaj (methodology), and it is befitting that I label them the Khawārij of the era. And this resembles their emergence at the current time – in which we read their statements – because they, in reality, their words take the direction and objective of that of the Khawārij in performing takfīr of the one who commits major sins. And perhaps I should say, this is either due to ignorance on their behalf or due to devised plot! And I say this in light of the statement of Allāh,
Let not the hatred of a people make you depart from justice. Be just and fair and that is closer to taqwá.” [Sūrah al-Māʿidah, 5:8]
I do not know whether they say that every major sin takes one outside the fold of Islām! However, they always revolve around certain major sins but remain silent or just pass by other major sins! And for this reason I do not see that we should make this label absolute, and that we should say, ‘They are Khawārij,’ except from certain aspects. And this is the justice that we have been ordered to abide by…
It is befitting for the reader and the listener to the statement of Shaykh to note that this group opposes the Salaf through many of their methodologies. So these many methodologies that oppose the Salaf are proof of a deviation. Indeed, it is more dangerous and more severe than the Khawārij, whom the Messenger of Allāh (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) described as the worst of creation, and as the dogs of the Hellfire, and that they will pass through the Religion faster than an arrow passing through a bow, and that they fight the people of Islām and seek help from the people of idolatry. So what Shaykh al-Albānī – raḥimahullāh – has said is the truth. So indeed, they have opposed the Salafīn many important foundations, from them:
: They wage war against Ahl al-Sunnah and they drive the people away from them and their books and their cassettes. And they have hatred, enmity, resentment and severity against them.
: And from this opposition is their alliance with many of the people of innovation and their acceptance of their corrupted methodologies, and their books which are written with misguidance, yet they still spread them and defend them. And they drive the youth to drink from that which has the most evil effects upon the Ummah and its youth; from takfīr, destruction, continued wars, spilling blood and abuse of the limbs.
: And from this opposition is that they use their desires to hurl themselves into the abyss of extreme irjaa‘ which takes one from mere negligence to larger innovations, then to that which reaches disbelieving innovations which lack any sense of Salafīyyah, nor any sense of honour for the Religion of Allāh and those who carried it from the noble Companions and those who followed them in goodness. Rather, it takes them to the level of cursing some of the Prophets.
: And from this opposition is that their desires push them into setting up corrupted methodologies to defend innovation and its people, such as the manhajul-muwaazināʾt (methodology of counterbalancing between good and bad points in criticism) between the good and evil qualities, and whatever supports it from the corrupted principles which lead them to contraḍīct what is confirmed in the Book of Allāh and in the Sunnah of His Messenger (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam). So by this they begin to demolish the Sunnah and its sciences, not to mention the science of al-Jarḥ wa-al-Taʿdīl (appraisal and disparagement of individuals and groups) with which the libraries are filled with regards to other evils and points of misguidance.
We ask Allāh that He rescues the youth from the evils of this group and from attachment to it in this life, or in the Hereafter. And in conclusion, it is befitting that we describe these people as the extremist Murjī‘ah of the era before we describe them as the Khawārij of the era.
 al-Asaalah (issue 24/p. 88-89)
Translated by Maaz Qureshi