History: Ali Hasan Al-Halabī and Salafi Publications. The cause behind the break 15 years ago and the evidence-based refutations of the Scholars

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The Early Connections:

I saw Ali Al-Halabī for the first time 24 years ago in August of 1993 when he visited the UK for the JIMAS conference in Leicester. He returned in August of 1995 and visited the Salafis in Birmingham. Ali Al-Halabi, Saleem Al-Hilāli, and Muhammad Musa Nasr (Jordanians) visited my home and we travelled together to Ipswich to advise Abu Muntasir regarding his continued connections to well-known Qutubis and their ideologues such as Safar Al-Hawāli, Salmān Al-Awdah (KSA) and Ali Timimi (USA). Throughout the 1990’s Ali Hasan Al-Halabi was close to the Imām of Hadīth and Sunnah, the Mujaddid, Shaikh Muhammad Nāsir Ad-Dīn Al-Albānī (rahimahullāh), and the influence of Shaikh Al-Albāni could be seen in the speech of those close to him: their love of Hadīth and Sunnah, their opposition to bid’ah, and their war against the Qutubī and Takfīrī ideologies that were becoming more and more widespread. It was this adherence to the Salafi Manhaj which they learned from Al-Albānī (rahimahullāh) that attracted the Salafi youth to the likes of Ali Hasan. He was never seen to be of the calibre of the likes of Shaikh Rabee’, Shaikh Muqbil, Shaikh Muhammad Amān Al-Jāmi’, Shaikh Ahmad An-Najmī, etc, and nor did he regard himself to be such. At that time he was young and he respected the scholars of Madinah and would refer to them, and visit them, especially Shaikh Rabee’ Ibn Hādī.

From 1994-96 onwards, it can be said without doubt that the Salafi community in Birmingham particularly developed a stronger connection to shaikhs of Madinah than to others, such as the Jordanians. This was due to a number of factors: Abu Hakeem was studying in Madinah at the time and he developed strong ties with the Madinah scholars, Abu Talhah Dawud Burbank had returned from Madinah University a few years earlier, Amar Bashīr was close to the Madinah scholars after spending time at the Islamic University, Muhammad Ibn Hādī and Shaikh Abdus-Salām Burjiss visited Birmingham several times between 1996 and 2000, the Kuwaiti shaikhs (who were close to the scholars of Madinah and Riyadh at the time) paid numerous visits to Birmingham from 1994 onwards. It is for these reasons that Al-Maktabah As-Salafiyyah (est. 1996 as an entity) though respectful of the Jordanians, maintained even stronger ties with other scholars, including Shaikh Rabee’, Shaikh Muqbil and Shaikh ‘Ubaid – who were older and more grounded in creed, manhaj, hadeeth and fiqh. This connection is proven by the translations of Abu Iyād and Abu Talhah from that time that survive till today, as well as the Q&A audiotapes of Abu Hakeem with the scholars of Madinah from the mid-1990s onwards.

Over subsequent years, the brothers at Al-Maktabah As-Salafiyyah drew close to Al-Halabi (as they did to the other mashayikh) and he would praise and commend the efforts of Salafi Publications in the da’wah. Ali Al-Halabi’s final visit to Salafi Publications was in August 2000 when he attended our conference at Hamd House in Birmingham. Then, at the end of the summer of 2000, Abu Iyād and myself accompanied Saleem Al-Hilālī and Usāmah Al-Qoosī on a flight from the UK to the QSS (Quran and Sunnah Society) conference in Detroit, USA, where we delivered lectures for QSS alongside our brother Abu Uwais Abdullah Ahmad Ali (rahimahullah) and others. Also present at that conference was Ali Al-Halabī and we spent many hours with him and the other shaikhs. I remember in one of the lectures, we heavily criticised the ikhwānī innovator and political agitator Adnān Ar’ūr who was a respected friend of Al-Halabī and Al-Hilālī. Some the heads of QSS were angered by our comments and they complained to the Jordanians who called us to their hotel room in an attempt to “advise” Abu Iyād and myself. We politely stood our ground and mentioned the sayings of the scholars of Madinah against this blazing Qutubī Adnān Ar’ūr, and Usāmah Qoosee (who was present) conceded we were right, whilst the other Jordanians looked on knowing we were not going to change our view in this issue.

So it is true, we were close to Al-Halabi and we considered him to be from our scholars, and he considered us to be trustworthy, and at the forefront of the da’wah in the West, as he himself would often say, —and as he made clear in a gathering with us in the presence of Shaikh Husayn Aalush-Shaikh at that QSS conference. In defence of the truth, he even demanded during those days in Detroit that Muhammad Al-Jibaly retract his unjustified criticism against myself and Salafi Publications (which he eventually did, and duly distributed). During those years Ali Al-Halabi was respected amongst the scholars, and by in large, he was deserving of respect as a younger shaikh who respected his elder scholars and referred to them in important affairs. He warned us to stay clear the Hizbies and Qutubies back in 1995 such Al-Muntadā Al-Islāmī (the organisation headed by the late Qutubi/Takfīrī Muhammad Surūr Zainal-‘Ābidīn), Jam’iyyah Ihyā At-Turāth Al-Islāmī (of Abdur-Rahmān Abdul-Khāliq and Abdullāh As-Sabt). This was the Manhaj and ‘Aqeedah of Shaikh Al-Albānī that he had learned and its effect could be seen in his speech. It was, for this reason, the Scholars of Madinah, Yemen, Kuwait and elsewhere respected him.

Ali Hasan Al-Halabī and Saleem Al-Hilālī gave the rights to translate their books into English and the distribution of Al-Asālah Magazine in the West to Salafi Publications, naming us in a written document, and our name appears in the inside cover of the magazine in that time. Salafi Publications translated several of their books and dozens of articles. So there was no personal grudge from the side of Salafi Publications towards the ‘Jordanians’ at that time, even after the false and partisan contract that we refused to sign in Brixton Mosque in 1999 with Abul-Hasan Mustafā Al-Ma’ribī and Saleem Al-Hilāli. Furthermore, it was not long before we were vindicated and commended for not signing it  – and no signature of any of the founders of Salafi Publications appears on that document.

Shaikh Rabee’ Ibn Hādī Al-Madkhalī (hafidhahullāh) said years later regarding the supporters of the 1999 contract drawn up in Brixton Mosque, “And that which is apparent is that after this [so-called] rectification, Abdul-Haqq and those with him have not increased in anything except tribulation upon tribulation. How could they not, since the assured signs of splitting amongst them never cease to remain? They have not ceased blowing into the bellows of tribulations up until this day of ours. The more this party drowns in tribulation and filthy principles, the more their followers increase in being distanced from the Salafī methodology and its people, and they increase in separation and enmity towards the people of truth.” (Reference Darus-Sunnah) Shaikh ‘Ubaid Ibn Abdillāh Al-Jābirī  also rebuked the same contract:

The Permanent Committee (Al-Lajnah Ad-Dā’imah) of Major Scholars and Ali Hasan Al-Halabi:

In the late ’90s, and before the death of Shaikh Al-Albānī (rahimahulāh), a fitnah was ignited between the Salafis (in Jordan) by an insignificant personality, Muhammad Abu Ruhayyim, revolving around the issue of irjā’, jins al-‘amal, and the affairs of kufr. So this misguided and confused Abu Ruhayyim (graduate of the University of Jordan with further studies in Umm al-Qurā) authored a book, Haqīqtul-Khilāf Baynas-Salafiyyah in which he venerated and lauded the book of the corrupt Qutubi revolutionary, Safar Al-Hawālī entitled, Dhāhirat Al-Irjā Fil-Fikr Al-Islāmī.  And Abu Rahayyim turned on Al-Halabī and focussed on him, accusing him of irjā’. Al-Halabī countered his attacks and responded to his accusations, and there began between them refutations and counter-refutations. The issue was taken to Shaikh Muhammad Nāsir ad-Dīn Al-Albānī at the time, and they all sat together. Shaikh Al-Albānī judged in favour of Al-Halabī and rebuked the errors of Abu Ruhayyim, which was recorded in the now well-known sitting. After this clarification and ruling of Shaikh Al-Albānī, Abu Ruhayyim turned against Shaikh Al-Albānī and cast aspersions of irjā’ against him, using as a proof the writings of the Qutubi innovator Safar Al-Hawālī. So Abu Ruhayyim fell in the sight of the Salafis and was counted alongside Safar Al-Hawali and his misguided group.

Unfortunately, the truth is (as Shaikh Rabee’ Ibn Hādī and the other scholars have pointed out) that Ali Hasan Al-Halabi did not speak in the issues of Imān (Faith) and Kufr (unbelief) at the beginning of the affair with a firm grounding in the knowledge, unlike Shaikh Al-Albānī who spoke with sure-footed principles and depth of knowledge that was clear. So, in the beginning, Al-Halabī fell into irjā’ by speaking with principles as and when the comments of people would reach him. For this reason, we saw Al-Halabī, in the beginning, agreeing with the book of Murād Shukrī called Ihkām At-Taqrīr Li Ahkām At-Takfīr (1998). In this book, Murād Shukrī justifies and propounds the Madhhab of Irjā’ without any dispute – and in particular by restricting Kufr (unbelief) to merely to takdhīb (denial), juhūd (rejection), and istihlāl (making lawful what is unlawful) and he removed actions from the essence of Imān! Ahlus-Sunnah recognises this to be from the Madhhab of the Murji’ah. On the cover of the book were printed the words, “Read, reviewed, revised, and printed under the supervision of Shaikh Ali Al-Halabī”!!

When the book reached Al-Lajnah Ad-Dā’imah under the chairmanship of the Muftī, the Imām of Sunnah and Salafiyyah, Shaikh Abdul-‘Azīz Ibn Bāz (rahimahullāh), they ruled that the book supported the Madhhab of the Murji’ah, so they warned against the book and the author. Ali Al-Halabi fell into utter confusion, indecision, and procrastination: should he continue to agree with, and lend support to the author or accept that he was wrong and recant from his agreement with the contents of the book? In the end he repented and recanted after a period of procrastination. This further proves the point that he was speaking and debating (in the beginning) in issues that were above his level of knowledge, comprehension and understanding. (See Al-Barāhīn Al-‘Aqīdah Fī Kashfi Ahwāl wa Ta’sīlāt Ali Al-Halabi Al-Jadīdah, of Abu Mu’ādh Rā’id, reviewed by Shaikh Rabee’, pp. 11-14)

2nd June 1998: This is the first page of the Lajnah (under Shaikh Ibn Bāz) refutation of Murād Shukri’s book that was reviewed by, and printed under the supervision of Al-Halabī.

In the final months of the life of Shaikh Al-Albāni (rahimahullāh) he was informed of the attacks of Safar Al-Hawālī (which Safar wrote in his book, Dhāhirah Al-Irjā Fil-Fikr Al-Islāmī), wherein he accused Shaikh Al-Albānī in more than one place of irjā’. So Shaikh Al-Albāni refuted this misguided innovator in his notes to the book Ad-Durar Al-Mutala’li’ah (first edition, 1423H/2002) – and he established the sound belief of Ahlus-Sunnah in the issue of Imān. Likewise, in the final months of the life of Shaikh Ibn Bāz (rahimahullāh), he was asked numerous questions about Imān, irjā and the madhhab of the Murji’ah, so he made clear that those from Ahlus-Sunnah who withhold from takfīr of the one who sinfully leaves the Four Pillars (after the shahādah) are not from the Murji’ah – and he freed Shaikh Al-Albānī from the accusations of irjā’. And the first to make this false claim in this era was Safar Al-Hawālī in his futile and discredited work, Dhāhirat Al-Irjā. Shaikhs Ibn Bāz, Ibn Uthaimīn and Al-Albānī all vehemently refuted Safar Al-Hawāli and those upon his path (such as Salmān Al-Awdah).

Then the two great and eminent scholars (Ibn Bāz and Al-Albānī) died, and Shaikh Abdul-Azīz Ālush-Shaikh (hafidhahullah) was appointed as the head of Al-Lajnah Ad-Dā’imah (The Permanent Committee).

The war of attrition between Muhammad Abu Ruhayyim and Ali-Halabi continued without abating. Then Muhammad Ibrāhīm Shaqrah, a longtime aide and companion of Shaikh Al-Albānī, an elder and friend of Ali Hasan changed sides, changed Manhaj and joined Abu Ruhayyim – and after years of friendship with Shaikh Al-Albānī and support of him, it was astonishing that he abandoned the Manhaj of Al-Albānī and joined forces with those whom Al-Albānī refuted from the Qutubiyyīn and the people of takfīr.

Ali Al-Halabī in his attempts to counter the ideas of the Qutubies authored articles and books. So some people presented Al-Halabī’s book, At-Tahdhīr min Fitnat At-Takfīr (the first edition) with his commentary and notes, and his book Sayhat Nadhīr bi Khatrit-Takfīr, to the Lajnah Ad-Dā’imah (the Permanent Committee) in Saudi Arabia. After looking at the two books in detail, they stated (as occurs at the end of their judgement), “The Permanent Committee holds that these two books are not permissible to be printed, distributed or spread due to what they contain of falsehood and distortion.” Dated 14/6/1421 AH (no. 21517) coinciding with 12 September 2000. And with this began the dispute between Al-Halabī and the Permanent Committee. Then there ignited the debate in the issue of the abandonment of Jins Al-‘Amal (i.e. abandonment of actions altogether), and the dispute regarding the difference between “all actions” (al-jins) and “individual actions” (al-āhād). So the Imām, Faqīh, and ‘Allāmah, Muhammad Ibn Sālih Al-‘Uthaimīn (rahimahullāh) in the final months of his life warned from entering into these debates and disputes. Shaikh Ibn ‘Uthaimīn (rahimahullāh) also declared Shaikh Al-Albānī to be free from the sect of the Murji’ah and was very severe in rebuking those who criticised Shaikh Al-Albānī and those who accused him of irjā’.

Therefore what we hold to be correct and is obligatory upon everyone to affirm (even in hindsight), is that the Permanent Committee was actually correct in its criticism on the commentary of Al-Halabī in At-Tahdhīr min Fitnat At-Takfīr (the first edition). The scholars of Madinah themselves were surprised at the repeated contradictions of Al-Halabi back then. We know that he amended the mistakes in the second edition. If only Ali Al-Halabī had affirmed his mistakes in the beginning instead of stubbornly resisting, and if only he had affirmed that the Lajnah what correct, and made open his recantation, it would have saved the Salafis a huge amount of fitnah (turmoil) that the Qutubies have thrived upon ever since, and Allāh knows best.

However, he never made apparent his recantation. He never made apparent the fact that the Lajnah was correct in the points they highlighted of the errors and deviation in the first edition; instead he refuted the Lajnah claiming that he had never restricted kufr to merely juhūd in his book, though he alluded to that [error] himself in the second edition! And the same applies to the rest of the issues the Lajnah pointed out. That is why Shaikh Al-Fawzān said about Al-Halabī, “The Lajnah will never retract from the truth, ever. Rather, it is obligatory that he retracts from falsehood and that he repents to Allāh.” So the scholars realised the errors of Al-Halabī and they repudiated him and confronted him, that he must correct them. Yet his stubbornness against yielding to the truth and accepting his mistakes always got in the way. Furthermore, his refutations against the Lajnah all those years ago, whilst knowing he was wrong highlights his lack of trustworthiness and honesty – and who is there who will deny that today?

However, at that time the scholars, and ourselves (at Salafi Publications) had good thoughts towards Al-Halabi, and they saw what he wrote in the second edition of At-Tahdhīr min Fitnat At-Takfīr and elsewhere in invalidating and refuting the doubts of the people of takfīr which indicated that he had changed and corrected his view in those issues he clearly was not proficient in previously. (See Al-Barāhīn Al-‘Aqīdah Fī Kashfi Ahwāl wa Ta’sīlāt Ali Al-Halabi Al-Jadīdah, of Abu Mu’ādh Rā’id Āli Tāhir, read and reviewed by Shaikh Rabee’ Al-Madkhalī, pp. 10-15)

The Break From Al-Halabī in 2002:

Salafi Publications became aware Al-Halabī’s errors in affairs of Manhaj shortly after 2001 (independent of the refutations of the Lajnah) such as his defence and companionship of certain innovators whom the scholars had warned against (such as his praise of Adnān Ar’ūr, Muhammad Al-Hassān, etc), and his insinuations against the senior Salafi scholars. The Salafis who had an understanding of the Manhaj realised that Ali Hasan Al-Halabī and those with him were deceiving the people and the Salafi youth in the West -and raising large amounts of money in the process, through paid seminars at Brixton Mosque, Luton CTI and through QSS in the USA for which they received criticism.

So from that time Salafi Publications withheld and distanced themselves from him, and from the other Jordanians who were with him (and from Usāmah Al-Qoosī) – and we remained in that state until the scholars exposed Al-Halabī (and those with him). Salafi Publications followed suit and translated those refutations against him. You will read below his defence of certain innovators, even after affirming their errors —and this is indicative of the man’s false understanding of the ‘Aqeedah, Manhaj and Fiqh of the Salaf. So he abandoned what he used to be upon and abandoned the Manhaj and Madhhab of Shaikh Al-Albānī (rahimahullāh).

By 2002, the scholars had refuted the well-known Abul-Hasan Al-Ma’ribī (an Egyptian who moved to Yemen), a close companion of Ali Al-Halabī. They declared him to be an innovator. However, Al-Halabi and his cohorts persisted upon defending him openly, and they started criticising the stances of the scholars towards Al-Ma’ribi. It was, therefore, not too long before Al-Halabī fell foul of the Scholars of Madīnah, Riyādh, Sāmitah and Yemen as well as many other lands. More and more errors of Al-Halabī, his deviations and oppositions were uncovered and eventually he was declared an open innovator (in the mid-2000s). By early 2002, Salafi Publications were well-clear of Ali Hasan Al-Halabī and his band of partisan youth in the West who fanatically followed him, headed by Brixton Mosque and CTI Luton.

Salafi Publications looked into the fatawā of the scholars who had spoken against him, and they (i.e. Abu Khadeejah, Abu Talhah Dawūd Burbank, Hasan As-Somalī, Abu Hakeem Bilāl and Abu Iyād Amjad Rafiq) made several visits to the scholars of Saudi Arabia between 2001 and 2005, and they became certain, without any doubt that Al-Halabi had truly deviated.

The fact that Al-Halabī himself had openly aligned himself with Abul-Hasan Al-Ma’ribī and refused the advice of the scholars (older and more knowledgeable than himself) only made matters worse. On more than one occasion, he promised to rectify his state in front of the scholars, only to act contrary to what he had promised. So the scholars of Sunnah who worked so hard to advise him so that he may return to the correct understanding of the Salaf, to return back from supporting the open innovators, now warned against him and from studying with him. Salafi Publications took the same stance against him based upon clear proofs.

Al-Halabi continues to deceive some youth who ascribe themselves to the Salafi Madhhab. Others are fanatical to him and hold a long-standing hatred towards some of the Major Scholars (and towards Salafi Publications), and especially towards Shaikhs: Rabī’ Al-Madkhalī, Ubaid Al-Jābirī, Ahmad An-Najmī, etc. — and at the head of this band of partisans to Al-Halabi in the UK are the administrations of Brixton Mosque and CTI Luton (Masjid Ghurabā). So, alhamdulillāh, we left Al-Halabī and his hizb due to these clear affairs over 15 years ago. Sadly, there remain those who have adopted his ideas and principles (as well as those of Abul-Hasan Al-Ma’ribī), and they walk the path of ahlul-bid’ah with the two of them – upon the ideology of the Ikhwān Al-Muflisīn.

So now we have those who say, “But you at Salafi Publications used to defend Al-Halabī and he was from your scholars, so now you warn against him. Why?” Yes, we used to defend him, and sit with him and translate his writing over 15 years ago! But then we left him, due to his reality becoming apparent, his innovated principles and his obstinacy upon errors. Those who have remained fanatically with him and his likes, then either they are ignorant of his reality, or ignorant of the Salafi ‘Aqeedah, or they are ignorant of the sayings of the scholars who have spoken against him, or they are misguided just as he is misguided.

The likes of Brixton Mosque in London, CTI Luton (Masjid Ghurabā) and QSS in the USA and Canada, fall firmly into the category of the misguided, just as the scholars such as Shaikh Rabī’ have described them: “It appears that ʿAbdul-Haqq [Baker] and those with him [Brixton Mosque and CTI Luton] are upon the methodology of Abūl-Hasan and his false principles. So we ask: Who were those scholars that advised ʿAbdul-Haqq and those with him to be lenient with the opposers? Who were those advising scholars? Were they Abul-Hasan and ʿAlī Hasan and their likes, or were they the masters of Abūl-Hasan: the Ikhwān al-Muslimūn? And that which is apparent is that after this [so-called] rectification, Abdul-Haqq and those with him haven’t increased in anything except tribulation upon tribulation. How could they not, since the assured signs of splitting amongst them never cease to remain? They haven’t ceased blowing into the bellows of tribulations up until this day of ours. The more this party drowns in tribulation and filthy principles, the more their followers increase in being distanced from the Salafī methodology and its people, and they increase in separation and enmity towards the people of truth.” (Source: Read here) So we are free of the innovations and misguidance of Brixton Mosque and CTI Luton until they recant, rectify, repent and make an open clarification.

Shaikh Ahmad Ibn Yahyā An-Najmī (rahimahullāh) refutes the claims and assertions of Al-Halabī:

Al-Allāmah Ahmad An-Najmī wrote a lengthy refutation against  Ali Hasan Al-Halabī (dated 9th Ramadān 1427H/12 October 2006) refuting his doubts and misconceptions concerning the two innovators, Muhammad Al-Maghrāwī and Abul-Hasan Al-Ma’ribī. Shaikh Ahmad An-Najmī had previously advised the Jordanians (Ali Hasan, Saleem Al-Hilālī etc.) to cease their support, recommendation and praise of Abul-Hasan the Ikhwānī innovator, and Al-Maghrāwī the Takfīrī. Ali Hasan cast doubts at this advice, so Shaikh Ahmad responded to those doubts. He advised Al-Halabi to take a firm and strong stance against Ahlul-Bid’ah as was the way of the Salaf of the Ummah. The affair that bonds Ahlus-Sunnah together is the Sunnah, and to proceed upon it — to have allegiance and disavowal based upon that. We do not intend the pleasure of anyone besides Allah in that regard, nor are we free from mistakes, since we are human beings. Here is the response to the doubts of Al-Halabi in summary:

Ali Hasan stated: “It is said that we support Abul-Hasan and Al-Maghrāwī, and we commend them and recommend them. This, in reality, is not true. We criticise Abul-Hasan and Al-Maghrāwi where they have erred and we have explained what they have from mistakes.”

So Shaikh Ahmad (rahimahullāh) responded: If what you say is true, that you have indeed refuted them, and they have not accepted that from you, then why have you not exposed their errors? And clarified that in front of the people? And why then have you not freed yourselves from them? Secondly, we have not ceased hearing that the shaikhs of Jordan continue to host the innovators: Abul-Hasan and Al-Maghrāwī. We are asked often about this matter. So we say, “If that is the case, that Ali Hasan and Saleem Al-Hilāli have not ceased their support for Abul-Hasan Al-Ma’ribi and Muhammad Abdur-Rahmān Al-Maghrāwi, then we cannot advise that knowledge be taken from them.”

That is because we have read from the Salaf that they would say: ‘Whoever supports an innovator, then he is advised, and if he does not accept that advice, he is to be treated like him and abandoned —he is not to be shown our pleasure, and knowledge is not taken from him.’ So we have not said anything from ourselves. Abdullāh Ibn Muhammad Ad-Da’īf said, “The Qa’diyyah, those who incite and encourage others (with the ideas of the khawārij) are the worst of the Khawārij.” Also, Ibn Battah (no. 419) with his chain of narration to Al-A’mash, that he said, “They (the Salaf) would not ask regarding a man beyond three affairs: Who he walks with, who he enters upon, and who his friends are.” He also narrated with his chain of narration to Muhammad Ibn Sahm that he said: I heard Baqiyah say that Al-Awzā’ī used to say, “Whoever hides from us his innovation, cannot hide from us his friendships.” He also said (no. 421) with his chain of narration to Yahyā Ibn Sa’īd Al-Qattān who said: When Sufyān Ath-Thawrī came to Basrah, he looked into the condition of Rabee’ Ibn Sabīh and his station in the eyes of the people. So Sufyān asked, “What is his madhhab?” They said, “His madhhab is not except the Sunnah.” He further asked, “Who are his friends?” They said, “The Qadariyyah (deniers of the pre-Decree).” He said, “Then he is a Qadarī.” Ibn Battah said, “May Allah have mercy upon Sufyān for he has spoken with wisdom and has spoken the truth. Indeed he has spoken in agreement with the Book and the Sunnah…” He also narrated (no. 422) with his chain of narration that the scholars of Madinah would say, “When there is a coming together of the hearts, then the bodies come together in companionship.” 

And in general, the evidence in the Book and Sunnah, and the actions of the Righteous Salaf prove that whoever shelters Ahlul-Bid’ah, or sits with them, or eats and drinks with them, or travels with them whilst choosing to do that, then he is considered to be with them. And this is even more so if a person has already been advised and yet he persists upon his actions, even if he claims that his mixing with them is to advise them – especially when it is Al-Maghrāwi who clearly has the disposition of the Khawārij as we have seen in the publications that have reached us.

Ali Al-Halabi said: “We are not pleased with being mere photocopies of any person regardless of his level, or his high name, even if it be our Shaikh, Al-Albānī (rahimahullāh), we will not blindly follow him.”

Shaikh Ahmad An-Najmī responded: Who made this binding upon you in the first place? Secondly, whichever person agrees with another person seeing that the evidence is with him, then he is not considered as one who has agreed with the person but rather he has agreed with the evidence. So this is the allowable taqlīd. Allāh has stated that the Path of the believers is one, that they follow each other upon the truth and the later ones seek forgiveness for the earlier ones. Allah stated, “Whoever contends with the Messenger after the guidance has been made clear to him, and he follows other than the path of the believers, Allah will leave him in the path he has chosen and burn him in Hell and what an evil destination.” (An-Nisā: 115) And His saying, “Those who came after them say: Our Lord forgive us and forgive our brothers who preceded us in faith.” (Al-Hashr: 10) So there is no one from the believers or from the scholars who is independent, separate and on his own. Rather, they follow each other in the ‘Aqeedah and the rulings of the Sharī’ah. Allāh said, “Then We revealed to you O Prophet that you are to follow the monotheistic religion of Ibrāhīm – and he was not of the polytheists.” (An-Nahl: 123) And, “They are those whom Allah has guided so follow their guidance.” (Al-An’ām: 90).

So in general, whoever follows a person in a saying, it must not be said that he is a photocopy of the original print of such and such a person.”

Then Shaikh Ahmad An-Najmī makes the point that Shaikh Al-Albānī (rahimahullāh) is our Shaikh, we studied under him, and we studied his books, even if we sometimes differed with him. Indeed we defended him when he was oppressed. And Shaikh Ahmad An-Najmī has a treatise in defence of Shaikh Al-Albāni in refutation of the lies and dissension of Mūsā Ad-Duwaish. Likewise, Shaikh Ahmad refuted those who accused Shaikh Al-Albānī of irjā’ with strong and powerful refutations.

Al-Halabi stated: “There are shaikhs in Saudi Arabia who have not ceased supporting Abul-Hasan and Al-Maghrāwī, and praising them and recommending them, so does the questioner or the one who answered (i.e. Shaikh Ahmad An-Najmī) include them in his fatwa? That whoever has these errors, then knowledge is not to be taken from them?! Even if they are from the greater scholars?! I do not wish to name them at this point, but the names of those major shaikhs are well-known, those whom no one has doubt concerning.”

Shaikh Ahmad An-Najmī responded (in summary): Not everyone in Saudi Arabia is upon one ‘Aqeedah. Rather amongst them is the hidden hizbī, the Salafi and so on. So name us those shaikhs you are referring to so that we may advise them. I believe that whoever supports these innovators and recommends them – if they are Salafi Scholars, I believe they have not read and been shown the misguidance of these two men. And it is not allowed for you to use them as proof since you have affirmed that you know the deviations of these two men. Rather what it is obligatory you is to advise these two innovators and keep away from their path.

Secondly, whoever praises Al-Maghrāwī after knowing his Khārijī disposition, then it is a must that he be considered to be like him. And I do not know anyone who is well-known from Ahlus-Sunnah who withholds from considering his supporters and defenders to be the same as him.

Al-Halabi said: “So does the questioner or the one who answered (i.e. Shaikh Ahmad An-Najmī) include them in his fatwa? That whoever has these errors, then knowledge is not to be taken from them?! Even if they are from the greater scholars?!”

Shaikh Ahmad An-Najmī said: “Yes, I say openly and clearly that whoever speaks with the speech of the Khawārij, it is not allowed to take knowledge from them, whoever it may be…”

Al-Halabī said: “However, it is possible that the point of differing is that our recognition of the errors of Abul-Hasan and Al-Maghrawi – some of which, we have shown them – yet alongside that, we do not remove them from Salafiyyah.”

Shaikh Ahmad An-Najmī said: “This is an admission from Shaikh Ali Al-Halabi of his lax and lenient attitude with Al-Ma’ribi and Al-Maghrāwi that his renunciation of them is not serious or significant…” As for his saying, “We do not remove them from Salafiyyah.” What is correct is that we do remove them from Salafiyyah.

So why do you not remove them from Salafiyyah whilst their bid’ah is clear and apparent? As for Al-Maghrāwī, read what he has been written in the publications and audios against him – and it is absolutely clear that he is flaming Khārijī. As for Al-Ma’ribī, then he has other innovations and deviations. And he is the companion of Al-Maghrāwi, and his friend. Is there any difficulty in understanding their condition such that you withhold from removing them from Salafiyyah?

What is the mindset of the Khawārij? Is it not the takfīr of the Muslims (declaring them to be unbelievers)? Does this takfīr not lead to making permissible the spilling of Muslim blood? And make their wealth and honour permissible? Did the Khawārij not make permissible the shedding of Uthmān Dhun-Nurayn’s blood (may Allah be pleased with him)? And he was the third of the Rightly Guided Caliphs. Did the Khawārij not make permissible the shedding of ‘Ali Ibn Abī Tālib’s blood (may Allah be pleased with him)? And he was the fourth of the Rightly Guided Caliphs. Did they not spill the blood of Abdullāh Ibn Khabbāb (may Allah be pleased with him)? And they slit open the belly of his maidservant, killing her and the unborn child?… Do they not make permissible the killing of the best of the believers in every age? Do you not see today what has befallen them today of extremism, takfīr, carrying out explosions? Study and be steadfast upon the books of Manhaj which gather the narrations of the Salaf. Do you find any of the Salaf entering the Khawārij into the Salafi methodology and regarding them to be Salafi? Or did they censure them, and criticise them, and count them amongst the worst of the innovators?

Al-Halabi stated: “Our exiting people from Salafiyyah must not be based upon blind-following (taqlīd) – it must not be based upon being with so-so-so. It must be built upon knowledge, upon religion and upon proofs. So if the proof becomes apparent to us, and the evidence is clear, then inshā’ Allah, we are not proud. We will not oppress ourselves by contradicting the truth or opposing the Scholars.”

Shaikh Ahmad An-Najmī responded: “Allah knows that we did not say what we said in blind-following of anyone, nor are we liable for anyone. Rather what we are upon is due to what we see to be correct, and is firmly established before us with proofs. We are not, alhamdulillāh, from those who blindly-follow in the likes of these matters or that we merely join others without any proofs – and nor do we charge others with that. So if for you, till now, the affair of the Khārijī path of Al-Maghrāwī is not clear, then you must read what the young Salafis of Morocco have published – and we do not seek from anyone other than the truth. The Scholars who are considered to be upon the Salafi Manhaj request that they be united in supporting the truth and casting aside falsehood as an act of worship for Allah alone. The intent is not to increase numbers, and Allah’s refuge is sought – and we believe that the truth is aided, even if no one is upon except one person. And falsehood is forsaken even if it overwhelms the people. We have a lesson for us in the lives of the Prophets – Allah supported Ibrāhīm (‘alaihis-salām) when all the power of the earth was against him. Allah commanded the fire that was built by his enemies to burn him: “Be you cool and safe for Ibrāhīm.” (Al-Anbiyā 69)…”

Al-Halabī said: “When matters become constricted, and we differ regarding a person, it is not allowed to make our differing over a person a reason for differing between ourselves, ever…”

Shaikh Ahmad An-Najmī (rahimahullāh) responded: “Upon what affair are we to unite? Is it not the truth?! Of course, it is the truth. So if someone opposes the truth, it is obligatory upon us to firstly, to advise him, and to make the matter clear to him. If he returns to the truth that is good, but if he refuses then upon us is to consider him as one who has contradicted the truth, and we reject him. And if someone aids him, and helps him upon his falsehood, then we refute the one who aids him too, and we boycott him. And this is especially if the bid’ah or opposition is clear and apparent and harmful like the bid’ah of the Khawārij. We do not leave speaking against the mumayyi’ (the one who is lax and lenient) in our desire for unity. And there is no doubt that the bid’ah of the Khawārij is harmful to the religion. And if we were to give a fatwa that it is permitted to take knowledge from someone who holds the opinions of the Khawārij, then we would have aided in the destruction of the religion, and emboldened the corrupt ones. And is there not in our lands today, people of takfīr, bombs exploding and destruction except due to a group of youth studying at the hands of these innovators, and those who support them? It is not permitted for us to say: Those innovators have memorised the Qur’ān and they have knowledge, because being ignorant is better than studying under them!

In the story of Abdur-Rahmān Ibn Miljim is a mighty lesson for us and an admonition. He was sent to Egypt by ‘Umar Ibn Al-Khattāb in his time to teach the people Qur’ān – and his affair was hidden to ‘Umar and the people. Years later this Khārijī was to kill the leader of the believers, ‘Ali Ibn Abī Tālib (radiyallāhu ‘anhu). Then we have Sabeegh who ‘Umar (radiyallāhu ‘anhu) beat when he heard that Sabeegh was spreading doubts and questioning the verses that are ambiguous in the Qur’ān. So he beat him with a hundred lashes, then he repeated the beating a second time, and then he intended a third lashing. Sabeegh said, “O leader of the believers! If you wish to kill me then do so.” So ‘Umar sent him to Kūfah and forbade people from sitting with him. So if a group of people sat with him, they were dispersed and sent on their way. After some time, Sabeegh came to the Amīr of Kūfah and swore by Allah that the falsehood that was in his head had disappeared (he had expelled those doubts from his mind). So after that, he was allowed to sit openly with the people. So where are you [Ali Hasan] regarding the saying of some of the Salaf, “Whoever shows respect to a person of bid’ah has aided in the destruction of the religion.”? (Reported by Al-Bayhaqī in Ash-Shu’ab) I pose this question to you and would like an answer to it. ‘Umar Ibn Al-Khattāb (radiyallāhu ‘anhu) said to Sabeegh, “If I had found your head shaven, I would have struck you with the sword.” Is this not due to the fact that the shaven heads were from the signs of the Khawārij (in that time) due to the saying of the Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wassallam), “Their sign is that their heads are shaven.”? (Reported by Al-Bukhārī)

Secondly, why was he sent to Kufah, and why was sitting with him forbidden? Was it not because ‘Umar (radiyallāhu ‘anhu) feared upon the Muslims Sabeegh’s ideology spreading like a disease?..”

Al-Halabī said: “It not allowed to make our differing over a person a reason for differing between ourselves, ever.”

Al-Imām Abu Muhammad Ibn Tamīm Al-Hanbalī (rahimahullāh) said describing Imām Ahmad: “He was harsh against ahlul-bid’ah and against the one who drew close to them if he did not abandon them, even if his ‘aqīdah was correct. Imām Ahmad boycotted Ali Al-Madīnī, Yahyā Ibn Ma’īn, Al-Hasan Al-Karabīsī – and this remained the case right up until Yahyā Ibn Ma’īn repented in front of him.” (See Tabaqāt al-Hanābilah of Abu Ya’lā 2/289, Tahrīm an-Nadhr fī Kutubil-Kalām p.60)

Abu Hātim makes clear his warning against Al-Karābīsī and warning from whoever defends him such as Dāwūd Ibn ‘Ali Al-Asbahānī, who is the imām of the Dhāhiriyyah (the literalist madhdhab) and had a great standing with the scholars. Dāwūd Ibn ‘Ali came to Imam Ahmad and Imam Ahmad refused to host him or to meet him. Abu Hātim spoke against Dāwūd Ibn ‘Ali with very severe speech because of his defense of Al-Karābīsī. And likewise when Al-Karābīsī heard the speech of Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, he became haughty and started to criticise Ahmad. Dāwūd Ibn ‘Ali defended Al-Karābīsī and made excuses for him, so Ahmad turned him away and did not host him or agree to meet him. Abu Hātim warned against him, and many of the scholars of the era spoke against him. So what station do these people today hold as compared to those of the past?

So those who seek to be easy-going and accommodating regarding the affair of the innovators and the misguided deviants, then it is imperative that they are warned against. Their danger upon Ahlus-Sunnah and the Salafis is more severe than the harm of the manifest and open ahlul-bid’ah.

So it clear that this principle of Ali Hasan is false and futile. The way of the Salaf was to reject falsehood and it’s people, those who support it and they would abandon those who accompanied ahlul-bid’ah. Those who are close to the Khawārij and mix with them are considered to be with them. Those who mix with are close to Al-Ikhwān Al-Mufliseen are considered to be from them. Those who are close to the Jamā’ah At-Tableegh and mix with them are considered to be with them. The same principle applies to those who mix with, defend and aid the Murji’ah, the Ash’ariyyah, and so on. The Messenger of Allah said: “A person is upon the religion of his companion, so let each of you look to whom he takes as a companion.”

Al-Halabī said: “However, it is not permitted to continue the affair to the point of testing the people and spreading division between them over this person and that person…”

Shaikh Ahmad An-Najmi commented: Imām Ahmad Ibn Hanbal said, “If you see a man making as much as a disparaging wink against Hammād Ibn Salamah then accuse his religion, for indeed Hammād was harsh against the innovators.” Abu Zur’ah (rahimahullāh) said, “If you see a man from Kūfah reviling Sufyān Ath-Thawrī and Zā’idah ibn Qudāmah, do not doubt that he is a Rāfidī. If you see a Syrian (Shāmī) reviling Makhool and Al-Awzā’ī, do not doubt that he is a Murjī. And know that all of these groups are united in their hatred of Ahmad Ibn Hanbal because their was not one from them except that his heart had been pierced by an arrow from Ahmad, from which there is no recovering.” (Tabaqāt al-Hanābilah 1/199-200)  Nu’aym Ibn Hammād said, “If you see an Iraqi speaking against Ahmad, accuse him with respect to his religion. If you see a Khurasāni speaking against Ishāq Ibn Rāhūyah, accuse him with respect to his religion.” (Tārīkh Baghdād 6/348) Is this not proof that the one surrounding whom there is doubt, that he is tested? And his response is taken as proof of his condition?

There is a narration from Anas bin Mālik (radhiyallāhu ‘anhu) which is marfoo’ (elevated) as a saying of Allāh’s Messenger (salallāhu ‘alaihi wassallam): “A sign of a hypocrite is his hatred of the Ansār, and a sign of a believer is his love of the Ansār.” (Muslim, Kitab Al-Imān, no. 84).

Adh-Dhahabi said that Mahdi bin Hilāl said:  I entered upon Sulaimān at-Taimi (d. 143H) and I found with him Hammād bin Zaid, Zaid bin Zurai’, Bishr Ibn al-Mufaddal and other companions of ours from the people of Basrah. He (Sulaimān at-Taimee) would not narrate a thing to anyone until he had examined them, so he would say: “Is fornication from the Pre-Decree?” So if he responded with: “Yes.” Then he (Sulaimān) would say: “Then swear by Allāh that this is your Religion by which you worship Allāh.” So if he swore by Allāh upon that, he would narrate to him five hadīths. (See Siyar A’lām an-Nubalā 6/200, Tadhkiratul-Huffādh 1/150)

Shaikh Sālih Al-Fawzān said: “This was because the misguided sects that ascribed themselves to Islām were plentiful, so it was necessary to know who was upon the Sunnah, and that a person was not deceived just because of one’s claim to Islām. So whoever loves ahlus-Sunnah, then this is a proof that he is from the people of goodness – and whoever loves the people of Bid’ah, then that is a proof that he himself is from the people of wickedness.” (See Itihāf al-Qāri bit-Ta’līqāt ‘alā Sharhis-Sunnah lil-Imām Abi Muhammad al-Hasan bin ‘Ali bin Khalaf al-Barbahāri of Shaikh Sālih al-Fawzān 2/241.)

Al-Halabī said: “However, it is not permitted to continue the affair to the point of testing the people and spreading division between them over this person and that person. So the likes of this testing is not carried out over those whom the speech of Ahlus-Sunnah and their scholars is united upon, whether in criticism or praise. And I do not think that the affair is such concerning these two, or the one who is like them.”

Shaikh Ahmad An-Najmī said: “Abul-Hasan and Al-Maghrāwi are not Ahlus-Sunnah, firmly established upon it – [they are not from] those whom the scholars of Sunnah are united upon in not criticising due to their following of the Sunnah, and their traversing upon it, and having concern for it. As for these two, their writings and their behaviour are a witness to the fact that they are far away from the Sunnah and thry are not steadfast upon it. I do not know how this has appeared to you, in your mind. Have you not seen what has come from Abul-Hasan in his refutation of the Khabr al-Āhād – and what has been written by the noble Scholar, the Shaikh Rabee’ Ibn Hādī Al-Madkhali that is entitled, Majmū’ Ar-Rudood ‘Alā Abil-Hasan? Have you not seen Abul-Hasan’s principles that he uses to defend Ahlul-Bid’a? Have you not seen that Abul-Hasan has authored a two volume work in defense of Ahlul-Bid’ah and their leaders which he entitled, Ad-Difā’ ‘An Ahlil-Ittibā’? Have you not seen that Ahlus-Sunnah in Yemen have freed themselves from him? Do you not know that he has refuted the Manhaj of Shaikh Rabee’ Al-Madkhali – and his Manhaj is the Manhaj of the Salaf As-Sālih, which has been approved and recommended by the Major Scholars of this era? And from those who affirmed the Manhaj of Shaikh Rabee’ is Shaikh Al-Albānī (rahimahullāh)…

So Abul-Hasan has busied people with his corrupt principles such as: 1. The Khabr Al-Āhād is conjecture (not certain knowledge) – and his playing around in the matter. 2. His claim that general erroneous statements should be carried upon specific statements elsewhere – and his playing around in the matter. 3. We correct mistakes, we do not demolish – and his playing around in the matter. 4. We want a vast spacious manhaj that includes Ahlus-Sunnah and the Ummah – and his playing around in the matter. 5. We do not blindly follow – and his playing around in the matter. 6. His claim that we are people of proofs – and his playing around in the matter.

The intent of Abul-Hasan is to incite rebellion against the Salafi Manhaj, and to bring down the Salafi scholars, but Allāh brought him down instead, and his aims have been frustrated. So how can the refutations of the scholars against him be rejected knowing they are based upon clear evidences under the [false] claim that they are making taqlīd of Shaikh Rabee’?! Whilst the truth is that they are the furthest of people from taqlīd: 1. Abul-Hasan reviled the Sahābah, accusing a group of them of being scum (ghuthā’iyyah). 2. He claimed that some of the Prophets had blameworthy hastiness. 3. His criticism of the Sahābah and that they had disorder in cultivation. 4. His false principles and doubts wherein he places meanings on speech that is not intended, claiming that the speech of the scholars is there to frighten and it is criticism without reason.”


Shaikh Al-Islām Ibn Taimiyyah (died 728H) said:

“This is the reality of the saying from the Salaf and the people of knowledge who said, ‘Verily, the ones who call to innovations are not to have their testimony accepted, nor should they be followed in prayer, nor should knowledge be taken from them, nor should they be given women in marriage.’ This was their recompense, until they stop what they are doing. Due to this, it must be noted that there is a difference between one who calls towards innovations and one who does not call to it [yet is still an innovator]. The one who calls to it and publicly displays his evil, then it is necessary to punish/refute him, as opposed to the one who conceals his innovation. The latter is only as evil as the hypocrites – those whom the Prophet (sallallāhu alayhi wasallam) used to accept their open proclamations (of Faith) and entrust their hidden affairs to Allāh, while possessing knowledge of the condition of most of them.” (See Majmū’ Al-Fatāwa, 28/520)

Shaikh Ubaid Al-Jābiri on Al-Halabī:

“A loser, one who waters down the Manhaj, a pauper (miskīn).”

“A politician with regards to the da’wah.”

“Astray, leading others astray, corrupt.”

“An innovator, corrupter of the land and the worshippers.”

Shaikh Rabee’ Ibn Hādi Al-Madkhali:

“He is from Ahlul-Bid’ah.”

“Ali Al-Halabi is from the lowliest of Ahlul-Bid’ah.”

There is no doubt in the mind of any Salafi who has any share in the understanding of the Manhaj and ‘Aqeedah that Ali Hasan Al-Halabi is a misguided innovator. And anyone who knows his innovations and persists in defending him, and claiming that he is upon sound Manhaj and ‘Aqeedah is to be counted alongside him, and abandoned. From the foremost of the Scholars who exposed the misguidance of Ali Hasan Al-Halabī (after years of patience and constant advising) is our Shaikh Al-Allāmah Rabee’ Al-Madkhalī (may Allah preserve the scholars of Sunnah). Here are just a few of the refutations on Al-Halabi:

There are many more refutations that Shaikh Rabee’ and other scholars have written against this corrupt innovator, Ali Hasan Al-Halabi. There is no doubt that when the scholars of Sunnah and Hadīth of the calibre mentioned above speak with the evidences, and with strong words, it is upon the Ummah to take heed and follow their stance. Those who persist in aiding and supporting this innovator after knowing these stances and rulings of the Scholars is to be abandoned and counted alongside Al-Halabi, Al-Maghrāwi and Abul-Hasan. And this is our clear, upright stance towards Brixton Mosque and CTI Luton (Masjid Ghurabā).

There are accusations made against Salafi Publications by the hizbies of Al-Halabi in Brixton Mosque and elsewhere that we are mere blind-followers of Shaikh Rabee’ in his refutations. We have already seen above the response of Shaikh Ahmad An-Najmi (rahimahullāh) to this false claim and we have seen the clear detailed disparagement (al-jarh al-mufassal) of the scholars upon Al-Halabi and his companions. If the likes of these comments were gathered upon an innovator in time of the likes of Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Yahyā Ibn Ma’īn, Al-Bukhārī, Ishāq Ibn Rāhūyah, Ath-Thawrī, Hammād Ibn Zayd, Nu’aim Ibn Hammād, etc, one would have no choice but to accept them, unless he is ignorant or a misguided innovator.

Shaikh Rabee’ Al-Madkhali also advised Brixton and CTI Luton (Masjid Ghurabā) – they rejected and refused and persisted in fanaticism to Al-Maghrāwi, Abul-Hasan and Al-Halabi.

Brixton Mosque’s partisanship (hizbiyyah) to the Murji’ innovator Al-Halabi, led then to attack Shaikh Rabee’ accusing him of extremism.

The hizbiyyūn and the mumayyi’ūn who spend their nights and days with ahlul-bid’ah want us to count them amongst ahlus-Sunnah! Instead we will count them alongside those they sit with, hold conferences with, share platforms with, aid, defend and support. Al-A’mash said, “They (the Salaf) would not ask regarding a man beyond three affairs: Who he walks with, who he enters upon, and who his friends are.” Yahyā Ibn Sa’īd Al-Qattān said: When Sufyān Ath-Thawrī came to Basrah, he looked into the condition of Rabee’ Ibn Sabīh and his station in the eyes of the people. So Sufyān asked, “What is his madhhab?” They said, “His madhhab is not except the Sunnah.” He further asked, “Who are his friends?” They said, “The Qadariyyah (deniers of the pre-Decree).” He said, “Then he is a Qadarī.” Ibn Battah said, “May Allah have mercy upon Sufyān for he has spoken with with wisdom and has spoken the truth. Indeed he has spoken in agreement with the Book and the Sunnah…” This is the madhhab of the Salaf! It is not what is invented and innovated by the callers to futility who fish in murky waters, seeking to deceive the Salafi youth.

Shaikh Rabī’ Ibn Hādī stated: “By Allāh there are people who wear the garbs of Salafiyyah, they do not enjoin the good, nor forbid the evil let alone against ahlul-bid’a. This is something present. By Allah! These people are more severe upon Salafiyyah than the apparent people of innovation and all the opposers. They wear the garbs of Salafiyyah, and they deceive the people, they rebut the truth, and they aid falsehood – and this is something present…” (Quratul-‘Aynain p. 100) 

I ask Allah, the Most Perfect and the Most High, to guide the Ummah, and especially its youth, to path of Ahlul-Hadīth, who are Ahlus-Sunnah, the Salafiyyūn.

And all praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all creation.

وسبحانك اللهم وبحمدك أشهد أن لا اله إلا أنت أستغفرك وأتوب إليك


  1. May Allaah have mercy upon you. Truly a beautiful and much needed article. May Allaah make it heavy on your scales on the day of Qiyaamah.

  2. Today I removed the few quotes of Muhammad Ibn Hadi in this topic as they are not needed.

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