Jamal al-Din al-Afghani, Muhammad Abduh, Rashid Rida, Hasan al-Banna: Modernism, Revolution and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Jamal al-Din al-Afghani is commemorated and celebrated by many modern-day radicals.
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The Salafi scholar, Shaikh Ahmad An-Najmee said in his explanation of Kitab at-Tawheed (Ash-Sharhul-Moojaz), chapter 23, page 184-189:

In the narration of Al-Barqānee in his ‘Saheeh’ there is the additional wording wherein the Messenger (ﷺ) said: “Indeed I fear for my Ummah the imāms of misguidance – and when the sword is drawn between them, it will not be withdrawn until the Day of Resurrection. The Hour will not be established until a part of my Ummah attach themselves to the polytheists and until factions from my Ummah worship idols. In my Ummah there will appear thirty liars, each of them claiming to be a prophet. However I am the last of the Prophets, there is no prophet after me. And there shall not cease to remain a group from my Ummah  upon the Truth, aided and victorious. They are not harmed by those who betray them – and they will remain as such until there comes the command of Allah, the Blessed and Most High.” [Abu Dawood (4252), declared saheeh by Al-Albānee; see Al-Mishkāt (5406).

These imāms of misguidance are those who ascribe themselves to the da’wah. They leave off [the call to] Tawheed and they legislate for their followers worship based upon innovations.

And from the imāms of misguidance are those who legislate for the students of knowledge the permissibility of performing takfeer upon the Ummah of Muhammad (ﷺ), upon the rulers and the scholars,  i.e. declaring them to be apostates. This is something that actually happens. So these are from the imāms of misguidance who oppose the methodology of the Legislator, Allah, and the methodology of all the Messengers, which is to begin the call to Islam with Tawheed.

The reality is that the manhaj (methodologies) of Al-Ikhwān Al-Muslimeen [1], the Suroorees [2], the Qutubees [3] are all an infiltration from the methodology invented by Jamāl Ad-Deen Al-Afghānee [4]. This man was surrounded by doubts from two sides:

Firstly: What is apparent is that he would make claims about things that he had no right to, and there was no reality to these claims. What is clear is that he had connections to the Freemasons, and he was a member of them – and likewise his student Muhammad Abduh [5] – and he is the one who brought forth these deviated ideologies. His real madhhab (doctrine) was I’tizāl [6]. And the Mu’tazilah and the Khawārij are the same [in declaring sinful believers to be in Hell forever]. The only differences being that the Mu’tazilah are not straight-forward in their takfeer. Instead, they say: the one who commits a major sin is in a place between two places, neither Muslim nor Unbeliever [7], and in the Hereafter, he will be in the Hellfire forever.

Secondly: What is also apparent is that Jamal ad-Deen Al-Afghāni was a Shi’ite [and would affirm the correctness of the doctrines of the Shi’ah]. For this reason you find that Al-Ikhwan Al-Muslimeen, indeed their leader, their caller, the one who confirmed their methodology and its founder (i.e. Hasan Al-Banna [8]) he used to call to unity between Ahlus-Sunnah and the Shi’ites, whilst knowing the atrocious beliefs of the Shi’ah such as their claim that the Revelation was meant for Alee Ibn Abee Tālib (radiyallāhu ‘anhu) but the Angel Jibreel took it to the wrong person by bringing it to Muhammad (ﷺ); their claim that Abu Bakr and ‘Umar falsely seized the leadership after the death of the Prophet from Alee; and they declare the Companions to be unbelievers except for a handful, and other wicked beliefs. So the methodology of Al-Ikhwān, the Suroorees, the Qutubees is just an infiltrated methodology that originated with Jamāl ad-Deen Al-Afghāni who was influenced by the beliefs of the Freemasons and the Shi’ah.

Jamal al-Din is commemorated and celebrated by many modern-day radicals.

The saying of the Prophet (ﷺ): “The Hour will not be established until a part of my Ummah attach themselves to the polytheists…” And how many we see today who attach themselves to idol-worshippers and atheists! Indeed to Allah we belong and to him we shall return.

His saying: “…until factions from my Ummah worship idols.” The worship of “idols” (in the form of shrines and raised graves of the deceased) in the lands of the Muslims is widespread. How many “idols” do we find in the lands of the Muslims? In Egypt there is the shrine of Al-Badawee [9], of Al-Hasan, Sayyidah Zainab, and others. In Yemen, the shrine of Ibn ‘Ulwān and so on in the various lands. Every country virtually has shrines that are worshipped alongside Allah or instead of Allah except Saudi Arabia, and all praise is due to Allah. These shrines are “idols” in reality because they are worshipped besides Allah, and they are referred to as Tawāgheet (false deities).

The Prophet said: “In my Ummah there will appear thirty liars, each of them claiming to be a prophet. However I am the last of the Prophets, there is no prophet after me.” This actually took place in the time of the Prophet (ﷺ). Two men claimed to be prophets: Al-Aswad Al-‘Ansee and Musailimah Al-Kadhdhāb. Both of them were killed. And there was a woman called Sajāh who claimed prophethood. Then she repented. So whoever looks into the works of Islamic history will found many stories like this.

His saying: “And there shall not cease to remain a group from my Ummah  upon the Truth, aided and victorious. They are not harmed by those who betray them – and they will remain as such until there comes the command of Allah, the Blessed and Most High.” This is the Tā’ifah (the Group) that the people of knowledge and the scholars refer to as Ahlul-Hadeeth, the people of the Minhaj As-Salafi.

Translator’s notes:

[1] Al-Ikhwān Al-Muslimeen was founded by Hasan Al-Banna in 1928 CE. Its aim was and remains to gain political ascendency, power and leadership. They use means and methods that are innovated and depart from the Prophet Methodology of the early generations. They have used assassination, rebellion, suicide bombing, terrorism, social unrest and democracy – all as means of gaining political control. Ibn Bāz declared this group to be from the one of the 72 deviated sect alongside Jamā’at at-Tableegh of India.

Muhammad Rashid Rida was a disciple of Muhammad Abduh and authored Al-Manar Magazine. Founders of modernist Islamist thought.

[2] Suroorees: Followers of the political doctrines of Muhammad Surur Zain al-Abidin (died 2016 CE). A former Syrian member of Al-Ikhwān Al-Muslimeen, who was expelled from Saudi Arabia for his extremist views, moved to Kuwait and then Birmingham, UK where he founded Dar Al-Arqam (Langley Road, Small Heath) followed by London where he established Al-Muntada Al-Islami. Loved and revered by Khawarij extremists world-over from Abu Mus’ab az-Zaraqawee, Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi to Safar al-Hawali and Salman al-Awdah; Suroor was a political ideologue who declared scholars and rulers to be apostates, and no more than puppets of the West.

Sayyid Qutb (d. 1966 CE) appears on an Iranian stamp in 1984 due to the admiration of Ayatollah Khomeini.

[3] Qutubees (and Sayyid Qutb): Those driven and committed to the teachings of Al-Ikhwān Al-Muslimeen’s figurehead Sayyid Qutb, an Egyptian thinker who was eventually executed in 1966 CE for his attempted overthrow of the Nasser regime. He is probably the most influential personality and revered ideologue of every “jihadist extremist” group in the world. His books are published in dozens of languages and widespread. There is not an extremist except that he draws inspiration from Sayyid Qutb. Qutb considered the world to be in a state of “Jāhiliyyah” (Pre-Islamic Ignorance) where the concept of Ummah no longer exists; wherein the rulers and subjects have abandoned the Laws of Allah and apostated. To return the Ummah back to its former glory, a vanguard must rise from the ashes with revolutionary army of God, and bring upheaval to destroy the political elite and replace it with the ideals of Al-Ikhwān Al-Muslimeen. He was declared a renegade extremist kharijite innovator by almost every Salafi Scholar. Qutb’s famous work “Milestones” is seen as the 20th century Kharijite “jihadist” manifesto.

IRAN 1983: A stamp printed in Iran shows Jamal ad-Din al-Afghani (1838-1897).

[4]  Jamāl Ad-Deen Al-Afghāni (died 1897 CE): His origins are shrouded in mystery but it appears that he came from a Shi’ah family, and that seems to be backed by evidence including his frequent visits to Iran and to Shi’ite shrines, and his political reform efforts in Iran. In adulthood he was a political activist calling for Islamic differences to be put to one side so as to attain political power for Muslims. He called for the “modernisation” of Islamic thought attempting to reconcile Islamic faith with modern Western and European values such as nationalism, democracy, enlightenment and rationality – in essence he was a rationalist who saw the benefits of borrowing from other religions, ideologies and thoughts as a means to political ascension. The term “salafiyah” is often used erroneously to refer to ideology of Jamāl Ad-Deen Al-Afghāni and his student Muhammad Abduh, but the truth is that they were both modernist rationalists more akin to the Muta’zilite doctrine rather than to Salafism. Salafism rejects innovation in religion and rejects deviation from the Methodology of the Prophet and Companions in every sphere of life including the political arena. Al-Afghāni and his followers would adopt ideologies foreign to Islam as a rational path to revival –  which is in line with Mu’atazilite teachings. Al-Afghāni, Muhammad Abduh and Rashid Rida, all called for the opening of the doors of ijtihād (islamic deduction) but they did not intend the traditional Salafist approach of the great Jurists of the early centuries who would base their rulings strictly on the Revealed Texts (Quran and Sunnah) and extrapolated principles. Instead their intent was to reconcile with, and draw on Western political thought and almagate its concepts with the Islamic faith. Salafiyyah in its true sense has no binding doctrinal or theological attachment to the teachings of Al-Afghani and Abduh. The latter two started a movement that can be termed today as “Islamic Modernism” which is an expression of the Mu’tazilite doctrine of reason, thought and rational over recourse to Religious Texts; except when the Texts can be re-interpreted to fit into their modernist thinking. He envisioned the overthrow of Muslim rulers who were lax and subservient to foreign powers and to replace them with patriotic rulers. When he arrived in Egypt, a young Muhammad Abduh, became enthralled with Al-Afghani and became his devoted disciple. It is clear that those who ascribe Salafiyyah to Al-Afghani and Abduh do so without understanding Salafiyyah nor Al-Afghani. It was this doctrine that seems to have shaped Hasan Al-Banna and the Ikhwān movement. In Kabul, there is a huge tomb dedicated to Jamal al-Din Al-Afghani and in Tehran (Iran) there is street named after him.

Muhammad Abduh (d. 1905) as the Mufti of Egypt legalised (amongst other things) usury for which he was widely condemned.

[5] Muḥammad ‘Abduh (died 1905 CE): An influential Egyptian neo-Mu’tazilite and devoted disciple of Jamāl Ad-Deen Al-Afghāni. He is regarded as one of the fathers of “Islamic Modernism” who sought to reconcile Islamic faith with European political and social values. These early modernists used the term ‘salafiyah’ to refer to their struggle to revive Islamic thought. In doing so, they contradicted the very essence of Salafism which is to revive the creed and methodology of the first three generations of Muslims (i.e. the path of the Companions and those who followed them). In reality what they managed to achieve was the revival of the Mu’tazilite doctrine. Abduh studied at Al-Azhar University, Cairo learning philosophy, logic, and the esoteric beliefs of Sufism. Both Abduh and Al-Afghani developed the idea of Pan-Islamism to confront European imperialism – but their ideas of reform were not upon the methodology of the early generations and were consequently criticised heavily for their approach. Exiled, Abduh moved to Lebanon, then Paris to join his mentor Al-Afghani and from there they published the magazine, “Al-Urwatul-Wuthqah” (The Firm Handhold). On his return he was appointed as the Grand Mufti of Egypt in 1899. Abduh argued that ancient (Salafist) interpretations of the text could not be relied upon to solve the problems faced by Muslims in the modern world and one should use intellect and reason to deal with the issues facing Muslim societies. Abduh, like Al-Afghani was a member of a Masonic lodge called “Kawkab Al-Sharq” (Star of the East), and he propounded the idea of the unity of the three major religions. Both Muhammad Abduh and his disciple Muhammad Rashid Rida wrote in different ways their acceptance of Darwin’s theory of evolution and they became proponents of it. Both worked together and became very close friends launching the magazine “Al-Manar” in 1898. After Abduh’s death in 1905, Rida continued to develop the modernist ideas of Al-Afghani and Abduh, and it were their political, modernist and revolutionary ideas that formed the foundations of the political thought of Hasan al-Banna and his group Al-Ikhwan Al-Muslimoon.

[6] Mu’tazilah: A sect founded by Wāsil Ibn Atā, later joined by his disciple ‘Amr Ibn ‘Ubaid in the second century after the Prophet’s (ﷺ) death. From their key principles is that reason and logic are decisive over the Qur’an and Sunnah. And precedence must always be given to the intellect. This led them to many deviations in creed (‘aqeedah). Their doctrines were adopted by Jamal al-Din Al-Afghani and Muhammad Abduh and re-introduced to the Muslims at the turn of the 20th century, then they were developed further by Rashid Rida and Hasan al-Banna as a form of Islamic political enlightenment.

Hasan Al-Banna assassinated in 1949 was the founder of the political Mu’tazilite-Kharijite revivalist movement Al-Ikhwan Al-Muslimoon. He adopted the teachings of Al-Afghani and Abduh.

[8] Hasan Al-Banna (died 1949 CE): Egyptian founder of Al-Ikhwān Al-Muslimeen. Early on he was inspired by Muhammad Rashid Ridā’s (died 1935 CE) magazine, Al-Manar, and he was heavily influenced by Sufism. Al-Banna was a revolutionary and modernist in the same vain as Al-Afghani and Abduh and upon the same foundations.

[9] Ahmad Al-Badawi (died 1276 CE): Founder of the Sufi order of Al-Badawiyyah in Tanta, Egypt. He was born in Morocco and died in Egypt where many thousands visit his shrine.

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