The Mediation (Intercession)
THE critics have critisized the Ibadhis regarding their opinion on Mediation, saying that their allegation that there will be no Mediation in the Hereafter for perpetrators of the great sins is not acceptable for many reasons.
The fact is that the Ibadhis do not deny the Mediation, but it is for the believers who are obedient. As for the perpetrators of the great sins, there will not be Mediation for them unless if they have repented. If one asks a question why should those who have repented need the mediation knowing that by repenting they will be forgiven?
Sheikh Ahmed bin Hamed Al-Khalily in his interpretation of the version: “Then guard yourselves against a day when one soul shall not avail another nor shall intercession be accepted for her, nor shall compensation be taken from her, nor shall anyone be helped (from outside)”. (II: 48). And the Almighty Has mentioned that the Mediation shall only be for those who are acceptable. The Quran says: “And they offer no intercession except for those who are acceptable”. (XXI: 28). Also, it will only be by His permission: He says: “Who is there can intercede in His presence except as He permitteth?” (II: 255).
Some scholars have attempted to summarise these verses and concluded that God will enable the prophets and the pious to intercede for one who is acceptable by God; that is to intercede for the repentant so that God accepts his repentance. There are some narratives from the Prophet to that effect: “No one among you will enter the Paradise on the Day of Judgement except by the Grace of God, then by his performance, then by my mediation”.
Repentance, therefore, is acceptable to God, but that does not prevent the Prophet from playing a role in the mediation for the acceptance of this repentance. That is so because a person is apt to shortcomings and is therefore in need of good wishes from others, and the Mediation is among those good wishes. The Prophets, the Angels and the Pious do intercede for one who is acceptable to God. God Himself Has said that His Angels shall pray from forgiveness for the believers: “Our Lord; Thy Reach is over all things, in Mercy and Knowledge. Forgive, then, those who turn in Repentance and follow Thy Path; and preserve them from the Penalty of the Blazing Fire!” (XL: 7) (Taken from the tape of Al-Khalily’s translation of the Quran).
Al-Salmy in his ‘Mashariq Anwar Al-Uquul’ has deﬁned Mediation as a plea for an early entry into the Paradise or addition of the rank therein from the Lord to His believing servants. Hence, Mediation is conﬁrmed to the Ibadhis, and it is for the obedient believers among the Muslims. Merging Mediation with their opinion regarding the perpetrators of the great sins, the Ibadhis believe that as the perpetrators of the great sins are companions of the Hell of Fire to dwell therein forever (with concrete justiﬁcations), they understand Mediation to mean addition of recompence and rank for the believer.
Al-Talaty has also deﬁned it that: “It is a request of the Prophet to God to permit the believers to enter their abodes in the Heavens (immediately) after the Judgement”. (See Al-Talaty: AL-AQIDA AL-MUBARAKA— p. 165).
The Ibadhis have supported their opinion on Mediation with many Quranic evidences and the Prophetic Traditions. Sheikh Khamis bin Said Al-Shaksy says: “Mediation is the right of the believers whom God Has accepted their performances. God says: “And they offer no intercession except for those who are acceptable” (XXI: 28). And He says: “On that Day shall no intercession avail except for those for whom permission has been granted by (God) Most Gracious, and whose word is acceptable to Him” (XX: 109). And He says: “No intercession can avail in His presence, except for those for whom He has granted permission”. (XXXIV: 23) (See Minhaj Al-Talibiin: Khamis bin Said Al-Shakshy—Vol. 1 p. 520).
In the “Kamus Al-Sharia we read: “Our companions—May Allah Bless them— have said: Medication is an undeniable right but it is for the obedient believers sans companions of great sins among the disobedient and the sinful, and the evidence of that is from the Quran: “And they offer no intercession except for those who are acceptable” (XXI: 28) And: “On that Day shall no intercession avail except for those whom permission has been granted by (God) Most gracious and whose word is acceptable to Him” (XX: 109) And! “No intimate friend nor intercessor will the wrong-doers have, who could be listened to” (XL: 18) (See Kamus Al-Sharia Vol. 5 p. 506—Jamil bin Khamis Al-Saady).
Many verses have come on this issue commending the inﬂuence of the Prophet (S.A.W.) and to praise his high rank before God—also it will be clear to the observer that Mediation does not beneﬁt an inﬁdel or a sinner overloaded with crimes. There are no sings in the verses dealing with Mediation supporting the illusory of those who neglect the Religious Commands and interdictions but therein all power is God’s and that nothing will beneﬁt anyone in the Hereafter except his piety and God’s satisfaction.
The Ibadhis have given many traditions which conﬁrm Mediation for the believers and deny it for the persistent disobedient. Many have come in the reliable books in different narrations but agreeing in the meaning. Among these is the Tradition of the Prophet (S.A.W.) when he sat on the pulpit and said: “O Abbas, uncle of the Messenger of God, O Fatma bint Muhammad, O people of Muhammad in general! Surely, in the name of He who holds my soul, I am to my Lord firmly obedient; so, nobody should be deceived by his mind and says: I am an uncle of the Messenger of God or says I am the daughter of Muhammad or a relative of Muhammad. You have to purchase your souls from God, because if you do not do that you will perish along with those whom you know have perished”.
(This tradition has been narrated in the book “Kamus Al-Sharia Vol. 5 p. 507).
In another Tradition the Prophet said: “O you children of Abdil Muttalib, surely God has instructed me to warn you—and certainly I cannot proﬁt you anything against God (with my advice) and that my associates among you are those who fear God—O Fatma bint Muhammad, and O Saﬁya, Muhammad’s aunt—purchase your souls from God, for certainly I cannot avail you ought from God”.
And among the contemporary scholars who discussed the Mediation is Muhammad Al-Ghazaly. He has reviewed the texts and made comparisons between them in more than one occasion and then declared that to depend upon the Mediation gives people courage and makes them plunge into crimes. He says: “The common Muslims shout the Traditions which deal with the mediation of the Prophet (S.A.W.) for some of the sinners and they comment on such traditions in such a manner that it occurs to you that the rules of punishment have been nulliﬁed and that the Fires of the Hell are about to change into coolness—and be peaceful to the believing sinners. And much do those ignorant neglect the religious duties and fall into dirty sins and then say that Muhammad’s Community is excellent, and this is a notorious policy (wrong method). Muhammad (S.A.W.) is the ﬁrst to denounce this policy and combats its followers and warns them that they are the companions of the Hell. And to say that the laws are suspended for followers of a prophet is an empty stupidity.
God says: “Then guard yourselves against a Day when one soul shall not avail another, nor shall compensation be accepted from her nor shall intercession proﬁt her nor shall anyone be helped (from outside) (II: 123) then he says: Let those see the God’s word with regard to companions of the Fire: “What led you into Hell-Fire?” (LXXIV: 42) The strange thing for the Muslims is that they are affected by this stain and forget God’s word: “Not your desires, nor those of the people of the Book (can prevail): whoever works evil, will be requited accordingly, nor will he ﬁnd, besides God, any protector or helper”. (IV: 123). (See Muhammad Al-Ghazaly: Aqidat Al-Muslim p. 253).
Also Muhammad Abdo in his ‘AL-MANAR—has discussed Mediation and explained that the straight nature of Islam and its plain method require that the Muslim should be sincere to God, serious in good performance and far from lazyness in performing duties or clinging on the desires. In his translation of the verse: “Whoever works evil, will be requited accordingly nor will he ﬁnd, besides God, any protector or helper”, he says: All such desires for Mediation are like confused medley of dreams giving promises without ever living up to them (lighting without a down pour) and gloomy clouds, but the axis for salvation rests on faith and performance, as God has declared saying: “If any do deeds of righteousness,—be they male or female—and have faith, they will enter Heaven, and not the least injustice will be done to them”. (IV: 124).
He adds that in these two verses are expressions and warning which make one understand castles of desires and fortresses of deceptions which the lazy, the ignorant and the sinner among the Muslims who take the Religion as the political identity to depend upon and to protect themselves with it, thinking that God Awards anyone who calls himself a Muslim in preference over he who calls himself a Jew or a Christian, simply by virtue of the heart, believing that consideration is given on account of names and titles and not on account of knowledge and performance.
(See AL-MANAR Vol. 5 pp. 437-38—Muhammad Rasheed Redha).
With this brief discussion, the critic should understand the following:
(1) The Ibadhis are not alone in denying Mediation for perpetrators of the great sins. Many other scholars who have pursued this topic—particularly the contemporary ones—have the same opinion.
(2) The evidences which the Ibadhis have adopted whether from the Quran or the Sunnah are sufﬁcient to support their opinion.
Sheikh Muhammad Abdo comments on this topic and says: “It is strange to avoid the positive signs from the Quran for the sake of the general interpretations whereas even these general interpretations should basically convey what these (Quranic) verses have indicated”.
(3) The belief in denying Mediation for the great sinners agrees with the spirit of Islam which is based on faith and performance and exerting effort for the sake of achieving God’s pleasure. Hence, giving free rein to passions and loading the self with faults and spreading evils destroy the spirit of the Sharia which calls for adherence to God’s Orders and avoidance of His prohibitions in order to ensure the good ending. Sayyid Qutub says: “There shall be no Mediation on that Day for one who has not brought faith and good performance”.
(See Sayyid Qutub: FIY DHILAL AL-QURAN Vol. 1 p. 71).
The Balance (Justice(
ANOTHER controversial issue which the critics have discussed with regard to the opinion of Ibadhis is the question of the Balance. The critic has indicated that there is mutual approach between the Ibadhis and the Sunnites in the auditives but he then criticises them for their opinion on the Balance and accuses them that they interpret the verses and the Traditions to prove their point of view. He says: “What the Ibadhis have done in interpreting the verses and the Traditions which prove that the Balance is an object is not acceptable”. He also says: “they do not believe that the Balance which God keeps for the account of His servants is the balance which has two sides and an organ on which daily activities—bad and good—are weighed, but they believe that by the Balance is meant distinguishing the activities and elaborating them and rewarding them because the activities of the people—according to them—are characteristic and not by volume.
Let us ﬁrst see the word ‘Balance’ in the language: The word means justice and equity. Balancing the activities, that is distinguishing them, elaborating them and rewarding them is well known in the Arabic language. A person tells his friend: “Weigh your words”...And based on this, the Ibadis are not alone in this translation of the Balance. Many have adopted their opinion, among whom AL-DHAHAK, QITADA and MUJAHID.
Al-Qartaby says: “Mujahid, Qitada and Al Dhahak have said that the Balance has been mentioned symbolically and not a real balance but it means Justice”. (A1-Jamil LIAHKAAM AL-QURAN, Vol. 11, p. 294).
And in “LISANIL-ARAB, Vol. 13, p. 447”, Juweybar related from Al-Dhahak that the Balance, Justice and others said. The Balance: The Book in which there are activities of mankind. Al-Razy said in his translation of the verse”, and in establishing the balance there are two opinions:
— Mujahid said: This is a symbol and the intention is justice—Similarly it is related from Qitada and Al-Dhahak that the balance of justice in the activities. He whose good deeds outweigh his bad deeds his balance will be a heavy one—that is, his good deeds will sweep his bad deeds, and whose bad deeds outweigh his good deeds his balance will be less—that is his bad deeds will sweep his good deeds. (Related by Ibni Jariyr; from Ibni Abbas).
— The second opinion is that which says that the Balance has two sides and is an organ. Al-Jaytaly comments on the subject and says: “Our companions have said that the balance of performances is specifying and elaborating them and balancing the purposes. There is a sign for that which says: ‘And the balance on that Day is justice’. Justice on the Day of Judgement becomes heavy and a person is saved, and the fault becomes light when weighted and a person perishes in the same way as he took things lightly in the world and committed crimes. The activities are characteristic and are not visible by eyes and be weighed with the balance. They are weighed by speciﬁcations and elaborations and be rewarded accordingly.
The learned translators have said much on this topic which is ideological, but the scholars of the Sunnite sects have differed much on the issue.
Sayyid Rasheed Redha says: “The Sunnite scholars have differed. Those who say that the balance is by the scale dispute: Is it one scale (for all) or for each individual there is a scale? or for each performance there is a scale? And in the case of the object to be weighed, is it the people or the performances—or in case of the nature of the object to be weighed and the scale used for the purpose—for whom is it used? Is it for the believers specially or is it for them and for the inﬁdels? And what is the position with regard to the heavy and light weights?
The dispute increases on questions of this nature and the contemporary scholars attribute this dispute to the fact that the Muslims are busily occupied with things other than their fundamental issues. Sayyid Qutub clearly explains his position and says: We do not touch here the question of the weight and the truth about the Balance as the disputants have done with the non-Islamic thinking in the history of the Islamic thinking. The nature of God’s activities are outside the parables and the comparisons. (See Al-Dhalal, Vol. 3, p. 1261).
The Sunnites, however, have relied-in their translation of the Balance—on a number of narrations which indicate that the Balance has two sides and is an organ. It is proper here to mention some of those narrations and to discuss them later on. Here we shall mention the most famous proof for them which is ‘Hadith of Al-Bitaqa’ which has been related by Al—Tirmidhy in the section: “Whoever dies and he affirms that there is no god but Allah” which is the narration of Abdulla bin Umru bin A1-Aas (Tradition) which says: “God will deliver a man from my community publicly on the Day of Judgement and will announce for his ninety-nine records each of them will be like a range of vision (as far as the eye can see). Then Will say: “Do you deny any of these things? Have my recording guardians oppressed you? And he will say: No, my Lord—And (God) will say: Do you have an excuse? And he will say: No, my Lord. And (God) will say: But you have with us a good deed, and there is no oppression on you today. He (God) will produce BITAQA (Card) on which will be: “I confirm that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is His servant and His Messenger”. He will say: O my Lord, what is this card with this recording! And He will say: Because you will not be oppressed.” Then the records will be kept on one side of the scale and the card on another side. The records will be inconstant and the card will be heavy as nothing can be heavy with the name of God (Related by Al-Tirmidhy in the Book ‘AL-IYMAN’, and Ibni Inajih in the Book AL-Zahd and Ahmed bin Hanbal).
This is the most important tradition which the Sunnites rely on in their interpretation of the Balance. We give below some comments on this Tradition:
1. Narrations have been given about the Balance that it has two sides and is an organ but nothing has been mentioned in the reliable traditions except what has been mentioned by Al-Bukhary in his Book which is the narration of Abi Hurrayrah saying: “Two light words on the tongue, heavy on the scale and beloved to God: (these are): God be praised and Commanded—Praised be my Glorious God”, we have already mentioned that the unilaterally related narrations are not relied upon in ideology. So, it is preferable to leave
1.aside the narrations which have not appeared in the Books of Traditions which are acceptable.
2. The author of Al-MANAR comments on the text of the narration saying! If a narration is not found in the two books of the Traditions (AL-SAHIHAIN) nor in the relied books of the traditions regarding the nature of the Balance or that it has two sides and organ, then we are not deceived by the statement of Al-Zujaj that “This is what the Sunnites have reached a consensus”; because many of the writers ﬁnd it convenient to use the word “consensus” particularly those who are not lawfully committed—and Al-Zujaj is not among them—They ﬁnd it convenient to attribute everything found in the books of the Sunnites to their community even if its origin is unknown and even if it is not conﬁrmed by those who came later. This question has been disputed by the predecessors and the successors alike (See TAFSIR AL-MANAR, Vol. 8, p. 323).
3. In the text of the narration of the Card are contentions. Al-Tirmidhy said that this is the narration of Hassan and Gharib and it has been related by Al-Hakim who rectiﬁed it, but his rectiﬁcation does not lift it to the stage of correctness and strength—his rectiﬁcation is not relied upon. The author of AL-MANAR says: “Were there no people who spoke about the supporters of this narration other than Abdulla bin Shariyk who described it as a lie, it would have been sufﬁcient. And Ibni Hablan and supported by Abdulla bin Omar Al-Kharasany who said that it has negetations.
Thus, the narration is not endorsed by its backing or its signs to be taken as a proof of its ideology; nor predominance. As for strength, it is sufﬁcient to quote the comment of Al-Ghazaly on the narration when he said: “This narration provokes reasoning, and if taken outwardly it imposes on people many inconveniences and invalidates God’s word: “God Prospereth not the work of those who make mischief, and God by His words doth prove and establish His Truth, however much the sinners may hate it” (XL 81-2).
This narration—if it is correct—is meant for an idolater who embraced Islam for a short time before his death, and could not live longer—after becoming a Muslim—to correct his past mistakes. As for freeing this narration and the like unconsciously is to destroy the whole Religion (See Aquidat Al- Muslim—Muhammad Al-Ghazaly, pp. 141-42).
After this brief discussion on different aspects of the issue, we say that the Sunnites have discussed questions of ideology like this as have other non-Sunnite sects and have applied their intellect in the texts to support their opinion; and the best example for that is their differences with regard to the Balance and the performances which are weighed. Had they not applied their intellect they would not have differed on interpretation—as the author of AL-MANAR says: “Surely the successors among those belonging to the Sunnite sects have embarked—like others—into judging an opinion in the invisible issues” (See AL-MANAR, p. 323).
Hence, there is no room to accuse the Ibadhis of advancing intellect over the Sharia.
ONE critic has made a comparison between the Ibadhis and the Khawarij regarding the Imamate and its conditions, and also regarding deviation from the unjust Imam. After giving a number of differences, he drew the following conclusion: “That the Ibadhis, in spite of many amendments and subdivisions which led to those differences (perhaps for effort—according to him—) they nevertheless participate on—the whole with the Khawarij on the question of the Imamate.
On this statement, we have some observations.
1. The critic has given ﬁve judgements for the Khawarij—These are:
—They do make it obligatory to elect the Imam,
—They do consider masculine (Male) as a condition for the Imam (some of them),
—They allow a woman to assault the unjust Imam,
—They consider it duly bound to attack the unjust Imam;
—They do not ﬁnd it necessary to restrict the Imamate to the Qurayshi.
When he exp1ained the position of Ibadhis he mentioned their differences with the Khawarij in the ﬁrst four points and ensured their agreement with them in the ﬁfth point.
Now then, after this clear comparison, is it easy to consider the Ibadhis that they agree with the Khawarij in this issue as a whole? Does their agreeing with the Khawarij on one point mean their sharing with them in many (other) issues?
2. The question of the Imamate for the Qurayshes. The Ibadliis were not alone who dwelt on the issue of the “Imamate for the Qurayshes” but many predecessor agreed with them on their ruling, such as AL-BAAQLANY, IBNI KHALDUN and the modem writers such as ABI ZAHRA that intelligence and inﬂuence do not indicate conclusive evidence that the Imamate must be from the Qurayshes, but the demand, according to ABI ZAHRA, is the demand for merit and not for legality, considering that the issue indicates the demand. (See Abu Zahra. TAAREKH Al-MADHAHIB AL-ISLAMIYAH. p. 81).
Ibni Khaldun speaks from the Sharia foundation that Sharia laws are based on the valuation (justice) and wisdom in the provision of the Qurayshi lineage and not merely a blessing which is not the object of the Sharia. It is wisdom which is the qualiﬁed fanaticism for protection, that settle the difference and disunion. The Qurayshes were a league and victorious and were generally recognised by the Arabs. He says: “To condition their Qurayshite lineage for this position while they are fanatic would be more serious in regulating religious community and unanimity...if it is conﬁrmed to single out the Qurayshes, it will be for removing contention for their fanaticism and triumph, and our understanding is that the Law Maker (God) Does not assign the laws to a tribe or generation or community, We understand that to be sufficient and we looked at that repeatedly and removed the defect of specifying the Qurayshes and made it a condition for anyone in charge of the Muslim affairs to be from a community which has strong and victorious team-spirit to be followed by others and the word be united for better protection”. This is a veriﬁcation of the speech of Abu Bakar when he said: “O community of Helpers (ANSAR) in the name of God, we do not deny your generosity and I have not preceded you in Islam, but the Arabs do not come together and do not listen nor obey except to a man from Quraysh. So, we are the commanders and you are the Ministers”.
It is a fact that the Qurayshi had a status before Islam at its emergence, and for this, Abu Bakar Al-Siddiq said: ‘surely the Arabs will not follow Religion except for this community of Quraysh.’ Hence the Qurayshi condition is a transitory condition attached to their popularity for power and might, until the authority vanished. Nay, there are scholars
who consider that the root of the dispute among the Muslims in the Qurayshi condition is lack of expressing a ﬁrm opinion regarding the truth of the text.
As for the seventh condition, what is disputed therein and inciting the dispute, is lack of clariﬁcation of the truth of the text and opposition to many texts which came to cancel what called for fanaticism, so says Aﬁf Abdil Fatah Tabra. He completed his statement by saying that there should not be continuity in the condition of the Qurayshis. Among the texts which he referred to is the Prophet’s statement that whoever employs a person from a group wherein there is (another) one who is more agreeable to God has betrayed God, me and the Believers—(Related by Abu Daud and Al-Tirmidhy).
The Imamate, therefore, cannot be determined on the basis of lineage and kinship, and the correct magnitude (standard of Judging) is piety, knowledge, power and strength. When these qualities are available in the person of a Quraysh, he will be more appropriate for the position; if not, then there should not be any consideration for the Qurayshi. The Prophet has said. This is still with the Qurayshi as long as he does not provoke inventions and then God unveils him to them and reviles them as He reviles this improvisation.
THE Ibadhis are accused that they do not permit yielding to fear under duress, and this not true because they are unanimous in permitting it by statement (not by action). They base their reason on the verse: “Except under compulsion, his heart remaining ﬁrm in Faith” (XVI: 106).
Similarly, when Musailima tested two persons and told one of them: “What do you say about Me”. He replied: ‘you are a messenger of God’. And he let him free. Then he told the second but he refused to reply and said: ‘I am deaf’. Musailima killed him. When the news reached the Prophet, he said: “The ﬁrst has acted by God’s permission and the second has come out openly with the truth”. (See AL-SALMY-AL-MASHARIQ. p. 452).
With regard to yielding to fear for action, there is no unanimity in forbidding it, such as duress to kill without Justiﬁcation. Also, there are other types of duress which people differ in permitting it, such as to drink alcohol or to destroy one’s property. There are among the Ibadhis who permit to yield to duress if the compelled action is permitted (religiously) in case of dire necessity, such as drinking alcohol, eating the dead and eating pork. That is so because to safeguard one’s self is a duty and there is no harm in that for a human being or an animal. (This is the opinion of Ibni Barka and supported by Al-Fakhri Al Razy, but Al-Salmy opposed them and stood for permission and not obligatory—See Al-Salmy-Mashariq. pp. 352-54).
However, the Ibadhis are not alone in permitting yielding under duress for statement. We see other scholars who permit it in befriending the enemy by words when confronted by fear and compulsion and inability to proclaim enmity. Muhammad bin Abdul Wahab, in the sixth note of the Book “MAJMUUAT AL-TAWHEED” has explained that quoting from Ibni Jariyr Al-Tabry and Ibni Abi Hatim who relate from Ibni Abbas that: “Yielding to duress is not (permitted) in actions but it is permissible in statements. God Has forbidden the believers to take for friends or helpers unbelievers rather than (fellow) believers lest the unbelievers show them gentleness outwardly while they opposed them in the Religion”. This is so according to God’s Word. “except by way of precaution”, (in which case you may do so to guard yourselves from them). See III: 28; and Majmuuat Al-Tawhid of Ibni Taymiyah and Muhammad Abdul Wahab. p. 160).
THE contemporary critic of Ibadhism has been Dr. Sabir Taimah of Egypt in his book “AL-IBADHIYA AQIDA WA MADH-HABA” To him and to others who have been misled by him we record some of our observations brieﬂy with regard to what has come in his book:
(1) The author has begun from previous ideas based on “The Sunnite Culture” which he considered the correct standard of assessing the understanding of other Islamic sects of the Quran and the Sunnah. We believe that there will be no one to oppose us that this principle is dangerous in that it limits the freedom of creative thinking and judging others’ thinking. We have no objection to the author to adopt “The Sunnite methodology” in thinking and understanding Islam, but we refuse to consider it the only correct methodology and that the others are invalid. The least that can be said in such a thinking is that, it is against objectivism which the author has exceedingly called for it. It also prevents freeing our speculation at the time when we badly need it. We are in need of Islamic liberated speculation and understanding of the texts without ignoring the culture and we need critical methodology to study this culture and understand it free from restriction and chained mentality which the broken and sectioned culture has formed.
(2) We again censure the author for his fanatic conﬁdence in the former writers of essays and we consider that to be the inﬂuence of a particular mentality formulated by methods written by people who believe that the Sunnite methodology is the correct one and that the others are futile. To prove our opinion, it is sufficient to say that the author has ignored to rely on the creative policy when he quoted from the works of others.
(3) The author has not adhered to his promise that he will “put on record for the adherents of the sect the controversial issues with regard to loading the texts more than they can bear or ignore some of what is said regarding some of them” and to record all that “in the form of a question and an inquiry”, but he has begun, thereafter, by giving severe judgements and has taken procedures which anyone adopting the same principle and beginning from the same point, will essentially end with the same conclusion.
(4) The author has insisted on the question of the Ibadhis ignoring their principle which calls for advancing the Sharia over the intellect but without differentiating between this principle and the question of understanding the text by intellect. We are absolutely certain that the Ibadhi scholars have never thought of using tricks on any text in order to justify an opinion which they have formed. They are the more distant people in avoiding the Sharia and following the lust. In view of the seriousness of these provisions, we call for respecting our learned scholars however much they may differ in their legitimate effort (IJTIHAU).
(5) The author has called the Ibadhis to verify the principles and to correct them according to the inferences of “The Sunnites” and to melt away in this melting pot in order to realise unity. This is a good thing, but he has not speciﬁed for us which opinion or which methodology should the Ibadhis resort to—is it the concept of AL-ASHAIRA or of the AL-MAATARIDIYA or the AL-SALAFI-YIN? We are waiting for the directions. The means have become confusing for us, in that the controversy between those (factions) is not less than that which is now prevailing between the Ibadhis and them collectively. We refuse to stir an
(5)issue which we want it to remain dormant, nay to die.
(6) We claim that:
(a) The lbadhi sect is the ﬁrst speculative movement based on the Quran and the Sunnah the foundations of which were ﬁrmly ﬁxed by the adherent Abu Shautha Jabir bin Zayed (died in 96 A.H.). His students continued thereafter, under severe conditions, to explain those foundations and to illustrate and elaborate them.
(b) The universe belongs to God the Creator posses- sing characteristics of perfection which are of subjective nature not distinct from Being (there is nothing like unto Him), lest we indulge in speciﬁcations and dualism—there is no pre-existent except God.
(c) God, there is nothing like unto Him, no creature can see Him not in this world nor in the Here-after.
(d) The Quran is God’s words, His Revelation and Inspiration and it is Created for God—Most High—as the creature is distinct from being the creator.
(e) God is Truthful in His promise for recompence and in his warning for punishment. He rewards the pious with perennial happiness and punishes the sinners with everlasting agony. There is no escape for perpetrators of the great sins—who have not repented—from the Hell.
(f) There is no intercession for the perpetrators of the great sins among the believers. God is Judicious, and the aim of the presence of the human being is to construct the land by word and actions according to God’s wish and satisfaction, otherwise there is no difference between the sinners before Islam and after Islam. Faith is by word and deed, and we judge that absence of this principle from the Muslim minds and its eradication has contributed to a great extent in damaging the Muslims, and we do not submit that a man of principle should have his thinking in one ﬁeld and his deeds in another.
(g) The Imamate is a legitimate thing and obligatory and it is the right of every Muslim who is capable. Also, obedience is obligatory even if the Imam is Abyssinian whose head is like a dried grape.
(h) We Yield to fear under duress but for words and not deeds, and it is only for a dire need. We allow it in destroying property in order to save life—for example—if there is a guaranty.
After all this, we conﬁrm that Dr. Sabir Taimah’s book “AL-IBADHIYA—AQIDAH WA MADH-HABA” has not illustrated the principles of Ibadhism as the Ibadhis themselves believe. It is far—very far—from giving the true picture about the Ibadhis.