Shaikh Yahyah al-Hajooree: His Ghuloo and Going Beyond Bounds
All praise is due to Allaah, Lord of Creation, and may the peace and blessings of Allaah be upon his Messenger. To proceed: In recent times we have seen an upsurge in individuals who have taken it upon themselves to castigate and criticise the senior scholars. Some of these individuals possess something of knowledge, but the manner in which they address their criticisms and the way they portray these criticisms display their excesses and their going beyond bounds against those senior to them in age and knowledge. This is made even worse when these criticisms are based upon weak evidences and/or exaggerations against their "opponent". These individuals do not consult with those more grounded than them in the various sciences of the Deen, they do not verify with those more senior than them in the details of the Salafi Manhaj and 'Aqeedah - they do not ask them what necessitates allegiance and enmity, or boycotting or whether a particular position removes one from the ranks of ahlus-Sunnah. And even when they are told categorically that these affairs do not necessitate refutations, boycotting and removal from the ranks of ahlus-Sunnah, they ignore these knowledge-based rulings due to following of desires. Rather they rely upon themselves, and this is unhealthy and leads to errors in one's understanding. The Salaf used to refer to others who they felt were well-grounded and had deep insight so as to protect themselves from error and falling short:
This was the humbleness of the Salaf, it is also a protection against error and establishes correctness of one's stance that one refers to those who are more knowledgeable:‘Abdur-Rahman bin Alee Laylah said: “I reached one hundred and twenty from the Companions of Allaah’s Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) from the Ansaar; there was not a man from them except that when he was asked regarding a matter, he would suffice him with his brother (from the Ansaar)”
[Abu Khaythamah Zuhayr bin Harb “al-‘Ilm” no. 21. Ibn Abdil-Barr “Al-Jaami’” no. 2201 and 2202. Abu Nu’aym “Al-Hilyah” (4/351) – Saheeh]
Unfortunately, Shaikh Yahyah al-Hajooree has fallen into this mistake, and as a result has declared bonifide Salafi ulamah to be hizbees and innovators, he has made allegiance and enmity based upon his stances, boycotting those from ahlus-Sunnah who disagree with him, warning against them. It is unfortunate that many of his followers, who have taken knowledge only from the direction and perspective of Yahyah al-Hajooree to the exclusion of others have wronged themselves by supporting Yahyah in his excesses. Attacks began from Shaikh Yahyah against those around him in Yemen and one by one extended to those who did not agree with him from the well-known and senior students of Shaikh Muqbil, and then extending further into Saudi, Kuwait and other lands whereby he would also severely criticise anyone who would not agree with him in his exaggerated stances against some of the mashaikh of Yemen and Saudi Arabia, accusing them of being hizbiyyoon and those who harbour enmity towards Shaikh Muqbil and his da'wah! His supporters in other lands would cause rifts and separation over the positions of Shaikh Yahyah, accusing established Salafi mosques and Islamic Centres of being upon hizbiyyah. Advice after advice came from the scholars regarding Shaikh Yahyah that was sent to him and directed to him, yet he would only respond by criticising the scholars who were advising him, so much so that even Shaikh Rabee' started becoming a target of his criticism due to him advising Shaikh Yahyah, and this criticism has not ceased till now. It is truly unfortunate that some of those youth in the West who sought out somewhere to study and ended up in Dammaaj became infected with this ghuloo and they exported it to the West. One must not be deceived by the writings and sayings of these youth that are exaggerations of the truth and even outright lies. And we seek Allaah's safety.‘Umayr bin Sa’d said: “I asked ‘Alqamah regarding an issue; So he said: ‘Go to ‘Abeedah (Ibn ‘Amr Salamaanee al-Maraadee) and ask him’. So I went to ‘Abeedah, and he said: ‘Go to ‘Alqamah’. I said: ‘Alqamah sent me to you!’ So he said: ‘Go to Masrooq and ask him.’ So I went to Masrooq and he said: ‘Go to ‘Alqamah and ask him’. I said; ‘Alqamah sent me to ‘Abeedah, and ‘Abeedah sent me to you’. He said: ‘Then go to ‘Abdur-Rahman ibn Abee Laylah’. So I went him and asked him and he became displeased. Then I returned to ‘Alqamah and informed him [regarding that which took place], so he said: ‘It used to be said: A people give fatawa, and they are the lowest (or least) amongst them in knowledge.’
[Al-Aajurree in “Akjlaqul-Ulemah” (118-119); Al_Khateeb in “Al-Faqeeh wal-Mutafaqih”. No 642. Abu Ismaa’eel al-Harawee in “Dhamul-Kalaam” No 532.]
It should be known firstly, by Allaah, that the scholars have shown great patience with Shaikh Yahyah al-Hajooree (may Allaah guide him) and his ghuloo and his excesses. They have advised him to to cease from this path and manhaj of extremism. And from those who have advised him is the noble Imaam, the noble Scholar, al-Allaamah Rabee' bin Haadee al-Madkhalee (may Allaah preserve him). He is older, wiser, more knowledgeable. more capable, more specialised in the fields of hadeeth, al-Jarh wat-Ta'deel, aqeedah, manhaj and in fiqh. He is more aware of the plots of the hizbiyeen and innovators than Shaikh Yahyah - he is likewise more aware of the conditions of narrators, the scholars and the general Salafis in our times. This has been testified to by the Imaams of the era: Ibn Baaz, Ibn Uthaimeen and al-Albaanee (rahimahumullaah), and countless others as well as the Muhaddith and Scholar, Muqbil bin Haadee (rahimahullaah), the Imaam of Yemen in his time. These praises and qualifications are beyond what Shaikh Yahyah has received or can even imagine receiving, though his blind followers portray him to be greater than his true level.
It is amazing that after knowing all this and previously affirming it's correctness, some of the fanatics and partisans of Shaikh Yahyah, have moved on to discrediting this mighty scholar, Rabee' al-Madkhalee under the guise of "naseehah". All this in their blind following of Shaikh Yahyah, his mistakes and his rage. A man in which they see no wrong, the one whom they regard to be the "Imaam ath-Thaqalain" (the Imaam of Mankind and Jinn!) in their exaggerated praise which he does not forbid. They exaggerate his status far beyond his level - the level he was and is still known to be at by the great Ulamah of this era. This has skewered their view of the Scholars and the students of knowledge and made knowledge something restricted to one viewpoint to the exclusion of others. So much so that if anyone disagrees with Shaikh Yahyah, even in matters of well-known differing in ijtihaad, then he is vilified, abused, cursed, abandoned and belittled. The Westerner is deceived by the constant portrayal of Yahyah al-Hajooree as an "Allaamah", an "Imaam", the "Trustworthy adviser" and other exagerated praises that confuse the Westerner into thinking that al-Hajooree is of the level of Shaikh Muqbil (rahimahullaah) or Shaikh Rabee', or even Ibn Baaz and al-Albaanee! This is not a criticism of the ulamah who spoke well of Shaikh Yahyah and described him with goodness (in the past), but rather it is a criticism of Shaikh Yahyah and his followers who take some of these descriptions and exaggerate them further and use them to raise him beyond his level, so-much-so that even if Shaikh Rabee' is belittled excuses are made for Yahyah's behaviour under the guise that he is the "Muhaddith" and "an-Naasih al-Ameen" so therefore "his jarh is accepted" and whoever opposes it must be refuted!
Alhamdulillaah, Shaikh Rabee' affirmed the mistaken manhaj of Shaikh Yahyah in the manner he passes rulings upon others in the Hajj of 1428H (2007CE) in the presence of four Mashayikh from Ahlus-Sunnah - Shaikh Muhammad al-Imaam, Shaikh Abdul-Azeez al-Bur'ee, Shaikh adh-Dhimaaree and Shaikh Somalee. In this gathering Shaikh Rabee' requested from him to cease from this path, and that he take to verification with true and real proofs and evidences against those he has declared to be hizbees! - and to stop in this path by way of which the Da'watus-Salafiyyah is being demolished. And when Shaikh al-Hajooree was unable to bring these clear evidences and proofs, he remained silent and displayed his approval with Shaikh Rabee' (hafidhahullaah). Then upon returning to Dammaaj, he rejected all that which the 'Ulamah had affirmed. So Shaikh Rabee', the elder, the precise criticiser, may Allaah preserve him, remained patient with Yahyah al-Hajooree, showing him gentleness, advising him, and even praising him upon the good that he had with him. He even forbade that Shaikh Yahyah be refuted, and called for the shutting down of websites that open the doors of refutation. This advice was made widespread and the Salafees received it with welcome and with open arms. The noble Shaikh Rabee' desired that the ranks not be divided and torn apart due to this fitnah. Unfortunately this information is unknown to the English reader due to the fanatacism of some of the youth to Shaikh Yahyah - who only present one-sided weak refutations against some of the noblest of the Ahlus-Sunnah in our times, by which the unattentive English reader is deceived.
Shaikh Rabee' stated categorically in his advice:
And Shaikh Rabee' continued with his advice saying:"I praise Allaah upon this, and upon your tremendous da'wah that has illuminated Yemen and scattered and eliminated the darkness of ignorance, shirk, superstitious practices and Rafdh (of the Shi'ah). So you all, by Allaah, are in a great bounty - the enemies are severely jealous of you, and they lie in wait ready to ambush you, encircling you. So they love the likes of this differing, and the likes of this fitnah. So whoever gives honour to this da'wah, sincerely for Allaah, then let him strive in this da'wah. And that is by way of unity and casting aside division, for indeed differing is evil, [as Allaah stated]: "And do not dispute with one another lest you lose courage and your strength departs" (al-Anfaal:46)"
He also stated:"And all praise is due to Allaah - there are ulamah there, intellegent working to extinguish this fitnah. And it is not upon the small, younger ones to clash, quarrel and combat with each other, so this one takes sides with this one. This is the way of Ahlul-Bid'ah, O brothers, those who do not have intellegence, those who do not possess [the ability or desire] to distinguish [between truth and falsehood], they have no fundamentals, they have no principles. You, you have fundamentals, you have principles that you rely upon, depend upon, especially in the face of these trials - may Allaah bless you. I advise you with the fear of Allaah, the Mighty and Majestic. and sincerity to Allaah."
So Ahlus-Sunnah rejoiced at this advice, and it was spread in every place. However it was Yahyah al-Hajooree who rejected (whilst remaining mute in front of Shaikh Rabee'). So-much-so that since that time his attacks have extended to the likes of the Shaikh, al-'Allaamah Ubaid al-Jaabiree (hafidhahullaah). Shaikh Yahyah not satisfied with those whom he had declared to be innovators and hizbees in Yemen, he proceeded to abuse and vilify Shaikh 'Ubaid al-Jaabiree. Again an 'Aalim more senior to him in knowledge, in age, and in praise from the Scholars for him - known for nearly half a century to be a man of Sunnah. Yahyah al-Hajooree stated regarding al-Allaamah Ubaid al-Jaabiree that his "fitnah" will not harm Dammaj rather it is like the "passing wind (flatulence) of an old man"! and "that he is blind in sight and insight", referring to the fact that Shaikh Ubaid is blind in his eyes. Further no one from the Scholars preceded him in his refutation nor did anyone approve of it, nor did anyone join him! Except of course for some of his fanatical ignorant followers. Rather scholar after scholar defended Shaikh Ubaid from these exagerations and refutations: Shaikh Rabee', Shaikh Muhammad bin Haadee, Shaikh Muhammad Baazmool, Shaikh Ahmad Baazmool, Shaikh Saalih as-Suhaimee, Shaikh Abdur-Rahmaan Muhiyud-deen and many others. It is amazing how the fanatics of al-Hajooree used to claim that Shaikh Rabee' supports them in their ghuloo against Shaikh Ubaid, all based upon their own fantasies and lies. They went to such excesses in their attacks upon Shaikh Ubaid, that one of them wrote in his fanatical following of Shaikh Yahyah, the following words, invoking his death with only one step away from takfeer:"If any of the two sides [in this dispute between Shaikh Yahyah and Shaikh Abdur-Rahmaan al-Adanee] had been an innovator, then we would have raised our voices against him and make clear his bid'ah! However there is not amongst them an innovator. There is not amongst them a caller to bid'ah, there is nothing [like that] amongst them. Rather there are personal goals and issues - and Allaah knows best - that are being kindled and ignited like I stated by these infiltrators from here and there, even if their numbers are small. May Allaah bless you. So all of them are Salafis and all of them are upon excellence. All of them, inshaa' Allaah, are mujaahidoon. May Allaah bless you. And Shaitaan does not rejoice in anything like he does in differing, he does not rejoice in anything like he does in differing! [Allaah stated:] "And say to my servants that they should only say those words that are best. [Because] Shaytaan verily sows disagreements amongst them. Surely Shaytaan is to man a plain enemy." (al-Israa: 53) So I hope for you, O brothers, that if there are between you differences, to shake hands now (i.e. to give them up), from now..."
How is it possible for Yahyah al-Hajooree to approve of such speech which borders on takfeer? This is ghuloo and excessiveness that the sharee'ah does not allow, yet it was posted and approved on a website supported by Yahyah al-Hajooree! The same website rebuked by Shaikh Rabee', Shaikh Ubaid and Shaikh Muhammad bin Haadee. A website that is a gift to Ahlul-Bid'ah, just like the AHYA website!"Those wallowing in the hizbiyyah of Abd al-Rahman al-Adanee - may Allaah relieve Ahl al-Sunnah from his evil in the land of the two sanctuaries: Ubayd al-Jaabiree, the electivist, straying, deviant, misguided, misguiding others, chief of the new hizbiyyah and its founder, by his own textual statement. Heresy (zandaqah) and apostasy (riddah) is feared for him due to his blindness in vision, and wallowing in falsehood. The step-ladder for the partisans...."
Source aloloom website authored by al-'Amoodee
Title:*بداية التحزب وهايته-للعمودي
And from the reprehensible attacks on Shaikh Rabee' that were read and recited in front of Yahyah al-Hajooree, we have the lines of poetry entitled "Nashar ar-Riq fit-Tanbeeh 'ala Annal-Jamaa'ah maa waafaqal-Haqq" or "An-Nus-h al-Badee' lish-Shaikh Rabee". Here's an extract from the 26 lines of insults upon Shaikh Rabee:
In these lines there are a number of attacks upon Shaikh Rabee' from this evil poet who recited in the presence of Yahyah al-Hajooree:"O [mischievious] Crow of misfortune and dissention! No matter how much we try to meet, except we find it an unsurmountable feat (uphill struggle)...
How much we knocked the door, we found the door not except closed firmly more...
Amazed truly we are with Rabee', his flowers have withered on the brink of rot...
Amazed again we are with Rabee'; with gentle ease touched us he, with a cold plot...
Lying in wait with fiery heat of harm; and with sedition that kindles the fire..."
1. Shaikh Rabee's credibility and honesty is criticised in the presence of Yahyah al-Hajooree by his blind followers.
2. The saying of this wicked poet, "His flowers have withered on the brink of rot!" - This is precisely what Abul-Hasan al-Ma'rabi used to respond with.
3. That Shaikh Rabee' has "a cold scheming-plot"
4. That Shaikh Rabee' is deceived by large numbers and not convinced by the truth.
Instead of defending and protecting the honour of Shaikh Rabee', who was the beloved companion of Shaikh Muqbil bin Haadee (rahimahullaah) - Yahyah al-Hajooree listened to these lines of sin and treachery towards an Imaam of the Sunnah. In his defense of these lines of poetry Yahyah al-Hajooree stated in his own voice in the audio entitled: "Radd al-Hajooree 'ala Muhammad bin Haadee" - a lecture wherein he insults, abuses and belittles the noble scholar Shaikh Muhammad bin Haadee, Shaikh Yahyah stated: "They say that our brothers speak [ill] of Shaikh Rabee and I remain silent. This is not correct..." He then he goes on to say:
On the website of the supporters and blind followers of Shaikh Yahyah, regardless of whether he is right or wrong, Shaikh Yahyah stated specifically about the Imaam Rabee' al-Madkhalee (hafidhahullaah):"As for the poetry of our brother Najeeb which he recited, then this is an advice - and neither Shaikh Rabee', nor me, nor you and nor one who is above us or is greater than us, is beyond advice. We advise him and we regard him to be wrong in his inclination to the Hizb of [Abdur-Rahmaan] al-Adanee, he is wrong from head to toe!..."
Is this befitting speech by a child to his father? Or a student to an Imaam? An Imaam who was the contemporary of his own teacher, i.e. Al-Muhaddith Muqbil bin Haadee (rahimahullaah)? His father both in age and knowledge, as Yahyah al-Hajooree himself used to portray Shaikh Rabee'? So look at this speech O reader, how he belittles and allows belittlement of Shaikh Rabee' (hafidhahullaah) for no reason except that he disagrees with him. Look at how these lines of poetry are filled with disrespect and belittlement, yet Shaikh Yahyah calls it "naseehah"! If this is nasheehah, may Allaah protect Shaikh Rabee' from his enmity and hatred!"...although when a person becomes older his strength and ability weakens. Nevertheless he (Shaikh Rabee') is a Salafi, yet we continue to criticize him regarding the case of al-Adani and we consider him utterly mistaken regarding it. Because he has caused division within the Salafi da'wah due to this mistake which has occurred from him - and from those who have been deceived by him whether al-Wasaabi or al-Adani or the likes of them, they have caused harm upon the da'wah." [Source: aloloom website]
And if Yahyah al-Hajooree regards these insults upon Shaikh Rabee' as merely lines of advice, then why did he not regard Shaikh Muhammad bin Haadee's speech regarding him as merely advice also? Why did he take so much offense? Why then, respond to Shaikh Muhammad bin Haadee, who is from the well-known scholars of this ummah, with such anger and venom?! Why is that when three words eminated from Shaikh Muhammad bin Haadee (hafidhahullaah) of advice to Shaikh Yahyah, he responded with tens of words in refutation? The fact is that Yahyah al-Hajooree sees his positions to be beyond question and reproach - he his filled with self-praise and amazement at his own efforts. If anyone disagrees or opposes him, he regards them as opposers of the Sunnah, hizbees and innovators - subsequently he opens the flood gates of "refutations" so-much-so even the lowliest of his blind followers who is a pauper in terms of knowledge starts speaking ill of great scholars. This is the ghuloo and excesses of those who go beyond bounds and do not know their own level!
It is not necessarily the fact that Shaikh Yahyah "sees errors" in others that is the problem - rather it is firstly establishing that they are indeed errors, and secondly how to deal with these "perceived errors". Read here the path that Ahlus-Sunnah take in rectifying the mistakes of others from Ahlus-Sunnah, especially if they happen to be from the 'Ulamah. Shaikhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahullaah) stated:
End of part 1.For this reason it obligatory to make clear the condition of the one who erred in hadeeth or in narrating and the one who errs in his opinion of his fatwa and the who errs in zuhd or in matters of worship. That is the case even if the erroneous one is a mujtahid who has been deceived by his error - and is [thereby] rewarded for his ijtihaad. Making clear speech and action that is established [and proven] by way of the Book and Sunnah is waajib and that is even if his opposition occurred in speech and action. And as for the one from whom it is known that the ijtihaad is admissible, then it is not permissible to mention him from the viewpoint of vilification of him and ascribing sinfulness to him, for indeed Allaah has forgiven him his error - rather it is obligatory due to what he possesses of Imaan and taqwa to have allegiance for him and to love him; and to establish that which Allaah has obligated from his rights of mentioning him with good, to supplicate for him and other than that." [Majmoo' al-Fatawa, 28/233-234]