What Are the Differences Between Salafism And Ash’arism – Ask Shaykh YQ #140

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Yasir Qadhi

Channel: Yasir Qadhi

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Mr. semina from Wisconsin. She says that she has heard a lot about the seller fee and shady ideologies with the ologies. And she's asking, can I explain the difference between these two theologies or ideologies?

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One?

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auto send me

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in Region No, he him first.

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Recovery.

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This question is actually a very common one. And anybody who is in any way fashion or form linked with the that was seen, or with the online debates and issues, or even with Islamic scholarship, they're very well aware of these two strands within mainstream student ism. At the same time, those that are not involved with the online that we're seeing those that are not involved with Islamic academics, they are blissfully Alhamdulillah unaware. And these two days might not even be known to them. And so we have to really take a step back and understand that the religion of Islam Of course, since the very beginning of the, of the death of the prophets of the lahardee, he was seldom, the

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Muslim community has attempted to interpret various Issues and Controversies in different ways. We were all aware of the Sunni Shia divide, which again, goes back to very, very early Islam. What a lot of people are vaguely aware of is that even within the student or student ism, there are a number of interpretations or trends and these two terms that are being asked about today, they apply to two different interpretations, or do two slightly different theologies within mainstream Sunni Islam. Now, of course, the term Sunni I've talked about this in other lectures. The term Sunni comes from the sunova. Gemma, this is a term that first was in Vogue, we can say definitely within the

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first 50 years of the death of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam. Within the first 100 years we actually have references of treatises and people talking about this sooner. So it's a very early term, and the meaning of Allah sooner or Sunni was the group of Muslims who a number of things combined, the first and foremost they viewed the Sunnah of the Prophet sallallahu Sallam as being of paramount importance second only to the Koran. So this group of Muslims followed the Quran and the Sunnah, hence, they're called Sunni. Now, of course, there are other interpretations of Islam. The Shia community considers the need to have a living Imam and so the Imam takes on Fort for the Sunnah

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does for the Sudanese, the Imam does for the Shia community that he interprets the law and, and so they have a different notion. And of course, other groups have other interpretations of what they're going to follow. So the Sunni community wanted to follow the Sunnah of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam, hence they're called ahead sooner. Also, another thing that united all of them is the respect for the Sahaba. All of the Sahaba are considered to be worthy of respect. And the Sunni community does not say anything negative or bad about any Muslim who accompany the prophets of Allah whitey he was seldom that's another hallmark of Sunni Islam. Another hallmark of Sunni Islam is

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their belief in predestination or other non Sunni groups generally do not believe in Qatar, they don't believe that Allah subhana wa tada wills the actions of the of the of the people that rather they have ultimate free will, and asuna believes that a lot zoa gel knows and also to a certain level wills as well. And therefore, there is the belief of product. And there are other aspects of Sunni Islam. Now, this is generic Sunni Islam. By the way, one more thing we can say is that historically speaking, the Sunni community gathered around the legitimate halifa, whether it was the mayor, or the Abbas's, or the Ottomans, or whoever their local governors were, even if they didn't

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like them, but they felt that the community is more important than breaking away and fighting against the K lift and whatnot. That's the legitimate leaf, obviously, that used to exist in the past. Now, these are all things that can be combined mainstream if you like a certain ism. Now, obviously, as time developed within this strand, within this interpretation, various theologians came and the finer details or the more difficult questions were answered in diverse manners, and therefore, the question that I'm answering today, the two terms selfie and ashati. And to point out that both of these two terms are somewhat contested, in particular the term setup ism, that the term

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setup ism applies to a strand or a group that actually has multiple terms, whether you call it FTD or you call it Hammadi theology or the modern day

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iteration is set of ism, that is one strand. And it is considered to be the one that is predominant in Saudi Arabia and other places in the Muslim world. And the other strand we're talking about it is a shadow ism. And that goes back to a particular individual by the name of an hesson ashati of what has an Shadi who died around 320 hedger. And he was one of the first to develop a type of systematic theology that then paved the way for what we now call a shadow ism. And of course, in our returns, we have very famous adherence to both of these trends. They go back very early in Islam, they have produced scholarship they have produced or they're mad, they have produced works, they are produced

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institutions, and they are in some ways, rival schools in some ways, they are rivaling one another and they are competing for more adherence and refutations, which is what happens when you have any anything of this of this nature. Now, how and why do they differ? And again, this is a very packed summary. Obviously, as usual, I give the caveat that so much more can be said time is always limited. For those who are completely, you know, they're not aware of these differences. Let me be very simplistic and summarize the differences in three primary ways or three primary emotions This is not exhaustive is just an introduction. First and foremost is the concept and the definition of a

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man of a man what exactly is a man? So the ashati movement, or the shadow strand says that a man is thus the coach's affirmation of the heart or belief in the heart. So if you believe that you are a Muslim, and a movement, if you believe, then you have a man, a man is that which is in the heart, it is to affirm with your heart to know in your heart that Allah exists, the prophet system is true. The Quran is the book of a lot. If you know it in your heart, and you believe it in your heart, then this is a man so they say a man is the the the in contrast to this, the 30 school or the Salafi school says that a man is that which exists in the heart is affirmed by the tongues and is then

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practice by the actions and it goes up and it goes down and increases and it decreases right. Of course, the shadow school believes that the man itself does not increase or decrease because they view a man. The analogy gives like a light switch binary, either one or zero, you either have it or you don't. It's either up the light is on or down the light is off. So from their perspective, Eman is very much like a binary code, you either have it or you don't you either know Allah is true and your Creator and the process is true or you don't, there is no middle ground, and there is no increase or decrease of actual emotion. Whereas the the selfie school would say that he man, the

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actual term eemaan consists of belief in the heart statements of the tongue and actions of the limbs, and it increases and decreases, it increases if you do more good deeds, or you're in the spiritual state of mind or go for hygiene or you're in the month of Ramadan. And it decreases when you're committing sins when you're away from allies or gender when your heart has awful. And the actual term iemon applies to actions as well. So actions according to the set of fees are an integral part of a man is not just a byproduct, it is within the term a man and what we call a man it comes within it. And of course, they therefore believe that actual amount increases and decreases

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and therefore the law says in the hold on that demand goes up. Why is that the Latina Amato imana, facade that from imana was at the home to call that it's actually a man going increasing and decreasing. As for the Ashanti school, they interpret these verses to mean that their demand is affirmed not necessarily increases. So this is one difference, the concept and definition of a man. Another difference between the self initiated schools is the importance and the methodology of proving the existence of Allah subhanho wa Taala. And so the generally speaking the shadie School, their textbooks of theology, they follow a particular methodology of beginning with trying to prove

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the existence of Allah subhana wa tada and then doing that in a very particular method. It is called in English the Kalam cosmological argument. This is a very specific method of proving Allah's existence if you if you study any course about proving God's existence, if you'd study any book, you will find three or five or 10 or 15 different methods that have been used historically to try to prove the existence of a lot or existence of God. And one of them, it is called the Kalam or the cosmological proof or the Kalam cosmological proof. And this is a proof that it's very origins it goes back to Aristotle you find reference of it actually even in play Do you find a line or two, but

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Aristotle definitely has the rudimentary developments. But then, early Muslim theologians from another school called martirosyan ism, have heard it I laugh is one of the main people they develop a very rudimentary methodology approving Allah's existence and this

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tactic where this methodology is then adopted by the Chinese school and then sanitized and then it becomes a feature of that school and again, very interesting way of doing that beyond the scope of our our particular, you know, q&a here but basically I mean to be very, very simplistic. It relies on the fact that the world around us consists of actual bodies. So this is a body the table is a body, I'm a body everything is a body and that bodies, they have within them subsisting within them, things that they call attributes or accidents and accidents are that which subsist within a body. And so an accident would be color, or temperature, or size, x, y, and z coordinates. These are all

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accidents by accidents, we don't mean like a car accident, by accidents, we mean that which subsist within a physical structure called a body. And so they have a very elaborate proof where they demonstrate that accidents must be created. And if accidents are created, and accidents can only exist in bodies, then bodies must also be created. And therefore, if the body is created, there must be a creator who created the bodies. It's a very simplistic way of the Kalam cosmological argument. And this is a backbone of a shoddy theology, the existence of God is important to prove, and then how you prove it. In contrast to this, the Santa Fe movement, generally speaking, says that the

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existence of God is something that does not require elaborate proofs, and that it is something that is inherently ingrained in many in mankind. And that to deny this is to deny something that is self evident. Hence, no matter how many proofs you try to give, it's somewhat of a waste of time, it's somewhat superfluous to try to prove the obvious. And so generally speaking, the selfie school does not prioritize philosophical proofs for the existence of God, believing that the existence of God is self evident and does not require elaborate proofs. And then, in particular, they say this mechanism of proving God is something that is, from their perspective problematic. And they say that this

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Kalam cosmological argument, when it is employed, it actually leads to subsidiaries or corollaries that are problematic and most importantly, is how this proof affects the interpretation of laws, names and attributes, which is point number three of our list. So point number one was the definition of a man. Point number two would be the the importance of and how one proves the existence of God, the importance of proving not important. We all believe it's important to move the legs but the importance of proving that Allah exists. The shoddy school says the most important obligation is to prove exists. And the selfie school says the most important obligation is the

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worship of Allah, we assume everybody should assume that a lot that people know that a lot xojo exists. And then the third point of difference is the concept of a loss attributes. And this is the most contentious and this is what the schools are most famous for arguing about this is really the area of controversy that any average you know internet user is aware of any average person who is involved with polemics involved with you know, online debates involved with the various you know, Muslim communities out there, they are well aware that this is the issue in which there's so much You know, sometimes even online antagonism, how does one understand the attributes of Allah subhanho

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wa Taala when a large ga says, Well, yeah, we'll call wedge horrobin the face of your Lord shall remain. When Allah says in the Quran that I created Adam with both of my hands have to be a day Yeah. When Allah says in the Quran, or Ramana Maharshi stowa that man has risen over the throne. When Allah says in the Quran, where jarabacoa melaku soften Safa your Lord will come on the Day of Judgment, and the angels will come and rank upon rank when the prophets of the law while he was sent him said nz rabona Our Lord comes down in the last third of the night. When Allah azza wa jal says, Your ha funaab bahaman folta him they fear their Lord, who is above them, how does one understand

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all of these genre of attributes? As for the seller, few school, the set a few school says that if Allah says it, Allah knows best how he is. And therefore we should simply affirm the word and not think about how we don't think and we don't consider how and so we leave the house to a large origin, that if a large soldier says he has a wedge a face, so then we say he has a face, but we don't think about how it is, if Allah says he rises over the throne, so be it. This means he has a throne, and he has risen over it. And we leave it at that we don't think about how this is called Belka or Billa cave, you negate the homeless so the selfie school is famous as the only school and

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all

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of Islam that affirmed every single verb or adjective or noun ascribed to Allah subhanho wa Taala. And they said the words meaning is understood the words how NIS is relegated to Allah, we don't think how it is. So, this is the Salafi paradigm as for the shadie school, they said that we will only take seven of those attributes and affirm them with the bee cave doctrine. So seven attributes, we will affirm them like the the, the selfies do, meaning that what I say like not exactly like but let me just say for the purposes of our q&a, that they will affirm them without any case without how and these are life and knowledge and will and power and hearing and seeing and speech these are the

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seven attributes that they actually say Allah has life higher, and Allah has summit and Allah has bustled Allah has pulled it off. And a lot an alarm surgeon is semi in Wasilla, Alaska says I've cut up and put the rock. So all of these we shall affirm be the case, we're not going to think about how, however, all the other attributes we cannot affirm, because that would imply that Allah subhanho wa Taala has a body and so this goes back to our Kalam cosmological argument. One of the attributes is that of motion, one of the attributes is that of motion, something moves this is an attribute motion does not exist by itself, there must be a body that cause that you know, motion

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exists within. And so in order to prove point number two, which is how God exists, they have an elaborate proof the Kalam cosmological argument and they prove that attributes are created, they prove that attributes must exist within bodies, and then they prove that bodies must be created. And one of the attributes is motion. Now, you come to the verse that your Lord has risen over the throne, and to rise is a type of motion, you come to the Hadeeth your Lord comes down and that is a type of motion, you come to the verse of the Quran, where God or book your Lord comes and that is a type of motion. And so the Ashanti school says, clearly, Allah did not intend these literal

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meanings. Because they say, if you affirm those verbs, you're affirming the attribute of motion. And if you affirm the attribute of motion, this implies I do believe that God is a body and if God is a body, then I do believe that all bodies are created again, go back to the Kalam cosmological proof, right, motion is an accident, accidents must exist in bodies bodies are created. So if you ascribe to a law istilah and newzoo and mudgee, if you ascribe to a lot of these concepts from the Ashanti paradigm, you will logically conclude that whoever has that attribute must also be able to be allowed to be created. And so from their paradigm, they say, No, we cannot affirm those types of

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attributes to a law. And they also say, the attributes of hand and face This is anthropomorphic, it is human like and Allah says in the Quran, lay sacramentally, he shade there is nothing by him. And so we say that all of this is metaphorical or symbolic. Or they might say, all of this, our minds should go blank. And we should not even think about the meaning of the word, even the word we just go blank. So when Allah says watch or face, we don't even think of what we just go blank. That's one way of doing this is called the field. Or the other way is to say that while by face allotment, his blessings, his countenance, by rising over the throne, a lament his dominion has conquered the

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world. And so they it's called, we are reinterpretation. So the HIV school has two positions, both of which are fine for them. Position eight, you completely block out any meaning any linguistic meaning, as for the cell, if you scroll, remember, they will say will affirm the linguistic meaning, but we will deny how it exists in a law, we will say that a lot rises over the throne, but we won't think about how that occurs. And as for the Chinese school, they will say no, clearly there is no actual throne, there is no actual rising over. And so that's, it has to be negated then either you have one of two options. Either you say this whole phrase and passage, we simply go blank and don't

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think about it at all. Or it becomes metaphorical for Allah has power over the entire creation, Allah has risen over the throne, Allah has dominion over the entire creation. So these are some of the main differences. And of course, one of the more common questions that the Salafi ashati debate has online is the famous debate where is a lot where is a lot and they said if he says that the Quran and Sunnah indicate that Allah subhana wa Taala is above us. And there are hundreds of verses in a hadith that indicate what is called transcendence your ally is above your Hakuna bahaman Folk to him, that they fear the Lord who is above them. And the Prophet says and asked the slave girl

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Where is a lion? She said, Allah is above us. And so there's so many, you know, a hadith and ayat and then to counter this the Chinese

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says, You clearly don't mean above in the three dimensional sense because what is above for one part of the world is below for the other part and because three dimensions and because, you know all of this goes on and on and on. And by the way, this is a very brief intro, every single point that I have said, the other group has a counterpoint and the other group has a second counterpoint the other group as a third counterpoint, ad infinitum, it goes on and on and on and on. These debates have occupied the minds of theologians for no exaggeration. 12, if not 13 centuries, and so much has been written, you could spend many lifetimes no exaggeration, going deep into these controversies.

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And back and forth, and back and forth. And so this is something that, and I would know, because this is my area of expertise, and I have in fact spent not lifetimes but many decades, studying advanced issues of theology. So there is a lot to be said. We're summarizing here that these are some of the main differences between these two schools, the Salafi school and the Ashanti school. And,

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of course, these schools have famous scholars from the beginning of time to set up his school claims like Mamma Mia, of course, the most famous icon is even told me I didn't play him. And then the shadow school has many famous Roma, the mood their most famous icon is Mr. Malhotra, for example. So you have various, you know, personalities that throughout history, they have manifested in both of these schools, and to compound the problem to make it even more, you know, complicated, that all that I described to you is actually early or classical Salafism and a shadow ism. Historically, a lot of other things happen because it's been around for 12 centuries, no exaggeration, 12 centuries,

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these two trends have existed side by side, at times, moments of tension at times moments of reconciliation. And so a lot has happened and of the things that have happened has happened, for reasons beyond the scope of our brief q&a is that the the Salafi school has been associated with one particular method of the Humber the meta, and generally speaking, the humbly scholars were in some fashion or form within the spectrum of Salafism or Methodism To be more precise, or 100 Hadith is also called and the madikwe and the Shafi school they gravitated towards a shad ism, by the way, footnote here, so there's a third trend as well. So there's something called Moto G or materialism

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as long as we have a Shi'ism, Salafism and materialism, and masteries and eyeshadows are very, very close the the differences are even more abstract than what I've just done between selfies in Chinese, for example, the My 3d is a form eight attributes instead of seven. So very small, very technical details between the maternity and child school, in reality, they even consider each other to be sister schools, and there's very little difference between them. And the majority of school was basically co opted by the Hanafi madhhab, the Ottomans, they took the Hanafi school and the mighty the School of Theology, and they merged it together. And so historically, to over the med

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hubs became became because in the beginning, they had, you know, that's beyond the scope, but they became a Shadi, one of them became a 3d and one of them, you know, became hamburgers. Oh, sorry, selfie. And so that's been the reality for the last so many centuries. And along with this, other changes came along, which further complicated the discussions between them which did not exist in early the founding of these schools, and of them is, in particular, various understandings of the soul Worf of how one practice is Sufism, right. And this is another major controversy between all of these schools. So for example, to give you one simple example, and I'm not going to answer it here,

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but I'll just give it to you. Now, the Indian Pakistanis are aware of the Burrell v movement and the Deobandi movement, both but Elvis and the obon. These are under the maturity hanafy spectrum, right. So you see now that you have a mother school, and that has two children, and then they divide to it's literally like a mother. So it becomes more and more, and you have all these splinters happening. We haven't even begun the political divisions now between political Islam, a political Islam because that too, plays a role in all of this type of interpretation. And then you have of course, the understanding of the soul Worf and Olia and the visitation of graves and the veneration

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of graves and the exaltation of saints and the role of saints. All of this has permeated so that the differences are no longer just those three, even though technically those three and some others should be the only differences. But historically, other differences were added. So for example, to celebrate the motive or to not celebrate the motive, this is a classic divide between modern setup ism and modern nationalism. This did not exist 500 1000 years ago, that division did not exist over molded stuff, but this is something that is in the grand scheme of things relatively more recent in any case.

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I can go on and on and on. But you wanted a brief explanation. And this is a brief explanation, as I explained that you have very many ruler marks from the center of your school historically and in our times, and the University of Medina, which I graduated from is associated with that strand of Islam as well. And it is predominant in Arabia, Saudi Arabia and the scholars that have studied there, and have been influenced by the revival mystic movement of that region. And as Howard University, for example, is on the Ashanti strand, and they are, again, many famous Roma historically, and in our times as well. Now, these are some of the differences. Let us not forget, though, that the

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similarities between these two schools is actually far more than their differences, and especially when you compare them to other strands of Islam. In the end of the day, both of these schools believe in the six pillars of Eman as expressed in the hadith of God in both of these schools, they affirm the Quran and the Sunnah, as the primary sources of theology and law, both of these schools, they have the same ways of looking at and deriving fifth, in fact, they have the same books. And the same scholars have filled in university of Medina. And in Azhar, they studied the same curriculums in terms of the books, in terms of the books of Hadith, in terms of the books of our solar field, in

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terms of the books of history, in terms of the books of language, in terms of the books of the field. In reality, the scholars of each movement are studied by the scholars of the other, even if there's some tensions at times, you know, between modern understandings, and that's something that needs to be stressed is that what they share is far, far more than what they differ over. And historically, selfies and machetes have never have never divided themselves in different massages, or in completely different, you know, boycotting. I mean, unfortunately, sometimes you get calls to do that. But realistically, it's never happened Alhamdulillah Alhamdulillah. And we need to keep it

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that way. The tensions, even though they should not be there have always been at an academic level. And my advice was to conclude this question. My advice is that, you know, in both of these trends, you have scholars that are aiming to exacerbate the tension, they want to make it worse, they want to preach against the other and make the other into a deviant and show how evil the other side is misguided. And you also have scholars that try to work together and find commonality. And

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the fact of the matter whether, you know, you know, whether people like me saying there's not is true, the average Muslim is completely in blissful unawareness of these differences between these two strands. In fact, the differences between them does not affect the lay Muslim at all, it doesn't really translate to their daily life in terms of these abstract issues of classical early Salafism and early ashad ism. And currently, we are facing crises in every single arena of our life, political, economic, you know, the nation state issues, the various invasions taking place, the crises of Syria and Afghanistan and Palestine. On top of this, we have crises of intellectual

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challenges and people are, you know, a rebuke of refuting aspects of our creed that we all agree upon. So, rather than allow these tensions to increase, what we need to do is to work to minimize in fact to eradicate any tensions. Now, I am not saying that these differences are trivial. What I am saying is that we should not make a big deal out of them, and those who want to dedicate their lives to the study of Islam. At some point, they will have to make a choice which textbooks they want to study and which groups of scholars they want to study for I myself had to make the choice 20 or 25 years ago, I chose between Medina as for example, I chose I went the way that I did, I do not regret

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that. So we at some point, you might have to make that choice. But if you make such a choice to study with one side, don't demonize the other side, don't consider the other side to be or will be evil or misguided are going to gender murder. Below the below. There is a man and taqwa across all sides, and there's also an FF and Fisk on all sides as well. You have genuine piety, and you have the opposite. So just because you study, one version of Islam versus the other does not make you more pious, we have to be very clear about this. piety transcends these human creeds. And these differences between us and you find righteous rula and righteous are about that, oh, Leah on in both

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of these strands, and in fact, in more than just these two strands, and we need to look at that as well. So what we have in common is far far more important than what divides us and therefore we should not give platforms to preachers who exacerbate tensions.

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Between these movements rather, we should simply don't even pay them attention because there are people like this, you know, on both sides by the way you have, you know, and I'll be honest, your 25 years ago, I myself was more sympathetic to that strand of harshness and considering that to be deviant, but that's young age when I was 20 is different now, you know, wisdom and experience teaches you seeing the realities in Omid reorients your mind here, so panela these are people both sides, there are people that are praying to the same God following the same film, even the same methodology to pray even not even differences in film, and also the film, they're pretty much the

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same. And everything is just certain abstract notions that, you know, in any case. So my point being, you asked a question, this is the answer to it, I summarize the differences. And I say that Salafism and Chad ism, and you can add much realism as well. There are two or three sister strands within mainstream student ism. And there are differences and let the advanced students study those differences. But the average person should never ever make those differences, the defining characteristic of himself or of the other, and the laity of the omec, really Alhamdulillah there's no need for them to really get involved in these labels whatsoever, because it does not affect them

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in their daily lives. And Alhamdulillah Alhamdulillah. what unites these two strands is so much more that really we can say that for practical purposes, the differences are really trivial, and that's the way that we should look at these two strands and in the end, Allah subhana wa Taala knows best