It seems like (no matter the topic) posts online are eventually invaded by the rude comments of Abū (insert name) or Um (insert name). In Arabic, Abū means “Father of” and Um means “Mother of.” These are called kunyas in Arabic. A quick background search on these people reveals everything from lion pictures, jihad flags, superheroes and even pictures of the forbidden. In short, often times, these people are using kunyas to hide their identity.
Here are two axioms related to the use of kunyas that I heard from my teachers:
“If a person tries to act like a scholar or speak from a position of authority, using a kunya (Abu or Um) to hide his identity then he is considered majhūl (unknown) and his critiques or statements about faith rejected.” (I heard this verbatim from my teacher in hadith Sh. S’ad Jawīsh al-Shaf’i).
“An unknown critic is ignored.”
For that reason, The Mālikis ignore books written by “unknown sources” for religious guidance (fatwā), and scholars of hadīth reject the criticism of an “unknown person.”
People who comment with kunya’s – hiding their identity so they can critique, intimidate others or claim religious authority, are not only contradicting the faith they claim to love, but should be called out for their cowardice and ignored. The same for those who post blogs that attack others, hiding their identity.
For those who use kunyas sincerely with the intention to follow the Sunna of the Prophet (Allah’s peace and blessing be upon him) this post does not apply to them.
So, the next time an unknown bully tries to intimidate you, or take over your comments section, please feel free to send this their way.
Imam Suhaib Webb was guided to Islam in 1992 and studied with Sheikh Abu Mustapha of Senegal for ten years, learning Arabic, Fiqh and Tajwīd. In addition, he studied with Sh. Muhammad Nur ‘Abdullah, Sh. Abdullah Hamoud, Sh. Moustaph al-Maliki and Sh. Salhi al-Qasimi a student of the late Sh. ‘Uthaymeen. He enrolled at al-Azhar University and completed his studies there in 2010, studying as a Mufti for two years at Dar al-Iftā al-Masriyyah. He memorized the Qur’an holding a number of licenses in traditional studies. He is currently serving in Boston as the Resident Scholar of the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center and is the founder of the Ella Collins Institute. Imam Suhaib is a member of the North American Fiqh Council.
11. They use verses and hadith that cause fear in the hearts, ignoring those that inspire hope. Once Sayyidina ‘Ali saw a man crying over his sins. He said, “What is wrong with you; God’s grace is greater than your sins!”
12. They undermine the scholars, the pious, and activists. One of them said to the Prophet (sa), “Be just (you are not just).” They worked to undermine the scholarship of Ibn ‘Abbas, ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar and ‘Aisha (ra), and they were rude and harsh with Sayyidinā ‘Ali (ra). Today we find folks with the same traits. They speak ill to, and about, the people of knowledge and those who work for Allah
13. They use verses of the Qur’an and hadith, but do not have the skills to interpret them correctly, or interpret them wrong to fight their insecure desires. The will devalue Arabic and the fundamentals of interpretation, strengthening their desires as interpretive instruments
14. They use verses of the Qur’an and Hadith that talk about the rejecters of faith and the people of Hell, applying them to Muslims as was noted by ‘Abdullah bin ‘Umar (ra)
15. They distance themselves from the Muslim community – living in cults. Imam al-Shāttibi wrote, “Historically, those who brought the greatest trials to humanity were those who thought they were the saved sect.” A glance at history proves that the greatest carriers of falsehood, the greatest underminers of the people of good, were those who claimed to be on the truth, exclusive to others. Today you will find them denouncing every mosque and Imam in their city, preferring to obey the 27 whispers of the desires, instead of gaining the 27 blessing for praying in the mosque with the congregation. They will create blogs to attack Imams, ignoring the Islamophobes and others. The suck the capacity from the Umma, forcing it to address them, instead of other things. For that reason the Prophet (sa) said, “They are the worst of creation; the dogs of Hell.”
16. They take the explicit meanings of sacred texts, ignoring interpretation and analogy
17.They claim to follow only two foundations from the foundations of Shari’ah, The Qur’an and Sunna, ignoring ‘Ijmā,’ Qiyās, Masala Mursalah, Istihsān and Istishāb
18. They are quick to label others as kaffir and Munafiq although the latter was never used by the Prophet (sa) or the Salaf. Takfir is left to a qualified Mufti or Qadi
19. They do not respect institutions or institutional work. This is rooted in their hatred for the community of the Prophet (sa) – The Umma – who they claim to love when it serves their destructive ambitions. The murdered Sayyidanā ‘Uthmān and Sayyidanā ‘Ali (God be pleased with them both)
20.Their outward adherence to faith increases they arrogance towards others. Ibn Jawizi wrote, “How many of them boast about having their pants above their ankles, while looking down at those who don’t. Foolish; they cancel the adherence to the sunna with a disease in their hearts.”
May Allah bless us and guide us to be on a way pleasing to him. I translated these from the book mentioned before, adding notes and commentary where I felt it was needed.
The Khawārij were a group who tried to exceed the piety established by the Prophet (sa). In fact, that caused them to question his positions and even kill some of his companions (ra). In an excellent book titled Studies on Religious Cults and Muslim History (Dirasāt al-Furuq wa Tārīkh al-Muslimīn) the writer gathers a number of qualities of the Khawārij, who in the name of piety, do more damage than good. Here are a few. Inshallah, I plan to translate them all in the future.
1. They judge the hearts and intentions of people, holding their assumptions about them to be the truth. Thus, they speak to the objects of their assumptions in wretched ways and treat them with distain. All based on their suspicions, not clear texts or proofs. Thus, the word munfaiq and kafir ooze from their mouths like water from drainage pipes.
2. They distance themselves from the larger body of Muslims, undermining their institutions and leadership
3. They focus on verses of Qur’an and sayings of the Prophet (sa) that contain threats, leaving those of promise and hope
4. They seek to undermine religious scholars and leaders
5. They use the concept of inviting to the good and forbidding the evil to kill and harm the innocent, even Muslims or, at the least, mistreat them.
6. They will help the Dajāl. When Sayyidunā ‘Ali (ra) had eliminated them, a person said, “All praise be to God, who by their elimination has given rest to his servants.” Sayyidunā ‘Ali responded, “Nay! There are still remnants of them in the loins of men. They will fight with the Dajāl.”
7. They love the Sunna until it fails to agree with their desires
8. Their worship is plentiful and their fashion for faith high, but they are the “worst of creation” and the “dogs of hell,” as noted in an authentic hadith of our beloved Prophet (sa).
9. They do more to harm the truth in the name of truth, pushing people in droves away from the light of Allah (swt).
10. They have a sickness in their heart that causes them to lust for power and control, using religion has a gown to cover their illness. This is in the hadith of Abu Umāma (I will translate soon; inshallah) where the Prophet (sa) describes them as such.
Each of these points is supported by authentic hadīth and explanations of Quranic verses by the salaf.