Hanbali Imam al-Saffarini performed Shirk?

A hallmark of the Ahlul-Bid’ah (like the Rafidah and the Mutasawwifah) is that they rely on weak and fabricated reports. Once they are exhausted with that (after being refuted) they move onto the ‘but so-and-so great scholars said so’ appeal.

These pseudo-intellectuals commit a classical logical fallacy i.e. an argument from authority (argumentum ab auctoritate). One of their many logical fallacies to which they clutch onto due to their ignorance.

Of course, we do not dismiss the claims of experts i.e. scholars of Islam, however, it is entirely possible that the opinion of a person (no matter how knowledgable) is wrong; therefore the authority that such a person holds no intrinsic hujjah (divine argument) or in the words of the Usuliyyun:

أقوال العلماء يحتج لها لا بها

The statements of the scholars are not proof in and by themselves, rather they need to be backed with proof.

One name the Quburis love to mention is the name of the Palestinian Imam, Muhammad bin Ahmad al-Saffarini al-Hanbali (1114 AH, 1702/3 AD, Saffarin, Tulkarm – 1188 AH, 1774 AD, Nablus). The likes of Qazi and those who are similar to him are also fond of him as they like to use him as evidence for their claim that Athari and Ash’ari/Maturidi Aqidah are equally Sunni (a claim that al-Saffarini made and was refuted for).

Al-Saffarini’s statements must not be confused with the statements of some great scholars who referred to these schools of thought as Sunni in general i.e. as in not being Rafidites and Mu’tazilites.

There is absolutely no doubt that the Athari creed and the Ash’ari/Maturidi creed are polar opposites on many issues, not just al-Asma wa al-Sifat. Those who champion the opinion of al-Saffarini often mean well (in my experience), however, their view they have taken is very weak.

As for al-Saffarini: Don’t fall for the big names and titles. The Quburis think they are smart, they are the same people who will provide you with a list of scholars at the time of Shaykh Muhammad ibn Abdul-Wahhab who attacked the Shaykh and even called him ignorant. Well, what they don’t tell you is that the followers of Shaykh Muhammad ibn Abdul-Wahhab can play the same game. They can easily quote scholars from around the world who were alive at the time of Shaykh Muhammad ibn Abdul-Wahhab and praised him (even those who knew of his mistakes and also criticised him).

As for Imam al-Saffarini committing Shirk; the Quburis present the following as evidence:

There is a reason why this Barelvi Graveworshipper doesn’t give any context (despite providing scans of the reference) and you shall see why.

السؤال (52): وسألته رحمه الله عن قول السفاريني في كتابه «غذاء الألباب» (1/ 426):
يا سيدي يا رسول الله خذ بيدي … إني أتيت بلا علم ولا عمل؟

الجواب: استنكر رحمه الله ذلك جدًا استغرب صدوره من السفاريني وقال لعله نقله عن غيره فقلت: بل صدرت منه فقال: هذا شرك في الربوبية والألوهية.


Question (52): ‘And I asked him (i.e. Ibn Uthaymin) regarding al-Saffarini’s statement in his book ‘Ghadha al-Albab… ‘O my Master, O Messenger of Allah, take my hand; I came without knowledge nor deeds!

Answer: He (i.e. Ibn Uthaymin) strongly condemned it and was astonished that al-Saffarini had uttered such things. Thereupon he said: ‘Maybe he (i.e. al-Saffarini) narrated it from someone?’ I said: ‘Rather he uttered himself.’ He (i.e. Ibn Uthaymin) said: ‘This is Shirk in Rububiyyah and Uluhiyyah.’

First of all, the questioner didn’t provide any contextual pieces of information. Yes, he mentioned the book title, but from the context, it is not clear if he mentioned the source and explained the source to Shaykh ibn Uthaymin. By the apparent, the statement can be perceived as a supplication, and no doubt if it meant as such it would be textbook Shirk, no matter if it was uttered by an 18th CE Hanbali scholar. There are no infallible Imams in Ahlul-Sunnah.

Secondly, we have clear statements of Shaykh Ibn Uthaymin who regards Shaykh al-Saffarini from Ahlul-Sunnah with sound creed. Yes, Shaykh Ibn Uthaymin (like many others) had criticised al-Saffarinis feeble argument and claim that the Aqidah of the Atharis and Ash’aris/Maturidis all represent Ahlul-Sunnah, but he never expelled him from Ahlul-Sunnah, let alone making Takfir on him.

So what did the grave worshipper omit? You can’t base a creedal argument based on few lines of an interviewer where Ibn Uthaymin was asked about a statement without any context and thus gave a general verdict (without making) Takfir, can you? The questioner didn’t provide any context, shouldn’t one who wants to make the claim that invoking the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) for all our needs at any time and place provide more information? Well, of course, he should, but the grave worshipper didn’t because it would destroy his entire premise and argument (i.e. that it is Islam and Tawhid to beseech the Prophet in our prayer).

In a nutshell: The statement of Shaykh al-Saffarni is not a supplication, it is not even in a book about the visitation of the Prophet (ﷺ). The statement is taken from al-Saffarini’s book ‘غذاء الألباب في شرح منظومة الآداب‘ which is a book of poetry, not a book of supplication!

A person’s Aqidah is not judged based on lines of poetry, this is why Ibn Uthaymin didn’t make Takfir on al-Saffarini. Yes, he (i.e. Ibn Uthaymin) referred to those statements as Shirk as from the apparent they seem to be utterances of invocation, however, they turn out to be poetry in a specific context which is the Day of Judgement as apparent from the line:

وأخجلني من مقام لست أنكره إذا بدا لي على روس الملا واللي

No Athari denies that the Prophet (ﷺ) will be present at the Day of Judgement, of course, if given the chance, we would ask him to intercede for us. However, this, in no way whatsoever proves the claim of the grave worshippers that we can beseech the Prophet (let alone other than him) for our needs and help.

As you can see, the Quburis/Grave worshippers have taken lines of poetry and on top of that, they have taken them out of context. The author (al-Saffarani) wrote in a poetic manner about his longing for the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) on Judgement Day, yet the grave worshippers misuse this and claim that al-Saffarani believed that we can invoke and beseech the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) in du’a (worship) for all our needs:

‘Kills it’ in their dreams. The Quburis have proven their ignorance or at best their academic dishonesty.

It is truly strange and bizarre, almost sinister, how the grave worshippers are obsessed with the invocation of other than Allah, it’s like they want to create a new Church, the Pir Church may be where they can invoke certain saints/walis for certain tasks. Well, they have already done this, they even have alpha saints (Jilani for the Sufis and Ali for the Rawafid) and a whole set of saints whom the Rafidi-Sufi Church has bestowed Shirki titles such as the following:

  • ‘Gaus-e-A’zam’ (the greatest deliverer from adversity. Used for the Persian-Arab Shaykh Abdul-Qadir Jilani)
  • ‘Mushkil Kusha (used for Ali ibn Abi Talib by Rawafid and Sufis alike)’ (alleviator of hardship)
  • ‘Hajat Rawa/Qadhi al-Hajat’ (fulfiller of needs. Used for numerous Sufi saints and Shia Imams)
  • ‘Ganj Bakhsh’ (bestower of riches), etc. etc.
Is this anything but deficiency in their belief in Rububiyyah? Yet you have degenerate grave worshippers committing logical fallacies after logical fallacies, like when they strawman the position of Ahlul-Sunnah:

Where to start with this half-baked ‘knowledge’, mental diarrhoea really?! So what? Since when did Ahlul-Sunnah wa al-Athar claim that the belief of the pagan polytheists in Rububiyyah was perfect? It was, of course, deficient, otherwise, why would they take up demi-gods as intercessors between Him and them?

But they nevertheless believed that Allah was the sole creator of the Universe and the Supreme God above all. And this fact has been mentioned in the Qur’an time and again.

Do you think by saying that Mushriks of the old had deficient belief in Rububiyyah, you will be somehow able to absolve and vindicate your Quburi friends from Shirk?

Nay! Their belief in Rububiyyah is deficient as well. Although they believe Allah is Rabb al-Alamin, at the same time they believe that Awlia have a say in the governance of the Universe. They can hear and answer the prayers of their devotees. An authority that Allah has never given them (no ‘with the permission of Allah’ get-out clause would change).

The ignoramuses don’t even understand that statements such as ‘the pagans in the Qur’an affirmed Tawhid al-Rububiyyah’ are meant in the general sense, not in the absolute sense.

The polytheists have never been of one kind, and of course, all of them have خلل (defect) in Tawhid al-Rububiyyah, however, they (Makkans) affirmed Rububiyyah in the general sense and on top of it invoked none but Allah in times of need and duress in their du’a (unlike the Mushrik Quburis who are undoubtedly worse than the ancient Mushriks as they abandon Allah in times of dire need and turn to their saints in du’a).

But it is interesting how these Quburis suddenly turn into ‘Vahhabi literalists’ whenever it fits their whims and desires.


Shaykh al-Saffarani has not committed Shirk. A line of poetry about the Day of Judgement where he longs for the presence of the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) and to be held by his hands doesn’t equate him performing Istighathah (seeking help) from the Prophet (ﷺ) in times of need. The Quburis have lied about this great Shaykh in order to justify their own pagan and polytheistic ritual where they (Sufi-Rafidis) implore and beseech not just the Prophet (ﷺ) but whole sets of saints (Walis) for their need. Al-Saffarini never endorsed such beliefs and practices.

Therefore, Salafis are not in an impossible position here, for neither is Shaykh Saffarini guilty of major shirk nor wasn’t Shaykh Ibn Uthaymin ignorant of the correct definition of shirk.

A Challenge to the grave worshippers:

Prove that the Prophet (ﷺ) – or any of your favourite saints – have been given the power, authority, and task to hear and respond to millions upon millions of distress (madad) calls whenever they are called upon. Prove that they can fulfil our needs as your charlatan priests and rabbis that masquerade as ‘Pirs’ and ‘Ayatollahs’ claim. Prove this from the Qur’an and Sunnah, and spare us ‘but Kitab al-Ruh says…’ but so-and-so scholar says, but ‘with the permission of Allah’. Spare us all these get-out clauses and bring solid and unambiguous evidence.

Note: Nobody denies Tawassul where one invokes Allah alone with his beautiful names or expresses one’s love for Allah, His Messenger, His Ahlul-Bayt, Sahabah, etc.). Denying Islamic Tawassul is a form of heresy. Directly praying to other than Allah is pseudo-Tawassul and it doesn’t make it right no matter how many fallible scholars one cites.

هذا والله اعلم وصلى الله على نبينا محمد وعلى اله وصحبه وسلم تسليماً كثيراً الى يوم الدين