10 – Was Abū Rayya an “Imam of Ahl’ul Sunnah”?


Published by SunniDefense © on July 10th, 2009


Answering-Ansar Article:
Yazeed (L’aeen) (Revision: 3.0.0)
The Answering-Ansar team writes:
Quoting Answering-Ansar:

Imam of Ahl’ul Sunnah Mahmud Abu Riyyah in his excellent Shaykh al Mudira page 168 states that Mu’awiya used force to secure bayya for Yazeed and discretely splayed with poison those that he could not bribe…

“Even if that meant using methods such as poison, he used this method that led to the deaths of Hasan, Abdul Rahman bin Abu Bakr and Abdul Rahman bin Khalid”.

Yazeed (L’aeen), page 8

Another lie.

Maĥmūd Abū Rayya (d. 1390) was not an “Imam of Ahl’ul Sunnah.”

In fact, Abū Rayya was not even a Sunnī and neither did he ever claim to be a Sunnī. He was a contemporary Egyptian freethinker and staunch opponent of the Sunnī view of the Prophetic tradition and uprightness of the Companions of the Prophet (saws). He, being a drop-out of al-Azhar, later emerged in the world of Islam with anti-Sunnī thoughts and works, such as:

  1. Ađwā’ `alá al-Sunna al-Muĥammadiyya [“Lights on the Muhammadan Tradition”]: A critique of the Prophetic traditions related in the works of Ahl al-Sunna wa al-Jamā`a. Whoever reads this work can easily see how Abū Rayya repeatedly attacks the very beliefs that are fundamental according to Sunnīs.

  1. Shaykh al-MuđīraAbū Hurayra [“Master of Muđīra: Abū Hurayra”]: A derogatory piece of writing in which Abū Rayya does nothing but malign the major Companion, Abū Hurayra (ra), while fanning the ideas that Abū Hurayra (ra) was a liar, a disbeliever of the Prophet (saws) and a selfish fabricator of Prophetic narrations who sold himself for the sake of an Arabic sweet known as “muđīra.”

Out of many other violations, these works of Abū Rayya, and the views he promoted in them, crossed the very boundary for which the Shī`īs often criticize the Sunnīs: the latter’s unanimous belief in the uprightness of all Companions of the Prophet (saws).

Sunnī scholars faced Abū Rayya during his own life time, disapproved of his beliefs and wrote vehement refutations of his books and what they contain. The Shī`ī Ithnā’ `Asharī scholars, however, stuck with Abū Rayya’s views, due to the extreme anti-Sunnī essence present in them, and forwarded them by blissfully praising, translating and publishing his works.

Dr. al-Tījānī Belies Answering-Ansar’s Statement, Again

In the end, the best way to know whether what Answering-Ansar has mentioned is a lie or not, is to see how the Ahl al-Sunna wa al-Jamā`a view Abū Rayya. If he was indeed the “Imam of Ahl’ul Sunnah”—an awfully high stature in scholarship—then they would, of course, consider him to be such as well.

But, what has been the stance of the Ahl al-Sunna concerning Abū Rayya?

We will let the alleged former Sunnī, and currently Shī`ī Ithnā’ `Asharī apologist, Dr. Muĥammad al-Tījānī answer this question:

“As discussed, the ahl al-sunna wa’l-Jama’a permit no criticism or condemnation of any of his companions and maintain the belief in their collective uprightness. If any free thinker writes about them and undertakes to criticize the deeds of some companions, they defame him; in fact, they deem him to be an unbeliever even if he is amongst their own scholars. This is what has happened to some of the free thinking Egyptian and non-Egyptian scholars like Shaykh Mahmud Abu Rayya, author of “The Lights on the sunna of Muhammad” and “Shaykh al-Muzayra”, and like Qadi Shaykh Muhammad Amin al-Antaki, author of “Why I chose the school of ahl al-bayt”, and like Sayyid Muhammad b. ‘Aqil who composed the book “The complete advice for [he] who befriends Mu’awiya”.”

  • Fa As’alū Ahl al-Dhikr, of Muĥammad al-Tījānī, page 173 [London]

  • Ask Those who Know (English), of Muhammad al-Tijani al-Samawi, page 190 [Qum]

Note: These words should also shed light on the status of al-Sayyid Muĥammad ibn `Aqīl al-Hađramī (d. 1350), the author of al-Naşā’iĥ al-Kāfiya li Man Yatawallá Mu`āwiya, among the Sunnīs.

al-Tījānī’s quote makes the stance of Ahl al-Sunna wa al-Jamā`a about Abū Rayya extremely clear. Now it is up to the readers to decide whether or not Abū Rayya was the “Imam of Ahl’ul Sunnah” as Answering-Ansar alleges.

It is only Allah (swt) who gives success, and blessings and peace be upon the Seal of the Prophets, his Pure Progeny and his Noble Companions

♦        ♦          ♦


Works Cited

Shī`ī texts:

  1. Ask Those Who Know (English)

Muhammad al-Tijani al-Samawi

Ansariyan Publications

Qum, Iran

  1. Fa As’alū Ahl al-Dhikr

Muĥammad al-Tījānī

Muassasat al-Fajr

London, England

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