Who are the AICP/Ahbashi cult & a Refutation on them

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيمIn the Name of Allah All-Beneficent Most Merciful

Praise belongs to Allah. Blessings and peace on the Prophet Muhammad, his Family, and his Companions. This is an exposure of a man called ʿAbd Allah al-Harari (1910-2008) and of his sect the Ahbash of Lebanon, also known as Habashis, also known as the Association of Islamic Charitable Projects (AICP) who have tried to spread their influence in the Muslim world. It is hoped that this information will serve as a warning to Muslims everywhere to beware of this sect who are posing as Sunnis but who have in reality been working for half a century to divide the Ummah, attack prominent scholars, and spread false beliefs while pretending to teach correct beliefs. Success is from Allah.

Al-Harari was born in Harare, Ethiopia where he studied hadith and followed the Qadiri path, then the Tijani, then the Qadiri path again after he declared Tijanis to be unbelievers, then finally the Rifaʿi path. He took part in a strife in which he worked with the government of Haile Selassie against the Qur’anic schools in Harare after which the scholars denounced him as an agitator. He left Ethiopia in the Fifties to come to Damascus where he acquired fame as a Sufi scholar of hadith writing rebuttals of Nasir al-Albani and ostensibly defending the beliefs of Ahl al-Sunnah wal-Jamaʿah. After he was expelled from Damascus he moved to Lebanon where freedom then the confusion created by the war allowed him to spread his fitnah unchecked. By the time civil war broke out in 1975 he had gathered about 150 followers. He took over a charity named “Association of Islamic Charitable Projects” and used his unlimited funds to surpass even government schools with his own influence. He was helped in this by local followers such as Nizar Halabi, a man notorious for cursing others and declaring them apostates; Husam Qaraqira their present leader, who is nearly beardless and is closer to the uneducated; parliament deputies Adnan Trabulsi and Taha Taji; and the the foul-mouthed Usama al-Sayyid.

Harari’s disrespect of the Companions (Allah be well-pleased with them)

ʿAbd Allah al-Harari authored many books in which he attributes sinfulness and depravity to the Companions of the Prophet Muhammad (upon him blessings and peace) who fought against ʿAli ibn Abi Talib (Allah be well-pleased with him). Among those books is one he entitled The Legal Evidence for Establishing the Sinfulness of Those of the Companions or Successors ʿAli Fought Against (al-Dalil al-Sharʿi ʿala Ithbat man Qaatalahum ʿAli min Sahabi aw Tabiʿi) in which al-Harai openly attributes sinfulness, rebellion, oppression and rebellion to the Mother of the Believers ʿA’isha, Talha, and al-Zubayr. He takes the same stance in his books Sarih al-Bayan, Izhar al-ʿAqida, al-Matalib al-Wafiyya, al-Dalil al-Qawim, Bughyat al-Talib, and al-Maqalat al-Sunniyya.

In all the above-mentioned books he also attributes these traits to Khalid ibn al-Walid, ʿAmr ibn al-ʿAs, and Muʿawiya ibn Abi Sufyan, except that he says that the first group repented while the latter group, in his view, died the death of Jahiliyya. This is shiʿism.

Harari’s violation of the Sunni agreement on the obligation of respecting all the Sahaba

Al-Harari claims to follow al-Shafiʿi, al-Ashʿari, and al-Rifaʿi but this is a smokescreen to camouflage his deviancy. In reality he rejects them and the rest of the Imams of Ahl al-Sunnah wal-Jamaʿah who explicitly said that whatever took place between the Companions was the result of interpretation and ijtihad on their part such as Abu al-Hasan al-Ashʿari, the Four Imams, and all the Imams of al-Salaf and al-Khalaf particularly those of the Shafiʿi and Ashʿari Schools such as al-Muhasibi, al-Khattabi, Ibn Furak, Imam al-Haramayn, al-Amidi, al-Nawawi, al-Zarkashi, Ibn Arslan, al-Laqani and others.

All of the above Imams said that it is obligatory to respect all the Prophetic Companions and that anyone who disrespects any of them in the least is a heretic or a hidden apostate (zindiq, munafiq). Ahl al-Sunnah wal-Jamaʿah consider that Amir al-Mu’minin ʿAli ibn Abi Talib (Allah ennoble his countenance) was the rightful fourth caliph and after that they firmly refrain from any disrespectful mention of the Companions. Imam al-Shafiʿi said to al-Rabiʿ ibn Abi Sulayman: “Do not probe the Companions of the Prophet because your prosecutor will be Allah Himself on the Day of Resurrection.” Whenever ʿUmar ibn ʿAbd al-ʿAziz was asked about the battles of Siffin and al-Jamal he would reply: “Allah kept my hands away from those matters, therefore I will not involve my tongue in them.” He would also say: “Allah kept me absent from such blood; I will not attend it with my tongue.”

What Imam Ahmad said the one who disparages a Companion deserves

It is enough that when Imam Ahmad was asked “What do you say about what took place between ʿAli and Muʿawiya?” he replied: “I do not say except goodness: may Allah have mercy on all of them.” And he also said in his statement of the doctrine of Ahl al-Sunnah wal-Jamaʿah:

What Ashʿaris and early Imams said of the obligation to love the Companions

Imam al-Harith al-Muhasibi said in Risalat al-Mustarshidin: “The foundation of uprightness is in three things: following the Book, following the Sunna, and sticking with the congregation (jamaʿah).” Yet this deviant Harari has parted with the congregation and has tossed the Book, the Sunnah, and the Consensus behind his back. Al-Muhasibi said of the Companions as mentioned by al-Qurtubi in his Tafsir:

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Imam al-Khattabi said something similar, as did Imam al-Tahawi in his statement of doctrine, the ʿAqida Tahawiyya: “We love the Companions of the Messenger of Allah (upon him blessings and peace) and we do not go overboard in love of any of them nor do we repudiate any of them. We hate whoever hates them or mentions them wrongly. We never mention them except in a good way. To love them is religion, faith, and excellence. To hate them is unbelief, hypocrisy, and tyranny…. Whoever speaks only well of the Companions of the Messenger of Allah (upon him blessings and peace), his wives, and his descendants steers clear of hypocrisy.”

Similarly Qadi ʿIyad said in al-Shifa: “Part of revering the Prophet (upon him blessings and peace) and loving him is to revere his Companions, loving them, knowing their high status, following their guidance, mentioning them in praiseful terms, and refraining from discussing what took place between them.”

Similarly al-Nawawi said in Sharh Sahih Muslim:

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Similarly Ibn Kathir said in his abridgment of Ibn al-Salah’s Muqaddima in the sciences of hadith: “As for what befell between them after the time of the Prophet (upon him blessings and peace), part of it is what took place unintentionally such as the Battle of the Camel, and part of it is what took place out of ijtihad such as the Battle of Siffin, and of course ijtihad may be right or it may be incorrect, but whoever practices it is excused even if he is incorrect, and what is more he is also rewarded, while the one who is correct has two rewards. ʿAli and those who were with him were nearer to right than Muʿawiya and those who were with him, and may Allah be well-pleased with all of them.”

The Divine and Prophetic recommendations of the Companions as guides

Similarly Imam al-Haytami said in al-Sawaʿiq al-Muhriqa:

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Al-Haytami in al-Zawajir included disparagement of the Companions among the enormities (kaba’ir) as did Qadi ʿIyad and al-Nawawi before him.

The Holy Prophet (upon him blessings and peace) said: “My Companions are like the stars: any one of them you follow for guidance, you will be guided right.” The hafiz Ibn Hajar documented its narrative paths in the thirty-sixth gathering in his book Muwafaqat al-Khubr al-Khabar, among them a chain of transmission which the two hafiz al-Bayhaqi in al-Iʿtiqad and Ibn ʿAbd al-barr in Jamiʿ Bayan Fadl al-ʿIlm considered strong. Qawwam al-Sunnah al-Asbahani said in his book al-Hujja fi Bayan al-Mahajja wa-Sharh ʿAqidat Ahl al-Sunna:

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One of the Ashʿari imams of Ahl al-Hadith, the hafiz Shihab al-Din Abu al-ʿAbbas Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Maqqari al-Maliki said in his doctrinal poem Ida’at al-Dujunnah fi Iʿtiqad Ahl al-Sunnah:

< So whoever wants the direction of guidance sees it in them For the One Who encompasses every hidden thing With His knowledge has chosen for them the Suhba of the Prophet So they are stars for night travel and whoever consults them For direction [in religion] is guided to all the signs of truth Therefore let us not probe whatever took place among them And beware of deviation when you do probe! And seek the best interpretation For them, for ijtihad has different levels.>>

Al-Harari’s tampering of the Qur’an, Hadith and Consensus in his disparagement of the Companions

Al-Harari in his book Izhar al-ʿAqidat al-Sunniyya refrains from attributing uprightness (ʿadala) to all of the Companions without exception, although al-Qurtubi states in his Tafsir: “ALL of the Companions are upright and chosen friends of Allah, His elite in His creation after His Messengers and His Prophets. That is the madhhab of Ahl al-Sunnah, and what the Jamaʿah of the Imams of this Ummah follows.” Similarly Ibn ʿAbd al-Barr said: “The Companions are ALL upright and held in high esteem by unanimous agreement of the specialists of hadith.”

In contradiction to the above, al-Harari dismisses the Prophetic warnings against insulting the Companions such as the hadith in Muslim, “Do not insult any of my Companions” (la tasubbu ahadan min ashabi) which Ibn Hibban in his Sahih included in a chapter entitled “Mention of the report that indicates that the Companions of the Messenger of Allah (upon him blessings and peace) are ALL trustworthy and upright,” the hadith “Allah! Allah! Fear Him regarding my Companions” (Ahmad, al-Tirmidhi, and others), and the hadith “Whoever insults my Companions, may Allah curse him!” (al-Bazzar, al-Tabarani, Ibn Abi ʿAsim and others; sahih).

Al-Harari interprets away these hadiths as supposedly meaning only the First and Foremost of the Muhajirun and Ansar, not all of the Companions. This is a claim based on idle lust (hawa) since not only it is unsubstantiated but, more importantly, Allah Most High states {And the first to lead the way, of the Muhajirin and the Ansar, and those who followed them in goodness, Allah is well-pleased with them and they are well-pleased with Him and He has made ready for them Gardens underneath which rivers flow, wherein they will abide for ever. That is the supreme triumph} (9:100). Moreover, contrary to their claims, these hadiths apply in the universal sense and not in the restricted sense of the specific circumstance when they were first spoken.

Al-Harari’s tampering of the Tahawiyya and the Nasafiyya

Al-Harari manipulates the statement of al-Tahawi “We love the Companions of the Messenger of Allah (upon him blessings and peace)… We never mention them except in a good way” and reinterprets it with these comments in his so-called Izhar al-ʿAqidat al-Sunniyyah: “Its meaning is that on the whole we never mention them except in a good way, but whoever is authentically charged with something, he is critiqued for it (man thabata ʿalayhi shay’ yuntaqad ʿalayh)”. He reiterates this tampering in his book al-Matalib al-Wafiyyah fi Sharh al-ʿAqidat al-Nasafiyyah when commenting on Imam al-Nasafi’s statement: “One must refrain from mentioning the Companions except in good terms.” Al-Harari comments: “It does not mean that it is forbidden to mention individuals among the Companions other than in good terms.”

In the edition of the ʿAqida of Imam Ahmad al-Rifaʿi which al-Harari’s followers published under the title Ijabat al-Daʿi ila Bayan Iʿtiqad al-Rifaʿi the main text states: “One must firmly believe in the high merit of the Companions and their order of sequence, and the fact that the best of people after the Messenger of Allah (upon him blessings and peace) is Abu Bakr, then ʿUmar, then ʿUthman, then ʿAli, Allah be well-pleased with all of them. One must keep the best opinion of all of the Companions and praise them just as Allah Most High and His Messenger praised them.” But the Habashi commentators state in the footnote to this passage: “It does not mean that they are all God-fearing and righteous” (laysa muraduhu annahum kulluhum atqiya’ salihun). Then the comment goes on to adduce as proof for its vile claim the hadith of the Pond (which the Rafidis always quote) and the hadith “Whoever leaves obedience and parts with the congregation then dies has died the death of Jahiliyya” then they say openly: “And this applies to Muʿawiya and those who were with him.”

Harari’s attacks on Khalid ibn al-Walid, Muʿawiya, ʿAmr ibn al-ʿAs and ʿA’isha the Wife of the Prophet

We already mentioned al-Harari’s insulting stance toward ʿA’isha the Mother of the Believers above. In his book Sarih al-Bayan again he pinpoints Khalid ibn al-Walid, Muʿawiya ibn Abi Sufyan, and ʿAmr ibn al-ʿAs (Allah be well-pleased with them) as lying outside the Prophetic prohibition against insulting the Companions. In other words, al-Harari considers it permissible to insult those great Companions. When scholars and common Muslims took him to task for that deviancy he and his followers would say “the Companions are not infallible” or they would say that ʿAli himself disparaged Muʿawiya, so why can’t we? Hence you can see this Harari say in his book al-Durr al-Mufid that “Muʿawiya was self-centered” (Muʿawiya kana ananiyyan) and in his book al-Maqalat al-Sunniyya he states that “the goal of Muʿawiya and of all those that were present with him at Siffin was dunya, because his ambition was to be king and he loved leadership with a passion.”

This is how that man spoke of Muʿawiya, Allah be well-pleased with him and make him pleased, the Companion of the Messenger of Allah (upon him blessings and peace), the scribe of his revelation, the maternal uncle of the Believers for whom the Prophet supplicated in the sound hadith: “O Allah, make him a guide who is well-guided and guide others with him!” (Ahmad, al-Tirmidhi and others), for whose army he promised Paradise by saying: “The first army of my Community to raid by sea have made it incumbent” (al-Bukhari), whom ʿUmar al-Faruq appointed as governor of the countries of Shaam and whom ʿUthman Dhul-Nurayn confirmed (Allah be well-pleased with them), after which he undertook jihad, secured the borders, overcame the enemies of Islam, and ruled people with a Divinely-appointed polity.

Harari’s dishonesty in falsely claiming authorship and in misquoting texts

Al-Harari is known for his untrustworthiness in citing texts and he also claims authorship of texts which are not his. He stole credit for a text authored by al-Habib ʿAbd Allah ibn Husayn ibn Tahir Ba ʿAlawi (1778-1855) which he republished under the title Bughyat al-Talib li-Maʿrifat al-ʿIlm al-Dini al-Wajib in 1407H with the statement “Authored by ʿAbd Allah al-Harari” on the cover, then again in 1411H, but after he was exposed he admitted in the third edition in 1416H that the book was actually authored by Ibn Tahir.

He also tampers texts according to his whim, as he did in his book al-Kaafil bi-ʿIlm al-Din al-Daruri which is in reality taken from Ibn Tahir’s Sullam al-Tawfiq. Al-Harari simply suppressed whatever contradicts his positions, such as Ibn Tahir’s discussion of the prohibition of disparaging the scholars and of women leaving their homes perfumed and beautified. In his own commentary on al-Kaafil entitled Hall Alfaz al-Kafil he asserts that women can leave the house perfumed and beautified as long as they do not intend to display themselves to men. In that book he also states: “Those people that were with Muʿawiya, there was not a single wali among them. As for those that came out to al-Basra and fought ʿAli, among those people were two major ones of the elite of the Companions. Despite this we say that these two sinned, they fell into sin.” This is what he said, and Allah knows best whether he means Talha and al-Zubayr by “these two;” as for ʿA’isha the Mother of the Believers it appears he does not consider her among the Awliya’ or among the major ones of the elite of the Companions!

Anyone who wishes to ascertain the untrustworthiness of al-Harari’s manner of citing texts can compare his excerpts of al-Ashʿari’s words quoted from Ibn Furak’s famous book Maqalat al-Ashʿari in al-Harari’s so-called Izhar al-ʿAqidat al-Sunniyya and Sarih al-Bayan with the original text of Ibn Furak which states verbatim that the reason the Sahaba differed was ijtihad. Al-Harari likewise suppresses the words of the great Ashʿari imams to that effect such as Imam al-Haramayn and those we have already mentioned.

How the Ahbash lie about the scholars and the Awliya’

A notable example of their tampering is Ibn Arslan al-Ramli’s thousand-line poem Alfiyyat Safwat al-Zubad fil-Fiqh al-Shafiʿi which the Ahbash brought out in Beirut in 1988 then 1991 then 1994, all three editions suppressing this line:

Whatever took place between the Companions we keep quiet about it And we assert and affirm that the reward of ijtihad was obtained. (wa-ma jara bayna al-sahabi naskutu ʿanhu wa-ajra al-ijtihadi nuthbitu)

After their tampering was revealed they put back the verse in the fourth edition (2001) but they added a long footnote in which they object “The truth is…” and in which they inject their poisonous beliefs.

Another instance in which their lying was exposed was the fabrication of a pseudo-fatwa by the Mufti of Daghistan against Shaykh ʿAbd Allah Fa’iz al-Daghistani the teacher of Shaykh Nazim al-Qubrusi in which the Mufti of Daghistan supposedly declares Shaykh ʿAbd Allah a heretic. In reality Shaykh ʿAbd Allah left Daghistan in his childhood and was raised in Turkey where he lived all his life until he emigrated to Damascus, so he was completely unknown in Daghistan. This fatwa was declared a fabrication by an ex-Habashi, the historian of Damascus Shaykh Muhammad Muʿtazz al-Subayni.

Another falsehood of ʿAbd Allah al-Harari is his invention of a person he called “Muhammad Zahid al-Naqshbandi” whom he claimed had said of Shaykh ʿAbd Allah al-Daghistani “he is neither a Sunni nor a Naqshbandi, and he is not connected but disconnected.” The Ahbash disseminated these words in their literature and on their websites, and how much they love to slander others’ religion and lineages! In reality this Muhammad Zahid does not exist, and to “narrate” from him is from the craftiness of perjurers, liars and forgers.

In 2004 one of the Ahbash by the name of Samir al-Qadi (arraigned in a US court for a felony in 1997) published a book he named Kashf Dalalat Nazim al-Qubrusi which he crammed with lies against Shaykh Nazim al-Qubrusi. After this the director of Awqaf in Dubai at that time Shaykh ʿIsa al-Himyari visited al-Harari in his den in Beirut and advised him to repent and desist from attacking Shaykh Nazim. Al-Himyari later recounted how strangely and inappropriately they acted toward him to the point that when he exited their building he said of them: it appears they practice witchraft!

Al-Harari’s deviancy regarding Prophets, upon them blessings and peace

In his book al-Taʿawun ʿala al-Nahy ʿala al-Munkar ʿAbd Allah al-Harari promotes the position that whoever says that some Prophets were not tasked to convey a Divine message is ignorant, but this is agreed upon among Ahl al-Sunnah wal-Jamaʿah as stated by Imam al-Razi and al-Qurtubi in their Tafsirs, al-Suyuti in the Jalalayn, al-Sanusi in al-Haqa’iq and others.

Al-Harari’s innovation that it is obligatory to deem Muʿtazilis unbelievers

Al-Harari has long held the innovative position that it is obligatory to declare Muʿtazilis unbelievers and he announced his intention to write about it while living in Syria, at which point Shaykh Adib Kallas rebutted him by saying the Sunni scholars had never held such a position. Al-Harari ignored him and went on to promote this view in his books Sarih al-Bayan, al-Matalib al-Wafiyya, al-Sirat al-Mustaqim, al-Dalil al-Qawim, and Izhar al-ʿAqidat al-Sunniyya.

He did this due to his failing to differentiate between the Muʿtazila and the early Qadariyya. Only the latter claimed that Allah Most High does not know the acts of human beings until they perform them, whereas the Muʿtazila did not hold such a position. Hence the imams of Ahl al-Sunnah do not consider the Muʿtazila unbelievers and this is clear from the statements of Ibn Daqiq al-ʿId in his book Ihkam al-Ahkam, al-Qarafi in al-Dhakhira, al-Dawwani in Sharh al-ʿAqa’id al-ʿAdudiyya, al-Haytami in al-Iʿlam bi-Qawatiʿ al-Islam, and others. In addition they strongly warned against making takfir of Muslims, as stated by Hujjat al-Islam al-Ghazali in al-Iqtisad fil-Iʿtiqad, Ibn al-Subki in the beginning of Tabaqat al-Shafiʿiyya al-Kubra, and al-Haytami in the ninth volume of Tuhfat al-Muhtaj fi Sharh al-Minhaj, book of ridda, beginning with the words: “Second warning: The mufti must be precautious in takfir…”

Al-Harari’s deviant fatwas

The bizarre fatwas of al-Harari and his Ahbash are notorious among the scholars of the Arab world—not only his declaring other Muslims to be unbelievers and charging them with shirk and idolatry, but also his claim that paper currency is free of riba no matter what and that there is no zakat due on it because he says zakat is owed only on gold and silver. Thus he permits the consumption of riba and he denies zakat, the third Pillar of Islam, as Dr. Wahbat al-Zuhayli and others said of al-Harari and his sect: “They make the halal haram and the haram halal.” Furthermore they permit the viewing of lewd pictures and claim the Law permits the viewing of women through a mirror or their reflections in water, thus they are permitted for films or pictures because they are also reflections. They also said that one can avoid Jumuʿa prayer by eating onion or garlic. They said that any unlawful intercourse is not fornication but a minor sin as long as there is no penetration. This became notorious as their “fatwa of rubbing thighs” (mufakhadha). Al-Harari also declared it licit for men to wear very short swimsuits (“Speedo”).

Al-Harari’s hatred of Muslims scholars

Unbridled envy has pushed al-Harari to treat the most prominent Sunni Muslim scholars as fair game for his attacks and that is what he taught his followers to do after him. It is on record that he and they have levelled accusations of unbelief (kufr) and/or misguidance (dalal) against the following among others:

– Shaykh Mutawalli al-Shaʿrawi (1911-1998) one of the foremost scholars of tafsir in our time.

– Dr. Muhammad Saʿid al-Buti against whom al-Harari said in al-Taʿawun ʿala al-Nahy ʿan al-Munkar: “He disseminates misguidance” and against whom one of the Ahbash authored a thick volume entitled al-Radd al-ʿIlmi ʿala al-Buti, which consists exclusively of distortions, exaggerations, misinterpretations, and outright lies.

– Dr. Wahbat al-Zuhayli of Syria, one of the most prominent contemporary Sunni scholars and author of three commentaries on the Qur’an whom they accuse of apostasy and hypocrisy among other mendacious charges, and at whom they throw the vilest nicknames.

– Shaykh Rajab Dib al-Naqshbandi of Damascus who travelled to Beirut and asked them to stop attacking him. This noble shaykh has authored a commentary on Qur’an of more than thirty volumes which is not yet published.

– Shaykh Nazim al-Qubrusi against whom one of their liars authored a book which we mentioned.

– The shaheed and late Mufti of the Republic of Lebanon Shaykh Hasan Khalid (1921-1989) whom they called a kafir on street placards in Lebanon as they tried to promote the Habashi Nizar Halabi (1952-1995) to replace him. After Shaykh Hasan Khalid moved to block al-Harari’s residency in Lebanon he was killed in a car explosion. Six years later Halabi himself was killed.

– Shaykh Muhammad ibn Alawi al-Maliki (1948-2004) the late hadith scholar of Mecca and Sufi educator. He announced in 1999 that al-Harari had brazenly declared him to be an apostate only because al-Maliki refused to declare Ibn Taymiyya an apostate in his books. Anyone who does not declare Ibn Taymiyya to be an unbeliever is himself an unbeliever according to the Ahbash which is pure extremism.

– Dr. Yusuf al-Qaradawi against whom the Habashi Usama Sayyid wrote a book he entiled al-Qaradawi fil-ʿAra’ (Qaradawi Laid Bare) and of which he accused him of everything short of killing Habeel.

– Al-Harari declared Nasir al-Albani to be an unbeliever in his 1959 book Nusrat al-Taʿaqqub al-Hathith only because the latter differed with him over the issue of prayer-beads.

Fatwas of prominent scholars against al-Harari and the Ahbash

Many prominent scholars openly denounced al-Harari and his sect. Among them:

Fatwa of Shaykh Ibrahim al-Yaʿqubi against al-Harari

The great Syrian scholar Shaykh Ibrahim al-Yaʿqubi (1924-1985) Mufti of Malikis then Hanafis in the Umawi Mosque in Damascus mentioned in his unpublished record (kunasha) that ʿAbd Allah al-Harari read to him a book during his stay in Damascus, which makes al-Harari one of the students of Sayyid Ibrahim. The latter was at the forefront of the scholars who expelled al-Harari from Syria in the Sixties and declared him “misguided and misguiding others” (dall mudill).

Fatwa of Shaykh Muhammad Abu al-Huda al-Yaʿqubi against al-Harari

Shaykh Ibrahim’s son the erudite hadith scholar and daʿiya Shaykh Muhammad Abu al-Huda al-Yaʿqubi said that the scholars of Damascus were unaware of al-Harari’s deviancy because he claimed to teach hadith and tasawwuf and he appeared to refute Nasir al-Albani (although the latter was stronger than him in hadith). But when they realized that al-Harari was a heretical innovator they repudiated him.

Fatwa of Shaykh Muhammad Adib Kallas against al-Harari

Shaykh Muhammad Adib Kallas (1921-2009) one of the great Hanafi authorities in Damascus considered al-Harari a misguided innovator after he heard him say it is obligatory to make takfir of Muʿtazilis, breaching the agreement of Ahl al-Sunnah wal-Jamaʿah that they are innovators, not apostates.

Fatwa of Shaykh ʿAbd al-Hadi Kharsa against al-Ahbash

One of Shaykh Adib Kallas’s foremost students the erudite Hanafi Shaykh ʿAbd al-Hadi Kharsa al-Azhari declared Habashis to be “deviant, leading others astray, and former Sunnis now lying outside of Ahl al-Sunnah wal-Jamaʿah”http://abdalhadialkharsa.com/index.php?act=viewOps&id=271.

Fatwa of Shaykh Wahbat al-Zuhayli against al-Ahbash

Dr. Muhammad Wahbat al-Zuhayli of Damascus a specialist of Law, legal principles, and Qur’an commentary strongly warned against al-Harari’s group the Ahbash and declared them to be an alien group that has infiltrated the Ummah to misguide Muslims and spread fitna with support from a non-Muslim country. It is on record that their representative in Italy, a certain Massimo Abdul Hadi Palazzi, calls himself “a Zionist who loves Israel and Israelis.”

Fatwa of Shaykh Muhammad Tawfiq al-Buti against al-Ahbash

After they declared the major scholar of Damascus Dr. Muhammad Saʿid al-Buti to be an unbeliever, he replied on his website: “They have declared Shaykh Mutawalli Shaʿrawi to be an unbeliever, Dr. Yusuf al-Qaradawi to be an unbeliever, and myself to be an unbeliever. It appears that group thinks that they are the only ones whom Allah loves.” His son Dr. Muhammad Tawfiq al-Buti declared them deviant in his khutbas in the 1990s and 2000s.

Fatwa of Shaykh Muhammad Muʿtazz al-Subayni against al-Ahbash

The historian and hadith scholar of Damascus Shaykh Muhammad Muʿtazz al-Subayni was a follower of al-Harari but left him and declared his group to be fitna-mongers.

Fatwa of Dr. Yusuf al-Qaradawi against al-Ahbash

Dr. Yusuf al-Qaradawi declared about the Ahbash on his website: “These Ahbash are a sect that rebelled against the consensus of the Ummah and declared the scholars of the Muslims to be unbelievers. This sect has legal opinions that are abysmally misguided. They have declared as unbelievers Ibn Taymiyya, Ibn al-Qayyim, al-Dhahabi, Ibn Baz, Ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhab, Sayyid Qutb, al-Ghazali, and they have spared no-one. Moreover they are ignorant, and they are ignorant of their own ignorance, which is called compound ignorance (jahl murakkab). It is as Allah said: {And when it is said unto them: Believe as the people believe, they say: “Shall we believe as the foolish believe?” Are not they themselves the foolish? But they know not} (2:13).”

Mufti of Egypt Dr. ʿAli Gomaa’s 1999 fatwa againt the Ahbash

In 1999 Shaykh ʿAli Gomaa, who later became the mufti of the Arab Republic of Egypt, published the following fatwa which was disseminated on the internet:

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Al-Azhar President Dr. Ahmad ʿUmar Hashim’s 2001 fatwa againt the Ahbash

In August 2001 the president of the University of al-Azhar in Egypt, Dr. Ahmad ʿUmar Hashim, issued a statement in which he announced that al-Azhar had nothing to do with the Ahbash of Lebanon and he stated that the position of al-Azhar was that “that group [the Ahbash] is unwholesome, untrustworthy, and unislamic in its thinking.”

Fatwa of the Mufti of Saudi Arabia against al-Harari and the Ahbash

In conformity with all of the above even the mufti of Saudi Arabia in 1985 issued a fatwa in which he said: “That group is deviant and their leader, a person named ʿAbd Allah al-Habashi, is known for his heresy and misguidance. Therefore it is obligatory to have no relations with them and to reject and condemn their false beliefs and to warn people against them and against listening to them or accepting anything they say.”

Conclusion: Warn people against al-Harari and the Ahbash

It is clear to anyone that al-Harari and his sect disrespect the Companions of the Prophet (upon him blessings and peace) and attack the scholars with false accusations of kufr. He and his Ahbash-AICP sect are Kharijites who practice takfirism on the one hand, and they are Shiʿis who calumniate the Companions on the other. They practice taqiyya or dissimulation by outwardly claiming to be something which inwardly they are not, as Dr. Ali Gomaa warned concerning them. What shows their mindless audacity in nifaq against the Ummah is that on their webpage they claim to “counter any form of extremism that allows the killing of innocents, and it is clear of any connections to any form of deviations or extremism” whereas in reality this is exactly what they are—deviant extremists. In fact, as Dr. Gomaa, Dr. Wahbat Zuhayli, and others have warned, they are an infiltrated current in the Ummah trying to divide and undermine the unity of Ahl al-Sunnah wal-Jamaʿah on a permanent basis.

It is enough that after Hudhayfa (Allah be well-pleased with him) asked, “Is there any evil after that goodness?” the Prophet Muhammad (upon him blessings and peace) replied: “Yes, callers standing at the gates of hellfire! Whoever responds to them and comes to those gates, they throw him into it.” Hudhayfa said: “Messenger of Allah, describe them for us.” He said: “They have the same complexion as we do and they speak our language.” It is agreed upon by al-Bukhari and Muslim. Therefore beware of al-Harari and of his sect the Ahbash and the Association of Islamic Charitable Projects (AICP). Our only duty is to warn, and Allah is our help. May Allah send blessings and peace on our master Muhammad, his Family, and his Companions, and praise belongs to Allah the Lord of the worlds.

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