(All quotations from Kabbani, unless otherwise stated, are taken from his
work ‘Islamic Beliefs and Doctrine According to Ahl al-Sunna’, Vol.
1, as-Sunna Foundation of America publication, Second Edition, 1997)
KABBANIS DECEPTION IN CLAIMING TO REPRESENT THE VIEWS OF AHLUS-SUNNAH
Later we will look at Kabbanis attempts to ascribe taweel to the Salaf and some of the arguments used to support his theory. Before proceeding to do so, however, one is left somewhat mystified as to why Kabbani even troubles himself to find a link between his way and that of the Pious Predecessors of this Ummah and to claim to broadcast their views under the banner of Ahlus-Sunnah? He said about his teacher:
"When Mawlana Sheikh Nazim opens something, if that something is to be found in books, then it is not important. He only opens something that has never been written. Every second there is creation of knowledge."
(Kabbani, Mercy Oceans Shore of Safety, pp.92-93, 1993)
Why then, in contrast to the way of his teacher, does Kabbani try to reproduce what is contained in the books of the earlier generations if, as he says, such things are not important?
Kabbani goes on to say:
"Their knowledge has become as nothing in the ocean of knowledge of the saints of this present day umma. Every second, there is creation of new knowledge. Previous knowledge is over and done with. It is now limited to its own time and place." (ibid, p.93)
What benefit, therefore, is there in Kabbani quoting the earlier scholars if, as he would have us understand, their knowledge is over and done with, it is now limited to its own time and place?
Just as it is said about his teacher:
"Nor did he (Nazim al-Qubrusi) accept that translations of some traditional tafseers (Commentaries) would be useful because they were intended for the scholars (ulama) of that time to provide explanations for their own people."
(Preface to Nazims, The Quran for 20th Century Man, p.1, no publication date given)
Why then does Kabbani in his work translate excerpts from the traditional Tafseer of at-Tabaree (e.g. on pp.137, 144, 169) as well as the Tafseer of al-Qurtubee (e.g. p.147) if these were only intended to provide explanations for people of their own time?
Kabbanis teacher describes an incident in which a scholar is rebuked by Allaah on the Day of Judgement because he had merely memorised the Quraan, thousands of hadeeth, knew many points of Divine Law and jurisprudence from the Imaams of the Schools of Law and spoke with the quotations of al-Hasan al-Basree and al-Ghazaalee! He is asked to bring some knowledge other than this because, as Nazim al-Qubrusi says: "
he had gained no knowledge whatsoever during the course of his life."
(Nazim, Mercy Oceans Endless Horizons, p.56, 1982)
If acquiring these fields of knowledge will not benefit the Muslim in the Hereafter, then what will? If what is required is something other than these, why does Kabbani mention the Quraan and hadeeth in his book and quote the Imaams of the Madhabs, as well as repeating (accurately or otherwise) the words of al-Hasan al-Basree (e.g. p.195) and al-Ghazaalee (pp.139, 171, 200)?
Is all of this the approach of someone who is seeking the way of the Salaf? Or is it the way of someone who is looking to devalue the statements of our Pious Predecessors, not to mention disheartening the Muslims from memorising the Quraan and hadeeth, so that it becomes an open licence to say whatever he wishes about the Religion whilst masquerading as someone who is representing Ahl as-Sunnah?
After casting aside the knowledge of the Salaf, they have the audacity to claim that their teachings enable their followers to reach the level of the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam himself:
"The Naqshabandi Order teaches the very highest good manners, manners which make its followers lovely to their Lord and to all people. It gives them subtle and exact perception which enables them to arrive at the very essence of any matter; that is the level of the Holy Prophet himself."
(Nazim, Mercy Oceans Endless Horizons, pp.85-86)
In all of this there is also a reply to Kabbanis sweeping slander (pp.2-3): "They (i.e. the Salafis) consider that anyone who continues on the way of these noble ancestors to be a kafir or disbelievers, as if all these great imaams were wrong and their Islam doubtful!"
Aside from challenging Kabbani to support this irresponsible accusation with proof from the works of the Salafis, we also ask: Who is it that is leading people away from the Islaam of the noble ancestors? Is it the Salafis, or is it Kabbani and his teachers who, as we have just seen, would have us accept that previous knowledge is over and done with, that translations of traditional commentaries of the Quraan are of no use and that learning the jurisprudence of the Imaams of the Schools of Law will have no worth before Allaah on the Day of Judgement?
One should take Kabbanis claim about his book that: "This book and the second volume bearing the same title, are only a foundation for the correct teaching of the doctrine of Ahl al-Sunna wa al-Jamaa
" (p.3) with a very large pinch of salt!