Attending the lectures of ‘Imām’ Suhaib Webb?

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Askimam.org

 

There is an Imam from USA, by the name of Imam Suhaib Webb, who has a bachelors degree from Al-Azhar.

He is coming to the UK soon after many years. Could you please advise whether we should attend his talks?

Also, his website www.suhaibwebb.com is it a reliable website?

What would your advice be generally in listening to Suhaib Webb’s talks/reading his articles?

Answer

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.

It is important for every Muslim to ensure his source of Deenī knowledge is sound and reliable. The great Imām from the Tābi‘īn, Muhammad ibn Sīrīn (d. 110 H) – may Allah Ta‘ālā have mercy on him – said: 

إن هذا العلم دين فانظروا عمن تأخذون دينكم

“Verily, this knowledge is religion, so be cautious of whom you take your religion from.” (Sahīh Muslim) [1]

A similar statement was narrated from the Sahābī, Abū Hurayrah (radiyAllāhu ‘anhu), and the Tābi‘ī, Qatādah (rahimahullāh). [2]

In general, the person from whom you take your religious knowledge should be someone who adheres to the Sunnah of Nabī (sallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) in creed and conduct, and to the path of the noble Sahābah (ridwānullāhi ta‘ālā ‘alayhim ajma‘īn). Nabī (sallAllāhu ‘alayhi wasallam) defined the group that is on haqq (truth) from his ummah as those that hold fast to “what I and my companions are upon.” [3] The name with which this methodology has become known is: “Ahlus Sunnah wa l-Jamā‘ah” – adherents of the Sunnah and the Group, meaning, the Sahābah.

The great Faqīh from the Tābi‘īn, Ibrāhīm al-Nakha‘ī (d. 96 H), said, in describing the practice of the scholars of his time:

كانوا إذا أتوا الرجل ليأخذوا عنه نظروا إلى سمته وإلى صلاته وإلى حاله ثم يأخذون عنه

“When they would come to a man to take (religious knowledge) from him, they analysed his conduct, his Salāh and his state, and then [if these were to standard], they took from him.” [4]

Furthermore, the person from whom you take religious knowledge should be of sound character and a person of piety. The great hadith scholar, Yahyā ibn Ma‘īn (d. 233 H), said:

آلة الحديث الصدق والشهرة والطلب وترك البدع واجتناب الكبائر

“The apparatus of hadith (and religious knowledge) is integrity, recognition (amongst the scholars), pursuit (of Deenī knowledge), abandonment of bid‘ahs and avoidance of major sins.” [5]

Some of the criteria we advise you to look for in order to assess whether a particular person should be regarded as a trustworthy and accepted scholar from whom to take knowledge of Deen are the following:

  1. He does not violate the laws of Sharī‘ah. For example, he does not attend events in which there is intermingling of sexes, he does not cut his beard short, he does not listen to music, he does not keep pictures of living things etc.
  2. He is a graduate of a reputable and accepted institute of Shar‘ī studies.
  3. He adheres to one of the four mazhabs of fiqh, namely, the mazhabs of Imam Abu Hanīfah, Imam Malik, Imam al-Shāfi‘ī and Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal.
  4. He has sound positions in ‘Aqīdah that are in accordance with what has been established by the scholars of Ahlus Sunnah, like Imam al-Tahāwī, Imam al-Nasafī and others.
  5. He is not a person of bid‘ah. That is, he does not hold any baseless religious beliefs, nor does he engage in any practical innovation in religion.
  6. He is recognised and approved by the ‘ulamā’ of Ahlus Sunnah wa l-Jamā‘ah, and those ‘ulamā’ who are moderate and known for their taqwā.

Suhaib Webb does not fulfill these criteria and holds problematic views on some issues such as claiming the permissibility of listening to music.[6] Further, he is well known for addressing mixed gatherings and holding halaqaat for women without any Hijaab arrangements in place.[7] Therefore, it would be advisable to refrain from attending his lectures and reading his articles.

 

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Nabeel Valli

Student Darul Iftaa
Lusaka, Zambia

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

www.daruliftaa.net


[1]   صحيح مسلم، قديمي كتب خانه، ١:١١

[2]   الجامع لأخلاق الراوي وآداب السامع، المؤسسة الرسالة، ١:١٩٤-٥

[3]   الجامع الكبير للترمذي، دار الغرب الإسلامي، ٤:٣٨١

[4]   الجامع لأخلاق الراوي وآداب السامع، المؤسسة الرسالة، ١:١٩٣

[5]   الجامع لأخلاق الراوي وآداب السامع، المؤسسة الرسالة، ١:١٩٣

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