On Consulting More Than One Shaykh

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him).

 

Is it considered bad etiquette to consult more than one shaykh on the same matter and then to follow that which one feels most comfortable with?

 

Firstly, if it is an issue of suluk (spiritual wayfaring) you must only consult one shaykh. You may not consult another shaykh on the issue and you certainly may not make your own judgement. If it as an issue of fiqh (law) you may consult more than one shaykh if you are doing so out of caution and seeking an opinion which is harder upon the nafs (lower self). You should not do so if your intention is to seek out dispensations and that which your lower self is most comfortable with. In general, the one who consults a number of shuyukh and then chooses the opinion which is most suitable to him is making himself the shaykh of those shuyukh.

Abiding by the Sacred Law while Calling to Allah

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him).

Some people conduct certain activities while calling to Allah which are dubious according to the Sacred Law. They claim they have permission to do so from their shaykh. How do we deal with this?

Firstly, it should be clear that the Sacred Law is above everyone and no-one has permission to transgress it. Our path is founded upon rejecting everything that contravenes the Sacred Law and upon avoiding differences of opinions and doubtful things. Sometimes the opinions of qualified scholars, however, differ regarding certain issues, and this will affect our methodology. Once we have understood these principles we may need to seek clarification on specific issues, for perhaps there are things in them which we are not aware of.

On the Methodology of Ahl al-Sunnah

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him).

Are the Salafis considered to be from the Ahl al-Sunnah w’al-Jama`ah?

We have to look at people’s true state, and not at names or titles. Whoever follows the principles of the Ash`aris and Maturidis in tenets of faith and the principles of the four schools of Sunni Law is considered to be from Ahl al-Sunnah w’al-Jama`ah. These schools are the closest in their emulation of the pious predecessors (salaf). Those who follow these principles are considered to be from the Ahl al-Sunnah w’al-Jama`ah, whatever name they are given. Those who do not follow these principles are not considered to be from the Ahl al-Sunnah w’al-Jama`ah, whatever name they are given.

On Responding to Criticism of our Methodology

Answered by Sayyidi Habib Umar bin Hafiz (may Allah protect him and benefit us by him).

How do we respond to those who criticise our methodology?

We do this by clarifying the truth. This entails:

  1. Choosing our words and dealing well with those who criticise us
  2. Mentioning attributes and concepts and not the names of opponents or critics
  3. Addressing controversial issues in a way that is relevant backed up with firm knowledge
  4. Clarifying the truth to those who we believe will benefit from clarification. Those who will not benefit from clarification should be completely ignored, such that it is as if they have not said anything and we have not heard anything.