by Abu Dharr (Opinion, Crescent International Vol. 48, No. 2, Rajab, 1440)
From the outset it should be stated that the true ‘ulama’ are the most precious assets of an Islamic society. They are to be honored and loved by all Muslims. In real life, though, besides these true and tested ‘ulama’ there are insincere and misleading individuals who are called ‘ulama’ or ‘alims simply because they are endorsed and promoted by the kingdoms and republics they belong to.
One of the main reasons why the ‘ulama’ in Iran were successful is that they were genuine — they were dedicated to their Islamic principles and independent of the centers of political power and commercial wealth. And one of the reasons why ‘ulama’ outside Islamic Iran have limped from one failure to the next is that they have not unshackled themselves from tyrannical regimes and hypocritical politicians. Many of them follow the dollar and dinar all the way to their graves. These types of shaykhs for shekels have to be unmasked.
To begin with, there are shaykhs and da‘is who wittingly or unwittingly are in the sphere of internal and/or external intelligence agencies. Egypt probably demonstrates this relationship most clearly. There is an Islamic party in Egypt called “Hizb al-Nur” — a well-known salafi party. This party was approached by the American embassy in Cairo and was offered some portfolios in the regime of the unelected president ‘Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi. A member of this salafi party has divulged that the American ambassador to Egypt was surprised when the party declined three or four ministry positions in that unelected regime. Information coming from Israeli sources (not denied to the best of our knowledge by the Nur salafi party) say that Tzipi Livni, an ex-Israeli minister met with Nadir Bakkar — a member of the Egyptian salafi Nur party. For those who may have forgotten, Hizb al-Nur voted for and endorsed al-Sisi as Egypt’s “legitimate president.” A huge budget is spent by American intelligence agencies to study-to-subvert Islamic self-governance. Individuals like ‘Ali Jumu‘ah and ‘Amr Khalid are used to derail genuine Islamic self-determination.
A new twist that has taken shape is the convergence of common interests between some Sufis and the Zio-American strategy. The main catalyst for this Sufi-Zio-American lineup is the UAE. The Rand Corporation in one of its imperialist operated researches (2007) mentions the utility of an American-Sufi linkage. The Egyptian “al-Imam al-Akbar” Ahmad Muhammad al-Tayyib of the renowned al-Azhar University was awarded Shaykh Zayid’s Book of the Year award (2013). Another one of these material comfort Sufis is Shaykh Hamzah Yusuf. In one of his statements (ostensibly speaking to a jihadi Salafi) Shaykh Hamzah says that if he tells the jihadi Salafi to be patient [no need to pick up arms against the rulers] the Salafi replies [according to Hamzah Yusuf], “You are an agent; you are an agent of the government.” Hamzah snaps back saying, “But this is our din. Our din orders us not to [powerfully] break with our rulers. But they [the jihadi Salafis] are breaking with their rulers everywhere. Why? This is a problem, this is a catastrophe.”
Dr. ‘Ali Jumu‘ah rails against oppositionist Muslims and says that getting rid of them, killing them, is favored by Allah! On one occasion at an assembly of civilian and military personnel, Sufi Shaykh al-Habib ‘Ali al-Jifri is warmly welcomed by the Sisi Pharaoh saying, “I am pleased to have you here…” to which the Sufi shaykh reciprocates with a wide smile on his mystic face! Another sellout is Shaykh Usamah al-Azhari who was appointed as religious consultant to the Egyptian Pharaoh, al-Sisi.
‘Ali Jumu‘ah praises the Turkish CIA asset Fethullah Gulen. Another shaykh who had words of praise for Fethullah Gulen is the late Syrian Shaykh Muhammad Sa‘id Ramadan al-Buti. Gulen visited the Vatican; nothing wrong with that. But at the end of his visit he addressed the Pope saying, “We are at your service.” Only a CIA agent with an Islamic cover would express himself in such words.
Isn’t it long overdue for the Muslim public to see through the multifaceted and byzantine web of deceit concocted by those who have demonstrated their hostile positions toward Muslims the world over? The salafi-jihadis and the safali Sufis are being used by enemies who are entrenched in stations of power and positions of wealth. The jihadis are being used. They were used in Afghanistan, in Syria, in Libya… and they are still being used. The Sufis are being used by the Emirates, Egypt, and whoever else pays them to be pitted against other Muslims, albeit with nice words and smiles on their faces. The jihadis need not carry arms to kill other Muslims and the Sufis need not enlist themselves with anti-Islamic regimes. How does the Sufi al-Habib al-Jifri feel about the Sufi connection with the Emirates that has for the past four years been bombing and killing innocent millions of people in poverty-stricken Yemen? How does al-Jifri, who is from Yemen, reconcile his tasawwuf with the crimes against humanity perpetuated by the Saudi-Emirati alliance?
All that is required for both Salafis and Sufis is to unite on expressing a simple fact with one voice: that the regimes ruling in Muslim countries are illegitimate. If the masjids and the minbars, the schools and the religious institutions throughout the Muslim hemisphere were buzzing with that one obvious fact — that the people who rule over the Muslims are not legitimate, and therefore not acceptable — then we will begin to have a swelling of public opinion to unseat those awful rulers and unlawful kings and presidents.
There is a rotten status quo that has to be uprooted. The connections the jihadis have with criminal Arabian regimes, not to mention the imperialists and Zionists, and the connections the Sufis have with criminal Arabian regimes, not to mention the Zionists and imperialists are enough to delegitimize both: jihadis and Sufis. Don’t misunderstand me; there are conscientious jihadis and enlightened Sufis and we exclude them from the wayward crowd that has sold its soul to those who have power and wealth either by a false fight or by a spurious spirituality.
In this Zionist-imperialist funded schism between Sufis and Salafis it might be to the benefit of everyone to have those who are informed and inclusive Shi‘is (as scarce as they may be) help bring these diametrically opposed Muslims to aim their weapons at a common and historical enemy and to generate an encompassing love toward each other and thus see the light of day,
But, of a certainty, the [Final] Hour is approaching. Hence, forgive [men’s failings] with fair forbearance: verily, your Sustainer is the all-knowing Creator of all things (15:85–86).