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|30Mar2010, 12:07 AM||#1|
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Article: Errors in the Writings of Bilal Philips: The One who Commits Suicide…
Errors in the Writings of Bilal Philips: The One who Commits Suicide…
By Moosaa Ibn John Richardson
The beginning in a series of clarifications upon the errors in the writing of Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilaal Philips.
After repeated requests for me to clarify the errors in the writings of Dr. Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips, and the gravity of some of the mistakes that I have come across, I will begin clarifying some of the more dangerous of his mistakes in a series of articles, this being the first (in shaa' Allaah). 1 I hope that the author will take note of them, accept them as humble advice and correct his mistakes. I also hope that those who have his books will amend their copies, so that his mistakes are not followed. I ask Allaah to make the truth clear to all who read this, and to make it done sincerely for His Sake alone.
Dr. Bilal Philips on Suicide
Stated Dr. Bilal Philips in his book, "Islamic Studies Book 3" (2nd edition, 2005, IIPH, Riyadh, p.85):
"...Suicide has been classified as haram (forbidden) in Islam. In fact, the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alayhe wa sallam) himself informed us that one who kills himself will find himself in the Hell-fire forever, killing himself over and over again in the same way that he did in this life.2 The one who commits suicide implies by his act that Allah has unjustly burdened him beyond his God-given abilities, and such a concept is, in reality, equivalent to kufr (disbelief)..."
In this passage, Dr. Philips contradicts the belief of Ahlus-Sunnah and supports the belief of the Khawaarij and the Mu'tazilah: that the one who commmits suicide is a kaafir who will remain in the Hellfire forever. They are harsh and go overboard (ghuluww) with regards to the texts warning of punishment. Ahlus-Sunnah are balanced and take positions based on all texts combined. Consider another hadeeth on the topic, one found in Saheeh Muslim (113):
When the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alayhe wa sallam) made hijrah to Madeenah, Tufayl ibn 'Amr came as well, along with a man from his tribe. This man became ill when he first reached Madeenah and his illness became so severe that he took a knife and slit his wrist (over the top, or possibly near the knuckles), and the blood spilled out until he died. Tufayl then saw him in a dream, in a good vision, except that his hands were wrapped up.
So he asked him, 'What has your Lord done with you?'
He replied, 'He has forgiven me because of my hijrah to His Prophet (sallallaahu 'alayhe wa sallam).'
The he asked, 'Why are your hands wrapped up?'.
He said, 'It was said to me: We shall not fix something you have corrupted yourself!'
So Tufayl relayed this to the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu 'alayhe wa sallam), so he said:
'O Allaah! And forgive his hands (too)!'
The hadeeth clearly shows that suicide does not expel a person from Islaam, but rather it is a major sin that can lead to punishment in the Hereafter.
Al-Qaadhee 'Iyadh (d.544) said in Ikmaal al-Mu'lim (1/403):
"In this hadeeth is proof for Ahlus-Sunnah for what they say, that Allaah may forgive the sins of whomever He wants, and it explains the hadeeths before it that might seem to give the false impression that someone who commits suicide faces the eternal threat of remaining (in the Fire) forever.3 It is also a refutation of the Khawaarij and Mu'tazilah."
Abul-'Abbaas al-Qurtubee (d.656) said in al-Mufhim (1/324):
"This hadeeth means that that someone who commits suicide is not a kaafir, and that he will not be made to stay forever in the Fire, as is found in the statement of Allaah (that means), 'Verily Allaah does not forgive that partners be set up for him, but He forgives things less than that for whomever He wants.' [4:48]"
Al-Haafith an-Nawawee (d.676) said in al-Minhaaj (2/131), after entitling the chapter: "Proof that Someone who Commits Suicide is not a Kaafir":
"In the hadeeth is proof for the great principle of Ahlus-Sunnah that whoever kills himself or commits sins and then dies without repenting is not a kaafir, and he is not to be decisively declared to be in the Fire. Instead, he is subject to the Will of Allaah... And this hadeeth explains the other hadeeths before it that might indicate from their wordings at first glance that someone who commits suicide and other major sinners are to remain forever in the Fire.3"
And we read this hadeeth to our Shaykh Rabee' ibn Haadee al-Madkhalee in his house in the Summer of 1424, and he confirmed for us what the scholars say, that:
"The hadeeth proves that a major sin does not expel someone from Islaam."
As for the rationalization offered by Dr. Philips, that "The one who commits suicide implies by his act that Allah has unjustly burdened him beyond his God-given abilities, and such a concept is, in reality, equivalent to kufr (disbelief)..."
This is a blanket ruling on all people who commit suicide. It is factually untrue, as people commit suicide for different reasons. What Dr. Philips has mentioned is, in fact, one case of a person who commits suicide. However, not everyone who commits suicide has believed that Allaah has unjustly burdened him beyond his abilities. Rather, it is likely that only a small minority of people who kill themselves actually believe this, and Allaah knows best. Actually, the one who believes such a thing has disbelieved before he even committed suicide, so he would be a disbeliever whether he committed suicide or not, because of his belief.
To say that the very act of suicide itself implies this belief is totally unfounded and a contradiction to the hadeeth mentioned and the beliefs of Ahlus-Sunnah built upon it. Furthermore, it resembles the rationalization of the Khawaarij in this very issue and other issues similar to it.
I ask Allaah that He allows the author and those who have followed him through his book to recognize this dangerous error, shun the ghuluww (extremism) of the Khawaarij in all of its forms, and embrace the moderate approach to Islaam that Ahlus-Sunnah are known for. Allaah is the All-Hearing, the One who responds.
And Allaah knows best. May Allaah raise the rank of His final Messenger and grant him peace.
(1) I taught from Dr. Philips' "ISLAMIC STUDIES - Book 3" two years ago in an international school in Jeddah. The book was already in place and I did not choose it. I noted many mistakes in my copy as I went through it, and I will begin this series of clarifications with those mistakes. Please note that anyone who might claim that I am hunting for mistakes or "out to get" Dr. Philips should simply fear Allaah and realize that I have nowhere near the time, resources, nor motive to hunt for his mistakes. Although, after going through just one of his books, I was convinced that there is actually a need for a student of knowledge to go through all of them and correct the mistakes in them.
(2) This misunderstanding is based on a false interpretation of a hadeeth in al-Bukhaaree (5778) and Muslim (109), that the one who kills himself either by stabbing himself, poisoning himself, or throwing himself from a mountain, will be made to repeat that action in the Hellfire repeatedly, "khaalidan mukhalladan feehaa abadan", meaning: for an extremely long period of time, but not forever, as understood by the scholars of Ahlus-Sunnah, as will be explained further in this article.
(3) Like the one misunderstood by Dr. Philips, mentioned in footnote #2.
Original Source: http://www.salafitalk.net/st/viewmes...31&Topic=10828
|22Jun2011, 06:34 PM||#2|
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