First published February 3rd 2021
The case of Shaykh Abduljabbar is a case of, Paradigm and that of Interpretation as I have written before, I think, that there are two positions in the general Muslim paradigm regarding the Prophet:
1. The Prophet of Islam is not a human being like everybody. That he is a spiritual being having human experience.
2. The second school insist that he is a human being like every other. That he only had spiritual experience (‘wahy’, revelation). The first position is shared by Sufi Shia and non Sufi Shia.
Some Sufi that are Sunni also tend to this understanding. While the second position is shared by Sunni at non Sufi level. Therefore when it comes to interpretation of Hadith especially of Sunni canonical collection, wherever the prophet is shown to be human with very typical human characteristics, forgetfulness, simple non fundamental errors of judgements in non religious matters, etc, the Shi’ites consider it as sacrilegious and therefore unacceptable. They also accuse Sunni outrightly of lying and fabrication for attributing such to the Prophet.
For the Sufi Sunni who attribute special place in their spiritual hierarchy, to the major Hadith collectors, they also find all sorts of noble intention in them and highest positive morally inclined interpretation to any form of depiction they will make of the Prophet in the authenticated Hadith. The Sunni non Sufi also give the Hadiths the possible best positive interpretation because the prophet is above, from the very onset, every perceived negative morally unacceptable label.
Shaykh Abduljabbar has a Sunni Sufi background but with a paradigm similar to the Shi’ites above. With time he has also developed mode of interpretation of the Sunni Hadith canons that is purely Shi’ite – among Muslim – but without admitting he has converted to Shi’ism.