Annotating the Issues with Shaykh Abduljabbar – Ibraheem A. Waziri


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.

It is my humble opinion that if ever there will be a sitting between the Shaykh and his counterparts who admit of being Sunni or Sufi Sunni, the theme of the discussion and negotiation should be about the standard upon which it is agreed in Sunna to view the prophet, his Hadith reporters, chroniclers and compilers. PLUS the standard any teacher must adopt in teaching those canons. Let Shaykh Abduljabbar admit whether he is Sunni or Shi’i flatly. After then we will all know from the onset that we have different paradigms, principles of engagement with history; perceptions about present realities and future possibilities.

Paradigm is everything. It makes Christians to read the Bible and see the affirmation of the crucifixion of Christ while late Ahmed Deedat, a Muslim, reading the same Bible saw the repudiation of Christ’s Crucifixion. Lets just admit where we belong, know and remain within some prescribed limits. As it is Shaykh Abduljabbar presently claims to repudiate in Sunni canons some ills that no Sunni ever believed they exist in the way he puts them, in the canons.


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