Criticism of the Pledge of Mutual Co-operation

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What is the Pledge of Mutual Co-operation?

The pledge was signed between some prominent du’aat who are well known to the Salafis [1] and prominent Sufis who are openly promoting major shirk and biddah. The pledge begins with the following two verses of the Quran:
Hold fast to the Rope of Allah, all together, and be not divided.
(Qur’an, 3:103)
Surely, those who have made divisions in their religion and turned into factions, you have nothing to do with them. Their case rests with Allah; then He will inform them of what they used to do.
(Qur’an, 6:159)
These verses, which introduce the pledge, contradict the very essence of the pledge. Unity comes about by uniting upon correct belief, not by uniting truth and falsehood. Disunity, differing and splitting occurs due to innovating in the religion. Hence the verses they use have a meaning opposite to what they intended.
As for the first verse: Hold fast to the Rope of Allah, all together, and be not divided.
(Qur’an, 3:103)
The rope of Allaah has been explained by the scholars of tafseer as: the Qu’ran, Islam, the Jamaa’ah and His covenant. All of these meanings are correct and do not contradict each other.
“…and be not divided. “
And al-Qurtubee said: “And everyone who innovated and came with that which Allah has not commanded has split his religion.”
And al-Baghawee said regarding this verse: “They are the people of innovations and desires”
(Sharh us-Sunnah 1/210).
Regarding the second verse: “Surely, those who have made divisions in their religion and turned into factions, you have nothing to do with them..”
Imaam al-Baghawee stated: “They are the people of bid’ah and desires.”
(Sharhus-Sunnah 1/210)
Imaam Ibnul-Mubaarak said: “The people of truth – they do not have division amongst them.” Related by At-Tabaree in (Jaami’ al-Bayaan 12/85)
Imaam ash-Shaatibee stated: “Splitting is from the particular characteristics of the Ahlul-Bid’ah.”
(Al-I’tisaam 1/113)
Shaikhul-Islaam Ibn Taimiyyah said: “And bid’ah is associated with splitting, just as Sunnah is associated with the Jamaa’ah. So it is said: Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah, just as it is said: Ahlul-Bid’ah wal-Furqah (the People of innovation and division).”
(Al-Istiqaamah 1/42)
Hence the verse refutes the people of innovation, how can one then use such a verse to legitimize the people of innovation. It is surprising that brothers who have graduated from the Islamic University of Madina, cannot see such a contradiction. We ask Allah to guide them to the truth and give them the tawfiq to return the affairs of the religion back to the ulema.
The pledge is essentially about recognising the astray sects (such as Sufis and Ash’aris) as Sunnis and their differences with us in aqeedah as legitimate.
1. It states: ‘Urge Muslims to categorically cease all attacks on individual Muslims and organizations whose varying positions can be substantiated based on the broad scholarly tradition of the Sunni Muslims.’ This implies that the Shirk of the Sufis, or the distortion of Allah’s attributes by the Ash’aris, have a basis in the “broad scholarly tradition of Sunni Muslims”, and therefore on that basis they shouldn’t be attacked.
However the individuals who signed the pledge, and the groups that are being called as “sunni in the broader sense” differ with each other over even the most basic and fundamental issue; tawheed.
Ibn al-Qayyim said: “Indeed the path that reaches to Allaah is one. And it is whatever He sent His Messengers with, and revealed His Books with. No one can reach Him except by this way. And if the people came from every other way and opened up every single door, the paths would [turn out to] be closed upon them, and the doors would be locked, except this way, for it is connected to Allaah, and reach Allaah.(at-Tafseer ul-Qayyim, p.14-15). True Sunni Islam, has never had a broad nature. True Sunni Islam is whatever the Messenger (sallallaahu alaihi wasallam) and his companions were upon. True Sunnis always rejected innovations and its people.
2. It states: ‘Saying this, we do not deny the reality of legitimate differences and approaches’. Legitimate differences are those that must be tolerated and not condemned. Illegitimate differences are those that cannot be tolerated and must be condemned, such as the belief that other than Allah know the unseen, the belief that the dead can hear and respond to the calls of the living. Many of the signatories are upon major shirk, can this be any stretch of the imagination be considered a legitimate approach? The differences with the ahl sunnah and the some of sufis who signed this pledge is the difference between Islam and major kufr.
3. It states: ‘Likewise, detailed discussions in matters of theology are the specific domain of trained specialists, and proceed on the basis of well-defined principles and methodologies, which are beyond the knowledge of the generality of Muslims.’
Most of the issues where we differ from the Sufis and Ash’aris are not “beyond the knowledge of the generality of Muslims”. For example most Muslims can understand without difficulty that:
• Allah is literally above the throne, and separate and distinct from His creation
• Allah alone has knowledge of the unseen
• The dead cannot hear the calls of the living
• The dead cannot influence the affairs of creation.
• Allaah descends and ascends, He speaks, He becomes pleased and becomes angry, as well affirming all of the other attributes and actions of Allah.
These (beliefs listed above as well as other issues of aqeedah) are what early generation of Muslims united upon until the Jahmiyyah and their followers from the Ash’aris started distorting the religion.
As for: well-defined principles and methodologies, then we take these (principles and methodologies) from the Salaf of the Ummah. This is in contradiction to the Ash’aris whose well-defined principles and methodologies are based upon ilm-kalam, a methodology which has it roots in pagan Greek philosophy.
4. It states: ‘Urge Muslim scholars and students of sacred knowledge to take the lead in working to end ad hominem attacks on other scholars and students;’ This contradicts the Shari’a since we are obliged to attack innovation and those who call to it. Our salaf sacrificed their entire lives warning against the scholars of ahl biddah. Read the biographies of Imaam Ahmed and Ibn Taymiyyah. For what were they tortured and imprisoned?
5. It states that the layman is not required to know anything other than the six pillars of faith. It states: ‘The average Muslim is only responsible for knowing the basics of creed as they relate to a simple belief in Allah, His Angels, Scriptures, the Prophets and Messengers, the Last Day, and the Divine Decree.’
This is false, since the average Muslim is required to believe in all that it states in the Quran, and none of that at all should be considered from the ‘detailed matters’ left only for the specialists. From the fundamental beliefs a Muslim must hold on to is the attributes of Allah as stated in the Quran, the description of paradise, hell and resurrection, and much more. We cannot to restrict an average Muslim’s belief to the six pillars of faith.


1 Such as Yasir Qadhi, Towfique Choudary and Abdur Raheem Green.