Hammad al-Ansari
by Sh. G. F. Haddad

Hammad al-Ansari is "the defunct Shaykh of the anthropomorphists in Madina and a venal mercenary from Mali" according to Sayyid Yusuf al-Rifaʿi. He studied under Muhammad Hamid al-Fiqqi (who contributed Wahhabi annotations to Tabaqat al-Hanabila and its Dhayl), Muhammad Amin al-Shinqiti, and ʿAbd Allah ibn Hasan Al al-Shaykh in Makka then went to Riyadh for a period he called "my golden days" from which he returned to teach at the university of Madina's faculty of Daʿwa, where he was heard calling the Four Schools "al-tawaghit al-arbaʿa," Ibn Furak "a Muʿtazili," and qiyas "carrion which one eats only in case of necessity" with the blessings of the authorities, although he also declared, "It is impossible to understand the Qur'an and the Sunna except from the Madhahib." At his hands studied ʿAbd Allah ibn Jibrin, Bakr Abu Zayd, Rabiʿ ibn Hadi al-Madkhali (whose thesis he sponsored, demanding the destruction of the Green Dome in Madīna), ʿAli al-Fuqayhi, Salih al-Suhaymi, and their like.

A rearguard Najdi slavishly loyal to the Saudi oligarchy, he trumpeted Saudi Arabia as the only truly Islamic country to his death, excoriating "reformists" and "revolutionaries" such as Sayyid Qutb, of whom he said: "If he were alive he would be summoned to repent and renew his Islam or else be executed as an apostate," due to Qutb's declaration that Islam "is formed (tasughu) from Christianity and Communism in a complete blend (mazijan kamilan)." He also rightly warned his students against the Ikhwan al-Muslimin (among whom he counts every modernist would-be mujtahid "politico" such as Hasan al-Turabi, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, and Muhammad Habash) with the words: "Do not go near them, all of their knowledge is dubious," but among his own dubious statements are his declaration that "Salat al-tasabih is false both in its chain and in its text" and the weakening of the hadith "May Allah brighten the face of him who hears my hadith and conveys it as he heard it," which al-Suyuti in Tadrib al-Rawi said was mass-transmitted from about thirty Companions!

He authored a predictably disastrous book on Imam Abu al-Hasan al-Ashʿari and another book on jurisprudence where he gave vent to his views such as "the Hanafis are angry at Abu Hurayra because most of what he narrates refutes them, may Allah be praised" and calling the Hanafi Ulema "ʿawamm" the way the Shiʿis call the Ulema of Ahl al-Sunna "al-ʿAwamm", although he also declared: "The Hanafis are peerless in the knowledge of usul al-fiqh and delving in it." An enemy of this science, he meant this as an insult and elsewhere states that "only the Ashʿaris and the Muʿtazilis worked on Usul al-Fiqh but none of the Early Predecessors except for al-Shafiʿi... and there are no reliable books in it because most of its authors used philosophy, except Ibn Hazm in al-Ihkam, al-Shafiʿi in the Risala, and al-Shatibi in the Muwafaqat."

His son ʿAbd al-Awwal al-Ansari authored a biography of his father entitled al-Majmuʿ fi Tarjimat Hammad al-Ansari in which he quotes the preceding gems from him in addition to his acknowledging that Ibn Taymiyya made glaring mistakes in hadith science in his book Minhaj al-Sunna. In the same book he says: "Sufism is formed of Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Dualism, and some Islamic principles, but only nominal Islam. The Sufis are the brethren of the colonizers and their worship is play."

Among his noises against the Ashʿaris and Maturidis are the following statements from the same source:

- "From the end of the Abbasid dawla until the recent past, Islamic states all followed the Ashʿari doctrine or the Muʿtazili doctrine. This is why we believe that this Saudi state has propagated the 'Salafi' doctrine, the doctrine of the pious Salaf, after a hiatus." This statement encapsulates the present-day apogee of Muhammad ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhab's program of blind anathema across time and space for the entire Muslim Umma.

- "Muhammad Qutb is an Ashʿari, and al-Nawawi is an Ashʿari, and Qadi ʿIyad is an Ashʿari." By such a sequence he means to demean al-Nawawi and ʿIyad through their inclusion in the same bag as someone he himself he calls a "Qutbi partisan" (hizbi qutbi), a category in which he includes his brother Sayyid, the Ikhwan al-Muslimin and their "Awakening" (sahwa), the Tablighis, and Abu al-Hasan al-Nadwi whom he describes as "The Tablighis' president in India, a fanatic Hanafi Naqshbandi, very eloquent and a good writer, hence people run after him, a big politico (siyasiyyun kabir)." He also says: "I know Jamaʿat al-Tabligh well, they are Jishti Maturidi in doctrine and fanatic Hanafis in madhhab."

- "When the Ashʿaris affirmed the Seven Attributes they did not do so because the latter were cited in the Qur'an but only because reason does not contradict those Attributes. If it were because of the Qur'an, they would have affirmed the rest of the Attributes"! With our knowledge of the unparalleled scholarly output of the Ashʿari School on the Divine Attributes (such as the textbooks of al-Qushayri, al-Bayhaqi, al-Ghazzali, al-Qurtubi, Ibn al-Baqillani, and Ibn ʿAsakir), the fact that someone can say such lies and still be considered learned is a sign of the times.

Hammad al-Ansari also declared that the Prophet, upon him and his Family blessings and peace, was not protected from committing small sins and that only the innovators explained the verse {and ask forgiveness} (40:55, 47:19) to mean: "Ask forgiveness for your Community." In reality, he himself is the innovator in comparison with the major commentators who adduce the latter explanation such as al-Nahhas, Abu al-Layth al-Samarqandi, al-Qurtubi, Ibn Kathir, al-Nasafi, and Ibn ʿAdil al-Hanbali. Even in the sense that the verses are meant for the Prophet himself, upon him and his Family blessings and peace, al-Baghawi, al-Razi, al-Biqaʿi, al-Alusi, and Ibn ʿAdil in their Tafsirs, Qadi ʿIyad in the Shifa, and others explained that such forgiveness is not sought for something which qualifies as a sin (even small) but which alludes to the Prophet's progress from a lesser degree of knowledge to a higher one as well as his duty to impart to the Umma the sunan which apply in cases of error. Furthermore, Abu al-Layth al-Samarqandi in his Tafsir and others said the verse was abrogated by the verse {That Allah may forgive you, of your sin, that which is past and that which is to come} (48:2) and this sinlessness is among the characteristics of the Messenger of Allah exclusive of any other Prophet or Messenger, upon him and them blessings and peace as stated by Ibn ʿAbd al-Salam in Ghayat al-Sul and in the books of Khasa'is.

GF Haddad
[SP 2007]

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