Shaikh Hasan ‘Abdul Wahhaab Al Banna (hafithahullah) said,
“You should all be united upon the Kitaab and Sunnah with the understanding of the Salaf. I advise myself and you all. The Deen is sincere advice. Even if my son (Shaikh Shihaab) didn’t ask me to advise you (Abu ‘Abdis Salaam) with this advice, I was going to ask for your number to call you and then advise you, may Allah reward you all with good.
My advice for myself and you is to have the taqwaa of Allaah. Be patient upon the obedience of Allaah. Be patient in keeping away from the disobedience of Allaah. Be patient upon the decrees of Allaah. I advise you with being brothers to one another and loving one another. We are Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa'ah. The Sunnah alone is not sufficient. The Jamaa'ah alone is not sufficient. It has to be the Sunnah and the Jamaa'ah (together). Do not be divided. Islaam has called us to that (i.e. not to be divided). Allaah has stated:
Hold on to the rope of Allaah all together and do not be divided.” (Aali 'Imraan: 103)
In another verse Allaah states:And remember when you were few and were reckoned weak in the land, and were afraid that men might kidnap you, but He provided a safe place for you, strengthened you with His Help, and provided you with good things so that you might be grateful. (Al Anfaal: 26)
This is a great bounty, to be united upon the Kitaab and Sunnah upon the understanding of the Salaf of this Ummah. Therefore preserve this great bounty and do not be divided in the religion. Do not distance yourselves from one another. Rather, be brothers to one another and love one another. If you don't have the ability to meet your brother and pray the Jumu'ah prayer with him, read a book along with him or read the Qur'aan with him with a book of tafseer; at the least you should call him on the telephone and greet him and give salaam to him. Discuss with him a topic from the topics of the religion that you are in need of understanding. This is so that there is a connection between you and him. This is the kinship of faith. So keep the ties of the kinship that's based upon the faith. Be diligent in doing that, my brother. Even if something takes place of differing—may Allaah not decree it—upon you is to return to your elder brothers there (to rectify the affairs between yourselves). If you do not find a way to establish this, then ask Allaah for success and protection from error, and return back to the elder scholars. Do not take matters into your own hands. Don't keep away from your (Salafy) brother because you both haven't agreed upon a matter (that is unclear to you both), whether it is related to ‘Aqeedah or Deen or anything that is related to your connection with one another. Don't remain upon that (i.e. keeping away from one another). Rather, hasten to bring about islaah (rectification) between yourselves. If you can't, return to Allaah and then to the elder scholars to get their opinion. If one of the brothers there made a statement and another is not pleased with that speech because he sees it as being in opposition to the manhaj of Ahlus-Sunnah, return the matter back to the Kibaar. Don't leave the matter between the brothers who are differing with one another so that there comes out of that opposition between the two or matters that are not praiseworthy and it results in more separation and fitnah.
All of this is in light of you being strangers in that land. You all are strangers in that land. So where are you going to go when one differs with you? Where are you going to go, to another group? What are you going to do, start another group? The differences that persist amongst us—which manifest in ways that are not accepted by nor beloved to Allah—may become a means by which the disbelievers make fun of us and ridicule us; all the while we say we are Ahlus-Sunnah. Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah are the most merciful and kind to the people. May Allah make us and you from them. (If this differing persists) even the common people will say (look at them), they claim they are Ahlus-Sunnah yet they are divided amongst themselves. The people will thus be increased in their calamity.
So I advise myself and my brothers to fear Allah, the Most Magnificent, and to be patient with their brothers while rectifying these affairs with wisdom. None of you should ever take to unilateral decisions nor form into groups based on your (or others’) specific opinions. The opinions must be studied amongst the brothers who have been Salafy for a long time. Return to Allah, Your Lord, and seek His success, then seek the council (of those who have been Salafy for a long time) and sit with them; if you all come to an agreement (good), but don’t leave the affair like this until the fitnah increases. Return this affair to Allah, then to other than yourselves from the major scholars so as to resolve these problems.
I went to these countries, America and Europe and I was happy to see the Salafis in various lands and the (Salafy) students of knowledge who are the students of the major scholars. Your mashaayikh (who are still living) are the students of the major scholars (those alive and those who have passed away). Thus it is upon you to follow the major scholars, not that you are forced (to specific individuals), no, but you (have to return back to the ‘ulama) so you can know the Deen and the Sunnah; this is done by way of the ‘ulama. You will never find yourself free from needing them. So return your affairs to Allah, then to them (the ‘ulama) until the problems are rectified.
This was just a small word that I wanted to say to you all and I ask Allah for His success and to make me firm, and may Allah fortify you all. If you ever need anything, you have my number, so call me or call Shaikh Rabee’ or visit him when you make ‘Umrah and talk to him then, or by any means (at your disposal) to go and visit; or speak to Shaikh ‘Ubayd and those similar to them (from the ‘ulama), and like this resolve these problems amongst yourselves. Remain consistent upon the Salafy methodology, and increase in taqwa and increase in your adherence to Salafiyyah, for there is good in all of this for you all and for the Muslims (in general). Allah is the grantor of success and we seek His aid. May the peace and blessing be upon His messenger.”
Shaikh Shihaab went on to say,
“May Allah reward you with good our noble Shaikh, Shaikh Hasan ‘Abdul Wahhaab Al Banna. I ask Allah—Subhaanahu wa Ta’ala—to benefit all the brothers/sisters in America and of Masjid Al Bukhaari and other masaajid. May Allah reward you all, was-Salaamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullaahi Wa Barakaatuhu.” [Sha'baan 1435/June 2014]
- Students of Knowledge