This is a Q & A session that I had with the Noble Shaykh Alee Naasir al-Faqeehi (may Allaah preserve him) on the 11th of Dhul-Hijjah, 1434 in Minaa during Hajj last year. May Allaah reward the Shaykh for his kindness and allowing me to enter into his sleeping quarters to ask these questions and then have lunch with him. I benefited tremendously from the mannerisms and knowledge of the Shaykh. This Q & A Session was in the presence of one of the Shaykh's sons who was on Hajj with him and Shaykh Fayhaan al-Mutayyiree (one of the Shuyookh of Shaykh Sulaymaan ar-Ruhaylee) who was in the same sleeping area of Shaykh Alee Naasir.
Q1. You have from amongst the people those who have become apostates from the Deen of Islaam in America. You find this apostate saying that he has found that the Deen of Islaam is not the true religion. From that which he uses as a proof is the Prophet's (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) marriage to 'Aa'ishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) when she was young in age.
A1. Firstly, the Messenger never made a mistake (when making ijtihaad) in a matter except that Allaah clarified to him that which is correct regarding that matter. Allaah has never approved of any mistake made by the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam). As an example, Allaah stated:
قَدْ سَمِعَ اللَّهُ قَوْلَ الَّتِي تُجَادِلُكَ فِي زَوْجِهَا وَتَشْتَكِي إِلَى اللَّهِ
Allaah has indeed heard the statement of the woman who pleads with you concerning her husband and carries her complaint to Allaah. [al-Mujaadilah: 1]
Allaah directed the Prophet to that which was correct regarding the issue of Khawlah bint Tha'labah with her husband. When she complained to the Prophet against her husband (Aws ibn as-Saamit) that he said to her that she's to him like the back of his mother, the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) told her to fear Allaah regarding the right of her husband. Then Allaah sent down the revelation regarding her affair.
The second example is that of the battle of Badr regarding the prisoners of war. The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) sought the advice of Abu Bakr (may Allaah be pleased with him) regarding the prisoners of war. Abu Bakr (may Allaah be pleased with him) advised the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) to release them. He sought the advice from Umar (may Allaah be pleased with him) and Umar advised the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) to execute them. The Messenger of Allaah ransomed them off and Allaah revealed:
مَا كَانَ لِنَبِيٍّ أَن يَكُونَ لَهُ أَسْرَىٰ حَتَّىٰ يُثْخِنَ فِي الْأَرْضِ
It's not befitting that the Prophet should have prisoners of war until he has thoroughly subdued the land. [al-Anfaal: 67]
Abu Bakr (may Allaah be pleased with him) married his daughter Aaishah (may Allaah be pleased with her) to him (the Prophet). If the Prophet's (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) marriage to Aaishah was a mistake, Allaah would have corrected the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam). His enemies from the Quraysh didn't mention this matter (as a point of criticism) against him although they were the ones who had the greatest enmity towards him. Therefore this matter is not an evidence for that which this apostate has stated. Rather the one who questions the Prophet's integrity, then that individual's integrity is in question!
Q2. What are the duties and responsibilities that are obligatory upon the Imaams of the Masaajid in America?
A2. That which is upon the Imaams is that they fulfill all of the duties and responsibilities of the Imaam. From these responsibilities: the preservation of the five daily prayers (in the Masjid), teaching the people the Qur'aan and the Sunnah and that he is an example for the people, a person of good character. The obligations of Islaam that are in Saudi are the same obligations of Islaam in America. That's because Islaam is Islaam in any place.
Q3. We have amongst us in America a person who ascribes to Ahlus-Sunnah, however he goes to the Masaajid of Ahlul-Bid'ah to give Da'wah according to his claim. These people from Ahlul-Bid'ah capitalize off of the presence of this Salafi, Sunni caller. They say that they are upon the truth because this individual comes to them and works with them. What is your statement regarding this matter?
A3. If this person is being influenced by the people and at the same time these people of innovation are using the presence of this caller (to prove that they are on the truth) and they don't accept when he corrects the mistakes that are with them, he should not go. However the person of knowledge, one of good character who fortifies himself from their errors, the one who is not influenced by them, it's permissible for him to go amongst them to clarify the truth. The Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) went amongst the polytheist and called them to Islaam. Therefore it's a must that we call the people of innovation to the Sunnah. However, this is for the person of knowledge who is grounded and strong (upon the knowledge). He's not influenced by them. So the one who goes amongst must look and see whether or not they are benefiting from his Da'wah or not? He must look to see if they are accepting from him or not?
Q4.We find from some of the students of knowledge who say: He doesn't have a problem with going amongst the Hizbees, The Ikhwaan al-Muslimeen as long as they will pay him to come give a lecture or a class. What is your statement regarding this?
A4.This is not befitting that he goes amongst for them purpose of attaining money.
Q5.As you know, we have many family problems amongst our communities in America. One of the reasons for that is many people who have accepted Islaam were not cultivated upon the importance of family life and family structure (prior to Islaam). What is the correct way to cultivate these individuals upon the importance of family life and family structure? Also what is the best book that you advise the Imaams to study regarding these family matters, in order that they educate the people regarding these issues?
A5. I advise them with reading Riyaadus-Saaliheen of Imaam an-Nawawi (may Allaah have mercy upon him) with the explanation of Imaam Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-'Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy upon him). The reason is due to the chapters that are present (within the book) which deal with the purification of the soul, the rights of the people and other than that from the affairs of Fiqh. (Shaykh Fayhaan al-Mutayyiree was the one who mentioned the book first and then Shaykh Alee Naasir added to what he said).
Q6. The last matter. We have some differences taking place amongst the Imaams and callers in America. What is your advice to me specifically and for the callers, Imaams and students of knowledge in general regarding the differences that are taking place amongst us in America?
A6.It is not befitting for you all to be differing. It's a must that your word is one word. If you differ regarding a matter, you should sit amongst yourselves and discuss the affair which is taking place amongst you. Do not involve the common folk into these affairs and do not inform them of them. Also is not befitting for one to go and call a scholar without the others. It's a must that they call together while they are all present in order that the scholar can hear from both sides and bring about rectification
This was the end of the Q and A session with the Shaykh. I then had lunch with the Shaykh and the others that were present. Then Shaykh Saalih as-Suhaymee (may Allaah preserve him)came to the tent, for he also was staying in those quarters. I asked the Shaykh for advice for the students of knowledge here in America. The Shaykh's advice was short and to the point:
"Fear Allaah, seek knowledge, teach the people their religion and do not busy yourselves with the affairs of differing that's taking place."
May Allaah have mercy upon all of the Mashaayikh of Ahlus-Sunnah, those who have died amongst them as well as those who are alive. May He preserve our living scholars upon goodness and allow us to be from those who benefit from their knowledge, Ameen.