All praise is due to Allaah and may the Salaat and Salaam be upon the final Messenger of Allaah, his family and his companions.
Concerning the propagation of the recent "Pledge of Mutual Respect and Co-operation" that was signed by a number of callers of diverse theological backgrounds and students from the West, we thought it befitting that it be presented to some of the Scholars so that they may clarify the legislated stance towards such a pledge, and that the view point of the people of knowledge could be shared with the Muslim minorities in the West. We also present the translated copy of the pledge for those who would like to ascertain what is being presented to the people of knowledge and that no additions or subtractions were made that may affect their responses. Any issues that may arise concerning the accuracy of the translation can be sent to:
...and we will make the necessary changes, inshaa.-Allaah, if such changes affect the meanings of what is being presented.
The first Scholar approached concerning the pledge was Shaykh `Alee Naasir Faqeehee (a lecturer at al-Masjid an-Nabawee and the Islaamic University of Madeenah, and Head of the Department of Knowledge Related Affairs at the King Fahd Qur.aan Printing Complex) on the 22nd of Ramadhaan 1428. We will continue to share the views of the people of knowledge concerning this pledge as we present it to them, and add their comments to this document with the permission of Allaah the Exalted.
The Shaykh, may Allaah preserve him, mentioned a number of points which are worthy of reflecting upon - for all:
After reading it, the Shaykh began by stating that: "This is not the first, second, tenth or even hundredth time that an attempt such as this has been made. For a long time efforts have been made in order to produce such a formula, the only thing that differs is the method and the wordings. It should be known that achieving the objectives of such a pledge is impossible; it is like shooting a stray bullet that will never reach its target. How can (a pledge such as) this be possible, bringing together people of different theological backgrounds that are contradictory to each other?!"
The Shaykh described the basis for such a pledge as proceeding from the principle of "let us co-operate amongst ourselves in the issues that we agree upon, and excuse one another in the issues that we disagree upon".
In support of the Islaamic University of Madeenah, the Shaykh iterated: "Just because some of the co-signers (of "The Pledge") are graduates from the Islaamic University (of Madeenah) does not mean that the methodology of the University is at fault. Rather, the methodology of the University is correct, however, the University cannot guarantee that all the students who graduate from it are or will remain upon the same methodology".
In reference to the claim that "The Pledge" is specific to issues pertaining to the West, the Shaykh vehemently rejected this by saying: "Their claim that this is a Western issue and that Major Scholars elsewhere do not need to be involved: We say to them that the same Islaam you have over there in the West is the same Islaam we have here. What is false and contradictory to Islaam over here is also false and contradictory to Islaam over there. Islaam is suitable for all times and places".
The Shaykh advised that the pledge be taken to other scholars so that the legislated stance towards the falsehood that it consists of can be further elaborated on. Until that time, we would like to share the comments of Shaykh Ibn `Uthaymeen concerning the error of those who include other groups such as the Ashaai`rah and Maturidiyyah in the circle of Ahlus Sunnah, as occurs in the Shaykh`s Majmoo` al-Fataawa:
"Therefore they are united upon the Sunnah, they are Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaa`ah. It is understood from the author`s words that those who disagree with them in their methodology are not included with them. So the Ashaa`irah and Maturidiyyah for example are not considered to be from Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaa`ah because they are in opposition to what the Prophet, ??? ???? ???? ????, and his companions were upon in terms of understanding and implementing the Attributes of Allaah the Elevated with their apparent meanings.
Therefore, those who claim that Ahlus Sunnah are comprised of three groups; Salafiyoon, Ashaa`irah and Maturidiyyah, are erroneous. We say; how can all of them be from Ahlus Sunnah while they contradict each other? Is there anything after the truth except falsehood?! How could all of them be Ahlus Sunnah while each one refutes the other? This is impossible, it could only be possible if two opposites can be combined, if so then yes this would be possible.
There is no doubt that only one of these groups alone are the Sunnis, so which one is it; the Ashaa`irah, Maturidiyyah or Salafiyyah? We say that whoever is in accord with the Sunnah is the Sunni (adherer to the Sunnah) and whoever is in opposition to the Sunnah is not a Sunni. We say that the Salaf, they are the ones who adhered to the Sunnah and they are the Jamaa`ah, and this label cannot be attributed to other than them. Never!
Words are according to their meanings, so let`s look and see, how could we label those who oppose the Sunnah `Ahlus Sunnah` [or Sunnis for short]?! It is impossible, and how can we claim that three groups that differ with each other are united? Where is the unity?!
Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaa`ah are those who follow the Salaf in their `Aqeedah, including individuals from the latter [generations] until the Day of Resurrection. If an individual is upon the way of the Prophet,??? ???? ???? ????, and his companions, then indeed he is a Salafee."
Abu Abdul Waahid Nadir Ahmad
Shaykh Muhammad ibn Haadee al Madkhalee was approached regarding the pledge on the 3rd of December 2007, and commented with the following
During these times that we live in, those who speak have become numerous; those who speak with knowledge, truth and adherence [to the Book and the Sunnah], those who speak with desires and evil intentions, and those who speak with ignorance. All three groups are present, and the callers to falsehood are more plentiful.
Do not be deceived that a caller to falsehood is praised, has degrees or a high status in the life of this world, because this is of no significance. What is of significance is whether his speech is in accordance to the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger, may the Salaat and Salaam be upon him, and what his righteous Caliphs and companions were upon may Allaah be pleased with them all.
Amongst the callers to falsehood who have graduated from here, the Islaamic Univeristy of Madeenah, is Yasir Qadhi. I severely warn you against him, especially as Allaah the Glorified has exposed him after he wrote this document that has reached us and propagated it over the internet. He gathered with others and signed a pledge in which - from the beginning to the end - revolves around one point; dissolving Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaaah in the midst of the people of innovations, removing their character and extinguishing their identity.
Indeed this document that has reached us, that was signed by a number of people and propagated over the internet; it is falsehood, misguidance, injustice, oppression and ignorance [repeated 3 times]. It only serves the people of desires and is an injustice to Ahlus Sunnah. It is an obligation to be wary of it, to not listen to it, accommodate it, unite upon it and make excuses for it. All of this is in contradiction to the methodology of Ahlus Sunnah and what they are upon, those who are upon what the Messenger of Allaah and his companions, may Allaah be pleased with them, were upon.
He is calling to the methodology of Ahlus Sunnah, as he states himself, with the general understanding of term Ahlus Sunnah, meaning that all the other misguided groups are included in it, we seek refuge with Allaah from that, as we seek refuge with Allaah from this misguidance.
The evidence has been established upon him as he studied in the Islaamic University of Madeenah. I taught him in the faculty of Hadeeth, he once requested a sitting with me along with those who criticize him, so I agreed and informed him that I have no problem with that, and that was the last time I saw him. The point is that I never heard of him again until he entered the Masters program in Aqeedah, and sadly, this is what is used by him and others to misguide a lot of people, saying that he is the student the scholars or that he graduated from the Islaamic University of Madeenah. But if this is the methodology that he is upon, the likes of this pledge that he and others have signed, by Allaah it would not benefit him if he graduated from within the Kabah! Because this is a false methodology, and being a student of such and such a Shaykh or studying at such and such a place does not justify falsehood, for those who taught him here have taught him the correct Aqeedah, they didnt teach him this falsehood.
In any case, we ask Allaah for safety, as we ask him to cause the Knowledge that we gain to be beneficial for us as well as yourselves in the life of this world as well as the next...
Shaykh Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahaab alAqeel, the former Head of the Department of Aqeedah at the Islamic University as well as Yasir Qadhis Masters thesis examiner also took a look at "The Pledge" and was displeased with what it contained. He said that it requires a detailed response and currently he does not have the time to do so.
Shaykh Abdur Razaaq al Abbaad mentioned that if there are problems such as this in the West, then they should be taken to the major scholars such as his father, Shaykh Abdul Muhsin al Abbaad; We will publish his response when he issues one, insha-Allah.
 The term used by the Shaykh was "Aqeedah" which is translated into creed, but being that the term "theology" was used for creed in the pledge, it was retained for consistency.
 Shaykhul-Islaam ibn Taymiyyah, may Allaah have mercy upon him.
 As an added benefit, Ibn `Uthaymeen states in his explanation of al-`Aqeedah as-Safariniyyah:
Who are Ahlul Athar? They are the people who adhered to the narrations, they adhered to the Book and the Sunnah and the statements of the Sahaabah, may Allaah be pleased with them. This label cannot be applied upon any group or sect except the Salafees, those who adhere to the methodology of the Salaf.
 Shaykh Muhammad was asked about this and stated that he does not declare Yassir Qadhi to be an innovator, and this should not be understood from his speech.