Ruling on the Nusayri/Alawi Sect

What follows is Imam ibn Taymiyyah’s, may Allah have mercy on him, answer to a question posed to him about the sect called an-Nusayriyyah (in English they are also known as Alawis/Alawite sect).

The question is very long, as it mentions many Nusayri beliefs and practices, and most of it is not translated for the sake of brevity.

Those who want to see the question in full, they can refer to Ibn Taymiyyah’s Fatawa 35/145. In summary, the questioner mentioned, among other things their legalization of intoxicants, belief in reincarnation; disbelief in resurrection, Paradise and Hellfire; belief that “Five Prayers” (as-Salawat al-Khams) is an expression referring to five names: “`Ali, Hasan, Husayn, Muhsin and Fatimah”, and that mentioning these five names suffices one instead of making ghusl from major impurity, or ablution, or fulfilling other conditions and obligatory actions of the five daily prayers; that `Ali is the creator of the heavens and the earth, and that he is their god in heavens and imam on the earth etc.

What follows is the end of the question and Ibn Tayiyyah’s answer.


“…Is it permissible for a Muslim (man or woman) to marry them (Nusayris)? Is it permissible to eat the meat of cattle they slaughter? What is the ruling on eating the cheese made from the rennet of their sacrificed animals? What is the ruling on using their dishes and clothes? Is it permissible to bury them with Muslims? Is it permissible to employ them in Muslim ports and handing the ports over to them? Or is it obligatory upon the ruler to cut them off and employ others from among qualified Muslim men; and is there a sin in delaying their explusion?”


All Praise is for Allah, Lord of all worlds. These people named “Al-Nusayriyyah”, and other groups from among the Qaraamitah and Baatiniyyah, are greater disbelievers than the Jews and Christians. Nay, they are greater disbelievers than most of the mushrikeen (polytheists from other than Ahl ul-Kitab), and their harm to the Ummah of Muhammad, sallallahu alaihi wa sallam, is greater than the harm of the disbelievers who are in war with Muslims, such as at-Tatar, disbelieving Europeans and others.

For they present themselves in front of ignorant Muslims as supporters and advocates of Ahl ul Bayt, while in reality they do not believe in Allah, or the Messenger, or the Book, or [Allah’s] orders, or prohibitions, or reward, or punishment, or Paradise, or Fire, or in one of the Messengers before Muhammad, sallallahu `alaihi wa sallam, or in a religion from among previous religions. Rather, they take the words of Allah and His Messenger, known to the scholars of Muslims, and they interpret them based on their fabrications, claiming that their interpretations are “hidden knowledge (“ilm `ul-baatin”), such as what the questioner mentioned and more. They have no limit in their unbelief with regards to Allah’s Names, His verses, and their distortion of the Speech of Allah, the Most High, and His Messenger from their proper places [usages]. Their aim is repudiation of Islamic Beliefs and Laws in every possible way, trying to make it appear that these matters have realities that they know, like those mentioned by the questioner and others, such as that “five prayers” means knowledge of their secrets, “obligatory fast” hiding of their secrets, and “pilgrimage to Bayt al-`Atiq” visit to their shaikhs, and that the two hands of Abu Lahab represent Abu Bakr and Umar, and that “the great news and the manifest imam” (an naba’ul `adheem wal imaamul mubin) is `Ali ibn Abi Talib.

There are well known incidents and books they have written with regards to their enmity to Islam and its people. When they have an opportunity, they spill the blood of Muslims, such as when they once killed pilgrims and threw them into the well of Zamzam. Once they took the black stone and it stayed with them for a period of time, and they have killed so many Muslim scholars and elders that only Allah knows their number. They wrote many books, such as what the questioner mentioned, and others.

Muslim scholars have written books, unveiling their secrets, exposing their veils, explaining what they are upon from disbelief, infidelity and atheism, by which they are greater disbelievers than the Jews, Christians, and Indian idol-worshipping Brahmans.

What the questioner mentioned as their description is a little from a great deal that is known to the scholars regarding their characteristics. It is known to us that the coast of Sham was only taken over by the Christians from their (Nusayri) side. And also that they are always on the side of every enemy against Muslims, so [you find that] they are with Christians against Muslims.

From the greatest afflictions that have befallen them are Muslims’ opening conquest of the coast (of Sham) and defeat of the Christians. Nay, one of the greatest afflictions that has befallen them is Muslims’ victory over Tatar, and from the greatest holidays for them is the Christians conquest – and refuge is sought with Allah the Most High – of Muslim ports.

They don’t admit that this world has a Creator that created it, or that He has a religion that he orders with, or that He has a place with which He will reward people for their deeds, other than this place (in this world).

[Majmoo` al-Faatwaa 35/145]

Ibn Taymiyyah’s Battle against Innovators and Deviant Sects:

Shaikhul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah dedicated a lot of effort towards refuting various innovative sects. He even physically challenged some individuals from the heretical Sufi sect, known as the Bataa’ihiyyah that indulged in feats like walking over fire to amaze the common masses. He proposed that he would walk on fire with them on the condition that they wash themselves first with vinegar and hot water. Their refusal exposed their folly, and Ibn Taymiyyah thus exposed the charlatans of the Bataa’ihiyyah sect. [See, Majmoo al-Fatawa (11/456-457) and al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah (14/36)] He also refuted Muhiyyuddin Ibn Arabi and the heresy of Wahdat al-Wajood.

Ibn Hajr said, ‘… From the astonishing qualities of this man (i.e. Ibn Taymiyyah) was that he was the strongest amongst men against the people of innovation, the Rawaafidah, the Hululiyyah, and the Ittihaadiyyah, and his works on this are many and famous, and his fatawa on them cannot be counted… It is obligatory upon the one, who has donned the robe of knowledge and possesses intelligence that he consider the words of a man based upon his well-known books or from the tongues of those who are trusted to accurately convey his words – then to isolate from all of this what is rejected and warn from them with the intention of giving sincere advice and to praise him for his excellent qualities and for what he was correct in as is the way of the scholars.

If there were no virtues of Shaykh Taqi ad-Deen except for his famous student Shaykh Shams ad-Deen ibn al-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah, writer of many works, from which both his opponents and supporters benefited from then this would be a sufficient indication of his (ibn Taymiyyah’s) great position. And how could it be otherwise when the Shafa’ee Imams and others, not to speak of the Hanbalees, of his time testified to his prominence in the (Islamic) sciences…’ [From Ibn Hajr’s endorsement of ‘Radd al-Waafir’ contained at the end]

With regards refuting the people of innovation and the danger they pose to the Muslims Ibn Taymiyyah said, ‘When some people asked Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal that they felt uneasy about criticizing people, he replied, ‘If I were to remain silent, how would the ignorant masses know the truth from falsehood?’ Those who introduce heretical writings which oppose the Qur’aan and the Sunnah and those who innovate in matters of worship, then it is obligatory that they be exposed and that the Muslims be warned against them – by unanimous agreement of the Muslims scholars. In fact, when Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal was asked about a person who fasted, prayed and secluded himself in the mosque for worship; if he was dearer to him than a person who spoke out against the innovators? He replied, ‘When he fasts and prays and secludes himself, then he does so for the benefit of his own self. However, when he speaks out against the innovators, he does so for the benefit of the Muslims in general, and this is more virtuous.’

So it is clear that openly opposing the innovators is of general benefit to the Muslims and is considered one of the types of struggles in the path of Allah. Since purifying the religion of Allah and defending it from their attacks is a collective obligation – as is agreed upon by the scholars. For, Allah did not raise up some people to oppose the innovators, then the religion would suffer harm, corruption and deviation. Indeed, this type of corruption is even greater then the corruption resulting from the disbelievers conquering the Muslims. Since when the disbelievers conquer the Muslims, they do not corrupt their hearts, or their religion, except after some time. Whereas, the innovators corrupt the hearts from the very beginning.’ [Majmoo al-Fatawa (28/231-232) Quoted from al-Istiqamah Magazine]

Taken from As-Sunnah Newsletter –

Was Ibn Taymiyyah a anthropomorphist?

(note: Question & answer have been shortened, to read the full question & answer please see link at the bottom of article)

Q) I have read that he deviated from the correct aqeedah and was a anthropomorphist.

A)What is mentioned in the question about Shaykh al-Islam having deviated from sound ‘aqeedah and ascribed to Allaah, may He be exalted, the attributes of His creation, is an utter fabrication and a blatant lie against Shaykh al-Islam and his methodology and ‘aqeedah. Anyone who reads any of his major or minor books will realize that. Among these texts and rules which it would be too difficult to refer to all of them, let alone quote them, are his words:

The early generation of this ummah and its imams are unanimously agreed that there is nothing like unto Allaah, either in His essence or His attributes or His actions. One of the imams said: Whoever likens Allaah to His creation is a kaafir, and whoever denies that which Allaah has ascribed to Himself is a kaafir; there is nothing like unto that which Allaah has ascribed to Himself or His Messenger has ascribed to Him. End quote.

Fataawa Shaykh al-Islam (2/126).

And he (may Allaah have mercy on him) said:

The comprehensive statement concerning all of this matter is that Allaah is to be described as He has described Himself or His Messenger has described Him, and as the early generation have described Him, and we are not to go beyond what the Qur’aan and hadeeth say.

Imam Ahmad (may Allaah be pleased with him) said: Allaah is not to be described except as He has described Himself or His Messenger has described Him, and one is not to go beyond the Qur’aan and hadeeth.

The approach of the salaf was to describe Allaah as He described Himself and as His Messenger described Him, without distorting or denying, and without asking how or likening Him to His creation. We know that what Allaah has ascribed to Himself is true, and there is nothing mysterious or puzzling in it, rather its meaning is to be understood as the One Who said it meant it to be understood, especially when the one who said it is more knowledgeable of what he says than all other people and the most eloquent and most able to explain what he wanted to explain, and the most fluent in explaining, defining and guiding.

In addition to all of this, there is nothing like unto Allaah, either in His holy essence or His names and attributes or actions. We believe firmly that He has a real essence and that He has real actions, and real attributes. There is nothing like unto Him, in his essence, attributes or actions. If there is anything that implies shortcomings or that He has a beginning, He is far above that in a real sense, and He is to be thought of as perfect in such a way that there is no perfection above it. He has no beginning and He cannot have been created, because there was never a time when He did not exist. For anything to be created implies that there was a time when it did not exist, and that creation would require a creator, but He has always existed from eternity.

The view of the salaf is one of moderation, neither denying the divine attributes nor likening Allaah to His creation. They do not liken the attributes of Allaah to the attributes of His creation, as they do not liken His essence to the essence of His creation. They do not deny that which He ascribes to Himself or that His Messenger ascribes to Him, which leads to denying His beautiful names and sublime attributes, and to displacing words from (their) right places (cf. al-Nisa’ 4:46) and turning away from (Fussilat 41:40) the names and signs of Allaah.

Both those who deny Allaah’s attributes and those who liken Him to His creation are guilty of both errors. Those who deny His attributes failed to understand the names and attributes of Allaah except in a manner that is befitting to created beings, so they denied these concepts and thus they have combined both errors; first of all they likened Him to His creation, then they denied His attributes as a result. That is likening the names and attributes to what may be understood from the names and attributes of His creation, then they denied the attributes that He deserves to have that are befitting to Allaah, may He be glorified and exalted.

Fataawa Shaykh al-Islam (5/26-27)

The texts of Shaykh al-Islam concerning this issue are very many, as we have indicated, but what we have quoted is sufficient, in sha Allaah.

And Allaah is the Source of strength.

click link to read the full question & answer

Did Ibn Taymiyyah deviate from the creed of ahl as-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaah?

The scholars of the Standing Committee were asked:

People say that Ibn Taymiyah was not one of Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah, and that he was misled and misled others, and that this is the view of Ibn Hajar and others. Is what they say true or not?

They replied:

Shaykh Ahmad ibn ‘Abd al-Haleem Ibn Taymiyah is one of the imams of Ahl al-Sunnah wa’l-Jamaa’ah, who called people to the truth and to the straight path. Allaah supported the Sunnah by means of him and suppressed the followers of innovation and deviation. The one who regards him as something other than that is the one who is an innovator and is misled and is misleading others. They heard wrong things about him, and they thought that truth was falsehood and falsehood was truth. That is known by the one whom Allaah guides and who reads his books and the books of his opponents, and compares his biography with theirs. This is the best and most decisive testimony between the two parties.

Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz, Shaykh ‘Abd al-Razzaaq ‘Afeefi, Shaykh ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Ghadyaan, Shaykh ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Qa’ood.

Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah (2/451, 254).