We have defined what was the primal Islam deriving from Sayyiduna Muhammad, salla’llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and his Sahaba and the Tabi‘in and the Tabi‘in at-Tabi‘in, through the time of the Khulafa’ ar-Rashidun and after it, through the time of Ibn ‘Umar, through the time of Nafi‘, established and spread out from Madinah.

Remember, we are not talking about madh-habs, we are not interested in them, we are talking about Imam Malik in his role as Imam of the Muslims and as the Imam of the Dar al-Hijra, which is the unassailed position that he had which, of course, places him over all the other Imams of madh-habs who came after him, in other places, while he was the Imam of Dar al-Hijra, the Imam of the Place of the Deen.

After Malik we also indicated that there was a stream, a river with many tributaries, of this teaching that went out to the East and the West. We are saying that in fact this primal Islamic teaching went to Africa right at the beginning. It moved from Madinah and the great teachers of the deen of Islam and went to Egypt. And from Egypt they spread over to Qayrawan and into the Maghrib as we know. Then, after Malik, began the ossification, complexification, structuralization of the method by which hadith were collected, by which hadith were narrated, by which hadith were transmitted. Another point of view took over, and we must recognise the difference, although some of the language is the same, because what is at issue is still the transmission of a hadith and, as we are all aware, hadiths were being transmitted at the time of the Sahaba. We know that Sayyiduna ‘Umar would send for someone to get a hadith from them if he did not have what he wanted for a particular judgement. We know also from al-Muwatta’ of this very dynamic relationship in Madinah between Amir al-Mu’mineen ‘Umar and Umm al-Mu’mineen ‘A’isha, radiya’llahu ‘anha, in the giving of hadith and in the establishing of the sunna.

But we want to look again at this way in which the terminology became politically altered or rather the consciousness of the event became altered, therefore the language became altered. There is a linguistic shift. There is a real shift, that you can measure, in the way people think.

The politics of the dominant caste of the muhaddithun emerge. I will now quote showing how people began to think. This is a modern person giving this viewpoint. He said:

“The excellent Salaf were very angry with the one who opposed the hadith by the statement of a person, whoever that was. None of the Imams of Islam is known to have said, ‘We do not act by the hadith until we know who acted by it.’ ”

Do you follow what he is saying? He is saying that none of the Imams said, “We do not act by the hadith until we know who acted by it.” In other words, he is already making a series of value judgements in this that is actually changing the whole way we understand the procedure of Islam.

“The excellent Salaf were very angry with the one who opposed the hadith by the statement of a person, whoever that was. None of the Imams of Islam is known to have said, ‘We do not act by the hadith until we know who acted by it.’”

What I am saying is that here the dialectic has been reversed to hoodwink you by a double trick. Sunna is equated with the hadith, with the collection’s methodology. And the muhaddithun are equated with the original Salaf as if they too followed the methodology and not just a specific hadith. The political reality is that the Salaf followed a witnessed reality. Here is the logical bind into which the school of hadith have put themselves.

They said, and this is now the muhaddithun speaking:

“The proof is the sunna. It is not abandoned for the action of some Muslim which is contrary to it. The sunna is the gauge of action; the action is not the gauge of the sunna.”

Now let us, in the language of linguistics, let us “read” this argument. They mean (now first I will give you the literary statements):

“The proof is the sunna. It is not abandoned for the action of some Muslim which is contrary to it. The sunna is the gauge of action; the action is not the gauge of the sunna.”

Let us read this: What they mean is the hadith is the gauge of the sunna. And then let us read that: It means the textual record of a sunna, after submission to the methodology of the hadith system and having found by its criteria acceptance, stood to be the signifier of the original action and thus the gauge of current action. And this reads out that the hadith system’s approved text designated a signifier of a previous sunna. This means that the finally accepted text, approved by a man using the complex methodology around 250 years hijra, gives quasi-authority to the fact of an event that took place almost certainly in Madinah 240 years previously, while the action itself is not the gauge of the sunna.

Which must read therefore: the communal practice of Madinah’s 10,000 citizens who had an ongoing civic experience and memory and report and record, confirmed by imitation in action, mutually adjusted by communal criticism and individual knowledge around 110 years hijra is not the gauge of the sunna that most probably took place in Madinah around the year 10 hijra, for example, a gap of only 100 years.

The methodology has to be examined more closely while the purpose must be understood. An examination of the methodology is not and cannot be taken to be a rejection or a verification of hadith as such. This is not my purpose. The isnad system of classification divides hadith into around 50 categories. The system is mutatis-mutandis a textual system. Now, before the establishment of “the Sacred Six”, the full methodology and the existential political relationship of man to text is different from the full orthodox method following the establishment of “the Sacred Six.”

The primal system is that of basic sanity and also trust, as we have seen in the previous examinations. That is, an original Prophetic sunna is copied in action, and by report civically, in a city, specifically renamed from Yathrib to Madinah, the place or locus of the deen, the name being changed to indicate its specific purpose in the new religion.

Then from the primal system we move to the hadith system in its initial, simple form. From this then another stage is reached. We had to find that the primal system existed and we have indicated that it did not die and that it went to Africa. It went from Madinah to Africa and was alive and well in Africa while Iraq fell into a nightmare of arguments of kalam and mutakallimun and the north fell into the arguments of the sects and the confict between the Shi‘a and the Muslims. In the centre of things and in Baghdad the hadith system, in its initial simple form, begins to emerge. And we would define it as having five elements in its methodology:

  1. Sama‘, that is the teacher to the student. Sama‘a means to listen.
  2. ‘Ard, reading out texts. Simply reading out the texts to the students.
  3. Munawala, passing on the text by hand.
  4. Kitaba, by letter.
  5. Wijada, passing on a text without an ijaza or license.

That is its primitive form. The methodology in itself, from the point of view of linguistics, has many features which we find to be active. In every case transmission implies the active participation of both parties, except for No. 5, wijada, where one party has dropped out of the transaction and become, as it were, merely the author. In other words, “here is my text.” In the later system, the complexity set up an internal bureaucracy until the methodology was completed. In other words, the creation of the system gave scholars an active role. The minute they had built the system nobody after that had an active role in the process because it was already defined, and because it would have no new material, it would become ‘authority’.

The internal bureaucracy would have a role, an active role, until the methodology is completed. Then the only active function you could have is to use the system, have an abstract relationship with it. No dynamic relationship is permitted and only a passive, almost neurotic, one is possible because it is so intricate, so morbidly complex that your attitude becomes passive to the point that you may not even want or feel equipped or have the courage to enter into it. It should be mentioned that in the early stage of the hadith system, hadith began to be transmitted from a teacher to students of the age of seven. Abu’r-Rabi‘ transmitted ‘Abdu’r-Razzaq’s book, and when ‘Abdu’r-Razzaq died, his student was seven years old. This can be found in the Kitab al-Rawi. Also if a child could discriminate between a cow and a donkey he was considered capable of transmitting hadith. That was the raw material that they were accepting. So the building of the edifice of the final methodology remains the last active function possible for a Muslim intellectual, that is, we are then presented with the total system as orthodoxy.

It was to mean that the completion of this magnificent baroque edifice with its enormous intricate interior, which we will look at shortly, in its nature was going to become an absolute thing and it therefore had to set itself the imperial task, intellectually speaking, of annexing or colonising the fiqh material, subsuming the fiqh under the hadith system. By extension, in some way also trying to subsume Qur’anic studies, inasmuch as crucial aspects of Qur’anic knowledge would nevertheless be contained in hadith which referred to nasikh and mansukh, ashab an-nuzul – where the ayat was sent down – and what specific Sahaba or what salla’llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said about a particular ayat. So in fact, in its nature it set itself a no-limits control system of Islamic affairs. The science called dirasat al-hadith, investigation of isnad, contents, subject, and mode of transmission, begins to reveal the complexity of the change from the second stage of hadith to the third, orthodox stage.

In Tadrib ar-Rawi, at the beginning of the second century hijra, Imam as-Suyuti said that the sciences related to hadith consisted of three disciplines: ‘ilm tadwin al-hadith, ‘ilm al-hadith, ‘ilm ar-rijal. A well-known scholar of the third century lists the science as having 20 disciplines. Another scholar listed 50 and we will look at what these are. Ibn al-Khaldun in Al-Muqaddima defined the roots of the hadith methodology as five: 

  1. The nasikh and mansukh verses of the Qur’an; 
  2. ‘Ilm ar-rijal, that is knowledge of the transmitters; 
  3. The method of transmission;
  4. Terminology of the isnad;
  5. ‘Ilm mustalah al-hadith, the terminology used to describe hadith. 

What we have indicated is happening, which is the subsuming of the matter of fiqh under the hadith discipline. Thus, from the first to the last of these five, it is clearly a system designed to subsume all the Islamic sciences, Qur’anic and legal, under its method. The full 50 sciences of ‘ilm al-hadith will be looked at, the ‘ulum al-hadith, and added to these according to as-Suyuti in al-Itqan. In al-Itqan according to as-Suyuti, they added to this the study of Arabic morphology, syntax, etc.

So then, we come to ‘ilm al-hadith, and we find that 35 categories of ‘ilm al-hadith have developed:

  1. Knowledge of the masanid hadith (al-hadith al-musnad, one which has reached us by a full isnad from a Companion who had it from the Prophet).
  2. Ar-riwaya al-mawqufa, one whose primary source is one of the Companions, i.e. it stops at a Companion.
  3. Study of a hadith whose first narrator is not mentioned.
  4. Study of the Sahaba.
  5. Al-hadith al-mursal (defined as the most difficult subject; no one except the most learned can handle this subject. Such hadiths lack a complete isnad. in that the Tabi‘i does not mention the Companion from which he heard it).

So already you see not only the creation of an elite, but the creation of a super elite who will be the only people who will be able to give the final words on the crucial matters of the deen. Mursal is related by Tabi‘in.

  1. Al-hadith al-munqati‘, different from mursal but also narrated by one of the Tabi‘in. It has a missing link somewhere in its isnad. There are three kinds.
  2. Al-hadith al-musalsal: It had eight types and includes the action mentioned in the hadith.
  3. Al-hadith al-mu‘an‘an: transmitted without mentioning how the transmission occurred.
  4. Al-hadith al-mu‘dal: two or more links missing.
  5. Al-hadith al-mudraj: in which the narrator has included his own words or someone else’s in the text.
  6. Study of Tabi‘in.
  7. Study of Tabi‘i at-Tabi‘in: the Followers of the Followers.
  8. Study of al-akabir ‘an al-asaghir: the greater from the lesser, i.e. a senior from a junior narrator, or a prolific from a lesser narrator.
  9. Study of the Companions’ descendants.
  10. ‘Ilm al-jarh wa’t-ta‘dil: challenging the quality of the narrator.
  11. ‘Ilm fiqh al-hadith: knowledge of fiqh derived from hadith.
  12. Nasikh and mansukh in hadith.
  13. ‘Ilm ghara’ib al-hadith: uncommon words in hadith.
  14. Al-hadith al-mashhur: well-known.
  15. Al-hadith al-gharib: uncommon.
  16. Al-hadith al-mufrad: from Makka, Madinah or Kufa.
  17. Al-hadith ash-shadhdh: rare, i.e. only one reliable narrator.
  18. Hadith not contradicted by any other.
  19. Schools of muhaddithun.
  20. ‘Ilm mudhakarat al-hadith: memorisation.
  21. ‘Ilm at-tas-if: manuscript errors.
  22. Study of relatives of Sahaba, Tabi‘in, etc.
  23. Study of the genealogies of the muhaddithun.
  24. Study of names of muhaddithun.
  25. Study of the mawali (freed slaves) among narrators.
  26. Study of the Sirat of Rasulullah, salla’llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
  27. Study of the first collectors.
  28. Study of the mode of hadith classification.
  29. Study of Arabic grammar.
  30. Study of al-hadith an-nazil: texts with a larger number of transmitters in the isnad.

The result of these sciences, of these 35 to 50 sciences, produces the final textual product, the hadith, which is then boxed in 1 of 50 basic classifications which categorise its degree of authenticity and strength and weakness. So then we come to the categorising of the hadith and look now at what it is:

  1.  As-sahih: free of fault, several chains, more than one source.
  2. Al-hasan: reputable source and transmitters, yet not sahih.
  3. Ad-da’if: neither 1) nor 2); weak.
  4. Al-musnad: chain goes to the Prophet, salla’llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
  5. Al-muttasil: all links mentioned by later transmitters.
  6. Al-marfu‘: reaches the ma‘sum (i.e. the Prophet, salla’llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), regardless of continuity in chains of transmitters.
  7. Al-mawquf: reaches one of the Sahaba regardless of continuity of chain of transmitters.
  8. Al-maqtu‘: narrated from one of the Tabi‘in.
  9. Al-munqati‘: incomplete isnad.
  10. Al-mursal: narrated by a prominent Tabi‘i.
  11. Al-mu‘dal: two or more consecutive links missing.
  12. Al-mudallas: forged text or transmission.
  13. Ash-shadhdh: a veracious narrator whose hadith contradicts others.
  14. Al-gharib: gharib al-alfaz: uncommon words; gharib al-matn: uncommon content; gharib as-sanad: uncommon chain.
  15. Al-mu‘an‘an: all links connected by the preposition ‘an.
  16. Al-mu‘allaq: one or more transmitters omitted from the beginning of chain.
  17. Al-mufrad: one narrator, or narrator from one place.
  18. Al-mudraj: whose narrator includes words of other narrators.
  19. Al-mashhur: well-known.
  20. Al-musahhaf as-sanad: text altered due to similarity of letters to one another.
  21. Al-‘ali: short chain.
  22. An-nazil: long chain.
  23. Al-musalsal: transmitted with the action mentioned in the text.
  24. Al-ma‘ruf: meanings well-known.
  25. Al-munkar: a contradictory hadith transmitted  by someone weak.
  26. Al-mazid: like another, with an extra unnecessary element in the isnad.
  27. An-nasikh: abrogates a former Shari‘ah judge ment.
  28. Al-mansukh: abrogated.
  29. Al-maqbul: accepted and practised.
  30. Al-mushkil: difficult words or meanings in it.
  31. Al-mushtarak: with ambiguous words.
  32. Al-mu’talif: names with the same form that can  be read variously.
  33. Al-mukhtalif: as 32.
  34. Al-matruh: contradicts direct evidence.
  35. Al-matruk: chain with a known liar.
  36. Al-mu‘awwal: contradicts reason, Qur’an and   Behaviour.
  37. Al-mubayyan: clear.
  38. Al-mujmal: opposite.
  39. Al-mu‘all: seems accurate but has a hidden defect.
  40. Al-mudtarib: different recorded versions of the  same hadith.
  41. Al-muhmal: narrators not in books of ‘ilm ar-rijal.
  42. Al-majhul: sectarian position of transmitters not  known.
  43. Al-mawdu‘: forged by its narrator.
  44. Al-maqlub: where one name is subsituted for  another in the isnad or text.
  45. Al-ma’thur: by later generation inside the same  family.
  46. Al-qudsi: Divine Words not Qur’anic in source.
  47. Al-‘aziz: one of 13 kinds of sahih and hasan.
  48. Za’id ath-thiqa: a kind of hasan.
  49. Al-mutawatir: impossible of forgery since it has so  many chains
  50. Al-mu‘allal: seems accurate but has a hidden defect.

Now, it must be kept in mind that the hadith does not and cannot stand by its isnad alone in the majority of the cases. To back up scientifically as it were, the concept of isnad as evidence, isnad can never be absolutely programmed; the concept of isnad needs a sub-science to validate the man in the isnad. And this science was created, called ‘ilm ar-rijal, that is, the science of the men. The science of the narrators, their names, their genealogical lineages, their lives, the dates of their death, their character assessment, the circumstances of reception and transmission of hadith as well as the topics they related and the ijaza that they may have. Remember al-Bukhari and “the Sacred Six” collected the hadith. Others assembled these police files of the transmitters. The main books on the subject are four:

  1. The Kitab of Ibn Manda, by Abu ‘Abdullah Muhammad ibn Yahya who died in 395 hijra.
  2. Hilyat al-Awliya’ by Abu Nu‘aym al-Isbahani who died in 430 hijra.
  3. The Kitab of Abu Musa, Muhammad ibn Abu Bakr al-Isbahani, died in 581 hijra.
  4. Al-Isti‘ab of Ibn ‘Abdu’l-Barr, who died in 463 hijra.

Then Ibn al-Athir anthologised them in his Usd al-Ghaba.

Thus the logical theory implied the study of the ‘ulama’. Logically you have to examine the biography, the veracity, the political allegiance of the men who wrote the biographies. For once the lived experience and its direct witnessing ceased to be the foundation of life, then the new closed system becomes not only inaccessible to critical examination, but has unquestioned matrices in whose name alone new things and ideas can be expressed. One should be aware that alongside this total system of hadith methodology that we have outlined, there exists another twin system using an almost identical set of matrices, disciplines and producing hadith which themselves radically contradict the version of history and in some matters the sunna as contained in the other system; that is the Shi‘a system of hadith. The Shi‘a riwayas brand our isnads as unacceptable, our rijal as hopelessly compromised politically and personally, and needless to say, our muhaddithun make the same accusations against them.

In other words, what we have found is a closed system which does not need anything outside itself to justify itself. So it is perfectly logical that another identical system can be set up with people teaching the opposite, which in itself is a critique of the other. This is a total critique of anyone who is not in the system. In the end, this system not only attacks the Shi‘a hadith but this system also attacks Malik. This system says: here Malik is in error because here we say this and are not interested in ‘amal, it does not fit into our system. We cannot relinquish our texts and isnad and ‘ilm ar-rijal, although the man giving you the judgement that he has taken and extracted from our methodology in 99 cases out of 100 does not know the methodology, has not ‘ilm ar-rijal, has not put his foot in the door of the total methodology of the hadith system, whether he is a qadi, or an ‘alim, or a modernist who picks what he likes from where he likes, in order to back up his outlook. The most ironic fact is that the major criticism of the Shi‘a hadith collection, as opposed to our hadith collection by our muhaddithun, is their lateness in time. Precisely a key issue in relation to the event of the sunna. One of the reasons they say, “We do not accept the Shi‘a hadith” is because they are a copy of our methodology, but then they have said their methodology is absolutely foolproof. Secondly it is later than ours and less authentic. Therefore, they are saying they are more authentic by being earlier. Then in that case we are more authentic by being earlier and by being in the right place!

So now the revised version of events is that the best book after the Qur’an is the Sahih of Imam al-Bukhari when Imam ash-Shafi‘i said:

“The best book after the Qur’an is the Muwatta.”

And what is better and previous cannot be improved by what is lesser and later, because nearness to the event in time and nearness to the event in place and the high position of Imam Malik as author, being higher than Imam al-Bukhari, in all his excellence and splendour, makes incontrovertibly the prior superior to the latter. Thus this system’s emergence politically and pragmatically insists that we have no choice but to conclude that the existence of the editors is its own self-justification, access is for an elite, initiation is a lifetime study, authorisation implies building the elite into the power structure, due to its complexity and the power of its all-encompassing nature, and due to its magical or unscientific linguistic indestructibility. Due to the magical equation of the hadith with the sunna, it supporters dominate the men of Qur’an, the men of fiqh, and the men of Islam in every aspect. It is static, monolithic, unassailable, inaccessible, incomprehensible as a totality, and totalitarian as an instrument of power. It only remains for a political regime to cut these men off from access to political decision-making and leave them to play in the structural edifice, and Islam can be declared a state religion, confirmed by these experts to be nowhere visible in the body politic, and yet have the regime insist that Islam is alive and well, for the system is taught, exists and is studied in its totality. This is the situation of the current power elite and the version of Islam that they are prepared to tolerate.

What is its opposite? A live Islam of Qur’an and sunna being embodied as social ‘amal. This is simple, radical and active, implying the immediate establishment of power by the obligatory and necessary act of obeying the prime pillars of Islam: shahada, salat, zakat, sawm, hajj, followed by jihad annually with an amir.

Now, for the zakat collection, an amir is necessary. On the collection of zakat, the Islamic entity has been created, the dynamic process has begun, the jihad will follow inexorably, as Allah has decreed necessary.

One of the scholars from Malik, ‘Abdullah ibn al-Mubarak, said – and he died in 181 hijra:

“The beginning of knowledge is the intention, then listening, then understanding, then action, then preservation and then spreading it.” 

The beginning of knowledge is intention, then listening – listening, not text – not text, direct experience.

You know that in Imam Malik’s lifetime, someone came to him and said:

“I have learned the Muwatta in forty days.” And he said, “Go away. Have you taken in forty days what it took me forty years to compile?”

This is the opposite. The opposite is incompatible with the school that we have been mentioning. It is existential. The beginning of knowledge is the intention, then listening, then understanding. The listening is the taking from the teacher; the understanding is returning it to the teacher, the confirmation. Then action, that is, politics, that is, establishing government. The preservation, that is, a Qadi passing sentence which the Amir empowers to be enacted, preserving the reality of the sunna and then spreading it. That is da‘wa.

Let us go back to al-Muwatta of Imam Malik and let us look at the simplicity, at the all-inclusiveness and how in fact nothing will be lost if we take this way, without any conflict or abrasive confrontation or implication or rejection of the hadith as hadith, because I have said that what is at issue is the functioning Islam that is produced by the educated elite of the Muslims. Look at what we have, and this is, remember, the earliest, the first, the most pure, the most guaranteed version of the living sunna. In the place of the living sunna were the primary factors, the primary dynamic of the method which is that ‘amal confirms reality. The Books of the Muwatta, the Book of the Times of the Prayer, the Book of Purity, the Book of Prayer, the Book of Forgetfulness in Prayer, Jumu‘a, the Book of Prayer in Ramadan, Tahajjud, Prayer in Congregation, Shortening the Prayer, the Two ‘Ids, the Book of the Eclipse Prayer, Asking for Rain, the Qibla, the Qur’an, Burials, Zakat, Fasting, I‘tikaf in Ramadan, Hajj, Jihad, Vows and Oaths, Sacrificing Animals, Slaughtering Animals, Game, ‘Aqiqa (‘aqiqa is the animal killed in celebration of the birth of a child), Fara’id (the fixed shares of inheritance instituted by the Qur’an), Marriage, Divorce, Suckling, Business Transactions, Qirad (qirad is wealth put in by an investor in the trust of an agent for use in commercial purposes, an agent receiving his wage by taking a designated share of the profits), Sharecropping, Renting Land, Pre-emption in Property, Judgements, Wills and Testaments, Setting free and wala’ (wala’ is the tie of clientship established between a free slave and the person who frees him whereby the free slave becomes integrated into the family of the person), Mukatab (a mukatab is a slave who acquires his freedom when he has completed saying a certain amount of money or installments to his owner), Mudabbar (a mudabbar is a slave that has been given a kitaba, that is, his master has agreed that he will be freed when his master dies), Qasama (an oath taken by 50 members of a tribe or locality to refute accusations of complicity in unclear cases of homicide), Madinah, The Decree (I might mention here that the Book of the Decree by Imam Malik is enough for all the philosophical meditation and disputation on the subject of the Qadar – along with the Qur’an it dispenses with the need for the Ash‘ari kalam), Good Character, Dress, Description of the Messenger of Allah, salla’llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, the Evil Eye, Book of Hair, Visions, Greetings, General Points, Oath of Allegiance, Speech, Jahannam, Sadaqa, Knowledge, Supplication of the Unjustly Wronged, and the last, wonderful Book of the Names of the Prophet, salla’llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.

So we look at Malik’s book, al-Muwatta, and its commentaries and we find that from the Muwatta we come to the Mudawwana, which is again all existential, all practical, all applied, like breathing fresh air after being underground. If you come from that other method to this, it is like coming from the underground into fresh air because it is immediate, particular application. It puts into the hands of those who study it the desire to practise it, the knowledge that it can be practised, the knowledge that the governance can be in your hands, the political power can be in your hands and if it is not in your hands, that you can get it.

The means is an absolutely simple series of mechanisms which have been put into action by a group of people and for which the victory is a sure promise by Allah, subhanuhu wa ta‘ala, and demonstrated by the Prophet, salla’llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. The beginning of Islam from its time of helplessness to its time of power is when Allah, subhanuhu wa ta‘ala, granted to Rasulullah, salla’llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, authority for jihad. Therefore the Muslim inhabits not a Makkan Islam, there is no Makkan Islam for the modern Muslim, despite what some misguided people, who are highly thought of today, have said in various places. You cannot live a Makkan Islam. It is obligatory to take the deen according to the ayat of the Qur’an which says words to the effect, that “this day We have completed your deen and called it Islam.”

From this point you cannot go back. You have to take the whole of the deen. What is demonstrated is that right from the beginning it will be successful, but it is because the fara’id have to be protected. And again, one needs to decode the Muwatta because you will have the hadith which are included, as we saw, in order to perfectly clear to everybody that the ‘amal is dominant unless you are going to do what happened here, which is basically withdraw human trust from the men of the highest calibre in the human story.

So to sum up, in the end of the day, what we can identify is not specific differences in detailed fiqh, but seven stages in an on-going process which leads to an unavoidable conclusion.

One: The abandoning of a methodology based on multiple witnesses on the primacy of Madinah, as the Messenger’s city, salla’llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, and the school of ‘amal.
Two: The adoption, one hundred years later of a methodology based on texts, based on transmitters whose authors have not in turn been validated.
Three: The definition of the Madinan Islam as one madh-hab among three others: one Kufan-based, one by a student of the Madinan Islam and one by a later collector of hadith who never claimed to have a school.
Four: The subservience of the four, now defined as schools, but in fact, four Imams representing the independent authority of fiqh as the Islamic springboard of action, the subservience of the four to a new, politically backed Islam founded on a triple complex of a quintuple complex of the hadith collector’s methodology.
Five: The logical conclusion. In order for the establishment of an absolutist, hadith-based system – the annihilation of the four madh-habs had to happen.
Six: With this could be achieved a dictatorial rule without fuqaha’, for the fiqh is still embedded in the madh-hab system and the hadith inside constitutionalism, and need never be actualised in society, for the legal justice system of this Islam would have been obliterated.
Seven: Since the Muslims are defeated politically in their inability to break the usury-system chains that bind them, the implication is that they must return to the primal mode of Islam in Madinah and the ‘amal of its people which is what we have outlined and is what we have proposed.

This cannot be considered as causing division among the Muslims because by this false unification of the Muslims they have been unified in a tomb from which they cannot escape, in which they are politically powerless, in which they have no land with frontiers that can call itself Dar al-Islam within which the shari‘ah, the Book and the sunna are in power.

Therefore, for the liberation of the Muslims and to open the way for the Muslims, we must return to the primal Islam of Book and sunna taking its source from Rasulullah, salla’llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, in Madinah, taking it from its Imams whose greatest Imam is Imam Malik, Imam of Dar al-Hijra, irrelevant to the matter of madh-hab, only relevant to the primal Islam which is the sunna, which is what he stood for, what he taught and which went from Madinah into Africa. We must follow its traces and revive it and impose it by force, by power and by the only possible way that will return activism with victory to the Muslims.

So to end the matter, we say that whoever speaks of the one who wants to go back to the Book and the sunna and the way of Madinah as being in some way making trouble for the Muslims, is a shaytan. This is the middle way, this is the way of sanity and this is the primal way and you cannot say you follow the Salaf if you do not follow the Salaf. And we have the root in our hand and if we plant it, it will grow and have success.