Islamic conference in Chechnya: Why Sunnis are disassociating themselves from Salafists

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The globally renowned Sunni Islamic scholars and clergy unanimously took a stand that the Takfiri terrorists, who loudly claim to belong to ‘Sunni’ Islam, are not from among the Ahlus Sunnah (the Islamic terminology for the mainstream Sunni Muslims in the world).

Addressing the conference, leading Sufi Sunni scholar and the current Grand Imam of al-Azhar, Sheikh Ahmad al-Tayeb, defined what is meant by ‘Ahlus Sunnah’ or Sunnism.

He stated: “Ahluls Sunna wal Jama’ah are the Ash’arites or Muturidis (adherents of Abu Mansur al-Maturidi’s systematic theology which is also identical to Imam Abu Hasan al-Ash’ari’s school of logical thought). In matters of belief, they are followers of any of the four schools of thought (Hanafi, Shaf’ai, Maliki or Hanbali) and are also the followers of pure Sufism in doctrines, manners and [spiritual] purification.”

This statement goes in Arabic as follows:

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أهل السنة والجماعة هم الأشاعرة والماتريدية في الاعتقاد وأهل المذاهب الأربعة في الفقه، وأهل التصوف الصافي علما وأخلاقا وتزكية على طريقة سيد الطائفة الإمام الجنيد ومن سار على نهجه من أئمة الهدى
Having said that, Sheikh Ahmad al-Tayeb allegedly excluded the “Salafists” from the term of Ahluls Sunna (Sunnis) stating that Salafists –also known as Wahhabis – are not from among the Sunnis.
This was, probably the first time that the global Sunni Islamic scholars have disassociated themselves so clearly from the Salafists, who also claim to be the Ahluls Sunna or ‘Sunnis’.

Though this report has not received the media attention it deserved, it should be caught up as one of the most underlying news emanating from the Muslim world.

Over 100 Islamic clerics from around the world, including India, have attended this anti-Takfirism Sunni conference in Chechnya. They concluded that Salafism/Wahhabism, the state religion of the Saudi Kingdom flourishing in almost all Muslim-populated courtiers because of the massive Saudi funding, is not the part of mainstream Sunni Islam.

Given the significance of this epoch-making conference, the participating religious leaders called the conference a “significant turning point to correct the treacherous and lethal deviation from the true definition of Ahlus Sunna, as a result of the extremists’ attempts to hijack this glorious epithet, misusing it for themselves.”

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