The Mufti of Chechnya, Salakh Mezhiyev hopes that a law banning Wahhabism in Russia could be reached. In an interview with Interfax-Deen, he stated, "There is no future for this notion, we issued a fatwa and adopted decisions and we went to Russia's President Vladimir Putin to regard, on the basis of these decisions, Wahhabism is considered a banned sect by law”.
In order to know the truth behind Mezhiyev’s position, we must return to the issuance date of the "fatwa," he referred to. At the end of last August, the so-called World Conference of Muslim Scholars was held in the city of Grozny, Chechnya's capital; in its conclusion the fatwa on "the existence of binding considerations that make true Islam differs from delusion” was adopted.
The failure of this conference was inevitable, because it was sponsored by the rulers of Chechnya known for their adherence to the anti-Islam Russian policy, and for their support for its criminal war in Syria. They confirmed their stance by issuing this "fatwa", which states that supporters of Sufism that is spread in Chechnya are the people of Sunnah (Ahl As-Sunnah) and the others are followers of deviant movements. It must be emphasized that the logic of this "fatwa" is in line with the understanding of the rulers of the Republic of Chechnya of Islam. To elaborate, we will quote some phrases from the text of the "fatwa" mentioned:
“The signs that Ahl As-Sunnah and Jamma’a (the group) that are binding are three pillars: belief, Islam, and Ihsan, in full they are:
1- Ahl As-Sunnah and Jamma’a in terms of belief are the Ash’aris and Maturidis.
2- In terms of obedience to Allah, they are followers of the four schools of thought: Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi'i, and Hanbali
3- Regarding Ihsan, Ahl As-Sunnah are the ones who follow the course of ethics (Akhlaq) defined by renowned Imams, the foremost being the Sufi Imam Abu al-Qasim Al-Junaidi bin Muhammad Al-Baghdadi, Abdul Qadir Al-Jilani, Muhammad Khawaji Bahauddin An-Naqshbandi and other worshippers.
Imam Al-Junaidi Al-Baghdadi said about Sufism: "Our way is restricted by the foundations of the Qur'an and Sunnah.”
Then followed the text that lists those who do not meet those qualities, whether they are "Salafis" or "Wahhabis" or deniers of the Sunnah, "Quranists" under the agreed description "and their likes who do not follow the path of truth from the sects."
Thus, the initiative by the Chechen mufti, Mezhiyev, is pushing for the "fatwa", which describes Muslims as Wahhabis or sectarians who go outside the limits of the Sufi way. This is precisely what the Mufti Mezhiyev is advocating for to be made a law in Russia.
The Mufti’s ambition can be understood on the basis of the fact that people in Chechnya have left following the Sufi way a long time ago. In order to legitimize the illegality of the actions of the Chechen rulers against Muslims who are "intellectually opposed" to them, we find the mufti pushing for documenting of the so-called fatwa, to issue laws.
For various reasons, the "Grozny Fatwa" has received criticism by some of the Muftis in Russia. But due to the lack of a coherent and resolute stand against such a "fatwa", it has led to discussing it as a possible basis for the Russian policy that fights Islam.
Consequently, we want to clarify the following:
1- Any division of the Muslims is contrary to Islam and serves only the interests of the enemies of the Islamic Ummah. Allah (swt) says: ﴿إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ إِخْوَةٌ﴾ “The believers are but brothers” [Al-Hujurat: 10].
2- Islam categorically forbids resolving the Islamic internal differences by going against the rulings of Islam, so worse still is to resort to man-made laws. Allah (swt) says: ﴿فَإِنْ تَنَازَعْتُمْ فِي شَيْءٍ فَرُدُّوهُ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَالرَّسُولِ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ تُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ﴾ “O you who have believed, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you. “And if you disagree over anything, refer it to Allah and the Messenger, if you should believe in Allah and the Last Day” [An-Nisa’: 59]
Allah (swt) said: ﴿فَلَا وَرَبِّكَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ حَتَّىٰ يُحَكِّمُوكَ فِيمَا شَجَرَ بَيْنَهُمْ﴾ “But no, by your Lord, they will not [truly] believe until they make you, [O Muhammad], judge concerning that over which they dispute among themselves” [An-Nisa’: 65]
3- The sin is attached to all those who harm Muslims even if by implication. The Prophet (saw) said: «المسلم من سلم المسلمون من لسانه ويده» “A Muslim is the one from (the harm of) whose tongue and hand (other) Muslims are safe”.
4- From the signs of sectarianism is regarding a certain movement of being the only one following the right path (Haq) and to attach the description of "Dhaleen" (those who are astray) to the rest of the Muslims.
We also warn the Mufti from participating in the adoption of such "fatwas" due to the words of Allah (swt):
﴿وَلَا تَكُونُوا كَالَّذِينَ نَسُوا اللَّهَ فَأَنْسَاهُمْ أَنْفُسَهُمْ ۚ أُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ﴾
“And be not like those who forgot Allah, so He made them forget themselves. Those are the defiantly disobedient.” [Al-Hashr: 19]
Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir