4 thoughts on “Shaykh Aḥmad Zarrūq”

  1. Criticism is valid in many circumstances. Shaykh Ahmad Zarruq’s criticism of ‘criticism’ is valid in certain circumstances in the suluk. Criticism of a ruler if he is wrong is totally validated by the cases in the time of Hadrat Abu Bakr (RA) and Umar (RA). Also the case of the sahabi who asked Rasullah (peace be upon him) about the preparations for the battle of Badr. I would go so far as to say that keeping quite when a wrong is being committed is sinful as we must conduct hisbah – amr b’il ma’ruf wa nahi anil munkar. I believe criticism of criticism should be placed in context or we will go astray. May Allah Ta’ala protect us.

    1. Criticism here is the translation of ‘intiqad’ (n q d) and my understanding is that of ‘someone who picks out the bad from the good’. If you look at the first sentence, ‘belief (i’tiqad) relates to ‘Aqidah’, which necessitates total acceptance, without question, and the evil of criticism mentioned is the attempt to pick out the bad, where there is no bad. i.e. trust in Allah, His books, angels, messengers, and so on. He goes on to characterise ‘valid criticism’ as doing no harm, so he validates criticism, not deny it. Rather he is saying that it is evil where the attempt to find fault in the faultless occurs, which only reveals the fault in the critic.

      We talk about ‘constructive criticism’, which rightly points out the errors that mar any effort, in order to put things right, as opposed to criticism that is destructive and spoiling.

      The effort of the salik is to know the truth and he leaves anything that does not take him in its direction, hence the struggle to find the Sadiqun, the people of affirmation, with the caveat of, ‘do not put your trust in just anyone’.

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