It is not permitted to classify, and grade people with names which Allah (Ta'aala) has sent down no Authority for...

The following was taken from "Al-Wasiyah al-Kubrah" (The Major Legacy) by Ibn Taymiyyah (published by Maktabat al-Sideeq 1987), page 111.

"Al-Wasiyah al-Kubrah" is advice that Ibn Taymiyyah wrote to the followers of Shaykh 'Adiy Ibn Musaafer

likewise dividing the Ummah and putting it through tests on the basis of things which were not commanded by Allah and His Messenger (sallAllahu 'alayhi wa sallam) [is not permitted]: for example saying to a man: "Are you a Shukaily or a Qirfandy?"

These names are false and Allah (Subhanaahu wa Ta'aala) has not sent any authority for their use, and there is neither in the Book of Allah nor in the Sunnah of His Messenger (sallAllahu 'alayhi wa sallam) nor in any of the known narrations from the Salaf of this Ummah any [mention of the names] Shukaily and Qirfandy.

The obligation of the Muslim if he is asked about this is to say:

"I am neither a Shukaily nor a Qirfandy, I am a Muslim who follows the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (sallAllahu 'alayhi wa sallam)."

It is narrated that Mu'aawiyah asked 'Abdullaah ibn 'Abbaas (radhiAllahu 'anhum):

"Are you in 'Ali's group, or in Uthmaan's group?" He said:

"I am neither in 'Ali's group, nor in Uthmaan's group, I am in the group of the Messenger of Allah (sallAllahu 'alayhi wa sallam)."

Likewise each of the Salaf would say: "All these 'ahwaa' (whims, or sects) are in the fire."

Another would say:

"I do not know which is the greater Blessing?... That Allah (Subhanaahu wa Ta'aala) has Guided me to Islam, or that he has prevented me from these 'ahwaa'."

Moreover, Allah (Subhanaahu wa Ta'aala) has called us in the Qur'an: the Muslims, the Believers, the Slaves of Allah, so we do not leave these names that Allah has given us and adopt names which some people and their parents have innovated, and which Allah (Subhanaahu wa Ta'aala) has given no authority [for their use].

Indeed the names which might be desirable to use such as those indicating the affiliation of people to an Imam like Hanafi, Maaliki, Shaafi'i, Hanbali, or a Shaykh like Qadiri or 'Adawi etc, or affiliation to a tribe like Qaisi or Yamaani, or a country, like Syrian, Iraqi, Egyptian - No one is allowed to put the people through tests on the basis of these names, neither can they show walaa' [allegiance] or show enmity on the basis of these names;

Indeed, the most honoured of people in the sight of Allah (Subhanaahu wa Ta'aala) are those with the most taqwa [fear and consciousness of Allah], whichever group they belong to.

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