Thoughts on Ustaz Asrar and Imam Mahdi Locks conversation.

Bismillah ir rahman ir raheem,

As salamu ‘alikum wr wb.

Call to the way of your Lord with wisdom and goodly exhortation, and have disputations with them in the best manner; surely your Lord best knows those who go astray from His path, and He knows best those who follow the right way. (Holy Qur’an 16:125)


This was an interesting discussion and I have quite a bit to say about it. However, this is just a summation.


I would encourage you if your interested in such discussions to view the full interaction here:

It honestly looked as if Mahdi Lock and Asrar Rashid were not in sync or sharing the same basic principles and understanding if you watch the video carefully.

@ 1:24:28 Asrar was telling Mahdi Lock as if he never heard of this before about the Ashari position on salvation in regards to unbelievers. I’m only assuming this based upon facial expression , body language and reaction.

Mahdi Lock kept going on and on about how the Islam practiced in the west is some how becoming indistinguishable from Islam practiced in the Muslim ‘heart lands‘…. yet he didn’t give any examples.

I honestly don’t see that at all. If he is talking about the very very minority view on women leading men in prayer, I haven’t heard of any Muslim country where that is happening.

Is he talking about fashion choices or what? I think he is simply over stating the case.

Mahdi Lock also made an interesting point about the accord that happened with Abdullah Bin Bayyah at Mardin, Turkey.

He mentioned that if Ibn Taymiyyah was being discussed was it not strange that no Hanbali scholars were invited to discuss this. I agree with him.


You have to wonder what type of ‘Hanbali’ scholars Mahdi Lock had in mind. Are they Hanbali scholars with an Ashari flavour or are they Hanbali scholars who do not (as they claim) make tawil of the attributes of Allah (swt)?

This is especially important considering how he an Asrar seem to be telling the viewers that ASWJ (Ahl Sunnah Wal Jammah) need to ‘circle the wagons‘.

In other words if people like Ustaz Mahdi Lock feel it is not appropriate to have common accord with other traditional Muslims like Ibadis’, Zayidis than why would he feel it appropriate to invite the Hanbali to the Mardin conference?    Especially if those Hanbali are not of an Ashari flavour?


Or is it o.k to have these theological differences as long as one ascribes to the label ‘Ahl Sunnah Wal Jammah‘ ?

Asrar Rashid made a mistake when naming the madhabs that the Amman accord accepts. The Amman accord said nothing about the “Salafi madhab”. They eight they recognized are.
1) Ibadi
2) Hanafi
3) Maliki
4) Shafi’i
5) Hanbali
6) Dhahiri
7) Zaidi
8) Ithna Ashari…

However the interesting thing about their exchange and something I have predicted and something that those of you who call yourselves ‘Ahl Sunnah Wal Jammah‘ are going to have to come to terms with is this.

Are you going to cling to the old ways and not have friendship, work together, and have unity with Ibadi, Zaidi and 12er Shia  and promote hostility?


Or are you going to come together and have some level of accord, mutual respect, and coming together for mutual goals and objectives, an example being justice to the people of Palestine.

This has already split the Sunni community and will continue to do so. It will be an interesting development because both camps have some intellectuals and heavy weights.

One thing I agree with Mahdi Lock and Asrar Rashid about is on the clothing issue. So many people actually go on and on about the clothing issue. If its not Imam Nahiem Ajmal (who goes by the name Mufti Abu Layth) who seems to bemoan converts wearing Arab or Asian garb, its people like the Tablighi Jamaat who think that you can only follow the Sunnah by wearing thobes and shawar khamis.

Look, if the clothing is comfortable and it conforms to modesty let people wear what they like. full stop!

I agree with Mahdi Lock I have often wore traditional garb and it was never an issue with Non Muslims. It would always be some Muslim from Pakistan or Egypt wearing blue jeans and and Ralph Lauren shirt looking at me saying, ‘Why you dressed like that?‘.

Same thing is unfortunately happening today in Malaysia. If some of the Malays there are adopting Arab style of dress so be it! Let them! Why make a fuss about it! It’s modest, affordable khalas! Habis, Finito.

I am not sure how I feel about Asrar Rashid’s critique of Abdullah Bin Bayyah’s classification of ‘fiqh of minorities‘ he simply thinks it should be ‘fiqh of necessities’. Yet, fiqh of necessities was already in vogue even when Muslims are the majority, eating pork when necessary, dry wudhu etc…

So in this case Abdullah Bin Bayyah is correct in having a separate category of fiqh of minorities.

The other thing is that in this close to two hour video segment they didn’t give one single example of how ‘fiqh of minorities’ leads to ultra liberal Islam or opinions that are Non Islamic altogether, examples being:
LGBT is acceptable in Islam.
Men can marry men etc….
Muslim women can marry Non Muslim men.

They didn’t give an example. That would make me very reluctant to put up some $$ to get Mahdi Locks book. Because if we are in a ‘crisis’ surely Mahdi Lock could have give one clear cut example. Show us how ‘fiqh of minorities’ is making Islam unrecognizable or leads to liberal and non Islamic opinions?

One thing Asrar Rashid noted which was very astute of him was that the youth today will not or do not recognize any changes in the Muslim community from the 80s and early 90s because the majority of them were not even born during that time. He’s right.

To be honest I think Asrar Rashid recognizes and understands there is a need for change.

Asrar Rashid pulls out a book ‘Purification of the Heart’ a translation done by Mark Hanson (Hamza Yusuf) and he did have something positive to say. “May Allah give them a good ending and us a good ending based upon our intentions.”

His last point was to bring up the issue of the so called Mahdi.
He didn’t mentioned Mufti Abu Layth by name but it was quite clear that is the person he was making reference to.

@ 1:48:35 He said of Mufti Abu Layth “Initially he claimed to be Maliki but than these people evolve into creatures!”

That was really unnecessary.

At the last 5 minutes Asrar Rashid brings out a book that claims to have 400 hadith written about the Mahdi. So he makes a false equivocation which is that even if we say 390 are false or fabricated we still have 10 that are sahih (sound).

Well, we don’t know that. They could all be sound. They could all be fabricated. They could all have ‘illa or hidden defects.

In summation Mahdi Lock solution ‘make hijra’ back to the Muslim countries.

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