In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
To proceed, before presenting a paraphrase of the above audio, it should be clearly noted that passing a judgement of disbelief against a person – who is ascribed to Islaam – is solely the responsibility of the scholars. Therefore, we have added links as reminders so that the English reader is reminded of the fact that Ataturk was not declared a disbeliever by commoners, rather it was upright scholars who dealt with his various deeds and beliefs before passing a judgement on him. We ask Allaah to protect us from misguidance Aameen.
Imaam Al-Albaanee [rahimahullaah] said:
Once I sat with a Christian priest, so a lengthy discussion and scrutiny took place between him and I. The story is lengthy and it contains benefit, but we do not have enough time, meaning we only have 5mins. Therefore, due to this I will mention from it that which is relevant to this occasion. This priest disapproved of the Muslims [i.e. the scholars of the Muslims] because they passed the judgement of disbelief against the one who was called Mustapha Kamaal Pasha- later named Ataturk [the father of the Turks], who hindered the Turkish Muslims from many of the rulings of their religion as it is well known. This priest verbally attacked the Muslims and ascribed extremism to their act of excommunicating this Ataturk- claiming that Ataturk did not do anything that makes him deserving of being excommunicated other than the fact that he made the hat compulsory for the Turkish people [i.e. western style hats for civil servants such as the felt hat etc]. So my rebuttal against this priest was from two angles [or aspects]: Firstly, and I will not prolong in stating the fact that not only did the man oppose Islaam in relation to this first affair, rather he changed many rulings of the Sharee’ah, such as equating the inheritance of a female to that of a male. [End of quote before we continue with paraphrase]
NB: Only scholars pass judgement of Takfeer against a person who was initially a Muslim: Read and Listen Regarding Principles of Takfeer, Ruling by other than what Allaah has revealed, Changing the Sharee’ah and lessons on inheritance:
Imaam Al-Albaanee [rahimahullaah] continued…As for with regards to the subject matter of the hat, I went into a long discussion and scrutiny whose summary is….
From the perfection of Islam is that it laid down rulings and divine legislation in order for Muslims to preserve their Islamic personality and are not [wasted away, and deviated] – in any era – towards the [Un-Islamic] personality of another nation. I mentioned to him that the scholars who deal with the subject matters of Ijmaa [consensus] say that any society that wants to preserve their personality must preserve their traditions, history and language, and this is an indisputable affair to them in the knowledge [or subject matter] related to consensus. So, I told him that from the virtues of Islam and the perfection of its legislation is that it has legislated for the Muslims to preserve their Muslim personality and not to imitate those who are in opposition [to their identity]; rather they should aim [or make the intention] to be in opposition to the path of those who are in opposition to their identity. And if this man Ataturk -and here is the testimony of an example regarding this – wanted good for the Turkish Muslim society and he saw a benefit in making the hat an obligation, which he could not find in another type of clothing, then he had the ability to make a distinction between the Turkish Muslim hat and the non-Muslim Turkish hat, such as placing – for example – a band on the Muslim’s hat, and everyone who sees this banded Muslim would say, “This is a Muslim”, even if he wore the garments that are [specific] to the disbelievers; however, the man did what he did in opposition to the Islamic religion and due to this the Muslim scholars passed the judgement of disbelief and apostasy against him.(Ref 1) [End of quote]
NB: Read on the link regarding principles related to the lifestyle of a Muslim, preserving one’s identity and not imitating the un-Islamic clothing, behaviour etc
Imaam Al-Albaanee [rahimahullaah] continued…..It was a lengthy discussion and scrutiny between him and I regarding this issue until Allaah [The Mighty and Majestic] made me mentally stimulated and bestowed on me a timely statement when he said, “This clothing is a global affair and neither is it a specific clothing of a society amongst the societies nor that of a religion amongst the religions”; so I responded to him from a touchy [or sensitive] perspective! This priest is Lebanese and the Lebanese priests have a special costume. Firstly, they wear black in black, and secondly, their hoods are like a cowl; you know the red cowl, but it is long- twice as long and blacker. I said to him, “Do I understand from your speech that indeed the clothing has nothing to do with religion, and that for example in relation to you, it is permissible for you to remove this hood and put a red cowl on your head with a white turban on it; so whoever looks at you would think that you are indeed a Shaikh amongst the Shaikhs of the Muslims?” He said, “No, no, no”. I said to him, “Then, why this clothing and it has no connection to religion?” He said, “No, we are scholars of the Christians, I mean, we are men of religion and we have a specific clothing among the Christians in general. We have a specific dress”. Then Allaah [The Mighty and Majestic] made me mentally stimulated and bestowed on me a timely statement, meaning, he was completely toppled after it, and it became clear that there was no room for anyone to argue against Islaam. I told him, “This is the difference between us Muslims and you Christians; we do not have a difference between a scholar, a learner and other than a learner, as long as we are united upon Islaam. That which is not permissible for the greatest scholar is not permissible for a Muslim of the lowest level [i.e. in knowledge]. This is what is between us, but as for yourselves, you have ‘Men of Religion’ and ‘Men who not men of Religion’”. This is how I stated the affair to him, based on evidence that “You [i.e. the priest] say, ‘This is a specific clothing for you priests, as for others (i.e. other Christians), they wear what they want’. This is not what it is for us – not permissible. What is impermissible for the greatest and most pious person is impermissible for the one with the lowest status (i.e. in knowledge, piety etc). That which is impermissible for the scholar to wear is impermissible for the common person’”. So, he found himself in a state of regret and was dumbfounded. The reality is that this is from the virtues of the Islamic Sharee’ah.
Ref 1: NB: Imaam Al- Albaanee [rahimahullaah] only mentioned one amongst some of Ataturk’s misguidance, rather the upright scholars declared him a disbeliever due to his many evil beliefs and deeds that are founder on secularism. Shaikh Muhammad Amaan Al-Jaami [rahimahullaah] said: “Secularism is disbelief and the mother of all evil”. [Asbaab Al-Ijaabah Cassette 2]
However, one should be very careful regarding the fact that removing someone from Islaam is the job and responsibility of the upright scholars of ahlus sunnah, neither the common people nor the misguided sects such as the khawaarij. See here: Takfeeris: http://www.takfiris.com/takfir/index.cfm
Paraphrased….You feedback is welcomed to improve the content of this article Jazaakumullaahu Khayran