This past August (2016) well over 200 senior Muslim Scholars from around the world met in Grozny, Chechnya for 3 days to decree what and who Sunni muslims are, the result was the Excommunication of the Salafi sect from Sunni Islam along with the Islamic universities of Saudi Arabia, which they stated are not teaching orthodox Islam, an issue the Saudi government has acknowledge in the past and unsuccessfully tried to address.
Participants came from 30 countries, including Russia, Syria, Turkey, India, Britain, Lebanon, Egypt, South Africa, Jordan, Qatar, Morocco, Kuwait, Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan, they warned, “Islam has undergone a dangerous deformation in the wake of efforts by extremists to void its sense in order to take it over and reduce it to their perception.”
The Conference in Grozny was organized in tandem with ulema of Chechenya which is a place with rich and long tradition of Ahlu Sunnah. It is the place where Sunni ulema initiated Jihad against the Russian occupation but after the jihad was hijacked and distorted by the Salafi/Wahhabiya/Khawarij, they had to take a different approach to the conflict, 52 or more scholars of Ahlus Sunnah were killed by the Khawarij there. Hence the conference is also relevant to the Muslims of Chechnya in conveying who Ahlus Sunnah are as well as dealing with the larger problem of takfiris who have hijacked Sunni Islam and Jihad all over the world.
The forum Also called for the establishment of a Council for Islamic Education, and also a Council of Ulema (Muslim scholars), which would rule on who is and is not a true follower of Sunni Islam in the future.
Shaykh Ahmed El-Tayeb, Grand Imam of al-Azhar, Egypt, defined what mainstream Sunni Islam is and excluded the Salafi Sect from it.
He Defined Sunni Islam As: “Ahl as-Sunnah wal-Jama’ah are the Ash’arites and Muturidis (adherents of the theological schools of Imam Abu Mansur al-Maturidi and Imam Abul-Hasan al-Ash’ari). In matters of belief (Aqeedah), they are followers of any of the four schools of Law (Hanafi, Shafi’i, Maliki or Hanbali) and are also the followers of the Sufism of Imam Junaid al-Baghdadi in doctrines, manners and [spiritual] purification.”
أهل السنة والجماعة هم الأشاعرة والماتريدية في الاعتقاد وأهل المذاهب الأربعة في الفقه، وأهل التصوف الصافي علما وأخلاقا وتزكية على طريقة سيد الطائفة الإمام الجنيد ومن سار على نهجه من أئمة الهدى
Sheikh Ahmad al-Tayeb excluded the “Salafists” from the term of Ahluls Sunna (Sunnis) stating that Salafist’s are not from among the Sunnis and a fatwa by the 200 scholars was issued at the end of the conference to that effect.
This conference by Islam’s leading scholars has made official and cemented what every Sunni scholar has already believed and given fatwa upon this sect over the past 100 years, and the Ijma (consensus) of the ummah (which this represents) is binding on muslims around the world.
Abd Allah ibn Mas`ud said about the Ijma of the Umma: Whatever the Muslims deem to be good is good in the eyes of Allah and whatever they consider bad is bad in Allah’s view.
This is because the Prophets (saws) said: “The heart of the believer is between two fingers of the Merciful, He turns it over as He wishes”? so what the Ummah deems evil is in fact Allah turning the heart of the muslims world against.
He (saws) also said “Verily Allah will not make Muhammad’s community agree on error.” and “My community shall never agree upon misguidance, therefore, if you see divergences, you must follow the greater mass or larger group.” and “Allah’s hand is over the group, and whoever dissents from them departs to hell.” The Salafi sect is not even 1% of the world Islamic population and the largest group the prophet prophesied about are Sunni muslims at around 85-90% of all muslim on earth.
The Mujtahid scholars of Islam cited this verse as a command to follow the Ijma of the Umma; “But him who breaks with the Messenger after guidance has become clear to him, and follows other than the way of the believers, him We shall consign to what he had turned to, and roast in Jahannam – an evil home – coming.” [Al-Qur’an 4:115]
All the clerics represented a strong stand against this terrorists sect and asserted that all Islamic scholars should make an effort to awaken the world about this group who are using the name of religion for personal geopolitical agendas. The fatwa not only affects the salafi;s but every group they have created since their inception in Egypt over 100 years ago, this includes the Muslim brotherhood, Hizb al Tahrir, the Tablighi Jammah and many others working under different name in various muslim countries.
The conference was held on 25-27 August 2016 in the city of Grozny, organized by the president of the Chechen Republic Ramzan Kadyrov, addressing the Chechen interior ministry personnel … Kadyrov described the Grozny conference as having the same effect on the “unbelievers” (meaning the salafis) as a bomb exploding, given that “the most authoritative Islamic scholars proved in the course of this forum that there is no scientific basis to substantiate their pernicious ideas.”