It has just reached me that the merger talks holding between the three factions of Sheikh Bukar Al-Barnawi, Sheikh Abu Usamah Al-Ansori and Khalid Al-Barnawi has broken down completely. My sources tell me that the three groups have reached an agreement to continuing working together as before while maintaining their independence of each other..
A side note attached to this agreement is that Khalid Al-Barnawi aka Amirul-Muhajiriin aka Soifun Min Suufil-Islam and his Harakatul-Muhajiriina wal-Mujahidiin have obtained full independence from Abu Usamah Al-Ansori’s Ansorul-Muslimiina Fii Bilaadis-Sudaan, under which they had existed hitherto as an affiliated subgroup.
Also a new Council Of Scholarly Research, Judgements and Fataawaa by the agreement of all the three groups operating in the southern theatre will be formed to provide rulings based on scholarly religious research to justify their battlefield actions, to adjudicate between the three groups in matters of dispute and to try erring fighters under the Shari’ah. This new council is said to also train the Shari’ah judges which will be dispatched to establish courts of justice across the territory they have conquered so far.
Note: It remains to be seen where they will get the needed scholars to run this council from. If there is one thing the Yusufiyya lack, it is people of knowledge. Their scholars of reference are people like Sayyid Qutb, Maududi and Muhammad Yusuf. Sayyid Qutb was to put it mildly a theological illiterate. Muhammad Yusuf was worse than Qutb.
For a scholar in Islam (except among the Sufis ad the Ismaili Shias) to be able to pass judgement or give rulings in an issue, he must be grounded in a variety of disciplines that complement one another.
Some of the conditions of scholarship are:
1. He must be knowledgeable in Arabic Grammar(Nahw), Morphology(Sorf), Pronunciation and History of the language including particular words. Having command of speech and writing is not a qualification of knowledge of Arabic.
2. He must have memorized the entire Qur’aan and the Tafsirs(Commentaries) of it and must have studied these under a scholar. Such intensive study involves also studying numerous volumes that explain the books that explain the commentaries of the Qur’aan.
3. He must have memorized a large amount of ahadith (narrations of the Prophet’s, ‘Alaihis-Solaatu was-Salaam, life). Including their grading, and Isnads(Chains of narrations), the explanations of these narrations and the histories/biographies of the narrators in the chain of narrators of these ahadith.
Imaam Ahmad Bin Hanbal (Rahimahullah) the founder of the Hanbali Madhab(School Of Jurisprudence) said a Faqih(one who gives rulings under Islamic law) must memorize at least 100,000 ahadith. Graduates of Islamic University of Madiinah in Saudi Arabia are expected to memorize at least 1,000 ahadith on completing their 4years of study.
3. He must have in depth knowledge of Seerah (Islamic History), Fiqh (Jurisprudence), Aqeedah (Creed) and Manhaj (Methodology). At Darul-‘Uluum Deoband in India run by the Deobandis it takes eight years to acquire knowledge of Fiqh and the basics of the Science of Ahadith.
Add to all these requirements the core ingredient of knowledge of Tauhiid (Monotheism) which is the foundation of the Islamic Religion itself, and others requirements you see that scholarship in Islam especially to the level of Faqih is not a child’s play. You study till you drop dead literarily.
In Nigeria today and in most of West Africa you can count on one hand the number of people qualified to be called scholars fit to issue Fataawaa or pass rulings.
None of them is a Yusufiyya. The highest level of knowledge of most of the Yusufiyya scholars we the people of the Salafiyyah Call have met and debated with on the legality of some their actions has been that they memorized Fii Dilaalil-Qur’aan (In The Shades Of The Qur’aan by Sayyid Qutb), Ma’alim (Milestones by Qutb also) and maybe some chapters of Sahihul-Bukhari and Kitaabut-Tauhiid by Muhammad Ibn Abdil-Wahab (Rahimahumaallah), and they are acclaimed by their fellow Yusufiyya as scholars. To illustrate the level of their ignorance, Sahiihul-Bukhari is a compilation of 9 volumes and about 10,000 ahadith of which they memorized maybe 200-250 ahadith, it is explained in turn by Fathaanil-Barr (The Two Fathul-Barr) of Ibn Rajab and Ibn Hajar Al-‘Asqalaani each having about ten volumes(total of twenty volumes) none of which the Yusufiya have bothered to study well or memorize.
Sayyid Qutb was a Muslim Brotherhood ideologist who had studied nothing of the religion’s disciplines and only knew what he read from the books of Hassan Al-Banna the founder of the Ikhwan and another religious ignoramus(though not completely illiterate Al-Banna was nonetheless a layman).
One is left to wonder at what sort of rulings the new Yusufiyya council will produce.