The following is a translation of Shaykh al-Yaqoubi’s condemnation of the bombing of shrines in Aleppo which came in response to the bombing of the shrine of Shaykh Muhammad Jarabeh, may Allah have mercy upon him, by Jabhat al-Nusra.
Has the war on Ahlu’s Sunna started? Has the war to cleanse the Levant [shām] of the shrines of Awliyā’a and righteous people begun?
Has the Syrian revolution changed its course from being an uprising against oppression and tyrants and criminals towards a revolt against “polytheism and polytheists” among Ahlu’s Sunna, the Ashárīs, who permit visiting graves and intercession of Awliyā’a? Has the revolution now become an opportunity for various madh’habs, sects and groups to impose their own creed and opinions by force?
In the Levant, various sects and groups have been mutually tolerant for centuries; has the revolution come to erase this illustrious history? We prevented the regime from fomenting sectarian fighting; but then, will we be seared by the flames of internecine war lit by a group of people in the ranks of the revolutionaries? Also, did these people really join the revolution to overthrow the regime or to achieve their own agenda of imposing their beliefs and dogma by violence and weapons?
It appears that suspicions are proving true and the revolution has deviated from its route. We read in the news the following item:
“Praise be to Allah, the grave of the Wali Muhammad Jarabeh has been blown up by the [group] Jabhat al-Nusra. This was because the ignorant folk had made this place [sic] for worship and this is against the Law given by Allah sub’ĥānahū wa táālā.”
This news item was published by the coordination committee [of] Salāĥuddīn in Aleppo and deleted thereafter when faced with protests condemning this act. Residents in the vicinity [of the shrine] have said that the explosions took place at 1:30 in the morning and carried out by an armed group with indications of an Islamist organisation.
Firstly, we condemn this ugly deed, an abominable crime and violation of the honour of the deceased and the living. We call for those who perpetrated this heinous act to cease from further such actions; and that they repent and seek forgiveness of Allāh táālā and apologise to Muslims. Our statement is addressed to both leaders of the brigades and revolutionaries, as they are partners in this crime and sin – indeed, this is nothing but transgression, oppression, wrongdoing and desecration.
To leaders of [our] antagonists who support such mobs and give them financial support, armaments and media exposure, we warn them of dire and dangerous consequences of such actions and the hatred and resentment that it sows in the populace which will lead to internal strife and civil war.
Concerning the decision on what constitutes as opposition to the Law of Allāh, it is the jurisdiction of righteous and upright scholars who decree the permissible and the forbidden. Concerning seeking intercession [tawassul] of the Prophet sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam, intercession of righteous folk or visiting graves, the debates on these issues are long over and the madh’hab of the majority of the Ahlu’s Sunna has been settled that these are all permissible acts. Scholars who permitted such actions include Imams Nawawi, Ghazali, Asqalani, Ibn Abidin and hundreds of other scholars. Ibn Taymiyyah and his followers opposed the majority and went to extremes, even considering visit to the mausoluem of RasulAllah sallAllahu alayhi wa sallam as forbidden and accused the majority of Muslims of committing idolatry. The majority of Syrians are Shafiyis and Hanafis following the madh’hab of Nawawi and Ibn Abidin; does the revolution seek to compel us to follow the opinion of Ibn Taymiyyah by coercion?
The towns and cities of Syria  are resting places of Awliya’a and righteous Muslims; this is the abode of the blessed Abdāl, the land of knowledge, fiqh and Qur’an. There is no doubt that the people of Shām: Shafiyis, Hanafis, Ashárīs, Māturīdīs, Sūfīs, Salafīs, Ikhwān [Muslim Brotherhood] and Tahriris will stand united against this fanatical ideology which is based on hatred and bigotry and which only drives towards mutual hostility and does not result in anything except strife in our land and among our people, hitherto free from it.
We call upon all participants in the revolution to condemn these people for their demolition of shrines of Awliya’a before this fire spreads and the menace magnifies and things spiral out of control.
I have delivered the message; O Allah! Be my witness.
Footnotes by the translator:
1. Comment aimed at the Wahabi/Salafi denominations who freely accuse Sunnis of being polytheists on account of visiting graves or seeking intercession of righteous people.
2. Even though the shaykh says bilad al-sham, as in the preceding line, in the context of this article, he probably refers to Syria.
3. Higher grades of Awliya’a
Translation by Abu Hasan: http://www.sunniport.com/masabih/showpost.php?p=40041&postcount=32
An important point that ought to be added to the discussion concerning the threat Jabhat al-Nusra poses to the revolution is that, like in the case of the statement in rejection of the National Coalition, the news came through revolutionary channels: then it was the YouTube channel of Liwa al-Tawhid, now it is the FaceBook page of the Local Coordination Committee in Salaheddin. This is the Google cache of the announcement and what followed before it was removed: