Thursday, December 4, 2008

Weighing the Affairs

Indeed all praise is for Allaah. We praise Him, we seek His aid and we ask for His forgiveness. And we seek refuge in Allaah from the evils of our own souls, and our evil actions. Whosoever Allaah guides, then none can misguide him; and whosoever Allaah misguides, then none can guide him aright. I bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah alone, having no partners, and I bear witness that Muhammad (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) is His servant and Messenger. After that:


Allaah - the Most Perfect - said:

‘‘And thus the good Word of your Lord was fulfilled for the Children of Israa‘eel, because of their patience. And We completely destroyed all the great works and buildings that Fir’awn and his people had erected.’’ [Sooratul-A’raaf 7:137]

‘‘Command the good and prohibit the evil, and be patient with whatever calamity befalls you. Indeed, this is the firmness required for matters.’’ [Soorah Luqmaan 31:17]

‘‘O you who believe! Seek help with patience and with Prayer. Indeed, Allaah is with those who are patient.’’ [Sooratul-Baqarah 2:153]

Imaam al-Bukhaaree (d.256H) - rahimahullaah - relates in his Saheeh (no. 3612):

From Khabbaab Ibnul-Aratt - radiyallaahu ’anhu - who said: We complained to the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) (about the persecution by the Pagans) whilst he was sitting in the shade of the Ka’bah, leaning upon his cloak. We said to him: Will you not seek help for us? He said: ‘‘There was amongst those before you a (believing) man, who would have a hole dug for him, and he would be placed in it. Then a saw would be brought and it would be placed upon his head, and it would be sawn in half, yet that would not make him abandon his Religion. His body would be torn with iron combs; and the flesh from his nerves and bones being removed, that would not make him give up his Religion. By Allaah! This Religion will prevail, until a rider will travel from San’aa to Hadramawt, not fearing anything except Allaah and the wolves with regards to his sheep. But you people are impatient!’’

Ibn Sa’d relates in at-Tabaqaat (7/163-165):

A group of Muslims cam to al-Hasan al-Basree (d.110H) - rahimahullaah - seeking a verdict for rebelling against al-Hajjaaj. So they said: O Abaa Sa’eed! What do you say about fighting this oppressor who has unlawfully spilt the blood, and unlawfully taken wealth, and did this, and did that? So al-Hasan said: ‘‘I see not to fight him. If this is a punishment from Allaah, then you will not be able to remove it with your swords. If this is a trial from Allaah, then be patient until Allaah’s Judgement comes, and He is the best of judges.’’ So they left al-Hasan and disagreed with him and rebelled against al-Hajjaaj, so he killed them all. And about this, al-Hasan used to say: ‘If only the people had patience, when they were being tested by their unjust ruler it would not be long before Allaah gives them a way out. However, they always rush for their swords, so they are left to their swords. By Allaah! Not even for a single say did they bring about any good.’’

Ibn Abil-’Izz (d.792H) - rahimahullaah - said:

‘‘Indeed, in patiently bearing their tyranny lies the wiping away of sins and a great reward. Since Allaah has not given them authority over us except due to the corruption of our own actions - and the reward is of the same type as the actions. So we should strive hard in seeking the forgiveness of Allaah, repent to Him, and correct our actions…So if the subjects desire an end to the oppression of the oppressive rulers, then let them also cease oppressing themselves [through sins and disobedience].’’ [1]


However, from the deceptions of Shaytaan upon many of the du’aat (callers to Islaam) today, is his causing them to become impatient and causing them to divert ‘‘all their attention to accusing the rulers, ‘This one is an American stooge, and this one is a British stooge.’ - as if there were no one else in the world except America and Britain; and it is as fi it were America and Britain who were running the affairs of the creation! This causes the people to turn away from Allaah’s way of changing the affairs. They think that if they change the ruler, they will attain what they desire. This is in contradiction to the natural way laid down by Allaah with regards to changes that come about amongst the creation:

‘‘Never will Allaah change the condition of a people, until they change themselves.’’ [Sooratur-Ra’d 13:11]

And if we imagine that the ruler changed - whilst the people do not truly desire this Religion - then what will happen is that these people will cause a revolution, as happened - for example - in Russia. This state was established by force, tyranny, suppressing the voice of the people, and though killing. So we find that people did not support it, but rather they opposed it. And for Allaah’s Laws to be established throughout this earth, they have to be carried by the Believers…Therefore, we do not wait for the west or the east to help the Religion, but its own people have to be its carriers. They are the ones to help and carry the Religion.’’ [2]

But ‘‘how can we seek help from a people who do not pray, nor give zakaat (charity), nor fast, nor make Hajj, that they establish the Islaamic order? Rather, those people who do not pray, nor give charity, nor fast, - they will be the first of the people to stand in the way of the Islaamic rule!’’ [3]


Aboo Daawood relates in his Sunan (no. 3426):

From ’Abdullaah Ibn ’Umar (radiyallaahu ’anhumaa) that he (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said: ‘‘When you deal in ’eenah (usury-based) transactions, hold onto the tails of cows, become satisfied with agriculture and leave off Jihaad, then Allaah will cover you with humiliation, and He will not remove this humiliation from you, until you return to your Religion.’’ [4]

Thus the beginnings of this desired change will only come about by ‘‘the Muslims returning to their Lord, correcting their ’aqeedah (beliefs) and cultivating themselves and their families upon the correct Islaam - putting into effect the statement of Allaah - the Most High:

‘‘Never will Allaah change the condition of a people. Until they change themselves.’’ [Sooratur-Ra’d 13:11]

The likes of this has been alluded to by one of the contemporary du’aat (callers to Islaam), by saying: ‘Establish the Islaamic state in your hearts, it will then be established upon your earth.’ So the way to salvation is not - as some people imagine - revolution and armed insurrection against the rulers and to carry out military coups! Such actions - in addition to being from amongst the present day bid’ahs (innovations) - also contradict the Sharee’ah texts; amongst which is the command to change ourselves. Thus, it is essential establish the foundations upon which the building can stand.’’ [5]

Furthermore, ‘‘it should be known that those who stir up revolution serve only the enemies of Islaam. What is to be considered is not revolution and agitation, but what is according to wisdom. By wisdom, I do not mean remaining silent and ignoring their errors - rather correcting their errors in order to rectify the state of affairs. So the sincere one is the one who speaks to rectify the affairs, not merely to cause change [whether good or bad].’’ [6]

Imaam al-Bukhaaree relates in his Saheeh (no. 6830):

From Ibn ’Abbaas (radiyallaahu ’anhumaa) who said: I used to teach (the Qur‘aan) to some of the Muhaajiroon, amongst them whom was ’Abdur-Rahmaan Ibn ’Awf. Whilst I was in his house at Minaa and he was with ’Umar Ibnul-Khattaab during the last Hajj, ’Abdur-Rahmaan Ibn ’Awf came to me and said: ‘‘Would that you had seen the man who cam today to the Leader of the Believers (i.e. ’Umar), saying: O Leader of the Believers! What do you say about such and such a person who says: If ’Umar should die, I will give the bay’ah (oath of allegiance) to such and such a person, for by Allaah, the bay’ah to Aboo Bakr was nothing but a reaction which became established afterwards. So ’Umar became angry and said: ‘‘If Allaah wills, I will stand before the people tonight, and I will warn the people against those who wish to deprive the people of their rights.’’ ’Abdur-Rahmaan said: ‘‘So I said: O Leader of the Believers, do not do this! For the season of Hajj gathers the ra’aa (common-folk) ghawghaa‘ (the common faolk and those who incline towards evil), and it will be they who gather closest to you when you stand to address the people. I fear that you will rise and address them, but some of them will spread your words, but will not understand them, or that they will twist your words and take them out of context. So wait until you reach al-Madeenah - the Land of Hijrah (migration) and the Sunnah - where you will be amongst the people of Knowledge and understanding, and the noblest of people. So there you may say what you have to say with confidence, since the people of Knowledge will understand your words and put them in their correct context.’’ So ’Umar said: ‘‘By Allaah! This is what I shall do in my first address to the people of al-Madeenah - if Allaah wills…’’


So from the well-known Sharee’ah principles is:

‘‘Preventing mafsadah (harm) is given precedence over procuring maslahah (benefit).’’ [7]

And ‘‘ordering the good should not result in the loss of a greater good, nor cause a greater evil (than before). Likewise, forbidding the evil should not result in a greater evil, nor in the loss of a greater good.’’ [8]

Explaining the mistakes of certain people concerning the above point, Ibn Taymiyyah (d.728H) - rahimahullaah - said: ‘‘They wish to command and prohibit by the tongue or the hand only, without due understanding, without due mildness and without patience. They do not consider whether their actions are beneficial or detrimental, nor do they consider whether they have the ability to do so or not…This whole matter falls under the general qaa’idah (principle): that whenever there is a conflict between benefits and harms, of good and evil, then it is obligatory to weight the two and to prefer that which is greater. Since commanding or prohibiting is meant either to attain benefit, or to repel harm - yet one must still consider the opposite outcome. Thus, if it results in a great benefit being lost, or causes greater harm, then such a matter should not be commanded. Rather, it would be haraam (unlawful) to do so, if the harm outweighed the benefits! However, weighing the relative harms and benefits must be done using the scales of the Sharee’ah.’’ [9]

Ibnul-Qayyim (d.751H) - rahimahullaah - said:

‘‘If one considers the various trials and tribulations - the large or the small - that have occurred in Islaam, one would find that they resulted from neglecting this principle (of weighing the affairs); and not having patience with the evil, but attempting to stop it in a way which causes a greater evil.’’ [10]

From the many texts which highlight this principle are:

That which al-Bukhaaree (no. 126) and Muslim (no. 1333) both relate from ’Aa‘ishah (radiyallaahu ’anhu) that he (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said to her: ‘‘O ’Aa‘ishah! If it were not that your people had recently left ignorance, I would have ordered that the House (i.e. the Ka’bah) be dismantled, and I would have joined with it what had been removed from it, and I would have leveled it with the ground and made for it two doors - one towards the east, and one towards the west - so that I could build upon the foundations laid by Ibraaheem.’’

Imaam Ibnul-Qayyim al-Jawziyyah commented:

‘‘Thus, he (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) wanted to build upon the foundations of Ibraaheem (’alayhis-salaam) and had the ability to do so. However, he feared that a greater harm would ensue, since the Quraysh [would not have understood the intent], since they had only recently come into Islaam, from the previous Jaahiliyyah (pre-Islaamic ignorance).’’ [11]

Imaam al-Bukhaaree (d.256H) - rahimahullaah - precedes the hadeeth of ’Aa‘ishah with a chapter heading: ‘‘Chapter: To leave some good actions fearing that people will misunderstand the action, and thus fall into that which is worse than it.’’ [12]

Al-Haafidh Ibn Hajar (d.852H) - rahimahullaah - said, whilst enumerating some of the points of benefit from the above hadeeth: ‘‘To leave the maslahah (benefit), believing that it will result in a mafsadah (harm); and to leave forbidding the mankar (evil), for fear of falling into a greater evil.’’ [13]


Shaykh Rabee’ Ibn Haadee al-Madkhalee (hafidhahullaah) says:

‘So we ask Allaah that He prepares for this Islaamic Ummah, intelligent du’aat who weigh the matters, thoughts, personalities, and groups with the scales of the truth - whose intellects are firm, and who are neither misled by blind emotions, nor deceived by the empty slogans that have overwhelmed so many.’’ [14]

It is important to mention here that such preparations must only be built upon the correct Islaamic principles; which have as their firmly-rooted foundation:

‘‘[i] Loving the Salaf (pious predecessors) and the manhaj (methodology) they were upon.

[ii] Understanding their manhaj - and that is the manhaj of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah.

[iii] Adhering to the manhaj of the Salaf - whether in matters of manners, da’wah (calling to Allaah), purification, beliefs, or actions.’’ [15]

So what is needed are wise, mild, and patient du’aat (callers) working in sincere co-operation with the scholars of Islaam and their students - being cultivated upon the manhaj (methodology) of the Salaf. This necessitates that ‘‘the Book and the Sunnah are made the general framework for every small or large matter; and that their manhaj (methodology) is made the under-garment and outer-garment of the da’wah - its beginning and its end - and that the thinking of such youths, and others who are giving da’wah, should be lead in accordance with this great manhaj - upon which rests the only means for the well-being of the Ummah.’’ [16]

Imaam Maalik (d.179H) - rahimahullaah - said:

‘‘The latter part of the Ummah will not be set aright, except by that which set aright its first part.’’ [17]

So this then, is the foundation of the justly-balanced, knowledge-based manhaj which this precious Ummah - may Allaah increase it in nobility - must adopt, traverse, and call to. Without the manhaj, this fragile Ummah will continue in its weakness and its ugly predicament - however much energy is expended, and however many lives are lost for its cause!

May Allaah have mercy upon the one who said:

‘‘You hope for salvation, but do not tread its path;

Ships never sail upon dry land.’’ [18]


[1] Sharhul-’Aqeedatit-Tahaawiyyah (p. 382)

[2] Su‘aal wa Jawaab ma’a Shaykh Saleem al-Hilaalee (p. 3)

[3] Su‘aal wa Jawaab ma’a Shaykh Saleem al-Hilaalee (p. 21)

[4] Saheeh: Related by Aboo Daawood (no. 3462), it was authenticated by Shaykh Muhammad Naasirud-Deen al-Albaanee in as-Saheehah (no. 11)

[6] Huqooqur-Ra’ee war-Ra’iyyah (p. 29-30) of Shaykh Ibnul-’Uthaymeen

[7] al-Ishbaah wan-Nadhaa‘ir (p 87) of as-Suyootee

[8] al-Hisbah fil-Islaam (p. 124) of Ibn Taymiyyah

[9] al-Amr bil-Ma’roof wan-Nahu ’anil-Munkar (p. 19-21)

[10] I’laamul-Muwaqqi’een (3/4)

[11] I’laamul-Muwaqqi’een (3/4), slightly adapted

[12] Saheehul-Bukhaaree (1/271)

[13] Fathul-Baaree (1/271)

[14] From Shaykh Rabee’ Ibn Haadee’s introduction to Kashful-Hijaab (p. 4), slightly adapted.

[15] al-Hikmah (p. 59)

[16] Fiqhul-Waaqi’ (p. 19)

[18] Related by Ibn Hibbaan in Rawdatul-’Uqalaa (p. 284), from the poetry of Abul-’Atiyyah.

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