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Islams Reformers

The bigotry of the religion reformers or bigots of science who surfaced lately to blame all previous scholars, basic fundamental beliefs or practices

and al-Baihakî’s

and al-Baihakî’s Shâ’b al-îmân, declares, “When you cannot correct something wrong, be patient! Allâhu ta’âlâ will correct it.” This hadîth commands not to oppose or revolt againt the laws but to advise through legitimate ways and to be patient. A hadîth quoted by al-Manâwî, at-Thirmidhî and at-Tabarânî declares, “The most valuable jihâd is to make a statement guiding to the right way in the presence of a cruel sultan.” Scholars should advise the state officials as much as they can. But they should be very careful lest sedition should arise while performing al-amru bi ’lma’rûf; this means that Muslims neither revolt nor surrender to cruelty and injustice. They seek for their rights through legitimate ways. It is wâjib for every Muslim to obey the government’s legitimate (mashrû’) commands. No person’s commands are to be carried out if they are harâm, yet one should not revolt against them and cause fitna. [1] One should not defy the cruel or dispute with them. For example, while it is one of the gravest sins not to perform salât, if a person’s chief or commander is a cruel unbeliever and says, “Don’t perform salât,” he should answer, “With pleasure. I won’t,” and think of saying, “This will prevent the fitna. For it is harâm to cause fitna, which in effect would cause Muslims to be persecuted.” However, he should perform salât in the absence of that cruel person. ’Abd al-Haqq ad-Dahlawî [d. 1052 A.H. (1642)], one of the great ’ulamâ’ of Islam in India, wrote in the section captioned “Kitâb al-fitan” of his Persian commentary Ashi’at al-lama’ât to the invaluable hadîth book Mishkat al-masâbih: “Hudhaifa (radiy Allâhu ’anh), one of as-Sahâba said, ‘I asked Rasûlullah (sall- Allâhu ’alaihi wa sallam) about the fitnas that will happen in the future for the evils that they imported terrified me. Keeping away from harmful things is more important than attaining useful things. ‘Fitna’, as used here, means ‘confusion, fight among people’. Although a society wherein acts of harâm were running rife would be another source of fitna, there was no need to ask about this, since acts of harâm were commonly known. ‘I said, “Oh Rasûl-Allah! We were bad people before becoming Muslim. Allâhu ta’âlâ, with your honourable existence, bestowed upon us the favour of Islam and perfections. Will there an evil time after [1] Fitna means mischief, commotion, sedition, turmoil, chaos, instigation, etc. Any act, behaviour, statement, writing, article or attitude that would lead to harmful consequences is fitna, and therefore harâm, even if it is done with good intentions apparently. – 206 –

these days of bliss?” “Yes, there will!” he said. I asked, “Will good days come again after that badness?” Again he declared, “Yes, they will. But that time will be blurred.” That is, the good and the bad will be confused in those days. The hearts will not be as pure and clear as they were in the initial days. I’tiqâd’s being sahîh, a’mâl’s being sâlih and the leaders’ justice will not be the same as those in the first century [of Islam]. Vices and bid’a will spread everywhere. The bad will go among the good, and bid’a will take place among the Sunna. I asked what ‘blurred’ meant. He declared, “They are those who do not adapt my sunna and follow my path. They both perform ’ibâda and commit sins.” They do goodness and wickedness. They commit bid’a. I asked, “Will there come a bad time again after that good period?” He declared, “Yes. There will be those who will call [people] to the doors of Hell. Those who will listen to them will be thrown into Hell.” I inquired, “O Rasûl-Allah! How will these people look like?” “They, too, are human like us. They speak as we do,” he said. That is, they will speak Arabic. Quoting âyats and hadîths, they will preach and give advice, but there will be no goodness or goodwill in their hearts. I said, “What do you command us to do if we reach their time?” He declared, “Adhere to the Muslims’ jamâ’a (community) and government.” I asked, “What shall we do if there is not a Muslim jamâ’a and government?” He declared, “Get yourself into a corner. Never go among them. Live alone till you die!” ’ He declared in a hadîth sherîf, “After me, there will be such governments that will leave my path. Their hearts are the home of the Satan. Obey them, too! Do not revolt against them! Do not revolt even if you are beaten and your property is expropriated!” That is, do not rise against the cruel government that attacks your property and lives; do not cause fitna; be patient and busy with your ’ibâdât; if you cannot protect yourselves against fitna in the town, take refuge in the forest; if you go into the forest and have to eat grass and leaves in order not to be among the holders of fitna, stay in the forest so you should not join them! He declared, ‘Listen well and obey.’ This last command means that we should be very careful not to rise against the government and not to cause fitna.” As it is understood from these hadîths and from the explanations of the ’ulamâ’ of Islam, men of religious post should not get involved in the formation of the State and in law-making; they should not go into politics; they should not become tools in the hands of politicians; they should not advocate this or that form of regime. – 207 –

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