The Religious Scholars (Ulama) are requested to shed light upon the factors behind Muslim distress and suffering all over the world. Muslims are facing riots and massacres at many places – Why is this?
By Hadhrat Shaykh Mufti Abdur Raheem Lajpuri Saheb (Rahmatullahi Alayhi)
There are several reasons for this sad state of affairs in the Ummah. Among the more prominent ones are the following:
· Lack of true faith in Allah Ta’aalaa.
· Increased disobedience towards Him.
· Increasing timidity among us.
· Love of the materialistic world (Hubb-e-Dunya wa Maal).
· Open disobedience of the Sunnah of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam).
· Following our own innovated (bid’ah) practices and customs.
· Neglecting the rights of Allah (Huqooq-Allah), and the rights of creation (Huqooq-ul-Ibad).
· Our complete ingratitude towards the innumerable blessings showered upon us by our Benefactor, despite being totally unworthy of these blessings.
· Disregard for the selfless advice given to us by our noble Ulama in relation to our religion.
Almighty Allah sums up the reasons for our suffering in Surah 42, Aayeh 30 of the Holy Qur’an:
“Whatever misfortune happens to you, it is because of the things your hands have wrought, and for many of them He grants forgiveness…”
A further elaboration on this point is found in Surah 30, Aayeh 41:
“Mischief has appeared on land and sea because of what the hands of man have caused; that Allah may give them a taste of some of their deeds; in order that they turn back from evil.”
SEVERE PUNISHMENT FOR CERTAIN TYPES OF SINS
Indulging in disobedience and committing sins anger Allah, but certain sins are such that, if committed, will invite a very swift and severe punishment.
Among these types of sins are:
· Unjust decision-making and the breaking of a pledge – these await the imposition of tyrannical rule.
· Short-weighting and short-measuring by traders – await the punishment of famine, inflation and oppression.
· Widespread betrayal of trust will cause the imposition of tyrant rulers.
· Fearing death and inclining towards materialism (dunya) will result in timidity and fear among the faithful and, at the same time, the kuffaar forces will receive encouragement and strength. – Jazaa- ul-A’maal.
The companion, Hadhrat Thawbaan (Radhiallahu Anhu) narrated that Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) is reported to have said:
“A period will come when the non-believers will come closer by calling one another for annexing the nations of the believers just like how people call one another for eating food when it has been prepared.” Someone then asked as to whether the Muslims will be few in number then? Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) is reported to have replied, “You will be large in numbers, but will like hay before a flood of water. Your enemies will not fear you because you will be so weak and timid.” One companion then asked the reason for this decline, and Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said, “Life (and its luxuries) will become more dearer to you and you will dislike death, (and facing Allah)”. – Mishkat Shareef p.459. Chapter on Taghayyur-Un-Naas; Abu Dawood p.242.
Creating fear in the hearts of the enemies, which is a blessing from Allah Ta’aalaa, can only be achieved through adopting the pious life prescribed by the Shariah, and by following the practical life of Rasulullah (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam). Regarding this last point, it is narrated in a Hadith (saying of Rasulullah, Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) thus:
“Whosoever emulates my way of life and adheres to my Sunnah, Allah will bless him with four favours: – The love of such a person will be instilled into the heart of virtuous people. – Sinners and disbelievers will fear such a person in their hearts. – His livelihood and good fortune will be increased for him. – Allah will strengthen him in religion.” Sharh Shariat-ul- Islam Sayyed Ali Zadah p.8.
Allah Ta’aalaa has warned of dire punishment for those who do not order people to perform virtuous deeds and prevent them from committing evil and disobedient acts. He states in the Qur’an:
“And fear oppression which cannot fall exclusively on those of you who do wrong, and know that Allah is severe in punishment.” Surah 8. Aayeh 25.
This verse is explained in Tafseer-e-Ma’aariful-Qur’an as follows:
Hadhrat Abdullah bin Abbas (Radhiallahu Anhu) has said that Allah has ordered Muslims to prevent immorality and disobedience in their towns and villages. Furthermore, not preventing such actions, despite having the power to do so will definitely result in severe punishment on all, irrespective of whether they be pious people or immoral people.
Imaam Baghawi has noted that in Shariah-Al-Sunnah and Ma’aalim appear narrations from Hadhrat Abdullah bin Masood (Radhiallahu Anhu) and Ayesha Siddiqah (Radhiallahu Anha) that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said:
“Allah does not send His punishment on all the people for the sins of a certain group of immoral persons when He sees the virtuous people preventing the wrong-doers from their activities. In case they do not prevent them, then Allah will certainly send and spread His punishment.”- Ma’aariful Qur’an Vol. 4. p. 212.
The Sahaabi, Hadhrat Hudhaifah (Radhiallahu Anhu), has narrated that the Nabi Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said,
“I swear by Allah, the One in whose hands my life is, continue to order and guide people towards virtuous deeds and prevent people from immoral acts and sins. Otherwise, Almighty Allah will surely send His severe punishment upon you. If you then turn to Allah and pray your prayers will not be accepted,” – Mishkaat Shareef, p.436. Chapter on Amr-Bil -Ma’roof
DECLARATION OF WAR BY ALLAH UPON DEGRADATION AND INSULT OF PIOUS PEOPLE AND THE TRUTHFUL SCHOLARS OF ISLAM.
The act of degrading and insulting the truthful scholars of Islam, the pious and the virtuous, immediately calls for the descent of the wrath of Allah. It is narrated in one of the Divine Hadith (Hadith-e-Qudsi) that Allah has warned the Ummah in the following manner:
Whosoever tries to harm My friend (wali) will surely declare war upon Me.
Allah certainly comes to the aid of such Allah-fearing persons immediately upon seeing them harassed or targeted for insult and ridicule. It is further reported that He becomes furious and declares war on those committing such heinous crimes against His authority, by insulting and harming His pious servants, and when there is any dealing where interest is charged upon money. May Allah protect us all from these! Aameen.
Maulana Ashraf Ali Thaanwi (Rahmatullah Alayh) has narrated a Hadith-e-Qudsi from Tafseer-e-Mazhari, in which Allah says:
“I will become angry upon the insulting and degrading of my pious slaves, like how a lion becomes furious when its cubs are harassed.”
A Persian poet has described this in one of his couplets which mean:
We have witnessed in this world of revenge
that whosoever has teased and insulted the pious people;
Allah has never put any people to hardship unless
they have hurt the feelings of someone who had been fearing Him.
Many cities and nations have perished due to their ill treatment of certain pious people. When asked about the cause of earthquakes Ayesha Siddiqah (Radhiallahu Anha) is reported to have said:
“When adultery, drinking wine, singing, dancing and the use of various types of musical instruments become common and fashionable among the people, then the self-respect of Allah also comes into effect. If the people immediately rectify their mistakes, it stops. Otherwise, a vast area of people and grand buildings are raised to the ground and turned into heaps of mud.” – Fataawah Raheemiyah Vol.3, p.207.
When we look at our lives, we are agreed that all these vices exist among us today. We know all too well how much importance we attach to the guidance of the Ulama, the weakness of our faith in Allah and in adhering to the teachings of Rasullullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). Most of us have knowledge of religion but display our weak imaan in our lack of practice upon that knowledge. The attitude seems to be that the less we talk about our adherence to an Islamic way of life today, the better.
Take Salaat as an example, the symbol of a Muslim and the bedrock of Islam. Despite it being obligatory five times a day, we find that the masjids are devoid of worshipers, and the state of our womenfolk in their homes is just as pitiable. In fact, the home has become a haven for many innovated practices and customs, immorality and non-practicing of purdah (hijab) by our women. One of the most damaging tools for Shaytaan is the Television and VCR, essential items in every living room. The fact that is it has become the main cause of widespread singing, dancing, music and adultery in society at large. We fail to recognize how dangerous these vices are in life, not to mention the consequences which we are storing up for ourselves, when we have to face Allah Ta’aalaa.
The following saying of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) is food for thought:
“My followers will also face incidents of sinking in the ground, disfigurement and the raining of heavy stones from the heavens.” One of the companions asked when these incidents would manifest. To this Rasullullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) replied “When the evils of singing, dancing, music and drinking liquor will be common.” – Tirmidhi Shareef.
Another Hadith of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) reports him as stating:
“During the last days of my followers, people will become monkeys and pigs.” Those present inquired as to whether these people will not have faith in La-Ilaha-illalah, Muhammadur Rasulullah? The Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) is reported to have said, “It is not so. They will become so because of their engagement in the profession of singing and music,” – Fatawaa Raheemiya Vol. 2. p.323.
A recent Urdu poet has described the present prevailing conditions in society in the following way:
The present conditions which we are facing today remind us of the foretelling of our Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). He has been reported as saying that people will not hesitate to usurp properties belonging to others; they will indulge in immoral acts and will feel no remorse or regret; quarrels and enmity will be common among close relatives, like brothers, sisters, parents and their wards; daughters will be born to mothers as their enemies and mistresses; the feeling and fear of the presence of Allah will become rare among the faithful; people in congregational prayer will forget what they are doing.
The disobedience of Allah and the rejection of the Shariah will create a very dangerous situation calling for severe punishment, as has happened to past nations which transgressed. Allah has described these events in the Qur’an at various locations. One such verse is:
“Each one of them We seized for their crime, against some of them We sent a violent tornado; some were caught in a blast; some We caused the earth to swallow up; and some we drowned; it was not Allah who injured them; but they injured their own souls….” Surah 29 Aayeh 40
Allah explains to the believers how severe was His response to these crimes of spreading evil and challenging His Law. Those who seek His protection and mercy should become obedient servants and always submit to His orders. The following prayer is to be found in Darse-Qur’an:
“0 Almighty Allah! despite having been shown a very clear path of living a successful life by Your Rasul (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) as desired by You, yet we have been committing the mistake of disobeying Your orders openly. 0 Allah! You certainly punished the people of former times for their rebellion against their Rasuls. Some were finished in floods while others perished in hurricanes; some had to face earthquakes and some were drowned and killed. 0 Great and Merciful Allah! You are the most Merciful and Beneficent. Those rebels were cruel to our souls. Their hard-heartedness made them cruel and thus they dared to rebel against your authority. 0 Merciful Allah! Bless us all with Your Mercy and make us learn the lessons from their most tragic termination, so that we can follow the right path shown to us by your Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam). Aameen!” – Darse-Quran Vol. 8. p.278.
WHAT SHOULD MUSLIMS DO IN SUCH A SITUATION?
Allah has said:
“And never give up hope of Allah’s truly soothing mercy, no-one despairs of Allah’s soothing mercy except those who have no faith.” Surah12 A.87.
In a further Aayeh Allah Ta’aalaa states:
“So lose not heart and do not fall into despair, for you must gain mastery if you are true in faith.” Surah 3. Aayeh139.
An Urdu poet has rightly depicted this in his couplet as under (the meaning of which is):
“It is the same world all around us. Even the Almighty Allah is the same, the Most Merciful. If anything has changed it is ourselves. It is our indifferent attitude towards religious teachings which has stopped Allah’s aid reaching us.”
It is indeed desired that we should seek guidance from the pious and the truthful scholars who are experts in these affairs, and then follow their advice.
The following is a taste of some of this guidance, which is deserving of our immediate attention and practise:
1. TURN TO ALLAH
The best cure for all ills and suffering today, is that we should turn to Allah and express our sincere regret and apology for our misdeeds. We should pledge to keep away from His disobedience in future, and begin to offer our Five daily Salaat (prayers) regularly. Men should attend the masjid punctually, and women should offer their Salaat in their homes as per the Shariah. Even children should be taught to cultivate a habit for Salaat. Allah has emphasized in the Qur’an as follows:
“Oh ye who Believe! Seek help with Patient Perseverance and Prayer, for Allah is with those who observe patience.” Surah 2 Aayeh153.
Hadhrat Mu’adh bin Jabal (Radhiallahu Anhu) narrates that he once heard Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) saying,
“A person who does not go for Salaat after hearing the adhaan is committing a great wrong and is doing an act of blasphemy and hypocrisy.”
The renowned saint Hadhrat Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani (Rahmatullah Alayh) has said:
“You people have been totally negligent and careless about Allah Ta’aalaa. It is high time that you wake up and connect yourselves to the Mosques and the path of the righteous ones. Make sending Durood Shareef on Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) a regular habit and binding upon yourselves.”
Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) has been reported as saying,
“If Allah sends the fire from Hell (to punish the guilty), it will not touch those who are connected with the Masjids.” Therefore, the act of neglecting Salaat will disconnect you outright from your link with Allah, and such a person will be deprived of His Closeness and Mercy. As Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said that a servant is closest to his Creator whilst in the act of prostration (sajdah). – Al-Fatha-Al-Rabbani, p.2.
2. NEED FOR ISTIGHFAAR AND TAUBAH
We must make a point to offer repentance for our sins and seek Allah’s forgiveness regularly. It is revealed in the Qur’an that:
“But Allah was not going to send them a punishment whilst you were among them, and He was not going to send it while they sought forgiveness.” Surah 8. Aayeh 33.
In the explanation to this aayeh it is said, “When the seeking of Allah’s forgiveness by the non-believers can ward off punishment, then the seeking of forgiveness by the faithful is definite to bring His mercy on all.”
Hadhrat Abu Moosa Ash’ari (Radhiallahu Anhu) narrates Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) as saying,
“Surely Allah has blessed my followers with two symbols of peace, firstly, myself and, secondly, the act of seeking forgiveness (Istighfaar), Remember! When I will no longer be in this mortal world, I will be leaving behind the act of seeking forgiveness. It will help you all to save yourselves from Allah’s punishment.”
It is reported in another Hadith that,
“Shaytaan has said to Allah, ‘I swear by Your honour that I will keep on misguiding your servants as along as they live,’ to which Allah responded, ‘I swear by my dignity that I will forgive them all as long as they continue to seek my pardon.'”
In an explanation of the above Qur’anic verse, some of the Sahaaba were unable to undertake the migration to Medina and remained in Makkah. Through the barakat of their act of continuously seeking Allah’s forgiveness, no punishment descended even upon the disbelievers, despite their misdeeds. Through the act of pious people seeking forgiveness, even the sinners are saved from Allah’s wrath and punishment.
3. ENCOURAGE THE GIVING OF CHARITY
Rich people must pay their Zakaat annually, as per the Shariah, in order to purify their wealth. In addition, regular voluntary alms (sadaqah) should be made to the poor to prevent the occurrence of hardships and misery. Wealth should be regarded as a gift and trust from Allah and for which one will be answerable. They should desist from spending upon prohibited items and should, instead, use their wealth to assist the needy or for the promotion of Allah’s religion. It is common to see Muslims indulging in wasteful and questionable expenditure. Such people Allah has clearly termed as the brothers of Shaytaan, in the Qur’an as follows:
“Verily, spend-thrifts are the brothers of the evil ones.” Surah17. A.27
4. INCREASE THE TILAWAT OF THE QURAN
We should make a habit of reciting the Qur’an and engage in the remembrance of Allah (Zikr), recitation of Durood upon Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) and making abundant dua. Collective offering of dua for women and children may also be arranged in their homes. The prescribed recitation of the Aayaat-e-Kareemah may also be organised now and then. It is stated below:
There is no God save Thee. Be Thou glorified! I have been a wrong doer. Surah 21. Aayeh 87.
5. STOP THE DISOBEDIENCE OF ALLAH
We must try to stop people in our locality from indulging in disobedience of Allah. The instruments of music, singing and dancing must be removed from our homes, as these attract the wrath of Allah very quickly. The act of adultery and its means must be eradicated. Women should observe purdah (veil) from non-mahram males, and stop offering their services in schools, offices and businesses, as these lead to the spread of vice and immorality. Peace and tranquillity in the family and society are eroded through these activities and ultimately leads to the erosion of human values. A mere glance at the happenings in today’s society will confirm this state of affairs. If circumstances require womenfolk to earn a living, then they can take to teaching small children at home, do some handiwork or other petty trade from within the confines of their own homes. The intake of liquor and any type of drug and intoxicant must be avoided by all. We should all try to eradicate these vices from our society.
Some vices are listed below and which we should avoid at all costs:
Usurping the properties inherited by orphans; avoiding the sharing of inheritance with daughters; oppression; back-biting; not fulfilling a promise; telling lies and taking false oath; breaches of faith and treachery; desisting from fulfilling the rights due to Allah (such as performing Salaat, fasting during Ramadhaan, paying Zakaat and performing Haj); robbery; taking, giving and witnessing interest-based transactions; not advising people toward virtuous acts despite having the means to do so; making false allegations; behaving with arrogance and pride; engaging in gambling and various types of modern lotteries; bribery and corruption; insulting and degrading religious Scholars (Ulama); etc.
6. IMPLEMENT PROPER DEENI EDUCATION IN THE MAKAATIBS
Children must be given proper education and training in religious knowledge. The principles of faith (Imaan), Divine duties (Faraaidh), Islamic manners and etiquette must be taught first. They should know how valuable this knowledge is, and the consequences of its neglect. Allah has ordered the believers:
“O ye Believers! Save yourselves and your families from a Fire.” Surah66. Aayeh 6
Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) has further warned,
“Remember, everyone from among you is responsible and accountable for those who are subordinated to you.”
Hence, it is vital that we make arrangements for the religious upbringing of our children in every village and town.
7. RECONCILE DISPUTES AND DIFFERENCES
All types of disputes and differences should be stopped. Internal disputes are bound to cause serious damage to both religious and worldly interests. Allah states in the Qur’an:
“And obey Allah and His apostle; and fall into no disputes, lest you lose heart and your power departs; and be patient and persevering, for Allah is with those who patiently persevere.” Surah 8. Aayeh 46.
In another aayeh He says:
“And hold fast, all together, to the rope which Allah (stretches out for you) and be not divided among yourselves.” Surah 3. Aayeh102.
8. SEEK GUIDANCE ONLY FROM THE ULAMA. ESTABLISH LINKS WITH THEM
We should seek guidance from the Ulama in all our dealings, and intend to follow their advice scrupulously. Never degrade or insult them. In Tirmidhi Shareef, Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) is reported to have said, “The Ulama are the heirs to the Ambiyaa.” Thus – like complying with the teachings of our prophets – it is equally obligatory upon the faithful to follow the instructions of the Ulama. The knowledge of the Shariah is the legacy of the prophets and the Ulama are its custodians, hence their instructions are to be treated as binding upon us. Rasullullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) has said,
“A religious Scholar (Alim) is superior to a worshiper, in the same way as myself to any ordinary people among you.” – Mishkaat Shareef.
The renowned Scholar and Theologian, Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani (Rahmatullah Alayh) said:
“When you seek the guidance of the Ulama you must follow their advice, as you will be accountable for this before Allah. Remember! It is as you sought the advice of Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) and when it was given to you, you neglected it” – Al-Fath-Al-Rabbani.
Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) has warned those who fail to keep contact with the Ulama and who do not bother to heed their advice. He said:
“A period will soon be upon us when my followers will avoid the Ulama. Allah will then punish such people in three ways: · Barakat (blessing, abundance) will be taken away from their lives, making it difficult for people to make daily ends meet. · Cruel rulers will be thrust upon them. ·They will leave the world without Imaan in their hearts.”
Allah save us all from such an end. Aameen!
Hadhrat Ali (Radhiallahu Anhu) has reported Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) as having stated:
“When my followers start hating the Ulama, turn towards (the construction of) huge buildings and prefer richness to piety when proposing marriage, Allah will punish them by four methods: · Drought and famine will become frequent. · Rulers will resort to oppression. · People having authority and power will indulge in treachery. · Enemies will attack continuously.”
A glance at the world and the condition of the Ummah today leaves little doubt about whether these times are upon us. These conditions are only brought about by our own mistakes and misdeeds. There is no need to blame others! We must learn to respect the Ulama and treat their presence among us as a great gift from Allah. We should strive to seek their guidance and benefit from their company, and under no circumstances should we show them any disrespect.
9. CREATE AN ATMOSPHERE OF BROTHERHOOD
Sincere efforts must be made to create the atmosphere of fraternity and the brotherhood of Islam, whereby the rights of all humans, irrespective of their affiliation is honoured. Always try to avoid any act which may lead to misunderstanding and dispute. We should keep ourselves away from quarrels. The true Islamic Character of tolerance and fortitude (sabr) should be developed. When faced with any mischief, we should affectionately try to desist from it. If the other party does not desist then do not run away, but protect yourselves with full vigour.
The following principles must be remembered and followed when such situations arise:
1. Never harm old people (if they do not join the confrontations).
2. Never harm women (if they do not join the confrontation).
3. Never harm children.
4. Never show disrespect to the places of worship of other people.
5. Never attempt to cut off the noses and ears of people who confront you.
6. Never cut trees bearing fruit.
7. Never harm standing crops.
8. Do not burn any living animal.
9. Do not harm milking animals like cows, buffaloes, goats, etc.
10. MAKE THE WORLD AWARE OF THE BEAUTIFUL TEACHINGS OF ISLAM
To make our fellow citizens aware of the teachings of our faith, make them understand the reality of Tawheed and Risalet; strive for them to be blessed with the beauty of Imaan and save them from the eternal punishment of Jahannam This is a right they have over us. The Prophethood of Muhammad (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) was for all mankind, not only for Muslims. So let us consider this also.
May Allah bless us all with His mercy, make us united, and strengthen our Imaan, and turn us to His Authority. May Allah save us from all types of evils and disputes. Aameen!