Muslims are floundering in a continuous process of ruin. What should they do?
(By Shaykh Zakariyyah Kandhelvi Rahmatullahi Alayh)
It is correct to say that Muslims are deluged with a variety of hardships. They are engulfed by difficulties and hardships individually and collectively. But the question: “What should they do?”, is very surprising even if posed by an ordinary intelligent Muslim. The surprise is greater when this question is posed by a learned man.
In the Holy Qur’an, Allah Ta’ala has proclaimed the completion and perfection of Islam. Allah Ta’ala has described the completion of Islam as His bounty and favour on the Ummah. This is stated by Allah Ta’ala in the following affectionate terms:
This day have I perfected for you your Deen; completed upon you My favour and chosen for you Islam as your Deen. (Surah Ma-idhah)
What a gracious declaration! Indeed, it instills hope and happiness in the Believers. Why should the claimants and followers of such a perfect and complete Deen be smitten by worry and concern? Why should such followers wonder what they should do? Allah Ta’ala and His Rasool (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) have left no aspect of life untouched. No matter what the circumstances are – no matter how great and grave the exigency may be, Allah and His Rasool (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) have unambiguously explained the ahkaam (rules) applicable to such developing situations. The advantages and disadvantages have been explained.
The explanations and solutions provided by divine dispensation have not been assigned to the Ummah in the form of mere theoretic and abstract conceptions. The Rasool of Allah and his devoted Sahabah have accorded practical expression to such teachings thus establishing the modes of life which the Ummah has to adopt. The prosperity and success of both mundane and spiritual life are confined to the obedience of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam.
But, alas! we regard adherence to the Sunnah of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) fanaticism, bigotry and narrowmindedness. The evil consequences in the Akhirah of this baneful attitude ours should be quite apparent. Besides the calamity which will befall us in the Akhirah, the results of this attitude are even being witnessed by us here in this life.
Every act and movement of Rasululah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) is today reliably recorded in books through the efforts and devotion of the Sahaba-e-Kiram and the illustrious Muhadditheen. Scrutinize the life and conditions of the Ummah in the light of Rasulullah’s Sallallahu Alayh Wasallam life and teachings.
It will be seen that the Sunnah practices of Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) are being discarded en masse with impunity and naked audacity. The wholesale neglect of the Sunnah is aggravated by even opposition to the Sunnah practices. A person reminding us of the Sunnah is branded an ignoramus who lacks understanding. There seems to be no limit to this grave injustice being perpetrated against the Sunnah.
Under the prevailing circumstances, Muslims are not entitled to complain since they are enacting their own ruin and misery by their irreligious and un-Islamic attitudes. What right have they to howl and lament in their speeches and writings?
Allah Ta’ala declares with great clarity:
“Whatever calamity befalls you, is the consequence of your own misdeeds. Allah Ta’ala overlooks many (of your misdeeds.) You can never render Allah helpless on earth. There is no friends nor helper for you, other than Allah.” (Surah Shura)
Elsewhere in the Qur’an, Allah Ta’ala states:
“Corruption (strife, hardships and anarchy) has appeared on the land and the sea because of the deeds of mankind so that Allah may cause them to taste the con sequences of some of their deeds. Perhaps they will return (to the path of righteousness.)” (Surah Rum)
The Qur’an is replete with ayat of similar meaning. Regarding the first ayat cited above (viz, in Surah Shura), Hadhrat Ali Radiallahu Anhu narrates that Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam)said:
“O Ali! shall I explain the tafseer of this ayat to you? O Ali! Whatever calamity befalls you, be it sickness, punishment or any worldly hardship, it is the consequence of your misdeeds.”
Hadhrat Hasan Radiallahu Anhu narrates that when this ayat was revealed, Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam)said:
“I take oath by That Being in Whose power is my life that whatever happens (of difficulties or setbacks) is because of some sin, be it a prick of a thorn, the pulling of a vein, the slip of the foot or the striking of a stone.”
Hadhrat Musa Ash’ari Radiallahu Anhu narrates that Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam)said:
“Any wound or lesser calamity which a person suffers is the result of some of his own misdeeds.”
Once Hadhrat lmran Bin Hassen Radiallahu Anhu became ill. When visitors expressed their sympathy and grief to him, he would exclaim: “There is no need for grief. This sickness is the result of some sin.” According to Hadhrat Dhuh-hak Rahmatullah Alayh forgetting the recitation of the Qur’an Shareef after having learnt it, is the consequence of some sin. On making this claim, he recited the ayat of Surah Shura mentioned earlier on and commented:
“What greater calamity can there be than forgetting how to recite the Qur’an Shareef?”
Hadhrat Asma, the daughter of Hadhrat Abu Bakr Radiallahu Anhu once suffered a headache. She placed her hand on her head and exclaimed: “This is the result of my sins.” Hardships are not always the consequence of sin and transgression. Even Ambiya Alayhimus Salaam and sinless children are overtaken by hardships and difficulties. The cause of such hardships and difficulties is something else. However, I shall not here dwell on this issue.
Here, my aim is to explain only one special cause of hardship which is stated in the ayat and ahadith. That main cause of calamities and misfortunes is fatal and highly contagious. Its poisonous effect sometimes overtakes even those who are not involved in sin.
Thus, in a hadith, Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam)said that in the time in close proximity to Qiyamah, earthquakes will become prevalent; transformation of human beings into dogs and apes will occur and stones will rain from the heavens. Someone enquired:
“O Rasulullah! At that time if there are pious men among us, will we still be destroyed?”
Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) replied:
“When vice becomes prevalent in abundance, punishment (in general) is possible even with the presence of pious people.”
In several ahadith and in various ways Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) exhorted the commanding of righteousness and the prohibition of evil. The Ummah has been ordered to uphold this practice. In these ahadith it is explicitly mentioned that abstention from this duty brings about the punishment of Allah. In some narrations it is said that at such times of calamity and punishment even the dua of people will not be accepted.
According to one hadith, Allah Ta’ala will afflict punishment on any group of people who refrain from preventing the commission of evil in their midst, despite their ability of doing so. If such people do not put a stop to the evil being perpetrated amongst them, they will be overtaken by punishment in their very lifetime.
In one hadith it is mentioned that Allah Ta’ala instructed Jibraeel Alayhis Salaam to destroy a certain town. Jibraeel Alayhis Salaam said to Allah Ta’ala that, in that town is a pious servant of Allah, who had never disobeyed Allah Ta’ala. Allah Ta’ala informed Jibraeel Alayhis Salaam that although the holy man was engaged in worship and obedience, he was never grieved nor offended when evil was being committed around him in the society he lived.
The lowest stage of Iman requires that at least the Mu’min’s heart must grieve when he observes the laws of Allah Ta’ala being violated. There are numerous ahadith on this subject. If one lacks the power or ability to prevent evil being committed, at least the heart should grieve. It now devolves upon us to examine our condition in the light of these narrations.
We shall not fail to realize that we are infact involved in abundance of sin. Furthermore, we witness with our eyes evil and disobedience being perpetrated on a large scale, but we remain indifferent. No grief wells up in our hearts. Punishment, calamities and misfortunes are thus the natural consequences of our deeds and attitudes. There should therefore, be no surprise if our duas go by unaccepted and our present condition is not ameliorated…
Once Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said with much emphasis and urgency:
“By Him in Whose Hand my life lies, you shall continue to exhort others towards righteousness and continue to prohibit them from the doing of evil. Otherwise Allah will send down upon you such calamities and punishment that you will pray to Him but He will not answer you.”
Also: “You shall continue to command others towards righteous deeds and continue to prohibit them from evil before such a time will dawn that you will beg of Allah and He will not answer your prayers.”
Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) warned:
“Through the iniquitous deeds of a few people Allah does not cause widespread calamity to descend upon all until such time that those deeds are performed in their presence and they, in spite of being capable of stopping it, refrain therefrom. At such a time the punishment descends upon all, high and low.”
Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) also said:
“When my Ummat will begin to bear hatred in their hearts against the Ulema and when they shall make the construction of their bazaars and shopping places conspicuous and grand, and when they shall in contracting marriages consider only the possibility of accumulating wealth (instead of looking at the honesty, piety and deeds of suitable partners) then Allah will set four calamities over them: famine, the oppression of rulers, dishonesty of the officials administering their affairs and attacks by their enemies.” (Haakim)
Sayyidina Ali (Radiallahu anhu) said:
“The wages of sin is carelessness in Ibaadah, scarcity of rizq and lack of pleasure.” (Tarikh_ul-Khulafa)…
[Futility of Blaming Enemies Imposed Upon Us as Divine Punishment]
He (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said:
“As you are (as far as your actions are) so will be the rulers that will soon be set over you.” (Mishkat)
Therefore if we desire the best (and most just) government to rule over us, there will be only one way of assuring that. And that is righteous deeds. In a second Hadeeth it is reported: Abu Darda (Radiallahu anhu) reports that Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said:
“Allah says: I am Allah besides whom there is no Diety, the Master of Kings, King of Kings. Verily the hearts of kings are under the control of My Hands. When My servants obey me, I turn the hearts of kings and rulers towards them so that they rule over them with mercy and kindness and when My servants disobey Me, I turn the hearts of kings and rulers to treat them harshly, with anger and vengeance. Thereby they mete out torture and oppression. Hence do not occupy yourselves with praying for curses upon kings and instead turn to Me in remembrance and with humility. And I will preserve you against the tyranny of the kings.”
Malik bin Maghool says: “I have read a verse similar to this in the Zaboor of Nabi Dawood (Alayhis Salaam).”
Similar guidance is also given in many similar Ahaadeeth.
Imam A’mash (Rahmatullah Alayh) again says it means that when the deeds of people become bad, the worst of cruel and unjust rulers are made to rule over them.
Sayyidina Umar (Radiallahu anhu) says:
“I have been told that either Nabi Moosa or Nabi Eesa once asked Allah: “What is the sign of Your being pleased with people?”
Allah replied: “The sign is that at the time of their sowing the fields I send the rains and at the time of harvesting I keep the rains away. Their administrative affairs I place in the hands of soft-hearted people and their public finances I allow to be controlled by generous ones.”
They then inquired: “And what is the sign of Your being displeased with people?”
Allah replied: “The sign is that at the time of sowing the fields I withhold the rains and at the time of harvest I send torrential rains. Their administrative affairs I place in the hands of the foolish ones and their public finances I allow to be controlled by stingy persons.” (Durr Manthoor)
Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said:
“You people should continue to enjoin people towards the doing of righteous deeds and you should continue to prohibit them from evil; otherwise Allah will put into authority over you the worst of people to rule over you. At such time the best from among you will pray to Allah (for deliverance) and your prayers will go unanswered.’.’ (Jami-us-Sagheer)
In one Hadeeth it has been said:
“When Allah desires the well-being of a nation, He appoints tolerant good- natured rulers over them. The learned scholars (Ulema) judge their cases (justly and with knowledge). And their wealth lies in the hands of the generous ones (so that all benefit through their generosity). And when Allah desires bad for a nation (because of their iniquity) He appoints fools to rule over them, their ignorant ones judge their cases and their wealth lies in the hands of the stingy ones.’’
According to another Hadeeth it is said:
“When Allah is angry with a people and the ultimate extreme punishment like the earth caving in upon them, or transfiguration of men into animal does not descend upon them, he causes prices (of commodities) to rise high and rains to be withheld from them and the worst of people are made to rule over them.”
According to another Hadeeth reported by Jabir (Radiallahu anhu):
Verily Allah says: “I take revenge against those who have earned my anger and then I shall cast them all into hell.” (Tabrani)
For this reason it has been stated in another Hadeeth:
“Do not curse or swear the rulers. Instead pray to Allah for their goodness for indeed their goodness is their well-being.” (Tabrani)
This Hadeeth indicates that abusing, swearing and cursing the rulers is not going to improve them. In another Hadeeth we are told:
“Do not occupy your hearts showering abuse on the rulers and kings. instead draw near to Allah in prayers for them. Perchance Allah will cause their hearts to turn in kindness towards you.” (Jami)
Makki Bin Ibrahim (Rahmatullah Alayh) says:
“While we were sitting in the company of Ibn ‘Aun the people started to discuss and abuse Bilal bin Abi Burdah. Ibn ‘Aun remained silent. They said to him: “It is because of you that we are abusing and reviling him because of the fact that he had treated you badly.”
Ibn ‘Aun replied:
“Every single word of mine becomes registered in my book of deeds. Surely on the Day of Judgement those deeds will be read out. I so much more prefer that instead of abuse against another in my book, much Zikr of La Ilaha Iilallah should be registered therein on that day.” (IHYA)
Once in the presence of a saintly man someone cursed Hajjaaj the great tyrant. The saint said:
“Do not do that. What happens now is because of your own actions. I fear the possibility that in the event of Hajjaaj being dismissed from office or in the event of his death, monkeys or swine may be made to rule over you.” (MaqaaFid-ul-Hasanah)
There is a famous proverb in Arabic:
‘Your deeds are your rulers.’
In other words: As your deeds are, so too will be your rulers.
The Ummah is Like a Person Who Uses Laxatives and Purgatives to Treat Diarrhoea
Shaykh Zakariyyah in the same book, “Islamic Politics”, strikes a vivid analogy in describing the current state of the Ummah:
“If the Rasul of Allah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) is indeed considered by us to be a truthful informer, what great injustice are we not doing to ourselves by knowingly allowing ourselves to be involved in those things which, according to him, most certainly causes our destruction? Why do we still adopt this line of action which causes ourselves great harm and misery? And yet our tongues still proclaim loudly that we are Muslims?
We are exactly like that sick man who suffers from diarrhoea. While his stomach continues to run because of open bowels, he still continues to take purgative medicines and laxatives. This further aggravates his illness. Now he complains that his stomach does not stop running. Let someone ask this foolish man:
Dear brother, you treat your diarrhoea with purgatives. Tell me: Are these medicines supposed to stop the running stomach or to increase it? Why this oppression At this moment we are protesting against the persecution and oppression of the British colonial power in India. At the same time we fear even more the future government that will take over (from them.) Did not Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam) warn us about this? Did he not in very clear terms explain to us the causes of such goverments and actions? Is there any fault in the affectionate love, teachings and warnings of Sayyidina Rasulullah (Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam)?
May my soul, my father and my mother he sacrificed for him!! Never is it possible that there can be any flaw in his teachings!”
The fact that the Ummah continues to flounder in a state of abject humiliation and disgrace, grovelling at the feet of its conquerors, despite holding the majority of the world’s important mineral and fuel resources, demonstrates that means (asbaab) have no bearing on the Ummah’s decrepitude, as long as it continues to neglect the simple Sunnahs stated in the Ahadith as the cause of its disgrace. Even if the Ummah were granted all the means, technology, resources, man-power, scientists, ‘intellectuals’, etc. of the world, the All Powerful is effortlessly able to maintain this state of humiliation which the Ummah deserves for its terrible neglect of those blessed Sunnahs.
We are like a person about to die from terminal lung cancer who ceaselessly travels to the furthest reaches of the world searching for and exploring the latest medical means for a cure. All such strenuous efforts end up being a futile diversion and waste of time and resources, as the person, who constantly loses focus on the causes, continues to smoke 30 cigarettes a day whilst comforting himself that he will concentrate fully on giving it up at a later stage.