Is the Truth (Haqq) Determined by the Majority?


[By Hazrat Maulana Ahmad Sadeq Desai]

Verily, Allah is Most beneficent to people, but most people are ungrateful.”
(Al-Baqarah, Aayat 243)

“If you follow the majority on earth, they will mislead you from the Path of Allah.”
(Al-An’aam, Aayat 116)

“Say: Verily, its knowledge is only  by Allah, but the majority of mankind does not know.”
(Al-A’raaf, Aayat 187)

“Verily, the Haqq (Truth) is from your Rabb, but the majority does not believe.”
(Hood, Aayat 17)

“This is the established Deen, but the majority of people does not know.”
(Yoosuf, Aayat 40)

“Verily, the majority of you is faasiqoon (flagrant  transgressors).”
(Al-Maaidah, Aayat 59)

“Verily, we have brought to you the Haqq, but most of you detest the Haqq.”
(Az-Zukhruf, Aayat 78) 

In Islam, the majority is not the criterion of Haqq. The criterion is the Shariah even if it is upheld by one person while the entire community is opposed to the solitary upholder of the Shariah. The majority has always been kuffaar, fussaaq and fujjaar and juhala.

Hadhrat Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) said to ‘Amr ibn Maymoon:

“The jamaa’ah are those who are in accordance with the truth (of the Deen), even if you are on your own”

Hafiz Abu Shaamah said:

“The order to cling to the jamâ’ah means clinging to the truth and its followers; even if those who adhere to the truth are few and those who oppose it are many, since the truth is that which the first jamâ’ah from the time of  Rasulullah (sallAllâhu ‘alayhi wasallam) and his Sahaabah (radhiyallahu anhum)  had adhered to.  No attention is given to the great number of the people of futility coming after them.” (Faydh al Qadir 4/19,Al-Bâ`ith `alâ Al-Bid`ah wal-Hawâdith page 19)

Imam Sufiyan bin Uayniya (rahmatullah alayh) said:

“Be on the way of truth; do not worry if the people of truth are lesser.”

Imam Shaatibi states in Al-I’tisaam:

“Based on this, were we to assume an age is free of a mujtahid, then it is not possible for the common people to follow  others  than the likes of them.  Their group would not be regarded as “the greatest mass” (Sawaad-e-A’zam) mentioned in the hadith. Rather, narrating from the mujtahids will take the place of the existence of the mujtahids. Hence, that which is binding on the common people in the presence of mujtahids is what is binding on the people of a supposed time that is free of mujtahids.

Also, following the analysis of one who has no analytical [ability], and the ijtihad of one who has no [ability to perform] ijtihad is pure deviance and is groping  in the dark. This is the purport of the authentic hadith: “Verily, Allah will not take away knowledge by extracting [it from the breasts of the Ulama), but will take away knowledge by taking [the lives of] the ‘Ulama’, until He does not leave an ‘Alim. Then  people will adopt for [their] leaders the ignorant ones whom  they will ask, and (these ignoramuses) will  issue ‘fatwa’ without knowledge Thus, he  will be misguided and he will misguide (others).”

…Then Ishaq said: “Were you to ask the ignorant people about the ‘greatest mass’ (Sawaad-e-A’zam), they will say, the majority of people. They do not know that the Jama‘ah is even  an Aalim resolutely  following in  the footsteps of  Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). Therefore,  whoever is with him (the Aalim of Haqq)  and follows him, that is the Jama‘ah.” And then Ishaq said: “I have not heard a scholar for fifty years that was stronger in adherence to the footsteps of  Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) than Muhammad ibn Aslam.”

So examine this narration which clarifies the error of those that assume that the Jama‘ah is the majority of people, even if there is no scholar amongst them, and this is the understanding of the common people, not the understanding of the ‘Ulama’. Let the one  who is in accord  (with the Shariah), plant  his feet firmly  in this slippery domain, so that he does not deviate from the straight path. And there is no guidance but from Allah.”

Imaam Al-Ghazaali (505 A.H) wrote in his Iḥya Uloomuddeen:

“And from amongst those things (of utmost importance), is that he (the seeker) should assiduously be on guard against innovated matters [in  Deen] even if the vast majority of people have accepted them, and that he should not be deceived by the people’s assertion (about the legitimacy) of something that has been introduced after the  Sahaabah of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam).   He should be avid in his enquiry about the state of the Sahaabah, their behavior, their actions and about the issues to which they assigned  the utmost importance..”

Sayyidina Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) said that the people will see a time when Islam will remain only in name and the Qur’an will be found only in writing. The mosques will seem to be occupied but they will be bereft of guidance. The Ulama will be the worst of all people under the sky and mischief will emanate from them and return to them. (Ibn Abi Dunya)

Hafiz Ibn Hajar quotes and approves in his al-Fath the following narration of Hadhrat Ibn Mas’ood (radhiyallahu anhu) explaining the meaning of the Hadith from Bukhari which states:

“No age will dawn upon you but the one following it will be viler than it.”

Hadhrat Ibn Mas‘ood (radhiyallahu anhu) said,

“No age will dawn upon you but it will be viler than the one preceding it.  I do not mean a ruler better than another ruler, or a year better than another year, but (I mean) that  your Ulama and Fiqh will disappear, and you will not find (uprighteous) successors to them. Then there will come people who will issue ‘fatwas’ [legal opinions)  based on their own opinion.” And in another narration, “Who will blunt Islam and destroy it.”

Rasulullah (Sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said:

“In the latter days the devout ones (Sufis) will be ignorant and the Ulama immoral”  

 Hakeem ul Ummah, Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi states in his Malfooz:

“Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) directed us to follow the ‘Sawaad-e-A’zam’ in times of fitnah. From the different opinions of ulama the preferred view seems to be the one that is understood from the zaahir (text) of the Hadith i.e. the majority should be followed.  This view is restricted to the Khairul Quroon when khair (goodness) was dominant (ghaalib). Today’s majority is not the purport of the Hadith (i.e. the Sawaad-e-A’zam Hadith). because today the majority  consists of misguided people.”

It definitely does not apply to this age when even ‘ulama’ are morons.

Imaam  Tirmizi said:

“The  tafseer of “Jama`ah” according to the people of knowledge is “people of jurisprudence, Knowledge and Hadith”. I heard Jarud bin Muadh who heard from Ali bin Hasan say: ‘I asked ‘Abdullâh bin Al-Mubârak, who is the Jamâ’ah?’ So he said, ‘Abû Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) and ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu).’ It was said to him, ‘Indeed Abû Bakr (radhiyallahu anhu) and ‘Umar (radhiyallahu anhu) have died.’ He said, ‘So and so and so and so.’ It was said, ‘Indeed, so and so and so and so have also died.’ So ‘Abdullâh bin Al-Mubârak said, ‘Abû Hamzah As-Sukkarî is the Jamâ’ah.'” Abu ‘Îsa (Tirmidhee) said: And Abû Hamzah was Muhammad bin Maymûn. And he was a righteous Shaykh, and he said this during our lifetime.”(Sunan at-Tirmizi, Hadeeth no: 2167)

Abu Hurayrah said:

“Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) said: “Islam began as something strange (and forlorn) and will revert to being strange (and forlorn) as it began, so give glad tidings to the strangers.” [Sahih Muslim no:145]

Imaam Nawawi quoted al-Qaadi ‘Iyaadh as saying concerning the meaning of this Hadeeth:

“Islam began among a few individuals, then it spread and prevailed, then it will reduce in numbers until there are only a few left, as it was in the beginning.”

Al-Sindi said in Haashiyaat Ibn Maajah:

“Strange” refers to the small number of its adherents. The basic meaning of ghareeb (a stranger) is a person who is far from one’s homeland. “And will revert to being strange” refers to the small number of those who will adhere to its teachings even though its followers are numerous. “So give glad tidings to the strangers” means those who follow its commands. “Tooba (glad tidings)” has been interpreted as meaning  Jannat or a great tree of splendour in Jannat. This shows that supporting Islam and following its commands may require leaving one’s homeland and patiently bearing the difficulties of being a stranger, as was the case in the beginning.”

The hadith regarding the blessed Ghurabaa when Islam becomes a lone, forlorn and strange concept, comes through variant narrations describing a number of qualities of the Ghurabaa. They are:

(1) “…they are those who rectify/correct when people become corrupt.”

(2) “…they are those who grow more (in faith) when people decrease in faith.”

(3) “…[they are] the forsakers of kindred (for the Sake of Allah).”

(4) “…[they are] a few righteous people among many people; those who oppose them are more than those who follow them.”

(5) “…they are those who revive my Sunnah and teach it to people.”

6) “…[they are those] who correct what people have distorted after me in my Sunnah

The Sawaad-e-A’zam constitutes the small group of Ulama-e-Haqq whom Allah Ta’ala has granted Istiqaamat (firmness) on the Shariah and the Sunnah of Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). It never refers to the mob-majority of ulama-e-soo’ who trample on the Ahkaam of the Shariah, and who bootlick the kuffaar by placating their whimsical desires and  baatil concepts. This small group of Ulama-e-Haqq comes within the purview of the Hadith:

“There will ever remain a small group from my Ummah who will fight on the Haqq until  the arrival of the  Command of Allah (i.e. Qiyaamah). Those who oppose them and who do not aid them, will not be able to harm them.”

[For some signs of the Ulama-e-Haqq (true scholars) see: Who Are The Ulama-e-Haqq (The True Scholars)? ]

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