What is our Da`wah? – Part 4
All Praise is due to Allāh, we praise Him, seek His aid and His Forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allāh from the evils of our souls and the evils of our actions. Whomsoever Allāh guides there is none to misguide and whomsoever Allāh misguides there is none to guide. I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allāh, alone, without any partners and I bear witness that Muhammad (صلّ الله عليه و سلّم) is His servant and Messenger.
The truest speech is the Book of Allāh, and the best way is the way of Muhammad (صلّ الله عليه و سلّم). The worst of affairs are the newly invented matters, every newly invented matter is an innovation, every innovation is misguidance, and every misguidance is in the Fire.
Transcript: We continue with the discussion of those affairs that constitute our Da`wah, i.e. the Da`wah of Ahl-us-Sunnah wal-Jamā`ah, which is the Da`wah of Salafiyyah. It is the invitation to that which the earliest generations of Muslims were upon, and those who follow them in that path, up until the day of Judgment. They have distinguishing signs and traits by which they can be recognized. So upon looking into the books of the Scholars of the early Salaf and the books of the Imāms of Ahl-us-Sunnati wal-Jamā`ah of later times, I compiled somewhere in the region of 89 points, that constitute ‘Our Da`wah’. These points have been taken from tremendous authorships such as Usūl-us-Sunnah of Imām Ahmad, Al-`Aqeedat-ul-Wāsitiyah of Shaykh-ul-Islām Ibn Taymiyyah, Sharh-us-Sunnah of Imām al-Barbahārī; Lum`atul I’tiqād of Imām Ibn Qudāmah and other books. I have also taken from the sayings of some of the great Scholars of our times, such as Shaykh Al-Albāni, Shaykh Ibn Bāz and Ibn `Uthaymīn (رحمهم الله).
So we have covered from point 1 through to point 8. So now we move on to point nine and beyond (inshā’Allāh)
Point 9: We believe, that rectification of the Ummah lies in holding fast to the Book of Allāh, and the authentic Sunnah of Allāh’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم), upon the understanding of the Companions. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “I have left amongst you that which, if you were to cling to it, you will never go astray: The Book of Allāh, and my Sunnah.” [Reported by al-Hākim – Saheeh] And he (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “Hold on to my Sunnah, and the Sunnah of the rightly guided Caliphs after me.” [Sunan Abee Dawood (no. 4607)]
Point 10: We believe, that the attainment of unity and the avoidance of splitting, is a fundamental commanded by Allāh and His Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم), due to the saying of the Most High: “And hold fast, all of you together, to the Rope of Allāh (i.e. this Quran), and be not divided among yourselves” (3:103) And likewise, His saying: “And be not as those who divided and differed among themselves after the clear proofs had come to them.” (3:105)
Point 11: We believe that the true legislated unity can only be achieved when all differing is referred back for resolution, to the Book and the Sunnah, upon the understanding (and insight) of the Companions. And, this is due to the saying of the Most High: “And if you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to Allāh and His Messenger, if you believe in Allāh and in the Last Day.” (4:59) And the saying of the Messenger of Allāh (صلى الله عليه و سلم): “Those of you who live long after me shall witness great differing. So upon you is to follow my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the rightly-guided Caliphs. Hold tightly to it and bite onto it with your molar teeth. And be warned of newly-invented matters in the Religion, as every newly-invented matter is an innovation, and every innovation is misguidance.” [Sunan Abee Dawood (no. 4607)]
Point 12: We believe, that inviting to Allāh begins with the rectification of the Belief, i.e. the `Aqeedah. For, this was the starting point of the call of all of the Messengers (عليهم الصلاة و السلام). The Messenger Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم) commanded Mu`ādh bin Jabal (رضي الله عنه) to begin with the belief when calling the people of Yemen to Islām.
These are the points that we shall clarify in light of the speech of Ahlus-Sunnah, inshā’Allāh. So this affair revolves around two or three major issues. The first is that rectification lies in returning to the Book and the Sunnah, with the understanding of the Companions. Secondly, the attainment of unity and avoidance of splitting is a fundamental in the religion. Thirdly, the true legislated unity can only be achieved when all types of ikhtilāf (differing) are referred back to the Book and the Sunnah.
The great Imām and the Scholar, Al-Hāfidh Abu Bakr `Abdullāh ibn Abī Dāwūd as-Sijistāni (رحمه الله), who died in the year 316AH, stated at the beginning of his poem in explanation of the creed known as Al-Hā’iyyah, “And hold fast to the Rope of Allāh, and follow guidance. And do not be a person of innovation so that you may prosper.” So here, right at the beginning, he (رحمه الله) mentions this point, which we have stated earlier, i.e. the Ummah will not be united, and its success will not be achieved up until it returns back to the Qur’ān and Sunnah, “hold fast to the rope of Allāh, and follow guidance.” Allāh sated in the Qur’an, “And hold fast, all of you together, to the Rope of Allāh, and be not divided among yourselves, and remember Allāh’s Favor on you, for you were enemies one to another but He joined your hearts together, so that by His Grace, you became brethren in faith.” (3:103)
This verse actually forms the foundation of what it means to hold on to the ‘Rope of Allāh’, and what it means to be united. So, unity is in this, as Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى) Himself has said, “Hold fast to the rope of Allāh” – and this ‘Rope of Allāh’, is the Qur’an and the Sunnah. So hold fast to the ‘Rope of Allāh’ means that we start by holding onto the Book and the Sunnah, after which it is not permissible for us to divide among ourselves.
Shaykh-ul-Islām Ibn Taymiyyah (رحمه الله) discussed the ‘Rope of Allāh’ and what it means. So he discusses what is meant by this unity and this holding onto the rope of Allāh. He stated, “It has been explained that the ‘Rope of Allāh’ is His Book, and His religion, it is Islām, it is Ikhlās, it is His commandments, it is the covenant of Allāh, it is obedience to Allāh, and it is the Jamā`ah”. Ibn `Abdil Barr (رحمه الله) in At-Tamheed, mentions, “The rope of Allāh is the Jamā`ah of the Sahābah (رضي الله عنهم).” Meaning, hold onto that which the Sahaabah (رضي الله عنهم) held onto.
Shaykh-ul-Islām mentioned his statement above in Minhāj-us-Sunnah (Vol. 3), that the Rope of Allāh has been explained to mean the Book of Allāh, the Religion of Allāh, which is Islām, Ikhlās, the commandments of Allāh, the covenants of Allāh, obedience to Him, and the Jamā`ah. He (رحمه الله) stated that all of these terms have been transmitted or have reached us from the Sahābah (رضي الله عنهم) and the Tābi`īn, who followed them. He (رحمه الله) also said, “And all of these meanings are similar to each other referring the same affair. That is because the Qur’an commands with the Religion of Islām. And Islām is the covenant to Allāh, it is obedience to Allāh, it is to follow his commandments and it is to hold fast to that altogether. This is not done except by way of the Jamā`ah.” Meaning: hold on together to Islām, the Qur’an and the Sunnah. And the reality of the religion of Islām is Ikhlās to Allah, i.e. it is to sincerely worship Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى) alone.
So when Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى) commanded us, “And hold fast, all of you together, to the Rope of Allāh and be not divided among yourselves.” Look how Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى) begins by commanding with holding onto the rope of Allāh, all of you Muslims, together. Allāh did not command with unity first, rather Allāh commanded first with the Qur’an and the Sunnah, which is the Rope of Allāh. This is supported by the statement of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم): “Whomsoever lives for long from amongst you, will see a great amount of differing and controversy. So, upon you, is to cling to my Sunnah, and the Sunnah of the rightly guided Caliphs after me. Hold onto, that with your molar teeth.”
Look at the wording used by the Messenger of Allāh (صلى الله عليه و سلم) ‘hold fast (tightly) to’ and he further reiterates that by saying, “Hold onto that with your molar teeth.” So first he said, “It is obligatory upon you to follow my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the rightly guided Caliphs” and then, “and hold onto that Sunnah, and bite onto that with your molar teeth. And beware of the newly introduced affairs in the religion, for every newly invented matter is an innovation, and every innovation is misguidance.” This Hadeeth was collected by Abu Dawood and At-Tirmidhi, and the Hadeeth is saheeh.
So look at these powerful words of the great Imāms of this religion, the likes of Ibn Abī Dāwūd as-Sijistāni, which he took from the Book of Allāh, where Allāh commands us to hold onto the rope of Allāh. And this holding onto the rope of Allāh is holding onto the Qur’an and the Sunnah. In other words, the ‘Rope of Allāh’ is the revelation of Allāh that was sent down upon Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم), regardless of whether it is the Qur’an or the Sunnah.
So when we say, ‘Hold fast to the rope of Allāh’ it means hold tightly to it. Just as Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى) said, “Hold fast, all of you together, to the Rope of Allāh.” And the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “Indeed Allāh is pleased with you with three things: 1) That you worship him alone, and you do not associate partners with Him in anything, 2) that you hold fast to the rope of Allāh, all of you united and do not differ amongst yourselves, 3) that you advice sincerely those who have been put in charge of your affairs from the rulers.” [Sahih Muslim (no.1715)]
The Hadeeth has been reported by Imām Muslim in his Saheeh from Abu Hurairah (رضي الله عنه). So from these three affairs that Allāh is pleased with is that you should hold fast to the rope of Allāh, because, it is a protection from ikhtilāf (differing) and splitting. Shaykh Al-Fawzān (حفظه الله) states that we have been commanded to hold onto the rope of Allāh because it is a protection from iftirāq (dividing) and ikhtilāf (differing). So, when you hold onto the rope of Allāh, then it saves you from falling into splitting and differing. And he (حفظه الله) mentioned that the differing amongst the Muslims and the splitting of their ranks does not occur except due to the absence of holding fast to the rope of Allāh, the Qur’an and the Sunnah of His Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم). And this is how the splitting of the People of the Book (the Jews and Christians) occurred. The Torah and Injeel (Gospel) were sent down to them — these were Books from Allāh, they are the speech of Allāh, just as the Qur’an is the speech of Allāh. So, these revelations were sent down to the People of the Book. However, when they stopped holding onto the rope of Allāh, meaning, when they stopped holding onto the revelation that was sent down to them in their Books, they divided and split up into sects. And it is for this reason, Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى) said: “And be not as those who divided and differed among themselves after the clear proofs had come to them. It is they for whom there is an awful torment.” (3:105)
Look at why Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى) will punish them and those who follow their path from this Ummah. Because Allāh said to this Ummah, “Do not be (O Ummah of Muhammad) as those who divided and differed among themselves after the clear proofs had come to them. It is they for whom there is an awful torment”. So what is this mighty punishment for? For dividing and splitting after knowing the guidance. This makes clear one of the points that we made previously that, we believe that the attainment of unity and avoidance of splitting, is a fundamental, commanded by Allāh. So here is your proof that it is a fundamental principle. Allāh will punish them and burn those individuals in the hellfire – those who divided and split up in their religion, after there came to them the clear proofs.
This is the way of the People of the Book – they abandoned the Book of their Lord, and due of that, they divided and split up. And this is the inevitable consequence of anyone who does not take his `Aqeedah and his religion from the Book of Allāh and the Sunnah of Allāh’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم). This is the natural and inevitable consequence of not following the Book and the Sunnah. That which befell the people who came before you will befall this Ummah. They will be destroyed, punished and humiliated in this life, and disgraced in the hereafter because of the fact that they abandoned the rope of Allāh, and they divided and split. Letting go of the rope of Allāh is the letting go of the Book of Allāh and the letting go of the clear proofs and evidences. And the consequence of that is splitting and differing. Just as Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى) said: “And verily! This, your religion is one religion, and I am your Lord, so keep your duty to Me. But these men broke their religion among themselves into sects with each group rejoicing in its belief.” (23:52-53) Shaykh Fawzān stated that each of them invented for himself a Madhhab (an ideology and doctrine) or a Manhaj (methodology) in opposition to other groups and parties. So each one had its own particular (and peculiar) path: the Khawārij, the Murji`ah, the Mu`tazilah, the Jahmiyyah, the Shi`ah, the Qadariyyah, the Jabariyyah, the Ash`ariyyah, the Maturīdīyyah — and Al-Ikhwān-al-Muslimeen (or Mufliseen in reality), Jamā’at-ut-Tableegh and the rest of the parties and sects of our times.
Each one of them is pleased and happy with its own group. Each one rejoicing! What did Allāh say? “But these men broke their religion among themselves into sects with each group rejoicing in its belief.” For them, there is a painful and mighty punishment as Allah has threatened. They invent for themselves principles and constitutions containing ideas and doctrines in contradiction to the Book and the Sunnah. They introduce principles and conditions into the sect based on what they themselves desire, which will bring to them the greatest number followers, large amounts of wealth and leadership at the expense of guidance.
A female servant once came to `Ā’ishah (رضي الله عنها) – her name was Bareerah (رضي الله عنها), and she was a slave woman. So, she came to `Ā’ishah (رضي الله عنها), and said to her, “I wish to free myself, and my master want such and such amount for me to be free”. So, `Ā’ishah (رضي الله عنها) said, “I’ll pay for your freedom (seeking the reward from Allāh) on the basis that you are considered to be my manumitted slave”. The person who frees a slave attains a great reward and inherits after that slave has died due to their closeness. So, Bareerah went and told her masters, that `Ā’ishah said that she’ll free her on the condition that they are no longer Bareerah’s inheritors and rather she would be. But her masters said, “No. She can free you, but we are your inheritors”. Then, she went back to `Ā’ishah and `Ā’ishah explained the scenario to Allāh’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم). Allāh’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم) went out to the people, and he said, “What is wrong with some of you, that you introduce conditions that are not from the Book and the Sunnah? For indeed, any condition that is not from the Book and the Sunnah, then it is not a condition, even if it is a hundred conditions! For indeed, the freed slave, after their death, are inherited by the one who frees them.” [Bukhari (no. 2729); Muslim (no. 1504]
The Messenger of Allāh (صلى الله عليه و سلم) made it clear that you cannot introduce conditions into the Religion of Allāh and say, “This is our group, these conditions that make us different from every other group.” Rather our Religion is based on the Book and Sunnah, which is the rope of Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى). Indeed, when we look at the Book and Sunnah this is what we find command after command, calling for unity upon the truth, knowing that the strength of the Muslims lies in that.
Great tribulations, splitting and evil has occurred from which there is no protection except by holding fast to the Book and the Sunnah of Allāh’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم). And at the foundation of this unity is the `Aqeedah, by way of which Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى) gathers the people together. Just as Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى) has stated in his Book: “And if they intend to deceive you, then verily, Allāh is All-Sufficient for you. It is He Who has supported you O Prophet, with His help and with the believers (i.e. the Companions). And He has united their hearts. If you had spent all that is in the earth O Muhammad, you could not have united their hearts, but Allāh has united them. Certainly, He is All-Mighty, All-Wise.” (8:62-63)
These words are from Surah Al-Anfāl, we see how Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى) makes it clear to the Messenger of Allāh (صلى الله عليه و سلم) that it is not wealth and giving people money to join your group in order to follow you that will bring the hearts together, never. Rather, the abundance of wealth, and spending the wealth in this manner so as to buy people to come and join you, then this will only increase the hearts in disaffection, and mutual hatred. The goal is no longer the pleasure of Allāh, instead, it is wealth, money, patronage and status. So no matter how much wealth is spent, it will not bring about harmony between the hearts. That which brings about harmony between the hearts is the Qur’an and the Sunnah. This is what brought the Sahābah together.
“And remember Allāh’s favour on you, for you were enemies one to another but He joined your hearts together, so by His grace you became brethren.” The tribes of Makkah of Quraish were fighting among themselves and killing each other. The tribes of Aws and Khazraj warring with each other. What brought them together? Was it wealth? Did Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم) give them wealth? No. Rather, it was the Mushriks of Quraish who offered him wealth and he refused it. They offered him leadership, and he refused it. They offered him women, and he refused. He did not offer them wealth. When they came to the Messenger of Allāh from Yathrib – from Madeenah – to `Aqabah, on the second pledge that was made to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم). There were seventy-two of them – they stood before Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم), and they invited him to come to Madeenah, and this was in the 12th year after the revelation. They invited him to come, and the Messenger of Allāh (صلى الله عليه و سلم) informed them of what would be expected of them. “What is it that you want, O Muhammad?”. So, he (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said, “You will pledge that you will not associate anything in worship with Allāh. You will not steal, nor commit fornication, you will not kill your children, you will not slander (women) and you will not disobey me…” [Bukhari]. They weren’t there for money and status! Allāh is the one who brought their hearts together, on this basis – i.e. upon the basis of the Deen. So, were they to obey Allāh, what do they get in return? The Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم) told them that they would get Jannah. So they went back to Madeenah, and then the Messenger of Allāh (صلى الله عليه و سلم), and the rest of the Sahābah (of Makkah), migrated to them.
And one of the people of Madeenah (then called Yathrib) stood up at `Aqabah which is in Minā, because they came to perform Hajj, and the Messenger of Allāh was in Hajj – and he said, “O People of Madeenah! I ask you to pay attention, and not to be hasty in the affair. Know what he is calling you to. If you give the pledge of allegiance to this man (i.e. Muhammad), the Arabs will turn against you, and they will declare war against you. So, you will have to protect him.” Then, one of them said, “By Allāh! We will protect him just like we protect our women and our children!” Was there any exchange of money there? Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى) says, “If you had spent all that on the earth, you could not have united their hearts, but Allāh has united them.” How? By Imān, `Aqeedah, Tawheed – they agreed to that, that and Allāh gave them strength and gave them victory. He removed their differing, and united them. This is the Sunnah of Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم).
Let us unite against our common enemy?
The Ummah today will not be united except by way of that which united the Ummah in the beginning. Nothing changes. These are principles fixed and laid down in stone, written as if inscribed in stone. They do not change. The principles of unity do not change! Changing or altering the religion will not bring about unity. Finding other means of unity by way of a common enemy, and uniting with each other against this common enemy, ‘Our enemy unites us’ – then no! It is not our common enemy that unites us! It is the `Aqeedah that unites us. That is what unites the Muslims. Because, the enemy will disappear one day, then what happens? Look what happened in those places, where the people united against a common enemy. When the enemy is vanquished, they start fighting, even killing each other. This is not what happened in the time of Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم). When they overpowered their enemy, then it only increased them in their unity. Because, it was not a common enemy that united the Sahābah, but it was Allāh who united their hearts upon Tawheed, and upon the sound `Aqeedah.
All these types of spending of wealth whilst upon a corrupt methodology and futile doctrine, and offering people status, and building bigger ostentatious buildings in order to show the people that they have might and numbers – then this is not what is going to give strength to the Muslims, bārakAllāhu feekum. This is not going to give strength to the Muslims as this is not the Methodology of the Prophet and those who followed him in the early generations. What will give strength to the Muslims is that they hold onto the Rope of Allāh, and they are united on that basis. If you see someone holding onto the rope of Allāh, then unite with him. Then you see another one holding onto the rope of Allāh in another place, unite with him also. Whomsoever holds onto the rope of Allāh, then we are united with them. And, whomsoever abandons the Book of Allāh and the Sunnah then we are not united with him. And we will not let go of the rope of Allāh to unite with them – even against a common enemy, because, this is not what Allāh has commanded. He said, “And hold fast, all of you together, to the Rope of Allāh.” Is there a greater proof than this verse from Surah Aal-Imrān? Allāh is commanding you to hold onto the rope of Allāh, and to be united upon that.
Why did the Ummah split?
Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى) said in the Qur’an, “And the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) differed not until after there came to them clear evidence.” (98:4) The People of the Book had no excuse because Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى) had clarified to them their affairs. However, they abandoned this clear evidence and separated from it. Just like the Ummah of Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم) today who have the clear proofs and evidence, i.e. Qur’an and the Sunnah which is before them. So why are they split? They divided just like the People of the Book. Just as Allāh has said,“And the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) differed not until after there came to them clear evidence.” (98:4) The same has happened to the Ummah of Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم) – there came to them the clear proofs and the evidence, and they still divided and continue to divide. Why? Because the proofs are not sufficient for them. They seek something other than that. They seek status, authority, wealth, fulfilment of desires, to show their intellectual and philosophical capabilities or they are just seeking downright corruption in the Earth in the name of Islām. They seek the world with the deeds of the Hereafter. That is what they do. And, when they do that, it weakens the Ummah, and it weakens the Muslims. It opens the doors for the enemies to come and attack.
Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى) mentioned: “And be not as those who divided and differed among themselves after the clear proofs had come to them. It is they for whom there is an awful torment.” (3:105) And Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى) has mentioned in His Book, “Verily, those who divide their religion and break up into sects, you O Prophet, have no concern in them in the least. Their affair is only with Allāh, Who then will tell them what they used to do.” (6:159)
Some of the early Scholars explained those who split up their religion and became sects – then, Imām Al-Baghawi stated, “They are Ahl-ul-Bid`ah.” They are the ones who divided, and they differed, and they became sects and factions. Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى) destroyed the nations who came before because of this differing and dividing. So likewise this Ummah will be humiliated because of the fact that they let go of the Book and the Sunnah. Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى) has said in the Qur’an: “Mankind was one community and Allāh sent Prophets with glad tidings and warnings, and with them, He sent the Scripture in truth to judge between people in matters wherein they differed. And only those to whom (the Scripture) was given differed concerning it after clear proofs had come unto them – through hatred of one to another. Then Allāh by His Leave guided those who believed to the truth of that wherein they differed. And Allāh guides whom He wills to a Straight Path.” (2:213) A tremendous verse! These scriptures that Allāh sent, then they were sent for what purpose? They were sent that when they differed between themselves, then they were to say, ‘Let us take it back to the scripture!’
The Prophets were sent with books. So, when the Prophets died, the book was still there. So, when the people differed they could say, “I differ with you. Let us go back to the scripture that the Messenger left with us and that will judge between us – as to who is upon the truth, and who is upon falsehood.” So, they were sent with Books for that purpose – so that they may judge between them, by referring back to the scripture. But, only to those whom the scripture was given differed concerning it, after the clear proofs had come to them. Just like the Ummah of Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم) – to whom the Scripture has come and only after this have they differed between themselves – through hatred to one another. And then, from those who believed in the truth of that wherein they differed, and they are those guided by Allāh’s leave – and Allāh guides whom He wills, to the straight path. So from them, there came a group of believers, who saw through that, and they believed in the truth whenever they differed. So if they differed with someone, then when the truth was brought forward, they embraced the truth. They did not care about personalities or hurt feelings, or their groups or tribes or clans. So, Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى) guided them by way of that because they were believers. They were guided to the Sirāt-ul-Mustaqeem, i.e. the straight path. Allāh has stated in the Qur’an, “O you who believe! Obey Allāh and obey the Messenger and those who are in authority among you. And if you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to Allāh and His Messenger, if you believe in Allāh and the Last Day. That is better and more suitable for final determination.” (4:59)
Allah stated,“O you who believe! Obey Allāh and obey the Messenger and those who are in authority among you.” Those who are in authority refers to the rulers and the Scholars. But if you differ, i.e. if the Scholars differ, or if the Sahābah differ, or if the people differ, or you and I differ, or the husband and wife differ, then take it back to Allāh and His Messenger. In that lies success. Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى) said: “But no, by your Lord, they can have no true Faith, until they make you O Prophet judge in all disputes between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept them with full submission.” (4:65)
This submission mentioned in the verse is submission to what? It is the submission to the judgment of the Revelation i.e. the sayings of Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم) found in the Ahadeeth, and the statements of Allāh in His Book. This is what brings about strength and unity. The strength of the Ummah will not return, up until they return back to this as the Messenger of Allāh (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said: “When you deal in usury-based transactions, hold onto the tails of cows, become satisfied with agriculture and leave off striving in Allah’s path, then Allāh will cover you with humiliation, and He will not remove this humiliation from you, until you return to your Religion.” [Abu Dawood (no. 3462) and authenticated by Shaykh Al Albani in Sahīhah (no. 11)]
So dividing, splitting and humiliation is all a result of not returning back to the Deen of Allāh, and the Sunnah of Allāh’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم).
The People of Mercy (Ahl-ur-Rahmah):
Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى) has stated in the Qur’an: “But they will not cease to disagree, except him on whom your Lord has bestowed His Mercy.” (11:118-119) This is an important verse that lays down an important affair for the Muslims, and for mankind. Mankind will never cease to differ, except that Allāh shows mercy to. Look how some of the scholars understood this:
`Umar bin `Abdil-`Azeez (رحمه الله) – a great Mujaddid of the 1st Century, and the leader (Khalifah) of the Muslims. He died in the year 102AH. He was from the teachers of Imām Az-Zuhri, who was from the teachers of Imām Maalik (رحمه الله). He was a great Imām from the Tābi`een. He said, “Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى) has created the people of His Mercy in order that they do not differ.” What does this mean? The meaning of, that is explained by some of the other Scholars. Imām Ash-Shātibi said: This verse necessitates that the people of differing are distinct from the people upon whom mercy is bestowed. that is because Allāh mentions two groups of people: the people who never stop differing, and those whom Allāh has bestowed His Mercy upon. And, what is apparent from this categorization is that the people of the Mercy of Allāh, are not from those people who differ.
Meaning: how do you know that the people are under the Mercy of Allāh? Because they do not differ. And, why do they not they differ? Because, they hold onto the rope of Allāh! Ibn Wahb mentioned, that he heard Imām Mālik say about this verse, “Those whom Allāh shows mercy to, they do not differ.” Ibn Hazm said, “The Most Merciful excluded those, upon whom He has bestowed His Mercy from those who differ.”
Shaykh-ul-Islām Ibn Taymiyyah said, “So, Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى) informed us, that the people upon whom Allāh bestows His Mercy, then they do not differ. And, the Ahl-ur-Rahmah (people of Mercy), are those who follow the Prophets, in speech and in action. And they are the people of Qur’an and Hadeeth from this Ummah. Whomsoever differs from them in anything, then he leaves the mercy of Allāh to the extent that he differs with them. The more you differ with the people who hold onto the Qur’aan and the Ahadeeth then the more the Mercy is removed from you.”
A tremendous statement if you ponder over it. The more distant you are from the people of truth, then the more distant you are from the Mercy of Allāh. Why? Because those people who you differ with – then, who are they? They are the people who are holding onto the Rope of Allāh. So the more distant you are from the Rope of Allāh then the greater you are in differing with the truth, “And hold fast, all of you together, to the Rope of Allāh, and be not divided among yourselves” – so, the more distant you are from the rope of Allāh, the more you fall into differing. And the more you fall into differing, then the further you are from the Mercy of Allāh. So how do we avoid differing? By holding fast to the rope of Allāh: the Book of Allāh, the Sunnah of Allāh’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم), and the way of the Sahābah. How do you make yourself from these people who can be considered as Ahl-ur-Rahmah (people under the Mercy of Allāh)? You have to be Ahl-ul-Qur’aan wal-Hadeeth – i.e. the people of the Qur’aan, and the Hadeeth.
We read Āyāt (in the Qur’aan), my brothers and sisters and often we read them and pass by them. This is just one Aayah from the Book of Allāh! A tremendous Āyah – an Āyah that most of us would just pass by. Imām Al Qurtubi, Shaykh-ul-Islām Ibn Taymiyyah, Imām Ash-Shaatibi, `Umar bin `Abdul `Azeez, and Abu Muhammad ibn Hazm (رحمهم الله) – look at what they said. So those who receive Allāh’s Mercy, they do not differ. And He (سبحانه و تعالى) has removed those under His Mercy from being amongst those who differ. When you stick to the Book and the Sunnah, and you do not differ from them, then Allāh will keep you away from the people of differing and division. Why? Because Allāh loves such people and He will have mercy upon them. When Allāh has mercy upon a people, Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى) will not allow them to fall into that differing and splitting. So we ask Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى) that he makes us from Ahl-ur-Rahmah. And that He keeps us far away from Ahl-ul-Ikhtilāf (people of differing).
So we must stick to the Jamā`ah. And I have mentioned this previously, many times. We mentioned about the importance of beginning the rectification with the `Aqeedah. This we have proven from verses throughout the Book of Allāh and from Ahādeeth throughout the Sunnah of Allāh’s Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم). So, rectification begins with Tawheed, with the belief.
When Mu`ādh ibn Jabal was sent to Yemen, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) commanded him to invite them to the rectification of their `Aqeedah first. When Jibreel (عليه السلام) came to Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم), the first question he asked was, “Inform me about Islām”. And the first thing that he (صلى الله عليه و سلم) said was, “Islām is to testify, that ‘None has the right to be worshipped except Allāh, and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allāh.” This is `Aqeedah! When he (صلى الله عليه و سلم) was asked about Imān, he (صلى الله عليه و سلم) replied, “Imān is to believe in Allāh, and His Angels, and His Books, His Messengers, the Last Day, and the Pre-decree – its good and its evil”. And, all of this is `Aqeedah. When Jibreel (عليه السلام) asked him (صلى الله عليه و سلم) about Islām, then he began with `Aqeedah; when he was asked about Eemaan, then he began with the `Aqeedah; and when he was asked about Ihsān (perfection of worship), he said, “It is that you worship Allāh, as if you see Him, and though you see Him not, indeed He sees you”. This is `Aqeedah! And for all of these questions, he (صلى الله عليه و سلم) referred back to what? The Tawheed of Allāh (سبحانه و تعالى).
So, the `Aqeedah is the point of rectification. Look at what the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) told Mu`ādh ibn Jabal, that “If they accept from you, that Allāh alone is to be worshipped, then inform them that they have to pray the five daily prayers” – meaning, if they do not accept Tawheed, then their prayer is of no use to them. Just like the Hajj of the Mushrikeen, who used to make Tawāf of the House of Allāh even before Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم) was born, and before he received revelation. They used to go to Minā and make Hajj – the polytheists! Did those acts of worship benefit them? They used to make du`aa, and they used to call upon Allāh while calling upon their idols alongside that. They made sacrifices and they even made the Talbiyyah alongside making mention of the idols. So did those outward acts of worship benefit them? No, it never benefited them up until their `Aqeedah was rectified. If the `Aqeedah is corrupt, if the Tawheed is corrupt, then all of those acts of worship are of no benefit to the people. And upon this, we will finish this part of the discussion.
و جزاكم الله خيرا, والحمد لله ربّ العالمين
و صلى الله على نبيّنا محمّد, و على آله و صحبه و سلّم