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Signs of Honoring the Prophet
Rabīʿ al-Awwal 7, 1437 AH / December 18, 2015 CE

awkaf

  1. Honoring the Prophet at the beginning of creation
  2. Honoring the Prophet before his birth
  3. Honoring the Prophet with the noblest ancestral lines
  4. Honoring the Prophet in the vocative case
  5. Love and obedience of the Prophet
  6. Allah’s Defense of His Prophet
  7. Universality of the Prophet’s Mission
  8. His mission is a universal mercy

Topic

Allah conferred the noblest honors on his Prophet Muhammad since the beginning of creation before his birth, in his life and after his death. At the beginning of creation, Allah honored his Prophet since the first generation of humankind. Each prophet gave his pledges to believe in the mission of Prophet Muhammad as confirming the truth with which all prophets were sent:

“Allah took a covenant from the prophets: “For what I have given you of the Book and wisdom, a messenger will come to you confirming what is with you; you shall believe in him and support him.” He said, “Do you testify, and agree to this duty?” They said, “We testify.” He said, “Then bear witness and I am with you bearing witness” (the Quran, 3: 81).

The early prophets gave good news about the Prophet as cited in the narration of al-ʿIrbāḍ ibn Sariyah (may Allah be pleased with him) that he heard the Prophet saying:

“I am the supplication of my father Ibrāhīm (Abraham) and the glad news promised by my brother ʿIsa (Jesus) and the true vision of my mother Aminah, who saw a light coming out from her to light the palaces of Czar” (Ahmad, Musnad).

The Quran affirms the supplication of Ibrāhīm: “Our Lord, and send among them a messenger from among themselves, that he may recite to them Your revelations and teach them the Book and the wisdom, and purify them. You are the Noble, the Wise” (the Quran, 2: 129). Likewise, the Quran mentions the good news of ʿIsa: “When Jesus, son of Mary, said: “O children of Israel, I am a messenger of God to you, authenticating what is between my hands of the Torah and bringing good news of a messenger to come after me whose name will be ‘most acclaimed.'” But when he showed them the clear proofs, they said: “This is clearly magic” (the Quran, 61: 6).

Allah also honored his prophet before birth as he had the name of Muhammad. His mother Aminah Bint Wahb told that she used to hear some divine whispering telling her: You will give birth to the master of this nation; when you give birth, say I supplicate for his protection with Allah’s Providence from the envious. Call him Muhammad, for his name in Torah is Ahmad i.e. the praised one, who is praised by the inhabitants of heavens and earth. Likewise, his name in the Gospel is Ahmad i.e. the praised one, who is praised by the inhabitants of heavens and earth and his name in the Quran is Muhammad i.e. the praised one” (al-Bayhaqi, Shuʿab al-Imān).

Similarly, he has the noblest blood linage; Allah (may He be Exalted) says, “Your frequent transmission through the prostrating ancestors” (the Quran, 26: 219). For Ibn ʿAbbas (may Allah be pleased with him and his father), it means that he moved through the dorsa of noble fathers: Adam, Noah and Ibrāhīm until he emerged as a prophet. He was born to the noblest ancestral line and the most honorable of Arab families. Shielded from pre-Islamic illicit relations, he moved through the pure dorsa of lofty fathers to the chaste mothers. His best ancestors were chosen from each generation; Kinanah was chosen from the children of Ismaʿīl, and Quraysh from the children of Kinanah, and Banu Hashim from Quraysh (Muslim, ṣaḥīḥ).

Allah also highly honored his Prophet in mention; no one mentions the Name of Allah but s/he also mentions the name of His Prophet. Allah (may He be Exalted) says:

“We have raised your remembrance” (the Quran, 94: 4).

Abu Saʿīd (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated from the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) that Gabriel asked him how has our Lord raised you remembrance. In response, the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said, “Allah know well.” “When He is mentioned, you are also mentioned” Gabriel responded as related from Allah (al-Haythami, Majmaʿ al-Zawaʾid).

His name is associated in several contexts with the name of Allah; when someone declares his/her testimony of faith, his faith is not right until s/he testifies to the mission of Prophet Muhammad following the declaration of belief in Allah’s Oneness. Ḥassan Ibn Thabit (may Allah be pleased with him) said,

God’s Name is associated with the Prophet’s name whenever the muezzin declares the testimony five times a day

His name was derived from the same root of God’s attribute; the Companion of the throne is Maḥmūd and His Prophet is Muhammad

The Prophet’s name is frequently repeated in the two testimonies of faith, in the first and second calls to prayers and in sermons and Quranic verses (the Quran, 4: 80).

Ibn ʿAbbas affirmed that three meanings are firmly associated together in the Quranic verses and are only accepted when jointly observed; they are the prayers and obligatory charity (the Quran, 2: 43), thanksgiving to Allah and to one’s parents (the Quran, 31: 14) and obeying Allah and his messenger (the Quran, 4:59).

It is unacceptable to obey Allah and disobey the Messenger, since obeying the Prophet signifies the submission to Allah: “Those who pledge allegiance to you are in-fact pledging allegiance to Allah” (the Quran, 48: 10). Obeying Allah and his messenger is the sign of success and salvation (the Quran, 33: 71).

According to the narration of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him), the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said,

“All my followers will enter Paradise except those who refuse.”

They said, “O Allah’s Messenger, who will refuse?”

He replied, “Whoever obeys me will enter Paradise and whoever disobeys me is actually refusing it” (al-Bukhari).

When ʿUmar (may Allah be pleased with him) visited the Black Stone, he kissed it and said, “I know that you are just a stone; you can neither do any harm nor give any benefit; had I not seen the Prophet kissing you, I would not have kissed you” (al-Bukhari)

Right obedience to Allah is only affirmed by obeying His Prophet. It is also a sign of honoring the Prophet that Allah makes his love a requisite for true faith and following his example a sign of Allah’s love to a servant :

“Say [O Prophet]: “If you love Allah then follow me, so Allah will love you and forgive your sins. Allah is Forgiver, Merciful” (the Quran, 3: 31).

It is the duty of each Muslim to love Allah. Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said,

“None of you is a perfect believer until I am dearer to him than his child, his father and the whole of mankind” (al-Bukhari and Muslim).

More to the point, one’s faith is not perfect until he gives precedence to the Prophet’s love to the love of one’s soul, children and all people. ʿAbdullah Ibn Hisham (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “We were in the company of the Prophet while he was holding the hand of ʿUmar Ibn Al-Khattab. ʿUmar said to Him, “O Allah’s Messenger, you are dearer to me than everything except my own self. The Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said, “No, by Him in Whose Hand my soul is, (you will not have perfect faith) until I am dearer to you than your own self.” Then ʿUmar said to him, “Now, by Allah, you are dearer to me than my own self.” The Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said, “Now, O ʿUmar (you are a perfect believer)” (al-Bukhari).

It is enough merit and honor for lovers of the Prophet that they would accompany him on the Last Day. No grace can anyone earn beyond that. Anas Ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) said while the Prophet and I were coming out of the mosque, a man met us outside the gate. The man said, “O Allah’s Messenger, when will be the hour?” The Prophet asked him, “What have you prepared for it?” The man became afraid and ashamed and then said, “O Allah’s Messenger, I have not prepared for it much of fasts, prayers or charitable gifts but I love Allah and His Apostle.” The Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said, “You will be with the one whom you love” (al-Bukhari).

Furthermore, Allah never called him in his name as He did with other messengers whom Allah called in their names:

  • “O Adam, reside you and your mate in the paradise,” (the Quran, 2: 35)
  • “O Jesus, I am terminating your life, raising you to Me” (the Quran, 3: 55)
  • “O Noah, descend in peace from Us and blessings upon you” (the Quran, 11: 48)
  • “O Moses! Verily, I am Allah, the Sustainer of all the worlds!” (the Quran, 28: 30)
  • “O Moses, I am your Lord” (the Quran, 20: 12).
  • “O John, take the Book with confidence” (the Quran, 19: 12).
  • “O Abraham, “You have acknowledged the vision” (the Quran, 37: 104-105).
  • “O Zachariah, We give you glad tidings of a son whose name is John” (the Quran, 19: 7).

In his address to Prophet Muhammad, Allah used the honorable epithets of prophethood and mission saying:

“O prophet, We have sent you as a witness, and a bearer of good news, and a warner” (the Quran, 30: 45).

He also called him saying,

“O messenger, deliver what was sent down to you from your Lord, and if you do not then you have not delivered His message; and Allah will protect you from the people. And Allah does not guide the disbelieving people” (the Quran, 5: 67).

Allah even forbade Muslims to call the Prophet in his name as past nations did and warned those who violate this command lest they shall taste painful punishment:

“Do not let the calling of the messenger between you be as if you are calling each other. Allah is fully aware of those among you who slip away under flimsy excuses. Let those who oppose his command beware, for an ordeal may strike them, or a painful punishment” (the Quran, 24:63).

Honoring His Prophet, Allah commands the believers to follow his example: “Indeed, in the messenger of Allah a good example has been set for you for him who seeks Allah and the Last Day and thinks constantly about Allah” (the Quran, 33: 21). This verse sets the rule for the duty of following the example of the Prophet in statements, practices and conditions. We shall thus adopt his example in all affairs. Allah and His angels send his blessings on the Prophet encouraging the believers to do the same:

“Allah and His angels bless the Prophet: [hence,] O you who have attained to faith, bless him and give yourselves up [to his guidance] in utter self-surrender!” (the Quran, 33: 56).

Allah, Himself, also defended his Prophet against false accusations whereas all other prophets used to defend themselves against such claims. The following examples prove that fact:

  • When the people of Noah said, “Verily, we see that you are obviously lost in error!”, Noah defended himself saying, “O my people! There is no error in me, but I am an apostle from the Sustainer of all the worlds. I am delivering unto you my Sustainer’s messages and giving you good advice: for I know [through revelation] from God what you do not know” (the Quran, 7:60-62).
  • When the people of Hūd accused him of foolishness, insanity and telling lies: “We see you in foolishness, and we think you are one of the liars” (the Quran, 7:66). He then defended himself saying, “My people, there is no foolishness in me, but I am a messenger from the Lord of the worlds, to deliver to you the messages of my Lord, and to you I am a trustworthy advisor” (the Quran, 7: 67-68).
  • However, when they accused the Prophet of falsities and lies, Allah defended him. When they accused him of being a poet, Allah said, “They said: “No, these are just bad dreams; no, he made it up; no, he is a poet. So let him bring us a sign like those who were sent before” (the Quran, 21: 5) but Allah replied to them saying, “We have not taught him poetry, nor has he needed it. This is a reminder and a clear Qur’an” (the Quran, 36: 70).
  • When they accused him of being a soothsayer, Allah (may He be Exalted) said, “Therefore, you shall remind. For by the grace of your Lord, you are neither a soothsayer, nor crazy” (the Quran, 52: 29). Allah even swore in affirmation of his defense and the truth of revelation he brought to refute their claims: “I do swear by what you see and what you do not see, this is the word of an honorable messenger. It is not the word of a poet; rarely do you believe. Nor the word of a soothsayer; rarely do you take heed; [it is] a revelation from the Lord of the creation” (the Quran, 69: 38-43).
  • When they said he was a magician, Allah refuted their false claims and reminded of the past claims made against prophets, saying: “Likewise, when a messenger went to those before them, they said: “A magician, or crazy”(the Quran, 51: 52). Similarly, when they accused him of being bewitched, Allah refuted their claim saying: “The wicked said: “You are but following a man bewitched! See how they put forth examples for you; they fall badly misguided that they cannot find a path” (the Quran, 25: 8-9).
  • They also accused him of being crazy, then Allah (may He be Exalted) says, “Have they decided that he is crazy? Indeed, he has brought the truth to them, but most of them hate the truth” (the Quran, 23: 70). Allah also says, “Nun, the pen and what they write, you are not, by the blessing of your Lord, crazy. Yet, you will have a reward that will not end. And you are of a high moral character” (the Quran, 68: 1-4).
  • When they accused the prophet of misguidance and deviation, Allah defended his prophet saying, “By the star falling away, Your friend was not astray, nor was he deceived, nor was he speaking out of personal desire; It is but a divine inspiration” (the Quran, 53: 1-4).
  • Allah guaranteed the protection and safety of his prophet saying, “O messenger, deliver what was sent down to you from your Lord, and if you do not then you have not delivered His message; and Allah will protect you from the people. And God does not guide the disbelieving people” (the Quran, 5: 67).
  • It is also a sign of Allah’s honor of his prophet that his message is for all humankind in all times and generations. Before Prophet Muhammad, each prophet was sent to a specific people but the Prophet was sent to all humankind: “We have sent you to all people to be a bearer of good news, and as a warner; but most of the people do not know” (the Quran, 34: 28). Jaber Ibn ʿAbdullah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said,
  • “I have been given five things which were not given to any of the prophets before me:
  • Allah made me victorious by awe (frightening my enemies) for a distance of one month’s journey.
  • The earth has been made for me (and for my followers) a place for praying and a means to purification. Anyone of followers can pray wherever the time of a prayer is due.
  • The booty has been made lawful for me (as it was not lawful for any previous prophet)
  • Every Prophet used to be sent to his nation exclusively but I have been sent to all humankind
  • I have been given the right of intercession (on the Day of Resurrection)” (al-Bukhari).

Allah also preferred his Prophet over all other honorable prophets; the Quran tells, “Such messengers, We have preferred some over others; some of them talked to God, and He raised some of them in rank,” (the Quran, 2: 253). For the well-versed scholars and exegetes, “He raised some of them in rank” refers to Prophet Muhammad, as he is the one endowed with the highest rank, the eternal miracle (the Quran) and the universal divine message containing all merits of past divine message. According to the narration of Muslim and al-Tirmidhi, the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said, “I have been sent to all the creation and have been made the last of all prophets.”

Allah never swore by the life of any human being except the life of His Prophet. The act of swearing means affirmation using many things of various kinds including inanimate matters, animals, angels, places, times and cosmic phenomena. In this regard, Allah never swore by the life of any human being except the life of his prophet: By your life, they are in their heedlessness, blundering” (the Quran, 15:72).

He swore by his prophet’s life that they are entirely misguided in confusion knowing no way to the right and guidance. When the polytheists claimed that Allah left his prophet, Allah swore that He never left or abandoned him: By the late morning and by the night when it falls, Your Lord has not left you, nor did He forget you. Yet, the Hereafter is better for you than the first. And your Lord will give you and you will be pleased” (the Quran, 93: 1-5).

After the Prophet’s death, Allah also honors him with the major intercession on the Last Day. Al-Bukhari and Muslim narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said:

I shall be the leader of the children of Adam on the Day of Resurrection; I will be the first to be resurrected and the first intercessor and the first whose intercession will be accepted (by Allah).”

It is one of the greatest signs of honor that Allah made his prophet a mercy to humankind. Allah (may He be Exalted) says, “We have not sent you except as a mercy to all creations” (the Quran, 21: 107).

Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said, “I am a mercy presented” (al-Ḥakim in his Mustadrak). According to another narration, “I have been sent as a mercy presented.”

Dangers of Destructive Calls and the Necessity of
Resisting them to Achieve Security and Stability
Ṣafar 29, 1437AH/Dec. 11, 2015CE

awkaf

Key Ideas

  1. Grace of security and stability
  2. Stability is a religious and national duty  
  3. Factors of national stability:
  4. Patriotism
  5. Promotion of mutual kindness and cooperation among people
  6. Obeying the ruler in good deeds and service of one’s nation
  7. Warning against disorders
  8. Dangers of destructive calls on individuals and community
  9. Resisting these destructive calls is urgently necessary

Topic

Security and stability are of the divine greatest graces; without them, human beings suffer unease and insecurity and cannot enjoy life even if they have all means to the worldly happiness and pleasures. The true happiness and pleasure of this world entirely depends upon the procurement of security and stability. According to the Prophet’s statement: “Anyone of you who is secure in his property, healthy in his body and has his food for the day has actually—as if he—possessed the entire world” (al-Tirmidhi).

The grace of security and stability is the goal of all creation on the earth. Ibrāhīm (peace be upon him) prayed for the security and stability of his family and people. He said, “My Lord, make this a land of peace and provide for its inhabitants of the fruits for whoever believes in God and the Last Day” (the Quran, 2: 126). Evidently, Ibrāhīm supplicated Allah to endow the people of Mecca with security and provision, giving precedence to security over provision. Security is essential for human serenity and life. Allah responded to his prophet’s supplication and endowed Mecca with stability and safety by His Will and Decree until it became the blessed home of Islam, thanks to Ibrāhīm’s prayers. In another context, Ibrāhīm gave precedence to the grace of security over the grace of worship and true belief in the oneness of Allah: “My Lord, make this a land of peace, and keep me and my sons away from serving statues” (the Quran, 14: 35).

Allah also reminded the people of Mecca of the great graces of security and prosperous life that He conferred on them: “So let them serve the Lord of this Sanctuary; the One who fed them from hunger, and protected them from fear” (the Quran, 106: 3-4).

He also reminded them of the secure sanctuary that He made for them: “Have they not seen that We have set up a sanctuary secure, while all around them the people are in constant danger? Would they still believe in falsehood, and reject the blessings of God?” (the Quran, 29: 67).

Security and stability are the main ways to the progress of nations and communities, whereby people enjoy their lives; economy develops and grows as evident in the Glorious Quran. Allah reminded the people of Sheba of the Grace of security and stability, as He (may He be Exalted) says, “And We placed between them and between the towns that We blessed, towns that were easy to see; and We measured the journey between them: “Travel in them by night and day in complete security” (the Quran, 34: 18). The progress of nations and civilization is conditional upon the domination of security and stability among all members.

Insecurity and instability affect nations and peoples even in performance of religious rites, which is the first objective behind the human creation. The manner of Fear Prayer thus differs from the ordinary prayers in case of security. Likewise, the obligation of ajj is conditional upon the available secure roads; if the road is insecure, the ajj is not obligatory. In other words, acts of worship can only be observed in the optimal manner when both security and stability are guaranteed.

When the nation enjoys security and all citizens feel their life, wealth and dignity secure and respected, the whole community enjoys tranquil and stable life free from terrors, worries and disorders. The community achieves progress and prosperity; the stability of nations is thus a religious necessity and national request. It is also one of the greatest Islamic objectives.

Important factors of stability also include patriotism; a human being shall love his homeland where he enjoys all legal freedoms and feels the value of one’s homeland. In his migration way from Mecca to Medina, the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) practically gave a lofty example of human love of homelands; he deeply loved Mecca and felt its great value despite the given cruelty of its people. Revealing this feeling, the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said, “By Allah, you are the best of Allah’s lands and the most beloved land to Allah; if it were not that your people expelled me from you, I would not have departed” (Ahmad and al-Tirmidhi). According to the narration of Ibn ʿAbbas (may Allah be pleased with him and with his father): “How sweet of a land you are and how dear you are to me, and if it were not that my people expelled me from you, I would not have resided in any other land” (al-Tirmidhi).

After his migration to Medina, he began his endeavors to construct the newborn state; he wanted to teach his Companions (may Allah be pleased with them) and all humankind that only those who love nations will build them. He thus used to supplicate Allah, as narrated by ʿAishah (may Allah be pleased with her), saying: “O Allah! Make us love Medina as You made us love Mecca, or more” (al-Bukhari). The Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) only prayed for the love of his new homeland for the achievement of national stability and security.

 It is then obligatory upon a human being to safeguard and preserve his homeland undertaking his national duties and responsibilities in the best manner. The value of homeland is a basic Islamic value, which shall not be violated. The Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) praised highly the one who protects his homeland and sacrifices his rest for it promising him a relief from punishment. Ibn ʿAbbas (may Allah be pleased with him and with his father) said, I heard the Messenger of Allah (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) saying, “Two eyes shall not be touched by Fire: an eye that weeps from the fear of Allah and an eye that spends the night standing on guard in the cause of Allah” (al-Tirmidhi).

National love is essential for any stable society; when a human being loves his homeland he feels responsible for its security and stability and never yields to false destructive calls. When a person feels secure in his homeland, his psychological state becomes secure and he proves creative in his works giving the best production and growth he can.

Stability factors also include the promotion of mutual kindness and cooperation among people; the Messenger of Allah (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said, “A believer to another believer is like a building whose different parts enforce each other; the Prophet then clasped his hands with the fingers interlaced (while saying that)” (al-Bukhari and Muslim).

Keep apart from disputes and discrepancies, as they only lead to disunity and destruction. Allah (my He be Exalted) says, “And obey Allah and His messenger, and do not dispute else you will fail and your momentum will depart, and be patient. God is with the patient” (the Quran, 8: 46).

Beware of differences and disputes; they only incur disunity and loss. Beware of biased and partisan affiliations, as they only lead community to ruin and disintegration. All must concertedly cooperate for the achievement of secure homeland in submission to Allah’s command: “And help each other in piety and righteousness, and do not help each other in sin and aggression. And be aware of Allah, for the retribution of Allah is severe” (the Quran, 5: 2).

The most important factor for national security is to hear and obey the rulers apart from disobeying Allah, Allah (may He be Exalted) says, “O you who believe, obey Allah and obey the messenger and those in authority among you. If you dispute in any matter, then you shall refer it to Allah and His messenger if you believe in Allah and the Last Day. That is better and more suitable for knowing” (the Quran, 4: 59). The rulers are in charge of implementing the laws of Allah on the earth. The Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said, “Sultan is the shadow of Allah i.e. viceroy, on the earth; he who respects him will have God’s respect and he who disrespect him will be disgraced by God” (al-Tabarani and al-Bayhaqi). According to another prophetic statement: “He who respects Allah’s laws in this world will have the divine respect on the Day of Resurrection. Yet, he who disregards them in this world will be disregarded on the Day of Resurrection” (Ahmad).

It is a religious duty to obey the rulers in matters of obedience to Allah and national interests; their orders and prohibitions shall be obeyed unless they lead to a sin. Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said, I heard the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) saying, “Whoever obeys me, obeys Allah; and whoever disobeys me, disobeys Allah, and whoever obeys the ruler I appoint, obeys me, and whoever disobeys him, disobeys me. The Muslim ruler is like a shield behind him people fight and get protection (from wrongdoing and aggression). If he enjoins fear of God, the Exalted and Glorious, and dispenses justice, there will be a (great) reward for him; and if he enjoins otherwise, it redounds on him” (al-Bukhari). Obeying the rulers in matters free of sins leads to the reform of religion and life whereas disobeying the ruler leads to mischief and ruin.

A person shall obey the rulers and keep to the Muslim main community apart from rebellion that incurs disunity. Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said, I heard the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) saying, “One who defects from obedience (to the ruler) and separates from the main body of the Muslim community— if he dies in that state— would die in darkness. Likewise, the one who fights under a blind banner and gets flared up with family pride, calls (people) to fight for their family honor and supports kith and kin (i.e. is not fighting in the cause of Allah but for the sake of family or tribe)— if he is killed (in this fight), he dies in darkness. Whoso attacks my ummah (indiscriminately) killing the righteous and the wicked of them, sparing not (even) those staunch in faith and fulfilling not his promise made with those who have been given a pledge of security – he has nothing to do with me and I have nothing to do with him” (Muslim).

The reason behind the necessity of obeying rulers is most likely the avoidance of evils that follow disobedience; such evils are greater in scale than the benefits expected from rebellion against them. Actually, extending advice and promoting reform have several peaceful and democratic means to escape disunity and differences and their consequences of bloodshed, violations, destruction and loss of properties and diaspora. All these evils are seen to all following the chaos caused by disobedience of some rulers.

Evoking disorder and chaos is the gravest danger that destabilizes nations, leading graces to disappear and afflictions to befall, disintegrating peoples and nations, spreading vices and expelling virtues. It strengthens the spirit of enmity and grudge and uproots the spirit of love and fraternity. Like fire, disorder consumes everything separating a person from his brother, mother, children and wife. It only drives away from the obedience of Allah, the Lord of all. Damned is the one who fuels chaos and inflames conflicts, which spoil life and lead to bad consequences. Hellfire is the last abode awaiting both the killer and the one killed in chaos.

Islam proves keen on relieving the community from the evils of chaos. The Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) teaches us to take the necessary preventive measures in case of chaos. He educates Muslims how to face this case as cited in the prophetic tradition narrated by Abdullah Ibn Amr Ibn al-As (may Allah be pleased with him and his father). He narrated that the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him)  said: “How will you be at a time that will soon come, when the good people will pass away and only the worst ones will be left, who will break their promises and betray their trusts. They will differ while they were previously together like this,” – and he interlaced his fingers. They said: “What should we do, O Messenger of Allah, when that comes to pass?” He said: “Follow that which you know is true, and leave that which you dislike. Take care of your own affairs and turn away from the common folk” (Abu Dawud).

Keep to union and safeguard your nation; beware of disorders, hidden or manifest. Allah warns us against chaos and disorder in several contexts of His Glorious Book. For example, He (may He be Exalted) told us that chaos will bring all to ruin, those who advocate it and those who oppose it: “And be aware of a disorder that will not only afflict those of you who were wicked; and know that Allah is severe in retribution” (the Quran, 8: 25).

The Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) warned us in so many traditions. For example, Huzayfah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that he heard the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him): “Temptations will be presented to men’s hearts as reed mat is woven stick by stick and any heart which is impregnated by them will have a black mark put into it. However, any heart which rejects them will have a white mark put in it. The result is that there will become two types of hearts: one white like a white stone which will not be harmed by any turmoil or temptation, so long as the heavens and the earth endure; and the other black and dust-colored like a vessel which is upset, not recognizing what is good or rejecting what is abominable, but being impregnated with passion” (Muslim).

Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that he heard the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) saying: “There will be afflictions (in the near future) during which a sitting person will be better than a standing one, and the standing one will be better than a walking one, and the walking one will be better than a running one, and whoever will expose himself to these afflictions, they will destroy him. So whoever can find a place of protection or refuge from them, should take shelter in it” (al-Bukhari and Muslim).

It is incumbent upon a Muslim of sound mind to escape chaos and take necessary precautions against them. Anas Ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) said that the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said to al-Anṣar: “After me you will see others given preference to you; so be patient till you meet me, and your promised place (of meeting) will be the Tank (i.e. Lake of Kauthar)” (al-Bukhari).

It is one of the basics of Muslim character, who seeks salvation in this life and in the life to come, to escape disorder. The Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) advised him who seeks for success to escape disorder as possible as he could. Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) said that the Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said, “There will be soon a period of turmoil in which the one who sits will be better than one who stands and the one who stands will be better than one who walks and the one who walks will be better than one who runs. He who would watch them will be drawn by them. So he who finds a refuge or shelter against it should make it as his resort” (al-Bukhari and Muslim).

To escape chaos one shall obey the commands of Allah and his Messenger. More to the point, one shall adhere to the main body of Muslims and obey the rulers in good deeds that bring about the national interests. Allah warns against any deviation or involvement in disorder, which may incur painful punishment. Allah (may He be Exalted) says, “Let those who oppose his command beware, for an ordeal may strike them, or a painful retribution” (the Quran, 24: 63).

All shall cooperate for the prosperity and progress of this blessed homeland by virtue of hard work and preservation of properties. All shall also keep to the national ethics and morals, systems and laws to achieve security and stability. A good citizen helps the construction of his homeland and safeguards the national security without following the deviant people driven by personal interests.

Destructive calls and their mongers seek to spread chaos and destroy nation whereas Allah (may He be Exalted) says, “And hold firmly to the rope of Allah, all of you, and do not be separated. And remember the blessing of Allah upon you when you were enemies and He united your hearts. Then you became, with His blessing, brothers; and you were on the edge of a pit of fire and He saved you from it; it is thus that God clarifies for you His signs that you may be guided” (the Quran, 3: 103).

The gravest chaos that endangers society and incurs instability is the destructive calls that only arise from the diseased hearts of those who have fragile faith and weak sense of their homeland. The extremists always work on dismembering societies and bring about instability and insecurity that result in disunity and disintegration. Their strategies and plots are endlessly malicious; they only aim to topple and destabilize the state.

Abuse of religion is one of the worst means to disunity and rancor; it launches false and empty slogans, redundant speeches and fruitless debates that ultimately achieve no good end. Recently, some odd voices and destructive calls find no qualm or shyness to spread mischief and bloodshed and to terrify the secure people; they promote evil calls while Allah (may He be Exalted) says, “As for those who enjoy that immorality spreads amongst those who have acknowledged, they will have a painful retribution in the world and the Hereafter. God knows while you do not know” (the Quran, 24: 19).

The advocates of destructive calls seek to destroy society, spread chaos and waste the respect of laws that seriously endanger the national security. The destructive calls are the fuel of terror and extremism; they provide a pretext to slander society and may lead to grave seditions throwing lands and citizens into evil ends of bloodshed, destruction and devastation. More to the point, they destabilize the individual and social security. Lessons to be taken from the neighboring countries that fell to ruin and chaos. At last, Islam strongly promotes security, safety and stability and warns against aggression and terrorism.

The Necessity of Collective Ijtihad

أ.د/ محمد مختار جمعة وزير الأوقاف

D / Mukhtar Mohamed Juma
  Minister of Awqaf

Our communities have suffered from odd fatawa and opinions and from the yearning of some unqualified and unspecialized persons looking for fame, prestige or ostentation for odd and strange opinions just to attract attention or serve the interests of their groups or organizations.

Collective ijtihad increasingly becomes more urgent by day when considering the large number of modern issues and developments, the related details, interrelationships and sensitivity as well as the apparently conflicting views and opinions of some early scholars and jurists, who issued fatawa befitting their life, time and place. More to the point, some unqualified and unspecialized persons, who are unaware of ascertaining the effective cause of rulings, extend some rulings to new cases entirely different from the original cases due to their ignorance of realities and the conditions of sound analogy.

It is in this context that the invitation of his Excellency the Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar Prof. Dr. Ahmad al-Tayyib appeared in his speech in the opening of the general conference of the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs held in Luxor under the title: “Imams and Preachers Vision of the Renewal of Religious Discourse and the Decomposition of Extremist Ideology.” He called for adopting the collective ijtihad to which senior scholars from all over the world, who are noted for their concern for the nation and its problems, shall be invited. They shall bravely address the controversial and undecided issues, especially those related to:

  • Terrorism
  • Determination of the meaning of Dar al-Islam
  • Joining the armed violent organizations
  • Rebellion against and hate of society, making it lawful to violate the blood of citizens by murder and explosion
  • Human rights issues
  • Freedom
  • Social and societal issues such as:
  • Women issues
  • Determination of the beginning of Islamic lunar months by astronomical calculations
  • Issues of Hajj, especially assuming the clothes of Ihram in Jeddah for air and sea travelers and throwing pebbles at all times among many other exigent issues they find it their national duty to study and sort out.

The Muslim leadings muftis shall be motivated and encouraged to issue fatawa that impose hard work and forbid laziness and failure to do one’s duties provided that such fatawa shall be precisely written apart from ambiguous terms and general legal texts that are impractical and fail to change the reality.

It is no doubt that this collective ijtihad would greatly and constructively contribute to the elimination of odd opinions and the elimination of the causes of extremism summarized by the last general conference of the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs as follows:

  • Intellectual isolation, rigidity, blind imitation, misunderstanding, strict adoption of literalistic interpretations of texts, shifting away from the objectives and ultimate ends of fiqh-related texts, misconceiving the universal rules of legislation and allowing unqualified and unspecialized persons to lead the Da‘wah missionary activities.
  • Some groups and organizations abuse the religion taking it a means to achieve some political and partisan interests giving precedence to their interests over the high national and religious interests. Meanwhile, the spiritless practices in religion and religious politics dominate over the sincere devotional practices sincerely intended to Allah alone.
  • Some colonial powers succeeded to recruit agents in many Arab and Muslim countries by means of reciprocated interests, vicious promises to some groups, or even bribery and purchase of their conscience.

        Nevertheless, this collective ijtihad could lead to a great extent of ecumenism among scholars and eliminate many of the causes of division and disagreement which would undoubtedly contribute to the unity of the nation, especially in the face of the odd, deviant and extreme ideas.