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Dangers of Destructive Calls and the Necessity of Resisting them to Achieve Security and Stability Ṣafar 29, 1437AH/Dec. 11, 2015CE
- Grace of security and stability
- Stability is a religious and national duty
- Factors of national stability:
- Promotion of mutual kindness and cooperation among people
- Obeying the ruler in good deeds and service of one’s nation
- Warning against disorders
- Dangers of destructive calls on individuals and community
- Resisting these destructive calls is urgently necessary
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 ḥajj is conditional upon the available secure roads; if the road is insecure, the ḥajj 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.
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:
- 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
- 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.
Undoubtedly, the superficial practice of religion and the merchandise of religion for political interests are most dangerous challenges facing the Arab and Muslim communities. Some focus on form and appearance at the expense of content and essence giving form and appearance the absolute priority even if they fail to meet the human and moral standards that make them models and examples to follow. Actually, those persons, who are keenly interested in their external appearance at the expense of their behavior against the teachings of Islam, are among fatal elements conducive to destruction and repulsion. Assuming the appearance of devout people while exercising mistreatment, telling lies, cheating, deceiving, or devouring the wealth of people with falsehood is very dangerous. Indeed, those who do that are among the hypocrites. Our Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said: “The signs of a hypocrite are three: Whenever he speaks, he tells a lie; and whenever he promises, he breaks his promise; and whenever he is entrusted, he betrays” (Recorded by al-Bukhari in his Sahih).
Likewise, those who confine devoutness and practice of religion to acts of worship and diligent performance of rites while they misunderstand religion and exceed the proper bounds in excommunication (takfir), carry arms and revolt against the community are similar to the Khawarij who were the most practicing Muslims in their prayer, fasting and night prayer. However, they did not acquire the sufficient religious knowledge that would prevent them from shedding the blood of innocent people and thus they violently revolted against the community with their swords. If they sought knowledge first, as stated by Imam al-Shafi‘i (may Allah shower him with mercy), it would prevent them from that because Islam is a religion of mercy before anything else and hence everything that keeps you away from mercy drives you away from Islam. What matters most is the acceptable behavior and not the empty words as said: “Actions speak louder than words.”
Nonetheless, the acts of worship only bear fruit when they refine the human behavior and manners. He whose prayer does not prevent him from indecency and wrongdoing, his prayer is not acceptable. Allah, the Exalted, says: “Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing, and the remembrance of Allah is greater. And Allah knows that which you do” (al-‘Ankabut: 45). He whose fasting does not prevent him from perjury, Allah will not accept his fasting. Our Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said: “Whoever does not give up perjury and evil actions, Allah is not in need of his abstention from food and drink” (Recorded by al-Bukhari in his Sahih). When it comes to Zakah and charity, Allah accepts only what is good and wholesome. Our Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said: “Allah the Almighty is Good and accepts only that which is good” (Recorded by Muslim in his Sahih).
Prophet Muhammad (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said: “Allah does not accept a prayer without ablution, nor does he accept a charity from defrauded spoils” (Recorded by Muslim in his Sahih). The acceptance of pilgrimage is contingent upon licit provision and good conduct. The Prophet (may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him) said: “Whoever performs Hajj and does not have sexual relations with his wife, and does not do evil or sins then he will return (after Hajj free from all sins) as if he were born anew.” He also mentioned a person who travels widely with his hair disheveled and his body covered with dust lifting his hand towards the sky (to make supplication): O Lord, O Lord, whereas his diet is unlawful, his drink is unlawful, and his clothes are unlawful and his nourishment is unlawful. How can then his supplication be accepted?” (Recorded by Muslim in his Sahih).
More dangerous than the superficial practice of religion is the merchandise of religion for political interests whereby reference is made to those who take religion as a means to seize power abusing the religious sentiments and exploiting people’s love of their religion, especially the laymen. They give false impression that the goal for which they seek power is to serve the religion of Allah and support and empower it. We do not judge the intentions of people; only Allah can judge them. However, the experience we had with the terrorist group and other Islamist political groups and allies confirmed two things:
First, their cause was not religion at all; it was a bitter conflict over power and marginalization of others with arrogance and insolence in a way that made people averse to them and their behavior, which became a heavy burden to religion. We are now in need of strenuous efforts to remove this negative stereotype from minds of many people who linked between the behavior of those people and religion.
Second, they wronged their religion, distorted its purity and tolerant civilization and proved that they are not a people of religion or competence. Does religion call a man to betray his homeland, reveal its secrets, sell its documents and act as a spy against it? Does religion call a man to incite violence, killing and corruption and form what is called the qualitative committees that sow corruption on earth in an unprecedented treason against the homeland in service of the interests of its enemies? I have asserted and is still asserting that this terrorist group, which employed religion to deceive people and serve its interests to rise to power, is ready to collaborate with Satan to achieve its goals and ambitions for powers at the expense of religion, homeland or nation.