All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all worlds, Who says in His Ever Glorious Book, “Help one another to do what is right and good; do not help one another towards sin and hostility. Be mindful of Allah, for His punishment is severe.” I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and that Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger. May Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him, his Household, Companions and upon those who follow their path to the Day of Judgment.
Islam has built a real state, laid down its foundations, established its components, urged us to preserve it, and made the protection of its public interests a common responsibility among all its members. The more those members become aware of the significance of the public interest, the more they will cooperate to preserve it. In this way, the community becomes strong and coherent, as the Prophet (PBUH) said, “The relationship of the believer with another believer is like (the bricks of) a building, each strengthens the other. (The Prophet (PBUH) illustrated this by interlacing the fingers of both his hands.)” He (PBUH) also said, “The believers in their mutual kindness, compassion and sympathy are just like one body. When one of the limbs suffers, the whole body responds to it with wakefulness and fever.”
Undoubtedly, one of the most important elements of preserving public affairs is to give preference to the public interest that benefits all people over the narrow private interest that only avails certain individuals. This value aims at purifying the human soul from evils of selfishness. The public interest includes all material and moral benefits that revive the whole society, achieves goodness for all humans, and protects them from evil. Such values bring about security, stability and integrity of lands. Moreover, achieving the welfare of the whole society is the core of adopting jurisprudence of priorities.
The Holy Qur’an affirmed the necessity of preserving the public interest and preferring it to the private one. This is the approach of all the Prophets. The Almighty Allah did not send a Prophet but to bring happiness for his people, without any financial compensation or worldly benefit. Prophet Noah (PBUH) said, “My people, I ask no reward for it from you; my reward comes only from Allah. I will not drive away the faithful: they are sure to meet their Lord. I can see you are foolish.” The Almighty Allah also reported the statement of Prophet Hud (PBUH), saying, “I ask no reward from you, my people; my reward comes only from Him who created me. Why do you not use your reason?” Also, Prophet Su’aib (PBUH) said, “I only want to put things right as far as I can. I cannot succeed without Allah’s help: I trust in Him, and always turn to Him.”
The provisions of the moderate Shari’ah came in accordance with reason. Thus, it called for whatever achieves the public interest of all citizens of the state, including: meeting the necessary needs of society, and caring for the circumstances of the real world. Thus, if the society is in need for building hospitals for the sick people, then this is the priority. If the society needs schools, their maintenance, equipment, helping students, then this is the priority. If however, there is a need for facilitating marriage for the needy young people, the payment of debts, and then this is the priority, since the elimination of people’s needs is a religious and national duty. The Prophet (PBUH) says, “He is not a believer whose stomach is filled while the neighbor to his side goes hungry, and he knows).
Another public interest is the preservation of public property. This property is shared by all citizens, and the sanctity of such public ownership is more demanding than the sanctity of private one, due to the multiple owners. This is why Islam warned against any violation of this ownership. The Almighty Allah says, “Anyone who dishonestly takes something, from the battle gains, will carry it with him on the Day of Resurrection, when each soul will be fully repaid for what it has done: no one will be wronged.” Public property is an ownership for all people, and not for a specific group. Those responsible for it are just the trustees to save, collect, and spend it, but they do not own it personally. This is why, it is not permissible for one to abuse it, or consume it, otherwise, it would be an act of treason and injustice.
Islam also ordered the preservation of public facilities, such as houses of worship, schools, hospitals, gardens, etc., as they belong to all citizens, and avail them all. Islam severely warned against abusing, wasting or spoiling these facilities in any way, as the Almighty Allah says, “And do not cause corruption in lands after it has been set in order.” This is to refute the misconception that one can misuse the public domain in any way he wants, on the pretext that he owns it. This is a misunderstanding. What we are obliged to do is to preserve and protect public facilities because they do not belong to a specific individual or a group in a given time; it is all of people, and for future generations.
These public interests include: preserving roads and giving them their due right. The Prophet (PBUH) said: “Avoid sitting by the road side.” The people then said, ‘O Allah‘s Messenger (PBUH), we cannot do without those meeting places in which we converse” So he said, “Well, if you insist (on that) give the road its due rights.” They asked, ‘What are the road’s due rights?’ He replied, “Lowering your gaze, abstaining from anything offensive, returning salutations, enjoining the right (Ma’ruf) and forbidding from evil deeds (Munkar).” He (PBUH) also said, “Faith has over seventy branches or over sixty branches, the most excellent of which is the declaration that there is no god but Allah, and the humblest of which is the, removal of what is injurious from the path: and modesty is the branch of faith.”
These public interests also include performing military service, which is one of the most important duties performed by man towards his religion and homeland; it is proof of one’s loyalty, sincerity and love to his country. Homeland is not less important than religion, honor, or properties. Performing this national military service instills in one’s heart the meanings of stronghood, greatness, and noble values cherished by our true religion of Islam. The Prophet (PBUH) said, “Faith has over seventy branches or over sixty branches, the most excellent of which is the declaration that there is no god but Allah, and the humblest of which is the, removal of what is injurious from the path: and modesty is the branch of faith.”
Among the public interests that should be observed is to preserve the agreements between the home country and other States, organizations or institutions. Any jurisprudential Fatwa or advocacy measure must be an institutional. Whoever speaks in such matters should take into consideration all societal, national and international circumstances related to the subject matter, so as to avoid hasty and individual opinions that contradict the reality, or oppose the international laws, treaties and conventions.
Allah, the Almighty, ordered us to keep our promises; He, Most High, says: “O you who believe! Fulfill your contracts.” This verse refers to all kind of contracts, promises and obligations to which man should adhere. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “Muslims will be held to their conditions, except the conditions that make the lawful unlawful, or the unlawful lawful.”
That is why the Prophet (PBUH), by virtue of the terms and conditions of Al-Hudaybiyah Treaty with the disbelievers of Quraysh, ordered Abu Basir to go back to Mecca, even though he knew that this companion might be hurt. He (PBUH) did so as a result of his covenant with Qurays, which is a kind of keeping promises and trusts on one hand, and fulfilling contracts, on the other. It has also to do with giving precedence of the public interest to the individual one.
Discussion of public issues, without being aware of them, is so dangerous that it might undermine the state and its foundations, since it destroys its security and stability, and makes it vulnerable to mockery. How many are those who corrupt in the earth! Allah, Most High, orders us to consult those with expertise. Allah, Most High, says: ” And when there comes to them information about [public] security or fear, they spread it around. But if they had referred it back to the Messenger or to those of authority among them, then the ones who [can] draw correct conclusions from it would have known about it. And if not for the favor of Allah upon you and His mercy, you would have followed Satan, except for a few.”
With that said, I ask Allah to forgive me and you
All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the Worlds; I bear witness that there is no god but Allah; and I bear witness that our master Prophet Muhammad is His servant and Messenger; may Allah’s Peace and Blessings be upon him, his family, companions and whoever follows their guidance to the Day of Judgment.
The concept of public interests surpasses individuals’ limited interests. For this reason, it is not left to all people to engage in; rather, it is the duty of specialized who are fully aware of the importance of the national security tasks entrusted to them including people’s life and interests, states’ property along with their political, social, security and scientific issues. Scholars believe that if a Mujtahid (person who makes personal reasoning) is right, he will have twofold reward, and if he is wrong, he will have just one reward. This indicates that if someone practices ijtihad even though he is not entitled to do so, he will be sinful for issuing fatwas without knowledge even if his opinion is correct; otherwise the sin of his mistake will be twofold, for issuing fatwas without well-established knowledge and for the mistake he made. Allah, Most High, says: “Ask people of knowledge if you know not.” Ahl Al-Dhikr are those who are specialized in particular fields of knowledge.
For this reason, it is prohibited to issue fatwas with no knowledge or Sharia proof. In this regard, Allah, the Almighty, says: “Then who is more unjust than one who invents a lie about Allah to mislead the people by [something] other than knowledge? Indeed, Allah does not guide the wrongdoing people” and “And do not say about what your tongues assert of untruth, “This is lawful and this is unlawful,” to invent falsehood about Allah. Indeed, those who invent falsehood about Allah will not succeed.” Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “If anyone advises his brother, knowing that guidance lies in another direction, he has deceived him.” Senior companions and followers used not to issue fatwas, as they were fully aware of its enormity. Abu Bakr (Allah be pleased with him) said: “What sky would cover me and what land would shelter me if I explained the Book of Allah without knowledge.” Al-Sha’bi was once asked about a question, whereupon he said: “I do not know it.” His students thus said to him: “we felt embarrassed for your sake,” whereupon he replied, “the angels did not feel embarrassed when they said to Allah, ‘we had no knowledge except that which you taught us.’ ‘Abd Al-Rahman Ibn Abi Layla is reported to have said: “I met 120 companions from Al-Ansar who, if asked a question, used to circulate the question among them until it goes back to the first one to whom it was offered first.
Protection of the public interests is a common duty; each of us should protect the society according to his position and ability. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “Surely! Everyone of you is a guardian and is responsible for his charges: The Imam (ruler) of the people is a guardian and is responsible for his subjects; a man is the guardian of his family (household) and is responsible for his subjects; a woman is the guardian of her husband’s home and of his children and is responsible for them; and the slave of a man is a guardian of his master’s property and is responsible for it. Surely, every one of you is a guardian and responsible for his charges.”
Many people might seriously consider the danger resulting from their speech or writings or what they share on the social networks. They might even view it a form of entertainment, not realizing that making and spreading rumors among people are means of destruction that are used by the evildoers in their conflicts with the righteous. Thus, you see the members of the supposed-to-be one nation suspecting and accusing one another od betrayal. For this Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “It is enough of a lie for a man to narrate all what he hears.”
If man’s narration to all what hears is some kind of a lie for which he will be punished, how would the punishment for he who speaks about matters he did not see or hear or know about? How many false lies spread here and there, to the extent that they serve as the reasons behind the punishment of their mongers on the Day of Judgment! Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) says: “A slave (of Allah) may utter a word which pleases Allah without giving it much importance, and because of that Allah will raise him to degrees (of reward): a slave (of Allah) may utter a word (carelessly) which displeases Allah without thinking of its gravity and because of that he will be thrown into the Hell-Fire.” This makes it necessary to be cautious, aware, and rational and not to issue fatwas without knowledge.
Allah, Most High, orders us to carefully investigate matters and not to follow the corruptors. He, the Almighty, says: “O you who have believed, if there comes to you a disobedient one with information, investigate, lest you harm a people out of ignorance and become, over what you have done, regretful.” Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “Deliberateness is from Allah, and haste is from the Satan” and “There is hesitation in everything except in the actions of the next world.”
We are in dire need to be fully aware of the importance of the public opinion issues, to give precedence of the public interest and to fully realize the conspiracies plotted against us. So, let’s take admonition from other countries and not to fall prey to the conspiracies made by the enemies of religion and nation; let’s be united and firmly adhering to the truth, so that we would not fall prey to the traps of those waiting for destroying us; let’s spread trust among us and cooperate to do good whose effect will shower us all.
O Allah! Help us to perform the duties of our nations, keep our peoples, our rulers, army and police safe. O Allah! Make our beloved Egypt and all the world’s countries safe, secure and prosperous.