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Knowing Allah
  
  

   

 

 

thirteenth call: fear allah as he should be feared

 

 

 

almighty allah says (what can be translated as): “o you who have believed, fear allah as he should be feared and do not die except as muslims [in submission to him]. and hold firmly to the rope of allah all together and do not become divided. and remember the favor of allah upon you - when you were enemies and he brought your hearts together and you became, by his favor, brothers. and you were on the edge of a pit of the fire, and he saved you from it. thus does allah make clear to you his verses that you may be guided. and let there be [arising] from you a nation inviting to [all that is] good, enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong, and those will be the successful. and do not be like the ones who became divided and differed after the clear proofs had come to them. and those will have a great punishment. on the day [some] faces will turn white and [some] faces will turn black. as for those whose faces turn black, [to them it will be said], "did you disbelieve after your belief? then taste the punishment for what you used to reject." but as for those whose faces will turn white, [they will be] within the mercy of allah. they will abide therein eternally. these are the verses of allah. we recite them to you, [o muhammad], in truth; and allah wants no injustice to the worlds. to allah belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. and to allah will [all] matters be returned. you are the best nation produced [as an example] for mankind. you enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and believe in allah. if only the people of the scripture had believed, it would have been better for them. among them are believers, but most of them are defiantly disobedient.” (al-imran: 102-110)

 

almighty allah commands believers to be pious to him and fear him (by doing all that he has ordered and by abstaining from all that he has forbidden) as he should be feared. he orders them to obey him willingly, to thank him gratefully and to remember him continuously. allah (swt) says to them: adhere to islam and hold tight to the religion so that you die in a state of islam (submission to the creator) as whoever dies in a certain state will be resurrected on the same state he died in.

 

allah commands believers to adhere to his rope, which means stay committed to islam and qur’an. he orders them to stay united and connected, and he prohibits them from disunity and disputes. he (awj) reminds them of his blessings and favors on them, as they were enemies at the time of jahiliah (the time before the emergence of islam) but now he joined their hearts together and he made them brothers in islam after ending the longtime animosity, especially the one that was between al-aws and al-khazraj, the main two tribes in madinah. they were on the brink of a pit of fire because of their disbelief, delusion, obscurity and constant fighting, but allah (awj) saved them from all that.

 

as almighty allah showed them in the verses the hatred, evil and deception the jews have for them, the state of disbelief, disunity and fighting they were in, and the harmony, brotherhood and unity they enjoy thanks to islam. he also showed them his ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc). he made them all clear so that they may be guided and never go astray or return to the state of jahiliah such as hatred, enmity and aversion.

 

let there be a group of you versed in islam who are fully aware of the commands of religion in terms of legislations, commands, jurisprudence and rights. they will be inviting to all that is good such as dawah, promotion of virtue (monotheism and all that is islam orders to do) and prevention of vices (polytheism and disbelief and all that islam has forbidden). it is the duty of the muslim to fight vices as much as he can; indeed those are the successful in the present life and the hereafter.

 

allah (swt) prohibits muslims from acting like the people of the scripture, for they divided among themselves into sects and groups. each of them calls to a certain dogma and condemns other groups and this is why they became rivals and fall into fights.

 

if there was a group of them that calls for virtue, prevents vice and adheres to religion, they would not have divided or differed even after the supreme evidences came to them. those differed groups will have tremendous torment, they will be always divided in the present life and they will taste a painful torture in the hereafter.

 

on the day of judgment, the faces of the believers will be white and bright. their faces will reflect their good destination and great reward. while, on the other hand, the faces of the people of disbelief and aversion will be black for their dispraised destination and painful torment. their faces will show the pain and torture waiting for them. the people of hypocrisy and divergence will be asked: did you reject faith after accepting it, did you relapse to disbelief and transgress the command of allah to adhere to his robe (islam and covenant of allah) and the unity? then, taste the torment that you earned by your disbelief.

 

as for the believers whose faces are white and shining because of their faith, good deeds and unity, they enjoy a good life as long as they stay on that state in life, and in the hereafter they enjoy the mercy and paradise of their lord. they enter paradise where they will live eternally in an endless bliss.

 

and to allah belongs all that is in the heavens and all that is on the earth. and all matters go back (for decision) to allah. all the creations belong to allah, he manages and settles their matters according to his wise rulings that do not change or alter. he is the omnipotent for he handles the present life and the hereafter. everything returns to him, all matters of his creations are managed by him and he will judge them all on the day of resurrection.

 

almighty allah tells believers that they are the most charitable nation brought out to mankind because they have strong belief in allah that is reflected in their inner self, this belief removes any traces of evil and incites them to goodness. this is why they promote for virtues and good deeds and they prevent vices, bad deeds and whatever allah has prohibited such as oppression and persecution.

 

if the people of the scripture truly believe and have faith in their hearts and spirits, this belief would be their initiator to do goodness and to act with good manners. if they were like you, muslims, it would have been much better for them than their faith that does not stop their spirits from committing evil or desiring immoralities. yet, some of the people of the scripture are true believers. they are devoted to their faith and they do goodness, but most of them are immoral and rebels drowning in disbelief.

 

there are two foundations on which the muslim group is based and through which the muslim group performs its great hard duty. if one of them collapses, the muslim group would not exist and it would not have a duty to fulfill:

the first foundation is faith and piety, which mean to fulfill your duty towards almighty allah. the constant watchful piety that does not sleep or become lazy even for one moment in life till death:

 

“o you who have believed, fear allah as he should be feared…”

 

fear allah and be pious to him – as he should be feared – the degree of piety is not defined to let the heart try its best to reach piety as it visualizes esteems and fulfills. the more the heart walks in the road of piety, the more it realizes and sees prospects and horizons of piety. the more the heart works to achieve the piety towards allah, the more it seeks a higher rank of piety and the more efforts it exerts. eventually, the heart will look up for the rank of pious believers whose hearts do not sleep!

 

“and do not die except as muslims [in submission to him]”

 

the time of death is unknown to any human. whoever wants to die a muslim he should be a muslim right from this moment and for each and every moment. it means to adhere to islam all the time. allah mentions islam after piety to give the broad meaning of it: submission, surrender to allah, obedience of allah, adherence to his method and following his book (the qur’an). this the meaning ascertained in every verse of the surah (qur’anic chapter) as we mentioned above.

 

this is the first foundation on which the muslim group is based and through which it fulfills its duty and role in life. without this foundation any group or society will be an ignorant society. it will be a society of jahiliah that does not follow the method of allah. it will follow the methods of jahiliah as we see now nowadays. there will be no sensible leadership to humanity; leadership will be for the notions of jahiliah.

 

as for the second foundation, it is the foundation of brotherhood. it is brotherhood for the sake of allah (awj), following the path of allah to fulfill the method of allah.

 

“and hold firmly to the rope of allah all together and do not become divided. and remember the favor of allah upon you - when you were enemies and he brought your hearts together and you became, by his favor, brothers. and you were on the edge of a pit of the fire, and he saved you from it. thus does allah make clear to you his verses that you may be guided…”

 

this brotherhood stems from piety and islam, it stems from the first foundation which is holding firmly to the rope of allah, i.e. his covenant, method and religion. it is not a brotherhood based on any other vision or aim; they are not adhering to any of the ropes of jahiliah.

 

“and hold firmly to the rope of allah all together and do not become divided.”

 

this brotherhood that adheres to the rope of allah is a blessing bestowed upon the early muslim community. it is a blessing granted by allah for his servants that he loves. he reminds them of the greatness of this blessing, he reminds them of their state at the time of jahiliah, and how they were enemies such as al-aws and al-khazraj tribes in madinah (the main tribes that formed most of the population of madinah). the jews who were their neighbors were inflaming the enmity between the two tribes so that they never enjoy peace and stay in a state of war which is the environment that the jews prefer to live in. allah brought the hearts of the two tribes together through islam. islam alone could combine these conflicting hearts. only the rope of allah gathered all of them as they adhere to it, and they became brothers by the grace of allah. what else can bring hearts together except brotherhood in allah which makes any kind of past animosities, personal greed and racial slurs small?! thus, the rows of muslims align under the banner of allah, the ever-great, and the supremely exalted: “and remember the favor of allah upon you - when you were enemies and he brought your hearts together and you became, by his favor, brothers.”

 

allah reminds them of his favor when he (swt) rescued them from the pit of the fire that they were about to fall in. allah saved them by guiding them to adhere to his rope, i.e. the first foundation, and bringing their hearts together so they became brothers by his grace, which is the second foundation: “and you were on the edge of a pit of the fire, and he saved you from it. thus does allah make clear to you his verses that you may be guided.”

 

the fall in the pit of the fire was so close, but the hearts saw the hand of allah to rescue them. the rope of allah reached them to save them. this is the image of salvation after danger and expectation of doom! it is a lively image of trembling throbbing hearts! the eyes of the next generations are almost able to visualize this image.

 

mohammad ibn ishaq mentioned in his book “al-sira al-nabawiyah” that this verse was revealed concerning the tribes of al-aws and al-khazraj. he said: “one of the jews passed by a group of al-aws and al-khazraj while they were sitting together in a brotherly and friendly manner. he was enraged by the affectionate scene and hatred ate up his heart. therefore, he ordered a young jewish man to join their session and remind them of the day of bu'aath – a war between the two tribes before the prophet’s immigration to madinah – the young man did that and the fire of turmoil was ignited between the two parties, they became so angry, they called upon each other to get their weapons and a bloodied war was about to start between them. this was reported to the prophet muhammad (peace be upon him), he went to them to calm them down and said to them, “(are you following) the traditions of jahiliyah (pre-islamic period of ignorance) whilst i am among you?” then he recited this verse, so they felt remorse, they reconciled, embraced each other and threw down their weapons (may allah be pleased with them)”

 

this is an image of the jews’ efforts to cut the ropes of affection between those who love each other for the sake of allah, i.e. believers. they are gathered on the method of allah to lead humanity to the path of allah. this is an image of the schemes plotted by the jews against the muslim community, whenever they follow the method of allah and adhere to his rope. this is the fruit of obeying the people of the scripture. their plot have almost led the early muslims to stumble and fall into a bloodied fight, they were about to cut the rope of allah that gathers them in brotherhood. this is the link of this verse with the previous verses in the same context.

 

yet, the connotation of this verse is broader than this specific incident. it shows, in addition to previous and following verses, that there was a persistent movement by the jews to tear apart the unity of muslims in madinah. they were planning feuds and disruption by all means. the series of qur’anic warnings to muslims against obeying the people of the scripture, listening to their schemes and insinuations and dispersing like them reveal the great amount of machinations coming from the jews against the early muslim community. they were constantly planting the seeds of division, doubt and disorder. this is the way of jews during all times. this is their aim today and tomorrow, to disrupt the muslim rows everywhere.

 

the muslim community has a function which is based on those two foundations to fulfill the function which is necessary to apply the method of allah on earth, empower righteousness over falsehood, virtue over vice and goodness over evil. the function for which the community of the early muslims was established by the hand of allah, under his care and according to his method is prescribed in the following verse: “and let there be [arising] from you a nation inviting to [all that is] good, enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong, and those will be the successful.”

 

there has to be a community that calls to goodness, promotes virtue and prevents evil. there has to be an authority on earth that calls to goodness, promotes virtue and prevents evil. the meaning of the qur’anic text prescribes that there has to be an authority to decide that. there is “inviting” to all what is good, but there is “enjoining” what is right and “forbidding” what is wrong. even if the call to goodness can be conducted by someone who does not have authority, yet “enjoining and forbidding” have to be done by an authority.

 

this is the vision of islam on this matter. there has to be an authority to order and to forbid, an authority based on the call to goodness and prevention of evil. the units of this authority are combined by the rope of allah and the rope of brotherhood in allah. an authority built on both foundations to achieve the method of allah in the life of humanity. applying this method requires “invitation” to goodness so that people would know the truth of this method, it also requires an authority to “enjoin” righteousness and “forbid” wrongness so that the people obey; almighty allah says (what can be translated as): “and we did not send any messenger except to be obeyed by permission of allah.” (an-nisa: 64). the method of allah on earth is not only preaching, guidance and clarification, it is one half of the process, the other half is having an authority to enjoin and forbid, an authority to work on activation of virtue and prevention of vice in humanity, it is to protect the traditions of the good community from any spoiler that has certain inclinations, desires or interests. this authority is the guarantee and protection of these good traditions from anyone that might impose his opinion or vision, claiming that this is the goodness, virtue and righteousness.

 

the call to goodness, enjoinment of virtue and prevention of evil are not an easy or lenient task. if we think about it, we will find that the caller would eventually collide with desires, inclinations, interests, benefits, egos and arrogance of people. there are all types of people who might not welcome the call such as the viciously tyrant, the controlling ruler, the fallen that does not want to rise, the slack that does not want discipline, the corrupt that does want seriousness, the oppressor who does not want justice, the deviant that does want straightforwardness etc. there are people who condemn righteousness and acknowledge wrongness. the ummah (nation) will never succeed and humanity will never ascend unless goodness prevails, when goodness is recognized as good and badness is recognized as bad, not the other way around. this requires authority to protect goodness and righteousness, an authority that enjoins and prevents, i.e. an authority to be obeyed.

 

hence, the community has to agree on these two foundations: belief in allah and brotherhood in allah, so that it can fulfill the difficult hard role by taking strength from faith, piety then love and affinity. both are necessary to fulfill the role that allah obligated the muslim community to fulfill. it is a duty and stipulation to succeed. allah describes those who fulfill this role with: “those will be the successful.”

 

the duty of this community is a necessity of the divine method. this community is the medium in which the method breathes and gets applied in reality. it is the positive cooperative helpful medium towards the call of righteousness.

 

righteousness is goodness, virtue, truth and justice, while wrongness is evil, vice, falsehood and oppression. in this community, doing goodness is easier than committing badness, virtue is less expensive than vice, righteousness is stronger than falsehood and oppression is more beneficial than oppression. the good doer finds many helpers to do goodness, while the bad doer finds opposition and refusal. hence comes the value of this community, it is the environment where righteousness and goodness grow without a lot of difficulties, because each and everybody around helps in that regard, while badness and falsehood hardly grow in this community because each and everybody around opposes such negativity.

 

the islamic perspective on existence, life, values, businesses, events, things and people is totally different essentially and genuinely than the jahiliyah perspective. so, there has to be a special medium in which this perspective can live with all its special values. it has to live in a medium other than the jahiliah medium and in an environment other than the jahiliah environment.

 

this special medium lives according to the islamic perspective, so this perspective is ascertained in it. it breathes naturally and freely, it grows without any internal limitations in the society that would delay or fight this perspective from being applied. when these limitations exist, it will be faced by the call to righteousness, promotion of virtue and prevention of vice. when the oppressive force exist and reject people from committing to the path of allah, it will find who would oppose it for separation from the method of allah in life.

 

this medium is represented in the muslim community which is founded on belief and brotherhood. the first foundation is belief in allah so that to unite the community’s perspective of existence, life, values, businesses, events, things and people. so that the community uses one balance to measure all what happens in life, it seeks one sharia (islamic legislation) as an arbitrator and it stays loyal to the leadership based on applying the method of allah on earth. as for the second foundation, the brotherhood in allah, it is needed in the community because this way it is built on love and solidarity where there is no place for selfishness and egoism. it is a community that enjoys altruism and philanthropy, it is a community filled with feelings of unselfish devotion to others.

 

the muslim community in madinah was built on these two foundations; on the belief in allah, a belief emerged from the knowledge of allah, exalted and sublime be he. this belief was represented in consciences; it was represented in fearing allah and knowing he was watching over them. it was reflected in the attentiveness and sensitivity of the heart towards committing any sin except in very rare occasions. the belief in allah was also reflected in love, amiability and solidarity. the true honest solidarity was represented in the muslim community, it was a fact in this community, and if it had not happened, people would have thought it is an unattainable dream. this is evident in the brotherhood between muhajrun (immigrants from makkah) and ansar (residents of madinah), it is a true story yet it is closer to a far-reaching dream. it is a story that happened on earth, yet its nature resembles the kind of life in paradise.

 

based on this belief and brotherhood, the method of allah on earth is founded at every time. later the sequence of verses warns the muslim community from disunity and diversity. it also warns the people who were prescribed to apply the method of allah before muslims, the people of the scripture, and then they disunited and divided. so, allah took the flag from them and gave it to the united muslim community.

 

those who abandoned the method of allah will be tortured on a day when some faces turn white and other faces turn black: “and do not be like the ones who became divided and differed after the clear proofs had come to them. and those will have a great punishment. on the day [some] faces will turn white and [some] faces will turn black. as for those whose faces turn black, [to them it will be said], "did you disbelieve after your belief? then taste the punishment for what you used to reject." but as for those whose faces will turn white, [they will be] within the mercy of allah. they will abide therein eternally.”

 

the sequence of verses visualizes a qur’anic scene filled with motion and vitality. we are watching a horror scene, this horror is not represented in terms or descriptions, it is represented in living humans with certain faces and traits. these are shining optimist faces that turned white because of optimism and tidings. on other hand, these are gloomy faces blackened by grief, distress and depression. yet, they are not only bearing sadness, they are also blamed and it will be said to them: “did you disbelieve after your belief? then taste the punishment for what you used to reject.”

 

“but as for those whose faces will turn white, [they will be] within the mercy of allah. they will abide therein eternally.” this way the scene pulsates with life, motion and dialogue according to the way of the qur’an. thus, the meaning of the warning against disunity and difference becomes clear to the conscience of muslims. this also applies to the meaning of the generous divine blessing through faith and accordance.

 

the muslim community saw the fate of the people of the scripture, allah warns muslims from obeying them so that they do not share the same painful torment with them on the day some faces will turn white and some faces will turn black.

 

after the statement of the fate of both groups, the qur’an gives a commentary that is harmonious with the main lines of the surah, this commentary includes a proof of the truthfulness of the revelation and message of islam, the seriousness of retribution and judgment on the day of resurrection, the absolute justice of allah’s decree in life and the hereafter, the ultimate sovereignty of allah on heavens and earth and return of all matters to him:

 

“these are the verses of allah. we recite them to you, [o muhammad], in truth; and allah wants no injustice to the worlds. to allah belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. and to allah will [all] matters be returned.”

 

these images, facts and fates are the verses and proofs of allah to his salves. allah reveals them to the prophet muhammad (peace be upon him) in truth. they are truth because of the principals and values they ascertain. they are the truth for what they reveal of fates and retribution. these verses are revealed in truth from the one who controls the revelation, he is the one who has the right to decide values, fates and apply retributions. allah does not want to cause injustice to his servants, he is the just ruler, he is the owner of the affairs of the heavens and earth, to him belongs whatever is in heavens and whatever is on earth. to allah all matters will be returned. allah wants to apply righteousness by giving retribution based on the nature of deeds. he wants to ascertain justice so that all matters run in the seriousness appropriate to the majesty of allah, not according to the claims of the people of the scripture who say that fire will touch them for few days!

 

afterwards, allah describes the muslim nation to muslims so that they know the worth, value and truth of it. then, he describes to them the people of the scripture, not to belittle them, rather to reveal their reality and to encourage them to seek the recompense and goodness of belief; he also enlightens muslims of the nature of their enemies.

 

they will not be able to harm them by scheming and fighting. allah will not let them be victorious over muslims. those who disbelieve among the people of the scripture will have the torment of the hereafter. none of their expenditures in life will even be of value to them on the day of resurrection because they were without faith or piety: "you are the best nation produced [as an example] for mankind. you enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and believe in allah. if only the people of the scripture had believed, it would have been better for them. among them are believers, but most of them are defiantly disobedient. they will not harm you except for [some] annoyance. and if they fight you, they will show you their backs; then they will not be aided. they have been put under humiliation [by allah] wherever they are overtaken, except for a covenant from allah and a rope from the muslims. and they have drawn upon themselves anger from allah and have been put under destitution. that is because they disbelieved in the verses of allah and killed the prophets without right. that is because they disobeyed and [habitually] transgressed. they are not [all] the same; among the people of the scripture is a community standing [in obedience], reciting the verses of allah during periods of the night and prostrating [in prayer]. they believe in allah and the last day, and they enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and hasten to good deeds. and those are among the righteous. and whatever good they do - never will it be removed from them. and allah is knowing of the righteous. indeed, those who disbelieve - never will their wealth or their children avail them against allah at all, and those are the companions of the fire; they will abide therein eternally. the example of what they spend in this worldly life is like that of a wind containing frost which strikes the harvest of a people who have wronged themselves and destroys it. and allah has not wronged them, but they wrong themselves”

 

the first part of the first verse assigns the muslim community with a heavy duty, but at the same time it honors such community and elevates its status. it gives the muslim community a special position that no other community has ever reached: “you are the best nation produced [as an example] for mankind. you enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and believe in allah.”

 

using the verb “produced” in the passive voice is enticing because it almost hints to the kind planning hand that produces this nation and pushes it forward to come from the darkness to the light, from behind the eternal screen that only almighty allah knows what is behind it. it is a word that visualizes a hidden movement and decent progress. a motion that shows on the theater of existence a nation with a special role, status and account: “you are the best nation produced [as an example] for mankind.”

 

this is what the muslim nation has to realize to know its nature and value. the muslim nation has to know that it emerged to be at the frontlines and to be in the lead because it is the best nation. allah wants leadership to be in the hands of goodness not badness on earth. this is why this nation should not receive the guidance from other nations of jahiliah. on the contrary, it should give other nations the guidance they should follow. the muslim nation should have something to give, namely right belief, conception, system, morality, knowledge and science. this is the duty of the muslim nation determined by its status and aim of existence. it is duty is to always be at the frontlines to lead others. this status has consequences, so the muslim community does not take such status based on a mere claim; it takes it because the community deserves such status.

 

based on the belief and social system, this community deserves this leading status and it should be qualified for the caliphate through scientific advancement and construction of the earth. accordingly, the method of this nation requires a lot to be achieved, it pushes the nation forward to excel in all fields, yet this is only achievable if this nation follows and commits to the divine method and realizes its requisites and prescriptions.

 

the first requisite of such status is to protect life from evil and corruption. the nation should have the strength that would enable her to promote virtue and prohibit vice. it is the best nation produced to humanity, not because of favoritism or courtesy, not because of coincidence or randomness because allah is above all that, he is the highest and most sublime one, it is not also because of distribution of specializations and blessings as the people of the scripture used to say: “we are the children of allah and his beloved”. no, it is the best nation produced to humanity because of its positive acts to protect humanity from wrongness and build it on righteousness along with the belief that defines badness and goodness: “you enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and believe in allah.”

 

it is the fulfillment of the obligations of the good nation and that includes all the fatigues of these obligations and the thorns muslims meet on the way to achieve them. it is facing badness, promoting goodness and maintaining society from the elements of corruption. this is exhausting and difficult but necessary to establish the good society and protect it, it is also essential to fulfill the representation of which allah wants life to be.

 

the belief in allah is needed to establish the right balance of values and the correct definition of virtue and vice. the definition of the community is not enough, corruption might prevail until balances disturb and fluctuate. so, we must return to a fixed conception of goodness and badness, of virtue and vice and of morality and immorality, it should be based on a constant rule other than the people’s definition of virtue and vice because it is changing from one generation to the other.

 

this is what belief fulfills; it establishes a correct conception of existence and its relationship with the creator. it ascertains the human, his mission, existence and true role in the universe. the moral rules stem from this general conception, and based on the motive of pleasing allah and avoiding his wrath, people work on applying these rules. the guardianship of these rules is based on the dominance of allah over consciences and the authority of his sharia in the society.

 

the callers to goodness, promoters of virtues and preventers of vice must have faith so that they can walk this tiring road and bear the difficulties while facing the despotic tyranny of evil in its strongest forms, they also face the tyranny of desires, decline of souls, weariness of wills and heaviness of greed. the sustenance of these callers is faith, their equipment is also faith and their support is allah. at the end, any sustenance other than faith runs out, any equipment other than faith fades and any support other than that of allah (swt) collapses.

 

in the context of obligating the muslim community to promote virtue and prevent vice, it is clarified that the community should delegate a certain group to call for goodness, promote virtue and prevent vice. so, here allah describes the muslim community with the quality of being the best nation for enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong and believing in allah.

 

this description is to show the muslim community that it will never have a real existence unless muslims own these basic qualities in the human society. so, either the muslim community enjoins what is right, forbids what is wrong and believes in allah so accordingly it exists and it is muslim, or it does not do any of this and accordingly it does not exist and it does not fulfill the character of islam.

 

in the holy qur’an there are many verses ascertaining this fact. also in the sunnah, there are a number of teachings by the prophet muhammad (peace be upon him), some of them are the following:

 

abi saeed al-khidri (ra) said: i heard the messenger of allah (pbuh) saying: “whoever of you sees an evil action let him change it with his hand, and if he is not able to do so, then with his tongue, and if he is not able to do so, then with his heart – and that is the weakest of faith.” (sahih muslim 2/22, kitabul iman)

 

ibn mas’oud (ra) narrated that the prophet (pbuh) said: "when banu israel (children of israel) fell into disobedience, their scholars prohibited them but they did not stop. but they [the scholars] continued to sit with them in their gatherings and eat with them and drink with them so allah struck all of their hearts together and cursed them upon the tongues of dawud, suliman and isa the son of maryam. that was for their disobedience and the transgressions they committed." the prophet (pbuh) then sat up - he had been reclining - and said, "by the one in whose hand my soul is! not until you take them to the truth forcefully!" (at-tirmidhi)

 

hudhaifah (ra) reported: the prophet (pbuh) said, " by the one in whose hand my soul is, you either enjoin good and forbid evil, or allah will certainly soon send his punishment to you. then you will make supplication and it will not be accepted". (at-tirmidhi)

 

urs ibn umayrah al-kandi (ra) reported: the propeht (pbuh) said, "when a sin is committed on earth, the one who witnessed it and hates it is like one who was absent from it, and the one who was absent from it but was pleased with it (after he found out about it), it is like he witnessed it.” (related by abu dawud)

 

narrated abi saeed al-khidri (ra) that the prophet (pbuh) said: "the greatest jihad is to speak the word of truth to a tyrant ruler." (mishkat, book of rulership and judgment)

 

jabir ibn abdullah (ra) reported the the prophet (pbuh) said: “the master of the martyrs is hamzah – the prophet’s uncle who was killed in the battlefield- and a man who stood in the presence of a tyrant and spoke the truth and was killed for it” (sahih al-jami as-sageer by imam al-ablani, vol. 3 hadith no. 3569)

 

there are many other ahadith (prophetic sayings) in that regard; they all establish this quality in the muslim community and its requirements. these ahadith include great educational material and systematic instruction. in addition to the qur’anic texts, the ahadith are a sustenance we are not fully aware of in terms of value and benefit.




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