الأحد، مارس 11، 2007

The Thinking of a Fundamentalist Muslim

The Seerah

''You have a good example in the Prophet.''[Surah Al-Ahzab 33:21]

This Ayah is very clear in stating that the Prophet (saaw) is the example for the Muslims to follow.In order to best follow the example of the Prophet (saaw) we need to understand his personality in a comprehensive manner. If we do not understand all aspects of the Prophets (saaw) life then we will fail to use him (saaw) as our example, and thus will not be able to totally obey him (saaw). The Prophet (saaw) was not just a human being, he received a revelation from Allah (swt) and thus, he was a Messenger. His (saaw) roles in life were not limited to being a father, a grandfather, and a husband. He (saaw) was a judge, a ruler, an army commander and a statesman. Thus to understand his personality we have to understand all his (saaw) roles. And for him (saaw) to be our example he (saaw) should be obeyed in all of these aspects. The life of the Prophet (saaw) provides a source of legislation to each and every one in all aspects of their life. From the private citizen and to the head of the state. From the father and to the husband. And from the neighbour to the judge. Many writings have only talked about one aspect of the life of the Prophet (saaw), the family aspect. By doing this a major aspect of his (saaw) life was ignored or over shadowed. Thus, in this article we discuss the untold aspect of his personality in order to know how to obey him.

The Meaning of Seerah

It is an accepted fact in Islam that Muhammad (saaw) came as the last and final Messenger and

Prophet. Allah (swt) says:

''Muhammad is not the father of any man among you, but he is the Messenger of Allah, and the last (end) of the Prophets, And Allah is All- Aware of everything.'' (Al Ahzab 33:40)

However, as Muslims we must never consider his life as just an attractive episode in the annals of history. Muhammad (saaw) was our example. He (saaw) is to be followed despite the current situation we are mired in. As Allah (swt) states:

''And whatsoever the Messenger (Muhammad) gives you, take it, and whatsoever he forbids, abstain from it...'' (Al-Hashr 59: 7)

While the Muslims worldwide are awakening to the reality of the Islam's truth and its necessity to exist in its entirety in our lives, we can still safely say that Islam remains divorced from our lives. No matter where we live, we will certainly find ourselves engulfed in laws, rules and opinions that starkly conflict and contradict the Hukm Sharii from the Creator. No matter what degree of piety a Muslim strives to maintain and how much he seeks to protect his family, today's Muslim will inevitably be affected by the worldwide domination of Kufr. We are forced to submit to the control of Kufr over Muslim lands and we are divided into a plethora of weak countries ruled over by the agents of the Kuffar.

We have come a long way from the time when we called for un-Islamic ideas like nationalism, secularism and realizing that the ''Qur'an & Sunnah'' is our only solution. However, we need to ponder on the following:

It is true that our ideas are derived from the Qur'an such as propagating Islam, feeding the poor, performing Jihad. Yet it is evident that we are unsuccessful. The unfortunate truth is that we are not looking at the Seerah of Muhammad (saaw) in order to carry out our orders. For example, when it comes to carrying Islam to the world, we inadvertently adhere to the method of the missionaries; in feeding the poor we look to Mother Theresa; in performing Jihad we look at the examples of the Red Army, Irish Republican Army, and the Red Brigade. Even more humiliating is when we are presented as role models tailored after the values from Kufr. In organizing our societies we are told to subscribe to the ways of Adam Smith or George Washington. Similarly, we are told to follow the likes of Churchill, Gandhi, Jinnah.

Sadly, we fail to realize that the only leader we should look up to is the Prophet (saaw). In him (saaw), we find an example of the one who reorganized the society in the way Allah (swt) commanded. In him (saaw), we find the best example of a politician and a statesman and in him (saaw) we find the best example of a husband and father. In one incident Allah's Messenger (saaw) spoke of something and said: ''It will happen when knowledge will be no more.'' Ziyad ibn Labid said: Allah's Messenger, how will knowledge vanquish despite the fact that we will be reciting the Qur'an and teaching its recitation to our children and our children will teach its recitation to their children up to the Day of Resurrection?

Thereupon he (saaw) said: ''Ziyad, may your mother weep over you. I was of the opinion that you were one of those who have greatest understanding of Deen in Medina. Do these Jews and Christians not recite the Torah and the Bible but not act according to what is contained in them.'' (Tirmidhi)

The Muslim Ummah has to accept the fact that following the Seerah of Muhammad (saaw) is part of the Aqeedah (creed) of Islam. If we do not fully adhere to the Seerah of Muhammad (saaw), then upon what basis can we expect him (saaw) to intercede on our behalf on the Day of Judgement? This is especially important since we are living at a time of great awakening in the Muslim world.

The Mission of Muhammad (saaw)

The Qur'an, the Book of Guidance revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (saaw), describes his mission in the following verses:

''But it is nothing less Than a Reminder to all Al Ameen (mankind, jinns and all that exists).'' (Al- Qalam 68:52)

''He it is Who has sent His Messenger with the Guidance and the Deen of Truth, to make it victorious over all (other) Deens even thought the Mushrikeen (polyatheists, pagans, idolaters, and disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah and in His Messenger) hate it.'' (As-Saff 61:9)

Allah (swt) appointed Muhammad (saaw) as His last Messenger with the Guidance of Deen-Al-Haqq in order to make it dominant over all the other Batil (Falsehood). The way the Prophet Muhammad (saaw) did his job is the only model available to us in its perfect form and in smallest detail.

''0 Prophet (Muhammad)! Verily, We have sent you as witness, and a bearer of glad tidings, and a Warner. And as the one who invites to Allah by His Leave, and as a lamp spreading light (through your instructions from the Qur'an and Sunnah).'' (Al- Ahzab 33: 45-46)

''And fight them until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and worshipping of others along with Allah) and (all and every kind of) worship is for Allah (Alone)...'' (Al Baqarah 2: 193)

Prophet(saaw) said:''This matter is as the day and night; Allah will make this Deen enter into every house of every inhabitant of the deserts, of villages, of towns, of cities, with either glory or disgrace. Allah will give glory to Islam, and Allah will bring disgrace upon disbelief (kufr).'' (Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Al Tabarani)

This address is for the Muslims to establish the Deen of Islam for the people of the world to live under, however, as individuals, they can remain in their religion as it is prohibited to force anybody to embrace Islam. The Prophet's (saaw) call to mankind at large was to invite them to accept Allah's authority without any partner in His Sovereignty. The entire struggle of his life was to eradicate the Batil/Shirk forces and establish Allah's Deen in its place in totality.

The Objective of the Da'wah(Message)

The objective and method of Prophet Muhammad's (saaw) Da'wah in Makkah remains the topic of much speculation and confusion among some Muslims. Many individuals, groups and movements claim to follow the method outlined by the Prophet (saaw) in delivering the Da'wah(message), but when asked for details, the explanation of specific goals remain ambiguous and confusing. Some claim that the Prophet (saaw) did not target the establishment of the Islamic State and it just happen to materialize on its own, i.e., the entity that implements Islam in its entirety was established without expending systematic efforts towards its establishment.

Through careful and extensive examination of the Da'wah before and after the Hijrah, the evidence overwhelmingly points up the fact that the Prophet (saaw) was working to establish Islam as a political entity that would possess the authority to govern and administer the relationships and affairs of a society according to Islam. The implications of such an understanding has far-reaching consequences on directing the agenda of the Ummah and specifically the movements that seek to correctly initiate revival using the Islamic method.

Allah (swt) revealed Islam to Muhammad (saaw) not simply as a collection of rituals or a general ambiguous collection of principles that would patch a few wounds of the society, but as a dynamic idea that called for the destruction of all existing systems and ideas and the subsequent restructuring of the entire society based on the 'Aqeedah of La Illaha Illah Allah. When one accepts Islam, that person, by acknowledging Allah (swt) as the only Creator and Legislator, abandons all other ideas and affiliations, and replaces them with those dictated by Allah (swt). The materialization of this realization manifests in the individual acceptance of the Islamic 'Aqeedah as the source of culture he adopts, the driving force of his intellect and sentiments, and the standard that dictates all aspects of his life. In a similar manner, Islam came to shape the society, demanding that the society abandon its systems and codes and restructure itself upon the Islamic 'Aqeedah and the systems emanating from it.

Upon realizing the comprehensive nature of Islam and the heavy responsibility associated with carrying the Word of Allah (swt), the Messenger of Allah (saaw) indicated to Khadeeja (ra) after the first day of Da'wah that after this day there would be no more rest. The Sahabah(companions) (raa) accepted Islam with the same realization and conviction, and they accepted all of the responsibilities and sacrifices that Allah (swt) demanded of them. With his Sahabah (raa) , the Messenger of Allah (saaw) proceeded to challenge the existing ideas and systems to fulfill the objective that Allah (swt) demanded: To be the Inheritors of the Earth by establishing His Shari'ah and carrying Islam to the world until the world returned to worshipping Allah (swt) as its Creator.

Objective of the Da'wah

A careful study of the ayat revealed in Makkah from the early days of the Da'wah provides us with a clear picture that the objective of the Prophet (saaw) was to establish Islam. This is clear in many ayat such as the following:

''But it is nothing less than a message to all worlds.'' (68:52)

''We have revealed for you a book which will give you eminence, Will you not then understand.'' (21: 10)

These ayat are very clear and explicit in what they aim to denote. With this in mind, how can Islam be a Reminder and Mercy to all mankind? How can Islam be victorious and supreme? What news is the ayah of Surah talking about?

Furthermore, Allah (swt) says in the following Makkan Surahs:

''And for Him is the Hukm (command) and to Him shall you all be brought back.'' (28: 70)

''The Hukm (command) is with Allah, Most High, Most Great.'' (40: 12)

''The Hukm (command) rests with none but Allah: He declares the Truth, and He is the best of judges.'' (6:57)

'Hukm' (command) here means sovereignty. Therefore, how can one say that Islam is sovereign while the society is ruled by man-made laws?

Allah (swt) says:

''Verily, His are the creation and the command blessed. By Allah, the Cherisher and the Sustainer of the world'' (7:54)

The Arabic word 'Amr' here refers to sovereignty. How would sovereignty belong to Allah when the authority does not implement Allah's system of laws?

Furthermore, it is very clear that the Prophet (saaw) called for ''La Illaha Illah Allah.'' The Arabs understood the significance and ramifications of this statement. ''No One is worthy of worship except Him'' means that the society cannot refer to anyone or anything but Him. How could this happen if the society keeps its systems, values and laws based on man-made systems? Keep in mind that a society cannot be subjected to two sovereignties.

The above ayat, among many others, make it clear that the Da'wah was not a theoretical one. Da'wah was not carried out for mere spiritual conversion of individuals to Islam while allowing man to satisfy his instincts and build his relationships based on laws taken from a sovereign other than Allah (swt).

Studying the Seerah

As indicated earlier, the evidences overwhelmingly point to the fact that the Prophet (saaw) was working to establish Islam as a political entity that would possess the authority to govern and administer the relationships and the affairs of society according to Islam.

The following incidents prove this:

The Prophet (saaw) kept working in Makkah for 10 years. However, after that he (saaw) went to Ta'ef seeking material support for his (saaw) Da'wah. The question to ask is: support for what? The Prophet (saaw) attacked idol worship, a system which was comprehensive. The attack was not directed towards the stones per se but rather towards the entire system. Why? The Prophet (saaw) addressed relationships in the society. He (saaw) attacked the manner in which economic transactions were carried out, such as cheating in the scales and social transactions such as committing Zina(adultery) in order to show the people that Islam has solutions for all problems. The Qur'an attacked the masses' blind following of their leaders in order to make Islam dominant.

When the Prophet (saaw) approached the Banu Amer tribe, they asked him whether they will have the authority after his (saaw) tenure as ruler. He (saaw) refused such a deal. How did Banu Amer understand this? If they misunderstood the Prophet (saaw), then he (saaw) would have corrected them, but instead, he (saaw) declined their offer, which implies that he (saaw) acknowledged their understanding.

The second Bayah(pedge of allegiance) of Aqabah involved the Messenger (saaw) being given the pledge by the influential of Madinah to protect him while implementing Islam upon them. This is very clear on what his (saaw) objective was. If we put all of this together, then the entire picture is clear. The Prophet (saaw) followed specific steps which ultimately led to the establishment of the State. Did he (saaw) not convey the Da'wah to individuals in order for them to become Muslims, educating them in the house of Al Arqam? Did they not carry the Da'wah with him (saaw) afterwards? Did he (saaw) not then attack the society's belief, traditions, laws, and leadership? Did he (saaw) not offer them ''a word if you say it, you will dominate the Arabs and the non-Arabs will submit to you?''

Did he (saaw) not, upon their rejection, approach the leadership of other tribes, such as Banu Amer, Bani Sheeban, KaIb, among others, calling them to Islam and offering them his leadership? Now the question is, was the Prophet (saaw) cognizant of this reality from the early days of his (saaw) Da'wah or not? No Muslim dares ask whether Allah (swt), who sent the Prophet (saaw), knew this or not? One would say conclusively that the Prophet (saaw) knew this because of the following:

1. The Prophet (saaw) was not a robot. He (saaw) was a human being who received revelation.

2. Saying that the Prophet (saaw) did not know this means that the Prophet (saaw) did not understand all the ayat mentioned above, nor did he (saaw) understand the meaning of La Illaha lila Allah.

3. One would also be saying that he (saaw) did not understand his (saaw) objective for the Ta'ef trip or the Banu Amer trip or the first and second Bayah(pledge of allegiance)!

The Prophet (saaw) did not work haphazardly. Allah (swt) says:

''When there comes to them a sign (from Allah) they say: ''We shall not believe until we receive one (exactly) like those received by Allah's messengers.''Allah knows best where to place His mission. Soon will the wicked be overtaken by humiliation before Allah, and severe chastisement, for all their plots.'' (6:124)

Thus, from the onset, the Messenger of Allah (saaw) worked towards establishing Islam as a political entity that would serve as the vehicle for the practical implementation of the Islamic Shari'ah and the means of conveying Islam to the world. In Makkah, the Messenger of Allah (saaw) gathered a group of people who adopted the Islamic 'Aqeedah as the source of their thoughts, culture, and sentiments. With this group, he (saaw) organized the efforts of the Muslims in a concentrated manner to address the corruption in the society and the false ideas that pervaded. The Da'wah did not utilize the reformist approach of providing partial solutions while accepting the status quo, but instead demanded a complete demolition of all the existing beliefs, ideas and concepts and all of the systems, laws, and institutions that emanated from them. Due to the radical, non-compromising approach of the Da'wah in demanding a complete change of the entire society,the establishment in Makkah slammed the Muslims, imposing all types of hardships, persecution, torture, and abuse upon them.

In an effort to extinguish the movement of Muhammad (saaw), the Quraysh repeatedly attempted to use the channels of bargaining and compromise, but the Messenger of Allah (saaw) remained adamant in his objectives and did not surrender to the demands and political traps of Quraysh. They offered money, political power, fame, and material luxuries that, in worldly terms, many of today's groups would blindly leap towards, but the Prophet (saaw) not only rejected them but condemned them in the harshest of tones. Even when he (saaw) sought material support to establish the state, at a time when the persecution escalated to intolerable levels and the Messenger of Allah (saaw) faced his (saaw) most severe hardship, he (saaw) rejected all the offers that imposed restrictions or provisions to his (saaw) terms.

Throughout the Da'wah, Muhammad (saaw) demonstrated a seriousness and clarity of objectives that unparalleled any political or ideological movement. He (saaw) did not bother himself with partial or short- term solutions. The Prophet (saaw) focused on a total reconstruction of society. As a result of the diligent efforts and dedication demonstrated by the Messenger of Allah (saaw) and the Sahabah(companions) (raa), the Islamic State materialized. With the establishment of the State, Muhammad (saaw) possessed complete authority to implement the Shari'ah and to administer the affairs of the society according to Allah's (swt) rules. Under the authority of Islam, Muslims and non-Muslims enjoyed unparalleled success, justice, and security that contrasted sharply with the oppressive backwardness of man-made societies that existed at the time. As the vehicle for applying and conveying Islam, the State served as a practical example that other nations would witness as the illuminating representative of the application of Allah's (swt) code. In Makkah, only a few hundred individuals accepted Islam, but with the State in Medinah, the Messenger of Allah (saaw) consolidated the entire Arabian Peninsula under the authority of Islam. in less than a generation, the State conquered the Roman and Persian Empires and spread its influence across Africa, Europe, and Asia.

Muhammad (saaw) achieved his (saaw) goal as a result of the methodology given to him by Allah (swt). Allah (swt) says:

''Nor does he speak of his own desire. Its only a Revelation that is revealed. He has been taught (this Qur'an) by one mighty in power'' (Al Najm 53:3-5)

This entails the method of planning, hard work, organization, political manoeuvring and an active seeking of support. Allah (swt) has defined preparation and planning as a prelude to success and as one of His natural laws. Establishing the Islamic State was not an angelic endeavour. It involved real human beings exercising their capabilities and talents. Even Muhammad (saaw) was not exempt from this law. He (saaw) had to shoulder and carry the Message of Islam and work towards its implementation. Today, the Ummah's scattered resources, ambiguous objectives, and methods that range from partiality and vagueness to naivet
, are a far diversion from the organized, well-defined, and structured movement initiated by the Messenger of Allah (saaw). In addition, many movements have succumbed to partial solutions or compromises, thereby absorbing themselves along with the efforts of the Muslim Ummah, in artificial issues created by the Kuffar to alienate the Muslim Ummah from its objectives. Only by following the Seerah in its detailed prescriptions for revival and by unifying the objective, can the Muslims elevate themselves from this status. It is Allah (swt) who chose and directed the Prophet (saaw) for His Message. One dare not say that Allah (swt) allowed His Prophet (saaw) to work haphazardly or function without understanding the objective of the Da'wah. The Messenger's (saaw) objective of Da'wah is our objective. Only then can we be the best Ummah leading the world into peace and prosperity.

The Call to Islam
At the time of the Prophet's (saaw) call to Messengership, the land and wealth of the Arabs were not in their hands but rather, in the hands of other people. In the north, SyriaYemen was under the dominion of the Persian Empire and was locally ruled by the Arabs.Arabs were masters only of the Hijaz, Tiharna and Najd, which were waterless deserts with a few oases here and there. It is also well-known that Muhammad (saaw) was called Al-Amin as Sadiq (The Trustworthy and Truthful) by his people. Fifteen years before his Messengership began, the leaders of the Quraysh had made him their arbiter in the incident of the placing of the Black Stone and had been pleased with his decision. His lineage was from the Banu Hashim, the noblest branch of the Quraysh. It can therefore be said that Muhammad (saaw) was capable of kindling among his compatriots the fire of Arab nationalism and would thus have united them. They would have responded gladly to this call, for they were weary of continual tribal warfare and blood feuds. He would then have been able to free the Arab lands from the domination of Roman and Persian imperialism and would have been able to establish a united Arab state. It can be said that if the Prophet (saaw) had called people in this way, instead of bearing tortures for thirteen years due to the opposition of the power brokers in the peninsula, the whole of Arabia would have accepted it. It can be said that if Arabia had thus been united under his leadership and the authority had once devolved into his hands, he could have used all this to make them accept the belief in the Oneness of God, for which purpose he (saaw) was sent; and to bring people to submit to their Sustainer after they had submitted to his own human authority. But the All-Knowing and All-Wise did not lead His Prophet (saaw) on this course. He led him to declare openly that there is no deity but Allah, and to bear patiently, with his few Companions, whatever trials came to them.

Why is this? Obviously, it was not for the sake of subjecting His Prophet (saaw) and the Believers to oppression. Indeed, He knows that there is no other way. The way is not to free the earth from Roman and Persian tyranny in order to replace it with Arab tyranny. All tyranny is wicked! The earth belongs to Allah (swt) and should be purified for Allah (swt), and it cannot be purified for Him unless the banner, ''No deity except Allah'' - ''La ilaha illa Allah''- is raised into an authoritative position; no sovereignty is existent except for Allah's; no law emanates unless it is from Allah (swt); and no authority of one man over another is operative; and the authority in all respects belong to Allah (swt). The 'grouping' of men which Islam proclaims is based on this Iman alone, the Iman in which all peoples of any race or colour, such as Arabs, Romans or Persians- are equal under the banner of Allah (swt). This is the only way.

At the time of the Prophet's call to Messengership, the Arab society was devoid of the proper distribution of wealth and justice. A small group monopolized all wealth and commerce, and it was exponentially increased through usurious(riba) practices. The great majority of the people were poor and hungry. The wealthy were also regarded as noble and distinguished, and the common people were not only deprived of wealth but also of dignity and honour It can be said that Muhammad (saaw) was capable of starting a social movement, declaring war against the class of nobles and the wealthy, taking away their wealth and distributing it among the poor. It can be said that had the Prophet (saaw) started such a movement, Arab society would have been divided into two classes, the great majority supporting the new movement because they were sick of he tyranny of wealth, nobility and power and a small minority' possessing these things, instead of he Prophet's having to confront the society with the Message of the Oneness of God, which remained beyond the reach of all except a few noble souls. It can be said that after the majority had joined his movement and had given him the leadership, and after he (saaw) had gained control of the minority of the rich, Muhammad (saaw) could then have used his position and power to impose the belief in the Oneness of God, for which task God had appointed him as His Prophet. Thus, first making human beings bow before his authority, he could have made them bow before the True God. but the All-Knowing, the All-Wise did not lead him to this course.

Allah (swt) knew that this was not the way. He knew that true social justice can come to a society only after all affairs have been submitted to the laws of the Creator and the society as a whole is willing to accept the just division of wealth prescribed by Him, and every individual of the society, whether he be a giver or taker, firmly believes that this system has been legislated by Allah almighty, and that by obeying, he will not only prosper in this world but will be rewarded in the next.

The society should not be in such a condition that some are driven by greed while others are burning with envy, that all the affairs of the society are decided by the sword and the gun, fear and threats, that the hearts of the population are desolate and their spirits are broken, as is the case under systems which are based on any authority other than Allah's (swt). At the time of the Prophet's call to Messengership, the moral level of Arabia was extremely low from every point of view. Only a few primitive tribal customs prevailed. Oppression was the rule of the day, as the famous poet Zuhair Selma has described: ''One who does not defend himself with weapons will perish, And one who does not oppress will be oppressed.'' Another famous saying of the Days of Jahilliyah (ignorance) points to this: ''Help your brother, whether he is the oppressor or being oppressed.''

Drinking and gambling were traditions of the society and people were proud of these habits. All the poetry of the Days of Jahilliyah revolves around the theme of wine and gambling. Turfah Abed says:''lf there had not been three things for a young man's enjoyment, I would then not have cared for anything except some food. One of them is my excelling others in the drinking of wine which is so potent that if you add water to it, it bubbles. Drinking and entertainment and spending have been my life, and still are. At last the time has come when the whole tribe has abandoned me, as if I were a camel with a terrible itch.'' Fornication was rampant in various forms and was considered something to be proud of, as is the case among all jahilli societies, old or new.

It can be said that Muhammad (saaw) was capable of starting a movement of moral reform for the establishment of moral standards, for the purification of the society and for self-evaluation. As this is the case with every reformer, he would have found some upright and straight people who were also unhappy about the moral degeneration of their society. These people would certainly have come to him to join his reformist movement(human rights clubs,women' was under Roman jurisdiction. The Romans appointed local Arab rulers. In the south,
s rights clubs,environment clubs etc). Thus, one can say that if the Prophet (saaw) had chosen this course, he (saaw) would have easily gathered a sizable group. Because of their moral purity and spiritual fortitude, this group of people, more than others, would have accepted the belief in the Oneness of God and would have carried the responsibilities pertinent to it. Thus the Prophet's (saaw) call, ''There is no deity except Allah,'' would have been spared the vigorous opposition which it encountered.

But Allah Most High new that this way is not the way. He knew that morality can only be built on Iman, an Iman which provides criteria, created values, defines the authority from which these criteria and values are to be derived, and prescribes the reward for the one who accepts this authority and the punishment of those who deviate or oppose. Without this kind of belief or the concept of a higher authority, all values remain unstable, and similarly, morals based on them remain unstable without accounting, without authority, and without reward! When, after hard work, belief became firm and the authority to which this belief refers was acknowledged, when people recognized their Sustainer and worshipped Him alone, when they became independent not only of other human beings, but also of their own desires, and when ''La ilaha illa Allah'' became imprinted on their hearts - then Allah (swt) - through this belief and through the Believers, provided everything which was needed. The earth became free of 'Romans and Persians,' not so that the authority of the 'Arabs' might prevail, but only so that Allah's authority might be established and that the earth might be cleared of all the rebels against Him, whether they were Roman, Persian or Arab.

The society was freed from all oppression, and the Islamic system was established in which justice was Allah's (swt) justice and in which weighing was by Allah's (swt) balance. The banner of justice was raised in the name of One God, and the name of the banner was Islam. No other name was added to it, and ''La ilaha illa Allah'' was written on it. Morals were elevated, hearts and souls were purified, and with the exception of a very few cases, there was no occasion even to enforce the limits and punishments which Allah (swt) has prescribed; for now conscience was the law-enforcer, and the pleasure of Allah (swt), the hope of Divine reward, and the fear of Allah's anger took the place of police and punishments. Mankind was uplifted in its social order, in its morals, in all of its life, to a zenith of perfection which had never been attained before and which cannot be attained afterwards except through Islam. If the call of Islam had not started in this manner, discarding the banner of ''There is no deity except Allah,'' and if it would not have taken that path which apparently was difficult and trying but which in reality was easy and blessed, then it would not have been possible to establish this blessed system with this high standard.

Had this call come in its initial stages as a national call or a social movement or a reformist attempt or had it attached other labels to the call of ''La ilaha lIla Allah'', then this blessed system would never have been for the sake of Allah (swt) alone.

The Authority of the Sunnah

As the Ummah continues on the path of revival, a growing number of Muslims have begun realize that after decades of fumbling through various possibilities thrown at them by the Kuffar, Islam still remains as the only correct solution to their problems. However, many faulty concepts and twisted facts still obstruct the Islamic mentality and sentiments from becoming crystallized. Perhaps the only obstacle remaining between Muslims and their full realization of Islam remains certain distorted concepts.

The Muslim Ummah must utilize the intellectual struggle against the faulty ideas and view this as vital to its revival. They must commit them selves to correct the erroneous ideas and replace them with clear, well defined concepts.

The notion that the Qur'an provides the sole source of legislation and the Sunnah fulfilling secondary, supportive role that supplements the total message, still remains as a common misconception among many. In fact, the Sun nah constitutes a primary source on an equal footing as the Qur'an itself.

In many ayat, the Qur'an mentions repeatedly the obedience to the Prophet (saaw) side by side with the obedience to Allah (swt):

''It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he has indeed strayed in a plain error.'' (A!-Ahzab 33: 36)

''Say (0 Muhammad), Obey Allah and His Messenger. But if they turn away, then Allah does not like the disbelievers'' (Al-lmran 3: 32)

''And obey Allah and His Messenger that you may attain mercy'' (Al-lmran 3:132)

''0 you who believe! Obey Allah and His Messenger, and those of you who are in authority. If you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger, if you believe in Allah and in the Last Day. This is better and more suitable for final determination.''[An-Nisa
a 4: 59]

''And whoever contradicts and opposes the Messenger after the Right Path has been shown clearly to him, and follows other than the believers' way, we shall keep in the path he has chosen, and burn him in Hell - what an evil destination.'' [An-Nisa'a' 4: 115]

..''On that day those who disobeyed the Messenger will wish that they were buried in the earth, but they will never be able to hide a single fact from Allah.'' (An-Nisa'a' 4: 42)

After reflecting upon these ayat, no Muslim should look upon the Sunnah with any less emphasis than the Qur'an, because Allah (swt) states clearly that the authority of the Messenger constitutes a component of the revelation itself. Nowhere in the Qur'an does Allah (swt) de-emphasize the Sunnah or reduce its rank below the level the Qur'an by even a marginal amount.

Even those who do give the Sunnah the authority it deserves fail to perceive the Sunnah in its correct context. Contrary to contemporary belief, the Sunnah cannot be perceived in a general, ambiguous manner. In order to represent the Sunnah in the affairs of the Ummah as correctly and accurately as possible, Muslims must view the Sunnah in a structured, categorical framework to understand what aspects of the Sunnah bear relevance to their lives and to avoid the pitfalls of misapplication and ambiguity in defining the Sunnah.

In other words, it is important to differentiate between the acts which are designated to the Ummah and acts which are designated exclusively for the Prophet (saaw).

Types of Sunnah:

A. Qawil (verbal): Consists of the sayings of the Prophet (saaw) on any subject. For example:
''He who cheats is not one of us.''

B. Taqriri (Approval): Consists of the approval of the Prophet (saaw). If something was done in front of him (saaw) and he (saaw) didn't disapprove of it, then it is considered an approval. As an example, the Prophet (saaw) approved the way women prayed in the mosque separate from men, but in the same room.

C. Faili (Actions): Consists of the Prophet's (saaw) deeds and practices, such as the way he (saaw) used to pray or perform Hajj. The actions of the Prophet (saaw) are divided into the following subcategories:

Actions of the Prophet (saaw):

1. Actions as Part of the Prophet's (saaw) Nature

These actions include the way he stood, sat, ate, or drank. For ex ample it is reported that when he (saaw) walked and wanted to turn his head to another direction, he (saaw) would turn his entire body. This type of action has no legislative impact, except in certain cases where he (saaw) recommended doing a particular action. Then such an action would be considered Mandub.For example, there is a Hadith telling a Sahabi (ra) to eat with his right hand, shifting the action from Mubah (permissible) category to Mandub (recommended) category. The Sunnah also excludes specialized and technical knowledge, such as medicine, engineering, agriculture, or computers, because such technical expertise is not considered a part of the function of Prophethood.

2. Actions Limited Specifically for the Prophet (saaw)

Allah (swt) has sent the Messenger (saaw) with rules that are specifically related to him (saaw) only. For instance, he (saaw) was ordered to pray the Tahajjud and the lshraq Salah as Fard; he (saaw) was allowed to continue his fasting throughout the night; his (saaw) marriage contracts did not have to include a dowry (Mahr); his wives could not remarry; and he (saaw) was allowed to marry more than four wives at a time.Whoever performs any of these actions is sinning because these actions are exclusively for the Prophet (saaw).

3. Actions of the Prophet (saaw) That Carry Legislative Consequences.

The kind of actions which carry a legislative consequence are of three types:

3.1. The action of the Messenger of Allah (saaw) that provides an explanation for a text.
If this explanation was for a rule or text that was obligatory, then the explanation also becomes obligatory. If the explanation was for a rule that was Mandub, then the explanation also becomes Mandub. Generally, the explanation takes the same status as the rule.For example, the Qur'an obligates the establishment of the Salat. Any explanation of performing the Salat by the Messenger (saaw) is thus also an obligation. For example, he (saaw) recited Surah Fatihah while standing, and always recited the Surah during each Rakah. Except for people who are excused due to physical disabilities, reciting Surat al Fatihah must be done while standing in Fard prayers.Also, Allah (swt) ordered the Messenger (saaw) to rule the people with what was revealed to him (saaw). Thus, the way the Messenger (saaw) ruled the people (by Islam) is an obligation. Some argue that the Messenger (saaw) did not leave details regarding the function of ruling, but rather left general principles, and that it is left to our intellect to innovate and initiate new forms of ruling. Many Muslims believe this point and are using democracy and parliamentary processes to rule the Muslims. However, because any order that is addressed to the Messenger (saaw) is also addressed to all Muslims, the order to rule by the revelation is an order for all Muslims. The Qur'an warns us that those who do not rule by Islam are either Dhalimoon, Fasiqoon, or Kafiroon. The Seerah contains an abundance of details related to ruling by Islam. For example, it was related in the Books of Seerah that the Messenger (saaw) said:

''Prophets were sent to the Children of Israel. Everytime a Prophet died or was killed, another Prophet would succeed him. However, there will be no Prophet after me and there will be Khulufa and they will be many. So the Sahabah asked,
what should we do?' He said, "fulfill the Ba'yah(vote) to the first and then the one who succeeds him and give them there rights for Allah (swt) will hold them accountable for their responsibilities.'' (Muslim)

In addition, the Prophet (saaw) said that there should be only one Khalifah; ''If the Ba'yah is given to two Khalifahs, then kill the latter one.'' (Muslim)

He (saaw) also told the Muslims that whoever backs away from his Bay'ah, Allah (swt) will be angry with him. The Seerah also defines the pillars of the State's ruling system as consisting of the Head of State, Delegates and Executive Representatives of the Head of State, Governors, Provincial governors, the Amir of Jihad, the Judges of the Judicial Branch, The Majlis of the Ummah (Consultation Assembly), and the Administrative Council. Because these aspects were detailed as an explanation of the order to rule by Islam, this explanation takes the same status as the order and is thereby mandatory for Muslims to implement. This explanation should refute any claim by any person that utilizing a democratic, parliamentary, republican, monarchical, or dictatorial method of ruling is within the boundaries of Islam. In addition, Allah (swt) ordered the Messenger (saaw) to carry the Islamic Da'wah. Allah (swt) says:

''Say (0 Muhammad): this is my way (sabeel), I and whoever follows me. Call and invite to Allah .'' (Yusuf 12: 108)
and He (swt) also says:
''Invite to the way of your Lord with Hikmah, and a magnetizing speech (maw'ithatul-hasanah), and debate with them with what is better (ahsan).'' (An-NahI 16: 125)

These Ayat obligate the Muslims to carry the Islamic Da'wah the way the Messenger (saaw) did. The Messenger of Allah (saaw) performed the Da'wah as a part of a group or party. He (saaw) did not compromise any rule in Islam. He (saaw) never adopted the principle of ''If you can't beat them, join them.''

The Messenger (saaw) and his Companions (raa), confronted the Meccan society, attacking their Aqeedah (doctrine), laws, rulers, concepts, and always proposing Islam as the only alternative. This group never engaged in any material struggle such as in terrorist actions, military actions, or sports training. Their struggle involved a political struggle with the leaders of the Meccan society like Abu JahI, Abu Lahab, and Walid bin al-Mughirah and an ideological struggle of addressing the practices of cheating in the scales, burying the daughters alive, worshipping idols, etc. Consequently, carrying the Islamic Da'wah today cannot be done exept with this same prototype in mind.Unfortunately, many movements are trying to patch and mend the illegal Kufr regimes that are ruling over them, and others have joined the cabinets of these regimes, or have participated in the system. Some groups believe that this need to be done because the system can either be subverted by studying the details of the system from within. These naive and Haram actions are invalid because the actions of the Messenger (saaw) in explaining the Da'wah are the only actions that are binding upon the Muslims, based on the principle that if the rule is an obligation, then the
explanation of the rule is also an obligation.

3.2. The actions of the Prophet (saaw) which fall under the category of Mandub or Nafilah(recommended).

Examples of such actions are fasting 6 days during the month of Shawwal, making special Dhikr occasions, and praying Sunnah Salat.

3.3. The actions of the Prophet (saaw) which fall under the category of Mubah(permissible).

Because these actions are permissible, they result in neither attaining the pleasure nor them displeasure of Allah (swt). An example of such an action is the duration of ten years for the treaty of Hudaybiyah. This period is not a fixed or set limit for treaties to be signed by the Khalifah. Consequently, it is Mubah for the Khalifah to sign a treaty for five or fifteen years. Another example is digging the ditch in the Battle of the Ditch. This tactic was used to defend Medinah, and today, digging the ditch can be replaced with another tactic. Uswah:
''Indeed in the Messenger of Allah, you have a good example to follow for him who hopes in Allah and the Last Day and remembers Allah much.'' (Al-A hzab 33:21)

Following the Uswah (example) of the Messenger (saaw) means to perform the action in the same way he (saaw) performed it. If he (saaw) carried out an action as Mandub(recommended)
, the Muslims must then follow him (saaw) in performing that action as Mandub. If the action is done as a Fard, then the emulation of that action has to be done as a Fard. Nobody can switch this around and say that he (saaw) did a particular action as a Fard and make it into a Sunnah, or vice versa. There are, however, some who feel that actions falling under this category are Fard (mandatory).Their opinion is arrived at without a deep and comprehensive study of all of the evidences and Daleel.

The Meaning of Hikmah

The word Hikmah is derived from the Arabic word
Hakama'' which means to rule' or issue a judgement. The word Hikmah appears in the Qur'an in twenty instances. It appears with various meanings, depending on the context. It denotes meanings such as Prophethood, the Qur'an, the Sunnah, knowledge of the reality of things, and deep knowledge followed by actions based upon this knowledge. Some of the Ayat which feature the term Hikmah are as follows:

''Our Lord! Send amongst them a Messenger of their own, who shall recite unto them Your Verses and instruct them in the Book (Qur'an) and ''aI-Hikmah'', and sanctify them. Verily! You are the All Mighty, the All-Wise.'' (Baqarah 2: 129)

In this Ayah, Hikmah means to recite the Revelation and its explanations which are given by the Prophet (saaw) through the Sunnah.

''He grants Hikmah' to whom He pleases, and he, to whom Hikmah' is granted, is indeed granted abundant good. But none remember (will receive admonition) except men of understanding.'' (AI-Baqarah 2: 269)

In this Ayah, Hikmah the knowledge and the understanding of the Qur'an and the Sunnah and the enabling of one to speak and to act in the correct and right way.

''Indeed Allah conferred a great favour on the believers when He sent among them a Messenger from among themselves, reciting unto them His Verses (Qur'an), and purifying them, and instructing them the Book and Al-Hikmah, while before that they had been in manifest error.'' (Al- Imran

In this Ayah, Hikmah means the Sunnah. Instructing them the Book (Qu'ran) means to explain it to them and any explanation of the Book given by the Prophet (saaw) is the Sunnah.

''Invite to the Way of your Lord (i.e. Islam) with Hikmah and fair preaching, and argue with them in a way that is better. Truly, your Lord knows best who has gone astray from His Path, and he is the Best Aware of those who are guided.'' (An-NahI 16: 125)

In this Ayah, Hikmah means the well established and consistent speech. It also means the definite proof that implies certainty. It also means to discuss the issues along with the burhan (proof) and the Daleel (evidence from Qur'an and Sunnah) to support and substantiate the speech. In the above Ayat, Hikmah has many meanings. But notice how each meaning is closely associated with the Qur'an and Sunnah. In all of the above meanings, Hikmah doesn't license anyone to be in conflict with the text (Qur'an and Sunnah), even if one is considered a so called wise man.

It definitely doesn't mean to manipulate the text in such a way as to accomplish your objective with disregard of violating the Shariah. For example, it has been used frequently in issues such as, seeking military and financial assistance from the UN or US in the cases of Bosnia and Kashmir, entering into the political process of the US, gradual implementation of Islam in the Muslim world.. etc. Each of the above mentioned examples has a proof from the Qur'an and the Sunnah to make it prohibited. In the above examples the correct usage of Hikmah would be to mention the Daleel against these issues that are put forth by those who claim to use Hikmah in a free spirited, unrestricted manner that does not take the Shariah into account. Therefore, Hikmah is closely associated with using the Qur'an and Sunnah in the proper manner. The Hikmah is to use the right Daleel for the right issue and to use the right opportunity to discuss the issue. 3:164)

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