Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Enjoining the Right and Forbidding the Wrong.4

Enjoining the Right and Forbidding the Wrong
Ibn Taimiyyah

26. Sins Are Desired By Human Nature

It is known that these sins and acts of disobedience though understood to be detestable and blameworthy by intellectual reasoning and by the criteria of Islam, are desired by human nature. It is a normal condition of the human self that it does not like others to have what it has not, or to have more of something than it, rather, it wishes for the good which has come to others to come to it. This is known in Arabic as Ghabta which is the lesser of the two forms of envy. Thus, the human self wishes to be superior or over others, and to be preferred to them, or it is envious of them, and wishes for the destruction of the good things which have come to others, even if it will not itself obtain it (this is the extreme form of envy). So, the human self contains these elements of desiring superiority, corruption, pride, and envy which makes it wish to possess its desires over and above others. How will such a self feel when it sees others having possessed what it desires while it has not obtained it? The more reasonable of them desires that all may have their desires on an equal basis, and cannot tolerate some having more than them, as for the others (i.e. who wish for the destruction of the good things possessed by others because they have not been able to obtain it), they are envious oppressors.

These two types of envy occur in relation to things which Islam allows as well as in relation to things which are forbidden by the rights of Allah over His slaves. As for that which is of the first type such as food and drink, spouses, clothes, riding animals, and wealth, the exclusive possession of these things by some and not others can be a cause of oppression, miserliness, and envy.

27. Greed Is the Cause Of Slipping Into Deviation

The origin of all of these problems is greedy desire (shuhh). The Prophet explains this in the following sahih hadith:

"Beware of shuhh (greedy desire), for verily it destroyed those who came before you. It ordered them to be miserly and they were miserly, it ordered them to commit oppression and they oppressed, and it ordered them to cut family ties and they cut family ties."

For this reason, Allah praised the Ansar (the Muslims of Madinah who received those who migrated from Makkah, and helped them) for having the opposite characteristics, saying:

“And those who had prepared the place of dwelling and (accepted) the faith before them (i.e. before those who migrated from Makkah) love those who migrated to them, and find in their hearts no need of the good things which they have been given. (i.e. they feel no envy for that which their brothers the Migrators have been given.) And they prefer (others) even over their own selves, even though they are in need. And whoever is protected from the shuhh of his own self, these are the successful ones.” [Al-Hashar, 59:9]

Abdur-Rahman ibn 'Awf - a companion of the Prophet - was heard saying as he made his Tawaf around the Ka’abah:

"O Lord, protect me from the shuhh of my own self. O Lord, protect me from the shuhh of my own self."

When he was asked about this do’a of his, he said:

"If I am protected from the shuhh of my own self, I will be protected from miserliness, oppression, and breaking of family ties."

Shuhh , which is the greedy desire of the self, causes miserliness by withholding objects of desire which have been acquired, and causes oppression by the taking of the property of others, and causes breaking of family ties, and it causes envy - which is to hate others possessing what one does not have, and wishing for its destruction. Envy itself entails miserliness and oppression, since envy is miserliness with that which one has been given, and oppression by wishing for others to lose the good which they have acquired.

This being the case of those desired things which are halal, what about those desired things which are haram, such as fornication, drinking intoxicants, etc.? When some people acquire or practice such things, two types of hatred of come about: 1) To hate it because of others having what one has not i.e. out of some form of envy such as occurs in things which are halal and 2) To hate it for the sake of Allah, and because of the violation it entails of the rights of Allah over His slaves.

28. Types of Sins.

For this reason, sins are of three types:

1] Sins which entail oppression of others, such as taking of people’s property, or denying them their rights, or envy or others (of the greater type), etc.

2] Sins which entail only oppression of one's self, such as drinking intoxicants, and fornication when its harm does not affect others.

3] Sins which entail both of the above, such as an Amir or ruler who takes the people’s property so that he can use it for fornication or using intoxicants, or other crimes. Another example is one who commits illegal sexual acts with someone, and then exposes this to the people in order to do harm to the persons involved, as is often seen from those obsessed with women and young boys.

Allah said:

“Say, all that my Lord has forbidden is despicable acts, that which is apparent and that which is hidden, and sins, and transgression without justification, and that you associate with Allah that for which no authority has been sent, and that you say about Allah that which you know not.” [Al-A’raf, 7:33]

29. Success in Worldly Affairs Is By Justice.

The affairs of the people will go straight with the presence of justice which may be mixed with some types of sin more than they will go straight in the presence of oppression and injustice in the rights of the people, even if it is not mixed with other sins. Thus, it has been said: "Allah establishes the just state even if it is disbelieving, and does not establish the oppressing state, even if it is Muslim."

It has been said: "The affairs of this world last with justice and kufur, but they do not last with oppression and Islam."

The Prophet SAW said:

"The quickest of evils to be punished are injustice and breaking of family ties." [Ibn Majah]

Thus, the unjust transgressor is overcome in this life, even though he may eventually be forgiven in the hereafter.

This is because justice is the system of everything. So, when the affairs of this world are established with justice, they last and are strong, even though its author may have no share in the rewards of the hereafter, and when they are not established with justice, they do not last, even though its author(s) may have that faith for which they may be rewarded in the hereafter..

30. Human Nature: Tyranny, Envy and Oppression.

Within the human self is a drive to oppress others by tyrannizing them, and by envying them, and by violating their rights. Within it, also, are drives to oppress itself by indulging in despicable acts, such as adultery and consuming unclean things. Thus, a person may oppress others without first being oppressed, and may lust after those indulgences, even though no one around him is doing them. However, when he sees his peers oppressing, or indulging in these desires, a drive appears in him to do these things which are much stronger than previously.

This may also bring about in a person hatred of those having the object of his lower desire, and his envy of them, and his desire for their punishment and the removal of that thing which they have which were not otherwise there. He has an ample justification for this from the direction of intellectual reasoning, and from the principles of Islam because of the fact that those who he opposes are oppressing themselves and the Muslims as a whole, and his enjoining right and forbidding wrong and fighting jihad in the pursuit of that appears to be from Islam.

31. Categories of People in This Issue.

People, with respect to this issue, can be divided into three categories:

One group does not become aroused except by the hawaa of their own selves. They are not contented except with those things which they have been given, and do not anger except because of something which they have been denied. If such a person is given all that he desires from the halal and the haram, his anger disappears, and he is contented. When he is given his desires, those things which he called evil, which he actively forbid others and punished them for indulging in them, became angry with them, and openly criticized them, when he obtains these things, he suddenly becomes an indulger in them, and a partner and helper of their users, and a staunch enemy of those who order the people to stay away from these things, and point out to them their evil. This is widespread among the sons of Adam. We all see and hear examples of this whose number is unknown except to Allah. Its cause is that man is, as Allah said, ever given to criminality (dhaloom), and ever given to ignorance and foolishness (jahool). And so, many never practice justice; rather, they may be oppressors in both states. For example, there may be a group of people who criticize the oppression of the ruler and his transgression on the rights of the citizens, and so the ruler appeases them with some position or money. Suddenly, they become the biggest helpers and supporters of this unjust government or ruler. It would have been better for them if they just kept quiet, and refrained from enjoining right and forbidding wrong in the first place.

In the same way, you can see these people acting very harshly with those who take intoxicants, fornicate and listen to music until they manage to get him involved in their sins, or appease him with some of the pleasures in which they indulge. At that time, you will see them becoming the biggest supporters of those acts which they opposed so harshly previously. Such people, when they undertake enjoining right and forbidding wrong may come into a state worse than their state before they began, or perhaps not quite as bad, or equal to it.

Others have taken the correct stand of religiosity and piety. They are in that sincere to Allah, and in their actions reformers, and bringers of good. In this they are granted success such that they are able to be patient and forbearing in the face of persecution. These are "those who believe and do good works", and they are of "the best nation brought forth for the people: they enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong, and they believe in Allah."

A third group, combines the characteristics of the first group and those of the second, and these are the majority of the believers. Whoever combines piety and lusts and desires has in his heart a will to be obedient to Allah, and a will to disobey Allah in obedience to his desires. Sometimes the first one prevails, and sometimes the second one prevails.

This triple division is analogous to the division of the souls of people into three types, as alluded to in the Qur'an: Ammaara (that which always orders, i.e. evil), Lawwaama (that which always criticizes and holds to account, i.e. after doing evil, this soul criticizes itself and repents), and Mut'ma'innah (at peace, i.e. the soul which obeys Allah without any inner contradictions). Thus, the first group above is the possessors of the soul which is Ammaara, i.e. which always orders them to do evil, and the second group above are the possessors of the soul which is Mut’ma’innah, to which Allah will say on the day of Qiyamah:

“O, you souls at peace: Come back to your Lord, contented and accepted, and enter in among by slaves, and enter into my paradise.” [Al-Fajar, 89:27-30]

The third and largest group are the possessors of the soul which is Lawwaama, which commits sins and then blames itself for them. It changes colours, sometimes like this, and sometimes like that. It "mixes a good work with another which is evil". It is hoped that Allah will forgive these people provided that they acknowledge their sins and repent, as Allah said:

“And others have acknowledged their sins. They mixed a good work with another which was evil. Perhaps Allah will forgive them; verily Allah is most-Forgiving, most-Merciful.” [At-Tawbah, 9:102]

It is for this reason that during the Caliphates of Abu Bakar and Umar - and they are the two which the Muslims have been ordered to emulate, as the Prophet SAW said:

"Follow the example of the two who come after me: Abu Bakar and Umar." [At-Tirmidzi, Ibn Majah, and Ahmad]

Since the Muslims were still close to the era of the revelation, and greater in faith and piety, and their leaders were more conscientious in fulfilling their duties, and more at peace and free from inner contradictions - the chaos and bloodshed and strife which followed was absent during their two Caliphates. This is because they were as the people of the second category: those whose selves are at Peace and free from inner contradictions about Islam.

Then, at the end of Uthman's Caliphate, and during the Caliphate of Ali (May Allah be pleased with them both), those of the third category became more numerous. Thus, there appeared in the Muslims desires and lusts along with the presence of belief and Islamic practice. This became the case of some of the administrators, and some of the citizens. Then the problem became worse, and the major fitnah (strife) came to pass whose cause is as we have described earlier. Both sides failed to properly analyze the dictates of piety and obedience to Allah. Both sides mixed their understanding of piety and obedience with some element of hawaa and disobedience. Each side, in their own interpretation, believing that they are enjoining right and forbidding wrong, and that they are on the side of truth and justice. This interpretation, however, contains an element of hawaa, and an element of suspicion, and following the desires of the self, even though one of the two sides was closer to the truth than the other.

For this reason, it is upon the believer to constantly pray to Allah to help him, and to depend fully on Allah to fill his heart with faith and piety, and not to let it become contaminated, and to establish him firmly on the guidance, and to protect him from following his hawaa , as Allah said:
“And so for this, pray, and remain steadfast as you have been ordered, and do not follow their hawaa. And say: I have believed in the book which Allah has sent down, and I have been ordered to enact justice between you. Allah is our Lord and your Lord.” [Ash-Shura, 42:15]

32. Good Must Support Good As Bad Supports Bad.

This is also the condition of the Ummah in those issues over which it has become divided and has differed over statements and acts of worship. These issues are among the things which bring about great trials upon the believers. They are in desperate need of two things: They need to repel the evil with which their peers have been afflicted, both in affairs of religion and worldly affairs, away from themselves, in spite of the drive within themselves calling to the same things. They, too, have selves and shayateen (i.e. calling them to evil), just as those who have already fallen into evil. Thus, when evil is seen from their peers, the evil tendencies within themselves are increased. So, even after eliminating the evil around them, the believers will remain with the evil drives within themselves and from the wiswaas of the shaitan. Motivators toward good are an exactly analogous situation: The believers are in need of bringing about the doing of good in others as a motivator toward good, as well as following their own, internal tendencies toward good.

This is why there are so many people who never aspire to good nor to evil until they see someone else - especially among those they view as "peers" - doing a particular action. At that point, they will become interested and undertake that action, too. People are like the feathers of an owl, they instinctually gravitate toward conformity and imitation of each other.

For this reason, the reward and the responsibility of one who establishes a new action for the first time is the same as those who follow him therein. The Prophet SAW said:

"Whoever establishes a good tradition will receive his reward for it together with the rewards of all those who follow it until the day of Qiyamah, without that reducing their rewards in the least. And whoever establishes a bad tradition will be assigned its full responsibility together with the responsibility of all those who follow it until the day of Qiyamah, without reducing their responsibility in the least." [Muslim]

This is because their reality is one, and the status of anything is the status of its equals, and that which is similar to something is an extension of it.

Now, since these two motivators are very strong (i.e. the inner drives towards good and towards evil, and the added motivation resulting from seeing others doing good or doing evil), imagine the situation when two additional motivators are added to them:

This is the situation wherein many of the people of evil love anyone who agrees with them and their program, and the hate those who do not agree with them. This is very clear among the various false religions: each group is exceedingly loyal and devoted to (and only to) those who agree with them, and is exceedingly hostile towards those who do not agree with their programs or beliefs. This is frequently the case in worldly desires as well. Those who indulge in a particular form of pleasure consistently choose and prefer as friends and companion those who share their particular indulgence. This may be in order to aid one another in their pursuit of their pleasure, as in the case of those who conspire together to take over and tyrannize a country, or to form gangs and rob people and such like. Or, it may be simply for the sweetness of company and agreement, as in the case of those who come together to take intoxicants. They want everyone present to partake of their drink, and cannot tolerate the presence of a non-drinker. Perhaps this is due to their hatred of his being better than they are by staying away from their sin, or out of envy of his ability to resist temptation, or that he may not appear superior to them, and be praised by the people for his abstention despite their indulgence, or in order that he will have no argument or evidence against them, or because they are in fear of being turned over for punishment by him or by others, or for fear that he may "blackmail" them with that, and humiliate them, or other such reasons. Allah said:

“Many of the people of the book wish that they could turn you back, after your faith, to be disbelievers out of envy originating within their own selves that even after the truth has become clear to them.” [Al-Baqarah, 2:109]

And He said about the hypocrites:

“They wish that you would disbelieve as they have disbelieved, so that you would (all) be the same.” [An-Nisaa’, 4:89]

The Khalifah Othman ibn Affan once said:

"The Adulteress wishes that all women would commit adultery."

Their coming together in indulgence may be sharing in the very same sin, such as drinking of intoxicants together, telling lies and spreading forgeries, and holding corrupt beliefs. Or, they may choose to share in the sin in the abstract sense, as in the case of the adulterer who wishes that others would also commit adultery, or the thief who wishes that others would steal -- they wish that others would partake of their type of sin, but not of the very same object which they desire to steal, or to have in illegal sexual relations.

The second additional motivator is as follows: They may enjoin upon an individual to participate with them in their unlawful actions; if he agrees to participate, he is left alone, but if he resists, they become his active enemies, persecuting him in a manner which may even become coercion.
Then, these self-same people who wish for the participation of others in their despicable actions, or actually order them to do so, and seek the aid of others in order to bring him into their ways, at that point when he agrees to participate in their actions, and aid them, and obey them, they will at that point hold him in very little esteem, and will belittle and look down on him. This then, will become their argument and evidence against him and against listening to anything he says in other areas as well. (They call and incite him to a particular act, which they themselves are already doing, and when he finally succumbs, this is evidence used to disgrace him in the eyes of the people!!) This is the state of most of the oppressors who have been given some power in the land.

These same motivators which are present in the doing of evil are also present with respect to doing good and its doers, and are even stronger. As Allah said:

“And those who believe are stronger in love for Allah” [Al-Baqarah, 2:166]

Verily, every person also has an internal drive calling him to faith and knowledge, truthfulness and justice, and fulfilment of trusts. Thus, if he finds others who do these things as he does, there arises an additional motivator, especially if they are what he regards as "peers", and especially if there is a spirit of "competition" in doing of good. This is a praiseworthy type of competition.
Then, if he finds others who love his agreement with them in what is good, and his participation in it from among the righteous believers, who also hate him when he deviates or does not do what is good, there arises a third motivator.

Then, if they order him to do right, and are loyal and dedicated to him when he does, and oppose him and punish him when he neglects it, there arises a fourth motivator.

33. Evil Must Be Met With Good.

For this reason, the believers have been ordered to face evil deeds with their opposites, just as the doctor meets illness with its opposite. So, the believer is ordered to reform himself, and that is by means of two things: doing of good deeds, and avoiding bad deeds. This in spite of the forces and motivators which oppose the doing of good, and encourage the doing of evil, and these are both of four types, as we have said.

The believer is also ordered to reform others with all four of these motivators to the extent of his power and capability. Allah said:

“By the passing of time. Verily, man is in abject loss. Except those who believe and do good works. And remind one another of the truth, and advise one another to have patience.” [Al-‘Asr, 103]

It is narrated that Imam Ash-Shafi'e said:

"If all of the people pondered Surah Al-Asr, it would be sufficient for them."

It is as he said. Allah has informed us in this surah that all of the people are in abject loss, except those who are in themselves righteous believers, and with others a reminder of truth, and advisor of having patience.

34. The Severity of the Test Causes Elevation of Rank.

When the test becomes severe, that is for the righteous believer a cause for the elevation of his rank, and the greatness of his reward, as can be seen in the following hadith:

"The Prophet was asked: `Which people are most severely tested?' He said: `The prophets, then the righteous ones, then others in descending order of their righteousness. Each one is tested in accordance to his belief: if firmness is found therein, his trials are increased, if, on the other hand, he is weak and wavering in belief, his trials are lightened. The believer will continue to be subjected to trials and tests until he walks on the surface of the earth without a single sin upon him.'"

Thus, he needs patience more than others, and that is the cause of leadership (Imamate) in faith, as Allah said:

“And we made them leaders (imams) who guide (the people) by our order as long as they were patient, and had a certainty of belief in our signs.” [As-Sajdah, 32:24]

35. Patience Is Necessary In the Doing of Good.

A Muslim must have patience in doing what he has been ordered, and in avoiding what he has been forbidden and prohibited. Also included in this is patience in the face of persecution, and upon being spoken ill of, and patience in the face of the various calamities. Also, patience is required in times of ease and plenty so that one does not become proud, boastful, and haughty, and other types of patience.

36. The Need for Certainty of Belief

It is not possible for one to have patience if he has nothing from which to derive inner peace, something from which he attains joy and which gives him sustenance: certainty of faith. The Prophet said in hadith:

"Ask Allah for forgiveness and good health for, verily, after certainty of faith, no one has been given anything better than good health."

In the same way, when he orders others to do good, or loves their agreement with what is correct, or forbids others the doing of evil, he needs to be very good towards those others with which he wishes to work in this way with a graciousness which brings about the success of his intention: the removal of that which he dislikes, and the attainment of that which he likes. Human souls cannot tolerate something bitter unless it is mixed with something sweet. Nothing else is possible. For this reason, Allah ordained the institution of the binding of hearts ( ta'leef ul-quluub ), even assigning to those whose hearts are to be drawn in a portion of the Zakat . Allah said to His Prophet:

“Choose forbearance, and enjoin all that is right, and turn away from the foolish ones.” [Al-A’raf, 7:199]

And, Allah said in another ayat:

“And, advise one another to have patience, and urge one another to acts of compassion.” [Al-Balad, 90:17]

It is necessary for the enjoiner and forbidder to be patient and to be compassionate, and that is true courage and true generosity.

For this reason, Allah mentions prayer and zakat together many times in the Qur'an, and zakat is graciousness towards Allah's creation, and mentions prayer and patience together on other occasions. All three are essential: prayer, zakat, and patience. The affairs of the believer will not go straight except with these three in relation to his reforming of himself, and in the reforming of others, especially when trials and strife are rampant, then the need for these qualities becomes more severe.

The need for forbearance and patience is common to the entire human race; their affairs will never be straightened out except with these qualities. For this reason, all societies and cultures praise courage and generosity to the extent that most of the poems which have been composed to praise someone dwell on these two qualities. In the same vein, all societies and cultures hold as blameworthy the opposing qualities of miserliness and cowardice.

Any issue about which the thinkers of the entire human race agree cannot be anything but the truth, such as their agreement on the praiseworthiness of truthfulness and justice, and the blameworthiness of lying and oppression. The Prophet SAW was once asked questions by some Bedouins until they forced him over near a tree on which his cloak became caught. He turned to them and said:

"By the one in whose hand is my soul, if I possessed camels equal to the number of these thorns, I would divide them all between you, and you would not find me to be miserly, nor cowardly, nor untruthful."

This value judgement, however, takes various forms according to specific cases and details and, verily, works are judged by intentions, and to every person is that which he intended.

37. Criticism of Miserliness and Cowardice.

For this reason, miserliness and cowardice are frequently criticized in the Qur'an and the Sunnah, and courage and forbearance in the path of Allah are praised - in the path of Allah specifically as opposed to that which is not in the path of Allah. The Prophet SAW said:

"The most evil things which can be found in a person are greedy desire which influences all of his actions, and cowardice which makes him flees."

And, he said:

"Who is your head man O, children of Salamah?" They said: "Al-Jadd ibn Qais, even though we criticize in him miserliness." The Prophet said: "And what defect is more serious than miserliness!?"

In another version of the above hadith, the Prophet is reported to have said:

"Verily, no head man can be miserly, rather your head man is Al-Abyadh Al-Ja'ad Al-Baraa' ibn Ma'rur"

Similarly, in the sahih the statement of Jabir ibn Abdullah to Abu Bakar As-Siddiq (May Allah be pleased with him):

"You can either give me, or you can be miserly ( tabkhalu 'anniy .)" Abu Bakar said: "Do you say you can either give me, or you can be miserly?! And which defect is more serious than miserliness?!"

Abu Bakar, like the Prophet SAW considered miserliness to be one of the most serious diseases or defects.

In Sahih Muslim, on the authority of Sulaiman ibn Rabi'ah:

Umar said: "The Prophet SAW carried out a division of property, and I said: `By Allah, others are more deserving than these (who have been given).' The Prophet said: `They gave me the choice, either they would ask me in an improper and outrageous manner, or they would call me miserly, and I am not a miser.'"

The prophet here is saying: They have asked me in a way which is not proper, so that if I give them, that are fine, but if I do not, they will say "He is miserly." Thus, they gave me the choice between two evils, and left me no other choice: improper asking, or being called miserly. Being called a miser is more serious of an evil, so I repel the greater evil by giving them.

38. Types of Miserliness.

Miserliness is a general category within which are various types - some are major sins, and some are not major sins. Allah said:

“Let not those who were miserly with what Allah gave them of His bounty imagine that it is good for them, rather it is very bad for them. They will be unburdened with all that they were miserly with on the day of Qiyamah.” [Al_’Imran, 3:180]

“Worship Allah and associate nothing with Him, and be gracious towards your two parents ... Verily Allah loves not every proud and arrogant one, those who are miserly, and enjoin miserliness on others.” [An-Nisaa’, 4:36-37]

“And nothing prevented their (i.e. the hypocrites) expenditures from being accepted except for the fact that they have rejected faith in Allah and in His Prophet. They attend the prayer only with laziness, and they spend of their wealth only reluctantly and with dislike.” [At-Tawbah, 9:54]

“And, when He gave them of His bounty, they were miserly with it. They turned away, rejecting. And so, Allah decreed for them after that hypocrisy in their hearts until the day when they will meet Him.” [At-Tawbah, 9:76-77]

“Whoever is miserly, denies only himself” [Muhammad, 47:38]

“And so woe unto those who pray.* But are unmindful of their prayers. Those who only strive (in their prayers) to be seen by people, and who withhold even minor acts of generosity.” [Al-Ma’un, 107]

“As for those who build up wealth of gold and silver, and do not spend of it in the path of Allah, warn them of a painful punishment. On the day when it (i.e. the gold and silver) will be heated up on the fires of hell, and it will be used to brand their foreheads and their sides and their backs, (it will be said to them :) This is what you hoarded away for your selves, so taste that which you used to hoard.” [At-Tawbah, 9:34-35]

There are very many verses in the Qur'an which enjoin giving and spending and generosity, and criticize whoever neglects them, and all of that is a criticism of miserliness.

39. Criticism of Cowardice.

In the Qur'an, Allah's criticism of cowardice is also found in very many verses, such as in the following:

“And anyone who gives them (i.e. the enemy in war) his back on that day (of battle) except as a stratagem of warfare, or to regroup with other fighters, has come back with a great anger from Allah, and his dwelling place is hell, and what an evil place to end up.” [Al-Anfal, 8:16]

“And they (i.e. the hypocrites) swear by Allah that they are of you, while they are not of you, rather they are a people afraid (to oppose the believers openly) * If they were to find any place of refuge or some caves, or even any uncomfortable place in which to conceal themselves, they would turn to it in great haste (because of the intensity of their concealed hatred for Islam and the Muslims).” [At-Tawbah, 9:56-57]

“When a clear chapter is sent down and fighting is mentioned therein, you can see those in whose hearts is disease looking at you as one in the throes of death.” [Muhammad, 47:20]
“Did you not see those to whom it was said: "Be non-violent, establish the prayer, and give the Zakat???” And then, when fighting was made obligatory upon them, lo, some of them fear people as the fear of Allah or an even stronger fear. They say: "Our Lord, why have you made fighting obligatory upon us? If only you were to give us respite for a short time!" Say: "The provision of this lower life is but little, and the hereafter is better for those who have piety, and you will not be mistreated or dealt with unjustly in the least.” [An-Nisaa’, 4:77]

Every verse in the Qur'an in which Allah urges the believers to jihad , and explains its desirability, and harshly criticizes those who turn away from it and neglect it all of that constitutes a condemnation of cowardice.

40. Human Affairs Will Not Go Straight except With Courage And Generosity.

Since reform of human affairs in this world and the next will not be perfected except with the presence of courage and generosity, Allah has explained to us that anyone who turns his back on courage - by failing to struggle in the path of Allah - will be replaced by others who will fulfil their duties. And whoever turns away from the spending of their property in the path of Allah, will be replaced by others who will fulfil their duties. Allah said:

“O, you who believe, what is wrong with you such that when you are called to come forth in the path of Allah, you become heavy, stuck to the earth? Are you contented with the life of this world in preference to the hereafter? Verily, the provisions of this life are but little in relation to the hereafter. If you fail to come forth, Allah will punish you a painful punishment, will replace you with another people, and you will not harm Allah in the least. Allah is capable of all things.” [At-Tawbah, 9:38-39]

“You are the ones; you are called to spend in the path of Allah. Then, some of you are miserly and withhold. And whoever withholds denies only him. Allah is wealthy, free of all needs, and you are the impoverished ones. If you turn away, Allah will replace you with another people, and they will not be like you.” [Muhammad, 47:38]

It was courage and generosity with which Allah preferred "those who came before" (as-Saabiquun), saying:

“They are not the same, those of you who spent (in the path of Allah) and fought and struggled before the victory - these have a greater reward than those who only spent of their wealth and struggled and fought after that, and to each of them, Allah has promised good.” [Al-Hadid, 57:10]

Allah has mentioned jihad with one’s life and ones property in His path, and praised them in many verses of His book. This is courage and forbearance in obedience to Allah ta'ala. Allah said:
“How many small groups have overcome large groups with the permission of Allah? Allah is with those who have patience.” [Al-Baqarah, 2:249]

“O, you who believe, when you meet (an opposing) army, be steadfast and remember Allah much, that you may be successful. And obey Allah and His Prophet, and do not disagree such that you cause your own defeat, and lose your (favourable) wind. And be patient, verily Allah is with those who have patience.” [Qur'an 8:46].

41. What Is Courage?

Courage is not strength of the body. A man may be strong physically, but weak in heart. Rather, courage is the strength of the heart and its steadfastness. The critical factors in warfare are physical strength, skill in warfare, and the courage and steadfastness of the hearts of the fighters.

The only courage which is praiseworthy is courage based on knowledge and information, not mere wildness, with neither thought nor differentiation between praiseworthy and blameworthy actions. For this reason the strong and capable, as defined by Islam, is the one who can control himself when in anger such that he does only that which is truly beneficial. As for the one who is overcome by his anger, he is neither courageous nor capable.

42. A Return to Patience And Its Types.

As we have said, the key to true strength is patience, it is a necessary element. Patience is of two types: patience when angry, and patience when afflicted with calamity. Al-Hassan (i.e. Al-Basri) said:

"No slave of Allah has struck a more effective blow than wisdom and forbearance in anger and patience in the face of calamity."

This is because the common element in all of these things is patience with what is painful. The courageous and capable is the one who can be patient and persevere in spite of pain.
Something painful - if it is something which can be driven away - causes anger. And, if it is something which cannot be driven away, it causes grief (huzn). This is why the face becomes flushed in anger, as the blood boils due a feeling of power and capability to destroy what is causing the anger, and the face becomes pale and bloodless in grief, as the blood recedes due to the feeling of weakness and inability to do anything about the cause of grief.

Thus, the Prophet SAW joined the two types of patience in the following sahih hadith found in the collection of Muslim:

"The Prophet said: "How do you define Ar-Raqub (childless) among you?" They said: "Ar-Raqub is the one to whom no child has been born." The Prophet said: "That is not Ar-Raqub, rather Ar-Raqub is the one who has not offered any one of his children" (i.e. in the path of Allah). Then, the Prophet said: "And who do you consider invincible (or "the mighty") among you?" They said: "The one who men cannot overcome or defeat." The Prophet said: "It is not so, rather, the mighty is the one who can control himself in anger."

In this hadith, the Prophet mentioned that which includes patience in the face of calamity (i.e. losing of sons to fighting in the path of Allah), and patience in anger. Allah said about calamity in general:

“And give glad tidings to the patient ones. Those who, when afflicted by any calamity, say:

"Verily, from Allah we came, and unto Allah we will return."”

And Allah said about anger:

“Good acts and bad acts are not the same. Drive away (bad) with that which is better. Suddenly, the one with whom there was enmity becomes as a close and devoted friend. And none will achieve this except those who are patient, and none will achieve this except those of the greatest good fortune.” [Fusilat, 41: 34-35]

This exposition of common elements between patience in the face of calamity, and patience in anger is analogous to the citing of the common element between patience in adversity and patience in plenty and ease as in the following verse:

“And if we give man a taste of mercy from us, and then take it away from him, verily he is despondent and ungrateful. And if we give him a taste of plenty after some adversity which had afflicted him verily, he will say: The evil has left me. Verily, he is joyous, haughty. All except those who are patient and do good works, for these are forgiveness and a great reward.” [Hud, 11:9-11]

“In order that you may not become despondent over that which did not come to you, or (overly) joyous over that which came to you” [Al-Hadid, 57:23]

With this characteristic, the poet Ka'ab ibn Zuhair described the Migrators among the companions (May Allah be pleased with them) saying:

"They are not overly joyous when their swords have struck their opposition, nor are they despondent when they themselves are struck."

Another poet, Hassan ibn Thabit said in description of the Ansar (Helpers):

"There is no haughtiness if they inflict wounds on their enemy, and there is no lassitude and no discontent if they themselves are wounded."

Some of the Arabs used to say about the Prophet:

"When he is victorious he is not haughty, and when he is defeated he is not grief-stricken."

43. The Forbiddance of Transgressing the Bounds.

Since shaitan is calling people, during these two types of situations, to transgress the bounds established by Islam with their hearts, voices, and hands, the Prophet SAW has interdicted that as in the following hadith:

It was said to the Prophet when he was seen to shed tears when he saw his son Ibrahim prepared for burial: "Do you weep, though you have forbidden the weeping and wailing over the dead?" The Prophet said: "That which I have forbidden is none other than two idiotic, obscene voices: one voice in times of plenty and ease: frivolity, playing of games, and the pipes of Satan (i.e. music); and another voice in times of calamity: beating of (one's own) cheeks, and tearing of clothes, and invoking the invocations of the Jahiliyah (i.e. cries for revenge or asking for evil to befall someone based on nationalism or tribalism).

In which the Prophet has mentioned both of them in the same hadith. In another hadith, he forbids that in relation to calamities only:

"Whoever hits his cheeks and tears his clothes, and calls out with the invocations of the Jahiliyah are not one of us."

And, in another hadith:

"I am innocent of (the sins of) the one who shaves his head, and the one who wails, and the one who tears his clothes (i.e. the one who does these things when afflicted with calamity."

"Verily, Allah does not hold anyone to account for the tear of an eye, nor the grief of the heart, rather, He punishes or has mercy based on this. (While saying this, he pointed to his tongue."

"Whoever people weep and wail for is punished because of their weeping and wailing."(This hadith and all before it in this section are from Bukhari)

One of the conditions demanded of the women in the first Oath of Allegiance was that they must agree never to weep and wail over the dead, and he said:

"Verily, the woman who weeps over the dead, if she does not repent before her death, will be dressed on the day of Qiyamah in a vest of sores, and a dress of molten tar."

The Prophet mentioned the two idiotic and obscene voices: a voice which brings about transgression in joy such that the person becomes "joyous and arrogant" ( farihun fakhuur ), and another voice in times of grief which brings about impatience and despair, such that the person becomes "discontent and impatient" ( haluu'an jazuu'an ).

As for the voice which arouses anger for the sake of Allah, such as the battle cries and the poetry which is composed for jihad, this was never done with musical instruments. Similarly, the voices of spreading the word at wedding celebrations. These two have been permitted, and exempted from the general ruling by the Sunnah of the Prophet: cries and poems of battle, and the beating of the daff (a bangle-less tambourine) at wedding parties, and festivities for women and young children.

Most of the poems which are read aloud to arouse feelings in people are of these four types: i.e. love poetry and descriptions of the beloved one, poems of anger and fervour (nationalistic or other), poems of lamentation over calamities, and poems of ease, plenty, and joy, which are the poems of flattery.

The norm of the poets is that they follow human nature, as Allah said:

“Did you not see that they are in every valley, wandering aimlessly? * And that they say that which they do not do?” [Ash-Shura, 26:225-226]

For this reason, Allah informs us that the poets are followed by the ghaawoon (singular: ghaawi). The ghaawi is one who follows his hawaa without knowledge and without guidance, and this is referred to as ghayy. Such a person is not guided (muhtadiy). Just as one who is astray or "lost" (dhaall) is the one who does not know that which is in his own benefit, again in contrast to the one on the guidance. Allah said:

“By the star as it sinks * Your companion is not lost (dhaall), nor is he misguided (from ghayy).” [Al-Najam, 53:1-2]

And, for this reason, the Prophet SAW said:

"What is upon is (to follow) whatever you come to know of my tradition (Sunnah), and the tradition of the early, rightly guided successors, clamp down on this with your molars!"

Thus we find them (the poets) praising all types of bravery and forbearance, since the lack of these traits is blameworthy in any situation whatsoever. As for the presence of these traits, it will bring about the achievement of what the self desires whatever that may be, but the final benefit is only for the pious. As for the impious, they will have benefits in the short run (i.e. this life), but not in the long run (i.e. in the hereafter).

The "final benefit", though it is ultimately in the hereafter, can also be in this life, as Allah said after mentioning the story of Nuh, and his being saved in the ark:

“It was said: O, Nuh, come down (from the ark) with peace from us and blessings upon you and upon other peoples (which will spring) from you. And to other peoples we will grant pleasures (for a time) then touch them with a painful punishment. These are some of the stories of the unseen which we have revealed to you. Neither you nor your people knew them before this. So, have patience, verily the final benefit is for the pious.” [Hud, 11: 48-49]

“And so whoever transgresses against you, transgresses against them to the same degree in which they transgressed against you, and has fear (taqwa) of Allah, verily, Allah is with those who fear Him.” [Al-Baqarah, 2:194]

44. Fervour And Courage Which Is Praiseworthy.

The criterion here is that the only fervour or courage which is praiseworthy is that which has been praised by Allah and His Prophet SAW. Allah is the one whose praise is beauty and whose censure is dishonour, and this is to no one other than Allah, neither poet, nor orator, nor anyone else. Thus, when an Arab from the tribe of Bani Tameem said to the Prophet SAW "My praise is beautification, and my censure is disgrace", the Prophet said to him: "That is Allah!”

Allah has praised courage and forbearance in His path, as in the sahih; narrated by Abu Musa Al-Asya'ari (may Allah be pleased with him):

It was said to the Prophet: A man may fight out of courage, and he may fight out of fervour and excitement, and he may fight to be seen by others, so which of those are (truly) in the path of Allah? The Prophet said: Whoever fights so that the word of Allah may be uppermost is in the path of Allah."

Just as Allah said:

“And fight them until there is no more chaos and discord, and all religion is solely for Allah” [Al-Anfal, 8:39]

This, in fact, is the purpose for which Allah has created mankind, as He said:

“And I have not created the jinn and humankind except that they may worship Me.” [Al-Dhariyat, 51:56]

Thus any act which is in pursuit of the overall goal for which the entire creation has been created is praiseworthy in the sight of Allah; and it is that which has some remaining benefit for its doer, and Allah will benefit him because of it. These then are the righteous deeds (Al-a'maal As-Saalihaat) referred to in the Qur'an. In this regard, people can be divided into four categories:

1) Those that strive and work for the sake of Allah with courage and forbearance. These are the believers who deserve the reward of paradise.

2) Those that strive and work for other than Allah with courage and forbearance. These benefit from their efforts in this life, and there is nothing of that for them in the hereafter.

3) Those who work for Allah, but without courage and without forbearance. These have an element of hypocrisy (nifaaq) and lack of faith (iman) to the degree of their cowardice and discontent.

4) Those who do not work for Allah, and who have no courage and no forbearance. These have no share neither in this world nor in the hereafter.

45. The Character Needed By the Believer.

These traits and these works are needed by the believer in general, and especially in times of chaos, strife, and extreme trials. They are in need of thorough reforming of their selves, in spite of the presence of that within them which calls to chaos and corruption. And they also need to fulfil their obligations in terms of enjoining others what is right and forbidding them what is wrong to the extent of their ability. Both of these obligations contain great difficulties as we have seen, though are easy for those for whom Allah has made them easy.

This is because Allah has ordered the believers to have faith and do good deeds, and has ordered them to call the people and struggle with them to bring about faith and the practice of good deeds. And Allah has promised them His aid in these pursuits. Allah said:

“And Allah will certainly aid those who aid Him (i.e. His cause), and verily Allah is strong, mighty. Those who, if we empower them in the land establish the prayer, pay the Zakat, enjoin all that is right, and forbid all that is wrong. And unto Allah is the end of all affairs.” [Al-Hajj, 22:41]

“Verily, we will support our prophets and those who believe in the life of this world, and on the day when the witnesses stand forth. (i.e. Qiyamah)”[Ghafir, 40:51]

“Allah has decreed: I will be victorious, myself and my prophets. Verily, Allah is strong, mighty.” [Al-Mujadilah, 58:21]

“Verily, our forces will vanquish them.” [As-Saffat, 37:173]

46. Fear of Falling Into Temptation as an Excuse for Neglecting Enjoining Right.

Enjoining right and forbidding wrong, and fighting in the path of Allah (Jihad) contain severe tests and trials in which one is exposed to the risk of succumbing to various kinds of temptation. For this reason, a group appears among the people who cite their fear of these temptations as their excuse for avoiding that which has been made obligatory upon them claiming that they only seek safety from these temptations. Just as Allah said about the hypocrites:

“Among them is he who says: Excuse me, and do not expose me to temptation. But, verily, they have already fallen for temptation.” [At-Tawbah, 9:49]

The scholars of tafsir (Qura'anic interpretation) have mentioned that this verse was revealed concerning a man named Al-Jadd ibn Qais when the Prophet SAW ordered him to prepare himself for the battle or Rum (The Romans). I believe the Prophet said to him: Do you have some problem with the women of the white folk? Al-Jadd said: O, Prophet, there is no man as infatuated with women as myself, and I fear that, when I see the women of the white people, I may not be able to restrain myself. The Prophet turned his face away from Al-Jadd and said: "I have excused you." (From the Seerah of Ibn Hisham)

This man is the same one who failed to take the Oath known as Bai'atul Ridwan which the companions gave to the Prophet under a tree (shortly before the truce of Hudaibiyyah), and concealed himself behind a red camel. In the hadith, the Prophet SAW) once said:

"All of you have been forgiven his sins, except the man of the red camel."

And so, Allah revealed the above ayat about this man, saying:

“Among them is he who says: Excuse me, and do not expose me to temptation. But, verily, they have already fallen for temptation.” [At-Tawbah, 9:49]

Here, Allah is saying: This man has requested to remain behind to keep himself from the temptation of women, so that he may not be subjected to trials because of them: either he needs to fight his innate tendencies, and suffer because of this inner conflict, or he may give in to his base desires, and fall into sin. Whoever sees a very beautiful figure and desires it - if he is unable to obtain his desire - either because of the forbiddance of the law, or because of his own inability, suffers torment in his heart. If he is able to take it, even though it is forbidden, he is destroyed, and even in the halal of that i.e. interaction with women, are dangerous traps.

This is the meaning of the statement of Al-Jadd: "... and do not expose me to temptation." And so, Allah said: [Verily, they have already fallen into temptation.] i.e., saying: His very turning away from the obligation of jihad , and his withdrawing from it, and the weakness of his faith, and the sickness of his heart which made his trying to avoid jihad seem good and acceptable, is a great temptation for which he has already fallen. This being the case, how can he ask for relief from a minor temptation, which has not even befallen him yet, by succumbing to a greater temptation which has already occurred? Allah said:

“And fight them until there is no more chaos, and religion is wholly for Allah.” [Al-Anfal, 8:21]

So, whoever avoids the fighting which Allah has ordered so as not to be exposed to temptation has already fallen to temptation, because of the doubt and sickness which have come into his heart, and his neglecting of the jihad which Allah has ordered him to undertake.

Contemplate this very carefully, for it is a very dangerous question. People, in this regard, are in two categories:

1) One group enjoins and forbids and fights in order, as they imagine, removing chaos and temptations. Their actions are a greater chaos or temptation than that which they seek to remove. This is the example of those who rush to fight in the conflicts which arise among the Muslims, such as the khawarij.

2) Another group leaves enjoining right and forbidding wrong and fighting in the path of Allah by which religion may become solely for Allah and His word may be uppermost, in order that they may avoid being tempted. They have already fallen into and succumbed to temptation.

The temptation mentioned in the above verses includes the temptation of beautiful faces, since it is the story behind the revelation of the verse. In a more general sense, this is the case of many so-called "religious" people. They neglect the enjoining of right and forbidding of wrong which is obligatory upon them and the fighting in the path of Allah with which all religion can be for Allah, and by which the word of Allah becomes uppermost, in order to avoid the temptations and lusts of this world. In fact, they have already fallen for a much more dangerous temptation than the one which they imagine themselves to be fleeing from.

What was upon them was to fulfil their obligations of enjoining right and forbidding wrong and keeping away from the forbidden. Keeping away from the forbidden and fulfilling the obligatory are two sides of the same coin, since their selves will not allow them any choice other than doing both of them together, or neglecting both of them together. This is the case of many of those who seek leadership or property or illegal desires: whenever they fulfil what is upon them in terms of enjoining and forbidding and fighting and ruling and such things, they always commit along with that some forbidden acts. What is upon them at that point is to analyze which are the greater of the two elements. If the obligations are greater in reward than avoiding the forbidden, they should continue, and not leave the duties which they are carrying out for fear of falling to a temptation of lesser magnitude. On the other hand, if the avoiding of the forbidden involved is greater in reward, they must not forsake this reward in the hopes of a reward of lesser degree for doing the obligatory involved. There is, in this combination of good and bad acts, a mixture of good and bad results on their account with Allah. A detailed explanation of this concept would be too lengthy.

47. Every Human Being Is In Need Of Enjoining and Forbidding.

Everyone on the face of the earth must of necessity have enjoining and forbidding. It is a must that he be ordered and forbidden. Even if he was completely alone, he would order himself and forbid -- either with what is good, or with what is evil, as Allah said about the human self:
“And, verily the self is ever ordering (one to commit) evil.” [Yusuf, 12: 53]

Ordering is in essence requesting a particular action, and intending it, while forbidding is requesting the avoidance of a particular action, and intending it.

48. The Sons of Adam Do Not Live Except In Societies

Every living thing must, of necessity, entail intentions and wants within itself with which it determines its own actions, and with which it determines the actions of others whenever that is made possible for it. Verily, man is a living thing, he moves with his will and intention, and human beings do not live except by coming together in groups and living with one another.
Whenever two or more come together, there must of necessity be between them mutual enjoining of some things, and mutual forbidding of other things. For this reason, the smallest congregation in prayer is two people, and it has been said: two people or more constitutes a "congregation" (Jama’ah), and since their coming together is strictly for prayer that is accomplished with only two whereby one is the leader (imam) and the other is the led (Ma’mun). As the Prophet SAW) said to Al-Malik ibn Al-Huwairith and his companion:

"When the time of prayer comes, make the adzan and the iqamah, and then let the older of you lead the prayer." (They were similar in ability to read the Qur'an.)

As for ordinary affairs (other than prayer), it is narrated in the books of hadith that the Prophet said:

"It is not allowed for three who go on a trip to fail to appoint one of them as amir” (leader)

49. This Enjoining Must Be With That Which Allah And His Prophet Have Enjoined

Enjoining and forbidding are of necessity present with the presence of human beings. However, one may fail to enjoin the ma'ruf which Allah and His Prophet SAW have enjoined, and to forbid the munkar which Allah and His Prophet have forbidden, and to be ordered to do the ma'ruf which Allah and His Prophet have ordered, and to be forbidden the munkar which Allah and His Prophet have forbidden. Even so, there will always be some kind of enjoining and forbidding, and being enjoined and being forbid. This may be with that which is opposite to the good and the evil which Allah and His Prophet have defined, or it may be with that which contains elements of both the truth which Allah sent down, and the falsehood for which Allah has sent no authority. If this admixture is taken as a way of life (deen), it is a deen of innovation, falsehood, and going astray. And since, as we have shown, every single person is living, acting with free will, a seeker of objectives, a "tiller of the earth", whoever's intentions and actions are not righteous and for the sake of Allah, must of necessity commit actions which are corrupt, or not for the sake of Allah - and that is falsehood and invalid. As Allah said:

“Verily, your efforts are various.” [Al-Duha, 92:4]

Such actions, all of them, are invalid like the actions (however good) of the disbelievers:
“Those who reject faith, and hinder from the path of Allah, Allah will send all of their works astray.” [Muhammad, 47:1]

“As for those who disbelieve, their works are like a mirage in an empty plain. The thirsty one believes it to be water, but when he reaches it, he finds it to be nothing, and he finds Allah there who gives him his full account, and Allah is very quick to take to account.” [Al-Nur, 24:39]

“And we turned to all the works which they had done, and made them (as) floating dust. (The word literally means the dust which can be seen in the air in the beam of light coming in through a small opening.)” [Al-Furqan, 25:23]

50. Who Are "Those In Authority Among You" Who Enjoin What Is Right?

Allah has ordered us in His Book to obey Him, to obey His Prophet, and to obey those in authority among the believers saying:

“O, you who believe, obey Allah and obey His Prophet, and those in authority among you. And if you disagree in any issue, take it back to Allah and to the Prophet, if you truly believe in Allah and in the Last Day. That is best, and will have the best final result (in application)” [An-Nisaa’, 4:59]

"Those in authority" are: the possessors of authority, and its people. They are the ones who enjoin the people and forbid them. This is shared by both those having political and temporal power, and the people of knowledge and intellectual influence.

Thus, "those in authority" consist of two categories: the scholars and the rulers. When they are righteous, the people are righteous, and when they are corrupt, the people are corrupt. Just as Abu Bakar (May Allah be pleased with him) said to Al-Ahmasiya when she asked:

"How long will we (be able) to remain in this good state?" Abu Bakar said: "As long as your rulers are upright."

Of this group are the kings and the “Sheikhs ", and the men of religion, along with anyone who is followed by someone, who is also in a position of "authority" among you.

It is upon each and every one of these to enjoin what Allah has enjoined, and forbid what Allah has forbidden. Furthermore, it is upon everyone who is required in Islam to obey his Amir, or others, to obey them in (all that is) obedience to Allah, and not to obey them in disobedience to Allah, Abu Bakar said when he first assumed the Caliphate:

"O, people, the strong among you is the weak as far as I am concerned until I take peoples right dues from him (and gives them to their rightful owners). Obey me, as long as I obey Allah, and if I disobey Allah, I have no right to your obedience."

51. Pure Intention to Please Allah Is Required In All Righteous Deeds.

All righteous deeds must contain the following two elements: that they be done solely for the sake of Allah, and that they be in accordance with the syari’ah . This is for both statements and acts. It is one of the requirements of goodly speech and righteous action, in matters of knowledge and understanding, as well as matters of application, and of worship and devotion. It has thus been well authenticated in the sahih that the Prophet SAW said:

"Verily, the first three (categories) for which hell is fired up are: A man who learned knowledge and taught it, and read the Qur'an and taught others to read it in order that the people might say: He is knowledgeable, and he is a good reciter. And a man who fought and struggled so that the people would say: He is courageous, and he is a good fighter. And a man who spent of that which he was given and gave charity so that the people would say: He is generous, and he is open-handed."

These three people desire eye service and reputation and credit. They are in opposition to the three which have been mentioned in the Qur'an after the prophets: the ever truthful and believing (As-siddiqeen), the martyrs in the cause of Allah (Ash-shuhadaa’), and the righteous doers of good (As-Saliheen).

One who learns the knowledge with which Allah sent His prophets and teaches it purely for the sake of Allah, is one of As-siddiqeen. And, whoever fights so that the word of Allah may be uppermost until he is killed is one of Ash-shuhadaa' , while one who gives his property in charity desiring only the Face of Allah, is one of As-Saliheen .

This is why the one, who neglected the obligations upon in his property, will ask to be sent back at the time of death. Ibn Abbas said:

"Whoever was given property, but did not make Hajj, nor pay the Zakat due on that property, will ask to be sent back at death. Then he read the verse of the Qur'an which reads: [And spend of that which we have given you before death comes to one of you, and so he says: My Lord, if only you would give me respite for a short time so that I could give in charity, and be one of the doers of good - Qur'an 63/10]"

So, in these matters of knowledge and rhetoric, the enjoiner of good needs to make sure that all the information he passes on about Allah and the Last Day, and about things which were and are is completely correct. Also, he must be sure that everything which he enjoins on others and forbids them is just as it was delivered by the prophets from Allah. This is the right way which is in accordance with the Sunnah and the Syari’ah, and it is the way of following the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of the Prophet SAW.

Just as acts of worship, which are taken as devotions - if they are of that which Allah has prescribed, and His Prophet has ordered us to do - are valid and correct and are in accordance with the message with which Allah sent the prophets. On the other hand, acts of "worship" which is not so (i.e. not part of what Allah and His Prophet have ordered) are falsehood, foolishness, and innovation which lead astray, even though its devotees may call it: knowledge, understandings, devotions, exercises, experiences, or stations.

He (the enjoiner of right) also needs to order only because of Allah's order, to forbid only because of Allah's forbiddance, and to inform only with that of which Allah has informed us, because this is the truth, the true faith, and guidance, as the prophets have informed us. This, just as true worship requires that the Face of Allah be the only thing intended with it. If any of this is done out of following of hawaa , and passion and fervour, or to make a show of one’s dignity, or to seek reputation and eye service, this is like the situation of one who fights out of courage and passion, and in search of eye service of others.

From this, you can understand that into which many people of knowledge and influence and devotion in worship and well-being have fallen. So many such people speak many things which are in conflict with the Qur'an and the Sunnah, or that which contains some elements in accordance with the Qur'an and the Sunnah and other elements in conflict with them. And so many of them devote themselves in acts of "worship" with which Allah has never ordered them, and in fact, which He has forbidden, or acts of devotion which contain elements enjoined by Allah, and other elements which have been forbidden. And so many of them fight in wars which are not in accordance with the fighting which has been ordered by Allah, or which contains elements ordered by Allah, and other elements which He has forbidden.

Furthermore, within each of these three categories: ordered by Allah and His Prophet, forbidden, and a combination of elements from each type, are three possibilities of intentions on the part of the doer: a pure intention for the sake of Allah, following of one's own hawaa , or a mixture of these two. This makes a total of nine categories in the area of intention and validity of action.

As for the bad actions in these matters, it is possible that their doer may be mistaken, or merely forgot, in which case they are forgiven, just as in the case of the judge who exerts himself to arrive at the correct ruling, but is mistaken: he is rewarded for his effort, and his error is forgiven. Also, wrong actions may be minor sins ( Saghaa'ir ) which are expiated by avoidance of the major sins ( kabaa'ir ), or he may be forgiven through repentance, or by good deeds which wipe out the bad, or they may have been expiated through calamities in this life, or for other reasons. Nonetheless, the deen (way) of Allah with which He sent the revealed books and with which He sent the prophets is what we have said earlier: seeking Allah with righteous actions (i.e. obedience to Him).

See: Enjoining the Right and Forbidding the Wrong.1
See: Enjoining the Right and Forbidding the Wrong.2
See: Enjoining the Right and Forbidding the Wrong.3

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