March 31, 2020 Abdul Haqq

Establishing Justice & Fair Testimony

Friday Sermon Archive Series, delivered 21st June 2002

Introduction: Allah says in the Qur’aan:  “Do not pursue that of which you have no knowledge. Indeed, every act of hearing, seeing and feeling will be inquired into.”        Suratul Israa (17:36)

Sheikh ‘Alee Hasan Abdul Hameed explained the meaning of this ayah (in his introduction to Imam al Albanee’s book – Fiqhul Waaqi’):

“This ayah explains the correct fundamental Sharee’ah principle for the Muslim, as regards what he hears, sees or believes and that all of this, with its consequences, is to be established upon knowledge and nothing else…So we do not embrace with our hearts all that that we hear and see. Rather, we must examine it and think. So if we find it to be based upon proof, we believe it. If not, we leave it alone.”    [pps 5-6]

  1. Bearing false witness and hiding the truth

Sheikh ‘Alee summarised by stating; “… the noble ayah orders that you do not say to the people, or about them, that which you do not know about them and so falsely accuse them and bear false witness against them.”

Allah says, towards the end of verse135 in Surah An-Nisaa:  “So follow not the lusts (of your hearts) lest you may avoid justice. If you distort your testimony or refuse to provide it, verily, Allaah is ever Well-Acquainted with what you do.”

Ibn Al Qayyim said regarding this: “When the truth becomes clear and evident, a person who likes to hide it does so in one of two ways: he either turns away from it and abstains from mentioning it, acting by this [like] a mute devil, or he changes and distorts it.”    (p.32 of Magnificent Journey)

Note, There those of us today who, whilst knowing positions and statements of our brothers to be wrong, remain silent.

  1. Casting aspersions and doubts

Imam Bakr ibn ‘Abdillah al-Muzanee said: “Beware of speech, which if you are correct in it, you will not be rewarded and if you are wrong, you are committing a sin. It is harbouring bad thoughts about your brother.”      Reported by Ibn Sa’d in at-Tabaqaat (7/210) and Abu Nu’aim in al-Hilyah (2/226). Allah says in Surah al- Ahzaab (33:19) regarding the hypocrites (and those wishing to destroy their brother’s or sister’s honour):

“They will smite you with sharp tongues, covetous of goods.”

Note, “You will find the hypocrite in every gathering. He has no other concern except for the bringing down of the righteous. He is the spreader of evil and suspicion, being extremist, unrelenting in his pursuit.” [p.36 Thirty signs of the hypocrite]

“Even in the glorification of Allaah there [can be] backbiting [and slander] as ibn al Mubarak has pointed out: Once when a man had been mentioned to one of the Sultaans, one of the ministers exclaimed; “Subhan Allah!!” as a warning to the Sultan to be cautious of the man mentioned.”

Today we see that when brothers are mentioned before some of the scholars others, who are not in agreement with them sigh, roll their eyes etc. which invariably gives the sheikh an unfavourable impression of the one mentioned! Sheikh ‘Alee continues in the introduction to Imam al- Albanee’s book: “… we have to mention real occurrences, which we have experienced and live with, which will clearly show the great distance between the Qur’anic order (in the first ayat mentioned – Suratul Israa 36) and the peoples’ implementation, so that we may avoid this ourselves and warn our brothers….”

“We very often hear from the callers or the youth, those who say and often repeat these words; Knowledge, harbouring good thoughts, acting with care, brotherhood, submitting to the truth etc… However, at the first real test, you come to know the true state of such claims and you see that these concepts are turned upside down and the scales are altered:

  • So knowledge becomes ignorance
  • harbouring good thoughts turns into accusations
  • acting with care turns to rashness (and haste)
  • brotherhood turns to its opposite
  • submitting to the truth turns to rejection
  • avoidance of bigotry turns into fanaticism
  • allegiance with the believers turns into enmity
  • listening to advice turns to refusal and
  • acceptance of proof turns to blind following” (p.7 Fiqhul Waaqi’)
  1. Blind following: On this point, we know the position regarding blind following. Sheikh Muhammad al – Khajnadee, in his book entitled Blind following of the Madhabs said;

“… So he who sticks blindly to a particular person other than Allaah’s Messenger and regards his saying as being the truth which is obligatory to follow, to the exclusion of the other Imaams, then he is astray and ignorant…” [p. 30]

Sheikh ‘Alee continues by saying: “How can that be (i.e. turning concepts and principles upside down) when they have filled the world and preoccupied the people!? How can that be when they claim to desire good and to follow it and softness in sayings and actions!? Subhan Allah!”

“All of that occurs without mentioning any proof, nor any evidence made clear or broadcast. So the one who looks at the state of affairs of the Muslims today, or since a thousand days, will see that many of them are very far from their claims and totally deviated from what they maintain!”

“…it is appropriate… that we mention some examples from this bitter state of affairs and they are too many to be counted and are too wide to be encompassed. So we see a youth, for example, or a group of youths, with whom a student of knowledge debates about a matter requiring reflection or concerning Da’wah. If this discussion is in agreement with what they have been instructed in, corresponds with what they have jointly experienced and is in accordance with their particular views…then in their view, the [student of knowledge] is respectable, sincere and a beloved brother.”

“But if your saying conflicts with their views or some aspects of their thinking, then they attack you with evil words and shoot charges at you with a single bow, such as would be sufficient to cause a band of strong men to fall! Indeed, you see them spreading (their charges and accusations) without any verification!”  [pp. 7-8]

How applicable is this to our circumstances now?

Continuing with Sheikh ‘Alee’s insight:

“A further example… is that some of these or other callers have become, in the minds of the zealous and the people of violent emotions, a sign pointing to the truth, a proof merely by their words of what is correct and this, without a doubt, is a great deviation. In the minds of some, they are the ones to be taken as an example and the models to be followed and those who sayings are to be accepted.”

“[Their followers] say either directly or by their actions: We give the duaat their due worth, they are the ones to be followed!! So do not come near to them and beware of seeking to refute or criticise them!!”

Sheikh Saleem al Hilaalee, in his book, ‘The manners of the scholar & student of knowledge’, referred to some sayings of scholars on this matter:

“Those people whose tree sprouted in a barren land, those who compete for prominence before they have matured, those who turn into raisins before they have become grapes, those who throw themselves upon the station of knowledge to give verdicts and to author works, and those who intrude upon the pinnacle belonging to the trustworthy predecessors of this ummah. so these people settle themselves in the courtyards belonging to knowledge, and are only intent upon demolishing its sanctity and tearing down its protective fence.”

“And the boldness of these people has only been increased by the common folk and their likes attending their circles in amazement listening to their stories with delight.” [pp. 80-81]

Concluding with Sheikh ‘Alee’s words: “If the words ‘their due worth’ were to be changed to ‘veneration’… this would be more appropriate and in greater agreement with their condition. since, simply refuting any from amongst them, even if it is with gentle words containing no severity, is to them, a certified crime and a futile action not prescribed! So the slightest indication, even by the subtlest wording is taken by them to be a clear assault and a vile action. These corrupt actions, which spring from party spirit, are accompanied by wave upon wave of accusations of the innocent, warnings against the sinners and even cutting off from the pious!”

“This is a small part of one angle of the gloomy state of affairs, which a number of innocent, emotional youth, who love the Deen of Allaah, are living without realising. So they must come to realise this and what it contrasts with and come to understand it and its reality, in order to correct their souls and rectify their actions…”

       End of 1st part of sermon

2nd Part – Establishing Justice

“O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allah; even though it be against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, be he rich or poor, Allaah is a Better Protector to both. So follow not the lusts (of your hearts), lest you avoid justice: and if you distort your witness or refuse to give it, verily Allah is Ever Well Acquainted with what you do.”     Surah an Nisaa (4:135)

Ibn al Qayyim said: “This verse carries great meanings that should be emphasised because of people’s dire need for them. Allah commands the believers to establish equity and justice. it should be rendered towards everyone, whether enemy or friend.” [p. 29 Magnificent Journey].

Sheikh Uthaymeen said: “…it is upon us that we try to make this unity a reality: by avoiding all that brings about division, dispute and disorder.”

He also said: “…And do not be fooled thinking that every person who comes to you criticising others has a good intention…” (Excerpts from the book ‘Until when will we differ?’)

Sheikh ‘Alee stated:  “These negative traits have spread amongst them and developed, through lack of knowledge and through looking in a single direction! These beloved and faithful brothers are ignorant of the fact, or pretend to be ignorant, that refutation does not mean reducing a person’s status or insulting him, nor should it be accompanied by hatred or severe distress and trouble, neither from the one refuting when he refutes nor of the refuted as a result of him being refuted!”

“Then whoever argues or debates or wishes to uncover something objectionable, will not be honoured. They attack him about his Deen and take his honour as a target for arrows and swords.”  Al-Badr ut-Taali (1/136) of Ash-Shawkanee

In Conclusion we must note, “…Criticising (Jarh) is a great principle, which the pure religion is based established upon. It is a strong aspect of safeguarding the minhaj of Ahl us Sunnah from distortions. It is a magnificent form of worship and a noble way of seeking nearness to Allah, which causes the Muslim’s eeman to increase. However, this is only if it is implemented upon its proper conditions, such as having sincerity, (ikhlaas) and other conditions (well known). So its state is the same as any other act of worship; it increases one’s eeman.”  [pp.16 -17 of Magnificent points of advice by Ahmad bin Muhammad Ash-Shihhee]

We end with Sheikh Uthaymeen’s words for those of us who are sincerely working for this blessed deen and dawah:

 “….So I warn my brothers, the youth and the duaat from speaking about each other. How long will you continue to speak? How long will people continue to rekindle the flames of fitnah every time they are subdued?”

End of sermon

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