The Way to Escape Fitnah (in your community)
- Topic Author
Audio: The Way to Escape a Fitnah (Trial/Tribulation/Confusion) Friday, 20 February 2009
By Abū 'Abdullāh Ḥasan al-Ṣumālī
A lecture conducted over paltalk (online) explaining how to escape fitnah.
"...I heard Shaykh so and so said such and such...but akhee fulaan from down the street told me this and that...how come there is a refutation of that one...when there is a tazkiyah for him from such and such...but the Scholars are the inheritors of the Prophets brother...c'mon akhee, the Scholars don't know our situation!...How about the clear refutation of so and so's mistakes....ukhtee, refutation is but ijtihad (opinion) taken or rejected..."
Confused? Don't be! Listen to this important lecture about the trials, tribulation and confusion that affect the hearts of the Muslims and how to be resolute in the face of them.
From the problems and solutions discussed:
al-Ikhlaas (Sincerity), a quality which preserves uprightness in times of fitnah
al-Ilm (Knowledge), the sword and shield against opposition to the truth
Seeking advice and consulting the Scholars (to resolve fitnah or confusion)
Understanding the level of the Scholars as opposed to the level of the students of knowledge
Verification of affairs, remaining silent until then (do not rush to spread your opinions)
Busying oneself with ibaadah (worship) in times of fitnah (especially du'aa for guidance)
The danger of lying or speaking against someone unjustly
Speaking about the people of innovation in a praiseworthy manner brings about the anger and displeasure of Allaah
Praising and defending Ahlul-Bid'ah (those who have been refuted by the scholars with knowledge and evidence) whilst hammering Ahl al-Sunnah (with harsh and blameworthy statements, degrading them and spreading evil suspicions about them)
O beloved Muslims, let's get our principles locked down, so that fitnah and confusion do not sway us away from the Scholars and the Sunnah. We ask Allaah to protect the Muslims.
The aforementioned lecture was a very important lesson for Muslim in the West. As time passes, different fitan seem to attack in waves, when one ends, another soon begins. We recommend you add this MP3 to your IPOD or MP3 capable device and keep it in your library insha'Allaah, some things to keep in mind when accessing or accepting information:
The Imam, Muhammed Ibn Sireen (d. 110), a famous student of the Prophet’s companions, said: "This knowledge is religion, so look thoroughly at whomever you take your religion from."
- Let me ask my friend, he has been Salafī for years, he will know what to do, Knowledge is not graded by one's seniority in Islam, Salafiyyah is not simply a fraternity. Personal friendships and allegiances are not a measuring stick for a person’s uprightness, understanding and knowledge, a person may be a good conversationist, a true friend in times of need, fun to be around etc. but it doesn't mean he knows the Deen and is in touch with the Scholars - this seems to be a jaahiliyyah based idea that your close friends are the most trusted, therefore carrying this principle in to one's Islam and reference points. No, the references points will always be the Scholars, the Inheritors of the Prophets, the carriers of knowledge, the beacons of light in these dark times. Remember the principle, "The truth is not known by men, men are known by the truth."
- So and so speaks Arabic, he will be able to advise us, Without a doubt, fluency of the Arabic language is a great fadl from Allaah but it does not automatically grant fiqh to the individual, understanding of the religion comes from studying it, excelling in it, gaining accreditation from one's scholar/teacher. One may start out by seeking assistance from an Arabic speaking brother to find a fatwaa in Majmoo' al-Fataawee or a post in a forum (Arabic) but later, it often leads to reliance upon the individual, trust, and later unrestricted blind following. How many times have we seen a person destroyed by an ignorant one who happens to speak Arabic (one who doesn't have any studies behind him). Instead of this, contact the student of knowledge in your area, or over the internet - seek clarification and true understanding from those who possess it, if there is no student of knowledge in your area, then go to the nearest Islamic centre upon the Sunnah and insist that the Scholars of their students can be contacted on the phone to resolve any confusion. Don't be haphazard with your deen, it is precious! The flip-side of this advice is to the Arab, do not become delighted with finding the Sunnah, ecstatic with finding Ahl al-Sunnah only to become haughty and arrogant later on when you realise your community is filled with Americans who struggle to pronounce basic Arabic phrases or lack the manners you were raised upon (Islamic customs/culture) - be patient with the difficulties your brothers face, do not look down your nose at your brothers and most of all, don't kid yourself, being able to speak Arabic alone does not make you a free-agent researcher and student of knowledge, it does not give you a greater understanding of Islām by default, the path of knowledge is no different for the Arab or the non-Arab and that is to go out and seek it.
- I am with the majority insha'Allaah, a corrupt principle! Whether it be in reference to the majority of people or the most filled masjid or Islamic centre, the jama'aah is not built upon this principle, the jama'aah are those upon the truth, even if they be one single sole. Look to the books of the Salaf concerning such a judgement, sharḥus-sunnah, usoolus-sunnah, al-'Aqeedatu Salaf wa Ashabul-Ḥadīth...and find the position of our beloved Salaf in regards to this idea.
- I am with nobody, I'm by myself, I avoid fitnah entirely, another corrupt idea! In this case, one is indirectly declaring himself to be the jama’aah upon correctness to the exclusion of all others whether they be upon truth or falsehood, a mighty position. He has excluded himself from much benefit from the gatherings of Ahl al-Sunnah, the seminars, lectures, tele-links all because he wants to avoid any position, any mater of controversy and replace it with solitude. This is a position of the 'aql, a deception from the accursed Shaytaan, - what happened to the direction of our Elders, the Scholars of Islām - have they guided you to this position, ask yourself? How many a person who adopted this stance ended up weakened, struggling with his Islam due to leaving the sanctity of the masjid and the people of Sunnah.
- The brothers are Jaahil (at my masjid i.e. not students of knowledge) Be cautious of this statement, for it lacks justice. It is well-known that in the West, few possess knowledge, few have studied and attained a level of excellence and recommendation. So the vast majority of people are unknowledgeable in the general sense, so perhaps there is no problem with the statement in general. The reason is lacks justice is because it is often specified as an attack on a masjid, an Islamic centre, a specific student of knowledge etc. so specifying them to the exclusion of the rest of the people is an injustice. Secondly, those whom make this repeated attack, never ascribe it for themselves (at least not with the same zeal and repetitiveness) and if we were to call a spade, a spade - then they are more jaahil to be fair. Thirdly, they are often the first to make excuses for Ahlul-Bid'ah and speak well and gently about them. Fourthly, since it is clearly unjustified to specify the local student of knowledge (who is in touch with the Scholars) or the local masjid (that keeps ties with the scholars/students of knowledge), one should be alerted to the reality, that there might be an agenda to this propaganda campaign - a vendetta! Because of all the people, those who are closest in ones community to Ahlul-Ilm are the least worthy of being labelled 'jaahil'. Fifthly, it is not from the ways of Ahl al-Sunnah, throughout history, to attack the students of knowledge, to villify the vessels of knowledge (such as the Islāmic centres) whiilst claiming to be upon salafiyyah, rather these are evil characteristics often found with the people of hizbiyyah and how does one aid the da'wah of Islam by attacking those who are in the forefront of spreading it? Sixthly, their doubts and attacks are never directly addressed to those whom they hate, they are rather spread one-to-one, usually after some trust and friendship has been built through private phone calls, over dinner and in the cafes to brothers who are unsuspecting and fresh, so ask yourself is this ad-deen an-naseehah? Arn't the ones you find fault with most deserving of direct advice? Are not those who are spreading the da'wah most in need of this special admonition you find so important to spread day in, day out to others? ad-Dawah Salafiyyah is not a da'wah of privacy and secrecy, so one should smell a rat! Finally, you will often find, that if these individuals can convince you of this, you will then see them invite you to falsehood and deviation so the agenda is exposed and their hearts apparent but for most, if they reach this stage, they are too befooled to go back, white is black and black is white by this stage.
From Abū Hurayrah who said that Allaah's Messenger (may the peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:
"There will come upon the people years of deceit in which the liar will be believed, the truthful disbelieved, the treacherous will be trusted and the trustworthy held to be treacherous; and the despicable (ar-Ruwaybidah) will speak out. It was said: Who are the despicable ones? He said: The lowly, ignoble man who speaks out about the public affairs." Reported by Al-Khateeb, in al-Faqeeh wal-Mutafaqqih (1041-1042)
We advise our beloved brothers and sisters to continue in their quest for knowledge but to be careful where they take it from, as the Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “From the signs of the hour is that people will seek knowledge from the Asaaghir (people of innovation)” Reported by Ibn al-Mubaraak in az-Zuhd (61). This ḥadīth is Ḥasan (sound).
- Spend your time wisely, many who come to the Sunnah end up with companions who are not diligent in attending the masjid, the circles of knowledge etc. so one may end up in the coffee shops, restaurants and other hang outs, and idle time leads to idle speech. Be mindful of this, look to the characteristics of our Scholars, how they would follow around their teachers for years, travelling long distances for knowledge, seeking out the best possible companion, if he died, they moved on to the next best person. Now obviously, in the West, we don't have Scholars and major students of the Scholars to accompany, however the principles still apply. Seek out the best companions you can find, maybe the Imām of the masjid, perhaps spend time with the volunteers and workers at the Islāmic centre -maybe they can enlighten you with their communication with Ahlul-Ilm, their visits to them, the tele-links with them, perhaps the manners they learn from their elders and their accompanying the students of knowledge may rub of on us. Take account of your situation, since you entered Islam or came to the Sunnah, what have you accomplished and relate that to the time you spend with your friends?
- Volunteer, in many small communities across the UK, Canada, USA etc. there may not be regular lessons, this doesn't mean you can not be active and consume your time with khayr. Offer assistance at the masjid, perhaps it is keeping the beloved house of Allaah clean, helping in the bookshops, organising the library, technical help, helping tap in to Paltalk lessons, there are a multitude of things for us to do to gain the pleasure of Allaah, busy ourselves with good and be around Ahl al-Sunnah, individually, we can help build our communities and fill the masaajid and Islamic centres with a buzz of activity and goodness. Time is passing, we are getting closer to our graves, supplement your time with a boost of Īmān and volunteer at your masjid/Islamic Centre.
The key point, the further away you are from the Jama'aah, the more likely you are to get confused and lead astray. Just some tips based on observation of a Muslim community over the years. Don't forget to save this audio on your MP3 capable device. We ask Allaah for safety, ameen.