Don't Be a Spectator - Be Distinct (التميّز)!!
Our beloved brother, Abū ʿUways ʿAbdullāh Aḥmad ʿAlī conveys a sound advice from Shaykh Muḥammad al-ʿAnjarī about having readiness (استعداد) to stand up and defend Islām from bidʿah, from innovators. Not to stand on the fence and be a spectator but rather to be like the person guarding his post from attack. Each one of us should bear some responsibility to defend this dīn. Shaykh Rabīʿ was asked, "What is the most important fundamental regarding al-daʿwah al-Salafiyyah?" Before Shaykh Rabīʿ could answer, the Noble Shaykh Muqbil Ibn Hādī interjected, "Distinction (التميّز)!" To be distinguished! Shaykh Muqbil used to declare this constantly! Abū ʿUways then mentions Shaykh Anjarī's advice of clarity (وضوح). Something to compare and contrast with those who fall silent in times of fitnah.
Abū ʿUways, raḥimahullāh Taʿālá, after Praising Allāh and sending Ṣalāt and Salāms upon the Prophets, Muḥammad, ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam, his family and his Companions begins…
We are not going to take much time bi’idthnillāh taʿālá for we know that some people… many people are in anticipation of the physical aspect of this gathering, yaani the eating…bi’idthnillahi ta’ala. And it was not intended for me to speak – at least in my mind – we were supposed to have Shaykh ʿAbdullāh al-Bukhārī, hafidthuallah and qadrullahu mashaa fa’al, it didn’t happen. Next time, inshaa’Allāhu Taʿālá, but in these brief muʿmīnts so that the people take some knowledge-based nourishment before they take nourishment of food and drink…we’ll mention inshaa’Allāhu Taʿālá some advice recently that I received over the phone from Shaykh Abū ‘Uthmān Muḥammad al-ʿAnjarī hafiẓahullāh. For those brothers who don’t know, Shaykh Abū ‘Uthmān Muḥammad Anjaree is one of the premier duʿāʾʾʾt or students of knowledge well established in the country of Kuwait. And he is known for his rudood, responses regarding the Suroorees, the Qutubees, Jimiyyah Iḥyā at-Turaath, ʿAbd al-Raḥmān ʿAbd al-Khāliq and all of those associated with those type [sic] of movements. The reason that - they were visited by Ma’ribee - and Shaykh al-ʿAnjarī gathered his ammunition…[meaning] he went to his library, his maktabah – and he has a very nice beautiful maktabah, beautiful library – and he started gathering various books and he said “this is ammunition for that ‘daal’ that ‘mudeel’ (that astray one) al-Ma’ribee. And if this teaches us anything in teaches us that we should have some type of isti’daad, readiness, when we have to speak and deal with the mubtadi’iyyah and the ḥizbiyyah that we should be upon isti’daad. This is a general principle, brothers…in talking to anyone about Islām, particularly if they are in fact someone who is educated in a particular religion or a particular knowledge that they have, like the ḥadīth of Muʿādh.
“Verily tomorrow you are going to a people of Ahlul-Kitāb.”
Why did he tell him that? He told him that min ba’d al-isti’daad…from the manner of preparing himself. They’re talking to Ahlul-Kitāb, the Christians and the Jews. It’s not like talking to any other person or a layperson or a common person, but this is someone who has studied…and this is someone who has a background in some knowledge. So therefore, you have to be prepared to talk to this type of individual. So he told him “Verily you are going to a people of Ahlul-Kitāb,” Christians and Jews, so that a person can prepare them self, get themselves together…to be able to talk to them. They may come with certain shubuhāt, doubts, that if you haven’t prepared yourself for you’re not ready to answer. So to be ‘isti’daad at-ta’am, complete readiness, then one should be forewarned and foretold as to who one is going to meet and sit and discuss with. So this is the case with Ma’ribee in that case also.
Shaykh Anjaree, hafiẓahullāh, spoke about the fact that every one of us is responsible regarding Islām. And many of us – if you’ve heard before…many lectures – are spectators, or sitters, who sit on the side but rather each and every one of us has a responsibility…and each and every one of us should have a concern that we carry around our neck, which is the concern that we must have of the conveyance of Islām in a clear fashion. He indicated and he said that we are on a thaqrah…like a battlefield…and each of us is an individual who is guarding a particular post. So be careful, he said, and don’t let Islām be attacked or be weakened from your post. Don’t let Islām be attacked or weakened from your post. That you are a particular post…ya’ani…you are in that mode of protecting the dīn of Islām and making sure that if Islām is going to be attacked, is going to be weakened, it’s not going to be from your side. It’s not because you’re a derelict in your duty, but it will be because someone else was so if that’s the case. Have that understanding (that’s the first thing he said)… have that understanding that each of us is on the battlefield and we are in fact…protectors of the dīn of Islām…we are in fact those who have that responsibility and therefore don’t let Islām be taken from your side…be weakened from your side. This is very very important.
Another fact that he mentioned, he explained the understanding of the ḥadīth – kinda sayin’ all a’ this in one conversation…yes, that’s how it was…conversation like this. You know, it wasn’t a conversation about the sports statistics and what the weather was politics, the latest fashion, or where can you get the best sales…mmm..no. It was dīnee. It was dīnee! So, he said, hafiẓahullāh, that the ḥadīth of the Prophet ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam says,
“Islām began as something strange, and will go back to its prior position of being strange. So glad tidings, or tooba, is for the strangers.”
Toobaa is a tree in Paradise from which the believers get their clothing from [sic]. Might wanna say, “well where do the believers get their clothing from in Jannah?” Do they go up to the supermarket…what do they do? They go to toobaa, a tree, and from that tree they get their clothing…forever, bi’idthnillāhi Taʿālá. So this tree, is for the ghurabah, the strangers. 'Strangers' indicates something – it indicates qilla. It indicates that individual is a small amount, for – and that you’re a minority – for if you were a majority you wouldn’t be strange. [If] The majority of the people are on what you’re upon there would be no strangeness. Majority of the people called to what you called to, there’s no strangeness. Majority of the people practice what you practice, if the majority of the people practice what we practice there would be no…strangeness. Strangeness comes when there’s qilla… when there’s a small amount of people who believe what we believe. When it’s a small amount of people who practice what we practice. When there’s a small amount of people who call to what we call to, then this brings about ghurba…strangeness. And it’s not something claimed, it is something that actually happens…that is unavoidable. Unavoidable! You can’t avoid this strangeness if you wanted to. Something that Allāh, tabaaarka wa Taʿālá, has decided. Something that the Prophet ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam has stated. So it can’t be avoided no matter what. As long as an individual is in fact following the Kitāb and the Sunnah following the manhaj of the Salaf al-Ṣāliḥ then they will be strange. So qilla, because of the small amount, they’re strange. But then again, there’s the ḥadīth, the other ḥadīth.
“There will always be a group from my ummah – dhahereen – apparent, victorious. They won’t be harmed by those who differ with them, nor those who forsake them until the Order of Allāh comes.”
It said mansūrah, victorious. It said dhaheen, apparent. How can you bring between these two? Qilla being a minority in one sense yet being apparent in the other! Shaykh Anjaree explained it very well, he said. “it is al-Wuḍūh”. Clarity…yes, clarity. Carrying the banner with wuḍūʿh, with clarity…raising the banner with clarity…making it so clear that nothing can be mixed up or confused with it. He said “if one of us lives all our life and they are blessed by Allāh, tabaaraka wa Taʿālá, to raise the banner of clarity this is sufficient for him.” Clarity – because their daʿwah is so clear…because their daʿwah…crystal clear, then they are apparent, dhahiree. Even though they’re small they are apparent and victorious because they are waadih – they’re clear. And he kept stressing this point of clarity, you have to have clarity. He said, “if you brothers in America are able to teach and bring about and raise upon the Dawatus-Salafīyyah one thousand Salafīs, that’s all, one thousand Salafīs who are upon clarity, who are on the correct ʿaqīdah, who are on the correct manhaj, who are on the correct ‘ʿibādah, who are on the correct way…one thousand Salafīs who are clear, he said, this is enough. Don’t expect more than that. You know what one thousand Salafīs real Salafīs clear Salafīs strong Salafīs can do (one thousand) …for this country,” he said. He said, “if you brothers are able to do that, you’ve done that which is spectacular.” Just one thousand upon what they’re supposed to be upon, calling to what they’re supposed to call to with that what…wuḍūʿh; that clarity. Clarity, clarity so that the Sunnah is never confused with bidʿahah…clarity, so that Tawḥīd is never confused with shirk. Clarity so that ‘ibadaat are never confused with anything else, and at-tamayyuz, to be distinguished.
A question came to Shaykh Rabīʿ, hafiẓahullah, and Shaykh Muqbil ibn Hadī rahimuhullāh, was present someone said “Shaykh Rabīʿ what is the most important fundamental regarding Dawatus-Salafīyyah?” And before the Shaykh Rabīʿ could answer, Shaykh Muqbil answered, “at-Tamayyuz,” to be distinguished. Shaykh Muqbil, rahimullāh Taʿālá used to stress that constantly. He used to tell those who were upon Salafīyyah who were praying in the masājid of the Ikhwān, or the masājid of the Qutbees or the masājid of the Suroorees or those masājid of some other groups, that they should not be there. That they must distinguish themselves even if it means opening up a masjid, he said, that is just palm sticks…the fabric of the palm tree around it, or whatever. And it’s a piece of desert but you’re there and you’re saying this is the area where the Salafīs are. He used to stress that a lot; so that is the most important quality…that the Salafīs be distinguished from everyone else. And to me that runs right dead smack in the centre about what Shaykh Anjaree is saying about wuḍūʿh…that the daʿwah should be so clear that the people say “yeah that’s Salafīyyah.” That even those who are not upon Salafīyyah will say “Well,I was around the Salafīs, and I heard the daʿwah of the Salafīs and I saw the Salafīs in action and what you people are doing here…I don’t know why you calling it Salafīyyah, ‘cause it ain’t [sic]. Innovators will say it! That type of clarity…that type of clarity.
He also spoke about depending upon Allāh tabaaraka wa Taʿālá, Shaykh Anjaree…and that dependence upon Allāh tabaaraka wa Taʿālá is “the blackness of the eye of yaqīn” – certainty. That we must depend upon Allāh tabaaraka Taʿālá and call upon Allāh, tabaaraka Taʿālá and fear Allāh, tabaaraka ta’ala, and hope in Allāh tabaaraka ta’ala, trust in Allāh tabaaraka ta’ala and not depend on anyone or anything else. Don’t depend, he said, upon your wife and don’t depend upon your sons or don’t depend upon this one and don’t depend upon that one but you depend on Allāh tabaarak awa ta’ala and Allāh alone – matters of Tawḥīd! I said, “Shaykh, Tawḥīd mahad, total tawḥīd? He said ‘tawḥīd mahad’, total tawḥīd.” So this is something that must be important that we must understand – clarity regarding tawḥīd, clarity regarding our manhaj, clarity regarding what this Dawah is (…) distinguishing our Dawah…none of that is going to be achieved without knowledge. That is why we say that this masjid has to be full or fuller than this (…) that we should leave our houses having no intention except to benefit and to receive knowledge. This is such that Shaykh al-Albānī, raḥimahullāh, brings in his ṣaḥīḥ al-Targhīb wa-al-Tarḥīb, the one who does such is a mujaahid in the path of Allāh. Yes, he’s a mujaahid in the path of Allāh if he gets out from his house and he’s coming here to seek knowledge. He’s coming to the masjid to seek knowledge. He hasn’t left his home for any other reason but to seek knowledge.
To acquire ‘ilm – the knowledge that will rectify ourselves:
Knowledge that will rectify our families…
Knowledge that will rectify our community…
Knowledge that will rectify our brotherhood…
Knowledge that will rectify our sisterhood.
Knowledge that will teach us adab, manners,
Knowledge that will grant us akhlāq – sound morals, manners and behaviour;
Knowledge that will help us to interact with one another upon that which is ‘adl, that which is just and that which is correct and that which is right.
Knowledge will do all of that…the proper knowledge will do all of that, but if we run away from it, if we’re lazy about it, if we don’t show concern for it, we won’t benefit. And if we don’t benefit then we are not holding on to our post on that battlefield. And if we are not holding on to that post then Islām will be attacked from our angle and weaken from our angle and we are not fulfilling our responsibilities and we don’t deserve to be called mature men and women. We’re not individuals who have understood the importance of this matter.
Clarity, and ‘ilm, seeking the Knowledge, acting upon that knowledge, these are the issues…so a Salafī should be concerned about that and he or she should get up and get out whenever there’s an opportunity to get some knowledge. They used to travel a month’s journey for one narration, one ḥadīth. They say I met such-and-such Shaykh I wasn’t able to write from him except such-and-such amount of ḥadīths and he passed away. I benefited from this one and I benefited from that one…that’s how their life was. We’re not going to progress and we’re not going to be victorious and we’re not going to be successful unless we’re mature and we’re just like them. “If they believe like what you have believed then they will be successful.” If they believe like the Sahaba believed then they will be successful. So when we believe that success is in this path that we have chosen by the Grace and Mercy of Allāh tabaraka Taʿālá, but we don’t. We will hope, in shaa’ Allāh Taʿālá that in the future we will have those great circles of knowledge that Ahlul-Ḥadīth used to have. They mentioned narrations of 30,000 in one sitting. Thirty thousand individuals! Not for a rap concert…not for a boxing sporting event – thirty thousand hearing “haddathana”, it was related to me. Whole isnād, chain of transmission until they reach the Prophet, ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam, qaala rasoolAllāhi ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam. That’s how they were. That’s the way of Salafīyyah! Is this too slow, to hum-drum for you? One will have to rectify one’s self and get with that which is correct. (…) This is the Path. There is nothing after the haqq except dḥalālah. Nothing after the truth except a going astray…you should be concerned about knowledge. It will benefit.
And knowledge, in closing, makes things easier. That which we are living in now of what is called technology…they say technology…it’s called technology because it makes things easier. (…) We find that the more knowledge that one possesses the easier things are, easier one’s worship is, the easier one’s life is because they have knowledge of Kitāb wa Sunnah. You know how many people are in a state of confusion, in a state of misery, in a state of depression, in a state of grief because they just don’t possess the knowledge that will get them out of the position that they’re in? They don’t possess the knowledge. But someone has knowledge of Kitāb wa Sunnah, this is, inshaa’Allāh ta ‘ala, is easier for him. You all remember the portion in Nooniyyah of Ibn al-Qayyim, rahimuhullāh, where he talks about ignorance. He says, “ignorance is a fatal disease.” Ignorance is a fatal disease that kills…you wanna die? Be ignorant. The remedy [sic] for this disease are two things to be taken in their proper proportion in agreement: texts from the Book of Allāh or from the Sunnah of Mustafa, ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam. And the doctor of all of that is ‘aalim ar-rabbaani. Scholars will tell you as the doctors tell you just how to take that medicine. Ar-Rabbaani scholar…the one who is connected to Allāh…that’s why he’s called rabbani: he’s mukhlis, he’s sincere. Understand that death that this ignorance is a disease that will kill! The one who hasn’t been blessed with the knowledge of tawḥīd and therefore he’s on shirk he’s destroyed himself forever if he dies upon that! The one who hasn’t been blessed with the knowledge of Sunnah and he’s upon bidah, he’s wearing himself out with innovation and destroying himself each time he does an action that he thinks he’s getting nearer to Allāh when in fact he is getting further from Allāh tabaaraka Taʿālá and further astray. No knowledge…no knowledge, and if you think about the matter that is our situation, our circumstance then let it get personal for this muʿmīnt right here. What was your status 6 months ago? What was your status a year ago? What was your status two years ago? What was your status three years ago? What was your status four years ago? What was your status four years ago? What was your status six years ago? Man, what was [sic] you on, what was [sic] you believing, what were you doing eight years ago? What’s changed that? What changed it? KNOWLEDGE, baarik Allāh fīkum! KNOWLEDGE, baarik Allāh fīkum! And when He brings you to the shore after you were upon a boat being hit by waves, taken to and fro all but being destroyed and He brings you to the shore and you walk away from it like its nothing. Walk away from it like its nothing. Is this how you treat something that has been so kind to you? Is this how you treat something that was so generous to you? Is this how you treat something that was so beneficial to you? That you’ve reached a level or shayṭān has tricked you into thinking that you’ve reached a level that you don’t need no [sic] increase? You don’t need no [sic] increase. Nobody can tell you anymore about Allāh that you don’t know? Nobody can tell you anymore about RasūlAllāh, ʿalayhis salām, that you don’t know? Can’t learn more about the Sahabah, can’t learn more about the tabiʿīn and tabi tabiʿīn, can’t learn more about Qurʾān and its tafsīr and its recitation? Can’t learn more about the Sunnah and its explanation? Why, you outta your mind. In a state of delusion destroying yourself before destroying others. Knowledge, it helped you before it’ll help you again. Knowledge, it changed you before inshaa’Allāh it’ll change you again for the better. You’ll be looking back upon today and say ‘man, how stupid I was then’. Looking back upon today saying how astray I was then. I though I had it together and I had to be shooken [sic] up and reminded that I was in a total state of confusion and madness. Knowledge why do (…) call it the Gardens of Paradise? Why do you think al-Nawawī called his book ar-Rīyaḍus-Saliheen, the Gardens of the Righteous? Brother, it’s a garden with all types of delicate delicacies. It has that which you need. It will heal you. It will nourish you. It will beautify you. It will correct you. It will rectify you. It will make you upright. It’ll make you strong. It’ll make you one who is pleasing to Allāh tabaaraka wa ta’ala and therefore Allāh tabaaraka ta’ala (…) and Allāh tabaaraka ta’ala Loves him. Make you mahboob – loved by Allāh tabaaraka ta’ala. Don’t let shayṭān play you or make you lazy. Make you enthusiastic about everything in the dunyā’ and lazy when it comes to the dīn and the aakhirah.
May Allāh tabaaraka ta’ala make us, as Shaykh Anjaree said, individuals upon the battlefield or the proper position regarding Islām, guarding their posts, fulfilling their duties and not letting Islām be attacked from their side. Not letting Islām be made weak from their side. How you gonna do [sic] it – defend Islām when we can’t even defend anything? Islām is defended in many ways and amongst the ways that protect the Dīn of Allāh those men who have learnt the knowledge. He gave an example as all of those books we have Ahl al-Sunnah and response against Ahlul-Bidah and refutation of Ahlul-Bid’ah and the like (…) and then some innovator comes in here, those books can’t do anything. Books can’t do anything. Innovators sit on top of them while he’s talking about the Dīn of Allāh in the most horrible fashion. But there are men who learnt what was in those books who believe what is in those books, who practice what is in those books, who are willing to sacrifice their blood sweat and tears for what is in that books. They’re the ones who stand up upon their feet with great strength and great dignity and defend the Dīn of Allāh, tabaark wa ta’ala, because they have the knowledge that was contained in those books.
[Ends by sending salāms upon the Messenger ṣalla Allāhu ʿalahyhi wa-sallam.]