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The Way to Escape Fitnah

Shaykh 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 akhī fulān 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 akhī, 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-Ikhlās (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 ʿibādah (worship) in times of fitnah (especially duʿāʾʾʾ 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 Allāh
  • Praising and defending Ahl al-Bidʿah, (those who have been refuted by the scholars with knowledge and evidence) whilst hammering Ahl al-Sunnah (with harsh and blameworthy statements, degraḍīng them and spreading evil suspicions about them)

Here are 34 points to protect you from fitnah, inshaa’ Allāh:

   1.  Focusing on the worship of Allāh during times of turmoil is one of the roads to safety.
2. A person only escapes fitnah by the grace and blessing of Allāh.
3. Fleeing from fitnah and worrying about ones own actions.
4. The Companions: Ḥasan the son of ‘Ali (may Allāh be pleased with him) relinquished his right to the caliphate even though he was worthy of it to protect the believers from fitnah.
5. Those upon the Sunnah are the furthest of the people from differing.
6. Fitnah annihilates those who rush to embrace it.
7. The impermissibility of chasing after the faults of the people in general and the scholars in specific.
8. Sins are a cause of dissension.
9. Insincerity causes individuals to stumble and trip upon their path.
10. Understanding of the religion will allow you walk upon the path to safety.
11. Holding on to the rope of Allāh (The Book and Sunnah) is a shield that protects the believer from fitnah.
12. Unity is a fundamental from the fundamentals of Islām.
13. The importance of returning back to the scholars of the Ummah when fitnah arises.
14. The students of knowledge are the bridge between the scholars and their communities.
15. It is obligatory upon the Muslim to examine information that is spread in the public domain especially at times of fitnah.
16. The Muslim should be patient, forbearing and avoid hastiness in the face of fitnah.
17. It is incumbent upon the believer to be just and fair in both speech and actions.
18. Uncovering those who are responsible for igniting the flame of fitnah.
19. The Devils from amongst the Jinn have a major role to play in trying to incite enmity between the people of faith.
20. Beware of seeking revenge!
21. The love of leadership will break a person’s back.
22. Attempting to reconcile the differences of the parties involved.
23. Not having malice in the heart and speaking the truth is from the best of deeds.
24. Think about the consequences of your speech and actions in this life and how they may affect your Hereafter.
25. Be gentle in all affairs.
26. Have the courage to recognize your mistakes and return to the truth.
27. Clinging firmly to the guidelines and the principles of the divine legislation, at all times.
28. Differentiating between the scholars and those who pretend to be from amongst them.
29. Avoid fruitless argumentation and disputes.
30. Rushing to uproot the source of differing as soon as it appears is from the Prophetic methodology.
31. There is a difference between humiliating your brother and advice.
32. There is a difference between envy and competing in good.
33. Differentiating between differing that is acceptable and differing that is unacceptable.
34. Not involving the common people in matters that they cannot understand or solve.

Our teacher, the noble scholar, al-ʿAllāmah Muqbil Ibn Hādī al-Wādiʿī (may Allāh have mercy upon him) said:

The only fear we have for our daʿwah is from our own selves.”

And it is well-known that the Prophet (may peace and blessings be upon him) would say during the sermon of need: “We seek refuge with Allāh from the evil of our own selves and the evil of our wicked deeds.”

These points have been taken, either word for word or through meaning, from the book al-Qawl al-Ḥasan fī Ma’rifah al-Fitan authored by one of the scholars of the Sunnah, Shaykh Muḥammad al-Imām (may Allāh preserve him).

I advise the brothers and sisters to read ‘My Advice to the People of the Sunnah’ by Shaykh Muqbil (may Allāh have mercy upon him) which was translated a few years ago as it is also beneficial.

O Allāh, Give us good in this world and good in the Hereafter; and save us from the torment of the Fire.

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 Allāh to protect the Muslims.

Published: February 20, 2009
Edited: April 21, 2022


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