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From the Absurd to the Ridiculous: The Gradual Descent of Religion into Anarchy





Sanusi Lafiagi
1st Dhul Hijjah, 1439AH

Indeed the Messenger of Allāh had prophesied, some fourteen hundred years ago the descent and erosion of religious norms, values and orientation. In a hadīth narrated by Al-‘Irbād bn Sāriyah, the Prophet said: فَإِنَّهُ مَنْ يَعِشْ مِنْكُمْ فَسَيَرَى اخْتِلَافًا كَثِيرًا “For surely, he who lives from amongst you will see much differing...” He, however, guided us to what is right and righteous to do in that period of unending confusion and anarchy. He said: فَعَلَيْكُمْ بِسُنَّتِي وَسُنَّةِ الْخُلَفَاءِ الرَّاشِدِينَ الْمَهْدِيينَ، عَضُّوا عَلَيْهَا بِالنَّوَاجِذِ “So it is upon you to stick to my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the Rightly Guided Caliphs. Bite on to it with your back molar teeth.”

The above prophetic antidote, if properly applied will not only save one from the conundrum of unnecessary differing but will also safeguard one from going astray and losing one’s ākhirah. The Sunnah of the Prophet and his Rightly-Guided Caliphs is not something ambiguous or difficult to practice. It is, simply put the pristine Islām as revealed by Allāh unto His Messenger for the guidance of the Ummah. Al-Barbahārī in his Sharh as-Sunnah (1/35) wrote: اعلموا أن الإسلام هو السنّة، والسنّة هي الإسلام، ولا يقوم أحدهما إلا بالآخَر “And know that Islām is the Sunnah and the Sunnah is Islām. None of them can exist in isolation from the other.” 

Furthermore, the Prophet also warned the believers to beware of/desist from newly innovated matters in the Deen for which there’s no established proof in the Qur’ān and Sunnah. He said: وَإِيَّاكُمْ وَمُحْدَثَاتِ الْأُمُورِ؛ فَإِنَّ كُلَّ بِدْعَةٍ ضَلَالَةٌ “And beware of newly invented matters, for verily, every newly invented matter is an innovation, and all innovation is misguidance.” It is only a person that is bereft of sound faith and right sense that sees anything good in Bid’ah. How is it possible for any good to come out of misguidance? Ash-Shātibī mentioned in his I’tisām the following statement by Ibn al-Mājishūn who said:

سمعت مالكا يقول من ابتدع في الاسلام بدعة يراها حسنة فقد زعم أن محمدا ( صلى الله عليه وسلم ) خان الرسالة لأنّ الله يقول ( اليوم أكملت لكم دينكم ) فما لم يكن يومئذ دينا فلا يكون اليوم دينا .

الاعتصام ـ للشاطبى : ج 1 / ص 49 

I heard (Imām) Mālik saying: “Whoever innovates a matter in the religion which he sees as good has indeed asserted that Muhammad betrayed the message (sent to him). For Allāh said, ‘Today, I’ve perfected your religion for you.’ Whatever was not part of it then can never be part of it now.”

What we witness today- the proliferation of sects, daily invention of Bid’ah acts, brazen imitation of the Kuffār, etc- are but a fulfillment of that prophesy. Before now, say some 40-50 years ago, the annual Maolid-Nabiyy celebration seems to be the most prominent Bid’ah among our people, until in recent times when we witnessed a sudden surge -mostly among the Sufis - in Bid’ah activities. Most of these activities, facts have proven are down to two things: One, To gain popularity, fame and attention; and the other is to extort unsuspecting and gullible people under the guise of salvation, in clear imitation of the Kuffār.

In the past, we have warned sternly against supporting these shenanigans and charade in the garb of religion either by means of direct participation in them or sponsoring the criminals behind them. We all are duty-bound to condemn the activities of these comedians and dramatists in the harshest of terms lest they lure the people into misguidance and Kufr.

We have a duty to enlighten and admonish the teeming unsuspecting Muslim Ummah, and especially the womenfolk that no matter how beautifully packaged these Bid’ah acts are, they are not part of our religion and cannot serve as a medium to worship Allāh. We must inform and educate them that in the Sunnah are sufficient deeds that will take us closer to Allāh. We must tell them that there’s no single reward for these Bid’ah acts neither in this world nor in the next. The Prophet said: من أحدث في أمرنا هذا ما ليس منه فهو رد “Whoever innovates something into this matter of ours which does not belong to it will have it rejected.”

If Laylatul Qadr celebration is absurd, isn’t Laylatul Arafah ridiculous???






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