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PRIORITY OF DEFENDING THE DEEN AS AGAINST PERSONALITY





By
Ibn Abdillah As-sudaisiy Al-Iloori

The concept of loving, hating, associating and dissociating for Allah's sake is sacrosanct and must always be upheld by a Muslim, depending on the circumstances of each case. It is a matter of taoheed that should not be compromised. As a general rule, we must love one another and associate with one another for the sake of Allah. By that, we can become true believers as narrated in a hadith reported by Abu Hurayrah رضي الله عنه.

Consequently, if someone is upon the sunnah and strives to practise his Islam accordingly to it, we would show him love and associate with him in the appropriate manner. But if someone shows open or apparent hatred for sunnah and its adherents, we would try our possible best to call him to order with wisdom. And if he persists in that evil, we would not hesitate to withdraw our love for him and dissociate ourselves from him and his evils. This is from the methodology of the pious predecessors (may Allah be pleased with them). A Muslim cannot love Allah and love shaitan and his agents at the same time. It is not possible.

It is important for us to always express our dissatisfaction towards anyone who calls towards baatil (falsehood) wherever he may be. It was reported that when a group of people led by a man called 'Ma'bad ibn Khaalid Al-Juhaniy started denying qadar, Abdullah ibn 'Umar رضي الله عنه sent to him that he is free from him and he is also free from him. It is unfortunate in our society today, that we find it hard to cut ties with people who spread falsehood, after several attempts by scholars to correct their filthy ideologies. When the misguidance of an individual goes beyond limitations, it is expected that every members of the Muslim community speaks with one voice to dissown him and his misconceptions.

When Mudir Markaz spoke against hijab, several persons went to correct him privately, he failed to take corrections. The people of sunnah had to come out openly to refute his ignorance and deviations. When he also came out against some of the Companions of the Prophet رضي الله عنهم, it was only the people of sunnah who came out against his falsehood. He also attacked the person of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم through Imam al-Bukhari رحمه الله work, his ignorance was also exposed by the people of sunnah. Other groups of Muslims were just watching, they didn't say anything. They fear Mudir and his "Markaz" more than anything. They kept quiet as if it was none of their business. They kept quiet as if it was not obligatory to defend the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and his Sunnah.

In his muqaddimah of sifat us salah, Sheikh ibn al-'Uthaymeen رحمه الله advised us to learn the limits set by Allah, follow it by actions and stand upon the truth. He said we should not be distracted by the insults of the insulters and the criticism of the critics. He mentioned this verse in Suratut Tawbah:

(أَتَخْشَوْنَهُمْ ۚ فَاللَّهُ أَحَقُّ أَنْ تَخْشَوْهُ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ مُؤْمِنِينَ)

Do you fear them? But Allah has more right that you should fear Him, if you are [truly] believers. [Surat At-Tawbah 13]

Those who usually fail to talk whenever Mudir misfires can be broadly classified into two categories:

1. Those who studied in Markaz or any of its offshoots who follow Habeeb blindly being the Khaleefah of Baba L'agege رحمه الله. This group is further divided into two: Some of them know deep down their mind that Mudir is treading the path of ignorance and misguidance, but they feel reluctant to call him to order. On the other hand, some of them believe he is right in anything he says based on the sufi guideline that you can't question your Alfa or Shehu, and the son of your Alfa is your Alfa. They fear Mudir so much as if he has any power to harm them. Those from among them who had attempted to correct his misconceptions in the past knew what they faced. Instead of taking corrections, he would go ahead and make public statements against them in a contemptous manner. So, they subsequently keep quiet to avert further outburst with him. They don't talk, no matter the gravity of his mistakes because they want to continue to be relevant within the fold of the "Markaziyyeen". May Allah guide them and each everyone of us too. It is a dangerous thing to love an Alfa beyond the shari'ah limitations. The love of Allah and His deen should be paramount in our minds if want to be true believers. Allah says:

وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَنْ يَتَّخِذُ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ أَنْدَادًا يُحِبُّونَهُمْ كَحُبِّ اللَّهِ ۖ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَشَدُّ حُبًّا لِلَّهِِ)

"And of mankind are some who take (for worship) others besides Allah as rivals (to Allah). They love them as they love Allah. But those who believe, love Allah more (than anything else)..." [Surat Al-Baqarah 165]

2. Those who do not belong to the fold of Markaz (i.e. Adabiyyah group and others). Whenever Mudir says anything wrong, they know he is wrong, but they will not talk. They don't want to be accused of attacking the head of Markaz (Khaleefah of Sheikh Adam رحمه الله). It does not necessarily mean they love him. They keep quiet just to avoid being condemned for correcting an "Alfa Agba". They also hide under the unity of Muslims in the community. They compromise the truth for unity.

Is this how the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and His Companions رضي الله عنهم united the ummah? Unity of Muslims should not be upon falsehood, it should be based upon what is good and what is right. We are the best of generations because we enjoy what is good and forbid what is evil. If we see evils and we fail to correct them, we are indirectly removing ourselves from the best generation. During the time of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم, his Companions رضي الله عنهم would make mistakes, the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم would correct them instantly. The mistakes and corrections of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم forms part of what is now known as his sunnah that we now strive to follow today. Let's just imagine that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم used to be silent on all evils in the name of fostering unity, how are we going to know the good from the bad?

So, choose where you belong! Check your mind very well, are you one of those who stand for the truth (the sunnah) or you try to compromise it because of some worldly relationship you have with persons involved. Do you defend the sunnah or you defend personalities and groups? An-Naseehah (admonition) is like a staff smashed on a flowing gutter, it would definitely splash. Let anyone who is affected take heed and amend accordingly. Keeping quiet on the blasphemous statements of people of deviation does not help us as a community. It only shows how weak we are and the extent at which we compromise the truth. Sheikh Fawzaan was asked a relevant question, and he حفظه الله said:

نقول: الفتنة في ترك اهل الشر ينشرون شرهم بدون أن يؤخد على أيديهم وبدون أن يحذر من شرهم ويرد على أفكارهم هذه هي الفتنة

We say: Tribulation (fitnah) lies in leaving alone the people of evil spreading their evil without them being taken by their hands (restrained) and without their evil being warned against and their ideas being refuted. This is the actual fitnah. [22/01/1433AH, at Ha'il University]

If we make efforts to correct someone who is spreading mischief and he becomes arrogant by not taking advice, the next thing is for the people of knowledge to refute his misconceptions and warn the Muslims against his deviations. We are to withdraw our love for him and alliances with him, otherwise, he becomes a taaghut upon us. But if he changes his evil stand, we turn back to him and restore his status quo. I read from Sheikh Fawzaan حفظه الله's explanation of Sharh us Sunnah that the aim of people of fundamental deviations (shi'as, sufis and so on), is to cut the ties between us (Muslims) and our Pious Predecessors. You can hardly find a person of fundamental deviation in matters of aqeedah except that he maligns or attempts to malign the Companions of the Prophet رضي الله عنهم. They try to cast aspersions on the persons of the Companions رضي الله عنهم. And anyone who allign with them in their evils will share from the consequences of their actions. There is no sitting on the fence when it comes to the matter of defending the Sunnah. You can either pitch tent with scholars of Sunnah or pitch tent with innovators. You can only be a defender of the Sunnah or maimer of the Sunnah.

A lot of Muslims these days tend to defend personalities instead of defending the deen. I mentioned in one of my previous articles that it is possible for someone not to like one scholar or the other. But there is no excuse for not loving the sunnah and its custodians (the Companions and the Taabi'eenرضي الله عنهم). The defence of the deen is our priority, it shouldn't be misplaced. Unfortunately, today in our society, when the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and His Companions رضي الله عنهم are insulted, the people of bid'ah (those who cling stubbornly to a group or the other in the face of deviations) would not talk. But when their founder or Alfa is insulted, they will call for refutations and defence with mamoth of crowd.

Who deserves more to be defended?: the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم and His Companions رضي الله عنهم or the scholars? There is nothing bad in defending the work and integrity of a scholar who is upon pure sunnah. But the defence of the deen (and its people) comes first. If you stand to defend the deen when it is appropriate to do so, nobody would accuse you of hypocrisy if you defend your Alfa when he is attacked. One of the maqqasidus shari'ah is 'protection of the deen', it must be unconditionally prioritized.

As young as I am, when Sheikh Muhammad Kamaludeen Al-Adabiy رحمه الله was still very active in da'wah despite his old age then, he used to speak against people who try to overpraise him and he used not to be carried away by the insults of the insulters or the criticism of the critics. He used to focus on his da'wah (may Allah forgive his mistakes). Even when people were insulting him, he used not to say anything. Not only that, he used to order his students not to say anything. He used to go to the extent of placing a curse on anyone who replies or responds to the criticisms of his critics. He was extremely gentle. But now that he is no more, everyone is doing what he likes. Baba's legacy is not being followed.

You would see a lot of people claiming to be Baba's followers. But they don't follow his patience and manners. They don't follow his humility and gentleness. The problem is that a lot of people only follow Baba based on their own whims and caprices. For instance, Baba said in a video lecture that it is wrong to bow for people as a mark of respect, but many of his acclaimed followers reject this stance of his. That is the same way they have neglected Baba's attitude regarding response to criticism in this instance. That is how a lot of Muslims claim to love the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم, but they fail to learn his sunnah and stick it.

Summarily, we have a long way to go. The crises we are going through would not stop until we retrace our steps back to taoheed, sunnah, the methodology of the pious predecessors and ikhlaas (sincerity). These are what we lack in our society. If we understand the foundations of Islam the way they ought to be understood, our divisions would minimal.

May Allaah guide us aright.

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