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"MAINSTREAM" ISLĀM





By
Ibn Abdillah As-sudaisiy Al-Iloori
26th Rajab, 1439AH

Population is not what determines righteousness. Righteousness is known by strict adherence to the Qur'an and Sunnah, and the way of the Companions and their followers رضي الله عنهم. Even if those who are upon pure Sunnah are small, that doesn't remove the fact that they are the truthful people. To practise the sunnah (the real Islam) today needs a lot of patience and firmness. The real Sunnah is strange and those who practise it are strange. May Allaah count us among those few strangers.

One day, I was discussing with an elder who usually attack the Sunnah and its adherents due to his lack of understanding of what it is all about, and he said to me: what we are telling you is to come and join us in the "mainstream Islam". I said to myself: what is mainstream Islām again? What we do hear is "moderate Islām", "liberal Islām", "nominal Islām". Now, we have "mainstream Islām". 

However, considering my previous conversations with him, I was able to understand the phrase to mean "Islām olobeeyo" as yorubas would say (Islām that is based on population). Islām that places priority on crowd. Islām that is based on quantity and not quality. Islām that is done anyhow without adhering strictly to the Qur'an, Sunnah and the way of the salaf. Islām that is based on "dont judge others" syndrome. Islām with little or zero respect for matters of 'aqeedah. The "mainstream Islām" is the Islām that accommodates all sects regardless of 'aqeedah and manhaj. They say: let us forget our differences (whether on 'aqeedah or otherwise) in order not to be divided. All they are after is unity. No doubt, that is unity upon baatil (falsehood). Allāh's aid and protection is sought.

Go and know, may Allāh bless you, that even if you are the only person following the way of the salaf in your area, you are the ummah. Allāh سبحانه وتعالى called Ibraheem عليه السلام a nation because he was the only one who saw himself on the path of Allāh then. Practising the sunnah in this era is like holding a burning ember on the palm. I mean the real Sunnah. Only very few people can endure it. Population is not the determining factor. The people of bid'ah mock the people of Sunnah that they are small in population. Whereas, in the Qur'an multitude of people are often described with scary and unpalatable things, while small people are described with good and wonderful attributes. In one of the verses of the Qur'an, Allah says: 

(لَقَدْ حَقَّ الْقَوْلُ عَلَىٰ أَكْثَرِهِمْ فَهُمْ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ)

"Already the word has come into effect upon most of them, so they do not believe". [Surat Ya-Seen 7: Saheeh International]

So, don't be deceived by people's crowd at kufr and bid'ah events and gatherings. Even if it is only one person who attends your halqah, don't be discouraged. In a recent class of Kitab ut Taoheed by our noble teacher Dr. Abdulrazaaq Abdulmajeed Alaro حفظه الله, while talking on a relevant chapter, he said when they were in Madeenah, there was a Sheikh who used to hold halqah with just one or two people. Yet, he wasn't disturbed by people's absence. He kept doing his work for Allah's sake. That is what ikhlaas is all about. In another verse, Allāh says:

(فَالْيَوْمَ نُنَجِّيكَ بِبَدَنِكَ لِتَكُونَ لِمَنْ خَلْفَكَ آيَةً ۚ وَإِنَّ كَثِيرًا مِنَ النَّاسِ عَنْ آيَاتِنَا لَغَافِلُونَ)

[Surat Yunus 92]

Do not judge goodness by the majority. Islam is unlike democracy where majority is given preference. Truth is truth even if few people are upon it, and falsehood is falsehood even if it is patronized by the majority. Just as noblity is rare, the real sunnah and its people are rare in our society. One of our teachers told us about a poet who wanted to marry a woman and he was mocked due to the small population of his people, and he said:

تعيرنا أنا قليل عدادنا ** فقلت لها إن الكرام قليل

"She reproached us because we are small in number, then I said to her that nobility is rare"

May Allah guide us aright.

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