Being Steadfast

பிக்ஹ் 11 நவம்பர் 2011

The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم informed us in a hadith reported by Tirmidhi: "After you there are going to be days of patience. The patience during that time is like the one clutching on to a hot coal.

During those days the reward for the one who adheres to the Commands of Allah will be equivalent to the reward of fifty men who did an action like his."

 

Today the Muslim Ummah faces a similar struggle to hold onto Islam. The West is openly attacking Islam and without any fear or opposition to their attacks they are distorting the image of Islam by associating it with violence, backwardness, oppression and so on. The West like the Quraish in attempting to defend themselves and their way of life are attacking and damaging parts of Islam that they find unacceptable to their own.

Whilst the attacks against Islam may vary in scope, in defending the deen we must understand that the deen is nothing to be embarrassed about. Islam is the deen of Allah سبحانه وتعالى and that it has been sent as a mercy to mankind – to tackle the issues the word faces.

In the early life of the da'wah we find that Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم was continuously opposed by the Quraish in Makkah. As the intellectual attacks of Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم intensified on Quraishi practices such as idol worshipping, usurping the wealth of orphans, the ill treatment of women and slaves, etc so did the opposition of the likes of Abu Jahl, Abu Lahab and Abu Sufyan the chiefs of Quraish. Their fear was that their control over the weak and oppressed as well as the orphans and slaves and their profiteering from idolatry will diminish. In order to maintain this, certain concessions were offered to Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم to get him to stop his attacks.

The Quraish went to Abu Talib, Muhammad's صلى الله عليه وسلم Uncle, who had been raising his nephew from the age of 6 after Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم had lost his father, mother then grandfather. They said, "Abu Talib, you are our elder, the most honoured among us, the highest rank. We asked you to stop your nephew but you have not succeeded (previously they offered Abu Talib a replacement in exchange for Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم, Umara, the most handsomest amongst the youth of Quraish. That offer was turned down by Abu Talib.) We shall bear this no longer for he has insulted our forefathers, belittled our aspirations and spoken against our gods. Either you top him or we shall fight you and him until one of the two parties perishes."

Upon hearing this Abu Talib called Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم and said, "Stop, for my sake and yours. Do not force me to bear what I have not the power to endure."

Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم, saddened by the request coming from he's beloved uncle Abu Talib since he صلى الله عليه وسلم was well aware of what he صلى الله عليه وسلم had been entrusted with, answered, "Uncle, if they placed the sun in my right hand and the moon in my left hand to abandon this affair, I would not until Allah made the truth prevail or I died in the attempt." (Ibn Hisham, Vol. 1, pp.265-266)

As beloved as Abu Talib was to Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم and for all of his services offered to Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم over the past 40 years in which he had raised Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم and also offered protection to Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم, so much so that it was Abu Talib who prevented any physical harm coming to Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم and his family, Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم was in no position to stop spreading and calling for the deen. Since he صلى الله عليه وسلم was fully aware of what was at the stake,

إِنِّي أَخَافُ إِنْ عَصَيْتُ رَبِّي عَذَابَ يَوْمٍ عَظِيمٍ

"if I were to disobey my Lord, I should myself fear the penalty of a Great Day (to come)." [Yunus, 10:15]

With the refusal of Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم to stop spreading the message of Islam the Quraish had turned their attention to the Muslims. Those that were weak, without any tribal protection, namely the poor and slaves were targeted such as the humble family of Banu Yasir (ra) or the slave of Al-Walid ibn Al-Mughira, Bilal (ra). However the Quraish quickly realised that the more they tried to coerce the Muslims into leaving the deen the more they adhered to their deen. They were people who cared for nothing nor sought anything except the pleasure of their Lord.

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ قَالُوا رَبُّنَا اللَّهُ ثُمَّ اسْتَقَامُوا تَتَنَزَّلُ عَلَيْهِمُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ أَلَّا تَخَافُوا وَلَا تَحْزَنُوا وَأَبْشِرُوا بِالْجَنَّةِ الَّتِي كُنْتُمْ تُوعَدُونَ

نَحْنُ أَوْلِيَاؤُكُمْ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَفِي الْآخِرَةِ ۖ وَلَكُمْ فِيهَا مَا تَشْتَهِي أَنْفُسُكُمْ وَلَكُمْ فِيهَا مَا تَدَّعُونَ

نُزُلًا مِنْ غَفُورٍ رَحِيمٍ

"Indeed those who say, 'Our Lord is Allah,' and thereafter are steadfast, the angels descend on them 'Fear you not! Nor grieve! But receive the Glad Tidings of the Garden (of Bliss), that which you were promised!' We are your protectors in this life and in the Hereafter: therein shall you have all that your souls shall desire; therein shall you have all that you ask for!' A hospitable gift from One Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful" [Al Fussilat, 41:30-32]

The Muslims were growing in numbers and their steadfastness was unbreakable so the Quraish sent Utba ibn Rabi'a directly to Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم instead of using a mediatory such as Abu Talib. Utba ibn Rabi'a offered 3 things to Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم in return for Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم to stop his da'wah each offering had its own significance: money, power, kingship and medicine.

Money or wealth symbolised status in Makkah, simply put the more money you had the more important you were. So to offer Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم money or more specifically to make him the richest amongst the Quraish would mean that Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم would become the most notable amongst them all. Offering Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم power; that nothing would happen in Makkah without his صلى الله عليه وسلم command would make him the defacto ruler of Makkah.

Further to this, to offer Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم Kingship when in the history of Makkah there never was a king, the offer of kingship to Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم was the first to be offered to any person. The offer of medicine to Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم was to aid in curing any mental illnesses that Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم could have been suffering from. The Quraish did not really believe that Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم was insane, moreover, the Quriash's view towards life was based upon this life and all the material benefits this life has to offer. This is evident in the fact that the Quraish did not believe in resurrection, there was no life after death in their aqeedah, this life was everything.

Therefore, since they had offered the best of this life to Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم they thought only a mad man will refuse such an offer. Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم responded by reciting Surah al Sajda in its entirety. In this surah Allah سبحانه وتعالى talks about the wonders of his creations, the nature of man and his ability to do good by his fellow man in the form of charity, kindness, and justice. Utba ibn Rabi'a realised there and then that Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم was no ordinary man. Here stands a man who wants nothing of this work, who lives for what is too come, who lives for the unseen and more importantly, his belief in his Lord and His deen was crystal clear and not under some mental ailment.

Utba ibn Rabi'a reported back to his Quraishi brethrens about his encounter with Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم he said, 'leave Muhammad to the rest of the Arabs... if he overcomes them by his strange words, then all the honour will go to you for you are his people'. Utba ibn Rabi'a had realised the power in Muhammad's صلى الله عليه وسلم message and he also had experienced his صلى الله عليه وسلم resolve to see his message succeed and dominate over all other deens.

Allah سبحانه وتعالى says,

هُوَ الَّذِي أَرْسَلَ رَسُولَهُ بِالْهُدَىٰ وَدِينِ الْحَقِّ لِيُظْهِرَهُ عَلَى الدِّينِ كُلِّهِ وَلَوْ كَرِهَ الْمُشْرِكُونَ

"It is He Who has sent His Messenger with guidance and the deen of Haq (truth), to make it superior over all deens, even though the Mushrikeen (pagans/idolaters) may detest (it)." [Tauba, 9:33]

So in times when we see Islam continuously being attacked i.e. the supposed oppressiveness of the hijab to women, the barbarism of the Shari'ah or the dictatorship of the Khilafah our lesson from the best example,

لَقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِي رَسُولِ اللَّهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ لِمَنْ كَانَ يَرْجُو اللَّهَ وَالْيَوْمَ الْآخِرَ وَذَكَرَ اللَّهَ كَثِيرًا

"Indeed in the Messenger of Allah you have the best example." [Al-Ahzab, 33:21]

is to hold fast onto the haq (truth) and not flinch/compromise in the face of baatil (falsehood). In the Muslim countries the West wishes to suppress the Call for Khilafah and Shariah by creating fear of the so called 'Islamist threat' and through the oppression of their agent rulers (or those who still remain) and in the Western lands it attacks the values of Islam as backward and oppressive and tries to divide Muslims intro extremists and moderates. We should reject this and not be apologetic or defensive when it comes to our deen wherever we live. Moreover like Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم we should teach the deen to the wider Muslim community and take the debate to the non-Muslims showing them the beauty, wisdom and justice of Islam. The Hijab is not oppressive of women, rather it honours women by removing preoccupation with the sexual aspect from society and views them as human beings. Judgements of women should be based upon their intellect, skills, talents and abilities rather than their beauty or charms. The Shari'ah is not barbaric since the ahkams (rules) contained in the Shari'ah are from Allah سبحانه وتعالى who created man and knows the strengths and weaknesses of man and can therefore set the limits of man's actions.

Finally the Khilafah system implements, protects and nurtures all of the values in Islam from respecting your parents and elders to fairness, openness and honesty in transactions between people, to accountable rulers who serve the citizens of the Khilafah rather than protecting the vested interests of the elite, wealthy and powerful. In light of the actions of Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم Muslims should feel encouraged and empowered to engage with the wider community armed with the intellectual arguments of Islam in how to deal with the issues of society and how desperately Islam is needed to deal with the issues of wider society. Moreover, Muslims should have the imaan to say that it is the absence of Islam today from our daily life's practices that is the greatest ill of today's world.

وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ إِلَّا رَحْمَةً لِلْعَالَمِي

"And We have not sent you (O Muhammad) except as a Mercy to mankind." [Anbiya, 21:107]

 

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