Terrorism: Its Causes and Cures – Shaykh Salih al-Suhaymi

bismillah2

Terrorism: Its Causes & Cures and a Muslim’s Position from Such Tribulations
اإلرهاب أسبابه وعالجه وموقف املسلم من الفنت :Original Title
Author: Dr. Ṣāliḥ Ibn Sa’d al-Ṣuḥaymī hafidhahullaah
Translated by: Abu az-Zubayr Harrison rahimahullaah

In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Bestower of all mercy.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah alone and may He send prayers and peace upon him (Muhammad) after whom there will never be another prophet.

To proceed:

Allah (عزّ وجل) has honored us with the greatest blessing by sending His prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم).By him, Allah brought us out of darkness and into light, honoring us by him after our humiliation, and uniting us by him after our division. He made us brothers for the sake of Allah, loving and supporting one another, none having preference over another except by Taqwá as Allah (عزّ وجل) says:

إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِندَ اللَّهِ أَتْقَاكُمْ

Indeed, the most noble among you with Allah is the one with the most Taqwá (constant fearful consciousness of Allah). [Sūrah al-Ḥujurāt, 49:13]

And He says, favoring us with this blessing and reminding us of our previous condition before Islam:

وَاعْتَصِمُواْ بِحَبْلِ اللّهِ جَمِيعًا وَلاَ تَفَرَّقُواْ وَاذْكُرُواْ نِعْمَتَ اللّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ إِذْ
كُنتُمْ أَعْدَاء فَأَلَّفَ بَيْنَ قُلُوبِكُمْ فَأَصْبَحْتُم بِنِعْمَتِهِ إِخْوَانًا وَكُنتُمْ عَلَىَ شَفَا حُفْرَةٍ
مِّنَ النَّارِ فَأَنقَذَكُم مِّنْهَا كَذَلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللّهُ لَكُمْ آيَاتِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَهْتَدُونَ

And hold fast, all of you together, to the rope of Allah (the Quran), and be not divided among yourselves, and remember Allah’s favor on you, for you were enemies one to another but He joined your hearts together, so that, by His grace, you became brothers. And you were on the brink of a pit of fire, and He saved you from it. Thus Allah makes His signs clear to you, that you may be guided. [Sūrah Āli-‘Imrān, 3:103]

The Muslims were living under this great blessing and rejoicing in it during the time of the prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) until the seed of division was first sown when ‘Abd Allah Ibn Saba and his followers rallied people together against ‘Uthmān (رضي الله عنه). However, the very core of the Khawārij first appeared with Dhū al-Khuwaysarah al-Tamīmī when he objected to the way in which the prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) distributed the war gains after the battle of Ḥunayn. He (Dhū al-Khuwaysarah) said to him, “Be fair, Muhammad, for you have not been fair!” He also said, “This is, for sure, a distribution by which Allah’s face was not sought!”

The prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) replied:

“Beware. Who would be fair if I would not? Do you not trust me when I am trusted by the One in the heavens?”

When ‘Umar (رضي الله عنه) wanted to kill him, he (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:

“Leave him. There will come from his progeny a people whom you will consider your prayer compared to their prayer as insignificant and your fasting compared to theirs as insignificant. They will recite the Quran, yet it will not go beyond their throats. They will go out of the religion just as an arrow passes through its target.”

The tribulations were then kindled against ‘Uthmān (رضي الله عنه) as the causes of biased factionalism (Ḥizbiyyah) and opposition emerged, casting tribulations and division among the people, striking the very heart of Islam. Its heat was only further increased with the killing of Dhū al-Nūrayn (‘Uthmān)[01]. The matter dangerously worsened and the trials and tribulations increased. Division and discord broke out – at the head of this was the Khawārij sect. They killed ‘Alī and considered the blood of Muslims lawful to spill and their wealth lawful to steal. They caused terror and fear among people, thereby waging war against Allah and His messenger. ‘Alī fought against their evil and, afterwards, found this same Dhū al-Khuwaysarah among those killed from them. They then plotted to kill many of the companions of the prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and were successful in murdering ‘Alī (رضي الله عنه).

[01] Dhū al-Nūrayn literally means “The Possessor of the Two Lights.” He was given this nickname because he married two of the prophet’s daughters, each at different times. – T.N.

Since then, their evil and tribulations have continued up until this day, sometimes apparent, and other times discreet. They will continue in this way right up to the appearance of the Anti-Christ (towards the end of time) just as the prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) informed of.

In recent times, Allah had placed in authority of our land, the peninsula, King ‘Abd al-‘Azīz – may Allah grant him prosperity. With him, Allah united the various factions of this nation together after long generations overshadowed with wars and enmity. In those times, ignorance prevailed and tribalism cropped up amongst the people. Many people returned back to Shirk and to the law of the jungle, by which the strong eats the weak. So Allah destined for this leader (King ‘Abd al-‘Azīz) to unite the people under the banner of Tawhīd. Safety and comfort spread. Religious knowledge thrived and the darkness of ignorance dispersed. The brotherhood of Islam prevailed, established upon the actualization of Tawhīd and upon the guidance of the prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم).

The peninsular was again secured by the supporters of the land. Its children followed in the same footsteps, adhering to this methodology, seeking Allah’s help and applying the rule of Allah in all matters. So safety, security, and well-being prevailed under the rule of Islam. The people of this land were as the heart of a single person – the ruler and the ruled. The young people were firmly connected to their scholars and leaders. They exemplified one united group, not diverse sects; upon one united methodology, and not diverse methodologies. Their unity was strong, far removed from the methodology of extremism. This was manifested by curricula and studies which firmly instill the moderate fundamentals which the Quran and Sunnah call to, as Allah (عزّ وجل) says:

وَكَذَلِكَ جَعَلْنَاكُمْ أُمَّةً وَسَطًا

And thus, We have made you a middle nation. [Sūrah al-Baqarah, 2:143]

Meaning: a just nation, chosen among other nations. So these lands became a prime example of adhering to the middle path, the path between extremism and negligence.

However, there has appeared during these latter times voices, writings, and cries from some insignificant, minor people calling to the shamefulness of biased factionalism. They began to decay the bones of this (Muslim) nation with their invitations away from the unity of a single, interdependent group to the strictness of several diverse sects. They call to the radically choosing of sides and extremism by such ornamented, yet obviously deceptive, means, leading to nothing but division among the ranks of this nation. They try by various ways to persuade some of our young people to their rebellious, revolutionary ideologies which make it possible for the enemies of Islam to take commodities such as oil under the slogan of human rights sometimes, or the call to update and change the school curriculum other times, claiming they are the causes for this very extremism found among such groups and individuals.

The propagation by those with these ideologies to spread their falsehood is done in numerous ways. From these ways are the following:

1. Belittling the affair of calling to Tawhīd, claiming that the ‘Aqīdah is generally known to most people. Some of them say that it is possible to understand ‘Aqīdah in as little as ten minutes. Rather, some have even stooped so low as to say that this (the persistence in the call to Tawhīd and the correction of ‘Aqīdah) actually causes division amongst the people.

2. Turning away from the scholars, abandoning taking knowledge from them, and distorting their statements, claiming they do not fully comprehend the current affairs. They claim the scholars are not qualified to solve the problems facing the Islamic nation today and that they refuse to stand up to face its true issues.

3. The distancing of the young people far away from the religious knowledge based on the Quran and Sunnah. They preoccupy them with such things as enthusiastic, fiery Nashīds (so-called “Islamic” songs) or whatever other issues are spread here and there of the various attractive ways, whether written, seen, or by audio.

4. The belittlement of the leaders and those in authority and the public exposing of their faults or what some people assume to be their faults. They do this publicly on their pulpits (while delivering lectures in the mosques) and on the questionable satellite channels. They distort the texts commanding the obedience to the leaders to mean that such obedience referred to in these texts is only given to the main leader who has authority over all the Muslims in the world (and not the various individual leaders of each country). They forget, or pretend to forget, that all of the scholars and Imams unanimously agreed that this obedience is also incumbent during times of the existence of various separate Islamic countries. Even though each country may possess its own wealth, with its own rights and obligations dependent upon its respective leader; obedience to such a leader is still an obligation and revolting and rebelling against him is forbidden as long as he establishes the rights of Allah. This is an agreement that all of the scholars of Islam were united upon.

5. Rallying together those with these theoretical thoughts who call to revolutionary and rebellious ideas. They assemble the young people, brainwashing them in private gatherings set up in places of rest and recreation. They focus on separating the young people from their scholars and leaders, instead connecting them with personalities that follow methodologies of rebellion and Takfīr (declaring Muslims to be disbelievers).

6. They call to their imaginary “Jihad” which is actually the declaring of a Muslim’s blood and wealth to be lawful for the taking. They encourage devastation and bombings and the blowing up of structures property, all the while claiming that the land of the Muslims is now a land of war, fighting being justified therein. This ideology is spread by means such as the inspirational Nashīds. The danger has even reached the level of some youths being trained to use all sorts of weapons in far secluded places within the country, and in other questionable foreign countries.

7. The circulation of books, fliers, pamphlets, and cassettes that call to this defiant, radical ideology. They promote making Takfīr, especially against the scholars and leaders. We will mention some of the books that call to this:

a. The writings of Sayyid Qutb. The most dangerous of these are those books that make the blanket Takfīr against most of the Muslim nations in this time, those that defame the Companions of the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم), and even books that defame the Prophets. Examples of these are “Fī Ẓilāl al-Qurān” (In the Shade of the Quran), “Kutub wa Shakhṣiyyāt” (Books and Personalities), “al-‘Adālah al-Ijtimā’iyyah” (Social Justice), and “Ma’ālim fī al-Ṭarīq” (Milestones).

b. The books of Sayyid Abul A’la Maududi.
c. The books of Hassan al-Banna.
d. The books of Sa’īd Hawá.
e. The books of ‘Isām al-‘Iṭār.
f. The books of Abū al-Fatḥ al-Bayānūnī.
g. The books of Muḥammad Ibn ‘Alī al-Ṣābūnī.
h. The books of Muḥammad Ḥasan Hanbakah al-Maydānī.
i. The books of of al-Turābī.
j. The books of al-Ḥuḍaybī.
k. The books of al-Tilmisānī.
l. The books of Aḥmad Muḥammad al-Rāshid (a pen name). The most dangerous of his books are “al-Maṣār” (The Path), al-‘Awā`iq (The Obstacles), “al-Munṭaliq” (The Starting Point, or Liberated), and “al-Raqā`iq”.
m. The books of ‘Iṣām al-Bashīr.
n. The books, pamphlets, and tapes of Muḥammad Surūr Zayn al-‘Ābidīn, the head of the Muntaḍá organization in London.
o. Other books than these mentioned that are widespread in our bookstores that are filled with this ideology.

It is incumbent for us to dry up this fountain (of deviation) by warning against these books, preventing their circulation, and by supervising those publishing companies and bookstores who are lenient in distributing these books or selling them.

When these books are read by young people whose own ideas have not yet matured and who have no knowledge-based protection against the effects of such books, they (such books) corrupt their intellect, and ideas, causing them to follow fantasies. This way, the youth are prepared to carry out whatever is requested of them – even something like suicide or the killing of others from among Muslims or non-Muslims that should be guaranteed safety. They do such things to achieve a certain objective – “martyrdom for the sake of Allah and the triumph of entering paradise.” These theorists have made the youth imagine that this is the correct way leading to this destination and to the victory of gaining Allah’s pleasure. So Takfīr, bombings, mass destruction in the lands of Muslims, and abandoning the methodology of the righteous predecessors (al-Salaf al-Ṣāliḥ) have all now become “the path of guidance” as perceived by such people.

8. Another way that such deviant ideologies have spread is by the emergence of inspirational activists from these groups of Takfīr such as the sect “al-Ikhwān alMuslimūn,” or the “Muslim Brotherhood” and other groups that originated from them that are found in our schools, institutes, and universities. They have distorted and transformed many of our children by planting and cultivating among them the methodology of Takfīr by student get-togethers and recreational trips as well as with exaggerated religious narrations and those containing blatant lies.

These are some of the means by which these people were successful in corrupting many of our youth, making them unaware of the correct methodology, their scholars, and their leaders. They made the truth appear to them to be only what they themselves were upon and everyone else was upon nothing (of guidance). The negligence of realizing these means by which they use has allowed this alien ideology to spread in our religion and nation.

Now comes the question: “How do we protect our youth from this?”

To safeguard from such innovated ideologies of Takfīr, we must individually and collectively take the following steps:

1. Call the youth back to adherence to the Quran and Sunnah and to refer back to them both under all circumstances. Allah (عزّ وجل) says:

وَاعْتَصِمُواْ بِحَبْلِ اللّهِ جَمِيعًا وَلاَ تَفَرَّقُواْ

And hold fast, all of you together, to the rope of Allah (the Quran), and be not divided among yourselves. [Sūrah Āli-‘Imrān, 3:103]

And He says:

وَمَا اخْتَلَفْتُمْ فِيهِ مِن شَيْءٍ فَحُكْمُهُ إِلَى اللَّهِ

And if you differ in anything, its decision is for Allah.[Sūrah al-Shūrá, 42:10]

So referring back to the Book of Allah and adhering to it is the protection and the foundation by which Allah preserves one from falling into destruction.

2. We must make sure to understand the Quran and Sunnah according to the methodology of the righteous predecessors (al-Salaf al-Ṣāliḥ). This will not be achieved unless the Muslims seek such understanding from the sincere and knowledgeable scholars who, by the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم), they refute the distortion of the extremists, the false assumptions of the deniers, and the misinterpretations of the ignorant ones. Allah (عزّ وجل) said:

فَاسْأَلُواْ أَهْلَ الذِّكْرِ إِن كُنتُمْ لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ

So ask the people of the scripture if you don’t know.[Sūrah al-Anbiyā’, 21:7]

And He says:

وَإِذَا جَاءهُمْ أَمْرٌ مِّنَ الأَمْنِ أَوِ الْخَوْفِ أَذَاعُواْ بِهِ وَلَوْ رَدُّوهُ إِلَى الرَّسُولِ وَإِلَى
أُوْلِي الأَمْرِ مِنْهُمْ لَعَلِمَهُ الَّذِينَ يَسْتَنبِطُونَهُ مِنْهُمْ

If there comes to them a matter of safety or fear, they (immediately) publicize it. If only they had referred it to the messenger and to those charged with authority among them, the proper investigators would have understood it from them (directly). [Sūrah al-Nisā’, 4:83]

The terrorists are those who spread corruption on earth, following religious verdicts given without knowledge. They are those who shun the listening to the main scholars of the nation, describing them with evil characteristics that are more rightly attributed to these terrorists themselves. So if the youth turn instead to the inheritors of prophethood (the major scholars), those who are firmly-grounded in knowledge, then this will be their defense, if Allah wills, against these terrorists who rant and rave about things they know nothing about, spreading false rumors. They claim there is no other place for the youth to turn to and connect themselves with.

3. We must also remain far away from the places of such Fitnah (trials, afflictions, and tribulations) to avoid their evil effects. Allah (عزّ وجل) says:

وَاتَّقُواْ فِتْنَةً لاَّ تُصِيبَنَّ الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُواْ مِنكُمْ خَآصَّةً

And fear the Fitnah which not only afflicts those among you who do wrong particularly (but may rather afflict everyone). [Sūrah al-Anfāl, 8:25]

This is done by taking the initiative to do righteous deeds by which Allah’s servants protect themselves against the Fitnah. The messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:

“Take the initiative to do righteous deeds before a Fitnah comes like patches of a dark night. Due to it, a man will be a believer at night and disbelieve by morning, or be a believer in the morning and disbelieve by nightfall. He will sell his religion for a mere portion of this worldly life.” [Imam Aḥmad]

And Abū Hurayrah (رضي الله عنه) said that Allah’s messenger (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم) said:

“There will come a Fitnah during which the one who sits will be better than the one who stands, and the one who stands will be better than the one who walks, the one who walks will be better than one who runs. Whoever exposes himself to it will be overcome by it. Whoever finds a refuge or resort (from it) then let him seek it for protection.” [al-Bukhārī & Muslim]

4. We must strive in worshipping Allah and try to remain constantly and fearfully conscious of Him (عزّ وجل) – having Taqwá. This is done by carrying out what He has commanded and remaining away from what He has forbidden. This is the way of success from every hardship as Allah (عزّ وجل) says:

وَمَن يَتَّقِ اللَّهَ يَجْعَل لَّهُ مِنْ أَمْرِهِ يُسْرًا

And whoever has Taqwá of Allah, He will make his affairs easy for him.[Sūrah al-Ṭalāq, 65:4]

And He (عزّ وجل) says:

َمَن يَتَّقِ اللَّهَ يَجْعَل لَّهُ مَخْرَجًا

And whoever has Taqwá of Allah, He will make for him a way to get out (of every difficulty). [Sūrah al-Ṭalāq, 65:2]

So having this Taqwá of Allah, remaining firm on His legislation, and performing deeds that please Him is the way to achieve every success and victory in both lives (this life and the Hereafter).

5. We must stop the widespread open sinning amongst ourselves, because whatever of Fitnah, evils, or disagreements that afflict the Muslims, it only stems from sins becoming prevalent among the people and disobedience to Allah. Whatever calamities afflict them is only due to what they themselves have earned as Allah says:

أَوَلَمَّا أَصَابَتْكُم مُّصِيبَةٌ قَدْ أَصَبْتُم مِّثْلَيْهَا قُلْتُمْ أَنَّى هَـذَا قُلْ هُوَ مِنْ عِندِ أَنْفُسِكُمْ

When a disaster afflicts you, although you struck (your enemies) with one twice as great, you say: “From where does this come to us?” Say, “It is from your own selves (because of your evil deeds).” [Sūrah Āli-‘Imrān, 3:165]

And He says:

ظَهَرَ الْفَسَادُ فِي الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ بِمَا كَسَبَتْ أَيْدِي النَّاسِ

Corruption has appeared on land and sea because of what the hands of men have earned (by sins, evil deeds, etc.). [Sūrah al-Rūm, 30:41]

6. We must stick to the main body of Muslims and their leader and we must reinforce the understanding that it is obligatory to obey those in authority in goodness. Allah says:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ أَطِيعُواْ اللّهَ وَأَطِيعُواْ الرَّسُولَ وَأُوْلِي الأَمْرِ مِنكُمْ

Oh you who believe, obey Allah and obey the messenger, and those who are in authority among you. [Sūrah al-Nisā’, 4:59]

The messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) also said:

“Indeed, Allah is pleased for you three things and is displeased with three things. He is pleased for you that you worship Him without associating anything as partners with Him, that you hold all together to the rope of Allah and not split into groups, and that you give sincere advice to whomever Allah puts in charge of your affairs.” [Muslim & Aḥmad]

He (صلى الله عليه وسلم) also said:

“There are three things which the heart of a Muslim should never object to: sincerity in doing deeds solely for the sake of Allah, giving sincere advice to those in authority of affairs, and sticking to the main body of Muslims.” [Ibn Mājah & Aḥmad]

He (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:

“Whoever sees something from his leader which he hates, then let him be patient with it, for indeed the one who splits away from the group by even a hand-span and then dies, he does not die except the death of Jāhiliyyah (the pre-Islamic period of ignorance).” [al-Bukhārī]

al-Bukhārī also records in his authentic collection a long Ḥadīth from Ḥudhayfah (رضي الله عنه) in which he asks the prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم):

“What do you instruct me to do if that (Fitnah) reaches me?”

He (صلى الله عليه وسلم) replied:

“Stick to the main group of Muslims and their leader.”

I (Ḥudhayfah) further asked, “What if there is neither a main group nor a leader?”

He (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:

“Then stay away from all of those sects even if you have to bite onto the trunk of a tree until death comes to you while you are in that state.”

[al-Bukhārī]

7. Seeking help by remaining patient during times of hardship. Patience extinguishes much Fitnah as Allah says:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ اسْتَعِينُواْ بِالصَّبْرِ وَالصَّلاَةِ إِنَّ اللّهَ مَعَ الصَّابِرِينَ

Oh you who believe, seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed, Allah is with the patient ones. [Sūrah al-Baqarah, 2:153]

And He (عزّ وجل) says:

وَاصْبِرْ عَلَى مَا أَصَابَكَ

And bear with patience whatever may befall you.[Sūrah Luqmān, 31:17]

The messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:

“The affair of a believer is amazing – all of his affairs are good for him. If he experiences good, he is thankful and that is good for him. And when hardship befalls him, he is patient and that is good for him. This is not the case of anyone except a believer.” [Muslim]

8. We have to resolve our issues with tolerance and forbearance and not be so hasty in judging and passing religious verdicts. We must refrain from becoming excited and angry – all of these traits are the characteristics of the Prophets and Messengers and their followers. Allah (عزّ وجل) said:

إِنَّ إِبْرَاهِيمَ لَحَلِيمٌ أَوَّاهٌ مُّنِيبٌ

Indeed, Ibraaheem (Prophet Abraham) was certainly forbearing, humbly invoking (Allah), and repentant.[Sūrah Hūd, 11:75]

Allah’s messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said to Ashajj Banī ‘Abd al-Qays:

“There are two qualities within you that Allah and His messenger love: tolerance and forbearance.” [Muslim]

9. We must adorn ourselves with gentleness, good behavior among ourselves, and kindness when resolving our problems. The messenger of Allah (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم) said:

“Gentleness is not in anything except that it beautifies it and it is not removed from anything except that it renders it defective.” [Muslim]

And he (صلى الله عليه وسلم) also said:

“Indeed, Allah loves kindness and gentleness in all matters.” [al-Bukhārī]

10. We must fully comprehend whatever issues face us as they actually are, understanding and perceiving them and delve deep into their root causes. We must give this great significance because any ruling passed on a matter is greatly dependant upon how that matter is first understood. So a Muslim should not be misled by only the outward appearance of any issue. Rather, it is incumbent upon a believer to be careful of everything happening around him and not be deceived by first impressions. This must be done, however, by confirming the evidences and without leaving the true methodology. Passing rulings and judgments must not be rushed into and religious issues must not be delved into with no basis of knowledge as Allah says:

وَلاَ تَقْفُ مَا لَيْسَ لَكَ بِهِ عِلْمٌ إِنَّ السَّمْعَ وَالْبَصَرَ وَالْفُؤَادَ كُلُّ أُولـئِكَ كَانَ عَنْهُ مَسْؤُولاً

And do not follow that of which you have no knowledge. Certainly, the hearing, sight, and heart – of each of those you will be questioned. [Sūrah al-Isrā’, 17:36]

11. We must confirm and verify anything we hear and not simply give an ear to rumors, especially what is broadcast on the various media means and the questionable satellite channels. Often such announcements result in commotion among the Muslims, causing them to differ in their goals and weaken their unity. Allah (عزّ وجل) says:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِن جَاءكُمْ فَاسِقٌ بِنَبَأٍ فَتَبَيَّنُوا أَن تُصِيبُوا قَوْمًا بِجَهَالَةٍ فَتُصْبِحُوا عَلَى مَا فَعَلْتُمْ نَادِمِينَ

Oh you who believe, if a wicked evil person comes to you with news, verify it, lest you harm people in ignorance, and afterwards you become regretful for what you have done. [Sūrah al-Ḥujurāt, 49:4]

And the prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:

“Beware of suspicion, for suspicion if the most deceitful of speech.” [al-Bukhārī & Muslim]

12. We have to return back to the fundamentals of our faith and our religion when passing any judgments of others as being disbelievers, sinners, or innovators. We only make such rulings based on the criteria found in the Quran and Sunnah. We do not pass a blanket ruling of disbelief on Muslims without deliberation and confirmed evidence due to the seriousness of this matter. It is forbidden for a Muslim to accuse his brother, a specific individual Muslim, of being a disbeliever even if he does an action of disbelief, unless and until all of the applicable conditions have been met and all excuses and explanations have been removed. Allah (عزّ وجل) says:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ إِذَا ضَرَبْتُمْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ فَتَبَيَّنُواْ وَلاَ تَقُولُواْ لِمَنْ أَلْقَى إِلَيْكُمُ السَّلاَمَ لَسْتَ مُؤْمِنًا تَبْتَغُونَ عَرَضَ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا فَعِندَ اللّهِ مَغَانِمُ كَثِيرَةٌ كَذَلِكَ كُنتُم مِّن قَبْلُ فَمَنَّ اللّهُ عَلَيْكُمْ فَتَبَيَّنُواْ إِنَّ اللّهَ كَانَ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرًا

Oh you who believe, when you go in the cause of Allah, verify (the truth), and say not to anyone who greets you with peace: “You are not a believer,” thereby seeking the perishable goods of the worldly life. There are much more profits and goods with Allah. Even as he is now, so were you yourselves before Allah conferred on you His favors (guided you to Islam). therefore, be cautious in discrimination. Allah is ever well aware of what you do. [Sūrah al-Nisā’, 4:94]

The prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) also warned against this saying in the Ḥadīth of Abū Dharr (رضي الله عنه):

“No man accuses another of being a sinner or accuses him of disbelief except that it is applied back to himself if his companion is actually not like that.” [al-Bukhārī & Muslim]

‘Abd Allah Ibn ‘Umar ( رضي الله عنه) narrated that Allah’s messenger (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم) said:

“Any man that says to his brother, ‘Oh disbeliever!’ then it falls back to one of them.” [al-Bukhārī & Muslim]

Ibn Daqīq al-‘Īd says regarding the meaning of this Ḥadīth:

“This is a sever threat to the one who accuses anyone of the Muslims as being a disbeliever while he is really not. It is a very serious matter in which many of the speakers have fallen into and others who falsely ascribe themselves to the Sunnah and the people of Ḥadīth. This is because of their differing in the correct ‘Aqīdah beliefs so they are harsh with those who oppose them, judging them as disbelievers.”

The famous scholar of Islam, Ibn Taymiyyah, endorsed this saying:

“I’m one of the harshest persons in forbidding one from accusing a specific individual of disbelief, wickedness, or sin unless he knows for certain that all the religious proofs and evidences have been established upon him – those proofs indicating that whoever opposes them is in fact a disbeliever, defiantly disobedient one, or a sinner. And I also affirm that Allah may choose to forgive the sins of this entire (Muslim) nation, the spoken sins and mistakes and the actions.”

These are some of the issues that every Muslim must pay close attention to during such depressing times of trials and tribulations. And it is incumbent upon all Muslims, individually and collectively, the rulers and the ruled, the scholars and students, to consolidate their efforts in order to eradicate these tribulations, uprooting them from their very origins especially today’s problems of Takfīr which have led some people to the extent of accepting that other Muslims’ blood and wealth are lawful to take. Such people corrupt others to the point that they are willing to carry out such measures as of destruction, and bombings. They do this by means of questionable organizations, paid publications, and misguiding verdicts which lead to such terrifying incidents carried out by people with stupid misconceptions. Thereby, they convert themselves into corruptors, murderers of Muslims and non-Muslims who have been promised safety. They violate the sanctity of others’ wealth and structures, calling this “Jihad.” This is the age-old crime of naming something with other than its true name…

So every single Muslim is required, as much as he can, to expose their (the terrorists’) lies and to make known their deviation to prevent their evil and corruption from spreading and calamity from dangerously worsening. It is forbidden to hide or conceal anyone of them because this would be cooperating with them in sin and transgression and Allah (عزّ وجل) said:

وَتَعَاوَنُواْ عَلَى الْبرِّ وَالتَّقْوَى وَلاَ تَعَاوَنُواْ عَلَى الإِثْمِ

And cooperate together in righteous and Taqwá, and do not cooperate in sin and transgression. [Sūrah al-Māi’dah, 5:1]

So whoever supports and accommodates them, defends them, or accepts there actions, then he shares in the sin of killing innocent souls who have committed no crime deserving of this from among the Muslims and those who are under the trust of safety from among the non-Muslims living in the Muslim lands. The Ḥadīth of the prophet (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم) is applied to such supporters of them when he (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:

“The curse of Allah is upon anyone who supports an innovator.” [al-Bukhārī]

We ask Allah, the Generous, the Lord of the great throne, by His perfect names and by His magnificent attributes to preserve and protect all the Muslims in general, and these (Muslim) lands in particular – their religion, safety, and security. And we ask Him to guide the misguided ones from the Muslims and return them back to their religion with a goodly return. We ask Him to unite them all in their goals upon the truth.

The last of our call is that all praise and thanks are due to Allah, the Lord of all creations and may He send prayers and peace upon our prophet, Muhammad, his family, and his companions.

Dr. Saalih ibn Sa’d as-Suhaymee al-Harbee
Member of the Committee of Scholastic Studies
Islamic University of Madeenah & Lecturer in the Prophet’s Mosque

Click the below link to read or download the PDF

Terrorism Its Causes & Cures and a Muslims Position from Such Tribulations – Shaykh Saalih Suhaymi- Authentic-Translations.com [PDF]

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