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Benefit: Don't Say "The People are Lost"

In the Name of Allāh, the Ever Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy

An excerpt from the 2008 ʿAqīdah Series delivered by our brother Mūsá Richardson:

In discussing Chapter 11 باب مقلب القلوب / The One Who Turns the Hearts:

And the lāzim of that chapter, the implementation, the way you affirm it, [is] of course Allāh controls the hearts, and we know that the hearts are between the two of the fingers of al-Raḥmān; He turns them however He pleases.  We affirm for Allāh fingers, and we affirm for Allāh the turning of the hearts, in a manner that befits His majesty.  And the lāzim of that, or the way we implement that after affirming it is that we make duʿāʾʾʾ for ourselves, for our hearts to be made firm upon the dīn of Allāh.  And that we make duʿāʾʾʾ for those people it might seem that their case is hopeless, that they are misguided.  That we make duʿāʾʾʾ for them to be guided because Allāh is the One Who is, the One Who has the qudrah (ability), to turn the hearts however He pleases.

So, we do not feel that the people are lost.  And one way that's a common manifestation that sometimes Muslims lose hope and despair in their brothers in Islām who are astray or on different ideologies, is they say, “Those people are lost”.  And this is a prohibited phrase for the Muslim to say.  Rather, he should never say this and he should follow what is the lāzim of this chapter, that Allāh is the turner of the hearts and we have hope for the Muslims and we make duʿāʾʾʾ for the Muslims.  Why do we not say that the Muslims are lost?  Because the Prophet ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam said,  “من قال هلك الناس, فهو أهلكُهم ”1 "Whoever has said that the people are lost (or destroyed, they're gone), then he is the one who is most gone (he is the most destroyed of them)."  And in one narration, “فهو أهلكَهم”, “He is the one who has actually destroyed them (past tense verb)”, by his statement “هلك الناس”.

When a person says, think about when a person says, “هلك الناس”, “the people are lost”, what do you think his part will be in giving daʿwah?  And making strong efforts to guide the people when his position is the people are lost?  Zero! He won't do anything because the people are lost. Rather, if he says the people have hope and Allāh is مقلب القلوب, then how do you think his efforts would be in daʿwah?  Earnest!  And he'll be, he'll struggle and he'll work for the guidance of the people by Allāh's permission.  

So be aware of saying phrases similar to “the people are lost”, “the people are misguided”, “there's no hope for them”; these are prohibited phrases and they are, in actuality, phrases that lead a person to become from the Khawārij.  How is that?  What's the daʿwah of the Khawārij built on?  “The people are lost, that's why we have to kill them.  The Muslims are all Kuffaar.2  The people who are ascriibng to Islām, they're all disbelievers and they're lost; that's why their blood is ḥalāl and that's why we have to destroy them; that's why we have to take out their leaders; that's why we have to destroy and kill and blow them up.” Because why?  هلك الناس” 'the people are lost'.  “The only way to correct the situation is to rid the Earth of all of them.”  It's a daʿwah of frustration, whereas our daʿwah is a daʿwah of patience.  Our daʿwah is a daʿwah of effort and believing in Allāh ʿazza wa jall that He is, مقلب القلوب.  All of that goes back to the meaning of this chapter.

1 Ṣaḥīḥ Muslim
2 Editor's Note: Similar to the statements from ʿAbdullāh Faisal al-Khārijī al-Jamaykee when he said, “So the Muslims in this country (i.e. the UK), the majority of them, they have no īmān and no taqwá, the average Muslim you meet on the street he has no īmān and no taqwá…” – in a lecture entitled, "Knowledge".   Also reminiscent of the statements from Sayyid Qutb such as, “There is not a Muslim country upon the face of the earth or even a Muslim community with social principles based on Allāh’s legislation or on Islamic understanding.” - In The Shade Of The Qurʾān, 4/2122


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