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Being Balanced

   

How do we strike the balance in speaking out against the Muslims who innovate and deviate, yet stay merciful and kind with our Muslim brothers and sisters?

bismallah

  

  This especially refers to someone delving into that which does not concern him regarding someone else’s religious or worldly affairs. Thus, such a person may speak out of envy or desire for position; or act either with deliberate oppression, or foolish scorn and sarcasm. How often does Shayṭān make such an act seem like commanding the good or prohibiting the evil, or Jihād in the path of Allāh, whereas it is actually an act of injustice and transgression!

 

A FACT ABOUT PEOPLE AND GROUPS

Imām Jamāl al-Dīn al-Qasimī (d.1288H) – raḥimahullāh – said:

"From that which is well-known about what occurs when people gather together upon some matter, is that any group which becomes strong and has many followers, then you will definitely find in them the pure and the impure, the justly balanced and the unbalanced, the extreme and the moderate. And a well-established fact is that the extremists are more vocal and have greater acceptance, since the ones who are justly balanced follow a middle course. And those who seek this balanced approach are few in numbers, in every age and place. As for extremism, then this is what most of the people thrive upon, and what the over-whelming majority incline towards – and this has been the path of the various sects and religions as well. So the extremists try to monopolize their being mentioned among the people and to single in their Daʿwah. And they did not find any way to gain a monopoly over the people, except by extremism, which they achieve by degraḍīng people and belittling them at every opportunity; either by their tongues, or other than that. And the first to open this door – the door of unleashing their tongues against those who oppose them – were the Khawārij. And this is the route by which they came to the masses, through the door of takfīr (declaring a Muslim to be a disbeliever), in order that the masses would flee from other than them, so that they could secure a relationship for themselves with the masses. Then this disease was transmitted to others, such that the extreme elements of each group started unjustly declaring Muslims to be either unbelievers, sinners, innovators, or deviants…" [1]

DEALING WITH THOSE WHO ERR OR DEVIATE

Shaykh al-Islām Ibn Taymīyyah (d.728H) – raḥimahullāh – said:

"The Imāms of the Sunnah and the Jamāʿah, and the people of knowledge and īmān (faith) have in them ‘adl (justice), ʿilm (knowledge) and raḥmah (mercy), and the know the truth which conforms to the Sunnah and which is free from innovations. They do justice to those who depart from the Sunnah and the Jamāʿah, even if they have been wronged – as Allāh the Exalted said:

"O you who believe! Stand out firmly for Allāh and be witnesses, and do not let the hatred of others swerve you from doing justice. But be just! That is closer to taqwá. (piety)" [Sūrah al-Māʿidah, 5:8]

Likewise they are merciful with the creation; desiring for them goodness, guidance and knowledge. They never intend for them any harm or evil. Rather when they criticize them and explain to them their error, ignorance or wrong-doing, then their purpose in doing so is only to clarify the truth, and to be merciful to the creation, to enjoin the good and to forbid the evil, and to make the word of Allāh uppermost so that the way of life becomes purely for the sake of Allāh." [2]

THE BALANCED APPROACH

Shaykh al-Islām Ibn Taymīyyah – raḥimahullāh – said:

"When dealing with the people of sin, one must not exceed the limits prescribed by the Sharīʿah – neither in hating, censuring, preventing, abandoning or chastising them. Rather the one who does so should be told: Worry about your own-self. No harm will come to you from those who are misled, it you are truly guided – as Allāh the Exalted said:

"O you who believe! Stand out firmly for Allāh and be witnesses, and do not let the hatred of others swerve you from doing justice. But be just! That is closer to taqwá. (piety)" [Sūrah al-Māʿidah, 5:8]

And Allāh said:

"And fight in the way of Allāh those who fight you but do not transgress the limits." [Sūrah al-Baqarah, 2:190]


Indeed, many of those who command and forbid transgress the limits set by Allāh, either through jahl (ignorance) or ẓulm (oppression). Thus ,this issue of justice must be firmly maintained, whether it is in regards to censuring the unbelievers, the hypocrites, the sinners, or the disobedient ones." [3]

He further said:

"The one commanding the good or forbidding the evil should do so in a way prescribed by the Sharīʿah; with knowledge, gentleness, patience and with good intentions, and by following a balanced approach. All of this enters into the statement of Allāh:

"O you who believe! Beware of your own-selves. No harm will come to you from those who are misled, if you are truly guided." [Sūrah al-Māʿidah, 5:105]

There is in this statement another meaning as well, which is that a person must turn to that which will be of benefit to him, both in knowledge and in action, and he must avoid all that does not concern him – as the conveyor of the Sharīʿah (ṣallallāhu ʿalayhi wa-sallam) said:

"From the perfection of a person’s Islām is to leave alone that which does not concern him." [4]

This especially refers to someone delving into that which does not concern him regarding someone else’s religious or worldly affairs. Thus, such a person may speak out of envy or desire for position; or act either with deliberate oppression, or foolish scorn and sarcasm. How often does Shayṭān make such an act seem like commanding the good or prohibiting the evil, or Jihād in the path of Allāh, whereas it is actually an act of injustice and transgression!" [5]

A COMPREHENSIVE DESCRIPTION

Shaykh al-Islām Ibn Taymīyyah – raḥimahullāh – also said:

"And Ahl al-Sunnah wal-a-Jamāʿah follow the Book and the Sunnah, obey Allāh and His Messenger, they follow the truth and are merciful to the creation." [6]


Endnotes:

[1] al-Jarḥ wat-Ta’adeel (p. 4-5).

[2] Radd ‘alal Bakree (p. 256) of Shaykh al-Islām Ibn Taymīyyah.

[3] Majmūʿ al-Fatāwá (14/381).

[4] Ṣaḥīḥ: Related by at-Tirmidthī (no. 2318) and others from Abū Hurayrah (raḍī Allāhu ʿʿʿanhu). It was authenticated by Shaykh al-Albānī in Ṣaḥīḥ Sunan Ibn Mājah (no. 3976).

[5] Majmūʿ al-Fatāwá (14/382).

[6] Qaa’idah Ahl al-Sunnah wal-Jamāʿah fī Rahmati Ahlil Bida’ wal-Ma’aasee (p. 5).

 

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