Meeting the People Where They are, Or Meeting the People Where They Need to Be? – Abu Suhayl Anwar Wright

We have heard some statements from one of the callers to desires and misguidance here in Philadelphia whose goal, ultimately, is do away with the commanding of good and forbidding of evil, and to allow the people to do and say whatever pleases them from sin, transgression and innovation, without there being anyone to censure those statements and actions, or look down upon them. His speech is in line with the old statement of some common folk prevalent some years ago “Allah knows what’s in my heart” or “Only Allah can judge me.” These statements contain truth, but what is intended by them is to leave off censuring and rebuking open acts of disobedience, innovation, and other matters they commit which contradict the lofty Religion of Islam . The only difference now is that these new statements emanate from an individual who ascribes to knowledge and carries a degree from the Islamic University of al Madinah. His dubious statements only give ammunition to people who follow their desires and practice Islam in a way that suits their desires without there being anyone who can advise, rebuke, or censure them.

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Prophetic Guidelines for Protection And Safety from Trials and Misguidance – al-’Allaamah Rabee’ Ibn Haadee al-Madkhalee

lubaabbookIndeed, I advise myself and you with the taqwaa [1] of Allaah and ikhlaas (sincerity) [2] to Him and steadfastness upon the truth and holding fast to the Book and the Sunnah and that which the Salafus-Saalih were upon in terms of beliefs, acts of worship, manhaj (methodology) and moral character. I counsel you with these matters and advise that you give them the utmost importance.  You must direct your attention to them and form the mutual bonds of brotherhood amongst yourselves and you must inculcate mutual love amongst yourselves.  You must utilize the causes the mutual love, affection and unity and you must distance yourselves from stirring up trials and dilemmas.  And you must distance yourselves from the causes of disagreement amongst yourselves.  So such causes are many, so avoid them.

And strive to memorize the Book of Allaah and whatever you are able from the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) and study the books of the recognized people of knowledge as well as the writings of the recognized Imaams from the Imaams of the Sunnah.  And distance yourselves from the books of desires and misguidance, because many of those who follow up and read the likes of these books and audio recordings fall into deviations.

Indeed, the Salaf warned against such perils.  The books and audio recordings of fitan (trials, tribulations) and innovations cause many of the people to fall into errors and mistakes.  And the Salaf used to warn against the books of the people of misguidance.  Rather, the Companions (radiyallaahu ’anhum) burned some of the masaahif (written copies of the Qur‘aan) in order to unite the Ummah upon one mushaf.

So there are many fallacies and theories that many of the people use to deceive some of the youth.  One such fallacy is the statement that: We will read all of the books, including the books of misguidance and we will take the truth and abandon the falsehood from them.

And the reality is that this is a trap and an artifice set to ensnare the Salafee youth.  So the youth who does not have a firm grasp of the knowledge and he is not well versed in the Salafee manhaj, he becomes prone to error and deviation when he reads the books of the people of misguidance and falsehood.

And many of the youth have actually been deceived by this cunning statement.  So they begin to read and listen and the end result is deviation.

And the Messenger (’alayhis-salaatu was-salaam) advised that during the days of disagreements and splitting we must hold fast to his Sunnah and his guidance and the Sunnah and guidance of the Rightly Guided Caliphs.

And the individual will not obtain the knowledge of the Sunnah and guidance of the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) and the guidance of the Rightly Guided Caliphs, except by exerting all of his effort in learning this Sunnah and this guidance and by turning his back to the statements of the dissenters and renegades.

So strive your utmost in learning the Sunnah and guidance of the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) and hold fast to it and bite onto it with your molar teeth and beware of newly invented affairs, as our Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) has advised. [3] So by Allaah, this is the way to escape the trials and in it is the safety.  And that is the ark of salvation, may Allaah bless you.

So these are the Prophetic guidelines so revere and respect them.  And know that opposing them leads to deviation – and refuge is sought with Allaah.  Not being concerned with them, not giving them importance and not being mindful of them; all of that leads to deviation and falling into newly invented affairs.  So the individual is not safe from falling into the newly invented affairs, except if he holds fast to the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) and the guidance of the Rightly Guided Caliphs (radiyallaahu ’anhum).

And that cannot occur, except by serious study and mindfulness and full comprehension of this Sunnah in the areas of ’aqeedah (creed), ’ibaadah (worship), manhaj (methodology) and in all fields of life.  And ignorance of that or carelessness in it leads to falling into innovations and misguidance, which are the newly invented affairs mentioned in the hadeeth, “And the most evil of affairs are the newly invented ones,” [4] as occurs in the hadeeth of Jaabir (radiyallaahu ’anhu) collected in Saheeh Muslim.

So it is upon you to take these advices and counsels and warnings from the noble Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) and with that our beliefs and methodologies and moral character will remain safe if Allaah so wills.

And I advise you to maintain amongst yourselves mutual friendship, mercy and affection.  And be zealous taking to the good and blessed means that bring about unity and love and distance yourselves from the causes of mutual hatred, jealousy, differing and whatever resembles that from that which has occurred amongst many of the youth.

Hold fast to calling to Allaah the Glorified and Exalted with wisdom and a good admonition.  Call the people: people of innovation and desires and partisanship and the Jews and the Christians and other than them.  Call them to Allaah with wisdom and a good admonition and proofs and evidence.  “That Allaah guides a single man through you is better for you than red camels.” [5]

And strive to be upon steadfastness with regards to this magnificent manhaj in the manner to which we have alluded.  And strive to guide the people.  And that cannot occur, except if you first arm yourselves with knowledge and arm yourselves with the wisdom, which is accompanied by proof and evidence.

And the people are in dire need of this goodness, which is exemplified by the Salafee manhaj, which emanates from the Book of Allaah and from the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam).  And if the Muslims were to hold fast to this manhaj in truth, then you would surely see many people from these nations accepting Islaam and taking to it.

However, many of the Muslims who live amongst the Europeans and the Americans and others than them have deviations in their beliefs, their acts of worship, their moral character and in the rest of their dealings.  These deviations have disfigured the image and beauty of Islaam and they have run the people away.  If they were to present the real image of Islaam to the people, then you would see how they would rush to accept Islaam.

However, we say with great regret, as it was said by other than us: The Muslims have distorted Islaam and have run the enemies of Islaam away from it and from themselves.  That goes back to the ignorance or misguidance that many are living in from the sects that become widespread in those lands and it is due to the evil dealings and evil moral character which gives others a distorted view of Islaam.  So exemplify Islaam, as it is said.  And implement Islaam as a Religion and a creed and moral code of behaviour.  If Allaah so wills, Allaah will guide many of the enemies of Islaam, such as the Christians and the Jews at your hands.  Likewise, people will turn from all direction towards the truth the correct path, from those who are currently deviated by these sects within which you live and work and about whom many of you have complained.

We ask Allaah to unite between our hearts and to take us by our forelocks to the truth and to goodness.  Indeed, our Lord hears the supplication. [6]

Endnotes:

[1]: Translator’s Note: Talq Ibn Habeeb (d.100H) – rahimahullaah – said, “Taqwaa is acting in obedience to Allaah, hoping in His mercy, upon guidance from Him; and taqwaa is leaving acts of disobedience to Allaah out of fear of Him, upon guidance from Him.”  Related by Ibn Abee Shaybah in Kitaab al-Eemaan (no. 99).  It was declared saheeh by al-Albaanee in his checking of the same book.

[2]: Translator’s Note: Shaykh al-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (d.728H) – rahimahullaah – said, “Due to this, the Imaams of the Salaf (rahimahumullaah) had a consensus upon these two fundamental principles.  So al-Fuḍayl Ibn ’Iyaad (d.187H) commented concerning the statement of Allaah the Blessed and Exalted, “So that He may test which of you is best in deed.” [Sooratul-Mulk 67:2] He said, “It is that which is most sincere and most correct.”  So it was said, “O Abaa ’Alee!  What is most sincere and most correct?”  So he replied, ‘The deed that is correct but not sincere is not accepted.  And if it is sincere but not correct, then it is likewise not accepted; not until it is both sincere and correct.  And sincere means that it must be done only for the sake of Allaah and correct means that it must be in accordance to the Sunnah.”  Refer to Majmoo’ al-Fataawaa (3/124) of Ibn Taymiyyah.

[3]: Translator’s Note: This is an allusion to the well-known hadeeth: From al-’Irbaad Ibn Saariyah (radiyallaahu ’anhu) who said: The Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) admonished us with an intense sermon which caused the hearts to tremble and the eyes to shed tears, so we said, “O Messenger of Allaah!  It seems that this is a farewell sermon, so advise us.”  He replied, “I advise you with the fear of Allaah and to listen and obey even if the one granted authority over you is a slave.  So whoever lives long amongst you will see many disagreements.  So hold fast to my Sunnah and the way of the Rightly Guided Caliphs after me.  Bite onto that with your molar teeth and beware of the newly invented affairs, since every innovation is misguidance.”  Related by Aboo Daawood (no. 4607) and at-Tirmidhee (no. 2676), Ibn Maajah (no. 42-43).  It was declared saheeh by al-Albaanee in Saheehul-Jaami’ (no. 2549).

[4]: Related by Muslim (no. 867), from the hadeeth of Jaabir Ibn ’Abdullaah (radiyallaahu ’anhu).

[5]: Related by al-Bukhaaree (no. 2942) and Muslim (no. 2406), from the hadeeth of Sahl Ibn Sad (radiyallaahu ’anhu).

[6]: Refer to al-Lubaab min Majmoo’ Nasaa‘ih wa Tawjeehaat ash-Shaykh Rabee’ lish-Shabaab (p.275-279), the al-Miraathun-Nabawee printing.

Translation by Maaz Qureshi