Allaah will not change the condition of the people, Until they change what is within themselves Imaam Abdul Aziz bin Abdullaah bin Baz Majmoo’ Fataawa Ibn Baaz (24/249-251)
What is the meaning of the words of Allaah in Soorat al-Ra’d (interpretation of the meaning): “Verily, Allaah will not change the (good) condition of a people as long as they do not change their state (of goodness) themselves (by committing sins and by being ungrateful and disobedient to Allaah)” [al-Ra’d 13:11]?
Praise be to Allaah.
This is an important verse which indicates that Allaah subhana wa ta’ala, in His perfect justice and wisdom does not change the condition of the people from good to bad or from bad to good, from ease to hardship or from hardship to ease, unless they change their condition themselves.
So if they are in a state of righteousness and goodness and they change, Allaah will change things for them with punishment, calamities, hardship, drought, famine, disunity and other kinds of punishments as appropriate requital. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And your Lord is not at all unjust to (His) slaves” [Fussilat 41:46].
Or He may give them respite and give them time so that they might turn to the right path, but if they do not then they will be seized unexpectedly, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):
“So, when they forgot (the warning) with which they had been reminded, We opened for them the gates of every (pleasant) thing, until in the midst of their enjoyment in that which they were given, all of a sudden, We took them (in punishment), and lo! They were plunged into destruction with deep regrets and sorrows” [al-An’aam 6:44]., meaning despairing of all goodness — we seek refuge in Allaah from the punishment and wrath of Allaah.
Or they may be given respite until the Day of Resurrection, when their punishment will be more severe, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “Consider not that Allaah is unaware of that which the Zâlimûn (polytheists, wrongdoers) do, but He gives them respite up to a Day when the eyes will stare in horror”[Ibraaheem 14:42], meaning that they are given respite until after death, and that will be a greater and more severe punishment.
Or they may be in a state of evil and sin, then they repent to Allaah and turn back to Him, and they regret their sins and adhere to obedience, so Allaah changes their state of wretchedness, hardship and poverty to ease, unity and righteousness because of their good deeds and their repentance to Allaah, may He be glorified and exalted.
It is stated in another verse (interpretation of the meaning): “That is so because Allaah will never change a grace which He has bestowed on a people until they change what is in their ownselves” [al-Anfaal 8:53].
This verse tells us that if they are in a state of ease, comfort and goodness, then they change and turn to sin, their situation will be changed — there is no power and no strength except with Allaah — or they may be given respite, as stated above.
The opposite is also true: if they were in a state of evil and sin, or disbelief and misguidance, then they repent, regret their sin and adhere to obedience to Allaah, Allaah will change their situation from bad to good; He will change their disunity into unity and harmony; He will change their hardship to ease, well being and plenty; He will change their situation from draught, famine, , lack of water and so on to rainfall, fertile land and other kinds of goodness.
[End of the Shaykh’s words]
So this is the method of change, that we must traverse upon, “Verily, Allaah will not change the (good) condition of a people as long as they do not change their state (of goodness) themselves (by committing sins and by being ungrateful and disobedient to Allaah)”
Bismilllaah Hir Rahmaanir Raheem
The method of change, that we must all traverse upon is as Allaah has said; “Verily, Allaah will not change the (good) condition of a people as long as they do not change their state (of goodness) themselves (by committing sins and by being ungrateful and disobedient to Allaah)” [Soorah al-Ra’d 13:11]
There will always remain goodness in the Muslim Ummah and there will always remain a small number of Muslims who will enjoin the good and forbid evil, with knowledge, wisdom, good manners and good teachings. But, at certain stages of the Ummah, we will, in general face weakness, oppression and humiliation, that which we are facing right now in the world.
Due to a vast number (and it would not be incorrect to say majority of the Muslims) not giving importance and paying attention to correct/authentic Islamic Knowledge, seeking, learning knowledge of the Deen and acting according to it and seeking it from trustworthy, reliable Scholars and Thalabul-Ilm, the general situation that the Muslim Community is in at the moment in time; is of indulging in sins and disobedience. Not fulfilling the rights of Allaah and His Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu alahi wa sallam. Not learning, living and judging by the teachings of Islam. Thus the following has been decreed for us; humiliation, degradation, ignorance, disunity, poverty, injustice, occupation of our lands, open corruption, Muslim rulers not ruling by Allaah’s law, backwardness, nationalism, lacking behind in worldly knowledge – science, medicine, technology etc.
If we Muslims wish all this to be changed, to that which is the opposite and desire victory, glory and honour, then we Muslims in general or a large portion of the Ummah, must change ourselves and become upright, adhering to our religion, the religion of the Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam and his Companions radhiAllaahu’anhum, being patient and steadfast, learning and acting upon evidence and with the correct understanding. Making Tasfiyah and Tarbiyah. Purifying and educating ourselves. We must abandon following blindly a Shaykh, a Madhhab, but follow the Shaykh, the madhhab based upon evidence. Also we must shun being in sects, groups and organisations which are the root cause of disunity.
It is incumbent that we make dua to Allaah alone and directing all forms of worship to Him alone following the Sunnah in all matters, the commanded or recommended sunnah to the best of our ability, big or small and striving hard to fight the shaytaan within us and around us. Fearing Allaah and repelling temptations – no matter where we are, in private and in public. At times of ease and at times of hardship until death – then we will see, Allaah will change the situation and the condition that we are in. Changing ourselves, by returning to the Islam of the Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam and his Companions radhiAllaahu’anhum. Following the methodology, the manhaj of our Salaf as-Salih, the pious predesessors. Changing our way of life, our life style, our way of thinking, mentality, our perception of life to that of the Qur’aan and the authentic Sunnah as understood by the Companions and the trustworthy, reliable Scholars of the Sunnah of the past and present. Constantly, being in the process of learning, acting, advising others with knowledge, wisdom and manners. Whilst being balanced, not neglecting our role in this world to work, to play a role in the community, to contribute to the society we live in, to provide for our family, being a good husband/wife, father/mother, son/daughter, learning worldly knowledge to be independent, establishing businesses and not rely upon the non-Muslims, enjoying life in the halal manner etc.
We find today, in our time, there are many different calls, dawah to the method of change.
Some call to – Khilafah, ruling by the law of Allaah by the Governments, Rulers and Kings (yet they do not establish the laws of Allaah on themselves nor their family in the home),
others call to – the overthrowing of bad Muslim rulers by way of coup and assassination and even declaring all Muslim Governments as being Kuffaar.
others call for political change, yet no social change have they made to themselves, so how do they expect political change.
For others, – method of change is Jihaad, yet we don’t have the necessary means and power, we have to buy weapons from Kuffaar nor do we have an overall leader (Khalifah) to direct us. But defencesive Jihaad will always remain until the last day,
Yet others declare Muslims to be Kuffaar (Takfeer) due to sins and thus permitting terrorism, killings and suicide bombings of civilian non-Muslims and Muslims in the process.
others call to – unity no matter what Aqeedah or manhaj you are upon, as long as you are a Muslim,
others call to – modernising Islam and compromising to secular system,
others call to – mysticism, innovating in religion and isolating themselves from the world in the name of spiritual improvements.
others insulting the inheritors of the Prophets, the Scholars of Islam and in particular the Scholars of the Sunnah and Salafiyah. Accusing them of being ignorant of the currant affairs, being Scholars of dollars, Scholars of menstruation etc. Thus turning the ignorant ones towards them and away from the Scholars.
Others who claim to be upon the Sunnah and following the Methodology of our Salaf as-Saalih ( and we are not objecting nor disputing this, but we are objecting and disputing their extremism, hastiness, harshness and judgemental nature. As they are quick in declaring anyone that differs with them or falls into mistakes, to be from the Ahlul Bid’ah and Hizbiyoon (Tabdee). Even if they are upon the correct Aqeedah and Manhaj in general, are known to be upon the correct Islam, loving the Sunnah and the Scholars of the Sunnah and its people. They have become like a Hizbi Salafi group in itself.
Rather it is obligatory upon us all to follow the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of the Messenger upon the understanding and methodology of our Salaf as-Saalih. Being upon the Salafi Manhaj in a balanced, moderate way. Being a Muslim and specifically a Salafi as an identification (due to division and disunity in the Ummah) as to what kind of a Muslim we are, Salafi in belief, knowledge, statements and actions. Following the Way, method and understanding of the Salaf, Ahlul-Hadeeth, Ahlul-Athar, Firqatul-Najiyah, Taiffatul-Mansoora, the specific Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jama’ah.
So in conclusion;
These issues of Jihaad, politics, khilafah, unity, takfeer, Tabdee etc are all part of Islaam, but there are conditions and requirements from the Qur’aan and the Sunnah and the Scholarly opinions that needs to be met before it can be materialised.
But that which will make a change and is guaranted for us is; the fundamental method of change Allaah has told us in the Quraan; “Verily, Allaah will not change the (good) condition of a people as long as they do not change their state (of goodness) themselves (by committing sins and by being ungrateful and disobedient to Allaah)” [al-Ra’d 13:11]