Rectification of Modern Societies

Rectification of Modern Societies

by | Mar 23, 2022 | Manhaj | 0 comments

Rectification of Modern Societies – By Saudi Scholar Imaam Abdul Azeez Bin Baaz

 

In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.

 

Society Is Greatly In Need of Rectification

 

Imaam Abdul Azeez Bin Baaz [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said:

 

Society-Muslim and Non-Muslim- is greatly in need of rectification. However, from a certain perspective, the Islamic society is greatly in need of adhering to an upright path by way of which it would be rectified – the path that was followed by the most virtuous human being in the Muslim Ummah, the friend of Allaah and the most righteous amongst His slaves, our leader Muhammad [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam]. It is well known that the path through which the Islamic and non-Islamic societies will be rectified is the path that was established by Muhammad [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam]-the leader of the Messengers and seal of the Prophets.  This path was also established by his noble companions-foremost amongst them were the Rightly Guided Khulafaa: Abu-Bakr As-Siddeeq, Umar, Uthmaan and Ali, and the other companions of the Messenger [may Allaah be pleased with all of them and include us amongst those who follow them in righteousness]. It is well known that this path was established by our Prophet Muhammad [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] in Makkah- first and foremost- and then in Madeenah.

 

The Latter Part of This Muslim Nation Will Not Be Rectified Except Through That Which Rectified Its Early Part

 

“The latter part of this Muslim nation will not be rectified except through that which rectified its early part’’, just as the people of knowledge and Eemaan have stated. This is a statement of Imaam Maalik [rahimahullaah] – the well-known scholar of sound understanding and piety. Many other people of knowledge reported this statement during and after his era and they all agreed with it- that ‘’The latter part of this Muslim nation will not be rectified except by way of that which rectified its earlier part.” This means that the path followed by its earlier generations -the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His noble Messenger [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam]- is what will rectify its future generations until the Day of Judgement. The one who wishes to rectify an Islamic society, or any other society in this worldly life through other than the path and practical steps that rectified those who have preceded [i.e. the Prophet and his companions], then such a person is mistaken and has spoken untruth. There is no path [to rectification] other than the path [of the Messenger and his companions]. The only path of rectification and uprightness is the one that was followed by our Prophet [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] and his noble companions, and then those who follow them exactly in righteousness till this era of ours.  And this necessitates:

 

-To give close attention to the Great Qur’aan and the authentic Sunnah of Allaah’s Messenger and convey them to the people.

 

-To acquire understanding of the Qur’aan and authentic Sunnah and convey both of them with knowledge and clear-sightedness.

 

-To clarify the rulings found in the Qur’aan and the Sunnah, including – first and foremost – the sound creed and the views that must be accepted by the Islamic society. On the other hand, one should clarify the forbidden creeds and views that are to be avoided.

 

-To clarify the boundaries of Halaal and Haraam that have been legislated by Allaah and His Messenger, so that they are not violated. Allaah [The Mighty and Majestic] said: [تِلْكَ حُدُودُ اللَّهِ فَلَا تَقْرَبُوهَا – These are the limits (set) by Allah, so approach them not] [Soorah Al-Baqarah: Ayah 187].

 

These limits are the unlawful deeds forbidden by Allaah because they lead to sins. And just as Allaah forbade mankind from going beyond the boundaries of Halaal and Haraam, He also legislated acts of worship and rulings in the religion.

 

Tawheed – The First Obligation

 

The first obligation and foundation established by the Messenger [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] was the call to Tawheed. This is the first obligation and fundamental he spoke about, proclaimed and followed. He called the people to worship Allaah alone and guided them to its details. The statement upon which this obligation is founded is the testimony of faith [لا إله إلا الله- None has the right to be worshipped except Allaah]. This is the solid foundation, alongside the testimony [محمدا رسول الله – Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah].  These two important fundamentals and foundations are the basis of Islaam and the basis for the rectification of this Ummah.

 

Therefore, whoever adheres to these two foundations and acts upon them steadfastly with knowledge, calls to them and exercises patience [whilst facing hardships in this path], he will become upright and Allaah will rectify the Ummah through him depending on the level of his efforts, strength and the sound legislated means he employs whilst following such a path. And whoever neglects both these fundamentals or one of them, he will be ruined and destroyed.

 

When Allaah sent His Prophet [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] and revealed the Qur’aan, the first [Surah] revealed to him was Iqrah and then Muddath’thir; so he [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wsallam] started to warn the people against Shirk [polytheism] and called them to Tawheed [pure Islamic Monotheism]. He warned them, saying: ‘’O people! Testify that none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah and you will be successful [i.e. testify with your tongues, sincerely believe in your heart and carry out acts of worship sincerely for Allaah alone and keep away from every other deity worshipped or invoked besides Allaah]. However, the polytheists were haughty and rejected his advice because they were not prepared to accept it. It was something they never heard from their predecessors [i.e. forefathers] and thus they turned away. Allaah [The Most High] informed us in the Qur’aan that they responded to the Prophet, saying: [ أَجَعَلَ ٱلۡأَلِهَةَ إِلَـٰهً۬ا وَٲحِدًا‌ۖ إِنَّ هَـٰذَا لَشَىۡءٌ عُجَابٌ۬- Has he made the aliha (gods) (all) into One Ilah (God – Allah). Verily, this is a curious thing!]

 

And Allaah [The Most High] also informed us that they said: [وَيَقُولُونَ أَٮِٕنَّا لَتَارِكُوٓاْ ءَالِهَتِنَا لِشَاعِرٍ۬ مَّجۡنُونِۭ–And (they) said: “Are we going to abandon our aliha (gods) for the sake of a mad poet?]

 

They responded in such a manner because they were told to testify that none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah, just as Allaah said: [ إِنَّہُمۡ كَانُوٓاْ إِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمۡ لَآ إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّا ٱللَّهُ يَسۡتَكۡبِرُونَ –Truly, when it was said to them: La ilaha ill-Allah “(none has the right to be worshipped but Allah), they puffed themselves up with pride (i.e. denied it)]; therefore, Allaah replied to them (saying): [ بَلۡ جَآءَ بِٱلۡحَقِّ وَصَدَّقَ ٱلۡمُرۡسَلِينَ- Nay! he (Muhammad) has come with the truth (i.e. Allah’s Religion – Islamic Monotheism and this Qur’an) and he confirms the Messengers (before him who brought Allah’s religion – Islamic Monotheism)].

 

Due to the negligent attitude of some of the people of knowledge- the students of knowledge and individuals amongst the people of Islaam- towards the call to Tawheed, Shirk [i.e. polytheistic beliefs, acts of worship, views, opinions] spread in many lands, and thus the graves and its inhabitants [i.e. the dead in the graves] are invoked besides Allaah. [End of quote from Imaam Bin Baaz]

 

Enjoying Good And Forbid Evil With Wisdom And In Accordance With The Authority You Are Given In Society

 

He should forbid what Allaah has forbidden, such as shirk, and other sins that are lesser than shirk. He should be eager to bring about rectification to the people by enjoining good and forbidding evil [Ref 1] and calls to reconciliation and good relationship between the people. He should forbid people from transgressing the boundaries of halaal and haraam and warn against bidah. This is how a successful rectifier should be. He pursues the means to [rectification], whilst guarding the strong foundation which is that “None has the right to be worshiped except Allaah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah” in knowledge and Action.  He should teach the people and act upon what he teaches, single Allaah out in worship and submit to Allaah’s Sharee’ah through the [path of] the Messenger [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam]. He should accept the Sunnah and venerate it, just as the Sahaabah did. He should follow the path of the Sunnah and that which it necessitates, [whilst following] the Book of Allaah, just as the Sahaabah did.

 

Indeed, the knowledge of the Sahaabah was derived from the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of Allaah’s Messenger. They pondered upon the Book of Allaah, read it with a righteous intention and with the intention of acquiring knowledge and benefit, and to act. They studied the Sunnah, memorized it, took knowledge from it and acted. This is how the Sahaabah, the Messenger and Taabi’oon acted before the existence of written works in hadeeth and other than it. Therefore, judge yourself based on the way of these people.

 

Be Eager For Knowledge And Righteous Deeds

 

Seek knowledge from the Book of your Lord and the Sunnah of His Messenger, and from the statements of the [trustworthy, righteous and rightly guided] scholars in order to understand the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of the Messenger. Be eager for knowledge and understanding of the religion until you are able to direct the society towards a straight and safe path, and until you know how to act.

 

Begin with yourself and strive to rectify your path to righteousness and be foremost in every good [deed]. Be with those people who are foremost in [performing] the prayer and every other good deed, and be distant from every evil.  Adhere to the Book and the Sunnah in your actions and statements, and when dealing with your colleagues, brothers and assistants.  This is how a believer should be because this was how the Sahaabah acted. Also, this is how the Taabi’oon, the Atbaa At-Taabi’een and the righteous people acted. The Imaams of guidance studied the book of Allaah and acted upon that which is found in it. They read it to the people, acquainted them with it and guided them to its meanings. They acquainted them with the Sunnah, urged them to follow it and to acquire understanding from it. They commanded the people to venerate the commandments and prohibitions legislated by Allaah, and they commanded them -throughout their lives- not to transgress the boundaries of halaal and haraam.

 

Every means to rectification requires sincerity and truthfulness, therefore the call to Tawheed requires sincerity and truthfulness. Laa ilaaha illal laah means that none has the right to be worshipped in truth except Allaah’, therefore it is obligatory to be careful of all types of shirk-big and small- and to warn the people against it, just as the Messenger and the Sahaabah did.

 

[Ref 1] Question to Imaam Abdul Azeez Bin Baaz (Rahimahullaah)]:

 

Is enjoining Ma’ruf and forbidding Munkar, namely correcting the wrong by the hand, a right for all Muslims or is it just confined to those in authority and their deputies?

 

Correcting the is obligated on all Muslims according to their ability, because the Messenger [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] said, “Anyone of you who sees evil, let him stop it with his hand (by taking action); if not able, then with his tongue (by speaking out); and if not able, then with his heart (by hating it and feeling that it is wrong), and that is the weakest of Eemaan.”[Reported by Muslim, Abu Dawood, Tirmidhi & others]

 

However, changing by the hand must be based on ability and not result in greater corruption or evil. A man has the right to rectify matters with his hand (by taking action) in his home; and a manager has the authority to make changes with the hand within the organization he is responsible for- in accordance with the instructions that were given to them. Otherwise, people should not stop the evil -with their hand- they are not authorized to stop. If they do make stop an evil they have no authority to stop, this will result in more evil and great corruption between them and the people, and between the people and the state.

 

In this case they should stop the evil with their tongue (by speaking out). They may say: “O so-and-so! Fear Allah! That is not permissible,” “This is Haram (prohibited),” or: “That is Wajib (obligatory) on you,” and clarify it with a legislated Islamic proof. This is what can be done by the tongue. As for changing matters with the hand, this should be done where one has authority, such as one’s home, with those under one’s responsibility, or those authorized by the ruler, such as organizations given permission and authority to enjoin good. They should make changes in accordance with the authority they have been given- in the way prescribed by the Shari’ah (Islamic law), without exceeding their jurisdiction. The same applies to the governor of a city; he should make changes with his hand, in accordance with the instructions he has. [Fataawaa Abdul Azeez Bin Baaz 8/208] [NB: In the Western Europe and some other countries, disapproving of certain acts would be considered harassment or discrimination, therefore, one should know what the law allows him, otherwise he or she will either be cautioned by the authorities and charged]

 

Exalt The [Authentic] Sunnah

 

After the belief that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah and that it is obligatory to follow him, and that Allaah sent him to everyone -Arabs, Non-Arabs, Humans, Jinns, Male and Female- and that it is obligated on all the people of the earth to follow him, the Sunnah will become manifest when venerated and propagated. Allaah [The Most High]:

 

قُلۡ يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلنَّاسُ إِنِّى رَسُولُ ٱللَّهِ إِلَيۡڪُمۡ جَمِيعًا ٱلَّذِى لَهُ ۥ مُلۡكُ ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٲتِ وَٱلۡأَرۡضِ‌ۖ لَآ إِلَـٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ يُحۡىِۦ وَيُمِيتُ‌ۖ فَـَٔامِنُواْ بِٱللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ ٱلنَّبِىِّ ٱلۡأُمِّىِّ ٱلَّذِى يُؤۡمِنُ بِٱللَّهِ وَڪَلِمَـٰتِهِۦ وَٱتَّبِعُوهُ لَعَلَّڪُمۡ تَهۡتَدُونَ

 

Say (O Muhammad): “O mankind! Verily, I am sent to you all as the Messenger of Allah – to Whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth. La ilaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He); It is He Who gives life and causes death. So believe in Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad), the Prophet who can neither read nor write (i.e. Muhammad) who believes in Allah and His Words [(this Qur’an), the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel) and also Allah’s Word: “Be!” -and he was, i.e. ‘Iesa (Jesus) son of Maryam (Mary)] and follow him so that you may be guided.” [Surah Al-A’raaf Ayah 158]

 

And before the above Ayah, Allaah [The Most High] said:

 

[فَٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ بِهِۦ وَعَزَّرُوهُ وَنَصَرُوهُ وَٱتَّبَعُواْ ٱلنُّورَ ٱلَّذِىٓ أُنزِلَ مَعَهُ ۥۤ‌ۙ أُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ هُمُ ٱلۡمُفۡلِحُونَ – So those who believe in him (Muhammad), honour him, help him, and follow the light (the Qur’an) which has been sent down with him, it is they who will be successful] [Surah Al-A’raaf Ayah 157]

 

Therefore, whoever follows the Messenger and exalts his commands and prohibitions, then indeed he will be successful. And whoever opposes him- by following desires and shaytaan- will be a loser and will be destroyed.

 

وَلَا حَوْلَ وَلَا قُوَّة إلَّا بِالَّله

 

Be Well-acquainted With The Society In Which You Live In Order to Call to  Islaam With Wisdom

 

The means to rectification are many depending on what the caller is commanding and forbidding. Therefore, call the people to the religion of Allaah- to fulfil the obligatory duties legislated by Allaah and abandon what Allaah has forbidden based on the path that was followed by Allaah’s Messenger [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam].

 

If you live in a society that wages war against the religion [of Islaam] and there is no Muslim ruler to help, you should act just as Allaah’s Messenger [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] acted in Makkah by calling to the religion of Allaah with good speech, good etiquettes and lenient words, so that what you say will enter the hearts-urging the hearts towards obedience to Allaah and His Religion of Islamic Monotheism. You should cooperate with your brothers and those who adhere to your path [i.e. the call to Tawheed, the authentic Sunnah and understanding of the Salafus Saaleh], whilst calling the people to [Islaam] and utilising leniency until Eemaan becomes firmly settled in the hearts and established amongst the people with clear proofs.

 

And if you live in an Islamic society where a Muslim ruler is present to give you a helping hand, then you can be far more active in enjoining good, forbidding evil and contacting those in charge of authority when the obstinate ones are present- those whose obstinacy poses a danger to society. You should do this, whilst following an upright path and employing leniency, wisdom and patience, just as Allaah [The Mighty and Majestic] said:

 

وَٱلۡعَصۡرِ

 

إِنَّ ٱلۡإِنسَـٰنَ لَفِى خُسۡرٍ

 

إِلَّا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَـٰتِ وَتَوَاصَوۡاْ

 

بِٱلۡحَقِّ وَتَوَاصَوۡاْ بِٱلصَّبۡرِ

 

By Al-‘Asr (the time). Verily! Man is in loss; Except those who believe (in Islamic Monotheism) and do righteous good deeds, and recommend one another to the truth (i.e. order one another to perform all kinds of good deeds (Al-Ma’ruf)which Allah has ordained, and abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds (Al-Munkar)which Allah has forbidden), and recommend one another to patience (for the sufferings, harms, and injuries which one may encounter in Allah’s Cause during preaching His religion of Islamic Monotheism or Jihad, etc.)

 

There has to be patience and calling one another to the truth until your mission becomes success. Also, the people with positions of responsibility in the society and those leaders about whom it is feared that their evil will harm the Dawah, the caller to rectification should advise them whilst employing good etiquettes through written correspondence and speech [Ref 1] just as Allaah [The Most High] said: [فَبِمَا رَحۡمَةٍ۬ مِّنَ ٱللَّهِ لِنتَ لَهُمۡ‌ۖ وَلَوۡ كُنتَ فَظًّا غَلِيظَ ٱلۡقَلۡبِ لَٱنفَضُّواْ مِنۡ حَوۡلِكَ‌ۖ – And by the Mercy of Allah, you dealt with them gently. And had you been severe and harsh-hearted, they would have broken away from about you]. [3:159]

 

And just as Allaah [The Most High] said to Moosaa and Haaroon [alayhimas-Salaam] when He sent them to Pharaoh: [فَقُولَا لَهُ ۥ قَوۡلاً۬ لَّيِّنً۬ا لَّعَلَّهُ ۥ يَتَذَكَّرُ أَوۡ يَخۡشَىٰ -And speak to him mildly, perhaps he may accept admonition or fear Allah] [20:44] Therefore, it is obligated on those seeking to rectify the affairs and the callers to Islaam to follow this path, and that they solve the problems of the society with wisdom and fine admonition-addressing every person with what he deserves, so that they can be successful in their mission and reach their goals. [Source: Excerpt from a booklet titled: Awaamil Islaah Al-Mujtama’a’ pages 21-24. slightly paraphrased]

 

 

The caller to rectification should exercise patience when he receives harm

 

Allaah [Glorified be He and free is He from all imperfection] stated in Soorah Al-Asr:

 

وَٱلۡعَصۡرِ

 

إِنَّ ٱلۡإِنسَـٰنَ لَفِى خُسۡرٍ

 

إِلَّا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَـٰتِ وَتَوَاصَوۡاْ

 

بِٱلۡحَقِّ وَتَوَاصَوۡاْ بِٱلصَّبۡرِ

 

By Al-’Asr (the time). Verily! Man is in loss; except those who believe (in Islamic Monotheism) and do righteous good deeds, and recommend one another to the truth (i.e. order one another to perform all kinds of good deeds (Al-Ma’ruf)which Allah has ordained, and abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds (Al-Munkar)which Allah has forbidden), and recommend one another to patience (for the sufferings, harms, and injuries which one may encounter in Allah’s Cause during preaching His religion of Islamic Monotheism or Jihad, etc.)”

 

Likewise, this [i.e. exercising patience] is the way of the noble Messengers, just as Allaah [The Most High] said to His Messenger Muhammad in the last part of Soorah Al-Ahqaaf, and it is a Soorah that was revealed in Makkah: [فَٱصۡبِرۡ كَمَا صَبَرَ أُوْلُواْ ٱلۡعَزۡمِ مِنَ ٱلرُّسُلِ وَلَا تَسۡتَعۡجِل لَّهُمۡ‌ۚ – Therefore be patient (O Muhammad) as did the Messengers of strong will and be in no haste about them (disbelievers)].

 

And Allaah [The Most High] said in Soorah Aal Imraan and it is a Soorah that was revealed in Madeenah:

 

لَتُبۡلَوُنَّ فِىٓ أَمۡوَٲلِڪُمۡ وَأَنفُسِڪُمۡ وَلَتَسۡمَعُنَّ مِنَ ٱلَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ ٱلۡكِتَـٰبَ مِن قَبۡلِڪُمۡ وَمِنَ ٱلَّذِينَ أَشۡرَكُوٓاْ أَذً۬ى كَثِيرً۬ا‌ۚ وَإِن تَصۡبِرُواْ وَتَتَّقُواْ فَإِنَّ ذَٲلِكَ مِنۡ عَزۡمِ ٱلۡأُمُورِ

 

You shall certainly be tried and tested in your wealth and properties and in your personal selves, and you shall certainly hear much that will grieve you from those who received the Scripture before you (Jews and Christians) and from those who ascribe partners to Allah, but if you persevere patiently, and become Al-Muttaqun then verily, that will be a determining factor in all affairs, and that is from the great matters, [which you must hold on with all your efforts].

 

And Allaah [The Most High] said in the last part of Soorah An-Nahl and it is also a Soorah that was revealed in Makkah:

 

وَٱصۡبِرۡ وَمَا صَبۡرُكَ إِلَّا بِٱللَّهِ‌ۚ وَلَا تَحۡزَنۡ عَلَيۡهِمۡ وَلَا تَكُ فِى ضَيۡقٍ۬ مِّمَّا يَمۡڪُرُونَ

 

إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ مَعَ ٱلَّذِينَ ٱتَّقَواْ وَّٱلَّذِينَ هُم مُّحۡسِنُونَ

 

And endure you patiently (O Muhammad); your patience is not but from Allah. And grieve not over them (polytheists and pagans, etc.), and be not distressed because of what they plot. Truly, Allah is with those who fear Him (keep their duty unto Him), and those who are Muhsinun (good-doers) [3]

 

The verses of the Qur’aan that conveys this affair are many indeed. Everyone who followed the path of the Messengers amongst the callers to Allaah and the righteous rectifiers was successful in his call – successful with a praiseworthy end and was given victory over the enemies. Whoever examines and studies the narrations transmitted about the righteous rectifiers and their life stories will come to know of this and will be certain about it.

 

I ask Allaah by His Beautiful (Perfect) Names and (Perfect) Lofty Attributes that He rectifies the state of affairs of the Muslims. And that He grants them understanding in the religion, grants their leaders every good and rectifies their advisers, consultants, helpers etc. And that He protects all the Muslims in every place from the affairs of misguidance that occur as a result of trials, and protects them from following desires and shaytaan. Indeed Allaah alone is the Guardian over all this and the one able to grant it.

 

وصلى الّله وسلم على نبينا محمَّد وآله وصحبه

 

[Source: An Excerpt from (Awaamil Islaah Al-Mujtama’ah pages 1-27.  slightly paraphrased]

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