Letters to the Editor | August 2015
Sheikh Imran Hussein’s venture
Ahtesham Hussain Mohammed,
Q: I have a question which troubles my mind and I apologize in advance for requesting you to read through the references provided below which are a few among others based on which Sheikh Imran Hosein from Trinidad and Tobago now becoming popular on YouTube has provided a solution to the Muslims around the world as to how they can attempt to save their deen and live a life according to the Qur’an and Sunnah of the Prophet. The result has let to people applying his solution in countries like Egypt, Malaysia, Pakistan, Indonesia, and South Africa while others are planning elsewhere as well.
Point 1: “Verily! As for those whom the angels take (in death) while they are wronging themselves (as they stayed among the disbelievers even though emigration was obligatory for them), they (angels) say (to them): ‘In what (condition) were you?’ They reply: ‘We were weak and oppressed on earth.’ They (angels) say: ‘Was not the earth of Allâh spacious enough for you to emigrate therein?’ Such men will find their abode in Hell – What an evil destination!” (An-Nisa97)
Point 2: “I disavow every Muslim living amongst Mushriks.” [Abu Da’ud (Badhl), XII, 425-426; al Bayhaqi, IX, 13; al-Nasa’i, VIII, 36; al-Tirmidhi, IV, 155, 156.]
Point 3: The Prophet said: “Let him who hears of the Dajjal (Antichrist) go far from him, for I swear by Allah that a man will come to him thinking he is a believer and follow him because of confused ideas roused in him by Dajjal.” [Abu Dawood]
Point 4: “Lo! Those who believe, and those who emigrate [to escape the persecution] and strive in the way of Allah, these have hope of Allah’s mercy. Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.” [Al-Baqarah: 210]
Point 5: “And as for those who emigrated for the Cause of Allâh, after suffering oppression, We will certainly give them goodly residence in this world, but, indeed, the reward of the Hereafter will be greater, if they but knew! Such as are steadfast and put their trust in Allah.” [An-Nahl: 41, 42]
Point 6: The Messenger of Allah said, “Islam erases whatever was done before it, and Hijrah erases whatever was done before it.”
“Hijrah will not cease until there is no more repentance and repentance will not cease until the sun rises from the West.” [Al-Bayhaqi, IX, 17; al-Darimi, II, 239-240. Also reported in Ibn Hanbal and Abu Da’ud]
Point 7: “A time will soon come when the best wealth of a Believer will be goats which he will follow to the mountains, fleeing with his religion.” [Saheeh al-Bukhari, 1/15, Dar Ibn Katheer]
Point 8: ‘Abd Allah ibn Mas’ud said: “The Prophet said, ‘Islam began as something strange, and it will revert to being strange as it was in the beginning, so good tidings for the strangers.’ Someone asked, ‘Who are the strangers?’ He said, ‘The ones who break away from their people (literally, ‘tribes’) for the sake of Islam.'” (Ibn Majah on the authority of Anas and Abu Hurairah)
Point 9: Narrated Hudhayfah ibn al-Yaman: “People used to ask the Prophet (saws) about good things, but I used to ask him about bad things, because I was afraid that they might overtake me. I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, we were lost in ignorance (Jahiliyyah) and evil, then Allah brought this good (i.e., Islam). Will some evil come after this good thing?’ He said, ‘Yes.’ I asked, ‘And will some good come after that evil?’ He said, ‘Yes, but it will be tainted with some evil.’ I asked, ‘How will it be tainted?’ He said,’ There will be some people who will lead others on a path different from mine. You will see good and bad in them.’ I asked, ‘Will some evil come after that good?’ He said, ‘Some people will be standing and calling at the gates of Hell; whoever responds to their call, they will throw him into the Fire.’ I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, describe them for us.’ He said, ‘They will be from our own people, and will speak our language.’ I asked, ‘What do you advise me to do if I should live to see that?’ He said,’ Stick to the main body (Jama’ah) of the Muslims and their leader (Imam)’. I asked, ‘What if there is no main body and no leader?’ He said, ‘Isolate yourself from all of these sects, even if you have to eat the roots of trees until death overcomes you while you are in that state.'” [Imam Ibn Kathir: The Signs before Day of Judgment]
Point 10: Umar (ra) said: “There is no Islam without the Jama´ah; and there is no Jama´ah without (the obligation of having to) listen; and there is no listening without (the obligation to) obey” (Mishkat). [Abu Daud adds: “There is no Jama´ah without an Ameer.”]
Point 11: Harith Al-Ash´ari (ra) said that the Messenger of Allah (saws) declared: “I order you (to adhere to) five (things): the Jama´ah, listening, obeying, Hijrah, and Jihad in the way of Allah. Whoever departs from the Jama´ah by as much (distance) as the span of a hand, he has removed the guardianship of Islam from his neck, except in case of his return (to the Jama´ah). And whoever calls with the call of Jahiliyyah, such is from the ashes of Jahannam. Even if he fasts and performs Salaat and (thereby) considers himself a believer (he will still enter into the Hell).” [Ahmad, Tirmidhi]
Point 12: Narrated Abu Hurairah: The Prophet (saws) said: “There will come a time of afflictions when one who sits will be better than one who stands; one who stands will be better than one who walks; and one who walks will be better than one who runs. Whoever exposes himself to these afflictions, they will destroy him. So whoever can find a place of protection or refuge from them, should take shelter in it.” [Bukhari and Muslim]
The above has been extracted from http://www.medinahproject.com/ which is a website created by a German Muslim brother who has implemented the Sheikh‘s proposed solution in Indonesia on the island of Sulawesi and is residing there in the Muslim Village for the past 1.5 years.
There is a lecture on YouTube delivered by Sheikh Imran Hosein regarding the Muslim Village among many others explaining why this is an important solution at this time. [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVAuNJtjrYY]
My question: Is there anything wrong in implementing this solution in a Muslim’s life, if he is convinced with the Sheikh‘s explanation? Or would this be something which is of little benefit? If this is not the correct solution, then what would you propose is best for safeguarding a Muslim’s deen and his children’s deen in this era of trials and tribulations?
Your valuable views and insight on the above subject would most definitely be helpful, indeed, inshaAllah, for a mind which is thirsty for the right way in this era of confusion and information bombardment.
Here are the answers point by point:
Point 1: Ayah 97 of Surah al-Nisa’ was applicable to those Muslims of early Islam, who, despite being able did not migrate to Madinah after the Prophet himself had migrated.
Migration out of Makkah and other places within Arabia, to other places of safety, had begun quite early, even the while the Prophet was still in Makkah. Although great in its worth, it was not wajib. But when the Prophet himself migrated, or, to put it correctly, was forced out by the dire circumstances, then, migration was declared wajib on every adult Muslim of Makkah who was able to migrate.
As for those who were unable, because they were too weak against the Makkan pagans, they were pardoned by the next verse of the Surah.
Point 2: Hijrah becomes wajib on Muslims when a nation, or state, or tribe, or even a group of people declare offering of Prayers unlawful, and a punishable act. Muslims should leave such a place and go away wherever they can, even if it is mountains and forests.
The hadith of reference was referring to such a situation in Makkah and other places, when they were not being allowed to declare Islam, or offer Prayers.
With Makkan triumph, the obligatory nature of Hijrah from Makkah to Madinah was annulled.
There is general agreement among the Fuqaha’ that a Muslim must leave out a place in which he is not allowed to do his Salah and forced to follow such laws as are opposed to the Law of Islam.
As regards the explanation and exposition of the hadith about living among the Mushrikeen, this is not the place to present details. However, there is agreement that it cannot be applied to those living in the lands of the Mushrikeen, although migration from such places is a virtue, and would be considered Hijrah proper, if someone did it for religious sake alone.
Sheikh Imran’s use of the hadith seems to be improper, if such usage is correctly attributable to him.
Point 3: Dajjal has not yet arrived. The hadith will be a good guideline when he does.
By and by, since you have not given us the ahadith in original Arabic, we reserve the right to modify our explanation in view of the original. For the moment, we have relied on our memory to recall the meaning and explanation by scholars.
Point 4: To those who attempt Hijrah now, the verse is still applicable. However, its reverse meaning is not true.
Point 5: Still applicable.
Point 6: True.
Point 7: The time doesn’t seem to have arrived yet, although we seem to be close to it in the lands of pagans and other unbelievers. Such, however, is not the situation in many Muslim lands, and such non-Muslim lands as where the indigenous populations have not yet become entirely fanatical in implementing fanatical ideas. This is the reason why we say that the time hasn’t yet arrived for a general application of the Prophetic direction; although, it must not be missed that the Prophetic statement is more of a prophetic nature, than of command.
Point 8: This is one of those hadith why we believe in the Prophet as an authentic Messenger. His prophecy is gradually coming true.
Point 9: The hadith seems to incorporate some Sahih words with words from hadith of Hasan status. Some versions instruct taking refuge with the mainstream Muslims; missing from the report you have cited. A few other important words of Sahih reports on this topic are also missing from your quote.
At all events, the instruction about isolating oneself does not seem to have arrived, although the situation is knocking on the door.
Point 10: This general observation of `Umar (ra) should not be taken literally.
Point 11: The call to Jahiliyyah mentioned in this hadith is of those Muslims who call to other than Allah, or to other than the Qur’an and Sunnah, as an alternative to Islam. Although there have been sects in the past that could qualify, or some misguided political leaders of the recent past could be so bracketed, and perhaps the Shi`ah Call of our contemporary world would to some extent, if not all, fit into the description, the general body of mainline Muslims, do not seem to quality.
Point 12: Although such a situation may unfold in the future – may Allah save us all from such a sad day – most exponents of Hadith believe that that situation already happened during the time of the political turmoil at the time of the Salaf.
Answer to your question:
Firstly, we admit that we did not have the patience and the will to listen to all the speeches made in this regard, nor to read out all the texts being offered as evidences and substantiation. Our following response is based on our general impression from quick browsing.
The solution offered could have some merits, and, therefore, it must be promoted on the basis of those merits. The solution cannot use the points stated by you as the raison d’etre, as most, if not all the points stated are not wholly applicable to our times and our situations yet. It seems there is lot of generalization of specifics predicted by the Prophet, on whom be peace. And, contrarily, there seems to be efforts to bring together statements of general nature and application, to arrive at a very specific inference. Both are incorrect tendencies that we often observe in the interpretations of texts in our times. We suspect that it comes from the Salafi influence to free the new generation from the obligation to study the explanations and interpretations of the past scholars of irrefutable repute, and turn them into blind followers of the little imams posited as all-time-greats by jamming the public ears.
Obviously too, the solution being offered (regret to repeat: to a problem blown up out of proportion) cannot be treated as of universal application and benefit. A billion Muslims will need a million islands to implement it. Thus, it is also an impractical solution, if it is presented for universal application. Finally, the solution does not seem to give enough consideration to the element of Jihad that the ahadith on this topic speak of. It smacks of an escapist tendency. To face the situation, struggle against it, and fight out, before leaving the battlefield– especially when the Ummah still has the power, but lacks the will – does not seem to be on the card.
You have asked us as to what are the alternatives. This question does not arise because the solution being offered is based on inferences from verses and ahadith quoted; but which inferences have a question mark before them. Ourselves offering you an alternative, therefore, would be as presumptive, speculative and experimentative as the one under consideration which is – at best – a solution for a problem still in the making. Oversimplification when faced with supreme complications, is not a solution that would lead to corrections.
Your question about the “best (way) for safeguarding a Muslim’s deen and his children’s deen,” sounds naïve. Your deen and that of your children is not under threat: kind of leave it or die. Forces opposed to Islam are, generally, pretty weak internally. Global problems are many, none of which have anything to do with Islam. But, unable to find solutions to those global, and very serious problems, the ruling class – everywhere – is diverting attention of the public, to buy time. Otherwise, Islam is still not under great threat, but in a few places rules by fanatical elements. They will reap a rich harvest of problems additional to the global for their fanatical attacks on Islam and Muslims.
Anyone’s helpless attitude towards concern in our times, about his and his children’s deen, is, therefore, not only naïve but also an effort to seek after an alibi, a justification for refusal to act. Methods to safeguarding one’s Islam and that of his or her children is, quite well-known and more than well-propagated, as well as emphasized consist is in the acceptance of Islam whole-heartedly.All the means are available at a cost unimaginable in earlier times. Nothing prevents today’s Muslim to learn and teach the language of the Qur’an. Is there any other way to renew faith except to read the Qur’an in its own language? Is it more difficult to accept the Prophetic solution than to migrate to an island? He said, “I am leaving behind me among you after which you will never lose guidance so long as you hold fast unto it: Allah’s Book.” It is said that the Muslims of our times are facing fitan of great proportions. Well, refusal to accept the Qur’an and Sunnah, and live by their demands is the greatest of the fitan, that cannot be overcome by carrying it as the luggage while shifting to islands.
For a German Muslim it might be just the required solution, for, living in the heart of the Western world is to be on the slopes of a steep hill, continuously struggling not to slip down.
Lawyers and Liars
Q: I have some important questions which will help many others to clear their doubts on law. As I am a second year PUB student and will very soon be attempting CLAT (Common Law Admission Test), an All-India law entrance exam, I have some few questions regarding about it:
Are lawyers liars?
It would be over-exaggeration to say that all lawyers are liars. But we wonder why the lawyers are targeted when it can be said with fair amount of accuracy that if not all, most people of the cities are, if not liars, lie whenever the need arises.
You have to choose a profession which matches most with your abilities and potentials. Then, when you have entered that profession you have to demonstrate to Allah that you are a true Muslim, which would mean, apart from other things of your daily life, that you will not earn haram, you will not lie or deceive, you will not give or take bribes, and, you will bring out your best to perform your job unconcerned with the performance of your job-colleagues, and, not led to anything haram by the prejudice shown against you and by the injustice delivered to you, on account of you being a Muslim, which is not so uncommon in India.
Q. Is it possible to practice law without lying?
Whether it is law, or any other profession, to lie, or not lie, will be your choice. If you chose not to lie, and waited and waited for a case to come to you, but none coming because you are known to be a straightforward lawyer, then, just sit by doing your Islamic studies, and books that improve your proficiency, and see how straightforward people come looking for lawyers of your kind. This will be a sustenance sent by Allah. But if you fall for the bait, and take up every case, without having first warned the client that you are not going to lie on his behalf, then, the sustenance promised by Allah will still come, but with His anger.
Q. After my post-graduation, I will attempt the civil service exam if Allah wills. How am I supposed to handle the cases of bribery? They say there are no chances of you being clean when you become a civil servant. So if this notion is true, then is it haram to be a civil servant? Even though it’s too early for me to know about this, I would like to have a clear picture about it.
Allah said in the Qur’an:
“…and whosoever fears Allah, He will find a way out for him; and will provide for him from whence he did not reckon. And whosoever placed trust in Allah, He is sufficient for him; Allah will accomplish His purpose, except that Allah has appointed a measure for everything.” (65: 2-3)
Q: Attached herewith a pamphlet and I request you to help in spreading the message of cleanliness in our neighbourhoods. A visit to some of the Government hospitals reveals that mostly people from slums suffer from diseases like Diarrhea, Gastroenteritis, Cholera, Malaria, Chickengunya, Dengue fever, etc. And root cause of all these diseases is the garbage, filth, swine and flies etch that spread them.
It is good that you are concerned about people’s health. However, we should be excused from distributing pamphlets.