Making sense of the killings

 

Image Courtesy www.islam21c.com

Today the very fabric of society stands shaken. What and who can justify the killings of innocent kids?

If we travel back into time around 220 BC, China was divided into three kingdoms. Those were the times when amazing Chinese poetry was written; romantic heroes were depicted in movies to come; new dialects emerged and great laws were written down. But tragically, those were also the times when China was constantly at war within. Those battles caused unbelievable harm to the people of China who perished in millions. They couldn’t tolerate each other. They would wage war if one clan combed his hair differently than the other clan. That was a reason for them to hate each other. Many smaller nations hurt them in that vulnerable stage.

Today, we see a powerful superpower in the face of China standing united. Yes, united. That was the key. When they realized how division had weakened them, they joined hands to become one. And so, every household today has a high percentage of its merchandise either coming from China or being manufactured there- be it mobile phones, the clothes we wear, the furniture we use, etc.

A very famous parable circulates about three bulls and a lion. As the three stood together, the lion could not hunt them. Then the lion had an opportunity to trap one of the bulls. It cunningly convinced two bulls to break away from the third one. Hence, the two stood back, and let the lion devour the third bull. Next, the lion ate the second bull promising refuge to the one left alone. Lastly, as predicted, the lion pounced on the third and final bull. Just before the third bull was about to die it commented “In reality I was eaten the day I let the first bull be eaten for my own benefit. My death was sealed the day I was de-united. I am just being killed today.”

“Muhammad (sa) is the Messenger of Allah. And those who are with him are severe against disbelievers and merciful among themselves.” (Al-Fath 48:29)

Are we behaving mercifully towards our brothers and sisters? Or the ways of Khawarij have cracked into us? Khawarij were a group of people who had long beards and knew the Quran beautifully; yet, earned Allah’s (swt) anger. Their main worry was to fight other Muslims. For them it was said that they will leave the religion as an arrow leaves the bow. There was much less Iman in their hearts.

If we do not prevent ourselves from this behaviour, if we do not control the agenda, if we do not curb the hatred and rancor- we are heading towards disaster. If only we rewind the scene to the time when Allah’s (swt) had a conversation with His angels as described by the Quran. The angels showed concern to their Lord (swt) that is He going to put on earth His Khalifah who will spill blood? Allah (swt) informed them that He knew what they knew not. It was Allah’s (swt) great plan. And what was that? Allah (swt) was going to change the world through knowledge.

Whoever acted according to the revealed knowledge would be merciful.

Knowledge will ennoble them, bring logic and reason to them, and guide their hearts to mercy. What we see is a byproduct of ignorance about Allah (swt). They have forgotten Allah (swt), so Allah (swt) has made them forget their meeting with Him on Yaum-ul-Qiyamah. It is knowledge that enlightens you about the rights of others; the more you learn, the more you discover your own ignorance and strive to better yourself.

Even the fish in the oceans prays for the one who seeks knowledge. If Ulema of Islam are not the Auliya (helpers) of Allah (swt) – I don’t know who is?

We need to launch schools, colleges and universities of the international level that can impart education on Deen and Duniya both. We need to invest in projects that ensure spiritual, as well as, intellectual uplift. The products of such ventures will bring back the lost glory of knowledge, and academics as was the case from 9th until 14th century when Muslim scholars and their scholastics ruled the world.

AmribnulAas (rta) conquered North Africa thrice. Each time he conquered it, the country went back to fighting internally. Then he altered his strategy, and brought Sahabah from Madinah to come and live with the population. Rest assured everything calmed down. The knowledgeable companions brought light of their knowledge and actions, and illuminated the hearts of the people.

Hassan Al Basree once said that the Himmah (strength) of a Jahil (ignorant) is his narration.

But the concern of an Alim (scholar) is action on the knowledge he has gained. There is a strong co-relation between Amal (action) and Ilm (knowledge). As the Quran questions- is the one who know equal to the one who knows not?

Without true action- in the light of the Quran and the Sunnah- every knowledge seeker becomes a hypocrite or a pseudo-intellectual carrying a label and huge degrees. But, there is no Barakah left in his knowledge. He is as blind as the ones following him. He suffers from a disease of self-righteousness. He knows better, and cannot see the goodness of others; hence, he claims superiority. The essence of Taqwa (fear of Allah’s (swt) presence) is lost. All that one wants to tackle is his own differences, even if he has to resort to violence. This sickness has become rampant in the Ummah today.

We have two sides of the coin. On one hand, we have extremists who follow self-construed understanding of Islam, and take up arms to endorse it. On the other hand, we have modernists who dilute Islam, and call for an understanding that suits to their liking and lifestyle. But, Islam is moderate, and cannot be understood according to our own desires.

Bukhari narrates that before the last hour strikes; there will come a part of time that shall be full of Fitnah.

A man will sleep a believer and wake up a disbeliever. And He will sleep a disbeliever and wake up a believer. This will be due to a tremendous trial. The heart of a believer is weak and fragile. A stupid doubt can lead him to atheism, and his heart can waver as soon as a Fitnah strikes.

But, when I see Pakistan, I see tremendous hope. When there is good, there is opportunity; and when there is bad, I see greater opportunity. Every nation takes approximately twenty five years to rise. Look at Japan after Hiroshima bombing and Germany after its collapse. Pakistan has three great assets:

  1. Over 60% of its population comprises of youth. This is spectacular demographic. Nowhere in the world do you find this kind of a number. All we need to do is invest in their right education. Invest Dollar 1 today to save Dollars 10 tomorrow. This youth can be the fulcrum of change with the right leadership and mentorship.
  1. Islam is in the D.N.A. of every Pakistani. False ideologies will not take root here for long.
  1. Pakistanis are an extremely charitable nation. Even abroad in England 10 Downing Street reported that an average annual donation of a Muslim to another Muslim is Pound 668. And a large portion of it comes from Pakistanis.

I, being the chairman of Mercy Mission, want to personally see this growth. By the year 2030, I dream to see a pious, confident, selfless and self-sufficient Pakistan. It is our organization’s goal to help build a world where Muslim communities live faithfully, and benefit the society globally. And our change will come through education, Insha’Allah.

Transcribed from a talk at Motiwala residence for Hiba by RanaRais Khan

 

 

[Hadeeth Commentary] Fulfilling the Needs of Another Muslim

Adapted for Hiba by Tasneem Vali

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Related on the authority of Abu Hurairah (rta) that the Prophet (sa) said: “Whosoever relieves from a believer some grief pertaining to this world, Allah (swt) will relieve from him some grief pertaining to the hereafter. Whosoever alleviates the difficulties of a needy person who cannot pay his debt, Allah (swt) will alleviate his difficulties in both this world and the hereafter. Whosoever conceals the faults of a Muslim, Allah (swt) will conceal his faults in this world and the hereafter. Allah (swt) will aid a servant (of His) so long as the servant aids his brother. Whosoever follows a path to seek knowledge therein, Allah (swt) will make easy for him a path to Paradise. No people gather together in one of the houses of Allah (swt), reciting the Book of Allah (swt) and studying it among themselves, except that tranquility descends upon them, mercy covers them, the angels surround them, and Allah (swt) makes mention of them amongst those who are in His presence. Whosoever is slowed down by his deeds will not be hastened forward by his lineage.” (Muslim)

This is a comprehensive Hadeeth that teaches us how to behave as part of a society. It can be divided into two parts:

  • The ways we can help each other
  • The virtues of the study circle (Halaqa, Dars etc…)

The Hadeeth ends with a statement that categorically denies any benefit you might think your lineage will offer on the Day of Judgement.

How can we help each other?

There are essentially four ways demonstrated in the narrative above.

  1. Whoever removes a source of worldly grief from a believer, Allah (swt) will remove from him one of his sources of grief on the Day of Resurrection.
  2. Whoever eases the necessity of a needy person, Allah (swt) will lessen his needs in this world and the hereafter.
  3. Whoever shields (or hides the misdeeds) of a Muslim, Allah (swt) will shield him in this world and the hereafter.
  4. Allah (swt) will aid His slave as long as he aids his brother.

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This guarantees that the profit earned from an act is of a comparable nature to the act itself. Or, that you will be treated the same way, in fact better than the way you treat another Muslim. You will get equal amounts of relief, help and protection in this world and also after you leave this temporary abode. Ibn Rajab, as quoted by An-Nawawi, talks about the difference between the two situations – in this world and the hereafter. Not everyone has a difficult life in this world, or is distressed. Since the difficulties of this life are incomparable to the distressful aspects of the hereafter, Allah (swt) reserves the reward for striving to relieve another Muslim’s distress of this life until the Day of Judgement. Many Ahadeeth emphasize on this principle. Grief or distress in this Hadeeth means a great difficulty or hardship a Muslim is facing. In one version of the Hadeeth, it is stated as “whosoever relieves” and in another version “whosoever removes”. There is obviously a difference between the two versions because ‘to relieve’ means to minimize the difficulty or distress, whereas ‘to remove’ means to totally eradicate the difficulty or hardship.” (40 Hadeeth Nawawi)

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“And if the debtor is in a hard time (has no money), then grant him time till it is easy for him to repay, but if you remit it by way of charity, that is better for you if you did but know.” (Al-Baqarah 2:280)

Specifically with debt, if a person dies with it his burial is on hold until the debt is repaid. Avoid falling into debt just to have what others have. To make it easy, if someone needs to repay you some money and they cannot pay you on time, forgive them. Give them more time or tell them to repay whatever they can. This by itself is Sadaqah.

How to shield your Muslim brother?

Ibn Rajab says that people can fall into two categories:

  1. Those who are not known for transgression or committing bad deeds. For these people, if by any chance they commit a mistake, it should not be revealed. On the contrary, it should be concealed and not talked about.
  2. Those who are well known transgressors, and who speak proudly about their shameful and sinful acts. Ibn Rajab mentions that if there is a need to mention the qualities of these people, we should do so for the benefit of the Muslim community. (40 Hadeeth Nawawi)

The general rule of the Hadeeth is that Muslims must not disclose the faults of other Muslims unless they are of the second category and then only to an authority who will discipline them for the benefit of the Ummah. Satara is to cover someone’s mistakes; there are three types of ‘Sittar’:

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A scholar said it is better to make a mistake in pardoning someone than to make a mistake by punishing someone wrongly. No matter how you help a fellow Muslim, you will be rewarded.

What are the virtues of a study circle?

This is the core of Islam, searching for and acquiring knowledge. This part of the Hadeeth is usually interpreted as follows:

  1. Allah (swt) will ease the way of the knowledge seeker to gain knowledge.
  2. Allah (swt) will assure the knowledge seeker benefits from the knowledge he is seeking.
  3. Those who pursue knowledge for the good of humanity, Allah (swt) will help them overcome distress on the Day of Judgement.
  4. Whosoever remembers Allah (swt) in a congregation, Allah (swt) mentions that person in His Divine congregation with His Angels.

In the end, we are reminded it is not who we are but what we do, and that we will bear the weight of our deeds ourselves on the Judgement Day.

May Allah (swt) enable us to be a better Muslim and implement the moral of this Hadeeth throughout our life. Ameen.