Wednesday, July 13, 2005

It is sunna to obey leaders and brings strength and stability.

Bismi'llah ar-Rahman ar-Rahim...for the sake of Prophet Muhammad saws and Sheikh Nazim may Allah protect his secret.

After some serious difficulties trying to communicate some of the Sheikh's teachings over on Blog Ladder, I wrote this piece which might also be appropriate here.

My Attempt to Explain the Traditional Islamic Political view,as communicated to me by Sheikh Nazim, in my own words.

Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Book 88: Afflictions and the End of the World

Volume 9, Book 88, Number 172: Narrated Asma':
The Prophet said, "I will be at my Lake-Fount (Kauthar) waiting for whoever will come to me. Then some people will be taken away from me whereupon I will say, 'My followers!' It will be said, 'You do not know they turned Apostates as renegades (deserted their religion).'" (Ibn Abi Mulaika said, "Allah, we seek refuge with You from turning on our heels from the (Islamic) religion and from being put to trial").

Volume 9, Book 88, Number 173: Narrated 'Abdullah: The Prophet said, "I am your predecessor at the Lake-Fount (Kauthar) and some men amongst you will be brought to me, and when I will try to hand them some water, they will be pulled away from me by force whereupon I will say, 'O Lord, my companions!' Then the Almighty will say, 'You do not know what they did after you left, they introduced new things into the religion after you.'"

Volume 9, Book 88, Number 174: Narrated Sahl bin Sa'd: I heard the Prophet saying, "I am your predecessor at the Lake-Fount (Kauthar), and whoever will come to it, will drink from it, and whoever will drink from it, will never become thirsty after that. There will come to me some people whom I know and they know me, and then a barrier will be set up between me and them." Abu Sa'id Al-Khudri added that the Prophet further said: "I will say those people are from me. It will be said, 'You do not know what changes and new things they did after you.' Then I will say, 'Far removed (from mercy), far removed (from mercy), those who changed (the religion) after me! "

Volume 9, Book 88, Number 175: Narrated Abdullah: Allah's Apostle said to us, "You will see after me, selfishness (on the part of other people) and other matters that you will disapprove of." They asked, "What do you order us to do, O Allah's Apostle? (under such circumstances)?" He said, "Pay their rights to them (to the rulers) and ask your right from Allah."

Volume 9, Book 88, Number 176: Narrated Ibn Abbas: The Prophet said, "Whoever disapproves of something done by his ruler then he should be patient, for whoever disobeys the ruler even a little (little = a span) will die as those who died in the Pre-lslamic Period of Ignorance. (i.e. as rebellious Sinners).

Volume 9, Book 88, Number 177: Narrated Ibn 'Abbas: The Prophet said, "Whoever notices something which he dislikes done by his ruler, then he should be patient, for whoever becomes separate from the company of the Muslims even for a span and then dies, he will die as those who died in the Pre-lslamic period of Ignorance (as rebellious sinners). (Fateh-Al-Bari page 112, Vol. 16)

Volume 9, Book 88, Number 178: Narrated Junada bin Abi Umaiya: We entered upon 'Ubada bin As-Samit while he was sick. We said, "May Allah make you healthy. Will you tell us a Hadith you heard from the Prophet and by which Allah may make you benefit?" He said, "The Prophet called us and we gave him the Pledge of allegiance for Islam, and among the conditions on which he took the Pledge from us, was that we were to listen and obey (the orders) both at the time when we were active and at the time when we were tired, and at our difficult time and at our ease and to be obedient to the ruler and give him his right even if he did not give us our right, and not to fight against him unless we noticed him having open Kufr (disbelief) for which we would have a proof with us from Allah."

Volume 9, Book 88, Number 179: Narrated Usaid bin Hudair: A man came to the Prophet and said, "O Allah's Apostle! You appointed such-and-such person and you did not appoint me?" The Prophet said, "After me you will see rulers not giving you your right (but you should give them their right) and be patient till you meet me."

I have left in the first few hadith from the section because they show clearly how the Prophet pbuh, knew that his religion would be changed by the Muslims coming after him even if they appeared to be his faithful followers. He also said pbuh, that at the end of time there would be seventy three sects in Islam,and only one would be the right one.This is generally known as "Ahli sunna wa'l jamaat" .. the people of the sunna (who follow the example of Allah's Prophet) and the main group.The point is about conserving stability ... following leaders and conserving unity, rather than following personal opinions and desires and causing division.

If you have a system with a leader he is never going to be perfect ... the ego always thinks it knows better .. so .. as soon as the leader makes a mistake .. the nafs (ego) .. generally will say "That was wrong! I wouldn't have done that! I know better. I could have done that better." Which is possibly true ..(especially in hindsight!), but it is ridiculous to try to get anything done if everybody's voice has to be heard every time a small mistake is made.Once a leader is in place it should be the duty of those who placed him there to follow him.There can be no society without some sort of heirarchical structure. A body has only one head which gives the orders to the rest of the system .. the feet are not suitable to be the head.

If there is a system which has come down from a Divine source with moral rules quite clearly stating what is right and what is wrong on any given moral issue then,if the leader crosses that line which clearly shows that he is "committing haram" i.e. doing serious moral wrong .. or committing major sins ... (murder,adultery,fornication,lying,stealing etc) then there is a right and a duty to confront him and try him and,if necessary remove him from offfice.What one can't have,is a system where,every time the leader does something a certain section of the population doesn't like there is a vote on it and the leader is changed to suit the whims of that section.
It is very difficult without a Divinely revealed set of rules,for mankind to make up his own set that really,and in a wise and true way,benefits him.If children were allowed to run the home, all the time would be spent watching television,playing games and eating sweets.No intelligent parents would allow such a thing,although the children might think it wonderful,the parents know that they would never learn anything that way and so not be prepared for life and earning a living and,they would get sick and their teeth would rot on such a diet.
Wise leadership and the general public are in a similar situation.All traditional belief systems have come with rules and regulations to regulate and control the never ending desires of the ego.Modern left leaning systems generally are based on or favourable towards communist ideals which are really,at the root,simply systems with an emphasis on the material life of citizens,believing..unwisely that man 'lives by bread alone' and that his happiness will be achieved if all the 'goodies' are shared out equally.That has been fairly obviously disproved time and again and is really founded upon jealousy and lack of any spiritual vision which knows that this life is very short and that eternal life is very long and that there is no real wisdom or justice in everyone having the same access to either power or material goods.

The hadith,or sayings of the Prophet, peace be upon him, which refer to self control in situations which the ego definitely does not like when a leader is doing things which are either seemingly unfair..or even truly unfair in some cases,are extremely hard to swallow even to Muslims.
The Shias under Ayatollah Khomenie's so called Islamic Revolution (a total contradiction in terms by traditional Islamic standards and thinking) .. reject these hadith as unsound or not authentic,but,they are in all the major recognised collections.Two of these hadiths say the following;

Volume 9, Book 89, Number 251: Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Apostle said, "Whoever obeys me, obeys Allah, and whoever disobeys me, disobeys Allah, and whoever obeys the ruler I appoint, obeys me, and whoever disobeys him, disobeys me."

Volume 9, Book 89, Number 252: Narrated 'Abdullah bin 'Umar: Allah's Apostle said, "Surely! Everyone of you is a guardian and is responsible for his charges: The Imam (ruler) of the people is a guardian and is responsible for his subjects; a man is the guardian of his family (household) and is responsible for his subjects; a woman is the guardian of her husband's home and of his children and is responsible for them; and the slave of a man is a guardian of his master's property and is responsible for it. Surely, everyone of you is a guardian and responsible for his charges."

You see, a theocratic system does not stop with material or earthly affairs,the top of the hierarchy is not the earthly leader, but God .. Allah Himself.The main point is that even though leaders have weaknesses and can make mistakes,once elected the followers should try to maintain stability,unity and therefore strength,despite possible anomolies or apparent unfairness.Another point is that a follower cannot always be in command of all the information to know why a leader is doing or ordering something.We have to try to do our best to elect good and true leaders and then ..follow them!

Of course all of this is within the context of believers.The person at the top should be the most God-fearing one as, obviously at the time of the Prophet pbuh, he was..and then after him, with the Khalifa Abu Bakr, he was..and after him with Omar, he was .. and so on.It has to be said that the Prophet pbuh said "There will not come after me a generation which is not worse than the one before."By the time of the third khalifa Uthman there were already splits and disagreements in the community ... but still I do not believe that democratic elections every four years are better than a believing leader.

Generally speaking, in democratic elections, the way is open for the most shameless ones and the liars to get into power (how often have we seen all the wonderful election promises broken or forgotten and ignored once the party is in power?) and a fairly open lease is allowed for the new leader to line his pockets and those of his family and cronies as much as possible in the four years available to him while scattering a few crumbs from the national purse to keep the populace quiet or busy fighting over scraps.

If a leader really believes that he will be answerable to God Almighty on the Day of Judgement .. what kind of leader do you think he will be,and who do you think he will concentrate on looking after? In the same way,if the father of a family (which in a sane society is the stable microcosmic unit of the stable macrocosmic state) feels himself responsible for his family in front of God,what kind of a father do you think he will be, and what kind of family will he have?Does that kind of system lead towards rank materialism and indulgence of the senses to the extent of open immorality and desertion of duty,or does it lead towards Faith Hope and Charity and Mercy and concern for others?

I add in here this hadith from the Prophet pbuh;

"After me there will be caliphs, and after the caliphs, princes and after princes, kings, and after kings, tyrants. Then, a man from the Family of my House will come and fill the earth with justice just as it had been filled with transgression. Then, the Prince after him is Al Kahtani and by He who sent me with the Truth he is not lesser than him." This hadith was reported by Jabir, son of Majid As Sadafi in the references of At-Tabarani (in his large dictionary), Ibn Mandah, Abu Nuaym and Ibn Asakir.

Which is just to show that really,according to hadith,we are living in the time of tyrants...maybe only respect for those Royal Families that remain symbolically as heads of their nations ... giving the last drops of blessing to those nations, (thanks to Allah that I have lived mainly in Britain and Spain).

Also I would like to add these hadith which show that now it is not the time to fight for Islam except on a personal level.

Volume 9, Book 88, Number 203: Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah's Apostle said, "There will be afflictions (in the near future) during which a sitting person will be better than a standing one, and the standing one will be better than a walking one, and the walking one will be better than a running one, and whoever will expose 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."

Volume 9, Book 88, Number 210: Narrated Abu Sa'id Al-Khudri: Allah's Apostle said, "There will come a time when the best property of a Muslim will be sheep which he will take to the tops of mountains and the places of rainfall so as to flee with his religion from the afflictions.

Also,Sheikh Nazim has taught us that, by Islamic Shariat law, when there is no single leader for all the Muslims (as there hasn't been since the demise of the Ottoman Empire and the last Sultan) no one may declare Jihad.

All a wisely guided Muslim can do is try to keep his religion safe and wait for Al Mahdi. He is a figure who features largely in the Sheikh's teachings as the only real hope for the Muslims in these, the last times and about whom I may try to write in a future post.

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