Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem
By Hadhrat Moulana Abdul Hamid Is’haq Sahib (Daamat Barakaatuhu)
Allah Ta’ala says in Surah Al-Bayyinah:
“And they were not commanded except to worship Allah, [being] sincere to Him in religion, inclining to truth…”
[Surah Al-Bayyinah 98 : 5]
Rasulullah Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam said:
“Actions are judged according to intentions and a person will get that which he intended...”
[Sahih Al-Bukhari / Sahih Muslim]
The ‘Ulama have written that presently, in our time, people who acquire knowledge and become 'Ulama, are of three categories:
1.) THE SCHOLAR OF THE STATE OR GOVERNMENT
This scholar acquires the correct knowledge of Dien but then he serves the interests of the government. There are many such scholars. The governments of the world recruit them. Then, in various ways, these scholars work with and serve the government.
Governments adopt this course of action because they know very well that if they will give any directive to the Muslim community, the Muslim community will not easily accept and may entirely reject, especially regarding matters which will affect their Dien. …Their strategy is to enlist scholars who will advise or instruct the people on behalf of the government. Such scholars are themselves convinced that the state’s undertakings and ventures are to make Dien easy for the Muslims. They claim: “We want Muslims to be able to practise their religion.” …And so, the scholar falls into the trap. Thereafter, when anything comes from such scholars, the people will say: “This is from the Ulama.” And they readily and guilelessly accept.
Moreover, governments operate in various ways. They will not openly state their reasons or offer payment to do their work. In discreet ways, they work to lure scholars. They give honour, position, favours and privileges. …Their operation is like fishing: the bait is selected, the line is cast, and then the fish is caught. Similarly, there are scholars who fall for the lure and take the bait. They get reeled in by the government. In return for those special privileges and favours, the government is served. One will thereafter observe that the social circles of such scholars include governmental leaders, politicians and people who can pull strings, so to speak.
…We have to be very careful and must be on our guard that we are not used by or manipulated by the government or any authority. May Allah Ta’ala protect us.
NAFS AND SHAYTAAN
In addition, shaytaan and nafs work in very many and very different ways. Not every person will identify or realise the ploys being adopted to bait the person. Both, shaytaan and nafs, are shrewd enemies. It is for this reason that we are directed towards and encouraged to have Ta-alluq with our Mashaa’ikh, Ulama-e-Haq and our Asaatiza.
After graduating, different offers come our way, to serve Dien and the community. We must always refer to our Mashaa’ikh and Ulama/Asaatiza. Seek their good and wise counsel. Mashwarah is Sunnah; as such there will be Barakah in consultation with our seniors in respect to our Khidmat of Dien. Ask them: “Is this good for me or not?”
Often, it will appear to be very good. We may be getting a high post, with an increased salary, less work and other perks. It can be that what is offered by way of monetary remuneration is ten times more than what would otherwise have been received. The temptation is thus great and a person easily falls for it. Now, in this position and post, without realising, the scholar becomes a puppet and pawn for the government, administration or authorities and he begins to compromise on Dien. This great Noor of Ilm, which was gathered over many years, is lost so easily and quickly. It is like placing this valuable knowledge of Dien in front of swine. Therefore, caution must be exercised, and consultation must be made with the right people.
Thus, in this way, the first group of scholars operate under the orders of the government or authorities. If the government says, ‘Lockdown. All religious gatherings suspended.’, the call from these scholars will be, ‘Close the Masjid. Suspend Salaah in Jamaat. Cancel Jumu’ah’, etc. And the people will think that this is the directive of Shari’ah but it is the mandate of the authorities.
If the government says, ‘Social distance and mask.’, these scholars will make it mandatory, forsaking the Sunnah for the law of the government. They will validate their rulings based primarily on the science and directives of government. Their consultation involves secularists, scientists, atheists and others who have no affiliation to Islam. It then does not really matter what Islam calls for, because allegiance is to the government. Consequently, what we will see is the Shari’ah and Sunnah systematically shredded. The majority of the people do not realise this betrayal nor do they recognise the great harm inflicted on their own Dien, because they take it for granted that the scholar will issue rulings in conformity with the teachings of Islam.
2.) THE SCHOLAR OF THE PEOPLE
This second group of 'Ulama look towards the interests of the people. They see what the people want and adapt Dien according to the whims and fancies of the public. This is what the Jews and Christians fell prey to. Their Scholars and Rabbis became guilty of the same crime. They gave rulings accommodating what the people wanted.
In the Ummah of Rasulullah Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam as well, there are scholars who will yield to the dictates of the community. If they do not publicly sanction what the people demand, they silently sanction it. Their silence is then a Fitnah. …The Fuqaha have written that if a proposal of marriage is put forward for a girl and she keeps silent, her silence is regarded as acceptance. In a similar vein, keeping quiet in the face of fitan also indicates acceptance.
Subsequently, such concessions will be made which bring both the scholar and people to the threshold of Jahannum. Often, the scholar and his adherents fall into Kufr. …Do we not read and hear of scholars who are now endorsing, supporting and even campaigning for the rights of the LGBTQ? Do we not hear of scholars advocating liberalism, feminism and other ‘isms’, which have absolutely nothing to do with Islam? … At this time, here in South Africa, we are dealing with the Muslim Marriage Bill, which is part of the feminist agenda. Despite the outcome clearly leaning to changes in the Laws of Allah Ta’ala, there are scholars who are in favour of such a bill being passed.
When the Shari’ah is not understood, a person will fault the Commands of Allah Ta’ala. In the MMB – Muslim Marriage Bill – there is objection to Allah Ta’ala’s Laws. Those who are happy to hand over authorisation to the secular courts, feel that Shari’ah does not have a complete system for Nikah, Talaaq, custody, inheritance, etc. – Na’uzu Billah. Allah Ta’ala has created such a perfect Dien that women are recipients of great Ihsaan (kindness), unlike the western world, which commits great Zulm (oppression) against women.
In the face of the many and great Fitan, a true scholar cannot remain silent. A true scholar will not sit on the fence – so to speak. He will not be afraid to defend the truth. He will stand up for the truth. A true scholar is not daunted or deterred by the criticism … because he knows he is answerable to Allah Ta’ala. Our beautiful history is replete with Muslims who bravely stood up for truth and opposed and refuted falsehood, whether it was Shiaism, Qadianism, Bid’aat or anything else.
May Allah Ta’ala make us of the true Ulama and safeguard us from all Fitan.
We should remind ourselves whenever we give a talk of Dien, that it must not be what the people want to hear or will like to hear. It should not be to play up to or gain the favours of the people or even seek their praise. It should not be that we talk or advise to make them happy, so that they say, in return: “You gave a very good talk” … “You are broadminded.” … “Your talk is very balanced.”, etc. If the intention is to be a ‘people-person’, loved by all and sundry, then we have lost the plot.
The Sahaba-e-Kiraam (Radhiyallahu ‘anhum) would say that if any scholar is very popular with the people, there is a great fear of mudahanat – meaning, he is not speaking the truth, and is merely saying that which will make people happy. …This is because he is more concerned about the comments and favours of people.
Sometimes, the person’s gaze is on what he can acquire materially or of name and fame. For many, these days, radio, television and social media platforms are the easiest ways to increase one’s following and/or earn a packet via youtube and other channels. Via these podiums, the masses are flattered. They get to hear what they want to hear and the scholar gets what he wants in return.
Otherwise, the Haq (Truth) is bitter. When a person speaks the truth, people will not like it nor will they like the person. Of course, the people of truth will appreciate and they will follow. However, generally, people are motivated by nafs and their desires. They will only be pleased with what is in their favour.
As an example: Currently, the hype/publicity is about unity. If a person speaks on unity, he is a very good scholar – even though he is calling for unity with the disbelievers or the authorities. It was for this unity that the Masaajid were closed; it was for this unity that scholars are prepared to participate in interfaith programmes. Under the banner of unity, the law of Allah Ta’ala is placed beneath the law of the land. This is not unity.
THE ROPE OF ALLAH TA’ALA
Allah Ta’ala tells us that unity is in holding firmly to the rope of Allah Ta’ala; not the rope of the people.
“And hold firmly to the rope of Allah…”
[Surah Aal-Imraan 2 : 103]
Allah Ta’ala establishes unity on the blessed system established by the Qur’aan Sharief. The Qur’aan Sharief is the rope of Allah Ta’ala extended from the heavens to the earth. Allah Ta’ala is the Creator of man. He knows best what is best for man. If all of the Ummah hold firmly onto the teachings of the Qur’aan Sharief, there will be unity. If the Ummah breaks away from the Qur’aan Sharief, then there will be disunity. …Every other system is false and there can be no unity on falsehood. Unity is only on Haq.
On the one hand, when giving a talk, the talk must not be to pander to the people, nor must the talk be what is our desire, or to admonish and rebuke people. Neither do we do for our sake nor for the people. We must see what Allah Ta’ala and His Rasul Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam want from us. We talk for the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala, to invite to Allah Ta’ala and connect the creation to the Creator.
Hazrat Maulana Shabeer Ahmad Usmani Rahmatullahi ‘alayh, the author of Tafseer Usmani, had advised that when giving others advice, the knowledge should be ‘Haq’ (true), the intention should be true and the manner should be true. Then our efforts will bear fruit Insha-Allah.
…The life of this world is very short; 60 or 70 years on average. If we have to consider: an Aalim graduates roughly around the age of 25 and commences serving Dien. At that time, he is a fresh graduate and unknown to the people. By the time he reaches 35 / 40, he may become popular. Then, around the age of 60 / 70 he dies. The years of name and fame are just a mere 20 / 30 years and the curtains are then drawn. Aakhirah is forever. …How can we sacrifice the Aakhirah for 30 years of popularity? Yet this is what we find.
In seeking celebrity status and popularity, or as is commonly said, ‘15 minutes of fame’ - the person never speaks about Jahannam; he does not remind people of the punishment of Allah Ta’ala or what is clearly and categorically prohibited. Nothing is addressed in so far as the wrongs that the people are involved in. There is no effort in the line of Nahy anil Munkar. He does not warn the people of the many Fitan which abound, which Rasulullah Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam warned us of. He may offer some general counsel, share some inspiring words and memos, give glad-tidings and keep all happy. This is where he stops.
Everyone has weaknesses and failings and it is human nature not to like being corrected, except for a few. The majority do not want to hear that there is anything wrong. People are happy to live in denial. And if someone has to advise and correct, then the response is: “People in glass houses should not throw stones.” … To keep peace with everyone, we evade the important duty of Amr-bil-Ma’roof and Nahy anil-Munkar. People are prepared to make peace with non-Muslims, atheists, the LGBTQ … and even with shaytaan, unconcerned that Allah Ta’ala is displeased; unconcerned that Imaan is in jeopardy.
3.) THE SCHOLAR OF ALLAH TA’ALA
This ‘Aalim expounds and makes known the teachings of Dien as it was conveyed to us; as it reached us, from Rasulullah Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam. These scholars are the Mukhliseen. They do the work of Dien seeking the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala. They call people to Allah Ta’ala; not to themselves. Even if the wealth of the world is placed before them, they will not diverge from the Qur’aan and Sunnah. They cannot be bought.
…For such people, life may not be so rosy during their time in Dunya. Many people may criticize, condemn or mock them, but they know that their duty is to convey the truth, seeking the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala. From Allah Ta’ala’s side, He will give them support and help, and in the Aakhirah, they will receive great, great rewards from Allah Ta’ala.
In the mission of Rasulullah Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam to invite to the Truth, great difficulties were encountered. There were also many proposals and offers. The Quraish offered Rasulullah Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam every worldly bounty so that he abandons the call to Islam. They also proposed that they come to a compromise in their worship, advocating that Rasulullah Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam should worship their idols for one year and they will worship Allah Ta’ala for one year. Allah Ta’ala revealed Surah Al-Kaafiroon instructing the Muslims to worship Allah Ta’ala Alone and prohibiting such compromises.
Nowadays, we have scholars who are completely at variance with the Divine prohibition to mix the practices of Kufr/Shirk with Tauheed. This is a disastrous compromise on Tauheed. It shows acceptance and even approval of all religions. Na-uzu Billah. No matter what concessions and agreements are made, the disbelievers will not be pleased with us until we follow their ways and religion. Very naively, this is the path being trod, with the present call towards the Abrahamic Creed. If the foundation is destroyed, nothing of Dien will endure. Everything falls apart when the Aqaa’id are corrupted.
Throughout the annals of the history of Islam, difficulties were borne to uphold the truth. The Khulafa-e-Rashideen (Radhiyallahu ‘anhum), Sahaba-e-Kiraam (Radhiyallahu ‘anhum), the A’immah-e-Mujtahideen and our Aslaaf endured different challenges and troubles; some were also imprisoned for their stance on Haq. However, they did not waver from the truth.
We must be 'Ulama for Haq, who serve the true Dien and promulgate and teach it to the people. However, within the circles of the Ulama who are on Haq, are two categories:
1.) The first are those 'Ulama who, although having obtained the correct and Sahih knowledge of Qur'aan and Hadith, do not have Ma’rifah (recognition) and Nisbat (connection) with Allah Ta’ala.
2.) The second group are those who are 'Ulama with Nisbat ma’Allah. They have the Ma’rifah and Ishq of Allah Ta’ala.
SUHBAT OF THE AHLULLAH
Just completing the 'Aalim course is not sufficient. The knowledge of Dien is one aspect; the Noor of that knowledge is another. One will have to submit oneself for the important task of one’s Islaah (reformation) and Tazkiyah (purification), to develop this Noor and Nisbat. Keep contact with a Sheikh-e-Kaamil and go through the process of Islaah. Humble yourself for Allah Ta’ala.
In the company of the Ahlullah, we will taste the sweetness of Imaan, gain the Haqeeqat (reality) of our Ilm, as well as practically implement it in our lives, correctly.
MA’RIFAH AND YAQEEN
By keeping company with those who know Allah Ta’ala, we will also get to know Allah Ta’ala. Allah Ta’ala instructs us:
“…Regarding Rahmaan, ask those who are aware of Him.”
[Surah Furqaan 25 : 59]
As 'Ulama, we must have knowledge of the Dhaat (Being) of Allah Ta’ala. The knowledge of Fiqh must not be compromised but we must not be ‘dry’ Ulama. We must be able to connect the people to Allah Ta’ala; not distance them from Him.
In the company of the Ahlullah, we will acquire the Ma’rifah of Allah Ta’ala and full Yaqeen on the Dhaat of Allah, on Dien, Qiyamah and Aakhirah. We will believe wholeheartedly that Allah Ta’ala has granted us a perfect Dien. There is no weakness or defect in His Dien; there is no need for any adjustments, alterations, additions or subtractions.
With the qualities of Ma’rifah and Yaqeen, our A’maal will be carried out properly, our intention will be for Allah Ta’ala alone. We will not be doing for the people or for their favours. The person’s gaze will be 100% on Allah Ta’ala; His Karam (Generosity), His Hilm (Tolerance) and His Sifaat (Attributes) … knowing that with Him are treasures unlimited. When we know Allah Ta’ala, we will have hope in Allah Ta’ala. Our A’maal are weak but Allah Ta’ala is Ash-Shakoor; He appreciates even though we do a little.
The true 'Ulama know and explain the Wisdom of the Commandments of Allah Ta’ala – that is, of what they know. …Of course, the actual object is to whole-heartedly accept, even if we do not understand. Unfortunately, this is the general weakness. Therefore, by presenting the Wisdom of Allah Ta’ala’s Commandments, people will more eagerly accept. In'sha-Allah!
…In the Madrasah, from your Asaatiza, you will acquire Sahih Uloom. If the Ustaadh is Sahib-e-Nisbat, you will also acquire the great treasure of the love of Allah Ta’ala and will understand the great wisdom of the Commands of Allah Ta’ala. You will appreciate and you will be willing to sacrifice your entire life for the Dien of Allah Ta’ala. When you will then lead people, the people too will see the perfection and beauty of Islam.
In the company of a Shaykh-e-Kaamil, we will be taught how to make Zikrullah. Zikrullah draws the special Tajalli (effulgence) of Allah Ta’ala upon the heart and will build our connection with Allah Ta’ala. When the heart is purified and attains Nisbat with Allah Ta’ala, the person becomes a means of Hidayah for millions of people, even after his lifetime. Hadhrat Moulana Qaasim Nanotwi (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh), Hadhrat Moulana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh) and so many others were beacons and minarets of Hidayah in their time and even in our time. People are still taking great benefit from their teachings.
The result of all that we studied, as well as all the work of Dien undertaken, will depend on the Niyyat (intention). If it is to please the government, if it is for the people, or for name, fame, wealth, etc. we have surely lost everything. Our intention must be only to please Allah Ta’ala and our heartfelt Dua should be that Dien becomes alive in the whole Ummah. …Our Dien must be sincere, for Allah Ta’ala alone. Our concern should be: What is my position by Allah Ta’ala?
May Allah Ta’ala make us of the sincere and righteous Ulama and use us in the Khidmat of His Dien with acceptance.