In the name of Allāh, Most Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy.
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All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all creation; may Allah extol the mention of our noble Prophet Muhammad in the highest company of Angels, bless him and give him peace and security―and his family, his Companions and all those who follow him correctly until the establishment of the Hour.
Our Religion is complete, and all of it is good, and were the Muslims to cling to it and practice it properly, then the good people of the world would recognise the beauty of Islam, and they would come to the realisation that they are not in need of anyone besides Allah, they would serve Him and worship Him alone. He (the Mighty and Majestic) would give them honour and raise them. For this reason, Allah (the Most High) stated:
وَلِلَّهِ ٱلْعِزَّةُ وَلِرَسُولِهِۦ وَلِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَلَـٰكِنَّ ٱلْمُنَـٰفِقِينَ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ ٨
“But honour and glory belong to Allah, and to His Messenger, and to the believers, but the hypocrites know not.” (Al-Munāfiqūn: 8)
And He (the Most High) said:
وَأَنتُمُ ٱلْأَعْلَوْنَ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ ١٣٩
“And you will be uppermost and respected if only you were true believers.” (Aali ‘Imrān: 139)
And He (the Most High) said:
إِنَّ هَـٰذَا ٱلْقُرْءَانَ يَهْدِى لِلَّتِى هِىَ أَقْوَمُ وَيُبَشِّرُ ٱلْمُؤْمِنِينَ ٱلَّذِينَ يَعْمَلُونَ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَـٰتِ أَنَّ لَهُمْ أَجْرًا كَبِيرًا ٩
“Verily, this Qur’an guides to that which is most just and right, and gives glad tidings to the believers, who work deeds of righteousness, that they shall have a great reward.” (Al-Isrā: 9)
Shaikh Al-Islām Ibn Taymiyyah (rahimahallāh) stated: “Allah revealed upon the tongue of the Seal of the Prophets (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) those deeds that are for the benefit of the creation in the most perfect of ways. And that is the perfection mentioned in the saying of Allah (the Most High): ‘This day I have perfected for you your Religion.’ (Al-Mā’idah: 3) And it is for this reason that this verse was revealed on the day of the best of celebrations of this upright ummah that is established upon Tawheed because there is no ‘Eid that is greater than the ‘Eid that brings together the best location, and the best time ― and that is the ‘Eid An-Nahr (i.e., ‘Eid Al-Adhā). There is no appointed day greater than this day upon which Allah’s Messenger (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) stood before all the Muslims. And Allah negated unbelief and its people and He confirmed the Laws of the Sharī’ah which are sustenance for the hearts and their strength.” 1See Al-Khutub Al-Mimbariyyah of Al-Fawzān, 1/160-161 Ibn Taymiyyah alluded to here, the saying of Allah (the Most High) revealed on this day:
ٱلْيَوْمَ يَئِسَ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا مِن دِينِكُمْ فَلَا تَخْشَوْهُمْ وَٱخْشَوْنِ ۚ ٱلْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ وَأَتْمَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعْمَتِى وَرَضِيتُ لَكُمُ ٱلْإِسْلَـٰمَ دِينًا
“This day, those who disbelieved have given up all hope of your religion; so fear them not, but fear Me. This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islâm as your religion.” (Al-Mā’idah: 3)
If you consider the human body, you will see that it is such that when it is hungry it will take enough food to suffice it, and then it will stop there because it is not in need of more, and in fact taking more will harm the body. Likewise, your religion has sufficed you, adding to it or turning away from it will not benefit you – in fact, it will harm you severely in this life and the next. So, when a person performs deeds not legislated in the Shariah from customs and practices that are not from Islam thinking he is need of them, then his desire for the Islamic practices will decrease to the extent that he substitutes what is from the Religion for that which is not from it. But this will not be the case for the one who is keen, ardent and acts according to the Religion and the Sunnah. So, his love of the Religion increases and likewise, his benefitting from it increases –– so in this way he perfects his practice of the Religion.
For this reason, you will find that most people who listen to music have little desire to listen to the Qurān, to the point that they dislike listening to it or reading it. People who visit shrines and tombs to show veneration and worship at them have little desire in their hearts to perform Hajj or ‘Umrah. In fact, they visit these shrines more regularly than visiting the Masjid Al-Harām in Makkah, even if they have to travel hundreds or thousands of miles to the shrines of the dead. One who is impressed by the teachings, sciences and philosophies of the ancient Greeks, the Europeans and other religions loses his desire for the knowledge, guidance wisdom of Islam. Whoever busies himself with the stories of rich and famous, the actors, musicians and sports personalities loses the desire to study and emulate the lives of the Prophets and their true followers. And examples such as these are numerous. So, the life of a Muslim should be filled with pursuits that benefit him, and he should not introduce into Islam, practices and ideas that have not been legislated. For this reason, the Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) said: “People never introduce an innovated practice (in Islam) except that Allah snatches away from them the Sunnah to the same amount.” 2Al-Musnad of Imām Ahmad, 4/105, and Ibn Hajr graded the chain of narration as jayyid in Fathul-Bārī, 13/253-254
So resembling and imitating people outwardly leads to resembling and imitating them inwardly (in belief and desires). This takes place through the slow and hidden appropriation of their practices and takes place gradually over time. So participating in their outward practices such as their celebrations, festivals and amusements even if it is little will lead to adopting their habits for which they are cursed by Allah and threatened with His punishments such as fornication, immorality, sexual deviation, drinking alcohol and superstitious and pagan practices. The Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) said: “Whoever resembles a people is from them.”3Abu Dawūd no. 4031, graded sahīh by Al-Albāni And Allah (the Most High) stated:
وَمَن يَتَوَلَّهُم مِّنكُمْ فَإِنَّهُۥ مِنْهُمْ ۗ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَا يَهْدِى ٱلْقَوْمَ ٱلظَّـٰلِمِينَ ٥١
“And if any amongst you takes them as awliyā (allies in religion and practice) then surely he is one of them. Verily, Allah guides not those people who are the wrong-doers and unjust.” (Al-Mā’idah: 51)
And Abdullāh Ibn ‘Amr Ibn ‘Aas (radiyallāhu ‘anhumā) said: “Whoever builds his home in the land of the polytheists, and takes part in their celebrations and festivals, and he continues to imitate them until he dies upon that, he will be raised with them on the Day of Resurrection.” 4Al-Bayhaqī. 9/234
So beware and be careful, O Muslims, and be grateful to Allah that He has guided you to Islam. Hold fast to it, and you will find happiness and salvation in this life and the next.
Abu Khadeejah ʿAbdul-Wāhid
- 1See Al-Khutub Al-Mimbariyyah of Al-Fawzān, 1/160-161
- 2Al-Musnad of Imām Ahmad, 4/105, and Ibn Hajr graded the chain of narration as jayyid in Fathul-Bārī, 13/253-254
- 3Abu Dawūd no. 4031, graded sahīh by Al-Albāni
- 4Al-Bayhaqī. 9/234