The Salafi Response To The Terrorist Attacks In Paris, France: “Were they forbidding an evil?”

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BISMILLAHI begin with the name of Allāh, the Most Merciful, The One who bestows mercy.

Here’s the Friday lecture based on this article → ((Terrorist Attacks In Paris))


→ The first point that must be made is that these attacks cannot be considered as heroic acts that have “once again raised the banner of Jihad” as the extremists claim. The Salafi scholar, Shaikh Sālih al-Fawzān stated regarding Jihād in the view of the extremists:

“So there are extremists who obligate Jihād in any and every situation without applying any pre-conditions or principles. They do so even if the Muslims are weak and powerless, and even if they do not have a Ruler over them. So each one fights the “enemy” and engages in battles and skirmishes without a legitimate rulership, and they kill the non-Muslims whom it is not permissible to kill. They kill people who have a treaty with the Muslim countries and they kill those who are protected by agreements and covenants. So this is extremism and not Jihād. Rather, these extremists go even further by blowing up homes, residential buildings and built-up areas of cities. They kill Muslims and non-Muslims, young and old, males and females, mercilessly. They put terror and fear into the Muslims and non-Muslims who live under the protection of the Muslim governments. Then they have the audacity to call that Jihād! Rather that is corruption and not Jihād. They draw the Muslims into evil, destruction and ruination. Jihād has pre-conditions and governing principles that are made clear in the books of Qur’anic Commentary, Prophetic Tradition and Islamic Jurisprudence.”

(Abridged from the speech of Sheikh Sālih Al-Fāwzān, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia)

→ Secondly, there is not a believing Muslim except that he finds the mockery of a Prophet of Almighty God an abomination and a blasphemous act against the Lord of the worlds who is the One who sent these Prophets as bringers of glad tidings of Paradise and mercy, and warners from the punishment of the Lord of Creation. Muslims do not find it acceptable that any of the Prophets of God be insulted, mocked or caricatured in a cartoon and made as figures of ridicule, whether that be Abraham, Moses, Jesus or Muhammad (may the peace and blessings of Allāh be upon them all).  And every believer in Almighty God (Allāh) and every believer in the Hereafter finds such mockery and ridicule offensive, uncalled for and an act of slander upon the best of mankind. It is not from justice, kindness, good character or a “god-given” right to malign the good reputation and honour of another person, especially when that person happens to be one who is regarded as a Prophet of God by over 1.5 billion people on earth and the best example for humankind, “Indeed in the Messenger of Allāh, you have a fine example.” (Qurān 33:21)

→ Thirdly: Forbidding evil has undeniable principles. From the greatest of those principles is that evil cannot be eradicated by using means that oppose the Revelation that was sent to the Prophet Muhammad as Imām al-Bukhārī stated as a chapter heading in his Sahīh: “Knowledge precedes both speech and action.” Without knowledge of the Qur’ān and the Prophetic Tradition, a person will oppress himself and oppress others, harm himself and harm others and go beyond bounds in oppression, just like those who claim they are performing Jihād by their killing and destruction, yet in reality nothing could be further from the truth. It is not Jihād that they are engaged in, rather it is corruption of both the world and religion!

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said: “Whoever amongst you sees an evil act, then he should correct it with his hand. If he is not able to do so, then with his tongue. And if he is not able to do that, then with his heart, and that is the weakest of faith.” (Report by Imām Muslim). The Salafi scholar of the 7th century, Ibn Taymiyyah said: “As for hating evil with the heart, then it is obligatory in every situation since there is no [resultant] harm associated with it. And whoever does not do so is not considered a believer.” (Majmū’ al-Fatāwa 28/127) Ibn Taymiyyah goes on to mention that there are two misguided groups with respect to forbidding the evil. The first group abandon enjoining the good and forbidding the evil altogether, and claim that people should be left alone to do as they please. The second misguided group “are the ones who wish to command the good and forbid the evil with their tongues, or their hands in all situations, without any understanding, without any forbearance or patience, without any insight or investigation as to what is beneficial and that with is not beneficial, and without any concern as to what they are capable of, and what they are not capable of.”(See Majmū’ al-Fatāwa 28/128)

Another Salafi Scholar of the 7th century, Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah stated: “Forbidding evil has four levels:

1. That evil is eradicated and is replaced with its opposite (i.e. good).

2. That evil is reduced even if it is not completely eradicated.

3. That evil is replaced with what is similar to it.

4. That evil is replaced with what is worse than it.

The first two levels are legislated in religion as correct. The third level is a matter of juristic deduction (i.e. ijtihād from the scholars). The fourth level is forbidden to embark upon.

So if you see sinful people gathering together for futile and vain speech, games and amusement, listening to clapping and whistling – if you know that you can turn them towards acts of obedience to Allāh, then you should do so – and if not, then it is better to leave them upon that rather than to make them turn towards that which is greater in evil.

Similarly is the case of a man who busies himself with shameless books and the likes, and you fear that turning him away from these shameless books may cause him to turn to books of innovation, misguidance and magic, then it is better to leave to the [shameless] books he was initially busy with.” (See I’lām al-Muwaqqi`een `an Rabbil-`Ālameen, 3/8)

Now ponder for a moment over what is contained within these tremendous words of Ibnul-Qayyim and judge the massacres and atrocities that take place at the hands of these extremists “in the name of Islām” and you will see that their so-called “forbidding of evils” leads to greater evils, greater restrictions, greater subjugation of the Muslims, and more people stepping forward to challenge the honour of the noble Prophets of God. When we look into the background of these modern-day extremists, we quite often find they were involved in criminality, promiscuity, smoking drugs, petty crimes, thuggish behaviour and other major sins before they were [mis]guided to extremism. From these words of Ibnul-Qayyim, it would have been better for them to have remained upon their sins and criminality than to have started “practicing” this extremist deviation. Ibn Taymiyyah stated: “Many of those who enjoin the good and forbid the evil go beyond bounds, transgressing the limits of Allāh. This is either due to their ignorance or oppression. This is an arena wherein it is necessary for one to be firmly established [in Islamic principles] – and that is regardless of whether one is forbidding evil that emanates from the unbelievers, the hypocrites, the transgressors or Muslim sinners.” (See Majmū’ al-Fatāwa 14/482). This further reiterates the fact that those confounded by ignorance, blinded by rage, foolish in thought and devoid of understanding are the last people on earth who should put themselves forward to enjoin the good and forbid the evil. Now the evil outcome of their deeds are laid bare for the world to see – and ultimately their deeds harm the Muslims and harm the invitation to Islām. Those who embarked upon this venture, carried by their emotions and corrupted concepts of how evil is to be forbidden, are responsible for any resulting harm that afflicts the people and the Muslims in particular. Ibn Taymiyyah said: “And if by forbidding evil, a greater evil would come about, then they are prohibited from forbidding it, even if that results in the loss of a lesser good. In this situation, the commanding of good results in a greater wrong taking place – and therefore, in essence, it would be considered as an act of commanding evil and advocating disobedience to Allāh and His Messenger.” (See Al-Amr bil-Ma`roof wan-Nahy `anil Munkar) And this is the reality of what results from the misdeeds of the extremists. Ibnul-Qayyim stated: “The Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) legislated for his Nation (Ummah) the obligation of forbidding the evil so that by forbidding it, a good is achieved that is beloved to Allāh and His Messenger. However, if by forbidding an evil, a greater evil comes about that is hated by Allāh and His Messenger, then it is not allowed to forbid it even if Allāh hates that evil and hates those who perpetrate it.” (See I’lām al-Muwaqqi`een `an Rabbil-`Ālameen, 3/7)

→ Fourthly: Who is responsible for forbidding evil in the sight of Islām?  The Salafi Shaikh Sālih al-Fawzān stated that forbidding the evil with one’s hands by preventing or punishing is for the rulers (those in authority). Forbidding evil with one’s speech is for the Muslim scholars who have knowledge, wisdom, insight and understanding. And as for hating evil with one’s heart, then that is for the general folk who have neither authority (rulership) nor knowledge. (See Fatāwa al-A’immah Fin-Nawāzil al-Mudlihimmah).

→ Fifthly: Those who perpetrated these crimes:

1. Have no knowledge, understanding, insight and patience.

2. They have no authority or governance.

3. They have exposed the Muslims to greater harm and more restrictions, unwarranted scrutiny and acts of mindless revenge upon the innocent.

4. They have emboldened more non-Muslim journalists and the general folk to mock and ridicule Islām, the Prophet and the believers.

5. They have set up yet another barrier to non-Muslims from learning the beauty of Islām and entering into the true religion.

6. They have created an image that Islām is a religion of confusion, anarchy and disorder.

7. They have diverted the people away from the true Message of Islām which is: The call to the worship of Allāh, Almighty God, without associating partners with Him in any aspect of one’s worship. This was the starting point of the call of the Messengers from Noah to Moses to Jesus and finally, Muhammad (may the peace and blessings of Allāh be upon them all)

→ Sixthly, be aware and be vigilant: Recognising an extremist or one who is being groomed into violent extremism:

There are certain signs and signals that are apparent in an extremist that are recognisable for the one who knows what to look for. Recognising these signs is essential in combatting radicalisation of Muslim youth in the West. To list just a few of those traits:

1- They focus the youth constantly upon the political situation of the Muslim regimes and the Middle-East, and making that the centre-point of religious discussion.

2- Openly rebuking the Muslim rulers whom they regard to be tyrants, and calling for rebellion in Muslim countries, under the banner, “judgement is for Allāh” – a phrase misappropriated by the extremists, and misused.

3- Praising the heads of extremist ideologies such as Sayyid Qutb (died 1966). Qutb is revered by Jihadists all around the world from Ibn Laden and Aiman Az-Zawahīrī to Anwar Al-Awlakī and Abu Qatada. He was a prominent leader of the Egyptian group, “The Muslim Brotherhood”. His writings are widespread and translated into dozens of languages including English. The US-born Yemeni terrorist, Anwar Al-Awlakī once boasted that he was so immersed in the writings of Sayyid Qutb that he felt the presence of Qutb with him in his prison cell!

4- Extremists (Khārijites) and those under their influence are distinguished with the trait of declaring Muslims who contradict their political world-view as unbelievers. They see the Muslim rulers who commit sins or acts of tyranny to be unbelievers. The declaring of Muslims to be unbelievers is referred to in Islamic terminology as Takfīr. For this reason, the extremists are often referred to as Takfīrites.

5- Extremists in the West will quite often glorify the acts of violence perpetrated by so-called “Jihādist” groups, whether it be suicide bombings, beheading of hostages, killing of non-Muslims, etc. One does not see in their speech the condemnation of violent extremism or its figureheads.

→ Seventhly: Remember your responsibility:

The Salafi position regarding those who incite or plan terrorist acts such as suicide bombings, kidnapping or killing is that Muslims should inform the authorities. This is regardless of whether these acts are perpetrated in Muslim or non-Muslim countries. Muslim communities must be at the forefront of stamping out these non-Islamic acts that are done falsely in the name of Islām.

The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said: “There is not a people amongst whom sins are committed, and they are stronger than those who commit them yet they do not prevent them, except that Allāh sends His punishment upon them all.”

The Messenger (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) described these extremist Khārijites, explaining that they have no understanding of Islām. He said: “They will recite the Qurān but it will not go beyond their throats. They will exit the Religion just as an arrow passes swiftly through its target.” Parents too have a mighty responsibility to cultivate their children upon the true and correct Salafi understanding of Islām, so that they are not deceived by these impostors.

So let us stamp out the extremists and their ideologies.


Added Benefits And Advice From The Noble Scholar Ubaid Al-Jābirī:

Question to Shaikh Ubaid Ibn Abdillāh Al-Jābirī (may Allaah preserve him), on the morning of Friday 9th January 2015 (1st Rabī’ al-Awwal 1436AH) regarding the Paris shootings:

Abridged translation:

The Shaikh was informed that on Wednesday (7th January) some individuals carried out a terrorist attack claiming they were defending the honour of the Prophet (salallāhu `alaihi wassallam) – and they killed twelve people – from them were journalists and police. As a result last night several Mosques were attacked and set on fire. So the questioner asked what is the position of the Salafi with respect to these terrorist attacks? And what is your advice to the Muslims in general in France and the callers to Salafiyyah in specific?

So the Shaikh began his answer by praising Allāh and sending salutations of peace and blessings of Allāh upon the Prophet. Then he said: Firstly, these acts are not from the actions of the People of Sunnah. Rather they are from the actions of the deviated ones from the Khawārij (renegade insurgents) and those who sail upon their ship, even if they ascribe themselves to Islam. Secondly you should inform your non-Muslim neighbours, the people of France, the rest of Europe and in the United States that you will not find a single scholar who is a person of Sunnah who would approve of these acts or encourage them. Rather the People of Sunnah and their scholars, and their students of knowledge and their general-folk forbid/condemn these acts of disorder and anarchy. The one who would carry out these acts is either a Khārijī (renegade insurgent) or an ignoramus who does not know the Sunnah and does not know how the People of Sunnah behave with their neighbours (and fellow countrymen) who are non-Muslims. The People of Sunnah treat their neighbours in a goodly manner and they abide by their agreements and they do not agree or approve of these acts of anarchy, disorder and savagery. In conclusion, I advise my children from amongst the Muslims, whether they be preachers from the pulpits, or teachers or callers that you free yourselves and disassociate yourselves from these barbaric acts, declaring that openly – that you convey that to those in charge of the security [of the state] to whomsoever you are able to. And I advise that all should fear Allāh and be dutiful to Him in that which pleases Him.

And then the Shaikh concluded by praising Allāh, and invoking salutations of peace and blessings of Allāh upon the Messenger Muhammad, his Companions and his true followers.

Source: Audio recorded with “Abou Asma Hassan” for the French Muslims. Audio is present with myself.

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