Causes of Weakness in the Muslim Ummah― and the Jihād of Evidence and Speech in Defence of Islam

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All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all creation; may the peace and blessing be upon our noble Prophet Muhammad, his family, his Companions and all those who follow him precisely until the establishment of the Hour.

The more Muslims started to oppose the teachings of the Quran and Sunnah over years and generations, the more they divided, and their power began to ebb away, which in turn emboldened their enemies. So, the Ummah faced humiliation at their hands which only increased with the increase in misguidance, innovated beliefs, disobedience and sins of the Muslims. And no amount of street protests, stone-throwing, terrorism and screaming for the change of rulership will change that simple and glaring fact.

This is proven by the hadīth of Ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) who narrated that the Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam) said:

إِذَا تَبَايَعْتُمْ بِالْعِينَةِ وَأَخَذْتُمْ أَذْنَابَ الْبَقَرِ وَرَضِيتُمْ بِالزَّرْعِ وَتَرَكْتُمُ الْجِهَادَ سَلَّطَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْكُمْ ذُلاًّ لاَ يَنْزِعُهُ حَتَّى تَرْجِعُوا إِلَى دِينِكُمْ

“When you partake in usury, hold on to the tails of cattle, become satisfied with cultivation and abandon Jihād, Allah will send upon you humiliation and He will not remove it until you return back to your religion.”[1]

In this hadīth, we can see what brings about Allah’s humiliation upon the Muslims, i.e. their sins, disobedience, opposition to Islam and the Sunnah. We also see the cure, which is to return back to the Religion as it was practised in the time of the Prophet (salallāhu ‘alaihi wasallam). As for Jihād and its types, then Imām Abdur-Rahmān As-Sa’di (may Allah shower him with mercy) stated in some amazing speech:

“Jihad is of two types: Firstly, Jihad by which is intended the rectification of the Muslims, the rectification of their ‘Aqīdah (beliefs), their manners and conduct, and all of their religious and worldly affairs. And likewise their cultivation in terms of knowledge and action. This type of Jihād is the foundation of Jihad and its backbone.

And upon this is built the second type of Jihad, and the intent of this Jihad is to repel those who transgress against Islam and the Muslims, from among the unbelievers, the hypocrites, the heretics, and the rest of the enemies of Islam and their oppositions.”[2]

Al-Imām Ibnul-Qayyim (may Allah shower him with mercy) stated: “Jihād with evidence and speech takes precedence over Jihād with the sword, arrows and spearheads.”[3] So, striving against corruption in the belief of Muslims and working to rectify that takes precedence over striving against the non-believers.

Shaikh Al-Islām Ibn Taymiyyah (may Allah’s mercy be upon him) stated: “From the well-known narrations that have reached us is that Shaikh Abu ‘Amr bin As-Salāh (died 643H) commanded that the school of learning that was in the hands of Abul-Hasan Al-Āmidi be seized. Ibn Salāh said: ‘Seizing it from him is more virtuous than seizing control of Acre from the Crusaders.’[4]

So, the Jihād with proofs in the defence of Islam and Sunnah from the corruption of the sects of Ahlul-Bid’ah takes precedence over Jihad with the sword. That is because the innovators harm the Religion from within like a disease that afflicts the body such that its defences are weakened.

Blessings are sent from Allah to those who deserve them and are removed due to disobedience and sins. And Allah will not return His blessings unless people return to the Sunnah. Allah (the Most High) stated:

إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُغَيِّرُ مَا بِقَوْمٍ حَتَّىٰ يُغَيِّرُوا مَا بِأَنفُسِهِمْ ۗ وَإِذَا أَرَادَ اللَّهُ بِقَوْمٍ سُوءًا فَلَا مَرَدَّ لَهُ ۚ وَمَا لَهُم مِّن دُونِهِ مِن وَالٍ

“Verily Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves. And when Allah intends for a people ill, there is no repelling it. And there is not for them besides Him any protector.”[5]

[1] Abu Dāwūd (no. 3462). Declared sahīh by Al-Albāni, see As-Sahīhah (no. 11).

[2] Wujoob at-Ta’āwun baynal-Muslimeen, pp. 7-8.

[3] Sharh An-Nooniyyah of Al-Harrās (1/12), and see Al-Jawāb As-Sahīh of Ibn Taymiyyah (1/237).

[4] See MajmūAl-Fatāwā (28/232). Abul-Hasan Al-Āmidi was a Sufi, a philosopher and misguided doubter.

[5] Surah Ar-Ra’d: 11.

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