In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Allah has laid down certain unchanging laws in this universe - in the
physical world, as well as in the spiritual domain, and it is imperative
for us to be aware of these laws and to work within them if we are to be
successful in this world and the Hereafter.
"You will not find any changing of the Allah's way." [Surah al-FatH]
How the human being fares is based on his interaction with these laws, for
when a person acts, he is inevitably liable to face the consequences of
what he did, in accordance with these laws. These consequences may be
worldly, or in the Hereafter, or in both worlds. The influences on the
individual and society may be internal or external, and those internal may
be either may be on the individual (micro-) or wide-scale (macro-) level,
but in all cases, they fall under the laws of Allah.
As for the external factors, the believers have, since early times, had
external enemies and foes who strive their utmost to inflict harm on the
Muslims, and endeavor to hamper or eliminate Islam.
"And they will continue to fight you until they turn you back as renegades
from your religion. And whoever among you turns apostate from his
religion, and dies as an unbeliever, his deeds are void in this world and
the Hereafter. And such are the inmates of the Fire; therein shall they
abide." Qur'an [2:217]
"Those who disbelieved said to their messengers, 'We shall surely expel
you from our land, unless you return to our religion. Then, their Lord
inspired them (saying), 'We shall indeed destroy the wrongdoers, and We
shall surely cause you to inhabit the land after them. This is for
whomever fears standing before Me and fears My warning.'" Qur'an [14:13]
The Muslim needs to be aware of the external enemies, to take account of
them, and not to be beguiled or deceived by their ruses, for kufr will not
contentedly tolerate faith.
"The Jews will never be pleased with you, nor [will] the Christians, until
you follow their religion." [Surah al-Baqarah]
The double-standards and injustice of the adversaries of Islam is quite
apparent to one who honestly analyzes world affairs.
Although it is a duty upon the Muslims to counter their enemies by
reasonable means, and they may not sit back in complacence or abjection,
the subjugation of the Muslims is itself one of the consequences of their
own conduct. So, let us turn now to discuss the internal influences on
human destiny. As we mentioned, these influences are either on the
individual level or the community level. Let us first address misconduct
on the larger scale.
It is part of Allah's system that large-scale sin has consequences in this
world. One has only to look at the reports of previous nations, as
explained to us in the Qur'an, and at the world around, to realize this.
After all, what was it other than sin - rejection of faith in Allah and
refusal to obey His orders - that led to the people of Noah being drowned
in a wholesale flood, wherein the waves were surging and towering like
mountains? What was it that led to the `Aad people being annihilated by
the wind unleashed upon them, which cast them dead upon the ground like
hollow trunks of date-palms, and which wiped out their dwellings, their
fields and their livestock, making them a lesson for other nations until
the Day of Judgement?
What was it that caused the cities of Lot to be thrown up into the sky -
to the extent that it is said that the angels could hear the barking of
the city's dogs - and then to be flung back down, overturned, annihilating
them all, only to be followed with a hail of stones ? What was it that
destroyed Pharoah and his people in the water, and then caused their souls
to be experience Hell, such that their bodies were drowned and their souls
burned (even before the Day of Judgement - when they will be entered into
the severest punishment)? What was the cause of Qarun's being swallowed up
by the earth, along with his lavish wealth and dwelling?
"And how many generations have We destroyed after Noah?!" [Surah al-Isra']
What was it that unleashed upon the Children of Israel a people of
terrible might, who penetrated into the depths of their homes, killing
their men and capturing their children and women; burning down their homes
and plundering their wealth? And then unleashed this people upon them a
second time, such that they destroyed whatever they could, and annihilated
whatever fell into their hands?
It is reported that one of the Isrealite prophets, when he saw the
humiliation and torture being inflicted on his people by Nebuchadnezzar,
called out to Allah,
"On account of what our own hands have earned, You have empowered over us
one who neither knows You nor has mercy upon us."
And, it is related that when Nebuchadnezzar asked Daniel, "What has given
me domination over your people?" he replied, "The enormity of your sins,
and my people's wronging their own selves."
What was it that unleashed upon the Israelites all manner of chastisement
- sometimes in the form of slaughter and enslavement, at other times
through the tyranny of kings, and at yet others by their becoming
metamorphosed into apes and swine? Until, eventually,
". . . [remember] when your Lord declared that He would surely raise up
against them - until the Day of Arising - those who would afflict them
with a humiliating torment. Indeed, your Lord is certainly swift in
chastisement and He is certainly Oft -Forgiving, Most Merciful." [Qur'an,
All these, and other frightful reports, bear grim testimony to the fact
that when a community disobeys Allah on a large scale, they face the
consequences in this world. We should draw admonition from those in
history, otherwise the Qur'an and hadith texts warn us of similar
It is narrated on the authority of Ibn `Umar that he said, "The Messenger
off Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) turned to face us, and
then said :
O assembly of Emigrants (Muhajireen)! There are five things which I seek
refuge with Allah lest you encounter them :
- Never does obscenity appear amongst a people, to the extent that they
openly display it, except that they are afflicted by plagues and famines
such as were not present among their forebears.
- Never does a people give short measure and weight except that they are
afflicted with drought, severity of provisions, and tyranny of rulers.
- Never do a people withhold the zakat from their wealth except that they
are withheld rain from the sky, and were it not for the animals, they
would not be given [any] rain.
- Never do a people breach their treaties except that Allah will empower
over them an enemy from outside of them, who will take some of what they
- Never do their rulers fail to act by what Allah, the Mighty, the
Majestic, has revealed in His book, except that they will fight amongst
themselves." [Ibn Majah]
"Never do a people defraud in measure, or give short weight, except that
Alah will withhold rain from them. Never does zina appear amongst a people
except that death appears amongst them. Never does riba appear amongst a
people except that Allah imposes madness upon them. Never does murder
appear amongst a people except that Allah will empower their enemy over
them. Never does the deed of the People of Lot appear amongst a people
except that swallowing up by the earth will appear amongst them. Never do
a people abandon enjoining the right and forbidding the wrong except that
their deeds will not be lifted up, nor will their supplications be heard.
[Tabarani, Ibn Abi al-Dunya]
"When zina (fornication/adultery) and riba (interest) appear in a town,
Allah, the Mighty, the Majestic, gives permission for it to be destroyed."
[Ibn Abi al-Dunya - via Simak ibn Harb, who is a mediocre narrator]
"When people manifest knowledge but forfeit action; [when] they [manifest]
love by tongue, but despise in their hearts, and sever ties of kinship,
Allah, the Mighty, the Majestic curses them at that point, and deafens
them and blinds their vision." [from Hasan al-Basri in mursal form]
It is reported that Allah inspired one of the Israelite Prophets, saying,
"When one who knows Me disobeys Me, I empower over him one who does not
know Me." [via Hasan al-Basri, mursal]
"The time is not far when the nations will gather around you from every
side, just as diners gather around a dish." We said, "O Messenger of
Allah! Will it be due to smallness of our numbers at that time?" He said,
"You will be many on that day, but you will be rubbish (or foam) like the
rubbish (or foam) of flood water. Respect will be dislodged from the
hearts of your enemies, and flimsiness will be placed in your hearts."
They asked, "What is flimsiness?" He said, "Love of this world and hate
for death." [Ahmad via Thawban]
"When people become stingy with dinars and dirhams, and trade with al-`eenah
[a ruse attempting to bypass riba] and follow the tails of cows, and
abandon jihad in the path of Allah, Allah will send down upon them a
calamity [in one narration : a humiliation] which He will not lift until
they re-examine their religion [in one narration : until you return to
your religion]. " [Ahmad, Abu Dawud]
Brothers and sisters! These are all consequences in this world, and they
are terrible enough. But, as Muslims, we know that this is not all; there
is the Hereafter to come, and there, even more so than in this world, our
fate will be dependent on our worldly conduct. Although in this world, we
may put on a pleasing exterior, and manage to conceal our sins, this will
not avail us in the Hereafter. And, conversely, even though we suffer to
some extent in this world, or even be wiped out by a large-scale disaster
or slaughter, in the Hereafter, we can be assured of happiness if we were
sincere in our dealings with Allah. Although even in this world, victory
is eventually for the pious and firm Muslims, suffering, hardship and loss
in this world may be experienced by both the pious and the sinners, by
both the Muslims and the unbelievers; it is only in the Hereafter that
felicity and enjoyment are exclusive to and assured for the believers.
"If you are suffering [hardships], then they are suffering [hardships]
just as you are suffering them, but you are hopeful to Allah for that of
they they do not hope. And Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise." [Surah al-Nisa']
It is narrated from Umm Salamah that the Messenger of Allah (may Allah
bless him and grant him peace) said, "When [acts of] disobedience [to
Allah] appear in my ummah, Allah will envelop them with a punishment from
She asked, "O Messenger of Allah! Wil there not be amongst them righteous
people in those days?"
He said, "Yes. " She asked, "What will be done with those?" He said, "They
will be afflicted with that which afflicts the people, and then they will
proceed to forgiveness from Allah and pleasure." [Ahmad]
Similarly, in the authentic hadith about the army which sets out to
destroy the Ka`bah, but then the earth swallows from the first to the last
of them. The Sahabah asked, that how can this be so, given that there will
be amidst them people who are not part of them? The Prophet (may Allah
bless him and grant him peace) replied that they will be swallowed up,
from the first of them to the last of them, and then they will be
resurrected according to their intentions.[Riyad al-Saliheen]
If we look at the condition of Muslims around the world, it is a sorry
picture. So, what then do we need to do to improve our condition?
Certainly, we should not abandon large-scale endeavors, means and
measures, nor lose hope, for eventually, the sincere Muslims will triumph,
and the enemies of the truth will be humbled by Allah. No matter how
prosperous or mighty a nation may appear to be, if it persists upon
disobedience to Allah, it cannot escape Allah's plan, and will eventually
face the consequences of its deeds.
"Have they not seen, how many generations We destroyed before them, whom
We had established in the land such as We have not established [these],
and We made the sky shower rain upon them, and, We caused rivers to flow
beneath them. Then, We destroyed them on account of their sins, and raised
up after them another generation!" [Surah al-An`am]
The following is some of what we can do on the personal level:
- Be sincere with Allah. Try to purify our intentions and deeds and lives.
"In the last [part of] time, there will emerge a people who will deceive
the world by religion, and will wear sheepskin before people. Their
tongues are sweeter than sugar, while their hearts are the hearts of
wolves. Allah, the Mighty, the Majestic, says : Are they deceived by Me?
Or do they act presumptuously with regard to Me? I swear by Myself! I
shall raise up against those [people] a fitnah which will leave the mild
one among them perplexed." [Tirmidhi]
Whoever comes nearer to Allah a span, Allah comes to him a cubit.
"[Allah] it is Who accepts repentance from His servants, and pardons evil
deeds, and knows what you do."
- Enjoin the right and forbid the wrong.
Bani Israel were destroyed when they abandoned this duty. It is narrated
by Ibn Abi al-Dunya that Allah inspired Prophet Joshua saying, "I am
destroying of your people 40,000 of their good ones, and 60,000 of their
evil ones." He said, "O Lord! These evil ones [it can be understood], but
what is the matter with the good ones?" He said, "They did not anger
according to My anger, and they would eat with [the sinners] and drink
with them [as if there was nothing wrong]."
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him and his Household)
emphatically cautioned us that we must enjoin the right, and we must
forbid the wrong, and that otherwise we would become accursed just as the
Israelites became accursed when they gave up this duty.
One should start with oneself and one's family, and thence proceed to
others, in the appropriate manner and where it is called for.
- Help and support, not only our local communities, but Muslims all over
the globe, in whatever legitimate way is most appropriate to our
capabilities in the given circumstances.
It is reported in the Hadith Qudsi :
"If only My servants obeyed Me, I would surely water them with rain by
night, and cause the sun to shine on them by day, and I would not make
them hear the sound of thunder."
"And Fear the Fire which has been prepared for the unbelievers. And Obey
Allah and the Messenger in order that you may be successful. And race with
one another, to mercy from your Lord, and [to] a garden whose expanse is
like the expanse of the heavens and the earth; it has been prepared for
the pious - those who spend in prosperity and adversity, and who pardon
people. And Allah loves those who do good. And, those who, when they
commit an indecency, or wrong themselves, remember Allah, and so ask
forgiveness for their sins; and who forgives sins besides Allah? And they
will not knowingly persist upon what they did [wrong]. The reward of those
is mercy from their Lord, and gardens beneath which flow rivers, abding
therein. How fine if the reward of those who work!" [Surah Aal-`Imraan]
NOTE: Much of the above material was extracted from Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyyah's
"al-Jawab al-Kafi," with some re-arrangement and addition.
Article taken (with Thanks) from Suheil Laher
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