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The Methodology of the Salaf Concerning Politics
  The True Understanding of Politics in Islaam (as-Siyaasah)
Author: Shaikh Ali Hasan al-Halabi
Source: The Awakening
Article ID : MNJ080001  [17474]  

Indeed, all praise is for Allaah subhaanahu wa ta'ala. We praise Him, we seek His help, we seek His forgiveness, and we seek refuge in Allaah from the evils of our souls and our evil actions. Whosoever Allaah guides then none can misguide and whosoever Allaah misguides then none can guide aright. I bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah alone, having no partners, and I bear witness that Muhammad sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam is His servant and Messenger.

My dear brothers & sisters in Islam, no doubt, it will not have escaped your attention that once again this summer a conference was convened by a group of misguided brothers to discuss, once again, the current political climate in the Middle East, Israel, and the Muslim world as a whole. Declarations were set to be made regarding the leaders of our nations, and the causes of our downfall. Yet although the event was cancelled at the last minute, the misguided understanding and false notions that groups such as these maintain, hold many dangers for our communities. It is especially dangerous for the young and enthusiastic ones from amongst us, who, although sincere are open to be deceived by the people of empty speech, empty slogans, and little understanding of the Qur aan and Sunnah. Thus, while most of us have heard their rantings about our current political situation, let us consider this small excerpt from our esteemed Shaykh, 'Alee Hasan al-Halabee concerning this subject:

" And it is obligatory to know an unchanging Sharee'ah principle which will produce a certainty that will open up our intellects and awaken us to the true realities of the state of our affairs, and it is this that whatever calamities have befallen us, or that now befall us, or will befall us, then it is because of what our own hands have earned: and because of our falling short with regards to fulfilling the obligations of our Deen. As Allaah subhaanahu wa ta'ala says in the Qur aan:

"Whatever calamity and misfortune befalls you, it is because of what your own hands have earned" (Soorah ash-Shooraa 42:30) and

"Whatever evil befalls you, it is from your own self" (Soorah an-Nisaa 4:79)

Unfortunately, some of the du'aat (callers) have become accustomed to blaming the enemies for any and every misfortune and subjection which the Muslims face. Yet this not only contradicts the Divine manhaj and clear Prophetic guidance, but it also contains grave and evil consequences and results in a number of negative attitudes, and from them:

(i) It contradicts the Book and the Sunnah in its analysis of the present state of affairs, since Allaah subhaanahu wa ta'ala placed the blame of the defeat at the battles of Uhud and Hunayn upon the Muslims themselves, even though it was the kaafirs (disbelievers) who did what they did: "Indeed Allaah did fulfil His Promise to you, when you were killing your enemies by His permission; until you lost your courage, disagreed over what was commanded, and disobeyed" (Soorah al-'Imraan 3:152), and "On the day of Hunayn, when you rejoiced at your great numbers, it availed you nothing" (Soorah at-Tawbah 9:25).

(ii) It contains an over-estimation of the power of the kaafirs in the soul of the Muslims - which only further increases the Muslims in their weakness.

(iii) It contains a declaration of the purity of ones own soul, since it implies that we have fulfilled the conditions for victory to be granted to us, and deserve to be given establishment upon the earth - even though the kaafirs still have the upper hand over us. With such a negative attitude we will neglect to cultivate our souls and neglect to take account of our own selves, just as it will lead to another grave and serious attitude, which is:

(iv) A suspicion that Allaah subhaanahu wa ta'ala has not kept His Promise to grant victory to the Muslims, and that the kaafirs have managed to overcome the order of Allaah. And concerning this, Allaah subhaanahu wa ta'ala tells us: "The promise of Allaah is true. And who is more truthful in speech than Allaah" (Soorah an-Nisaa 4:122).

(v) This matter sprouts from weakness of Yaqeen (certainty of faith) in Allaah subhaanahu wa ta'aala and a weakness of ones tawakkul (reliance) upon Him. And the fact that the blame for what has befallen the Muslims lies upon themselves does not mean that we free the kaafir from any blame in what they do to the Muslims, since this is one thing and that is another. This is proved by the fact that when we were informed by Allaah subhaanahu wa ta'aala about the causes for the defeat at Uhud, this did not imply that Allaah freed them from any blame for what they did to the Muslims.

So the true understanding of siyaasah (politics, as defined by the Sharee'ah) is to recognise your own condition, and that you look after the affairs of the Ummah: and that you truly understand your state of affairs - calling the people and those near to you. Anything other than this is lies, nonsense, hollow speech and the following of desires, since it is in contradiction to the Guidance laid down by the Lord of the Heavens, and a deviation from the Manhaj of the Prophets, and far removed from the path taken by the callers who are upon the ways of guidance. However, as regards to those who gasp and pant after hollow politics and scurry behind the current affairs - which are both empty and repetitive - then it is precisely this which is plotted for us by the enemies of this Ummah so that they can divert the Muslim youth away from their true position, and turn them away from their principle obligation, and distance them away from their primary goal, which is the worship of Allaah, subhaanahu wa ta'aala.

Indeed, our Shaykh, the scholar of fiqh Nasiruddin al-Albani, has said: " The best way to change the evil is for Muslims to repent to their Lord, correct their beliefs, and nurture themselves and their families according to the correct Islam, as Allaah says " Verily, Allaah does not change :people's condition unless they change what is in themselves." (Soorah ar-Ra'd 13:11). And the way to salvation is not, as some people imagine, to rise up with arms against the rulers, and to conduct military coups. In addition to being among the contemporary bid'ahs (innovations), such actions disregard the texts of Islam, among which is the command to change ourselves. Furthermore, it is imperative to establish the foundation upon which the building will stand: " Verily, Allaah will Most certainly support him who supports His cause; verily, Allaah is Most Powerful and Almighty." (surah al-Hajj 22:40). This is the methodical and orderly approach, and the correct practice based upon the Qur'aan and Sunnah that the Ummah must agree upon, enjoin and call to.


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