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Confronting the Trials of Our Time – Between Extremism and Passivism

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Fitnah: The Blacksmith's Fire

*Link to complete coverage of Gaza Massacre on MM

Growing up as a Muslim in the last thirty years has been a trying experience for all of us who have lived it. We are confronted almost on a daily basis with catastrophes in multiple places throughout the Muslim world – so many that you start to lose count. Your own “issues” of trying to grow up sane and balanced in the 21st century pale in front of the practical genocides that we have witnessed (Srebrenica) as well as those we continue to witness (Palestine, Chechnya, etc.). It is enough to lead some into clinical depression, others into losing their faith and yet others to acts of terror and extremism. There seems to be a great amount of confusion regarding the correct Islamic response to these tragedies – what would the Prophet (saas) do in such circumstances? That question though is not as hard to answer as some imagine it to be – at least in theory.

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Among the wisdoms we can first look to, are those contained in the Book of Allah. Many Muslims wonder why there are so many references to the Children of Israel in the Quran – why is their story and the story of Musa (as) is repeated so much more than any other story in the Quran? Among the reasons considered by some scholars is due to the fact that the history of the Children of Israel is so similar to us in so many ways. They were the first ummah charged with battle. Their history fluctuated between periods of defeat and even slavery, and periods of great victory and authority in the land. They shall be great in number on the Day of Judgment as shall be the ummah of Muhammad (saas) and their history was long as is ours. We have much to learn from their experiences – from their failures and successes – so that we don’t end up like them.

They were the only people on Earth at one point who worshipped Allah, yet He allowed them to be enslaved by a people devoted to open shirk. One might wonder why Allah would ever allow such a thing to happen, but the reason may become more clear when you read the following ayah:

And when the two hosts saw each other, the companions of Musa said: “We are sure to be overtaken.” [26:61]

The Children of Israel had witnessed nine great miracles from Allah at the hands of Musa, miracles that literally brought Fir’aun (Pharaoh) and his people to their knees, to the point that they released the Children of Israel from their bondage and they took with them the riches of Egypt as they left. Yet standing there with the Red Sea before them, and Fir’aun and his entire army behind them kicking up the dust in a raging attempt to slaughter them once and for all – they lost whatever trust they had in Allah. But not Musa; his trust in Allah was unwavering and he confidently replied to them:

“Absolutely not! Verily with me is my Lord and He will (certainly) guide me.’‘ [26:62]

From this inspiring story in the Quran, we learn our first lesson in dealing with trials; and that is firm trust in Allah. It is no different from the calm attitude and demeanor of our beloved Prophet (saas) when he was in the cave and the pagans were about to discover him, when he calmly said to Abu Bakr, “O’ Abu Bakr! What do you think about two, with Allah as their third.” They were illustrating for us the practice of trusting in Allah – that Allah will not allow bad to come to us unless it is to purify our sins or raise our degrees in the Hereafter. And that in reality what we saw as bad will actually shine forth as a source of good when we look back upon it later.

The second valuable lesson that we can take from the Book of Allah is His ayaat:

So do not become weak (against your opponent), nor be sad, and you will indeed be superior (in victory) if you are indeed (true) believers.

If a wound has touched you, be sure a similar wound has touched the others. And so are the days (good and not so good), We give to men by turns, that Allah may test those who believe, and that He may take martyrs from among you. And Allah likes not the wrong-doers)

And that Allah may test (or purify) the believers (from sins) and destroy the disbelievers.

Do you think that you will enter Paradise before Allah tests those of you who fought (in His Cause) and (also) tests those who are patient? [3:139-142]

Ibn Kathir reports regarding these beautiful ayaat, (And so are the days, that We give to men by turns), and at times – out of wisdom – We allow the enemy to overcome you, although the final good end will be yours.

When it comes to the issue of the Zionist occupation of Palestine and their oppressive behavior with the people of Palestine and the religious relics of both Christian and Muslim significance, we certainly might wonder – “why?”. Why would Allah allow this to happen? This wouldn’t be much different then the question that Umar ibnul-Khattab asked the Prophet when he concluded the treaty of Hudaybiyyah when he asked, “O’ Messenger of Allah, are we not on the truth and are they not on the falsehood?

What he was politely trying to say is why have we accepted their conditions and why will we turn back and not make the ‘umrah as we intended? Why are we allowing the pagans to dictate to us when we are upon the truth of Islam and they are on the falsehood of association?

 Yet, this treaty was mentioned by Allah in the Quran as a “clear and evident victory” in the first ayah of surat al-Fath. At the time, Umar didn’t have the vision to see what this treaty would allow the fledgling Muslim community to achieve. It created a cease-fire that allowed the Muslims to devote their time to spreading the teachings of Islam, and indeed in the few years that the treaty was maintained, the Muslims more than tripled in number.

 So why is Muslim blood seemingly so cheap today, why do civil rights seemingly apply to everyone except us, why do human rights seemingly matter to everyone except us? There is a wisdom in this that most of us cannot fully understand at this time.

So what can we do about it in the meantime? The human being was created by Allah as a hasty being – we always want immediate gratification. We have difficulty with patience and we have an even harder time understanding that what took some time to happen will take some time to undo. We didn’t arrive at our current state of affairs in a few days and it is foolish to think that we can get back to the days of authority and security in a few days. This matter is clear in the following authentic hadith:

Narrated Khabbab ibnul-Arat: We complained one day to Allah’s Messenger (saas) [of the persecution inflicted on us by the infidels] while he was sitting in the shade of the Ka’ba, leaning over his covering sheet. We said to him, “Will you not seek help for us? Will you not pray to Allah for us?” He said, “Among the nations before you a (believing) man would be put in a ditch that was dug for him, and a saw would be put over his head and he would be sawed into two pieces; yet that (torture) would not make him give up his religion. Another would be combed with iron combs that would remove his flesh from his bones, yet that would not cause him to abandon his religion. By Allah, this religion (Islam) will prevail till a traveler will go from San’a’ (in Yemen) to Hadramaut fearing none but Allah, or a wolf as regards his sheep, but you (people) are hasty. (Bukhari)

This hadith provides us with many benefits alhamdulillah. The first of them is that we can see that we are not the first people to suffer for the sake of our religion and that indeed there were those before us who underwent great trial because of their imaan. We also see that even though the noble Companions have such a degree of excellence over us, they were still human and still wanted things to improve immediately. They didn’t understand the wisdom behind what they were experiencing just as we cannot fathom the wisdom behind our current global condition.

The Prophet (saas), whom Allah described as being, “for the believers full of pity, kind, and merciful” [9:128] was not as concerned though about this situation and was not moved to ask Allah for immediate relief. He knew that victory was coming, that Islam would indeed spread to the far reaches of the globe; and he also knew that the patience the Companions needed to have through these trials was what they needed to make them into the great ummah they were to become.

The word fitnah that we commonly understand as meaning “trial” or “tribulation” had a meaning to the Arabs before the dawn of Islam. They used to call the process of heating metals to purify them as fitnah. Thus, a blacksmith would heat a certain metal to a certain temperature where a certain impurity would melt off, and then raise the temperature some more to melt off the next impurity until finally the original ore was pure. Thus the fitnah that the Companions underwent was a means of purifying them from all the impurities of Jahiliyyah.

In the centuries that have come after those noble early generations, those impurities of Jahiliyyah have slowly crept back into our ummah. We are filled with them in fact. Open shirk is practiced throughout many segments of the Muslim world through grave worship, saint worship, black magic and superstition to name only a few. We are beset by the diseases of nationalism, racism and sectarian conflict. We defeat an outside enemy only to be consumed with killing one another for leadership. Our “Muslim” lands are flowing with alcohol and zina is once again a reality. We have fulfilled the prophecy of the Prophet (saas) where he said that we would indeed follow those who came before us in all of their steps – all of their mistakes, distortions and acts of disobedience.

Those who imagine that “Islam in the West” is somehow more pristine are only deceiving themselves as it is a bold reality that part of our failure in dawaah is because of the evil manners non-Muslims have witnessed from members of this community.

How many Muslim men have impregnated a non-Muslim “girlfriend” only to disappear and ignore the consequences? How many Muslims cheat in their businesses daily and treat their employees cruelly without compassion or concern? How many Muslims float their businesses by selling that which Allah has prohibited? How many non-Muslims have come to understand the beautiful phrase of insha’Allah to mean “never” because we don’t keep our promises or guard our oaths? How often have we, through our own behavior, become what the Prophet (saas) described in one hadith as “munafireen” (those who drive others away from Islam?).

 Indeed, Allah has said in the Quran what means:

That is so because Allah will never change a grace which He has bestowed on a people until they change what is in their own selves. And verily, Allah is All-Hearer, All-Knower. [8:53]

Ibn Kathir states in regards to this ayah,

Allah affirms His perfect justice and fairness in His decisions, for He decided that He will not change a bounty that He has granted someone, except on account of an evil that they committed. Allah said in another Ayah,

Verily, Allah will not change the (good) condition of a people as long as they do not change their state (of goodness) themselves. But when Allah wills a people’s punishment, there can be no turning it back, and they will find besides Him no protector.[13:11]

So it seems then that the only way out of the mess that we have created for ourselves over the past millennium is to work ourselves back to righteousness and to obedience to Allah. Indeed, one Muslim da’ee once reviewed the history of Jerusalem and concluded that whenever the believers disobeyed Allah and transgressed His boundaries that they would lose Jerusalem, even if it meant losing it to a people who disgraced it and put it to ruin.

The Children of Israel were forbidden to enter it for forty years because of their transgression of Allah’s laws and for disobeying Allah’s commands as given to them through Musa (as). Only when that wicked generation passed and the next one that had been instructed and disciplined by Musa and Harun (alayhim as-salaam) came to prominence did then Allah give them victory and entry into the Holy land. We see that the same thing happened with the coming of the Prophet Muhammad (saas) and that after him the generations weakened and weakened until Salahidin was sent. What many Muslims don’t know though is the extensive effort made by Salahidin’s predecessor Nurideen Zenki who prepared the ground for Salahidin’s victory by disciplining the Muslim community.

It is for this reason that many wise scholars of this Ummah commented in the 1990’s that they discouraged demonstrations, protests and specifically forbade waging war against the leaders (coups). The issue with demonstrations is that in general they do not achieve significant gains but they do something more dangerous – they give the person who demonstrated the feeling – albeit a false and deceiving one – that they “did something”. They “didn’t just sit back and do nothing”. Sure, they went outside and yelled, held up signs and blocked traffic. Maybe a few people became aware of the cause, but it is certain that many more were annoyed and put off by the demonstrations. How many times have you seen a picture of a Muslim holding up a sign at a protest that made you cringe? Just think how that ripple effect goes through the internet or news media turning hundreds of others away from our deen.

When these same scholars advised young Muslims to turn their efforts to dawaah in their own communities; to work at purging the evil that had crept into our communities, these young Muslims snapped. How could these “old, out-of-touch scholars” tell us to ignore what is happening around us and “just do dawah”. So they instead turned to extremism and terror, as they did for example in Algeria. The effect of these terror tactics backfired terribly and the condition of the Muslims worsened significantly as the country enacted emergency martial laws which deprived the citizenry of many civil and human rights as they have done in other countries like Egypt and Syria. Terror strategies have faced similarly poor results in all places where they have been tried.

What these young, enraged and energetic Muslims couldn’t understand is exactly what leaders like the Prophet Muhammad (saas) and Nurideen Zenki did understand – change doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a concerted effort directed towards tarbiyyah (disciplining) and correcting what went wrong over the past centuries. It requires us as an ummah to rid ourselves of the filth that prevents our du’a from being answered and that can only happen by starting with ourself.

It was not uncommon in the past to find some of the scholars and worshippers of this ummah blaming themselves for the difficulties faced by their brothers and sisters be it storms or enemy victories. It is a sad sign of the times that today we do the opposite, by blaming everyone but ourselves for the failures of this ummah. We should really ask ourselves, “If everyone was like me – what would the state of our ummah be? If everyone sinned like I did, if everyone was as weak and deficient in worship as I am, would our condition be worse or better as a whole?” The answer to those questions should push us harder to reform ourselves first. If each one of us just did that then we would be in better shape. If each one of us looked inward and corrected their own many deficiencies and weaknesses instead of only seeing their brother or sister’s inadequacies then we might take a step in the right direction.

The cold reality to this whole issue is visible in our ever worsening next generation. Every statistic, every study that we do of the next generation brings more worry and sadness. They are straying from Islam in large numbers and we would be fools to think otherwise. They are not necessarily straying to other religions, but to atheism and secularism instead. This is a direct reflection of our own parenting skills and our own failures as role models for the most part. If we really were as good as we think we are then the next generation would be better.

The next question that we should ask ourselves is from where the victory will come? Do we really expect that screaming and protesting to non-Muslim governments will secure victory for us? Are we really that humiliated of a people that we will look to them for relief from our problems when supposedly on a daily basis we turn to the Lord of the Universe and say “Iyyaaka na’budu wa iyyaaka nasta’een” (You Alone we worship and You Alone we ask for help)? Are we not presenting a clear case against ourselves regarding whom we really place hope in and whom we really trust? Have we forgotten His words:

Is not He (better than your gods) Who responds to the distressed one, when he calls Him, and Who removes the evil, and makes you inheritors of the earth, generation after generation. Is there any god with Allah? Little is that you remember! [27:62]

Or when He commands us:

And put your trust in the Ever Living One Who dies not, and glorify His Praises, and Sufficient is He as the All-Knower of the sins of His slaves. [25:58]

 So, the real demonstration should not be out in the streets but on our prayer mats. How many of us have spent hours debating, discussing and arguing over the condition of the ummah but otherwise can’t seem to get up in the latter half of the night to beg for Allah’s mercy or even to get up on time for fajr? What is the longest sajdah (prostration in prayer) you have ever made on your own? Have you ever spent so much time in a sajdah begging Allah for His mercy, for His aid, for His guidance – so much time that your arms began to hurt? If not then when are we going to do that? If you think this is something unusual then remember that the Prophet (saas) was not a stranger to such long sajdahs and that once he prostrated for such a long time that ‘Aisha thought he had died in prayer. And wasn’t he the one (saas) who used to stand so long in prayer that his feet would swell? Yet he was forgiven and we are not, he was aided and we are not. Can you see the connection?

One last reminder on the whole issue of du’a is something that some may not have heard. It has been reported by many of the oppressed Muslims that they can “feel” our du’a in Ramadan just as much as they can “feel” its absence outside of Ramadan. We increase our worship and obedience to Allah so much in this blessed month and we also increase our supplications for our brothers and sisters locally and world-wide in this time to the extent that their victories are palpable in Ramadan. But with the coming of Eid, the masaajid become empty again and the sins pile up once more and the du’as stop and the oppression returns to the state it was before Ramadan. It is an aspect of the unseen, calling upon our Lord, and so many of us have become non-complacent and weak in regards to it to our own destruction.

So in conclusion, here is a review of the practical steps can we take to confront the trials that face us in these challenging times:

  1. Putting our trust firmly in Allah and being patient with His decree. Trusting in His wisdom and His mercy upon us and all Muslims. Not putting our trusts and hopes in other than Allah.
  2. Remembering that Allah gives authority to different nations at different times to test them. As Muslims, we once held authority but presently Allah has given it to those nations in the West among some others. They will be held responsible for their decisions and we will be held responsible for our response. We must avoid the two extremes of extremism and passivism in our response.
  3. Placing the blame for the failures of this ummah squarely on our own individual shoulders and reforming our own souls first before moving on to our own families in particular. This comes from the understanding that Allah will not change our condition to that of good until we rid our own souls and actions from the evil that is presently consuming them. Special emphasis on being good role models to the younger generation and not asking them to do something until we have ingrained it into our own character first.
  4. Getting serious with our du’a and our worship. Exerting ourselves by calling out to Allah in the times in which du’a is most likely to be accepted (during the last third of the night, during the last hour of jumu’ah, when traveling, when ill, while making sajdah in prayer, after reciting the Quran, etc.). We should also be sure to praise Allah before making du’a and sending peace and blessings upon the Prophet (saas) afterwards as this is part of the etiquette of du’a in the Sunnah. Remembering that it is not the exact words that we use but more the sincerity and humility of the du’a that matters.

  5. Increasing our istighfaar (seeking forgiveness from Allah) and repenting to Him. It is reported in the Sahihayn that the Prophet (saas) used to seek forgiveness from Allah 70-100 times a day. How many times do we really ask Allah for His forgiveness everyday (and when we say it, our hearts should reflect upon the statement deeply and consciously as opposed to saying “astaghfirullah” 100 times without even thinking about what you are saying or without due concentration, humility and sincerity)?

And Allah is the source of all strength and success and Allah knows best.

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Dr. Ali Shehata is the author of Demystifying Islam: Your Guide to the Most Misunderstood Religion of the 21st Century. Dr. Ali is an Emergency and Family Medicine physician currently living in an area of central Florida. He was born in Maryland to parents who had immigrated to the US from Egypt. He has studied Islam mainly through traditional methods among various scholars, du'at and students of knowledge here in the US.

125 Comments

125 Comments

  1. Algebra

    January 1, 2009 at 4:37 PM

    Aslamu-alaikum:
    Dr. Ali Shehata:
    I saw your post and i had to read it even though i am very busy today. MashAllah, you write inspirational Naseeha with nice stories backed up with evidence from the Quran and Sunnah. Thank you sooooo much. i really appreciated this post.
    salam

  2. Ibn Jafaar

    January 1, 2009 at 5:38 PM

    Nice…

  3. Ammar

    January 1, 2009 at 5:59 PM

    Asalamu Alikum, Nicely written. Can you share more information on Nurideen Zenki?

  4. Siraaj

    January 1, 2009 at 6:29 PM

    Salaam alaykum Dr. Ali,

    Jazakallaah khayr for writing this up at a time when it is badly needed. Although we complain about the backwards practices some of our family elders have brought with them and have mistakenly portrayed as Islam, we in the West have also done very a similar thing without realizing it – we’ve bought into the pop psychology’s victim mentality. It’s not my fault, it’s your fault, the problem is somewhere “out there” – there’s no onus to do a critical self-evaluation.

    The minute one thinks to themselves, this article doesn’t refer to me, it refers to others, think again. It refers to you too, and you’re the first one that needs to do that soul-searching, as do I.

    Siraaj

  5. mudsir

    January 1, 2009 at 8:27 PM

    “What many Muslims don’t know though is the extensive effort made my Salahidin’s predecessor Nurideen Zenki who prepared the ground for Salahidin’s victory by disciplining the Muslim community.”
    It has been reported by many of the oppressed Muslims that they can “feel” our du’a in Ramadan just as much as they can “feel” is absence outside of Ramadan.
    I thing “my” and “is” are typing errors. Please do correct them and thanks for this much needed article.

  6. abu abdAllah, the Houstonian

    January 1, 2009 at 9:18 PM

    mashaAllah, Shaykh Ali, your earlier comments have blossomed into a beneficial article. your quotations of Qur’an, hadith, and scholars, as well as your own words, may Allah cause them to bear the best fruit in this life and in the next, for you and for the ummah.

  7. Algebra

    January 1, 2009 at 9:27 PM

    Assalamu-alaikum:
    1.I concur with ammar Would you share more information on Nurideen Zenki?
    how did he discipline or prepare the the society?

    2.”They used to call the process of heating metals to purify them as fitnah. Thus, a blacksmith would heat a certain metal to a certain temperature where a certain impurity would melt off, and then raise the temperature some more to melt off the next impurity until finally the original ore was pure. Thus the fitnah that the Companions underwent was a means of purifying them from all the impurities of Jahiliyyah.”

    I love this analogy!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i am going to use it in my chemistry lesson, InshAllah.
    thank you
    salam
    Would you write more articles i like your writing style.

  8. imran

    January 1, 2009 at 9:57 PM

    Salaam alaykum Dr. Ali, So in conclusion , we Must make dua,correct our aqeedah and increase our worship and be better muslims.

  9. erum

    January 1, 2009 at 10:12 PM

    MashaAllah! Really excellent article, one of the best I’ve read in a long time. JazakAllahu khair!

  10. Ali Shehata

    January 1, 2009 at 11:51 PM

    As-salaam alaikum

    I had posted this comment in the Gaza commentaries but not sure how many people scrolled down that far. Another reminder of some special thikr and du’a that we should learn insha’Allah ….

    Some people have been asking what du’as and athkaar can be said in times of great tribulation like this. Insha’Allah what follows is a collection of authentic du’as and athkaar for these difficult times:

    1. It was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbas (ra) that the Messenger of Allah (saas) said: “My Lord came to me tonight in the most beautiful form…” and in this hadith he said that Allah said, “O Muhammad, when you pray, then say:

    اللهم إني أسألك فعل الخيرات ، وترك المنكرات ، وحب المساكين ، وأن تغفر لي وترحمني وتتوب علي ، وإن أردت بعبادك فتنة فاقبضني إليك غير مفتون

    ‘Allaahumma inni as’aluka fi’lal khayraat wa tark al-munkaraat, wa hubb al-masaakeen, wa an taghfira lee wa tarhamanee wa tatooba ‘alayya. Wa in aradta bi ‘ibaadika fitnatan, faqbidni ilayka ghayra maftoon (O Allah, I ask You (to enable me) to do good deeds and avoid evil deeds, and to love the poor, and (I ask You) to forgive me, have mercy on me and accept my repentance. If You decree that some trial should befall Your slaves, then take me to You [i.e., cause me to die] without having me be subjected to that trial).” (Tirmithi – hasan)

    2. Abu Burdah ibn ‘Abd-Allah narrated from his father that when the Prophet (saas) was afraid of some people he would say,

    اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّا نَجْعَلُكَ فِي نُحُورِهِمْ وَنَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ شُرُورِهِمْ

    “Allaahumma inna naj’aluka fi nuhoorihim wa na’oodhu bika min shuroorihim (O Allah, we place You before them and we seek refuge in You from their evil).” (Abu Dawud – Sahih)

    3. It was narrated from Ibn ‘Abbas (ra) that the Messenger of Allah (saas) used to say the following words of relief at times of distress:

    لا إله إلا الله العظيم الحليم ، لا إله إلا الله رب العرش العظيم ، لا إله إلا الله رب السموات ورب الأرض ورب العرش الكريم

    “Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah al-‘Adheem al-Haleem, laa ilaaha ill-Allaah Rabb al-‘Arsh al-‘adheem, la ilaaha ill-Allaah Rabb ul-samawaati wa Rabb ul-ard wa Rabb ul-‘Arsh il-kareem (There is nothing worthy of worship but Allah, the All-Powerful, the Forbearing; There is nothing worthy of worship but Allah, Lord of the mighty Throne; There is nothing worthy of worship but Allah, Lord of heaven, Lord of earth, and Lord of the noble Throne).” (Bukhari and Muslim)

    4. The Prophet (saas) said: “Shall I not tell you of something that, if any worldly calamity or disaster befalls any man among you and he says these words, he will be relieved of it. (It is) the du’a’ of Dhu’-Noon (the Prophet Yunus – as): “Laa ilaaha illa anta subhaanaka inni kuntu min al-dhaalimeen (none has the right to be worshipped but You (O Allah), Glorified (and Exalted) be You [above all that (evil) they associate with You]! Truly, I have been of the wrongdoers).” According to another report: “No Muslim man says this du’a’ concerning anything but Allah will answer his prayer.” (Sahih al-Jaami’)

    5. The Messenger of Allah (saas) said: to Asmaa’ bint ‘Umays, “Shall I not teach you some words which you can say at times of distress and hardship?

    اللَّهُ رَبِّي لا أُشْرِكُ بِهِ شَيْئًا

    ‘Allaahu rabbee laa ushriku bihi shay’an (Allah is my Lord, I do not associate anything with Him).’” (Sahih – Abu Dawood)

    According to a version narrated in al-Sahih al-Jaami’, “Whoever is afflicted by worry, distress, sickness or hardship, and says, Allaahu rabbee laa shareeka lah (Allah is my Lord, He has no partner or associate), will be relieved of that.”

    As a side note, a review of the various authentic supplications in this matter show that the statement of tawheed is common to many of them and indicates that when we fall into aspects of shirk in our life that this negatively impacts upon our affairs. Could it be that the degree of shirk in our ummah today is a major factor in their inability to throw off the yokes of oppression and humiliation? This has been a repeated effort by many of the ulamaa for the past 20 years with great success where it has been implemented – and Allah knows best.

    [For those that cannot read the Arabic text, you can copy it from the browser and paste it into MS Word or Open Office and enlarge it so that you can read it – and even print it and keep it with you until you can memorize them.]

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  12. salafFollower

    January 2, 2009 at 2:29 AM

    Dear Dr. Ali Shehata,

    Jazakallahu khair for this excellent and thought-provoking article. If I can please ask you to read and respond to my following question, I would be very grateful to you.

    Suppose there are two students A and B. Both are scheduled to take a difficult examination:

    Person A: This person is a very righteous muslim. He has excellemt manners. He does all his obligatory duties. He helps Muslims in his community and prays qiyam-layl. He works very hard for this examination. He plans, he prepares. He buys the books he needs. He takes practice exams. At the same time, he turns to Allah for help, putting his trust in Him, because he knows that despite all his efforts, ultimately the failure and success lies in the Hands of Allah (SWT).

    Person B: This person is exactly like person A. However, he does not plan or prepare for the exam. He does not study. However, he spends all night on the musallah asking and begging Allah to help him, because he knows that failure and success ultimately lies in the hands of Allah. As long as he is righteous and obeys Allah’s commandments, Allah will respond to his dua and give him success.

    So, which of the two would you say is the best? You would (I hope) say person A. Now, please look at the steps 1-5 you have outlined above, and tell me honestly what person’s way do they most closely resemble? Sadly, person B!!

    Indeed, Allah does not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves. Why do we only have to *limit* this to the ‘religious’ practices? Why not to the part that involved planning, preparing, working hard to master the dunya asbbab that are needed and AT THE SAME TIME putting our trust in Allah.

    I would like to also add a few points:

    1. Your analysis in the previous forum that Muslims have all the dunya ‘smarts’ is unfortunately incorrect. Just because a few thousand doctors and engineers became wealthy and successful in Western countries does not mean that we, as an ummah, have any dunya smarts. We cannot even manufacture the basic medicines and medical equipment needed. We cannot even explore, drill, and refine the natural resources on our own lands. We totally depend on our enemies for even the most basic things of modern daily life.

    2. The reason for the above is very simple. THe way nations acquire these dunya smarts is by planning, preparation, hard work, and dedication on the ummah scale. This is where the role of governments comes in. It is not in the capacity of individuals or small groups here and there to make these changes. It requires resources, planning, and strategies at the governmental level. Which then brings us to the realization that our governments are corrupt and insincere. If they were sincere, then they would allocate resources, plan, and implement strategies (over a long period of time) so that we can acquire those asbaab and THEN we would be in a position to make sincere dua to Allah to help us and that dua would not be an empty dua because we would be standing in front of Allah knowing that we did all we could to gain the asbaab needed in this dunya to achieve our objectives, at the same time turning to Him for help.

    Rasool Allah (SW) straightended the ranks, filled the wells (at Badr), made plans, THEN went to his tent and made dua to Allah for victory.
    Unfortunately, what you seem to be calling to is for all us ot be like person B.

    3. When we understand this, it becomes obvious, at least to my mind, that certain governments have invented a religious doctrine, that has as it aims to teach the youth that they need to be only like Person B. Just concentrate on your ibadah and your sins. (PLEASE NOTE: I am not saying you should NOT do this, I am saying you should do this AND hold your government responsible for (2) above). No need to worry about anything else. WHen you become purified, then automatically these tyrannical regimes will turn into pious ones. And of course, the religious texts can be presented and interpreted to support that view, as the common Muslim would be none the wiser.

    However, the common Muslim’s instincts tell him that there is something fishy going on here, and therefore these governments and those figures that support it (without raising an ounce of crticism or holding them to account) lose all credibility too.

    4. We have many historical examples, cheief among them, Yusuf bin Tashfeen (in Spain), Salahuddin, Ibn Taymiyya, and Umar bin Abdul Aziz, that prove that sincere and dedicated leadership is the difference. A rudimentary reading of history tells us that there was no radical shift in the aqeedah, piety etc. of the common Muslims when these great leaders organized and led the Muslims ot defeat their enemies. If there is proof of this, I would like references please. A clear contrary proof is that the periods of these great leaders was a temporary surge. As soon as that leadership disappeared, the Mulsims went back to the same situation.

    If I am mistaken, please correct me.
    I really love your intellectual style and I look forward to hearing from you.

    May Allah (SWT) bless you and your family for your efforts.

    You brother in Islam.

    salafFollower

  13. Ummi Huraira

    January 2, 2009 at 3:31 AM

    Excellent article mashallah.. what a well written and appropriate piece

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  15. J

    January 2, 2009 at 6:24 AM

    I haven’t read the article yet, but I did notice the comment on Noor ad-Deen…Noor ad-Deen [r] was actually Salahudeen’s shaykh. Noor ad-Deen [r] sent Salahudeen [r] to rule over Egypt. So Salahudeen ruled from Egypt and Noor ad-Deen [r] from Syria. A lot of trouble-makers tried to spread rumors that Salahudeen [r] was becoming more powerful than Noor ad-Deen [r], i.e. create a rivalry between teacher and student. So Noor ad-Deen [r] warned Salahudeen [r] by saying that he would send an entire army to destroy him if he forgot who was the ruler. Salahudeen [r] sent back the reply that this was over-kill: just send a single donkey, and Salahudeen [r] would ride to Noor ad-Deen [r] on it and present his own severed head to his shaykh, Noor ad-Deen.

  16. Nusaybah

    January 2, 2009 at 8:06 AM

    JazakAllahu khayran, this is the best advice I have seen on the situation of our ummah.. I can see victory, bi ithnillah.

  17. UmmOsman

    January 2, 2009 at 9:14 AM

    Assalalamo elikuim
    Jazak Allha Khairun for a very timely article.

    Wasalam

  18. Musafira

    January 2, 2009 at 9:47 AM

    Jazak Allah khair

  19. ahmed

    January 2, 2009 at 10:28 AM

    Every statistic, every study that we do of the next generation brings more worry and sadness. They are straying from Islam in large numbers and we would be fools to think otherwise. They are not necessarily straying to other religions, but to atheism and secularism instead.

    and this is probably the biggest fitna that muslims in the west face, wa Allahu ta’aala a’lam. The children of the generation that leans towards atheism and secularism may decide not to have anything to do with islam.

    for some lands and muslim societies, it’s easy to see what the fitna is

    for us in the west, the biggest fitna is probably that islam might slowly disappear while we’re thinking we did a great job because we built fancy masajid and had a few conferences.

  20. Abu Obaidah

    January 2, 2009 at 12:53 PM

    Salaam Alaykum,

    Jazak Allahu Khairun for this insightful post.

    May Allah preserve you in order that you may continue to benefit this ummah .. ameen.

  21. Farhan

    January 2, 2009 at 1:10 PM

    ma sha Allah, that was incredibly humbling, but at the same time highly depressing
    I hope this has an effect on me in the long-run, in sha Allah, and changes my attitude and behaviors

  22. intellect1430

    January 2, 2009 at 1:14 PM

    Br. Shehata,

    Jazakallahi Khair Akhi for this timeless advice. Indeed all that you have written is applicable to the situation of the Muslim Ummah. But brother, I advise you to read the following link: “Muslims around the world protest Gaza assult”:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090102/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_israel_palestinians_protests

    I know that you are saying that protesting and rallying should not be a big objective for the Muslim, but please look at the message the assembly of thousands of Muslims across the world on Yaum-ul-Jumuah (today) demonstrates to the world. People know that the international community is not going to turn its heels around on Israel just by coming out to a demonstration, but by coming out in large numbers (irregardless of the ideological factions there are in the Ummah), we are demonstrating solidarity.

    Now in now way am I championing that protesting take precedence to making du’a to Allah. No way, of course worship is the ultimate and primary weapon of the believer. But for ever time a people have been oppresed (be it the African Americans in the 1950’s-60’s or the Indians with Gandhi), they use outings to show the world that they are in solidarity through grevious times. Be it effective or ineffective, I feel proud reading this article knowing that Muslims across the world went out in droves today to at least protest the situation in Gaza.

    May Allah forgive us all, and alleviate the suffering of our Ummah.

  23. Farhan

    January 2, 2009 at 1:15 PM

    This is the best MuslimMatter’s post I’ve ever read

  24. ibnAbbas

    January 2, 2009 at 1:42 PM

    I have to agree that this is probably the best article I have read on MM mashAllah. JazakAllahu khayrn yaa sh. Ali Shehata and hope to see you more active on MM inshAllah.

  25. sister

    January 2, 2009 at 2:46 PM

    Jazakallhukhair. This is probably one of the best articles I have ever read. Naseeha I needed so badly especially now, at such a time when our Ummah is in so much pain. I look forward to learning more from you brother in the future in sha Allah. May Allah give us knowledge that is beneficial and give us the taufique to change ourselves to uplift the state of this ummah. May Allah empower us through His obedience and knowledge of this deen. Alhamdulillah. May Allah accept our good deeds and forgive us.

  26. Ali Shehata

    January 2, 2009 at 4:25 PM

    As salaam alaikum Dear Brother SalafFollwer

    Jazak Allahu khair for your points and I will try to explain better. I agree with you that based on your illustration that it would appear that we are favoring ibaadah over dunya preparations whereas this is not the case. I would humbly disagree that our Ummah doesn’t have specialists in the various secular sciences. Are they complete though? No. In fact, I have personally spoken with various brothers who have complained to me of the limitations imposed upon them in the various Muslim countries in pursuing certain fields such as metalurgy and oil refining. Where do these limitations and restrictions come from? Leadership is the source of these problems as they collude with others opposed to Muslim nations progressing in these fields.

    So we still come back to the central question of why we have such evil leaders, why do our leaders work against us and impede our progress? And the main reason which is apparent to those who have looked into the field is that we have abandoned the steps I have tried to outline in this article. Even when we look historically at the times that you mentioned – let’s say the time of Ibn Taiymiyyah – we find that the Muslim ummah was not successful. He was successful and he engineered some very successful moments for sure, but the Muslims of his time were nonetheless under the rule of the Mongol forces and the Muslims were oppressed to a degree that even today we have not seen walhamdulillah.

    What was the major emphasis of his dawaah though? He spent his life calling people back to tawheed and away from shirk. You don’t find him emphasizing anything more than this issue (to any large degree) in his writings. He understood that the decline of the Muslims at that time was due to their negligence of their deen and not for any other major reason. He correctly deduced that the evil leadership they had was a DIRECT result of their own disobedience to Allah. If you do have references of writings of his were he encouraged scientific forays or rebellion against rulers then please educate me, but as someone who has studied many of his writings and many of the writings of his student Ibnul Qayyim, I find that the emphasis of their lives was on Muslims turning away from the decadence of their era and back towards repentance and tawheed.

    So the situation is certainly frustrating today and I feel and experience the frustration as well. To say that religious doctrines are being invented though and to keep us in submission is not correct. We cannot escape the fact that the hadith point clearly to the fact that our leadership comes from us and as a result of our deeds. To try to compare this time with the early era of Muslim Spain or to that of Umar ibn Abdul Azeez is comparing apples to stones. Where are the likes of the Tabi’een who were alive at that time? Dear brother, there was a significant difference between our people and those people as evidenced by the hadith of the Prophet regarding the first three generations. Those two specific times were in the third of those three praised generations – but we are far from those people in time, imaan and ibaadah; may Allah reform our hearts.

    The danger of this frustration is giving into the immediate gratification fitnah promised by extremism. We will never succeed by violent opposition and although I know you are not suggesting that and have not even mentioned it, it is the next step in the thought process if we go in that direction. The reason why the Prophet (saas) was so calm when Khabbab complained to him was because he knew the success would come and that it was not time for it. We know that Rome will come under Islamic rule as the Prophet (saas) predicted, we know that the fitnah in Israel will come to an end as has also been predicted in the hadith and we know the source of that success when it does come will be from a corrected imaan. We now live in the days of fitnah that the Prophet predicted would come. The sad reality ya akhi is that if you went now into many of the Muslim lands and asked the common people if they would prefer a khilaafah or to live in the West, many would go to the west. How can we compare such people to the people that spread the deen in those early years? The Muslim ummah will come together as the Prophet (saas) prophecied and justice will be established but it can never happen until we reform our own souls.

    A thorough study of Bukhari’s chapter of Fitan (Kitabul Fitan) demonstrates this clearly and demonstrates the aqeedah of al-Imam al-Bukhari that righteousness from this Ummah comes from within and that efforts to impose righteousness from the top down will never succeed. Walking through the streets of Muslim lands and seeing how the youth there are swayed by all the desires makes me understand why so many ulamaa believe that this process is still some time away. When are youth – here or there – are more concerned with Hollywood, X-Box, KFC and downloading the latest mp3 songs then to think that our work in the field of ibaadah is complete is a deception of the highest order. My last argument in this matter is to ask you to reflect upon why Mecca had to happen before Madinah could happen? Why did those Muslims have to go through what they went through before success could happen? Why did Musa (as) have to tolerate those wicked people for 40 years in the desert? It was because they were not ready to be leaders because they were not suitable to carry the message of Islam. The sad reality today is that we are not suitable to carry Islam to the nations of the world – we present too many hypocricies, too many double standards, too many deficiencies in our relationship with Allah to be worthy of leadership and this is why we deserve the leaders we have and deserve the humilation we are subjected to at this time, wallahu al-Mustaa’an.

    I will conclude by reminding myself and you of Allah’s words toward the end of surat as-Sajdah (32) where he states what means:

    (And We made from among them, leaders, giving guidance under Our command, when they were patient and used to believe with certainty in Our Ayat.)

    Ibn Kathir reports: this means, because they were patient in adhering to the commands of Allah and avoiding what He prohibited, and they believed in His Messengers and followed what they brought, there were among them leaders who guided others to the truth by the command of Allah, calling for goodness, enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong. Then when they changed [the Words of Allah], twisting and distorting them, they lost that position and their hearts became hard. They change the words from their places, so they do no righteous deeds and have no correct beliefs. Allah says:

    [وَجَعَلْنَا مِنْهُمْ أَئِمَّةً يَهْدُونَ بِأَمْرِنَا لَمَّا صَبَرُواْ]

    (And We made from among them (Children of Israel), leaders, giving guidance under Our command, when they were patient) Qatadah and Sufyan said: “When they patiently shunned the temptations of this world.” This was also the view of Al-Hasan bin Salih. Sufyan said, “This is how these people were. A man cannot be an example to be followed unless he shuns the temptation of this world.”

    This is my limited understanding of this matter and i ask Allah to guide me and you and the whole of this ummah to that which will bring it success in this life and the Hereafter and that he save our brothers and sisters, our mothers and fathers from the evil consequences of our own laziness, deficiency and hardheartedness – ameen, wallahu a’laa wa a’lam.

  27. Ali Shehata

    January 2, 2009 at 4:27 PM

    One other point – we do have the technology and expertise to produce medicines as medicines are produced in Egypt today and also in pakistan to my understanding and remember the pharmaceutical plant in Sudan that was destroyed by Bill Clinton during his presidency. Oil refineries are another issue but I can securely say that our ummah has the capability and currently does produce its own medicines alhamdulillah – wallhu a’lam

  28. Ayesha Fatima

    January 2, 2009 at 4:39 PM

    Assalamualykum Brother,

    Jazakumallaju khairaa for an excellent article . I just know a little about deen .I totally agree with you that we have to rely on Allah swt on all trivial matters.I agree with ” brother Salaf follower ” that we have to be like person B .We have to tie our camel and then rely on Allah swt.How can you explain the ayah Al-Nisa:95 Not equal are those believers who sit (at home) and receive no hurt, and those who strive and fight in the cause of Allah with their goods and their persons. Allah hath granted a grade higher to those who strive and fight with their goods and persons than to those who sit (at home). Unto all (in Faith) Hath Allah promised good: But those who strive and fight Hath He distinguished above those who sit (at home) by a special reward,-…If we don`t condemn the actions of our government then who will?

    salaam.

  29. salafFollower

    January 2, 2009 at 5:41 PM

    Waalaikum assalam warahmatullah Dr. Shehata,

    I sense so much sincerity and love in your writing. May Allah keep you and all of us sincere to His Deen.

    Insha’Allah, I hope to keep this conversation going, if you have time, for my benefit and for the benefit of others, for there are a lot of doubts that need to be clarified and a lot of thoughts that need to be corrected on both sides. Indeed, this affair has consumed the minds of many Muslims in the East and West, and they are searching for the proper, balanced, approach to the solution of our problems from both the deen and dunya prespective.

    I will only like to mention one thing now, that in no way shape or form was I advocating ‘rebellion’ or ‘hatred’ towards the rulers or governments of any Muslim country. I was merely pointing out the obvious fact that they are corrupt and insincere. It is very telling that some governments are so paranoid that the mere criticism of them is construed as ‘rebellion’, ‘anarchy’, ‘extremism, and the ‘way of the khawarij’. Don’t the citizens of Western countries critisize, blame, and make fun of their governments? Does that mean they are calling for anarchy, violence, and over-throw at every instance? Are we such a low civilization that our rulers cannot face any accountability and questioning for their policies and practices? Aren’t the rulers accountable to the ones they rule?

    Firstly, and I am still very convinced of this, some governments have used religious people and religious edicts to snuff out any form of protest, criticism, and accountabiltiy because they are so paranoid about losing power. It has gone to such an extent that even a mild rebuke of the king or ruler makes you an extremist heretic, kharji, violent hypocrite who is causing ‘fitna’ in the land. This way of thinking is way off balance.

    Secondly, the extreme emphasis on individual piety and deeds is a deliberate attempt at quashing any from of social or political organization or movement amongst the masses because once again these governments are paranoid about five people gathering together for a discussion, what to say of mass social or political movements!! This is the reason, unfortunately, why these regimes have conspired against the govermnent in Gaza, because they are afraid that this political movement will spread to their own lands and cause them trouble. Sadly, when the common people see the people of knowledge aid, support, and praise these governments, without even an iota of criticism, what will they think? What will they think, dear shaykh? Will they think them to be sincere to their cause, or to the cause of the rulers? And this is a very important problem. There is a HUGE credibiltiy and trust gap between the religious leaders and the common folk. Why should the common folk trust the imams on the pulpit if they think that the imams are in the pockets of the rulers? PLEASE TRY TO UNDERSTAND ME. I am not attacking or disrespecting anyone. I am just describing to you the situation as it is on the ground from the prespective of an ordinary Muslim who you are asking to follow you. In order for the scholars ot make the people LISTEN to them and FOLLOW them they have to convince them that they CARE about THEM. They have to bridge this credibility gap. How can they do that while at the same time they support these regimes through religious edicts?

    Just expressing myself.

    May Allah reward you with good.

    wassalam,

    salafFollower

  30. Ali Shehata

    January 2, 2009 at 7:38 PM

    Wa alaikum as-salaam wa Rahmat Allah wa barakaatuhu SalafFollower

    I am glad that you can see the love that I have for you in my responses for indeed loving one another sincerely and having the humility to listen and try to benefit from one another is one of the elements missing in our society today. I ask Allah to gather us among those who love one another sincerely for His sake on the Day when there will be no shade except His shade – ameen.

    Alhamdulillah that you are getting the drift of what I have been saying but now you have opened a different matter which is the matter of criticizing Muslim governments and their so-called leadership. In regards to this issue, alhamdulillah there is not much difference of opinion or practice in many Muslim countries today. I will speak to you specifically of what I know of some of the Arabic countries and from what I have personally seen and heard.

    In Egypt there are certain ulamaa who are frequently imprisoned due to their political stances, others under house arrest and others frobidden from travel. In KSA, similar things have happened over the past few years where certain ulamaa have also been subjected to penalties for expressing their views about the direction their country is taking. These noble ulamaa have followed the practice of the upright salaf in commanding good and evil and advising the scholars and as necessary opposing them through speech. Was it not Imam Maalik and Imam Ahmad who were tortured for opposing the governors and khulafaa of their time? And was it not Sa’eed ibn Jubayr and Abdullah ibn az-Zubayr who were killed for speaking the truth against al-Hajjaaj? And was it not even Ibn Taiymiyyah who lived his final years in prison for expressing his opposition to the policies of the leaders of his time? And alhamdulillah we have not been deprived of such people in several Muslim countries.

    They express their opposition not through demonstrations and rallies, but through their words of wisdom and timeless writings. They demonstrate to the opporessed and downtrodden that they have not been forgotten and that they are indeed remembered. When one of these noble servants of Allah call upon people to increase in their du’a, to boycott products of a certain company or nation, or to do any other action to stand with the oppressed then they accomplish far more than the rest of the ummah that stands on street corners demanding that non-Muslims extend them a helping hand. There is no need really to list the litany of such people in current times or to list their numerous works, but know dear brother and sister that there are many. If you know Arabic than you can go to a site like Islamway and put Filistine in the search engine and see how many results you will get back. I myself checked and found 629 results. I did a separate search for Ghaza and found 232 hits – this being among lectures, articles and fataawa. The oppressed among us have many shuyookh who have landed themselves in prison for expressing their opinions and voicing their discontent with government policies alhamdulillah.

    I wish to end this reply though by providing another reminder to you regarding the source of the priority. I spoke before about the 6 day war – a war in which Jordan, Syria, Egypt and Lebanon plotted to rid the world of the Zionist country. My mother lived through that time and she recounts to me how Gamal AbdulNasser, the then “president” of Egypt had bragged that it would be the Egyptians who would drive the jews into the sea. Every nation indeed bragged about the strength and awe of its army and how “they” would be the ones to destroy Israel. But the Israelis launched a surprise attack on them and within 6 days brought these four nations literally to their knees having destroyed their respective navies, air forces and occupied several of their lands like the Sinai in Egypt, the Golan Heights in Syria and southern Lebanon. To call it a humiliation to the nationalistic Arab forces would be a true understatement as it rightly became recorded as one of the greatest military victories of all time. Indeed it was Allah who humbled them because they put their trust in their weapons and armies as the Muslims in the Prophet’s (saas) time did in Hunayn – and they met the same result. 6 days to humble 4 countries by a little speck on the Mediterranean Sea called Israel.

    Fast forward to the second Intifada at the turn of the millenium, the last time we saw what we are seeing now on such a scale of hatred by the Israelis. The great Israeli army with all of its air power, ground power and advanced weaponry took 10 days to enter the neighborhood of Jenin – 10 days. In the process they lost several tanks and 100 soldiers.

    What was the secret of those Muslims in the Jenin refugee camp – how did they do it? How come it took Israel 10 days on one front to accomplish what before they accomplished in 6 days fighting on four different fronts? It wasn’t nuclear powered rocks those Palestinians were throwing. All they had of the material world was rocks, old hunting rifles and some home-made explosives (translate = little power). They had no Salahudin and no Umar ibn Abdul-Azeez. The difference my dear brother was their imaan. Jenin was well known for its adherance to the Sunnah. That is the difference that imaan makes and this is the reason behind our continued failures. We don’t have the imaan it takes. When we do, the results will always be the same and the help of Allah will always be there. This is the lesson of Hunayn as described in surat at-Tawbah:

    On the day of Hunayn, the Muslims were proud because of their large number, which did not avail them in the least; they retreated and fled from battle. Only a few of them remained with the Messenger of Allah Allah then sent down His aid and support to His Messenger and the believers who remained with him, so that they were aware that victory is from Allah alone and through His aid, even if the victorious were few. Many a small group overcame a larger opposition by Allah’s leave, and Allah is ever with those who are patient.” (Tafsir Ibn Kathir)

    Wallahu a’lam

  31. Anisa

    January 2, 2009 at 10:40 PM

    Asalaamu Alaiakum wa Ramatullahi wa Barakatu

    I start off by saying Alhamdulilah Rabbil Alameen for the people of knowledge. Alhamdulilah there are still people who warn us from following our own desires, and call us to the solutions to our problems presented in the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger Sallahu Alayhi wa Salaam. I agree with your article,

    I think the points about changing our sevles first was so true.

    “If everyone was like me – what would the state of our ummah be? If everyone sinned like I did, if everyone was as weak and deficient in worship as I am, would our condition be worse or better as a whole?”

    SubhanAllah ya Rabb. May Allah give us the tawfeeq to change ourselves and our families, ameen!

    I I liked the comment about demonstrations. I read this fatwa a few months ago warning from demonstrations and I just couldn’t understand why the Ulema would warn from such a thing. I understand it better now, subhanAllah, we should put our trust in Allah first, and ask of Him, the leaders of the non-Muslims might smile in our face and pretend to be listening, but our demostrations have no effect on them. If we ask in duaa to the our Creator, sincerely, we would be better off.

    Masha’Allah I can keep commenting about this beneficial article all day, I just love every point mentioned, Alhamdulilah the truth brings such a coolness to the heart.

    I ask Allah to reward this author and all the authors of this blog, I ask Allah to increase us in sincere people who call us to the way of Allah, to the path of the Quran and Sunnah, knowledge, imaan, Islam and warn us from the paths of desires and ignorance, ameen ya Rabb

    BarakAllahu Feekum

    Wa’alaykum Asalaam wa Rahmatullahi wa Barkatu

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  33. Hidaya

    January 3, 2009 at 12:09 AM

    This was long but well worth it. JazakAllah Khayr for all the beautiful reminders and may Allah sswt make us of those who benefit from these reminders.

  34. Sadaf Farooqi

    January 3, 2009 at 5:49 AM

    Excellent, excellent article. I agree with, and commend, every word! May Allah reward Dr Ali for writing this.

  35. mofw

    January 3, 2009 at 7:12 AM

    Mashallah! Barakallahu feek.

    These times make one alternate between rage and resignation. Your article is well received.

  36. Mala K.

    January 4, 2009 at 12:38 AM

    Thank you for this. I have been searching for answers for some time now, and your words have helped me find some peace. I am drifting away from this religion simply because of the anger I feel towards the extremists that currently plague the world.

    Thank you for letting me know that all is not lost, and that there are still people out there who have some wisdom to share with us.

  37. abumoosa

    January 4, 2009 at 7:38 AM

    Assalaam’aalaikum,

    @ salafFollower:
    for all the engineers and doctors the ummah managed to produce over the post-colonial era – it has just added to the ‘brain drain’ from muslims countries – whether they are ‘educated’ or ‘wealthy’. And how many of them have adopted scularism as their religion and a ‘nice’ house as their jannah? Leave alone the fact that their children are lost on islam. How many have actually been able to balance their duniya with their deen? (no disrespect to the many who continue to strive to achieve this balance). Surely – we can move beyond the arguments of the past 2 generations of achieving ‘progress’ through scientific discovery and secular education alone (in the context of being placed over taqwaa and cleansing of our understanding of this deen). Its not a ‘one or the other’ situation – as many are proving today – so why beat that old drum?
    The ONE thing we have not planned and prepared for properly IS correcting ourselves and educating ourselves – how many bright young muslims are pushed into ‘more rewarding’ careers rather then pursuing a ‘religious’ education? (for instance). The truth is that we’re selfish – we dont go into medicine or science or engineering to ‘help strenghten the ummah’ – we do it to gain and hoard material wealth and status (and dont get me started on bankers :P )

    @ Dr. Shehata
    Jazzak allah khair for the beautiful reminder.

    Wa’assalaam

  38. May

    January 4, 2009 at 8:53 AM

    Jazakallah khair Ali for this article.

    Abumoosa, I find your comment “we dont go into medicine or science or engineering to ‘help strenghten the ummah’ – we do it to gain and hoard material wealth and status” extremely judgemental and presumptuous. Most people I know in medicine go into it for the sake of improving other people’s lives and wellbeing. Sure a few go into it for the status, money etc. but it’s really unfair to make sweeping statements about people’s intentions. Furthermore, I don’t see the condition of this generation markedly worse than the one before in terms of deen. Long has been the situation in my home country that pursuing ‘Islamic studies was left for the high-school dropouts who failed at everything else. Consequently you find that the reason they fail is because of lack of committment, drive and a proffessional attitude. Just because more of us now are breaking the status quo of illiteracy and poverty in our home countries, doesn’t mean we’re sacrificing our deen to do so.

  39. abumoosa

    January 4, 2009 at 9:11 AM

    Assalaam’aalaikum May,

    I meant the “we dont get into….blah blah” in the context of Dr Shehata saying:

    How many Muslim men have impregnated a non-Muslim “girlfriend” only to disappear and ignore the consequences? How many Muslims cheat in their businesses daily and treat their employees cruelly without compassion or concern? How many Muslims float their businesses by selling that which Allah has prohibited? How many non-Muslims have come to understand the beautiful phrase of insha’Allah to mean “never” because we don’t keep our promises or guard our oaths? How often have we, through our own behavior, become what the Prophet (saas) described in one hadith as “munafireen” (those who drive others away from Islam?).

    not all docs are bad (nor engineers) – the context of my statement was:

    ‘how many bright young muslims are pushed into ‘more rewarding’ careers rather then pursuing a ‘religious’ education?’

    …because its not seen as materially rewarding as the other options. (given that a lot of the PC crowd will probably justify these decisions (of ignoring religion for the sake of secular studies) by saying ‘we need this education to help the ummah’)

    However-I will have to disagree with you saying ‘I don’t see the condition of this generation markedly worse than the one before in terms of deen’ – and the best judge of that is how the ummah suffers even more than those a generation ago, how we’re even more humiliated than a generation ago – and – as Dr Ali also said:

    The cold reality to this whole issue is visible in our ever worsening next generation. Every statistic, every study that we do of the next generation brings more worry and sadness. They are straying from Islam in large numbers and we would be fools to think otherwise. They are not necessarily straying to other religions, but to atheism and secularism instead. This is a direct reflection of our own parenting skills and our own failures as role models for the most part. If we really were as good as we think we are then the next generation would be better.

    and I couldnt agree more with Dr Shehata:

    Walking through the streets of Muslim lands and seeing how the youth there are swayed by all the desires makes me understand why so many ulamaa believe that this process is still some time away. When are youth – here or there – are more concerned with Hollywood, X-Box, KFC and downloading the latest mp3 songs then to think that our work in the field of ibaadah is complete is a deception of the highest order.

    Wa’assalaam

    Abu Moosa

  40. salafFollower

    January 4, 2009 at 10:14 AM

    @abumoosa

    Sadly, as is usually the case, you have not given any attention to what I said. You skimmed through and ‘assumed’ what my position was. Please read again:

    Suppose there are two students A and B. Both are scheduled to take a difficult examination:

    Person A: This person is a very righteous muslim. He has excellemt manners. He does all his obligatory duties. He helps Muslims in his community and prays qiyam-layl. He works very hard for this examination. He plans, he prepares. He buys the books he needs. He takes practice exams. At the same time, he turns to Allah for help, putting his trust in Him, because he knows that despite all his efforts, ultimately the failure and success lies in the Hands of Allah (SWT).

    Person B: This person is exactly like person A. However, he does not plan or prepare for the exam. He does not study. However, he spends all night on the musallah asking and begging Allah to help him, because he knows that failure and success ultimately lies in the hands of Allah. As long as he is righteous and obeys Allah’s commandments, Allah will respond to his dua and give him success.

    So, which of the two would you say is the best? You would (I hope) say person A. Now, please look at the steps 1-5 you have outlined above, and tell me honestly what person’s way do they most closely resemble? Sadly, person B!!

    Indeed, Allah does not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves. Why do we only have to *limit* this to the ‘religious’ practices? Why not to the part that involved planning, preparing, working hard to master the dunya asbbab that are needed and AT THE SAME TIME putting our trust in Allah.

    Now, please reflect upon and try to analyze what I am trying to say before you jump to any conclusions.

    Jazakallahu khairan.

    salafFollower

  41. Abdiallaah

    January 4, 2009 at 12:44 PM

    As Salaamu’alayka wa Rahmatullaahi wa barakatuuh,

    Jazakhallaah khayran akhee for your efforts in writting this article. Indeed it is needed in such times for our ummah.

    Masalam.

  42. May

    January 4, 2009 at 1:28 PM

    Abumoosa,
    Again the sweeping generalisations, personal biases and opinions based on no facts pervade that comment. Could we at least try not to label people, e.g. the PC crowd? This is not a black and white issue.

    Re: your comment “ignoring religion for the sake of secular studies”. Can you base this on solid facts please? Come on now, you completely ignored what I said in my previous comment.

    “Long has been the situation in my home country that pursuing ‘Islamic studies was left for the high-school dropouts who failed at everything else.”

    Again, you seem to blame the supposed ignoring of our religion on this generation, when it is clearly not the case. Let’s get rid of the rose-tinted glasses for a second here and realise that studying deen was no more of a worthy career route ‘back then’ then it is now.
    Carrying on with that line of thought, you seem to espouse the recent trend amongst Muslims of demonising what you call ‘secular studies’. But the reality of the world for so many of us is that a degree in Islamic studies isn’t going to pay the bills or put food on the table. It is a sad state of affairs when we start to look down on others who study in order to get a decent job and earn moeny from their own hard work and live in dignity (Contrast this with so many Imams who supposedly dedicate their lives to Islam by refusing to work and living off state benefits…how Islamic).

    If you in all honesty think that the previous generations were ‘better’ or ‘more Islamic’ than the current one, then perhaps a few historical and social gems will help to open eyes. We need to take off our rose-tinted glasses and stop wringing our wrists over ‘how things used to be back in the day’. Though it seems to be a Muslim pastime these days…

    1. As recent perhaps as my great-grandparents generation, girls were prohibited from gaining an education, forced into marriages and subject to honour killings without anyone batting an eyelid. Does this sound like an ‘Islamic’ society to you? Today, we have people who campaign to end this injustice and other crimes committed against women in the name of tradition. (Funnily enough, Muslims as a whole tend to be a lot slower in condemning the unIslamic practices that arise from extreme conservatism compared to those that arise from liberalism).
    2. In my grandparents house, and those of other families at the time, the Quran was wrapped up in a beautiful cloth, and kept out of bounds from all members, with children being positively discouraged from reading it. Can you imagine? That was the state of ignorance of our past generations. Islam for them was just as much about empty symbolism and appearance as it is for a lot of us now.
    3. In my parent’s generation, some women jumped off balconies when they heard of the death of Egyptian singer AbdelHalim Hafez. What would be the reaction on forums like this one if a similar thing happened with Muslims today?

    You seem to totally ignore the recent Islamic revival that has taken place all over the world? I see the youth today being a lot more informed and a lot more active than say, my grandparents generation, steeped in ignorance and superstition as it was. The youth are starting to take an active interest in deen compared to earlier generations.

    Plus what is there exactly to qualify your statement that “the ummah suffers even more than those a generation ago, how we’re even more humiliated than a generation ago”

    You seem to forget that a few generations ago, almost the entire Middle East was under the control of Western governments. You forget the French and British colonies and the occupation. You forget how land was and people were divided. We are just as humiliated today as we were back then. At least now we can see where the problems lie and what we can do to solve them.

    I just hope that we as Muslims can stop relying on empty rhetoric and ignorant stereotypes and educate ourselves on the REALITY of what was, and what is.

  43. Abu Abdurrahman

    January 4, 2009 at 2:39 PM

    Bismillah…

    Assalamu alaykum wa rahmatullah Dr. Ali,

    May Allah reward you for all the above. And of course all that you have written is well and in its place; howver I humbly query the need to adopt what may appear as a mutually exclusive approach in that it has to be “either/or” – why can it not be, as I humbly believe it should be, a case of doing *all* that one is able to do – based on what one deems to be a means of bringing about a true maslahah following the shari’ siyasah position of a person of knowledge who one holds to be trustworthy.

    that is to say: it can simply be a a case of understanding that the cause of humiliation of the Ummah as a whole is its collective distance from the Deen and the Commands of Allah. Now in that position, what is required is for us collectively to turn back to Him in every regard – in our spirituality, with regards to our dealings with people, our work forms etc. And in the immediate condition it additionally involves doing all that is legally permissible to put an end to the oppression: be it writing to an MP (Member of Parliament/senate etc) demanding your claimed right, of having your collective view represented; be it through attending a demonstration in a peaceful manner denouncing the oppression a strong a manner as possible – and thereby also bringing to the front of the discouse the hypocrisy of so much of the democrisy mantra that we are fed; or be it through going in person to physically aid the cause of the Muslims in Gaza where and when possible.

    In brief, it is not a case of one or the other; rather it is a cae of appreciating that the root cause is a generic distance which we have opted for. And that our duty is to strive to end it through first oand foremost to turn back to Allah – and *part* of our duty endowed from Allah is to strive to decrease it and denounce it through hand where possible; if not then via speaking out; and if unable then to hate it in the heart -and that being the least of faith, as we are all aware.

    The problem arises where people take these secondary steps and use them to attempt to remedy the primary problem which in facct is grossly erroneous. And Allah knows best.

    In fact, I’m sure you are aware that even among the relatively well known people of knowledge both in the East and West, when asked about such demonstrations, when peacefful, reply that in the western setting it really is not an issue/problem in principle. Among them are the likes of Ahmad al Qadi (Uthaymeen’s long standing student) and likewsie our own Haitham al Haddad among many others.

    Finally, of course it must also be appreciated that all such ‘secondary’ means being applied in tandem with the first/’primary ones, are subject to ijtijhad of those who are able, as is always the case with such affairs.

    JazakumAllahu khairan once again.

    And Allah knows best

  44. sam

    January 4, 2009 at 3:12 PM

    nationalism is big problem in the ummah.

  45. Ali Shehata

    January 5, 2009 at 12:27 AM

    As salaam alaikum ya Abu AbdurRahmaan,

    Jazak Allahu khair for your comment. I certainly agree that one should do all that is within their means and I do not believe that we should simply work on the long-term outlook and ignore short-term avenues of help. The question though is regarding which of those short-term avenues is beneficial and which are not. If we are discussing sending aid through vetted and trustworthy humanitarian aid groups or personally volunteering to bring food, medical aid, counseling, rebuilding of homes, etc. – then certainly these are noble and beneficial means of dealing with the issue at hand for now. Regarding what you mentioned of demonstrations, I humbly see a difference of opinion. Shaykh ibn Uthaymeen and Shaykh Fawzaan both were against it, and if I remember correctly so was Sh. Albaani.

    They felt the mafsadah (harm) was greater than any good, and I personally am in agreement with them. I feel that the individual harm to a Muslim by the means I discussed in the article (humbling themselves to mushrikeen so they may attain their “help”, having the personal feeling of “having done something”, etc.) and the greater harm which usually accompanies many of these gatherings (the negative public opinion that often results from them, the property damage and disturbing of the peace that are inevitable in all but the best organized ones and the death that even sometimes results, etc.). If there was any significant good that came from them then it may be a source of debate, but no good seems to come from them unfortunately.

    Case in point, literally tens of thousands of people around the world have protested the atrocities committed by the Israelis (Europe, South America, North America, Asia, Middle East, Africa) in the past several days, but what has come from it? Can we really say that this is commanding the good and forbidding evil by the use of the tongue? I think there will be some people who say yes, and they will have their ijtihad. Others though have said that not only does it do no practical good, but it comes at a great price – demanding mushrikeen to aid the people of tawheed; and this is not from the ‘izzah of the believer to do so. Again, there may be two approaches to this matter itself, but this is the approach I personally have adopted and feel honors our deen and our people more than the alternative.

    I would like to conclude by reminding myself and everyone else of a point that I recently heard from one of the ulamaa of Egypt who summarized that the people of Gaza are a people honored by Allah. He has selected from among them shuhadaa’ and has poured upon them trial after trial and we know that Allah only tried those whom He loves and the greater the trial, the greater His love for them. As a Muslim who loves them, I am hurt to see their suffering but I also know that I could never be more merciful to them than Allah. He has placed this trial upon them for a wisdom He knows and we do not. I have been heartened to see their great resolve alhamdulillah and that their spirit has not been broken, but only galvanized. At the end of the day quite honestly, I am far more unsure of my own standing before Allah because theirs is undoubtedly clear; hence my own personal need for tazkiyyah (purification of my own soul). I ask only from Allah, and not from any created being, that He pour His aid upon them and honor them as only He can. In the meantime, I will take other routes as a way of fulfilling my obligation of commanding good and forbidding evil that will not diminish the honor which He has given us by being Muslim, wallahu a’lam.

  46. AsimG

    January 5, 2009 at 1:40 PM

    One of the best articles i”ve read on MM

  47. RighteousServant(Enosh)

    January 5, 2009 at 5:01 PM

    Masahallah sheikh for an excellent article, and for addressing the comments (very noble of you, JAK).

    However I have a couple of points I would like to address;
    1. The arguement that you make the rallies or demonstrations in public have no benefit is in my opinion wrong, we as Muslims should look at the facts. Here in the USA the money for the bombs killing our innocent brothers and sisters in Palestine are harnested in the form of taxes. These taxes are then transferred to which ever area in however way under the discretion of the PEOPLES elected officials, in the US we have an actual democracy unlike the Middle East. We the people elect our officials who choose to go to war or feed the poor with the taxes the PEOPLE pay. These politicians have to answer to the people, and if in the United States PEOPLE voice there opinion to their elected officials that we want a Free Palestine an end to the killing of innocence, then this issue will become a CAMPAIGN ISSUE and the one who sides on the correct side in order to gain a majority will seek to end the massacre. However this will not happen without the political will. A demonstration or rally seeks to bring attention to this issue, when many Americans find this irrelevant until they find out that while the country is in a recession the US is pumping Billions of dollars every year to Isreal < this becomes a campaign issue. Demonstrations work here in America unlike in other places in the world because we elect our leaders.
    -You want examples? Look at the civil rights movement in the USA and the impact of just one march and just one speech by one individual. Look at the Iraq war when Amercians started paying attention to the war and Bush’s approval rating went from 80% to 30%, and then the PEOPLE elected Obama instead of Mccain. Protesting, demonstrations have always been a part of the fabric of America back to the begginings of revolution and pamphlets!, the women’s suffrage movement, the ban on alcohol in America(yes they actually did that), the formation of labor unions!, the civil rights movement, the vietnam war, the iraq war. Protesting and marching generates free publicity and moves the article in a local newspaper from the 3rd page to the Front Page and people start following the facts and make it a campaign issue.

  48. RighteousServant(Enosh)

    January 5, 2009 at 5:03 PM

    2. It seems to me that there is a real scare among most of the Muslims(especially the “scholars”), not to speak against Isreal’s terrible attrocities, but are afraid to condemn the actions of Hamas when it targets civilian populations kiling women and children attacking schools and monastaries, when this goes against Islam, the Quran, the word of Allah, and the Sunnah of the prophet (pbuh).
    -Narrated in Abu Dawud the prophet (pbuh) said: “do not kill any old person, any child, or any woman.” In the Musnad of Imam ibn Hanbal: “Do not kill the people who are sitting in places of worship”.
    -In the Quran we are told to fight those who fight you, and if non-combatants are not fighting you then you can’t fight them, but Hamas repeatadly is breaking the Islamic law and TARGETING non-combatants.

    See Quran 2. 190 below; also 5:32, 6:151
    Translation by Sahih International
    2.190: Fight in the way of Allah those who fight you but do not transgress. Indeed. Allah does not like transgressors.
    Palestine has the right to defend herself, but within the framework of the Quran and Sunnah!

    Within the framework of the Quran and Sunnah implies killing Isreali soldiers! and not infants or non-soldiers drinking cofee in Isreal.
    The “muslims” will not win unless they fight like Muslims and not like angry irrational beings devoid of the teachings of Islam in actions but full of Islam in lip service in fancy addresses to the world.
    By this I mean that the target for military operations are not non-combatants but the actually military that is killing innocent people! The planes and soldiers kill them! and do not overstep the boundaries set by Allah and His messenger.

    8:46 : And obey Allah and His Messenger, and do not dispute and [thus] lose courage and [then] your strength would depart; and be patient. Indeed, Allah is with the patient.
    005.054
    O you who have believed, whoever of you should revert from his religion – Allah will bring forth [in place of them] a people He will love and who will love Him [who are] humble toward the believers, powerful against the disbelievers; they shall strive hard in Allah’s way and shall not fear the censure of any censurer. That is the favor of Allah ; He bestows it upon whom He wills. And Allah is all-Encompassing and Knowing.
    004.059
    O you who have believed, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you. And if you disagree over anything, refer it to Allah and the Messenger, if you should believe in Allah and the Last Day. That is the best [way] and best in result.
    033.021
    Sahih International: There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent pattern for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day and [who] remembers Allah often.
    I can see why it may be hard for Muslims to attack the actions of Hamas when they are the only ones fighting for Palestine, because they are, however if we, as Muslims, are going to use the Furqaan(Criterion) for our decision making Islam(the Quran and Sunnah), namely what is right and just and good, and what is wrong evil and bad, then we should hold the Muslims more than anyone under this criteria and criticize and correct them when they make a mistake. Whether that Muslim will be ourselves our brother, or the fake weak and incompetent governments in the Middle East.

    We must correct ourselves before we take on our real enemies.

  49. RighteousServant(Enosh)

    January 5, 2009 at 5:28 PM

    related to point #1: If you look at Al jazeera English CNN or listen to NPR they say look at all the protestors across the world even in the US! including all across Europe and the ME and Indonesia and India. And these commentators ask the opinion of the Isreal leaders that how can you do what you are doing when the international political opinion is going against you. They say look at all the support for Palestine and they show the video clips for the rallies. Also if you look at local media coverage in the US in some town the coverage goes up about Palestine by the fact that a rally was held, this is generating publicity and more focus. In the US that is important because the money and arms and boms from Isreal come from here.

    How bout the hadith which I heard from some brother but I don’t know the isnaad, he said it was saheeh, it goes along the lines of “if you see an evil, stop it with your hand, if you can’t then stop it with your mouth, and if you can’t hate the sin in your heart, and that is the weakest form of faith.”
    3:104: Sahih International: And let there be [arising] from you a nation inviting to [all that is] good, enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong, and those will be the successful.

    The case that you make that it is submitting to the Kaafir is in my opinion a weak empty arguement. We as Muslims put our trust in Allah, and putting our trust in the lying US government as opposed to Allah is shirk! That doesn’t stop us from speaking out against the government and informing the masses to push on their elected officials and inform them about the genocide. It is only in Allah to stop the killing, and Allah has bestowed the money and arms to the US and Isreal and they are killing the innocent, Allah is allowing the killing, with a purpose of course and part of His grand scheme. But when the power company shuts off the power do we ask them to turn it back on? yes, does that mean that we no longer worship Allah alone? No of course not! It is within the capacity that Allah has given them to turn on the power or not, and we advise them to turn it on. Our concern is not this dunya and a Palestinian state, it is Paradise and marytdom and forgiveness of our sins and Jennah Firdous, and following Islam and the teachings of the prophet (pbuh) and that involves verse 3:104, and speaking out. As a result of the primary goal of Jennah Firdous then we strive hard, and fight for equal rights for Palestine and money to feed our families, our goal is not the dunya. We are being put in a place to test us how do we react, do we stand up for what is right and call the people to justice, or do we not do anything because we are afraid of how the Kaafiruun will view us???

    With respect,
    Salam

  50. RighteousServant(Enosh)

    January 5, 2009 at 5:30 PM

    Response requested and highly appreciated.

  51. RighteousServant(Enosh)

    January 5, 2009 at 5:31 PM

    Correction :

    Response requested and highly appreciated on both points #1 and #2.

  52. RighteousServant(Enosh)

    January 5, 2009 at 5:49 PM

    Also in relation to #1:

    I read in a book of Seerah on the prophet (pbuh), that he(pbuh) asked the disbelieving JEWS of MEDINAH, to put thier wealth to raise arms and goods in the protection of Medinah against the Meccans. And the verse was revealed, the context is even described in the translation by Saheeh International:

    003.181
    Sahih International: Allah has certainly heard the statement of those [Jews] who said, “Indeed, Allah is poor, while we are rich.” We will record what they said and their killing of the prophets without right and will say, “Taste the punishment of the Burning Fire.

    This shows the prophet(pbuh) asking others for aid, they where even JEWS!!! Obviously the prophet(pbuh) was not committing shirk, as is the point in my previous comment.

    Comments Much Appreciated especailly the Sheikh,
    Salam

  53. Siraaj

    January 5, 2009 at 6:13 PM

    To all those demanding demonstrations in the US…

    I’m interested in seeing a demonstration done by Muslims that has produced the positive change, the results, that we were looking for. And I repeat again, by MUSLIMS.

    Siraaj

  54. RighteousServant(Enosh)

    January 5, 2009 at 6:53 PM

    It’s already happened, turn on CNN or NPR or open up a newspaper and what do you see you see pictures of people caring about Gaza in that local community, this raises awareness of the issue and puts a story that is limited to the international section on page 3 in some town in America to a front page story in that local areas newspaper or NPR report.
    I found these amazing stories in 0.24 seconds on Google:
    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1208/16949.html -> here protestors in Hawaii got the message to the President elect.
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/us_palestinians_israel_protests
    http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2009/01/20091314494987954.html
    http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-01/03/content_10596313.htm <- a protest in Chicago made it into the papers of a newspaper in China!
    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-ap-il-israel-palestinia,0,5447773.story <- the fact that Chicago even publishes this raises awareness about the issue when before this article would not have been published.

    The positivie effects are already happening as long as it is non-violent then there are negative effects. This is the first time MAJOR Muslim organized protests have been carried out, so this is our first and only example, however this country America has a storied tradition of protests and there drastic and positive results (see previous posts). Muslims have to address the world and not hide behind the excuse that our governments are corrupt/there is no khalifah/ the terrorists are idots, and engage the US/world community, the fastest way is stage a protest unless your a lobbiest. read the headlines it works, it raises awareness, puts pressure on officials by hopefully changing public opinion, and hopefully can become a campaign issue and change an election one day.
    -Scholars from overseas speak without the on the ground knowledge right here in America, and even though there intentions are good lead them to incorrect opinions regarding this context, overseas in the Middle East this is different- in the ME the masses already are against isreal and there atrocities and the people don’t elect thier officials SO it is almost a waste of time. What is even worse is that people take these opinions so far and out of context without knowledge that they disrespect the actions of others trying to change the situation for the better. This is one occasion where here importing of fatwas overseas do not hold! With that said, I encourage my fellow Muslims to protest and do so to spread the facts and raise awareness and not to cause a traffic jam or break the law. Protesting is a constitutional right!!! and as always been a part of political change in America, overseas scholars don’t know or understand this, it is time for Muslims in America to join the political process in the country that aids the killing of the innocent, it is your tax dollars!

    Muslims need to change America, America doesn’t change Muslims!
    with respect, comments appreciated (to point #1 and #2)
    salaam

  55. RighteousServant(Enosh)

    January 5, 2009 at 7:08 PM

    Muslims need to change America, and not the other way around!

  56. abumoosa

    January 6, 2009 at 12:09 AM

    Assalaam’aalaikum Dr Shehata,

    As one can tell – they will praise your article yet they are not ready to change what is within themselves. The youth are still restless and not introspective. May allah guide and protect this ummah-we still have a long way to go for the time of salahuddin to return. May Allah correct and rectify me first from amongst the commentors.

    Wa’assalaam

    Abu Moosa

  57. Siraaj

    January 6, 2009 at 1:03 AM

    Salaam alaykum Enosh,

    Hate to break it to you Enosh, but having spent a lot of time researching the various articles and watching news reports on the internet, the nonMuslim and worldwide condemnation of this has been pretty high, despite government attempts to portray this conflict as self-defense for Israel.

    I just finished listening to Glenn Greenwald on the Hugh Hewitt show essentially rip apart any sort of argument, whether Hamas or Israel as at fault, justifying this sort of attack.

    Siraaj

    PS and just as a side point, I was irritated with an email I received from CAIR. No where in their 10 point action plan was there anything about either making du’aa or giving charity – everything was, “Go to your local politician this way, and contact them that way, and let them know…” Let them know what? That the biggest political liability was disappointed with you, and by golly, I won’t vote for you next time (as if i even did the first time) if you don’t do something? Ugh!

  58. Ali Shehata

    January 6, 2009 at 5:07 AM

    Salaam alaikum Brother Enosh,

    Jazaak Allahu khair for your comments and I appreciate the time and thought you put into them. Regarding point #1 – I am American born and raised and I do have an understanding of American history especially as regards protests as well as an understanding of the mentality of many of those involved in protests. As I had mentioned earlier, I can respect that there are some who feel that it is a valid Islamic route to take towards commanding good and forbidding evil but I happen to take the other side and don’t place much value in it.

    It is interesting to note that while we protest – an action which certainly does gain media attention and not always positive media attention – the Israelis meanwhile have placed their efforts in a far more strategic and lucrative area – media. Yes, protests will get coverage – “rowdy group of Muslims chants slogans of ‘Death to America and Death to Israel’ downtown yesterday” – is not an uncommon headline. Meanwhile, you will have an Israeli “terrorism expert” being interviewed on CNN or Fox News explaining why Israel is the true victim and must take drastic steps to “defend itself” from the vicious and barbaric Palestinian terrorist threat. Please brother, which step do you really believe is going to garner public sympathy and support? The clear reality is that the Israeli media team is way ahead. Around the world, people are condemning Israeli atrocities while here the President (both in-coming and out-going) as well as several key members of Congress and the cabinet are censuring Hamas and defending Israeli’s right to respond as it chooses.

    Turning briefly to the Iraqi war protests, let’s not get ahead of ourselves and imagine that Muslims had anything to do with this. The war itself was costing too much in dollars and American lives and there was no clear goal. When the whole WMD argument fell flat as the intelligence turned out to be wrong then whatever public base of support for this war also collapsed. Soldiers were returning and joining protests which also turned public support away, yet we still have over 100,000 troops stationed there. Sure Obama has made some promises, but only time will tell and it presently seems that the pull-out will be more dictated by the Iraqi government than the US government setting a time table. The reality is that dead Muslim civilians in the thousands was never a real issue for a pull-out. Before the whole invasion close to 750,000 Iraqi children had died due to the sanctions and no one batted an eye. It was a non-issue.

    The world is no longer the same as it was when Rosa Parks took her stand (or actually seat) or when images were broadcast without the excessive and insane spin that they are given today. In our times, I have learned that these battles are won by those presenting their case in personal to millions of viewers across the country on tv. There is a reason that this is a multi-million or billion dollar industry. They are literally out to manufacture the truth and average people will be far more likely to believe them than several hundred foreign looking Muslims protesting anything.

    So you are correct to some degree in that attention to any issue has the potential to change campaign issues and funding. The reason why so many UN proclamations and resolutions against Israel, so many protests, so many dead civilians, so many usurped properties, etc. has not changed American policy is for other reasons more akin to lobbying and controlling public opinion through more effective means. We are unfortunately a generation behind in this game and it shows sorely. My personal educated opinion on this matter is that we would be far more effective in our duty of commanding good and forbidding evil by using media to our advantage and by organizing local education efforts on this matter (presentations, documentary showings, etc.). These have been done in some localities with great success alhamdulillah – and again Allah knows best and this is where the limit of my knowledge rests on this matter.

  59. Ali Shehata

    January 6, 2009 at 5:44 AM

    As regards point # 2:

    I would again advice caution and a greater degree of respect to our scholars. It seems unfortunate that so many people will so easily rush to disregard them without proper understanding. One of our duties to one another is benefit of the doubt and if we do not fully understand a matter it is best not to speak about it as the Prophet said in the authentic hadith, “Whoever among you believes in Allah and the last Day then let him speak good or be silent …”. If I have learned anything in our current world of media and spinning stories is that I have been many times on the wrong end of a wickedly twisted story. Case in point is the excellent summary collected by Adam Sheets here on this blog about what exactly happened to the cease-fire. How many people had wrongly accused Hamas without having the proper facts. So to be honest, I do not know exactly what it is that they are targeting and I do not know exactly what to believe.

    Certainly, if they are targeting children and innocent people then this is no doubt unacceptable and worthy of censure. I do not know of any scholar today worthy of respect that disagrees with this point. I have not heard anyone of them advocating the killing of non-combatants, and I have often heard them criticizing those that wrongly do so in the name of Islam. So, please – let us give our people of knowledge benefit of the doubt and if we wish to speak about them then let us have our facts in order first.

    I myself, as a student of both American and overseas ulamaa, have written and given several public talks (most to non-Muslim groups) regarding the sanctity of life in Islam and the absolute forbidding of killing both the innocent non-combatant as well as the one with whom you have a truce. When Muslims speak otherwise then this wrongly gives the impression to otherwise uninformed non-Muslims that overseas Muslims are blood-thirsty barbarians who wish to kill anything. This sadly contributes to their feeling that Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan are not human and thus there is no real remorse when droves of them are killed by “accidental” bombings. The Prophet did remind us that our words have a great power and we should be very mindful of this fact and the one who remembers this point will be careful when he speaks and be very choosy with his words when he does choose to speak.

    What I do find interesting though in the current crisis – and I certainly do not agree with the principle – is the significantly large number of Israelis, both public figures and average citizens, who are defending the current bloodbath by saying that it was the Gazan people who democratically elected a terrorist organization and so they should all be made to suffer for their decision. They have said in no uncertain terms that the average gazan deserves to die because of their political vote. For a sampling, here are some comments from a simple google search:

    The Palestinians of Gaza have only themselves to blame (though, of course, they blame no one but Israel for every bad thing that happens to them). They voted Hamas into office; they failed to prevent Hamas from launching rockets from civilian neighborhoods; they actively cosset the terrorists, elevating them to the status of martyrs even when they accidentally blow themselves up in their suicide belt factories.

    Now the chickens are coming home to roost Hamas may have been democratically elected, but that doesn’t mean that they deserve to be treated as moral equals. The Nazis were democratically elected, for God’s sakes …

    Here is another:

    Hopefully Israel will take the gloves off and obliterate Hamas. If the non-combat Palestenians don’t want their legs blown off they might want to get the F out of the area or stop letting terrorists hide among women and children …

    (Another person on this forum the says) I agree. Unfortunately, most of the Palestinians have been brainwashed by Islam and liberals to hate Israel and world jewry. But, since they blithely have elected to follow this route by electing a terrorist organization to lead them, they deserve to be crushed into submission. Sooner or later they will learn like the Japanese and Germans learned.

    Just one more before this gets old and disgusting:

    Gazans voted for Hamas, Hamas started the fight and refuses to negotiate so the people of Gaza deserve the blame for who they voted to lead them!

    I wonder if any Muslims made similar statements what would be the result?

    Lastly, a quick point back to Point #1 –

    A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey showed the following:

    Fifty-five percent (55%) of American adults surveyed believe the Palestinians are to blame for the current situation in Gaza, while 13% point the finger at the Israelis. Nearly one-third (32%) aren’t sure.

    Sixty-seven percent (67%) of those who say they are following news out of Gaza Very Closely support Israel’s military action, while 30% favor diplomacy.

    It is very doubtful that results like that will ever be changed through protests of any sort. these numbers reflect a relentless Israeli full-court media press and it is clearly bearing them fruit.

  60. Ali Shehata

    January 6, 2009 at 6:25 AM

    The last issue that I will reply to insha’Allah is what you mentioned of the Prophet (saas) asking the Bani Quraitha tribe of Medinan Jews to contribute both money and physical effort to the defense of Madinah. You are absolutely correct in stating this historical fact, but you have not understood it completely in its correct context. Why this historical act is different is because:

    1) The Prophet (saas) was the leader of Madinah. He was the power and he controlled the majority which were Muslims. The Jews of Bani Quraitha were the minority.

    2) When the Meccans came to attack Madinah, they had the intention to kill everyone in it – which included the Jews. They had no special love for the Jewish people. It was for this reason that the Jews of bani Quraitha were not surprised to be called upon to be part of the defense of Madinah.

    3) Today, Muslims which are living as a small minority in certain countries are pleading with non-Muslim governments to intercede and save other Muslims from the actions of other non-Muslim nations friendly to the ones in which they live. They are not partners in a cooperative effort as were the Jews and Muslims of Madinah, but weak elements in a society that cares little for their concerns (not globally applicable, but in some cases very descriptive).

    4) You can also see from the Seerah that the ultimate outcome of this particular episode was that the Jews in the end switched sides mid-way through the battle (of the Trench). Thus their “help” was very limited indeed in the end result. Had the Prophet (saas) placed much of his trust and hopes in their help, it would have spelled certain disaster for the Muslims yet this did not happen because of the limited nature of this cooperative agreement.

    Thus there is nothing wrong with Muslims working cooperatively with other nations and peoples towards a common goal. The Prophet (saas) did this only when he was in a leadership position though, so as not to end up being used as a cheap tool for achieving someone else’s goals. This is where we have lost our way. We contribute our resources to others in a position of weakness and then get used. Case in point was the supposed Muslim block vote for GWB. What good did that accomplish when it was many of those same people who allegedly elected him into office who now suffer humiliating losses of civil rights when they are just as patriotic and care about this country as the next person? There are many other historical examples of this phenomenon especially surrounding the downfall of the Ottoman “caliphate” where Muslims were used to achieve goals not there own and then trashed the moment their benefit expired.

    I have long been an advocate of cooperation and building bridges of mutual respect and understanding – and I continue to be. I firmly believe that there is a solution for the Middle East crisis that involves respecting the sanctity of life on all sides. I do not believe that our religion advocates for the death of anyone based on religious preference, and the untold reality is that there are many Israeli Jews who have accepted Islam due to sincere dawah efforts in the past decades. The Jewish people wherever they are in the globe have just as much right to live as anyone else, and they are just as much – if not more – deserving of our dawaah efforts than non-people of the book.

    In my dawah and public speaking here in the US, I have been well received on certain radio talk shows hosted by Jews and I attest to those people’s sincere desire to help develop better relations between Muslims and Jews world-wide. I also see that historically, Muslim lands were safe havens for Jews escaping persecution, even ultimately to the point that they settled with Palestinian knowledge in the Holy Land when they were being killed by Hitler. Historically, our deen has not taught hatred for them or anyone else, but it has taught us the opposite – that as People of the Book they are closer to us than other non-Muslims and hence more likely to see and accept the truth than other mushrikeen.

    The fact though that world leaders in the West must someday understand before its too late, is that the cycle of revenge and hatred can never be stopped if bloodshed and open discrimination is allowed to continue. Palestinians and Jews live peacefully everywhere else in the world and they can live peacefully in that little piece of land if the humiliating acts of discrimination and lack of humanity are stopped. It has been called by some as the politics of prosperity – when people are busy making something of their lives then they have little interest in killing and violence. When you imprison them though in their own homes with blockades and sieges, then you cannot sincerely expect peace to progress anywhere.

    The truth of this current situation that many people have missed due to media distortion and spinning is that during the six month cease-fire, not a single rocket was fired by Hamas. The conditions of this cease-fire though was that from its signing that the Israelis were to open up the blockades and allow in desperately needed humanitarian aid supplies like medicines, food and fuel. The reality is that these blockades were never stopped and the people continued to suffer (for excellent summary please see Adam Sheets post ). Yet, amazingly they did not violate the cease-fire until Israel crossed the border shortly before the cease-fire expiration and killed six Palestinians.

    Are the rockets a good or even effective strategy? No, I think they really aren’t. Does it really matter though? No, it probably doesn’t. Fatah on the West Bank doesn’t shoot any rockets, yet they still suffer regular home demolitions and regular blockages at Israeli check points, amongst other things. So it seems to the outside observer that Hamas has chosen to die trying because silence has not achieved anything for the Palestinian people at any point in their history. I’m not sure if anyone really cares about these issues and I’m more than certain that the Israeli government has a spin on these points, but what I hope everyone can agree on is that as long as such negative feelings persist that peace in the Middle East is just a mirage. And Allah knows best.

  61. RighteousServant(Enosh)

    January 6, 2009 at 12:22 PM

    Response:

    #1: I would agree with you IF the muslim voice was presented on CNN or the major media outlets here in America, however this is not the case and may never be. We all know Jews run the media in America(Wolf Blitzer=Zionist), so how are groups of Muslims(college kids mostly) going to do anything to garner media coverage from a Muslim perspective?: PROTEST! – This has already worked!(see above links) without negative coverage by blockage of traffic and no ‘death to isreal chants’ this is the quickest and easiest way to snatch the coverage away from the Zionist controlled broadcasters and reach the American people who go to the polls. This IS a viable action step for Muslims in America to do. Also your point about spreading the knowledge and facts, documentaries, IS also INTEGRATED with these protests in the form of addresses, some people pass out fliers with facts to those who pass by. The basis of the protest is RAISING AWARENESS, and not burning American flags, which is a false stereotype and notion.

    #2:

    I have heard several shuyukh who are famous who say that the actions of Hamas in Gaza when it launches hundreds of rockets into Isreal targetting noncombatants is justified, they even say that suicide bombing is justified when it kills civilians kids shopping in Isreal !!! There needs to be a stronger MUSLIM voice when it comes to condemning the actions of Hamas. It doesn’t matter who broke the cease-fire, when Hamas launches rockets aimed at CIVILIAN residential areas killing women, children and the elderly, it GOES AGAINST ISLAM, but you don’t hear the scholars say that on their websites neither do you hear American Muslims say that, if they do they hesitate. These rockets fired by Hamas are the only justification Isreal needs to blockade Gaza AND kill the innocent lives of the people of Gaza and these acitons justifiy Isreal’s actions in the world community and down goes the hopes for a Free Palestine, and it goes against Islam. Hamas breaking the laws of Islam is the biggest immediate and direct hurdle to a Free Palestine. Hamas are Muslim, they need to be taught ISLAM for the betterment of there own people, and the SCHOLARS who have a voice and can reach them and other shuyuukh and can reach other Muslims they need to do this now without hestitation, but I don’t hear them…

    The “scholars” need to step up to condemn the actions of Hamas, but you don’t hear it you only hear condemnation of the actions of Isreal. Hamas are breaking the laws in the Quran and Sunnah! and we should tell them and each other for the betterment of this ummah and the people of Gaza. Reaching out and condemning the actions of the Kufaar is to be expected, but even more important is addressing the TRANSGRESSIONS of the Muslims. We must correct ourselves before we take on our real enemies.

    3:104: Sahih International: And let there be [arising] from you a nation inviting to [all that is] good, enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong, and those will be the successful.
    2.190: Fight in the way of Allah those who fight you but do not transgress. Indeed. Allah does not like transgressors.

    Please respond, #1 but mainly to point #2
    Salam

  62. RighteousServant(Enosh)

    January 6, 2009 at 3:07 PM

    You should go to a protest, and you will InshAllah not see, as I have not, any of the negative effects that you list. Maybe they happen in the Middle East, but not here.

  63. Ali Shehata

    January 6, 2009 at 6:46 PM

    Salaam alaikum Enosh

    I have attended demonstrations in the US in the past and I didn’t find them beneficial unfortunately and I also found their effect on anyone else of those we are trying to reach to be limited if anything. I have never participated in or attended any demonstration outside of the US so I cannot comment there.

    I think the idea that Jews control the media is a common excuse used by several Muslims but I had successfully been interviewed on over thirty wide broadcast radio programs about a year ago to discuss Islam. At least two of these shows were hosted by people of a Jewish background and they were in fact two of the more successful shows as judged by call-ins and feedback. One of these, the Joey Reynolds Show in NYC, is syndicated to over nine million people across the US from what I understand.

    Another Muslim, Ahmad Bedier masha’Allah has seen great success on several CNN shows alhamdulillah and he continues to be a strong spokesman for balance and justice. Neither one of us is far removed from college age (I was 32 when I did my radio programs). Letters to the editor are also not distant or difficult avenues for even high school age people. Most major cities around the US also have public access broadcasting which is basically a free tv studio and free air time on the public access cable channel for anyone willing to attend a few hours of training – all free. The brothers in Houston have done excellent dawah through this channel and our programs were always getting call-ins alhamdulillah. I would be happy to put together a seminar for any university group interested in understanding media and how to effectively use it.

    Regarding point #2, the only Muslim scholar I know who has openly supported suicide bombings is Yusuf al-Qaradawi; and his statements have been refuted by other ulamaa both here in the US and the Middle East. I have not heard anyone really discussing rocket attacks and you have not provided me with any names except the commonly heard statement that I have taken great issue with where people say, “I have heard a lot of …”. If you have heard so many scholars why is it so difficult to provide me and everyone else with an extensive list of these people?

    Since you have not heeded what I had said about blacklisting our people of knowledge with such general comments, I will now inform you of several of the ulamaa who have publicly declared suicide bombings and the killing of innocent civilians to be acts foreign to our religion and not part of jihaad: Sh. Ibn Uthaymeen, Sh. Albaani, Sh. bin Baz – may Allah have mercy on them stated this over a decade ago and they continue to be sources of knowledge till today alhamdulillah for many people. From the people living today we have declarations by al-Azhar University in Egypt as well as the senior council of ulamaa in Saudi Arabia. Individual scholars whom I take from like Sh. al-Fawzaan and Sh. Abdul-Muhsin al-Abbaad also have decried these acts. In Egypt, the well known and well beloved Sh. Muhammad Hussein Ya’qoob from whom I have benefited much is also publicly against this innovation. From among the people of knowledge here in the US, scholars like Sh. Waleed Idris, Sh. Waleed Basyouni, Sh. Muhammad Syed Adly, the teachers from al-Maghrib Institute in general and from the sunnahfollowers website all have positions against this innovation.

    Now, I am a simple and less than average person who has a limited number of teachers and limited access to the community of scholars world-wide, but from the list I have presented I firmly believe that at least half of the Muslim world benefits from the knowledge of these individuals to some degree or another, and alhamdulillah I have not seen any serious condemnation or refutation of their arguments by any other scholar.

    It is arrogance my dear brother to assume that just because you, sitting in America far from the scholars of our ummah, have not heard anything that it must mean that they are in compliance with what we see. I find it exceedingly sad though that you are far from the only person with this misunderstanding and misconception. Why is it that nothing more than a simple internet search can unearth so much from our scholars on these issues yet so many people sitting in the West cannot see it – I can see no other reason for it than a degree of arrogance and a lack of humility and giving the benefit of the doubt to those who are in a higher position than us. It takes us right back to the original article and to purifying our own souls first before looking for the supposed splinters in the eyes of our brothers and sisters. I remind you again that until you have concrete knowledge coming from trustworthy sources that you say good or remain silent, and Allah knows best.

  64. RighteousServant(Enosh)

    January 6, 2009 at 7:53 PM

    look at Shiekh Anwar Awlaki post on his blog site:

    from: http://www.anwar-alawlaki.com/2008/12/28/the-meaning-of-gaza/

    ” CLARIFICATION:

    My opinion which I have stated in past recordings and is still my opinion now is that non-combatant women and children cannot be targeted. However if the type of war forced on us to fight is one in which non-combatants would end up being killed in order to reach to the fighting force then it is allowed in this case. Examples of this are the striking of al Taif by the catapult during the time of Rasulullah(saaws). Parallels of this today are the two methods that our brothers in Palestine have adopted: martyrdom operations and the firing of rockets into the occupied territories. Both of these methods inevitably do kill women and children. The current case of Gaza adds another dimension and that is that the Jews are targeting the entire community in Gaza by siege and indiscriminate bombing and this is why I am inclined to the view of Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen in this particular situation.
    In the current situation of Palestine I must say that I agree with the methods adopted by the mujahideen and I agree with them when they state that they would not stop targeting civilians until the Israeli’s do the same.
    For those who asked that I reconsider my view on this, I promise I will review it again and would be happy if you could send me textual references pertinent to the discussion. “

    – Here Shiekh Anwar Awlaki uses Sheikh ibn Uthaymeen, the same scholar you used as saying he was against the killing of noncombatants !!!!!

    I hear a lot of scholars coming out and condemning Isreal and it’s actions, but not ONE have I heard condemning the actions of Hamas, when it kills noncombatants in it’s rocket attacks killing women and children. This is why I blanket all the scholars who love to condemn Isreal but fail to point out the error of our fellow Muslims, when this is a dire problem.

    With all due respect do you not condemn the actions of Hamas when it used rockets to kill noncombatant Isreali women and children?, because you have still not condemned there actions < this is the question I have… why do no SCHOLARS of Islam come out and condemn the actions of Hamas? I do not mean any offense to our religious scholars but I haven’t heard them speak against Hamas when it breaks the Sunnah.

    -Narrated in Abu Dawud the prophet (pbuh) said: “do not kill any old person, any child, or any woman.” In the Musnad of Imam ibn Hanbal: “Do not kill the people who are sitting in places of worship”.
    -In the Quran we are told to fight those who fight you, and if non-combatants are not fighting you then you can’t fight them, but Hamas repeatadly is breaking the Islamic law and TARGETING non-combatants.
    See Quran 2. 190 below; also 5:32, 6:151
    Translation by Sahih International
    2.190: Fight in the way of Allah those who fight you but do not transgress. Indeed. Allah does not like transgressors.
    Palestine has the right to defend herself, but within the framework of the Quran and Sunnah!

    Within the framework of the Quran and Sunnah implies killing Isreali soldiers! and not infants or non-soldiers drinking cofee in Isreal.
    The “muslims” will not win unless they fight like Muslims and not like angry irrational beings devoid of the teachings of Islam in actions but full of Islam in lip service in fancy addresses to the world.
    By this I mean that the target for military operations are not non-combatants but the actually military that is killing innocent people! The planes and soldiers kill them! and do not overstep the boundaries set by Allah and His messenger.
    8:46 : And obey Allah and His Messenger, and do not dispute and [thus] lose courage and [then] your strength would depart; and be patient. Indeed, Allah is with the patient.
    005.054
    O you who have believed, whoever of you should revert from his religion – Allah will bring forth [in place of them] a people He will love and who will love Him [who are] humble toward the believers, powerful against the disbelievers; they shall strive hard in Allah’s way and shall not fear the censure of any censurer. That is the favor of Allah ; He bestows it upon whom He wills. And Allah is all-Encompassing and Knowing.
    004.059
    O you who have believed, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you. And if you disagree over anything, refer it to Allah and the Messenger, if you should believe in Allah and the Last Day. That is the best [way] and best in result.
    033.021
    Sahih International: There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent pattern for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day and [who] remembers Allah often.
    I can see why it may be hard for Muslims to attack the actions of Hamas when they are the only ones fighting for Palestine, because they are, however if we, as Muslims, are going to use the Furqaan(Criterion) for our decision making Islam(the Quran and Sunnah), namely what is right and just and good, and what is wrong evil and bad, then we should hold the Muslims more than anyone under this criteria and criticize and correct them when they make a mistake. Whether that Muslim will be ourselves our brother, or the fake weak and incompetent governments in the Middle East.
    We must correct ourselves before we take on our real enemies.

    Regarding some of the proofs for support of Hamas given by Sheikh Anwar. Just because of: “So whoever has assaulted you, then assault him in the same way that he has assaulted you.” [al-Baqarah 194], this verse should be taken in context with the rest of the verse! and in the context of the surah, 2:194 [Fighting in] the sacred month is for [aggression committed in] the sacred month, and for [all] violations is legal retribution. So whoever has assaulted you, then assault him in the same way that he has assaulted you. And fear Allah and know that Allah is with those who fear Him.
    – Does Not allow us to break the Sunnah or the Quran. For example if… you and I were fighting against the Lords Resistance Army in the middle of Africa, and they force a man to rape his sister and mother then kill the man and kidnap the children does mean that we do the same!? Or how the LRA take cocaine before battle, does that mean we do the same? NO these are actions against Islam. The way I see 2:194 is that is should be taken in context within the verse! and within the sura, if the disbelievers fight you in the sacred months you can retaliate, and if they fight you in the masjid al haraam then fight back and kill them.

    The occurrence at Ta’if is also in need of clarification to use for evidence. Was this the city that came to stone the prophet(pbuh) and Jibreel asked him(pbuh) if he wanted the city to be crushed? So does this make the whole city combatants? Also what if the prophet(pbuh) targeted only the combatants in that battle with the catapult and the wall that the archers were on, and only there storage depots.

    ^ This is the deafening silence on this issue you said it yourself:

    I have not heard anyone really discussing rocket attacks

    With all due respect and no offense implied however a discussion of Islam of the current practices of the Hamas militatnts when discussing the Palestianian situation and the wrongdoings of Isreal will be respected…

  65. RighteousServant

    January 6, 2009 at 8:10 PM

    again no offense, but not one scholar have I heard, but scholars whenever something terrible happens to our brothers and sisters anywhere forget to point out the wrongdoings of the Taliban or Hamas, etc…, and this leads to misconceptions in our communities among Muslims as if the Taliban or Hamas are the ‘good guys’. And this in and of itself is a problem, and no offense to the scholars of this ummah, although it may sound like I am knocking them, but this ummah needs them to speak a little bit louder so that Muslims get the message.

    Assalamu’alaiukum wa raHmatullah

  66. RighteousServant

    January 6, 2009 at 8:11 PM

    so Muslims and non-Muslims get the message

  67. Ali Shehata

    January 6, 2009 at 10:03 PM

    As-salaam alaikum Enosh,

    I really don’t know how to say it any different and if you have not been able to understand my condemnation of killing innocent people thus far then I say it no better. You bring up ayaat from the Quran and ahadith as if you seem to be saying that I am unaware or somehow opposed to them and this is not at all the case when I have myself referenced these and other texts when urging Muslims to remain away from extremism.

    I have referenced several ulamaa but it has not been enough to prevent you from slandering them in a blanket manner. So I will not continue running in circles – you can try to review my numerous comments and insha’Allah you will see that my stance is clear and it is a stance that I have developed from studying with these people of knowledge that are apparently not honorable in your eyes, and this stance is not something I have developed in a vacuum. Your comments are not infrequent in Western Muslim circles but they are typical of people who have not taken the time to really sit down and understand the issues at hand and then understand the language and when there is a temporary silence, why that temporary silence exists. They are the comments of people who assume that reading something here or there substitutes for learning the wisdom taught in the circles of knowledge.

    I have been studying Islam for the past 15 years and none of my teachers ever expressed support for terror, nor for killing innocent people and they have often been at the forefront in condemning such. I spent $10,000 of my own money to explain this message to people across the United States and I have devoted hundreds of hours to that very goal – ensuring that our own youth do not turn to extremism and for non-Muslims to know what our texts really say about such atrocities. If that condemnation hasn’t reached your front doorstep then this is not because it isn’t there, but because you haven’t taken the very limited amount of required effort to find it. Your methodology unfortunately is closer to that of those who seek to defame Islam and this is something that sometimes happens to us living away from Muslims when we are continually exposed to one way of thinking.

    If you cannot understand my advice to give benefit of the doubt to your fellow Muslim and seek out the truth of what they are really saying and what they are really supporting instead of just believing others who distort and twist their words then I do not honestly know what else to say and I ask Allah to forgive me for my inadequacy. Was-salaam ….

  68. Ali Shehata

    January 6, 2009 at 10:07 PM

    By the way, the misconceptions in our communities that you speak of are actually not a result of our scholars not speaking loud enough – they are in fact only a result of our scholars being ignored, shunned and disregarded. Our ummah today has no concern for them as ca be evidenced alone in the comments to this post. When no one really cares about what the people of knowledge say then they are free to follow every whim and desire and that often leads them to emotional pursuits where they may follow a certain terrorist faction because in their opinion, they are actually “doing something”. What your comments have represented is the other extreme unfortunately but represent the same disease process. May Allah guide us all and forgive our divisions and heedlessness.

  69. RighteousServant

    January 7, 2009 at 12:51 AM

    I was not slandering any ‘ulema !!! I am only encouraging the efforts that you and many others are dutifully engaging in to continue this work !May Allah reward you!, however I’ll bring to your attention a well known sheikh who has a large following who is speaking loudly about these issues, but a counter I don’t hear on contempary issues like Hamas and Isreal, when no scholar that I have heard is condemning the actions of Hamas. I honestly want to seek your opinion do you think Hamas is within the laws of Islam when it launches rockets into Isreal targetting noncombatants??? <- Because this answer I haven’t heard yet from any scholar in Islam except the vocal and loud ones supporting it!, and this is why scholars need to be more vocal on contemporary issues like Hamas and the Taliban. I have heard “scholars” in Islam such as Sheikh Anwar Awlaki’s website state that Hamas and the Taliban is within it’s right, however I disagree on the basis of the Quran and Sunnah. And not one scholar that I have heard is vocal in their condemnation of specifically the actions of Hamas. This is the problem I have to work very hard to pry this answer out of any scholar, can anyone take the time to condemn Hamas specifically and to the Muslim community? Also Shiekh Anwar Awlaki uses Sheikh ibn Uthaymeen to support his claim in supporting the actions of terror by Hamas, could you address this issue? This campaign that you are engaged in hopefully continues, and may Allah reward you. And may Allah forgive me if I offended you, because that was never my intent!

  70. Shibli Zaman

    January 7, 2009 at 1:27 AM

    RighteousServant, Hamas’ launching rockets into Israel from a patch of trees next to a kids’ playground, storing weapons and firing their weapons from Masajid, etc is all, quite frankly, retarded. I find the people who blindly justify these unforgivable actions to be just plain dumb. They cite fatawa about “collateral damage” to justify targeting civilians specifically. That’s garbage and Allah will hold those irresponsible tongues accountable. I don’t care what scholar said what. If any scholar encourages the killing of innocent children of ANY religious community, that scholar should work in a prison basement. Mahmoud Zahar said yesterday:

    “They have legitimised the murder of their own children by killing the children of Palestine…”

    Ummmm, no they haven’t, you idiot. Nothing justifies knowingly killing children. These people have been led by saber rattling, sloganeering, useless incompetent buffoons like this for 100 years and they wonder why they, a people whom the Mongols couldn’t defeat, are kicked around by a handful of Jerry Seinfelds. For God’s sake people, overthrow your leaders. ALL of them. I could go on forever about this…

    HOWEVER…

    In short and to the point: If my brother threw a pebble at someone and then they gathered 50 people to jump him…I would gather 100 and stomp them into the earth.

    Then I would slap my brother upside the head and tell him that if he ever did that again, I’d do worse to him than those 50 would have.

    At no point would I find it necessary to go to the town square and yell condemnations against my brother throwing a pebble at someone and how it is not in accordance with the Qur’an and Sunnah.

    You take care of business. You don’t give lectures about it.

  71. Amad

    January 7, 2009 at 1:40 AM

    Salam Br. Enosh,
    I appreciate Dr. Ali’s lengthy replies … mashallah lots of clarification in this. I have a few points inshallah that may help inshallah

    1) We do not represent Sh Anwar. You would have to ask him why he believes what he believes. We disagree with him if he indicates the permissibility of targeting innocent civilians. I think Dr. Ali has made that clear too. We just can’t speak for others. You’ll also have to find out the complete context of Ibn Uthaymeen’s comment, esp. in light of his clearer statements on this on other occasions.

    2) One needs to think of the bigger picture with regards to Hamas. Israel besieges an entire city, it nearly starves the people, it tightens the noose around the necks of innocent civilians, so if people react in an unseemly way, you have to understand that it becomes very difficult for us to focus on this mistake instead of focusing on the crime and horrendous situation forcing this reaction. I mean, what did we want them to do, die quietly? It is unfair at this time to focus on Hamas. The focus needs to be on the butchers who have murdered 600 people, vast majority of them civilians (don’t believe ONE lie about a quarter or less being civilians, doctors on the ground have hardly seen dead “militants”). The Hamas “rockets” killed 15 people in years of firing. We do not know whether they were targeting the Israel military or homes. If latter, it is wrong, but really, as I said, if you put yourself in the position of one who is caged, I don’t think you’ll be questioned if you reacted in a way that you might not otherwise have.

    If you go through our pages on MM, search for deoband, search for Oudah, you’ll find fatawas of scholars against terrorism. If you google, you’ll find scholars of Bin Baz, and many other shayookh who have condemned killing of innocent civilians. But there is a time and place for such. When you are being slaughtered on what is a massively disproportionate excuse (if it wasn’t the rockets, the Israelis would have found another excuse to remove a government they couldn’t bribe), its tough to ask the victims, why did you react? Imagine for a minute, if your house was under siege, and your food and water supplies cut, and you were unable to target the actual “enemy” who did this to you, wouldn’t you throw a stone from your house, or have some other form of reaction? Esp. if you were becoming hopeless?

    Again, perspective please. Now is not the time for this. It’s time to focus on the REAL aggressors at this time.

    jazakallahkhair

  72. Ali Shehata

    January 7, 2009 at 2:00 AM

    Amad,

    Jazak Allahu khair ya akhi … much of what you said what was in my heart alhamdulillah. Islam categorically forbids the killing of innocent civilians and since I have seen no definitive statement from the people of Gaza saying that they are targeting civilians it should be our position that they are targeting military targets in what they see as an on-going war until the truth is proven otherwise. It appears from their pattern that they have no interest in hitting homes or schools or such with their blind and imprecise weapons whereas Israel is intentionally hitting civilian targets every hour with their precision weapons and making no qualms about it. It is sad that so many people sit around on their leather couches and arm-chair quarterback, ignoring the big picture in many cases, in a situation that must be absolutely maddening on the ground. I can’t even imagine how I could think rationally if I, or any other human being, had to experience what these people have been experiencing for so many decades. May Allah have mercy on them and forgive their mistakes and trespasses. May Allah give them peace and may He bring down His tranquility upon them so that they can recuperate.

    وَمَا كَانَ قَوْلَهُمْ إِلاَّ أَن قَالُواْ ربَّنَا اغْفِرْ لَنَا ذُنُوبَنَا وَإِسْرَافَنَا فِى أَمْرِنَا وَثَبِّتْ أَقْدَامَنَا وانصُرْنَا عَلَى الْقَوْمِ الْكَـفِرِينَ

    And they said nothing but: “Our Lord! Forgive us our sins and our transgressions, establish our feet firmly, and give us victory over the disbelieving folk.” [3:147]

  73. RighteousServant

    January 7, 2009 at 2:15 AM

    just letting you know this ummah needs scholars like you to continue and work tirelessly fi sabeelillah, however in any article where a scholar condemns the actions of Isreal on the people of Gaza the missing statement is the condemnation of the actions of Hamas! When we condemn the Zionists we should also condemn Hamas and Hezbollah. This link needs to be filled whenever anyone writes on Isreal and the plight of the Palestinians, whenever a transgression is mentioned of Isreal the associated transgressions of Hamas needs to be addressed! to the Muslim community – and I haven’t heard them and apparently several others haven’t either, and this is leading to major misconceptions among Muslims right here in America. just a heads-up.

    You mention how whenever the Children of Isreal disobeyed Allah they lost Jerusalem, well the disobediance is happening right now in the Middle East and everywhere and you should address the disobediances, but the unspoken disobediances is the lack of unity among Muslim nations, secular nationalism by countries in the Middle East, the rift between Shia-Sunni(Iran&Iraq), lack of education, and the actions of Hamas which are right now hurting the people of Gaza. The elephant in the room is the most visible disobediances on the news in the middle east is the shedding of innocent blood by Muslims, and Muslims kiling other Muslims! in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Sudan. In your article you said we must address the filth in our ummah, well the very visible direct filth that is causing the most smell and the most suffering of our brothers and sisters overseas is the actions of Hamas and the Taliban and Al Queda and Shia-Sunni fighting in Iraq (see the Shia pilgrimage bombing that just happened), they specifically, and not all collectively in a generic statement, should be mentioned in your article as part of the filth of this ummah < this is a big internal problem that isn’t over yet, and we need consistent, not just after 9/11, reminders by our scholars on this filth and warnings against it such as in articles that touch on politics like this one.

    In addition with respect to protests, if it is your opinion to oppose rallies/demonstrations than shouldn’t you respect others who want to change the politics in this country by using thier constitional right to protest? Or are you stating that it is Haram to protest? because you seem to imply it as a manifestation of shirk, which I feel I refuted in the earlier post.

    I hope you don’t take this as an insult but instead as advice from another Muslim set of eyes,
    Salam,
    your brother in Islam

  74. Sr. Nadia

    January 7, 2009 at 9:33 AM

    After reading a series of saddening accounts last night, I went to bed extremely distressed and confused. I couldn’t make sense of my role as a Canadian Muslim student during this time of persecution for our brothers and sisters in Gaza. What especially hurt was knowing that my own government was supportive of the atrocious attacks. I realized that protests/petitions/demonstrations wouldn’t accomplish a whole lot – what could I, a feeble student, do to make a difference?

    That’s why finding this article this morning was incredibly uplifting. I had lost sight of the fact that countless believers had also endured such oppression since the beginning of time. Of course! Allah SWT does everything for a reason and we must not question His master plan.

    Something that should be mentioned is that living in the West, we must not direct our emotional pains to the Jews and pro-Israelis of our communities. This contempt will not accomplish anything productive and will in fact hinder our dawah efforts. At the end of the day, it is we believers who have Allah SWT on our side. Is that not enough? We are NOT showing support for our brothers/sisters by being spiteful towards those who support Israel. Let us be patient and encourage each other towards increased dua. For all those of us who are fasting for the 10th of Muharram, let’s remember our dying brothers/sisters in every prayer and supplication. May Allah SWT guide us all. Ameen.

  75. Muneer88

    January 7, 2009 at 10:09 AM

    Reading some comments makes one doubt where you loyalty is, is it with the Ummah or with the goverment where you live ? Is it with the Muslims or non muslims?
    Take a stance once in your life time instead of going where the wind takes you, or sticking with the majority opinion even if it goes against Islam. One of the reasons why the state of the Ummah is what it is today, is beacuse some people like to condemn those who defend themselves, dont forget that palestine was violently taken away from Muslims 1947, one of the biggest thulm in history but still some got the guts to tell us that their resistance today is terrorism. No international law will allow a soverign country attack another soverign country, but they all forget how israel came about. What does it matter how many so called scholars are condemning “terrorism” when they dont condemn the terrorism of America against the people of Iraq/Afghanistan and their support of israel. America is the biggest ally of israel if you all forgot it.

  76. RighteousServant

    January 7, 2009 at 12:22 PM

    Salam,

    brother Amad you said:

    The Hamas “rockets” killed 15 people in years of firing. We do not know whether they were targeting the Israel military or homes. If latter, it is wrong, but really, as I said, if you put yourself in the position of one who is caged, I don’t think you’ll be questioned if you reacted in a way that you might not otherwise have.

    – yes Hamas is directly targeting the people of Isreal aiming it at main cities and residential areas they openly admit this and don’t deny it, this of course kills women and children and noncombatants which goes against the Quran and the Sunnah. Why do our scholars not condemn these actions? from what I gather from you and what brother Ali said:

    I can’t even imagine how I could think rationally if I, or any other human being, had to experience what these people have been experiencing for so many decades.

    I imagine that if I was in Gaza that I would uphold the obedience to Allah and the messenger that He sent, ‘we hear and we obey’, when the prophet said do not kill noncombatants I would follow him !!! I would wage war in accordance with the LAWS OF ISLAM, by killing the soldiers, those kiling us!!! taking out thier tanks and airplanes that are actually killing our people, but not by shooting rockets at some civilian city breaking the Quran and Sunnah! Like I said, but people didn’t seem to read it: Palestine has the right to defend herself but WITHIN THE LAWS OF ISLAM!!!

    you don’t condemn Hamas for not following the Quran and Sunnah because they being oppressed? Is not Islam the way in which we live our lives? is not the Book of Allah and the example our our prophet(pbuh) to be followed and obeyed? Islam has ethics in war, and that includes not killing noncombatants, children, and women, and no one bothers to address those that break it, because they justify not using the Furqaan(Criteria) for the way the live there life Islam, thus they reject the Quran and Sunnah when they want to, may Allah forgive them if they repent and forgive us if we repent.

    Muneer and Sr Nadia your missing the point in which I am making. Of course America and Isreal are the oppressors and evil and should be fought against, but that doesn’t excuse us as Muslims to not address our internal problems; Hamas, Hezbollah aiming at noncombatants killing women and children THIS IS AGAINST ISLAM, but no one will say that not even our “scholars” when you pin them against the wall and bring all of the evidence, they MAKE WEAK EXCUSES TO BREAK THE LAW OF ISLAM!!! – This is the internal problems that we must address, but no one will not even in the slightest way when “Muslims” break Islam, this is your ummah and my ummah and we should correct each other unless we become like the Children of Isreal !!!

    These ayah speaks beautifally better than I could ever to the point that I am making:

    5.008
    O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm for Allah , witnesses in justice, and do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from being just. Be just; that is nearer to righteousness. And fear Allah ; indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what you do.
    4.058
    Indeed, Allah commands you to render trusts to whom they are due and when you judge between people to judge with justice. Excellent is that which Allah instructs you. Indeed, Allah is ever Hearing and Seeing.
    4.059
    O you who have believed, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you. And if you disagree over anything, refer it to Allah and the Messenger, if you should believe in Allah and the Last Day. That is the best [way] and best in result.

    4.061
    And when it is said to them, “Come to what Allah has revealed and to the Messenger,” you see the hypocrites turning away from you in aversion.
    4.062
    So how [will it be] when disaster strikes them because of what their hands have put forth and then they come to you swearing by Allah , “We intended nothing but good conduct and accommodation.”
    4.063
    Those are the ones of whom Allah knows what is in their hearts, so turn away from them but admonish them and speak to them a far-reaching word.
    4.064
    And We did not send any messenger except to be obeyed by permission of Allah . And if, when they wronged themselves, they had come to you, [O Muْammad], and asked forgiveness of Allah and the Messenger had asked forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah Accepting of repentance and Merciful.
    4.065
    But no, by your Lord, they will not [truly] believe until they make you, [O Muْammad], judge concerning that over which they dispute among themselves and then find within themselves no discomfort from what you have judged and submit in [full, willing] submission.

    5.63
    Why do the rabbis and religious scholars not forbid them from saying what is sinful and devouring what is unlawful? How wretched is what they have been practicing.
    ^ Here is where we as Muslims need to look the example of the Children of Isreal and thier scholars by not enjoining the laws of Allah on our own, and learn from the Quran.
    2.190
    Fight in the way of Allah those who fight you but do not transgress. Indeed. Allah does not like transgressors.

    Fighting has RULES!!! Muslims need to start fighting like Muslims and kill the soldiers and combatants of Isreal and not fire rockets at noncombatants killing their infants! but apparently no Muslim on this forum wants to encourage observance of the Quran and the Sunnah on Muslims am I wrong??

    MashAllah Shibli Zaman you are very knowledgeable and brave to speak one word against Hamas, but I think we should address our internal problems right now! before this ummah becomes like the Children of Isreal:

    5.13 So for their breaking of the covenant We cursed them and made their hearts hard. They distort words from their [proper] usages and have forgotten a portion of that of which they were reminded. And you will still observe deceit among them, except a few of them. But pardon them and overlook [their misdeeds]. Indeed, Allah loves the doers of good.

    5.15: …There has come to you from Allah a light and a clear Book.
    5.16 By which Allah guides those who pursue His pleasure to the ways of peace and brings them out from darknesses into the light, by His permission, and guides them to a straight path.

    5.47: … whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed – then it is those who are the defiantly disobedient.

  77. ALGEBRA

    January 7, 2009 at 12:33 PM

    Aslamu-alaikum:
    @RighteousServant
    I have a great suggestion for you.
    Why don’t you Write those Shaykh that you have a GRIEVANCE WITH INSTEAD OF GIVING US YOUR LONG WINDED COMPLAINTS.
    HAVE YOU TRIED CONTACTING THEM?
    Just a SUGGESTION. RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR
    salam

  78. Siraaj

    January 7, 2009 at 12:54 PM

    I absolutely would not condemn Hamas. Before this “incursion” as the right-wing media likes to call it, Hamas was firing rockets and killed NO ONE. They were fired due to the blockade (which, by the way, killed 100s of civilians due to shortages of basic necessities) and specifically triggered by the killing of 6 Palestinians by the IDF.

    And after all this, we’ll condemn them? I’m sorry, there’s no way I’d condemn them. Your family, your friends, your people are blowing up in front of you, being slaughtered en masse in front of you, and you think people are going to have this calm, rational discussion among themselves about the etiquettes of war? Are you serious?

    With stress levels and emotional anguish that high, there’s no way I’d even think to condemn them or hold them accountable for anything.

    Siraaj

  79. Shibli Zaman

    January 7, 2009 at 1:11 PM

    Brother Siraaj’s comments above are precisely why the Muslim world is the “Third World” and why Allah will never give us victory as long as we believe that the laws of Allah and His Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) are expendable because “we’re oh soooo stressed out we can’t think straight so let’s just scream about killing Israeli children.”

    Until we adhere to the Fiqh of Jihad as derived from the Qur’an and Sunnah we will NEVER, NEVER, NEVER have victory. The laws of Allah and His Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) are not expendable at any cost no matter WHAT you face. Hasn’t this become painfully obvious yet? How long will it take for us to get a clue?

    You don’t target civilians whether you’re stressed out or not. You don’t fire from and store munitions in Masajid and heavily populated areas on purpose so that when the enemy hits back you can cry, “Look at these barbarians! They’re bombing places of worship and people’s homes!”

    I find it that Salah al-Din was even mentioned. Salah al-Din, someone who was famed for returning the children of Christians taken as ghanimah by his Muslim soldiers back to their Christian parents. Salah al-Din, someone whose nobility can’t be even mentioned in the same breath as an organization that convinces a 17 year old girl, 2 weeks away from her wedding, to blow herself up in a grocery store only to kill a little girl and a security guard.

    I do condemn Hamas for their sheer stupidity and miserable inefficacy. May Allah give the Palestinian people leadership that will adhere to Islamic law and bring them a lasting peace and victory. Amin. Until then their suffering will continue, والله المستعان

  80. ibnabeeomar

    January 7, 2009 at 1:57 PM

    Shibli, there is no other way of saying it, but your comments are just flat out repulsive.

    Emotion is a part of the equation, as well it should be. If you feel no emotion, no anguish, no distress, no compassion for your brothers and sisters, then i think this is a sign of your own weak iman which you are masking under a facade of some kind of pseudo-rational discussion that seeks to divorce reality from your own views.

    “The believers in their affection, compassion and love for one another is like one single body. If a part of it suffers from pain, the whole body will suffer in pain.” (Muslim)

    I’m just curious whether you have consulted any scholars on the fiqh of jihad as it applies to a people who are oppressed, being denied humanitarian aid, and their land is being *invaded* by a military force? what, exactly, do you suggest that they do?

    Also, you can rant all you want under the banner of Quran/Sunnah supporting your views, but it is a dishonest representation. Please do your basic duty and at least inform yourself of the situation. Israel had been planning this attack for months, and their goal is to remove any semblance of “islamic” governance from palestine. Your views on how ‘orthodox’ Hamas is are really quite irrelevant here, as even the non-muslim media has identified that this is a premeditated attack meant to obliterate the people there.

    Where is your outrage at the civilians being targetted by Israel? Of them blocking humanitarian aid? Of doctors being prevented from treating the wounded? Of Israel targetting ambulances? Of them destroying schools? Of them destroying masaajid?

    Are you seriously so oblivious that you overlook all of that, and you continue to insult and bash your muslim brethren? And then you have the audacity to say that its their own fault and “Until then their suffering will continue”???

  81. ibnabeeomar

    January 7, 2009 at 2:02 PM

    I also want to reiterate Dr. Ali’s comment from above-

    since I have seen no definitive statement from the people of Gaza saying that they are targeting civilians it should be our position that they are targeting military targets in what they see as an on-going war until the truth is proven otherwise. It appears from their pattern that they have no interest in hitting homes or schools or such with their blind and imprecise weapons whereas Israel is intentionally hitting civilian targets every hour with their precision weapons and making no qualms about it. It is sad that so many people sit around on their leather couches and arm-chair quarterback, ignoring the big picture in many cases, in a situation that must be absolutely maddening on the ground. I can’t even imagine how I could think rationally if I, or any other human being, had to experience what these people have been experiencing for so many decades. May Allah have mercy on them and forgive their mistakes and trespasses. May Allah give them peace and may He bring down His tranquility upon them so that they can recuperate.

    Shibli – do you have any proof for what you are saying? Even if there were some report out there that they did target one or 2, are they not deserving of our excuses, especially in this time of crisis? and *especially* when you seemingly afford your excuses (or silence) to the greater oppressive force??

    I must differ with your conclusion – as long as the ummah has people like this, who have no love for their brothers and sisters, who cannot afford simple and common support to other Muslims – THIS is one of the reasons of our suffering, and until we learn to act with common decency for muslims oppressed worldwide, we will all continue to suffer the consequences.

  82. Shibli Zaman

    January 7, 2009 at 2:17 PM

    ibnabeeomar (I despise these ridiculous internet pseudonyms, by the way), thank you for displaying yet another entry into the annals of “Why the Muslims are the defeated Third World”.

    Here is a list of your absurdities:

    1) “If you feel no emotion, no anguish, no distress, no compassion for your brothers and sisters..”

    How on earth do you know what I feel by one blog comment? Then you presume to know the exact level of my Iman based on it! Salafi par excellence. (whispering) Oh, excuse me, you’re not Salafis. Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

    2) “Are you seriously so oblivious that you overlook all of that, and you continue to insult and bash your muslim brethren?”

    How do you assume that I overlook anything? Whom exactly did I “insult and bash” aside from an idiot who said the blood of Israeli children has become Halal. You don’t think that’s an idiotic statement? Who exactly did I “insult and bash” and WHERE?

    3) “And then you have the audacity to say that its their own fault and “Until then their suffering will continue”???”

    Did I say that what is happening is the Palestinian people’s own fault? Are you that weak in reading comprehension? I said that NO ONE will have victory so long as they consider the laws of Allah and His Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) an expendable commodity to use and throw away whenever convenient under the guise of 1000 excuses. I don’t care if its the Samoans or the Palestinians. WHOEVER does this will FAIL.

    If I said any of these ridiculous things you falsely attribute to me then quote me, otherwise, I must thank you wholeheartedly for your Hasanat and for taking my sins upon yourself. Jazak Allah. Trying to repackage my words and misrepresent what I said might work…if my words weren’t just a few inches above you comment. Duh.

    The bottom line is:

    It does not matter whether you are the invader or being invaded, whether your women, children, weak and old are being slaughtered, whether yoru homes are destroyed, etc. It neither invalidates nor suspends even one nuqta of the Shari`ah.

  83. ibnabeeomar

    January 7, 2009 at 2:20 PM

    shibli – what is your proof that they are at present deliberately targetting civilian targets?

  84. Shibli Zaman

    January 7, 2009 at 2:26 PM

    ibnabeeomar, are you serious or are you kidding? You want proof that Hamas’ POLICY is not to target Israeli citizens indiscriminately? You want proof that Hamas launches missiles knowing full well they lack the technology to target anything at all specifically so they launch them knowing it will cause blind damage?

    You seriously want proof of that?

  85. RighteousServant

    January 7, 2009 at 2:34 PM

    First off Isreal is guilty of everything and should be punished and Allah will judge them on the Day of Judgement, and there actions are genocide against Muslims. And the Palestians have every right given to them in the Quran, they are justifiably able to fight the Isreali Occupiers! 2.190 Fight in the way of Allah those who fight you but do not transgress. Indeed. Allah does not like transgressors. – So why do I condemn the actions of Hamas when it kills noncombatants? it is not that the Palestinian people do not have the right to engage Isreal in war, it is that they kill noncombants which go against the Quran and Sunnah.
    -Make no mistake about it the suffering of Hamas whether we disagree or not, the suffering of the Palestinains IS our suffering. But when we do not advise our fellow Muslim brothers and sisters to follow Islam then our collective suffering was not taken as a reminder to have taqwa of Allah, and follow what He has revealed to His messenger(pbuh).

    13.11 : Indeed, 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 patron.

    wa’alaikum assalam algebra, i don’t plan on apologizing for referencing the Quran, 25.30And the Messenger has said, “O my Lord, indeed my people have taken this Qur’an as [a thing] abandoned.” – neither for advising my siblings in Islam to adhere to it. I do love all of my brothers and sisters in Islam this is why I am asking and reminding them about the Quran. No disrespect is intended, and none is recieved to anyone, I respect and love all of you very much even if we disagree on the tactics of Hamas, no harm is meant by my words I only mean to encouage Islam and ask you to do the same to me.

    May Allah protect the people of Gaza, indeed He is the Almighty the All Wise. May He forgive us of our sins and guide us on the straight path, to worship Him Alone without any partners. Ameen.

  86. Umm Reem

    January 7, 2009 at 3:03 PM

    Perhaps our ummah is in the state as it is because of how we are lacking our brotherhood/sisterhood, the unity and the love of “one body” and we are too busy disagreeing and finding faults within our ownselves, may Allah azzawajal improve our situation and untie us and strengthen us…

    I cannot begin to imagine had someone had entered MY house, and confined me, my children and my family into one room, on top of that limiting my water supply, food, medicines, basic necessity, monitoring everything that happens in my room, depriving me from everything else within MY own house, YET they don’t stop there and from time to time they start killing my family my children, what would I do? what can a person in an oppressed and desperate situation do? desperation….leads a person to do things that people in normal circumstances cannot rationalize…

    AND i am so glad that the actions of my Palestinian brothers and sisters will only be judged by the One Most Just, where their background and the circumstances leading towards their actions will not be neglected bi idhnihi ta’ala, I swear by Allah, Allah is the Most Just and His Jugement is the Most Just…

  87. IbnAbbas

    January 7, 2009 at 3:22 PM

    @Shibli Zaman
    if you ar emphasising so much on the “FIQH” of jihad derived from the Quran and sunnah then must also know that there are many figh matter based on the “ijtihaad” of a scholar. right? SO LISTEN TO THIS BEFORE YOU RANT AGAIN ON THE BLOG! Scholars like ibnUthaymeen (Rahimullah) and many local scholars of Palestine have allowed such action – to certain extent, if that could bring any damage to the enemies.

    Also, realise that only 20 Israelis have been killed in the last LAST 10 YEARS and you’re still here criticising Hamas for their “stupidity”?? its absolute pathetic……What have they done? shows you don’t have a clue about whats going on there and you’re badly affected by the western media.

  88. RighteousServant

    January 7, 2009 at 4:26 PM

    Yes Umm I agree with you, but the unity needs to be based on what? misguidance or obediance to Allah in the Quran and the Sunnah? does the words of the Quran change where no longer the orders of the prophet(pbuh) realize compliance by Muslimeen (who are not in sin)? should we not encourage this compliance through teaching each other the deen? Throughout the seerah the prophet(pbuh) and early followers of Islam where perscueted harshly, what did the prophet say about war? what does the Quran say? If one where to read, one would find that the killing of noncombatants go against the Quran and Sunnah in clear and expressive terms. Just because a brother is in a dire situation does he kill himself and other women and children who did not fight him with himself? what happened to patience and perserverance in obeying the commandments of Allah? Do you remember the advice Luqman gave to his son along with the above mentioned verses which require adherence to the orders of our prophet?:

    031.016[And Luqman said], “O my son, indeed if wrong should be the weight of a mustard seed and should be within a rock or [anywhere] in the heavens or in the earth, Allah will bring it forth. Indeed, Allah is Subtle and Acquainted.
    031.017 my son, establish prayer, enjoin what is right, forbid what is wrong, and be patient over what befalls you. Indeed, [all] that is of the matters [requiring] determination.
    031.018 And do not turn your cheek [in contempt] toward people and do not walk through the earth exultantly. Indeed, Allah does not like everyone self-deluded and boastful.

    The judgement on how to fight a war has already been laid out by Allah and His messenger in clear and expresive terms, and Allah is the best of judges:

    4.065 But no, by your Lord, they will not [truly] believe until they make you, [O Muْammad], judge concerning that over which they dispute among themselves and then find within themselves no discomfort from what you have judged and submit in [full, willing] submission.

    The Quran and Sunnah tell us Muslims, that the tactics of Hamas in rocket attacks aimed at civilians and suicide bombing go against what Allah has decreed, if you show me through the Book and logic otherwise then I would agree with you but I find information that only agrees with the above passages from the Quran. It is the word of Allah that we will use as a judge in this life as Muslimeen and Muslimaat not my or your opinion. Like brother Shibli said if it is Allah that we seek to please, should we not follow His commandments at all costs?

    3:104: And let there be [arising] from you a nation inviting to [all that is] good, enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong, and those will be the successful.

    Further comments either in agreement, clarification, or opposing ideas SUPPORTED by the book of Allah and the way of His messenger(pbuh) in a respectful manner to anyone’s difference of opinion will be highly appreciated by my fellow Muslim brothers and sisters whom I love very much.

  89. Siraaj

    January 7, 2009 at 4:52 PM

    LOL@Shibli.

    And here I thought our backwardness was partially due to rise of the keyboard mujaahid, always looking to valiantly expend their binary breath debating with reckless abandon, the speed of their rat-a-tat-tatting away outraged, indignant missives rivaled only by the supersonic rapidity at which they click reload for the next response to refute, courageously trading what passes as their life for the glorious martyrdom of carpal tunnel syndrome. No doubt, your vaunted, legendary prowess will not be forgotten (til tomorrow, anyway).

    I’m not sure how you inferred that I was saying we disregard the fiqh of jihaad, that’s a mighty fine job of mind-reading and / or statement-parsing you did there (not). My statements were carefully contextualized and not general in scope, taking into account the difficulty of the situation the people are facing. How difficult is TOO difficult is a bit much for me to gauge from behind the comfort of my computer screen in safe-and-secure suburbia, so I simply prefer to make my 72 excuses and give them the benefit of the doubt, but perhaps these logistical limitations are not an obstacle to your armchair analysis?

    Siraaj

  90. Algebra

    January 7, 2009 at 5:03 PM

    Aslamu-alaikum
    1.@Shibli Zaman:
    “It does not matter whether you are the invader or being invaded, whether your women, children, weak and old are being slaughtered, whether yoru homes are destroyed, etc. It neither invalidates nor suspends even one nuqta of the Shari`ah.”

    WE DON’T DISAGREE with what you are saying here about “neither invalidates nor suspends even one nuqta of the Shariah”

    Its just that u keep harping on Hamas and you haven’t given us or anybody else on this blog any evidence of if in fact they are targeting the Israeli families or not.

    There was a “TRUCE” and the Israeli’s broke the TRUCE and that is the fact of the matter.

    2.Second @ RighteousServant:
    ” i don’t plan on apologizing for referencing the Quran, 25.30And the Messenger has said, “O my Lord, indeed my people have taken this Qur’an as [a thing] abandoned.” – neither for advising my siblings in Islam to adhere to it.”

    I WAS NOT REFERRING to the QURAN and SUNNAH by saying take your long winded complaints to the SHAYKH I was referring to your comments about “what the Shaykhs have said and not have said and what they should say according to your opinions.”

    Its just becoming redundant and it seems to me from your written words that you seem to ingnore the plight of the Palestianian women and children…….. what do they have to do with Shaykhs or Hamas for that matter. LETS JUST HELP THEM ANYWAY.
    HAVE SOME MERCY>……..
    the Prophet Muhammad(Pbuh) was a MERCY to the people. you are forgetting about the MERCY to the PALESTIANIAN WOMEN AND CHILDREN.
    MERCY Volume 8, Book 73, Number 26:
    Narrated Abu Huraira:
    Allah’s Apostle kissed Al-Hasan bin Ali while Al-Aqra’ bin Habis At-Tamim was sitting beside him. Al-Aqra said, “I have ten children and I have never kissed anyone of them,” Allah’s Apostle cast a look at him and said, “Whoever is not merciful to others will not be treated mercifully.” BUKHARI

    Volume 8, Book 73, Number 27:
    Narrated ‘Aisha:
    A bedouin came to the Prophet and said, “You (people) kiss the boys! We don’t kiss them.” The Prophet said, “I cannot put mercy in your heart after Allah has taken it away from it.”

    Volume 8, Book 73, Number 29:
    Narrated Abu Huraira:
    I heard Allah’s Apostle saying, Allah divided Mercy into one-hundred parts and He kept its ninety-nine parts with Him and sent down its one part on the earth, and because of that, its one single part, His creations are Merciful to each other, so that even the mare lifts up its hoofs away from its baby animal, lest it should trample on it.

    Volume 9, Book 88, Number 199:
    Narrated Abu Bakra:

    Allah’s Apostle addressed the people saying, “Don’t you know what is the day today?” They replied, “Allah and His Apostle know better.” We thought that he might give that day another name. The Prophet said, “Isn’t it the day of An-Nahr?” We replied, “Yes. O Allah’s Apostle.” He then said, “What town is this? Isn’t it the forbidden (Sacred) Town (Mecca)?” We replied, “Yes, O Allah’s Apostle.” He then said, “Your blood, your properties, your honors and your skins (i.e., bodies) are as sacred to one another like the sanctity of this day of yours in this month of yours in this town of yours. (Listen) Haven’t I conveyed Allah’s message to you?” We replied, “Yes” He said, “O Allah! Be witness (for it). So it is incumbent upon those who are present to convey it (this message of mine) to those who are absent because the informed one might comprehend what I have said better than the present audience who will convey it to him.)” The narrator added: In fact, it was like that. The Prophet added, “Beware! Do not renegade as disbelievers after me by striking (cutting) the necks of one another.” (BUKHARI)

    Volume 9, Book 88, Number 206:
    Narrated Hudhaifa bin Al-Yaman:

    The people used to ask Allah’s Apostle about the good but I used to ask him about the evil lest I should be overtaken by them. So I said, “O Allah’s Apostle! We were living in ignorance and in an (extremely) worst atmosphere, then Allah brought to us this good (i.e., Islam); will there be any evil after this good?” He said, “Yes.” I said, ‘Will there be any good after that evil?” He replied, “Yes, but it will be tainted (not pure.)” I asked, “What will be its taint?” He replied, “(There will be) some people who will guide others not according to my tradition? You will approve of some of their deeds and disapprove of some others.” I asked, “Will there be any evil after that good?” He replied, “Yes, (there will be) some people calling at the gates of the (Hell) Fire, and whoever will respond to their call, will be thrown by them into the (Hell) Fire.” I said, “O Allah s Apostle! Will you describe them to us?” He said, “They will be from our own people and will speak our language.” I said, “What do you order me to do if such a state should take place in my life?” He said, “Stick to the group of Muslims and their Imam (ruler).” I said, “If there is neither a group of Muslims nor an Imam (ruler)?” He said, “Then turn away from all those sects even if you were to bite (eat) the roots of a tree till death overtakes you while you are in that state.” (BUKHARI)

    What DR. ALI SHEHATA started saying in this post was to inform us of our wrongdoings and correcting ourselves like simple things that we ignore………… like NOT LYING, KEEPING PROMISES,,,,,,,, BEING JUST IN BUSINESS………… TRUSTING ALLAH…………….

    Volume 1, Book 3, Number 56:

    Narrated Abu Huraira:

    While the Prophet was saying something in a gathering, a Bedouin came and asked him, “When would the Hour (Doomsday) take place?” Allah’s Apostle continued his talk, so some people said that Allah’s Apostle had heard the question, but did not like what that Bedouin had asked. Some of them said that Alllah’s Apostle had not heard it. When the Prophet finished his speech, he said, “Where is the questioner, who enquired about the Hour (Doomsday)?” The Bedouin said, “I am here, O Allah’s Apostle .” Then the Prophet said, “When honesty is lost, then wait for the Hour (Doomsday).” The Bedouin said, “How will that be lost?” The Prophet said, “When the power or authority comes in the hands of unfit persons, then wait for the Hour (Doomsday.)” Bukhari

    Volume 4, Book 54, Number 430:
    Narrated ‘Abdullah bin Mus’ud:

    Allah’s Apostle, the true and truly inspired said, “(The matter of the Creation of) a human being is put together in the womb of the mother in forty days, and then he becomes a clot of thick blood for a similar period, and then a piece of flesh for a similar period. Then Allah sends an angel who is ordered to write four things. He is ordered to write down his (i.e. the new creature’s) deeds, his livelihood, his (date of) death, and whether he will be blessed or wretched (in religion). Then the soul is breathed into him. So, a man amongst you may do (good deeds till there is only a cubit between him and Paradise and then what has been written for him decides his behavior and he starts doing (evil) deeds characteristic of the people of the (Hell) Fire. And similarly a man amongst you may do (evil) deeds till there is only a cubit between him and the (Hell) Fire, and then what has been written for him decides his behavior, and he starts doing deeds characteristic of the people of Paradise.” BUKHARI

    Only Allah KNOWS at the END who is going to JANNAT AND WHO IS GOING TO HELL.

    RIGHTOUS SERVANT MOST people on this blog want to help the Palestianian women and children LETS HAVE MERCY ON THEM AND GIVE THEM OUR SUPPORT WHETHER IT BE BY MONEY, DUA, NASEEHAH, PHONE CALLS.
    If you have a QUALM about what the shaykhs are not doing or should do PLEASE TALK TO THEM ABOUT IT AND WRITE THEM.

    STOP STOP ARGUING AT THIS TIME AND TAKE SOME ACTION OF MERCY AND COMPASSION THAT IS PART OF the SUNNAH and QURAN.

    my mother told me of a story of a woman that came with her orphans to many people in the communtiy and all of them shunned her becasue they thought she didn’t have anybody and that she was probably bad…….. she went many muslims in the city or town………..than she went to a christian and he helped her and because of the CHRISTIAN’s MERCY to the WOMAN AND HER CHILDREN , ALLAH BROUGHT HIM TO THE DEEN. ALLAH SHOWED HIM MECRCY>

    Lets keep our merciful heart alive right now instead of ARGUING USELESSLY>

    salam

  91. Shibli Zaman

    January 7, 2009 at 5:04 PM

    And here we have “IbnAbbas” and his senseless drivel. I don’t supposed your father’s name is `Abbas is it? I didn’t think so.

    You said:

    “then must also know that there are many figh matter based on the “ijtihaad” of a scholar. right? SO LISTEN TO THIS BEFORE YOU RANT AGAIN ON THE BLOG! Scholars like ibnUthaymeen (Rahimullah) and many local scholars of Palestine have allowed such action – to certain extent, if that could bring any damage to the enemies.”

    Are you in the 4th grade? Have a discussion without behaving like you are bossing your wife around with statements like “SO LISTEN TO THIS BEFORE YOU RANT AGAIN ON THE BLOG!” Don’t be such a lion over the internet because I promise you, you wouldn’t be in person.

    Furthermore, which “Ijtihad” and whose are you referring to? “Ijtihad” is only legitimate in the absence of clear textual evidence. I can’t just make “Ijtihad” one day that I can have 5 wives instead of 4 no matter how many Ijazat I would have.

    Then you (ab)use the name of Shaykh Ibn `Uthaymin (rahimahullah) who declared the OPPOSITE of what you say:

    “But as for what some people do regarding activities of suicide, tying explosives to themselves and then approaching Unbelievers and detonating them amongst them, then this is a case of suicide and Allaah¹s refuge is sought. So whoever commits suicide then he will be consigned eternally to Hell-Fire, remaining there forever, as occurs in the hadeeth of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم).

    Because this person has killed himself and has not benefited Islam. So if he kills himself along with ten, or a hundred, or two hundred other people, then Islam will not benefit by that, since the people will not accept Islam, contrary to the story of the boy. Rather it will probably just make the enemy more determined, and this action will provoke malice and bitterness in his heart to such an extent that he may seek to wreak havoc upon the Muslims.”

    So grow up, learn some manners, speak more coherently and do not LIE upon the Shuyukh of this Ummah who have passed on.

  92. Shibli Zaman

    January 7, 2009 at 5:13 PM

    From some of these responses it seems I must have stumbled into an elementary school here. Siraaj, learn to a nifty little thing called a “period” to end your sentences.

    You asked:

    “I’m not sure how you inferred that I was saying we disregard the fiqh of jihaad”

    This was your original statement which has been echoed alot on this site:

    “Your family, your friends, your people are blowing up in front of you, being slaughtered en masse in front of you, and you think people are going to have this calm, rational discussion among themselves about the etiquettes of war? Are you serious?

    With stress levels and emotional anguish that high, there’s no way I’d even think to condemn them or hold them accountable for anything.”

    So what were you talking about which Hamas shouldn’t be held accountable for if not their flagrant disregard for the Fiqh of Jihad? Cheating in a game of Backgammon in relation for Israel’s aggression? If you’re embarrassed, don’t go back on your own words.

    I’m extremely grateful for brothers like “RighteousServant” otherwise I’d have far less hope amongst this generation of saber rattling kids who contribute absolutely nothing to the progress of the Muslim world.

  93. AnonyMouse

    January 7, 2009 at 5:15 PM

    I find it sad that the conversation has taken this turn for the worse.

    Please, let’s not forget our adab and akhlaaq in dealing with each other, even and especially when we strongly disagree. The one who gives up arguing even if he is right, will have a house built for him in Jannah, insha’Allah.

  94. Shibli-fan

    January 7, 2009 at 5:22 PM

    Siraaj said:

    LOL@Shibli.

    And here I thought our backwardness was partially due to rise of the keyboard mujaahid, always looking to valiantly expend their binary breath debating with reckless abandon, the speed of their rat-a-tat-tatting away outraged, indignant missives rivaled only by the supersonic rapidity at which they click reload for the next response to refute, courageously trading what passes as their life for the glorious martyrdom of carpal tunnel syndrome. No doubt, your vaunted, legendary prowess will not be forgotten (til tomorrow, anyway).

    Siraaj

    No Siraaj, its all your fault, the collapse of our entire ummah was due to a person named Siraaj that would cause ummah to be 3rd world, and keeping “scholars” like Shibli Zaman not sharing their “knowledge”.

    Shibli Zaman said:

    ibnabeeomar (I despise these ridiculous internet pseudonyms, by the way), thank you for displaying yet another entry into the annals of “Why the Muslims are the defeated Third World”.

    Here is a list of your absurdities:

    1) “If you feel no emotion, no anguish, no distress, no compassion for your brothers and sisters..”

    How on earth do you know what I feel by one blog comment? Then you presume to know the exact level of my Iman based on it! Salafi par excellence. (whispering) Oh, excuse me, you’re not Salafis. Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

    And its also fault of guy named ibnabeeomar that our ummah is backward. Because you fail to grasp amazing wisdom of Sheikh Shibli Zaman, who magically knows what everyone is thinking and did in past. Like he knew Umm Reem did excorcism herself because she could not find sheikh of her own “manhaj”. Yeah thats right, see no one else knew, but he knew that.

    And do not make Sheikh Shibli Zaman mad, because he would curse us, and leave this discussion as we are jahil, and he takes moral high ground by saying salaam.

  95. Siraaj

    January 7, 2009 at 6:13 PM

    Siraaj, learn to a nifty little thing called a “period” to end your sentences.

    lol, Shibli, you’re making this too easy bro. I’m just going to let everyone read and re-read that sentence (as you obviously did not) for the delicious irony in it.

    So what were you talking about which Hamas shouldn’t be held accountable for if not their flagrant disregard for the Fiqh of Jihad? Cheating in a game of Backgammon in relation for Israel’s aggression? If you’re embarrassed, don’t go back on your own words.

    You know what I hate? I hate that I’m fasting and I’m actually responding to this. I’d prefer to take Anonymouse’s advice, and after this post, I will, insha’Allah. Let’s go down memory lane, shall we?

    In response to me, you said:

    Brother Siraaj’s comments above are precisely why the Muslim world is the “Third World” and why Allah will never give us victory as long as we believe that the laws of Allah and His Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) are expendable because “we’re oh soooo stressed out we can’t think straight so let’s just scream about killing Israeli children.”

    Until we adhere to the Fiqh of Jihad as derived from the Qur’an and Sunnah we will NEVER, NEVER, NEVER have victory. The laws of Allah and His Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) are not expendable at any cost no matter WHAT you face. Hasn’t this become painfully obvious yet? How long will it take for us to get a clue?

    Tell me Shibli, who is this we you keep quoting in the first person plural? Is it a royal “we”? You and Hamas? Me, You, and Hamas? The ummah as a whole? It’s very difficult to say, we’ll need some serious grammatical analysis to know for sure. In the meantime, since I was mentioned in the context of those who believe that the laws of Allah and His Messenger are expendable (or at the very least, won’t condemn Hamas), I clarified that I don’t believe that the laws of Allah are expendable (and it’s silly to infer that Hamas believes the same – it may be they are laypeople following the scholars around them, it may be hotheaded emotion and anger coupled with ignorance, and Allah knows best).

    My point was simply that given what the people of ghazza are going through, I’m willing to cut them slack in the mistakes they are making because I’m here and they are there, and I have no way of understanding or feeling at such a visceral level their situation. And since I cannot do that, I will make excuses for them, and not condemn them, but their aggressors.

    I hope this is clear enough for you, as my time discussing this is done.

    Siraaj

  96. IbnAbbas

    January 7, 2009 at 6:15 PM

    Assalaamu a’laikum

    @ shibli zamaan
    If you’re an elder person and a Shaykh then I sincerely apologise for what I said. you’re right, after reading the last above post, i assume you’re MUCH MUCH older than me and I wouldn’t have said so infront of you. I was watching some video just before I read your post and maybe i got a bit emotional.

    I wasn’t specifically referring to the “suicide bombing” but actually bombing their civilians… this is what Shykh Anwar al-awlaki says:

    “Thirdly, the illegal state of Israel needs to be eradicated. Just like Rasulullah drove them out of the Arabian peninsula the Jews of Palestine need to be driven out to the sea. There are no Israeli civilians unless they are Muslim. When the enemy targets our women and children we should target theirs. Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen says: If the enemy kill our women and children it appears to me that we are allowed to kill their women and children because that weakens their hearts and humiliates them. That is also included in the general meaning of the verse: “So whoever has assaulted you, then assault him in the same way that he has assaulted you.” [al-Baqarah 194]”

    and this is what I was referring to. so please don’t say I have abused the shaykh (rahimullah). I hope you understand my point of view.

  97. Shibli Zaman

    January 7, 2009 at 6:30 PM

    Okay, this is getting out of hand. Let me bring things back into perspective because this is a VERY important point I was trying to make.

    Simply put:

    1) There’s a very common sentiment amongst Muslims to the effect of, “Desperate times call for desperate measures”. So things that under normal circumstances would be clearly Haram because Halal due to “Darurah”. In the case of killing civilians in battle, suicide, etc.

    This is unacceptable.

    2) The reason why we (Siraaj, “we” means MUSLIMS. I would think that was obvious) have ever been oppressed and conquered in history is due to our own lapses in adhering to Islam. Can anyone disagree with this?

    So you take #1 and the result is #2. You simple CAN NOT reconcile a 17 year old girl, 2 weeks away from her wedding, strapping explosives to herself and detonating them in a grocery store only to kill an Isralie teenage girl and a security guard.

    Now let us PLEASE address these issues with some maturity and stop acting like kids. This is important and it is the core of why the misfortunes in Palestine are happening right now as we speak.

  98. ibnabeeomar

    January 7, 2009 at 6:48 PM

    1) There’s a very common sentiment amongst Muslims to the effect of, “Desperate times call for desperate measures”. So things that under normal circumstances would be clearly Haram because Halal due to “Darurah”. In the case of killing civilians in battle, suicide, etc.

    This is unacceptable.

    OK so let’s take this point then. At present, humanitarian aid is cut off, they’re being bombarded, hospitals are overcrowded, there is a very real fear of imminent DEATH at any given moment.

    How do you define “darurah” and can you please quantify what needs to change in the given situation for “darurah” to be applicable. It is my humble understanding that life/death is an applicable case in Fiqh, but perhaps you can enlighten me if this understanding is incorrect, jazakAllahu khayr.

    Furthermore, what do you suggest that the Palestinians do exactly right now? I’m not concerned with why/how we got here, but I want to hear how you propose the Palestinians deal with the present situation? Am I correct to understand you feel they should not fight back?

  99. Abu Abdurrahman

    January 7, 2009 at 7:50 PM

    Akhi Shibli,

    Assalamu alaykum wa rahmatullah,

    JazakumAllahu khairan for you input/efforts to improve the nature of our discourse on this topic amongst Muslim circles and in general.

    I just stopped by to see if Dr. Ali had had a chance to briefly comment on what I had menioned earlier to him, may Allah bless him – and saw that the discussion on the topic of our brothers and sisters in Palestine has moved on.

    I hope to read Dr. Ali’s remarks on the previous section in a few moments as I’ve a bit of work load at present.

    Bro Shibli, you are quite right walilahil hamd wahdah about what you state in general terms about the exemplary standards of combat that Allah and His Messeneger (sallalhu alayhi wa sallam) have set out for the Ummah. Of course no one could ever textually speaking disagree with such.

    In fact as I’m sure you know that the scholars of Islam from its earliest times deduced from all the hostorical accounts of the Prophet’s peace be upon him directives/encouters on the field, the absolute prohibition of intentionally targeting women and children. As a matter of fact, the Malikis- as you might be aware- went as far as prohibiting attacking the enemies if they use innocent women and children as human shields, thus for them killing women and children even collaterally with the enemy is prohibited. Even though in the Geneva Convention collateral damage is accepted to a degree when legitimate military targets are attacked, for the Malikis such collateral damage remains prohibited. I cite this example, not to approve of the Maliki position, but just to give an idea of the moral standards amongst some of the prominent jurists who have been a source of pride to the Muslims.

    Having said that – I would humbly add that your ”analysis’ above – or at least the way you have presented aspects of it, it is somewhat oversimplistic from certain angles – at least from a fiqhi point of view; that is my humble estimation. Either that or perhaps you will revisit the topics and also the reality on the ground at your convenience, ya kahil kareem.

    Let us all remember that we, here, in the ‘confort’ of the West end up basing elements of our judgements partly, if not primarily on CNN, Fox News, BBC, et al info. Citing *rulings* in Shariah on that basis is acceptable, as inshallah I’m sure we all appreciate. Allah knows best. With that in mind, akhi Shibli, it is worth recalling that for the implemantation (tahqiq al manat) it requires the ‘alim – and not the alim over here, but the one over there that takes precedence in principle due to their familiartiy of the *reality* on the ground. Of course that doesn’t change anything in the shariah – because it is *part* of the Shariah (that such factors are given consideeration for a specific situation).

    Forgive me brother if I have offended you in saying any of the above.

    May Allah never let us be people who speech/intnent contain any type of disdain or contempt for one who believes in Him jjalla wa ‘ala.

    Lastly, let’s just bear in mind the saying of our Imam, Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alayhi wa sallam: “No one abandons a believer, except that Allah abandons him”

    No needs to defend batil to live that haqq; but at the same time no one needs to jump on a bandwagon of criticising something which they don’t know the reality of, nor have a clue what it means to undergo such constraints.

    I pray Allah helps us to unite our ranks, that He bestows us with humilty and compassion for one another and forgives those of our brethren who have preceded us in Faith.

    Allah knows best

    Wassalam

  100. Abu Abdurrahman

    January 7, 2009 at 8:57 PM

    Assalau alaykum Dr Ali,

    JazakumAllahu khairan for your response. I wallahi felt honoured that you took time and made such effort to reply. May Allah bless you. I’m sorry I have not been able to read what you wrote until relatively recently.

    You make some very valid and astute points; many of which I myself used to make before – and continue to see the validty of.

    Al hamdulilah it seems to be somwhat of a matter of ikhtilaf. I need to relook into it, and after that my ‘opinion’ is will probably be jjust like the next man – that is to say not of any relevance, as this is something for the ulema.

    It does clearly seem to be a matter of at least some (legitimate) difference of opinion

    Among those II recall who said that demos. were permissible were the likes of Sh. Ghunayman (from the Standing Committe for Fatwa in KSAfrom the time of Sh Bin Baz (rahimahullah)) and Salman al Oudah – May Allah preserve them both. They of course delineate certain stipulations that it be be peaceful and free of any harmful actions…and they are talking about it being islamically but in western counteries where this type of thig is permitted/encouraged by the govts. themselves so to speak.

    I will look into it, and appreciate your time, efforts and patience in spreading the truth.

    JazkumAllahu khairan. May Allah bless you, your famiy and the Ummah of our Prophet (sallalhu alayhi wa sallam)

    May Allah restore the izzah and salam to the Brothers and Sisters in Palestine, ameen

    .Wassalam ‘alaykum wa rahmatullah

  101. RighteousServant

    January 7, 2009 at 10:39 PM

    Salam,

    I just messaged a relgious scholar who graduated from the University of Medina! and he agreed that the actions of Hamas break the teachings of the Quran and Sunnah!
    Also after digging on the internet I found the voice of ISNA, you know ISNA right?, they issued a fatwa stating:
    ISNA remains consistent in its rejection of terrorism and violence. ISNA rejects all acts of terrorism, including those perpetrated by Hamas, Hizbullah and any other group that claims Islam as their inspiration. ISNA has encouraged and continues to encourage a just and fair settlement of disputes between Israel, the Palestinians and their neighbors through diplomacy and other peaceful means.

    Whoever disagreed: bring evidences for your rejection of the teachings of Islam otherwise you all stand (and have been standing) corrected for opposing the advice of the Messenger(pbuh) in such an egregious fashion !!! And speaking without knowledge and making weak excuses, when the teachings of the Quran and Sunnah where brought in front of you in a way that is clear. I hope the reason why you rejected the teachings was not because it came in the way of an internet forum! by someone who was a college student or my sometimes blunt co-pusher for the Sunnah: Shibli Zamzan, or out of hatred to Isreal did you not hear what Allah said in the Quran:

    5.8 O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm for Allah , witnesses in justice, and do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from being just. Be just; that is nearer to righteousness. And fear Allah ; indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what you do.

    Any form of disagreement henceforth will be brought on the basis of the Quran and the Sunnah and not on weak excuses contradicting the teachings of Allah and His messenger. Any differences in opinion must operate on the BASIS of

    4.065 But no, by your Lord, they will not [truly] believe until they make you, [O Muْammad], judge concerning that over which they dispute among themselves and then find within themselves no discomfort from what you have judged and submit in [full, willing] submission.

    the Quran and Sunnah. And in this way only will differences be respected with the brotherly love of Islam.

    I still love all of you for you are my siblings in Islam. And ask you to join me in condemnation of Hamas for killing noncombatants when this breaks the religion of Islam so this ummah does not become like the Children of Isreal:

    5.13 So for their breaking of the covenant We cursed them and made their hearts hard. They distort words from their [proper] usages and have forgotten a portion of that of which they were reminded. And you will still observe deceit among them, except a few of them. But pardon them and overlook [their misdeeds]. Indeed, Allah loves the doers of good.
    5.63 Why do the rabbis and religious scholars not forbid them from saying what is sinful and devouring what is unlawful? How wretched is what they have been practicing.
    5.47: … whoever does not judge by what Allah has revealed – then it is those who are the defiantly disobedient.

    And mind the words of Allah very carefully when He says:

    6.114 [Say], “Then is it other than Allah I should seek as judge while it is He who has revealed to you the Book explained in detail?” …
    003.102 O you who have believed, fear Allah as He should be feared and do not die except as Muslims [in submission to Him].
    003.103 And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided. And remember the favor of Allah upon you – when you were enemies and He brought your hearts together and you became, by His favor, brothers. And you were on the edge of a pit of the Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus does Allah make clear to you His verses that you may be guided.
    003.104 And let there be [arising] from you a nation inviting to [all that is] good, enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong, and those will be the successful.
    003.105 And do not be like the ones who became divided and differed after the clear proofs had come to them. And those will have a great punishment.

    ^ hold to the rope of Allah that guides to the light and lead men out of the darkness by the will of Allah, and that is the Quran and the Sunnah and Islam which He has sent down through his Messenger Muhammad (pbuh) which is a mercy and a healing for those who believe.

  102. Amad

    January 8, 2009 at 12:10 AM

    I am sorry I have to repeat myself but it seems that some brothers are so driven and dazzled by their own words, that they are not reading (listening) to what others are saying. So, let me come to an elementary level (because even though Shibli claims we are already there, I would contest that, based on the fact that only words are moving in both directions but not understanding):

    1) We, at MuslimMatters.org do not condone suicide bombing or terrorism of any kind directed at innocent civilians. We disagree with any other scholars who have come to a different understand because we cannot accept that our religion of mercy will allow injustice like that. That is against the core fundamentals of Allah’s own attributes of Mercy and Justice. For anyone to call any of the writers on MM saber-rattlers, is a disregard of our site’s history and a disregard of today’s CONTEXT.

    2) Wallahi, it is a SHAME, a major SHAME, that we have fallen into the exact trap that Israeli PR agents have been setting up for the media outlets. We would have believed that Muslims wouldn’t have/couldn’t have, but indeed, just like CNN, AP, etc., we have fallen into the unjust, disgusting, *add other ugly adjectives*, narrative peddled by Israel. What is that narrative? It is to

    “FOCUS on Hamas, secondly focus on Hamas, and finally focus on Hamas. While everyone’s focusing on Hamas, we’ll kill hundreds of civilians. We’ll call the women/children civilians, and the men will “most likely” be Hamas. And of course it is okay to kill Hamas, because even if some of those in the organization have committed acts of terrorism, EVERYONE in the organization should be held accountable, and hence, worthy of being killed”

    *Note: if someone isn’t clear about this, then maybe it will be a good reminder that EVERYONE in an organization that commits certain wrongs is NOT responsible for that wrong, otherwise as American taxpayers, and American citizens, we’d be all responsible for the Iraq war too, but inshallah we are not. So all members of an organization are not responsible for all actions committed by the organization.

    3) EVEN the non-Muslims, majority in Europe (basically majority outside America) are FOCUSING on Israel for its disproportionate and terrorist response. Does that mean they support Hamas? Does George Galloway support Hamas’s killing of innocents? Does Robert Fisk support Hamas’s killing of innocents? NO, and wallahi most Muslims with a sense of justice DON’T either.But do you see Fisk, Galloway, and most of the media OUTSIDE America focusing on Hamas? No! They are smarter than to accept Israel’s narrative. They are focusing on the ROOT of the evil. The CAUSE of the reaction. ISRAEL! Yes, the reaction is evil, but are we going to spend our energies focusing on this, or are we focusing our energy on the CAUSES and the disproportionate massacre to a reaction of the FIRST CAUSE that was wrong? Read that again.

    4) I am sorry but while I appreciate the attempt to find scholarly ruling from a student of Madina or ISNA, I think that effort is unnecessary. Read (1) again. Check some old posts on MM. Check some other jihadi forums and how much they curse MM for not being “jihadi” too. So, the proof is in the pudding for what we believe, and propagate, for those who care.

    5) Some of the remarks here are utterly condescending, and I am sorry Shibli, but how does it hurt or benefit the discourse if someone has a “handle” instead of a name? And to everyone, can we stick to the discussion rather than insulting each other? And not that I have the best history of being a calm person on the net, but it is an advice to myself first and then to everyone.

    6) WALLAHI, if some of us were sitting in a house in Gaza, we would not be arguing about Hamas. I am sorry, but that is a reality check. Just imagine yourself sitting in a house, going out in long lines to get some bread, and not sure if you will be returning home. Put that reality in your mind and just feel for the people. Ask Allah’s forgiveness for the wrong reaction they may have, for fear that Allah may put us in that situation to test us.

    Please, let’s end this discussion. Wallahi, if an IDF agent shows up on this page, he’ll be full of glee. He’ll be saying that even Muslims are focusing on Israel’s narrative, while it kill their lot in hundreds. I don’t disagree that the issue of innocent killing is an important one, and while we have discussed/condemned it in the past, maybe we’ll need even more posts on it in the future.

    But NOW is not the time. NOW is the time to focus on OUR dead. Let’s shed a few tears for our brothers and sisters first. Let’s take this time spent on discussing the fiqh of jihad on educating the American public about the lie that the media is feeding them.

    Let’s focus on “ACTION-GAZA”, sorry for the plug, and sorry it was needed.

  103. Amad

    January 8, 2009 at 12:13 AM

    Another note to everyone. If you don’t know a person’s background, don’t take their comments or posts for evidence of their superior knowledge. And I am not saying that the person is even trying or wants to make that false impression. That is why at MM, we post everyone’s bio so that you know who you are dealing with. This is not related to this post, but a general advice for all internet posters.

  104. IbnAbbas

    January 8, 2009 at 1:19 AM

    RighteousServant wrote:

    And ask you to join me in condemnation of Hamas for killing noncombatants when this breaks the religion of Islam so this ummah does not become like the Children of Isreal:

    But isn’t it so that Israel is an illegal occupied land and every citizen is considered a combatant? And even the sources say that every israeli is given an army training. What other choice do Hamas have especially after this latest brutal massacre by the israelis? The recent war against Lebanon is an example that the enemy will only stop and come to a negotiation after you have bombed them even harder.

  105. Shibli Zaman

    January 8, 2009 at 1:59 AM

    Amad, you say, “So, let me come to an elementary level (because even though Shibli claims we are already there…)” Yet, you allow the most immature personal attacks on me left unmoderated in these comments even though they contribute nothing

    at all to the subject (which means you support them). You actually have the audacity to say “And to everyone, can we stick to the discussion rather than insulting each other?” then cite me saying I am annoyed by internet pseudonyms as the example as opposed to the clear abuses against me? Then you take the seriously obvious personal cheap shot:”If you don’t know a person’s background, don’t take their comments or posts for evidence of their superior knowledge.” That is obviously directed towards me. So be up front and don’t hide behind innuendo. What about my “background” should be known that would discredit anything that I am saying? I have never claimed any credentials or to have any “knowledge” at all. So if you wish to discredit what I’m saying, discredit what I say. Don’t cast aspersions upon me personally. The childish attitude here is, frankly, a very, very sad surprise for me. I did not expect it especially not from the very AUTHORS of this site.

    Now to the nitty gritty:

    1) ibnabeeomar said:

    “How do you define “darurah” and can you please quantify what needs to change in the given situation for “darurah” to be applicable”

    I don’t define it. The term “al-Darurah” (or “al-Hajah” with some difference according to the Usulis) is something already defined in Usul al-Fiqh. It is when an otherwise forbidden thing temporarily becomes permissible due to insurmountable circumstances. A frequent citation of “Darurah” in the West is Riba (interest) which some say is permissible because of “Darurah” in the USA. It is NOT. “Darurah” doesn’t make a forbidden thing permissible ad infinitum. It is one of the most frequently abused principles in Usul al-Fiqh and it is frequently abused in warfare to justify travesties of Islamic laws of war as is the case here.

    2) ibnabeeomar said:

    “Furthermore, what do you suggest that the Palestinians do exactly right now? I’m not concerned with why/how we got here, but I want to hear how you propose the Palestinians deal with the present situation? Am I correct to understand you feel they should not fight back?”

    Of course you’re “not concerned with why/how we got here”. That’s the whole problem! One can’t jump into a well with a ham sandwich and then three days later eat it citing “Darurah”. When a wolf enters your house, and you lunge at it with your bare hands and end up killed you can’t claim, “Well, what else was he supposed to do?” There are about 1000 other things he could have done and not been eaten.

    What can the Palestinians do? Well, for one, they can organize PROPER groups to wage Jihad to defend the victims of Israeli agression. Its that simple. The Afghans did it when invaded by the Soviets and won in 10 years. Yet, the Palestinians have been at it with an invader the size of Rhode Island for more than half a century and have gotten NOWHERE. At what point do you get a clue and realize that what you’re doing is NOT working? Don’t tell me “What else are they supposed to do?” There are about 1000 other things they can do. Shaykh `Abdallah `Azzam (رحمه الله), though I do not agree with all his ideas, ABANDONED his homeland struggle in Palestine and left for Afghanistan because he felt it was a LOST CAUSE. He was right. He helped the Afghans defeat the Soviets in a mere 10 years and the nation he left is STILL at it with their miserably failed tactics and strategies.

    3) Amad, in an emotional plea says to not focus on Hamas. That is just as invalid as saying the opposite: To ignore Israel’s injustices and focus on Hamas. They are both fallacious extremes. It is akin to going into a biker bar and calling them all homosexuals then getting beaten to a pulp to unjustly disparate proportions and then claiming, “Don’t blame me! Look at what they did to me in response! Forget the fact that I called them gay!”

    No one here is saying what Israel is doing is okay. Its common sense that they are the aggressors here, but you can’t address the aggressors while the response is done by utterly useless people. While everyone knows Israel is in the wrong here, we absolutely MUST focus on Hamas because they are a miserably inept organization who have been clearly proven unable to defend, protect and represent the Palestinian people. They must be replaced AS SOON AS POSSIBLE so that what is happening today never happens again. This is the responsibility of the Palestinian people first and foremost. Yet, they aren’t doing this and instead the entire Musim world is forwarding emails and blogging about it.

    Also, since clearly no one is getting the clue in regards to the Palestinians useless representation and their inept response to Israel’s aggression, the most important thing we can do is give money for their aid. It is humiliating beyond bounds that the billionaire regimes of the Muslim world are doing next to nothing while at the same time using the Palestinians’ suffering as a rallying cry to legitimize themselves as rulers who “care” about the Muslims.

    Finally, no one answered my question: Are you guys seriously trying to say Hamas does NOT abuse civilians specifically as a strategy of war? Ibnabeeomar actually asked me to produce evidence and I was appalled at that. Are you guys seriously questioning their policies which are all over YouTube from their own MOUTHS? They have clearly admitted to using human shields as a strategy and that the blood of every single Israeli man, woman and child is Halal. Do I need to provide links? Please let me know.

    When the Afghan Mujahidin fought the Soviets under the banner of Islam and followed the Ahkam of Jihad to the “T”. They would feed their prisoners before they ate food themselves and those prisoners often converted to Islam. The Palestinian “Mujahidin” (Not all of them are even Muslim. They have Christians and Druze as well) have teenagers strap bombs on themselves and blow up markets. Their enemies despise them and hate Islam by proxy.

    You can get emotional and cry all you want over the emails forwarded to you with all the pictures of charred bodies. Yet, at the end of the day your whining does NOTHING if you won’t nip the problem in the bud and prevent this from ever happening again.

    IN WARFARE THE LAWS OF ISLAM MUST BE FOLLOWED OR YOU WILL FAIL. End of story.

    The Afghans won in 10 years. The Palestinians haven’t won in 60. Please let common sense prevail.

  106. Analytical

    January 8, 2009 at 3:28 AM

    Boy, this thread has really deteriorated. I agree that anyone from Iz would be happy to see you all bashing one another. I like the reminder about the hadeeth, even though it seems to have fallen on deaf ears:

    “Whosoever among you believes in Allaah and the last Day then let him say good or be silent.”

    So, I was wondering?? Is there any method of targeting only combatants in warfare today? Is there like any rocket that the palestinians can make that targets or detects the combatants alone and magically avoids women and children? This is not a sword fight where one can have time to face their enemy and avoid women or children, but this is modern fight where technology, high military strategies, sensitive intelligence and a time window is involved. i would think that the people who really should be grilled for hitting civilian targets are the ones who see them on their F-16 screens and shoot anyways – but that’s just my lowly opinion.

    Also, I wonder if this hadeeth has any bearing on exempting the Gaza fighters?

    Saheeh Muslim
    Book 019, Hadith Number 4321.
    Chapter : Permissibility of killing women and children in the night raids, provided it is not deliberate.

    It is reported on the authority of Sa’b b. Jaththama that the Prophet of Allah (may peace be upon him), when asked about the women and children of the polytheists being killed during the night raid, said: They are from them.

    So unless one of the mind-readers here can prove that the Gazans are intentionally targeting civilians, then i think its really a non-issue.

    also, for the viewing pleasure of those who have nothing better to do than attack the oppressed Muslims of the world without so much as an idea about what they are thinking or going through, check out what the other side has been thinking:

    All civilians living in Gaza are collectively guilty for Kassam attacks on Sderot, former Sephardi chief rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu has written in a letter to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

    Former Sephardi chief Rabbi Eliyahu ruled that there was absolutely no moral prohibition against the indiscriminate killing of civilians during a potential massive military offensive on Gaza aimed at stopping the rocket launchings.

    The letter, published in Olam Katan [Small World], a weekly pamphlet to be distributed in synagogues nationwide this Friday, cited the biblical story of the Shechem massacre (Genesis 34) and Maimonides’ commentary (Laws of Kings 9, 14) on the story as proof texts for his legal decision.

    According to Jewish war ethics, wrote Eliyahu, an entire city holds collective responsibility for the immoral behavior of individuals. In Gaza, the entire populace is responsible because they do nothing to stop the firing of Kassam rockets.

    The former chief rabbi also said it was forbidden to risk the lives of Jews in Sderot or the lives of IDF soldiers for fear of injuring or killing Palestinian noncombatants living in Gaza.

    Eliyahu could not be reached for an interview. However, Eliyahu’s son, Shmuel Eliyahu, who is chief rabbi of Safed, said his father opposed a ground troop incursion into Gaza that would endanger IDF soldiers. Rather, he advocated carpet bombing the general area from which the Kassams were launched, regardless of the price in Palestinian life.

    Source: Jerusalem Post (may 30, 2007) or you can click here to see it yourself!

  107. Olivia

    January 8, 2009 at 3:33 AM

    Jazakallahu khair for this beautiful article, it was a sweet breath of fresh air to a heart that was anguishing.

    As for the majority of the comments, they’re like a breath of (unr)fresh air rising up off something dead the cat dragged in….

  108. Hassan

    January 8, 2009 at 8:53 AM

    Shibli Zaman said:

    What can the Palestinians do? Well, for one, they can organize PROPER groups to wage Jihad to defend the victims of Israeli agression. Its that simple. The Afghans did it when invaded by the Soviets and won in 10 years. Yet, the Palestinians have been at it with an invader the size of Rhode Island for more than half a century and have gotten NOWHERE. At what point do you get a clue and realize that what you’re doing is NOT working? Don’t tell me “What else are they supposed to do?” There are about 1000 other things they can do. Shaykh `Abdallah `Azzam (رحمه الله), though I do not agree with all his ideas, ABANDONED his homeland struggle in Palestine and left for Afghanistan because he felt it was a LOST CAUSE. He was right. He helped the Afghans defeat the Soviets in a mere 10 years and the nation he left is STILL at it with their miserably failed tactics and strategies.

    The Afghans won in 10 years. The Palestinians haven’t won in 60. Please let common sense prevail.

    Not to question your point about laws of islam needs to be followed ofcourse, just out of curiosity I want to ask, Afghanis are now using suicide bombing quite frequently. Does it have to do the fact that in their war against Russia, they were well supported by most of the world in their fight, while they are not anymore so they have resorted to suicide bombing just like Palestenians who have no support?

  109. RighteousServant

    January 8, 2009 at 10:15 AM

    Are children in Isreal enemy combantants?
    Of course Palestine has the right to defend itself but within the laws of Islam!
    -Narrated in Abu Dawud the prophet (pbuh) said: “do not kill any old person, any child, or any woman.” In the Musnad of Imam ibn Hanbal: “Do not kill the people who are sitting in places of worship”.
    -In the Quran we are told to fight those who fight you, and if non-combatants are not fighting you then you can’t fight them, but Hamas repeatadly is breaking the Islamic law and TARGETING non-combatants.
    See Quran 2. 190 below; also 5:32, 6:151
    Translation by Sahih International
    2.190: Fight in the way of Allah those who fight you but do not transgress. Indeed. Allah does not like transgressors.

  110. RighteousServant

    January 8, 2009 at 10:26 AM

    we can respectfully disagree if the basis is the Quran and the Sunnah.

    Hamas IS intentionally targeting residential areas, who of course have women and children in them.

    With respect and love to my siblings in Islam.

  111. RighteousServant

    January 8, 2009 at 10:48 AM

    Analytical thanks for pumping some hadith into this conversation:

    Saheeh Muslim
    Book 019, Hadith Number 4321.
    Chapter : Permissibility of killing women and children in the night raids, provided it is not deliberate.

    It is reported on the authority of Sa’b b. Jaththama that the Prophet of Allah (may peace be upon him), when asked about the women and children of the polytheists being killed during the night raid, said: They are from them.

    ^ The problem with Hamas’s tactics is that they are deliberately targeting residentaial areas, noncombatants women and children included. If they where targeting combatants, the ones killing our brothers and sisters in Palestine, and accidentally and unknowingly there were women and children and noncombatants there them then this is a different issue. ^

  112. Shibli Zaman

    January 8, 2009 at 10:55 AM

    Hassan inquired:

    “Afghanis are now using suicide bombing quite frequently. Does it have to do the fact that in their war against Russia, they were well supported by most of the world in their fight, while they are not anymore so they have resorted to suicide bombing just like Palestenians who have no support?”

    Afghans are not using suicide bombing and this is something completely bizzarre and despised in the Afghan culture which prides itself in valor in battle. The Taliban who have been under the influence of al-Qa`eda for the past 15 years are using suicide bombing. Before that no Afghan ever did such a despicable thing.

    This myth of “Charlie Wilson’s War” that the Afghans defeated the Soviets because of a Congressman from Dallas, TX is just that: A myth. The international community did nothing for the Afghans until nearly 7 years into the 10 year conflict. Did the United States assist the Afghans when they defeated the Mongols in the time of Kublai Khan? Did the United States assist the Afghans when they defeated the British empire and won technical independence decades before the rest of India did? Did the United States assist the Afghans when they defeated Czarist Russia? The list goes on. The Afghan culture itself is prohibitive of abuses against non-combatants and, as can be gleaned from their track record, it seems that Allah appreciates that.

    Allah knows best.

  113. Amad

    January 8, 2009 at 11:02 AM

    “shibli-fan”, your comments stopped being funny after the first one. Future sarcastic comments will be removed.

    Shibli,we let a lot your comments stay here, parts of which were quite personal and condescending in nature too. So, the complicity argument is a difficult one to make.

    And I should also add that my comment about being careful of internet personalities, was indeed general. You are not the only one on this thread or around the net whose bio is not known to everyone. You have to stop taking everything personally. I don’t think any of us have any personal vendettas against you or anyone else here for that matter. You have had positive contributions to this forum before.

    Also, tone matters (I know because I have the most problems on that); that’s probably why even though Enosh is making virtually the same argument as you, he is getting less flak because he has been respectful.

    Since we continue to write (talk) past each other, I have nothing to add on the actual issue… may Allah forgive us all and increase the love between all of us.

    wasalam

    P.S. Enosh, your comment about Hamas deliberately targeting civilians instead of combatants is a misunderstanding and part of the Israeli propaganda. But I am not going to argue with you on that.

  114. Shibli Zaman

    January 8, 2009 at 11:08 AM

    Analytical said:

    Also, I wonder if this hadeeth has any bearing on exempting the Gaza fighters?

    Saheeh Muslim
    Book 019, Hadith Number 4321.
    Chapter : Permissibility of killing women and children in the night raids, provided it is not deliberate.

    It is reported on the authority of Sa’b b. Jaththama that the Prophet of Allah (may peace be upon him), when asked about the women and children of the polytheists being killed during the night raid, said: They are from them.

    So unless one of the mind-readers here can prove that the Gazans are intentionally targeting civilians, then i think its really a non-issue.

    Imam Malik used the following hadeeth as general evidence to the illegality of killing women and children; Ibn ‘Umar (رضي الله عنهم) said:

    “A woman was found killed in one of the battles of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم), so the Prophet banned the killing of women and children.” [Narrated by Bukhari, Muslim, Ibn Majah, At Tirmidhee and Abu Dawoo, and others]

    The Shafi`is, Hanafis and Hanbalis also all agreed that this is the general guideline for war. The Hanbalis are even more vigilant in this regard and if time permits when I return home I will provide some quotes from the Hanbali books of Fiqh.

    Hafidh Ibn Hajar (رحمهم الله) says concerning the “هم منهم” hadith above in Fath al-Bari that this is not a license to kill the innocents but a consolation for those who accidentally kill innocents due to their being mixed with the enemy DURING BATTLE AMONGST THE ENEMY. This is talking about nurses and “water boys” and squiers and, perhaps, family members who willfully joined their menfolk in the soldiers’ ranks.

    The fact that they found women and children dead amongst them caused them concern, and they asked the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) about it. But the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) knew that it was unintentional. He was consoling them for something they did inadvertently and could not avoid.

    As much as the Sahaba (رضي الله عنهم) had been oppressed and lost their family members due to the blockades of the Quraysh they were still dismayed and distressed when they found that they had accidentally killed women and children from the enemy’s ranks. Compare that to Hamas’ Mahmoud Zahar’s statement:

    “They have legitimised the murder of their own children by killing the children of Palestine…”

    These are not people coming from the same religious understanding.

  115. Shibli Zaman

    January 8, 2009 at 12:25 PM

    Regarding the Hadith mentioned above it is also important to mention that MANY of the Sahaba were of the opinion that this was teh final time that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) would tolerate casualties amongst the women and children. It is said that after the Battle of Hunayn he completely forbade it, even censuring “collateral damage”.

    Strong evidence for this is the chronology of the different Ahadith on the subject. The Hadith where the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) saw the woman killed and became enraged was from Fath Makkah, a very late stage. This is why al-Zuhri used some borderline permissible explanatory Idraj to the “Hum min-hum” Hadith saying “Thereafter, he forbade the killing of women and children” (ثم نهى رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم بعد ذلك عن قتل النساء والصبيان ).

    Furthermore, Imams Malik and al-Awza`i (رحمهما الله) are reported to have said:

    لا يجوز قتل النساء والصبيان بحال حتى لو تترس أهل الحرب بالنساء والصبيان أو تحصنوا بحصن أو سفينة وجعلوا معهم النساء والصبيان لم يجز رميهم ولا تحريقهم.

    “It is not permissible to kill women and children unless the army is mixed with women and children, or if there are passengers on a steed or transport that has women and children with them. It is not permissible to target them with missiles nor burn them.”

    There’s a lot more in Ibn Hajar’s Fath al-Bari which is EXTREMELY important in clarifying the misconceptions of these Ahadith misused by certain Muslim groups that want to fallaciously justify killing civilians. If someone could please translate late that paragraph and post it I think it would be of great benefit, insha’ Allah. My resources are limited posting these things away from home.

    Guys, the bottom line is that if you have a history of carelessness in regards to being vigilant to protect women and children in combat then Allah is not going to bless you with victory and it is likely that calamity will befall you. It is not the way of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم). The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said, “I have been sent to protect the 2 weak ones: Women and Children.” He didn’t say “Muslim Woman and Children”. He said “Women and Children”.

    Allah knows best.

  116. Ali Shehata

    January 8, 2009 at 5:52 PM

    As-salaam alaikum everyone,

    I don’t believe that there is any benefit to anyone of us trying to debate the fiqh of the assumed battle tactics of other people here in this commentary section. We are out of line in attempting to sift through hadith and fiqh books in this regards as none of us here are mujtahid scholars, and I believe if there was a mujtahid here that he would defer the issue to those who have intimate knowledge of the circumstances and not to people sitting in the lap of luxury thousands of miles away. The stark reality brothers and sisters is that there have been and continue to be mujtahid scholars in that part of the world who hold variant opinions, and in deference and respect to them we should remember the hadith of the Prophet (saas) in Sahih al-Bukhari wherein he said:

    Narrated ‘Amr ibnal-‘Aas that he heard the Messenger of Allah saying, “If a judge gives a verdict according to the best of his knowledge and his verdict is correct he will receive a double reward, and if he gives a verdict according to the best of his knowledge and his verdict is wrong, even then he will get a reward .”

    The purpose of this post in particular was to explore how our own sins are contributing to our deplorable condition. So, as the author, it is sad to see people ignoring that matter in particular and increasing in sin through attacking one another and speaking to one another with disregard, disrespect and without manners. If you are interested in debating war philosophy then this is not the right website for you and you should go and wrangle elsewhere. I have repeatedly attempted to explain to some of you that I personally feel that 1) it is not my place as a low level student of knowledge to comment on some of the grand issues under comment right now, and 2) that I feel that no one here, unless he is blogging from his laptop direct from Gaza after a meeting with the leadership there, has sufficient knowledge of the circumstances to comment.

    Those of you who apparently have some Islamic knowledge should then remember that silence is golden in such cases. We are not better than the Sahaba who in far lesser circumstances would remain silent. We are not better than those great Sahaba who stayed out of the fitnah between Ali and Mu’aawiya and remained silent and avoided disparaging one side or the other, remembering the bonds and right of brotherhood they should keep. I am 110% certain that no one here on this website agrees with or supports the killing of innocent civilians and this has been our policy since the website started; so let us leave the issue of tactics at that and get back to the road we have strayed from which is to improve our own souls before what is happening there comes to our own doorstep.

    For those that see this as a matter of commanding good and forbidding evil, then again you are voicing your concerns to the wrong people (preaching to the choir). I have not seen anyone here recommending, commending or agreeing with the intentional targeting of civilians. So your words are directed in the wrong place. If you sincerely seek to command the good and forbid the evil, then you should direct your comments to an organization that is involved in the region and can get your concerns to the right people. Since I have no contact whatsoever with anyone in those organizations deemed terrorist groups by the US State Dept, I cannot help you with how to get your concerns heard.

    So, remember – this is about what you can practically do to help the general condition of the Ummah and it involves looking inward first. I, for one, am not done with that process of self-purification and I am in no need of heaping even more sin upon my already large pile by abusing any other person who says laa ilaaha illallah. I am concerned more at the moment with accounting my own soul rather than accounting the souls of those thousands of miles away with whose condition I am not intimately aware. I would humbly recommend that you all do the same, and Allah knows best.

    يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَلْتَنظُرْ نَفْسٌ مَّا قَدَّمَتْ لِغَدٍ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ

    O you who believe! Fear Allah, and let every soul look to what (provision) He has sent forth for tomorrow. Indeed, fear Allah! For Allah is well-acquainted with (all) that you do. [59:18]

  117. Algebra

    January 8, 2009 at 6:04 PM

    Aslamu-alalikum:
    @Ali Shehata said:

    THANK YOU FOR RESTORING THE SANITY………………
    AS ALWAYS YOUR WORDS ARE FULL OF WISDOM AND GUIDANCE.
    MashAllah
    Definately a SENIOR
    salam

  118. IbnAbbas

    January 8, 2009 at 6:49 PM

    Wa’laikum assalam shaykh Ali Shehata,

    jazakallah khair for your response. fully agree with you. I think sometimes the comments section should be strictly monitored to avoid people diverting the topic by bringing in unnecessarily ‘criticism’. when that happens, obviously people are likely to react in an unpleasant manner and then leads to personal remarks etc. As the shaykh rightly mentioned, if you want to voice your opinion in an effort to forbid the evil on this issue, then this is not the right place.

  119. Algebra

    January 8, 2009 at 7:25 PM

    InshAllah I am not going to any other blog. To tell you the TRUTH i like this website it offeres many different viewpoints just like i have with my brothers and sisters…….. but they are all gone to college(brothers) and sisters are all married……….
    Some of you guys are like a family to me and i get to talk and sometimes vent(sorry) so i am not going anywhere but staying here. InshAllah.
    salam

  120. UmmA

    January 9, 2009 at 9:24 PM

    nice article…
    again some people have too much time to criticize and criticize…

  121. Isra

    January 12, 2009 at 3:58 PM

    JazakAllah khair…you writing is inspirational. May Allah keep you steadfast and please keep posting =)

  122. Asad

    January 16, 2009 at 6:00 PM

    Jazak Allah Khair for the well written article and subsequent comments. Very beneficial.

  123. Mustafa

    January 21, 2009 at 12:02 PM

    There was debate on here about killing civilians. Here is a video clip which has a passage from a Hamas leader read out. if you dont want to watch all of it then please forward to 9mins.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E2OR0Jrs6Jo&feature=related

  124. Enosh

    January 21, 2009 at 6:41 PM

    salam, so Mustafa what’s the point? Hamas targets civillians, which goes against Islam. They state this openly saying when Isreal targets our civilians we target theres. That is still wrong. They just shoot the rocket into some city, they don’t aim it at any military posts(they probally don’t even know where they are), or like a few years ago they just suicide bomb some cofee shop in Isreal < they knew who they where killing there.

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