Scholarly Advice to the Muslims of Europe Regarding the Caricature of the Prophet & the Instances in Which Forbidding an Evil is Applied Incorrectly

 

الحمد لله رب العالمين، وصلى الله وسلم على نبينا محمد وعلى آله وأصحابه أجمعين،  أما بعد

 

In response to the unfortunate Danish cartoon depiction and its subsequent publication in the year 2005 of the Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) – the best of mankind and the seal of the Prophets; some of the scholars of Islaam spoke in order to provide advice and guidance to the Muslims with regards to how to deal with this affair.

Such advice and guidance is highly relevant today in light of the recent events in Paris – France of the publication of similar depictions and of the events which followed. As taking the advice and direction of the upright scholars only serves to lead the Muslims to their prosperity and well-fare as well as maintaining peacefulness and social cohesion if such advice was put into practice and implemented.

From those scholars who gave advice on this topic was the eminent scholar; Shaikh Ahmad bin Yahyaa An-Najmi (rahimahullaah) who wrote in a piece of advice dated 12/01/1427H (11/02/2006CE) in which he stated:

“Then it is not hidden from every individual who has any familiarity with the Muhammadi (i.e Prophetic) legislation from amongst the Muslims of the lofty station of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) as well as his elevated status. For it is he upon whom the Qur’aan was revealed and was made dominant over all of the books (revealed) before. Likewise every messengership was sealed by way of his messengership, and he was given that which none from the Prophets had been given.

He is entrusted with the Praiseworthy Station and it is the great intercession during the decision of judgement, and it is when all of the firmly resolved ones from the Messengers will excuse themselves – and he (salawaatu Rabbi wa salaamuhu ‘alaihi) will stand with it. He is the holder of the great Lake to which people will be led, where his nation shall arrive at, he is entrusted with the tide banner under which all of the Messengers shall be gathered (salawaatullaahi wa salaamuhu ‘alaihim ajma’een). It is he who shall open the door to Paradise; and he has (many) exclusive privileges, however we will not prolong their mention.

For Allaah, The Mighty and Majestic has indeed forbidden His servants – in that any one of them should place himself above him; or that one should put himself before him. He also forbade them from raising their voices above his voice or to be loud to him in speech the like of their speaking aloud to one another. He informed likewise that this necessitates the annulment of their actions. Therefore He, The Majestic is The One Who said:

In the Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تُقَدِّمُوا بَيْنَ يَدَيِ اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ ۖ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ 

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَرْفَعُوا أَصْوَاتَكُمْ فَوْقَ صَوْتِ النَّبِيِّ وَلَا تَجْهَرُوا لَهُ بِالْقَوْلِ كَجَهْرِ بَعْضِكُمْ لِبَعْضٍ أَن تَحْبَطَ أَعْمَالُكُمْ وَأَنتُمْ لَا تَشْعُرُونَ

((O you who believe, do not put [yourselves] before Allaah and His Messenger, and fear Allaah. Indeed Allaah is All-Hearing, All-Knowing. O you who believe, do not raise your voices above the voice of the Prophet or be loud to him in speech like the loudness of some of you to others, lest your deeds become worthless while you perceive not.)) (Al-Hujuraat: 1-2)

 

It is obligatory upon every Muslim that he should venerate the Messenger with the right of veneration; as well as to revere him with the right of revering, and to respect him with the right of great respect. Since one cannot enter Paradise except through his way, nor is an action accepted from anyone except after having Eemaan (belief) in him. Allaah, The Most High said:

 يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ إِنَّا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ شَاهِدًا وَمُبَشِّرًا وَنَذِيرًا

وَدَاعِيًا إِلَى اللَّهِ بِإِذْنِهِ وَسِرَاجًا مُّنِيرًا

وَبَشِّرِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ بِأَنَّ لَهُم مِّنَ اللَّهِ فَضْلًا كَبِيرًا

وَلَا تُطِعِ الْكَافِرِينَ وَالْمُنَافِقِينَ وَدَعْ أَذَاهُمْ وَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّهِ ۚ وَكَفَىٰ بِاللَّهِ وَكِيلًا

((O Prophet, indeed We have sent you as a witness and a bringer of glad tidings and a warner. And one who invites to Allaah, by His permission, and an illuminating lamp. And give glad tidings to the believers that they will receive from Allaah a great bounty. And do not obey the disbelievers and the hypocrites and do not harm them, and place your reliance upon Allaah. And sufficient is Allaah as a Wakeel [Disposer of affairs].)) (Al-Ahzaab: 45-48)

 

The price of Paradise is: in obeying him and in following him, Allaah, The Most High said:

 قُلْ إِن كُنتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللَّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِي يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللَّهُ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ ۗ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

((Say; “If you love Allaah, then follow me, Allaah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allaah is Oft-Forgiving; The Bestower of Mercy.”)) (Aal-‘Imraan: 31)

 

He, The Glorified and Most High said likewise:

وَمَن يُطِعِ اللَّهَ وَالرَّسُولَ فَأُولَٰئِكَ مَعَ الَّذِينَ أَنْعَمَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِم مِّنَ النَّبِيِّينَ وَالصِّدِّيقِينَ وَالشُّهَدَاءِ وَالصَّالِحِينَ ۚ وَحَسُنَ أُولَٰئِكَ رَفِيقًا

 ذَٰلِكَ الْفَضْلُ مِنَ اللَّهِ ۚ وَكَفَىٰ بِاللَّهِ عَلِيمًا

((And whosoever obeys Allaah and the Messenger then they will be in the company of those upon whom Allaah has bestowed His Grace, from the Prophets, and the Siddeeqeen [true and sincere followers who attest to the truth], and the martyrs, and the righteous, and how excellent are they as companions. That is the bounty from Allaah, and sufficient is Allaah as Knower.)) (An-Nisaa: 69-70)

 

As for advice to the Muslims that are in the lands of the disbelievers; then it is obligatory upon them that they object to the actions of these transgressing oppressive disbelievers through legislated means; and that they should write an objection over this country and over this company which distributed the caricature. Hence they should be plentiful in sending objections, so every group should write an objection as well as sending a cablegram (i.e. a correspondence) of objection to the head of state in which this abomination had occurred. Likewise they should send a copy of the objection as well as a copy of the cablegram of objection whether that be in the same country or in other countries from the countries that do not believe.

Just as it is obligatory upon the Muslim countries that every country sends a detailed objection in which it clarifies Islaam’s being free of this extreme ideology, along with a cablegram of objection. Likewise that they withdraw their ambassador resident in that country from which this act emanated and to expel the ambassador of that country from its own country.

As for the Muslim minorities that reside in the Scandinavian countries or in the countries of Europe; then they should suffice with objection and in sending a cablegram of objection. Likewise they should adhere strictly to peacefulness and be committed to exercising patience despite what they manifest from anger over that, this being in such a way that the insolent ones in that country should not find an opening upon the Muslims through which they then seek to harm them by way of.

Allaah, The Glorified and Most High said to His Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) in teaching him as well as his nation in Soorah Al-An’aam:

وَإِذَا رَأَيْتَ الَّذِينَ يَخُوضُونَ فِي آيَاتِنَا فَأَعْرِضْ عَنْهُمْ حَتَّىٰ يَخُوضُوا فِي حَدِيثٍ غَيْرِهِ ۚ وَإِمَّا يُنسِيَنَّكَ الشَّيْطَانُ فَلَا تَقْعُدْ بَعْدَ الذِّكْرَىٰ مَعَ الْقَوْمِ الظَّالِمِينَ

وَمَا عَلَى الَّذِينَ يَتَّقُونَ مِنْ حِسَابِهِم مِّن شَيْءٍ وَلَٰكِن ذِكْرَىٰ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَّقُونَ

((And when you see those who engage in false discourse concerning Our verses, then turn away from them until they enter into another conversation. And if Satan should cause you to forget, then do not sit after the reminder with the people of wrongdoing. And those who fear Allaah are not held accountable for them [the disbelievers] at all, but [only for] a reminder – that perhaps they may be fearful [of Him].)) (Al-An’aam: 68-69)”

 

(Taken from: Majmu’ Ar-Rasaa-il p.241-246)

 

Forbidding or Changing an Evil Must be Done in Light of Correct Understanding and Guidance and With Wisdom

 

Shaikh Muhammad bin Saalih Al-‘Uthaimeen (rahimahullaah) said:

“There are from amongst the people those who are not deterred except through harsh reprimand, however the harsh reprimand that does not serve any rectitude, nor does it bring about except that which is more evil; then it is impermissible to utilize it – because what is obligatory is to follow wisdom. The harsh reprimand that has beating and punitive discipline and detention is for the rulers in authority, as for the general people; then upon them is to clarify the truth and to forbid the evil.

As for changing the evil especially with the hand (i.e. physically), then this is entrusted upon the rulers in authority, and they are the ones upon whom it is obligatory to change the vice in accordance to their ability, this is because they are responsible over this affair.

If the person intended to change an evil every time he saw an evil, then corruption would result from this. For this reason it is obligatory to follow wisdom in this affair, you are able to change an evil in the house in which you govern with your own hand. However; changing the evil by use of the hand in the marketplace – its result could be much worse than the continuity of this evil. It is compulsory upon you that you notify those that possess the means to change this evil in the marketplace.”

 

(Taken from: Mawsu’atul Ahkaam wal-Fatawaa Ash-Shar’iyyah p.1348)

 

Instances in Which Incorrect Applications are Applied When Forbidding or Changing an Evil

 

Shaikh Saalih Al-Fawzaan (hafidhahullaah) said:

 

“Mistaken practices when changing an evil can be summarized as the following:

 

1. That the one who one attempts to change the evil has no knowledge of that which is permissible and impermissible, and that which is an evil and that which is not an evil. This individual does more to corrupt than he does to rectify. He may also forbid something permitted or permit something forbidden, nor would he be able to ward off a doubt which would be posed to him. Therefore it is a must that the one who attempts it is knowledgeable of what he is commanding with as well as being knowledgeable of that which he is forbidding from. He should be able to debate with that which is better and be able to ward off any doubts presented to him from the people of desires and distortions.

2.  Or that the one who attempts to change the evil is someone who does not possess wisdom and an ability to put things in their correct places as well as sequencing priorities. For he may attempt to object to a small evil whilst there is that which is greater than it and more deserving of commencing with in changing it. Or that he attempts to change an evil and replaces it with an evil greater than it, therefore it is a must to have wisdom in that.

3. Or that one attempts to change the evil by means of harsh reprimand and severity, then he encounters the like of that or worse. Hence the intent has not been achieved, therefore it is a must that the one commanding and forbidding should be gentle in that which he commands as well as being gentle in that which he forbids.

4. Or that the one who attempts to forbid the evil and to change it is one who does not exercise patience and endurance, therefore he will be severed at the very beginning of the way and will abandon the act of attempting to make change because he would be afflicted with despair. So it is a must that the one commanding and forbidding should have patience and endurance. He, The Most High said:

وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالْحَقِّ وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالصَّبْرِ

((And enjoin one another with the truth and enjoin one another with patient perseverance.)) (Al-‘Asr: 3)

 

He, The Most High said regarding Luqmaan (when he said to his son):

يَا بُنَيَّ أَقِمِ الصَّلَاةَ وَأْمُرْ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَانْهَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَاصْبِرْ عَلَىٰ مَا أَصَابَكَ ۖ إِنَّ ذَٰلِكَ مِنْ عَزْمِ الْأُمُورِ

((O my son; establish the prayer and enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong, and be patient over what befalls you. Indeed, that is from the affairs of determination.)) (Luqmaan: 17)

 

5. Or that the one who attempts that is unacquainted with the levels of forbiddance which the Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) made clear, so he may descend to a level when he could have achieved the one before it; or that he rises to a level whilst he is not from its people.

6. There may be hastiness found with some of those that enjoin the good in some important affairs, in that he may have undertakings in which he does not refer back to the people of knowledge and understanding and council, those that establish a careful study of affairs and are knowledgeable of everything along with that which is appropriate for it. Encroaching upon this type of error or in something of it hinders the expanse of enjoining the good and forbidding the evil, it may also bring about affairs of an opposite nature; and it may bring results which are insufficient.

As an example, the one who attempts to forbid a small evil and leaves an evil greater than it, then his action did not result in any great benefit. So the one who leaves off forbidding shirk and innovations and instead forbids the consuming of interest and of the unveiling (of women) and other than that from the affairs of a nature of which there are things that are found to be greater than them.

So it would be that he began at the very end of the route and so attempted to remedy a body that is void of a head and so opposes the methodology of the Prophets (‘alaihimus salaatu was salaam). They (the Prophets) used to begin by forbidding that which was most important and then the next in importance, they would begin with the forbiddance of shirk and the worship of other than Allaah, hence when they had rectified the beliefs firstly – then they would turn to forbidding the other sins.

Take this as an example in the methodology of our Prophet Muhammad (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), he remained in Makkah renouncing and forbidding shirk and remained calling to Tawheed for thirteen years before he forbade usury and fornication and the drinking of wine and before he commanded with the prayer and of giving the zakaat.”

 

(Taken from: Al-Mutaqaa min Fatawa Fadheelati Ash-Shaikh Saalih Al-Fawzaan vol 1 p.344-347)

 

 

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