How Times Have Changed In the Deterioration of Societies – Its Reasons and its Solution


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


Shaikh ‘Abdul-‘Azeez bin Baaz (rahimahullaah) said: “Society is in the utmost need of rectification, the Islamic society as well as the non Islamic society. It is known that the factors in which lie the rectification of the Islamic society as well as the non Islamic society are the very factors which were established by the Imam of the Messengers and the seal of the Prophets (upon him be the finest extolment and peace and security from his Lord) and that which his noble companions stood with.”[1]


The Apparent Nature of the Circumstances of the People


Ibn Muflih al-Maqdisee (rahimahullaah) said: “From the strange things which I disapprove of from the circumstances of the people is: the frequency of that which they lament over with regard to the devastation of the lands, and the death of relatives and forefathers, and the bemoaning over livelihood through vilification of the era and its people whilst citing the embittered misery of subsistence within it.

Yet they have seen the razing of Islaam and the disintegration of the religions and the death of the Sunan and the manifestation of innovations and embarking upon sins and assailing in the void – of no avail, as well as in that which is repulsive and brings about ruination and is a cause of harm.

Nonetheless I find no one from them who laments over his religion, or cries over that which has bygone from his lifetime, or one who is saddened over the passing of his time, and I do not see a reason for that except their scant concern with religions, and the magnitude of the life of this world in their eyes – the very opposite of what the pious predecessors had been upon.”[2]


Factors Which Brought About Such Circumstances


The factors which form the reasons in the deterioration and corruption of people and societies are illustrated by Imaam Ibn al-Qayyim (rahimahullaah) who said:

“When the people turned away from arbitral decision to the Book and the Sunnah and of litigation (judgment) to them, and held a view of being devoid in satisfaction in them both, and so they deflected to opinions and logical conclusions and favourable views and the statements of the elders, there was to become demonstrated for them due to that a corruptness in their natural dispositions and a darkness in their hearts and a turbidity in their understandings and an obliteration in their intellects. These very affairs then became commonly prevalent upon them, and gained ascendancy over them, such that the young became raised and cultivated within it and the elders grew into old age upon it – and consequently they do not see it as an outrageous abomination!

As such there came to them an alternative state, in it innovations were established in place of the Sunan, and the soul (self) in place of the intellect, and desires in place of the correct course, and misguidance in place of guidance, and vice in place of virtue, and ignorance in place of knowledge, and ostentatiousness in place of sincerity, and falsehood in place of the truth, and lies in place of honesty, and dissimulation in place of advice, and oppression in place of justice. Therefore the power and predominance became set for these affairs, and its people – they are the ones who are referred to, whilst before that it had been for its opposites, and its people – they were the ones who were referred to.

The earth quakes, and the sky has darkened, and corruption has appeared upon the land and the sea due to the wrongdoings of the wicked. The blessings have departed and goodness has become sparse and the wild animals have become emaciated and life has become distressful from the wickedness of the wrongdoers, the light of day weeps as does the darkness of night at the foul deeds and atrocious actions.

This is – by Allaah a warner of a torrent of punishment whose clouds have convened, and an announcer of a night of affliction whose darkness has become deep black, so retreat from the path of this torrent, through sincere repentance – for as long as repentance is possible, and its door remains open.”[3]


The Solution


Shaikh ‘Abdul-‘Azeez bin Baaz (rahimahullaah) said: “There is no way to rectify the Ummah and for its salvation and for its unity in statement except by way of its uniting upon the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of the Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and co-operating upon that, He, The Most High, said:

وَاعْتَصِمُوا بِحَبْلِ اللَّهِ جَمِيعًا وَلَا تَفَرَّقُوا

((And hold firmly to the rope of Allaah all together and do not become divided.)) (Aal-‘Imraan: 103)


And He, The Glorified, said:

وَتَعَاوَنُوا عَلَى الْبِرِّ وَالتَّقْوَىٰ ۖ وَلَا تَعَاوَنُوا عَلَى الْإِثْمِ وَالْعُدْوَانِ

((And cooperate upon Birr [righteousness] and Taqwa [piety and dutifulness], but do not cooperate upon sin and transgression.)) (Al-Maa-idah: 2)


So it is obligatory upon the Muslims in the east of the earth as well as in its west that they co-operate upon righteousness and piety and dutifulness, and they exhort one another with the truth and with patience upon it, and that they hold on firmly to the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Prophet (‘alaihis-salaatu wa-salaam) in all affairs.

For this is the path of salvation and the way of (attaining) bliss and the path of honour and noble dignity and victory over the enemies, so in this path and this way is every good in the life of this world and in the Hereafter.”[4]


The Shaikh mentioned likewise: “These are the factors which our Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) stood with in Makkah firstly, then in Al-Madeenah, and that the latter part of this Ummah (nation) will not be rectified except with that which it was rectified with in its first part. Meaning: That which it was rectified with in its first part was by way of following the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His noble Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam), it is that which will rectify its latter part until the Day of Resurrection.

Whoever wishes to rectify the Islamic society or the other societies in this world through other than the way and means and factors that the first ones were rectified with, then he has erred, and spoken with other than the truth. Rather the only way to rectifying the people and their establishment upon the correct way is the path which our Prophet (‘alaihis-salaatu was-salaam) proceeded upon in degrees, and which his noble companions proceeded upon in degrees, then those that followed them upon excellence until this day of ours.”[5]


Shaikh ‘Abdur-Rahmaan as-Sa’dee (rahimahullaah) said: “Hearts that are void of Eemaan, disengaged from submissiveness and compliance to Him (Allaah) – in that they are severed from Allaah, then it is a must that they follow their whims and their desires, and due to that the circumstances in their entirety are rendered corrupt.

This is a manifest distinct proof upon the fact that rectitude in religion and in the life of this world is conditional upon the establishment of the Islamic religion.”[6]


Finally; as long as a person remains living, it is never too late to rectify that which has passed, and with the rectification of individuals comes the rectitude of societies, and a betterment of our era, and once an individual understands its significance, then one should adhere to it as much as possible, since in it lies a promise of success.

Imaam Ibn al-Qayyim (rahimahullaah) said:[7] “Once those who are granted enablement became aware of the value of the worldly life, and of the sparseness of the life of this world and of the paucity of residence within it, they then deadened the desires within it – in pursuit of the everlasting life. When they awoke from the sleep of heedlessness, they made retraction through endeavour in that which the enemy had once snatched away from them in the time of idleness, so when the path becomes elongated upon them, they refer to the purpose, and so that which is distant is rendered near for them, and every time life becomes bitter for them, a sweetness is afforded for them in the reminder that:

هَٰذَا يَوْمُكُمُ الَّذِي كُنتُمْ تُوعَدُونَ

((This is your Day which you were promised.)) (Al-Anbiyaa: 103)”




[1] Abridged from Majmu’ Fataawa vol 1 p.243-244

[2] Adaab ash-Shar’iyyah vol 3 p.240

[3] Al-Fawaa-id p.65-66

[4] Majmu’ Fataawa vol 6 p.162

[5] Abridged from Majmu’ Fataawa vol 1 p.244

[6] Usool ‘Adheemah min Qawaa’id al-Islaam p.68

[7] As occurs in Al-Fawaa-id p.62

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