All praises are for Allah, I testify that none has the right to be worshipped except Him alone without any partners, He has full control over everything in the heavens and everything upon the earth. I also testify that Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم is His slave and messenger, who was sent with the true way of life (Islaam), which would be the only way accepted as a salvation for the human being during his short span in this world. We beseech Allah to send His blessings upon him صلى الله عليه و سلم his family and his companions رضي الله عنهم as to what proceeds:
Then know that the best speech is the book of Allah, and the best guidance is the way of His messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم and the worst of affairs are the newly invented matters in this noble religion of Islaam, for every invented matter is termed an innovation, and every innovation is a going astray, and every going astray leads to the fire of hell.
So know oh reader that Allah’s favors upon you are so many that you would never be able to count them, this is why he has informed us in his book:
وَآتَاكُم مِّن كُلِّ مَا سَأَلْتُمُوهُ وَإِن تَعُدُّوا نِعْمَتَ اللهِ لَا تُحْصُوهَا إِنَّ الْإِنسَانَ لَظَلُومٌ كَفَّارٌ
And He gave you all that you asked Him for. Were you to count the favors of Allah you shall never be able to encompass them. Verily man is highly unjust, exceedingly ungrateful.
(Ibraheem, verse 34)
Know may Allah have mercy upon you that we are to thank Him for the great favor of having good health and abundant sustenance. Therefore showing gratitude to Allah upon all these favors He has blessed us with can be summarized into three affairs which the prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم clarified to us in a Hadeeth that is collected by Imaam Muslim in his authentic collection, Imaam Bukhaari in his book ‘Adaabul Mufrad’, Imaam Maalik in his book ‘Muwata’, Imaam Ahmad in his sunan and Ibn Hibaan on the authority of Abu
Hurayrah رضي الله عنه that the prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said:
“إن الله يرضى لكم ثلاثا: أن تعبدوه و لا تشركوا به شيئا، و أن تعتصموا بحبل الله جميعا و لا تفرقوا و أن تناصحوا من ولاه الله أمركم“
“Indeed Allah becomes pleased with you in three affairs, that you worship Him alone and do not commit shirk with Him whatsoever, that you hold on altogether by the rope of Allah and not be separated and that you all advise the one who He has placed in authority over your affairs“
So these are the three affairs which brings you everything that is good and with which you can continue safeguarding Allah’s favors upon yourselves.
The three affairs are:
- You worship Allah alone and do not commit shirk (polytheism).
- You hold on altogether by the rope of Allah, and do not be divided.
- You advise the one Allah has placed in authority over your affairs.
First affair: Worship Allah and do not commit shirk (polytheism)
If we were to look at the first affair that the prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said:
أن تعبدوه و لا تشركوا به شيئا
“Worship Allah and do not commit shirk (polytheism)”
Then know this was the call of all the prophets and the messengers, from the first of them being Noah عليه الصلاة و السلام to the last of them being Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم which is to direct all worship to Allah alone without committing shirk (polytheism) and to totally leave off every type of worship for other the Him.
Allah informs us in his book:
وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا مِن قَبْلِكَ مِن رَّسُولٍ إِلَّا نُوحِي إِلَيْهِ أَنَّهُ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا أَنَا فَاعْبُدُونِ
Never did We send any Messenger before you to whom We did not reveal: “There is no god but Me. So serve Me alone.”
(Al Anbiyaa, verse 25)
And Allah informs us:
وَلَقَدْ بَعَثْنَا فِي كُلِّ أُمَّةٍ رَّسُولًا أَنِ اعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ وَاجْتَنِبُوا الطَّاغُوتَ فَمِنْهُم مَّنْ هَدَى اللَّهُ وَمِنْهُم مَّنْ حَقَّتْ عَلَيْهِ الضَّلَالَةُ فَسِيرُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ فَانظُرُوا كَيْفَ كَانَ عَاقِبَةُ الْمُكَذِّبِينَ
We raised a Messenger in every community (to tell them): “Serve Allah and shun the Evil One.” Thereafter Allah guided some of them while others were overtaken by error. Go about the earth, then, and observe what was the end of those who rejected the Messengers, calling them liars.
(An Nahl, verse 36)
And Allah says:
لَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا نُوحًا إِلَىٰ قَوْمِهِ فَقَالَ يَا قَوْمِ اعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ مَا لَكُم مِّنْ إِلَٰهٍ غَيْرُهُ إِنِّي أَخَافُ عَلَيْكُمْ عَذَابَ يَوْمٍ عَظِيمٍ
Indeed We sent forth Noah to his people, and he said: “O my people! Serve Allah, you have no other god than Him. Indeed I fear for you the chastisement of an awesome Day.”
(Al Araaf, verse 59)
And Allah says:
إِنَّا أَرْسَلْنَا نُوحًا إِلَىٰ قَوْمِهِ أَنْ أَنذِرْ قَوْمَكَ مِن قَبْلِ أَن يَأْتِيَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ
We sent Noah to his people (and directed him): “Warn your people before a grievous chastisement comes upon them.”
(Nuh, verse 1)
So this is what is known as sincerity in the Deen of Allah and that is:
ترك الشرك و إفراد الله جل و علا بالعبادة
Leaving off shirk and singling out Allah The Noble and High with worship
This is the foundation of what we are commanded with and it is the foundation of the religion, it is also the foundation for safety and stability. Never did the Muslims come together as one group after jaahiliyah (ignorance) except that the foundation for them coming together was based upon Tawheed and never did they separated and divided except that the cause for this separation and division was that they neglected Tawheed.
Know that Allah has clarified this principle of Tawheed and Ikhlaas in a manner so clear and easy for the normal layman to understand, even a child understands the concept of Tawheed. An individual doesn’t have to be highly intellectual to understand this principle because Allah made it extremely clear in his book for every human being, and because it is the foundation which the religion is built upon, for example Allah says:
واعبدوا الله و لا تشركوا به شيئا
“Worship Allah alone and do not ascribe partners to Him”
(An Nisaa,verse 36)
So I direct you to inspect this verse does it take a highly intellectual person to understand this concept or principle? لا والله no by Allah it doesn’t, and that is because it is a simple principle which Allah and his messenger have clarified in the most clearest manner.
Second affair: Hold on altogether by the rope of Allah and do not be divided
Now let’s look at the second affair from these three affairs which Allah becomes pleased with, and that is, the messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم said:
و أن تعتصموا بحبل الله جميعا و لا تفرقوا
“And hold on altogether by the rope of Allah, and do not be divided”
Shaykh Fawzaan حفظه الله تعالى and others from among the scholars of The Salaf As Saalih said about the rope of Allah:
أن تعتصموا بحبل الله اي القران و السنة
“What is meant by holding on to the rope of Allah, is holding on to the Quraan and the Sunnah”
So we hold on to the rope of Allah, the Quraan and the Sunnah because this is where we are going to find that which Allah has made Halaal (permissible) and Haraam (impermissible) for us, as Allah says:
كُلُّ الطَّعَامِ كَانَ حِلًّا لِّبَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ إِلَّا مَا حَرَّمَ إِسْرَائِيلُ عَلَىٰ نَفْسِهِ مِن قَبْلِ أَن تُنَزَّلَ التَّوْرَاةُ
All food (that is lawful in the Law revealed to Muhammad) was lawful to the Children of Israel, except what Israel made unlawful to himself before the revelation of the Torah.
(Aal Imraan, verse 93)
Another example is when Allah said:
أُحِلَّ لَكُمْ لَيْلَةَ الصِّيَامِ الرَّفَثُ إِلَىٰ نِسَائِكُمْ هُنَّ لِبَاسٌ لَّكُمْ وَأَنتُمْ لِبَاسٌ لَّهُنَّ عَلِمَ اللَّهُ أَنَّكُمْ كُنتُمْ تَخْتَانُونَ أَنفُسَكُمْ فَتَابَ عَلَيْكُمْ وَعَفَا عَنكُمْ فَالْآنَ بَاشِرُوهُنَّ وَابْتَغُوا مَا كَتَبَ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ
It has been made lawful for you to go to your wives (relations) during the night of the fast. They are your garment, and you are theirs. Allah knows that you used to betray yourselves and He mercifully relented and pardoned you. So you may now associate intimately with your wives and benefit from the enjoyment Allah has made lawful for you.
(Al Baqarah, verse 187)
So this is how we are going find Allah legislations by holding on to the rope of Allah and the result is that, it is going to lead us to resolve our differences in a just manner.
If we were to look at the verse where Allah says:
“فَإِن تَنَازَعْتُمْ فِي شَيْءٍ فَرُدُّوهُ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَالرَّسُولِ إِن كُنتُمْ تُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ ذَٰلِكَ خَيْرٌ وَأَحْسَنُ تَأْوِيلًا“
“If you were to dispute among yourselves about anything, refer it to Allah and the Messenger, if you indeed believe in Allah and the Last Day, that is better and more commendable in the end”.
(An Nisaa, verse 59)
Then we would understand without wavering that Humans are naturally inclined to differing between themselves as Allah informs us in another verse:
“وَلَوْ شَاءَ رَبُّكَ لَجَعَلَ النَّاسَ أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً وَلَا يَزَالُونَ مُخْتَلِفِينَ“
“Had your Lord so willed, He would surely have made mankind one community. But as things stand, they will not cease to differ among themselves and to follow erroneous ways”
(Hud, verse 118)
But then Allah immediately says in the beginning of the next verse:
“إِلَّا مَن رَّحِمَ رَبُّكَ“
“Except for those on whom your Lord has shown mercy”
(Hud, verse 119)
Therefore it is safe to say, the people who go back to the foundation of the deen which is Tawheed, are the ones who are going to understand holding on to the rope of Allah, and they are they ones who are going to understand Allah’s legislations and prohibitions and they are the ones who will unite upon the correct creed as was the case of the Salaf Us Saalih.
Allah informs us:
“وَاعْتَصِمُوا بِحَبْلِ اللَّهِ جَمِيعًا وَلَا تَفَرَّقُوا وَاذْكُرُوا نِعْمَتَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ إِذْ كُنتُمْ أَعْدَاءً فَأَلَّفَ بَيْنَ قُلُوبِكُمْ فَأَصْبَحْتُم بِنِعْمَتِهِ إِخْوَانًا وَكُنتُمْ عَلَىٰ شَفَا حُفْرَةٍ مِّنَ النَّارِ فَأَنقَذَكُم مِّنْهَا كَذَٰلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ آيَاتِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَهْتَدُونَ“
“Hold fast together to the rope of Allah, and do not be divided. Remember the blessing that Allah bestowed upon you: you were once enemies, then He brought your hearts together, so that through His blessing you became brothers. You stood on the brink of a pit of fire and He delivered you from it. Thus Allah makes His Signs clear to you that you may be guided to the Right Way.”
(Aal Imraan, verse 103)
They are the ones who understand that this Ummah of the prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم is one Ummah and it is not permissible for them to separate and divide as Allah says:
إِنَّ هَٰذِهِ أُمَّتُكُمْ أُمَّةً وَاحِدَةً وَأَنَا رَبُّكُمْ فَاعْبُدُونِ
“Indeed your nation is one nation, and I am your lord, so worship me”
(Al Anbiyaa, verse 92)
And Allah says:
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ فَرَّقُوا دِينَهُمْ وَكَانُوا شِيَعًا لَّسْتَ مِنْهُمْ فِي شَيْءٍ إِنَّمَا أَمْرُهُمْ إِلَى اللَّهِ ثُمَّ يُنَبِّئُهُم بِمَا كَانُوا يَفْعَلُونَ
“Surely you have nothing to do with those who have made divisions in their religion and have split into factions. Their matter is with Allah and He will indeed tell them (in time) what they have been doing.”
(Al An’aam, verse 159)
And Allah says:
“شَرَعَ لَكُم مِّنَ الدِّينِ مَا وَصَّىٰ بِهِ نُوحًا وَالَّذِي أَوْحَيْنَا إِلَيْكَ وَمَا وَصَّيْنَا بِهِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَمُوسَىٰ وَعِيسَىٰ أَنْ أَقِيمُوا الدِّينَ وَلَا تَتَفَرَّقُوا فِيهِ كَبُرَ عَلَى الْمُشْرِكِينَ مَا تَدْعُوهُمْ إِلَيْهِ اللَّهُ يَجْتَبِي إِلَيْهِ مَن يَشَاءُ وَيَهْدِي إِلَيْهِ مَن يُنِيبُ“
“He has prescribed for you the religion which He enjoined upon Noah and which We revealed to you (O Muhammad), and which We enjoined upon Abraham and Moses and Jesus, commanding: “Establish this religion and do not split up regarding it.” What you are calling to is very hard upon those who associate others with Allah in His Divinity. Allah chooses for Himself whomsoever He pleases and guides to Himself whoever penitently turns to Him.”
(As Shura, verse 13)
So the means for holding on to the rope of Allah and not separating is understanding and implementing Tawheed. However it must be understood, that this is not holding on to anything that calls to uniting the masses of Muslims upon different beliefs, but it is uniting upon Allah’s book and the Sunnah of his messenger and it is returning all affairs back to the texts. As for those who claim that the differing of this Ummah is a mercy and that everyone should be upon the Madhab he chooses, or everyone has the freedom to choose whatever aqeedah he wants to be upon, then know that this speech is false. They have to bring evidence to support this claim, and as for them using the hadeeth:
اختلاف أمتي رحمة
“The differing of my Ummah is a mercy“
Then know that the above hadeeth is a fabricated hadeeth, and the differing of this Ummah is not a mercy, but it is a punishment, because Allah says:
وَلَا تَكُونُوا كَالَّذِينَ تَفَرَّقُوا وَاخْتَلَفُوا مِن بَعْدِ مَا جَاءَهُمُ الْبَيِّنَاتُ وَأُولَٰئِكَ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ
“Do not be like those who fell into factions and became opposed to one another after Clear Signs had come to them. A mighty chastisement awaits them”
(Aal Imraan, verse 105)
So differing scatters the hearts and it is not possible if this happens, that the Muslims would aid, help and co-operate with one another, but rather it causes hatred, enmity, tribalism and punishment. May Allah bring unification to the Muslims upon his book and the Sunnah of his Messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم
Third affair: That you should advise the one Allah has placed in authority over your affairs (The Muslim leaders)
Now let’s look at the third and last affair where Allah becomes pleased with his servants and this is when the messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه و سلم said in the end of the hadeeth:
و أن تناصحوا من ولاه الله أمركم
“(And that you should advise the one Allah has place in authority over your affairs (the Muslim leaders)”
The first thing we have to understand is that obedience to the one Allah has placed in authority over our affairs is Waajib (compulsory), Allah informs us:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُوا الرَّسُولَ وَأُولِي الْأَمْرِ مِنكُمْ
“Oh you who believe ,obey Allah, obey the Messenger and the leaders from amongst you”
(An Nisaa, verse 59)
So we see clearly in this verse Allah mentioning obedience to the leaders. Firstly His obedience, then the obedience of the messenger صلى الله عليه و سلم and lastly He mentions obedience to the leaders.
There is an important fact to consider here, and that is Allah mentions obeying the leaders (منكم) from yourselves, therefore He is making a condition that the leader has to be a muslim. So obedience is to the muslim leaders and is not considered obedience to the leaders (non muslims) of every country
The Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم also established this principle of obeying those placed in authority over our affairs, this is mentioned in the hadeeth which is collected by Imaam Ahmad, Ibn Maajah and other than them on the authority of Irbaad Ibn Saariyah where he صلى الله عليه و سلم said:
“اسمعوا و أطيعوا و إن تأمر عليكم عبد“
“hear and obey even if a slave is in charge of your affairs”
He صلى الله عليه و سلم also informed us in another hadeeth collected by Imaam Bukhaari on the authority of Anas رضي الله عنه :
“اسمعوا و أطيعوا، و إن استعمل عليكم عبد حبشي، كأن رأسه زبيبة“
“Hear and obey even if an Abyssinian slave whose head is like a raisin is placed in authority over you.”
So this principle of hearing and obeying those placed in authority over our affairs is well established in the religion of Islaam.
However it is upon us to advise them when they begin to fall short as the prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said in the hadeeth collected by Imaam Muslim on the authority of Tamim Ad Daari:
“the religion is sincere advice”
The companions رضي الله عنهم then asked him:
“لمن يا رسول الله“
“To who is this advice for, oh Messenger of Allah”
So he responded by saying:
لله و لكتابه و لرسوله ولأئمة المسلمين و عامتهم
“For Allah, for His book, to His messenger, to the leaders of the Muslims and to the regular people”
However it is upon us to understand that there are requisites established in the religion for advising the leaders, the prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said:
مَن كانت عندَهُ نصيحةٌ لِذي سُلطانٍ فليأخذْ بيدِهِ فلْيخلُ فليخلوا الصواب فلْيخلُ بهِ فإن قبلَها قبلَها وإن ردَّها كانَ قد أدَّى الَّذي عليهِ
“So whoever has an advice for his leader, then let him take him by his hand and advise him in private, he has fulfilled his obligation whether he accepts the advice or rejects it.”
(عن عياض بن غنم الألباني كتاب السنة)
(Source: Kitabu Sunnah of Al Albaani on the authority of Iyaadh Ibn Ganam)
It is true that Allah has commanded the leaders to be just as he informs us:
إن الله يأمركم أن تؤدوا الأمانات إلي أهلها
“Allah has commanded that you render the amaanah (trusts, authority given to you) to the people”
(An Nisaa, verse 58)
However it is upon the people to be patient with the shortcomings of the leaders, the prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said in the hadeeth collected by Imaam Bukhaari and Muslim on the authority of Ibn Abaas رضي الله عنهما :
“من كره من أميره شيئا فليصبر“
“Whoever dislikes something from his leader it is upon him to show patience”
“فإنه من خرج من السلطان شبرا“
Because he who departs from the Muslim community a cubit
“مات ميتة جاهلية“
“Has died the death of (jahiliyah) ignorance”
Therefore we should not expose their mistakes and make it known to the wider Muslims as we see happening in many Arab countries today, because this will bring humiliation, destruction, division, punishment and it will remove the people from being safe. The reality is that even with a Muslim leader who has mistakes and faults, he still establishes safety amongst the people, but when the people begin to humiliate them, then Allah in turn brings humiliation upon the people, as the prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم said in the hadeeth collected by At Tirmidhi on the authority of Abi Bakrah رضي الله عنه
“من اهان السلطان أهانه الله“
“Whoever insults the leaders Allah will insult him“
We ask Allah to guide us to that which would earn us His love and pleasure in this life and the hereafter. May He make us from the people of Tawheed, those who hold on to his rope and who obey the Muslim leaders which are placed in authority over our affairs. May Allah bring benefit to the believers by this article and may he accept it as a sincere deed which will bear some weight on the right side of the scale on the day of reckoning.
Compiled by Abuabdilmaalik Abdulhaqq Ibn Islaam