Sheikh ‘Abdul Bari ath-Thubayty           Part (II)

Hateful dissension and odious discord naturally result from following whims and personal interests and seeking to establish one’s sense of one’s value and importance. Indeed, discord, dissension, and hateful disagreement testify to ignorance and injustice. They only serve to thwart the Muslim nation’s progress and development, dissipate its energy, and preclude it from attaining its hopes and achieving its goals. The ultimate outcome will be total disgrace, shameful retreat, and a horrid end.

The Holy Quraan warns Muslims against dissension that only serves to split ranks and lead to the destruction and downfall of nations. Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) says:

وَلَا تَنَازَعُوا فَتَفْشَلُوا وَتَذْهَبَ رِيحُكُمْ [الأنفال: 46]

”and do not quarrel with each other, lest you should lose courage, and your prowess should evaporate (your strength departs) . . .” (Al-Anfaal:46)

It was narrated by Hadhrat ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ood that the Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) said: “I heard a man reciting a Quraanic Aayah (Verse) in a certain way, and I had heard the Prophet reciting the same verse in a different way. So I took him to the Prophet, and informed him of that. Then I noticed the sign of disapproval on his face, and he said, ‘Both of you are good-doers, so don’t differ, for the nations before you differed, and so they were destroyed (because of their differences)” (Bukhari)

Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) says:

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ فَرَّقُوا دِينَهُمْ وَكَانُوا شِيَعًا لَسْتَ مِنْهُمْ فِي شَيْءٍ إِنَّمَا أَمْرُهُمْ إِلَى اللَّهِ [الأنعام: 159]

”Surely, those who have made divisions in their religion and turned into factions, you have nothing to do with them. Their case rests with Allah alone….” (Al-An’aam:159)

Therefore, the Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) would dissociate himself from any person who seeks to cause differences among Muslims, destroy their unity, and split them into disputing groups. It is only due to disagreement and dissension that Muslim lands have been conquered, their riches have been plundered, and everything they hold sacred has been desecrated. It is due to disagreement and dissension that Muslims have been alienated from one another and have taken up arms against one another, and that Muslims have come to love or hate others for other than Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa)’s sake. This may ultimately lead some of them to consider fighting other Muslims permissible because they believe that the other groups adopt erroneous and invalid concepts.

It is for this reason that Islam forbids fellow believers to fight one another. Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa)’s Messenger (SallAllao Alaihe WaSallam) said: “Your blood, your property and your honor are as sacred and inviolable as is the sanctity of this day of yours, in this month of yours and in this town of yours” (Bukhari and Muslim)

Hadhrat ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas said: “By Him in Whose Hand is my soul, the following was his will (i.e. the Prophet’s) to his followers: “Do not revert to disbelief after me, by striking the necks of one another.” (Bukhari and Muslim)

Shedding blood unjustly is a very serious matter indeed, and a single drop of blood that is shed in this way is bound to lead to evil and far-reaching consequences. Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) says:

وَمَنْ يَقْتُلْ مُؤْمِنًا مُتَعَمِّدًا فَجَزَاؤُهُ جَهَنَّمُ خَالِدًا فِيهَا وَغَضِبَ اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَلَعَنَهُ وَأَعَدَّ لَهُ عَذَابًا عَظِيمًا [النساء: 93]

”Whoever kills a believer deliberately, his reward is Jahannam (Hell) where he shall remain forever, and Allah shall be angry with him and shall cast curse upon him, and He has prepared for him a mighty punishment.” (An-Nisaa:93)

Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa)’s Messenger (SallAllao Alaihe WaSallam) said: “A believer will continue to guard his faith [and thus hope for Allah’s mercy] as long as he does not shed blood unlawfully.” (Bukhari)

Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) says:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَقُولُوا قَوْلًا سَدِيدًا(70) يُصْلِحْ لَكُمْ أَعْمَالَكُمْ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَمَنْ يُطِعِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ فَازَ فَوْزًا عَظِيمًا [الأحزاب: 70-71]

”O you who believe! Fear Allah, and speak in straightforward words. (If you do so,) Allah will correct your deeds for your benefit, and forgive your sins for you. Whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger achieves a great success.” (Al-Ahzaab:70-71)

It becomes thus clear that holding fast to the strong rope of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) is a fortified fortress and a solid sanctuary. It is the only way to bring Muslims together, unite their ranks, and maintain their strength and power. Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) says:

أَنْ أَقِيمُوا الدِّينَ وَلَا تَتَفَرَّقُوا فِيهِ [الشورى: 13]

”Establish the religion, and be not divided therein.” (Ash-Shoora:13)

It is a well-known fact that when the voice of dissension becomes louder and manifestations of division emerge, Muslims ought to refer their judgment to the Book of their Lord and the Sunnah of their Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam). Moreover, their scholars and the people of good sense and judgment amongst them ought to sincerely seek the assistance of the Lord in an effort to mend the situation, bring about unity and renounce prejudice.

This is indeed a lofty objective and the way of the faithful and sincere advisors. The Muslim Ummah should obey the word of truth and listen to the voice of reason in order to protect itself from a sweeping trial which leaves tolerant people utterly confused and which may even lay waste to everything. Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) says:

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ اتَّقَوْا إِذَا مَسَّهُمْ طَائِفٌ مِنَ الشَّيْطَانِ تَذَكَّرُوا فَإِذَا هُمْ مُبْصِرُونَ [الأعراف: 201]

”Surely when the Allah-fearing are touched by any instigation from Shaitaan, they become conscious (of Allah), and at once they discern (the reality).” (Al-A’raaf:201)

He also says:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُوا الرَّسُولَ وَأُولِي الْأَمْرِ مِنْكُمْ فَإِنْ تَنَازَعْتُمْ فِي شَيْءٍ فَرُدُّوهُ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَالرَّسُولِ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ تُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ ذَلِكَ خَيْرٌ وَأَحْسَنُ تَأْوِيلًا [النساء: 59]

”O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you. Then, if you quarrel about something, revert it back to Allah and the Messenger, if you believe in Allah and the Last Day. That is good, and the best at the end.” (An-Nisaa:59)