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(FULL SESSION) Tough Questions on the Issue of Cosmic Laws – by Sa’ad Al-Faqih


[Dr. Sa’ad Al-Faqih] Peace and Mercy of Allah be upon you. Praise Allah, Blessings and Peace be upon his Messenger. Welcome tonight, brothers.

We’re continuing with the series on Allah’s laws governing societies. This topic is worth spending time on, because it’s enlightening for us regarding many of the issues that we deal with individually and socially. On the level of society, the nation, on the global level as a whole. It explains history to us, and it explains many of the phenomena that are obscure to us. This is why it’s beneficial to talk about this, from several aspects. Tonight, we will answer a number of questions which we can say are disturbing and embarrassing on this topic. Because, those who read about Allah’s laws in society will notice certain issues that need to be clarified.

These questions come up constantly. People repeat them frequently. Some are repeated by most people, while others are repeated by people interested in this topic. Answering them is beneficial, and will complete one’s understanding of this issue, I.e., understanding Allah’s laws governing societies. I want to remind you that what is meant by Allah’s laws governing societies is these laws, these rules that govern societies, individuals like the laws of physics, chemistry, gravity, etc. Whoever does such thing, produces a particular result. Whoever avoids such thing, ends up with a particular result.

Well, a question, the first question, why aren’t the unbelievers afflicted by the calamities that affect us, such as death and expulsion, even though they have corruption, perversions, and they are unbelievers, after all, Allah has given them warnings of punishment because of their disbelief? Why don’t the unbelievers in Europe, America, China, Russia, Japan, suffer the calamities that we suffer, in terms of death and expulsion, even though they have corruption, perversions, disbelief, and impiety? Firstly, people throw this question around with short-sightedness as they only know the years that they’ve lived. They only know what they see on TV. They don’t read history, and they don’t know the nature of nations.

First of all, the unbelievers have been affected by calamities, death, expulsion, destruction, disunity, fires, and everything that you can fathom. Take Europe for example, it had so many wars, massacres and expulsions that – I’m not exaggerating, read history closely, many people don’t read history. I’m not exaggerating if I say that the wars that plagued Europe, that same Europe that today is considered the ideal of wealth, stability and well-being, that same Europe experienced during the past few centuries, not from antiquity, just in the past few centuries, only in the past 500 years, the equivalent number of wars death, expulsion and bloodshed, that we experienced at least 20 times. Not less than 20 times. The 30-year war, the 100-year war, Bismarck’s wars Napoleon’s wars, the First World War, the Second World War, and many others.

Even within each country, in each country, there were very many conflicts. America, for it to become united as the United States of America, it went through wars. Just the number of major wars there is no less than 120 battles. That’s besides the smaller wars and skirmishes that number in the hundreds. The civil war in America continued for 4 years, and which occurred about 150 years ago. It continued for 4 years. The death toll, when adjusted to today’s population, was 6 million. The proportion today would be 6 million. That time, their population level was 1/10th of today’s, 600,000. If they were counted in today’s terms, it would be 6 million dead. During First and Second World Wars, 10s of millions were killed.

So, it’s not true that they have not suffered the calamities that befell us. They have corruption, injustice, disbelief, so they got the punishment they deserved. The second thing is that in the recent era, particularly in the 19th century, these countries have justice. It’s true that there is corruption and decadence, disbelief, but there is justice. Justice, the law, there are many factors at play. One of these factors outweighs the others. The more there is justice, the more this outweighs the effect of corruption, and the effect of disbelief.

As Ibn Taymiyyah said, Allah grants victory to a just state even if it is unbelieving, and He defeats an unjust state even if it’s Muslim. So, justice is important. Justice is a very strong factor in the rise of nations, and their stability and strength. Justice is a very strange thing. Now, there are signs of a decline in justice in America and Europe. This rise of populism will constrain justice and now they are enacting laws and regulations that go against the concept of justice. The more this gains ground, they will eventually end up getting divine punishment. Wait. We don’t know the future, but, the signs of things happening in America in terms of populism taking hold as well as the harassment of people, at the expense of the true concept of justice, and the media war and the mutual accusations of treachery while sidelining the concept of justice, this will lead them to a dangerous collapse.

So, number one, they did experience problems. Secondly, what holds back punishment greatly is justice. If justice goes away, I don’t think it will take long before they are hit by punishment. Another question: are the floods and storms that are hitting our country punishment? Allah knows best. The Jeddah floods, the storms in Oman, other natural disasters, not wars and conflicts. Now, people have no doubt that what has befallen Syria, Libya, Egypt are punishments. That’s because they were late to remove injustice. This is my speculation, of course, that people have no doubt about that. They were late to remove the injustice that had overshadowed them for decades, so, this punishment befell them. It’s true that, by the Will of Allah, this will be lifted soon, but they have to pay this price, in Libya, Egypt, Syria and Yemen as well. The corruption, injustice, tyranny and authoritarianism that have overshadowed their lives, especially injustice, that overshadowed them during all this time, hypocrisy, despicable traditions, it was necessary for those to be cleansed by paying this great price. This is punishment. I don’t think people doubt that this is divine punishment.

Punishments take different forms and shapes, as is mentioned in the Quran and as the Prophet (pbuh) said. So, are the repeated Jeddah floods, are the massive storms and violent dust storms that we are afflicted with, are these punishments? They could be minor punishments, or they could be warnings. I don’t think that the injustice that we suffer, and the humiliation suffered by the people, and the silence in the face of injustice – the issue is not injustice per se, the issue is the inability to remove injustice. If you don’t have a mechanism, neither by the people nor the system, to remove injustice, or to remove corruption, or to eliminate what’s wrong, this is when punishment comes. The issue is not injustice itself. If injustice happens, and you remove it, you are saved from punishment. You will not deserve punishment. If there is injustice and you are unable to remove it just like the way things are today — look how many people are imprisoned. How many are deprived of their rights, how many are abused. People being abused in their religion, property, reputation, dignity, etc This injustice has not been removed.

So, I don’t think that a mere flood in Jeddah is the punishment for that. I am not being pessimistic, but I’m saying that if this injustice is not removed, this is simply a warning. A notice. Beware! The dust storm is like a divine message. If you don’t do anything about this injustice, you will get a much bigger punishment. When Allah lets us know about what is going on in Egypt, Syria, Libya, it’s also like a message to us, It’s as if we’re being addressed, “Why don’t you get ready?” “Why don’t you remove injustice?” “Why don’t you fix this ugly situation that you’re in?” This serves like a warning. If days and months and years go by and people didn’t get ready, there is no escaping punishment, Allah-forbid. Once again, this is not out of pessimism, but this is based on studying and understanding Allah’s laws.

So, these floods are simply warnings. They’re far lesser punishments than — May Allah forgive me — the degree of injustice that has not been removed and the corruption that we haven’t been able to remove. A question: if injustice, corruption and recklessness are rampant and no one is standing up against that, or trying to remove them, and the unjust, corrupt, opulent is in power, does that mean that the people are doomed to suffer divine punishment and wrath? If the answer is yes, then, why should we do something about it? He says, if — people always hear me say that if we don’t act, like I said previously, the end result is unavoidable divine punishment.

The question is, if this unavoidable divine punishment — he’s saying, “We’re not seeing anyone doing anything, and we’re not seeing injustice being removed, and I’m unable to take action. I’m one person. I can’t do anything. So, why should I take action? I won’t be able to effect change. So, why should I take action?” Of course, this mindset is wrong for two reasons. The first reason, you should take action either to save yourself because you will definitely be saved even if the whole Muslim Community and the country are not saved. You will be saved, one way or another. Allah knows best how, because Allah promised this.

Or, if you take action, and this and that person take action, and you are all driven by this sense of responsibility, and this sense spreads and grows, Allah would have averted danger from the entire Muslim Community, because injustice has been removed, and corruption has been removed, so, punishment is averted from this Muslim Community.

So, what’s the proof that you will be saved? The proof is from the Quran. ((And when a community among them said, “Why do you warn a people whom Allah is about to destroy with a severe punishment?”)) This is the same exact question. He’s saying, “Why should we take action? Well, we’re going to be punished, so, why should we take action?” There is no one who’s going to heed to the advice or take part in removing injustice. ((And when a community among them said, “Why do you warn a people whom Allah is about to destroy with a severe punishment?”)) I.e., “It’s over. They’re doomed for punishment.”

What was the reply of those that understood Allah’s laws to them? Those that understood Allah’s laws said, ((”To be absolved before your Lord and perhaps they may fear Him.”)) This is about those that transgressed Allah’s commandments in keeping the Sabbath. The Jews that transgressed Allah’s commandments regarding the Sabbath. ((They [the advisors] said, “To be absolved before your Lord and perhaps they may fear Him.”)) Absolution. An absolution, because Allah commanded us to enjoin good and forbid evil, commanded us to strive to remove injustice, commanded us to strive to remove corruption, so, we are discharging our responsibility, by complying with Allah’s commandment, even if there is no result. Maybe this could be a last-ditch effort in the hope that these people will change.

What is the result? The result is, ((And when they forgot that by which they had been reminded, We saved those who had forbidden evil, and seized those who wronged with a wretched punishment, because they were defiantly disobeying.)) When these people discharged their responsibility, and they were not successful in effecting change, what happened? What happened is that the punishment encompassed those that remained silent and those that perpetrated injustice, and those that perpetrated corruption. Who was saved? Those that forbade evil, which are those that said, ((”To be absolved before your Lord and perhaps they may fear Him.”)) You will be saved. You and all that participated in removing injustice, and all those that participated — tried, not participated. Because we said that they were not successful in removing injustice. Those who tried to remove injustice Those that tried to remove corruption, they discharged their responsibility. You will be saved.

How will you be saved? Allah knows best. Because Allah promised that. This is Allah’s Word, not ours. So, the reply to the question is that first of all, it’s for your own sake, to strive to remove injustice is a way of salvation for you. Secondly, if this culture becomes widespread, this will avert danger from the entire country, and from the entire Muslim Community. The Prophet (pbuh) says whoever disavows it has absolved himself and whoever forbids it has been saved. The one who disavows it alone but did not do anything, he disavowed it with his heart, he disavowed injustice and tyranny, he has absolved himself. This is an authentic hadith. He has been absolved from responsibility in the hereafter but this does not guarantee that he will be saved from earthly punishment. He might be affected by punishment.

Whereas the one who is saved, it’s the one that has forbidden it, “whoever forbids it will be saved.” There is a difference between disavowing with one’s heart alone and one who forbids it by attempting to effect change. A question says that if victory is predicated on jihad, how can the Mahdi be a sudden cause for victory? Also, how can the earth be engulfed in injustice and tyranny, and then the Mahdi is sent down and as if by magic he will change everything? This question is pertinent because there is a culture both within the Sunnis and the Shiites — of course, within Shiism, it takes on exaggerated proportions – but this is found even within Sunnism, which is that the solution is to await the Mahdi’s arrival, and let corruption spread while we await the Mahdi. This is a misunderstanding of some of the texts. Whereas within Shiism, this used to be the established belief, and not a misunderstanding. This is the established belief among Shiites, which is that we should await the Mahdi until this was changed by Khomeini and he came up with his theory of Wilayat-al-Faqeeh (”Governance of the Jurist”).

Originally, it was forbidden to attempt to establish a state and a political system, because that would delay the appearance of the Mahdi. However, this concept is not an established belief within Sunnism, but there are those among the masses and ignorant people who also hold this belief, which is that the Mahdi is the hope, and they indulge in talking about the hadiths regarding the tribulations of the End-Times, and hanging their hopes on the future, while being helpless awaiting the Mahdi. As if that Mahdi would suddenly turn from being a corrupt to a pious person. They come up with stories that go against Allah’s laws. Admittedly, there are authentic and good narrations about the Mahdi, and there are weak and fabricated as well. All the authentic narrations are in line with Allah’s laws, in that the Mahdi will not suddenly appear and break Allah’s universal laws and rules.

It is impossible for the Muslim Community to gain victory under a great leader unless it is deserving of that great leader. Even if one of the greatest Sahaba (Companions) were to appear today, it would be of no avail, because the Community does not deserve victory or power. But, when people strive through struggle and jihad and enjoin good and forbid evil, in the hope of effecting change, they will deserve to have someone appear appear doesn’t mean rise up from underground, or that it was an ambiguous figure who then reveals himself. Instead, he would be someone who already has leadership qualities and he would be a time-tested character whom people would see as deserving of leadership. Not a legendary character that suddenly makes an appearance. The narrations regarding the Mahdi are in line with the cosmic laws. Even the hadith that says that, “The Day of Judgment will not come until the earth is filled with injustice, tyranny and oppression. Then, out of my Family will appear someone who will fill it with equity and justice like it was filled with injustice and oppression.”

This doesn’t mean that injustice and oppression are prevalent and suddenly the situation is turned upside down. It means that events will take place –examine the rest of the hadiths on this topic and this will give a more complete picture. Time doesn’t allow us to cover all the hadiths. What it means is that events will occur, and there would be social repercussions such that they would set the stage for the appearance –not appearance, but for this leader to assume this position that he deserves among the people. This is the rebuttal to the issue of the Mahdi. If anyone brings up the subject of the Mahdi to you or indulge in talking about it by hanging on to myths about how we would extricate ourselves from this crisis by magic or miracle without us having recourse to the means of achieving that, give them this rebuttal. This is because it’s impossible for any great leader, regardless of who they might be, to break Allah’s laws and rules governing societies and states.

Another question. It says, the Sahaba (Companions) were the best of nations, as attested to by the Quran, of course, ((You are the best of the nations raised up for (the benefit of) men)) So, how can Allah’s laws allow infighting among those that were the best of nations? They fought each other during the time of the Companions, not after the time of the Companions. This is a valid question, and it has to be addressed. The answer is that you don’t need to fetch far. Even during the Prophet’s lifetime, the Companions had problems in Uhud, and they had problems in Hunain, which were reaffirmed in the Quran, and the Quran chastised them on that and explained the reason for it. Regarding what happened in Uhud, it said: ((And certainly Allah made good to you His promise when you slew them by His permission, until when you became weak-hearted and disputed about the affair and disobeyed after He had shown you that which you loved; of you were some who desired this world and of you were some who desired the hereafter; then He turned you away from them that He might try you; and He has certainly pardoned you, and Allah is Gracious to the believers.))

This chastisement for what happened to them when they became interested in the spoils of war and they disobeyed the orders of the Prophet (pbuh), and they climbed down the Mount of the Archers at Uhud. A person can hail from the best of nations and still has shortcomings for which he deserves divine punishment to the extent of those shortcomings. At Hunain, Allah says, ((Certainly Allah helped you in many battlefields and on the day of Hunain, when your great numbers made you vain, but they availed you nothing and the earth became strait to you notwithstanding its spaciousness, then you turned back retreating.)) The Companions, who were with the Prophet (pbuh) and under his leadership, they were impressed by their numbers and these numbers were to no avail. They fled away. ((then you turned back retreating.)) ((Then Allah sent down His tranquillity upon His Messenger and upon the believers, and sent down hosts which you did not see, and chastised those who disbelieved, and that is the reward of the unbelievers.))

By the steadfastness of the Prophet (pbuh) and the few that were with him, Allah bestowed his blessings and turned the battle in their favor. So, even during the Prophet’s lifetime there were wrongdoings that led to these results. So, the Companions are not we’re not going to say that they were above but they were not far removed from Allah’s laws. The laws apply to them just like they apply to others. But, how did they in-fight? Why not? If the causes for in-fighting are there, even if the people are of the highest levels except in the case of someone who is infallible, someone who received divine revelations, in that case, there is no room for clash of opinions, nor is there room for them to engage in cheating others. He received divine revelations. There are the prophets, and it’s impossible for them to engage in in-fighting, and to even have differences among them, because both of them would receiving divine revelations.

However, the ordinary man who is liable to differences in understanding and who is liable to differ in judging what is best, it is quite possible for this difference to reach a point of armed conflict. However, notice that Allah has determined, as part of his laws, that in-fighting would occur among the Companions, so that we would learn from them, that whenever people engage in armed conflict, the issue should be limited to that aspect, that the conflict should be political in nature, and not ideological. The Companions did not excommunicate each other, and they did not consider each other innovators. They did not consider them Khawarij. They did not consider them as engaging in other types of innovations. Also, both sides agreed on considering the Khawarij as Khawarij. By the way, there were no Companions within the ranks of the Khawarij. Even those that claimed that so-and-so were among them, these names that were thought to be among the Khawarij were found to be untrue. Out of the blessings of the Prophet’s (pbuh) education there were no Companions among the Khawarij.

The fact of in-fighting among the Companions does not go against Allah’s laws. Quite the contrary, Allah determined it so that we can learn from these people who were aided by Allah and were raised according to the Prophetic ways so that we can learn how to deal with those that raise up arms against us if they are Muslims, and that we differentiate between takfir (excommunication) and tabdee’ (considering others as innovators) and political differences. Political differences are one thing and takfir and tabdee’ are another thing. Imagine, in the heat of the battle, Mu’awiyah was writing to Ali and asking him about Islamic legal rulings, and Ali would send back his fatwa (legal opinion), while both of them are in the midst of battle. This is how the Companions were, and this is the answer to that question.

Another question says Allah says, ((And if you obey most of those in the earth, they will lead you astray from Allah’s way; they follow but conjecture and they only lie.)) The question asks, doesn’t this verse go against Shura (consultation)? Doesn’t it also go against the Prophet’s saying, “My Ummah (Community) will not agree on falsehood.” As if he’s saying if you consult with the majority, the majority will lead you astray, and into falsehood. ((And if you obey most of those in the earth, they will lead you astray from Allah’s way;)) They will lead you astray. If the Prophet (pbuh) said, “My Ummah will not agree on falsehood,” how is it that the Quran says the majority will lead you astray, and “My Ummah will not agree on falsehood.”? The explanation is simple. Firstly, what is meant by “My Ummah” is not the whole earth.

On the contrary, the Prophet’s Ummah is the minority on earth. The Prophet’s Ummah could represent a minority on earth. Doesn’t this contradict Shura (consultation)? Same thing, Shura is not for all the peoples of the earth. You consult with those within your state, your Community, whether you’re consulting the whole nation in elections, the election of the head of state, or you consult the representatives of the people, or their leaders, as is the Islamic term (naqib), The nuqabaa (leaders) of the people the Prophet said, “Send to me from among you the leaders,” who are the parliamentarians, or call them by any other name. Shura is not for all the peoples of the earth, who are constituted of more non-believers than Muslims, and it does not encompass what is outside of the Islamic entity. Within the Islamic entity, the majority, as long as they agree on the sayings of Allah and his Messenger in general, even if they have shortcomings, even if they have weaknesses, in general, as long as this single Islamic entity that is under one authority and who are qualified to be consulted, firstly, they will not agree on falsehood, and secondly, their choice by means of consultation will be the best choice, better than the individual’s.

As for ((And if you obey most of those in the earth..)), this is about ideology generally, in matters of polytheism and disbelief. According to Allah’s laws, most of the time with the exception of a few periods of time, most of the time the disbelievers outnumber the Muslims. This is not constant across all times. When Adam was sent, when Adam was created, his sons and his progeny, people continued to be Muslims, all of them, so, not most of those on earth were non-believers, not even a minority of them were non-believers. All of earth was Muslim, until deviation began generations afterwards. That’s one thing. The second thing is that the Prophet (pbuh) predicted that a time will come where Islam will prevail completely and so, most of the earth will not consist of non-believers. However, this is the case generally, that if you obey most of those on earth because if you count all those that ever lived on earth throughout time, non-believers will outnumber Muslims.

The point is that it does not go against Shura and it does not go against the Prophet’s saying that “My Ummah will not agree on falsehood.” A sensitive question, but the answer is known. It says, “Is an erudite scholar, a scholar that masters Islamic legislation, history, can he predict the future through the lens of cosmic laws?” The answer is yes and no. Yes, in that he can give general outlines. He can tell that such state will collapse. Such injustice will be removed. Punishment will befall such nation. Such project will be successful. Such project will not be successful. This is yes. As for no, he won’t be able to pinpoint exactly by pinpointing the day, this is witchcraft and soothsaying. On a particular day, it will collapse, except in the case of the interpretation of dreams, as dreams are a part of divine revelation. But, as a science and analysis, yes, he can examine in a general fashion, in a clear fashion, with God’s assistance, saying that such regime will fall, he can say that it won’t last for a number of years, or months, but he can’t say that it will fall on a particular day. This is witchcraft. This is soothsaying. He can say that this nation will be afflicted by punishment, and he could turn out to be 100% right.

Like Ibn Taymiyyah said, “By Allah, you will be victorious.” They said, “Say, “By Allah’s will.” “ He replied, “I’m saying this as a matter of fact, not hope.” They were certain of victory, because they made use of the means of victory. So, yes, he can, in general. However, he can’t pinpoint the day, or the means or method, because that would be soothsaying and not a science. Another very sensitive question, and talking about it is a delicate issue, which is, “Is Fate– the term Fate that people use, and the predestination by Allah’s will, is it related to the issue of Allah’s laws?” Of course, it’s very much related to that, because Allah– ((Surely We have created everything according to a measure.)) These are the laws, but there is a difference between Fate and what Allah has predestined for his creation, the final predestination, Allah’s predestination for his creation occurs in two phases. The first phase is the phase of Fate (Qadar) in that if you do such thing, you will get such result, whether you are an individual, a group or a state. If you do such thing, you get such result. If you make use of means, this will produce results. This is the first phase.

The second phase is the final predestination which is written in the Preserved Tablet (Al-Lawh Al-Mahfoodh), that Allah can, through miracles, or exceptions, change some of this Fate, for certain reasons, such as miracles by prophets and saints, and by prayers. The Prophet says, “Allah erases or writes down whichever he wishes, and with him belongs the Mother of the Book (Umm-ul-Kitab). That’s the meaning. It means that according to Fate (Qadar) and Allah’s laws, such as if you were driving a particular car and it was supposed to roll over, but Allah protected you, although under all circumstances you should have rolled over, but He protected you by your prayers, by your recitation of invocations, by the prayers of your parents, etc, and you did not roll over, or it rolled over but you were unharmed. According to the circumstances and direct cosmic facts, it was supposed to roll over, and you were supposed to die and be torn to pieces.

However, Allah protected you by prayers, by a good deed that you did, He protected you by an act of charity that you did, etc. Same thing with an illness that you afflicted you. You were supposed to die from this illness. But, you resorted to Ruqya (healing supplications) or you prayed, etc, and so, Allah blessed a particular treatment while He did not bless the other treatments. This is what is meant by ((Allah makes to pass away and establishes what He pleases, and with Him is the Mother of the Book.)) Perhaps, this is also what is meant by the Prophet’s saying “Revealed and unrevealed prayers are beneficial and an affliction that comes down is intercepted by prayers and they wrestle each other until the Day of Judgment.” So, prayers can overcome Fate. They can’t overcome that which is written in the Preserved Tablet, because what is written in the Preserved Tablet is the end result, and not the laws of Fate. In the final predestination of Preserved Tablet, it was written that you would be cured of this illness.

However, based on the cosmic laws that apply to all people, that illness was lethal. But, by your prayers, supplications, charity, and kindness, Allah saved you from this Fate, or averted from you the harm of some oppressor, protected you from an accident, etc. This is what is meant by the connection between the cosmic laws, the unchanging cosmic rules, which are laws, and between the exceptions due to miracles by prophets or saints, or prayers, or the like. Among the questions as well, the old and new question. Old, from the days of the Companions, in which there is a misunderstanding of Allah’s words ((O you who believe! Take care of your souls; he who errs cannot hurt you when you are on the right way; to Allah is your return, of all (of you), so He will inform you of what you did.)) Many people take this to mean, “Take care of your souls,” so, don’t care about others. Some even distort the verse, reading it as “take care of yourselves, and don’t care about others.”

There are those that say, “Shut up, leave the creation to the Creator.” These are myths, and not part of Islamic legislation or religion, nor the saying of the Prophet or the Companions or the Tabi’een (successors of the Companions). “Leave the creation to the Creator.” These are superstitions and devilish tricks in order to escape one’s responsibility. As for Allah’s words, ((O you who believe! Take care of your souls; he who errs cannot hurt you when you are on the right way;)) Firstly, “Take care of your souls” doesn’t mean “Mind your own selves.” ((Take care of your souls)) means, “Stick to your selves.” “Straighten your selves.” “Your selves” here is like what is called “verbal noun,” like, “Underneath you the book”, which means, “Take the book.” Verbal noun. “underneath you,” meaning, “under you.” The literal meaning of “underneath you the book,” “underneath you the book.” But, in reality, “underneath you the book” means “take the book.” So, ((Take care of your souls)) means “Stick to your selves,” Strive with your selves, control them, and make them stay upright in accordance with the Quran and the Sunnah and the commandments of Allah. ((he who errs cannot hurt you)), when? ((when you are on the right way;))

Whoever goes astray will hurt you, if you yourself are not guided. And, part of being guided is that you enjoin good and forbid evil, you strive to remove injustice, you strive to remove corruption. If you don’t strive to remove injustice, you are not guided. You did not apply the commandment of Allah and you did not forbid what he forbade. So, you will be harmed by those that have gone astray, whether it be a personal harm or a general harm as a result of divine punishment. That’s why Abu Bakr said in response to those that misunderstood this, “You read this verse and misapply it, ((O you who believe! Take care of your souls; he who errs cannot hurt you when you are on the right way;))” Abu Bakr said, “I heard the Prophet (pbuh) say, “When a people witness evil and do not forbid it, it is likely that Allah will punish them all.” So, this is the understanding of Abu Bakr. The understanding of Abu Bakr is the right understanding.

You won’t be spared by giving free rein to the oppressor or corrupt, the ones who practice their corruption and transgression openly, allowing repression and injustice and tyranny, and you don’t take action under the pretense that ((He who errs cannot hurt you when you are on the right way;)) Enjoining good and forbidding evil is part of being guided. Ibn Taymiyyah said, “Allah said, ((take care of your souls;)), meaning stick to them, and come forth toward them, and part of the interests of the soul to adhere to commandments and prohibitions, and part of the commandments and prohibitions is the enjoining of good and forbidding of evil.

And, when Allah says, ((he who errs cannot hurt you when you are on the right way;)), and being on the right way is achieved – this is Ibn Taymiyyah’s words – when Allah is obeyed, and injunctions are followed in terms of commandments and prohibitions and other things. Then, he mentioned 5 benefits, among which he said that the person undertakes enjoining good and forbidding evil, as this falls under the meaning of ((Take care of your souls;)) and His word, ((when you are on the right way;)) A last question, Is what applies to nations applies also to individuals? Yes, many cosmic laws apply to individuals. I don’t want to go into detail, because it’s a separate topic in its own right. Allah-willing, if we have the opportunity, we will address it in another session. We’ll stop here. What has been laid out is a number of questions, and I don’t claim to have covered all the questions that arise on this topic, but we have attempted to address many of the critical issues which are prone to misunderstandings as they relate to Allah’s laws governing societies.

[closing prayer] Glory and praise be to Allah, We bear witness that there is no God but You, We seek your forgiveness and we repent to You.

Peace be upon you.