In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
Indeed, Allaah’s Perfect Wisdom necessitates that the Children of Aadam-the first to the last amongst them- will face trials and tests. The first of them [to be tested was] their father Aadam [alayhis-salaam] in relation to that which took place between him and his enemy Iblees, who exalted himself above Aadam [alayhis-salaam] out of pride and thus Aadam [alayhis-salaam] and his wife Hawaa [alayhas-salaam] were afflicted by that which afflicted them [i.e. they disobeyed Allaah’s command and thus were removed from paradise]. Thereafter, Allaah [Glorified be He and free is He from all imperfections] bestowed His grace upon Aadam and Hawaa by granting them the Tawfeeq to realise [their sin], seek forgiveness and returned repentant to Him [The Mighty and Majestic]. Allaah [The Most High] informed us that they said: [قَالَا رَبَّنَا ظَلَمۡنَآ أَنفُسَنَا وَإِن لَّمۡ تَغۡفِرۡ لَنَا وَتَرۡحَمۡنَا لَنَكُونَنَّ مِنَ ٱلۡخَـٰسِرِينَ – They said: Our Lord! We have wronged ourselves. If you forgive us not, and bestow not upon us Your Mercy, We shall certainly be of the losers. [7:23]
So, Allaah forgave them. Allaah [The Most High] said:
[فَتَلَقَّىٰٓ ءَادَمُ مِن رَّبِّهِۦ كَلِمَـٰتٍ۬ فَتَابَ عَلَيۡهِۚ إِنَّهُ ۥ هُوَ ٱلتَّوَّابُ ٱلرَّحِيمُ – Then Aadam received from his Lord Words. And his Lord pardoned him (accepted his repentance). Verily, He is the One Who forgives (accepts repentance), the Most Merciful. [2:37]
Likewise, the Children of Aadam have been visited by successive trials throughout the ages, [as a result of the enmity] between the camp of the Messengers and their followers and their enemies amongst the disbelievers, the hypocrites, and the devils amongst mankind and jinn. Allaah [The Most High] said: [وَكَذَٲلِكَ جَعَلۡنَا لِكُلِّ نَبِىٍّ عَدُوًّ۬ا شَيَـٰطِينَ ٱلۡإِنسِ وَٱلۡجِنِّ – And so We have appointed for every Prophet enemies-Shayaateen (devils) among mankind and jinn. [6:112]
Allaah [The Most High] also said: [وَكَذَٲلِكَ جَعَلۡنَا لِكُلِّ نَبِىٍّ عَدُوًّ۬ا مِّنَ ٱلۡمُجۡرِمِينَۗ وَكَفَىٰ بِرَبِّكَ هَادِيً۬ا وَنَصِيرً۬ا – Thus have We made for every Prophet an enemy among the Mujrimeen (disbelievers, polytheists, criminals.) But Sufficient is your Lord as a Guide and Helper.[25:31]
However, Allaah [Glorified be He and free is He from all imperfections] granted safety to the Prophets and their followers. Allaah [The Most High] said: [ثُمَّ نُنَجِّى رُسُلَنَا وَٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْۚ كَذَٲلِكَ حَقًّا عَلَيۡنَا نُنجِ ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ -Then (in the end) We save Our Messengers and those who believe! Thus it is incumbent upon Us to save the believers. [10:103]
Therefore, those other than the Messengers cannot be successful except through Eemaan. Allaah [The Most High] then confirms this with His saying: [كَذَٲلِكَ حَقًّا عَلَيۡنَا نُنجِ ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ – Thus it is incumbent upon Us to save the believers]. And He [The Most High] also said: [وَكَانَ حَقًّا عَلَيۡنَا نَصۡرُ ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ- And (as for) the believers, it was incumbent upon Us to help (them). [30:47] Therefore, if the believers hold on to their Eemaan and are firm upon their religion, Allaah [Glorified be He and free is He from all imperfections] will save them from Fitan. Allaah will grant them the Aaqibah [the blessed and happy end] throughout time- until the establishment of the hour- and authority in the life of this world.
Patience And Certainty
The truth is aided when opposed, so do not be surprised because this the way of Allaah -The Most Merciful. This is from Allaah’s [Perfect] Wisdom, so that after this test, the people of Eemaan are distinguished from the people of Nifaaq. Allaah [The Most High] said:
أَحَسِبَ ٱلنَّاسُ أَن يُتۡرَكُوٓاْ أَن يَقُولُوٓاْ ءَامَنَّا وَهُمۡ لَا يُفۡتَنُونَ
وَلَقَدۡ فَتَنَّا ٱلَّذِينَ مِن قَبۡلِهِمۡۖ فَلَيَعۡلَمَنَّ ٱللَّهُ ٱلَّذِينَ صَدَقُواْ وَلَيَعۡلَمَنَّ ٱلۡكَـٰذِبِينَ
Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: ‘’We believe’’ and will not be tested. And We indeed tested those who were before them. And Allaah will certainly make (it) known (the truth of) those who are true, and will certainly make (it) known (the falsehood of) those who are liars, (although Allaah knows all that before putting them to test). [29:2-3]
And Allaah [The Most High] said:
وَٱلَّذِينَ قُتِلُواْ فِى سَبِيلِ ٱللَّهِ فَلَن يُضِلَّ أَعۡمَـٰلَهُمۡ
سَيَہۡدِيہِمۡ وَيُصۡلِحُ بَالَهُمۡ
وَيُدۡخِلُهُمُ ٱلۡجَنَّةَ عَرَّفَهَا لَهُمۡ
But those who are killed in the Way of Allaah, He will never let their deeds be lost. He will guide them and set right their state. And admit them to Paradise which He has made known to them (i.e. they will know their places in Paradise better than they used to know their homes in the world). [47:6] [Ref 1. see clarification about jihaad in this present era]
And Allaah [The Most High] said:
يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓاْ إِن تَنصُرُواْ ٱللَّهَ يَنصُرۡكُمۡ وَيُثَبِّتۡ أَقۡدَامَكُمۡ
O you who believe! If you help (in the cause of) Allaah, He will help you, and make your foothold firm. [47:7]
Do not be surprised in this era when the Muslims are faced with the [attacks] of the enemies of Allaah and the hypocrites- those who propagate false ideas against Islaam, when the Muslims are faced with what is seen and heard of trials and tribulations caused by these ones. However, it is obligated on us to have hope for Allaah’s reward and to be upon patience. [وَٱلۡعَـٰقِبَةُ لِلۡمُتَّقِينَ -And the Aaqibah (the blessed end) is for the pious ones. [7:128]
And Allaah [The Most High] said:
لَتُبۡلَوُنَّ فِىٓ أَمۡوَٲلِڪُمۡ وَأَنفُسِڪُمۡ وَلَتَسۡمَعُنَّ مِنَ ٱلَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ ٱلۡكِتَـٰبَ مِن قَبۡلِڪُمۡ وَمِنَ ٱلَّذِينَ أَشۡرَكُوٓاْ أَذً۬ى كَثِيرً۬اۚ وَإِن تَصۡبِرُواْ وَتَتَّقُواْ فَإِنَّ ذَٲلِكَ مِنۡ عَزۡمِ ٱلۡأُمُورِ
You shall certainly be tried and tested in your wealth and properties and in your personal selves, and you shall certainly hear much that will grieve you from those who received the Scripture before you (Jews and Christians) and from those who ascribe partners to Allaah; but if you persevere patiently, and become Muttaqoon (the pious) then verily, that will be a determining factor in all affairs. [3:186] – on condition that we exercise patience, remain steadfast and not abandon anything in the Religion. Allaah [The Most High] said:
وَجَعَلۡنَا مِنۡہُمۡ أَٮِٕمَّةً۬ يَہۡدُونَ بِأَمۡرِنَا لَمَّا صَبَرُواْۖ وَڪَانُواْ بِـَٔايَـٰتِنَا يُوقِنُونَ
And We made from among them (Children of Israel), Leaders giving guidance under Our Command, when they were patient and used to believe with Certainty in Our Ayaat. [32:24]
Towards the end of his life, the Prophet [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] admonished the people, as occurs in the hadeeth of Irbaad Ibn Saariyah [radiyallaahu anhu], who said: The Prophet [sallal-laahu-alayhi-sallam] led us in prayer one day, then turned his face towards us, and delivered a powerful admonition that made our hearts fearful and our eyes tearful. So, a man said: ”O Messenger of Allaah, it is as if it were a farewell admonition, so what do you enjoin upon us”? He said: ”I advise you to fear Allaah and to listen and obey even if a slave is a leader over you. Verily, the one who lives among you after me will see a lot of differences. So, stick to my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the rightly guided khulafaa. Bite onto that with your molar teeth. And avoid the newly invented matters. Verily, every newly invented matter is an innovation and every innovation is misguidance.”
In this command, the Prophet [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] advised us -[by way of command]- to have Taqwah. It [Taqwah] is a comprehensive word that covers all good qualities [or characteristics]. And the meaning of Taqwah is a means of protection between yourself and what you fear will harm you. It is what shields you from danger, such as [something used] as a means of protection between your foot and the excessive heat on the ground, or [something] placed as a means of protection between you and an injurious thing, or a shield placed as means of protection between you and a weapon, or a placed as a means of protection between you and the cold or the heat. This [i.e. above examples] are related to physical [or tangible] things.
On the hand, [Taqwah in the Sharee’ah means] to protect yourself from the Anger of Allaah, His punishment and the fire of hell- by carrying out His commands and keeping away His Prohibitions. You cannot be protected from the punishment of Allaah, His Anger and the Fire of Hell by fortresses, armies and garments; rather you can only be protected through Fear of Allaah [Glorified and Exalted be He] – by carrying out Allaah’s commands and keeping away from His Prohibitions.
Relationship With Rulers
Irbaad Ibn Saariyah [radiyallaahu anhu] said: The Prophet [sallal-laahu-alayhi-sallam] led us in prayer one day, then turned his face towards us, and delivered a powerful admonition that made our hearts fearful and our eyes tearful. So, a man said: ‘’O Messenger of Allaah, it is as if it were a farewell admonition, so what do you enjoin upon us?’’ He said: ‘’I advise you to fear Allaah and to listen and obey even if a slave is a leader over you. Verily, the one who lives among you after me will see a lot of differences. So, stick to my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the rightly guided khulafaa. Bite onto that with your molar teeth. And avoid the newly invented matters. Verily, every newly invented matter is an innovation and every innovation is misguidance.”
This [i.e. obedience to the rulers] is a means to safety. Indeed, the Ummah listens to its leaders and obey them, so that they can be a united body, a powerful force and a shield of protection against its enemies. Allaah [The Most High] said: [وَٱعۡتَصِمُواْ بِحَبۡلِ ٱللَّهِ جَمِيعً۬ا وَلَا تَفَرَّقُواْۚ – And hold fast, all of you together, to the Rope of Allaah (i.e. the Qur’aan), and be not divided among yourselves]. [3:103]
This united body cannot be accomplished except by way of Leadership and an Imaam [i.e. a Ruler]. Leadership cannot be accomplished except by way of Sam’i Wat Taa’ah [i.e. to listen to the Ruler and being obedient to him] -even if he is an Abyssinian slave and does not command a person to disobey Allaah. Therefore, the Leader of the Muslims is to be obeyed because there is an overriding benefit for the Muslims in doing so – in order bring about unity. However, the exception in this [affair] is what the Messenger [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] stated that ‘There is no obedience to the creation in disobedience to the Creator [Allaah].’’ Therefore, the ruler is not obeyed in disobedience to Allaah, but he is obeyed in that which is in opposition to sin. However, this does not mean that we come out and rebel if he commands disobedience; rather we do not obey him in sin, but we obey him in those affairs that do not involve sin.
Adherence to The Authentic Sunnah of The Messenger [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] and the Sunnah of the Khulafaa Ar-Raashideen When Differing Occurs
The Messenger [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] said: ‘’Verily, the one who live among you after me will see a lot of differing, so adhere to my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the rightly guided khulafaa.’’
This is another means to safety – adherence to the Sunnah of the Messenger [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] and the Sunnah of the Rightly Guided Khulafah: Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthmaan and Ali [radiyallaahu anhum]. They are the successors of Allaah’s Messenger [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] whose path is to be followed together with the Sunnah of Messenger [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam.
And he [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] said: ”Ikhtilaafan Kathiirah” [i.e. a lot of differing will occur] and not ”Ikhtilaafan Yaseerah [little or minor differing]; rather it is a lot. The Ummah cannot find safety from this [blameworthy] differing, except by adhering to the Sunnah of the Messenger [sallal-laahu-alayhi- wasallam] and to that which his Rightly Guided Khulafaah, the Muhaajiroon and the Ansaar were upon. Allaah [The Most High] said: [ٱلسَّـٰبِقُونَ ٱلۡأَوَّلُونَ مِنَ ٱلۡمُهَـٰجِرِينَ وَٱلۡأَنصَارِ وَٱلَّذِينَ ٱتَّبَعُوهُم بِـإِحۡسَـٰنٍ۬ رَّضِىَ ٱللَّهُ عَنۡہُمۡ وَرَضُواْ عَنۡهُ وَأَعَدَّ لَهُمۡ جَنَّـٰتٍ۬ تَجۡرِى تَحۡتَهَا ٱلۡأَنۡهَـٰرُ -And the foremost to embrace Islaam of the Muhaajiroon (those who migrated from Makkah to Al Madeena) and the Ansaar (the citizens of Al Madeenah who helped and gave aid to the Muhaajiroon) and also those who followed them exactly (in faith). Allaah is well pleased with them as they are well-pleased with Him. He has prepared for them Gardens under which rivers flow (Paradise) [9:100]
When the Messenger [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] informed of us of the differing and splitting that will occur, he said: ‘’’The Jews split into 71 sects, and the Christians split into 72 sects; and my Ummah will split into 73 sects, all of them in the fire except one. We [i.e. the sahaabah] said: ‘Which one is it O Messenger of Allaah?’ He said: Those who are upon [the path] which I and my companions are upon.’’’
So, there is no safeguard against the Fitnah of [blameworthy] differing in every era, especially during the end of time, except by adhering to the [authentic] Sunnah of the Messenger [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] and path of his companions. This is what will protect us from the fire and this why Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaa’ah are called ‘The Saved Sect”– the sect that is safeguarded against the fire on the Day of Judgment. And those in opposition will not be saved due their opposition and splitting away from the saved sect, except those who are firm upon [the Sunnah of the Messenger and the path of the Sahaabah]. And firmness upon the truth, the Sunnah of the Messenger [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] and the way of the companions cannot be accomplished except by way of beneficial knowledge. How can one be firm upon something, yet he [or she] is ignorant of it? We must learn the Sunnah of the Messenger [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] and the path his companions were upon, until we become firm upon it and adhere to it.
Seek Knowledge from The Upright Scholars, Stay with The Body of Muslims Who Are United Behind a Ruler and Distance Yourself from Deviated Sects In Order to be Safeguarded from Fitan
Hudhaifah bin Al Yamaan [radiyallaahu anhu] said: The people used to ask Allaah’s Messenger [sallal-laahu alayhi-wasallam] about good, but I used to ask him about evil for fear that it might overtake me. Once, I said, ”O Allaah’s Messenger! We were in ignorance and in evil and Allaah has bestowed upon us the present good; will there be any evil after this good? He said, ‘Yes.’ I asked, ‘Will there be good after that evil?’ He said: ‘Yes, but it would be tainted with Dakhan [i.e. little evil]. I asked, ‘What will be its Dakhan be?’ He said, ‘There will be some people who will lead [people] according to principles other than my Sunnah. You will see their actions and disapprove of them.’ I said, ‘Will there be any evil after that good?” He said, ”Yes, there will be people who will invite others to the gates of Hell, and whoever accepts their invitation to it, will be thrown in it.’ I said, ‘O Allaah’s Messenger! Describe those people to us.’ He said, ‘They will belong to us and speak our language’. I asked, ’ [O Allaah’s Messenger]! What do you order me to do if such a thing should take place in my life?” He said, ”Adhere to the main body of Muslims and their Ruler.’ I asked, ‘If there is neither a main body of Muslims nor a Ruler [what shall I do]?’ He said, ‘Keep away from all those different sects, even if you had to bite the root of a tree, till death reaches you while you are in that state.”’
Hudhaifah sought clarification from the prophet [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] about what to do if he comes across evil in the future, so that he can be aware and safeguarded. This cannot be accomplished by making excuses! It cannot be accomplished except through knowledge- asking questions and asking! When the Messenger [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] clarified for Hudhaifah [radiyallaahu-anhu] regarding what was to take place, Hudhaifah said: ”What do you order me O Messenger of Allaah if I come across that?” He [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] said: ”Adhere to the group of Muslims and their Ruler.” This is similar to his [sallal-laahu-alayhi wasallam] statement: ”Upon you is to have Taqwah of Allaah, and to listen and obey.’’
Do not go with the deviated sects; rather you should be upon firmness, perseverance and Fiqh Fid-deen [sound understanding in the religion]. Look to that which the Messenger [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] and his companions were upon and adhere to it. You should listen to the Muslim ruler and obey him [in good]  and be with the Jamaa’ah of the Muslims . He [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] said: ‘’Adhere to the group of Muslims and their Ruler.’’ He (Hudhaifah) said: ‘’O Messenger of Allaah! What if there is neither a group [of Muslims] nor a Ruler?’’ He [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] said: ”Keep away from all those different sects’’.
If there is no group and a ruler adhering to the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger, then keep away from all of them because all of that is misguidance. Do not be with them [even if you had to bite the root of a tree, till death reaches you while you are in that state]. However, if there is a Jamaa’ah [i.e. those upon truth] and a Ruler for the Muslims, then do not be isolated; rather be with the Muslims in order that you may safe and secure.
 refer to this link about the Jamaa’ah:
Adherence to belief in Tawheed, singling Allaah out in worship, and keeping away from Major and Minor shirk. This is the foundation of [sound] belief and the main means to safeguarding oneself from the fire of hell. Allaah [The Most High] said: [ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَلَمۡ يَلۡبِسُوٓاْ إِيمَـٰنَهُم بِظُلۡمٍ أُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ لَهُمُ ٱلۡأَمۡنُ وَهُم مُّهۡتَدُونَ – It is those who believe and confuse not their belief with Zulm (wrong), for them (only) there is security and they are the guided. [‘6:82]
The meaning of [ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ -Those who believe]: Belief is Tawheed [pure Islamic Monotheism] – to worship Allaah [Alone] and keep away from worshipping others besides Him. And regarding the statement of Allaah [ وَلَمۡ يَلۡبِسُوٓاْ إِيمَـٰنَهُم بِظُلۡمٍ- And confuse not their belief with zulm]- Meaning: They do not mix their belief in Tawheed with Zulm [i.e. Shirk], because Tawheed is corrupted when mixed with shirk. Hence, Tawheed can never be actualised with the presence of shirk, because two opposites cannot come together. [Ref 1]
Therefore, Zulm is Shirk, just as the Messenger [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] explained when this ayah caused some unease for the sahaabah. They [i.e. the sahaabah] said: ‘’O Messenger of Allaah! Which of us has not committed Zulm [i.e. wrong] against himself?’’ He [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] said: ‘’It is not as you think, for indeed Zulm means shirk. Haven’t you heard the saying of the righteous slave [i.e. Luqmaan]?’’ [ يَـٰبُنَىَّ لَا تُشۡرِكۡ بِٱللَّهِۖ إِنَّ ٱلشِّرۡكَ لَظُلۡمٌ عَظِيمٌ۬ – O my son! Join not in worship others with Allaah. Verily! Joining others in worship with Allaah is a great Zulm (wrong) indeed. [31:13]
Therefore, the intent behind Zulm in this ayah is Shirk. The one safe from shirk will have safety in this life and the next. He will receive guidance for being upon the truth. And Allaah [Glorified be He and free is He from all imperfections] said:
وَعَدَ ٱللَّهُ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ مِنكُمۡ وَعَمِلُواْ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَـٰتِ لَيَسۡتَخۡلِفَنَّهُمۡ فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ ڪَمَا ٱسۡتَخۡلَفَ ٱلَّذِينَ مِن قَبۡلِهِمۡ وَلَيُمَكِّنَنَّ لَهُمۡ دِينَہُمُ ٱلَّذِى ٱرۡتَضَىٰ لَهُمۡ وَلَيُبَدِّلَنَّہُم مِّنۢ بَعۡدِ خَوۡفِهِمۡ أَمۡنً۬اۚ يَعۡبُدُونَنِى لَا يُشۡرِكُونَ بِى شَيۡـًٔ۬اۚ
Allaah has promised those among you who believe and do righteous good deeds, that He will certainly grant them succession to (the present rulers) in the land, as He granted it to those before them, and that He will grant them the authority to practice their religion which He has chosen for them (i.e. Islaam). And He will surely give them in exchange a safe security after their fear (provided) that they (believers) worship Me and do not associate anything (in worship) with Me. [24:55]
These great promises [mentioned in the above ayah] cannot be accomplished except by way of this condition which is: [يَعۡبُدُونَنِى لَا يُشۡرِكُونَ بِى شَيۡـًٔ۬ا – (provided) they (i.e. the believers) worship Me (Allaah) and do not associate anything (in worship) with Me].
If this condition is fulfilled, then these noble promises of Allaah will be attained, and certainly, the believers will be granted succession to [the present rulers] in the land. Allaah will grant them authority to practice their religion, which He has chosen for them (i.e. Islaam) and will surely give them in exchange a safe security after their fear. These great aims [or goals] cannot be achieved except by way of Tawheed – to worship Allaah (alone) and abandon worship of other than Him.
[Ref 1] Major Shirk and Minor Shirk: The Shaikh, Saaleh Al-Fawzaan [may Allaah preserve him] stated in his book titled ‘Duroos Minal Qur’aan’ that minor shirk does not expel a person from the Milla (i.e. the religion). Minor shirk is related words uttered by a person, such as one who says, ‘‘Had it not been for Allaah and you’’ or ‘’what Allaah and you will’’. This is minor shirk on condition that the person does not hold it as belief in his heart. The Shaikh also spoke of other types of apparent minor Shirk, such as swearing by other than Allaah, and Hidden Minor Shirk such as Riyaa [showing off in worship]. [See Duroos Minal Qur’aan for further details. Page: 172]. The reader must read the article in this link http://www.abukhadeejah.com/ahmad-an-najmees-kitaab-at-tawheed-chapter-3-fear-of-falling-into-shirk/ because the subject matter is discussed in more detail, and by the permission of Allaah the reader will be facilitated with a precise understanding.
Enjoining Good and Forbidding Evil
Enjoining good and forbidding evil is a means to safety for the Ummah – one of the greatest means to safety. As long as enjoining good and forbidding evil is present, the ummah will have safety. If the Ummah abandons enjoining good and forbidding evil, it will be destroyed, just as Allaah related -to us- the story of Bani Israa’eel when they violated the command related to the Sabbath. The righteous forbade them from their transgression, but they did not comply. And a group amongst the righteous kept quiet and did not forbid them, rather – as Allaah informed us – they said:
وَإِذۡ قَالَتۡ أُمَّةٌ۬ مِّنۡہُمۡ لِمَ تَعِظُونَ قَوۡمًاۙ ٱللَّهُ مُهۡلِكُهُمۡ أَوۡ مُعَذِّبُہُمۡ عَذَابً۬ا شَدِيدً۬اۖ قَالُواْ مَعۡذِرَةً إِلَىٰ رَبِّكُمۡ وَلَعَلَّهُمۡ يَتَّقُونَ
Why do we preach to a people whom Allaah is about to destroy or to punish with a severe torment? (The preachers) said: In order to be free from guilt before your Lord (Allaah), and perhaps they may fear Allaah. [7:164]
And Allaah said:
وَسۡـَٔلۡهُمۡ عَنِ ٱلۡقَرۡيَةِ ٱلَّتِى ڪَانَتۡ حَاضِرَةَ ٱلۡبَحۡرِ إِذۡ يَعۡدُونَ فِى ٱلسَّبۡتِ إِذۡ تَأۡتِيهِمۡ حِيتَانُهُمۡ يَوۡمَ سَبۡتِهِمۡ شُرَّعً۬ا وَيَوۡمَ لَا يَسۡبِتُونَۙ لَا تَأۡتِيهِمۡۚ ڪَذَٲلِكَ نَبۡلُوهُم بِمَا كَانُواْ يَفۡسُقُونَ
And ask them (O Muhammad) about the town that was by the sea; when they transgressed in the matter of the Sabbath (i.e. Saturday): when their fish came to them openly on the Sabbath day, and did not come to them on the day they had no Sabbath. Thus, We made a trial of them, for they used to rebel against Allah’s command. [7:163]
They transgressed by catching fish [on that day]. Allaah already forbade them from doing so, but they played a trick by casting nets that would retain the fish for them to collect on Sunday. The fish increased in abundance on the Saturday and not on the day they had no Sabbath, so they were beguiled into fishing as a trial and test. So, when they rejected advice, Allaah saved those who forbade them and destroyed those who transgressed. Allaah [The Most High] said:
فَلَمَّا نَسُواْ مَا ذُڪِّرُواْ بِهِۦۤ أَنجَيۡنَا ٱلَّذِينَ يَنۡہَوۡنَ عَنِ ٱلسُّوٓءِ وَأَخَذۡنَا ٱلَّذِينَ ظَلَمُواْ بِعَذَابِۭ بَـِٔيسِۭ بِمَا كَانُواْ يَفۡسُقُونَ
So, when they forgot the reminders that had been given to them, We rescued those who forbade evil, but We seized those who did wrong with a severe torment because they used to rebel (disobey Allah). [7:165]
The Prophet [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] said, “The example of the person abiding by Allah’s order and restrictions in comparison to those who violate them is like the example of those persons who drew lots for their seats in a boat. Some of them got seats in the upper part, and the others in the lower. When the latter needed water, they had to go up to bring water (and that troubled the others), so they said, ‘Let us make a hole in our share of the ship (and get water) saving those who are above us from troubling them. So, if the people in the upper part left the others do what they had suggested, all the people of the ship would be destroyed, but if they prevented them, both parties would be safe.”
This is a manifest example. Indeed, if the people of sin, evil, and desires are left alone, the ummah will be destroyed. Therefore, the people of knowledge, sound judgment and religion must restrain them so that the ummah can be saved from the punishment of Allaah. Everyone will be destroyed-both the righteous one and the wicked one- if they [the people of sin] are left alone in sin and [evil] desires. Allaah [The Most High] said:
وَٱتَّقُواْ فِتۡنَةً۬ لَّا تُصِيبَنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ ظَلَمُواْ مِنكُمۡ خَآصَّةً۬ۖ وَٱعۡلَمُوٓاْ أَنَّ ٱللَّهَ شَدِيدُ ٱلۡعِقَابِ
And fear the affliction and trial which affects not in particular (only) those of you who do wrong (but it may afflict all the good and the bad people), and know that Allaah is Severe in punishment. [8:25]
When punishment descends on the disobedient ones, it afflicts both the righteous and the wicked one, except the one who rejected evil. Indeed he [the one who rejected evil] will be saved, [but] as for the one who did not reject evil; indeed he will be destroyed even if he a righteous person. He will be destroyed along with those who are destroyed, just as what happened to those who transgressed and fished on the day of the Sabbath. Allaah did not mention anything about those who kept quiet [i.e. those who did not reject evil]; rather Allaah only mentioned those who forbade from evil [i.e. that they were saved from punishment]. As for the second group- those whom Allaah informed us about that they said: [لِمَ تَعِظُونَ قَوۡمًاۙ- Why do you preach to a people]? Allaah kept quiet about their affair and nothing was mentioned about them, as to whether they were amongst the destroyed or those saved, however, what is apparent is that they were amongst those destroyed.
The Prophet [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] recited the statement of Allaah:
لُعِنَ ٱلَّذِينَ ڪَفَرُواْ مِنۢ بَنِىٓ إِسۡرَٲٓءِيلَ عَلَىٰ لِسَانِ دَاوُ ۥدَ وَعِيسَى ٱبۡنِ مَرۡيَمَۚ ذَٲلِكَ بِمَا عَصَواْ وَّڪَانُواْ يَعۡتَدُونَ
ڪَانُواْ لَا يَتَنَاهَوۡنَ عَن مُّنڪَرٍ۬ فَعَلُوهُۚ لَبِئۡسَ مَا ڪَانُواْ يَفۡعَلُونَ
Those among the Children of Israel who disbelieved were cursed by the tongue of Daawood and Eesaa, son of Maryam. That was because they disobeyed (Allaah and the Messengers) and were ever transgressing beyond bounds. They used not to forbid one another from evil which they committed. Vile indeed was what they used to do. [5:78-79]; then he said, “They were cursed because they did not forbid one another from evil which they committed. So Allaah cursed all of them.’’
The Prophet [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] said: By no means, I swear by Allaah, you must enjoin good and forbid evil, prevent the wrongdoer, bend him into conformity with what is right, and restrict him to what is right, or Allaah will mingle your hearts together and curse you as He cursed them. [Abu Daawood]
Many people place the responsibility of enjoining good and forbidding evil on others. They say, ‘’It is the responsibility of the committee of senior scholars.’’ Yes indeed, the committee of senior have a great responsibility, however, you also have responsibilities. Every Muslim has responsibilities. The Prophet [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] said: ‘’Whoever sees an evil deed should stop it with his hand. If he is not able to do that, then with his tongue, if he is able to do that, then with his heart, and that is from the weakest of Eemaan.’’ [Muslim]
As for saying that the responsibility is only that of the committee and that you will neither forbid evil nor enjoin good, and that you will neither give advice nor call to Allaah, and that you will neither admonish nor give reminder, this is a means to destruction. The Prophet [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] said: ‘’Whoever is not able, then let it be with his tongue, if he is not able to do that, then with his heart, and that is from the weakest of Eemaan.’’ [Ref 1] Therefore, you also have obligations to fulfil. You have obligations to be fulfilled in your household. Allaah [The Most High] said:
يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ قُوٓاْ أَنفُسَكُمۡ وَأَهۡلِيكُمۡ نَارً۬ا وَقُودُهَا ٱلنَّاسُ وَٱلۡحِجَارَةُ عَلَيۡہَا مَلَـٰٓٮِٕكَةٌ غِلَاظٌ۬ شِدَادٌ۬ لَّا يَعۡصُونَ ٱللَّهَ مَآ أَمَرَهُمۡ وَيَفۡعَلُونَ مَا يُؤۡمَرُونَ
O you who believe! Ward off yourselves and your families against a Fire whose fuel is men and stones, over which are (appointed) angels stern (and) severe, who disobey not, (from executing) the Commands they receive from Allaah, but do that which they are commanded. [7:6]
The committee of senior scholars and the ruler do not know the people in your household. You are responsible for the women in your household, because the people do not know what goes on in your house. The [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] said: “Every one of you is a guardian, and every one of you is responsible for those under his guardianship. A ruler is a guardian and is responsible [for his subjects]; a man is a guardian of his family and responsible [for them]; a wife is a guardian of her husband’s house and is responsible [for it], a slave is a guardian of his master’s property and is responsible (for that). All of you are guardians and are responsible for [those under your guardianship].”
[Ref 1] Question to Imaam Abdul Azeez Bin Baaz (Rahimahullaah) Regarding Enjoining Good and Forbidding Evil: Is enjoining good and forbidding evil by the hand an obligation on all Muslims or is it just confined to those in authority and their deputies?
Answer: Enjoining good and forbidding evil is an obligation on all Muslims according to their ability, because the Messenger [sallal laahu alayhi-wasallam] said: “Anyone of you who sees evil, let them stop it with his hand [i.e. by taking action]; if not able, then with his tongue [i.e. by speaking out]; and if not able, then with his heart [i.e. by hating it and feeling that it is wrong], and that is the weakest of Eemaan.’’ [Muslim, Abu Dawood, Tirmidhi & others]
However, stopping [evil] by the hand must be based on ability and should not result in greater corruption or evil. A man has the right to rectify matters with his hand [i.e. by taking action] in his home; a manager has the authority to make changes with the hand within the organization he is responsible for- in accordance with the instructions given to him [i.e. the authority given to him by the government]; otherwise, people should not stop any evil with their hand which they are not authorised to stop [in that manner]. If they do make changes in matters that they have no authority over, this will result in more evil and great corruption between them and the people and between the people and the state.
In this case they should make the change with their tongue (by speaking out). They may say: “O so-and-so! Fear Allah! That is not permissible,” “This is Haram (prohibited),” or: “That is Waajib (obligatory) on you,” and clarify it with Shar’iy (Islamic legal) evidence. [NB: In the UK, objecting to certain behaviour can be viewed as harassment or verbal abuse, therefore a Muslim should be aware of what the law allows him before he says or does anything whilst living in the West].
As for stopping evil with the hand, this should be done where one has authority, such as one’s home [i.e. within what the law allows], or those authorized by the ruler, such as organizations given permission and authority to enjoin good. They should stop evil in accordance with the degree of authority given to them and in a way prescribed by Islamic law- without exceeding their jurisdiction. The same applies to the governor of a city, for he take action in accordance with the instructions he has been given [by the government]. [An Excerpt from Fataawa Ibn Baaz 8/208]
How to rectify the rulers when they err
Brotherhood, Reconciliation between the Muslims, Abandoning Mockery, Oppression, [Blameworthy] Hatred, Cheating, Undercutting In Business Transactions etc
Also, one off the means to safety for the Ummah is that that there should be brotherhood and love between the Muslims. The Prophet [sallal-laahu alayhi-wasallam] said, ‘’A believer is like a brick for another believer, the one supporting the other’’. [Saheeh Muslim]
And the Prophet [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] said, ‘’The similitude of believers in regard to mutual love, affection, and fellow-feeling, is that of one body; when any limb of it aches, the whole-body aches, because of sleeplessness and fever’’. [Saheeh Muslim]
Mutual advice between Muslims is an obligation. The Prophet [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] said, ”The religion is Naseehah…..” Love between the Muslims is an obligation. The Prophet [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] said, ‘’You shall not enter Paradise so long as you do not believe, and you will not believe as long as you do not love one another. Should I not direct you to a thing which, if you do, will foster love amongst you: practice giving salutation to one another by saying as-salaamu alaikum’’. [Saheeh Muslim]
Reconciliation between the Muslims is an obligation. Allaah [The Most High] said:
لَّا خَيۡرَ فِى ڪَثِيرٍ۬ مِّن نَّجۡوَٮٰهُمۡ إِلَّا مَنۡ أَمَرَ بِصَدَقَةٍ أَوۡ مَعۡرُوفٍ أَوۡ إِصۡلَـٰحِۭ بَيۡنَ ٱلنَّاسِۚ وَمَن يَفۡعَلۡ ذَٲلِكَ ٱبۡتِغَآءَ مَرۡضَاتِ ٱللَّهِ فَسَوۡفَ نُؤۡتِيهِ أَجۡرًا عَظِيمً۬ا
There is no good in most of their secret talks save (in) him who orders Sadaqah (charity in Allaah’s Cause), or Ma’ruuf (Islaamic Monotheism and all the good and righteous deeds which Allaah has ordained), or conciliation between mankind; and he who does this, seeking the good Pleasure of Allaah, We shall give him a great reward. [4:114]
And Allaah [The Most High] said:
وَإِن طَآٮِٕفَتَانِ مِنَ ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنِينَ ٱقۡتَتَلُواْ فَأَصۡلِحُواْ بَيۡنَہُمَاۖ فَإِنۢ بَغَتۡ إِحۡدَٮٰهُمَا عَلَى ٱلۡأُخۡرَىٰ فَقَـٰتِلُواْ ٱلَّتِى تَبۡغِى حَتَّىٰ تَفِىٓءَ إِلَىٰٓ أَمۡرِ ٱللَّهِۚ فَإِن فَآءَتۡ فَأَصۡلِحُواْ بَيۡنَہُمَا بِٱلۡعَدۡلِ وَأَقۡسِطُوٓاْۖ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يُحِبُّ ٱلۡمُقۡسِطِينَ
And if two parties or groups among the believers fall to fighting, then make peace between them both. But if one of them outrages against the other, then fight you (all) against the one that which outrages till it complies with the Command of Allaah. Then if it complies, then make reconciliation between them justly, and be equitable. Verily! Allaah loves those who are the equitable?? (49:9)
Also, one of the means to safety for the ummah is that they stop hating and making mockery of one another. Allaah [The Most High] said:
يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لَا يَسۡخَرۡ قَوۡمٌ۬ مِّن قَوۡمٍ عَسَىٰٓ أَن يَكُونُواْ خَيۡرً۬ا مِّنۡہُمۡ وَلَا نِسَآءٌ۬ مِّن نِّسَآءٍ عَسَىٰٓ أَن يَكُنَّ خَيۡرً۬ا مِّنۡہُنَّۖ وَلَا تَلۡمِزُوٓاْ أَنفُسَكُمۡ وَلَا تَنَابَزُواْ بِٱلۡأَلۡقَـٰبِۖ بِئۡسَ ٱلِٱسۡمُ ٱلۡفُسُوقُ بَعۡدَ ٱلۡإِيمَـٰنِۚ وَمَن لَّمۡ يَتُبۡ فَأُوْلَـٰٓٮِٕكَ هُمُ ٱلظَّـٰلِمُونَ
O you who believe! Let not a group scoff at another group; it may be that the latter are better than the former. Nor let (some) women scoff at other women, it may be that the latter are better than the former. Nor defame one another, nor insult one another by nicknames. How bad is it to insult one’s brother after having faith [i.e. to call your Muslim brother (a faithful believer) as ‘O sinner’ or ‘O wicked One’]. And whosoever does not repent, then such are indeed Zaalimuun (wrong doers, etc.) (49:11)
These [affairs] are from the means to safety for the Ummah, so that the Ummah become an upright community that loves one another. The Muslim neither deceives another Muslim in dealings nor cheats in a business transaction. He does not propose to a woman for marriage who has already agreed to marry another Muslim. He neither undercuts his Muslim brother in business transactions nor outbids him after he has agreed on a transaction. He honours his brother Muslim and safeguards his rights. The Prophet [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] said, ‘’A Muslim is the brother of a Muslim; he neither oppresses him nor does he fail him, he neither lies to him nor does he hold him in contempt. Piety is right here-and he pointed to his heart three times. It is evil enough for a man to hold his brother Muslim in contempt. The whole of a Muslim for another Muslim is inviolable: his blood, his property, and his honour.’’ [Saheeh Muslim]
This is from the means to safety for the ummah: To spread love between the Muslims; advice one another, enjoin good and forbid evil, and to co-operate upon virtue and righteousness.
The Later Part of This Ummah Will Not Be Rectified Except Through That Which Rectified Its Early Generations
Imaam Maalik [rahimahullaah] said, ‘’The latter part of this ummah will not be rectified except with that which rectified its earliest part.’’ Its earliest part was rectified through Islaam and holding firmly to the religion. Likewise, its latter part will not be rectified except through that which rectified its earliest part. Destruction will take place if the latter part of the ummah is isolated from its earliest part; but the callers to misguidance say something else at present. They say, ‘’These commands and prohibitions are for those who came earlier. It does not rectify the [affairs] of this era!! Al Walaa Wal Baraa does not bring rectification in this era’’. So, according to the claim of these transgressors, acting upon the Qur’aan ceases to exist and that at present we need a new religion- a new system.
[Therefore, it is said to them]: Is not the Prophet [sallal-laahu-layhi-wasallam] a Messenger sent to the entire world; is he not a Messenger until the establishment of the hour; is his Religion not to remain till the establishment of the hour, and is his religion not complete and comprehensive for all times and places? Those who say that these [commands and prohibitions of the Sharee-ah] have ceased to exist with the passing of the early era and that at present we are in a new world, and that we need a new system (of regulations)] – these are statements of the people of falsehood and the Munaafiqoon, those who display Islaam and hide kufr. These are statements of those who spread propaganda against Islaam. When trials and tribulations occur, they manifest their Nifaaq and that which is in their hearts. Therefore, they are not to be given attention. Do not incline towards them and their statements. Even if we are belittled and mocked at by those who belittle and mock, or we are spoken against by those who speak, it is [still] obligated on us to follow the path of truth and the Sunnah. We have nothing to do with these ones and we are free from them. We follow a clear and manifest path based on the book of Allaah and the Sunnah of the Messenger.
The Prophet [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] said: I have left you with two affairs, which if you strictly adhere to, you shall not be misguided. That is the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Prophet’’. [Musnad Ahmad]
And Allaah [The Most High] said:
وَأَنَّ هَـٰذَا صِرَٲطِى مُسۡتَقِيمً۬ا فَٱتَّبِعُوهُۖ وَلَا تَتَّبِعُواْ ٱلسُّبُلَ فَتَفَرَّقَ بِكُمۡ عَن سَبِيلِهِۦۚ ذَٲلِكُمۡ وَصَّٮٰكُم بِهِۦ لَعَلَّڪُمۡ تَتَّقُونَ
And verily, this is My Straight Path, so follow it, and follow not (other) paths, for they will separate you away from His Path. This He has ordained for you that you may become Al-Muttaqoon (the pious) [6:153]
We ask Allaah to grant Shaikh Saaleh Al-Fawzaan well-being and reward him with abundant good in this life and the next. We ask Allaah to preserve all the upright scholars of the Ummah, guide those who have strayed and grant us all the Tawfeeq to follow all the means to rectification and safety. Aameen.