In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
Disbelief, Arrogance, Rebelling Against The Creator And Denying His Blessings
Imaam Ibnul Qayyim [rahimahullaah] said:
Allaah brought the servant out of his mother’s womb whilst he knew nothing, not able to do anything and owned nothing; neither able to give nor take; neither able to harm nor benefit. This state of neediness until he reached a more perfect state is something witnessed and tangible for everyone [to see], and i is well known that this is the very essence of the human being and he remains upon that state. He does not move from this state and enters into a state of Lordship – a state in which he becomes absolutely self-sufficient and not need of anyone and anything; rather he does not cease being a slave, a needy one to his Rabb [Allaah the Creator, All-Provider and the Only One Who Controls and Sustains Everything] and His Faatir [Allaah, The Originator and Creator of Everything].
However, after the human being was granted blessings, shown mercy, granted the means to reach a more perfect state, and Allaah -out of His Perfect Kindness and Generosity- granted him apparent blessings [i.e. to recognise the Messengers who were sent with Islamic Monotheism, granted him the lawful pleasures of this world, including health, good looks, etc.] and the hidden blessings [i.e. granted him the innate disposition to recognise his Lord when the Messenger calls him to Eemaan, and granted him knowledge, wisdom, guidance for doing righteous deeds, and also the pleasures and delights of the Hereafter in Paradise, etc.], granted him hearing, sight and a heart, and taught him [i.e. gave him the means to knowledge], granted him ability, subjugated things to him, granted him [the desire and enthusiasm to pursue what is beneficial, and take action], enabled him to receive the service of those of his kind [i.e. gave him authority over other humans], subjugated to him horses and camels, gave him the ability to capture the animals in the sea, drop birds from the sky, subjugate wild animals, dig wells [irrigate water etc], plant trees, dig the earth, learn how to build, acquire the things that are of benefit to him, guard against and protect himself from that which is harmful to him; then the Miskeen [i.e. this absolutely poor, dependent human being] thinks that he has a share of authority and claims – for himself – a kingship [or authority] similar to that of Allaah [Glorified be Allaah and free is Allaah from all imperfections, partners, coequals, similarities etc], and begins to see himself in a manner other than what he was at first, forgets his [prior] state of non-existence, poverty and neediness, until he becomes as if he was not that poor and needy thing. [Ref 1]
Destructive Craving For Leadership and Dominance, And Enslavement of The Hearts to Them
Imaam Ibnul Qayyim [rahimahullaah] said: The difference between the desire for righteous leadership as opposed to merely desiring leadership: It is the difference between exalting the command of Allaah and being sincere to Allaah as opposed to love of exalting oneself and hastening towards the fulfilment of desires. Indeed the one who is sincere to Allaah and exalts Him, he loves that his Lord is obeyed and not disobeyed; [loves that] Allaah’s Word should be uppermost and that all affairs of the religion should be established sincerely for the sake of Allaah, and [that] the servants should obey Allaah’s commands and keep away from what Allaah has forbidden. He is sincere in his servitude to Allaah and sincere to Allaah’s creation in calling them to the path of Allaah. So he loves to be [an upright] leader in the religion; rather he asks his Lord to make him from the leaders of the righteous people who are followed, just as he is a follower of the righteous. Therefore, if this servant -[i.e. this person] who calls to Allaah- loves that he is considered dignified in the eyes [of the people], revered and beloved in their hearts and is one followed amongst them, so that he is trusted by them and they follow the example of the Messenger through him, then this [desire of his] does not harm him; rather he is praised for it. That is because the caller to Allaah loves that Allaah is obeyed and singled out in worship. He loves to be a means by way of which [people] are aided to [obey Allaah, single out Allaah in worship and follow the Messenger]. And due to this, [when] Allaah mentioned those chosen slaves of His- whom He praised in His revelation and will grant the best of reward on the day they meet Him- He mentioned them with the best of their deeds and characteristics, and then said: [ وَٱلَّذِينَ يَقُولُونَ رَبَّنَا هَبۡ لَنَا مِنۡ أَزۡوَٲجِنَا وَذُرِّيَّـٰتِنَا قُرَّةَ أَعۡيُنٍ۬ وَٱجۡعَلۡنَا لِلۡمُتَّقِينَ إِمَامًا – And those who say: “Our Lord! Bestow on us from our wives and our offspring who will be the comfort of our eyes, and make us leaders for the Muttaqun]. (pious) 25:74
So they ask Allaah to grant them the comfort of the eye by making their wives and offspring obedient to Allaah, and to grant them happiness in their hearts due to being followed by the righteous in obedience and servitude to Allaah. That is because a trustworthy leader in the religion co-operates with [others] upon obedience [to Allaah and His Messenger], and that is to call them to [sound] leadership in the religion, whose foundation is patience and certainty, as 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 Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.). [32:24]
Therefore, in their supplication -[in Soorah Al-Furqaan Ayah 74]- to Allaah that He makes them leaders of the righteous people, is that Allaah guides them, grants them success, bless them with beneficial knowledge and righteous actions–outwardly and inwardly–without which [sound] leadership in the religion cannot be achieved.
This is different from [merely] seeking leadership, for indeed its seekers hasten to obtain it in order to achieve their goals, [such as] exaltedness in the earth; enslavement of the hearts to them, attachment to them and aiding them in all their goals, whilst they are exalted and everyone subservient to them. This pursuit of leadership brings about corruption-which none can enumerate except Allaah- such as rebellion, envy, transgression, enmity, oppression, trials, being ardent in defending oneself at the expense of violating the rights of Allaah, exalting those despised by Allaah and belittling those honoured by Allaah. [Ref 2]
Divide And Rule, Rather Than Obedience to The Messengers
Allaah [The Exalted] said:
إِنَّ فِرۡعَوۡنَ عَلَا فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ وَجَعَلَ أَهۡلَهَا شِيَعً۬ا يَسۡتَضۡعِفُ طَآٮِٕفَةً۬ مِّنۡہُمۡ يُذَبِّحُ أَبۡنَآءَهُمۡ وَيَسۡتَحۡىِۦ نِسَآءَهُمۡۚ إِنَّهُ ۥ كَانَ مِنَ ٱلۡمُفۡسِدِينَ
Verily, Fir’aun (Pharaoh) exalted himself in the land and made its people sects, weakening (oppressing) a group (i.e. Children of Israel) among them, killing their sons, and letting their females live. Verily, he was of the Mufsidoon]. [Surah Al-Qasas. Aayah 4]
[وَجَعَلَ أَهۡلَهَا شِيَعً۬ا – and made its people sects]- Meaning: Different group that were organised and distinguished, and he utilised each group in that which he desired in his kingdom. [Ref 3] He made them into sects and different groups to serve him and they went along with what he wanted and obeyed him. [Ref 4] He made them into different distinct groups, dealt with them based on his evil desires and subjugated them as he wanted by means of his power and authority. [Ref 5] He divided them into different sects and they went along with him in everything he desired of evil and corruption, or he used some as a means to get others to obey him; or he made them into different distinct groups under his service and used every group in some type of work, such as construction, tillage, earthwork [drilling etc] and other burdensome work, and whoever did not work was beaten, so they served him by doing so; or he made them into sects and incited hatred and enmity between them, so that they do not come to an agreement [or become united in their stance against him]. [Ref 6]
[ إِنَّهُ ۥ كَانَ مِنَ ٱلۡمُفۡسِدِينَ – Verily, he was of the Mufsidoon]- Meaning: Those whose intention is neither to rectify the religious nor worldly affairs, and this was from his corrupt behaviour in the earth; [Ref 7] committing unlawful killing and being disobedient to Allaah. [Ref 8]
Concoct And Beautify Corrupt Ideas to Steal Wealth
Allaah [The Most High] said:
وَمِنۡ أَهۡلِ ٱلۡكِتَـٰبِ مَنۡ إِن تَأۡمَنۡهُ بِقِنطَارٍ۬ يُؤَدِّهِۦۤ إِلَيۡكَ وَمِنۡهُم مَّنۡ إِن تَأۡمَنۡهُ بِدِينَارٍ۬ لَّا يُؤَدِّهِۦۤ إِلَيۡكَ إِلَّا مَا دُمۡتَ عَلَيۡهِ قَآٮِٕمً۬اۗ ذَٲلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمۡ قَالُواْ لَيۡسَ عَلَيۡنَا فِى ٱلۡأُمِّيِّـۧنَ سَبِيلٌ۬ وَيَقُولُونَ عَلَى ٱللَّهِ ٱلۡكَذِبَ وَهُمۡ يَعۡلَمُونَ
Among the people of the Scripture is he who, if entrusted with a Cantar [a great amount of wealth, etc.], will readily pay it back; and among them there is he who, if entrusted with a single silver coin, will not repay it unless you constantly stand demanding, because they say: ‘’There is no blame on us to betray and take the properties of the illiterates (Arabs).” But they tell a lie against Allah while they know it. [3:75]
Imaam As-Sadi [rahimahullaah] said: They made corrupt claims and held repulsive views, and thus considered themselves to be possessors of great status and that the illiterate Arabs were extremely degraded; therefore, the rights of the illiterate Arabs could be violated. So, through these corrupt claims and repulsive views they ate haraam and considered it lawful by way of creed.
Likewise, they lied against Allaah because the scholar who declares things lawful or unlawful is considered- by the people- as one transmitting Allaah’s Judgement and not from himself; and that [ruling of theirs about the wealth of the illiterate Arabs] is a lie. Allaah said: [وَيَقُولُونَ عَلَى ٱللَّهِ ٱلۡكَذِبَ وَهُمۡ يَعۡلَمُون – But they tell a lie against Allah while they know it]. This is one of the greatest sins-speaking about Allaah without knowledge. [Ref 9]
Persistence Upon Sin And Seek to Find Other Explanations For Calamities In order to Divert Mankind From The Message of The Messengers
Allaah [The Exalted] said:
[وَلَقَدۡ أَرۡسَلۡنَا مُوسَىٰ بِـَٔايَـٰتِنَآ إِلَىٰ فِرۡعَوۡنَ وَمَلَإِيْهِۦ فَقَالَ إِنِّى رَسُولُ رَبِّ ٱلۡعَـٰلَمِينَ – And indeed We did send Musa (Moses) with Our Ayat (i.e. proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations), to Fir’aun (Pharaoh) and his chiefs (inviting them to Allah’s Religion of Islam) He said: “Verily, I am a Messenger of the Lord of the ‘Alamin (mankind, jinns and all that exists)]; Meaning: Moosaa [Alayhis-Salaam] called them to single out Allaah [The Most high] in worship and forbade them from worshipping others besides Allaah.
Then Allaah [The Most High] said: [فَلَمَّا جَآءَهُم بِـَٔايَـٰتِنَآ إِذَا هُم مِّنۡہَا يَضۡحَكُونَ – But when he (Moosaa) came to them with Our Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) behold! They laughed at them]; Meaning: They rejected those signs and mocked at them due to transgression and arrogance, and not because those signs were insignificant and unclear. And this is why Allaah [The Most High] says: [وَمَا نُرِيهِم مِّنۡ ءَايَةٍ إِلَّا هِىَ أَڪۡبَرُ مِنۡ أُخۡتِهَاۖ – And not an Ayah (sign, etc.) We showed them but it was greater than its fellow]; Meaning: The signs that came last were greater than the previous ones. [وَأَخَذۡنَـٰهُم بِٱلۡعَذَابِ لَعَلَّهُمۡ يَرۡجِعُونَ – and We seized them with torment, in order that they might turn [from their polytheism to Allah’s Religion (Islamic Monotheism)].
However, whenever punishment came to them, Allaah [The Most High] says that they said: [يَـٰٓأَيُّهَ ٱلسَّاحِرُ -O you sorcerer!]; Meaning: O Moosaa! The sorcerer. They addressed him in such a manner either to falsely accuse him; or it might have been a praise – the manner in which they addressed those whom they considered to be from their scholars, their magicians. [ٱدۡعُ لَنَا رَبَّكَ بِمَا عَهِدَ عِندَكَ إِنَّنَا لَمُهۡتَدُونَ -Invoke your Lord for us according to what He has covenanted with you. Verily, We shall guide ourselves (aright)]; Meaning: Invoke your Lord on our behalf because your Lord has given you a high status and other special favours, so that this hardship is removed from us and we shall become rightly guided thereafter.
Then Allaah [The Most High] said: [فَلَمَّا كَشَفۡنَا عَنۡہُمُ ٱلۡعَذَابَ إِذَا هُمۡ يَنكُثُونَ -But when We removed the torment from them, behold! They broke their covenant]; Meaning: They did not fulfil their promise; rather they were treacherous and persisted upon disbelief. This behaviour of theirs is similar to what Allaah [The Most High] says about them in Surah Al-Araaf:
فَأَرۡسَلۡنَا عَلَيۡہِمُ ٱلطُّوفَانَ وَٱلۡجَرَادَ وَٱلۡقُمَّلَ وَٱلضَّفَادِعَ وَٱلدَّمَ ءَايَـٰتٍ۬ مُّفَصَّلَـٰتٍ۬ فَٱسۡتَڪۡبَرُواْ وَكَانُواْ قَوۡمً۬ا مُّجۡرِمِينَ (١٣٣) وَلَمَّا وَقَعَ عَلَيۡهِمُ ٱلرِّجۡزُ قَالُواْ يَـٰمُوسَى ٱدۡعُ لَنَا رَبَّكَ بِمَا عَهِدَ عِندَكَۖ لَٮِٕن كَشَفۡتَ عَنَّا ٱلرِّجۡزَ لَنُؤۡمِنَنَّ لَكَ وَلَنُرۡسِلَنَّ مَعَكَ بَنِىٓ إِسۡرَٲٓءِيلَ (١٣٤) فَلَمَّا ڪَشَفۡنَا عَنۡہُمُ ٱلرِّجۡزَ إِلَىٰٓ أَجَلٍ هُم بَـٰلِغُوهُ إِذَا هُمۡ يَنكُثُونَ
So We sent on them: the flood, the locusts, the lice, the frogs, and the blood: (as a succession of) manifest signs, yet they remained arrogant, and they were of those people who were Mujrimun (criminals, polytheists, sinners, etc.). And when the punishment fell on them they said: “O Musa (Moses)! Invoke your Lord for us because of His Promise to you. If you will remove the punishment from us, we indeed shall believe in you, and we shall let the Children of Israel go with you.” But when We removed the punishment from them to a fixed term, which they had to reach, behold! They broke their word! [Ref 10]
Self-praise, Belittling The Obedient Servants of Allaah And Character Assassination
Then Allaah says [The Most High] says:
وَنَادَىٰ فِرۡعَوۡنُ فِى قَوۡمِهِۦ قَالَ يَـٰقَوۡمِ أَلَيۡسَ لِى مُلۡكُ مِصۡرَ وَهَـٰذِهِ ٱلۡأَنۡهَـٰرُ تَجۡرِى مِن تَحۡتِىٓۖ أَفَلَا تُبۡصِرُونَ
[And Fir’aun (Pharaoh) proclaimed among his people, saying: “O my people! Is not mine the dominion of Egypt, and these rivers flowing underneath me. See you not then?]; Meaning: Fir’awn proclaimed – whilst exalting his falsehood, deceived by his Kingdom, transgressing all bounds due to his wealth and armies- that he is the king of Egypt; the judge in all the affairs in Egypt and the one whose castle is surrounded by rivers and springs, which everyone can see.
Then Allaah [The Most High] says that Firawn said: [أَمۡ أَنَا۟ خَيۡرٌ۬ مِّنۡ هَـٰذَا ٱلَّذِى هُوَ مَهِينٌ۬ وَلَا يَكَادُ يُبِينُ – Am I not better than this one [Musa (Moses)], who is Mahin [has no honour nor any respect, and is weak and despicable] and can scarcely express himself clearly?]
May Allaah [The Most High] disfigure Fir’awn, for indeed he intended Moosaa [alayhis-salaam] by this description, even though Moosaa [alayhis-salaam] is one whom Allaah [The Most High] spoke to directly and one given high status by Allaah [The Most High]; however Fir’awn thought that he is honoured and Moosaa [alayhis-salaam] is dishonoured and disgraced. He also proclaimed that in addition to this, Moosaa [alayhis-salaam] cannot even speak clearly because he is not eloquent! However, Firawn’s insult against Moosaa [alayhis-salaam] -that Moosaa cannot even express himself- is not something blameworthy at all. That is because Moosaa [alayhis-salaam] was able to convey the message, even though he used encounter some difficulty when speaking.
Then Allaah [The Most High] says that Firawn said: [فَلَوۡلَآ أُلۡقِىَ عَلَيۡهِ أَسۡوِرَةٌ۬ مِّن ذَهَبٍ أَوۡ جَآءَ مَعَهُ ٱلۡمَلَـٰٓٮِٕڪَةُ مُقۡتَرِنِينَ – Why then are not golden bracelets bestowed on him, or angels sent along with him?] [Ref 11]
Propaganda, Brainwashing People And Hiding Truth
Allaah [The Most High] says: [فَٱسۡتَخَفَّ قَوۡمَهُ ۥ فَأَطَاعُوهُۚ إِنَّهُمۡ كَانُواْ قَوۡمً۬ا فَـٰسِقِينَ – Thus he [Fir’aun (Pharaoh)] befooled and misled his people, and they obeyed him. Verily, they were ever a people who were Fasiqun(rebellious, disobedient to Allah)]; Meaning: Fir’awn deceived them through those doubts, which were portrayed as something true. He deceived his people and his chiefs through words that neither carry any reality nor were such words a means by way of which truth could be distinguished from falsehood. And those words cannot deceive, except the possessors of feeble intellects. Fir’awn did not possess any proofs, rather he only stated that he was the king of Egypt (at the time) and that the rivers flow beneath him? He did not produce any proof to nullify the message brought by Moosaa [alayhis-salaam], even though Moosaa [alayhis-salaam] had few followers; found it hard to express himself clearly and did not possess the riches that Firawn possessed. However, the fact of the matter is that Fir’awn’s chiefs had no common sense, so they followed whatever he said -whether truth or falsehood. And because they were rebellious sinners, Fir’awn beautified shirk and evil for them. [Ref 12]
Sow Corruption And Then Claim to Be Rectifiers And Reformers
Allaah [The Most High] said:
وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمۡ لَا تُفۡسِدُواْ فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ قَالُوٓاْ إِنَّمَا نَحۡنُ مُصۡلِحُونَ
أَلَآ إِنَّهُمۡ هُمُ ٱلۡمُفۡسِدُونَ وَلَـٰكِن لَّا يَشۡعُرُونَ
وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمۡ ءَامِنُواْ كَمَآ ءَامَنَ ٱلنَّاسُ قَالُوٓاْ أَنُؤۡمِنُ كَمَآ ءَامَنَ ٱلسُّفَهَآءُۗ أَلَآ إِنَّهُمۡ هُمُ ٱلسُّفَهَآءُ وَلَـٰكِن لَّا يَعۡلَمُونَ
And when it is said to them: ‘’Make not mischief on the earth,” they say: “We are only peacemakers. Verily! They are the ones who make mischief, but they perceive not. And when it is said to them [hypocrites]: ‘’Believe as the people [followers of Muhammad (sallal laahu alayhi wasallam) have believed,’’ they say: ‘’Shall we believe as the fools have believed?’’ Verily, they are the fools, but they know not. [Surah Al-Baqarah. Aayaat 11-13]
Imaam Ibnul Qayyim [rahimahullaah] said: This debate took place between the believers and the hypocrites; the believers said to them, ‘’Make not mischief on the earth’’; the hypocrites replied, ‘’We are only peacemakers.’’ So, it seemed as if the debate between the two partners has ended, and that the hypocrites have nullified the claims of the people of Eemaan that they are mischief makers and [proved] that peace making is what should be attributed to them instead of mischief making. So, Allaah [The All-Mighty, The All-Wise] passed a judgement between the two parties and established four proofs against the hypocrites.
Firstly: They are liars. Secondly: They are mischief makers. Thirdly: They are trapped in mischief making. Allaah said: [أَلَآ إِنَّهُمۡ هُمُ ٱلۡمُفۡسِدُونَ – Verily! They are the ones who make mischief]. Fourthly: Allaah described them as a people who are upon extreme ignorance and that they definitely do not possess [sound] perception due to the fact that they are mischief makers.
So, ponder upon the way in which perception was negated from them in this Aayah! Then knowledge was negated from them when Allaah [The Most High] stated that they said: [أَنُؤۡمِنُ كَمَآ ءَامَنَ ٱلسُّفَهَآءُۗ – Shall we believe as the fools have believed], so Allaah [The Most High] said: [أَلَآ إِنَّهُمۡ هُمُ ٱلسُّفَهَآءُ وَلَـٰكِن لَّا يَعۡلَمُونَ -verily, they are the fools, but they know not].
Allaah [The Most High] negated knowledge from them due to their foolishness and lack of [sound] perception -a severe dispraise and [declaration] of their ignorance, because [of the fact that although one is truly] a mischief maker, [however he] is completely unaware of it, even though its effects is well known and witnessed by Allaah’s slaves. This shows the severe corruption of one’s intellect and sources of knowledge.
Also, he is a foolish person and foolishness is the height of ignorance, which occurs due to lack of knowledge of that which benefits him in his worldly life, his afterlife, his purpose [of life] and what is contrary to that. So, when he [finds] himself in this situation, whilst being unaware of his state of affairs, then this is the most wretched state of a human being.
[Sound] knowledge was negated from him due to his foolishness, which of a surety is an affirmation of his ignorance; [and sound] perception was negated from him due to the mischief making, which of a surety is due to corruption in his mental faculties. Therefore, these three verses are statements of absolute certainty against them regarding their ignorance and corrupt mental faculties, because they believe that mischief making is peace making and that evil is something good. [Ref 13]
Shaykh Rabee bin Hadee Al-Madhkali [May Allah preserve him]:
Every sinner and every corruptor in earth does not tell the people that he is a corruptor; rather indeed he tells them, “I am a rectifier” and he claims that he is guiding the ummah to rectification. [Ref 14]
[Ref 1: An Excerpt from Tareequl Hijratayn- By Imaam Ibnul Qayyim (rahimahulaah). Pages 9-10. Slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 2: Source: An Excerpt from ‘Ar-Rooh’ pages 487-489’. slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 3: An Excerpt from ‘Al-Misbaah Al-Muneer Fee Tahdheeb Tafseer Ibn Katheer’. Slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 4: An Excerpt from ‘Fat-hul Qadeer 4/209’ slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 5: An Excerpt from ‘Tafseer Sadi’. Slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 6: An Excerpt from ‘Roohul Ma’aanee’ 11/64-65. Slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 7: An Excerpt from ‘Tafseer Sadi’. Slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 8: An Excerpt from ‘Zaadul Maseer’. Slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 9: Source: An Excerpt from Tayseer Al-Kareem Ar-Rahmaan Fee Tafseer Kalaam Al-Mannaan of Imaam Sadi (rahimahullaah)]
[Ref 10: Tafseer As-Sadi]
[Ref 11: Tafseer as-Sadi]
[Ref 12: Tafseer as-Sadi]
[Ref 13: An Excerpt from ‘Badaa-i at-Tafseer Al-Jaami Limaa Fassarahu Al-Imaam Ibnul Qayyim. Vol 1. page 97. Slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 14: Al Kadhib wa Aathaaruhu As-Sayyi’ah p.26]