In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
What is Secularism? It is the belief that religion should not be involved with the ordinary social and political activities of a country. [Ref 1]
Therefore, this definition establishes the idea that there should be separation between ‘State and Religion’ or between ‘Siyaasah and Religion’.
What is Siyaasah? It means to regulate the affairs of the citizens; rules related to behaviour and upright rectification. It has jurisdiction over the individual’s behaviour and the society as a whole, and it involves Islamic jurisprudence by way of which the rulers are facilitated with knowledge and understanding of the rulings related to looking after the affairs of the state, its set-ups and Sharee’ah principles. [Ref 2]
Imaam Muhammad Ibn Saaleh Al-Uthaymeen [rahimahullaah] said:
What is intended by ‘Separation between religion and Siyaasah’ is that the ruler can do what he wants based on what he thinks is a means of fulfilling (responsibilities related to) affairs of the state, whether it agrees with Sharee’ah or not; or even if what he does is based on the judgement of the religion, because the meaning of separation is to distinguish between two things and give them specific definitions. Therefore, in relation to this, the ruler looks at what he considers to be beneficial even if it opposes the Sharee’ah. There is no doubt that this is a false and sinful statement, because the religion itself is Siyaasah and Siyaasah itself is the religion, but what we mean by Siyaasah is the Siyaasah that is based on equity and not oppression. The religion of Islaam came to bring about wellbeing [and upright conduct] for the people in their behaviour towards their Lord and between themselves. It establishes the Rights of Allaah, rights for the people- rights for parents, relatives, wives and the Muslims – in general. And even for non-Muslims, Islam has given them rights that are well-known to the scholars. It laid down the means and conditions for war and peace making, punishments for crimes – some of which are determined by way of specific texts and some are left to the jurisdiction of the ruler, as well as other affairs which clearly shows that Islaam in its entirety is Siyaasah. The root of this word Siyaasah is Saa’is and that is the person who is responsible for looking after the affairs of animals – fulfilling that which brings them wellbeing and repelling that which will harm them. This is Siyaasah.
We find this meaning when we contemplate on affairs of the religion, and that Allaah has legislated – for the servants – things without which humans will not be able to establish [a fruitful, stable, orderly, safe] life, and forbade them from things that will corrupt their state of affairs – either affecting everyone or specific individuals. Therefore, in reality the entire religion is Siyaasah. And we are certain that anyone who separates Siyaasah from the Religion and establishes Siyaasah based on what he sees fit and what he forbids, then indeed his Siyaasah is corrupt, and it will cause more harm than good. If it rectifies one affair based on his limited [or deficient] opinions, then indeed it greatly corrupts from another angle. So, this makes it incumbent that one contemplates on the state of affairs of those who base their Siyaasah on their desires and opinions, and became distanced from the religion of Islaam, you will find -after contemplating – that either all that Siyaasah is corrupt or most of it, and that if it rectifies an affair from one angle, it corrupts from another angle. So, based on this, separation between Siyaasah and Religion is a sinful deed and it is obligated on the one who seeks to rectify himself and others that he does so only based on the religion of Islaam. [Ref 3] [End of quote]
Therefore, based on the above, one realises the danger of referring to a Muslim with the statement, “He is a secular Muslim”, because either you are not aware of its meaning or you are removing him from the fold of Islaam out of ignorance, haste or extremism. Al-Allaamah Muhammad Amaan Al-Jaami [rahimahullaah] said, “If you say to a Muslim, ‘You are a secularist, then this is the same as saying, ’You are a kaafir’ because secularism is clear disbelief. Its meaning is the advocacy of leaving off all religions, whether Islam, Christianity or Judaism. Therefore, one should not be easy going with regards to applying the term to a Muslim who has committed a mistake. It is a grave error to do so”. [Ref 4][End of quote]
Pay close attention to Al-Allaamah Muhammad Amaan Al-Jaami’s statement that “One should not be easy going with regards to applying the term to a Muslim who has committed a mistake. It is a grave error to do so”.
Indeed, this statement is uttered by some spiteful secular political commentators who intend to cause strife between Muslims, and thus you find a battle between Muslims who are brainwashed by the militant secularists in some affairs of rulership and the Takfeeris – both parties upon ignorance and misguidance. Therefore, what is the solution?
Firstly, what is the Muslim commanded regarding the rulers?
Shaikh Abdul Waahid Abu Khadeejah [hafidhahullaah] stated:
The Messenger [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam] said: “There will appear after me rulers, they will not guide by my guidance, and they will not establish my Sunnah; there will be amongst them men whose hearts will be hearts of devils in the bodies of men!” He was asked: “How should I behave, O Messenger of Allāh, if I reach that time?” He replied: “Hear and obey the Amīr (i.e. the ruler), even if he beats your back and [illegally] takes your wealth – hear and obey!”
There are five traits in this statement in the presence of which it is still obligatory to hear and obey the rulers in that which constitutes good: their lack of implementing the Prophetic guidance, their lack of implementing the Prophetic Sunnah, their having the hearts of devils, their beating their subjects and illegally taking their wealth. A bitter pill to swallow for those not truly nurtured upon the Qurān and the authentic Prophetic Methodology. However, the bar set by the legislation is high as the Prophet (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam) stated that removing the ruler is not permitted, “unless you see clear open disbelief for which you have evidence from Allāh.”
So the disbelief must be something which is clear and apparent, something seen and known for which one can bring textual evidence for. So it is not permitted to rebel against the ruler in an issue in which there is a difference of opinion as to whether it is disbelief or not, as that opposes the statement of the Prophet (salallaahu ‘alaihi wassallam), “unless you see clear open disbelief.” This also requires that the ruler recognised the act to be apostasy and therefore cannot be excused for being ignorant; that he did not commit the deed in error not intending it; that he was not wrongly advised by those around him who call themselves religious scholars and thus gave him sanction to commit disbelief without him knowing it – so all of this constitutes a valid excuse and a barrier against the declaration of apostasy. Anything short of this clarity is conjecture and in opposition to the meaning of this hadīth. [Ref 5] Read more here: https://www.abukhadeejah.com/the-tyranny-of-the-rulers-a-reason-for-rebellion/
Secondly, the Takfeeris incite the rabble and ignorant people, saying, “These rulers do not rule by what Allaah has revealed, therefore they are disbelievers!” The detailed response to this is in this link: http://www.salafipublications.com/sps/sp.cfm?subsecID=MNJ05&articleID=MNJ050003&pfriend=
Shaikh Abddul Waahid Abu Khadeejah [hafidhahullaah] stated:
Our Responsibilities Whilst Living in a Society That Rules By Secular Laws
Shaikh Abdul Waahid Abu Khadeejah [hafidhahullaah] said:
Although Muslims in Britain are subject to British law and the British legal system, Sharī’ah tribunals are allowed in certain areas as an alternative way of resolving disputes. These are aimed at resolving commercial, civil and matrimonial disputes to the satisfaction of both sides. Sharī’ah Law is based upon the Qur’ān and Sunnah, and judgements are made in accordance to these two sources. Only those well-versed with the Religion and jurisprudence (rulings in law) are permitted to judge in Sharī’ah matters. Read more here: https://www.abukhadeejah.com/educate-yourself-ethics-1-2-shariah-redstone-academy/
Take note of Shaikh Abu Khadeejah’s statement, “Muslims in Britain are subject to British law and the British legal system”, therefore one must be well aware of this fact and distance himself from the Takfeeris and those who take the law into their own hands. One must pay close attention to the fact – out of fear of Allaah and the last Day – that it is obligated on us to behave well towards our non-Muslim fellow citizens and fulfil our covenants. Imaam Muhammad Ibn Saaleh Al-Uthaymeen [rahimahullaah] stated:
Likewise I invite you to have respect for those people who have the right that they should be respected, from those between you and whom there is an agreement (of protection) [i.e. Non-Muslims]. For the land which you are living is such that there is an agreement between you and them. If this were not the case they would have killed you or expelled you. So preserve this agreement, and do not prove treacherous to it, since treachery is a sign of the hypocrites, and it is not from the way of the Believers.
And know that it is authentically reported from the Prophet that he said : “Whoever kills one who is under an agreement of protection will not smell the fragrance of Paradise.”
Do not be fooled by those sayings of the foolish people: those who say: ‘Those people are Non-Muslims, so their wealth is lawful for us [i.e. to misappropriate or take by way of murder and killing].’ For by Allaah – this is a lie. A lie about Allaah’s Religion, and a lie in Islamic societies.
O my brothers. O youth. O Muslims. Be truthful in your buying and selling, and renting, and leasing, and in all mutual transactions. Because truthfulness is from the characteristics of the Believers, and Allaah – the Most High – has commanded truthfulness – in the saying of Allaah – the Most High – “O you who believe – fear and keep you duty to Allaah and be with the truthful.”
And the Prophet encouraged truthfulness and said : “Adhere to truthfulness, because truthfulness leads to goodness, and goodness leads to Paradise; and a person will continue to be truthful, and strive to be truthful until he will be written down with Allaah as a truthful person“.
And he warned against falsehood, and said : “Beware of falsehood, because falsehood leads to wickedness, and wickedness leads to the Fire. And a person will continue lying, and striving to lie until he is written down with Allaah as a great liar.”
O my brother Muslims. O youth. Be true in your sayings with your brothers, and with those Non-Muslims whom you live along with – so that you will be inviters to the Religion of Islaam, by your actions and in reality. So how many people there are who first entered into Islaam because of the behaviour and manners of the Muslims, and their truthfulness, and their being true in their dealings. [Ref 6] [End of quote]
Therefore, we do not allow any harm to come to our fellow non-Muslim citizens, rather we fulfil our covenants, safeguard their lives, property and honour. We rebut all the people of falsehood, especially the terrorists and Takfeeris.
Shaikh Abdul Waahid Abu Khadeejah [hafidhahullaah] said:
“Indeed, terrorist acts, whether perpetrated in Muslim or Non-Muslim countries are a handiwork of the devil. The Scholars- Shaikh Fawzaan, Shaikh Rabee, Shaikh Ubaid, Shaikh Abdullaah al-Bukhaari and many others have always condemned those who perpetrate terrorist acts; rather the scholars hold that those who plot and plan these inhumane acts are to be reported to the authorities. Therefore, Muslim communities must be at the forefront of stamping out these non-Islamic acts that are done falsely in the name of Islam. The Prophet Muhammad [peace and blessings be upon him] stated: ‘’Whoever sees an evil, let him change it with his hand. If he is not able to do that, then let him change it with his tongue [by speaking]. And if he is not able to do that, then let him [hate it] with his heart, and that is the weakest of faith.’’ (Reported by Muslim)
The Scholars have stated that forbidding evil with the hand is done by the governments and the authorities, so they hold and punish and imprison the evil doers. If they withhold from this duty, it does NOT fall into the hands of the citizens to take the law into their own hands. Rather they remain patient. As for speaking against the evil in terms of refuting the false ideologies, then that it for the scholars and the people of knowledge, not for ignorant, and there has never been a time in the history of Islam, except that the scholars have spoken out against evil ideologies and doctrines as a safeguard for Islam, and this will not stop up until the final Hour is established. As for the general person then he forbids only in accordance to his knowledge and ability in line with the rulings of the true scholars of the Sunnah based upon the Qur’aan and the Sunnah. As for hating with the heart, then this for the one who recognizes evil, but does not have the knowledge nor the ability to speak against this, so he distances himself from it and keeps away from it.
Therefore, as it relates to the terrorists, then it is well-known that their evil and inhumane acts are condemned by the Muslim scholars based upon the texts of the Qur’aan and authentic Prophet narrations. So both, a Muslim student of knowledge and the general person is to inform the authorities of those that incite or plan terrorist acts. And this is from the aspect of forbidding evil and thereby earning the reward of Allaah [The Most High].
Another reason why these terrorists and their ideology must be stamped out is due to the fact that they are innovators who have attributed to Islaam, that which Islam is free of, and it is impermissible to accommodate them or defend them or protect them, due to the statement of the Prophet [salallaahu alaihi wassallam], ‘’Whoever innovates or accommodates an innovator, then upon him is the curse of Allaah, His Angels and the whole of mankind.’’ (Reported by Bukhaaree and Muslim). And there is not a shadow of a doubt from an Islamic perspective, that these terrorist ideologies are innovations and these perpetrators are innovators, and it is not permissible to protect them or give them refuge.
One can recognize the ideology of the these evil doers from certain matters that their lectures and discussions always revolve around, from them is that they always call for rebellion and revolution in the Muslim lands and against the Muslim rulers; they declare the Muslim rulers and those who work in the apparatus of government to be apostates; they praise the suicide bombers and terrorists and insurgencies in Iraaq, Palestine and other places and continually justify their actions; they may praise the bombings of 9/11 in New York, 7th July bombings in London or the Madrid bombings. These discussions of theirs may not necessitate that they themselves will organize or carry out terrorist acts but this speech of theirs incites others towards violence. Remember it only takes two or three young men (or women) who have been affected to go out and wreak havoc. The Messenger of Allaah (salallaahu alaihi wassallam), mentioned these renegades (known as the Khawarij) in a narration, ‘’If I am alive when they appear, I will slaughter them with the slaughtering of Aad.’’ And Aad was a tribe mentioned in the Qur’aan that was punished by Allaah for their evils and transgressions. He also stated, ‘’They are the worst of Allaah’s creation under the sky.’’ There are many, many other narrations of the Prophet and his Companions describing them, to the extent that Shaikhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah and Imaam an-Nawawee, two great scholars of the middle ages, stated the consensus of the great Scholars of the early generations of Islaam that these renegades must be prevented and fought against. So when one looks at the activities of these people such as the killing of men, women and children, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, one sees that they are indiscriminate in their murderous acts.
After what has been mentioned above one can see why the Scholars of Salafiyyah have issued verdicts calling people to inform the authorities if they know of anyone inciting or planning terrorist acts. There is NO doubt that those make a link between terrorism and what they term as ‘’The Wahhaabis’’, intending by that the Salafis, have made a mythical link based upon fallacies and falsehood. The great Scholar Muhammad Ibn Abdul-Wahhaab (died 1206AH), after whom his adversaries invented the derogatory term ‘Wahhaabi’ for anyone who studied his works – then this Scholar was the most fervent in his opposition to deviation and deviant ideologies. Rather the Salafis, whom the opposers term as Wahhaabis, have been at the forefront of combating the takfeeri, Jihaadi and Terrorist ideologies, for decades. And this refutation of the Salafi scholars against these groups was not just a mere response to modern-day events but rather a religious obligation upon them regardless of prevailing circumstances.
So Syed Qutb, the father and reference point of the modern-day Jihadist-terrorist movements, was refuted by the Salafi Scholars for his call to assassinations and violent revolution decades ago and again in the early nineties by the likes of the Salafi scholars such as Shaikh Bin Baaz, Shaikh Bin Uthaimeen and especially in great detail by Shaikh Rabee bin Haadee al-Madkhalee who authored several books in exposition of Syed Qutb. Shaikh Bin Baaz warned and exposed the evil doctrine of Usamah bin Laden back in the early nineties, whilst the Islamic political groups were in praise of him. Sayyid Abul Ala Maududi is another reference point for the modern day violent politically motivated groups, yet the Salafi Scholars such as Shaikh Rabee al-Madkhali, Shaikh Ubaid al-Jaabiree, Shaikh Hammaad al-Ansaaree exposed his errors and warned against his approach.
Another example is the warning of the Salafi Yemeni Scholar Muqbil bin Haadee against the HAMAS of Palestine whilst the latter were supporting terrorist attacks on civilian buses in Israel. We also have the Scholarly Salafi stance against Hizbollah of south Lebanon and former leader of Iran, Khomeini such as the statements of Shaikh Bin Baz, Shaikh Bin Uthaimin, Shaikh Ahmad an-Najmi and others. Shaikh Ibn Uthaimeen in his now published explanation of ‘Riyaadhus-Saaliheen’ well over fifteen years ago showed his clear abhorrence at the suicide bombings in Palestine. So this is the clarity with which the Salafis speak and have always spoken. Over a thousand years of Salafi authorship, from the time of the disciples of the Prophet until this day, the Scholars of Sunnah and Salafiyyah have been refuting the false ideologies, whether extremist or negligent – Whereas the people of deviation will respond based upon political expediency, but the underlying ideology in support of revolution and suicide attacks remains”. [Ref 7] [End of quote]
Therefore, we must not be easy going with this affair, rather it is an obligation to rebut the ideaology of the extremists and report them to both the Muslim and Non-Muslim Authorities. Read artcle in this link by Al-Allaamah Saaleh and Fawzaan [hafidhahullah] regarding whether it is betrayal to report a Muslim who planning terrorist acts: http://www.answering-extremism.com/trans-pub/ae_saf_12.pdf
The Salafi Response To The Terrorist Attacks In Paris, France: “Were they forbidding an evil?”
We follow the methodology of the Prophets
Living With Non-Muslims With Fine Conduct
Alliance with the non-Muslims is of two types – misunderstanding this affair leads people astray
Treaties With The Non-Muslims: Is it Allegiance? Is it Apostasy?
The Prophet of Islam would not kill diplomats, ambassadors, emissaries or foreign delegations even if they were sent by the worst of his enemies
Finally, we are free from actions of all the deviants – the terrorists, cartoonists and militant secularists.
[Ref 2: See At-taleeq Alaa As-Siyaasah Ash-Shar’iyyah. Slightly paraphrased. Page 5 by Imaam Muhammad Ibn Saaleh al-Uthaymeen (rahimahullaah)]
[Ref 3: https://binothaimeen.net/content/7366. Paraphrased]
[Ref 4: Asbaab Al-Ijaabah: Cassette 2]
[Ref 6: salafipublications.com]
[Ref 7: salafitalk.net]