Reflection On What They Refer to as “Black History Month” and Other Annual Observances


In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.

The Original Pious State of Humankind Before Corruption and Differing Occurred 

Allaah [The Exalted] said:

كَانَ ٱلنَّاسُ أُمَّةً۬ وَٲحِدَةً۬ فَبَعَثَ ٱللَّهُ ٱلنَّبِيِّـۧنَ مُبَشِّرِينَ وَمُنذِرِينَ وَأَنزَلَ مَعَهُمُ ٱلۡكِتَـٰبَ بِٱلۡحَقِّ لِيَحۡكُمَ بَيۡنَ ٱلنَّاسِ فِيمَا ٱخۡتَلَفُواْ فِيهِ‌ۚ وَمَا ٱخۡتَلَفَ فِيهِ إِلَّا ٱلَّذِينَ أُوتُوهُ مِنۢ بَعۡدِ مَا جَآءَتۡهُمُ ٱلۡبَيِّنَـٰتُ بَغۡيَۢا بَيۡنَهُمۡ‌ۖ فَهَدَى ٱللَّهُ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ لِمَا ٱخۡتَلَفُواْ فِيهِ مِنَ ٱلۡحَقِّ بِإِذۡنِهِۦ‌ۗ وَٱللَّهُ يَهۡدِى مَن يَشَآءُ إِلَىٰ صِرَٲطٍ۬ مُّسۡتَقِيمٍ

Mankind were one community and Allah sent Prophets with glad tidings and warnings, and with them He sent the Scripture in truth to judge between people in matters wherein they differed. And only those to whom (the Scripture) was given differed concerning it after clear proofs had come unto them through hatred, one to another. Then Allah by His Leave guided those who believed to the truth of that wherein they differed. And Allah guides whom He wills to a Straight Path. [Surah Al-Baqarah. Verse 213]

Allaah [The Exalted] said: [وَمَا كَانَ ٱلنَّاسُ إِلَّآ أُمَّةً۬ وَٲحِدَةً۬ فَٱخۡتَلَفُواْ‌ۚ وَلَوۡلَا ڪَلِمَةٌ۬ سَبَقَتۡ مِن رَّبِّكَ لَقُضِىَ بَيۡنَهُمۡ فِيمَا فِيهِ يَخۡتَلِفُونَ – Mankind were but one community (i.e. on one religion – Islamic Monotheism), then they differed (later), and had not it been for a Word that went forth before from your Lord, it would have been settled between them regarding what they differed]. [Surah Yunus. Verse 19]

Ibn Abbaas [may Allaah be pleased with him and his father] said, “There were ten generations between Nooh and Aadam – all of them used to be upon the true path [i.e. upon Islaam – worshipping Allaah alone], then they differed and started worshipping idols, false deities and images, so Allaah sent Messengers with clear proofs and evidences”. (1)

Shirk first started amongst the people of Nuh when they exaggerated the status of the righteous people and turned away from the call of their Prophet out of pride. Allaah said that Nuh said that his people said:

[وَقَالُواْ لَا تَذَرُنَّ ءَالِهَتَكُمۡ وَلَا تَذَرُنَّ وَدًّ۬ا وَلَا سُوَاعً۬ا وَلَا يَغُوثَ وَيَعُوقَ وَنَسۡرً۬ا – And they have said: ‘You shall not leave your gods, nor shall you leave Wadd, nor Suwa’, nor Yaghuth, nor Ya’uq, nor Nasr]. (2)

Imaam Al-Bukhaari [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: It has been narrated from Ibn Abbaas [may Allaah be pleased with him and his father] that these were the names of pious people amongst the people of Nuh [peace be upon him], and when they died, shaytaan inspired their people to (prepare) and place idols at the places where they used to sit, and to call those idols by their names. They did so, but did not worship them until those people (who initiated them) had died and the origin of the idols had become obscure, whereupon people began worshipping them. (3)

Shirk – [The Greatest Wrong and Cause of Destruction]

Allaah [The Exalted] said:

وَلَقَدۡ بَعَثۡنَا فِى ڪُلِّ أُمَّةٍ۬ رَّسُولاً أَنِ ٱعۡبُدُواْ ٱللَّهَ وَٱجۡتَنِبُواْ ٱلطَّـٰغُوتَ‌ۖ فَمِنۡهُم مَّنۡ هَدَى ٱللَّهُ وَمِنۡهُم مَّنۡ حَقَّتۡ عَلَيۡهِ ٱلضَّلَـٰلَةُ‌ۚ فَسِيرُواْ فِى ٱلۡأَرۡضِ فَٱنظُرُواْ كَيۡفَ كَانَ عَـٰقِبَةُ ٱلۡمُكَذِّبِينَ

And verily, We have sent among every Ummah (community, nation) a Messenger (proclaiming): “Worship Allah (Alone), and avoid (or keep away from) Taghut (all false deities, etc. i.e. do not worship Taghut besides Allah).” Then of them were some whom Allah guided and of them were some upon whom the straying was justified. So travel through the land and see what was the end of those who denied (the truth). [Surah An-Nahl. Aayah 36]

Al-Allaamah Rabee Bin Haadi [may Allaah preserve him] said, “Shirk is the greatest sin that can be committed in disobedience to Allaah. The Prophets brought the greatest knowledge and that is the knowledge of Tawheed, and they warned against the greatest wrong doing and that is to ascribed partners to Allaah. Allaah said: [ إِنَّ ٱلشِّرۡكَ لَظُلۡمٌ عَظِيمٌ۬ – Verily! Associating partners to (Allaah in worship) is a great wrong indeed]. [Surah Luqmaan. Verse 13] (4)

Al-Allaamah Saaleh Al-Fawzaan [may Allaah preserve him] said: What is Dhulm -wrong doing, injustice or oppression? Dzulm is of three types according to the people of knowledge (i.e. the scholars):

The greatest of them is shirk, and why is shirk referred as Dzulm? That is because the basis of injustice is to place something in other than its rightful place. The meaning of shirk is to devote acts of worship to other than its rightful place and this is the greatest wrong, because when they devoted acts of worship to other than its rightful place and to those who are not deserving of it, they equated the created (beings) to the Creator, and a weak one (i.e. a created being) to Al-Qawiy [The One Perfect in Strength (i.e. Allaah)], who is not unable to do anything. Therefore, is there any greater wrong after this?!

The second type of Dzulm is committed when a person oppresses himself by committing sins. A sinner oppresses himself because he exposes himself to punishment, even though it is obligated on his to save himself and place himself in an appropriate situation and that is to obey Allaah etc

The third type of Dzulm is committed when a person oppresses others by taking their wealth (unlawfully), or backbiting them, or spreading tales about them, or stealing their wealth, or violating their honour through backbiting, tale carrying, slander, or shedding their blood by way of unlawful murder, or beating them, inflicting injuries, degrading them without right etc (5)

A Warning Against Blindly Following Ancestors and Forefathers In That Which Is un-Islamic

Allaah [The Most High] said:

[وَكَذَٲلِكَ مَآ أَرۡسَلۡنَا مِن قَبۡلِكَ فِى قَرۡيَةٍ۬ مِّن نَّذِيرٍ إِلَّا قَالَ مُتۡرَفُوهَآ إِنَّا وَجَدۡنَآ ءَابَآءَنَا عَلَىٰٓ أُمَّةٍ۬ وَإِنَّا عَلَىٰٓ ءَاثَـٰرِهِم مُّقۡتَدُونَ – And similarly, We sent not a warner before you (O Muhammad) to any town (people) but the luxurious ones among them said: “We found our fathers following a certain way and religion, and we will indeed follow their footsteps”]. [Surah Az-Zukhruf. Verse 23]

Al-Allaamah Saaleh Al-Fawzaan [may Allaah preserve him] said: Everyone who is unable to establish proofs for his claim returns to this proof, even though it is a useless proof that has no weight in the arena of discussion, because indeed those ancestors they blindly follow were not upon guidance. Therefore, whoever (is upon such a state of affairs), it is not permissible to follow him and take him as an example. Allaah [The Most High] said:

[أَوَلَوۡ كَانَ ءَابَآؤُهُمۡ لَا يَعۡلَمُونَ شَيۡـًٔ۬ا وَلَا يَہۡتَدُونَ – Even though their fathers had no knowledge whatsoever and no guidance]. [Surah Al-Maa’idah. Verse 104]

Allaah [The Exalted] said: [أَوَلَوۡ كَانَ ءَابَآؤُهُمۡ لَا يَعۡقِلُونَ شَيۡـًٔ۬ا وَلَا يَهۡتَدُونَ – Even though their fathers did not understand anything nor were they guided?] [Surah Al-Baqarah. Verse 170]

Therefore, following ancestors is only praiseworthy if they were upon the truth. Allaah [The Most High] said that Yusuf [peace be upon him] said:

وَٱتَّبَعۡتُ مِلَّةَ ءَابَآءِىٓ إِبۡرَٲهِيمَ وَإِسۡحَـٰقَ وَيَعۡقُوبَ‌ۚ مَا كَانَ لَنَآ أَن نُّشۡرِكَ بِٱللَّهِ مِن شَىۡءٍ۬‌ۚ ذَٲلِكَ مِن فَضۡلِ ٱللَّهِ عَلَيۡنَا وَعَلَى ٱلنَّاسِ وَلَـٰكِنَّ أَڪۡثَرَ ٱلنَّاسِ لَا يَشۡكُرُونَ

And I have followed the religion of my fathers , – Ibrahim (Abraham), Ishaque (Isaac) and Ya’qub (Jacob), and never could we attribute any partners whatsoever to Allah. This is from the Grace of Allah to us and to mankind, but most men thank not (i.e. they neither believe in Allah, nor worship Him). [Surah Yusuf. Verse 38]

Allaah [The Most High] said: [وَٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَٱتَّبَعَتۡہُمۡ ذُرِّيَّتُہُم بِإِيمَـٰنٍ أَلۡحَقۡنَا بِہِمۡ – And those who believe and whose offspring follow them in Faith, to them shall We join their offspring [i.e. in paradise]. [Surah At-Tur. Verse 21]

This doubt was embedded in the souls of the polytheists and they utilized it to oppose the call of the Prophets. Allaah [The Most High] informed us about Nuh and His people:

وَلَقَدۡ أَرۡسَلۡنَا نُوحًا إِلَىٰ قَوۡمِهِۦ فَقَالَ يَـٰقَوۡمِ ٱعۡبُدُواْ ٱللَّهَ مَا لَكُم مِّنۡ إِلَـٰهٍ غَيۡرُهُ ۥۤ‌ۖ أَفَلَا تَتَّقُونَ
فَقَالَ ٱلۡمَلَؤُاْ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ مِن قَوۡمِهِۦ مَا هَـٰذَآ إِلَّا بَشَرٌ۬ مِّثۡلُكُمۡ يُرِيدُ أَن يَتَفَضَّلَ عَلَيۡڪُمۡ وَلَوۡ شَآءَ ٱللَّهُ لَأَنزَلَ مَلَـٰٓٮِٕكَةً۬ مَّا سَمِعۡنَا بِہَـٰذَا فِىٓ ءَابَآٮِٕنَا ٱلۡأَوَّلِينَ

And indeed We sent Nuh (Noah) to his people, and he said: “O my people! Worship Allah! You have no other Ilah (God) but Him (Islamic Monotheism). Will you not then be afraid (of Him i.e. of His Punishment because of worshipping others besides Him)?” But the chiefs of those who disbelieved among his people said: “He is no more than a human being like you, he seeks to make himself superior to you. Had Allah willed, He surely could have sent down angels; never did we hear such a thing among our fathers of old. [Surah Al-Muminoon. Verses 23-24]

So, they used as proof that which their ancestors were upon to oppose that which their Prophet Nuh brought. Allaah informed us that the people of Saaleh said to him: [أَتَنۡهَٮٰنَآ أَن نَّعۡبُدَ مَا يَعۡبُدُ ءَابَآؤُنَا – Do you (now) forbid us the worship of what our fathers have worshipped?] [Surah Hud. Verse 62]

And Allaah said that the people of Shu’aib said to him [i.e. Shu’aib]: [أَصَلَوٰتُكَ تَأۡمُرُكَ أَن نَّتۡرُكَ مَا يَعۡبُدُ ءَابَآؤُنَآ – Does your Salat (prayer) (i.e. the prayers which you offer has spoiled your mind, so you) command that we leave off what our fathers used to worship]. [Surah Hud. Verse 87]

And Allaah informed us about Ibraaheem [alayhis-salaam] and his people when he silenced them with clear proofs:

مَا تَعۡبُدُونَ قَالُواْ نَعۡبُدُ أَصۡنَامً۬ا فَنَظَلُّ لَهَا عَـٰكِفِينَ
قَالَ هَلۡ يَسۡمَعُونَكُمۡ إِذۡ تَدۡعُونَ
أَوۡ يَنفَعُونَكُمۡ أَوۡ يَضُرُّونَ
قَالُواْ بَلۡ وَجَدۡنَآ ءَابَآءَنَا كَذَٲلِكَ يَفۡعَلُونَ

What do you worship? They said: “We worship idols, and to them we are ever devoted. He said: “Do they hear you, when you call (on them)? “Or do they benefit you or do they harm (you)?” They said: “Nay, but we found our fathers doing so. [Surah Ash-Shu’araa. Verses 70-74]

This is the nature of disbelief! Its people do not have any proof by way of which to repel the truth except these flimsy proofs. (6)

The Only Sound Criterion of Upright Leadership

Allaah [The Mighty and Majestic] said: [إِنَّ إِبْرَاهِيمَ كَانَ أُمَّةً قَانِتًا لِّلَّهِ حَنِيفًا وَلَمْ يَكُ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ – Verily, Ibraaheem was an Ummah [leader], Qaanitan [obedient], Haneefan [one who worshipped Allaah alone], and he was not one of the Mushrikeen [polytheists and those who associate partners with Allah in worship]. [Surah An-Nahl. Verse 120]

Shaikh Abdur Razzaaq Al-Badr [may Allaah preserve him] stated: Ibraaheem [peace be upon him] is Imaam Al-Hunafaa [i.e. Leader of the people of Tawheed- those who single out Allaah in worship] and this is why Allaah said to him: [إِنِّي جَاعِلُكَ لِلنَّاسِ إِمَامًا – Verily, I am going to make you a leader (Prophet) of humankind]. [Surah Al-Baqarah. Verse 124]

It is a customary habit of the people that they do attach themselves to the great personalities, especially those whom they hold in high esteem. Therefore, if a person utilise as proof that the one he follows is an Imaam [An Upright Leader], then there is no Imaam for humankind greater than Prophet Ibraaheem [i.e. after Prophet Muhammad], and Allaah [The Mighty and Majestic] stated about Prophet Ibraaheem: [وَمَن يَرْغَبُ عَن مِّلَّةِ إِبْرَاهِيمَ إِلَّا مَن سَفِهَ نَفْسَهُ – And who turns away from the religion of Ibraaheem (i.e. Islamic Monotheism) except him who befools himself?] [Surah Al-Baqarah. Verse 130]

If a person seeks to use the station of leader as proof, then indeed this should be the proof [i.e. examine the Aqeedah of the one given the status of leader and judge it based on the Qur’aan and the authentic Sunnah to establish whether he is a person upon Tawheed]. Also, Allaah [The Mighty and Majestic] said about Prophet Muhammad [peace and blessings of Allah be upon him]: [لَّقَدۡ كَانَ لَكُمۡ فِى رَسُولِ ٱللَّهِ أُسۡوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ۬ لِّمَن كَانَ يَرۡجُواْ ٱللَّهَ وَٱلۡيَوۡمَ ٱلۡأَخِرَ وَذَكَرَ ٱللَّهَ كَثِيرً۬ا – Indeed in the Messenger of Allah (Muhammad) you have a good example to follow for him who hopes in (the Meeting with) Allah and the Last Day and remembers Allah much]. [Surah Al-Ahzaab. Verse 21] (7)

Those Whose Guidance Is The Only Guarantee to Safety In This Life And The Next 

Imaam Ibnul Qayyim [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: The Messengers are the most judicious amongst the creation without exception, and after them their followers are the most judicious group. The people of the scriptures and the great legislated laws are the most judicious amongst the followers of the Messengers and the Muslims are the most judicious amongst them [i.e. amongst all those who received divine scriptures and great legislated laws]. The Sahaabah are the most judicious amongst the Muslims and then those who followed them exactly in faith. Ahlus Sunnah Wal Hadeeth [i.e. the people who follow the authentic Sunnah, the authentic ahaadeeth and understanding of the Sahaabah in creed, methodology, manners, dealings etc] are the most judicious amongst the Muslim Ummah without exception after them [i.e. after the Sahaabah, the Taabi’een and the At’baa At’taabi’een].

The clear evidence showing that [the Messengers are the most judicious amongst the entire creation] is that the beneficial knowledge they have brought- the righteous actions and the beneficial affairs related to true well-being in this worldly life and the afterlife- has not emanated [from others], or something even close it. There is nothing- from any perspective- that emanated from other judicious [personalities] that can be compared to [what the Messengers brought with regards to beneficial knowledge, righteous action and the beneficial affairs of true well-being in this worldly life and the afterlife].

Whoever ponders upon their life stories – in specific and in general, their patience and perseverance, their abstinence from those lawful things which one can do without, their fervent desire for Allaah and the reward He has kept in the afterlife, their purified manners, the fact that they are the most truthful amongst the creation, [possessors] of the most righteous hearts, [possessors] of the most purified souls, trustees of the greatest trust, the noblest of those whom a person can accompany, the purest in their innermost conscience, the purest with regards to their private affairs- will not doubt the fact that they are the most judicious amongst Allaah’s creation without exception. There is no doubt that whoever is closer to them [i.e. follows them properly], then his (or her) share of judiciousness will be more than [that of others]. (8)

Abu Hurairarah [may Allaah be pleased with him] narrated: “Allaah’s Messenger [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] was asked, ‘Who is the most honourable amongst the people?’ He said, ‘The one who fears Allaah the most’. They said, ‘We are not asking you about this’. He said, ‘Then the most honourable amongst the people is Yusuf, Allaah’s Prophet, the son of Allaah’s Prophet, the son of Allaah’s Prophet, the son of Allaah’s Khaleel’. They said, ‘We are not asking you about this’. He said, ‘So you are asking me about the Arabs’ descent; the people are of different descents and those who were best in the Pre-Islamic period are the best in Islaam, if they acquire [sound] understanding of [religious knowledge]’”.

Al-Allaamah Zayd Bin Haadi Al-Mad’khalee [may Allaah have mercy upon him] stated: In this hadeeth, it is legislated for the one to whom something related to the religion is hidden that he asks, and the scholar is the one who is asked. The Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] is the foremost teacher and the one who conveys the religion (ordained) by Allaah. His companions used to ask him that which they wanted to understand in order to act upon it. This hadeeth is proof [regarding the fact that] the companions of the Prophet sked about affairs related to their religion in order to acquire understanding of the religion. Knowledge- as it is said – is based on questions and answers.

In this hadeeth there is proof [regarding] the virtue of Taqwah, just as Allaah [The Mighty and Majestic] said: [إِنَّ أَڪۡرَمَكُمۡ عِندَ ٱللَّهِ أَتۡقَٮٰكُمۡ‌ۚ– The most honourable of you in the sight of Allaah are those who fear Allaah the most]. Taqwa gathers every good, because it is clearly manifested in fulfilling commands, keeping away from prohibitions, declaring lawful what is lawful and declaring unlawful what is unlawful – inwardly [in one’s heart] and apparent [on one’s actions], and adherence to the [Qur’aan, the Sunnah, the Straight path etc].

In this hadeeth there is proof regarding the virtue of Yoosuf [peace be upon him] and his fathers because the Prophet mentioned them. In this hadeeth there is proof regarding the humility of the Prophet because he made known to them the virtue of his brother- the noble Prophet – Yoosuf. In this hadeeth there is proof regarding the virtue of the Arabs if they possess understanding of the religion of Islaam and learn the religion, for indeed the noble Qur’aan was sent down in the language of the Arab, so if they acquire understanding of the religion [ordained] by Allaah, they will be able to convey it in Allaah’s earth. This is what happened in this Ummah of Muhammad, for indeed when he was sent, he called the Arabs to Eemaan until a great Ummah was established who were able to perform Jihaad and gave Dawah in the path of Allaah. So, they dispersed in the earth after acquiring understanding of their religion from Allaah’s Messenger and spread it in the regions of the earth- propagating, teaching, performing Jihaad and judging between the people, until Allaah [gave Islaam the upper hand] almost everywhere in the world through them, and this was a favour bestowed on them by Allaah. In this hadeeth there is proof regarding the virtue of Fiqh in the religion and that the one who acquires understanding of the religion [ordained] by Allaah – with a good intention- in order to remove ignorance from himself, act based on the understanding in the Islamic religion and spread it in the earth, then indeed he has a great reward and station in the sight of Allaah. And Allaah knows best.

The evidence [or testimony for the main subject matter in this hadeeth] is that the people are of different descents. The best of them during the Pre-Islamic era are the best in Islaam if they possess [sound] understanding [in the religion]. Therefore, whoever was from the good people during the Pre-Islamic era and acted that way amongst the people, then Allaah blessed them to accept Islaam and they acquire understanding, they’ll be the best people because they had a good basis which Islaam increased in good and perfection. (9)

The Criterion of Nobility

Allaah [The Most High] said:

يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلنَّاسُ إِنَّا خَلَقۡنَـٰكُم مِّن ذَكَرٍ۬ وَأُنثَىٰ وَجَعَلۡنَـٰكُمۡ شُعُوبً۬ا وَقَبَآٮِٕلَ لِتَعَارَفُوٓاْ‌ۚ إِنَّ أَڪۡرَمَكُمۡ عِندَ ٱللَّهِ أَتۡقَٮٰكُمۡ‌ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ خَبِيرٌ۬

O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most honourable of you with Allah is that (believer) who has the most Taqwah. Verily, Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware. [Surah Al-Hujuraat. Verse 13]

[لِتَعَارَفُوا – that you may know one another]: Meaning: So that you may know one another and how close you all are to one another in lineage, but not out of boastfulness. Then Allaah informed us that the most elevated amongst them [i.e. the children of Aadam] are those who fear Allaah the most. The Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] said, “Learn your lineages so that you can maintain ties of kinship…..” (10) Therefore, ascription to a tribe and a nation is affirmed in Islaam. The companions of the Prophet used to ascribe themselves to their tribes and their people in the presence of the Messenger, and he never disapproved of that; (11) however, there should be no pride of the pre-Islamic era should be promoted. The Messenger said, “Indeed, Allaah [The Most High] has removed from you the pride of the pre-Islamic period and its boasting about ancestors. One is only a pious believer or a wretched sinner. You are sons of Adam and Adam (was created from) dust. Let the people abandon boasting about their ancestors, for they are merely fuel in Jahannam; or they will become more insignificant in (the sight of) Allah than the beetle which rolls dung with its nose”. (12) The Messenger said, “Whoever is held back by his deeds, his (nobility) of lineage will not push him forward”. Imaam Nawawi [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said, “Its meaning is that the one whose deeds are deficient and he does not catch up with the performers of (good) deeds, then it is obligatory upon him not to crown himself with nobility of lineage and the virtues of his forefathers, whilst he is lagging behind in (performing good) deeds”. (13)

A Principle Regarding Customs and Cultural Practices

Imaam Ash-Shaatibee [may Allaah have mercy upon him] stated in Al-Muwaafaqaat that customs are many different types- some are good and others are corrupt. The good customs are those that neither oppose the Sharee’ah texts nor lead to losing an affair deem to be beneficial by the Sharee’ah, nor lead to an affair which the Sharee’ah deems to be corrupt. As for the corrupt customs, they are those that oppose the evidences in the Sharee’ah or some of the principles of the Sharee’ah, such as some of the customary dealings in usury and those deeds deemed to be evil by the Sharee’ah which the people engage in during occasions of happiness (or rejoicing etc). (14)

Imaam Abdul Azeez Bin Baaz [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: It is obligated on every Muslim that he does not depend on custom; rather he presents it to the pure Islamic legislation [to be judged], so whatever the Islamic legislation affirms is permissible and whatever it does not affirm is impermissible. The customs of the people are not proof to determine the lawfulness of anything. All the customs of the people in their countries or tribes must be presented to the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] for judgement, so whatever Allaah and His Messenger made permissible is permissible, and whatever they forbid, then it is obligatory to abandon it even if it is the custom of the people. (15)

Imaam Muhammad Bin Saaleh Al-Uthaymeen [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: The customs cannot make something that is not legislated (in the divine revelation) as something legislated, because of Allaah’s statement: [وَلَيۡسَ ٱلۡبِرُّ بِأَن تَأۡتُواْ ٱلۡبُيُوتَ مِن ظُهُورِهَا – It is not Al-Birr (piety, righteousness, etc.) that you enter the houses from the back] [Surah Al-Baqarah. Aayah 189], despite the fact that it was something they took as their custom and considered it to be an act of righteousness. Whoever takes something as a custom and believes that it is an act of righteousness, then it should be presented to Allaah’s divine legislation. (16)

Imaam Muhammad Bin Saaleh Al-Uthaymeen [may Allaah have mercy upon him] also said: Extremism in related to customs is stringent adherence to old customs and not diverting to what is better than them. As for if the customs are equal in benefit [i.e. the ones judged to be permissible by the divine legislation], then a person remaining upon what he is upon would be better than going along with the new (or emerging) customs. (17)

Some Say, “In order to Progress, Youth Need Role Models Who Share Their Skin Colour”. We Say, “Our Single Role Model Is One Who Was Emulated By Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq, Bilaal Ibn Rabaah, Suhaib Ar-Roomi, Salman Al-Farsi, Abdullah Bin Salaam and others

Indeed, the discussion regarding discrimination, racism and equal opportunities has led people to offer different solutions and concoct different ideas. Recently, it has been suggested that in order for young people to progress, they should have role models and leaders who share their skin colour! When Muslims who have some understanding of Islaam and are acquainted with the precise distinction between Islam and culture, they clearly see the state of confusion in which many people find themselves whilst looking for solutions. Indeed, the well-informed Muslims never find themselves in a state of confusion regarding who the only perfect role model and leader is, therefore the idea regarding ‘Role models who share our skin colour’ is something they do not busy themselves with. Our single role model is the one who was emulated by Abu Bakr As-Siddeeq, Bilaal Ibn Rabaah, Suhaib Ar-Roomi, Salman Al-Farsi, Abdullah Bin Salaam and the other companions [may Allaah be pleased with them]. Sufyaan Ibn Uyaynah [may Allaah have mercy upon him] used to say, “Indeed, the Messenger [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] is the greatest criterion [i.e. amongst mankind and Jinn] and all affairs are presented to him [i.e. for judgement and judged] based on his manners, path and guidance; so whatever is in agreement with this is truth, and whatever is in opposition is falsehood”. (18)

Shaikh Abdul Waahid Abu Khadeejah [may Allaah preserve him] stated, “The Qur’an explains the importance of following an example that is exemplary and righteous. Allah, the Exalted, stated:

[لَقَدْ كَانَ لَكُمْ فِي رَسُولِ اللَّهِ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ لِمَنْ كَانَ يَرْجُو اللَّهَ وَالْيَوْمَ الْآخِرَ وَذَكَرَ اللَّهَ كَثِيراً – Certainly, there is for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent example to follow for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day and who remembers Allah often]. [Surah Al-Ahzaab. Verse 21]

This noble verse shows us the best of all examples to follow, and the most important and obligatory model to be emulated. Just as the Messenger (salallāhu ‘alaihi wassallam) is a guide by way of his speech, he is also a guide by way of action. [Read more here: https://www.abukhadeejah.com/the-messenger-of-allah-as-the-role-model-fine-examples-for-the-youth-part-1/ ]

Shaikh Abdur Razzaaq Al-Badr [may Allaah preserve him] said: Indeed, one of the greatest bestowals on a believing slave of Allaah – which leads to guidance and righteous deeds -is that Allaah [The Mighty and Majestic] facilitates for him the path to seeking knowledge, grants him an ardent zeal and eagerness for knowledge. Seeking knowledge is something one never feels that he has acquired enough, rather whenever a path to knowledge is made available, he pursues it.

Allaah protects the student of knowledge, guides and aids him, therefore it is obligated on a student of knowledge to exalt the affair of turning to Allaah [in submission, obedience etc] and that what he learns should be a proof for him and not against him; and that Allaah increases him in knowledge, facilitates him with the path to good and guidance. “Whoever follows a path in search of knowledge Allaah will make easy for a him a path to paradise”.

One of the noblest aspects of knowledge – an affair that occupies a mighty station- is to pay close attention to the characteristics of the Prophet, his specific qualities and deeds by way of which Allaah distinguished him from everyone amongst mankind, his manners, etiquettes and biography. That is because he is the greatest Imaam [leader] and the perfect example. Indeed, Allaah [The Mighty and Majestic] commanded us to follow his example, made him an Imaam [leader] and example for us. Allaah [The Mighty and Majestic] said:

لَّقَدۡ كَانَ لَكُمۡ فِى رَسُولِ ٱللَّهِ أُسۡوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ۬ لِّمَن كَانَ يَرۡجُواْ ٱللَّهَ وَٱلۡيَوۡمَ ٱلۡأَخِرَ وَذَكَرَ ٱللَّهَ كَثِيرً۬ا

Indeed in the Messenger of Allah (Muhammad) you have a good example to follow for him who hopes in (the Meeting with) Allah and the Last Day and remembers Allah much. [Surah Al-Ahzaab. Verse 21]

This noble Aayah – as the people of knowledge have stated – is a basis to established the fact that the Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] is to be emulated; but emulating him cannot be actualized except by way of acquainting oneself with his characteristics, his qualities in general, his specific qualities and deeds by way of which Allaah distinguished him from everyone amongst humankind, his manners and etiquettes. The one who is unacquainted with the Prophet’s characteristics and manners will not be able to emulate him, and that is why the scholars [of Islaam] have written beneficial books regarding his characteristics and qualities.

The manners and qualities of the Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] are a means of inviting [mankind] to this mighty religion [of Islaam]. Indeed, many people- during his era and thereafter – have been guided through their acquaintance with his manners and qualities. One used to come to him whilst harbouring the severest hatred towards him, but after meeting him and [observing] his great [unmatched noble] etiquettes, noble manners, lofty dealings and benevolence, the person would depart whilst loving him more than everyone else on the face of the earth. Therefore, his characteristics are a means to calling to this religion- a weapon for the one inviting the people in the path of Allaah.

Speaking about his qualities, emulating him and calling others to emulate him strengthens the religion of Islaam, because he was the one whom Allaah appointed to convey and explain the religion to humankind. Allaah chose him and he is the best of all the slaves of Allaah- the greatest in his servitude to Allaah. Calling the people to emulate his qualities is a means to calling people to believe in the religion ordained by Allaah and a means to strengthening the belief of the one who has already believed in his Messenger-ship. This is why turning away from his Seerah has been the cause of people’s inclination towards the path of losers amongst men and women [i.e. those upon a path other than the path of Allaah]. As for the biographies of the Imaams of Guidance- the greatest of them being the Messenger, they are a means of rectifying the person and a means to safety from corruption and evil. On the other hand, the biography of the losers is a path that will lead to evil, ruin and corruption. Allaah [The Mighty and Majestic] said:

قَدۡ كَانَتۡ ءَايَـٰتِى تُتۡلَىٰ عَلَيۡكُمۡ فَكُنتُمۡ عَلَىٰٓ أَعۡقَـٰبِكُمۡ تَنكِصُونَ
مُسۡتَكۡبِرِينَ بِهِۦ سَـٰمِرً۬ا تَهۡجُرُونَ
أَفَلَمْ يَدَّبَّرُوا الْقَوْلَ أَمْ جَاءَهُم مَّا لَمْ يَأْتِ آبَاءَهُمُ الْأَوَّلِينَ
أَمْ لَمْ يَعْرِفُوا رَسُولَهُمْ فَهُمْ لَهُ مُنكِرُونَ

Indeed My Verses used to be recited to you, but you used to turn back on your heels [denying them, and with hatred to listen to them]. In pride [they Quraish pagans and polytheists of Makkah used to feel proud that they are the dwellers of Makkah sanctuary Haram], talking evil about it [the Qur’an] by night. Have they not pondered over the Word [of Allaah, i.e. what is sent down to the Prophet], or has there come to them what had not come to their fathers of old? Or is it that they did not recognize their Messenger [Muhammad] so they deny him? [i.e. this is a rebuke against them because all of them – young and old – knew his lineage, truthfulness and trustworthiness, yet they turned away from his message]. [Surah Al-Muminoon. Aayaat 66-69]

This shows that contemplating on the Qur’aan and acquainting oneself with the Messenger’s guidance and biography is a path leading to safety, and a safeguard against turning back on one’s heels [i.e. a safeguard against turning away from the guidance he was sent with]. On the other hand, abandoning the Seerah of the Prophet and inclining towards the Seerah of the losers [i.e. those men and women upon other than the guidance of the Messenger] will lead to ruin. The people became corrupted – in this era – after being put to trial through movies and films; but had they turned to the biographies of the Prophets and the noble companions of the Prophet Muhammad, they would have found guidance and a path leading to steadfastness. (19)

Finally, we do not reject the fact that oppression has taken place and it continues to take place against between people of different nations, tribes, clans and races. There is no doubt that oppression against a person or a group of people is something that opposes Islam and is forbidden. Muslims are commanded with justice in all affairs. However, as Shaikh Abu Khadeejah stated, “If a society is riddled with injustice, immorality and disobedience – the greatest injustice being Shirk, then it is expected that other great injustices will follow. This was the case in the pre-Islamic Era where Shirk was rife, injustice, racism, burying girls alive, fornication, robbery, etc. But once they accepted Islam, worshipped Allaah alone and followed the guidance of the final Messenger, these injustices were removed. This change occurred after the believers of different races, colours, tribes and clans were subjected to great harm – a harm that is far greater than the harm suffered by any group of people in our era. Likewise, those before them, such as Prophet Moosaa [alaihis-salaam] and his people suffered under the oppression of the tyrant Pharaoh -generation after generation. They were slaughtered, enslaved and brutalised because they said: “Our Lord is Allaah and we worship Him alone”. Therefore, if we seek rectification, then let us begin where the Prophets and Messengers began. Slogans are easy; “Black Life Matters” is definitely not a methodology of the Prophets and Messengers, rather the solution for all of mankind [every colour and race] is Islaam. So, worshipping Allah alone, following the Prophet and his Companions will bring the justice we all desire”. (20)

Likewise, we say, “Black History Month” is definitely not a methodology of the Prophets and Messengers, especially that un-Islamic personalities are presented as role models for black people, rather our single role models are the Prophets and Messengers, and the seal of them is Muhammad [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon all of them]. We affirm our roots and heritage, and we oppose every injustice, but neither engage in un-Islamic cultural practices nor emulate un-Islamic personalities, nor do we raise the slogans of the pre-Islamic era, such as nationalism, racism and tribalism. Even those Muslims and Muslim nations that initiate national day celebrations are not spared criticism, because what they initiate is in opposition to the Sharee’ah. Imaam Abdul Azeez Bin Baaz [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said, “National Day (celebration is tantamount to) an imitation of Allaah’s enemies. The National Days of celebration are an imitation. It may have occurred due a good intention and based on a judgement made by some after striving to reach the correct verdict in an affair; but what is apparent to us is that it is not legislated and it is not from that which is befitting; rather imitation of Allaah’s enemies is found within it, even if worship is not intended by way of it. As for if worship was intended by way of it, then it would be an innovation in religion, but worship is not intended by way of it; rather what is intended is to congratulate, manifest what the country has established and done, therefore, this is considered to be similar to the other days initiated by the Jews and Christians for remembrance or for other reasons. So, it is not befitting (or not permissible) to imitate them- neither in this affair nor in other than it [i.e. those affairs which the Islamic legislation has neither allowed nor legislated]”. (21)

Therefore, Islam suffices us in every affair and all praise and thanks belongs to Allaah. We ask Allaah to protect us and our families from everything that opposes the methodology of the Prophets Aameen. Read articles about nationalism and methodology of the Prophets:

https://www.troid.org/dawah/methodology-of-dawah/139-the-evils-of-nationalism https://www.troid.org/media/pdf/methodology.pdf


Ref 1: Misbaah Al-Muneer Fee Ta’dheeb Tafseer Ibn Katheer
Ref 2: Surah Nuh Ayah 23
Ref 3: Bukhaari 6/4920
Ref 4: Marhaban Yaa Taalibal Ilm’ pages 104-106. slightly paraphrased
[Ref 5: I’aanah Al-Mustafeed Bi-Sharhi Kitaab At-Tawheed. pages 55-56]
[Ref 6: Muhaadaraat Fil Aqeedah Wad-Da’wah’ page 18-20. slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 7: An Excerpt from ‘Sharh Kitaab At-Tawheed’. Lesson 1]
[Ref 8: An Excerpt from As-Sawaa’iq Al-Mursalah 4/1514. slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 9: An Excerpt from At-taleeqaat Al-Maleehah Alaa Silsilah Al-Ahaadeeth As-Saheehah. Vol 1pages 34-35. Slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 10: Reported by Imaam Tirmidhee (rahimahullaah) Number 1979 & declared authentic by Imaam Albani (rahimahullaah) in Sahih Sunan At-Tirmidhee]
[Ref 11: An Excerpt from ‘Silsilah Ar-Rasaa’il Al-Manhajiyyah Fin-Nus’hi Wal Irshaad Wat-Taw’iyah’ pages 47-49’. slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 12: Reported by Imaam Abu Dawud (rahimahullaah)’ Hadith Number 5116. Declared ‘Hasan’ by Shaikh Albaani (rahimahullaah) in his checking of Sunan Abu Dawud. Pages -766-767.Publisher: Maktabah Al-Ma’aarif’ 1st edition]
[Ref 13: Saheeh Muslim…part of hadeeth in ‘The Book Pertaining to the Remembrance of Allah, Supplication, Repentance and Seeking Forgiveness. Sharh Saheeh Muslim: Hadeeth Number 2699; Vol 17. page 18]
[Ref 14: Al-Muwaafaqaat 2/283]
[Ref 15: Majmoo Al-Fataawas 6/510]
[Ref: 16: Tafseer Surah Al-Baqarah 2/299]
[Ref 17: Majmoo Al-Fataawaa 7/7]
[Ref 18: Al-Jaami Li-Akhlaaq Ar-Raawi Wa Aadaab As-Saami’ page 8]
[Ref 19: An Excerpt from: (شرح المختصر في صفات النبي ﷺ وأخلاقه) Lesson 1. slightly paraphrased]
[Ref 20: WhatsApp text message]

[Ref 21: https://binbaz.org.sa/fatwas/2592/%D8%AD%D9%83%D9%85-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A7%D8%AD%D8%AA%D9%81%D8%A7%D9%84-%D8%A8%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A7%D8%B9%D9%8A%D8%A7%D8%AF-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%88%D8%B7%D9%86%D9%8A%D8%A9 .paraphrased]

 

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