In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy
Allaah (The Most High) said: [وَلَا تَلْبِسُوا الْحَقَّ بِالْبَاطِلِ وَتَكْتُمُوا الْحَقَّ وَأَنتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ – And mix not truth with falsehood, nor conceal the truth while you know (the truth)]. [Surah Al-Baqarah. Verse 42]
Imaam Ibnul Qayyim (rahimahullaah) said: Allaah forbade (us) from mixing truth with falsehood, and thus leading to concealment of the truth. Mixing truth with false is by mixing the two until one of them is confused for the other. This is forgery and deceit by way of which what is made apparent is the opposite of what it is in reality. Likewise, when truth is confounded with falsehood, the culprit manifests falsehood in the image of truth and speaks with a statement that carries two meanings- a correct meaning and false meaning, so the listener is under the illusion that the speaker intends the correct meaning, whilst he (i.e. the speaker) intends the corrupt meaning. [Badaa’i At-Tafseer Al-Jaami Limaa Fassarahu Al-Imaam Ibnul Qayyim’ Vol 1, page 124. slightly paraphrased]
Shaikhul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said, “falsehood does not spread except with a mixture of some truith, just as Ahlul Kitaab mixed truth with falsehood. And by way of the little truth they had, they misguided many from the truth and called them to a lot of the falsehood”. [Majmoo 35/190]
Firstly, who do ignorant journalists, demagogues and ideologues refer to as Islamists? The term ‘Islamist’ according to them is a person who believes strongly in Islam, especially one who believes that Islam should influence political systems, an advocate or supporter of Islamic militancy or fundamentalism, radical Islamists etc
This definition contains both truth and falsehood! If Islamist – according to them – is one who believes strongly in Islam, especially one who believes that Islaam should influence political Systems, then indeed there is no blame in this because there is no separation between religion and state in Islam. Imaam Muhammad Bin Saaleh Al-Uthaymeen [may allaah have mercy upon him] said: Allaah [The Exalted] said:
إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يَأۡمُرُكُمۡ أَن تُؤَدُّواْ ٱلۡأَمَـٰنَـٰتِ إِلَىٰٓ أَهۡلِهَا وَإِذَا حَكَمۡتُم بَيۡنَ ٱلنَّاسِ أَن تَحۡكُمُواْ بِٱلۡعَدۡلِۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ نِعِمَّا يَعِظُكُم بِهِۦۤۗ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ كَانَ سَمِيعَۢا بَصِيرً۬ا
يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓاْ أَطِيعُواْ ٱللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُواْ ٱلرَّسُولَ وَأُوْلِى ٱلۡأَمۡرِ مِنكُمۡۖ فَإِن تَنَـٰزَعۡتُمۡ فِى شَىۡءٍ۬ فَرُدُّوهُ إِلَى ٱللَّهِ وَٱلرَّسُولِ إِن كُنتُمۡ تُؤۡمِنُونَ بِٱللَّهِ وَٱلۡيَوۡمِ ٱلۡأَخِرِۚ ذَٲلِكَ خَيۡرٌ۬ وَأَحۡسَنُ تَأۡوِيلاً
Verily! Allah commands that you should render back the trusts to those, to whom they are due; and that when you judge between men, you judge with justice. Verily, how excellent is the teaching which He (Allah) gives you! Truly, Allah is Ever All-Hearer, All-Seer. O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger (Muhammad), and those of you (Muslims) who are in authority. (And) if you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger, if you believe in Allah and in the Last Day. That is better and more suitable for final determination. [Surah An-Nisaa. Verses 58-59]
The scholars say that the first verse was revealed regarding the (Muslim) rulers – that it is obligated on them to render back the trusts to those whom they are due and that when they judge between the people they do so with justice. And the second verse was revealed regarding those under the (Muslim) ruler’s authority, the armies and other than them- that it is obligated on them to obey the rulers who establish justice in their distributions, rulings, military expeditions and other affairs, except when they command one to commit an act of disobedience to Allaah, because there cannot be obedience to the creation in disobedience to Allaah. And if they differ in any matter, they should return to the book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger. If the rulers do not do this, then they are only obeyed in that which is in agreement with obedience to Allaah and His Messenger, their rights are fulfilled just as Allaah and His Messenger commanded and they are aided in righteousness and piety, but not in sin and transgression”. (1)
Siyaasah: What is Siyaasah? It means to look after affairs of the citizens. It has jurisdiction over the individual’s behaviour and the society as a whole; involves Islamic jurisprudence by way of which the (Muslim) 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. (2)
Imaam Muhammad Ibn Saaleh Al-Uthaymeen [may Allaah have mercy upon him] 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. (3)
Therefore, if the term ‘Islamist’ – according to Jane Clinton – is a person who believes strongly in Islaam, especially one who believes that Islam should influence political systems, then indeed this is praiseworthy in the sight of Allaah. Al-Allaamah Rabee Bin Haadee Al-Madkhalee [may Allaah preserve him] said, “Whoever Allaah wishes good for, He grants him understanding in the religion”. When this ‘Understanding in the religion’ is mentioned to the people, they understand it to mean the books of Islamic jurisprudence [i.e. the books that discuss the rulings related to prayer, zakat, fasting, marriage etc]. This is a deficient understanding. Fiqh [understanding] – first and foremost – is the understanding of the (sound) creed and Tawheed (i.e. sound Islamic monotheism). This is the highest level of Fiqh, because the nobility of knowledge is judged based on the nobility of its subject matter. The best and noblest subject matter is Tawheed, which teaches the people about the Attributes of their Lord and the perfection of His Attributes, about His Oneness, to worship Him (alone) and sincerely establish the religion for His Sake. Therefore, we seek understanding of Tawheed from Allaah’s Book, the (authentic) Sunnah of Allaah’s Messenger [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam] and from the understanding of our Salafus Saaleh [i.e. the Sahaabah, the Taab’een and the At-baa at-Taabi’een]. We seek understanding in all areas of (Sharee’ah) knowledge – understanding of halaal and haraam, acts of worship, mutual dealings, sound Islamic politics, economics and in every affair. All these affairs – and all praise and thanks be to Allaah – are extensively (found) in the (message) brought by Muhammad [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam]. When Fiqh is mentioned, its intended [meaning includes] understanding of every affair that is connected to our religious and worldly affairs, and the foremost of them is the knowledge of Tawheed [Islamic Monotheism]. There is nothing that can do without the knowledge of Tawheed. Some people deeply preoccupy [themselves with other] sciences and subject matters, but do not know this knowledge brought by the Messenger [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam], to such extent that you find many people who are well versed in language, Islamic jurisprudence, philosophy and the science of rhetoric, but – by Allaah – he does not know [the sound meaning] of ‘Laa ilaaha illal laah’ – the Islamic Monotheism, which Allaah sent all the Messengers with, the first and last of them. [Allaah said]:
[وَلَقَدۡ بَعَثۡنَا فِى ڪُلِّ أُمَّةٍ۬ رَّسُولاً أَنِ ٱعۡبُدُواْ ٱللَّهَ وَٱجۡتَنِبُواْ ٱلطَّـٰغُوتَۖ – And verily, We have sent among every Ummah [community, nation] a Messenger [saying]: “Worship Allah [Alone], and avoid [or keep away from] all false deities.” [Surah An-Nahl Aayah 36]
Every Messenger came with this [Message], until the advent of the seal of the Messengers Muhammad [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam], who resided in Makkah for ten years and called to Tawheed. Tawheed was the foremost aspect and basis of his call. The prayer – the second pillar of Islaam after the testimony of faith ‘Laa ilaaha illal laah – was not legislated until in the 10th year [of his Messengership], and the full details [related to] Zakat was not legislated until [after his migration to] Madeenah and all the other laws. This shows the importance of Tawheed, so how is it that many people who ascribe to Islaam- those who claim knowledge – are ignorant of it, then how about the ignorant people. And due to this, Misguidance, Bidah and grave worship has become widespread, and this arose due to ignorance regarding the [perfect] Names and Attributes of Allaah and negation of Allaah’s [perfect] Attributes. And [also] a people from the other religions entered into Islaam and plotted against the people [through] corrupt sciences – rhetoric, philosophy, forged [or spurious] historical accounts [or events] and what is similar to that, and thus corrupted their [sound] creed and methodology”. (4)
Therefore, if this is the Islamist intended by Jane – the one who adheres to the judgement of the Sharee’ah in all aspects of life, then indeed this is praiseworthy in the sight of Allaah. However, as Muslims living in the West, we abide by the laws of the land – neither commit terrorist acts not violate our covenants, because such behaviour is the path of the Khawaarij – terrorists [ISIS, Jabhat An-Nusra and their ilk].
Secondly, if the term Islamist – according to Jane – is an advocate or supporter of militancy or so called fundamentalism and radical Islamism, then indeed these words (militancy, fundamentalism, radicalism) must be scrutinized. It is well-known in Islaam that a Muslim is not allowed to commit any act of aggression against a non-Muslim citizen. The Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] said, “Whoever kills one who is under an agreement of protection will not smell the fragrance of Paradise”. This hadeeth shows clearly that a Muslim is threatened with punishment in the afterlife for murdering a non-Muslim citizen who is under an agreement of protection. Therefore, how can any sensible person attribute the deeds of such a Muslim to Islam?! And the affair gets worse when the ignorant journalists attach the words militancy, radical or extremism to the word Islam?!
As for the term ‘Islamic Fundamentalism’, even though there is much dispute between the people regarding its meanings, however the meaning generally intended by those who use it is, ‘Strict observance of the teachings of the Qur’an and the Shari’a (Islamic Law)’. Therefore, if this is what the ignorant journalists intend by the term ‘Fundamentalism’, then indeed Allaah [The Exalted] said:
فَلَا وَرَبِّكَ لَا يُؤۡمِنُونَ حَتَّىٰ يُحَكِّمُوكَ فِيمَا شَجَرَ بَيۡنَهُمۡ ثُمَّ لَا يَجِدُواْ فِىٓ أَنفُسِہِمۡ حَرَجً۬ا مِّمَّا قَضَيۡتَ وَيُسَلِّمُواْ تَسۡلِيمً۬ا
But no, by your Lord, they can have no Faith, until they make you (O Muhammad) judge in all disputes between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept (them) with full submission. [Surah An-Nisaa. Aayah 65]
Narrated Abu Musa (radiyallaahu-anhu): The Prophet (sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam) said, ‘’My example, and the example of what I have been sent with is that of a man who came to some people and said, O people! I have seen the enemy’s army with my own eyes and I am a plain warner; so protect yourselves!’ Then a group of his people obeyed him and fled at night proceeding stealthily till they were safe, while another group of them disbelieved him and stayed at their places till morning when the army came upon them and killed and ruined them completely. So this is the example of that person who obeys me and follows that truth which I have brought (the Qur’aan and the Sunnah), and the example of the one who disobeys me and disbelieves the Truth I have brought. [Saheeh Al-Bukhaari. Vol 9. Number: 7283]
Therefore, if this is what the ignorant journalists intend by the term fundamentalism, then indeed it is a praiseworthy deed in the sight of Allaah [The Exalted], but if they mean that it a type of Islam that advocates violence, then indeed it is not Islam in the first place; rather it is either the deeds of ignorant Muslims or the proponents of religions innovations who ascribe to Islam, such as ISIS, Al-Qa’idah and individuals affiliated with them. Therefore, it is incumbent upon the journalists to refrain from confounding truth with falsehood. The one who recently murdered David Amess – MP for Southend West in Essex – has no right to harm even an animal, let alone murder anyone, whether due to personal grudge or did so in the name of Islam. So, there’s no need to defile the word Islam, as Jane and her ilk have already started doing. 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 and 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 and 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. So we may not say that it is lawful to be treacherous towards people whom we have an agreement with. 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. [salafipublications.com]
Indeed, the likes of these above clarifications are well known to many journalists, demagogues and ideologues, but bias prevents them from distinguishing between the deeds of misguided Muslims and the justice Islam has brought to humankind and Jinn. Likewise our Mashaayikh in the West are well known for their staunch stance against the extremists and those who take the law into their own hands. Shaikh Abdul Waahid Abu Khadeejah [hafidhahullaah] has already clarified this matter five years ago.
The Salafi Response to The Terrorist Attacks In Paris, France: “Were they forbidding an evil?
Living With Non-Muslims In The West
Informing The Authorities Of Terrorist Plots
Finally, we are free from the misguidance and criminal activity of all criminals – be they Muslims or non-Muslims. And may Allaah guide the deceitful journalists or protect us from their mouths, expose their ignorance and the hatred they harbour in their hearts. Likewise, may Allaah guide all those Muslims engaged in criminal activity -whether they they are terrorists or not – and protect us from their ignorance and evil acts Aameen.
[Ref 1: An Excerpt from ‘As-Siyaasah Ash-Shar’iyyah 16-18. Slightly paraphrased]
[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: Marhaban Yaa Taalibal Ilm – pages 243-244. Slightly paraphrased]