In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy
What Does Revival Necessitate In The View of The Atheists?
Imaam As-Sadi [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said:
In the view of these atheists, revival and advancement means to assimilate into the morale and mentality of the outsiders – the enemies of all religions, lose all their personalities by adopting the personalities of those people, imitate them in their manners, dress, dealings and customs precisely and distinctly, because they see that one should dissociate from the religion ordained by Allāh — which is the religion of truth — and from beautiful manners. This is progress and advancement in their view, so they replace that which is lofty, perfect and precious with something that is low and despicable and thus are in agreement with their enemies outwardly and inwardly. And through this path they became the greatest weapon of the enemies against their religion and people, and for this reason they blindly imitated the foreigners in harmful matters. As for that which they possess of those things that are of benefit – even if associated with the religion, then they are the most distant from it as is well-known regarding their state of affairs.
What Does Modern Culture [or Intellectual Development] Necessitate In The View of The Atheists
And through that which the deviants decorate their falsehood is their strong language (or forceful speech) regarding modern culture (or intellectual development), whilst claiming that neither can manners be refined nor free from oppression and tyranny except by way of that. They exaggerated in praising it and its educators, vilify those who do not have this modern culture and ridicule them. They interpret it with various deviated interpretations and everyone blurting, because if sciences are disorderly and manners are based on them, then this is how its people will behave. They do not agree – in anything – in their views and opinions, and all their statements refer back to toppling the religion and manners. Indeed, sound intellectual development and beneficial refinement is that which the religion of Islaam brought, which cleansed the beliefs from polytheism and the worship of images; cleansed the manners from every evil trait, cleansed deeds and etiquettes until matters became rectified, the state of affairs came to be upright, combined between the religious and worldly affairs, reformed the beneficial morale and the materials sciences that support them. And certainly what is witnessed is a testimony to that which we have mentioned, for indeed the contemporary (or modern) sciences and inventions – despite their expansion and vastness – have been unable to rectify the manners, bring about sound virtues and remove evil due to them being devoid of (sound) religion; rather the religion of Islaam is that which will guarantee this rectification, undertake this beneficial refinement, direct towards every good and deter every evil, for indeed it is the rectifier of the apparent matters (i.e. deeds) and the hidden affairs of the soul in the religious and worldly affairs. Whoever looks at its fundamentals, subsidiary issues and what it deters, he will find the affair as we have mentioned; rather -above everything else -Allāh is the granter of success. (1)
Imaam As-Sadi [may Allaah have mercy upon him] also said:
What type of progress is this? A progress whose people became like vicious wild animals and whose abiding practice is oppression, annihilation, colonization of weak nations and depriving them of their rights? (2)
They developed these affairs through a development that is disconnected and severed from submission to Allāh and the religion ordained by Allāh… it has caused harm and led its proponents to savagery and barbarism whose outcomes has been destruction, ruin and evils that has no comparison. (3)
Indeed, it is impossible to rectify the souls and acquire virtue solely through the worldly sciences. Experience and clearly witnessed circumstances are the greatest proofs regarding this affair, because despite its advancement and vastness it has been unable to nurture and rectify the souls. What the Religion of Islaam propagates is that which is entrusted with this rectification – it is what will guide the thoughts towards the truthful and authentic sources of knowledge, and guide the actions of the people towards good and prevent them from evil. Islam is The Rectifier of the Creeds and Manners- the thing that cultivates the thoughts [upon righteousness], urges towards virtuousness and prevents from depravity. The essence of that which the religion calls to regarding belief in the Unseen, which includes belief in Allaah and that which He possesses of Names, Attributes and Actions of perfection; belief in Angels, belief in recompense for one’s good and bad deeds in this life and the next, which cannot be known except through the Messengers, is what acquaints a person with the fact that rectification – in reality – is not possible through other than sound belief and the religion of Islaam. Therefore, even if the worldly sciences rectify [some] affairs based upon that which people know in detail, it will still not be equal [in perfection, excellence etc] to the knowledge of the Messengers [in the least]. It will neither reach that which is reached through the knowledge of the Messengers nor can it influence the souls in the manner in which the knowledge of the Messengers has done; for indeed the souls do not voluntarily submit except through belief in Allaah, belief in His Angels, belief in His Books, belief in His Messengers and belief in the hereafter. And without this, voluntary submission is impossible, as is well known regarding human nature. (4)
Al-Allaamah Rabee Bin Haadi [may Allaah preserve him said: If medicine, engineering and chemistry are not placed below the knowledge which the Prophets brought, they become nothing; [rather] they will only increase the people in corruption. The knowledge brought by the Prophets is rectification for the people, a guide for them towards the right path and removes them from the darkness they are living in – the darkness of kufr and ignorance. As for the knowledge of the philosophers and the heretics, then what Allaah has stated truly applies to it: [فَلَمَّا جَآءَتۡهُمۡ رُسُلُهُم بِٱلۡبَيِّنَـٰتِ فَرِحُواْ بِمَا عِندَهُم مِّنَ ٱلۡعِلۡمِ وَحَاقَ بِهِم مَّا كَانُواْ بِهِۦ يَسۡتَہۡزِءُونَ -Then when their Messengers came to them with clear proofs, they were glad [and proud] with that which they had of the knowledge [of worldly things]: And that at which they used to mock, surrounded them [i.e. the punishment]. [Surah Ghaafir’ Aayah 83]
It is the knowledge which the people boast about nowadays, whether it is medicine, engineering, astronomy, [modern] politics and economics. After the Prophets came to them – to remove them from the darkness of ignorance and enter them into the light of the knowledge and Eemaan- they became glad and boastful with the knowledge they possess, [just as Allaah has stated]: [فَلَمَّا جَآءَتۡهُمۡ رُسُلُهُم بِٱلۡبَيِّنَـٰتِ فَرِحُواْ بِمَا عِندَهُم مِّنَ ٱلۡعِلۡمِ وَحَاقَ بِهِم مَّا كَانُواْ بِهِۦ يَسۡتَہۡزِءُونَ -Then when their Messengers came to them with clear proofs, they were glad [and proud] with that which they had of the knowledge [of worldly things]: And that at which they used to mock, surrounded them [i.e. the punishment]. [Surah Ghaafir’ Aayah 83]
[Likewise, Allaah informed us that] Qaaroon said: [إِنَّمَآ أُوتِيتُهُ ۥ عَلَىٰ عِلۡمٍ عِندِىٓۚ – This [i.e. vast wealth] has been given to me only because of knowledge I possess. [Surah Al-Qasas’ Aayah 78]. They rebuked him [i.e. Qaaroon] because he did not want to spend from his wealth based on what Allaah has commanded, so Allaah said that he said: [إِنَّمَآ أُوتِيتُهُ ۥ عَلَىٰ عِلۡمٍ عِندِىٓۚ – This (.e. vast wealth) has been given to me only because of knowledge I possess]. [Surah Al-Qasas’ Aayah 78]
Likewise, Allaah said: [وَإِذَآ أَنۡعَمۡنَا عَلَى ٱلۡإِنسَـٰنِ أَعۡرَضَ وَنَـَٔا بِجَانِبِهِ – And when We bestow Our Grace on man (the disbeliever), he turns away and becomes arrogant, far away from the Right Path]. [Surah Al-Israa’ Aayah 83]
[ثُمَّ إِذَا خَوَّلۡنَـٰهُ نِعۡمَةً۬ مِّنَّا قَالَ إِنَّمَآ أُوتِيتُهُ ۥ عَلَىٰ عِلۡمِۭۚ بَلۡ هِىَ فِتۡنَةٌ۬ وَلَـٰكِنَّ أَكۡثَرَهُمۡ لَا يَعۡلَمُونَ – Then when We have (rescued him from that harm and) changed it into a favour from Us, he says: “Only because of knowledge (that I possess) I obtained it.” Nay, it is only a trial, but most of them know not]! [Surah Az-Zumar’ Aayah 49]
Allaah said that he [i.e. the ungrateful human being says after being rescued from hardship]:
[قَالَ إِنَّمَآ أُوتِيتُهُ ۥ عَلَىٰ عِلۡمِۭۚ – he says: “Only because of knowledge (that I possess) I obtained it]; but Allaah said: [ وَلَـٰكِنَّ أَكۡثَرَهُمۡ لَا يَعۡلَمُونَ – Nay, it is only a trial, but most of them know not!]
These sciences become a trial and tribulation if they are not placed below [and regulated by] the knowledge which Muhammad [peace and blessings of Allaah] brought. (5)
Comprehensive Guidance of The Messenger
Imaam Ibnul Qayyim [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: Muhammad’s [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] Ummah is not in need of anyone after him; rather the only need they have is someone to convey what he came with. Muhammad’s message is comprehensive, universal and preserved. This universality, comprehensiveness and preservation is not limited to [any time and place], rather it is comprehensive for those to whom Muhammad was sent [i.e. the whole world] and likewise with regards to everything that is needed in the fundamental and subsidiary issues of the religion.
Muhammad’s message is sufficient, all embracing and universal- nothing else is needed besides it. It has not isolated any affair of truth needed by his Ummah in their sciences and deeds. The Messenger of Allaah did not leave this world until he acquainted his Ummah with everything. He even taught them the etiquettes of using the toilet; the etiquettes of sexual relations; the etiquettes of sleep and after waking up; the etiquettes of eating, drinking and travel.
He acquainted them with the etiquettes of speech and silence; the etiquettes of keeping company with the people and seclusion. He acquainted them with the affairs of illness, good health, poverty and wealth. He acquainted them with all the affairs of life and death. He described Allaah’s throne, the angels, the jinn, the hell fire and the day of judgement in such a manner as if one has seen them with the naked eye. He informed them about their Lord and His Perfect Names and Attributes, and that Allaah alone is their true object of worship.
He acquainted them with the Prophets of old and their nations – the events that took place between them and their nations – in such a manner as if one was present at that time. He acquainted them with all the means to good and the paths of evil- in general and in detail- which no other prophet informed his nation. He acquainted them with death and what will take place in the grave – either bliss or punishment. He acquainted them with the evidences and proofs of Tawheed [i.e. the oneness of Allaah in His Lordship, Names and Attributes, and that Allaah alone has the right to be worshipped].
He acquainted them with Prophet hood and the affairs of the Afterlife, and he refuted all the sects of disbelief and misguidance. He acquainted them with war strategies- how to confront the enemy, the way to achieve victory and conquests. If only they knew and understood these affairs in the correct manner [i.e. the manner it should be understood], they would not be overcome by their enemy. He acquainted them with the plots of Iblees and the ways through which he approaches them, and the ways to repel those plots and plans. He acquainted them with the soul- its characteristics and faults- in such a manner that they are not in need of anyone else to tell them about it. He taught them how to live their daily lives and had they acknowledged and acted upon this; their worldly affairs would be firmly established. He brought them all the means of success in this life and the next, and they do not need anyone besides him. So how can it be said that the path of Muhammad is in need of something else outside of it. The reason for such a claim is due to the weak and little understanding of a person. Allaah [The Most High] said: [أَوَلَمْ يَكْفِهِمْ أَنَّا أَنزَلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ يُتْلَىٰ عَلَيْهِمْ ۚ إِنَّ فِي ذَٰلِكَ لَرَحْمَةً وَذِكْرَىٰ لِقَوْمٍ يُؤْمِنُونَ – Is it not sufficient for them that We have sent down to you the Book (the Qur’an) which is recited to them? Verily, herein is mercy and a reminder (or an admonition) for a people who believe].
Allaah [The Most High] said: [وَنَزَّلْنَا عَلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ تِبْيَانًا لِّكُلِّ شَيْءٍ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةً وَبُشْرَىٰ لِلْمُسْلِمِينَ – And We have sent down to you the Book (the Qur’an) as an exposition of everything, a guidance, a mercy, and glad tidings for those who have submitted themselves (to Allah as Muslims)].
Allaah [The Most High] said: [يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ قَدْ جَاءَتْكُم مَّوْعِظَةٌ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَشِفَاءٌ لِّمَا فِي الصُّدُورِ وَهُدًى وَرَحْمَةٌ لِّلْمُؤْمِنِينَ – O mankind! There has come to you a good advice from your Lord [i.e. the Qur’an, ordering all that is good and forbidding all that is evil], and a healing for that [disease of ignorance, doubt, hypocrisy and differences, etc.] in your breasts, – a guidance and a mercy [explaining lawful and unlawful things, etc.] for the believers]. (6)
How to Approach the Contemporary Worldly Sciences
Shaikh Saaleh Aala Ash-Shaikh [may allaah preserve him] said: The Messenger [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] said: Verily, the creation of each of you is brought together in his mother’s womb for forty days as a drop [of water, semen], then he is a clot for a similar period, then a morsel for a similar period…. [An-Nawawi’s Forty Hadeeth. Hadeeth 4]
It is well known that during that era, the Sahaabah did not know these stages (of development of the human being in the womb) through experimental knowledge, vision [i.e. by way X-rays or ultrasound that enables the human to see something in the womb) or other than that; rather it was simply (a statement of the Prophet) which they (believed and affirmed). They were scholars by way of the revelation sent down to the Prophet and not by way of experimentation (examination). [Sharh Al-Arba’een. Hadeeth 4]
Imaam Muhammad Bin Saaleh Al-Uthaymeen [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: We do not say, “We do not give consideration to anything stated by the people in the subject matter regarding medicine, astronomy and the celestial bodies”, however, we do not accept everything they say. If what they say opposes the Book and the (authentic) Sunnah, then indeed we do not accept their statements. We take [i.e. believe and affirm without any doubt] that which is conveyed in the Book and the Sunnah], and we say, “An era will come in which the people will bear witness to the falsity of those statements of theirs – at present – that are in opposition to the Book and Sunnah and (bear witness) to the soundness of that which has been conveyed in the Book and the Sunnah. [An excerpt from the ‘Explanation of Bulooghul Maraam’ Vol 1. page 130. Shared by Ustaadh abu Tasneem (Mushaf Al-Banghaalee- may Allaah preserve him)]
Imaam Abdul Azeez Bin Baaz [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: Indeed, that which is stated by the astronomers about the celestial bodies, their sizes and the distance between them, and that which is said about the earth [i.e. by the geologists etc] is categorized into three affairs: [a] That which is backed by the sound knowledge-based proofs [i.e. the Sharee’ah], therefore it is accepted. [b] That which the knowledge-based proofs [i.e. the sharee’ah] declares to be false, therefore it is rejected. [c] That which there is no proof to either accept or reject it, therefore it is unproven until a person from the people of knowledge [i.e. upright scholars of Ahlus Sunnah] examines it [i.e. examines what it indicates based on the Book and Sunnah] to show whether it should be accepted or rejected. As for accepting it without [sound] investigation and observation, but merely accepting it by blindly following them [i.e. the astronomers, geologists etc], then this is impermissible because of the numerous mistakes that occur as a result of that and speaking -without knowledge – about Allaah and that which He has created [i.e. the entire universe and all that is within it]. [An Excerpts from ‘Al-Adillah An-Naqliyyah Wal-Hissiyyah Alaa Imkaanis Su’ood Ilal Kawaakib Wa Alaa Jarayaan Ash-Shams Wal-Qamar Wa Sukoon Al-Ard’ page 74. slightly paraphrased]
Therefore, we return to those honest investigators – those students of sound Aqeedah who are well acquainted with both the statements of the upright scholars and the contemporary worldly sciences, such as the likes of Dr. Shaikh Abu Iyaadh Amjad Rafiq [may Allaah preserve him, increase him in beneficial knowledge and righteous deeds. And likewise preserve all the students and Ahlus Sunnah Aameen].
Read: Understanding the Two Definitions of ‘Science’ in Operation – By Shaikh Dr. Abu Iyaadh:
[Ref 1, 2 and 3: An Excerpt from Ad-Dalaa’il Al-Qur’aaniyyah Fee Annal Uloom Wal-A’maal An-Naafi’ah Al-Asriyyah Daakhilatun Fid Deen Al-Islaamiy. page 33 and page 44]
[Ref 4: Al-Adillatul Qawaati Wal-Baraaheem Fee Ibtaal Usool Al-Mulhideen. Page 48]
[Ref 5: Marhaban Yaa Taalibal Ilm. Page 100]
[Ref 6: An Excerpt from I’laam Al-Muwaqqi’een 4/375-377]