In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
Those Worthy of Being Taken As Examples to Follow By The Muslim World
Imaam As-Sadi [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said:
Do not look at the one who calls himself a Muslim (or attributes himself to Islaam) yet he throws its morals behind his back, and thus that is used as proof against Islaam and the Muslims due to his ignobility, decadence and lack of good manners; for indeed Islaam is innocent of the one whose situation is like this. And even if he is called a Muslim, then he does not have from it except its likeness, for indeed the religion of Islam is the religion of elevation and correct progress, and all its teachings, instructions, morals and deeds are at the highest degree of perfection and orderliness – in its paths and goals. This is the aim of its guidance to every good, righteousness and rectification for those who are truly attributed to it, as it is well-known regarding the state of affairs of the early generations of the Islamic Ummah – those who truly established it, filled the world with (true, sound) justice, mercy, righteousness and rectification in all situations, and through them is an example taken regarding the perfection of humankind.
Therefore, whoever wants to know the effects of the religion, then let him look at the likes of those people. As for the one who desires arrogance and deception, he has another view. Many people say, “This is the era of knowledge, comprehension, awareness and advancement”, but their intent behind this is to turn away from the (upright) past and the sciences of religion. Indeed, they have spoken the truth in one way and lied in other ways! They have spoken the truth that it is a time in which the sciences related to crafts (industries, skilled occupations etc) and inventions have progressed, as well as that which is related to material things and the natural sciences; but they have uttered the most terrible lies when they restricted knowledge to this type of knowledge. They do not know that the real – useful – knowledge is the knowledge conveyed in the Book and the Sunnah, the guarantor of every good in religious affairs, worldly affairs and affairs related to the Hereafter. The beneficial knowledge from the sciences related to crafts (industries, skilled occupations) and inventions enters into this affair; rather (sound) religious knowledge is the thing that will lead the natural sciences and the beneficial crafts to that which is of sound benefit. It is that which will regulate them to benefit humankind and prevent them from destructive recklessness. And due this, we say: “Indeed, they have also lied from another angle because they did not direct these sciences – which they are proud of- towards useful guidance (or orientation), but rather they used them in that which harms the creation, ruination, annihilation and destruction. It is one of the greatest blessings, but it became one of the greatest afflictions and malice due to the manner they utilised them. This is from that which is well-known – and there is no doubt about it – that indeed a thing that is not (controlled or regulated) by sound religion will take a different orientation, and its harm is greater than its benefit. And they indeed have spoken the truth that it is an era of material progress, however they have lied by calling it progress (unrestrictedly) and thus one thinks that it is progress in everything; rather it is only progress related crafts (industries, skilled occupations) and inventions and not related to virtuous manners and (sound) religious affairs. There is no benefit in material progress if it eliminates those manners that are the purview in everything – the very thing that will make affairs upright and without which the affairs cannot be upright, as it is witnessed and clearly seen. Therefore, what type of progress is this, whose people became like vicious wild animals and whose abiding practice is oppression, annihilation, colonization of weak nations and depriving them of their rights? Sound progress whose effects are from (sound) religion, justice, mercy, fulfilling rights (or obligations)- an urge towards every good and warning against every evil – is the progress whose scent they have neither smelled nor have their hearts perceived. How can they perceive with their hearts whilst their hearts are filled with anxiety, vehement greed, vanity, arrogance, deceit and every evil trait? And indeed, they have also lied in their claim that they are the ones who started the beneficial contemporary sciences and the crafts (or specialist occupations), and that the Islamic legislation neither led the way to them nor guided to its basis (or origins). This is mighty slander and arrogance that is known to the one with the least assessment of the religion of Islaam. How can that be when it has established mighty beneficial fundamental principles for the servants by way of which their worldly affairs became upright, just as it has established for them beneficial principles which brought uprightness in their religious affairs. Indeed, we have already mentioned some of the texts from the Qur’aan and the Sunnah that indicates to this fundamental. Yes, if only they said, “The people – in this era – have benefited through these religious principles and teachings to develop crafts (industries, skilled professions), discover new inventions, acquaint (themselves) with the paths of economic activity and the like, but they developed these affairs through a development that is disconnected and severed from submission to Allāh and the religion ordained by Allāh; so because of this it has brought benefit in that which contains worldly benefits for the people and benefited those who use it to support the religion and do good. On the one hand, it has caused harm and led its proponents to savagery and barbarism whose outcomes has been destruction, ruin and evils that has no comparison.
As mentioned previously, it also caused harm due to what it brought in the souls of its proponents of vanity, deception and arrogance, enslavement of the weak, oppression, violation of rights and various types of evils. If these worldly inventions allied with the religion as its guide, then its benefits would have been twice as great as what is witnessed; its harm and evils would have been repelled and it would have been established upon good and uprightness; its outcomes would have been good and would be a means of rectification in the religious and worldly affairs; but Allāh has matters to bring forth in His created beings (by way of His Decree based on Perfect Knowledge, Wisdom and Justice). [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 34-36]