Neutrality In Times of War, National Interests and Bilateral Relations of Muslim Countries Are Not Pursued Based On Colonial Mindset of Journalists – [Brief Rebuke Against – Patrick Wintour – a Guardian Journalist]


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

Patrick Wintour stated about those Muslim countries whose leaders have independently decided what to do in relation to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, “These countries have all defended their interventions and various shades of neutrality over the war, saying it puts them in a good place to act as honest brokers. Their critics, by contrast, say the peacemaking is a fig leaf behind which to hide moral bankruptcy and to justify the maintenance of deep commercial ties with Russia, still a potential victor from this trial of strength”.

Firstly, Imaam As-Sadi [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: “Islam is the religion that directs the servants of Allaah to every matter that is beneficial to them in their religious and worldly affairs, and warns them against every matter that is harmful to their religion and livelihood. It commands them to establish consultation to choose the affair whose greater benefit is clearly established and repel the affair whose corruption is clearly established when there is an ambiguity between things that bring about welfare and things that are corrupt, and between beneficial and harmful things”. [End of quote]

One of the affairs that shows the excellence and perfection of this mighty religion is that it directs the servants of Allaah to every beneficial affair in their religious and worldly affairs. It is a religion of upright rectification in every affair of the worldly life – urges towards everything that is useful and beneficial in the person’s worldly life and rectification of a person’s Afterlife through every righteous deeds that will draw a person close to Allaah and attainment of lofty status in the afterlife. Islam forbids every affair that harms a person’s livelihood, health and body, and forbids every affair that harms a person’s religion, so it rectifies the worldly affairs and afterlife of a person. It commands people to establish consultation – in order to safeguard against haste – when there is an ambiguity between things that bring about welfare and things that are corrupt, and between beneficial and harmful things. So, a person looks at the affair based on the Sharee’ah principle which is Dar Al-Mafaasid Muqaddam Alaa Jalb Al-Masaalih – Warding off corruption (or evil) takes precedence over attaining some benefit. (see ‘footnote a’ about ‘warding off evil takes precedence over attaining a benefit’) (1)

The Imaam also said: Indeed, the Islamic Sharee’ah has decided the issues of Siyaasah in the most complete manner (see footnote b), guided to all that should be done when dealing with Muslims and others based on the best and most just system, combined mercy and strength in the affair, leniency and compassion, and mercy for the people whatever the circumstances may be. When that is not possible, then force is used wisely and justly, not with injustice and violence. Allaah [The Exalted] said:

إن الله يأمر بالعدل والإحسان وإيتاء ذي القربى وينهى عن الفحشاء والمنكر والبغي يعظكم لعلكم تذكرون وأوفوا بعهد الله إذا عاهدتم ولا تنقضوا الأيمان بعد توكيدها وقد جعلتم الله عليكم كفيلا

Verily, Allah enjoins Al-Adl (i.e. justice and worshipping none but Allah Alone – Islamic Monotheism) and Al-Ihsan [i.e. to be patient in performing your duties to Allah, totally for Allah’s sake and in accordance with the Sunnah (legal ways) of the Prophet in a perfect manner], and giving (help) to kith and kin (i.e. all that Allah has ordered you to give them e.g., wealth, visiting, looking after them, or any other kind of help, etc.): and forbids Al-Fahsha’ (i.e all evil deeds, e.g. illegal sexual acts, disobedience of parents, polytheism, to tell lies, to give false witness, to kill a life without right, etc.), and Al-Munkar (i.e all that is prohibited by Islamic law: polytheism of every kind, disbelief and every kind of evil deeds, etc.), and Al-Baghy (i.e. all kinds of oppression), He admonishes you, that you may take heed. And fulfill the Covenant of Allah (Bai’a: pledge for Islam) when you have covenanted, and break not the oaths after you have confirmed them, and indeed you have appointed Allah your surety]. [Surah An-Nahl. Aayaat 90-91]

So, Allaah commanded that justice is established when dealing with everyone, kind treatment and mercy for everyone, especially when dealing with relatives and those who have rights to be fulfilled. He forbade indecency and oppression in order to sanctify life, wealth, honor and rights, commanded the fulfillment and preservation of covenants, and warned against violating them. These affairs that are commanded and forbidden, some of them are clear and obvious, and every Muslim is commanded to adhere to them – neither given a choice in the matter nor any opposition allowed. Allaah [The Exalted] said:

وما كان لمؤمن ولا مؤمنة إذا قضى الله ورسوله أمرا أن يكون لهم الخيرة من أمرهم ومن يعص الله ورسوله فقد ضل ضلالا مبينا

It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he has indeed strayed in a plain error. [Surah Al-Ahzaab. Aayah 36]

Allaah said:

[فلا وربك لا يؤمنون حتى يحكموك فيما شجر بينهم ثم لا يجدوا في أنفسهم حرجا مما قضيت ويسلموا تسليما – 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]

Allaah said: [فإن تنازعتم في شيء فردوه إلى الله والرسول – (And) if you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to Allah (i.e. the Book of Allaah) and His Messenger (i.e. go to the Messenger whilst he was alive and refer to his Sunnah after he has passed away]. [Surah An-Nisaa. Aayah 59]

Allaah said: [وما اختلفتم فيه من شيء فحكمه إلى الله – And in whatsoever you differ, the decision thereof is with Allah (He is the ruling Judge)]. [Surah Ash-Shooraa. Aayah 10]

All praise is due to Allaah, when this first affair is examined, you’ll find it to be in conformity with justice and wisdom- in agreement with the welfare of the people and repels corruption.

The second category are those matters that are ambiguous in their origin or in their application to reality, and the inclusion of affairs in them has aspects about which are unknown as to whether they are negated or affirmed in the Sharee’ah, sought after or shunned. Therefore, with regards to these affairs, they (i.e. the rulers and scholars) have been commanded to establish consultation, look into them from all its aspects, contemplate the conditions and rules that depend on them, the goals and objectives that result from them, compare the welfare and disadvantages, and give preference to the most upright among them. Allaah [The Exalted] said: [وشاورهم في الأمر – and consult them in the affairs]. [Surah Aal Imran. Aayah 159]

And Allaah stated about all the believers: [وأمرهم شورى بينهم – And they (conduct) their affairs by mutual consultation]. [Surah Ash-Shooraa. Aayah 38]

With regards to this matter, Allaah has given more room after establishing the rules and foundations that are compatible with every time and place, no matter how circumstances change and advance. When the fundamental principles of the Sharee’ah are used in passing judgment on those affairs that are of a general nature and the side issues linked to them, the worldly and religious affairs are set right, the affairs of people are rectified, and evils and harms are repelled. However, this requires councils that bring together sensible people who give sincere advice – the possessors of sober minds, broad intelligence, sound opinion and broad insight (that agrees with the Qur’aan and Sunnah), so that internal issues are examined one by one, a research that includes the aspects of the issue is carried out, the affairs perceive as they should be and a clear understanding of what they depend on, the means to attaining them if the intent is that they are to be pursued, a clear perception of the overall and partial benefits and the welfare that will result from them, a study of the best and easiest way to obtain them, a study of the harmful issues that are to be repelled and tracing their causes and sources from which they emerge, resolving them as much as possible and then striving to eliminate them completely if possible; but if not possible, then at least reducing and lessening their evil outcomes. Allaah [The Exalted] said: [فاتقوا الله ما استطعتم – Fear Allaah as much as you can]. [Surah At-Taghaabun. Aayah 16] [End of quote]

In this section, the author (Imaam As-Sadi) spoke about domestic and foreign politics – the relationship between the people of a nation and their dealings with other nations. He first mentioned the general rules and fundamental principles which the people of the Islamic faith must adhere to. Allaah said:

إن الله يأمر بالعدل والإحسان وإيتاء ذي القربى وينهى عن الفحشاء والمنكر والبغي يعظكم لعلكم تذكرون وأوفوا بعهد الله إذا عاهدتم ولا تنقضوا الأيمان بعد توكيدها وقد جعلتم الله عليكم كفيلا

Verily, Allah enjoins Al-Adl (i.e. justice and worshipping none but Allah Alone – Islamic Monotheism) and Al-Ihsan [i.e. to be patient in performing your duties to Allah, totally for Allah’s sake and in accordance with the Sunnah (legal ways) of the Prophet in a perfect manner], and giving (help) to kith and kin (i.e. all that Allah has ordered you to give them e.g., wealth, visiting, looking after them, or any other kind of help, etc.): and forbids Al-Fahsha’ (i.e all evil deeds, e.g. illegal sexual acts, disobedience of parents, polytheism, to tell lies, to give false witness, to kill a life without right, etc.), and Al-Munkar (i.e all that is prohibited by Islamic law: polytheism of every kind, disbelief and every kind of evil deeds, etc.), and Al-Baghy (i.e. all kinds of oppression), He admonishes you, that you may take heed. And fulfill the Covenant of Allah (Bai’a: pledge for Islam) when you have covenanted, and break not the oaths after you have confirmed them, and indeed you have appointed Allah your surety]. [Surah An-Nahl. Aayaat 90-91]

These two above verses contain the approach which a Muslim must apply in his (or her) dealings. And with regards these verses that contain commands and prohibitions, some of them are clear and obvious – issues that are clearly stipulated by way of divine text and there is no room for Ijtihaad. As for the other type regarding which there is no specific divine text, then room is given for ijtihaad. (see footnote b) So, one must return to the senior scholars – those scholars who are firmly grounded in knowledge- in order that they derive the sound understanding regarding them. Allaah [The Exalted] said:

وَإِذَا جَآءَهُمۡ أَمۡرٌ۬ مِّنَ ٱلۡأَمۡنِ أَوِ ٱلۡخَوۡفِ أَذَاعُواْ بِهِۦ‌ۖ وَلَوۡ رَدُّوهُ إِلَى ٱلرَّسُولِ وَإِلَىٰٓ أُوْلِى ٱلۡأَمۡرِ مِنۡہُمۡ لَعَلِمَهُ ٱلَّذِينَ يَسۡتَنۢبِطُونَهُ ۥ مِنۡہُمۡ‌ۗ وَلَوۡلَا فَضۡلُ ٱللَّهِ عَلَيۡڪُمۡ وَرَحۡمَتُهُ ۥ لَٱتَّبَعۡتُمُ ٱلشَّيۡطَـٰنَ إِلَّا قَلِيلاً۬

When there comes to them some matter regarding (public) safety or fear, they make it known (among the people), if only they had referred it to the Messenger or to those charged with authority among them, the proper investigators would have understood it from them (directly). Had it not been for the Grace and Mercy of Allah upon you, you would have followed Shaitan (Satan), save a few of you. [Surah An-Nisaa. Aayah 83]

This shows that matters regarding public safety whose rulings are not clear, a scholar does not examine them on his own; rather he sits with other scholars for consultation, study the affair, examine the affair with insight and weigh up the affair based on the principles stated by the author. As for if the common people and the beginner students of knowledge enter into these matters of public safety and everyone gives a verdict, then chaos will ensue and the affairs of the people will end up in a state of confusion (right and wrong not distinguished). (2)

To conclude, we quote – once again – Patrick Wintour’s statement about those Muslim countries whose leaders have independently decided what to do in relation to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine: “These countries have all defended their interventions and various shades of neutrality over the war, saying it puts them in a good place to act as honest brokers. Their critics, by contrast, say the peacemaking is a fig leaf behind which to hide moral bankruptcy and to justify the maintenance of deep commercial ties with Russia, still a potential victor from this trial of strength”.

Indeed, this criticism quoted by Mr Wintour demonstrates the repugnant deep-rooted colonial and neocolonial mindset of some western journalists. These journalists have the audacity to suggest that those Muslim countries and their rulers must relinquish their long-term national interests to suit the short-term political interests of others! There is no doubt that these opinions and expectations are firmly rooted in the practice of colonial rulers, who used to ignore the interests of locals to meet the bigger interests of their Empires. This was one of the ways in which their economies achieved strength at the expense of the colonized. This was not only made possible by military force, but also by the intellectual or ideological war led by the academics and writers who gradually deprived the colonized people of their rational decisions and thus their opinions regarding safety, security and economic well-being was completely ignored.

And even though these vile opportunists no longer have an empire, however their opportunistic imperial practices continue, especially in Western academia, think tanks and the media. Mr Wintour must come to terms with the fact that Muslim rulers and their advisers have a right to choose what is of overriding benefit and welfare for their citizens, and they are commended for demonstrating independence in foreign policy, but this obviously is a shock to journalists with a neocolonial mentality because their academic structures are still utilised to portray the post-colonial world as an intellectual subordinate that should be submissive and passive. May Allaah protect us from this stinking ignorance and arrogance Aameen.

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Footnote a: “Warding off corruption (or evil) takes precedence over attaning some benefit”. Imaam Abdul Azeez Bin Baaz [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: The scholars deduced this principle from the evidences- from the Sharee’ah evidences (Qur’aan and authentic Sunnah). A person avoids evil that is greater than the benefit he imagines and presumes. If his meeting with Zayd or Amr would result in evil, he abandons this meeting, even if he hopes for a benefit in it, that he will give him money or supplicate for him or something similar; but if it would result in evil suspicion- he harbours an evil suspicion of him that this man who loves to meet with him is famous for evil, or for drinking alcohol, or for engaging in what Allaah has forbidden such as sodomy, or the like, he stays away due to the evil suspicion held about this person. Likewise, if dealing with a certain commodity leads him to evil, he stays away from it, and similarly if going to one of the districts leads to evil, he stays away even if there is a benefit in it. He visits a sick person or gives charity to someone as long as entering this district would not result in being accused of evil and corruption. Warding off evil takes precedence over seeking after some benefit. https://binbaz.org.sa/fatwas/12816/%D9%85%D8%B9%D9%86%D9%89-%D9%82%D8%A7%D8%B9%D8%AF%D8%A9-%D8%AF%D8%B1%D8%A1-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D9%81%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%AF-%D9%85%D9%82%D8%AF%D9%85-%D8%B9%D9%84%D9%89-%D8%AC%D9%84%D8%A8-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D8%B5%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AD

Footnote b: Siyaasah is to look after the affairs of the citizens. It includes 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 and its set-ups. [At-taleeq Alaa As-Siyaasah Ash-Shar’iyyah. Slightly paraphrased. Page 5 by Imaam Muhammad Ibn Saaleh al-Uthaymeen]


[Ref 1: An Excerpt From 19mins 45secs to 22mins 28secs. https://www.al-badr.net/detail/8LD6UgwQrZ –paraphrased]

[Ref 2: An Excerpt from 27mins 02secs to 45mins 26secs. https://www.al-badr.net/detail/hKHE35qsTg paraphrased]

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