In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
How Important is Current Affairs and Who Interprets Events For You?
[Guidance From Imaam Muhammad Ibn Saaleh Al-Uthaymeen and Al-Allaamah Rabee]
Imaam Muhammad Ibn Saaleh Al-Uthaymeen [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said, “Some people say, ‘The one who does not understand the knowledge of current affairs is not a scholar’ and they forget that indeed the Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] said, ‘Whoever Allaah wishes good for, He grants him understanding of the religion’. Then they become heedless of an existing reality, which is that busying oneself with the knowledge of current affairs diverts a person from (seeking) understanding of the religion; rather it may preoccupy (and divert) him from correct worship, and that is to worship Allaah alone, devoting one’s heart to Allaah, pondering upon Allaah’s universal signs [i.e. the things He has created] and Allaah’s divine revelation. In reality, preoccupying the youth with the Knowledge of current affairs prevents them from (seeking) understanding of Allaah’s Religion, because the heart is a vessel and it does not take another thing when it is filled with something else; therefore, it is not possible to fill it with this and that.
Busying oneself with the understanding of the Religion, fulfilling acts of worship and pure Islamic Monotheism and sincerity is better for him [i.e. a person] than looking into the knowledge of current affairs and regarding what such and such person is about. It maybe that one acquires knowledge of current affairs through weak and fabricated narrations via the media, or he bases knowledge of current affairs on the analysis and speculations of a person. The person who is engaged in the subject matter of current affairs may seek to establish an analysis that is far from what the current affairs (shows in reality), or he looks into affairs that have been concocted for him by the enemies (regarding) a particular (expected) event; but then this event happens to be something else and does not exist at all, so all those plans come to nothing. Therefore, what is of important is that one acquires understanding of what Islam requires of a person. The understanding related to ones self (necessitates) rectification of heart by way of sound belief and to wish good for the Muslims, and this is (also) related to understanding of halaal, haraam and other affairs of a similar nature. A person must acquaint himself with knowledge of current affairs if he is in need of it; but as for giving it complete importance in relation to affairs (or events) that have not occurred in reality, such as lies, deception, analysis and speculation, this has no (sound) basis”. (1)
Returning to Those Who Are Truly Able to Analyse And Repel The Plots of The Disbelievers
Al-Allaamah Rabee Bin Haadee Al-Madkhalee [may Allaah preserve him] stated: So it is not permissible for the Ulamaa to remain heedless of their plans (i.e. the enemies of Islaam), their actions, their publications, their missionary activities and their various calls (to the Muslims). And also the various poisons they are infusing – which are in opposition to the Quraan and the Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and his Sunnah. And nor of what plans they have for (the destruction of) the beliefs and methodologies of Islaam. It is not permissible either, to remain heedless of their concentrated efforts to Christianize or secularize the Muslim youth. And along with that, the Muslim youth and the students are not able to oppose this plan and strategy. Rather it is necessary that the distinguished Ulamaa – those who are experienced and shrewd – it is for such people, in all the places to undertake this duty. So it is obligatory for some of the intelligent and ingenious people from the field of Aqeedah to be mobilised for opposing these plans. And likewise it is a must that the intelligent and distinguished from amongst the specialists in the Sunnah – that they be mobilised for the refutation of these and similarly the eminent and distinguished from amongst those in the fields of Orientalism for the refutation of the plans of the Orientalists.” (Ahl ul-Hadeeth, p.102) (2)
He also says: “I myself believe that it is a benefit – rather it is of necessity – that we know what the enemies are planning for us, and that it is necessary for us to prepare (ourselves in strength) to destroy their plans. However, I do not exaggerate in this matter, rather my view is the view of our Ulamaa and they have all agreed upon this – that amongst the obligatory matters there are some that are Fard Ain and others that are Fard Kifaayah – and even if knowing the state of the enemies is harmful – it is still necessary for us to know it – but it is treated as Fard Kifaayah. When some attend to it, then the harm is removed from the rest” up until he said: “So I consider that there is no criticism for the Ulamaa and the students of knowledge who take great concern for preserving the Sharee’ah of Allaah – in terms of the Book, the Sunnah and its understanding – for this is one of the duties of the Kifaayah actions. And I believe that these people are more superior, noble, truthful and of more benefit to Islaam than those who are weak in their knowledge of the religion of Allaah or those who have no share in acquainting themselves with it.” (3)
Therefore, just as we do not endorse the exaggerations of the Takfeeris and political activists in the Muslim lands – those who spread propaganda to excite the people, call to protests and regime change, likewise we do not rush to endorse any official or mainstream media narrative West; rather we return to the reliable investigators amongst the senior people of knowledge- those elders who are well known for their sound knowledge in both religious and worldly affairs, known for their fear of Allaah, honesty and adherence to the senior scholars of the Ummah. An example of their work can be found here: permanent_committee
As for mainstream media, their deceptions have been documented and exposed. This book – titled ‘The Fake New Factory’ – gives a good account of their deceptions.
[Ref 1]: An Excerpt from ‘Sharh Hilyati Taalibil Ilm’ pages 194-195. slightly paraphrased
[Refs 2 and 3]: An excerpt from an article at http://www.salafipublications.com titled: The Salafis and Looking into the Affairs of the Ummah