The Ottoman Courts: [Short Rebuttal of Luke Harding – An Ideologue Hiding Behind Journalism]

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

Allah [The Exalted] said:
هُوَ ٱلَّذِىٓ أَرْسَلَ رَسُولَهُۥ بِٱلْهُدَىٰ وَدِينِ ٱلْحَقِّ لِيُظْهِرَهُۥ عَلَى ٱلدِّينِ كُلِّهِۦ وَلَوْ كَرِهَ ٱلْمُشْرِكُونَ

He it is Who has sent His Messenger (Muhammad) with guidance and the religion of truth (Islamic Monotheism) to make it victorious over all (other) religions even though the (polytheists, pagans, idolaters, and disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah and in His Messenger Muhammed) hate (it). [Surah As-Saff. Ayah 9]

Allah [The Exalted] said:
يُرِيدُونَ أَن يُطْفِـُٔوا۟ نُورَ ٱللَّهِ بِأَفْوَٰهِهِمْ وَيَأْبَى ٱللَّهُ إِلَّآ أَن يُتِمَّ نُورَهُۥ وَلَوْ كَرِهَ ٱلْكَٰفِرُونَ

They (the disbelievers) want to extinguish Allah’s Light (with which Muhammad) has been sent – Islamic Monotheism) with their mouths, but Allah will not allow except that His Light should be perfected even though the Kafirun (disbelievers) hate (it).

Indeed, whether Luke is a Christian, Jew, Hindu, Buddhist, atheist, or secularist, his overall remark about Ottoman courts is a mixture of truth and lie; consequently, the falsehood and distortion must be exposed for what they are. When reporting on possible civic unrest in Russia, this ideologue disguising himself as a journalist made the following statement: “The Prigozhin-Shoigu feud appeared to be real. But in Putin’s opaque system – more of an Ottoman court than a Western-style government – it was hard to tell. For more than two decades Putin has played the role of supreme arbiter-in-chief, playing off one ambitious Kremlin faction against another. It was the old tactic of divide and rule. Prigozhin had previously proven himself to be a loyal ally entrusted with special state tasks, including the attempt to sabotage the 2016 US presidential election. According to one interpretation, Prigozhin’s bitter public crusade against Shoigu was licensed by the man at the top”. [End of quote]

Indeed, one must first be acquainted with Ottoman history in order to comprehend the skewed picture painted about them as a whole by those who purposefully fail to distinguish between early and later Ottoman rulers. Similarly, in order to distinguish between Allah’s infallible path and human opinions in rulership, one must understand the contrast between Shariah rulership and democratic governance.

To begin, here are some articles about the Ottomans:

Therefore, attempting to compare an anticipated power struggle in a contemporary government with the Ottoman courts without differentiating the age of the various Ottoman rulers would amount to gross misrepresentation, disinformation, fraud, dishonesty, and concealment. Indeed, we don’t expect honesty from these ideologues, whose general statements are meant to further their purported cultural superiority and hide the unparalleled accomplishments of Muslim civilization.

Second, regarding rulership in Islam, Allah [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. Aayaat 58-59]

Imaam Muhammad Ibn Saalih al-Uthaymeen [may Allah have mercy upon him] said: The scholars say that the first verse was revealed regarding the rulers – that it is obligated to 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 ruler’s authority, the armies, and other than them- that it is obligated to 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 Allah because there cannot be obedience to the creation in disobedience to Allah. 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 Allah and His Messenger, their rights are fulfilled just as Allah and His Messenger commanded and they are aided in righteousness and piety, but not in sin and transgression. The links provided below provide more reading:

Chumocracy, Autocracy, Dictatorship etc [Muslim’s Relationship With Muslim Rulers In The Sharee’ah Is Not Influenced By Public Opinion, Ideas of Demagogues, Ideologues, Political Commentators, University Professor, So-called Human Rights Groups, Think Tanks etc]

Legitimacy, Consent, and the Search for a Successor- [Brief Rebuttal Against Some Views of Frederic C. Hof]

Believer’s Bahaviour Towards Muslim Rulers – [Supplicates For Them….]

Leaders and The People Who Keep Close Company With Them

This is what Luke and his ilk fail to clarify when it comes to the relationship between rulers and subjects in Islam; some intentionally conceal facts or speculate while speaking about Muslim affairs, or they seek to draw comparisons between Muslims and others without solid information, or they seek to attribute the mistakes of Muslim groups and individuals to infallible Islam.

Indeed, because Luke intended to establish a comparison between his so called superior democracy and the inferior rulership of the Ottoman Muslims, we’ll briefly discuss democracy and whether it is ordained by the Creator. It is said that the word democracy comes from the Greek words “demos”, meaning people, and “Kratos” meaning power. So, democracy is considered to be “power of the people” and its proponents say that it is a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or indirectly through a system of representation usually involving periodically held elections. Therefore, we understand from this that in a democracy every sane adult is given a chance to be heard.

Indeed, this idea seems very appealing and attractive, but the Creator of the heavens and the earth legislated that humankind should return to the guidance of the Messengers [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon them] in all affairs. Shaikhul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: “And even though there is something in the paths of analogical reasoning and reflection that will lead to knowledge, however sometimes it cannot give a detailed explanation in a dispute between the people of the earth due to the minute details and ambiguities [in that dispute], and at other times due to the fact the people differ when prioritizing necessities. Therefore, due to this Allah [The Most High] commanded [us] to return to the revelation in times of dispute. Allah [The Most High] said:

كَانَ ٱلنَّاسُ أُمَّةً۬ وَٲحِدَةً۬ فَبَعَثَ ٱللَّهُ ٱلنَّبِيِّـۧنَ مُبَشِّرِينَ وَمُنذِرِينَ وَأَنزَلَ مَعَهُمُ ٱلۡكِتَـٰبَ بِٱلۡحَقِّ لِيَحۡكُمَ بَيۡنَ ٱلنَّاسِ فِيمَا ٱخۡتَلَفُواْ فِيهِ‌ۚ

Mankind was one community (i.e. upon Tawheed and Allaah’s Shari’ah) and Allah sent Prophets with glad tidings and warnings, and with them, He sent the Scripture in truth to judge between people in matters wherein they differed]. [Surah Al-Baqarah’ Aayah 213] Therefore, Allaah [The Most High] designated the revealed Books [i.e. the Qur’aan being the final of them] as the judge between the people in matters wherein they differ”. [An Excerpt From ‘Dar Ta’aarud Al-Aql Wan-Naql’. 9/17-18]

The Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] said, “Banee Israa’eel used to be ruled and guided by prophets. Whenever a prophet died, another would take over his place. There will be no prophet after me, but there will be Caliphs who will increase in number.” The people asked, “O Allah’s Messenger! What do you order us (to do)?” He said, “Obey the one who will be given the pledge of allegiance first. Fulfill their (i.e. the Caliphs) rights, for Allah will ask them about (any shortcoming) in ruling those Allah has put under their guardianship.” [Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree 3455]

“Banee Israa’eel used to be ruled and guided by prophets”. Imaam Ibn Hajr [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said, “Whenever corruption appeared amongst them, Allaah sent them a Prophet to rectify their affairs and put an end to that which they changed in the rulings of the Torah”. [An Excerpt From ‘Fat’hul Baaree Sharh Saheeh Al-Bukhaari’. Vol 6. page 607. Publisher: Daarus Salaam. 1st Edition 1421AH (the Year 2000)]

Indeed, this was what Allaah legislated for followers of the previous Prophets, but after the advent of Muhammad [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him], humankind has been commanded to follow his path and this is what the statement “Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah” necessitates. It necessitates belief in everything he [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] has stated, obey him in everything he has commanded, keeps away from everything he has forbidden, and worship Allaah only based on what Allaah and Muhammad have legislated. To testify that Muhammad [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] is the Messenger of Allaah necessitates a testification regarding his Messengership. Allaah [The Exalted] said: [وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا مِن رَّسُولٍ إِلَّا لِيُطَاعَ بِإِذْنِ اللَّهِ – We sent no Messenger, but to be obeyed by Allah’s Permission]. [Surah An-Nisaa. Verse 64]

This is the purpose regarding which Allaah sent the Messengers, to be obeyed. It is not enough to say, “I testify that Muhammad is a Messenger”, but rather this testification necessitates that one follows the one who has been sent, obey his command, keep away from what he has forbidden, and believe in everything he has stated. This is the true establishment of the statement “Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah”, because the Messenger brought three affairs- commands, prohibitions, and news, so whoever testifies to Muhammad’s Messenger ship must believe in everything Muhammad has stated.

The testimony that Muhammad is Allaah’s Messenger necessitates that he is followed just as the testimony that “There is no deity worthy of worship except Allaah”, this statement necessitates that one establishes pure Islamic monotheism and sincerely devotes all the religion to Allaah alone.

Muhammad [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] is a Messenger of Allaah and a Messenger’s most important task is to convey the words of Allaah. Allaah said: [وَمَا عَلَى الرَّسُولِ إِلَّا الْبَلَاغُ – The Messenger’s duty is only to convey (the message)]. [Surah An-Noor. Aayah 54]

Indeed, the Messenger [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] did convey the message clearly. There is no good except that he has guided the Ummah to it and there is no evil except that he warned the Ummah against it. Therefore, whoever testifies that “Muhammad is the Messenger of Allaah” must submit to everything Muhammad has conveyed. Allaah said: [وَمَا آتَاكُمُ الرَّسُولُ فَخُذُوهُ وَمَا نَهَاكُمْ عَنْهُ فَانتَهُوا – And whatsoever the Messenger (Muhammad) gives you, take it, and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it)]. [Surah Al-Hashr. Verse 7]

Allaah [The Exalted] said:
فَلَا وَرَبِّكَ لَا يُؤْمِنُونَ حَتَّىٰ يُحَكِّمُوكَ فِيمَا شَجَرَ بَيْنَهُمْ ثُمَّ لَا يَجِدُوا فِي أَنفُسِهِمْ حَرَجًا مِّمَّا قَضَيْتَ وَيُسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا

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 [The Exalted] said: [وَمَا كَانَ لِمُؤْمِنٍ وَلَا مُؤْمِنَةٍ إِذَا قَضَى اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ أَمْرًا أَن يَكُونَ لَهُمُ الْخِيَرَةُ مِنْ أَمْرِهِمْ – 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]. [Surah Al-Ahzaab. Verse 36]

So, the Messenger must be obeyed in what he has commanded and whoever obeys him has obeyed Allaah. Allaah [The Exalted] said: [مَّن يُطِعِ الرَّسُولَ فَقَدْ أَطَاعَ اللَّهَ – He who obeys the Messenger has indeed obeyed Allah]. [Surah An-Nisaa. Verse 80]

Allaah [The Exalted] said: [قُلْ إِن كُنتُمْ تُحِبُّونَ اللَّهَ فَاتَّبِعُونِي يُحْبِبْكُمُ اللَّهُ – Say (O Muhammad to mankind): “If you (really) love Allah then follow me (i.e. accept Islamic Monotheism, follow the Qur’an and the Sunnah), Allah will love you”]. [Surah Aal Imraan. Verse 31]

The scholars refer to this verse [i.e. Verse 31, Surah Aal Imraan] as the verse that puts a person to trial regarding his (or her) claim, so whoever claims that he loves Allaah, then let him put himself to trial based on what will manifest evidence regarding his truthfulness in this matter. [An Excerpt From “Explanation of Important Lessons For The Muslim Ummah”. page 52. Maktabah Malik Al-Fahad 1436AH. (2015)pages 53–56]

Finally, we remind these ideologues who hide behind journalism that whenever they desperately try to falsify Islamic history or hide the accomplishments of Muslim civilization, their ignorance, deceptions, and misrepresentations will always be exposed and refuted. Allah commanded us to refute the claims of the unbelievers and the proponents of innovation in religion, but also forbid us from injustice, therefore using harsh language to refute their lies, deceptions, and compound ignorance does not mean that we’ll violate their rights. Click here to read Shaikh Abu Khadeejah’s article:

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