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Must strive to pursue Allah’s Pleasure, especially during trials involving influential personalities!

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

Must strive to pursue Allah’s Pleasure in everything, especially during trials involving influential personalities and important matters concerning this blessed Salafi Methodology. This should never leave the minds of those who experienced many temptations and were guided by Allah to prefer the truth and the welfare of the Dawah over the interests of individuals for nearly three decades.

Shaikh Al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah [may Allah have mercy upon him] said:

One must know that it is neither conceivable to the intellect nor in the religion to seek the pleasure of the creation [i.e. mankind and Jinn] due to two affairs: First, Imam Ash-Shaafi’ee [may Allah have mercy upon him] said, “The people are an unattainable goal”. Therefore, it is obligated to you to (pursue) what rectifies your affairs and adhere to it, abandon its opposite, and not concern (yourself) with it. Second, indeed, we have been commanded to (seek) the Pleasure of Allah and His Messenger, as Allah [The Most High] said:

وَٱللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ ۥۤ أَحَقُّ أَن يُرۡضُوهُ إِن ڪَانُواْ مُؤۡمِنِينَ

But it is more fitting that they should please Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad) if they are believers].[Surah At-Tawbah. Ayah 62]

It is obligated to us to fear Allah and not fear anyone except Allah, as Allah [The Most High] said:

فَلَا تَخَافُوهُمۡ وَخَافُونِ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤۡمِنِينَ

So fear them not, but fear Me if you are (true) believers.
[Surah Al Imran. Verse 175]

It is obligated to us to fear Allah – fear Allah concerning the (rights) of the people, neither harm them with our hearts (i.e. blameworthy hatred, malice, etc.) nor with our limbs (i.e. physical harm); fulfil their rights with our hearts and limbs (i.e. wish them good, love for them what we love for ourselves, physically do what will benefit them, etc), but do not fear them and leave what Allah and His Messenger have commanded. The one who adheres to this path will (reach) the (praiseworthy) outcomes, just as Aa’isha [may Allah be pleased with her] wrote to Mu’aawiyah [may Allah be pleased with him and his father] and said, “To proceed: Indeed, whoever seeks the pleasure of the people at the expense of Allah’s displeasure will (earn) Allah’s displeasure and Allah will cause the people to be displeased with him. And the praise of the people will become recrimination against him. And whoever seeks Allah’s Pleasure at the expense of people’s displeasure, will (earn) Allah’s Pleasure, and Allah will cause the people to be pleased with him. Therefore, a person’s concern and intention should be nothing else but to (seek) the Pleasure of Allah and to avoid Allah’s displeasure, and the praiseworthy outcomes will be his. And there is no might or power except with Allah [(1)]

Imam Muhammad Bin Saalih Al-Uthaymeen [may Allah have mercy upon him] said: If all the people were pleased with you and Allah is not pleased with you, then indeed it will not benefit you except the Pleasure of Allah [The Mighty and Majestic]. Because if Allah is pleased with you, He will make people become pleased with you and make their hearts incline towards you, as it has been reported in a hadeeth, “Indeed, when Allah loves a servant, He calls Jibreel and says, ‘Verily, I love this person so you should love him’. Then Jibreel loves him and makes an announcement in the heavens, saying, ‘Indeed, Allah loves this person and you should love him’, so the inhabitants of the heavens love him. Then he is granted the (pleasure and acceptance) of the (people) on the earth” [see footnote a], just as Allah said:

إِنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَـٰتِ سَيَجۡعَلُ لَهُمُ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنُ وُدًّ۬ا

Verily, those who believe (in the Oneness of Allah and in His Messenger) and work deeds of righteousness, the Most Beneficent (Allah) will bestow love for them (in the hearts of the believers). [Surah Maryam. Ayah 96]

However, if a person seeks the pleasure of the people at the expense of Allah’s displeasure, the affair will be the opposite. Allah will be angry with him and will make the people become angry with him. This is why when Mu’aawiyah [may Allah be pleased with him and his father] became the Khaleefah, Aa’isha [may Allah be pleased with her] wrote to him, saying, “I heard the Prophet [peace and blessings of Allah be upon him] say, “Whoever seeks the pleasure of Allah at the expense of the displeasure of the people, Allah will suffice him against the people. Whoever seeks the pleasure of people at the expense of Allah’s displeasure, Allah will leave his affair to the people”. [(2)]

Al-Allaamah Saalih Al-Fawzaan [may Allah preserve him] stated:

In this regard, a person should not give precedence to anything over Allah’s Pleasure. He should fear Allah – the Mighty and Majestic- with sincere fear, and people are only feared with a fear less than that, and He employs the means to prevent their evil. If a person relies on Allah and gives precedence to Allah’s Pleasure over people’s pleasure, Allah will protect him from evil. That is because the hearts and ability to do anything are in the hand of Allah [The Mighty and Majestic], so if you please Allah, Allah will be pleased with you and people will be pleased with you. And vice versa, if you please people and displease Allah, He will be displeased with you, and people will be displeased with you, even though you are trying to please them and give priority to their pleasure over Allah’s Pleasure, so the matter will be the opposite for you. That is because the hearts are in the hands of Allah, and in this affair is that one relies on Allah [Glorified be He and free is He from all imperfections], fears Him alone, and this is a type of worship. [(3)]

Al-Allaamah Rabee bin Haadi Al-Mad’khali [may Allah preserve him] stated:

Let us increase in obedience to [Allah]. Let us be mindful of Shubuhaat [i.e. affairs that are made to resemble the truth but are falsehood in reality] and Shahawaat [i.e. vain desires or impermissible desires], for indeed the Fitan [trials and tribulations] will be exposed to the hearts. Hudhaifah [may Allah be pleased with him] reported from Allah’s Messenger [peace and blessings of Allah be upon him] said, “The Fitan will be presented to the hearts of the people like a reed mat woven stick by stick, and any heart afflicted by them will have a black mark put into it, but any heart that rejects them will have a white mark put into it. Thus there will be two kinds of hearts: one is pure like a white gemstone and it will not be harmed by any tribulation as long as the heavens and earth endure, and the other is black and dusty like a worn-out vessel, neither recognizing good nor rejecting evil, but rather immersed in its desires”. [Saheeh Muslim’ Number 144]

The first type of heart: Pure like a white gemstone and it will not be harmed by any tribulation as long as the heavens and earth endure. That is because Allah grants them [i.e. the people with this type of heart] firmness and not due to their own power or strength; rather Allah grants them firmness, just as [Allah has stated in the Ayah we quoted]: “Allah will keep firm those who believe, with the word that stands firm in this world (i.e. they will keep on worshipping Allah Alone and none else), and in the Hereafter”. [Surah Ibraaheem Ayah 27]

Allah bestows His favour upon them by granting them firmness, so they are not harmed regardless the greatness of the Fitan. Let me strike a similitude: I say, indeed amongst the people within the midst of these Fitan – just as Allah’s Messenger [peace and blessings of Allah be upon him] described the situation- are those who are firm like mountains; the winds, floods, hurricanes and storms come along, but they do not shake, because the Imaan in the hearts [of these people] is like the firm mountains. Allah keeps them away from the Fitan and makes them firm, so they are not harmed. However, there are other people who are like the trees that are moved -by the wind – to the right and the left until they finally fall. And there are others who are like feathers and the Henna leaves- flying along with the Fitan when little Fitna occurs, such as when a mild wind [blows] the fragile leaves to a far-off place. We ask Allah to keep us firm.

The second type of heart: It is described as “Black and dusty like a worn-out vessel, neither recognizing good nor rejecting evil, but rather immersed in its desires”. This is the state of the one whose heart is immersed in Fitnah. He agrees with it and does not reject it, so the Fitnah enters him gradually until his heart is worn-out and thus becomes black like a worn-out vessel – a vessel whose mouth is turned upside down, so regardless the amount of water, butter fat and other things one attempts to pour into it, it will not accept anything. Indeed, we have often experienced the affair of this category of people – whose hearts are worn-out – and regardless the [number] of proofs and evidences- from the Qur’aan and Sunnah – presented to nullify their falsehood, they do not accept that from you. This has to be the case because indeed Allaah’s Messenger [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] described such a person as one with a heart that is similar to a worn-out vessel- a heart that neither recognises truth nor rejects evil; rather it is immersed in its desires. Whatever agrees with his desires, he accepts it- not because it is the truth, but rather only because it agrees with his desires. This [behaviour] is similar to that of the Yahood [i.e. those Yahood who rejected the clear message of the final Messenger], for they know the truth, but wage war against it – accepting what agrees with their desires and rejecting what opposes their desires and wage war against it. This is something rife in this era amongst those whose hearts are worn-out and thus they reach this state that has been described by Allaah’s Messenger. It is as if we are witnessing this affair whilst Allaah’s Messenger describes these people -in our presence- and we can see their deeds and dishonourable stances. [(4)]

The Shaikh also stated: Many trials have occurred, amongst them fitna of the khawaarij, the Rawaafid and killing. Deviation and misguidance have occurred – either fighting and trials (related) to politics, creed, methodology and what is similar to them. Many people who were to be destroyed were destroyed and the one whom Allaah protected was saved and (enabled) to adhere to the true methodology. Therefore, during every trial, they (the scholars of Ahlus Sunnah) must openly proclaim the truth and clarify it for the people. They should distinguish – for them – between guidance and misguidance, between truth and falsehood, the manner in which the people will be safeguarded from these trials, the path through which they will be saved from entering into trials and other affairs (by way of which) Allah guides this (victorious) group when (they) face every trial. [(5)]

The Shaikh also stated: I Warn My Brothers Against Fitan And That They Supplicate a Lot to Allah to Keep Them Steadfast Upon The Religion:

We ask Allah

اللَّهُمَّ أَصْلِحْ لِي دِينِي الَّذِي هُوَ عِصْمَةُ أَمْرِي

وَأَصْلِحْ لِي دُنْيَايَ الَّتِي فِيهَا مَعَاشِي

وَأَصْلِحْ لِي آخِرَتِي الَّتِي فِيهَا مَعَادِي

وَاجْعَلِ الْحَيَاةَ زِيَادَةً لِي فِي كُلِّ خَيْرٍ

وَاجْعَلِ الْمَوْتَ رَاحَةً لِي مِنْ كُلِّ شَرٍّ

O Allah! Rectify my religion for me, which is the safeguard of my affairs; rectify my worldly [affairs], wherein is my livelihood; and rectify my Afterlife to which is my return; and make life for me [as a means of] increase in every good and make death for me as a rest from every evil. [Saheeh Muslim Number: 2720]

Footnote a:

[(1)]: An Excerpt from ‘Majmoo Al-Fataawaa 3/233. slightly paraphrased

[(2)]: An Excerpt from ‘Riyaadh As-Saaliheen 1/163. slightly paraphrased

[(3)] paraphrased

وفي هذا أن الإنسان لا يقدَّم على رضا الله شيء، ويخاف اللهَ -عَزّ وَجَلّ- خوفًا خالصًا، والناس إنما يخافهم خوفًا دون ذلك، ويعمل الأسباب الواقية من شرهم، وإذا إعتمد الإنسان على الله وقدَّم رضا الله على رضا الناس فإن اللهُ يكُفّ عنه الشر، لأن قلوب العباد بيد الله ونواصي العباد بيد الله -عَزّ وَجَلّ-، فإذا أرضيت الله رضي اللهُ عنك وأرضى عنك الناس. والعكس بالعكس إذا أرضيت الناس وأسخطت الله سخط عليك وأسخط عليك الناس. مع إنك تحاول إرضاهم وقدَّمت رضاهم على رضا الله فانعكس الأمر عليك، لأن القلوب بيد الله، وهذا فيه وجوب التوكل على الله -سُبحانَهُ- وإفراد الخوف من الله -عَزّ وَجَلّ- وهذا نوعٌ من أنواع العبادة

[(4)]: An Excerpt from Marhaban Yaa Taalibal Ilm’ pages 206-208. slightly paraphrased

[(5)]: An Excerpt from ‘Adh-Dharee’ah Ilaa Bayaan Maqaasid Kitaab Ash-Sharee’ah. 1/200-202

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