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Warning against an encompassing Fitnah Print E-mail

Allah warns His believing servants of a Fitnah, trial and test, that encompasses the wicked and those around them. Therefore, such Fitnah will not be restricted to the sinners and evildoers. Rather, it will reach the others if the sins are not stopped and prevented. Imam Ahmad recorded that Mutarrif said, "We asked Az-Zubayr, `O Abu `Abdullah! What brought you here (for the battle of Al-Jamal) You abandoned the Khalifah who was assassinated (`Uthman, may Allah be pleased with him) and then came asking for revenge for his blood' He said, `We recited at the time of the Messenger of Allah , and Abu Bakr, `Umar and `Uthman,

﴿وَاتَّقُواْ فِتْنَةً لاَّ تُصِيبَنَّ الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُواْ مِنكُمْ خَآصَّةً﴾

(And fear the Fitnah (affliction and trial) which affects not in particular (only) those of you who do wrong,) We did not think that this Ayah was about us too, until it reached us as it did.''' `Ali bin Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas said that the Ayah,

﴿وَاتَّقُواْ فِتْنَةً لاَّ تُصِيبَنَّ الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُواْ مِنكُمْ خَآصَّةً﴾

(And fear the Fitnah (affliction and trial) which affects not in particular (only) those of you who do wrong,) refers to the Companions of the Prophet in particular. In another narration from Ibn `Abbas, he said, "Allah commanded the believers to stop evil from flourishing among them, so that Allah does not encompass them all in the torment (Fitnah). '' This, indeed, is a very good explanation, prompting Mujahid to comment about Allah's statement,

﴿وَاتَّقُواْ فِتْنَةً لاَّ تُصِيبَنَّ الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُواْ مِنكُمْ خَآصَّةً﴾

(And fear the Fitnah (affliction and trial) which affects not in particular (only) those of you who do wrong,)

"Is for you too!'' Several said similarly, such as Ad-Dahhak and Yazid bin Abi Habib and several others. Ibn Mas`ud said, "There is none among you but there is something that represents a Fitnah for him, for Allah said,

﴿إِنَّمَآ أَمْوَلُكُمْ وَأَوْلَـدُكُمْ فِتْنَةٌ﴾

(Your wealth and your children are only a trial (Fitnah)...) ﴿64:15﴾. Therefore, when you seek refuge, seek it with Allah from the Fitnah that causes misguidance.'' Ibn Jarir collected this Hadith. The view that the warning in this Ayah addresses the Companions and all others is true, even though the speech in the Ayah was directed at the Companions. There are Hadiths that warn against Fitnah in general, thus providing the correctness of this explanation. Similarly there will be a separate book in which this subject will be discussed, Allah willing, as also is the case with the Imams, there being a number of writings about this. Of the most precise things that have been mentioned under this topic, is what was recorded by Imam Ahmad from Hudhayfah bin Al-Yaman that the Messenger of Allah said,

«وَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِهِ لَتَأْمُرُنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَلَتَنْهَوُنَّ عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ أَوْ لَيُوشِكَنَّ اللهُ أَنْ يَبْعَثَ عَلَيْكُمْ عِقَابًا مِنْ عِنْدِهِ ثُمَّ لَتَدْعُنَّهُ فَلَا يَسْتَجِيبُ لَكُم»

(By He in Whose Hand is my soul! You will enjoin righteousness and forbid evil, or Allah will send a punishment upon you from Him; you will supplicate then to Him, but He will not answer your supplication.)

Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu Ar-Riqad said, "I heard Hudhayfah saying, `A person used to utter one word during the time of the Messenger of Allah and become a hypocrite on account of it. I now hear such words from one of you four times in the same sitting. Surely, you will enjoin good, forbid evil and encourage each other to do good or Allah will surround you all with torment, or make the wicked among you become your leaders. The righteous among you will then supplicate, but their supplication will not be accepted.''' sImam Ahmad recorded that An-Nu`man bin Bashir said that the Prophet gave a speech in which he said, while pointing to his ears with two of his fingers,

«مَثَلُ الْقَائِمِ عَلَى حُدُودِ اللهِ وَالْوَاقِعِ فِيهَا وَالْمُدَاهِنِ فِيهَا كَمَثَلِ قَوْمٍ رَكِبُوا سَفِينَةً فَأَصَابَ بَعْضُهُمْ أَسْفَلَهَا وَأَوْعَرَهَا وَشَرَّهَا وَأَصَابَ بَعْضُهُمْ أَعْلَاهَا فَكَانَ الَّذِينَ فِي أَسْفَلِهَا إِذَا اسْتَقَوُا الْمَاءَ مَرُّوا عَلَى مَنْ فَوقَهُمْ فَآذُوْهُمْ فَقَالُوا: لَوْ خَرَقْنَا فِي نَصِيبِنَا خَرْقًا فَاسْتَقَيْنَا مِنْهُ وَلَمْ نُؤْذِ مَنْ فَوْقَنَا: فَإِنْ تَرَكُوهُمْ وَأَمْرَهُمْ هَلَكُوا جَمِيعًا وَإِنْ أَخَذُوا عَلَى أَيْدِيهِمْ نَجَوْا جَمِيعًا»

(The parable of the person abiding by Allah's order and restrictions in comparison to those who violate them, or sit idle while they are being violated, is that of those who drew lots for their seats in a boat. Some of them got seats in the lower part, which is the most rough and worst part, and the others in the upper. When the former needed water, they had to go up to bring water and that troubled the others, so they said, `Let us make a hole in our share of the ship and get water, saving those who are above us from troubling them, so, if the people in the upper part let the others do what they suggested, all the people of the ship would be destroyed, but if they prevented them, both parties would be safe.)

This was recorded by Al-Bukhari, but not Muslim, in the Book of Partnerships and the Book of Witnesses. It was also recorded by At-Tirmidhi through a different route of narration.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Umm Salamah, the Prophet's wife, said, "I heard the Messenger of Allah saying,

«إِذَا ظَهَرَتِ الْمَعَاصِي فِي أُمَّتِي عَمَّهُمُ اللهُ بِعَذَابٍ مِنْ عِنْدِه»

(If sins become apparent in my Ummah, Allah will surround them with punishment from Him.) I said, `O Allah's Messenger! Will they have righteous people among them then' He said,

«بَلَى»

(Yes.) I asked, `What will happen to them' He said,

«يُصِيبُهُمْ مَا أَصَابَ النَّاسَ ثُمَّ يَصِيرُونَ إِلَى مَغْفِرَةٍ مِنَ اللهِ وَرِضْوَان»

(They will be striken as the people, but they will end up with Allah's forgiveness and pleasure.)''

Imam Ahmad recorded that Jarir said that the Messenger of Allah said,

«مَا مِنْ قَوْمٍ يُعْمَلُ فِيهِمْ بِالْمَعَاصِي هُمْ أَعَزُّ وَأَكْثَرُ مِمَّنْ يَعْمَلُونَ ثُمَّ لَمْ يُغَيِّرُوهُ إِلَّا عَمَّهُمُ اللهُ بِعِقَاب»

(Every people among whom sins are being committed, while they are mightier and more numerous than those who do wrong, yet they did nothing to stop them, then Allah will surround them all with punishment.)

Ibn Majah collected this Hadith.

﴿وَاذْكُرُواْ إِذْ أَنتُمْ قَلِيلٌ مُّسْتَضْعَفُونَ فِى الاٌّرْضِ تَخَافُونَ أَن يَتَخَطَّفَكُمُ النَّاسُ فَآوَاكُمْ وَأَيَّدَكُم بِنَصْرِهِ وَرَزَقَكُم مِّنَ الطَّيِّبَاتِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ ﴾

(26. And remember when you were few and were reckoned weak in the land, and were afraid that men might kidnap you, but He provided a safe place for you, strengthened you with His help, and provided you with good things (for livelihood) so that you might be grateful.)

 

 
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