Genie Singh Posted September 7, 2011 Report Share Posted September 7, 2011 [This page was last updated: 20/10/02] Abu Hurairah, radiyallahu 'anhu, reported that the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu 'alayhi wasallam, said: "Do not be envious of one another; do not artificially inflate prices against one another; do not hate one another; do not shun one another; and do not undercut one another in business transactions; and be as fellow-brothers and servants of Allah. A Muslim is the brother of a Muslim. He neither oppresses him nor humiliates him nor looks down upon him. Piety is here - and he pointed to his chest three times. It is evil enough for a Muslim to hold his brother Muslim in contempt. All things of a Muslim are inviolable for another Muslim: his blood, his property and his honour." [Muslim] background Unity is one of the greatest objectives of Islam. There are many verses in the Qur'an that urge Muslims to unite. In Surah al-'Imran, Ayah 103, Allah says: And hold fast, all of you together, to the Rope of Allah (which is Islam) and be not divided among yourselves. This is a very well-known verse to Muslims. In Surah al-Taubah, Ayah 71, Allah says: The believing men and women are 'awliya' (loyal) to one another. There are many other verses in the Qur'an that urge joining unity, as well as verses that forbid disunity. We can see this in the same Surah al-'Imran, Ayah 103, in which Allah says: ….and be not divided among yourselves. So in the same verse the Muslims are asked to be united and prevented from disunity. The Qur'an contains many such verses, for example: Surah al-'Imran Ayah 105-107; Surah al-Hujurat Ayah 10; Surah al-An'am Ayah 153 and 159; and in Surah al-Rum Ayah 31-32. All of these verses and many others in the Qur'an forbid the division or split of the Muslim community. Moreover, we have many hadiths that command the Muslims to be united. One hadith is recorded by Imam Muslim: "Verily Allah likes three things for you and disapproves three things for you: He is pleased with you but you worship Him and disassociate anything with him; that you hold fast to the Rope of Allah and not to be scattered (disunited); and He disapproves for you irrelevant talk, persistent questioning, and wasting of wealth." We find that Islam commands the Muslims to practice things that will bring unity - there are conditions and actions where the Muslims need to perform to accomplish this. At the same time, we also find that there are many actions that Islam forbids because these actions may lead to the disunity of the Muslim ummah. This Hadith 35 falls in the latter category. lessons The first action that the hadith forbids is envy (al-hasad). Muslim scholars like Imam Ghazali and others define envy as disliking to see a person receiving a bounty and wishing that he or she (the receipient) would lose it. Ibn Rajab gives a different and broader definition. He states in his definition that it is part of human nature that a person dislikes anyone to be better than him in virtues. He says that people differ in their attitudes and he lists five categories of envy that people have: There are some people who will make the effort through action or speech to abolish the bounty received by someone whom they envy. There are others who will then try to get that bounty transferred to them. So they firstly try to take it away from the person they envy and then they try to get it for themselves. For instance, if a certain person is offered a certain position or authority, the envious one will try to do something by hand or by speech to take away that position or authority from that person. Then he will try to get that status or position transferred to himself. There are some people who do not make any effort by action or speech to harm the one whom they envy. Ibn Rajab says this category of people can be of two types: The one who does his best to eliminate the feeling of envy within himself but he cannot overcome it. In spite of this, he keeps fighting and struggling against it. Ibn Rajab says this type of person is excused from punishment. The one who thinks about envy and practices it again and again. He does not make any effort to fight it even though he does not do any harm by action or speech. But he actually enjoys and practices envy - he wishes that the bounty of the envied one will be lost. Consequently, this person is subject to punishment. There are those who, whenever they envy someone, do not harm him or her. They do not even wish the loss of the bounty from the envied one. Instead, they make the effort to attain a similar bounty or virtue for themselves. Ibn Rajab says: "If this bounty is wordly virtues or worldly bounties, there is no benefit in that." For example, if you see someone who has a Mercedes, and you try to attain a similar car for yourself, then there is no benefit in that. But if it is a righteous virtue, then it is good. There are some people who, whenever they feel envy, do their best to stop it and they will do a favour or something good for the person whom they envied. In addition, they will also make du'a for that person until they love him - because envy is usually associated with hatred. They will wish that the envied ones are better than them - they do not bother themselves if others have things which are better than what they have. Ibn Rajab says these people are the best category of true believers since everyone is subject to indulge or be trapped by envy or being envious of others. Why is envy (hasad) forbidden? It can cause - by the permission of Allah - harm to others whom are envied. Consequently, they are considered as evil acts in Islam. They can cause - even by just wishing - the harming of a person. It is the virtue of Shaitan. And it is also the virtue of Jews to envy other people. This is mentioned in Surah al-Baqarah, Ayah 109 and in Surah al-Nisa', Ayah 54. The Prophet, sallallahu 'alayhi wasallam, warned Muslims against envy when he said "Creeping upon you is the diseases of those people before you: envy and hatred. And hatred is the thing that shapes. I do not say it shapes the hair but it shapes the religion. By the One in whose Hand is my soul, you will not enter paradise until you believe, and you will not believe until you love one another. Certainly, let me inform you of that which may establish such things: spread the greetings and peace among yourselves." [Recorded by Imam Ahmad and Al-Tirmidhi] Since this is a harmful act, Muslims are asked to recite certain Qur'anic verses such as Surah al-Falaq, Surah an-Nas, and Surah al-Ikhlas to protect from envious people. According to the Muslim scholars, it would be preferable to recite them after the five prayers along with Ayat-ul-Kursi. Al-Tanajush is translated literary as "do not artificially inflate the prices against one another". Najash that is mentioned in this hadith can be interpreted, according to Ibn Rajab, in two ways: It can be interpreted as bai' al-najash - the trading where a person offers a high price for a certain item not for the sake of buying it but for the sake of raising the price of the item so that in the end it is sold for more than its actual price/worth. This is usually done, even in the Muslim world today, by a previous agreement by the salesman and another person or relative who pretends that he wants to buy. This is done in the stock market or auctions where there is a person who keeps bidding higher prices for an item. He is doing a favour for the person who wants to sell. This is considered as bai' al-najash. The majority of Muslim jurists (fuqaha) say it is valid. However, they say that if the buyer finds that he has been manipulated in a way where the price exceeded drastically over the actual price, then he has the choice of returning the item. The second interpretation of najash is a broader one, more than merely limiting it to trading. Ibn Rajab says here it means any kind of deceiving actions that will lead to harming others. He adds that all dealings that are conducted in a deceiving way are included here. He quotes Surah Fatir, Ayah 43 : "That the evil plot encompasses only him who makes it." Ibn Rajab says that this hadith is a warning to Muslims not to hate one another, especially if it is because of self-interest. Why? Because Muslims are brothers in Islam. They should love each other and should not hate one another. Consequently, al-nameemah, backbiting and slander are forbidden because they will lead to hatred among the Muslim community. Ibn Rajab says that when the Muslims started dividing into different sects because of conflicting views regarding certain religious matters, this led to disputes and hatred among the community, and thus disunity. We should not turn our backs on one another. Ibn Rajab says this means any form of disassociation. He says that the Prophet, sallallahu 'alayhi wasallam, said the Muslim is not allowed to disassociate himself from the others for more than three days. This is, as Ibn Rajab points out, in worldly matters. Whereas in the religious matters, disassociation is one of the punishments that Islam allows - e.g. to disassociate with those who commit sins in order to teach them a lesson. But scholars say that if the person who commits the sin is not likely to come back to the right path, then it is meaningless to disassociate with him. As one of the scholars pointed out, if the objectives of Islam are not fulfilled then disassociation is meaningless. We should not undercut one another in business transactions. For example, if someone is trying to buy something from a salesman, in the middle of their negotiations another salesman appears and interferes and tries to get that customer to buy his product/service instead. This kind of transaction is forbidden because the customer has yet to make his final decision - it will lead to the disunity of the Muslim community. The Prophet, sallallahu 'alayhi wasallam, asks us to be brothers to one another. Ibn Rajab says this is like justifying the actions that are mentioned by the Prophet, sallallahu 'alayhi wasallam, because these evil acts will lead to spoiling the brotherhood of the Muslims. If Muslims avoid these evil acts, then this will lead them to be brothers. Moreover, Ibn Rajab says this statement implies that Muslims have to make the effort to do whatever that will lead to achieving this brotherhood. This means fulfilling all the obligations towards Muslims, for example like returning the greetings, visiting the sick, helping the needy, accepting invitations, sending presents, shaking hands, and smiling. Then the Prophet, sallallahu 'alayhi wasallam, says the Muslim is the brother of another Muslim. Ibn Rajab explains about this statement: "It is now obligatory for each brother that he tries to benefit his Muslim brother and to refrain from harming them." He adds that the major harm is oppression and injustice. If a Muslim is in need of your support and you fail to support or help him, this is unjust. There are many places in the Muslim world where the Muslims are in great need of help. They are being oppressed and nobody supports them. Accordingly, if we are not doing anything to help them, we are failing our Muslim brothers. We need to be united to solve the problems that we are facing today. Our main concern should be the unity of the ummah. A contemporary scholar, Abdurrahman Al-S'adi, says that one of the greatest forms of jihad is to make an effort to unite the Muslims. He states that cooperation among Muslims is an obligation. We should not lie to our Muslim brothers. We should also refrain ourselves from belittling or making fun of other Muslims. We should not make signals or gestures that threaten the face value of our Muslim brothers. We should take care not to be cynical to others and not to undermine other Muslims. The Prophet, sallallahu 'alayhi wasallam, says taqwa is in the heart. Ibn Rajab comments on this statement saying it is evidence that the most noble among people are the ones who are righteous even if they are not lucky in the sight of other people. If they are righteous, they are the most noble in the sight of Allah. It can be said that all that has been mentioned in this hadith has to do with the heart: loving Muslims, and not to envy them. When we have taqwa in our hearts, we will not do the forbidden acts mentioned - our hearts will be purified and filled with love. conclusion "All things of a Muslim are inviolable for another Muslim: his blood, his property, and his honour." This important last statement, which was mentioned by the Prophet, sallallahu 'alayhi wasallam, in his farewell sermon (hajat alwadaa'), concludes or summarises what this hadith is about. This hadith clearly states that harming others either by saying or doing is considered an evil act. Allah says: And those who annoy believing men and women undeservedly, they bear on themselves the crime of slander and plain sin. [surah al-Ahzab: Ayah 58] Allah made the believers as brothers so that they have mercy upon one another; so that they love one another; so that they help one another and support one another. This is how Muslims should be. http://fortyhadith.iium.edu.my/hadith35.htm nternal Challenges encountering Muslims Today unfortunately, the Muslim ummah is not united. It is divided and split into different groups and sects whether religious or political. Conflicts are every where between Muslims. In this situation jihad means to re-establish the unity of the Muslim communities and of the ummah at large. It means also to remove or minimize clashes and disputes. Another issue is the lack of understanding of Islam by the Muslims themselves. The majority of Muslims today do not understand the true meaning of Islam, even the basic concepts. Here, jihad takes the form of disseminating the true message of Islam to the Muslims and educating them so that they fully understand their deen. Since the majority of the Muslims do not truly understand Islam, they do not practice their religion correctly or completely.This means the shahadah of the ummah (i.e. being witnesses of the truth) is not activated today. We should be establishing ourselves as a role model to other nations but we are not doing so. We should be practicing the great values, concepts and principles of Islam and following its rulings and guidelines. If we do so, this will portray the real image of Islam and make us the perfect model for other societies, communities and nations. Only then will the non-Muslims feel attracted to Islam and may accept the dominance of Islam in their society because they see that the dominance of Islam means justice, good values, well-being of human kind, etc. This is a great jihad which we should undertake though it needs great effort and may take a very long time, i.e. decades, to establish. We should embark on this jihad step by step, with different efforts happening concurrently: efforts to educate the Muslims their great religion; efforts to make them practice it and be good role models to others; efforts to make Muslims a great nation, and to make them united. Looking at the Muslim ummah or community today, the basic concept which will lead to unity is missing - the concept of Al-Wala'. Al-Wala' contains 4 sub-concepts: love, care, help and protection. These basic concepts are missing from the Muslim ummah and therefore we need to revive these concepts in order to unite the ummah. This is the situation of the Muslims today. How can we talk about the supremacy and the dominance of Islam if the Muslims are in such a weak situation where there are so many discrepancies, contradictions, obstacles, shortcomings, etc. These are areas where great efforts and a great jihad are needed. But to do jihad in a forceful way, i.e. by fighting, does not work and may create even more problems. There are some groups of Muslims today who confine jihad to fighting as the main and only way to establish the previous mentioned goals and this is destroying the image of Islam and is not doing any favour to the Muslims. Those people interpret this hadith to mean fighting but this may not be applicable to the situation of the Muslims today where fighting may cause more and greater harm. External challenges encountering Muslims The Muslim community is encountering two kinds of challenges - the internal challenges (some of which were previously mentioned) and the external challenges which are being imposed on them by the opponents of Islam. Those opponents are coming up with different ways of 'fighting' and trying to rule the Muslim world. These external challenges include all aspects of globalisation, modernity, change of lifestyle, technology misuse, changing values, etc. The battle field of these challenges are the minds and attitudes of Muslims specially the young generation, where the focus is on influencing the attitudes of the Muslims through influencing their way of thinking and altering their perceptions. The opponents of Islam are promoting evil and negative concepts through new ways and means. One of them is changing our perception about things, where wrong-doings and evil deeds are being perceived as acceptable or even preferable. The latest findings of researches and studies, like cognitive psychology, are used to influence the world, including the Muslims, to change their attitudes, values and even beliefs. If we accept the situation as it is and not do anything about it, the negative consequences will be greater in the future. Today everything, including the future, is being preplanned and designed but the Muslims are not aware of this. We are not aware that we are the subjects of the schemes of others - that we are being used or victimised as target groups where the Muslim minds are being manipulated and brainwashed. Therefore we need to counter these external challenges. This is also a great jihad because these opponents of Islam are using such means and ways to threaten our values, beliefs and identities as Muslims. We need to be aware of the situation and think about what is being designed to influence us and we should use the same means to counter these negative influences. The influencing method used by the opponents is similar to the insinuation of the Shaitan. This insinuation, as stated in the Qur'an, is done by the Shaitan to colour our perception. As Allah says, Shaitan will either promote evil by colouring our perception so that bad things are being perceived as good, or by influencing us and preventing us from doing good deeds. For example, if we want to give sadakah, Shaitan will insinuate to us that doing such a good deed will burden our finances and influence us into thinking about what better use we could have for the money if we did not give it away. It is also mentioned in the Qur'an that Shaitan creates conflicts and disputes among the Muslims, also through colouring their perception. A word or term may have different meanings and different interpretations which in turn will lead to different understandings. For example, if a person uses a double-meaning word, Shaitan comes in and insinuates by causing the other party to misinterpret the meaning and this leads to conflicts and disputes. That's why quarrels occur between husbands and wives, brothers, friends, community members, etc. This same method of colouring or manipulating our perception is being used today by evil doers to promote evil through many different means such as the media and technology. Whether it is through pictures or spoken or written words, these methods are used to change and alter our perception, influencing our attitudes and values and the way we view the world. This is one of the real areas of jihad today for Muslim educators and intellectuals. Technology can be used in both a negative and/or positive way. We must master it and be in control of it, using it for our benefit and not to merely be passive users. When we use technology, e.g. the Internet, we must use it in a way where we are the ones who control it, and not as a manipulation tool of others. We should use it in our da'wah, as a form of counter manipulation. We use it to alter the perception of our Muslim community back to its original, positive form, whether it is our values, beliefs or attitudes. We can also use the Qur'anic style of da'wah, using metaphors and analogies. This methodology is something which we are very weak at. Metaphorical Thinking and Analytical Thinking are powerful skills which we need to learn. These are actually Qur'anic styles. Even though these styles of thinking appear as products of the West, i.e. the products of Cognitive Psychology which was established about 50 years ago, they were actually established 1,500 years ago by Islam. But the Muslims themselves are not using these tools. Thus, we need to learn these methods and start using them. We need to use imageries and similes in our dialogue when we give da'wah as this makes it easier for people to understand the message. Part of our jihad and obligations is to update and equip ourselves with the right tools. Willingness and enthusiasm is not enough. We need to be able to learn and utilise the right tools to counter what is being imposed on us by the evil doers. conclusion We need to understand ourselves, to understand Islam, to educate others about Islam, to understand the contemporary challenges, to equip ourselves with the right tools so that we can face and counter the contemporary challenges in the right way. When we talk about the concept of jihad we shouldn't just talk about the common understanding of jihad - we shouldn't get emotional about it, forgetting about ourselves or the world we're living in or the situation of our ummah or about the challenges we are facing. Thus it is not easy to truly understand the different aspects of the concept of jihad or how to implement these aspects in our world today. When we discuss about the concept of jihad we have to resolve the conflicts that exist within ourselves - the conflicts between reality and the ideal situation. One of the biggest efforts we have to undertake is to determine how we can bridge the distance between these conflicts. We need to bridge the gap between the ideal situation and the real world. To resolve these conflicts within us, we need psychological and social adjustments. We live in a society which is somehow corrupted but we still maintain our values and try to do something to improve the situation. Otherwise without these adjustments we may end up with either confrontation and aggressiveness or living a modern life and rejecting our values and beliefs. Both extremes are not acceptable. What we need is assertiveness, a social and psychological adjustment. We need to determine how we can live in this modern world as a good Muslim, maintaining our identity and moral values. These are great challenges which we face today. We have to be practical in dealing with these challenges. When we talk about Islam we usually talk in the theoretical sense, e.g. what is taqwa (piety), ikhlas (sincerity), etc. We need to be able to implement these concepts in our everyday life activities and practices especially as we face all these different challenges. Thus we need to address Islamic concepts with reality, within the context of the actual situation of the society today. http://fortyhadith.iium.edu.my/hadith08.htm 0 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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