"Verily, those who disbelieve spend their wealth to hinder (men) from the path of Allah, and so will they continue to spend it; but in the end it will become an anguish for them. Then they will be overcome. And those who disbelieve will be gathered unto Hell.) In order that Allah may distinguish the wicked from the good, and put the wicked one over another, heap them together and cast them into Hell. Those! it is they who are the losers."
There has been since the time of our father Adam (alaihis salaam) a battle between Haq (the truth) and Batil (falsehood). Where there are carriers of Haq, there are people who carry the falsehood, they spend their time, effort and money to propagate this call, but in the end their wealth will be a source of sorrow, as it will not benefit them in the akhirah (hereafter).
Our issue is not therefore with the fact that the carriers of falsehood will utilise various styles and means to attack Islam, but our thinking must be focussed on how we are best placed to utilise the styles and means the shariah permits to carry the Haq and stand for Islam.
REALITY OF ATTACK
Although our subject matter is the attack against Rasool Allah salAllahu alaihi wasallam in terms of the release of the film ‘Fitna’ in the Netherlands, it must not be viewed in isolation.
There are currently two strands of the attack against Islam:
The first is very direct - cartoons in Denmark, the staging of a play based upon Salman Rushdie’s book ‘The Satanic Verses’ in Germany and the release of ‘Fitna’, a film calling for the ban of the Qur’an by Dutch politician, Geert Wilders.
The second is just as dangerous in terms of what is sought in terms of the end result, but we may not perceive it’s harm, that is the heightened call to reform Islam, re-read contentious sections of the Qur’an, attack on Islamic values, interfering in the masaajid and creating Home Office Imams to spread a Home Office Islam amongst others.
On 27th March 2008, Geert Wilders, the leader of the right wing Dutch political party, the Party of Freedom launched a video on the internet calling upon Muslims to rip up the Qur’an, he has called for the Dutch constitution to be amended so that the Qur’an can be outlawed in the Netherlands claiming it is a cornerstone of fascist ideology like Hitler’s Mein Kampf. “The main issue is the fascist book of the Koran”
Amongst the features of this pseudo-documentary include:
The showing of Kurt Westergaard’s infamous ‘cartoon’ depicting the Rasool SalAllahu alaihi wasallam with a bomb as a turban.
Juxtaposing images of terrorist attacks with ayaat of the Qur’an trying to say the Qur’an encourages indiscriminate acts of violence against civilians such as the 9-11 attacks.
The claim that the Qur’an and Muslims are inherently anti-semitism.
The claim that Islam is oppressive towards women.
The overtaking of the ‘Dutch way of life’ by Muslims.
Wilders tries to create alarm by showing that the values of western societies are being overtaken by Islam.
THE FALSE DEITY OF FREEDOM OF SPEECH - SACRIFICED AT THE ALTAR OF PRAGMATISM
His stance is definitely opportunistic, to garner electoral popularity. This episode shows that the Western conception of freedom is bankrupt.
Geert Wilders says he calls or freedom, but he calls for the banning of the niqab and the Qur’an.
Throughout Europe the once ‘sacrosanct’ western conception of freedom is being sacrificed as a result of the perceived threat western politicians see in Islam and Muslims.
In Germany, which bans political parties based upon spurious allegations of anti-semitism, still calls for Freedom.
This is why the German Interior Minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble in an interview with the Die Zeit weekly said,
“I have respect for the fact that Danish newspapers have now all printed the Muhammad caricatures, on the basis (that) we will not let ourselves be divided”
He went even further,
“In fact, all European newspapers should print these cartoons,”
All over Europe Islam bashing is being used by politicians seeking to benefit from the anti-Islamic sentiment. They believe in freedom when it aids their cause, freedom is therefore a hollow value for them.
Throughout Europe, the new breed of right-wing populists are trying to revive their political fortunes by jumping on the bandwagon of anti-Muslim prejudice.
Wilders was recently voted Holland’s most effective politician. 18 months ago he sat alone in the second chamber or lower house in The Hague, his People’s Party now has nine out of 150 seats and recent opinion polls suggest a 15 per cent approval rating.
A few months ago the Swiss People’s Party led by Christoph Blocher won a general election off the back of a campaign to change the Swiss constitution to ban the building of minarets on mosques.
Last month in Antwerp, far-right leaders from 15 European cities and from political parties in Belgium, Germany and Austria got together to launch a charter ‘against the Islamisation of western European cities’, reiterating the call for a mosque-building moratorium.
‘We already have more than 6,000 mosques in Europe, which are not only a place to worship but also a symbol of radicalisation, some financed by extreme groups in Saudi Arabia or Iran,’ argued Filip Dewinter, leader of Belgium’s Flemish separatist party, the Vlaams Belang, who organised the Antwerp get-together. ‘Its minarets are six floors high, higher than the floodlights of the Feyenoord soccer stadium,’ he said of a new mosque being built in Rotterdam. ‘These kinds of symbols have to stop.’
REACTION OF RULERS OF THE MUSLIM COUNTRIES AND MUSLIMS
The ambassadors of 26 OIC countries want the Netherlands to investigate whether the film Fitna made by Dutch right-wing populist MP Geert Wilders can be banned. They asked Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen whether it is possible to start legal proceedings against the anti-Islam film. The meeting at the ministry in The Hague was attended by ambassadors of countries including Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.
Whilst these representatives went to implore the foreign minister to stop the film, Verhagen turned the tables on them and got them to ensure they do everything they could to protect Dutch embassies and implore others not to harm its soldiers that aid the occupation in Afghanistan.
Some may say at least they made a representation on behalf of the Muslims, surely this is better than their usual inaction.
The problem we have is that our expectations have been lowered by years of inaction we have been accustomed to by the rulers of the Muslim countries, so when they do one small thing we say at least it is something.
We should from the beginning expect more from them more as the Rasool SalAllahu alaihi wasallam painted a picture of what to expect of our ruler.
“The imam is a shield, from behind which the Muslims fight and defend themselves”
WHAT IS FITNA?
This film is called fitnah, Geert Wilders says Islam is a fitna (trial/mischief) but what does the Rabb al-Alameen define as fitnah?
وَالَّذينَ كَفَرُواْ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَآءُ بَعْضٍ إِلاَّ تَفْعَلُوهُ تَكُنْ فِتْنَةٌ فِى الاٌّرْضِ وَفَسَادٌ كَبِيرٌ
And those who disbelieve are allies of one another, (and) if you (Muslims) do not do so (protect one another), there will be Fitnah on the earth, and great corruption. [TMQ Al-Anfal: 73]
The great mufassir ibn Jarir at-Tabari said…
“The best interpretation of the above verse is,
And those who disbelieve are allies to one another, (and) if you (Muslims of the whole world collectively) do not do so (i.e. become allies, as one united block with one Khalifah - chief Muslim ruler for the whole Muslim world to make victorious Allâh’s Religion of Islâmic Monotheism), there will be Fitnah (wars, battles, polytheism, etc.) and oppression on earth, and a great mischief and corruption (appearance of polytheism).
It has been mentioned in Sahih Muslim by ‘Arfaja who said: ‘I heard Allah’s Messenger SalAllahu alaihi wasallam saying: “When you all (Muslims) are united (as one block) under a single Khalifah (a chief Muslim ruler), and a man comes up to disintegrate you and separate you into different groups, then kill that man.”
Also there is another narration in Sahih Muslim: Narrated by Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri radiAllahu anhu: Allah’s Messenger SalAllahu alaihi wasallam said:
“If the Muslim world gave the Bai’a (pledge) to two Khalifah (chief Muslim rulers, the first one who was given the Bai’a (pledge) first will remain as the Khalifah, then kill the latter (the second) one.”
So it is a legal obligation, from the above-mentioned evident proofs (from the Qur’an and the Sunnah), that there shall not be more than one Khalifah (a chief Muslim ruler) for the whole Muslim world otherwise there will be a great fitnah (mischief and trial) amongst the Muslims, the ultimate results of which will not be worthy of praise.”
It has been reported in the Sirah of Ibnu Ishaq that Abu Bakr said on the day of Saqifa: “It is forbidden for Muslims to have two Amirs for this would cause differences in their affairs and concepts, their unity would be divided and disputes would break out amongst them. The Sunnah would then be abandoned, the bida’a (innovations) would spread and Fitna would grow, and that is in no one’s interest.”
Therefore fitna is the prevalence of kuffr, the absence of the implementation of Islam and the division of the Muslims.
The fact that we do not have a unified response, nor a means of applying pressure upon the adherents of ‘free-speech’ is symptomatic of the absence of the khilafah.
REACTION OF THE KHILAFAH
George Bernard Shaw wrote in his diaries in 1913, at the time when the Khilafah was at its weakest, that he was prevented by Lord Chamberlain from writing anything derogatory about RasulAllah (saw) because he was scared of the reaction of the Ambassador of the Uthmani Khilafah in London!
The Rasool salAllahu alaihi wasallam showed us the necessity of not being burnt at the hands of our enemies time and again, in a very practical way.
Prophet Muhammad salAllahu alaihi wasallam said in a hadith, “A Mu’min (believer) cannot be bitten from the same hole twice.” (Agreed upon)
What this means is that a Muslim can not be fooled twice. Let us examine the situation in which this Hadith was mentioned by the Prophet Muhammad salAllahu alaihi wasallam. Abu Azza Shayr was one of the poets in Makkah who use to write satire criticising the Muslims.
After the battle of Badr, which the Muslims won, the Muslims took some prisoners of war. Amongst these prisoners were some rich elite of Mecca, like Abbas and Abu Lahab, who ransomed themselves to be free. The prisoners who were poor, but were literate, the Prophet salAllahu alaihi wasallam asked them to teach ten Muslim children of Medinah how to read and write. Abu Azza was an educated person, but he pleaded to Muhammad salAllahu alaihi wasallam to let him go. He said that he, Abu Azza, was a very poor man with lots of children. Muhammad salAllahu alaihi wasallam asked Abu Azza to promise that he would not write anymore satire and that he would not fight the Muslims in the future. Abu Azza agreed to the terms.
The following year, when the battle of Uhud occurred, he was captured as a prisoner of war once again. This time around, Abu Azza made the same excuse of being poor with lots of children and he started to beg the Prophet salAllahu alaihi wasallam to let him go again.
The Prophet salAllahu alaihi wasallam replied, “I will not let you go to your tribe and boast amongst them that you fooled Muhammad salAllahu alaihi wasallam twice.” The Prophet salAllahu alaihi wasallam continued, “A believer never gets bitten from the same hole twice.” Muhammad salAllahu alaihi wasallam sentenced Abu Azza to be killed. (Reference: Nahagul Islam by Ibrahim Al-Kattan and Ali Hasan Aude, Jordan 1966)
Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalânî, who is the leading authority on the interpretation of Bukhârî’s Sahîh, says the following:
“This is presented in the form of a statement. Al-Khatâbî has said: This is a statement in its wording, but a command in its meaning. It means that the believer is resolutely aware, he/she is not taken to apathy (in learning his/her lesson), nor is he/she deceived time and time again. Thus, this is an order in religious matters as well as worldly matters…”
He further quotes the opinion of Abu `Ubayd:
“This is a warning against apathy, and an indication that intelligence must be implemented. Abû `Ubayd has said: It is not possible for the (true) believer to be afflicted from something only for him/her to return to it.”
The great scholar and theologian of the 13th century, Yahya bin Sharaf an-Nawawî relates the context of the Hadîth saying:
“…and the context of this narration is well known that the Prophet had captured the poet Abu Ghurrah at the Day of (the Battle of) Badr. So the Prophet gave him amnesty and freed him based on the condition that he would not continue on his hostility and derision. He then caught up with his people and returned to belligerence towards the Muslims and derision against them. Then he was captured on the Day of (the Battle of) Uhud and was asked about the amnesty that was given to him. Upon this the Prophet said, ‘The believer is not stung from the same hole twice.’ From this it is understood that if one were to suffer injury from a particular element, then they should abstain from it lest they should suffer such again.”
This ummah seems to face crisis after crisis, we are bitten again and again, attack after attack, yet we lack a strategic response. The rulers of the Muslim countries are content with providing nothing but empty rhetoric despite the fact there is a clear precedent set by our forebears in responding to attacks against Rasool Allah salAllahu alaihi wasallam.
THE LAST SHIELD
Twenty years prior to the destruction of the Khilafah, a play based on the writings of Voltaire was being staged in France and Britain titled “Mohammad or Fanaticism”, deriding the character of the Prophet salAllahu alaihi wasallam through the Zayd/Zainab issue. When the Khalifah (Sultan Abdul Hamid II) was informed of the play, his ambassador to France warned the government of the serious political repercussions which would follow if it was continued. France promptly stopped the play, so the group went to England. When the same warning was issued to England, the reply was that the tickets were sold out, and banning the play would be an infringement on the freedom of its citizens. So the following edict was issued by the Sultan, saying in no unclear terms: “I will issue an edict to the Islamic Ummah declaring that Britain is attacking and insulting our Prophet. I will declare Jihad…” Upon receiving this ultimatum, the claim for freedom of speech was forgotten, and the performance quickly stopped.
STAND FOR ISLAM
At the beginning I said we have very little control over the actions of the self-declared enemies of Islam. But we do have control over our response.
Every Muslim is accountable for his/her response.
As Muslims living in the West we have to:
Use every avenue to mobilise the Islamic Community to aid the work for Khilafah in the Muslim world, building a strong leadership that will stand up for Islam.
Show to the non-Muslims that Islam can provide a solution to the problems plaguing the world.
Dispel the misconceptions of Islam.
يأَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ اسْتَجِيبُواْ لِلَّهِ وَلِلرَّسُولِ إِذَا دَعَاكُمْ لِمَا يُحْيِيكُمْ
O you who believe! Answer Allah and (His) Messenger when he (the Messenger) calls you to that which will give you life [TMQ Al-Anfal:24]