By Sheikh Yousuf Baadarani, Lebanon
The highest level of sublimity in belief and obedience to God is for Allah's love to descend on man. Of the people of faith and obedience who deserve His love, Almighty God favored those who adhere to His condition in their love of Him; and the condition of being sincere in Allah's love is to follow the Prophet alone as leader and commander. Alone abidance by the legal rule in the Qur'an and Sunnah is the condition for joining life's journey and that for agreeing to submit to the performance of any task. Whoever chooses to have the direction of his life's journey submission to a thought that contradicts with, conflicts with, or is not part of the thought recommended by Allah to His Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), submits with a contented and satisfied soul to a rule other than what Allah has revealed, follows a leader who invites to his obedience in his opinion and thinking, or to a party or group that doesn't follow God's law, would not be excused for not applying the thinking process in what any group or ruler says, so to know if it agrees or disagrees with Allah's command and rule regarding that subject.
So if a Muslim followed the chiefs among his people while they call for other that what Allah had revealed or deceive Muslims by saying that this rule is in accordance with what God had revealed, while in fact it is not, he would have proceeded to obey other than the Prophet and Allah's rule. His stand on Resurrection Day is as Allah Most High says: ﴾"Verily God has cursed the unbelievers and has prepared for them a blazing fire ❁ To dwell therein forever, no protector will they find, nor helper ❁ On the day when their faces will be turned over in the Fire, they will say: "Woe to us! Would that we had obeyed Allah and obeyed the Messenger!" ❁ And they would say "Our Lord! We obeyed our chiefs and our great men, and they misled us from the path ❁ "Our Lord! Give them double torment and curse them with a mighty curse!" ﴿ (Holy Qur'an 33: 64-68).
This is a precise and definite description of the misled group among Muslims that has lived and is living its life thinking itself obeying God and working in the love of Him, while, in fact, it is following a person, a rule, a party, or thought that misleads it away from Allah's guidance. This misguided group suffers regret and torture in the Hereafter, while saying: "We obeyed our chiefs and our great men, and they misled us from the Path." Here lies the secret of forbidding the taking on of any individual as a leader and commander; because the believer must live a life in which he is confident of the inability of aberrance to sneak into his life's path, and is assured in a living system that no deception and misguidance can infiltrate. That's why Allah cares for the believers who love Him and aspire to His forgiveness, so He guides them to the great importance of leadership and command as belonging to Allah and His Messenger, and that obedience is due to the judgment of Allah and His Messenger alone. So it is not permitted to love a person whose love necessitates obeying him in disobedience of God; the love that necessitates obedience is that of Allah alone. It is not permitted to obey a person in an act of compliance before knowing Allah's ruling regarding that act. Leadership in Islam is confined to leading the effort to carry out a legal act; and the task of the leader emir in life is to coordinate the Muslims' efforts to achieve a purpose approved by Islamic law. The role of the ruler who occupies the highest ranks of leadership and command is confined to overseeing that the path of the nation follows Allah's law, while he is the one responsible for securing an administration capable of preserving the course of the nation in Allah's obedience. He is the one who looks after the nation with its individuals, lest even one of them walks the path of the people of hell.
The least that can be said about the one who leads people according to other than God's rule is that he is a hypocrite in the Fire; because he usurped the right of the tenets of God and His Prophet to lead people. And the people who follow in the deception of the leader's hypocrisy are in the Fire, because they have revolted against God's order that it is necessary to obey Him and submit to His rule alone. These two groups curse one another on Resurrection Day and show open hostility to one another; each antagonizes the other, and each disavows the crime of the other's unbelief. The people of crime curse one another, and the one of them expose the crime (unbelief) of the other; God Most High depicts for us this scene in His honored saying: ﴾"The unbelievers say: "We shall neither believe in this Qur'an nor in any that came before it. But if you could see when the wrongdoers will be made to stand before their Lord, how they cast the blame on one another! Those who were deemed weak will say to the arrogant ones: "Had it not been for you, we should have been believers!" ❁ The arrogant ones will say to those who had been deemed weak: "Was it we who kept you back from guidance after it had come to you? No, rather it was you who transgressed." ❁ Those who had been deemed weak will say to the arrogant ones: "No! It was scheming (by you) by day and by night, when you commanded us to disbelieve in Allah and to attribute equals to Him!" And they are filled with remorse when they see the chastisement. We shall put yokes on the necks of the unbelievers; it would only be requital for their (ill) deeds." ﴿(Holy Qur'an 34: 31-33). In these verses revealed in the Holy Qur'an, there are four facts taken from the reality of the state of people in their lives before their death, although they are the facts of one of the scenes of Resurrection Day:
The saying of the followers to the leaders and prominent people: "Had it not been for you, we should have been believers." It is in the nature of every human being to lay the blame of a mistake or failure of his on others; and these are matters experienced by every one of us; to the point that if a person attributes to one of us a defect that one actually has, he turns this accusation of a defect on another. But, in fact, making an accusation and rejecting it doesn't change anything of the reality of the matter; because proving an accusation doesn't come about by merely making one, but rather by presenting legal documents that prove it. For the facts of the accusation made by the weak ones and followers to the leaders and arrogant ones must be deduced from the events of their lives and not after they had left that reality. The reality that each of us lives’, which is that our leaders and commanders are in reality our deceivers; they mislead us and guide us in a life of total disobedience of God, in its resolutions, action and purpose, a life totally in unbelief.
However, the accusation in the Qur'anic verse says "had it not been for you" meaning that the followers ascribe their life in disbelief that came about by their acceptance of that living pattern not to their neglect to learn Allah's rule regarding an action, to their ignorance of Allah's purpose in creating them, and to their exchanging the leader's obedience for Allah's obedience; they rather claim that the cause of their unbelief is the existence of arrogant leaders among them during the time in which they lived! The followers lay the blame on their leader and forget the deeds that they had committed. This is a confirmation of their disbelief and of the fact that they deserve the torment of Hell, and it is not a denial of their disbelief. The great Day of Reckoning is nothing but a day of confession and man cannot deny any fact, deed or word that were part of what he did in his life. That's why the weak ones say: "we should have been believers"; which means that, in their lives, they were unbelievers, because other than belief and believers, there is unbelief and unbelievers; for the disobedient ones are not unbelievers, rather they are Muslims who are subjected to the punishment of being disobedient, once or repeatedly, and not to the punishment of disbelief. They admit that they had spent their lives following, abiding by, and obeying other than Allah.
However, they wish to drag those who were the cause of their unbelief – in their opinion and absolutely not because it is true – to their destiny of remaining forever in the torment of Hell in which heads boil and where unbelievers descend in humiliation into a Hell that has no bottom or ceiling. However, there remains truth in their saying – the saying of the weak ones – to the arrogant ones: "Had it not been for you, we should have been believers." The leaders and the prominent people, those exalted on earth, lead people in the path of disobedience, and could lead them in the path of faith and obedience to God. However, in true reality, they are not the cause of people's disbelief or that of their belief; for if they became so, the issue will no longer be that of leaders and led according to the condition of leading, but of masters and slaves. That's why we see them as Almighty Allah describes them and as He tells about what they will say on Resurrection Day, a miracle from Him and a confirmation of His sole divinity, (Glory to Him, He is high above all). This is to be also a warning to us, so we won't have an excuse to live a life of disobedience, that of the Muslims who consent to a rule other than God's, one by one, with no exception, no matter how much one claims to be innocent of that, dissembles in secret, lies to himself, or ignores the tenets of his religion, unless he proves his denial and does his best to change the status quo in a way that Allah would accept. For each organ in the body of every individual will testify against him in every act of disobedience, how much more this is so when he embraces a disobedient way of life. And in order that the witness of angels be proven against us, as well as that of the trustworthy Messenger, Muhammad (peace be upon him), God Almighty tells us the truth about the state we are in today in this life to establish against us the argument of Resurrection Day on the tongues of those, our leaders in aberrance, so He pronounces the second truth.
It is the time of the absence of the Islamic state from earth, and subsequently the time of preventing the establishment of God's rule among people, which organizes their relationships, solves the problems resulting from man's relationships in society by applying Islamic tenets, and prevents the establishment of the Muslims' relationships in an Islamic entity with others from non-Islamic entities, according to God's rules regarding these relationships. It is the time of forbidding the Muslim from directing his life in a way that would achieve Islam's aim of his existence in this short life and the aims of Islamic legal rule for people in their lives before their deaths from adhering to its tenets. The intended time in not every time, but rather the time in which the leaders and prominent people fight God's religion by merely not submitting to Allah's command to establish the rule of the Qur'an among people or to seek to set up the authority that establishes Allah's command among people as Almighty has ordered and not as justified by those who justify the call to establish Allah's rule according to their means and method that destroy Islam's thought by distorting its ideas and discrediting its tenets.