I complained to Wakee`about my poor memory.
So he advised me to abandon disobedience.
and he said, ‘know that knowledge is light.
And the light of Allaah is not bestowed upon a disobedient’.

Abu Dharr (May Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) was asked: “Tell us about a person who does some good deed and people praise him, will this be considered as showing off?” He replied, “This is the glad tidings which a believer receives (in this life).”

Commentary: We learn from this Hadith that if a person does a virtuous act to please Allah (i.e., not with the intention to show off) and people praise him for it, then there is nothing wrong with it. In fact, such praise is the glad tidings which he receives in this world. Expression of such good opinion about him by the public is akin to a declaration that Allah is pleased with him. Sincere admiration and praise of someone by the public is not a disqualification. It is, in fact, an evidence of his virtuous conduct and its recognition by Allah.

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “The martyrs are of five kinds: One who dies of plague; one who dies of disease of his belly; the drowned; one who dies under the debris (of construction, etc.), and one who dies while fighting in the way of Allah.”
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Commentary: The Hadith mentioned four categories of people, besides those who were slain on the battlefield, whom Allah will, by His Special Grace, give on the Day of Judgement an award similar to martyrs on condition that they are true believers and practising Muslims. In some other Ahadith, certain other persons have also been mentioned who will be given the status of martyrs by Allah. There is no contradiction in these Ahadith for the reason that first of all the Prophet (PBUH) was told about five categories of martyrs which were disclosed by him. Subsequently Almighty Allah added some more people to them which were also mentioned by him. The real Shaheed is one who voluntarily gives his life for the sake of Allah provided that he wholeheartedly fights on the battlefield.

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “Whom do you reckon to be martyr amongst you?” The Companions replied: “The one who is killed in Allah’s way.” He said, “In that case, the martyrs among my people would be few.” The Companions asked: “O Messenger of Allah! Then who are the martyrs?” He replied, “He who is killed in the way of Allah is a martyr; he who dies naturally in the Cause of Allah is a martyr; he who dies of plague is a martyr; and he who dies of a belly disease is a martyr; and he who is drowned is a martyr.”

This Hadith shows the care Allah has for this Ummah, which is the best Ummah of mankind. (Editor’s Note)

Commentary: “He who dies naturally in the Cause of Allah”, here signifies such a person who does not die because of his being killed in the war by sword, lance, bullet, etc., but meets the death on account of some other causes while going for Jihad such as falling from the horse, or who dies while defending his family or property, or defending other Muslims against attackers or robbers, etc. Such a person will also be a martyr.

`Abdullah bin `Amr bin Al-`As (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “He who is killed while defending his property is a martyr.”
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

Commentary: The Hadith highlights the fact that whoever gets killed in an effort to protect his property is a martyr.

Sa`id bin Zaid bin `Amr bin Nufail (May Allah be pleased with him) reported, one of the ten Companions who were given the glad tidings of entering Jannah reported: I heard the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) saying: “He who dies while defending his property is a martyr; he who dies in defence of his own life is a martyr; and he who dies on defense of his faith is a martyr, he who dies in defence of his family is a martyr.”
[Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi].

Commentary: Those ten Companions of the Prophet (PBUH) whom he gave the glad tidings of entering Jannah are known as “Al-Asharatul-Mubashsharuna bil-Jannah”. They are Abu Bakr As-Siddiq, `Umar bin Al-Khattab, `Uthman bin `Affan, `Ali bin Abu Talib, Talhah bin Ubaidullah, Zubair bin Al-`Awwam, `Abdur-Rahman bin `Auf, Sa`d bin Abu Waqqas, Abu `Ubaidah bin Al-Jarrah and the narrator of this Hadith, i.e., Sa`id bin Zaid, may Allah be pleased with all of them. The Prophet (PBUH) also foretold that some other people will enter Jannah, but these ten people are called Al-Asharatul-Mubashsharuna bil-Jannah for the reason that the prophecy about these ten people was made at one time, in a single Hadith. This Hadith includes the names of some other people also who will be given the reward of martyrdom.

Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: A man came to the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) and asked, “O Messenger of Allah! What shall I do if someone comes to me with the intention of taking away my property?” He replied, “Do not hand over it to him.” The man asked, “What shall I do if he fights me?” The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, “Then fight him.” “What will be my position in the Hereafter if he has killed me?” The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) replied, “In that case you are a martyr.” The man asked: “What if I killed him?” The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) replied, “He will be in the Hell-fire.”

Commentary: We learn from this Hadith that in the course of struggling to protect one’s life and property, it is quite fair to kill a dacoit, robber or plunderer. Such a killing is not deemed a sin. In case he is a Muslim, he will go to Jannah after suffering the punishment of his attacking a Muslim. But if he regards the act of attacking Muslims and encroaching upon their property lawful, he will be in Hell forever. It should be borne in mind that if a person dies while struggling to protect his life and property, he will be granted the status of a martyr, with the difference that a martyr of this kind will be given bath and funeral prayer because he is a martyr by Divine order not by his own will and desire. He who is martyred in Jihad at the battlefield is exempted from bath and the funeral prayer.


The sign of scrupulous piety (al-wara`) is considering ten things mandatory upon oneself:

1. Guarding the tongue from backbiting due to the saying of the Most High: “Do not backbite one another.” [49:12]

2. Shunning suspicion due to the saying of the Most High: “Avoid much [negative] assumption. Indeed, some assumption is sin.” [49:12] And also due to the saying of the Messenger, sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam, “Avoid suspicion, for airing suspicion is the most lying form of speech.” [Musnad Ahmad]

3. Shunning mockery due to the saying of the Most High: “Let not a people ridicule another people; perhaps they may be better than them.” [49:11]

4. Lowering gaze from forbidden things due to the saying of the Most High: “Tell the believing men to lower their gaze.” [24:30]

5. Truthfulness of the tongue due to the saying of the Most High: “And when you speak, be just.” [6:152]

6. Recognizing the blessings of Allah the Most High upon oneself in order to avoid conceitedness due to the saying of the Most High: “Rather, Allah has conferred favor upon you that He has guided you to the faith, if you should be truthful.” [49:17]

7. Spending one’s wealth on good rather than bad things, due to the saying of the most High: “And those who, when they spend, do so not excessively or sparingly.” [25:67] Meaning, they do not spend on sinfulness and do not prevent obedience, “but are ever, between that, [justly] moderate.” [25:67]

8. Not seeking haughtiness and pride for oneself, due to the saying of the Most High: “That home of the Hereafter We assign to those who do not desire exaltedness upon the earth or corruption.” [28:83]

9. Maintaining with care the five prayers on time, with proper bowing and prostration, due to the saying of the Most High: “Maintain with care the [obligatory] prayers and [in particular] the middle [`asr] prayer and stand before Allah, devoutly obedient.” [2:238]

10. Steadfastness upon the way of Sunnah and Jama`ah, due to the saying of the Most High: “And, this is My Path, which is straight, so follow it; and do not follow [other] ways, for you will be separated from His way. This has He instructed you that you may become righteous.” [6:153]


(Taken from Islaam.com)

In the Name of Allah, I invoke peace and blessings on His Messenger.

Ibn ‘Abbas related that the Prophet came to Madinah and found the Jews fasting the 10th day of Muharram. When he inquired about this, they replied: “This is a good day. It is the day that Allah saved the Children of Israel from their enemy. So, Moses fasted it.” The Prophet replied: “I have more of a right to Moses than you.” and he ordered us to fast it.

Several thousand years ago today, Allah saved one of His Prophets and his believing followers from the oppressive policies of the greatest tyrant on Earth. Prophet Moses and the Children of Israel he had come to protect were the target of a campaign of persecution so brutal, so continuous that there seemed to be no end to it in sight. When that end finally did come with Pharaoh’s watery demise, it was such a relief and mercy that it was legislated in our religion to mark that day by fasting, as a means of both gratitude to Allah and solidarity with fellow muslims who preserved their faith under tyranny.

As we continue to fast the 10th of Muharram several millennia later, I thought it appropriate to extract some significance and relevance from the experiences of the Children of Israel at the hands of Pharaoh in order to appreciate exactly what it was they were rescued from. By touching upon a few examples of Pharaoh’s methods of persecution, perhaps we will be able to draw some parallels between the reality faced by the Children of Israel thousands of years ago and the reality faced by this Ummah today, leading us to recognize why it is we fast this day and what place it should have in our hearts.

 So let us look through the Qur’an and list some of these Pharonic methods.

1.) Demonization

 In Surat Ghafir, v. 26, Pharaoh said: {“Leave me to kill Moses, and let him call upon his Lord! I fear that he will change your way of life or bring about ruin and evil on Earth.”}

 Here, we see Pharaoh accusing Prophet Moses with two accusations: i) he wants to change their way of life, and ii) he is out to spread evil and destruction on Earth. Sound familiar? Moses was sent by Allah to Pharaoh, in fact, for two reasons: to end Pharaoh’s oppression of the Children of Israel, and to call Pharaoh to worship the Creator. So, he was on a mission to do the exact opposite of what Pharaoh accused him of, while it was in fact Pharaoh who was carrying out what he accused Moses of! This a classic case of what is known as psychological projection (look it up).

 Then, Pharaoh ironically sets himself up as the valiant  defender of his ‘good’ in the face of the ‘evil’ of Moses, in v. 29: {“I show you only what I see to be correct, and I only guide you to the right way!”} Just as Allah indicated in Surat al-Baqarah, v. 11: {“And if it is said to them: ‘Stop spreading evil on Earth!’ they say: We are only peacemakers!”}

 So, the practice of demonization and accusing the victim of violence, corruption, etc. is an ancient one. It’s just that nowadays, the fashionable terms to use are ‘extremism’, ‘radicalism’, and ‘terrorism.’ Had Pharaoh known of these words, he probably would’ve used them against Moses, too.

2.) Belittlement

 In Surat az-Zukhraf, v. 51-52, Pharaoh said: {“My people! Isn’t the kingdom of Egypt and all of these rivers flowing underneath me all mine? Don’t you see? Am I not better than this one who is despicable and can barely express himself?”}

 Moses went to Pharaoh for two reasons: to end his oppression of others and to call him to worship his Creator. Pharaoh had no moral or logical grounds for debate for either of the two of these challenges posed to him by Moses, and he knew it. So, his resort was to belittle Moses in order to draw the public’s attention away from this fact and distract them from the simple logic of what Moses was saying. Rather than directly address these challenges responsibly and honestly, he points to himself as the strong, civilized established authority facing the speech-imped, weak, helpless outcast who offers no prestige or status to anyone who would be unfortunate enough to choose to join him, all in an effort to counter the legitimacy and appeal of his words.

The same tactic is used today. We often hear parts of the Shariah being characterized as backwards, barbaric, uncivilized, inhumane, etc. We hear of how Muslims in certain parts of the world are in need of learning how to live under ‘freedom’ and so on. We are subtly taught that we need others to solve our problems for us, and how we are weak and dependent on the powerful, and how we can’t, we can’t, we can’t/ We are made to feel insignificant and defensive and apologetic, and act so.

 None of this is haphazard. It is a tactic borrowed from Pharaoh, and its purpose is twofold: to create an inferiority complex in the Muslim mind, as well as to create a smokescreen to block the non-Muslim mind from being attracted to the truth. The message of Moses was very clear and logical: Stop oppressing others and worship the Creator. Pharaoh’s belittlement was simply an act of desperation and a tactic of manipulation to make up for this, and as stated in v. 54: {“Thus, he fooled his people and they followed along …”}

 3.) Imprisonment

 In Surat ash-Shu’ara’, v. 29, Pharaoh said: {“If you choose a god besides me, I will make you a prisoner!”}

This threat came in the midst of a public confrontation with Prophet Moses, as he was making one eloquent presentation of Tawhid after another. People were beginning to hear this strange new message, and Pharaoh wasn’t liking it one bit. This was a radical message, as Webster’s dictionary defines radical as “Going to the  root or source,” and this is exactly what the call to Tawhid presented by Moses and all the Prophets does. It is an irresistible straight-to-the-point call to those who seek humility, but it was also a clear and present danger to this claimant to godhood, Pharaoh. The only way to silence Moses and lock away his message was to lock him up. The threat of incarceration has always been used to do away with undesired and unpopular speech and beliefs and those who manifest them, and the Muslim Ummah in particular is not bereft of examples throughout its history and present. So prison here was being used as a tool of suppression.

 However, prison has also been used as a means of coercing the commission of certain deeds, usually those shameful in nature. In Surat Yusuf, v. 32, Prophet Joseph was threatened with it if he refused to sleep with the King’s wife: {“… I did seek to seduce him , but he refused. Now, if he refuses to comply with what I demand, he will certainly be thrown into prison!”} Joseph’s response was simply to say: {“O Lord! Prison is more preferable to me than what they want me to do.”} And as it was, he was imprisoned when he refused to comply with that shameful, treacherous demand: {“The it occurred to them, after seeing proofs of his innocence, to imprison him for a time.”}

 May Allah free the imprisoned Muslims around the globe, amin.

 4.) Instilling Societal Fear

 In Surat yunus, v. 83: {“But none believed in Moses except some descendent of his people because of the fear of Pharaoh and their chiefs that they would persecute them …”}

 Fear is the most cost-effective method of countering an undesired presence simply because it is a preventative measure meant to keep an individual, group, or society in check. Rather than wait until the spread of a message or a movement that challenges the status quo, it is much easier to simply scare everyone into conforming. Rather than allow Moses the freedom to teach his message and lose the large number of subject enslaved to him, Pharaoh instead implemented a campaign of fear to dissuade anyone from being affected by this radicalism, lending an ear to Moses’ words, or even displaying sympathy to him or his followers. This way, not only would Moses not be able to spread his message, but there could be no hint of support for any of its tenets expressed openly throughout Pharaoh’s kingdom. Why? Because this message was a direct challenge to both Pharaoh’s arrogance and his oppression of others, and it had to be contained to preserve his authority. Any challenge or dissent from this authority had to be found, contained, weakened, outcast and eliminated. In essence, Pharaoh had mastered the ancient art of terrorism, which is defined in Webster’s dictionary as: “the political use of terror or intimidation.

 The words of Sayyid Qutb apply well to Moses in this situation: “A society has a governing logic and a common mode, its pressure is strong and its weight heavy on anyone who is not protected by some powerful member of society or who challenges it without a strong power… The person who takes a stand against the direction of the society -its governing logic, its common mindset, its standards, its concepts, its error and deviations – will find himself a stranger and helpless unless his authority comes from a source which is more powerful than the people, more permanent than the Earth, and nobler that life …” This is exactly how Moses was, peace be upon him , in the midst of Pharaoh’s campaign against his message, his beliefs, his words, and his way of life – despite facing demonization, belittlement, threats of imprisonment and torture, and having the entire society too frightened to even be associated with him. As Emily Dickinson wrote:

Much madness is divinest sense –

To a discerning eye –

Much sense – the starkest madness –

‘Tis the majority

In this, as all, prevail –

Assent, and you are sane –

Demur – you’re straight away dangerous –

And handled with a chain.

 However, despite the intimidation by Pharaoh, there were a few individuals who cast aside their fears and boldly spike in defense of Moses, in fact accepting his message; as we learn in Surat Ghafir, v. 28: {“And a man who believed from Pharaoh’s household and had his his faith said: “would you kill a man because he says ‘My Lord is Allah’ and has come to you with clear signs from your Lord?””} So, this man who was from Pharaoh’s very bloodline came out in defense of the truth even though society at large was either too scared or too heedless to. In the same spirit, anyone who pays attention to current events involving Muslim affairs will note the many non-Muslims who appear even bolder in standing up for Muslims than the Muslims themselves. We have even witnessed a few of them, much like this man from Pharaoh’s household, choosing to actually become Muslims as occurred with a number of former guards who served at Guantánamo Bay, for example.

 These are just a few examples of many, but the statement of the Prophet to the Jews of Madinah: “I have more of a right to Moses than you” when he had the Muslims fast on this day should carry a greater significance with us as we observe the unmistakable similarities between what Moses and the Children of Israel were saved from  and what we are facing thousands of years later today. Likewise, we await the same aid and victory given to them by Allah, and we ask Allah to grant us the same faith, taqwa, and adherence to His Religion manifested by Moses as he watched the Red Sea part before his eyes.

 O  Allah, as You saved Moses from distress, save us from the distress of this life and the next …


Continue to make dua for our respected brother Dr Tarek Mehanna. May Allaah hasten his release, aameen.


So remember Me; I will remember you. And be grateful to Me and do not deny Me.

This verse encapsulate the core being of Muslim character. Muslims are told to remember Allaah azza wa jal, and to be thankful for the blessings bestowed upon them. One can truly thank Allaah, by understanding the concept of tawheed and reinforce this continuously by praising Allaah. By denying the existence of the Creator is the ultimate downfall of humanity, it defies the divine laws and consequently leads to  eternal damnation.

O you who have believed, seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed, Allah is with the patient.

These beautiful words inspire the Believer to hold on to their faith despite the hardships they face. Endurance strengthens the soul, and it’s cure is patience and prayer. By turning to the Creator, it allows the soul to humbly admit its weakness, for one can only rely and trust Allaah azza wa jal, everything else is vain and fragile. Therefore, having constant reliance and faith in Allaah through times of calamity and hardship, not only purifies the heart, but also strengthens one’s emaan.

by Imam Nawawi

65. Chapter: On remembering death and constraining expectation

Allah Almighty says, “Every self will taste death. You will be paid your wages in full on the Day of Rising. Anyone who is distanced from the Fire and admitted to the Garden, has triumphed. The life of this world is only the enjoyment of delusion,” (3:185)

and the Almighty says, “No self knows what it will earn tomorrow and no self knows in what land it will die.” (W31:33; H31:34)

The Almighty says, “When their specified time arrives, they cannot delay it for a single hour nor can they bring it forward,” (16:61)

and the Almighty says, “O you who believe! Do not let your wealth or children divert you from the remembrance of Allah. Whoever does that is lost. Give from what We have provided for you before death comes to one of you and he says, ‘O Lord, if only you would give me a little more time so that I can give sadaqa and be one of the righteous.’ Allah will not give anyone more time, once their time has come. Allah is aware of everything you do.” (63:9-11)

The Almighty says, “Until, when death comes to one of them, he says, ‘My Lord, send me back again. so that perhaps I may act rightly regarding the things I failed to do!’ No indeed! It is just words he utters. Before them there is an interspace until the day they are raised up. Then when the Trumpet is blown, that Day there will be no family ties between them, they will not be able to question one another. Those whose scales are heavy, they are the successful. Those whose scales are light, they are the losers of their selves, remaining in Hell timelessly, forever. The Fire will sear their faces making them grimace horribly in it, their lips drawn back from their teeth. ‘Were My Signs not recited to you and did you not deny them?'” to His words, “‘How many years did you tarry on the earth?’ They will say, ‘We tarried for a day or part of a day. Ask those able to count!’ He will say, ‘You only tarried for a little while if you did but know! Did you suppose that We created you for amusement and that you would not return to Us?'” (W23:100-116; H23:99-115)

The Almighty says, “Has the time not arrived for the hearts of those who believe to yield to the remembrance of Allah and to the Truth He has sent down, and not to be like those who were given the Book before for whom the time seemed over long so that their hearts became hard. Many of them are degenerate.” (W57:15; H57:16)

574. Ibn ‘Umar said, “The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, took me by the shoulder and said, ‘Be in this world as if you were a stranger or a traveller on the road.”

Ibn ‘Umar used to say, “In the evening, do not anticipate the morning, and in the morning do not anticipate the evening. Take from your health for your illness and from your life for your death.” [al-Bukhari]

575. Ibn ‘Umar reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “It is not right for a Muslim man who has anything to bequeath to spend two nights with having a written will in his possession.” [Agreed upon. This is the variant in al-Bukhari]

In a variant of Muslim, “To spend three nights.” Ibn ‘Umar said, “Not a night has passed since I heard the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, say that without my having had my will with me.”

576. Anas said, “The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, drew some lines and said, ‘This is man and this is end of his lifespan. That is how he is when this nearest line comes upon him.” [al-Bukhari]

577. Ibn Mas’ud said, “The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, drew lines making a square and then drew a line in the middle which extended beyond it. He drew some small lines up to this middle line from the side within the square and said, ‘This is man, and this is end of his lifespan which encircles him – or by which he is encircled – and this which goes beyond it is his hope and these small lines are things that happen. If this one misses him, that one gets him, and if that one misses him, this one gets him.'” [al-Bukhari]

578. Abu Hurayra reported the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Race to good actions as fast as you can. What are you waiting for except delayed poverty, oppressive wealth, debilitating illness, dottering senility, a swift death or the Dajjal? Or are you waiting for an unseen evil, or the Last Hour? The Last Hour will be most bitter and terrible.” [at-Tirmidhi]

579. Abu Hurayra reported that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Remember frequently the thing that cuts off pleasures,” i.e. death.” [at-Tirmidhi]

580. Ubayy ibn Ka’b said, “When a third of the night had passed, the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, stood up and said, ‘O people! Remember Allah! The first blast has come and it will be followed by the second blast. Death has come with all that it involves. Death has come with all that it involves.’ I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, I do a lot of prayer on you. How much prayer should I allot for you?’ He said, ‘However much you like.’ I said, ‘A quarter?’ He said, ‘However much you like, but if you do more, it will be better for you.’ I said, ‘A half?’ He said, ‘However much you like, but if you do more, it will be better for you.’ I said, ‘Two-thirds?’ He said, ‘However much you like, but if you do more, it will be better for you.’ I said, ‘I will allot all my prayer for you.’ He said, ‘Then you will be spared from worry and forgiven your wrong action.'” [at-Tirmidhi]

The Need for an Intellectual Insurgency against Westernization and Liberalism’s Ideological Hegemony

A.H & U.R

The taghi Bin Ali has fallen and Mubarak might follow, but the ideological hegemony of westernization has not. Their secret police may no longer roam the roads but the mental bondage and amnesia of intellectuals and mass psychology from the fallout of colonialism still pervades. Leaving one to ask, how liberating was this revolution? Our answer lies on top of the mass amount of literature published shortly after the fall of the Bin Ali’s regime calling the Jasmine Revolution a victory for democracy and the beginning of a road towards it. But is democracy our only alternative? Or does the fact that it sets itself up as the only option and alternative to authoritarianism represent the westernization of Arab and Muslim intellectuals and Liberalisms ideological hegemony originating in its colonial legacy?

In reaction to the colonization several movements emerged, mainly the anti-colonial nationalist movements and the modernist-progressive movements. An interesting paradox emerges upon examining the tenants of both these movements even if one were to have a rudimentary or superficial knowledge of their platform and beliefs. They sought military independence, but worked off of and within the colonial nation-state template and framework. The result was military independence, but mental and intellectual colonization. Islamists were not the only ones to come to this realization but even the likes of Frantz Fanon a psychiatrist who worked for Algerian independence. He notes that despite the military emancipation, full emancipation was “undermined by its ‘imperial genealogy'” (Burnell 2007: 36). Secular, and non-Secular scholars alike have pointed towards the colonizing of the mind from India (Partha Chatterjee and Ramachandra Guha) to Kenyan writers (Ngug wa Thiong’o). Even history was defined by a ‘metahistory’ that created an overarching explanation and view of history that although was European in origin and nature, defined the means of attaining modernity for all the colonial subjects. Post-Colonial states were marked and shaped by the colonial legacy and its institutions. If one wanted to trace the lineage of most post-colonial states it would be traced more to the colonial predecessors as the ideological, institutional, and various other subtle methods had a more immediate influence than the states pre-colonial history. Increasingly, colonies became “underfunded and overextended laboratories of modernity” (Prakash 1999: 13) that became an interface for imported ideologies such as nationalism, socialism, liberalism, etc (Burnell 2007: 43).

Military independence was not granted until our apparent narrative or future (a shining road towards a democratic secular state) was firmly understood by the intelligentsia in the Muslim world. Our trajectory, and where we ought to head became part of a normative fact. Democracy is then seen as an inevitable successor to authoritarianism, an organic step which seems to be imprinted into our primordial disposition. As our history began with independence from colonial military rule, thus it is defined by a colonial legacy. The modernity project seemingly becomes more clearly a form of westernization. Eventually, this powerful discourse becomes naturalized in that it shapes “common sense” (Nye). Its corresponding worldview even shaping ones “principles of rationality” (MacIntyre). As was the case with the polytheistic discourse of Quraysh whom upon hearing the call of the Prophet (Salallahu ‘Alaayhe wa-Salaam) exclaimed “What! makes he the gods a single Allah? A strange thing is this, to be sure!”. Despite going against, what was deemed “common sense”, the liberating movement led by Muhammad did not compromise, or wax their message in the dominant and powerful discourse which they came to destroy … and succeeded in what is without doubt a cosmic revolution.

It is one thing to hear the overtly secular intelligentsia speaking in a distinctly Liberal discourse, which has “already acquired hegemonic status” but it is another to hear it from “Islamist”. The “political liberalization” and concessions to a Liberal discourse by many Islamist movements, namely an-Nahda party (a fact evident, no clearer than in Rashid Ghannoushi’s rhetoric) and the overt political liberalization of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Despite the contestation of Liberal theory as a political doctrine, the numerous reassessment to its normative and conceptual assumptions by Liberals in an attempt to mend its immutable philosophical faults – our ideologically regressing movements cannot be appeal to it. Often scrambling to show the conformity of Islam to many Liberal values, ignoring the incommensurable and insurmountable foundational assumptions of Liberalism, which define its essence and core. As Sayyid Qutb, an Islamic intellectual and supporter of the Brotherhood wrote in his 1963 book, Milestones, (Ma’alim fi al-Tariq), “The leadership of mankind by Western man is now on the decline, not because Western culture has become poor materially or because its economic and military power has become weak. The period of the Western system has come to an end primarily because it is deprived of those life-giving values, which enabled it to be the leader of mankind”, consequently the ideological hegemony of the west has in fact failed despite its dominance politically, Sayyid Qutb further states, “It is necessary for the new leadership to preserve and develop the material fruits of the creative genius of Europe, and also to provide mankind with such high ideals and values as have so far remained undiscovered by mankind, and which will also acquaint humanity with a way of life which is harmonious with human nature, which is positive and constructive, and which is practicable. Islam is the only System which possesses these values and this way of life”.

Re-capturing the Islamic paradigm and constructing our own discourse based purely on the tawhidic worldview would show the foundational presence of concepts such as freedom and human rights. Saba Mahmood asks “It is striking that the normative claims of liberal conceptions such as tolerance are taken at face value, and no attention is paid to the contradictions, struggles, and problems that these ideals actually embody. As scholars of liberalism have shown, the historical trajectory of a concept like tolerance encompasses violent struggles that dispossessed peoples have had to wage to be considered legitimate members of liberal societies”. And goes on to point out “Islam, might have their own resources for imagining such an “ethic that respects dissent and honors the right to adhere to different religious or non-religious convictions?” ”. She then highlights some historical examples from the Ottoman era. In fact, Chatterjee in speaking of India points towards the “transformations [were] brought about in the doctrines and practices of Hinduism and Islam so as to facilitate liberal political rule”. The current political and social unrest of Tunisia and Egypt are a modern embodiment of the flaws within the fundamental principles of Liberalism. From the tawhidic perspective it is paramount that these states return to the Shariah of Allaah, rather than the fallible and imperfect constitutions of Liberalism. In essence the Islamic paradigm which encapsulates guidance for the individual and the nation state, is perfect in its entirety. By abandoning the principles of westernization and its flawed liberal democracy thus the success of these revolutions lies in their politics returning to their state to an Islamic discourse.

Instead of accepting the normative claims made by Liberal Democracy on its commitment to justice, equality, and freedom it would have been more suitable to ask what metaphysical grounding they have to make such claims? And what is the source of such values? Classical observers such as Tocqueville, and more contemporary writers such as Hurd point towards the religious roots of these foundational values which Liberal Democracy holds dear and defines its very ontology. The truth is, secularist cannot do otherwise. Values such as equality have no legitimacy if one were to base morality on “public reason” or a “scientific worldview”. Hence, the sly resort to religion. Instead of pointing out this absurd inconsistency, most Muslim and Christian “Modernist” succumb to secularisms claims to be the exclusive upholders of these values. That is why we hear statements like “I support freedom of opinion and equality, because I am a Liberal Muslim” instead of “I support freedom of opinion and equality because Islam teaches me to do so” or “I support women’s rights, well, because I am a Muslim Feminist” instead of “I support women‘s rights because Islam was the first movement to liberate women on all levels, to an extent no secular ideology has done“. Is it not time we take Secularism off its self-constructed pedestal? It is ironic that Islamic movements have to appeal to, and associate with secular ideologies for values which secularism, as even the “freeloading” neo-Liberal Atheist Richard Rorty admitted, inherited from religion.

Many may contend that democracy and Liberal theory is universal despite its western origins. Arguing that it appeals to a human nature which yearns for the essential elements found in the Liberal doctrine. The point of this paper however is not to prove otherwise, but to point out the overt paradox of supporters of diversity and pluralisms inability to consider other traditions and doctrines as alternatives to authoritarianism – immediately after the fall of Bin ‘Ali as though their resort to Liberal doctrine was reflexive. The world is witnessing the political, social, and economic struggles of Egypt. Western liberalism is directly threatened by Egypt’s fragile condition, its main fear dominated by the idea that the country may return to its Islamic roots. Indeed this does seem like an attractive alternative, as Islam supersedes any other ideology.

A true revolution would come with intellectual liberty and our ability to transcend the hegemonic and ideological discourses imposed on us through colonial legacy and harbored by our amnesia, inferiority, and fixation within the disillusioned binaries that create a false reality; its democracy, or another dictator. In doing so, we can ask real and more legitimate questions such as whether or not the system is legitimate as opposed to those who hold key positions in the already Jahili regime. To many, this would be deemed radical, in that it does not conform to the mainstream. But when the mainstream is defined by a colonizing enemy proclaiming a “civilizing crusade“, the radical doesn’t seem so bad. Key and practical steps towards this must begin with the Islamist who must adopt a genuine Islamic discourse and expound a purely tawhidic worldview. Consequently, their political platforms must follow. Social and economic policies are context-sensitive. How these values and principles are disseminated to the public depends largely on the social dynamics of the Tunisian society and not the topic of this paper. What is obvious though, and not contingent to any political or social context is the need for Islamist movements to reform their methodologies.

Obedience and good words. And when the matter [of fighting] was determined, if they had been true to Allah , it would have been better for them. [Muhammad: 21]

No doubt, much of what has been said is indeed drastic. But Islam has never been a religion to accommodate a status-quo or succumb to “the reality of things”,. Nor a stagnant set of metaphysical doctrines and social conventions. It is a religion which defines reality. The recent turn of events point towards the inevitability of a return to Islam as a manifest way of life and that the future will be for this deen as history testifies to the utter failure of secular doctrines such as Liberal Democracy and Arab Nationalism.

Allah commanded His servants to use patience and prayer to acquire the good of this life and the Hereafter. Muqatil bin Hayan said that this Ayah means, “Utilize patience and the obligatory prayer in seeking the Hereafter. As for patience (here), they say that it means fasting.” There are similar texts reported from Mujahid. Al-Qurtubi and other scholars commented, “This is why Ramadan is called the month of patience,” as is mentioned in the Hadith literature. It was also said that `patience’ in the Ayah means, refraining from evil, and this is why `patience’ was mentioned along with practicing acts of worship, especially and foremost, the prayer. Also, Ibn Abi Hatim narrated that `Umar bin Al-Khattab said, “There are two types of patience: good patience when the disaster strikes, and a better patience while avoiding the prohibitions of Allah.” Ibn Abi Hatim said that Al-Hasan Al-Basri was reported to have said similarly.

Allah then said,


(And As-Salah (the prayer).)

The prayer is one of the best means of assistance for firmly adhering to Allah’s orders, just as Allah said;

﴿اتْلُ مَا أُوْحِىَ إِلَيْكَ مِنَ الْكِتَـبِ وَأَقِمِ الصَّلَوةَ إِنَّ الصَّلَوةَ تَنْهَى عَنِ الْفَحْشَآءِ وَالْمُنْكَرِ وَلَذِكْرُ اللَّهِ أَكْبَرُ﴾

(Recite (O Muhammad ) what has been revealed to you of the Book (the Qur’an), and perform As-Salah. Verily, As-Salah (the prayer) prevents from Al-Fahsha’ (i.e. great sins of every kind), and Al-Munkar and the remembrance of (praising) of (you by) Allah is greater indeed) (29:45).

The personal pronoun in the Ayah,

﴿وَإِنَّهَا لَكَبِيرَةٌ﴾

(And truly, it is extremely heavy and hard) refers to prayer, as Mujahid is reported to have said, and it was also the choice of Ibn Jarir. It is possible that the pronoun might be referring to the advice – to observe patience and the prayer – mentioned in the same Ayah. Similarly, Allah said about Qarun (Korah),

﴿وَقَالَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْعِلْمَ وَيْلَكُمْ ثَوَابُ اللَّهِ خَيْرٌ لِّمَنْ ءَامَنَ وَعَمِلَ صَـلِحاً وَلاَ يُلَقَّاهَآ إِلاَّ الصَّـبِرُونَ ﴾

(But those who had been given (religious) knowledge said: “Woe to you! The reward of Allah (in the Hereafter) is better for those who believe and do righteous good deeds, and this, none shall attain except As-Sabirun (the patient).”) (28:80).

Also, Allah said,

﴿وَلاَ تَسْتَوِى الْحَسَنَةُ وَلاَ السَّيِّئَةُ ادْفَعْ بِالَّتِى هِىَ أَحْسَنُ فَإِذَا الَّذِى بَيْنَكَ وَبَيْنَهُ عَدَاوَةٌ كَأَنَّهُ وَلِىٌّ حَمِيمٌ – وَمَا يُلَقَّاهَا إِلاَّ الَّذِينَ صَبَرُواْ وَمَا يُلَقَّاهَآ إِلاَّ ذُو حَظِّ عَظِيمٍ ﴾

(The good deed and the evil deed cannot be equal. Repel (the evil) with one which is better then verily he, between whom and you there was enmity, (will become) as though he was a close friend. But none is granted it (the above quality) except those who are patient ـ and none is granted it except the owner of the great portion (of happiness in the Hereafter and) in this world.) (41:34-35) meaning, this advice is only implemented by those who are patient and the fortunate. In any case, Allah’s statement here means, prayer is `heavy and burdensome’,

﴿إِلاَّ عَلَى الْخَـشِعِينَ﴾

(except for Al-Khashi`in.)

Ibn Abi Talhah reported that Ibn `Abbas commented on this Ayah, “They (Al-Khashi`in) are those who believe in what Allah has revealed.”

Allah’s statement,

﴿الَّذِينَ يَظُنُّونَ أَنَّهُم مُّلَـقُوا رَبِّهِمْ وَأَنَّهُمْ إِلَيْهِ رَجِعُونَ ﴾

(They are those who are certain that they are going to meet their Lord, and that unto Him they are going to return.) continues the subject that was started in the previous Ayah. Therefore, the prayer, or the advice to observe it is heavy,

﴿إِلاَّ عَلَى الْخَـشِعِينَالَّذِينَ يَظُنُّونَ أَنَّهُم مُّلَـقُوا رَبِّهِمْ﴾

(except for Al-Khashi`in. (They are those) who are certain (Yazunnuna) that they are going to meet their Lord,) meaning, they know that they will be gathered and face their Lord on the Day of Resurrection,

﴿وَأَنَّهُمْ إِلَيْهِ رَجِعُونَ﴾

(and that unto Him they are going to return.) meaning, their affairs are all subject to His will and He justly decides what He wills. Since they are certain that they will be returned to Allah and be reckoned, it is easy for them to perform the acts of obedience and refrain from the prohibitions. Ibn Jarir commented on Allah’s statement;

﴿يَظُنُّونَ أَنَّهُم مُّلَـقُوا رَبِّهِمْ﴾

(Yazunnuna that they are going to meet their Lord)

Ibn Jarir said; “The Arabs call certainty as well as doubt, Zann. There are similar instances in the Arabic language where a subject as well as its opposite share the same name. For instance, Allah said,

﴿وَرَأَى الْمُجْرِمُونَ النَّارَ فَظَنُّواْ أَنَّهُمْ مُّوَاقِعُوهَا﴾

(And the Mujrimun (criminals, polytheists, sinners), shall see the Fire and Zannu (apprehend) that they have to fall therein)”(18:53).

It is recorded in the Sahih that on the Day of Resurrection, Allah will say to a servant, “Have I not allowed you to marry, honored you, made the horses and camels subservient to you and allowed you to become a chief and a master” He will say, “Yes.” Allah will say, “Did you have Zann (think) that you will meet Me” He will say, “No.” Allah will say, “This Day, I will forget you, just as you forgot Me.” If Allah wills, we will further elaborate on this subject when we explain Allah’s statement,

﴿نَسُواْ اللَّهَ فَنَسِيَهُمْ﴾

(They have forgotten Allah, so He has forgotten them) (9:67).

﴿يَـبَنِى إِسْرَءِيلَ اذْكُرُواْ نِعْمَتِى الَّتِى أَنْعَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَأَنِّى فَضَّلْتُكُمْ عَلَى الْعَـلَمِينَ ﴾

(47. O Children of Israel! Remember My favor which I bestowed upon you and that I preferred you over the `Alamin (nations))

عَنْ عِمْرَانَ بن حُصَيْنٍ، عَنْ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، قَالَ:”إِنَّ أَفْضَلَ عِبَادِ اللَّهِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ الْحَمَّادُونَ

Imran bin Hussain (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated:

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him)said: “ The best Muslims on the Day of Judgment are those who praise Allah highly.”

Collected by At-Tabarani in Al-Kabeer # 14673. Shaykh Al-Albani graded this hadeeth as being Saheeh in Jami’ #1571.

Benefits for this topic:

Muhammad ibn Abdur Rauf Al-Manaawee commented on this hadeeth in Faydul Qadeer. He wrote :

1. The best people on the Day of Judgment refer to the Day of reward and punishment. That is the day where the veil will be lifted and whatever is unknown will become known. That is the day where the results for actions will be given.

2. Those who praise Allah highly refers to the people frequently praise Allah with His most beautiful characteristics: belonging to Him only. These people regularly praise Allah during good and bad times. Allah deserves praises from all mankind all the time.


Translated by Abu Aaliyah Abdullah ibn Dwight Battle