By Fahd Barmem
We often find people when reminded to fear Allah, they bring shallow excuses to cover up their mistakes with statements like—“Only Allah can judge us”, and “You don’t know what is in the heart”.
The similar statements were uttered by the Khawarij or renegades—who emerged during the time of fourth Caliph of Islam – Ali bin Abi-Talib (may Allah be pleased with him). Upon which he replied, the statements are true but they are intentionally applied (to support) a wrong (cause).
The Khawaarij denied the role of man in making decisions and forming judgments. Whereas, we do indeed have court systems, and judges to make judgments. [Read the long conversation between Ibn Abbaas and the Khawaarij].
The second statement is from the Aqeedah (Creed) of the Murji’ah, those who believe that:
- Imaan is nothing but a belief of the heart only.
- The actions of the limbs and statement of the tongue are not a part of Imaan.
- It neither increases with obedience nor decreases with disobedience.
- And that it remains constant.
[Whereas the Ahl al-Sunnah wal-Jamaaah believe that Imaan is to believe in the articles of Faith with:
- Firm conviction of the heart,
- Statement of the tongue (saying the Shahaadah),
- Actions of the limbs,
- It increases with righteousness and obedience, and decreases with sins and disobedience.
So, instead of owning up to their mistakes and correcting themselves, many people utter such statements as a cover up, and to run away from their responsibilities.
They also utter such statements to silence those who want to help them. Their pride denies them from accepting the Truth/Guidance.
Anyways, when someone makes a mistake, then it is futile to remain silent and just say: “We don’t know what his intention was.” We can make an excuse for him that it was an accident, or that he might have done it out of ignorance, or that he didn’t know it any better.
But we cannot remain silent. Rather, we should correct the mistake – but in a way most honorable, so that the one who made the mistake accepts the correction, and that the people around them would not – unknowingly – accept the falsehood as the truth.
Narrated Umar bin Al-Khattaab (May Allah be pleased with him): ❝People were (sometimes) judged by the revealing of a Divine Inspiration during the lifetime of Allaah’s Messenger ﷺ but now there is no longer any more (new revelation). Now we judge you by the deeds you practice publicly, so we will trust and favor the one who does good deeds in front of us, and we will not call him to account about what he is really doing in secret, for Allaah will judge him for that; but we will not trust or believe the one who presents to us with an evil deed even if he claims that his intentions were good.❞ [Saheeh al-Bukhaaree (2460)]
We have many more narrations in which we find that the Prophet ﷺ and his Companions took corrective measures right away when they saw any Munkar (wrong) and rebuked its doer.
Incident One: In the battle of Hunain, when those who had recently accepted Islaam said to the Prophet ﷺ to make for them Dhaat Anwaat (i.e. a tree through which the Mushriks used to seek blessings, the Prophet ﷺ rebuked them and said that the people from this Ummah will be following in the footsteps of Ahl al-Kitaab. [Musnad Ahmad and Sunan al-Tirmidhee and graded as “Saheeh” by Shaikh al-Albaanee ]
Incident Two: When a person gave a sermon in the presence of the Prophet ﷺ and made a mistake therein, the Prophet ﷺ rebuked him and asked him to leave saying what a bad speaker you are. [Saheeh Muslim and Sunan Abu Dawood]
Incident Three: When the man said to the Prophet ﷺ: “Whatever Allaah Wills and you will”, the Prophet ﷺ corrected him saying: ❝Do you make me equal with Allaah? Rather say: ‘Whatever Allaah alone Wills.❞ [Musnad Ahmad and al-Adab al-Mufrad and graded as “Saheeh” by Shaikh al-Albaanee]
Incident Four: When some Bedouins came to Abu Hurairah asking who created Allaah, Abu Hurairah threw pebbles at him and informed them to leave. [Saheeh Muslim]
Incident Five: When a man asked Imaam Maalik about how Allaah rose over the Throne (Istawa). Imaam Maalik replied: “Istawa is not unknown, the Kayf (how of it) is uncomprehendible, believing in it is Waajib (obligatory), and asking about it is Bidah (religious innovation), and I do not think that you are anything but an innovator.” Then he ordered that the man be expelled.
Incident Six: When Ibn Masood was informed about the Bid`ah of the people who had gathered in the Masjid and were counting the Dhikr on pebbles, he approached them in the Masjid and rebuked them severely.
Incident Seven: When some people said to Imaam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal that they felt uneasy about criticizing people, he replied: “If you were to remain silent and I was to remain silent, how would the ignorant masses know the truth from falsehood?”
There are many more narrations like these—which underlines the importance of correcting mistakes for the general benefit of mankind, and not giving up to people’s emotions.
Fahd Barmem is a regular blogger at Ilm4all.blogspot.com, who motivates people to ponder over true and pristine Islamic teachings.