The Muslims are Bound by Their Conditions
The transactions of everyday life are based on permissibility unless Allah and His Messenger declared them to be haram, meaning that there is no haram except that which Allah declares to be harām, and no religion except that which He legislates. It is as if that which is replaced without a contract is obligatory with a contract, because a contract makes obligatory upon each party to an exchange or each partner to a partnership that which each one seeks to obligate upon the other. This is why the Prophet said:
الْمُسْلِمُونَ عَلَى شُرُوطِهِمْ إِلَّا شَرْطًا حَرَّمَ حَلَالًا أَوْ أَحَلَّ حَرَامًا.
The Muslims are bound by their conditions, except a condition that makes the lawful unlawful, or the unlawful lawful.
This is an issue in which many of the fuqaha' made mistakes, by declaring contracts and conditions impermissible which Allah never made. In the same way, many worshipers and scholars made the mistake of innovating into the religion that which Allah never legis- lated and made it obligatory to pledge to fulfill that innovation, to the extent that they mandate obedience to a scholar, dead or alive, in everything, and they forbid obedience to anyone who disagrees with him, due only to a blind oath that binds him to one person over another.
Likewise, in terms of the scholars, they even command him to oppose that which is clear from the shari'ah due to the covenant that ties him to a madh-hab (school of jurisprudence) or tariqah (Sufi order), so they stipulate conditions that are not in the Book of Allah and command obedience to the creation even when it requires disobedience to the Creator. Most of that is based on a kind of ijtihad*1 that is corrupted by speculation and desires, even though they had been provided with guidance from their Lord.
It is obligatory in these situations to follow what is clearly obedience to Allah and His Messenger, and whatever is unclear to mankind, then they must follow the methods of ijtihad in accordance to their abilities, and Allah does not burden a soul with that which it cannot bear. The ijtihad for the layman is to seek knowledge from the scholars with questions and seeking fatawa as much as they are able.
If Bani Adam must cooperate and support one another in all things and that includes committing shirk, speaking about Allah without knowledge, and committing sins and crude acts- then know that imän requires cooperation and mutual support to perform the actions that Allah loves and to repel the things that Allah hates. This is striving for His cause, and iman is not complete without it.
All those who cooperate with, help, and support each other are performing a form of jihad (striving). However, sometimes it may be for Allah's cause and sometimes it may be for the cause of others, and there is no rectification for Bani Adam without making all of the religion for Allah and striving to raise Allah's name above all else.
Allah, the Most High, said:
وَقَاتِلُوهُمْ حَتَّى لَا تَكُونَ فِتْنَةٌ وَيَكُونَ الدِّينُ كُلُّهُ لِلَّهِ
And fight them until there is no more fitnah (disbe-lief and shirk) and the religion (worship) will all be for Allah alone. [Surah al-Anfal 8:39]
Those are the ones who turn their backs on Allah and He turns His back on them. Those who make their religion for other than Allah are the oppressors due to their devotion to one another, as He, the Most High, said:
ثُمَّ جَعَلْنَاكَ عَلَى شَرِيعَةٍ مِّنَ الْأَمْرِ فَاتَّبِعْهَا وَلَا تَتَّبِعْ أَهْوَاءَ الَّذِينَ لَا يَعْلَمُونَ إِنَّهُمْ لَن يُغْنُوا عَنكَ مِنَ اللَّهِ ) شَيْئًا وَإِنَّ الظَّالِمِينَ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَاءُ بَعْضٍ وَاللَّهُ وَلِيُّ ۖ الْمُتَّقِينَ
Then We have put you (O Muhammad) on a plain way of (Our) commandment. So follow that, and follow not the desires of those who know not. Verily, they can avail you nothing against Allah (if He wants to punish you). Verily, the wrongdoers are awliya' (protectors, helpers, etc.) to one another, but Allah is the Wali (Helper, Protector, etc.) of the muttaqin (the pious). [Surah al-Jathiyah 45:18-19]
However, this will not be achieved by the believer unless he groups together the things that Allah grouped together and distin- guishes between the things that Allah distinguished between. This is the reality of allegiance and enmity, which is the foundation of al-muhabbah and al-bughd (love and hate).
Allegiance requires mutual love and congregation, while enmity requires mutual hatred and separation. Allah, the Glorified, mentions allegiance and congregation between the believers in His saying:
إِنَّمَا وَلِيُّكُمُ اللَّهُ وَرَسُولُهُ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا الَّذِينَ يُقِيمُونَالصَّلَاةَ وَيُؤْتُونَ الزَّكَاةَ وَهُمْ رَاكِعُونَ
Verily, your Wali (Protector or Helper) is Allah, His Messenger, and the believers-those who perform aş-şalah and give zakäh, and they bow down (submit themselves with obedience to Allah in prayer). [Surah al-Ma'idah 5:55]
And He mentioned the enmity between the believers and the disbe- lievers in His saying:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَتَّخِذُوا الْيَهُودَ وَالنَّصَارَىٰ أَوْلِيَاءَ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَاءُ بَعْضٍ وَمَن يَتَوَلَّهُم مِّنكُمْ فَإِنَّهُ مِنْهُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ
O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians as awliya' (friends, protectors, helpers, etc.); they are but awliya' to one another. And if any among you takes them as awliya', then surely he is one of them. Verily, Allah guides not those people who are the wrongdoers. [Surah al-Ma'idah 5:51]
Then He mentions the situation of those who seek their support.*2 Indeed, allegiance necessitates cooperation and support.
He does not differ between the believers due to what distinguishes them, such as lineage, nationality, or allegiance to a madh-hab, tariqah, friendships, etc. Allah gives each person what they rightly deserve, just as Allah and His Messenger commanded. He does not gather between the believer and the disbeliever, with whom Allah broke off the allegiance between them and Himself, because Allah's religion is the Straight Path, the path of those whom Allah blessed from the prophets, martyrs, and righteous men, and what great travel companions they are.
Allah sent His messengers with evidences and revealed with them the Book and the scales, so people may establish justice. Hence, the believer needs to know justice, which is the Straight Path, and act upon it. Otherwise, the believer will either fall into ignorance or into oppression. This happens as a result of one changing the religion and adhering to corrupt oaths and covenants, like we previously mentioned concerning the mixing of the truth with the falsehood. When the truth is mixed with falsehood, such that the things that are forbidden are mixed with the things that are permit- ted, then they, as a result, begin to resemble truth and goodness. Like when sins and wrongdoing without due cause, associating partners with Allah whom He never granted sovereignty, and speak- ing about Allah without knowledge are mixed with permissible acts, even if those acts include falsehood and wickedness, and even if those people go between good deeds and bad.
A group rejects all of that due to the hateful and odious things that are present and a group accepts all of it due to the loved things that it contains.
We discussed this principle before, which is the combining of good and bad, reward and punishment, within the same person, as all of the Muslims agree except the Khawarij, the Wa'idiyyah, the Mu'tazilah, and most of the Murji'ah.
They believe that a person is either rewarded or punished, praised from every perspective or censored from every perspective. I clari- fied in another book the seriousness of this misguidance with many proofs from the Book, the Sunnah, and the ijma' (consensus) of this nation, and I also spoke of an action in terms of type and person. The point here is that when the truth is mixed with the falsehood, it causes some to turn away from both the truth and the falsehood, so they become from those who are dispraised for doing bad acts, praised for doing good acts, dispraised for neglecting good obliga- tory acts, and praised for the bad acts they intentionally leave for the sake of Allah.
This is because mankind has within them oppression and ignorance, and if it overcomes a person's reasoning and character, he will use it for both truth and falsehood, and he will not preserve Allah's limits. An example of this is that among mankind there are those who possess leniency, gentleness, and love, so he permits through his love veneration, benefit, and wealth for the sake of good which Allah loves and with which He commands, such as love of Allah, His Messenger, and His allies, the believers, and spending for His sake, etc. He also permits love of crude acts and spending on that, so you find that he loves both the truth and the falsehood, he gives charity with both and he helps others with both.
Some have strength in their character, so they prevent crude acts and they hate them, but at the same time they reject love of benefit- ting people and acts of kindness to others and leniency for their bad deeds, so you find that they hate both the truth and the falsehood. They reject both and they don't help for the sake of either of them; in fact, they may block them both.
This is because the soul is built upon wickedness, and the Shaytan beautifies for mankind his evil actions so that they seem good to him, and he follows his desires. However, what a person possesses of knowledge and belief calls him to do good so that the good deeds may replace the bad deeds, but a person will only do the good deeds that his desire and love face him towards.
People have two strengths: strength of love and strength of hate. Mankind was only created this way so that they may love the truth which Allah loves and hate the falsehood which Allah hates, and those are the ones who love Allah and are loved by Allah.
The soul leans towards participation in accordance with what is possible, so if the strength of love overpowers the soul with what is suitable for it, then he will love the truth, and due to that love, he will avoid anything associated with falsehood.
Due to this, many of the mystics love music and images because they show the things that they love for Allah, but they confuse the truth with the falsehood. Likewise, a person who possesses love may incline towards desires of the stomach and loins, while at the same time, due to his love and the religion he possesses within himself, he loves the truth and its people and he venerates them. Hence, many of the people of desire possess a level of love for Allah and His Messenger that is not found even with the mystics, as the Prophet said about a man who used to drink alcohol often:
لا تلعنه فإنه يحب الله ورسوله.
Do not curse him, because he loves Allah and His Messenger. *3
*1. Ijtihad literally means "to exert physical or mental effort," but in Islamic legal terms, it is the independent reasoning and mental exertion of a qualified Islamic scholar to find the solution to a legal question.
*2. I.c., the support of the disbelievers. Ibn Taymiyyah is referring to the next verse in Surah al-Ma'idah: "And you see those in whose hearts there is a disease (of hypocrisy); they burry (to form alliances with the disbelievers), saying: 'We fear lest some misfortune of a disaster may befall us.' Perhaps Allah may bring a victory or a decision according to His will. Then they will become regretful for what they have been keeping as a secret in themselves." [Surah al-Ma'idah 5:52]
*3. Reported by al-Bukhari (8/158).
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