Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Tafseer: {Al-Fitnah (affliction in the Deen) is worse than al-Qatl (killing)}:

بسم الله والحمد لله والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله ، وبعد

Being afflicted by trials and tribulations is part of this worldly life. Man – from the cradle to the grave – will be tested with these trials. As Allaah تعالى says:

﴿لَقَدْ خَلَقْنَا الْإِنسَانَ فِي كَبَدٍ﴾

{Verily, We have created man in toil (hardship)} [Surah al-Balad (90): 4]

There is no one but is afflicted and tested with one or the other type Fitnah. In generality, the afflictions are of five types, as Allaah تعالى says:

﴿وَلَنَبْلُوَنَّكُم بِشَيْءٍ مِّنَ الْخَوْفِ وَالْجُوعِ وَنَقْصٍ مِّنَ الْأَمْوَالِ وَالْأَنفُسِ وَالثَّمَرَاتِ﴾

{And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits…} [Surah al-Baqarah (2): 155]

Everyone is tested according to his level of Imaan (Faith). Allaah تعالى says:

﴿لَا يُكَلِّفُ اللَّـهُ نَفْسًا إِلَّا وُسْعَهَا﴾

{Allaah does not charge a soul except (with that within) its capacity} [Surah al-Baqarah (2): 286]

It was narrated from Mus`ab bin Sa`d that his father, Sa`d bin Abu Waqqaas رضي الله عنه said: I said: O Messenger of Allaah, which people are most severely tested? He صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

الْأَنْبِيَاءُ، ثُمَّ الْأَمْثَلُ فَالْأَمْثَلُ، يُبْتَلَى الْعَبْدُ عَلَى حَسَبِ دِينِهِ، فَإِنْ كَانَ فِي دِينِهِ صُلْبًا، اشْتَدَّ بَلَاؤُهُ، وَإِنْ كَانَ فِي دِينِهِ رِقَّةٌ، ابْتُلِيَ عَلَى حَسَبِ دِينِهِ، فَمَا يَبْرَحُ الْبَلَاءُ بِالْعَبْدِ، حَتَّى يَتْرُكَهُ يَمْشِي عَلَى الْأَرْضِ، وَمَا عَلَيْهِ مِنْ خَطِيئَةٍ

“The Prophets, then the next best and the next best. A person is tested according to his religious commitment. If he is steadfast in his religious commitment, he will be tested more severely, and if he is frail in his religious commitment, his test will be according to his commitment. Trials will continue to afflict a person until they leave him walking on the earth with no sin on him.” [Sunan al-Tirmidhee (4159) and Sunan Ibn Maajah (4023) and graded as “Hasan Saheeh” by Shaikh al-Albaanee]

Some afflictions are more severe and worse than the others. The afflictions could be in a person’s Deen (religion) or his Dunya (worldly life) through loss of wealth, death of someone, illness, or harm done by others. But the most severe ones are those in the Deen, as Allaah تعالى says:

﴿وَالْفِتْنَةُ أَشَدُّ مِنَ الْقَتْلِ﴾

{…and Al-Fitnah is worse than killing} [Surah al-Baqarah (2): 191]

He تعالى also says:

﴿وَالْفِتْنَةُ أَكْبَرُ مِنَ الْقَتْلِ﴾

{...and Al-Fitnah is greater than killing} [Surah al-Baqarah (2): 217]

These trials of the Deen are through Shirk, Kufr, Hypocrisy, facing the enemy in the battlefield etc.

Some benefit from these trials:

﴿وَلَمَّا رَأَى الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الْأَحْزَابَ قَالُوا هَـٰذَا مَا وَعَدَنَا اللَّـهُ وَرَسُولُهُ وَصَدَقَ اللَّـهُ وَرَسُولُهُ ۚ وَمَا زَادَهُمْ إِلَّا إِيمَانًا وَتَسْلِيمًا﴾

{And when the believers saw Al-Ahzaab (the Confederates), they said: “This is what Allaah and His Messenger had promised us, and Allaah and His Messenger (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) had spoken the truth, and it only added to their faith and to their submissiveness (to Allaah).} [Surah al-Ahzaab (33): 22]

While others lose:

﴿وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَعْبُدُ اللَّـهَ عَلَىٰ حَرْفٍ ۖ فَإِنْ أَصَابَهُ خَيْرٌ اطْمَأَنَّ بِهِ ۖ وَإِنْ أَصَابَتْهُ فِتْنَةٌ انقَلَبَ عَلَىٰ وَجْهِهِ خَسِرَ الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةَ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ هُوَ الْخُسْرَانُ الْمُبِينُ﴾

{And of the people is he who worships Allaah on an edge. If he is touched by good, he is reassured by it; but if he is struck by trial, he turns on his face (i.e. reverts back to disbelief after embracing Islaam). He has lost (this) world and the Hereafter. That is what the manifest loss is.} [Surah al-Hajj (22): 11]

Narrated Abu Hurairah رضي الله عنه: The Messenger of Allah صلى الله عليه وسلم said:

بادروا بالأعمال فتناً كقطع الليل المظلم، يصبح الرجل مؤمناً ويمسي كافراً، أو يمسي مؤمناً ويصبح كافراً، يبيع دينه بعرض من الدنيا

“Be prompt in doing good deeds (before you are overtaken) by turbulence which would be like a part of the dark night. During (that stormy period) a man would be a Muslim in the morning and an unbeliever in the evening or he would be a believer in the evening and an unbeliever in the morning, & would sell his faith for worldly goods” [Saheeh Muslim (213)]

From the Tafseer of Imaam Ibn Katheer رحمه الله:

Allaah تعالى says:

﴿وَالْفِتْنَةُ أَشَدُّ مِنَ الْقَتْلِ﴾

{…and Al-Fitnah is worse than killing} [Surah al-Baqarah (2): 191]

Since Jihaad involves killing and shedding the blood of men, Allaah تعالى indicated that these men (the Mushriks of Makkah) are committing disbelief in Allaah, associating with Him (in the worship) and hindering from His path, and this is more severe and much greater evil and more disastrous than killing.

Abu Maalik commented about what Allaah تعالى said:

﴿وَالْفِتْنَةُ أَشَدُّ مِنَ الْقَتْلِ﴾

{And Al-Fitnah is worse than killing}, meaning: “what you (disbelievers) are committing is much worse than killing.”

Abu Al-`Aaliyah, Mujaahid, Sa`eed bin Jubayr, `Ikrimah, Al-Hasan, Qataadah, Ad-Dahhaak and Ar-Rabee` bin Anas said about the saying of Allaah تعالى:

﴿وَالْفِتْنَةُ أَشَدُّ مِنَ الْقَتْلِ﴾

{And Al-Fitnah is worse than killing}, they said: “Shirk (polytheism) is worse than killing.”

And Imaam Ibn Katheer continues:
﴿وَالْفِتْنَةُ أَكْبَرُ مِنَ الْقَتْلِ﴾

{...and Al-Fitnah is greater than killing} means, trying to force the Muslims to revert from their religion and re-embrace Kufr after they had believed, is worse with Allaah than killing.

--end of quote

Shaikh Muhammad Ibn Saaleh al-`Uthaymeen رحمه الله said:

Al-Fitnah (here) means to prevent the people (the Muslims) from (practicing) their religion; as Allaah تعالى said:

﴿إِنَّ الَّذِينَ فَتَنُوا الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتِ ثُمَّ لَمْ يَتُوبُوا فَلَهُمْ عَذَابُ جَهَنَّمَ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابُ الْحَرِيقِ﴾

{Verily, those who put into Fitnah (trial) the believing men and believing women (by torturing them and burning them), and then do not turn in repentance, (to Allaah), will have the torment of Hell, and they will have the punishment of the burning Fire.} [Surah al-Burooj (85): 10]

So preventing the people from their religion is a Fitnah more severe than killing them. This is because by killing them, the utmost they can do is cutoff the person from pleasures of this Dunyaa (world); whereas the Fitnah cuts them off from the Dunyaa and the Aakhirah, as Allaah تعالى said:

﴿وَإِنْ أَصَابَتْهُ فِتْنَةٌ انقَلَبَ عَلَىٰ وَجْهِهِ خَسِرَ الدُّنْيَا وَالْآخِرَةَ  ۚ ذَٰلِكَ هُوَ الْخُسْرَانُ الْمُبِينُ﴾

{…but if a trial befalls him, he turns back on his face (i.e. reverts back to disbelief after embracing Islaam). He loses both this world and the Hereafter. That is the evident loss.} [Surah al-Hajj (22): 11]

--end of quote

From Tafseer al-Muyassar (by a group of prominent scholars in Tafseer):

“And the Fitnah – which is al-Kufr, al-Shirk and preventing people from (practicing) Islaam – is more severe than their killing you.”

--end of quote

Tafseer al-Sa`dee رحمه الله:

And when the fighting took place near the Masjid al-Haraam (i.e. in Makkah), (and after He تعالى) conveyed that it is evil (to fight) in this Sacred land, He تعالى informed that the evil Fitnah of Shirk and preventing people from His religion is more severe than the evil of killing. Therefore, O Muslims, there is no sin on your part to kill them (near the Masjid al-Haraam).

And this Verse is used as an evidence for the famous principle, i.e.: “Choosing the lesser of two evils to ward off the greater one.”

--end of quote

The purpose of these afflictions is to purify our sins and to separate the Believers from the hypocrites:

﴿أَحَسِبَ النَّاسُ أَن يُتْرَكُوا أَن يَقُولُوا آمَنَّا وَهُمْ لَا يُفْتَنُونَ * وَلَقَدْ فَتَنَّا الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِهِمْ ۖ فَلَيَعْلَمَنَّ اللَّـهُ الَّذِينَ صَدَقُوا وَلَيَعْلَمَنَّ الْكَاذِبِينَ﴾

{Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: “We believe,” and will not be tested. And We indeed tested those who were before them. And Allaah will certainly make (it) known (the truth of) those who are true, and will certainly make (it) known (the falsehood of) those who are liars, (although Allaah knows all that before putting them to test).} [Surah al-`Ankaboot (29):2-3]

Allaah تعالى also says:

﴿لِّيَجْزِيَ اللَّـهُ الصَّادِقِينَ بِصِدْقِهِمْ وَيُعَذِّبَ الْمُنَافِقِينَ إِن شَاءَ أَوْ يَتُوبَ عَلَيْهِمْ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ كَانَ غَفُورًا رَّحِيمًا﴾

{That Allaah may reward the men of truth for their truth (i.e. for their patience at the accomplishment of that which they covenanted with Allaah), and punish the hypocrites if He will or accept their repentance by turning to them in Mercy. Verily, Allaah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.} [Surah al-Ahzaab (33): 24]

Therefore we should constantly ask Allaah تعالى that He تعالى keeps us firm upon the religion:

وصلى الله وسلم وبارك على نبينا محمد

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