By Shaykh Saalih Al-Fawzaan

Bismillaah Al-Hamdulillaah wa salatu wa salaamu ‘ala rasulullaah

Amma-Ba’du

In The Name of Allah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy. All Praise is due to Allah, Lord of the ‘Aalameen, and may peace and blessings be upon our prophet Muhammad, his family and his companions.

Indeed, the hadeeth to be addressed in this lecture is the hadeeth of Hudhaifah Bin Al-Yamaan (radiallaahu ‘anhu).

He said:

“People used to ask the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) about the good times, but I used to ask him about bad times fearing lest they overtake me.”

I said: “O Messenger of Allah, we were in the midst of ignorance and evil, and then Allah brought us this good (time through Islam). Is there any bad time after this good one?”

He said:

“Yes.”

I asked: Will there be a good time again after that bad time?”

He said:

“Yes, but therein will be a hidden evil.”

I asked: What will be the evil hidden therein?”

He said:

“(That time will witness the rise of) the people who will adopt ways other than mine and seek guidance other than mine. You will know (their) good points as well as (their) bad points.”

I asked: Will there be a bad time after this good one?”

He said:

“Yes. (A time will come) when there will be people standing and inviting at the gates of Hell. Whosoever responds to their call, they will throw them into the fire.”

I said: O Messenger of Allah, describe them for us.”

He said:

“All right. They will be a people having the same complexion as ours and speaking our language.”

I said: O Messenger of Allah, what do you suggest if I happen to live in that time?”

He said:

“You should stick to the main body of the Muslims and their leader.”

I said: If they have no (such thing as the) main body and have no leader?”

He said:

“Separate yourself from all these factions, though you may have to eat the roots of trees (in a jungle) until death comes to you and you are in this state.”

(Collected by al-Bukhari and Muslim, rahimahumullaah. The wording of the above is that of Imam Muslim)

The Fitna (Trial) and Its Reality

In reality: Indeed, Allah pre-decreed and ordained that the creation will be visited by tribulations, trials and tests, in order that the truthful one is distinguished from the hypocrite.

He (Ta’aalaa) said (what means):

“Alif-Laam-Meem. 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 Allah 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 Allah knows all that before putting them to test).”

(Al-‘Ankabut, ayat 1-3)

Fitnah is a test. The human being will not be left alone because he says, “I believe, I submit, I am a Muslim, I am a believer.” He must be tried and tested. If he exercises patience and firmly holds onto his Eemaan at the (time) of tribulations, then indeed he is the one truthful to his Eemaan. And if he deviates at the (time) of tribulations, and turns away from his Religion, then this one is not truthful to his Eemaan. He is a hypocrite, as Allah (Ta’aalaa) said:

“And of mankind, there are some (hypocrites) who say: “We believe in Allah and the Last Day,” while in fact they believe not. They (think to) deceive Allah and those who believe, while they only deceive themselves, and perceive (it) not! In their hearts is a disease (of doubt and hypocrisy), and Allah has increased their disease. A painful torment is theirs because they used to tell lies.”

(Al-Baqarah, ayat 8-10)

This Is the Sunnah of Allah (Jalla-Wa-‘alaa)

And Allah (Jalla-Wa-‘alaa) said:

“Allah will not leave the believers in the state in which you are now until He distinguishes the wicked from the good. Nor will Allah disclose to you the secrets of the Ghayb (unseen), but Allah chooses of His Messengers whom He pleases. So believe in Allah and His Messengers. And if you believe and fear Allah, then for you there is a great reward.”

(Aali ‘Imran, ayah 179)

So, Allah causes trials and tests to occur upon the people – upon the Muslims and the believers –in order to distinguish the truthful one from the liar, the true believer from the hypocritical liar, and the good one from the wicked one. This is from the Wisdom of Allah (Subhaanahu-wa-Ta’aalaa). Fitan will come to pass upon the people as a result of this Wisdom (of Allah).

And if fitan does not occur, then truth will be confounded with falsehood. The believer will be confused for the hypocrite, and there will not be a distinction between this one and that one.

It is not sufficient to only learn about the good; rather one must know about the evil in order to avoid it.

In this hadeeth reported by the honorable companion Hudhaifah Bin Al Yamaan (radiallaahu ‘anhu) who said:

“The people used to ask the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) about the good times.”

They used to ask him (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) about the good with regards to righteous actions, affairs of ‘aqeedah and mu’aamalaat. And Hudhaifah used to ask him (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) about the bad times – fearing lest they overtake him. So, in this is evidence that it is not sufficient to only learn about the good; rather one must know about the evil in order to avoid it. If you do not know about the evil, you will come close to falling into it, as the poet said:

“I acquaint myself with the evil not for the sake of evil, but to be safeguarded from it.”

The one who does not know evil from good will fall to it (i.e. evil). The human being must learn about the truth, and its proofs and evidences. He is to learn and know that which is false and the doubts associated with it, in order that he can be saved from falsehood, and to warn the people against it. How can he avoid and warn people against it, if he is not aware of it?

And with regards to this, the Quran has clarified that which is truth and falsehood. It has clarified Eemaan and Kufr, Tawheed and Shirk, and Halaal and Haraam. It has not stopped at clarifying Tawheed, Halaal, and the truth only; rather it clarified that which is in opposition to that, so that the Muslim can avoid it. Likewise, the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) in his Sunnah has clarified good and evil, and truth and falsehood in all affairs of the deen.

And the ‘Ulema (rahimahumullaah) in their written works have made clear what Tawheed and Shirk are, and Kufr and Nifaaq. They have made clear the belief of Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaa’ah and the beliefs of the deviated sects, such as the Jahmiyyah, the Mu’tazilah, the Ash’aariah…and other than them.

They have clarified the correct Mu’aamalaat and the forbidden Mu’aamalaat. They have clarified correct marriage and the false and corrupt marriage, and the women forbidden (for one to marry). They have clarified the (good manners legislated in the Sharee’ah), and the evil manners that are in opposition to it.

All this causes the Muslim to have insight into his affairs so that he knows the truth by its evidences, and knows what falsehood is and the doubts associated with it, in order that he can avoid falsehood and make the people avoid it.

That is why you find in the books of belief: clarification of the belief in Tawheed and the belief of Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaa’ah – and clarification of the beliefs of misguidance, the doubts associated with it and refutation against it – in order that the Muslim is not misled by deviated and false beliefs, and deviated sects.

And in order that the Muslims can be upon a correct understanding with regards to the affairs of their religion and that which opposes it, so as to avoid it.

Some of the people at present – (the majority of them ignorant ones, and amongst them misguided ones) – say: “Do not learn about the false beliefs. Suffice yourselves with learning the correct belief only, and abandon involving yourself in seeking to know the beliefs of the people of misguidance and the refutations against their doubts. Abandon this, and teach the children of the Muslims the correct belief only. Do not inform them about the statements that are in opposition and the doubts, and the refutation against it.”

This one (the one who makes these statements) is either from the ignorant ones who know nothing of knowledge, or that he is from those driven by personal desires, those who want to spread the sects of falsehood and their doubts. Rather, it may be that they say: “It is sufficient for a person to say: ‘I am a Muslim; I am a believer.’ A general Islam suffices, and do not say, ‘Ahlus Sunnah wal Jamaa’ah and ahlu dalaal, and ahlu furqah wa ikhtilaaf.’ Do not say this, for this causes division between the Muslims.”

This (i.e. the above statements) is misguidance, because Allah (Jalla-Wa-‘Alaa) has clarified the haqq (truth) in opposition to falsehood, guidance in opposition to misguidance, and Tawheed in opposition to Shirk. He (Jalla-Wa-‘Alaa) has clarified all of that in all the affairs of the Religion, in the affairs of ‘Ibaadaat (acts of worship), Mu’aamalaat (dealings), and Akhlaaq (character) with a detailed clarification. Therefore, this must be clarified in order that it is made clear to the people, so that they can be upon clarity in their affairs, and so that the true Muslim is distinguished from the so-called Muslim, and that no deviation and forgery enters into Islam. We must make a distinction between this and that one, in order that truth is not confounded with falsehood, and to know what truth is in opposition to falsehood, and good in opposition to wickedness.

We do not suffice ourselves with a general Islam, because this is being misleading and deceitful to the people. So we warn against this propaganda. Therefore, this has to be detailed for the people. The haqq must be clarified in opposition to falsehood, and guidance must be made clear in opposition to misguidance. Hudhaifah (radiallaahu ‘anhu) used to ask the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) about the evil, and did not suffice (himself) with asking the Prophet about the good. The Prophet affirmed that for him, and did not say to him, “Suffice yourself with understanding the good”; rather he (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) affirmed and clarified for him the evil that was to occur in order that he may beware, and make others to beware of it.

This is the Sunnah. This is the way of the Quran and that of the Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam).

Hudhaifah said:

“I said: O Messenger of Allah, we were in the midst of Jaahiliyyah and evil.”

Al-Jaahiliyyah is derived from al-Jahl (ignorance). It is an absence of knowledge, and the intent behind it is: the state of affairs before Islam. That which took place before the sending of Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) is Jaahiliyyah, because they (the people) were upon ignorance and misguidance with regards to the affairs of ‘Ibaadah, mu’aamalaat, and with regards to food, drink, marriage and other than that. They were upon ignorance and misguidance due to the long period between ‘Eesaa and Muhammad (i.e. the long period between the departure of ‘Eesaa, ‘alayhis Salaam, and the sending of Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). This was a period of over four hundred years, during which the Divine Message stopped.The Divine Message became obliterated, and ignorance and misguidance became widespread.

The people worshipped idols, trees, stones, false deities, the Jinn, and humans. They worshipped the Angels, the Awliyaa’, and the Saaliheen, and were upon divergent paths with regards to acts of worship. And with regards to the affair of halaal and haraam, they did not distinguish between good and filth; rather they used to deal with usury. The Ribaa’ Al-Jaahiliyyah (The Pre-Islamic Usury) was: When they used to settle a debt with a debtor, they would say: either you settle the debt or we increase the debt and double the time it (should be paid). This was the Pre-Islamic Usury, and it used to be predominant in their dealings. And they used to gather wealth through forbidden means, by way of pillage, plunder, robbery, and devouring people’s wealth in falsehood.

And with regards to food, they used to make lawful dead (animals) and blood. They used to eat dead animals, blood and repugnant things. And with regards to their relationship between one another, they used to kill and fight one another over the most trivial thing.

They neither had a leader nor a state. They were either under the authority of tribal systems or under the authority of the Persians and the Romans. The powerful used to encroach upon (the rights of the weak), and the oppressor used to transgress the limits – and no one would stop him. This was the state of affairs in Jaahiliyyah (The Pre-Islamic Period of Ignorance). They (the people) were upon ignorance in all aspects, and the greatest of that (ignorance) was with regards to ‘Ibaadah and ‘Aqeedah. They used to be upon the ‘Aqeedah of Shirk, and they used to reject the (Resurrection on the Day of Judgement) and the Divine Message (of the Messengers), and they used to say: “Nothing did Allah send down to any human being (by revelation).” (Al-An’aam, ayah 91) This was their state of affairs in Jaahiliyyah (The Pre-Islamic Period of Ignorance).

“Then, Allah (Subhaanah) sent Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) with the Guidance and the Religion of Truth: It is He Who has sent His Messenger (Muhammad) with Al-Hudaa (the Guidance) and Deenul Haqq (the religion of truth – Islam).”

(Tawbah, ayah 33)

‘Hudaa’ is beneficial knowledge and ‘Deenul Haqq’ is righteous action. Allah (Subhaanah) sent His Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) with beneficial knowledge and righteous action. So with the sending of the Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), Jaahiliyyah (pre-islaamic ignorance) ceased to exist for ever – Wa-lillaah-il- Hamd – and there came about knowledge and guidance. The Jaahiliyyah ‘Aama (The Pre-Islamic ignorance that was widespread and touched every aspect of life) has ceased to exist, but it remains with some people, or with some of the tribes, or in some of the lands. It is Jaahiliyyah Juz-i (a portion of Pre-Islamic Ignorance). As for the Jaahiliyyah ‘Aama, then this has ceased to exist with the sending of the Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), but some characteristics of Pre-Islamic ignorance remain with some of the people, due to his (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) statement:

“Among my people, there are four characteristics belonging to pre-Islamic period which they do not abandon: boasting of high rank, reviling other peoples’ genealogies, seeking rain by stars, and wailing (i.e. for the dead).”

(Reported by Muslim)

This remains, but it is a portion. As for the Jaahiliyyah ‘Aama, then indeed it has ceased to exist. So due to this, it is not permissible to say that the people are in Jaahiliyyah (Pre-Islamic Ignorance). And some of them (i.e. some people) say, “(The people) are in a Pre-Islamic ignorance that is more severe than the one before the sending of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam).” The meaning of this (i.e. the meaning of this statement) is a denial of what the Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) came with. It is a denial of the Qur`aan, the Sunnah of the Prophet, and the abundant knowledge within our hands. Its meaning is that we are in Jaahiliyyah (Pre-Islaamic Ignorance). This is a mistake! The people are not in Jaahiliyyah, Wa lillaah-il-Hamd, but there remains some of the characteristics of Jaahiliyyah in some individuals, some nation states, and in some tribes; but this is a specific Jaahiliyyah. Therefore, it is incumbent to be acquainted with this affair.

His (Hudhaifah’s) statement:

“We were in the midst of ignorance and evil.”

What is ‘evil’? ‘Evil’ is what the people were upon of Shirk, worship of engraved images, eating haraam and other than that of the evil things people used to do before the sending of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). These were the evil things, and then Allah brought about good (through Islam).

Hudhaifah (radiallaahu ‘anhu) said:

“And then Allah brought us this good (time through Islam).”

This is an acknowledgement of Allah’s grace, that indeed goodness (only) comes from Allah (Jalla-Wa-‘Alaa). He is the one Who guided us. We cannot recognize the good through our intellects and knowledge we possess; rather we know that by what Allah has brought through the Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), via the Magnificent Quran and the Prophetic Sunnah. The truth is not known through the intellects, or through the common habits of (the people), or through blind-following and opinions/concepts; rather it is known through the revelation sent down by Allah (Jalla-Wa-‘Alaa), the revelation that was communicated through the tongue of His Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam).

So, in this is a rebuttal of those who say that the people are free to hold on to their views and everyone can say what he wants. We say: No! The people are the slaves of Allah and their intellects and views are deficient (and not protected from error, whereas revelation is Infallible). They must return to the revelation in order to know the truth, and reject falsehood.

And his (Hudhaifah’s) statement:

“And then Allah brought us this good (time through Islam).”

And what is ‘good’? ’Good’ is Islam, with regards to what it contains of guidance, knowledge, and the absence of doubts that have pervaded the minds of many people. So, Allah brought about this Great Good (i.e. Islam). This is an acknowledgement of Allah’s blessing; because blessing only comes to us from Him (Subhaanahu-wa-Ta’aalaa). Indeed, Allah did not leave us entirely to the designs of our intellects and views; rather Allah is the One Who shows us good, and guides us towards it. He (Ta’aalaa) said to His Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam):

Say: If (even) I go astray, I shall stray only to my own loss. But if I remain guided, it is because of the Revelation of my Lord to me. Truly, He is All-Hearer, Ever Near (to all things).”

(As-Saba’, ayah 50)

He (Hudhaifah) said:

“Is there any bad time after this good one?”

This is evidence that indeed the Muslim is not safe from Fitan, even if he is upon knowledge, righteous action and a correct ‘aqeedah. Indeed, he will not be safe from the callers to misguidance and evil, and for that reason Hudhaifah asked the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), he said: “Is there any bad time after this good one?” This is evidence that indeed evil will come about after good, and these are the trials and tests that Allah make to come to pass upon the people. Indeed they (the people) will not continue to be upon one state; rather they will be met with changing circumstances. The human being will not be safe from Fitan and doubts. He will not be safe from the callers to misguidance – even if he is upon good, a correct aqeedah and the correct Religion. He will not be safe along with all this. That is why Hudhaifah said: “Is there any bad time after this good one?” He (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “Yes.”

This is Khabar (information) from the Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) that evil will occur after the good Muhammad (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) came with. This (trial, test, etc.) took place during the latter part of the era of the Sahaabah, with regards to what took place of Fitan and evil amongst the Muslims. Therefore, what has been related to us through the historical (reports) has taken place, and that is the affair of trials and tests. That which he (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) gave news of has taken place. Trial and evil has taken place, and it has emerged from the misguided sects, such as the Qadariyyah, the Shee’ah, the Murji’ah, the Jahmiyyah and other than that. This took place during the latter part of the era of the Sahaabah (radiallaahu ‘anhum). However, as long as the Quran and the authentic Sunnah are present, then indeed this evil will be repelled if the Scholars convey this Quran and the Sunnah and clarify these trials and evils for the people. Therefore, the cure is present, Wal-Hamdulillaah. Evil is repelled with good.

I (Hudhaifah) said:

“Will there be a good time again after that bad time?”

He (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:

“Yes.”

In this is evidence that evil will not be continuous, and that the Muslim should wait for solace from Allah (Subhaanahu-wa-Ta’aalaa).

Allah (Jalla-Wa-‘Alaa) said:

“So verily, with the hardship, there is relief. Verily, with the hardship, there is relief (i.e. there is one hardship with two reliefs, so one hardship cannot overcome two reliefs).”

(Ash-SharH, ayah 5-6)

Solace must come about.

He (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:

“Know that along with assistance is patience, along with solace is distress, and along with every hardship is relief.”

(Ahmad)

He (the person) should not lose hope when Fitan and evil increases. Indeed, he is to be upon tranquility and makes others tranquil when fitnah occurs, and he says: “All Praise is due to Allah, we are upon guidance and a clear Religion. Solace is close by and evil will cease to exist by the permission of Allah.” This is what is incumbent upon the people of good and the scholars that they have tranquility and make the people tranquil; because this (evil) is something that will cease to exist by the permission of Allah, and solace will come after it.

It is not permissible for the person to say: “The people are destroyed.” This is not permissible; rather he makes the people tranquil, firm upon goodness and expectant of assistance. For indeed, the good end is for the people of piety. Therefore, no matter how great the evil and fitan is, indeed it will cease to exist.

He (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:

“There will never cease to be a group of my followers manifest upon the truth. They will neither be harmed by those who forsake them nor by those who oppose them til the Order of Allah (Tabaaraka-Wa-Ta’aalaa) comes.”

(al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Therefore, Islam will not cease to continue, Wal-Hamdulillaah. The Religion and the Quran will not cease to exist until the final appointed time that the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) has informed of; that indeed at the end of time the Quran will be taken away from the breasts of men and from the masaahif (i.e. the copies of the Quran). The Quran will not remain within the hands of the people; but this will be at the time of the destruction of the world.

Indeed, good will continue to exist whilst the Quran, the Sunnah and the Qiblah are present, even though there is one who is led away from it and becomes misguided. And even though there is one who deviates from it and becomes deviated, as the saying goes, “Fitnah has its victims.” It takes away the one who goes with it; but the people of Eemaan will remain even if they are small in number. Even if there is one who goes along with the Fitnah, and the one who goes astray and the one who comes along, still the truth and its people remain Wal-Hamdulillaah. The truth is present.

Allah (Jalla-Wa-‘Alaa) said:

“Verily We: It is We Who have sent down the Dhikr (i.e. the reminder – the Quran and Sunnah) and surely, We will guard it (from corruption).”

(Al-Hijr, ayah 9)

The person should neither lose hope nor despair. He should not make the people lose hope of the return to goodness. He should not make the people lose hope with regards to (the fact) that truth will prevail and falsehood repelled, because Allah (Subhaanahu-Wa-Ta’aalaa) has made that promise, and He does not fail to fulfil His promise.

Imaam Ibnul Qayyim (rahimahullaah) said: “The Religion is aided when put to the test. So do not be amazed for this is the way of Ar-Rahmaan (Allah).”

“And so are the days (good and not so good). We give to men by turns, that Allah may test those who believe, and that He may take martyrs from among you. And Allah likes not the Dhaalimoon (polytheists and wrong-doers). And that Allah may test (or purify) the believers (from sins) and destroy the disbelievers.”

(Aali ‘Imran, ayah 140-141)

This is the wisdom behind the occurrence of Fitan and test, so that the believers are purified.And so that they are made to exercise patience, be firm upon the truth and warned of their mistakes; in order that they may repent to Allah (‘Azza-Wa-Jall), and that the kuffaar are destroyed. Therefore, (Fitnah and test) is purification for the believers and destruction for the kuffaar, Wa-lillaah-il-Hamd. And upon the Muslim is that he looks at (the affairs) with optimism. He should neither look at history and the state of affairs with pessimism and hopelessness, and causing the people to lose hope.

And in the hadeeth:

“Whoever says, ‘the people are ruined,’ then he himself is ruined.”

(Muslim)

Therefore, the person neither loses hope in Allah’s Mercy nor does he make people lose hope of solace from Allah.

I (Hudhaifah) said: “Will there be a good time again after that bad time?”

He (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:

“Yes, but therein will be Dakhan (a hidden evil).”

I asked: “What will be the evil hidden therein?”

He said:

“(That time will witness the rise of) the people who will adopt ways other than mine and seek guidance other than mine. You will know (their) good points as well as (their) bad points.”

In this is evidence for (expectation) of solace, and that the person should not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed, goodness will come after evil. Therefore, the Muslim should neither despair nor lose hope. He has to wait for Allah’s Solace. However, this has to be accompanied by what one is able to perform of actions, statements, spreading knowledge, calling to Allah, preaching to them (the people) to have certainty (in the affairs of the Religion), and keeping them away from despair and lack of hope.

He (the pessimist) says, “Islam and the Muslims have vanished, the affair has been ended, and the Religion has been annihilated”…and so forth, of what is uttered.  These are maqaalaat sayyi’a (sinful statements).

And regarding his (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) statement:

“But therein will be a hidden evil.”

That is (to say): There would be something of alteration (i.e. things that are not in conformity with the Sunnah and guidance of the Messenger) during that good time. It is a (good time) but there would be something of alteration in it. This is information from the Saadiq al-Masdooq (the truthful one, the one who is believed, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). Indeed, good has occurred along with something of alterations.

I (Hudhaifah) said:

“What will be the evil hidden therein?”

Subhaan-Allaah! This man (Hudhaifah, radiallaahu ‘anhu) (was) precise in putting forward his questions, and Allah made him utter with his tongue that which is of benefit and education for the Ummah.

He (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:

“(That time will witness the rise of) people who will adopt ways other than mine and seek guidance other than mine.”

Meaning: They will have with them affairs that are not (in conformity with the Sunnah and guidance of the Messenger Muhammad). They (these people) are Muslims and believers who possess goodness, but they will (also) have with them something of those things that are not (in conformity with the guidance of the Messenger), which will not terminate their Eemaan and Deen, but it will make it deficient. Likewise, there would be deficiency(ies) in the worldly affairs.

And in the hadeeth:

“No time will come upon you but the time following it will be worse than it, til you meet your Lord.”

So, they will have with them some things that are in (opposition to the Sunnah and the guidance of the Messenger, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam), and they will seek guidance other than that of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). They will initiate things in opposition to the Sunnah.However, it will not be a complete opposition; rather it will be a certain type of opposition.

In this is a warning against opposing (the Sunnah) – even if that is little. In this is a warning against seeking guidance other than that of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) – even if that is little – because the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) has called that Dakhan (hidden evil), meaning: Deficiency and Harm. And in this is evidence that the judgment of disbelief is not passed on the Muslim as long as he does not commit major Shirk with Allah, or apostates from Islam through one of the nullifiers of Islam.

However, he may have with him some affairs of deviation and some affairs that are not in accordance with the (Sunnah). This makes him one with mistakes and misguided, or he becomes a sinner due to committing a sin which does not expel from the fold of Islam. So, in this is a fundamental principle from the fundamental principles of ‘Aqeedah, and that is the judgment of disbelief is not passed on the one who commits a major sin; rather this is called Dakhan (hidden evil) and Naqsan (deficiency) in Religion, or sin; but it is not called disbelief and apostasy from the Religion, as the Khawaarij and Mutazilah (deviantly) say.

He (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:

“You will know (their) good points as well as (their) bad points.”

You will know the good points of these people. This is evidence that they will possess goodness. And you will know their bad points. This is evidence that they will have with them something of evil, which will be in opposition to the guidance of the Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam).They will possess both good and evil.

The Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) named it (that time) with goodness, and attested to that. This is evidence that (that time) is good even if there is a hidden evil in it. And in this is proof for the group of Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaa’ah regarding the fact that not every matter that is in opposition to the Prophet’s guidance is disbelief; rather such (opposition) may be an error, or misguidance, or deficiency in Eemaan, and it can also be called evil. There is a differentiation with regards to evil, and from that is absolute evil, partly evil, and evil that is compared (with other evil things). Therefore, we must name the affairs with their proper names.

I (Hudhaifah) asked:

“Will there be a bad time after this good one?”

He (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:

“Yes.”

This is the third time that evil will occur after good, but it will be greater than the first time. In the first evil (time), the people possessed both good and evil. However, these ones (a particular type of people who will be present during the third occurrence of evil) will be callers to the gates of hell fire. They do not say to the people, “Come to the hell fire!!” They say, “Come towards progression and civilization (as opposed to the old lifestyles), towards development and conformity with the nations. Do not remain old-fashioned and rigid.” The meaning of this is: abandon your religion and go along with the people. These ones are callers to the gates of hell fire. They call them (the Muslims) to desert their religion and affiliate themselves to the disbelievers. This is the call to the hell fire, because the hell fire is a promise for the disbelievers. So, they call the people to that which the people of hell fire are upon, from amongst the disbelievers, the idolaters and the atheists. How numerous are these callers in the Islamic World today! Wa-laa-hawla Wa-laa-quwwata illaa billaah! Therefore, we must issue severe warning against them. Why? Because they call us to the hell fire.

And Allah (Jalla-Wa-‘Alaa) said about the disbelievers:

“…Those (Al-Mushrikoon) invite you to the fire, but Allah invites (you) to Paradise and Forgiveness by His Leave…”

(Al-Baqarah, ayah 221)

And He (Subhaanahu-wa-Ta’aalaa) said about shaytaan:

“…He only invites his Hizb (followers) that they may become the dwellers of the fire.”

(Faatir, ayah 6)

And the believer amongst the people of Fir’awn said:

“And O my people! How is it that I call you to salvation while you call me to the fire.”

(Ghaafir, ayah 41)

And how did he call them to the Paradise and how did they call him to the fire?

“You invite me to disbelieve in Allah and to join partners in worship with Him of which I have no knowledge; and I call you to the All-Mighty, the Oft-Forgiving!”

(Ghaafir, ayah 42)

This is the difference between the callers to good and the callers to evil. Indeed, the callers to good invite to Allah (‘Azza-Wa-Jal), His Religion and Paradise. And the callers to evil invite to the hell fire.

They (the callers to evil) do not say to the people, “Come to the fire!!” They say: “Come to Paradise, these are the actions of the people of Paradise, this is good, this is development, this is rectification, this is and this is”…and they beautify that for the people.

Therefore, the Muslims must be cautious of these ones (the callers to the gates of hell fire).Indeed, they have become numerous in this time, and Allah knows best whether they will increase more and more in the future.

They may be facilitated with tools (of misguidance) not possessed by the previous callers to misguidance – and given firm support through such (satanic tools) that would rapidly reach the people – and the suggestion of the seducer and the falsifier will be adorned and made to appear as something good to the people in any place whilst it is something evil. This is from the height of fitnah.

“Whosoever responds to their call, they will throw them into the fire.”

“Whoever responds to them” – by complying with, believing and assisting them – will be thrown into the fire by them. As for the one who does not comply with them, opposes and openly rejects what they are upon, then indeed they will not harm him.

Allah (Jalla-Wa-‘Alaa) said in the Quran:

“And verily this is My Straight Path, so follow it, and follow not (other) paths, for they will separate you away from His Path. This He has ordained for you that you may become Muttaqoon (pious).”

(Al-An’aam, ayah 153)

The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) – whilst explaining this ayah – drew a straight line and said:

“This is the path of Allah.”

Then he drew lines to the left and right (of this straight line) and said:

“These are the other paths, and on every path is a devil calling the people to it.”

(Ahmad (1/435), rahimahullaah)

This is a depiction of the callers to misguidance, their methodologies and objectives. It has been thoroughly illustrated for us that indeed whatever opposes the Straight Path is a path leading to Jahannam. Whoever abandons the Straight Path is heading towards the Jahannam, even if he regards himself “civilized, progressive and open-minded.”

So, I (Hudhaifah) said:

“O Messenger of Allah, describe them for us.”

Look at these amazing questions from this honorable Sahaabi.

The Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) paused, but he (still) asked him, and the Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) answered him in detail and with clarity.

He (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:

“They will be a people having the same complexion as ours and speaking our language.”

This is a Calamity!! Indeed, they are close to us. They are from our community and country. Had they been foreigners, had they been from America or other than it the affair would have been easy. However, the problem is that they are the son(s) of so and so. And it may be that they say, “I am a scholar, and I have with me shahaadaat ‘Ilmiyyah (i.e. proofs/certifications of my being a carrier of knowledge) and I am, and I am…” They are from us and they speak with our tongue.They are Arabs like us; rather they possess eloquence. When they write, or deliver a speech, or a lecture, they speak with our tongue just as Allah said concerning the hypocrites:

“And when they speak, you listen to their words.”

(Al-Munaafiqoon, ayah 4)

They possess eloquence that grabs the attention/overwhelms the listener. The listener listens to them because of their eloquent speech.

The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:

“Indeed some eloquent speech has the influence of magic.”

(e.g., some people refuse to do something and then a good eloquent speaker addresses them and then they agree to do that very thing after his speech)

(al-Bukhari Vol 7. Hadeeth No: 5146)

They speak with our tongue (i.e. the Arabic tongue). Had they spoken with a foreign language or the language of the Persians, there would not have been inclination towards them. However, the problem is that when they speak with eloquent speech/good style of speech, the people are lured towards them. This is from the height of fitnah.

Hudhaifah said:

“O Messenger of Allah, what do you suggest if I happen to live in that time?”

(i.e. the time of the callers to the gates of hell)

He said:

“You should stick to the Jamaa’ah (the main body of the Muslims) and their leader.”

Therefore, in this is a clarification regarding what the Muslim must do with the appearance of these Fitan and evils that call the people to deviation, decadence agreement with the disbelievers, and abandonment of Islam and its rulings. Indeed, the Muslim is not deceived by them; rather he stays with the Jamaa’ah of the Muslims. He sticks to the Jamaa’ah of the Muslims and does not segregate from them, neither by way of opinions and beliefs nor statements. He is not deceived by speech and what is falsely made to seem desirable; rather he looks at what the Muslims are upon.

The Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:

“My ummah will not agree upon misguidance.”

And he (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:

“Upon you is to stick to the Jamaa’ah, for indeed the Hand of Allah is over the Jamaa’ah.”

(at-Tirmidhee, rahimahullaah)

So be with the Jamaa’ah of the Muslims.

The Muslims cannot be a Jamaa’ah except if they have a ruler who is obeyed. And there is no Jamaa’ah except with a leader, and there is no leader except that he is to be listened to and obeyed.

And due to this, Allah (Jalla-Wa-‘Alaa) said:

“O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those of you (Muslims) who are in authority.”

(An-Nisaa’, ayah 59)

And He (Ta’aalaa) said:

“When there comes to them some matter touching (public) safety or fear, they make it known (among the people). If only they had referred it to the Messenger or to those charged with authority among them, the proper investigators would have understood it from them (directly). Had it not been for the Grace and Mercy of Allah upon you, you would have followed Shaytaan (Satan), save a few of you.”

(An-Nisaa’, ayah 83)

Therefore, in this is evidence for the means to safety from Fitan: Indeed that is adherence to the Jamaa’ah of the Muslims and their leader. This is safety from Fitan, Bi-idhn-illaah.

As for the one who isolates (himself) from the Jamaa’ah of the Muslims and follows the callers to misguidance, indeed he will be destroyed alongside the destroyed ones. Therefore, there is a guaranteed safety in sticking to Jamaa’ah of the Muslims and their leader Bi-idhn-illaah.

He (Ta’aalaa) said:

“And whoever contradicts and opposes the Messenger (Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam)) after the right path has been shown clearly to him – and follows other than the believers’ way – We shall keep him in the path he has chosen, and burn him in Hell. What an evil destination.”

(An-Nisaa’, ayah 115)

And he (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:

“Upon you is to stick to the Jamaa’ah, for indeed the Hand of Allah is over the Jamaa’ah. And whoever isolates himself from the Jamaa’ah will be isolated in the fire.”

And he (‘alayhis-salaatu-wassalaam) said:

“I enjoin upon you to have fear of Allah, and to listen and obey even if a slave is placed in charge over your affairs. For indeed whosoever lives long amongst you will see a lot of differences, so stick to my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the rightly guided khulafaa after me.”

So, whoever wants to save himself at the time of these Fitan and evils, then he should not move away from what the Muslims and their leader are holding onto; rather he must exercise patience along with them. And even if he is afflicted with difficulties, he still exercises patience until Allah (Jalla-Wa-‘Alaa) brings about Solace. This is the path to safety from Fitan.

He (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:

“Stick to the Jamaa’ah of the Muslims and their leader.”

I (Hudhaifah) said:

“What if they have no (such thing as the) main body and have no leader?”

This honorable Sahaabi (Hudhaifah) did not stop asking the Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) questions that has great benefits for the Ummah, (clarified by the Messenger, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam).

He (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:

“Separate yourself from all these factions though you may have to eat the roots of trees (in a jungle) until death comes to you and you are in this state.”

In this is evidence regarding the abandonment of the groups that are in opposition to what the Messenger (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) came with, and what the Salaf of this ummah and their Imaams were upon, and what the Jamaa’ah of the Muslims are upon. That is because when the Jamaa’ah of the Muslims is no longer (present or available) – Wa-laa-hawla-walaa-quwwata-illaa-billaah – and then what should the Muslim do? He should isolate himself from all these sects, because they are all deviated sects and callers to the gates of hell fire. He should stick to the Jamaa’ah of the Muslims if he finds them – and if not – then isolate yourself even if you are alone.Be firm upon the truth even if you are alone. That is why [‘Abdullaah Ibn Mas’ood, radiallaahu ‘anhu] said: “The Jamaa’ah is the one upon the truth even if he is alone.” This is the Jamaa’ah, and the Jamaa’ah is not the numerous groups, rather it the one upon the truth.

“Though you may have to eat the roots of trees (in a jungle) until death comes to you and you are in this state.”

In this is evidence that what is given consideration are the final actions. Indeed the one who isolates himself from fitan, stays firm upon the truth, and exercises patience in facing trials until death comes to him in this state, then indeed he will be from the people of Paradise. And the one upon whom death comes to whilst he has changed and substituted (the haqq, his deen etc), and followed the callers to misguidance, then indeed he will be from the people of hell fire, Walaa-hawla-wa-laa-quwwata-illaa-billaah.

Then the Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan concluded:

These are the little words (mentioned) on this tremendous hadeeth. It (the hadeeth) clarifies the dangers that are an obstacle to the ummah in their tareeq (their path, religion).

In it (the hadeeth) is clarification regarding what is binding upon the Muslim at the time of Fitan, and that which is binding upon him with regards to (sticking) to the Jamaa’ah of the Muslims and their Leader, the Salaf of this ummah and their Imaams.

This is the path to safety.

And all Praise is due to Allah, Lord of the ‘Aalameen. And may peace and blessings be upon our Prophet (Muhammad), his family and all his companions.

We ask Allah (Subhaanah) by His Greatest Name to Preserve the Shaykh Saalih Al-Fawzaan, and reward him with goodness in this life and the next. And we ask Him (Subhaanah) to keep us safe, and grant us tawfeeq to act on this hadeeth to the best of our ability.

Posted by: Abu Mu’aawiyyah ‘Abdullaah Bin AbuBakr Al Fulaani Al Gambi (hafidhahullaah) in SalafiTalk.net

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