The state of the Ummah and its return to Victory
By Sheikh Muhammad Abdulwahhab al Banna
Translation taken from Abu Ishaaq Nadeem Ahsan Shah
All praise is due to Allaah, the Lord of the worlds, what is before you is a sitting of questions and answers with one of the eldest scholars alive today, Sheikh Muhammad Abdulwahhab al Banna hafidahullaah. This sitting was on Sunday night 17th Shawal 1422, 30th December 2001 in his house.
“Our sheikh began by praising Allaah and sending prayers and blessings upon the Messenger sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam. And then he said:
“I bear winess that none has the right to be worshipped except Allaah without any partner. And I bear witness that the Messenger sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam is the last and final Messenger, May Allaah’s peace be upon him and those that follow His guidance. May Allaah make us of those that follow His guidance and may He raise us in his likes amongst him sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa salllam. I mentioned in the previous sitting about that which our Lord ta’ala revealed to the Messenger sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, with regards to that which we are in today, our situation as the Messenger sallallaahu ‘alaihi sallam said in an authentic hadeeth, “The nations are about to summon one another against you just as a host calls its guests towards a feast.”
And when the sahaba asked the Messenger sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam saying “will that be due to our few number on that day?” Then the Messenger sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said, “no that day you will be many in number but you will be like the foam that is upon the ocean, Allaah will remove the fear from the disbelievers’ hearts and will place wahn in your hearts.” So they asked, “what is wahn O Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam?” so he said, “Love for the world and hatred for dying.”
I also mentioned that from the hadeeth of ibn Umar where the Messenger sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said “If you deal with usury (eena), and you hold onto the cow’s tails and you are content with agriculture, and you leave off Jihaad in the path of Allaah, Allaah will permit your humiliation and he will not remove that state from you until you return back to your religion.” The continuation of humiliation and the nations gathering against the Muslims, this is something which is very clear and open. And the cure for this is not as some people suggest that it should be a political change or another form of change. Rather Allaah, the Most High, revealed that cure to the Messenger sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam. So the Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam remained in Makkah for 13 years teaching the people Tawheed and teaching them and calling them to hold fast to his guidance. They faced that which they faced of hardship and trials, until Allaah made it easy for them to leave that area to make hijrah to Madinah and the people followed him and from there it went on. The first thing that is obligatory upon the Muslims in order for them to remove this state of humiliation and belittlement that they are in is that they should realize and know the reality of their religion. From the Book of Allah and from the Sunnah of the Messenger sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam upon the understanding of the noble companions, those that were with the Messenger sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam.
After mentioning the first thing the Muslims have to do in order to remove themselves from the state of humiliation and belittlement, just as our Lord revealed to our Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam the condition that we would face with regards to different groups and parties that split up as He made clear the correct and straight and upright methodology. Whoever followed it will be saved from the burning fire. He sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said, “My Ummah will split up into 73 sects and all of them will be in the fire except one.” When he was asked, “who are they?” The Messenger sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said, “Those who are upon what I and my companions are upon.” So even though Allaah chose that there would be some trials and hardship that these companions would face, He preserved them and protected them such that they were able to pass over to us and to those that came after, the Sunnah of the Messenger sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam by way of his action, statements, and his agreements. His sunnah was preserved and passed on. So the first thing we should be upon to remove this humiliation is that we should know the way upon which the Messenger sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam and what the sahaba were upon. Taking that from the Book of Allaah, the Quran and the books of Sunnah of the Messenger sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam.
We take that with a firm hand. Taking it fully and completely without any complacency. This is the spiritual or the internal preparation by which the person’s eeman (faith) rises. After that the person would make the call to the other people upon this thing and to this thing as Allaah says in the Quran “And fight them with it or struggle with them a great striving” meaning with the Quran.
The sunnah (way) of Allaah with all the Messengers and whoever follows them correctly is that they will come across many enemies and trials, and they will face hardship, it is upon them to remain patient as Allaah said, “enjoin the good and forbid the evil and be patient upon that which befalls you.” We should remain under the leadership of a leader or king who owns a recognized kingdom. We should obey him in ease and in hardship unless he orders us to do something sinful of which there is no obedience in that case. We do not remove our hand from him into disobedience and into separation and if he has, whatever the situation maybe. We do not spread out and openly mention his shortcomings as is reported in the Saheeh of Imam Muslim from the hadeeth of Hudayfah ibn Yaman radiallaahu ‘anhu, that the Messenger sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said, “There will be leaders after me, who don’t take my guidance as a form of guidance and they do not take my Sunnah, they will have with them men whose hearts are like the hearts of devils but in the form of humans.” So Hudayfah asked the Messenger sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, “what should we do if we meet this situation?” the Messenger sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said “Listen and obey your leader even if he were to whip your back and take your money, listen and obey.”
We don’t start by killing those who are enemies to us whether that being an individual or a group, we remain patient as the Messenger sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam remained patient. And as Musa ‘alaihi sallam remained patient upon what the enemies of Islam showed to him.
Patience until such a time when we have STRENGTH. Such that we are able to strike fear into the hearts of the enemy. Allaah did not permit His Messenger to fight until he had enough strength and ability by way of numbers and strength, to do so as Allaah mentions in the Quran, “Prepare yourselves as much as you are able to by way of strength and by cavalry such that you strike fear into the hearts of the enemy of Allaah and your enemy.”
The Messenger sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam mentioned, “Indeed the form of strength is archery.” Meaning the leader and those under him should be preparing themselves by way of strength to the best form of weaponry that is in the hands of the enemy at that time. Since the best form of strength at that time was cavalry and archery. Whatever time you are in, your strength should be of a similar type against the enemy in order to strike fear into the hearts of the enemy…as Allaah says in the Quran,
“And fight in the way of Allaah against those that fight you and do not overstep the bounds, indeed Allaah does not like those people who transgress beyond bounds.”
The sheikh says, even then if it was established that the Muslims have gained enough strength, enough strength and power that would surpass all the weaponry of the disbelievers, Allaah orders his Messenger sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam after he had gained full strength that struck fear into the hearts of the disbelievers in that time with His saying in the Quran “Allaah does not prohibit you against those people who have not fought you and have not taken you out of your land that you treat them well and treat them justly.” If these people do not fight us or do not transgress against us, then we should not go forward and try to harm them and fight them. Rather, we should be good to them and deal with them in a good way.
The sheikh says: so now what are the Islamic nations supposed to do in the state that they are in and with the weaponry that they have? They should bring their nation upon Islam and upon acting by Islam. Remaining upright upon that which Allaah and His Messenger sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam ordered. Our position would be similar to the position of the Messenger sallallaahu ‘alaihi sallam when he was in Makkah and just as the position of Musa ‘alaihi sallam as he was with those people that believed in him. This was the position of patience and righteousness and piety. Phaoro was killing those that believed in Musa ‘alaihi sallam. Those ministers and supporters around him were encouraging Phaoro against the believers as Allaah mentions in the Quran “And the close followers from the people of Phaoro said to him ‘Will you leave Musa and his people to spread turmoil in the land and leave you and your idols?’” When Musa ‘alaihi wa sallam heard this that Phaoro was going to kill them and their children and spare their women. Musa said to his people “Be patient , indeed the earth belongs to Allaah and He will give inherence to it to whomsoever he wills and the final good end is for the righteous.” Meaning he ordered them to have patience from that which they will face of hardship and they should have piety and righteousness of Allaah, the Most High. And Allaah will support them. These believers said to Musa ‘alaihi sallam “We met harm before you came to us and after you came to us we still face this harm.” Musa ‘alaihi sallam said “And pray that your Lord destroys your enemy and He grants you leadership in the land and He will see that which you do.”
As for going and ambushing and killing, then this is not the way. This is our position with the enemy. We should learn the reality of our religion and know who our Lord is. And unite…(unclear) upon the book of Allaah as He has ordered us. “And hold fast altogether to the rope of Allaah and do not be divided.”
We fulfill the orders that He has given us and stay away from the prohibitions. Our situation should not be as many of the Muslims are in. As Allaah says “Do you believe in some of the Book and disbelieve in some of it, what is the reward of someone who does that except humiliation in this world and in the hereafter he will be returned to a severe torment.”
In summarizing, we ask Allaah that He unites the Muslims upon the Book of Allaah and the sunnah of the Messenger sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam upon the understanding of the companions. If they were to differ in anything then they should refer it back to their Lord and their Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam as Allaah ordered them to do so. We hope that the Muslims will repent and turn back to their Lord. That they go back to the straight path. We ask Allaah to give them the ability to remain obedient to their leaders and they do not revolt against them. That He protects them from this form of innocent killing and taking lives without purpose and revolting against leaders. That which we have seen has caused many problems and disturbances wa salli llahum ‘ala Muhammad sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam.