‘Reacting at the Time of Fitnah’
There is a certain attitude which the Muslim should adopt towards fitnah to that this fitnah will not have a negative effect on him, and so that he will not have a negative effect on the Muslim community.
Deliberation, gentleness, forbearance and not being hasty
Deliberation, gentleness and forbearance at times of tribulation and upheaval are praiseworthy traits, because they enable the Muslim to see things as they really are and to understand what is going on.
The Prophet ﷺ said: “There is no gentleness in a thing but it adorns it, and the absence of gentleness in anything makes it ugly.” Narrated by Muslim, 4698.
And he ﷺ said to Ashajj ‘Abdul Qays: “You have two characteristics which Allaah loves, forbearance and deliberation.” Narrated by Muslim, 24.
So we must all be gentle in our thinking and attitudes, and with regard to all events that occur, and we should not be hasty, because that is not the way of the Muslim ummah, especially at times of fitnah.
And not being hasty along with being able to deliberate will help us to prepare to retaliate and bounce back. Being in the right state of mind is very important to be able to plan for the future and help the Ummah.
We need a great deal of patience, especially at times of fitnah. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
With patience, the difference between those who are determined and confident and those who are cowardly and weak becomes apparent. Hence the righteous predecessors understood the importance of patience at times of tribulation and new developments. There follow some examples from their life stories:
BEING PATIENT DOESN’T MEAN WE ACT WEAK
Our Lord says (interpretation of the meaning):
“So do not become weak (against your enemy), nor be sad, and you will be superior (in victory) if you are indeed (true) believers” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:139]
The Muslims believe that Islam is the religion of honour and pride, and the religion of high status in this world and in the Hereafter; whoever adheres to it, Allaah will raise his status, and whoever turns away from it harms no one but himself.
One of the things that Islam teaches us is to be proud and strong. Our Prophet ﷺ said: “The strong believer is better and more beloved to Allaah than the weak believer, although both are good.” (Narrated by Muslim, 4815).
So Muslims should not act weak nor should we be begging for justice from others, we should increase in our worship, our Duas, our sabr and forbearance, our good deeds, our goodness towards others, our planning and efforts to rise back again as an Ummah.
SubhaanAllah how often do we see that a large number of people enter Islam after some oppression or false propagandas are run. When there is Fitna the soft hearted and just non-Muslims are curious as to why the Muslims are being persecuted, this is a great opportunity to explain to them about Islam and call them to it.
Allah says (interpretation of the meaning): “Let there arise out of you a group of people inviting to all that is good (Islam), enjoining Al-Ma‘roof (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do) and forbidding Al-Munkar (polytheism and disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden). And it is they who are the successful” (Aal ‘Imraan 3:104)
What is meant by this verse is that there should be a group of this ummah who carry out this mission; however, that is also obligatory upon every individual of the ummah according to his means, as it is proven in Saheeh Muslim that Abu Hurayrah said: The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: “Whoever among you sees an evil action, then let him change it with his hand [by taking action]; if he cannot, then with his tongue [by speaking out]; and if he cannot, then with his heart – and that is the weakest of faith.” According to another version: “Beyond that there is not even a mustard seed’s worth of faith.”
Just remember to go easy and do it the right way, the Prophet ﷺ said: “Be easy going and do not be harsh, give glad tidings and do not put people off.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (3038) and Muslim (1773)
What is forbidden is initiating insults and put-downs with the mushrikeen and kuffaar, lest that make them respond in like manner. This is what Allaah forbids in the Qur’aan. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And insult not those whom they (disbelievers) worship besides Allaah, lest they insult Allaah wrongfully without knowledge” [al-An’aam 6:108]
Da‘wah is the task of every Muslim, each according to what he is able to do and what Allah has given him of knowledge, forbearance, wealth and so on.
Do not feel ashamed of the truth, and do not give up conveying the message of this religion with knowledge and insight. Strive to choose appropriate words and choose the right approach. Avoid insulting and mocking, and all kinds of wrongdoing and aggression, then after that it will not matter whatever the person you are calling may say. His sin is his burden to bear on the Day of Resurrection, and you will earn reward in sha Allaah.
Justice and fairness in all things
One of the strongest causes of differences among people, especially at times of fitnah, is the lack of justice and fairness. If the Muslim strives to become fair to himself and to other people, then many of the problems that arise among Muslims, whether on the individual or communal level, will be solved, in sha Allah.
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
So it is essential to be just in our words and deeds, especially at times of fitnah, in the sense that we should examine each matter and note its good and bad aspects, weigh them up, and then pass judgement, because examining matters thoroughly will protect the Muslim from attributing to Islam things that are not in accordance with the commands of Allaah. So your justice and fairness at the time of fitnah will save you, in sha Allah.
Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: I urge you, my brothers, to be just and balanced in all things, to look at all issues surrounding any given matter, to find out the more correct ruling concerning it, and to judge all matters in the same way. This is an important principle which the wise man must follow in his relationship with Allaah and in his relationship with other people, to be fair, for Allaah loves those who are fair.
How should people deal with the transgressor and the transgressed:
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:
Therefore, one must support the oppressed and the one who is being transgressed against; the one who refrains from supporting an oppressed person, whilst being able to, is falling into wrongdoing.
Abu Bakr said: “O people! You recite this verse (which means): “O you who believe! Upon you is [responsibility for] yourselves. Those who have gone astray will not harm you when you have been guided…” [Quran 5:105] (but misinterpret it) for I have heard the Messenger of Allah saying: ‘When people see an oppressor but do not prevent him from (doing evil), it is likely that Allah will punish them all.’” [Abu Daawood and At-Tirmithi]
One should prevent the oppressor physically if possible. If one cannot stop the oppressor physically, then he should do it verbally (this can include us doing so on Social media and creating awareness of oppression). But also do not think that just sharing on social media will be enough, we Muslims have job on our hands, we cannot just be content by sharing things on Social media. Look for opportunities as to how one can help the oppressed whether by fund raising or by physical support. There are many ways we can support: –
AN OPPRESSOR MUST NOT BE ASSISTED
Helping an oppressor is from the gravest of disasters (scholars have listed it amongst 70 Major sins); people should not imitate an oppressor and must prevent him and make him realise the wrong that he is doing; if people assist the oppressor then they will be committing a Major sin.
Some people support a transgressor because he is a relative or a fellow tribe member, but the Prophet ﷺ warned against such oppressive behavior. And some people support the oppressor for their own wellbeing, but remember O Muslims, the oppressor will come back at you this has been proven time and again in history that the one who supported oppression also faced disgrace in future. What is worse than committing a Major sin by oppressing fellow Muslims and then also living a disgraceful life.
May Allah keep us away us from assisting any oppression and give us the hidayah and strength to stand up against it.
Beware of Rumours
Undoubtedly at times of tribulation there is a lot of propaganda and excitement, hence the role of rumours.
It is well known that verifying news is required according to sharee’ah, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“O you who believe! If a Faasiq (liar — evil person) comes to you with any news, verify it, lest you should harm people in ignorance, and afterwards you become regretful for what you have done” [al-Hujuraat 49:6]
The Messenger of Allaah ﷺ said:
Al-Nawawi said: Usually a person hears truth and lies, so if he speaks of everything that he hears, he is lying by telling of things that did not happen, and lying by speaking of something other than the way it happened; and he does not have to do that deliberately (in order to be regarded as telling lies).
History shows us the danger of rumours when they spread among the ummah. There follow some examples of that:
SO WHAT IS THE PROPER SHAR’I METHOD OF DEALING WITH NEWS?
1 – DELIBERATION
The one who deliberates may meet some of his needs whilst the one who is hasty may slip. The Prophet ﷺ said: “Deliberation is from Allaah and haste is from the Shaytaan.” Al-Silsilah al-Saheehah, 1795.
2 – VERIFYING NEWS
Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “O you who believe! If a Faasiq (liar — evil person) comes to you with any news, verify it, lest you should harm people in ignorance, and afterwards you become regretful for what you have done” [al-Hujuraat 49:6]
The reason why this verse was revealed:
The Prophet ﷺ sent al-Waleed ibn ‘Uqbah ibn Abi Mu’eet to Banu al-Mustaliq, to collect the zakaah from them. When news of that reached them they rejoiced, and they came out to meet the Messenger of Allaah ﷺ. When al-Waleed heard that they had come out to meet him, he went back to the Messenger of Allaah ﷺ and said, “O Messenger of Allaah, Banu al-Mustaliq have withheld the zakaah.”
The Messenger of Allaah ﷺ became very angry at that, and whilst he was thinking of launching a campaign against them, the delegation came to him and said, “O Messenger of Allaah, we were told that your envoy returned after coming only half way, and we were afraid that he came back because he received a message from you saying that you were angry with us. We seek refuge with Allaah from the anger of Allaah and the anger of His Messenger.”
Then Allaah excused them in His Book and revealed the ayah stated above [al-Hujuraat 49:6].
Al-Hasan al-Basri said: “The believer reserves judgement until the matter is proven.”
To reiterate, we advise everyone to verify matters and not to rush to pass on news until they are sure that it is true, even if the news is good news. To verify is to make the effort to find out the truth of the matter, so as to establish whether this can be proven or not.
The key points to take from the advices and stories are that at the time of Fitnah, are that we should: –
Some Duas mentioned in Hadeeths to recite upon encountering an enemy or those of authority
اللّهُـمَّ إِنا نَجْـعَلُكَ في نُحـورِهِـم، وَنَعـوذُ بِكَ مِنْ شُرورِهـمْ .
Allahumma inna najAAaluka fee nuhoorihim wanaAAoothu bika min shuroorihim.
‘O Allah, we place You before them and we take refuge in You from their evil.’
اللّهُـمَّ أَنْتَ عَضُـدي، وَأَنْتَ نَصـيري، بِكَ أَجـولُ وَبِكَ أَصـولُ وَبِكَ أُقـاتِل .
Allahumma anta AAadudee, wa-anta naseeree, bika ajoolu wabika asoolu wabika oqatil.
‘O Allah, You are my supporter and You are my helper, by You I move and by You I attack and by You I battle.’
حَسْبُـنا اللهُ وَنِعْـمَ الوَكـيل.
‘Allah is sufficient for us, and how fine a trustee (He is).’
اللَّهُمَّ مُنْزِلَ الْكِتَاب, سَرِيعَ الْحِسَاب, اللَّهُمَّ اهْزِمْهُمْ وَ زَلْزِلْهُم
Allâhumma ! Munzila-l-kitâbi, sarîca-l-hisâbi ! Ihzimi-l-ahzâba. Allâhumma hzimhum wa zalzilhum.
“O Allah, the Revealer of the Holy Book, and the One swift at reckoning! Defeat the confederates; Defeat them and shake them.”