Imām al-Dhahabi (rahimahullāh) in his magnificent Siyar A‘lām al-Nubalā’, makes an interesting statement in his biography of the genius heretic Abu’l-Hasan al-Rīwandīyy (d.298h), who first became a Rationalist and then fell into even worse heretical kufr. After collecting a number of statements and evidences about al-Rīwandīyy and establishing that he was from the most intelligent and clever of scholars, al-Balkhi is quoted as saying, “(al-Rīwandīyy) had more knowledge than sense.”
It is then that Imām al-Dhahabi concludes his biography of al-Rīwandīyy by saying, “Allah curses the intelligence that has no īmān and is happy with the dimness that has taqwā.” (Al-Siyar, 14/62)
Ya‘ni, it doesn’t matter how big a genius you are and how intelligent you may be, if that intelligence takes you out of the boundaries set by our divine texts, then you lose your faith as a result. Intelligence without īmān leads to nothing but the Fire. The refusal to submit one’s personal ideas, desires and intellect to the divine text of the Kitāb and Sunnah – however tempting that may be, or however much sense it makes to you or not – is diametrically opposed to the essence of that submission to our Lord that our religion has been named upon: Islam.
I find it fascinating that the most correct translation of “Islam” which is “submission” is mostly ignored by such pseudo-intellectuals, “academics” and “reformers”. No, it’s far more in vogue for them to stick to the “Islam only means peace, as taken from salām” higgledy-piggledy. It reeks of desperation, using legitimate Arabic grammatical relationships to create something for their own interests – a true kalimatu haqq, yurādu bihā bātil of our times.
It’s no point these pseudo-intellectuals reaching a stage like this and then telling all their detractors that they are extreme deviants devoid of peace, humanity and mercy. “God is merciful” yes, but to folks who rebel against his Text? The word “la‘n” or curse, prevents one from receiving that mercy. Imām al-Dhahabi chose his words very carefully, realising that once you take that path when you start to interpret texts and the religion according to your own standards, you lose that divine right to the mercy of the Ākhirah. If only such heretics would choose their words as carefully as al-Dhahabi did.
And likewise, even though Islam the religion of knowledge, discovery, insight and depth is so against ignorance, backwardness and dimness, it is infinitely better to be in such a state of denseness and insipience whilst still having taqwā and thus being conscious of Allah jalla wa ‘alā at every word in your sentence, and keeping within His limits and holding one’s desires back, than to be seen as the intelligent genius reformer that lets his intellect become his own god. Glad tidings to our old women who live and practice simple pure lives of tawhīd and ‘ibādah and nothing else!
It’s terrifying to think about this. I’m more scared for myself than anyone else. No-one is safe in our time from falling into the trap of intellectual arrogance, becoming bored with the Muslims and their sometimes admittedly depressing levels of insight, inspiration and deep thinking, especially whilst giving da‘wah in the West as we all do in such an unregulated and free fashion. This goes even more so if you’re surrounded by non-Muslims all the time pushing your thinking in all directions, removing your inhibitions, and applies even more so for those who work and study in specific difficult fields of science, or theology, or studying and/or teaching in Western universities and “Islamic” departments. The pressure to speak out, the pressure to respond to the media, to friends and colleagues, to innocent people wanting to understand difficult divine-in-origin concepts with their liberal secular humanist mind-set – is forcing all of us to make dangerous, rash and perhaps heretical statements.
No-one is saying it is easy to avoid this fitnah. But first of all we must see it is a fitnah. If not only your eyes are blind but your heart becomes blind to light and guidance, then how will you ever see? If you keep lying to yourself and believe that your allegiance and loyalty to those around you is greater than your allegiance to your Lord, well, then promoting the unity of religions, dismissing the obligation of hijāb, dismissing the consensus of the Muslims on theological points, imposing deviant theories upon divinely-protected figures and concepts, denying the perversion that is homosexuality, and so much more, all becomes second nature. The Qur’ān then doesn’t become the Salvation as it should be for such a deviant self-harmer. Instead, “as for those who oppress themselves, it only increases their loss.” (al-Isrā’, 82)
Hence amongst so many other causing factors that need to be addressed separately, is the importance of what I stated a few days back about keeping yourself in touch and checking in every day or week with those who are senior to you, not affected like you are, not under the same pressures as you are, free from the challenges you face daily, free from bias towards supporting you or supporting the ideology around you. All of this is just to keep one’s mind safe and stable – not dead and dull – just…within the limits.
No-one is safe. Many have fallen and are falling. From the Tarek Fatehs to the Taj Hargeys. From the Majid Nawazes to the Amina Waduds. From the Inayat Bungalawalas to the Usama Hasans. Even some of our close and loved speakers and du‘āt amongst us are struggling, are showing the signs, are on the edge. Seriously. We can but advise, make du‘ā and then sit and wait hoping that it starts and dies privately and doesn’t affect the public realm. Some of the above are playing with fire. Some of them are on the edge of the Fire. And others – if they die upon what they believe and promote at the moment, and do not repent and return back to the way of the Sunnah and the general masses of the Muslims – will be in that Fire.
May Allah protect our public figures especially, and protect us all. It’s ideological warfare out there on the Western Front and we’re on that front line. Ya Allah, make us die upon the religion of the old women. Ameen.
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