On Egypt and other Recent Fitan – Remember the Wise Ones

Lately, I saw people on social media, including our beloved shuyukh and du’aat doing the noble jobs of raising awareness of the current situation in Egypt and encouraging people to make du’a. That motivated me to do my research and find out what’s going on. I’m very limited in my knowledge of politics and even more limited in my knowledge of how Islam and politics are related, but I do know this much: The only knowledge you need in order to make du’a for the oppressed is this: Allah hates oppression and when innocent people are dying, raising your voice in their favor does not make you a kafir or a deviant or a sectarian or [insert any other degrading title here].

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Also, in times like these, everyone wants to say something, argue with someone and blame the shuyukh for both “standing up” or “staying silent.” The reaction is that the accused then also turn harsh in their words, but remember that they are only human.

Let us reflect on what ‘Abdullah ibn Mutarrif (Rahimahullah) did in times of fitnah. He was a Tabi’i who was known as the “Wise Worshipper.” He witnessed some of the greatest fitan of his time, including:

1-The murder of ‘Uthman (R).
2-The conflict that occurred between the Sahabah in the time of ‘Ali (R).
3-The murder of Al-Husayn and the dissension among the Muslims.
4-The political changes that occurred when the Khilafah came into the hands of the Ummayyads, and seeing the Khilafah pass on from Mu’awiyah (R) to his sons.
5-Al-Hajjaj’s oppressive regime and the evil it caused.

One of the greatest things that made ‘Abdullah ibn Mutarrif so noble were his rationality, wisdom and neutrality in times of fitan. Instead of being driven by zeal and passion, he used to say: “By Allah, I would rather by asked by Allah, “Why did you not kill so-and-so?” than to be asked by Him, “Why did you kill so-and-so?”“ 

He was not interested in passing judgments on either side involved in the fitnah or following up with its advances; instead, he was known to be occupied in the worship of Allah during those times.

Lessons to learn from his life:

-Remain neutral in conflict.
-Make du’a during difficulty to get closer to Allah.
-Refrain from gossip.
-Don’t judge someone from when they were in fitnah; remember their goodness & good deeds.
-Stand up to the truth no matter who your opponent is.

The points above are taken from my Torch Bearers class notes, but there are more examples of wise individuals from whom we can learn.

We also know from history that Sa’id ibn Jubayr (Rahimahullah), one of the greatest scholars of his time, went into hiding during Al-Hajjaj’s oppressive regime and remained in this way until he was finally caught later on. We like to talk about courage but courage is not always in chasing after fitnah. After trying his best to stay away from Al-Hajjaj, when Sa’id ibn Jubayr was finally caught did he use his courage to defy the tyrant and became a martyr.

Diving into the face of fitnah is not a generally wise decision; leave it to those more knowledgeable and worship Allah. The deaths of others should only remind us of our own deaths. It should make us re-affirm our faith in the Justice of Allah and make us prepare for the Day of Judgment.

It’s time to apply what we learned.

May Allah grant us all the correct understanding and allow us to remain united as one body in these difficult times. May Allah have mercy on those who stood up to injustice and on those who tried their best to save themselves from it. May Allah answer the du’as of the oppressed and save us from oppressing anyone, be it our own souls. Ameen.

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