By Ash-Sheikh Abdur-Rahman bin `Abdul-`Aziz As-Sudais,
Khateeb at Masjid Al-Haram, Makkah on September 10, 2004
From A Sermon Delivered in Makkah
(Taken from al-Asalah Magazine, nos 40&41)
Translated by Mutawakkil Thomson, edited by Abu Khaliyl
The register of history, as abundant as it is, is a truthful witness never found to be absent. Likewise, the clear mirror of time is a just observer never found to disappoint. In the same way, the law of Allah, regarding His universe and His creation, is a trustworthy confident of truth that does not change nor withdraw itself.
The avid reader – familiar with the accomplishments of civilization and the glories of past nations – will find that these things (such accomplishments) came to fruition through idealistic and moral foundations. The person who gives credit for such things to material means, or to tangible technological development, is therefore incorrect.
We, the community of Islam, have an utmost certainty, not at all mixed with doubt or question, that the value of a real life is preserved via a belief that gives order to the souls and a (knowledge based) faith that is implanted in the innermost parts of the hearts, accompanied by righteous actions that elevate the status and “raise the heads.”
(We are certain) that our Islamic creed is the source of honor, the sign of our strength, and the basis of our civilization. That is because it is a revelation from One Most Wise and Praiseworthy.
ألاَ يَعلَمُ مَن خَلَقَ وَهُوَ اللَّطِيفُ الخَبِيرُ
“Should not the one who has created know; and He is the Most Courteous, All Aware.” (Al-Mulk 67:14)
<strong>So humanity – without an authentic creed – and mankind – without a reliable set of laws – digress into a flock of predatory animals and ferocious beasts, the stronger of them pouncing upon the weaker of them, in a life filled with confusion and chaos.
Such was the life of the people in the days of ignorance ( jahiliyah , pre Islamic times) and such they become in the absence of lofty foundations, high values, and transcendent examples.
When the authority of desires takes precedence over the light of guidance, then the path of treachery, despotism, oppression, wrong-doing and wrongful insurrection become prevalent in every time and place.
Verily, the true religion curbs the defiance of the carnal desires, refines the natural whims and impulses, and takes its followers on the path of good, righteousness and honor. It directs to guidance and virtues, taking its people from the ways of crookedness, deviation, and depravity. Indeed, it is a religion that is overflowing with mercy, justice and security, spreading goodness, peace and gentleness.
From its lofty aims, is the preservation of religion, life, wealth, honor and intellect. Imam Al-`Izz `Abdis-Salaam (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
إن الله أرسل الرسل وأنزل الكتب لإقامة مصالح الدنيا والآخرة، ودفع مفاسدهما
“Indeed Allah has sent the messengers and sent down the books for the purpose of establishing the general welfare of this world and the next, and for the purpose of repudiating what opposes such welfare.”
Likewise, it was said by Imam Ash-Shattibi (may Allah have mercy on him):
المعتمد إنما هو أنا استقرأنا من الشريعة أنها وضعت لمصالح العباد،
استقراء لا ينازع فيه أحد
“What is to be considered, is that we have avidly read and concluded – concerning the shari`ah – that it was established for the general welfare of the worshippers. This, being an avidly read conclusion not contested by anyone.”
As so, it was said by Ibn al-Qayyim (may Allah have mercy on him):
إن الله سبحانه أرسل رسله، وأنزل كتبه، ليقوم الناس بالقسط،
ومَنَّ عليهم بهذه الشريعة،
التي مبناها على الحكم، ومصالح العباد، وفي المعاش والمعاد،
وهي عدل كلها، ورحمة كلها، وحكمة كلها،
فكل مسألة خرجت عن ا لعدل إلى الجور،
وعن الرحمة إلى ضدها،وعن المصلحة إلى المفسدة،
وعن الحكمة إ لى العبث، فليست من الشريعة
“Verily Allah has sent His messengers and revealed His books so that people could establish justice. He therefore blessed them with this sharee‘ah whose foundation is based upon wisdom, and the servant’s welfare in this life and the hereafter. So all of it is justice, all of it is mercy, and it is wisdom in its entirety. Therefore, every issue that has changed from justice to oppression, from mercy to its opposite, from the general welfare to what opposes the general welfare, from wisdom to foolishness, it is not then from the shari`ah .”
Indeed Islam is the perpetual religion, remaining in every generation. Allah decreed it to abide, guaranteed its preservation, and made it suitable for all times and places.
It is the religion of truth, justice and peace. It is likewise the religion of love, tolerance and harmony.
Humanity will never acquire any goodness except under the shade of its teachings.
Additionally, there shall be no honor for humanity except through the implementation and establishment of its teachings.
It is indeed the religion of merits, noble deeds and virtues.
It builds the essence of the community, never destroying it, and gathers the strength of its constituents, never neglecting them.
It strives towards construction, toward building, not towards destruction, corruption, and demolition. It came with what would eradicate criminality, uproot evil and corruption, and to drastically remove vehemence and terrorism by its roots.
Among its lofty principles, is bringing about the general welfare, the repudiation of what opposes the general welfare, the removal of harm and hardship, and closing the paths that lead to harm.
Its message is an internationally encompassing one, while its methodology is that of justice, and the middle way.
Its objectives are to establish truth and justice, to erect the pillars of safety and security, purifying souls, refining minds, and cultivating generations that strive towards righteousness and mutual rectification.
All of this is so that individuals and societies may live happily, in their establishments and abodes, gaining benefit and growth.
The religion also innately guaranteed the rights of the human being, honoring him, raising his status and heightening his worth.
It gave preference to him (the human), while the material world drastically lowered his status.
It likewise purified his soul, while superficial characteristics lower him, depressing him towards the lowly depths of beasts.
As such, it balances between the needs of his spirit and body with a unique cohesiveness and an incomparable unification.
In the same way, it has guarded the relationship between the individual and his community, and his relationship with others. (This) in the way of constructive debate, inviting to Allah with wisdom, good exhortation, and arguing with that which is best.
Islam has never halted out of incapability in the face of developments and changes.
On the contrary, it proceeded along with them, while holding on to the foundations, established principles, and integrity.
The like of which includes effective solutions for all problems, and the achievement of the desired happiness for individuals and communities.
During this time, we emphasize these lofty aims and exalted principles; a time in which observers follow various international events and constant new trends of the world with severe anxiety.
It is a time in which the world is raising a cry from a dangerous worldwide phenomenon, a phenomenon that brings with it catastrophies, calamities, alarm, and horror; a phenomenon that deprives the people of sleep and turns abodes into wastelands.
Whatever may be the reason and the motives, it suffices to say that it is the tragedy of the time.
It is none other than that which is known in the world these days as the phenomenon of terrorism .
Indeed this phenomenon has gone beyond the boundaries of time, place, and identity.
As such, it has never been limited, restricted, or individualized, rather, it went beyond that, manifesting in the form of armed criminal organizations and wanton group transgression.
It has likewise planted its ticking bombs and mines throughout the world. Its detestable cells and foolish networks have isolated themselves from having the slightest awareness of the concept of humanity, religious values, and moral behavioral standards.
In that way, it has defied all of the laws that have been sent down from heaven, and (defied) cultures and covenants worldwide.
Now, the catastrophe of catastrophies comes, when it is established that its protagonists are those that wear the cloak of religion and decorate themselves with the uniform of the Muslims. While the true Islam is free from all of that.
Its legal text and its aims and manners of preservation have indeed prohibited killing innocent souls, destroying lives, destruction of properties, transgression against wealth and rights, and spreading mischief in the land.
وَإِذَا َتَولَّى سَعَى فِي الأَرضِ لِيُفسِدَ فِيهَا وَيُهلِكَ الحَرثَ وَالنَسلَ واللهُ لاَ يُحِبُّ الفَسَادَ
“And when he turns away, his effort in the land is to make mischief therein, and to destroy the crops and cattle, and Allah likes not the mischief makers.” (Al-Baqarah 2:205)