Protecting Oneself From Fitna

Bismillah. After almost–what was it, four months?–I’m continuing the Akhirah series. Wow… I’m probably the worse blogger of all time. Well, that’s what happens when you’re a mother, I guess.

We last discussed the minor sign of the day of judgment of trials and tribulations. Instead of going to the next sign, we’ll first briefly discuss how to protect yourself from trials and tribulations, or fitna.

Stick with the Herd

Hudhayfah used to ask the Messenger (peace be upon him) a great deal about tribulations so that he would not fall prey to them. In Bukhari, it is narrated that Hudhayfah said:

The people used to ask Allah’s Apostle about good, but I used to ask him about evil for fear that it  might overtake me. Once I said, “O Allah’s Apostle! We were in ignorance and in evil and Allah has  bestowed upon us the present good; will there by any evil after this good?” He said, “Yes.” I asked,  “Will there be good after that evil?” He said, “Yes, but it would be tained with Dakhan (i.e. Little  evil).” I asked, “What will its Dakhan be?” He said, “There will be some people who will lead  (people) according to principles other than my tradition. You will see their actions and disapprove of  them.” I said, “Will there by any evil after that good?” He said, “Yes, there will be some people who  will invite others to the doors of Hell, and whoever accepts their invitation to it will be thrown in it  (by them).” I said, “O Allah’s Apostle! Describe those people to us.” He said, “They will belong to us  and speak our language” I asked, “What do you order me to do if such a thing should take place in my  life?”

He said, “Adhere to the group of Muslims and their Chief.” I asked, “If there is neither a group  (of Muslims) nor a chief (what shall I do)?” He said, “Keep away from all those different sects, even if  you had to bite (i.e. eat) the root of a tree, till you meet Allah while you are still in that state.”

The Prophet said, “Whoever notices something which he dislikes done by his ruler, then he should be  patient, for whoever becomes separate from the company of the Muslims even for a span and then  dies, he will die as those who died in the Pre-lslamic period of Ignorance (as rebellious sinners). (Bukhari)

Even the Companions had disagreements, but when it came down to it, they always followed the ameer (leader).

Brother vs. Brother

It’s even sad that we have to talk about this, but it’s a true reality: Muslims fight. Not just argue, but actually take up arms against each other and fight. What was the Prophet’s advice about this? In a nutshell: stay away from it.

In a hadith in Muslim, Abu Bakrah narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“There would soon be turmoil. Behold! there would be turmoil in which the one who would be seated would be better than one who would stand and the one who would stand would be better than one who would run. Behold! when the turmoil comes or it appears, the one who has camel should stick to his camel and he who has sheep or goat should stick to his sheep and goat and he who has land should stick to the land.”

A person said: “Allah’s Messenger, what is your opinion about one who has neither camel nor sheep nor land?” Thereupon, he said: “He should take hold of his sword and beat its edge with the help of stone and then try to find a way of escape. O Allah, I have conveyed (Thy Message) ; O Allah, I have conveyed (Thy Message) ; O Allah, I have conveyed (Thy Message).”

A person said: “Allah’s Messenger, what is your opinion it I am drawn to a rank in spite of myself, or in one of the groups and made to march and a man strikes with his sword or there comes an arrow and kills me?” Thereupon he said: “He will bear the punishment of his sin and that of yours and he would be one amongst the denizens of Hell.”

The Prophet (peace be upon him) asked us to stay away from such situations to such an extent that even if someone came to kill us, then we should not strike back.

Keep in mind that this is referring to when we don’t know what is the truth and what’s not. If we know who is in the right and who is in the right, then of course we are required to support the truth and oppose falsehood. At-Tabari says: “The root meaning of fitnah is trial or test. Denouncing evil is obligaotry upon the one who is able to do so. Whoever supports the one who is in the right has done the right thing, and whoever supports the one who is in the wrong has erred. If the matter is not clear, then this is the situation in which the command to not fight applies.”

wAllahu ‘Alam. And we’ll end it here inshaAllah. I had actually researched a lot more on this, but lost the paper with all of my citations and work on it 😦

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