If there is a phrase that can describe the world today, it has to be "Competing in Sin!"
Many Muslim governments, groups and individuals have taken an un-Islamic path and are trying to do what non-Muslim governments, groups and individuals are doing. It is a competition in sin and Muslims are losing. About fourteen hundred years ago, one of the most beloved person of the Muslim ummah, Umar bin Abdul Aziz wrote a letter to a military commander and said:
Sin is even more dangerous than the ruses/tricks of the enemy. Amirul-Momineen bids upon Mansur that instead of taking fright of his enemy, he should fear transgressing the limits of Allah T’ala. We overcome our enemies in the battlefield only because of their vices and sins, for, had it not been so, we would not have had the courage to face them. We can not deploy troops in the same numbers as our enemies can do, nor do we possess the equipments they have got. Thus, if we equate ourselves with our enemies in misdeeds and transgressions, they would undoubtedly gain a victory over us by virtue of their numerical superiority and strength.
Competing in Sin!
- Surah Al-Teen
- Comments on asfala safeleen
- A careful analysis of Current world crises and the state of the Muslim Ummah is needed.
- One of the letters of Umar bin Abdul Aziz to his military commander may give us an understanding.
- The sentences from the letter again
- Ayah on unjust killing
سورة التين - سورة 95
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
1. وَالتِّينِ وَالزَّيْتُونِ
2. وَطُورِ سِينِينَ
3. وَهَذَا الْبَلَدِ الْأَمِينِ
4. لَقَدْ خَلَقْنَا الْإِنسَانَ فِي أَحْسَنِ تَقْوِيمٍ
5. ثُمَّ رَدَدْنَاهُ أَسْفَلَ سَافِلِينَ
6. إِلَّا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ فَلَهُمْ أَجْرٌ غَيْرُ مَمْنُونٍ
7. فَمَا يُكَذِّبُكَ بَعْدُ بِالدِّينِ
8. أَلَيْسَ اللَّهُ بِأَحْكَمِ الْحَاكِمِينَ
THE FIG, THE FIGTREE, CHAPTER NO. 095
With the Name of Allah, the Merciful Benefactor, The Merciful Redeemer
095.001 By the Fig and the Olive,
095.002 And the Mount of Sinai,
095.003 And this City (Makkah) of security,-
095.004 We have indeed created man in the best of moulds,
095.005 Then do We abase him (to be) the lowest of the low,-
095.006 Except such as believe and do righteous deeds: For they shall have a reward unfailing.
095.007 Then what can, after this, contradict thee, as to the judgment (to come)?
095.008 Is not Allah the wisest of judges?
This Surah tells us, among other things, that if a person does not have the true faith (Eiman) and is not striving for righteous deeds (amal-us-saleh), using The Holy Quran and Sunnah as The Guidance, then even though every person is created by the best of moulds, that person becomes the lowest of the low! Asfala Safileen.
Islam is taken as a complete way of life. Righteous deeds therefore are not limited to prayers, Zakat and fasting.
An African Boy & a Vulture
The world we live in todayis filled with great number of occurrences of brutalities, blood baths and destructions caused by people. So many by Muslims, but so many more by non-Muslims. So if I can give a topic to this article, it is Muslims “Competing in Sin” with non-Muslims.
Our spiritually living hearts are feeling great pain at the sufferings of humanity caused by many governments, deviant groups and individuals. Today, a man may feel safer in a jungle surrounded by wild beasts than in many human societies. Wolves are claiming to be shepherds and they are complaining that the sheep is bad.
Look at the picture below very carefully:
In this 1994 Pulitzer Prize winning photograph, an African boy, nothing but a skeleton, was trying to crawl towards a U.N. Food Shelter, about one kilometer away. Behind his back, a few yards away was a vulture waiting for the boy to die to feast. The vulture did not attack the living boy. It could have. But it has God-given law that it follows. Even the animals have law of God that they obey. Not the man. So many governments, groups and individuals have become worst than the vultures!
Umar bin Abdul Aziz (r.a.)
One way to understand the current world crises is by what Umar bin Abdul Aziz (r.a.) said in a letter he sent to one of his military commanders named Mansur. His words show his deep understanding of the Quran and Sunnah. You will see how it is so applicable today, even though he said so about 1400 years ago.
In his letter, he says that “sin is even more dangerous than the ruses/tricks of the enemy. Amirul-Momineen bids upon Mansur that instead of taking fright of his enemy, he should fear transgressing the limits of Allah T’ala. We overcome our enemies in the battlefield only because of their vices and sins, for, had it not been so, we would not have had the courage to face them. We can not deploy troops in the same numbers as our enemies can do, nor do we possess the equipments they have got.
Thus, if we equate ourselves with our enemies in misdeeds and transgressions, they would undoubtedly gain a victory over us by virtue of their numerical superiority and strength.”
About fourteen hundred years ago, Umar bin Abdul Aziz told us that when we compete in sins, we loose! We loose in the Akhirah and we loose in this world. And certainly, the loss in the Hereafter is far greater than any loss in this world!
To understand this point further, I want to give you a brief on some statistics, especially from the twentieth century. These statistics come from an article, titled, “Christian versus Muslim Violence in History.”
We can look at the start of Christianity and see how millions of Christians were tortured and killed by Christians, but let us just pick a few major events from the history.
The European armies were saying, as they slaughtered Jews and both Christian and Muslim Arabs: “Kill them all, God will know his own.”
Europe's Reformation and Counter Reformation Era
Two thirds of the Christian population of Europe was slaughtered by Christians
The African slave trade
Claimed the lives of 10 million
The Colonial Conquests
Estimates for the number of Native Americans slaughtered by the Europeans in North, Central and South America run as high as 20 million within three generations.
The 20th century's Western Civilization took warfare to new extremes
A conservative estimate puts the total number of brutal deaths in the 20th century at more than 250 million. Of these, Muslims are responsible for less than 10 million deaths. Christians, or those coming from Christian backgrounds account for more than 200 million of these! The greatest death totals come from World War I and World War II. In World War I, about 20 million killed, at least 90% of which were inflicted by “Christians”. In World War II ( 90 million, at least 50% of which were inflicted by “Christians,” the majority of the rest occurring in the Far East).
In the 20th century alone
Western and/or Christian powers have been responsible for at least twenty times more deaths than have Muslim powers in the whole of Islamic history.
In the 20th century, Rawanda, 1994
Witness the slaughter of 900,000 Rwandans in 1994 in a population that was over 90 % Christian
The genocide of over 300,000 Muslims and systematic rape of over 100,000 Muslim women by Christian Serbs
Based on these and other events, the article draws a conclusion:
“The horrible truth is that, numerically and statistically speaking, Christian Civilization is the bloodiest and most violent of all civilizations in all of history, and is responsible for hundreds of millions of deaths. Even so, Muslims will never associate this violence and blood bath with the teachings of Jesus (peace be on him).”
When we look at recent brutal events, we find that Muslims killed Muslims in Iraq-Iran war and Iraq-Kuwait war. Additionally, certain deviant groups of Muslims caused the tragedy of 9/11, hijacked planes, killed innocent civilians, and some of which is still going on.
These are events as if these people and groups are trying to compete in sin!
As a result of some of these evil events, non-Muslim governments and groups have killed several hundred thousand people in places like Afghanistan and Iraq.
As far as unjust killings are concerned, let us remember what the Holy Quran says:
Speaking about the first murder committed by a son of Adam, Allah T’ala says in Surah 5, Ayat 32:
مِنْ أَجْلِ ذَلِكَ كَتَبْنَا عَلَى بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ أَنَّهُ مَن قَتَلَ نَفْسًا بِغَيْرِ نَفْسٍ أَوْ فَسَادٍ فِي الأَرْضِ
فَكَأَنَّمَا قَتَلَ النَّاسَ جَمِيعًا وَمَنْ أَحْيَاهَا فَكَأَنَّمَا أَحْيَا النَّاسَ جَمِيعًا وَلَقَدْ جَاء تْهُمْ رُسُلُنَا
بِالبَيِّنَاتِ ثُمَّ إِنَّ كَثِيرًا مِّنْهُم بَعْدَ ذَلِكَ فِي الأَرْضِ لَمُسْرِفُونَ
5.32. On that account: We ordained for the Children of Israel that if any one slew a person - unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land - it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people. Then although there came to them Our apostles with clear signs, yet, even after that, many of them continued to commit excesses in the land.
This ayah teaches us that ONE unjust killing is one too many!
This commandment applies to the Israelites, to the followers of Jesus (a.s.) and to Muslims.
But who is following it?
Muslims should, even if no one else does.
Islam is a message for the salvation of humanity. It is to save not to destroy people. Islam is not terrorism. It is not for self revenge. It is not hate, it is love. Law of Islam is based on The Holy Quran and Sunnah. It is not what others do. There is a strict code of Law even in wars. [Read at http://www.islam101.com/rights/hrM4.htm ]
Those Muslims who go against the teachings of Prophet Muhammad(s.a.a.w.) and commit crimes against humanity have to face Allah T'ala one day and answer to the Almighty. We all do! There is a Day of Judgment for all mankind! Let us be true followers of Prophet Muhammad (s.a.a.w.). Let us not compete in sins!
Sept. 1, 2006