The State of the Ummah
Sheikh Saleem al-Hilaalee
A FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLE:
We should know that the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) was sent by Allah to the whole of mankind, to explain and to make dear to them all that which is good and brings one closer to Allah; and also to explain to them all that is evil and would distance a person from Allah. The reason for this being, that life with all its variety, colors and manifestations is built upon two important matters: Firstly: Knowing the good, in order to follow it. Secondly: Knowing the evil, in order to keep away from it.
So for example, the matter of the Tawheed of Allah (to single out Allah alone for worship) it is built upon eemaan (faith) in Allah and the rejection of kufr (disbelief)  and Shirk  and taaghoot.  Faith (eemaan) in Allah is good, whilst belief in at-taaghoot is evil. Thus, it is a must to learn that which is good, in order to follow it, whilst also knowing that which is evil in order to stay away from it. Likewise, in the matter of dawah (calling) to Allah, which is built upon commanding the good (maroof) and forbidding the evil (munkar). To command maroof is good and is to be followed, whilst munkar is evil and is to be shunned. Likewise, in ittibaa (following) of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam), which is built upon following his Sunnah and turning away from bida (innovations). The Sunnah is good and is to be followed, whilst bida is evil and is to be shunned.
EVENTS TO BEFALL THIS UMMAH:
The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) informed us of events that will befall this Ummah, some of these narrations speak of good for this Ummah indicating also that the future, power and honor is for the Muslims; and that they will be established in the land. Other narrations warn us against those evil matters, that which would distance us from Allah - the Most High and make us weak in front of the nations. We will discuss some of those narrations, which mention the two types of weaknesses.
THE FIRST TYPE OF WEAKNESS EXPLAINED:
The first of these narrations is that of Thawbaan (radiyallaahu anhu), the freed slave of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam). He related that the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said, The nations are about to call each other and set upon you, just as the diners set upon food. It was said, Will it be because of our small number that day? He said, Rather, on that day you will be many, but you will be like foam, like the foam on the ocean. And Allah will remove the fear of you from the hearts of your enemies and will throw wahn (weakness) into your hearts. Someone said, O Messenger of Allah! What is wahn? He said, Love of the world and hatred for death. 
This hadeeth explains the first form of weakness, which has befallen the Ummah in all corners of the world, as being a result of inclination to this world, love of it, and being pre-occupied with it, whilst turning away from the Hereafter, being distant from it and hatred for death. Hatred for death is a sign of loving this world, since the one who loves this world, hates death. Whereas the one who loves the Hereafter, loves death. Since, with death, comes the meeting with Allah the Most Perfect.
SOME BENEFITS FROM THIS HADEETH:
From the hadeeth we can conclude the following: [i] that the disbelievers attentively observe the Muslim Ummah and study their condition. When they see a weakness, they strike at it, and when they see a barrier, they destroy it. When they see that the Ummah cannot defend itself, they do not show mercy, since these are the enemies of Allah. So they hate the Muslims because they (the Muslims) call to the worship and obedience of Allah. [ii] The Muslim lands possess many riches, being sources of goods and blessings. This is why the enemies of Allah desire these lands and try to conquer them. [iii] The Ummah has reached a level where it cannot defend its honor, riches, nor wealth from its conquering enemies. [iv] The disbelievers have divided the conquered lands of the Muslims between themselves, just like the diners when gathered around their dish what do they do? Each of them takes their portion until he is full; and he will not be content with that which is in the plate, except with that which tills. The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) warned us about this fact - the cutting up of the Muslim lands, for he said, You will form different armies, an army in Shaam (greater Syria), an army in Iraaq and an army in Yemen. I asked, Which one shall I be with O Messenger of Allah? He said, I advise you with the army of Shaam and whoever refuses, then let him join Yemen and beware. For indeed Allah the Mighty and Majestic has guaranteed Shaam and its people for me. 
[v] That the disbelievers do not fear the Muslims. At the time of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam), when the disbelievers heard that the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) was preparing to engage them in battle, they would become fearful and turn on their heels. This is what happened at the battle of Tabook. At this battle, the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) traveled a months journey to fight the Romans; when they heard of the approach of the Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam), they fled. So the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said, I have been given five things which no one else before me has been given. I have been aided with fear a distance of one months travelling...  Allaah the Most High states,
Soon We shall cast fear into the hearts of the disbelievers for that they made Shirk, for which He had sent no authority. [Soorah Aali-Imraan 3:151]
Indeed, fear is a weapon, which Allaah plants in the hearts of His enemies. This is why the strength of the Muslims is not in their great number, weapons or wealth, but it is in their aqeedah (belief) and their adhering to it. For today there are plenty of Muslims, but they are like foam, like foam carried by the waves. And their riches are many, but they cannot be of benefit to them. Rather, it has become the possession of their enemies. For example, the Muslims today approximate over one billion, and they grow day by day. However, at the same time, they are the weakest of nations in every country that they are in, being persecuted. Why? It is because they have become like foam, like foam upon the waves. Also, the lands of the Muslims possess many riches and minerals, but where does it all end up? It ends up with the disbelievers in Europe or America, or it goes to the Jews in Palestine. The Muslim oil constitutes approximately one third of the worlds reserves, but the Muslims are the poorest of people. Why? It is because they do not possess anything from their Religion, except a name. So they call to it, but all of their riches now belong to their enemies.
THE SECOND TYPE OF WEAKNESS:
The second type of weakness, which illustrates the condition of the Muslims today, is their being far from the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam), being far away from the correct manhaj (methodology), in a state of innovation. The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) has informed us of this in the hadeeth of Hudhayfah (radiyallaahu anhu), in which he said, The people used to ask the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) about the good and I used to ask him about the evil, for fear that it would reach me. So I asked, O Messenger of Allaah, we were living in ignorance and evil, then Allaah brought this good to us. So will there be any evil after this good? He replied, Yes. I then asked, Will there be any good after this evil? He replied, Yes, but it will be tainted. So I asked, What will be its taint? He replied, A people who guide others to other than my way, you will approve of some of their actions and disapprove of others. I further inquired, Then is there any evil after that good? He said, Yes, callers at the gates of Hell whosoever responds to their call, they will throw them into the Fire. I then said, O Messenger of Allaah, describe them to us. He said, They will be from our people and speak our language. I asked, So what do you order me to do if I reach that? he said, Stick to the Jamaaah (united body) of the Muslims and their leader. I further asked, What if they have neither a Jamaaah, nor a leader? He said, Then keep away from all of those sects; even if you have to bite upon the roots of a tree, until death reaches you whilst you are in that state. 
A BRIEF EXPLANATION:
You will approve of some of their actions and disapprove of others. Meaning, you will accept the Sunnah from them and reject the bidah (innovation) from them. Yes, callers at the gates of Hell. Meaning, callers inviting to the various deviated schools of thought, which will lead their followers to Hellfire. ...whosoever responds to their call, they will throw him into the Fire. Meaning, whosoever obeys the callers of innovation and misguidance, then his end will be the Fire, because the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) has said, Every innovation is misguidance, and every misguidance is in the Fire.  So the innovation is in the Fire, along with its companion. Whosoever obeys the callers to innovation will be led to the Fire and whomsoever obeys the callers of Sunnah will be led to Paradise. Stick to the Jamaaah of the Muslims and their leader. Meaning, stick to the Islaamic empire if they have one. So you migrate to it and live amongst the Muslims and do not remain in the lands of the disbelievers. And you give the bayah (oath of allegiance) to the leader of the Muslims, if they have one.
I asked, What if they neither have a Jamaaah, nor a leader? Meaning, like today. Then keep away from all of those sects. Meaning, keep away from the callers to misguidance and innovation, neither being of them, nor aiding and supporting them. ...even if you have to bite upon the roots of a tree. Meaning, adhere to the Sunnah and cling to its foundations. The meaning of this is not to remain in your house and abandon calling to Allaah, nor abandon ordering the good and prohibiting the evil, since the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) has said, Hold fast to my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the Rightly Guided Caliphs after me, bite onto it with your molar teeth.  And here, in this hadeeth, he has ordered to bite onto the roots of a tree. So the roots of a tree, here, means the Sunnah. ...until death reaches you whilst you are in that state. Meaning, to die in a state of Islaam, as in the statement of Allaah,
And do not die, except as Muslims. [Soorah Aali-Imraan 3:102]
STRIKING A BALANCE:
The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) explained in many other ahaadeeth that clinging to this world, loving it whilst neglecting the Hereafter and giving a greater share to worldly matters at the expense of the Hereafter is also from the causes of weakness amongst the Muslims. These narrations do not mean that a Muslim should ignore this world and not work for it, and become dependant upon others. Rather, he should work in order to attain his sustenance and support himself, so that he is not in need of others.
Indeed, the words, aakhirah (the Hereafter) and dunyaa (the world) appear in the Quraan an equal number of times. This is an indication that a Muslim should maintain a balance between this world and the Hereafter. So he performs righteous deeds and seeks the pleasure of Allaah; and he works in this world within the limits of the Shareeah to obtain a lawful sustenance, in order to provide for himself and have no need to beg. However, if the balance is not kept, corruption appears. For example, if the Ummah inclines more towards worldly matter forgetting the Hereafter and the meeting with Allaah it is overcome with weakness and humiliation. If, however, the tendency is in the opposite direction, the Ummah forgets this world and then becomes in need of the people, extending its hand towards them submissively. Rather, the Muslim should be distinguished, strong and honourable, as Allaah says in the Quraan,
And to Allaah belongs all honour and to His Prophet and to the Believers. [Sooratul-Munaafiqoon 63:8]
So the Muslim is obligated to maintain this balance. Therefore, one should be sincere in ones actions, intending with them the Face of Allaah and His good pleasure. However, rivalry for this world and love for it weakens the Muslims and debases them.
RIVALRY FOR THIS WORLD:
Amr Ibn Awf al-Ansaaree (radiyallaahu anhu) related that the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) sent Aboo Ubaydah Ibnul-Jarraah one of the trustworthy ones of this Ummah to Bahrain to bring back its jizyah (tax for non-Muslims in an Islaamic state). The Prophet had made a treaty with the people of Bahrain and had appointed over them al-Alaa Ibn Hadramee. Aboo Ubaydah then returned with the money. The Ansaar came to hear of his arrival and went to pray a-Fajr with the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam). When the Prophet had finished the Prayer, he got up and left, so the Ansaar approached him. He smiled and remarked, I think you all have heard that Aboo Ubaydah has returned with something. They replied, Indeed, O Messenger of Allaah. He said, Then be happy and hope for that which pleases you, for by Allaah, I do not fear poverty for you. Rather, I fear that this world will be opened up for you, just as it was for those before you. So you will compete with one another for it, as they competed for it; and it will destroy you as it destroyed them. 
Another hadeeth which shows that love of this world is a reason for ruin, is the hadeeth of Abdullaah Ibn Umar in which he said, The Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said, O Muhaajiroon (emigrants)! You may be afflicted by five things; Allaah forbid that you should live to see them. [i] If fornication and adultery become widespread, then you should realize that this has never happened without new diseases befalling the people which their forefathers never suffered. [ii] If people should begin to cheat in weighing out goods, you should realize that this has never happened without drought and famine befalling the people, and their rulers oppressing them. [iii] If people should withhold the zakaat (alms), you should realize that this has never happened without the rain being stopped from falling; and were it not for the sake of the animals, it would never rain again. [iv] If people should break their covenant with Allaah and His Messenger, you should realize that this has never happened without Allaah sending an army against them to take some of their possessions by force. [v] If the leaders do not rule according to the Book of Allaah, you should realize that this has never happened without Allaah making them into groups and making them fight one another. 
A BRIEF EXPLANATION:
If fornication and adultery become widespread, then you should realize that this has never happened without new diseases befalling the people which their forefathers never suffered. Meaning, if faahishah (evil actions and sexual iniquity) appears in the Ummah and fornication and adultery increases, then it will be accompanied by many strange diseases, not known or experienced by those before, like AIDS and Syphilis. These are diseases which now cause so much fear in western societies like Europe and America. Since this faahishah has become widespread in these communities to a well-known degree. Rather, it is considered a sign of the progression. How can this be a sign of advancement, when the animals in the jungle are ashamed to commit what they do and the bare people in Africa and its forests feel too embarrassed? If nakedness was an evidence of progression, then the naked peoples of the African jungles would be the most advanced!
If people should begin to cheat in weighing out goods... Giving short measure is now a common thing, and it is something unlawful. Allaah destroyed a nation the people of Shuayb (alayhis-salaam) because of this, as they did not show mercy to themselves, nor to others. So how can Allaah show mercy to them? The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said, Show mercy to one who is upon the earth, and the One above the sky will show mercy to you. 
If people should withhold the zakaat (alms), you should realize that this has never happened without the rain being stopped from falling; and were it not for the sake of the animals, it would never rain again. Meaning, if it rains, then it is not because of them, or because they deserve it. Rather, it is because of the animals, as a mercy for them. If people should break their covenant with Allaah and His Messenger, you should realize that this has never happened without Allaah sending an army against them to take some of their possessions by force. For example, when the Muslims neglected obedience to Allaah, He gave the Jews the power and they took over Palestine, and when they were negligent about that which they were reminded of, Allaah established the Christians over them and they took Spain. And when they were negligent yet again, Allaah put the Christians in control in Bosnia. If the leaders do not rule according to the Book of Allaah... Meaning, when they no longer implement the Laws of Allaah, the Muslims will then fight and kill each other like what occurs in border disputes and so on.
THE INITIAL STRANGENESS:
Amongst the ahaadeeth which also highlight the second form of weakness that is, deviating from the guidance of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) is the hadeeth, Islaam started as something strange, and it will return to being a stranger in the same way it started. So Toobaa (a tree in Paradise) is for the Strangers. 
Initially, Islaam was strange and weak in Makkah; the disbelievers did not know of it. Then people began believing in Islaam and entered into it in great numbers. It then spread, grew stronger and was no longer strange. Now, after its strength and spread, it has returned once again as a stranger as it first began. How can this be when the Muslims are great in number and their lands are plenty? It is because the Muslims no longer understand the Religion they are far from Islaam, implementing other than the Sunnah of the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam), committing innovations in worship, whilst they think they are following Islaam. So the correct Islaam, the correct Sunnah, becomes far away from their lives like a stranger amongst the people, they have no knowledge of it.
How do we understand these ahaadeeth which point out these weaknessess? Do we merely accept them and remain weak, dependant upon the West and remain far from our Religion? The Prophet did not intend these things for us, for he explained these things in order for us to flee from them, like a parent who says to his child, Do not go up this road, as there is a wild animal awaiting to eat you if you do! So this is a warning from the parent to the child not to take the path. So: Firstly: When the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) informed us of these events, which are not from him, but from Allaah, since he does not speak of his own desires but it is revelation inspired to him it is understood to be a prohibition of taking the path that leads to that.
Secondly: We have to work hard to repel these weaknessess; to fight them, reject them and not to be pleased with them. Since it is an evil which has to be rejected. Thirdly: We have to acquire knowledge of the Quraan and the Sunnah upon the understanding of the Salafus-Saalih in order to comprehend our state of affairs. However, if we rely upon newspapers, magazines and the radio, then these media resources belong to the disbelievers, the West. Will they be truthful in their narrations and in their solutions? Do they really want good for the Muslims? Indeed, they do not spread except that which weakens the Muslims and makes them believe in the West. Thus, we must become people who have understanding of the Book and the Sunnah to know exactly what our enemies want from us, and Allaah has indeed informed us,
Never will the Jews and the Christians be satisfied with you, until you follow their way. [Sooratul-Baqarah 2:120] 
 From a lecture delivered at the Quraan and Sunnah Society conference in America 1993CE.
 Shirk: Associating partners with Allaah in those matters that are particular to Allaah.
 Kufr: Disbelief, denial, rejection.
 Taaghoot: All that is worshipped other than, or along with Allaah.
 Saheeh: Related by Aboo Daawood (no. 4297), Ibn Asaakir in Taareekh Dimashq (2/97/8) and others. It was authenticated by Shaykh al-Albaanee in Silsilatul-Ahaadeethus-Saheehah (no. 958).
 Saheeh: Related by Ahmad (5/33), Aboo Daawood (1/388), al-Haakim (4/510), from Abdullaah Ibn Hawaalah (radiyallaahu anhu). Shaykh al-Albaanee authenticated it in Takhreej Fadaailush-Shaam (no. 2).
 Related by al-Bukhaaree (1/436) and Muslim (5/3-4) from Jaabir Ibn Abdullaah (radiyallaahu anhu).
 Related by al-Bukhaaree (no. 7084) and Muslim (no. 1847)
 Related by al-Bukhaaree (no. 7084) and Muslim (no. 1847)
 Saheeh: Related by Aboo Daawood (no. 4606) and others. It was authenticated by al-Haafidh Ibn Hajar in Takhreej Ahaadeeth Mukhtasar Ibnul-Haajib (1/137).
 Related by al-Bukhaaree and Muslim
 Hasan: Related by Ibn Maajah (no. 4019) and Aboo Nuaym in Hilyatul-Awliyaa (8/333-334), from Abdullaah Ibn Umar (radiyallaahu anhumaa). It was authenticated by Shaykh al-Albaanee in Silsilatul-Ahaadeethus-Saheehah (no. 106).
 Saheeh: Related by Aboo Daawood (no. 4941), at-Tirmidhee (1/350) and others, From Abdullaah Ibn Amr (radiyallaahu anhu). And al-Haafidh al-Iraaqee authenticated it in al-Ishaariyaat (1/59).
 Related by Muslim (2/175-176) and Ibn Maajah (2/320), from Aboo Hurayrah (radiyallaahu anhu).
 Abud-Dardaa radiyallaahu anhu said, My friend (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) advised me, Do not commit Shirk with Allaah, even if you are cut into pieces and burnt. Do not intentionally abandon the Prayer. Since whosoever has intentionally abandoned the Prayer, then he has removed himself from the protection of Allaah. And to not take intoxicants, since it is the key to every sinful action. Saheeh: Related by Ibn Maajah (no. 4034), and it was authenticated by al-Haafidh Ibn Hajar in at-Talkheesul-Habeer (2/148).
Home - Quran & Hadith Charity - Family & Health Islam Miscellaneous Matrimonials
Human Rights - Women Newscenter Boycott Chechnya Palestine - Links