التوحيد at-Tawhid

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Fahm'us Salaf

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A REFUTATION OF IMITATING THE POLYTHEISTS, ADH-DHAHABI
« on: 05.06.2015, 11:00:51 AM »
a Refutation of Imitating the Polytheists (Tashabbub al-Khasis bi Ahl'il Khamis fi'r Radd at-Tashabbub bi'l Mushrikin)

Imam adh-Dhahabi (673H-748H)

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

All praise and thanks are due to the One who favoured us with Islam, Who granted us sight after blindness, Who guided us from misguidance and bestowed upon us blessing that allow us to abide by the upright and steadfast religion.

Peace and blessings be upon our master, Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam), who was sent as a mercy to all of the worlds, as an Imam for the pious and God-fearing, as an intercessor for the sinners, as a warner; warning against imitating the Jews, Christians and Sabians, and as a caller to Allah upon firm knowledge with the clearest of proofs. (Peace and blessings be upon him), his family and all of his companions.

It is truly distressing to find the ignorant masses losing much (knowledge and understanding) of what the righteous Salaf were upon comprising their holding firm to the Straight Path, their avoiding innovations and their shunning the distinguishing features of the denizens of Hell. Similarly it is distressing to find the ignorant ones from Khalaf following every sinful, misguided individual. There is no might or movement except with Allah, Most High, the Great!

That which the Noble Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) warned us of has occurred when he said: "You will surely follow the ways of those who came before you, in exactly the same fashion, to the point that were they to enter the hole of a lizard, you too would enter it. It was asked of him, O Rasulullah! Do you mean the Jews and Christians? He replied: Who else?" (Bukhari; Muslim)

Meaning who else could I be referring to?

Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said: "Whoever imitates a people is of them." (Ahmad; Abu Dawud)

Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said: "The Jews are those who have anger upon them and the Christians are those who have strayed." (Tirmidhi; Ahmad; Ibn Hibban; Suyuti, ad-Durr al-Manthur)

Allah has obligated upon you, O Muslim, to supplicate to Him, the Exalted, every single day and night, seventeen times (reciting Surah al-Fatihah in the five obligatory prayers), asking Him for guidance to the Straight Path, the path of those whom He favoured, not the (path) of those who have anger upon them nor the (path) of the misguided.

How can you bring yourself to imitate a people whose description is this, who are but fuel for the fire?

If it was said to you, 'imitate an object of ridicule, a laughing stock', you would surely scorn this and become angry. How is it then that you imitate the uncircumcised worshiper of the cross in his eid (celebration)? How is it that you dress your children with new clothes and inculcate a sense of joy in them? How is that you decorate eggs for them, buy incense (bukhur) and celebrate the festival of your enemy in the same fashion as you would celebrate the eid (legislated by) your Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam)? (Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Ad'ha)

Where would such a practice take you except to the anger of Allah and His displeasure? Provided He does not forgive you that is, and provided that you know that your Prophet, Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) used to encourage differing from the People of the Book in everything that was specific to them.

Consider white hairs about which Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said: "Whoever (lives to see) a single white hair (on him) in Islam, it will be a light for him on the Day of Judgment." (Tirmidhi, an-Nasai)

Yet at the same time he ordered us to dye them another colour, (other than black), in order to differ from them, saying: "Indeed the Jews do not dye their hair, so differ from them." (Bukhari; Muslim, and others)

He obligated us to differ from them in many maters, from those matters that were specific to them such as: "If any of you has two garments then let him pray in them, if he only has a garment then let him tie it firmly like an izar (waist wrapper) and not let it hang off the shoulder as the Jews do." (Abu Dawud; Ahmad)

"Differ from the Jews and pray in your shoes for they do not pray in their shoes or leather socks." (Abu Dawud; al-Hakim; Tabarani; al-Kabir)

"Do you not see that the blue and yellow turbans (amamah) used to be lawful for us to wear previously, but ever since the turn of the eight century when Sultan al-Malik an-Nasir imposed upon (the Jews and Christians) to wear them, they become prohibited for us?

Can you now, O Muslim, bring yourself to wear a yellow or blue turban? You are drowning in the intoxication of negligence and carelessness: "Indeed we found our fore-fathers following a religion." (az-Zukhruf 43/23)

Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said: "Differ from the polytheists..." (Bukhari; Muslim; Bayhaqi); "The difference between our fasting and the fasting of the People of the Book is the partaking of the suhur (pre-dawn meal)." (Muslim; Abu Dawud; Tirmidhi and others)

A group of the Salaf, such as Mujahid explained the saying of Allah, the Exalted: "Those who do not witness falsehood..." (al-Furqan 25/72) to mean witnessing the celebrations of the polytheists.

Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said: "Every nation has their celebration, and indeed our celebration is this day." (Bukhari; Muslim; Nasai)

This saying of his necessitates the constraint of every nation to its own particular celebration. Allah (subhanahu wa ta'ala) says: "To each we have appointed a law and a way." (al-Ma'idah 5/48)

So if the Christians have their specific festival and the Jews have their specific festival, the Muslim cannot join them in celebrating it, in the same way that he cannot join them in following their law or in their direction of prayer.

It is known that from amongst the conditions that Umar (radiyallahu anh) laid down were that the Ahlu'dh-Dhimma (non-Muslims living under the protection of the Islamic state) could not openly observe their celebrations. The Muslims unanimously agreed to this.

So how then is it permissible for the Muslim to openly practice their specific customs? Customs such as dying the hair of children, decorating eggs, buying and selling sheets that have colored pictures on them, metal cups which are used to sprinkle incense over someone (giving off a smell) that would repulse the Angles, attract devils, and support the open celebration of practices specific to the accursed transgressors, ringing their bells in the markets, and allowing men and children to place bets with each other using eggs.

There is no movement or might except with Allah, the Most High, the Great.

Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said: "When people see the evil and do not make efforts in changing it, soon will Allah cover them all with a punishment from Himself." (Tirmidhi; Ibn Maajah; Abu Dawud and others)

There is not a single nation amongst whom a sin is committed, and they are stronger and more capable (of preventing it) than the one committing it, then they do not change it, except that Allah would cover them with a punishment from Him. (Ahmad, Abu Dawud, Ibn Maajah and others)

From the most vile of matters and greatest of calamities is what you see of your ignorant brother buying this incense and colored paper for his ignorant wife who proceeds to place it in the open, under the sky, thinking that Maryam would drag the trail of her gown over it! Whereas Maryam, upon her be peace, has died and was buried something like thirteen hundred years ago!

She draws a cross with tar on your door in order to safeguard against magic! She sticks pictures on the wall thinking that they will cause snakes and scorpions to flee whereas in reality the only ones fleeing will be the Angels!

By Allah, I do not know what you have left of exalting the Christians? By Allah, if you do not reject these practices, then you must either accept them and be pleased with them or be ignorant (ignorance is not an acceptable excuse and should be removed). We take refuge with Allah from ignorance.

Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said: "Whoever imitates a people is of them."

Now if someone were to say: but we do not intend to resemble them!

It would be said in reply: The very action of agreeing with them and participating with them in their festive seasons and celebrations is prohibited. The evidence for this is what is established in the authentic Hadith from Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) that he: "Prohibited prayer at the time of sunrise and sunset." (Bukhari; Muslim and others)

He (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said: "Indeed it rises between the two horns of Satan and it is at that the disbelievers prostrate to it. (Muslim; Abu Dawud; Nasai)

However the one who is praying does not intend this, because were he to intend it, he would become a disbeliever, rather the action itself of agreeing and participating is prohibited.

There are also many causes of corruption which result from imitating them, from amongst them are:

The Muslim children will be raised upon loving these festivals of disbelief due to what is prepared in them of playful pastimes, new clothes, foods, loaves of bread and other such things. What an evil teacher you are, O Muslim, if you do not prohibit your family and children from this and you do not explain to them that these are the practices of the Christians and that it is not permissible for us to join in with them or imitate them.

Satan has adorned these practices for many of the ignorant masses and the negligent scholars; even though they may be attributed to knowledge, for such a persons knowledge becomes a cause of punishment for him as he (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said: "The severest of people punished on the Day of Judgment will be a scholar who Allah did not benefit through his knowledge." (al-Ajurri, Akhlaq al-Ulama; Ibn Abdu'l-Barr, al-Jami; Ibn Asakir, Dhamm ma la Ya'mal bi Ilmihi; Tabarani, as-Saghir)

Whoever knows something, yet acts contrary to it will be punished for it on the Day of Judgment. It is obligatory upon the one endowed with authority to actively stop all of this with all of his ability, indeed in allowing it to continue lies an open license for the followers of the cross to openly manifest their specific practices.

It is reported from Umar bin al-Khattab (radiyallahu anh) that he said: "Do not learn the manner of speech of Persians, and do not enter the churches of the polytheists on the day of their festivals for indeed displeasure descends upon them." (The likes of this al-Bayhagi, as-Sunnan al-Kubra; Abdu'r-Razzaq)

Therefore it is necessary that every Muslim avoid their celebrations and safeguard himself, the women of his family and his children from them, if he truly believes in Allah and the Last Day. We should not say as some of those obstinate deniers when prohibited from this, 'what do we have against them?'

The noble master, Fudayl bin Ayad said: "O my brother! Upon you is to follow the ways of guidance, even if those traversing them are few, and to avoid the ways of misguidance even if those rushing to their destruction are many."

Satan has deceived and embellished for many of the misguided sinners, their traveling to another land or city for the purpose of finding comfort with, and aiding, other misguided sinners and to increase their numbers. In the Hadith there occurs: "Whoever imitates the mass of a nation will be resurrected with them." (ad-Daylami; Abu Ya'la; Ali bin Ma'bad, Kitaab at-Ta'ah wa'l-Ma'siyyah; Nasb ar-Rayah; Ibn Mubarak, az-Zuhd; Ibn Hajar, al-Matalib al-Aliyyah)

Allah, the Mighty and Magnificent says: “O you who believe! Do not take the Jews and Christians as friends and protectors; they are only friends and protectors of each other. Whoever among you takes them as friends and protectors is surely one of them. Allah does not guide the wrong-doers.” (al-Maidah 5/51)

The scholars have said that part and parcel of taking them as friends and protectors is to imitate them and to openly celebrate their festivals whereas they themselves are ordered to celebrate them in private in the Muslim lands. Hence when a Muslim celebrates their festival with them he has aided them in publicly celebrating it.

This is an evil act and innovation (Bid’ah) in Islam, none would commit it except for one who is severely lacking in religion and faith. Such a person falls under the saying of Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam): “Whoever imitates a people is of them.”

Allah has praised those who do not witness the celebrations of the disbelievers and do not participate in them, saying: “Those who do not witness falsehood…” (al-Furqan 25/72)

The understanding of this verse that those who do witness it and participate in it are blameworthy and hated because they have (purposefully) witnessed evil even though they have no intention of preventing it. Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said: “Whoever among you sees an evil then let him change it with his hands, if he is unable then with his tongue and if he is unable then with his heart and that is the weakest of faith.” (Muslim; Abu Dawud and others)

What evil is greater than participating with the Jews and Christians in observing their celebrations and festive seasons, cooking what they cook such as flat loaves of bread, selling incense, dying the hair of their women and children, decorating eggs, wearing new clothes, and going out to the busy centers of the city and the seaside’s wearing extravagant and expensive attire. This while the Jews and Christians are in a state of humility, under our authority, and they do not participate with us or try to imitate us in our celebrations.

How will you be able to look at the face of your Prophet tomorrow, on the Day of Judgment? You have opposed his Sunnah and enacted the action of disbelieving people, those who are misguided, those who are enemies of this religion!

If someone were to say: we only do this to entertain our children and women.

It is said in reply: the worst type of people are those who are pleased and content for their family with that which displeases Allah, the Exalted. Hasan al-Basri said: “A man does not awake and follow the orders of his wife in everything she desires, except that Allah would throw him face first in the fire.” Allah, the Glorious and Exalted says in His Great Book: “O you who believe! Save yourselves and your families from a fire…” (at-Tahrim 66/6)

Meaning: teach them and bring them up correctly, enjoin them to the good and prohibit them from the evil so that you may be saved from the Fire whose description is that it would have as its fuel, men and stones. It is postulated that stones refer to the various types of arrogance, may Allah save us from them.

It is reported from Abdullah bin Amr (radiyallahu anh) that he said: “Whoever observes their New Year and other celebrations and imitates them until he dies in that state, without having repented, will be resurrected with them on the Day of Judgment.” (Bayhaqi; as-Sunnan al-Kubra)

This saying of his necessitates that this action is from the major sins and know that performing a small amount will lead to performing a large amount.

It is necessary that the Muslim seals this door from its roots and arouses distaste in his family and children from enacting anything of this. Goodness should be a matter of habit and avoiding innovation is an action of worship.

The ignorant should not say: “I am trying to entertain my children! O Muslim can you in no way to entertain them except with that which displeases the All Merciful, pleases Satan and is actually a signpost of disbelief and transgression?

What an evil teacher you are? This is how you raise your children?

My brother! How strong you would become if you oppose your base desires, and how you would be led astray were you to obey your base desires, you would end up having none to blame but yourself. How sick you would become if you were not to drink your medicine. How much joy and bliss would you discover if the gardens of Paradise were your final abode. What a shameful religion is it of the one who follows the legislation of the pastors and rabbis. How ignorant is the one who tries to repel magic from his house by hanging crosses made of tar. What a disgusting smell is the smell of their perfumes and incenses (employed on their celebrations)!

Where are you heading, you old, feeble, evil soul? To the graves? When will you stop striking those copper church bells at which is recited their sinful, false liturgy?

Whoever exalts their disgraced (not great) Easter, then this is from the greatest of evil. Whoever fears Allah and exalts His sacred laws, then this is from the taqwa of the hearts.

O turner of the hearts! Inspire us to follow the Sunnah of Your Prophet, and save us from innovation and imitating the disbelievers.

Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said: “Whoever does an action that we have not commanded, it is rejected?” (Muslim; Abu Dawud; Bukhari)

In the two sahihs it is reported that Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said: “Whoever introduces in this affair of ours that which is not part of it, it is rejected.” (Bukhari; Muslim and others)

Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said: “The best speech is the speech of Allah (Azza wa Jall) and the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam). The worst of all matters are the newly invented, every newly invented matter is an innovation and every innovation is misguidance.” (Muslim; Ahmad; Bayhaqi)

“None of you believes until his very desires follow what I have brought.” (Ibn Abi Asim, as-Sunnah; Bayhaqi, al-Madhkal; al-Khatib, at-Tarikh; Baghawi, and others)

“I have left you upon a great white plain, its night is like its day, none deviates from it except he who is destroyed.” (Ibn Maajah; Hakim and others)

“Whoever lives among you will soon see a great deal of discord, so hold fast to my Sunnah and the Sunnah of the Rightly Guided Khulafa after me. Beware of newly invented matters for every innovation is misguidance.” (Ahmad; Tirmidhi; Ibn Maajah, and others)

“When Allah, the Mighty and Magnificent knows of one of (His) servants that he hates a person of innovation, He forgives him even if his actions be few.” (source not found)

“Whoever rebuffs an innovator, Allah fills his heart with faith and a sense of security.” (Abu Nuaym, al-Hilyah; al-Harawi, Dham al-Kalam… daif stated by Iraqi, Takhrij al-Ihya)

“Whoever disgraces a person of innovation, Allah secures him from the Great Terror.” (The completion of the previous Hadith)

These narrations are famous and well known.

From the examples of imitating he Christians is what is performed by the ignoramuses of the inhabitants of Ba'labakka and al-Baqa in their lighting fires in vineyards and orchards on the night of the celebration of the Crucifixion (Good Friday). This is also from openly displaying the specific signs of the Christians, evil be upon the one who does it!

Similarly the lighting of fires on the night of Christmas, buying wax candles, taking a holiday, delighting in sweets and honey cakes, and openly displaying joy and excitement.

This constitutes reviving the religion of the cross and their innovated celebrations, participating with the polytheists and imitating the misguided. Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said: "Whoever imitates a people is of them."

O miserable one! Where is your intellect taking you? How far will you flee from following the Sunnah of your Prophet, Muhammad (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam), to enacting the manifest signs of your enemies?

How far (have these people) fled from traversing the Straight Path and how close they have come to the way of the misguided devils! (For example) when you perform an action of worship, you (soon) flee from it, looking left and right for a place of refuge! When you traverse the path of knowledge you preoccupy yourself with finding loopholes and concessions under the pretext, 'we are performing taqlid of the imams!' When you undertake trade and commerce, you indulge in interest based transactions and frequently make oaths that are forbidden upon the trader to take. Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said: "Beware of making frequent oaths at the time of buying and selling, it produces a ready sale but effaces the blessing." (Muslim; Ibn Maajah and others)

Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said concerning the two parties involved in buying and selling: "If they are truthful and honest, they will be blessed (in their transaction), but if they lie and hide, the blessings of their trade will be effaced." (Bukhari; Muslim and others)

Know now (that if you wish to try and rectify the situation) and enjoin the good and forbid evil, you could deviate to the evil and your soul kindle (its base desires) and transgress, hence making the harm that you brought about greater than the good you sought. If you are with your close relatives, or those having position or authority, and you attempt to enjoin good and prohibit the evil upon the weak, ignorant one exempting the strong, knowledgeable one, you have committed an action of disobedience. If however you go against the desires of your soul and (enjoin the good and forbid the evil on all), you must be deliberate and forbearing.

It is necessary in all this that you have sincerity (Ikhlas). Allah, the Exalted says: "They had only been ordered to worship Allah, making the religion sincerely for Him, being devout and upright." (al-Bayyinah 98/5)

"... severe against the disbelievers, merciful amongst themselves..." (al-Fath 48/29)

Be lenient and kind towards the innovator and ignoramus so that you may bring them back from what they have taken on board and let your severity and harshness be against the misguided disbelievers. Be merciful to the one undergoing affliction and praise Allah for your well being: "... so were you yourselves before Allah conferred on you His favours..." (an-Nisa 4/94)

Look to yourself when you are prohibiting the evil and enjoining the good with the eye of anger. Look to your ignorant brother, who is disobeying Allah with the eye of mercy, do this without you yourself leaving the commandments of Allah and overstepping His limits.

Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said: "No nation introduces an innovation except that on equivalent Sunnah is removed from them." (Ahmad; al-Bazzar, az-Zawaid; Ibn Nasr, as-Sunnah: da'if.)

In the following of the Sunnah lies life for the hearts and their nourishment. When the hearts become accustomed to innovations and fully accept them, no room is left for the Sunnah.

Moreover, the sins committed on Miserable Easter are varying levels; some are more hidden than others.

* Accepting a gift form your Christian neighbor that he offers you on the day of his celebrations, such as eggs, is permissible.

* Selling eggs and decorating them is blameworthy.

* Allowing the youth to bet on that day is from the major and destructive sins, Allah, the Exalted says: "O you who believe! Intoxicants, gambling and divination with arrows are all an abomination of Satan's handiwork, so avoid them..." (al-Mai'dah 5/90)

Rasulullah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said: "Whoever says to his companions, 'I bet you' then let him give in charity." (Bukhari; Muslim and others)

So if this mere saying is an action of disobedience requiring expiation, what about actually doing it?! This action comes under consuming the wealth of people in falsehood and Allah has mentioned the abhorrence of consuming the wealth of people in falsehood in more than one verse.

Allah, the Exalted, has prohibited gambling and the Muslims have unanimously agreed to its being prohibited. This is regardless of whether it takes the form of chess or backgammon, or involves dice, eggs, or any other games. More than one of the Tabi'in such as Ata, Mujahid, Ibrahim an-Nakha'i and Tawus said: "Everything that involves betting is from gambling and that is prohibited, even the playing of children with dice." (ad-Durr al-Manthur; al-Ajurri, Tahrim an-Nard wa'sh-Shatranj wa'l-Malahi)

* Know that buying incense and striking (another person) with cups that release incense on that day is from the vile actions.

* The hanging of crosses and paper with pictures on it in houses is from the calamitous sins, the one who believes that this is permissible and of benefit has clearly been misguided. Have you not heard the saying of your Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam): "The angels do not enter a house in which there is a picture." (Bukhari; Muslim and others)

O person, do you have no shame before Allah, the Mighty and Magnificent, that you make your house into a church such that it contains crosses and pictures?

Ibn Sirin, may Allah have mercy upon him said: "On the day an-Nawruz, Ali bin Abi Talib (radiyallahu anh) was offered a gift upon which he asked: What is this? They replied: O leader of the Believers! This is the day of Nawruz. He remarked: Then make every day a day of Nawruz."

Some of the scholars commented on this by saying: its meaning is that Ali (radiyallahu anh) disliked that it be said Nawruz and not just day. (Bayhaqi mentioned something similar after having reported it 9/235: "This was because a day was singled out and specified." Hakim at-Tirmidhi, Nawadir al-Usul, 1/165: "The reason behind his saying this was to point out that one should not take any notice of it nor give it any sort of significance.")

As for the Nawruz, the people of Egypt go to great extremes in it and they celebrate it. It is the first day of the year of the Copts and they take that day as a celebration and the Muslims imitate them in it. It occurs in the beginning of Autumn. (Id Shamm an-Nasim; this is an Egyptian holiday celebrated on the Monday following Greek-Coptic Easter)

Hudayfah (radiyallahu anh) said: "Whoever imitates a people is of them. The outward attire of one does not resemble another except that eventually the morals and manners will resemble the others."

Ibn Mas'ud (radiyallahu anh) said: "The outward attire of one does not resemble the others except that eventually the heart resembles the others."

So if imitating them in such a small thing leads to such harmful consequences, making this action prohibited, then what if you add to this imitation of that which is pure disbelief? Actions such as seeking blessings with the cross, baptism and christenings, or beliefs such as 'our God is one and the same' meaning that the object of worship is the same but the routes to Him are different. In the light of these, decorating eggs, staining the horns of goat, and cattle in general with red clay become relatively inconsequential even though all of the above is invalid and false.

There is no might and movement except with Allah, the Most High, the Great.

O Allah! Give life to our hearts through following the pure Sunnah, and extend Your tawfiq to us, do not leave us to ourselves even for a minute, guide us to the Straight Path and save us from indecent deeds and innovations, the outward and hidden.

Amin O Lord of the Worlds.

Peace and blessing be upon our master, Muhammad, upon his family and Companions.
Whosoever desires الْعِزَّةَ al-Izzah (honour, power and glory) then to Allah belong all الْعِزَّةَ al-Izzah [and one can get honour, power and glory only by obeying and worshiping Allah (Alone)]. To Him ascend (all) الْكَلِمُ الطَّيِّبُ al-Kalim al-Tayyib (the goodly words), and الْعَمَلُ الصَّالِحُ al-Amal al-Saalih (the righteous deeds) exalt it (the goodly words i.e., the goodly words are not accepted by Allah unless and until they are followed by good deeds). (Fatir 35/10)

 

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