A believer’s response to Burning of the Quran
Nouman Ali Khan
I wanted to share a passage from Surah Ali Imran which is very relevant and extremely pertinent through the kinds of situations Muslims are facing in regards to the construction of masajids in certain places, in regards to how certain Christian groups are celebrating the desecration of Allah’s book and these are painful things to hear over and over again.
We shouldn’t be surprised or hurt by these actions actually.
The People that don’t believe and especially those that have animosity against Muslims and Islam, they have certain principles that they live by and we have certain principles we live by, the principles of Islam.
But when it comes to dealing with the Muslims, and when it comes to dealing with Islam you will find the forces of kufr (disbelief) will compromise their own principles.
The Quraysh would never attack one of their own – they would never do so and were willing to spill blood when it comes to one of their own, they will never consider expelling one of their own except when it came to Muhammed sal. because tribe comes before everything. Tribe is everything. For the Quraysh their religion is their tribe. But when it comes to dealing with the Muslims they are willing to compromise that principle.
For Firaun attacking someone who was raised in his household is humiliating – he will never do so except when he has to compromise his own principle against Musa Al. he is willing to do so
So we shouldn’t be surprised. Kazalika Thughyaan – This is how all forces of rebellion are.
This is how they are. This is what we should expect. This is what Allah has taught us to expect.
So Instead of worrying about what they are doing, we should be more concerned about what we are doing, what is our responsibility, what are we supposed to be doing.
This ayat is to do with the battle of Uhud. But the Ayat has universal lessons in them
3:172 Those who answered (the call of) Allah and the Messenger after being wounded; for those of them whodid good deeds and feared Allah, there is a great reward”
Story of Uhad and the rumour about the Quraysh coming back and prophet sal. asking them to go back and defend themselves)
Even after they were injured – this is specifically talking about the Battle of Uhud when the Muslims had suffered extreme injury and defeat and the Quraysh had left then a rumour spread that the Quraysh are coming for round two cos they are thinking Muslims are injured and might as well come and finish them off. And the Messenger is turning to the companions who’s morale is gone, they have suffered enormous defeat and he tells them “let’s go after them instead of them coming after us – with our injured soldiers we are going”. Even at that point some sahaba got up and said let’s go. And Allah says “ those who responded even after injury had touched them, those who had excelled from among them and displayed excellent character and stood by the Messenger”. And it says Wattha-qau it not only demonstrates they are committed to the Messenger they also feared Allah. They didn’t fear the enemy. And for them Allah says there’s ajran azeem – there is enormous reward.
3:173 Those (i.e. believers) to the people (hypocrites) said “verily the people (pagans) have gathered against you (a great army), therefore fear them”. But it only increased them in Faith and they said “Allah alone is sufficient for us and He is the Best Disposer of Affairs” (hasbunallahi wa ni’mal wakeel”
People around them said this to them, the hypocrites said this to them, People of the Book said this to them – People are gathered up against you, you should be afraid of them, this is what the Muslims were being told. People are rallying against you, the numbers are against you, forces are gathering about you all standing against you, you should be afraid of that, you should worried.
What did Allah say : fazaadahum imanan wa qaalu hasbunallahu ni’mal wakeel
But it only increased them in Faith and they said “Allah alone is sufficient for us and He is the Best Disposer of Affairs”
When they heard these words that they should be worried about the people are against us and are gathering against us it increased them in their Iman even more and Then they responded by saying Allah is enough for us hasbunallahu wa ni’mal wakeel
Our affairs, our matters, the one taking care of us is not our strategy it is Allah, He is enough for us
So for a true believer this is a situation when Iman goes up instead of going down. Their depression goes away. They are reminded of Allah.
3:174 so they returned with grace and bounty from Allah. No harm touched them and they followed the good pleasure of Allah. And Allah is the Owner of Great Bounty.
Because of that, then therefore, because they said that Allah returned them with the blessing of Allah and no harm touched them at all.
They were pursuing only the pleasure of Allah, the favour of Allah Instead of pursuing their protection, they were pursuing in making Allah happy and that was the concern they had. And because of that Allah says and Allah Himself is the possessor of the great favour.
Before we talk about a strategy on how to respond to these kinds of criticisms and these kinds of attacks in the media and these kinds of atrocious behavior towards the Muslims and attacks on masajid, before we even begin to understand how to respond the first thing that has to respond is the heart of the believer.
Because until the heart o the believer is not turned towards Allah, Allah’s help does not come and Allah’s guarantee that harm will not touch you that does not come until we from the bottom of our hearts say hasbunallahi wa ni’mal wakeel
We no longer fear these attacks
Until that happens we cannot expect the help of Allah. And until that happens no matter what strategies we make and what media responses we come up with, what press releases we do, it will not help because that is not the formula of Allah’s book.
3:175 It is only Shaitan that suggests to you the fear of his auliya (supporters and friends) so fear them not, but fear Me, if you are true believers
That in fact was satan instilling fear into you of his friends. When people came to you and said you should be worried, you should be afraid, you should be worried, that wasn’t people, that was shaytan
The Ultimate goal of shaytan is to remove you and me from Allah and he wants to instill in you and me fear of other than Allah. That’s what he wants to do.
so fear them not, but fear Me, if you are true believers
If in fact there is iman inside you this fear shouldn’t even exist inside you
3: 176 And let not those grieve you (o Muhammed) who rush with haste to disbelieve; verily not the least harm will they do to Allah.
This is the word of Allah revealed at the time of the messenger and it seems like Allah is addressing our situation
Don’t let those who are making a lot of efforts in the agenda of kufr, in the agenda of disbelief against Islam, against iman, those who make these efforts don’t let them worry you and he tells this to his messenger sal. and by extension all of us. Don’t let them worry you.
Innahu lai yadurrallaha shaiya
They for sure will never hurt Allah at all
You have your hopes and expectation with Allah and they cant cause Allah any harm, what are you worried about ? why are you afraid, what’s stressing you out
It is Allah’s Will to give them no portion in the Hereafter. For them there is a great torment
Now Allah tells us How does Allah allows them to make efforts in the way of Kufr and does not even punish them and they continue to do more and more transgressions against Allah’s Dheen.
Yureedunallaha al-laa yaj’ala hazzan fil akhira
Allah intends that they don’t even have a single portion in the Hereafter
In other words Allah lets them go. You wanna dig your hole deeper, go ahead so you get nothing at all – there is no ounce of Mercy that you are worthy of in the next life
Walahum azabun azeem
And for them is great punishment
3:177 verily those who purchase disbelief at the price of faith, not the least harm will they do to Allah. For them there is a painful torment.
Also those who purchased disbelief in exchange for belief – They will not be able to harm Allah either
Two groups are mentioned here – one is the group of hypocrites (they claim to believe but they don’t believe, inside they don’t fear Allah, they fear people). Basically they sold their iman for kufr even though it doesn’t look like it on the outside. We cannot judge the inside we can see only the inside but Allah knows the inside and He knows whom he is talking about.
The other is many people in flocks are using this situation in hopes of gaining some eligibility in society. Several cases where people have left Islam. They haven’t left Islam for intellectual reasons, but there is some benefit and some agenda that they are looking for (eg. a guy who used to be a Muslim and became a Christian because he had immigration problems). You’ll find these people too.
The word Muslim is the new ‘n’ word in America. Originally when the elections where happening a survey was done and 10% – 18 % thought he was a Muslim. They were that paranoid “o my god what if he is a Muslim”. So the White House had to give a press release that “no he is a devout Christian he prays everyday to Christ”. Why? Because they think Islam is something dirty and disgusting. But if a synagogue is being built, or a church, or hindu temple or an atheist centre is being built, they wouldn’t care less. But when the House of Allah is being built forget freedom of religion. Forget tolerance and the land of co-existence. Forget these empty slogans.
We should be angry about this.
But at the same time we should know where to place our hopes
3:178 and let not the disbelievers think that Our postponing of their punishment is good for them. We postpone the punishment only so that they may increase in sinfulness. And for them is a disgraceful torment
The opportunities that Allah has given them to do more and more against this dheen they think this is a good opportunity. Allah didn’t say great punishment this time, He says humiliating punishment.
3:179 Allah wil not leave the believers in the state in which you are now, until he distinguishes the wicked from the good. Nor will Allah disclose to you the secrets of the unseen. But Allah chooses of His Messengers whom He wills. So believe in Allah and His Messengers. And if you believe and fear Allah then for you there is a great reward
Now Allah turns his attention to the believers
The way you are He is not gonna leave you like that. Why? in other words the Muslims are all one big body but when tough times comes, they the hypocrites will be removed from our ranks, they will sell their iman for Kufr and finally the filth will be removed and only the good pure will remain. You and I are going through difficult times because this is Allah’s way of cleansing the Ummah. Allah will not leave you the way you until the filthy is removed from the pure and the way to do that is to put us through difficulty.
This is something Allah talks about even with the Sahaba. (Example of Battle of Uhud). It is not that Allah loves wrong doers.
Example of burning gold to removing impurities – you have to burn gold to remove its impurities you cant scrub it out, you have to burn it. Allah gives that analogy for the believers – until you are burned, put under extreme circumstances, until the hypocrisy within you will be removed, until then you will suffer.
Trials are a purification for this Ummah.
Allah is not One to give you the news of the unseen either. Some people say when are these troubles going to end. This is from the ghaib. This is not your problem. Don’t worry about it. Allah will never give you that news.
But Allah chooses of His Messengers whom He wills.
When times becomes difficult hold on to the legacy of the believers.
So believe in Allah and His Messengers. And if you believe and fear Allah then for you there is a great reward
If you are patient, if you are cautious, then for you there will be a great reward.
Allah takes a situation which is negative and He now makes us think about the great reward. He. is changing a negative situation into a positive situation
What’s the opposite?
3:186 You shall certainly be tried and tested in your wealth and properties and in your personal selves,
No doubt about it, you are all going to be tested in your monies and yourselves. Your money will be in danger and your self will be in danger. You will feel these trials financially and socially – fee amwaalikum wa anfusikum.
and you shall certainly hear much that will grieve you from those who received the Scripture before you (Jews and Christians)
You will definitely, no doubt about it hear from those who were given the scripture before i.e. the Jews and the Christians
and from those who ascribe partners to Allah,
here He is talking about the Quraysh
no doubt about it you will get azan kaseera… a lot of painful words. You will get to hear a lot of painful words from them. Do we hear that a lot today? Are they saying horrendous things about the Book of Allah? About the Messenger of Allah sal.? about the Muslims in general? They will come out and say all Muslims are terrorists. And the ones that aren’t terrorists they will say that these people are lying to protect the terrorists. And we have to hear these things.
Allah says what should be your reaction? This is where we have to be harsh on ourselves.
Muslims nowadays have become nothing but emotional puppets – they know exactly how we are going to respond. And they do things to us so we work exactly according to plan. We come out and burn a couple of cars, or protest and yell and scream. We don’t act in a calm, collected, calculated fashion which is how Allah’s messenger sal. did.
When you hear empty rhetoric like this, these attacks against Islam, what should you do?
Allah Himself says :
but if you persevere patiently and become Al-Muttaqun then verily that will be a determining factor in all affairs.
And if you are able to be patient, patient actually means controlling your emotions, holding yourself back and continuing to fear Allah then this is of the most noble deeds you can do. Our patience speaks volumes.
Our yelling and screaming is more detrimental.
After we are patient what are we supposed to do?
We are supposed to be patient. We are supposed to continue to have taqwa of Allah.
But we can talk about how important it is for our masajid to represent the teachings of our dheen, to educate our local communities. It’s an absolute critical job of every masjid and if not every Muslim to at represent the teachings of their dheen in their vicinity, among their core workers, with their business partners, with their friends.
And if they are unable to do that, the masjid is supposed to help you. Its purpose is to help educate people about the teachings of this Dheen, about removing the fear that shaythan has put inside them of this religion. This is not new. Shaytan did this during the time of the Messenger sal. too.
The Quraysh would go around saying don’t listen tot his man, you’ll go crazy, if you listen to him your family will be destroyed, he’ll do magic on you. They would instill fear in the population. So don’t fear the population. That’s just shaythan doing his job. We just have to do a better job. We have to clarify this dheen.
So in this regard, why must we clarify dheen?
He tells us something very serious about the people of the Book
In Surah Al Baqara Allah says “no doubt it those who continue to hide what We have sent them from the clear proofs and guidance even after We have clarified it in the Book for the people”
Allah says I sent a Book down with proofs and guidance and there are some people who are hiding it. What happens to them? “Those are the people whom Allah Himself curses and there are those who are created just to curse them”
Ulema comment that these are angels
Allah creates specific Angels whose only job is to curse people who hide what Allah has sent down. Apparently it seems like its talking to the people of the Book
What’s the opposite?
Allah says : Illallazeena thaabu wa aslahu, wa baiyyanu
Two things have been said
On the one hand is people hiding the book
And on the other side those who repented (thaabu) and corrected their behavior (aslahu) and clarified the Book (wa baiyyanu)
Unless we are people of Tauba, and we correct ourselves and we clarify this Book, we clarify the religion unless we do that, we are guilty of the opposite which is hiding the Book
Either you are hiding the Book or you are Clarifying. There’s no in between. I don’t talk about it that doesn’t mean am hiding it. Yes it is. Because Allah only gave 2 options. You can either be from group A or Group b.
Group A is whom Allah curses and Angels are created specifically to curse them
But then there are those who realize that they need to be making tauba to Allah, they need to be correcting their behavior and then they need to be clarifying this religion
What a beautiful sequence. First you fix your relationship with Allah, then you fix yourself (Aslahu), you fix your own character. How are you going to talk about Islam to people if you don’t do anything to represent Islam? You have to correct yourself, you have to fix your character. And then you clarify this Book (wa baiiyanu).
Ulaa-ika athubu alaiyhim wa anath-tauwaabur-raheem
Those are the people whose Tauba I accept. Those are the people who I turn back towards. And Allah normally doesn’t say “I”. Allah normally says ‘We’ except in cases of special Mercy He says “I” . They get special mercy from Allah just for clarifying Allah’s Book. Even the smallest efforts to say something about Islam, to see something as much as a minaret, to see as much as a poster on a bus, to see a flyer, to see a woman in hijab, to see a man in a beard, to see that much. There is a group among the disbelievers who cant even stand that much. They cant stand the sight of Allah.
Yureedoona al yudfioona nurallahi bi-afwaahihim – they try to extinguish the light of Allah. The light is any smallest manifestation of this dheen. They cant even see the smallest sign of it. You will see the face turn, you will see the change of expression.
But Allah has given us His guarantee “Allah will complete His light”. Allah will accept no alternative except to complete His light. No matter how much disbelievers are disgusted by it, no matter how many talk shows they dedicate to it, no matter how much hate they spew out of their mouths, it will not change. Allah will complete His light.
Are you and I going to be a part of that struggle or not? Are we gonna get that great reward Allah talked about? Are we gonna be people who earn Allah’s tauba?
These are efforts that are not an option that we have any more. This is the necessity of the Ummah. And we are not doing it so people think of us we are nicer people. No. We are doing it because we don’t want to be under the curse of Allah. We are doing it because we have an obligation to clarify this Dheen. We are not afraid of the people.
If you are doing it that “we really need to talk about Islam because they are really getting a wrong impression of Islam in the media and we need to be more likeable in the media” if that’s your intention that’s the wrong intention. That means you are afraid of the people. If we are really going to do da’wa sincerely and successfully in a way “no harm touched them” no harm will touch us – that will happen when we pursue the pleasure of Allah and the protection will come from Allah. Hasbunallhi wa ni’mal wakeel. That’s what we have to do.
I sincerely pray that you and I are able to be carriers of this dheen. And look at Islam as a source of pride and not as a sense of humiliation. That we go out and talk about islam, we speak at universities, at colleges, we go and knock on our neighbours doors and ask them to come see what we are about. And not for any political motive but because this is what Allah demands from us to do.