Shaykh Abu Basir Al-Wuhayshi – Discussion concerning the understanding of implementing Sharia.
A discussion concerning the understanding of implementing Sharia.
By Shaykh Abu Basir Nasir Al-Wuhayshi, May Allah have mercy on him.
In the Name of Allah, and peace and blessing be upon the Prophet, and his family and companions.
We will discuss some issues in this gathering concerning empowerment (Tamqeen) and judgment by Sharia. Of course dear brother complete empowerment did yet not occur, and did not happen (in Al-Mukkallah, Yemen). Likewise the understanding of implementing Sharia is not correct by some brothers. The empowered, the one who is empowered by Allah on earth, must uphold to some matters and he also has right to some matters. He has rights and he has duties. So do not be like the one who only asks from people what is his, and what he must give to others is not asked from him, and he sees that implementing Sharia or judging by Sharia among people, only means what is his (right). That people must listen to him and obey, and that they leave reprehensible acts (Munkaraat) and preform some loved acts (Mustahabaat), or some issues which are from the Sharia, about which are no clear-cut texts (from the revelation), or about which people have a difference of opinion; they expect that people perform them. As for him, providing food and drink and some rights the people have from him, he does not consider it as obligatory for him, and it is not considered as implementing Sharia.
For example, an example, a person or a Mujahid saw some individual in the middle of the road and he is drunk, and at the last moment he needs water. Do you give water to this Muslim, this drunk man, or do you implement the punishment (Hadd) on him? What is obliged concerning him? The implementation of Allah’s judgment, or, giving water to this Muslim? There is no doubt that everyone would answer me that this Muslim should be given water, true? And after that the punishment is applied on him. This (punishing him) is the judgment of Allah, and that (giving him water) is the judgment of Allah. Both matters are equal; this is the judgment of Allah, and he should give him water, it is obligatory on him to give him water, and after that the punishment is applied. If the punishment is applied on him, and he is in this situation, but the punishment is applied, he lashes him and dies due to these lashes, then he must pay blood money because he killed a Muslim. Due to a wrong understanding. Even if he made an interpretation, but his understanding is not right, to apply the punishment in this situation. These are some important concepts.
Many of our brothers today come and think that implementing Sharia consists only of removing indecent pictures, stopping music, obliging the women to wear Hijab, and the Hijab according to him means that covering her eyes is also obligatory, according to his understanding, it is obligatory for her to cover her eyes, and stop some reprehensible acts on the streets. This is implementing Sharia according to him. If he does not see these Munkaraat in the streets change, which could be of the small sins and some of them are acts of disobedience, if he does not see them change, this means according to him that you did not implement the Sharia. And this is a shortsighted view of the Sharia of Allah the Almighty, and a crooked understanding. We have for example important matters in the Sharia, calling people to Tawheed (monotheism), to the obligatory deeds (Wajibaat), to repelling the transgressing enemy, this is implementing Sharia! But he does not see them and does not mention them.
It is obligatory for the people today to repel the transgressing enemy, like Shaykh Al-Islam ibn Taymiyyah said “There is nothing more obligatory after Imaan (faith) than repelling the transgressing enemy.” Being busy with repelling the transgressing enemy is from the implementation of the Sharia! Rather it is from the obligatory deeds in the Sharia. That we move and fight, repel the enemy, and not run away. And we should not have exclusive programs for example, the leader has an exclusive program, that they prepare themselves, stabilize their situation, found their organization, etc. In order to found their organization, stabilize their situation, and prepare, they leave repelling the enemy, and many obligatory deeds from the Sharia, and this is normal to him. It has nothing to do with implementing Sharia. But if others do it then it is considered part of implementing Sharia, and it is not allowed. This is a wrong understanding, an incorrect understanding.
It is obligatory for you with Muslims to start with what? To start with what Allah has made obligatory, and obliged, this is implementing Sharia; prayers, Zakaat, obligatory matters, preventing people from polytheism, calling people to monotheism, this is it. A prostitute from the people of Israel gave a cat or a dog water to drink, a prostitute from the prostitutes of the people of Israel, what did she do? She gave a dog water to drink and entered paradise! Because she gave it water to drink. By Allah, giving the people their rights, which are obligatory upon you, they are better than this dog which this prostitute gave water to drink. Implementing Sharia is not what we want, and what we understand it to be, how we want it to be on earth, no no no. Implementing Sharia is how Allah the Almighty wants it to be, and how the principles of Sharia were revealed to implement the judgment of Allah on earth. And not what you want and understand.
We said in the previous gathering that the tribe of Thaqeef made a condition with the Prophet (SalAllahu Alayhu wa Selam) that they would not pay Zakaat, that they would not pay Zakaat! A condition in the Islamic contract (Pillars of Islam). And they made a condition that they themselves would not destroy the idol Manaat (among other conditions). And the Prophet (SalAllahu Alayhi wa Selam) accepted this from them. This is an obligatory matter, so what do you think about these weak people in the marketplaces? Who commit disobediences which we consider disobediences, but as for him, shaving the beard is only a Sunnah, it is normal and shaving it is not forbidden (Haram), and showing the face for a woman is not forbidden, lengthening the under garment (Isbal) is not forbidden, pictures are not forbidden, music is not forbidden, people believe this and they have jurists and scholars who give these verdicts. They have these matters, and they are not part of the Islamic contract (Pillars of Islam). While Thaqeef made a condition not to pay Zakaat and not to destroy the idol Manaat. The Prophet (SalAllahu Alayhi wa Selam) accepted this from them.
Then we have Umar, May Allah be pleased with him, and the Christians of Taghlib. The Christians of Taghlib were an Arab tribe, they made a condition and said we will not give Jizyah (protection money), we are Arab people, we do not give Jizyah, we will give you Zakaat like the rest of the Arabs. So Umar simply said to them, call it Zakaat and we will call it Jizyah. And the dispute was ended, the issue was easy.
The Ka’bah of Allah the Almighty! The House of monotheism, yes the House of monotheism. The Prophet (SalAllahu Alayhi wa Selam) wanted to rebuild it on the foundations of Ibrahim. The obligatory thing to do is to rebuild the Ka’bah on the foundations of Prophet of Allah, Ibrahim, the one who established monotheism and the religion (Al-Millah). It is obligatory to rebuild the Ka’bah on its first foundation. But the Prophet (SalAllahu Alayhi wa Selam) considered something else, he said, what did the Prophet (SalAllahu Alayhi wa Selam) say? The people just recenlty left ignorance (so they would not understand it or accept it). The people left ignorance (Jaahiliyah) since the conquering of Mekkah, they do not understand. You removed the man-made laws from them, while it rooted many many things in the (Yemeni) people. Like disobediences, sins, innovations, many many things. You removed this disbelieve (Kufr) from them, so it is necessary that you are lenient with people and learn them the religion. And not haste to small matters from the Sharia and perform them, and leave the obligatory matters. The one who instructs people to stop shaving their beards, and stop smoking, and stop lengthening the undergarments, but he does not instruct them with prayers, what is he? Ignorant, neglectful or what? He has a wrong understanding of Sharia.
First we instruct them with what? With the obligatory matters, and I instruct the people to fight, to repel the transgressing enemy, I instruct them with the great monotheism, which is a right of Allah from His servants. Many people follow democracy, legislation, socialism, many reprehensible things, great matters which are a part of monotheism. It is necessary for you to approach Sharia from where? From its doors. If you do not know say so, say I will ask the scholars. But for you to be a ruler over the Sharia of Allah the Almighty, saying this is from the implementation of the Sharia and this is not from Sharia. And when people come and ask you, you say by Allah I do not understand. If so then acknowledge your ignorance and leave it to the scholars. Why my brothers do you set foundations, and give verdicts, and learn people verdicts which even the great scholars are careful with. And after that you say I have no knowledge. If that’s the case, acknowledge your ignorance and learn and study the Sharia of Allah.
Do not hold on to a riffle while you learned some Ahadeeth or heard someone say something to you, and then you go about like a parrot repeating what he said to you. Fear Allah, return to Allah, study the Sharia, ask the scholars. Allah did not make you responsible to give verdicts, and to criminalize, and to forbid, and to kill, and so forth. Just because you carry a riffle and conquered Al-Mukkallah, you think thats it, you became empowered. We said we are not in complete empowerment, and that implementing the Sharia lacks what? Of course we want people to be like Abu Bakr and Umar but this impossible. But we do not want, what isn’t realistic. Yes we do want it, but the reality is different. The companions consist of Abu Bakr, may Allah be pleased with him, and a companion who peed in the mosque (due to ignorance), and other types of companions. The companions differ, true or not? There are those who are foremost in good deeds, and those of the middle course, and those wronged themselves (See Surah Faatir, aya 32). And they are all companions.
Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, the fourth rightly guided Caliph, he left the murderers of Uthmaan, so do we say that Ali did not implement the Sharia? Ali indeed did not implement the Sharia (he delayed it), so is Ali an innovator, a sinner, deviant? What is Ali? He is a rightly guided Caliph! But Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, was not able to implement the judgment of Allah on the murderers of Uthmaan. He was not able to do so! So this means that there are things which you are not able to do, leaving them does not mean that you left the rule of the Sharia. It doesn’t mean this. Don’t say, you entered Al-Mukkalah but you did not implement the rule of Allah! My brother, leave the verdicts to others than you, leave them to the scholars, may Allah reward you. We did not come to you so that you could be a ruler over the Sharia of Allah, but to be the one who practices the rules of Allah the Almighty, nothing more. Ask the scholars and they will answer you.
So my brothers the point is that there is a very big flaw, we said that there are some people, who only want for people to execute their orders, nothing more. The presence of people, this Muslim Ummah is only present to execute your orders, nothing more. As for their rights from you, there aren’t any.
Why did Ali say I am not able? I am not able? The Sharia punishment which are firmly established in the revealed texts, firmly established in the Sharia revealed texts are; the cutting of the hand, lashing, stoning, these punishments are present. But we leave them in time of war or postpone them in time of war (like Ali did). Yes clear-cut Sharia punishments (Hudood). By Allah the Sharia of Allah the Almighty gave us space to leave the punishments (in time of war), but it did not give us space to leave the woman leave her face uncovered? Or we see a small reprehensible act in the streets for example; are we given space in the Sharia to leave the punishment but we didn’t get the space to leave this for example? My brother you are ignorant about the religion, just wait, we did not say that we should leave people so they can disobey Allah the Almighty. I seek refuge in Allah from this. But there are reprehensible acts present which are rooted in the people, for which they maybe could have evidences, scholars say to them that they are allowed. Then you come forbidding it and they say this group came and forbade everything, it does not have any knowledge about the religion, etc. So my brothers, we must educate the people concerning these issues, and we must educate our brothers and sit with the youth and educate them such rulings.
And we must also make an effort to implement the rule of Allah, we must proclaim the confirmation (Al-Hujjah) to the people, the acute one, we must make an effort to proclaim the Sharia obligatory deeds to the people, the individual obligations. Then we must withhold them from polytheism, disobediences towards Allah, and the major reprehensible acts which the scholars and Muslims agree upon. And this is obligatory on us, by expenses, by messages, by all Dawah means to perform this. Yes this asks for an effort, there is no doubt that this asks for an effort which is obligatory upon you. This is different from what? From being lazy and neglectful. This is something else, different from what? Different from trying and making an effort.
If you leave these matters, which are obligatory upon you in the Sharia, like enjoying the people to perform the obligatory prayers, and calling to it, and making an effort in it. And also in paying Zakaat, and also in repelling the transgressing enemy, withholding people from polytheism and deviant innovations. We have many grave-domes in Hadramout in which innovations and polytheistic acts are performed which only Allah knows, some of it is polytheism and some of it are deviant innovations. Like seeking help from a dead person, begging and supplicating to the dead person, this is polytheism. They circumambulate (Tawaaf) around the grave, they supplicate in front of the grave, seeking blessings (Tabaruk) from the grave, these are innovations. Everything is placed in its applicable position by Allah the Almighty.
So we are obliged to make an effort. But there is a difference, a grave is not the same as an idol. We must not think that a grave is like the idol Hubal. This is a wrong understanding. Thinking that a grave is like Hubal is not correct. Even if it is polytheism, even if the people are committing polytheism and supplicate to them besides Allah, they are not the same. An idol, in al its different shapes, is rejected by all Muslims. A grave, visiting it is allowed, but some people introduced some innovations in this; like supplicating to a righteous person, seeking blessings from a righteous person. So there are acts which are not considered polytheism. So a grave must not be considered equal to an idol in any circumstance. Likewise destroying an idol or polytheism. Destroying domes, destroying domes is obligatory when you are empowered and able to do so, you should remove them. But removing this grave, or actually what’s built on this grave, we said that it isn’t the same as removing the idol Hubal and Manaat and Al-‘Uzzah. No, this is different, it differs completely. “Do not leave any high grave without leveling it.” Like the Prophet (SalAllahu Alayhi wa Selam) said.
The point is that you have obligations and rights, and its fulfillment has its proper time. The Prophet (SalAllahu Alayhi wa Selam) use to say “He is a foolish person who is obeyed by his tribe.” If so Messenger of Allah then remove him, remove this foolish person (a hypocrite Uyaynah ibn Hisn) who is obeyed. Why do you leave this leader of Ghatafaan? The leader of Ghatafaan is a foolish person who is obeyed and nevertheless he enters Mekkah as a conquerer? And there is a hypocrite in Medina (Abdullah ibn Salool) remove him. Why do you leave this hypocrite present; who is informing about you, who knows your internal affairs, he informs the disbelievers about your situation. But the Prophet (SalAllahu Alayhi wa Selam) left him alone. He left him and he was present in Mekkah until his last day, and the Prophet prayed over him, he prayed over him and the Prophet (SalAllahu Alayhi wa Selam) gave him his garment to be wrapped around him as a death shroud. And he is a hypocrite! A hypocrite!
Does removing this hypocrite take priority, or removing a picture (billboard) from the harbor of Al-Mukkallah? What is more obliged, removing a hypocrite or a picture from the harbor? So brothers, the Sharia came in co-ordinance with the sound mind and not to oppose it. Nor did the Sharia come to satisfy what you desire. No no, the Sharia overlooks. The Sharia is like Allah revealed it, like the Prophet (SalAllahu Alayhi wa Selam) wanted it, like the noble companions applied it. Not how you want it to be, nor what you hope or dream. No no, leave this, by Allah my brother these are important and great matters, so do not ruin them with your opinions, ask the scholars. Return to the people of knowledge, Allah ordered you in the Quran to return to them, He ordered you! An order to return to the people of knowledge. “Ask the people of knowledge if you do not know.” (An-Nahl, aya 43 and Al-Anbiya, aya 7) And what did Allah the Almighty say? He said “..Those among them who are able to investigate the matter.” (An-Nisa, aya 83) True or not, you should return to the ones who know and understand?
Do not execute in your own mind, and pull out everything from it, or label people as innovators and corrupt sinners (Fusaaq), about matters which aren’t reprehensible acts but you understood it as such. Some of them even make Takfir, he places you outside Islam, because of his shortsighted view. Because he did not understand the Sharia of Allah the Almighty he placed people outside, his mind is too narrow so he placed people outside. Nobody asked you? Go and ask the scholars, ask the people of knowledge and you will understand the reality. But no, you made yourself a judge, a Mufti, a ruler, even over the Sharia. And this Sharia in your hands, you deal with it as you please, and how you want, and if people do not listen to your version, then they are corrupt sinners, innovators, disbelievers, etc. We seek refuge in Allah. This is hardening the religion and shortsightedness in understanding. And furthermore you are the biggest innovator, we say what kind of innovator are you? Fine we will (also) give you this quick judgment, you are an innovator, and you are from the innovations we must remove. Or are other innovations not allowed but this one is? You are from the innovators! This is a great atrocity, we ask Allah protection.
The point is my brothers that the religion is taken by its (right) understanding, it is also taken by example, it is taken by asking the scholars, the righteous truthful ones, this is part of the religion. Yes if scholars for example were neglectful in their obligations, in a certain matter, this doesn’t mean that it’s over, that they are ignorant and we shouldn’t take any knowledge from them. If so, if this is the situation and we should leave everyone who innovates something, or did something contrary to the Sharia, then we would have left many scholars, we would leave ibn Hajjar, we would leave An-Nawawi, we would leave ibn Haazim, there is no scholar who did not slip. We would leave all the scholars haughtily and start all over, we would leave all these generations and we would start from anew. This is ignorance. For certain everyone has a mistake, and everyone has an innovation, and everyone has an act of disobedience, everyone, no one is free from it. So thanks is due to Allah, we are all like this person. There is no Abu Bakr, nor Umar, nor Uthmaan, nor Ali, amongst us. We ask Allah to protect us all, may Allah protect and better our situation. I must treat the people as if they should be Abu Bakr and Umar, but what about my situation? In Allah we seek refuge. Still they say such things, and he does not take himself in to consideration. The Sharia came for you people, the orders came only upon you, as for me than thanks is due to Allah I am like a Sufi who reached the high position, and I reached Allah, I am free..
So we must contain such matters, this must be clear to us, and must be removed from us. Implementing the Sharia does not mean hardening the Sharia. The meaning of implementing the Sharia is not hardening it, like you imagine it and want it. Empowerment is not like you want it to be. Do not think, its over, I have entered and I am empowered. Oke if so, then give people their rights! But then you say no I do not see any rights, I am not able to give the people their rights. The people ask from you their rights, they die out of poverty, hunger and thirst, add to that the enemy who is attacking them. But you say, no no this is not obligated to me, it is only obligated to me to lash you and to apply what is mine but what is asked from me then this is not obligated to me. This is not implementing Sharia nor the implementation of Islamic empowerment.
I ask Allah to guide us and to give us and you success in implementing the rule of Allah on earth, and to benefit us from what we learn, and to learn us what benefits us. And peace and blessing be upon our Prophet, his family, and his companions.