Praise be to Allāh, the Lord of the worlds; His peace and blessings be upon the soul of His Prophet, his household, and those who follow them till the Day of Judgement. Āmīn.
Over the years, various movements have been witnessed with regard to religion (Islam) and people. While some people have been defending the religion, some others have seen that Allāh-exalted is He, is self-sufficient and does not need defenders. This division has thereby caused chaos among people. Hence, I have deemed it imperative that I write on the subject in order to make some things clear to the Muslim community.
First, it should be noted that Allāh is magnificent and must be magnified, and magnifying His religion equals to magnifying Him. Likewise, magnifying the signs of His religion equals to magnifying the religion. Therefore, Muslim communities must take this fact into cognisance in a moderate way.
WHAT TO MAGNIFY IN ISLĀM
Apparently, Allāh has commanded that Islām and all that relates to it be magnified. In view of this, He says in Surah Al-Hajj, Verse 32:
ذَٰلِكَ وَمَن يُعَظِّمْ شَعَائِرَ اللَّهِ فَإِنَّهَا مِن تَقْوَى الْقُلُوبِ
That (shall be so); and whoever respects the signs of Allah, this surely is (the outcome) of the piety of hearts’. Now, why should a Muslim be alleged of extremism for defending Allāh?
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Having established this, let me take some of the things to magnify in Islam as examples:
THE PROPHET-PEACE BE UPON HIM, HIS COMPANIONS, AND ALLĀH’S SIGNS: During the time of the Prophet-peace be upon him, some hypocrites had their secret revealed when they mocked Allāh’s signs (the battle), His Prophet-peace be upon him, and his companions. Consequently, Allāh revealed in Surah At-Taubah, Verse 65:
وَلَئِن سَأَلْتَهُمْ لَيَقُولُنَّ إِنَّمَا كُنَّا نَخُوضُ وَنَلْعَبُ قُلْ أَبِاللَّهِ وَآيَاتِهِ وَرَسُولِهِ كُنتُمْ تَسْتَهْزِئُونَ
‘And if you should question them, they would certainly say: We were only idly discoursing and sporting. Say: Was it at Allah and His communications and His Apostle that you mocked’? Allāh declared that they mocked Himself as they mocked the above mentioned.
Considering the above, it is imperative that the above-mentioned people be magnified. Corroborating that, Allāh says again in Surah Al-Fath, Verse 9:
لِّتُؤْمِنُوا بِاللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَتُعَزِّرُوهُ وَتُوَقِّرُوهُ وَتُسَبِّحُوهُ بُكْرَةً وَأَصِيلًا
‘That you may believe in Allah and His Apostle and may aid him and revere him; and (that) you may declare His glory, morning and evening’.
This is also another sacred creature of Allāh which must be magnified. Allāh says in Surah Aal-e-Imran, Verse 96:
إِنَّ أَوَّلَ بَيْتٍ وُضِعَ لِلنَّاسِ لَلَّذِي بِبَكَّةَ مُبَارَكًا وَهُدًى لِّلْعَالَمِينَ
‘Most surely the first house appointed for men is the one at Mekka, blessed and a guidance for the nations’. In addition, He says in Surah Al-Hajj, Verse 25:
إِنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا وَيَصُدُّونَ عَن سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ وَالْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ الَّذِي جَعَلْنَاهُ لِلنَّاسِ سَوَاءً الْعَاكِفُ فِيهِ وَالْبَادِ وَمَن يُرِدْ فِيهِ بِإِلْحَادٍ بِظُلْمٍ نُّذِقْهُ مِنْ عَذَابٍ أَلِيمٍ
‘Surely (as for) those who disbelieve, and hinder (men) from Allah’s way and from the Sacred Mosque which We have made equally for all men, (for) the dweller therein and (for) the visitor, and whoever shall incline therein to wrong unjustly, We will make him taste of a painful chastisement’.
Dear reader, if the above must be magnified, what about Solāt, Hajj, Zakāt, Qurān,, etc.? From the above explanations, it is evident that disgracing any of the above-mentioned points is tantamount to disgracing the religion of Islam.
Now, what is my own business with he who dishonours the religion? Am I concerned in any way? Is Allāh not sufficient to defend himself? Does He even ask me to defend Him?
Without any doubt, these questions or beliefs are for non-Muslims. Can you recall that this was the statement of ‘Abdulmuttolib when Abrahah wanted to demolish the Ka’bah; he said: For the house, ‘the Ka’bah’ has a lord that protects it. Therefore, do you now want to be like non-Muslims? So why criticise those who defend the religion?
Ideally, what a Muslim’s belief should be is that he must defend Allāh’s religion. Evidencing this is Surah Muhammad, Verse 7:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِن تَنصُرُوا اللَّهَ يَنصُرْكُمْ وَيُثَبِّتْ أَقْدَامَكُمْ
O you who believe! if you help (the cause of) Allah, He will help you and make firm your feet. Also, Allah says in Surah At-Taubah, Verse 40:
إِلَّا تَنصُرُوهُ فَقَدْ نَصَرَهُ اللَّهُ إِذْ أَخْرَجَهُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا ثَانِيَ اثْنَيْنِ إِذْ هُمَا فِي الْغَارِ إِذْ يَقُولُ لِصَاحِبِهِ لَا تَحْزَنْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ مَعَنَا فَأَنزَلَ اللَّهُ سَكِينَتَهُ عَلَيْهِ وَأَيَّدَهُ بِجُنُودٍ لَّمْ تَرَوْهَا وَجَعَلَ كَلِمَةَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا السُّفْلَىٰ وَكَلِمَةُ اللَّهِ هِيَ الْعُلْيَا وَاللَّهُ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ
If you will not aid him, Allah certainly aided him when those who disbelieved expelled him, he being the second of the two, when they were both in the cave, when he said to his companion: Grieve not, surely Allah is with us. So Allah sent down His tranquillity upon him and strengthened him with hosts which you did not see, and made lowest the word of those who disbelieved; and the word of Allah, that is the highest; and Allah is Mighty, Wise.
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From the above verses, it is clear that we must defend Allāh, His religion, His Prophet’s honour, the Prophet’s path (Sunnah), and his companions (but this does not mean that Allāh is not sufficient).
But, how can you defend Allāh moderately? You do that by waging war against those who wage war against Him and His religion by hand, tongue, or heart. This is what the Prophet-peace be upon him-commanded; In Riyad as-Salihin 184, Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:
Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Whoever amongst you sees an evil, he must change it with his hand; if he is unable to do so, then with his tongue; and if he is unable to do so, then with his heart; and that is the weakest form of Faith“ [Muslim].
Therefore, if you are in an Islamic state where Sharī’ah is implemented under a Muslim leader, you rise to wage war against those who dishonour Islam using your hand (like battle). However, you do that under the ruler’s command. But if you are in a secular state, you can do so by taking some other measures other than war if you are in the right position, and without infringing on others’ right unjustly. Also, if you are in a secular state, you can freely use your tongue to defend the religion of Islam accordingly without causing chaos and nuisance in the society. You feel disturbed upon seeing Islām dishonoured, and you correct it wisely with your tongue. Finally here, if you cannot use your tongue but your heart, know that you are a weak believer. So why should you now be the one to criticize the strong believers? Isn’t the strong believer better and more beloved to Allah than the weak?
On a final note, I admonish myself and the entire Muslim community to fear Allāh and not fold our arms when Islām is being dishonoured under the cloak of ‘moderate Muslim’. If anyone infringes on your father’s dignity you definitely would speak up. So why keep quiet about Islam? I pray Allāh establish Islām accordingly in our hearts and admit us into His paradise.