Glory to Allah (swt)! Glory be to Allah (swt), the One who guided us from the darkness of ignorance (jahiliyah) into the light of Islam.

We must reflect on the importance of guidance, so that we may be grateful. It is the most important blessing that we have received from Allah (swt). Allah (swt) has revealed:

“Ta Sin! These are the verses of the Quran and the Book that makes (things) clear. A guidance and good news for the believers” [TMQ 27:1-2]

Humankind is in desperate need of the light of the Message that came to Rasool-Allah (saw). We need this guidance for two reasons. Firstly, since worship is a part of our nature (Fitra), it is natural for us to sanctify the Creator. If this worship is not regulated by the Creator, it will lead to disorder, such as worshipping other than Allah (swt) or not worshipping Him (swt) in the proper manner. Since man does not know the essence of Allah (swt), what pleases Allah (swt), what displeases Allah (swt), and because Allah (swt) is not under man’s senses– it is only Allah (swt) that can establish the way to worship Him (swt).

Secondly, human beings have biological needs, such as the need for food, sleep, drink and the like. Humans also have an instinct of survival manifested by love for position, fear, selfishness, and so on.

Prophet Muhammad (saw) said, “If the son of Adam were given a valley full of gold he would always want another.” [Bukhari]

As a result, we need the Shari’ah from Allah (swt); a comprehensive guidance for life to regulate our biological needs and instincts. Only Allah (swt) can provide such a criterion, as He (swt) knows our exact needs, the extent of each need, the proper way of satisfaction for each need, and the exact balance in the way of satisfying all of them. Thus, we are in desperate need of the light of Islam that was revealed to Rasool-Allah (saw).

The annals of history are full of man’s oppression towards his fellow man. Greed, selfishness, killing, monopoly, and crime are manifestations of man fulfilling his survival instinct. Without a criterion for action the striving for satisfaction of man’s needs will lead him to constant conflict with others. For example, in the US almost 13% of its population has issues obtaining the food they need

– even though it is the wealthiest nation on the planet. Since man has limited understanding of reality, and is unable to see into the future, whenever he makes and passes laws, we can be certain that disaster will soon follow.

Man is inherently unable to legislate. This is due to the fact that man is:

Prone to disparity: Different people will come to different conclusions on how to deal with a problem. For example in the U.S., the crime of murder will have different penalties depending on the state that the crime was committed in. In some states, a murderer will receive the death penalty; while in other states the murderer will receive a lengthy jail sentence – even though it is the same crime.

Limited in his capacity to think: For example, China limited the number of children each household could have to one. This resulted in female infanticide (i.e. families wanted to have a son; not daughters) and now there is a shortage of females in China, making it difficult for males to find a wife.

Influenced by the environment: For example, NAFTA was drafted by the government to reflect the interests of the corporate elite and not the workers. The legislators come from privileged backgrounds and therefore are prone to draft legislation that is affected by their environment.

Subject to change over time: For example, in Canada, homosexuality was considered a crime and considered an illness. However, today it is considered a legally acceptable relationship.

Due to these inherent limitations of the mind, man is unable to identify the proper solutions to humanity’s problems in a comprehensive manner. Examine the secular approach to the lending process of purchasing homes. The creditors are aware that the secular thought process (ie: they understand the way the system works) leads a person to greed, so they are afraid that the debtor will try to take the loan without repaying. As a result they charge amounts of interest, which effectively doubles or triples the amount borrowed. Furthermore, when a family has trouble paying for their mortgage, they are forced out of their home and their house is sold off to the highest bidder. Some families tend to break-up over such financial crises. This in turn leads to the single mothers taking care of the kids by themselves. In turn, the children see their mothers struggling to make ends meet and want to help. However, minimum wage jobs do not provide much money to fill the gap. As a result, they turn to criminal activities, usually dealing in drugs. Each of these issues – the loss of homes, break-up of families, and youth crime – are significant issues that need to be addressed. However, tackling the symptoms of these problems will not resolve them in a comprehensive manner. The underlying root cause of these problems is man-made legislation. Man must rely on Allah (swt) for making the laws that govern society. In contrast to man-made legislation, the laws of Allah (swt) are derived only from Him (swt) who has no limits, is free of bias, and has complete knowledge of all matters. Allah (swt) has declared Islam to be the final message and therefore it is not subject to changes.

Making Laws: Issue of Iman & Ibadat

In the following hadith, it becomes clear that the issue of legislation is also an issue of worship

(ibadat).

The Prophet Muhammad (saw) recited this ayah: “They (Jews and Christians) took their rabbis and their monks to be their lords besides Allah and (they also took as their Lord) Messiah, son of Maryam (Mary), while they were commanded to worship none but One Ilâh (God – Allah) Lâ ilâha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He). Praise and glory be to Him, (far above is He) from having the partners they associate (with Him).”

Adi bin Hatim replied: “They did not worship them.”

Upon which the Prophet (saw) said: “Yes they did. They (the rabbis and priests) prohibited the permissible for them (i.e. the Jews & Christians) and allowed the prohibited, and they obeyed them. This is how they worshiped them.” [Ahmed & Tirmidhi]

True submission to Allah (swt) means that He (swt) has sovereignty over all of our affairs and that we willingly submit to Him (swt). Since He (swt) is the Sovereign and we are His (swt) humble slaves, this means that we must refer to His (swt) guidance in all that we do. The issue of drafting laws to repeal or replace what Allah (swt) has revealed in the Quran, and through the practice of the Prophet Muhammad (saw), is to actually worship that entity – be it a scholar, a government, or another individual or institution. Just as we are forbidden from worshipping idols, we are also forbidden from granting anyone besides Allah (swt) the right to rule. This affirms the idea that we recognize that we need guidance from Allah (swt). That is, guidance is not restricted to the ritual

acts of worship but extends to every single action. Allah (swt) has revealed:

“We have revealed the Book to you explaining clearly everything, and a guidance and mercy and good news for those who submit.” [TMQ 16:89] and

“Nothing We have omitted from the Book.” [TMQ: 6:38]

Also, Allah (swt) has made it a part of belief (iman) that we must submit to the law (hukm) of Allah

(swt). Allah (swt) has revealed:

“But no, by your Rabb, they can have no Iman (faith), until they make you the judge in all disputes between them and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions and accept (them) with full submission”

[TMQ 4:65]

Regarding the first part of the ayah, (But no, by your Lord, they can have no faith, until they make you judge in all disputes between them,) Ibn Kahtir comments in his tafsir: “The first part of the ayah Allah swears by His Glorious, Most Honorable Self, that no one shall attain faith until he

refers to the Messenger for judgment in all matters. Thereafter, whatever the Messenger commands, is the plain truth that must be submitted to inwardly and outwardly.” Regarding the second part of the ayah (and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept (them) with full submission.) ibn Kathir comments: “they adhere to your judgment, and thus do not feel any hesitation over your decision, and they submit to it inwardly and outwardly. They submit to the Prophet’s decision with total submission without any rejection, denial or dispute.”

Importance of judging man-made rule according to the Quran and Sunnah

We must not blindly accept ideas held by the society around us simply because that is “what everyone else is doing”. Instead we must analyze the ideas from the light of the Quran and Sunnah and then arrive at a firm conclusion.

Firstly, the idea that people do what they want without limits is something that every Prophet (as) is familiar with. The key issue the elite (mal’a) had with the Prophets (as) is that the elite wanted to do as they pleased – they did not want to submit to the laws of Allah (swt) brought by the Prophets (as) that were sent to them. For example, when Prophet Shu`ayb (as) was sent to the people of Midyan who were ordered to worship none but Allah (swt) and to be just in their economic dealings, they replied to him:

“O Shu`ayb! Does your (way of) Salah command you that we give up what our fathers used to worship, or that we give up doing what we like with our property.”

[TMQ 11:87]

In Islam, sovereignty (i.e. the right to legislate) is for the rule of Allah (Shar’a) and not for the Ummah. Allah (swt) is the only Legislator; the Ummah, the whole of it, does not possess the right to legislate not even one single rule. If all the Muslims met and agreed to permit the haram (e.g. interest (Riba), alcohol, adultery, etc) and forbid the fard (e.g. zakat, fasting, implementation of Islam, etc) – it would have no value in front of Allah (swt). It is not allowed for us, the Ummah, to do any action which contradicts the rules of Islam, just as it is not allowed for us to legislate even a single rule. Therefore, Allah (swt) is the only Legislator. He (swt) said:

“The rule (Hukm) is for none but Allah, He has commanded that you worship none but Him, that is the straight Deen, but most men know not” [TMQ 12:40] and

“Have you seen those (hypocrites) who claim that they believe in that which has been sent down to you, and that which has been sent down before you, and they wish to go for judgment (in their disputes) to the Taghut (false judges) while they have been ordered to reject them?” [TMQ: 4: 60]

Referring for judgment to the Taghut constitutes referring for judgment to other than what Allah

(swt) has revealed, i.e. it is referring to the rules made by man. He (swt) said:

“Do they then seek the judgement of (the Days of) Ignorance (Jahiliyyah)? And who is better in judgment than Allah for a people who have firm belief?” [TMQ 5:50]

Ibn Kathir in the tafsir of this ayah states: “Allah criticizes those who ignore Allah’s commandments, which include every type of righteous good thing and prohibit every type of evil, but they refer instead to opinions, desires and customs that people themselves invented, all of which have no basis in Allah’s religion. During the time of Jahiliyyah, the people used to abide by the misguidance and ignorance that they invented by sheer opinion and lusts. The Tatar (Mongols) abided by the law that they inherited from their king Genghis Khan who wrote Al-Yasiq, for them. This book contains some rulings that were derived from various religions, such as Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Many of these rulings were derived from his own opinion and desires. Later on, these rulings became the followed law among his children, preferring them to the Law of the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger.”

Allah (swt) also condemns the idea that people should have the ability to act without limits, as Allah

(swt) has revealed:

“Or shall man have what he wishes? No! For Allah is the hereafter and the former (life).” [TMQ

53:25-26] and

“Have you (O Muhammad) seen him who has taken as his ilah (god) his own desire (Hawah)? Would you then be a Wakil (disposer of his affairs) over him? Or do you think that most of them hear or understand? They are only like cattle; nay, they are even farther astray from the Path.” [TMQ: 25:43]

In the following ayat, Allah (swt) makes it clear that when He (swt) gives us an order, we have no choice – we must submit to Allah (swt) without reservations:

“It is not fitting for a believing man or a believing woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decided an affair (for them), that they should (after that) have any option in their decision; and whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he has indeed strayed in plain error”. [TMQ 33:36]

Such was the practice of the sahabah (ra): when they understood an ayat – they did not have any hesitation in implementing it. For example, when the law requiring the women to wear head coverings (khimar) and outer-garments (jilbab) was revealed, the Muslimahs grabbed whatever they could that was around them to cover themselves up in order to comply with the verse. When the

ayat was announced that the qibla had changed from Al-Quds to Makkah – the sahabah (ra) changed direction from which they were praying – right in the middle of the salat! When the ayat we

revealed about banning the consumption of alcohol, the sahabah (ra) immediately stopped drinking, spat out what was in their mouths, and some went as so far as to induce vomit. None of the sahabah (ra) appealed to the Prophet (saw) to allow a gradual implementation of the prohibition or even ask if they could sell their alcohol to non-Muslims. Instead, the people acted immediately to dump what

ever alcohol they had to the point that the streets of Madinah were flowing with alcohol. May Allah (swt) help us to follow the truth and refer solely to what He (swt) has revealed.

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