Sunday, May 29, 2011

Q&A: Regarding the manner of reciting the Quran?

The following is a translation from Arabic.

Question: Is it permissible to read the Qur'an on the pattern of "maqamaat-sort of rhythm", using as evidence the hadith that says: «He is not one of us that does not sing with Qur'an»? I have heard from someone that there is another hadith which is opposite to this, ie, «He is not one of us that sings with Qur'an», and, accordingly, he replied that acting upon both hadiths indicates dislike of singing with Qur'an. Is this true?


Muslim narrated from Abu Hurayrah, he said: The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said: «He is not one of us that does not sing with Qur'an"; others added ‘spoke out of it.'

Al-Hakim reported it in his book (Al-Mustadrak) through Saad bin Malik, may Allah be pleased with him, and said that it is of sound narration, but they did not narrate it through this chain. It was also reported in the Musnad of Abd ibn Hamid, and the Musnad of Al-Qadaa'i.

There was difference in the interpretation of the word "sing ‘ustaghna' with it":

- It was interpreted by Sufyan bin ‘Uyaynah as "dispense with it", meaning that the one that does not dispense with Qur'an from amassing worldly matters he is not of us; ie he is not following our way.

- Ibn Al-A'raabi interpreted it as letting Qur'an be his hijjir (ie his habit and his issue) like the traveler and the free of work make singing their habit,

Ibn Al-A'raabi said the Arabs used to sing when they mounted on camels, as well as when they sat in their yards and in most of their situations. When the Qur'an was revealed the Prophet, peace be upon him, wanted their habit to be reading Qur'an instead of singing.

- Al-Layth ibn Sa'd explained it saying: sing with it means be saddened of it and softening the heart with it, as it was reported from him by Abu ‘Awaana

- According to Tabari, Al- Shafi'i was asked about the interpretation of Ibn ‘Uyaynah of (taghanni) as dispensing of it, but he did accept it and said: Had the hadith meant dispensing with it it would have said (lam yastaghni- he did not dispense of it),; he rather meant to beautify the voice. And Al-Tabari said, "Had its meaning been dispense of it then there was no need to mention speaking out of it in the other narration." (And others added speaking out with it)".

Thus, what I outweigh is that singing with Qur'an means improving the voice by reading the Qur'an according to the rules of recitation reported from the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, which is supported by the hadith of the Prophet, peace be upon him, narrated by Ahmad, Abu Dawood, Nasa'i and Ibn Majah from Al-Baraa' ibn ‘Aazib, that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said: «Beautify Qur'an with your voices».

So, the meaning is to improve the reading by voice according to the rules of recitation which were soundly reported from the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him. The one who does not sing with Qur'an in this manner, ie the one who does not improve recitation with his voice according to the reported recitation rules, he would not be, in terms of reading, following the way which the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him ordered to recite with.

- As regarding recitation musical tones/patterns  "called maqamaat and their like....." the scholars differ about it in terms of reading by musical tones: Can this reading be regulated according to the rules of the readings or not? Accordingly, some of them said that reading by musical tones is haram because it goes outside the rules of reading, where there is stretching in the letters and departure from its known limit. While others made it conditional: if reading by musical tones did not depart from the right mode it would be allowed, otherwise it would not be allowed ... etc...

That which I outweigh is that reading by musical tones is not allowed because most likely the letters are not regulated according to the rules of readings. I have read on this issue, " it is often that the one who takes account of the melodies of reading would not take account of the performance," and this is what I outweigh to happen when reading by musical tones.

This is regarding the hadith that says "He is not one of us that does not sing with Qur'an".

As regards the other hadith that says: "He is not one of us the one who sings with Qur'an", I do not know that there is a hadith like this.

In conclusion: The improvement of reading of the Qur'an by good voice according to the rules of recitation is a desirable matter, ie mandoob. Reading of the Qur'an by hymns is not permissible, where the letters go beyond the limits decided by the rules of readings, and they include stretching of the letters that depart them from the rules of readings transmitted from the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, as it is usually the case in the tunes.

7 Rabee' II 1432


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Q&A: Shariah meaning and linguisitic meaning?

The following is a translation from Arabic.


Is there a difference between the divine fact (al-haqeeqah) and the divine meaning?

We have confusion in the matter, as one of the members said in a monthly circle:

The divine fact transfers the linguistic meaning to a new meaning different from the origin, such as the word of prayer (salah).

As for the divine meaning: it uses the same linguistic meaning, and adds to it a regulator or a constraint, such as the word of (qiblah). Is this true?

If there is a difference, I request your elaboration due to the following:

a - It was mentioned in the Economic System, page 205, under the subject of extravagance (israaf) and waste (tabdheer) "Its meaning is spending the money in the prohibited matters," where a member said this is a divine meaning rather than a divine fact.

b - It came in the book of Tayseer on the situations of interpretation (tafseer) page 190 at the interpretation of "What turned them away from their qiblah", the verse.  It said regarding the interpretation of "their qiblah" that the qiblah is on the form of 'fi'lah' that comes from 'muqaabalah', ie (meeting face to face), like the word "wijhah" that comes from "muaajahah", ie (coming face to face). This word 'qiblah" became to have a divine meaning, which is the direction to which the Muslim turns during the prayer (salah). It called it a divine meaning rather than a divine fact.

c - We referred to the subject of the divine fact in Shakhsiyyah, vol III, but we did not find a difference in the subject.

Please advise us if there is a differentiation between the divine fact and the divine meaning, may Allah bless you.


The divine fact is a term...

The divine meaning is a meaning...

So, the two issues do not conflict with each other!

It came in vol III of Shakhsiyyah:

- Page 149, the four lines from the end: "The divine fact is a term which al-Shar' has used in a meaning different to the meaning coined to it; and Arabs used it after the use of Shar' in the meaning used by al-Shar'. So, it was transferred through the use of al-Shar' and then through the use of Arabs to another meaning, while the first meaning was abandoned ..."

- Page 143, lines 9 and10: "The divine fact is the term which is used in what is coined to it in the convention of al-Shar'..."

- Page 144, lines 4 and 5: "The divine fact is the term which al-Shar' coined for a meaning, such that it denotes it without collaboration (qareenah) ..."

Thus, the divine fact is a term which Arabs used in a divine meaning other than its linguistic meaning, and the linguistic meaning was abandoned while the divine meaning dominated. This is like salaat (prayer), whose linguistic meaning is du'aa (suplication), and al-Shar' gave it a divine meaning; ie al-Shar' transferred it from the linguistic meaning to the divine meaning which dominated. Thus, this term of "salah" in the divine meaning, ie the "specific movements" became a divine fact.

Accordingly, if you want to know what the type of the word is, we examine:

1 - If that word was used in its linguistic meaning then it is a linguistic fact.

2 - If it was transferred from its linguistic meaning to the conventional ('urfi) meaning, and it dominated in it, and the linguistic meaning was abandoned, then it is a conventional fact.

3 - If it was transferred from the linguistic meaning to a divine meaning and it dominated in it and the linguistic meaning was abandoned, then it is a divine fact.

Therefore, the word is examined; if it was used in a divine meaning, then it is a divine fact:

You can say: Prayer (salah) has a divine meaning, which is used in that meaning and dominated in it, so prayer is a divine fact.

And you say: Qiblah has a divine meaning, which is used in it and dominated in it, so qiblah is a divine fact.

However, you can say the word of prayer (sala) has a such and such divine meaning, without necessarily completing the description, so we say it is a divine fact.

And it is not also necessary to say the word of qiblah has such and such divine meaning.... (And it is not necessary to complete this by saying so it is a divine fact.)

Thus, the divine fact is a word that has a divine meaning in which it dominated.

I hope the difference between the divine fact and the divine meaning became clear to you; so they are not synonymous, but they are rather consistent with each other like this: the divine fact is a word used in a divine meaning which it dominated in it, and its linguistic meaning was abandoned. As information: what is meant by saying the linguistic meaning was "abandoned" is that once you hear the word, the mind does not turn to the linguistic meaning except with a collaboration (qareenah).

15 Rabee' II 1432


Causality: Time & the Quantum Vacuum

From my experience atheists and agnostics are starting to use the two contentions below at a higher frequency and are popularising them. Hence, I felt the need to provide structured written responses. If you can think of anything else to add please let me know.

1. "You cannot apply causality to the universe. Because causality presupposes time, and since the universe is all of time, the universe cannot have a cause. In other words, causality doesn't make sense outside of time; therefore you cannot ask what caused the universe. The question becomes meaningless."

The problem with this contention is that it assumes that causality presupposes time. There is no philosophical justification that causality only makes sense within time. In actual fact, there is no consensus amongst philosophers on what causality is, so in absence of a consensus the basic definition will suffice, and the basic definition is “something which produces an effect”. If you notice with this definition, time is not pre-requisite in understanding causality.

Additionally, there is a concept called “simultaneous, asymmetric causation” which means that something can be causally prior but not temporally prior (before in time) to the effect. A useful example to illustrate this is by touching your elbow on your pillow and then pushing your elbow into the pillow. The indentation seems to happen instantaneously when the elbow moves into the pillow. As you watch the elbow move so does the pillow and this seems to happen at the same moment. So the movement of the elbow is prior causally but not prior temporally. Therefore, since simultaneous asymmetric causation is possible, there is no reason to think timeless causation is impossible.

Even if this contention carries some weight the following questions still remain: how could the universe come into existence with no causal conditions whatsoever? Why did the universe begin to exist at all? To claim the universe began to exist without a cause would be truly absurd. The questioner may respond by saying "Well, what caused the cause of the universe?" and if they do they will be admitting what they first denied, that causality makes sense outside of time!

Putting rhetoric aside a simple response to the question "what caused the cause of the universe?" would be to respond by saying "nothing, it is necessarily uncaused". The main reason for this is that if we say there is a cause for the cause of the universe, then what stops us from continuing this ad infinitum? If the causes went back forever there wouldn't be a universe to talk about in the first place! For example, if I was a soldier with a gun and I wanted to shoot an enemy would I ever shoot if I had to ask the soldier behind me for his permission, and they then had to ask permission from someone behind them to, and this went on forever? No. I would never shoot. This is the same for the cause of the universe, therefore it has to be uncaused.

To simplify a response to this contention, you can argue that time only allows us to recognise that effects are a result of prior causes and not necessarily a result of time itself.

2. "There are many sub-atomic events in the quantum vacuum that do not correspond with causality, therefore it is possible that nothing caused the universe. It could have been spontaneous creation, an idea Stephen Hawking has propagated. Therefore, it is unlikely that God exists."

Some physicists claim that there are many sub-atomic events that do not correspond with causality. They claim that sub-atomic particles behave unpredictably and spontaneously in the quantum vacuum. So they conclude that things that begin to exist do not have to have a cause, or that things can come from nothing.

Firstly this contention is misleading as the quantum vacuum is not nothing, rather it is a sea of fluctuating energy, it has a rich structure and it obeys the laws of the universe. So it is something. Also, the view that sub-atomic events do not correspond with causality is not entirely true. There are many physicists that are adopting a deterministic view - meaning that these events have prior causes in the quantum vacuum - for instance the David Bohm interpretation being one of them.

Secondly, spontaneous sub-atomic events either mean that the causes are hidden to us, or there is a complete absence of causes. The position that some events “just happen” for no reason at all is impossible to prove, for our inability to identify a cause does not necessarily mean that there is no cause.

Finally, from a philosophical perspective it is extremely difficult for these physicists to justify their conclusions. This is because without the concept of causality we will not have the mental framework to understand our observations and experiences. In philosophical terms causality is a priori, which means knowledge we have independent of any experience. We know causality is true because we bring it to all our experience, rather than our experience bringing it to us. It is like wearing yellow-tinted glasses, everything looks yellow not because of anything out there in the world, but because of the glasses through which we are looking at everything. Take the following example into consideration; imagine you are looking at the White House in Washington DC. Your eyes may wonder to the door, across the pillars, then to the roof and finally over to the front lawn. Now contrast this to another experience, you are on the river Thames in London and you see a boat floating past. What dictates the order in which you had these experiences? When you looked at the White House you had a choice to see the door first and then the pillars and so on. However, with the boat you had no choice as the front of the boat was the first to appear.

The point to take here is that you would not have been able to make the distinction that some experiences are ordered by yourself and others are ordered independently, unless we had the concept of causality. In absence of causality our experience would be very different from the way it is. It would be a single sequence of experiences only: one thing after another. So to accept that sub-atomic events do not correspond with causality would be tantamount of denying our own experience!

By Hamza Andreas Tzortzis


Friday, May 20, 2011

Q&A Regarding Sustenance (Rizq)

The following is a translation from Arabic.

The subject of Rizq has two aspects to it:

The first aspect is related to ‘Aqeedah. This consists of the Iman that Allah (swt) is the one who provides sustenance i.e. He is the Raziq, He distributes the rizq, He increases it and He alone straightens it. No one has the power to increase it more than his share determined by Allah (swt).

The second aspect is the Shara’ee command (Hukm). This concerns striving to obtain rizq, in origin this Hukm is of the category of permissibility (al-Ibahah), but under specific conditions, it may become recommended (Mandoob) or obligatory (Fard)…
A man may strive to get his rizq by permitted means (Halal), thereby he gets his share of the rizq and in addition receives the pleasure of Allah (swt). Conversely, a man may strive to get his rizq by prohibited means (Haram), yet he gets only his determined share of the rizq, but also gets a burden and incurs the wrath of Allah (swt). If striving to obtain his rizq was Fard upon him, and yet he does not work for it, he becomes sinful for not making attempts for the same, and in case striving for his rizq was either recommended or permitted for him, he becomes appropriately accountable.

Evidences for these are very clear and explained in the books of Fiqh, especially in our books like Ad-Doosiyah (الدوسية) and Shakhsiyyah… Regarding your hypothetical question, there are certain distortions, because it deals with the unseen (Ghayb) which only Allah (swt) knows about and we do not know it.

For instance, you have said:

A man gathers wealth from prohibited (Haram) money, if he were to strive in the Halal way, would he still be able to collect that much wealth? This is where we have a fallacy! You have presumed an uncertain condition of that person and tried to apply it on rizq (which is unseen for you)!

This subject is as follows:

1. Indeed Allah (swt) is well aware of His servants from eternity (azal), He (swt) has determined a man’s share of rizq based on His ‘Ilm of that man which Allah (swt) knows just as He knows other thing about the man. He (swt) has determined a man’s rizq to be, say, (A).
2. And when we ask presuming that the man worked to get his rizq in the Halal way, his rizq will be (A)?, we do not know the answer, because this is a different situation and we know nothing about how Allah (swt) distributes rizq for the man if he uses Halal means to earn, this is unseen (Ghayb) for us. At times we observe that if a person uses Haram means to earn his rizq, he gets more, while one who uses permitted (Halal) means only, gets less…this is evident in the Ayaat about how Kuffar pursue the bounties…

Therefore, your question is hypothetical and not a real one, the condition of that person is known to Allah (swt) who has determined rizq for him depending upon his share. If we presume a change in how he works to get his rizq or any other matter, we have no knowledge of what Allah (swt) will provide him with.

What we need to comprehend, is as we have mentioned:
Allah (swt) has determined rizq for all His (swt) creations even before creating it and this rizq is destined for the person irrespective of whether he works to obtain it by Halal or Haram means or even if he did not work for it. This is the ‘Aqeedah.
Allah (swt) has commanded people to work to get their rizq (this command in itself is either obligatory, recommended or permitted); if he worked to get his share of the rizq, he is entitled for reward and favour from Allah (swt), if he worked to get his rizq using Haram means, he becomes burdened with sin and earns the wrath of Allah (swt), and if he did not make efforts to get his rizq, then depending on whether working for it was Fard, Mandoob or Mubah in his case, he becomes suitably accountable.

As for the assumption that if the nature of the situation in working for the rizq is changed, what amount of rizq that Allah (swt) has determined, will he obtain, this is a matter of Ghayb, no one knows about it except Allah (swt) Himself.

Let me repeat that it is a matter an ‘Aqeedah belief that the question of rizq had already been settled by Allah (swt) before He created every thing, and this rizq shall reach every creation before its death irrespective of whether he works to get it by Halal or Haram means or just sits without working for it and commensurate with the nature of his efforts, a person is liable either for a reward or burden.
Allah (swt) knows about the condition of His creation regarding the efforts it makes or otherwise, before He created it, He (swt) has determined its share of rizq based on His knowledge of the condition of His creation.

The hypothetical question about the condition of the creation with regards to its efforts to earn his rizq or otherwise, what amount of rizq will Allah (swt) bestow upon it, were a person to work for it in a different way? Will he get the same amount of rizq or more or less? This is known to Allah (swt) and it is a matter of Ghayb.

I hope that the picture is clear to you and your heart is satisfied with it.
Based on it, the answer to your question:

1- Two Ayaat clarify the issue regarding famine.

The first Ayah:
{ولا تقتلوا أولادكم خشية إملاق، نحن نرزقهم وإياكم}
“And kill not your children for fear of poverty. We shall provide for them as well as for you.” [TMQ al Israa’: 31]

Here the fear is of the anticipated poverty i.e. the condition of a person who is well-to-do but fears that if a new child is born, the rizq will not be sufficient for him to feed the child and he may become poor because of the new child. This is because the person thinks that the children that will be born will share in his rizq, he forgets that the rizq of the new children will come along with them.
Which means that the person is afraid that his rizq will be shared by his children who will be born and thus he himself will become poorer, in the Ayah, Allah (swt) says: “We shall provide for them as well as for you.”, and mentioning the rizq of the children and makes the rizq of the father followed by the rizq of the children to be figuratively following along with them. Here the emphasis is on the rizq of the children so that the man realises that they will not share in the rizq meant for himself, but their rizq will come separately along with them and the father would get better rizq along with that of his children. Therefore, the man is commanded not to be apprehensive of becoming poorer because of the children to be born and thinking that they will share in his rizq.

The second Ayah:
{ولا تقتلوا أولادكم من إملاق نحن نرزقكم وإياهم}
“kill not your children because of poverty" – We provide sustenance for you and for them” [TMQ al An’aam: 151]

Here the person is poor and makes his living with great efforts, he fears that by having more children, he will become even poorer because his means are not enough for himself and his children. Therefore the Ayah mentions that the man does not know the condition of his rizq as it will be in the future, it may change for better, therefore the Ayah mentions his rizq before that of his children because his fear and apprehension is based on his present poverty so Allah (swt) reminds him that rizq is in His (swt)’s hand and it is not necessary that he will always remain poor, it is Allah (swt) who determines the rizq for His servants, may be the person who is poor today will become rich tomorrow.

In the first Ayah, the fear is of the expected poverty because of the children who will be born. Here the person is presently well-to-do, but fears poverty because the children who will be born, will partake from his rizq and thus he will become poorer, therefore the Ayah mentions that their rizq will come along.

In the second Ayah, the fear is that of his present poverty. The person is currently poor and of meagre means and thus fears that because of his poverty, he may not be able to provide food for the children that are to be born, so Allah (swt) is reminding him that it is He (swt) who provides rizq, and that that man’s rizq condition may change from poverty to being rich, hence the Ayah begins with that man’s rizq (We provide sustenance for you and for them).

Thus the rizq of children is mentioned before the mentioning the rizq of the fathers (though both are provided by Allah (swt)). This is because of the fear that the children will come without their rizq coming along, therefore they will eat from the rizq of their well-to-do father which will then get reduced and the father would become poorer because of their coming. Here the apprehension is based on the expected poverty.

In another instance of the Ayah, the rizq of the father is mentioned prior to mentioning the rizq of the children (though both are provided by Allah (swt)). Here the apprehension is based on his real poverty. In this instance the father fears that due to his meagre means he will not be able to spend on the children. The apprehension is due to his actual poverty.

Based on the above: the well-to-do person should not be afraid of becoming poorer due to the birth of children and should not think that he will spend on the children & become poorer; similarly, a poor person should not fear that his present poverty will continue and thus he will not be able to spend on the children when they are born.

In both of these Ayaat, the indication of killing points to it being decisively prohibited, while your question mentions ‘non-conception of temporary nature during a period of famine’; this condition is different to the ‘indication of killing’ or (قرينة القتل). Consequently, the ‘non-conception of temporary nature during a period of famine’ is a non decisive or speculative indication because of the evidence of permissibility of using contraception in order to achieve ‘non-conception of temporary nature’ during famines is disliked (makrooh). This is contrary to the ‘Aqeedah that Allah (swt) is the Raziq. It amounts to the person’s belief that he controls the increase or decrease of his rizq and this kufr, may Allah protect us from it.

2- To say that why such and such a person travels to another place in order to earn his rizq for improving the standard of his living, and then make a judgement that since his rizq is already determined and is specified constant whether he stays in his place or travels elsewhere. Both of these statements have value if the issue is understood properly.

To understand this we say:

To mix up the issue of rizq being from Allah (swt) and to make effort to earn the rizq is the cause of the confusion.

The rizq being from Allah (swt) is a reality and part of the ‘Aqeedah, this is known only to Him (swt) and not known to anyone else unless it is disclosed to him.
For instance: it is correct to say that rizq is a specified constant…. But which is the place where he can get that rizq? You do not know that, it may be here or may be elsewhere…it is for you to work the Halal way in any appropriate place & time, this does not run contradictory to ‘Aqeedah of rizq being constant and specified by Allah (swt).

To make efforts falls under the Shara’ee Ahkam and is subject to human beings striving for rizq: thinking of the proper place to work, the correct time, nature of the efforts, whether it should be business or employment, should it be here or there, and when there is excess of competition, should one shift to another place; all this does not run contradictory to the ‘Aqeedah that one’s rizq is a specified constant…because you do not know the quantity of that specified rizq, is it more or less, or whether to earn it here or there.

Thus realising the ideological meaning of rizq and the hukm Shara’ee solves the confusion and misunderstanding in sha Allah.

3- The Quranic Ayah:

{فامشوا في مناكبها وكلوا من رزقه}
“so walk in the paths thereof and eat of His provision.” [TMQ al Mulk: 12]

This is a command to make effort to earn the rizq, neither decisive nor preferred; it is a matter of permissibility.

But there are other texts that either indicate recommendation or obligation:
If you have the ability (to work) and you are in need of providing sustenance for those under you, then in your case it becomes obligatory (fard) to make that effort. The care & concern in the way of earning the rizq for those in need even if you yourself are not in need, is recommended (mandoob)…this is detailed in the fiqh books.

14th February, 2008 C.E

Video: The Brotherhood of Madina - Dr Ashraf Badr

Saturday, May 14, 2011

An advice to Muslims working in the financial sector

Assalam wa alaikum wa rahmatullah wabarakatahu,

Dear Brothers & Sisters,

We are saddened to see Muslims today even those who practise many of the rules of Islam are working in jobs which involve haram in the financial sector. They are working in positions which involve usurious (Riba) transactions, insurance, the stock market and the like. Even though many of the clear evidences regarding the severity of the sin of Riba are known, some have justified their job to themselves thinking that they are safe as long as they are not engaged in the actual action of taking or giving Riba.

Brothers & Sisters,

You should know that the majority of jobs in the financial sector, even the IT jobs in this area are haram (prohibited) as they involve the processing of prohibited contracts. If you work in this sector, do not justify your job to yourself because of the fear of losing your position or having to change your career, fear Allah as he should be feared and consider His law regarding this matter instead of your own desires.

There are very few positions in the financial sector that are permitted, these are those totally unrelated to the actual prohibited contracts.

The following is an extract from english translation of 'The Economic in Islam' by Sheikh Taqiuddin an-Nabhani' that sheds light on the matter: 

"The Rule Regarding Hiring Over Prohibited Benefits 
In order that hiring be legally valid, the benefit must be permitted (halal) in nature. So the employee should not be hired for doing something which is prohibited. Accordingly a worker should not be hired to carry alcohol to one who buys it, or to press it. Nor should he be hired to carry pigs or carrion. At-Tirmidhi narrated from Anas bin Malik, who said: "The Messenger of Allah (SAW) cursed ten types of people regarding alcohol: its presser, the one who asks for it to be pressed, its drinker, its carrier, the one to whom it is carried, the one who serves it, its seller, the one for whom it is sold, its purchaser and the one for whom it is purchased." Hiring is also not allowed over any work of usury, because it is a hiring over a prohibited benefit, and because ibn Majah narrated from ibn Masoud that the Prophet (SAW) cursed the one who takes usury, his agent, its two witnesses and its recorder (clerk)." 

The employees of banks and coinage (minting) departments and all the organisations that deal with usury have to be examined. If the work they were hired to do is a part of the usury work, whether the usury is the product of that work exclusively, or whether it is produced by that work along with others, Muslims are prohibited to perform such works. This includes the manager, accountants and auditors and every work that provides a benefit connected with usury, directly or indirectly. But the work that is not connected with usury directly or indirectly, such as the porter, the guard, the cleaner and the like, these works are allowed, because it is a hiring on an allowed benefit, and because what applies on the recorder and the witnesses of usury, does not apply on them. Similar to the employees of banks are government employees who are involved in deals with usury, such as employees who work in preparing loans with interest to farmers, and Treasury employees who are involved in usury works, and the employees of the orphans departments which lend property with interest. All these are prohibited jobs; anyone who is involved with them is committing a great sin, because it is applied on him if he is the recorder or the one who witnesses usury. Similarly it is prohibited upon a Muslim to engage in any work prohibited by Allah (SWT). 

With regard to the work, whose profit or association in it is prohibited because it is legally invalid such as insurance companies, share holding companies and co-operative associations and the like, they have to be examined. If the work that the employee performs is illegal, or it is of an invalid (batil) or defective (fasid) contract, or results from them, a Muslim is not allowed to handle it, because a Muslim is not allowed to deal with invalid or defective contracts or with the actions which result from them. He is not allowed to deal with any contract or action which disagrees with the hukm shar’i (divine rule), so it is prohibited for him to be hired for involving in them. This is like the employee who records insurance contracts though he dislikes them, the one who negotiates the insurance terms, or the one who accepts the insurance. Similarly is the case of the employee who distributes the profit of the co-operative associations according to the member holdings, and the employee who sells company shares or who works in share stock accounting, and also like the employee who advertises for the co-operative associations and the like. All employees of companies, whose work is legally allowed to be performed, are allowed to be employed in such positions. If a person is not legally allowed to perform a work for himself then he is not allowed to be an employee for doing it because he is not allowed to be hired to do it. So actions which are prohibited to be conducted, the Muslim is prohibited from hiring others to it or to be hired himself to do it."

For further clarity regarding IT positions within the financial sector see: Q&A: Working in a bank or financial sector?

Brothers & Sisters, don't fall into waging war against Allah and His Messenger. How can you justify this to yourself whilst you pray, fast and follow other rules of Islam?

Allah (swt) says:

 يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَذَرُوا مَا بَقِيَ مِنَ الرِّبَا إِنْ كُنْتُمْ مُؤْمِنِينَ (278) فَإِنْ لَمْ تَفْعَلُوا فَأْذَنُوا بِحَرْبٍ مِنَ اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَإِنْ تُبْتُمْ فَلَكُمْ رُءُوسُ أَمْوَالِكُمْ لَا تَظْلِمُونَ وَلَا تُظْلَمُونَ
“O you who believe! Fear Allah, and give up what remains of your demand for interest if you are indeed believers. If you do not, take notice of war from Allah and His Messenger. But if you turn back, you shall have your capital sums. Deal not unjustly and you shall not be dealt with unjustly.” [TMQ Al-Baqarah: 278-279]

Do not continue upon evil for fear of losing your rizq for this is a matter fixed by Allah. There are many clear texts from the Quran regarding this issue, such as:

وَلاَ تَقْتُلُواْ أَوْلادَكُمْ خَشْيَةَ إِمْلاقٍ نَّحْنُ نَرْزُقُهُمْ وَإِيَّاكُم إنَّ قَتْلَهُمْ كَانَ خِطْءًا كَبِيرًا"
"And do not slay your children, feraing a fall to poverty. We shall provide for them and for you." [TMQ Al-Israa': 31]

إِنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ الرَّزَّاقُ ذُو الْقُوَّةِ الْمَتِينُ
"Lo! Allah is that who gives livelihood, the Lord of unbreakable might." [Adh-Dhariyaat: 58]

Remember your Rizq will come to you whether you do haram or halal actions to achieve it, therefore why jeopardise your position in front of Allah and your akhira (afterlife) for the mirage of material wealth you chase in the dunya.

May Allah guide us all and give us steadfastness (istiqama).

The Ahkam Pertaining to Political Parties in Islam

The following is the transcript of a circle delivered by The Late Sheikh Imam Abul Hassan (May Allah rest his soul), Member of Hizb ut Tahrir and Imam of Masjid as Sahabah in Khartoum, Sudan.
بِسْمِ اللّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ
In the Name of Allah the Beneficent the Most Merciful 
The topic that will be addressed today and our discussion this night will be about the Ayah 104 from Surah Al- Imran:
وَلْتَكُن مِّنكُمْ أُمَّةٌ يَدْعُونَ إِلَى الْخَيْرِ وَيَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَأُوْلَئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ
“Let there arise from you a group (or Groups) who call to al-khair, i.e. Islam, who enjoin the good and forbid the evil and they are the ones who are the successful” (TMQ 3:104).
There are two discussions about this ayah that we want to investigate. The first discussion is that we must understand this ayah as a Tafsir i.e. how we can interpret this ayah. And the second discussion is about the tashree’, how do we legislate from this ayah and derive ahkams from this ayah.
Many of our brothers and sisters and many Muslims they get confused about Tafsir and Tashree’, we find many of our brothers who study books of Tafsir, they try to get ahkam from it, especially from all those mufassireen who are mujthahideen, because of that we find within some Tafsir there are some ahkam that they have derived. The Tafsir is the meaning of only the ayah, whereas the tashree’, ijtihad, is the opinion of the mufasireen because he has some opinions and some ahkam which he has derived from the text. The text of the Quran is what we call Tafsir and the text of the ahadith is what we call sharh. These terms are used by the fuqaha’ and the ulema; Tafsir regarding the meaning of Quran and sharh regarding the meaning of the ahadith of Rasoolullah (saw). These are the meanings of the words whereas tashree’ means to derive rules from the text. So what is the necessity of Tafsir? Anyone who wants to make ijtihad, get ahkam must know the Tafsir of the ayah, because the tashree’ is built on the Tafsir. But we must be aware of the Tafsir and the opinion of the mufassir, we must not get confused and take the mujthahid’s ijtihad as Tafsir, we must take only the meaning of the Tafsir if we want to make new ijtihad or we can adopt the ahkam already made, the ijtihad of the mujthahid.
So firstly we come to the study of the ayah, the Tafsir:
The word Waltakun(m);
The first letter in this ayah is the ‘waw’. The ‘waw al ‘atf’ و . The connection letter. This letter shows that this ayah has been connected to many of the ayat before. So what are the ayat that come before this ayah? To understand this connection we must know the ayat before this ayah.
Allah (SWT) says:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوَاْ إِن تُطِيعُواْ فَرِيقًا مِّنَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْكِتَابَ يَرُدُّوكُم بَعْدَ إِيمَانِكُمْ كَافِرِينَ
Allah is speaking to the believers and the rest of the ayahs also follow this pattern of addressing the believers.
The ayah says: “O you who believe! If you obey a party of those who have received the Scripture they will make you disbelievers after your belief” (TMQ 3:100). It continues and says;
وَكَيْفَ تَكْفُرُونَ وَأَنتُمْ تُتْلَى عَلَيْكُمْ آيَاتُ اللّهِ وَفِيكُمْ رَسُولُهُ وَمَن يَعْتَصِم بِاللّهِ فَقَدْ هُدِيَ إِلَى صِرَاطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ
“How can you disbelieve, when Allah’s revelations are recited unto you, and His messenger is in your midst? He who holds fast to Allah, he indeed is guided unto a right path”.
Allah (SWT) is saying to the believers you will not become like them since the Qur’an and the Ahadith (i.e. the words and statements of the prophet) are between you. What does this mean? Not between you in the libraries, not in your homes, but it means that it is in between your actions and you are practising this Qur’an and Sunnah and you are acting according to the Qur’an and Sunnah. Then;
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ اتَّقُواْ اللّهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِ وَلاَ تَمُوتُنَّ إِلاَّ وَأَنتُم مُّسْلِمُونَ
“O you, who believe, observe your duty to Allah with right observance, and do not die exceptas those who have surrendered (i.e. as Muslims).” (TMQ 3:102)
This ayah is similar to the ayah where Allah says to the messenger;
وَاعْبُدْ رَبَّكَ حَتَّى يَأْتِيَكَ الْيَقِينُ
And worship Allah until the certainty arrives (i.e. death)”. (TMQ 15:99)
Here the certainty means death. So worship Allah (SWT), make Ibadat to Allah (SWT), and seek forgiveness of Allah (SWT) and the right Taqwa to Allah (SWT) until the death.
“And hold fast, all of you together, to the rope of Allah”, which means Islam, the Quran and Sunnah,
وَاعْتَصِمُواْ بِحَبْلِ اللّهِ جَمِيعًا وَلاَ تَفَرَّقُواْ وَاذْكُرُواْ نِعْمَةَ اللّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ إِذْ كُنتُمْ أَعْدَاء فَأَلَّفَ بَيْنَ قُلُوبِكُمْ فَأَصْبَحْتُم بِنِعْمَتِهِ إِخْوَانًا وَكُنتُمْ عَلَىَ شَفَا حُفْرَةٍ مِّنَ النَّارِ فَأَنقَذَكُم مِّنْهَا كَذَلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللّهُ لَكُمْ آيَاتِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَهْتَدُونَ
“And do not separate. And remember Allah’s favour unto you: how ye were enemies and He made friendship between your hearts,” how in the past you used to be enemies, each one fighting one another as one of their tribe members said, “sometimes when we had no one to fight and kill, we used to go to our cousins and kill them.”
“So that you became as brothers by His grace,” In the Hijra the Ansar gave the Muhajireen their wealth and even their wives out of brotherhood.
“And (how) you were upon the brink of an abyss of fire (i.e. hell fire), and He did save you from it. Thus Allah makes clear His revelations unto you, that you may be guided”. This is the way Allah describes his guidance to you so that you may be guided by this guidance.
All of these ayahs come before the ayah and they talk about not being the disbelievers, not following the disbelievers, obeying Allah (SWT), making Taqwa to Allah (SWT), you must be brothers and have brotherhood and be unified and all of these things in Islam are all Fara’id. All of these are obligations.
Then the ayah comes:
وَلْتَكُن مِّنكُمْ أُمَّةٌ يَدْعُونَ إِلَى الْخَيْرِ وَيَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَأُوْلَئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ
So the و here is a connection between all of these ayats which are obligations. Thus we must remember this point insha’allah when we come to understand the Tashree’.
So now we come to the word:
The ل here is the Lam of ‘Amr’, of command. This is a letter which by Allah (SWT) shows that he wants us to do that specific thing. The word ‘waltakun’ is a فعل which means verb, so this now becomes a ‘fi’ il amr’-an order from Allah (SWT).
Then next comes:
This word has two meanings.
1)      The 1st meaning is that it could mean some of you, known as ‘Tab’eed’
2)       2nd it can also mean to be ‘jins’ which describes the type or as we know it in English as ‘from’. You can say that ‘give me your son and I will make from him a good fighter’. So from him there will be a good fighter not just part of him will be a good fighter and the other part will not be a good fighter. The ‘from’ is used to describe the whole. ‘From him’ this meaning is known as ‘bayan al-Jins’. So all of him will be a good fighter and this is another possible meaning.
So Allah (SWT) is saying either the whole Ummah must be what proceeds next or that part of the Ummah has to do what will proceed next.  This is known as ‘Li ‘l-tab’eed aw bayan al-Jins’. These are the two possible meanings and we must remember these two points insha’Allah when we come to the Tashree’.
So next comes:
And ‘kum’ here is a ضمير known as a pronoun, so to whom does it return? It returns to ‘O you who Believe’ as all of the previous ayats are connected and as mentioned before refer to the believers, YOU MUSLIMS. Thus also in the Tashree’ we must remember this point.
Next comes:
A group (or groups) who:
يَدْعُونَ إِلَى الْخَيْرِ
Calls to the khair, and in this case the khair which is ‘good’ refers to Islam. They also need to achieve:
وَيَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ
Enjoining the good and forbidding the evil. Thus they will become successful;
وَأُوْلَئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ
‘Muflihoon’ the correct meaning here is successful. If you now go to any Tafsir book and see this explanation this means this is the Tafsir. If you see anything in between, this means it is the Tashree’ and the Mufassir’s individual opinion, (the ijtihad of the mufassireen) so beware of that distinction. Now if we go to all of the Tafsir books, of Imam Qurtubi, of Imam Ibn Jarir at Tabari, Ibn Kathir, and all of the other books e will find this Tafsir, but in between you will find many differences in Tashree’.
When we come to the Tashree’, we ask ourselves now how we can derive ahkam (rules) from this. Nowadays it has become very difficult for the Muslims to derive ahkam from the ayat. In the past it was very easy. We find that in Medina the Arabs from the Bedouins, who were not educated, whenever they needed a hukm (rule) to act and practise Islam, they came to Madinah were the Prophet SAW was and they met the people in the markets and the shops and would give salaams and would ask the Muslims I have these issues what should I do. He didn’t ask who are you? “Is this Abu Bakr or Umar”, because Islam was practically implemented there and everyone had the ability to derive ahkam because they had knowledge of the ahkam (Quran and Sunnah) and the Arabic language. Whatever was required to make ijtihad they had the tools. Nowadays we have brothers who have many a weird and wonderful degrees and PhD’s but they fail to even derive the simplest of hukm from Islam.
Why has this legislating mentality been removed from the Ummah? Because Islam is not there in reality and the Ummah is not implementing Islam. Thus we find it very difficult as implementing legislation is not our reality as the Khilafah does not exist anymore.
So now when we try to derive Tashree’ from this ayah we go to the Tafsir (the meaning of the Arabic language). The above analysis was the basic understanding of the Arabic language and if we know any ahadith regarding the topic we bring them forth as well.
To begin with the و this is the first indication (qareenah) within the text, yet it is not a definite qareenah but it is still a qareenah. By other qaraa ‘in (indications) we will know the hukm. What does a qareenah mean, it means is there an order from Allah and it may be fard (Obligatory), if you do it you will get a reward and if you do not do it you will be sinful. Or it may be mandoob/mustahab/naafilah (recommended), meaning if you do it you will get reward but if you abstain there will be no sin. Or it may just be Mubah (Permissable).
For e.g. Allah says:
وَأَقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ
And establish the prayer (TMQ 24:56)
This is ‘amr’ a command; if someone prays he will get rewarded if he abstains he will be sinful and punished. However the Prophet (SAW) ordered us to pray 2 rakahs before Fajr and after Maghrib, but this is Sunnah.
Also when Allah (SWT) says:
وَإِذَا حَلَلْتُمْ فَاصْطَادُواْ
“But when you have left the sacred territory, then go hunting (if you wish)” [TMQ 5:2]
It is haram for the Hajji to go hunting while at Hajj. However if he finishes the ‘manasik’ he may go out hunting as the ayah commands but this is Mubah, not Fard or Mandoob. The order from Allah (SWT) the order from the prophet (SAW) maybe Fard, Mandoob, Mubah etc.
So going back to the و because it is connected to all the ayats, and they are talking about the top Fara’id in Islam such as staying away from the hell fire, unity, not following the disbelievers, holding on to Islam etc, it becomes connected to them and becomes an indication of Fard just like those things it has been linked with.
As mentioned before the ل here is the Lam of ‘Amr’, of command. This is a letter which by Allah (swt) shows that he wants us to do that specific thing, and this shows that it is also Fard.
We mentioned that the مِّن has two possible meanings in the Arabic language. So which meaning will we use? Is it for our desires or something emotional? No! We must try to understand the text and see which meaning it befits. For the whole Ummah to take on this job of calling to the khair and enjoining the good and forbidding the evil, it will be impossible. Because firstly the whole Ummah will never be under the banner of one understanding and one group but more importantly many members of the Ummah are not capable of enjoining the good and forbidding the evil. Some people are jahill (ignorant) of the rules of Islam and some people are mentally not qualified of enjoining the good as well as many other excuses for an individual to be excused. Thus here we take the meaning of ‘li ‘l-Tab’eed’, ‘part of you’ within this context.
Thus next we deal with the pronoun كُمۡ which means you, meaning you believers. That means it is haram for it to be from the non believers, in terms of its membership it cannot be for the kafireen, it must solely be for the Muslims based on the Islamic aqeedah. Thus same again with the word أُمَّةٌ۬ it has to be from the Ummah, not based on nationalism, like many organisations we see today they have Islamic names but have Non Muslims as members or un-Islamic policies based on haram, this is haram in Islam.
Thus the word Ummah أُمَّةٌ۬ has been used, is it possible for us to use any other words? Does it have to be the word Ummah as the name of the organisation for e.g. Ummah Islamiyyah? Can we use words such as ‘hizb’ or ‘Jama’a’ or ‘kutla’ or ‘firqah’ instead of Ummah? Or is it haram to deviate from this. The word ‘Ummah’ is it using the shar’ee meaning.?The shar’ee meaning is when Allah (SWT) gives a specific meaning to a word commonly used by the Arabs. For e.g. ‘salah’ in the Arabic terminology means just the du’a, but when we pray Maghrib we call it salah, although it contains many other meanings. Other examples are of jihad, zakat etc then these should not be changed as it is haram. However if it is just a linguistic meaning then there are no problems in changing the words. Thus here the linguistic word is being used so it is not a problem calling the group a Jama’ah. Nowadays if you call yourself a Jama’ah there seems to be no problems and same with kutla, but if you use the word ‘HIZB’ you will face many problems. Many people will ask how can you call yourself a hizb? Many people do not like this idea here it is to suffice to mention the ayah of Quran where Allah (SWT) says:
وَعَسَى أَن تَكْرَهُواْ شَيْئًا وَهُوَ خَيْرٌ لَّكُمْ وَعَسَى أَن تُحِبُّواْ شَيْئًا وَهُوَ شَرٌّ لَّكُمْ وَاللّهُ يَعْلَمُ وَأَنتُمْ لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ
“but it may happen that you hate a thing which is good for you, and it may happen that you love a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows, you know not”. (TMQ 2:216)
Going back to the discussion Allah uses the word ‘hizb’ حزب in the Quran when Allah (SWT) describes the prophet and the shahaba’s as:
أُوْلَئِكَ حِزْبُ اللَّهِ أَلَا إِنَّ حِزْبَ اللَّهِ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ
“They are Allah’s party. Lo! Is it not Allah’s party who are the successful?” (TMQ 58:22)
The word hizb, Allah (SWT) has not forbidden us from using it. The word hizb has two meanings. The linguistic meaning means the group of the man, so an army or a tribe can also be called a hizb. Then there is a more political meaning which means that these people they are in one group, convinced by the same ideas and concepts and they want to practise this and implement this in society.
So this group must now:
يَدْعُونَ إِلَى الْخَيْرِ
They must call to Islam. So before Allah addressed the members saying be Muslim and now Allah (SWT) is saying call to its concepts. Thus their members must be Muslims and their call has to be Islamic. We understand from this that it is haram for this party to have non Muslims or be built on a un- Islamic call, such as Socialist Party, Communist Party, Democratic Party, Capitalist Party they are all haram.
وَيَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ
But more specifically they must enjoin the good and forbid the evil. Now we know that Allah (SWT) has said that the party must call to Islam and here more specifically to enjoin the good and forbid the evil. Yet, we know that Islam contains enjoining the good and forbidding the evil and it is part of Islam so why is it specifically mentioned?
Here ‘al Khair’ الخير is general (aam), and enjoining the good and forbidding the evil is specific (khaas). So why has Allah (swt) mentioned a specific order after a general order? The scholars say that “if something ‘khaas’ is mentioned after something ‘aam’ and it is connected to it, it means the ‘khaas’ has an additional meaning. Such as when Allah says:
مَن كَانَ عَدُوًّا لِّلّهِ وَمَلآئِكَتِهِ وَرُسُلِهِ وَجِبْرِيلَ وَمِيكَالَ فَإِنَّ اللّهَ عَدُوٌّ لِّلْكَافِرِينَ
“Who is an enemy to Allah, and His angels and His messengers, and Gabriel and Michael! Then, lo! Allah (Himself) is an enemy to the disbelievers”. (TMQ 2:98)
Here Allah (SWT) is saying that whosoever takes Allah’s messengers and angels and Jibreel and Mikael as enemies Allah (SWT) will be an enemy to them. But Jibreel and Mikael are from the angels so why are they specifically mentioned. Here Allah (SWT) is specifically addressing the Jews who used to claim that they are the saved people but they used to vehemently hate the angels Jibreel and Mikael specifically. Here there are 2 meanings the scholars mentioned that Allah (SWT) is specifically mentioning them to give them honour  (i.e. the two angels) or because the Jews specifically hated Jibreel as they believed he betrayed Allah (SWT) and made a mistake by giving the messenger ship to the Prophet Muhammad SAW and not to a Jew (may Allah curse them).
We see that if something specific is mentioned after something general it has an additional meaning. So going back to the ayah, enjoining the good and forbidding the evil, what is the additional meaning here. First meaning to be added here is that enjoining the good and forbidding the evil is one of the most important acts of Islam, because Allah (SWT) mentioned straight after Islam (al Khair) and is like the previous example giving it honour. The second meaning here is what is the meaning of ‘enjoining’ and ‘forbidding’ within the context of the ‘Lisan al-Arab’ (Dictionary of the Arabic Language) and the classical Arabic dictionaries (Al-Fayrooz Abadi in al -Qamoos al-Muhit and in Lisan al-Arab ofibni Manzoor), they refer to ‘ordering’ people and ‘enjoining’ and ‘forbidding’ as سياسة ‘siyasah’ (politics). Telling people what to do and making them abstain from certain actions is politics.
So when Allah (SWT) says:
يَدْعُونَ إِلَى الْخَيْرِ وَيَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ
He is telling us to call to Islam in a political way and this is the additional meaning conveyed to us by the use of enjoining the good and forbidding the evil. This is a way in which we can call towards Islam.
So what is the meaning of the political way? We can either carry Islam in a political way or a non political way. We can forbid the evil when we find the people not practising salah, we can order them ‘dear brother you have to practise salah and salah is fard etc’. If you find someone lying you will say ‘you must not lie this is haram’. As the Prophet SAW said:
“When a man lies, the angel moves a mile from him because of the bad odour of what he has produced”, (Narrated by Abdullah ibn ‘Umar).
If you find the people doing something haram you forbid them, if you see the people not fulfilling the fara’id you order them, but what about the society, the government, and the ruler? If we find the King of Saudi Arabia is doing something haram we stay quiet and remain silent. But when you find the Ummah and the ordinary people doing something haram you forbid the evil. In this case you are still calling to Islam no one can deny that, but you are not doing it in a political way. This means that you are speaking about the people and leaving out the rulers, and this will not change the society. This will not solve the problem.
Al-Imam Ahmed Ibn Hanbal said:
“If I know that Allah (SWT) will accept one dawah from me, I will make this dawah not for the mujahideen, who are fighting and carrying Islam to the Kafireen and defending the Ummah, neither for the poor people, or for the mothers, or the children, or for the ill people but for the rulers”.
If the rulers are good Allah willing the people will be good, like at the time of Umar ibn al Khattab. A man came up to Ali Ibn Ali Talib(RA) and said why is it that at the time of Abu Bakr(RA) and Umar(RA) the Khilafah was so good and peaceful. Ali (RA) replied “because at their time they had people like me who obeyed them and I have people like you who obey me”. Ali (RA) still carried his people and implemented Islam on them and punished those people who rebelled against the state. This is what we mean by a political way and this is the additional meaning.
وأُوْلَئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ
“And those people will be the successful”. The word ‘those’ اؤلئك returns to the Ummah and the ‘falah’ فلاح includes in the dunya (World) and in the Hereafter. So he will have a good life here, Allah willing and in the day of judgement Allah (SWT) will reward him and give him Jannah.
Now this hukm from a general onset is ‘fard Kifayah’ (Obligation of Sufficiency). Imam Ibn Kathir, and Imam Al Qurtubi, and Imam Al Ghazali in his book ‘al Mustasfa’, and Ibn Hazm in his book ‘Al Ihkam fi Usul ul-Ahkam’, and Imam Jarir At Tabari, they all made ijtihad and said this fard for the Ummah is ‘Fard Kifayah’ originally and only needs to be fulfilled collectively.
So how do we realise that this is an obligation. The first qareenah (indication) was theو, although it in itself is not decisive, because it links to other ayat of obligations it acts as an indication of Fard. Also Allah (SWT) in the same ayah tells us to call to Islam which is Fard. Similarly it mentions enjoining the good and forbidding the evil, and we know this is fard because Allah (SWT) says:
وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتُ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَاء بَعْضٍ يَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ 
“And the believers, men and women, are protecting friends one of another; they enjoin the right and forbid the wrong.” (TMQ 9:71)
Also Allah (SWT) says:
لُعِنَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ مِن بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ عَلَى لِسَانِ دَاوُودَ وَعِيسَى ابْنِ مَرْيَمَ ذَلِكَ بِمَا عَصَوا وَّكَانُواْ يَعْتَدُونَ (78) كَانُواْ لاَ يَتَنَاهَوْنَ عَن مُّنكَرٍ فَعَلُوهُ لَبِئْسَ مَا كَانُواْ يَفْعَلُونَ
“Those of the Children of Israel who went astray were cursed by the tongue of David, and of Jesus, son of Mary. That was because they rebelled and used to transgress. (78) They restrained not one another from the wickedness they did. Verily evil was that they used to do!”(TMQ 5:78-79)
So here the disbelievers from the previous generations have been cursed because they did not enjoin the good and forbid the evil, and it is haram for the Muslims to copy or imitate the Jews and the Christians, which also indicates that this is fard.
The prophet SAW also said:
لَتَأْمُرُنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ ، وَلَتَنْهَوُنَّ عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ أَوْ لَيُسَلِّطَنَّ اللَّهُ عَلَيْكُمْ شِرَارَكُمْ ، فَلَيَسُومُنَكُمْ سُوءَ الْعَذَابِ ، ثُمَّ يَدْعُو خِيَارُكُمْ فَلا يُسْتَجَابُ لَهُمْ ، لَتَأْمُرُنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ ، وَلَتَنْهَوُنَّ عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ ، أَوْ لَيَبْعَثَنَّ اللَّهُ عَلَيْكُمْ مَنْ لا يَرْحَمُ صَغِيرَكُمْ ، وَلا يُوَقِّرُ كَبِيرَكُمْ
“You will (must) enjoin the good, and you will (must) forbid the evil, or Allah will make sovereign over you the worst of you, who will afflict you with the worst of punishment, then the best of you will make Du’a and it will not be answered”. “You will (must) enjoin the good, and you will (must) forbid the evil, or Allah will send against you those who will have no mercy to your young and no respect for your elderly”. (Ibn al-Qayyim).
Thus after establishing that enjoining the good and forbidding the evil is fard, and this is an action directly linked in the ayah to the group it means to have that group is also fard. The final qareenah in this ayah is that it is linked to success ‘muflihoon’, showing that whosoever does it achieves it while the others do not. These are the Karinah showing the fard nature of this ayah.
Furthermore we know from a usul principle that whatever leads to an obligation is in itself an obligation (Ma la yatimm al- wajibu illa bihi fa-huwa wajib)
So the biggest munkar (evil) for this Ummah currently is that the Muslim rulers are ruling by kufr, this is the biggest munkar. The spreading of this kufr and capitalism is everywhere, so this is the biggest munkar. So the Biggest ma’roof (good) is that Islam must dominate all other deens/ way of life’s and must replace this kuffur in this world and every kafir must come to Islam, either he becomes Muslim or pays the Jizya and becomes ruled by Islam. This is the biggest ma’roof so how can we achieve this? We cannot have this unless we have a state implementing Islam. Thus we cannot have the Khilafah or re-establish it unless we have political activities and have a political party.
So these are the indications that this is FARD, and a collective fard, because the ayah says:
“Let there be from the Ummah a group”.
Now someone may say is it allowed to have more than one group in Islam, is it haram to have more than one group, and have two groups etc?
Well if this ayah was restricted to one group Allah (SWT) did not mention this in the ayah, otherwise the word ‘wahida’ واحدة ‘one’ would have been mentioned after the word ‘Ummah’ indicating let their arise from you one group. This concept in usul is called ‘al-Mafhoom’ and falls under the category of ‘al-mafhoom Al-‘Adad’ (the sense of number). So because the ayah does not say let their arise from you one group, and has been kept general with the single use of the word Ummah it is allowed to have more than one group and also this is a collective obligation.
So when we now mention that this is a collective obligation (fard kifayah) what is the difference between it and the individual obligation (fard ayn)?
Here is a quote from Imam Al Ghazali’s book ‘al-Mustasfa’ where he says:
The difference between the individual obligation and the collective obligation is how to do it and the removal of the sin. Both of these are similar in shar’ee (legislative) meaning that they are fard on all of the Muslims whether it is kifayah or ‘ayn, however the individual obligation is on all of the Muslims, and the collective obligation is on a group of the Muslims and this is only a ‘hukmi’ (ruling) difference.
Thus an individual obligation is on every single Muslim and when he fulfils the action the sin will be removed from him. However if there are some members of the community who do not do it they will not be relieved of the sin, for e.g. Salah. However the collective obligation is still a fard on all the Muslims, if however they manage to achieve this obligation then they relieve themselves of the sin and they will only get the reward;
أُوْلَئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ
“And they are the successful”. But they will as well rid the the whole community of Muslims of the obligation.
Now there seems to be a misunderstanding of the terminology ‘fard kifayah’. A lot of Muslims say “well if its fard kifayah you go and do it and I will get along with my business.” The Fard Kifayah is a FARD, however these are ‘hukmi’ differences. These obligations are Fard on all the Muslims, however with the kifayah if Alhamdulillah some people achieve it then it is fulfilled. However up to that time until it is ACHIEVED every Muslim has to participate in that kifayah duty, like establishing Khilafah (the Islamic State) and the sin will remain on them just like the one who does not pray until he prays. Now it is fard upon the whole Ummah to re-establish the Khilafah till it is established otherwise all of the Ummah will be sinful except for those who are working for the re-establishment of the Khilafah. Thus all of the collective obligations such as Janaza (burial) prayers/ghusul and Jihad are fard and follow the similar pattern of hukm.
The Muslims nowadays ignore the word ‘Fard’ and go to the second word ‘kifayah’ straight away. But here Fard means if you do it you have the reward and are not sinful and if you do not do it then you are sinful. However is some of the people achieve this then the sin will be removed from your neck. This is the same thing that Ibni Badran mentions in his book as well as in ‘Rawdat al-Nazir waJunnat al-Munazir’ by Ibn Qudamah al-Maqdisi . This is the most important thing that we have to notice about this.
So this is how ahkam are derived from the ayats and we must understand our ahkam this way, how these ahkams have been derived to be muqallid muttabi’, and not muqallid ‘aami (blind follower). The blind follower all he does is ask about a hukm (rule) and follows it. For e.g. he will ask is this halal or haram and just follow it, without asking for the evidences and how the ruling was derived. We must be one step ahead and better than this and be a muqallid muttabi ‘and know the evidences and find out how the rules were derived from the elaborated evidences. Insha’Allah we should not stop there and study even more so that we can be mujthahideen so that we know all the evidences and rules so that we can derive our own rules from the evidences from the kitab and sunnah.
Jazakallahu Khairan, all praise and worship belongs to Allah, the Lord of the heavens and the earth.
1)      Is it possible for you to clarify what entails calling to the khair, what it may differ from enjoining the good and forbidding the evil?
A: There were misunderstandings about this part, the first misunderstanding that arose is that the Muslims thought that enjoining the good and forbidding the evil was only for the Muslims and for the Muslim lands. Also calling to the khair i.e. Islam was only for kafireen not for the Muslims. Calling to khair is for both Muslim and Non-Muslim. For the non Muslim we call them to Islam and for the Muslims to practise Islam. This is calling to the khair. So if we find non Muslims we give them dawah and invite them to become Muslim, whether he is your colleague, friend or neighbour. We tell them to believe in Allah, the Prophets, the Angels etc… Now for the Muslims we call them to khair by telling them to make their Islamic aqeedah the basis for their concepts and the halal and haram a measurement for their actions. Secondly enjoining good and forbidding evil everywhere, like the Prophet SAW did in Makkah when he invited people to Islam as well as enjoined the good and forbade the evil as well as expose the badness of Quraish.
When the prophet SAW recited the ayah to Abu Talib:
“Lo! Allah enjoineth justice and kindness, and giving to kinsfolk, and forbiddeth lewdness and abomination and wickedness. He exhorteth you in order that ye may take heed”. (TMQ 16:90)
Abu Talib when he heard this he said “O Quraish, this religion is for you”, so we need to continue in a similar manner by enjoining good and forbidding evil on everyone.
2) Some Muslims say that the qareenah in this ayah is the part where the ‘success’ is mentioned whereas other Muslims say that ‘enjoining the good and forbidding the evil’ is the qareenah with respect to the related evidences that each of these qareenah have. Is it possible for you to clarify this issue?
A: All of these are qaraa’in. Sometimes you will only find one qareenah in an ayah, but usually there must be two qaraa’in to show that it is fard; one to show the reward that you will get and the second to illustrate the sin at hand if avoided, and if there is one it merely shows the reward present in that act. This is also similar with the criteria for haram. However sometimes you will find more than two qaraa’in within a ayah, these will either be based on the principle that whatever leads to an obligation is an obligation or will be indefinite qareenah which will be general until it is specified by other text. So in this ayah all of these are karaa’in and represent the fard nature of the ayah.
3)      You mentioned that the word ‘min’-from has two meanings within the Arabic language and you have shown that we take the ‘li’l-Tab’eed’ meaning ‘some of you’. Could you give us a further elaboration as you mentioned as evidence to this that not everyone can physically do it, i.e. the enjoining of the good and the forbidding of the evil. However Salah is an obligation on the whole Ummah yet the Shara’ has given exception to those people who cannot fulfil it, couldn’t it not be the same case for this obligation where there is an ‘istitaa’a’ capability leeway. Thus this would hinder this meaning and make us adopt the second usage of the term ‘min’ and mean that the whole Ummah has to do it.
You mentioned that could it follow the example of the salah, that it is an obligation on everyone but there are exceptions for those who are not able to do it. The first thing to note is that salah is an individual obligation (ayn) whereas this ayah is communal (kifayah). So when we follow the order of the ayah it says ‘Let their arise from you a group’ and this has the possibility of two meanings of ‘li ‘l-tab’eed’ or ‘bayan al-jins’. When we refer to other ayahs talking about enjoining the good and forbidding the evil, we say they are ‘ayn’ in general. Such as;
“You are the best community that has been raised up for mankind. You enjoin right conduct and forbid indecency; and you believe in Allah”. (TMQ 3:110)
وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتُ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَاء بَعْضٍ يَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ 
And the hadith of the Prophet (SAW):
“Whosoever sees a Munkar (an evil or wrong) let him change it by his hand, if he could not let it be by his tongue. If he could not let it be by his heart, and this is the weakest of Iman”. [Muslim]
Thus here ‘sees’ means doesn’t necessarily mean to literally see it means ‘whosoever has knowledge of it’. However in the context of this ayah because it is calling for people to arise from amongst you and this is the biggest indication. Some of the scholars of Tafsir have said that it is ‘bayan al-jins’ but we say that they were wrong in its understanding and we take the meaning of ‘li’l-tab’ieed’ and it expresses the correct understanding of kifayah.
4) In this ayah it mentions calling to khair as calling to Islam, is it possible for people to call to only one ahkam of Islam or part of it and restrict yourself to that, can that fall under this ayah and its context.
A: this is a very important question, we must first realise that this ayah when it mentions calling to khair, as well as enjoining good and forbidding evil, it doesn’t specify what khair, what good or what bad. Thus the scholars of Tafsir have mentioned since it has been left unrestricted (mutlaq) and general (amm) then it means to call to all khair, all good and forbid all bad. It doesn’t say forbid those who do not pray, those that divide the Ummah or those who do not fast it is calling for all bad to be forbidden. Similarly with calling to khair, it cannot just be for sadaqah, or prayer or morals. Rather it has to be all encompassing and comprehensive, calling to all the ahkam of the deen.

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Q&A: Ayah 3:104 relating to a distinct group?