The Various Outlook Towards the Quran and Sunnah
Allah SWT, the Most Pure and the Most High, truly wants His servants to purify themselves with the truth contained in the Quran and the Sunnah (the way of the Prophet). Whoever is not serious in searching for this truth will certainly fail to obtain it as the truth is a secret hidden deep inside the treasury of Allah. Only His servants who truly love Him will get it and even then, only through serious and diligent effort.
At a glance, if one can fluently recite the Quran and Hadith, we tend to say, “Surely this man abides by the Quran and Sunnah. Surely he does not oppose whatever he recites.” But in our experience, we see too many who speak of the Quran and Sunnah, but do not act in accordance to them. They are like a doctor who forbids smoking but he himself smokes.
The truth is that even those who say they abide by and refer to the Quran and the Sunnah, which are supreme, do not fully live by the contents of the Quran and Sunnah. This means not all who have knowledge of the Quran and Sunnah have the attitude and conduct as laid out by the Quran and Sunnah.
In fact, what normally happens is too many of these people who have knowledge of the Quran and Sunnah deviate from the true path of this knowledge, which contain the rules of Allah. Why does this happen? It is none other than to make mankind realize that to be one who has “taqwa” (fear of Allah), which is the noblest status amongst mankind, is not easy. It does not suffice merely to enroll into a school of the Quran and Sunnah. Although by this way, one can become an expert on the Quran and Sunnah, it is not sufficient to make him one who has “taqwa”.
In order to achieve taqwa, the following must be done: –
1. We have to seek a teacher who practises the Quran and Sunnah. (In the time of the Prophet, he was the living Quran. In whatever he does daily, he abided and was guided by the Quran).
2. We have to seek a school that can educate us such that the more knowledge we get, the closer we are to Allah and the more we fear Him.
3. Learn from any teacher who appears to have put his life and death in the way of Allah in order to practise and uphold the Quran and the Sunnah in his daily life. Let it be known that whoever regards this matter as unimportant or trivial, these are the groups of people who will be placed into categories according to varying levels of attitudes towards the Quran and Sunnah.
It has been the phenomenon right up to now that various groups of people have various attitudes towards the Quran and Sunnah. From what I see, there are seven groups altogether. With the will of Allah, I will list out the groups for your guidance. Hopefully there is truth in it. The groups are as follows:
1. The group who learn and study the Quran and Sunnah so much so that they become experts in them. They believe in the Quran and Sunnah and they adopt them in their daily lives as a basis for their struggle and as reference in order to answer all questions. Their belief and character are in accordance to the Quran and Sunnah. If we ask them for proof from the Quran and Sunnah for whatever they do or practise, they are able to present such proof. In fact they can give Quranic proof for every question posed to them. But this group is scarce at this end of time. To find them is like looking for a white crow or red sulphur. There is none. They can be called “extra ordinary people.” They are the people of Allah or people who have taqwa (fear of Allah) and people who are faithful and pious. Those who love this group truly love them, and those who hate this group truly hate them. Many people hate this group especially theologians (ulamas) who are evil. They feel that these people challenge their status and position and indirectly too reveal their true colours and identity in that they (the ulamas) do not, and they really do not practise the way of life of the Quran and Sunnah.
2. Like the first group, the second group is serious in learning the Quran and Sunnah so much so that they become experts in them. They also believe in the Quran and Sunnah and they make them their references to answer all questions posed to them. They dare speak the truth although it hurts. They are similar to the first group except they do not have the strength to practise all the knowledge that they possess and believe. They fail to practise fully the Islamic shariah (rules of Allah) in their lives and in their struggle. Their characters too are not as beautiful and as perfect as the true character in Islam. All this is due to the fact that they do not have sufficiently strong faith to fight against their nafs and lust. They do not persevere and are not diligent enough in fighting against their evil desires (nafs) while such desire is the arch enemy of man. Allah Himself states this, which means, “Verily, desire and lust is always beckoning towards evil.” So, due to weak faith, this group always fail in the fight against their evil desires (nafs). They transgress the rules of Allah and at times they commit sins. But they realize and feel sad and they admit their weaknesses and sins. This group is numerous than the first. They involve themselves in propagating the Islamic teaching and knowledge to society. With this good deed, hopefully they are safe in the world and the Hereafter. For them Allah says, which means, “Allah forgives whomever He wants and punishes whomever He wants.”
3. The third group also talks of the Quran and Sunnah. In fact, they do learn the Islamic knowledge in general. They also believe in Islam as the truth and as a place of reference. But these people have personal interests. Islam is not the priority in their lives. They are not interested in the Islamic way of life. The Islamic knowledge for them is only for mental exercise and not more than that. Because to them, if Islam is practised, it will not bring success in the world and is not beneficial or profitable. In fact, to them, Islam, if practised, will bring them shame, will make them suffer from inferiority complex and will cause difficulty to them. But in areas and occasions where there is profit to be made or that can bring success without the element of shame and hardship, they will follow Islam. This group is made up of the people who use Islam for their worldly interests and purposes. They are not honest with the truth. They are not sincere with Allah SWT. This group is unbecoming (fasiq) and unjust (zalim) to themselves. In the Hereafter, they will be punished in hell, although not forever.At this end of time, there are many who belong to this group.
4. The fourth group is people who do not believe in Islam. But they are interested to learn the Islamic knowledge because they love the knowledge so that they can use it for mental exercise or for other purposes but not as a doctrine or reference to be used in their daily lives. They will use the knowledge only if it is profitable or if it gives them any benefit. Otherwise, to them, the Quran and Hadith do not mean a thing. The Islamic status of this group is in doubt. These are the hypocrites (munafik). In truth, they are the enemies of Islam.
5. Muslims who read the Quran and Hadith but do not understand them. They claim to practise the Quran and Sunnah but they do not learn or study them intensively. Their practice is merely taken from the books of ulamas of the various sects (mazhab) that they follow. They think good of the ulamas of the various sects. They are confident that the ulamas or the sects that they follow and that which they use as a guide uses the Quran and Hadith as its basis and as its terms of reference. They diligently practise the teachings of Islam that they learn from the various sects. If asked for proof that is used for their practice, they will quote the principles or views of the sects and the opinions of ulamas. They are not capable of bringing forth proof from the Quran or the Hadith. This group is known as the “Muqallidin” or people who follow (taqlid). In Islam, this group is allowed to follow (taqlid) only in matters of “fiqh” (the physical practice of Islam), for Islam views that it is not possible for everyone to fathom the knowledge of the Quran and Hadith to the level of “Mujtahid” (one who truly understands the Quran and is qualified to extract rules and laws from it), that is one who can stand on his own without depending on other people to understand the Quran and the Sunnah.
6. Muslims who hears of the Quran and Sunnah from afar, or who hears of the Quran and Hadith from public lectures (ceramah) or those who just follow the crowd. This group depend neither on ulamas nor on the Quran or Hadith. Nevertheless they still claim that the Islam they practise is taken from the Quran and the Hadith. Because they know that the source of Islamic teachings are from the Quran and Hadith; they feel sure that whatever is practised by the society must also be from the Quran and Hadith. This group is the majority and is the most numerous in this end of time. They are Muslims by descent who practise Islam based purely on the traditions of their race. Their Islamic knowledge is too meagre. Even their individual obligatory responsibilities (fardh ain) are not completely fulfilled. Their practices are only emulations and they do not know why and from where it comes. They are the ignorant. They do not know why they carry out the practice that they do. They are categorized as “unbecoming” (fasiq), or “traitorous” (a’si). Without them realizing it, they can die as traitors or betrayers for their offence of not wanting to learn, to study and to seek knowledge
7. Non-Muslims who love to study and learn the knowledge of the Quran and Hadith or the group known as the Western orientalists.
There are two possibilities why they like to do this: –
- To make a comparison between Islam and other religions and ideologies.
- To destroy the Islamic teachings. They will change or discard and add or distort the facts and its explanations. They hope to:
- Confuse Muslims who are ignorant about Islam.
- Put fear into non-Muslims so that they are afraid to adopt Islam as their religion.
This group consists partly of Christians, Jews and also some from amongst the freethinkers. They are the enemies of Islam. And the Quran itself mentions that: –
“And never ever will the Jews and Christians accept you until you adopt their religion.”
Up till today, their evil efforts have borne results. Most Islamic theologians, intellectuals, thinkers and academicians who study in the West are influenced by them, while most non-Muslims at the same time, look upon Islam with disgust and scorn. In our own country too, this phenomenon can be clearly seen. We often see how the intellectuals of Islam talk about Islam using the Western tongue; whereas some of them are people with power, having high positions in politics, economy, education, religion and so on.
These are the groups of people who have varying outlook towards the Quran and Hadith. Among the Muslim themselves, there are six groups. Only two of these groups are good in their practices. The rest, which are the majority, do not display the character of the Quran and in fact are traitorous towards Islam. They use Islam for their own purposes and pretend that they are good Muslims. Although they can fluently recite the Quran and the Hadith, they are actually “wolves in sheep’s’ clothing.” They deceive people by using Islam.
Their working papers are fantastic, complete with sound proofs and evidence based on the Quran and Sunnah. In addition, they can talk well making people believe they are practising theologians (ulamas who practice what they preach, ulama-ul-‘amilin), who practise Islam with their families, in their attitudes and behavior, in their social life, in their struggle as well as in their aspirations in life.
But when seen from a closer range, the reality of their lives are far from what they preach. They act differently from what they preach. They are double-faced. Countless people are deceived by them.
Verily, in my observations, through my travels around the world, especially to countries where Muslims are the majority, I noticed that a number of these people who are experts in the Quran and Hadith, do not have the intention to practise and to propagate it. They are more inclined to seek worldly gains, glamour and to use the knowledge merely for the purpose of mental exercise.
As a result, the people are enthralled by their knowledge but not to the extent of becoming their followers. They do not have the strength to lead people towards Allah and the Prophet. This is because they are merely people of knowledge who have no followers and who do not practise Islam. They are not leaders who can lead people to struggle and to uphold the Quran and Sunnah, the knowledge of which they possess.
I call upon all people not to be deceived and confused by anyone who talks about Islam but do not practise it. Know them at a closer range so that we are not enthralled for too long by them who do not do what they say. Learn Islam from teachers who practise it so that we too can practise and propagate it. Avoid learning Islam from those who are dishonest towards the truth of this religion of Allah.
May Allah always lead us towards the right path.