PEOPLE WHICH WE HAVE BEEN PROHIBITED TO IMITATE
1. THE KUFAAR IN GENERAL
The prohibition of imitating the kufaar has been mentioned in general without specifics. This includes the idolaters, the Jews, the Christians, the Zoroastrians, the Sabians, the heretics as well as others. So we are forbidden from all of what is specific to the kufaar in worship, in manners, and apparel. Just as when the Prophet (SAW) saw Abd Allah ibn Umar (RA) wearing two garments died in saffron he said to him, “Indeed these are the garments of the kufaar so do not wear them.” (Muslim and others) This proves that the Muslim is PROHIBITED to wear a garment which is SPECIFIC to the kufaar.
2. THE IDOLATORS
We are prohibited from their acts of worship, and their celebrated festivals and acts such as whistling, clapping, seeking intercession and a means to Allah by created things in the world. Like vowing and sacrificing at the site of tombs, etc. The pious predecessors always hated anything which was typical of the kufaar, and all of what was typical of the deeds of the kufaar. Ibn Umar (RA) hated the construction of balconies in the masjid, and he prohibited it on many occasions because he saw that it resembled the monuments of the idolaters. [See Ibn Abi Shaibah’s Al-Musnaf, and Al-Iqtidha al-Siraat al-Mustaqeem by Ibn Taymiyyah. It is reported from many different ways (Editor’s note).]
3. THE PEOPLE OF THE BOOK
Meaning the Jews and the Christians, we are prohibited from all of what is typical of the Jews and Christians, or of either of these groups, whether it is beliefs, worship, fashion, or celebrations. Such examples as building upon graves, and taking graves as masajid, HANGING PICTURES, being enraptured by women, not taking the predawn food before fasting, avoiding to dye gray hair, displaying the cross, and celebrating or joining with them in their festivals, etc.
4. THE ZOROASTRIANS
Whatever is typical of them; prayer toward fire and worship of it, elevating the leaders and noble class, shaving the hair on part of the head – especially the back – while leaving the rest, SHAVING THE BEARD, lengthening the mustache, whistling and using silver and gold dishes, etc…
5. THE PERSIANS AND THE ROMANS
This of course includes the people of the book, the Zoroastrians and others among the Persians and the Romans. Again, in general, we are forbidden from whatever is typical of them regarding worship, customs and rituals. Including; elevation and aggrandizing their leaders and heroes; obeying their priests and rabbis in their legislative decrees which contradict what Allah has legislated; and rigidness and severity in religion.
6. THE NON-MUSLIM FOREIGNERS
This prohibition is based on reported statements of the Prophet (SAW) prohibiting silk for men. The Prophet (SAW) also forbade men from standing form someone to honor them. He even prohibited the followers in prayer to stand when the Imam sat due to illness, so that it wouldn’t be taken as a way of glorification. Similarly it is mentioned in the hadeeth that this act resembles the foreigners in that they stand for their leaders and their heroes, and he (SAW) forbade this. (See Sahih Muslim and Sunan Abu Dawud, and Ibn Majah, and Musnad Ahmad)
Umar bin Al-Khataab (RA) is reported to have forbade the fashions of the foreigners, and the fashions of the idolaters, he severely forbade it as did many of the pious predecessors.
7. PRE-ISLAMIC IGNORANCE AND IT’S PEOPLES
Here is the forbidance of all of the actions of the pre-Islamic ignorance, and it’s characteristics, it’s worship, it’s customs, and it’s symbols like unveiling, displaying and showing off the women, and the staying in the sun for the Hajj pilgrim without any shade, or until there is no more shade, as is done by the Rawafidh today.
These are among the behaviors of pre-Islamic ignorance, and the idolaters. Similarly, the act of not properly covering the private areas, or exposing parts of it, nationalism, boasting about values and esteem, slandering lineage, wailing astrology, and intermingling (women and men) and usury (interest) etc…
8. SHAYTAAN (THE DEVIL)
Of those whom we are forbidden to imitate is Shaytaan. So the Prophet (SAW) mentions some of Shaytaan’s actions, and he forbade them. Like eating and drinking with the left hand as is reported by Muslim and others that the Prophet (SAW) said, “None of you should eat with his left nor drink with it, for indeed Shaytaan eats with his left and drinks with it.” (Muslim)
Unfortunately many of the Muslims arrogantly do this in opposition to the truth, thereby imitating the allies of Shaytaan from the kufaar and the hypocrites.
9. THE ARABS WHOSE RELIGON IS INCOMPLETE
These are the Arabs who are not knowledgeable about the religion, they introduce many customs and habits which have nothing to do with the religion of Islam, some which they inherited from the pagans of the pre-Islamic days. They copy them and familiarize themselves with them, and encourage what contradicts the shari’ah. Meaning by that, those who dwell in pre-Islamic nationalism, those who boast about family heritage, slander lineage, refer to maghrib as ishaa and to ishaa as atma or atama which means darkness or the first third of the night. [Translation note: The Prophet (SAW) has referred to ishaa as atama in an authentic hadeeth, see the chapter on al-adhan in Al-Bukhari’s Sahih. The issue here is to call both maghrib and isha with different names, and Allah knows best]. They practice swearing by divorce, and the execution of divorce through particular actions, or maybe they prohibit the niece so that none may marry her except her uncles son (her cousin) and other pre-Islamic customs.
CAUSES WHICH LEAD TO IMITATION
Causes which drive the Muslims to imitate the kufaar in violation of a prohibition of the Prophet (SAW) from doing so …
We should first understand that this matter is an event which they Prophet (SAW) informed us about, and that whatever did not yet occur from these statements of his, WILL occur.
We should as well understand according to the previous principle, that those who fell into imitation of the kufaar are neither the people of truth, or the people of the Sunnah and the Jaama’ah. They are instead the people of desires, and separation. Because any group which separates from the people of the Sunnah and the Jaama’ah is a victim of imitation (of someone else). Some of the most important causes which lead to imitation are:
1. PLOTS OF THE KUFAAR AGAINST ISLAM AND THE MUSLIMS
This has occurred since the beginning of Islam and continues today. The kufaar with their different religions and beliefs have always been plotting against Islam. Some of these plots have helped to successfully victimize the Muslims’ beliefs, behaviors, habits, celebrations and customs. That is why most of the causes which divide the Muslims are in actuality plots of the kufaar. So any group which separates itself from the ummah does so as a result of the efforts of the kufaar. That is; either the kufaar took part in spreading the cause and propagating it among the weak Muslims, or they were it’s leaders or followers. So the religious plots of the kufaar are among the original reasons for which the Muslims have become imitators.
Allah (SWT) said: “And never will the Jews and Christians be pleased with you until you follow their religions.” (Al-Baqarah 2:120) “…they do not fall short of inflicting loss upon you; they love what distresses you; vehement hatred has already appeared from their mouths; and what is in their hearts is worse…” (Al-Imran 3:118)
“Those who disbelieve from among the people of the Book and the idolaters do not like that you should have (revelation) sent to you from your Lord.” (Al-Baqarah 2:105)
“…If you obey those who disbelieve they will turn you back into disbelievers after you have believed…” (Al-Imran 3:139)
“…If you obey a group of those who were given the Book, you would turn back to disbelievers after you had believed.” (Al-Imran 3:100)
So there is no doubt that the kufaar have always been aspiring to separate the Muslims from their beliefs and they are making more of an effort now than in the past. Every Muslim who considers the situation of the Muslim world today will realize that the kufaar are struggling to establish their beliefs, customs, behaviors, habits, systems, politics, morals, etc… in the Muslim world. They have succeeded in causing the Muslim nation to fall into imitation more now than in any time during the past.
2. IGNORANCE OF SOME MUSLIMS AND THEIR LACK OF UNDERSTANDING THE RELIGION
They are ignorant of the rulings of the religion and of the ways of the pious predecessors.
3. WEAKNESS OF THE MUSLIMS, MATERIALLY, IDEOLOGICALLY, AND MILITARILY
This makes them feel weak and defeated and helps the kufaar to defeat them in many arenas.
4. THE PLOT OF THE HYPOCRITES
They live in the midst of the Muslims, and they have always been the MOST dangerous and most effective device serving the kufaar. So the hypocrites who exist among the Muslims greatly influence them into imitation of the kufaar. By hypocrites, we mean the following several categories:
Some of them are non-Muslims who CLAIM Islam, embracing it only to use it as a tool.
Some are originally Muslims, but they have left Islam.
Some lead toward corruption and evil deeds, even though they claim Islam, many of those who pull the Muslims into imitation are the ones in whose heart is disease. Nevertheless, the cause for Muslims’ falling into imitation of the kufaar are many.
WHY MUSLIMS SHOULD NOT BE MERE IMITATORS
By Abdisalam Adam
Source: Manar As-Sabeel magazine
ISLAM is a unique religion, different in many ways from other religions, whether the divinely revealed religions or man-made ones. Islam is unique in being from the beginning a universal religion, one for all of humanity. It is also unique in that its message is the final revealed message from Allah. Consequently its teachings have distinctive traits which in turn comprise the moral and ethical codes of the Muslim individual.
The Muslim should be distinct in his goals and his means of achieving his objectives. Islam has therefore made it of utmost importance to educate the Muslim to be unique in his outlook and existence in both spiritual and material matters, so that he may be an honorable ambassador of this religion.
The person who follows closely the ahadith of Prophet Muhammad (saws) will see how he stressed that the Muslims should not imitate the People of the Book, i e the Jews and the Christians, or still further the Magians and pagans. The Prophet said, “Whoever imitates a people becomes one of them.” (Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim).
Muslim scholars have also exerted much effort to draw the attention of Muslims to this great Islamic principle, which the renowned scholar, Ibn Taymiyyah, considered to be among the basic tenets of the Islamic shari’ah.
In another hadith the Prophet pointed out how a time will come when the Muslims will imitate the non-Muslims so closely that they will closely imitate whatever they do, even in trivial and illogical matters. Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri reported Allah’s Messenger as saying, “You will tread the same path as was trodden by those before you, inch by inch and step by step, so much so that even if they enter the hole of a lizard you will follow them in that also.” We said, “Messenger of Allah, do you mean the Jews and Christians (by the words ‘those before you’?” He said, “Who else (than these two religious groups)?” (related by Muslim)
There are four areas in which not imitating the non-Muslims has been explicitly expressed.
(a) matters of faith: This is the most dangerous form of imitation, for it leads to kufr (disbelief), such as associating partners with Allah. Examples of this are the Christian belief in the trinity and that Jesus is the son of Allah, or the claim of the Jews that Ezra (‘Uzayr) was the son of Allah. The Qur’an says, “And the Jews say, ‘Ezra is the son of Allah,’ and the Christians say, ‘The Messiah is the son of Allah.’ That is the saying from their mouths. They imitate the saying of the unbelievers of old.” (9:31)
(b) celebrations and festivities: These days many Muslims, due to a lack of proper understanding of Islamic teachings, openly participate in un-Islamic holidays or festivities, either secular or religious, about which the Prophet warned us. There is considerable evidence in the Sunnah of the Prophet stressing that Muslims should be distinct in their religious celebrations, which have been limited to two. Anas Ibn Malik (raa) narrated that the Prophet came to Madinah when they had two days they used to celebrate. He asked: “What are these days?” They said, “We used to celebrate these days during the days of ignorance (i e before Islam).” The Prophet replied, “Surely Allah has exchanged them for you with two better days – the day of al-Adha and the day of al-Fitr.” (related by Abu Dawud). It is therefore not right for Muslims to celebrate Christmas, Halloween, New Years, etc, as this entails imitating the non-Muslims.
(c) acts of worship: There is also considerable evidence that the shari’ah calls on Muslims to be distinct in their acts of worship. An example here is the voluntary fast on the day of ‘Ashurah (the 10th of Muharram), regarding which the Prophet instructed Muslims to fast on the 10th plus the 9th or 11th, in order to differentiate themselves from the Jews, who fast on the 10th only (Yom Kippur).
(d) general habits and behaviour: This is probably the most conspicuous, covering a wide range of character traits and moral etiquette, such as dress code, general appearance and the cleanliness. For instance, Muslims are forbidden to use gold or silver utensils. Also, Muslim men are forbidden to wear gold or silk, and Muslim women are to wear modest clothing (the hijab).
Islam thus encourages the Muslims to be independent and distinct in both their lifestyles and their outlook on life. It has been reported that one of the Companions, Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud said, “None of you should be an imma’a (imitator), and he was asked, “What is an imma’a?” He replied, “One who says, ‘I am with the people. If they do good, I do good also; and if they do evil, I also do evil.’ Rather, train yourselves to do good when others do good, but if they do evil, to refrain from their evil.” Ibn Mas’ud further explained that an imma’a is one who follows people in their vain desires, forms, styles, speech and deeds.
There is a need for Muslims to be distinct. Since Islam is the final religion that Allah revealed to humanity, it must be unique in its teachings, clear in its modes of operation, and exemplary in the behavior of its adherents. If Islamic da’wah remains subservient to others, and Islamic thought and philosophy continue to rely on others, the world will not give any consideration to the universal claim of Muslim to be representatives of Allah’s final revealed religion, which was concluded with the Seal of the Prophets, Muhammad. Allah says: “This day I have perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.” (5:3)
Therefore, Muslims need to review their outlook and roles in life. Islam should be the standard by which they measure all issues and solve all problems. Some might say that many Muslims do not know much about Islam and Islamic teachings. Such Muslims are obliged to inquire of the learned scholars around them, and they should in the meantime work hard to get themselves educated, at least in the essential teachings of Islam such as the articles of faith, the pillars of Islam, the major tenets of halal and haram (the lawful and the forbidden). Ignorance cannot for long be an excuse for failing to abide by Islamic injunctions; rather, seeking knowledge is encumbent upon all Muslims.
Knowledge and its acquisition occupy a prominent place in the teachings of Islam as attested to by the Qur’an and Sunnah. In the Qur’an, Allah, the Exalted says, “Allah will exalt those who believe among you, and those who have knowledge, to high ranks.” (58:11).
Similarly, most of the hadith books contain a chapter on the virtue of knowledge as indicated by the following hadith: “A person who starts his journey to acquire knowledge, Allah eases his passage to paradise, and angels express their appreciation on his acts, spread their wings and all the creatures that are in the heavens and on the earth, including the fish in the water, ask for forgiveness for a learned person. A learned person is superior to (an ordinary) worshipper as the full moon is superior to all the stars. The learned are heirs of the prophets and the prophets do not leave any inheritance in the form of dirhams and dinars (i e material wealth), but they do leave knowledge as their legacy. As such a person who acquires knowledge acquires his full share.” (Related by Abu Dawud and Al-Tirmidhi).
IMITATION OF THE KUFAR (EXCERPT)
By Dr. Nasr Al – Aql
Causes which drive the Muslims to imitate the kufaar in violation of a prohibition of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) from doing so. We should first understand that this matter is an event which the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) informed us about, and that whatever did not yet occur from these statements of his, will occur.
We should as well understand according to the previous principle, that those who fell into imitation of the kufaar are neither the people of truth, or the people of the Sunnah and the Jaama’ah. They are instead the people of desires, and separation. Because any group which separates from the people of the Sunnah and the Jaama’ah is a victim of imitation [of someone else]. Some of the most important causes which lead to imitation are:
1 . PLOTS OF THE KUFAAR AGAINST ISLAM AND THE MUSLIMS: This has occurred since the beginning of Islam until now, the kufaar with their different religions and beliefs have always been plotting against Islam. Some of these plots have helped to successfully victimize the Muslims’ beliefs, behaviors, habits, celebrations and customs. That is why most of the causes which divide the Muslims are in actuality plots of the kufaar. So any group which separates itself from the ummah does so as a result of the efforts of the kufaar. That is; either the kufaar took part in spreading the cause and propagating it among the weak Muslims, or they were it’s leaders or followers. So the religious plots of the kufaar are among the original reasons for which the Muslims have become imitators.
Allah Subhannahu wa T’ala said, وَلَن تَرْضَى عَنكَ الْيَهُودُ وَلاَ النَّصَارَى حَتَّى تَتَّبِعَ مِلَّتَهُمْ قُلْ إِنَّ هُدَى اللّهِ هُوَ الْهُدَى وَلَئِنِ اتَّبَعْتَ أَهْوَاءهُم بَعْدَ الَّذِي جَاءكَ مِنَ الْعِلْمِ مَا لَكَ مِنَ اللّهِ مِن وَلِيٍّ وَلاَ نَصِيرٍ
“And never will the Jews and Christians be pleased with you until you follow their religions.” (al-Baqarah 2:120) يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ لاَ تَتَّخِذُواْ بِطَانَةً مِّن دُونِكُمْ لاَ يَأْلُونَكُمْ خَبَالاً وَدُّواْ مَا عَنِتُّمْ قَدْ بَدَتِ الْبَغْضَاء مِنْ أَفْوَاهِهِمْ وَمَا تُخْفِي صُدُورُهُمْ أَكْبَرُ قَدْ بَيَّنَّا لَكُمُ الآيَاتِ إِن كُنتُمْ تَعْقِلُونٍَ
“…they do not fall short of inflicting loss upon you; they love what distresses you; vehement hatred has already appeared from their mouths; and what is in their hearts is worse…”(Aal ‘Imraan 3:118) مَّا يَوَدُّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ مِنْ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ وَلاَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ أَن يُنَزَّلَ عَلَيْكُم مِّنْ خَيْرٍ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَاللّهُ يَخْتَصُّ بِرَحْمَتِهِ مَن يَشَاء وَاللّهُ ذُو الْفَضْلِ الْعَظِيمٍِ
“Those who disbelieve from among the people of the Book and the idolaters do not like that you should have [revelation] sent to you from your Lord.”(al-Baqarah 2:105)
“… If you obey those who disbelieve, they will turn you back into disbelievers after you have believed..-.” (Aal ‘Imraan 3:139)
“…If you obey a group of those who were given the Book, you would turn back to disbelievers after you had believed.”(Aal ‘Imraan 3:100)
So there is no doubt that the kufaar have always been aspiring to separate the Muslims from their beliefs and they are making more of an effort now than in the past. Every Muslim who considers the situation of the Muslim world today will realize that the kufaar are struggling to establish their beliefs, customs, behaviors habits, systems, politics, morals etc… in the Muslim World. They have succeeded in causing the Muslim nation to fall into imitation more now than in any time during the past.
2. IGNORANCE OF SOME MUSLIMS AND THEIR LACK OF UNDERSTANDING THE RELIGION: They are ignorant of the rulings of the religion and of the ways of the pious predecessors.
3. WEAKNESS OF THE MUSLIMS, MATERIALLY, IDEOLOGICALLY, AND MILITARILY: This makes them feel weak and defeated and helps the kufaar to defeat them in many arenas.
4. THE PLOT OF THE HYPOCRITES: They live in the midst of the Muslims, and they have always been the most dangerous and most effective device serving the kufaar. So the hypocrites who exist among the Muslims greatly influence them into imitation of the kufaar. By hypocrites, we mean the following several categories:
Some of them are lion-Muslims who claim Islam, embracing it only to use it as tool.
Some are originally Muslims, but they have left Islam.
Some lead toward corruption and evil deeds, even though they claim Islam, many of those who pull the Muslims into imitation are the ones in whose heart their is disease. Nevertheless, the causes for Muslims’ falling into imitation of the kufaar are many.
THE SICKNESS OF IMITATING THE KUFAR
By Aboo ‘Abdullaah Hasan as-Sumaalee
Overview:Aboo ‘Abdullaah Hasan as-Sumaalee mentions, “Say (O Muhammad to the people of the Scripture): “Shall I inform you of something worse than that, regarding the recompense from Allaah: those (Jews) who incurred the Curse of Allaah and His Wrath, those of whom (some) He transformed into monkeys and swines, those who worshipped Taaghoot (false deities); such are worse in rank (on the Day of Resurrection in the Hellfire), and far more astray from the Right Path (in the life of this world).” [Sooratul-Ma’idah, 5:60]
“Ibn Taymiyyah stated, ‘Whoever has eemaan in his heart, he will flee from imitating the kuffar and imitating the kuffar comes from a sickness in the heart.’
“In your heart there is some inclination to the kuffar, those people who imitate the kuffar in their clothing…they are from the sickest (of the people).”
“Say (O Muhammad): “This is my way; I invite unto Allaah (i.e. to the Oneness of Allaah – Islaamic Monotheism) with sure knowledge, I and whosoever follows me (also must invite others to Allaah i.e. to the Oneness of Allaah – Islaamic Monotheism) with sure knowledge. And Glorified and Exalted be Allaah (above all that they associate as partners with Him). And I am not of the Mushrikoon (polytheists, pagans, idolaters and disbelievers in the Oneness of Allaah; those who worship others along with Allaah or set up rivals or partners to Allaah).” [Soorah Yusuf, 12:108]
‘The Jews said: This man (Muhammad) has not left anything that we’re upon except that he has tried to oppose and differ with us upon it.’
‘And it is a shame that when we have a sickness even so much so like the kuffar, (we are) resembling them, so when we have a bump (blemish) on our faces, we run to the doctor (to heal it). As for us… the hearts are dying and we are just watching them die!’
From the Characteristics of the Jews and the Christians
“Many of the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) wish that if they could turn you away as disbelievers after you have believed, out of envy from their ownselves, even, after the truth (that Muhammad Peace be upon him is Allaah’s Messenger) has become manifest unto them. But forgive and overlook, till Allaah brings His Command. Verily, Allaah is Able to do all things.” [Sooratul-Baqarah, 2:109]
Shaykhul-Islaam said, ‘The one who has envy in his heart has a trait of imitating the yahood.’
So look to your heart, do you envy any of the brothers sitting next to you. Do you envy your brother because he has a nice thobe, a nice pair of shoes. Do you envy him because the people love him and he is accepted? Then purify your heart for this is hasad, wash this envy, wash this hasad!! Do you hate that another is blessed?’
“Verily, Allaah does not like such as are proud and boastful…” [Sooratun-Nisaa’, 4:36]
“In order that you may not be sad over matters that you fail to get, nor rejoice because of that which has been given to you. And Allaah likes not prideful boasters. Those who are misers and enjoin upon people miserliness (Allaah is not in need of their charity). And whosoever turns away (from Faith, Allaah’s Monotheism), then Allaah is Rich (Free of all wants), Worthy of all praise.” [Sooratul-Hadeed, 57:23-24]
‘From the attributes of the kuffar is that they are stingy, miserly and mean. With knowledge and likewise with wealth, Again, do you find yourself being stingy with knowledge? Ya ‘Abdullaah, Ya Salafee! are you calling the people to ‘da’watus-salafiyyah’? Don’t be stingy.
Likewise, are you being stingy with your wealth? When the time comes to use your wealth to aid the call of Allaah, your hand is tight? If so, this is a characteristic of the Jews and the Christians.
Shaykhul-Islaam continues ‘…From the attributes of the Christians is that they hid knowledge, if they knew something is against them then they hide it.’
“O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allaah, even though it be against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, be he rich or poor, Allaah is a Better Protector to both (than you). So follow not the lusts (of your hearts), lest you may avoid justice, and if you distort your witness or refuse to give it, verily, Allaah is Ever- Well Acquainted with what you do.” [Sooratun-Nisaa’, 4:135]
‘From the characteristics of the Christians, the majority of their religion is that they busy themselves with music and pictures. Shaykhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah said this can be applied to the people who listen to anasheed (songs)… so if you have this playing in your car, then know that you have imitated the Christians.’
What is the Intention of this Lecture?
‘What do we intend by this. After understanding the impermissibility of imitating the Christians and the Jews? We intend by this to clarify the path (siraatul-mustaqeem) and those chapters of misguidance so that you may be aware of it and stay away from it. For that which is apparent, is that which is in the heart. Shaykhul-Islaam said that there is a clear connection between the heart and that which appears on the limbs.
So everyone we see wearing their baseball hats, we say ‘Subhan’Allaah’, do you love the kuffar to that extent? And we you see them praying, their backsides are hanging out, we say, ‘do you love the kuffar to that extent? ‘Those people who we see, slandering and backbiting, accusing the believers of disgusting things, like the tabloid papers, ‘do you love the kuffar to that extent?
This heart, you must dedicate some time to give it some food, Ibnul-Qayyim said, ‘The heat needs food, like the body becomes sick, the heart becomes sick.’ The prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said,
‘If this heart is pure then the rest of the body will be pure, and if it is corrupt then the rest of the body will be corrupt.’
By Su’ood Ash-Shuraym
Translated by Al Manar Publishing House
I advise you, as well as myself, to fear Allaah in times of prosperity and misfortune, in secret and in public: “O mankind! Worship your Lord, who created you and those before you, that you may become righteous.” (Al Baqarah: 21).
O people! When a person meditates upon the histories of past nations and populations, he will be instantly amazed at the revolutions and transformations they went through. For instance, there was a pioneering nation (i.e., the Muslim nation) which led the world for many centuries but then, it faltered and lost its leading role; it fell in the midst of blind imitation and followed the paths of other nations in terms of manners and beliefs. Once it was at the acme of development and reached the highest level of power and glory, but it later fell to the lowest point and was afflicted with misery. It died after it had been living, deteriorated after it was once flourishing and withered after it was blossoming. It was the nation that discovered the sources of knowledge and developed the Islaamic civilization and sciences, which the West later obtained significantly, without having to exert the least of efforts. Thus it seems as if the gates towards progress had been shut off for the Muslims as they turned into artificial consumers of the Western civilization. They even began to adopt certain features of it, which were originally theirs but had been stolen away from them.
O Muslims! When a Muslim blindly imitates the West, he turns into a loyal supporter of their beliefs and customs; he is like one who tries to reform something but spoils it while he is unaware. He is just like a defeated follower, like a baby who bites and severs his mother’s breast while it is in his mouth. Such a person does not know that blind copying of the West involves hidden hazards and that our rights, honor and dignity are violated by such imitation and imbecilic pride.
O Muslims! The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “You will imitate the nations before you very closely to the extent that if they went into a lizard’s hole, you would enter it as well” his companions, may Allaah be pleased with them, inquired: “(Do you mean) the Jews and Christians, O Messenger of Allaah?” He sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam replied: “Who else?” (Bukhaari & Muslim). The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam also said: “The Day of Judgment will not come until my Nation closely imitates the nations before them.” It was asked: “Like the Persians and Romans, Messenger of Allaah?” He sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam replied: “Who are the nations (I could mean) except those?” (Bukhaari).
The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam foretold that some of his nation will imitate the People of the Book, namely the Jews and Christians, as well as other non-Arabs, namely the Persians and Romans. Allaah says that which means: “[You disbelievers are] like those before you; they were stronger than you in power and more abundant in wealth and children. They enjoyed their portion [of worldly enjoyment], and you have enjoyed your portion as those before you enjoyed their portion, and you have engaged [in vanities] like that in which they engaged…” (At-Tawbah: 69). Ibn ‘Abbaas, may Allaah be pleased with him, commented on this verse by saying: “These are the Children of Israel that we will imitate.” Ibn Mas’ood, may Allaah be pleased with him, also said in this regard: “You are closely similar to the Children of Israel as far as outside appearance and manners are concerned, but I do not know whether you will worship the calf (as they did) or not.”
O servants of Allaah! The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam used to prohibit imitating other nations. It is worth mentioning that these traditions do not indicate that the entire Muslim nation will commit this sin as he sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam also foretold that a group of his nation will continue to stick to the Straight Path until the Day of Judgment.
The Muslims constitute the most guided and well-mannered nation in this life; and on the Day of Judgment Allaah will make them witnesses over all other nations as He says that which means: “And thus We have made you a median [i.e., just] community that you will be witnesses over the people and the Messenger will be a witness over you…” (Al-Baqarah: 143). Indeed, this is a very prestigious position. How is it, then, that Muslims imitate others in their customs, traditions and feasts? The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam even forbade the Muslims from acquiring religious information from the People of the Book; once, ‘Umar ibn Al-Khattaab, may Allaah be pleased with him, was reading some parts of one of the scriptures of the People of the Book to the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, so he got angry and said: “I have conveyed to you a clear religion. Do not ask them (the People of the Book) about anything, for they may tell you the truth while you belie them or they may lie and you might believe them. I swear by Him in Whose Hands is my soul, if Moosaa was alive, he would not have any choice but to follow me.” (Ahmad & Ibn Abi Shaybah).
Allaah made human beings and all other creatures accustomed to interacting with their similar counterparts. When the degree of similarity increases, such interaction and hence imitation in morals and characteristics becomes more complete, until it is hardly possible to distinguish between them. Accordingly, human beings are affected by each other and acquire each other’s traits through cohabitation and imitation. It is also known that if a human being stays in the company of a certain type of animal, he would pick up some of its features; that is why, for example, those who tend camels are known for their pride and arrogance, while shepherds are known to be humble and calm, whereas those who raise both camels and mules acquire some of the bad attributes of both. Similarly, a domestic animal acquires some human characteristics, such as the ability to live with others.
Furthermore, when a person puts on the clothes usually worn by scholars, he may feel himself as somehow closer to them, because similarity and imitation in outward appearance leads to resemblance in inward characteristics such as personal characteristics and morals, as is witnessed in reality and is confirmed by Islaamic jurisprudence and common sense. In the old times, it was said: ‘Birds of a feather flock together’; this is a realistic proverb which conforms to the manner in which Allaah has formed His creation. The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam spoke the truth when he said: “Whoever imitates a people is one of them.” (Ahmad & Abu Dawood)
Shaykh Al-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah, may Allaah have mercy on him, said: “We have seen that the degree of polytheism is less in those Jews and Christians who reside with Muslims, and that the degree of faith in the Muslims who have dealt extensively with the Jews and Christians is lesser than that of the pious Muslims.”
O servants of Allaah! Imitating polytheists and atheists in their clothing, customs, rules, politics and economics has become widespread among many Muslims to a very large extent, so much so that the one who blindly imitates and tries to Westernize might even be respected by the foolish masses and the youth, including the rich, intellectuals and even the poor, who are attracted to such a person. Woe to imitation and subordination! What weighty and oppressive constraints they have! What a dark path theirs is! What a great loss for whoever follows them!
Yes, woe to imitating and following the West! It has trapped some Muslim generations in the dark, narrow prisons of subordination and dependence, and prevented them from thinking, meditating and heading for glory. It has blocked the means to the real happiness of their souls.
Woe to imitation and dependence! They are obstacles for the intellects and prevent everything that may revive them.
The Muslim Nation should lead, not be led; others should depend on us and not the reverse. Our Nation should not be deceived by the artificial adornments possessed by some devastated people, as Allaah says that which means: “And do not extend your eyes toward that by which We have given enjoyment to [some] categories of them, [its being but] the splendor of worldly life by which We test them. And the provision of your Lord is better and more lasting.” (Taa-Haa: 131).
The Western civilization is like a mirage, which, when seen from a distance is like a large sea, but it is as Allaah says which means: “But the disbelievers – their deeds are like a mirage in a lowland which a thirsty one thinks is water until, when he comes to it, he finds it is nothing but finds Allaah before him, and He will pay him in full his due; and Allaah is swift in account.” (An-Noor: 39).
The weak and ignorant Muslims, who try to remodel the principles of our nation through imitation, should know that even though such temporal morals may ruin some of the deeply rooted ones, they will never remain or become innate. If some people believe that our nation must change its ways for development, then let it be known that our resorting to the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is the best means for change. Allaah says that which means: “…Indeed, Allaah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves. And when Allaah intends for a people ill, there is no repelling it. And there is not for them besides Him any patron.” (Ar-Ra`d: 11).
If we embrace the means to be powerful, stick to deep-rooted principles such as strong will, piety, courage and Islaamic zeal and adhere to our distinctive code of life which indicates that we are religious and ethical people, what harm would we get from it? Are these not the true Islaamic morals? Are there any other solid foundations for progress besides them? Allaah says that which means: “[And say, ‘Ours is] the religion of Allaah. And who is better than Allaah in [ordaining] religion? And we are worshippers of Him’” (Al-Baqarah: 138) and also: “[Say], ‘Then is it other than Allaah I should seek as judge while it is He who has revealed to you the Book [i.e., the Qur’aan] explained in detail?’…” (Al-An’aam: 114)
However, if we are to adopt foreign customs and traditions alien to our religion, from the West, we should remember that Islaam is Islaam and polytheism is polytheism, and that they live in one hemisphere and we live in another. We were the masters before we assumed these Western traditions that ruined the free Muslim nation – its men and especially its women, who have rushed after the unknown in a breathless attempt to imitate the West. They are amazed by the eye-catching products of its industries and have followed its disgraceful women to the extent that their clothes became almost the same as those of Western models. When you see any Muslim woman wearing a dress barely covering her private parts, you should know that this is an example of their kind of clothing. The Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said about such women: “I have seen none lacking in common sense and failing in religion and (at the same time) robbing the wisdom of wise men, besides you (women).” (Bukhaari & Muslim).
This is why when Allaah says that which means: “…and amended for him [i.e., Zakariyya] his wife…” (Al-Anbiyaa’: 90) it denotes that He thereby bestowed much grace upon Zakariyya, peace be upon him: He also says which means, “…So righteous women are devoutly obedient, guarding in [the husband’s] absence what Allaah would have them guard…” (An-Nisaa’: 34)
O Muslims! The restrictions imposed by our religion on the human being are not meant to torture or deprive him from the pleasures of this life. Rather, their aim is to elevate him from mere animalism to complete humanity. Thus, a Muslim will become capable of overcoming subservience and dependence, and his faith and piety will overpower animalistic lusts.
Whenever a society ignores such restrictions or belittles them, it jeopardizes and opens itself to serious problems and positions itself on the brink of destruction, as Allaah says that which means: “…And whoever transgresses the limits of Allaah – it is those who are the wrongdoers [i.e., the unjust]” (Al-Baqarah: 229) and also: “…And who is more astray than one who follows his desire without guidance from Allaah? Indeed, Allaah does not guide the wrongdoing people.” (Al-Qasas: 50).
Our Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam prohibited whatever acts lead to the imitation of the polytheists to such an extent that one of the Jews said about him: “This man does not wish to set aside any of our affairs until he acts in nonconformity with it.” (Muslim).
It is also reported that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam forbade Muslims from offering prayers after dawn until the sun rises and following the afternoon prayer until sunset. He explained that the sun rises and sets between the horns of the devil and at this time, the polytheists prostrate before it. It is well-known that a believer never prostrates himself to anything except Allaah; most people may not even be aware that the sun rises and sets between the horns of the devil and that the polytheists prostrate before it, yet, the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam commanded Muslims not to pray at this time so as not to imitate the polytheists in any way.
Imitating the People of the Book and the non-Arab polytheists will surely lead to some degree of affection towards them. For this reason also, imitation is prohibited in order to block the way before such love transpires and to prevent allegiance to them; this is aside from the legal evidences that prohibit such imitation.
It is plainly evident that some people who copy the polytheists in their clothes, manners, traditions or speak their language, harbor love and admiration for them. In this way, the polytheists succeed in disseminating ideas such as globalization and a universal religion which affect some sick-hearted Muslims; all of these aim at weakening the Muslim character and identity. Whenever a person objects to such ideas, he is labeled as an introvert, an isolationist and even a narrow-minded person alienated from this world and who should have died in his cradle.
Such people seem to ask why the bells of churches do not chime along with the minarets reverberating “Allaah is the Greatest.” They ask why there are not many religions being practiced in the Arabian Peninsula, but they forget or seem to forget that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “There must not be two religions in the Arabian Peninsula.” (Maalik & Ahmad).
Allaah says that which means: “And never will the Jews and the Christians approve of you until you follow their religion. Say: ‘Indeed, the guidance of Allaah is the [only] guidance.’ If you were to follow their desires after what has come to you of knowledge, you would have against Allaah no protector or helper.” (Al-Baqarah: 120). He also says that which means: “They wish you would disbelieve as they disbelieved so you would be alike…” (An-Nisaa’: 89).
MUSLIM SORORITIES ARE AN IMITATION OF THE KUFAR
By Dr. Saleh as Saleh (hafidhahullah), a former student of Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saleh al-Uthaymeen (rahimahullaah)
Question about a Muslim Sorority sent Wednesday, January 04, 2006 1:14 AM
As salaamu alaikum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuhu
Is it permissable for muslims to have a greek sorority and/or fraternity as the kufar do on college campuses? Does this fall into imitation of the kuffar?
Reference article on Muslim Sorority:
First Muslim sorority embraces Greek life, carefully
By Cara Anna, Associated Press Writer
(AP, 11/25/05) “I’m obviously Muslim, you know. I cover.” Imani Abdul-Haqq keeps her bright headscarf closely around her. But when she was out shopping not long ago, a clerk focused on her keychain instead, its three Greek letters stamped in classic green.
“Oh, you’re in a sorority!” the clerk said. But not just that. America’s first Muslim sorority is Abdul-Haqq’s own. The senior at North Carolina’s Guilford College founded Gamma Gamma Chi this summer. She’d been looking for the full, fun college experience, but she found it hard to be a good Muslim in the standard Greek world.
and its website http://www.gammagammachi.org/
JazakAllaahu khairan Was-Salaam
Answer: wa’alkum as-salaam wa rahmatullahi wa barakaatuh
Establishing a muslim organization must be based upon:
1. True Islamic Principles
2. Avoiding the resemblence of the kuffar in essence and in symbols so as to be distinguished.
Now from what it seems that the peson who calls for something is lacking it. She has her hijab as a Scarf!! so what kind of teaching and symbols she will call for. Second, and even worse is the intent behind this:
“Unifying Muslim women and non-Muslim women of all races, cultures, and ethnicity.” How could this take place without compromising the principles of Tawheed. Many think in the Kaafir culture is in sharp contradiction of Islam. So this will lead to DILUTION of any deen left with the sisters under such principles. People are to be called to Unite on Tawheed and Against Shirk!!! This even contradicts the verse she cited. The verse is against this principle, because it calls to enjoin good and the greatest good is Tawheed, and it calls to forbid what is evil, and the greatest evil is Shirk. So how can they “unite” under these objectives.
They will also be pressured to compromise attending joint parties, music, alcohol (in conferences,dinners. etc..) something they would feel hard to avoid lest they will look “weird” and “not fit in.”
Not to mention sitting there watching soup operas and wastage of time.
Also in its essence it is a resemblance of the kuffar since it carries the same symbols particular to them. Not strange that this is taking place! The Prophet (sallaa Allahu ‘aleihi was-salaam) said”” You shall follow the paths of those before you, hand-span by hand-span, arms length by arms-length, even if they would enter a lizards whole you enter it as well.” They (the companions,may Allah be pleased with them), said: (Are) They the Jews and christians? He (sallaa Allahu ‘aleihi was-salaam) responded: WHO ELSE.
Furthermore, islam stands against free mixing, so then this would allow for the argument that : well i can go for a mixed school and stay in the sorority. It will be an encouragement (even indirectly for being in mixed environment instead of finding alternatives,like online, women colleges, etc.).
SO if the establisher thinks there is a chance to bring the Muslimat together, let her remember that “bringing bodies together” is not the objective, rather is to bring them on Tawheed. So I advice her to learn her deen (yes! no insult), and kindly advice her to visit http://www.understand-islam.net
salaam to all
Truly saleh as-saleh
The ayat Dr. Saleh is referring to quoted on the Sorority’s site is:
Let there arise out of you a group of people inviting to all that is good, enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong. They are the ones to attain felicity. (Holy Qur’an 3:104)
The hadeeth Dr. Saleh quoted is:
It was narrated from Abu Saâ€™eed (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: â€œYou will certainly follow the ways of those who came before you, handspan by handspan, cubit by cubit, until even if they entered the hole of a lizard, you will do so too.â€ We asked, â€œO Messenger of Allaah, (do you mean) the Jews and the Christians?â€ He said, â€œWho else?â€ (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 3269; Muslim, 2669).
It was narrated from Abu Hurayrah (may Allaah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: â€œThe Hour will not begin until my ummah follows in the footsteps of those who came before it, handspan by handspan, cubit by cubit.â€ It was asked, â€œO Messenger of Allaah, like the Persians and Romans?â€ He said, â€œThose are the people?â€ (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 6888)