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[1] The major catalysts behind the Ummah’s weakness and deterioration- By Imam Abdul Aziz Bin Baz

Arabic text: weakness_part1

Imam Abdul Aziz Bin Baz [may Allah have mercy upon him] stated:

All praise and thanks are due to Allah, the Lord of the entire existence, and the (commendable final) outcome is for the righteous. May peace and blessings be bestowed on His servant and messenger – the one He chose, declared trustworthy, and entrusted with His divine message, and the most excellent among His creations, our Prophet, leader, and master, Muhammad, the son of Abdullah, the son of Abdul-Muttalib. May peace and blessings be upon his family (the believers among them), all his companions (without any exceptions), and all those who follow his path and are guided by his guidance until the end of time. To proceed:

Indeed, Muslim intellectuals, individuals with a strong sense of protective jealousy for Islam, and those who deeply ponder over the well-being of the Muslim Ummah have expressed great concern about the current state of Muslims and the factors that have contributed to it. This issue has consumed their thoughts, prompting them to reflect extensively on the causes of Muslim weakness, trailing behind their adversaries, their differing and lack of unity, and the factors that have allowed their enemies to overcome them until they took some of their lands. After acquaintance with clear reasons, they also directed their attention toward identifying the solutions for these causes that led to the regress and weakness, which are also well known. However, it is essential to spread and clarify this information, as describing the disease and its treatment is one of the greatest factors in attaining a cure and well-being. Indeed, it is appropriate for a patient to take charge of administering the medication for their illness when they are aware of both the nature of the disease and its treatment. This is the nature of a rational human being who loves (or values) life and strives to be free from diseases. He pays attention to familiarising himself with the disease and its cure.

However, some people may find themselves overwhelmed by the illness to the extent that they become pleased with it and derive satisfaction from it, eventually losing sight of the reality of their situation. Consequently, they do not care about those who describe the cure for them because the disease has become a source of comfort and a habitual way of life, thus leading them to persist in their condition due to a distortion in their mental state, a lack of insight, and the overpowering influence of their base desires on their intellect, heart, and behaviours, as is the case for most people when it comes to religious cures and treatments. The majority, indeed, derive pleasure from their illnesses and evil deeds, which have weakened them, impeded their progress towards beneficial actions, and rendered them oblivious to the true nature of the disease, its repercussions, and its consequences in both this life and the hereafter. They do not seek remedy, nor do they display any enthusiasm towards it, even when it is described and explained to them, even when it is readily available, for it holds no significance to them. The cause of this lies solely in the potency of the ailment, the contentment of the soul with it, the concealment of its harm, and the absence of lofty aspirations to attain lofty objectives.

The scholars, individuals with bright thoughts, and those with profound insight and experience have clarified the state of the nations in both the present era and the past, along with the factors contributing to the weakness and the Muslims being delayed in (attaining beneficial things). They have also clarified the path of the effective remedies and the outcomes if properly utilised. The causes of weakness, setbacks, and the enemies prevailing can be traced back to a multitude of factors, with one primary factor giving rise to several others. This key factor is ignorance; ignorance concerning Allah and the religion He has prescribed, and the consequences that overwhelmed the majority, thus knowledge became scarce and ignorance prevailed. Due to this ignorance, factors, and reasons arose, such as a love of the worldly life and a fear of death (at the expense of one religious welfare), neglecting prayers and succumbing to vain desires, failing to prepare for their enemies, and contentment with receiving necessities from them; the lack of lofty aspiration in seeking after their need from lands and resources. Also, from this ignorance arose division, differences, and the absence of (sound) unity, cohesion, and cooperation.

Except what Allah willed (to remain of strength, virtue etc), weakness in the face of the enemy arose, along with delay in all matters, due to these perilous factors, their repercussions and outcomes, such as inclination towards forbidden desires, preoccupation with what hinders a person from guidance and Allah’s path, lack of preparation against the enemy in terms of industry and sufficient weapons that would frighten the enemy and help in fighting and striving against him, taking what is rightfully ours, failure to prepare physically for Jihad, not spending wealth on what is necessary to prepare against the enemy, and safeguarding against his evil, defending the religion and the homeland. As a result of this disease, emerged the eagerness to acquire worldly possessions through any path and accumulate them through any means. Every individual became concerned only with themselves and what is related to their country, even if it meant disregarding their religion or most of it.

This is the situation of the majority, and it is prevalent in the nations that ascribe to Islam at present; rather, it is correct to state that this is the reality, except that which Allah wills concerning some individuals, and those who are protected in a manner that is not entirely complete and required in all aspects (of steadfastness). This shows that the greatest cause (of this situation) is ignorance about Allah and the religion He has prescribed, as well as (ignorance about) the realities that should be acted upon and adopted, (which can be inferred from) the saying of the Prophet [peace and blessings of Allah be upon him] in the authentic hadith: “Whomever Allah intends good for, He gives him understanding of the religion”, along with the verses and hadiths that highlight the evil of ignorance, its evil ramifications and outcomes, and what follows from that. The Quran is replete with denunciations of ignorance and its followers, and cautions against it, as Allah – The Most High – states:

وَلَكِنَّ أَكْثَرَهُمْ يَجْهَلُونَ

“But most of them behave ignorantly”. [Al-An’am 111]

وَأَكْثَرُهُمْ لا يَعْقِلُونَ

“And most of them have no understanding”. [Al-Ma’idah 103]

And other verses that demonstrate the condemnation of being ignorant about Allah, ignorance about the religion He has ordained, and ignorance about the enemy, and what should be prepared in terms of readiness, unity, and cooperation.

These things that have arisen from ignorance have led to division, differing, inclination toward vain desires, neglect of what Allah has obligated, lack of prioritising the Hereafter, and lack of truthful affiliation with it; rather, the majority only cares about the immediate worldly life, as stated in the noble verse from Allah’s Book:

كَلا بَلْ تُحِبُّونَ الْعَاجِلَةَ
وَتَذَرُونَ الْآخِرَةَ

But (you) love the present life of this world, and leave (neglect) the Hereafter. [Al-Qiyamah 20-21]

And as Allah says:

فَأَمَّا مَنْ طَغَى
وَآثَرَ الْحَيَاةَ الدُّنْيَا
فَإِنَّ الْجَحِيمَ هِيَ الْمَأْوَى

Then as for he who transgressed, and preferred the life of the world (over working for the hereafter), then indeed, Hellfire will be the abode (for him). [An-Nazi’at 37-39] etc

Except what Allah wills (to remain of virtue), these debacles and evil ramifications, such as the love of worldly life and the hatred of death (at the expense of one’s religious wellbeing), inclination toward vain desires, neglecting obligations and the prayers, and failing to prepare for the enemy in all aspects, as well as division, differing, lack of cohesion and cooperation, all arise from ignorance.

Therefore, the saying of the Prophet [peace and blessings of Allah be upon him] that “Whomever Allah wishes good for, He grants him understanding in the religion” highlights that one of the signs of goodness and happiness for individuals, societies, and nations is to possess understanding in religion. Indeed, striving to understand the religion, to learn and gain insight into what is obligated to them concerning this life and the Hereafter are among the most important obligations. This is a sign that Allah wishes goodness for them. Part of this is the fulfilment of the obligations ordained by Allah, abstaining from what Allah has prohibited, and adhering to the boundaries set by Allah, in addition to making preparations for the enemies.

To be continued InShaAllah

Source: Majmoo Fataawaa Wa Maqaalaat Shaikh Ibn Baz 5/101

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I ask Allah to bless my beloved Salafi brother, bosom buddy, and colleague Ustaadh Abu Tasneem Mushaf Al-Banghali for recommending the translation of this article.

Read article by Shaikh Abu Khadeejah transmitted from Al-Allamah Salih Al-Fawzan: