Al-Albaani on Boycotting | 2 | Nowadays, Boycott, Cut off, Ostracise, Disassociate or Be Gentle?
by The Albaani Blog
Continuing from the first post of this series.
“So now, it is not necessary/a prerequisite that [such a] warning is coupled with ostracism or boycotting in this day and age, but as for when our society is an Islamic one then all of these issues must be brought together.
Nowadays, for example, there is a very clear example [which I will give you]: the Muslim who doesn’t keep up/maintain his prayers [and thus] to whom applies the hadith which you mentioned in your [other earlier] question, “Between a person and disbelief is abandoning the prayer, whoever abandons the prayer has disbelieved,” the correct, legislated expression concerning this man who I just mentioned is that he be called someone who is defiantly disobedient [a faasiq], if not a disbeliever who has apostatized from his religion, it is only by way of using gentler words that he be called, ‘not practicing,’ he is a faasiq, and that disbeliever is more of a faasiq than him, so [for now] we will speak about this person and then we may be in need of talking about the one who is ever more defiantly disobedient than him, i.e., the kaafir.
This Muslim who has abandoned the prayer has left obedience to Allaah in that issue, for this reason he deserves the title of faasiq: if we warned the people against him and, along with this warning, [also] connected what I just mentioned earlier, [i.e.,] boycotting him … this warning and this cutting off and this boycotting will not produce the results desired by [the implementation of] these three words : warning … cutting off … boycotting–why?
Because if you cut off from him you will find tens of people like you who will keep contact with him, and thus the situation will be turned on its head–you will be cut off from him and not him from you, and at that point, what is the advantage of you boycotting him?
This reminds me of a Syrian saying and it has a similar [version] here [in Jordan], but [whatever the case] the Syrian expression says that the people thought that a faasiq who had abandoned the prayer repented to Allaah and turned back, and for the first time he goes to the mosque to pray but finds it closed, and so says, ‘You’re closed and [so] I have a day off [from praying]!’ obviously the saying is understood.
Okay, likewise nowadays this faasiq, the one who has abandoned the prayer, when you decide to boycott him … to cut off from him … to warn against him … he doesn’t care, [and even if he doesn’t say it with his tongue] his state of affairs says, ‘You’re closed and [so] I have a day off [from praying]! You’re cutting off from me and I’ll cut off from you and distance myself from you,’ and so on.
In summary, the principle of cutting off/ostracizing today is out of the question because we are in a time when the Muslims are weak.
And this connection [that I’m about to mention] which keeps them linked together, [i.e.,] the correct Islaam, represented in his saying عليه السلام in the authentic hadith, ‘The example of the believers in their mutual love, mercy and compassion is that of the body, if one part of it complains, the rest of the body joins it in staying awake and suffering fever,’–the Muslims today are not like that.
For this reason we do not have the means which it is fitting to rely on to bring together this widespread and dispersed division of today except by relying on His Statement the Mighty and Majestic:
“Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good instruction, and argue with them in a way that is best.” [Nahl 16:125]
This is now the means which it is fitting that we rely on.
So when we see a faasiq person who has turned away from performing some of what Allaah has made obligatory upon a Muslim, we admonish him and remind him and are gentle with him.
Likewise, when we see a person or people who we cannot call faasiqs because we [for example] assume that they are guarding the obligatory duties whose obligation is well-known amongst all of the Muslims, i.e., the type of things [that are so fundamental to the religion and well-known] that they are from the category of actions called, ‘known as being from the religion by necessity,’ for we may find people who perform such obligatory duties and who do not leave them, and [thus] their perseverance in those obligatory actions comes between us and the application of the term faasiq to them, understood [so far]?
Okay, yet along with that it is possible that in these people there is some deviation from the correct ’aqidah in a certain issue or in many points of ’aqidah, this is possible, like the groups whose names today we hear recorded in the books dealing with sects and history [but which] we do not find [present] with those names in the current day and age, but we do find their effects in the state of affairs of many of the Islamic jamaa’ahs or individual Muslims, the Mu’tzailah for example, the Jabariyyah, the Qadariyyah, the Khawaarij, and so on.
In these sects there used to be found people who had deviated from the Sunnah in ’aqidah and who were regarded as righteous worshippers, yet along with that would be misguided, for example, ’Umar ibn ’Ubaid al-Mu’tazili, he would be cited as an example in his righteousness and his taqwaa but he held the [belief of the] madhhab of the Mu’tazilah, so it is not said of him that he is a faasiq but rather that he strayed from the correct ’aqidah.
And this type exists today in the Muslim world even if there is no group or Jamaa’ah which [verbally] say, ‘We are Mu’tazilah,’–I haven’t heard of anyone except one man who openly declared it in this city in front of the people, he said, ‘I’m a Mu’tazili,’ he said it openly, ‘I’m a Mu’tazili,’ and he really was a Mu’tazili and [in fact] even more misguided than they were … [but] we’re not in the middle of explaining that right now …
So the point is that it is obligatory on us to be gentle with misguided people such as these too and to establish the proof against them from the Book of Allaah, the Sunnah of Allaah’s Messenger صلى الله عليه وسلم, the statements of the Pious Predecessors and the Mujtahid Imaams–this is what it is obligatory for our stance to be towards those who have deviated from Islaam in either action or notion, until the Muslims become stronger and gain power and a country, then when these people are told about the correct Islaam and [still] do not restrain from the defiant disobedience [fisq] and misguidance they are upon, they then have a different ruling, [but at the same time] this ruling is not connected to individual righteous Muslims [to carry out], but is rather connected to the Muslim ruler, and perchance this is close, if Allaah so wills.
Perhaps I’ve answered your question?
Questioner: Yes, as a completion, what … [is it] likewise with non-Muslims?
Al-Albaani: Yes, it is likewise, without a doubt.
Questioner: The Jews and the Christians and so on?
Al-Albaani: Today, regretfully, my brother, the situation of the Muslims is very precarious …”
The next post.