Ruling by the man-made laws

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  1. عبد الواحد الصقلي
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    In the Name of Allāh, the all-Merciful, the Mercy-Giving.

    Verily from the greater and clear infidelity is giving to the accursed man-made laws the position of that with which the faithful spirit descended upon the heart of Muḥammad that he should be a warner in the clear Arabic tongue, judging by it between the communities, and referring back to it when there is disagreement, in contradiction to, and obstinate rejection of, Allāh, the Mighty and Exalted's saying, “O you who have believed, obey Allāh and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you. And if you disagree over anything, refer it to Allāh and the Messenger, if you should believe in Allāh and the Last Day. That is the best [way] and best in result.” (Rough translation of the meaning of the Noble Qur'ān, 4:59)

    Allāh the Most Perfect and Most High has negated the Faith of those who do not make the Prophet – peace and blessing be upon him – the judge in that about which they differ – strengthening the negation by repeating it and swearing upon it, He says, “But no, by your Lord, they will not [truly] believe until they make you, [O Muḥammad], judge concerning that over which they dispute among themselves and then find within themselves no discomfort from what you have judged and submit in [full, willing] submission.” (Rough translation of the meaning of the Noble Qur'ān, 4:65)

    Allāh did not make it sufficient that they should merely make the Prophet – peace and blessing be upon him – the judge, but further that they should not find any resistance in themselves – rather their hearts must extend to accomodate that – not being at all disturbed or uneasy.

    Allāh the Exalted did not make just these two things sufficient – until complete submission to his judgement is added thereto – such that they are free from any attachment to the (desires of) the self – and they totally submit to the true judgement, and Allāh the Exalted emphasises this by stating the verbal root (taslīm) after its verb (yusallimū) – showing that He is not satisfied only with submission, but that it has to be total and unconditional submission.

    Consider what is contained in the first verse (4:59), how He has left the thing about which they dispute indefinite, after the condition of their disputing in general – which will cover all types and scale of disagreement. Then consider how He has made that a condition for the presence of faith in Allāh and the Last Day. Then He describes that as being good and anything which He calls good can never be approached by evil – rather it is totally good for the present and the future.

    Then He states that it is better for final determination – that is better in the end in this world and the Hereafter - showing that referring back to other than the Messenger – peace and blessing be upon him – when there is disagreement is totally evil and has the worst outcome in this world and the Hereafter, this being contrary to what the hypocrites say, “We intended nothing but good conduct and accommodation.” (Rough translation of the meaning of the Noble Qur'ān, 4:62) and, “We are but reformers.” (Rough translation of the meaning of the Noble Qur'ān, 2:11)

    Allāh replies to them that rather they are the mischief-makers though they perceive not.

    Contrary to what the supporters of the man-made laws claim – that the people have need of them (indeed that they cannot do without them) and this is to have mistrust in what the Messenger – peace and blessing be upon him – came with and to treat the explanation of Allāh and His Messenger as if it is incomplete – and judging it to be insufficient for the people when they disagree – and this will bring an evil result for them in this world and the Hereafter.

    Consider the generalisation in the second verse (4:65) regarding that which is disputed amongst them – and the generalisation and comprehensiveness covers all types and forms – and likewise covers the extent – so there is no difference in that as regards the type of disagreement, nor whether great or small – and Allāh the Exalted has negated the faith of the hypocrites who wish to refer for judgement to other than that which the Messenger of Allāh – peace and blessing be upon him – came with, as Allāh the Exalted says, “Have you not seen those who claim to have believed in what was revealed to you, [O Muḥammad], and what was revealed before you? They wish to refer legislation to the Ṭāġūt, while they were commanded to reject it; and Satan wishes to lead them far astray.”(Rough translation of the meaning of the Noble Qur'ān, 4:60)

    (Allāh the Exalted mentions the case of those who claim to believe in the previous and the final revelation who then wish to refer back in disputes to other than the Qur'ān and Sunnah, referring back to the judgement of ignorance - and thereby refuting their claim to faith: Ibn Kathīr).

    Allāh the Exalted herein gives the lie to their claim of having faith, since referring back in a dispute to other than that which the Prophet – peace and blessing be upon him – brought cannot come together along with faith in a person’s heart, rather one of them will totally dispel the other. And the Ṭāġūt (as mentioned in the verse) has the root-meaning of 'exceeding the limits/overstepping the bounds'. So all who judge by other than that which the Prophet – peace and blessing be upon him – came with or refer back for judgement thereto - then he has made the Ṭāġūt his judge and has sought judgement therefrom. Therefore it is binding upon everyone to judge only by that which the Prophet – peace and blessing be upon him – came with, not with anything else. In the same way it is binding upon everyone to seek judgement according to that which the Prophet brought – thus those who judge by or seek judgement according to other than that – then they have transgressed and exceeded the bounds and have become a Ṭāġūt by that action.

    Consider Allāh the Exalted saying that they have been ordered to disbelieve and reject it (the Ṭāġūt) – we can see from this the obstinate rejection of the upholders of man-made laws and their desire for that which is contrary to what Allāh wants in his respect – as what is required of them and what has been prescribed as part of worship for them is denying in and rejection of the Ṭāġūt not referring thereto for judgement. “But those who wronged changed [those words] to a statement other than that which had been said to them” (Rough translation of the meaning of the Noble Qur'ān, 2:59)

    Then consider Allāh's informing us that Satan wished to misguide them – thus it is misguidance, whereas the supporters of the man-made laws regard it as guidance. The verse further shows it to be from the designs of Satan, contrary to what the supporters of those laws imagine – that they are far from Satan and that the wel1-being of mankind lies therein, so according to their claim the well-being of mankind lies in what are the designs of Satan – but that which Allāh desires and with which the best of the descendants of ‘Adnān was sent does not contain that and is far removed from such a purpose. And Allāh the Exalted has said in rebuttal of this type of person and confirming their desire for the judgements of [the time of] ignorance: “Then is it the judgement of [the time of] ignorance they desire? But who is better than Allāh in judgement for a people who are certain [in faith].” (Rough translation of the meaning of the Noble Qur'ān, 5:50)

    [Allāh the Exalted rebukes those who leave Allāh's judgement and turn to other than that – the ideas, desires and laws of men: Ibn Kathīr]

    Consider this noble verse and how judgement will fall into one of only two categories – and that there is besides Allāh's judgement nothing but the judgement of ignorance – which shows that those who uphold the man-made laws are in the party of the people of [the time of] ignorance – whether they like it or not – rather they are in worse condition than them and falser than them in their saying, since the people of the times of ignorance do not contradict themselves in this respect.

    However those who support the man-made laws are self-contradictory since they profess belief in that which the Messenger – peace and blessing be upon him – brought – then contradict that and try to follow their own way and Allāh the Exalted has said about this type of person, “Those are the disbelievers, truly. And We have prepared for the disbelievers a humiliating punishment.” (Rough translation of the meaning of the Noble Qur'ān, 4:151)

    [Allāh the Exalted explains that they are definitely disbelievers and that there is a terrible punishment for the disbelievers: Ibn Kathīr]

    Then look how this Verse refutes that which the upholders of the man-made laws claim regarding the excellence of the re-fuse of their minds and sawdust of their thoughts - (asking rhetorically who is better in judgement than Allāh). And al-Ḥāfiz Ibn Kathīr says in exegesis of this verse: “Allāh the Exalted rebukes those who leave Allāh's judgement, which contains all that is good and forbids all that is bad, and turn instead to the opinions, desires and laws laid down by men without any recourse to Allāh`s Law just as the people of [the time of] ignorance used to judge according to misguidance and ignorance which they laid down according to their own ideas and desires; and just as the (Tartars) used to judge according to the laws laid down by their rulers, taken from their king Ghenghis Khan who put together for them a Law-Book extracted from different laws of the Jews, Christians, the religion of lslām and other sources. lt also contained many judgements taken solely from his own opinion and wishes which later became a system of law followed by the people and given precedence over the laws of Allāh's Book and the Sunnah of His Messenger – peace and blessing be upon him – so he who does that is a disbeliever who must be fought until he returns to the rule of Allāh and His Messenger – peace and blessing be upon him – and does not govern in any matter except thereby, Allāh the Exalted saying, Then is it the judgement of [the time of] ignorance they desire? (Rough translation of the meaning of the Noble Qur'ān, 5:50) That is they wish for and seek it and turn away from Allāh`s judgement, and His saying, But who is better than Allāh in judgement for a people who are certain [in faith]. (Rough translation of the meaning of the Noble Qur'ān, 5:50) That is who is more just in judgement than Allāh for one who understood His Law and believed in Him, being certain and knows that Allāh is the Judge of judges and is more merciful to His creation than the mother is to her child, as He, the Exalted, is the one who knows everything, has power over everything, and is perfectly just in everything."

    Allāh says before that, addressing His Prophet Muḥammad – peace and blessing be upon him, “And We have revealed to you, [O Muḥammad], the Book in truth, confirming that which preceded it of the Scripture and as a criterion over it. So judge between them by what Allah has revealed and do not follow their inclinations away from what has come to you of the truth.”(Rough translation of the meaning of the Noble Qur'ān, 5:48)

    [Allāh the Exalted orders His Messenger – peace and blessing be upon him – to judge between them by the revelation and not to follow their desires or be diverted from the truth thereby: Ibn Kathīr].

    And He says, “And judge, [O Muḥammad], between them by what Allah has revealed and do not follow their inclinations and beware of them, lest they tempt you away from some of what Allah has revealed to you.” (Rough translation of the meaning of the Noble Qur'ān, 5:49)

    [Allāh the Exalted orders His Messenger – peace and blessing be upon him – to judge between them by that which He reveals and not to follow their desires, but to beware lest they turn you away from part of what Allāh revealed: Ibn Kathīr].

    Allāh the Exalted says, giving His Prophet Muḥammad – peace and blessing be upon him – the choice between judging between the Jews or turning away from them if they come to him for that: "So if they come to you, [O Muḥammad], judge between them or turn away from them. And if you turn away from them - never will they harm you at all. And if you judge, judge between them with justice. Indeed, Allāh loves those who act justly". (Rough translation of the meaning of the Noble Qur'ān, 5:42)

    [Further Allāh orders His Messenger – peace and blessing be upon him – if he indeed judges between them to judge justly as He loves the just: Ibn Kathīr].

    There is no true justice except the judgement of Allāh and His Messenger – peace and blessing be upon him – and judging by other than that is the true oppression, wrongdoing, misguidance, unbelief and iniquity and therefore Allāh the Exalted says thereafter, “And whoever does not judge by what Allāh has revealed – then it is those who are the disbelievers.” (Rough translation of the meaning of the Noble Qur'ān, 5:44) and, “And whoever does not judge by what Allāh has revealed – then it is those who are the wrongdoers.”(Rough translation of the meaning of the Noble Qur'ān, 5:45) and, “And whoever does not judge by what Allāh has revealed – then it is those who are the defiantly disobedient.” (Rough translation of the meaning of the Noble Qur'ān, 5:47)

    So look how Allāh the Exalted records the infidelity, oppression and iniquity of those who govern by other than that which Allāh reveals. And it is impossible for Allāh, the Most Perfect, to call he who judge by other than that which Allāh reveals a disbeliever and for him not to be a disbeliever – rather he is a disbeliever – either being denying of action or denying of belief – and that which is reported from Ibn `Abbās – may Allāh be pleased with him – by way of Ṭāwūs and others – in exegesis of this verse shows that the ruler by other than that which Allāh reveals is a infidel either in belief – which takes him outside the religion – or in action, which does not take him outside the religion. As for the first, denying in belief , then it is of different types:

    (1) That the one judging by other than that which Allāh revealed denies the precedence of the judgement of Allāh and His Messenger – peace and blessing be upon him – and that is the meaning of what is reported from Ibn `Abbās – and is preferred by Ibn Jarīr (al-Ṭabarī) – that it is rejecting the rule of the Law which Allāh sent down – and there is no difference amongst the scholars about this, since one of the well-known and agreed upon principles is that he who denies a fundamental part of the religion or a branch which is agreed upon, or denies a single letter of what the Prophet is verified as having brought – then he is a disbeliever who has left Islām.

    (2) That the one ruling by other than that which Allāh revealed does not deny the truth of the judgement of Allāh and His Messenger – peace and blessing be upon him – but he believes that the judgement of someone other than the Messenger is better than his judgement and more complete and comprehensive for the needs of the people when they dísagree and require judgement – either in general or in particular cases, such as those things occurring due to the modern age and changing conditions – and there is also no doubt that this is also infidelity, as he has preferred the judgements of the creation which are merely the refuse of people’s minds and dregs of their speculation to the judgement of the All-Wise, the Worthy of all praise.

    The judgement of Allāh and His Messenger – peace and blessing be upon him – does not change in its substance along with changing times and development and new situations – as there is no new situation that occurs – except that its ruling is contained in the Book of Allāh and the Sunnah of His Messenger either in the text explicitly or implicitly or to be derived therefrom, etc. – whether the people know or not - and what the scholars have said about the verdict changing according to changing times is not as those ignorant of the rules of Allāh think – that they can be adapted to suit their animalistic desires and worldly goals and ideals, which are false and disastrous, and because of this you find them defending them fiercely and trying to bend the texts to suit their purposes and support them – however possible, by twisting the words from their intended meanings – however what is meant by the scholars is that whatever has been derived by scholars using the fundamentals of the Law and its intended aims and noble goals which are of the class of that which Allāh the Exalted wishes and His Messenger and it is obvious that the 'law-lords' who lay down the man-made laws are far-removed from all of that and that they only say that which they themselves desire – whatever the case – is substantiated by what we observe.

    (3) That he does not regard it as being better than the judgement of Allāh and His Messenger but believes it to be equivalent – so he is as the previous two types – being a disbeliever who has left lslām, since he has put the creation on the same level as to the Creator, and contradicted and wilfully opposed Allāh's saying that there is nothing at all like Him: “There is nothing like unto Him.” (Rough translation of the meaning of the Qur'ān, 42:11) Which is repeated in other verses – which show that Allāh alone is perfect and not like anything of creation, neither in His Self, His attributes or His actions, nor in judging between the people in that about which they dispute.

    (4) That he does not consider the judgement of the one who judges by other than that which Allāh reveals to be like' the judgement of Allāh and His Messenger – peace and blessing be upon him – not to speak of preferring it thereto, but he believes that it is permissible to give a judgement which goes against the judgement of Allāh and His Messenger – peace and blessing be upon him. This is one just like the previous one since he makes permissible that which is forbidden in the clear authentic texts about which there is no doubt.

    (5) This is the greater, more comprehensive and obvious form of stubborn rejection to the Islamic Law and haughty rejection of its rulings and showing dissent of Allāh and His Messenger – peace and blessing be upon him – and challenging the courts of Islamic Law, in its setting-up, maintenance, provisions, foundations and its branches, forms, types, its judgement and compulsion, references and sources. So just as the Islamic courts have references upon which they depend – all depending upon Allāh's Book and the Sunnah of His Messenger – peace and blessing be upon him – then in the same way the law-courts of the man-made laws have their sources: laws patched together from many different law-systems, like French laws, American laws, British laws, etc. and from the systems of innovators who claim allegiance to the Islamic Law, etc.

    So these law-courts are now present in many Muslim lands, complete and established, with open doors and the people flock thereto in throngs; their judges give judgements going against the judgements of the Book and Sunnah – according to their own laws and making these pronouncements binding and agreeing thereto and making them unalterable, so what infidelity is greater than this, and what can be a greater contradiction of the testification that Muḥammad – peace and blessing be upon him – is the Messenger of Allāh.

    The proofs for all that we have stated are clear and well-known, and are too many to mention here, so O people of intelligence and wisdom, how can you be pleased to accept the laws of men like yourselves and the thoughts of similar people to yourselves or lesser than you – who are open to error – rather their errors outweigh what they get right – rather there is nothing in their judgements that is correct except that which is taken from the judgement of Allāh and His Messenger – peace and blessing be upon him – whether in letter or derived therefrom. How can you leave them to judge about yourselves, your blood, your skins, your dignity and families, wives and Offspring, wealth and the rest of your rights – whilst they leave and reject judgement according to the judgements of Allāh and His Messenger which is free from error – nor can it be approached by falsity from in front or behind - a revelation from the All-Wise, the One worthy of all praise. The submission of the people to and their compliance with the rule of their Lord is only submission and compliance to the rule of the One who created them that they should worship Him – and so just as the creation do not prostrate except to Allāh and do not worship except Him, not worshipping anything created – so similarly it is binding that they do not comply, surrender and submit except to the judgement of the All-Wise, the All-Knowing, Worthy of all praise, the Most Compassionate and Most Merciful - not submitting to the judgement of the created-being, the oppressive and ignorant – who is destroyed by doubts, desires and uncertainty – and whose hearts are taken over by forgetfulness, harshness and ignorance.

    Therefore the wise people must consider themselves above that as it merely enslaves them and causes them to be ruled by vain desires and selfish interests, errors and mistakes, besides being infidelity – according to Allāh the Exalted saying: And whoever does not judge by what Allāh has revealed – then it is those who are the disbelievers.(Rough translation of the meaning of the Noble Qur'ān, 5:44)

    (6) That which many of the heads of the bedouin and tribes of the desert, etc. judge by – that which they pick up from their fathers and predecessors and their customs Which they inherit – judging thereby and using it to solve disputes – remaining from the times of ignorance and putting aside and rejecting the judgement of Allāh and His Messenger – peace and blessing be upon him – and there is no movement and no power except with (the will of) Allāh.

    As for the second type of denying of the one who judges by other than that which Allāh reveals – and it is that which does not take a person out from lslām – then as has preceded the exegesis of Ibn `Abbās – may Allāh be pleased with him – to Allāh’s saying: And whoever does not judge by what Allāh has revealed – then it is those who are the disbelievers.(Rough translation of the meaning of the Noble Qur'ān, 5:44) comprehends this class – in his saying: "A denying less than infidelity" and his saying also: "lt is not the denying that you think." This is regarding a man who was prompted to judge in the matter by other than Allāh's revelation by his own desires – whilst believing that the judgement of Allāh and His Messenger is the truth, and knowing himself to be in the wrong and having left the true guidance.

    This even though it does not take him outside of lslām – then still it is a great sin and one of the worst of the Greater sins, like fornication, drinking alcohol, stealing and taking false-oath, etc. as a sin which Allāh calls infidelity in His Book is greater than an sin which He does not describe as being infidelity. We ask Allāh to unite all of the Muslims in judging by His Book, submitting thereto and being pleased with it – He is indeed fully able to do that and has full power.

    [Taken from “Collection of Letters and Legal verdicts” (Volume 12, page 284. Fatwā No. 4065) issued by Šaykh Muḥammad b. Ibrāhīm Āl al-Šaykh – May God Have Mercy Upon Him.]
    • Alhamdulillah Alhamdulillah x 1

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