Allaah will not change the condition of the people until they change what is within themselves
Imaam Abdul Aziz bin Abdullaah bin Baz Majmoo’ Fataawa Ibn Baaz (24/249-251)
What is the meaning of the words of Allaah in Soorat al-Ra’d “Verily, Allaah will not change the condition of a people as long as they do not change their state themselves ” [al-Ra’d 13:11]?
Praise be to Allaah.
This is an important verse which indicates that Allaah subhana wa ta’ala, in His perfect justice and wisdom does not change the condition of the people from good to bad or from bad to good, from ease to hardship or from hardship to ease, unless they change their condition themselves.
So if they are in a state of righteousness and goodness and they change, Allaah will change things for them with punishment, calamities, hardship, drought, famine, disunity and other kinds of punishments as appropriate requital. Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And your Lord is not at all unjust to (His) slaves” [Fussilat 41:46].
Or He may give them respite and give them time so that they might turn to the right path, butvif they do not then they will be seized unexpectedly, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):
“So, when they forgot (the warning) with which they had been reminded, We opened for them the gates of every (pleasant) thing, until in the midst of their enjoyment in that which they were given, all of a sudden, We took them (in punishment), and lo! They were plunged into destruction with deep regrets and sorrows” [al-An’aam 6:44].,
meaning despairing of all goodness — we seek refuge in Allaah from the punishment and wrath of Allaah.
Or they may be given respite until the Day of Resurrection, when their punishment will be more severe, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “Consider not that Allaah is unaware of that which the Zâlimûn (polytheists, wrongdoers) do, but He gives them respite up to a Day when the eyes will stare in horror”
meaning that they are given respite until after death, and that will be a greater and more severe punishment.
Or they may be in a state of evil and sin, then they repent to Allaah and turn back to Him, and they regret their sins and adhere to obedience, so Allaah changes their state of wretchedness, hardship and poverty to ease, unity and righteousness because of their good deeds and their repentance to Allaah, may He be glorified and exalted.
It is stated in another verse (interpretation of the meaning): “That is so because Allaah will never change a grace which He has bestowed on a people until they change what is in their ownselves” [al-Anfaal 8:53]
This verse tells us that if they are in a state of ease, comfort and goodness, then they change and turn to sin, their situation will be changed — there is no power and no strength except with Allaah — or they may be given respite, as stated above.
The opposite is also true: if they were in a state of evil and sin, or disbelief and misguidance, then they repent, regret their sin and adhere to obedience to Allaah, Allaah will change their situation from bad to good; He will change their disunity into unity and harmony; He will change their hardship to ease, well being and plenty; He will change their situation from draught, famine, , lack of water and so on to rainfall, fertile land and other kinds of goodness..
[End of the Shaykh’s words]
So this is the method of change, that we must traverse upon, “Verily, Allaah will not change the (good) condition of a people as long as they do not change their state (of goodness) themselves (by committing sins and by being ungrateful and disobedient to Allaah)”
There will always remain goodness in the Muslim Ummah and there will always remain a small number of Muslims who forbid evil and enjoin the good, with knowledge, wisdom and good teachings. But, at certain stages of the Ummah, we will face weakness and humiliation, that which we are facing right now in the world.
The general situation that the Muslim Ummah is in at the moment in time, is of humiliation, degradation, ignorance, sins, poverty, injustice, occupation of our lands, open corruption, Muslim rulers not ruling by Allaah’s law, backwardness, nationalism, lacking behind in worldly knowledge – science, medicine, technology etc. If we Muslims wish this all to be changed, to that which is the opposite and desire victory, glory and honour, then we Muslims in general, must change ourselves and become upright, adhering to our religion, the religion of the Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam and his Companions radhiAllaahu’anhum, being patient and steadfast, learning and acting upon evidence, making Dua to Allaah alone and direct all worship to him alone and striving hard to fight the shaytaan within us and around us and the temptations, fearing Allaah until death – then we will see a Allaah will change the situation and the condition that we are in.
Changing ourselves, by returning to the Islam of the Prophet Muhammad sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam and his Companions radhiAllaahu’anhum. Changing our way of life, our life style, our way of thinking, mentality, our perception of life to that of the Qur’aan and the authentic Sunnah as understood by the Companions and the trustworthy, reliable Scholars of the Sunnah of the past and present. Constantly, being in the process of learning, acting, advising others with knowledge, wisdom and manners. While being balanced, not neglecting our role in this world to work, to provide for family, being a good husband/wife, father/mother, son/daughter, etc.
We find today, in our time, there are many different calls to the method of change. Some call to – Khilafah, ruling by the law of Allaah by the Governments, Rulers and Kings (yet they do not establish the laws of Allaah on themselves nor their family), others call to – the overthrowing of bad Muslim rulers by way of coup and assassination. For others, – method of change is Jihaad, yet we don’t have the necessary means and power, have, we buy weapons from Kuffaar nor do we have an overall leader (Khalifah) to direct us. But defencesive Jihaad will always remain until the last day, others call for political change, yet no change have they made to themselves, others call to – unity no matter what Aqeedah or manhaj you are upon, as long as you are a Muslim, others call to – modernising Islam and suiting to secular system, others call to – mysticism, innovating in religion and isolating themselves from the world in the name of spirituality improvements.Yet others declare Muslims to be Kuffaar due to sins and permitting killings and suicide bombings of civilian non-Muslims and Muslims in the process. All these and other methods for change are futile and false and will not bring about any honour or victory for Muslims.
These issues of Jihaad, politics, khilafah, unity, takfeer etc are all part of Islaam, but there are conditions and requirements from the Qur’aan and the Sunnah and the Scholarly opinions that needs to be met before it can be materialised.
But that which will make a change and is guaranted for us is; the fundamental method of change Allaah has told us in the Quraan; “Verily, Allaah will not change the (good) condition of a people as long as they do not change their state (of goodness) themselves (by committing sins and by being ungrateful and disobedient to Allaah)”