The Khawārij Methodology of Forbidding Evil (1)
Question: Within the last couple of years, we have heard some of the religious callers and preachers talking about the different ways of calling people (to the truth) and forbidding evil. Some of these ways include political demonstrations, assassinations, and marches. And perhaps some of people even consider these to be forms of Islamic Jihād.
2. We also hope for an explanation of the correct way to deal with people who invite to these actions, promoting and calling to them.
Answer: All praise and thanks are for Allāh. It’s well-known that the command to enjoin good and forbid evil, calling to the truth, and guiding people are all from the foundations of Allaah’s religion. However, Allāh (عزَّ وَ جلّ) says in his mighty book:
ادْعُ إِلَىٰ سَبِيلِ رَبِّكَ بِالْحِكْمَةِ وَالْمَوْعِظَةِ الْحَسَنَةِ ۖ وَجَادِلْهُم بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ
Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good preaching, and argue with them in a way that is best. [Sūrah al-Naḥl, 16:125]
And when He sent Mūsá (Moses) and Hārūn (Aaron) to the Pharaoh, He said:
فَقُولَا لَهُ قَوْلًا لَّيِّنًا لَّعَلَّهُ يَتَذَكَّرُ أَوْ يَخْشَىٰ
And speak to him with gentle speech that perhaps he may be reminded or fear (Allāh). [Sūrah ṬāHā, 20:44]
The prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم ) came with wisdom and he instructed callers and preachers to use wisdom and be patient. This is also in the Quran in Sūrah al-‘Aṣr:
وَالْعَصْرِ إِنَّ الْإِنسَانَ لَفِي خُسْرٍ إِلَّا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالْحَقِّ وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالصَّبْرِ
By the time. Certainly, mankind is in loss. Except for those who have believed and done righteous deeds and advised one other with the truth and advised one other with patience [Sūrah al-‘Aṣr, 103:1-3]
So, the person who calls to Allāh (عزَّ وَ جلّ ) and the one who enjoins good and forbids evil should adorn himself with patience, hoping for his rewards, and bearing patiently whatever he hears or faces during his preaching.
As for someone who chooses a path of harshness or – may Allāh protect us – one that causes harm to people, commotion, differences, discord, or that disunites people – these are Satanic ways and the foundation of the call of the Khawārij. They are the people who oppose evil militarily by taking up arms. They reject anything they do not agree with, anything that contradicts their beliefs, and they do this by means of fighting and bloodshed and by declaring people to be disbelievers among other things. So, they have differentiated between the calling and preaching of the prophet’s companions ( صلى الله عليه وسلم ) and our righteous predecessors and between the call of the Khawārij and those who follow their methodology and ways (and they have chosen the latter). The call of the
companions was one of wisdom, preaching, clarifying the truth, patience, and by noble means while hoping for reward. But the call of the Khawārij is one of fighting against people, spilling their blood, considering them disbelievers, disuniting them, dividing Muslims into separate, opposing sects. These are wicked actions and foreign, religiouslyinnovated deeds.
The best thing to do with people who call to these types of things is to avoid them, stay far away from them, and never give them the benefit of the doubt. Those people cause divisions among Muslims. A unified group is a mercy and disunity is discord and a punishment, and we seek refuge with Allāh. If the people of a single country were united upon good, united upon a common view and objective, they would have dignity and prestige.
Today, the citizens of most countries are divided into rivaling factions and parties. They have split up and differed so their enemies, both from among themselves and others, have infiltrated them. This is an innovated way, a filthy path – the very path taken before by those (Khawārij) who broke away and fought the leader of believers, ‘Alī Ibn Abī Ṭālib (رضى الله عنه) and those with him from the prophet’s companions and those who pledged allegiance to the prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم ). They (the Khawārij) fought against him claiming they only wanted rectification while they were the very pinnacle of corruption, at the very height of innovation, and the peak of discord. They are the same ones who disunite Muslims and weaken them. Even someone who merely speaks their ideas, adopting them and trying to beautify them – this one too is evil in belief and he must be avoided.
And know – may Allāh protect us – the difference between a person who causes harm to the entire (Islamic) nation as well as merely those who sit with him and between someone who is on the truth. He should be a Muslim working, building, and calling to that which is good, enjoining righteousness. He should speak only the truth and invite in a good, gentle and tolerant manner, suspecting good of his brothers. He knows that attaining complete perfection (in society) is extremely difficult, and that the only one free of faults was the prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم ).
And know that if those people pass, it may not be that better people will come; if people present now – be they the leaders, authorities, students of knowledge, or simply the general public of any country – if they all passed away, people much worse than they may come. No year will come except that the following year will generally be worse.
So, whoever expects people to reach a complete level of perfection or to be totally free of mistakes and sins, such a person is foolish. Those are the Khawārij, the ones who disunite people’s views, causing them harm. These are the very objectives of those who fight against the people who stick to the Sunnah and the mainstream body of Muslims – fighting them with their religious innovations, whether they be the extreme Shiites, the Khawārij, the Mu’tazilah, or any of the various colors of the people of evil and innovation.