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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Should we follow Majority or the Minority?

Nowadays many true, humble, devout and sincere Muslims are labelled as "minorities" or even "lunatic fringes". Some people have even sunk down to the level of making haraam into halaal based upon what the majority of people say. Is this valid in Islam? Should we really follow what the majority of people believe in and follow, or should we stick to the haq (truth), regardless of how many people follow it?

Since we are Muslims (submitters), it is vital (and in fact an obligation) for us to refer back to the Qur'aan and Sunnah and see what our Lord has to say about this issue. The Almighty says in his book:

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"And if you obey the majority who are on earth, they will lead you far astray from the path of Allah. They follow nothing but conjectures and they are nothing but liars." (EMQ 6: 116)

This verse is very clear and explicit for us all to see. Allah (swt) informs us that the majority of people follow nothing but conjectures (doubt) and they do nothing but lie. This verse annihilates any kind of idea or concept which involves seeking the permission, satisfaction and pleasure of the majority of people on earth. Therefore, those who say that we do not represent the majority of people and that we are a minority, we would like to say to them, indeed! The majority are misguided and the majority will enter the Fire.

The truth is not with the majority and this is something which is very well known to those who are on guidance from Allah (swt). We know the truth from the evidence (i.e. the divine texts – the Qur'aan and Sunnah) and not by the sayings of the majority. In fact, the Shaytaan (devil) made a promise to Allah (swt) that he will mislead the majority of his slaves and only a minority of believers who are sincere will be able to combat every evil whispering he has to offer. Allah (swt) says in the Qur'aan:

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"[Iblees (Satan)] said: 'By Your Might, then I will surely mislead them all, except your chosen slaves amongst them (who are true believers in Islam and worship Allah exclusively).'" (EMQ 38: 82-83)

Therefore, what the majority, say, do or believe in should never be a criteria for a Muslim to judge what is right and what is wrong, evil and what is good etc. Our only criterion is the Qur'aan and the Sunnah, in accordance with the understanding of the Sahaabah – this is what we follow regardless of how many people hold on to it. It has been authentically reported that the Sahaabi Abdullah ibn Mas'ood said:

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"Be with the Jamaa'ah (the Haq) even if you are by yourself."

In fact, during the time of Ahmad bin Hanbal (rh), he was the only one who had the courage to stand with the truth and declare that the Qur'aan was the sayings of Allah and not his (swt)'s creation; despite the fact that the majority of people said otherwise and didn't have the audacity to openly declare what he did.

Furthermore, the messenger Muhammad (saw) said:
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"…And this nation (of Muslims) will split into seventy-three sects. All of them will be in the Fire except one sect (the saviour sect)." They (the Companions) asked, 'who are they (the saviour sect) oh Messenger of Allah?' He (saw) said, "Those who are upon what I and my Companions are upon." (Sunan at-Tirmidhi)

Therefore, the messenger Muhammad (saw) prophesised and informed us that this Ummah will be divided into sects. The majority of them will go to Hell, and only a minority will be saved – and they are those who strictly follow none other than him (saw) and his companions; not the customs of the people or the majority. Furthermore, another hadeeth in Saheeh al-Bukhaari also proves this fact that the majority of people will be in Hellfire:

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The messenger Muhammad (saw) said: "Allah will say (on the Day of Resurrection), 'O Aadam.' Aadam (as) will reply, 'Here I am, with full submission and all good is in your hand.' Allah will say, 'Bring out the people of the Fire.' Aadam will say, 'O Allah! How many are the people of the Fire?' Allah will reply, 'From every one thousand, take out nine hundred and ninety-nine.'" (Saheeh al-Bukhaari, Book of: Stories of the Prophets, chapter 7 hadeeth #3348)

Therefore, as we have already mentioned before, this issue is something which is very clear to those who are on guidance from their Lord. And those who say that we do not represent the majority; we believe you are absolutely correct! The majority of people are misguided and the majority will enter the Hellfire – we never want to represent the people of Hellfire.

In fact, these same people who say that we are a minority are actually minorities themselves! Ask the Muslim Ummah if they believe the MCB represents them; it is more than likely that only a minute percentage would say that they do – based upon surveys which we have carried out ourselves. However, this is not the method of Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa'ah (the Saviour Sect) to judge between what is right and wrong. Whether the majority or minority agree with us, we do not care – so long as we are following the divine texts. Those people who seek the pleasure and satisfaction of the people will burn in the Fire which Allah (swt) has created, and Allah (swt) will make them be detested by the whole of mankind:

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The messenger Muhammad (saw) said: "Whoever seeks Allah's pleasure at the cost of the majorities' displeasure, will win the pleasure of Allah, and Allah will cause men to be please with him. And whoever seeks to please the majority at the cost of Allah's displeasure, will win the displeasure of Allah, and Allah will cause men to be displeased with him." (Musnad al-Imaam Ahmad)

The messenger Muhammad (saw) and his companions were a minority in Makkah, yet due to their uncompromising hard work and efforts, they succeeded in destroying the kufr system of the Quraysh and Allah (swt) granted them authority on earth. Allah (swt) says:

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"…How often has a small group overpowered a mightier host with the permission of Allah?" And Allah is with as-Saabireen (those who are firm and uncompromising)."
(EMQ 2: 249)

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