Source: Sheikh Saalih al-Fawzan
Three issues which lead to Unity1
The Prophet said, “Indeed, Allah likes three thing for you: That you worship Him and do not associate anything with him in worship, that you hold tight to the rope of Allah all together and do not separate, and that you give naseehah to those whom Allah has put in authority over you.” These three matters are those which unite the people, and their details are as follows:
The first matter is al-Tawheed and correct ‘aqeedah which is in conformity to the Qur’an and the Sunnah. That there is no deity worthy of worship besides Allah; what that indicates, what it entails, and what it requires. This is what unites the people. But if their beliefs become divergent, then they will separate. So the first source of unity is the ‘aqeedah, that the ‘aqeedah be one, which is the ‘aqeedah of the Qur’an and the Sunnah.
The second matter is the source to which the people refer back when they disagree and differ, as in the Prophet’s statement, “and that you hold tight to the rope of Allah all together and do not separate”. The rope of Allah is the Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Messenger. Allah said, (And if you disagree over anything, refer it to Allah and the Messenger)(Surah al-Nisaa’ 59).
That which provides a ruling in cases of disagreement is referring back to the Qur’an and the Sunnah. As for referring the matter back to the various man-made ways and belief systems, then this splits the people, while referring back to the Qur’an and the Sunnah is that which puts an end to disagreements among people. That is because it is revelation from the Most Wise, the Praiseworthy, which He sent to arbitrate between the people in that which they differed. So that is what puts an end to disagreements and which pleases everyone. For it is justice, wisdom, fairness and the Straight Path, sent from the Lord.
The third matter which brings the people together is leadership, and obeying that leadership, and that the Muslims should have a single leader who is the imam of the Muslims, and that they would obey him and not oppose him. The Prophet said, “and that you give naseehah to those whom Allah has put in authority over you”.
And part of giving him naseehah is obeying him and not opposing him.
Part of giving him naseehah is clarifying errors which he has done so that he might avoid them, and guiding him to good.
Part of giving him naseehah is being upright with the responsibilities he has entrusted to you, such that you perform those actions in the proper and desired manner, and that those under his employ would discharge their duties in the proper way so that the general good and well-being might be attained.
Also, part of giving him naseehah is supplicating for his uprightness, success and well-being. All of this is part of giving naseehah to the Muslim ruler.
As for the one who disobeys and opposes the Muslims ruler or speaks negatively about him in front of the general people, who sees a mistake from him but does not alert the Muslim ruler to this, who sees some ill feelings among the people or some issues of differing among the people but does not convey this to the Muslim ruler so that the Muslim ruler might stop these things before they become worse, then this is a betrayal of the Muslim ruler.
So coming together is achieved by these three matters:
1) Correct ‘aqeedah
2) Referring back to the Qur’an and the Sunnah when disagreements arise
3) Obeying the Muslim, giving him naseehah and being sincere towards him
Coming together is attained through these matters, and when one of these is not in place, then splitting will occur, differing and disagreements will happen, and the ummah will be broken up.
So this principle is a significant principle, that is: that the Muslims must have unity, but there can be no unity except upon the Qur’an and the Sunnah, and the correct ‘aqeedah, and under pious leadership which is obeyed and whose orders are followed. It is through these things that benefit and respect for the Muslims is achieved.
Those well-acquainted with the ways of Allah have agreed that success is not something for which Allah has left the people to their own means. And they have also agreed that failure comes from the slave relying upon his own self. Among the things which deserve our attention when it comes to this subject are the affairs through which success is achieved. These can be summarized as follows:
-Pious intention, which is the foundation of actions, as well as what they are based upon and what makes them upright.
-Being abundant in supplicating and asking Allah. For whoever has been granted the ability to supplicate has been granted both the key and the doorway to success.
-Sincere reliance upon Allah, just as comes in the statement of Shu’aib (peace be upon him), (And my success is not but through Allah. Upon him I have relied) (Surah Hud 88).
-Rectifying oneself by means of knowledge, for knowledge is a light for those who hold it. And whoever has been misled in this issue has only been misled due to his lack of religious knowledge, which is the greatest gateway to success and happiness in both this life and the hereafter.
-Exerting oneself in worship and acts of obedience – both those which are obligatory and those which are optional.
-Accompanying pious and upright people, and distancing oneself from evil and corrupt people. For whoever opens up the door of associating with evil and corrupt people has unleashed a great deal of failure and deprivation upon himself according to how much he associates with these people.
And success comes from Allah alone.
- Source: al-Isbaah fee Bayaan Manhaj al-Salaf fee al-Tarbiyah wa’l-Islaah by sheikh ‘Abdullah ibn Saalih al-‘Ubaylaan
- Translated by Khalil Klopfenstein