Rights of the Heart
Sheikh Usaamah al Khayyat
March 21, 2008 ~ Rabee al Awwal 14, 1429
All praise is due to Allah. We thank Him, we praise Him, and we seek His forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allah from the evil of ourselves and the evil of our own desires. Whomever Allah guides none can misguide, and whomever Allah lets to be led astray none can guide. I bear witness that there is nothing worthy of worship except Allah alone without any partners. I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger. May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon His servant and messenger Muhammad, and his family and companions.
Oh servants of Allah, fear Allah and fear the day on which you shall be returned to Allah, a day when every servant will paid back what he has earned in this world and none of you will be treated unjustly.
Oh Muslims, emotions are a type of feelings that can become overwhelming for a person to a degree where it becomes their soul motivation. It may drive a person towards either that which is right or that which is wrong. Emotions have a healthy side and that is to create a feeling of love, bonding, and sympathy towards people who have done good for us and people who are related to us whether through the ties of kinship or otherwise. It drives us to pay back their sacrifices and goodness towards us by us returning the kindness in equal measures. However, there is also a destructive side to emotions when it becomes an impediment to the establishment of justice. It is destructive when it motivates a person towards towards arguing over that which has ordained to be wrong just that he may save his face. It may also be that one’s feelings towards another becomes an impediment towards their being a trustworthy source of testimony, because they follow their emotions and feelings and defend a person based on their closeness rather than judging the matter on right and wrong.
Testimony is a tool that plays a great role in establishing justice within our communities. If a person is called upon for his testimony, it is obligatory on him to provide truthful and honest testimony. Allah the Almighty says: “O you who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witnesses to Allâh, even though it be against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, be he rich or poor, Allâh is a Better Protector to both (than you). So follow not the lusts (of your hearts), lest you avoid justice, and if you distort your witness or refuse to give it, verily, Allâh is Ever Well Acquainted with what you do.” [Surah Nisa: Ayah 135] Allah the Exalted and Almighty has forbidden us to override us when it comes to establishment of justice, as in the case of the fornicator. Allah says: “Let not pity withhold you in their case, in a punishment prescribed by Allâh, if you believe in Allâh and the Last Day. And let a party of the believers witness their punishment.” [Surah Nuur: Ayah 2] In another incident, when Sayyidina Rasulullah (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) was dealing with the woman from the Quraysh who held accountable for stealing, the Sahaba sent Usaamah bin Zaid forth to intercede on her behalf. The Messenger (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) of Allah asked him ‘Do you dare to speak to me about one of the hudud, the limits laid down by Allah!‘ Usamah beseeched him, ‘Pray for my forgiveness, oh Messenger of Allah!‘ That evening the Messenger of Allah (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) made a speech. After praising Allah, he said, “The people before you were destroyed because when one of their noblemen stole, they ignored the offense but when one of the poor people stole, they administered the hadd (prescribed punishment). By the One who holds my life in His hand, if Fatimah bint Muhammad, were to steal, I would have her hand cut off.” In another hadith, ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar (Radiallahu Anhum) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said “If a person intercedes in wavering a punishment that is incurred by a person who has commited an act of injustice or a crime, then they are only invoking the wrath of Allah. If they provide false testimony then they incur the wrath of Allah on themselves until they absolve themselves of this false testimony.” [Sunan Abu Dawud]
The punishments as prescribed by Allah are there to serve as a deterrent in protecting and preserving societies from the spread of disobedience. It is similar to the treatment of cancer, where when a cancerous element is found in the body then that part of the body is either excised or amputated. That is done with a greater benefit in mind for the protection of the rest of the body. Similar is the situation of punishments when they are prescribed. We see another group of people who become defensive and they spend all that they have with their power even when they know that they in the wrong. That is one of the greatest forms of injustices that they not only perpetuate against themselves but against the community as well, as their self defense becomes a costly exercise on the resources that can be otherwise directed towards more worthy causes. When we are confronted with such situations of false testimonies or a person’s wrongful self defense, the duty lies on the shoulders of the Muslims to stop such people. Stopping them is in reality helping them. On the authority of Anas ibn Maalik, the Messenger of Allah (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said “Help your brother, whether he is an oppressor or he is an oppressed one. The Sahaba asked, “O Allah’s Apostle! It is all right to help him if he is oppressed, but how should we help him if he is an oppressor?” The Prophet said, “By preventing him from oppressing others.” [Saheeh Bukhari] The punishment of the person who argues and provides a false testimony is so grave that the Messenger of Allah (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) has stated that their end results will be ever lasting in the fire. “O you who believe! Keep your duty to Allâh and fear Him, and speak (always) the truth. He will direct you to do righteous good deeds and will forgive you your sins. And whosoever obeys Allâh and His Messenger (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) he has indeed achieved a great achievement.” [Surah Ahzaab: Ayaah 70-71]
Oh servants of Allah, the scholars of Islam have said “One of the greatest injustices is to accuse a Muslim wrongly, and to seek to humiliate him or a way to cause harm to his character.” On the authority of ‘Abdullah ibn Masud (Radiallahu Anhu) the Messenger of Allah (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said “The best of you is the one whose goodness is sought after by people, and from whose evil the people are protected. The worst of you is the one who has no goodness to give away, nor are the people protected from his evil.” [Ahmad’s Musnad] With this, we conclude help us benefit from the guidance in His book and the Sunnah of His Messenger (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam).
We ask of Allah to send His peace and blessing upon His beloved Messenger, Muhammad, and his companions Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, Uthmaan, and ‘Ali and those who followed them in righteousness until the last day.
Oh Allah bring dignity and honor to Islaam and the Muslims and protect the believers..