A Deen is not a Religion

Islam is a religion, a spiritual path, a code of ethics, a political system, an economic system, a social system, a body of foundational law or “constitution” and much, much more. As such, it is very different from what we casually know as “religi0ns”.

Most Muslims themselves are quite confused about this issue, especially since the era of European colonialism and the final fall of what remained of the Islamic nation in the form of the Ottoman Caliphate which ceased to exist about 100 years ago.

Islam contains the solutions to all of the ills which afflict mankind – including those afflicting the Muslims themselves in the lands in which they live. And yet, most of the lands of the Muslims suffer from darkness, ignorance and oppression. This is not a surprise to any Muslim who has been paying attention to the teachings of the Prophet (sas). The problem is first and foremost the rulers in power over the Muslims.

The Prophet (sas) said:

 Imam Ahmad reported that An-Nu’man ibn Basheer (ra) said: We were sitting in the Masjid when Abu Tha’laba Al-Khushani came and said: O Basheer ibn Saad, do you know from memory the statement of the Prophet (sas) about the rulers? Hudhaifa said: I have that khutba memorized. And so, Abu Tha’laba sat down. فقد روى الإمام أحمد عن النعمان بن بشير رضي الله عنه الله، قال: كنا جلوساً في المسجد فجاء أبو ثعلبة الخشني فقال: يا بشير بن سعد أتحفظ حديث رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم في الأمراء، فقال حذيفة: أنا أحفظ خطبته. فجلس أبو ثعلبة.
 Hudhaifa said: Allah’s Messenger (sas) said: Prophethood will be with you as long as Allah wills it to be and then He will remove it when He wishes to do so. Then, there will be Succession upon the path of the Prophethood. It will be for as long as Allah wills it to be and then He will remove it when He wishes to do so. Then, there will be predatory and oppressive kings and it will be for as long as Allah wills it to be and then He will remove it when He wishes to do so. Then, there will be tyrannical and dictatorial kings and it will be for as long as Allah wills it to be and then He will remove it when He wishes to do so. Then, there will be succession upon the program of Prophethood. Then, the Prophet (sas) was quiet. فقال حذيفة: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: تكون النبوة فيكم ما شاء الله أن تكون، ثم يرفعها الله إذا شاء أن يرفعها، ثم تكون خلافة على منهاج النبوة فتكون ما شاء الله أن تكون، ثم يرفعها الله إذا شاء أن يرفعها، ثم تكون ملكًا عاضًا فيكون ما شاء الله أن يكون، ثم يرفعها إذا شاء الله أن يرفعها، ثم تكون ملكًا جبرية فتكون ما شاء الله أن تكون، ثم يرفعها الله إذا شاء أن يرفعها، ثم تكون خلافة على منهاج النبوة، ثم سكت.

The above narration is sahih according to Al-Albani.

So, Islam as a system bringing its immense benefits of justice, equity and righteous leadership, lasted only between 3 and 4 decades. Then, it “stopped”. Its teachings were intact. They are protected by Allah. They continue to be available to all who seek them and we can (and will) return to the divine system which the example of the Prophet (sas) plus these thirty-some years of righteous succession manifested as an example for us.

This is further supported by the following hadith:

 Abdullah ibn Masood reported from the Prophet (sas) that he said: The millstone of Islam will turn for 35, 36 or 37 (years). If they go to destruction, it will be the same as similar ones who came before, but if they establish the deen it will flourish for seventy years.  عَنْ عَبْدِ اللهُ بْنِ مَسْعُودٍ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ قَالَ: تَدُورُ رَحَى الْإِسْلَامِ لِخَمْسٍ وَثَلَاثِينَ، أَوْ سِتٍّ وَثَلَاثِينَ، أَوْ سَبْعٍ وَثَلَاثِينَ، فَإِنْ يَهْلَكُوا فَسَبِيلُ مَنْ هَلَكَ، وَإِنْ يَقُمْ لَهُمْ دِينُهُمْ، يَقُمْ لَهُمْ سَبْعِينَ عَامًا

Islam established a comprehensive system and a just state unlike any other before or since. The millstone represents this working system. It moves, it works and it produces, supplying the needs of the people.

But, it was not Allah’s decision that this would continue. The complete system of Islam continued less than 4 decades. The knowledge, however, is with us and under divine protection. Before the end of this world, it will again be manifested on this earth for all to see.

Through the centuries, Islam, or at least the “religion” part of it has survived all kinds of difficulties, but the rest of Islam has all but disappeared from the face of the earth.

The scholars of this nation have survived centuries of oppressive and tyrannical rulers. From this they learned the need to prevent “fitnah” (chaos and disorder). Great patience and wisdom was required to prevent the situation from becoming even worse. The scholars of the sunnah provided this through the ages. Unfortunately, this caution has all but squashed any real efforts in problem-solving and working through exactly HOW the foundational teachings of Islam can be applied to solve these problems.

The main obstacle to such progress is the rulers and governments. Ahlus-sunnah wal-jamaa are in agreement that rebellion against established authority is to be avoided in all but the most extreme circumstances. This is because the consequences of chaos are likely to be more extreme than the consequences of things as they are. Unjust rulers either obliterate the Law, or they filter it and apply only what doesn’t go against their interests as tyrants. Using the Shari’a only on the poor, weak or those outside of the ruling elite is not Islam, far from it, and is a sure path to destruction of a nation.

O people! What destroyed those who came before you was that when a noble person stole they left him alone, but when a weak person stole they implemented the punishment. By Allah! If Fatimah the daughter of Muhammad stole, I would cut off her hand!  أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ، إِنَّمَا أَهْلَكَ الَّذِينَ قَبْلَكُمْ أَنَّهُمْ كَانُوا إِذَا سَرَقَ فِيهِمِ الشَّرِيفُ تَرَكُوهُ، وَإِذَا سَرَقَ فِيهِمِ الضَّعِيفُ أَقَامُوا عَلَيْهِ الْحَدَّ، وَايْمُ اللهِ لَوْ أَنَّ فَاطِمَةَ بِنْتَ مُحَمَّدٍ سَرَقَتْ لَقَطَعْتُ يَدَهَا

But even this dire circumstance we find ourselves in is no justification for completely eliminating even DISCUSSION of these principles as appears to currently be the case. If we don’t analyze and understand what is upon us, how will we ever be able to implement it?

If Islamic scholars cannot even investigate, speak and debate these ideas freely in their current situation then it is a fardh kifaya on those who can to migrate to wherever then can engage in such for the betterment of this Nation.

Reviving true Islam is not about empty claims and raising banners. An oppressor in the name of Islam is no better than an oppressor in the name of Nationalism or any other forms of “jahiliya” current in our world today.

Rather it is about looking at real problems we face and the many ways our social, political and economic structure have deteriorated since those glorious decades with the Prophet and the 30 years following his departure (sas) when Islam was still working.

 Safina (ra) narrated: Allah’s Messenger (sas) said: Succession in my nation will be for 30 years, then kingdoms after that. Then, Safina said: Count the times of Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali. And we found that to be 30 years.

Narrated by Ahmad and Al-Arua’oot rated it hassan (valid).

عن سَفِينَةُ رضي الله عنه، قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: الْخِلاَفَةُ فِي أُمّتِي ثَلاَثُونَ سَنَةً، ثُمّ مُلْكٌ بَعْدَ ذَلِكَ. ثُمّ قَالَ سَفِينَةُ: امْسِكْ عَلَيْكَ خِلاَفَةَ أَبي بَكْرٍ، ثُمّ قَالَ: وَخِلاَفةَ عُمَرَ وَخِلاَفَةَ عُثْمانَ، ثُمّ قَالَ لي: امسِكْ خِلاَفَةَ عَلِيّ قال: فَوَجَدْنَاهَا ثَلاَثِينَ سَنَةً. رواه أحمد وحسنه الأرناؤوط

This blog is dedicated to looking into the ways in which Islam really does contain the solutions to all of our problems as a nation, but how we have failed to recognize and act upon them.

I ask Allah that this may represent some contribution to the betterment of this Ummah, to keep my intention sincere and to overlook any mistakes I may make in the process. And only Allah can bring success.

Qur’an Translation/Tafsir Now On-Line

My book which includes a new translation of Al-Fatiha and Al-Baqarah along with precise tafsir also in English, recently published by Dar Al-Maiman Publications, is now available. It is under the three links on the main menu:


Please provide feedback citing Sura and verse number via comments to this post.

Jazaakum Allahu khairan