• threats • do • not • harm • me •

Below is part of a letter that was sent to the ruler by Imam an-Nawawi.

Background: There was a sultaan called adh-Dhaahir, who was a great mujahid that fought the Tataars and gave them heavy defeats. The sultan was very eager to defeat the enemies of Allah, so he taxed the people of ash-Shaam greatly in order to fund the armies. He would tell scholars to write fatawaa allowing him to do these things, as well as others.

After an-Nawawi receives a reply to his first letter of advice he writes:

“..The response that has come is one of rejection, rebuke and threat. We understood from it that the jihad you mentioned in your response is not in accord with the Shariah. Allah has made it obligatory to explain a ruling when need calls for it. Allah has said,

وَإِذَ أَخَذَ اللّهُ مِيثَاقَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْكِتَابَ لَتُبَيِّنُنَّهُ لِلنَّاسِ وَلاَ تَكْتُمُونَهُ فَنَبَذُوهُ وَرَاء ظُهُورِهِمْ وَاشْتَرَوْاْ بِهِ ثَمَناً قَلِيلاً فَبِئْسَ مَا يَشْتَرُون َ


(And remember) when Allâh took a covenant from those who were given the Scripture (Jews and Christians) to make it (the news of the coming of Prophet Muhammad SAW and the religious knowledge) known and clear to mankind, and not to hide it, but they threw it away behind their backs, and purchased with it some miserable gain! And indeed worst is that which they bought. (Aali Imraan : 187)

Therefore, it is obligatory upon us to make it clear and it is forbidden for us to be silent.

Allah has said,


لَّيْسَ عَلَى الضُّعَفَاء وَلاَ عَلَى الْمَرْضَى وَلاَ عَلَى الَّذِينَ لاَ يَجِدُونَ مَا يُنفِقُونَ حَرَجٌ إِذَا نَصَحُواْ لِلّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ مَا عَلَى الْمُحْسِنِينَ مِن سَبِيلٍ وَاللّهُ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ


There is no blame on those who are weak or ill or who find no resources to spend [in holy fighting], if they are sincere and true (in duty) to Allâh and His Messenger. No ground (of complaint) can there be against the Muhsinûn. And Allâh is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. (At-Tawbah : 91)


You mentioned in your response that jihad is not simply upon the soldiers. This is something that we do not disdain. But jihad is a communal obligation*. If the sultan has a special army that receives its wages from the public treasury, and that is the case that is happening today, then the rest of the citizens are to be left alone to their own interests and the interest of the sultan and his soldiers by farming, construction and so forth. All of the people are in need of that. The jihad of the soldiers corresponds to the wages that have been set for them. It is not allowed for them to take anything from the citizenry, as long as there is some money, property, land or possessions in the public treasury. The Muslim scholars in the land of the sultan are all agreed on this point. Praise be to Allah, the public treasury is filled with money and may Allah increase it and bless it during the life of the sultan and support him in his struggle against the enemies of Islam.


وَمَا النَّصْرُ إِلاَّ مِنْ عِندِ اللّه


And there is no victory except from Allah (Al-Anfaal : 10)


His help is sought in jihad and other aspects by completely recognizing one’s reliance upon Allah, following the footsteps of the Prophet and implementing the laws of the Shariah. All that we wrote, first and last, was an advice that we believed in . We worship Allah accordingly. We ask Allah to keep us on that path until we meet him. The sultan knows that it was an advice from him and for his citizens. There is no room for any blame in it. We did not write it to the sultan except because we know that he loves the Shariah and following the behavior of the messenger of Allah in treating his citizens with kindness and sympathy. And we know the sultan’s tendency to follow the way of the Prophet…

As for your threatening the citizens because of our advice and threatening a group (of scholars), this is not what is expected from the justice and calmness of the ruler…. as for myself, threats do not harm me, nor do they mean anything to me. They will not keep me from advising the sultan. Certainly, i believe that this is obligatory upon me and upon others. The result of anything obligatory will be goodness and an increace of good in the sight of Allah.


يَا قَوْمِ إِنَّمَا هَذِهِ الْحَيَاةُ الدُّنْيَا مَتَاعٌ وَإِنَّ الْآخِرَةَ هِيَ دَارُ الْقَرَارِ


“O my people! Truly, this life of the world is nothing but a (quick passing) enjoyment, and verily, the Hereafter that is the home that will remain forever.” (Ghaafir : 39)

وَأُفَوِّضُ أَمْرِي إِلَى اللَّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ بَصِيرٌ بِالْعِبَادِ


and my affair I leave it to Allâh. Verily, Allâh is the All-Seer of (His) slaves.” (Ghafir : 44)

The Messenger of Allah ordered us to speak the truth wherever we are and not to fear, for the sake of Allah, the punishment of anyone.


(full letter : ibn al-attar pg 104-108)

* at his time it was a fard kifyaah because their jihad was offensive not defensive.


2 Responses to “• threats • do • not • harm • me •”

  1. Unto Him We Return Says:

    I really love your blog… O and of course you =P

  2. istiqaamah Says:

    right back at ya, dearest

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