Conflict in the community
Fatwa No: 89067

  • Fatwa Date:23-12-2004 - Thul-Qi'dah 12, 1425
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Question

There is a very big Fitnah in the community I live in and I will need your advice as to what to do. The acting Imaam (Mr. A) and the Ameer (Mr. B) are currently involved in a dispute, Mr. B said that when Mr. A was giving a Khutba, he attacked him and that it was not right. Mr. A denied it and said he was reading from the book, Mr. B said he was going to resign because of that and some other things Mr. A has been doing, like making decisions without telling him, so on a Friday, Mr. B announced that he wanted to resign and that we had to elect/select another Ameer. He gave out a piece of paper and told everyone to put the name of their choice, to be returned next week Friday. The following week, only 3 of us returned and all 3 choose Mr. B. So Mr. B did not know what to do, he decided to call a meeting and resolve the issue with Mr. A, but Mr. A will not respond to his call. He said he has sent four or more people to Mr. A to tell him about a meeting, but up to no avail.
So it was suggested to him to approach Mr. A after Jum'ah and tell him to his face rather than calling him on the phone. When Mr. B approached Mr. A after Jum'ah, Mr. A lashed out at him and said who are you? You are nobody and so on... they but started yelling.
A third party ( Mr. T) that was there told them to sit and heard both side of the story, I was also there listening, after they had finished, Mr. T said there seems to be a power struggle and he will advise both of them to let go of there position and let new people take their place. Both Mr. B and Mr. A agreed, Sunday was set for the meeting to select new people. Everyone showed up but Mr. A, someone there told us that he will not come because the secretary cannot make it. Mr. B got furious and said A told you he did not want to meet, and also that the secretary can be excused since he was not there on Friday, but that Mr. A had no excuse.
To cut the story short, Mr. B claimed that he was the Ameer, because Mr. B resigned when he made the announcement that he was going to resign, that if the President resigns, the Vice President takes over. But the problem with this is we do not have a Vice President in the community.
Mr. A has selected board members who listen to him and are loyal to him, he has made several changes and he has declared himself the Ameer. Mr. B does not know what to do, he is still trying to do something.
There is a lot to this story, but this is just a brief summary. My question is what is the right thing for me to do as a member of the community, because this problem is to big a case in itself, I have tried to bring Mr. A's attention the Sunnah that it is not proper to make yourself Ameer/taking what belongs to brother. I have also stop praying Jum'ah in that Masjid, I travel for 35 miles to pray Jumu'ah else where, because I do not want to listen to Mr. A's Khutba because of what he has done. Is this action of mine right if not pleasing advice me on what to do. May Allaah bless us and keep us united ِAameen.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger. We ask Allaah to exalt his mention as well as that of his family and all his companions.

 

One of the most important objectives of Islamic Law is that Muslims should be kind to each other and have very good relations towards one another. In fact Satan gets very irritated when he sees that there is agreement among Muslims, so he tries his best to cause conflicts between them. The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: "Satan has indeed lost hope that the people who pray would worship him in the Arabian peninsula, but has not lost hope in sowing dissension and hatred between them." So if this happens between the Muslims, it prevents them from fulfilling the message for which they are created, which is to achieve the worship of Allaah Alone on Earth. So we can not understand how such matters can occupy those who are supposed to be calling non-Muslims to Islam. If one understands and remembers this objective he will not be concerned about the matter of leadership, as this is a means and not a purpose, and it is a duty rather than an honour. Indeed it is legislated for the purpose of unity and not division.

Among the most important principles is that leadership is not for the one who looks for it, because it is most likely that he is looking for it for his personal interests and therefore would neglect the benefit and interest of the Muslim community. Thus we advise the brothers to reconcile between them, as reconciliation is of a higher degree than fasting, praying or giving charity. They also have to choose the right person who would best benefit and serve the Muslims. They should be lenient towards each other and remember that such differences could be a reason in driving away others from Islam, the Religion of Allaah.

As regards your not praying in that mosque, that is something that you should not have done, as this is a means which would incite others to imitate you, and thus division would occur. Some of the companions  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  them used to pray behind some dissolute people as a means to preserve the unity of the group. For instance, they prayed behind Al-Hajjaaj Ibn Yoosuf, who was a dissolute person. Therefore, it is more appropriate for people like you to pray in that mosque so that you would carry out the role of reconciliation. 

Allaah knows best.

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