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The Wisdom of the Prophet in Dealing with Divine Norms

Thursday 01/04/2010

Establishing states and nurturing nations to attain advancement are subject to laws and norms that control the procession of individuals, peoples, nations and countries. When we contemplate the biography of the beloved Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) we see him dealing with such laws and norms wisely and competently.

 
Divine norms are the unchangeable verdicts of Allah The Almighty in the universe and regarding man in all places and at all times. These rulings are numerous, but we shall focus in this book on those norms that are strongly related to the rising Islamic movement.
 
When anyone contemplates the verses of the Quran, he discovers that they frequently speak about the unchangeable norms of Allah The Almighty. He also finds these verses highlighting, focusing on and drawing attention to these norms, in addition to mentioning the lessons that are to be learned from them. These Quranic verses also stress the idea of working in accordance with these norms to create the upright Muslim community that would abide by the commandments of Allah The Almighty. By drawing the Muslims’ attention to the norms of Allah The Almighty on earth, the Quran refers them to the original rules according to which life on earth functions. Muslims are no exception in this regard; the norms that control the universe, peoples, nations, countries and individuals are always applicable. Things never occur haphazardly and life on earth does not function without meaning. Everything in this universe complies with these norms. Hence, when Muslims study these norms and realize their meanings, they will discover the rationale behind this universal system and the purposes behind events. They will also make sure that everything takes place in accordance with a stable system and that there are rationales behind the different events. Moreover, they will foresee what will come later in the light of what had happened in the past. In such a case, Muslims would not rely on the fact that they are Muslims in attaining victory and enablement; rather, they would utilize all available means that lead to it.
 
The norms that rule life are constant and equal, and what happened in the past will occur again in the future. Hence, Muslims should realize the norms set by their Lord, which are mentioned in the Quran and Sunnah of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) to achieve the victory to which they aspire because enablement does not come spontaneously. Rather, enablement has its laws which Allah The Almighty recorded in the Quran, so that His believing slaves can recognize and deal with them discerningly.
 
A comprehensive understanding of these norms and the way they function within the Divine Law is a condition for the correct and systematic dealing with Divine norms and universal laws regarding individuals, societies and nations. This understanding enables us to deduct social laws and civilizational equations.
 
Concerning the methodology of dealing with Divine norms, Shaykh Al-Banna  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said, “Do not clash with these norms because they will always prevail. Rather, one should resist and try to make use of them. In addition, he should veer these norms and utilize some of them to face others while waiting for the hour of victory - which is very close.”
 
Here, we note six important matters:
1-      Avoiding clashes
2-      Resistance
3-      Making use of the norms
4-      Veering
5-      Utilizing some norms to face others
6-      Waiting for the hour of victory
 
These conclusions of Shaykh Al-Banna  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him indicate his in-depth study of the biography of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) Islamic history, and peoples’ experiences, in addition to a clear and sound recognition of reality as well as the correct diagnosis of the disease and prescription of the remedy.
 
The first movement of Islam that was led by the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) in organizing the Da‘wah affairs, establishing the state and making the ideal, divinely-guided and civilized man complied with universal norms and laws. We have concisely referred to some of these norms and laws including the importance of leadership in forming civilizations, the importance of the organized believing community in resisting falsehood and the importance of the methodology from which beliefs, morals, acts of worship, values and perceptions are derived.
 
Also, gradualness and measuredness are of the clear Divine norms in the universe that we have mentioned. This norm is very important, and the Ummah (Muslim nation) has to take it into consideration while working on achieving revival, progress and enablement of the religion of Allah The Almighty.
 
The starting point for this norm is the realization of the fact that the road is very long, especially in this age when the modern pre-Islamic-like way of life prevails and prepares itself well. Furthermore, evil and corruption have become firmly established among peoples, and uprooting it requires gradualness.
 
The early Islamic Da‘wah started gradually and slowly. It started with the phase of selection and establishment, then it moved to the phase of confrontation and resistance, and finally it moved to the phase of victory and enablement. All these phases could never have been started simultaneously; if they, had then this would have faced difficulty and even failure. Similarly, none of these phases could have come ahead of the other; otherwise, there would have been confusion and trouble.
 
Taking this norm into consideration is very important because some activists in the field of the Islamic Da‘wah seem to think that enablement may take place overnight and want to change the reality of the Muslims in a trice, without taking the consequences into consideration and without understanding the circumstances and the conditions that surround this reality. In addition, this approach lacks good preparation of the premises or the methods and means.
 
When we study the Quran and the Sunnah deeply, we realize to what extent the Islamic change, which took place at the hands of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) in Arabia and then in the whole world, was gradual and harmonious. Things were moving progressively within their natural course until they ended at the position which Allah The Almighty wanted.
 
This Divine norm of considering gradualness should be adopted in dealing with people and when attempting to implement Islam in our lives. It should begin an integrated Islamic way of life which would result in enablement. If we wish to establish a real Muslim society, it would be impossible to imagine that this could come about by a decree that is issued by a president, a king, a leading counsel or a parliament; rather, this objective could only be achieved through gradualness, that is, through intellectual, psychological and social preparation. This was the same methodology and approach that was adopted by the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) in changing the pre-Islamic way of life into the Islamic way of life. He stayed in Makkah for thirteen years, during which time his primary mission was confined to nurturing the believing generation which would bear the burdens of the Islamic Da‘wah and the costs of fighting for protecting and spreading it throughout the world.
 
Hence, the Makkan period was not a legislative stage as much as it was a stage of nurturing and formation.

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