Unusual Witnesses, The Vision, Worst Fitnah

Issue 498 » October 10, 2008 - Shawwal 10, 1429

Living The Quran

Fussilat (Clearly Expounded)
Chapter 41: Verses 19-20

Unusual Witnesses
"On the day when God's enemies will be gathered together before the fire, they will be driven onwards until, when they reach it, their ears, their eyes and their very skins will bear witness against them, speaking of what they used to do [on earth]."

These verses tell the unbelievers of God's power over their own selves. They have no authority over themselves, and no part of them is beyond the reach of His power. Even their ears, eyes and skins obey God. They too disobey them so as to be witnesses against them on the Day of Judgement.

There is a great surprise in this very difficult situation in which the unbelievers see their own senses and faculties obeying God and doing as they are bid. In this situation they are branded as 'enemies of God'! They are herded together, from all generations, like a flock of sheep, and driven to the fire. When they stand close to it and the reckoning begins, they find themselves facing witnesses whom they did not reckon with. Their tongues, long used to lie, fabricate falsehood and engage in ridicule are now tied, while their ears, eyes and skins rebel against them obeying their Lord. They report on what they used to consider secret. They used to hide themselves, thinking that God would not see them conceal their intentions and crimes. But they did not try to hide themselves from their own ears, eyes or skins. How could they, when these faculties are part of them? Now, these publicize what the unbelievers thought to be concealed from all creatures and from God Almighty as well.

"In The Shade of the Quran" - Sayyid Qurb, Vol. 15, pp. 109-110

Understanding The Prophet's Life

Re-kindling The Vision

The starting point for inspiring and reviving a people is to cultivate in them a clear vision of Islam; a vision of what is required to be accomplished. The Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, frequently made attempts to keep his Companions' minds focused on the vision of Islam. He took every opportunity to remind them of their purpose and objective. As an example, he advised one of his Companions, Khabbab Ibn al-Arat, when he complained about the persecutions the Muslims faced in Makka, during the early years of their mission, with the following words:

"By Allah, He will complete this mission until a rider will travel from Sana to Hadramawt (both are places in Yemen) and will have no fear but of Allah, and no worry but about a wolf that might harm his cattle - but you make haste." [Bukhari]

This saying presents the vision of Islam for society and reminds Muslims that they must keep on working, irrespective of the adversities, for a better society that ensures peace and justice for all people.

"Building A New Society" - Zahid Parvez, p. 100


The Worst Fitnah

Ibn Abd al-Barr reported that Hudhayfah was asked: "What is the worst fitnah?" So, he replied: "That you are presented with the good and the bad, and you are confused as to which path to take."

Ibn Abi Shaybah in his 'Musannaf' reported that Khalid bin al-Walid said: "Fitnah is that you are in a land in which sins are rampant, and when you seek to leave it for a land in which sins are not rampant, you are unable to find such a place."

Ibn Abi Shaybah also reported that Abu Hurayrah said: "There will be a fitnah such that nothing can rescue you from it except to supplicate as if you are drowning."

"Ithaf al-Jama'ah" - Hamud at-Tuwayjri