Divine Decree, Allegations, Legacies of Ignorance

Issue 1036 » February 1, 2019 - Jumada al-Awwal 26, 1440

Living The Quran

Divine Decree
Al-Sajda (The Prostration) Sura 32: Verse 5

"He directs the affair from Heaven unto earth; then it ascends unto Him in a day whose measure is as a thousand years of that which you reckon."

After mounting the Throne, God directs the affair, making it descend from the highest heaven to the lowest level of the earth, which refers to His control over all affairs and the carrying out of His Decree for the duration of the world or to the descent of revelation. What ascends to God are the angels or the Command, meaning that everything that was created by the Command ascends unto Him on the Day of Resurrection. That its measure is as a thousand years of that which you reckon indicates the severity of the terrors of that Day for the disbelievers and is elsewhere likened to fifty thousand years. Such disparity also indicates the difference between duration in the spiritual world and that in the world of form and matter.

Regarding the importance of understanding the manner in which God directs the affair, al-Tustari is reported to have said, "He reveals to His servants from His Knowledge that which is a means of guidance and salvation for them. The person who is content with the decreed provision resulting from God's directing for him will have the evil of his own directing disposed of and removed from him. Thus [God] will have returned him to a state of contentment with the Divine Decree and rectitude in the face of the unfolding of what is destined for him. [Such people] are among those who are brought nigh [unto God]. Truly, God created people without any veil, and then made their directing [for themselves] their veil."

Compiled From:
"The Study Quran: A New Translation and Commentary" - Seyyed Hossein Nasr

Understanding The Prophet's Life


Ibn-Abbas, may God be pleased with him and his father, said that God's Messenger, may God's peace and blessings be upon him and his family, said, "If all allegations were accepted as true, people would claim other people's property and allege wrongful deaths. But the burden of proof is on the plaintiff and the oath is on the denier." [Bayhaqi]

This hadith forms one of the main blocks of jurisprudence and is the greatest reference used in settling disputes and cases. It shows that allegations are not to be accepted without proof.

Scholars have unanimously agreed that a defendant may take an oath to deny allegations in property cases but they disagreed on the right of defendants to take oaths in cases involving others matters. Some scholars said defendants may take an oath to deny all kinds of allegations against them, including divorce, marriage and emancipation. They based their ruling on the outward general meaning of the hadith. If a defendant declines to take an oath, the plaintiff can take an oath to affirm a claim and the claim becomes a binding judgment.

Abu-Hanifah, may he rest in peace, said that a defendant may take an oath to refute allegations pertaining to divorce, marriage, and emancipation. If the defendant declines to take an oath, the plaintiff's allegations become binding judgments. Abu-Hanifah said that a defendant may not take an oath to refute allegations in cases of punishable offenses such as fornication, robbery, and drinking. A defendant is asked to take an oath to deny allegations brought by the plaintiff only when the plaintiff doesn't have sufficient evidence to prove the case.

Compiled From:
"Ibn-Daqiq's Commentary on the Nawawi Forty Hadiths" - Ibn Daqiq Al-Eid


Legacies of Ignorance

Consultation (shura) is an immensely important Islamic principle, but the means of achieving consultation and its precise apparatus are not defined for us. It seems that this lack of precision is intentional in view of our great diversity of environment and levels of culture. We see that one developed nation may alter its means of consultation several times over according to its experience. What happened in France in less than half a century is a model for that change. In the governance of the khalifate shura appeared in various forms. The important thing is not which model to cling to. The important thing is that we fulfil the responsibilities and means which make shura a reality so that despotism vanishes, political paganism dies, sound opinion is preferred without encumbrances, and man advances without malice.

That is quite impossible when doctrine and morality are lacking. The Muslim world has imported the external form of western democracies at a low stage of its history. It has been brought low by legacies of ignorance and deceived by foolish colonialist customs. So what has happened? Falsification of elections occurs in an extraordinary way and political secularism holds sway, backed by false populist support. If a delegation of critics and scouts were to visit the dust heap of history, they would find in it a number of Arab and Muslim leaders who killed many thousands of people in order to achieve glory and have their names broadcast internationally and stand with those Pharaohs, the 'beloved' leaders.

Compiled From:
"The Sunna of the Prophet" - Muhammad al-Ghazali