ot expect any benefit for their teaching. Fishes in seas, animals on the earth and birds in the skies will pray for these people. By contrast, the group whose knowledge is not beneficial to others and use their knowledge in order to gain worldly possessions will be forced to wear a halter made of fire in Hell.” The Qur’ân informs us that all the creatures in the skies and on the earth praise Allâhu ta’âlâ. The scholars mentioned in the hadîth, “Scholars are inheritors of prophets,” are the ones who follow the examples set by the Messenger of Allah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sal-lam’. The scholar who performs his religious practices in accordance with Islam is like a source of light which illuminates its environment. The following hadîths are widely known: “On the Day of Gathering ‘Qiyâmat’, a religious scholar will be thrown into Hell. Residents of Hell and who knew this person will gather around him and ask him why he is punished this way although in the world he was a person who taught the commands of Allâhu ta’âlâ to others. He will answer: Yes! I would commit the sins that I told you not to commit, and would not do, myself, what I told you to do. That is why I am suffering this punishment now,” and “As I was being taken to heavens during the night of ascendance (Mi’râj), I saw some people. They were being punished by having their lips clipped with scissors made of fire. I asked Gabriel about them. He said they were the holy preachers who advised others to do what they would not do themselves,” and “Soldiers of Hell will punish the sinning memorizers (Hâfizes) of holy books before they will punish idol-worshippers. For, the sin which is committed knowingly is much worse than the one which is done because one does not know.” The Sahâba of the Prophet were very profound scholars; therefore, they were as afraid of venial sins as they were of grave sins. The memorizers (Hafizes) mentioned in this hadîth might very well be memorizers of the Old Testament because sinful Muslims will not suffer heavier punishment than disbelievers. Or, perhaps, they are the hâfizes who, although they were from this Ummat, flouted the harâms and the necessity of abstinence from sins, thus becoming disbelievers. Rasûlullah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sal-lam’ states in a hadîth-i-sherîf: “Scholars are trusted representatives of prophets as long as they do not intermingle with government officials and do not run after hoarding worldly property. When they start to collect worldly goods and start to intermingle with government officials, they are considered to be violating the trust of prophets.” A trusted person is expected to protect the goods which are entrusted to him. Similarly, religious scholars should be protecting the religious knowledge from corruption. Once, Rasûlullah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sal-lam’ was visiting the “Ka’ba”. He was asked who was the worst person. He answered, “Do not ask the worst ones! Ask about the good ones. The evil scholars are the worst of all human beings.” For, they commit sins knowingly. Îsâ (Jesus) ‘alaihis-salâm’ once said, “Evil scholars are like a piece of rock which blocks the waterway. Water cannot penetrate through the rock. Therefore, the rock stops the running of the water.” An evil religious scholar resembles a sewer. Outwardly, it is a firm work of art, but it is filled with sewage. Rasûlullah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sal-lam’ states in a hadîth-i-sherîf: “On the Day of Gathering (Qiyâmat), the severest punishments will be inflicted on religious scholars who did not benefit from their knowledge,” For this reason, hypocrites, in other words, those disbelievers who pretend to be Muslims, will go to the deepest part of Hell. For, they remained as disbelievers knowingly and obstinately. A person who learns religious knowledge obtains either eternal salvation or lapses into eternal perdition. Rasûlullah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sal-lam’ states in a hadîth-i-sherîf: “Some people who will be punished in Hell will emit a very bad smell. Others around them will suffer more from the bad smell than from the fire. When asked about the reason for their bad smell, they will answer that they were religious scholars but they did not perform their religious practices in accordance with their knowledge.”

Abûddardâ ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anh’ once said, “If a person holding any kind of a religious rank does not perform his religious practices in accordance with his knowledge, he cannot be called a scholar (’âlim).” The devil had knowledge about all religions but did not perform his religious practices in accordance with that knowledge. Let’s assume that a person is left alone in a desert and has ten swords and other weapons in his possession. Let’s assume also that he is a very brave person with knowledge of how to use these weapons. If he does not use the weapons against an attacking lion, what good are the weapons? They are no good, are they? By the same token, learning the answers of one hundred thousand religious questions does not do any good to a person unless he puts this knowledge into practice. Likewise, if a sick person knows how to remedy his sickness but does not apply his knowledge toward obtaining that remedy, he does not benefit from his sheer knowledge.

Rasûlullah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sal-lam’ states in a hadîth-i-sherîf: “In the time period close to Doomsday, most worshippers will be ignorant of their religion and majority of men who possess an authoritative position in religion will be sinners (fâsiqs).” The sinful religious man referred to in this hadîth will be mixing with government officials in order to obtain materialistic gains. According to Sufyân-i-Sawrî ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anh’ there is a special pit in Hell which is made of fire. This pit will be reserved only for the punishment of hypocrites who memorize the Qur’ân but also mix with the government officials. Again, Sufyân ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anh’ related the following: I was very advanced in the knowledge of expounding the Qur’ân. I was able to explain a verse in thirty-three different ways. Then, I went to a reception given by the ruler (Sultan) of the time and lost all my knowledge because of the effects of the food I consumed at that reception. Muhammad bin Salama ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anh’ says that the state of a memorizer of Qur’ân who waits by the door of the people who are in charge of government affairs in order to obtain some material gain is worse than a fly which sits on a piece of dirt.

The hadîth-i-sherîf, “The person who has been given knowledge by Allâhu ta’âlâbut does not transmit the knowledge to others will be punished severely during the day of Judgement with a halter made of fire round his neck,” has been quoted earlier in the text. Religious men who do not teach the knowledge to qualified people are the ones referred to in this hadîth. The fifth âyat, “Do not give your possessions to dissolute people” of Sûra “Nisâ” of the Qur’ân prohibits one to teach knowledge to base and lowly hypocrites.

The following hadîth, “Islam will spread everywhere. Muslim businessmen will travel freely by ships across large seas to other countries for commerce. Muslim warriors riding their horses will go to other countries. Later, some memorizers (hâfiz) of the Qur’ân will appear and will boast by saying, ‘Is there anyone who can recite the Qur’ân better than I do?’ or ‘Is there anyone who knows more than I do?’ They will be the firewood of Hell,” points out that their recitation of the Qur’ân with hypocrisy and their boasting will lead them to Hell.

In another hadîth-i-sherîf: “Anyone who claims to be a scholar is an ignoramus.” People who present themselves to be knowledgeable about everything, for example, by answering every question or giving an interpretation of everything they see are actually displaying their ignorance. He who states that he does not know the answer but will study and then answer the question is an advanced scholar. When they asked Rasûlullah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sal-lam’ what was the most valuable place on earth, he answered, “I don’t know. If my Lord informs me, I will tell you.” Then, he asked this to Archangel Gabriel and received a similar answer from him. Then, Gabriel asked Allâhu ta’âlâ and received the answer, “Masjids (mosques).” When the hundred and ninety-eighth âyat of Sûra A’râf of the Qur’ân al-kerîm was revealed, which purported, “Be forgiving and command ma’rûf,” Rasûlullah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sal-lam’ asked Hadrat Jebrâîl to explain its meaning. The blessed angel said, “Let me learn from my Rabb (Allâhu ta’âlâ)” and left. When he returned he said that Allâhu ta’âlâ commanded, “Get close to those who get away from you! Give generously to one who does not give you! Forgive those who oppress you!” When Sha’bî ‘rahima-hullâhu ta’âlâ’ was asked a question he answered that he did not know the answer. They reproved him, saying that it would not be worthy of him, Muftî of Iraq as he was, to say that he did not know. His reply was: “Why should I ever be blamed for something I do not know, in the face of the facts which the greatest ones of angels acknowledged not to know?” Imâm Abû Yûsuf ‘rahima-hullâhu ta’âlâ’ answered a question by saying that he did not know. When they reproached him for failing to answer their question with the stipend he received from the (treasury department called) Bayt-ul-mâl, he replied, “I am being paid for that much as I know. The Bayt-ul-mâl would be short of paying me for the facts I did not know.” Establishing friendships with ignorant people who do not follow their nafs would be better than establishing friendships with religious persons who are slaves of their nafs. A religious person’s being conceited because of his holding a religious post is symptomatic of his ignorance because having knowledge leads one into being a humble and modest person and protects one against arrogance and conceit.

It is forbidden to be conceited or haughty. Pride (Kibr) is an Attribute of Allâhu ta’âlâ. Being proud (Kibriya) or the Attribute of Pride is appropriate for Allâhu ta’âlâ. When a human being holds the view that his nafs is lowly his value will increase in the sight of Allâhu ta’âlâ. Conversely, a person who thinks himself worthy and superior will not have any value in the sight of Allâhu ta’âlâ. Any scholar who does not know the harm of being conceited and haughty should not be considered a real scholar. Gaining more knowledge increases one’s fear of Allâhu ta’âlâ and one cannot dare to commit sins. For this reason, all prophets were humble people. They were very much afraid of Allâhu ta’âlâ. They did not possess vices like conceit and self love (’ujb). One should not treat youngsters and sinners (fâsiqs and fâjirs) with conceit. However, it is necessary to treat conceited people with equal conceit. If a person is a learned one; when he sees an ignorant sinner he should say to himself, “This person is sinning because he does not know. Yet I am committing sins despite my knowledge of them.” When he sees a learned person he should think, “This person has more knowledge than I do. And he pays his knowledge its due; he performs his religious practices with ikhlâs; whereas I don’t.” When he sees an elderly person he should say, “This person has probably done more worship than I have;” and if the person he sees is younger than he is, he should think, “Young people have fewer sins than I do.” When he sees a person his age, he should say to himself, “I know about my sins, not about his doings. Iniquities are to be censured when they are known.” When he sees a holder of bid’at or a disbeliever, he should say, “A person’s credal state is vulnerable to changes till the time of his expiration. I do not know how I will end up.” So, even such people should not cause a Muslim to be conceited. Yet we should not like them. In fact, people who try to spread bid’ats and heresies are inimical to the Sunnat of the Messenger of Allah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sal-lam’. They strive to extinguish the nûrs (lights) of Sunnat, to promulgate bid’ats and heresies, to malign the scholars of Ahl as-sunnat ‘rahima-humullâhu ta’âlâ’, to distort the meanings of âyat-i-kerîmas and hadîth-i-sherîfs, and thereby to destroy Islam from within.

[The books published by our organization are all translated from the books of well-known “Ahl as-sunnat scholars”. These books do not contain any of our own thoughts. In all of our books, we are striving to explain to the youngsters about the greatness of the “Ahl as-sunnat scholars”. We are telling them that the only way to attain happiness in the next world (âkhirat) is the way taught by the “Ahl as-sunnat scholars”. We are striving to introduce this way of happiness and salvation to humanity and we do not expect any worldly benefits for these services from anyone. Those who have deviated from the right path, or “la-madhhabiyya” or all other types of enemies of Islam might not like our striving to distribute these books and therefore invent extraordinary lies and slanders about our books. Since they do not possess the necessary Islamic knowledge, they cannot challenge us in this regard. Nor can they claim that we are making profit by selling these books, for we are not. Everyone knows that. Most of the time, we send these books free of charge to anyone who asks for them. We hear that some people are telling others that these books contain unsound knowledge but when we challenge them to show what part is unsound they say, “Oh! We just heard that from others. That was what they told us.” Alhamdulillah, conscientious youngsters do not believe these lies and slanders and the number of people who read our books is increasing day by day.]

One should not sympathize with these destructive people, who try to divide Muslims. One should also ponder how one’s life will end and how Allâhu ta’âlâ has decreed in eternal past about one’s end. One cannot know definitely, while living here, who will have higher degrees in the Hereafter. Many of those who held religious posts died in a state of disbelief. Many disbelievers ended their lives in a state of belief. Considering all of the things said above, a person who says that a disbeliever will be in Hell and he himself will be in heaven would be claiming to have knowledge of the hidden (ghayb), which in turn would put him into a state of disbelief. Therefore, it is not permissible to be conceited toward any person.

A person might argue as follows: It is necessary to advise others, i.e., disbelievers and people who have deviated from the right path and to try to dissuade them from committing prohibited actions, but obviously you cannot advise them if you see yourself lower than they are. Besides, the way our Lord performs His actions are such that a person will die in a state which represents the way of his living. In some instances the opposite of this also occurs but these instances are rare. Furthermore, Allâhu ta’âlâ praises Believers and says that they are superior to disbelievers. We would answer the argument as follows: It is necessary not to like them because Allâhu ta’âlâ commanded us “Not to like them”, not because we are superior to them. The following example will clarify this point further. While a ruler (Sultan) is sending his young son along with a servant to some distant location, he instructs the servant to beat his son if he does not behave himself. Later, when the son misbehaves the servant beats him according to the instruction of the ruler. While he is beating the son, the servant knows that he is not superior to him. Therefore, he cannot treat him with conceit. Similarly, a Believer’s not liking disbelievers resembles this example. Allâhu ta’âlâ informs us that Believers are superior but this is not due to their selves being superior but instead it is due to their superior belief. Possessors of belief will be superior. Endless superiority will show itself at the last breath.

A certain worship’s being valuable depends on some conditions. A Muslim does not waste his time with useless things (mâ-lâ-ya’nî). The first Caliph Hadrat Abû Baqr ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anh’ said that they would do without seventy permissible (halâl) actions lest they should commit one prohibited (harâm) action. Therefore, no one should depend on his worships and become conceited. Acceptance of a worship depends on its proper intention. It should only be performed for the sake of Allâhu ta’âlâ. It is not easy to obtain such pure intention. Purifying or cleansing one’s nafs could only be achieved through taqwâ, which means abstinence from performing forbidden deeds. It is very difficult for anyone who does not have a cleansed nafs to perform worship only for the sake of Allâhu ta’âlâ.

Bragging with one’s ancestry and showing conceit is a sign of ignorance and idiocy. Cain (Kabil) was the son of “Adam” ‘alaihis-salâm’. Kan’an (Canaan), or Yâm (Shem) was the son of Noah (Nûh) ‘alaihis-salâm’. Their fathers’ being prophets did not save them from disbelief. Those who brag with their ancestry should observe the state of their ancestors now. Aren’t they a piece of soil by now? Is it reasonable to brag about a piece of soil? One should not brag with their piousness, either, but, instead, one should try to be a pious person like them.

Most women are conceited about their beauty. But, beauty does not last. It goes away fast. It does not become a permanent property of a person. Bragging about something which is temporarily given to her would be idiocy. Physical beauty, accompanied with a beautiful heart, i.e., spiritual beauty, is very valuable. Cleanliness of a heart would be apparent by its owner’s adherence to the Sunnat of our Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sal-lam’. If the heart, soul and ethics of human beings are not held as valuable, human beings will be no different from animals. They become even lower than animals. They will be like machinery which is filled with dirt and needs cleaning up and maintenance. They will resemble worn out machinery which always requires fueling, cleaning up and repair. Is this something which a person could be proud of? One should rather show humility.

Being conceited about one’s youth and strength would also be ignorance. In general, strength of muscles and sense organs exists in greater amounts in animals than in man. Accordingly, animals should be conceited toward human beings, shouldn’t they? Moreover, who can ever claim that he will always stay young and strong, or will never be ill, or will never have an accident? Is there anyone in the recorded history of mankind who never lost his youth and strength or breath? Therefore, would it be reasonable for anyone to brag or to be conceited about something which one possesses temporarily for a short period of time and which also exists in animals.

Nor would it be fit for human beings to brag and to be conceited about their property, children, rank, and position because these are not superior properties inherent in them. They are temporal and transitory things that leave human beings very quickly. Besides, they even exist in immoral and lowly people. Actually, they exist amongst those people most of the time. If these were things that caused superiority, people who do not have these or who had them but later lost them would necessarily be very lowly people. If having property is a cause of honor then a thief would be considered an honored man because he possesses stolen property even if it is his for a short period of time.

Hatred (hiqd) should not cause conceit, either. The lexical meaning of hatred is to hate or to nurse a grudge, or to feel hostility with the heart. A person who suffers from this corrosive feeling will be angry at somebody who is equal or superior to him. Since he cannot do anything about it, he would become conceited toward that person. This kind of person cannot be humble toward those who deserve humility, and cannot accept their righteous words and advice. He tries to show everybody that he is better than that person. Even when he wrongfully hurts someone, he does not apologize.

Covetousness (hasad) also causes conceit. A person with this immoderate feeling wishes that the blessings possessed by someone else leave that person and come to him. He wants others not to have them. He also refuses to listen to the righteous words of those whom he is jealous of. He does not want to ask and learn anything from them. Even though he knows their superiority, he treats them with conceit.

Riyâ (hypocrisy, ostentation) also causes conceit. A person who has this habit treats strangers with conceit in the presence of his friends. But when he is alone with the stranger, he does not treat him with conceit. Islamic scholars should wear attirements which would become their honor and should act with dignity in order to protect themselves from the conceited people. For this reason, the great Islamic scholar, Imâm al-a’zam Abû Hanîfa ‘rahima-hullâhu ta’âlâ’ said that scholars should have a larger head cover and large sleeves in their gowns. Preachers will get rewards of worshipping if they beautify themselves with new and clean clothes. If they are not respected, then their words will not have any effect on others because ignorant people judge others by their attirements and appearances. They don’t understand the value of knowledge or virtues.

Most people are not aware of their conceited behavior. Therefore, it is necessary for one to know the signs of conceit. When a conceited person enters a new place, he wants everyone there to stand up. This does not apply to a scholar who goes to some place to preach and knows that people there respect him. If he wishes for those people to stand up, that would not be conceit. In general, if a person wants himself to sit and others to stand, that would be conceit. Hadrat Alî ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anh’ stated, “Anyone who wants to see what a person of Hell looks like should look at the person who himself sits but wishes others to stand.” The Ashâb-i-kirâm ‘ridwânullâhi ta’âlâ ’alaihim ajma’în’ loved Rasûlullah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sal-lam’ more than anything else in the world but they would not stand up when he joined them because they knew that Rasûlullah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sal-lam’ would not want them to stand up for him. However, when an Islamic scholar (’âlim) joins a group of Muslims, they should stand up in order to show respect for his knowledge. Yahyâ bin Qattân ‘rahima-hullâhu ta’âlâ’ had just completed the performance of a late afternoon (’asr) prayer and was sitting with his back against the minaret of the mosque, when some of the famous scholars of his time came along. One of them was Imâm Ahmad bin Hanbal ‘rahimahullâhu ta’âlâ’. They asked him questions about knowledge of Hadîth. He answered all their questions. They were all standing as he himself was sitting. He did not tell any of them to sit down, and none of them dared to sit down. Their conversation continued until the time of sunset. The general custom is that a younger scholar will be seated in a higher seat than an older ignorant man. A student should not start to speak before his teacher does, should not sit in his seat in his absence, and should not walk ahead of him on the street. If a person likes others to get up and stand up for him but knows that this wish and desire is not proper and wants to get rid of this wish, then his wish is considered a natural tendency, or it is a false sense inculcated by the devil. In either case, it is not a sin because the control is not in his hands. It happens despite his will.

Another sign of conceit is an aversion to walking alone and a tendency towards being followed by someone walking behind, or a penchant for riding a horse with a number of pupils walking along beside the horse. Rasûlullah ‘salla-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sal-lam’ was going toward the “Baki” cemetery of the city of Medina. Some people saw him and started to walk behind him. Rasûlullah ‘salla-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sal-lam’ stopped walking and commanded them to walk ahead of him and he followed them. When he was asked for the reason for his behavior he said, “I heard the sound of their steps. I required them to walk ahead of me in order to prevent an atom’s weight of conceit coming into my heart.” It is obvious that he would not have any conceit in his heart but this was a way of communication or teaching his Sahâba. According to Abuddardâ, ‘rahimahullâhu ta’âlâ’, when the number of people walking behind a conceited man increases, the conceited man’s spiritual distance from Allâhu ta’âlâ also increases.

The following actions also indicate conceit: not to visit acquaintances or friends; a dislike for sitting with someone beside you; not to sit together with sick or ill people; not to do housework, not to do the shopping necessary for the household; a distaste for wearing something you have worn once, or an overall as you work. It is conceit as well to refuse a poor person’s invitation and to accept a rich one’s. The following actions are considered hypocrisy when done in the presence of others and conceit when done alone or in the presence of others: not providing necessities of one’s relatives and family members, not accepting the righteous warnings and arguing with those who advise one, and not thanking those who point out one’s shortcomings.

A person’s being a humble person requires knowing his origins, e.g., where he came from and where he is going. He did not exist before. Later, he became a weakling infant who could not move. He is now a person who is always in fear of becoming ill or dying. At the end, he will die, rot away and become soil. He will become livestock for worms and insects. His sufferings are similar to a prisoner’s suffering, e.g., one who is awaiting execution by hanging, i.e., in the dungeon of the world. He waits every minute for news of his punishment. He will die. His body will become a carcass and will be food-stock for insects. He will suffer punishment in his grave. After all, he will be raised from death and will suffer the inconveniences of the last Judgement day. Which one of the following would be better fitting for a person who is living with the fear of being punished eternally in Hell: humility or conceit? Allâhu ta’âlâ, Who is the Creator, the Raiser, the Protector of human beings, the all-Powerful Who has no likeness and Who is the only Ruler and the Almighty says, “I don’t like conceited people,” and “I like humble people.” Hence, which one would be more befitting for weakling human creatures? Could a sensible person who recognizes the greatness of Allâhu ta’âlâ ever be conceited? Human beings must always show and demonstrate their weaknesses and lowliness to Allâhu ta’âlâ. Therefore, at all times and at any and every occasion they must show their weakness and humility to Him. Abû Sulaimân Dârânî ‘rahimahullâhu ta’âlâ’ says, “If the entire mankind tried to degrade me so as to represent me as a person lower than I actually am, they would fail to do so, for I know that I am lower than the lowest grade anybody could think of.” Could a person ever consider himself as lower than everybody, including the devil and the Pharaoh, who two [and some other cruel enemies of Islam and humanity, such as Stalin, Mao and their henchmen] are the worst of disbelievers of all times? People who claim deity and persecute and kill millions of people for the purpose of imposing their own desires, are definitely the lowest of disbelievers. They have incurred the Wrath of Allâhu ta’âlâ, and He has made them lapse into the worst disbelief. “As for me; He has treated me with His Compassion, giving me true belief and guidance. He could as well have done quite the opposite if He had willed to do so. Al-hamd-u-lillâh, He did not do so. But I have committed so many sins and perpetrated iniquities which no one else has done. And I do not know how I will die.” One should say these words to oneself and be humble.

Rasûlullah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sal-lam’ states as follows in a hadîth-i-sherîf: “Allâhu ta’âlâ has commanded me to be a humble person. None of you should behave with conceit toward any one of the others!” According to this hadîth we should be humble toward non-Muslim citizens (zimmî) and those who visit our country with permission (passport) as well as visiting businessmen and tourists. Since it is necessary to be humble toward everybody, it is a necessary conclusion of this hadîth that it would not be permissible to hurt them in any way.

[This hadîth and its explanation by “Ahl as-sunnat scholars” clearly indicate that it is not permissible for those Muslims who live in non-Muslim countries (dâr-ul-harb) to attack and violate the rights, property and honor of the citizens of that country. Stealing, rioting, hurting others, violating the laws of the land, insulting the government officials, violating tax-laws, avoiding payments of tolls or fares, and all similar behaviors which are not compatible with the honor of Islam and Islamic ethics are not permissible. In disbelievers’ countries, not violating the Christian laws does not mean recognizing them as “ulul-amr.” Commandments (of others) which entail disobedience to Allâhu ta’âlâ must not necessarily be fought back. Commandments of this sort should not be reacted against, even if they were given by irreligious dignitaries. Rebellion against an established government and opposition to its laws in force will cause fitna, (i.e. mischief, upheaval, instigation,) which in turn is harâm, (i.e. forbidden by Islam.) This matter is explained in books (teaching Islam’s practical, social, economical, transactional, canonical and legislative sciences, and which are termed literature) of Fiqh, in their sections allotted to coercion and duress, and also in the fifty-fifth letter of the third volume of Maktûbât, by Muhammad Ma’thûm ‘rahmatullâhi ’aleyh’. If a person, whether he lives in a Muslim country or in a country of disbelievers called dâr-ul-harb, acts in opposition to this commandment of our Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sal-lam’ and commits acts which are against the laws of the country he lives in, he will not only be sinful but also have represented Islam as a cult of savagery and Muslims as barbarians worldover, which in turn is a grave treachery against Islam.

‘Jihâd’ means ‘amr-i-ma’rûf’ and ‘nahy-i-’an-il-munkar’. The former means ‘to introduce Islam to disbelievers, and thereby to rescue them from the blight of disbelief’, and the latter means ‘to teach Muslims Islam’s practices, and thereby to protect them from committing Islam’s prohibitions’. There are three ways of performing either one of these two duties (of jihâd). The first way is to do it physically, or, in clearer terms, to perform jihâd by employing all sorts of weaponry; this sort of jihâd is conducted against dictators and imperialistic powers for the purpose of eliminating their obstructive policies over hapless masses of people who have fallen into the pit of disbelief as a result of being unaware of Islam or blindly following others or living under tyranny, oppression, persecution, exploitation or misguidance. The most up-to-date weaponry are used to fight these dictators and imperialistic tyrants, to annihilate their forces, and thereby to rescue the wretched slaves and the oppressed peoples from their talons. Then Islam is preached to these people and they are offered to become Muslims willingly. If they prefer not to become Muslims, they are allowed to live and practice their religion of choice equally with Muslims under the Islamic state, which provides freedom, equality and justice to all. This type of (jihâd) is done only by Islamic states or by their armies. It is never permissible for any individual Muslim to attack and rob any disbeliever without the prior order, permission and knowledge of an Islamic state. Islamic religion punishes severely those Muslims who murder any citizen of another state with whom the Islamic state has a peace accord. As can be seen clearly from the foregoing, in the Islamic religion, fighting does not mean destroying other countries or killing other people. What it really means is striving for the introduction of Islam to others so that they might become Muslims willingly and lovingly and save themselves from the eternal disasters. Our Prophet ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sal-lam’, the Sahâba ‘alaihim-ur-ridwân’, and real Islamic states, for example Ottomans, all performed this type of jihâd. They never attacked weak and defenceless people. They fought against enemies of Islam, tyrannical disbelievers, imperialists and heretical and disruptive people who carried Muslim names and yet who were preventing Islam from reaching those poor people and communicating its message to them. They fought against them and destroyed their imperialist powers and freed enslaved people who were living miserably under their torturous powers. They, taught them Islam and thus provided opportunity for them to become Muslims of their own free will and thus helped them to find the eternal happiness.

The second duty of the Islamic army or the Islamic state is to protect Muslims and Islam and to make jihâd against disbelivers and heretical separatists who attack Islamic countries in order to destroy and annihilate Muslims and Islam. Allâhu ta’âlâ commands in Sûra Anfâl that the Islamic state should conduct scientific research during peace time, learning and making the latest weaponry manufactured in disbelievers’ countries. State officials who neglect this duty of producing new weaponry are insubordinate to Islam’s Sharî’at and are responsible for the death of millions of Muslims and the debilitation of Islam as a result of their failure to counter the attacks of their enemies.

The second way of Islamic jihâd is to exploit all sorts of means of communication to spread Islam and to announce it to humanity. This type of jihâd is done only by Islamic scholars with the help and under the control of Islamic states. In our time, enemies of Islam, i.e., missionaries, communists, freemasons, and people who do not follow any madhhab, (la-madhhabiyya) are attacking Islam by using all kinds of communication means. They are trying to deceive people and ignorant Muslims through fabricated lies and slanders and thereby to destroy Islam. Recently, in 1992, we have heard that Christians prepared eleven questions and distributed them to all Islamic countries. The scholars of Bangladesh wrote answers to these and thus disgraced the Christian clergy, the behind-the-scene plotters. Hakikat book-store located in Istanbul added these answers under the name of “Al-Akazib-ul-jadidatul-hiristyaniyya” to the book Assirat-ul-mustakim and is now distributing it throughout the world. Also, another group, i.e., Qâdiyânîs (Ahmadiyyas), Bahâîs, followers of Mawdûdî, people of Tabligh al-Jamâ’at, the group called Salafiyya, and those people who do not belong to any madhhab (la-madhhabiyya) and wahhâbîs have deviated from the correct path of Islam by deriving wrong and corrupt meanings from the Qur’ân al-kerîm and hadîth-i-sherîfs. Some of these miscreants have carried their heresy too far and lapsed into disbelief. They all spread their corrupt and deviated beliefs by publishing books, magazines and booklets and by way of radios. They spend millions for this purpose. On the one hand, they are destroying Islam from within by deceiving “Ahl as-Sunnat Muslims”, i.e., “Sunni Muslîms” and on the other hand, they are introducing to all peoples something in the name of religion which is not pure and correct Islam. Amidst all these various propaganda, people who want to become Muslims are becoming confused and they are either giving up the idea of becoming Muslims or entering into a wrong path with the credulity that they have become Muslims.

Today, the greatest jihâd is performed by “Ahl as-Sunnat scholars” against the destructive and cunning propagandas of the internal and external enemies of Islam by spreading the teachings of the knowledge of “Ahl as-sunnat”, i.e., the way of our Prophet Muhammad ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sal-lam’ and his Sahâba by using all means of communication to all peoples of the world.

The third way of jihâd is to do it through prayer. It is “fard al-ayn” or in other words it is a must duty for every Muslim to perform this type of jihâd. Not performing this type of jihâd is a grave sin. Performing this third type of jihâd is done by praying for those who perform the first two types of jihâd. Those who are doing the first two types of jihâd are in need of the prayers of those who are not actively participating in the first two types of jihâd. All prayers performed with sincerity will surely be accepted.

Allâhu ta’âlâ without any doubt will help those who trust the help of Allâhu ta’âlâ and obey Islam’s commandments and perform the above-mentioned three types of jihâd. Allâhu ta’âlâ will not accept the prayers of those who do not prepare themselves for the jihâd and who do not prepare the necessary newest war equipment beforehand and who do not establish strong brotherhood and love among themselves but instead assume that they do their duty of jihâd only by praying. There are conditions to be fulfilled for the acceptance of the prayer (dua.) These conditions stipulate that we hold fast to the causes which will provide the results that we pray for. As we have stated above, in order to be successful in jihâd, we have to follow the commandments of Islam. Islam commands us to prepare ourselves for jihâd. The first type of jihâd requires acquisition of the most modern weaponry and training on how to use them. Moreover, it also requires discipline and obedience to the leaders and commanders who are in charge as well as avoiding separatist movements. If the commanding posts have trusts (waqf), every Muslim who has the means should help such trusts. Helping “Ahl as-sunnat scholars” or trusts which support such scholars constitutes jihâd through property. Allâhu ta’âlâ promises the eternal Gardens of Paradise to those who perform jihâd physically and financially. Alî Muhammad Belhî explains jihâd at length in his book Muftî-i-mujâhid, written in Persian and printed in 1411 A.H.]

A hadîth-i-sherîf reads as follows: “How lucky for those people who have attained the Blessing, and who also behave humbly and who are aware of their deficiencies and who earn their living by (ways which Islam allows and terms) halâl, and spend their earnings for useful purposes, and who combine the knowledge of fiqh with the knowledge of tasawwuf, i.e. hikmat, and who are watchful of the borders between the halâl and the harâm, and who are merciful towards the poor, and who behave so as to please Allâhu ta’âlâ, and who have acquired beautiful moral habits, and who do not harm anybody, and whose practice complies with their theory, and who deal out the surplus of their property and retain the surplus of their speech.”

Humility is a vice when it is misused for purposes such as mockery, hypocrisy, ostentation, or for financial, higher-positional or security considerations. Getting rid of this vice requires elimination of the things that cause it. Anyone who gets rid of the things that cause a vice will obtain true humility.