Allah (swt) blessed me with the honour of spending time with Naveed Butt. The times I spent with him were always great learning experiences. I cherish those memories to this day. Allah (swt) has truly blessed Naveed with numerous admirable qualities. Naveed had insight, intelligence, generosity, humbleness, modesty and patience, and above all, he was in the constant remembrance of Allah (swt), following the example of our Prophet ﷺ. All this is why his abduction has been a great loss for all of us and above all his noble family, who are an example for all our families of patience in hardship. So, whilst Naveed was amongst us he was an example, leader and teacher, and in his absence, Naveed’s family is our example and the best from amongst us.
Naveed’s self-sacrifice and abduction by the oppressors remind me of numerous ayaat of Quran, including the following: وَلَا تَهِنُوا وَلَا تَحْزَنُوا وَأَنتُمُ الْأَعْلَوْنَ إِن كُنتُم مُّؤْمِنِينَ “Do not falter or grieve, for you will have the upper hand, if you are believers.” [Surah Aali Imran 3:139] إِنَّ الَّذِينَ فَتَنُوا الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتِ ثُمَّ لَمْ يَتُوبُوا فَلَهُمْ عَذَابُ جَهَنَّمَ وَلَهُمْ عَذَابُ الْحَرِيقِ “Those who persecute the believing men and women and then do not repent will certainly suffer the punishment of Hell and the torment of burning.” [Surah al-Burooj 85:10]
Naveed lived by Islam, sacrificing himself to bring khair for this Ummah. I was able to accompany Naveed on his visits to Karachi, where we would meet as broad a representation of the society as possible, from businessmen, journalists, newspaper editors, lawyers, representatives of political parties and various ulema. His visits were always a huge learning experience for me. He would deliver PowerPoint presentations from the various systems of the Khilafah (Caliphate). He explained as simply as possible, how implementing various Islamic laws through the Khilafah, the Muslims of Pakistan and the wider Islamic Ummah could reshape their situation.
Naveed would explain how by implementing the gold and silver standard through the Khilafah, delinking from the current fiat based economic system, we would become independent of the current economic enslavement. He elaborated how we would experience fairer wealth distribution and greater economic stability.
Naveed would explain the consequences of the following hadith of RasulAllah ﷺ, «الْمُسْلِمُونَ شُرَكَاءُ فِي ثَلَاثٍ الْمَاءِ وَالْكَلَإِ وَالنَّارِ» “The Muslims are partners in three things, waters, feeding pastures and fire.” (Ahmad). He explained how we would fulfil the Guidance of Allah (swt) by implementing the hadith, allowing the collective benefit of the immense energy and mineral resources that Allah (swt) had blessed the Ummah with, bringing stability and strength to the Ummah. This is in stark contrast today where colonialist nations compete for the resources of the Muslim World, slaughtering us in droves.
Naveed always strove to show people the vision of Islam, beyond the dark situation that the existing regimes have created. I would always await Naveed’s trips to Karachi with eagerness, so that I could have the opportunity to spend time with him and learn from our teacher. I am witness to the fact that this time that he would spend with us, he could easily have spent with his family. I bear witness before Allah (swt) that he sacrificed everything for Allah (swt) and was devoted to Allah (swt), RasulAllah ﷺ and this Ummah. In all the discussions that took place, he was always patient, understanding and measured in his response and explanations.
Naveed would always ask about our families, employment and wider issues, reminding us that not only should we strive to our best abilities in carrying the Dawah, but also that this pursuit of excellence should extend to all our duties. He advised us that we should similarly strive to our best abilities as sons, fathers, husbands, employees and neighbours. He reminded us that this pursuit of excellence was only for the pleasure of Allah (swt), not for anything else. He reminded us that all our pursuits must revolve sincerely around the pleasure of Allah (swt), whatever the consequences.
Allah (swt) blesses this Ummah with self-sacrificing leaders like Naveed and Allah (swt) tests them to raise their rank. Naveed’s pursuit of excellence in conveying the Dawah to the society, meant that he became the target of the traitors in the leadership of Pakistan. He became a target for those who follow in the footsteps of Abu Lahab, Abu Jahl and Mir Sadiq. Allah (swt) said, أُولَٰئِكَ الَّذِينَ اشْتَرَوُا الضَّلَالَةَ بِالْهُدَىٰ وَالْعَذَابَ بِالْمَغْفِرَةِ ۚ فَمَا أَصْبَرَهُمْ عَلَى النَّارِ “They are the ones who trade guidance for misguidance and forgiveness for punishment. How persistent are they in pursuit of the Fire!” [Surah al-Baqarah 2:175].
Despite being fully aware of the efforts of the traitors, he remained resilient, never leaving an opportunity to carry the call for Islam as a way of life. He continued until the tyrants seized him in May 2012, without giving any news of his well-being or whereabouts until this very day. I pray for khair for Naveed and his family. I pray that Allah (swt) bless them with the best in this life and the Akhirah. I pray that Allah (swt) allows Naveed to return safely to all those who love him, so we may raise him on our shoulders and rejoice. Aameen.
Professor Ismail Sheikh