Concepts, Featured, Islamic Culture

The First and Foremost

The world appears to be at the precipice of great change, as the struggle between Kufr and Islam has reached a peak. It is witnessed by the entire world that Kufr and its people have become firmly entrenched in their arrogance. Donald Trump’s initial executive orders have established both a confirmation and a firming up of the US crusade against the Muslim World. As for the agents of the US who rule in the Muslim World, they have followed his lead and have re-affirmed their commitment to forcefully suppress Islam. However, it is also witnessed that rather than yielding to oppression, the Muslims have responded by turning to Allah سبحانه وتعالى for Guidance and Help. In the face of rising adversity, there is an increased awareness of the affairs of Muslims and an increased commitment to Allah سبحانه وتعالى and His Messenger ﷺ that can be felt throughout the Muslim World and beyond to the Muslim communities living within the rest of the world.  As the world awaits expectantly the outcome of this struggle, we each have a heavy burden upon our shoulders in this situation, wherever we find ourselves. We must all reach deep within ourselves, partake in the struggle with our full share, striving to be the first and foremost in worshipping Allah سبحانه وتعالى so that the outcome is in favor of Islam and the Believers.

Consider, O Muslims, at this time, we have been charged with the re-establishment of the ruling by the Book of Allah, through the Islamic Khilafah state. Not only must we establish this state, it will be a state unlike any other state that the current generation will have seen. Moreover, it will not be just any Khilafah state, like the Uthmaani or Abbasi or Umawiy, for, it will be, inshaaAllah, the Khilafah on the Method of the Prophethood that will end the oppressor rulers once and for all. As RasulAllah ﷺ said, «يَرْفَعَهَا ثُمَّ تَكُونُ مُلْكًا جَبْرِيَّةً فَتَكُونُ مَا شَاءَ اللَّهُ أَنْ تَكُونَ ثُمَّ يَرْفَعُهَا إِذَا شَاءَ أَنْ يَرْفَعَهَا ثُمَّ تَكُونُ خِلَافَةً عَلَى مِنْهَاجِ النُّبُوَّةِ ثُمَّ سَكَتَ» Then there will be an oppressive rule, and things will be as Allah wishes them to be. Then Allah will end it when He wishes. Then there will be a Khilafah according to the method of Prophethood.” Then he ﷺ fell silent.”

O Muslims, RasulAllah ﷺ indicated here that when the Khilafah returns, it will be similar to the first Khilafah that was established on the Method of the Prophethood. It will be like the Khilafah of Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali (ra). And for such a quality of Khilafah, requires Muslims of quality, as walis, people of Shura, commanders of armies, judges and so on. But, some may ask, how can this be in our time? After all, our generation will never be like the generation that was with RasulAllah ﷺ, for that was the best generation, for RasulAllah ﷺ said, «خَيرُ القُرُونِ قَرنِي» The best of generations, is my generation.” Here, we must take assurance from the words of Allah سبحانه وتعالى that even in our generation there will be a few, fewer than before, who are the first and the foremost in goodness. Allah سبحانه وتعالى said,

وَالسَّـبِقُونَ السَّـبِقُونَ * أُوْلَـئِكَ الْمُقَرَّبُونَ * فِى جَنَّـتِ النَّعِيمِ * ثُلَّةٌ مِّنَ الاٌّوَّلِينَ * وَقَلِيلٌ مِّنَ الاٌّخِرِينَ

And those foremost will be foremost.- These will be the nearest to Allah- In the Gardens of Delight – A multitude of those will be from the first ones – And a few of those will be from the later ones.”

(Surah al-Waqiah 56:10-14)

So, O Muslims, who are the foremost that we seek to become? They are a better grade and status and nearer to Allah than the majority of inhabitants of Jannah, those on the right side. They are the chiefs of those on the right side, because they include the Messengers, Prophets, true believers and martyrs. They are the residents of the utmost highs (Ahl Al-`Illiyyin, in Paradise). The meaning of foremost is that they were foremost in performing the acts of righteousness just as Allah سبحانه وتعالى commanded them,

وَسَارِعُواْ إِلَى مَغْفِرَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَجَنَّةٍ عَرْضُهَا السَّمَـوَتُ وَالاٌّرْضُ

And march forth in the way to forgiveness from your Lord, and for Paradise as wide as the heavens and the earth.”

(Surah Aali-Imran 3:133)

سَابِقُواْ إِلَى مَغْفِرَةٍ مِّن رَّبِّكُمْ وَجَنَّةٍ عَرْضُهَا كَعَرْضِ السَّمَآءِ وَالاٌّرْضِ

Race with one another in hastening towards forgiveness from your Lord, and Paradise the width whereof is as the width of the heaven and the earth.”

(Surah Muhammad 57:21)

Those who rush to obey Allah سبحانه وتعالى in this life and are foremost in performing acts of righteousness, will be among the foremost believers, honoured in the Hereafter and deserving of the promise of Victory in this life.

O Muslims! We must strive to be like the Dawah Carrier at the dawn of Islam, for whom the desire to be of the first and foremost spurred him into carrying the Dawah, spurred him into Jihad and martyrdom in the way of Allah. It is he who spread the guidance amongst people, demolished the fortresses of the oppressors, opened new lands to liberate peoples from the burdens of Kufr rule and ensured the dominance of the Deen. Had it not been for the Dawah carriers, small groups of Muslims would not have been able to open those vast areas of land and transform them from a Kufr household into an Islamic household and transform their people from Kuffar into Muslims. It was their absolute belief and sincerity which earned them the Help of Allah سبحانه وتعالى, a Help which multiplied their meagre means and abilities, such that the Kuffar could sense that they were facing a Helper from beyond the World.

The Dawah carrier embodies the command of Allah سبحانه وتعالى to put the carrying of Islam above all other obligations, without neglecting any obligation. Allah سبحانه وتعالى said,

قُلْ إِن كَانَ ءَابَاؤُكُمْ وَأَبْنَآؤُكُمْ وَإِخْوَنُكُمْ وَأَزْوَجُكُمْ وَعَشِيرَتُكُمْ وَأَمْوَلٌ اقْتَرَفْتُمُوهَا وَتِجَـرَةٌ تَخْشَوْنَ كَسَادَهَا وَمَسَـكِنُ تَرْضَوْنَهَآ أَحَبَّ إِلَيْكُمْ مِّنَ اللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ وَجِهَادٍ فِي سَبِيلِهِ فَتَرَبَّصُواْ حَتَّى يَأْتِىَ اللَّهُ بِأَمْرِهِ وَاللَّهُ لاَ يَهْدِى الْقَوْمَ الْفَـسِقِينَ

Say: If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your spouses, your kindred, the wealth that you have gained, the commerce in which you fear a decline, and the dwellings in which you delight are dearer to you than Allah and His Messenger, and striving hard and fighting in His cause, then wait until Allah brings about His decision (torment). And Allah guides not the people who are rebellious.”

(Surah At-Tawbah 9:24)

So, whilst it is true that the Muslims has obligations before Allah سبحانه وتعالى regarding his parents, children, brothers, wives, relatives, wealth and trade, he will take time from them, spare effort in striving for them, without neglecting them, in order that he can strive as much as possible for Allah سبحانه وتعالى and His Messenger ﷺ.

O Muslims! The Dawah Carrier today aspires to be like the Dawah carrier of the best generation. He has the ability to restore Islam in the Muslims’ countries and to carry it to the world. The carrier of the Dawah would only live according to its thoughts, would not have the desire to live but for its sake and would not feel satisfied unless he performed the duties of the Dawah. He would not feel reassured until after he had performed it; no trade or sale or family ties would preoccupy him from remembering it, just like it did not preoccupy him from remembering Allah سبحانه وتعالى. The Dawah carrier set off on a business trip to countries in Africa, Indonesia, China and Japan, among others, leaving his family behind. He traded in the Dawah ahead of the material trade, guided hordes of people to Islam, and gained the pleasure of Allah سبحانه وتعالى in addition to the financial gains. For him the blood relations and the worldly gains are inconsequential when compared to the eternal companionship with the people of Jannah in the hereafter and the joys with Jannah that are promised by Allah سبحانه وتعالى.

Let us strive to be the first and foremost, remembering those of the first Khilafah on the Method of the Prophethood, those of the best generation that will ever strive on this earth, those whose conduct became the very reasons for revelation of the noble Ayaat of the Quran. Remember, O Muslims, Abu Ubaydah al-Jarrah (ra) when he was faced with a choice between Islam and his blood relations. Al-Hafiz Al-Bayhaqi recorded that `Abdullah bin Shawdhab said, “The father of Abu `Ubaydah bin Al-Jarrah was repeatedly praising the idols to his son on the day of Badr, and Abu `Ubaydah kept avoiding him. When Al-Jarrah persisted, his son Abu `Ubaydah headed towards him and killed him. Allah سبحانه وتعالى revealed this Ayah in his case,

لاَّ تَجِدُ قَوْماً يُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الاٌّخِرِ يُوَآدُّونَ مَنْ حَآدَّ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ

You will not find any people who believe in Allah and the Last Day, making friendship with those who oppose Allah and His Messenger.”

(Surah al-Mujadilah 58:22)

Remember O Muslims, the example of Sa’ad ibn Abi Waqqas [ra]. Sa’ad said that this Ayah was revealed regarding him.

وَإِن جَـهَدَاكَ عَلَى أَن تُشْرِكَ بِى مَا لَيْسَ لَكَ بِهِ عِلْمٌ فَلاَ تُطِعْهُمَا

But if they strive with you to make you join in worship with Me others that of which you have no knowledge, then obey them not.”

(Surah Luqman 31:15)

Saad said, “I was a man who honored his mother, but when I became Muslim, she said: `O Sa`d! What is this new thing I see you doing Leave this religion of yours, or I will not eat or drink until I die, and people will say: Shame on you, for what you have done to me, and they will say that you have killed your mother.’ I said, `Do not do that, O mother, for I will not give up this religion of mine for anything.’ She stayed without eating for one day and one night, and she became exhausted; then she stayed for another day and night without eating, and she became utterly exhausted. When I saw that, I said: `O my mother, by Allah, even if you had one hundred souls and they were to depart one by one, I would not give up this religion of mine for anything, so if you want to, eat, and if you want to, do not eat.’ So she ate.”

Remember O Muslims, the example of Suhayb ibn Sinan ar-Rumi (ra). Allah سبحانه وتعالى revealed,

وَمِنَ النَّاسِ مَن يَشْرِى نَفْسَهُ ابْتِغَآءَ مَرْضَاتِ اللَّهِ

And of mankind is he who would sell himself, seeking the pleasure of Allah.”

(Surah al-Baqarah 2:207)

Ibn `Abbas, Anas, Sa`id bin Musayyib, Abu `Uthman An-Nahdi, `Ikrimah and several other scholars said that this Ayah was revealed about Suhayb bin Sinan Ar-Rumi. When Suhayb became a Muslim in Makkah and intended to migrate (to Al-Madinah), the people (Quraysh) prevented him from migrating with his money. It was the wealth that he accumulated over years. They said that if he forfeits his property, he is free to migrate. He abandoned his money and preferred to migrate, and Allah revealed this Ayah about him. `Umar bin Khattab and several other Companions met Suhayb close to the outskirts of Al-Madinah at Al-Harrah (flat lands with black stones). They said to him, “The trade has indeed been successful.” He answered them, “You too, may Allah never allow your trade to fail. What is the matter” `Umar told him that Allah has revealed this Ayah about him. It was also reported that RasulAllah ﷺ said, «رَبِحَ البَيْعُ أَبَا يَحْيَى» “The trade has been successful, O Abu Yahya (Suhayb)”

O Muslims! The decisions about seeking to be the first and foremost, are not yearly, or monthly, or weekly, they are daily, hourly and every moment. The Dawah Carrier is aware of the great dedication and huge reward to spread the Dawah and protect it. He shudders to think as to what will happen to him and the Ummah if neglect occurs, if the pursuit of dunyah distracts him. Indeed, in the times when the Muslims became complacent, enjoying the prosperity they had achieved, at such times the enemies of Islam won and the Muslims retreated, not because of the lack of weapons, but because of the lack of their Iman and the shaking of their Aqeedah. Al-Bukhari also collected this Hadith. Abu Dawud recorded that Ibn `Umar said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah saying,«إِذَا تَبَايَعْتُمْ بِالْعِينَةِ وَأَخَذْتُمْ بِأَذْنَابِ الْبَقَرِ وَرَضِيتُمْ بِالزَّرْعِ، وَتَرَكْتُمُ الْجِهَادَ سَلَّطَ اللهُ عَلَيْكُمْ ذُلًّا لَا يَنْزِعُهُ حَتَّى تَرْجِعُوا إِلَى دِينِكُم» “If you transact in `Iynah (a type of Riba), follow the tails of cows (tilling the land), become content with agriculture and abandoned Jihad, Allah will send on you disgrace that He will not remove until, you return to your Deen.”

So, let us strive to become deserving of the victory of Allah, of His Pleasure, of His Jannah. Let us strive, not satisfied with doing the minimum, but striving so that we may become the foremost of His slaves. Let us raise ourselves as much as we can so that Allah سبحانه وتعالى smiles upon us and relieves our sweating and furrowed brows with the sweet relief of victory. Let us strive and be of that generation that re-establishes Islam, establishing the Second Khilafah Rashida upon the method of the Prophethood, before whom Rome is opened to Islam, the Jewish State is vanquished, the Indian Subcontinent returns to Islam and the world embraces Islam such that the Cross is broken and there is none from who the Jizyah is taken.


Musab Umair – Pakistan