By Late, Jamal Al-Bana

Egyptian Researcher and Thinker Translated by Dr. Qasim Hersi Farah

“The concept of infidelity is an ugly and hateful representation. Its ugliness exceeds any other accusation as it does not affect the faith of the targeted individual per se. It reaches the level of making the victim an outcast in his community by depriving him of his rights, threatening him to death, and following him after death. And all these aggressions are executed without having any authority to reference”.

One of the superior qualities of Islam is that it does not contain or encourage any form of instructions or guidelines, which may originate from Human consciousness or institutions that have the authority to legislate human behavior, either through prohibition or permission. To deter any idea of intercession which may operate between mankind and God, the Almighty, the concept of priests operating and possessing access to the almighty has been prohibited. The Qur’an has made it clear that anyone can speak directly for himself/or herself in their name and ask Allah for whatever they want to attain or evade. Thus, what he ties in the earth is already tied in the sky.

Islam liberates Muslims from being dominated and subjugated by interceding institutions. Bequeathing to monks as the sole authority and influence to impose guardianship on people by legislating for them what they must or must not do is a direct form of interceding and it is unlawful to Allah. This is a massive raid on the Power

of the Lord, thus, it has been considered to be a pure polytheism – shirk sin, which is to make partners with Allah. Allah says: (They have taken their rabbis and monks as well as the Messiah, son of Mary, as lords besides Allah,1 even though they were commanded to worship none but One God. There is no god ‘worthy of worship’ except Him. Glorified is He above what they associate ‘with Him’! (Qur’an: At-Tawbah: 31).

Anyone who reads and contemplates this Qur’anic verse will understand the purpose of the assignment and authority which was given to the Messenger by Allah. The Devine Message was assigned to the Messenger to carry and convey it through the Qur’an. The same Qur’an that he conveyed tells us that the Messenger has no power or authority to make any religious ruling or decision. The Messenger has no power to guide or control anyone, and his role is merely the conveyance of the Message as a giver of glad tiding and warner. He only conveys what Allah Has ordered him to convey, whereby guidance or misguidance is up to the receiver of the Message. And if they refuse the Message, the Messenger has no power, dominance, authority, or guardianship over them as he is not an agent to control them. Allah says:

  1. The Messenger’s duty is only to deliver ‘the message’. And Allah ‘fully’ knows what you reveal and what you conceal” (Qur’an:Al-Ma’idah: 99).
  2. So proclaim what you have been commanded, and turn away from the polytheists (Qur’an:Al-Hijri: 94).
  3. But if they turn away, then your duty ‘O Prophet’ is only to deliver ‘the message’ clearly. (Qur’an: An-Nahli: 82).
  4. If they deny you, then say, “My deeds are mine and your deeds are yours. You are free of what I do and I am free of what you do!” (Qur’an: Yunus: 41)
  5. You ‘O Prophet’ have no say in the matter.1 It is up to Allah to turn to them in mercy or punish them, for indeed they are wrongdoers. (Qur’an: Ali Imran: 128)
  6. We know best what they say. And you ‘O Prophet’ are not ‘there’ to compel them ‘to believe’. So remind with the Quran ‘only’ those who fear My warning (Qur’an: Qaf: 45)
  7. So, ‘continue to’ remind ‘all, O Prophet’, for your duty is only to remind. You are not ‘there’ to compel them ‘to believe”. (Qur’an: Al Ghashiya: 21-22).
  8. You surely cannot guide whoever you like ‘O Prophet’, but it is Allah Who guides whoever He wills, and He knows best who are ‘fit to be’ guided” (Qur’an: Al-Qasas: 156).

The specification to the authority of the Messenger does not intend to exceed the statement of the conveyance. Here, the wisdom that knocks on the head of most thinkers is that both guidance and misguidance are based on the decision of the individual himself “Anyone who follows the guidance he only guides himself and anyone who goes astray puts himself into astray”.

As long as the Devine Message has been purely conveyed, the Messenger does not have to interfere with individuals since they possess their free and private will and can make their own decisions when conducting their affairs. In the era of the Messenger, there was neither blasphemy nor apostasy. The Messenger himself was under the guidance of the Qur’an which, when addressing apostasy, openly declares that disbelieving does not entail any form of worldly punishment because Allah Has already established the fundamental principle as “No compulsion in religion”.

In the era of the Messenger, when some people apostatized the Messenger did not pursue them with punishment and did not transgress against them. Moreover, he did not set any of the currently known penalties, which were subsequently imposed on people by freelance jurists. Therefore, none of the jurists’ penalties against apostasy, including the death penalty, to pursue them after death, and to expropriate their wealth is against Islamic instructions. Imagine, by seeking justification, they fabricated some statements such as “He (the Messenger) would not bury the apostasy’s dead bodies in the Muslim cemeteries”.

Indeed, Allah’s will is determined by implementing what He Had set of legislations based on the norms of the community functioning system, the sustenance of the human population, and that each community follows its precedent. This means each community learns lessons from the previous communities to secure proper habits while shunning the evildoings. However, Muslims were affected by following their ancestors’ wrongdoings. In addition to that, they have been worsened by other factors and incidents in the Islamic community and their institutions that outshine the advocates of infidelity.

The historical analysis indicates that the claim of infidelity as an atonement appears when society is in an ideological crisis such as doctrinal, political, religious, or scientific discourses. When these factors are mixed up with the public and the private affairs of day-to-day activities, obtaining a solution is far-fetched. There, the solution becomes an indolent and unattainable expectation. That is what led atonement and infidelity to overwhelm the Islamic pure ethics.

The Islamic society has gone through three main crises remarked in its history. The first of these three crises was the chaos known as the “the Greatest Strive – Al-Fitnat al- Kubra”. That was when the companions of the Prophet found themselves in a delusional situation, in which they unexpectedly started fighting each other. There, the crisis has reached its climax. Among the notable battles was that of the Sifni Decisiveness, in which half of the Muslims were killed by the survived half.

When one of the rival warmongers, Muawiyyah, was about to be defeated, a new trick was staged by his supporters. That was to carry on a rally where people would place copies of the Holy Qur’an on the tip sharp of their spears and call for demanding that all judgments should be taken from Allah’s Book. It was an ingenious ploy to stop the battle in which Ma’awiyah was on the verge of death. Ali Ibn Abi Talib pleadingly warned his army to avoid falling into this deception, which is intended to abort the verified victory. However, a group of nomadic hardliners brushed aside his warning. This group was of the people who most frequently read the Qur’an. Yet, their recitation was limited to releasing verses from their tongues as they do so with their arrows from the bow without thinking about the consequence. Thus, they were not surrendering themselves to the Qur’an’s instructions and guidance.

Initially, the tyrant group accepted the cease-fire agreement suggested by Mu’awiyyah, and they ferociously asked Ali to accept it too. Based on the instructions given by the nomadic band, Abu Musa Al-Ash’ari was chosen to arbitrate the implementation of the cease-fire and peacekeeping process. However, the application came to no avail as Amir Ibnu Al-Aas violated the agreement. Then, the nomadic band started blaming Ali for being too soft in the agreement process and being convinced to reconcile with Mu’awiyyah. As a result, they announced that Ali Bin Abi Talib is not a God-believing person anymore but a disbeliever. Therefore, he must repent to Allah and resume war against his enemy who is also their enemy. Ali was reluctant to accept their suggestion. There, they started waging war against all the rival camps. Imagine, such nomadic men, labeled Ali to infidelity and required him to repent!Indeed, there is nothing comparable with the action of this ignorant group. Regardless of their nomadic culture based on ignorance, they had chosen themselves as judges, and soon, issued a verdict judging Ali bin Abi Talib to apostasy and calling him to repent.

Indeed, Ali was the first child who accepted Islam who, then, bravely fought for the sake of Islam and, later on, became a great and well-respected leader. He was more pious and more just than the judgment of the self-styled judiciary in the kangaroo court. He is the one whom Omar Bin Al-Khatab would ask fatwa regarding religious opinion and they judged him for disbelieving and asked him to repent! Actually, what happened after that became worse! They threatened him with death: “We are getting closer to Allah by killing you” they said. There, one can understand that when infidelity appears the mind becomes absent.

The second tragedy took place when a sign of liberation, from the British Colonial, appeared in the scene of India. Muslims, who were the leading nation in India before the British colonials occupied, had peacefully demanded independence. However, this frustrated the British until they armed the Hindus against Muslims. Previously, when the British occupied India, they strongly supported and mobilized the Hindus community against the Muslims. That is how they created the deep-rooted animosity between the two country-mate religious communities. That is what led to the Great Revolt against the British in the year 1870 AD, which ultimately overwhelmed and almost uprooted the British Colonials.

Muslims viewed that an independent India would have the majority Hinduism administrators, and that will not allow Muslims to be free from harassment and subjugation. Having that in mind, the idea of independence for India began with the appearance and the formation of a State that is exclusive to the Indian Muslims.

There, the leading thinker, Sayyid Abul- Ala Mawdudi, has come up with theoretical Islamic essentials. His religiously political theory was presented on the foundation of recompense that is based on three principles, which are:

The first principle is “Divine Judgment.” This principle emanates from the fact that Allah – the Most High – is the Creator of this Universe, then and only then, man and everything else came into existence. Therefore, there is no atom in the sky, in the land, or underground, which Allah is unaware of. Similarly, there are no three people or less who may be having a secret meeting, except that Allah is with them and knows them well. Based on this main principle, the second and third principles branch out. The second principle is the case of “obedience to Allah alone.” This is based on not permitting any person to associate partners with Allah – the Most High.

The third principle is that all affairs and conditions of the society as a human race, be they politics, economy, justice, and or social development must be done according to what Allah – the Most High – willed and legislated in the Holy Scripture and the Sunnah. Thus, any law or regulation that may go contrary to these two sources must be deemed as a violation of the “Divine Judgment” and, as a result, brings polytheism – Shirk closer.

Based on these principles the State of Pakistan was established but soon after the inauguration of its first anniversary, its great leader, Muhammad Ali Jannah, died. The political power fell into the hands of some cherished politicians who did not apply some of the foundations laid down by Mawdudi for the derivation of Pakistan’s emergence.

After that, the third crisis occurred in 1954 AD in Egypt. That was when enmity erupted between the movement of the Muslim Brotherhood and former Communist officers’ policy. A large number of young people who were uneducated and inexperienced were arrested and brutally tortured by using severe methods of atrocities. As a result of the harsh punishment against them in the prison, these young men allegedly argued that the government, which is so abusive to them at such an inhumane level, is not a God-believing one but a pure infidel. This was the onset of the concepts of infidelity and apostasy and the frequent use of these terms. Therefore, the ideology of infidelity is the outcome of such wildly harsh punishments. The young prisoners found the doctrinal cover under Mawdudi’s thought. The idea was later crystallized by Sayyid Qutbi who formulated it in his book titled “Ma’alimul-Tariq” as if it were a slug inflamed.

Positive thinkers, after having seen that the appearance of this idea is spreading among the youth, tried to correct such a mistaken idea. To convince those youth, they affirmed them that the call of Allah is based on wisdom and good advice. They also preached them that they must know that they are not judges of faith to determine who is a believer or disbeliever. However, the environment was one of violence, and this was the behavior of those young people who gave quick negative reactions towards the cruel practice of the government. Indeed, that was not a logical order but a reciprocal reaction.

When one of the young speedy youth, Shawqi Mustafa, was released from the prison he founded what later on was called the “Muslims Group”.  The group was later on renamed as the group of “Takfir and Emigration” by the press. The group’s ideological perspective was based on that anyone who hesitates to join their group must be an infidel. They soon kidnapped a great man of the sheikhs of Al- Azhar and asked the government to pay a big ransom for his release. Nevertheless, the government refused to pay any ransom, and they shot the sheikh to death. There, the “Jihad Group” became successful and powerful. They dramatically succeeded in the assassination of the country’s President, Sadat, in the middle of the national celebration for the country’s Independence Day. The group became known and popular with this famous episode. They earned a resounding certificate, and almost all the week members who were the remnants of the frustrated regime joined them.

In this theme, it is worthy to mention that Allah, in many texts among the verses, stated that when there is a difference of opinions the only reliable reference is Allah – the Most High – who will judge people on the Day of Resurrection. It does not matter whether such difference is between two or more groups of Muslims or it is between their laws. Moreover, Allah did not prohibit people of other faiths, who believe in Allah and the Last Day, to be rewarded for their works. Those non-Muslim righteous people would feel no fear and sadness in the world and they will not be grieved. Allah says:

  1. Indeed, the believers, Jews, Christians, and Sabians1—whoever ‘truly’ believes in Allah and the Last Day and does good will have their reward with their Lord. And there will be no fear for them, nor will they grieve” (Qur’an: Al-Baqara:62).
  2. … So compete with one another in doing good. To Allah you will all return, then He will inform you ‘of the truth’ regarding your differences” (Qur’an: Al-Ma’idah: 48).
  3. No one will reap except what they sow. No soul burdened with sin will bear the burden of another. Then to your Lord is your return, and He will inform you of your differences” (Qur’an: Al-Anam: 164).
  4. Indeed, the believers, Jews, Sabians,1 Christians, Magi,2 and the polytheists— Allah will judge between them ‘all’ on Judgment Day. Surely Allah is a Witness over all things” (Qur’an: Al-Hajj: 17).
  5. …To Allah you will all return, then He will inform you ‘of the truth’ regarding your differences” (Qur’an: Al-Maidah: 48).
  6. Then to your Lord is your return, and He will inform you of your differences” (Qur’an: Al-Anam: 164).
  7. Then to Me you will ‘all’ return, and I will settle all your disputes” (Qur’an: Ali-Imran: 55).
  8. …. Surely Allah tests you through this. And on the Day of Judgment He will certainly make your differences clear to you” (Qur’an: An0Nahli: 92).
  9. Allah will judge between you ‘all’ on Judgment Day regarding your differences” (Qur’an: Al-Hajj: 69).

The atrocity created by the concept of infidelity is an ugly and hateful representation. Its ugliness exceeds any other accusation as it does not affect the faith of the targeted individual per se.

It reaches the level of making the victim an outcast in his community. They deprive him of his rights, threaten him to death, issue judgment against his personality [and his life, exterminate him, and do not allow his body to be buried in the Muslim cemetery, while the nations of other faiths may not accept his body to be buried in their cemetery.

Add that, they follow him after his death by condemning him and blacklisting him in history. Furthermore, they isolate his family members by disgracing them with a special negative stigma]. All these horrific activities happen without foundation and without the validity of the one who transferred them.

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