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Judgement is for none but Allâh

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  • Judgement is for none but Allâh

    By Shaykh Muhammad ibn Jamîl Zaynű [1]

    Allâh created the creation so that He alone should be worshipped, and He sent to them Messengers to teach them and He sent the Books along with the Messengers to establish judgement according to the truth and justice between them. Al-Hukm (the Judgement) is to be found in the Speech of Allâh and the speech of His Messenger sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam, and it includes judgement in matters of al-’ibâdât (worship), al-mu’âmalât (social transactions), al-’aqâ‘id (beliefs), tashrî’ (Prescribed Laws), siyâsah (politics: to protect and take care of the affairs of the Ummah), and other human affairs.

    [1] Judgement with regards to Beliefs:

    The first matter which the Messengers began their call with was the correction of ’aqîdah (beliefs) and calling people to Tawhîd (to single out Allâh alone for worship). So Yűsuf - ’alayhis-salâm - when he was in prison, called his two companions to Tawhîd when they asked him about the interpretation of dreams. So before answering their question, he said: “O two companions of the prison! Are many different deities better, or Allâh, the One, the Irresistible? You do not worship besides Him, except names which you and your forefathers have forged, for which Allâh has sent down no authority. The Judgement is for none but Allâh. He has commanded that you worship none except Him. That is the straight Dîn. But most of mankind do not know.” [2]

    [2] Judgement with regard to Worship:

    It is obligatory that we take the ruling for matters of worship, such as Salâh (Prayer), Zakâh and Hajj (Pilgrimage), from the Qur‘ân and the authentic Hadîth; acting upon the saying of the Prophet sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam: “Pray as you have seen me pray.” [3] Likewise, his sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam’s saying: “Take your rites of Hajj from me.” Acting also upon the sayings of the mujtahid Scholars: “If a hadîth is authentic, then that is my madhhab (position).” [5]

    If the Scholars differ with regards to any matter, then we do not have ta’assub (bigoted blind adherence) to the saying of any particular one of them, except whoever has the authentic proof.

    [Sâlim ibn ’Abdullâh (d.106H) - rahimahullâh - said:
    “Once, when I was sitting with Ibn ’Umar - radiallâhu ’anhu - in the masjid, a man from the people of Syria came to him and asked him about continuing the ’Umrah onto the Hajj. So Ibn ’Umar said: “It is a good and beautiful thing.” The man then said: But your father (i.e. ’Umar ibn al-Khattâb) used to forbid this? So Ibn ’Umar said: “Woe be to you! If my father used to forbid this, yet Allâh’s Messenger sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam practiced and ordered it, would you take the saying of my father, or the command of Allâh’s Messenger sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam!?” So he said: The command of Allâh’s Messenger sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam. So Ibn ’Umar said: “You may stand and leave!” [6]

    Ibn Abî Dhi‘b - rahimahullâh - said:
    Sa’d ibn Ibrâhîm (the son of ’Abdur-Rahmân ibn ’Awf) passed judgement over a man based upon the opinion of Rabî’ah ibn Abî ’Abdur-Rahmân (d.136H) So I informed Sa’d of the saying of Allâh’s Messenger sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam which was contradictory to what he had ruled. Sa’d said to Rabî’ah: “We have Ibn Abî Dhi‘b, whom I hold to be thiqah (precise and reliable), narrating from the Prophet sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam, contradictory to what I have ruled.” Rabî’ah said to him: You have made ijtihâd (a scholarly exertion to arrive at the truth), and your judgement has been passed. Sa’d said: “Most amazing! I enforce the decree of Sa’d, and not the judgement of Allâh’s Messenger sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam! Rather, I shall withdraw the decree of Sa’d son of the mother of Sa’d, and I shall enforce the decree of Allâh’s Messenger sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam.” So Sa’d called for the written decree, tore it up and gave a new judgement. [7]

    As for ta’assub (bigoted blind following), then:

    Imâm at-Tirmidhî (d.279H) - rahimahullâh - relates:
    Ibn Numayr said: I was with Wakî’ (d.197H) when a group of students of Abű Hanîfah (d.150H) came and said to him: There is a man from Baghdâd here, who speaks against some people of Kűfah. However, Wakî’ did not know who they were referring to. Then Ahmad bin Hanbal (d.204H) entered, and they said: This is him! So Wakî’ said: “Come here O Abu ’Abdullâh!” So they made room for him - and they mentioned those matters which they criticised him for. So Imâm Ahmad began quoting the narrations from the Prophet sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam in defence of his sayings. So they said to Wakî’: Do you see what this person is saying in your presence? So Wakî’ replied: “What can I say about a man who says: Allâh’s Messenger sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam said such and such.” Then he said: “The correct saying is just as you said O Abű ’Abdullâh.” So the people said: By Allâh! This person of Baghdâd has deluded YOU! [8] ]

    [3] Judgement in Social Transactions

    With regards to buying and selling, loans, hiring, and other than them - then the Judgement in these matters is for Allâh and His Messeneger sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam, as Allâh - the Most High - says: “But no by your Lord! They cannot truly believe, until they make you a judge in all disputes between them, and find in their souls no resistance against your decision, but accept it with complete submission.” [9]

    The mufassirűn (Scholars of Qur‘ânic explanation) mention the reason for this Âyah (verse) being sent down, which was that there were two men who differed about a matter of irrigation. The Messenger sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam judged in favour of az-Zubayr, so the other man said: You have judged in his favour because he is your cousin. Then this Âyah (verse) was sent down. [10]

    [4] Prescribed Punishments

    The Judgement with regards to hudűd (prescribed punishments) and qisâs (retaliation) is as Allâh - the Most High - said: “And We prescribed for them: Life for a life, an eye for an eye, a nose for a nose, an ear for an ear, a tooth for a tooth and a wound for a wound. But if any remits the retaliation by way of charity, it shall be for him an expiation. And whosoever does not judge by what Allâh has revealed, then such are the dhâlims (wrongdoers).” [11]

    Even though this Âyah is with regards to the Jews - even so, it still applies to the disobedient Believers who do not judge by that which Allâh sent down. Then Allâh - the Most High - ordered His Messenger sallallâhu ’alayhi wa sallam to judge between the People of the Book, saying: “And judge between them by that which Allâh has revealed and do not follow their vain desires, but beware of them unless they turn you away from some of that which Allâh has revealed to you. So if they turn away, then know that Allâh’s Will is to punish them for some of their sins. And indeed, most of mankind are fâsiqs (rebellious and disobedient). Do they seek the judgement of Jâhiliyyah (pre-Islâmic ignorance)? And who is better in judgement, than Allâh, for a people who have certainty.” [12]

    [5] Judgement regarding Prescribed Laws

    The Judgement of Allâh with regards to the Sharî’ah (Prescribed Laws), is as Allâh - the Most High - says: “He has prescribed for you all the same Dîn (religion) which He ordained for Noah, and that which We have revealed to you (the Prophet).” [13] And Allâh criticises the mushriks (those who associate partners to Allâh in worship) for giving the right of prescribing Laws to other than Allâh, so He said: “Or have they partners with Allâh, who have prescribed for them a Dîn, that which Allâh has not given permission for.” [14]

    In Summary

    It is thus an obligation upon the Muslims to judge by the Book of Allâh and the authentic Sunnah, turning to them for judgement, whether in matters of ’aqîdah (beliefs), ’ibâdah (worship), siyâsah (politics), mu’âmalât (social transactions), or any other affair. Also, they should not make a distinction between the various types of Judgement, acting upon the saying of Allâh - the Most High: “And if you differ in any matter amongst yourselves, then refer it back to Allâh and His Messenger, if you do believe in Allâh and the Last Day.” [15] And the saying of Allâh - the Most High: “And in whatever you differ, the judgement thereof is with Allâh.” [16]


    1. Minhâj Firqatun-Nâjiyah (pp.55-58). The Editors additions appear in between [ ... ].
    2. Sűrah Yűsuf 12:39-40.
    3. Related by al-Bukhârî (no.631) and Ahmad, from Mâlik ibn al-Huwayrith radiallâhu ’anhu.
    4. Related by Muslim (4/79), Abű Dâwűd (no.1970) and others, from Jâbir ibn ’Abdullâh radiallâhu ’anhu.
    5. This is the saying of Imâm Abű Hanîfah, as occurs in al-Hâshiyah (1/63) of Ibn ’Âbidîn, and it is also the saying of Imâm ash-Shâfi’î, as is recorded by an-Nawawî in al-Majmű’ (1/63).
    6. Related by at-Tahâwî in Sharh Ma’ânîul-Âthâr (1/372) and Abű Ya’lâ in al-Musnad (3/1317) with an isnâd whose narrators are all thiqah (precise and reliable). A similar narration has been related by Ahmad (no.5700) and at-Tirmidhî (2/82), who declared it authentic.
    7. Related by Ibn ’Asâkir in Tarîkh Dimashq (7/51/1).
    8. Related by adh-Dhahabî in Siyar A’lâmun-Nubulâ (11/156).
    9. Sűrah an-Nisâ 4:65.
    10. Related by al-Bukhârî (no.4585).
    11 . Sűrah al-Mâ‘idah 5:45.
    12. Sűrah al-Mâ‘idah 5:49-50.
    13. Sűrah ash-Shűrâ 42:13.
    14. Sűrah ash-Shűrâ 42:21.
    15. Sűrah an-Nisâ 4:59.
    16. Sűrah ash-Shűrâ 42:10

    Sins Deaden the Heart

    At-Tirmidhî authentically relates in his Sunan (1/123), from Abű Hurayrah radiallâhu ’anhu, that the Prophet ’alayhis-salâtu was-salâm said: “When a servant commits a sin, a black spot appears in his heart, so if he desists, seeks forgiveness and makes repentance; then his heart is cleansed. And if he returns (to sin), it (the black spot) is increased until it takes over the heart. And it is the filth which Allâh mentions: But no! It is the covering of sins which is upon their hearts because of what they used to do. [Sűrah Mutaffifîn 83:14].”

    Ibn Abil-’Izz relates in his Sharhut-Tahâwiyyah (p.208), that Ibn al-Mubârak (d.181H) - rahimahullâh - said:

    “I see that sins deaden the heart;
    And doing so continuously produces despicableness.
    Abandoning sins is the life of the heart;
    And rebelling against them is better for yourself:
    And has anything destroyed the Dîn;
    Except kings, evil scholars and oil monks?”