Cause for Destruction

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What is cause for destruction?

The Qur’an declares this fact as follows:

“(The Israelites were cursed)…for they did not attempt to prevent each other from their wrongdoings. And how evil was what they did!” (Al-Maidah, 5:79)

Our Blessed Prophet (SAW) explained the above verse as follows:

“Deviation from the religion among the Israelites first began in this way:

A man would run into another man and say:

‘Listen! Fear Allah and quit what you are doing! It is not lawful for you!’

But the next day, he would again run into the same man engaging in the same activity; and let alone trying to prevent the man from it, he would socialise with him. And once they did this, the Almighty Allah made hearts resemble one another.”

At the end of this hadith, the Prophet (SAW) warns his own nation in the following:

“No! By Allah, you either:

  • Command what is good,
  • Prevent what is evil.
  • Hold the oppressor by the hand, keep him away from evil,
  • Turn him back to the truth and hold him there,

Or Allah will make your hearts resemble one another and curse you, just like He cursed the Children of Israel.” (Abu Dawud, Malahim, 17/4336; Tirmizi, Tafsir, 5/6, 7; Ibn Majah, Fitan, 20)

Another hadith also points to how abandoning the duty of promoting the good and preventing evil, draws the Almighty’s wrath:

“Allah commanded one of His angels to:

‘Turn such-and-such city on the heads of its dwellers!’

The angel said:

‘You have a loyal servant there who has never rebelled against you even for the blink of an eye.’ The Almighty then declared:

‘Turn the city upon their heads including his. For (despite all their mischief) his face did not turn sour even for a moment (and he did not hate them for the sake of Allah.)’” (Haythami, VII, 270)

The most vivid example of this situation is the Saturday People (Ashab Al-Sabt). This was a community during the time of David (AS), who the Almighty had banned from hunting on Saturdays.

Some sinners, however, began to violate the ban. As for the rest, some began warning them and tried to dissuade them from the sin, while others acted indifferently and altogether abandoned the duty of reminding them of the truth. Moreover, to those who did so, they said:

“Why are you tiring yourselves for nothing?”

To this, they replied:

“We do it so they change their ways; and if they do not, then simply to fulfil our duties towards our Lord.”

In the end, the Almighty’s wrath arrived. When the punishment came, it was not just the transgressors who were transformed to monkeys but also those who failed to warn them. They all ended up perished.

Commanding with the truth is one of the Prophet’s (SAW) attributes, which the previous divine books also mentioned. The Qur’an says

“Those who follow the Messenger, the unlettered prophet whom they find written in what they have of the Torah and the Gospel, who:

  • Enjoins what is right and forbids what is wrong,
  • Makes good things lawful and prohibits from evil,
  • Removes burdens,
  • Undoes the shackles that had been placed upon them.

Those who believe in him; honour, support him and follow the light with which he was sent, it is they who will be saved.” (Al-Araf, 7:157)

Source: BEING A GUIDING LIGHT, Osman Nuri Topbas, Erkam Publications

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 Source: BEING A GUIDING LIGHT, Osman Nuri Topbas, Erkam Publications

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