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Remaining steadfast on the Quran and enduring punishment during the time of fitnah

Question

Is the following narration authentic and what does it mean?

خذوا العطاء ما دام عطاء، فإذا صار رشوة في الدين فلا تأخذوه، ولستم بتاركيه، يمنعكم الفقر والحاجة، ألا إن رحى الإسلام دائرة، فدوروا مع الكتاب حيث دار، ألا إن الكتاب والسلطان سيفترقان، فلا تفارقوا الكتاب، ألا إنه سيكون عليكم أمراء يقضون لأنفسهم ما لا يقضون لكم، إن عصيتموهم قتلوكم، وإن أطعتموهم أضلوكم قالوا: يا رسول الله، كيف نصنع؟ قال: كما صنع أصحاب عيسى ابن مريم، نشروا بالمناشير، وحملوا على الخشب، موت في طاعة الله خير من حياة في معصية الله

 

Answer

Imam Tabarani (rahimahullah) has recorded this narration with a weak chain. The Hadith is suitable to quote.

(Al Mu’jamul Kabir, Hadith: 172, vol. 20, Majma’uz Zawaid, vol. 5 pg. 228. Also see: Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 1854)

 

Explanatory translation

Accept gifts [from those in authority] as long as they remain gifts. Once they become bribes [to lure you in to following and supporting them] then do not accept it. However, you will be unable to turn it down due to extreme hunger and poverty. Certainly the mill of Islam is spinning so return and refer to the Quran. Soon the Quran and leadership will separate, you should not leave the Quran. Such leaders will be in power, who will pass judgments [which will benefit them] whereas they won’t pass such judgments in favour of you. If you disobey them, they will kill you and if you obey them they will misguide you.

They asked, ‘O Rasulullah! What should we do during these times’?

He replied, ‘Do just as the followers of ‘Isa ibn Maryam (‘alayhis salam) did, they were hacked with saws and loaded on to timber. A death due to the obedience of Allah Ta’ala is better than a life spent disobeying Allah Ta’ala.

(Refer: Faydul Qadir, Hadith: 4235 and At Tanwir of Amir San’ani, Hadith: 3877)

 

 

And Allah Ta’ala Knows best.

 

Answered by: Moulana Suhail Motala

 

Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar

 

Checked by: Moulana Haroon Abasoomar