By: Ibrahim Abu Khalid
The word Hikmah (wisdom) has been misinterpreted for too long. It means to approach people in the best way possible, to act in the most appropriate way taking the particular situation into account. It has never meant to give a false image of Islam for personal or community welfare. When Muslims are willing to compromise in all aspects of their life, we lose the favour of Allah, emit an image of weakness to our enemies, and lose that dignity in the sight of our Creator.
All praise is due to Allah, the Just, the Bestower, and peace and blessings upon our beloved and humble Prophet Muhammad.
The most popular catch-cry of today's generation is the word "compromise". The weak consider it as harmless, the ignorant hold it as beneficial, and the astray count it as essential. Seems too powerful a conclusion, but that's the reality.
In Islam, there is absolutely no room for compromise. There is no evidence that the Prophet (s.a.w) ever did so, nor did his companions, nor does the Qur'an provide scope for it. This stance also makes rational sense to those who sincerely dwell upon this topic. A person suffering from a heart condition will be foolish if he chose to consume half of the medicine prescribed, and then took sugar lollies as substitutes for the rest of the tablets. Who is he cheating? Not the doctor, who sought the best possible solution for his condition, nor the pharmacist, who supplied the medicine. The patient is the one at loss. Surely, Allah, in His Wisdom and Mercy chose Islam as the medicine for the ills of our society: the cancer of interest and woes of politics, the mistreatment of women and the division of society, the stinginess of man and his unsatiable desires.
WHY DO WE COMPROMISE?
There appears to be three main reasons why people will willingly compromise the elements of Islam, will choose those orders Allah has enforced us to follow according to their own desires, and substitute the rest with man-made systems.
1. "We are living in hard times, in a difficult society, and thus Allah permits us to compromise, because ( now wait for it)...' Islam is easy, not hard' ". A Hadith also quoted is that narrated by Aisha (r.a.a), who said that when the Prophet (s.a.w) had the choice between two actions, he chose the easiest course.
True, Islam is easy to follow, but not to the extent that we are permitted to change the rules set by Allah for our own convenience. When asked what their proof is that we can compromise, they claim that our condition today is similar to that during the Makkan period of the Prophet's mission. We should bear patiently like he did then, and act as he did in those circumstance.
The fallacy of this argument stands clear when we study the reasons why the Prophet (s.a.w) acted as he did back then, and how later on he acted differently. We are now living in the Madinah era, the era where the Qur'an was completed. The Makkan period could be seen as a temporary stage where the companions were trained and prepared in that special environment. But Islam was completed, finalised with the ayah: " This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion." Islam was then perfected, so by retracing our steps all the way back to the Makkan era is illogical.
A cup full of fresh milk will be spoilt if only a drop of blood were to fall in it. Allah has never asked us to go beyond our capacity to please him , thus arguments such as " I must work in a Haram field because I have no choice" is an invalid argument. If our women must mix with men in a Haram way in the workplace, Allah never asked them to go to such extents. If we eat food which is declared Haram, don't expect automatic forgiveness, because no excuse remains.
Where as most people use their own rationale to substantiate their weak claims, I have the Word of Allah:
"Such is Allah, your Lord in truth. So after the truth, what else can there be, save error"[S.10;V.32]
"It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allah and His Messenger have decreed a matter that they should have any option in their decision. And whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he has indeed strayed in a plain error"[V.33, V.36]
Do you consider our current situation to be much worse than that suffered by the Prophet (s.a.w) and his companions, or the other prophets before him? Surely this is the same code enjoined upon the Prophet (s.a.w) and upon us. Yusuf (a.s) went through many tortures, but never compromised, but instead turned to his Creator: "O my Lord! Prison is more to my liking than that to which they invite me"[S.12,V.33].
It was not in the nature of Yusuf, nor in any of the Prophets, nor in any of the righteous servants of Allah, to compromise in order to gain some worldly benefit. Yusuf preferred jail to falling for the lusts of women.
2. Another false argument is the apologetic one: "We want to show people a religion which is easy and doesn't require much effort, not to make people run away from Islam."
In truth , people have been running to Islam because, when shown in its real light, Islam provides the solutions people have been seeking. They do not want a mixture of Islam with the Kufr they fled. Showing Islam in a "moderate" or "soft" light will only give the wrong image of an already perfect religion.
3. The third argument is that we must compromise in order to strengthen Islam. We must enter and join these institutions, join hands with the non-Muslims who are our partners in this life. This way, we can spread Islam, and live happily ever after.
WRONG!!! Again, there is no proof in the Shariah for this view, but rather to the contrary. Surah al -Kafirun is a prime example of this:
Say: "Disbelievers! I do not worship what you worship nor do you worship what I worship. I shall never worship what you worship neither will you worship what I worship. You have your own religion and I have mine."
Muhammad (s.a.w) declared his religion to be that of Ibrahim. The unbelievers thus argued that there was no reason for them to leave their own beliefs and take up that of Muhammads (s.a.w), seeing they were of the same religion. They sought to compromise with him, proposing that he should prostrate before their gods in exchange for them prostrating before Allah, and he could demand whatever he wanted from them. This Surah was revealed in an uncompromising tone, clearly dividing tawheed (monotheism) from shirk (polytheism), establishing a true criterion, allowing for no further wrangling.
This wasn't the only situation. When the Prophet's uncles felt that he was getting too powerful, they tried to bribe him with the gifts of this world. They offered him the leadership of Makkah if that was what he desired, wealth if that was his purpose, the most charming wife if that was what pleased him, yet he refused all these, because he only desired that only the truth prevailed. Under such harsh and luring circumstances, he commented that if the sun were to be given in his right hand, and the moon in his left, never would he leave this cause until Allah will elevate it, or he would die striving for this cause. This was his prime opportunity; if it were in his nature to compromise, he could have accepted the leadership, secretly hid his true convictions, and later spread Islam after being confident and powerful enough.
Rasulallah (s.a.w) was known as the Trustworthy. He was thus able to kindle the fire of Arab nationalism and would thus have united them. They would have responded gladly to his call, tired of their tribal warfares. Thereafter, he could free the Arab lands from the domination of the Romans and the Persians. He could have easily established an Arab state in this way, instead of bearing thirteen years of pain and torture. He could have made the people bow initially before his authority, then he could have used his position of authority to impose the belief in the unity of Allah, and bow before the True God. This was not what Allah desired though, and that is not Islam. Islam seeks the destruction of all forms of evil, through pure ways, not the manipulation of evil to reach a pure goal. This is not possible, nor permissible.
Even in a life or death situation, we are told of the rewards if we persevere and bear patiently. Ibrahim (a.s) chose to burn in the fire prepared by his own father, rather than to hide his religion, leave the area, and spread the Word of Allah.
Alhamdulillah, we are given all the necessities of life. We have enough money to purchase halal products and these are available everywhere, so we need not compromise in terms of our food. We can freely wear the required clothing asked by Allah, so we have no excuse not to. We can choose our work, our partners, our lifestyle, yet we consider ourselves fighting some imaginary "Jihad" of the nafs. Indeed, you never initially had an excuse, and you certainly do not now, so stick to the path chosen by Allah, to all of it, for that is the only way we can dig ourselves from this rotten trough we have fallen in, because we prefer to attribute orders to Allah which He never asked for.
"Say you (O Muhammad ): ' This is my way; I invite unto Allah with sure knowledge, I and whosoever follows me with sure knowledge. And Glorified and Exalted be Allah. And I am not of the Mushrikun.' "[S.12,V.108]
"And verily, this is my Straight Path, so follow it, and follow not other paths, for they will separate you away from His path. This He has ordained for you that you may become pious."[S.6,V.153].