Advice Addressed To All MuslimsFrom `Abdul-`Aziz ibn `Abdullah ibn Baz to every Muslim who may see it. May Allah guide them and me to the path of His believing Servants! May Allah save them and me from the path of those who have incurred Allah's anger and those who have gone astray, Ameen!
May the peace, mercy, and blessings of Allah be upon you. I wrote these words to advise and remind Muslims according to Allah's, the Exalted, statement, And remind (by preaching the Qur’ân, O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم), for verily, the reminding profits the believers. Allah also says: Help you one another in Al-Birr and At-Taqwâ (virtue, righteousness and piety); but do not help one another in sin and transgression. Moreover, Allah, the Glorified, says: "In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful, By Al-‘Asr (the time). Verily, man is in loss, Except those who believe (in Islâmic Monotheism) and do righteous good deeds, and recommend one another to the truth [i.e. order one another to perform all kinds of good deeds (Al-Ma‘ruf) which Allâh has ordained, and abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds (Al-Munkar which Allâh has forbidden], and recommend one another to patience (for the sufferings, harms, and injuries which one may encounter in Allâh’s Cause during preaching His religion of Islâmic Monotheism or Jihâd). The Prophet (peace be upon him) stated, "Religion is based on advising one another. Upon this, we said: For whom? He replied: For Allah, His Book, His Messenger, and for the leaders and the general Muslims." Narrated by Muslim.
These decisive Ayahs (Qur'anic verses) and the Noble Hadith clearly indicate that it is an Islamic obligation to remind, recommend, and advise each other to follow the right path. That is because advice benefits the Believers, directs the ignorant, guides those who are astray, awakens the negligent, reminds the forgetful, and encourages the learned to act according to their knowledge, and many other benefits. Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) created the entire creation only to worship and obey Him. He sent down Messengers to remind them of this, bring them glad tidings, and warn them as Allah, the Exalted, states, "And I (Allâh) created not the jinn and mankind except that they should worship Me (Alone). Allah also says: Obey Allâh, and obey the Messenger (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم); but if you turn away, then the duty of Our Messenger is only to convey (the Message) clearly. Allah also says: Messengers as bearers of good news as well as of warning in order that mankind should have no plea against Allâh after the (coming of) Messengers. Allah also states, So remind them (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) - you are only one who reminds.
Every knowledgeable person should remind others, advise, and invite them to follow the Cause of Allah as much as he can to fulfill the Duty of Da`wah (calling to Islam), follow the example of the Noble Prophets (peace and blessing be upon them), and avoid committing the sin of concealment which Allah has warned against in the decisive Qur'anic verses. Allah, the Exalted, states, Verily, those who conceal the clear proofs, evidence and the guidance, which We have sent down, after We have made it clear for the people in the Book, they are the ones cursed by Allâh and cursed by the cursers. It is authentically reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "Whoever guides to something good, will have a reward similar to that of its doer." He (peace be upon him) also stated, "If anyone calls others to follow right guidance, his reward will be equivalent to those who follow him (in righteousness) without their reward being diminished in any respect. And if anyone invites others to follow error, his sin will be equivalent to that of the people who follow him (in sinfulness) without their sins being diminished in any respect." Both Hadiths were narrated by Muslim in His Sahih (authentic book of Hadiths).
If you understand the above statement, I advise you and myself to have Taqwa (wariness of offending Allah) secretly and in publicly, in distress and prosperity. This is truly the counsel of Allah and the counsel of His Messenger (peace be upon him). Allah, the Exalted, states, And verily, We have recommended to the people of the Scripture before you, and to you (O Muslims) that you (all) fear Allâh. The Prophet (peace be upon him), in his sermons, used to say, "I enjoin you to fear Allah, and to hear and obey...". Taqwa is a comprehensive word comprising all goodness. It is concisely defined as the performance of the ordinances of Allah and abstaining from His prohibitions out of loyalty to Him, eagerness, and desire to win His reward and fear of His punishment. Allah commands His Servants to fear Him, and in return He promises them to make their affairs easy for them, relieve their distresses, provide their livelihood, forgive their sins, and award them with Paradise. Allah, the Exalted, states, O mankind! Fear your Lord and be dutiful to Him! Verily, the earthquake of the Hour (of Judgement) is a terrible thing. Allah also says: O you who believe! Fear Allâh and keep your duty to Him. And let every person look to what he has sent forth for the morrow, and fear Allâh. Verily, Allâh is All-Aware of what you do. Allah (Exalted be He) also says, And whosoever fears Allâh and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty). And He will provide him from (sources) he never could imagine.. Allah (Exalted be He) says: Verily, for the Muttaqûn (the pious - See V.2:2) are Gardens of delight (Paradise) with their Lord. Allah also (Exalted be He) says: ...and whosoever fears Allâh and keeps his duty to Him, He will expiate from him his sins, and will enlarge his reward. There are many Ayahs comprising this meaning.
O Muslims! Be mindful of Allah (in everything you do), employ Taqwa in all cases, and reproach yourselves for all your sayings, deeds, and dealings. Thus, you can do any permissible act according to Shari`ah (Islamic law) and abstain from any prohibited act according to Shari`ah even if you desire it badly, because the reward of Allah is better and will last forever. Whoever forsakes any act out of the fear of Allah,
Allah will compensate him with something better. Whenever the servants watch and fear Allah by doing what He enjoins and abstaining from what He prohibits, Allah, the Glorified, will grant them the reward of Taqwa including honor, success, abundant sustenance, a way out from distresses, happiness and survival in this life and in the Hereafter.
It is not hidden, for those endowed with good sense and insight, that hardheartedness, renunciation of the Hereafter, neglect of the causes of salvation, deep involvement in this life, assiduous pursuits to attain the worldly pleasures, and greedily paying no attention to the legal and the illegal - afflicted the Muslims. Most Muslims continue to indulge in whims and different forms of diversion and negligence that happened as a consequence of the hearts' renunciation of the Hereafter, neglect of the Remembrance of Allah, having love for Him, or pondering over His bounties and blessings, and apparent and hidden miracles. This is because Muslims are not ready to meet Allah and do not remember that they will stand before Allah (on the Day of Resurrection) and after this awesome event they will be admitted into the Paradise or the Hellfire.
O Muslim people! Save yourselves, repent to your Lord, know more about your Din (religion), hasten to obey the ordinances of Allah, and abstain from His prohibitions to win honor, safety, guidance, and happiness in this life and in the Hereafter. Beware of being engrossed in the life of this world and preferring it to the Hereafter, for this really is an attribute of the enemies of Allah; the disbelievers and the hypocrite. It is one of the main reasons for torment in this life and in the Hereafter. Allah, the Exalted, describes His enemies stating, Verily, these (disbelievers) love the present life of this world, and put behind them a heavy Day (that will be hard). He, the Exalted, also states, So let not their wealth nor their children amaze you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم); in reality Allâh’s Plan is to punish them with these things in the life of this world, and that their souls shall depart (die) while they are disbelievers.
You have not been created for the life of this world but for the Hereafter. Thus, you have been commanded to prepare for the Hereafter. This life was created for you to help you in the worship of Allah, the Creator, to facilitate your way to meet Him and earn His grace, honor, and be close to Him in the Gardens of pleasure (Paradise). It is unacceptable that a wise person abandons the worship of his Creator and Sustainer denying himself the honor that Allah has set for him. It is unacceptable to be preoccupied by the preference of one's lower desires and the greediness to attain the passing fancies of the life of this world. Allah has promised Muslims a greater status and noble reward in the life of this world and in the Hereafter.
Every Muslim should beware of seduction by the majority who say, "People follow such and such and they used to do such and such, so I will do like them." This is really a great disaster which has brought about the perdition of many past generations. O wise person, be mindful, reproach yourself, and cling to Al-Haqq (the Truth) even if people abandon it. Beware of every act prohibited by Allah, even if people do it. The truth should always be followed. Allah, the Exalted, says, And if you obey most of those on the earth, they will mislead you far away from Allâh’s Path. Allah (Exalted be He) says: And most of mankind will not believe even if you desire it eagerly. Some Salaf (righteous predecessors) (may Allah be Merciful to them) said, "Leave not the truth when only few people follow it and never be seduced by falsehood even if so many people fall in its abyss."
I would like to conclude my admonition with five matters which comprise all goodness:
First: Sincerity to Allah in all words and deeds of worship and abstinence from all types of Shirk (associating others with Allah in His Divinity or worship) whether minor or major. This is the foremost duty and the most important matter. This is the meaning of the testimony of "La ilaha illa Allah (there is no god but Allah)." The words and deeds of a servant can never be true unless they are grounded in this fundamental principle. Allah, the Exalted, states, And indeed it has been revealed to you (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم), as it was to those (Allâh’s Messengers) before you: "If you join others in worship with Allâh, (then) surely (all) your deeds will be in vain, and you will certainly be among the losers."
Second: Understanding the Qur'an and the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him), holding fast to them both and consulting the scholars concerning matters of faith that require explanation.
This is a duty for all Muslims that must neither be neglected, abandoned, nor followed according to one's own opinions and desires without knowledge and insight. This is the meaning of the creed, "Muhammad Rasul Allah (Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah).'' This testimony entails that a Servant of Allah must believe that Muhammad (peace be upon him) is truly the Messenger of Allah, hold fast to everything he did, and believe in everything he said. He must worship Allah, the Glorified, alone in accordance with the ordinances set by His Messenger (peace be upon him). Allah, the Glorified, states, Say (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم to mankind): "If you (really) love Allâh then follow me (i.e. accept Islâmic Monotheism, follow the Qur’ân and the Sunnah), Allâh will love you and forgive you your sins. Allah (Glorified be He) says: And whatsoever the Messenger (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) gives you, take it; and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it). The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "Whoever introduces something into this affair of ours that is not of it, it is to be rejected." Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim. He (peace be upon him) also said, "Whoever performs an act which is not based on our Shari`ah, it is to be rejected." Reported by Muslim in his Sahih. Whoever abandons the Qur'an and the Sunnah is following his desires and disobeying his Lord, do he deserves punishment. Allah, the Exalted, states, But if they answer you not (i.e. do not bring the Book nor believe in your doctrine of Islâmic Monotheism), then know that they only follow their own lusts. And who is more astray than one who follows his own lusts, without guidance from Allâh?
Allah, the Exalted, describes the Kafirs (disbelievers) saying, They follow but a guess and that which they themselves desire, whereas there has surely come to them the Guidance from their Lord! Following personal desires, Allah forbid, dims the light of the heart and hinders people from the truth. Allah, the Exalted, says, "And follow not your desire for it will mislead you from the Path of Allâh." You must beware of following your desires, may Allah have mercy on you! Beware of neglecting the guidance. You must adhere to the truth, call others to it, and keep away from those who oppose it in order to win the blessing of the life of this world and that of the Hereafter.
Third: Performing the five obligatory prayers in congregation is the most important and greatest duty after declaring the testimony of faith. Salah is the pillar of faith, the second Rukn (pillar) of Islam, and the first thing for which a servant will be called to account on the Day of Resurrection.
Whoever maintains Salah is preserving his faith and whoever abandons it, abandons Islam. How great his regret will be and how grievous will be his punishment on the Day when he will stand before Allah! You, may Allah have mercy on you, must offer Salah diligently and advise each other to do so. You must admonish those who casually offer it and abandon it, for this is truly a form of helping one another in performing righteous and pious deeds. It is authentically reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) stated, "That which differentiates us from the disbelievers and hypocrites is our performance of Salah. He who abandons it becomes a disbeliever." Reported by Imam Ahmad and Ahl-ul-Sunan (authors of Hadith compilations classified by jurisprudential themes) with an authentic chain of narrators. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "What makes one a disbeliever and a polytheist is abandoning Salah." Reported by Imam Muslim in his Sahih. Also, "Whoever, among you, sees something abominable should rectify it with his hand. If he does not have strength enough to do it, then he should do it with his tongue and if he does not have strength enough to do it, (even) then he should (abhor it) from his heart, and that is the least of Faith." Reported by Muslim in the Sahih.
Fourth: Giving careful attention to paying Zakah as obligated by Allah, for it is the third Rukn of Islam.
Every Muslim Mukallaf (person meeting the conditions to be held legally accountable for their actions) must count his money, calculate the due amount of Zakah on a yearly basis when the money reaches the Nisab (the minimum amount on which Zakah is due). Hence, he should give it out with absolute satisfaction. He should be delighted to carry out the command of Allah, thanking Him for His blessing, and being benevolent with the Servants of Allah. Whenever a Muslim performs such an act, Allah will double his reward, give back to him what he paid, bless the rest of his money, and purify and sanctify him. Allah, the Glorified, states, Take Sadaqah (alms) from their wealth in order to purify them and sanctify them with it. Whenever a Muslim withholds Zakah and neglects it, Allah will send His wrath upon him, remove the blessing from his wealth, afflict him with the means of spending money in bad matters, and torment him for this sin on the Day of Resurrection. Allah, the Exalted, states, And those who hoard up gold and silver [Al-Kanz: the money, the Zakât of which has not been paid] and spend them not in the Way of Allâh, announce unto them a painful torment. All wealth, upon which Zakah has not been paid, is considered Kanz and its owner will be tormented on the Day of Resurrection. May Allah protect you and me from this!
As for Muslims who are not Mukallaf such as children and the insane, their guardians must pay the Zakah due on their money every year, for the general evidence from the Book (Qur'an) and the Sunnah indicating the obligation of paying Zakah due on Muslims' money whether he is a Mukallaf or non-Mukallaf.
Fifth: Every Muslim Mukallaf, male or female, is to obey all the commandments of Allah and His Messenger. Sawm (Fast) of Ramadan, performance of Hajj to Ka`bah if possible, and all ordinances of Allah and His Messenger. They should glorify the sanctities of Allah, ponder over the purpose of creation, and take account of him/herself continuously. If they have fulfilled the commands of Allah, they should be pleased, thank Allah, ask Allah to grant them steadfastness, and avoid false pride, arrogance, and conceit.
If they neglect the obligations of Allah and commit any prohibited act, they should repent and feel regret. They must adhere to the commands of Allah, recite Dhikr (Remembrance of Allah) and Istighfar (seeking forgiveness from Allah) frequently, show humbleness to Allah, the Glorified, and ask Him to grant them repentance from their past sins and success to act righteously in word and deed. When servants of Allah are guided to achieve this, it is a sign of their happiness and security in this life and the Hereafter.
On the other hand, whenever they blindly follow their desires and caprices, neglect preparation for the Hereafter, this is a sign of their perdition and evidence of their horrible loss. Search your soul, reproach it, and examine your weaknesses, so you should feel humble, focus on your own self, leave the others, submit to Allah, and feel lowly before Him, asking Him for His pardon and forgiveness.
Such self-reproach, submission and humility before Allah is the real reason for happiness, success, and honor in the life of this world and the Hereafter.
Let every Muslim know that all blessings including happiness, wealth, high rank, and prosperity are from the grace and benevolence of Allah. Every trial such as diseases, misfortunes, poverty, barrenness, oppressive enemies, or any other misfortune are the result of sin and corruption.
All pains and sufferings in this life and in the Hereafter are the consequence of disobedience to Allah, opposition to His command, and negligence of His due right. Allah, the Exalted, states,
And whatever of misfortune befalls you, it is because of what your hands have earned. And He pardons much. (See the Qur’ân Verse 35:45). Allah (Exalted be He) says: Evil (sins and disobedience to Allâh) has appeared on land and sea because of what the hands of men have earned (by oppression and evil deeds), that He (Allâh) may make them taste a part of that which they have done, in order that they may return (by repenting to Allâh, and begging His Pardon).
O Servants of Allah, Fear Allah as He should be feared, glorify His ordinances and prohibitions, repent to Him from all your sins, rely on Him Alone and place your trust in Him. Verily, He is the Creator and Sustainer of all creatures and their forelocks are in His Hand (i.e. He has total mastery over His creatures). No one other than Allah has any power to cause harm, benefit, death, life, or resurrection.
Give priority to the right of Allah and His Messenger over all others', may Allah have mercy on you. Advise one another to hold fast to the right, forbid the wrong, think the best of Allah, and devote much time to Dhikr and Istighfar. Help one another in virtue, righteousness, and piety but do not help one another in sin and transgression. Reproach the foolish among you, let them abide by the ordinances of Allah and forbid them from His prohibitions. Love and hate only for the Sake of Allah. Follow the Awliya' (pious people) of Allah and hold aversion against the enemies of Allah. Remain patient and exhort people to patience until you meet your Lord and achieve the ultimate happiness, honor, dignity, and high rank in the Gardens of Blessing (Paradise).
May Allah grant us and you success in accomplishing that which pleases Him. May Allah reconcile our hearts and fill them with His reverence, love, and fear, and enable us to call to His path and His worship. May Allah safeguard us from the evils of ourselves and our gravest sins, grant success to our rulers and all the Muslim rulers in carrying out that which pleases Him! May Allah support the Truth through them and frustrate falsehood by their hands! May Allah protect all of us from trials and tribulations, for He is the Owner of all things, Omnipotent! May peace, mercy and blessings be upon you! Peace and blessing be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions!