Saturday, 20 June 2020

Communists Are Not Believers

Another ruling on communism

The Fatwa of the Previous Muftī
The Distinguished Sheikh, Muḥammad Bakhīt[1]
الإمام العلامة محمد بخيت المطيعي

The oldest fatwā regarding communism in its current form was written by the distinguished former Muftī, Sheikh Muḥammad Bakhīt. Sheikh Bakhīt – may Allah have mercy on him – is a well-known figure, for his knowledge, his writings, and his taqwā. His books are a light that guide those who are moving through mazes. Regardless of what people might say about his fatwā in terms of its form or its substance, it affirms ‘that communists renounce religions and they renounce the morals that religions have inspired. They renounce Islam’s financial system and they unlawfully seize people’s money and property. This is why they have left Islam from its very root. They are heretics and they are disbelievers…’ This part of the fatwā has become self-evident and it has become a matter of certainty, such that no educated person has any doubt about it.

On this occasion, we can mention the words of al-Ustādh Jalāl Kishk, and they are established fact:

‘Marxism is an anti-religious call.’

‘The Marxist who claims that he is not against religion is a liar.’

‘The communist who praises religion is a hypocrite.’

‘Marxism is a materialist theory, and materialism renounces religions.’

‘Materialism believes that matter came before thinking, and therefore religion is an idea that was made by matter.’

The fatwā of Sheikh Muḥammad Bakhīt, may Allah the Exalted have mercy on him, is long and exhaustive, joining between modern communism and ancient Mazdakism, which declared women and property lawful. He mentioned some of the history of Mazdakism, which he saw as the foundation of communism, and then said,

‘Islam came and put an end to that corrupt way. He sent His Book down to His Messenger, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and therein He commanded all people to every good and forbade them from every evil. He commanded them to have correct theological doctrines about Him the Exalted, that He be described with every perfection that befits His Divinity and that He is transcendent above every deficiency, which His attribute of Lordship is exalted above. The same goes for doctrines about the noble Messengers, peace and blessings be upon them. He has commanded us to hold that they are protected from committing disobedience, and removed from any deficiency that would detract from their position of Messengership. He has legislated contracts that transfer ownership, such as selling, giving gifts, bequests and so forth.

He has clarified inheritance, and the portion that every heir is to inherit from his testator. He has made clear in His Mighty Book that He the Glorified is the One who is in charge of distributing livelihood amongst His creation. The Exalted One has said:

“Do they not see that Allah expands provision for whomever He wills and also restricts it? There are certainly signs in that for people who believe.” [ar-Rūm 30:37]

“Say: ‘My Lord expands the provision of any of His slaves He wills or restricts it.’” [Sabaʾ 34:39]

Hurrah ar-Riqāshī has related from his uncle, who said,

‘I was holding the halter of the Messenger of Allah’s she-camel, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, in the middle of the days of Tashrīq, keeping people away from it. He said, {O people! Do you know what month you are in, what day you are in, and what land you are in?}

They replied, ‘We are in a sacred day, a sacred month, and a sacred land.’

He said, {Your blood, your wealth, and your honour are sacred just as this day of yours is sacred, in this month of yours, in this lands of yours, until you meet Him.}

Then he said, {Listen to me carefully, as this is how you should live:

Do not be oppressive. Do not be oppressive. Do not be oppressive. Another Muslim’s property is not lawful without his consent.

All feuds over blood and wealth that started in the days of Jāhiliyyah are under these feet of mine until the Day of Standing. The first blood put down is that of Rabīʿah ibn al-Ḥārith ibn ʿAbdul Muṭṭalib, who was nursed by the Banū Saʿd and Hudhayl killed him. Indeed, every usury from Jāhiliyyah has been put down. Indeed, Allah has decreed that the first usury be put down, the usury of al-ʿAbbās ibn ʿAbdul Muṭṭalib. You have your capital. You do not oppress and you are not oppressed.

Indeed, time has come back full circle, to the way it was the day Allah created the skies and earth.} Then he recited,

“There have been twelve months with Allah in the Book of Allah, from the day He first created the skies and the earth. Four of them are sacred. That is the True Religion. So do not wrong one another during them.” [at-Tawbah 9:36]

{Do not revert to being ungrateful[2] after me, striking each other’s necks. Indeed, Shayṭān has despaired of being worshipped by those who pray, but he wants to sow discord amongst you.

Fear Allah with regards to women; your wives are advisors and helpers and do not have any dominion over themselves. They have a right over you and you have a right over them…that they let no man into the marital chamber besides you and that they let no one into your home whom you dislike. If you fear their disobedience, admonish them, and then refuse to sleep with them, and then use physical force without injuring them. They are entitled to be given food and clothing adequately and courteously…You have only taken them as a trust from Allah, and they have been made permissible for you by Allah’s word…and the one who bears a trust must discharge it on behalf of the One who entrusted him with it.}

He then extended his hands and said, {Have I conveyed the message? Have I conveyed the message?} Then he said,

{Let those who are present convey it those who are not here, for maybe the one who is conveyed to is happier than the one who hears.}

Ḥumayd said, ‘Al-Ḥasan said when he reached that word, “By Allah, they conveyed it to many people and they were happier with it.”’

Then the Muftī spoke about communism and finished by saying,

‘From all of the above, it is known that the Bolshevik way is a way that destroys revealed legislations, and especially the Revealed Law of Islam, turning everything upside down. It commands to that which Allah, Glorified and Exalted is He, has forbidden in His Mighty Book and on the tongue of His Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.’

Then, after some words in which he compared communists to beasts because they know of no religion and no morals, he said,

‘Thus, every sincere Muslim is obligated to be wary of them, and not go anywhere near their misguidance, their corrupt beliefs and their stagnant deeds, for they indeed are, without any doubt or uncertainty, disbelievers. They do not believe in any revealed law, they do not believe in any revealed religion, and they do not know of any system.’

[Translated from the book Fatāwā ʿan ash-Shuyūʿiyyah by Imam ʿAbdul Ḥalīm Maḥmūd (Cairo: Dār al-Maʿārif, n.d), p.62-65]

[1] He is Muḥammad ibn Bakhīt ibn Ḥusayn al-Muṭīʿī, born in the village of al-Muṭīʿah, near Asyūṭ, Egypt in the year 1271 AH (1854 AD). After completing his memorisation of the Qurʾān, he moved to Al-Azhar in 1282, and started busying himself with knowledge and becoming proficient in the fiqh of Imam Abū Ḥanīfah. He remained dedicated to studying and teaching for as long as he lived, while also authoring over forty books, mainly in fiqh and theology. He also held several positions within the Egyptian judiciary, until he assumed the highest position therein and was then appointed Muftī of Egypt, a position he held from 1333 to 1339 (1914- 1921). He returned to his Lord on Friday, the 20th of Rajab, 1354 AH (1935). May Allah have mercy on him, his students, and all those who have conveyed his knowledge to us.
[2] Ar. kuffār, i.e. being like disbelievers, please see Imam an-Nawawī’s commentary on this ḥadīth for further details. (Sharḥ an-Nawawi ʿalā Muslim (Amman: Bayt al-Afkār ad-Dawliyyah, 1421/2000) p.138)