Benefits and Deductions
The cause of the weakness of the Muslims is due
to their having left the clear and pure religion of Islaam. That humiliation has entered into their ranks due to the very
same reason. That the sicknesses and diseases in the hearts of the Muslims bring about worldly calamities. In addition to
this, being far from the Sunnah and the multiplication of the groups of innovation is another cause for weakness and humiliation.
Fighting against these weaknesses is to be upon methodology of the Book and the Sunnah. A detailed explanation of the numerous
Hadeeth which mention the prophecies about the downfall of the Ummah.
A Fundamental Principle
We should know that the Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu
'alayhi wa sallam was sent by Allaah to the whole of mankind, to explain and to make clear to them all that which is good
and brings one closer to Allaah; and also to explain to them all that is evil and would distance a person from Allaah. The
reason for this being, that life - with all its variety, colours and manifestations - is built upon two important matters:-
Firstly: Knowing the good - in order to follow
Secondly: Knowing the evil - in order to keep
away from it.
So, for example, in the matter of Tawheed
of Allaah (to single out Allaah alone for worship) - the crux of Islaam - it is built eeman (faith) in Allaah and the rejection
of shirk , kufr  and taaghoot . Eeman in Allaah is good, whilst belief in at-taaghoot is evil. Thus, it is a must
to recognise that which is good in order to follow it, whilst knowing also that which is evil so as to keep away from it.
Likewise, in the matter of da'wah (calling) to Allaah, which is built upon commanding the good (ma'roof) and forbidding the
evil (munkar). To command the ma'roof is good and is to be followed, whilst munkar is evil and is to be shunned. Likewise,
in ittibaa' (following of) the prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, which is built upon following his Sunnah and turning
away from bida' (religious innovations). Sunnah is good and is to be followed, whilst bida' is evil and is to be shunned.
Events to Befall this Ummah
The Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam informed
us of events which will befall this Ummah (i.e. Muslim peoples), some of these narrations speak of good for this Ummah - indicating
also that the future, power and honour is for the Muslims; and that they will be established in the land. Other narrations
warn us against those evil matters, that which would distance us from Allaah - the Most High - and make us weak in-front of
the nations. We will discuss some of these narrations which mention the two types of weaknesses.
First Type of Weakness Explained
The first of these narrations is that of Thawbaan
radiallaahu 'anhu the freed slave of the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam. He related that the messenger of Allaah said:
"The nations are about to call each other and set upon you, just as diners set upon food." It was said: "Will it be
because of our small number that day?" He said: "Rather, on that day you will be many, but you will be like foam, like
the foam on the river. And Allaah will remove the fear of you from the hearts of your enemies and will throw wahn (weakness)
into your hearts." Someone said: "O Messenger of Allaah! What is Wahn?" He said: "Love of the world and the hatred
for death." 
This Hadeeth explains the first form of weakness,
which has befallen the Ummah in all corners of the world, as being a result of inclination to this world, love of it, and
being preoccupied with it, whilst turning away from the Hereafter, being distant from it and hatred of death. Hatred of death
is a sign of loving this world, since the one who loves this world, hates death. Since, with death, comes the meeting with
Allaah - the Most Perfect.
Some Benefits of this Hadeeth
From the Hadeeth we can conclude the following:-
[i] That the disbelievers attentively observe the Muslim
Ummah and study their condition, when they see a weakness they strike at it and if they see a barrier, they destroy it. When
they see that the Ummah cannot defend itself, they do not show mercy, since they are the enemies of Allaah. So they hate the
Muslims because they (the Muslims) call to the worship and obedience of Allaah.
[ii] The Muslim lands possess many riches, being sources
of goods and blessings. This is why the enemies of Allaah desire these lands and try to conquer them.
[iii] The Ummah has reached a level where it cannot defend
its honour, riches nor wealth from its conquering enemies.
[iv] The disbelievers have divided the conquered lands of
the Muslims between themselves, just like diners when gathered around their dish - what do they do? Each of them take their
portion until he is full; and he will not be content with that which is in his plate, except with that which fills. The prophet
sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, warned us about this fact - the cutting up of the Muslim lands, for he said: "You will form
different armies, an army in Greater Syria (Sham), an army in 'Iraaq and an army in Yeman." I asked: "Which one shall
I be with O Messenger of Allaah?" He said: "I advise you with the (army) of Sham and whoever refuses then let him join
the Yemen and beware. For indeed Allaah - the Mighty and Majestic - has guaranteed Sham and its people for me." 
[v] That the disbelievers do not fear the Muslims. At the
time of the prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam when the disbelievers heard that the prophet was preparing to engage them
in battle, they would become fearful and turn on their heels. This is what happened at the battle of Tabook. At this battle,
the prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam traveled a months journey to fight the Romans, when they heard of the Messenger
of Allaah's sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam approach they fled. So the prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam said: "I have
been given five (things) which no one else before me has been given. I have been aided with fear - a distance of one month's
Allaah the - the Most High - states:
"Soon We shall cast terror into the hearts
of the disbelievers, for that they made Shirk, for which He had sent no authority." 
Indeed, fear is a weapon which Allaah implants
in the hearts of His enemies. This is why the strength of the Muslims, is not in their great numbers - weapons or wealth -
but it is in their aqeedah (belief) and their adhering to it. For today there are plenty of Muslims, but they are like foam,
like the foam carried by the waves. And their riches are many but cannot be for them. Rather, it has become the possession
of their enemies. For example: The Muslims today approximate over one billion and they grow in number everyday. However, at
the same time they are the weakest of nations in every country they are in, being persecuted - why? Because they have become
like foam, like the foam on the waves. Also, the lands of the Muslims possess many riches and minerals, but where does it
all end up? With the disbelievers in Europe or America, or it goes to the Jews of Palestine. The Muslim oil constitutes approximately
one third of the world's reserves, but the Muslims are the poorest of people - why? Because they do not possess anything from
their Deen (religion), except a name. So they call to it, but all their riches now belong to their enemies.
Second Type of Weakness
The second form of weakness which illustrates
the condition of the Muslims today is their being far from the Sunnah (example) of the messenger of Allaah sallallaahu 'alayhi
wa sallam, and being far away from the correct Manhaj (methodology), in a state of innovation. The prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi
wa sallam has informed us of this in the Hadeeth of Hudayfah radiallaahu 'anhu in which he said: "The people used to ask the
Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam about the good, and I used to ask him about the evil out of fear that it
would reach me. So I asked the Messenger of Allaah: "O Messenger of Allaah, we were living in ignorance and evil, then
Allaah brought this good to us. So will there be any evil after this good?" He replied: "Yes." I then asked: "Will there
be any good after this evil?" He replied: "Yes, but it will be tainted." So I asked: "What will be its taint?" He replied:
"A people who guide others to other than my way, you will approve of some of their actions and disapprove of others."
I further enquired: "Then is there any evil after this good?" He said: "Yes! Callers at the gates of Hell - whoever responds
to their call, they will be thrown into the fire." I then said: " O Messenger of Allaah! Describe them to us." He said:
"They will be from our people and speak our language." I asked: "So what do you order me to do if that reaches me?"
He said: "Stick to the Jamaa'ah (the united body) of the Muslims and their Imaam (ruler)." I further asked: "What if
they have neither jamaa'ah or an Imaam?" He said: "Then keep away from all those sects, even if you have to bite upon the
roots of a tree, until death reaches you whilst you are in that state." 
A Brief Explanation
(You will approve of some of their actions
and diaprove of others.)
Meaning: You will accept the Sunnah from them
and reject the bid'ah from them.
(Yes! Callers at the gates of Hell.)
Meaning: Callers inviting to the various deviated
schools of thought which will lead their followers to the hellfire.
(Whoever responds to their call, they will
be thrown into the fire.)
Meaning: Whoever obeys the callers of innovation
and misguidance then his end will be the fire, because the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam has said: "Every innovation
is misguidance and every misguidance is in the fire."  So the innovation is in the fire along with its companion.
Whoever obeys the callers of innovation will be led to the Fire and whosoever obeys the callers of Sunnah will be led to Paradise.
(Stick to the jamaa'ah of the Muslims and their
Meaning: Stick to the Islaamic Empire if they
have on. So you migrate to it and live amongst the Muslims and do not remain in the lands of the disbelievers. And you give
the bay'ah (oath of allegiance) to the leader of the Muslims - if they have one.
(I asked: What if they neither have a jamaa'ah
or an Imaam?)
Meaning: Like today (Then keep away from all those
sects.) Meaning: Keep away from the callers of misguidance and (religious) innovation, neither being of them, nor aiding or
(Even if you have to bite upon the roots of
Meaning: Adhere to the Sunnah and cling to its
foundations. The meaning of this is not remain in your house and abandon the calling to Allaah, nor abandon ordering the good
and the prohibiting of evil, since the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam said "Hold fast to my Sunnah and to the Sunnah
of my rightly guided caliphs - cling (lit. bite) to it tightly."  And here, in this Hadeeth, he has ordered them to
cling (lit. bite) to the roots of a tree. So the (roots of a tree) here means the Sunnah. (Until death reaches you whilst
you are in that state.) Meaning: To die in a state of Islaam, as in the saying of Allaah : "And do not die except as a
Striking A Balance
The Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam has
explained in many other Ahadeeth that clinging to this world, loving it - whilst neglecting the Hereafter and giving a greater
share to worldly matters at the expense of the Hereafter - is also from the causes of weakness amongst the Muslims. These
narrations do not mean that a Muslim should ignore this world and not work for it, and become dependant upon others. Rather,
he should work, in order to attain his sustenance and support himself so that he is not in need of others. Indeed the words
"aakhirah" (Hereafter) and "dunyaa" (this wordly life) appear in the Qur'aan an equal number of times. This is an indication
that a Muslim should maintain a balance between this world and the Hereafter, so he performs righteous deeds and seeks the
pleasure of Allaah; and he works in this world within the limits of the Shariah (Islaamic Law) to obtain a lawful sustenance,
in order to provide for himself and have no need to beg. However, if the balance is not kept, corruption appears. For example,
if the Ummah inclines more to worldly matters - forgetting the Hereafter and the meeting with Allaah - it is overcome with
weakness and humiliation. If, however, the tendancy is in the opposite direction, the Ummah forgets this world and then becomes
in need of people - extending its hands towards them submissively. But the Muslim should be distinguished, strong and honourable
- as Allaah says in the Qur'aan:
"And to Allaah belongs all honour and to His
Prophet and to the believers." 
So the Muslim is obligated to maintain this balance.
Therefore, one should be sincere in ones actions, intending with them the face of Allaah and His good pleasure. However, rivalry
for this world and love for it weakens the Muslims and debases them.
Rivalry for this World
'Amr ibn Auf al-Ansaaree radiallaahu 'anhu related
that the prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam sent Abu 'Ubaydah ibn al-Jarrah (the trust worthy one of this Ummah) to Bahrain
to bring back its Jizyah. The Prophet had made a treaty with the people of Bahrain and had appointed over them al-'Alaa ibn
Hadramee. Abu 'Ubaydah returned with the money. The Ansaar came to hear of his arrival and went to pray al-Fajr with the prophet
sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam. When the Prophet had finished the prayer he got up and left, so the Ansaar approached him.
He smiled and remarked: "I think you have all heard that Abu 'Ubaydah has returned with something." They replied: "Indeed
O messenger of Allaah." He said: "Then be happy and hope for that which pleases you, for by Allaah I do not fear poverty
for you, but I fear that this world will be opened up for you, just as it was for those before you. So you will compete with
one another for it, as they competed for it; and it will destroy you as it destroyed them." 
Another Hadeeth which shows love of this world
is a reason for ruin, is the Hadeeth of 'Abdullah ibn 'Umar in which he said: The Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu 'alayhi
wa sallam said: "O Muhajiroon!! You may be afflicted with five things. Allaah forbid that you should live to see them.
(i) If fornication and adultery should become widespread, then you should know that this has never happened without new diseases
befalling the people which their forefathers never suffered. (ii) If people should begin to cheat in weighing out goods, you
should realise that this has never happened without a drought and famine befalling the people and their rulers oppressing
them. (iii) If people should withhold Zakaah, you should realise that this has never happened without the rain being stopped
from falling; and were it not for the sake of the animals, it would never rain again. (iv) If people should break their covenant
with Allaah and His Messenger, you should realise that this has never happened without Allaah sending an enemy against them
to take some of their possessions by force. (v) If the leaders do not rule according to the book of Allaah, you should realise
that this has never happened without Allaah making them into groups and making them fight one another." 
A Brief Explanation
(If fornication and adultery should become
widespread, then you should know that this has never happened without new diseases befalling the people which their forefathers
Meaning: If faahishah (evil actions and sexual
iniquity) appears in the Ummah and fornication and adultery increases, then it will be accompanied by many strange diseases
not known or experienced by those before, like AIDS and Syphilis. Diseases which now cause so much fear in Western societies
like America and Europe. Since this faahishah has become widespread in these communities to a well known degree, rather it
is considered a sign of their progression. How can this be a sign of advancement? When the animals in the jungle are ashamed
to commit what they do and the bare people in Africa and its forests feel too embarrassed. If nakedness was an evidence of
progression, then the naked people of the African jungle would be the most advanced!!
(If people should begin to cheat in weighing
Meaning: Giving short measure is now a common
thing, and is something unlawful. Allaah destroyed a nation - the people of Shu'aib alayhis-salaam - because of this, as they
did not show mercy to themselves or to others, so how can Allaah show mercy to them. The prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam
said: "Show mercy to one who is upon the earth, and the One above the Sky will show mercy to you." 
(If people should withhold Zakaah, you should
realise that this has never happened without the rain being stopped from falling; and were it not for the sake of the animals,
it would never rain again)
Meaning: if it rains, then it is not because of
them or the fact they deserve it, but it is because of the animals - as a mercy for them.
(If people should break their covenant with
Allaah and His Messenger, you should realise that this has never happened without Allaah sending an enemy against them to
take some of their possessions by force)
For example: When the Muslims neglected the obedience
to Allaah, He gave the Jews the power and they took Palestine, and when were negligent about that which they were reminded
of, Allaah established the Christians over them and they took Spain; and when they were negligent yet again, Allaah put the
Christians in control in Bosnia.
(If the leaders do not rule according to the
book of Allaah....)
Meaning: when they no longer implement the Laws
of Allaah, the Muslims will then fight and kill each other like what occurs in border disputes and so on.
The Initial Strangeness
Amongst those Ahadeeth which also highlight the
second form of weakness - that is, deviating from the guidance of the prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam - is the Hadeeth:
"Islaam started as a stranger and it will return to being a stranger in the same way it started, so Tooba (a tree in paradise)
is for the Strangers."  Initially, Islaam was strange and weak in Makkah, the disbelievers did not know of it. Then
people began to believing in Islaam and entered into it in great numbers. It then spread, grew stronger and was no longer
strange. Now, after its strength and spread, it has returned once again as a stranger as it first started. How can this be,
when the Muslims are great in number and their lands are plenty? Because the Muslims no longer understand the Deen, they are
far from Islaam - implementing other than the Sunnah of the prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wa sallam, committing innovations
in worship, whilst they think they are following Islaam. So the correct Islaam, the correct Sunnah, becomes far away from
their lives - like a stranger amongst the people, they have no knowledge of it.
How do we understand these Ahadeeth which point
out these weaknesses? Do we merely accept them and remain weak, dependant upon the West and remain far from our Deen (religion)?
The prophet did not intend this for us, for he explained to us these things in order for us to flee from them - like a parent
who says to his child: 'Do not go up this road, as there is a wild animal awaiting to eat you if you do! ' So this is a warning
from the parent to the child not to take that path. So:-
Firstly: When the Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi
wa sallam informed us of these events - which are not from him but from Allaah, as he does not speak of his own desire but
it is a revelation inspired to him - it is understood to be a prohibition of taking the path that leads to that.
Secondly: We have to work to repel these weaknesses;
to fight them, reject them and not to be pleased with them - since it is an evil which has to be rejected.
Thirdly: We have to acquire knowledge of
the Qur'aan and the Sunnah upon the understanding of the Salafus-Saalih (Pious predecessors - the first three generations
of Muslims) in order to comprehend our state of affairs. However, if we rely on newspapers, magazines and the radio then these
media sources belong to the disbelievers, the West. Will they be truthful in their narrations and in their solutions? Do they
really want good for the Muslims? Indeed, they do not spread except that which weakens the Muslims and makes them falsely
believe in the West. Thus, we must become people who have understanding of the book and the Sunnah to know exactly what our
enemies want from us, and Allaah has indeed informed us: "Never will the Jews and the Christians be satisfied with you,
until you follow their way" 
1. A talk delivered at the Qu'ran and Sunnah Society
Conference in America 1993.
2. Shirk: " Associating partners with Allaah in
those matters which are particular to Allaah."
3. Kufr: Disbelief, denial and rejection
4. Taaghoot: All that is worshipped other than,
or along with, Allaah.
5. Saheeh: Related by Abu Dawood (no.4297), Ibn'Asaakirin
in Taareekh Dimashq (2/97/8) and others. It was authenticated by al-Albaanee in as-Saheehah (no.958)
6. Saheeh:Related by Ahmad (5/33), Abu Daawood
(1/388) al-Haakim (4/510) - from 'Abdullah ibn Hawaalah radiallaahu 'anhu. Shaykh al-Albaanee authenticated it in Takhreej
Ahaadeeth Fadaa'il ush-Shaam (no.2)
7. Related by al-Bukhaaree (1/436) and Muslim
(5/3-4) from Jaabir ibn 'Abdullah radiallaahu 'anhu
8. Surah Aal-'Imraan 3:151
9. Related by al-Bukhaaree (no.7084) and Muslim
10. Related by al-Bukhaaree (no.7084) and Muslim
11. Saheeh: Related by Abu Dawood (no.4606) and
others. It was authenticated by al-Haafidh Ibn-Hajar in Takhreej Ahadeeth Mukhtasar Ibnul-Haajib
12. Surah Aal-'Imraan 3:101
13. Surah al-Munaafiqoon
14. Related by al-Bukhaaree and Muslim
15. Hasan: Related by Ibn Maajah (no.4019) and
Abu Nu'aym in Hilyatul-Awliyaa (8/333-334), from 'Abdullah Ibn 'Umar radiallaahu 'anhu. It was authenticated by Shaykh al-Albani
16. Saheeh: Related by Abu Dawood (no.4941), at-Tirmidhee
(1/350) and others, from 'Abdullah ibn 'Amr radiallaahu 'anhu. Al Haafidh al-'Iraaqee authenticated it in al-'Ishaariyaat
17. Related by Muslim (2/175-176) and Ibn Maajah
(2/320), from Abu Hurayrah radiallaahu 'anhu
18. Soorah al-Baqarah 2:120