‘Collective Work and Legislated Cooperation’

Demestifying the laa jamaa'ah label

Rasheed Sanni said the Salafees, because they decry the invented jamaa’aat, are but calling to individualism. He wrote, ‘an alternative canvassed by the Coalition group members, is individualism or standing aloof from all the groups.’

The purport of the hadith of Hudhayfah bn Yaman is that sects of misguidance (that include these jamaa’aat that we have shown came to the Muslims via innovated paths) should be avoided and shunned, if one wants to practice the ideal Deen. That however does not mean that Islam has not legislated other forms of cooperation. Allâh the Mighty Lord said:

وَتَعَاوَنُوا عَلَى الْبِرِّ وَالتَّقْوَى وَلَا تَعَاوَنُوا عَلَى الْإِثْمِ وَالْعُدْوَانِ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ شَدِيدُ الْعِقَابِ

“…help you one another in Al­Birr and At­Taqwa (virtue, righteousness and piety); but do not help one another in sin and transgression. And fear Allâh, verily, Allâh is severe in punishment.’ [Al-Mâidah: 2]

So it is the commandment from Allâh that Muslims should cooperate with one another in virtue, righteousness, Sunnah, way of the Messenger of Allâh (salaLlâhu alayhi wa sallam) and his Companions, etc. and not in sins, transgression and Bid’ah that opposes the Sunnah.

In other words, Islam has stipulated ways Muslims can cooperate known as means of Collective Work and Legislated Cooperation.

For instance, Muslim males ought to meet one another at least five times a day in their respective masaajid from there matters of mutual concern such as how to attend to a burial of a dead Muslim, how to ward off a strange happenings in the community, etc. can be discussed.

With strong masaajid [1], that give way to madaaris (as the case may be), coupled with the roles of the scholars as well as other legislated means, the Muslims will have strong communities in their various places.

Perhaps the fact that the Messenger of Allâh (salaLlâhu alayhi wa sallam)’s first act when he arrived in Madînah was to establish a Masjid underscores the position we canvass here.

Our forefathers had known masaajid but not jamaa’aat. Till today, the bulk of Muslims identify with their various masaajid more than they do of the jamaa’aat. In fact, it was when jamaa’aat such as Ansaarudeen, Ansaarul-Islaam, Islaahudeen, Nawairudeen, etc. that the polarization set in. And when the ‘sunnatized’ jamaa’aat, such as Tableegh, MSSN, Ta’aawun, TMC, Tadaamun, etc. joined the fray, the polarization became more evident. Unfortunately, the roles the masaajid supposed to take have greatly dwindled. Some Muslims seem to pay attention to their Jamâ’ât today than their masaajid today.

[Sadly still, there are now modernized replicas of the old jamaa’aat that are striving to supplant the ‘sunnatized’ jamaa’aat. When NASFAT and QUAREEB, etc, came on board in South West Nigeria, the matter became worse].

Therefore, efforts must be made to accord the masaajid their expected place in Islâm. With strong masaajid (including the Friday Mosques) on authentic Sunnah, our community will change for better, Insha Allâh. So let us strive to empower the masaajid and stop the power of jamaa’aat.

Scholars who have made great impact on their respective communities started from the masaajid (and the attendant institutes of learning). Ash-Shaykh Muhammad bn Abdilwahhaab (may Allâh bestow mercy on him) , whom Allâh used to make the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia what it is today, did not form a jamâ’ah when he began his Da’wah. He was a teacher teaching people and from there his Da’wah attracted one of the local rulers and the rest was history.

Our own Uthmân bn Fûdi (Usman Dan Fodio) too did not form a jamâ’ah before the Jihâd. He was a teacher teaching the people the Sunnah (to the best of his ability); some students got attracted to him and then came the Jihâd.

We have earlier cited the example of the contemporary scholars – Ibn Bâz, Al-Albânî, Al-Uthaymeen, etc. their impact in their various communities. What each of them did (or does) for their people no single Jamâ’ah can achieve that.

In summary Islam allows for Collective Work and Lawful Cooperation that flow from the masaajid or other lawful sources.

There is nothing wrong in having Islamic libraries, Islamic schools, Islamic centres (such as centres for the memorization of the Qur’aan, centers for Islamic researches, centres for publication of Islamic books) so far they are upon the Manhaj of the Qur’aan and Sunnah as understood by the Pious Forefathers.[2]

Ash-Shaykh Muqbil bn Haadee (may Allâh bestow mercy on him) said:

‘We do not say Collective Work is not permissible. Whoever says the People of Sunnah (the Salafees) do not see the permissibility of Collective Work is a liar; worst of its type. We will not carry out partisan work, as for collective work, it is a must for the Muslims to unite and work for Islâm; none of us can achieve anything in Islâm as an individual…’’[3]

The call to Salafiyyah is therefore a call to the unity of the Muslims upon what the Messenger of Allâh (salaLlâhu alayhi wa sallam) and his Companions were. Salafiyyah is strong because it is a perfect way. Many people nurture enmity towards it. The Salafees have been accused of being Boko Haram. They have been accused of splitting the Muslims. And many other unfounded allegations.

End notes
[1] Those must also be free from all elements of partisanship. Thus masaajid that have links to the jamaa’aat will hardly be freed from that. Masaajid are owned by Allâh, Muslims only possess them in trust. How erroneous is that fellow who built a Masjid and counts it among his inheritables!
[2] See Jamâ’ah Waahidah Laa Jamaa’aat p.60.
[3]See Risaalah Ilâ Muntadham p.42

Excerpts from Aboo Aamir's‘Demystifying the Laa Jamaa’ah Label’ pp.61-66

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