Hizbiyyah is derived from the word, ‘Hizb.’ There are many lexical and technical meanings to it. In a simple diction, ‘Hizb’, according to Ibn Mandhoor in Lisaan Arab, is ‘a group of people.’ When it is said, ‘the man’s Hizb’, it means his comrades who are upon his thoughts and ideas. Therefore a group of people whose desires, good or bad, are the same is a Hizb.
The Hizb is mainly divided into two: Hizb of Allâh and Hizb of Shaytan.
Those who gather upon piety, Sunnah, obeisance to the Sharî’ah, love of Allâh and His Prophet [salaLlâhu alayhi wa sallam], etc, are Hizb of Allâh. While those who gather upon evil, harm, heresies, opposition to the Sharî’ah, etc, are Hizb of Shaytan.
The end of Hizb of Allâh is success while that of Shaytan is loss.
أَلا إِنَّ حِزْبَ اللَّهِ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ
‘...Verily, it is the party of Allâh that will be the successful.’ [Mujaadilah: 22]
أَلا إِنَّ حِزْبَ الشَّيْطَانِ هُمُ الْخَاسِرُونَ
‘...Verily, it is the party of Shaytan that will be the losers!’ [Mujaadilah: 19]
Those are the two groups: righteousness and evil. Islam is the righteousness; everything apart from Islâm, and its core teachings, is the evil.
Yet not every claimant to Islam falls within the description of Hizb of Allâh. Actions must follow claims, when sincerity has already been established. It is a trite principle in Islam that claims alone do not suffice. How many claimants of a phenomenon but who are stark opposite of what they claim!
It is no more hidden that those who have assaulted the noble Aqeedah and Manhaj of the AhlusSunnah via their ascription to it are today left in the sun. Those who still hide under its facade – especially when ‘Salafiyyah’ is used – cannot hide forever. How many were those with flashy Salafi tags that had left it for its rightful people! We ask Allâh for a good end.
Therefore Al-Hizbiyyah is all negative connotations. It entails fanaticism, bigotry, myopia, impatience, roguery, and above all, ignorance, even when its pupils think they are on top. All those terms, you will agree, are not praiseworthy.
Whereas the people in the Hizb of Allâh are not fanatical, bigoted and myopic about the truth they believe in; rather they are certain, loving, convinced and submissive to it. They are always courteous but decisive with it. The truth here is the entire good thing Islam has come with.
The difference is now clear.
So whenever Hizbiyyah is mentioned, in this latter usage, it connotes all evil: fanaticism, bigotry and myopia. We can add blind following to that. So in this understanding, a Hizbee is bigoted, fanatical, irrational and uncouth, in a self defined cause, or in following a mortal other than the Messenger of Allah [salaLlâhu alayhi wa sallam]. You will see wanting to die because of a demagogue, concept or group, when it is in anyway justifiably vilified, and turn to the other way when Islâm or its Messenger [salaLlâhu alayhi wa sallam] is abused. The case of a Hizbee is that of a misplaced priority, to use that hackneyed expression.
May Allâh the Lord of the Mighty Throne save us from all these evil dispositions.
Indicators of Hizb of Allâh
Being in the right place, of Sunnah and where the Sharî’ah is obeyed, has some indicators:
One: That it is Allâh who has united the hearts of those in the cause together not the perceived efforts of some individuals. That was how the Companions were to the Messenger of Allâh [salaLlâhu alayhi wa sallam[; it was Allâh that united their hearts. Allâh said:
وَأَلَّفَ بَيْنَ قُلُوبِهِمْ لَوْ أَنْفَقْتَ مَا فِي الأرْضِ جَمِيعًا مَا أَلَّفْتَ بَيْنَ قُلُوبِهِمْ وَلَكِنَّ اللَّهَ أَلَّفَ بَيْنَهُمْ إِنَّهُ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ
‘And He has united their (i.e. believers') hearts. If you had spent all that is in the earth, you could not have united their hearts, but Allâh has united them. Certainly He is All-Mighty, All-Wise.’[Anfaal: 63]
Nobody has the power and ability to unite the hearts of men. So if the Messenger of Allâh [salaLlâhu alayhi wa sallam] did not have the power to unite the hearts of the Companions, who is he that possesses such power today?
So when you see a people united in a bad cause such as in Bid’ah and opposition to the Sharî’ah be sure they are upon a phantom unity heading to a disintegration, sooner than later. Allâh said about the Munaafiqoon and the Jews who betrayed the Muslims in Madînah:
تَحْسَبُهُمْ جَمِيعًا وَقُلُوبُهُمْ شَتَّى ذَلِكَ بِأَنَّهُمْ قَوْمٌ لَا يَعْقِلُونَ
‘...you would think they were united, but their hearts are divided, that is because they are a people who understand not.’ [Hashr: 14]
So people will gather to form things and give them religious labels, not all of those labels are acceptable with Allâh. The only acceptable label is holding to the Book of Allâh, the Sunnah of His Messenger [salaLlâhu alayhi wa sallam] according to the thoughts, manner, character, methodology of the Companions of the Messenger of Allâh.
لَا خَيْرَ فِي كَثِيرٍ مِنْ نَجْوَاهُمْ إِلَّا مَنْ أَمَرَ بِصَدَقَةٍ أَوْ مَعْرُوفٍ أَوْ إِصْلَاحٍ بَيْنَ النَّاسِ وَمَنْ يَفْعَلْ ذَلِكَ ابْتِغَاءَ مَرْضَاةِ اللَّهِ فَسَوْفَ نُؤْتِيهِ أَجْرًا عَظِيمًا
‘There is no good in most of their secret talks save (in) him who orders charity or good, or conciliation between mankind, and he who does this, seeking the good pleasure of Allâh, we shall give him a great reward.’ [Nisâ: 114]
Ibn Qayyim has said: ‘Unity of the hearts...Allâh has said only He can ensure it.’[I]
Two: That the coming together should be seen as a favour occasioned by adherence to the Book of Allâh and the Sunnah of His Messenger [salaLlâhu alayhi wa sallam] in terms of creed and action. In other words, the unifying factor should be the Deen and all what it stands for, which is the worship of Allâh alone with no ascription of partners to Him.
There is no doubt that any unity occasioned by the love for Allah’s Book and the Sunnah of His Messenger [salaLlâhu alayhi wa sallam] is indeed the real unity. Unlike what is obtainable today among some Muslims who come together as a result of other than those viz. heresies, quest for money, wealth and fame, or to defend a personality other than the Prophet, salaLlâhu alayhi wa sallam, among others.
Three: That the unity of the hearts is the focus not the bodies. Unity of the hearts is the real unity which is built upon adherence to Jama’atul-Muslimeen which there is a command with its respect. So there is no good in the unity of the bodies when the people in the unity are of varying standpoints in terms of creeds, sayings, deeds and conditions. Such a unity is not what is desired for the people of faith rather it is what the people of nifaaq and unbelief do as earlier pointed out.
Examples of those abound today among the Muslims. One may wonder, what goal is there to be achieved when well-known rogues, parading themselves as followers of the Sunnah, unite to enthrone Islam!
Shaykhul Islâm Ibn Taymiyyah [may Allâh bestow mercy on him] said: ‘The hearts and actions of the hypocrites look alike but they are far apart even when you think they are together...unlike the real believers, they will like and help one another even when they are not all physically present; while they are separated by time and place. ’[II]
Four: The unity of the hearts is according to their outward obedience to Allâh and His Messenger [salaLlâhu alayhi wa sallam]. Shaykhul Islâm [may Allâh bestow mercy on him] said: ‘I enjoin you with Allâh, again and again, that you all hold to the Jamâ’ah [that is, the ways of the Companions] and be united upon obedience to Allâh and His Messenger [salaLlâhu alayhi wa sallam], and striving in His path, Allâh will definitely unite your hearts and expiate your sins for you and will make you attain good in this life and the Hereafter.’[III]
Five: The address form Allâh to the believers in plural form means they are specifically asked to hold onto their togetherness therefore it is only the believers that will guard this command by holding to the Book of Allâh and the Sunnah of His Messenger [salaLlâhu alayhi wa sallam], they will not be divided by the desire for fame and wealth, or other forms of heresies, open or hidden.
Six[a]: The group united under the cause of Allâh will ensure that they are guided by the Book of Allâh and the Sunnah of His Messenger [salaLlâhu alayhi wa sallam], and what the Salaf were upon, nothing else. This is the simple reason they come under the appellation, AhlusSunnah wal Jamâ’ah.
Shaykhul Islam [may Allâh bestow mercy on him] had said: ‘The path of AhlusSunnah wal Jamâ’ah is obedience to the legacies of the Messenger of Allâh [salaLlâhu alayhi wa sallam], in the open and in secret; so also is toeing the line of the first flagbearers of the Deen among the Muhaajiroon and the Ansâr...they know that the best of speech is the Speech of Allâh while the best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad. They rate the Words of Allâh over words of other than Him from sorts of the people. They also prefer the guidance of Muhammad to the guidance of anybody; this is why they have been named AhluKitaab Wa Sunnah...’[IV]
Ibn Qayyim [may Allâh bestow mercy on him] also said: ‘Whoever sets a precedent not set by Allâh and His Messenger [salaLlâhu alayhi wa sallam], that will surely drag him into rejecting the Sunnah and changing its context, this is why Allâh never set the precedent of His and His Prophet’s Hizb apart from what His Messenger came with...’ [V]
Six[b]: They do not have any other personality to be followed beside the Messenger of Allâh [salaLlâhu alayhi wa sallam]. Unlike the people of innovations and desires, each of their groups has demagogues they have set as parallels to the Messenger of Allâh [salaLlâhu alayhi wa sallam].
Shaykhul Islâm said: ‘The People of Truth and Sunnah do not have anybody else they follow beside the Messenger of Allâh who does not talk out of his desires except with revelation; he is the one that must be believed in what he says, and obeyed in everything he commands; none among the scholars reaches this level rather every person’s word can be accepted or rejected except that of the Messenger of Allâh...’ [VI]
Seven: In taking friends, a believer will love the People of Faith according to their level of piety; and he will shun the rebellious ones according to their level of rebellion and sinfulness. The complete friendship is for the Sharî’ah while the complete enmity is towards Kufr and heresies, and those who promote them.
Eighth: It is only the words of Allâh and His Messenger’s that are unquestionable. No person of knowledge, right from the early scholars, is qualified to be absolutely obeyed. Khalîfah Haaroon Rasheed once thought of making Muwata’a of Imâm Maalik as the sole book of reference during his reign. What did Imâm Maalik say? ‘Do not do that, O Leader of the Believers. Indeed the Companions of the Messenger of Allâh [salaLlâhu alayhi wa sallam] got dispersed all over the place so people took knowledge differently from them; I have only compiled the knowledge of the people of my city.’
However, there are many indicators of Parties of Shaytan among them are the following: Forcing down an opinion, a group or a personality on the throats of people thereby taking those who follow that opinion or group as friends and those against it as enemies. This also applies to saying it is such-and-such madh’hab that must be followed. People think it is the people in the Jamâ’ât that are only guilty of this, no.
For the umpteenth time, it is only the positions of the Kitaab and Sunnah that one can form enmity and friendship upon.
So also is making pledges to oaths and covenants upon certain conditions not laid down by the Sharî’ah. This is commonly found with those groups with political inclinations. Besides, these oaths and covenants need not be express, they might be implicit, in this wise those with no political inclinations are not safe too.
Another one is being fanatical towards a person or a group of persons such that the fanatic is ready to lose his life or other than that. This is sheer craziness as shown in the beginning of this little work.
Lastly, there are many causes of Hizbiyyah, below are its nitty-gritty: Ignorance, following self desires, disunity, getting oneself involved in matters above one’s knowledge, love for fame, etc.
Our prayer is that Allâh the Mighty Lord should save us all from all kinds of manifestations of Hizbiyyah.
Indeed Allâh grants all supplications.
This work has been partially adapted from ‘Tahdheer Naasi’een.’
[I] Shifaa AlAleel: 57
[II] Iqtidaa Siraatil Mustaqeem vol.1 p.19 as quoted in Tahdheer Naasi’een p.26.
[III] Majmoo Fatâwâ vol.27 p.423.
[IV] Majmoo Fatâwâ vol.27 p.423.
[V] Shifaa ‘Al-Aleel p.13
[VI] Majmoo Fatâwâ vol.3 pp. 346-347.
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