افضل الجهاد كلمة عدل عند سلطان جائر
`An Abee Sa`eed al-Khudree qaal afdul al-jihad kalimatu `adlin `inda sultaanin jaa`ir.
Abi Sa`eed al-Khudree related from the Prophet (s), “The best jihad (struggle) is a word of truth before a tyrannical king.” (Tirmidhi)
Jihad has fourteen elements that Ibn Taymiyya’s student, Ibn Qayyim al-Jawziyya (r) counted, one of which is holy jihad in defense of the Ummah, and thirteen are jihad against the self and other forms.
Prophet (s) said the best of jihad is not to make fire and kill people, as holy jihad is face-to-face with the enemy and that principle is no longer there, but he (s) emphasized that the best of jihad is kalimatu `adil, “(to speak) a just word.” It means you are able to stand up and say in front of anyone, kalimatu `adlin `inda sultaanin jaa`ir, “in the presence of the tyrant sultan (i.e., speak truth to power).”
آية المنافق ثلاث إذا حدث كذب وإذا وعد أخلف وإذا أؤتمن خان وإن صلى وصام وزعم أنه مسلم
`An Abi Hurayrah arda inda Rasoolullahi wa qaal ayatu ’l-munaafiq thalaath: idha hadda thaakarah wa idhaa wa`ada akhlaf wa idha’tuminaa khaan wa in saama wa in salla wa za`am annahum muslim.
Abu Hurayrah (r) said the Prophet (s) said, “The signs of a hypocrite are three: If he speaks he lies; if he promised and you come on that date he promised, he says, ‘I cannot do it for you today, come another day;’ if you trust him, he will betray you, even if he fasts, even if he prays, even if he says, ‘I am a Muslim.’” (Bukhari, Muslim)
Look deeply into what Prophet (s) said, `inda sultaan, “one sultan,” singular, he didn’t say `inda salaateen, “many sultans.” Today there are too many salaateen all around. He said `inda sultaan, and who is the most tyrannical sultan you can imagine? It is not the people around you, it is your own nafs within you. That is the ‘tyrant sultan’ commanding you, ordering you. You cannot come against it, so you have to push it back and perform the best jihad, afdalu ’l-jihad, by putting this nafs within its basic limits.
من عرف نفسه فقد عرف ربه
man `arafa nafsahu faqad `arafa Rabbah.
Who knows his Self knows his Lord.
When you kill your self (ego) by killing that sultan that is ordering you, then you will be with your Lord, always receiving visions. That is why Prophet (s) said to Sahaabah (r), rajina min al-jihadi ’l-asghar ila al-jihadi ’l-akbar. “We came from the small jihad to a bigger one.” The small jihad is the fight against enemies, but being martyred is not as valuable a jihad as the jihad against your self. The Sahaabah (r) said, “What is jihad al-akbar when we have been in war?” Prophet (s) said, “To be against your own self.”
Only the Prophet (s) said, “I have ridden my shaytan and I control it.” Awliyaullah are inheriting that power from Prophet (s) but our shaytan is still controlling us, and that’s why, kalimatu `adil `inda sultanin jaa`ir, “to speak the word of truth in front of a tyrant soul” is important because then you can begin the first step into istiqaamah, which has ten steps. I am not discussing them here, but there are ten steps up to reach the real istiqaama, Siraat al-Mustaqeem.
One of them is muhaasabah, another one is at-tawbah, another one is at-tafakkur another one is at-tadhakkur, another one hubb ad-dunya. We are not going to explain them now but these are the main bad characteristics that make us run into all the other bad characteristics we face, and we counted seventeen main bad characters including jealousy and anger.
So what do we do? As Sayyidina `Ali (r) said in his famous quotation, “You have to follow four principles, if you follow them you will succeed. The first one is to be silent, “as-samt.” In the face of all that is going on around you, be silent! The second is, “as-sima`a,” to listen to what people say, because as soon as you open your mouth you fall into mistakes. It is better to keep quiet, wherever you are, even if you go to a bank to get documents, if you say one wrong word by mistake they don’t believe you, and it is the same in business and in all aspects of this life, so keep quiet and zip your mouth with a zipper!
“As-sima`a,” listen to what they are saying, as in:
إِنَّ السَّمْعَ وَالْبَصَرَ وَالْفُؤَادَ كُلُّ أُولـئِكَ كَانَ عَنْهُ مَسْؤُولاً
Inna ’s-sama`a wa’l-basara wa ’l-foo’aad wa kullu dhaalika kaan anhum ma`soola.
for every act of hearing, or of seeing or of (feeling in) the heart will be enquired into (on the Day of Reckoning). (Surat al-Israa, 17:36)
Your hearing, your seeing, and what is in your heart, in your brain, will be asked for on the Day of Judgment.
تفكر ساعة خير من عبادة سنة
That is why Prophet (s) said, Tafakkur sa`atin khayrun min `ibaadati sanatin,
To think and audit yourself for one hour, you will be rewarded more than for one whole year of worship,”
قال النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم تفكر ساعة خير من عبادة سبعين سنة
and in another hadith, it was equated to“seventy years of worship.” So we have to keep quiet and listen.
The third is to watch; first you were silent, then listening, `Ilm al-Yaqeen is listening, `Ayn al-Yaqeen is seeing, Haqq ul-Yaqeen is the movement, so the fourth element is “al-harakah,” to begin to move and take the right decision. After you were silent you listened, then you observed, and then you move. May Allah (swt) move us in the right direction.
May Allah forgive us. Astaghfirullahi ‘l-`azheem.