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Ghuluw or Extremisim in Religion

May 07, 2012
Extremism in any aspect of life is deplored, be it Deen or Dunya. In our worldly lives, our businesses, our domestic affairs, our social relations, extremism is detested. No one likes a person who jokes too much, or who is too serious, or a visitor who overstays his welcome. Similarly, too much self-praise, or too much boastfulness, etc., are habits people dislike. The reason is that these are acts of extremism and exaggeration.

We can also include under this heading practices such as over-eating, over-sleeping, or doing any permitted worldly act more than necessary. Overindulgence in fulfilment of desires, or any other practice is detrimental to both physical and spiritual health.

Exaggeration is another bad habit among people. Sometimes a matter is quite straight-forward, but people make it very complicated. An event may be innocent and harmless, but through exaggeration it is blown out of proportion.

Such characteristics are harmful to our social lives, as well our spiritual lives. This brings a host of evils in its wake. Such exaggeration has been berated as lying, in the Hadith. In Deen extremism is even more serious, for reasons we will expound later on Insha-Allah.

Rasoolullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) said: “Beware of Ghuluw (extremism) in Deen, for indeed people before you have been destroyed only because of extremism in Deen.”

This Hadith makes it clear that extremism is not tolerated in Deen, and it can lead to destruction, both physical and spiritual. Bid’ah or innovation is also an excess in Deen, for it also represents transgressing the limits as defined by Allah. Allah says in The Quran: "And these are the limits of Allah, so do not transgress them."

 
In another verse Allah Ta-‘Aala issues the command to make dua, so He says: “Call unto your Lord in humility and softly. He does not love those who transgress.”

This means that even in dua we are ordered to maintain certain limits and holds. It is Sunnat when on a journey to recite the takbeer when going up a hill or incline. Once the Sahaba were returning from a jihad campaign, and as they ascended a hill, they began shouting the takbeer loudly, at the top of their voices. Nabi-e-Kareem (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) stopped them, saying: “Have mercy upon yourselves, for the One you are calling upon is not deaf nor far off.”

Here we also see the folly of some hujjaj who shout the talbiya at the top of their voices, especially in front of the Holy Ka’bah. Besides being disrespectful, this has also been declared a Bid’ah by the Ulema. In fact, in Hajj we witness a tremendous amount of guluw or extremism. For instance, stoning the jamaraat with bricks and boulders! The Shariah has never issued such a command. Sometimes shoes and umbrellas are flung, anything that people can lay their hands on. Look at the behaviour at hajar-e-aswad, as well as during the other stages of Hajj. The same can be said about excessively loud dua after faraz Salah.

Bid’ah means to invent new cus-toms or practices in Religion, which were not provided for by the Founder of that Religion, nor were such actions observed by the Khayrul-Quroon, i.e. the best generations after Rasoolullah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam). Bid’ah also means to make something unimportant important, or to make a Mustahabb (preferable) act Farz (obligatory), or to change something optional to compulsory.

Dua after Salaah is Sunnaht, and to do it collectively is, at the most, mustahabb. So if any person does not participate in such a collective dua, we have no right to condemn that person or regard him to be on falsehood.

These principles can apply to every aspect of Deen. When we transgress a limit set down by Allah, or we commit an excess or act of extremism, we are shifting towards Bid’ah. And if such an act is done deliberately and wilfully for whatever reason, it becomes an absolute innovation.

The Ahle Kitab have been prohibited from guluw. The reason is obvious when you investigate the nature of their extremism. Verse 171 of Surah Nisaa, after forbidding them from committing excesses (guluw), explains the way in which they committed excesses, i.e. by deifying Nabi Eesa (alaihis salaam). They raised him to the pedestal of Godhood, while he was only a Prophet and Servant of Allah. In order to force this Godhood of Nabi Eesa into their religion they had to invent the Doctrine of Trinity. This was the evil Bid’ah they committed.

One of the chief causes of the Christians today having an adulterated deen is the fact that were not cautious to avoid bid’ah from penetrating into their deen. Christianity bears numerous examples of such innovations. Their Christmas, Easter, Lent, Atonement and so many other practices and festivals (Continued from page 7) are either pagan-orientated customs, or were introduced by so called holy people after Nabi Eesa. Since they drifted from the true teachings of their Deen, and they failed to adhere in practice to these teachings, nor were they learned enough in their religion to be able to sift out truth from falsehood, they fell hook, line, and sinker into the trap of bid’ah. With the passing of time, slowly the entire edifice of their Divine Religion was eroded, until nothing was left but its name.

We thank Allah Ta’ala that He has arranged for the preservation of this Deen via multitudes of Ulema that came over the corridor of Islamic History. Rasoolullah said: This Knowledge of  Deen shall be borne by the righteous people of every era; they  shall ward off the interpolations  of the extremists, the fabrications of the impostors, and the wrong interpretations of the Ignorant ones (Bayhaqi)

~ taken from the Al – Farooq Newsletter ~

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