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The obligation upon you to have knowledge of the evil in order to avoid it – Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzan

 

The obligation upon you to have knowledge of the evil in order to avoid it

Hudhayfah ibn al Yaman (May Allah be pleased with him) said: 
“The people used to ask the Messenger of Allah (may Allah exalt his mention and grant him safety) about the good and I used to ask him about the evil, fearing it would reach me” 
Shaykh Fawzan explains:
It does not suffice that you know the good only, but it’s a must that you know the evil in order to avoid it. For indeed if you are ignorant of the evil you will fall into it. 
As it was said: “I learn the evil not for the evil (itself) but to be protected from it and whoever does not know evil from good will fall into it.” 
This is what Hudayfah intended the day he asked about the evil. Not out of love for the evil, but rather it was in order that it be made clear what he should do in that position.  
Hudayfah said: 
كنت اسأله عن الشر
“I used to ask him about the evil” 
Why? 
He said: “Fearing it would reach me” 
Then the messenger mentioned what will occur of deficiencies and differing. So Hudhayfah said to him:
“So what do you order me with if that (time) reaches me?” 
He (Prophet) said: “(I order you) that you stick to the jamaa’ah and the leader of the Muslims” 
When there occurs trials, differing and speech between people as what is occurring now, that you stick to the jamaa’ah and the leader of the Muslims, in order that you escape from this. 
So Hudayfah said:  
 
“O Messenger of Allah, so what if there is no jamaa’ah and no leader?” when there occurs differing. 
He said: leave all the sects even if you must bite/cling to the root of a tree until death reaches you while you are in that state. 
This is an evidence that a person should not enter into fitan (trials) as much as he is able to avoid it but rather he removes himself from it in any circumstances, he does not enter into it; this is safer for him and this is with one of two matters: 
1. If there is the jamaa’ah and a leader of the Muslims, then let him be with them, in order to escape from the evil and the differing. 
2. If there is no jamaa’ah and leader of the Muslims – and there no power or might except with Allah – then the solution is to avoid the people of fitna and fitnan in order to keep yourself safe even if some harm would reach you, even if you must bite to trunk of a tree until death reaches you while you are in that state.
The conclusion is that the Muslim should consider this.
Translated by Abu Anas Atif Hasan