In the name of Allah, Most Beneficent, Most Merciful.
Taqwa is the concern within one to refrain from what is displeasing to Allah and preserve what is pleasing to Him. It manifests itself upon our limbs, but it begins from the heart. This article series is based upon Shaykh Faraz Rabbani’s course “The Path of Muhammad: Birgivi’s Manual of Taqwa Explained,” which provides an overview of what Muslims must concern themselves with when seeking the attainment of taqwa. This article is the ninth of it’s series, and will focus on the second cause of non-belief (kufr); rejection and refusal.
The Three Causes of Non-belief (kufr):
- Ignorance (covered in the previous article)
- Rejection and Refusal (three causes)
- Love of Worldly Leadership
- Fear of Censorship
- Legal Disbelief
Rejection and Refusal
Rejection and refusal is non-acceptance of truth, but unlike ignorance, it is due to a reason. It occurs when someone refuses to accept Islam because of their arrogance, love of leadership, or fear of censorship.
Arrogance is what caused the rejection and disbelief of Iblis, Pharaoh, and Bani Isra’il.
“Then we sent Musa and his brother Harun with Our signs and a compelling proof to the Pharaoh and his chiefs, but they behaved arrogantly and were a tyrannical people. They argued, ‘Will we believe in two humans, like ourselves, whose people are slaves to us?’ So they rejected them both and [thus] were among those destroyed.” (Quran 3:45-48)
This verse shows that Bani Isra’il knew that what Sayyiduna Musa (peace be upon him) came with was correct, yet their arrogance didn’t allow them to accept. It is manifest wrongdoing; they were wrong concerning themselves and what the truth entails.
Arrogance is a blameworthy trait with an entire section devoted to it by Imam Birgivi and will be covered extensively in future articles.
Love of Worldly Leadership
The second cause of the rejection of truth is fear of not attaining—or losing—leadership. Leadership can also entail status, recognition, approval, or eminence. Love of worldly leadership is also the third of the sixty blameworthy traits of the heart.
This is the disbelief of Hiraql, the emperor of Rome. When he heard about the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), he knew it was the truth. Yet, the fear of losing his position caused him to reject the truth.
Love of worldly leadership, status, and prominence is the king of hearts. It overcomes, controls, and rules the hearts of men. People seek it out of the desire for security as if somehow notoriety and popularity will make their root problems disappear. Instead, it leads them to complete servitude of people—where they perpetually jump through hoops to stay relevant and please people. It’s what causes people to get fancy cars and wear fancy things.
This is why being a slave to Allah Most High is the ultimate freedom. It leads you to disregard what people say, do or think about you. You don’t fear anything nor place your hopes in other people’s hands, for Allah is Sufficient—the One locus of attachment.
Ka’b ibn Malik reported that the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Two wolves roaming freely among a flock of sheep are less destructive to them than the avidness of a man for wealth and fame is to his religion.” [Tirmidhi]
Khadimi said that avidness for wealth and status, prestige, fame, and honor is the most significant cause for harm in religion.
It is said that it is sufficient evil for a person that someone points the finger at them—except the one who Allah Most High protects. What of the ones who go out of their way to be known?
It is narrated that the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Your love of something might render you blind and deaf.” [Abu Dawud]
Love of leadership, praise, status, and prominence can lead the person to blindness and deafness to Truth. Their temptations can ensnare someone so thoroughly that it can prevent them from acknowledging the ultimate purpose of life: pleasing Allah.
[Shaykh] Faraz Rabbani
You can sign-up to this course here, our offerings are always free of charge: The Path of Muhammad: Birgivi’s Manual of Taqwa Explained
Shaykh Faraz Rabbani spent ten years studying with some of the leading scholars of recent times, first in Damascus, and then in Amman, Jordan. His teachers include the foremost theologian of recent times in Damascus, the late Shaykh Adib al-Kallas (may Allah have mercy on him), as well as his student Shaykh Hassan al-Hindi, one of the leading Hanafi fuqaha of the present age. He returned to Canada in 2007, where he founded SeekersGuidance in order to meet the urgent need to spread Islamic knowledge–both online and on the ground–in a reliable, relevant, inspiring, and accessible manner. He is the author of: Absolute Essentials of Islam: Faith, Prayer, and the Path of Salvation According to the Hanafi School (White Thread Press, 2004.) Since 2011, Shaykh Faraz has been named one of the 500 most influential Muslims by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center.