Renewal of “Deen” and Iman (Faith)/Hadith (7)
Renewal of “Deen” and Iman (Faith)؛ Hadith (7)/ محمد لهلال
Renewal of “Deen” and Iman (Faith)
On the authority of Abu-Huraira, God be pleased with him, the Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him, says: “God raises for this [Muslim) community at the beginning of every century who will renew “Deen” for it”, narrated by Abu Daoud.
Meanings and Lessons
- This hadith shows how God, Exalted is He, bestows his mercy upon this Umma. Whenever the Umma is in a state of degradation, and Muslims’ faith wanes, God raises from within the Umma who will revive it and recover its role of leadership to convey the message of God to humanity.
- Renewal of “Deen” (I use the term “Deen” instead of religion because this latter carries denotations related to the current Christian faith and the secular tendency) does not entail the change of what is constant in Islamic faith and law. The rulings of the Qur’an and Sunnah are eternally immutable. Modernity advocates tend to put into question the fundamentals of Islam and want to adjust Islam to modernity credo, by adopting temporal methods imported from philosophers to interpret the Qur’an and cast doubt on the Islamic precepts.
- Renewal of “Deen” entails the revival of the faith-based motivations through balanced education so that the Muslim individual and the collective Muslims would undertake the huge project of renaissance and brave obstacles.
- This hadith does not specify the “who” entrusted with the mission of renewal, so the matter is left for the assessment of scholars. It could be one person as was the case for ‘Umar Ibn Abdel’aziz in the first hijri century, or it could be a group of believers. It could also be renewal in a specific domain of Islamic law by an eminent scholar who wins the acceptance of a large portion of the Umma who are impacted by his Ijtihad (independent reasoning).
- Renewal of “Deen” is intimately connected with renewal of Iman (faith), Imam Ahmad narrated that the Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him, says: “Iman (faith) wears out in heart like the cloth when it wears out, so renew your faith”. In another hadith narrated by Imam Ahamad and Attabarani, on the authority of Abu-Huraira, the Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him, says: “Renew your faith”. It is said: “O Messenger of God, how shall we renew our faith?” he says: “say in abundance La Ilaha Illa Allah (There is no god, but One God)”. This is an efficient Prophetic prescription to cure the weakness and corrosion of faith in heart.
- As a reminder, “Deen” encompasses the three major ranks mentioned in the famous hadith of Jibreel when he came in a human shape to teach the companions and of course teach us that “Deen” is Islam, Iman and Therefore, to meet the full requirements of “Deen”, we have to climb the ascent and brave the obstacles to reach the higher ranks of faith to win the pleasure of God, Exalted is He. And remembrance of God by saying repeatedly and in abundance La Ilaha Illa Allah is one way to promote the motivations so one can engage in righteous deeds individually and collectively.
- It remains to say that renewal of “Deen” is associated with Ijtihad (independent reasoning), and Ijtihad should explore the Prophetic method in redressing the underlying predicaments the Umma is facing in our modern age at the educational, political, social and economic levels. Unless we discover and adopt the comprehensive Prophetic method and get inspired by the understanding and will of the eminent companions, we will continue to deal with Islamic renaissance in generalities and noble sentiments. The parameters set by the first successful era of Prophethood and the rightly-guided Caliphate are mainly as-Shura, justice and Ihsan. Without rebuilding on these pillars, Muslim community is unlikely to recover leadership, dignity and morality to convey the message of salvation to the world.