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Fitnah Types, Realities, Dangers and Means of Protectionby Shaikh Sulaymaan ibn Abdillaah Abal-Khayl

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Types, Realities, Dangers, and Means of Protection

From as far back as the beginning of creation, there has been a constant struggle between truth and falsehood. The truth has enemies – obstinate Jinns and humans – who remain staunch in harbouring hostility and malice towards it They confuse people about their religion, lead them astray, embellish lies, misrepresent realities, spread various doubts, and incite strife. As a result, right turns into wrong, bad into good, good into bad, ambiguous into conclusive, conclusive into ambiguous, deviance into guidance, guidance into deviance, unsound into wholesome and wholesome into unsound. Trials and strife contain many serious ills and pose grave dangers. When such trials approach, they grow and spread, people are affected by them, and even prudent individuals become unable to fend off the insolent during them. When such trials and strife occur, no one remains unscathed besides those whom Allaah protects.

The danger of trials and strife lies in the fact that when they approach, people do not recognize certain realities. They become confused about the distinction between truth on the one hand and falsehood on the other; as well as advocates of evils and misguidance on the one hand, and advocates of guidance and virtue on the other.

Consequently, people fall into the snares of those trials, become adversely affected by them, deviate from the teachings of their religion, fall short in various ways, and commit various mistakes. They become easy-to-manipulate tools in the hands of those who are open and hidden enemies of Islaam, and wood for the fires they ignite. Then, when the trials and strife eventually depart, that is when all people – even the ignorant – recognize what really happened.

However, it is too late to benefit from knowledge and recognition which come at that time. Huthayfah ibn al-Yamaan said, “You must beware of trials and strife, and you must not try to stand out during such circumstances. I swear by Allaah that if anyone tries to stand out during them, they will completely sweep him away just as a surging torrent sweeps away the traces of whatever lies in the path.” There is no means to being protected from those trials besides instilling within the souls of all members of society, correct beliefs and sincere devotion of all worship to Allaah alone. Additionally, individuals have to remain united with the Jamaa’ah without a leader in authority, and there can be no leader in authority without obedience to him.

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