The punishment for oppression is not very far
Abu Mas’ud al Badri’ was a companion who had witnessed Badr, and for this reason he was called Al Badri.
في “صحيح مسلم” وغيره عن أبي مسعود البدري – رضِي الله عنه – قال: “كنتُ أضرِب غلامًا لي بالسَّوط، فسمعتُ صوتًا من خلفي: ((اعلم أبا مسعود، اعلم أبا مسعود، اعلم أبا مسعود))، فلم أفهم الصوت من الغضب، فلمَّا دنا مِنِّي إذا هو رسولُ الله -صلى الله عليه وسلم- فإذا هو يقول: ((اعلم أبا مسعود، اعلم أبا مسعود))، فسقط السَّوْطُ من يدي من هَيْبَتِه، فقال: ((اعلم أبا مسعود أنَّ اللهَ أقدَرُ عليك منك على هذا الغلام))، فقلت: يا رسول الله، هو حُرٌّ لوجه الله، فقال -صلى الله عليه وسلم-: ((أمَا لو لم تفعل للفحتْك النارُ، أو لمسَّتْك النار))، فقلت: والذي بعثك بالحقِّ، لا أضرب عبدًا بعده أبدًا، فما ضربت مملوكًا لي بعد ذلك اليوم”.
(هذا الحديث مجموع من روايات أحمد والترمذي والطبراني لأصل رواية مسلم للحديث).
Abu Mas’ud Al-Badri (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated:
“I was whipping my servant, and I heard a voice behind me saying, ‘Know, Abu Mas’ud, know, Abu Mas’ud, know, Abu Mas’ud.’ I didn’t understand the voice out of anger. As he approached, behold, it was the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) saying,
‘Know, Abu Mas’ud, know, Abu Mas’ud.’ The whip fell from my hand due to fear.
He said, ‘Know, Abu Mas’ud, that Allah is more capable over you than you are over this boy.’ I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, he is a free person for the sake of Allah.’ He said, ‘If you hadn’t done that, the fire would have touched you.’ I said, ‘By Him who sent you with the truth, I will never beat a servant after that day. And I never done so.'”
(Compiled from some narrations of Ahmad, At-Tirmidhi, and At-Tabarani as the original narration is in Sahih Muslim)
Abu Mas’ud realised that he had made a mistake, and he freed his servant straightaway. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) commented that if he had not done this, he would have been touched by hellfire. Then Abu Mas’ud swore an oath, saying “By Allah I will never beat any of my servants as long as I am alive.” And he did keep his word, as he himself said this.
In this hadith, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) is guiding us that when we are in a position of power, we can do whatever we want, however we should be bound by the Shariah. The more you go beyond its boundaries, the further you will descend in hellfire. Therefore the Prophet (peace be upon him) taught us how to control our actions, and to be just and fair. Otherwise we become oppressors.
Indeed there are plenty of verses in the Quran which talk about the punishment of oppressors, such as the story of Fir’aun and his army who were swallowed by the Red Sea because of their oppression.
وَٱسۡتَكۡبَرَ هُوَ وَجُنُودُهُۥ فِی ٱلۡأَرۡضِ بِغَیۡرِ ٱلۡحَقِّ وَظَنُّوۤا۟ أَنَّهُمۡ إِلَیۡنَا لَا یُرۡجَعُونَ
(Thus) he and his hosts showed arrogance in the land with no justification and thought that they would not be returned to Us. Al-Qaṣaṣ, Ayah 39
فَأَخَذۡنَـٰهُ وَجُنُودَهُۥ فَنَبَذۡنَـٰهُمۡ فِی ٱلۡیَمِّۖ فَٱنظُرۡ كَیۡفَ كَانَ عَـٰقِبَةُ ٱلظَّـٰلِمِینَ
So We seized him and his hosts and threw them into the sea. Look then, how was the fate of the wrongdoers. Al-Qaṣaṣ, Ayah 40
فَأَهۡلَكۡنَاۤ أَشَدَّ مِنۡهُم بطشاً وَمَضَىٰ مَثَلُ ٱلۡأَوَّلِینَ
So We have destroyed those who were stronger than these (people of Makkah) in power, and the example of the earlier people has already passed. Az-Zukhruf, 43:8
وَكَمۡ أَهۡلَكۡنَا قَبۡلَهُم مِّن قَرۡنٍ هُمۡ أَشَدُّ مِنۡهُم بطشاً فَنَقَّبُوا۟ فِی ٱلۡبِلَـٰدِ هَلۡ مِن مَّحِیصٍ
And how many a generation We have destroyed before them who were stronger than these in their grip on power, and they searched out the cities. Was there any place (for them) to escape? Qāf, Ayah 36
في سورة البروج عندما تحدث الله تعالى عن أصحاب الأخدود قال:
إِنَّ ٱلَّذِینَ فَتَنُوا۟ ٱلۡمُؤۡمِنِینَ وَٱلۡمُؤۡمِنَـٰتِ ثُمَّ لَمۡ یَتُوبُوا۟ فَلَهُمۡ عَذَابُ جَهَنَّمَ وَلَهُمۡ عَذَابُ ٱلۡحَرِیقِ
In Surat Al Buruj when Allah talks about the people of the trenche He said:
Surely, those who persecuted the believing men and the believing women, then did not repent, – for them there is the torment of Jahannam (Hell), and for them there is the torment of burning. Al-Burūj, Ayah 10
إِنَّ ٱلَّذِینَ ءَامَنُوا۟ وَعَمِلُوا۟ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَـٰتِ لَهُمۡ جَنَّـٰتࣱ تَجۡرِی مِن تَحۡتِهَا ٱلۡأَنۡهَـٰرُۚ ذَ ٰلِكَ ٱلۡفَوۡزُ ٱلۡكَبِیرُ
As for those who believed and did righteous deeds, for them there are gardens beneath which rivers flow. That is the big achievement. Al-Burūj, Ayah 11
إِنَّ بَطۡشَ رَبِّكَ لَشَدِیدٌ
The seizure of your Lord is severe indeed! Al-Burūj, Ayah 12
وَكَأَیِّن مِّن قَرۡیَةٍ هِیَ أَشَدُّ قُوَّةࣰ مِّن قَرۡیَتِكَ ٱلَّتِیۤ أَخۡرَجَتۡكَ أَهۡلَكۡنَـٰهُمۡ فَلَا نَاصِرَ لَهُمۡ
How many a town, stronger in might than your town that has expelled you, have We destroyed! Then, there was none to help them. Muḥammad, Ayah 13
The one who doesn’t care about anything because he can do whatever he wants is another Fir’aun, whom Allah Almighty has mentioned 70 times in the Quran in 28 surahs because the world is filled with Fir’auns. He is not a one off. We still have Fir’auns with different names.
We have new pharaohs who think there’s nothing above them, who think they are above everything – International law and Human Rights. However no one is above Allah. And when Fir’aun declared “I am your highest lord” Allah Almighty did seize Fir’aun and bring his domination to an end, along with those who had supported him, applauded him, and formed his inner circle. It is a promise from Allah Almighty that he will not let anyone get away with oppression. We see this in Surat An Naziat:
فَقَالَ أَنَا۠ رَبُّكُمُ ٱلۡأَعۡلَىٰ
and said, “I am your supreme lord.” An-Nāziʿāt, Ayah 24
فَأَخَذَهُ ٱللَّهُ نَكَالَ ٱلۡـَٔاخِرَةِ وَٱلۡأُولَىٰۤ
So, Allah seized him for an exemplary punishment in the Hereafter and the present world. An-Nāziʿāt, Ayah 25
إِنَّ فِی ذَ ٰلِكَ لَعِبۡرَةࣰ لِّمَن یَخۡشَىٰۤ
Indeed, there is a lesson for him who fears (Allah). An-Nāziʿāt, Ayah 26
It is at the peak of their command that Allah Almighty seizes the perpetrators of oppression, especially oppressive rulers and authorities. They do not remain in power forever. This is a promise from the Prophet (peace be upon him). It is the beginning of the end of those who claim that nothing can stop them.
Ibn Mas’oud (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said:
وقد قال – صلى الله عليه وسلم -: ((إنَّ الله لا يُقَدِّس أمَّة لا يُعطُون الضعيف منهم حقَّه))؛ (أخرجه الطبراني من حديث ابن مسعود، وصحَّحه الألباني في “صحيح الجامع”،
“Allah does not sanctify a nation that does not give the weak among them their due rights”. (Tabarani)
The Prophet (peace be upon him) told us how powerful the dua of the oppressed is. The supplication of the oppressed is lifted above the clouds and the gates of Jannah will be open widely for these supplications, and Allah Almighty himself will say, “By My might, I will respond to you, even if takes some time.”
Abu Huraira (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that Allah’ Messenger said,
وَعَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: ” ثَلَاثَةٌ لَا تُرَدُّ دَعْوَتُهُمْ: الصَّائِمُ حِينَ يُفْطِرُ، وَالْإِمَامُ الْعَادِلُ، وَدَعْوَةُ الْمَظْلُومِ: يَرْفَعُهَا اللَّهُ فَوْقَ الْغَمَامِ، وَتُفْتَحُ لَهَا أَبْوَابُ السَّمَاءِ، وَيَقُولُ الرَّبُّ: وَعِزَّتِي لَأَنْصُرَنَّكِ وَلَوْ بعد حِين “. رَوَاهُ التِّرْمِذِيّ
“There are three whose supplication is not rejected:
The one who has just ended a fast, a just imam, and one who has been wronged whose supplication is raised by God above the clouds and for which the gates of heaven are opened. The Lord says, ‘I swear by my might that I will certainly help you, though it be after some time’.” (Tirmidhi)
We believe in the promise of Allah Almighty, and we believe in the promise of the Prophet (peace be upon him).
Allah Almighty is promising us that all the supplications of the oppressed, especially for our brothers and sisters in Gaza and Palestine are answered supplications. Allah Almighty will not allow their oppressors to escape justice.
It’s a matter of time. When we become much closer to Allah Almighty, more united, stronger, and better prepared, then Allah Almighty will give us what we are after. But having hollow hopes without standing up for them in the permissible ways we can, will not produce anything but a vacuum.
The calamities which we are suffering are acutely painful, but this is the pain before the labour. Inshallah a new dawn will start for our Ummah, and this will help us to be a better Ummah, inshallah.
Foundations are tested to see how much load they can bear by conducting a stress test. Banks and companies also carry out a stress test, to see how they operate in difficulties. Our Ummah is now experiencing a stress test, to reveal how we function. Are we up to the challenge? Do we really deserve to be given victory or not? Not yet. But inshallah we will. Allah is shaking us, and helping the Ummah, preparing the Ummah to reach the second level. We have been very relaxed on the ground floor, but Allah Almighty wants us to go to the first, second, fourth floor, tenth floor. To get there we need to pass different exams and tests, and this is one of them. It is these tests which will allow us to break the ceiling and go beyond.
May Allah Almighty give relief to all those suffering oppression around the world. Ameen
Based on the Khutbah of Shaykh Haytham Tamim 1st Dec 2023
Transcribed by Zayna Sheikh
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