Decree whatever you wish to Decree
When they saw the miracle of Musa’s staff, the magicians of the Pharaoh unanimously believed. Indifferent to what followed of Pharaoh’s threats, they exclaimed:
“…So decree whatever you wish to decree, for you can only decree (regarding) this life of the world.”
In Egypt, the tyrant then is the tyrant today, Egypt is Egypt and we repeat it in unanimity; “decree, whatever you desire to decree”, ‘Judge’, ‘Court’, ‘Grand Mufti’ whoever dared to decree death for those who wanted to effect change in an Ummah that has been crippled under oppressive regimes, tyrants and Islam’s adversaries in every sense.
On the 16th of June, President Mohammad Morsi’s death sentence by hanging was confirmed, as was the case for the Muslim Brotherhood’s Guide, Mohammed Badie and tens of others including Rashad al-Bayoumi, Saad Katatni (the former Head of the People’s Assembly), Essam el-Erian and the Head of the International Union for Muslim Scholars Yusuf al-Qaradawi. These ludicrous sentences made sure to comprise already passed away victims, including five Palestinian martyrs who were killed in previous Gaza wars such as Raed Attar, as well as other prisoners in Israeli jails, condemned many years ago such as Hassan Salameh and scores of other protagonists.
When the Pharaoh thought that his malice would win, he was trounced. Such are the oppressors, miserable losers, in every way conceivable, both in this life and the hereafter. Below we mention why this is.
Successes of the Oppressed
Was it not Yunus ‘alayhi al-Salām’s message that reached and resonated across the far corners of Nineveh after he had departed his people, for him to find his nation having believed entirely? A man who lives for a cause and message thinks beyond his own person, not really caring if he, as the flag bearer is killed, so long as the message is delivered. The ‘Companions of the Ditch’ all believed in the young boy’s message, only after he was killed in its pursuit.
A leader who lives and strives for a cause is naturally victim to the continuous difficulty and affliction that ensues. Years of persecution and torture, in tandem with increasing faith and resolution are two components that cause an individual to long for the company of his Lord. Through his demise as a martyr, he is saved from the shackles of the worldly life, its distresses, toils and misfortunes and seldom will he miss such a climate. This may be why the companion ‘Abdullāh b. Rawāhah rady Allāhu ‘anhu, in the thick of clobbering maces and clubbing swords sang his notorious couplets:
“I swear upon you O myself that you will descend (your mount), by force or by your own will, even if the people gather and yelling intensifies… why is it that I see you hating Paradise?”
A righteous man or woman, killed upon a good cause is recognised as a martyr. The collective testimony of righteous believers to that effect is a serious matter that should not be overlooked. The Prophet salla Allāhu ‘alayhi wasallam said to his companions:
“He whom you praised in good terms, Paradise has become certain for him, and he whom you condemned in bad words, Hell has become certain for him. You are Allāh’s witnesses in the earth, you are Allāh’s witnesses in the earth, you are Allāh’s witnesses in the earth.”
Among the worldly successes of the oppressed believer is that nothing bars his supplication. As history attests, this is in particular at the moment of his demise at the hands of his opponents. When Khubaib ibn ‘Ady was mutilated by the people of Quraish, it was only moments after he uttered “O Allāh gather them one by one, kill them one by one and leave of them not a single one” that they lunged to the ground, hoping that his piercing arrow of a du’ā would somehow fly over their heads. As for “the supplication of the oppressed person; Allāh raises it up above the clouds and opens the gates of heaven to it. And the Lord says: ‘By My might, I shall surely aid you, even if it should be after a while.’” With this, a heavily trialled believer is most similar in resemblance to a Prophet, he salla Allāhu ‘alayhi wasallam said: “The Prophets [are tried the most], then those nearest to them, then those nearest to them. A man is tried according to his dīn…”
Worldly successes are dwarfed by what Allāh has prepared in the afterlife. As the oppressed believer marches through the plane of resurrection, flying, or riding, dumping the weight of his sins onto his foe, “who is jeering today?” Their moments in the dark, dreary dungeons, will be replaced with everlasting palaces and gardens of delight, while they glimpse the once tyrant standing to hear the verdict in the Court of Allāh, “They will come forth, with humbled eyes…”, the angels; the Prosecutors, his limbs, his witnesses and Allāh the Judge. This is the final decree, and the sweetest retribution. The companion of the Prophet salla Allāhu ‘alayhi wasallam, Haram ibn Milhān, only declared “I have won by the Lord of the Ka’bah!” after the spear was lunged into his body whilst on his journey to teach the Qur’ān. The believer of Yā Sīn, ‘Habīb al-Najjār’ saw nothing of a ‘worldly positive result’, but was promised Paradise at the instant he was martyred.
It was a sentence to ‘death’ in your court, but to martyrdom in Allāh’s, and as such not something we would despise, as the Messenger of Allāh salla Allāhu ‘alayhi wasallam said: “There are six things with Allāh for the martyr. He is forgiven with the first flow of blood (he suffers), he is shown his place in Paradise, he is protected from punishment in the grave, secured from the greatest terror, the crown of dignity is placed upon his head – and its gems are better than the world and what is in it – he is married to seventy two wives among al-Hūr al-‘Ayn of Paradise, and he may intercede for seventy of his close relatives.”
Catastrophes of the Oppressor
The Prophet salla Allāhu ‘alayhi wasallam lists two evils that draw catastrophe in this world before the next: “tyranny and disobeying the parents.” History is replete with how killing unjustly brought upon the perpetrator paralysing distress, or haunting doom and gloom. In other terms; crippling depression. The Prophet Mūsā ‘alayhi al-Salām, despite killing the Egyptian by utter mistake is reminded of the grace of Allāh: “Then you did kill a man, but We saved you from great distress…” The outer display of contentment should not intimidate us, because each oppressor is swimming in the depths of his own misery, maybe at the loss of a heart, or in anticipation of impending retribution from Allāh; the Prophet salla Allāhu ‘alayhi wasallam said: “Allāh Blessed and Most High gives respite to the wrong-doer until, when He seizes him, and he cannot escape.”
Hajjāj b. Yūsuf, the Amīr of Kūfa during the Caliphate of ‘Abdul-Malik b. Marwān is most notoriously known for his tyranny, some claiming he killed tens of thousands of his opponents. The last of whom was the famous second generation scholar, Sa’īd b. Jubair for his siding with Hajjāj’s bitter opponent, ‘Abdullāh b. Zubair. On summoning Sa’īd during Ramadān, Hājjaj ordered that his neck is struck. Soon after would this haunt Hajjāj in every avenue of whatever miserable life Hajjāj lived thereafter. Hajjāj would see Sa’īd in his every dream, grabbing him by his cloak and uttering: “enemy of Allāh, why did you kill me?!” For forty days this persisted, until Hajjāj died, uttering and repeating “what is the matter with me and Sa’īd b. Jubair?!”
Have you ever seen an oppressor that is not cursed and slandered by the tongues of thousands? Here we recall the “#vote for the Pimp” hash tag during Sisi’s ‘presidential campaign’ that attracted over 100 million impressions after only days of its creation.
An oppressive tyrant is downtrodden in the eyes of most. Recall the demise of late tyrants, some pulled out of rat holes, others fleeing in a Niqāb (ironically banned during his reign), others burnt at the stake, and some still waiting. Then to top their worldly catastrophe, their lasting legacy is dumped into the dustbins of history, as will be the case with these ‘judges’. It is funny how only recently Former Egyptian Justice Minister, Mahfouz Saber declared that a “judge must hail from an appropriate environment (social class)…thanks are due to cleaners…but there are other jobs that they can take.” Not to worry Mr Saber, dustbin men need not become ‘judges’ in Egypt for its politicised judiciary to be thrown in the dustbins of history. There is plenty of space in the pit holes of history for oppressors to be remembered.
As for the hereafter, for it is a day when the hornless goat will settle matters with its horned enemy that once butted it in the Dunyā. It is when the one killed without justice will drag his killer before the throne of Allāh: “Allāh, ask this slave of yours why he killed me.” Look at the miserable oppressor, as he meets his riffraff, drafts resolutions and eradicates voices of reason. “Does he think that none can overcome him?” How gloomy are their smiles when they wave to mobs of cheering fools, forgetting that they will pulled ahead again tomorrow, shackled by their necks, “hastening forward with necks outstretched, their heads raised up, their gaze returning not towards them…their garments will be of tar, and fire will cover their faces.”
The Prophet salla Allāhu ‘alayhi wasallam said:
“Judges are three: Two judges that are in the Fire, and a judge that is in Paradise. A man who judges without the truth, and he knows that. This one is in the Fire. One who judges while not knowing, ruining the rights of the people. So he is in the Fire. A judge who judges with the truth, that is the one in Paradise.”
We, the witnesses are between the opportunity of success or failure. Do not see yourself as a sideliner or render your impact futile. A believer succeeds when injustices lead to strength, resolve and realisation of the reality of this Dunyā; depleting and worthless in and of itself. Muslims are united against causes of clear injustice. Rarely has there been more support for Islamic political movements, and such sentiments are driven by the sight of leaders cramped in cells, not ransomed with more ‘perishable’ followers but rather at the forefront in their sacrifice. The honest among us from the dishonest are deciphered, the righteous are separated from the hypocrites and the pure from the filth. It is our opportunity to say to the tyrant: “you tyrant!” and our moment to partake in defending the sanctity of Islām and the honour of the believers. So let the gloaters gloat, and chase their sleep if ever they get any, and again “decree whatever you desire to decree, for you can only decree (regarding) this life of the world.”
 Qur’ān 20:72
 Qur’ān 37:147
 Sirah ibn Hisham
 Sahīh Muslim on the authority of Anas ibn Malik
 Ibn Ishaq
 Hasan Jami’ at-Tirmidhi on the authority of Abu Hurairah
 Hasan Jami’ at-Tirmidhi on the authority of Mus’ab bin Sa’d
 Qur’ān 54:7
 From narration of Bukhari and Muslim on the authority of Anas ibn Malik
 Qur’ān 36:26
 Hasan Sahīh, Jami’ al Tirmithy on the authority of al-Miqdam bin Ma’diykarib.
 Mentioned in al Adab al Mufrad, classed Sahīh
 Qur’ān 20:40
 Sahīh, Jami’ al Tirmithy on the authority of Abu Musa
 Al Bidaya wan Nihaya – Ibn Kathir
 Sahīh Muslim on the authority of Abu Hurairah
 Ahmad on the authority of Ibn ‘Abbas
 Qur’ān 90:5
 Qur’ān 43 and 50 from chapter 14
 Sahīh Sunan Abi Dawud on the authority of Ibn Buraidah
 Qur’ān 20:72