“I’ve seen your face before”
(Quoted from a dialogue with the Dajjāl some years from now)
The Dajjāl, with his single eye, has a one-dimensional vision of life.
The duality which is inherent in human existence, in the cosmic condition of man suspended between this tangible lower life and the intangible Eden he has descended from and hankers for, has been resolved in favour of immortalizing this earthly transit.
Whereas in the past, this co-existent dual pull was vividly felt in every human society, currently man has come to “replace” God as the sole recognized reference point in the universe.
This is where the kāfir world, driven and dominated by the post-religion Rūm, has been tending to through the last centuries; the Dajjāl will be the maximum culmination of that.
Revealed Law had long been discarded in favour of pragmatic human ingenuity.
This secular genius has produced a worldwide nexus of system controls, all the guidelines and details of which it has meticulously legislated.
Born in the decadent milieu of the Rūm, there isn’t a single continent, region or country which has not appropriated it as the hub of its anthropological model.
The entire globe of individuals and communities, across barriers of ethnicity or creed, is enmeshed in it.
Technologically, the elemental ingredients of the system are compacted by the spider’s web of virtuality.
Financially, the anachronistic Divine fashioning of gold and silver is replaced by man’s clever formation of apparent money nourished by the selfsame web.
Hegel theorized the cardinal concepts of absolute idealism, and the hegemonic elements among the Rūm translated his systemic notion into action. As Foucault concisely put it, contemporary philosophers might be “doomed to find Hegel waiting patiently at the end of whatever road” is travelled.
While a Kierkegaard might have asked himself what place was there, in the perfect system Hegel’s mind fertilized, for him, for a single person with his unique identity and his unique quest for the Absolute, few people engage nowadays in such soul-searching: they are preoccupied to hang onto a raft in the middle of their existential shipwreck purely for the sake of day-to-day survival, as any microbial organism would do.
The old debt which, according to Revealed Scriptures and indigenous intuitions of man-in-fitrah, was owed to a Creator has been written off:
There is no Creator, since this marvellous world was exploded into being from the mists of non-existence by the same random chance governing every Babylon Lottery rhapsodized by sceptical Borges from London to Buenos Aires.
There is no Afterlife.
We will turn back into ashes.
Alternatively, we will be reincarnated and journey in some parallel galaxies forever.
If there is a Hereafter, men will be hoisted unto Paradise, if not all of them, surely the vast majority. The only people excluded will be a few exceptional incarnations of evil such as Hitler, or George Bush if you are anti-imperialist in an old-fashioned sense.
Science, which is the central phenomenon of man worshipping himself, is guiding man to a progressive perfection of life on earth.
It might eradicate sicknesses and allow man to enjoy his earthly stay or sequence of infinite stays in the most complete manner.
It might discover the elixir of eternity.
It is busy recreating the universe, by operating on the genes, by cloning, by
massive interventionism, in order to rectify the “errors” and “inadequacies” of primordial creation: If need be, the old “Deity” might be resurrected to place the blame on Him, alternatively the censure might attach to the random chance which one day conspired to engender this world at some stage of the evolutionary journey.
In any event, man is bravely tackling inherited chaos and injecting order into it, to chisel out a better sculpture for the enlightened members of his race.
The Dajjāl resurrecting the dead from the living will be the supreme master of self-generation by humans, the apex of this Frankenstein science, the best hope for an endless dunyā.
Everything which was associated with absolute values is eroded by relativism; while man is being shifted from relativity to the absolute value.
As a Christian theologian pointedly observed, even God no longer makes sense, given that He has bequeathed to us a mixture of chaos and logos where the unsettling existence of evil can no longer be accepted. If this life was meant to be the life, God was not at all fair in mingling evil with good. It followed, the said theologian openly asserted, that God, too, was a relative value, and that the only absolute value was “love”. Man loving another human (better still if he belonged to the same sex): That was the only legitimate divinity.
What is unsettling is the idea that one’s will has to give way to His; that one should submit to His judgment or prefer His choice.
The anthropomorphic tendencies, so intrinsic to the Judeo-Christian contamination of Abrahamic tawhīd with multifarious paganism, have thus reached full circle.
Humanism is therefore the doctrine and the project; above religions and suitable for the standardized inhabitants of globalization: Liberty, equality and fraternity for all.
Humanism presupposes the transcendence of any essential distinguishers between man and man.
Islam, which centralizes Allah (and that is “turning the clock back” from a humanist viewpoint) as it consists in submission to Him, advocates a fundamental and invariable differentiation: Between īmān and kufr.
There is an impenetrable barrier between those two seas. They come into contact with one another, as mutually adjacent realities, but neither sea transgresses onto the other. Neither sea breaches the barrier and indiscriminately blends the waters from either side of it.
That would be zulm, and Islam is hostile to zulm.
The Law is separation (farq), and the rightly guided Caliph ‘Umar is al-Fārūq.
One can immediately anticipate the obvious entry point of deviancy paving the way for humanism within the mainstream of the ummah: The Reality (al-Haqīqah) is gatheredness (jam`), so the call to drop the primary differentiation between mu’min and kāfir would be based on a well-packaged Sufism disconnected from the Law and from classical belief (‘aqīdah). The Reality is sweet and the Law is salty, so the removal of the barrier would be appealing to the palate of large numbers of Muslims.
Allah says in the Qur’ān: «Had Allah willed, He would have made you a single nation (ummah wāhidah)» (Sūrah al-Mā’idah: 48).
Allah, in His wisdom, willed it not.
He willed a duality of opposites, so He sent the Prophets: «Mankind was a single nation (ummah wāhidah). Then Allah sent out Prophets bringing good news and giving warning» (Sūrah al-Baqarah: 213). Good news is latched together with warnings.
Peddlers of humanism within the ummah had to negotiate that obstacle and create the illusion of a humanity converted into one amorphous and indistinguishable nation.
Perennial Philosophy or Perennialism is a perspective which views each of the world’s religious traditions as sharing a single, universal truth, on the foundation of which all religious knowledge and doctrine has allegedly grown: Islam is just one radius among the various acceptable radiuses convoying the searcher from any exoteric point in the circumference to the unifying esoteric point at the centre.
Perennialism converted all those Muslims it could realistically reach.
It was never meant for other than sophisticated elites.
Sorcerers pulling believers towards humanism could not have used crude methods of conversion. A Muslim could not have been innately inclined to drop the partition between belief and unbelief. Something more skilful, more astute and circuitous had to be excogitated.
In this writing, we are focusing purely on the Muslims living in Rūm-dominated countries, although the phenomenon is a planetary one.
When I was in old Fez recently, a well-read young man in his 30’s, a Muslim of affable manners, had an evening discussion with me outside the main gate of a hotel. He told me that each one of Muslims, Jews and Christians envisioned their coreligionists entering Paradise to the exclusion of members of the other two nations. The claims of all of them, he added, should be cross-validated: Paradise was thus their common destination, and nothing was ultimately standing but “l’humanisme”, as he put it in French.
In truth, why should one leave shamanists or animists out of this generalization of Bliss?
The sorcerers had to agitate inside the “traditionalist” camp, and had to be respectable figures hovering at its top:
• Espousal of “tradition”
• With allegiance to a madhhab
• Lip service to orthodox doctrine
• Sufi teachings reinstated in contraposition to “Salafi” dryness.
When we embraced Islam, we had witnessed a similar cycle of thesis, antithesis and synthesis:
• Sub-continental orthodoxy
• Gleeful endorsement of “Islamic” finance on both sides, de-activation of transactional justice, and dilution of the totality of Islam.
Now we had:
• “Salafi” aridity and rigidity
• Neo-traditionalism (accepting the reality of a madhhab, paying lip service to orthodox doctrine, and authentication of Sufism as the science of the third station of the Dīn = Ihsān)
• “Moderate” or “progressive” Islam = Declared minimalism.
Muslims in North America, Europe, Oceania and other similar realities live among kuffār and as fellow citizens of the latter’s historical lands: For the first time, they are entrenched residents outside the Abode of Islam without any plan to migrate to an Islamic polity. “Separation”, even in a visible sense, is making way for indiscriminate diffusion.
They daily interact with them on a close basis: They school together since they are children if not infants; they work with and under them; they live with them and among them, they travel with them, holiday with them and entertain themselves with them.
For those entering the Dīn, they are also parents, siblings, family and relatives.
The ground was fertile to stir up a basic human tendency: To “save” fellow creatures playing a significant role in one’s own lives from the possible misery of eternal chastisement.
If I could not make them enter Islam, which would be the preferable solution removing any contradiction or the discomfort of any ambivalent feeling at source, since the universality of belief was only destined for the second appearance of ‘Īsā, peace upon him, I could at least persuade myself that mankind, just as it was one mankind, was likewise a single undivided nation.
“We have to correct the Divine error of willing eternal punishment” (echoing the post-Christian “we have to correct the Divine error of evil in creation”), especially the eternal punishment of our blood relations, university mates, favourite stars, neighbours or work colleagues, and yes, those ugly humanists who make propaganda against Islam (of course: it is the last surviving bastion against the hordes of humanism breaking through) and who we would love to accept us as equals among equals.
Human will saved the day by substituting for His.
Two motions thus met at a point of confluence:
• The demand for an undifferentiated nation of humans
• The offer by false guides of doctrinal support for that stance.
The initiators of evil practices will receive double punishment without that subtracting any iota from the deserved punishment of those lured into following their evil; and on this note we liquidate the age-old discussion as to whether the egg came first or the chicken.
The Prophet, Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa-Sallam, has warned us that “truth will appear entangled” to inner eyes in this age. Sihr, magic, comes from the linguistic root of a reality containing a constituent element of an opposite reality (end of the night – beginning of daytime) and thus deceitfully appearing as if it were the latter to untrained and entranced eyes.
A waiting crowd of Muslims in “the West” was accordingly gifted a wrapped up packet with a doctrinal delicacy confectioned by self-styled chefs of tradition:
The kāfir was simply a non-believer.
Exactly as in the case of their fellow humanists in the post-Christian world, it became impossible to delineate a consistent profile of who was then foreordained for Jahannam: Perhaps Obama if he embroiled the “free world” in the umpteenth unjust conflict, surely the President of Israel, and a few other men here and there.
In essence, both Muslims and non-believers were earmarked for entry in the Garden, and in a sense it was much easier for non-believers, since they were going to share the privileges of residence in the Garden of Delights without needing the conditional purification of taklīf or accountability to the Law. You could screw women or transvestites, champion the legitimacy of usury, drown your misery in intoxicants and then, voilà, don the best clothes by the entrance gate of the Garden: A cosmological case of rewarded bread-buttering on both sides.
The remarkable thing, which tells us in no uncertain terms that we have gone far in the plunge to the bottom preceding the emergence of the Dajjāl, is that plentiful dedicated and talented Muslims accepted the gift.
The vendor is sold with the product. Once the guru is embraced with wholehearted allegiance, immunity to product manipulation dwindles.
The other remarkable thing is how marginal the effort to market it to them was: Since there was fertile emotional soil already, as we stressed, all it required was to tell those prospective purchasers that, according to Imām al-Ghazālī (who never lived in an age like ours, and who would have never subscribed to this deviancy had he experienced it), the requirement of taklīf in the form of conveyance of the Message had to be understood in a qualified sense, as conveyance of the right Message.
From there, from this de-contextualized dubiety, it was possible to postulate that the message of Islam was distorted by sections of the ummah and that, as a consequence, no one could be said to have been reached by it, whence the obliteration of the old category of kuffār in favour of an anonymous non-believer.
Presently, we have reached such an advanced stage in this doctrinal tumour that people are now openly asserting that only the Prophet, Sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa-Sallam, could do justice to the said requirement, which means it is effectively voided of any abiding substance.
Besides, in spite of the known Ahl as-Sunnah doctrine being against it, adherents to that doctrine are vehemently fought as if they themselves were the heretics, while fragile believers frightened by the inevitability of masses of humans roasting in the Fire rush to applaud in the hope of appeasing their torn conscience.
We are not going to probe the grounds of this heterodoxy and dismantle them. We have done that in depth when penning “Sighting Clint Eastwood Atop a Peak Elusive”. No one has to date dared to rebut its amply substantiated doctrinal correctness.
It is interesting to note that supporters of this doctrinal sorcery tried to sabotage our text. It kept on disappearing from view and turning blank when trying to access it on the website. No other writing of ours shared that fate. Truth was so dangerous that it was deemed necessary to censor it altogether; to cancel it from sight as people might have otherwise failed to spot any Clint Eastwood in a golden limbo between īmān and kufr.
The epoch of illusionists could not be but an androgynous age, the age of the feminization of nature, where the grey area of ambiguity is deliberately sought and even produced in vitro.
The androgynous rules: Whereas Ibn Shihāb az-Zuhrī remarked that knowledge was masculine, and only the people of masculinity appreciated it, the arena of scholarship had to be invaded in our times by merchandisers of effeminacy. The non-believer is as fascinating as media or sports stars whose looks oscillate between man and woman: He cannot be accommodated in our mosques or graveyards, he cannot be seated in our wedding feasts at the head of the table, yet he is not other than us whose right of residence has to be vetted by the proclamation of the dual testimony of faith.
As seen by us in “Ramadan Specials - N”, even in the judgments of the Law the hermaphrodite poses intriguing problems, which are essentially solved by identifying which of the two conflicting realities (masculine or feminine) is paramount.
Here, in the realm of unqualified doctrinal equivocation, no help is drawn from recourse to the yardstick of the paramount.
Dividing fences appear to be entirely removed in this shadowy realm.
All that matters is the proclamation of a generic fraternity of über-faith (and thus über-salvation projected onto the Afterlife). The conscience is appeased and the dialectical rival who insists on clinging to the tried and tested view of Ahl as-Sunnah is silenced.
Yet Allah tells us, in the Discriminator between every truth and falseness: «Only the mu’minūn are brothers (Innama’l-mu’minūna ikhwah)» (Sūrah al-Hujurāt: 10). As every schoolchild learning Arabic at primary level knows, innamā indicates circumscription of a reality to the noun prefaced by it.
Inna’l-mu’minīna ikhwah, however emphatic, is categorically not the same as [i]nnama’l-mu’minūna ikhwah. The former allows for the additional possibility that other than the mu’minūn might also be brothers unto us, albeit with another degree of fraternity.
It is only the mu’minūn, and no one else, who are brothers unto one another.
We know that Islam was only going to be in the ascendancy so long as jihād went on in earnest. Its abandonment was prophesied to coincide with the fall from grace of our ummah into the darkness heralding the last cycle of time.
The idea that humankind is one undivided nation is foreign to the continuation of jihād and thus an empowered Islamic polity. That can only be premised on confirming the duality of existence pointing to One Creator: Light and darkness, and light can never be the same as darkness (or vice versa).
What went wrong?
We have repeatedly said that Islam, the real thing, the stranger, is a total way of life (one making no difference between Church and State, acts of worship and man-to-man transactions), which is embodied in the following statement, suitably enlarged, without anything added to or subtracted from it:
• The fiqh of Mālik, which extends to the fiqh of the other three Imams whose methodologies have abided over the centuries: Abū Hanīfah, ash-Shāfi`ī and Ahmad b. Hanbal;
• The ‘aqīdah of Imām Abu’l-Hasan al-Ash`arī, which encompasses the ‘aqīdah of Imām al-Māturidī as well;
• The Sufism of al-Junayd.
We have been investigating the reason why this stranger sells slowly and with great difficulty within the present-day ummah [More of that in “Coiled Serpents”].
It is only along this blessed path that Islamic revival is met.
The issue of the reality of īmān and kufr is an ‘aqā’idī issue, dealt as such in the science of usūl ad-Dīn and governed by the enunciations thereon on the part of the experts of that discipline.
We are dealing therefore with the root of roots.
The doctrine of the Ash`ariyyah and Māturīdiyyah is one, as already detailed in our aforesaid text: The least that can be said is that conveyance of the Message is necessary besides inborn intellect, and in today’s age the conveyance is so widespread as to be nearly ubiquitous. Less and less humans live outside the civilized sphere, so less and less humans can be said to belong to the small minority of creatures inaccessible to the Message [The Māturīdiyyah are even stricter as we know].
As-Sukūnī and ar-Rāzī, al-Juwaynī and al-Māzarī, al-Ījī and at-Taftazānī, as-Sanūsī and al-Warthilānī, al-Hudhudī and al-Laqqānī, al-Maqqarī and an-Nābulusī, an-Nūrī and at-Tilimsānī, all of them pointed, together with their likes, in the same direction: Taklīf was established with certainty, and the so-called “non-believers” were kuffār who needed acceptance of the Message for their otherworldly salvation.
Had the Muslims, especially the talented exemplars, held firmly onto “tradition”, they would not have lost out to this deviancy.
All we needed were Muslims who, nonchalantly, matter-of-factly, simply commented: ‘I have heard your point, but I emulate the greats, who laid down the doctrine of Ahl as-Sunnah, one and the same, year after year, century after century.’
Many of those names we gave here above purely as illustrations came after al-Ghazālī, including fellow Ashā`irah and fellow Shāfi`iyyah.
The more scrupulous minds would have followed that up by questioning why was a new heterodoxy being propounded: Was it done with a good intention or for an ulterior motive? Was there some legitimate basis for it? Was it a confused extreme or was it a deliberate attempt to subvert the revival of the Dīn?
Let us be clear: The partition between īmān and kufr cannot be smashed. Far Exalted above that is the Real! All that happens is an optical illusion being created among people that it has come down, that the two seas have merged into one source of water, the sweet expanse of the gathering Reality.
There is little doubt that theorizing the obfuscation of the dividing line between īmān and kufr and the saltiness of the Law disappearing into the other sea is one of the most sinister attacks on Islam on behalf of advancing humanism.
Turbaned scholars are seen as the paradigm of devoted guides.
If 70 000 turbaned scholars from this nation will follow the Dajjāl, many more will be the ordinary scholars who are going to do that, many more the followers of the first group, and many more the followers of the second group.
We are witnessing the ground being prepared. The stage is filling up.
There is hardly anything more traditional and (falsely) reassuring than a turban.
Subversion could only have succeeded from within, and through an instrument not as gross (not as extreme) as perennialism.
It had to cultivate a vocabulary of tradition: Vindication of the canonical schools, opposition to anthropomorphic beliefs, promotion of Sufi paths, now more multitudinous than multitude itself, a call back to isnād and mutūn, to original practices (such as praying with hands loose by the sides), a panoply of treacherously comforting tokens and emblems. Inside the body, the subverter would then proceed to despoil it of fibre, of muscle, to render it progressively thinner and emaciated, to smother its vitality.
In matters of fiqh, doctrine, politics, it would come up with the well-sounding word which best suited the context.
In this case, it was the alleged viewpoint of Imām al-Ghazālī, who of course always lived in the Abode of Islam, conceived Muslims living in self-determination in it, and was at best leisurely speculating about eschatological abstractions.
Imām al-Ghazālī is innocent of the sorcerers’ crime.
To justify their crime, they put forward a defence of being devotees of mercy.
They are not.
Rahmah means to will good.
They show no mercy to the believers, since by effectively equating mu’min and kāfir they nihilistically void īmān of its dramatic meaning as the sole rescue bridge distended over the furnace of the Fire.
They show no mercy to the believers who belie their position and hold onto the thousands of classics who consistently reiterated the sound doctrine, in spite of the fact that theirs is a peripheral counter-view embedded in no main text of Ahl as-Sunnah. They obscure what those believers say or write which antagonizes their propaganda: Where is their willing of good, their merciful all-inclusiveness?
They are not merciful to the kuffār either, because, by depriving them of the choice to bring true īmān, “since in any event they are not enmeshed in the darkness of kufr”, by not marking it as the watershed between salvation and damnation and vesting it with the dramatic relevance it possesses, they are consigning them further to the Fire.
Death is mercy, exiting the prison which is the world is mercy, jihād when its conditions are met is mercy. Defrauding people through heresies is cruelty: If you show cruelty, mercy will not be your repayment.
As we previously indicated, even the systems of usury and democracy are a mercy. Due to the fact that the Muslims are cutting themselves off from the socio-political and economic solutions of justice the Dīn ordains them to actualize, orderly existence would have collapsed across the globe if those systems had not been put in place pursuant to Allah’s decree.
In the same manner, false guides in the ummah, too, are a mercy. Without them, countless people would have been cut off from possible entry in Islam, enthusiasm about it, or entrenchment in it.
Nay, it is Allah Himself Who informs us that separating humanity into nation of happiness and nation of wretchedness is for the sake of mercy:
«If your Lord had wanted to, He would have made mankind into one nation, but they persist in differences, except for those your Lord has mercy on. That is what He created them for» (Sūrah Hūd: 119).
As the sapient Zarrūq wrote, when commenting on this Sign (the learned exegetes having propounded both variance and mercy as the reason for His creation of them meant by it), variance is the very essence of mercy.
Seeing Mercy at work, however, does not stop us from separating truth from falsehood.
There is no dispute as to where the heterodoxy we have been examining is lodged. It is one of the most devastating ravagers of Ahl as-Sunnah’s unity, potentiality and doctrinal safety. It is going to spread fast, widely and exponentially. It is going to wrest believers we love from classical guidance. Meanwhile, we don the refulgent armour of that guidance. We gather force like coiled serpents predestined to whelm contrastive fictions.