What is the Salafī daʿwah in Libya currently in need of today?

Shaykh Muḥammad al-Madkhalī:

By Allah ﷻ, I do not know. You are more aware of its current situation. As for what the Salafī Daʿwah requires in all places, in Libya and elsewhere; (then) the Salafī Daʿwah is the true Islam – this is the first point. Secondly: it requires knowledge and an understanding of the religion of Allah ﷻ Thirdly: it requires wisdom Fourthly: if a person is gifted with wisdom, then he will be successful – if Allah ﷻ wills – to that which follows it, which is to assess the benefits and harms. So he (is able to) fend off that which harms from the daʿwah,  and to fend off those who attack it, and this is by way of traversing the correct path in solving problems. And he should always know and be mindful that not everything which is known should be said, and not everything which is said or is worthy of being said has its time yet come, and not everything which has reached its time has its men arrived (to address it). Thus it is upon him to know this matter with certainty. So (for example), perhaps you now conceal something of knowledge from some people, which is not appropriate (for them to know) – had you informed everyone of this, then it would be just as the leader of the believers ʿAlī bin Abī Ṭālib – May Allah be pleased with him – said “It would (result) in fitna for some of them“. Not for all of them, only for some of them.

So those who have this knowledge apply it in its correct place, and those who do not then this speech will be a trial to them. So within this (assessment of benefits and harms) is a taking into consideration the condition of those being addressed, and their level and their understanding and their knowledge, thus you may withhold something from them, and reveal it to them after some time. And you give those present in the gathering something of knowledge and you conceal it from others. So (all) this is from putting the affairs in their correct place.

So (to summarise) the daʿwah requires what?

Firstly: Knowledge and understanding of Allāh’s religion

Secondly: Wisdom

Thirdly: Assessing benefits and harms, then taking into account the differences in those you are addressing and directing speech to, and that not everything which is known is to be stated – this is from one angle.

Then there is a fifth matter, it is upon one to take hold of the reigns of the path which was traversed by our pious predecessors, and the principle for this is: “Whoever wishes to follow a good example, then he should follow the example of those who have passed, because the one who is alive is not safe from trials”. Indeed the act of following, after following the Messenger ﷺ, should only be for those who died upon the correct path;

۞ الَّذِينَ هَدَى اللَّهُ ۖ فَبِهُدَاهُمُ اقْتَدِهْ ۗ 

They are those whom Allah had guided. So follow their guidance” (Q 6:90).

As for the living, then you love a person and praise them for that which is in them, but you don’t give them the complete tazkiyah (praise), because one knows not what will be his ending. You have seen how many (have deviated); al-Maghrāwī where did he end up? Abūl-Ḥasan (al-Maʿribī) where did he end up? ʿAlī Ḥasan al-Ḥalabī where did he end up? Most recently he has ended up with the democrats! And now al-Ḥajūrī where did he end up? He ended up with them – they are his visitors: Abūl-Ḥasan (al-Maʿribī) and ʿAlī Ḥasan (al-Ḥalabī) and their likes.

So the one who is alive – O my beloved ones – is not safe from trials. Imām Aḥmad (may Allah have mercy on him and be pleased with him) transmitted in his Musnad from the ḥadīth of Miqdad bin Al-Aswad, with a sound chain that it was said to him (ie. someone spoke to him), so he (Miqdad) said (in response): “After a ḥadīth which I heard from the Messenger of Allāh ﷺ, I do not say regarding a person or a man until he dies. So it was said to him (Miqdad): “What did you hear the Prophet ﷺ say? He (Miqdad) said: I heard him say: “The heart of the son of Adam changes more severely than a pot when it is boiling.”

If a pot reaches its boiling point how will its movement and overturning be? At the blink of an eye (it turns) tens of times! So Miqdad says “I have stopped testifying anything for anyone until they pass away”. So a person only follows after the Prophet ﷺ a person who died upon guidance, as for the one who is alive, then it is hoped for him (that he dies upon guidance) and it is feared for him and he is not safe from trials! Because of that we have been commanded to say,

۞ رَبَّنَا لَا تُزِغْ قُلُوبَنَا بَعْدَ إِذْ هَدَيْتَنَا وَهَبْ لَنَا مِن لَّدُنكَ رَحْمَةً ۚ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ الْوَهَّابُ

Our Lord! Let not our hearts deviate (from the truth) after You have guided us” (Q 3:8)

We ask Allah ﷻ for steadfastness, and within this is a refutation of the one who says “the one who is firmly established upon Salafīyyah doesn’t deviate”. What is this silly speech? A person even might deviate away from Islam completely and apostate! If this wasn’t the case, then what is the meaning of,

۞ رَبَّنَا لَا تُزِغْ قُلُوبَنَا بَعْدَ إِذْ هَدَيْتَنَا وَهَبْ لَنَا مِن لَّدُنكَ رَحْمَةً ۚ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ الْوَهَّابُ

Our Lord! Let not our hearts deviate (from the truth) after You have guided us” (Q 3:8)?

And what is the meaning of the statement of Prophet ﷺ “O Turner of the hearts, keep firm my heart upon your religion”? And this is the Messenger of Allah ﷺ teaching us this. So in this regard, it is upon the person to ask Allah ﷻ for steadfastness, and that he follows none other than he who died upon imān (belief), guidance, the true path and taqwa. And he loves the one who is alive for that which is in him from good, and he respects him, and esteems him, and he honours the one who deserves to be honoured, but that he doesn’t give him the complete tazkiyah (praise). And we ask Allah to keep us and you firm.