By: Ghulam Ghaus, India
Some ordinary Muslims, usually job holders, who return from Saudi Arabia with Saudi views want us to look like Saudis, i.e., the Saudis do not wear caps, therefore we should cease wearing caps as well. Similarly, they argue that because the religion will shrink back to Saudi Arabia in the end days, Muslims should follow Saudis in order to succeed in Islamic matters. What does Islam have to say about this? Here’s how to respond to this question: There is no evidence in the Qur’an or Sunnah that you should imitate the inhabitants of a country in order to fulfil your Islamic obligations. These are unfounded rumours that have no legal basis in the Quran. The Quran, on the other hand, proves that you must obey Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him). As a result, rather than following the Saudis or anyone else, live according to the Qur’an and Sunnah:
Allah says in the Quran:
“And obey Allah and His Noble Messenger, and do not quarrel with one another; otherwise, you will lose courage and strength, and endure patiently; Allah is with those who patiently endure.” (8:46)
It has been narrated by Abu Huraira that Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said, “All my followers will enter Paradise except those who refuse.” They said, “O Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him)! Who will refuse?” He said, “Whoever obeys me will enter Paradise, and whoever disobeys me is the one who refuses (to enter it).” [Sahih al-Bukhari 7280: Book 96, Hadith 12]
Similarly, obedience to the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is commanded in dozens of the Quranic verses and Ahadith. As a result, obedience is not limited to any particular country or nation, but rather to Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him). It’s not just about Islamic headwear; there are several distinctions between us. Take a look at their attire and compare them to ours; their manner of life broadly differs from ours. The rumour that the Islamic faith will be restricted to Saudis is untrue. In this case, the following hadith presents a very different meaning. Hazrat Abu Hurairah [may Allah be pleased with him] reported God’s messenger as saying, “Faith will shrink back to Medina as a snake shrinks back to its hole.” [Bukhari and Muslim] The above hadith exclusively mentions Medina and not any other city in Saudi Arabia. As a result, in the end-times, all believers would seek refuge in Madinah in order to preserve their faith. Just as Islam spread from Madinah, it will return to it at the end of time. The hadith above specifically mentions Medina and not any other Saudi Arabian city. This is a prediction that all believers would seek refuge in Madinah in the end times in order to preserve their faith. In other words, Islam will return to Madinah at the end of time, just as it did when it first expanded. This does not, however, imply that Muslims in other nations must follow in the footsteps of Saudi Arabians in Islamic matters. This hadith was interpreted by some commentators as meaning that, as the Muslims had no power and state until they migrated to Madinah, Islam with its power and authority, extended out from Madinah and would fall back upon it at the end of time. This would also not call upon Muslims to imitate the Saudis in Islamic matters if we assume this interpretation to be correct.
Muslims are guided adequately by the Quran and Sunnah; hence the Saudis in Islamic issues do not need to be imitated.