عَنْ جَابِر بْن عَبْدِ اللَّهِ – رضى الله عنهما – قَالَ: قَالَ النَّبِيُّ – صلى الله عليه وسلم -: الْحَرْبُ خُدْعَةٌ
Jābir رضي الله عنه narrated that the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم said, “War is deception.” [Muslim]
The problem with trying to follow the middle path as we are commanded to do, is that there will usually be extremes on either side condemning moderation as proof of belonging to the “other camp.” If however, our intention is to earn Allāh’s pleasure, then let us continue anyway.
Whether the Charlie Hebdo incident is true as depicted or yet another false flag is not what I am addressing here. To my mind, when the same Hollywood script is used ad nauseam and they can’t come up with a better plot of Muslim terrorists who keep leaving their passports and ID cards for the good guys to find, then something is definitely amiss. Those who understand such matters better are more suited to research the oddities and contradictions of these scripts. Or perhaps I could volunteer to write some more innovative scripts. I wonder how much they pay?
What I do wish to address is our attitude to news and conspiracy, for I find that there are two extreme reactions, both ignoring the middle path. There are those who immediately respond to every situation, that is has to be a conspiracy. This group spends an inordinate amount of time examining every word, colour, logo, body language, angle, you name it, and see a conspiracy in it. Coincidence does not exist in their vocabulary. Beyond concerns for their mental health, my greater concern is where such excess leads one to compromise one’s beliefs. Note how many Sunnis were entrapped by the Shīʿāh Arrivals Series. As I have already written about that group, let us look at the other extreme.
Chain of Narrators
The other extreme are those who accept everything CNN vomits out to be as true as the Word of our Creator. When it comes to our Islamic sciences, the very same people will point out that a certain Khabar (news) is narrated by a man who lied once in his life, or it is an isolated narration, or there was only a single witness, and a host of other reason for classifying it as a weak narration. I would ask, why do the same criteria not apply to your news and your resultant press statements? Why do certain news items, reported in thousands of publications, but ultimately all derived from Reuters, not deserve to be downgraded as “khabar of one narrator?” Please note, I am not in any way disparaging the Islamic sciences or the services of the classical scholars. I am pointing out a dichotomy amongst modern Muslim leaders.
Painting Your Acceptance of Western News as an Act of Faith
More nauseating than the simple accepting of face value news without question, is the supposed Islamic justification that I have heard. It has been touted that to research a conspiracy is a sign of weak faith. Say again? Yes, it is argued that everything is in Allāh’s plan. To give any credence to someone’s plot is to negate belief in Allāh’s plan. If you do not believe in Allāh’s plan you are a bad, bad Muslim. To turn the convoluted argument the other way – He who believes in Allah and the Last Hour shall believe in CNN and Fox News or burn in Hell. Such scholars are surely related to those who used to prostrate themselves before the Moghul Emperor, Akbar, and argue, “We are NOT bowing to one besides Allah. We are merely performing zameen bosi – kissing the earth.” The mentality and willingness to serve a human master are so similar.
Did Allāh’s Messenger not mention Deception?
Pirate ships would fly the flag of the ship the intending attacking, to allay their fear, and then attack. The other ship was deceived by a “false flag.” This is but one tactic of many historically recorded methods of deception within warfare and Allāh’s Messenger صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم himself noted, “War is deception.”
In the modern era false flags have become vastly more sophisticated and entail more intensive plotting and the goals are more than just a Spanish silver-bearing ship. The list of modern government sanctioned false flags aimed at waging wars and conquering countries are extensive. They are not the theories of conspiracists, but are historically known or revealed facts. Some of these false flags which were touted as “true news” just as Charlie Hebdo is today, include:
- · Gulf of Tonkin incident in 1964. America made it look like North Vietnamese boats fired on a U.S. ship so that they could invade Vietnam.
- · The Red Army shelled the Russian village of Mainila in 1939. Blamed Finland and invaded Finland.
- · Japanese troops set off an explosion on a train track in 1931, and falsely blamed it on China in order to justify an invasion of Manchuria.
The list of verified incidents is long. False flags operations can be traced to the 19th century and many are linked to the two world wars. ALL were reported as fact in the press at the time. The truth was revealed later. So why are Muslims so eager to accept every “news” item more eagerly than what they accept a Hadith?
Long before that, as recorded in the Qurʾān
The Qurʾān describes a conspiracy which took place thousands of years ago. It was aimed at assassinating the Prophet Salih (peace be upon him):
They said: “Swear one to another by Allah that we shall make a secret night attack on him and his household, and thereafter we will surely say to his near relatives: `We witnessed not the destruction of his household, and verily, we are telling the truth.”’ So they plotted a plot, and We planned a plan, while they perceived not. [an-Naml: 49-50]
Beyond this incident, the Qurʾān repeatedly mentions plotting of the enemies of Islām. How possibly then can it be claimed that verifying or researching a conspiracy is a sign of no faith? I fear that the only answers are either ignorance, or deliberate service unto a master who is not Allah.
May Allah keep us physically and spiritually safe in the trials to come. May we be moderates as defined in the Sunnah, free of extremes.