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The Roots of Corruption

By Ibn al-Qayyim

Excerpted from his book, ‘Madârij as-Sâlikeen’ (3/532)

It is upon the one who speaks in this matter, or any other matter, that He should only do so based upon the knowledge and the truth: and that his objective should be sincerity to Allâh, to His Book, to His Messenger and the giving of sincere advice to his Muslim brothers. But if he makes the truth accord with his own whims and desires, then this will corrupt and ruin the hearts, the actions, and the state of affairs. Allâh, the Most High said,

“And if the truth were to be in accordance with their desires, then indeed the heavens and the earth - and all that is therein -would be corrupted and ruined.” [Al-Mu’minűn (23): 71]

The Prophet (S) said,  

“None of you truly believe until he makes desires accord with what I have been sent with.”[1]

So ‘ilm (knowledge) and ‘adl (justice) are the roots of every good, whereas zulm (oppression) and jahl (ignorance) are the roots of every evil. And Allâh, the Most High, sent His Messenger (S) with the Guidance and the Religion of Truth, and he commanded the doing of justice between people and that none of them should follow their whims and desires.

Allâh, the Most High said,

So call to Islâm and stand firm, and do not follow their whims and desires, but say: ‘I believe in whatever has been revealed by Allâh from the Book, and I have been commanded to do justice between you. Allâh is our Lord and your Lord, for us our deeds and for you your deeds. There is no dispute between you and us. Allâh will assemble us all, and to Him is the final return.’ ” [Ash-Shűrâ (42):15]



[1] Da‘eef: Related by Ibn Aasim (no.15). It was declared weak by Al-Hâfiz Ibn Rajab in ‘Jâmi` al-Ulűm wal Hikam’ (no.41)

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