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Say Welcome to Fitna! 

Section : Articles   ||   Date : 2012 / 05 / 19   ||   Reading : 16759

This article is the transcription of a lecture delivered by His Eminence Sheikh Yasser al-Habib, titled "Say Welcome to Fitna!"

In the name of Allah the compassionate, the merciful, praise be to Allah master of everything and peace and blessings be with his messenger Mohammed and with his pure family.

We shall discuss the term Fitna (Dissension).

Is this term a horrible one? Or is it a much needed and attractive term?

These days people of all backgrounds, attachments and associations are screaming the word Fitna.

This is Fitna!

He is trying to create Fitna or division!

They are trying to start a Fitna or discord!

This country is plotting a Fitna , a schism among Muslims, this TV channel or that is a fixated on sowing a Fitna in the Umma (Community), beware this, beware that, beware him and beware them, Fitna is in the making!!

In fact, the supreme leader of Iran says that anyone who wants to create discord between Sunnis and Shia is an agent of foreign powers weather he knew it or not because he is sowing Fitna; thereby, justifying arrest and prosecution for any scholar that points out the injustice of Abu Bakir, Omar, just like what happened to Ayatallah Yasoob Al Deen Al Ristakari, an over 70- year- old scholar who was taken to prison for 4 years because he spoke ill of Abu Bakir, Omar etc in a book he wrote.

He was charged with the crime of creating Fitna among Muslims!!

You see brothers and sisters! Speaking ill against the killers of Fatima as in a public platform, and in this instance a book, is now a punishable offence under the jurisdiction of the supreme leader/ WF.

The cries of warning and action against Fitna are plenty, even the string- puppets of the WF in Lebanon are not only rallying behind such calls, but also warning others of falling into the trap of service of western powers whether they knew it or not!!

But do they actually know what those people, who self- delude themselves as caring for the best interests of Islam, do they know what they are talking about?

Who appointed them in the first place and who allowed them to cross out the narrations of Ahlu al Bayet (peace be upon them)?

Rather why they act as if they were designated by divine decree to be Islams legal guardians?

What do they know about Fitna so that they can issue this fatwa and that fatwa against it?

Allow me to explain what Fitna is and why it could be something useful, even it is a desirable aim.

Yes, it is a very desirable thing to have.

Our imams (peace be upon them) said so and I shall relate to you the narrations in due time.

But first let us deal with this word Fitna.

Verse 20 of Surat Al Furqan


And We have made some of you [people] to act as Fitna for one another - will you have patience? And ever is your Lord Seeing.

The term Fitna came in the Holy Quran to indicate a variety of meanings. Let us look at the first group of the meaning:


"And Fitna is worse than killing", Surat al Baqara Verse 192
Here the meaning of Fitna came as in disbelief, al shirk, or al kufur is worse than killing. Also it is mentioned in Verse 217 of Surat al Baqara that Fitna is mightier than killing, And Fitna is greater than killing. ) (: 217).

2. Now let us look at another meaning for the word Fitna as it came in the holy Quran, let us look at the first two verses of Sura al Ankaboot.

Do the people think that they will be left to say, "We believe" and they will not be tried/ put in trail/ tested/ go through ordeals or tribulations?

Here we see that the meaning of the word Fitna came to indicate adversity as Allah SWT said that those who claim that they hold faith must go under tribulations; i.e, believers will be tried and tested.

3. Another meaning for the word Fitna in the Quran came to point towards a totally different concept for the word Fitna as in the Verse 28 of Surat al Anfal.

And know that your properties/ wealth and your children are but a Fitna, here the meaning of Fitna is love.

So the verse is confirming that typically humans do love their wealth and off spring over everything else. So the word Fitna has many meanings, but with one single pronunciation, but multiple in meanings and suggestions, in Arabic it is:

It could mean Kufur, Love, Test as we understood from the blessed verses.

Nowadays, the term Fitna is typically referred to by Muslims at large as pointing towards dissension, suggesting non conformity, signalling disagreement, exposing dispute, and reflecting conflict and aggressive differences of opinion.

The term Fitna became synonymous to division and discord.

Broadly speaking, Muslims fear that Fitna does equal to Chaos, disorder, a messy affair in the body of Islam, therefore Fitna as a word and an impression really makes common Muslims unsettled, but is that justified?

Is there a reason why people should feel ill at ease by Fitna or the mere word Fitna?

Do we have to view the word Fitna as an obnoxious term?

Do we have to take a dim view of Fitna?

Should we have a negative or hateful attitude towards Fitna?

In order to answer that, let us look into the term or the word (killing) for example.

The word killing in itself does send a disapproving and horrible feeling to the heart when one hears the term (killing) first handedly, but as a term, (killing) sometimes is commendable if it was set up and carried out by true justice, in other words Islams penal code does allow for death penalty for prosecuted murderers, mass murderers and serial brutal killers for example.

So in a True Muslim state, the death penalty is not abolished for those who deserve it, sometimes therefore the word (killing) on its own is not so off putting if it was applied to the likes of Adolf Hitler, Saddam, Qathafi and the likes of them.

Similarly, the word Fitna can actually bring about a positive sense or notion!

The Fitna that is rejected by Islamic laws is the Fitna that leads to the endorsement of falsehood, so if we have a Fitna that ends up with ensuring that authority remains with falsehood on the expense of the Truth, then such Fitna is rejected.

If however, a Fitna was to substantiate and empower the Truth, then such Fitna is welcome.

All the missions of all prophets and messengers came to inflict and cause Fitna in their respective societies and communities.

The communities where prophets appeared were united in a sense, people had no ideological disagreements, only when a prophet is sent with his mission, his community splits into two parts, one joins in and accepts the new message and another gets stuck in old practices and rejects the message, and the natural result in that case is a clear division in the society.

When our Prophet Peace be upon Him and his Family appeared in Mecca, people were united in terms of their beliefs, there were no religious disputes among them, but the mission of reform and the call for Tawheed that our Prophet (Peace be upon him and his pure family) brought forward caused a Fitna in that society, it caused dispute, it caused chaos and division among the People of Mecca, it caused wars later on, but it was a much needed sort of Fitna.

If we presume that every prophet wont bother to cause a rift/ split in his community in order to safeguard the unity of his community, then how would he do his Daawa?

Yes, you can have unity in that society but it will be based on falsehood as that society is united by falsehood on the expense of the truth.

A Fitna that causes a social earthquake and that results in disputes, heated discussions, rows, and even clashes because it aims to unite the society on the basis of the Truth and because it aims to kick falsehood out of the minds and hearts of people, is a Fitna that is welcome indeed!

You see the word Fitna linguistically means in Arabic language: melting metals in order to sort the precious metals out of worthless ones, and that is why in Arabic the jeweller is called FATAN because he turns metals into liquid in order to extract the valuable and pure elements.

Therefore, we can say that Fitna in general is marked by the fact that it brings along some heat, Fitna does mark itself with intensity and heat in order to sort out the good and kind people from the nasty and horrid ones.

Let us remind ourselves with the blessed verse, Verse 20 of Surat Al Furqan.


And We have made some of you [people] to act as Fitna for one another - will you have patience?

This is Allah the Most Exalted decree in his creation, mankind will unavoidably clash among themselves, there had always been problems, disputes and even wars among countries, sects, movements, political parties throughout history and so on.

So, what is our duty as believers?

We should not be put off by the term Fitna. We should not feel sickened by it just because it is a Fitna.

In other words, we should not stop Enjoining Good and Prohibiting Evil, or calling on others to follow the wylaya of Ahlu al Bayet (peace be upon them) and calling on others to reject the enemies of Ahlu al Bayet (peace be upon them) just because you could be told: stop doing that, you might create a Fitna!

Those misinformed voices in the Shia world think that they are placing unity, togetherness and agreement as the ultimate priority, whereas in fact what they are actually presenting is a process that terminates the Truth and breathes life into Falsehood.

The term Fitna cannot be horrible if such a Fitna aims to bring about the reinforcement, restoration and recovery of the Truth, and the Truth is one way by the way whereas Falsehood has many highways- Al Haqu Maa Ali- The Truth is with Ali-, so a Fitna that recovers the Truth is a Fitna that is welcome indeed!

Therefore, if we have a Fitna that wipes out Falsehood and reignites the Truth, then we should welcome it open heartedly.

Some may ask, even if such Fitna results in rifts and divisions, do we still take it on board? The answer is: yes!

But arent we supposed to uphold the rope of Allah the Most Exalted and be united?

It is ironic that critics of Fitna just use as evidence the verse:

"Uphold The Rope of Allah and be not divided among yourselves".

We see them make and use this verse as a justification for abandoning the fundamentals of belief, rituals and conditions. Do they not know that, what was meant by the Rope of Allah is the power, command and authority of the faithful and pure Imams peace be upon them?

Dont they know that it, the rope of Allah, was meant to be the wylaya of Ali peace be upon him?

Didnt they listen to the words of Imam Baqir peace be upon him when he said in his interpretation of that verse:

"The Almighty God knew that they will be divided after their prophet and they would differ so he forbade them to disperse and as he forbade the ones before them; thereby, he ordered them to meet on and endorse the mandate of the Family of Muhammad peace be upon them and not be disunited, Ale Muhammad are the rope of Allah.

What is our crime or guilt if the so called ahlu al sunnah drifted away from the rope of God and discarded it behind their backs?

Let us look now into a couple of definitions.

The first term is Ahlu Al Jammaa, meaning the people who are united, the second Ahlu AL Firqa, meaning the people who are disunited.

Imam Al Sadiq (peace be upon him) narrated that Imam Ali (peace be upon him) defined Ahlu al Jammaa as the people who follow the Truth despite their small or tiny numbers, whereas Ahlu al Firqa are the people who follow falsehood despite their great big numbers.

In the criterion of Ahlu al Bayet (peace be upon them), the terms majority and minority ARE NOT defined by sheer numerical numbers, they are defined by how many do follow the Truth as it is despite their little numbers and how many do accept the corrupt version of Islam that was created since day one of the rule of Saqeefa despite their huge numbers.

Ameer Al Moumneen (peace be upon him) also said: Ahlu al Jammaa, the people of unity, are those who follow me even if they were little in numbers, and the people of Firqa (disunity) are those who oppose me even though they were great in numbers.

Nowadays, every despot in the Middle East is describing those who revolt against his regime as Gangs, Ahlu AL Fitna, and calling them division creators, why? Because the despot wants to keep things as they are.

Those regimes want to keep on the same methods of oppression and corruption and continue ruling as such.

The conflict had always been between two parties, one that aims to establish the Truth and destroys corruption, and the other that aims to keep deception, corruption and oppression.

Our prophet (peace be upon him and his pure family) was accused by the chiefs of Mecca as the one who came to abuse our gods and divide our unity!!

Al Balatheri, a Bakri scholar, in his book Ansab al-Ashraf narrated that a man called Harith asked Ameer al Moumneen (peace be upon him) during the episode of the camel battle:

Do you actually believe that Talha, Zubair and Aisha come together and join forces to uphold Falsehood?

He was trying to say: Oh Ali! Do you think that such grand sahaba like Zubair and Talha led by um al moumneen Aisha are wrong and you alone are right? So Our Imam AS replied: Oh Harith! You are confused by the matter!! The truth and falsehood, right and wrong, are neither diagnosed by names of people nor by guess work.

You need to characterise the truth, then see who are those following it, you have to characterise falsehood, then see who is following it.

Needles to say here that our prophet (peace be upon him and his pure family) did say: the Truth is with Ali and Ali is with the Truth, he did not say Zubair is Haq nor did he say Omar is Haq!! The answer is obvious for those who want to see the Truth as it is, not as they wish to see it!!

Believe it or not brothers and sisters, our duty is not to turn away from Fitna, rather, our duty should be to ask Allah SWT to bring it forward, our duty is to welcome Fitna with open arms.

How and on what ground you may ask?

Shiekh al-Tousi narrates a very puzzling hadeeth on Imam Al Sadiq (peace be upon him).

Imam Al Sadiq (peace be upon him) said: You must wish that Fitna takes place, as when it comes about, tyrants and oppressors will die, and the world will be free from immoral obscene fornicators.

( ), : , ,

Imam Al Sadiq (peace be upon him) said: You must wish that Fina takes place, as when it comes about, tyrants and oppressors will die, and the world will be free from immoral obscene fornicators.

If you look at the so called Arab spring, you will come to see that there are indeed two sides, one side is rising up and going against another side in a cycle that is producing causalities, losses, blood and so on, but surely its outcome had been fatal for the tyrants in those lands, like Mubarak, Qathafi, bin Ali and the rest is yet to come.

We should wish that a Fitna takes place in that regard, in fact let us be candid with ourselves, let us not kid ourselves, arent we waiting for the saviour, Imam Sahib Al Zaman (peace be upon him and may Allah hasten his reappearance)?

So when he appears, is he going to give people medals irrespective of their deeds and creeds?

We are aware that he is going to create a mighty Fitna that will produce huge causalities, losses and damages.

But what will be the eventual outcome of his powerful Fitna?

It will be as stated by Imam Al Sadiq (peace be upon him): tyrants and oppressors will die, and the world will be free from immoral obscene fornicators.

( ), : , ,

The prophet said even through Bakri sources:

The prophet (peace be upon him and his pure family) said: Do not despise discord or division or schism in the end of time, as it will take the last breath of the hypocrites and oppressors.

Mind you The Bukari of the 20th century, Al Albani makes this hadeeth weak according to Bakri criterion mainly because what Ali AS narrates form the prophet does not make sense to him!!

Oh Ali, only a believer will love you, whereas only a hypocrite or someone with unknown father/ son of Adultery will hate you!!I wonder where does Al Albani fall there?

Verse 20 of Surat Al FURQAN:


And We have made some of you [people] to act as Fitna for one another - will you have patience? What are our religious duties then during times of schism/ Fitna? What are our obligations during the times of a major split within established religious denominations on the grounds of differences in belief or practice?

The Answer: To Wish that Fitna or Schism does take place as confirmed by the narrations of Ahlu al Bayet (peace be upon them)

( ), : , ,

Imam Al Sadiq (peace be upon him) said: You must wish that Fitna takes place, as when it comes about, tyrants and oppressors will die, and the world will be free from immoral obscene fornicators.

The prophet said even through Bakri sources:

Do not despise discord or division or schism in the end of time, as it will take the last breath of the hypocrites and oppressors. In such times, we need to withstand and bear with such Fitna and be patient guarding ourselves with the armour of Taqwa!

Verse 20 of Surat Al Furqan:


And We have made some of you [people] to act as Fitna or Schism for one another - will you have patience? Fitna is therefore useful and desirable, it is a fact that needs to be anticipated and welcomed with open arms.


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