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Jan 07 2013

A Prophetic warning of the growing Police State?

By Will Coley
January, 2013

Before I begin, a short disclaimer. Despite the recent accolades of some friends and fans of Muslims 4 Liberty, I am not an A3lem (scholar). I am simply a student, nor am I under any illusion that someone such as myself could ever possibly understand the complete meaning or context of a hadeeth, having not been there myself.

That being said, I would like to offer my own theories on a particular hadeeth, I find personally relevant in the modern age. A view I come to, based on my reading of the commentaries of this particular narration, of ulema (scholars) of great notoriety, throughout history.

Did the Prophet Muhammad(sAws) warn us 1400 years ago of the impending Police State??

The hadeeth in question is a narration from Saheeh Muslim, The Prophet of Allah(sAws), is reported to have said:

“There are two types of the people of the Hellfire I have not seen yet: men with whips like the tails of cattle with which they will strike the people…”

 

on it’s own, there is nothing particularly innocuous or telling to connect this hadeeth to any modern realities. Most will translate this passage literally, interpreting these “whips like tails of cattle” as literal whips, like a bull whip. Ignoring that a bull whip looks nothing like a cow’s tail. A cow’s tail is however about 0.5″-1.25″ in diameter, the same as an average billy club.

Now some readers may say it is a stretch to make this jump, but I based it off the commentary of previous scholars. Imam al Nawawi(rA), noted shafai’i fiqhi and muhadith, stated in ‘ Sharth al Nawawi ‘ala saheeh Muslims’ [17/191];

” With regard to those who would have whips, they are those who work for the police.”

Al-Sakhaawi, (rA) further states in ,’Al-Isha’ah li Ashraat il Saa’ah’:

They are now the helpers of the oppressors, and usually it refers to the worst group around the ruler. It may also apply to the unjust rulers themselves.”

Siddiq Hasan Khan, in relation to Imam al Qurtubi’s commentary on this narration in, ‘Yaqadhat uli al-Itibaar’ states:

“Indeed it can be seen, in every time and place, and it’s increasing day by day among the leaders. We seek refuge in Allah(swt) from all the Allah(swt) despises.”

When I read these commentaries by great scholars of old, my mind is filled with images of hijab clad, blue brad sisters beaten and humiliated in the streets of Egypt, protestors brutalized by men with sticks in Greece, Spain, UK, the occupy movement, G20 protests, the Arab states’ suppression of Bahrain protests, the list goes on and on.

A global culture of State sponsored violence against average civilians, wanting simply to live free. Meted out by actioners of oppressive governments with implements, which just happen to be the same length and diameter as a cow’s tail….

1 comment

  1. ramy

    the interesting thing about this hadeeth is that the prophet (pbuh) said that the people with the whips are a “qawm” , meaning a nation or a tribe. While the people being beaten are a “naas”, meaning all people. So it’s a small group beating a large group. It makes sense for Imam AnNawawi to interpret “qawm” to be a police force as “qawm” implies a social structure and hierarchy whereas “naas” is just general people.
    I think the word “yadriboona”, which means striking or beating, has it’s own implicaiton which is that it’s not in the context of war. Otherwise the prophet (pbuh) would have used a word like “haarib” (to wage war) or “qaatil” (fight or kill). This is just another justification to say that its police and not military.
    question, since cow tails have long strands of hair at the end, does that mean tasers can be included in the interpretation, and not just billy clubs?

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