in category Sociology

Are the majority always right?

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When 'Umar bin al-Khattab (رضي الله عنه) was walking in the market, he passed by a man who was supplicating,

اللهم اجعلني من القليل اللهم اجعلني من القليل
“O Allah, make me from the few! O Allah make me from the few!” So ‘Umar said to him, “Where did you get this du`a’ (supplication) from?” And the man said, “Allah in His Book says:

وَقَليلٌ مِن عِبادِيَ الشَّكورُ
‘And few of My servants are grateful.’ [Saba':13]”

So ‘Umar wept and admonished himself, “The people are more knowledgeable than you, O Umar! O Allah make us from Your ‘few’ servants.”

Sometimes when you advise someone to leave a sin, they respond with “But everybody does it, it’s not just me!” But if you look for the words “most people” in the Qur’an, you will find that most people -

ولكن اكثرهم لا يعلمون
“And however most people do not know” [7:187];

ولكن أكثرهم لا يشكرون
- “and most people do not show gratitude” [2:243]; and

و لكن اكثر الناس لا يؤمنون
"And most people do not believe" [11: 17].

And if you look for “most of them”, you will find:

وَأَنَّ أَكثَرَكُم فاسِقونَ
- "defiantly disobedient" [5 :59];
و لكن أكثرهم يجهلون
- “ ignorant” [6:111]; and

بل أكثرهم لا يعلمون الحق فهم معرضون
- “turning away” [21:24].

So be of the “few”, whom Allah says about them:

وَقَليلٌ مِن عِبادِيَ الشَّكورُ
- “And *few* of My servants are grateful.” [Saba':13]; and

وَما آمَنَ مَعَهُ إِلّا قَليلٌ
 - “But none had believed with him, except a *few*.” [11:40]

في جنات النعيم ثلة من الاولين و قليل من الآخرين
- “In the Gardens of Bliss: many from the past and a *few* from later generations.” (Al-Waqi'ah:12-14)

Ibn al-Qayyim (رحمه الله) said, “Go on the path of truth and do not feel lonely because there are few who take that path, and beware of the path of falsehood and do not be deceived by the vastness of the perishers.”

[Kitab al-Zuhd - Ahmad bin Hanbal; and Musannaf of Ibn Abi Shaybah.]

May Allāh make us of His *few* servants.

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