Maulana Wahiduddin Khan | Islam Today |  Al-Risala February 1988

Describing the plight of humanity on the Day of Judgment, the Quran says: 

“On the Day when their faces are turned over in the Fire, they shall say: ‘Oh, would that we had obeyed God, and obeyed the Messenger!’ They shall say, ‘Our Lord, we paid heed to our leaders and our elders, but they led us away from the right path. Our Lord, give them double punishment and curse them with a mighty curse.’” (33:66-68)

These verses of the Quran make the distinction between those who, having read the Book of God and the Sunnah of the Prophet, have accepted their guidance and consistently followed their precepts, and those whose course of action has always been determined by worldly leaders and contemporary religious guides. The former are deserving of God’s mercy, but the latter are not, as they have gone completely astray. Try as they may to justify their following of the great ones of this world by bending the terms of the Quran and Hadith to fit their actions, they will incur only the wrath of God, for He cannot be deceived by fine words. If they have allowed themselves to be misguided, they have only themselves to blame for this, and can never know the blessings of their Creator’s mercy. 

Today, it is unfortunate that the majority of the Muslims fall into the category of the misguided. In multitudes, they are following in the footsteps of slogan-mongering leaders and are moving further away from the path of God and His Prophet. They are deaf to recitations from the Quran which would prove to them the error of their ways and are frequently to be heard asserting that they have no intention of changing those ways no matter how impressive these Quran and Hadith-based arguments happen to be.