Asabiyyah - the disuniting solidarity Part 3

Developing Just Leadership

Muhammad H. al-'Asi

Rabi' al-Awwal 01, 1432 2011-02-04

Bismillah Ar-Rahmaan Ar-Raheem. Alhumdulillah. Peace and blessings on Muhammad (sallalahu alaihi wa alihi wa sallam), his Noble Companions and Family. Dear Committed brothers, dear committed sisters,

Allah says in Surah Al Fajr and there are two ways of presenting this meaning. Before mentioning the Pharaoh- the position of those who rule with an iron hand and deific qualities in Egypt- He mentioned other civilisations/modernities/powers/structures/societies that collapsed. He mentions

وَفِرْعَوْنَ ذِي الْأَوْتَادِ

And the Pharoah who has these fixed structures. (Surah Al Fajr verse 10)

Some qualified individuals say “this refers to the pyramids of Egypt.” Awtaad is the plural of watad which is an instrument that is used to fix/stabilize a tent or any structure. You put something in the ground so that you can make whatever is attached to it fixed/stable.

وَفِرْعَوْنَ ذِي الْأَوْتَادِ

And the Pharaoh that belongs to these fixed (or) fixating structures. (Surah Al Fajr verse 10)

This could have a meaning that goes beyond just the relics/antiques of archaeology/history. Someone looks at the pyramids and says “OK- this may have been what was meant by awtaad” but then it could also have a subtle reference to the technology/science of that time. We know that Allah refers to mountains as being awtaada.

وَالْجِبَالَ أَوْتَادًا

And We have rendered or made the mountains to be fixaters. (Surah An Naba’ verse 10)

A person who has studied geography/geology/the Earth etc. knows that these are weights on the Earth. These weights serve the purpose of having the Earth/land itself that we are on fixated/stable so that we don’t have wavy land which would make life impossible. So if Egyptian civilisation, (as it is referred to, and on the top of that civilisation you have these Pharaohs), had enough knowledge to have built this constructs/fixators so that their land is not exposed to the movement of the Earth- whether this is an exhaustive meaning of it or not Allah knows best. The other meaning that could be extracted from the ayah is in reference to the stability/fixed status quo of their reigns. One Pharaoh after the other lived in the society and a social/political structure that was strongly/sufficiently anchored- meaning its hard to budge/bring it down/ruin it. It makes sense that this is mentioned after mentioning other strong/firm civilisations that due to their behaviour towards Allah were ruined. If we work our minds a little we realise that there is a singular and a plural in these two ayahs Allah says

وَفِرْعَوْنَ ذِي الْأَوْتَادِ

And the Pharaoh that belongs to these fixed or fixating structures. (Surah Al Fajr verse 10)

And the following ayah says

الَّذِينَ طَغَوْا فِي الْبِلَادِ

Those who expressed their abuse in their culminating abuse of power in the land. (Surah Al Fajr verse 11)

The word Pharaoh even if used in the plural is reference to the Pharaohs meaning to the position of the Pharaoh occupied by one person who represents a generation followed by another person who represents another generation but the rank/status/position of the Pharaoh is constant.

الَّذِينَ طَغَوْا فِي الْبِلَادِ

Those who showed their excessive power abuse in the land. (Surah Al Fajr verse 11)

Now brothers and sisters- instead of going as in the previous few minutes on the course of tafseer of these ayaat what is important is to realise is that Allah is describing to us the behaviour of people who have power/resources/authority/a social structure Allah is not speaking about some ruler in history in blank terms. He wants us to be a little more specific to understand them a little more and so He gave us some information about them.

الَّذِينَ طَغَوْا فِي الْبِلَادِ

Those who expressed their abuse in their culminating abuse of power in the land. (Surah Al Fajr verse 11)

This word, tughyaan, that we come across many times in the Qur’an- taghaw is the verb, taghut is a noun; tughyan is another noun. Another ayah in one of these short surahs that you may be familiar with.

كَلَّا إِنَّ الْإِنسَانَ لَيَطْغَىٰ

أَن رَّآهُ اسْتَغْنَىٰ

Indeed a social being has a propensity to show/express the abuse/accumulation of power once he considers himself not in need/independent of Allah. (Surah Al Alaq verse 6-7)

So here the ayaat of the Qur’an are trying to mesmerise our attention on this fact. (We’re saying this- brothers and sisters- not in a vacuum. We’re saying this with all the imagery/ visualisation that you have in your head pertaining to the past week/ten days/couple of weeks of what has been happening in Egypt in particular.) Ok- you need further information? Tughyan/tagha is in reference to excessive/concentrated power. So Allah wants you to try and identify those who have this excessive/concentrated military/financial/informational power etc. OK- so they have all of this power. What do they do with it?

فَأَكْثَرُوا فِيهَا الْفَسَادَ

In the land in which they have control of this power they multiply its corruption/decadence. (Surah Al Fajr verse 12)

Corruption/fasaad here means something that is no longer capable of working. You can take a look at the physical/social/psychological spheres of human activities and when things begin to malfunction in these spheres that means we have this consuming fasaad. And then what happens at that time?

فَصَبَّ عَلَيْهِمْ رَبُّكَ سَوْطَ عَذَابٍ

Allah pours on them the unleashing of torment. (Surah Al Fajr verse 13)

This is what happened to the administrations/reigns/structures of the Pharaohs. There was no one there to adjust/correct what they were doing. They continued on this path of destruction which became self destruction. OK- now if we can have a sense for what Allah is trying to stimulate our minds about. If we take a look at this we take a look now at the Muslims and the peoples in Egypt. What have they been doing? Now some people may be saying “this is a khutbah. Why do you mention these types of things?” We say yes. The khutbah is an explanation of Allah’s ayaat and the Prophet’s hadiths- that’s what a khutbah is. We mentioned these ayaat the beginning of Surah Al Fajr- are these not ayaat? Have we not the capacity to understand the meanings of these ayaat? Have we not the experience to apply these meanings to the life that we are living? Then the Prophet of Allah says whoever launches into his day mindless of the affairs of the Muslims is not a Muslim and in another wording of this hadith whoever launches into his day mindless of the affairs of the Muslims does not belong to them. The ayah says

إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ إِخْوَةٌ

Committed Muslims are brethren of each other… (Surah Al Hujurat verse 10)

Another ayah says

وَاعْتَصِمُوا بِحَبْلِ اللَّهِ جَمِيعًا وَلَا تَفَرَّقُوا

And hold firmly to the extension/cord that has been given to you by Allah and be not divided/ don’t separate from each other… (Surah Aal Imran verse 103)

The Prophet of Allah says, (once again the meaning is repeated), a committed Muslim is the counter-part/brother of another committed Muslim… So with these events that are happening that concern us, (and we know from experience and information), the whole world- media/powers/intellectuals/those who know/are curious/everyone- is watching but when it comes to the Masjid/the day of Al Jum’ah/the khutbah then they want to make believe nothing is happening! This is what is going on inside of our general body in this world and that explains to a large extent why we are where we are now/today!

We were speaking in previous khutbahs, and this is like an interruption to the sequence of ayaat and ahadith, about the issue of Asabiyah but it merits here a brief comment about the Asabiyah that was experienced by the Egyptian people. We have internal Asabiyah problems we will deal with those with Allah’s help as the years go by. If you think about it- remember we mentioned previously when Ibrahim (alayhi as salaatu wa as salaam) was sought by his own people who wanted to get rid of/kill him. Allah took care of Ibrahim. He saved him from the attempt of his own people to kill him. Ibrahim wasn’t an Arab he had to leave his own country/people/society/ culture/history and he went into the world. One of the places he went to is the Holy Land area. We are told by different historical references that Ibrahim’s life is in, (what is today called), Iraq- the Northern part of it, not the Southern part that some Asabiyy people want to claim as he belonging to them. So we said that he may be considered to be the first person to experience a Diaspora in his individual character and he could have been considered a dislocated Prophet because he is no longer in the environment that is suitable for his activities /potential. So Allah distilled history in his life. He had two children- one of them Is’haaq and the other Isma’eel (alayhima as salaam). We’re not going far brothers and sisters. Still, retain the information that was said. If we’re looking at society in the form of upper/middle/lower class, he marries a person whose name is Haajar (alayha as salaam) who by all accounts comes from the lower class of society besides his wife Sarah who does not come from the lower class of society. From these two wives he has two sons- one of them Isma’eel from Hajar. In some chronicles of history we are told that Hajar comes from Egypt, (the same Egypt that we are speaking about). So Hajar is not also of Arabian stock. We’ll skip the history of Is’haaq and come to the history of Ibrahim/Hajar/Isma’eel. Isma’eel was born to father Ibrahim and mother Hajar both of whom are not from the Arabian Peninsula. One of them is from today’s geographical place called Iraq and the other one is from today’s geographical place called Egypt. One of them is considered from the Semitic race and the other can be considered from the African race, (to avoid some controversial words). From these two who are his parents Isma’eel was born who is considered to be by everyone- friend or foe- an Arab. He became an Arab. How did this happen? His father Ibrahim wasn’t an Arab and his mother Hajar was not an Arab but here we have Isma’eel who is an Arab! This jars the issue of Asabiyah at its core! Have you ever come across those who promote Arabian Asabiyah who dealt with this issue (and who can) explain to us how this happens?! Because it’s going to cause them to think and their thoughts are going to conquer their emotions. When that happens they’re not going have Asabiyah. We haven’t reached that stage yet.

So now we go back to these people who are moving to Egypt. The Egyptian population is a population that is already mixed. It has different stocks of ethnicities/races/classes. You name it everything is almost there- religions/madhahib/school of thoughts- it’s all there. Now the issue is these people are confronted with, (all of the details can be combined in one word), injustice. This is what the people in Egypt are facing today. The human/political/economic representation of injustice. What do they do? The majority of these people have an Islamic identity/character. (do) you come and say “we are more concerned with issues of the perfection of wudhu/in-house etiquette.” Is this the time for these types of issues or do we have to look at the problem fair and square. All of these people of Egypt, (with the variations among them), are facing injustice and it has to be replaced by justice and everyone inside/ outside the country is invited to join this effort of deconstructing injustice and reconstructing justice in its place. This is an open invitation to everyone. We want to remind the average/ non-thinking Muslim that in they ninety-seven after the hijrah, (it wasn’t even the year one hundred; this may come as a little surprise to some of you and the reason it will surprise some of you is simply because we are not meant to think), the Muslims had extended their movement all the way to, (what is called today), the Indian subcontinent. The Muslims were solidly in, (what is called today), Pakistan/India/Central Asia i.e. to the East; North in the Caucus; Turkey and to the West; Southern Europe/the Northern Mediterranean all the way to Al Andalus. How did the Muslims manage within a span of less than a-hundred years to extend themselves Eastward/Westward/Southward all around with success to a degree that the Muslims in all of these territories became the minority? Muslims were ruling but they were the minority. These peoples had not in their millions or tens of millions in this short time period become Muslims. They were/had all types of religions/beliefs/convictions in all of these areas/continents. The Muslims didn’t go there and say to these people “you have to become Muslims.” No. They said to these people “you have to observe justice” and these people opened their hearts/minds and look at the way they throw back this issue at us! They say “ Muslims want to force other people to become Muslims.” Nonsense! That’s a lie/ fabrication/not true. This is the opportunity. We have equivalent conditions/circumstances today. This movement of people is a movement for justice so how can you contribute to justice? Do you have anything that can contribute to justice in your understanding of Judaism/ Christianity/Atheism/Agnostism/man-made philosophies/Oriental spiritualism or from whatever background? Here is an open door! So when all of these people at that time in the first century of the hijrah were honoured in their religious convictions….

لَا إِكْرَاهَ فِي الدِّينِ

There is no factor of force there is no element of cohesion when it comes to a Deeni persuasion… (Surah Al Baqarah verse 256)

إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَا التَّوْرَاةَ فِيهَا هُدًى وَنُورٌ ۚ يَحْكُمُ بِهَا النَّبِيُّونَ الَّذِينَ أَسْلَمُوا لِلَّذِينَ هَادُوا

Surely We revealed the Taurat in which was guidance and light; with it the Prophets who submitted themselves (to Allah) judged (matters) for those who were Jews… (Surah Al Maa’idah verse 44)

وَلْيَحْكُمْ أَهْلُ الْإِنجِيلِ بِمَا أَنزَلَ اللَّهُ فِيهِ

Let the People of the Gospel judge by that which Allah hath revealed therein… (Surah Al Maa’idah verse 47)

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَالَّذِينَ هَادُوا وَالنَّصَارَىٰ وَالصَّابِئِينَ مَنْ آمَنَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ وَعَمِلَ صَالِحًا فَلَهُمْ

Those who believe (in the Qur’an), and those who follow the Jewish (scriptures), and the Christians and the Sabians,- any who believe in Allah and the Last Day, and work righteousness… (Surah Al Baqarah verse 62)

All of these ayaat are inclusive ayaat. There are no swords and weapons between us and other peoples. This is a fabrication that has been put in peoples minds and we are bearing the consequences today. Once again, the ayaat and ahadith beckon you to understand what they mean not only in the time of hundreds of years ago but in our time today because we are responsible for our own life time not for other peoples lifetime.

Dear brothers and dear sisters and dear committed Muslims…

We cannot help but feel what these Muslims in Egypt are going through. A little bit about the internal psychology of these peoples/that population base… Because not many of us are Egyptians you may not know that there has been a growing effect on their psychologies that have been accumulating over the years. They saw their own country capitulate/surrender to the Zionists/Imperialists. The sycophant Sadat bowed down in the niche of Zionism/ Imperialism and the people of Egypt watched and it went down terribly in their own selves. They could not bear watching their President placing the whole country in a position that has become adjunct to Imperialism/Zionism. During the civil war in Lebanon they watched with their hands tied by the Camp David Accord. They could not do anything and this raised their level of their frustration. They watched the Zionists butcher the Palestinian people and Palestine is on their border. They watched the Israelis in different chapters/years abuse the Palestinians while the Egyptians were chained/unable to do anything. They watched Hizbullah in Lebanon and HAMAS in Gazzah putting up a stiff resistance and deflating the Israeli bogeyman in the area. They wanted to do something but they couldn’t do anything. They saw, (in the past year or two), the Egyptian Government and the Israeli Government building barriers along the Egyptian-Palestinian borders and they could do nothing. They saw attempts from all over the world to deliver the necessary supplies/medicines/food to the Gazzah population and they saw their own Government telling many of these Muslims and non- Muslims who wanted to offer subsistence to the Palestinians in Gazzah “you are not allowed to come to Al Arish to have access to Gazzah.” They closed the borders/ports. In other words they did the Israeli/Zionist bidding and they behaved the Israeli/Zionist character and still these 85-90 million Egyptians were looking/seeing that all of this is done without their approval/endorsement/participation. They said, (in a way), “enough is enough.” It is said that all of this began (with) thirty-to-thirty five individuals almost two weeks ago. They have been fed up. They said “we can’t take it any longer.” This was not organised/pre-planned. It was spontaneous. “We can’t take this anymore. Let’s just walk down this street and say “enough is enough.” We can’t take it anymore. Something has to be done.” Then the people listening to them began to join them- hundreds and then thousands; and then the second day and then the third day and then we have this movement now in progress. For thinking people what is troubling about this is there doesn’t seem to be a head on this body. There needs to be someone/some people/some committee/organisation that could give it a direction and meaning so that regrettable events do not happen next week/next month/next year. This is what is needed at this time. As for the decrepit regime of Mubarak and his henchmen- this guy that he has appointed as the Vice-President was, here, in the United States in the 1980’s at Fort Brag being trained by the Imperialists to pledge allegiance to the Zionists. This is the guy they want to be the future replacement of this Pharaoh, Tyrant. Far from it! We hope and we have confidence that the genuineness of the people in Egypt will not fall into the traps that are being laid. These people are nervous now and when people, meaning the Imperialists/Zionists, get nervous they go crazy; but we have confidence that Allah will over-rule all of their plans now behind closed doors and there will be a victory and the policies of all of that area will change and a new tomorrow arrive with Islamic self-determination and the pursuit of justice everywhere and anywhere with no apologies/inferiority complex.

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