Forgotten Dimensions of Shirk Part 3

Empowering Weak & Oppressed

Muhammad H. al-'Asi

Shawwal 04, 1432 2011-09-02

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,

From time to time we concentrate on an nafs al lawwamah. This is not brought to your attention. A Khutbah does not begin by saying “the subject of this Khutbah is going to be an nafs al lawwamah” but in the course of the Khutbah and with the gist of the Khutbah, the end result is we have taken a look at an nafs al lawwamah. What an nafs al lawwamah means is the self that is critical. A person who looks at his/her inabilities or deficiencies and then you begin to feel contrite about it because you didn’t do what was enough, you did not do what was right. Some Khutbahs come under the broad caption (of) an nafs al ammarah. An nafs al lawwamah- this Khutbah will be within that range and then you have an nafs al mutma’innah.

The Muslims in today’s world who are involved in Islamic work, (broadly speaking, of course not each and every Muslim in these Movements or Parties adheres to what we are going to say), but the Party line, (so to speak), is what we are talking about. We are not going to be mentioning, unless necessary, these Islamic Movements, these Islamic OrgaNisa’tions or these Islamic Parties by name. We will leave that up to your common sense, your previous experience and your insight. The Party line- there are two major Islamic directions and the first one sees or considers that the Muslims are living in the Makkan seerah of Allah’s Prophet so they try to give themselves an explanation of underground activities. They don’t want to be public; they don’t want to explain themselves in an open manner. Most of their programs are behind the scenes, (so to speak). We know (because) they tell us that “they consider the Islamic activities of today to fall into this Makkan phase of the seerah of Allah’s Prophet.” OK- when we take a look at the seerah of Allah’s Prophet we indeed find that there were, as a matter of agreement among all Muslims, two phases- the Makkan and the one in Madinah. Every Muslim agrees to that but when we take a closer look at the Makkan era- the thirteen years in which the Prophet was in Makkah- the first three years was what is called the years of secrecy. When Muslims met, they met behind closed doors; when Muslims expressed their devotion to Allah, they did it away from the public eye- but these were only three years. They were not thirteen years, they were not thirty years, they were not a-hundred-and-thirty years. Three years! OK- we ask “if these Muslims of today were following Allah’s Prophet, then why have they extended these three years to become, (we don’t know), generations now?!” Some of them have spent generations in what is supposed to be this time period! How long is it going to take? And how about the other ten years? If you say that you are in the phase that Allah’s Prophet was in when he was in Makkah how about the other ten years? He spent thirteen years there- the first three were what you may call formative years but what happened to the other ten years? Why does that not figure in to your programs? The answer to that is not spoken- no one wants to speak about that. The answer to that is when the Prophet and his closest ones lived these three years, they began a public campaign- they went public with this Islam. So what does going public with this Islam mean that people have to prepare for it by a period of secrecy? What’s so critical? What’s so dangerous that you have to prepare yourself for going public? What is dangerous about this is that the publicization of the Islamic da’wah means the de-legitimization of the system. This is, indeed, very unpredictable. What will happen if Muslims- in their tens of thousands, in their hundreds of thousands, in their millions- (that constitute), some of these Islamic Parties and OrgaNisa’tions- remember, the Prophet of Allah in those first three years only had about a few dozen people around him at the most- but now you have some Islamic activist types that consider themselves in the mould of Allah’s Prophet that have around them tens or thousands, others have hundreds of thousands and yet others have millions and they are still living in that cocoon of three years?! You come out of that. But they’re afraid to come out of that because what does that mean? It means that you are going to take issue with the Establishment, with the system, with the Government, with the Regime, with the Administration that makes social and political and military decisions that impact everyone around. The ayah in the Qur’an

اللَّهُ وَلِيُّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا يُخْرِجُهُم مِّنَ الظُّلُمَاتِ إِلَى النُّورِ ۖ وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا أَوْلِيَاؤُهُمُ الطَّاغُوتُ يُخْرِجُونَهُم مِّنَ النُّورِ إِلَى الظُّلُمَاتِ ۗ أُولَٰئِكَ أَصْحَابُ النَّارِ ۖ هُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ

Allah is the Wali of those who are committed to Him, He takes them out of darkness and into the light; and those who are in denial of Him, their Awliya’ are these concentrated and disproportionate powers of Taghut- they take people out of light and throw them out in obscurity; and they will dwell in An Naar forever (Surah Al Baqarah verse 257)

Before that

فَمَن يَكْفُرْ بِالطَّاغُوتِ وَيُؤْمِن بِاللَّهِ ٌ

… those who are going to take issue with At Taghut and commit themselves to Allah …

(Surah Al Baqarah verse 256)

OK- so the challenge that today’s Islamic Movements and Islamic Leaderships and Islamic decision-makers in the worldwide Islamic Movement face is are they going to take a public stand, are they going to go public with expressing the de-legitimization of the Governments where they are located- this is the issue and this scares the wit out of the leaderships of almost all of these Movements of Parties or Organizations.

Then you have another trend in these Islamic Movements and they consider themselves to be living in Al Madinah. When the Prophet was forced to leave from Makkah to Al Madinah, in Al Madinah he gained power. He was dealing with the de-legitimization issue now with power, with authority. Some of these who are going on a, (what you may call), clash with the forces of the status quo considering themselves in Al Madinah have misunderstood reality then and reality now. How do you consider yourself to be in Al Madinah when you don’t have an Islamic authority to which you refer yourself? We’re speaking about Islamic Movements; we’re not speaking about an Islamic State- how do you do that? Then, you begin to freelance your jihad! That’s what people are doing now- they are freelancing their jihad only to be used by those who have the military might in the world to legitimize their declaration of war against Islamic self-determination. In the time of Allah’s Prophet there was a clash and a confrontation with the Taghut, (this is one of the words that is seldomly used in the public discourse of Muslims; At Taghut- a Qur’anic word; tughyaan- a Qur’anic word; tagha- a Qur’anic word), so why are the Muslims-who are supposed to know better- avoiding the meanings of this word? Once again, because it means that Muslims are going to begin to have to do something. So when we look at Allah’s Prophet we find that he was in a confrontation with the Taghut. Who were the Taghut? They were human beings. Abu Jahl and Abu Lahab were human beings. He wasn’t confronting graven images/idols in the Ka’bah. In the Ka’bah there was Al Laat, there was Al Uzza, there was Hubal and the other idols there- did the Prophet say “I am at war with these idols?” It would have been a simple task. The fact of the matter was that he was at war with human beings who were in the highest ranks of society at that time. These were the Tawagheet. The ayah in the Qur’an

فَقَاتِلُوا أَئِمَّةَ الْكُفْرِ ۙ إِنَّهُمْ لَا أَيْمَانَ لَهُمْ

… and you wage war against the leaders of kufr because they don’t honour their words, they don’t honour their agreements... (Surah At Tawbah verse 128)

This ayah didn’t say fa qatilu Al Laat wa Al Uzza- the idols that were in the Ka’bah. This is concentrating the Muslims attention on the Imams of Kufr. And as a side note here for those individuals who have a holiness around the word Imam and its plural A’immah- there’s no holiness in this ayah concerning this word. This is dangerous. Do you mean to tell us we are going to have to face off against real people? Yes- that’s what it means! So the Prophet was in a clash and a confrontation and a war with the big shots of Makkah and the memory, (just the memory. Remember, sometimes we have a feint memory but we want you to jog your memory and say/ask yourself “who do I know…” Even though Islamic information is presented to us lacking a lot of details but the glory of the Prophet’s jihad left us with something that we don’t pay much attention to and that is if we were to right now recollect in our minds the Prophet’s time, we are familiar with the mustakbireen and the mujrimeen- the high ranking Kuffaar of Makkah; because if you mention the word Abu Lahab to an average Muslim he will remember that name, if you mention the word Abu Jahal to an average Muslim he’ll remember that name, if you mention the word Abu Sufyan to an average Muslim he will remember that name but if you mention Suwaah,Yaguth, Ya’uk, Nasir- you’ve heard these words right now- even though these words are mentioned in the Qur’an, do these words carry with them the same information that the words Abu Jahal and Abu Lahab and Abu Sufyan and the other enemies of Allah’s Prophet carry with them such as the idols that we just mentioned? This should, (at least in a non-polluted mind), tell you that the Islamic struggle is a real struggle with people who have real power. The idols that existed- Wadd, Suwaah,Yaguth, Ya’uk and Nasir- were instruments that are used by people who stole Allah’s authority. They wanted to be the authorities. This is the area in which today’s Islamic leaders do not want to enter because it is going to put them in a struggle mode, in a struggle character.

They don’t want that. In the time of Musa (alaihi as salaam)… What stands out in your mind about the story of Musa? It was a struggle against the Pharoah. The Pharoah was a leader, the Pharoah was an Imam of Kufr, the Pharoah attributed to himself what belongs to a deity and a divinity. Do you, (in your mind- ask yourself), in the narrative of Musa remember idols? Were there any idols? What you remember is the Pharoah? The idols were not a major obstacle between Musa and his mission; the major obstacle was the Pharoah- the Chief Commander and the Chief Executive and the Chief decision maker in that land; a person who said and his policies meant that he is the supremo of the land. What did the Pharoah say? An ayah in the Qur’an

فَقَالَ أَنَا رَبُّكُمُ الْأَعْلَىٰ

… I am your supreme lord or sustainer. (Surah Al Naaziaat verse 24)

In another statement he says speaking to his citizens and constituents as if he is a god

مَا أُرِيكُمْ إِلَّا مَا أَرَىٰ

… I show you what I see… (Surah Ghafir verse 29)

As if he is a deity and divinity and as if human beings cannot see or understand anything outside of the eyes and the head of the Pharoah!

We’re now going off on tangents- now, gather what was just said and place yourself in the Arabia of the Prophet’s generation and the Prophet’s era. Place yourself there. Makkah was a center. First of all, we had a decentralized Arabia. In today’s language, we had an Arabia that had many power factions in it and each power faction did not report to a central authority. They were, in the vocabulary of today, they were independent. They were doing their own stuff. Those who were in Yemen, those who were in Najd, those who were in Hejaz and wherever else- Al Hadramaut, Al Bahrain or to the North or wherever else- they were doing their own thing. Makkah was a central city to them not in the political meaning of the word. They didn’t report to Makkah politically. Makkah to them was their religious centre- the Ka’bah was in Makkah. Makkah was their major trading outpost- they would go to Makkah during the time of the Hajj for major commercial purposes. Makkah was their cultural centre- they used to have these few yearly conventions of literary people who would assemble there in Makkah and Quraysh was the major faction inside of Makkah. What was Makkah? This is also an area that is not clear in the current Muslim mind. What was Makkah? Makkah gained its reputation and its popularity amongst the rest of the Arabians because of the legitimacy of Ibrahim and Isma’eel (alaihima as salaam). If it wasn’t for Ibrahim and Isma’eel Makkah would not have been what it was. It probably would not have existed. So these Arabians at the advent of Muhammad considered Makkah a God-given to them because of Ibrahim and Isma’eel. Al Hajj was performed in Makkah with similarities to the way Muslims perform the Hajj today. There was tawaaf around the Ka’bah- this is before the Prophet. There was as sa’ee between As Safa and Al Marwah- you jog between As Safa and Al Marwah; you go to Mina’ and Muzdalifah; you stand on Mount Arafat- you do all of these things that Muslims who go to the Hajj do today. Of course, there were some corrupted elements in there. The talbiyah- when we say Labbayk Allahumma Labbayk, Labbayk Laa Shareeka Laka Labbayk- was corrupted. So what did they say? (They said) Labbayk Allahumma Labbayk, Labbayk Laa Shareeka Laka; Inna Sharikun Malaktahu wa ma Malak. The rest of the talbiyah was just like Muslims today say it. When you think about it, they were honest with themselves, not like today’s Muslims! When today’s Muslims go to the Hajj and they say Labbayk Allahumma Labbayk, Labbayk Laa Shareeka Laka Labbayk; Inna Al Hamdah wa An Ni’mata wa Al Mulka Lak; wahdaka Laa Shareeka Laka; Labbayk, etc. they don’t mean it and they don’t behave it. At that time we had followers who in themselves thought they were followers of Ibrahim but they came and said Allah, we come to you, we are at your service, we are responding to you- Labbayk Allahumma Labbayk. Then they say and you have no shareek except for a shareek who You possess or are in control of and he does not possess and he is not in control. There were individuals who were not polluted by this religious deviation in Makkah. They were called Al Ahnaaf- followers of Al Hanifiyah or followers of Ibrahim. A few of them who were mentioned in Islamic history- Qiss ibn Saa’idah, Amr ibn Zayd, Ash Shimli. But no one knows about these. Why? Because it is going to tell you that there is a difference between the Arabians who claim that they are following Ibrahim and Isma’eel and what Ibrahim and Isma’eel stood for. Just like today- no one is going to tell you there’s a difference between the rulers in Makkah and Al Madinah and what the last Prophet of Allah stood for. These people’s social life was corrupted just like today’s people’s social life is corrupted. Today Muslims in Arabia lie, they commit adultery, they cheat, they rob other people’s resources, they claim for themselves what is not theirs. Today’s Arabians are like the Arabians at time of Allah’s Prophet. Before the first battle between Islam and Kufr took place when Abu Jahal was defeated, he said and he asked Allah- he didn’t go to Al Laat and Al Uzza and Hubul, these idols in the Ka’bah and ask them- no! Abu Jahal, the number one enemy of the Prophet asked Allah for victory in the impending battle of Badr i.e. to give victory to the side that is correct. If Muhammad is correct he asked Allah to give him victory (and) if the Mushriks of Makkah are correct, to give them victory. Of course, after the battle was won by the Muslims, this number one enemy in Arabia did not see what Allah has done. Another indicator of how these people had the rituals that we had… This same Abu Jahal- after the defeat at Badr, he took a solemn oath that he will not cleanse himself of al janaabah until he takes revenge from Muhammad. This is not a Muslim but he is speaking about janaabah- the major impurity. When a person has a relation with his wife, he has a full ghusl/a bath after that. Abu Jahal said he is not going to have a full bath after a janaabah. Which means what? These Arabians have the information of tahaarah, of janaabah, of najaasah that comes to us from Allah’s Prophet and came to them from Allah’s previous Prophets, Ibrahim and Isma’eel. So the rituals were there. So why was the Prophet knocking heads, (so to speak), with them when they had the rituals of Islam as individuals, even though their society was corrupted with the immoralities that we just referred to? But the problem wasn’t with them denying Allah. There are many ayaat, (but) we usually quote one ayah to bring this to your attention.

وَلَئِن سَأَلْتَهُم مَّنْ خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ لَيَقُولُنَّ اللَّهُ

If you were to ask these Mushriks and these Kafirs who created the heavens and the Earth they will certainly say: Allah… (Surah Luqman verse 25)

So what’s the big fuss? What’s the big issue about? They say Allah created the creation. Maybe we should mention these other ayaat because some people take this lightly.

وَلَئِن سَأَلْتَهُم مَّنْ خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضَ وَسَخَّرَ الشَّمْسَ وَالْقَمَرَ لَيَقُولُنَّ اللَّهُ

If you were to ask them who created the heavens and the Earth and who has made the Sun and the Moon for purposes of human life here on Earth, they will indeed say: Allah… (Surah Al Ankabut verse 61)

So how come they begin to contrive these lies about Allah’s authority?

ذَٰلِكُم بِأَنَّهُ إِذَا دُعِيَ اللَّهُ وَحْدَهُ كَفَرْتُمْ ۖ وَإِن يُشْرَكْ بِهِ تُؤْمِنُوا

That is because if Allah was to be presented to you as the sole Authority and Power, then you deny that; but if Allah is presented with a formula of shirk- other associates of divinity and authority (or) other parallels in Divinity or authority (or) other rivals to whom you appoint divinity and authority you become committed to Allah… (Surah Ghafir verse 12)

وَلَئِن سَأَلْتَهُم

If you were to ask them … (Surah Az Zukhruf verse 87)

Whether these are the contemporary Arabians in the Arabian Peninsula today or the ones who were living there fourteen and fifteen centuries ago…

وَلَئِن سَأَلْتَهُم مَّنْ خَلَقَهُمْ

If you were to ask them who created you, they would say: Allah… (Surah Az Zukhruf verse 87)

So why did the Prophet of Allah literally pick a fight with them? They were conceding all of this. There’s no problem?! So there’s an issue here- an issue that brought both sides to war. What’s the issue? The issue is that authority doesn’t belong to the big wigs of Makkah, it belongs to Allah and this is what, in today’s world, some of these rulers and their mouth-pieces say to the members of the Islamic Movement today. They say to them “what’s the issue? Why are you in opposition? We all believe in the same God. Don’t take this into this area of conflict and confrontation that you possibly may be taking it into.” That’s what they’re saying. The issue is we have a serious disagreement with them and they know the nature of this disagreement. The problem is the rank and file Muslim is kept away from the critical area of this disagreement. The word Kufr and its derivatives is mentioned more than five-hundred times in the Qur’an; the word Shirk and its derivatives is mentioned over three-hundred times in the Qur’an; and when you have today’s Islamic Preachers and teachers expressing themselves about Islam they want to avoid the word Kufr. The problem becomes complicated because there are those who are anxious to use the word Kufr but to misplace it. Instead of looking at the real Kafirs like the Pharoahs of our times, like the Abu Lahabs in our time- these are the true-brew Kuffaar and Mushrikin (but) no; they take the word Kafir and they look at Muslims and they say to this Muslim and to that Muslim “you are a Kafir.” What happened? This is the dilemma; this is the paradox that we are living in today’s world. These rulers who have given their allegiance, (a key word in this regards is allegiance), Muslims owe their allegiance to Allah’s authority and power but we have Muslim rulers who owe their allegiance to the Kafirs and the Mushriks in today’s world. This becomes a matter of life and death and we don’t negotiate away our principles, our iman, our ideology. We don’t negotiate those away to become part of the system. Some of these Islamic Parties consider themselves part of the opposition but they want an opposition that fits into the system. This is not the way Allah’s Prophet’s opposition was.

Brothers and sisters, committed Muslims…

A sentence that comes to us from the Prophet’s struggle- his enemies said, when they were fed up with him, either we cause Muhammad to perish or he will cause us to perish, either we finish him off or he finishes us off. This is the nature of the struggle. We don’t want people to pollute the meanings of this struggle; this is no time for that pollution! We have many of these polluters who come around and they want to poison the atmosphere. They want to take away from us the clarity of where we are and where the enemies are. They want to fudge this issue. There’s no time and there’s no room for these shenanigans. We know that the Islamic Movement of today has a long way to go- we know that and we say this, (as we said at the beginning of the Khutbah), under the broad context of An Nafs Al Lawwamah. You feel contrite about our lagging behind. (Do) you think that, (we who have been), praying in the street for all of these years is something odd, something crazy? A few days ago, (we’re not speaking about other places in the world, we’re just taking one example), on the day of Eid, the Muslims in Jordan were praying in the street. Why? Because the Jordanian Government which has control of the Masajid there did not permit certain free minded Muslims to express themselves in the Masajid in Amman, Jordan. They told them “you can’t come into the Masajid.” So they held their Khutbahs outside, in the open in the streets. In the meantime the speakers for the authorities- who had their musk on, who had their gowns on, who had their Islamic garments and their Islamic features and their Islamic appearances on went and ascended the Mimbar and spoke to the congregations inside the Masjid. What does this mean? Does it mean that there is a type of conciliation between the Islamic trend of the future and the status quo forces of what is quickly becoming the past?

Another incident… Tens of thousands of Egyptians went to, (what is considered to be), the major Umrah of they year i.e. the last week or the last ten days in Ramadhan. Many Muslims try to make it to Makkah to attend that Umrah of numbers. When they wanted to leave at the Jeddah airport, they were confined to an area in which the airlines didn’t pay any attention to them, the Egyptian Consulate in the Kingdom didn’t pay any attention to them. Some of them, (or many of them), are elderly people; many of them are women and some of them are children and they were left there for days- as if they don’t exist. Some of them began to feel bad. They began to feel disturbed- “why are we being treated like this” - and they began to express themselves. The Saudi Government put together extra flights to fly them out because they were sensing trouble that is brewing in the Kingdom. So they tagged on an extra few scores of flights to Egypt to get rid of them. Some of them felt what was being done to them (and) upon arrival in Egypt they refused to leave the plane for hours. This is an internal feeling of Muslims that is not isolated. Others are calling for a demonstration in front of the Saudi Embassy in Cairo this coming weekend- in a day or two. These are facts. If they point to anything, they point to the usurpers of Allah’s authority who rule in the land of Islam and in the land of imaan and in the land of the Prophet. The question is: when are we, the conventional Muslims, going to be liberated from the traditional consequences of our rituals. We have to be liberated from our rituals to see the fact about those who are imposing themselves on us. Some Muslims tell us “Jerusalem is the central issue of the Muslims all over the world.” We have no argument with that; but why can’t we say Makkah is the central issue of the Muslims in the world? Why? Until we are able to ask ourselves that question and look for an answer to that question, we will continue to generate these bad feelings about ourselves, we will continue to act superficially as if we are brothers of each other and we will continue to mark time until Allah, with the efforts of His sincere subjects, liberates us from this stale condition that we are in.

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