Makkahs essence Part 2

Developing Just Leadership

Muhammad H. al-'Asi

Shawwal 15, 1431 2010-09-24

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,

There’s less than two months when the Muslims will assemble in the area of Makkah and go through the motions/movements of the Hajj. It concerns us quite profoundly to know that the meanings of this yearly act of devotion are absent. We’ve tried on previous occasions to reconstruct some of these meanings and we will try again, (not to be repetitive), to build up these meanings so that we can eventually have a meaningful and thus a practical Hajj. It all begins with Ibrahim (alaihi as salaatu wa as salaam). The ayah in the Qur’an that gives us a general understanding of Ibrahim is ayah fifty-one of Surah Al Ambiya’. This is a very good overview of who Ibrahim was and who he was going to become.

وَلَقَدْ آتَيْنَا إِبْرَاهِيمَ رُشْدَهُ مِن قَبْلُ وَكُنَّا بِهِ عَالِمِينَ

In times before We have imparted unto Ibrahim his maturity and We had knowledge of who Ibrahim was. (Surah Al Ambiya’ verse 51)

This is a way of saying to you that if you are maturing in the sight of Allah/if you are in your heart and in the core of your existence living for Allah, Allah’s eyes are on you. It’s not like he was struggling on his own and Allah was absent. Allah was present there in Ibrahim’s life. Then another ayah- ayah seventy-five- of Surah Al An’am says knowing the incidents/details of Ibrahim’s life- with those details Allah says

وَكَذَٰلِكَ نُرِي إِبْرَاهِيمَ مَلَكُوتَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ

It is such a manner that We showed Ibrahim the fact that as samawaat and ardh have possessors i.e. there are people who own things... (Surah Al An’am verse 75)

This is an area that even most, who consider themselves devout Muslims, are unaware of the issue of who own things- simple things/property/estates/land/buildings- that’s a type of ownership. Then you have the ownership of economies/resources. Ibrahim’s consciousness was such that he could identify/was aware of petty/small owners and the owners of larger things in the Earth and in the Heavens. It’s not like today’s reduced Muslims- “Oh when they think about owning something they think about a mortgage/house” and that’s the purview/extent of ownership- that’s as far as they can go. Well how about oil fields/gold mines/sources of energy? Who owns them? Ibrahim was a person who had a consciousness of this fact. He looked around and he began to think; unlike us. We are given information from the Qur’an and Sunnah that do not make us think along these lines?!

وَكَذَٰلِكَ نُرِي إِبْرَاهِيمَ مَلَكُوتَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ

It is such a manner that We showed Ibrahim the fact that as samawaat and ardh have possessors i.e. there are people who own things... (Surah Al An’am verse 75)

For what?

وَلِيَكُونَ مِنَ الْمُوقِنِينَ

… so that that element of certainty and certitude is found in him. (Surah Al An’am verse 75)

This is a person who is very certain of what he knew, unlike people we have today. We have a dichotomy and schizophrenic types of personalities who know things- there’s a lot of information. You can’t fault them because they have no information! They are in encyclopaedias of information but do they have the certainty of principle that comes with that knowledge? No. So Ibrahim, (we’re speaking about the progenitor of Makkah (and) of the Hajj), lived in a society just like we all live in society. An average man living in an average society. He was burdened with a type of ruler just like the types of rulers that we have. Everything has to be explained their way. There’s no room for God/revelation/Prophets. No! Forget all about that! If you want these to become children’s stories- OK, that’s your choice but when it comes to economic/social affairs (and) then you tell us about God…?! Forget about this. So Ibrahim now found himself in a position of conflict with a tyrannical ruler. All of this has to do with the Hajj brothers and sisters. We’re not speaking to you about a story that is suspended between Heaven and Earth. This is a real, contributive, involved and active portion of information that relates to our Hajj. So in the long-and-short discussions that were between Ibrahim and the ruler of his society… This is another area. A person who has Allah’s words has a word with the ruler of that land. (This is) way beyond today’s people who are given Allah’s words. Oh do they think they are going to have to take these words to the ruler of the land? “No-no! Keep us way from that. Let Allah’s words be confined to the Masjid. Take it to the President/King/Monarch/Dictator!? What are you talking about?” Well- brothers and sisters- this is what we have. (if) you want to accept this we (can) move forward; (if) you don’t want to accept this confess that you are incapable of doing what you are supposed to do. So in this give-and-take between Ibrahim and, (some books of history say that the name of that ruler is called), Nimrud, Ibrahim wanted to make a long presentation short. He said OK- you claim you are who you are! You have this power/might/position/status/glory/pomp that goes with the position that you are in and you are ridiculing Allah? Oh who’s Allah? What’s this? What do you talk about? Ibrahim said to him

فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ يَأْتِي بِالشَّمْسِ مِنَ الْمَشْرِقِ فَأْتِ بِهَا مِنَ الْمَغْرِبِ

… Allah causes the sun to come up from the East so if you claim you are who you are and you are more important/powerful/significant than Allah then cause the sun to come up from the West… (Surah Al Baqarah verse 258)

What type of answer is this type of person going to give? The answer was this ruler who is at ideological odds with Ibrahim and Allah couldn’t find an answer to this request!

فَبُهِتَ الَّذِي كَفَرَ ۗ وَاللَّهُ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ

… dumb founded was he who committed himself to kufr; and Allah does not guide people, communities, societies, establishments that do injustice- period. (Surah Al Baqarah verse 258)

This issue was not peculiar to two people: we have Ibrahim and Nimrud. This had to do with the society that was between them so that the ending sentence in this ayah concerned the people, not Ibrahim, not Nimrud. meaning

وَاللَّهُ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ

… Oh people: if you are going to accept the logic, instructions, programs and policies of this type of despotic/tyrannical ruler then Allah’s not going to guide you. (Surah Al Baqarah verse 258)

Now, as is the case with many people, they look at where the money comes from. People are many times motivated by “who is going to pay for this. How are we going to feed our families? Where is our sustenance coming from?” Ibrahim knew this was the concern of these people so he said to them

إِنَّمَا تَعْبُدُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ أَوْثَانًا وَتَخْلُقُونَ إِفْكًا ۚ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ تَعْبُدُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ لَا يَمْلِكُونَ لَكُمْ رِزْقًا

These powers and images that you revere and adore besides Allah are not in possession of your rizq and sustenance that they can give you… (Surah Al Ankabut verse 17)

(Do) you hear that? So they are concerned about their rizq. Know that those who are in power- whether it is religious/economic/political/military power- have nothing to do with your rizq.

فَابْتَغُوا عِندَ اللَّهِ الرِّزْقَ

… therefore if you want to ask for rizq, provisions, sustenance and livelihood, you ask it from Allah… (Surah Al Ankabut verse 17)

We still haven’t learnt this lesson. With all the experience/history/Seerah/struggles that we have had we haven’t learnt this simple lesson which is in the ayah Iqra’, (an ayah which is to be recited endlessly). So he says to these people who depend for their everyday life on this power structure with this type of King

وَاعْبُدُوهُ وَاشْكُرُوا لَهُ

… conform to Allah and be grateful to Allah… (Surah Al Ankabut verse 17)

This type of power structure and all the embellishment that goes with it does not deserve your loyalty and submission.

إِلَيْهِ تُرْجَعُونَ

… to Him you will return. (Surah Al Ankabut verse 17)

Then Ibrahim goes on to speak to his own people. Brothers and sisters- we’re not taking you far away from the issue of the Hajj. The initial statement in this khutbah is very peculiar/relevant to the Hajj. Ibrahim says to his own people

أَوَلَمْ يَرَوْا كَيْفَ يُبْدِئُ اللَّهُ الْخَلْقَ ثُمَّ يُعِيدُهُ ۚ إِنَّ ذَٰلِكَ عَلَى اللَّهِ يَسِيرٌ

قُلْ سِيرُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ فَانظُرُوا كَيْفَ بَدَأَ الْخَلْقَ

Have you not considered how Allah begins creation and repeats it? As far as Allah is concerned that is very simple/easy to do. Ibrahim says to that type of society “OK, then go forward in the lands of the world…” (Surah Al Ankabut verse 19-20)

Now this tells us that the society that he was in was a confined society. That means not many people go far distances to look at other peoples/their histories/experiences. They’re locked up, just like most of today’s people are locked up. What perpetuates the Taghut/illegitimate concentration of ungodly powers in this world is to limit the movement of peoples. So Ibrahim’s attempt was to have these people move out of their official confinement. Some people read this without much information/context.

أَوَلَمْ يَرَوْا كَيْفَ يُبْدِئُ اللَّهُ الْخَلْقَ ثُمَّ يُعِيدُهُ

… then consider how you can have an advantage of looking at this act of beginning to live and sustaining a livelihood when you are outside of you’re domesticated condition in your peculiar society.

Then Allah brings about the second genesis or the last beginning… (Surah Al Ankabut verse 19)

The inference of the ayah here is that if people are able to break the immediate informational, propagandistic, brainwashing chains that they are in by changing their country/location altogether they will be able to see things they don’t see in the routine (and) habitual life that they are caged in. Ibrahim wanted his society to make that transformation. At the end of this ayah- nineteen and twenty- of Surah Al Ankabut because some people would say “ah this is wishful thinking. What are you talking about? (Do) you mean we have to leave what we have? To put down our roots in this place? We have our home/possessions here! What are you talking about?” Allah’s response to them

إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ

… indeed Allah is able to do all things. (Surah Al Ankabut verse 20)

Now, dear brothers and sisters, after recouping this information here we come to the crux of the matter. Listen to this ayah- number twenty-four- in Surah Al Ankabut. Do so you understand that?

فَمَا كَانَ جَوَابَ قَوْمِهِ إِلَّا أَن قَالُوا اقْتُلُوهُ أَوْ حَرِّقُوهُ

The answer of his people, meaning Ibrahim’s people, was kill or incinerate him… (Surah Al Ankabut verse 24)

Brothers and sisters- this was not an answer of the ruler/officials/Government representatives. This was the answer of his own people/neighbourhood people/his friends/people who knew him- the average people in the street. This is what happens when people are enslaved so much to the structure’s misinformation that they had. Instead of people turning against Nimrud they turned against Ibrahim! A popular movement turned against a Prophet. He was telling them

سِيرُوا فِي الْأَرْضِ فَانظُرُوا كَيْفَ بَدَأَ الْخَلْقَ ۚ ثُمَّ اللَّهُ يُنشِئُ النَّشْأَةَ الْآخِرَةَ

… why don’t you go to other parts of the world and grow up and see the facts for yourselves… (Surah Al Ankabut verse 20)

You would expect that if they are fed up him they would have told him the same thing. Why don’t they tell him “why don’t you leave this country/land and you go out to other parts of the world?” They were more vicious against Ibrahim.

فَمَا كَانَ جَوَابَ قَوْمِهِ إِلَّا أَن قَالُوا اقْتُلُوهُ أَوْ حَرِّقُوهُ

They said well the only thing we can do with this person is kill or burn him… (Surah Al Ankabut verse 24)

Brothers and sisters- all Prophets were sent to their own people. Ibrahim was sent to his own people and this is what his own people did to him. So he, in an obituary statement said to them

وَقَالَ إِنَّمَا اتَّخَذْتُم مِّن دُونِ اللَّهِ أَوْثَانًا مَّوَدَّةَ بَيْنِكُمْ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا

What you have agreed to have for yourselves are human images of false powers and false deities that have become a matter that defines your inter and intra relationships… (Surah Al Ankabut verse 25)

He realised that their allegiance/loyalty to their ruler/system is so much that while they had made up their mind that they didn’t want him anymore they (also) wanted to exclude him.

ثُمَّ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ يَكْفُرُ بَعْضُكُم بِبَعْضٍ وَيَلْعَنُ بَعْضُكُم بَعْضًا

Ibrahim says to them… but on the day of resurrection you are going to become Kafirs to each other and you are going to curse and condemn each other… (Surah Al Ankabut verse 25)

Now Ibrahim left this society of his where he was designated/chosen by Allah to be its Prophet and he went because he was forced to go. We’re skipping this part of history. You know the part when they threw him into the fire and Allah said to that fire

قُلْنَا يَا نَارُ كُونِي بَرْدًا وَسَلَامًا عَلَىٰ إِبْرَاهِيمَ

Oh fire: be a cool and peaceful abode for Ibrahim. (Surah Al Ambiya’ verse 69)

That act of hostility and intent to kill was equivalent to the act that Quraysh did to Allah’s Prophet when they were fed up with him and wanted to kill him. So when Ibrahim had to leave his own people, his own society and his own language that he used to speak he had to go to another land/language/people; you can say that Ibrahim, (we’re going to borrow words here), was the first person to experience a diaspora. He became an alien citizen of the world. He no longer belongs to a land/people and so his life takes him from one place to the other. Finally what happens in this lifelong struggle is that Ibrahim finds his country and begins the seeds of his people in Makkah. Did you hear that! When you no longer have a people/citizenship and when you no longer belong, where is it that you’ll find a country/people/citizenship, (so to speak)? You will find it in Makkah. If we understood the meaning of this Hajj (and) how Makkah came to existence… It was no-man’s land- sand and dunes upon dunes of sand. Ibrahim went, settled and found a place in “no place”. Today, don’t we have people who don’t have countries/citizenships/who have been expelled by force from their territories/homes/homelands? Of course we do; but then why don’t we have people discovering that the place to go is Makkah because Ibrahim had already walked this path before? He found Makkah not only for himself but for everyone who finds himself like Ibrahim. So Ibrahim had to begin from scratch. He found a place- that was Makkah and now it was important to find people who would gravitate to Makkah and he could only vouch for his own children. That’s why he turned to Allah at a certain time in this struggle of a lifetime. Allah says to him

قَالَ إِنِّي جَاعِلُكَ لِلنَّاسِ إِمَامًا

… I will appoint and designate you as an Imam… (Surah Al Baqarah verse 124)

What is he going to say- “and of my people?” There’s no longer a people. The society expelled him. He can’t vouch for anyone around, so who can he vouch for? His own children/future generations. So he turns to Allah having no one in this world- loneliness is a hard thing and feeling the loneliness that he felt-

قَالَ وَمِن ذُرِّيَّتِي

… he said and designate leaders from my offspring… (Surah Al Baqarah verse 124)

Allah said to him

لَا يَنَالُ عَهْدِي الظَّالِمِينَ

… My pledge does not apply to ad dhalimin. (Surah Al Baqarah verse 124)

So if in your offspring there are going to be offenders/oppressors/people who are busy with injustice they are excluded from this pledge. Makkah is supposed to be a place that brings together the desperate/homeless of the world; people who have lost their countries/affiliations because of their attachment to Allah. We ask you- dear brothers and sisters- is that what Makkah means today?

Brothers and sisters, committed Muslims…

If Makkah and the Hajj regained their vital definitions we will have not only a change in the circumstances that have been choking our societies, but we would have a change in the political terrain and the economic structures of the world. But what do you do now when you have this vital information about Makkah absent from the Muslim mind? What is Makkah? You go there and you go through the motions. Its supposed to be a robotic Hajj- do this do that OK. What’s the meaning of doing this and that? Where did this come from? What history does this have? All of that is absent. So we have Makkah without a definition/without this rich history in our public mind. Ibrahim is saying/asking/pleading to Allah asking Him

فَاجْعَلْ أَفْئِدَةً مِّنَ النَّاسِ تَهْوِي إِلَيْهِمْ

… cause the hearts of people to flock/gravitate/tend towards them (meaning the only affiliation that he had in this world- his own family) (Surah Ibrahim verse 37)

Why don’t we have at least a mental gravitation towards Makkah and Ibrahim? What do we say about ourselves when that mental fact is no longer there? And to complicate it even more not only do we have the Qur’anic vital information blocked out of our public mind we also have secular laws and tyrannical Governments that act as physical barriers- set aside the psychological/mental barriers that we are suffering from- but now we have physical/material barriers that we have to deal with. If we can understand the combination of these road and mental blocks that we suffer from we can understand why millions of people go to Makkah for the Hajj/Umrah and they have no effect on the affairs of their societies or the larger human societies in the world. This place was designated a place to have an impact upon the peoples of the world. The people who rule in Arabia now are the ones who have constricted the Hajj to only a couple of million people going there every year when the potential is tens of millions of Muslims going there every year. These people rely upon the Nimrud of today. The person that Ibrahim fled from, (what is supposed to be of an area of Iraq today), has come back thousands of years later wearing the costume of Islam but implementing the directives of everything that is opposed to Allah and His Prophets. This whole circle is absent in the Muslim mind and we pray to Allah to have this mind recapture these facts and the reality of the world we are in.

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