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,
وَالَّذِينَ اتَّخَذُوا مَسْجِدًا ضِرَارًا وَكُفْرًا وَتَفْرِيقًا بَيْنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَإِرْصَادًا لِّمَنْ حَارَبَ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ مِن قَبْلُ ۚ وَلَيَحْلِفُنَّ إِنْ أَرَدْنَا إِلَّا الْحُسْنَىٰ ۖ وَاللَّهُ يَشْهَدُ إِنَّهُمْ لَكَاذِبُونَ
لَا تَقُمْ فِيهِ أَبَدًا ۚ لَّمَسْجِدٌ أُسِّسَ عَلَى التَّقْوَىٰ مِنْ أَوَّلِ يَوْمٍ أَحَقُّ أَن تَقُومَ فِيهِ ۚ فِيهِ رِجَالٌ يُحِبُّونَ أَن يَتَطَهَّرُوا ۚ وَاللَّهُ يُحِبُّ الْمُطَّهِّرِينَ
There are those who built a Masjid to harm, and to promote kufr, and to divide the Muslims and as an outpost, from where they will wage war against Allah and Allah’s messenger. And they will say, under oath, that they only want to do good. But Allah bears witness that they are liars. Never stand to pray there, a Masjid that was founded upon duty to Allah is more worthy that thou should stand and pray therein, where there are men that purify themselves, and Allah loves the purifiers. (Surah At Tawbah verse 107 to 108)
These are the two ayaat 107 and 108 of Surah Al Bara’ah or Surah At Tawbah. These ayaat have a history to them and ayaat (or) messages from Allah are better understood if they are social ayaat in the context that they came to disclose or to explain or to expand. These two ayaat speak about a Masjid that was built with an agenda, in today’s language. The Masjid was built with an agenda. On the surface it’s a Masjid- no one can take issue with a Masjid, someone is building a Masjid but if there is a hidden plan behind the building of a particular Masjid then it merits light from Allah to expose the nature of the whole project and this is what these ayaat are doing. How did this whole project begin? This is the background and this is the context of these ayaat. We skipped the translation of these ayaat because we take for granted that many of you are familiar with them; we’ve covered them at least once before and time is a factor here. The background information for these ayaat is the following… There was a person who lived in Yathrib, the city that was latter on named Al Madinah. The person’s name was Abu Aamir Ar Rahib. This was a person who was a very well known figure among the Khazraj. Al Khazraj was one of the two major communities in Al Madinah. He was one of, (what you may call), the elites of the Khazraj. But then, all of a sudden as he was shining among his own community and within Yathrib something happened that was not expected and that is the advent of Rasulillah coming from Makkah and settling in Yathrib, hence Al Madinah or Madinah Ar Rasul. This caused some psychological and attitudinal problems among individuals who were in the hierarchy of Yathrib. The one that’s most mentioned in this regard is Abdullah ibn Ubay ibn Salul. Everyone knows that character but not many people are versed in this other character who is called Abu Aamir Ar Rahib. Now this person was, (as we just mentioned), a limelight figure in Yathrib prior to the arrival of Rasulillah and what happened here was that the people’s attention shifted from these elites of Yathrib to the new Islamic personalities- whether they are the Muhajirin or whether they were the Al Ansar. So these prior figures (or) limelight characters were eclipsed and something happens in the psychology of certain people when they are overshadowed or when they are in their own selves, (this is how they think in themselves), that they are marginalised by Muhammad and by the Muhajirin and the Ansar with him. So this is what happened to Abu Aamir Ar Rahib. He felt like he was slighted and he was cut down- that wasn’t the case but that’s how he felt. And then he bided his time; he wanted to see what’s going to happen here. OK- this person arrives from Makkah (and) he says he is a Prophet… By the way Abu Aamir Ar Raahib was a person who was versed in Christianity, that’s why his title Ar Raahib, the monk, (so to speak). This is the same word- raahib, Ar ruhbaan, turhibuna- that we were using coincidentally in the last khutbah. Abu Aamir Ar Raahib watched with his own senses the consolidation of an Islamic leadership, an Islamic core of people, an Islamic society and then he saw what happened at the battle of Badr when the Muslims scored their first military victory against the Mushrikin who came from Makkah with their war plans to eviscerate the Islamic society and state in Al Madinah. When Abu Aamir Ar Raahib in his own self was convinced that this new Islamic presence in Al Madinah is in an ascending order (i.e.) he didn’t think that there is something that is going to undermine this Islamic reality he left Al Madinah to go to Makkah and he began to, as much as he could, use his influence to increase the momentum of the Mushrikin in Makkah against Al Muslimeen in Al Madinah. That culminated to the battle of Uhud. This Abu Aamir Ar Raahib comes with the Mushrikin who came to Al Madinah to duel with the committed Muslims. Abu Aamir Ar Raahib was with the Mushrikin and he helped to dig some of these holes. During the battle of Uhud there was a tactic that was used by the Mushrikin of Makkah to dig some of these holes so that Muslims are not as mobile as they would otherwise be. So this Abu Aamir was one who dug some of these holes and it resulted in the Prophet of Allah falling and suffering the bruises and the cuts and the laceration to his face and his body in addition to breaking one of his, (it’s called), the forth tooth which means one of these tooth in the front of the mouth- the bottom one. The battle of Uhud also did not go as was expected from this personality Abu Aamir Ar Raahib. What should be mentioned here is that the Prophet had a personal encounter with Abu Aamir Ar Raahib upon his arrival in Al Madinah. The Prophet of Allah read to him as they were sitting together verses from the Qur’an and tried to explain to him the message from Allah with its tolerance, with its camaraderie, with its equality, with its justice, with its rahma, with its ra’ba- he tried to explain all of this but this personality was not a personality that would listen. There’s something in that psychology of these types of people that will not respond or will not engage even the Prophet of Allah, the Prophet of mercy (and) the personality of grace. No! He’s not that type. So at the end, when he saw that the battle of Uhud was not a conclusive battle that defeated the Muslims he decided he is going to leave Arabia altogether. This is what an nifaq does; this is the behaviour of the Munafiqin. So he leaves Arabia and he goes to Byzantium to the North, to Bilad Ash Shaam and he has a meeting with Heraclius who you would call the Chief Executive of the Byzantines in that area, the ruler. He goes with him and he has a conversation with him concerning Islam, the Prophet, Arabia, Al Madinah and all of this and he communicates. Remember this is Abu Aamir’s background, this is his character; these are his deeds, that’s his personality. He communicates with some of his crowd in Al Madinah. Now brothers and sister, here we have to tell you that our Islamic history books don’t tell us by the name who these individuals were?! This is a very critical and very important piece of information but our history books don’t disclose to us and our explanation to you is that the what the regimes that ruled beginning with Bani Umayah and Bani Abbaas did was that if this information was present they took it out of circulation. They did away with it. What do you think- these regimes were sleeping? No. They were concerned with their national security, their tribal security, their ethnic security, their cultural security- they were concerned with all of that just like all of these rests of these governments we have around. Governments haven’t changed their nature. They have the same nature. They’re concerned with their well being so if that means that they’re going to have to make it an unknown- still up to now it’s an unknown! Who are these? You ask yourself. You go- you have Islamic history books, you have all this- you go back into these history books and try to identify who these people were. This piece of information is in all history books (i.e.) that Abu Aamir Ar Raahib was communicating with his group of people, primarily Al Khazraj inside of Al Madinah. That’s there. You’ll read that all over the place. If you open the books of history (and) if you open other books of seerah you’ll find that piece of information there. OK fine; but can you tell us, can we flip the pages and find who these individuals are? You can’t find them. Something happened. It’s not in the course, it’s not in the nature (and) it’s not in the character of a conscientious Islamic historian who knows the facts to hide them! This is not within the nature of scholars but it is in the nature of governments or regimes or monarchies to come and say “well this piece of information here is not going to serve us so why don’t we just take this piece of information out.” Could that not happen? Isn’t this a legitimate question to ask in this context? Be that as it may, Abu Aamir Ar Raahib communicated with these Munafiqin. We know also from Allah’s ayaat and the Prophets ahadith that there are Munafiqin in Al Madinah. We can’t exactly point them out by name because of this gap in our history books but we know that they were there and he was communicating with them and he was telling them I’ve had a meeting with the Byzantine leader and he tells me he’s going to give us support, weapons, finances- whatever it takes to dislodge and to destroy the Islamic state in Al Madinah and the leadership of Muhammad ibn Abdillah. We don’t know here also what the details of the communication between this faasiq and this Munafiq. We don’t know of the nature of this communication (and) the details between him and the Byzantine ruler- that’s also not to be found. Where is this information? In some museum in Europe? Did they steal it from our Islamic libraries and bookstores and it’s locked up somewhere? Up until now we don’t know but we do know that this ayah was revealed concerning that personality and the cattery of Munafiqin around him who were communicating with him. So he says to them why don’t you build me a lodge, (in today’s language), that we can consider (or) that we can designate as our meeting place? So they began building a Masjid. He didn’t tell them build a Masjid, he told them the word maakilan which means something like, (in today’s language), a lodge or a place of retreat, a meeting place. They built a Masjid and would you know (that) of all places in Al Madinah they chose to build that Masjid next to Masjid Quba’ which was the first Masjid (or) the first place Ar Rasul prayed upon arrival in Al Madinah. This how courageous they are. Don’t think Al Munafiqin are not courageous to do things that are ostensibly acceptable. No one in society is going to tell them “why are you building a masjid?” Just like in today’s world, (if) you build Masajid around no one is going to ask you why you building Masajid and then after they finish building this Masjid in the vicinity of Masjid Quba’ they go to Allah’s Prophet and ask him Oh Prophet of Allah… These are Muslims- they come to the jama’ah prayers, they fast Ramadhan, they do everything everyone else is doing so they come with this innocent face Oh Prophet of Allah could you please come and pray in this Masjid that we built. He said we are on a war footing right now. We are preparing to leave Al Madinah and go to Tabuk. This was in the last years of Allah’s Prophet and he said after I return, if Allah wills, it I’ll go to the Masjid. So the Prophet of Allah and the committed Muslims with him go to Tabuk and on their way back they’re about a distance of one day travel from Al Madinah these ayaat that were quoted to you at the beginning.
وَالَّذِينَ اتَّخَذُوا مَسْجِدًا ضِرَارًا وَكُفْرًا
… diraran, (i.e.) they built this Masjid for the purpose of inflicting damage, wa kufran (i.e.) for the purposes of serving kufr… (Surah Al Bara’ah verse 107)
These are Muslims; these are praying Muslims, these are fasting Muslims. No one in the history pages that we have said that these Munafiqin were not praying or were not fasting or doing all the other things that a private Muslim would do. They were doing all of that.
وَتَفْرِيقًا بَيْنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَإِرْصَادًا لِّمَنْ حَارَبَ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ مِن قَبْلُ
… and for the purpose of driving a wedge among the committed Muslims and dividing the committed Muslims and as a look out building (i.e.) this Masjid was going to be a lookout building or structure for those who are at war with Allah and His Prophet before… (Surah Al Bara’ah verse 107)
(This is) in reference to this Abu Aamir Ar Raahib in reference to the Byzantines. When the Munafiqin and these forces of tyranny and oppression on the outside link together these become the results.
وَلَيَحْلِفُنَّ إِنْ أَرَدْنَا إِلَّا الْحُسْنَىٰ
… and they will use the most solemn words phrases and language (i.e.) they will vow they will plead that they are doing this for charitable purposes for humanitarian ends… (Surah Al Bara’ah verse 107)
That’s what they said when they came to Allah’s Prophet and asked him could you please pray in this Masjid as a matter of barakah and as a matter of inaugurating this new Masjid. When they were pleading for this they said to him we built this Masjid for ad´duafaa’ (i.e.) those in society who are in need and those who can’t find a place to go. This is how they presented this project. This is a Masjid and these are Muslims who come to the Masjid and pray with Allah’s Prophet but behind the scenes what they were doing? They were communicating with individuals and with forces that are hostile and inimical to Islam, to Allah and to His Prophet.
وَاللَّهُ يَشْهَدُ إِنَّهُمْ لَكَاذِبُونَ
… Allah is witness that they are liars. (Surah Bara’ah verse 107)
Dear committed Muslims with Allah as your objective and with some years left in life…
The ayaat that were chosen from Surah At Tawbah on this day were chosen because this week we will have ended thirty years of praying outside in the streets so to speak. Don’t think we were explaining some history story (and that) Masjid Ad Diraar is some history story that has no relevance and it has no meaning in today’s world. No! The Qur’an is not a history book, it is not an entertainment scripture. The Qur’an presents us with the hard facts of life and what happened at that first Masjid Ad Diraar right now is happening at a much larger scale because that clique of Munafiqin in Al Madinah at that time have become now the rulers in the Islamic world; and if in the time of Allah’s Prophet they could not get away with building one Masjid today they have gotten away with controlling ninety-nine per cent of the Masajid in the world. How did this happen? At the time of the Prophet these ayaat were meaningful and committed Muslims were vigilant! They were not sleeping! They were not dowsing off when the Prophet and Allah spoke to them. They were tuned in. Today you come to them and you say open your eyes; work your mind- look what’s happening. These who are ruling in Arabia- the king in Arabia could very well be called the contemporary Abu Aamir Ar Raahib- come and meet with their superiors; Abu Aamir Ar Raahib went from Arabia to Byzantium and he had a session with the ruler at that time. These rulers come now periodically; they’re perennial visitors to Washington and to the rest of these capitals that bid us all types of evil. They sit with them, they speak with them, they talk to them and they assure themselves now in the comfort of the absence of a prophetic consciousness “oh we are in control of these Masajid. Oh yes you’re doing a good job.” You can just listen to them. If you were reading these ayaat and if you were placing them in the developments of today’s world you can easily access the scene in which they are sitting and discussing how they want to be in control of the Masajid of the world. They are in control of Makkah and Al Madinah and Al Quds- the three harams. They are in control of them and dare any Muslim think that the rulers of Arabia have converted Al Masjid Al Haram itself into a Masjid Diraar. “Oh my God! Someone expressing something like that?! What? Are you out of your mind?” No we are not out of our minds- come place your mind in the Qur’an and with the Prophet and tell us did they not convert Al Masjid Al Haram into a Masjid Diraar? Isn’t it there? Isn’t that Masjid a Masjid Diraar, i.e. an infliction of harm on the Muslims today because Muslims are not supposed to go there and think?! Muslims are not supposed to go to Makkah and meet each other. Muslims are not supposed to go to Makkah and disclose their internal feelings- that’s a Masjid Diraar. The denial of Allah’s authority and power- when you secularise Makkah that’s what you’ve done; you’ve fallen into the control of the Kafirs. (Take a) look- you see how they’ve divided the Muslims. Fifty-seven countries in the world (and) all of them separated from each other because that’s the message that goes out of Makkah and Al Madinah. The words in these ayaat- that we’re not supposed to think?! Who do they think they are? How long do they think they can get away with this? There are Muslims who are coming now, as we speak, into this life who will change this unusual status quo. Muslims are not going to live with this for long. There will come a time.
For those of you who stood this course for thirty years- we could be absent if you don’t come. We’ve said this before and we’ll say it again… Let’s say you don’t come here on Jum’ah. If none of you come here and I’m just here by myself, I can’t have a Jum’ah. There is no Jum’ah. It’s not a person who makes a Jum’ah, it’s the jama’ah that makes the Jum’ah. If you came here and there’s forty of you, (more or less, depending and this is another issue), the most qualified among you is supposed to give the khutbah. I know some of you out there have some other thoughts in their minds, but if there’s some of you who say “but there is no one who is qualified to give the khutbah” you’ve destroyed the message of Islam because that means you cannot unite (and) you cannot come together. There is no ayah or hadith that disqualifies the Muslims from a jama’ah or a Jum’ah. It doesn’t exist! If you want to say this then disqualify a jama’ah also- you can’t have a jama’ah because there is no qualified Imam to lead the jama’ah and we end up what? We end up the orphans that we actually are- controlled by these who are actually in control, (i.e.) Munafiqin, Dhaalimeen, Kuffaaran and Mushrikin.