Muslim public mind, absence Part 5

Developing Just Leadership

Muhammad H. al-'Asi

Rabi' al-Thani 27, 1432 2011-04-01

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,

These days- these times actually present us with an opportunity to serve Allah and to become His will on earth but there’s a caveat; we can’t do so if we cannot identify His guidance and the meanings of His guidance to us. It becomes impossible to do Allah’s will in the peculiar/ obvious circumstances that we find ourselves in. There’s an ayah in the Qur’an that takes to task those who are incapable of managing the meanings of the Qur’an. Allah’s words

أَفَلَا يَتَدَبَّرُونَ الْقُرْآنَ أَمْ عَلَىٰ قُلُوبٍ أَقْفَالُهَا

Can they not manage this Qur’an or is it that there are locks on their hearts? (Surah Al Qitaal verse 24)

This ayah comes to mind when a person is located between Allah and His guidance and His Prophet on one side and on the other side people who, (as you can see), are drifting in this world. No guidance/direction/sense of responsibility; basically a club of human ego/ selfishness at work. This is what we have around us, (by-and-large). These meanings that come to us from Allah are not impossible meanings. They were not meant to be. Allah’s guidance was meant to be accessible/understandable. It goes to man’s conscience.

Another ayah

وَلَقَدْ يَسَّرْنَا الْقُرْآنَ لِلذِّكْرِ فَهَلْ مِن مُّدَّكِرٍ

And We have facilitated the Qur’an for the purpose of dhikr, (i.e.), for your conscience to come alive. (Surah Al Qamar verse 17)

So is there anyone out there who is conscientious? We read these ayaat, (there are many ayaat in the Qur’an), that should tap on your attention at these times. We are people who are supposed to be conscious of Allah. The word Allah in the Qur’an is mentioned around 2,700 times- to be exact 2,697 times; and with the average print of the Qur’an being what it is nowadays that’s about every page has the word of Allah around four times in it. Then why do we behave as if Allah is absent? No knowledge of Allah! No consciousness of Allah! And along comes His enemies who proliferate. It’s not as if there is a scarcity of Allah’s enemies. They are to be encountered everywhere, at every level and yet we behave as if “everything is fine as long I go and I offer my four/two/three rak’aat the world is in good shape.” No, it is not! The world cannot be in good shape if your rak’aat are imprisoned in the Masjid. The meanings that you repeat and rehearse in your salaah belong in the stretch of social life all around you. We have today, (in the real world real people)- and we’re not speaking about petty crime or local criminal activities; we are speaking about organised strategies and policies that target we, the Muslims. This Qur’an speaks to us in real time. There are real Imams of kufr in this real world and the reference that we have says to us what? How do you deal with these kafirs at the level of decision making/positions of officialdom? (Do) you say “Oh we can cohabit together/live peacefully- you and I.” We wish that was the case. This is wishful thinking. Allah says as a matter of developing our understanding of the real issues of the world

فَمَن شَاءَ فَلْيُؤْمِن وَمَن شَاءَ فَلْيَكْفُرْ

… freedom is given to those who decide to become committed to Him and on an equal par freedom is given to those who decide to deny Him... (Surah Al Kahf verse 29)

So from our perspective as committed Muslims we acknowledge the God-given freedom to man either to adhere/affirm Allah or to deny/reject Him. We don’t want people coming and lecturing us on freedoms. Islam has a bad name/press out there. They say “oh look at Muslims- they have no freedoms.” What do they mean? They say this and try to get away with it because our attention has been withdrawn from Allah and His Prophet. So they come along with these broad statements and they try to sweep us into corners of intolerance/ ignorance/fanaticism and we don’t belong there. The Qur’an with it’s vital/timely meanings speaks to the real world and reality around us. It’s not a book that stopped 1,400 years ago. It was revealed 1,400 years ago and it dealt with the circumstances/realities of those times and it continues to speak to the realities/circumstances of all times. So if there were leaders of kufr then, there are leaders of kufr today. (Do) you think that Allah’s Prophet came and then he destroyed the idols/figurines of the pagans in Makkah and the mission has been accomplished and the Qur’an rested it’s case then and it has no relevant meanings to our time now? Allah says

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِن تُطِيعُوا الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا يَرُدُّوكُمْ عَلَىٰ أَعْقَابِكُمْ فَتَنقَلِبُوا خَاسِرِينَ

O you who are committed to Allah if you obey the Kafirs they will cause you to retreat, experience military failures and withdraw from this effort. (Surah Aal Imran verse 149)

What is this effort? The effort is obeying Allah- it’s that simple. That’s what’s expected of us. We are not here to perform miracles/take shortcuts! We are here to do Allah’s will on Earth. That’s as frank/simple as it comes.

بَلِ اللَّهُ مَوْلَاكُمْ ۖ وَهُوَ خَيْرُ النَّاصِرِينَ

Rather it is Allah who is your superior and He is the best source of victory that you have. (Surah Aal Imran verse 150)

Compare these meanings. You have these meanings. We are supposed to read them and understand them. If you take today’s attitude- there is what goes/passes for an Islamic attitude out there. It has no basis, no justification and no rationalisation but it’s out there. What is this attitude? It says “well- we can’t do what Allah expects us to do.” No one ever puts it in these words but the behaviour of all Governments, Institutions and Establishments in the Muslim realm express this statement “we can’t do what Allah is asking us to do.” This climaxes when there is a life and death effort to be exerted. Here is where we notice this. It’s nothing new. It’s something that has been stated in Allah’s everlasting book. Human nature has remained human nature from the time Allah created us until the end of time. When Bani Isra’eel reached the point where they had to sacrifice limb/life to do Allah’s will on Earth they come across/up against a superior military structure. They stood there figured/thought/calculated/assessed the issues/details and the bottom line

قَالُوا لَا طَاقَةَ لَنَا الْيَوْمَ بِجَالُوتَ وَجُنُودِهِ

… they said “today no capabilities in our adversarial position vis-a-vis Goliath and his troops ... (Surah Al Baqarah verse 249)

Now is this just a statement that speaks about a social timeframe thousands of years ago or is it a statement that still applies to human nature regardless of its religious performances- Jews/ Christians/ Muslims? The time comes for the grand/ultimate sacrifice and everyone begins to play smart here! They calculate what power do we have? (Take a) look, we don’t have a military industry/technology, we don’t have this/the other. If we were to take the meanings of this ayah and apply it to the realities of our time the Muslim condition would be expressing the same thing. The discrepancy here is we are incapable of blending the Qur’anic facts that pertain to human nature and social history to the facts of the lives that we live today! This is our deficiency/discrepancy and it is best to identify this mistake and then surmount it and not live with it going down into our graves in a state of failure. Each one of us, every day in our salaah say

إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ

You alone we conform to and You alone we ask for assistance. (Surah Al Fatihah verse 5)

That’s what we say but what do we do? Do these meanings extend themselves outside of our salaah and outside of our Masjid to become our social behaviour?! Yes- whatever we need help, we ask of it from Allah; we don’t ask for it sitting on a fence or day dreaming. We ask for it through our efforts, while we are involved/conforming in every scintilla of energy that we have to Allah’s orders/instructions. We don’t have to feel weak when we do this but how come we have what the Qur’anic words say rulers/leaders of kufr who camouflage themselves with our salaah/siyaam and they repeat the right words but they don’t exemplify the right character/behaviour! This is the dichotomy that has afflicted us that has brought us to where we are today.

إِن تُطِيعُوا فَرِيقًا مِّنَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ يَرُدُّوكُم بَعْدَ إِيمَانِكُمْ كَافِرِينَ

… if you are to obey a contingent of those who have been given scripture a foretime they will cause you to retreat as Kafirs. (Surah Aal Imran verse 100)

You can still have your Islamic rituals but your social character will retreat into one who denies Allah’s power/authority. Allah says to us, opening up our eyes to the nature of these people,

وَلَا يَزَالُونَ يُقَاتِلُونَكُمْ حَتَّىٰ يَرُدُّوكُمْ عَن دِينِكُمْ إِنِ اسْتَطَاعُوا

… they will continue to fight you until they cause you to relapse from your Deen if that is possible for them to do… (Surah Al Baqarah verse 217)

Who is listening/tuned in/taking these meanings into the details of the lives around us? We see what is happening. We don’t have to fill in the blanks of this khutbah with the past seven days of the news that you have been exposed to. We quote you these ayaat and try to explain their meanings through the teachings of Allah’s Prophet while you are required just to acknowledge this to what is happening to us from Jum’ah to Jum’ah. You don’t know where these ayaat belong in the context of today’s real world? Are you disconnected from the facts of real life? You see not bloodshed in Muslim lands/occupations of Islamic countries? You can’t see all of that? How did this happen? If we are truly Allah’s will on Earth, (as we are supposed to be), much of this would not be around but because we haven’t lived up to that responsibility we suffer the consequences as you clearly can relate to/realise. The Prophet of Allah and all of the first generation of Muslims who learnt from the Prophet of Allah are quoted to have said any people/society who abandons jihad, (we all are familiar with the word jihad), is going to be inflicted with humiliation/ignominy.

Brothers and sisters, committed Muslims…

We know many khateebs/people who ascend the mimbars on Friday will not go as far as we are going and that is part of the problem. We yearn for the day when there’s enough confidence in the hearts of these preachers/enough knowledge in the minds of these khutaba’ on Friday and enough tawakkul/relegating of our affairs to Allah while we are in His prescribed action- we hope that day will come sooner rather than later. What we see happening to us, (and we have eyes to see with and ears to hear with and a con-joinment of conscience/heart to process to bombard our senses in today’s bloody world), is that there are militaries that are attacking Muslims and then, the information that goes out/spreads among Muslims- because Muslims are not immune to their lies- they come and tell us in a certain country there are demonstrations and there are pro-democracy and pro-regime forces. This characterisation of what is happening creeps in to an unguarded Muslim mind/heart. It’s unguarded because Allah’s and His Prophet’s instructions/teachings are absent so you come and see through the enemies eyes.

إِنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّ فَاتَّخِذُوهُ عَدُوًّا

Verily Ash Shaytaan has been and continues to be your enemy; designate him as an enemy… (Surah Al Fatir verse 6)

We have Muslims practically spending their whole lives feeling that they have no ememies. If there’s any block of population in this world that qualifies with having numerous enemies it is the Muslim block in the world and then we have Muslims going from day-to-day/year-to-year and from the womb to the tomb behaving as if we have no enemies, “everything is rosy/fine.” That’s not the case! We do have real enemies and we have to elevate our understanding of the issues so that we can look our enemies in the eye. Some Muslims know this but are scared to express it. What’s wrong? Where’s the confidence/daily statement? Scores of times everyday

إِيَّاكَ نَعْبُدُ وَإِيَّاكَ نَسْتَعِينُ

You alone we conform to and You alone we ask for assistance. (Surah Al Fatihah verse 5)

Where is it at times like this? Your tongues are tied and you can’t speak the truth? The irony of it is they took our lands because we know that they took our minds. When you occupy a persons head you can occupy his fatherland! For us to liberate our material life we are going to have to liberate our mental and psychological life and we will not be able to do that when these enemies of ours- Ash Shaytaan indirectly occupies our Mimbar/Masjid. That will never happen. Let us expel this Shaytaan from our minds/Masajid; from there on he will be expelled from our oil wells and natural resources and let’s not confuse these issues.

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