Muslim public mind, absence Part 7

Developing Just Leadership

Muhammad H. al-'Asi

Jumada' al-Ula' 25, 1432 2011-04-29

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,

We observe this Friday while the Muslims in the world are in a state of instability. We know that Friday is a day of taqwa. Friday services are a reminder of taqwa. The Friday khutbah revolves around the concept of taqwa. This taqwa is a constant relationship/heightened awareness by the committed Muslim towards Allah as Authority/Power. We read Allah’s guiding Book. We read about Allah’s guiding Prophet; but reading if not related to reality is an exercise in futility. If we were to demonstrate our true relationship with Allah we would realise that we belong to a history/narrative/experience that lives on to our day. We are, in our historical character, (culture/ethnicity/race/nationality/gender aside- these are marginal issues), the important issue is that we are a continuation of the struggles of Allah’s Prophet. If we understand this we begin to realise that we as human beings have our moments in which we lapse from our standards. We’re human beings. We may have our mistakes, but these mistakes are not forgiven if they are institutionalised. We may have our personal deficiencies, but these personal deficiencies will not be forgiven if they become the social norm. For that reason we find that in this course of historical struggle/experience there seems to be much said to us by Allah and His Prophet pertaining to that peculiar chapter in history that has to do with Bani Isra’eel. We read about it as if we’re reading about some other people. This is not correct. We should read about it knowing that it has to do with us. Don’t let some racist Israelis or bigoted Yahudis interject the issue of race and disconnect you from where you belong. Remember, all of what we say here at this time in the khutbah of the Jum’ah is related to the facts that are surfacing everyday- facts that show us what is happening to the larger body of Muslims in the world on our watch, not in some annals of history. In one of the radiating discourses in the Qur’an, Allah has taken from that portion of history that we are part of. He has taken a frame of time/mind. OK- what is this ayah saying? It is saying that

وَإِذْ أَخَذْنَا مِيثَاقَكُمْ

Allah has taken your pledge… (Surah Al Baqarah verse 84)

This is our integral history because these were people around Prophets. If we consider ourselves people around Prophets we should see through this experience which in today’s language means we have taken your word. We declare that we are Allah’s subjects/adherents. Allah has taken our word for that. OK- what is this word that we gave Allah historically and currently?

لَا تَسْفِكُونَ دِمَاءَكُمْ وَلَا تُخْرِجُونَ أَنفُسَكُم مِّن دِيَارِكُمْ ثُمَّ أَقْرَرْتُمْ وَأَنتُمْ تَشْهَدُونَ

ثُمَّ أَنتُمْ هَٰؤُلَاءِ تَقْتُلُونَ أَنفُسَكُمْ وَتُخْرِجُونَ فَرِيقًا مِّنكُم مِّن دِيَارِهِمْ

… you shall not shed your blood and you shall not expel yourselves from your dwellings, your countries, your domiciles (and) your homelands and then you endorsed all of this while bearing witness to this relationship with Allah. But then here you are killing yourselves and forcing or expelling yourselves from your own homelands… (Surah Al Baqarah verse 84-85)

A Muslim reads this, and because of the imposed condition of mental alienation Muslims say “this has to do with Bani Isra’eel. What does this have to do with me? Well, this has to do with followers of a certain Prophet in history- what does it have to do with me?” You should know - oh Muslim who is distancing yourself from Allah- that this lesson speaks about you in history when you were part of the flock of these Prophets and it speaks about you today. (Take a) look at the Muslims today. Are they not active in killing one another? Do they not bear the crime of forcing themselves out of their own countries? Do we have to break this down for you? Do we have to go through the course of the news of the past week/month and what is happening in front of our own eyes? Muslims who are a little more educated say “this ayah has to do with Yahud who were living during the time of Allah’s Prophet and these Yahud would take the side once of the Aws and the other time of the Khazraj,” the two pre-dominant population configurations in Yathrib. The Aws and the Khazraj had their differences and they’d come to blows because of these differences and here we had Yahud (with) some of them taking the side of the Aws and some of them taking the side of the Khazraj. And because some Muslims know this, their knowledge places them at a distance from learning from it. So you know this happened - do you not know that it could also apply to you? Why do you let your knowledge of historical facts paralyse your will in today’s world?

ثُمَّ أَنتُمْ هَٰؤُلَاءِ تَقْتُلُونَ أَنفُسَكُمْ وَتُخْرِجُونَ فَرِيقًا مِّنكُم مِّن دِيَارِهِمْ

But then here you are killing yourselves and forcing and expelling yourselves from your own homelands… (Surah Al Baqarah verse 85)

You see - what this ayah is referring to is that when you begin to have power/wealth you begin to have a sense of interest. “Where is my interest in all of this? And if my interest dictates that I go to war against those who belong to me, then I am going to follow my interest even if that means that I am going to have to kill people that are supposed to be my extended self.” This is what Yahud did and that is why we have the barrage of ayaat exposing this false character. We’re supposed to learn from this, but have we learnt? (Take a) look at the flow of events. (It’s) as if these ayaat are speaking about some of these Muslims who today have their interests dictating to them what they should do! We have rulers in the Muslim world, who just like Yahud in previous times, say “their alliance with Imperialism/Zionism is for their own interest.” OK - how does that break down into real life? It breaks down into even if they have to use the military to go into a certain country because of their alliance with Imperialists/ Zionists. You can exchange the words Imperialists/Zionists today with the words Al Aws and Al Khazraj which these ayaat were speaking about at that time because these ayaat speak about the human condition- their meaning regenerate with time; but they can only regenerate if we think about their applicability. These ayaat are stagnant and meaningless if we don’t introduce them to the thick-and-thin of life. These ayaat, (eighty-four-through-eighty-seven of Surah Al Baqarah for those of you who want more saturation on this issue), go on to say when some of Yahud were allying themselves with the Aws and some of them with the Khazraj some of them fell prisoners-of-war. So what would Yahud do?

وَإِن يَأْتُوكُمْ أُسَارَىٰ تُفَادُوهُمْ

… they would ransom these prisoners-of-war... (Surah Al Baqarah verse 85)

They were not supposed to fight against them/be taking conflicting sides like they did/causing them to be expelled from their home-area and then after that they come and say “we want to free our prisoners-of-war.” In comparison Yahud had more honour /dignity than the Muslims of today who are involved in the same scheme of things because when you look around this is no guesswork. The ayah says that you ransom each other. You’re not supposed to be involved in the acts of war that led to the result of this ransom. You did it, you were wrong; and that’s why Allah in the same course of ayaat says to them

أَفَتُؤْمِنُونَ بِبَعْضِ الْكِتَابِ وَتَكْفُرُونَ بِبَعْضٍ

… oh- you adhere to portions of the divine writ and then you deny other portions of it… (Surah Al Baqarah verse 85)

That’s what they were doing. Allah told them

لَا تَسْفِكُونَ دِمَاءَكُمْ وَلَا تُخْرِجُونَ أَنفُسَكُم مِّن دِيَارِكُمْ

… you don’t shed each others blood and you don’t cause yourselves to be expelled/dislocated from your own countries … (Surah Al Baqarah verse 84)

You don’t want to adhere to any of that. You were involved in these wars against your ownselves and then when the results unfolded and you had prisoners-of-war, (so to speak), you went and paid for their freedom. It’s happening in today’s world. The same character except that those were performing with Judaic rituals today we have people who are performing it with Islamic rituals. They’re doing the same thing, the only thing that’s different is the ritual aspect of it but the social character is the same one. When Muslims fall in this polarisation do we have the Muslims who were responsible paying for the freedom of the Muslims who lost their liberty? Point to one/some if you can in today’s world. Do we not have Muslims behind bars? Do we not have Muslims who have been victimised because their Officials/decision makers allied themselves with institutions/constitutions/Governments/ Officials who are enemies of mankind? We have them in this country/all around the world. Who is stepping forward to ransom these Muslims or to try to spring them out of detention/ imprisonment? Here we have Bani Isra’eel, (those who we say “this is not us”), who can see Bani Saud? When we speak about Aal Phiraun, who can see Aal Saud in all of this? What happened? Why? Our minds are jammed when it comes to Allah offering us these meanings we turn up our minds and say “we don’t want to access these types of meanings! Don’t get us involved in these types of things!” Get you involved in what? All that is to be done is to have these Qur’anic meanings come alive in our life. This Qur’an was not meant for us when we are dead/gone; it was meant for us here-and-now. The Scholars/Ulema’ of Usool say the moral lesson here is in the inclusive meanings in the Qur’an and it’s not limited to the particular event that it came to address at that time - meaning that if these ayaat were speaking about the incident of Yahud violating their pledge with Allah it is not limited to that one particular historical incident. The meanings engulf all incidents of that nature until the end of time and if we meet that criteria we are condemned likewise. Allah doesn’t have a ritual barrier; He can see through rituals. If we are guilty of that behaviour we bear the consequences.

لَّيْسَ بِأَمَانِيِّكُمْ وَلَا أَمَانِيِّ أَهْلِ الْكِتَابِ ۗ مَن يَعْمَلْ سُوءًا يُجْزَ بِهِ وَلَا يَجِدْ لَهُ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ وَلِيًّا وَلَا نَصِيرًا

It is not according to your wishful thinking nor according to the wishful thinking of People of Scripture; whoever is guilty of a mis-action shall bear the consequences and thereafter he will not find besides Allah a Superior (and) Supporter. (Surah An Nisa’ verse 123)

The Prophet of Allah says- in one of these hadiths we don’t listen to very frequently. Why? Because understanding it is going to expose the syndicate of religious subservience to the Imperialists/Zionists of our day- whoever’s performing salah and if this salah is not a barrier between him and al fahsha’/moral corruption and al munkar/social corruption, (in a very general sense), the only thing this salaah does is increase the distance between it’s performer and Allah. Do you want to listen to it again? Whoever is performing a salah that does not bar him from al fahsha’/al munkar this salah only distances him from Allah. Take this as a measurement to the multitudes of people who are performing their salaah today /now and compare their performance of as salaah with the blood that is being shed and the dislocations that are taking place.

Dear brothers and sisters of Islam/in Islam/with Islam…

It is not traditional to begin to “dot the I’s and cross the T’s”, (so to speak). We just focused on a few ayaat in the Book of Allah, but to be more relevant to our time we accompany these meanings into the real world. Our problem, (and we have quite a few of them), but our major problem is that our condition, or societies, our policies/strategies, (if we have them), are deliberately linked to our enemies. How can we as Muslims in good faith/honest conscience/clear mind justify the wholesale future of ours to policies of war that shed our own blood? No one came to your/me and no one came to any Masjid and said “what do you think- should we have a relationship with the Imperialists in Washington/racists in Tel Aviv?” No one ever asked us! We should declare all of the policies that are enacted in the absence of our input, our determination, our feedback, our participation null and void. But how can we do that when we have Masajid that are under occupation. Most of our Masajid are under occupation! Many Muslims speak about liberating territories and lands, let’s take a step back for a moment and liberate our minds/Masajid. We can’t do that?!

In the past two/three weeks your meek brother here was sort of “out of action.” There were demonstrations here, in Washington DC (and) in other parts of the world. Why? (Because) the Saudis went into another country and occupied it along with the Emirates. It’s nice to see some Muslims beginning to express their opposition to occupation, but isn’t this what they did here twenty-nine or so years ago in this Masjid? Where are the Muslims/Bahrainis/Iraqis/ Saudis and the rest of these Muslims who don’t have what it takes to stand on principle and say “you have no right to occupy a House of Allah/confiscate a Masjid”? Or are we occasional Muslims? We’re prompted by someone and then we go out for a day/week or two. What happened to our principle? Do we not stand on principle? Of course, the Saudis get the impression “oh well - we can go into that/the other/any Masjid we want, take it over or we can buy the Imam in that Masjid. We’ll pay the money. We’ll give them a salary. We’ll hush them up.” When we give them, (it’s not coming from somewhere else), the latitude to do this they think they are right. Sure - they can go on doing this and much more and here you have it. No one has the courage. Now we can look, (we have a little hindsight here), there were some Muslims who were rubbing shoulders- we’re speaking about the calibre of Muslim that is beyond the conventional/dormant; it’s those who have an activist background/who sacrificed. There came a time not long ago, a few years ago, they were rubbing shoulders/ sitting down/breaking bread with these Saudis- come forth! We want to see you! Look us in the eye! What do you have to say? How do you explain yourselves? On a more thorny issue, the Saudis are the puppets of their puppet-masters, for those of you who probably cannot combine what Allah is saying with what people are doing, Iraq had set a precedent. The United States Government with the blessings of a religious establishment occupied Iraq. The occupation is still alive and kicking. Other peoples were looking- the peoples who are out in the street, moving for some type of liberation from proxy occupations- whether they are in Libya/North Africa/Syria or other places looked and this and said “wait a minute here- it seems to us that what happened in Iraq got rid of a tyrant…” We have not one word that is favourable for the tyrant that is gone from Iraq, but you don’t replace a tyranny with another tyranny/a dhalim with dhalimeen! These people said “look at the Iraqi people- they have what appears to be a good relationship with the United States and they got rid of their tyrant. Why can’t we do the same thing? Why can’t we have a good relationship with the United States and get rid of our own tyrant” Brothers and sisters- don’t be selective. Where is the haqq? We cannot sugar-coat/paint it with favourable/unfavourable colours. It is happening in Bahrain. People want a representative Government. That is their right! Their mistake is if they begin to consider that some superpower is going to come in and deliver for them their freedom! This can be applied across the board. People want representative Governments. Don’t let the sponsors of the last century of proxy regimes in Muslim countries, in other words the forces of Imperialism/Zionism, move in at this delicate moment and steal the will of these people and impose their new administrations so that we are going to have to suffer another century of servitude/another generation where our resources are going to be stolen from us. They stole enough! We can’t wake up/stand up and speak the truth. People’s tongues are tied! They can’t see a simple thing! People want a representative Government. (Is there) anything wrong with that? Every Muslim in his sane mind should say absolutely not!” But on the other hand are there not powers that want to move in to fulfil his desire? Of course there are! The United States is not vacationing in Hawaii! They have their informants/spies/ turncoats/fifth columnists all over the place and they are working night/day. They are in a race with time because they don’t want Muslims to wake up to what Allah is telling them. When the day comes when we, Muslims, can understand Allah’s word in the context of our time, Imperialism/Zionism will die a natural death! They know they are in this race (and) they don’t want to lose time. We can’t afford them the ignorance that is institutionalised/sponsored in these Masajid and first and foremost in Makkah and Al Madinah.

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