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,
Q: The question here is what are the identifiable stages of a revolution?
A (Imam Muhammad Al Asi): In order for a revolution to become an exercisable act in a Muslim society first of all there has to be the element of injustice and oppression in the world around it. That is something that anyone can detect in the present day world that we are living in. The second part of this process is that the Muslim who is the recruit of an Islamic Revolution has to identify that injustice. Obviously a revolution may not become possible if a Muslim cannot identify what he is revolting for (or) what he is establishing his jihad for. The third part of this revolution is a program. You have to have a program for an Islamic Revolution. The outlines in general are set but the details in that outline depends on the area and particularities and the conditions. Then the forth stage of it all is the most important one (i.e.) the will of a Muslim to act in a revolutionary sense. Once these are available then we have collected and mustered the stages and the basis of a revolution and the process should be set into motion. And Allah knows best.
Q: The second question is what is the role of students in a revolution? Also, please explain to us as I do not understand what was meant by “Islam becoming victorious because of jihad and not libraries” considering the present state in South Africa.
A (Imam Muhammad Al Asi): Sometimes the educational institutions as they are set up today, (and most of these institutions we have in the world to day and most of us go to), are not built, constructed and programmed according to Islam so what happens is a person goes to primary school and then to secondary school and then to University and then there’s a little more money in his pocket he tries to obtain his Graduate Degrees and then also for those remarkable few they do their Post-Doctoral researches and what not. This process that is set by the non-Islamic pattern of life that dominates this world is one that does not take into consideration the element that we Muslims are responsible for and that is the element of participation in the activities of jihad. Who said that the prime years that are structured for us to obtain our knowledge should be done in such a pattern? No one has radically taken a thinking process in which he says do a certain amount of years in school and then a certain amount of years some where else. That is not done and of course the Muslims for such a long time have been lacking in Governmental instruments to think along those lines and in those very courageous mode (or) dimensions that Muslims should be. So what happens is the student nowadays consumes the better part of his life in the classroom and then the University’s sort of set up to absorb and are busting at the seems when students are at Universities, (which seems to be their prime years of activity), where you have student bodies and the rest that absorb the natural inclinations of a person towards justice. Then you have marginal exchanges between these different groups that are only meant to absorb the vitality of a human being in his prime years. Then what happens after this student and that vitality has more-or-less diminished he finds himself consumed in a certain occupation and then he lands his job on a seat behind a desk and begins to grow white hairs. This is the usual development of students and this is the usual outcome. Obviously this is not an atmosphere that is conducive to revolution. It does not permit and it wasn’t structured to permit the human individual, especially if he is a Muslim, to when those years pass by in his teens or early twenties when he is willing to fight and he is willing to address the vital issues of his days. So as it is a student is non-revolutionised. You can’t revolutionise this student the way the system’s set up. That’s if the student wants to succumb to the definition of a student.
Now, if you want to think more radically, (if you will), then we can suggest that we should be looking at the definition of student as a step towards professionalism in the life of a Muslim and try to tackle the issues that are facing us- issues of injustice, issues of a non-equal distribution of wealth, issues of discrimination. All of these are issues of Shirk and Taghut that permeate all our lives. If we can deal with these issues and get on our way then a student can resume his acquirement of knowledge according to a new structure that is built within an Islamic habitat; but in the absence of that, a “student” cannot play a role in a significant Islamic process.
The second part of the question, (I think), dealt with what is meant by libraries and if you were listening to me last night, I think I mentioned that the acquiring of knowledge according to the ayah mentioned in Surah Tawbah (that) very specifically states
وَمَا كَانَ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ لِيَنفِرُوا كَافَّةً
Once there is an abundance of manpower then it is not the obligation of every Muslim to go to the warfront because in the initial stages of building Islam every Muslim is within his responsibility to partake in the process of jihad but at a certain stage when it grows to a specific strength the mobilization of every man is not any more an obligation and it is only the obligation of a certain segment to go to the warfront comes back … (Surah At Tawbah verse 122)
This process of participating in the war is a process of acquiring knowledge. Of course, we’re not talking about knowledge of chemistry or what you’re going to learn in algebra, or physics that you’re going to learn at the warfront.
لِّيَتَفَقَّهُوا فِي الدِّينِ
… but it is a knowledge to the significance of this deen … (Surah At Tawbah verse 122)
The fiqh of this deen. The evaluation and appreciation of what this deen is for emanates there, at the warfront. In this ayah I mentioned according ibn Jarir and At Tabari and some other mufassireen. That is basically what I referred to by that. I hope I didn’t miss the question, sometimes there’s something else the person wants to ask- if so please ask the question so that I may adjust my answer.
Q: How does a person communicate the act that the leadership is ignorant, incompetent, immoral?
A (Imam Muhammad Al Asi): A Muslim community should see to it that it does not have such leadership with such qualifications. This is a very demanding issue and part of the process would be to finally confront that leadership. It could be an individual confrontation. If one individual goes to the corrupt leader or collective leadership, (whatever type it is), nothing much will come out of the issue as much logic and as much proof and much Qur’an and hadith is stated to that leadership, but if that leadership is brought to the general attention of the public of the community and faces the community eye-to-eye on the issues then the leadership will begin either to adjust if it is adjustable (and) if not it will disintegrate and vanish and then the community itself has to take the responsibility of formulating a leadership that comes from within the ranks of the Muslim community. Now, (something I sense and I don’t know if I mentioned this or not), some people get an A’lim confused with an Imam. You may have an A’lim which means a Scholar or a person who has obtained knowledge- you may have many of these people- people would have knowledge in the Arabic language, people would have knowledge in the tajweed of the Qur’an, people would have knowledge in chemistry, in geography; there’s different level and different compartments of knowledge, fields of knowledge if you will- but having that knowledge is one thing and assuming the leadership is another thing. Of course, it is obvious to any Muslim that the component of knowledge is a necessary component of leadership, but it is not the only qualification that makes a leader a leader. There are other qualifications such as his sense of the issues of justice, his sacrifices, his care for the Muslims around him, his suffering with the Muslims, if the Muslims are happy, his being happy with them, if they are sad he is sad with them, he laughs when they laugh, he cries when they cry. This is an integral part of a leadership, (and the) characteristics and qualifications of becoming leaders but to come and automatically say “because a person has combined a few disciplines (i.e.) the discipline of tajweed with the discipline of tafseer with the discipline of the Arabic Language and a few others he becomes a leader” is confusing to different characters. Maybe if we can see this more clearly we can begin to understand how to adjust this set-up and stage.
Q: (We going to cut short this long question and come to the point). Is it fair to say that jihad is the only important factor that will restore power to the Muslims?
A (Imam Muhammad Al Asi): Jihad is a process by which Muslims begin to sacrifice. There are ahadith pertaining to a minor and a major jihad depending on what authentication a person may refer to on those ahadith. A jihad is a process that begins by sacrifice. There may be a jihad on a limited level and then that jihad grows. What is important is the growth of that jihad until it becomes an all out war with the forces of Kufr. If that process of growing jihad is arrested as is the case with some people who go about preaching Islam and forget about the element of jihad, those people who deliberately overlook of skim over the ayaat that talk about jihad in the Qur’an and about the cause and the purposes for jihad. All of these issues are intertwined with the issues of faith, with the very issue of iman in a person. So the process of jihad is the growth of this jihad to become a collective phenomenon and then after that to gain the option of using arms against the forces of Kufr and Taghut. That is the process by which the Muslims will be successful. (I don’t know you said “there’s something else to your question” but if I understood), yes- I want to say in short that Jihad is missing in our lives and it is missing because we are missing other factors that build up this jihad. Let’s obtain these other factors and proceed on this path and knock down the issues. Some people who are Ahmadis or Qadianis discount jihad altogether- it has nothing to do with Islam?! OK- we identify these types of people as outside the pale of Islam but we can’t identify the people that have discarded jihad for practical purposes but have not discarded it for theoretical purposes?! But in the final analysis they’re the same. If they don’t like jihad in reality and they are not embarked on a course of jihad (and) we can use the hadith whoever does not fight or seriously contemplate the act of fighting in his life dies a non-Islamic death or dies on a tangent of nifaq. There’re many other ayaat and ahadith that solidify this general meaning.
Q: (If I understood you mentioned last night pointing out that two percent of the oppressed are Muslims and ninety-eight per cent are non- Muslims. Now, my pertinent question, if this may not be presumptuous, supposing that ninety-eight per cent fight for their rights what would the position of the Muslims be? Would they anticipate jihad against those who were oppressed at one time? Can you anticipate with me what would the position be?
A (Imam Muhammad Al Asi): If the oppressed Muslims and non- Muslims stood up together and fought for their rights Allah will reward every one according to his intention. Oppression cannot be condoned because of the fact that those who are oppressed are not technically Muslims. Then, if later on the oppressors of the day are destroyed and then a new power structure comes into existence it may be very well possible that in the absence of Islam that because of the percentage- ninety-eight versus two percent- the ninety-eight percent would carry the day as far as the decision making and they in the absence of Islam will become vulnerable to becoming oppressors themselves and so the jihad and the role of the Muslims continue in this mix. So those who were yesterday the oppressors may also become oppressed and the process continues in this fashion. I want to keep it at that.
Q: If in the land where we live we have identified the corruption in society; we experience oppression and injustice and we conclude that only revolution and jihad can bring about an end to injustice. Is there place for the process of Islamization and the role for Islamists? How would that be effective? What effective role can they play to bring about transformation to this jahiliyyah society?
A (Imam Muhammad Al Asi): Much of the answer to that question, brother, depends upon the definition of Islamization. Now if what is meant by Islamization is the process that is taking place in Sudan and in Pakistan and in Malaysia and potential other places which in the future can become part of this mandatory process, (which is a very explosive one), then I think it would behove and be better for these Islamists and the people who agree with their ideas to just give up on these tactics of delaying the struggle. The only purpose that they are serving is to fudge the issue and obviously they haven’t taken a stand against the Tawagheet. They may have whispered in their midst that they do not agree with the Taghut, that they are against it. What counts is not the whispers from ear-to-ear; what counts is the actual position out there in life where a person proves himself. These dear and good connections and one of them who is prominent among them saying, (I don’t want to mention any names here), “well- the Muslims have the popularity and the Government has the money, let’s exchange a little of this for a little of that. Let us give them a little of our popularity and they’ll give us a little of their wealth and we’ll wax together.” This is not the process of Islam. It is not the method of the Messengers and Prophets that were sent throughout history to mankind to change the circumstances through their revolutionary outlook and it certainly wasn’t the methodology and the method of the last Prophet. So my answer to the Islamization process is that unfortunately some people only learn through mistakes that will cost other people their time and their effort and in the process a lot of time is consumed. Maybe these Islamists need this time to learn but I hope this learning process does not affect the rest of the Muslims. This is the best case; in its worst case I hope these Islamists do not take a negative and a hostile attitude against other Muslims who are ready to give up their life for the real issues of the hour.
Q: Why is it that our Jum’ah and congregational prayers no longer constitute a political and military image? Should this type of prayer structure not be re-introduced?
A (Imam Muhammad Al Asi): I haven’t attended any Jum’ah prayers in the capacity of watching what is going on in as far as Jum’ah prayers are concerned here. If the question means the Jum’ah prayers in general in all the Muslim lands, (then) basically speaking the formalities or the structure of Jum’ah prayers are correct in general. There’s a Mimbar, (although that’s not necessary), a part of the Khutbah saying the Shahadah, the salaah on the Prophet, the du’a for the Muslims saying to the Mu’mins “Ittaqullah.” These are generally there but in as far as the message of the Khutbah, it is reported that when the Prophet used to deliver the Khutbah his veins in his neck would intensify and pop out from the conviction that he had to what he was saying. I don’t know how many Imams or how many people that have used this Mimbar or other Mimbars, (I’m not particularly picking on this one), are involved in what they say. The issue is that of ignorance and a lot of it also is that people who are put in this position are more related to their salaries than they are to the contents of their responsibilities. Once again it is the responsibility of the Muslim congregation to adjust something that is not correct as was the case in Washington DC. We had the same thing. The Imam was just giving up on the Mimbar and he was saying “he went to Malaysia and he looked down from the plane and he saw the mountains and how beautiful the mountains were.” People were going to sleep and to wake them up he would say “say SubhanAllah, say this, say that” to wake them up. So the Muslims after a short while elected their Imam and this election process after year one was opposed by the Ambassadors and force was used in the situation in Washington DC and right not there are two Jum’ahs that are held at the Islamic Center- the Jum’ah that is held inside the Masjid and the Jum’ah that is held outside the Masjid. Of course, the Ambassadors call in the police and special guards and the rest of law enforcement agents to prevent some Muslims from entering the House of Allah while permitting other Muslims and non- Muslims to enter the House of Allah and this situation continues. If it is done there it can be done elsewhere. It only takes the will of the Muslims to do it. It’s your will.
Q: How important in the liberation of Quds to the Muslims? What action is to be taken if any against those so called Muslim leaders who do not heed the call of the Imam?
A (Imam Muhammad Al Asi): Well, I hope in one sense I may touch on this issue tomorrow but in short I would say that the liberation of Quds is part of our iman. It is stated in the Qur’an and these ayaat, (if I forget please remind me; I will try to bring them to your attention. Tomorrow is the last day that I will be here). As far as the call of the Imam and the liberation of Al Quds- he is only following the orders of Allah in obeying the Imam we would be obeying Allah in mobilising ourselves for the liberation of Al Quds.
You can observe for yourself why I mentioned that Shaykh is on the wanted list of Establishments of this world and especially on the wanted list by Royal Decree Shaykh Muhammad Al Asi cannot enter Makkah because Shaykh is one of the few in the world that is standing up for justice as a witness for Allah.